First charges filed in alleged widespread deer kill case
More than 30 natural resources ordinance violation charges have been filed in Clark County Circuit Court against three Loyal-area teens in a widespread deer poaching investigation. More charges are expected in the coming days as Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens from Clark, Eau Claire and Taylor counties work through the case.
DNR warden lieutenant Robin Barnhardt said approximately three dozen deer may have been shot and killed in several areas of Clark County in an alleged “thrill kill” case that involves “several groups of juveniles.” The first charges were filed in the past week against the three Loyal teens, although more people may yet be charged.
The 31 violation charges brought last week by the Clark County District Attorney’s office carry total possible fines of more than $10,000.
Nathan Buchanan, 18, has been charged with 12 violations, with total possible fines of $3,784. The charges against him include two counts of shining wild animals while in possession of a firearm, two counts of hunting within 50 feet of a road’s center, two counts of damaging natural resources, two counts of hunting deer or bear after hours, two counts of hunting with an improper license, one count of possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and one count of loading/discharging a firearm in/from a vehicle. Those charges stem from violations that occurred on Nov. 8, according to court records.
Kaden Horn, 17, faces 11 charges with total possible fines of $3,657. The charges against him include shining wild animals while in possession of a firearm, hunting within 50 feet of a road’s center, possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, hunting deer or bear after hours, damaging natural resources, failure to complete required registration for deer or bear, and loading/discharging a firearm in/ from a vehicle. Those violations also allegedly occurred on Nov. 8.
Luke Landini, 17, was charged on Dec. 1 with eight violations with total possible fines of $2,564. The charges include shining wild animals while in possession of a firearm, hunting deer or bear after hours, possessing a deer not killed by a bow but tagged with an archery permit, possess/loan/borrow another’s hunting license, possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, loading/discharging a firearm in/from a vehicle, hunting within 50 feet of a road’s center, and failure to make an effort to retrieve downed game. Those violations occurred on Oct. 17, according to court records.
Barnhardt said wardens are investigating possible links between the Loyalarea group and other groups that also were allegedly shooting deer at night on Clark County fields. Wardens are collecting evidence and interviewing suspects and more charges are expected to be referred to the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution.
The deer poaching investigation also uncovered the alleged shooting of at least one horse near Loyal. That case is being investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for possible criminal charges.