The Largest Typical Whitetail Ever Killed in Ohio was Poached, Prosecutors Say

The Largest Typical Whitetail Ever Killed in Ohio was Poached, Prosecutors Say

Christopher “CJ” Alexander, whose name graced headlines in December after photos of him posing with an 18-point buck he harvested drew skepticism, has officially been indicted on 23 total charges, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, announced today.

Three others, including Alexander’s sister Kristina M. Alexander, and brothers Corey P. Haunert and Zachary R. Haunert, also face charges.

The indictment, returned this afternoon by a Clinton County grand jury, accuses Alexander, 28, of Wilmington, of unlawfully harvesting the deer on Nov. 9, 2023. He claimed that the animal had been on property owned by his sister. When he harvested the deer he presented written permission from his sister to hunt on her land to a wildlife officer. However, an investigation by authorities from Ohio DNR’s Division of Wildlife, turned up evidence that indicated otherwise.

“Blinded by greed, the defendants set their sights on fame and fortune while disregarding basic hunting regulations,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “Instead of the cover of Field & Stream, their notoriety will be a booking photo.”

Warranted searches of cellphone data indicated that Alexander had illegally hunted the trophy buck, which some reports rank as the third largest typical whitetail ever killed in North America, on private property about 10 miles from where he claimed to have killed it. Additionally, Alexander is accused of lying about the date when the deer was killed and falsifying the written permission from his sister after the fact.

The attorney’s report alleges that the whitetail was staged at the property of Alexander’s sister with the help of the Haunert brothers to conceal the poaching.

According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Corey Haunert aided Alexander in poaching deer on multiple occasions, providing the crossbow used to hunt and assisting in deer retrieval and staging with Zachary Haunert.

Alexander is also accused of deceptively profiting from the poaching by selling deer antlers and receiving payments totaling $20,000 from an antler collector, a hunting magazine, and a company that sells deer products.

“This once-in-a-lifetime deer embodies the great natural resources Ohio has to offer,” Yost added. “It is shameful that this deer ended up in an evidence room rather than adorning an ethical hunter’s wall as a prized trophy.”

Alexander faces five counts each of illegally hunting deer without written permission and taking possession of a deer in violation of a division rule, three counts of theft by deception, two counts each of hunting without a license, hunting deer without a valid deer permit, and tampering with evidence, and one count each of jacklighting, theft, falsification, and sale of wildlife parts.

Corey Haunert, 29, faces eight charges, including four counts of aiding a wildlife offender, two counts of hunting without written permission, one count each of tampering with evidence, and falsification.

Zachary Haunert, 31, faces two misdemeanor counts of aiding a wildlife offender. Kristina Alexander, 37, faces one count of falsification and one count of aiding a wildlife offender.

Feature image via The Sportsmen Party Facebook Page.

Sign In or Create a Free Account

Access the newest seasons of MeatEater, save content, and join in discussions with the Crew and others in the MeatEater community.
Save this article