District 1 — Ashland area
Warden Egstad received a complaint in October about 220 body-grip traps that were not recessed far enough in cubby sets in the Bayfield County Forest. Egstad found three sites where there were illegal body-grip traps set without the necessary minimum 10-inch recess from the opening of the box. Egstad explained the issues of dogs and other animals (bears, bobcats, etc.) getting caught in land-set body-grip traps, even in cubby sets. A citation was issued for trapping by illegal methods.
Warden John Krull, of Superior, worked with Minnesota conservation officers on an investigation involving a poaching case in which several bears were shot illegally on both sides of the state line.
Warden Krull issued a citation to an unlicensed septic hauler based on a complaint from DNR environmental staff.
Warden Brad Biser, of Brule, participated in the annual hunters expo at Poplar in October where there were more than 1,000 people in attendance.
District 2 — Cumberland area
No report available.
District 3 — Park Falls area
Warden Dan Michels, of Park Falls, received a complaint about someone shooting deer with a rifle out of season. Michels found the individuals had shot and recovered a 4-point buck out of season on private land. Michels will be referring the case to the Price County district attorney for prosecution.
Warden Michels investigated a complaint about an illegal feeder and contacted an individual sitting in a stand with a shotgun over an illegal bear bait after the season was closed. The bait contained illegal material, including chicken fat. Most of the bait was contained in a metal barrel and a plastic container.
Warden Ron Nerva, of Tomahawk, worked on checking high volumes of grouse hunters in October. Compliance with licensing and limits were good. Two citations were issued for no small-game license and for a loaded gun in a vehicle.
Warden Nick Nice, of Medford, received information from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department about an untagged deer in the trunk of a car at 2:30 a.m. Nice arrived at the scene and discovered the deer had been hit by the car and shot two times with arrows.
Warden Tim Otto, of Antigo, saw a person shining deer at about midnight. The man will be charged with late shining and shining deer while in possession of a firearm.
Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, seized a large 10-point buck that was killed in the town of Ogema by a resident there. The subject’s rifle and crossbow were seized. Criminal charges will be filed with the Price County district attorney’s office.
Warden Paul assisted DNR water management staff with serving a search warrant after a landowner refused to allow DNR staff access to the property to investigate numerous water regulation violations.
Warden Paul filed an accident report regarding a man who had been hunting raccoons near the town of Ogema when he accidentally shot himself in the hand while attempting to shoot a raccoon in a tree. The subject was treated and released from a hospital.
Warden Paul registered several wolves in Price County. The largest was 103 pounds.
Warden Mike Rader, of Merrill, registered six wolves harvested by hunters and trappers in October. Two of these wolves were found to have been taken illegally, and the pelts and carcasses were seized as evidence. In one case, an individual tagged a wolf he did not trap. Enforcement action was taken with the trapper and the subject who tagged the wolf.
Warden Rader investigated illegal burning at a residence in Summit Lake. The insulation and siding on the house were being replaced. Rader documented a burn pile contained insulation and aluminum. The case was referred to a DNR staff specialist, and the homeowner was told to legally dispose of the burned material.
District 4 — Woodruff area
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, investigated hunter harassment, illegal baiting, and illegal night hunting in October. He arrested a grouse hunter for possession of marijuana, prescription pills, drug paraphernalia, and illegal possession of a firearm.
An investigation by wardens Dahlquist and Crotty involving an individual who illegally trapped a wolf, badger, and bobcat resulted in a fine of more than $900 and revocation of all DNR licenses/privileges for two years.
Warden Jim Jung, of Rhinelander, gave a presentation on wolf-trapping rules to more than 50 people at an October workshop held in Rhinelander. He also attended a Woodboro town board meeting regarding a proposed ATV trail on DNR property.
Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, and recruit Jake Lassila worked fishing enforcement on area lakes, contacting numerous fall muskie anglers. Enforcement action was taken with three anglers for illegal motor trolling.
