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Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Clark County residents waylay poachers

Editor

Neillsville, Wis. Three Clark County neighbors delivered their
own brand of “frontier justice” the evening of Oct. 12 when they
barricaded a dead end road with their vehicles to prevent two
alleged poachers from escaping.

This particular area of southern Clark County has seen a high
level of poaching activity in recent years, according to DNR warden
Georg Wagner.

“The local residents have become pretty fed up with poaching in
their area,” Wagner said. “They’ve done a lot to help us in the
past they’ve phoned in reports and collected information. It’s in
an area where I’ve had problems in the past and I’ve been working
those fields, but I haven’t caught anyone there yet.”

Wagner was working on the north end of the county Oct. 12 when
he got a call at around 10:30 p.m. from the Clark County Sheriff’s
Department that someone had been poaching deer and that residents
had blocked the road with their vehicles.

“This isn’t something that we want to promote we don’t want
citizens endangered, but these folks were fed up,” Wagner said.

According to preliminary reports, area residents saw lights
shining across a nearby field after dark that night, then heard two
shots. One man called the sheriff’s department and then saw a
flashlight moving across a field. He got in his truck to
investigate, while calling other neighbors on his cell phone. They
used two trucks to block the dead-end road. Wagner and deputies
eventually caught up with two Marshfield men who appeared to be
intoxicated.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Clark County Circuit
Court, Daniel F. Jakobi, 35, of Marshfield, was apprehended at the
road block. Jakobi told officers that he and James J. Albrecht, 21,
also of Marshfield, each fired one round from a .270 rifle at a
deer while in the vehicle. Jakobi was arrested and later tested at
.17 BAC (blood alcohol content), according to the report.

“When I got there, one individual was with the car, another with
a rifle had fled,” Wagner said.

Albrecht was arrested later in the evening when he showed up at
the Clark County Sheriff’s Department to bail out Jakobi.

The wardens and deputies found a wounded doe in the field and
.270 shell casings nearby. The doe had been shot through the back.
They searched the vehicle and found two bows and two spotlights.
One bow was uncased.

The two men face a variety of civil and possible criminal
charges, according to Wagner.

According to the criminal report, a record check revealed that
Jakobi is a convicted felon from charges and convictions processed
against him in 1986 and 1989. If he is charged and convicted of
being a felon in possession of a firearm, he can be fined up to
$10,000 and jailed for five years on a felony charge. A similar
civil charge would carry the same maximum fine, but the jail term
would be limited to nine months.

Other potential charges for the pair include civil counts of
hunting deer during a closed season, shooting deer with the aid of
a spotlight, shining deer while in possession of a bow or firearm,
shining deer after 10 p.m., shooting from within 50 feet of the
road center, intoxicated use of a firearm and transporting an
uncased firearm and bow.

Wagner indicated other criminal charges may be pending.

One of the local residents who was at the scene said officers
found open containers of alcohol in the vehicle.

Jakobi and Albrecht will make their initial appearance Nov. 1 in
Clark County Circuit Court. District Attorney Darwin Zwieg will
prosecute the case.

One of the three local residents, who wished to remain anonymous
unless a trial is necessary, said he and his neighbors were tired
of repeated incidents of shining and shooting in their
neighborhood.

“We get a lot of shining. We’ve heard shots several times. We
try to get license numbers, but either the roads are dusty or
they’re coming at you with their bright lights on,” he said.

“I let (one of the alleged) know they weren’t going to get away
with this kind of stuff in our neighborhood. He tried to lie, but I
told him what we knew, and that we found the wounded deer. At that
point, I could hear the other guy walking through the pines just
off the road. I thought about going in after him, but then thought
better of it.

“Later, the first guy told the sheriff’s department that he
would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for the local
people,” the man said.

“If you think about it, this (poaching incident) is the dumbest
thing ever. It’s just a week and a half until Zone T.

“The worst part is that the wardens know about this problem and
they were even thinking about coming out here that night, but with
the DNR’s mileage and budget restrictions, they didn’t,” he
said.

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