Weekly Conservation Officer Report

101313 - nick nate koda duck hunt

Contact: Rich Sprouse

             Public Information Officer

             800-366-8917, Ext 2511





District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored duck, grouse, and youth deer hunting activity. Ring-necks and redheads made up most of the waterfowl bag, but some northern divers have started to migrate. Grouse hunting reports were spotty. Enforcement action was taken for unplugged shotgun and no license in possession.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) received and investigated complaints of deer shinning with deer being shot and left. A gray wolf hit by a car was disposed. CO Warren investigated complaints of dogs chasing deer, possible wild ducks being kept as pets, and someone hunting in the Old Mill State Park. Information was provided to a landowner in regards to trespass regulations and waterfowl and small game hunters were checked. Youth deer season was worked and CO Warren assisted the sheriff’s office with an injured juvenile hunter.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling activity, duck, goose, grouse hunters and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. He spoke at the Bemidji State Park Youth Deer Hunt Orientation and answered many questions. A nuisance beaver complaint was investigated and assistance given to a neighboring CO with an ORV violation. Enforcement action was taken for license violations.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week.  Angers continue to report good fishing on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. CO Gorecki investigated numerous complaints ranging from shining to pubic waters complaints.  Shining activity was monitored in the area.


Baudette -vacant.


Blackduck #1 – vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking youth deer hunters this past weekend. Several excited youth hunters and deer were checked. Time was also spent checking archery deer hunters, waterfowl hunters, and anglers. An illegal fire was checked and hunting complaint areas were monitored. Area wildlife management areas were walked looking for illegal deer stands. Various wildlife related complaints were received.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had complaints of trespass, shining along with problem beaver and bear. He monitored boating and hunting activities. Assistance was given to stranded motorists, an individual that had lost a gun and the Officer attended a tribal court case. Plans were made for an upcoming firearms safety class. There was some participation and success for the youth deer hunt despite the uncooperative weather.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowler hunters and prepared for an upcoming FAS class

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity in the Bemidji area. Most lakes are seeing a good perch and walleye bite. Waterfowl hunters were checked and reporting a slow hunt. Hunters are yet to see northern migrant birds. CO Vollbrecht followed up on nuisance beaver complaints and requests for road kill deer permits. An APM violation was investigated with a local fisheries employee.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored area waterfowl hunting, archery deer hunting and angling. Time was spent in Itasca State Park checking angling activity. Few anglers were seen in the park. Several complaints were received including waterfowl hunters shooting after hours.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) patrolled area WMA and WPA for small game and waterfowl hunters. The Federal government shutdown ended and hunters again began hunting the NWRs in the Detroit Lakes area. A strong cold front with snow moved through the area and very few ducks were seen. Some anglers were contacted fishing area rivers with modest success.


CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a slow week for area waterfowl hunters. Very few ducks have migrated into the area. CO Seefeldt followed up on complaints of deer shining, trespass, and late shooting of waterfowl. CO Seefeldt reminds deer hunters that bait must be removed 10 days prior to hunting that area. CO Seefeldt also took calls regarding nuisance beaver and injured raptors.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked waterfowl enforcement, including a late shooting complaint. Hunting pressure was light, and the weather was foul. Follow-up was started on a calf kill, possibly by wolves. Enforcement action was taken for unchecked leech traps.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working waterfowl, pheasant and deer hunters. Pheasant hunters were still having a tough time with all the rain over the week. A few new ducks coming, but most hunters report slow hunting. Also handled a road kill fisher and worked on a trespass complaint. CO Forsberg also assisted the Otter Tail County SO with locating an individual who was operating a jetski after hours and had gone missing. The jetski had quit running and the individual spent a considerable amount of time in shorts and a t-shirt stranded on the Lake Lida in very cold conditions before being located.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on WCA, APM and PW cases.

Time was spent checking waterfowl hunters and fishermen for AIS law compliance. A work detail was conducted on the Rainy River with CO Lawler. Focus was on slot limits and AIS compliance. Several meetings with LGUs, Aquatic Plant Managers, and hydrologists were attended. A pre-deer season meeting was attended at the Detroit Lakes Wildlife office.


Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) monitored duck migration in the area. New birds have been observed in traditional diving duck areas with some scaup seen. Richards spoke to the Red River Jr. Sportsman’s group in Wahpeton, ND where deer hunting topics were discussed.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) investigated a TIP complaint resulting in the arrest of a father/ son duo shooting a trumpeter swan and hunting waterfowl without a license. A trap was found set two days prior to the opening of raccoon trapping season and Plautz seized the trap with a skunk in it. Plautz investigated complaints of deer baiting. Fishing activity remains strong, but there was a lack of turkey and pheasant hunters afield this week.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking hunters and fishermen.  Additional time was spent handling fishing complaints in the vacant Wheaton station.  Trespass complaints were handled as well as dealing with equipment maintenance issues.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) responded to trapping, waterfowl and deer hunting complaints. There are very few ducks in the area even with the cooler temperatures.  Pheasant numbers are very low as well. Violations encountered included allow possession of firearm by a juvenile, no HIP certification, insufficient number of PFDs on board, and illegal operation of an ATV on a roadway.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time patrolling for both waterfowl and pheasant hunting activity. There were some hunters out, but pheasant success is very limited. However, fall fishermen are having better success. Lawler attended a local sportsman club meeting where questions were answered regarding the upcoming firearm deer season. Lawler also worked a special detail on the Rainy River with WREO Stattelman over the weekend. Angling pressure was high with lots of nice walleyes reported. Enforcement action included illegal length walleye/northern, illegal fish transportation, AIS issues, and PFD violations.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to check hunters and work activity involving waterfowl, small game, pheasant, and archery deer. Additional time was spent working night shining activity, patrolling State lands for activity, and monitoring ATV and fire activity. Fishing pressure remains steady and anglers and the fish bite were monitored.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on shining complaints, pheasant hunters, waterfowl hunters and archery deer hunters. Pheasant hunters report very slow hunting and very few birds flushed. The officer noted a few more hopeful waterfowl hunters were out this past weekend. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well. Calls were fielded from the public regarding disabled hunting opportunities, shooting complaints, waterfowl hunting and deer hunting questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, pheasant hunters, waterfowl hunters and bow hunters. Baumbarger along with the BCA investigated a complaint on a waterfowl production area in southern Pope County. Calls were fielded regarding injured animals and trapping regulations.  Waterfowl numbers in the area remained low through the week with very few new birds to be found.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, duck hunters and archery deer hunters. A littering case was taken care of along with some car killed deer. A shining detail was worked and follow up was conducted on several active cases.


CO Samantha Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATVs, hunters and anglers. A class in St. Paul was attended and hunters were checked during the “grouse-a-thon”. Complaints of trail cameras being stolen have been reported.


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports some waterfowl activities with compliance being good. Big game and trapping activities were also investigated. Several calls were received regarding trapping issues and nuisance beaver complaints.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) monitored angling, AIS, small game and waterfowl activities throughout the week. A neighboring officer was assisted with attempting to locate a vehicle involved with a big game violation. A commercial inspection was conducted and a black bear complaint was handled. Shining complaints were handled and a complaint of trails being made on federal land was turned over to the U.S. Forest Service.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked many hunters in the area as fall weather and snow arrived. Duck hunters are still waiting for more ducks to make their way down. CO Mathy assisted with a search for a missing child in the woods and a vehicle accident resulting in a live power line over it. Investigations continue into big game violations discovered the past week.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATV activity. Angling and waterfowl hunting success declined. CO Broughten assisted the local Sheriff’s Office with a call of a lost child and a call of a half-submerged boat on a local lake.  CO Broughten also displayed the Wall of Shame at the MN Deer Hunters Association Banquet in Longville. Enforcement action included no ATV safety certificate, operate ATV on roadway, allow illegal operation of an ATV, ATV operator and passenger under 18 without a helmet, and expired ATV registration.


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) gave a law talk at a Firearms Safety class in Staples. Area waterfowl hunters were checked and shining activity was worked. A complaint of illegal ATV operation was investigated and a bobcat was seized from a local farmer having depredation problems.


Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted with a public waters violation where the landowner had placed fill into the waterbed. He also checked waterfowl hunters over the weekend and discussed AIS laws. Time was also spent monitoring working shining activities.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) fishing enforcement on Rainy River continues with fishing success picking up. Worked deer shining complaints and small game enforcement with a few grouse seen in the bag. ATV complaints handle in regards to operating in wetlands and destroying trails. Boat winterizing maintenance started and other equipment ready for fall activities.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring hunting and angling activities. CO Fondie checked public access sites. Additional time was spent on forest roads. Phone calls continue as does seasonal equipment repairs.


CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked on a neighboring hunting shack dispute over beaver issues and cited an individual for shooting beaver illegally. ATV and dirt bike issues were also addressed.  Some duck hunters are finding some fresh migrations to pursue, while fishermen are staying out of the recent rain.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked waterfowl and small game hunters, worked an out of season deer hunting complaint, and completed maintenance items. The officer assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department with a complaint of a large group of boaters on an area lake making excessive noise, swearing and smoking marijuana at the public access. The high school event apparently did not have enough supervision, but was taken care of by the officers in concert with the instructors.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on reports from sportsmen who found deer baits and reported the locations of them to CO Frericks. Reports of lynx sightings were investigated and forwarded to DNR wildlife. An anxious trapper was seen out preparing for the upcoming trapping season. Unfortunately the trapper neglected to read over the regulations that dealt with preempting a trap site. A wetland violation is being investigated on an area lake.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked angling and boating activity on Lake Vermillion and assisted CO Bermel on a walleye over limit case. A report that a large 8-point buck was poached in the Hutter area is being investigated. Neighbors were interviewed and all are upset someone would stoop so low just to kill a deer. Boating equipment is being winterized.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports grouse hunters in the area have had better luck even with the increase of cold and drizzle. Late season stream trout anglers have been active with mix reports of success. Violations included taking trout without a trout stamp validation, expired boat registration, and possession of a controlled substance.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked BWCAW duck hunters and found plenty going on. All but one group received citations for violations for everything from marijuana to transporting loaded guns in a motorboat. One of the groups was found to have a chainsaw and  nearly 100 beer cans. One disturbing reality was that nearly every group had lead shot. The recurring excuse was that they might see a grouse on a portage trail. If hunters are worried that they might run into a grouse while hunting waterfowl, they should just use steel shot. It works just amazingly fine on grouse. Besides, it’s illegal to possess lead shot while waterfowl hunting.  Area officers worked with moose researchers to retrieve a sick moose from a pond off the Fernberg Trail. The moose will be brought to the University of Minnesota for testing in the ongoing effort to determine what is ailing our moose population.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked grouse hunters during an extremely busy week. It didn’t seem to matter if it was a weekday or weekend, grouse hunters were everywhere. With all the traffic, grouse are scarce along the roads. A good pair of walking boots and a good dog are in order. Enforcement action was taken for loaded guns in motor vehicles and for hunter blaze orange violations. Assistance was also given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended training in St. Paul on arrest and control techniques. The officer took a reports on hunter harassment and deer baiting in addition to checking grouse hunters during a busy MEA weekend.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked mainly waterfowl and grouse hunters and anglers throughout the week. Two anglers encountered on Lake Vermillion were discovered to have a limit of walleyes in the boat with more back at the resort leading to seizure of fish and fines with restitution. CO Stage and CO Bermel checked a group of duck hunters in the BWCA in possession of lots of beer cans as well as other waterfowl violations. Assistance was given to wildlife with a sick moose off the Fernberg Trail. Violations included over limit of walleyes, boating safety violations, no fishing license in possession, lead shot while duck hunting, unplugged gun, transporting loaded gun, leave decoys unattended on public waters, transport grouse without a wing, possession of marijuana, and possession of cans in the BWCA.


Silver Bay – vacant.


