Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 24, 2021

NORTHEAST REGION

Wautoma Team/November

Warden Ben Nadolski, of Montello, was called to assist the Montello Police Department when a large buck attacked the front door of a house in town. The door was all glass and the buck apparently responded to its reflection as a “competing buck.” Officers stayed in the area until the deer wondered into the woods.

Wardens Ben Mott and Jeff Nieling followed up on a call of a deer shot in Waushara County. The person who filed the complaint had a picture of the same buck standing over a pile of what appeared to be corn. The wardens found a second buck shot over or near corn on the same property a few days before. The individual said there was about 100 gallons of corn on the property to feed deer, squirrels and turkeys. The individuals had been warned for baiting the year before, hunting deer without a license, and failing to register turkeys.

After an extensive investigation involving multiple wardens from the Wautoma, Lake Winnebago, and Spooner teams, wardens Zack Seitz and Jon Kaiser, of Waupaca, contacted an individual suspected of unlawful night hunting near Iola. The wardens found the man had a crossbow and shot deer after hours from a residence while overlooking a corn pile with a plug-in shop light being used to illuminate the bait pile. In addition, the individual was found to have used the light to shine for deer after 10 p.m., as well as unlawfully baiting and shooting deer at multiple baited sites over multiple years on the property.

Wardens Josh Litvinoff and Jon Kaiser contacted a group of hunters on state land during the gun-deer season. One hunter was found to have archery deer hunted in 2021 without a license with a juvenile hunter being found to have harvested a buck during the youth hunt, which was not registered.

Warden Jon Kaiser worked with the Lake Winnebago team on an investigation of an individual seen shooting at a buck with a firearm from a residence at night while the deer was feeding at an unlawful bait site. A yard light was used to see the deer. It was found the individual shot multiple bucks with a crossbow in an unlawfully baited area and failed to register the deer.

Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, investigated a call in the Manawa area where an individual had located the buck he had harvested and found the head/antlers cut off. It was determined an individual working on the property located the buck and cut the head off. The hunter contacted the responsible person, who would not agree to give the antlers back to the hunter. Ziembo spoke with the responsible person and was able to get the antlers back to the hunter.

Warden Kernosky contacted a hunter who had placed a large amount of corn and alfalfa out for deer in the Clintonville area. The hunter had harvested a 9-point buck during archery season over the bait.

Wardens Jeff Nieling, of Fremont, and Dremel responded to a complaint of a buck shot over a pile of corn. A gravity feeder was located, along with a gut pile. The property had more than a dozen baited areas. Wardens Ben Mott and Nieling then interviewed the landowner and a relative who admitted to baiting with more than 100 gallons of corn and shooting two bucks.

NORTHERN REGION

Antigo Team/November

Warden Alek Henseler, of Crandon, patrolled for illegal shining in the Freedom, Caswell, and Wabeno townships and stopped the passengers in one vehicle for shining after hours. Henseler found a loaded firearm in the vehicle and took action against the operator for shining deer after 10 p.m., shining while in possession of a firearm and possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Wardens Curt Butler, of Merrill, and Jake Cross were patrolling for road hunting in Lincoln County when they heard a nearby gunshot. They found a vehicle parked on the roadway and a individual standing in the ditch line. The wardens learned the person had spotted a large buck bedded down in a marshy area. The individual stopped his vehicle and fired the gun from the driver’s seat out the passenger window. The individual missed the deer. 

Wardens Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, and Ben Herzfeldt contacted several individuals near Bryant hunting over what was said to be a “truckload” of sugar beets. One individual harvested an antlerless deer in Langlade County, but only possessed Shawano County authorizations, and it had been illegally registered as such. It was also determined a mentorship program violation occurred. Several citations were issued.

Wardens Dahlquist and Cross investigated information related to a 10-point buck believed to be illegally harvested from the road west of Antigo. A suspect was identified where it was discovered he had illegally shot the buck with a rifle from inside the cab while on a public road. Action was taken for discharging a firearm from the road and possessing a loaded firearm inside a vehicle.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/October

Warden Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, received information on illegal baiting in the Chippewa County Forest. Wardens Peters and Rich Maki, of Chippewa County, found three members of a family had shot several bucks illegally during the past four years.

