Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 11, 2022
Wardens Jake Donar and Henry Bauman, of Dane County, took enforcement action against three individuals found hunting from illegally placed stands on Hook Lake State Wildlife Area near Oregon.
Wardens Ryan Caputo and Bauman, of Dane County, took action against an individual found interfering with hunters engaged in lawful field goose hunting on private property near Fitchburg. The wardens also issued warnings to the individual for hunter harassment and disorderly conduct.
Warden Donar received a call of traps found on public land open to trapping. Donar located several traps not tagged and contacted the trapper. The person had been cited for this same violation in the past.
Warden Matt Koshollek, of Dane County, stopped to check on a vehicle parked on a bridge off a Dane County highway. While checking for hunting activity, Koshollek noticed spilled corn kernels in the back of the truck. Koshollek then contacted the hunter across the highway. The hunter said he had placed material for baiting deer. A citation for baiting was issued.
Warden Koshollek was patrolling near Lake Kegonsa State Park in Dane County and contacted hunters loading a deer into a truck from an archery deer drive in the park. He asked to see firearms from a previous deer drive they did a couple hours ago and found a hunter had a loaded rifle in his vehicle.
Warden Koshollek worked with the Jefferson Police Department and cited an angler for fishing with more than 16 lines on eight fishing rods. The angler was contacted by Jefferson Police Department officers and the angler was attempting to cast a ninth rod when contacted on the Rock River. The angler told the officer he did not want to fish long and that is why he baited two lines on each rod.
Wardens Matt Koshollek and Kyle Johnson, of Rock County, cited a road hunter who shot a pheasant decoy twice near Evansville. The hunter was walking down the paved road and shot across the road at the decoy, then shot again from the road at the decoy. The hunter walked to the decoy, saw it was fake, and put his shotgun on the ground before being contacted.
Warden Caputo was on patrol when he came upon a blind with bait in front of it. He found dried blood on the ground and found the hunter did not have anything registered. Caputo contacted the landowner/hunter and learned he failed to register a buck, and also shot that buck over bait.
Wardens Henry Bauman and Jake Donar, of Dane County, took action against a pheasant hunter who was illegally hunting within 50 feet of the Alpine Road centerline near Brooklyn State Wildlife Area.
Wardens Ryan Caputo and Ryan Mannes, of Dodge County, found that a person shot two bucks during the 2020 archery season. The second buck was registered by his friend.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, investigated a call of coyote hunters possibly shooting from their vehicles. King found the hunters were not hunting from their trucks; however, they were standing on the paved road when shooting at a coyote.
Warden Pete McCormick contacted two hunters during the antlerless deer season who had shot a deer. One of the hunters did not have a valid antlerless tag; the other did not have a gun deer license and appeared to be impaired. The second individual was identified as a convicted felon. The second individual was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, drug possession, and having drug paraphernalia.
Sauk County Team/November
Warden Joseph Olson, of Devil’s Lake, was driving past the Devil’s Lake south shore boat landing on opening day of gun season shortly after the close of shooting hours. Olson saw a people securing their boat and trailer. The two anglers were “overly” successful on brown trout.
Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, while on patrol during gun season, located an individual suspected of committing residency fraud. The suspect was found to have been purchasing resident licenses he is not entitled to for 17 years.
Sauk County Team/December
Warden Nick Engelhardt received information that a trap line in the Dell Creek Wildlife Area was not being checked, as required. It was found several traps were not being checked as required.
Wardens Hans Walleser and Pearl Worden, of Grant County, contacted a landowner near Bagley about the extended use of mineral on the property. A large mineral hole about 4 feet long and 2 feet deep was located within sight of the owner’s home, along with two other mineral holes on the property. The landowner had been placing a mineral mix purchased in large quantities from the local mill on this property in the spring for several years.
