Hunter?s remains found in burned deer stand
On Nov. 15 at approximately 1:50 a.m. the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a report of a missing person. The initial reporter advised that he and his son had plans to meet a 52-year-old Medford resident, identified Monday afternoon as Todd R. Sikora, either at a city of Medford residence or at hunting land owned by the 52-year-old several miles west of Medford.
When the caller could not locate the individual at either location, he notified law enforcement out of concern. Officers from the Medford Police Department and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office initiated a search for the individual.
Ultimately the search led to a wooden constructed, elevated, box-like hunting stand on the 52-year-old individual’s property. His ATV was located near the stand. The stand had obviously been on fire at some point in the recent past and ultimately what is believed to be human remains were located within the rubble of the debris from the fire.
Investigation did reveal that the suspected 52-year-old victim had a practice of heating the box stand with a “sunflower” type LP heater and frequently napped in the stand.
Investigation and identification efforts continue by the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and the Taylor County Medical Examiner’s Office. Local representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have also been notified. No foul play is suspected at this time.
Taylor County Sheriff Bruce Daniels released a statement Monday afternoon indicating that forensic analysis will be conducted to verify the identity of the victim. All indications are that the remains are those of Sikora, Daniels noted. The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office is unable to say how long the identification process will take.
With the nine-day Wisconsin gun deer season quickly approaching, law enforcement officials in Taylor County request that all outdoorsmen practice safe hunting and outdoor activity.