FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report

Contact: Rich Sprouse

             Public Information Officer

             800-366-8917, Ext 2511

 

CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT

10-14-2013

 

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck hunters on Thief Lake and the Roseau River impoundments. Anglers were checked with CO Vollbrecht on the Rainy River. An accidentally trapped bobcat was turned in that weighed 60 pounds. Violations for the week included transporting a loaded firearm and possessing illegal length walleye.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling activity, duck, goose, grouse hunters and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. Assistance was given to instructors with the Kelliher youth ATV Safety Class and field day. A complaint of nuisance beaver was handled and enforcement action was taken for an ATV violation.

 

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week.  Anglers on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods continue to report good fishing success.  Numerous calls for service were handled ranging from nuisance beaver calls to disability permits. CO Gorecki executed a search warrant on a residence that resulted in the seizure of several big game animals. Charges are pending on the case as the investigation is still on going.

 

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #1 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending most of last week checking waterfowl hunters. Few new birds have moved into the area. There are still a large number of geese around. Time was also spent checking archery deer hunters, small game hunters, and anglers. ATV operators and hunting complaint areas were also checked.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received calls about bear baiting concerns, shining and a theft of a stand and camera. Boating, waterfowl and archery deer hunting activities were

monitored.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowl hunters and assisted the SO at a medical call.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked waterfowl and grouse hunters. A boat and water safety work detail was worked on the Rainy River with CO Huener and CO Holt. Weather conditions were less than favorable, but several anglers were out enjoying a decent walleye bite. ATV activity was monitored on the Soo Line Trail and other forest roads in the area.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked big game hunters throughout the week and taught several portions of a firearms safety field day in Becida. The officer also assisted CO Parthun with removing an illegal permanent duck blind from a local lake. Complaints of duck hunters shooting after hours and big game hunting violations were received and investigated. Officer Holt participated in a work detail on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods with CO Vollbrecht. Enforcement activity for the week included multiple fishing license violations, boat and water safety violations and over limit violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) patrolled the station for waterfowl and grouse hunters. Pheasant opener in the station, even with the “fair” forecast was poor. No hunters checked had birds. CO Vinton assisted the White Earth Conservation Officers with violation committed by a non-Band member. CO Vinton was accompanied by a student ride along from Bemidji State and assisted CO Peterson (Osage) with a TIP call.

 

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a slow opener for area pheasant hunters.  A combination of poor weather and reduced pheasant numbers made it difficult for hunters that took to the field. Waterfowl hunters also report a slow week with few birds moving into the area. CO Seefeldt followed up on a complaint of an archery deer hunter using bait.  Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration, no small game license, and no angling license.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the end of bear season, multiple violations of unregistered baits, driving an ATV in a closed area, and using containers for bait were discovered.  CO Peterson also worked anglers and small game hunters with just a few wet anglers and hunters seen.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports the pheasant opener was one of the toughest he has seen in his 20+ year career. Wind and rains on Saturday made for challenging hunting. Hunters reported seeing few birds both on Sat. and Sun. Duck hunters were seeing a few new birds coming in, but no large influx of migrants yet. CO Forsberg also spent time checking turkey hunters, following up on waters complaints and trespass complaint.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on waters and WCA cases. Time was spent following up on an ongoing APM case and work was completed with the APM manager.  Small game, waterfowl and pheasant hunters were checked. Not many pheasants were seen and rainy weather was not helpful to hunters. WREO Stattelman spent time monitoring boat traffic in and out of area lake accesses. The fall weather has slowed traffic considerably. Fall fishermen are reminded to drain all livewells and bait buckets before leaving the access.

 

