Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 10, 2021

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Rock River Team/ October

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, was near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge when he observed two people in kayaks hunting ducks in the closed refuge. Mannes instructed them to come back shore and made contact. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office issued multiple citations.

Warden Mannes was on patrol near Mayville and observed a UTV being driven on a closed roadway. Mannes stopped the driver and found there was a minor on the UTV who was not wearing a helmet or a seatbelt. There was also no registration displayed.

Warden Mannes was at the boat launch in Mud Lake Wildlife Area and observed a boat being operated on the river after sunset without navigation lights. Mannes later made contact and found that there was no throwable PFD on board and the battery terminals were not covered. 

Warden Mannes was on foot patrol of the state closed area in Horicon when he observed a person hunting ducks. The subject had traveled by boat to the closed area and crossed the dike by foot, approximately 40 yards from the posted sign. The person did not have any PFDs, a Type IV throwable, or fire extinguisher, and the boat was not registered.

Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, was patrolling the Mud Lake area during the youth gun-deer hunt. Burton contacted an archery hunter who was not wearing any blaze orange, as required during gun-deer seasons. Enforcement action was taken. Burton later contacted a group of squirrel hunters nearby who were also not wearing blaze orange, as required.

Warden Burton checked pheasant hunters in the Mud Lake area. While contacting one group he discovered one of the hunters did not have a pheasant stamp.

Warden Burton was checking duck hunters at the launch at Mud Lake when he discovered one of the hunters did not have a plug in his gun.

Warden Burton responded to a call from a duck hunter who was having boat issues on the Horicon Marsh and was stranded. Burton and a wildlife biologist were able to locate the stranded hunters and towed them to the launch.

Warden Burton was checking goose hunters near Beaver Dam when he found one of the hunters had several registration violations for deer and turkey harvests.

Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, was working the waterfowl opener and checked some hunters as they were coming off the river. The boat operator was found not to have completed boater safety and several other violations were discovered.

Warden Brooks observed a UTV driver traveling down the road with children in the cargo area. Brooks stopped the UTV in a parking lot as it was doing doughnuts. Other safety violations were also discovered.

Warden Brooks was patrolling for fishing activity on the Rock River when he approached a boat and found one of the anglers did not have a fishing license.

Warden Brooks observed operators of a four-wheeler and three-wheeled ATV traveling down a roadway without the headlights on. Brooks conducted a traffic stop for enforcement action.

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, took action against a waterfowl hunter for shooting at ducks after legal shooting hours.

Warden Johnson contacted a group of duck hunters and found one hunter did not have the proper license and another had a shotgun that could hold more than three shells.

Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, assisted the Orfordville Police Department with the arrest of an individual known to have active warrants, including a felony warrant. The arrest occurred without incident.

Warden John Sinclair observed a fishing boat being operated on the Rock River near Fort Atkinson at faster than no-wake speed directly next to marked buoys that indicated such an area.

Sauk County Team/October

Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, investigated a call of someone shooting too close to the road at the Pine Island State Wildlife Area. Warden Pete McCormick assisted and he found a shotgun shell in the area. The wardens determined the man discharged his shotgun too close to the road.

Warden Madison Bryan, of Devil’s Lake, responded to a welfare call at Pewitt’s Nest State Natural Area where the caller observed an individual by herself crying and upset. The individual was referred to her home county’s human services agency.

NORTHEAST REGION

Green Bay/October

Warden Marcus Medina, of Green Bay, contacted two fishermen who did not have valid fishing licenses. One person also had a drug-related warrant out of Green Bay. Both subjects were cited for fishing without a license and the person with the warrant was arrested.

Wautoma Team/October

Warden Ben Mott found a treestand left overnight on state land. Mott returned to the stand the next day and found a youth gun hunter in the stand and an adult at the bottom of the stand in a chair. The adult also had an unloaded rifle. When asked why the adult had the rifle, the man said in case his son wounded a deer and it charged them or his son didn’t want to finish the deer. The adult was warned that wasn’t legal and action was taken on the adult for leaving the stand overnight on state land.

