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North Dakota game wardens investigating reported deer poaching

North Dakota Game and Fish Department / Special to The Forum

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — Several people are under investigation for allegedly poaching deer in southeast North Dakota.

Calvin Thomas Bjornson, 20, of Spiritwood, N.D., was charged Tuesday, May 19, in Barnes County District Court with several misdemeanor counts related to illegally hunting big game. The charges stem from an investigation that dates back to October, according to court documents.

Game wardens received reports of deer being poached in Barnes County. It’s unclear how many deer were illegally hunted, but court documents name several people who officers believe were involved, including Bjornson.

Bjornson is accused of shooting a deer with a rifle when he had a bow tag, failing to tag the deer and aiding in the concealment of illegally taken big game.

Bjornson initially told wardens he shot a deer with a bow while hunting on Nov. 9 and later shot the deer with a rifle after a poor shot with his bow, according to court documents. Inconsistencies with photos led officers to believe he killed the deer with his rifle and tagged it with his bow tag later, court documents said.

Bjornson also kept a deer at his farm that was illegally taken by another person, court documents allege. Court records did not list an attorney for Bjornson.

Forum News Service is not naming others who are under investigation, since they have not yet been charged.