Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 27, 2020

NORTHERN REGION

Ashland Team / October

Warden Phil Brown, of Iron River, investigated a case in which a bear had been harvested by an individual who did not have a bear hunting license, and who had not completed hunter safety. The investigation determined the individual used the bear harvest license of another person. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Brown was working in the area of a road hunting complaint when he heard a shotgun shot from just down the road. Brown was able to locate the individual and discovered he had shot two turkeys from the road on private property without having permission from the landowner. The individual also possessed a loaded firearm in a vehicle and was not wearing blaze orange, as required during a gun deer season. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Adam Stennett, of Brule, and John Krull, of Superior, contacted a person who had been shining deer after 10 p.m. in the village of Poplar. Stennett found the person had a loaded AR-15 rifle in the truck while shining. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Stennett contacted a hunter who had harvested a red fox before the open season. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Stennett and Chad Ziegler encountered a hunter who shot a turkey from a county highway with a .22 rifle. The wardens found the hunter did not have a valid harvest authorization for the area he was hunting. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Adam Stennett and Chad Ziegler contacted a hunter at the Brule River State Forest while he was hunting from an unlabeled stand he had left at the forest over winter. The wardens found the hunter placed deer bait prior to the archery season. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Amie Egstad, of Bayfield, contacted two individuals who were fishing on the Sioux River after that section had closed for fishing after Sept. 30. The pair had caught a brook trout and one stated he knew the minimum limit was 8 inches, as posted on the sign where they left their car. Egstad asked them if they knew the fishing season dates shown on the same sign. The two missed that detail. Enforcement action taken.

Warden Egstad found a salt block near a deer stand in July and found a mineral block over the 2-gallon limit at this same stand at the end of September. On Halloween evening, Egstad contacted the bowhunter in his stand who stated he had “a really nice buck coming in” that he had on camera. The hunter admitted to placing the salt block in July and the mineral block. Enforcement action taken.

Antigo Team / October

Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, took enforcement action against four individuals who were illegally shining deer during prohibited hours while possessing loaded firearms in a vehicle near Deerbrook. The individuals were also found to be illegally trespassing on private property while shining for deer.

Warden Dahlquist took enforcement action against three individuals near Wabeno who were illegally shining deer during prohibited hours while possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Warden Dahlquist investigated complaints of illegal fishing along the Wolf River at the Post Lake dam. Contact was made with a fisherman found to be overharvesting smallmouth bass for several days. Enforcement action was taken for a possession limit violation. 

Wardens Dahlquist and Michael Butler, of Merrill, investigated information of a swan illegally harvested in the Ackley Wildlife Area. The wardens came upon two individuals who were waterfowl hunting and had illegally harvested the swan (saying they misidentified the bird). Enforcement action was taken for illegally harvesting a protected bird. 

NORTHEAST REGION

Green Bay Team / October

Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, took enforcement actions against individuals for exceeding the possession limit for salmon, hunting deer from a roadway, and harvesting or attempting to harvest a deer for another person.

Warden Kratcha assisted a Michigan conservation officer with an investigation of a deer shot out of season and hunter trespass, which will result in charges in Michigan.

Warden Kratcha assisted Sturgeon Bay area instructors with a hunter education course and a bowhunter education course at the Door County Rod and Gun Club.

While patrolling the southern waterfowl opener, warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Green Bay, issued several “hunt without a license” citations and issued warnings to waterfowl hunters. Hunters are reminded to ensure they have the proper authorizations, permits and stamps prior to hunting.

While patrolling the Green Bay West Shores Wildlife Area, warden Kretschmer observed a person on state property with a chainsaw and an ATV with a trailer of firewood. Upon contact, the person said he and others had been cutting and taking firewood from the property without a permit for quite some time. The person also was found to have operated an ATV on state property in an unauthorized area and operated an ATV on a road where ATVs are prohibited. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kretschmer received a complaint of an unidentified blind being left on state property at Green Bay West Shores Wildlife Area. The investigation determined there was an unidentified trail camera and unidentified ground blind left on state property overnight. Kretschmer contacted a male hunting from the ground blind who admitted to having placed the blind and trail camera illegally. In this area of the state, all blinds/stands on state property must be removed after hunting hours and must display the name/address of the owner or customer ID number if left unattended during the day. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, contacted a group of hunters hunting near the Sheboygan River on the opening night of the waterfowl season. The group was contacted after they returned to the boat landing after dark with no navigation lights. During the contact it was also learned the newer hunter in the group did not have a plug in his gun. Enforcement action was taken along with a warning.

Marine Enforcement Unit / October

Warden Mike Neal, of Sister Bay, was contacted by the Door County Sheriff’s Department to assist in a search for a lost individual on the Mud Lake Wildlife Area. The individual was located and led out of the wildlife area.

Warden Neal was called by the Door County Sheriff’s Department regarding a boat that was sinking off Strawberry Island. He responded with members of Gibraltar Fire Department. The boat, which had been pushed onto shore by the waves, was secured and was to be retrieved.

