Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 23, 2019
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, assisted wardens in Calumet County with a July investigation into the illegal harvest of two deer near Armstrong Creek. The investigation revealed two individuals hunted deer during a period of revocation without proper gun licenses, and both were convicted felons, which prohibits them from possessing firearms. The firearms used to commit the violations were seized. Criminal charges are pending through Forest County.
Warden Pat Novesky, of Tomahawk, was asked to respond to a call of a boat accident on Lake Nokomis late one July evening. While en route to the call, dispatchers informed Novesky that the boat was on an island and the occupants were now involved in a fight. Novesky and a deputy responded by boat and determined that no accident took place and that the boat stalled and the parties were arguing about how to get home. It was determined that the operator of the boat was heavily intoxicated and enforcement action was taken.
Park Falls Team
Warden Dan Michels, of Park Falls, was working recreational property enforcement on the NH-AL State Forest in July when a hotline call came in regarding illegal deer feeding in Vilas County. Michels contacted the property owner, who was aware of the ban on baiting and feeding due to CWD found in the local deer herd. When the landowner removed the corn from the backyard an adult doe immediately came into the back yard looking to be fed. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Michels received a complaint of a muskie that was kept from the Chippewa River in Ashland County. The muskie was 37 inches long. The legal size limit was 40 inches. The suspect told Michels that he had released the fish into the river. After Michels showed him pictures of the suspect posing with the dead fish at his residence he admitted he did not know what the muskie size limit was when he caught the fish. Enforcement action was taken.
Lower Chippewa Team Web Report
Wardens Kevin Christorf and Ben Herzfeldt made contact with a group of fishermen on Miller Dam Lake near Gilman in June. It was found that four of the anglers had made multiple trips and had overbagged on panfish throughout the day. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Christorf and Jamin Leuzzo received information in June about a possible fish kill on Rock Creek near Loyal. The wardens and DNR staffers investigated the complaint. The wardens were able to determine the source of the pollution that caused the fish kill. They contacted the responsible party. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Christorf and Leuzzo, and Chippewa County recreation deputy Clayton Peters, followed up on a complaint in June of a boater being disorderly to people standing on shore on Lake Wissota. Upon contact with the operator, it was found that he had no PFDs, no boater safety training, and was operating a boat while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jake Bolks responded to a June complaint of an individual who needlessly destroyed a mallard duck nest with eggs in it. Bolks interviewed the suspect and found the reason he destroyed the nest and all the eggs was because he didn’t think the nest was close enough to water. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Bolks checked a fisherman below the Hwy. 53 bridge in Altoona in June. The fisherman was found to be fishing without a license and enforcement action was taken. Bolks also found that the individual had an extraditable warrant from South Dakota and was arrested by Bolks.
Warden Bolks responded to a water rescue event where two kayakers put in too close to the Altoona dam and were pulled into it. Bolks arrived first and attempted to get his emergency throw rope and inflatable PFD to one of the victims, and was unable to due to current. When Bolks arrived, the other kayaker had waded into waist deep water with a rope tied around his waist and a local fisherman was holding onto it. Bolks and the kayaker were able to get another rope to the victim and everyone pulled her out of the current and back to the edge of the river. Thanks to the initial acts from the kayaker and the local fisherman, the victim was rescued with no physical injuries.
Wardens Christorf and Leuzzo assisted Chippewa County recreation deputies with a boating contact over the Fourth of July weekend. The operator of the boat was found to have been operating while intoxicated. It was also determined that the operator had prior been arrested for operating while intoxicated on a motorboat. Enforcement action was taken and the operator was arrested.
Wardens Christorf and Leuzzo contacted an individual in July who had a multiple aquatic invasive weeds on his boat trailer. The individual stated the boat had been transported from Lake Hallie to Lake Wissota. The wardens made contact at the individual’s residence. They observed the boat to still have large amounts of weeds on the trailer. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Bolks and Ken Thomson, of Fall Creek, conducted an investigation in July into a potential loan/borrow deer “authorization” case. Their investigation showed a husband and wife in Fall Creek hunted together early in the bow season. The husband harvested a large buck and had his wife register it. The wife was hunting without a license and illegally registered the deer. Later in the bow season, the husband shot another buck with his bow. Enforcement action was taken on both hunters.
