Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 26, 2018

November field reports

District 3 — Park Falls area

Wardens Dan Michels, of Park Falls, and Jason Roberts, of Walworth County, responded to a call from the Price County Sheriff’s Department regarding a lost hunter at about 11 p.m. on opening day of gun season. The 62-year-old male was hunting a large remote tract on the Flambeau River State Forest with temperatures dropping into the teens. The hunter was found in good condition at about 3 a.m., two miles into the woods from where he parked.

Wardens Michels and Roberts responded to a call of a rifle shot heard after hours the previous evening. Michels and Roberts discovered an antlerless deer hanging in a shed at a residence. The suspect said he shot the deer in Price County the previous day with the intent to register the deer with a tag from another county. The contact also led the wardens to another hunter who shot a buck fawn and registered it as an antlered buck.

Warden supervisor Scott Bowe, of Ladysmith, was called to private land in November to investigate a complaint. Bowe addressed a minor blaze orange violation and was leaving the property when he observed evidence of a suspicious dead deer and other violations. Bowe found an individual hiding in a camper who had three warrants for his arrest. Bowe discovered that he had been hunting squirrels without a license. Bowe also discovered that a deer had been killed days earlier with archery equipment. The deer was not registered.

While checking ice fishermen on the Chippewa Flowage, warden Thomas Heisler, of Winter, and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission warden Lauren Touri contacted an individual with a body-only warrant for child support. The same individual had a marijuana pipe in his possession. The individual was taken into custody by deputies.

Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, received information in November regarding a felon hunting deer with a firearm. The subject was located walking out of the woods without a firearm. The hunter claimed he was just scouting. Paul located the subject’s firearm hidden under balsam trees. The subject was arrested and taken to the county jail where he was charged with possessing a firearm as a felon, hunting deer without a gun deer license, and obstructing a warden.

Warden Paul received information about a subject who killed a doe without a license. Paul located the subject who killed the doe during the bow season and used his friend’s doe authorization to legitimize the harvest. The two subjects did not register the deer.

Warden Paul received information about a large amount of corn placed for deer hunting. He located the subject and learned that he had placed about 90 gallons over two weekends.

Warden Paul received information regarding gravity feeders placed on a newly purchased property. Paul checked the property, but did not locate the feeders. Paul later contacted the landowner, who admitted to placing the feeders after Paul checked the property. The gravity feeders were removed. The landowner was also ordered to remove a bulldozer he had sunk in the swamp behind his camp.

District 12 — Green Bay area and Northeast Operations Marine Unit 

Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, received a complaint regarding two individuals who were hunting in the refuge on the Collins Marsh State Wildlife Area during the waterfowl season. Due to details provided by the citizen, Neff-Miller was able to make contact with the hunters, who had already left the area. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Neff-Miller received a call regarding two individuals who were hunting ducks on the West Twin River in Two Rivers. It was reported the hunters were shooting from the boat with the motor running and the boat still moving. Contact was made with the hunters and enforcement action was taken.

Warden supervisor George Protogere, of Green Bay, and warden David Allen, of Mishicot, worked on a case dealing with an archery hunter shooting two trophy bucks during the bow season. The hunter did shoot a buck in October and then a second buck in early November. The second buck was registered by another hunter illegally.

Northeast Marine Enforcement Unit

Wardens Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, and Phil Brown were checking perch fishermen when one made a comment of someone leaving with almost a limit. The identity of the individual was learned and that person had been observed earlier in the day with more fish, which put him over his daily limit. The individual also possessed about 2,000 perch in his freezer. Enforcement action taken.

Warden Allen contacted a grandfather teaching his young grandson how to fish. Unfortunately, the grandson was just inside the Kewaunee River fish refuge. Allen educated the young fisherman and grandfather of the refuge boundaries, as it was their first time fishing on the Kewaunee River.

Wardens Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, and Mike Neal, of Sister Bay, responded to a call from a ranger at Peninsula State Park about an individual in camo with a rifle entering the closed area. The wardens could not locate the individual. Later, Resop made contact with an individual and arrested the person for bail jumping. The individual was hunting with a muzzleloader while having a prohibition from possessing any firearms or other weapons.

