Contact: Rich Sprouse
Public Information Officer
800-366-8917, Ext 2511
CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck, grouse, and squirrel and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Beaver trappers were checked on opening morning. A career fair was attended at the Roseau School. Enforcement action was taken on transporting loaded firearms in a watercraft and motor vehicle.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked small game and waterfowl hunters. Anglers were checked on are rivers and complaints of illegal shining activity was worked. Questions were answered in regards to trespass, ATV usage in WMAs, and bear activity.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored waterfowl and small game hunting activity and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office with a medical call and many questions from the public regarding the upcoming firearms deer season were answered. Time was spent walking WMAs and state lands checking for illegal deer stands. A report of an injured goose was handled. Waterfowl hunters are having fair success with bags containing Teal, Goldeneye, and a few Ringnecks. A reminder to waterfowl hunters, pass on the marginal shots and recover those cripples.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week. Anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River continue to report fair fishing despite high winds and cold temperatures. CO Gorecki also investigated trapping, hunting, and nuisance animal complaints throughout the week. Enforcement action taken during the week included fishing, boating, and game violations.
Blackduck #1 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time checking duck hunters and archery deer hunters. Time was also spent checking trappers and anglers. Various wildlife and trespass related calls were also received. Duck hunters were reminded about AIS laws. Violations encountered included unsigned federal duck stamps and possession of toxic shot.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored anglers, trappers, waterfowl and archery deer hunters. Plans were made for upcoming FAS classes and direction was given about shoreline alteration concerns. He responded to a trespass, issued special beaver permits and handled a car killed bobcat. During waterfowl checks he had the opportunity to watch a bald eagle harass a cover of coots for several minutes before giving up when it was unable to separate any from the crowd.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked hunters and trappers. He also finished up a FAS class in Clearbrook.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored waterfowl hunting activity in the area. Hunters are reporting varied success depending on the body of water they are hunting. Fisherman are reporting a strong fall walleye bite. Grouse hunters were checked and time was spent patrolling forest roads for ATV use. CO Vollbrecht worked a shining detail with CO Holt and CO Parthun.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked waterfowl hunters and monitored archery deer hunting activity. CO Holt patrolled ATV trails and forest roads in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest checking on ATV activity and grouse hunters. Complaints were received of waterfowl hunters shooting after hours, taking over limit of ducks, and people poaching deer.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) checked area WMAs and WPAs for waterfowl, small game and archery deer hunters. Duck numbers in the Detroit Lakes area remain poor as many local ducks are gone and few new birds have arrived. CO Vinton assisted CO Plautz and Forsberg with an ATV safety class in Perham.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) spent the week checking duck and pheasant hunters. Pheasant hunters report very low success. Duck hunters report seeing a few migrating birds. CO Seefeldt spoke with a youth group hunting with the local Pheasants Forever chapter. He also followed up on a report of trespass and a stolen trail camera.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked traps and small game hunters. Activity was moderate to light. Violations of an untagged trap and a trap set within 50 feet of water were detected. Grouse numbers were reported as low to average. Compliance was good. Complaints of shots at night from a vehicle and removal of trespass signs were received.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Few new ducks in the area making hunting slow. Also, spent time following up on dead deer complaint, early trappers and assisted with youth ATV class in Perham.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on open WCA and Public Waters cases. Progress was made with LGU’s towards closing out old cases. Time was spent checking AIS compliance at public access and talking to fishermen and duck hunters about removing vegetation and boat plugs. Special focus was given to muskie fishermen and reminding them to drain all water from boats and live wells. A cougar sighting call was fielded. Follow up on APM violations was completed.
