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Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 2, 2022

NORTHERN REGION

Spooner Team/October

Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, was asked to assist with a motor vehicle driver operating at 10 mph on Hwy. 53 in Washburn County. Hagen attempted to stop the motorist with his squad’s emergency lights and siren activated, but the driver continued operating at the low speed. A Washburn County Sheriff’s Department deputy pulled in front of the motorist to force the stop. The driver was having a diabetic episode, and was evaluated and treated by emergency medical service personnel. 

Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, and a Burnett County recreation deputy checked three individuals who were grouse hunting near Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. The officers found that all three individuals had open intoxicants inside their vehicle.

Warden Pete Carlson, of Frederic, contacted a group of waterfowl hunters as they were coming off a lake. One individual, who admitted to shooting a duck, did not have any waterfowl hunting approvals.

Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, received a call about a person illegally baiting and feeding deer in his backyard near Centuria. Ashton responded and saw large corn piles in the backyard at the residence. Upon contact, the person confirmed his practice of baiting and feeding over the past three years and said he was unaware baiting was not allowed. He admitted to shooting at, and missing, a large buck over the bait on opening weekend of the archery season.

Warden Ashton checked two individuals who were trout fishing in Polk County. They admitted to fishing for trout and one did not have a trout stamp, as required by law.

Warden Mike Melgaard investigated a call of trash littered at the Joel Marsh State Wildlife Area. There were 10 large bags of garbage, along with other yard and waste material, deposited near a parking lot. The person responsible was identified. He admitted to the littering and cleaned the area. Ashton cited the same individual in 2017 for littering 20 bags of garbage at the McKenzie Creek State Wildlife Area.

Woodruff Team/October

Wardens Matt Meade, of Boulder Junction, and Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, responded to numerous complaints of individuals shooting at wildlife from vehicles on the road. The wardens set up a decoy near a residence where this was an issue. They took enforcement action against four individuals for four instances of shooting at the decoy from their vehicles while on the road.

Wardens Meade and Ebert were working to stop illegal deer hunting activities near Boulder Junction when they stopped a vehicle when the passengers were seen shining deer after 10 p.m. A rifle was found in the back seat. Enforcement action was taken on the occupants for shining after 10 p.m., and for shining deer with a rifle in the vehicle.

Wardens Meade and Jane Voskuilen contacted a bowhunter in Vilas County who was hunting deer over bait. Baiting and feeding of deer has been illegal in Vilas County since 2016. The hunter took the wardens to two other stands of his in Vilas County which also were baited illegally.

NORTHEAST REGION

Green Bay Team / October

Wardens James Moore, of Kewaunee, and Collin Sherod, of Green Bay, contacted a group of 12 waterfowl hunters in a field near Denmark. The wardens observed various corn cobs scattered in front of the blind the hunters were using. It also was found the hunters removed the cobs from the stalks and dispersed them in front of the blind.

Warden Sherod was patrolling during the youth gun-deer season when he contacted an archery deer hunter on state-owned land. The archery hunter was not wearing at least 50% blaze orange above the waist, as required. It was found the hunter had already been warned by another warden earlier in the day for not wearing blaze orange.

Warden Moore received a call of a person shooting a goose from the road. Upon contact, the person admitted to hunting geese in the area, and added one of the geese shot was injured and flew near the roadway. During the first contact, the person did not admit to shooting the injured goose from the roadway. However, Moore went to the area and located multiple spent shotshells along the road that matched what the man said he was using. Moore contacted the man again, who then admitted to shooting the injured goose. He also said he didn’t realize his proximity to the road at the time.

Wardens Brent Couperus, of Peninsula State Park, and Mike Neal, of the Marine Enforcement Unit, responded to a female who had fallen off a cliff at Peninsula State Park near the Eagle Tower. More than 10 local agencies responded to the rescue due to the incredibly difficult location and the loss of daylight. After three hours, the victim was transported by boat to an ambulance, and then flown to a Green Bay hospital.

Peshtigo Team/October

Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Shawano, contacted two deer hunters who had been hunting over bait. Schraufnagel determined one of the hunters had shot a buck over bait.

Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, responded to a rollover UTV accident on Parkway Road in the town of Stephenson. Werner determined the female operator was highly intoxicated. She was arrested for first-offense UTV OWI. The passenger and operator were wearing seatbelts, which Werner assesses likely prevented serious injuries.

Lake Winnebago Team/October

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated illegal nighttime deer shining and saw truck occupants shining fields after the 10 p.m. closure. Disher stopped the truck. A front seat passenger was sitting next to a cocked and loaded crossbow. A loaded .45 caliber handgun also was found inside the vehicle. Enforcement actions were taken for shining while in possession of hunting tools, shining after hours, and transporting a cocked and loaded crossbow in a vehicle. 

Wardens Disher and Chuck Wincek, of Madison, investigated illegal waterfowl hunting activity during the southern zone closure week. Over several days, multiple groups of waterfowl hunters were found shooting birds during the closed season. 

Warden Disher investigated illegal littering in ditches on private land near Hilbert. Several large items were dumped, including a sectional recliner, a mini-refrigerator, and a lamp. Disher identified the responsible person who recently moved out of an apartment in the area. The person said he didn’t strap down the items and they fell out of his truck. He also said he was too lazy to get them. The man was ordered to clear the mess. Enforcement actions were taken for littering furniture or other large items on private or public lands. 

Warden Disher investigated illegal deer baiting on private lands in Calumet County. Disher observed a stand and game camera overlooking a scent drip and gallons of corn. Disher identified the responsible person who stated corn was for the gun-deer season. Enforcement action was taken for illegal baiting in a no bait, no feed, county. 

Warden Disher investigated illegal stands and unidentified game cameras found on the Brillion State Wildlife Area. One of the stands had screw-in tree steps and another stand was placed after pruning a shooting lane. Three individuals were found using the stands. Enforcement actions were taken for failure to remove stands daily and for damage to a natural resource.

Wautoma Team/October

Warden Brad Latza, of Green Lake County, responded to an injured eagle call. It was captured and taken to a rehabilitator for care.

Warden Ben Nadolski, of Marquette County, took enforcement action on a person who dumped various items on public land.

Wardens Jeff Nieling, of Fremont, and Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, worked with Weyauwega Police Department officers during a local multi-day ATV/UTV event. Stops were made for headlight, colored lenses, and registration violations.

Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, assisted concerned citizens and Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department deputies in attempting to locate a lost horse in Hartman Creek State Park. After several hours, Kaiser located, wrangled, and safely returned the horse to its relieved owner. 

Wardens Kaiser and Kernosky contacted a late shiner and found he was also suspected of operating under the influence of a controlled substance. Enforcement action was taken and the man was turned over to local law enforcement for his actions.

Warden Kaiser worked with multiple agencies and DNR staff to respond to a black bear treed behind a Waupaca residence near a large community event. They monitored the bear until it left the area.

Warden Kaiser joined other local law enforcement and conservation groups in the first annual Badges and Bull’s-eyes event in Clintonville, in association with Clintonville School District students.

Wardens Kernosky, Zachary Seitz, and Joshua Voelker investigated a trumpeter swan shot and killed along the Wisconsin River in Lincoln County. Multiple hunters were involved.

Warden Kernosky took enforcement action against individuals who failed to remove setlines after the season closed and failed to properly check lines daily.

Wardens Ben Mott, of Wautoma, and Ben Nadolski, investigated a hunter who illegally shot a buck with a firearm, claiming it was under the disabled hunt format, but none of the requirements were met.

Warden Molly Detjens, of Wautoma, checked two duck hunters at the boat landing. The two hunters were found to both have loaded firearms in their boat.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/October

Warden Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, took enforcement action against a driver, observed traveling at a slow speed near Rock Dam, for possessing two loaded firearms in the vehicle. The driver also had shot a grouse earlier in the day from the vehicle.

The Lower Chippewa Team (Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Clark counties) wardens completed a case that linked a late shining complaint and several separate road hunting complaints near Stanley. The wardens found individuals shot, or shot at, six deer from a vehicle on the road and committed tagging and authorization violations. 

Warden Rich Maki, of Chippewa County, followed up with a baiting complaint in the town of Wheaton. Maki determined an illegal bait was placed this year and last year, and a buck was harvested coming into the bait. It also was found the 2021 buck was not registered, as required.

