Tip leads to poaching, theft charges

A Harrison County man was arrested this week after a tip prompted Indiana Conservation Officers to investigate illegal hunting activities.

Branden Fischbach (age 28) of Corydon faces charges of Illegal Possession of Wild Turkey, Illegal Possession of Deer, Theft of a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm by Domestic Batterer. 

In April, Michigan Conservation Officers contacted Indiana Conservation Officers after receiving information that Fischbach had facilitated in the illegal harvest of a wild turkey that had been transported to Michigan from Harrison County, Indiana. Further investigation by Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Schreck and Indiana Conservation Officer Sgt. Brian Kaser, along with Michigan Conservation Officer Carter Woodwyk, led to multiple search warrants and a lengthy investigation.   

The officers secured evidence in Michigan and southern Indiana that Fischbach had called in a wild turkey for an unlicensed Michigan hunter, who killed the turkey on property Fischbach claimed to own in Harrison County. Officers verified that Fischbach owned no property in Indiana, but had invited multiple people to hunt on what he claimed was his farm.

Three white-tailed deer, a wild turkey, and a bobcat were illegally killed by multiple individuals hunting on property Fischbach claimed to own throughout 2018-19. 

Conservation Officers also learned that a Michigan hunter inadvertently left his handgun in the possession of Fischbach in Floyd County during one of his hunting trips to southern Indiana. Conservation Officers recovered the same handgun, which had been reported stolen from a pawn shop in New Albany last month. 

As a result of the investigation, multiple illegal hunting charges are pending for others involved in this case. Anyone with further information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers’ Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or anonymously at 1-800-TIPIDNR. 

Michigan Conservation Officers and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the investigation.

All charges are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

For more information on Indiana’s hunting regulations is at hunting.IN.gov/2344.htm.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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