Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 2, 2020
Park Falls Team/July
Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, responded to a two-boat crash on Lac Courte Oreilles Lake. Koshatka learned that the operator of the ski boat was watching the skier in the rear view mirror while making a wide turn. The ski boat had a total of six passengers on board. During the turn the ski boat operator struck a pontoon boat that was trying to avoid the collision. There were two passengers on the pontoon boat. No one was seriously injured, but the pontoon boat suffered significant damage.
Warden Koshatka was working with a U.S. Forest Service officer when a pursuit started in Sawyer County involving a fleeing individual who had two felony warrants from the U.S. marshals and the state of Michigan. The warrants allowed for extradition to Michigan. Koshatka and the federal officer followed the pursuit that went into Washburn County, where suspect was apprehended after his vehicle became inoperable.
Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, responded to a call to help a motorist who noticed a snake coming out of the ceiling of the vehicle and into the car. Belisle and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department assisted the motorist with the removal of the snake from the vehicle.
Wardens Kurt Haas, of Medford, and Alex Basting observed a vehicle parked in the middle of the road in front of the DNR ranger station. The operator was slumped over his wheel when contact was made. Field sobriety tests were performed and the driver was later arrested for OWI (fourth offense).
Wardens Haas and Basting investigated a citizen complaint concerning tampering with a bear bait. The wardens investigated the complaint and interviewed a New Mexico hound hunting guide who was in Wisconsin training dogs. The wardens found a large jug of flea and tick powder inside the guide’s vehicle and he admitted to tampering with the citizen’s bait site. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Haas and Basting drove into the North Twin Lake boat launch where they found a tent pitched in the parking area. When a female teenager walked out of the woods the wardens could smell the odor of marijuana coming from her person. The wardens seized marijuana from the teen and also learned she had been hiking the Ice Age Trail alone. The wardens spoke to the mother, who was driving to the area to pick up her daughter, and confirmed her daughter’s hiking story. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Dan Michels, of Park Falls, investigated a boat accident on Butternut Lake where a 20-foot Skeeter bass boat struck a sand bar and a stationary fiberglass jet boat that was anchored at the sand bar at about 30 mph. The jet boat was totaled, but none of the eight persons standing in and around the boat were struck or injured. Citations were issued for improper speed/operation and failure to report an accident.
Warden Michels had a defendant in a criminal deer poaching case plead no contest to hunting deer with the aid of an artificial light (a misdemeanor crime) as part of a cabin shooting case that occurred in Ashland County during the gun-deer season of 2019. The defendant will pay approximately $2,500 and lose his DNR privileges for three years.
Park Falls Team /August
Warden Kurt Haas, of Medford, received a call from a person who reported seeing the tracks of a Bigfoot on a town road in Taylor County. Haas traveled to the area, located the prints and determined the prints had been made by a backhoe.
Warden Thomas Heisler, Jr., of Winter, participated in the Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (WATVA) meeting in Weyerhaeuser. Heisler discussed off-highway vehicle laws and issues with meeting-goers.
Warden Timothy Ebert, of Minocqua, was working a shift on the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest when he came across two people drinking alcohol in a day-use area. One was found be on probation that included a prohibition on consuming alcohol. The other individual had an active warrant and fled the area. Ebert was assisted by the Woodruff Police Department in resolving the issues.
Warden Matt Meade, of Mercer, contacted an ATV operator who was driving an ATV with expired registration and loud exhaust in Mercer. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, contacted a muskie fisherman on a lake in the Boulder Junction area. The man was fishing from a boat by himself and trolling with two lines. Only one trolled line per person is allowed in Vilas County. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Thole and supervisor Chris Bartelt, of Woodruff, removed an illegal camp from state property near Star Lake. A person was illegally camping on state land and was arrested by Vilas County investigators for drug violations. Enforcement action was taken for illegal camping, littering, and destruction of state property.
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, conducted several boat patrols on lakes in Langlade County that focused on fishing and boating enforcement. During these patrols, Dahlquist issued two citations for fishing without licenses on Mueller Lake, possession of undersized smallmouth bass on Enterprise Lake and failure to display a lifejacket on Greater Bass Lake. Several verbal warnings were also issued during these patrols.
