District 1 — Ashland area
Wardens Lynna Gurnoe, of Bayfield, Adam Stennett, of Brule, and Amie Egstad, of Bayfield, joined several Bayfield County deputies and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) wardens in November on a search for a lost hunter. Stennett used his ATV to find the hunter, who was still trailing a deer he had shot five hours prior.
Wardens Gurnoe, Egstad, Matt Koshollek, and Stacia Macy, GLIFWC wardens, and several Bayfield County deputies responded to a lost hunter in Chequamegon National Forest in November. The hunter was last seen at about 8:30 a.m. and it was 5 p.m. when the call came in. Bayfield County used LifeLink helicopter and staff to find a fire within the search area. Egstad and Macy went in on foot and found the lost male alive and well. The officers escorted the man out of the woods and followed up with maps for the man to return the next day with assistance to retrieve a buck he had shot.
Warden Egstad was working with GLIFWC wardens with the deer decoy in November when two hunting groups shot at the decoy. The driver of the first vehicle shot from his window. The second crew had two passengers get out of the vehicle and shoot twice each from in front of, and behind, the vehicle while standing on the road. Drivers and passengers in both vehicles had open intoxicants. Enforcement action was taken on the shooters by Egstad. The drivers and occupants were cited by Bayfield Sheriff’s Department deputies for possessing open intoxicants in the vehicles.
Wardens Stennett and Gurnoe took enforcement action in November with an Illinois hunter who shot a buck on Sept. 10 thinking that the archery season was open. The hunter registered the deer. The hunter stated that he thought the deer season was open because the hunting season in Illinois opens the beginning of September.
Warden John Krull, of Superior, took action with two men who were hunting in Wisconsin on the opening day of the Minnesota firearm deer season.
District 2 — Cumberland area
Wardens Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, and Jon Hagen, of Spooner, responded to a complaint concerning a person believed to have shot three archery bucks this year. The investigation showed the suspect shot three bucks and one doe.
Wardens Loining and Ryan Lowry, of Madison, assisted the Minnesota DNR with a complaint about an individual who was reported to have shot from the road, shot a doe without a tag, and trespassed while hunting during the Minnesota gun deer season. The investigation demonstrated shooting from the roadway, shooting a doe without a tag, and trespassing. Enforcement action is being taken by the Minnesota DNR.
Warden Jim Cleven, of Menomonie, investigated a report of a convicted felon who shot a doe with a firearm from the roadway in Dunn County. Cleven’s investigation showed the complaint was accurate and he took enforcement action against the individual, who was a convicted felon.
Warden Jon Hagen followed up on a complaint of possible deer hunting with rifles during the closed season on county land. Hagen tracked two hunters through the woods. The tracks left the county land and went onto private property for a significant distance. The subjects, who were small game hunting, were turned over to the sheriff’s department on trespass charges.
While on patrol in November following up on a complaint of a deer that went through the ice on Bass Lake, wardens Hagen and Loining contacted two hunters at the Bass Lake boat landing. Upon contact, the wardens discovered drug paraphernalia belonging to each of the hunters. The case was turned over to the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department.
Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, responded to a pheasant hunting complaint. The investigation showed the suspect had shot seven pheasants (four roosters, three hens) with a .22 rifle that was loaded and in his vehicle, he shot from the roadway, and did not have any licenses to hunt pheasants.
District 3 — Park Falls area
No report available.
District 4 — Woodruff area
Warden Timothy Ebert, of Woodruff, responded to a call of shooting from the road near the airport in Arbor Vitae. With the assistance of the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department and wardens Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, and Peter McCormick, it was found that a juvenile – with the aid of light – had shot one deer and shot at another with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot. Enforcement action is pending.
Warden Jim Jung, of Rhinelander, and supervisor Dave Walz, of Woodruff, investigated a complaint of an archery hunter filling a companion’s buck tag. The hunter shot two bucks and then had a friend register the second buck. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jung investigated a report of a feral pig that had escaped from its pen and was roaming west of Rhinelander. The hog had been shot by a companion of the owner. Wisconsin law states it is illegal to purchase or possess Eurasian pigs.
