FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report

This picture has nothing to do with the report.  We just liked the photo!
This picture has nothing to do with the report. We just liked the photo!



District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl hunters on Thief Lake and Lake of the Woods. Most of the birds on Thief Lake have left with moderate ice forming throughout most of the lake. Area trapping activity was also monitored.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke to the Warren Rod and Gun Club on new regulations and hunter ethics. Complaints of deer baiting and equipment left in WMAs were investigated. A ride along was provided to a college student. CO Woinarowicz patrolled for unlawful recreational deer shiners, and reminds the public that all shining activity must cease two hours after sunset. Enforcement action for the week included leave stand in WMA, fail to remove bear bait sign, and unlawful use of artificial lights to locate game in closed hours.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked small game and waterfowl hunting activity.  Follow up on open investigations of shinning and illegally killed deer was conducted.  Angling activity was monitored on area waters. A grey wolf taken by a predator control trapper was received. Follow up was conducted on possible illegal mowing on a WMA. CO Warren worked with the area hydrologist on a waters violation. Pre-deer season preparations were begun and equipment maintenance performed.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored waterfowl and small game hunting activity and checked trappers throughout the week. Time was spent investigating a wolf depredation complaint which was determined as loss of livestock to coyote. Car kill deer possession and ATV special permits were issued, and trespass complaints and reports of trap tampering were investigated. CO Regas came across a man conducting demolition of a mobile home and other outbuildings by burning the demolition debris. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited material. Area shining activity was worked with CO Vollbrecht and CO Holt.

Baudette -vacant.

Blackduck #1 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working mainly deer hunting enforcement. Several archery deer hunter contacts were made. Time was also spent checking waterfowl hunters and anglers. Trappers were also checked and ATV trails were patrolled.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked trappers, archery and waterfowl hunters. He spoke about laws and ethics at FAS classes and investigated a dead horse. He also had reports of trespass, dogs chasing deer and shining.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked archery deer hunters and fielded many question about the upcoming firearms deer season.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked waterfowl hunters on Bemidji area waters. Hunters reported mixed bags of divers and mallards. CO Vollbrecht worked a shining detail with CO Regas and CO Holt. A complaint of a dead deer with a bullet hole found in its neck was received and investigated. Officer Vollbrecht checked boaters and fishermen on the Cass Lake chain. Time was also spent patrolling for ATV use and grouse hunting activity.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked area waterfowl hunters, grouse hunters, trappers and archery deer hunters. Complaints were received of waterfowl hunters shooting before and after legal hours, deer shining, and illegally taken deer. Shining details were worked with multiple CO’s throughout the area. CO Holt patrolled ATV trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest and assisted CO Parthun in attempting to locate a stolen ATV.

CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports checking waterfowl and small game hunters and investigating possible baited fields for waterfowl. CO Vinton responded to a possibly injured Golden Eagle that turned out to be a Red-tailed Hawk. The bird appeared dazed but was released on a remote WPA away from any highways. A case of illegal dumping, trespass and parking issues at a WMA were all investigated.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports checking archery, pheasant and waterfowl hunters.  Pheasant hunters and waterfowl continue to have limited success. CO Seefeldt followed up on complaints of unlawfully set traps. He also continued investigations into multiple trespass cases. Reports of deer baiting and unlawful party hunting of deer were also taken.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) continued follow-up with a calf kill case, assisted Becker County Sheriff’s Office with miscellaneous calls, and responded to a TIP call of a shining and shooting from a road. Suspects on the TIP were interviewed. Suspect statements included using a warning shot at a stubborn deer impeding traffic flow on a remote township road by failing to get off the road. Charges are pending for shoot from the road at big game (or unsafe discharge), shining with a firearm, and driving with a cancelled driver’s license.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working on early trapping complaints and following up on deer baiting tips. Time was also spent checking duck hunters. Few hunters were out with few ducks found in the area. Pheasant and bow hunters were also checked.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on fall fishing activity and AIS Law compliance. Time was spent checking small game and waterfowl hunters. Open WCA and APM cases were worked on. Time was given to Local Gov’t Units (LGUs) and COs regarding ongoing cases and follow-up on case progress. WREO Stattelman also made several contacts with trappers to ensure traps were marked and proper license possessed.

