TOWN OF SCOTT — Three Merrill teens could face fines and other penalties from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after they were discovered illegally shooting a deer, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department

The teens were discovered in the early morning hours Thursday in a wooded area off Sunset Drive in the town of Scott, police said. Deputies responded to the area after receiving a report of seeing flashlights in the woods.

When deputies arrived, they found two teens, age 16, from Merrill and an 18-year-old Athens man who initially said they had struck a deer with their vehicle and were searching for the wounded animal. But with no fresh damage to the vehicle, members of the group allegedly admitted to shooting a deer with the bow, police said.

The investigation is now in the hands of the DNR. No names were released.

Penalties for poaching usually involve about $2,000 in fines, loss of weapons and a three-year mandatory loss of all hunting and fishing privileges in Wisconsin.