MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - A hunter from Menasha will have quite the tale to tell at deer camp in the future.
That's after the biggest buck he ever shot was stolen and eventually dumped into the Fox River. But now, the people responsible owe some big money.
In November, Kelly Sokel shot the buck with a crossbow during the gun deer season.
"I was pretty proud of it. It was the largest spread buck I ever got," Sokel told FOX 11.
However, the 175-pound, field-dressed, 8-pointer with a 19 1/2-inch spread is nothing more than a broken rack. How it got that way is quite a story.
After Sokel shot the deer, he showed off his prize at a Menasha bar. He told FOX 11 that's when two women he'd never met before became argumentative.
While Kelly was in the bar, the deer was strapped to the back of his truck. The two women went outside, took the deer out of the truck, then ran it over with their own car.
"That's where their prank kind of went awry. They thought it was just going to be a prank. They ended up leaving and driving a couple of blocks and realizing they were dragging this deer with them," said DNR Conservation Warden Ryan Propson.
Propson said the women called a male friend who helped them throw the animal into the river. He said, "this is by far the craziest thing I have run into."
Propson gave them the DNR's harshest tickets. The women will have to pay more than $2,000 each for larceny of wild game. While their friend will pay about $300 for his part.
"They got a due punishment, I believe," said Sokel.
The deer itself was found more than a month later, a mile downriver.
"That's what I'm left with, a pile of bones.. It's very disappointing. I'm out all the time, the effort," said Sokel.
But the disappointment hasn't hurt Sokel's love of hunting.
"The memories are still great, and believe it or not, it's probably the best deer story I have," he said.