Warden Matt Meade, of Mercer, contacted a bowhunter in Iron County who had shot multiple bucks throughout the fall bow season. Meade’s investigation showed the hunter’s pattern was to shoot a buck and then get a friend to register the buck for him under the friend’s customer account. Enforcement action is underway.
Warden Meade contacted an unlicensed bowhunter in the Hurley area who had shot a 7-point buck. The hunter then registered the deer under his friend’s account. The friend had a license, but did not hunt. Enforcement actions taken against both men.
Warden Meade contacted two occupants inside a vehicle along a forest road in Iron County. They slowed to a stop when approaching Meade’s location. Two loaded firearms were found in the truck with the two hunters who were hunting, but they had not purchased licenses. Enforcement action is underway.
Prior to the gun deer season, wardens Mike Sealander and Anthony Arndt responded to a call from a subject who found a deer he thought may have been shot with a rifle. An investigation revealed the deer had been shot with a crossbow over bait by a subject who had already killed a buck this season. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Thole and McCormick located two trail cameras and a treestand on state land north of Boulder Junction. The stand and cameras were not identified, as required. One of the cameras had, “WI DNR #6,” written in marker on the front of it. The responsible hunter stated he labeled his camera that way as a “crime deterrent.” Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Thole encountered a two-vehicle car accident while working. Thole requested emergency medical assistance to the scene for a vehicle occupant who was injured and could not exit her vehicle. Thole remained on scene and assisted Vilas County deputies.
District 5 — Lower St. Croix area
No report available.
District 6 — Eau Claire area
No report available.
District 7 — Wisconsin Rapids area
Warden Randy Dunkel, of Wausau, investigated a baiting complaint in the village of Weston and found that about 26 hours before contact a hunter had shot a deer at the bait from his townhouse. The deer ran off and ended up in a mobile home park community yard. The hunter had not attempted to track or retrieve the deer. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Dunkel and Kyle Ziembo investigated a deer carcass-dumping call. The wardens found several carcasses that appeared to be from earlier in the gun season and some from the archery season. They conducted surveillance on the area and caught the responsible party near the end of the season.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, contacted two subjects on the Mead State Wildlife Area the evening prior to the gun-deer season. The subjects had placed two illegal treestands, one illegal bait, operated a vehicle off road in an unauthorized area, and one subject was operating with a suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Leezer responded to a citizen complaint of a subject who shot a buck with bow-and-arrow while riding in the bed of a pick-up truck that was operating on a town road. Leezer located the two suspects and found that one subject had shot three bucks during the archery season and attempted to harvest two additional bucks. That subject was found to have placed and hunted over illegal bait. The other subject had previously registered a buck during the archery deer season prior to shooting the buck from the bed of the pick-up truck.
Warden Leezer responded to a citizen complaint of shooting after legal shooting hours and contacted the suspect. Leezer found that the suspect and his girlfriend had taken a hunting trip to Missouri where they harvested eight white-tailed deer. Neither of them had purchased Missouri licenses. Enforcement action is pending in Wisconsin and Missouri.
Warden Leezer gave a talk and answered questions at the annual Edgar Whitetail Night pre-deer season event.
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, and supervisor Korey Trowbridge located litter dumped at two parking areas on the Mead State Wildlife Area. They located one of the individuals that same day and enforcement action was taken. The other suspect was identified the following week and enforcement action was taken for that one as well.
Wardens Jon Scharbarth and Chris Bartelt worked on a case dealing with personnel from a Stevens Point restaurant dumping fryer grease down a storm drain that discharges to local public waterways. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, responded to a complaint of a group of hunters hunting without blaze orange. Contact was made and Taylor found that a doe was harvested with the wrong land zone approval. Enforcement action was taken.