Perham – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports waterfowl migration is slow in the area but some new birds are filtering in. Many hunters have been reporting geese seem to be very educated and reluctant to finish into the decoy spreads. Richards participated in a shining detail with other CO’s in the district. Trappers were checked and questions were answered related to the upcoming firearms deer season.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) released a fisher from a live trap, issued car killed deer permits, worked area archery, waterfowl and small game hunters with few waterfowl and pheasants in the area. Shining activity was worked with district officers. Plautz also assisted area officers with a big game violation resulting in numerous violations on three individuals.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking waterfowl, pheasant and archery deer hunters. Trapping activity was monitored as well as working deer shining activity with district officers. Time was spent meeting with the local county attorney to discuss charges regarding a case. Calls and complaints were worked in the vacant Wheaton station.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Calls about waterfowl refuges were answered. Trapping questions were answered and equipment maintenance was performed.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored deer hunting activity, with several archery hunters checked. Local WMAs are seeing pressure as the deer have really started becoming more active. Enforcement action was taken against an individual who had left a stand, climbing sticks and a trail camera on the WMA for several straight days. Issues regarding trespassing, deer license questions, car killed deer, and an accidentally trapped otter were handled.  Opening weekend trapping pressure was monitored with a few untagged traps located. In addition, Lawler participated in a D3 work crew with several other officers and checked walleye anglers on station lakes.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports that with assistance from COs Halverson and Plautz, an investigation revealed that three juveniles had been shining with a firearm in possession and shot a deer out of season in Todd County. Several items were seized in the incident and charges are forthcoming. Additional time was spent checking hunting activity involving waterfowl, small game, pheasant, and archery deer, with one group of duck hunters found to have taken an overlimit of ducks. Time was spent working night shining activity and complaint areas and follow up work was completed on stands left out in WMAs. Trappers were out in force over the past weekend with the water trapping opener, and several were checked. Additional time was spent checking fishermen, addressing burning violations, and scouting and preparing for the firearms deer season.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused law enforcement efforts on shining complaints, pheasant, waterfowl and archery deer hunters. Waterfowl numbers have been increasing slowly. Deer hunting activity is on the increase and a few more deer are being harvested by archery hunters. Deer shining complaints continues to be worked in the area. A complaint of a road kill deer being dumped in the yard of a person in Traverse County was investigated. Charges are pending against a two juveniles from the area for the prank. Fish overlimit complaints were investigated on the Mustinka River in Traverse County. Calls were fielded regarding shooting from M/V permits, doe permits, deer hunting questions, firearms safety questions and fishing limit questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking bow hunters, waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters, and trappers. Time was also spent attending a regional safety committee meeting, and participating with a deer shining work crew. The officer received a TIP call about waterfowl hunters shooting a swan on Lake Johanna, the party was located and the individual responsible for shooting the swan said he mistook the bird with a seven foot wing span for a snow goose. Enforcement action was taken for shooting the swan. Several trapping violations were handled as well.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) monitored trapping activity, worked shining and poaching details, and continued work on a trespass issue. He issued car killed deer permits and checked baited stands. Officer Parthun reminds small game hunters the Schoolcraft Game Refuge closes for small game hunting on Thursday, November 7. The only hunting activity allowed after the 7th is archery deer hunting. Additionally, there are winter season closures for Newman and Crappie Lake, designated trout lakes in Hubbard County. They closed for all angling on October 31 and will reopen with the 2014 walleye opener.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) monitored archery deer hunting activity and answered many questions regarding the upcoming firearms deer season. He noted many trappers were out for the trapping opener and he conducted investigations involving trapping in prohibited areas.  Officer Oldakowski also seized a few accidentally taken fisher.

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 complaint regarding permanent deer stands on the Chippewa National Forest, which was referred to the USFS. Officer Sommers also received numerous phone calls regarding the upcoming firearms deer season, received a complaint of people road hunting, and assisted Cass County and Leech Lake with a lost hunter.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) saw several hunters preparing stands for the gun deer season.  He documented many illegal stands on national forest lands, which were referred to the USFS. Grouse hunters, duck hunters, trappers, and a few remaining anglers were also out.  CO Mathy followed up on reports of trespassing and big game violations. Enforcement action was taken for small game violations.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) handled calls regarding requests for ATV permits, deer baiting, FAS instructors questions, illegal trapping, trespass, dogs running deer, nuisance beaver, wolf depredation, an injured owl, and stands left on a WMA. He investigated an illegal trapping complaint resulting in the party cited for the offense. Officer Francis also monitored waterfowl hunting activity; noting that most parties had limited success. Other enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and allowing illegal operation of an OHM.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATV activity. Angling and waterfowl hunting activity continues to decline. He completed an investigation into damage to a snowmobile trail. Officer Broughten also assisted Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a call concerning a lost hunter and fielded calls concerning the 2013 deer season. Enforcement action included: reckless driving and felony criminal damage to property.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) monitored duck and archery deer hunting activity. He assisted neighboring CO’s investigate a deer poaching investigation. Officer Halverson also monitored ATV activity in the station.

CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) patrolled ATV trails and forest roads and checked a variety of hunters and trappers. She encountered registration and closed area violations. Officer Adam also conducted routine maintenance on seasonal equipment to preparing some for storage and some for upcoming winter use.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala investigated a site of a possible wetlands violation where fill was placed in a wetland. He met with local SWCD staff to discuss WCA issues and spent time checking trapping activity and patrolling for illegal shining activity over the weekend. Officer Siltala also provided assistance to the Sheriff’s Department on a call of a suspicious vehicle and shots fired.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports continuing to monitor fall hunting and trapping activities in the area and fishing activities on the Rainy River. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week and lots of questions about upcoming firearms deer season were answered. Several bough cutting operations were monitored also.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports numerous illegal trapping complaints over the week. Trappers out in numbers. Complaints of stolen traps, stolen animals from legal sets, trap tampering, and a trapper trespassing to gain access to beaver for trapping. Unfortunately the landowner, also a trapper, had been waiting to harvest the beaver on his property found the illegal trap.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports following up on a trapping complaint that was unfounded. Lots of people were in the area getting their deer shacks in order. A few more grouse were observed, however, they are getting quite jumpy and flushing wildly at the first sign of trouble. Injured animal calls were dealt with.

CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored trapping activity with many small beaver showing up, but very few mink. Baited deer stands were also monitored, along with duck hunting activity. A trickle of diver ducks was still coming down. Numerous phone calls were handled and enforcement action was taken for hunting small game without a license.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing small game, trapping, archery, and illegal night time hunting activities. The officer also checked deer baiting sites and worked balsam bough and ATV enforcement with a number of violations encountered. A combination of a public waters and aquatic plant management violation and a separate public waters violation were handled with three Resource Protection Notifications being issued. Another Wetland Conservation Act violation was also investigated with another Resource Protection Notification forthcoming.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled the Virginia area and followed up on reports from hunters who located and reported deer baits. The locations of the deer baits were GPS’d and photographs were taken. Hunters who are hunting over bait this deer season should seriously consider changing their hunting tactics or risk heavy fines, losing their rifles, and their hunting privileges. A road killed bear was taken care of.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received two calls on very upset trappers due to some of their traps being stolen. Traps are expensive and often times the stolen trap may have an animal caught in it. A hunting over bait case was worked with two brothers found hunting over bait. One had an active warrant and when searched apple slices used for bait were found in his pockets. Calls have been received on legal water access for duck hunting due to some divers showing up in the area.

Ray – vacant.

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that trapping season is off to a good start with many trappers having good luck. There have been several reports from local Ely residents of nuisance wolves and coyotes around town. The officer has been reminding pet owners to be attentive when their pets are outdoors. Violations included operating an unregistered ATV and angling without a license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked area hunters and fishermen. Many grouse hunters claim to be having a difficult time finding grouse, but the officer is seeing three to seven a day while working. Those that get out and walk are doing fairly well it seems while road hunters don’t do as well. The firearm deer season gets underway on Nov. 9 and hunters are reminded that any food attractant that was used prior to the season needs to be completely gone – and then ten days must elapse before the area can be hunted.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked trapping complaints and located numerous traps which did not comply with Lynx Management Zone requirements. The officer also investigated reports of bait placed by deer hunters and worked shining complaint areas. A landowner reported several ATV riders compromised a beaver dam on private property resulting in flooding of the private roadway; everyone had cleared out and the water on the road was low by the time the call came in.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked predominately traps and trappers, grouse hunters, and archery deer hunters. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer on a case. If anyone comes across bait placed for deer hunting please call the TIP line  at 1-800-652-9093 or your local officer. Hunters illegally using bait are stealing opportunities from legal hunters.  Enforcement action for the week included transporting grouse without a wing, no small game license in possession, illegal conibear set, cut / transport boughs without a permit, and failure to purchase bough buyer’s permit.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored trapping and small game hunting activity. Complaints were received about traps on trails, tampering with traps, stolen traps and night shooting. A shining detail was worked and archery hunters were checked.

Silver Bay – vacant.

