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FIVE HUNTERS KILLED IN WISCONSIN WOODS

Police: Dispute over deer stand apparently led to shootings

Sunday, November 21, 2004 Posted: 8:34 PM EST (0134 GMT)

(CNN) -- Sheriff's deputies were investigating the killings of five hunters Sunday in northwestern Wisconsin, apparently sparked by a hunting dispute that turned violent.

Three others were wounded, said Julie Veness, an emergency medical technician in Exeland, Wisconsin.

Saturday was the opening of the nine-day deer season, and the shooting appeared to stem from a dispute over land in the heavily wooded area, Veness said.

"Apparently, the person was asked to leave and get out of his deer stand, and he didn't take it very well and he fired away at them," she said.

A state police official said a man wanted in connection with the shootings has been arrested, but no details were immediately available. The Sawyer County Sheriff's Department, which is investigating the killings, had no comment.

Jennifer Greshowak, a spokeswoman for Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, said three wounded men from the same hunting party were brought to that facility after suffering gunshot wounds. One of the three was transferred to a hospital in nearby Marshfield; one was in surgery Sunday afternoon, while the third was in intensive care, she said.

Veness said the killings have shocked Exeland, a village of 219 people.

"It just doesn't happen in this neck of the woods," she said. "We don't expect any of this to happen."


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