Perham – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week working small game hunters, duck hunters, Archery hunters, ATV enforcement, trespass, and littering. An ATV safety class was taught certifying 18 students in the Perham area. Plautz worked night shining activity as well. Violations encountered were the following: hunt waterfowl without a state duck stamp, littering, operate ATV without registration displayed and fail to transfer ownership of ATV. Fall fishing activity remains strong in the area with good success.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking waterfowl, archery deer, pheasant hunters and fishermen. Additional time was spent handling calls in the vacant Wheaton station and also dealing with trespass calls and an injured owl. Nelson also participated in a district work crew.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl, pheasant and bow hunters. New divers have been moving into the area the past week along with some geese but overall waterfowl numbers are low. Corn harvest has increased the last week enabling pheasant hunters a better opportunity to bag a rooster. Osborne worked shining activity with other district officers.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored pheasant hunting pressure with so-so success reported. Lawler took an Alex Tech Law Enforcement student on a ride along and helped him with the possibilities of becoming a CO. A spare Region 1 patrol truck was picked up in St Paul and brought back to Alexandria. In addition, a citizen complaint of a fishing boat washing up on shore was responded to. The owners were located and Lawler towed the boat back across the lake to where it belonged.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working hunting activity involving waterfowl, pheasant, small game, and archery deer. A complaint involving a fall turkey hunter was investigated with enforcement action taken for hunting in the wrong zone and trespass. Trapping activity is being monitored and a complaint involving a trapper setting early water sets was investigated with enforcement action taken for the violation. Time was spent working night shining activity and several complaints have come in regarding tree stands being left in WMAs overnight. Several stands have been taken down and seized and several more are under investigation. Fall fishing pressure remains steady on Lake Osakis with limits and over-limits of crappie seen taken again. A ride along opportunity was provided for a fellow law enforcement officer and a meeting was attended regarding a proposed boat mooring facility on Lake Osakis.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused law enforcement efforts on shining complaints, pheasant hunters, waterfowl hunters and archery deer hunters. Waterfowl numbers have been increasing with colder weather this week. Shining complaints were worked in the area. Minnow transportation permits were issued and wetland drainage/filling complaints were investigated. Calls were fielded regarding disabled hunting permits, waterfowl hunting, an injured hawk, firearms safety and deer hunting questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters, bow hunters, and monitoring trapping activity. Time was also spent on commercial minnow trapping, investigating a wetland violation, and working a shining detail. Waterfowl and pheasant hunters in the area continue to struggle to find birds.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, hunters and ATV operators during the week. Officer Hunter received a complaint of a deer with its head cut off and a shining complaint. A reminder that any bait placed by hunters needs to be completely removed 10 days prior to hunting in that location. A conviction of hunting over a baited area carries a one year license revocation, fines, restitution and loss of firearm/bow.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked waterfowl, big game, and trapping activities, noting compliance was good. One trapper called to report that he had caught a bobcat before season in a leg-hold trap. Between the trapper and the officer, with a little ingenuity and creativity, the rather large, angry bobcat was released unharmed.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing, small game, waterfowl and big game hunting activity. He received a call from an individual looking for a burning permit, which he referred to Forestry, and assisted USFS with the illegal off-road use of motor vehicles. Officer Sommers also assisted a Leech Lake Tribal CO with a complaint and assisted local agencies in attempting to locate a subject involved in a theft.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATV activity. Angling and waterfowl hunting success continued to decline. CO Broughten observed several deer hunters preparing for the upcoming firearms deer season. Enforcement action included operating an ATV on the roadway and no small game license in possession.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) patrolled ATV trails and forest roads and checked a variety of hunters. Some hunters were discouraged with lack of deer sign and some were pleasantly surprised with putting a few grouse in the game bag. Enforcement action was taken for registration and closed area violations.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted officers and area SWCD staff in a site inspection of a wetland violation. He issued a Restoration Order to the landowner to remove illegal fill. Officer Siltala spent time checking waterfowl hunters, discussing AIS laws, and completed seasonal equipment maintenance.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing and boating activity on the Rainy River with enforcement action taken for no angling license in possession, minor in possession of alcohol, illegal length fish, and insufficient number of PFDs. Several nuisance animal complaints were handled and small game enforcement rounded out the rest of the week.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, coordinating with DNR Forestry on area issues and spending time monitoring public access sites. Spare time was devoted to computer work, returning phone calls and working on equipment. Waterfowl and grouse hunting remain very poor.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports calls about the various hunting season dates were returned. Nuisance and injured animal calls were handled. A complaint stemming from an area campground was handled. A local trapper was assisted with a couple situations. Watercraft was winterized and prepared for storage.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored waterfowl migrations and hunting pressure. It would appear that modern technology is creating more pressure on some waterfowl areas. A case of trapping muskrats before season was found, along with that, a trap that was left out for a year was found. Fishing is good for those whose brave the cold. CO Starr also assisted the Sheriff’s Department with a court ordered arrest. Deer are on the move so motorists are reminded to use caution.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons and night time hunting activity. An investigation of a deer being taken illegally was handled. The officer worked the complaint area and cited an individual for misdemeanor shining without a firearm. About three hours later, two individuals were apprehended for gross misdemeanor shining after using car headlights, a light, along with a shotgun being fired out the car window. The shotgun, light and car were seized and charges are pending. A trapper harassment call in a river access incident was handled and resolved with a warning. A motorcycle rider was observed transporting a slung over the shoulder, uncased shotgun in the city limits of Hibbing. Moments after the officer spotted him, he was seen popping a wheelie. He was cited for the uncased shotgun and cautioned to ride a little smarter. A bear baiting case was closed out from Sept. with violations of early bear bait station, littering, and bait bear with solid waste not bio-degradable.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) took care of a wolf with mange accidently caught in a trap in the Virginia station. A coyote with mange was also taken care of outside of Biwabik. He received a complaint of deer stands being destroyed by cutting the ties and also removing the lower part of ladder stands. The owner believes it is another hunter attempting to control who hunts within the area. Many beaver/mink trappers out and most state sign looks good for this falls trapping season.
