MN DNR Weekly Conservation Report


Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Division of Enforcement

15011 Highway 115 (Camp Ripley)

Little Falls, MN 56345-4173


Contact: Rich Sprouse

             Public Information Officer

             800-366-8917, Ext 2511





District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl hunters on Lake of the Woods and Thief Lake.  Training was attended at Camp Ripley. CO Huener also attended a Minnesota Trappers Association meeting in the Greenbush area for questions and answers.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling, boating, and waterfowl activity   Small game hunters and ATV activities were monitored. Follow up was conducted in regards to the elk investigation from the previous week. CO Warren took possession of grey wolves had had been caught by a predator control trapper.


CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) attended firearms qualification at Camp Ripley. Experimental regulation lakes were checked as well as small game and waterfowl activity. Enforcement activity for the week included waterfowl violations.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked duck, goose, grouse, bear hunting activity, and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. Grouse hunters reported bagging a few ruffed and spruce grouse while seeing a fair number of birds as the leaves continue to fall. Enforcement action taken was for hunting without license in possession. CO Regas attended the fall in-service training at Camp Ripley.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week.  Anglers are reporting good success on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. CO Gorecki investigated a bear guiding/hunting case during the week, and numerous charges are pending on multiple people. Annual training was attended and a nuisance bear complaint was handled. Enforcement action taken during the week included multiple bear hunting/guiding charges, transporting loaded firearm, transport loaded handgun, and littering.


Baudette -vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending part of the week attending annual training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking anglers, watercraft operators, and waterfowl hunters.  Prairie chicken and sharp tailed grouse hunters were also checked. Miscellaneous wildlife related complaints were also handled.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also worked hunting, boating and angling activities. He assisted another agency, investigated a coyote complaint and monitored ATV traffic.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted at in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO Gray checked bow hunters and water fowlers. He also responded to a minivan versus tractor accident.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored waterfowl hunting activity throughout the week. Hunters continue to shoot a variety of ducks with wood ducks and blue winged teal making up a majority of the birds being shot. Time was spent checking grouse hunters and patrolling for ATV activity. Follow up investigations were conducted on aquatic plant violations.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked waterfowl hunters and monitored ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Archery deer hunting activity was also monitored. Complaints of nuisance bears were received and one car killed deer permit was issued.  Reports of people discarding deer and waterfowl carcasses on public and private land were also handled. CO Holt assisted local law enforcement with a towing mishap in which a pontoon boat fell off of its trailer in the middle of the road.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports attending fall in-service at Camp Ripley. Firearms qualifications and law updates were the focus of the training. Locally, waterfowl, archery deer and small game hunters were all contacted. A complaint of a dead muskie on Detroit Lake, possible woodpeckers shot and turkey vultures picking the plastic wrap on silage piles were all investigated.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with fall in-service training at Camp Ripley, checked duck and grouse hunters and worked ATV enforcement. CO Peterson also did follow-up on a fishing TIP.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and waterfowl hunters. Time was also spent working the fall turkey and prairie chicken openers. CO Forsberg also spent time assisting a local LGU with a wetland violation. Assistance was given to a firearms safety class field day. CO Forsberg took a complaint of a crippled deer which had been hit by a car.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on and closing out WCA and PW cases with LGUs and hydrologists. Time was spent at Camp Ripley instructing for fall in-service training. Waterfowl hunters were checked in the Vergas and Perham area.

Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked on complaints of waterfowl violations and monitored angling pressure. Fewer local ducks and hunters reduced the numbers of shots heard over the weekend. Richards attended training at Camp Ripley for annual fall firearms training.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked ATV enforcement, waterfowl hunters, archery hunters, small game and fishing enforcement through the week. Plautz also handled complaints of stolen trail camera and trespass.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking waterfowl hunters.  Complaints of hunters trespassing and leaving duck carcasses on private property were investigated. Additional time was spent at in-service training at Camp Ripley and handling various wildlife complaints.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters, bow hunters, boaters and fishermen. Calls about job shadowing, shooting late, shooting early and deer licenses were answered. After opening weekend the waterfowl in the area has severely decreased.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time focusing on waterfowl hunting activity. Success is still rather limited with several hunters asking where they can find more ducks. Enforcement efforts also focused on ATV activity in rural areas, with a citation being issued after a complaint was made about two ATV’s trespassing on an agricultural field. Lawler also assisted officers from District 4 with a bear poaching case.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) spent the week at Camp Ripley instructing at use of force training. Time was spent checking hunters and activity involving waterfowl, small game, and archery deer. Fishing activity was monitored and follow up work was completed on possible WMA violations.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the waterfowl hunters, archery deer hunters and fishing activity on area lakes. Hunters averaged about three ducks each this past weekend. Time was spent checking anglers in the vacant Wheaton station. Pope County officials were assisted with a WCA violation and a restoration order was issued to the owner.  In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley and minnow transportation permits were issued as well. Calls were fielded regarding waterfowl hunting, deer season questions, water access for hunting and trespass questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking waterfowl hunters, bow hunters, and assisting the USFWS. Time was also spent on equipment maintenance and attending fall in-service training at Camp Ripley.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, small game hunters and archery deer hunters. He attended two days of training at Camp Ripley and spent some time assisting with a Cub Scout camping and hiking event. Officer Parthun monitored waterfowl hunting and addressed several equipment issues. Enforcement action was taken for angling with more than one line.


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, hunters and ATV operators. She spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Nevis and attended annual training for the division. Officer Hunter also assisted CO Oldakowski with the investigation into an illegally harvested bear. Enforcement action was taken and equipment was seized.


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received annual training in firearms and use of force. He investigated an illegal bear case with the assistance of CO Hunter. Officers took enforcement action for taking bear without a license and seized the bear, hide, skull, and archery equipment.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting activity. He received a call regarding ongoing trespass issues from an absentee landowner and a complaint of deer carcasses being dumped on USFS land. Officer Sommers was also approached by an individual who wanted the DNR to provide him feed for wild turkeys; he was not happy with the information provided by the officer.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked duck hunters, grouse hunters, and anglers during the week. He received a complaint regarding shooting waterfowl after hours. Officer Mathy also assisted a lost grouse hunter get back to his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken for leaving property and boats on state land.


CO Larry Francis (Remer) primarily worked waterfowl hunting activity during the week.  Hunting success has decreased and the most common ducks seen continue to be teal, wood duck, and mallards; with very few ringnecks observed in the bag. One waterfowler reported that his truck was broken into while parked at the Big Rice Lake access; he incurred damage to his topper but nothing was taken. Officer Francis also spent time preparing for an upcoming FAS class, working illegal motorized vehicle use in a WMA, addressing nuisance beaver issues,  and a investigating a fishing TIP.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATV activity. Angling and waterfowl hunting success was limited. CO Broughten followed up on deer baiting complaints and assisted with a complaint of taking waterfowl in closed hours.  CO Broughten also attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) monitored waterfowl hunting activity and handled wolf damage complaints during the week. He also gave a law talk at the Staples FAS online field day class and at Central Lakes College days.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing activity on Rainy River with enforcement action taken for making false application for angling license, failure to tag sturgeon, and borrow/lend sturgeon tags. Several wolf complaints were investigated, along with other nuisance animal complaints. Duck hunters and grouse hunters are having little success.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the waterfowl hunting is the poorest he has seen in recent years with very few birds and few hunters. Grouse hunting is equally as poor with few birds observed.


CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports attending training at Camp Ripley and checking on hunting and fishing activity. The leaves are starting to fall, however the grouse are still very hard to see due to the amount of leaves still on the trees. Duck hunting is poor in the area. Muskie anglers are doing well.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small game seasons, invasive species enforcement, taught a Firearms Safety Course in Hibbing and attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Virginia and attended annual in-service training covering new laws, annual pistol qualification as well as new rifle issue and qualification. Very few duck hunters were seen out over the weekend despite there being plenty of ducks. Nicer weather brought out numerous ATVs and OHMs. Enforcement action was taken for a wide range of ATV and OHM violations. TIP calls are starting to come in from concerned citizens and sportsmen regarding certain deer hunters and their lack of ethical practices.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) attended Ely public safety day where he answered questions and gave advice regarding a recent rash of nuisance wolf complaints. Most waterfowl hunters continue to have at least some success with reports of blue bills arriving in the area. Violations included operating an ATV without lights, fail to register a bear bait station, and hunting over an unregistered bear bait.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) paddled the BWCAW and found it to be very quiet and beautiful with the fall leaves in full grandeur. A bull moose walked out of the woods and onto the shoreline, then jumped into the lake and swam a half mile across to another point, another moose was just bobbing around in another lake. The strangest thing encountered in a while was a ruffed grouse that flew across yet another lake, straight to the officer in the canoe just feet above his head, as if it were curious. Canoeists and anglers are reminded that the small mouth bass season is now closed and that non-residents are required to have a registration from either their home state or Minnesota.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked people doing just about everything during the week. He found duck hunters, grouse hunters, trout anglers, and ATV’ers checking out the glorious fall colors. Some hunters think the grouse numbers are good and some think they’re bad. Rivers, creeks, and swamps that are normally low at this time of the year look more like spring.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked small game hunters and ATV operators as well as anglers inland and on Lake Superior tributaries. The officer followed up on a public waters access issue, a wolf complaint and some squad maintenance issues. Questions regarding angling regulations inland and on Canadian border waters were also fielded. Anglers spending time on border waters should read the regulations book or check it out online as there are some differences.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked mainly grouse, duck, and bear hunters throughout the week. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. A bear baiting violation turned into an investigation in which three hunters were cited for separate violations. Other enforcement action included insufficient PFDs in a duck boat and leaking load.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) investigated bear violations, checked grouse hunters and ATV riders. The back roads are busy with leaf lookers and hunters. The Officer followed up on complaints in the Finland and Isabella area.


Silver Bay – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) assisted with firearms training for the division. He assisted with a Bigfork FAS class on Saturday at the Lions Club gun range. CO Hansen investigated a call of a dead swan near Bigfork.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 training in the metro area.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended annual division training this past week. She also took duck hunting complaints involving firearms discharge and use of illegal equipment. She checked duck hunting and small game activity this past week, with some hunters having success.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked grouse and deer bow hunters this past week. CO Sutherland also assisted the district by working deer activity in various stations. Training was also attended at Camp Ripley.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working small game and big game activity. Wichmann also encountered ATV violations including fail to display registration, operating on a highway and ATV DWI. Wichmann attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO John Velsvaag (Region II ATV officer) followed up on ATV complaints in Big Falls and Chisholm this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and grouse hunters and attended training at Camp Ripley. CO Velsvaag took calls on road killed deer and questions as to why there are not preference points given for the wolf season. CO Velsvaag directed people to call their local MN DNR Wildlife office for the wolf season question.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) time was spent checking small game, duck and archery hunters throughout the week. A field investigation led to a confession from a man who admitted to taking a deer with the use of bait. The person faces a stiff fine, loss of equipment and a one year revocation for his illegal act. Several illegal fires were investigated. Just a reminder that while doing fall clean up only vegetative type material can be legally burned.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Field work consisted of checking grouse hunters, archery deer hunters, beaver damaging property complaints, and working night deer shining activity.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked waterfowl, OHV, big and small game enforcement. CO Humphrey patrolled local Wildlife Management Areas, Carlton County managed land, and the Ditchbank’s area in the Fond Du Lac State Forest. A report of vandalism to a stand and theft of property on a bear bait station is under investigation. CO Humphrey worked a shining detail with CO Duncan and an 1854 CO resulting in two misdemeanor arrests. CO Humphrey followed up on bear registration and baiting violations. Wolf depredation complaints continued. Assistance from USDA Wildlife services was requested. A nuisance bear complaint was received. Deer baiting complaints are being reported. Big and small game violations were encountered throughout the week.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a fur committee meeting in the Brainerd area and also spoke to a local college class about the hiring process and job duties of a conservation officer. Complaints of hunting over bait and trespassing are being looked into in the area. More training continues with K9 Schody.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small game hunters, worked a late bow hunter concern, and spent time on maintenance items.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior. ATVs were checked as operators got out enjoying the nice fall weather. Questions were answered at local agencies in reference to ATV and burning regulations. Several license-related questions were answered regarding upcoming fall seasons. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and burning violations

CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a meeting. The CO checked waterfowl, small game, archery deer hunters, and boaters and anglers throughout the week. He assisted an area officer with an investigation into and archery hunter shooting a deer over a bait and an over limit violation. Enforcement action taken for big game violations.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted with training at fall in-service held at Camp Ripley. All Officers throughout the state attend per the Minnesota Police Officer Standard and Training requirements.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported that activity included investigation of illegal trapping, ATV / dirt bike related trespass and operation complaints. Also, checking waterfowl, bow deer, and small game hunting activity, investigation of license fraud, and serving a restoration order and other work associated with an ongoing case involving a person who dug a channel to lower the water level of an area lake.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked migratory waterfowl enforcement. Some complaints of shooting too close to residences are being investigated. Other violations addressed including unsigned stamps and insufficient life jackets. Big game baiting investigations are beginning and hunters are reminded that hunting with the aid of bait is illegal and carries substantial penalties including potential revocation of hunting privileges. Officer Guida also coordinated with a non-profit organization leader to get a community archery program started.


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) investigated calls of untagged deer, and deer baiting. Waterfowl activity slowed down considerably, but more grouse hunters are out. ATVs continue to use the Foothills State Forest with violations seen consisting of riders without required safety certificates, operating on public roads, and underage operators without helmets.


CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is slow. The most cooperative fish have been the bass and sunfish. The walleye bite is getting better. Violations he found were not enough life jackets. He worked on complaints of aquatic vegetation cutting without a permit. He worked with WREO Haberman on AIS violations checking boats at various public accesses. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated and he checked horse passes and camping registrations in the Pillsbury Forest.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked small game, bear, waterfowl and archery deer enforcement during the week. He also attended training.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked increasing hunting activity as leaves are starting to come off the trees. Boats and docks are getting taken out for winter but fall fishing is picking up. Verkuilen also assisted with the DNR confiscated materials auction.


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) reports increased hunting activity. Small game hunters hunting activity has increased but has not seen as much success. Turkey hunters have not been active this opener as well. Fishing reports on Mille Lacs Lake have been better as the water cools this fall. The officer investigated a report of a potential deer baiting site and a deer that was illegally taken. Hunting law related questions were fielded.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking small and big game hunters over the week and weekend. Some waterfowl hunters were out as well but most were reporting seeing light numbers of birds. The Officer also attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley where rifle, shotgun and handgun qualification was done. Lots of fishing, hunting and Aquatic Invasive Species law questions were fielded throughout the week. The Officer assisted at an Aquatic Invasive Species checkpoint in Malmo Area over the weekend. ATV traffic was monitored throughout the Malmo station over the week. Assistance was given to a neighboring Officer on a TIP complaint of someone taking a deer with a rifle out of season and assistance was also given to the Sheriff’s Office on a call of a property dispute.  Enforcement action for the week included various AIS violations.

CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) handled trespassing complaints, nuisance beaver calls, ATV complaints, and followed up on ongoing investigations.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent some time at Camp Ripley completing annual firearms and defensive tactics training. Station activity included continued monitoring of bear baiting activity, waterfowl hunting, small game hunting and a few archery deer hunters were checked. Burning activity was also monitored due to high fire danger in the area. Fire enforcement included citations and warnings for burning without a permit and burning prohibited material. Time was also spent near Mille Lacs Lake checking boats and trailers for invasive species.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked waterfowl and small game hunters during the week and seen limited success. A work detail for invasive species was conducted near Mille Lacs Lake and training was attended at Camp Ripley for fall firearms qualification.


WREO Rob Haberman worked a roadside check with D10 officers near Malmo and Mille Lacs Lake. WREO Haberman also attended the annual aquatic plant management meeting in St. Cloud. WREO Haberman also worked on AIS enforcement and wetland conservation act cases throughout his work area.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused on area fish bite and waterfowl hunters. Over limit and extra line cases were made. Litter issues continue to be a problem with anglers.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call of a possible deer poaching incident and reunited a stray black lab found running down the middle of the road with half a chain with its owner. It was very handy that the dog had its owner’s phone numbers on its dog tag. CO Kuske attended officer training at Camp Ripley and gave a law presentation to the Upsala Firearms Safety class.


CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked hunters and anglers during the past week. Officer Martin provided training at Ripley and answered TIP calls too.


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an open mic segment of a local radio station, attended in-service training, and assisted with the DNR auction.


WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking fishermen, boaters, and hunters. A cease and desist order was issued for a wetland violation in Chisago County. WREO Bertram also assisted with an AIS road check station in Aitkin County near Lake Mille Lacs.


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked duck hunters, anglers and boaters. Time was spent on shoreline issues involving cutting of cattails and filling public water. Thesing worked the DNR gun auction in Zimmerman where confiscated guns and equipment were sold. Deer shining complaints were worked.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated several cases that involved the taking of illegal deer. Responded to a TIP call about duck hunters shooting off the road and too close to a residence. Patrolled area WMAs for hunters and checked fishing activity at several station lakes.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms class.CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters along with archery deer hunters. CO Mies gave a fur/trapping talk to several schools at Ney Park in Wright County.


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, archery hunters and fishermen. Waterfowl hunters were found to be having some success, with an abundance of teal and wood ducks in the area. A deer baiting complaint was handled with charges being filed. A presentation was given to a local high school class. Other enforcement action for the week included operate a weed roller without a permit, no small game license, toxic shot in possession, no federal duck stamp and failure to register a deer.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters on rivers and lakes. He attended annual training at Camp Ripley. He answered a number of hunting questions. He followed up on an ATV trespassing issue.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked on several complaints related to trespass and closed out several cases from earlier this summer. Reller also attended annual in-service at Camp Ripley. Waterfowl hunting has slowed with a lack of new birds into the area.


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers and hunters during the week. Some pan fish were seen as well as a couple of ducks. Time was also spent in the Rum River State Forest. Officer McGaw assisted with fall training at Camp Ripley.


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spoke at youth firearms safety classes, and “Becoming an Outdoors Women” events over the past week. Officer Londgren also checked waterfowl and big game hunters, anglers, and ATVs throughout her station. Complaints were taken on hunter harassment, shooting after hours, wanton waste, and nuisance animals.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked waterfowl hunters all week having good success. A trumpeter swan was shot on Patterson Lake. Any information on who shot the swan would be appreciated. Wildlife management areas and State Trails were patrolled. Calls were returned all week on hunting questions.

CO Thephong Le (ECLOP) attended fall in-service training at Camp Ripley. He assisted at the DNR gun auction event in Zimmerman. He patrolled the West Metro district for angling and hunting activities. He assisted Fort Snelling State Park with illegal camping in the Park.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) assisted with Division training. He talked to two Firearms Safety Classes and a youth Online Firearms Safety All Day Range and Field Day. CO Neitzke patrolled the Vermillion River Wildlife Management Area and checked deer archery hunters. He also checked waterfowl hunters with CO Pril.

CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) attended division training at Camp Ripley. She checked waterfowl hunters in Carver and Hennepin counties and encountered one group with 10 geese over their limit. She also participated in an AIS hearing for a drain plug violation.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and duck hunters. CO Grewe handled complaints regarding shoreline/wetland violations and spent time explaining trespassing laws. CO Grewe spoke to a firearms safety class in Hopkins.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and investigated a wetland complaint in Medina. He attended fall in-service at Camp Ripley and worked the Stillwater bridge detail. He took many phone calls on duck and small game hunting regulations, and checked anglers throughout the week.


Bloomington – vacant.


Minnetonka – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued working waterfowl hunters around his patrol station lakes and fields. He checked anglers and spent some time on aquatic invasive species enforcement around the metro lakes and accesses. He also attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and returned calls and TIP complaints.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week working ATV enforcement, checking waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunters. CO Arntzen attended a meeting regarding new regulations for border waters. He monitored several WMAs for deer stands being left overnight and late shooting. CO Arntzen also handled questions about nuisance animals, trespassing, and the upcoming firearms deer season.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent most of the week working AIS and wetland related activity. A Resource Protection Notification was issued in Blaine regarding a possible wetland violation and a ride along was completed for a potential CO candidate. WREO Block also assisted with a DNR auction that was held over the weekend.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he completed a Ginseng Inspection Certificate. He investigated an aquatic plant violation on Lake George. CO Johnson checked hunters at Mikkelson and Carlos Avery WMAs. He spoke to a firearms safety class in Ramsey.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked numerous waterfowl hunters, handled TIP calls and worked the Stillwater bridge detail. She attended two days of in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO Kruse handled many aquatic vegetation cases in Ramsey County and did a few site inspections with the area hydrologist regarding underwater fans in a Ramsey County lake that are blowing muck and vegetation on neighboring properties. Other violations were found during the inspections including illegal size docks and an illegal bridge.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Washington counties for waterfowl hunting activity. CO McGowan also spoke at a firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken on a bow hunter who was hunting over bait. Further investigation determined that this hunter shot three deer over the bait pile. Enforcement action was taken against this hunter, including restitution costs.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted in hosting Conservation Officers from Finland. They came to learn how Minnesota manages and protects its natural resources. The officers were able to go on a ride-a-long where they witnessed people catch different species of fish, checked archery deer hunters, duck hunters, and ORV riders in the Appleton Park. It was a great learning experience for both the Minnesota and Finland Officers.


