Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 18, 2020
Lower St. Croix Team/July
Wardens Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, Jamie McDermid, of Dunn County, and Chad Ziegler interviewed a person currently revoked of all DNR privileges after receiving complaints the person was baiting bears illegally. The person admitted to placing and maintaining multiple bear baits. The wardens issued a warning and educated the person, explaining the revocation included activities like bear baiting.
Wardens Kosin, J.J. Redemann and Ziegler investigated a complaint of illegal dumping and littering. Their investigation showed an individual had purchased a truck from a private party and was told the garbage in the truck’s bed also went with the truck. The purchaser agreed dispose of the garbage and then drove to a public property in southern Dunn County and dumped the garbage off the side of the road. Upon contact with wardens, the individual stated he did not dump any litter, but knew where it was located and would go pick it up. The wardens had not yet told him where the litter was located. The garbage was cleaned up and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brad Peterson, of Pierce County, responded to a couple calls of rattlesnakes in or near houses in the Hager City area. In both cases, the rattlesnakes were located, caught and successfully removed.
Wardens Peterson, Redemann and Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, attended a circuit court trial in Dunn County for an illegal road hunting case from the 2019 gun deer season. The case involved the defendant shooting at a DNR deer decoy from a vehicle. Ultimately, the individual was found guilty, lost his hunting privileges for three years and had his rifle confiscated by the court.
Warden Sickman responded to a property damage boat accident in which a boat was sucked into a dam. The operator’s trolling motor had not been strong enough to navigate away from the dam and they could not get the outboard started in time. The boat ended up capsizing and then swamped. Sickman assisted with getting the boat back to a nearby landing for removal.
Warden Redemann was working boat patrol on Tainter Lake with Dunn County deputy Charles Pollock when they observed an angler catch and keep a short smallmouth bass. While approaching the angler’s dock, the angler ran away from the patrol boat and up toward the house. Redemann was able to get the angler to return to the dock where the smallmouth bass was measured at just under 12 inches. The legal size limit is 14 inches. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Redemann received a request from a deputy to verify the cause of damage to a Dunn County landowner’s trees. The landowner reported someone was sneaking onto their property and cutting holes in trees. After looking at pictures of the reported damage, Redemann confirmed the holes were not caused by vandals, but by intrepid woodpeckers.
Mississippi River Team/July
Wardens Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and JJ Redemann investigated a road hunting complaint in July. Two individuals were identified to be shooting small game animals and birds from their vehicle with .22 rifles on rural roads in Buffalo County. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, were working boating enforcement on the Mississippi River during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. A boat was stopped for a safety violation and the operator of the boat had been drinking and appeared to be intoxicated. The operator performed field sobriety tests and was determined to be extremely intoxicated. The operator was arrested by Stringham for boating OWI.
Warden Cody Adams and Lt. Tyler Strelow patrolled on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway and contacted numerous canoeists on sandbars on the river and found some were in possession of glass alcohol bottles. The canoeists informed the wardens that they knew glass was not allowed on the river stretch. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Adams was contacted by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to assist in a manhunt for a man who was suspected in the death of a child and fled into a wooded area. Numerous wardens assisted the sheriff’s department on UTVs and searched wooded areas around the residence looking for the suspect. The suspect was located by law enforcement and taken into custody.
Warden Adams was contacted by an individual who purchased a hoop net from a man who sold it off Facebook Marketplace. The buyer noticed the net had a 2020 commercial fishing tag on it and suspected the net may be stolen. It was determined that the hoop net had been stolen from the Mississippi River. Wardens Adams and Ed McCann spoke with the two individuals who took the hoop net from the river. The men were contacted after they finishing hunting for coyotes and neither man possessed a coyote hunting license. Enforcement action was taken. The stolen net will be returned to the rightful owner.
Warden Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, responded to a 911 call involving an individual who experienced cardiac issues while bicycling near Ontario. Stringham and Vernon County Sheriff’s Department deputy Jake Johnson worked on the patient with an AED and chest compression while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Medics advised the individual would not be alive without the officers’ response and actions.