District 8 — La Crosse area
Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, investigated an illegal gravity feeder and placement of more than two gallons of deer bait. Jensen also found the subject had been tending to illegally placed traps that were not properly tagged, had site-exposed bait, along with additional trapping violations. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Rich Maki and Kyle Kosin, both of Prescott, contacted an individual who shot and registered a second buck during the gun deer season and used his son’s tag. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brad Peterson, of Ellsworth, contacted deer hunters who were getting ready to drive a patch of woods. Peterson was advised by the group leader that several of the subjects were not hunting, but just helping with the drive. After some communication with one of the non-hunters, it was discovered that he and his two sons had been hunting earlier in the day without licenses. When asked why they didn’t buy a license, he stated they only came up for the day.
Warden Peterson received a call late on the last day of the gun-deer season regarding a person who reported a creature was in her garage – and she was in need of some help. Peterson arrived to find an opossum tucked under a work bench. The caller held a light on the opossum and Peterson was able to grab it by the tail, place it into a bucket, and later released it into more suitable habitat.
Wardens Taylor Meinholz and Cody Adams, both of Crawford County, received a call from a landowner stating that a deer had been shot on his land from the roadway. Two hunters witnessed a passenger of a vehicle shoot at a doe from the road. The following day a landowner located a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle parked along some state land in Crawford County. Wardens interviewed the suspects and found they were responsible for shooting the deer out of the vehicle. The shooter was arrested because he was a convicted felon.
Wardens Meinholz and Adams received a call stating that a large buck was poached on a piece of private land. The informant stated that the landowner was upset, but did not call the wardens because they did not want to lose the deer. The landowner had been hunting the buck all season, but a road hunter shot and killed the buck. The landowner was able to get a license plate from a vehicle that returned later on in the evening. The wardens tracked down the vehicle owner, interviewed the suspect and found that he had killed the deer illegally. Enforcement action was taken and the landowner got to keep the buck and use the meat.
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, investigated a complaint regarding gunshots heard after hours a couple days earlier. Hochhausen observed the hunter in the field, but the hunter didn’t shoot late that evening. The suspect had placed 15 gallons of corn and didn’t have proper blaze orange clothing. The hunter had shot two antlerless deer during the gun season and one antlerless deer during the archery season. The hunter was over his limit on antlerless deer and failed to register a deer. The hunter took one of the gun-harvested deer over to a friend’s residence and the hunter had his friend register the deer. The friend registered the deer as an archery-killed deer in the wrong county. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer John Below responded to a complaint of a swan shot on Pool 8. Tracey and Below contacted two waterfowl hunters near the location where the swan was shot. It was found that both hunters shot at swans on multiple occasions throughout their morning hunt. The hunters stated they thought that the swans were snow geese. Also, one of the hunters was using a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
Wardens Tracey, Jamie McDermid, and Michael Melgaard contacted a family of deer hunters at their property near Eastman. It was found that one of the family members shot three bucks during the 2017 gun season. One of the three bucks was shot without an antlered gun deer approval. It was also found that one of the youth hunters was hunting during the 2017 gun season without a gun-deer license. The family had shot a total of six deer during the gun season and one deer during the bow season. Only one deer, of the seven deer shot, were registered.
While working the gun season, wardens Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and J.J. Redemann investigated an illegal baiting complaint in Buffalo County. The individual was found to have been placing excessive bait periodically throughout the deer season. In some instances 50 pounds of corn was dumped in front of stands and trail cameras.
District 9 — Black River Falls area
Warden Molly Detjens, of Adams, contacted a person who appeared as though he was having vehicle trouble during the second weekend of the gun-deer season. The person stated he had just finished hunting. The firearm in the passenger seat was still loaded. This individual had already been cited on two separate occasions for transporting a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Warden Detjens assisted a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer with investigating a case of a person dumping deer carcasses on federal property in Adams County. Detjens and the federal officer went to a suspect’s house and found him to be hunting on his land. Upon contact, Detjens observed the suspect was deer hunting over illegal bait and did not have his license with him. The suspect dumped the deer on the federal property and failed to register a car-killed deer.