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, archery deer hunters, and waterfowl hunters during the week.  This officer and other officers from District 15 had the opportunity to spend time with fellow game wardens from Finland.  We were able to share information and learn about another culture.  This was truly a unique experience.


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall I) reports that waterfowl hunters saw a definite drop in bird numbers compared to opening weekend. Teal, mallards, wood ducks, and shovelers continue to be the most common. Besides checking waterfowl hunters, time was also spent checking fishermen and archery deer and small game hunters. Questions continue to be answered in reference to fall hunting seasons. Fall harvest is underway for both corn and soybeans.


CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that several trespass complaints were investigated throughout the week.  Waterfowl hunters continue to be scarce in the area.  The officer also issued out of state minnow transport permits throughout the week.


CO Doug Lage (Marshall II) advises that duck hunting did slow down with teal and spoon bills being the duck of choice.  He assisted Lincoln County SO with a controlled substance case in Lake Benton.  Enforcement action was taken on waterfowl hunting violations.


CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports assisting the volunteer firearm safety instructors with a youth class in Benson.  A variety of issues were addressed in preparation for this officer’s retirement.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working archery deer hunters and duck hunters.  Duck success remains fair, at best.  Warm weather has slowed deer movement.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued a PW restoration order and a WCA extension was issued in Pipestone County. Officer Hanson also checked hunters and fisherman for AIS issues. A special project was worked over the weekend involving several area officers.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check waterfowl hunters who were having good success with blue wing teal. He spoke at an ATV safety class, followed up on a deer hunting complaint, and attended a furbearer committee meeting. Additional time was spent checking anglers and boaters.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a public waters violation. She spoke at a FAS class in Olivia. Mueller also worked on two trespass complaints with the landowners and advised them on how to properly post their land. She assisted with training all week at Camp Ripley for fall in-service.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time training officers at Camp Ripley during fall in-service. Classroom training instruction covered firearms maintenance and manipulation, while range work dealt with live firing exercises. Oberg also followed up on waterfowl enforcement related calls.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) transferred to the New Ulm station mid-week. In the Bloomington station he spent time following up on a case of taking deer during the closed season and aquatic invasive species activities. In the New Ulm station, Nelson inventoried station equipment, made introductory contacts with area law enforcement, other DNR division staff and the public. He also worked waterfowl and deer hunting activity, and investigated a reported trespass violation.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time working migratory waterfowl, big game, ATV, and Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement. A presentation was given to the Windom Service Club with the topic of discussion centered mostly on AIS law and procedures. Hunters were not as abundant this past week as previous weeks. There are still plenty of doves, teal, and wood ducks in the area. Goose numbers have possibly risen slightly, but continue to be low.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, dove, goose, duck, small game and archery deer hunters. Gruhlke attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. He followed up on a few calls for information and assisted the Lakefield PD with a call for service.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the fall in-service training and education session at Camp Ripley. Waterfowl hunting activity was monitored with many out in the field with warm temps. Reports were followed up on for taking in closed season. Big game violations were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl license issues.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week on waterfowl enforcement. An inspection was performed for a game farm applicant. Enforcement action taken for minor waterfowl and ATV violations.


