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Three face charges for illegal deer shooting near Virginia, Minn.

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VIRGINIA, Minn. - Two men faces charges in state district court, and a woman in tribal court, on allegations that they shot several deer illegally, including from a roadway using an illegal crossbow.

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The incident occurred Oct. 12 in Virginia when the three tried to register a deer at a convenience store. Both a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer and an 1854 Authority tribal game warden were called to the scene when someone overheard one of the suspects bragging they had shot the deer from the truck with a crossbow.

The tipster also noticed an unusual amount of blood in the back of the suspects' pickup truck.

"The caller thought that the amount of blood in the truck's box could not have possibly come from one deer, so we started our investigation," Conservation Officer Matt Frericks of Virginia said in a statement released Tuesday.

The investigation uncovered illegal party hunting, lending/borrowing licenses, failure to register big game animals and illegal taking of three deer. Fine and restitution amount total nearly $2,800 for the three suspects with other charges possible.

Formal changes will be filed against the three suspects shortly with the St. Louis County Attorney's office. The woman is a member of an Ojibwe band within the 1854 Authority and will face charges through the band's legal system.

Anyone witnessing wildlife or fishing law violations is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer, law enforcement agency or the toll-free Turn-In-Poachers hot line at (800) 652-9093.

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