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Pennsylvania man charged with poaching 37 deer

David, J. Frantz Sr., 59, of Kunkletown, PA, was arrested around 9:30 am on November 15 on multiple counts. According to PennLive.com, the Pennsylvania State Police in Lehighton first responded to a call from a resident of Molasses Valley Road, Polk Township. The caller described a red Ford F-150 parked on a neighbor’s private property with the front door ajar and a gun visible in the front seat.

After locating the vehicle, State Troopers spotted a loaded .308 caliber pump-action rifle on the console with a searchlight and ammo box nearby. Police also found over 200 ears of corn, which Frantz later admitted stole from a neighboring property. Frantz is barred from owning firearms due to a 2000 burglary conviction and he already had a history of wildlife violations — and a perpetual ban from hunting in Pennsylvania. Police took him into custody and confiscated his vehicle and gun.

Frantz admitted to driving with the firearm in the vehicle and having additional firearms in his home, but denied shooting deer. Frantz later admitted that the remains of deer were present on his property, but claimed they came from street slaughter. Frantz also admitted to processing venison on his property, but claimed he hadn’t hunted in years.

According to State Wildlife Commission Information and Education Officer Gerald Kapral, Frantz has a history in law enforcement. “We’ve been dealing with this guy since 1989,” he told PennLive.com. “This guy, he’s just a bad guy, he’s no good. He has no regard for game law, he has no regard for criminal law, as the charges here show.”

Officers visited Frantz’s home after the arrest, where they saw several more firearms in plain sight, spent rifle casings on the floor, and a “buck skull with antlers leaning against a pine tree on the hillside visible from the driveway,” the affidavit said explanation of the probable cause. The police then obtained a search warrant for Frantz’s apartment and executed it. State Police and Hunting Commission officials found several weapons on the property, including loaded .22LR semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles, a .22-250 lever-action rifle, a .270 bolt-action rifle, a flintlock pistol, an .11 rifle scopes, and additional ammunition. They also confiscated 37 white-tailed deer skulls and antlers, approximately 31 pounds of processed meat sticks, several containers of butchered venison, and meat processing equipment. Investigators stated that the first buck they found did not appear to have been killed recently and that some of the other remains could be several years old.

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Frantz was charged with 88 counts, including 37 counts of felony, unlawful killing or taking of large game, summary unlawful taking or possession of game or wild animals, six counts of illegal possession of a firearm, theft, trespassing, receiving stolen goods, agricultural vandalism, loaded firearms in vehicles, two counts of agricultural trespassing when ordered not to enter, and buying and selling game.

Frantz was sent to the Monroe County Jail after failing to post $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing scheduled for December 9 before District Judge Colleen Mancuso will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hear the charges in a district court.

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