trophy buck poaching wisconsin
Getty Images, dbrazeale | Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin Poacher Who Baited and Illegally Shot Trophy Buck at Home, Finally Sentenced

Douglas D. Meyers stabbed the bullet wound with an arrow to cover his firearm tracks, among his multiple offenses.

A Coon Valley, Wisconsin man won't be hunting or fishing any time soon after an investigation into his illegal harvest of a trophy whitetail buck has finally been resolved.

Back in 2021, Douglas D. Meyers harvested the huge buck near La Crosse, Wisconsin, claiming to have done so legally with a crossbow during archery season, according to a Wisconsin Department of National Resources' (DNR) report. Meyers then showed the large whitetail off in numerous local hunting contests, and the buck had a green score of around 218 inches.

Meyers' success came to an abrupt end, however, when DNR's Violation Hotline received an anonymous tip in November 2021 of a buck illegally shot with a rifle during archery season, with Meyers as the suspect.

According to court documents published by WXOW, when game wardens first questioned him, Meyers claimed he shot the deer three times with his crossbow from roughly 25 yards away.

Not quite buying it, the game wardens' continued to investigate and, when pressed, Meyers eventually confessed. He revealed that he had, in fact, used a rifle to kill the trophy buck and had done so outside of firearm season. He shot the buck while he stood behind his garage, and then shot the dead deer with his crossbow.

He then took the arrow and stabbed the buck where he'd shot it to cover up the gunshot wound.

The warden's investigation also revealed that Meyers had illegally placed bait on his property to lure the deer in. Additionally, in past years, Meyers had hunted using a relative's license after he had already harvested his personal limit.

Meyers agreed to plead guilty to all charges in June 2023, in exchange for a plea deal.

He was fined for using illegal bait and his relative's harvest authorizations, and had his hunting and fishing privileges revoked for three years for using a firearm during archery season. The deer was removed from any hunting contests due to the illegal method it was killed.

Tyler Strelow, the DNR warden who supervises wardens in La Crosse, told WXOW, "We appreciate the teamwork from citizens who care about the state's resources and want them protected. It is important to take action against individuals who are stealing from those who hunt the Wisconsin way - legally, safely and ethically."

READ MORE: What Happens to Fish and Game Confiscated From Poachers?