Animal welfare activists are suspected in western Wisconsin of vandalizing several deer stands in at least two counties.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said over the weekend that the destruction of a stand in the Prairie Farm area could be tied to similar incidents to the south in neighboring Dunn County, where the structures along with trail cameras were vandalized.
“There may be a possible connection to a group called Animal Liberation Front (ALF),” Fitzgerald said in a statement.
Earlier this fall, an ALF statement on its website said the global organization destroyed 10 stands. One of the targeted stands in Dunn County was spray-painted with the message “Hunt the Hunters” and had the ALF’s logo.
“We find that when we attack under the blanket of night with masks on we get a lot more done than we ever could standing on the sidewalk with signs,” read a statement on the group’s website. “We don’t expect our small destructive acts to destroy speciesism, but striking directly at those who murder our nonhuman relatives feels meaningful. … All there is to do is to sharpen our teeth and get better at attacking domination … in solidarity with the deer, turkeys, bears, pheasants and all the animals resisting human supremacy and civilization.”
As the investigation continues into finding those responsible, Fitzgerald said authorities are asking hunters, trail riders and others to be on the lookout for vandalism or suspicious activity ad to notify law enforcement by calling 911.
The sheriff also cautioned any witnesses to “not approach anyone on your property and allow us to do that for you.”
The Dunn County Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced a $600 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the damage in its jurisdiction. Information can be provided to the Sheriff’s Office or anonymously at dunncocrimestoppers.com.