District 1 — Ashland area
Warden Matt MacKenzie, of Ashland, issued several warnings for fishing violations in May, and citations for fishing in a refuge and for fishing without licenses or stamps.
Warden John Krull, of Superior, was requested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the recovery of a stolen motorcycle used in a fleeing incident. The suspect had driven off the road and onto a rough ATV trail to elude deputies. The motorcycle had been intentionally driven into and was submerged in a beaver pond. Krull used his ATV to recover the motorcycle, which was in about 4 feet of water.
Wardens Lynna Gurnoe and Amie Egstad, both of Bayfield, were on patrol near Bladder Lake when they observed an individual riding an ATV without headlights on, as required by law. The wardens also learned from the operator that the trail pass sticker was expired. Enforcement action was taken.
District 5 — Lower St. Croix area
Warden Kyle Kosin, of Ellsworth, contacted two individuals coming off of the Mississippi River in May with four illegal-sized walleyes, and another on the St. Croix River in possession of a short smallmouth bass. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden J.J. Redemann, of Durand, and warden Isaac Kruse, of Baldwin, worked boating enforcement on the Chippewa River in Durand on Memorial Day weekend. While at the city landing, the wardens saw a canoer bathing in the river in view of Hwy. 10 motorists. The wardens referred the disorderly conduct complaint to the Durand Police Department.
Warden Jim Cleven, of Colfax, retrieved a yearling bear that had been killed by a car along a state highway. Cleven gave the bear to the Colfax High School biology class for educational purposes.
District 7 — Wisconsin Rapids area
Warden Barry Fetting, of Marshfield, investigated a complaint that an individual had been servicing grease traps in the Wisconsin Rapids area without a license. This activity is regulated to ensure proper handling and disposal of waste. Fetting located the responsible party, who was found to have serviced area businesses without a license and had not disposed of the waste in accordance with the law. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Paul Leezer, of Wausau, and Fetting contacted two anglers along the Eau Claire Flowage near Wausau. Upon contact, both anglers stated that they had purchased fishing licenses earlier in the day, but had left them at their residence when they came out to fish. The two subjects said they would return home to retrieve the licenses and come back to show the wardens. The two subjects were found to have bought fishing licenses from a hardware store 15 minutes later. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Ben Herzfeldt, of Schofield, and Wade Romberg, of Adams, contacted an angler at the Castle Rock Flowage who was found to have kept an undersized walleye. Enforcement action was taken. During the contact, the same group of anglers was observed to have numerous beverage and food containers with them. A short while later, the group left the area and littered all of their garbage. Enforcement action also was taken on that violation.
Warden Randy Dunkel investigated an illegal burning complaint and found that the owner of a greenhouse and nursery business was burning cardboard and refuse during a burning ban and without a permit. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Jon Scharbarth, Paul Leezer, Ben Herzfeldt, and Korey Trowbridge assisted with the annual Wisconsin River cleanup project in Wausau.
Warden Matt Weber, of Necedah, checked a man fishing along the Wisconsin River who gave him a resident fishing license. Upon further investigation, it was found the man was a resident of Arkansas and had purchased a resident license to save money.
Warden Kyle Lynch, of Mauston, spent a significant amount of time in May dealing with issues on a piece of state land west of Mauston. Through investigation and complaints, Lynch took enforcement action for littering, illegal burning, and illegal target shooting, along with several other warnings.
Warden Lynch and supervisor Trowbridge contacted a boater on Castle Rock Flowage for expired boat registration. While talking with the individuals, a strong odor of marijuana was observed coming from the boat. The boat operator was found to be in possession of marijuana. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Lynch and supervisor Trowbridge responded to a report of a sinking boat on the Castle Rock Flowage. The boat had taken on a significant amount of water, but the wardens were able to remove the passengers from the boat and tow the boat to shore before it sank.
District 8 — La Crosse area
Wardens Cody Adams, of Crawford County, and Mike Nice, of Richland County, contacted four turkey hunters found to have not registered turkeys shot during the spring. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Chris Shea, of Trempealeau, organized and instructed a Learn to Fish event that involved two classroom sessions and one fishing outing attended by 20 disabled kids.
Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, contacted a fisherman who was fishing from a boat near Lock and Dam 7 on the Mississippi River. Hochhausen observed a fisherman in a boat that had expired registration. When Hochhausen motored alongside the boat, the fisherman untied a stringer and let the stringer and fish float off. The stringer contained an undersized walleye, and the subject had a cooler in his vehicle containing numerous fish, including 11 undersized walleyes. Enforcement action was taken for the undersized fish, overbagging on walleyes, and expired boat registration.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and supervisor Tyler Strelow, of La Crosse, located a baited turkey blind. The investigation uncovered several other turkey-hunting violations, including two failure to tag/register birds incidents, shooting from the road, and two baited turkey blinds. Two turkeys were seized, and enforcement action was taken on three hunters.
Warden Bob Jumbeck contacted a turkey hunter and learned through an investigation that the individual had shot multiple turkeys during the past several years and failed to register any of them. Jumbeck also learned the individual’s son had harvested a turkey earlier in the year and failed to register it.