While working speed enforcement at Perrot State Park on the Fourth of July, warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, determined a vehicle was traveling 17 mph over the posted speed limit. The road the vehicle was traveling on was the main road through the park which has frequent pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Jensen and Matt Groppi made contacts with several ATV owners in the town of Trempealeau for several roadway operation violations, most notably juveniles who were operating and/or being passengers on an ATV without a helmet. The township recently passed an ordinance opening town roads to ATV/UTV traffic. The wardens provided education on legal road operation and reminded all operators to know the regulations before riding.
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Josh Wiedenhoeft worked a busy Fourth of July weekend with heavy boat traffic on the Mississippi River in La Crosse County. The wardens made two boat OWI arrests that were drug- and alcohol-related, along with dozens of citations/warnings for possession of drugs and paraphernalia, underage consumption of alcohol, violation of probation and parole restrictions, littering, fishing without a license and boat equipment/safety violations.
Warden Edward McCann, of La Crosse, contacted a group of three individuals fishing without licenses. Each person spoke a different language and none had a firm command of the English language. At times, communication was difficult; however, at times it also was a source of respectful amusement for all involved. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, and Matt O’Brien, of Madison, worked on Lake Wisconsin on the Fourth of July and made numerous contacts and arrested one person for boating OWI.
Supervisor Nate Kroeplin and warden Madi Bryan were patrolling Lake Wisconsin after dark when they saw a boat with accessory lights illuminated and interfering with the boat’s required navigation lights. Upon contact, it was found that the operator of the boat was operating while under the influence of an intoxicant. Law enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Nick King, of Green County and Madi Bryan observed a single-person personal watercraft with multiple people aboard towing a tube that also had multiple people aboard while using Yellowstone Lake. The operator of the PWC also violated no-wake laws multiple times while towing near shore and near a swim area. Law enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Nick King and Madi Bryan took enforcement action against the operators of two PWCs that were operating too close to each other and other boats on Lake Yellowstone. The PWCs were seen being operating within 200 feet of shore, within 100 feet of another boat and within 100 feet of a swim area.
Wardens Pete McCormick, of Columbia County, and Matt Koepke assisted warden Paul Nadolski with the rescue of two boaters in Nina Creek who could not paddle their way back due to swift waters.
Wardens McCormick and Koepke assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department rescue a person who had suffered a broken ankle on a sand bar in the Wisconsin River near Poynette.
Wardens McCormick, Nadolski and Koepke responded to a call regarding a hiker in respiratory distress on the east bluff of Devils Lake State Park. The wardens were able to locate the victim and provide assistance until EMS arrived.
Warden McCormick responded to a complaint of unattended lines at a residence on Lake Wisconsin. McCormick observed a person fishing from the dock. Upon contact, the person stated he had a license and gave his driver license to McCormick. A check of the system revealed the person did not have a valid fishing license. The person then agreed he was fishing without a license and that he had also left three fishing lines in the water overnight and had not checked them. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Nadolski responded to Mirror Lake State Park for a report of a female kayaker who had a seizure while out on the lake. Nearby boaters assisted with getting her to shore safely where an EMS crew was able to then check her. She then was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
Supervisor Kroeplin arrested three different boaters during July for operating while intoxicated on Madison lakes.
Supervisor Kroeplin responded to a night dispatch call requesting his assistance at a UTV accident with injuries near Deerfield. Kroeplin responded to assist the Dane County Sheriff’s Department that already was on scene. Kroeplin arrested the operator for operating while intoxicated.
Warden Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, investigated the owner of a garage in South Wayne who was found to have disposed of vehicle fluids illegally. The owner of the garage was found to have cut several air conditioning lines on vehicles with a saw and scrapping the parts for money. The owner was cited for releasing A/C refrigerant into the air.
Warden Kirk Konichek, of Richland County, responded to a report of an overturned canoe with possible missing subjects on the Wisconsin River. The occupants were eventually located. They credited the wearing of their PFDs to their survival.
