Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 25, 2021
Wardens Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, and Madeleine Johansen were on ATV/UTV patrol in the Danbury and Webb Lake areas during Memorial Day weekend when they took enforcement action for numerous violations of speeding, illegal operation on a highway, riding off trail, underage operation, juveniles under 18 not wearing helmets, and operating while intoxicated.
Warden Gabrielson saw a UTV being operated recklessly as the operator did an extensive burnout in the middle of a road and then slid into the ditch near Webb Lake. The male operator quickly accelerated away when Gabrielson activated his emergency lights and siren in attempt a stop. The operator decided to stop a short distance later, and he was arrested for operating under the influence of an intoxicant. Enforcement action was also taken for other violations.
Wardens Gabrielson and Johansen found a group of males illegally operating a seine net within 200 feet of a dam in Burnett County.
Wardens Gabrielson, Johansen, Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, Pete Wetzel, of Amery, Jon Hagen, of Spooner and a Burnett County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to a crash near Danbury involving two UTVs and four ATVs. The units collided when the lead unit stopped for a stop sign and the rest of the units, traveling at high speeds during dusty conditions causing poor visibility, crashed into one another. All the operators were juveniles and some sustained injuries. Enforcement action was taken regarding careless operation. At the same time this crash occurred, the sheriff’s deputy was on the opposite side of the road handling a separate UTV crash
Warden Jon Hagen and Lt. Mike Melgaard patrolled the Minong Flowage and Gull Lake for the fishing opener. They contacted numerous fishermen and boaters, and they took enforcement action for numerous violations. They were called away for a while to assist at a large wildland fire near Springbrook where a property owner who was burning brush was unable to prevent his fire from spreading into the woods.
Warden Hagen was contacted by a turkey hunter who reported he unintentionally killed two turkeys with one shot. Hagen met with the hunter who explained how the incident happened. Hagen warned him about the violation of harvesting the second turkey without having a harvest authorization for it.
Warden Hagen followed up on a minnow-trapping complaint and located two minnow traps on the edge of a small creek; neither trap was in the water. Hagen contacted the owner who said he used the traps to catch minnows for use on the lake where he lives. Hagen warned him for the illegal transportation of live fish.
Warden Hagen followed-up on a complaint of an illegally placed pier on a section of county highway right-of-way. Hagen worked with the Washburn County Highway Department and the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department to ensure no permission was given for the placement. Hagen then contacted the pier’s owner, who was required to remove the pier and his pontoon docked at the illegally placed pier.
Warden Hagen spent most of Memorial Day weekend conducting ATV/UTV patrol in Washburn County. Hagen responded to four ATV/UTV injury crashes and he issued multiple violation citations and warnings.
Lt. Melgaard observed a UTV with no displayed registration being operated on a roadway in Barron County by a youth not accompanied by an adult. Melgaard intended to stop the UTV when a man operating a pickup got behind and followed the UTV. The pickup was weaving while on the road. The adult operating the pickup was the UTV owner. He was arrested by a Barron County Sheriff’s Department deputy for OWI. Melgaard handled the UTV-related violations.
Wardens Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, and Dustin Gabrielson responded to a report of a boater passed out in a boat on Little Trade Lake in Burnett County. The boater acted unusual and erratic when he was awoken by the reporting party. Spaight and Gabrielson found the boater and arrested him for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Wardens Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, and Lucas Raitz contacted a female operating an ATV who failed to obey a stop sign in the city of Rice Lake. Upon contact it was determined the operator was under 12 years old and was not being accompanied by an adult.
Wardens Loining and Raitz stopped a UTV being operated on the Wild Rivers Trail in Rice Lake due to passengers not wearing seatbelts. The female operator was arrested for operating the UTV under the influence of an intoxicant.
Wardens Joshua Loining, Lucas Raitz, and Jon Hagen received a call of individuals who were possibly over their possession limit of panfish. Upon contact with the alleged overbaggers at the resort where they were staying, it was determined that one of them was fishing without a license and in possession of 54 panfish, which was four fish over the maximum allowed possession limit. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, issued numerous citations for fishing without a license in May. He also dealt with numerous ATV and UTV violations, including several people who allowed juveniles to ride without wearing a helmet.
Wardens Pete Wetzel and Jesse Ashton completed an investigation near Amery where a man had killed two 8-point bucks with a crossbow during the 2020 season and had a relative register one of them.
Warden Pete Carlson, of Frederic, checked a man as he loaded his boat at Big Butternut Lake in Polk County. The man was over his limit of panfish multiple times. In all, the man was found to have kept 100 bluegills, 75 over the bag limit.
Warden Carlson stopped a UTV operating on a state highway where ATVs/UTVs are prohibited. The individual also had not completed ATV safety certification.
Park Falls Team/May
Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, received a call of a person using a drone to catch crappies. Koshatka spoke with the individual who confirmed the use of a drone to catch crappies. It is illegal to fish in open water with a free-floating, remote controlled or anchored buoyant device that is not controlled by the angler with the use of a line.
Warden Koshatka received a call of two individuals fishing from a boat in the fish refuge below the Winter dam. Koshatka contacted the individuals as they were leaving the boat landing. Both confirmed they were fishing within 100 feet of the dam. The area below the Winter dam is a fish refuge from April 15 through June 1 for 1,000 feet.
Wardens Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, and Aaron Koshatka were on night patrol on Lac Courte Oreilles when they observed someone from shore repeatedly blip a flashlight from a dock in their direction. They went in and located four unattended lines. No one answered the cabin door even though the wardens heard people inside and the lights were on. While documenting the fishing poles, an adult male walked to the dock and advised he didn’t have a fishing license and that’s why he didn’t answer the door.
