Illegal deer shootings lead to charges for pipeline worker in Pennington County
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- A Louisiana man working on a pipeline crew in northwestern Minnesota faces several charges after being accused of illegally taking two deer in October in Pennington County.
Ryan Dye, 31, Oak Grove, La., has been charged with taking big game animals in a closed season, a gross misdemeanor. He also has been charged with misdemeanor counts of transporting an illegally taken big animal, taking deer with an invalid license, taking a big game animal from a road right-of-way, transporting an untagged deer and trespassing on ag land.
A hearing was held Monday, court records show, and Dye is scheduled to make his initial appearance Jan. 29.
According to complaint reports, the charges resulted after authorities received a report Oct. 10 that someone was shooting at deer from a road onto private property. That report led officers to interview Dye.
A two-day early antlerless deer season was under way at the time in parts of northwestern Minnesota.
In the complaint report, Dye said he shot at a deer from a road west of Thief River Falls and went onto private property to retrieve the deer without knowing the owner or whether the land was posted. He placed the doe, which hadn't been field-dressed, in the back of his pickup and then drove away without tagging the deer, the report said.
According to the report, Dye less than an hour later fired two or three shots at another herd of deer feeding in a soybean field. Dye said he didn't know who owned that land, either, and, believing he hadn't hit any of the deer, drove to the house of a friend who lived nearby.
That's where authorities acting on the tip found him. A freshly killed deer, also a doe, subsequently was found in the second field, the report said. That field was located in an area closed to hunting for the early antlerless season.
Dye had purchased two deer licenses -- a nonresident early antlerless license and a nonresident regular season firearms license -- that morning, the report said. But under Minnesota law, a deer license purchased on or after the day a season opens isn't valid until two days later.
The early antlerless season was open Oct. 10-11.
Because he was working in northwestern Minnesota and had a Thief River Falls address, Dye was allowed to post a cash bond of $500 instead of being incarcerated, even though he was a nonresident.
Authorities seized the two deer along with a 7mm Remington Model 700 rifle, court records show. They also seized his vehicle, a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup, but later returned it to him.