Update: After a two-day trial, a jury found Alex and Dion Laffey not guilty of shooting the deer before legal shooting hours or using artificial light. Dion pleaded no contest to failing to register a deer and was fined $387, along with losing hunting and fishing privileges for a year. According to WQOW News, the defense attorney, Matt Krische, was able to demonstrate that everything happened during legal hours by using the hunter’s cell phones as evidence.
Wardens recently concluded a three-month investigation centered around a 34-point whitetail that was poached this fall in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. Alex Laffey, Dion Laffey, and Eugene Heisler, all from Eau Claire, have been charged with multiple wildlife violations.
According to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Team Supervisor Robin Barnhardt, the agency received an anonymous tip in late November that the buck had been poached. Their investigation found that the men killed the 244-inch whitetail using artificial light 30 minutes before legal shooting light on opening day.
One of the poachers posted grip-and-grin pictures with the buck on Facebook. “Once in a lifetime buck on opening day,” Alex Laffey wrote. “It was definitely a group effort to get this deer! Good luck to everyone else and stay safe out there!”
This situation is reminiscent of a case we covered last year where the poacher bragged online about a 28-point buck he killed five days before the season. Details from that investigation inspired us to declare Dugan Traversie “The Dumbest Poacher of 2019.”
Although information surrounding the charges is limited, it looks like this Wisconsin trio will take up Traversie’s title for 2020. We’ll update this story as more particulars come available.