Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 6, 2022
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/March
Wardens Sam Haferkorn and Erik Anderson, both of Milwaukee County, stopped two off-highway motorcycles for illegal operation and safety violations while operating on the Hank Aaron State Trail.
Warden Travis Sindles, of Kenosha, worked the spring fish run in Kenosha and Racine counties for brown trout and steelhead. Through March 30, a total of 521 steelhead and one brown trout have been captured in the Root River Steelhead Facility, with a total of 471 being passed upstream. Another 267 fish were held in the facility for spawning on April 4.
Wardens Adam Strehlow and Sam Haferkorn, both of Milwaukee, were on patrol at the Oak Creek power plant pier on opening day when an individual caught a bag limit of five cohos by morning. The same person returned later the same day and caught four more salmon. The wardens contacted the person to discuss that action.
Waukesha and Walworth Team/March
Lt. Drew Starch reports his April 2021 case involving an individual who set fire to another’s property has been adjudicated in the Waukesha County Circuit Court. The court found the person guilty of a Class H felony for intentionally setting fire to another’s land. The defendant set numerous wild fires in and around Waukesha. The defendant was sentenced to 20 months in prison and 24 additional months of extended supervision.
Wardens Blaine Ziarek and Chad Ziegler investigated a person who had harvested, without a license, three deer over three years. The person hunted deer with archery equipment and firearms. The wardens found the person waited to buy a license after a successful harvest.
Wardens Ziarek and Ziegler investigated an individual who was known to have harvested two deer and a turkey, all done without having the appropriate licenses. The wardens found other violations, including hunting deer without a license, harvesting turkey without a license and failing to register deer and turkey. Enforcement actions were taken.
Sauk County Team/March
Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, followed up on information of an individual suspected of harvesting a deer prior to purchasing a license. It was determined the individual had shot the deer after legal hours while using a light prior to possessing a valid deer hunting license.
Wardens Engelhardt and Mason Weber, of Devil’s Lake, assisted deputies in Sauk and Columbia counties with attempting to locate a felon who fled from deputies into the Pine Island Wildlife Area. The individual was apprehended by officers the following day.
Warden Engelhardt located the operator of a pickup truck stuck while mudding off-road on a closed snowmobile trail within the boundary of Mirror Lake State Park.
Warden Engelhardt followed up on several short walleye complaints on the Lower Dells portion of the Wisconsin River. A handful of citations were issued for illegal-sized walleyes and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Warden Keith Meverden, of Sauk City, responded to a Devil’s Lake State Park report of three men smoking marijuana and following a female hiker with their vehicle while attempting to persuade her to get into the vehicle and party with the men. A search of the park and surrounding areas failed to locate the vehicle.
Warden Kyle Halverson, of Iowa County, was contacted by an Iowa game warden regarding a revoked hunter who was purchasing bear preference points in Wisconsin. Halverson contacted the person who stated he allowed a friend to access his account to purchase bear preference points for him. The illegally obtained preference points were removed from his account and citations were issued.
Wardens Mike Burns and Kyle Halverson assisted the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department with a report of a man who stole a prop shotgun from a local hotel room. Burns and Halverson identified the suspect and located the prop shotgun hidden in a bush nearby. The man confessed to stealing the shotgun to get even with hotel staff for what the man described as poor service and room conditions.
Wardens Halverson and Nick King, of Green County, were on patrol in Lafayette County when they saw a truck passenger shine a nearby field with a spotlight. The truck came to a stop in the middle of the road as the driver lighted a field. The passenger exited the truck and fired from the road at least 11 times with a semi-automatic rifle at a raccoon. They two had shot eight raccoons during the previous few hours from the road or inside of the truck, including shooting from the truck while on a state highway. Citations were issued.
Wardens Al Erickson, of Iowa County, and Kyle Halverson responded to a report of a sick bald eagle in Richland County. While checking out the eagle, the wardens found raccoon carcasses that the reporting landowner had poisoned within farm buildings and had dumped in a pile near a waterway. The eagle was suffering effects of secondary poisoning from feeding on the carcasses. The landowner was cited for misuse of pesticides and cleaned up the carcasses and remaining poison from the property.
