Jim Bagley said it felt like there was a hole in his heart when he learned of the illegal poaching of 'Bow Tie,' an 11-point buck that roamed Milwaukee County Parks and known by local outdoor enthusiasts for its distinctive white throat patch.
The deer was harvested illegally Dec. 13 near the Little Menomonee River Parkway in Wauwatosa. Bagley was on a hike through the area before a Green Bay Packers football game when he stumbled upon the hunter. He notified authorities before eventually realizing the deer was Bow Tie.
Now, nearly five months after the incident, the 11-point white tailed deer has returned home; Bagley and wildlife photographer Randy Crawford of Wauwatosa helped pay for a shoulder mount to be made of Bow Tie.
'I was happy to do this and said at the same time,' said Bagley, as he chocked back tears May 10 during a brief dedication ceremony at Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park, where the mount will remain for interpretive educational programs for schoolchildren.
'I was just in the right place at the right time,' he said.
Crawford said he has photographed the deer since it's birth and estimated the deer was about 8 years old. It could have only lived for another two years, which is the common life expectancy for such an animal, but it was still saddening to see the deer die the way it did, he said.
'Now something good is gonna happen,' Crawford said.
About the crime
The hunter — Jason P. Elliott of Milwaukee, used a cross bow to hunt the deer. Authorities have said Elliott was 'very remorseful' for his actions.
After Elliott killed the deer, he was approached by someone who asked if he had a license. Elliott did have a license and had a buck carcass tag. The witness later phoned 911 and an investigation by the DNR later ensued.
Not only is it illegal to hunt in Milwaukee County Parks, but Elliott was not wearing blaze orange and was hunting during a statewide antlerless hunt, authorities have said.
According to court records, Elliott has been found guilty of the following:
·Failure to validate or attach a deer carcass tag, which carried a fine of $1,147.50
·Hunting with an improper license, which carried a fine of $226.40
·Hunting without proper clothing, which carries a fine of $166.10
None of the charges were criminal offenses and each resulted only in a money penalty.
Authorities also reportedly requested the confiscation of Elliott's cross bow, which he said he received as a birthday gift, and a one-year revocation of his Chapter 29 privileges.