Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 15, 2021

NORTHERN REGION

Woodruff Team/August

Warden Timothy Ebert, of Minocqua, worked with a DNR Division of Forestry investigator and the Michigan DNR to close a two-year arson investigation where a fire had burned more than 40 acres of private land in the Minocqua area. The investigation concluded mechanical equipment was the likely source of the fire.

Warden Tim Price, of Eagle River, closed an animal mistreatment case that started in March. Price found that a person had pursued at least two coyotes with his snowmobile on an area lake, killing one of the animals. Price worked with the Vilas County district attorney and Vilas County deputies to bring this case to a close.

Park Falls Team/August

Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, received information that a group of adults were shooting at ducks on Nelson Lake with what appeared to be a pellet gun. The reporting party located one of the ducks that had been shot and died under his dock. Koshatka contacted the suspects and found that two of the males were shooting the ducks with a pellet gun because the ducks had been defecating on the property owner’s swim raft.

Wardens Dylan Belisle, Joe Paul, of Phillips, and Kaitlin Kernosky, of Shiocton, investigated information of three illegally harvested bear cubs. The cubs had been harvested in Rusk County on agriculture damage permits. The person attempted to register the bears but discovered he did not have a license and then contacted someone from Outagamie County to register the bears.

Warden Paul worked with a property owner on Solberg Lake in Price County to remove a 40-foot steel dock that had floated on an ice sheet in the spring of 2018. The dock settled in a spot at a depth of 10 feet. Paul located the dock in the spring of 2020 and marked the location. The responsible party eventually was contacted, and he agreed to hire a dock removal business to hoist the dock to the surface and remove it.

Wardens Paul and Dan Michels, of Park Falls, hosted a learn-to-bear hunt event that had been canceled in 2020. All five participants harvested bears. One non-ambulatory hunter used an Action Track Chair and specialized mechanical firearm, trigger mechanism, joystick, and crosshairs on an I-pad to harvest a 300-pound bear. His hunt was sponsored by Oconto River Kids and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

Antigo Team/ August

Wardens Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, and Kelly Crotty, of Florence, along with DNR fisheries staffers, organized an annual learn-to-fish event at the Boulder Junction Community Center in Vilas County. Sixteen individuals participated in the classroom event, which included muskie biology, stocking efforts, and equipment/tactics for fishing muskies. After the classroom portion was completed, 14 participants were paired with local mentors to fish area lakes. Three muskies were caught by the participants. 

Spooner Team/August

Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, received a call from a bear hunter who had just received a cell camera picture of a man defecating into his bear bait stump. Ashton was able to respond in time to contact the suspect as he was leaving the area. The person admitted to defecating into the other person’s bear bait because he thought it would be funny. Enforcement action was taken for interfering with lawful hunting.

Wardens Jesse Ashton, of Luck, and Pete Carlson, of Frederic, were patrolling Bone Lake and contacted a group of muskie fishers in one boat. One angler did not have a fishing license. Ashton detected the smell of burnt marijuana, and another was found to be in possession of marijuana. Enforcement action was taken on both counts.

Warden Pete Wetzel, of Amery, responded to a call by a hunter who self-reported he shot and killed a bear at night while coyote hunting. The hunter claimed this was only his second time coyote hunting, he was using a night-vision scope, and mistakenly thought the bear was a coyote. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Carlson was on patrol from his boat when he saw a man spraying something into the water from his dock. Carlson found the man was spraying chemical into the water to eradicate aquatic plants. 

Warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, and a Barron County recreational deputy contacted an ATV operator on the Wild Rivers Trail with the registration expired since 2015.

Warden Loining and a Barron County recreational deputy contacted a vehicle operator on a county ATV trail in Poskin. The officers determined the female operator didn’t possess a valid driver’s license, and the male passenger had a warrant out for his arrest. The passenger was arrested based on the warrant, and enforcement action was taken against the operator for operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Warden Loining assisted Sawyer County deputies with a search for a missing 3-year-old girl, who was located unharmed.

