Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 1, 2021


Madison Team/August

Warden Nick King, of Green County, observed a UTV being driven about 50 mph in a 30 mph area. The operator was operating under the influence.

Wardens Paul Nadolski and Pete McCormick, both of Columbia County, responded to a rescue call in Black Hawk Park along the Wisconsin River. Several people wanted to leave the area, but were trapped due to rising waters. The wardens used a boat to reach the stranded people.

Warden Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, contacted an angler who drove away from the masses while Caputo was checking licenses/fish on Lake Monona. The person was found to be in possession of 36 bluegills.

Dodgeville Team/August

Warden Mike Burns, of Iowa County, responded to a call of early morning shots from the Yellowstone Shooting Range. Burns found a person shooting at the 50-yard range using a flashlight for visibility. State-owned ranges are only open from sunrise to sunset unless otherwise posted.

Warden Burns located an old truck at a Yellowstone Wildlife Area parking lot late at night. The driver was sleeping across the bench seat of the truck. The driver said he was running out of gas, was unable to get home, and decided to sleep in the truck. Burns used his gas can and poured two gallons of gas into the truck so the driver could get home. 

Wardens Kirk Konichek, of Richland County, and Nick Webster responded to a UTV crash on private property in Richland County. The driver attempted to slide the rear end of the UTV sideways and the UTV rolled almost a full rotation. A passenger was partially pinned and two occupants were transported to the hospital.

Sauk County Team/August

Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, was on patrol at Rocky Arbor State Park when he came upon a couple in a confrontation at a campsite. Engelhardt found both individuals to be intoxicated. The male was arrested for violating rules of his probation and transported to the Juneau County jail.

Warden Engelhardt, while following up on a tip of someone keeping short fish, found an individual fishing with more than three lines.

Warden Engelhardt worked with the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department on a complaint of individuals operating ATVs in a closed wildlife area, as well as racing and speeding on town roads. The individuals were located and enforcement actions were taken. 

Warden Matt Weseli, of Devil’s Lake State Park, assisted multiple hiking group members who either got lost or were unable to continue hiking due to physical abilities.

Warden Madison Bryan, of Devil’s Lake State Park, was contacted by campers who spoke of a teen “shotgunning” an alcoholic beverage and throwing the can off the West Bluff. The teen was contacted.

Wardens Derek Hansen, Matt Weseli, and Mason Weber, of Devil’s Lake State Park, responded to a call of an injured hiker who fell from Devils Doorway and suffered multiple compound fractures. Rescue crews carried the hiker from the trail and transported him to a hospital. 

Rock River Team/August

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Wardens Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, and Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, were asked by local authorities to conduct a welfare check at a boat launch for a person slouched over the vehicle’s wheel. The wardens found the impaired person in the vehicle and determined the person had operated a boat while intoxicated. The person also believed he was home in a neighboring state.

Warden Johnson took enforcement action against three fishermen during a fishing license check below Centerway dam in Janesville. One individual was warned for keeping a live clam.

Warden Johnson was on patrol at Blue Mound State Park when he contacted the driver of a vehicle who entered the park after hours. Johnson detected the odor of burned marijuana coming from the car. One occupant admitted to having marijuana. A search revealed drug paraphernalia, LSD, THC gummies and marijuana.

Warden Johnson contacted a fisherman below the Indianford dam and who had kept 14 catfish. The daily bag limit is 10.

Warden Johnson responded to a call of individuals using a cast net below the Indianford dam. The individuals had caught and kept several rough fish, along with a bluegill, using an illegal cast net. 

Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, assisted the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department boat patrol with a stop of two PWC operators who were being uncooperative with law enforcement on Whitewater Lake after several violations were noted.

Warden Schumacher contacted a boat operator at Traxler Park in Janesville for expired boat registration. The operator had failed to update the vessel’s registration, but was aware that it needed to be updated within 10 days of the purchase.

Warden Schumacher responded to a 100-gallon diesel fuel spill that resulted from a multi-vehicle accident on I-90. Three vehicles and a semi-truck/trailer all started on fire and could not be salvaged. Schumacher worked with several agencies, insurance companies and environmental contractors to ensure the spill was properly remediated.