District 13 — Oshkosh area

Wardens Michael Disher and Curt Butler investigated a case involving family members loaning and borrowing archery deer tags. A father shot a buck and had his son tag and register the deer. The wife/mother then bought an archery license to provide a tag for a buck that was later shot by her son. The woman then registered her son’s deer. This was done so the father and son could continue hunting bucks during the rut. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Disher and Butler worked deer shining activity during the gun deer season. At 10:40 p.m., a vehicle was observed driving slowly and a spotlight was seen illuminating deer in several fields. A traffic stop revealed a suspect who was a felon and on probation.

Warden Thomas Sturdivant, of Neenah, and supervisor Christopher Shea, of Oshkosh, contacted the occupants of a truck after they completed their hunt in Winnebago County. There was a loaded rifle in the vehicle and a mentored hunting violation. The parent allowed the youngster, who had not completed a hunter safety class, to hunt alone. A mentored hunting license requires the mentor to be within arms-reach of the mentee.

Wardens Sturdivant and Cara Kamke, of Appleton, received a call of waterfowl hunters hunting from a breakwater on Lake Winnebago. Waterfowl hunters are prohibited from hunting from any pier, dock, dam, breakwater, or similar artificial structures. One of the waterfowl hunters was hunting without a small game license.

District 14 — Sheboygan area

Wardens William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, and Tyler Flood, of Sheboygan, investigated multiple complaints regarding hunters overbagging on pheasants on the Eldorado State Wildlife Area. Hankee observed suspicious activity from a hunter and Flood followed up with a hunter check in the field. Prior to the contact, the suspect dropped a pheasant in the bushes in an attempt to conceal evidence of being over-possession. Flood located the still-warm pheasant after the contact. Hankee later contacted the suspect who had dropped the pheasant and was over possession. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Flood investigated a call of two people shooting too close to the road at a pheasant. Flood located shell casings that were less than 50 feet from the center of the road, as well as less than 100 yards from two houses. He contacted the suspects and enforcement action was taken.

Warden supervisor Juan Gomez and warden Flood assisted the Waldo Fire Department and Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department in searching for a missing suicidal person in the town of Waldo. The wardens used a mud motor boat to search along the Onion River while K-9 units searched the land.

District 15 — Milwaukee area

No report available.

District 16 — Racine, Kenosha area

Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Jen Burrow-Niemeyer, Josh Litvinoff and Robin Miller investigated an incident where a subject was found to have cut the lock on a gate at the New Munster State Wildlife Area. The subject went off-roading and did damage to crops belonging to a local farmer. The subject also deposited a couch on the property.

Warden Brad Latza, of Racine, received a complaint of 330 body-grip traps set on dry land. Wardens Latza and Hirschboeck investigated the complaint. It was found that the individual had placed the traps on dry land knowing that it was illegal.

Wardens Mike Hirschboeck, of Waterford, and Josh Litvinoff were checking small game hunters on public land in Racine County. They came in contact with a pheasant hunter who was hunting on state lands. It was found the hunter had several active warrants and was also in possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

District 17 — Madison area

Wardens Boyd Richter and Henry Bauman, both of Madison, investigated a complaint of individuals hunting over multiple mineral baits. They contacted two hunters in the area and were able to determine the person responsible for placing the minerals.

Warden Bauman and supervisor Nate Kroeplin responded to a complaint and contacted an individual believed to have shot two does after hunting hours on private property.

While responding to a call of shining in the pre-dawn hours, warden Jake Donar and deputy warden Degroff, both of Dane County, at 5:45 a.m. observed a vehicle stop on the road and shine deer in a field. The wardens stopped the vehicle and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Ryan Caputo and Drew Starch, both of Madison, contacted an individual who was suspected of shooting a large buck over bait. The person was found to have shot the deer over bait, and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Caputo and Pearl Worden, and recruit Drew Starch, found that a person tagged an archery buck he shot with his son’s tag. The individual also did the same the year before with a spike he shot and tagged with his dad’s tag. Also during the previous season he shot an additional buck after the spike.

