Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 17, 2021


Lower St. Croix Team/July

Wardens Jaime McDermid and Jon Hagen responded to a call of two PWC operators harassing and running over geese on Long Lake in Washburn County. One juvenile female had driven around the geese, while her friends on a second watercraft drove through the group of geese approximately 12 times.

Wardens Joe McMahon and Collin Sherod, both of St. Croix County, held a Meet the Warden/Ranger Day for the public at Willow River State Park.

Warden McMahon was working at Willow River State Park when he detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle in front of him. McMahon contacted the individuals in the entrance parking lot, and found they were in possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana. The driver was also operating with a suspended driver’s license.

Warden McMahon worked with a DNR wildlife biologist on a captive wildlife case in River Falls. A Canada goose was found to have been kept at a residence for more than one year. McMahon and the biologist educated the homeowner about wildlife laws. The homeowner voluntarily turned over the goose, which was later released at a wildlife area in St. Croix County.

Warden Brad Peterson, of Pierce County, worked with the campers at the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) Camp, a national camp held in Wisconsin for children who lost law enforcement parents who died in the line of duty. Peterson taught trap shooting to about 45 kids and a few parents.

Warden J.J. Redemann and Brad Peterson were on the Chippewa River when they encountered an angler who initially denied he was fishing. After some conversation, the wardens learned the angler was fishing without a license and was drinking alcohol in violation of the terms of probation. Enforcement action was taken for the DNR violation and the probation agent was made aware of the alcohol violation.

Warden Redemann responded to a call of an individual feeding bears in the backyard of an Elk Mound apartment building. Residents were concerned as the bears were coming near the playground area. The individual told Redemann he threw out carrots and scraps to feed rabbits, but it also attracted bears. The resident was counseled and agreed to stop throwing out feed.

Wardens Collin Sherod, of St. Croix County, and Kruse patrolled the St. Croix River at Kinnickinnic State Park. They were finishing up a boat stop when a person on the beach began lighting off large fireworks. The individual stated he thought the fireworks were legal on the Wisconsin side of the river.

Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to a call of a toddler who floated away from her parents on a pool toy while on the St. Croix River. The parents were able to get to her as Sickman arrived.

Wisconsin River Team/July

Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, assisted with capturing and transporting an injured bald eagle to the Raptor Education Group in Antigo for rehabilitation.

Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, participated in the Fleet Farm annual kids’ fishing day.

Wisconsin River team wardens assisted the sheriff’s departments of Clark and Marathon counties during July with searching gravel pits, ponds, and waterways in an attempt to locate a vehicle associated with an open homicide case. The wardens used their patrol boats equipped with sonar.

Wardens Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, and Mike Weber, of Mauston, patrolled during a boating event on Castle Rock Lake. Multiple boat operators were contacted and cited for equipment and safety violations. Four operators were arrested for boating OWI.

Warden Leigh was checking fishing licenses at North Wood County Park when she saw a fisherman acting oddly. She contacted the angler, with assistance from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department. The officers arrested the individual for drug possession, operating while revoked, and bail jumping. 

Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, investigated illegal camping on state land. The campers were educated on the laws and picked up the mess they had made.

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, worked with the county conservationist to help a farmer who had manure collecting in a ditch into compliance with the regulations.

Lower Chippewa Team/July

Wardens Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, and Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, received a call about several individuals pursuing raccoons in Chippewa County during closed season while also trespassing on many private properties. The wardens contacted the individuals, who had killed multiple raccoons out of season in 2021. The wardens, with assistance from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, took action for hunting out of season, trespassing, and underage drinking.

Wardens Bolks and Christorf completed a case of a hunter who shot a buck during rifle season without having a license, but then purchased a license later in the week.

While working at the East Fork Campground in the Black River State Forest, warden Adam Hanna came across an individual asleep behind the wheel of a running SUV. Hanna arrested the man after administering field sobriety testing for OWI. The individual also had warrants from two counties. 

