Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 22, 2021

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Rock River Team / November

Dodge-Jefferson-Rock Counties

Warden Ryan Mannes was patrolling the east side of Horicon Marsh when he observed a tractor traveling on the roadway. There was a dead deer in the bucket of the tractor and the operator was wearing blaze orange and in possession of a rifle. Mannes made contact and asked the operator if the rifle was unloaded. The operated admitted the rifle was loaded, and also admitted to illegally operating a tractor and ATV while in possession of the loaded rifle.

Warden Mannes checked a group of hunters on Northern Road in Dodge County and found that one of the hunters had a loaded firearm inside his vehicle. He also found another hunter in the group had harvested a deer approximately a week prior and had never registered it.

Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, investigated reports of stands being left out overnight on DNR land illegally. Burton located several hunters who had used the illegal stands and they admitted to the violations.

Warden Burton contacted a Dodge County hunter who appeared to be hunting out of a UTV. As Burton pulled up to the field, the hunter shot twice at deer from the UTV, which is illegal.

Dodgeville Team / November

Warden Al Erickson, of Iowa County, took enforcement action against a person who was a felon in possession of a rifle during the gun-deer season. The person also was in violation of blaze orange requirements and was found to have failed to register a buck harvested during the archery deer season.

Warden Erickson contacted a group of five hunters observed to be hunting in the closed area within Governor Dodge State Park. One person had harvested two antlerless deer.

Wardens Erickson and David Youngquist investigated a complaint of a person who had shot a buck from a rural town road near the village of Highland. The party was found to have shot the buck standing in the center of the roadway from the driver’s seat of his vehicle. He was found to be hunting in violation of his Class A disabled hunter permit.

Wardens Erickson and Youngquist investigated four separate complaints of persons who were reported to have shot at deer from the roadway in Iowa County during the gun-deer season. All but one resulted in some form of enforcement action in the end.

On opening day of the gun-deer season, warden Pearl Worden, of Grant County, stopped a UTV operator after observing the driver travel on a county road with an occupant seated in the cargo area on a cinder block. The four occupants were returning from a morning of deer hunting. No one was wearing a seatbelt, the machine was not registered and there was no license plate displayed. Only one of the hunters was carrying proof of a hunting license and one firearm was found to be loaded.

Warden Youngquist took action against a public-land hunter who had cut down 12 live elm, hickory, and walnut trees — all over 20 feet tall – to create shooting lanes.

NORTHEAST REGION

Lake Winnebago Team / November

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated deer shining activity and traffic-stopped three vehicles in which passengers were shining deer with spotlights after 10 p.m. In one case, Disher observed car occupants shining multiple fields using the vehicle’s headlights at 2:20 a.m.

Warden Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, investigated a complaint of a person shooting multiple bucks during the bow season. The person admitted to shooting three bucks with his crossbow. He registered the first buck and gave the second and third bucks to another person. The third buck was registered as a doe. At least one turkey was not registered, as well.

Warden Higgins observed a person shoot late by five minutes on state land. Upon contact at the parking lot, the person admitted to shooting late using his .30/06, having a loaded gun in his van, not wearing a blaze orange hat and that he hunted half the day without a gun deer license. The person admitted he realized he didn’t buy his gun license and purchased it later in the day.

Wardens Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, and Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, assisted deputy Ker Yang with the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department on a call of an individual who had shot a deer from the road. It was found that an individual was out hunting with a rifle during the archery season before it got dark. After it got dark, they went looking for deer from the road. The individual shot a deer from the road using a gun with a flashlight mounted to it. The individual was apprehended by the sheriff’s department shortly after leaving the spot where the deer had been shot.

