Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 12, 2022


Mississippi River Team/June

Warden Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, was asked to assist the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department with searching for a person with a felony warrant who fled on foot multiple times. Groppi located the person outside of an area business in Barre Mills and he was taken into custody after resisting arrest.

Warden Groppi responded to a complaint on the Great River State Trail of a suspicious person with a shotgun who was following the complainant and gesturing for them to come into the woods. The Onalaska Police Department also responded and was able to locate the suspicious person. Groppi ultimately arrested the person, who was charged with disorderly conduct while going armed.

Wardens Groppi and Dale Hochhausen patrolled Pool 8 of the Mississippi River for about five hours on a weekend. During that time, they issued seven citations for no fishing licenses (including to one person who was revoked for being delinquent on child support), arrested one person on a warrant, arrested another person for possession of methamphetamine, and issued warnings for no licenses, undersized bass and no personal flotation device.

Warden Groppi responded to a motorcycle crash on Hwy. 53 where the victim’s left arm was severely injured. Groppi applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until medical assistance was available.

Warden Nate Ackerman, of Pepin, assisted DNR wildlife staff with a massasauga rattle snake survey. More than 20 snakes were caught, processed and released. Ackerman used his surface drive boat to get wildlife staff to remote survey locations.

Warden Kirk Konichek, of Viroqua, assisted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department with a call of a person shooting at boats from the railway bridge over the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Chien. Konichek responded with the airboat to the location while a ground search was completed. While searching the area, a boat with a family was found stuck on a sandbar in the hot zone. Konichek helped to transport three individuals to the Bridgeport boat landing. After the area was safe, the family and the boat continued on their way without incident.

Wisconsin River Team/June

Wardens Kyle Ziembo, of Wausau, and Andy Bauknecht detected the spell of burned marijuana while contacting shore anglers in Mosinee and found them in possession of drugs and paraphernalia. The wardens learned from the people fishing there were more illegal drugs in their vehicle. Mosinee Police Department officers arrived and seized the drugs and paraphernalia. Two of the people fishing also were cited for fishing without a license.

Wardens Kyle Ziembo, Andy Bauknecht, Josh Litvinoff and Nicholas Hefter responded to assist the Rothschild Police Department and Marathon County Sheriff’s Department regarding a boat that was stolen from a dock on the Mosinee Flowage. The suspected thief fled onto an island and was found by the wardens and officers. The suspect ultimately was taken into custody by Marathon County Sheriff’s Department deputies.

Wardens Josh Litvinoff, Kyle Ziembo, and Andy Bauknecht, participated in a Cops and Bobbers kids fishing event at Bluegill Bay Park, hosted by the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.

Warden Bryan Lockman of Stevens Point contacted a turkey hunter who harvested a turkey in the Village of Grand Rapids and failed to register the bird. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Bryan Lockman conducted two interviews with suspected persons involved with a tire dumping violation in Portage County. Lockman continued working with the Portage County Sheriff’s Department; deputies issued an ordinance citation to the primary suspect.

Warden Lockman responded by boat with DNR water quality staff to collect water samples and test water quality on the Wisconsin River near a reported spill near  Plover.

Warden Nicholas Hefter, of Stevens Point, responded to a report of a spill of approximately 200 gallons of fuel on Hwy. 10 near Junction City in Portage County. The crash involved a dump truck and a tractor pulling a fuel tank and other equipment. No one was injured in the crash.

Warden Hefter gave a boating safety talk at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point for Prime Waters Anglers.

Warden Erika Leigh, of Marshfield, took a call regarding possible orphaned ducklings. The observer was encouraged to leave the animals alone and Leigh received a call back that they were reunited naturally with their mother later in the day.


Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Team/June

Warden Anthony Arndt, of Fond du Lac/Sheboygan, followed up with an abandoned sturgeon spearing shack that was left in a DNR parking lot for several months. An 18-year-old man from Waupun was warned for the violation and given two weeks to remove the shack. He failed to remove it after being warned. A citation was issued, and the shack was later towed from the lot.

Warden Arndt followed up on complaints of littering and vandalism near the Oakfield Ledge State Natural Area. While hiking a trail towards the ledge, Arndt came upon four juvenile males running towards the parking area with a cooler. All were identified following a traffic stop of one of the group. Enforcement action was taken for underage alcohol violations.

Warden Arndt responded to a single vehicle ATV crash. An adult operator was on a closed route when he swerved to avoid a deer, panicked and accelerated into a marsh striking a large ash tree. The operator denied medical attention. 

Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, followed up on a tip that an individual living on the Fond du Lac River was observed shoveling large amounts of ash and debris into the river from his backyard. Contact was made with the accused person, who admitted to the violation and a citation was issued. The same reporting party provided a second tip that Hankee followed up on, which resulted in a warning issued to a juvenile for littering. The juvenile cleaned up the debris at the fishing access.

Wardens Josh Wiedenhoeft, Gavin Keefauver, Juan Gomez, and community service officer Jessica Wewers, responded to a boating accident on Random Lake within Sheboygan County. An individual was driving a boat while pulling a tube occupied by two juveniles. The operator went too close to shore and swung the tube into a pier, causing the two juveniles to hit the pier, resulting in injuries to both juveniles, who received medical attention. Enforcement action was taken.


Madison Team/June

 Warden Henry Bauman, of Dane County, completed an ongoing investigation regarding a complaint of maintenance staff at a local golf course illegally and lethally controlling nuisance Canada goose goslings. Bauman contacted the responsible person for unlawfully killing several goslings and took enforcement action, with restitution required. 