Perham – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports quite a few hunters were out pursuing rooster pheasants over the opener. With most of the corn still standing, hunters reported seeing few birds. Some reported seeing more birds than what they expected though. Duck hunters saw more divers moving around on Sunday and believed good hunting is near.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked small game hunters and checked waterfowl and turkey hunters as well. Fishing activity continues to be strong as well.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen, archery, waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Several complaints were followed up on this past week including waterfowl hunters shooting at grebes. The pheasant opener was slow with the rainy weather and lack of birds.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Pheasant hunters are reminded that they can’t use toxic shot on Waterfowl Production Areas. Osborne encountered a group of waterfowl hunters that were given proper paperwork for transporting loaded firearms in a motor boat. New birds have shown up in the area.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored fishing activity as well as waterfowl and pheasant hunting pressure. Fishing success remains good on station lakes with enforcement action taken for anglers fishing without licenses. Waterfowl hunters are thinning out with fewer birds around, but some are still having success. Pheasant opener was very windy and rainy which kept a lot of hunters indoors and very few birds harvested. Lots of questions were taken about the government shutdown affecting public hunting opportunities on WPAs. Clarification came late in the week with the acknowledgement of WPAs opening for pheasant season.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports continuing to work heavy fishing pressure on Lake Osakis, with several more overlimit cases made. A TIP call and subsequent investigation, led to one man found with over-limits of walleye, crappie, and sunfish in his possession. The man now faces a substantial fine and license revocation. Johanson worked the pheasant opener and continued to check waterfowl, fall turkey, and archery deer hunting activity, documenting violations for license/stamp issues, transporting loaded firearms in boats and vehicles, lending/borrowing deer tags and unlawful deer party hunting, and taking an overlimit of hen mallards. Additional time was spent investigating a waters violation, following up on illegal deer activity and monitoring ATV and fire activity.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on pheasant hunters, waterfowl hunters and archery deer hunters. Anderson reports the number of pheasant hunters dropped significantly from openers of years past. Poor weather, poor pheasant numbers and the confusion of Federal WPAs closed and then not closed are likely all factors. Good numbers of waterfowl hunters were observed. Complaints were handled regarding deer shining along with stands being left on public hunting lands. Minnow transportation permits were issued along with follow-up completed on a WCA case in Pope County. Calls were fielded on nuisance beaver, waterfowl hunting, deer hunting questions and several calls about pheasant hunting.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports with the low number of birds, the weather, and the amount of standing crops, the pheasant opener was slow for the majority of hunters in the area. Enforcement activity for the week included checking fishermen, pheasant hunters, waterfowl hunters, and bow hunters. Additional time was spent answering phone calls about WPA closure, performing maintenance on station equipment, and responding to complaints of people operating motorized watercraft in waterfowl feeding and resting areas.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) continued working archery deer hunting issues and checked area waterfowl hunters. He assisted with a youth hunt in Itasca Park and checked small game hunters, noting a few with birds in the bag. Officer Parthun also began work on a trespass and damage to property case and monitored ATV use. Enforcement action was taken for no ATV safety certificate, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and harvesting wood without a permit.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, hunters, and ATV operators during the week. She also responded to an ATV on fire and assisted another agency on a suspect who had fled his vehicle.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) investigated a calf that was killed; the prime suspects being a family of coyotes. He also monitored duck hunting activity and discussed AIS regulations with hunters and anglers.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing, AIS, small game, and waterfowl hunting activity. He also continued to receive calls with questions regarding the federal government shutdown and received a complaint of litter on USFS land.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports anglers enjoyed the warm week while deer and duck hunters were looking for fall to set in. Some bear hunters were also seen for this last week of the open season. Enforcement action was taken for illegal use of a combination license.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATV activity. Angling success seemed to pick up, however, waterfowl hunting success was limited. CO Broughten assisted with an investigation where a waterfowl hunter shot a trumpeter swan. In another instance while CO Broughten was checking an area for grouse hunting activity he found several snowmobile trail signs that appeared to been intentionally ran over by a car. CO Broughten followed the path of destruction to a hunting camp where he interviewed persons that stated they were out for a joy ride, and although in hindsight it was stupid, at the time they found it enjoyable to run the signs over. CO Broughten documented the damage and a report will be submitted to the county attorney’s office for charging and restitution.

 

CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) patrolled ATV trails and forest roads and checked a variety of hunters. She encountered registration violations along with closed trail and loaded firearm violations.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala investigated a public waters violation where fill had been placed in the channel of a waterway and in the wetlands adjacent to it.  The landowner agreed to voluntarily remove the fill. He also monitored area hunting and deer shining activity.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time monitoring fishing and boating activity on the Rainy River with enforcement action taken for over limits and illegal length fish.  Other activities involved several illegal burning complaints and assisting CO Patten and Koochiching Sheriff’s Office with illegal ATV operation in public waters.  Bear hunting came to a quiet end and grouse hunters are seeing a few more birds as the leaves are falling.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored outdoor fall activities, worked on equipment, returned phone calls and completed computer and administrative task work.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small game and waterfowl hunters, worked night hunting activity, investigated a wetland violation and issued a Resource Protection Notification, assisted the Hibbing Police with a DWI and meth possession arrest, and taught a Firearms Safety Class in Buhl. In about an hour’s time, the officer dealt with two groups of ATVs (total of 8) illegally riding on a state trail that is only open to snowmobiles, while another ATV was encountered nearby that was transporting a loaded shotgun. They had passed by and ignored multiple no motor vehicle signs. A total of 11 violations were racked up by the nine people. Other enforcement action was taken on unplugged gun, unsigned federal duck stamp, and no small game license in possession.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took calls from landowners about grouse hunters who were either driving or shooting onto their posted property. Time was spent monitoring the landowner’s properties hoping to observe the behavior. CO Frericks reminds and encourages all sportsmen to respect landowner’s property lines. Few duck hunters were seen out and those duck hunters who were checked in the blind report little success. Plenty of anxious deer hunters were seen preparing their deer stands and deer shacks.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) completed office work. Time was also spent walking through woods on reported baited deer hunting spots. Grouse hunters reporting very few birds seen or flushed, those with dogs were faring better. A number of deer hunters report seeing very few bucks or does with fawns.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports most anglers having trouble catching walleyes with any regularity as northern pike have begun to dominate the bite. Grouse hunting continues to be steady with some groups doing well as the woods begin to open up. Violations included transporting cleaned game birds, hunting with no license in possession and transporting a juvenile passenger on an ATV without a helmet.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time in the BWCAW looking for hunters and fishermen. Hunting success was reasonably good for those that were out and about. The officer is finding deer baits and other evidence of illegal baiting activity. Among other things, the use if bait is not fair to other hunters. Hunters are reminded that it is a violation to use bait and the law is strictly enforced.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked pheasant hunters in the Ortonville station with CO Miska. Not very many  hunters and not many birds. While the CO’s were checking some hunters, two pickups pulled up behind to see what the CO’s were up to. Too bad both trucks had loaded guns in them. Waterfowl hunters with lead shot and no plugs in shotguns were also encountered. A bow hunter called the CO during the week and told him he encountered four timber wolves at his deer stand. The hunter tried to scare them off, but they appeared to show no fear. Eventually they trotted off.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) responded to an out of control fire at a state park campground; the occupant used gasoline to light his campfire, and subsequently the woods around it. Neighboring campers helped put it out before too much damage was done to forest or persons. CO Manning and CO Scott issued a Cease and Desist Order for a wetlands case and conducted a site visit on another wetlands violation. The officer also took a report of possible moose hunting in the area  and checked grouse hunters in the field.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked grouse hunters, anglers, and ATVs. Two hunters were cited for transporting grouse without a wing and the birds were seized. More shots were heard in the woods from grouse hunters than earlier in the season.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) responded to wolf complaints, checked anglers and small game hunters. Overall, grouse hunters are having limited success. The officer patrolled state parks and returned numerous phone calls.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked big and small game hunting activities along with ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for license and ATV violations .Murray also assisted with a nuisance bear complaint and checked  Lake Superior anglers.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and hunters and patrolled for ATV activity. He spoke to students at the Northome School about all DNR safety training and ice safety. He investigated incidents of baiting, trespass, shining, and major damage to public waters by an ATV. A Class 2 ATV was seized.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, small game, and big game activity. CO Hansen also answered miscellaneous wildlife calls. Violations of no blaze orange and trespass were encountered.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended k-9 training this past week.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) received a call on trespass this past week involving a bird hunter who was attempting to shoot grouse within 500 feet of the complainant’s home. Please remember to respect other people’s property when out hunting and know the trespass law. She also received a call regarding hunter harassment in the Grand Rapids area, which is still being investigated. Car kill deer are showing up more frequently, be careful when driving.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small game hunters over the past week with some grouse seen in the bags along with woodcock. CO Sutherland worked on deer baiting, trespassing, nuisance bear and camera theft calls. A family fun day was also worked where the Wall of Shame was present at the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked bough cutters, ATVs, state parks, campgrounds, small game, and archery deer hunters. He also worked trespass and hunting complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week training at Camp Ripley. Wichmann also took phone calls about the upcoming firearms deer season.

CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Rec. Officer) checked hunters and ATV activity in Remer, Bemidji, and Sturgeon Lake this past week. Some areas had high violation rates with ATVs and OHMs operating in closed areas. Several offenders were unsuccessful in asking for a warning instead of a citation, after driving by four signs prohibiting motorized traffic. Several other violations were also encountered with illegal transportation of firearms.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, waterfowling, bough picking, angling, and OHV activities. New ducks arrived Sunday with limits checked with scaup, red head, bufflehead, widgeon and green winged teal in the bags. A Wetland Conservation Act Restoration Order was issued. Aquatic Plant Management and public waters complaints were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for work in public waters without permits and for illegal removal of emergent vegetation and for unsigned duck stamps. An unattended decoy case was investigated with charges pending. Calls regarding wolf trapping and federal shut downs continue to be received.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked shining complaint areas. Follow up on shooting from roadway complaints were investigated. Trespassing complaints have been reported. ATV complaint areas were worked and enforcement action taken.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported it was another very busy week throughout the station. Time was spent checking archery deer hunters, small game and waterfowl hunters. A couple of wetland encroachment issues were addressed. The officer assisted with nighttime work detail where two men were arrested for illegal shinning of deer and the driver charged with a DWI. A garbage dumping complaint was also investigated.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working big game enforcement. Officer Duncan also talked on a local outdoor radio show and discussed the fall seasons work activity. Other activity included working ATV enforcement, returning several calls from the public, office work, and checking some past problem locations for illegal hunting activity.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV,  big, and small game enforcement. CO Humphrey continued to work deer shining complaint areas. A shining detail was held with assistance from several  District Officers which resulted in two Gross Misdemeanors and a DWI arrest. CO Humphrey also continued follow up on bear registration and baiting violations. CO Humphrey assisted DNR Forestry with a trespass on state land and an illegal fire. Several phone calls were received with questions about upcoming hunting seasons and ATV usage. Violations for trespass, burning, and bear bait were dealt with.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a meeting with the MN Trapper’s Assoc. and also attended K9 training in the metro area. Complaints of an illegally taken bear and baited deer stands continue to be worked. Two complaints of song birds being shot are being investigated. Grouse hunting appears to be fairly slow in the area with not a lot of birds being seen.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) worked with local government units in grand Marais as well as local CO Mary manning on two new WCA violations. On a site on Loon Lake had a significant impact to cedar swamp wetlands where persons created a trail system thought the wetland up to 5 feet wide using crushed rock and larger rock base for the trail system. The other violation was in connection with a local business that is getting up and running. Cease and desist orders were issued and work with the landowners is underway to resolve the issues.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small game hunters north of Duluth. He worked with fellow District 8 officers on night work in Carlton County and checked shore anglers along the French River. Calls are starting to increase on the upcoming firearms deer season.

 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended refresher training at the US Coast Guard Station for day and nighttime enforcement boat operations. ATV violations were checked, and questions answered about upcoming hunting seasons and nuisance bears. A live trap was set for a bear that was seen with a leg-hold trap on its foot. If caught, the trap will be removed from the bear’s foot. Assistance was given to local agencies with burning violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) went through a boat operator recertification training put on by the Coast Guard in Duluth. He also worked waterfowl, angling, boating, and ATV enforcement. He did some research on active cases. He worked a shining detail, where one truck was locating illegally shining with loaded firearms and the driver was intoxicated. Enforcement action taken for big game violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included investigating complaints of illegal ATV operation, deer baiting, hunter harassment, and obstruction of public waters. Patrol included checking waterfowl, small game, and bow deer hunters, and fall fishing activity. A cease and desist order was issued to an individual who illegally posted “No Trespassing” signs and blocked a public waterway to prevent duck hunters from hunting legally on public waters.  Other contacts were made for snares left out illegally on state forest land, decoys left out illegally on public waters, lifetime angling license fraud, and ATV operation violations.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked waterfowl and big game enforcement. Officer Guida assisted a neighboring Officer with the Camp Ripley Youth Archery Hunt. Harvest was low and very few deer were observed on the military reservation. A car kill deer permit was issued. A big game trespass call was handled and both the landowner and the bow hunter agreed to the conditions.  Officer Guida assisted Officer Hadrits on a call.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked small game hunters who were reporting very slow success for grouse. Officer Lee followed up on a complaint of a buck being shot and wandering into a yard. The archery hunter who shot the deer was located a short time later and was happy his deer had been located.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked duck hunters, grouse hunters, and monitored boat landings for invasive species transporting. Nuisance beaver permits were issued for problems with flooded roads and fields. Officer Collette also responded to a TIP call of hunters shooting a swan. After extensive searching for the bird, it was eventually pulled out from under the bog where the hunters had shoved it. Charges are pending.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, hunting, boating, AIS, and recreational activity in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area and Pillsbury State Forest. He responded to a personal injury mountain bike accident in the SRA. Corrective actions including camping in closed area, motor vehicle in closed area, ATV trespass and un-restrained dogs.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and hunters during the week. Complaints on illegal burning and trespass were also worked. An individual was charged for taking turkeys without a license from a 2012 complaint.