Wardens Matt Groppi, of Black River Falls, and Robin Barnhardt contacted a group of hunters who shot an antlerless deer in Jackson County in the Central Forest Zone using a Central Farmland Zone harvest tag.
Warden Groppi contacted a group of hunters in Clark County who had just completed a deer drive. One of the hunters was 12 years old and was riding in the back of a pickup with a loaded rifle. The young hunter had not completed hunter’s safety, but was accompanied by an adult mentor. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Groppi responded to grass fire north of Alma Center in Jackson County. A subject was attempting a controlled burn on his property, but did not have a burning permit and had left the fire unattended. The fire spread to within 1,000 feet of two homes. The Alma Center Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Matt Weber, of Tomah, conducted an investigation in early November regarding the illegal harvest of a buck on private land in Juneau County. The wardens found that three individuals shot the buck from a truck off of a roadway using a .223 rifle when the gun season was closed. They shot the deer on private property where they did not have permission to hunt and later hid the carcass in northern Sauk County. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Weber, Weber, Detjens and Blaine Ziarek, of Waukesha, conducted an investigation during the gun-deer season and found two individuals who were deer hunting without licenses. One of the suspects was a former Wisconsin resident who moved to a different state in the mid-2000s and didn’t buy deer licenses when he returned to the state to hunt on a yearly basis since moving away. The other suspect had not bought an archery deer license for the 2017 deer season.
Wardens Weber and Weber responded to a shoot-from-road complaint in Juneau County during the gun season. They found that the two hunters involved had also shot turkeys during the fall without any licenses, permits, or stamps. Both hunters shot their turkeys over illegal bait. One hunter also illegally shot a deer during the archery season over bait.
Wardens Weber and Weber responded to a report of an “elk” having been shot and butchered on county land near Norwalk in Monroe County during the gun-deer season. The wardens determined that the “elk” was actually a butchered beef cow with the hide, head, and legs missing.
Antigo Team Report
During the gun-deer season, wardens Tim Otto, of Antigo, and Bryan Harrenstein responded to a complaint of a person shooting a deer from a car near Merrill. The deer was in a field, where no one had permission to hunt. After an investigation, the suspects were cited for discharging a firearm from a vehicle, hunting within 50 feet of a roadway, and were cited by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department for trespassing.
Wardens Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, and Nick King stopped three individuals in a vehicle upon observing them illegally shining deer after 10 p.m. They were in possession of a compound bow (with night sights activated), and a firearm. The driver was in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
Wardens Dahlquist and King contacted a hunter during the gun season who was found to have placed and hunted over an illegal bait site. The wardens discovered the hunter had shot an antlerless deer (thought to be a buck) several days prior in Forest County. The hunter failed to possess an antlerless tag in Forest County, and upon discovering the deer was not a buck, registered the deer using a Marinette County antlerless tag. Enforcement action was taken for the baiting and registration violations.
Warden Andy Dryja, of Langlade County, contacted an individual who shot an antlerless deer within 50 feet of the road’s center. The subject possessed southern farmland tags, but shot the deer in the northern forest unit.
Warden Dryja contacted a person who shot four deer over a 10-gallon bait pile during the gun season. The person also shot a deer and had a companion who was hunting more than a mile away register the deer as his. The person was cited for hunting with illegal bait and using another’s deer hunting approval. Dryja issued verbal warnings for failing to remove a ground blind on state land, failing to place an ID number on a trail camera and a blind on state land, failure to have blaze orange visible on ground blind on state land, and shooting a deer and having the mentee register it on a mentored hunt.
Warden Dryja apprehended three subjects who were hunting antlerless deer in Langlade County with Brown County doe tags. They were making drives on mainly public land and all the subjects shot at antlerless deer. Later, one subject shot an antlerless deer on private land and used a public land tag. One member of the party did not have any deer hunting license at all.