Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 21, 2022
Marine Enforcement Team/August
Warden Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, followed up on a complaint about a fishing guide who harvested walleyes greater than the daily bag limit. Upon completion of the investigation, it was determined the guide allowed clients to catch and keep the guide’s daily bag limit of walleye. Enforcement action was taken against the guide.
While patrolling for Illegal off-highway vehicle use during Milwaukee’s Puerto Rican Fest, wardens Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee, and Travis Sindles, of Kenosha, observed a large cloud of black smoke a few blocks away. The wardens responded and found a motorcycle fully engulfed in flames. As Sindles checked on the operator, Strehlow put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. The wardens collected information to provide to the Milwaukee Police Department.
Marine Enforcement Team/September
Warden Travis Sindles, of Kenosha, reports the fish have begun to push up the tributaries in Racine and Kenosha counties – specifically the Root and Pike rivers. Due to a large amount of rain, many fish made it upstream past the Root River Steelhead Facility. Many fish are being caught up to the Horlick dam. With the push of fish, wardens have begun seeing an influx of anglers, along with fall fish-run violations.
Warden Lautenslager responded to a sturgeon registration station to investigate a fishy situation regarding a sturgeon. An individual caught a lake sturgeon on the Menominee River that measured more than 62 inches. The sturgeon was already partially processed before being brought to the registration station and was not tagged. The individual was unsure of the location the fish was harvested. Lautenslager partnered with a DNR fisheries biologist to determine the harvest location. With the pit tag information and the data collected on the fish, it was determined the fish was harvested in a legal area. However, there were multiple other violations, and the individual was cited for not validating his tag.
Warden Lautenslager received a complaint of an individual harvesting extra walleyes. It was determined two anglers went fishing in the morning and harvested their limit of 10 walleyes. A third party had driven an hour to get the walleyes from the anglers at their campground. This person had made this trip on three different occasions during the week. On the day they were caught, the original anglers went back out fishing again in the evening and harvested another seven walleyes. The two anglers had harvested 17 walleyes in one day. Enforcement action was taken.
Lake Winnebago Team/September
Wardens Michael Disher, of Chilton, and Chuck Wincek, of Madison, checked early season teal hunters for compliance with regulations. Multiple hunters were found with no small game licenses, no federal stamps, no state stamps, no HIP certification and unplugged shotguns. One hunter was shooting ducks with only a federal duck stamp on his license account. Enforcement actions were taken.
Wardens Disher and Wincek investigated a large amount of litter that was dumped on the Brillion State Wildlife Area in two different locations. Approximately 15 large bags of household trash were discarded near a popular hunting spot and in the nature center parking lot. The responsible person was identified. Enforcement actions were taken for multiple counts of littering.
Warden Logan Woods, of High Cliff State Park, checked a bowhunter in the Brillion State Wildlife Area. During an interview in the field, it was found the hunter had shot an 8-point buck with his crossbow in 2021 and used a relative’s tag to register the buck. The was done to allow him to shoot a bigger buck if it came by later in the season. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Mary Bisch, of Appleton, and Zach Seitz, of Shiocton, investigated a suspicious deer registration. Bisch and Seitz found the parent of the license holder to have harvested an antlered deer with a crossbow and used his child’s harvest authorization to register the deer. This was done to allow the parent to hunt for a buck later in the archery season. Bisch and Seitz also found the deer had been harvested over bait which was illegal in Outagamie County. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ted Doellman, of High Cliff, was patrolling High Cliff State Park and observed a sport bike operating at a high rate of speed. Radar confirmed the driver was traveling at 51 mph in a 25 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted. In addition to traveling at more than double the posted speed limit, driver was found to have a suspended license, no Class M certification, no insurance and had an incorrect plate on the motorcycle. Enforcement action was taken.
Racine, Kenosha Team/September
Wardens Mike Hirschboeck and Jennifer Burrow-Niemeyer, both of Racine, contacted a teal hunter at the DNR boat launch located in Tichigan on the Fox River. The hunter had no waterfowl stamps, no small game license and wasn’t H.I.P. certified. The hunter also had the same issue last year when he was contacted by another warden. The individual also had not paid his fines from the previous year. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mike Hirschboeck investigated an illegal and homeless family camping at Bong in a parking lot. Hirschboeck and Burrow-Niemeyer located the homeless family illegally camping. Warnings were given for the illegal camping, expired registration on the RV, failing to transfer ownership of the RV and false display of license plates. Information was also provided for shelters and food pantries. A week later Hirschboeck issued a citation for failing to transfer the title, as the out-of-state license plates have been expired for seven years.
Wardens Taylor Meinholz, of Kenosha, and Burrow-Niemeyer, were patrolling during the opening weekend of goose season and early teal. The wardens observed two vehicles parked on the side of the road near a small creek in Kenosha County. Two hunters returned in a flat-bottomed boat and another hunter returned in a kayak. The wardens conducted a license check and a check of the hunters’ guns. Burrow-Niemeyer located a lead trap load in the sling of one hunter. The hunters stated they had not harvested anything. Meinholz located two illegal wood ducks under a decoy bag, while the hunter in the kayak did not have a wearable life jacket. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Meinholz and Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, were patrolling Richard Bong State Recreation Area when they observed an ATV rider leave the parking lot of the ATV loop and drive illegally on the road to the public bathroom at the park. The wardens contacted the rider and determined the 14-year-old operator had no safety certificate. Enforcement action was taken, and the 14-year-old operator will be required to take an ATV safety class.
Wardens Meinholz and Smith were checking small game hunters at New Munster State Wildlife Area. Meinholz recognized a possible suspect who may have stolen a cell camera the previous year. Meinholz located the old photo of the suspect to help confirm the identity. The wardens interviewed the suspect, and it was found he did steal the trail camera the prior year. The wardens followed the suspect to his house and retrieved the camera. Meinholz returned the camera to the owner. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Smith dealt with a group of 10 juveniles who were lighting fireworks and failed to pay park admission fees at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. A few were observed smoking marijuana. Parents were contacted and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Alex Basting, of Sturtevant, and Brandon Smith saw a person in the fish refuge on the Root River. The person was attempting to illegally net fish as they swam around him. The person was able net a large chinook salmon. Basting and Smith contacted the person, who initially denied fishing in the refuge and netting fish. He stated he was going to put the fish back even though it had been out of the water for more than 5 minutes. Enforcement action was taken.
Milwaukee/Ozaukee/Washington County Team/September
While patrolling the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit, Conservation Warden Zack Feest, of Washington County, located three illegal treestands, one illegal ground blind, four illegal cellular cameras and illegal bait consisting of corn and apples scattered within a 60-yard circle. Wardens Feest and Steve Swiertz seized the evidence and spoke to the identified likely responsible party. The wardens found the responsible person committed numerous violations from May until September. The person was the same individual Feest had caught baiting/shooting deer at night from his apartment the previous gun-deer season. Enforcement action taken.
Warden Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, investigated a complaint regarding hunters shooting at ducks out of season within the Jackson Marsh. Two hunters were contacted and admitted to shooting at ducks during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken for hunt during a closed season, possession of lead shot, litter, no state duck stamp and no federal duck stamp.
Warden Swiertz was asked by Silverbrook Middle School in West Bend to assist with their annual day camp. Swiertz set up three mock crime scenes and students were encouraged to work together and look for evidence to solve the crime. The event was well received by students and staff.