Three men have been convicted in Rock County Circuit Court of illegally shining and shooting seven deer.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the investigation that led to the conviction of the three Rock County men last month is due to the vigilance of Rock County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ryan Bittorf, who saw the men in action nearly one year ago.
The deputy spotted two pickup trucks with occupants who were shining into a field in December of last year, the DNR said. The deputy then conducted a traffic stop and was able to determine the occupants were shining wild animals and deer while in possession of firearms, according to a DNR news release.
Shining is using bright lights to spot deer at night. In Wisconsin it is illegal to shine deer while in possession of firearms or to aid in hunting.
Bittorf collected the information and forwarded it to DNR wardens for their multi-month investigation into the activities of the three men -- ages 20, 22 and 23 -- all of Rock County.
The DNR said the men were doing most of their shining and shooting activities in the Arbor Ridge Subdivision just west of Janesville off County Highway A.
"The evidence we collected suggested that many more deer were shot at and missed, or shot and killed," Dieckhoff said in a news release.
Joshua Beyer, 23, of Janesville, was convicted of seven counts of illegally shining seven deer. He was ordered to pay about $15,000 in fines, will lose his hunting licenses for 21 years and serve one year in jail.
Christopher Kummer, 22, of Milton, also was convicted of seven counts of illegally shining deer and faces approximately $3,000 fine costs. He will serve three years of probation for six counts and 30 days in jail on the seventh count. He also will lose his hunting licenses for 21 years.
Chris Taylor, 20, of Evansville, was convicted of two counts of illegally shining deer. He will pay about $2,154 for each count and lose his hunting licenses for six years. He will not serve any jail time.