Police: Hunter Claimed Stolen Buck As His Own

A New Castle man faces criminal charges after he claimed a stolen trophy buck as his own, police said.

The investigation began when employees at the Knightstown Locker in Henry County reported that a 10-point buck logged for processing was missing.

Police discovered that a deer matching the same description was checked and logged for processing at another facility in Henry County.

Calvin Ballenger was seen on surveillance footage dropping off the stolen buck for processing and mounting, police said.

Conservation officers surprised Ballenger when he arrived to pick up his order.

Ballenger later admitted to taking the buck, removing the tags attached by the man who shot the animal, and making arrangements for the deer to be processed, police said.

Ballenger was arrested on a preliminary charge of theft. He also faces additional criminal charges in connection with a variety of fish and game violations, including illegal taking of a whitetail deer, police said.

Fish and game violations can be reported anonymously through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ tip line at 800-TIP-IDNR.

This article appeared on The Indy Channel on December 6, 2011