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Wisconsin men facing hunting-related charges in North Dakota

Posted on Thu, Jan. 19, 2006

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. - Eight Wisconsin men are facing charges in Barnes and Griggs counties after a coyote hunt last week, a game warden says.

One man, Francis Stockheimer, of Stratford, Wis., was charged with criminal trespass, harassing wildlife and driving on PLOTS land, all misdemeanors. PLOTS stands for Private Lands Open to Sportsmen, a program that offers payments to landowners who agree to keep their property open to public hunting

Charles Regele, of Marshfield, Wis., was charged with trespassing and harassing wildlife. Ronald Wells of Stratford and Daniel Frey, Dustin Bodendorfer and Daniel Steffen, all of Marshfield, face trespass charges, said Dick Knapp, a game warden supervisor in Jamestown.

Donald Schueller and John Sikora, both of Marshfield, are charged in Griggs County with hunting without a license, Knapp said. They are scheduled in court Feb. 6, unless they decide to post $450 bond, he said.

Fines on the other charges range from $100 to $250, with $225 administrative fees.

Knapp said the men jumped coyotes in pickups, chased them until they got in range, then shot them. Pursuing furbearers in a motorized vehicle is illegal.

State Game and Fish Department game wardens said they seized 37 coyotes in the case. The coyotes were sold, and the $471 proceeds went to the North Dakota Wildlife Federation's Report All Poachers program.

"They were having a good time chasing coyotes," Knapp said. "They had the idea that every landowner in the country liked what they were doing, but they ran into landowners that didn't like what they were doing."

Separately, a Streeter man was cited for littering in a public area after dumping an estimated 1,000 bird carcasses on PLOTS land in Stutsman County, Knapp said.

Sheldon Schlecht could pay a $250 bond or contest Game and Fish Department infraction in court, Knapp said. He is scheduled in court Jan. 25.

"They were birds that came from the guiding operation, and it was their method of getting rid of the remains," Knapp said. Although the birds were dumped in November, the citation was issued Tuesday.

"We felt there was the possibility of more serious charges and took it to the state's attorney's office in Stutsman County. They felt it was no violation," Knapp said.

Fritz Fremgen, the Stutsman County state's attorney, said the landowner called Schlecht, who cleaned up the mess, and the landowner did not want to press charges.

Schlecht had been charged 12 times earlier with game and fish violations and had 10 convictions, Knapp said. In South Dakota, he recently was sentenced to 50 days in prison, time he already had served in federal custody, as well as a $250 fine and $1,000 in restitution, in a case involving hunting violations on the Standing Rock reservation. Court documents say he also was barred from possessing a firearm or ammunition for a year.

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