Investigations; searches. 29.924(1)
The department and its wardens shall, upon receiving notice or information of the violation of any laws cited ins. 29.921 (1), as soon as possible make a thorough investigation and institute proceedings if the evidence warrants it.
(2) Driving without headlights.
In the performance of their law enforcement duties, wardens may operate motor vehicles owned or leased by the department upon a highway, other than an interstate, a state trunk highway or any highway within the limits of any incorporated area, during hours of darkness without lighted headlamps, tail lamps or clearance lamps, contrary to s. 347.06
, if the driving will aid in the accomplishment of a lawful arrest for violation of this chapter or in ascertaining whether a violation of this chapter has been or is about to be committed. Any civil action or proceeding brought against any warden operating a motor vehicle under this subsection is subject to ss. 893.82
(3) Opening packages.
The department and its wardens may examine and open any package in the possession of a common carrier which they have probable cause to believe contains wild animals in violation of this chapter, or carcasses, or is falsely labeled in violation of this chapter. Each common carrier and its agent or employee shall permit the officer to examine and open the package. Any opened package shall be restored to its original condition.
(4) Access to storage places.
The owner or occupant of any cold-storage warehouse or building used for the storage or retention of wild animals or carcasses shall permit the department and its wardens to enter and examine the premises subject to s. 66.0119
. The owner or occupant, or the agent or employee of the owner or occupant, shall deliver to the officer any wild animal or carcass, in his or her possession during the closed season, whether taken within or without the state.
NOTE: Sub. (4) is shown as affected by two acts of the 1999 legislature and as merged by the revisor under s. 13.93 (2) (c).
(5) Access to private land.
The department may, after making reasonable efforts to notify the owner or occupant, enter private lands to retrieve or diagnose dead or diseased wild animals and take actions reasonably necessary to prevent the spread of contagious disease in the wild animals.
History: 1997 a. 248
; 1999 a. 83
; 1999 a. 150
; 13.93 (2) (c).
The following are declared public nuisances:
Any unlicensed, untagged or unmarked net of any kind, or other unlicensed, untagged or unmarked device for fishing.
Any licensed, tagged or marked net or other device for fishing set, placed, or found in any waters where it is prohibited to be used, or in a manner prohibited by this chapter.
Any unlicensed, untagged or unmarked setline, cable, rope, or line, with more than one fish line attached.
Any licensed, tagged or marked setline set, placed, or found in any waters where it is prohibited to be used, or in a manner prohibited by this chapter.
Any fish line left in the water unattended, whether having one or more hooks attached.
Any long tunnel pound net or similar entrapping net other than the legal fyke net, drop net, submarine trap net and the short tunnel pound net whenever found in outlying waters or on any boat, dock, pier or wharf or in any building or vehicle on or adjacent to outlying waters. Any nets found as described in this subsection shall be sufficient evidence of the use of the nets by the owner.
Any device set in public waters to prevent the free passage of fish, or set in any stream which has been stocked by the state unless authorized by the department.
Any permanent or temporary structure placed, occupied, or used on the ice of any waters in violation of this chapter.
Any unlicensed trap, snare, spring gun, set gun, net or other device which might entrap, ensnare, or kill game.
Any trap without a metal tag attached as required by law.
Any boat, together with its tackle and equipment.
Any lamp, light, gun, firearm, ammunition, bow, crossbow or arrow used in violation of this chapter or s. 167.31
or any rules promulgated under s. 167.31
Any boat, floating raft, box, or blind set in open water and used in hunting game birds.
Any decoys left in the water unattended.
Any dog found running deer, except farm-raised deer, at any time, or used in violation of this chapter.
Any ferret, rat, weasel, or guinea pig in possession or used while hunting.
Any motor vehicle, boat, aircraft, remote sensing equipment, navigational device, survey equipment, scuba gear or other equipment or device used in the commission of a crime relating to a submerged cultural resource in violation of s. 44.47
Seizure and confiscation of wild animals or plants.
The department and its wardens shall seize and confiscate any wild animal, carcass or plant caught, killed, taken, had in possession or under control, sold or transported in violation of this chapter and the officer may, with or without warrant, open, enter and examine all buildings, camps, boats on inland or outlying waters, vehicles, valises, packages and other places where the officer has probable cause to believe that wild animals, carcasses or plants, taken or held in violation of this chapter, are to be found.
(2) Seizure and confiscation of objects; sale of perishable property. 29.931(2)(a)(a)
The department and its wardens shall seize and hold, subject to the order of the court for the county in which the alleged offense was committed, any vehicle, boat or object declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance, or which they have probable cause to believe is being used in violation of this chapter or s. 167.31
or is being used in the commission of a crime relating to a submerged cultural resource in violation of s. 44.47
. If it is proven that the vehicle, boat or object is a public nuisance or that within 6 months previous to the seizure the vehicle, boat or object was used in violation of this chapter or s. 167.31
or was used in the commission of a crime relating to a submerged cultural resource in violation of s. 44.47
, it shall be confiscated if the court directs in its order for judgment.