Ray – vacant.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked duck and grouse hunters throughout the week and found duck hunters to be quite disappointed. People are getting ready for deer season and anyone finding bait for deer is encouraged to contact the officers so that it can be dealt with. Baiting for deer hunting is not tolerated and will be prosecuted to the extent of the law. Molasses is considered food or bait, so if a salt block contains grains or molasses, it is illegal to hunt with it.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reminds people that trapping season for many species is open and to pay close attention to their dogs while on a walk. Trapping is a legal activity. Tampering with traps is not. Grouse have become fairly scarce after the busy MEA weekend. The birds that are around are very spooking. People are still out and about taking part in fall activities including scouting for deer and placing deer stands. Bucks are starting to move during the day.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated a deer poached in the Lutsen area; anyone with information on the deer that was shot late last week with a firearm is urged to call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093. CO Manning checked traps, rechecked bear bait locations and looked for deer baiting. The officer also followed up on a trespass complaint from last fall and took care of office-work and equipment.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small game hunters, ATVs and anglers. The Officer returned calls relating to the upcoming deer season, wolves, car kill deer, dead raptors, becoming a game warden and possible illegal traps. Wahlstrom winterized summer equipment and started to get the winter equipment ready for the next season as it is approaching fast
Silver Bay – vacant.
Two Harbors – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked small game hunters and investigated calls on a nuisance bear, livestock depredation by wolves, baiting deer, ATV’s in public waters, and OHV damage to a wetland.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) responded to nuisance beaver complaints. He checked small game and duck hunters, and encountered deer hunters checking stands. Violations include illegal transport of grouse, and trap tampering.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 training and performed equipment maintenance.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking small game, duck hunting, fishing, and archery hunting activity this past week. She also taught laws and regulations at a firearms safety class in Grand Rapids. She investigated a wetlands and public waters violation. She took a complaint of permanent stands being built on Blandin property, which is illegal use of their property. She also investigated a deer baiting complaint.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked small game hunters, trappers, waterfowl and archery deer hunters. He also handled several hunting violations and trapping complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working grouse and deer hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for hunting grouse after legal hours and not in possession of hunting license. An investigation in illegal bough cutting resulted in citations for making false statements relating to decorative boughs and failing to obtain a bough buyers permit.
CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) followed up on illegal ATV activity on the Mesabi Trail this past week. CO Velsvaag also appeared for a court hearing and took a call on illegal deer baiting.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowlers, anglers, ATVers, trappers, deer shiners, and boaters in the area. A D-5 Aquatic invasive Species detail was worked. Wetland Conservation Act cases and public waters inventory were tracked. Anglers continue to catch nice walleye in the station. The muskrat population is very low in the station. Area duck numbers continue to be low; but hunter pressure is high. Enforcement action was taken for transport boats with plugs in and for watercraft registration violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked deer shining complaints in the area. Fond Du Lac CO’s and police officers requested assistance on an illegally taken deer near Brookston resulted in citations for taking deer out of season and without a license. ATV complaint areas were worked.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking archery, grouse and duck hunters. Very few violations were encountered. Lot of hunters found in the woods doing preseason scouting and putting up stands for the upcoming firearms deer season. Be careful when checking out those old rickety deer stands. Several complaints are now being fielded regarding illegal nighttime activity.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a couple nights working complaint areas for night deer shinning activity. Several complaints, questions, and citizen concerns were fielded at the office. Many trappers were checked over the weekend. Officer Duncan also checked past problem areas for the upcoming firearm deer season.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV, big and small game enforcement. CO Humphrey continued to work deer shining complaint areas. A shining detail was worked with assistance from several district officers which resulted in a misdemeanor arrest. Numerous phone calls were received with questions about upcoming hunting seasons, firearms safety, and ATV usage during deer season. Complaints of deer baiting were reported. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated with assistance from USDA Wildlife services.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended and assisted with some K9 training in the metro area. A few nuisance beaver were picked up from a party that trapped them with a permit before season. They will be taken care of so they don’t go to waste. Deer shining activity was worked in the area with a result of one misdemeanor shining arrest. The water trapping season opener was fairly quiet in the area. Small game hunting has picked up in the area with several people contacted while out hunting grouse and fixing up their deer shacks. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, OHM, and watercraft registration violations. A deer hunter called very upset because someone had cut down two of his stands with a chainsaw and also cut three-fourths of the way through the trees where the stands were in. This case is still under investigation.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked with DNR Fisheries and the hydrologist out of Two Harbors and the City of Duluth reference a call from the Duluth Police Department about a person who was found in the West Tischer Creek bed with a back hoe dredging the creek bottom and sides out to prevent more flooding on his property with spring rains and runoff as well as large rain. This person dredged about 50 yards of creek bottom out both on his property as well as Duluth property. A Cease and Desist order was issued. A meeting at the St. Paul office was attended about moving forward with Record Management System for the Enforcement Division. Another meeting was attended in Rogers for the upcoming Conservation Officer week long interviews beginning Oct. 28 at Camp Ripley.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) assisted St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with a burglary in progress call. He also assisted Fond Du Lac PD with a call that ended up with a deer taken out of season. Items were seized. He checked looper anglers along the shore and training opportunities were discussed with the U.S. Border Patrol.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked a few shore anglers on Lake Superior. Mistaking a steelhead for a coho turned out to be a costly mistake for one angler; key indicators to identify the fish are found in the fishing synopsis. Assistance was given to a local agency with finding a two-year-old boy lost in the woods and wet snow for over two hours. An incidentally trapped wolf was released from a foothold set. The next day the same trapper called to report he had caught a different wolf in the same set. Both wolves were released unharmed. A deer case was handled in a vacant station. Enforcement action taken for angling, big game, and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior, and also worked commercial enforcement, archery deer hunters, and waterfowl hunters. He attended a meeting with fisheries and responded to report of dead wolf, but upon arrival it was not there.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked at the Camp Ripley bow hunt last week. The weather was great with close to 2,000 hunters each day. The deer harvest was about average around 180 animals taken. Some of the violations observed were hunting in restricted area, leaving deer stands out overnight, and litter. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. He checked duck hunters on the Crow Wing River and the duck harvest was poor. Anglers continue to have fair success violations found were transporting live fish and no license in possession. He worked invasive species enforcement on Gull Lake and other area lakes.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) continued deer baiting investigations and worked waterfowl enforcement. Officer Guida assisted Little Falls area CO’s and Wildlife Staff with the Camp Ripley Archery Hunt. On Saturday, there were approximately 2,200 archery hunters participating in the hunt. Officer Guida also addressed miscellaneous nuisance wildlife calls and was a guest speaker at the Brainerd Area Darkhouse/Spearfishing Association Banquet.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked hunter and anglers, assisted a neighboring officer with a TIP call, worked areas of deer shining complaints, and assisted the county with a 911 call where a person was operating an ATV illegally in a wetland and had got stuck and wet. The person said he called 911 because he was cold and didn’t want to walk the mile back out to a road. The responding fire department got their ATV stuck trying to find the operator and it took several members hours to get it free.
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 an ATV accident, assisted local police and worked the Camp Ripley Archery Deer Hunt.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) handled several nuisance animal complaints and transported an injured eagle to the Garrison Animal Hospital. He addressed an eager group of young hunters who participated in a youth deer hunt at Savanna Portage State Park. Archery deer, waterfowl and grouse hunters were also checked throughout the week.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) spoke to small game hunters this past week who were reporting very slow activity. Officer Lee received a complaint of hunter harassment that was occurring to an archery hunter, with further investigation continuing. Officer Lee received numerous calls this past week of beavers causing damage, and flooding issues. Special permits were issued to parties in attempts to control these issues. Officer Lee also worked areas for Illegal shinning activity from previous complaints.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity this past week included checking waterfowl and bow deer hunting activity, responding to numerous questions and permit requests regarding trapping, fishing, and the upcoming firearms deer season, and investigation of complaints of deer baiting. He also investigated early and late shooting of waterfowl, hunter trespass, decoys left out on public waters, illegal dumping of garbage, and a boat that showed up mysteriously on posted private woodland.
