Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 11, 2021

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower St. Croix Team / April

Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, was checking trout streams and observed an individual fishing. The man had not purchased his license yet. Kosin informed the individual he was getting a citation for fishing without a trout stamp.

Warden Kosin wrapped up a deer hunting investigation that uncovered violations,                 including failing to register deer, overbagging on game animals, and providing false information. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Joe McMahon and Collin Sherod, both of St. Croix County, investigated a drug case at Willow River State Park. Two individuals ran away from a park ranger as he was conducting routine maintenance. The ranger informed wardens that he smelled marijuana as the individuals fled. The wardens later contacted the individuals in a nearby parking lot and observed drug paraphernalia in plain view in their vehicle.

Warden Joe McMahon, of St. Croix County, contacted a fisherman at Willow River State Park who was fishing in a trout stream with live bait before the general open season. 

Warden Collin Sherod, of St. Croix County, was on duty at Willow River State Park when a vehicle entered the park without a park pass. Sherod then located the vehicle at a campsite and made contact with the group. He found multiple individuals were underaged and were consuming alcohol. Sherod also found drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and marijuana edibles in a vehicle belonging to the group. Enforcement action was taken.

Black River Falls Team / April

Wardens Molly Detjens, of Adams, and Derek Hansen received a call from an Adams County deputy who saw three men dressed in camouflage walking toward their truck while holding shotguns and turkey decoys. Spring turkey season was not open at the time. Upon contact, all three told the wardens they were target shooting, even though they had three shotguns and turkey decoys in the back of their truck. Eventually, all three admitted to hunting turkeys. All were from out-of-state and none of them had turkey hunting licenses.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, assisted a DNR forester/ranger with investigating a 25-acre wildfire that occurred on private land in northwestern Monroe County.

Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, investigated a complaint reporting an individual shooting at a turkey from a roadway. Seybert found that a juvenile hunter and his relative were traveling down the road in a truck when multiple turkeys crossed the road in front of the vehicle. The juvenile exited the vehicle under the direction of his adult relative and shot at a turkey from the roadway. Seybert located the individuals and enforcement action was taken.

Mississippi River Team / April

Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, investigated a call of three anglers filleting undersized walleyes at the Genoa dam on the Mississippi River. Hochhausen contacted the individuals as they were packing up to leave. They had dozens of game fish. Eight of the 12 walleyes were undersized. One individual initially stated he didn’t have his fishing license with him and left it back at his vehicle. It was determined this person didn’t have a license. 

Warden Hochhausen was working turkey hunting enforcement in La Crosse County and contacted two individuals who drove up to a location where one of the individuals had left his vehicle. Initially the one person stated he wasn’t hunting turkeys, but was helping call for the other person. It was determined that both individuals were hunting and one of them didn’t have a “tag” for the first time period. Both of their shotguns were still loaded in the back of their truck.

Warden Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, was patrolling in Wildcat Mountain State Park and found people camping in an unauthorized area and camping without paying the fees. Vehicles were also on areas where vehicle traffic is prohibited. 

Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, encountered two fishermen fishing along the Mississippi River. It was found that one of the fishermen did not have a valid license. The other was in possession of an undersized walleye. Jensen worked with the fisherman without a license to buy one at that time and took enforcement action on the individual with the undersized walleye.

Warden Jensen worked with the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department on a complaint that had been received regarding trespassing and the placement of trail cameras on private property without the landowner’s permission. The officers were able to determine a suspect and found evidence of deer baiting and bear feeding violations.

Warden Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, responded to a request for assistance from DNR forestry staff regarding a large burning complaint. The fire burned several acres around the farm, silage bunkers, and tires. Enforcement action was taken.

Eau Claire Team / April

Warden Jake Holsclaw, of Chippewa Falls, completed a virtual presentation with the North-Central Regional Trauma Advisory Council. He focused on outreach and education with how the DNR and recreation warden program is working to prevent recreational vehicle injuries.