Wardens Peters and Maki located a baited site where a person had driven through a standing bean field on DNR land, placed a cell camera, buried a water tank and placed a mineral block. The person responsible was located by the wardens. 

Lower St. Croix Team/October

Wardens Kyle Kosin and Joe McMahon, both of Pierce County, got a call from an individual who observed multiple deer hanging in an old building. The wardens learned a person had harvested two bucks and a buck fawn, none of which were legally registered. The individual also provided false information to the wardens.

Warden Kosin investigated a deer carcass litter complaint. Wardens Kosin and McMahon solved the case. McMahon had seen a freshly harvested buck in the back of a UTV the previous day. The two wardens located the responsible party.

Warden Kosin received a call of two individuals fishing the Rush River during the closed season. Contact was made and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, followed up on a call of stands left overnight on state land south of Hwy. 64. McDermid located two individuals confirmed as owners of the stands where illegal bait was found, along with damage to trees and littering. The two men had shot six deer over illegal bait, had failed to register seven deer, shot at deer after shooting hours, and committed numerous baiting violations over the past three years.

Warden McDermid responded to a call of waterfowl hunters shooting before hours. McDermid met with the two hunters said to have been shooting early. They had harvested two pintails and confirmed they were the only group hunting the area. They said they did not hear any shots before they began shooting, and they didn’t know what time they set up and started shooting that morning. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Joe McMahon was on duck hunting patrol in Bay City during the southern duck opener when he contacted two hunters who had overbagged on wood ducks.

Warden McMahon contacted a hunter near a county road in Maiden Rock operating an ATV on the highway, which was not an ATV route, without valid registration, and with no ATV safety certification.

Warden McMahon contacted a group of goose hunters hunting a cornfield. He found violations of hunting without state stamp approvals and an unplugged shotgun.

Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, responded to a reported mountain lion sighting by a landowner in southern Dunn County. Redemann compared images of the suspected lion to items on the property and found the critter stood about a foot off the ground and went through a gate opening about several inches tall. Redemann assured the landowner they were in no danger as the animal was a house cat.

Warden Redemann found a pile of personal belongings dumped in a state parking lot and learned the owner was in the Pepin County jail for stealing a car. Redemann learned the items were left with the owner’s friend who decided to dump it in the state parking lot after the owner was arrested.

Warden Redemann responded to a baiting complaint in southern Dunn County that resulted in locating illegal baits on three properties. The three landowners were cited for illegal baiting.

Wardens Collin Sherod, of St. Croix County, and Redemann assisted an Arizona wildlife officer with a case that involved possible disabled hunter fraud. Sherod and Redemann spoke with a doctor who approved a medical document that gave the hunter access to special Arizona hunting tags. After verifying that it was signed by that doctor, it was discovered the doctor was no longer licensed in Wisconsin. The information was forwarded to Arizona.

Warden Sherod investigated a report of a helicopter pilot who landed on an island below the falls at Willow River State Park. Sherod determined the helicopter belonged to an aviation business in Minnesota. The general manager said a client had asked the helicopter pilot to land there so that he could propose to his girlfriend. 

Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, received a call of goose hunting in New Richmond city limits on Mary Park Lake. New Richmond Police cited the hunter for discharging a firearm within city limits.

Black River Falls Team/October

Warden Wade Romberg, of Friendship, took action with several landowners who had recently purchased Managed Forest Law (MFL) open lands in Adams County, and then posted “no trespassing” signs illegally prohibiting the public from entry.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, investigated a report from the Mill Bluff State Park staff regarding a person possibly hunting deer at the park before the opener at the park. Modjeski and a park staff member located the person hunting deer with a crossbow. The hunter said he was unaware of the deer season opener at the park.