Two Harbors – vacant.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) answered wildlife complaints, trespass complaints, balsam bough/spruce top violations, and took information about big game violations. He also checked duck hunters, small game hunters, and trappers. Violations include transport watercraft with boat plug in, trespass, and untagged traps. Two men were cited in Koochiching County for illegal harvest of spruce tops. their spruce tops, approximately $500 worth, were confiscated.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended  k-9 training and fielded questions regarding the big game and trapping seasons.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking small game and big game hunters and trappers this past week. She took a call about a dead hawk and also finished a wetlands and public waters investigation. She took a Tip call of late shooting ducks on Blackwater.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked trapping activity in the area with numerous trappers out looking for critters. Baiting activity was worked for the Nov. 9 firearm deer opener. Deer stand and camera thefts were also looked into.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked trappers, bough cutters, waterfowl, archery and small game hunters. He also responded to several hunting and trespass related complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week preparing for the upcoming deer season and checking trappers. Wichmann checked grouse hunters who were having little success. Enforcement action was taken for a hunter transporting a grouse without the proper identification.

CO John Velsvaag (Region II ATV officer) checked waterfowl hunters this past week, as well as followed up on deer baiting complaints. CO Velsvaag also patrolled in northern Pine County and Carlton County checking up on ATV complaints. CO Velsvaag checked whitefish netters and took several calls on animals with mange.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, waterfowlers, trappers, bait and equipment on infested and at other station waters. Angler success continues to be good. Duck hunters had better success with scaup and redheads showing in bag limits. A Tip complaint of duck rallying was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for taking slot walleyes and for license violations. Wetland Conservation Act and public waters restoration orders were tracked for compliance.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trespassing complaints involving ATV trails and erection of stands on private property. Shining complaints were worked and assisted area officers with shining work. Trapping complaints were investigated and trappers checked in the area. Most trappers are reporting a successful season so far. ATV complaint areas were worked and enforcement action taken.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) had a busy week answering a variety of questions mostly about the upcoming firearm deer season. Time was also spent in the field investigating a few baiting complaints and a few trap thefts. Illegal nighttime shinning complaints have been rather slow this year. Citations were issued for hunting without a small game license and operating a non-registered ATV. A recovered stolen canoe was returned to its rightful owner.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) participated in interviewing new prospective Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley last week. More than 200 interviews were conducted by several interview panels during the week to narrow down the field of applicants for the next Conservation Officer Academy. The Officer also worked on several public waters violations with DNR hydrologists and one WCA case was also worked on with local government in the Duluth area.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some investigating a possible hunter harassment case. Field work consisted of check trapping areas, small game hunting, and archery deer hunting.  Several nights were worked at past complaint areas of night deer shining. Officer Duncan also answered many questions and concerns that were fielded from the office telephone.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked fire, OHV,  big and small game enforcement. CO Humphrey continued to work deer shining complaint areas. Another misdemeanor shiner was apprehended. Traps and trappers were checked. Numerous phone calls were received with questions about upcoming hunting seasons, firearms safety, and ATV usage during deer season. Complaints of deer baiting, road hunting, and trespass were reported and are being investigated.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) checked on complaints of unchecked and untagged traps. The cases are all still under investigation. More training and a K9 demo was conducted with K9 Schody at Esko Elementary. Several people were checked this past week while out in the woods and the deer numbers are definitely down in the area. Very few violations were found.  A shining complaint was worked in the area. People are reminded to read the regulation book on the shining regulations. Nuisance wolf and bear calls were handled by phone.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) attended training with the USCG aboard a Great Lakes vessel and checked small game hunters north of Duluth. North Shore kamloop anglers were checked in the Duluth/ Two Harbors area. Olson fielded numerous questions on the upcoming firearms deer season. He also received a complaint of a motor vehicle operating on the North Shore State Trail.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked anglers, boaters, trappers, archery deer, and shinning complaint areas throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for possession of steelhead during closed season.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked commercial netters on Lake Superior. Questions continue to come in on licensing options for the upcoming deer season. Baiting complaints from previous years are being documented for future contact. Enforcement action was taken for angling, commercial, and ATV violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) responded to complaints of deer baiting, trapping beaver before season, suspected waterfowl violations, and garbage dumping. Numerous other issues associated with the upcoming firearms deer season were tended to.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big game and small game trapping enforcement. Baiting complaints are being investigated and hunters should be aware that bait or any remnants of bait needs to be completely removed for a period of 10 days prior to hunting. Only pure mineral and salt blocks are legal for use. Officer Guida addressed an early trapping violation where numerous furbearers were seized and enforcement action was taking for take/possess furbearer out of season. Work and call load continue to rise due to the fall hunting seasons underway. Officer Guida also assisted wildlife staff with the Camp Ripley Archery hunt.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) fielded calls for possible pollution in an area lake, an injured swan that couldn’t use its wings, a trespass complaint involving a disputed property line and deer stands and of somebody who had three of their dogs poisoned. The officer also assisted at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area annual rifle sight-in day.

