Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 12, 2021
Lower St. Croix Team/September
Wardens Joe McMahon and Collin Sherod, of St. Croix County, patrolled hunting areas during the early teal/goose opener. They contacted hunters near a public hunting area in New Richmond. While checking licenses and equipment, it was found that one individual did not have any licenses/stamps as required, had an unplugged shotgun, unregistered ATV, and had operated his ATV on a road not open to ATV use.
Warden McMahon was patrolling at Willow River State Park and saw a bus parked in an unauthorized area. The driver and passengers were working at the Minnesota State Fair that week, and were camping in an unauthorized area.
Warden Sherod investigated a call of an archery hunter who had harvested a deer two days prior to the archery opener. The hunter had also failed to register the deer. The hunter mistakenly believed opening day was a different day.
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to Willow River State Park for a report of a handgun found along a hiking trail. The gun was a pellet gun.
Black River Falls Team/September
Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, responded to a complaint at Mill Bluff State Park regarding a vehicle left past the check-out time at a campsite. Modjeski determined the vehicle’s owner had camped without paying at the site, forcing the person who had paid to camp at that site be relocated to another site. The vehicle’s owner had consumed alcohol, against his probation orders, and lost the car keys. Enforcement action was taken against the vehicle owner for towing costs, park and camping fees.
Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, took a call from a citizen regarding a camera overlooking a corn pile and salt block in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in September. It is illegal to feed deer and/or hunt over bait in Juneau County. Weber found that the bait and camera had been removed. Weber learned the responsible person’s identity. That individual had also operated an unregistered ATV illegally on refuge property and did not have an ATV safety certificate, as required by state law.
Wisconsin River Team/September
Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, received a call of a captive snapping turtle living in someone’s bathtub. The turtle had been captive about 10 years and was now too big for the tub. Flood worked with a wildlife rehabber from Shawano County who was able to talk with the individual and explain the benefits of giving the turtle over to a rehab facility. The individual agreed to do so.
Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, stopped two ATV operators running on a roadway while having multiple violations, including careless operation.
Warden Ziembo, while patrolling Lake Dubay, contacted two anglers. One of the two had never purchased a fishing license.
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, contacted a crossbow hunter who had failed to purchase a hunting license.
Warden Lockman took enforcement action against a landowner who violated the terms of his fish habitat permit that impacted a navigable waterway.
Warden Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, reviewed the particulars of trapping for a women’s trapping workshop held at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES).
Mississippi River Team/September
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Tyler Strelow took action against a group of four waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River for shooting and killing a wood duck during the early teal season. The hunters stated they thought the duck was a teal when it was flying directly at them.
Wardens Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and Strelow, with the help from the Mississippi River warden team, led a 40-hour waterfowl school for the class of warden recruits, who learned waterfowl I.D., rules and regulations, enforcement techniques, firearms handling, and waterfowl ecology. The recruits then took their new skills into the southern zone for the opener.
Wardens Trevor Tracey and Shawna Stringham, of Vernon County, were working waterfowl enforcement near De Soto for the early teal season when they contacted a UTV operator on Hwy. 83. Four of the five passengers were not wearing seatbelts.
Warden Tracey was contacted by an angler who was catfishing on the Mississippi River near La Crosse when he was approached by a PWC with three males on it. According to the caller, the trio harassed the caller for no apparent reason. Tracey contacted the PWC operator and found he had been operating without first completing boater safety. The operator also was found to have operated the PWC too close to another boat at a speed greater than no wake.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, was on patrol during the early teal season and found a group of hunters who shot a tree swallow while hunting on the Mississippi River.
Warden Jumbeck responded to a hotline call regarding illegal camping at a state wildlife area. He also found one of the four campers had been bowhunting deer without a license.
Warden Jumbeck received a hotline call about illegal road hunting in Trempealeau County. Jumbeck found two individuals were involved in shooting two Canada geese illegally on private property.
Wardens Matt Groppi, Tracey and Stringham were asked to assist the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department with the search for a missing elderly person who also was blind. The person was found near a dry creek bed, disoriented and dehydrated, but otherwise in good shape.
Wardens Groppi, of La Crosse, and Jensen, of Trempealeau, followed up on an illegal burning complaint in La Crosse County. They found the individuals also in possession of a captive raccoon. The wardens were able to release the raccoon. The DNR sent a violation letter to the farm owner regarding the illegal burning and requiring clean-up of the burned materials.
Warden Henry Bauman, of Dane County, apprehended three waterfowl hunters for shooting at teal early on Shovelers Sink Federal Waterfowl Production Area in Cross Plains on opening day of the early teal season. One hunter was also warned for shooting at a hen mallard during closed season.
Wardens Bauman and Matt Koshollek, of Dane County, got a call of early shooting at Harvey’s Marsh at the Brooklyn State Wildlife Area and apprehended four hunters for shooting at teal early.
Warden Bauman assisted an Iowa game warden by checking on the status of a seriously injured Iowa boat incident victim who was flown to UW-Madison for medical treatment and found the victim was just going into surgery and was expected to survive.