Warden Worden contacted hunters on private land hunting over areas baited with corn and mineral. One hunter was not wearing blaze orange, was not carrying his approvals with him, and had trespassed on adjacent property with an unregistered ATV. A second hunter was hunting over a gravity feeder with corn and mineral, and had placed another gravity in a second location on the property. Several warnings and citations were issued to the group.
Warden Worden contacted a group of hunters in a field lane after a morning of gun-deer hunting. Three of the hunters were wearing hats that were not blaze orange or pink. All the hunters placed their firearms in the back of a parked car when they saw the warden approaching. Three of the four firearms in the vehicle were loaded and one of the hunters was determined to have hunted without a license.
Warden Worden contacted a person near a truck with two bucks in the back. The man said he was hunting with a relative who had harvested one of the two bucks on opening morning. Worden found the man had shot both bucks and then bought a license for a relative. The man stated he intended to use the relative’s license to register the second buck. The man also had salt/mineral blocks in the back of a UTV close by and had been placing mineral for deer on the property.
Warden Worden contacted a person returning to his cabin on an ATV after gun-deer hunting. During the license check, a bag blew off the ATV. Worden picked up the bag, which contained cracked corn. The person admitted to placing two 50-pound bags of cracked corn in preparation for hunting later in the week. The person also admitted to feeding deer and other wildlife throughout the fall on his property. The person estimated two 50-pound bags had been placed every two weeks.
Warden Mike Burns, of Iowa County, got a call from a landowner who suspected someone had illegally harvested timber off his property. Burns determined a person had not filed a cutting notice on any logging sites done in several counties that year.
Rock River Team/December
Wardens Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, and Hans Walleser, of Lancaster, worked with an Iowa game warden to seize an illegally harvested buck from that state. The suspect was traveling through the Beaver Dam area with the illegal deer. Arrangements were made for Mannes to meet the suspect and seize the deer. The meat was donated to a family in need. The head was returned to Iowa game wardens.
Wardens Ryan Caputo and Mannes investigated a loan/borrow case involving a hunter harvesting a deer on someone else’s authorization. The wardens determined the man had shot two bucks in the 2020 bow season and used a friend’s tag to register the second buck.
Wardens Mannes and Zach Feest, of Washington County, removed three illegal treestands from state land in Neosho. They located the responsible person, who admitted to placing one of the stands on opening day of the gun-deer season. The stand was removed by the wardens in December. The responsible person also admitted to using a screw-in tree peg, damaging the tree. The wardens took enforcement action against the person for the treestand and gave a verbal warning for damaging the tree.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, took action against a person who shot a 5-point buck during the antlerless-only season.
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, investigated an Indian burial ground that was disturbed by a private company. Schumacher gathered information for the Wisconsin state archaeologist and a compliance team.
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/November
Warden Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, assisted the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department with a one-vehicle injury crash. Swiertz was first on the scene. After assessing the operator of the vehicle, he observed the operator showing signs of an opiate overdose. Swiertz administered NARCAN and revived the operator. EMS arrived and took over medical care of the operator.
Warden Zach Feest, of Washington County, investigated an illegal deer hunting complaint. Feest discovered multiple crimes and civil forfeiture violations committed by the individual, who admitted to: baiting on at least five occasions throughout the county; shooting an antlerless deer in Washington County and registering it in Green Lake; shooting an antlerless deer and not registering it; shooting a buck at night over bait with the aid of artificial light; shooting a buck at night with the aid of artificial light the previous year; selling and bartering venison.
Warden Feest contacted two men attempting to jump shoot deer out of a jon boat on the Rock River. The men were found with loaded firearms in motorboat while under power, operating without enough PFDs, possession of a fake driver’s license, and operating a motorboat in a restricted area. Feest also observed the operator of the boat muzzle-sweep the passenger numerous times with a loaded firearm while operating the boat.
Warden Erik Anderson, of Milwaukee County, is working with several groups to develop resources to deal with homeless encampments along the Hank Aaron State Trail. This is being accomplished through working with area groups, including the Urban Ecology Center, the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County Housing Department.
