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Local Men Plead Guilty to Killing Timber Wolf and Black Bear in Canada

A West Allis man and a Franklin man pled guilty killing wildlife in Ontario, Canada and helping cover it up.

In 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) began an investigation into the illegal hunting activities of Reid Viertel (41) of West Allis, Wisconsin, and various associates, including Terry Schmit (43) of Franklin, Wisconsin.

Viertel had shot and killed a timber wolf in February 2012. Authorities also determined that in August 2013, Schmit traveled to Ontario with Viertel, where he shot and killed a black bear while hunting without a license. In both instances, Viertel falsified export documents from Ontario for the purpose of importing the animal carcasses into the United States.

Schmit pleaded guilty to a single offense on June 16, 2016, and was sentenced to a

$1,000 fine, the forfeiture of the black bear, and a ban on hunting, fishing, and/or trapping in North America until January 1, 2019.

Viertel pleaded guilty to two offenses on June 21, 2016, and was sentenced to 3 years’ probation to include at least 25 hours per year of environmental community service, forfeiture of the wolf and black bear, and a ban on hunting, fishing, and/or trapping in North America until January 1, 2021. Viertel also was ordered to serve the 2016 deer gun season (November 19 – 27) in the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons and to pay the cost of his incarceration.

Both Viertel and Schmit also were convicted in Ontario, Canada, for their illegal hunting activities.

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