 

McGregor – vacant.

 

Pine River – vacant.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded a significant amount of waterfowl, small game and big game hunting law related questions. The CO attended a firearms safety class at the Isle Recreation Center. Law enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a road right-of-way without a valid driver’s license and driving after revocation.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking small game hunters during the week. Hunters reported finding grouse but said it was fairly tough to see them yet. Fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake were checked and the bite was found to be fairly slow. A TIP complaint of a couple of hunters shooting out of a motor vehicle was investigated. Waterfowl hunters were monitored and even though some of the weather was not favorable some birds were seen in the bag.  Follow up was done a trespass complaint and two wolves were picked up from a predator controller who was trapping in an open controller zone. Time was spent walking several WMAs to make sure no one was leaving stands out overnight and they were also patrolled for hunters. A few big game hunters were checked and many fishing, snowmobiling, small game and big game questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.

 

CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received more calls of trespassing. Please properly post your land by following the guidelines laid out in the hunting regulation book. That is the first step in solving trespassing related complaints. Heaton also received complaints of shining residences and livestock enclosures during legal shining hours. She patrolled area state WMAs and State Forests.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked a limited number of bear hunters, still attempting to harvest a bear, during the final week of bear hunting. Archery deer hunting activity has steadily increased. Only a few hunters were found trying their luck during the pheasant hunting opener and those that made it out reported seeing a fair number of birds. Surface water temperatures on area lakes were in the upper 50s and anglers that were checked reported an improved fish bite.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking small game hunters, monitoring ATV complaint areas, and winterized summer equipment. He answered numerous questions about the upcoming deer season, ATV operation in State Forests, and issued a nuisance beaver permit. CO Wynn spent time over the weekend checking waterfowl and pheasant hunters, and also removed a road killed bear from the freeway. A few anglers were also checked through the week enjoying what may be the last of the nicer weather for the year.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked waterfowl hunters over the weekend. A few more ring neck ducks are starting to appear with mallards making up most of the bag. Grouse hunters report not seeing much for birds in the area and fishing pressure on Mille Lacs remains low.

 

WREO Rob Haberman attended EVOC instructor school at Camp Ripley throughout the week.

 

Onamia – vacant.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked pheasant, duck and deer hunters as well as boaters and anglers. Pheasant opener in the Albany area appeared to be poor with few birds. Hunter participation was less than previous years. Thesing worked baited deer stands and deer shining complaints. Enforcement action for the week included no plug, extra line, no federal duck stamp and no license in possession.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a slow pheasant opener. The pheasant population is down and they were not moving in the cold, windy weather. There were few pheasant, small game, or bow hunters out. A moderate number of waterfowl hunters were out. Few anglers were out. Several docks and watercraft were removed from area lakes.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) along with a natural resources law enforcement Central Lakes College ride along, investigated a call of a headless buck in the road ditch, a TIP call of an over-limit of geese taken and complaints of late duck hunting on the Mississippi River. Animal calls of a dead otter, wood pecker and a dead “wolf” that turned out to be a husky dog were handled. CO Kuske assisted with the Camp Ripley Youth Archery Hunt where a total of 10 deer were taken by youth over the two days of the hunt.

 

CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and hunters during the past week. Several calls of big game hunters using bait were taken and time was spent checking them out. Officer Martin checked waterfowl violations and WCA violations as well.

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking on anglers, waterfowlers, and pheasant hunters. CO Silgjord provided assistance on a lend/borrow case and spent preparing for an upcoming court case. Enforcement action for the week included no small game license, fail to remove plug, take smallmouth bass out of season and fail to display ATV registration.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking boaters and hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and insufficient boating safety equipment. WREO Bertram issued wetland restoration orders in Mille Lacs and Chisago counties. Questions were also answered at Lake Service Provider training in Brainerd.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) assisted the SO on a call. CO Mies checked pheasant hunters this past weekend. CO Mies also worked on TIP calls.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated several deer baiting complaints. Area WMAs were checked for waterfowl and small game hunting activity. A number of deer shining complaints were received and surveillance of areas conducted.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, small game and big game activity. The officer answered several calls regarding WPA closers. Fishing activity continues to be busy in the area.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several hunting complaints and nuisance animal complaints. Waterfowl hunting has slowed some with the warm weather last week, but anglers are starting to find the fall bite start. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, and angling with extra lines.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and hunters. He followed up on a number of TIP calls with charges pending. He answered a number of hunting questions. He took enforcement action on ATV violations.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent time in the woods, fields and wetlands during the week. Duck hunters reported some new birds in the area. Pheasant hunters were out in force on opener but bird numbers appear to be down. Deer hunters are also reporting more deer movement. Enforcement action was taken on a trespass complaint and failure to have HIP certification.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a lot of hunting activity in the area. Duck hunters were out in good numbers but not having a lot of success. Numerous landowner disputes were handled in the area. CO Langevin received a TIP call of five anglers fishing too close to the Taylors Falls dam. The anglers were found and cited.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) received a TIP call on individuals that were shooting cranes. The hunters greeted Officer Londgren stating how they were having a pretty good day and had harvested a few cranes. Their day got worse when they were told that they were hunting in a non-crane zone; enforcement action was taken. Officer Londgren also checked anglers and hunters, patrolled state and federal lands, and followed up on trespassing/hunter harassment calls.