McGregor – vacant.
Pine River – vacant.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) finished up on an investigation regarding trespassing and illegal bear baiting. The suspect was cited for baiting without a valid license, failing to register a bait station and trespassing. Heaton patrolled area WMAs and State Forests for small game hunters. She also dealt with nuisance beaver issues and hunting related questions and permits.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) attended the annual meeting of the Township Officer’s Association and presented some DNR updates for those in attendance. Time was spent providing permits for the control of nuisance beaver that continued to cause flooding of county roadways and damage to private property. Small game hunters and waterfowl hunters were checked and archery deer hunters reported seeing an increase in deer movement and buck activity. Violations found during the week included hunting without a license and illegal operation of ATVs. One pair of hunters was caught using lights to locate deer late at night. The same pair was also in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time answering questions about the upcoming deer season. He checked small game, waterfowl, and archery hunters through the week. He assisted Mille Lacs officers with a work detail. Enforcement contacts included shining violations, possession of marijuana, and ATV violations.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports deer activity is picking up as he investigated cases of deer getting chased by dogs, getting shot over bait, and being shot and left. Some anglers were checked but activity was still slow. The leaves are mostly off the trees now, which is improving success for small game hunters.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded numerous phone calls regarding the upcoming rifle season for deer. Complaints regarding shooting from vehicles for small game and shining of deer were addressed and worked. Hunters were checked on county and state land; more grouse and woodcock are being seen. Waterfowl hunters were checked on area duck ponds. A complaint regarding an ATV operating in a wetland was addressed as well. Please be aware where you are operating an ATV when maintaining deer stands. Enforcement action was taken for failing to renew ATV registration and falling to transfer ATV ownership.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked turkey hunters during the last week of season. Area lakes were checked for waterfowl hunters and waterfowl with small numbers of both seen. Training was attended for upcoming Conservation Officer hiring process. Time was also spent monitoring shining complaint areas.
CO Scott E. Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports monitoring shining activity around the Malmo Station throughout the week and weekend. Also, calls of a structure built in a WMA and a call of possible illegal stands on state land were fielded. Migratory waterfowl hunters were checked and a few were finding some birds but most felt the northern birds had not made their way to the area yet. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a complaint of parties shooting at small game from a motor vehicle. Fishermen around Mille Lacs Lake were also checked. Most of the fishermen reported a sluggish bite. Multiple car-kill deer permits were issued during the week. Lots of fishing, big game, small game, wolf, and waterfowl law related questions were answered throughout the week.
Onamia – vacant.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mie (Annandale) checked anglers last week. CO Mies worked on several tip calls and made contact with several hunters.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted surveillance for deer shiners at several locations in Morrison Co. Local lakes were checked for fishing activity and WMAs for hunting activity. A complaint was received about vehicles other than ATV driving on the Soo Line Trail and hunting. CO Kuske attended training for the CO oral interviews as part of the next step in the hiring process.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked angling and hunting activity the first part of the week. There was little to report. CO Friese was on days off most of the week.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked on a possible wetlands violation with the LGU and a possible civil violation along Luxemburg creek where landowners are violating an easement. Officer Martin continues to work deer baiting issues and attended a meeting for the upcoming hiring process. Time was spent tracking down a hunter who chose to enter posted private property (twice) in order to track a wounded deer. The hunter had been told to stay off the property in the past and admitted to seeing the legal No Trespassing signs as well. He now faces possible charges of Gross Misdemeanor trespassing and Gross Misdemeanor transporting illegally taken big game animal, both charges could lead to revocation of his hunting privileges for some time.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting follow-up on wetland cases and checking lake service providers. Trappers and small game hunters were also checked. WREO Bertram participated in a shining work crew in Todd County.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking pheasant hunters, trappers, deer hunters and fishermen. CO Silgjord assisted a neighboring officer with an illegal trapping investigation with enforcement action being taken. A trap theft complaint was taken and is currently being investigated. Assistance was provided at the Camp Ripley archery hunt and a detail was worked with surrounding officers. Other enforcement action for the week included no pheasant stamp and burning of prohibited materials.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) checked a group of duck hunters that were in the city limits of Little Falls and took calls of a possible cougar attack on a dog and horse, nuisance beaver causing flooding on roads, and a dogs chasing deer complaint. Thank you to trappers who are calling in their accidental catches (out of season) for pick up and unfortunately a trapper thought it was okay to dump their skinned out animal carcasses of fox, raccoon and beaver (which was not open season yet) in the road ditch for everyone to see. The first Ripley Deer Archery Hunt closed with 181 deer taken over the two days. Violations during the hunt included uncased bows, alcohol down range, and hunters hunting in closed areas.