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, hunting, and recreational activity in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area. He along with SRA staff and CO Collette conducted the 16th annual Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area deer rifle range day where over 100 hunters were assisted with sighting in their rifles. And, he assisted at the Camp Ripley Archery Deer Hunt.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received numerous complaints of trespassing with property owners out checking stands for the upcoming firearms season. Officer Lee received a call from one property owner stating he found a new stand placed on his property. The stand was taken down by the property owner with follow up investigation continuing. Officer Lee also received a call of a stand being left on public land by a small game hunter along with a pile of fresh corn a few yards away; further investigation will continue into the firearms season.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked waterfowl, archery deer and small game hunters during the week. Trappers were out in force over the weekend and were worked as well.

McGregor – vacant.

Pine River – vacant.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

Conservation Officer Dustie Heaton (Willow River) investigated trappers who were trapping before the season opener and using illegal sets. This case is still under investigation. Shining after hours and shining livestock enclosures complaints were taken and worked. Heaton investigated a buck that was shot  and beheaded. None of the meat was removed. In another case Heaton was working, a complainant used a smart phone to record a conversation. This audio recording assisted in making the case. Heaton cited several ATVers who were operating in the middle of a county road. One was in the opposing lane and another was cited for operating an ATV without a valid driver’s license.

WREO Rob Haberman checked lake service providers around the Brainerd area. WREO Haberman worked on wetland conservation act cases in Aitkin County and Pine County. WREO Haberman also conducted a site visit on violation in Aitkin County.

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on deer cases and answered questions regarding the upcoming deer season. Several land owners were out posting property along with logging pictures and GPS points of their signs. You could tell fur prices are looking up based on the amount of water trappers out on opening day. A few duck hunters were out but success was slow and blamed on to nice of weather. A call regarding angling violations resulted in multiple citations.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored hunting activity in the area. Saturday’s great weather encouraged hunters to get into the woods and test their luck; some hunters had more luck than others. Trapping complaints were fielded and investigated in the area as new trapping season open. Land ownership disputes were addressed. Additional deer shining complaints were addressed as well; law enforcement action was taken against a person shining illegally. Assistance was given to Aitkin County SO.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls of baiting complaints, stands in WMAs, and trespassing complaints and questions. He spent time checking ATV and late shooting complaints, and responded to two separate incidents of lost people in St. Croix and Banning State Parks. The people were found unharmed. He also assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with several calls during the week. CO Wynn finished up the week checking trappers, and spoke at a snowmobile safety class.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled various complaint areas for shining activity. Several car kill deer permits were issued during the week along with a handicap ATV permit. An archery hunter called concerning his safety after being followed out to the woods by two timber wolves. He stated the wolves followed him on both sides while he was briskly walking to get to his vehicle. Time was also spent on an interview board for new conservation officer candidates.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time dealing with trespass calls and assisting with the search and rescue of lost hunters and anglers. It’s that time of year again when deer hunters visit their hunting land and find deer stands and other hunting activity on the wrong side of the property line. Hunters are urged to respect property lines, buy a plat book and research maps. This preparation will provide the basic knowledge to know where you have permission to be and where you have a legal right to hunt. Searching for lost hunters is an every season occurrence for Conservation Officers. Before venturing out for the upcoming deer opener, going over these same maps and plat books will also greatly reduce the chances of losing your way in the woods.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working on several big game violation calls during the week. The Officer fielded calls of trespassing, illegally shot deer, illegal shining, trapping violations and also multiple calls regarding law related questions. Patrol was done in several areas of public land for small game and ATV activity. A few waterfowl hunters were checked but most reported a slow hunt for birds. The Officer participated in a work detail looking for illegal shining activity. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Department on a call of a party with a warrant and to the Mille Lacs Band DNR on a dumping and littering complaint. A TIP complaint of a party taking illegal fish and using illegal methods on Mille Lacs Lake was investigated and several car kill deer permits were issued. A call of an injured swan was also fielded during the week. Enforcement action for the week included various big game violations.

Onamia – vacant.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters and archers. Assistance was again provided for the Camp Ripley archery hunt. Trapping activity was also monitored most fur bearers are no in season. A dumping complaint was taken where a couch was reported to have been thrown off a bridge into the Sauk River. CO Silgjord located the couch and although it would make for scenic viewing, efforts to remove the lounger will be made before ice up. Enforcement action for the week included operate class 1 ATV on a public highway, fail to transfer title, no ATV safety certificate and fail to display ATV registration.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked hunting, angling, and trapping activities. A possible WCA violation is under investigation. CO Friese assisted with the Camp Ripley Bow Hunt.