Two Harbors – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome)  checked anglers, grouse hunters, and waterfowl hunters. He attended a district meeting, handled some wolf issues, investigated a call on baiting, issued nuisance beaver permits where roads were being flooded, and answered questions on trapping. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked small game, duck, and big game enforcement. He also handled injured animal and nuisance complaints. Violations included transport loaded firearms in a motor vehicle, untagged traps, and transport watercraft with plug in and weeds on boat trailer.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 training with his partner Sci. He also worked a district work project and attended a district meeting.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended training in St. Paul. She also assisted other Conservations Officers and Eco Services with an aquatic invasive species check where several contacts were made with the public regarding watercraft and invasive species. She checked small game and duck hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for duck hunting violation.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week filled with talking to local hunters and to sporting groups. CO Sutherland gave a safety presentation to a Minnesota Power group about cold water safety and tick bite prevention. CO Sutherland also gave two firearms safety talks to area youth and spoke at a meeting where an area fishery was opened to unlimited fishing. Enforcement action was taken for a watercraft without navigational lights after sunset and baiting enforcement work was done.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, small game, waterfowl and archery deer hunters. He also handled several complaints and worked on a district project during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked hunting and fishing activity. Deer movement has increased over the last week due to the cooler weather and Wichmann has issued car kill deer possession permits. Wichmann investigated deer baiting complaints, investigated a wetland violation and assisted with an AIS check station.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV Officer) attended a district meeting in Squaw Lake, assisted with an AIS work detail on Bowstring Lake, and checked on a waters violation case from 2004.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, deer shining  and waterfowling activities. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with plugs in and for taking protected birds. A Wetland Conservation Act restoration order and public waters citations  were issued for resource impacts. A District 7 aquatic invasive species  check station was worked near Bowstring Lake with a 12 percent violation rate observed. Road-killed deer permits were issued and numerous wolf trapping, general hunting  and ATV use questions were received and answered. Angling success continues to be very good and duck hunters enjoyed some good hunting with numerous diving duck species counted in bag checks, included some canvasback ducks.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trespassing complaints. Anglers were checked on Lake Superior and kamloop and salmon were seen. Few grouse have been seen and hunters are reporting very few flushes. Woodcock reports have been good in the area.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) fielded several license questions about the upcoming Firearms Deer Season and quota area. Two trapping issues were dealt with. Contact was made with a person regarding a dumping complaint and citation issued. Time was also spent preparing for a trial regarding a hunting over bait case.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a large part of the week working night shinning complaint areas. Several TIP calls were investigated and some require continued follow up. Many grouse hunters  were checked during the week. Many questions were answered from the public. Officer Duncan also assisted local law enforcement with some calls for service.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time investigating a complaint of an illegally taken bear. The case is still under investigation. A shining detail was worked in the area where one misdemeanor shining arrest was made. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer on a trespassing complaint. Trapped nuisance beaver were picked up to make sure they don’t go to waste. More K9 training was conducted with K9 Schody.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE  MN) worked with DNR waters staff in closing out several public waters case’s and continued work with other Local Gov’t Units (LGUs) on current ongoing wetland violations in the Ely area. Site visit to local Public Waters (PW) issues still being worked on by County Government units as well as LGU from last summer’s flooding were conducted. Site preparation has been completed on one area waiting for the new bridge to be set.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) Assisted District 8 Officers with night work. Responded with a CO on a deer shot and left west of Duluth. He checked kamloop fishermen along the North Shore. Some coho salmon also seen in the bags. Fielded question on big game seasons.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked a few diehard anglers on Lake Superior in the cold wet weather. A few salmon and kamloop are still showing interest. Grouse numbers are reported to be rather low in the area, and many homeowners are looking forward to black bears finding their dens to cut down on the nuisance bear issues.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers, duck hunters, and worked details for illegal deer shining throughout the week. Some cases were investigated and reports were completed.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked waterfowl and big game enforcement. Officer Guida also addressed an individual who was operating a Class II ATV on a public roadway with an infant on their lap. A shining detail was worked. Officer Guida checked State Wildlife Management areas in the station for deer stands and other equipment. A late shooting complaint of waterfowl was also investigated.


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored hunting and ATV use of the Foothills State Forest, checked fall anglers, and assisted a neighboring officer with a big game violation. A person was cited for shooting a deer off his back deck with a crossbow and failing to tag or register it and an angler received a citation for attempting to launch his boat into Gull Lake after just coming from Mille Lacs Lake with large amounts aquatic vegetation still attached to the boat and trailer in several areas.


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.  Compliance was found to be good.


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on a TIP complaint of trespassing and baiting on an individual’s property. The report was unfounded at this time. Officer Lee spoke to anglers this past week on the Whitefish Chain who were reporting a nice bit on walleyes and pike. Officer Lee received requests for permits for nuisance beaver permits. At one location the beaver in the area had destroyed over 40 trees in a very short amount of time. Officer Lee also followed up on an incident for the Brainerd Police Department involving a party who was operating their vehicle in the Mississippi River and became stuck. A citation for operating below the ordinary high water mark was issued to the individual.


CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out and the fall bite is picking up. He checked grouse hunters and the report was poor. AIS concerns were reported by DNR inspectors. A complaint of a boater threating to not drain his PWC and introduce zebra mussels to other lakes was investigated. The investigation discovered that the boater’s comments were sarcastic and he was not going to introduce zebra mussels to other lakes. The archery hunters report the deer hunting is getting better and the deer are on the move searching for food. He worked with neighboring CO Tischler in the Pillsbury Forest checking small game hunters and horse passes.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angling activity including the full moon bite but catch rates were still slow. He also checked waterfowl hunters, answered questions regarding trapping season, and worked deer complaint areas.