Wardens Thole and Lassila and forest ranger Mark Kubisiak investigated an illegal bait and litter violation on state property. The subject planted an illegal food plot on state land and baited prior to the legal date. He also used illegal gravity feeders the previous year that he disposed of on state land near the food plot. Enforcement action was taken for the illegal bait and littering. Two trail cameras and two gravity feeders were seized. Warnings were issued for numerous other violations.
In October, warden Tim Ebert, of Woodruff, and forest ranger Mark Kubisiak stopped a vehicle’s occupants for shining at 1:30 a.m. on the state forest. The occupants where in possession of a loaded rifle. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Ebert and Lassila investigated a case involving a vehicle that was being driven on a snowmobile trail on state land and had a bullet pass through the passenger area of the vehicle. Four people were seated inside and no one was hurt. No suspect was found.
Wardens Mike Sealander, of St. Germain, and Dave Walz, of Woodruff, assisted the Price County Sheriff’s Department with a search for a missing angler who drowned on a Price County lake. The wardens assisted on the second day by using a side-scan sonar and an underwater remotely operated vehicle to locate the person.
Warden Kelly Crotty, of Florence, reported that a trapper caught a bear cub in a coyote trap and contacted authorities for help in releasing the animal. When the trapper and a Wildlife Services trapper returned to the trap a few hours later with proper equipment to release the bear, they found someone had shot and killed the cub. It’s unknown whether it was intentional or with the mistaken idea that it was suffering and would not survive. The animal could have been released unharmed from the trap if it had been left alone. Contact your local warden or the DNR TIP line at (800) TIP-WDNR if you have information about this incident.
Warden Crotty and recruit Dustin Gabrielson investigated a complaint about a large, dead buck that was found in a field with its head removed. The investigation determined the deer was dispatched by deputies after it was struck by a vehicle. The subjects taking the deer did receive the proper car-kill permit from the Florence County Sheriff’s Department.
Wardens Crotty, Gabrielson, and Tim Price, of Eagle River, deployed a grouse decoy in an area with past road hunting violations. One subject shot at the decoy from inside his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Pat Novesky, of Three Lakes, and the Forest County Sheriff’s Department apprehended a subject who trespassed on private property by driving across a person’s lawn to shine and shoot two bucks with a .30-06 rifle at 10:30 p.m. A rifle, spotlight, and two bucks were seized. The case has been forwarded to the Forest County district attorney for charges.
District 5 — Lower St. Croix area
In Pierce County, warden Brad Peterson caught a local raccoon hunter hunting before the season and without a license. He also was found to be baiting bears illegally.
Warden Paul Sickman, of Hudson, contacted a squirrel hunter on public land during the youth deer season dressed in camo. The hunter was in possession of two dead squirrels, but had no license. A citation was issued for no license, as was a warning for blaze orange. Both squirrels were seized.
Warden Sickman completed an investigation stemming from individuals operating as hunting guides, but were unlicensed. Numerous citations were issued to 14 people from this investigation, which mainly included violations for failure to register turkeys and failure to report goose harvests.
Warden James Cleven, of Colfax, contacted a male subject operating a truck off-road while shining deer and drinking beer. His driver’s license was revoked for past OWI violations. The subject was turned over to a deputy, who issued a citation for operating after revocation.
Warden Cleven also issued citations for hunting pheasants without a license and stamp and for harvesting wild ginseng without a license.
Warden Wayne Flak, of Menomonie, responded to an EMS call on the Red Cedar Bike Trail. He also assisted in investigating a fatal UTV crash that occurred in Eau Galle.
District 6 — Eau Claire area
Warden Adam Hanna, of Neillsville, and Clark County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Kent Wright responded to an incident in which a deer had entangled its antlers and legs in about 100 yards of fence webbing. Hanna was able to hold the buck down while Wright cut the webbing off of the deer, which promptly made its way back to the woods.
In October, warden Hanna received numerous good tips from trappers. In one instance, Hanna was able to solve a littering case thanks to information from a trapper. In another case, untagged traps and traps with sight-exposed bait were referred to Hanna.
Warden Scott Thiede, of Eau Claire, arrested a motorboat operator at the Indian Hills Drive access on Lake Altoona. The boater admitted drinking alcohol.