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/November
Wardens Steve Sanidas and Blaine Ziarek investigated a state land complaint. The wardens found a neighbor of a DNR property had created his own hunting preserve and used the public land as his own recreational playground for years. The wardens also found a large food plot, illegal treestands, illegal deer baiting sites, dumped deer carcasses, ATV/UTV use with trail clearing and illegal firewood harvesting.
Warden Sanidas, while on gun-deer season patrol Walworth County public lands, heard a close volley of gun shots. Sanidas chased down the shots and contacted an individual who had just harvested a buck fawn. It was discovered the hunter did not possess a valid antlerless authorization. Enforcement action was taken, and the deer was donated to a veteran’s group for consumption.
Wardens Sam Eagan and Chad Ziegler investigated a call in the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit near Eagle. The call concerned a person who harvested a second archery buck. Eagan went to the area and met the hunter at their vehicle as the large buck was being loaded. The investigation confirmed there had been a violation. The buck was well known among those who frequent the forest unit.
Wardens Blaine Ziarek and Steve Sanidas responded to call of a person who fell from climbing a treestand at the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit. The wardens found the stand had malfunctioned. The person was transported to an area hospital for a non-life threatening back injury.
Wardens Sanidas and Ziarek investigated a shoot-from-the-road complaint filed by a witness to the act. The witness described seeing a person exit a vehicle and shoot at a group of turkeys. The investigation led to the person who harvested two turkeys while only having one tag.
Wardens Brad Wilson, Dan Hodge, Sam Eagan, and Chad Ziegler were on night patrol when they came upon vehicle occupants shining after hours in the Lake Geneva area. The wardens also found a loaded firearm in the vehicle.
Wardens Wilson and Ziegler got a call that involved trespassing and a 14-point buck. The person saw the buck cross the road and go into a private yard. He then trespassed into the yard and shot the buck with a crossbow, injuring it. A relative of the initial shooter arrived and shot the buck with a shotgun while standing near the private residence while also trespassing. The second shooter did not have a hunting license.
Wardens Dan Hodge and Drew Starch investigated a case involving a man whose licenses were revoked who had been seen hunting in the Menomonee Falls area. The wardens contacted the man in the field as he was crossbow hunting over bait after revocation, not wearing blaze orange, and was in possession of THC.
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/December
Warden Zach Feest, of Washington County, got a call of an illegal deer harvest and learned the individual hunts in Wisconsin when visiting family, but lives in Florida. The man admitted he shot a deer, then bought a license after recovering the deer. The person also admitted to shooting the deer over bait with a crossbow.
Warden Erik Anderson, of Milwaukee County, got a call about early shots on a property in Milwaukee County during the gun-deer season. Illegal bait and feed were found on the property. Anderson was able to eventually contact a hunter on the property who admitted to placing mineral blocks, pumpkins and corn. Anderson also found another hunter on the property who shot a buck with a crossbow without the appropriate approvals and failed to register the deer.
Waukesha and Walworth Team/December
While working gun-deer hunting enforcement on public lands in Walworth County, warden Steve Sanidas observed three individuals hunting without wearing blaze orange clothing. As Sanidas pulled into the parking lot, all three subjects attempted to leave the area on foot. Sanidas was able to reach the hunters and found that they were hunting small game. All three brought blaze orange with them, but didn’t want to wear it while hunting. Additionally, one of the three did not possess a valid small game license.
Wardens Sanidas and Brad Wilson completed an investigation of a large buck that was shot during the gun season by an individual who did not possess a hunting license at the time. The individual purchased his license after harvesting the deer.
Warden Sanidas contacted two archery hunters in Walworth County who were illegally hunting for bucks during an antlerless-only season. One of the individuals had previously filled his buck tag and didn’t possess any valid harvest authorizations for the area. Neither hunter possessed antlerless authorizations for the area, and, they also failed to wear blaze orange, as required.