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, ATV operators and waterfowl hunters. CO Ihnen also patrolled the area for small game and archery deer hunters. Officer Ihnen also attended annual in-service training and gave a law and ethics presentation to a local FAS class.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and waterfowl enforcement. He also attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked areas for waterfowl hunting activity this past week.  Time was spent patrolling WMAs. The officer also instructed at the division’s in-service at Camp Ripley.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, ATV, migratory waterfowl hunting, small game, and archery deer hunting activity during the week. The officer also talked at Triton High School 9th & 10th grade science class about careers in the DNR. Various calls were also handled from the public.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking small game, waterfowl, and deer hunters. In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.


WREO Julie Siems reports attending K9 Training and working on detector work and tracking.  A restoration order was also delivered.  Follow up continues on open WCA cases.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly waterfowl hunters and anglers during the week. Fishing success for bluegills is still good, but duck hunting success was lower. Heyn also attended in-service training and got equipment worked on.


CO Phil George (Rochester) attended annual in service training at Camp Ripley a few days. Officer George checked a few small game hunters and archery deer hunters and tagged fawn deer harvested in the CWD zone. Officer George took angling complaints and located one person angling without a license.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked duck hunting and fishing on the river and saw good success. He saw more teal last week and checked several limits of wood ducks. He was passing through a local town as he heard a shoplifter was running from the police. He immediately saw the person described on the radio running across a parking lot next to him. He was able to stop the shoplifter and hold him for the police.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly waterfowl and archery deer hunting enforcement this past week and weekend. The fish are also biting on the big river with most boats having either some panfish or pike on board. Some new ducks started showing up towards the end of the week and some fuller bags were checked over the weekend. Enforcement action included possession toxic shot, no life vest/jacket motorized decoys, along with license and stamp issues.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports getting complaints of illegal ATV operation. Time was also spent checking small game hunters and archery hunters as well as a few duck hunters. Trespass calls were also received. Enforcement action was taken for trespass and blaze orange violations.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports attending use of force training at Camp Ripley. Large bluegills are still biting well on the river. Limits of wood ducks were taken during the week. Few teal and mallards were found in bag checks. He assisted USFW with airboat complaints in the Reno Bottoms. Enforcement included taking migratory waterfowl with motorized decoy and no license in possession.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking angling, archery and waterfowl hunting activity. Duck hunting success has been low and numerous archery hunters were out but not having much success. Fall fishing is starting to pick up.


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 Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of three wildlife/fisheries telemetry flights. Jensen also flew two Enforcement flights including officer transport and a wetland violation photo flight. Jensen attended Division in-service training and then flew a forestry research recon flight over northwest portions of the state.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and an instrument training flight. Heineman also attended to aircraft maintenance.

CO Pilot Tom Buker (New Ulm) attended a two day annual training exercise at Camp Ripley. Several flights were cancelled in the southern portion of the state due to the poor weather conditions. Training tasks were worked on and aircraft maintenance issues were completed.

CO Pilot Bob Geving continued his studies toward completing a flight training course.

Chief Pilot Tom Pfingsten flew in support of waterfowl enforcement efforts.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


Please check the DNR WEB SITE at 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


Please check the DNR WEB SITE  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  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 created several computer and hard copy documents for AIS check station work. The RTO also provided division training at Camp Ripley throughout the week.

NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on video clips and presentation for layout boat hunting and Boat/Water safety. Patten taught Use of Force at in-service training at Camp Ripley. Patten worked with local officers to provide online FAS classes in needed areas. Patten worked on video uploads to YouTube and video clips from FAS classes for Instructor training.


East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted as a Use of Force Instructor with the fall Conservation Officers’ in-service training at Camp Ripley. The training focused on officer firearms training and safety related scenario training. RTO Lawrence answered calls from firearms safety instructors about fall youth firearms safety training and scheduling fall and spring training for instructors.


Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with firearms qualifications and other training for Conservation Officers’ in-service training.


Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted with annual fall in-service training at Camp Ripley for three days. He also worked on 13-14 Snowmobile Regulations booklets, ATV education standards and responded to numerous email and phone calls.


NW RTO Jon Paurus spent the week at Camp Ripley for annual training.


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports teaching and assisting with Use of Force Training at Camp Ripley officer in-service. He also planned for upcoming Instructor training and worked on Instructor backgrounds.



Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens       763-753-1887

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184

Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032

NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773


Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant


Education Specialist:  Vacant


Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

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