Warden Hanna and a Clark County deputy observed two boys without helmets operating an ATV and UTV. The deputy motioned for the boys to stop, but they fled. Hanna located them hiding behind a cabin down the road. Several violations were discovered.

Wardens Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, and Kevin Christorf followed up on an investigation involving an individual hunting deer without a license near Owen-Withee during the 2020 gun-deer season. The man said he had hunted deer without a license and only bought his license once he harvested a buck.

Warden Christorf was patrolling near Greenwood when he saw a UTV operator traveling with what appeared to be several children in the bed of the UTV. The five children were not wearing helmets, seven people were not wearing seat belts, and the UTV was not registered.

Wardens Christorf and Peters contacted a boater for boat light violations. The wardens observed a marijuana pipe on the dash. The operator said he had smoked marijuana prior to driving the boat. After field sobriety tests, the operator was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Wardens Christorf and Peters responded to a boat fire on the river near Jim Falls. They assisted a person who had swam out to the boat from shore, and another person who was inside the boat and attempting to put out the fully engulfed engine and stern. The wardens were able to extinguish the fire and ensured the individuals and boat was transported safely back to shore.

Warden Peters and a Chippewa County deputy were conducting boat patrol on Lake Wissota when they observed two boaters operating on the lake nearly 11⁄2 hours after sunset without any navigational lights on. Both boaters were arrested for OWI.

Warden Peters received a citizen call regarding a sandhill crane being shot. Peters spoke with the responsible party, who was found to have killed the crane using a .22 caliber rifle on private property. Enforcement action was taken. 

Warden Ryan Lowry, of Eau Claire County, contacted two men fishing at a local shore spot. One man had no license, and he had an active warrant. Lowry stopped the vehicle as the men left the parking area. During the stop he learned the other man was revoked and on probation. Multiple parole violations were uncovered after deputies responded and assisted with the contact. The men were arrested.

Wardens Jake Holsclaw, of Eau Claire, and Bob Kneeland, of Chetek, saw an ATV operator running without lights while a juvenile rode without a helmet. The operator had not taken ATV safety, did not know about the requirement for headlights to be illuminated, and did not have a helmet for the juvenile. The wardens waited with the operator and his daughter to ensure they had a safe ride home.

Mississippi River Team/July

Warden Nate Ackerman, of Durand, helped organize and work the Durand Youth Fishing Contest with nearly 400 kids.

Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Tyler Strelow patrolled Pool 10 of the Mississippi River. They observed a man operating a PWC launch a wave in front of the wardens and get thrown from his vessel. The man was having difficulties swimming to his watercraft. The man was contacted and determined to be intoxicated. The man was arrested for boating OWI.

Warden Adams saw a saddled horse without a rider running toward Hwy. 18. Adams was able to get control of the horse. He then worked with the Prairie du Chien Police Department and county dispatchers to learn the owner’s name. It was later determined a rider had been bucked off, but was okay. The horse was returned to its owner.

Wardens Shawna Stringham, of Viroqua, and Strelow were working boating enforcement on the Kickapoo River at Wildcat Mountain State Park. They contacted individuals who had an infant baby in the canoe without a PFD on board. Two canoers in the group were also found to be in possession methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. One person was arrested for possession of meth and the other was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Warden Stringham and a federal refuge officer investigated an arson case on the Mississippi River. Two individuals had set fire to trees on an island and left the area. One fire resulted in the fire department being called to the scene. A tip from the public helped identify two suspects. The investigations also discovered underage drinking, marijuana use, littering and no registration on the boat. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, took enforcement action against a UTV operator on Hwy. 35 near De Soto. Tracey learned the operator had traveled from Lansing, Iowa.

Warden Strelow patrolled Pool 7 of the Mississippi River for boating enforcement. He cited one boater for absolute sobriety and arrested another for boating OWI.

While working on the Mississippi River, warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, checked a group of fishermen who were found to be in possession of six illegal-sized bass and one illegal-sized walleye. Later that same day Jensen checked another fisherman along the river who was found to be in possession of an illegal-sized bass and walleye. Enforcement action was taken with both groups.

