Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 26, 2020
Warden Timothy Ebert, of Minocqua, responded to a complaint concerning anglers illegally snagging fish on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. Ebert observed an angler snag and release a muskie. After the fish was released, the angler continued to attempt to snag fish. As a result of the joint investigation with the Great Lakes Indian, Fish, and Wildlife Commission, one angler was issued a citation for fishing without a license and one angler was issued a citation for illegally snagging fish.
Warden Matt Meade, of Mercer, contacted an angler fishing the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage without a license and in possession of illegal drugs.
Warden Tim Price, of Eagle River, continued following up on cases of illegal deer feeding. Baiting and feeding of deer has been prohibited in Vilas County since 2016.
Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, investigated a turkey poaching incident near Boulder Junction. Thole learned that man had driven down a road and observed a tom with a hen just off the paved road. The person then shot the tom with a shotgun from his vehicle. After shooting the turkey out the driver’s side window of his truck, the man drove away, turned around, and came back to retrieve the dead bird. The person was subsequently located at a cabin nearby. Thole took enforcement action.
Warden Thole investigated a walleye spearing complaint on an area lake. Two juveniles were found to have speared a walleye with a fish spear and had also attempted to spear fish with a fire poker.
Warden Thole responded to a call of a forest fire in Vilas County. A person was illegally burning household garbage when strong winds caused the fire to escape, starting a much larger fire. Thole used a backpack water can he carried in his truck while a Vilas County deputy used the residence’s water hose in an attempt to contain the fire prior to fire crews arriving on scene. As the fire was at the yard edge of a neighboring property, residents evacuated the neighboring home while DNR and local fire crews extinguished the fire. The neighboring home received minor damage to its siding from the heat. Enforcement actions were taken.
Park Falls Team/May
Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, responded to a report of three escaped deer from a deer farm near Hayward. Koshatka found the farm’s fence had been damaged by a felled tree. The DNR is working with the deer farmer to recover the animals.
Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of an abandoned boat that had run aground and into a group of trees on the Chippewa River. It was found through the investigation that the inattentive operator was scrolling through Facebook at the time of the crash. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Belisle responded to a call from a property owner who saw a deer wearing an orange collar in the yard. Belisle found the yearling doe was wearing an orange collar with this message: “I’m a pet. My name is Tina.” After collaboration with DNR wildlife managers, rehabilitators, and assistance from the landowner, the collar was removed and deer was led away from the residence.
Wardens Kyle Ziembo, of Wisconsin Rapids, Kurt Haas, of Medford, Joe Paul, of Prentice, and Bryan Harrenstein, of Tomahawk, investigated a fishing tournament in Taylor County that was allegedly targeting bass of any size and number. The wardens made contact with five boats involved in the tournament when they came in to shore. The wardens found more than 90 bass among the boats. One boat contained two angler and 33 bass. The daily bag limit for bass on the lake is five. The size limit is 14 inches. The majority of the bass caught were between 8 inches and 13.5 inches. Violations included bowfishing for game fish, excessive overbagging, possession of undersized fish, no fishing licenses, and litter. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Kurt Haas and Kyle Ziembo spoke to a family at the picnic area at the Mondeaux Flowage in Taylor County. They observed fresh fish scales on a picnic table, along with fish heads scattered on the ground. After speaking with the individuals, it was learned the adults did not have licenses and they also had a cooler full of panfish and lake water in their van that they planned to transport home to stock their private pond. The fish were placed back into the water and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, reports a defendant from a bear case in September 2018 was found guilty in Sawyer County Circuit Court when he failed to appear for his court date. He was ordered to pay forfeitures of $343.50 for failure to comply with sampling, $243 for leaving the carcass without attaching a tag, $418 for possessing game without required approvals, $544.50 for providing incorrect information to the DNR, and $243 for possessing game killed by unlawful means. An arrest warrant was issued for failing to appear for the criminal charges of obstructing a warden and hunting bear without required approval.
Warden Paul reports a defendant from a December 2017 night deer shooting case was found guilty in Price County Circuit Court for illegal shining of deer with a crossbow and hunting deer in an unauthorized unit and was ordered to pay $2,690.90 in fines. The court also ordered three-year revocation of all DNR privileges, and his crossbow was confiscated by the court.
Warden Paul located seed oats sprinkled in a standing corn food plot. Paul learned two men with turkey authorizations had placed the oats there to bait in turkeys for their spring turkey seasons. A citation for $343.50 was issued for illegal baiting.
