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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A trial has been scheduled for early next year for a 42-year-old Boyceville man charged in Dunn County with six misdemeanor counts related to poaching Whitetail deer.
Ray C. Stuart appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge James Peterson September 4 for a status conference.
Stuart was not represented by an attorney and told the court he was waiving having an attorney represent him for the court hearing.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said she had made an offer to Stuart for a plea deal and that Stuart was free to argue sentencing.
At a plea hearing in July, Stuart rejected a plea deal after the district attorney unexpectedly added in jail time.
Stuart is charged with one count of obstructing an officer, three counts of illegally hunting deer, one count of illegally shining deer and one Natural Resources count of hunting deer during closed season.
Stuart told the court at the July hearing that while he had been willing to accept the terms of the previous plea agreement, the plea agreement had changed, and 90 days of jail time had been added in.
The previous plea agreement had included two years of probation and revocation of hunting privileges for 12 years, which with previous revocations, means Stuart’s hunting privileges would be revoked until 2036.
According to the criminal complaint, Warden Jaime McDermid of the state Department of Natural Resources was contacted about illegal deer hunting activity on November 26, 2019, at a residence on state Highway 64.
The person who contacted the DNR said Stuart had shot an eight-point buck with his crossbow on November 16 while “road hunting,” and had shot a four-point buck with his crossbow after dark on November 20.
The person who contacted the DNR also said Stuart had shot a 17-point buck with the aid of a spotlight on November 22 in the Town of Sheridan, the complaint states.
Since no plea agreement had been reached, Judge Peterson determined at the September 4 hearing that the case should be scheduled for trial.
A two-day jury trial for Stuart is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court in January.
The criminal complaint lists Stuart’s prior DNR related violations, which include several instances of failing to attach a deer tag, possessing birds in excess of the bag limit and illegally shining deer, elk or bear.
Stuart’s hunting privileges were revoked for three years after being convicted in Dunn County in January of 2018 and were again revoked for another three years in a separate case, consecutive to the first case, so that currently, Stuart’s hunting privileges are revoked until 2024.
Bail was set with a $500 signature bond for Stuart in February of this year.