Racine, Kenosha Team/November
Wardens Taylor Meinholz and Jen Burrow-Niemeyer followed up with an illegal bait call. Burrow-Niemeyer observed a hunter sitting in a blind that was overlooking cracked corn, pumpkins, and a mineral block. The wardens received admission of placing bait and hunting over the bait.
Wardens Meinholz, Brandon Smith and Travis Sindles responded to a call of a loon that landed on a retention pond and could not fly away due to the ice. Smith used a float jacket, kayak and ice picks to recover the loon from the frozen pond. The bird was then brought to a local rehabber.
Racine, Kenosha Team/December
As temperatures rose at the end of the December, the Root River in Racine opened. Anglers then began fishing from shore and catching mainly brown trout with a few steelhead. The anglers told wardens on patrol the fishing was the best brown/steelhead run on the Root River in some time.
Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington County Team/November
Wardens Sam Haferkorn, Erik Anderson, and Adam Strehlow, all of the Milwaukee County Marine Unit, responded to a call from West Allis dispatch regarding a white-tailed buck that had entered the home of a resident and became stuck in the second story. The wardens channeled the deer safely out of the house. Significant property damage occurred, but no individuals were injured. The homeowner was appreciative of the wardens’ efforts.
Warden Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, spoke to a person who left a ground blind and cameras unattended on state lands. The person admitted ownership of the illegal blind, illegal cameras, hunting during the closed season, and multiple baiting violations in Adams and Grant counties.
Warden Steve Swiertz, while checking deer hunters standing outside a vehicle parked on state land, detected the odor of burnt marijuana. Swiertz advised the person to stop hunting for the day when the person admitted to smoking. The person also turned over the marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Swiertz, while at Polk Kames State Ice Age Trail, contacted two hunters seated in a parked and running vehicle. Both said they hunted for most of the day and decided to change locations. The driver admitted his rifle had several rounds in the magazine tube. Swiertz found the rifle to be loaded with a round in the chamber and the hammer back – and pointed at the passenger. The man said he was in a hurry once back to the vehicle and never unloaded it.
Warden Haferkorn was contacted by the Greendale Police Department for a call of a person hunting with a rifle in a local park. Greendale officers detained the man, but he did not have any hunting equipment. Greendale officers had their K-9 search the area. The team found an air rifle buried under a tree, hunting clothing, a dead mourning dove, and a dead robin in three areas. Haferkorn talked with the man, who admitted to shooting and killing the birds with an air rifle and hid the equipment knowing he was in trouble.
Waukesha and Walworth Team/November
Wardens Tim Aspenson and Dan Hodge responded to a call of a person possibly gun-hunting during the archery season in Waukesha County. An investigation revealed illegal baiting and trespassing. The wardens found the man was habitually using turkey tags from outside the zone for years, and also had illegally harvested deer over bait.
Wardens Aspenson and Hodge were checking licenses in the town of Oconomowoc on opening morning and came across a person who was hunting without a license.
Wardens Steve Sanidas and Jason Roberts took enforcement action against two relatives at the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit. Neither had a hunting license. The pair also had two loaded firearms in the vehicle and were found to have discharged a firearm within 50 feet of the road.
Warden Drew Starch observed a vehicle driver shining after legal hours in the Oconomowoc area in the early hours of the second day of the gun-deer season. Starch saw the man shine several deer, but he continued on. Starch stopped the vehicle. The driver admitted knowledge of the shining hours, but added the activity was under way to train his dog for tracking purposes. There were no firearms in the vehicle.
This symbol denotes reports that Outdoor News editors find of special interest.
REPORT OF THE WEEK
Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, was on patrol at the Mud Lake public hunting area in November when he came across a hunter who appeared to be following a blood trial. McCormick observed the hunter stop at a boundary line with private land. Upon contact, the young hunter said he had shot a deer that had crossed onto private land and died just over the fence, so he had to contact the property owner and gain permission. McCormick was impressed with the hunter’s ethics and contacted the landowner, who has had several issues in the past with trespassing. The landowner and hunter were appreciative of the respect each one showed to the other.
Warden Starch contacted a group of hunters returning to a residence while riding on a golf cart in Muskego. One of the occupants had a loaded shotgun.
Warden Aspenson responded to a blaze orange complaint and came across two groups of hunters in Oconomowoc. Both groups were found in violation of mentor hunting violations and the second group was also found in violation of hunting without blaze orange.
Wardens Steve Sanidas and Jason Roberts were on night patrol in northern Walworth County when they saw vehicle passengers shining deer at 12:30 a.m. They conducted a traffic stop and enforcement action was taken for shining after 10 p.m.
Warden Sanidas, while on patrol in northern Walworth County, observed a commercial building being demolished and demolition waste being burned on site. Sanidas learned the demolition permit for the project had expired about two months earlier. The project was halted until the contractor applied for an after-the-fact permit and was required to provide proof that materials were being recycled or landfilled.