Warden Mott received a call of a possible poached deer and UTV trespass as the caller found a UTV trail on his family property leading to a gut pile. Mott found an adult hunter shot a buck the same night the complaint originated. The individual shot the buck over a bait pile and had contacted a different family member to receive permission to recover the deer on the private property. The deer had already been donated. Enforcement action was taken for illegal bait.

Warden Mott was asked to assist the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol with an accident on Hwy. 73. Individuals from the vehicle were found to have left the vehicle and fled into the woods. Mott searched a wooded area. In conjunction with Waushara County K-9 and drone teams, Mott found a back-trail system and located an individual who admitted to being one of the people from the vehicle. The individual was turned over to Waushara County Sheriff’s Department.

Warden Mott followed up on a call of a bait, trail camera, and treestand left on state property. Mott found a hunter in the stand who declined using bait. However, Mott found a measurable amount of bait hidden under the leaves and branches. Mott warned the person about his stand. Action was taken for hunting over bait.

Warden Mott responded to a report of a large buck shot over bait. Mott located the hunter, along with the bait. Enforcement action was taken against the individual for baiting; he was warned for hunting after shooting hours. The deer was donated.

Warden Jon Kaiser, of Waupaca, worked with Hartman Creek State Park staff to follow up on a complaint of marijuana and paraphernalia possession in the family campground. Contact was made with the responsible parties.

Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Kaiser contacted an individual in the Clintonville area who was found to be feeding deer. This is the third time the man has been contacted within the last several years for feeding/baiting deer. The man was also found to be catching and transporting live fish and putting them into another waterbody without a permit.

Warden Molly Detjens, of Wautoma, was working waterfowl enforcement on state land when she contacted a waterfowler with a goose and two wood ducks harvested that morning. The hunter said he hunted geese earlier in the season. Detjens’ found the hunter did not have goose permits and did not have a federal duck stamp. Detjens also detected the odor of marijuana; she found a bag of marijuana inside the hunter’s vehicle.

Lake Winnebago Team/October

Warden Logan Woods took enforcement action against an individual who failed to buy a turkey license before harvesting a turkey. The same individual also was found to have had a “loan/borrow” buck from the previous deer season that he had a kid register. 

Warden Woods contacted an individual archery deer hunting in the Brillion State Wildlife Area without a license.

Warden Woods conducted an investigation on an individual who harvested a turkey without having a license or stamp, registered the turkey late, and then provided false information on when he harvested the bird.

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated illegal deer hunting activity on a property in southern Calumet County. Disher located an area illegally baited with a mineral block. The bait was placed well before season and in a no-baiting county. An investigation revealed the individual had shot a deer and used a tag for another county to register his harvest. The individual also was late in registering three deer.

Warden Disher investigated illegal nighttime deer shining activity. He observed shining from a moving vehicle after hours and conducted a traffic stop that revealed a compound bow and arrows in the back seat. In addition to shining after hours and with a hunting tool, Disher found evidence of illegal trapping activity. Multiple traps had been placed a week before the raccoon and coyote seasons opened.

Warden Disher and a Calumet County Sheriff’s Department deputy investigated illegal nighttime hunting activity on a property in southern Calumet County. The investigation found two adults and one juvenile were hunting at night with several rifles and handguns. The trio killed one raccoon and one opossum by shining a woods and treetops while walking. All three were hunting without small game licenses, two had not completed a hunter education class, and all three were shining illegally while in possession of firearms. 

Warden Disher investigated illegal deer hunting activity and contacted a crossbow deer hunter dressed in full camouflage exiting a woods after shooting hours. The hunter was attempting to shoot a buck while hunting without a license.

Warden Disher was on patrol for the statewide pheasant opener on the Killsnake and Brillion wildlife areas. While checking hunters, Disher observed a hunter walking out with a dead rooster pheasant. The hunter had not purchased a small game license, nor a pheasant stamp, as required.

Warden Disher investigated illegal hunting activity at High Cliff State Park. Disher located an individual hunting squirrels with a loaded .22 magnum rifle near a popular hiking trail in the upper park near the forest management area. The park is not open to small game hunting in the fall and rifles are not a permitted implement during any hunting season in the park.

