Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 5, 2021
Racine-Kenosha Counties / December
Wardens Taylor Meinholz and Brandon Smith followed up on a complaint of hunting and harvesting a deer over bait. It was found that the person harvested one buck over bait in 2020 and one buck over bait in 2019.
Warden Strehlow, of Milwaukee, while working at Lake Shore State Park, contacted two individuals who had parked their car in a no-parking zone and had open intoxicants in the vehicle. The driver had a warrant out for his arrest. While arresting the individual, the person stated he had COVID-19 and began to cough. Jail officials stated they would still take the individual as long as he was checked out by a hospital before arrival.
Warden Strehlow received information regarding a large buck possibly shot over a bait pile on a property in Oak Creek. It was found the owner placed more than 50 pounds of corn in front of a blind and killed a buck over the bait pile. The owner also used a skid-steer to scrape the ground in an attempt to cover the bait.
Wardens Strehlow and Blaine Ziarek found an individual to have trespassed to archery hunt on several properties in Waukesha County for more than four years. It was found that the individual hunted in 2020 prior to buying a license. In addition, the individual took possession of a dead deer without having a hunting license.
Walworth-Waukesha Team / January
Warden Brad Wilson investigated two deer illegally shot over bait and a possible buck shot during the holiday hunt. Wilson found the individual shot a buck fawn and a doe and was illegally group hunting with a bow at that time. The individual also was using corn for bait and not wearing any hunter orange during a gun holiday hunt.
Warden Wilson interviewed an individual who self-reported his child shot two antlerless deer with a .243 a day after the holiday hunt. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Wilson was patrolling Lake Geneva and following up on some boating complaints when he took enforcement action against a boat operator who had three people on board and did not have any PFDs.
While performing ice fishing patrol in the Mukwonago area, warden Steve Sanidas contacted an angler who said he was increasing his odds by fishing with five tip-ups and a jig pole for a total of six lines. It is illegal to fish with more than three lines, baits or lures.
Warden Sanidas completed an investigation of an individual who harvested a buck with archery equipment during the antlerless-only holiday hunt in Waukesha County.
Warden Steve Sanidas, while on patrol in Walworth County, came across a crash in which two individuals ran off the road and got their vehicle stuck in the snow. Upon contact, both individuals exhibited signs of being intoxicated. As Sanidas was speaking with the county dispatch center, both individuals began to walk away from the scene. Sanidas was able to stop the two from leaving and escorted them back to the vehicle. Additional wardens and deputies from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department arrived. The operator of the vehicle was arrested for operating while intoxicated and the vehicle was towed from the area. The passenger was provided a ride home by deputies.
Wardens Andrew Starch and Alex Brooks attempted to stop two snowmobilers in Summit for registration violations. One rider fled the stop and was unable to be located. Less than an hour later, the wardens responded to a snowmobile/car accident and the operator was the individual who had fled earlier. The operator was treated at a local hospital and released, where he was then arrested by the wardens.
Wardens Marcus Medina and Starch completed an investigation regarding illegal archery deer hunting. The person was found to have shot and recovered a buck while hunting over illegal bait. The person had a relative register the buck. Later in the season the person killed and recovered another buck while hunting over illegal bait.
Warden Medina made approximately 30 snowmobile traffic stops during a four-hour patrol, issuing various citations for expired registration, operating on a trail without a valid trail pass, and operating a snowmobile without a snowmobile safety certificate.
Racine-Kenosha Counties / January
Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Alex Basting, of the Richard Bong Recreation Area, were on patrol at Camp Lake and came upon three anglers who were fishing with 12 lines, three over the legal limit was three lines per person.
Warden Smith followed up on duck blinds left out on area lakes after the close of waterfowl season. On Center Lake, a hunter, who had been warned and cited previously for issues related to duck blinds, was found to have again left a duck blind on the lake beyond seven days after the season.