Wardens Caputo and Starch contacted two men who were related and believed to have shot after hours. After the contact was made, the wardens’ investigation showed one individual shot a second buck during gun season and tagged it with his wife’s tag, and she is not a hunter. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, received a call about a hunter shooting a deer 25 minutes past shooting time on property adjacent to DNR land. Nadolski found the subject coming off another neighboring landowner’s property. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden supervisor Kroeplin and deputy warden Nathan Degroff received a complaint about an individual shooting at a deer 12 minutes after shooting time in Columbia County. The wardens were able to get to the location before the hunter left the area.

District 18 — Poynette area

No report available.

District 19 — Dodgeville area

Wardens Mike Nice, of Richland Center, helped connect hunters who had extra deer with people in the community wanting deer. Nice was able to get 10 deer to people who wanted deer. Many of these people were older current and former hunters. Some of the landowners willingly harvested extra antlerless deer for these people they otherwise would not have shot.

Wardens Al Erickson, of Iowa County, and Alex Brooks, of Baraboo, investigated a baiting complaint on private land in the town of Dodgeville in Iowa County. The suspect shot a doe and buck over an illegally placed bait. His adult son also harvested two does over the bait. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Erickson and Brooks investigated a complaint of a hunter who had shot a doe across a road in southwest Iowa County. The hunter was identified and it was determined he shot his rifle across a roadway to harvest a doe during the gun-deer season. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Marty Stone, of Fennimore, and John Moore, of Fort McCoy, located a hunter on state land who was arrested for possessing a firearm by a felon. The same individual also received enforcement action concerning his use of illegal bait, illegal treestands and trail cameras, cutting shooting lanes on state land, failing to register deer, purchasing an improper license, operating a vehicle after revocation, and operating a vehicle with expired registration.

Wardens Nick Webster, of Iowa County, and Pat Seybert investigated a man who shot a large buck from the road in Lafayette County. The 180-inch buck ran across the roadway in front of the man a minute after shooting hours. While standing at the edge of a paved road, he shot the buck as it was cresting the hill. The man later stated that he had permission to hunt the property the buck was on and that he could possibly have had a chance to legally harvest the buck later in the season, but he blamed his decisions at that time on buck fever.

Sauk County team

While working gun deer enforcement on opening weekend of the gun-deer season, warden Sean Neverman, of Prairie du Sac, and warden supervisor Michael Green, of Baraboo, were investigating a baiting violation. While contacting multiple hunters, the wardens saw a hunter appearing to make a quick exit back to a cabin. The hunter was contacted and found to have hid his firearm prior to contact. The non-resident hunter was hunting deer without a license.

Wardens Neverman and Green responded to, and assisted, with a search and rescue on the Wisconsin River near Spring Green. A hunter was traveling down the river when his boat capsized. The hunter went into the river and was eventually able to make it to shore and call for help. The hunter was located and treated for hypothermia.

Warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Sauk City, received a call from a Baraboo resident stating they were concerned about a blue heron. The resident stated the blue heron was in the backyard of their neighbor’s home, and it had not moved in a while. The resident said their dogs ran up to the bird, but it did not move or fly away. A short while later, the resident called and stated the blue heron was not sick or injured – it was a statue.

Warden Kretschmer received a complaint of several trees being cut and used to build a shelter at Abelman’s Gorge State Natural Area. Kretschmer observed there were several trees cut and they were used to build a shelter. There was a tent, chairs, table, and several tools in the shelter. A short while later, two males were seen walking toward the shelter and one male was carrying an axe. Upon contact, the males were found in the shelter and a Sauk County Sheriff’s Department deputy and the warden could smell an odor of burnt marijuana. One male admitted to cutting down trees and building the shelter.

