Large Wisconsin deer poaching investigation nets 5 arrests

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. An Ohio legislative panel on Wednesday signed off on new deer hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters can kill statewide. The rules also eliminate hunting zone areas and set per-county caps on bag limits. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Authorities say a monthslong investigation into a large deer poaching case in southwestern Wisconsin has resulted in the conviction of five men.

State Department of Natural Resources officials estimate that as many as 40 deer were killed before the suspects were arrested. Warden Shawna Stringham tells the Journal Sentinel it’s one of the biggest poaching cases she has ever handled.

The investigation in Vernon County, which borders Minnesota, resulted in convictions of 29-year-old Jacob Menne, or Readstown; 57-year-old Monte Mabb, of Ferryville; 21-year-old Damon Peterson, of La Farge; 18-year-old Jacob Yearous, of Viola; and 21-year-old DJ Bannister, also of Viola.

Menne received the stiffest sentence. He was fined more than $12,000 and had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked for 15 years.

Stringham says the five men were not hunting for food but “were just out to kill something.”

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