Weekly Minnesota Conservation Officer Report:


Wanna know what’s been going on in your neck of the woods?   Read here:

Courtesy of Rich Sprouse, Minnesota DNR Public Information Officer.

Contact:             800-366-8917, Ext 2511





District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area goose and bear hunters throughout the week. The first migrant birds came in Tuesday night with a northwest wind and goose hunting success has gone up significantly. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with an ATV crash near Swift. Violations for the week included hunting geese with an unplugged shotgun and other federal migratory bird hunting violations.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked bear and early goose hunting activity. Anglers were checked and a complaint of illegal ATV activity was investigated. A detail at the Warroad Port of Entry was worked. A possible grey wolf depredation was investigated as was illegal burning activity.


CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) work early goose season activity and investigated a double tripping complaint on panfish. An AIS check station detail was worked and equipment maintenance was performed for fall activities. Very few youth were observed during the youth waterfowl day.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked a border detail over the Labor Day holiday. Time was spent monitoring anglers on Upper Red Lake and checking bear and goose hunters.  CO Regas investigated a possible shoreline alteration violation on Upper Red Lake.  Enforcement actions for the week included over limit of walleye, transport walleye without skin patch, AIS violations, and take wild animals without license/validation in possession.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, goose hunting, and bear hunting activity throughout the week. Bear hunters are reporting mixed success, but several large bears have been taken. Early Goose hunting success was very high, but warm weather kept many hunters out of the fields. An AIS detail was worked with most boaters found in compliance.  Enforcement action taken during the week included fishing and AIS violations.


Baudette -vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class in Crookston. Time was also spent checking anglers, goose hunters, bear hunters, and watercraft operators. Wildlife related complaints and fires were also checked.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ricing, ATVs, boating, angling, public access violations, early goose and bear hunting. He also did a waters site inspection and responded to an injured swan and loon.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked goose and bear hunters. ATV activity was also monitored.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored early goose hunters in the Bemidji area. Hunters are reporting mixed success. CO Vollbrecht assisted with an AIS check station in LOW County. Officer assisted Beltrami County with a house fire which was started by an unattended gas grill. Time was spent doing follow up on unpaid state park stickers and people harvesting wild rice.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week monitoring angling, wild rice harvesting and bear hunting activity. CO Holt also participated in an AIS check station in Lake of the Woods County. Enforcement activity for the week included illegal possession of a big game animal, harvesting wild rice without a license, watercraft registration violation, AIS violations and boat and water safety violations.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports answering questions about bear baiting, youth hunting licenses and how to clear up the inability to purchase a hunting license due to having their privileges suspended for failing to appear or pay their fines from ice fishing season.  Wild rice gatherers are commenting on how sparse the rice is once they get into it.


CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) assisted with an AIS check station in LOW County. CO Seefeldt checked goose hunters who report seeing more geese in the area. Bear hunting activity was monitored although bear movement has been limited with warm temperatures.  CO Seefeldt received calls regarding the upcoming deer season and youth firearms safety classes.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked bear hunters and anglers. Hunters reported less hunting pressure. Enforcement action was taken for an untagged bear. Angling activity was light but several anglers were checked with a mixed bag of fish. Complaints of ATV’s in a closed area and another dead heifer were reported in an ongoing case.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked angling and boating activity on area lakes. AIS compliance checks were performed at local accesses. CO Forsberg checked goose and dove hunters who were having limited success. Aquatic vegetation permit violations were investigated and enforcement action was taken.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking AIS compliance with District 1 on a Canadian Port of Entry Detail. Time was also spent following up on WCA and APM complaints. An AIS check station was worked in District 1. AIS compliance was worked at public access points around the Becker and Otter Tail County areas.


Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports more geese and ducks moved into the area.  Richards spoke at a DU mentoring group on the eve of the youth waterfowl hunt at the Prairie Wetlands Center in Fergus Falls. Questions were answered during the week on various topics and a wetland violation complaint was looked at. Enforcement efforts focused on waterfowl hunting and angling.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked fishing and boating activity through the week as well as dove and bear hunters. Additional time was spent answering questions related to fall hunting activities.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked primarily fishermen, boaters, dove and goose hunters. Nelson found only two groups of kids out on youth waterfowl day. Additional time was spent checking turtle trappers and meeting with firearms safety instructors to set up a class.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters and early goose hunters.  Complaints were received and investigated in the Alexandria area. Osborne reminds boaters that throwable PFDs are required on all boats 16 feet long or longer. There have been more geese in the area the last few days giving more opportunities for goose hunters.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) had a busy first week of September. Early goose season is underway with several hunters out in the fields having good success. Time was spent working both boating and fishing activity over the busy Labor Day Holiday. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license. CO Lawler assisted CO Bermel in the BWCA for a fishing enforcement detail. Several groups were contacted with a few violations observed including fishing w/o license in possession and unregistered watercraft.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) spent time checking goose and dove hunters and scouting for upcoming hunting seasons. Additional time was spent working fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement, both in the Osakis/Alex area as well as Otter Tail County. Time was spent responding to various complaints from the public, coordinating fall FAS classes, and closing out aquatic vegetation and wetland cases.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) concentrated enforcement efforts on goose hunters, ATV complaints and fishing activity on area lakes. Only a few kids were out taking advantage of the youth waterfowl day with the warm weather. Anderson assisted Glenwood Police Department with a possible wanted fugitive in a local motel call. CO’s Anderson and Nelson assisted the Wheaton Police Department with a search warrant execution and a dangerous dog’s at large call in Wheaton. The officers also stopped a vehicle that was driving erratically near Browns Valley over the weekend. The driver was found to be an unlicensed 14-year-old with two younger passengers. An uncased loaded firearm was also discovered in the vehicle. The other two younger kids were hunting the youth waterfowl day without the required adult mentor along. The 14-year-old’s parent was cited. The parent admitted to giving him permission to drive the vehicle to go hunting. Calls were fielded regarding a nuisance beaver complaint, waterfowl hunting, deer season questions and disability permit questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, and PWC operators. Time was also spent investigating illegal irrigation, checking ATV operators, dove, and goose hunters. Baumbarger attended a meeting in Fergus Falls, and answered questions about upcoming bow season. Enforcement action was taken for appropriating water without a permit, fishing without a license, and various B&W safety violations.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) reports maple leaves are turning color, acorns are falling, and flocks of geese are in the air. He assisted other local law enforcement agencies with a drug case and ATV enforcement issues. Officer Parthun also checked anglers, bear baits, bear hunters, and addressed a complaint related to a shore land ordinance.


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked the youth waterfowl opener and found many young hunters out with their mentors and fathers. He also monitored goose hunting activities and assisted local fire departments with a grassland/field fire that was accidentally started.  Enforcement action was taken for the use of lead shot.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, OHV, and bear hunting activity. He assisted the U.S. Forest Service with the report of a possible mountain lion sighting in the Cass Lake work station and referred two nuisance animal calls to the area DNR Wildlife office. Officer Sommers also conducted an investigation into an overlimit of fish resulting in enforcement action and the seizure of 30 crappies from two individuals from Illinois.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and bear hunters. Walleye fishing was slow. He also received calls about bear hunters arguing over a hunting location.  Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line, no life jackets on a boat, and no angling license in possession.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, bear hunting, and ATV activity. Bear hunting and angling success continues to be limited in the Longville area. Early goose hunters are having poor success with many hunters seeing low numbers of geese. CO Broughten observed few youth taking advantage of youth waterfowl day. He also assisted the local sheriff’s office in locating a lost person.


Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala performed a site visit to a WCA violation site where an illegal ditch was created, which resulted in a Restoration Order being issued.  The ditch had been filled back in to original condition fulfilling the requirements of the order.  He also met with local SWCD personnel to discuss ongoing WCA issues. Officer Siltala also received a call of a strange looking snake in a local business. One witness stated the snake looked like an escaped cobra. He responded to the call and determined that the snake was an eastern hognose.  The snake is a native to Minnesota, predominately in the eastern third of the state, and when provoked it will flatten its head and neck area resembling the look of a cobra. CO Siltala gave the snake a ride to a remote area and released back into the wild.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking bear hunting activity which involved complaints of trespassing, unregistered baits, illegal baits, and guiding without a guide license. Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Trails End Chapter Young Day was attended where approximately 125+ area young learned about gun safety, deer habitat, archery, orienteering, tree stands, and several other aspects of hunting. Fishing enforcement was also part of this week’s activity on the Rainy River.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities. Very few ducks/geese in area and youth waterfowl hunting was a non-event with no youth hunters observed. Continued work on equipment and administrative tasks were completed, and phone calls returned.


CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports bear hunting remains slow. Hunters report the bears are hitting the baits, just well after or before shooting hours. Nuisance and injured animal calls continue. A few geese have shown up in the area. Very few grouse have been observed.


CO Dan Starr (Tower) kept busy this week with bear season issues and ATV issues. The fishing is picking up with some walleyes showing up. Administrative items were addressed, along with some nuisance animal complaints. Early goose hunters are having little success in the Tower area, as were youth waterfowl hunters with the warm weather.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, on-going hunting seasons and the state park. The officer worked angling complaints on Vermilion Lake with CO Fredin. An over limit of walleye was found after seeing boat anglers reel in a number of fish in the morning. The same anglers were found again in the evening in the same area with additional fish. Resource Protection Notifications were issued for aquatic plant removal and another for a public waters violation for disturbance of the shoreline below the ordinary high water level. Other enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession and a number of boating violations.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on complaints of landowners filling wetlands adjacent to lakes and is investigating reports of bear hunters hunting in the wrong zone. Few bear hunters have been seen out and very little success has been observed. Several trespass cases have been dealt with and those who choose to trespass on another’s property are receiving citations for doing so. Only a handful of young duck hunters were seen out for youth waterfowl day.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) continued to receive nuisance beaver complaints. Time was spent checking bear hunters; wild ricing and Youth Waterfowl Hunt participants. A work detail was conducted on Lake Vermilion that resulted in an over limit of fish charge.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports warm weather arrived again early last week, and recently there has been some relief from the constant biting flies and mosquitoes. Bear hunting activity was still steady with only a few hunters being successful, but most reporting at least some of their baits being visited. Violations included fail to register a bait station, no ID on bait station, and bait with solid waste.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) received calls about bears and beavers, as well as wetlands and dock violations. While launching a boat at the landing, a collared wolf walked right down the road and on by within 20 yards and never even looked up. The officer recalls behavior like that didn’t happen 20 years ago. Remember that the small mouth bass season is closing soon in some areas of the state.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other officers checking bear hunters. One hunter was found hunting in the wrong zone, another was found with a bait station that included a tin can. Five gallon buckets were also found stashed by one bait station. One person was talked to about leaving baiting items in the BWCA. Several baits were found to be unregistered and enforcement action will be taken. Another person was given a lesson on making sure he tells law enforcement about the loaded pistol on him in the future.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy bear hunting opening week. Hunters have reported good strikes to the baits, but few bears being taken. Bear hunters also report being happy with the new online bait registration system. Anglers and boaters were also checked on inland lakes and the officer took a report of a road constructed through a wetland.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of bear, early goose, angling, boating, and ATV enforcement. A BWCA detail was worked with CO Lawler in which a few fish were seen and increased waterfowl movement was observed. Enforcement action was taken for no federal waterfowl stamp, no state waterfowl stamp, unplugged gun, fail to register bear bait station, unregistered watercraft, no PFDs, unregistered ATV, ride ATV on county road, litter, and no fishing license in possession.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking bear hunters, ATV riders and anglers. The bear harvest is down so far this season, but a few nice bears were taken. Hunters are still hitting it hard in the woods trying their luck.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear season enforcement efforts in the Tofte and Grand Marais stations. Violations encountered included hunting in wrong zone, unregistered bear baits, and litter left at bait site. Murray also worked fishing activity in the vacant Silver Bay station and responded to a sick or injured bear report.