Warden Sanidas contacted a boat operator returning from waterfowl hunting on the Delavan Inlet and found that one hunter in the boat possessed a loaded shotgun.
Warden Sanidas was patrolling northern Walworth County during the gun-deer season and contacted a small game hunter exiting the woods at closing hours. The hunter was not wearing any blaze orange and was hunting on public land where deer hunters were present.
Warden Sanidas contacted two small game hunters at their vehicle during the gun-deer season. Neither individual was wearing 50% blaze orange, as required. Sanidas discovered a loaded .22 rifle inside their vehicle.
Warden Brad Wilson worked a state lands complaint of two youths shooting a .22 rifle at cans on state land in the Lake Geneva area. Wilson interviewed both kids and their parents. Wilson found the two teens shot at the aerosol cans and did not clear the litter.
Warden Wilson interviewed an individual for antlerless tag violations. The man thought he was hunting in Walworth County and found out from a friend they were hunting in Rock County. The hunter shot a doe and did not have a Rock County tag, so he bought one and later registered it. The hunter then shot another antlerless deer and again did not have an authorization.
Warden Jason Roberts, of Waukesha, observed a hunter using a canoe to access a parcel of state land to hunt. Roberts contacted the individual at the landing after hunting hours. The person did not have any life jackets for himself or the passenger. Roberts issued a citation against the individual for a third year in a row.
Waukesha and Walworth Team/December
Warden Sanidas assisted Warden Jamin Luezzo, of Oconto County, with an investigation involving a Walworth County resident found to have shot three deer and fraudulently tagged the deer with tags bought for relatives. The deer were also improperly registered to cover up the violations.
Warden Sanidas, while working the gundeer season during the statewide antlerless hunt in Walworth County, came upon a person hunting at a DNR wildlife area without wearing blaze orange. Sanidas also found the individual was without a valid firearm deer hunting license.
Warden Sanidas was checking deer hunters on public lands in northern Walworth County and contacted a person found to have shot a deer during the nine-day season but failed to register the deer.
Warden Wilson received a call of duck hunters on Lake Delavan shooting muskrats with their shotguns. Wilson contacted the suspect and found he did shoot a muskrat and left it out on the rock dike. Wilson issued multiple warnings and a citation for hunting furbearers by unauthorized means.
Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Team/December
Wardens Isaac Hackett, of the Sheboygan marine team, Madeleine Johansen, of Plymouth, and Anthony Arndt, of Random Lake, completed an investigation into an urban deer removal permit in the village of Kohler. The wardens determined a buck and doe were harvested contrary to the permit.
Warden Jake Donar, of Madison, investigated a call of late shots near a Dane County park designated as archery-only. Donar located a kill site and drag trail in the county park. Wardens Donar and Ryan Caputo, of Madison, found the person responsible for shooting two deer after hours.
Wardens Donar and Caputo followed up on an investigation concerning an early shot complaint on public land in Dane County on the opening morning of the gun-deer season. They found a hunting party had shot at least four deer that morning on the property. The wardens also discovered the group had shot five deer that were either improperly registered using “free tags” from a different county or not registered at all. The wardens also found that deer shot in Dane County in 2021 had not been registered.
Warden Donar and Henry Bauman, of Madison, took enforcement actions against Black Earth individuals for illegally shooting a bobcat over bait and tagging violations.
Warden Matt Koshollek, of Madison, stopped to check a deer hunter going out in full camo and an orange hat during the gundeer season at the Anthony Branch Wildlife Area. Koshollek learned the hunter had just moved the year before from Virginia and did not know the clothing requirements for deer hunting. Koshollek educated the hunter on using proper blaze orange for hunting and safe firearm handling.
Wardens Caputo, Keith Meverden, Matt Weseli, and Joe Olson seized illegal crayfish from a residence in Spring Green. The crayfish consisted of red swamp, marbled and an Everglade crayfish, all of which are illegal in Wisconsin.
Warden Pete McCormick, of Poynette, and a Columbia County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to a call from a witness regarding someone shooting at deer from a vehicle on a public road near Rio. A deputy located the suspect and initiated a traffic stop.
The passenger was eager to talk and told the deputy he had previously been caught by McCormick and had been convicted of poaching deer with the aid of a spotlight. When McCormick arrived, the passenger told him the driver had shot at three deer in the area from their vehicle. The driver was arrested and booked into the Columbia County jail. Two rifles and empty shell casings were seized as evidence.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, investigated a possible hunt-without-a-license case. The hunter shot a buck at first light on opening day of the gun-deer season and afterward went to buy his license so he could legally register the deer.
Wardens Matthew Koshollek, of Dane County, and Jack Luessman, of Ashland, were on ice-fishing patrol on the Yahara River near Stoughton when they contacted a person who overbagged northern pike. The man then gave a friend the fish to take home. Koshollek also found another angler in the same group who was fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken against the group and the fish were seized and donated to the Dane County Humane Society Wildlife Center.