Rock River Team/March
Wardens Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, contacted a group fishing out of a boat below the Indianford dam. One group member did not have a valid fishing license.
Warden Alexander Brooks, of Jefferson, assisted the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department with a motor vehicle crash response. The crash involved a SUV and a semi-truck and resulted in a diesel fuel spill. Warden Brooks worked with DNR spills staff and the Lake Mills Fire Department to ensure the spill was cleaned up.
Warden Brooks, while conducting fishing enforcement activities along the Rock River in Jefferson County, found several anglers fishing without licenses. He also found several anglers in possession of undersized walleyes. The minimum length in that section of the Rock River is 18 inches.
Warden Brooks investigated a deer hunting case that involved an individual who had harvested a deer, but had never registered with the DNR as required.
Wardens Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, and Lore Vang were on patrol in Hustisford and saw an ATV with expired registration being operated on the roadway by a minor. The machine was registered to the operator’s father. The wardens contacted the father and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Mannes and Vang took enforcement action against an individual fishing in a closed fish refuge in Hustisford.
Wardens Mannes, Vang and Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, worked an illegal deer baiting case that led to two individuals, one who harvested a buck over illegal bait and the second who harvested a buck legally. Enforcement action was taken against the first individual.
Warden Mannes tracked down the owner of two muskrat traps found in Irish Creek. Mannes determined the traps had not been checked recently and remained in the creek after the season had closed. The owner admitted to failing to check traps as required and trapping during the closed season.
Warden Mannes responded to a report of illegal snagging activity at the dam in Beaver Dam. Mannes observed the alleged activity in progress and contacted the person. After initially denying his illegal activity, the person admitted to keeping a few illegally snagged fish.
Wardens Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, and Ryan Caputo, of Fitchburg, investigated a person suspected of hunting deer without a license. The wardens found the person had harvested a buck during the muzzleloader season without having a license and had a relative register the deer.
Wardens Burton and Caputo followed up with a hunter who failed to register a turkey. The individual confirmed the shooting of the turkey and failure to register.
Lower Chippewa Team/March
Warden Rich Maki, of Chippewa County, received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a fox stuck in a fence along Airport Road in Chippewa County. The fox was found deceased and entangled in the fence and trapped with a cable restraint (season closed). The cable restraint was set in an illegal manner that allowed it to reach the fence causing the entanglement. Trap checking violations and licensing issues were also found.
Wardens Clayton Peters, Chippewa County, and Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, worked a complaint of people catching fish, cutting gills and dumping the fish into the river. The wardens located those responsible and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Kevin Christorf and Adam Hanna, of Clark County, received a call of a deer still hanging in March near Neillsville. It was found two hunters killed several deer and had been failing to register them the last several years. It was also found they were not buying deer hunting licenses the last several years.
Wardens Christorf and Hanna followed up on a complaint of individuals hunting deer without a license near Owen. They found that five persons in a hunting group had been hunting deer without licenses during the archery and gun seasons. Violations included overbagging on bucks, loaning harvest authorizations and failing to register multiple deer.
Lower St. Croix Team/March
Warden Madison Bryan, of St. Croix County, received multiple complaints of someone with 74 coyotes and fox hanging in the yard. Bryan found the person killed the coyotes during the past few months and the plan was to bury the animals since there is no market for the fur.
Warden Bryan responded to a call of a bald eagle that was injured and in a woman’s bathtub. Bryan brought the bird outside. It appeared uninjured and flew off. The eagle turned out to be a large red-tailed hawk. The woman brought the hawk in the house because she thought her cats were going to kill it.
Wardens Kyle Kosin and Joe McMahon, both of Pierce County, contacted a group of out-of-state people who were cleaning their catch of walleyes. The group was within their possession limits, but were warned for transportation violations. Transporting fish subject to a length limit requires keeping the carcass of the fish with the fillet and the skin, and scales must remain intact to show the fish still meets the length restrictions.
