Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Cuffs & Collars: Enforcement reports from Wisconsin’s outdoors

WEST-CENTRAL REGION

Lower Chippewa Team/November

Wardens from the Lower Chippewa Team (Clark, Chippewa, and Eau Claire counties) followed up on a call in northern Clark County of deer being shined and shot. The wardens located the suspect’s vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The wardens found the suspects shined and shot at five deer at night, killing one deer, shot and killed one deer from a vehicle during daylight hours, and intentionally ran over and killed an 8-point buck with a vehicle. It also was found that they threw the spotlight out the window prior to stopping. Also, the driver was intoxicated.

Wardens Kurt Haas and Kevin Christorf followed up on a baiting case near Withee. One hunter shot six bucks over the last two bow seasons. The hunter was using non-hunters’ harvest authorizations to register the deer. Illegal bait also was discovered.

Warden Rich Maki, of Chippewa County, responded to a road hunting complaint in the Tom Lawin Wildlife Area in Chippewa County. It was determined a pheasant was shot from the road on private property and one shot occurred within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling. Wardens Maki and Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, contacted the person and found the person had a valid Class B disabled hunter permit. However, the wardens found the person’s harvest of a pheasant was illegal because of how the vehicle was situated and lack of permission to hunt the property.

Warden Maki received a call of an unsafe shot. Maki determined a buck was shot over scattered corn from the back deck in the backyard of the residence. Maki determined the distance of the shot from the other dwelling was approximately 30 yards. The person who took the shot did not have permission to do so.

Warden Christorf followed up on a call of a hunter hunting without blaze orange near Loyal. The man was hiding in the tree and was not wearing blaze orange. The man also was hunting deer without a license and possessed another’s hunting licenses.

Wardens Christorf, Barry Fetting, and Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, followed up on a call of loan/borrow deer “tags” near Rock Dam. Two men, over the last several years, have over-bagged on bucks and does and loaned or borrowed several “tags.” It was found that 10 illegal bucks and five illegal does had been illegally shot and registered.

Warden Christorf was driving through the Clark County Forest when a vehicle abruptly pulled over in front of Christorf’s truck. The driver started to unload what appeared to be guns. Christorf found three individuals inside the vehicle. All the persons in the vehicle possessed loaded guns and were road hunting deer.

Wardens Clayton Peters and Maki, of Chippewa County, contacted a man at the end of the gun-deer season believed to be hunting deer without proper authorizations. The wardens found the man to have harvested a buck during opening weekend and registered the buck intentionally using an antlerless harvest authorization. It also was for the wrong deer unit.

Lower St. Croix Team/November

Wardens Madison Bryan and Chuck Wincek, both of St. Croix County, received multiple reports of hunter harassment on an open Managed Forest Land property. According to witnesses, a person drove an ATV through the property, yelled at the hunters and told them to leave. The wardens contacted the person identified by witnesses and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Madison Bryan and Isaac Kruse observed a vehicle on the side of the road in St. Croix County on the Sunday of the gundeer opening weekend. It was determined the driver had a loaded firearm in the vehicle and had shot a 10-point buck from the road.

Warden Kyle Kosin, of Pierce County, followed up on a case involving multiple unregistered deer. It was found a man failed to register two deer in previous years and also failed to register a 10-point buck shot during the 2022 season.

Warden Kosin assisted the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department with a trespassing complaint. Kosin contacted the person, who was a Minnesota resident, but was purchasing Wisconsin resident hunting licenses.

Warden Kosin issued a citation to a Minnesota resident for harvesting a buck with a bow during a previous hunting season and failing to register the deer.

Wardens Jaime McDermid and J.J. Redemann, both of Dunn County, investigated a call of illegal bait found at Boyceville. They found about 100 pounds of corn at two sites overlooked by hunting blinds. They talked with the person, who admitted to baiting the stands. The wardens learned of five deer illegally harvested by the person and his hunting group. All the deer were shot over bait, one was shot with a crossbow from a vehicle, and two were shot without a license and never registered.