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and hunters during the past week. Time was spent at Camp Ripley with Conservation Officer applicant interviews, working deer shiners, and taking TIP calls too. While Officer Martin was working a deer shining area he encountered a young couple who had recently smoked marijuana in their car. The young lady who was driving was angry with Officer Martin for “ruining” her life when Officer Martin issued her a summons. Officer Martin responded to a “fresh car killed wolf” where a passer-by wanted a permit to keep the wolf hide. When Officer Martin arrived he discovered a several day old (by the smell of it) Pomeranian, no permit was needed…

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a number of trapping complaints of trappers using body-gripping traps in the road right of ways. Most sets were found to be legal, but some were found to be past the road right of way onto people’s private property. A couple trappers were found to be setting traps near water before the season. CO Kuske worked the second Camp Ripley Archery Hunt with 127 deer taken over the two day event by 2,295 hunters.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland and waters cases. Several trappers and small game hunters were also checked.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with Conservation Officer interviews for new officers. Time was also spent working complaints ranging from deer shining, deer baiting, and illegal trapping. Thesing worked the Camp Ripley bow hunt.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on TIP calls and checked trappers. CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters along with anglers.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) spent the week at Camp Ripley serving as a panelist for the Conservation Officer oral interview process. Creeks and rivers were inspected for traps being set prior to the water trapping opener in the south zone. The deer are moving; there was a sharp increase in car kill deer this past week. CO Kuske conducted surveillance of areas for deer shining activity and handled numerous inquiries related to hunting and trapping.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent the week at Camp Ripley. Time was spent speaking with the candidates who were in the interview stage of the CO testing process. It was a pleasure meeting all of them. Several calls were returned to folks who had questions regarding deer season which is fast approaching.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked illegal trappers over the past week, and a case of hunting deer without a license. Officer Londgren also checked anglers, small game and waterfowl hunters, patrolled local state and federal lands, and took complaints of trespassing.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) responded to several TIP complaints relating to deer hunting and waterfowl hunting. Three waterfowl hunters were assisted after swamping their boat. Thanks to the help of a local lakeshore owner and his boat these hunters will be enjoying more hunts in their future. Waterfowl hunters need to be careful in not overloading your watercraft with decoys and equipment and to wear your lifejackets. Calm waters in the morning can change quickly to dangerous winds as you attempt to return from your hunt.

Cambridge – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled two calls of dead trumpeter swans, both flew into power lines, one near Watertown and one near Norwood. Trappers were out in larger numbers than in the past with high fur prices. Waterfowl hunters were out all week but finding very few ducks, most hunters never shot their guns.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo Station) patrolled Wright County for waterfowl activity with few birds seen. Salzer also patrolled Hennepin County for small game and trapping activity. Salzer assisted CO Grewe with a call regarding a deer not being registered. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking waterfowl and bow hunters. CO Grewe responded to complaints of hunting over bait and hunting  prohibited areas. CO Grewe also spent time on equipment maintenance this week.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) investigated a complaint of a possible abandoned boat on the Mississippi River with CO Arntzen. He checked waterfowl and small game hunters in Dakota and Scott counties. CO Neitzke patrolled for ATV enforcement. He also checked archery deer hunters and worked with CO Quandt in Goodhue County. He also Patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers and small game hunters in the metro area. He assisting CO Reller with a language barrier instance with a hunter and participated in a district boat oil change at Ft. Snelling State Park. He also took care of some equipment maintenance and answered questions on big game and small game regulations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) followed up on several TIP calls in West Metro area regarding selling fish and shooting geese after hours. He patrolled the district for small game, big game and waterfowl hunting activities. He took enforcement action for unsigned federal duck stamp, no federal duck stamp, and no PFD in duck boat. He returned calls for hunting regulation questions as the deer season comes closer.

