District 1 — Ashland area
Wardens Lynna Gurnoe and Amie Egstad, both of Bayfield, and Red Cliff tribal warden Zach Peterson handled commercial net checks and sportfishing patrols on Lake Superior on Memorial Day weekend when they came upon a kayak with a trolling motor on it. The wardens observed two people in the 10-foot kayak motoring back to Little Sand Bay in the rain. Upon contact, it was found that the owner had not registered the boat and there was only one life jacket on board. Enforcement action was taken and the occupants informed of the dangers of being immersed in the cold waters of Lake Superior without a life jacket.
Warden Adam Stennett stopped an ATV operator in May on Ibsen Road in Douglas County for operating an unregistered ATV. Stennett found multiple violations, including operating on a highway, no headlight or tail light, and no spark arrester. Enforcement action taken.
District 2 — Cumberland area
Warden Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, responded to a turkey hunting complaint during one of the later turkey seasons. Spaight’s investigation determined the hunter and a companion saw a turkey on the shoulder of the road. The driver shot the turkey out of the passenger side window while the vehicle was stopped on a public road. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Spaight responded to a citizen complaint concerning an angler and discarded fish carcasses at a boat landing. Spaight located the responsible individual who left a few days of fish carcasses at an area boat landing. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Spaight and Jesse Ashton, of Luck, were patrolling in southern Burnett County when they saw a vehicle travel down a dead-end road known for litter problems. The wardens made contact with the occupants of the vehicle, and found the driver to be under the legal driving age. The passenger had an open container of beer, marijuana, and a pipe. Enforcement action was taken.
While traveling southbound on Hwy. 35 in May, wardens Jon Hagen, of Spooner, and Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, saw two individuals near a vehicle in a local park. The two appeared to be arguing with each other while throwing garbage on the ground. The wardens pulled into the park as the male individual was throwing garbage into the river. The wardens talked with the pair and determined that a domestic dispute was occurring. The wardens contacted the Burnett County Sheriff’s Department and a deputy responded. The male subject was arrested for domestic disorderly conduct.
Warden Josh Loining contacted a subject operating a pontoon boat on Chetek Lake that was displaying expired registration. Upon contact, it was determined that the subject was operating while intoxicated. The person was arrested for boating OWI.
Warden Loining assisted the Barron County Sheriff’s Department in May after a tornado went through Barron County near Chetek.
Wardens Loining and Peter Wetzel contacted a subject operating a motorboat at speeds greater than no-wake in the no-wake buoyed area between Chetek Lake and Pokegama Lake in Barron County. Upon contact, it was determined that the subject was operating a motorboat while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, and Roger Arnould were patrolling the Gov. Knowles campground near Grantsburg when an individual approached the wardens in a parking lot. Through observations, a short investigation, and a search of the individual’s vehicle, it was discovered that the suspect was in possession of marijuana, and several items of drug paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jesse Ashton was traveling north on Hwy. 53 one day in May when a tornado hit the Prairie Lake area. Ashton was only a few miles out and responded to assist with search and rescue efforts in the trailer court that was destroyed.
Wardens Ashton and Spaight apprehended a person on the Fish Lake Wildlife Area who was operating while intoxicated, had open intoxicants, was in possession marijuana, and was with his 15-year-old son. Enforcement action was taken.
District 3 — Park Falls area
Warden Andy Dryja, of White Lake, took enforcement action against a person who possessed 12 trout in excess of his daily bag limit on opening day of game fish season.
Warden Kirk Konichek, of Ladysmith, completed a timber theft investigation and referred it to the Rusk County District Attorney’s office for prosecution. A landowner was upset after a recent survey and took his frustration out on his neighbor’s trees marked on the survey line. He also removed a survey marker.
Warden Konichek and Rusk County Sheriff’s Department deputy warden Steve Pyfferoen responded to a capsized canoe and saw two persons struggling in the water. Konichek and Pyfferoen were able to pull the pair from the water. Both were hospitalized for hypothermia, but recovered.