Warden Dahlquist responded to a tanker truck accident on Hwy. 64 near Polar, which resulted in approximately 5,600 gallons of cow manure being spilled alongside the highway. Dahlquist worked with the Langlade County Sheriff’s Deptartment, local fire department and local DNR spills coordinator on the accident. The area was cleaned up immediately following the accident.
Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, responded to a call of a man waving his arm at traffic on Hwy. 63 north of Trego. Hagen was the closest officer and contacted the man who had been tubing on the river, was lost, and was intoxicated. Hagen and a Washburn County deputy found the man’s friends and reconnected the group.
Warden Jon Hagen, while patrolling the ATV trail at Beaverbrook Wildlife Area, contacted three young occupants operating a UTV due to no registration displayed on the vehicle. All three occupants were under the age of 18 and none of the three was wearing a helmet, as required. The operator was 12 years old and had not taken an ATV education course. Hagen contacted the parents to pick up the kids. Enforcement action was taken for no helmet worn.
Warden Hagen patrolled the Wild Rivers Trail due to a complaint of an ATV operator doing “doughnuts” on the trail. The ATV was also reported to have a loud exhaust noise. Hagen contacted a 15-year-old operating an ATV matching the description by the complainant. Hagen and the operator discussed proper operation of an ATV. The operator stated he would no long tear-up the road and trail and would work to get his ATV’s exhaust fixed. Two warnings were issued.
Wardens Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, and Pete Carlson, of Frederic, performed patrol for ATV sound enforcement in the Danbury area. They tested multiple machines that exceeded the 96-decibel noise limit. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Gabrielson performed ATV enforcement patrol near Siren and encountered ATVs and UTVs operating on Hwy. 70 near Clam Lake where operation is prohibited. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Jesse Ashton, of Luck, and Pete Carlson, of Frederic, were launching their patrol boat on Big Round Lake when they observed a vehicle they recognized as belonging to a man whose fishing privileges were revoked. The wardens located the man on the lake – and he was fishing during a period of revocation without a license. The man still had two years left on his previous three-year revocation. Enforcement action was taken, along with a request for additional revocation of privileges. This was the eighth time enforcement action has been taken against the man by wardens for fishing-related violations.
Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, was patrolling rural Polk County when, while traveling on the roadway, he observed several large piles of corn near a residence. There were several deer feeding at the corn piles when Ashton contacted the property owner. The property owner stated he was not feeding the deer and the corn piles were spilled bird food. Polk County is under a baiting and feeding ban. Enforcement action was taken for illegal feeding.
Warden Christopher Spaight, of Grantsburg, and a Burnett County Sheriff’s Department deputy were performing ATV enforcement patrol on Burnett County area trails when they observed two ATVs traveling at a high rate of speed, entering corners on the wrong side of the trail and operating machines with disregard for the safety of others. The officers contacted the group of ATV operators, and enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.
Warden Spaight and a Burnett County Sheriff’s Department deputy stopped to assist what appeared to be a disabled motorist on the roadside. The officers learned the driver stopped to cut off the antlers of a large road-killed buck they observed there. The operator did not have a valid driver’s license, his vehicle’s registration was expired for several months and he had placed false license plates on his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken for multiple motor vehicle violations.
Warden Spaight located a man fishing along the St. Croix River. During the contact, Spaight learned the man did not have a fishing license. The man was also untruthful about his identity. After several attempts to learn the man’s correct identity, Spaight eventually learned the man had a valid arrest warrant from the adjoining county. When the man learned his arrest warrant was known, he fled on foot for a short distance before being apprehended by Spaight.
While working enforcement patrol on the Wild Rivers Trail, warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, and Barron County recreation deputy Jeff Wolfe contacted a woman operating an ATV that had expired registration displayed from 2015. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Loining and Barron County deputy Jeff Wolfe contacted a motorist driving her car on a county ATV trail in Poskin. Upon contact, it was determined the female operator didn’t possess a valid driver’s license and the male passenger had a warrant out for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken and the male passenger was arrested.
Warden Loining observed a woman operating a car westbound on Hwy. 48 in Barron County. The woman passed Loining and other vehicles in a clearly marked no-passing zone. Loining was granted authority from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department and conducted a traffic stop. Enforcement action was taken for passing in a no-passing zone.