Any perishable property seized by the department or its wardens may be sold at the highest available price, and the proceeds of the sale turned into court for disposition as the court directs.
(3) Entire shipment affected.
Confiscation of any part of a shipment under this section shall include the entire shipment.
History: 1997 a. 248
Sale of confiscated game and objects. 29.934(1)(a)(a)
All wild animals, carcasses or plants that are confiscated by the department and all confiscated vehicles, boats or objects shall, if not destroyed as authorized by law, be sold at the highest price obtainable, by the department, or by an agent on commission under supervision of the department. The net proceeds of sales under this subsection, after deducting the expense of seizure and sale and any commissions and any amounts owing to holders of security interests under par. (c)
, shall be remitted to the department. The remittance shall be accompanied by a report of the sales, supported by vouchers for expenses and commissions, and shall be filed with the department.
Of the remittance from the sales of confiscated vehicles, boats or objects, 18% shall be paid into the conservation fund to reimburse it for expenses incurred in seizure and sale, and the remaining 82% shall be paid into the common school fund.
In the case of the sale of a confiscated motor vehicle, the department shall make a reasonable effort, within 10 days after seizure, to ascertain if a security interest in the seized motor vehicle exists. The department shall, within 10 days after obtaining actual or constructive notice of any security interest in the seized motor vehicle, give the secured party notice of the time and place when there is to be any proceeding before a court pertaining to the confiscation of the motor vehicle. Constructive notice shall be limited to security interests perfected by filing.
The time of sale of the confiscated motor vehicle shall be within 20 days after judgment of confiscation as provided in s. 29.931 (2)
. The department shall give each secured party discovered in accordance with subd. 1.
at least 10 days' notice of the time and place of sale of the motor vehicle.
If the holder of a security interest in the confiscated motor vehicle, perfected by filing, proves to the court, or after judgment of confiscation, to the department, that the violation that led to the confiscation was not with the knowledge, consent or connivance of the holder of the security interest or with that of some person employed or trusted by the holder of the security interest, the amount due under the security agreement, together with any other deductions authorized under par. (a)
, shall be deducted from the proceeds of the sale of the confiscated motor vehicle and the amount due shall be paid to the one entitled. If a sufficient amount does not remain for the full payment of the amount due under the security agreement after making the other deductions authorized under par. (a)
, the amount remaining shall be paid to the one entitled.
This subsection does not apply to a deer killed, or so injured that it must be killed, by a collision with a motor vehicle on a highway. For purposes of this subsection, "deer" does not include farm-raised deer.
On any sales under this section of wild animals or carcasses, the department or the agent selling them shall issue to each purchaser a certificate, on forms prepared and furnished by the department, covering the sales. The wild animals or carcasses so purchased shall be consumed or otherwise disposed of by the purchaser within a period to be set by the department, but may not be resold or exchanged, in whole or in part, to any other person, except as provided in sub. (3)
Confiscated fish or game sold under this section to the owner or operator of a restaurant may be served to customers. The certificate covering the purchase shall be hung in public view in the place where the fish or game is served, and the fish or game shall at the time of sale be tagged by the department or the agent selling it. The tag shall show the date of sale and shall be returned to the department or agent within 5 days after the sale.
Distribution of fish and game to food distribution services. 29.936(1)(1)
Notwithstanding s. 29.934
, the department may distribute for free carcasses from fish and game seized or confiscated under s. 29.931
that are suitable for eating to food distribution services. The department may have the fish or game that is seized or confiscated processed before distributing that fish or game to food distribution services. The department may collect the costs of the processing of the fish or game from the person from whom the fish and game was seized or confiscated.
The department may notify the person from whom the fish or game was seized or confiscated under s. 29.931
that he or she is liable for the costs incurred by the department for processing the fish or game under this section. The notification shall be mailed to the person's last-known address and shall include the amount that the person is required to pay as well as the address where payment shall be sent.
If a person fails to pay the processing costs as requested under sub. (2)
, the department may submit a certification under oath to the clerk of circuit court in the county where the processed fish or game was seized or confiscated. The certification shall state the amount of processing costs unpaid, the name and last-known address of the person who is liable for those costs and such other information as the court considers necessary. The court shall order that the amount certified by the department be a judgment on behalf of the state and against the person if the person fails to submit a written objection to the court within 30 days after the court receives the certification from the department unless the department notifies the court that the envelope including the certification mailed to the person under sub. (4)
was returned unopened to the department. If the person timely submits a written objection to the certification, the court shall consider the objection to be a complaint in a civil action and proceed under the rules of procedure under chs. 799
, without requiring the service of a summons or the payment of filing fees.