Rock River Team/July
Wardens Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, and Rich Maki, of Baraboo, were working a park shift at Devil’s Lake State Park, during which time they investigated a complaint of numerous people entering the closed Pewitt’s Nest State Natural Area. Multiple groups were found to be in violation of the closure and enforcement actions were taken.
Wardens Brooks and Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, were working boating enforcement on the Rock River when they observed a PWC being operated after the hours of darkness, which is prohibited. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brooks and Lt. John Sinclair were working boating and fishing enforcement on Lake Koshkonong when they came upon an angler without a valid fishing license.
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, while on boat patrol on the Rock River in the early morning hours, noticed two fishing poles trailing lines from a pier with no one around. Schumacher then docked his boat and went and spoke to the individuals at that residence. While speaking to the individual, it was found that they had fallen asleep and left the lines unattended for six hours. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Schumacher observed two individuals fishing on the shoreline of the Rock River. Upon contact, both individuals were found to not have a valid fishing license.
Warden Schumacher was on patrol on Lake Koshkonong when he observed a small jon boat in which the operator appeared to be in distress due to large waves caused by heavy boat traffic. After making contact, it was found that the boat was broken down and taking on water from the waves. It was also found that there were no PFDs on board the vessel. The operator also failed to display proper registration. Enforcement action was taken and a tow to the boat launch was provided.
Warden Johnson contacted two individuals who were fishing from of a boat below the Indianford dam. Upon contact, both subjects were found to have caught and kept two catfish over their daily bag limit. They were also found to not have enough wearable life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson and Lt. Sinclair responded to a complaint of an individual fishing with too many hooks. Upon contact, the fisherman was found to be fishing with a total of four hooks. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson contacted a fisherman for a fishing license. The fisherman displayed an Illinois fishing license and believed it was valid in Wisconsin. The fisherman did not have a valid Wisconsin fishing license and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson completed an ongoing turkey investigation regarding an individual who harvested a turkey without having a valid license. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson conducted a welfare check on a boat for a subject who appeared to be injured. Upon contact, the operator of the motorboat showed signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety testing, the operator was found to be under the influence and was arrested for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Warden Johnson completed a deer investigation that established an individual had illegally harvested two antlered bucks in Monroe County. The individual was found to have illegally used another person’s approval and provided false information to the department. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, took enforcement action after seeing a paddle board rider on Fox Lake without having a PFD on board.
Warden Burton completed an investigation for a fishing harassment case on Fox Lake where there had been a significant and threatening dispute between a landowner and an angler on a kayak. Enforcement action was taken for interfering with lawful fishing.
Warden Burton observed a pontoon boat operator pulling an inner-tuber on plane on Beaver Dam Lake and noticed an occupant standing on the gunwale of the boat. Given the unsafe circumstances, Burton made contact and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Burton and Austin Schumacher were patrolling Beaver Dam Lake when they observed a boat with two subjects sitting on the gunwales while the boat was on plane. Enforcement action was taken for the illegal and unsafe activity
Warden Burton, while patrolling the Beaver Dam River for anglers, observed a subject netting minnows within 200 feet of the dam. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, was dispatched to a report of an injured bald eagle near Beaver Dam Lake. He located the eagle and attempted to capture it with help from a local sheriff’s deputy. After a failed attempt, the eagle flew away and shortly after crashed-landed into the lake. The eagle eventually swam to shore, where Mannes was able capture it. Mannes transported the eagle to Madison for medical treatment by a DNR-licensed rehabilitator.
Warden Mannes checked two anglers at Edgewater Park in Beaver Dam. Both admitted to fishing without licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes was patrolling Lake Sinissippi when he saw two kayakers without PFDs onboard. Mannes provided them with loaner PFDs and followed them back to the launch. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes contacted two anglers in Hustisford. As Mannes approached, one of the anglers dropped his pole on the ground and said he had not been fishing. The individual then admitted to fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes and Lt. Sinclair were patrolling Lake Sinissippi where they contacted a boat operator who had a trolling motor on the boat, but no registration. Upon contact, it was discovered the boat had no PFDs on board and was not registered. The occupants were loaned two PFDs to ensure they could get safely back to shore and enforcement action was taken.