Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 16, 2020
Lower St. Croix Team /August
Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, responded to multiple reports of car-killed bald eagles on Pierce County roadways. Bald eagles commonly scavenge on vehicle-killed animals, putting them at risk of being struck by passing vehicles.
Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, and the Dunn County recreation deputy were on boat patrol on the Chippewa River when they saw someone driving a boat with expired registration. The boat was also littered with empty beer cans and had a big sign on the bow that told passers-by to honk to encourage passengers to drink. Redemann and the deputy stopped the boat and noticed it was also taking on a lot of water. The operator explained they hit a big rock, causing the boat to leak. After sobriety tests, the operator was arrested for operating while Intoxicated.
Warden Redemann responded to multiple baiting complaints in August. Redemann reminds the public that mineral and salt blocks are considered bait. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Redemann responded to a complaint of dumped deer carcasses. It was learned the deer were legally harvested under the use of agricultural damage tags, but the carcasses were not disposed of properly. Redemann educated the hunter and explained the deer carcasses should be landfilled or left on the same property where they were harvested. These rules are in place to help avoid disease transfer.
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to a two personal watercraft accident. No injuries were noted; however, one of the crafts sank due to damage. Speed, distance and operator experience were all contributing factors.
Warden Chad Ziegler, of Willow River State Park, responded to a call of an individual who fell from the rocky hillside surrounding the Willow River falls. Ziegler arrived on the scene and assisted members of the public with stabilizing the individual’s injuries until EMS arrived. The individual was then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Mississippi River Team/August
Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Gavin Keefauver were on Mississippi River patrol when they observed a boat being operating at night with blue lights turned on around the outside of the boat. The wardens stopped the boat to inform the operator that the lights are illegal because they can be easily confused for a law enforcement boat. The operator of the boat showed signs of impairment and was arrested for a boat OWI.
Wardens Adams and Keefauver worked on an 2019 archery investigation. A man was determined to have shot an 8-point buck during the 2019 archery season and used another person’s archery buck authorization on the deer. Archery hunters are not allowed to group deer hunt and may only harvest one buck during the archery season. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, noticed a small child sitting on the ground on the railroad tracks near Goose Island. Stringham approached the child and had found the child had been missing all night and had walked 5 miles from home. The child was highly autistic and had left his home at 1 a.m. Officers and canine units had been looking for the child all night. Stringham drove the child home and returned the child to his parents, who were at their residence with two officers when they arrived.
Warden Edward McCann, of La Crosse, checked a user conflict issue regarding an angler and a boat operator. The angler told the warden he was legally fishing near a water-ski course and a nearby boat operator was interfering with the fishing, as to encourage the angler to leave to open the course for skiing. After talking with the boater, who was apologetic, and the angler, McCann decided that a warning to the boater and his passengers would solve the problem. McCann stressed that simply being civil, polite and remembering the golden rule would resolve most of these issues.
Warden McCann checked state land in an area of past complaints and issues regarding the illegal harvest of ginseng. McCann and warden Vong Xiong, of Jackson County, located and cited two ginseng diggers who were digging before the season, without a license and on state land while in possession of drugs.
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, was on Mississippi River patrol near Lansing, Iowa, when a personal watercraft came within 100 feet of the warden patrol boat while traveling at a speed greater than no-wake. Tracey activated his emergency lights and followed the watercraft to a camp on the bank. Tracey found the operator was under the age of 12 and had not completed a boater safety course. Tracey talked with the parents of the operator and enforcement action was taken.
Lt. Tyler Strelow worked boating patrol on Pool 7 of the Mississippi River and issued multiple citations to boaters for operating more than an hour after sunset without required navigation lights. Strelow also issued numerous warnings for safety equipment violations. Boaters are reminded to make sure they have the appropriate safety equipment while boating.
Black River Falls Team/August
Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, pursued a motor vehicle after learning of a domestic disturbance at the Black River State Forest in Jackson County. The driver stopped the vehicle after traveling about 5 miles and was arrested.
Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, and a Juneau County Sheriff’s Departmetn deputy responded to a sheriff’s department call regarding a lost canoeist on the Lemonweir River. The missing person had not reached his destination and had not been heard from in several hours. Weber and the deputy used a patrol boat to locate the canoeist in the early morning hours along the shoreline of the Lemonweir River. The canoeist was intoxicated, cold, lost and attempting to sleep under the canoe for the night.