District 10 — Wautoma area
Warden Nathan Ackerman, of Berlin, observed a property with a container that appeared to contain antifreeze to poison woodchucks near a building. An investigation indicated the landowner placed illegal poison to get rid of woodchucks. Illegal poisons often impacts species beyond those targeted. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ackerman received numerous calls about baby raccoons and other baby animals. Ackerman reminded people to leave wildlife alone. Ackerman referred one subject with a baby owl that had fallen out of a tree to a rehabilitation person.
Warden Ben Nadolski, of Montello, attended the re-dedication ceremony for the Andrew Krakow Memorial Fishing Area in Montello. The fishing area is the park surrounding the Buffalo Lake dam on the Fox River in Montello and is named for warden Andy Krakow, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1990. A multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation of the park, fishing piers, dam and locks, with the addition of a fishway ladder, recently was completed. The DNR warden service honor guards and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department performed a flag ceremony to honor Krakow.
Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, stopped a subject operating an ATV on a road with three children as passengers. None had helmets. Schraufnagel explained that it was not legal to be operating the ATV on a road and that those under 18 must be wearing helmets unless operating on their private property.
Warden Schraufnagel issued five citations for logging operations that had illegally constructed bridges across waterways this past winter without permits. One citation also was issued for leaving large amounts of slash and cuttings in a trout stream, essentially damming the stream.
District 11 — Peshtigo area
Warden Timothy Werner, of Crivitz, spent time working numerous ATV-related complaints in Stephenson Township in May. Multiple ATVers were contacted for various violations. Enforcement action was taken for various violations, including ATV trespass, operating at improper speed, and operating an ATV while under the influence of an intoxicant.
Wardens Werner and Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, were contacted by a landowner who had located a loon with a fish hook caught in its beak. The wardens were able to assist the man with removing the hook. The loon was transported and released back into the Peshtigo River without any issues.
While working recreational vehicle enforcement along the Peshtigo River State Forest, warden Werner attempted to contact two off-road motorcyclers operating illegally. The motorcycle operators failed to stop after Werner activated his lights and sirens. With assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol and Marinette County Sheriff’s Department,, both operators of the motorcycles were located. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Alyssa Gove, of Shawano County, responded to a vehicle accident in which a bald eagle was hit by a large truck. The eagle was still alive, and Gove transported the eagle to REGI Rehabilitation in Antigo where it is expected to make a full recovery.
District 12 — Green Bay area and Northeast Operations Marine Unit
Warden Nick Miofsky, of Manitowoc, followed up on a complaint about live-trapping raccoons without checking traps daily. Miofsky documented the violation. He explained the trapping regulations to the property owner and provided him a copy of the trapping regulations. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, was contacted by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department in reference to a complaint it received of a fawn being kept in an apartment complex in the city. Kratcha met with the person holding the deer, and he then was able to transport the deer to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
District 13 — Oshkosh area
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated a case involving the illegal harvest of two turkeys in Calumet County. An unlicensed hunter shot two toms that were called in by another hunter who was sitting in the same blind. Neither bird was tagged or registered. The unlicensed hunter kept one bird, while the caller kept the other bird. Disher issued multiple citations for hunting without a license or stamp, possession or transportation of untagged turkeys, and failure to register turkeys as required.
Warden Disher investigated illegal off-road vehicle activity on the Killsnake State Wildlife Area. Disher observed damage on a state-owned parcel and a private parcel. Disher found the suspect truck buried in mud on private land. Disher worked with Calumet County Sheriff’s Department on enforcement action.
Warden Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, investigated a case of furniture and other household garbage being dumped on state land in the White River Marsh. The investigation resulted in enforcement action against the responsible party.
Wardens Propson and Tom Sturdivant, of Neenah, were checking anglers along the Fox River in Appleton when they observed a group of three anglers fishing together. Upon contact, two of the three were found to be fishing without licenses. One of the anglers mentioned that she should have listened to her grandmother and bought a license before going fishing.
Warden Propson contacted an angler who was fishing on the Fox River in Kimberly. The angler retrieved “his” fishing license from his tackle box and gave it to Propson, who observed the license belonged to a female who would be much older than the angler appeared. The angler then told Propson that he must have switched his license with his aunt’s. A record check found the angler hadn’t had a license since 2013.
Warden Propson completed a joint investigation with the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department for a stolen and burned fishing shanty on Lake Winnebago. The investigation revealed that an individual had taken a legally placed and labeled shanty from the shoreline and broken it apart with his truck and a chain saw. The individual then hauled the pieces farther onto the lake to use in a bonfire that night, leaving the unburned remains and metal brackets behind. When interviewed,, the individual felt he did nothing wrong and actually helped the DNR because he didn’t see a name on it and felt it was in bad shape and must have been abandoned. The man was charged with theft, destruction of personal property, and littering.
Warden Sturdivant received a hotline complaint about an individual who was shooting fox pups out of season in Stephensville (Outagamie County). Sturdivant located a dead fox pup at the entrance to a den. The investigation revealed that the suspect trespassed via an ATV onto private property and, while seated on an ATV, shot and killed at least two red fox pups. The suspect believed he was being a good conservationist by killing foxes and saving turkeys and other wildlife.