Wardens Kretschmer and Keith Meverden, of Sauk City, observed ATV/UTV tracks on the 400 Trail west of Reedsburg. Tracks led to a property north of the trail where they found a camera pointing at a salt lick by a tower stand. There were two men in blaze orange in the treestand with two firearms. One male had a gun deer license; the other said he was not hunting. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kretschmer received a call of two males hunting on property where they did not have permission, and they were not wearing blaze orange. Upon contact, the men stated they were tracking a deer and they did not ask permission to go on their neighbor’s property. When asked about why they weren’t wearing blaze orange, they said they forgot to put it on. Enforcement action was taken.

Rock River team
Dodge/Jefferson/Rock counties

Warden Pearl Wallace, of Watertown, investigated a complaint about an individual who shot and failed to retrieve an antlerless deer on private land in the town of Koshkonong. It was determined the individual failed to register a different antlerless deer shot on opening day, then shot another antlerless deer mid-week without having a valid carcass tag. The individual did not make every reasonable effort to retrieve the second antlerless deer. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, and warden supervisor John Sinclair, of Lake Mills, investigated a shoot-from-the-road complaint. The suspect is alleged to have observed a deer in a field on private land, exited his vehicle, and discharged his rifle from the side of the road.

Warden Pearl Wallace investigated a complaint of illegal baiting on private land in the town of Milford. Several bushels of shelled corn had been deposited in front of a box blind on the property. On opening morning of the gun season, the responsible party was contacted while hunting from the blind.

Warden Wallace responded to an in-progress complaint about three hunters entering the Koshkonong State Wildlife Area dressed in full camouflage during the gun-deer season. Wallace located the hunters in the woods and accompanied them back to their vehicle. All three knew a gun-deer season was in progress. The hunters were squirrel hunting and stated they wanted the camouflage advantage.

Warden April Dombrowski, of Madison, and warden supervisor John Sinclair, of Lake Mills, investigated a complaint of illegal deer baiting in Dodge County. The wardens were able to locate a subject hunting over a large corn bait pile on the opening day of gun deer season. The bait was found to be in excess of two gallons, making it an illegal bait pile.

December field reports

District 1 — Ashland area

Warden Matt MacKenzie, of Ashland, had a call about an injured swan that did not migrate and was being seen on thin ice as Lake Superior began to freezer over.  MacKenzie located the swan one day and managed to capture it. He transferred it wildlife personnel and the swan went on to a rehabilitator. The outcome for the swan looks good, with hopes for a spring release.

Warden MacKenzie and supervisor David Oginski observed a hunter in camouflage during the December antlerless gun-deer season. Contact was made and the hunter was found hunting with a crossbow, but did not possess a crossbow license, as required. The hunter did not have a valid tag for the season that was open.

Warden John Krull, of Superior, after receiving a report in December about a large pile of butchered deer parts in a field, located several untagged and otherwise illegal snares nearby. Krull’s investigation showed a neighboring landowner was identified as a suspect and placed the snares to avoid having a trapping license.

Warden Adam Stennett, of Brule, investigated a complaint of illegal dumping on Bayfield County Forest property in the Iron River area. Stennett was able to contact a suspect who dumped his household garbage.

Warden Stennett, with assistance from DNR wardens and an Illinois conservation officer, closed an illegal deer case from the 2017 gun season. Stennett took enforcement action against two hunters for harvesting an antlerless deer in Douglas County without having a proper tag, for registration violations, and for purchasing resident licenses as non-residents.

District 2 — Cumberland area

Wardens Peter Carlson, of Frederic, and Pete Wetzel, of Amery, made contact with an individual who was hunting coyotes. The man was found to have a loaded firearm inside his vehicle. The man admitted he would have shot a coyote as it ran across the road or on private property he did not have permission to be on.

While on patrol in December, warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, observed numerous tip-ups on Shell Lake with no individuals around. Hagen inspected the area and while checking the tip-ups was contacted by a fisherman who drove out to the location on an ATV. The subject stated he had fished all night with his kids and ended up leaving the ice to go to a Christmas play.  Enforcement action was taking against the individual for fishing with unattended lines, fishing with too many lines, having too many fish, possessing illegal-sized fish, and for fishing without a license.

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