Wardens Kosin and McMahon focused their efforts on the Mississippi River in March as the number of walleye fishermen were high. They issued warnings and citations for fishing violations and no-wake violations.
Warden Joe McMahon responded to a call from Minnesota DNR game wardens regarding overbagging of crappies. The case resulted from a person fishing in Minnesota and then transporting the fish back to his residence in Pierce County. McMahon and the Minnesota wardens contacted the person at his Pierce County residence and confirmed the violations.
Wardens McMahon and Madison Bryan contacted a taxidermist regarding an expired license and operating the business without a license since 2017. Enforcement action was taken. The taxidermist was instructed to comply with licensing laws before resuming business operations.
Wardens J.J. Redemann and Jaime McDermid, both of Dunn County, went to speak with the suspect in an illegal trapping case and noticed a dead screech owl in a bucket next to the person’s house. The wardens learned the person caught this owl in illegal traps set alongside sight-exposed bait. The person has caught several raptors and furbearers over the years by placing traps in this manner. State law prohibits placing traps within 25 feet of sight-exposed feathers, animal flesh, fur, hide or entrails to prevent raptors from being caught.
Warden Redemann located a pile of chopped cow bones in a parking area of the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area. Redemann interviewed a person who admitted to dumping the cow bones to attract mice so snakes had something to eat.
Warden Redemann responded to an illegal deer feeding complaint just outside of Menomonie. Redemann saw 24 deer feeding on corn in the person’s front yard. The deer didn’t disperse and continued feeding within a few feet of the person and Redemann while they spoke about the regulations. Baiting and feeding is prohibited in Dunn County. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to an open burning complaint and instructed the business owner to extinguish the fire. Sickman explained what may and may not be burned and referred the case to environmental enforcement staff.
Warden Sickman teamed with DNR water management staff on permits for upcoming construction projects on the St. Croix River. The projects include major modifications to the Hudson boat launch, shoreline rip-rap, and construction of a boardwalk in Hudson along the river.
Mississippi River Team/March
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, investigated a call of a hawk found dead in a person’s backyard in the village of Holmen. The citizen believed the hawk may have been shot. The wardens located an air rifle pellet inside the chest cavity of the adult Cooper’s hawk. The investigation led to an individual who stated he shot the hawk to protect his homing pigeons. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, received a call in March of an undressed deer in a backyard within a city. Jensen contacted the homeowner, who said he hit the deer with his vehicle and registered it. The DNR showed no record of the car-killed deer being registered, as required. It was found the individual also had failed to register other car-killed deer and gun-harvested deer. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Jensen and Kevin Christorf investigated a complaint of deer bait/feed discovered in Trempealeau County. The wardens found that an individual placed quantities of deer bait/feed several times, in addition to having mineral placed before, during, and after the hunting season.
Warden Jensen investigated an individual found to have obtained a hunting license after harvesting a deer. It was found the individual planned with a relative to buy a license online. The relative didn’t think the individual was going to be hunting on opening weekend of the season, so the relative didn’t buy the license. However, the person bought a license after the deer was shot.
Warden Shawna McDowell, of Viroqua, investigated a case involving an individual who had 30 cable restraints targeting coyotes on the individual’s property. The individual caught and killed a bobcat using one of the restraints. Cable restraint season was closed during that time.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, contacted a pair of ice anglers fishing with five tip-ups and two jig poles on a backwater of the Mississippi River near Buffalo City. Enforcement action was taken on one angler for fishing with too many lines.
Wardens Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, and Luke Polzin reported that a case involving a person who had been cited for not having a valid harvest authorization during the gun-deer season was found guilty by default in circuit court. The case had been slated for trial. However, the defendant argued for a warning. The person’s argument was rejected and then was found guilty by default.
Wisconsin River Team/March
Warden Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, assisted DNR staff in a case of a citizen vandalizing state land and marking a “nature walk” along trails through McMillan Marsh State Wildlife Area. A citizen nailed signs to trees, essentially accomplishing the opposite of nature preservation. The signs were removed.
