Indiana Police Officers Cited for Turkey Poaching in Kentucky

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On May 15, Jasper, Indiana police officer Kaleb Chambers will be arraigned in Butler County, Kentucky for allegedly poaching a turkey over bait on April 6 near a farm on Love Lee Road in Morgantown. According to a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources citation acquired by Outdoor Life, Chambers was accompanied by a youth hunter at the time.

“During a compliance check/investigation it was discovered that [Chambers] facilitated an illegal turkey hunt,” the citation reads. “[Chambers] was hunting wild turkey over bait, with a youth hunter.”

Chambers is one of two Jasper police officers currently under investigation for illegal turkey hunting in the area, the Jasper Police Department told 14News in a statement on Thursday. Other violators under investigation include Jared Gress and Richard Chambers, according to 14News, although it is unclear whether either of them are the second police officer involved. It’s also unclear whether Richard and Kaleb are related.

“The City understands the importance of transparency and cooperation in such matters,” the JPD statement reads. “The Jasper Police Department is aware of an incident involving two city officers who were claimed to be turkey hunting in Kentucky. The JPD reached out to the Butler County, Kentucky prosecutor several times and we are waiting to hear back. Our priority remains ensuring the well-being and safety of our community and employees. Rest assured, the City will continue to monitor the situation closely and we will take appropriate action when deemed necessary.”

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KDFWR confirmed with Outdoor Life that they had no further information to share as their investigation is ongoing. It is unclear whether Chambers was the one who shot a turkey illegally or if he helped a youth hunter do so. April 6 was the first day of Kentucky’s youth-only spring turkey weekend. Kentucky’s general spring turkey season runs from April 13 to May 5. This means that if Chambers had been the one to shoot a turkey, he would have been hunting out of season. 

According to Kentucky law, the penalties for Chambers’ charge could range from a $100-$1000 fine and imprisonment of 30 days to a year. If convicted, he will also have to forfeit his hunting license for one to three years, and could be subject to further restitution for the “amount reasonably necessary to replace” the turkey.

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