Wardens Schumacher and Burton assisted the Rock County Sheriff’s Department with a physical altercation at a boat launch. The wardens located both parties and conducted interviews. The incident was given to the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, found an illegal deer bait site with a camera while on patrol. While talking to the landowner who placed illegal bait, Mannes found another person also placing illegal bait for deer.

Warden Mannes was traveling on Hwy. 60 and noticed a truck and trailer in the Wild Goose State Trail parking lot. Mannes soon after observed two ATVs operating north bound on the closed trail. Mannes stopped the operators and found neither ATV was registered, there were no license plates on the machines, and one of the operators did not have safety certification. 

Warden Mannes received a call from an individual stranded in a boat in the Mud Lake Wildlife Area. Wardens Mannes and Burton responded to the area with a shallow water boat. They located the broken-down boat four miles away from the launch and towed in the boat and operator.

Warden Burton observed an individual discharge a .22 within a city park at a woodchuck. The case was passed to the Beaver Dam Police Department.

Warden Brooks was patrolling Lake Kegonsa State Park boundary roads after dark when he came across motorcycles being operated on a roadway without the use of headlamps. Brooks found numerous violations, including one operator being intoxicated and one operator fleeing. Brooks worked with the Dane County Sheriff’s Department on enforcement action. 

Warden Johnson contacted a shore angler at Storrs Lake who did not have a fishing license. The anglers was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Warden Johnson contacted a fisherman on Lake Koshkonong for a fishing license. The angler was found to have kept two undersized walleyes. The walleyes were able to be released; enforcement action was taken.

Warden Johnson took enforcement action against a person at a Lake Kegonsa State Park campsite after he responded to a complaint of too much noise during quiet hours. Johnson found the person at the campsite to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.

Warden Schumacher contacted two men fishing from the banks of the Rock River in Janesville. One angler did not have a license and also had an active arrest warrant. The individual was taken into custody in conjunction with Janesville Police Department.


Milwaukee Team/July

Milwaukee /Ozaukee/Washington Counties

Wardens Sam Haferkorn, of Milwaukee County, and Adam Strehlow, of the Marine Enforcement Unit-Milwaukee County, were on patrol for the Milwaukee Bucks NBA National Championship playoff game on July 1. They observed a person fall into the Milwaukee River. The person struggled to swim and starting to sink. The wardens got the person into their boat and to shore.

Warden Haferkorn was conducting boating enforcement on Okauchee Lake in Waukesha County when he saw a passenger riding on the gunnel of a ski boat while up on plane. Haferkorn stopped the boat and arrested the operator for OWI (first offense).

Wardens Marcus Medina and Haferkorn patrolled the Okauchee Lake Tie-Up when they arrested an individual for boating OWI.

Warden Jason Roberts, of Waukesha, stopped a boater operating on Lake Geneva after seeing a displayed blue light that violated an administrative code. Roberts initiated his stop and saw the boat occupants switch operators. Both individuals were arrested for operating the boat while intoxicated.

Warden Roberts helped the families have water fun at the C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) Kids Camp for children ages 6 to 14 and their guardians. Roberts helped families enjoy canoe and PWC rides.

Milwaukee Team/August

Wardens Sam Haferkorn, of Milwaukee County, and Marcus Medina, of Green Bay, worked with the Milwaukee Police Department during Puerto Rican Fest. Illegal ATV/UTV operation has been an ongoing safety concern in Milwaukee. Haferkorn and Milwaukee police officers made several stops for illegal road operation, illegal/reckless operation, and equipment violations.

Wardens Jason Roberts, of Waukesha, and Darren Kuhn, of Green Bay, were on patrol at Lake Beulah when they stopped a pontoon boat for a no-wake violation. The operator arrested for boating OWI.

Racine/Kenosha Counties Team/July

Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Brennan Kearney contacted a loud group camping at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The wardens entered the site and found three subjects engaged in a rolling a marijuana blunt. All nine occupants were in possession of marijuana and consuming alcohol (underage). Other violations were for possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing an officer, and various campsite and noise violations. 

