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AG Yost Secures Indictment in High-Profile Poaching Case


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, on behalf of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, announced the indictment of a Wilmington man accused of poaching an 18-point antlered white-tailed deer.

“Blinded by greed, the defendants set their sights on fame and fortune while disregarding basic hunting regulations,” Yost said. “Instead of the cover of Field & Stream, their notoriety will be a booking photo.”

The indictment, returned this afternoon by a Clinton County grand jury, accuses Christopher J. Alexander of unlawfully harvesting the deer on Nov. 9, 2023. He claimed that the animal had been on property owned by his sister, Kristina M. Alexander, when he harvested 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 incriminating evidence to the contrary.

Wildlife officers 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 Corey P. Haunert and his brother, Zachary R. Haunert, to conceal the poaching.

The investigation also found that Corey Haunert 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 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.  

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

“This once-in-a-lifetime deer embodies the great natural resources Ohio has to offer,” Yost added. “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, 28, of Wilmington, 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, 29, of Hillsboro, 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. Its historical importance to Ohio is evident, with the General Assembly declaring it as Ohio’s state mammal in 1988.

The cases are being prosecuted by attorneys from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement section.
Indictments merely contain allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113

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