N.D. man charged with killing bear in WisconsinA North Dakota man has been charged with illegally killing a big black bear found in the field of a Wisconsin farmer who is now fighting to keep the carcass.
BOYCEVILLE, Wis. (AP) — A North Dakota man has been charged with illegally killing a big black bear found in the field of a Wisconsin farmer who is now fighting to keep the carcass.
Neil Schlough said he was harvesting corn Nov. 26, when he realized he had hit an animal with his combine. It was a 700-pound bear.
Schlough called a state game warden, bought a $75 tag from the agency and decided to have his “trophy” bear mounted. At the taxidermy, bullet holes were found in the hide.
Authorities said Michael C. Graff, 57, of West Fargo, N.D., was charged Monday in Dunn County with hunting bear during a closed season, shooting or harming a hibernating bear, and shooting a bear without a license.
David Hausman, a Wisconsin warden supervisor, said a tip from a citizen led authorities to Graff. He said wildlife officials in North Dakota and Wisconsin were involved in the investigation.
Hausman said Graff told authorities he shot the bear while deer hunting and mistook the sleeping bruin for a big buck.
Graff is slated to appear in court March 22. Hausman said Graff faces up to 27 months in jail and $30,000 in fines if found guilty of the misdemeanor charges.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources seized the bear as evidence, but Schlough wants it back. He said the carcass was legally sold to him. He’s hired an attorney and plans to sue the DNR for ownership.