The Iowa Department of Natural Resources have charged Joe Franz with four counts of “hunting over bait.”
Last year, Joe Franz made waves in the hunting world when he harvested what was said to be the largest whitetail on camera, but recent accusations have been made that he may have baited the buck.
Baiting is a violation of an Iowa law that prohibits hunters from using grain, vegetables, fruit or salt blocks to attract wildlife. Franz now faces four charges of baiting, citations that would cost $195 on each account.
The charges cover violations on four days in October 2014 when Franz was hunting the notorious Iowa giant buck named “Palmer.”
Franz shot the buck Oct. 12 on an afternoon hunt during Iowa’s early muzzleloader season.
Franz states that his pursuit of “Palmer” was done legally, and the acquisitions are rooted from someone’s jealousy.
I’m outraged by the charges brought against me. There’s always jealousy. There’s always accusations, innuendo, and I am completely innocent of these charges.
Franz, his lawyers, a natural resource department spokesman and Marion County Attorney Ed Bull stated they couldn’t talk about the details of the charges ahead of trial.
The complaints available to the public that were filed in court against Franz have no details as to what bait he allegedly used.
The Department of Natural Resources officers took soil samples from Franz’s farm without probable cause or a search warrant, according to the defense attorney.
Department spokesman, Kevin Baskins said, “There will probably be a day in court where both of us will be able to present our side of the story and our evidence.”