Warden Maki followed up on an out-of-season trapping case at the Hallie Marsh. Maki contacted the trappers in the field and found them to be in violation of trapping season for muskrats and had illegally placed traps.

Wardens Jake Bolks and Ryan Lowry, both of Eau Claire County, were patrolling when they were informed of a suspicious deer harvest in the city of Eau Claire. They found a bloody drag trail that led them from a wooded lot to a home where a doe was hanging in the tree. They spoke to the hunter and found that the deer was shot over illegal bait.

Warden Jake Bolks investigated a baiting case in the Eau Claire County Forest and found several hunters using illegal bait. Bolks found that they had baited illegally in 2021 and 2022, operated ATVs in unauthorized areas, and placed illegal stands. Bolks also found the hunters harvested two bucks over the illegal baits.

Warden Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, got a call of an illegal stand and bait site on DNR State Ice Age Trail Area property. Peters located a truck parked at the property, located the stand site and then saw a person remove a trail camera and begin to remove the stand. Peters found the person had been bear hunting where prohibited, baited by illegal means, used an unlabeled stand and camera, and was also hunting too close to the Ice Age Trail.

Warden Peters located a suspect in a hunter harassment investigation that involved a person tampering with an active bear bait stump on public land. The person was identified and contacted. Enforcement action was taken for interfering with lawful hunting. 

Lower St. Croix Team/October

Warden Madison Bryan, of St. Croix County, was working at Willow River State Park when an emergency medical service call came out for an unconscious person on the mountain bike trails. Bryan and park rangers located the person and directed emergency medical and fire department personnel. The person became semi-conscious and was transported for medical treatment.

Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, followed up on a trespassing call involving a person suspected of buying Wisconsin licenses despite being a nonresident. Kosin assisted the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department with the call and contacted the individual. Kosin found multiple residency fraud violations.

Warden Jaime McDermid, of Dunn County, worked with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department to take action on a dog owner who was allowing his dogs to run off property and chase deer on a neighbor’s land.

Warden McDermid followed up on an illegal baiting complaint and learned a person had placed out mineral and vegetables near his hunting blind to bait deer.

Warden Joe McMahon, of Pierce County, was patrolling near a Managed Forest Law property and identified a vehicle registered to a business and not to an individual. A license check showed the individual was hunting under a Wisconsin resident bowhunting license with a home address in central Wisconsin. McMahon contacted the hunter at the vehicle and learned the individual had lived in Oregon for the past several years, and the last six months in Minnesota. The man had purchased resident licenses each year since moving from Wisconsin in 2017.

Wardens McMahon and Bryan contacted hunters on public land who were hunting over an illegal bait and gravity feeder.

Warden McMahon was patrolling for duck hunters in the Bay City area of the Mississippi River during the opening of the Southern Zone duck season. McMahon contacted hunters for issues of no state waterfowl stamp, no federal waterfowl stamp, and unregistered boat.

Warden McMahon was patrolling near Bay City when he saw multiple individuals fishing. McMahon contacted others who were fishing when one man packed up quickly and headed for his SUV. McMahon contacted the man at his vehicle. The man stated he was done fishing due to running out of worms. McMahon asked for a license and the individual said he did not have one. Enforcement action was taken, and multiple fish were returned to the water.

Warden McMahon contacted a trout angler who was seen earlier in the day fishing the Rush River during the closed season. The individual admitted to fishing during the closed season and stated he did not know that catch-and-release season was closed. 

Wardens Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, and McMahon investigated a possible illegal bear case after they were alerted to a carcass found by a local law enforcement officer. The wardens found a bear carcass and large amounts of bear bait dumped near the carcass. They located a possible responsible person, and found the person didn’t register the bear after the kill. 

Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, worked with wardens Bryan and Sickman on follow-ups to reports of dead deer turning up in the city of New Richmond. An air rifle pellet was recovered from one of the deer. The wardens learned a homeowner was upset about deer eating his landscape shrubs, so he shot the deer.

