Hunters bag $25,000 deer statue stolen in June

Investigators recover a stolen deer statue valued at $25,000.

The solid bronze statue titled "Swamp Jumpers" was stolen in mid-June 2012 from the 19,000 block of Highway J18 west of Moravia.

Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson was contacted by an Iowa DNR conservation officer on October 8, 2012.

The officer had received a tip that hunters had spotted the statue near Browns Slough in rural Lucas County within the past week.

Anderson and the conservation officer searched the area about 30 miles from where the statue was stolen, and they found it along a timber line on state conservation ground.

The 1,500-pound deer statue was in good shape and had no damage.

The statue was loaded onto a trailer and transported back to the Appanoose County Sheriff's Office in Centerville until it can be returned to the owner.

Authorities don't know how long the statue had been in the field.

The investigation into the theft continues.

The statue is approximately 6 feet tall, 8 feet long and four-and-a-half feet wide.

The bronze work of art was created by nationally known artist Mike Capser of Montana for the owner of Bentley Management Group, who owns property in rural Appanoose County.

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to call Bentley Management Group toll-free at 1-877-736-9824 or Appanoose County Crime Stoppers at (641) 856-3134.

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