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Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 30, 2022

NORTHERN REGION

Spooner Team/November

Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, investigated a hunter who harvested two does in Burnett County with Polk County antlerless approvals. Gabrielson found the man intentionally falsified registration information by using his Polk County approvals to validate the harvests.

Wardens Gabrielson and Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, contacted multiple individuals for hunting deer over illegally placed bait in Burnett County where baiting is currently prohibited. Enforcement action was taken and hunters could not hunt over the illegally baited areas for 10 days.

Wardens Gabrielson and Spaight contacted deer hunters sitting in a truck at the Clam River Fisheries Area in Burnett County. The truck operator was in possession of illegal controlled substances and related items.

Wardens Pete Carlson, of Frederic, and Jesse Ashton, of Luck, were conducting night hunting enforcement based on recent shining and shooting complaints in eastern Polk County when they observed occupants of a motor vehicle shining deer after 11 p.m.

Wardens Carlson and Ashton responded to a hotline call of a group hunting violation. It was reported a hunter shot a 10-pointer at first light on opening morning and then contacted a neighbor to use his buck harvest authorization to validate the harvest. Although the hunter and his neighbor were not group hunting, the neighbor agreed to the use of his authorization. The hunter then shot another 9-point buck. The wardens also found the man did not have a gun-deer license and he shot the 10-pointer at least 13 minutes prior to legal shooting hours.

Warden Ashton received a tip from a group of goose hunters that another person near their location was shooting ducks during the closed Northern Zone season. The reporting party said the person shot into two large groups of ducks and that at least two ducks had dropped. Wardens Ashton and Carlson responded and located the person who had shot four drake mallards.

Warden Ashton assisted several other wardens with investigations of several people suspected of shining while in possession of a firearm in southern Polk and northern
St. Croix counties. Ashton contacted the driver of one vehicle and learned the occupants had been shining while in possession of a loaded firearm and that one of them shined and shot at a raccoon from the car. Multiple citations were issued.

Wardens Ashton and Carlson got a call of a person shooting a doe in his backyard in a subdivision of Amery. The person admitted the shooting, and he did not have a Polk County doe tag. They also discovered the suspect’s relative had shot a buck in October in the backyard without having a license.

Warden Joshua Loining, of Rice Lake, received a hotline call by a hunter who waited two hours to track a buck he shot with a bow on county land only to find the buck and discover its head was removed. A couple days later, the person who removed the buck’s head called the Barron County Sheriff’s Department to turn himself in. Action was taken against the suspect, and the deer head with antlers was returned to the hunter who shot the buck.

Wardens Loining and Peter Wetzel assisted wardens Evan Fox, of Minong, and Jon Hagen, of Spooner, with an ATV trespass call near the Barron County / Washburn County border. The wardens discovered the man trespassed while operating his ATV, and had failed to register a buck harvested in 2020. Also, the investigation of a deer hanging in the man’s garage led to the discovery of another man with an unregistered archery buck and a third man hunting during a period of revocation. Enforcement action was taken against all three parties.

Based on multiple complaints of an ATV being operated on Barron County Forest lands where prohibited, wardens Joshua Loining and Peter Wetzel responded to the area the second morning of the gun-deer season. They followed fresh ATV tracks on foot deep into the county forest where they located the suspect ATV operator hunting.

On opening day of the gun-deer season, wardens Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, and Mike Melgaard encountered a hunter hunting alone in a remote area of eastern Rusk County. There was evidence a deer had been shot and killed nearby. The hunter said a relative shot a buck there earlier in the day. However, the wardens learned the relative bought the license to register the buck under his authorization so the first hunter could continue hunting.

Warden Chris Spaight responded to a citizen call of a buck that had become entangled in an anchor line attached to a boat along a lake shore. The buck was becoming exhausted while trying to free itself from the anchor line. Spaight was able to get close enough with a pole saw to cut the rope and free the deer. The buck jumped into the lake and swam across the lake with a large amount of anchor line tangled in his large antlers.