Warden Ken Thomson, of Fall Creek, worked with the Fall Creek High School technical education class to build collection boxes for donated deer hides at Eau Claire County deer carcass dump stations. The hides offset the cost of the dumpsters. The past few years, several hides have been stolen from the boxes. Bush Brothers Beans donated two large plastic totes, and the class worked on theft-proof designs for the boxes. The successful project was completed, and boxes will be placed at the two locations.
While investigating a complaint about a fisher that was shot in a foot-hold trap and left, warden Thomson encountered a different trapper who reported the theft of a wolf trap. Thomson located ATV tracks in the area and located a bowhunter who’d taken the trap. Enforcement action was taken.
While en route home after working a night deer-shooting case, warden Thomson found several cows on a highway during the early morning hours. Thomson was able to make contact with the sleeping farmer and assist him in getting the cows back in the fence.
District 7 — Wisconsin Rapids area
Warden Barry Fetting, of Marshfield, located an illegal bait and a treestand that was left on state property for several days. The hunter had nailed a peanut butter jar to a tree for bait and placed apples and carrots on the ground. Upon contact, the jar had been removed. The hunter said he threw it in the river because he had seen Fetting’s truck. Enforcement action was taken.
While working waterfowl hunters, warden Fetting observed two hunters in the marsh who had fired several times. One of the hunters fired four shots in succession. Later, the same individual shot at four minutes, then 27 minutes after the close of hours. On shore, the hunters were issued citations and warnings for no plug, no federal stamp, and operating a boat without PFDs.
Wardens Fetting and Lottig received a call that a trapper found a cub bear in one of his fox sets near City Point. A large sow and two other cubs were near the trapped cub, and the sow was aggressive. Wardens Fetting, Lottig, and Kurt Hass, of Jackson County, responded, as did Wildlife Services specialist Barry Benson. The wardens and Benson used their vehicles to surround the cub while Benson administered tranquilizers. The bear was tagged and released without incident.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, and recruit Brandon Smith investigated complaints about late hunting, discharging firearms within 100 yards of a home, illegal baiting, manure pit breach, and illegal trapping.
Wardens Leezer and Smith contacted a waterfowl hunter in the Mead State Wildlife Area who was hunting without a license, state waterfowl stamp, and HIP certification.
Wardens Leezer and Smith stopped a vehicle’s occupants for shining after legal shining hours. The driver had a 9mm handgun. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Leezer and Smith contacted a group of hunters on public hunting grounds. One subject had a loaded .22 rifle in the truck. Two other subjects were found to have been shining wild animals while coyote hunting the previous night. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ben Herzfeldt, of Schofield, worked several cases of late waterfowl shooting on Lake Wausau in October. One group shot 28 minutes after hours. They also had no PFDs in their canoe and one hunter didn’t have a plug in his shotgun. The next evening, Herzfeldt had a different group of hunters shoot 29 minutes after legal hours. Six citations were issued, and the overbagged ducks were seized.
Warden Herzfeldt closed out a joint investigation with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department regarding timber theft, ATV trespass, and trail camera theft in the Hatley area. A suspect was cited for timber theft and ATV trespass.
Warden Jon Scharbarth, of Stevens Point, received multiple complaints in different areas of Portage County regarding the dumping of animal carcasses. In one case, more than 60 ducks and geese were scattered along the side of a road.
Wardens Jon Scharbarth and recruit Josh Loining recovered an ATV that had been stolen from Wisconsin Rapids.
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, contacted archery hunters hunting over illegal bait. He also contacted three duck hunters hunting well after hours on the Mead Wildlife Area. Enforcement action was taken.
District 8 — La Crosse area
Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and supervisor Tyler Strelow worked waterfowl hunting enforcement on Lake Onalaska in October. They discovered several violations, including overbagging on ducks, failure to validate a goose harvest permit, unplugged shotguns, and unsigned federal stamps.
