Wisconsin Cuffs & Collars – September 20th, 2013
Editor’s note: Readers may have noticed that in the past three issues – including this issue – the nature of the Cuffs and Collars reporting has changed. That is due to the DNR using a new “delivery” system to submit monthly conservation warden field reports to our news desk. In the past, we were able to run reports from all of the northern teams in one issue, and the southern teams in another issue. Now we are running the reports that are available as of the press deadline for each issue. Readers also have noticed that we are running fewer reports than we have in the past. That, too, is a result of the new system the DNR is using to submit the monthly reports. Please bear with us as we work with the agency to improve the new reporting system so that at some point we can return to the depth and breadth of the former reporting system.
District 1 — Ashland area
Wardens from the Ashland Team bordering Lake Superior participated in “Operation Peeking Duck,” a port security full-scale exercise with the U.S. Coast Guard from Duluth and many other state and federal agencies in the Twin Ports area.
During July and August, wardens Jill Schartner and Keith Meverden worked enforcement in southern Bayfield County conducting fishing, boating, ATV, and bear-hunting enforcement. They issued citations and warnings to people for fishing without licenses, boating without the required number of life jackets, failing to have a fire extinguisher, failing to cover battery terminals, operating ATVs without registration, allowing an underage person to operate a boat and ATV, and trailing black bears with too many dogs.
Ashland team wardens worked an aquatic invasive species group check on Lake Superior landings to educate boaters about keeping boats, trailers, and equipment clean of invasive aquatic plants and draining water from boats, livewells, and bait buckets.
In August, wardens Schartner, Heisler, Little, and Meverden spent two weekends putting on a Learn to Hunt bear program. The first weekend included a six-hour training/classroom session in which these new bear hunters were taught the ins and outs of bear hunting, with the assistance of 16 mentor groups. The hunters also were taken to a gun range where they received treestand safety instructions. They all returned two weekends later for a four-day hunt, some sitting over baits while others with the bear-dog hunters. Everyone met at warden Schartner’s home for a dinner where they shared their bear-hunting experiences. Nine of the 13 hunters shot a bear. Everyone had an enjoyable learning experience.
Warden Brad Biser, of Brule, organized an LTH bear program for five youths who attended a training day and enjoyed presentations from a DNR biologist who explained bear biology.
Wardens Lance Burns, Dave Oginski, and Dave Swanson responded to a request for assistance from Douglas and Washburn counties in the apprehension of an armed and dangerous subject on the run after a burglary and high-speed chase. The subject was taken into custody.
Wardens Egstad, Burns, and Kyle Plautz (recruit) were working Lake Superior fish refuges on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Several boaters were contacted while fishing inside the refuge line by “the flats” and issued citations for the violation. One boater was cited for failing to register a sailboat he was sailing, and an angler was cited for failing to register his motorized dinghy.
District 4 — Woodruff area
Warden Pat Novesky, of Three Lakes, investigated an incident in which an eagle with a trap on its leg was caught in a tree at a youth camp. The bird was rescued by wildlife rehabilitators. The trap was removed from the eagle’s leg, and the eagle will be treated and released into the wild. The responsible party was identified, and enforcement action was taken due to a violation.
Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, and recruit warden Bryan Harrenstein worked boat OWI enforcement on Lake Minocqua after a complaint was received. A boat was observed being operated an hour after sunset without lights and while towing three water skiers. The local municipal boat patrol had warned the group for this activity in the past. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Thole, Harrenstein, and Mike Sealander, of St. Germain, along with wildlife biologist Michele Woodford, the Boulder Junction Shooting Range, and the National Archery in the Schools program of De Pere, held an LTH bear hunt in Vilas County. Four novice hunters participated in the event. Two of the young hunters shot bears with their bows and one with a firearm. One hunter shot a 305-pound bear with her bow.
Warden Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, responded to several complaints of PWCers operating at greater than no-wake speed within 200 feet of shore or 100 feet of another boat. Ebert provided presentations to boating safety and hunter safety courses, in addition to conducting an investigation into a boat crash on Lake Minocqua involving two boats.