Warden Spaight responded to a citizen call of deer hunting after hours during the archery season. Spaight located a person who said he was archery hunting. Spaight found the person had shot at a buck with a firearm during the archery-only season.

Wardens Spaight and Dustin Gabrielson contacted occupants in a vehicle parked on state property during the gun-deer season. The occupants were in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and there was a loaded rifle in the vehicle. One person was arrested for being armed with a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his blood. 

Wardens Jon Hagen and Evan Fox contacted a group of hunters who had six illegal baits. Gravity feeders, which are prohibited, were used to deposit bait at the sites just prior to the gun season. One citation was issued to the person who had been maintaining the baits prior to the season. The hunters who had come from out-of-state to hunt the stands were issued warnings and educated on the baiting regulations in Wisconsin.

Wardens Hagen and Fox found an illegal bait pile on state land – and a person who had shot a 6-point buck over the illegal bait.

Wardens Hagen and Fox, while patrolling in northern Barron County, contacted a hunter sitting in his vehicle. The hunter was in possession of a loaded firearm inside his vehicle. While dealing with the first hunter, a second hunter pulled into the parking lot and also had a loaded firearm in his vehicle.

Warden Hagen assisted with the rescue of a gun-deer hunter who had traveled by e-bike more than three miles on a trail into the Washburn County Forest at 4 a.m. on opening day of the gun-deer season. The hunter stayed out all day and his e-bike didn’t work when he got back to it to ride out. He attempted to walk out but could not make it. Hagen drove back on the trail and found the hunter around 7:45 p.m., still two miles from the trailhead. The temperature was 10 degrees, and the hunter was exhausted. The hunter said he didn’t think he would make it out on his own.

Warden Melgaard dealt with an ongoing hunter harassment case in Burnett County where a landowner was reported to continue actions of intentionally interfering with hunters lawfully hunting on neighboring properties. Melgaard found that two adults repeatedly performed multiple actions to interfere with lawful hunting by hunters on adjoining properties.

Woodruff Team/November

Wardens Tim Price, of Eagle River, and Kelly Crotty, of Florence, were on night patrol in Forest County when they observed vehicle occupants shining after 10 p.m. The wardens initiated a stop and found the occupants also had a high caliber air rifle inside.

Wardens Matt Meade, of Boulder Junction, Price, and Jane Voskuilen investigated a shining case involving three individuals who also shot a deer at night in Vilas County. The individuals attempted to hide the deer under a brush pile near their residence.

Wardens Meade and Voskuilen contacted a gun-deer hunter who was found to have shot across a road at a deer that ran onto private property. When questioned, the hunter stated he knew it was illegal to shoot across a roadway but had done so.

Warden Tim Otto, of Rhinelander, got a call during the gun season that a homeowner found a dead deer in his yard. Otto found a neighbor had shot the doe while it was feeding on a pile of corn under a light at night. The neighbor did not retrieve the deer as he did not want to be seen sneaking through his neighbors’ yards at night. In addition to the baiting, shooting hour, and light violations, the neighbor also did not have any approvals for harvest of an antlerless deer in Oneida County.

Wardens responded to dozens of illegal baiting and feeding calls during the gun deer season. About 48 enforcement actions were levied for violations in Oneida and Vilas counties where baiting and feeding has been prohibited since 2016.

Antigo Team/November

Wardens Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, and Jacob Cross determined a deer hunter near Parrish harvested multiple bucks in 2022 (and several years prior) with archery equipment and registered several bucks under another’s account. The individual was cited for registration and over-bagging violations. 

Wardens Dahlquist, Heath Hampton, of Tomahawk, and Tim Otto, of Rhinelander, investigated several individuals involved with three bucks harvested near Parrish. One of the individuals harvested all three bucks during the gun-deer season and had two others register the bucks under their accounts. All individuals involved were cited for registration, hunting approval, over-bagging, and firearm transportation violations. 

NORTHEAST REGION

Green Bay Team / November

Wardens from the Green Bay team, Lake Winnebago team, and marine team contacted a group found to be hunting illegally. They found multiple hunters had been hunting over illegal bait, two bucks were shot over illegal bait by the same person during opening weekend, and a felon was in possession of a firearm. 

