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Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – July 14, 2017

District 4 — Woodruff area

Warden Kelly Crotty, of Florence, reported a 2016 criminal deer case was adjudicated in Florence County Circuit Court in May. A Maryland man pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an untagged deer. The man was fined a total of $2,468, and lost his hunting privileges for three years. Because Maryland is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, the individual will also lose his hunting privileges in his home state.

Warden Jim Jung, of Rhinelander, was called out in May when a homeowner discovered a dead bear (sow) with three cubs alive in a nearby tree. The sow had been shot with a shotgun. The cubs were live trapped by USDA Wildlife Services and taken to a local rehabilitator. The investigation is ongoing.

Warden Jung responded to an airplane crash on Lake Tomahawk in Oneida County to determine if a reportable fuel spill had occurred as a result of the crash. The pilot was injured, but survived. The plane was recovered and there was a small visible petroleum sheen on the water, which was unrecoverable due to wind/wave action.

District 9 — Black River Falls area

Wardens Kurt Haas, of Black River Falls, and Mike Weber, of Mauston, received a complaint from a DNR staff member explaining that on a late Saturday evening in May he observed a vehicle drive into the DNR office at Black River Falls and dump three bags of trash in the dumpsters on the property. The DNR staff member obtained a license plate number from the vehicle. The investigation located the responsible individual. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kurt Haas and deputy warden Terry Boone observed two men in a canoe fishing in a flowage in the Black River State Forest. When the anglers saw the wardens, they put down their fishing poles and started paddling away. The wardens identified themselves and told the two men that the wardens needed to check their fishing licenses. The anglers paddled back over to the wardens and one of them said he did not have a fishing license because his DNR privileges had been revoked. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Molly Detjens, of Adams, was checking anglers on a lake in Adams County in May when she observed four adults fishing. Upon contact, Detjens found the group consisted of a father fishing with his three adult sons. When Detjens asked to see their fishing licenses, the father stated he had not bought his yet. The father later stated he thought the fishing license was included with their camping. After speaking with the group further, the father and one of the sons said they did not know fishing licenses were required in Wisconsin because there were no signs posted stating the requirement to buy a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, and DNR environmental staffers gave testimony at a trial in Monroe County Circuit Court in May regarding a citation issued for constructing or maintaining a bridge over navigable waters without a permit. The defendant constructed a non-compliant bridge over the east channel of the Kickapoo River. The judge found the defendant guilty, ordered a forfeiture, and gave the defendant 90 days to either remove the bridge or bring it into compliance.

Warden Matt Weber, of Necedah, attempted to stop two ATVs and a UTV illegally operating on a snowmobile trail. The ATVs stopped, but the UTV operator looked back at the emergency lights and kept going. Several hours later, Weber observed an ATV being illegally operated along the shoulder of a state highway. Weber stopped the ATV and determined that the operator was the same person who failed to stop earlier while operating his UTV. Enforcement action was taken.

District 10 — Wautoma area

Warden Nathan Ackerman, of Berlin, received a complaint in May of a subject with multiple short bass. Ackerman contacted the subject and found one short bass in his possession. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Shiocton, responded to a complaint regarding a subject shooting too many turkeys. Johnson interviewed the subject, who was found to have harvested two toms. The subject also admitted to having only one valid turkey permit. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, handled a reported diesel fuel spill in May as a result of a commercial vehicle accident. After working with warden Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department and related DNR environmental enforcement staff, the containment and other issues related to the spill were addressed.

Warden Kaiser responded to a hotline complaint of an angler’s minnow trap being harassed/moved. After working with the angler and the Iola Police Department, it was determined that multiple juveniles were involved in harassing and removing the minnow trap from the water body. After following up with the juveniles and their parents in cooperation with the Iola Police Department, the violations were resolved.

Warden Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and recruit warden Steve Swiertz contacted an individual who had shot a northern pike while bowfishing below the Weyauwega dam. The individual was found to have thrown the northern pike back into the Waupaca River because he knew it was illegal to harvest game fish. The individual also harvested three suckers from this same location, an area which is closed to bowfishing. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Ben Nadolski, of Montello, located a turkey hunter in a blind between 8 and 15 yards from shelled corn spread along a field drive. Upon contact, the hunter initially stated he was not turkey hunting, though he had a vertical bow with nocked arrow and a valid turkey tag that had been purchased two hours earlier. The hunter admitted not having much time to hunt, so bait was placed. The suspect had been placing the bait daily for a couple weeks. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, testified in a court trial in Shawano County regarding a case involving a subject shining and shooting deer in the town of Belle Plaine last fall. The defendant was found guilty by the judge and ordered to pay fines of $2,152.50. The defendant also received a three-year revocation of hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges.

Warden Schraufnagel responded to a call of a wildfire on the Navarino State Wildlife Area. Schraufnagel arrived shortly after the first firefighters and ensured they had access to the property through the gate. For safety purposes, Schraufnagel closed the road to all but emergency vehicles. Wardens Schraufnagel and Clark Delzer, of Shawano, assisted the Shawano forester with the fire investigation.

District 12 — Green Bay area and Northeast Operations Marine Unit 

Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, investigated a hotline complaint of wild turkey eggs being removed from a nest and cooked/consumed. The suspect was located and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Ka Yeng Vue, of Green Bay, was a guest speaker at Lombardi Middle School’s for the seventh grade’s AVID students. AVID is a program available to low-income students, providing them with extra guidance to work and build on their experiences for college and careers in the future.

Wardens Vue and Alyssa Neff-Miller attended the Wings Over Wisconsin Denmark Chapter’s kids fishing day. More than 125 kids from the Denmark area attended the event. Vue covered AIS and fishing regulations with the kids while Neff-Miller covered boating safety. This was a good event for the wardens to interact with kids and provide them with the knowledge to be safe and to follow the rules while outdoors.