Warden Caputo, of Dane County, responded to a call of a house being shot by two waterfowl hunters. Along with a Dane County Sheriff’s Department deputy, the officers were unable to find evidence the house had been struck by pellets. In checking the waterfowl hunters, though, Caputo found one did not have a plugged gun and both did not have a federal duck stamp.
Warden Caputo took enforcement actions involving two bucks shot during the holiday hunt, as only antlerless deer are allowed to be harvested. Both deer were shot within 50 yards of the hunters.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, concluded a multiple-year deer baiting investigation that resulted in one individual being cited for baiting over a threeyear span. The person also shot a buck during the 2022 gun-deer season.
Warden McCormick, of Columbia County, investigated an illegal deer harvest involving three individuals. The investigation yielded three unregistered deer and hunting deer without a license.
Warden McCormick completed an investigation regarding a large pond dug in a wetland without a permit. The contractor did not attempt to inquire with the DNR to determine if permits would be needed. McCormick worked with a DNR water and wetlands specialist and the landowner to develop a restoration plan. The contractor was cited.
Wardens Al Erickson, of Iowa County, and Nick King, of Green County, followed up on a call of persons shooting at coyotes from a combine while harvesting corn and chasing coyotes with a UTV near Mineral Point.
Wardens Erickson and Joe Olson, of Sauk County, located a gun-deer hunter sitting in a parked vehicle in a field near Highland in Iowa County. The hunter did not have a valid gun-deer hunting license, possessed a loaded deer rifle in the vehicle, and did not have a valid driver’s license.
Wardens Erickson and Olson responded to a call of someone shooting from the road near Bagley in Grant County. It was near dark on Sunday of opening weekend of the gun-deer season. The wardens were only minutes away from the location and contacted the person as he pulled into a residence on a side road. The man shot from the vehicle on the road and was not wearing blaze orange or pink. The man fled and left the doe in the field when other vehicles drove past.
Warden Joe Frost joined Erickson and Olson after dark and followed up on another shoot-from-road complaint on the same road. The wardens found the group involved in the second complaint had shot a small buck from the road. In both cases, witnesses were hunting on adjoining private property and observed the violations.
Warden Frost checked two hunters in a vehicle at a public hunting ground and learned both had driven to the property from another nearby piece of public land with loaded rifles in the vehicle. Frost learned the hunters shot a deer before close of hunting hours. They were traveling back out to pick up the deer when they saw a coyote and shot at it almost 40 minutes after the close of hunting hours. The hunter did not have a small game hunting license.
Wardens Frost and Pearl Worden investigated a baiting case on opening morning near Cassville in Grant County. Eleven hunters were hunting the property, five of which were hunting stands baited with corn, apples, minerals, and/or salt. Two hunters had shot bucks during the bow season from these baited stands. Two other hunters did not have gun-deer hunting licenses.
Numerous other violations were also discovered, and enforcement action was taken on eight hunters in the group.
Wardens Jane Voskuilen, of Lafayette County, and Frost investigated a call of a hunter who trespassed onto a neighbor’s field and shot at deer after hunting hours and without wearing blaze orange.
Wardens Voskuilen and Frost patrolled the Yellowstone Lake Wildlife Area and contacted dozens of hunters on public and private land. Three hunters were contacted with loaded guns in their vehicles or on an ATV. Another hunter was found to not have a hunting license.
Warden Frost observed a hunter from the state of Iowa on private land in Grant County. As the hunter saw the truck approach after the close of hunting hours, he ran to his truck and jumped into the vehicle with his loaded rifle. The hunter was trying to hide because he did not have a hunting license.
Green Bay Team/December
Wardens Collin Sherod, of Green Bay, and James Moore, of Kewaunee, investigated a complaint of an individual harvesting a deer during a period of revocation. The wardens found the individual knew his hunting privileges were revoked and chose to hunt regardless. The hunter shot a buck with a crossbow.
Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, checked individuals who were ice fishing on Berry Lake and found one person fishing without a license. It was also found the individual hunted waterfowl without a small game license and HIP survey.
Wardens Hartrick and Sherod investigated a complaint of an individual failing to register a buck. They found the individual didn’t register the buck and also hunted over bait.
Lake Winnebago Team/December
Wardens Zack Seitz, of Shiocton, and Josh Voelker, of Neenah, responded to a complaint of late shots during the gun-deer season. The wardens found that an individual had shot a deer over a large pile of apples after legal shooting hours ended for the day.
Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, joined local law enforcement officers and fire fighters for the annual “Handcuff Hunger” community food drive in Weyauwega. Food and money was raised for local food pantries to benefit families in need.
Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Jonathan Kaiser joined the Clintonville Police Department for the “Gutter Busters” bowling event in Clintonville. The event offers a fun way to bring in area kids for an afternoon of bowling and lunch with area officers. The goal is to form the foundation for lasting positive relationships.
Wardens Jeffrey Nieling, of Fremont, Kernosky, and Jonathan Kaiser joined other area officers for the Shop with a Cop event in Waupaca County to help families in need.