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, contacted anglers and ATV operators in August. Enforcement action was taken for possession of panfish over the daily bag limit and operating an ATV without required headgear. Dahlquist also took enforcement action against a crayfish trapper for trapping with illegally marked traps and selling crayfish as bait without a valid license.
Warden Dahlquist assisted Forest County deputies with a search for an armed suspect following a confrontation near Long Lake.
Warden Dahlquist gave two hunter safety presentations to approximately 50 students in Mole Lake and Stone Lake.
Wardens Dahlquist and Kelly Crotty worked an archery shooting station for the “National Night Out” youth event held at the Forest County Sheriff’s Department in Crandon.
Warden Tim Price, of Eagle River, spoke to 14 trappers/future trappers at a trapper education camp held in Eagle River. Price discussed the regulations, along with various aspects of trapping, with the students.
District 11 — Peshtigo area
Warden Jim Horne, of Shawano, received a call about someone shooting geese on Shawano Lake. Shawano County deputies responded and provided Horne a report of the incident. The man was upset about the geese soiling his yard. He admitted it was not a good decision since the geese were shot out of season. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden David Oginski Jr., of Wausaukee, arrested a UTV operator for operating in the incorrect lane of traffic while intoxicated. The operator did not want to perform field sobriety tests or give a sample of his breath, but the operator was adamant that he was intoxicated and had too much to drink.
Warden Oginski gave a presentation for the Northeast Region Alcohol Assessors at Fox Valley Technical College regarding recreational vehicle OWI laws and penalties, along with the new seated battery of Standardized Field Sobriety Tasks.
Warden Joe Paul, of Lakewood, held an LTH bear hunt for the recipient of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation bear tag. The hunter was successful on his second outing on the Thunder Mountain Ranch.
Wardens Mike Stahl, of Oconto Falls, and Jonah Lottig, of Madison, had contact with a fisherman on Shawano Lake who was in possession of possible synthetic drugs, and his female companion did not have a fishing license. Information was relayed to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department and the Bonduel Police Department. The subject later was confronted at his residence and became unruly. Several criminal charges were filed, along with possession of an illegal controlled substance.
Wardens Stahl and Lottig received a call from the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department regarding a deer acting strangely. The buck was walking in circles and allowing people to touch it. The wardens decided to euthanize the deer and send in for testing. The symptoms suggest possible brainworm disease.
Wardens Stahl and Lottig assisted with the Green Bay Duck Hunters Association Youth Waterfowl Day at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Brown County. They discussed boating safety and duck-hunting regulations.
Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, organized an ATV group check with the Green Bay and Peshtigo teams in Marinette and Oconto counties during the Labor Day weekend. Numerous ATV operators were contacted, resulting in citations and multiple warnings for excessive speeds, operating without an ATV safety certificate, and careless operation.
District 12 — Green Bay area and Northeast Operations Marine Unit
Warden Cara Kamke, of Green Bay, investigated a case in which a landowner was placing pesticide on the ground in dishes, allegedly to kill raccoons that were invading his garden. Kamke did find the pesticide, but did not find any sign that animals had been killed from the pesticide. One citation was issued for placing a pesticide contrary to label instructions, and cleanup of the pesticide was required.
Warden Andy Lundin, of Green Bay, has received repeated complaints about excessive waves thrown by wake-boarding boats, causing damage to property and shorelines. The complaints are generally in narrower and more populated areas of the Fox River in Brown County. Boaters are reminded they can be cited for damage and injury they cause.
Regional warden Byron Goetsch, of Green Bay, joined other National Archery in the Schools Program instructors to introduce people attending the Wisconsin State Fair to the sport of archery.
Regional warden Goetsch worked with warden Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, on Green Bay during Labor Day weekend, checking for compliance with fishing, boating, and AIS regulations. The compliance level was high.
Warden Kyle Lynch, of Kewaunee, received a complaint about trash in a DNR parking lot in Kewaunee County. Lynch was able to track down the individual who had deposited the trash. The individual was issued a citation for littering.