 

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a presentation to a group of Watertown High School students at the Watertown Rod & Gun Club before they went out on a pheasant hunt at Wings of Watertown shooting preserve. The pheasant opener was worked but with crops in and strong wind the success was poor. Waterfowl hunters were checked all week having fair success. Enforcement action was taken for no state or federal waterfowl stamps, no small game license in possession, no Hip, unplugged shotgun, no PFD’s, trespass and ATV on roadway.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and assisted a neighboring CO with a bow hunting over bait complaint. CO Grewe received calls regarding an injured loon and answered questions about the pheasant opener. Violations included no fishing license and shooting after hours.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked small game and archery deer hunters. He gave a law presentation to the South Metro Chapter of MDHA. CO Neitzke talked to a youth firearms safety class. He also worked the second season waterfowl opener and pheasant opener.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and shore fishermen in the Osseo station. He responded to a complaint in Maple Grove of an individual raising koi fish in a pond behind his backyard. Officer Lee also checked small game hunters and worked AIS at Lakes public accesses.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) responded to several animal calls in Edina and calls regarding hunting laws for East Metro areas. He was trying to follow up with a case of transporting zebra mussels in Minneapolis lakes. He checked duck hunters and pheasant hunters in Carver and Scott counties.

 

Bloomington  – vacant.

 