Wardens Kurt Haas, of Medford, and Joe Olson were driving near Chelsea Lake on opening day of fishing season when they stopped to talk to a man standing next to a vehicle with a tackle box and two fishing poles. The man said he was waiting for his relatives who were bringing a boat to go fishing on the lake. The man made it clear that he was not going to be fishing because he was short on funds and did not have a license. Later in the day the wardens were checking the same lake when they observed the same man fishing in the bow of a boat with two others. It was later determined neither the man nor his relative had purchased a license.
Warden Dan Michels addressed several cases of people feeding mineral to deer and elk illegally. Michels spoke to the people selling the mineral to make sure they understood the law, as well.
Warden Joe Paul, of Phillips, contacted two people fishing on Long Lake in Phillips. The daily bag limit for walleyes is three. The fishermen had 13 walleyes.
Warden Paul cited a homeowner for illegally feeding bears. Paul had previously warned the homeowner when bears began eating feed that had been placed for deer. The homeowner received a citation after he failed to clean up the feed.
Warden Henry Bauman, of Madison, took enforcement action against an angler for fishing in the closed refuge area of Wingra Creek and for not having a license.
Warden Matthew Koshollek, of Dane County, followed up on complaints of anglers fishing in a closed refuge on the Yahara River below the Dunkirk dam. Koshollek issued six citations to anglers fishing in the closed refuge. Koshollek also observed one person casting at a floating DNR sign that marked the area as a closed fish refuge.
Warden Koshollek responded to bowfishing complaints on the Yahara River near Stoughton. While speaking to occupants of one boat at the Hwy. B Landing, he observed a flat-bottomed boat being operated with no lights on the river after sunset. Koshollek contacted the four passengers. Their generator died and they had no boat lights. Koshollek took enforcement action against the group for several boating violations.
Wardens Ryan Caputo and Ryan Donner, of Dane County, contacted a vehicle operator who reportedly drove around a gate to get to a hike/bike only campsite at Blue Mounds State Park. Enforcement action was taken against the operator, as well as another operator who drove to those sites.
Wardens Caputo and Donner followed-up on a complaint of turtles being released into a pond near Sun Prairie. They found the person released two turtles purchased nearly two decades earlier. The wardens also found the person left an aquarium, lights and other trash behind. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, took enforcement action against two individuals found fishing during revocation. This incident was the second time they had been caught within five years, making it a misdemeanor crime.
Warden Nadolski attended the first Columbia County “Cops and Bobbers” program sponsored by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department. All the kids caught fish and had fun with their law enforcement mentors.
Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, contacted an angler he saw fishing in the Crawfish River. The angler stated he did not have a fishing license and denied he was fishing. McCormick went to the spot where he had observed the man fishing and found a fishing line extending into the water. He pulled in the line baited with a live worm on a hook and the other end of the line was connected to a fishing pole that was underwater and stuck in the mud. McCormick took the pole back to the person who agreed that he was fishing without a license.
Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Team/May
Warden Matthew Koepke, of Fond du Lac, responded to a call of ATVs operating on private property without permission. Koepke assisted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in locating the ATVs. The defendants admitted to operating on private property without permission. Koepke found the ATVs were not registered and the operators had not completed ATV safety, as required.
Wardens Anthony Arndt, of Fond du Lac, and William Hankee contacted two fishermen on Crystal Lake in Sheboygan County who admitted to fishing without a license. They two also did not have adequate life jackets. The wardens provided them a loaner life jacket and instructed them to leave it at the launch to be picked up later. Approximately two hours later the wardens observed the same boat on Elkhart Lake and contacted them a second time, finding the group returned the life jacket, and again launched their boat without wearable life jackets. They were ordered off the water and enforcement action was taken for the fishing license and life jacket violations.
Warden Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, continued his investigations of multiple violations of harvesting deer without a license or harvest authorization during the 2020 gun-deer season. Additional violations of falsifying registration data also were found. Venison was seized and donated to a local food pantry.
Warden Smith investigated a person responsible for salvaging and dismantling refrigeration equipment. Smith found the person had illegally transported dozens of refrigeration units, and dismantled those units, resulting in the release of ozone-depleting refrigerants. The person then sold the dismantled equipment to area scrap metal processors. All those activities require DNR certification and records. Smith found more than 100 violations; enforcement action was taken.
Warden Smith, with assistance from wardens Zack Feest and Jen Burrow-Niemeyer, patrolled area lakes over Memorial Day weekend. In one contact, a group of three fishermen were found to all be fishing without a license. Other violations by the group included not enough life jackets, no throwable PFDs, no fire extinguisher, no boater safety certificate, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Throughout the weekend wardens made numerous fishing and boating contacts that resulted in citations and warnings.
Wardens Alex Basting, of Plymouth, and Brennan Kearney responded to a complaint concerning target shooting on state land in Kenosha County. The wardens contacted an individual involved. The wardens provided warnings for target shooting and littering under the condition that the individual clean up the casings. The wardens later checked the site and the individual admitted they had not attempted to clear approximately 200 casings. Enforcement action then was taken.
Wardens Michael Hirschboeck, of Racine, and Kevin Patterson took law enforcement action after determining three individuals fishing from a boat had only two PFFs.
Wardens Hirschboeck and Patterson took enforcement action against two kayakers for not having life jackets at Vern Wolf Lake.