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked trapping enforcement, took calls concerning damage from beavers and calls regarding pheasant hunters. Investigations into illegal burning resulted in citation issued and discovery of possible wetland, public waters and aquatic plant management violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated deer hunting violations and checked on several new complaints related to waterfowl and deer hunting. Area waterfowl hunters observed a lack of waterfowl in the area at the start of the week, but that changed by later in the week with some success with some migration of canvasback, bluebills and more mallards in the area. Enforcement action was taken for illegally taking protected birds (Pileated Woodpeckers), angling without a license, taking smallmouth bass out of season, no PFD onboard watercraft and leaving trail cameras in wildlife management areas.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters on area lakes and rivers. He took enforcement action on a number of license violations. He followed up on a big game case with charges pending. He answered a number of hunting questions.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked bird hunters during the week. Some northern ducks have moved into the area and success has improved. Grouse and pheasant hunters have seen good weather and cover but bird numbers are low. Enforcement action was taken on hunting deer over baited area.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) continues to check small game, waterfowl, and archery hunters, anglers, and ATVs. Calls were taken on trespassing, injured animals, ATV complaints, and wetland violations.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) assisted in releasing a wolf from a leg hold trap in the area. COs Langevin and Salzer used a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood to hold the wolf at bay, while the trapper released the leg hold trap. The wolf ran off with no more than a bruised foot. CO Langevin also checked small game and duck hunters in the area. The number of hunters was steady but the bag limits were limited.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked waterfowl hunters all week having very good success. Telephone calls were returned daily on hunting questions. Anglers were checked on area rivers and special regulation lakes.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for small game activity. CO Salzer patrolled for waterfowl activity. Waterfowl hunting was fairly slow last week with not many birds being taken. Salzer also assisted CO Langevin with a trapping issue.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking duck hunters and small game hunters. A few of the calls CO Grewe responded to included baited deer stands, failing to retrieve downed waterfowl and shooting after hours. Violations involved unplugged shotguns, license violations and ATV issues.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters in Dakota County. He patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and met with park staff. CO Neitzke patrolled for deer hunting violations. He also investigated a TIP call.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked goose, pheasant, and small game hunters in the metro area. He responded to a big game complaint in Maple Grove and took a TIP call on Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, and no fishing license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with CO Grewe in Carver, Scott and Hennepin counties for waterfowl and small games activity. He took many calls regarding hunting laws and TIP calls. He spent time to winterizing issued equipment as summer comes to an end.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) checked waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River throughout the week. Hunters are reporting slow hunting as few new migrant ducks have moved into the area. CO McGowan also investigated numerous TIP calls throughout Dakota County.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spent the weekend working boating and fishing enforcement on the Rainy river with WREO Block. He checked waterfowl and archery hunters in Scott County and responded to a TIP complaint. CO Pril also spoke at a snowmobile class about snowmobiling laws in Dakota county.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked duck and deer hunters throughout the week. He conducted a falconry facilities inspection in Little Canada. CO Johnson attended a district meeting in St. Paul. He picked up a deer that had been illegally shot in Linwood Township.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time working AIS and wetland related activity. The officer also attended a district meeting. WREO Block along with CO Pril worked a detail on the Rainy River near Baudette over the weekend. Violations encountered included angling without license in possession, angle without a license, insufficient PFDs, no fire extinguisher in watercraft, no navigation lights on watercraft, possession of illegal length walleye, transport watercraft without removing the drain plug and underage consumption of alcohol.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small game, waterfowl, and archery deer hunters. CO Arntzen attended a district meeting, investigated TIP complaints, and issued a nuisance beaver permit. CO Arntzen also monitored activity in the WMAs where enforcement action was taken for speeding and leaving a deer stand overnight.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended two days of LOCKUP training at the St. Paul Police Department. She continued working on deer cases, handled TIP calls and worked small game and waterfowl enforcement. CO Kruse attended a district meeting, worked ATV enforcement in Anoka County and issued a car kill deer tag.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports about 15,000 geese are on LqP. Many of the violations involved Wildlife Management Areas. Violations included driving on and farming a WMA. He also encountered hunting pheasants in a controlled hunt zone.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working pheasant hunters and trappers. Several investigations are ongoing. Enforcement action was taken for no license and numerous trapping violations.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked deer, duck, and pheasant hunters throughout the week. Complaints of hunter trespass were investigated. An ATV safety class was taught in Madison. Numerous hunting and fishing violations were encountered
