DNR shares snippets of deer-gun season storiesThe Wisconsin DNR issued its final 2012 gun-deer reports Tuesday.
The Wisconsin DNR issued its final 2012 gun-deer reports Tuesday. They included statistics, but also stories of what wardens saw during the season. Here are a few of the local incidents they shared.
Mentored hunting and other positive stories
Warden Dave Oginski (Ashland) contacted an 86 year-old hunter in Iron County who was hunting along with his longtime hunting partner and a grandson; the senior hunter said the two have hunted together for the last 50 years.
Warden Dave Oginski (Ashland) was driving in a remote part of southern Iron County and came upon a 15 year-old hunter who explained he was running 4 miles to get back to camp after harvesting a doe. After talking with the excited young hunter, Oginski asked why someone would drop him off so far from camp to hunt. He calmly advised that he runs cross country marathons and plays basketball and has not done any practice or running for a couple days so it would be good exercise for him. The youth said “I don’t think they thought I’d actually shoot a deer.”
Within the first 2 hours on opening day, Warden Amie Egstad (Bayfield) contacted a father and son who were dragging out a buck fawn shot by the youngster. It was the youngster’s first deer and the father was proud of the patience taken by his son before he shot making sure it was a good shot. Egstad recognized the youth as a student in a recent Learn to Hunt Pheasant program. Egstad congratulated the boy on his successful deer hunt!
Warden Dave Swanson of Minong reported registering a wolf for a hunter that had exhibited exceptional ethical and sportsman-like behavior. The hunter had been hunting wolf unsuccessfully for several days when 4 animals finally came into range. The hunter noticed that one wolf was limping. It was a much less prime specimen of the group of animals. The hunter chose to harvest the injured animal. Swanson praised him for putting ethics and sportsmanship above the pursuit of a personal trophy.
Search and rescue efforts
Warden Amie Egstad (Bayfield ) was on patrol east of Cornucopia in Bayfield County when a fire call came out over the radio. Egstad was nearby and the first officer to respond to find a fully engulfed mobile home. She found one of the trailer owners and neighbors trying to remove items from the mobile home being used as a hunting camp. Apparently the wind had blown an outside campfire towards the trailer causing it to ignite. No one was hurt.
Warden Amie Egstad (Bayfield) and Deputy Warden Lynna Gurnoe stopped to talk with some folks standing by parked vehicles on a town road. The woman asked if Egstad could help to locate one of her relatives who had posted on his Facebook page at about 1:30 pm that he was lost near the town road where his vehicle was parked. The woman said she was trying to talk to him direct, but she did not know which way he had gone into the woods or if he could hear her car horn. Egstad used the squad truck siren a few times and the hunter came out to the road about 150 yards south of his vehicle.
Wardens Lance Burns (Gordon) and Brad Biser (Brule) responded to a report of a 12 year-old boy who became lost while hunting. He came out safely and wardens talked with adult hunting party about being in sight and voice contact with a 12 year-old hunter.
Warden Jill Schartner (Drummond) decided to take the morning off, well kind of anyway. Schartner did promise her 3 nephews that she would hunt with them at least one day during this gun deer season, but like most wardens, Schartner wasn’t completely off duty. On the previous night just before dark not 200 yards from Schartner’s driveway, two hunters stepped from their truck, rested their rifle on the doors, and shot at two deer which were also standing on the roadway. Chunks of bone and a blood trail told the hunters at least one of them had hit their mark, but when they saw Schartner’s family approaching, they placed orange marking tape on the blood trail and quickly left the area. Schartner knew it would be only a matter of time before the hunters returned, so she spent most of the evening watching the snow storm and empty roadway. In the morning Schartner set up her deer stand not far from the roadway, a location where she could see her property, watch an open field for deer, talk to her nephews on the radio and watch the roadway for the hunters’ return. And return they did, but this time they brought their fathers who were unaware the boys had shot the deer from the roadway. The evidence was obvious and the confession came quickly. One of the fathers asked, “Jill, do you live here?” at which time the father told the boys, “bad enough you decide to violate, you do it right in the wardens driveway.” He then made certain the boys had apologized.
Warden Lance Burns (Gordon) had investigated a complaint and found an illegal gravity feeder before the season. Warden Burns checked the area on the Friday evening before gun deer season and found a 12 year old subject hunting for deer with a bow and arrow over the illegal feeder. The father was later contacted and found to also be hunting deer with a bow and arrow. It was found that the father also did not have an archery license and archery season was closed. Neither subjects had their back tags on and there were also violations of illegal stands and ATV use. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Matt MacKenzie (Ashland) seized about 4 pounds of marijuana from a person. This case was handed over to MacKenzie from Warden Jim Stone (GLIFWC) for deer hunting without a license. MacKenzie started an investigation with help from Wardens Stone, Oginski and Warden Mike Soulier (GLIFWC). During Mackenzie’s contact with the suspect, he admitted to the license violation and it was determined he possessed marijuana. An attempt to turn that portion of the investigation over to the county was hampered by a shortage of county officers available. They requested MacKenzie complete the seizure of evidence for the possession case for their follow up later. The amount of marijuana appears to be from a grow operation.
Warden Brad Biser (Brule) responded to a lost hunter case in Bayfield County off Tarpaper Alley. The hunter was located prior to arrival, but when interviewing persons present, four deer were found to be improperly tagged. Two deer were seized, and a citation was issued.
Warden Brad Biser (Brule) and Deputy Warden Kevin Feind citing a hunter for driving on state land with ATV and placing tree stands on state property. Another hunter at the camp was interviewed and cited for improper license purchase due to his non-resident status.