Warden Sanidas contacted an archery hunter on public lands in Walworth County. The individual was found to have harvested two deer during the firearm season, but never registered the deer, as required.
Warden Alex Basting and Dan Hodge investigated two related individuals – one in Racine and one in Jefferson – about deer hunting violations. The wardens found the two relatives each shot a buck on opening morning and neither registered their deer. One of the two relatives did not have a license. A third relative also hunted with the pair on opening day and this third relative also did not have a valid hunting license.
Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Team/December
Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, followed up on a person who shot a buck and purchased the license of another to register it. The person in question had already shot an archery buck earlier in the season. At one point, the person’s relative stated the deer was registered by them and not the person in question. Later, the person did admit to shooting the buck.
Wardens Hankee and Juan Gomez followed up with an investigation into two relatives who were hunting without a license and failed to register deer. After the wardens presented their evidence, the two admitted to multiple years of hunting without a license and buying licenses after they harvested a deer. They also admitted to failing to register multiple deer since 2016.
Warden Joshua Wiedenhoeft, of Sheboygan, along with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department, followed up on a call of trees being cut on state land and trespassing while hunting. The investigation uncovered multiple years of unregistered deer and an admission to the trespassing. Multiple citations were issued.
Warden Wiedenhoeft received a call of a dog caught in a foot-hold trap. The dog had run onto neighboring property and was caught in a trap. The individual responsible for the traps had committed multiple violations, including no trapping license, no trapper education certification, sight-exposed animal byproduct bait and untagged traps.
Park Falls Team/December
Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, followed up on a tip regarding a person who had tried to register a buck allegedly killed during the antlerless-only season. Koshatka found the person’s relative had killed the buck with a crossbow in the backyard from an ATV. The relative who shot the buck then requested the person register it, enabling the relative to continue the hunt and possibly harvest another buck. Several violations were uncovered through the investigation.
Warden Koshatka was on patrol when he saw three unattended tip-ups on Round Lake. After waiting for some time for someone to attend to two of the three tripped flags, Koshatka inquired at the residence near the tip-ups. A resident said the tip-ups belonged to a relative who was at their place of work. Koshatka then contacted the relative, who confirmed placement of tip-ups with the plan to check them after work.
Wardens Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, Aaron Koshatka, and Kurt Haas, of Medford, investigated a report concerning a 174-inch buck shot from a combine in early November. They revealed that a person and a companion drove a combine to the buck and shot twice with a compound bow before hitting it.
Warden Haas responded to a call regarding illegal bait in Price County. When Haas initiated his investigation, he found the person had harvested a buck over an illegal bait. Haas also found five deer hanging at the person’s home. None of the deer were registered and several other violations were found.
Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, observed a child operating an ATV on a lake to a nearby boat landing in Washburn County. Hagen contacted the 9-year-old operator who was heading in to pick up a relative at the landing. The ATV was not registered, and the registration had not been transferred since the owner purchased the ATV.
Warden Hagen came upon two tip-ups on Big McKenzie Lake, and there was no person around the area. Hagen watched a tip-up with a flag indicating a bite for 40 minutes prior to a person coming to check the tip-up. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with unattended lines.
Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, was tagging fur in Webster and found a bobcat hunter had harvested a bobcat without first purchasing his small game hunting license.
Warden Jesse Ashton investigated a suspected illegal harvest of an 8-point buck by a person whose licenses were revoked. Ashton determined the person harvested the buck during a period of revocation. The man then requested a friend buy a license and register the buck in attempt to legitimize the harvest. Enforcement action was taken against the person whose privileges and the friend for multiple violations.
Warden Ashton followed up on a report a person was attempting to sell a bear claw necklace online. Ashton found the person from Polk County. The person said he was unaware it is illegal to sell bear claws. A warning was issued.