Warden Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, investigated a call of a person bowfishing during closed season on Wisconsin/Minnesota boundary waters of the Mississippi River. The man was bowfishing a week prior to the season opener. The individual also had been guiding fishermen on the Mississippi River since 2020 and didn’t have a Wisconsin DNR guide license, U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license, or a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit.

Black River Falls Team/July

Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, teamed with the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department recreation deputy for boat patrol on Castle Rock Flowage for the July Fourth weekend. They made two boat OWI arrests and two absolute sobriety contacts, in addition to other boat safety-related contacts.

Wardens Michael Weber and Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, patrolled Castle Rock Flowage during “Boat Bash,” when they removed four boaters for OWI.

Warden Weber and the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department recreation deputy were on patrol when they contacted a group fishing from a boat on Castle Rock Flowage. Two of the people were fishing without licenses, one of which was fishing during a period of license revocation. In addition, one of the boat occupants was in possession of marijuana and a fifth person had littered a joint into the water prior to the contact.


Sauk County Team/July 

Wardens Michael Williams, of Reedsburg, and Joseph Olson and Nicholas Engelhardt, both of Wisconsin Dells, responded to a call of reckless boat operation while working on the Wisconsin River near Wisconsin Dells. Upon contact, Williams could smell alcohol and administered field sobriety testing. The operator was under the influence of an intoxicant. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Madison Bryan, of Devil’s Lake State Park, received a call from a citizen in Lake Delton about mallard ducklings stuck in the Lake Delton dam. Bryan and Engelhardt were able to climb onto the dam, locate the ducklings and have them safely removed. The ducklings were reunited with the nearby hen mallard.

Madison Team/July

Wardens Jake Donar and Nathan Kroeplin, both of Madison, were on Lake Monona when they stopped a boater for a lighting violation just after dark. The operator was intoxicated and had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit.

Warden Matthew Koshollek, of Madison, made three OWI arrests. The first was on Lake Wisconsin and another on Lake Monona. The second operator had been arrested two previous times for OWI in a motor vehicle. Koshollek also took action against an intoxicated UTV operator on the road near Lake Kegonsa State Park.

Warden Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, took enforcement action against a company from Boston, Mass., for its illegal importation of live red swamp crayfish into Wisconsin.

Wardens Erik Anderson and Kroeplin in one night arrested two boaters for OWI on Lake Wisconsin. On another July night, warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, teamed with Kroeplin and arrested two more boaters for OWI on the same lake.

Wardens Nick King, of Green County, and Erik Anderson were on patrol at Yellowstone Lake State Park when they saw two UTV operators at about 50 mph where there is a 30 mph speed limit for recreational vehicles. Both operators were operating while under the influence of an intoxicant.

Wardens King and Anderson investigated a possible timber theft case near Barneveld. A landowner had cut timber without filing a harvest notice with the county. The landowner had cut down multiple trees on the neighboring property.

Warden Pete McCormick contacted three persons who were illegally harvesting clams near Fall River. One man was found to be in possession of 11 giant floaters (clams).

Wardens Paul Nadolski, of Portage, and Jake Donar, of Dane County, patrolled on July Fourth and took enforcement actions regarding several boating and fishing cases on the Wisconsin River between Lake Wisconsin and Wisconsin Dells. One involved a person in possession of two undersized smallmouth bass.

Dodgeville Team/ July

Wardens Mike Burns and Kyle Halverson, both of Iowa County, were patrolling the Cheese Country Trail when a UTV operator was observed traveling faster than the speed limit, off the trail, and without headlights. The operator was found to be in possession of marijuana and operating the UTV while under the influence of marijuana and alcohol. Halverson arrested the operator for UTV OWI and the Darlington Police Department handled the drug possession issue.

Warden Burns observed a UTV operator running at more than twice the speed limit on the Cheese Country Trail. The driver was arrested for OWI.

