By Kelli Heitstuman-Tomko
SHERIDAN — Two Wisconsin men in Wyoming on a hunting trip were cited on poaching charges after using hunting licenses transfered to them by the property owners on whose land they were hunting.
Bob Schneeberger and James Kafka have each been charged with knowingly taking an antlered, big-horned animal or trophy game with licenses illegally transferred to them. Schneeberger faces one count for his kill on Oct. 1, and Kafka faces two counts for kills on Oct. 2.
The ranch owners who transferred the licenses to them pleaded guilty in Sheridan County Circuit Court to the illegal transfers. Charles Belus was fined $200 plus court costs on Dec. 9, and his wife Debra Belus was fined $300 plus court costs on Dec. 16. Their hunting privileges have been suspended for three years. Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials would not say what animals were taken in this case, only that Kafka and Schneeberger were hunting on the Belus’ ranch with licenses originally belonging to Charles and Debra Belus.
Wyoming residents are able to purchase hunting licenses for substantially less than the cost of out-of-state hunting licenses.
Kafka is the owner of Kafka Conveyors and Equipment in Mosinee, Wisconsin, and Schneeberger is one of his employees. The two men have returned to Wisconsin, but have entered a plea of not guilty and have retained a local attorney to represent them. Kafka originally sent the court a letter asking for permission for he and Schneeberger to attend the trial by telephone due to their busy work schedules in Wisconsin. The hearing was postponed after the men obtained counsel and has not yet been rescheduled.
Buffalo Game Warden Jim Seeman declined to comment on the case at this time.