Minnetonka – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling the St. Croix River for waterfowl hunters and anglers. He continued checking small game hunters, archery deer hunters, and working ATV enforcement throughout the week. CO Arntzen investigated TIP complaints and responded to several complaints of shooting after hours. CO Arntzen issued a nuisance beaver permit, scheduled snowmobile safety classes, assisted a law enforcement agency with an injured deer, and performed equipment maintenance.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week focusing on AIS and wetland related activity. Hunting complaints were also investigated on both State and Federal lands. A resource protection notification was issued in Washington County regarding a possible unpermitted wetland fill.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) reports a busy second waterfowl opener. Numerous hunters were out over the second opening weekend and success was good. Numerous groups of hunters were reporting bag limits of blue wing teal. Enforcement action was taken for license and stamp violations.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl hunters over the weekend. He spent some time investigating complaints and he continued checking anglers around the metro lakes. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in Rosemount and responded to calls throughout the week.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked hunters on the Pheasant opener. He spoke to a snowmobile safety class in Andover. CO Johnson investigated several properties where aquatic vegetation had been cut on Lake George. He received several complaints of trespassing, and a stolen deer stand.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked on numerous aquatic vegetation cases in Ramsey County. She handled TIP calls and certified ginseng in Maplewood. CO Kruse is working on a deer case and checked many waterfowl hunters on area lakes. She handled a call of four individuals hunting pheasants before 9 a.m. on opening morning, checked small game hunters, handled a car kill fisher and talked to a firearms safety class in Arden Hills.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports near perfect conditions in the area brought out many hunters for the pheasant opener. With bird numbers down and a lot of corn still in the field, roosters were hard to come by. Enforcement action for the week included hunting deer over bait.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked a busy pheasant opener with the assistance of CO Fagerman. Hunter numbers were low and hunter success was mixed. Waterfowl hunters were also checked during the week.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that the pheasant opener was busy with a lot of activity on local WMAs and WPAs. Walk-In Access lands also saw a lot of use. Pheasant hunters struggled with most hunting parties averaging less than one rooster per hunter. The waterfowl season reopened in the south zone with good success. Some teal and wood ducks are still hanging around with a few gadwalls and widgeons starting to arrive.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports a very slow pheasant season both in the number of hunters and birds bagged. The people who worked hard were able to find a bird or two.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working archery deer hunters, pheasant opener and Duck Opener 2.0. Duck success continues to be very limited. Pheasant hunters enjoyed more success with the take ranging from poor to only fair. Warm weather limited hunter and dog abilities. Most crops are still in the field but coming out rapidly. Online Adult Firearms Safety Course questions were the most common questions fielded. Enforcement action included hunters with an over limit of pheasants.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) was on a local radio show discussing land that is open for the pheasant season. Weather wise, it was a great weekend for pheasant opener, however the roosters did a great job of hiding. Hunters take was low in the area. Walk in Areas were used by many and the validation requirement was easily purchased on line. Two young ladies were given Panda award’s for wearing their life jackets during a morning duck hunt with their father. Special beaver permits were issued along with an ATV Permit.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) completed a site visit on a WCA violation in Redwood County where fill was placed in a wetland next to the Minnesota River. A PW site visit was completed in Chippewa Co. where a landowner completed more work than the permit allowed. Empty stations were worked over the pheasant opener. Fishermen, duck hunters and pheasant hunters were checked for AIS issues. ATV Registration issues were also addressed.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke with eighty 6th grade students as part of the annual Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center Conservation Days program. He checked a number of pheasant hunters and only observed one pheasant taken over the weekend with less hunting pressure noted as well. Denz also checked anglers, waterfowl hunters and followed up on an AIS complaint.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters throughout the weekend. Blue-wing teal are still making up the majority of ducks shot. Pheasant hunters had a rough start to the season with low numbers and lots of crops still in the field. Enforcement action was taken on two archery hunters caught hunting over an area baited with acorns, with no oak trees in sight. She also spoke at an all ladies firearms safety class in Bird Island.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked the opening of the pheasant season. Winds were strong while pheasant and hunter numbers were significantly lower than normal. However, the winds seem to bring teal into the area, with several limits of teal checked. Oberg also took time to educate waterfowl hunters on aquatic invasive species laws. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl hunting violations.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received complaints of waterfowl hunting during the closed season and pheasant hunting before legal shooting hours. The remainder of the week was spent engaged in waterfowl, small game, ATV, and invasive species activities. Many hunters participated in the pheasant opener. High winds and an abundance of standing corn held back their success. Almost every hunter reported seeing birds.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) worked the pheasant opener and the re-opening of the migratory waterfowl season in the southern zone. The first day of the pheasant season was not as productive as last year due in large part to the amount of crops still in the field and the windy conditions. Three hunters were arrested for hunting waterfowl while intoxicated.  Beckmann presented a law and ethics talk to a firearms safety class in Westbrook.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked pheasant and duck opener and also continued to work other small and big game seasons. Gruhlke assisted Martin and Emmet counties with a fleeing suspect case. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including area activity and upcoming openers, etc. He also worked with the Jackson County Pilot on an article referencing pheasant opener and firearms safety issues. Enforcement issues that were addressed were no pheasant stamp validation, unsigned federal duck stamp, vehicle trespass on a WMA and no license in possession. Pressure was lighter this year than in the past and the take of pheasant was also down. Green wing teal are more prevalent that blue wing, but both were still in the bag. Wood ducks and mallard were also found in the bag.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked waterfowl and small game hunters for the opening seasons. Pheasant hunting was strong but it was unfortunate that many didn’t see a bird much less fire a shot. Assistance was given to local and out of state law enforcement for tracking down an individual fleeing in a motor vehicle then on foot. Apprehension of the suspect was the conclusion. Reports of the sighting of a bull moose were investigated. A local farmer combining corn observed the animal walking in the field heading southeast. He stated he’s seen them before in Canada but not this far south.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked hunting activity. Pheasant opener was slow in the area. The re-opening of waterfowl season saw lots of hunters harvesting ducks and geese.

 