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported pheasant hunters continue to struggle to find roosters even with most of the fall harvest complete and fall tillage in full swing. Duck hunters saw lower success rates with only a few northern ducks starting to arrive and no big migrations yet. Some nice deer have been taken by bow hunters. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with interviews. Complaints worked during the week dealt with trespassing, shooting after hours, and illegal taking violations.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued two restoration orders in Renville County for illegal fill in a WCA. A WMA violation was investigated in Swift County. AIS checks were completed on water related equipment on accesses and sloughs in several counties. Pheasant hunters were out but seemed to be having minimal success. Empty stations were worked.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reported several trespass complaints were investigated throughout the week. A wide variety of ducks were observed in the area throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for a WMA violation.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on a wetland complaint, trespassing complaint and issued a nuisance beaver permit. He spoke to the New London High School Wildlife Management class and also worked a detail with neighboring officers.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters throughout the week. The drop in temperatures started pushing more types of waterfowl through the area. AIS compliance was also monitored. She worked a night detail with other officers in Henderson area. She discussed regulations and ethics at a FAS class in Dassel.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working trapping enforcement and raccoon hunting in the area. Waterfowl hunters were also checked with most having better luck on Saturday than Sunday.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding illegal trapping methods and questions regarding hunting information. He attended training in St. Paul. The remainder of the week was spent primarily on waterfowl and deer hunting. Duck numbers and species variety improved on local wetlands.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters. The soybean harvest seems almost complete and the corn is coming out fast. Most of the crops should be out in time for the firearms deer opener. Many calls were received in anticipation of the upcoming deer season.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County continuing to work small and big game seasons. Gruhlke also worked waterfowl and fishing seasons. He followed up with the county attorney’s office concerning a trespass case and responded to an injured trumpeter swan. Gruhlke also completed his radio show with KKOJ/KRAQ.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked hunting and trapping activity for small game and waterfowl. Pheasant hunters are having a hard time shooting much less seeing birds. Archery deer hunting activity was monitored. Angling activity picked up with warmer weather but the catch was slim to none. State property was patrolled for illegal equipment and other possible violations.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunting activity. Minor violations were detected. Pheasants continue to be few and far between in the area. Mixed bags of ducks are being harvested on area sloughs.
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 trapping activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked fishermen, waterfowl hunters, archery hunters and monitored trapping and ATV activity. The officer worked a security detail at a public hearing in Mankato. A detail was also worked with several neighboring officers and various calls were handled from the public. Enforcement action was taken on trapping, waterfowl, and ATV violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports pheasant hunting in the area is slow with few birds being seen in the bag. Complaints of illegal trapping continue to occupy the officer’s time. Waterfowl hunters checked are having some success.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked small game, migratory waterfowl, and big game activity during the week. The officer also gave the law & ethics presentation at a Firearms Safety Class. Various calls were also handled from the public.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trapping, waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunting activity. A law and ethics presentation was given for an advanced hunter education class at Glenville-Emmons High School. Enforcement action was taken for various trapping violations.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA cases. Anglers were checked and educated on AIS laws. Restoration orders were also delivered.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) report working a very busy week of hunting enforcement but was able to find time to provide another educational opportunity this time with Hiawatha Valley Sail & Power Squadron at a boating course in Red Wing. CO Prodzinski also took enforcement action for hunting deer over a baited area as well as some unlawful trapping and trespass violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy duck hunting pressure with an average of about one duck per hunter. Hemker stopped two people shining after hours. They were non-hunters driving around with three children in the car while smoking marijuana and shining for deer. He also spent time with a college student interested in the conservation law enforcement field and continues to focus on AIS enforcement. He observed a person hide something on public property at a boat landing. The person advised he was leaving his phone there so his mother could not track where he was going.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked checking hunters. The geese hunting in the area is picking up and limits of birds were seen in the bag. Archery deer hunters were out and stands left on WMA land were complaints as well as salt blocks being used in the feed ban area. ATV operators were checked and enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in the roadway while having a revoked driver’s license. Other enforcement action was taken for no federal waterfowl stamp and license issues. He also spoke at a FAS field day held at Gamehaven Scout Camp
