SHIOCTON, WI (WBAY) — It’s a story first reported in early February that sparked outrage among hunters across the country: A massive white-tailed buck, illegally shot and beheaded out of season just outside Shiocton.
Now the DNR investigators have said who they are targeting in this poaching case.
Search warrants obtained from Outagamie County Circuit Court show Edwin Singler, 53, from Shiocton and his son Ryan Singler, 25, from New London are under criminal investigation for poaching that massive buck.
According to the search warrant, Edwin Singler, his two sons and a family friend were part of a larger group hunting coyotes north of Shiocton on January 22.
The court document say other hunters “observed the hunting dogs chase at least 20 deer north towards Edwin Singler’s truck and observed the large buck with the group.”
It goes on to say the other hunters “heard two gunshots coming from the direction of the Singlers” and that Edwin Singler then stated on the radio channel used by the hunting group that, “they shot at a fox and crow.” When asked if he wanted help locating the animals, Edwin Singler said “no and directed the group to stop hunting for the day.”
That afternoon, a witness took a photo of the wounded buck in some woods between Highway 187 and Kliner Road, near the area where hunters say Singler had parked his truck.
According to the warrant, the next day a DNR warden and sheriff’s deputy found the buck’s head removed and “a single set of footprints leading from the deer.” They also found, “a spent .223 rifle casing melted into the snow….within a few feet of the vehicle tracks.” The round was a “nickel- plated .223 round, with REM FC12 stamped on the end with a blue primer sealer.”
According to other hunters, the Singler group only coyote hunts with .223 rifles, and according to an interview with the family friend hunting with them, “the group had multiple .223 rifles in the vehicle that day.”
During a visit to Singler’s property on January 24, investigators “observed blood in the bed of the truck” and on February 5 Singler told investigators “he had nothing to tell us because he was ‘already hung.’”
Two weeks later, investigators say Singler’s son Levi told them “he wasn’t being honest with us and that he wouldn’t tell us if his dad (Edwin Singler) or brother (Ryan Singler) shot the buck.”
During the search of both Edwin and Ryan Singler’s properties on May 6, investigators located ammo containers which “contained nickel-plated .223 rifle rounds…the same as the .223 casing recovered” and with the “same REM FC12 printed on the casing.” The rounds also “had a blue primer sealer around the primer.”
Both Singlers are also facing charges in Nevada for illegally shooting a trophy elk last November. According to the search warrant, only Edwin Singler possessed an elk tag, but the guide confessed to a Nevada warden that “Ryan Singler shot and killed the elk.”
Charges are pending in both cases, and when contacted over the phone Monday, Edwin Singler, who has history of hunting violations, would only tell us, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”