Silver Bay – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working bear hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken on one hunter for establishing an early bear bait, using non-biodegradable material, not registering bait stations and operating ATV on a Wildlife Management Area and State Forest land which resulted in a seizure of a bear and firearms. Wichmann also attended training in Duluth.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, ricing, angling, ATVing, big game, public waters and Wetland Conservation Act activities. Some black bear were harvested and angler success improved over the week. Young waterfowlers had a good day during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt. Some molt geese have returned through the area. Many underutilized Sora rail are moving through area rice marshes. Ricing and angling complaints were worked resulting in ricing during closed hours and in ricing without license violations observed.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, bear and goose hunters. He also taught an ATV safety class during the week.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked early goose activity, monitored bear hunting and taught the laws and ethics potion of a firearms safety class. The goose hunters had better success as the temperature cooled down towards the end of the week. Enforcement action was taken for violating a driver’s license restriction, no proof of insurance, no angling license in possession and one arrest for an outstanding warrant.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked bear hunting complaints, dealt with issues related to wild ricing, checked anglers, and patrolled for illegal ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ricing without a license and operating an ATV on a public highway.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) has spent the last couple weeks in California on western fires working security. A reminder to water recreation users, ricing season, angling, boating, and early goose hunting seasons are all in full swing, so be safe and polite to everyone using the resource.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) finished up some bear baiting issues over the week Enforcement action was taken for unregistered baits, non-biodegradable materials in a bear bait and ricing license violations. CO Sutherland also provided security for the state auction held over the weekend.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked bear baits in the Brookston area and assisted with the Nemadji State Forest. ATV complaint areas were worked and state forest ATV issues were investigated.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported several bear hunters were checked throughout the week. So far success has been very limited mostly due to the unseasonably warm temperature for the beginning of the season. A possible wetland violation site was visited by the officer and a colleague. Several contacts were had throughout the week with ATV riders for minor infractions.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked on several TIP calls during the week. The calls included two possible deer poaching incidents, possible goose hunting violations, and a possible fishing violation. All the TIP calls were investigated with some requiring continued follow up. Bear hunting enforcement continues to be worked. Officer Duncan also assisted local SO’s with a couple vehicle crashes involving alcohol and injuries.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, Early Goose, and bear hunting enforcement. CO Humphrey patrolled local Wildlife Management Areas. CO Humphrey checked ricers who enjoyed a good crop of wild rice.  Low water levels made access difficult in some places. CO Humphrey spoke with some first time waterfowl hunters out on youth waterfowl day. A lot of shooting and good numbers of birds were reported despite the hot summer weather. CO Humphrey followed up on wolf depredation cases. USDA Wildlife services reported several problem wolves being captured. Bear hunters and baits were checked. Hunters were reporting slower activity with bait hits at night likely due to the warm weather. Anglers were reporting mixed results on area lakes. Violations for OHV, invasive species, boating equipment and operation were encountered.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) worked at the State Fair on Labor Day answering questions for fair goers about general DNR questions as well as questions about hunting, fishing and AIS. Information about a possible wetland violation in Lake County was looked at that will result in a restoration order for impacts to a wetland. A Public Waters violation where an unknown person deposited class five gravel into a stream bed to repair a washed out culvert so they could regain access to the road was looked at.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor. Checked bear baits and hunters in the Duluth and Grand Marais stations. The warm weather has seemed to hamper the success of the bear hunters. Fielded questions on the upcoming hunting seasons. Received calls and comments of timber wolves being spotted in the city limits.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Salmon have continued to be very cooperative along the North Shore near Silver Bay and Tofte. Compliance with boating safety regulations has been very high on the big lake this year, a good sign of educated boaters. Wild rice harvest has begun in some spots, and the weekend found a few young hunters out for Youth Waterfowl Day. Enforcement action taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and bear hunters.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included checking goose hunting and wild rice harvesting activity, and responding to issues of wolf depredation on cattle, ATV/dirt bike trespass, suspected illegal hunting activity, and miscellaneous nuisance wildlife complaints.


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week on the Whitefish Chain who were reporting a so-so bite for walleye. Officer Lee attended training given by the Border Patrol to assist them with border protection in northern Minnesota. Officer Lee also checked bear hunters who were reporting that baits are being hit less frequently, due to weather and acorns starting to drop.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked early goose and bear hunting activity during the week. Complaints of aquatic vegetation removal and transporting aquatic vegetation were also received and investigated.


CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is slow with the most cooperative fish bass and sunfish. Violations were no license and not enough life jackets. He worked on complaints of aquatic vegetation cutting without a permit.  A complaint of an aquatic weed harvester parked and left unattended at a public access was investigated. He worked with WREO Haberman on AIS violations checking boats at various public accesses. Some of the violations observed were plugs in the boat while transporting, as well as aquatic vegetation on trailers. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. He checked horse passes and camping registrations in the Pillsbury Forest horse camp.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the area lake activity including complaints about late PWC operation and wildlife harassment. He also monitored the rice harvest, checked bear hunters, and assisted with a Hunter Education class.