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 and responded to dumping complaints.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked angling, small game, and waterfowl hunting activity.  A district meeting was also attended. The opening pheasant weekend brought some hunters out to the field with moderate success. Enforcement action was taken on license violations.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy waterfowl and pheasant opener this past week. Support was given at the Governor’s Opener in Madelia. Investigations into illegally taken deer are being investigated.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked small game, migratory waterfowl, and big game hunting activity during the week. The officer also gave the law & ethics portion of a firearms safety class. Various calls were also handled from the public.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring fishing, small game, and archery deer hunting. He attended training at Myre – Big Island State Park. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and no state pheasant stamp.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) attended K9 training. Follow up on WCA cases continues. Boaters were educated on AIS when pulling boats and docks for the season.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving a call from a Federal Wildlife Officer who observed two subjects walking out of a state park looking suspicious and holding bags. Upon further investigation both subjects were harvesting ginseng from the state park, which is illegal. Citations were issued. CO Boyum also worked the second waterfowl opener. Hunting was very good. Teal numbers were up and the most common bird seen in the bag. Violations encountered shooting after hours and no state duck stamp.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and duck hunters during the week. The bluegill bite continues to be good with over-limits seen taken. Teal numbers were incredible on the river with lots of limits of ducks checked in the bag on the reopener.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers throughout the week and duck hunters and anglers over the weekend.  Officer George took calls of dogs chasing deer and several license questions. He took enforcement action taken for some stamp and license issues along with no PFDs in a watercraft.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports duck hunters had good success on the second duck opener. All species of fish are being caught on the Mississippi River except walleyes. Many calls concerning the closing of the USFW refuge lands. Fall turkey hunters are bagging a few birds. It appears the turkey flocks are smaller than previous seasons.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking anglers and responding to deer related complaints during the week. The weekend was spent checking waterfowl hunting activity. Hunters had a great day of hunting on Saturday. Between 40 and 50 hunters were checked who had shot their limit of ducks. Some hunters were done within 15 minutes of legal shooting hours. Most of the ducks were teal.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy opening of the second split of the waterfowl season. Limits were the norm Saturday morning on the Mississippi River from both the Minnesota and Wisconsin side of the river. Teal were by far the number one big in the bag but some bigger ducks were checked. The fishermen were also out in force with the nice weather and most had some crappie, sunfish or perch in the livewell. Enforcement action involved license, stamps, closed hours and over limit violations.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a great second duck opener. There were many questions about federal properties before the opener and a small amount of confusion with closed federal landings but the duck hunting in the area was very good with hunters having chances to get limits of ducks. He checked many limits of fish on river, ATVs on trails, and AIS throughout the area. Hemker also spoke with a student doing a research paper on the Conservation Officer career.

 

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 Tom Buker (New Ulm) flew waterfowl surveys and photographed sites for possible wetland violation. Aircraft were also moved around the state for maintenance issues.

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew baiting and shoreline violation flights. He also finished up CFI school.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten and wolf telemetry and the Bemidji duck survey. Heineman also attended to aircraft maintenance.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports handling numerous fish stocking flights in NE Minnesota. Splake were the fish of the week. Jensen also flew night currency flights and positioned aircraft. A wildlife telemetry flight was performed also in north central MN involving wolves and fisher.

NR Pilot Ettl supported the northeastern fish stocking program.

 

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.

 

 SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

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:

STAFF NOTES:

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez attended the monthly RTO meeting at Camp Ripley.  RTO Gutierrez, sat in on a de-certification regarding a Volunteer FAS Instructor. The board has to ten days to determine the final decision. RTO Gutierrez assisted Washington County Sheriff’s Dept. with the search efforts for an elderly male suffering from dementia in the Mahtomedi area. The elderly man was found when he returned to the assisted care facility with his daughter from dinner. RTO Gutierrez conducted a Volunteer FAS Instructor Clinic in the Lakeville area where he had 17 people attend.

 

NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on video clips for Firearms safety Instructor training. Patten worked on reviews of the Snowmobile Safety and ATV Safety CD changes. Patten assisted Northome School with an evacuation drill for the student body and staff. Once the staff was assembled offsite, Patten talked with different class groups about the various safety training classes that they are required to have. Patten attended an RTO meeting via LYNC. Patten worked small game hunting and had enforcement actions on illegal ATV operation.

 

East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended monthly RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. RTO Lawrence patrolled along the St. Croix River scenic river way checking on waterfowl hunters and angling activity within the national parks service property. RTO Lawrence answered several inquiries from the public on the federal government shutdown and how it affects hunting in federal land areas. RTO Lawrence working on winter scheduling of Instructor training at various metro locations.

 

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week preparing for upcoming instructor training. Time was also spent attending an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley.

 

Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week took part in the monthly Regional Training Officers meeting. He continued work on a revised motorized recreation advisory committee. Other items worked on throughout the week included the Snowmobile Training for Law Enforcement POST course, ATV & Snowmobile CD updates, National ATV Education Standards, and Trail Ambassador program items. Owens also responded to numerous email and a few phone calls during the week.

 

NW RTO Jon Paurus attending Use of Force Instructor Training during the week.

 

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports attending Intermediate Use of Force Instructor Training during the week.  He also returned calls and planned for upcoming field days for online students and Instructor training.  Calls regarding regulation questions were also returned.

 

RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:

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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