The video above shows a incident they were involved with in which a deputy with the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office confronts Rebecca’s family as they are hunting and accuses them of trespassing. According to the dialogue in the video they are, however, on public land that is legal for hunting.
Within the description below, Rebecca maintains that this sheriff’s deputy reason for harassing them is that he has made a deal with a nearby land owner. In exchange for that property owner allowing the deputy to drive his vehicle on his land in order to access the public land (which would otherwise only be accessible by boat), this deputy looks the other way while the land owner violates several laws on public land. This includes riding ATV’s on DNR (publicly owned) land building a permanent tree stand.
Date of Incident: December 10, 2016
Department Involved: La Crosse County (WI) Sheriff’s Office
Department Facebook Page: La Crosse Sheriff’s Office
Department Email: Deputy Contact List
Department Phone No.: (608) 785-9629
A sheriff’s deputy attempted to intimidate my family as we began a late season hunt. He claimed we were trespassing, even though we were on Department of Natural Resources land and have been hunting this area for years. When he approached, he was loud and yelled accusations at my 65 year old neighbor. The sheriff’s deputy did change his demeanor as soon as I pulled out the camera. However, he was still violating the hunter harassment law.
The deputy has permission from a property owner that borders this public land to trap, as well as vehicle access to the public land, so he can trap that also. (The only other access to this land is by boat.) In return for his trapping and access “rights,” the sheriff’s deputy and the local warden grant special privileges to the bordering land owner by allowing permanent tree stands that the landowner puts on DNR land. The landowner is also allowed to use ATVs on this DNR property.
Typically when you encounter sportsmen or hunters on public land, they are very cordial and will avoid interfering in other party’s hunts. This deputy went out of his way to harass us at the beginning of our hunt as well as hiking onto the DNR land (in his dark, fur trimmed clothing) knowing we planned on doing a deer push. This is the second time these thugs tried to intimidate us while legally using this land – I believe we are too much competition for them. Unfortunately, we didn’t harvest anything this day, but went back the next day and had success.