Warden Matthew Koshollek, of Dane County, assisted the Dane County Sheriff Department with boating enforcement on Lake Monona. While on patrol, Koshollek assisted the Dane County Sheriff’s Department with arresting a female PWC operator who was found to be intoxicated.
Warden Koshollek was on patrol near Stoughton for boating enforcement when he saw a boat being operated without any lights after dark with four people aboard near Viking Park. During contact, Koshollek found that the operator had one PFD aboard, did not have boater’s safety and had no navigation lights.
Wardens Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, and Pete McCormick, of Columbia County, contacted a boat operator for a violation on Lake Wisconsin. The subject was barely able to string two words together, but insisted he was not drunk. The subject was very uncooperative and refused all testing. The subject was arrested for boating OWI.
Warden Caputo worked a call of a subject shooting before legal hunting hours during early teal season. Upon contact the subject was found to have shot a wood duck.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, was working the opener of the early goose and teal season when he responded to a call for hunters shooting early. King located three hunters who had shot more than 20 minutes early at a flock of teal, harvesting two. The teal were seized and citations were issued for hunting before legal hours.
Warden King was on patrol in New Glarus Woods State Park when he observed a truck operating at 45 mph in a 25 mph zone. A traffic stop was made.
Warden King, while working the Cheese Country Trail on Labor Day weekend, observed an ATV operator commit several violations, including no registration, no trail pass, no license plate, no headlights, not stopping at a stop sign and suspected exhaust violations. The aftermarket exhaust did not have a spark arrestor, as required.
Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, responded to several calls of unsafe shooting at the Columbia County public shooting range. Several warnings and a few citations were issued, including one for shooting 41 minutes after the range closed.
Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, responded to several illegal burning calls with enforcement action taken. One case involved a subject who had burned several days before and had disposed of the ash in a long prairie grass field. Hot embers started a wild fire that did not threaten any structures.
Warden Nadolski responded to a spill at a dairy farm. Due to a lightning strike/power outage, cleaning material was released to Lake Wyona/Duck Creek. Immediate containment and clean-up of the site followed and no adverse effects were found in the lake/creek.
Warden Nadolski assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department with a report of a back window being shot out. Nadolski checked the area for any hunters or people target shooting in the area but was unable to locate any suspects. People were in the vehicle at the time it was struck, so a very close call for them.
Warden Mike Burns, of Iowa County, contacted an angler fishing below the Sauk dam with seven lines in the water and in possession of an undersized smallmouth bass.
Warden Mike Burns stopped a UTV rider near Gratiot driving faster than the speed limit, operating in the oncoming lane and operating without valid registration. Burns took enforcement action against the operator for operating while intoxicated.
Rock River Team/ September
Wardens Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, and John Sinclair were on patrol at Zelowski Marsh on opening day of the teal season when they came upon a hunter without a license. The hunter said he had purchased a license that morning. The wardens gave him until the end of the day to provide proof of that license purchase. At the end of the day, the hunter said the system malfunctioned. However, the wardens’ check showed the hunter did not log into the system that morning or any morning to buy a license.
On the opening day of the teal season, warden Mannes responded to a call of early shots in Waterloo Wildlife Area. Mannes talked with the hunters at the parking lot. The group admitted to shooting 30 minutes early. Mannes educated the hunters about shooting times and took enforcement action.
Warden Mannes took action against two hunters for harvesting doves while using lead shot on opening day of dove season.
Warden Mannes got a call of an ATV being operated illegally on state land in the Horicon Marsh. Mannes observed the rider on a dike closed to ATV traffic. Mannes stopped the individual, found the ATV registration was expired and did not have a license plate. The person had been using the ATV to place an illegal treestand on state land. Mannes followed the individual to the stand location. The person had also used screw-in foot pegs that were drilled into the tree. Mannes directed the person to remove the stand.
Warden Mannes, while patrolling with his boat, pulled into a Horicon Marsh pothole to check a group of duck hunters. While pulling up to the boat, he noticed two dead birds on the water, one of which was not a teal. The hunters indicated they had just shot a green-winged teal and a “cinnamon teal.” Mannes picked up the green-winged teal and found that the “cinnamon teal” was a pied-billed grebe.
Warden Mannes took enforcement action against an individual following an investigation concerning illegal baiting near Watertown. Mannes located bait sites and interviewed the individual, who admitted to placing the illegal bait.
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, was on patrol at the Hustisford dam when he came upon a person was using an illegal cast net. The individual was fishing with two other people. Burton determined one person had been fishing by illegal means and another had been fishing without a license.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, was in his patrol truck observing dove hunters when he observed a hunter, about 50 yards away, shoot at a dove that was directly in line with his truck. Johnson’s truck was not struck, but he contacted the individual due to the potential safety issue. The hunter had harvested more than the legal limit of doves.
Warden Johnson contacted goose hunters on DNR property who had multiple violations, including mentoring violations, unplugged shotguns, possession of toxic shot, hunting without a license and hunting by illegal means.
Warden Johnson observed three individuals kayaking on Clear Lake without any wearable PFDs. One individual was found to have two warrants for his arrest. The same individual was also in possession of marijuana. The person was arrested and turned over to Rock County Sheriff’s Department.
