Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 3, 2020

SOUTHEAST REGION

Waukesha/Milwaukee Team/December

Wardens who serve Walworth County hosted the annual “Hunt off Hunger” Battle of the Schools food drive and documented the amount of perishable goods donated by Delavan-Darien, Elkhorn, and Badger High Schools. Delavan-Darien High School was awarded the traveling trophy for donating more than 1,500 pounds of perishable items. In total all three high schools donated more than 3,000 pounds of perishable goods for local food pantries during the holiday season.

Warden Brad Wilson took enforcement action against an individual after responding to a complaint involving a mechanical deer feeder. Wilson found the individual was hunting over the feeder and not wearing blaze orange during the late season gun hunts.

Warden Andrew Starch and Lt. Rick Reed came across two individuals archery hunting for deer in Jefferson County near Whitewater. They recognized one through an arrest last year for hunting without a license and, as a result, had his privileges revoked. The second individual was visiting from Florida and was found to be hunting without a license.

Warden Steve Sanidas received notification concerning a significant amount of discarded mail and a cell phone dumped at the Frog Alley access for Vernon Marsh Wildlife Area. The investigation led to a discovery that the town of Mukwonago Police Department was conducting an investigation of mail and package thefts in Mukwonago and several surrounding communities. This proved to be a critical break in identifying suspects in the case.

Warden Blaine Ziarek followed up on information regarding a loan/borrow archery deer case in East Troy. Ziarek found that the individual was using others’ approvals to shoot multiple bucks.

Sheboygan County Team/February

Wardens Anthony Arndt and Isaac Hackett followed up on a deer registration complaint. A Sheboygan man bowhunted without a license and shot a 10-point buck. Then he bought his license a week later. The hunter also shot two antlerless deer during the gun season and only registered one of the three harvests.

Warden Arndt found a Fond du Lac man on Lake Winnebago inside his sturgeon shanty 2½ hours after the season had closed. He was in possession of two tied-off spears and was actively manipulating a white lattice structure in his sturgeon hole. Enforcement action was taken for possessing spears after hours.

Racine-Kenosha-Walworth Counties Team/February

Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, responded to a complaint of reckless ATV operation on Paddock Lake.  They contacted three adults with three kids, who were riding snowmobiles, ATVs and go-carts on the ice of Paddock Lake.  Violations were found for unregistered vehicles, no ATV license plate, fail to transfer registration, no helmet and no safety certificates.

Warden Meinholz assisted Wyoming Fish and Game Department with a case involving an individual living in Wisconsin, but was buying resident Wyoming preference points.  Wardens Meinholz and Brandon Smith located the individual in Kenosha. Meinholz issued the individual citations on behalf of Wyoming Fish and Game.

Waukesha/Walworth Team/February

Warden Andrew Starch followed up on a deer hunting investigation that involved two family members and a family friend. Starch’s investigation found the friend hit a deer with a car, and one family member bought a license to register the struck deer. Enforcement action was taken against one family member for providing false information in the case; the second family member was also cited for an additional registration violation.

Warden Starch took enforcement action against a Lapham Peak State Park visitor who was found baiting wildlife. Starch found the park visitor continued to place bait after being warned to stop this illegal action. The visitor also was caught baiting again on a trail camera.

Warden Steve Sanidas was on patrol when he observed two older women who were stuck in their driveway. Sanidas offered assistance and was able to push the vehicle out by hand. The women were very grateful and said they were heading out to pick up a snow blower when they got stuck.

Warden Sanidas assisted two Racine County conservation wardens responding to an ATV / UTV complaint at the Tichigan Wildlife Area. The wardens found a group of anglers operated ATVs and UTVs through the Tichigan Wildlife Refuge to access the frozen lake. Some people in the group rode around a locked gate that was posted with a “no operation of motor vehicles” sign.

While on snowmobile patrol in the town of Eagle, warden Sanidas stopped a snowmobile that was excessively loud and being operated on public trails. The warden’s investigation found the operator had altered the exhaust system to make it louder than stock.

Warden Sanidas was on ice fishing patrol in the Mukwonago area when he contacted an individual fishing with more than the legal number of lines. The person was using five lines. Sanidas later learned this person had been cited for this violation twice before.

Warden Sanidas contacted a snowmobiler in the Eagle area for not displaying current registration. The person did not have current registration for the machine and also did not have a trail pass for operating on public trails.

Warden Jason Swaney contacted a group of anglers on Delavan Lake while on patrol. Swaney’s found the group had caught and kept three northern pike. Two were under the 32-inch size limit and one of the individuals told of catching two of the northern pike, which exceeded the daily bag limit of one fish on Delavan Lake.

In another ice fishing contact on Delevan Lake, Swaney contacted an individual who kept 28 panfish that day.

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Rock River Team/January

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Wardens Austin Schumacher and Kyle Johnson, both of Janesville, with help from a DNR forester, completed a timber theft investigation at the Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area.

Warden Kyle Johnson investigated a complaint involving an individual who was suspected of harvesting a buck during the antlerless-only holiday hunt in Rock County. With the assistance of the Illinois Conservation Police, wardens were able to determine the individual harvested the buck illegally.

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, contacted two individuals on a single ATV on Fox Lake. The ATV had no license plate, the registration decals were not in the proper position, and the owner had not registered the ATV in his name after buying it. Enforcement action was taken and two warnings were issued.

Warden Mannes stopped a snowmobile near Burnett. The snowmobile was not displaying the current registration or a trail pass. The owner had purchased the snowmobile and never registered it under his own name. 

Wardens Mannes and Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, interviewed two hunters regarding complaints of possible illegal hunting activity. They found numerous violations, including: fail to register deer, harvest a buck during the antlerless-only season, hunt without blaze orange/pink clothing (two times), provide false information to the DNR, and register deer after registration period.

Rock River Team/February

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Warden Mannes, of Horicon, investigated a citizen call about off-highway motorcycles operating on DNR land to access Chub Lake. Mannes located and contacted the group. He found numerous violations.  Warnings were issued and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Mannes observed a juvenile operating an ATV on Beaver Dam Lake. Mannes stopped the youth for operating without a helmet. The youth had not passed an ATV safety course. The father of the individual was interviewed, and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Mannes was patrolling Beaver Dam Lake by snowmobile when he noticed five tip-ups set in front of a cabin. As Mannes approached the tip-ups, an individual exited the cabin and said three of the tip-ups were his and the other two belonged to a relative, but the relative had left the area. The individual at the cabin called the relative and said there was no plan to return to the cabin.

Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, contacted an individual on Beaver Dam Lake who was observed operating an ATV with expired registration and no rear plate. Burton determined the registration had expired in 2017, there was no rear license plate, and the owner had not transferred the title into his name nor had not taken an ATV safety course. 

Wardens Burton and Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, were patrolling Fox Lake during a large ice fishing jamboree.  They observed a juvenile operating a snowmobile without valid registration. The juvenile’s parent was contacted, and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, and Andrew Starch, of Oconomowoc, investigated an individual who was suspected of harvesting an antlerless deer without a hunting license. The wardens found the individual had purchased a license after harvesting the deer, and the antlerless deer was then registered. 

Wardens Brooks and Ryan Caputo, of Fitchburg, found that an individual had shot a buck without a license. The individual then asked a relative to buy a license and register the deer. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Brooks was patrolling on Rock Lake in Lake Mills when he contacted an angler and found the person was in possession of a 19.5-inch northern pike. The pike size limit on Rock Lake is 26 inches. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, was patrolling on Bowers Lake when he contacted two individuals who were jigging for panfish inside a shanty. Upon contact, Johnson smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana. Johnson found illegal drug paraphernalia. Both individuals also were found to be fishing with four lines each. Johnson noted he had contacted this group of anglers the year prior for similar violations.

Warden Johnson was at the Storrs Lake DNR launch when he observed two individuals passing items back and forth inside a vehicle. Upon contact, Johnson located marijuana and paraphernalia. Johnson also determined one of the two individuals has been archery hunting for deer in the surrounding public lands. Upon conducting a license check, it was discovered the individual did not have a valid deer hunting license. Enforcement action was taken for the drug and hunting violations.

Madison Team/February

Warden Henry Bauman, of Dane County, took enforcement action against an individual for illegally clubbing a muskrat to death while ice fishing on University Bay in Madison.

Warden Bauman took enforcement action against an individual for illegally operating his snowmobile on the Waubesa Wetlands State Natural Area, illegally operating on roads, trespassing and failure to display registration.

Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, and Alex Brooks met with an individual who was suspected of harvesting a buck prior to having a hunting license. They found the individual did not have a hunting license and did shoot a buck prior to buying a license.

Wardens Caputo and Jake Donar, both of Dane County, conducted a check on a taxidermist suspected of doing taxidermy without a license. The taxidermist has been doing taxidermy work since 2011 with an expired license. The taxidermist was also found to be over the possession limit on walleyes.

Warden Nick King, of Green County, investigated a case of two family members hunting deer without a license. He found two relatives had each shot a deer without a license and later bought a license and registered the two deer.

Wardens King and Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, observed a snowmobile rider on the Rock County trails without a trail pass or valid registration. The snowmobile also had illegal modifications to the exhaust system.

Warden King observed four snowmobilers operating on the Green County trails while they were closed. One of the riders was also operating an unregistered snowmobile, operating without a trail pass, and operating without snowmobile safety, as required.

Wardens King and Caputo investigated an individual for several possible deer hunting violations. They also learned the individual was a felon who had been hunting with firearms for several years. Enforcement action was taken and the individual was referred to the Green County Sheriff’s Department for felony charges.

NORTHEAST REGION

Green Bay Team/February

Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, was patrolling a local lake when she observed a man ice fishing and tending to three tip-ups. At one point, the man retrieved two jig poles and began fishing with those two fishing poles. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with too many lines, five in total.

Peshtigo Team/February

Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, worked with DNR Division of Forestry staff regarding a deer feeding case in Bowler. Cross was able to make contact with the landowner and issue a citation for illegal feeding.

Warden Cross assisted warden Tim Otto, of Antigo, with snowmobile enforcement in Langlade County. They issued two citations for modified loud exhaust and no trail pass and issued warnings for no proof of registration card.

Warden Cross was on snowmobile patrol when he stopped a snowmobile operator in Bowler who did not have a trail pass displayed. The operator also did not have a valid snowmobile safety certificate. 

Warden Cross contacted a group of coyote hunters in Shawano County and found one hunter was in possession of a loaded gun inside of the vehicle. 

Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, received a call from a Shawano County deputy concerning two snowmobilers who left a bar at close and never returned to their nearby truck and trailer approximately three hours later. Delzer later found the operators near the truck and trailer. They were OK, but one of the operators was found to be operating while intoxicated. 

Marine Enforcement Unit/February

Warden Mike Neal, of Sister Bay, received a call about an individual with an illegal feeding site near Gills Rock. Neal located the individual as he was filling a mechanical feeder on his property. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Neal and Nic Hefter responded to a call concerning possible trespass by snowmobilers near Jacksonport. The wardens focused on a complaint of snowmobile trespass on a property owner’s field. Numerous warnings were given for trespass violations. Citations also were issued for registration and trail pass violations, altered exhaust, and failing to stop at regulatory signs.

Wardens Josh Voelker, of Sturgeon Bay, and Chris Kratcha were patrolling on snowmobiles and contacted a snowmobile operator who could not find the trail back to his house. The wardens directed the rider in the right direction, but later found the same rider unable to find the trail. Wardens escorted the snowmobiler back to the trail.

Wardens Voelker and Kratcha responded to an emergency medical call for a child injured when a snowmobile hit a bump, sending the child on the backrest of the snowmobile. The child was transported to the hospital to check for back injuries and the father was advised about the DNR crash reporting system.

Wardens Nicholas Hefter, of Fish Creek, and Brent Couperus worked on a complaint from park staff at Peninsula State Park regarding garbage from home residences in Fish Creek being deposited in the trash bins in Tennison Bay Campground. The responsible individuals were contacted and warned about the violation.

Wardens Hefter and Couperus were on patrol at Peninsula State Park and stopped a driver for operating a vehicle traveling 44 mph in a 25 mph zone. A citation was issued for speeding, and warnings were issued for not wearing a seat belt and having no proof of insurance.  The stop was made on a busy Saturday in the park when multiple visitors were hiking on the road.

Wautoma Team/February

Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, joined warden retiree Jeff Knorr for the Waupaca Area Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited banquet with multiple members contacted and a presentation given about conservation wardens.

Wardens Kaiser and Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, patrolled for sturgeon spearing, fishing, and recreational vehicle operation on Lake Poygan, with enforcement action taken for an individual found to be in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Wardens Tom Sturdivant, of Neenah, and Jonathan Kaiser patrolled the Battle on ’Bago and sturgeon spearing season, having contacts with anglers, spearers, and recreational vehicle users. Enforcement actions were taken for fishing without a license, failing to transfer recreational vehicle registration upon purchase, and operating an ATV on a public way with private registration.

Warden Kaiser assisted Hartman Creek State Park staff and volunteers with the annual candlelight hike by performing traffic control and public safety functions. Several hundred vehicles and more than a thousand attendees joined the event.

Wardens Kernosky and Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, were on patrol in the town of Wolf River, in Winnebago County, and contacted a group of coyote hunters who just shot a coyote. The hunter who shot the coyote was found to not have a valid small game license and had shot the coyote off of the roadway. 

Warden Ben Mott, of Wautoma, was driving to training when he was nearly struck by a vehicle operating in the wrong lane. Mott was able to conduct a traffic stop on the individual before they were able to injure anyone as they continued to cross the centerline and nearly hit the curb. Mott requested the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department to respond. Officers found it appeared there was some kind of medical issue occurring. The individual was taken by Waushara County EMS to the hospital for evaluation. No one was injured and the individual was able to get the medical treatment he needed.

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