A Sheldon man’s charges were dismissed in Rusk County Circuit Court Feb. 18 during an oral ruling on charges related to hunting and killing a bear without a license.
Kenneth T. Kochevar, 50, was charged with one misdemeanor count of hunting a bear without required approval as a party to a crime and one misdemeanor count of killing a bear without a license as a party to a crime and was issued citations for possessing/loaning/borrowing another’s license as a party to a crime and failing to validate or attach a tag to a bear as a party to a crime.
Kochevar appeared in court Feb. 18 where the misdemeanor counts were dismissed and he entered pleas of no contest to the citations. He was ordered to pay a $544.50 fine and a $1,000 surcharge on each citation within 60 days.
According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 27, 2017 a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden was conducting an investigation into an incident and made contact with Troy Madlon, 27, of Sheldon.
Madlon said that during the 2014 bear season he received a call from a Kochevar hunting group and was asked to come over to where the group had treed a bear near the Sheldon area.
By the time Madlon arrived, the group had already shot and killed the bear, a boar, according to the criminal complaint. Madlon tagged and took possession of the bear. Madlon advised the warden that if he wanted to know more about who shot the bear, the warden would need to speak with Kochevar.
On May 5, the warden made contact with Kochevar regarding the illegal harvest of a bear during the 2014 season, according to the criminal complaint. When looking at an area map with the warden, Kochevar stated, “I remember we…somebody shot a bear in that field.”
The criminal complaint alleges Kochevar admitted to participating in the hunt, being in the field with a rifle and looking for a bear.