Tennessee men fined for grouse overlimits

Phillips, Wis. — Three nonresident hunters from Tennessee
recently were fined nearly $500 apiece for allegedly overbagging on
ruffed grouse in northern Wisconsin.

And it was a warden from another state – who himself was hunting
grouse – who tipped off local authorities, according to Jason
Bayer, conservation warden in Price County, who issued the

“He (the out-of-state wildlife officer) saw a couple things over a
couple days (that made him suspicious),” Bayer said.

Bayer had information about the suspects’ vehicle, and a few days
later, located the hunters.

Bayer said the alleged poachers had a total of 57 grouse; the
possession limit for the three men was 30 grouse, total. He said
the three men were staying at a cabin on Musser Lake, east of

“The three hunters had been hunting for several days at various
locations in the Price County area, including locations in the
Chequamegon National Forest, Sheep Ranch Road area,” Bayer said in
an e-mail to Wisconsin Outdoor News.

Bayer said it wasn’t the first time at least one of the men had
been grouse hunting in the area.

“One gentleman said he’d been coming up for 30 years,” Bayer said
last week.

Bayer said on Oct. 21, he seized a total of 57 ruffed grouse from
the men.

“They all took responsibility for it,” he said.

That’s why Bayer divided the 27-bird overlimit by three, and cited
the men each for being nine grouse over their limit. Restitution
totalled about $700. The base fine for each of the men was about
$263, he said. Bayer also asked that the three receive a one-year
license revocation. Their home state, he said, is part of a
multi-state “violators compact,” which means the revocation would
apply in their home state, as well.

The three men, whose court appearance was slated for Nov. 9, were
60-year-old Larry Bacon, of Jonesborough, Tenn., 44-year-old Todd
King, of Unicoi, Tenn., and 56-year-old Samuel Hughes Jr., of
Elizabethton, Tenn.

No firearms were seized, Bayer said.

“The guys were pretty cooperative about the whole thing,” he

It’s possible, Bayer said, that the men may have paid the fines
before leaving for Tennessee.

“This is an example of a case that may have gone unnoticed without
the assistance of information provided by an alert and observant
hunter,” Bayer said. “In this case, (the information came from) the
alert and observant fellow wildlife officer from a different state
on his hunting trip to Wisconsin.”

Bayer, in his second year in Price County, said grouse numbers
appear up from last year in the area. In October, he made three
cases for grouse overbagging. In one of them, a single hunter
possessed 18 grouse, he said.

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