Warden Mary Bisch, of Appleton, responded to Little Chute High School to assist local agencies with bomb and active shooter threats made to the school. Bisch assisted with securing the facility and with the safe reunification of students with their parents.

NORTHERN REGION

Ashland Team/October

Warden Amie Egstad, of Bayfield, and a Red Cliff tribal warden were out on commercial net patrol on Lake Superior and came across nets that were partly out of the commercial fishing area. Contact was made with the commercial fisherman on the water and nets were removed shortly after they were set.

Warden Egstad followed up on information regarding turkeys not registered by a mentor for a youth’s turkeys killed during the past two years. The mentor stated he thought he had called them in, but said it was on him for not getting them registered as required.

Park Falls Team/October

Warden Kurt Haas, of Medford, was on patrol when he contacted a person who was driving around the Taylor County Forest. Haas found the driver had loaded guns and a loaded, cocked crossbow in the back seat. The driver was later arrested for fourth offense of operating while intoxicated, along with driving while revoked, carrying a concealed weapon, and several deer violations.

Woodruff Team/October

Warden Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, worked with Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission wardens on a case where two individuals had illegally shot a deer from a vehicle on a roadway while using a spotlight. Multiple enforcement actions were taken by wardens in state and local tribal courts.

Warden Matt Meade, of Boulder Junction, and Warden Ebert contacted waterfowl hunters on a guided hunt on private property over an illegally baited pond, a violation of state and federal regulations. The hunters had harvested more than two dozen ducks using the illegal bait.

Warden Meade continued to follow-up on numerous complaints of illegal deer baiting and feeding in Vilas County. Baiting and feeding deer has been prohibited in Vilas County since 2016. In one instance, Meade contacted a subject as he was spreading feed on his private property. 

Warden Tim Otto was on patrol when he witnessed two vehicles approach a rural Oneida County intersection. One of the vehicles completed numerous doughnuts in the intersection. At the request of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, Otto and a local state patrol officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The operator, who had been involved in a significant crash a week earlier that resulted in his truck being totaled, was cited for the traffic violations. 

Wardens Otto and Curt Butler, of Merrill, followed up on a complaint of garbage dumped illegally on Managed Forest Law property. The wardens found two teens had been responsible for disposing of their family’s garbage by their parents. While they had assured their parents the garbage was disposed of appropriately, they had instead opted to dispose of the refuse on public-access lands. The wardens and parents worked with the kids to have the garbage picked up, as well as additional garbage in the area, and disposed of appropriately. 

Warden Tim Price responded to a report of a dead trumpeter swan in the Three Lakes area. The reporting party suspected the swan had been unlawfully killed. Price took the swan to an area animal hospital and, upon viewing X-rays, discovered that the swan had ingested a two-way fishing swivel, leading to complications that likely resulted in the bird’s death. This serves as a reminder for anglers to do their best to take all used/broken tackle with them and dispose of those items appropriately.

Spooner Team/October

Warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, contacted a bowhunter on the side of a roadway north of Cumberland. Upon contact, Loining noticed two bags of corn in the back of the truck. The hunter admitted he was going to place the corn in front of his stand. Loining discovered bait on the ground placed previously in front of the hunter’s stand.

Warden Loining located a trail camera placed over bait on Managed Forest Law private land in Barron County. Loining located the camera owner, who admitted to placing bait for deer. Baiting is prohibited in Barron County. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Loining assisted the Barron County Sheriff’s Department with a motorcycle crash. The operator fled the scene, and officers from multiple agencies attempted to locate the operator in a nearby wooded area. A little while later, a 911 call was received of a fire in a nearby marsh. Loining and other officers responded and located the operator in the marsh yelling for help. Loining assisted the operator out of the marsh, and the suspect admitted to setting the fire. The suspect was arrested by a Barron County Sheriff’s Department deputy for OWI. Enforcement action also was taken for intentionally starting a fire in a marsh. 

Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, was patrolling rural boat landings near Cushing for fishing activity when he located a vehicle parked at a boat landing. The person in the vehicle said he had just finished fishing. Ashton checked the DNR license system and found the man did not have a fishing license. Ashton attempted to locate the man’s fishing pole, which the man stated he must have lost. Ashton believed the man was possibly under the influence of drugs. A Polk County deputy arrived and arrested the man for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and for felony bail jumping based on a pending methamphetamine case.

Warden Ashton contacted a person who was suspected of dumping a butchered deer carcass, along with several garbage cans, in the ditch. The person confirmed he had butchered and dumped a car-killed deer, along with the garbage. Ashton also learned of an illegally baited area where the person had been bowhunting. Ashton also found the person harvested two deer in 2020 while hunting over illegally placed bait.

Warden Ashton came upon suspicious activity at a rural boat landing while on patrol. Upon seeing Ashton, vehicle occupants attempted to hide something. Ashton found both individuals had prior illegal drug convictions. As a Polk County Sheriff’s Department deputy was questioning the passenger who was out of the car, Ashton found illegal drugs in the vehicle. The deputy took enforcement action.

Warden Ashton was near Cushing when he contacted two waterfowl hunters coming to the boat landing after duck hunting. One of the hunters had an unplugged gun capable of holding more than three shells. The man was also hunting with lead shot shells, which are not legal for hunting waterfowl.

Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, teamed with a Burnett County Sheriff’s Department deputy with the arrest of a UTV operator for operating while intoxicated.

Warden Gabrielson took enforcement action against a person who had illegally harvested an antlerless deer in Burnett County and registered it with a Polk County tag.

Wardens Jon Hagen, of Spooner, and Joshua Loining observed approximately eight UTV riders traveling southbound on Hwy. 63 in the lane of traffic in Shell Lake. The wardens were able to stop two of the UTVs. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Hagen was patrolling for waterfowl hunters on the Yellow River when he contacted two hunters in a boat. Hagen learned the pair in the boat did not have any PFDs, their boat was not properly registered, and neither of them had completed boating safety as required. 

Warden Adam Stennett, of Spooner, contacted a grouse hunter while the hunter was driving down a forest road in Douglas County. Stennett found the hunter did not have a small game license and he had a loaded shotgun in the truck.

Warden Stennett stopped a UTV operator in Cable for having juveniles on board without helmets. Stennett found two passengers under 10 and another teenager riding in the UTV without helmets.

Warden Mike Melgaard responded to an incident involving a property owner who reported she shot a suffering buck entangled in her horse pasture fencing. Melgaard found the 8-point buck’s antlers and carcass became entangled in white cloth horse pasture fencing sometime during the night. The deer then dragged itself and the fencing, which surrounded an approximate 4-acre pasture, about 200 yards through brush and trees before ultimately getting entangled further in a barbed wire fence. Fiberglass fence posts supporting the cloth fencing were broken off as the buck pulled the fencing with him, and all the woman’s horses had scattered. The woman did not have phone service at her remote property and couldn’t get the buck untangled, so she shot it as it was barely alive and suffering.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/October

Warden Adam Hanna, of Clark County, investigated an incident involving a man who became angry when he perceived a car was parked too close to his hunting area. This prompted the man to engage in noisy behavior to interfere with the hunt by the owner of the car.

Warden Hanna led an investigation assisted by warden Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, in a case involving multiple hunters found to have illegally baited, damaged some natural resources, and shot antlerless deer in the wrong unit in southern Clark County. Further investigation revealed three hunters harvested antlerless deer in the wrong unit during the 2021 archery season and intentionally used the wrong harvest authorizations.

Wardens Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, and Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, completed an investigation into a hunter harassment complaint where a neighboring landowner verbally abused and intimidated/harassed a hunter and a child while the pair were hunting on public hunting grounds. The game wardens found the suspect didn’t think his actions were wrong even though he had been investigated before for similar activities.

Warden Richard Maki, of Chippewa County, was on patrol near Bloomer when he contacted a hunter found to have numerous violations of state/public land regulations, as well as baiting issues in the county. 

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