Wardens Bolks and Christorf assisted an Illinois conservation officer with an investigation in July where a hunter was claiming residency in Illinois and Wisconsin. The investigation showed he has been a Wisconsin resident for six years, and for all six years he has also claimed to be a Illinois resident when it came to buying hunting and fishing license in Illinois, thereby defrauding the state of thousands of dollars. The wardens documented all the evidence and sent it to the Illinois officer. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Bolks and Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, along with Minnesota conservation officers, conducted an investigation regarding Wisconsin and Minnesota hunters harvesting deer illegally in Dunn County throughout 2017 and 2018. The wardens discovered more than a dozen deer that were harvested illegally. Violations that occurred included: overbagging of bucks, baiting in a no-bait county, late registration, failure to register deer, providing false information to the department, and hunting without the appropriate approvals. Enforcement action is pending.
Wardens Bolks and Leuzzo investigated an illegal deer hunting complaint in July. They learned that the suspect had shot multiple deer in 2018 and registered them late. The suspect changed the dates on the registration to try and make it look legal. The wardens also learned about multiple deer that had been shot during previous years, but were not registered. Enforcement action was taken. While conducting the investigation, the wardens observed a large aquarium that contained three bluegills. The wardens learned the fish were illegally taken and transported from Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire.
Wardens Bolks and J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, were on boat patrol on the Chippewa River in Dunn County in July when they contacted a boater on a sandbar. The individual was initially friendly, but that changed when the wardens asked about the contents of a pill bottle. The individual quickly dumped the contents of the bottle into the river. The individual became resistive and the wardens arrested the individual after finding a marijuana pipe. They found more marijuana, a “grinder” and a meth pipe. The suspect then attempted to flee from the wardens by jumping into the river while still handcuffed. The wardens rescued the individual and, with the help of the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, were able to transport him back to a boat launch and to jail.
Mississippi River Team
Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, last spring received a complaint of an unattended turkey blind left overnight on state property that had no identifying information on it. Later in the spring, Jensen received a complaint regarding a morel mushroom harvester in the same area. Upon contact with the suspect, Jensen found that person was responsible for leaving their turkey blind on the state property overnight. Jensen also found the person had harvested a turkey and failed to register it. Enforcement action was taken.
While approaching a fishing boat tied off near shore, wardens Jensen and Matt Groppi observed a woman reeling in a fish. The woman admitted she did not have a fishing license and stated her boyfriend had placed out the pole prior to him leaving to go catch bait for catfish on a different part of the river. The female stated the fish had been on the line for several minutes prior to her starting to reel it in and she wasn’t sure what to do with the fish. Jensen finished reeling in the fish and removed the hook from the catfish for the women. The male who placed the pole returned and admitted he had set out the pole prior to leaving. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Cody Adams, of Crawford County, responded to a UTV crash with injuries at midnight during the Fourth of July weekend. A UTV with four occupants in it had rolled over and came to rest on all four wheels. A passenger was injured and transported to local emergency room for minor injuries. Luckily all passengers were wearing their seat belts. The operator was arrested for OWI while causing injury.
Wardens Cody Adams and Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, spoke with a man in July who illegally harvested firewood on a property in Crawford County that he did not have permission to be on. The suspect cut dead trees and then dragged them with a bulldozer across property lines. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, Isaac Hackett and Matt Groppi assisted Winona County Sheriff’s Department with a search for a drowning victim on the Mississippi River. The person’s boat went over the spillway at Lock and Dam 5A. The U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota DNR, Winona Fire and Rescue, and Bruce’s Legacy assisted with searching for the victim, who was recovered later that evening.
Warden Nate Ackerman, of Durand, participated in a Catfish Days group check. Ackerman contacted a fisherman in a boat who did not have a license. The subject also had several boating violations. Enforcement action was taken for no PFDs
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, and Lt. Tyler Strelow were working boat patrol on the waters of the Mississippi River near Lansing, Iowa, when they stopped a boat for displaying improper registration numbers. The driver of the boat was found to have been smoking marijuana prior to operating. The operator was arrested for operating a motorboat with a detectable amount of a controlled substance.
Wardens Trevor Tracey and Hans Walleser, of Grant County, were working from their patrol boat on the waters of the Mississippi River near Lansing, Iowa, in July when they observed two PWC operators spraying each other with wake water. Both operators were stopped for operating a PWC closer than 100 feet of another watercraft while traveling faster than no wake. One of the operators was found to be operating while under the influence of an intoxicant. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, observed a boat drifting in the center of the main channel of the Mississippi River. The boat did not have proper registration displayed and there were no PFDs in the vessel. Due to a barge approaching, Jumbeck asked the operator to motor out of the channel. The operator had a difficult time starting the boat. Two PFDs were provided and the operator was escorted back to the landing. Enforcement action was taken for failing to provide PFDs.
Warden Jumbeck observed a wetland fill violation in July. A landowner was using bark from a local saw mill to fill a wetland area behind his residence. DNR water regs staff made contact and an agreement has been made to remove the fill material from the wetland area.
Wisconsin River Team
Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, conducted an investigation in July regarding an individual hunting turkeys without a license. The individual was found to have hunted and harvested a tom turkey without a license and then later buying a license in oder to register the bird. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Flood attended the Fleet Farm annual kids fishing day where he talked to many kids about boat safety and aquatic invasive species.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, contacted the operator of a septic service vehicle for displaying an expired vehicle certification. During the contact, numerous violations of septage servicing regulations were found. An enforcement conference has been scheduled with the owner of the business with enforcement action pending.
Warden Leezer attended three town meetings (Cleveland, Mosinee and Cassel) in July to answer questions and discuss present and future ATV / snowmobile ordinances.
Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Wisconsin Rapids, assisted DNR program staff in conducting an audit on a septic servicing business in Wood County where they discovered multiple violations. An enforcement conference is scheduled to address the violations.
Wardens Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, and Ziembo responded to a complaint of foul smelling water flowing in a creek near Rudolph. Upon arrival, it was determined an illegal discharge was occurring upstream. The wardens involved other DNR staff and water samples were collected. The investigation is ongoing.
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, responded to Hartman Creek State Park in July after severe weather and high winds knocked down a large number of trees. Lockman assisted park staff in securing an area where a propane tank was damaged by a fallen tree and was leaking.
Warden Jon Scharbarth, of Stevens Point, received a call in July from a home owner in Stevens Point who has multiple sclerosis and could not get around well. She reported that some type of bird had flown inside her house as she was letting her dog in. Scharbarth and DNR forest health specialist Alex Feltmeyer responded and located a wren in one of the rooms of the house. After a lengthy chase it was caught and released into the yard.
Warden Scharbarth gave a presentation to an outdoor leaders camp at Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES), including setting up an evidence trail for the campers to go through.
Black River Falls Team
Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, Molly Detjens, of Adams, recruit Mary Bisch, and the Juneau County recreation deputy provided boating patrols on Castle Rock Lake for the Operation Dry Water and Boat Bash weekends in July. The officers made boating OWI arrests and issued several citations for registration, no-wake, safety certificate, PFD, and boat light violations. Weber also contacted a motor vehicle operator the same weekend near New Lisbon, who was arrested for OWI.
Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, received a complaint of a skunk that had been trapped in a live trap for at least a week. Seybert was able to release the skunk without incident. Contact was made with the individual who set the trap and did not check it. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Weber, Detjens and Bisch investigated a PWC accident that occurred on Castle Rock Lake in July. The incident resulted in damage to the PWC and injuries to the operator. The operator involved in the accident initially told wardens that he collided with a buoy on Castle Rock Lake. Upon investigation it was determined that the operator had lied to the wardens and that he had actually had a collision with another person on a different PWC. Enforcement action was taken.