Wardens Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, Mike Neal, Brent Couperus, Matthew Koepke, Darren Kuhn and Chris Groth assisted with the security of the USS Marinette LCS 25 Freedom-Class Navy ship launch on the Menominee River out of Marinette County with the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department and Menominee County Sheriff’s Departments and a federal officer.

Wardens Lautenslager and Koepke responded to a complaint of a person who harvested two bucks and failed to register one of the bucks. Contact was made and citations issued.

Warden Dave Allen, of Kewaunee, assisted an archery hunter who was stranded in a tree. The lower portion of the hunter’s stand had fallen to the ground. Allen responded to Clyde’s Hill, found the stranded hunter and helped him out of the tree. 

Warden Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, took enforcement action against several anglers for snagging spawning salmon from Lake Michigan tributaries.

Warden Resop investigated a complaint of a trophy muskie caught before the season opener. Upon interviewing the angler, Resop determined the fish was legally caught.

Warden Resop responded to the report of a septic spill. A septic tanker had overturned and released approximately 5,000 gallons of septic sludge, 20 gallons of hydraulic fluid and 3 gallons of engine oil. The spill was neutralized and taken care of before reaching any waterways.

Warden Josh Voelker, of Sturgeon Bay, was patrolling the fall salmon run on the Kewaunee River when he found two anglers illegally fishing at night and snagging fish at Bruemmer County Park. The two admitted to snagging salmon and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Gaven Brault, of Green Bay, assisted a Michigan warden with an investigation concerning deer hunting activities in Michigan.

Warden Nicholas Hefter, of Fish Creek, was in the Peninsula State Park office with the property manager, who was working the sticker window, when she noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from a vehicle that she was attending. Upon investigating, warden Hefter, along with a Gibraltar police officer, located marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and more illegal substances. Enforcement action was referred to the Gibraltar Police Department.

Warden Hefter investigated a complaint about fishing by means other than hook-and-line. The investigation resulted in two citations for fishing without a stamp and fishing by means other than hook-and-line.

Peshtigo Team / October

Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, located a large gravity deer feeder capable of holding more than 150 pounds of corn. At the bait site, there also was mineral block, along with several apples. During the contact with the responsible party, Cross’ investigation found the hunter had harvested an 8-point buck in 2019 over a bait pile. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Cross investigated a person suspected of hunting deer without a license. Cross found the hunter had harvested a buck with his bow in early October and purchased his license after shooting the buck. The suspected person was also found to have hunted without a license in 2019 as well. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Cross and Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, investigated a complaint of a bowhunter who would leave his deer stand at dark and then drive around shining deer. The wardens were able to locate the hunter and confirmed his shining activities after he left the hunting property in his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken. 

On the way home from working a shining complaint patrol, wardens Jacob Cross and Mark Schraufnagel observed the operator of a vehicle sitting at an intersection with the vehicle running. The wardens found the individual was intoxicated and had passed out behind the wheel of the vehicle. The driver was arrested for OWI and for going armed while intoxicated.

Warden Cross investigated a call of a hunter who was using agriculture damage permits and may have shot across the roadway with his 7mm rifle. The investigation found the hunter had, indeed, shot across the roadway while using his rifle to harvest a deer. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, contacted two hunters in the middle of the night who were hunting out of their vehicle within 50 feet of the center of the road with compound bows. The hunters were hunting over a bait pile made of corn, peanuts, cat food and licorice, which was illuminated with a headlamp strapped to a tree. Another illegal deer bait was found on the property as well.

Warden Delzer contacted four vehicle operators on the Navarino State Wildlife Area and who littered and severely vandalized a parking area with their vehicles at night. 

Lake Winnebago Team / October

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, patrolled waterfowl hunting areas and found hunters with no small game licenses, no regular season goose permits, with unplugged shotguns, and no HIP certification. One hunter drove his vehicle off-road on state land, several hundred yards into the marsh, so he didn’t have to walk from the parking lot. Enforcement actions were taken.

Warden Disher was on patrol and observed a truck pulling a boat trailer out of the parking lot at a Calumet County park boat landing. The boat trailer was covered in aquatic weeds and the trailer had no working lights. A traffic stop revealed expired license plates on the truck and the driver had a revoked driver’s license for a previous alcohol conviction. Enforcement actions were taken.

Warden Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, took enforcement action against an individual who was found to have shot a buck with a crossbow prior to purchasing his deer hunting license.

Wardens Seitz and Madison Bryan investigated an over-baiting complaint in Outagamie County. The wardens found an individual had put out and hunted over approximately 50 gallons of pumpkins near his deer stand.

While checking hunters, warden Annette Swanek, of Neenah, came across a hunter who had five warrants through a local police department. The individual was taken into custody without incident.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team / October

Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, and Kurt Haas, of Taylor County, investigated an illegal bear hunting complaint near Medford. The wardens found that multiple hunters were involved in shooting a bear without a license, loaning and borrowing deer and bear harvest authorizations, illegal deer and bear baiting, and license fraud issues. 

