Skip to main content

Indiana Man Charged with Poaching Record Buck

Austin Spain, of Lynn, Ind., killed what a Boone & Crockett official said was the "deer of a lifetime."

The only problem? Spain illegally poached the buck — his second this season in a state that only allows one per year.

According to Indiana state officials and a spokesman with B&C, the deer scored somewhere in the 180-inch range with 16 points, qualifying it for the national record books. But after Spain submitted a statement last week admitting that he had not shot it in Michigan per his original claim, he was charged with several misdemeanors relating to the incident, according to He also could face jail time if convicted.

Indiana conservation officer Jake Carlile said Spain killed his first buck in early November, and then shot the trophy buck the weekend of the Nov. 17. After an investigation into the incident, charges were brought against Spain and the deer was confiscated from a local taxidermy shop.

Keith Balfourd, a spokesman with B&C, said it's rare for most hunters to ever see a deer of that caliber, and a shame that Spain stole the opportunity from someone else.

"I have hunted whitetail deer for 35 years and I haven't shot one that was 160 inches. Less than one half of 1 percent of hunters ever take a Boone & Crockett-qualifying trophy."

"There are lots of concerns when it comes to poaching. Essentially, deer, and wildlife in general, belong to the public. It's a very unique model in North America. Wildlife doesn't belong to the government, it doesn't belong to corporations and it doesn't belong to royalty. By taking more than his fair share, this hunter has taken from the citizens of that state," Balfourd told

It seems greed got the better of Spain, who — as the old potato chip commercial once said — couldn't have just one. In the end he made it into the books; just not the ones he was hoping for.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now