180-Class Buck Shot; Head Stolen, Carcass Left to Freeze
The poaching of a massive buck near a small central-Wisconsin town has residents angry and seeking justice.
Authorities say someone illegally shot a 180-class whitetail Jan. 22 — weeks after the state’s gun-deer season closed — during the middle of the day, according to a wbay.com article. The perpetrators then cut the animal’s head off and left the carcass frozen in the woods.
“There’s a ton of emotion about it,” Cathy Anaya, owner of The Hometown Grill in Shiocton, Wis., said in the report. The deer was shot on property next to her land. “People are angry, really angry.”
Wade Wheaton, of Shiocton, said in the story that the huge deer had been a hot topic among hunters the past two years.
“We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all gotten the deer on camera, and we’ve seen it hunting, and for it to be killed in this manner, we just want to bring whoever did it to justice,” he said in the article.
“It’s a world-class whitetail. It’s 180. A 180-class whitetail in Outagamie County is a huge deer.”
Wheaton and Houndsmen for Justice, a group of coyote hunters, started a GoFundMepage to raise reward money to find the person who killed the buck. As of Feb. 8, the page had raised $680. The site features a picture of the buck sent to Wheaton by someone who photographed the deer after it had been wounded but before it died.
“There are people out there that know what happened, and I thought if we got a big enough reward up that somebody would come forward and say, ‘Hey, this is what happened,’” he said in the article.
The GoFundMe page also encourages people with information on the crime to contact the Department of Natural Resources’ violations hotline at (800) 847-9367 or visiting the online hotline.
“Sometimes, they take days, weeks, sometimes years, but sooner or later, we generally get to the bottom of the illegal harvest or the investigation,” DNR Regional Conservation Warden Ben Treml said in the article.
Outagamie County residents hope so.
“Somebody just went out, wrong time of year, and killed the biggest bad buck that’s been running around that we’ve been watching,” Anaya said in the story. “It stinks. It really does. Whoever did this should be just mortified and ashamed, and they should come forward and say, ‘Look, I screwed up.’ Be accountable. Be a man, and take your knocks. You did something really, really stupid.”
Get the latest news, tips and tactics in your inbox!
Brian Lovett, Realtree's news blogger, has been an outdoors reporter, writer, magazine editor and book author for 27 years. Spring turkey hunting and autumn waterfowling take up most of his outside time, but he also enjoys fishing, deer hunting and upland-bird hunting. Lovett lives in Oshkosh, Wis., with his wife, Jenny, and their retriever.