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports sauger and walleye are biting better. Cloudy and windy weather provided a good week for duck hunters. Many bucks were taken the last couple of days. One landowner found a 12-point buck on his property. It had been shot by a bow. He’d contacted all of his neighbors and no one claimed the deer. He agreed if I gave him a possession permit to give the rack back if someone who legally shot the deer came looking for it. That evening a seasoned bow hunter did claim the buck and was very appreciative that the cape was still in good shape for a head mount. It’s not everyday someone finds a deer, contacts the warden, field dresses the deer, and then ends up giving it away (ethics). He also gave a presentation to a high school class that was heading out for a day of fishing.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and waterfowl hunters during the week. Panfish continue to bite and some were also doing well on walleyes. Duck hunting was slower overall with more birds being seen over the weekend. Heyn also did a job shadow ride along with a high school student.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week responding to deer hunting complaints, checking waterfowl hunters and anglers. The duck harvest has been very slow and the fall walleye bite remains slow. Time was also spent checking small game hunters.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working shining complaints, trapping complaints and trespass complaints. Enforcement action was taken for trapping violations and trespassing. Time was also spent checking a few duck and goose hunters. Success was limited.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Tom Buker (New Ulm) worked on training tasks, equipment issues, and big game enforcement flights in the southern portion of the state.
CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked on several aviation training items during the week and answered calls on the upcoming deer firearms deer season.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew timber wolf telemetry and Forest Inventory regeneration flights of spruce and tamarack. Heineman also attended to maintenance on 605NR.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of wildlife telemetry flights. Jensen also flew a flight in support of the forestry research unit. Various plans for fall flights were set up also.
NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) finished fish stocking for the Tower and Grand Marais Fisheries and flew forest regeneration photo flights.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez worked on backgrounds from a recent Volunteer Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic. The RTO attended the Minnesota Volunteer Safety Instructor Association’s (MVSIA) monthly meeting where many topics were discussed. One being an NRA Range Safety Officer Certification Class being offered at Camp Ripley on December 7th. RTO Gutierrez also provided them with entire laser shot system that will be loaned out to them to use at events.
NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on reviews of the Snowmobile Safety CD and ATV Safety CD changes. Patten worked with the Region 2 Information Officer on a news release. Patten attended Use of Force training for LOCKUP – defensive tactics for several days.
East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence conducted a firearms safety instructor training session at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods in Sandstone. RTO Lawrence along with RTO Owens and a handful of firearms safety instructors completed the last firearms safety field day class for youth at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. RTO Lawrence answered questions about the upcoming firearms deer season as it relates to youth hunting and answered questions on duck hunting options.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on Hunter Education Firearms Safety (HEFAS) instructor training and HEFAS Field Day. A HEFAS instructor class was put on at Gamehaven Scout Reservation on Friday and an on-line field day was held on Saturday with existing and new instructors. Students and parents were very pleased with the training. Fun was had by all. This was the first field day at Gamehaven and it went very well.
Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week taught a snowmobile safety instructor class and gave a presentation to MnUSA the state snowmobile association. Owens also assisted with teaching a youth Firearm Safety Class at Carlos Avery this past weekend. He finished up work on the Snowmobile Laws and Regulations for Law Enforcement Training Program, and worked on other OHV/snowmobile items throughout the week.
NW RTO Jon Paurus trained five new volunteer instructors while conducting a youth field day in Clearbrook. An ATV class was also conducted in Perham where one new instructor was trained and 17 youth were certified for ATV operation. Instructor supplies were delivered and time was spent patrolling the vacant Perham station.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports completing instructor backgrounds and planning for safety training instructor certification clinics. He also assisted with LOCKUP training in St. Paul and returned calls/answered questions regarding hunting regulations.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens 763-753-1887 firstname.lastname@example.org
NE RTO Shelly Patten 218-244-8051
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549 email@example.com
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032 email@example.com
NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant
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