Warden Loining responded to a report of an ATV rollover at the Loch Lomand Beach Club at Birchwood. Upon investigation, it was determined two juvenile males were on the UTV and the operator was performing “doughnut” maneuvers in the Beach Club parking lot when the crash occurred. The juvenile operator had illegally operated on a road route to get to the club. Enforcement action was taken against the juvenile operator’s father for permitting underaged ATV operation.
Warden Bob Kneeland, of Chetek, received a complaint about a captive bobcat that attacked a child who was visiting at a residence where the bobcat was being held. Kneeland responded to the scene, performed a fence and pen inspection, and interviewed the bobcat owner. The owner had incorrectly-sized animal pens and was not following captive animal care regulations. Enforcement action was taken and the owner is making efforts to bring her captive animal enclosures into compliance.
Green Bay Team/August
Warden James Moore, of Kewaunee, was patrolling for boating and fishing activity when he contacted two people fishing on Sheas Lake. The contact lead to the discovery of several unregistered spring turkey harvests and an unregistered deer harvest. Multiple hunting violations were discovered from the previous seasons and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Green Bay, received a complaint of unsafe boat operation between a personal watercraft and a motorboat on the Fox River near the Wrightstown boat launch. Upon investigation, Kretschmer observed a female operating a personal watercraft without a wearable personal flotation device and within 100 feet of another boat at a speed greater than no-wake. Upon contact, several DNR boat safety and registration violations were found. This case was made by a concerned citizen getting involved and reporting the violation to the DNR hotline. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling at Potawatomi State Park, Kretschmer observed a group of people walking on a park road outside of the campground after 11 p.m. Upon contact, members of the group were found to be in possession of marijuana. Further investigation at their registered campsites determined they were in possession of more marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The campers were evicted from both sites and enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol at Point Beach State Forest, warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, observed a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on a one-way street. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle operator. When asked why he was traveling the wrong way, the driver stated he was bet by the passengers that he could not pass the vehicles in front of them. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, investigated a complaint along with Shawano County Sheriff’s Department deputies involving a group of people renting a golf cart at the Pine Hills Golf Course. The group was tearing up the golf course and then one operator decided to chase and harass a deer fawn by following it through the woods and nearly hitting the deer on several attempts. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Cross worked with warden Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, and other wardens from the Wautoma team to investigate an illegal fishing guide case that occurred on Green Bay. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, contacted a boat operator on Shawano Lake who was towing a tube after sunset. The boat operator was short one personal flotation device, had an occupant riding outside the gunwale and had no registration numbers displayed on the boat. It was found the under-aged operator had not taken boater safety training and was operating after consuming alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Delzer and a Menominee County deputy located a missing boat on the Legend Chain of Lakes and returned it to the owner.
While on patrol, wardens Tim Werner, of Crivitz, and Joseph Hodge, of Madison, made contact with an ATV operator in the town of Stephenson. During the contact, it was determined the ATV operator was under the influence of an intoxicant and was arrested for operating an ATV under the influence of an intoxicant.
Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, patrolled for ATV/UTV enforcement with a contact made and enforcement action taken for allowing unsupervised operation of an unregistered ATV by a juvenile and passenger who were not wearing helmets, as well as operating without having completed ATV safety certification.
Warden Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, worked with Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department duty Steve Sullivan on boating enforcement on the Wolf River. An individual was stopped for operating a motorboat at speeds greater than no-wake. The boat’s operator was later arrested for operating a motorboat while intoxicated. The operator’s preliminary breath test was .141%
Warden Ben Mott, of Wautoma, was called to assist with two separate serious accidents in August in Waushara County. Both incidents occurred on a state highway and helicopter transport was required. Mott assisted in transport and traffic control on these crashes.
Warden Benjamin Nadolski, of Montello, assisted with a search for a missing kayaker on the Mecan River in Marquette County one night. The kayaker had paddled ahead of the rest of the group and did not stop at the planned take-out spot. Several miles of river were searched in the dark by kayak, boat and drone. The kayaker was eventually found safe, but entangled in a downed tree over the river, miles downstream.
Lake Winnebago Team/August
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, conducted fishing enforcement duties along the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Over the course of several days, Disher contacted six different anglers who were fishing without licenses off the Brothertown area. Enforcement actions were taken.
Warden Annette Swanek, of High Cliff State Park, responded with warden Mike Disher to a call from the county sheriff’s deptartment about a stranded boat on Lake Winnebago. The wardens were able to tow the boat back to the boat landing.