Warden Loining observed a woman driving a car westbound on Hwy. 48 and pass another car in a no-passing zone. Loining, granted expanded authority from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, stopped the operator. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Loining responded to a complaint of an ATV rollover at the Loch Lomand Beach Club in Birchwood. It was determined two juveniles were on an ATV and operating recklessly doing doughnuts in the Beach Club parking lot when the rollover occurred. They had also illegally operated on a road to get to the club. Enforcement action was taken against the juvenile operator’s father for permitting underage operation.

Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, contacted a UTV operator for traveling about 30 mph over the speed limit on a road route. The operator also had not purchased a trail pass.

Warden Jon Hagen observed a UTV being operated with a young passenger not wearing a helmet, as required. Enforcement action was taken against the operator.

Wardens Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, and Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, assisted the Burnett County Sheriff’s Department with the search and arrest of a man who fled from a traffic stop on an ATV and then fled from multiple officers the same day. Spaight eventually was bale to locate and arrest the person who stated he fled from officers because he wasn’t ready to go to jail for the active arrest warrants he had.

Warden Adam Stennett, of Spooner, and a local hunter education instructor joined efforts to help a stranded boater from the Gordon Flowage. The boater said he attempted to navigate a shallow portion of the flowage and became stuck in the weeds and mud. The boater stated he was exhausted and could not make it back to the main portion of the lake. Stennett and the instructor kayaked to the area of the stranded boater and assisted the man in getting back to the main channel of the lake.

Warden Stennett contacted a man walking from the woods in Douglas County. Stennett found the man was checking trail cameras and had placed corn down to attract deer to the area in preparation for the hunting season. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Stennett contacted three people on a pontoon-style pedal boat on an unnamed lake near Iron River. Stennett found the adult man on board the boat had been fishing without a license and there were no life jackets on board the boat.

Warden Stennett contacted a man after he removed his boat from the Minong Flowage at the Totagatic Campground. Stennett found the man had operated the boat on the lake with expired 2018 registration and the man did have boater safety certification to legally operate the boat.

NORTHEAST REGION

Peshtigo Team/August

Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Shawano, joined other local law enforcement partners for the National Night Out event in Shawano. 

Wardens Tim Werner, of Crivitz, and Dale Romback, of Wausaukee, responded to 911 call of a missing tuber on the Peshtigo River near Crivitz. The tuber became separated from the group after getting stuck in overhanging branches and trees and had not returned several hours later. Using a surface-drive patrol boat, the wardens quickly located the tuber and safely returned him to awaiting family.

Marine Enforcement Team/August

Wardens Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, Jeff Lautenslager, of Marinette, and Darren Kuhn, of Madison, contacted a boat operator on the Fox River near Green Bay for a registration issue. During the contact, a female occupant went below the cabin and returned with something in her mouth. She eventually threw a baggie into the water, which was retrieved by the wardens. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.

Warden Mike Neal, of Bailey’s Harbor, coordinated a training event for several wardens and the Door County dive team at the Fincanteri Shipyard/Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay. A boat, car and mannequins were submerged and wardens practiced locating the items with an underwater remote device and side scan sonar while the dive team practiced recovery and removal efforts.

Warden Neal traveled to Maine to fulfill a request from Maine’s DNR secretary to conduct air boat sound testing training for Maine’s marine police and game wardens. The Maine DNR is working with stakeholders and legislators to develop workable sound restrictions to address issues arising from commercial mussel harvesters using airboats along the tidal flats.

Warden Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee, stopped a boater in the Milwaukee harbor without proper navigational lights. The operator was arrested for OWI.

Lake Winnebago Team/August

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated several complaints of illegal deer baiting where he located multiple piles of corn and multiple mineral blocks near elevated stands and trail cameras. Enforcement actions were taken for illegal baiting before season, and placement of bait in excess of the 2-gallon limit. 

