A Cecil the lion case in Wauwatosa? Popular deer named “Bow Tie” poached with crossbow

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WAUWATOSA -- Some are calling this a local version of Cecil the Lion. The killing of Cecil became big news worldwide earlier this year. Now, a majestic and popular animal has been killed in Wauwatosa -- poached.

It happened on Sunday, December 13th -- right before the Packers vs. Cowboys game.

A man with a crossbow came to the area near the Menomonee River Parkway -- near Highway 100 and Hampton -- near the Oak Leaf Trail, with hikers nearby.

The  man aimed, pulled back the arrow, and shot.

Bowtie the deer

Bowtie the deer

"Whoever did this must be a very callous person," Ray Hamilton said.

Hamilton says he often walks the Oak Leaf Trail in the area where this happened.

Another hiker was taking a walk on Sunday afternoon -- and he stopped to take a picture of a deer, affectionately named "Bow Tie" by those who frequent the area.

Bowtie the deer

Bowtie the deer

Suddenly, an arrow sailed through the air, and hit Bow Tie.

"It kind of reminds me of the Cecil the lion thing. Apparently this deer was like a big pet almost for people in the area that knew him," Hamilton said.

The hiker who took the photo of Bow Tie on Sunday says he ran into the hunter, who was calling his wife to say he killed a deer. The hiker made his own call -- to 911.

Bowtie the deer

Bowtie the deer

Police arrived along with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials -- and the hunter disappeared.

"It just seems to me it's pretty unsportsmanlike to do something like this -- as well as discharging some sort of weapon in a park where children come to play and things like that," Hamilton said.

Bowtie the deer

Bowtie the deer

FOX6 News has learned a local photographer chronicled Bow Tie through his nine-and-a-half years of life -- even capturing him on video.

Randy Crawford's nature photos featured Bow Tie on calendars, outdoor magazine covers and websites.

DNR officials were able to catch up with the poacher.

"We found multiple violations. Citations are going to be issued. Milwaukee County does have an ordinance saying you cannot hunt in their parks," Marcus Medina with the DNR said.

Bowtie the deer

Bowtie the deer

Some say it's not enough.

Social media is filled with photos of Bow Tie, with messages from those now mourning his loss -- the loss of a beautiful animal so many have loved watching for so many years.

DNR officials say they not only gave $1,000 in fines to the illegal hunter, but also, his hunting license has been revoked for a year, and his crossbow was taken away, along with the deer.

DNR officials haven't identified the man -- but a witness tells FOX6 News he is a Brookfield businessman.

A web search shows he has a long history of deer hunting.

Area where Bowtie the deer poached in Wauwatosa

Area where Bowtie the deer poached in Wauwatosa



  • zodiac

    They need to publish this guy’s name and a color photo of him – the public has a right to know. Why are the authorities shielding this jerk?

    • Jenn

      Right? I’m having trouble finding anybody talking about this. Even if he didn’t kill the deer, he shot a crossbow in a city park!

    • Bridget

      I agree, why aren’t his name and picture being shown? He not only destroyed a beautiful animal, but he could have killed someone. The public has a right to know.

  • Chris

    He needs jail time!!! What is it with businessman illegally killing animals?? Do they think they get special privileges?? Guy is nothing but an a******

    • linda

      I agree he deserves jail time as well. Some one could have been killed, what if it would have been a child? A fine and his bow taken away is not enough.

  • 100%Nubian

    No comments about how he was raised, no comments about his race and no mention of psychosis… I’m sure none of this will happen unless we find out that the man is not white.

  • David Dough

    Maybe Wauwatosa needs to do something with there deer population and other surrounding cities. You know how many deer run across the roads near 124th & Water Town Plank Rd!? I have encountered a few “close calls” with my new car and city deer that do not belong in the city. Truthfully, the person that shot the deer should obviously get into trouble because this person did this in the city which is dangerous and this person makes legal hunters look bad and illegally broke the law by putting one down but the city needs to look at the high deer population!

  • Jeff Gerboth

    Mistake #1: Shooting an animal in a park; C’Mon Man! Mistake #2: Shooting a named animal. When are these hunters going to learn; never shoot an animal with a name. If this guy is a dentist, he is totally screwed.

    • Jon

      Because this deer totally stands out and everyone is supposed to know this deer? Never heard of this deer untill this happened. I know him personally and he is a great guy. Fox and other news outlers are completely twisting this story and making it out to be worse then it is. Shame on all of you. It is a deer. Sorry for your loss but there will be more and he has done everything he can to own up and apologize it. He doesn’t deserve death threats over a deer. Grow up

    • TK

      That hunter is a product of a poor environment. The system obviously failed him… #PoacherLivesMatter
      Should donate the venison to a soup kitchen. Bet the people that are actually homeless and hungry wouldn’t care that he stuck Bambi.
      News flash you goofs. People are having their heads forcefully removed for believing in God in the Middle East!!!!! There are FAR greater tragedies in the world then a local deer getting stuck.
      Good grief !