Wardens Redemann, Bryan and Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire, followed up on a call of an illegally harvested trophy buck in northern Dunn County. The hunter placed bait and shot the buck too close to the road.

Warden Redemann was called to multiple bear incidents in October. A 150-pound black bear was incidentally caught in a coyote foot-hold trap. Redemann, the landowner, and members of the Dunn County Fish and Game Club used a sheet of plywood as a barrier between them and the bear while the trap was removed. The bear was mostly well-behaved during the process and was released unharmed.

Warden Redemann was called to a report of a black bear that fell into an old silo pit near Elk Mound. The landowner heard the bear in the pit and called for assistance. Redemann, wildlife biologists and the state veterinarian responded. The bear was tranquilized, hauled out of the pit in an Otter Sled and given a reversal drug so it could be released at a safe location.

Warden Sickman spoke with the person suspected in a previous stolen boat case regarding his deer hunting, license purchases, and registration of recreational vehicles. The man had under-reported recreation vehicle purchase prices to avoid paying sales taxes. It was  also found the person had purchased gun deer licenses illegally, as he had no hunter safety, was illegally feeding deer, and had an illegal car-killed deer.

Black River Falls Team/October

Wardens Pat Seybert, of Necedah, and Vong Xiong, of Black River Falls, contacted a group of waterfowlers on the Wisconsin River on opening day of the Southern Zone duck season. The wardens found three hunters in possession of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, in addition to numerous boating violations.

Warden Pat Seybert concluded an investigation where a person placed gravity feeders on three private properties in Juneau County. Seybert found the man had also harvested a 7-point buck in 2018 over bait. The man’s relative also had registered an antlerless deer in the wrong zone in 2021.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, worked with a DNR staff member and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department to recover a stolen pickup truck and 21-foot flatbed trailer from the Rathbone Creek Fisheries Area near Cataract. The owner of the vehicles was found to be a business owner in Sparta, who was contacted to retrieve the vehicles after they were processed for evidence.

Warden Wade Romberg, of Friendship, contacted a landowner for illegally posting his open Managed Forest Law property with no trespassing signs.

Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, contacted two duck hunters in a canoe on in the Yellow River State Wildlife Area. Weber found that neither hunter had life jackets and neither had their shotgun plugged, as required. In addition, one of the hunters had no small game license, state waterfowl stamp, or federal waterfowl stamp.

Warden Weber observed a duck hunter shoot at a hen mallard in a closed area of the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Upon contact with the hunter, Weber found that the hunter had also harvested two teal in the same closed area.

Mississippi River Team/October

Wardens Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and Tyler Strelow were called out for a search mission for a lost 75-year-old hiker in the Tiffany Wildlife Management Area. The wardens responded to Buffalo County with an airboat and assisted crews with rescuing the hiker from the bottoms of the Tiffany area from 1 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. with night temperatures in the mid-30s. Due to water conditions, the only watercraft that could navigate on the Chippewa River was an airboat.

Warden Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, was on her way to work the opening day of the Southern Zone waterfowl season when she observed a grass fire in the yard of a residence in a subdivision. Jensen did not see anyone tending to the fire and found that nobody was home at the residence. Jensen called the local fire department and then began using hoses and sprinklers at the residence to put out the fire that was within a few feet of the residence. Wardens Matt Groppi and Evan Fox were close by, and also responded. Once they arrived, they used a push-pole and paddle from their boat to help control the fire from spreading toward other residences until firefighters arrived.

Warden Bob Jumbeck took enforcement action against a person who failed to contain shelled corn inside a bear bait stump, and who also illegally baited deer with minerals. In another baiting case, Jumbeck took enforcement action against an individual using 55-gallon barrels as gravity feeders on private property.

Wardens Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, and  Strelow responded to a traffic crash on
Hwy. 53. The wardens assisted with stabilizing the scene and treating the victim. The victim was trapped in the vehicle and the Holmen Fire Department had to cut off the doors on the driver’s side by using the jaws of life.

Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Mike Williams, of Richland Center, investigated a call in Crawford County concerning two relatives, both of whom were found to have each shot a deer with aid of artificial light with their crossbows. It also was also determined they had shot at least six deer that were not registered during the 2022 and 2021 deer seasons.

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