On opening day, wardens Annette Swanek, of Neenah, and Chris Shea were investigating complaints in the Rat River Wildlife Area when the officers heard a late shot. They were able to determine where the hunters were parked and watched them walk out of the field using their flashlights. The wardens contacted the individuals in the parking lot and they to firing a “Hail Mary” shot at a deer. The shooter was also in violation of the high visibility clothing requirement and had fraudulently obtained a resident gun deer license. The shooter also was hunting with a juvenile who did not have a hunting license nor had he taken hunter’s safety.

At the request of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department, wardens Swanek and Shea responded to a call of hunters shooting a house and vehicle, causing damage. A group of goose hunters were found hunting a field adjacent to a neighborhood that resulted in damage to a homeowner’s property. Ten hunters were contacted regarding the property damage. While conducting compliance and license checks, it was discovered two hunters did not have the required goose permits.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Wisconsin River Team / November

Warden Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, investigated a baiting complaint. Upon contact at the property, it was found that several stands were baited with bird feeders, mineral blocks and deer pellets. The bait was cleaned up and action was taken.

Warden Taylor observed a UTV driver traveling on a road without headlights illuminated. A traffic stop was initiated. It was found that the driver and passenger were in possession of a loaded firearm in the vehicle.

Warden Taylor assisted the Wood County Sheriff’s Department with a trespassing complaint where it was discovered the trespasser did not hold a valid hunting license. Additional deer harvest and reporting violations were also found.

Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, investigated a case where a bowhunter shot bucks on two consecutive nights. The second buck was registered using a family member’s harvest authorization that had been purchased after the second buck had been shot.

Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, responded to a call from a Marathon County Sheriff’s Department deputy who was dealing with a trespassing issue when he observed two deer carcasses in the front yard of the house. The deputy went back a short while later and the deer were gone. Flood followed up and discovered the deer had not been registered and the individual deliberately tried to hide them in a field down the road. Flood located the deer and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Flood took enforcement action against an individual who had shot two deer and didn’t register either of them.

Wardens Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, and Flood contacted an individual about shooting multiple bucks with his crossbow. The individual was found to have shot two bucks this past fall, and used a relative’s documents to register. The individual also was cited for baiting.

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, investigated a complaint of a deer carcass, cardboard and plastic bags dumped in a ditch. The suspect was contacted and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, received a call about a hunter who asked permission to shoot deer on a field and was told no. The hunter then went out and shot a deer on the field shortly after that conversation. When confronted, the hunter left. Ziembo discovered the hunter did not have a valid harvest authorization for that area and also discovered the hunter shot two deer in the wrong zone.

Warden Ziembo spoke with a hunter who shot a deer with an air gun. The hunter only had a crossbow license and had registered the deer as a crossbow kill.

Warden Ziembo, on opening morning, contacted a veteran who had shot a deer, was just getting back to his truck and realized he forgot his knife. Ziembo offered assistance and helped the hunter field-dress the deer. The hunter was thankful for the help.

Black River Falls Team / November

Warden Molly Detjens, of Adams, was following up on a property where a mineral block and a gravity feeder had been found in the past. Detjens found a person gun-deer hunting in a ground blind on the property. Upon contact, the hunter was wearing camouflage and did not have any blaze orange/pink on them or back at their cabin. The hunter also was found to be gun deer hunting without a license.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, investigated a deer-baiting complaint on open MFL land north of Sparta. On the opening morning of the gun-deer season, Modjeski contacted a person hunting from a portable heated ground blind over the apples, corn and a full-sized salt/mineral lick. The hunter failed to produce proof of a license and said his proof was back in the truck. At the truck, the hunter located his vehicle registration and a couple of Michigan DNR licenses, but was unable to provide proof of a Wisconsin DNR resident gun-deer license. Modjeski conducted a computer check and determined the hunter did not have a license. Modjeski explained enforcement action would be taken for baiting deer and hunting deer without a license.

Warden Modjeski was patrolling in the town of Sheldon when he observed what appeared to be a person in blaze orange, hunting from their truck parked on the edge of a hayfield adjacent to a town road. When Modjeski asked to check the firearm, the hunter admitted the rifle in the back seat was loaded. Modjeski found one cartridge in the chamber and three in the magazine.

Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, contacted two hunters near McMullen County Park in Monroe County following a citizen baiting complaint. Upon contact, Seybert found two sites baited heavily with corn. One hunter had shot an 11-point buck over the corn that morning. The other hunter stated that he had shot a buck over bait last year in the same spot.

Lower St. Croix Team / November

Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, investigated a litter complaint involving a deer carcass. Kosin contacted the responsible party and could hear the individual typing on his phone while they talked. It was determined the individual was attempting to register the deer late, but he failed to hit submit prior to calling back. Kosin informed the caller the registration was “real-time” and the individual must have forgotten to complete the process. The individual told Kosin to hold on a second and moments later the registration showed up on GoWild.

Warden Kosin investigated an early bait/illegal automatic feeder found near a treestand. The property owner was contacted, and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, investigated a complaint concerning a person believed to be baiting deer in his yard. The man admitted to placing out a gallon of corn every couple of days, beginning in September, in his backyard. McDermid also found the person had shot a doe off the corn and had shot a buck in the front yard within 50 yards of the corn. The person initially claimed both deer were shot during legal hours, but the buck was shot after legal shooting hours with the use of artificial light.

Warden McDermid followed up on a hunter harassment complaint. During separate interviews with two individuals suspected of harassment, they admitted to driving up and down a road multiple times while the nearby property was being hunted by the owners. The two individuals observed the hunter and honked their vehicle horn at deer located in the field. They returned a short time later, and again honked the horn and yelled at the deer. They admitted they knew the hunter was there and said they were trying to get the deer to move while taking pictures of the deer. The two individuals were cited for interfering with lawful hunting.

Warden McDermid investigated a baiting case near Colfax involving a feeder and nearby tower stand visible from the road. McDermid located a father and son hunting on a ridge, overlooking a pile of corn. McDermid found the father regularly put out two gallons of corn. The father shot a buck and doe over the bait. McDermid talked with the 14-year-old son and educated both about the baiting ban in Dunn County. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait.

Wardens J.J. Redemann and Jaime McDermid investigated a hunter harassment complaint on public land. One hunter was upset that other hunters set up too close and told them to go somewhere else. When they didn’t move, the perturbed hunter grabbed the bottom of the hunter’s climbing stand to prevent them from getting up the tree to hunt. Enforcement action was taken for hunter harassment.

Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, observed an occupied disabled vehicle. The plate returned as stolen out of St. Paul, Minn. Sickman made a traffic stop with assistance from the New Richmond Police Department and the driver was taken into custody. Upon arrest, the driver stated he ingested heroin during the traffic stop and was taken to the hospital for observation. He was later taken to St. Croix County Jail and charged with multiple crimes.

Warden Sickman investigated a litter complaint on Willow River State Park property in which a large amount of home renovation materials had been dumped in a parking lot. It was determined a homeowner hired someone to properly dispose of the material. The warden found the responsible party, who was back in the county jail after being arrested for removing his GPS anklet after being released from prison nine days prior. 

Warden Sickman was on patrol near Willow River State Park when he heard a gunshot in the state park after legal shooting hours. Sickman contacted the hunter, who stated he thought shooting hours ended 30 minutes after sunset and not 20 minutes. While contacting this hunter, another hunter fired a shot even later. The second hunter had shot a large buck after hours.

Mississippi River Team / November

Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, investigated a baiting case in Crawford County. A landowner was found to have a large electronic deer feeder on his property. The landowner was found to be hunting a short distance from the feeder. 

Warden Adams investigated a late shooting complaint in Crawford County. A man shot a buck 40 minutes past legal shooting hours.

Wardens Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and Nate Ackerman, of Durand, contacted two hunters during the gun-deer season after observing them haul a sack of corn into the woods on a UTV. Upon contact, the passenger was in possession of a loaded rifle and the operator admitted to placing corn and deer attractant at a stand location.

