Prentice resident facing numerous hunting/trapping charges
Anonymous tip leads Bayer and seven other wardens to Prentice residence
Published: Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:07 AM CST[/align]Eric Knudson, THE-BEE
Numerous deer, bear, bobcat, turkey, grouse, fox, snapping turtles and other animals were recently seized in Prentice after local Conservation Warden Jason Bayer was given a tip that illegal hunting and trapping activities were taking place there.
On Friday, Jan. 30, Bayer received a search warrant for the property at N4065 Pennington Road., in the town of Prentice. The property is owned by John F. Muench.
[/align]On Saturday, Jan. 31 the search warrant was executed at approximately 10:40 a.m. by Bayer and seven other conservation wardens. The search warrant covered the 20-acre parcel of land, several buildings, the contents in the buildings, any vehicles on the property and any persons, and their property located on the premises.
While the case is still under investigation Bayer said there will be criminal charges referred to the District Attorney relating to numerous deer and bear violations along with numerous Department of Natural Resources (DNR) citations being issued for various hunting, possession and trapping violations. Muench has already had his hunting and trapping privileges revoked for prior offenses.
Some of the citations and charges that may be issued include: possession of untagged bear; possession of a bear without a class A bear hunting license; possession of illegal deer and/or possess untagged deer or venison; possession of untagged bobcat, otter or fisher; possession of raw bobcat, otter and fisher pelts without the required registration tags; trapping by/with illegal methods or equipment; possession of untagged turkey; possession of game birds or animals without the proper license and hunting, fishing and trapping after revocation.
The wardens confiscated four pages of evidence from the premises.
118 frozen, non-commercially packaged packages (numerous unmarked and some marked) of suspected whitetail deer venison; deer and bear or other unidentified suspected game meat; one dead frozen untagged bobcat; one untagged fisher pelt; one frozen black bear pelt with all four feet attached in a grain sack (not tanned); two black bear front feet; two black bear rear feet; one black bear skull; one section of cable/snare device with suspected black bear hair on the cable; two antlered frozen (not mounted) deer heads without tag or registration band; one antlered frozen (not mounted) six point deer head with side antler missing without a tag or registration; one spike antlered frozen (not mounted) deer head; three frozen deer feet; 15 complete ruffed grouse tail feathers fans; six ruffed grouse breast meat and bone sections; five complete wild turkey tail feather fans; one wild turkey foot; two dead frozen red foxes; one 11-½ inch snapping turtle carapace and tail; one package of frozen meat labeled "turtle"; two zip lock bags containing four snapping turtle feet each; one zip lock bag containing seven snapping turtle feet; one grain sack containing 10 bags of unmarked, unidentified suspected wild game meat; one frozen snowshoe hare; one white plastic bag containing one dead snowshoe hare and numerous ruffed grouse body parts and feathers and chunks of whitetail deer pelt; one five-gallon pale containing ruffed grouse feathers and wild turkey wings and tail feathers; one package of meat labeled "B Ribs"; one pail containing a setline with fish hooks; four leg hold traps; two, 330 conibear traps; two, 220 conibear traps; two metal trap mount brackets; three cage live traps; one trap enclosure box with hole; one unlabeled plastic bag containing unidentified animal ribs; one ice cream pail containing frozen unidentified suspected wild game meat; eight regular size hoop net fish traps; one large hoop net fish trap; two small hoop net fish or turtle traps; one fish seine; one large rolled up fish net; one conibear enclosure box containing a 330 conibear trap and turkey and ruffed grouse parts and feathers; two frozen packages of unlabeled suspected wild game meat; two Wisconsin DNR car killed deer tags for fawn does; one sample of bait material from hunting shack (corn, carrots and musk melon); one plastic container of chocolate pudding; one bear application; several discharged shotgun shells and rifle cartridges; one empty box of Remington 12 gauge 00 buckshot shotgun shells; and numerous shotguns and rifles.
This is not the first time Muench has been in trouble for game violations. He has a long history of disregard for game laws.
In 1998 he plead guilty/no contest to hunting deer during a closed season. Muench was fined and paid $2,064. He was also cited for failing to attach an ear tag to deer carcass. That charge was dismissed on the prosecutor's motion.
In August of 2001 he plead guilty/no contest to the unlawful sale of deer, bear and game fish; two counts of possession of an untagged bear; killing a deer without a license; hunting deer during the closed season and failing to obtain a deer hunting license. He was fined $7,265.96.
In November of 2001 he plead guilty/no contest to possession of illegal fish traps/nets. He was fined $683.
In April of 2006 he plead guilty for failing to carry a flotation device in his boat and was fined $148.20.
In May of 2006 he plead guilty to illegal trapping or baiting and was fined $243. He also plead guilty to trapping with untagged traps and fined $203. he plead guilty to hunting/fishing/trapping after revocation and was fined $98. A charge of trapping without a license was dismissed on the prosecutor's motion.
Muench has also had several civil cases against him including operating under the influence and retail theft.
Bayer said that when someone indiscriminately abuses the natural resources they are stealing from everyone.
"I initiated this investigation due to someone coming forward with information about illegal hunting and trapping activities occurring at this location," said Bayer. "This is an excellent example of how the public needs to come forward with information and not be afraid to report persons who violate hunting, trapping and fishing laws."