2 men accused of `thrill killing' animals in Wis. counties
PORTAGE, Wis. - Two men are accused of "thrill killing" hundreds of
wild birds and animals in Columbia and Marquette counties over the
course of a year.
"It was just a ridiculous amount of poaching," said Casey Krueger,
Portage warden with the state Department of Natural Resources.
"Any time that someone shoots something for the sake of 'a thrill' or
'to look cool' in their mind, you won't find much compassion from the
Columbia County public when they shoot an animal and lay it out to rot."
Authorities say Josh Kerl, 21, of Portage, and Adam Stalsberg, 22, of
Neshkoro, used a high-powered rifle and spotlight to shoot animals from
Krueger said each man received 82 citations, but there could have
been as many as 200 such citations for a multitude of violations of
hunting rules. After a certain number is reached, it's not feasible to
continue to cite them, he said.
He said each man will face two misdemeanor charges in Columbia
County: hunting deer during closed season, and hunting a deer at night
with a spotlight. Each charge carries a $2,100 fine, the possibility of
60 to 90 days in jail and a three-year revocation of hunting licenses.
According to authorities, the two killed mostly small game out of
season, including hundreds of rabbits, squirrels and raccoons, but they
also killed deer, turkeys, crows, snapping turtles, ducks and protected
species of owls, turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks and sandhill cranes.
Kerl and Stalsberg have preliminary hearings scheduled in August,
with Stalsberg facing a $19,000 fine and Kerl facing a $20,000 fine,
If they plead not guilty, they will go to trial.
Krueger called it the biggest poaching case in the area in at least
"I hope it outrages people," Krueger said. "There's going to be a lot
of questions, and I'm not naive enough to think that there are only two
people out here doing this."
No phone listings for the men could be found when The Associated
Press tried to reach them for comment Friday night.