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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

Spring Green man charged in illegal hunting operation

Posted on Wed, Apr. 12, 2006

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - A southwestern Wisconsin man has been charged in federal court with conspiring to run an illegal hunting operation for deer and turkeys in a probe that has resulted in charges against nearly 50 hunters across the country.

Richard J. Limmex, of Spring Green, was indicted Tuesday on two counts accusing him of selling deer worth more than $350 illegally and moving them across state lines. He could face up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if he is convicted.

According to court documents, Limmex and Adam Lee Lawinger, who pleaded guilty earlier, sold guided deer and turkey hunts to out-of-state hunters through Lawinger's company, Blue River Outfitters. The hunts were held on land Lawinger and Limmex owned or leased.

Prosecutors allege that between 2002 and 2005 Limmex and Lawinger illegally baited deer in chronic wasting disease control zones, where baiting is prohibited; directed their clients not to kill does in Earn-A-Buck zones, where hunters must kill antlerless deer before they can take a buck; repeatedly used female deer carcasses to register multiple bucks their clients killed; transported and stored deer and turkeys without proper tags; and allowed their clients to kill turkeys with a .22 rifle.

They also accuse Limmex of selling an eight-point buck to a Pennsylvania hunter who had taken the deer in violation of Wisconsin law.

Lawinger, of Blue River, pleaded guilty in federal court in December to two charges related to the operation. He was sentenced in March to two years in prison and ordered to repay the state $73,534. He also was banned from hunting, fishing or acting as a guide during three years of supervised release.

Charges have been brought against 46 other hunters in 11 states.

An initial appearance and a plea hearing for Limmex has have been set for May 5.

His attorney, John Cates, didn't immediately return a message The Associated Press left at his office Wednesday afternoon.

2006 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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