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Madison Team / April

Warden Jake Donar, of Madison, investigated a complaint where a man and a companion were turkey hunting on state land when their decoy was shot at by an individual with a .22 rifle. Donar located the suspect, who said he was target practicing and was not intending to shoot a turkey.

Warden Nick King, of Green County, continues to investigate the illegal disposal of trash in the state parks. King located two responsible parties for the illegal disposal. 

Warden King was on patrol on the Sugar River when he came upon 12 individuals kayaking and partying on one of the dams. King saw some of the individuals drinking beer in an area where beer cans were littered on the dam and in the river. King approached the group and found all were underaged and had no life jackets.

Warden King was in his home when he heard gunshots. King looked out his window in time to see a vehicle, later determined to be involved in the drive-by shooting. King quickly got into uniform and was the first officer at the scene as the local officer proceeded to the victim’s residence for interviews. King assisted the police department by securing the scene, locating evidence, and ensuring citizens in nearby houses were safe. 

Warden King investigated several cases of hunting deer without a license. King found three individuals from separate parties had hunted deer without licenses. Two individuals had also shot two bucks with firearms and had relatives buy licenses to tag the second buck.

Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, responded to a call of multiple spills of dredge material from the Portage canal. The material is considered hazardous waste as it is full of contamination from years of illegal discharges from businesses and runoff from the city of Portage. The Hwy. 33 bridge over the Wisconsin River was shut down to one lane for several hours while cleanup was done. The Wisconsin State Patrol followed up with the driver of the commercial vehicle.

Warden Nadolski responded to a call of a large boat parked in a DNR boat launch parking lot leaking petroleum into Swan Lake. Nadolski saw a small amount of what appeared to be gasoline coming from the boat and running downhill towards the lake. Follow-up with the operator the following morning found the boat did not display proper registration and was left unattended on state property overnight. Warnings and enforcement action were taken against the company that owned the boat.

Wardens Ben Nadolski, of Montello, and Paul Nadolski responded to a call of a lost boater on Big Slough near the Columbia/Marquette line. Wardens searched Big Slough for several hours but were unable to find any signs of a boat accident, nor the subject. The out-of-state boater became lost and went the wrong direction to his cabin on Big Slough and got stuck on Neenah Creek, which Big Slough flows into. The person spent the night in his boat and rescued himself once the sun came up the next day.

Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department with a traffic stop on a suspected stolen vehicle. The driver refused to stop and a pursuit ensued, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph, and ended in a crash with another vehicle. McCormick tended to the victim vehicle, cutting the driver out of the seat belt and freeing the passenger from the belt. The suspect was taken into custody by Columbia County deputies and is facing several charges

Warden McCormick responded to a call of a person who was having a medical episode while operating a vehicle. McCormick, also an EMT, was first on the scene and found the driver outside the vehicle and on the ground. The driver stated he was feeling ill, couldn’t feel his face, and admitted to smoking marijuana while driving. Columbia County Sheriff’s Department deputies searched the vehicle and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside. The driver was taken to the hospital and later arrested by the sheriff’s department.

Warden Henry Bauman, of Dane County, responded to a customer who self-reported unintentionally shooting two toms while turkey hunting. The honest hunter was warned and one of the turkeys seized.

Warden Bauman patrolled fish refuges in the Madison area. In addition to many warnings being issued, enforcement actions were taken for fishing in a refuge, fishing without licenses, and fishing for game fish during the closed season.

Warden Bauman assisted the Wisconsin State Patrol and Dane County Sheriff’s Department with locating and apprehending three suspects for shooting three vehicles traveling on I-90 near McFarland while they were target practicing with a .223 rifle with the berm of I-90 as their target range backdrop several hundred yards away.

Warden Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, observed an ATV being driven down a state highway and conducted a stop. The operator decided to drive into town to get fuel on his unregistered ATV, on a road that is not a route, and without ATV safety. The operator did note that at least he had a helmet. Caputo pointed out a helmet does no good if it’s not being worn.