Wardens Chris Kratcha, of Door County, and Amanda Kretschmer contacted a hunter operating a golf cart while transporting a loaded firearm.

Marine Enforcement Team/November 

Wardens Gaven Brault, of Green Bay, Jeff Lautenslager, of Marinette, Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, and Ryan Propson followed up on several complaints of snagging, failing to release foul-hooked walleyes and over-bagging of walleyes on the Fox River at the De Pere dam. These violations are common year after year. Enforcement actions were taken against multiple individuals.

Warden Brault took enforcement action against a waterfowl hunter for harvesting waterfowl without any state licenses or stamps. 

Wardens Brent Couperus, of Peninsula State Park, and Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay, took enforcement action against a person hunting at Peninsula State Park. The wardens found the man knowingly shot an 8-point buck in a closed area in the park, and then moved the deer to the open area before field dressing.

Wardens Mike Neal, of Baileys Harbor, and Jordan Resop contacted two hunters in possession of loaded firearms. The wardens found the hunters had just smoked marijuana while hunting.

Warden Travis Sindles, of Kenosha, accompanied DNR fisheries staff at two meetings with Salmon Unlimited and Kenosha Sportfishing Association. An update was given of the current fishery on Lake Michigan. Local issues were discussed including salmon/trout stocking numbers, net pens, issues during the fall fish run, and charter boat reporting.

Warden Sindles, U.S. Coast Guard officers, and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a call of a capsized boat on Lake Michigan. It was determined there was no emergency and the seen “capsized boat” was an individual open-water hunting for waterfowl.

Wardens Collin Sherod, of Brown County, Logan Woods, of Calumet County, Mike Disher, of Calumet County, Amanda Kretschmer, and Ryan Propson investigated a complaint on a hunting group that resulted in an arrest for felon in possession of a firearm, multiple hunters with excessive bait, and two bucks illegally harvested over bait. The illegally harvested bucks were shot by the same person, who then tried to have the deer registered by others so he could continue hunting.

Peshtigo Team/November

Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Shawano, investigated several baiting issues throughout the gun-deer season. 

Warden Schraufnagel took enforcement action against one individual who shot at a deer after shooting hours and another party member hunting without a license. 

Warden Schraufnagel investigated an illegal night deer hunting case. A party was found to have shot a deer several hours after shooting hours ended.

Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, assisted with a call from the Shawano mayor’s office stating a plane landing at the Shawano airport had struck a deer on the runway. Before touching down, the pilot pulled the plane up just high enough to avoid a propeller strike, but clipped the deer with the landing gear. The pilot was able to right the plane and safely land without any damage to the aircraft. Delzer helped the mayor with fulfilling deer registration requirements.

Wardens Delzer and Schraufnagel assisted with a call from an emu owner whose four emus had escaped. After evading the owners and local deputies for more than a week, Delzer and Schraufnagel connected the owner with a person licensed to handle a tranquilizer gun, who was able to subdue the birds and return them to their pen.

Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, investigated a call of a person deer hunting illegally over bait. Contact was made with the man and found he also didn’t have a license. 

Warden Hartrick investigated an road hunting complaint where an individual shot a deer from the road from their vehicle. 

Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, while on patrol in the town of Athelstane, contacted two hunters exiting the woods at the end of shooting hours. Werner determined one individual was hunting antlerless deer without the appropriate authorization.

Lake Winnebago Team/November

Warden Logan Woods, of High Cliff State Park, spoke with a group hunters on public land and found that one of the individuals had registered a deer for someone else during the archery season. It also was found other deer violations occurred with other members of the hunting party, who failed to register multiple deer.

Wardens Michael Disher, of Chilton, and Woods investigated an elevated stand illegally baited with mineral and apples on opening day. A hunter was found in the stand with a loaded muzzleloader. An investigation revealed the hunter was a convicted felon and had harvested deer over illegal bait and with his muzzleloader in previous years. Enforcement actions were taken for illegal baiting and felony possession of a firearm. 