Wardens Christorf and Haas investigated an illegal hunting complaint near Jump River. They found that a hunter had harvested an illegal bear with aid of dogs while only possessing a Zone C harvest authorization. The wardens also found the individual to be over his possession limit on panfish. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, and Kevin Christorf interviewed two individuals suspected of illegally road hunting deer and raccoons throughout the fall. The wardens determined that six deer were illegally harvested throughout 2019 and 2020 by the suspects. Deer were shot during the archery season with .22 rifle, at night and from roads, and the deer were never registered. The wardens also discovered multiple baiting violations.

Wisconsin River Team / October

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, contacted a group of archery hunters. They were hunting over illegal bait and two in the group did not have hunting licenses.

Warden Lockman attended the village of Rosholt monthly meeting to answer questions about ATV/UTV routes and general rules as they begin discussions on opening their town roads to the vehicles.

Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, investigated a complaint about a white buck that had been shot. No attempt had been made to retrieve the deer. Ziembo contacted an individual who said he shot the deer because he was sick of seeing white deer. The investigation also found the hunter had also failed to register a buck from earlier in the season. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, investigated seven illegal bait sites, six illegal treestands, and one illegal blind placed on state lands. He contacted an archery deer hunter on state-owned land at the close of hunting hours and found the hunter placed illegal baits in Marathon and Wood counties. While investigating the illegal ground blind complaint, Leezer contacted an archery deer hunter who was hunting without a license. 

Warden Leezer also investigated a complaint of ATV operators trespassing and attempting to run down deer on agriculture fields.

Warden Leezer investigated a complaint of a motorboat being operating in a prohibited area at the Mead State Wildlife Area. Upon contacting the operator, life jacket violations were also found.

Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, contacted a bowhunter on state land who was illegally baiting for deer. The individual also left his blind and unmarked trail camera on state land overnight.

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Madison Team / October

Warden Henry Bauman, of Madison, took enforcement action against two ATV operators in the Mt. Vernon area for operating in a reckless manner (doing wheelies at high rates of speed) on the highway and without required registration.

Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Madison, and Ben Gruber contacted a person who appeared to be camping in an unauthorized area at Lake Kegonsa State Park. The person answered the door in his underwear and after a few minutes, it was determined he was intoxicated, and he could not drive. The wardens gave him some time to find a ride. When they came back, he was asleep in his camper.

Wardens Caputo and Gruber contacted a person believed to have shot two bucks with a bow. After a short discussion, the person admitted to shooting two bucks. Enforcement action is underway.

Warden Nick King, of Green County, while patrolling New Glarus Woods State Park, observed a vehicle being driven at 46 mph in the park where the speed limit is 25 mph. Contact was made with the driver and law enforcement action was taken.

Warden King contacted an individual who had illegal baiting locations on his land.

Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, responded to a littering complaint regarding a truck topper that had been discarded at the Peter Helland Wildlife Area. Through an investigation and help from the public, McCormick was able to reunite the truck topper with the owner. 

Wardens McCormick and Bradley Chernak contacted an individual who was hunting deer with a crossbow over illegal bait. The man did not have a valid deer hunting license and stated he didn’t believe that people who own lots of land should have to purchase one to hunt deer. The individual had previously been cited for baiting and hunting without a license. 

Warden Paul Nadolski observed an ATV sitting at a gas station in the city of Portage. There are no ATV routes in the city. Nadolski contacted the operator, who stated that he had just gotten the ATV running and took it to get gas. However, the operator also admitted he was heading to a friend’s house. 

Dodgeville Team / October

Warden Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, took enforcement actions against three waterfowl hunters for shooting and killing tree swallows as the birds flew past their blind on the Mississippi River. The three men killed approximately 10 tree swallows. 

Warden Burns took enforcement action against a pheasant hunter as the hunter exited the Yellowstone Wildlife Area. The man told Burns he had a hunting license to hunt pheasants when it turns out that he did not. 

Wardens Hans Walleser, of Grant County, worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer John Below to find individuals illegally hunting in a closed area of the refuge on the Mississippi River. The individuals had 19 ducks from hunting over the course of two days in the refuge.

Wardens Al Erickson, of Iowa County, Pearl Worden, of Grant County, Kyle Halverson, of Iowa County, and Dave Youngquist, of Iowa County, investigated a complaint of illegal cameras, ground blinds, and feed placed for attracting deer at a public hunting area. The wardens identified the responsible parties and enforcement actions were taken.

While investigating a reptile complaint, warden Pearl Worden found that an individual had trapped without a license during the 2019-20 license year. The individual trapped coyotes with snares he assumed were cable restraints and placed the snares within reach of immovable objects, causing entanglement as well. The person also trapped beaver and muskrat without a license. A trapping license is required for any person trapping on lands they don’t own.

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