Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 8, 2019
Wardens Tim Price, of Eagle River, and Ben Herzfeldt investigated in January a complaint of a licensed guide suspected of taking clients waterfowl hunting over bait, along with other hunting-related violations. Through an investigation, numerous violations were found. Enforcement action is pending in Vilas County and Gogebic County, Mich., for license fraud, overbagging on waterfowl, hunting waterfowl without a license, baiting waterfowl, killing a protected species (bald eagle), failure to register turkey, loan/borrow tags for trapped fisher and pine marten, and illegal feeding.
Warden Matt Meade, of Mercer, assisted with two vehicles that fell through the ice on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage in Iron County. Both vehicles were ultimately removed by ice recovery services and all occupants walked away unharmed.
Warden Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, responded to a complaint of anglers fishing with unattended lines in January. Ebert located four young males fishing. Two of the four did not have fishing licenses and all four had been consuming alcohol and were under the age of 21. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Chris Bartelt, of Lake Tomahawk, worked with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department in January on a case where a hunter had taken a 10-point white-tailed deer rack to a local taxidermist, but was given an 8-point rack in return. The sheriff’s department was able to retrieve and return the hunter’s 10-point rack. The taxidermist was found to be unlicensed for quite some time, and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, and Ben Herzfeldt, in January completed an investigation of illegal deer hunting activities in Forest County during 2017. Two individuals were arrested for felon in possession violations and obstructing on officer. Also, a total of six individuals were found to be involved with the illegal harvest of several deer at night while hunting without licenses, spanning from November 2017 to November 2018. In total, 116 criminal charges were forwarded to the Forest County district attorney for the six individuals involved. Charges include hunting deer during the closed season, hunting deer with artificial light and firearm, possessing deer during the closed season, hunting deer without license, resisting or obstructing a conservation warden, and felon in possession of firearms.
Wardens Dahlquist and Kelly Crotty, of Florence, organized and instructed a snowmobile safety class in Armstrong Creek in January for 15 students who successfully completed the course. Also assisting with the class were the Forest and Marinette County sheriff’s departments, along with a local volunteer instructor.
Warden Tim Otto took enforcement action against a person who shot from a moving car at a coyote that had crossed the road. The citations were the result of an investigation performed by Langlade County Sheriff’s Department deputy Travis Krueger. The sheriff’s department had received a call of a vehicle’s occupants shooting at a residence. This is an example of how wardens rely upon their law enforcement partners to provide public service.
Green Bay Team
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, investigated a suspicious deer gut pile found on Door County Land Trust Property in Sturgeon Bay in January. Evidence at the scene and subsequent contacts ultimately led to an Algoma man who was found to have harvested an 8-point buck using his wife’s archery deer license. The husband was cited for hunting without an appropriate deer approval and hunting deer before hours. The deer was seized and multiple warnings were also issued.
Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, determined that a hunter had harvested an antlerless deer during the metro hunting season in January and failed to register that animal. All deer are to be registered by 5 p.m. the day after recovery. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, assisted the Iowa DNR with a license fraud case in January. Cross found the individual had bought a house and became a Wisconsin resident in June 2018, but still had purchased an Iowa resident hunting license in the fall of 2018. Cross and the Iowa DNR are working together with several pending Iowa license fraud charges and revocations.
Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, was checking ice fishermen in January and contacted two individuals who were fishing without licenses, and two individuals in possession of marijuana. One of the contacts resulted in a felony arrest.
Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, found two individuals fishing with too many lines on the Oconto Falls Pond. Upon contact, Hartrick smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the individuals. Hartrick and an Oconto Falls police officer found one of the individuals with marijuana and another individual with drug paraphernalia. This is the second time within six months that Hartrick contacted one of the individuals with marijuana and or drug paraphernalia.
While on patrol in the Peshtigo River State Forest in western Marinette County in January, warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, came upon a vehicle that had recently crashed into the ditch. Upon speaking with the driver, Werner detected a strong odor of intoxicants. Field sobriety tests were performed, and the driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.
Wardens Werner and Dale Romback, of Wausaukee, responded to a snowmobile accident in Stephenson Township. Upon arrival, the operator refused medical treatment. However, Werner conducted field sobriety tests after determining the operator had consumed alcohol. The operator was arrested for operating a snowmobile under the influence of an intoxicant.
