Home News Ohio Attorney General Secures Indictment in Trophy Deer Poaching Case

Ohio Attorney General Secures Indictment in Trophy Deer Poaching Case


Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced a significant development in a high-profile poaching case, securing indictments against several individuals involved in the illegal harvesting of an 18-point antlered white-tailed deer.

The indictment, returned by a grand jury in Clinton County, accuses Christopher J. Alexander of unlawfully harvesting the deer on November 9, 2023. Despite claiming to have permission from his sister, Kristina M. Alexander, to hunt on her property, an investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) revealed that Christopher Alexander had illegally hunted the trophy buck on private property approximately 10 miles away.

Further investigations uncovered a web of deceit aimed at concealing the poaching incident. Christopher Alexander, with the assistance of Corey P. Haunert and Zachary R. Haunert, falsified written permission from his sister after the deer was killed to mislead authorities. Corey Haunert was found to have aided Christopher Alexander in multiple poaching incidents, providing the crossbow used for hunting and assisting in deer retrieval and staging with Zachary Haunert.

Additionally, it was discovered that Christopher Alexander profited deceptively from the illegal deer taking, selling deer antlers and receiving payments totaling $20,000 from various sources.

The deer in question stands as one of the largest typical whitetails in Ohio and ranks among the top three in North America. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost expressed disappointment that such a remarkable specimen ended up in an evidence room rather than adorning the wall of an ethical hunter.

Christopher Alexander faces a total of 23 charges, including illegally hunting deer without permission, theft by deception, hunting without a license, tampering with evidence, and sale of wildlife parts. Corey Haunert, Kristina Alexander, and Zachary Haunert also face charges related to their involvement in aiding the wildlife offender.

The white-tailed deer holds significant importance in Ohio’s wildlife ecosystem, recognized as the state’s only big game animal and declared Ohio’s state mammal by the General Assembly in 1988.

The cases are being prosecuted by attorneys from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement section, with indictments serving as allegations until proven guilty in a court of law.