Bloomington  – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) handled a trespassing complaint, investigated ongoing deer cases, and monitored off-road activity in several WMAs. CO Arntzen taught the laws and ethics portion to a firearms safety class in Stillwater. He also performed equipment maintenance, assisted a neighboring officer with an abandon boat, and handled several trapping complaints. CO Arntzen continued checking waterfowl, archery deer, and small game hunters. Violations for the week included an unregistered OHM, no HIP certification, and burning without a permit.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports the he checked hunters, trappers, and ATVs. He received a call that a dog had been caught in a leg hold trap. Enforcement action was taken for exposed bait at the trap site. CO Johnson wrote a ticket for trapping muskrats prior to 9:00 a.m. on opening day. He took enforcement action for an unregistered watercraft, unregistered ATV, and  no burning permit. CO Johnson responded to several trespass complaints.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked waterfowl and fishing enforcement throughout the week. He checked archery hunters in Scott County and responded to injured animal calls and other complaints.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related activity. WREO Block removed a deer stand from State land after receiving a report from DNR Wildlife staff. A resource protection notification was issued in Washington County regarding a possible unpermitted wetland fill.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Washington counties for waterfowl hunting activity. Numerous groups of hunters were checked and mixed results were reported. CO McGowan also answered numerous questions regarding the upcoming deer season as well. Enforcement action was taken for hunting waterfowl without state/federal duck stamps, possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting, no HIP certification, angle without a license, and operate an ATV without registration.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) helped three Century College students that she’s mentoring with a Criminal Justice assignment. She handled many calls with waterfowl hunting questions, took TIP calls and worked small game, waterfowl and WMA enforcement. CO Kruse continued working on deer cases, did boat maintenance for the winter and handled injured animal calls.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) conducted several investigations regarding illegal trapping activity and trespassing. Time was also spent checking area duck and pheasant hunters.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked deer, duck, and pheasant hunters throughout the week.  Trapping activity was also monitored. Pheasant hunting success continues to be low, while duck hunters are having moderate success.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports seeing more goose hunters out. Complaints of people fishing in the closed portion of LqP were received.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) advises that trapping and deer hunting questions was the common thread for the week. Duck hunters are doing very well in the area with a lot of geese and ducks starting to move south. Officer Lage worked with neighboring officers, checking small game hunters in Cottonwood County. Hunters are reminded to have their license in possession while in the field as this is still the most common violation encountered.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working pheasant, waterfowl, and archery deer hunting enforcement. Even with the corn harvest nearing an end pheasant hunters are still struggling to find birds. Waterfowl success continues to be spotty as hunters await the northern migration. Trapping enforcement was also worked with most of the complaints dealing with illegal setting and unethical trapping practices. Assistance was given with the first youth firearms deer hunt inside Camden State Park.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working pheasant hunters and trappers. Pheasant success is poor. Trappers are out in larger numbers than recent memory. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of trapping violations..

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted Kandiyohi Co. SWCD with a restoration order. WCA Enforcement training was given at the BWSR Academy in Brainerd where many SWCD and LGU questions were answered. AIS, fishing and hunting checks were completed along the Minnesota River and county parks before they closed for the season.  Vacant stations were also worked.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked the opening of mink/muskrat trapping season and checked many traps and trappers in the area. He followed up on cases involving trespass, setting traps early and untagged traps. He worked a detail with neighboring officers and continued to check waterfowl, pheasant and archery deer hunters.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters along with trappers during the week. A cease and desist order was issued for work in a wetland without a permit.  A case involving an illegally taken bear was investigated. Trespass violations continue to be an issue in the area.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) concentrated on trapping enforcement in the area. Oberg also spent time helping out with the hiring process for the next two academies at Camp Ripley.  Prep work for the upcoming firearms deer season was also done.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) assisted the division training section with the hiring process at Camp Ripley. A detail was also worked with D15 and D16 officers in Cottonwood County.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County and continued to work small and big game seasons as well as waterfowl and fishing seasons. Gruhlke investigated a complaint of a trap not being checked/animal removed from trap. Gruhlke also assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with a capsized boat on Loon Lake.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) investigated big game and small game complaint violations.  Angling activity has increased some with little to no luck. Trappers and their sets were checked. Numerous questions were fielded regarding upcoming hunting seasons.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers, small game and waterfowl hunters, and small game trappers. Heavy water trapping activity was observed. CO Howe also spoke to a Snowmobile Safety class about laws and ethics, and offered assistance to a local law enforcement agency.

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. He assisted the local Sheriff’s Office search for a missing hunter.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked waterfowl hunters, archery hunters, fishermen, and monitored trapping activity. Various calls from the public were also handled. Enforcement action was taken on trapping and fishing violations.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked trapping activity this past week. Complaints of trespassing were handled. Angling success on area lakes is increasing.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked small game, migratory waterfowl, and big game activity during the week. Various calls were also handled from the public. He also assisted a local SO with a search for a missing hunter.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trapping, migratory waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunting activity. A public meeting on silica sand mining was attended in St. Charles. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, migratory waterfowl, and State Park trail violations.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA cases. Anglers were checked and educated on AIS laws.

Albert Lea – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week of hunting and trapping enforcement. The deer are starting to chase a little and few nice buck were observed. Numerous calls, questions, and complaints were fielded regarding trespass, trapping and the upcoming hunting seasons. Enforcement action involved mainly trapping and trespass violations.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a week of heavy archery deer hunting and duck hunting. Most deer hunters report seeing deer but only a few were taken. He had several wildlife and trespass complaints. Hemker also spoke at the local high school about fishing and boating safety.