Warden Smith investigated numerous July complaints concerning waterway, wetland and environmental violations, including: obstructing a navigable waterway, illegal dredging, placing illegal structures in a lake, building a seawall without a permit, depositing fill in a lake, no construction site storm water permit, failure to maintain erosion controls, and depositing fill in a wetland. 

Wardens from Racine and Kenosha counties spent an entire week with children ages 6 to 14 who lost a law enforcement parent in the line of duty with C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) Kids’ Camp in Wisconsin. Wardens assisted with events that included boat safety, boat fishing, trap shooting, BB gun shooting, .22 shooting, and archery. The young campers also attend training to help deal with their tragedy, then spent afternoons with DNR wardens who lead the kids into the outdoors. 

Wardens Taylor Meinholz, Zack Feest, and Brennan Kearney were asked by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department to be a part of the procession that welcomed home the Racine County detective injured in the line of duty during a shootout at Franksville. Wardens were in full duty uniform and parked alongside the road with lights activated. Law enforcement agencies from all over the state joined the procession to welcome this officer home from the hospital.

Wardens Meinholz and Smith joined other area wardens to provide assistance during the Milwaukee Bucks NBA national championship parade. 

Wardens Meinholz and Smith were patrolling Silver Lake in Kenosha County when they were waved down by a boater who ran out of gas. Meinholz towed the boat back to the launch. As the wardens trailered the boats, they received a call from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department regarding another boat in distress on Silver Lake. The wardens located a pontoon boat that had electrical issues and would not start. The wardens pulled that boat back to shore. The operator of the boat and its occupants were very thankful for the assistance. 

Wardens Mike Hirschboeck, of Racine County, and Kevin Patterson found a man fishing above the Waterford dam without a fishing license. The man was also fishing while under revocation regarding his rights to fish, hunt and trap. The wardens were able to release one channel catfish.

Wardens Hirschboeck and Patterson observed a pontoon boat operator traveling faster than no-wake during the fireworks display on Tichigan Lake. The wardens found the boat operator had been consuming alcohol. The operator was arrested for OWI. One of the other seven passengers was sober and was able to drive the boat.

Warden Zack Feest investigated a complaint of illegal release of regulated refrigerant from a local scrapper. It was found there were dozens of violations, including knowingly releasing regulated refrigerants and transporting refrigerant containing appliances without certification.

Wardens Alex Basting and Brennan Kearney were involved in several law enforcement contacts during the July Fourth weekend at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. They handled violations including multiple speeding citations, underaged drinking, 911 hang-ups, and domestic violence.

Racine/Kenosha Counties Team/August

Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Alex Basting, of Richard Bong Recreation Area, contacted two people who were operating a PWC, but without wearing PFDs. The operator and passenger did not have boat safety certificates and the vessel had multiple registration violations. One person had two warrants for failing to pay fines in other court cases. Enforcement action was taken, and the warrants resulted in an arrest by Kenosha County deputies. 

Warden Smith responded to a complaint at Richard Bong State Recreation Area of a dispute between two individuals and a moving vehicle in the campground. Assistance was provided by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and one was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic violence. The other person was taken to a shelter. 

Warden Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, received a call regarding a landowner mowing a portion of the Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area. Wardens have warned this individual several times throughout the past 10 years and have issued a citation for destruction of property. However, the landowner has continued to mow after these warden interactions. Meinholz found a landscape company had been hired by the individual to regularly mow the property.

Wardens Mike Hirschboeck, of Racine County, and Brennan Kearney, of Kenosha County, were patrolling at Bong Richard State Park when they responded to a loud noise complaint at a camp site. Enforcement action was taken against campers for marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Wardens Zack Feest, of Racine, and Brennan Kearney attended the National Night Out in Racine. They fielded questions about their career and on rip tides as North Beach in Racine has been common place for drownings the past few years.

Wardens Feest and Jennifer Burrow-Niemeyer provided safety coverage at the Kenosha Kingfish Homerun Derby into Lake Michigan. The wardens helped an individual who had fallen out of a kayak and began to panic. The individual was tired and thankful the wardens helped him out of the water.

