HomeOutdoorsNewsIllegal Shooting of Two Elk Sparks DNR Investigation in Wisconsin

Illegal Shooting of Two Elk Sparks DNR Investigation in Wisconsin

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Feng Wei Photography

Agents from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are seeking the public’s help in finding who’s responsible for illegally killing two cow elk in the state’s western region.

According to a release from the DNR, both killings occurred in two isolated events in Jackson County on Nov. 20 and 22.

On Nov. 20, DNR officials responded to a mortality signal from a monitoring collar on one of the cow elk. They later found the elk on someone’s private property. Then, the signal from the second cow elk came two days later. Officials later found the second cow elk. Subsequent necropsy tests revealed both cow elks were shot. Now, the agency is asking for the public’s help in locating the individual(s) responsible for the poaching.

“We ask the public to share any information, no matter how small it may seem, with the DNR’s confidential Violation Hotline via call or text to 1-800-847-9367,” said Conservation Warden Michael Weber. “We appreciate our partnership with the public in protecting our state’s resources and wildlife.”

Cardinals pitcher among eight accused in poaching investigation

Meanwhile, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher is among eight people accused in a recent poaching investigation. Officials have since issued citations against 1980s Cardinals pitcher Danny Cox and seven others, including a mayor, Seth Speiser. All are accused of various crimes, including illegally harvesting deer with bait.

“Fair chase has been the standard for responsible hunters for more than 100 years, and these are the ethics we’ve chosen to live by here in Illinois. We want to give the animal a sporting chance and not cheat or trick it,” said spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Jayette Bolinski.

“We also discourage the use of bait because it causes deer to congregate at a food source, which can contribute to the spread of disease and make it more difficult to manage our herd and keep it healthy.”

During the inaugural day of this year’s firearm deer hunting season in the state, Nov. 18, officers went to Speiser’s property in St. Clair County to see if he had been using bait to attract deer. Once there, they discovered bait, landowner tags by non-resident hunters, and other evidence of hunting crimes.

Later that day, officers went to the property of Danny Cox in St. Clair County. Once there, they found nine deer stands or blinds with corn, molasses, and mineral salt. According to officers, Cox reportedly issued permits to out-of-state hunters.

Investigators say Cox also gave permits to out-of-state hunters that were issued to Illinois hunters. Later, after checking documentation with the DNR, officers realized multiple hunters.

After checking records with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, officers noticed multiple hunters did not use proper permits or tags.