Conservation officers file charges in killing of Fort Mitchell deer

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2020) - A Boone County man is facing multiple wildlife-related and other charges following an investigation by Kentucky conservation officers into the killing of a trophy deer in northern Kenton County.

Robert J. Koch, 58, of Union, Kentucky is charged with hunting on private property without permission, illegally killing the deer and improperly reporting the harvest.

Conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources began investigating Thursday, Nov. 5 after receiving a photo of the deceased deer that had been circulating.

On Nov. 7, Koch told Conservation Officers Jason Ping and Paul Sorrell that he shot the buck on private property in Fort Mitchell stating that he had received permission to hunt on the property. The landowner told Conservation Officers Sgt. Chris Fossitt and Sgt. Scott Horn that no one had permission to hunt on his property.

Koch also told officers that he reported to the state telecheck system that he took the deer on Sunday, Nov. 1 in Owen County to avoid speculation he had killed it in the Fort Mitchell area.

Hunters are required to report their harvest through Telecheck, an automated game harvest check-in system, either by phone at 1-800-CHK-GAME or online at, by midnight on the day the animal is recovered and before processing the carcass. Entering false information is unlawful.

Koch then led conservation officers to a property in Franklin County, where he had concealed the buck. He planned to have it mounted by a taxidermist in the area.

Officers seized the cape and head of the deer, as well as the rest of the carcass. The carcass was taken by officers to a processor for donation to Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, but the meat was spoiled and unusable.

Also seized were the deer’s four legs and hooves, a smartphone, a crossbow and crossbow bolt, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Koch faces additional charges for possession of the marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Conservation officers unofficially scored the Fort Mitchell buck’s non-typical antlers at 230-6/8 inches. The current Kentucky record for a non-typical deer is 271-7/8 inches. Based on its unofficial score, the Fort Mitchell buck could rank in the top 25 all-time for non-typical deer in Kentucky.

The public is encouraged to report any game violations to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-800-25-ALERT. Anonymous tips also can be made by texting “KFWLAW” along with a message to 847411 (tip411) or through the KFWLaw app.