Warden Smith and other team wardens patrolled Silver Lake and Browns Lake during two ice fishing derbies. The wardens contacted about 200 fishermen and issued several citations and about 50 warnings for violations including fishing with too many lines, unattended lines, undersized fish, no fishing license, underage drinking, no ATV safety certificate, and various ATV equipment, operation, and registration violations.
Wardens Brandon Smith and Clayton Peters patrolled Racine and Kenosha county trails where they contacted about 100 snowmobilers. The wardens issued several citations and warnings for no snowmobile safety certificate, no trail pass and no registration.
Warden Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, was patrolling in Kenosha County when he observed a UTV being driven down a roadway not open to operation. Meinholz stopped the individual. The passenger of the vehicle was child under the age 12 and was not wearing a helmet or a seatbelt.
Wardens Meinholz and Jennifer Burrow-Niemeyer met an individual to register a bobcat harvested in Bayfield County. The wardens determined the bobcat was taken by illegal means.
Warden Alex Basting, of Kansasville, received a complaint about fishing with more than three lines on a pond in Racine. The individual was contacted and found to have four tip-ups on the pond.
Warden Strehlow responded to a complaint regarding possible deer baiting in River Hills. It was found that two bucks and one turkey was shot over bait. The turkey was never registered.
Warden Strehlow received several calls regarding a very large coyote apparently trapped in the football field at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. One individual noted throwing chicken nuggets at the coyote to try and get it to move. It was found that the coyote is a plastic decoy and being used to scare geese off the field.
Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Washington Counties / January
Warden Josh Wiedenhoeft contacted an individual with a group of coyote hunters. Upon checking the individual’s guns in his truck, Wiedenhoeft found a loaded shotgun the hunter was attempting to conceal. A citation was issued.
Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, assisted Dan Nehls on an aquatic invasive species case of 100 self-cloning marbled crayfish. The individual under investigation was found to be raising the crayfish in his home and selling them to locations across the country. The tanks were disinfected and emptied by the owner’s consent.
Wardens Wiedenhoeft and Juan Gomez, of Sheboygan County, were patrolling the Kettle Moraine Northern Unit State Forest when they observed two individuals riding an off-highway motorcycle (OHM) on closed snowmobile trails. Upon contact, the wardens learned the OHM was not registered, neither individual had taken an OHM safety course, and the individuals were riding on closed snowmobile trails. The wardens gave the individuals multiple warnings and citied them for not having a OHM safety certificate.
Wardens Wiedenhoeft, Gavin Keefauver, and Isaac Hackett assisted Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department officers with an erratic driving complaint in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Upon locating the vehicle parked at a bar, the driver was found asleep behind the wheel. The driver was awakened and performed field sobriety tests. The officers arrested the driver for OWI.
Warden Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, distributed donated ice fishing equipment (jig rods and a few tip-ups) to kids while on patrol at Big Cedar Lake. The equipment had been donated by Frabill for an ice fishing clinic.
Madison Team / December
Warden Henry Bauman, of Madison, investigated a hunting incident at Mud Lake State Wildlife Area in Columbia County where a deer hunter caused a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his leg while removing his loaded rifle from his vehicle after hunting at another public property.
Wardens Dave Youngquist, of Spring Green, Jake Donar, of Madison, and Mason Weber investigated a case involving a couple of unregistered deer. A buck was shot illegally with a firearm during the archery season.
Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Madison, and Mason Weber responded to a complaint of a person shooting a deer with a firearm during an archery season. The person shot a deer with a rifle during an archery-only season, without the appropriate approvals, and gave the deer to family. The person was also found to have shot a deer during archery season without an archery license.
Madison Team / January
Wardens Jake Donar, of Madison, and Mason Weber contacted an individual who was suspected of hunting deer without a license. The wardens learned the person had hunted deer during the opening weekend of the gun-deer season and illegally shot two bucks. Past violations of hunting antlerless deer without the appropriate approval and improper registrations were also discovered.
Warden Caputo worked snowmobile enforcement with the members from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department marine and trail team on numerous occasions. Both agencies issued numerous citations and warnings for snowmobile violations.
