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Three arrested in snowmobile deer killings; man turns himself in for duck killings

A Waupaca County snowmobiler is free on a signature bond, and two others are due in court today (Friday) in last weekend's slaughters of five deer.

All three men are from Weyauwega.

Nicholas Hermes, 22, appeared in court yesterday on five felony charges of killing animals by mistreatment.

Meanwhile, Robby Kuenzi, 23 and his brother Rory Kuenzi, 24, have not been charged yet.

Police said Rory Kuenzi stole the machine he used from outside a bowling center the night after Christmas and he reportedly told people he borrowed it.

The machine was recovered this week near Mukwa. Tipsters responding to $12,000 in reward money told officers about Hermes and the stolen sled.

According to the criminal complaint, Hermes claimed he accidentally killed a deer and said the Kuenzi brothers chased others from behind and ran them over, but a witness said all three were chasing the deer.

One had its stomach gutted out. Another was tied to a tree and left to choke.

The attacks happened last Friday night south of Waupaca. They sparked outrage by the snowmobiling community and others in northeast Wisconsin.

Tensions were so high, the Appleton Post-Crescent's Web site cut off its normal comment feature on the story, because some writers were making personal attacks.

The judge said he agreed to keep Hermes out of jail because he cooperated with investigators. Hermes is due back in court Jan. 27.

Duck killings

Also Thursday, a man turned himself in for this week's killings of 57 mallard ducks by snowmobiles in Fond du Lac.

A warden from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources interviewed the man, who's in his early 30's from the Fond du Lac area, but officials say their investigation is continuing.

The dead ducks were found Tuesday at a spot with open water on the Fond du Lac River, near the city's sewage plant. It's a place where snowmobilers are known to do water-skipping above a hole on the ice.