Warden Bauman, while patrolling the Yellowstone Lake area in LaFayette County, took enforcement action against two suspects who were shooting almost a half hour after shooting hours at the Yellowstone shooting range.

Warden Jake Donar, of Dane County, participated in two learn-to-fish events put on by the Grow Academy. The Grow Academy is for teens ages 14 to 17 and is supported through the Division of Juvenile Corrections. It offers an alternative to incarceration as well as a step down for teens returning to the community.

Warden Ryan Caputo, of Dane County, checked into a complaint of multiple air conditioning units being removed improperly. Caputo contacted the responsible people and found they attempted to do it themselves after getting some advice on how to do so. It did not go well, and refrigerant was released. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, attended two youth fishing events. One was put on by Walleyes of Tomorrow on Crystal Lake, and the other was put on by the Portage Elk’s Club youth fish-a-ree group. Both events were well attended.

Warden Nadolski responded to a spill at the east-bound rest area of I-90/94 in Columbia County. Nadolski worked with Columbia County Emergency Management, Wisconsin State Patrol and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, along with fire departments of Poynette, Portage and Madison, to evacuate and secure the rest area until spill clean-up was done.

Wardens Nadolski and Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, assisted two individuals who became stuck in the backwaters of the Wisconsin River near the Dekorra boat launch. The wardens were able to pull the disabled boat from the muck and get them back to the boat launch safely.

Warden Nick King, of Green County, observed a UTV driver pass four ATVs while failing to stop at a stop sign. King contacted the UTV operator, and he stated he was just frustrated as the ATVs unsafely passed him on the trail. King then contacted the group of ATV riders. While attempting to catch the ATVs, King noted they were traveling at over 50 mph on a 30-mph trail. Contact was made. In total there were 14 warnings given for this contact, and a few citations.

Warden King observed an ATV operator on state land where ATVs are not allowed. Upon contact, it was also found that the operator of the ATV also had a 4- and 7-year old as passengers on the one-person ATV. Neither of the children were wearing helmets. Enforcement action was taken.

Sauk County Team/June

Warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, while at Devils Lake State Park, stopped a vehicle driver and took enforcement action against the operator for criminal-operation-of-a-motor-vehicle while revoked due to OWI, and operation of a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device when required.

Wardens Keith Meverden, of Sauk City, and Tim Aspenson, were on patrol at Devil’s Lake State Park when they stopped a vehicle driver for operating the wrong way on a one-way road. The driver was too intoxicated to provide his name and refused to perform any field sobriety tests. Due to the level of intoxication, the operator was taken to the hospital for medical clearance, vomiting in the squad on the way to the hospital. The operator was ultimately booked into the Sauk County jail.

Warden Mason Weber, of Devil’s Lake State Park, responded to an accident in the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area where a round hay bale fell on an individual. The individual was transported to Sauk-Prairie Hospital where he was med-flighted to UW-Hospital in Madison.

Dodgeville Team/June

Warden Mike Burns, of Iowa County, was on patrol in the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, when a vehicle approached him traveling 64 mph in a 25-mph zone. A citation was issued.

Warden Ben Gruber, of Iowa County, responded to multiple issues in the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, including two underage drinking parties, a felony warrant arrest, damage to property, littering, open intoxicants in motor vehicles and an unfounded report of a person missing in the river.

Rock River Team/June

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, contacted an angler at Kiwanis Pond in the city of Janesville for a fishing license check. While Schumacher was approaching, the individual packed up his belongings and attempted to leave, running past Schumacher. Contact was eventually made and the individual was found to be fishing without a license, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and was in violation of probation rules.

Warden Schumacher responded to a call with Town of Beloit officers regarding a fawn that was wedged in between a wooden fence and a chain link fence in a residential area. With about 8 inches of space in between the fences, a Beloit officer used a catch pole to pull up on the fawn while Schumacher grabbed the legs and head to prevent injury, while another officer pushed the two fences apart to create space. The fawn was release without injury.

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, was notified by Rock County dispatch of an ATV accident and responded to the scene. Johnson stabilized the patient until local emergency medical staff arrived. Through investigation, it was determined the operator left the road and was ejected from the ATV. The operator sustained injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

Warden Johnson followed up on a snagging complaint at Indianford dam. Johnson located the person mentioned in the complaint, and the person admitted to illegally snagging the fish. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Johnson observed an individual catch and keep a total of six trout, which was over the daily bag limit for that body of water. Johnson contacted the individual, who stated he and a companion each caught and kept their daily bag limit of three trout. However, the individual admitted to catching and keeping all six trout. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, was on boating and fishing patrol in the town of Sumner when he contacted a boat and found the passengers did not have enough life jackets for all on board. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Brooks and Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, were working boating enforcement on Rock Lake when they noticed an expired registration on a boat. Upon contact, they learned the boat had been recently purchased. The wardens gave the operator time to properly register the boat, but it was later discovered the owner had still not registered the boat and enforcement action was taken.

Warden Brooks attempted to contact a landowner who had been illegally storing numerous items of personal property in a state wildlife area. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, while on patrol in Fox Lake, observed a UTV traveling on a road route with multiple children under 18 years of age who were not wearing helmets and riding in the bed of the UTV. Upon stopping the operator, Burton also discovered the UTV was not registered, did not have a rear license plate, and the passengers in the cab were not wearing seat belts. Enforcement action taken. 

Warden Burton was patrolling Beaver Dam Lake by boat when he observed two PWC operators illegally operating faster than no-wake within 100 feet of each other. Burton stopped both PWCs and discovered the two operators had not completed required boater safety courses as required. Enforcement action taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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