Warden Johnson was in his squad at the DNR Clear Lake boat launch when a vehicle arrived and the driver parked near his squad. Johnson observed the person engage in drug activity.
Wardens Johnson and Jason Roberts attended a Pheasants Forever youth day. The wardens demonstrated the importance of treestand safety.
Warden Johnson contacted a anglers in a boat at the Storrs Lake landing. The boat operator displayed signs of impairment and admitted to drinking. After conducting field sobriety tests, the operator was placed under arrest for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Warden Johnson contacted three goose hunters at the Storrs Lake boat landing. Multiple violations were found: hunting without licenses, no wearable PFDs, transporting a loaded firearm in a motorboat and unattended decoys.
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, observed a dove hunter rapidly pack up and leave the area through a corn field, not on the walking path. Schumacher located the individual near the road and found the individual had illegal lead shot.
While patrolling on a rainy Friday evening, warden Schumacher located a group about a half-mile off the road, hunting a small pond on state land. Schumacher had reason to believe the group had illegally shot a coot. At first, the hunters denied doing so, but further conversation revealed they did shoot a coot and discarded it. The coot was recovered, and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Schumacher saw a UTV driver operating on a road in the Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area. All of the town of Avon is closed to ATV/UTV travel; residents of this area frequently have issues with this activity. After a traffic stop, Schumacher found that the operators were from a neighboring state and had driven the UTV here to pick pumpkins on state property.
Warden Schumacher was near a DNR parking lot when a motorist voluntarily stopped to speak to the him. Schumacher found that the occupants were hunting doves with 3½-inch lead shot turkey hunting loads.
On opening day of the youth waterfowl season, warden Schumacher received a tip that a group of waterfowlers were acting suspiciously. After hiking through cattails, Schumacher found the group and also found violations including: shooting after legal hours, an unplugged gun, illegal use of an air rifle, several non-resident license purchase violations and numerous hunter mentor violations.
Sauk County Team/September
Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, received information about an individual shooting from the road while hunting in central Sauk County. Engelhardt found the individual with citizen help.
Warden Engelhardt, while traveling in his squad, saw an individual consume intoxicants while driving. Engelhardt stopped the driver at Devil’s Lake State Park.
Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Team/September
Wardens Gavin Keefauver and Josh Wiedenhoeft, both of Fond du Lac, followed up on a call of an individual hunting over bait and leaving a stand overnight on state land. The wardens confirmed the individual and the illegal hunting activity.
Warden Wiedenhoeft was checking bowhunters in the Kettle Moraine State Forest–Northern Unit when he spoke to a juvenile who had come out of his stand early. The juvenile said his friend was still hunting but would be out soon. Wiedenhoeft ran the friend’s name and found out he did not have a license. The juvenile came out of the woods, but was not carrying a bow. Wiedenhoeft found he had hid his crossbow in a bush pile. The juvenile had been hunting without a license and had not taken hunter’s safety.
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/September
Wardens Sam Haferkorn, of Milwaukee, and Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, patrolled Lakeshore State Park during the opening weekend of Summerfest. The wardens took enforcement actions for illegal operation in closed area and contacts for illegal marijuana use, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The wardens also worked the area throughout the three-week music event to address complaints and the volume of people on the property.
Warden Haferkorn worked with Wauwatosa police officers on a complaint of two individuals illegally shining and shooting rabbits at 3 a.m. in Wauwatosa. It was found that the parties drove around using headlights and streetlamps to shine the rabbits. The individuals shot the rabbits from the inside of the vehicle with a 4.5 mm scoped air rifle.
Warden Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, received numerous complaints during the opening week of teal and goose season concerning shooting before hours and hunting ducks out of season. Enforcement action was taken on violations including unplugged guns, hunting during the closed season, possession of lead shot and failing to have enough life jackets for boat passengers.
Warden Smith spoke to Cub Scouts at the Powers Lake Sportsmen’s Club about firearm safety when target shooting or hunting, as well as firearm safety in the home.
Warden Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, was patrolling Richard Bong State Recreation Area when he contacted a dove hunter who had been using lead shot for doves on state land and hunting with a gun capable of holding more than three shells.
Wardens Mike Hirschboeck and Zack Feest, of Racine County, were on the Fox River when they spotted a PWC operator not wearing a PFC. The operator saw the wardens and headed for the dock where the wardens took enforcement action.
Wardens Alex Basting and Jennifer Burrow-Niemeyer were on patrol at Richard Bong State Recreation Area when a pickup truck drove by with multiple people in the open bed, including two children. One of the occupants then displayed a gun and pointed it in the direction of the wardens. The wardens conducted a traffic stop. The gun was a BB gun. The man with the BB gun stated he was pointing at a sign and added he had been shooting park signs as they were driving to the beach.
Warden Basting responded with Kenosha County deputies to a call about a fight at the ATV parking lot at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. An operator of an ATV had been doing doughnuts in the parking lot and had sprayed gravel at other ATV riders in the lot. One of the operators confronted the man doing doughnuts and this led to a verbal argument involving many parties. The argument threatened to become physical until officers arrived. All parties were separated, and enforcement action taken.