DNR forest rangers responded to an illegal burning complaint and located a person burning illegal debris that included appliances and tires. The person was issued a citation for burning without a permit by the forest ranger. Warden Paul also issued a $767.50 citation for littering.
Warden Tim Otto, of Langlade County, contacted a person after bass fishing at a boat landing and was found with five undersized largemouth bass in a bucket of water. The man said he kept the fish to stock in a small private lake. Otto took enforcement action and warned the man for his unregistered motorboat and other safety violations.
Warden Otto received information regarding an adult fishing on Remington Pond in Antigo, which is an urban fishing water where only adults with physical challenges and children under age 16 may fish. The pond is stocked by the local Trout Unlimited with highly catchable-sized rainbow trout. Warden Otto contacted the person and located 15 trout and a yellow perch in the trunk of the person’s car. The person was cited and charged restitution for each fish.
While performing field patrol in Langlade County, warden Otto contacted an angler and his grandson at Rollingstone Lake. They were found with 55 panfish in the livewell. Otto’s investigation found the two had been fishing earlier in the day and had caught their limits of 25 panfish at that time, too. The adult was cited for overbagging and charged restitution on each fish over the bag limit.
Warden Otto was investigating an illegal deer feeding complaint when he found evidence of a turkey possibly being shot in that location with the aid of bait. Upon contacting the hunter, it was determined the hunter had shot at a turkey feeding under the illegal deer feeder while standing in the doorway of his cabin. The turkey was not recovered, despite being wounded. The person was cited for hunting turkeys with the aid of bait. The person also was referred to water regulations staff for a suspected illegal fill of a wetland.
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Crandon, took enforcement action against an individual who had discharged a .22 pistol from inside a vehicle while on Hwy. 139 near Popple River. The operator said he observed a porcupine while traveling on the highway and decided to shoot it. It was found the operator fired the pistol near a private residence. It is believed no one was at the residence at the time of the shooting.
Lower St. Croix Team/May
Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, worked ongoing ATV complaints in Elmwood. One individual was stopped for displaying ATV registration that had expired in 2005. It was determined the individual had not completed an ATV safety course as required, was operating illegally on the wrong side of the road and had a 4-year-old passenger aboard who was not wearing a helmet. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, took several nuisance and abandoned wildlife calls in May, which included fox, raccoons, rabbits, eagles, owls, fawns, bears and others. Most of these calls can be resolved by leaving baby wildlife alone and removing food sources (mainly bird feeders) to avoid creating nuisance wildlife.
Warden Redemann worked with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department on an additional turkey hunting case in which two individuals were road hunting and shot a tom turkey. They left the scene and returned a short time later to retrieve the turkey. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Redemann worked an illegal deer case in which an individual provided a detailed account of how he claimed to have legally obtained a deer. During the course of the investigation, it was learned the detailed story was largely false. Enforcement action was taken for obstructing an officer.
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to a call of three men stranded in a boat that washed downstream in the Eau Galle River after a recent, significant rain. The men were pinned against a bridge abutment, and were unable to free themselves. Emergency crews were able to free the men without injury.
Mississippi River Team/May
Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, investigated multiple complaints of turkey and fish carcasses dumped along a road. While in the process of investigating that complaint, Jensen received another complaint of several fish carcasses dumped in a drainage ditch. It was found that the same individual was responsible for depositing the carcasses in both locations. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jensen was working fishing enforcement on the Mississippi River when she contacted an individual who was fishing for bluegills. The individual talked of how many bluegills they had kept until that point. However, the number stated was above the daily bag limit for that area. The daily bag limit had recently been reduced from 25 to 15 on that section of the Mississippi River and it was found the individual had 18 bluegills. Jensen was able to return three bluegills back to the water unharmed and educated the angler on the new daily bag limits for that area.
Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Lt. Tyler Strelow patrolled Pool 8 of the Mississippi River on Memorial Day. Wardens found three separate anglers to be in possession of undersized fish.
Late one evening, Hochhausen responded to a complaint of a boater who beached his jet-drive boat and was stuck on a sandbar on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. The boat operator was also diabetic and nighttime air temperatures were going to get down near freezing. Hochhausen used the airboat to locate the boater and remove the boat from the sand flat.
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, responded to a complaint about a person who was found to be dumping yard waste on a dead-end road near multiple homes. This area is a common dump spot for all kinds on garbage. Tracey contacted the suspect, who admitted to dumping at the location even after being confronted by locals and asked cease the behavior. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, while working the inland trout opener, found a group of three individuals in possession of 24 trout. The daily bag limit for each individual was five. Two of the three individuals were found to have overbagged. Enforcement action was taken.
Black River Falls Team/May
Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, took in four juvenile screech owls that had been located near a residence near Mauston. Weber worked with the local DNR wildlife biologist, who made arrangements for the screech owls to be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation specialist.
Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, observed three individuals fishing. Upon contact, an illegal sized northern pike and largemouth bass were found. Two of the three individuals also did not have valid fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, and Lt. Robin Barnhardt assisted an Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement investigator with a license fraud investigation in which a husband and wife, who were residents of Tomah, applied for resident hunting licenses and tags in Arizona. The investigation resulted in six criminal charges being filed in Arizona.
Warden Molly Detjens, of Adams, received a complaint of a person in possession of an illegal sized muskie. Detjens responded to the scene and found the suspect in possession of a muskie that was approximately 5 inches short of the size limit. The muskie was released alive. That same day, Detjens received another complaint of a person in possession of illegal sized walleyes. Detjens responded to the scene and found the suspect to be in possession of four illegal sized walleyes that were below the minimum size limit of 15 inches. Most of the walleyes were released alive. Both complaints came from concerned members of the public. Enforcement action was taken cases.
Green Bay Team/May
Warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Green Bay, investigated a complaint of a person in Green Bay shooting a hawk with a shotgun. Working with the Green Bay Police Department, the investigation determined the person used a shotgun to intentionally shoot and kill a red-tailed hawk out of a tree on the person’s property. It was found the person was trying to protect adult ducks and ducklings. Red-tailed hawks are a protected species and there is no open season on the raptor. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling on Green Bay Memorial Day weekend, wardens Amanda Kretschmer and Gavin Brault of the marine unit saw an adult operating a PWC without the required wearable PFD and operating at a speed greater than no-wake within 200 feet of shore. There were two children on the watercraft, one of which was also not wearing a PFD and the other was wearing one that was too large for their size.
Warden James Moore, of Kewaunee, investigated a complaint of a captive fawn that was chained to a barn. An investigation was immediately started. The person admitted to keeping the fawn captive for five days and admitted to keeping it tied up. The fawn was released and transferred to a rehabilitator. The public is reminded to keep wildlife wild and before removing a live wild animal from the wild, contact a local DNR office for advice or referral to a wildlife rehabilitator.
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, investigated multiple wetland and/or waterway complaints in May. Most of these complaints were forwarded to water management compliance specialists for review.
Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, contacted two individuals fishing on Silver Lake in Manitowoc County. During the license and safety check, it was learned the owner of the boat did not have enough life jackets for every person on board.
Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, investigated a complaint of an angler overbagging trout on Homme Pond. Cross was able to locate the suspect and find that he did keep too many trout.
Warden Cross worked turkey hunting enforcement. Cross contacted two men at their vehicle. It was found that one of the hunters did not have a valid tag for the area and was hunting turkeys with a different zone tag.
Warden Cross contacted an angler who was fishing on Lower Red Lake and found the angler was overbagging on panfish while fishing with too many lines. It was also found that the angler was fishing under a Wisconsin resident license, but was not a Wisconsin resident.
Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, investigated a boating accident where a drifting boat was struck by a boat on full plane. The impacting vessel went airborne, and both vessels sustained significant damage. There were no injuries and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Delzer stopped a boat operator who was not displaying registration information. It was found that the operator had consumed alcohol. Standard field sobriety tests revealed the driver was operating while intoxicated. It was found the driver also had a felony warrant from Department of Corrections and was still on parole.
Warden Delzer responded to multiple calls of an elk on the landscape of Shawano County. The elk has yet to be located and officially identified.
While on routine patrol within the Peshtigo River State Forest on High Falls Flowage, warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, observed an adult male on the gunwales of a moving boat. The boat was in a highly congested traffic area with several other boats around, including some with small children. Due to the observed illegal riding on gunwales, Werner began to approach the vessel when he then observed the male in the front begin urinating in the direction of the boat in front of him. Upon contact, it was determined the male was intoxicated. Several additional violations were determined during the contact, including underaged consumption of alcohol. Enforcement action taken.
While on routine patrol near Athelstane, warden Werner contacted an adult male who was trout fishing on a stream. During the contact, it was determined the angler had a warrant for his arrest through a local sheriff’s department. The angler was arrested on the warrant and enforcement action was taken for possession of drug paraphernalia.