Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 11, 2019
Park Falls Team
Wardens Kurt Haas, of Medford, and Gaven Brault contacted a hunter in an elevated deer stand in November. The wardens had to wake him up because he was extremely intoxicated. The hunter also had marijuana in his possession. He did not have a valid deer license. The hunter was arrested for being armed while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Haas and Brault contacted two hunters in a vehicle near the Chequamegon National Forest. The hunters had bloody hands and appeared to be exhausted. They told the wardens they hadn’t shot anything that day and had only missed deer. The wardens then discovered there were two deer in the trunk and that the hunters shot two deer earlier that day. It was learned that five of the six deer they had harvested were illegal due to having no antlerless tags. A few hours after the contact, the wardens went back out to the scene where they found another deer hidden underneath a balsam tree. The next day the two hunters admitted that after the contact, they went into the woods to hide their third deer so the wardens would not find it.
Warden Kurt Haas investigated two shoot-from-the-vehicle /road complaints in Taylor County in November. One of the complaints stated a suspect shot at a deer and the complainant heard the bullet pass near him. Wardens Haas, Brault, Ben Hertzfeld, and Joe Paul worked two separate decoys in a close proximity looking for two specific vehicles. One of those vehicles drove past the decoy and shot at the decoy twice. The wardens learned these individuals were the same suspects who shot at a deer and almost hit a hunter. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Dan Michels, of Park Falls, received a call from a grouse hunter in November who shot a black bear. The grouse hunter unknowingly disturbed a den site where a bear had cached a deer carcass. The hunter heard brush cracking, turned around to see the black bear coming at him, and shot and killed the bear. The actions of the hunter were determined justified under the circumstances and no enforcement action was taken.
Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, learned that two subjects he had already caught illegally harvesting deer had shot at an additional 18 deer at night with the aid of rifles and spotlights. Paul’s investigation confirmed more deer were purposely ran over with their truck.
While working on another case, warden Joe Paul heard two rifle shots after hours in a nearby woodlot. Paul later identified the subject and confirmed that the subject had shot and wounded an 8-point buck after the close of hunting hours.
Warden Phil Brown, of Iron River, and a Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to a complaint in November concerning a deer allegedly shot from the road on private property without permission. During the investigation, Brown determined a buck fawn and an adult doe were shot on private property from the roadway by two separate individuals without permission from the landowner. One of the deer was shot from a vehicle parked on a gravel road and registered as being harvested in Polk County despite being shot in Bayfield County. There was also a doe fawn that was shot by one individual and registered by another who was several miles away at the time the deer was harvested.
Warden Amie Egstad, of Bayfield, was contacted by Red Cliff tribal warden Zach Peterson on the opening morning of the deer-gun season regarding an ATV operator dressed in blaze orange driving on Hwy. 13 while carrying a loaded firearm. Egstad determined the hunter was using 4 gallons of bait.
Wardens Brown and Matthew Koshollek, of Drummond, spent time working road hunting complaints in the Chequamegon National Forest during the gun deer season. Six hunters were found to have loaded gun violations while deer hunting in Bayfield County.
Warden Lynna Martin and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) warden Dzwonkowski walked into an over-baiting complaint that possibly involved tribal members. Upon contact, the wardens found a tribal member who was hunting under state law on private land and had proper licensing for private land. The hunter had more than 10 gallons of bait consisting of corn, apples and hay. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Adam Stennett spoke to a cabin owner adjacent to the Brule River State Forest regarding the owner’s treestands left on the forest for years. One of the owners stated that they have left their stands on the state forest for more than two years.
Warden Stennett stopped an ATV operator in Brule for not having the ATV headlights on while operating on a road route. Stennett found the UTV operator behind the ATV was an 11-year-old child who did not have an ATV safety certification and was not allowed to operate UTVs on the roadway. Enforcement action was taken with the father for permitting the illegal and unsafe operation.
Wardens Mike Sealander, of St. Germain, and Lt. Dave Holmes contacted two hunters during the gun deer season. One was dropped off on an illegal bait to hunt without wearing the required blaze orange.