Warden Jumbeck contacted a hunter who had been hunting deer without a license and archery hunting earlier without having a crossbow license.

Warden Stringham responded to a complaint about a group of people opening a closed gate at Wildcat State Park and camping overnight without paying camping/ permit fees. Stringham responded to the area and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Trevor Tracey, Adams and Stringham assisted the Viroqua Police Department in the apprehension of a wanted person who fled on foot from a Viroqua officer. During the search, Tracey and Adams located the individual running through a cut cornfield. The wardens gave chase by vehicle across the field before apprehending the person on foot. The wardens then transferred the person to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department.

Warden Tracey contacted a group of deer hunters near Readstown and found that one of the persons was hunting deer without a gun-deer hunting license.

Wardens Tracey and Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, investigated a complaint of a deer shot off the roadway near Desoto. The wardens found the person was not hunting from the roadway. However, the person harvested a deer 15 minutes after the close of legal shooting time. 

Warden Tracey received a call of hunting deer over bait near Ferryville. Tracey found the person had placed approximately five gallons of corn near his stand and shot a buck during the gun-deer season. Warden Marcus Medina, of Waukesha, assisted Tracey by conducting an interview with the person in Milwaukee. It was found that the party harvested a buck while using bait during the bow and gun deer seasons. 

Wardens Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and Madison Bryan received multiple complaints of deer baiting and feeding in Trempealeau County, where it has been illegal to bait/feed deer since 2018. The wardens issued multiple citations for the illegal placement of deer bait/feed.

Wardens Jensen and Bryan observed a UTV being operated on a highway in Trempealeau County after dark. The wardens found the operator was coming back from deer hunting and had traveled more than two miles on a rural section of the U.S. highway, which was not open as an ATV/UTV route, to their camp from where they had been hunting.

Wardens Bryan and Jensen assisted warden Vong Xiong, of Black River Falls, with a report of a hunter harvesting too many deer and then hiding them under a tree. The wardens determined that eight deer were harvested between three people. Two fawns were left to lay on the property because the hunter thought it was illegal to harvest fawns and did not know what to do with them. The hunter also did not have the proper harvest authorizations.

NORTHERN REGION

Park Falls Team / November

Wardens Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, and Tom Heisler, of Winter, contacted three individuals, two of whom were hunting deer near their residence on opening morning. One of the hunters was found to be hunting deer without a license and over more than two gallons of bait. Another individual at the residence was found to have failed to register a deer, as required, the week prior to the gun deer season.

Warden Koshatka contacted two waterfowl hunters on Nelson Lake. One hunter was found to have a gun capable of holding more than three shot shells. The other hunter was in possession of lead shot and they did not have enough PFDs in the canoe.

Warden Koshatka was requested by the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department to assist with a cabin occupied by several intoxicated hunters regarding a disturbance that started between neighbors over an illegal deer bait. It was found that a neighbor saw a corn pile the hunters had out in front of a stand and confronted the hunters. The person who placed the bait in front the stand had cleaned it up prior to the officers arriving on scene. Baiting and feeding is not allowed in Washburn County.

Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, responded to a report of a possible call for help on a state wildlife area along with Wisconsin State Patrol and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. The officers eventually discovered that it was just a group of kids playing “Marco Polo.”

Warden Belisle responded to a report of two hunters and a dog lost in the Flambeau River State Forest. It was later determined they were in the Price County Forest. With assistance from fire departments from Rusk and Price counties and law enforcement agencies, the hunters and dog were located, cold and wet but overall in good condition.

Warden Scott Bowe, of Ladysmith, investigated a baiting case and found several automatic feeders on a large property. The owner said he did not hunt over the feeders, and was only trying to keep deer on his property. He asked about ways to improve habitat. Enforcement action was taken. The landowner was then referred to the local wildlife biologist for information about the Deer Management Assistance Program.

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