Lake Winnebago Team
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated a complaint of an illegal ground blind on the Brillion State Wildlife Area. The blind had been left out for several weeks and had no name or ID number markings, as required. An investigation revealed a suspect who harvested a deer from the illegal blind. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Disher was on routine patrol of ice anglers on Lake Winnebago at Gladwater Beach when he found an angler operating an ATV with expired 2012 registration decals. The angler had a felony arrest warrant for burglary and was operating an unregistered machine. In addition, the ATV had no license plate and the angler had no ATV safety class as required. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Winneconne, was patrolling the Rat River State Wildlife Area in January when she observed a male get out of his vehicle carrying a bow and a treestand and wearing camouflage. Deer hunting was closed in Winnebago County. Upon contact, the male stated he was bowhunting for deer and he had harvested an antlerless deer earlier in the week. The male stated he believed he was in Outagamie County, which was open for bow deer hunting. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, and Vong Xiong, of Sherwood, responded to a hotline complaint of an individual hunting without blaze orange during the antlerless holiday hunt near Shiocton. It was found that the hunter was hunting over more than two gallons of bait and was hunting without blaze orange during a firearm season. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Thomas Sturdivant, of Neenah, Kretschmer, Disher and Seitz investigated a tip in January of an individual illegally harvesting deer, shooting deer for others (Outagamie County), loan-borrow violations and providing false information to the DNR. The investigation revealed that the individual, along with others, harvested deer that went unregistered, transported illegal deer, filled tags for others, killed one antlerless deer in Iron County, which is a bucks-only deer unit, and provided false information to the DNR. Enforcement action was taken on four individuals.
Investigative warden Ryan Propson of Oshkosh, along with wardens Thomas Sturdivant, of Neenah, and Michael Disher, of Chilton, initiated an investigation in 2017 regarding illegal activities surrounding deer damage permits/tags and not obeying the rules (Shiocton/Nichols-Outagamie County). The case was concluded in January. Through that investigation numerous other hunting violations were uncovered. One individual was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Three individuals pleaded guilty to a total of 13 civil citations, thousands of dollars in fines, one- to six-year revocations of their hunting and fishing privileges and the seizure of deer mounts. Two of the three currently have criminal cases pending in Outagamie County.
Warden Vong Xiong, of Sherwood, assisted the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department with a bus in the ditch on Hwy. 10 because of the snowfall. No parties were injured.
Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, contacted two individuals in January who were found to have unlawfully fed deer over the course of multiple years and trespassed with an ATV while deer hunting. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Kaiser finalized an investigation in January regarding an individual who failed to register bucks harvested with archery equipment and firearms and also unlawfully harvested a third buck in excess of his limit. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Kaiser, of Waupaca, worked with warden Bryan Lockman, of Plover, in January on an investigation regarding individuals who were found to have harvested turkey and deer without licenses and falsified registration records. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, investigated a complaint south of New London where an individual was believed to have harvested a deer during the closed season. Upon investigation it was determined an antlerless deer was harvested by an individual using a crossbow while positioned over bait. The individual also did not have an antlerless tag for Waupaca County. Through an investigation multiple other deer hunting violations were uncovered (failure to register deer, loan/borrow buck deer tags, overbagging on bucks, etc.) which included three additional defendants. Wardens Jeff Knorr, of Fremont, and John Schreiber, of Green Lake, assisted. Enforcement action was taken with all four defendants.
Warden Benjamin Mott, of Wautoma, observed a group of vehicles stopped on the side of a state highway in January. Mott pulled up behind one of the vehicles and observed the individual reach over to the passenger seat. As Mott stepped out of his squad he heard a pump shotgun action being worked. The individual had a loaded gun in the vehicle. The loaded gun was also within reach of his young (in a car seat) son. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, assisted warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, with checking on several shanties on Shawano Lake that were partially submerged in the lake. Warm temperatures and a heavy rain led to the issue. Owners were identified to ensure the shanties are properly removed.
Warden Schraufnagel located tip-ups placed on the Balsam Row Flowage with no one tending them. Schraufnagel waited for the anglers to return and learned that he had left to pick up his girlfriend.