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Bloomer Police Chief, Chippewa Co. Chair admits to shooting deer with city-issued patrol gun

Chippewa County (WQOW) – New details are emerging about Jared Zwiefelhofer’s illegal hunting actions in November.

Zwifelhofer is the Chief of Police in Bloomer and currently the Chippewa County Board Chairman.

A DNR Case Report obtained by News 18 states Zwiefelhofer illegally shot a deer with an AR-style .223 caliber gun that he uses on patrol as chief of police.

More: Bloomer Police Chief charged with 3 hunting violations

The case report outlines the events as follows.

On November 10, a man was bow hunting on his Burnett County property when he heard three straight gunshots followed by another single shot. Shortly after that, Zwiefelhofer came walking by with a gun and asked the hunter if he had seen a wounded deer come by.

The man then texted a DNR warden.

The DNR came out to the property that same night and followed a blood trail trying to figure out where the deer had been shot. When they got to the beginning of the blood trail they found a blind with bait near it. They also removed a trail camera, owned by Zwiefelhofer, from the woods.

From there, DNR officials followed boot prints and ATV trails to a residence (Zwiefelhofer’s cabin).

Later that day, two DNR wardens went to Zwiefelhofer’s cabin where he told them he shot the deer with a crossbow, but not with the gun he was carrying. He did admit to having a gun on him, however.

Zwiefelhofer told the wardens he assumed they were at his cabin because he was tracking a deer on land he didn’t have permission to be on.

Zwiefelhofer told the wardens he was worried about, “getting in trouble” and “making the paper.” He said if he admitted to shooting the deer with a gun it would cost him lots of money.

Two days later, DNR wardens found the deer dead in the woods. They skinned the hide and found a wound from an arrow and a hole from a .223 caliber rifle.

Later that month, Zwiefelhofer met with the DNR in Webster. While there, he admitted he injured the deer with his crossbow and shot at the deer with his gun three to four times. He said he wanted to expedite the recovery of the deer.

Zwiefelhofer also admitted to using bait near his stand and using a UTV with a loaded gun. Zweifelhofer had more than the allocated amount of bait near his blind.

He later pleaded no contest to those charges.

The DNR gave him three citations and revoked his hunting rights for two years.

When asked why he did not initially admit to using a rifle to shoot at the deer, Zwiefelhofer said he does not trust wardens based on previous experiences with them. The DNR report says he specifically mentioned a warden by name who he also serves on the county board with who he called a liar.

Dean Gullickson is a former warden who serves on the board with Zwiefelhofer.

Related Story: County Board looks to move past controversy

Zwiefelhofer has said he plans to step down as chairman of the board at the March 12 meeting, although he does plan to stay on the board as a regular member.

More: Zwiefelhofer stepping down at March meeting

WQOW Staff

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