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked big and small game hunters throughout the week. The leaves falling and cooler weather has improved hunting. The officer received a complaint of people shining deer and the area was monitored for shining activity. Numerous calls were fielded regarding small game and big game hunting questions. Anglers tested their luck on Mille Lacs Lake with the full moon; not too many fish were seen in live wells.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports monitoring shining activity throughout the week and weekend. Several TIP complaints of parties shining fields and of deer carcasses being found were fielded. The Officer gave a law presentation to the Aitkin County Township’s meeting.  The Officer covered various subjects and answered law related questions. Tribal Band netting on Mille Lacs Lake was also monitored during the week and assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Department on an uncooperative subject. The Officer issued a car kill deer permit and checked small and big game hunters during the week. ATV traffic was monitored in the Solana State Forest and surrounding county land. A report of a bear attacking a party’s livestock was also fielded. A few waterfowl hunters and fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake were checked. Most of the fishermen were reporting a sluggish bite for walleyes.


CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) worked ATV and OHM activity. A juvenile was arrested for operating an OHM while intoxicated. The juvenile was also operating on a public road, not wearing a helmet, operating an unregistered OHM and operating without an OHM safety certificate. Illegal shining activity has picked up. Shining details were worked and enforcement action was taken for illegal use of artificial lights to locate deer. The culprits were shining after legal hours with their vehicle’s headlights. They also had open beer bottles in the vehicle which they tried to hide. Recreational shiners are reminded that at NO time may you shine a pasture containing livestock or occupied buildings. Heaton investigated an illegally dumped boat and tires on state land and checked small game hunters and waterfowl hunters.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) finished up a couple of gray wolf depredation investigations on area farms where federal trappers were brought in to assist with the removal of wolves that were harassing and killing livestock. A few groups of waterfowl hunters were checked along with archery deer hunters. Small game hunting activity was also fairly busy with grouse, pheasant and squirrel hunters found throughout the area.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking pheasant hunters and a few anglers.  He took calls about nuisance animals and numerous questions about the upcoming deer season. Some trespassing questions and complaints are starting to come in as well. CO Wynn reminds property owners that their property needs to be legally posted in order for enforcement action to be taken.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area waterfowl lakes and Mille Lacs. Hunters were having luck bagging a few geese, mallards and ring neck ducks. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department with a call. Time was also spent answering questions at a local snowmobile club meeting regarding the new snowmobile licensing and issuing car-kill deer permits. Enforcement actions were taken on waterfowl violations.


WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement around the Brainerd area. WREO Haberman worked on wetland conservation act cases in Aitkin and Mille Lacs counties.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in a shining detail. There were few anglers. A few hunters were out. Overall it was fairly quiet.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) investigated an illegal burning violation. The officer worked common fall activities including anglers, pheasant hunters, trapping activity. A beaver doing damage was reported and referred to a trapper to remove.


WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking hunters and conducting follow-up on wetland violations. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, ATV violations, and insufficient boat safety equipment. Time was also spent working a deer shining complaint area.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a hunter that was drawn for the Camp Ripley archery hunt who was found to be illegally pre-scouting in an area of Camp Ripley that they did not have authorization to be in, including driving around a closed barrier. The hunter subsequently had their upcoming Camp Ripley hunt permit pulled and enforcement action was taken for trespass of breaching the closed barrier. CO Kuske with assistance from a Little Falls police officer took a TIP call of a crossbow hunter in the Little Falls city limits. The hunter was located and was also found to be using an invalid license that they had purchased the same day (main deer licenses have a two day waiting period if purchased after the start of the season). The hunter stated they had read the regulations book entirely and had never read that rule though CO Kuske assured them that the rule was in there.


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked pheasant, duck, and deer hunters. Time was spent working deer shining complaints and illegal deer stands left in WMAs. Enforcement action for the week included hunt geese with no plug, no federal duck stamp, lead shot on WPA, and no license in possession.


CO Mike Martin (St Cloud) worked angling and hunting during the past week. Time was also spent on wetlands cases and deer shining. Officer Martin worked one waterfowl case where two young hunters entered private property after being told that they didn’t have permission to hunt there. The boys then stood on private agricultural land while shooting waterfowl over a pond. Remember, a person may not remain on any land for outdoor recreation purposes after being orally told not to do so by the owner, occupant, or lessee. Also, a person may not enter agricultural land for outdoor recreation purposes, without first obtaining permission of the owner, occupant, or lessee. For more information on trespass or legally posting your property refer to pages 6-9 in the 2013 hunting regulations.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters. CO Mies worked on a deer complaint.