Wardens Joe McMahon, of Pierce County, and Madi Bryan, of St. Croix County, received information from a Clear Lake Police Department officer regarding a traffic stop for speeding in Polk County. During the stop, the officer found three teenage males were driving with two rifles in a vehicle. The passenger told the officer the group was raccoon hunting earlier in Polk and St. Croix counties. Wardens Paul Sickman, Chuck Wincek, and Jesse Ashton assisted with interviews of the three individuals and uncovered violations that included shooting from the road, having a loaded gun in vehicle, hunting without a license, shining deer after 10 p.m., and shining deer with a weapon in vehicle.

Warden McMahon was patrolling Kinnickinnic State Park and came upon a vehicle with individuals asleep inside. McMahon learned the occupants were waiting for a hunter to come back so they could leave. DNR files showed the hunter did not have a license. McMahon waited and contacted the hunter as he returned to his vehicle. McMahon found the hunter only purchased a deer license after being notified by his companions in the vehicle that the warden was in the area. McMahon learned that the hunter had not purchased a deer license since 2017 and admitted to hunting deer the past three years.

Warden McMahon was patrolling a state natural area when he saw a vehicle parked well beyond the parking lot area. McMahon made contact with a man, who stated he was out grabbing firewood for his outside woodstove. McMahon advised the individual of the rules regarding driving on state natural areas and the removal of materials.

Wardens McMahon and Wincek worked a call of over-harvest of bucks and registration issues. They learned a man failed to buy an archery license, harvested a buck, and failed to register it. The man then had another person buy an archery license and shot a second buck on that tag, but failed to register, it as well.

Wardens McMahon and Kosin investigated a case of over-bagging on bucks. A man shot one buck, then shot a bigger buck a few days later. Neither buck was registered. It was found that the man did not register a turkey, as required, and also illegally helped kill a turkey in Minnesota.

Warden McMahon responded to a call of an illegal gravity feeder and illegal bait. McMahon contacted the man and learned the illegal bait was hunted over during the fall. The man had also baited another location. McMahon also learned a deer was shot and not registered by deadline.

Wardens Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, and McMahon responded to a call of a buck shot with a rifle three days before the gun season opener. They checked the kill site and tracked the blood and drag marks back to a property owner, who was then contacted by the wardens.

Warden JJ. Redemann, of Dunn County, followed up on a call of a revoked hunter who was suspected of hunting out of season and without a license. Redemann arrested the same individual for hunting deer without a license and being a felon in possession in a previous year. It was learned the individual shot deer this year.

Wardens Jaime McDermid and Redemann patrolled an area of recent late-shooting complaints on the opening day of the gundeer season. The wardens were talking to a group of hunters about a late shot. During this conversation, another late shot was heard. They were able to track down the late shooter, who shot at a deer more than 15 minutes after legal shooting hours.

Wardens McDermid and Redemann contacted a group of hunters for placing large corn piles. The wardens found other violations. The group shot eight deer, but only registered one. Two of the hunters didn’t have deer hunting licenses and one hunter was a convicted felon who hid his rifle in the woods when the wardens approached. Enforcement action was taken on five individuals for various violations.


This symbol denotes reports that Outdoor News editors find of special interest.


REPORT OF THE WEEK

Lower Chippewa Team

Wardens
Kevin Christorf and Adam Hanna, of Clark County, along with the Clark
County Sheriff’s Department, followed up on a hunter harassment
complaint near Longwood. It was found that several people had trespassed
and drove by the other hunters while yelling swear words and banging
buckets in attempt to scare the deer away. These people drove by four
times. After driving by the hunters, these people drove to the hunters’
house and attempted to call their dogs to the road in an attempt to
cause them harm. Enforcement action was taken by the DNR and the Clark
County Sheriff’s Department.


Black River Falls Team/November

Warden Brennan Kearney, of Adams, responded to a call regarding illegal deer road hunting during the gun-deer season in Adams County. Kearney located the vehicle, which had an antlerless deer on a trailer, and the deer had been shot from the road.

Warden Kearney received a call from an individual who reported that a relative had accidentally shot two bucks during the gundeer season. Kearney found the relative had actually shot three bucks.

Warden Wade Romberg, of Friendship, contacted a group of deer hunters and found there were multiple illegally baited stands and multiple deer had been illegally shot over the bait. Romberg found that a member of the hunting party had also harvested multiple antlerless deer on the property (Central Forest Zone) while using Central Farmland Harvest “tags.” Romberg also found the group used a youth antlerless harvest authorization illegally for an antlerless deer harvested on the property.

Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, received an ATV trespass complaint near Necedah on the day before the gun-deer season. He found a hunter had shot a buck over bait with a crossbow. The landowner had placed the illegal bait. The hunter then retrieved the deer with a UTV without permission from the neighboring landowner.

Enforcement action was taken with the hunter and landowner for the illegal bait.

Wardens Seybert and Vong Xiong, of Black River Falls, investigated a call of a baited stand on state land in Monroe County near Warrens. Seybert contacted a hunter in the woods with an antlerless deer just harvested from the baited stand. Another hunter had shot a buck on opening day from the same stand, and baiting had occurred for several years. Other violations included multiple baiting, antlerless zone registration, and state land treestand violations.

Warden Seybert responded to a call from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department regarding a lost hunter near Mather. The location on the hunter’s phone showed he was about 1 mile from the nearest road in a large marshy area. Seybert found a relatively dry route through the marsh, located the hunter and escorted the hunter back to the road prior to dark. A Monroe County deputy assisted on scene by using a siren to help the hunter start moving in the right direction.

Warden Michael Weber contacted an individual who had been deer hunting on private land west of New Lisbon during the gundeer season. The man did not have a deer hunting license, as required. Weber also found the man had been hunting from a stand baited illegally with pumpkins and had failed to register a buck shot with a crossbow during the archery season.

Warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, investigated a hunter harassment case that involved three waterfowl hunters in Monroe County. A neighboring landowner drove his Jeep near the pond, parked the Jeep with the speakers facing the hunters and played the radio to interfere with the hunters. The landowner escalated his interference by watching the area with binoculars and blowing the horn each time the hunters blew on their calls or when he believed waterfowl flew near the hunters. The hunters stopped hunting and left the area. Modjeski contacted the landowner who believed the hunters were on his dry land and trespassing. However, the hunters said their feet were in the water. The landowner also didn’t like being woken-up in the morning with shooting close to his land. Modjeski provided information and education to the hunters and landowners to resolve the situation.

Warden Modjeski received a firearm “scoping complaint” on private land near Kendall after the close of shooting hours on the opening day of the gun-deer season. A man hunting from a stand on private land reported that an individual on the neighboring property had scoped him with a rifle.

Modjeski contacted the hunter and found that he did not have a hunting license and was using non-expanding rifle cartridges. Modjeski stressed the importance of the four rules of firearm safety and enforcement action was taken.

Mississippi River Team/November

Wardens Matt Groppi and Trevor Tracey, of La Crosse, and Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, followed up on a possible felon in possession of a firearm case on state land in La Crosse County.

The wardens located the person and found him to be in possession of a rifle while hunting with his 10-year-old son. The person said he was mentoring a young relative but was also found to have been gun hunting for the last 20 years and killed a deer with a rifle in 2021. The person in this case was also previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in Monroe County. The wardens arrested the man, and then booked him into the La Crosse County jail.

Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and a Minnesota warden responded to a complaint of waterfowl hunting in the Lost Island closed area on Pool 5 of the Mississippi River near Buffalo City. Three hunters were contacted and had shot 14 ducks, including 12 mallards. The group was found to be hunting without the required Wisconsin small game licenses and waterfowl stamps and hunting in a closed area.

Wardens Jumbeck and Tyler Strelow followed up on a waterfowl investigation in Buffalo City. They found two men who each shot a limit of ducks in the afternoon while hunting together. Also, both individuals had been hunting in the morning, separately, and each had harvested four ducks.

Wardens Jumbeck and Jensen contacted a group of hunters in Trempealeau County coming in from the evening hunt. The wardens learned that three members of the group did not have hunting licenses and all were hunting over illegal bait. A nine-point buck was illegally shot over one bait pile.

Wardens Jensen and Jumbeck worked illegal deer baiting on opening day and found a man had illegally placed out, and hunted over, mineral blocks and corn. The wardens also found bait placed in multiple areas on the property. The wardens also found illegal deer feeding activity, the man was not wearing blaze orange, and he had failed to register a deer from the prior season.

Warden Hans Walleser, of Stoddard, got a call of deer shot with a rifle on Friday afternoon before the gun opener. A man decided to shoot a buck that was under an apple tree behind his hunting cabin.

