Chief Warden: What Would You Like to Know?

New chief urges WWA members to offer column ideas

An article from WWA’s Words From The Wardens.

This article originally appeared in Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s February 2020 eNewsletter.

Justice Daniel Kelly Administers the oath of office to Wisconsin’s Chief Conservation Warden Casey Krueger.

By WDNR Chief Warden Casey Krueger

On January 9, Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly stood before me in the State Capitol to administer my oath of office as the next chief conservation warden.

The fact that this swearing-in ceremony took place in the ‘People’s House’ – the Wisconsin State Assembly Chambers – was not lost on me. My family witnessed the ceremony from their front row seats as the Bureau of Law Enforcement employees stood nearby in silence. Former wardens and former chief wardens were there, too.

I wanted to take the opportunity in this  month’s column space to introduce myself to you as we start the new year and new decade; and, to tell all the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association members how much the wardens appreciate the partnership we share in protecting our state’s natural resources. Before I get into my background, I want each of you to know the wardens and all the employees of the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement are here to serve you – to be your partners and asset in your outstanding dedication to the natural resources and waterfowl.

One way we can serve you is to answer the questions you have in these monthly warden columns in your newsletter. So, please ensure you submit your ideas to our public information officer, Joanne Haas –, and she will work with our staff to provide answers in future columns.

Here’s a bit about me and my philosophy about leading our bureau. My philosophy has always been we are all in this together taking care of our air, land and water – and each other. We have an incredible state, brimming with natural resources known nationally for our recreational opportunities.

I was born and raised in Antigo, where my family ran a construction company. Langlade County was a great place to grow up. I knew from about 10 years old that I was destined to be a conservation warden. In my 22 years as a warden before being sworn in as chief, I was fortunate to have been stationed in the northern and southern portions of the state, which gives me a solid understanding of the variety Wisconsin is so fortunate to have.

After high school I headed to the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree. Then, I started my career.

I was hired by the DNR in January 1998 and was proud to wear the badge of a field warden in Oconto and Columbia counties. Some of you may remember me from my Columbia County days as it was during those years that I attended your WWA banquets and enjoyed working with your association on a wildlife seed food plot program.

I worked with WWA staff and distributed wildlife plot seed purchased by the WWA to provide to landowners. I distributed the seed and it was a conduit for me to discuss the importance that wildlife plots provide, as well as have discussions with landowners on wildlife management and other natural resource issues. This was a great program not only for the landowners and wildlife in the area as it also greatly assisted in helping develop partnerships with the citizens of Columbia County.

After Columbia County, I was promoted to lieutenant and headed to northern Lincoln County to lead the Park Falls Warden Team in 2008. In 2012 I promoted to captain and worked in Dane County  leading the South-Central Region’s law enforcement programs. From there I was promoted to chief.

I am honored and humbled to wear the badge and look forward to continuing the strong partnership wardens and the bureau enjoys with the WWA. Working together I am confident we will have continued success with enhancing our natural resources.

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The Hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay reported information to conservation wardens.