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking duck hunters, pheasant hunters and fishermen. Duck numbers have increased in the area and some divers are starting to show up. Pheasant numbers are down and some hunters are finding young birds that are hard to identify while in the field. The walleye bite has picked up a bit with the cool temperatures. A detail was worked with a neighboring officer and assistance was provided to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV accident.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) partnered with the Pierz Police Dept. in opening a satellite office at the local high school. Pierz School officials found it to be a natural fit to provide office space for local law enforcement to spend time at during the school week. This unique partnership will provide a random enforcement presence at the school as well as an outreach opportunity for students and staff. An individual was found trapping during closed season, several raccoon and a mink were seized. Nuisance beaver calls continue to come in, nuisance trapping permits have been put on hold as the beaver season opens in two weeks.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) attended training in St Paul over the week, spoke at a local high school on a career as a Conservation Officer, and conducted a game farm inspection. Officer Londgren also reports receiving calls of three separate occasions of bears getting hit by vehicles, trespassing complaints, reports of baiting, and hunter harassment. Enforcement action was also taken on ATV violations over the week.


CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving late shooting complaints in the area. Several areas have duck hunters shooting past sunset. CO Langevin also responded to several baiting and trespassing issues. The trespassing complaints are of ATV’s coming onto private property and hunters bringing bait into the area to hunt over. CO Langevin has also received calls of trappers pre-empting spots with muskrat floats.


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked small and big game hunters during the week. Bird hunters have commented on lower than normal numbers but most bow deer hunters have commented that deer numbers appear to have stayed the same or increased a little. Enforcement action was taken on hunting deer over baited area and operating and ATV on a state trunk highway while driver’s license is canceled.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked waterfowl hunters all week finding mixed success. Trespass complaints, beaver damage calls and hunting questions were handled. A firearms safety instructor recognition event was held at the Mayer Community Center for Stan Heldt who has served as a firearms safety instructor for 50 years. Over 70 people attended with several of them being instructors.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking duck hunters and bow hunters. CO Grewe responded to a complaint of a hunter in the woods hunting deer with a shotgun. CO Grewe made contact with hunter who was hunting squirrels. Equipment maintenance was done this week and several questions were answered about the upcoming deer season.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunters in Dakota and Scott counties. He talked to a firearms safety class in Apple Valley. He worked with another CO and investigated several TIP calls. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and worked with a CO in Goodhue County.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked hunters and anglers in the West Metro district vicinity. He responded to a call in Minneapolis about an abandoned houseboat on Mississippi River (caller stated it looked like the original owner left it/homeless people are living in it now) and later turned out that the boat wasn’t abandoned at all. He took numerous phone calls in Scott County regarding hunting questions. He took enforcement action for no vehicle permit in state park, alcohol consumption in a state park, and being in a state park during closed hours.


Bloomington  – vacant.


Minnetonka – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking waterfowl, small game, archery deer hunters, and anglers. He attended a training course at the BCA on search warrants. CO Arntzen responded to several calls of late shooting, continued investigating ongoing deer cases and monitored vehicle traffic in the WMAs. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license and speeding in a WMA.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he concluded an investigation along with the Aquatic Plant Management Specialist. Enforcement action was taken on several lakeshore owners for cutting aquatic vegetation on Lake George. CO Johnson issued two nuisance beaver permits. He investigated a trespass complaint in Oak Grove. CO Johnson checked waterfowl hunters, and assisted with the rescue of two injured Trumpeter Swans.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) checked waterfowl hunters and anglers throughout Dakota County. Waterfowl hunters are still reporting fair success as a decent number of diving ducks were observed on the Mississippi River. CO McGowan investigated TIP calls and a trespass complaint.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl and archery hunters. CO Pril worked big game enforcement with CO Neitzke in Dakota County. He also responded to complaints and calls throughout the week

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a TIP call in which an individual failed to tag or register his deer. She completed a small game report, handled many calls asking where it’s legal to waterfowl hunt in Anoka County and took various TIP calls. CO Kruse finished a case where a resident placed large amounts of fill below the OHW on a lake in Ramsey County, checked waterfowl and small game hunters and worked ATV enforcement in Anoka County.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related activity. A site was inspected for a DNR Area Hydrologist in Carver County. Time was also spent removing hunting equipment from State SNA and WMA land after receiving reports from respective staff.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, archery deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Reports of deer baiting, trap tampering, and hunter trespass were investigated. Waterfowl hunting and license violations were encountered.


CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that the corn harvest is now in full swing and pheasant hunters are beginning to see a few more birds. Many northern ducks have been arriving in the area over the past several days.


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports about 2,000 geese are on the Lac qui Parle refuge.  Complaints of trespassing, shooting after hours, and hunting pheasants in the controlled hunting zone were investigated.


