Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 10, 2020
While patrolling for sturgeon spawning activity, warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, contacted a group of individuals who were found to be on probation while fishing without licenses. After working with the Waupaca Police Department, Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin Department of Probation and Parole, enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Joshua Wiedenhoeft and Jonathan Kaiser worked with Texas game wardens to follow up on a residency license fraud case. After contacting a related individual, information was relayed to Texas for enforcement follow up, along with evidence of a turkey registration violation found.
Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Jonathan Kaiser worked with the local township on a dumping complaint involving responsible parties, items being cleared, and enforcement action.
Wardens Kernosky, Kaiser and Wiedenhoeft worked with DNR forestry and fire staff to follow up on a complaint of a suspicious wildfire on state land. After taking investigative steps, contact was made with multiple related individuals. It was determined the fire had started after the individuals had discharged a marine flare while working on a recently purchased boat. The flare went across a public roadway and landed in the nearby state land field.
Wardens Wiedenhoeft and Kaiser contacted an individual who was found to have failed to register a turkey harvested during the youth season. The individual also harvested and failed to register a turkey during first season without having the correct approval.
Wardens Ben Mott, of Wautoma, and Jonathan Kaiser were on patrol when they saw a large plume of black smoke coming from a property. They investigated, fearing a structure fire, and found a burning debris pile of about 6 by 10 feet. The pile included plastic, silage bags, mattresses, garbage, painted wood and more. Wardens were able to locate a landowner who extinguished the fire. Enforcement action was taken.
Lake Winnebago Team/May
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated a case of an individual who created his personal food garden on grounds in the Brillion State Wildlife Area. The person tilled and planted the food plot, as well as placed mineral blocks in two spots and littered his seed bags in the woods. Enforcement actions were taken.
Warden Disher investigated several illegally baited turkey blinds during the third and fourth seasons. Multiple hunters were contacted while hunting over or placing corn near their blinds. Several birds had already been harvested from the sites. Enforcement action was taken for illegal baiting violations.
Warden Disher investigated a vehicle that was parked after hours in a day-use parking lot at High Cliff State Park. Disher located two individuals in the vehicle who were smoking marijuana. In addition, the driver had not purchased a vehicle admission sticker. One of the occupants had a prior drug conviction for possession of cocaine. Felony charges were referred to the Calumet County district attorney’s office.
Warden Cara Kamke, of Appleton, investigated three illegal turkey hunting cases. One landowner was baiting turkeys with ground corn to get the turkeys into his yard where he could shoot them with a crossbow. Another hunter was hunting in Zone 2 with Zone 3 tags. The hunter did not realize Outagamie County was split between the two zones. Wardens Kamke, Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, and Annette Swanek, of High Cliff State Park, received a complaint of a hunter who shot a turkey from a roadway. That hunter also failed to register an additional bird and had a loaded shotgun in the truck. In all three cases, enforcement actions were taken.
Warden Jake Donar, of Madison, contacted three individuals fishing with walleye equipment in an area known for walleye fishing on the eve of the game-fish opener. Upon contact, the individuals initially said they were doing release fishing for bass. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jake Donar issued citations in several cases for fishing without a license, fishing for game fish during the closed season, possession of paraphernalia, for possession of an undersized bass and for turkey hunting in a closed area.
Warden Henry Bauman, of Dane County, cited several anglers in the fish refuge below Tenney dam in Madison, cited multiple persons fishing in the fish refuge below Wingra dam in Madison, and cited several more fishing in the fish refuge below Dunkirk dam. Three of the individuals at the Dunkirk dam were also found to be fishing without licenses, and obstructed Bauman by trying to provide false identities. One of the individuals fled the scene, resulting in more enforcement action against him.
Warden Bauman cited two individuals who were bowfishing and spearing in the refuge below Dunkirk dam. They also littered several carp carcasses on an island in the area.
Warden Bauman rescued a gosling ensnared in fishing line along the shore of Lagoon Sumac in Monona. The gosling had been abandoned by its family, so after it was freed and Bauman took it to the Dane County Four Lakes Wildlife Center for rehabilitation.
Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, and Nick King, of Green County, were on an ATV stop when a UTV rider was observed holding a turtle. Upon contact, the wardens found the rider had another turtle with her. It was found to be a smaller snapping turtle that was hidden under the sweatshirt of a juvenile female. Due to the turtles being out of season and the snapping turtle being undersized, both turtles were taken and returned to a nearby wetland.
Warden Caputo contacted a person found to be illegally camping at Lake Kegonsa State Park with two other friends. Enforcement action was taken for the illegal camping.
Warden Nick King was on patrol at Yellowstone Lake State Park in Lafayette County when he saw two PWCs being operated too close to the shoreline and too close to each other (jumping each other’s wakes). Due to the unsafe operation, enforcement action was taken.
Warden King was on patrol in Lafayette County when he saw a UTV being operated at 86 mph on a road route with a posted speed of 30 mph. He contacted the operator, who was under the influence of an intoxicant. Enforcement action was taken. A similar situation emerged on another day when King saw two UTVs operating at more than 55 mph in the 30 mph zone. The operators were found to be under the influence.
Warden King was near Yellowstone Lake State Park when he saw a UTV being operated in an area of the park closed to recreational vehicle traffic. The two individuals on the machine were under the age of 18 and not wearing protective headgear.
Warden King assisted the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department with a UTV accident with injuries where the operator fled the scene. Wardens Mike Burns and Nick Webster assisted with follow-up investigations at the scene. Enforcement action was taken by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department.
Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, responded to numerous complaints of people illegally entering Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area. Some vandalism had occurred to information signs at the property, as well as people operating vehicles in prohibited areas. This and three other state natural areas have been closed for several months and people still entered. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Nadolski responded with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department to a trespass complaint of a trout angler. Upon investigation, there was no trespass as the angler had legally accessed the water and stayed in the stream the entire way. The angler, however, was found to be in possession of an illegal sized brook trout.
Warden Nadolski assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department with a complaint of underage drinking and reckless operation of a pontoon boat on Park Lake. The person operating the boat was eventually contacted when they came ashore. The operator failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for OWI, as well as for providing alcohol to minors.
Wardens Pete McCormick, of Poynette, and Paul Nadolski rescued seven people and two dogs from a sinking pontoon boat on Lake Wisconsin moments before it would have sunk to the bottom. The wardens were able to get the passengers into the patrol boat, which bought time for the sinking vessel. The wardens were able to get the pontoon boat and passengers safely to shore and then provided a ride to the operator to get a vehicle and trailer to remove the pontoon boat from the boat landing.
Rock River Team/May
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, responded to a report of a pregnant doe that had accidentally been struck and killed by a vehicle. Burton located the deer, which had begun to give birth to a fawn. He delivered the fawn the rest of the way and took it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, investigated a case involving a juvenile who shot a turkey without having a license. Mannes educated the youth and a warning was issued.
While patrolling the Garden Road boat launch in Mud Lake Wildlife Area, warden Ryan Mannes observed a bowfishing boat come back to the launch without using navigation lights. Upon contact, he found that the boat registration was expired and there was no Type IV throwable PFD onboard. Enforcement action was taken.
While at the Lake Emily boat launch, warden Ryan Mannes contacted a boat operator who was not displaying registration. Mannes learned the owner had never transferred the boat into his name and the old registration was expired. Mannes also noted the battery terminals were not covered and there was no fire extinguisher onboard.
Warden Mannes was on patrol near Horicon when he contacted three kayakers and found there were no PFDs on board any of the kayaks. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes investigated several complaints of illegal snagging activity at the Hustisford dam. Mannes found the individuals and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, observed a three-wheeled ATV being driving down a road way in Cambridge and noted the road was not a posted ATV road route.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, was patrolling the Rock River when he saw a motorboat operator violating the posted no-wake ordinance. It was discovered the operator did not have any PFDs for the two occupants of the boat.
Warden Johnson came upon a disabled motorist while on patrol near Clear Lake. While assisting the operator, Johnson determined the operator had been drinking and in violation of a probation order. The motorist also was found to have two active warrants and was turned over to Rock County Sherriff’s Department.
Warden Kyle Johnson joined the town of Beloit police officers in response to a report of gun shots and explosions coming from state land near the Rock River. Upon contact, four individuals were found to have been shooting tannerite targets on state property. In Rock County, target shooting on state lands in prohibited.
Warden Johnson contacted two individuals below Indianford dam for a fishing license check. One individual was found to be in possession of marijuana and the other produced a fishing license and claimed it was his. However, it was found that his fishing license privileges are revoked in Illinois and was instead illegally using his brother’s license.
Warden Kyle Johnson was patrolling the Rock River when he observed a motorboat operator violating the posted no-wake ordinance. Upon contact, the operator showed signs of impairment and was found to be impaired. The operator was arrested for boating while under the influence.
Warden Johnson responded to a call about two fawns stuck in a woodchuck hole. At the scene, Johnson was able to safely remove the first fawn. The second fawn was down too deep in the hole and was out of reach. Johnson borrowed a shovel from a nearby resident and was able to safely remove the fawn from the hole. Both fawns appeared to be healthy and were able to walk away on their own.
Warden Kyle Johnson responded to a complaint near Stoughton about a person who was using a casting net to catch game fish, which is illegal. Johnson confirmed the person had used the net to catch a largemouth bass that was undersized. The person and other companions seen fishing did not have fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Austin Schumacher investigated three individuals suspected of leaving several fishing poles unattended on the Rock River. Schumacher found they had left four lines in the river – baited with minnows and unattended for close to an hour while miles away from the location.
Warden Schumacher took enforcement actions against boat operators as he patrolled no-wake areas on the Rock River in response to local complaints about illegal boat operation and heavy boat traffic.
Wardens Schumacher and Brad Burton rescued a boater who was broken down on Beaver Dam Lake. The boater was in a 12-foot boat bearing 30 mph gusts and was attempting to row to shore with little success. The wardens provided cover from the wind and towed him back to the boat launch.
Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Brad Latza, of Racine, patrolled on Silver Lake due to numerous high water no-wake violations and complaints. They stopped 35 boats and issued about 50 warnings for equipment, registration, and unsafe operation violations. Enforcement action was taken in a couple instances for operating a motorboat without a boater safety certificate.
Warden Brandon Smith stopped a UTV operator for running illegally on a county highway in Kenosha County. The person was also operating a UTV without headlights, without registration, and was in excess of the posted highway speed limit.
The warden team assisted the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department and Kenosha Police Department with protesting that occurred in the city of Kenosha. Wardens protected houses, stopped looting, provided traffic control and assisted with crowd control while protesters threw rocks, bottles and shot fireworks at the officers.
Warden Zack Feest, of Racine, and Lt. Warden Jen Burrow-Niemeyer patrolled sport trollers on Lake Michigan and contacted two individuals who were using too many lines. Enforcement action was taken.
Sheboygan/Fond du Lac Team/May
Warden Anthony Arndt, of Sheboygan County, was at the entrance station to Kohler-Andrae State Park when approached by a vehicle inquiring about sticker sales. Arndt detected the odor of suspected marijuana emanating from the vehicle. He later contacted the occupants and recovered marijuana and associated paraphernalia.
Warden Arndt responded to assist North Fond du Lac Police Department with a report of a Canada goose gosling being shot in the village limits. Arndt recovered the goose from a small urban pond, finding it was shot in the head with what appeared to be a high-powered air rifle. Arndt contacted a resident, who admitted to shooting at geese to keep them off his lawn. Arndt suggested several other abatement options. The air gun was seized, and additional enforcement action was taken by North Fond du Lac Police Department.
On Memorial Day, wardens Andrew Starch and Marcus Medina were patrolling Lower Nemahbin Lake when they contacted a group of six who were shore fishing, but quickly dispersed upon seeing the wardens. The wardens contacted the group and found three of the individuals did not have fishing licenses. The wardens also found the individuals possessed a cooler containing numerous panfish and two undersized bass.
Warden Bradley Wilson responded to a complaint of individuals camping in an unauthorized area in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Wilson was told by the group they could not find a camping area, so they opted to park their car and set up camp on the forest grounds. Wilson educated the group on regulations and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Wilson received a complaint of murky water being discharged into the Potawatomi Creek in Fontana. Wilson arrived at the creek and observed the discharge coming out of a storm sewer. Wilson’s investigation led to a construction company discharging the water into the storm sewer because it hit a natural spring. Wilson contacted the company to stop the discharge.
Warden Wilson responded to Big Foot Beach to follow up on a vandalism complaint that was handled by Lake Geneva Police Department. Wilson talked to the suspects and the parents of the involved individuals. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Steven J. Sanidas and Blaine Ziarek investigated where three velvet bucks were shot and killed. Ziarek began the investigation when citizens found a dead buck in a subdivision and noticed that it had been shot with a small caliber rifle. The wardens discovered two other dead bucks in the area. Wardens investigated and a suspect was identified. Enforcement action is underway.
Wardens Sanidas and Ziarek approached a couple who were fishing as the female failed in her attempt to dump a bucket of fish into the water. Some fish landed short of the water and were found along the rocks. Neither had a fishing license. The male’s privileges were revoked from a previous DNR citation issued by Sanidas.
While working turkey hunting enforcement in southern Waukesha County, warden Sanidas took enforcement action against a person who was hunting at a DNR wildlife area without having the zone’s valid harvest authorization.
Warden supervisor Rick Reed responded to a complaint of milky liquid flowing down an alley in Lake Geneva. The investigation showed a cleaning company had exceeded their storage limit for recapturing liquids and was transporting chemicals illegally.
Wisconsin River Team/May
Warden Bryan Lockman contacted two groups of shore fishermen on the Wisconsin River who were found to have an illegal sized muskie and illegal sized walleye on stringers. The fish were released and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Wisconsin Rapids, cited a bow fisherman for dumping his carp at the Nekoosa boat landing.
Wardens Ziembo, Lockman and Jon Scharbarth investigated a litter complaint and discovered signs of illegal hunting activity. The wardens contacted several individuals and the wardens’ investigations found the individuals had shot a turkey, two geese and a sandhill crane in May. Enforcement action is being taken.
Wardens Kyle Ziembo and Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, were on Wisconsin River patrol when they came in contact with two men who were fishing. The wardens discovered a short northern pike in their possession. The fishermen stated they caught it on another river earlier that morning. Based upon both river’s fishing regulations, the northern pike was still undersized.
Warden Taylor and supervisor Korey Trowbridge worked boating and fishing enforcement along the Wisconsin River in Nekoosa. A boat operator was contacted for a passenger riding on the gunwale of the boat while on plane. Upon contact, it was found the boat was not registered.
Warden Erika Taylor stopped an ATV operator who was traveling in Mosinee with a child riding as a passenger without a helmet. The driver was found to not have ATV safety.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, and Kyle Ziembo responded to Madison and assisted Capitol Police Department with security of the capitol building during protests.
Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, received a call from a landowner who witnessed a sandhill crane being shot in his field from a vehicle. After getting a brief vehicle description, warden Litvinoff was able to track down who shot the crane.