Wardens Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, and Joe Olson investigated a fishing tournament participant for not having a valid license. The participant was from another state and had been pre-fishing for two days without a valid license. When checked at the landing, the man could not locate a fishing license. At that time, he gave a name of another tournament angler who had a valid license. When asked to produce a driver’s license, however, it was determined the participant lied about his name.

Wautoma Team/August

Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, contacted two operators of two PWCs who were traveling at a speed greater than no-wake on a local lake that is entirely no-wake.

Warden Kaiser worked with a Waushara County Sheriff’s Department deputy patrolling on the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes with enforcement action taken for fishing without a license, operating a boat without enough PFDs and for boating OWI.

Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Zack Seitz, of Shiocton, contacted an angler fishing Partridge Crop Lake who kept 43 panfish. The angler had panfish in a live well and was also found to have additional panfish hidden in a soft-sided cooler in a storage compartment of the boat. The individual was fishing with four fishing poles.

Warden Benjamin Mott, of Wautoma, was on patrol when he received a call from a Marquette County Sheriff’s Department deputy to respond to an accident with injuries just into Marquette County. Mott was the closest officer at the time. The injuries sustained were minor and addressed by emergency medical personnel when they arrived. Area fire and Marquette County Sheriff’s Department also responded. Mott assisted with scene assessment, gathering information and directing traffic as needed.

Warden Mott was asked to assist the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department with a home invasion where a female had attacked another girl. Mott and Waushara County deputies responded at the same time and took the female into custody.

Warden Benjamin Nadolski, of Montello, followed up on calls of a small sailboat being left moored just a few feet offshore in front of a cottage on an area lake. The boat did not belong to people at the cottage and did not have permission to be left moored there. The owner was located and explained he had guests at his property and did not have enough space for all the boats they were trying to have in the water. They stated they did not see any activity at that cottage and assumed no one was using it. The boat was moved from the area.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/August

Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, and Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, followed up on an investigation of an individual who killed a large buck during the 2020 archery season near Neillsville without having a license. It was also determined other members of the individual’s hunting party had not registered deer, as required.

Wardens Kevin Christorf and Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, followed up on investigation near Owen-Withee and found that a hunter had killed a large buck during the 2020 gun-deer season while hunting without a license. The hunter had also failed to register multiple bucks dating back to 2015.

Lower St. Croix Team/August

Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, assisted the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department with recent vehicle thefts. A pursuit was initiated and the suspect, who was driving a stolen vehicle, was arrested by investigators.

Warden Kosin educated numerous ATV operators about the rules making it illegal to ride with passengers on an ATV not designed for passengers.

Warden Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, investigated a case involving a youth hunter from Minnesota who shot an 11-point buck in Dunn County without having a license. The youth was told by a relative to come to Boyceville to hunt, and to not worry about a license. Following the harvest, the relative said he would register the deer, but never did.

Warden Joe McMahon, of St. Croix County, was patrolling Willow River State Park and responded to a call of coyote decoys stolen from the beach. The decoys are intended to deter geese from using the area. McMahon contacted two individuals who had taken the decoys.

Warden McMahon was patrolling near one of the Hudson elementary schools and conducted a traffic stop on an ATV operator who was riding in the ditch on school property/private property. The ATV was occupied by three juveniles and one adult. None of the three juveniles were wearing helmets, as required, and the ATV had a seating capacity of one. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens McMahon and Collin Sherod, of St. Croix County, assisted the Hudson Fire Department with a training exercise at Willow River State Park. The wardens were deployed with the fire crews to practice how to search for missing individuals.

Wardens McMahon and Sherod attended the National Night Out event in Hudson. The night was a success and an enjoyable opportunity to meet members of the public. 