Wardens Paul Nadolski and Pete McCormick, both of Columbia County, and Ryan Caputo teamed up for snowmobile patrols as area trails opened. Numerous contacts were made, with many warnings issued, as well as some citations.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, while working coyote hunters in the Albany area, checked a hunter sitting in his truck. The hunter had a loaded shotgun in his truck and was hunting without a license.
Rock River Team / December
Wardens Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, and Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, investigated a complaint of an individual illegally shooting a pheasant in close proximity to a roadway. The individual shot a pheasant while standing in the road ditch, which is illegal.
Wardens Schumacher and Brooks investigated a report of an individual illegally baiting deer near his residence. Upon arrival, the wardens observed a mineral block with a trail camera overlooking it. The man said he had placed two mineral blocks on the property to attract deer.
Wardens Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, and Joseph Hodge investigated an in-progress hunting/trespassing complaint. The individual was found to have been hunting deer with a crossbow. A license check revealed the individual did not have any hunting licenses and was also not wearing blaze orange.
Wardens Johnson and Matt Weseli investigated a deer hunting complaint that originated in Sauk County. An individual was found to have illegally harvested a deer from a roadway. The deer was found to have been on private property on which the hunter did not have permission to hunt.
Wardens Brooks and Drew Starch, of Oconomowoc, investigated a littering complaint that took place on state lands. The wardens identified the possible culprit and after meeting with him, determined he was responsible for the large amounts of litter.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, investigated a complaint of a deer hunter hunting in Dodge County with a rifle during the holiday hunt. Unfortunately, there was no holiday hunt in Dodge County in 2020. Mannes located the area where a deer was shot, but was unable to locate the deer. Mannes later interviewed the hunter at his residence. The hunter admitted to shooting deer with a rifle.
Warden Mannes was patrolling the Mud Lake Wildlife Area when he observed a hunter wearing blaze orange while sitting in a truck. Mannes noted there was a rifle leaning against the truck’s rear bumper and decided to make contact, as the gun-deer season was closed in Dodge County. The hunter admitted to hunting deer with a rifle.
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, worked with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department on an ATV injury accident investigation. The ATV operator had trespassed through several private properties while driving to meet a friend in Beaver Dam. The operator of the ATV was unfamiliar with the terrain on which he was trespassing, and collided with a culvert. He was treated for his injuries.
Rock River Team / January
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, was on snowmobile patrol with a Dodge County deputy in the area of Fox Lake when they saw an ATV with two people aboard a machine not designed for two. There also was no registration nor license plate on the vehicle. Upon contact, the officers found the owner had never registered the ATV.
Warden Mannes was on snowmobile patrol in Dodge County when he contacted a group of four snowmobilers, three of whom did not have trail passes, and one who had expired registration. Upon contact, the owner of the three snowmobiles stated he thought a relative had purchased the trail passes, but did not have any proof with him. Mannes provided his business card and asked the owner to send proof of purchase of the three trail passes. The owner did provide photos of the trail passes. However, the photos did not display the time and date of purchase. Mannes found the passes were purchased after contact on the trail.
Wardens Mannes and Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, were patrolling Beaver Dam Lake by snowmobile when they came upon two tip-ups with the flags up and no one around. The wardens also located an ice shack full of equipment with no one nearby, and which seemed to be related to the unattended tip-ups. The wardens eventually identified a person of interest and waited for the person to arrive. The person then said he was responsible for the illegal unattended lines and to having an untagged ice fishing shack on the lake.
Warden Brad Burton investigated an ATV injury accident with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department involving a person who was trespassing. After completing the investigation, it was discovered the operator had failed to file an ATV accident self-report form, as required. The person had been previously notified he would need to do this.
Warden Burton assisted a Dodge County Sheriff’s Department deputy with contacting several UTV operators operating on the Wild Goose Trail, which was closed at the time.
Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, investigated a complaint of a deer hunter hunting over illegal bait near Fort Atkinson. It was found the person placed bait out for the purposes of hunting deer and was caught actively hunting over the illegal bait.