Warden Hochhausen and recruit Lee Posusta contacted one licensed ginseng harvester selling ginseng to a ginseng dealer and another unlicensed ginseng harvester. They interviewed the individuals and determined the licensed person was selling ginseng that both he and the unlicensed person had harvested. The wardens seized the ginseng, records, and check. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, and recruit Lynna Gurnoe received information about an illegal bait site for deer. They documented the evidence. While investigating the complaint, they located a marijuana grow on the property. Information was passed along to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies later arrested the subject and found a house full of marijuana plants that were processed for distribution. The charges for illegal bait are pending.
Wardens Edward McCann, of La Crosse, and Chris Shea, of Trempealeau, checked waterfowl hunters in October who thought they had shot two limits of snipe, but, to their dismay, the birds were actually dowitchers – protected shorebirds. Citations were issued.
Warden Edward McCann attended federal court in Madison, where a Wisconsin-Minnesota corporation was convicted of violating the Lacey Act and was ordered to pay $100,000 in penalties and exit the wild ginseng trade for two years. McCann and special agent Jagodzinski, of the USFWS, were able to show that the business bought wild ginseng from individuals who the business owner knew needed to have harvest licenses prior to harvesting and selling the ginseng. The business owner then falsified official documents to transport that ginseng across state lines.
Warden Cody Adams, of Crawford County, and recruit Nick Wallor conducted surveillance regarding a complaint of illegal traps that had no identification tags. Wallor conducted surveillance of the traps while waiting for the traps to be checked. When a subject checked traps in a nearby field, the wardens found identical coon traps with no identification tags. The trapper was identified, and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, while working waterfowl enforcement in October, found three individuals hunting without licenses, hunting in a closed area, hunting with an unplugged shotgun, operating a motorboat without navigation lights, failing to have PFDs, and littering beer cans. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Chris Shea, of Trempealeau, investigated a complaint involving an archery deer hunter illegally feeding and baiting deer. Shea found the hunter to be hunting over too much bait, using an illegal gravity feeder, trespassing, and operating an unregistered UTV. Enforcement action was taken.
District 9 — Black River Falls area
No report available.
District 10 — Wautoma area
Warden Nate Ackerman, of Berlin, and supervisor Carl Mesman, of Wautoma, checked fishermen on Green Lake in September. Ackerman contacted multiple subjects fishing without licenses.
Warden Ackerman and recruit Nick Wallor checked a fish live box near River Road. The live box contained two short flathead catfish. They also found a deer head that was in the water and tied to the dock. The dock owner was in possession of the short flathead, and his adult son was the owner of the deer head. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ackerman contacted a hunter hunting over an illegal bait in September (5 gallons of apples, 3 gallons of acorns, and a large mineral block).
Warden Judi Nigbor, of Montello, contacted an individual hunting from an elevated stand on private land on the opening day of the archery deer season. The subject was illegally hunting over bait with a shotgun loaded with slugs.
Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, contacted two subjects at a state wildlife area loading their truck with wood. The men did not have authorization to take the wood and intended to use it to heat their cabin. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Schraufnagel checked some waterfowl hunters as they returned to shore in September. One of the hunters never unloaded his firearm while motoring to the landing. The hunters had shot two birds but they did not know what they were. One was a gadwall and the other was a grebe, a protected species. Enforcement action was taken for shooting a protected species.
Warden Schraufnagel was working waterfowl hunting enforcement on the Wolf River when he heard shots nearby, 15 minutes after closing. He located the responsible hunters shooting at wood ducks.
Warden Ben Mott, of Wautoma, responded to a call that an individual had driven around the gate at Mecan Springs – a no-entry waterfowl refuge during the season. Mott found a man and his elderly father fishing from the boat landing. The individual admitted he was wrong, but stated his father was sick and could not walk far from the truck and all he wanted to do was take his father fishing somewhere he could access. Mott issued a warning and gave suggestions for legal shore-fishing locations.
Warden Mike Young, of Shiocton, tagged 10 bucks with velvet antlers for bowhunters in September.
Warden Young contacted a waterfowl hunter who was in possession of lead shot. When asked if he had ever been issued a DNR citation, the subject said, “You gave me a ticket two years ago for lead shot.” Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ted Dremel, of Waupaca, worked the northern waterfowl opener. He also addressed hunter crowding and conflicts between two groups of hunters.