Warden Sherod responded to a call of a 14-year-old having a diabetic seizure at Willow River State Park. While searching for the juvenile, Sherod came across a group of individuals smoking marijuana. Sherod gathered evidence from the group and directed them to stay until he came back. Sherod then located the ill juvenile and directed park staff and the fire department to the youth’s location. Sherod then returned to the other group and took enforcement action for the marijuana violations.

Black River Falls Team/August

Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Erik Anderson conducted an investigation into an illegal deer harvest that occurred during the 2020 gun-deer season. The wardens found a hunter shot two bucks without having a hunting license or any deer harvest approvals. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Weber and Juneau County deputies responded to a boating crash on Castle Rock Lake in August that occurred when a boat collided with a highway bridge. There were multiple occupants who had luckily not sustained injuries. The operator was arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated.

Mississippi River Team/August

Warden Nate Ackerman, of Durand, stopped a UTV operator after seeing multiple violations. The underage operator and underage passenger had been drinking and had beer in the UTV. The driver showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests and registered an illegal BAC. The passenger was given an underage drinking citation. Multiple actions were taken with the operator, including operating while intoxicated.

Mississippi River Team wardens participated at National Night Out events in their counties. Wardens answered questions from the public and displayed some of the unique equipment that is used in natural resources law enforcement work.

Warden Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, was patrolling on the Mississippi River when he pulled over a boat for a no-wake violation. While Adams was pulling up he observed a passenger attempting to hide objects in the boat. Adams determined three men in the boat were attempting to hide numerous types of drugs. The operator was arrested for OWI and Prairie du Chien police officers cited all men for being in possession of a controlled substance.

Wardens Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, and Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, were on patrol on Pool 7 of the Mississippi River and contacted a boater with expired registration. The boater was arrested for OWI.

Wardens Groppi and Jensen assisted Trempealeau Police Department with a call of a possible fight in progress. When the wardens and officers arrived there was a subject lying in the street with lacerations to the back of his head. The victim was argumentative, intoxicated, and combative with efforts by the medical team to treat him.

Wardens Matt Groppi, Trevor Tracey, Vong Xiong and Meghan Jensen attended the annual Day at the Lake Event in West Salem on Lake Neshonac. The wardens took youth anglers fishing and discussed recreational vehicle safety and resource protection.

Wardens Jensen and Madeleine Johansen were on patrol when they observed a fisherman fishing from a dock who had caught a northern pike. While Johansen was checking the fisherman’s license, it was found that his fishing privileges had been suspended. It was also found that he had driven to the spot on a suspended driver’s license.

Wisconsin River Team/August

Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, worked with citizens and DNR staff to resolve a disagreement involving the water level on Big Bass Lake and a water control structure.

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, assisted the Portage County conservationist and DNR staff members during a meeting with a local farmer for various manure and wastewater violations.  All parties discussed ways to improve the situation temporarily and to start work on a long-term solution. 

Warden Lockman attended a Whiting subcommittee meeting to answer questions regarding opening roads to ATV/UTV traffic.

Warden Lockman gave presentations at hunter education classes at the Isaak Walton and Tomorrow River Sportsman Clubs.

Warden Kyle Ziembo of Stevens Point observed a few bags of trash littered near an entrance to a boat landing in Mosinee. Ziembo located the guilty person and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Ziembo and Bryan assisted with traffic control at an outdoor walk/run event at the school forest.

Wardens Ziembo, Josh Litvinoff and Korey Trowbridge participated in the annual Sporting Heritage Youth Day at the Wausau school forest.  The wardens had a booth with the DNR laser shooting simulator where safe gun handling and safe hunting was promoted.

Warden Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, responded and assisted with a nuisance bear complaint in the city of Marshfield when a bear was reported in a city park near an active fair at the Marshfield fairgrounds. Leigh monitored the situation until the bear moved out of the city after dark.

Warden Leigh gave a safety and rule presentation to participants of the Sandhill Wildlife Area learn-to-hunt deer event.

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