A mature whitetailed buck known as 'Bow Tie' was taken illegally by crossbow in a park in Milwaukee County.
Like many residents of Milwaukee County, people using the local urban parks are hunting, fishing, and outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life.
When it comes to wildlife, there are some 15,000 acres of parkland to explore and they are loaded with whitetail deer. One of those deer is a well known 10-point called Bow Tie for the distinctive throat patch on his neck.
Now, thanks to an act of poaching, Bow Tie is only a memory.
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin resident Randy Crawford is a hunter and wildlife photographer that is used to seeing deer in the park saying "It's a kick to hike through the parkways and see wildlife close to the city, but you get the feeling of being away."
Rough estimates of Bow Tie based on his sheds from past years put him in the 160-inch category. Jim Bagley of Milwaukee said "This deer had a 'wow' factor"
Bagley, who is friends with Crawford, had seen the deer recently and taken some pictures of him as he walked away. Just minutes later, he encountered a man wearing fishing waders.
During the unusual conversation with the man, he made a stunning assertion to Bagley: he claimed to have permission to hunt in the park. Bagley knew full well that hunting is not permitted in the County Park system.
The conversation got very real to Bagley when the man told him that he had shot a deer with a crossbow nearby. At the end of an obvious blood trail laid a deer, and it was Bow Tie.
Bagley immediately asked the man if he had a hunting license. The man actually had a buck carcass tag with him which Bagley used to get the man's name and license number.
Bagley then called 911 and made a report; the shooter left the area in a nervous rush.
The Wisconsin DNR has since found the man and began to question him. Warden supervisor Kevin Mickelberg says that the fines for this incident will probably exceed $1,000. The name of the illegal hunter has been withheld until the citations are issued.
The list of violations is so long that it borders on silly, but here are a few:
Hunting in a prohibited area, not wearing blaze orange, no back tag, shooting a buck during the state's four-day antlerless-only season, and discharging a crossbow in a prohibited area just to name a few.
Paul A. Smith of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said it best- "Could an adult hunter be so far out of touch with regulations to commit so many violations?" Luckily the flagrant violator ran into to someone like Mr. Bagley who is an avid hunter and knows very well the rules surrounding the hunt.
Whether this man is a simple poacher who wanted a trophy rack to put on his wall, or just a wannabe hunter that thought deer are there for the taking, this will put a bitter taste in the mouths of those who abide strictly by the game laws and become fodder for the anti-hunting movement.
Regardless of these facts the simple rule we can all live by has never been more important: if you see something, say something.