by Shawn Skipper - Tuesday, February 5, 2013
It's no secret that being a braggart can get you into trouble sometimes, and Kelly Sokel certainly learned that last November. The Wisconsin native had just taken the largest buck of his life (sporting an 8-point, 19½ spread) on Nov. 21, according to the Post-Crescent, and intended to celebrate. The problem was, he probably started a little too soon: Sokel rolled up to an establishment called Hank's Tavern with the whitetail still in the bed of his truck.
Before we continue, I've got to point out that Sokel made a fairly egregious error in taking his buck to a bar. About the only place he should have taken the whitetail was home—if he really couldn't resist bragging, he should have at least chosen a buddy's house, not a public location. Not everyone embraces the hunting tradition, and some folks are going to be more than a little turned off at a the sight of a whitetail strapped to a truck that's sitting outside the local watering hole. It's just common courtesy to keep your harvest concealed, and it helps protect the reputation of all local hunters.
That said, Sokel made his call—and one of the stranger stories we've had yet was born as a result. According to the report, Sokel got into an argument with two local women that he'd never met before—what they were arguing about isn't specified in either of the accounts I've read.
The women left the bar, and decided to get what they thought would be the last laugh by trashing Sokel's trophy. They dragged the whitetail out of the truck, and then ran it over with their car on their way out of the parking lot.
That was supposed to be the end of it, apparently, but things like this rarely go as planned. A few blocks down the road, the pair realized that they were still dragging the whitetail along with them behind the car. Half of the buck's rack had stayed in the parking lot, but the rest of him was tagging along for the ride. No longer sure of what to do, the duo called a third party in to help them get the deer out from under the car and deposit it in the nearby Fox River.
The entire plot was eventually uncovered by DNR Conservation Warden Ryan Propson after Sokel called the authorities. Propson called the incident a prank that "kind of went awry," according to WNFL 1440. The Post Crescent reported that, after a week-long investigation, Propson issued hefty citations for "larceny of wild game" to the two women, and a ticket for dumping game to their accomplice.
Sokel did eventually get the other half of his rack, though—the whitetail's carcass was spotted in the river in January, and was eventually retrieved.
For what it's worth, the event left Sokel with one heck of a yarn to spin at all subsequent trips to the bar. Next time, though, I suspect he'll just take his harvest home.
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