Accused buck poacher pleads not guilty to 16 charges


Troy Alan Reinke, the 32-year-old Cannon Falls man who says he didn't poach a massive 8-pointer, officially entered a not-guilty plea on 16 charges yesterday in Goodhue County court.

Reinke is accused of unlawfully killing what would have been a world-record buck. He originally trumpeted the kill, but when it came out that the animal had been gunned down - not shot with a bow-and-arrow, as initially reported - Reinke told authorities it was like that when he got there.

The attorney charging Reinke says he offered up a plea deal, but it was rejected. The prosecutor also tacked on a few last-minute charges Wednesday. These include two counts of "unlawfully possessing a wild animal."

For Reinke's part, he asked that his hunting clothes be tested for gun residue to prove his innocence. The judge obliged, but prosecutors don't seem too concerned about it.

From the Star Tribune:

After the hearing, Grove dismissed the relevance of having Reinke's hunting clothes tested. "We have no idea what coat he was wearing that night,'' Grove said. "And he could have washed his coat since then.''

Grove acknowledged investigators can't prove Reinke shot the buck with a bow or a gun. "But it doesn't matter whether he shot the deer or not. He had the deer and wasn't supposed to have it.''