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) was pleased to see youth waterfowl hunters taking advantage of the youth waterfowl weekend. Early goose hunters have been seeing some success and so have the ricers. Fishing remains slow in the area with anglers reporting a slow bite. Bear hunting reports remain good. A report of a wolf attacking a calf was investigated. The officer recovered an injured eagle and brought it to an animal hospital. A Firearms Safety Class took place in Isle and the officer spoke to the participants. Law enforcement action was taken on hunting bear with a no quota license in a quota area, hunting bear without a license, hunting bear over an unregistered bait station, storing equipment at a public access and operating an unregistered ATV.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working several bear hunting complaints during the week. These complaints included illegal trails in the state forest, possible posting of state land and a case of hunter harassment. The Officer worked an AIS detail during the week. As we approach the waterfowl season please remember to clean off your boat and trailer and to drain and leave out plugs when you are transporting your watercraft down the road. Multiple phone calls were fielded during the week and the Officer helped with a FAS class in the Garrison area. Mille Lacs Lake fishermen were monitored and most were reporting a slow bite. Enforcement action for the week included various ATV, AIS and big game violations.


CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) followed up on a trespass case. Charges are for gross misdemeanor trespass will be sought along with littering and failure to register a bait station.  Heaton checked several bear baits in the Nemadji State Forest. Violations detected included off trail travel and failure to sign a bait station. Heaton received information that a horse was attacked in the Sturgeon Lake area. This call is being investigated. She patrolled state forest trails for illegal ATV operation and other areas of complaints. Enforcement action was taken on an individual for operating a vehicle in a restricted area.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to be busy with bear hunting activity. Several hunters were checked that had success harvesting a bear and one hunter reported taking a bear that tipped the scales at over 600 pounds. Other hunters commented that their baits were not getting hit due to acorns becoming ripe and starting to fall. One bear hunting group that was checked reported seeing only a porcupine. The porcupine was harvested, butchered and made into a stew that was one of the best wild game dishes that CO Grundmeier had ever tasted.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about upcoming hunting seasons, checking hunters and anglers. He followed up on nuisance animal calls regarding injured hawks, bears in a tree in someone’s yard and questions about coyotes and skunks. He spent time working ATV complaint areas with enforcement contacts including allowing illegal juvenile operation on roadways, no helmets under 18 and failing to display valid registrations. He also spent time monitoring bear hunting activity and following up on ATV complaints in the local state forests.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked bear and early goose hunters during the week. A few geese are starting to show up around the area but with the fall harvest behind the hunting opportunities were minimal. A car kill deer permit was issued and a possible baiting complaint was handled.


WREO Rob Haberman conducted AIS enforcement around the Brainerd Lakes area. WREO Haberman patrolled state and county land on the Crow Wing and Cass counties line for bear hunters and ATV use off in non-motorized areas. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in his work area and scheduled site visits in Crow Wing and Pine counties.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked Boat and Water enforcement on the Mississippi river. Common violations found were boaters towing water skiers or tubers without an observer on board or have a mirror to use. A number of anglers were found to have not turned on their navigation lights after sunset. Calls of nuisance bear in a farmer’s corn, questions on disability crossbow permits, and Youth Waterfowl hunt day rules were taken. CO Kuske gave a law talk to the Kinship Firearms Safety class at the Eastern Morrison County Sportsman’s Club.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) believes the hot weather was a major factor for the minimal participation on youth waterfowl day; although, several groups of early goose hunters were checked. The Eastern Morrison County 4 Wheeler Club held an ATV safety training class and certified 40 youth. CO Kuske issued a citation to an ATV operator for careless reckless operation after he was observed burning doughnuts on a county road and weaving back and forth across the lanes of traffic. AIS checks were conducted at several area public accesses.  All boats were found to be in compliance with the law.


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Early goose hunters were few and far between. Weedroller compliance checks were conducted with DNR staff, with very poor compliance found on an area lake. Investigations on multiple violations are ongoing.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports checking angling and hunting activity. The officer took calls in vacant neighboring stations.


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers, and goose hunters. Youth duck opener was worked on Saturday. All groups of kids checked had opportunities to shoot. Some were more successful than others with mainly wood ducks seen in the bag. Enforcement action for the week included no type 4 PFD, no fire extinguisher in boat, and no angling license in possession.


CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters during the past week. Time was spent on invasive species enforcement and TIP calls as well. While CO Martin was getting ready for work, he witnessed a young man carrying a street sign and looking into cars (including Officer Martin’s squad) while walking down the alley at four o’clock in the morning. The young man was arrested with the assistance of the St. Cloud Police Dept., after running and hiding in a yard. Enforcement action included failure to drain water related equipment (X2) and unplugged shotgun.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and boaters. CO Mies worked goose hunters along with water complaints.


WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week conducting follow-up on wetlands cases. A restoration order was issued in Kanabec County. A deed restriction was placed on a property that failed to comply with a restoration order. Youth waterfowl hunters were checked. Mainly teal and wood ducks were observed in the bag.


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked anglers, watercraft operators, hunters, and recreational vehicle operators.  A littering complaint of dumping Canada goose carcasses was handled.  Enforcement action included recreational vehicle and watercraft safety violations.  CO Friese worked boat and water safety with a neighboring officer.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and goose hunters. He took a number of nuisance bear and coyote complaints. He followed up on a Big Game case with charges pending. He continued getting equipment serviced and ready for the upcoming waterfowl season.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several calls related to waterfowl hunting. Reller found a smaller number of youth hunting on youth waterfowl day most likely due to the tropical weather they had this year, but the ones that did go out found a good population of local wood ducks and teal in the area. Anglers in the area have been finding fishing to be slow on area lakes.


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked the youth waterfowl day and reports seeing limited success in the area. Officer Londgren also checked anglers, boaters, ATVs, bear hunters, checked on wetland and hunter harassment complaints. Enforcement action was taken on: operate ATV without registration, no helmet, no plug in firearm, fail to display boat registration, and no license in possession.


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent the majority of his patrol time working trespass complaints and bear hunters. Time was spent at some accesses and some waterfowl hunters were also checked. Geese are starting to move and are frequenting some harvested small grain fields. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, failure to register bear bait and no ATV registration.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked waterfowl hunters and worked the Youth Waterfowl 2013 season in Hennepin County. Time was also spent on working boating angling and AIS activities in West Metro district areas. He returned calls on hunting regulations, FAS class and injured animals.

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a firearms safety presentation and waterfowl hunting presentation at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Carver. Anglers and boaters were checked all week on special regulation lakes. Goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters were checked, the few hunters that were out had good success.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe dealt with a nuisance beaver and worked on a bear hunting detail in the northern part of the state. Violations included ATV off trail in State Park, a bait station that was not registered and litter.

CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding taking deer during the closed season, possible deer baiting sites, possession of protected birds and various injured/nuisance animal calls. He gave instruction at a youth firearms safety class. CO Nelson also assisted Region 4 with the posting of a statutory game refuge. He also spent time on waterfowl hunting enforcement, ATV enforcement and invasive species enforcement.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) worked boating and AIS enforcement. He patrolled Hennepin and Dakota counties for fishing violations. CO Neitzke checked goose and dove hunters with CO Pril. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.

CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) met with a landowner in Chaska regarding a hunting trespass complaint. Goose hunters and fishermen were checked in Hennepin and Carver counties. She also provided a ride along to a CO candidate and prepared for upcoming court cases.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishermen and boaters on the metro area lakes and rivers. He worked AIS, goose hunters, and took a call on a trespass complaint in Carver County. He gave a talk to an event gathering in St. Paul on hunting and fishing regulations. He also returned many phone calls regarding waterfowl and big game hunting regulations.


Minnetonka – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for early season goose hunters. CO McGowan also patrolled the Mississippi River for boating activity. Time was also spent assisting officers in the northeast part of the state with bear hunting enforcement.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked bear hunters with CO Kruse in the Nemadji State Forest in Pine County. He also worked the waterfowl youth hunt opening weekend and checked several groups of youth hunters around the metro lakes and fields. CO Pril continued working angling, boating and aquatic invasive species enforcement throughout the week.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, anglers, and watercraft users. CO Arntzen received information about deer stands that were left in the Bayport WMA, which were located and removed. He took down the Wall of Shame from the State Fair and handled phone calls about waterfowl hunting and trespassing. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license and BWI.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he signed complaints for the Anoka County Attorney. He assisted CO Tetrault locating a suspect that had violated in the Mille Lacs WMA. CO Johnson spoke to a Firearms Safety class in Coon Rapids. He responded to a TIP complaint in Bayport and a deer baiting complaint in Oak Grove.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS, boating and wetland related activity. WREO Block spoke to a group of youth waterfowl hunters at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club prior to their hunt. The youth learned about laws pertaining to waterfowl hunting, methods to hunt waterfowl and got a chance to sharpen their shooting skills on the range and discussed strategy with their assigned mentor who would be joining them on their hunt. WREO Block also spent time at the Stillwater bridge project site.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked bear hunters with CO Pril in and around the Nemadji State Forest. She worked two shifts of the Stillwater bridge detail, handled many calls regarding questions on waterfowl hunting laws and checked goose hunters in the area. CO Kruse assisted with removing illegal deer stands in an area WMA, handled nuisance animal calls and worked AIS enforcement at area accesses.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) assisted other agencies searching for a person of interest in a murder in Granite Falls after his vehicle was located near the Minnesota River. Time was also spent working fishing, ATV, early goose and dove hunting enforcement. An online firearms safety field day was held near Tracy with students attending the course from as far away as St. Paul and Morris.


CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week was directed at fishing, off-highway vehicles, boating safety and waterfowl hunting. Youth waterfowl day came and went quietly. A complaint of another livestock fence causing a boating hazard was investigated.


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted a local agency with a suspect search. Partially due to the hot weather, Youth Waterfowl Day was not very well attended. More areas with ducks were seen than areas with hunters. Waterfowl and dove hunters, fishermen and commercial turtle trappers were checked.


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, boaters, and waterfowl hunters during the week. Youth waterfowl hunters had success during the weekend youth hunt. This officer assisted with bear hunting enforcement in District 6. Various angling and hunting violations were encountered.


CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that large numbers of geese have been seen lately. Doves are very abundant. Fishing has been slow in area.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVs, goose hunters, dove hunters, and boat safety. Deer hunting and ATV questions abound. Several investigations are being conducted.


CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that early goose hunters are having mixed success in the area. Hunters were scarce in the area for Youth Waterfowl Day. The officer attended an all-day FAS Range Day near Tracy.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted local, county and state law enforcement agencies during a search effort involving a homicide. Officer Hanson also assisted with a firearms safety training field day in southwest Minnesota. AIS, fishing and waterfowl checks were completed on area lakes.

Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked goose and dove hunters. He continued to take enforcement action on AIS violations in addition to illegal operation of ATV’s by juveniles. Denz also checked anglers who were having some success with panfish.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week checking early goose hunters and anglers. AIS laws were also enforced. She saw a good turnout for the youth waterfowl hunt even with the warm weather. Mueller along with other CO’s assisted in the search along the Minnesota River for a person of interest in the homicide that occurred in Granite Falls earlier in the week. She also completed a falconry inspection.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport fishing, migratory waterfowl, small game, and ATV enforcement. Dove hunters are still finding success. Enforcement action for the week included taking migratory game birds during closed hours, various license violations, and operating an ORV in unfrozen public waters.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, dove and goose hunters. The youth waterfowl day had some participants and blue wing teal were observed. Gruhlke assisted with the signing of the refuge on Swan Lake near Nicollet. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked bait stations at bear hunting sites in the northeast corner of the state. Youth waterfowl day arrived and went with a few young hunters taking the field despite the extremely hot temperatures. Early goose hunting activity was monitored with hunting activity being very low due to the heat and low goose numbers in the area.


Litchfield – vacant.


New Ulm – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, ATV, small game, and waterfowl activity. Youth Waterfowl Day saw some birds taken. High temperatures kept early goose hunter numbers down.


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, ATV operators and waterfowl hunters. CO Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to an Albert Lea FAS class.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and waterfowl enforcement. Many young hunters were out for the youth waterfowl hunt on Saturday and they had some success.  Goose hunters were also starting to see some success.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a warm youth waterfowl opener. Angling on the local rivers continues to be active. Questions regarding the upcoming fall seasons were answered. The officer also taught a FAS class.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, boating, ATV, goose, & dove hunting activity during the week. The officer also assisted at the Steele County Chapter of Minnesota Pheasants Inc. Youth Trap Shoot along with other area officers. Various calls were also handled from the public.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working boat / water safety, and checking Canada goose and dove hunters. A few hunters were observed on Saturday taking part in the youth waterfowl day. An injured great horned owl was recovered and turned over to the Raptor Center. A number of trespass complaints were fielded from the public, in addition to requests for information. A youth trapping education class was attended in Spring Valley.


WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked both AIS enforcement at public accesses and educated both anglers and hunters. Follow up was conducted on several restoration orders that have met their deadline as well. Zebra mussels were collected and utilized for training with K9 Brady.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fish continue to bite on the river. Youth waterfowl hunters had a great wood duck hunt. Most hunters were off the marsh earlier due to the hot weather. He followed up on a complaint of a ginseng trespasser. Many questions are coming in about the fall hunting seasons.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a large fishing tournament along with warm weather made for a busy weekend on the river. He also checked ATV areas and worked the accesses for AIS violations. He followed up on a complaint of a boater failing to allow an AIS inspection. Hemker attended a firearms safety class.


CO Phil George (Rochester) checked goose hunting activity and ATV operators. Time was spent assisting District 17 with a youth shoot at the Owatonna Gun Club.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time this past week and weekend checking fishing, waterfowl hunting, ATV and invasive activity along with responding to a waters violation. He reports fishing for most species remains slow. Time was also spent doing a short presentation with the Red Wing Wildlife League for a group of young waterfowl hunters on Saturday. Some fishing and goose hunting violations were detected.


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and waterfowl hunters during the week. The kids had a great time on the youth waterfowl day and there were plenty of wood ducks around. Heyn also attended a meeting in Wisconsin for a project and got equipment ready for the hunting seasons.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working ginseng trespass cases. Enforcement action was taken. CO Boyum is answering many questions about the upcoming deer season and other hunting seasons. Deer hunters that are placing a mineral out are reminded to read the ingredients to make sure it is not considered bait.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week of fishing and hunting enforcement. Fishermen on the big river continue to have success with pan fish as well as bass. Goose and dove hunters were not as successful this past weekend as on opener. Wisconsin was also assisted with an ongoing investigation.


Rochester #2 – vacant.


Training Section


Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.


Aviation Section


CO Pilot Bob Geving flew flights concerning ricing, wetland violations, and weedroller activities. In addition he spent some time on flight training activities.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports giving a training flight to another CO pilot. Jensen flew a wild rice enforcement flight and two wildlife telemetry flights. Jensen also continued seaplane training.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew timber wolf telemetry and gave two low level check rides and a Flight Review to DNR Pilots. Heineman also attended to maintenance on the Bemidji fixed wing.

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas completed aircraft maintenance, and his annual low level waiver check ride.

NR Pilot Ettl (Grand Rapids) trained on float plane operations.

Chief Pilot Tom Pfingsten completed some required flight training tasks and a low-level check ride.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.


Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.


Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR


Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!


Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.


Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.



If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:


SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez attended an RTO meeting. The RTO checked goose hunters over the weekend, where he found minimal success but good compliance. RTO Gutierrez assisted with an Online FAS Field Day at the Carlos Avery WMA. Several new instructors were invited to the facility and showed interest in starting to hold online field days there.


NE RTO Shelly Patten attended RTO meeting via Lync. Patten worked on video clips and presentation for Boat and Water safety; re: layout boat hunting. Patten completed background checks for instructors. Patten set up ATV and snowmobile training for Grand Rapids, Brainerd and Duluth areas.


East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence worked along St. Croix River checking on areas for bear baits in the Pine City station. RTO Lawrence participated with a regional training officers meeting via video conferencing; RTO Lawrence worked on props and equipment for firearms safety field day site. RTO Lawrence along with RTO’s Owens, RTO Gutierrez and firearms safety instructors conducted a field day for online firearms safety students.


Southern RTO Dan McBroom finished background packet for new instructors. Work was also done on setting up instructor training and HEFAS field day. Props for field days where worked on. A RTO meeting was attended via Lync.

Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week worked on the ATV Instructor manual updates, Snowmobile Regulations booklet updates, picked up equipment at the central office, assisted with setup and repairs of lasershot tents. He attended the monthly Regional Training Officers meeting via Lync and helped out on two Firearms Safety classes over the weekend.


NW RTO Jon Paurus worked bear hunting and fishing activity. A few folks in the area were successful during the week shooting average sized bears. A training clinic for new volunteer firearms safety instructors was conducted in Frazee. A monthly meeting was attended and equipment maintenance was completed.


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for upcoming Instructor Certification Training and Hunter Education/Firearm Safety Field Days for Online Students. Wednesday he attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. During the weekend he helped set up and facilitate a Hunter Education/Firearm Safety Field Day for online students in Isle.



Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens       763-753-1887  leland.owens@state.mn.us

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184  bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032  daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us

NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000  jon.paurus@state.mn.us

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773   alex.gutierrez@state.mn.us


Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant


Education Specialist:  Vacant


Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

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