On the same day that the department submits the certification to the court, the department shall send a copy of the certification to the person at his or her last-known address by 1st class mail. Mailing of the certification shall be considered service of that certification when it is mailed unless the envelope containing the certification is returned unopened to the department. The department shall include with the certification a notice informing the person of all of the following:
That, if the person fails to submit a written objection to the court within 30 days after the court receives the certification from the department, the court shall order that the amount certified by the department be a judgment on behalf of the state and against the person.
The name and address of the circuit court where the certification was submitted and the date of that submittal.
That, if the person timely objects to the certification, the objection will be considered a complaint for purposes of the commencement of a civil suit under ch. 799
That the person is required to submit a copy of the objection to the department at the time that he or she submits the objection to the clerk of circuit court.
The address of the department where the person is required to submit a copy of the objection.
The department shall mail the certification under sub. (4)
in an envelope that includes the department's return address. The department shall notify the court if the envelope is returned to the department unopened.
History: 1997 a. 321
; 1999 a. 9
Assistance of law enforcement officers.
All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are deputy conservation wardens, and shall assist the department and its wardens in the enforcement of this chapter whenever notice of a violation is given to them by the department or its wardens.
History: 1979 c. 110
; 1997 a. 248
; Stats. 1997 s. 29.941.
Exemption from liability.
Members of the natural resources board, and each warden, in the performance of official duties, are exempt from liability to any person for acts done or permitted or property destroyed by authority of law. No taxable costs or attorney fees shall be allowed to either party in an action against a member of the natural resources board or a warden.
History: 1997 a. 248
Law enforcement aid program; spearfishing. 29.947(1)(1)
As used in this section:
"Additional law enforcement services" means an extraordinary type or level of service which is not normally provided or budgeted for by a law enforcement agency.
"Municipality" means any city, village or town.
"Spearfishing" means a method of taking fish which is authorized by an agreement negotiated between the state and the members of federally recognized American Indian tribes or bands domiciled in Wisconsin relating to the tribes' or bands' treaty-based, off-reservation rights to hunt, fish and gather.
(2) Participating county or municipality.
In order to be eligible to receive reimbursement from the department for costs incurred on or after August 1, 1987, by law enforcement agencies in response to members of federally recognized American Indian tribes exercising or attempting to exercise their right to engage in spearfishing, a county or municipality must do all of the following:
Maintain daily records of any costs for additional law enforcement services incurred by law enforcement agencies that are directly related to spearfishing and make the daily records available, upon request, to the department for inspection at periodic times during normal business hours.
Filing of application.
File an application for aid with the department by July 1 of the calendar year in which additional law enforcement services are provided, specifying all of the following:
The names and salaries of the officials who provided additional law enforcement services during the spearfishing season.
Any other costs, as specified by the department, incurred by the county or municipality that are directly attributable to providing additional law enforcement services during the spearfishing season.
A county or municipality that has filed an application for aid under par. (c)
by July 1 of a calendar year in which additional law enforcement services are provided may amend that application before August 1 of that calendar year.
Except as provided under par. (c)
, the department may pay each participating county or municipality up to 100% of the county's or municipality's actual costs that are directly attributable to providing additional law enforcement services during the spearfishing season. The department shall make any aid payments from the appropriations under s. 20.370 (5) (ea)
by September 30 of the calendar year in which the county or municipality files an application under sub. (2) (c)
. The department may not make an aid payment unless the payment is approved by the secretary of administration.
Prorated payments allowed.
If the total amount of reimbursable costs under par. (a)
exceeds the amount available for payments under s. 20.370 (5) (ea)
, the department may prorate payments to participating counties and municipalities.
Resisting a warden.
Any person who assaults or otherwise resists or obstructs any warden in the performance of duty shall be subject to the penalty specified in s. 939.51 (3) (a)
History: 1975 c. 365
; 1979 c. 34
; 1981 c. 20
; 1993 a. 137
; 1997 a. 248
; Stats. 1997 s. 29.951.
False impersonation of warden.
Any person who falsely represents himself or herself to be a warden or who assumes to act as a warden without having been first duly appointed shall be subject to the penalty specified in s. 939.51 (3) (a)
History: 1975 c. 365
; 1979 c. 34
; 1981 c. 20
; 1993 a. 137
; 1997 a. 248
; Stats. 1997 s. 29.954.
Breaking seals of department.
Any person who breaks, removes or interferes with any seal or tag attached to any animal, carcass or object by the department, or who interferes with any animal, carcass or object with a seal or tag attached, or who counterfeits a seal or tag, attached or unattached, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days or both.
History: 1975 c. 365
; 1979 c. 34
; 1981 c. 20
; 1997 a. 248
; Stats. 1997 s. 29.957.
Incorrect information. 29.961(1)
Any person who provides incorrect information and thereby obtains an approval issued under this chapter to which the person is not entitled: