Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 1, 2020
Ashland Team / March
Wardens Phil Brown, of Iron River, Matt Koshollek, of Drummond, and Adam Stennett, of Brule, patrolled the Cable area in March for a large snowmobile race. The wardens made stops for registration, trail pass and modified exhaust violations.
Warden Stennett issued a citation to a steelhead fisherman for fishing on the Brule River and not having proof of a fishing license. Stennett warned the fisherman for fishing from an unregistered kayak with an electric motor attached. Stennett also reminded the fisherman of the “Safer at Home” order since the fisherman was not from the surrounding area.
Warden Stennett issued a citation to a steelhead fisherman for fishing in a closed area of the Brule River from the Old Hwy. 2 Bridge upstream of Hwy. 2. Stennett also reminded the angler of the “Safer at Home” order since he was not from the surrounding area.
Park Falls Team / March
Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, and the Rusk County Sheriff Department responded to a report of an individual who had been shot in the leg and was admitted to the hospital. It was determined the individual was a passenger in a vehicle that had struck a deer. The individual shot himself while holstering a handgun after dispatching the deer.
Warden Dan Michels, of Park Falls, responded to a complaint of illegal intentional burning of an older barn at a property west of Glidden. During the investigation, Michels also discovered an old cabin a few miles away that had also been burned down to make room for new construction. Formal letters were sent to the landowners and enforcement action is processing.
Warden Joe Paul investigated a panfish overbagging complaint on Long Lake. One person was found to have filled his daily bag limit of crappies and then finished off daily bag limits of crappies for two of his companions. Group bagging is not legal for fishing.
Warden Thomas Heisler, Jr., of Winter received a complaint of two individuals fishing with too many lines on the Chippewa Flowage. Upon contact, the two individuals were fishing with nine total lines for panfish when the law only allows three per person. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, continued his response to complaints of illegal deer feeding in the area. Baiting and feeding of deer in Oneida and Vilas counties has been prohibited since 2016. Multiple citations were issued.
Warden Audrey Royce, of Lake Tomahawk, responded to a complaint of illegal ATV traffic on state and power company lands. Royce located an illegal, handmade trail across state lands that led to a system of powerlines where the majority of the illegal operation took place. In addition to the illegal operation on state and power company lands, multiple trees were damaged through the trail-building process and utility company access roads were rutted.
Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, contacted a landowner in Vilas County while deer were actively feeding in the driveway. The landowner had placed corn, lettuce and sunflower seeds in the driveway. The landowner said he knew it was illegal to feed deer in Vilas County. Enforcement was taken.
Spooner Team / March
Warden Pete Wetzel, of Amery, finalized a road hunting investigation where six deer were shot from a vehicle positioned on roadways and on properties the hunters did not have permission to hunt.
Warden Pete Carlson, of Frederic, assisted with an attempt to locate a suspect involved in a police pursuit in Barron County earlier in the day. Officers had attempted to apprehend the suspect multiple times in the past; however, the suspect repeatedly fled from apprehension attempts. Carlson located the suspect’s vehicle later that same day. He followed the suspect until additional officers could prepare to help with an attempted traffic stop. When a traffic stop was ultimately attempted, the suspect fled again from officers from the county and local authorities. The suspect was arrested after crashing his vehicle during the pursuit.
Warden Carlson responded to a call of illegally set traps believed to be for muskrat. Carlson identified the person who set the traps for mink and muskrat during the closed season, failed to check the traps when required and set illegally sized traps.
Wardens Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, and Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, investigated a complaint about illegal deer feeding in Burnett County. The wardens located two illegal feeding sites consisting of large hay bales on private property. The property owner admitted to placing the illegal feed on his properties and said he did it because he enjoys watching the deer.
Warden Spaight received a complaint of illegal septic pumping in Burnett County. Spaight and county officials responded to the area. The property owner admitted to illegally pumping his septic system and said he did so due to groundwater filling up the septic system. A remedial plan was devised with the owner to get his septic system into compliance.
Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, assisted the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department on a complaint of an ATV tearing around the parking lot of a gas station in Trego. The two ATV operators were contacted and the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department issued two citations for failing to display a license plate and one warning for operating an ATV without completing required ATV safety training/certification.
Warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, responded to a complaint of ATVs operating on closed ATV trails in Poskin. Upon arrival to the area, Loining located the suspects. Three male subjects admitted to operating ATVs around closed gates and on the closed trails.
Wardens Loining and Jon Hagen, of Spooner, and a Barron County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to Tuscobia Lake for a complaint of a man possibly stranded on the lake due to poor ice conditions. The man’s vehicle had been parked at the local lake access point for several days. Upon contact, it was determined the man was camping in his shack on the ice and was not stranded. It was also discovered he was fishing with a tip-up baited with a shiner on a treble hook. The man admitted to fishing for northern pike. However, the northern pike fishing season was closed.
Warden Loining and the Barron County Sheriff’s Department recreation deputy responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch south of Barron. Upon contact with the vehicle operator, it was determined he was operating his motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (OWI). Loining assisted the deputy with the arrest of the driver for fifth offense OWI.
Antigo Team / March
Wardens in Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, and Florence counties are continuing to receive and take action on illegal feeding of deer. There is a ban on baiting and feeding deer in these counties.
Lower Chippewa Team / March
Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Cornell, and Kurt Haas, of Taylor County, responded to a fishing complaint on Otter Lake and contacted the men who were fishing there. One of the fishermen was found to have caught several panfish over the daily bag limit. It was also found that the fisherman was over his possession limit at his residence.
Warden Ken Thomson, of Fall Creek, received several complaints regarding air pollution from several local sawmills. Thomson worked with DNR air staff and the Bridge Creek Town Board to plan a meeting to educate and bring the businesses into compliance.
Mississippi River Team / March
A Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department deputy contacted warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, regarding a complaint involving loaded firearms left in the bed of a vehicle overnight in a business parking lot. While that complaint was being investigated, the person responsible for the vehicle arrived to pick up the vehicle and it was found the person who drove them there also had a loaded firearm in the vehicle. In addition to the loaded firearms in a vehicle, it was found that the two individuals had been hunting squirrels during the closed season and had operated a UTV without the proper safety certification.
Warden Edward McCann, of La Crosse, patrolled near the lock-and-dam and observed two boats with people aboard who were fishing in the restricted area. Both boats were in the auxiliary/false lock about 100 feet upstream of the restricted area sign.
Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, received a complaint regarding a vehicle operator who ran over a raccoon on Lake Onalaska. The caller stated there was a raccoon walking across the ice and the driver of a truck saw the raccoon, sped up and hit the raccoon, as the raccoon was headed towards a wooded area. The driver told the wardens that he, the driver, initially sped up to kill the raccoon for its hide. The driver stated at the last minute he saw the raccoon was too small and he was traveling too fast on the ice to avoid hitting the raccoon and killing it.
Warden Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, was on patrol below the lock-and-dam during the spring walleye run. Adams made contact with a fishing group, which had caught their limit earlier in the day, and were seen back fishing for walleyes in the evening. Two anglers were determined to have double-tripped on walleyes and had seven fish over their daily bag limit.
Warden Adams contacted numerous fishermen as they were fishing out of boats in the restricted area below the lock-and-dam.
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer were on ice fishing patrol on the waters of the Mississippi River near Desoto when they made contact with two men who were fishing. One of the fishermen was in possession of 22 yellow perch and the other was in possession of three yellow perch when contacted that morning. Later in the afternoon and evening, the wardens observed these same two ice fishermen launch a boat and motor out to an area on the Mississippi River where the perch were known to be biting heavily. It was found both of the fishermen were over their daily bag limit of yellow perch. It was also found that the individuals did not have PFDs in their boat while operating that night. Enforcement actions were taken by the Wisconsin DNR and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.
Black River Falls Team / March
Warden Ryan Lowry, of Osseo, closed a complaint reporting that someone was illegally trapping otters in Jackson County. Over the course of a year, and with the help of several tips, Lowry identified a suspect and determined that he committed multiple violations, including trapping an otter without having a carcass registration tag while afield, harvesting an otter without attaching a carcass tag, and littering the otter carcass back into the waterbody it was trapped on when the issued tag could not be located by the suspect in his truck. Enforcement action was taken. Rather than contacting a conservation warden for assistance when the trapper could not find his issued tag, he instead wasted a protected and valued species.
Warden Wade Romberg, of Friendship, investigated a complaint concerning an individual who allegedly threw a bag of garbage into a creek. Romberg was told by the citizen that he had warned the individual about littering last year, and then watched the individual litter again. Romberg located the individual and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, investigated a complaint from a Juneau County landowner involving a dog being caught in a cable restraint. Seybert responded to the property and found 10 cable restraints set illegally that resulted in enforcement action being taken against two individuals, including a neighboring landowner, responsible for the restraints.
Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, contacted three individuals for littering beer cans below the Castle Rock dam. All three suspects were underage and illegally in possession of alcohol. The operator of the vehicle had a suspended driver’s license.
Wisconsin River Team / March
Warden Jon Scharbarth, of Stevens Point, followed up on several citizen complaints concerning muskrat traps out during the closed season, plus a call about a coyote in a cable restraint.
Warden Scharbarth assisted DNR forestry and wildlife crews by providing emergency lighting for a prescribed burn in the Buena Vista Wildlife Area.
Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, certified wild ginseng for Marathon County area businesses.
Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, gave a hunter safety presentation at the Hamburg Fire Hall.
While checking licenses of individuals fishing, warden Kyle Ziembo, of Wisconsin Rapids, came upon two individuals fishing without licenses. Ziembo also found one of the two had been hunting the past fall without having any licenses.
Warden Ziembo discovered an ice shack left out on an area lake after the close of the season and notified the owner to remove it. The next day, the shack owner decided to drive his truck though a closed section of a county park to access the shack. A park worker noticed this and discussed the action with the individual until Ziembo and local authorities arrived. The ice shack was removed.
Lower St. Croix Team / March
Wardens Jaime McDermid and J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, received a complaint about someone burning down a shed near Boyceville. The wardens found a large ash pile where the old farm building had been burned. In the ash pile there were various materials that are not legal to burn, such as metals, heavy fabrics and painted wood. The individuals admitted they intended to burn down two other farm buildings and then bury all of the remaining waste. McDermid instructed the individuals to refrain from any more burning and burying of waste. Wardens documented the information and forwarded it to DNR environmental staff.
Warden Redemann responded to a report of a maple syrup sugar shack located deep into a DNR state natural area. Redemann found almost 100 taps, a makeshift cooking set-up made of bricks and large pans, as well as multiple trees cut down with a chain saw and used for firewood. Ultimately, the sapper was contacted and they explained they took at least 25 gallons of finished syrup from the property with a value well over $1,000. It is illegal to tap trees on state land and also illegal to camp and cut firewood without permits.