CO Phil George (Rochester) took many calls about trapping, trespass and water access. He took complaints of trapping too early, untagged traps, trap tampering, and trespass. He also attended a sand mining public meeting in Wabasha. Enforcement action was taken for illegally set traps and raccoon hunting without a license. Other issues for the week were transporting a deer from the CWD zone without a transport tag or mandatory testing. A few anglers were checked with limits of pan fish.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly hunters and trappers during the week. Duck hunting was slower, but there was bird movement through the area that helped the hunting. A lot bow hunters and trappers were out with various violations encountered.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports scattered success for duck hunters this past week. Sauger bite continues to improve. Deer were on the move over the weekend. Many nice deer were harvested. Many complaints of illegal trap sets. Appears we have more new trappers this year. He investigated a complaint of a timber rattle snake illegally taken and possessed with a citation issued.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time checking anglers and hunters over the week and weekend. The fall walleye bite has picked up in the area with as many as 75 boats at a time fishing below the dam. Numerous limits of fish were seen in the live wells. Duck hunters had some success with some northern mallards seen in the bag along with a few more divers. A report was received of bow hunters who had a pack of six coyote’s approach them while they were in their tree stand. The hunter was able to shoot all four of their arrows at the coyotes. Some fishing and shining violations were detected.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy week of deer hunters and trappers. Bow hunters are having some success as the deer have started to be more active. Trespass violations were encountered and enforcement action taken. Trappers were out as well with the opening of mink and muskrat season. Ginseng diggers are also looking to sell their roots. They are reminded that to export ginseng out of the state they need to possess a dealer’s license and get their roots certified.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Tom Buker (New Ulm) flew waterfowl surveys in the northern and central portions of the state with good waterfowl numbers counted on some of the area lakes. Possible wetland impact photo flights were flown. Equipment was transferred around the state for the upcoming winter flying season and aircraft maintenance issues were worked on.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of poor weather which cancelled and postponed most flights. Numerous hangar related maintenance tasks were performed. Jensen did complete advanced amphibian float plane training. Jensen did get a telemetry flight for Camp Ripley staff completed.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew three days of photo missions for Forest Assessment and timber wolf telemetry.

CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked big game baiting enforcement efforts over the weekend and waterfowl hunting activity. Many smaller ponds were starting to become ice covered at times during the week. Murray also worked on equipment issues and pilot training activities.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew support flight involving big game hunting activities.

NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew forest regeneration and buckthorn flights.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

See Also:


SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez responded to many questions and concerns regarding the snowmobile accident which occurred in WI during a snowmobile safety class. The most important issue covered by the RTO was that WI does not require a throttle block safety device which our classes do. RTO Gutierrez coordinated pickup and drop off of some equipment for FAS classes. RTO Gutierrez also responded to several questions regarding the upcoming deer hunting season.

NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on reviews of the updated Snowmobile Safety CD and ATV Safety CDs.  Patten worked with area officers and assisted with deer baiting investigations.  Patten completed a FAS instructor training video upload to YouTube.  Patten took enforcement action against three individuals that were trespassing on agricultural land.

East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence answered questions on the upcoming deer season changes to harvest levels and youth licensing.  RTO Lawrence prepped field day equipment/props for winter storage. RTO Lawrence spoke with and sent information to Firearms Safety instructors on upcoming training taking place at Camp Ripley in December for Range Safety Officer training. RTO Lawrence continues to plan safety instructor training for the coming winter months.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on background packets for HEFAS instructors and assisted with the Houston County Deer Classic. One of the TIP trailers was worked on, transported and manned at the Deer Classic in Houston County.

Recreation Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week worked on snowmobile safety items which included a phone interview with a TV station regarding the Wisconsin snowmobile safety accident. He also spent time on paperwork from a recent instructor training.  Owens prepared for and attended a meeting in St. Paul.  Work on youth snowmobile safety and ATV safety programs continued through the week.  An email with Snowmobile Laws & Regulations course for Law Enforcement was sent out.

NW RTO Jon Paurus worked on finalizing details for the Governor’s Deer Opener. Equipment for conducting field days was picked up to be delivered to various instructor groups. Time was spent working the vacant field station for small game and trapping activity. Recruitment of new instructors for the Bemidji and New York Mills area was conducted also.

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for Safety Instructor certification training, reviewed use of force lesson plans, and worked on Instructor backgrounds. He also supplied training material and equipment to a firearms safety Instructor group near Long Prairie.  Toward the end of the week he checked hunters, trappers and fishermen in the St. Cloud area, and assisted an area Officer with Investigation of a trespass complaint.


Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens       763-753-1887

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184

Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032

NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

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