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, contacted two groups of ice anglers smoking marijuana in their ice shacks on Portage County waters. Both groups were turned over to the sheriff’s department.
Wardens Kyle Ziembo, Jake Holsclaw and Lockman patrolled during the Fishing for a Mission contest on Lake DuBay. Multiple warnings and several citations were issued.
Marine Enforcement Team/March
Through an agreement between Wisconsin and the Cayman Islands, warden Mike Neal, of Baileys Harbor, testified as an expert witness in the first boating-related manslaughter case for the Cayman Islands. Neal aided the Royal Cayman Island Police Services in 2019 after the incident had occurred. A verdict will be rendered by the Cayman Islands judicial system in April.
Wardens Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, and Nick Hefter, of Fish Creek, found two ice anglers exceeded their bag limit of whitefish on Green Bay.
Lake Winnebago Team/March
Warden Logan Woods came upon a vehicle at High Cliff State Park with three occupants – two adults who had arrest warrants – and a juvenile. Woods coordinated the arrests and tried to locate an adult to pick up the juvenile. When the adult arrived for the juvenile, Woods detected marijuana odor coming from that vehicle. The driver said marijuana was used on the way to the park, but there were no other drugs in the car. Woods confirmed the driver’s statement, and then worked to find another adult not under the influence of any drugs.
Wardens Zack Seitz, of Shiocton, and Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, got to a call in which an individual had trapped and shot a wolf thinking it was a coyote. Wardens found the trapped animal was indeed a wolf.
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, conducted an audit of spring turkey permit winners who claimed landowner preference. Multiple permit winners in Calumet County were found to have fraudulently applied for landowner preference despite not being qualified landowners or not qualified to receive a transfer of preference. Some applicants owned less than one acre. Action was taken for fraud in obtaining a harvest authorization, and their spring permits were invalidated for harvesting a turkey.
Warden Amie Egstad, of Bayfield, patrolled Lake Superior by snowmobile and met an angler who said he had made the trip several times north to Bayfield to fish for lake trout and had caught and kept lake trout the day before. A check showed the person had not bought a Great Lakes trout/salmon stamp.
Warden Egstad received a call of a UTV on a county highway that is not an approved route. Egstad located the machine and stopped the operator, who had a rider. Neither had buckled their seatbelt. The driver had a plan to drive across the ice from Bayfield to Madeline Island for lunch. Egstad informed him the only way to do that would be to trailer the UTV to the ice road since there is no legal UTV route into Bayfield.
Wardens Lynna Martin, of Bayfield, and Luke Polzin continued to see an issue with individuals fishing on Lake Superior and not carrying a paper copy of their license.
Wardens Martin and Polzin were investigating an unmarked shanty on Lake Superior when the owner yelled at them from the doorway of a mainland residence. The owner stated he had contracted COVID-19 and hadn’t been out to the shack for several weeks, and it had been marked properly at that time. A verbal warning was issued, and the shack was removed the next day.
Warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, received two separate calls of two persons feeding deer on their land – one east of Cameron. Loining contacted both parties. The first admitted to placing corn on the ground near a gravity box. The second landowner was found feeding corn to deer behind his house. Enforcement action was taken in both cases.
Wardens Jon Hagen, of Spooner, and Evan Fox got a call of illegally harvested deer. The wardens learned a married couple had purchased their licenses after harvesting deer and had also harvested deer with archery gear and used another’s harvest authorizations to register deer over several years.
Wardens Jon Hagen and Evan Fox took action against a person who did not have a license when he shot a 10-point buck.
Warden Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, was working late one Sunday evening when he noticed two anglers on an area lake. One of the anglers was fishing with four lines. Ebert contacted the two anglers and, in addition to the fishing violation, found them to be in possession of marijuana.
Park Falls Team/March
Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, investigated a call of multiple deer hanging in a tree at a residence. Multiple violations were uncovered, including unregistered deer, unregistered car-killed deer, and not having proper authorizations.