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, issued a citation to a Green Bay-area man after he allowed his 11-year-old son to operate an ATV, which resulted in the ATV striking a parked truck in Sturgeon Bay.
Warden Kratcha was deployed to the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee to work the warden exhibit for two days.
District 15 — Milwaukee area
Warden Doug Zeihen assisted the “wingshooting for migratory birds” volunteer instructors with their first clinics in August.
For the past couple of years, warden Zeihen has worked with the Waukesha Women’s Sporting Group. This year, Zeihen and warden Kyle Drake conducted an internet hunter education class for that group and any other females who would like a female-only class. The field day/testing day took place at Wern Valley Sportsmen’s Club.
Warden Kaitlin Kernosky has had complaints about bus companies discharging sewage into the parking lot of Miller Park during special events. Kernosky and Milwaukee Police Department Officer Art Kleist received a complaint during a concert and were able to substantiate the complaint. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Kernosky, Gervis Myles, and Brandon Leis assisted the Milwaukee Police Department in recovering the body of an individual who drowned in the Milwaukee River.
Wardens Groppi, Leis, and Reed assisted with the Lake Beulah tie-up and arrested one boater for OWI.
District 16 — Racine, Kenosha area
Wardens Isaac Kruse, of Racine County, and John Sinclair conducted sportfishing enforcement on Lake Michigan. They contacted numerous boaters and issued several citations for violations including fishing without a license and fishing with excess hooks.
Warden Kruse conducted an interview with a suspect regarding illegal taxidermy work. The individual took his deer head to a friend to have it made into a mount. It was found that the person doing the taxidermy work has been doing it for several years and collecting money for his services without having a taxidermy license.
Wardens Kruse, Mike Hirschboeck, and Juan Gomez worked a complaint of individuals shooting mourning doves during the closed season. Three individuals were observed using shotguns to shoot at a flock of doves. The group was contacted by the wardens. Gomez translated the conversation, as most of the group members did not speak English. Three individuals were cited for hunting doves during the closed season.
Warden Hirschboeck, of Racine County, located a large discarded safe on state land. The safe was closed and locked, with no signs of being broken into. Hirschboeck contacted an investigator. The investigator contacted Hirschboeck the following day and stated that a burglary was reported the evening after the wardens located the safe. Racine County deputies arrested the suspect three days later on a search warrant.
Warden Hirschboeck responded to complaints of shingles being dumped, wetland violations, captive wildlife, car-killed deer violations, and injured wildlife. Hirschboeck issued citations for fishing without a license, hunting doves during the closed season, and hunting migratory birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shot shells, and also gave warnings.
Warden John Sinclair, of Kenosha, attended the Twin Lakes National Night Out and brought warden equipment (including two snowmobiles) to show to area residents. Sinclair answered questions at the event. Sinclair and recreational safety warden Kyle Drake checked two sport trollers on Lake Michigan, and found the two subjects to be fishing with 13 lures at once. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Gomez, of Walworth County, organized the Lake Beulah OWI group check. There were 10 arrests made for boating OWI. The wardens worked with AIS staff and East Troy police during this event. The wardens had the DNR trailer to help process OWIs. An AIS sign was used to remind boaters to remove weeds from their boats.
District 17 — Madison area
Wardens Boyd Richter and Mike Dieckhoff, of Janesville, worked boating and fishing enforcement on the Rock River on Labor Day weekend. Numerous warnings were given for boating and fishing violations. Citations were issued for fishing without licenses, personal watercraft violations, and fishing with unattended lines.
Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Green County, Dieckhoff, Henry Bauman, and Jake Donar, of Madison, helped with a group check along the Sugar River in Green County related to the tubing issues in the Albany area. The Green County Sheriff’s Department assisted. Efforts were made to curb some of the drug and littering issues in that area.
Wardens Dieckhoff, Nate Kroeplin, Bauman, Dilley, Donar, and Ryan Ellifson, of Jefferson, along with deputy wardens Horton, Koscher, Christorf, and Nehls, participated in two group checks for illegal activities at Mazomanie Beach. Many citations were issued, as well as many warnings, for various violations.