Warden Cara Kamke, of Green Bay, contacted a male fishing at the Manger Lagoon – a stocked fishing pond at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary set up for kids or disabled adults. The adult male was not disabled and was not supposed to be fishing there. He had caught and kept five trout, two over the daily limit, and was giving them away to people so he could keep fishing. Additionally, a complaint had come in that he was selling these fish locally. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kamke responded to a complaint of two youths (15 and 13 years old) who had caught and killed a snapping turtle out of season. The kids were unaware there was a season and size limit on snapping turtles. They simply did not want the turtle eating the frogs in a pond they frequented. The turtle shell and meat was seized and the boys were educated. The open turtle season runs from July 15 through Nov. 30. The size limit for snapping turtles is 12-inch minimum and 16-inch maximum carapace.

Wardens Kamke and Darren Kuhn, both of Green Bay, were checking shore fishermen on Memorial Day weekend and the opening day of muskie season. Kamke contacted one person fishing at the mouth of the Fox River who had a 47-inch muskie on a stringer. The person didn’t know what kind of fish it was, nor that there is a 54-inch size limit.

Marine Enforcement Unit

Warden Kuhn contacted individuals along the shore of the East River in May. The female had been observed fishing, but the male had not been fishing. The female was issued a citation for fishing without a license. While completing the warrant checks, it was discovered that the male subject had an outstanding non-extraditable felony warrant for making terrorist threats to the government.

Wardens Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, informed two individuals preparing to go fishing at County Park II in May that the perch season still was closed. When Lautenslager came back to County Park II, he watched the two individuals catch and keep perch. As he approached, one individual picked up the cooler and ran to the water and dumped the perch. Enforcement action was taken.

District 13 — Oshkosh area

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, was checking shore anglers at Stockbridge Harbor on Lake Winnebago in May when observed a person reel in his line and set his rod down on the breakwall and pick up his phone. It was determined the angler did not have a fishing license and was attempting to buy one on his cell phone; however, he was unable to get to the website he needed. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, received a call from a local Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department deputy regarding an individual who was arrested the night before for shooting a firearm while intoxicated. Upon investigation, Hankee discovered the individual possessed a loaded .17 rifle in his truck while shining for raccoons, shot a raccoon from the passenger doorway of the truck, and did not have a small game hunting license. During an interview with the landowner, Hankee discovered that the individual also hunted turkey on his property and shot a tom turkey two weeks earlier. Hankee found that the individual did not have a turkey license and did not register the turkey. Enforcement action was taken.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint about four vehicles possibly off-roading in the Eldorado Wildlife Area. Warden Hankee assisted with the investigation. With information from the citizen, tracks, and photographs, Hankee was able to identify the individuals who were off-roading and provide evidence of the incident. During interviews, the subjects admitted to operating three vehicles off-road on the DNR lands and offered to repair the damage. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Hankee observed two turkey blinds in May while on patrol. Hankee found approximately three gallons of sunflower seeds placed within shotgun range and in front of the blinds. Through interviews with the neighbors and a landowner, Hankee discovered the identity of the hunters using the blinds. Hankee checked licenses, seasons, and registrations to verify multiple turkeys were harvested by the hunters. Hankee contacted the hunters and verified the evidence and information gathered. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, responded to an overbagging complaint in Winneconne from the Winneconne bridge. Two subjects were found to be in possession of 15 walleyes that they caught in about five hours of fishing. The subjects were over their daily bag limit and enforcement action was taken.

District 17 — Madison area

Warden Pearl Wallace, of Watertown, observed two individuals bowfishing within 100 feet of the dam off Water Street in the city of Watertown. One of the individuals shot and retrieved a carp, then left it on shore. Wisconsin law prohibits bowfishing within 200 feet of a dam and littering. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden John Sinclair, of Madison, was first on the scene at a semi-trailer fire on the Madison beltline and assisted with traffic control. Later in May, Sinclair assisted town of Madison officers with closing down a portion of the Hwy. 12/18 after a serious accident.

District 18 — Poynette area

Wardens Paul Nadolski, of Portage, and Ryan Volenberg, of Poynette, responded to the flooded Blackhawk Park area along the Wisconsin River in May to rescue people from flooded backwaters. Thirteen people were transported by boat from a cabin on the river to high ground. The water had risen overnight and flooded the road along, with several vehicles.

While patrolling via boat on the Wisconsin River below the Wisconsin Dells dam in May, warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Wisconsin Dells, and warden supervisor Mike Green observed an individual fishing with four fishing rods. Upon contact, the individual said his son went to get coffee and he would be back soon. The individual had been observed fishing alone earlier in the day. Upon reeling in the lines, the subject had four hooks and baits. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling via boat on the Wisconsin River in the Upper Dells on Memorial Day weekend, wardens Sean Neverman, of Prairie du Sac, and Kretschmer were flagged down by a boat in the narrows. The individuals said a kayak had just capsized. Upon contact with the subject, the wardens saw a capsized kayak with a person floating next to it. The person was with another male who was in a separate kayak that was upright. The wardens successfully pulled the individual out of the water to safety.

District 19 — Dodgeville area

Warden Ryan Caputo, of Green County, worked near the Stewart Tunnel on the bike trail in May in response to numerous public complaints of illegal campfires and vehicles operating on the state trail. Caputo located two vehicles that had driven on the state trail to the tunnel to have a campfire. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens from the Dodgeville team and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department worked ATV safety education and enforcement Memorial Day weekend. A courtesy sound check station was set up, with one machine testing more than twice the legal limit.

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