Warden Caputo received a complaint of a person who had shot a duck off a retention pond in a residential area in Madison. Caputo found the duck, a hen mallard. While Caputo was on site, a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description, came driving through the parking lot. Caputo stopped the vehicle and found a pellet gun in the front passenger seat next to the operator. The person admitted to shooting the duck.

Warden Matthew Koshollek, of Dane County, received a tip via the DNR hotline about an angler catching walleyes before the season opened. Koshollek located the angler, who was found to have kept two walleyes and a bass before the regular fishing opener. 

Dodgeville Team / April

Warden Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, responded to a call at Yellowstone Lake for a fisherman targeting walleyes during the closed season. Burns contacted the person and determined he was in possession of three walleyes during the closed season.

Warden Mike Burns has observed a large increase in volume of UTV traffic on the Cheese Country Trail and road routes within Lafayette County. The most common violations are operating without a seatbelt, operating without ATV safety certification, and operating a UTV with a passenger under the age of 18 not wearing a helmet.

Iowa County wardens Dave Youngquist and Ben Gruber followed up on a call of an illegal campsite on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. After days of investigation, a suspect was identified but had fled a residence when Dane County deputies were called there on another issue. Gruber used a boat to locate the suspect, who was arrested by Dane County deputies. The wardens found several suspects had multiple campsites along the river on private and state lands, and these campsites were used when avoiding law enforcement.

Warden Youngquist received information of cracked corn spread in front of a turkey blind on private property. Youngquist found the landowner’s relative had placed the corn for a later turkey hunting period. Youngquist also discovered that deer mineral had been recently placed and the landowner had been placing mineral for the deer for years.

Wardens Kyle Halverson and Al Erickson, both of Iowa County, contacted an individual who hunted deer without a license during the 2020 bow season. The individual had hunted in October without proper licenses, then bought his license after shooting an 8-point buck. 

Rock River Team / April

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, while conducting boat enforcement in Beloit, contacted a boater who did not have registration stickers on the boat. Schumacher informed the operator that if he registered the vessel within a week, he would not receive a citation. Despite this opportunity for compliance, the individual still did not register the boat.

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, contacted a fisherman at Indianford dam for a license check. The man did not have a fishing license and his privileges had been revoked due to failure to pay child support.

Warden Johnson took enforcement action against a person who caught and kept two undersized walleyes near Indianford dam.

Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, responded to a call from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department about a vehicle that rolled into a small creek. Brooks was contacted due to concerns about a fuel leak into the creek. Brooks worked with DNR spills staff and determined the leak was minor and could be mitigated by staff on-site.

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, responded to a complaint of dumped garbage off Swan Road in the Horicon Marsh. Mannes identified the responsible party, who also was a felon and on probation. Mannes worked with the parole officer to contact the person. Enforcement action was taken and the person agreed to clear the garbage.

Warden Mannes was traveling on Hwy. 26 when he observed a UTV traveling on Hwy. KW (not open to ATV/UTV traffic). The operator admitted to speeding and traveling on roads not open to UTV traffic. The operator did not have safety certification.

Warden Mannes checked the Hustisford dam and observed a tackle box sitting on the ground in the closed fishing refuge area. Eventually, two people came back to the tackle box and began fishing in the refuge illegally. Mannes contacted one of the two and explained the refuge regulations and showed him the closed refuge sign.

While at the Lowell dam, warden Mannes contacted an angler who displayed his license and stated he had not caught anything. Mannes determined the license was not valid. Also, the angler had two walleyes in a bucket. The fish were released. 

Warden Mannes patrolled with other team wardens during the crappie run at the Lowell dam. The patrol resulted in the discovery of an individual who was in possession of 47 crappies, 22 crappies over bag limit. Another subject was in possession of 26 crappies, one over the bag limit. A third angler had snagged and kept a crappie illegally.