Warden Konichek responded to a report of a capsized canoe on the Flambeau River below the Ladysmith hydroelectric dam. Konichek coordinated search efforts over the next 11 days and both victims were found. The Flambeau River was extremely high and swift, with all dam gates being open, making search efforts difficult. Agencies assisting in the effort included the DNR, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Ladysmith Fire Department, Ladysmith Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, New Auburn Fire Department, Sawyer County Search and Rescue, Bruce Fire Department, and Life Link Air.
Warden Bryan Harrenstein, of Medford, assisted with the 2017 Taylor County Youth Expo. Harrenstein worked with the Taylor County Sportsman’s Club and volunteers in running the BB gun range. Harrenstein provided a short introduction and safety talk to each group that came through prior to them shooting the guns. There were just under 500 middle school students in attendance from schools within Taylor County, as well as surrounding counties.
Warden Harrenstein assisted with a bomb threat at the Walmart in Medford. The building and parking lot were emptied and a coordinated search was conducted in attempt to locate any suspicious devices. None were found, and it was deemed a false complaint.
Warden Dan Michels, of Park Falls, organized a youth fishing fun day at the Coolidge Springs Trout Farm for 75 third grade students from Chequamegon, St. Anthony’s, and Butternut schools.
Warden Michels received a hotline complaint of two individuals catching bag limits of crappies on Blockhouse Lake several days in a row. The caller was concerned about a possible over-possession of panfish. Michels investigated and determined the final tally of fish in possession was 348 panfish and 13 game fish. The legal possession limit for panfish was 50 (twice the daily bag limit of 25). Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, received information regarding a turkey being shot from the road near Kennan in May. The individual was reported to have shot the turkey within 50 feet of the road, and then left the turkey unattended due to being nervous about a confrontation with a landowner because of the need to trespass in order to retrieve the turkey. The subject later snuck out onto the property again to retrieve the turkey. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Pat Novesky, of Tomahawk, contacted five anglers fishing as a group on the Tomahawk River. When Novesky asked them for their licenses, they all said they did not have them on their person. Novesky made several attempts to obtain identification from the fishermen. However, they claimed to be having difficulty remembering their last names and dates of birth. They eventually remembered their information and admitted to Novesky that they had not purchased fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
District 4 — Woodruff area
No report available.
District 5 — Lower St. Croix area
No report available.
District 6 — Eau Claire area
No report available.
District 7 — Wisconsin Rapids area
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, and ranger Kent Glazer contacted an individual in May who illegally cut trees on another’s land. Lockman also determined the man did not register a deer harvested in 2016. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Lockman responded to an emergency call of a vehicle submerged near the Bukolt Park boat landing on the Stevens Point Flowage. The vehicle was removed and it turned out that it had been stolen out of Wisconsin Rapids.
Warden Jon Scharbarth, of Stevens Point, contacted a group of trout fishermen in Portage County in May. It was determined the family members had been group bagging trout and were in possession of undersized trout. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Scharbarth responded to a hotline call regarding subjects keeping undersized bass below the Stevens Point dam. Upon contact it was determined that two subjects were over their bag limits for bass and also possessed undersized bass. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Randy Dunkel and Paul Leezer, both of Wausau, investigated a complaint of bow fishermen shooting fish from a dam and leaving the carcasses on the spillway and throwing some back in the water. The wardens found the four bowfishermen had been doing so over a two-day period. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Dunkel investigated a turkey hunting complaint in May and found that a licensed hunter allowed a friend who was unlicensed to shoot a turkey for him while they were hunting together. In the process, the unlicensed hunter shot two turkeys by mistake. The licensed hunter then attempted resolve the overbag incident by registering the second turkey on a tag for a different season. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Leezer investigated a complaint of vehicles operating in unauthorized areas of the McMillan Marsh State Wildlife Area. Leezer found one vehicle that had gotten stuck in mud over the axles. Leezer identified the owner and operator of the vehicle. Leezer contacted additional vehicle operators and determined that three trucks had been operated beyond large boulders removed by the subjects who then went off-roading in the wet areas of the state land.
