Local man facing poaching charges


A Hillsboro man has been implicated in the alleged poaching of an 18-point antlered white-tailed deer, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced on behalf of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

On Friday, a Clinton County grand jury indicted Wilmington resident Christopher J. Alexander, 28, of unlawfully harvesting the deer on Nov. 9, 2023. He allegedly claimed that the animal had been on property owned by his sister, Kristina M. Alexander, when he killed the deer and presented written permission from his sister to hunt on her land to a wildlife officer.

An investigation by ODNR’s Division of Wildlife; however, revealed evidence to the contrary, according to Yost’s news release.

Wildlife officers allegedly discovered through warranted searches of cellphone data that Christopher Alexander had illegally hunted the trophy buck on private property about 10 miles from his sister’s land, and later learned that the written permission from his sister he had presented to wildlife officers had been falsified — after the deer was killed — to mislead authorities. Evidence revealed Christopher Alexander staged the deer taking at his sister’s property with the help of Hillsboro resident Corey P. Haunert,29, and his brother, Zachary R. Haunert, 31, to conceal the poaching, according to Yost.

The investigation reportedly found that Corey Haunert, 29, aided Christopher Alexander in poaching deer on multiple occasions, providing the crossbow used to hunt and assisting in deer retrieval and staging with Zachary Haunert. Kristina Alexander is accused of falsifying the date when the written permission to hunt occurred.

Likewise, wildlife officers learned that Christopher Alexander allegedly deceptively profited from the illegal deer taking, selling deer antlers and receiving payments totaling $20,000 from an antler collector, a hunting magazine and a company that sells deer products.

The deer stands out as the largest typical whitetail in Ohio, showcasing remarkable antler uniformity, according to the news release. Additionally, some reports rank it as the third largest typical whitetail deer in North America.

“This once-in-a-lifetime deer embodies the great natural resources Ohio has to offer,” Yost said. “It is shameful that this deer ended up in an evidence room rather than adorning an ethical hunter’s wall as a prized trophy.”

Christopher Alexander faces 23 total charges:

Five counts each of illegally hunting deer without written permission (M3) and taking possession of a deer in violation of a division rule (M3).

Three counts of theft by deception (F4 and F5).

Two counts each of hunting without a license (M4), hunting deer without a valid deer permit (M4) and tampering with evidence (F3).

One count each of jacklighting (M3), theft (M1), falsification (M1) and sale of wildlife parts (M4).

Corey Haunert faces eight charges:

Four counts of aiding a wildlife offender (M3).

Two counts of hunting without written permission (M3).

One count each of tampering with evidence (F3) and falsification (M1).

Kristina Alexander, 37, of Blanchester, faces one count of falsification (M1) and one count of aiding a wildlife offender (M3), and Zachary Haunert, 31, of Lebanon, faces two misdemeanor counts of aiding a wildlife offender (M3).

The white-tailed deer is widely recognized as one of Ohio’s most prominent wildlife species and the state’s only big game animal, according to the release.

The cases are being prosecuted by attorneys from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement section.

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