Wardens Disher and Woods assisted Brown County-based wardens with a case of early shooting activity on a property just north of the county line. An investigation revealed a convicted felon hunting with a firearm from an elevated stand, multiple stands that were over-baited in excess of the 2-gallon limit, and another hunter who shot two bucks over two days of hunting. 

Warden Disher investigated multiple gun-deer hunters who did not buy a license, as required. Several hunters had been out multiple days without a license, and at least two hunters had harvested bucks. 

Wardens Disher and Woods investigated multiple calls of illegal hunting stands and ground blinds being left overnight, without proper identification and without blaze orange markings on the Brillion and Killsnake wildlife areas. 

Wautoma Team/November

Warden Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, received a call from a landowner who found a dead buck in a field with its head cut off and said he knew who did it. The landowner also said the person did not have permission to trespass or remove the head from the deer that was not visible from the road. Kernosky spoke with the suspect for trespassing, removing the head, and failing to obtain a possession tag. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Ben Nadolski, of Montello, followed up on a call of an illegal trail through marshy woods on state lands at the Germania Marsh. Nadolski found the trail led to a stand on a neighboring private land and the responsible person admitted to the trail. Nadolski then discovered the man did not have a deer hunting license in 2022, and upon contacting the same individual again on opening morning of the gun-deer season, found him hunting without a gun license.

Warden Ben Mott of Wautoma assisted the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department on the scene of a severe vehicle accident involving speed and a collision with a tree so strong it launched the vehicle’s front tires and engine block. The operator was transported for medical treatment. 

Wardens Brad Latza, of Green Lake County, and Molly Detjens worked a pheasant decoy with in the White River Marsh. A passenger in one vehicle was seen shooting from inside the vehicle while on a public roadway at the decoy prior to fleeing the area. Upon contact, enforcement action was taken for loading and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle on a public roadway, along with hunting pheasants without the required pheasant stamp.

Wardens Brad Latza and Ben Mott investigated multiple unlawful baiting and feeding complaints in November, including for individuals who had previously been contacted for the same violations.

Warden Jeff Nieling, of Fremont, took enforcement action against the operators of an off-highway motorcycle and an ATV for operating while displaying expired registration. The ATV did not have muffler and neither machine was registered.

Warden Jonathan Kaiser joined local officers and emergency crews, along with the Wisconsin State Patrol and a DNR forest ranger, to assist an archery hunter who had fallen from a treestand and was hanging upside down at Radley Creek State Fisheries Area. Due to the hunter’s location being far into the state property and surrounded mostly by a creek and wetlands, Kaiser and the forest ranger used a side-by-side and the squad to transport medical staff to the hunter, and then get the injured hunter out of the woods to the ambulance.

Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky and Jonathan Kaiser received a call about a deer that appeared to have become stranded on the ice of the Iola Millpond. While working with local landowners and the Iola Police Department, wardens were able to bring the deer back to shore.

Warden Molly Detjens, of Wautoma, observed a vehicle being operated slowly in the wrong lane of traffic. Upon contact, Detjens observed a firearm next to the driver and a firearm next to the youth passenger. Both firearms were loaded.

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/November

Wardens Adam Hanna and Kevin Christorf, both of Clark County, contacted a man carrying a heavy backpack at a known baiting location on public land. His truck had large sacks corn and the man said he was “just scouting.” The wardens found the man and relatives had placed bait several times.

Wardens Kevin Christorf and Kurt Haas, of Taylor County, investigated a call of illegally placed stands in a remote area of Managed Forest Law land in Clark County. The wardens found three of the stands contained rifles and were stocked with large amounts of beer and liquor the week before season. On opening morning, the wardens contacted the first hunter around 9 a.m. The man displayed signs of intoxication and poorly performed sobriety tests. He also was in possession of drug paraphernalia and admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana while hunting. He had also littered the area with multiple beer cans, was not wearing proper blaze orange, and was hunting deer without a license. He was arrested. A second hunter was found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, which was processed by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

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