Warden Xiong, of Black River Falls, assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with a reported attempted child abduction incident in Jackson County. Xiong was on patrol after the attempted abduction had occurred when he observed the suspect vehicle operating on a road. Xiong confirmed that the vehicle operator was the suspect involved in the abduction incident and detained the suspect. The suspect was arrested and enforcement actions were handled by the county sheriff’s department.
Wardens Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, and Tyler Krekelberg, of Iowa County, patrolled a remote stretch of the Pecatonica River and located 21 illegal bank poles. The three anglers told wardens they thought they were in an area where their activity would go unnoticed. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mike Burns assisted the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department with a fight at a drinking party assembled by under-aged individuals. One person was assaulted by another and the aggressor was arrested. Several underage drinking citations were also issued.
Wardens Hans Walleser, of Grant County, and Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee County, located numerous bank poles and hoop nets on the Mississippi River. Several people were contacted for operating the illegal and unlicensed gear and citations were issued.
Rock River Team/ August
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, was requested by town of Beloit Police Department to assist with a domestic dispute response. Schumacher assisted local officers with separating the involved parties and interviewing them.
Warden Schumacher contacted a boater on the Rock River operating a personal watercraft with expired registration. Schumacher said a citation could be avoided if the individual applied for valid registration within two days. After the individual did not do so, enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, and Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, contacted two fishermen on Gibbs Lake for a fishing license check. Upon contact, the fishermen were found to have caught and kept more than their daily bag limit of panfish. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson and Brooks were patrolling on Lake Koshkonong when they contacted a motorboat operator for improper registration. Upon contact, the operator was found to have recently smoked marijuana and admitted to drinking alcohol. After conducting field sobriety testing, the operator was found to be under the influence and was arrested for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Wardens Johnson and Brooks were patrolling the Rock River when they observed a passenger in a motorboat throw empty beer cans into the water while underway. The boat was stopped and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson observed a group of fishermen illegally take live clams from the Rock River near the Indianford dam. Upon contact, it was found the fishermen had a plastic grocery bag filled with clams and two of the group did not have valid fishing licenses. Johnson returned the live clams back to the area from which they were taken. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson observed a fisherman who was fishing from a kayak catch and keeping more than his daily bag limit for catfish below the Indianford dam. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, investigated a report of an angler keeping an undersized smallmouth bass. Burton made contact with the angler and determined he was in possession of two undersized bass. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, with the assistance of warden Kyle Johnson, completed an investigation regarding several deer hunters and possible illegal hunting activity. It was discovered that between 2018 and 2019, one of the hunters had harvested a total of five bucks and had then later arranged to have two other hunters fraudulently claim and report several of the deer as their own. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes contacted an angler in Hustiford who had kept an undersized northern pike. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Brennan Kearney, of the Richard Bong Recreation Area, responded to a complaint of two persons collecting clams in the Fox River near Rochester. The two littered items in the river and lied about collecting clams. There is no open season for collecting clams in Wisconsin. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Smith and Kearney worked several shifts at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. Numerous contacts were made, resulting in enforcement action for violations of speeding, illegal fireworks, drug possession, underage alcohol consumption, illegal ATV and off-highway motorcycle operation, littering and destruction of state property.
Wardens Smith and Kearney spent considerable time patrolling on Silver Lake due to numerous no-wake complaints. Numerous contacts were made with boaters and fishermen, resulting in enforcement action for violation of a local no-wake ordinance, operating without a boat safety certificate, keeping undersized bass and overbagging on bass.
Warden Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, and Lt. Warden Jen Niemeyer received a call from a Kenosha police officer that they had two suspects in custody for operating ATVs in the city Kenosha. The suspects were in custody and arrested for disorderly conduct. Wardens responded to the scene and documented the information from the ATVs and its owner. Meinholz issued a total of three citations, including operating an ATV on the land of another without permission, operating an ATV without with safety certificate and operating an ATV without valid registration.
Warden Meinholz was on foot patrol at the Richard Bong State Recreation area when he saw an individual using a bong, normally used to smoke marijuana. Meinholz contacted the occupants of the site and his investigation found the group had marijuana, a bong, a glass pipe and grinder. Meinholz also determined the occupants all were underage and consuming alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.
Racine/Kenosha/Walworth Team/ August
Warden Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, conducted ATV and off-highway vehicle enforcement throughout August at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area ATV trails. Numerous contacts were made for persons riding without helmets, riding on an ATV with a passenger, or no registration displayed. Many subjects were found to be operating without the required ATV or OHM safety certificates, despite signs being posted at the entrance to the trail system. Enforcement action was taken.