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports seeing fewer pheasant hunters out during MEA Weekend compared to previous years. Lower pheasant numbers probably played a role in this. Duck hunters continue to have some success even with the teal and wood ducks starting to migrate south. Archery deer hunters continue to stalk those illusive big bucks. A Lyon County Pheasants Forever youth hunt was attended with good attendance from youths and mentors. A special thanks to the private landowners that opened up their lands for the event.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working archery deer hunters, duck hunters, and pheasant hunters. Rain has slowed crop harvest with a good deal of the fields yet to be picked. Two locked-up mature bucks were separated.


CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted with a Pheasants Forever youth hunt in Pipestone County, The young hunters had a great time on the trap range and a nice day in the field. Standing corn has slowed the numbers of pheasants being taken but weather conditions have been good. Several special beaver permits have been issued.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked with the Renville County LGU on a WCA violation Restoration Order. Officer Hanson also completed a site visit on a Protected Waters violation in Chippewa County. Officer Hanson also checked water related equipment for AIS, fisherman and hunters.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) primarily worked waterfowl hunters who continue to have good success with a mixed bag of divers being harvested. He collected a car-kill eagle and followed up on a nuisance beaver complaint. Additional time was spent checking archery hunters, ATV operators and pheasant hunters.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters throughout the week.  She followed up on a TIP call dealing with a possible over-limit of geese. Enforcement action was taken on a hunter hunting with an unplugged gun. Mueller spoke at both the DNR and Pheasants Forever mentored youth hunts over the weekend. The kids got the chance to shoot some pheasants and learn some valuable lessons. Mueller also spoke at an ATV safety class in Cedar Mills and attended training in St. Paul.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked mainly pheasant and waterfowl enforcement during the week. Time was also spent responding to and working TIP calls. Archery hunting enforcement was also worked in the area.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding trespassing and wanton waste. Other local law enforcement contacts indicated night hunting activity. Nelson assisted local law enforcement and he continued to investigate a deer baiting complaint that resulted in enforcement action. He spent the majority of the week on deer, small game, waterfowl and fishing enforcement activities.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Many questions regarding deer issues were answered. Beckmann also spoke to an ATV class in St. James.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked pheasant and duck hunting activity. Time was also spent working other small and big game seasons. Gruhlke completed his weekly radio program discussing the pheasant opener and other area activity. He also spoke at a trapper education class that was held in Lakefield.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked waterfowl, small game, and big game activity. Arrangements were made for upcoming safety classes, a trespass case was investigated, and assistance was given to a local agency with a domestic disturbance call.


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 as well as worked a district AIS detail.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, waterfowl hunters, bow hunters, and monitored OHV activity. An AIS check station was also worked. Enforcement action was taken on OHM and waterfowl hunting violations.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continues to work waterfowl hunters in the area. An AIS detail was worked in the district. Baiting complaints are also being investigated.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked small game, migratory waterfowl, and big game activity during the week. The officer also worked an AIS check station with other district officers.  Various calls were also handled from the public.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring fishing, small game, and archery deer hunting. An AIS check station was worked with neighboring officers. A Pheasants Forever sponsored youth hunt was attended in LeRoy. Enforcement action was taken for various aquatic invasive species violations.


WREO Julie Siems reports working an AIS detail with many violations detected. WCA cases continue to be investigated. Assistance was also given at Lake Service Provider training.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy week and weekend of waterfowl and deer hunting enforcement. Some divers were checked in the bag starting on Tuesday along with some fully protected birds. Both youth and archery deer hunters experienced some success over the weekend and several happy folks were checked with their deer. Enforcement action included license, stamp, and registration violations along with unlawful methods.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy MEA weekend. Youth hunters had good success as well as early antlerless deer hunters. Turkey hunters were also checked with some success. Time was also spent looking into trespass complaints, no blaze orange and trapping too close to water. Two subjects were found to be fishing trout on designated trout waters. One subject had no stamp or license besides angling in closed season. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and duck hunters during the week. Duck hunting success was good during the week and a number of kids were out too during MEA. Heyn also checked raccoon traps and youth deer hunters. The kids were having a good time even if they didn’t get a deer.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking anglers, duck hunters, small game hunters and archery hunters during the week and weekend. Success for ducks has dropped off significantly. Walleye fishing continues to be slow. Some waterfowl and fishing violations were detected.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a week with many deer hunting questions. The early antlerless and youth deer seasons seemed to go well with some deer harvested and many kids out hunting. Duck hunting has been mixed success while fishing has slowed. Hemker received a complaint from a person out photographing the fall colors. She advised him she was concerned about a duck hunter putting a duck on a stick in the water. The duck kept flapping its wings but could not get off the stick. There were several other ducks sitting still on the water around the duck stuck on the stick. Hemker explained the use of decoys while duck hunting.