Warden Burns was performing field sobriety tests on the driver of a car seen speeding through Yellowstone Lake State Park when the vehicle began rolling toward the lake. The operator had failed to put the car in park. Burns sprinted after the vehicle and pressed the brake before the vehicle went off the road. Burns arrested the driver for OWI and no driver’s license.

Warden Burns was called to a fight underway at a Yellowstone Lake State Park group site where two intoxicated individuals were aggressively arguing about who could drink the most alcohol. The group had been warned earlier in the night for excessive noise and the two arguing also were cited for disorderly conduct.

Wardens Burns and Jeremy Plautz were on patrol at Yellowstone Lake State Park when they were called to calm an argument at a campsite regarding the use of a raft at the lake. In another call for help, the wardens responded to a report of a missing child, who was found safe.

Wardens Kirk Konichek, of Richland County, and Madeleine Johansen cited individuals in nine of 13 groups on the Lower Wisconsin River for possession of glass. All individuals said they knew glass is not allowed on the river. The wardens also found bags of garbage floating down the river.

Wardens Hans Walleser, of Grant County, and Johansen arrested a UTV operator for OWI after he stopped after speeding for four miles in an attempt to elude the officers. 

Wardens continue to see many kayak and paddleboard users failing to have PFDs with them while on the water.

Rock River Team/July

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, got a call of someone keeping short walleyes on the Beaver Dam River below the dam. While Burton did not discover any walleyes in the angler’s possession, he did discover the angler was fishing without a license. 

Warden Burton got a call of a fox that had a trap stuck on its head. Burton located the fox in a culvert. He was able to grab the fox with a catch pole and then removed the trap from its head. Burton then worked with the a DNR wildlife biologist to release it back into the wild. 

Warden Burton patrolled the town of Leroy for ATVs and UTVs being operating on a non-ATV road route during a large event. Burton made several stops and educated some of the operators with warnings. Burton then observed a UTV operator on a non-road route who had three minors on board who were not wearing helmets.

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, contacted an individual fishing at Riverbend Park in Horicon who was in possession of multiple bullheads and did not have a fishing license. 

Warden Mannes was patrolling the Rock River in Horicon when he was approached by a kayaker. Mannes discovered the individual did not have a PFD on board, as required. Enforcement action was taken, and the kayaker was escorted to shore.

Wardens Mannes and John Sinclair conducted boat on the Rock River and Sinissippi Lake. They observed a PWC operator running at speeds greater than no-wake within 200 feet of shore and near an anchored boat.

Warden Mannes took enforcement action against a UTV operator on a Lebanon roadway for his minor passenger who was not wearing a helmet.

Warden Mannes stopped a UTV operator who was running illegally on the Wild Goose State Trail. The trail is not open to ATV/UTV use in the summer. After stopping the vehicle, Mannes found the operator also did not have an ATV/UTV safety certificate and the registration decals were not properly applied to the machine. The operator stated that the owner of the UTV advised it could be operated on the trail. Mannes then made contact with the owner of the vehicle and enforcement action was taken. 

Warden Mannes was with a Dodge County deputy in Hustisford when they observed two young females in a UTV operating on the roadway without helmets. Mannes and the deputy stopped the UTV and later made contact with both sets of parents.

Warden Mannes was checking anglers in Hustisford when he contacted an individual at the Neider Park boat landing who was fishing without a license. Mannes found this individual also had an active warrant for his arrest. With assistance of the Hustisford Police Department, the person was taken into custody. Enforcement action was also taken for the fishing violation.

Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, assisted local authorities with a response to a large house explosion in Rome. Brooks assisted with evacuations and securing the scene.

Warden Brooks was on the Rock River when he contacted two individuals fishing by the Jefferson dam. Neither had a fishing license.

Warden Brooks followed up with a hunter from this past season suspected of failing to register his turkey. It was confirmed the hunter had failed to register his turkey.

Wardens Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, and Brooks were checking fishing licenses below the Indianford dam when they observed a man drop his fishing pole in the water and walk to shore toward two companions. When asked about his action, the man said he did not have a license and did not want to get caught by the wardens. His two companions also did not have licenses. 

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