Wardens Tim Price, of Eagle River, and Kelly Crotty, of Florence, contacted three deer hunters who were all hunting over illegal bait. Two of the hunters shot bucks opening weekend over the bait and were both found not to have registered their deer, as required. Enforcement action was taken for the illegal baiting and warnings were issued for not wearing blaze orange, operating an unregistered ATV, and operating an ATV in an unauthorized area.
Wardens Matt Meade, of Mercer, and Matt MacKenzie, of Ashland, contacted a hunter who had shot from his vehicle off of a state highway at a deer. Enforcement action was referred to a GLIFWC warden for the violations observed.
Warden Meade contacted two hunters for shooting grouse off of a paved roadway in the Mercer area. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Meade and Iron County Sheriff’s Department deputy Eric Snow contacted an archery hunter in November about a complaint. When contacted, the hunter was found to be sitting over 60 pounds of bait with a crossbow and in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The man did not have a deer hunting license and had operated his truck to the hunting area without having a valid driver’s license.
Warden Meade contacted a hunter in Iron County who shot a buck during the archery season without a license and then bought one after the fact. The hunter stated he bought the license later because people can’t keep their mouths shut. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, and Aaron Koshatka contacted some archery hunters found to be illegally hunting over bait in Vilas County. Four hunters in the camp were cited for hunting over bait. One of the hunters came back and hunted the same baited area during the gun season after being told it was not legal to do so.
Wardens Thole and Koshatka investigated a trapping interference complaint in the Natural Lakes Preserve north of Boulder Junction. A trapper was trapping coyotes near a walking trail in the area and a local landowner’s dog got caught in a foot-hold trap. It was learned the dog owner was upset about his dog being caught so he illegally took the trap and destroyed it with a sledgehammer. He then put the destroyed trap in a bag and hung it near the trappers trap line with a sign expressing his anger.
Wardens Thole and Koshatka investigated an area on state land that was illegally baited and had an unmarked trail camera nearby. On the last day of the gun-deer season, a hunter placed 10 gallons of corn in the same area with another unmarked trail camera. The wardens the found the hunter hunting over the corn on the second day of the muzzleloader deer season.
Wardens Thole and Koshatka contacted a 15-year-old hunter in a treestand hunting over illegal bait. The youth was allowed to retrieve his hunting gear from his stand prior to walking over to contact his uncle nearby. While retrieving his gear, the youngster was observed texting and was found to have texted “game wardens” to his uncle. By the time the wardens got to his uncle, he was already out of his climbing treestand and walking away from the illegal bait he had been hunting over. The adult uncle was cited for hunting over bait and had also been cited in the past for illegally feeding deer at his cabin and hunting from an illegal treestand on state property.
On the day before the gun-deer season, wardens Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, and Chris Bartelt, of Lake Tomahawk, contacted a landowner and hunter who had placed bait for deer hunting and was operating a UTV on private land without permission.
Wardens Ebert and Dave Walz contacted a person walking into the woods on opening day who was dressed in blaze orange, carrying a loaded rifle and a pail of corn. The person stated he was going to sit in the woods and had been sitting in the woods for a couple of hours earlier in the day. The person didn’t have a deer license and stated he didn’t intend to shoot a deer. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a license and providing false information to game wardens.
On the last Saturday of the gun-deer season, wardens Ebert and Meade contacted an angler ice fishing on the Willow Flowage. The angler stated he kept one northern pike. While Ebert was speaking with the angler, Meade located a walleye hidden in the brush along shore. The walleye measured 23.5 inches. The angler stated he didn’t know what the size limit was and had not measured the fish. The size limit on the Willow Flowage is 15 inches minimum with a 20- to 24-inch protected slot.
Green Bay Team and Northeast Operations Marine Unit
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, conducted the following hunting-related investigations during the gun deer season: excessive bait, hunter harassment, found dead deer/fail to register, stand placement/suspect illegal bait, suspect automatic feeder, shoot from vehicle, register antlerless deer with buck authorization, possession of illegal game, shoot/hunt within 50 feet of road center, early shooting, late shooting, hunt too close to third party dwelling and illegal firearm discharge on state lands.
Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc County, received a call regarding a hunter trespassing and shooting ducks. The person reported seeing the hunter shoot several ducks, toss some into the weeds, and take four to his truck. In the field where the incident occurred, Neff-Miller located two hen mallards that were discarded by the hunter. Neff-Miller contacted the hunter at his residence and the investigation revealed that the hunter had harvested pheasants without a pheasant stamp, over-harvested mallards, and was over the possession limit on ducks.
Marine Enforcement Unit
Warden Mike Neal, of Sister Bay, followed up on a baiting complaint that led him to two individuals on separate sites, who both were cited for hunting over too much bait as he baits were in excess of 5 gallons each.
Wardens Neal, Jordan Resop and Dave Allen assisted the Door County Sheriff’s Department with the search for a missing individual in the Forestville area. The individual had walked away the night before and failed to return home. A search of the Ahnapee River was requested by the sheriff’s department of the game wardens. The Door County Sheriff’s Department also requested the assistance of DNR aircraft to help cover the area around Forestville. The individual was located just before dark when he arrived at home.
Wardens Jeff Lautenslager followed up on an over-possession limit. The complaint resulted in citing a hunter hunting deer without a license and hunting over bait.
Warden Dave Allen, of Kewaunee, spent significant patrol time in the town of Carlton in Kewaunee County during the 2018 gun-deer season as there were multiple complaints of illegal road hunting and unsafe activities. Allen contacted members of one group as they were legally hunting and another member of a second group and advised there would not be any warnings given for the unsafe activity. Allen will follow up with members of the third group and advise them, as well. Allen also contacted the Kewaunee County sheriff and advised him of the complaints and groups involved. Extra patrols will work in the area until the end of the year.
Warden Jordan Resop assisted the Door County Sheriff’s Department with a call of a suspicious/distressed boat off of Riley’s Bay. The boat was determined to be okay.
Warden Jake Zach, of Fish Creek, assisted the Algoma Police Department with a disorderly female throwing knives. The situation had calmed down when he arrived, but he stood by until more officers arrived.
Wardens Heather Gottschalk, of Wautoma, and Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, followed up on a citizen call of unlawful baiting with the hunter found to have harvested multiple deer at the baited area in 2017 and 2018.
During a hunting investigation, wardens Gottschalk and Kaiser contacted an individual who was found to be a felon in possession of a firearm and who had harvested multiple deer in the past with a firearm as a felon.
Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Heather Gottschalk contacted an ice fisherman on Black Otter Lake the final day of gun-deer season. The fisherman was fishing with too many lines (four tip-ups) and was found to have over-bagged on northern pike (caught and kept six northern pike).
Warden Ben Mott, of Wautoma, received a call from a sheriff’s deputy about individuals caught with a loaded .22 rifle in their car. There was also deer blood on the back seat/trunk of the car. Through an investigation with wardens Jonathan Kaiser of Waupaca, Jon Scharbarth of Plover, and Vong Xiong of La Crosse, it was determined the individuals had shot a buck without a permit, registered it under a subject’s brother’s license, and hid the deer. Multiple violations were found. Enforcement action is pending.
On opening morning of the gun-deer season, warden Mott followed up on a call of excessive bait placed in front of two blinds. Upon contact, it was found that there were three blinds placed and corn had been placed in front of all of them. The hunters were 12 to 15 years old and hunting with their father and the grandfather. The father had placed the bait and took responsibility. Mott explained to the youths why the regulations were in place and the importance of reading and following the regulations.
Warden Ben Nadolski, of Montello, investigated treestands and a boat left in the Grand River Marsh State Wildlife Area for more than a week. The boat was left next to a pond away from the main wetland impoundment. It is illegal to leave a boat unattended on state lands. There are signs posted at the boat landings for the main wetland impoundment advising this. The people responsible for the stands and the boat were located and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Nadolski responded to a call from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department of a hunter shooting a deer from a vehicle on a paved road. The 17-year-old suspect was the driver of the vehicle. They stopped the car in the lane of traffic and shot their .30-06 rifle from the driver’s seat, across the other lane of traffic, killing a deer in a field. The passenger, the shooter’s step-parent who has prior convictions of the same activity, then helped load the deer.
