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Five hunters gunned down in Wisconsin woods

Police: Dispute over deer stand apparently led to killings

Police at the scene believe the killings came when a man was asked to leave a deer stand.

(CNN) -- Sheriff's deputies were investigating the killings of five hunters Sunday in northwestern Wisconsin, apparently sparked by a hunting dispute that turned violent.

Three others were wounded, said Julie Veness, an emergency medical technician in Exeland, Wisconsin.

Saturday was the opening of the nine-day deer season, and the shooting appeared to stem from a dispute over land in the heavily wooded area, Veness said.

"Apparently, the person was asked to leave and get out of his deer stand, and he didn't take it very well and he fired away at them," she said.

A state police official said a man wanted in connection with the shootings has been arrested, but no details were immediately available. The Sawyer County Sheriff's Department, which is investigating the killings, had no comment.

Jennifer Greshowak, spokeswoman for Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, said three wounded men from the same hunting party were brought to that facility after suffering gunshot wounds. One of the three was transferred to a hospital in nearby Marshfield, she said.

The other two -- identified by relatives as Denny Drew and Lauren Hasebeck -- were recovering from surgery at Lakeview. Drew was in serious condition, while Hesebeck was listed in fair condition, their families said in a statement issued Sunday night.

"Our families certainly appreciate the thoughts and prayers of this close-knit community, and encourage you to think and pray for the other families involved," the statement said.

Veness said the killings have shocked Exeland, a village of 219 people about 135 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

"It just doesn't happen in this neck of the woods," she said. "We don't expect any of this to happen."

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