Warden Nate Ackerman, of Durand, observed a hunter walking up a hill during the gun-deer season. The hunter was in full camo and had a rifle over his shoulder. After contacting the person, it was found there was also bait by a stand.

Wardens Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and Kirk Konichek responded to a 911 call where a man was observed shooting out of his truck window. It was determined he shot an antlerless deer out of the driver-side window while parked on the road. The man was within 100 yards of a house (there were numerous trailer houses approximately 40 yards from where the man shot).

Wardens Shawna McDowell, of Viroqua, and Walleser patrolled the gun season opening day and issued citations for bait, loan/borrow approvals, and hunting in a state park with rifles.

Wardens McDowell and Strelow patrolled the second day of the gun-deer season and took enforcement action for individuals who had five loaded guns in a UTV and another with an unregistered UTV on the road.

Wisconsin River Team/November

Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, contacted a person fishing below the Nekoosa dam and found the person had 10 walleyes – six of which were illegal size.

Wardens Nicholas Hefter, of Stevens Point, and Lockman investigated a complaint regarding a TikTok video showing the operator of a UTV chasing deer.

Warden Hefter got a call of hunting deer over bait on the opening day of the gun season. Hefter found the person hunting over a pile of corn while dressed in full camouflage and in possession of his rifle.

Wardens Kyle Ziembo and Hefter got a call of a large buck being shot along Lake Dubay within the prohibited distance of multiple houses. Upon arrival, the buck was still alive, but no hunters were around. The hunters were found, and action was taken.

Warden Supervisor Korey Trowbridge got a call in Wood County of several hunters doing a deer drive and not wearing blaze orange clothing. The group was also found to be hunting without licenses and transporting loaded firearms in a vehicle.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Team/November

Warden Joshua Wiedenhoeft, of Sheboygan/Fond du Lac, responded to a fatal incident in Manitowoc where a car drove off the 10th Street bridge into 20 feet of water. He located the vehicle on the river bottom using side scan sonar. Divers were able to recover the vehicle and single occupant (driver).

Wardens Wiedenhoeft and Juan Gomez worked with the Plymouth Police Department for a deer shot after hours and inside the city limits of Plymouth.

Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, followed up on a case of a hunter shooting a trumpeter swan. An archery hunter heard shots from waterfowl hunters on public lands and saw a trumpeter swan fall to the ground. The hunter called the DNR and a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded at the request of the DNR. The waterfowl hunter admitted to shooting the swan.

Racine, Kenosha Team/November

Wardens Alex Basting, of Sturtevant, and Michael Hirschboeck, of Wind Lake, got a call of a hunter shooting at 6:05 a.m. when shooting hours began at 6:22 a.m. The hunter was located and admitted he had not checked the time and shot a 6-point buck.

Warden Basting contacted a person duck hunting in the wildlife refuge at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The refuge is heavily signed. The hunter was provided a map upon entering the park. The hunter harvested a drake mallard while in the refuge.

Warden Renee Thok, of Richard Bong, while working shining enforcement in Racine County with DNR Warden Michael Hirschboeck, heard a loud noise followed by some lights. Shortly after, the wardens heard a radio transmission from the Racine County Sheriff’s Department on an accident in Waterford. The accident involved a vehicle and a transformer pole. The wardens stopped the driver from fleeing the scene. They located the driver and another driver/vehicle who showed up after the crash and both were intoxicated. The wardens identified both drivers, and assisted police officers and deputies. Both drivers were arrested.

Wardens Thok and Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, assisted with a search warrant that was executed for an ongoing environmental case associated with storing asbestos illegally. Thok assisted Smith with a drone flight, then provided security/perimeter inside of the home with several individuals while other wardens finished downloading and collecting evidence.

Wardens Smith and Taylor Meinholz, of Kenosha, on opening day, followed up on a treestand left overnight at the Honey Creek Wildlife Area. They contacted a youth hunting from the stand. The youth had been dropped off by a relative that morning and had been allowed to hunt without adult supervision. The youth also did not have any treestand safety equipment. Enforcement action was taken against the parent.

Warden Smith followed up on a complaint involving traps not being checked, as required. Two body-grip traps were found to be illegally set out of the water and the traps had not been checked for a couple weeks. One trap contained a dead raccoon that had been there for a while. The trapper had been previously cited for failure to check traps. Enforcement action was taken again.

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