Skip to main content

Contact: DNR Office of Communications

DNR Concludes Investigation Into Illegal Buck Harvest In La Crosse County

LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the investigation into a 2021 illegal deer harvest has ended with a three-year revocation of the hunter’s hunting and fishing privileges.

In November 2021, an anonymous tip of a buck illegally shot with a rifle during archery season came through the DNR’s Violation Hotline. The harvested buck had an estimated green score rack measurement of 218 inches, and had been showcased in several local hunting contests.

DNR Conservation Wardens Matthew Groppi of La Crosse and Shawna McDowell of Viroqua reached out to the suspect, who initially told the wardens the deer was taken legally with a crossbow during the archery season. Through the wardens’ investigation, evidence revealed the person shot the deer with a rifle, had placed illegal bait on the property to attract deer and had used a relative’s license in previous years to continue hunting after harvesting two other bucks.

The La Crosse County District Attorney’s office charged the Coon Valley resident with hunting deer during the closed season, and the defendant was convicted in June 2023 under a plea agreement involving the revocation of privileges. The wardens also issued citations for the illegal bait, providing false information, possession of an archery season deer killed with a firearm, and using another’s authorizations to hunt.

“We appreciate the teamwork from citizens who care about the state’s resources and want them protected,” said Tyler Strelow, DNR Lt. Warden who supervises the wardens in La Crosse and Vernon counties. “It is important to take action against individuals who are stealing from those who hunt the Wisconsin way – legally, safely and ethically.”

The organizers of local hunting contests were notified the buck had been harvested illegally and the individual removed the entry