Wardens Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, and Mannes responded to a report of a lost dog in Horicon Marsh. Burton reached out to the dog owner and a local shelter and helped coordinate a plan to catch the dog with a live trap. The dog had spent several nights in the marsh and was eventually caught in the live trap. The wardens then assisted with recovering the dog from the marsh.

Warden Burton observed a group of ATVs traveling on an ATV road route. The warden noted one individual operating in an unsafe manner, and another was without registration and no license plate. Burton found three ATV operators in the group did not possess ATV safety certificates. 

Warden Burton took enforcement action against three kayakers who were fishing in Wedges Bay on Fox Lake. None of them had PFDs on board.

Warden Burton was patrolling the fish refuge on Fox Lake when he observed an individual fishing in the closed refuge.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Racine/Kenosha Counties / April

Warden Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, along with other Racine/Kenosha team wardens, patrolled the walleye run on area creeks and rivers. Violations were observed involving spearing, snagging, and fishing during the closed season.

Warden Smith followed up on a large amount of garbage dumped in a parking lot of the Honey Creek State Wildlife Area. With assistance and video footage from a local Kenosha business, the responsible party was tracked down. The person admitted to dumping the garbage because he needed to clean out his car. 

Wardens Smith and Alex Basting responded to a call of two missing children (ages 12 and 14) who wandered away from their campsite at night. The wardens worked with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a search for the children. The children, unharmed, were eventually located after they wandered to a local tavern about three miles away. 

Wardens Smith and Zack Feest, of Racine, spent a day patrolling on Silver Lake and Lake Elizabeth. About eight boat operators were contacted, with the majority resulting in enforcement action. Violations included possession of fish during the closed season, undersized fish, releasing bait into the lake, no boater’s safety certificate, no fishing license, no life jackets and a personal watercraft no-wake violation.

Wardens Basting and Smith were on night patrol where walleyes were spawning when they came upon individuals with a fishing rod and a flashlight. The individuals were attempting to snag fish. The individuals ran to their vehicle with a snagged walleye. The two wardens contacted them and enforcement action was taken. The walleye was released back into the water.

Warden Mike Hirschboeck, of Racine County, observed a father and his 4-year-old son in a DNR parking lot getting ready to go mushroom hunting on the youth turkey hunting weekend. The boy was wearing a lot of blue. Hirschboeck educated the father about the colors and the fact there were turkey hunters in the area. The father was thankful for the information.

Warden Mike Hirschboeck, while stopped  to make a left turn, observed a motorcycle approaching his squad at a high speed and not slowing down. Hirschboeck took his foot off of the brake and accelerated. The motorcycle nearly struck Hirschboeck’s squad and swerved into oncoming traffic. Racine County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested the operator for OWI.

Wardens Hirschboeck observed a 12-year-old on an ATV just entering the roadway. The youth was driving back and forth between two properties owned by his parents. The wardens met with the parents and educated them and their son about the laws and the importance of wearing a helmet. 

Warden Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee, investigated a call of a turkey shot in Wauwatosa. It was found that the individual shot at a group of turkeys using a BB gun.

Fond du Lac/Sheboygan Team / April

Wardens William Hankee and Anthony Arndt, both of Fond du Lac, responded to a call involving an Oakfield man who had several decomposing deer, crow, and rabbit carcasses in storage totes of a garage unit for a shared apartment complex. The suspect was a convicted felon and harvested the animals via firearms. The suspect believed having his felony conviction expunged allowed him to legally possess firearms, contrary to the state Department of Justice’s interpretation of having a felony expunged as opposed to being pardoned. Subsequent enforcement action and firearm seizures were handled by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department.

Wardens Anthony Arndt and Isaac Hackett, of Sheboygan, talked to a St. Cloud man on a reported gun deer harvest during closed season. It was found he shot an antlerless deer at the end of December in a county that didn’t have a holiday hunt. The man admitted to shooting the deer without a license as well, purchasing one after the harvest. 

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