CO Phil George (Rochester) took calls concerning hunting issues, people hunting too close to city limits or houses, complaints of trespass. Some of these calls were unfounded and some are continuing to be investigated. Small game hunters, waterfowl hunters, and deer hunters were also checked along with a few anglers still having good success.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports duck hunters had a good week. Fresh birds moved into the area and decoyed well. The youth firearm special hunt went very well; 10-15 year old hunters harvested many does and fawns. The cold weather kept the deer active later into the mornings and early in the evenings. Fishermen continue to catch all species of fish on the Mississippi. A bow hunter reported a black bear that came back to his deer stand three times while he was hunting one evening last week. It appears that there are two black bears showing up on a regular basis in the Houston County area. He also investigated early trapping and stolen trap complaints.


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 Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked on required flight training activities and prepared aircraft for cold weather operations. Murray also attended a D-7 enforcement meeting and worked small game and waterfowl enforcement efforts.

CO Pilot Tom Buker (New Ulm) flew waterfowl surveys, with good numbers of ducks counted in the west central portion of the state. Photos were taken of possible wetland impacts. A training flight was flown and aircraft maintenance issues were worked on.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf , marten and fisher telemetry. Heineman also flew duck surveys for Thief Lake and Roseau Wildlife Management  Areas. The new assistant managers at Thief and Roseau also came along for a first look from the air of their new work areas. It is good to see eager and young new faces  joining the DNR.

CO Pilot Bob Geving reports providing air support to big game enforcement efforts and photographing potential wetland and waters violations last week.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of fish stocking and telemetry flights. Jensen coordinated some future enforcement flights for the coming fall too.

NR pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew in support of Grand Marais fish stocking program.

Chief Pilot Tom Pfingsten conducted flight and ground training and flight checks last week.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


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

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


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


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


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


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


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



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

See Also:



SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez assisted CO’s Steve Walter and acting LT Jackie Glaser with preparing for a 50 year award presentation for a Volunteer Firearm Safety Instructor in the Waconia area. The RTO was unable to attend the actual recognition ceremony held in Mayer MN due volunteering his own time with a Yellow Ribbon event in Hugo. RTO Gutierrez conducted an ATV / Snowmobile Instructor in Le Center, eight registered and only three showed up. RTO Gutierrez also worked on backgrounds from an FAS Instructor clinic held last week.


NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on video clips for Firearms safety Instructor training.  Patten worked on reviews of the Snowmobile Safety CD changes.


East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence worked on upcoming youth safety training class equipment prep and worked on registration planning for end of the month youth FAS class and scheduling safety instructor training in the coming months. RTO Lawrence participated with an Eagle Scout presentation for a local young man reaching his final stage of Boy Scouts and obtaining the level of Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout’s project involved making creating a range cover/shelter for Firearms Safety field days from recycled materials. RTO Lawrence worked on staff prep for the January St. Paul Sport Show.


Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week preparing for a HEFAS Field Day at Gamehaven Scout Reservation near Rochester. This will be this Instructor group’s first Online Field Day. Training of instructors will be conducted on Friday the 25th and the Field Day will follow on Saturday the 26th.  Time was also spent conducting training for new Safety Instructors.

Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens represented MN DNR Education, Safety and Enforcement at the annual International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association Conference last week. Numerous OHV topics were discussed.


NW RTO Jon Paurus worked on backgrounds for new volunteer instructors. Follow up calls to instructors regarding overdue paperwork were completed. Time was spent working the vacant Perham station for duck hunting activity and some grouse hunting. Very few ducks were seen in the area. Planning for the Governor’s deer opener continues.


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports completing Instructor Backgrounds and planning for upcoming snowmobile, ATV, and Firearm Safety/Hunter Education Instructor Certification training. He also returned calls answering question about hunting regulations and reviewed officer training material.


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


  1. […] Weekly Conservation Officer Report | Minnesota Sporting Journal http://mnsportingjournal.wordpress.com/Information was provided to a landowner in regards to trespass regulations and waterfowl and small game hunters were checked. … CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week. Angers …. A complaint of illegal ATV operation was investigated and a bobcat was seized from a local farmer having depredation problems. … Enforcement action was taken for loaded guns in motor vehicles and for hunter blaze orange violations. […]

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