  • Ben

    Meanwhile, nobody seems all that outraged with the fact that local municipalities are trapping coyotes and having police come and kill them execution style

  • Ross Bielema

    Poaching is wrong. I agree with his fine. However, it would be nice to hear a little bit of the other side! Did the “hunter” blatantly go in there to get a trophy or did he just not know the park was closed to hunting? Many state and county parks are open to hunting. You don’t pull a crossbow string back like a bow and release the arrow. A crossbow’s string is held back by the gun-like mechanism and a bolt (short arrow) is released with the pull of a trigger. When you make factual errors like this, the whole story looks suspect. At least make a call to the guy and try for his side. Yes, there are far too many deer in urban areas. Crossbows and bows are very safe, short-range weapons with almost no chance that anyone in the park would be shot. You should try to present both sides of any story, but I know with the tie-in to Cecil the Lion (giving human traits/names to animals is called anthropomorphism), he wasn’t going to get a fair shake from the start! By the way, Bambi’s a cartoon. The deer you just hit with your car and left on the road? That’s a real deer. Most wild deer do not live more than 3 or 4 years. I have no problem with publishing his name. Those records are public.

    • Dennis Burkwald

      A cross bow is a lethal weapon. Bolts travel at 285 feet per second plus and are quite accurate up to 65 to 70 yards or further. That’s 190 to 210 feet. Apparently you don’ know a thing about crossbows.

      • Ross Bielema

        Not sure what that has to do with anything related to safely shooting. Was he hunting near children? Is he a blind hunter? My Barnett Raptor FX crossbow shoots at 350 fps. What would you like to know about crossbows? The guy poached a deer and paid the price. Nobody was in any danger. 4,000-pound cars whiz past you within 3-4 feet every day, but somehow we survive. You libs are afraid of everything. Better stay home. Bucks have antlers and can gore you.

      • Bruce B.

        Ross: I was hiking through those same woods and following deer trails just 2 days prior. I am glad that Mr Buckfever wasn’t poaching that day because I would have been in some serious danger.

  • Dennis Burkwald

    I have never read an article that has so many words and sentences and makes absolutely no sense at all. License revoked, fine issued, and yet the WDNR has yet to identify the individual. How can you revoke someone’s license if you do’t know their name. This has to be one of Scott Walker’s buddies or a Walker campaign donor. Who are they protecting now ?

    • Ross Bielema

      I think you should start a John DOE investigation on this immediately, Dennis Burkwald! It has to be Walker’s fault. or Bush’s. Why don’t you put down your protest sign and your doobie and call the courthouse? These convictions are a public record.

    • Jeff Gerboth

      Dennis, what is the deal with the personal attacks? First the snarky cross bow thing and then a Walker attack. You are giving Democrats a bad name.

  • phantom

    How about uping the fine,$ 500. per point, no hunting anywhere for at least 5 yrs, discharging a weapon in city limits ,how come the police are not fineing him? I’m a hunter and he’s scum

  • Pj

    A slap on the wrist is all one gets for shooting a crossbow in a park? Killing a beloved animal near a public trail? I walk this trail…maybe I should carry a gun …just in case I see someone with a crossbow!

  • JP

    What a coward, the big, bad hunter (sorry poacher) kills a deer that is accustomed to living in an urban setting and seeing people. Get real.. He should loose his hunting license permanently due to poor sportsmanship. He makes me sick!

  • Jon

    Because this deer totally stands out and everyone is supposed to know this deer? Never heard of this deer untill this happened. I know him personally and he is a great guy. Fox and other news outlers are completely twisting this story and making it out to be worse then it is. Shame on all of you. It is a deer. Sorry for your loss but there will be more and he has done everything he can to own up and apologize it. He doesn’t deserve death threats over a deer. Grow up

  • Jon

    You say that till the tables are turned. Can you afford a $20,000 fine? Why would he lose it for life? He was about a mile outside of the legal line to hunt, very easy to do when walking in the woods.., had a valid license and tags. The only thing that was wrong was that he unknowingly wasn’t within that legal hunting grounds. It is a deer. Next time put a sign on your town animals so they can’t be mistaken for a wild animal in the woods…

    • #righttobeararms

      Jon amen to that! Plus they need to keep there deer friends from running across the street near 124th and water town plank. They are more dangerous than anything! Do I want to pay my $1,000 deductible for hitting a dear with my new car!? Heck no. The city dear do no good for society except for a good photo opp. They need to be eradicated.

  • n8

    article said that children play in area…male deer can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous during rut. Hunter might have save some young child’s life.

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