A sparsely populated stretch of Goodhue County received national attention in November after word spread that a world-class buck was allegedly poached near there.
Goodhue County prosecutors say Troy Reinke was hunting in the White Rock area on Halloween night when he killed an eight-point buck that Department of Natural Resources officials say was second to none of its kind.
Authorities said Reinke's deer tag should have gone to one of the first two deer he reportedly shot in early October.
The Cannon Falls man allegedly waited to fill his tag until killing the trophy buck, shot Oct. 31. Consequently, all three were taken illegally, according to the charges.
"We have had cases were we've had people take more deer," DNR Enforcement Operations Manager Rod Smith said in November, "but the significance of this case is the trophy that was taken."
The buck reached a gross score of 190 5/8 and green score of 185, according to Boone and Crockett, an organization that chronicles trophy rack kills.
"If it's a world-record eight-pointer, it's far more than one in a million," said DNR big-game manager Lou Cornicelli, noting that several million deer are harvest nationally every year.
Reinke was charged with 13 counts, including transporting illegally taken big game and gross over-limits of wild animals.
Reinke, 32, initially admitted to shooting the deer with a bow. That story has since changed.
So have the accusations.
DNR conservation officer Tyler Quandt said evidence is now leading investigators to believe Reinke shot the deer with a firearm during bow season. Quandt said analysis of the deer's hide revealed tiny lead fragments, indicating it had been shot with a gun.
Reinke could face additional charges once prosecutors have vetted the evidence. Assistant Goodhue County Attorney David Grove said no new charges have been filed.
Reinke returns to court Jan. 21.