Mississippi River Team/October

Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Tyler Strelow worked a case where an individual shot a large buck over illegal bait. The individual had used gravity feeders to illegally bait deer and shot a buck with a crossbow near a feeder.

Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and a federal wildlife officer teamed to work the second opener of the southern waterfowl season. The wardens contacted two hunters who had harvested 10 ducks, five of which were northern pintails (one-bird bag limit). 

Warden Jensen and a federal wildlife officer contacted a group of four waterfowl hunters and found several rounds of toxic/lead shot, including one toxic load in a gun and multiple empties of the toxic shot.

Wardens Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, and Renee Bennett patrolled the waterfowl opener on Pool 8 of the Mississippi River. The wardens contacted numerous hunters and issued citations for overbagging on pintails and possession of toxic shot.

Wardens Groppi and Bennett followed up on a complaint of illegal dredging on the Mississippi River. The wardens issued citations for failure to obtain a permit and illegal dredging.

Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, was at the Winneshiek boat landing near De Soto when he contacted a boater who came into the landing more than 30 minutes after sunset without navigation lights. The person was operating the boat under the influence of an intoxicant.

Warden Tracey was patrolling the waters of the Mississippi River near La Crosse when he contacted two boats being operated without navigation lights after sunset. One of the party members did not have a federal duck stamp and another had a gun capable of holding more than three shotgun shells.

Warden Strelow responded to a call from Crawford County dispatch regarding a UTV that had rolled over with the driver pinned across his pelvis area. Deputies managed to free the individual. Strelow transported the person to awaiting medical personnel.

Warden Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, received a call about an illegal bait pile on MFL land. A ladder stand was illegally placed next to the bait pile. A person had cut numerous walnut limbs on the MFL property to make shooting lanes. The hunter was contacted while in the stand and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Adams, while on night patrol, heard the call to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department regarding a man who was under the influence of drugs, armed and making threats to his family. Adams was the second closest officer and was requested by the sheriff’s department to respond. The man was arrested, and no one was injured.

Wisconsin River Team/October

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, received multiple calls of an illegal bear bait site on open MFL land. The archery hunter was contacted near the site. Action was taken for the illegal bear bait and the site was cleaned up.

Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, took enforcement action against a person with illegal bait while hunting in Portage County.

Warden Ziembo contacted two groups of duck hunters after one group shot at a duck and shot the other group’s decoy spread. The group members started arguing and one hunter took the other hunter’s duck that was on the water. Ziembo mediated the situation. Ziembo discussed safe hunting and safe shooting with both groups. The duck was returned to the person who had harvested it.

Warden Ziembo contacted a person found fishing without a license and took enforcement action. Ziembo then discovered the person lied about his identity, but located the person later at an address shown on a warrant. Ziembo took enforcement actions for the fishing violations and the local police department handled the warrant issue.

Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, took action against a person for shining after 10 p.m. in Marathon County. He also took enforcement action against another for shooting at ducks before shooting hours on Lake Wausau.

Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, conducted traffic stops for UTV and ATV operation associated with illegal road use.

Warden Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, rescued an injured barred owl from a ball of barbed wire and held it overnight before transporting it to Raptors Education Group at Antigo.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Team/November

Wardens Anthony Arndt and Madeleine Johansen, of Sheboygan, contacted a group of hunters and found what was believed to be marijuana, which one in the group admitted to smoking 30 minutes prior. The individual was arrested for going armed while under the influence of a controlled substance and cited for possession of marijuana on state lands.

Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, responded to an ATV accident in southern Dodge County. While the driver placed stands in a private marsh, the ATV caught fire and it spread to the marsh. The man put out the ATV fire but the marsh fire was out of control. The man rode out of the marsh and switched to an ATV to attempt to flag down firefighters and direct them to the fire. The operator lost control of the ATV on a gravel road and hit a tree. He was taken for injury treatment at an area hospital.

Warden Hankee received a call from Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department regarding duck hunters being shot at in the Eldorado Wildlife Area. Hankee and a deputy located a target shooter shooting at paper targets hung on small brush with the trajectory into the marsh. After a talk about firearms safety, action was taken against the individual for target shooting in the wildlife area.

