TOWN OF HARDING — A Merrill man is facing felony charges after allegedly following and crashing into a UTV driven by a 14-year-old boy suspected of poaching, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department

Deputies were called Thursday evening to a field off West End Drive in the town of Harding for a report of a deer being illegally shot and spoke with neighboring residents about the incident, police said.

Then, deputies learned, a 54-year-old man who saw a UTV matching the alleged poacher’s description followed the vehicle, struck the UTV and caused it to crash. No one was injured.

The suspect turned out to be a 14-year-old boy who allegedly admitted the poaching incident, police said. The teen will be referred for possible charges to the Department of Natural Resources. The 54-year-old man was arrested on charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety and obstructing an officer.

No names were immediately released.

Suspected wildlife, recreational and environmental violations can be reported confidentially to the DNR through a violation hotline. Violations can include fishing or hunting out of season, night hunting, exceeding bag limits, illegal sale of fish and wildlife, deposit of harmful substances in lakes or rivers or illegal storage or disposal of hazardous waste. All these violations seriously affect our state’s natural resources, according to the DNR.

To report violations:

Call or text 1-800-847-9367

Submit a violation report online

Helpful information when reporting a violation

  • Who is the violator? Describe the people, including their physical description and clothing
  • What is the violation?
  • Where did this violation take place? (county, township, road/highway)
  • When did this occur or is this an in progress violation?

Helpful information when reporting a violation that is discovered via social media

  • Where did the post, picture, video, or information originate from?
  • Include the URL encoding?
  • Include only one post, picture or video per complaint?
  • What is the suspected violation?
  • What information exists that show the potential violation occurred in Wisconsin?