Former Cable Show Hunter Indicted on Charges of Poaching Deer
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois
PEORIA, Ill. – A grand jury today indicted an East Peoria, Ill., man, who self-produced and starred in his own cable hunting show, on charges that he illegally killed more deer than permitted in Indiana. The indictment against Christopher Brackett, 41, whose program, “Fear No Evil,” aired on the Outdoor Channel, alleges that Brackett engaged in illegal hunting in 2013 by shooting and killing two bucks in Indiana and transporting one buck to Illinois. At the time of the alleged offenses, Indiana law allowed hunters with the appropriate permit to kill one antlered deer per season.
According to the indictment, Brackett filmed a hunt in December 2013 in southern Indiana for an episode of his show that featured him killing an 11-point deer which he nicknamed the “Unicorn Buck.” The indictment alleges that on Dec. 21, 2013, Brackett first shot and killed a smaller, eight-point buck before he shot the larger, 11-point buck. Brackett allegedly registered the “Unicorn Buck” with the state of Indiana under his license and transported it to Illinois. The “Unicorn Buck,” episode aired on the Outdoor Channel in the fall of 2014 with edited footage that did not show Brackett killing the first, smaller buck.
On Dec. 22, 2013, the day after both deer were shot, the indictment alleges Brackett purchased a second non-resident deer muzzleloader permit under his cameraman’s name and then registered the first, smaller buck with the permit purchased in the cameraman’s name.
The U.S. District Clerk of the Court will schedule the date for Brackett to appear for arraignment in federal court in Peoria, Ill.
If convicted, as charged, the statutory maximum penalty for each offense, conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act (count one) and a violation of the Lacey Act (count two), is up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Both offenses, as charged, are felony offenses.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Legge in the prosecution. The charges were investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the assistance of both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Updated November 15, 2018