Wardens Brooks and Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, contacted several snowmobilers for expired registration and trail pass violations. Some of the operators had not taken a snowmobile safety course, and could not legally operate snowmobiles.
Wardens Johnson and Weseli contacted a group of goose hunters in Rock County who had harvested over their bag limit of geese.
Wardens Johnson and Weseli observed a person fishing on Storrs lake with six tip-ups on the ice. The person was found to have been the only one fishing and was found with a total of seven lines.
Wardens Johnson and Weseli investigated a deer hunting case. The individual was found to have used a relative’s license to falsely register a buck that he had harvested.
Warden Johnson and Weseli investigated a case involving a hunter wounding a buck after legal shooting hours. Through evidence collection and interviews, the hunter was found to have shot at and wounded the buck after hours and over illegal bait.
Wardens Johnson and Weseli assisted the Rock County Sheriff’s Department with a coyote hunting complaint. One hunter was found to have been illegally hunting without a small game license.
Warden Johnson observed several sets of snowmobile tracks operating in the middle of the roadway in Rock County. After following the tracks, Johnson came to four snowmobilers who were operating on the roadway. DNR records also indicated two of the individuals had not completed snowmobile safety courses.
Lower Chippewa Team / January
Warden Ryan Lowry, of Eau Claire County, investigated a case of an antlerless deer shot out of season, after a landowner saw a wounded deer followed by trespassers on his cellular trail camera. Lowry followed the blood trail and found a bloody crossbow bolt, along with a mineral block in front of a ground blind. The hunter believed he was able to hunt until Jan. 31. Lowry also learned the man was also hunting without proper antlerless authorization, crossbow upgrade, and had shot two antlerless deer in December, which he registered just before the contact.
Warden Lowry followed up on information of a hunter who shot a buck in the Central Forest Zone, but during the closed season. Upon contact, Lowry learned the man had just harvested an antlerless deer, too. The hunter believed the archery season went until Jan. 31 in Eau Claire County, adding he did not have any regulations booklets. Lowry gave the hunter a stack of regulation booklets and asked the hunter to pass them out.
Warden Lowry investigated a suspiciously harvested bobcat that was allegedly shot and killed with a .22 air rifle. The investigation confirmed the hunter’s story.
Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, and Sam Haferkorn followed up on a deer hunting complaint near Stanley. They found that an individual went hunting during the archery season in October and shot a buck with a rifle.
Wardens Kevin Christorf and Sam Haferkorn, and a Clark County deputy, followed up on an illegal nighttime hunting complaint near Greenwood. The wardens observed a drag/blood trail of what appeared to have been a deer getting shined and shot, and then loaded into a vehicle. The investigation lead officers to the suspected responsible party’s residence where the wardens found two individuals had shined and shot three deer from a vehicle.
Wardens Christorf and Haferkorn followed up on an illegal deer hunting complaint near Stanley. An individual had harvested two antlerless deer and intentionally used the wrong harvest authorizations to register their deer. The individual did not have a valid harvest authorization in the areas where the antlerless deer were harvested. The person also illegally baited for deer.
Wardens Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, Chad Ziegler, Kevin Christorf and Sam Haferkorn investigated a person who was found to have shot multiple bucks during the gun-deer season near Fall Creek. The hunter shot a 10-point buck on opening day, and had a friend who was not hunting register the buck. The person also created a false registration for a relative’s account in an attempt to make the buck appear legal. The person then shot a 20-point buck on Thanksgiving Day. The individual was also found to have been placing illegal bait on the property.
Wardens Bolks and Ziegler received a tip about an individual hunting along a closed area of the Chippewa River State Trail in Eau Claire. They contacted the individual and learned she had hunted the area multiple times over the last couple of years. They also learned she had registered deer late and changed the dates to make those deer appear legally registered, discharged a rifle within 50 feet of road center, and discharged a rifle within 100 yards of a residence.