Wardens Gavin Keefauver and Hankee, both of Fond du Lac, responded to a 6,000-gallon manure spill. A manure truck crashed into the ditch after picking up a load of a manure from a local farm. The wardens worked with farmers, local emergency spills coordinator, and other DNR staff to stop the spread of the manure. Some fish were killed; however, the quick response prevented significant damage further downstream.

Warden Josh Wiedenhoeft, of Sheboygan, received a call from a person who witnessed a person shoot a deer that was on the paved portion of a county road within the Kettle Moraine Northern Unit. Wiedenhoeft responded with wardens Hankee and Keefauver and a Fond du Lac County deputy. The hunter was taking part in a drive when a deer ran across in front of him. The hunter stated he took 10 shots at the deer before it stopped on the road and began to struggle. The hunter then put a finishing shot on the deer, aiming across the highway from about 20 yards away. Enforcement action was taken for shooting across a road.

Wardens Keefauver and Wiedenhoeft walked in on a baiting complaint at closing of shooting hours and found an individual dressed in blaze orange exit his stand. The individual said he was only watching the deer and was not hunting. The wardens found a gun propped against a tree that the man appeared to be trying to hide. The man then said he was hunting deer without a license.

Wardens Madeline Johansen, Anthony Arndt and Josh Wiedenhoeft responded to a verbal altercation between two individuals in the Sheboygan Marsh. The two were arguing over a deer initially shot by the first individual, who left it to grab a sled to drag the deer out. This first individual said the deer was checked three times before leaving it lay. The second individual came along and found the deer. That person said the deer was still alive, so a kill shot was fired. This second individual also gutted the deer, but said the deer was the first individual’s deer and left it for the first hunter. A third person came to the area and an altercation ensued, prompting one of the individuals to call for help. The deer was ultimately tagged by the original shooter and a chat about ethics and keeping distance from each other for the rest of the season was had with all members involved.

Racine-Kenosha Team/November

Warden Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, investigated a call concerning a Twin Lakes hunter, who, for several years, had been using a homemade treestand and hunting illegally in a Twin Lakes park closed to hunting. The hunter was contacted and found to have placed illegal bait for deer, illegally fed wildlife, and hunted in a village park.

Warden Smith, assisted by wardens Basting, Meinholz, Sindles and Burrow-Niemeyer, concluded an illegal hunting and baiting case. Multiple subjects were found to committed violations of placing or hunting over illegal bait, illegal ATV operation, hunting without blaze-colored clothing, and placing fill in a wetland.

Warden Meinholz took action against two hunters for not having the appropriate hunting license and hunting over a bait pile. Meinholz also found one of the two hunters, who was a minor, had harvested two does in 2020, was not accompanied by an adult, did have a license, nor did he register the deer. 

Wardens Mike Hirschboeck, Burrow-Niemeyer and Sindles, all of Kenosha County, came upon three illegally baited stands on the gun opener. Two hunters were located and stated they thought it was legal to hunt over bait on private land. Enforcement action was taken. Hirschboeck also had a call of another hunter hunting deer over bait. The person stated he had not hunted for years and knew only of the two-gallon bait rule; however, the individual was using more than two gallons. The individual also was driving his ATV on state lands adjacent.

Wardens Alex Basting, of Sturtevant, and Brandon Smith followed up on a baiting case and found the individual had been baiting for the past two years and hunting over the bait. He shot an 8-point buck over bait in 2021.

Warden Basting was patrolling at Richard Bong State Recreation Area and observed a pheasant hunter returning to his vehicle. The hunter unloaded three shells from his shotgun as Basting made contact to check his hunting license. The hunter admitted he had three pheasants in his possession when the daily bag limit is two. The hunter stated he had only shot two pheasants, but his dog had brought him a third one. The hunter stated he did not want the third pheasant to go to waste so he kept it. The hunter continued to deny shooting the third pheasant, and continued to hunt after harvesting his second bird. Enforcement action was taken.

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