Three Plead Guilty In Southern Iowa Deer Poaching Case

It was the pressure to kill a big buck on film that got the best of three individuals that were part of the filming crew known as Nock’d Up Productions when they gave in to temptation last November.

The case began when Conservation Officer Deb Howe received a call from a tipster asking if Jesse Bolin, 31, from Tarkio, Mo., had an Iowa non-resident archery license because he had just killed a buck along the Missouri border, possibly in Iowa.

The investigation of Bolin expanded to include Steven Cole, 33, of Hamburg, Iowa, and Jesse’s brother, Paul Bolin, 28, of Tarkio, Mo.

Howe, working with officers from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other Iowa conservation officers, collected enough evidence to conduct a search warrant of Cole’s residence in November 2012 where they found 23 illegal deer racks from Cole, 12 turkey beards and spurs, deer meat, pheasant meat and geese and ducks waiting to be mounted.

At the Jesse Bolin residence, officers seized the deer he killed in Iowa, bow and archery equipment, double bull blind and a video camera.

Cole admitting to killing an Iowa buck, then purchased an archery tag after the fact. He had also been purchasing resident licenses in Missouri and in Iowa.

Cole pleaded guilty in Page County to two counts of unlawfully harvesting a turkey, being over limit for turkey, unlawful taking of a buck deer and not having a valid turkey license and tag, hunting license, archery deer license and tag or habitat fee and fined $10,400 in civil damages.

In Fremont County, Cole pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of buck deer, unlawful possession of waterfowl and wild turkey. The total fines in addition to the civil damages came to nearly $1,900. He was also sentenced to two years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jesse Bolin pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking a buck deer, no valid hunting license, deer license or tag. He was ordered to pay more than $1,200 in civil penalties and fines, perform 100 hours of community service in Waubonsie State Park and forfeit his equipment seized by the DNR. Jesse Bolin is a police officer in the Mound City, Mo., Police Department.

Paul Bolin pleaded guilty to no valid archery deer license and was fined $654.

Jesse’s hunting privileges were suspended for one year and Cole’s for three. Both also face possible suspension in the 40 member states of the Wildlife Violator Compact. Jesse Bolin and Cole also face hunting violations in Missouri.