Warden Erika Taylor, of Wisconsin Rapids, deputy warden Dale Zawislan, and supervisor Korey Trowbridge attended a youth outdoor education day in Lindsey where they taught safe firearm handling and fish identification.
District 8 — La Crosse area
Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, responded in May to a report of a boat that capsized at the Onalaska spillway on the Black River. Upon arrival, Hochhausen assisted citizens with rescuing two individuals clinging onto their swamped boat that was pinned against the downstream side of the spillway. One individual was pulled aboard the citizen’s boat and the other individual was brought aboard Hochhausen’s boat. Both individuals were rescued without any injuries. The individuals were fishing and their boat got too close to the spillway. The undertow from the dam pulled their boat against the spillway and the boat took on water and swamped. Both anglers were wearing life jackets, which saved their lives.
Warden Edward McCann, of La Crosse, worked with DNR wildlife staff in May to address a captive wildlife complaint. An individual was found to have taken a young fox into possession and was keeping it as a pet. When contacted by McCann, the suspect turned over the fox to a wildlife rehabilitator.
Warden Trevor Tracey of Stoddard worked with Viroqua’s high school and middle school staff to set up a fishing day at Jersey Lake for students. Tracey provided the 25 students, and some parents, with DNR fishing equipment to use for the event. Wardens Shawna Stringham, Edward McCann, and Vong Xiong assisted with the event. Many of the students caught largemouth bass and bluegills.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, assisted Merrick State Park staff with an odd litter case over Memorial Day weekend. Park users found a cache of 30 bags of aluminum cans in a wooded area of the park. A suspect was identified as an elderly individual riding a red bike. Jumbeck located the individual a couple days later dumpster diving for aluminum cans near the area. The park collected the cans to the individual’s dismay. A warning was given for placing material on state property.
Warden Jumbeck responded to a call of a rattlesnake in a house in May. Upon arrival, the rattler had moved from under the porch to a flower bed, where it lay motionless. Using a pike pole, the critter was safely lifted into a garbage can and released to a more suitable and remote habitat without incident.
Wardens Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, investigated an illegally possessed bobcat. The investigation showed that the trapper unintentionally trapped a bobcat while trapping for coyotes. The trapper did not release the bobcat or report the incidental catch to the DNR. The trapper dispatched the bobcat and took it into his possession. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Cody Adams, of Crawford County, responded to a call from the Crawford County Sherriff’s Department in May to assist with a vehicle that was in the river with a subject still possibly in the vehicle. A large washout formed near the Lansing bridge and vehicle went into the river. The sheriff’s department did not know how many vehicles were in the river. Wardens used boats equipped with side scan sonar to check the area to ensure there was only one vehicle in the water as the depths varied from 10 to 20 feet.
District 9 — Black River Falls area
No report available.
District 10 — Wautoma area
No report available.
District 11 — Peshtigo area
Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, finished a timber theft investigation of an individual stealing trees from the Oconto County Forest for transplanting as landscape trees in his yard. Hartrick received assistance from warden Jacob Bolks, of Appleton, who found the individual had been taking trees from the county forest for approximately 30 years. The individual did not have consent or a permit to take trees. Hartrick spoke with DNR forestry staff and Oconto County forestry staff and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Timothy Werner, of Crivitz, and Dale Romback, of Wausaukee, responded to a 911 call regarding a UTV rollover in the town of Stephenson. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male operator was under the influence of an intoxicant. The passenger also was on probation and had violated her conditions of probation. Enforcement action was taken regarding both individuals.
Wardens Clark Delzer, of Shawano, and Mark Schraufnagel, of Waupaca, checked a fisherman along the Wolf River and found that he had a warrant out of Waupaca County for obstruction. Delzer and Schraufnagel assisted the Shawano Sheriff’s Department with the arrest.