Warden Alex Basting, of Richard Bong State Recreation Area, took action against seven individuals during a two-week stretch for speeding vehicles at the recreation area.

Warden Basting responded to a call of an individual hunting during the closed season at the New Munster Wildlife Area. The individual said he had shot a crow and left it in the field. Enforcement action was taken.

Fond du Lac/Sheboygan Team/July

Warden Joshua Wiedenhoeft, of Fond du Lac, arrested an individual for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence while at Long Lake.

Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, participated in Operation Dry Water with boating enforcement on lakes Winnebago, Long, Kettle Moraine, and Puckaway. He was joined by other local wardens, Fond du Lac boat patrol, and town of Osceola boat patrol. Numerous contacts were made by the officers with enforcement actions for navigation lights, equipment violations, no-wake, boater’s safety certification violation, and an arrest for boating OWI.

Wardens Hankee, Arndt, and Wiedenhoeft patrolled the Lake Winnebago Boat Bash and took enforcement actions against participants for failure to carry required equipment, no-wake and safety certification violations, and an arrest for boating OWI.

Warden Anthony Arndt, of Fond du Lac,  assisted the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department with a pursuit along I-43. Officers set up a spike strip to stop the fleeing driver operating a stolen vehicle. The operator crashed and fled into a cornfield. Arndt took an overwatch position adjacent to the interstate and saw the suspect crawling along a farm lane. Arndt then directed the deputies and a K-9 to the operator’s location, where the county officers apprehended the operator.

Warden Arndt contacted two anglers at the Friends Fishing Pond of Kohler-Andrae State Park for not having a park sticker. One angler was fishing without a license and the other was in possession of marijuana.

Warden Matt Koepke, of Fond du Lac, was on patrol at Mauthe Lake Beach when he detected the odor of marijuana at a parked vehicle. Two males had exited the vehicle and went to the beach before Koepke was able to contact them. The males returned, entered a different vehicle, and Koepke initiated a traffic stop. A K-9 unit from Fond Du Lac County Sheriff’s Department also arrived on scene. The K-9 detected illegal substances in the vehicle. A search confirmed marijuana inside of the vehicle.

Wardens Koepke and Wiedenhoeft were called to a vehicle crash near Hwy. S in New Fane. The wardens found the female driver near the crashed vehicle. Wisconsin State Patrol troopers also arrived and conducted field sobriety testing on the driver. The driver was arrested for OWI.

Warden Koepke responded to a call of a non-responsive 21-year-old male exhibiting abnormal breathing. Koepke arrived at the same time as a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The officers found the individual lying on a bed with his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Koepke began chest compressions while the deputy deployed Narcan. After approximately 5 minutes of chest compressions, the male began to regain consciousness and became alert. The county’s emergency medical team also arrived and the male became stable.

Fond du Lac/Sheboygan Team/August

Wardens Gavin Keefauver and Matt Koepke, both of Campbellsport, assisted Fond du Lac County with an overdose at a private campground. The individual was not breathing upon arrival. Wardens administered Narcan. The individual recovered and began breathing shortly after Narcan was administered.

 Waukesha-Walworth Team/August

Wardens Dan Hodge and Chad Ziegler took enforcement actions against drivers of two vehicles at Pinewoods. One driver was cited for operating after revocation, camping without payment, no identification and no admission sticker. The second driver was cited for camping without a reservation.

Wardens Steve Sanidas and Drew Starch contacted individuals fishing in the Delavan area and found one to be over the daily bag limit of panfish. The person acknowledged not keeping track of how many fish were being kept. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Sanidas contacted two non-resident anglers after they fished Delavan Lake. Neither person possessed a valid fishing license, and this was not the first time they fished in Wisconsin this season. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Sanidas contacted a group of anglers returning from a canoe trip on Pickerel Lake. The group had two illegal-sized largemouth bass. One angler thought the bass was “close enough” to the legal size. However, both bass were significantly smaller than the legal size.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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