Newsline 9 rides along with the DNR during the hunt
MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
Hundreds of thousands of hunters are in the woods this week for the gun deer season.
Newsline 9 went on a ride-along to see just how busy DNR wardens are this time of the year.
For Warden Ben Herzfeldt, each day is different.
"You rarely get a complaint and close it out the same day. They usually take time," he said.
The complaints are never the same.
"We spend a lot of time out of the truck, especially during our hunting seasons, walking around the woods, where people are doing their hunting, where they're parking, whatever the complaint dictates," said Herzfeldt.
On the ride through southern Marathon County, the warden investigates reports of someone illegally hunting.
"They're actually hunting from the road, so that makes it quite a bit easier, so we just have to see if they're hunting from the road," said Herzfeldt.
There's not much to see – Herzfeldt says mid-week is typically slower. But he says he'll check out the area again later this week.
Then the warden comes across two hunters. One just scored an eight-point buck.
The warden registers the deer, checks the hunters' guns, and wishes them luck.
Herzfeldt says not every call is so easy.
"A guy shot the deer on opening day, put them on the back of his truck, and when he went out to hunt he parked on the side of the road, came back from hunting and his deer were gone," said Herzfeldt.
Officials say the deer were taken from the town of Plover in Marathon County. The DNR hopes someone will let them know what happened.
"Larceny wild game is actually a crime in the state of Wisconsin. So if anybody were to steal a game animal, including a deer from somebody, they could be charged criminally," said Herzfeldt.
From registering deer to investigating crimes, that's just a day in the life of a DNR warden.