Two men in Trempealeau County have been charged for allegedly running an illegal deer-hunting operation. Fox 25/48's Zach Prelutsky has more on the investigation.
The owner and one employee of Brush Ranch Outfitters are facing multiple counts of unauthorized taking of deer from wild as well as other charges out of Trempealeau County after a multi-agency investigation.
The DNR says that Travis Brush and Randall Hoff of Brush Ranch Outfitters lured wild deer into a high-fenced captive deer farm with the intent to harvest trophy bucks.
According to the criminal complaint, both men knew of a hole in the fence allowing wild deer to enter, but repeatedly provided false information to law enforcement
Both the Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection have been investigating the case.
"It speaks to the cooperation between two state agencies and the complexity is that DATCP oversees the captive deer farm of the captive animals inside the fence and then of course DNR has jurisdiction of the wild deer outside the fence."
The DNR says they were tipped off by an anonymous person about the illegal deer-hunting operation back in 2016.
Having the wild deer and the captive deer mingling presents potential disease and escapes risks according the DNR.
"I would say that this is a very isolated and unusual case, we don't often get complaints about wild deer or captive deer immigrating or emigrating along outside the fence, so this is a pretty isolated case but one our agency and DATCP takes pretty seriously."
When we contacted Brush, he said he had no comment but did say he plans to file charges against the DNR.
The two will have an initial appearance at the Trempealeau County courthouse on November 21st.
In Trempealeau County, Zach Prelutsky, Fox 25/48 News at Nine.
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