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Minnesota father, son allegedly had live, untagged deer in pickup

GRAND FORKS - A traffic stop last month in Steele County has resulted in charges against a father and son from Becker, Minn., for illegal possession of a deer.

David Monson, 46, and Max Monson, 21, each have been charged with unlawful taking of a big game animal, a Class A misdemeanor. David Monson also was charged with lesser misdemeanors of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, hunting while under the influence and hunting without a license.

The two men are scheduled to make their first court appearance Wednesday, online court records show.

Gary Rankin, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Larimore, said he received a call about the deer about 7 p.m. Nov. 24 after a Steele County sheriff's deputy stopped David Monson near Finley for a suspected traffic violation and saw an untagged deer in the back of the pickup.

When Rankin arrived on the scene about 45 minutes later, he said he noticed the deer, a whitetail doe, still was alive.

Rankin dispatched the deer, which was donated to the Hunters for the Hungry program.

As of Friday, David Monson's Chevy 3500 pickup and 25-.06 rifle were still under impoundment in Finley, Sheriff Wayne Beckman said.

Rankin, who's spent more than 35 years as a game warden, said he's never encountered an illegally taken deer that still was alive.

"That was a first," he said.

Class A misdemeanors in North Dakota carry a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail and $2,000 in fines.

Brad Dokken writes for the Grand Forks Herald.