Wardens Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, Jacob Cross, of Shawano, and Jeffrey Knorr and Clark Delzer, of Shawano, worked with a shoreland property owner in November to free a small buck that had gotten stuck in the exposed lake bed of Pigeon Lake. The deer was mired in mud past its chest. The deer was transported from the lake and released.
Wardens Schraufnagel and Cross assisted the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department by locating a subject who allegedly pointed his firearm at another person. The alleged victim was assisting his group on a deer drive at the time. The located subject was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. The sheriff’s department will refer the matter to the D.A.
Warden John Schreiber, of Green Lake, contacted a hunter who was buying licenses in a family member’s name and using that person’s approvals to harvest deer. Schreiber determined that in a past hunting season the hunter had shot two bucks with a bow.
Warden Schreiber responded to a call in November of a deer being shot in a field from a truck. Schreiber contacted multiple people shining deer near the location. These individuals were found to be unrelated to the poached deer, but did possess two firearms and bow/arrows in the vehicle while shining deer. One of the individuals was found to be a convicted felon and was arrested as a felon in possession of a firearm. Enforcement action was taken for shining while possessing firearms and bow and arrows. A person of interest was located in the shooting of the deer. Enforcement action is underway.
Warden Schreiber responded to a caller who reported shotgun BBs raining down on a local citizen across the road from a pheasant hunting area. Upon contact, it was found the hunter shot at a pheasant in the air and the BBs continued across the road and then fell onto the private property and an individual in the driveway. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Schreiber contacted a deer hunter who was found to be intoxicated while possessing a firearm. The hunter was arrested.
Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, responded to a call of a deer being stuck in the mud in a lake in Clintonville. The deer was rescued from the mud and released.
Wardens Cross and Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, were called to assist the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department on a call of an altercation involving a group of deer hunters hunting on state land and another hunter pointing a gun at them.
The wardens responded, along with deputies, and located the suspect. It was found that the suspect was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Warden Cross investigated a complaint of an illegal bait pile in the Birnamwood area. Cross contacted the suspect and determined the suspect did place bait. It also was found that the suspect had shot and registered a buck with his bow in October and then shot another buck with his bow in November using his wife’s bow buck harvest tag.
On opening day, wardens Tim Werner, of Crivitz, and Lt. Matt O’Brien, of Madison, heard a call for a structure fire. The wardens were nearby and were the first responders on the scene. The wardens assisted with making sure all people were removed from the residence and began managing the scene for responding fire departments.
Marinette County wardens Tim Werner, of Crivitz, and Dale Romback, of Wausaukee, as well as Capt. Ben Treml, of Green Bay, Lt. Andy Lundin, of Peshtigo, and Lt. Matt O’Brien, of Madison, assisted the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department with two separate deceased hunters on opening day of the gun-deer season. After investigations were completed, the incidents were determined not to be hunting-related fatalities.
Warden Werner responded to an area in Forest County near Carter to assist a Forest County deputy who had responded to a night hunting complaint. During the investigation it was determined five tribal members had shot a deer using a spotlight and firearm in the Nicolet National Forest. Enforcement action taken.
Lake Winnebago Team
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, and Capt. Ben Treml, of Green Bay, investigated a complaint of two hunters skinning out deer in a state land parking lot on the Brillion State Wildlife Area during the gun-deer season. The two hunters skinned several deer and tossed the carcasses and bones into a grassy area adjacent to the parking lot. The hunters were traffic-stopped leaving the lot and a loaded rifle was found inside the vehicle. An investigation revealed that one of the hunters had shot four antlerless deer without any valid authorizations for the county he was in, or the land type he was hunting. His hunting companion had only one valid antlerless authorization. A second hunting companion also had only one valid antlerless authorization, but he had already left the area. In addition, the hunter had placed an illegal treestand weeks prior to the gun-deer opener and the stand was still in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for littering, loaded firearm in a vehicle, an illegal treestand, and possession of three illegal deer for taking game without valid harvest authorizations in the field.
Warden Disher investigated a call regarding a hunter using illegal No. 00 buckshot and who had shot an 8-point buck.
Warden Disher investigated a call regarding a hunter who shot a deer without a license during the bow season. An investigation revealed the hunter had shot a deer using a crossbow, but had not purchased any archery hunting approvals, which is a criminal offense. Enforcement action was taken.