FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report


District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked snowmobilers and anglers in the Lake of the Woods area. A meeting was attended with officers from both DNR Enforcement and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources regarding border resource issues. Angling on Lake of the Woods continues to be slow. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra lines, possessing illegal length walleye, and operation of a truck on a Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trail.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke at a career fair in Thief River Falls, checked area coyote hunters, and assisted a local sheriff’s office with a case where stolen ATVs were recovered. A North Dakota Game Warden was assisted with open cases and a vehicle struck deer was handled. Multiple calls concerning a bear exiting a den near a county highway were received and those concerned were advised that this is a natural and non-threatening occurrence. Enforcement action taken for OHM registration and operation violations.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored activity on the Red Lake and Thief Rivers. Accesses were checked for activity and any left over issues from ice house removal. CO Warren worked snowmobile activity with area snowmobile trails deteriorating but a new snowfall late in the week gave snowmobilers a chance to enjoy another weekend. CO Warren spoke with two prosecutors in regards to open cases. Administrative items including updating a firearms safety class presentation and equipment maintenance was performed.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) checked anglers on special regulation lakes, monitored the removal progress of the last two fish houses remaining on Upper Red Lake and monitored snowmobile trail activity on area trails. The Blackduck firearms safety instructors were assisted and the laws and regulations presentation was given at the class. The sheriff’s office was assisted with attempting to locate a suspect wanted on a felony warrant and time was spent closing a case from this past deer hunting season with enforcement action taken.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. CO Gorecki received a TIP call of an angler keeping an illegal length walleye and then leaving on a snowmobile ride while leaving tip ups down unattended. When CO Gorecki arrived the angler was back fishing but was using extra lines and eventually admitted to leaving his tip-ups unattended for approximately two hours. After further investigation numerous filleted walleye and sauger carcasses were found buried in the snow, including a 27 inch walleye. Enforcement action was taken.

Baudette -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers and ATV operators. Time was also spent working on commercial license inspections. An illegal bobcat was also seized. Violations included no angling license, incomplete taxidermy records, and fail to register deer.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) dealt with trespass concerns, deer registration issues and checking anglers. Shelters left on the ice that were impossible to remove disappeared quickly once the owners realized a court appearance would also be required along with the citation if they remained past the weekend. He assisted other agencies with cars in ditches after the spring snow storm, but it did make the last snowmobile patrol in the White Earth Forest more scenic.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and monitored fish house removal.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored spring ice fishing activity in the area. Anglers were able to travel almost any place on area lakes until the recent snowfall over the weekend. The bite has been sporadic with some anglers finding a good perch and crappie bite. Snowmobile trails were in poor condition most of the week until the recent snowfall at the end of the week. Wildlife calls were received.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) continued to check angling activity and monitor ice house removal. Few snowmobiles were seen during the week due to deteriorating trail conditions. Enforcement activity for the week included public access violations.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports monitoring shelter removal on lakes north of the line in the Detroit Lakes station. Anglers took advantage of the favorable ice conditions to remove their shelters with only a few left on area accesses. TIPs of possible over limits on panfish have begun and a dead snowy owl was recovered.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen, following up on complaints of litter left by fishermen, deer parts dumped in ditch and angler trespass. He also received a trespass complaint regarding individuals hunting crows.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking fishing complaints in the Becker County area. Several ongoing WCA cases were worked on. Some were closed with satisfaction and some were issued restoration orders. A complaint of a public waters violation was investigated and time was spent checking fishermen. Two complaints of deer carcasses being dumped were investigated.

Moorhead – vacant.

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking panfish anglers. Richards spent time attending to maintenance of equipment and answering questions on various topics. ATV operators are encouraged to pick up a regulation booklet prior to spring time operation to prevent the costly education of a citation.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored ice fishing activity and handled litter complaints. Deer collisions with cars are a common theme as the deer are moving more. Aeration inspections were completed on area lakes and ponds.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen throughout the week. Fishing activity has been good and so has the catching on some lakes. Over limit complaints were investigated. As Osborne was checking fishermen coming off an area lake; one truck was found to be eight fish over their limit. They said their cousin gave them the fish and was right behind them. When the cousin came off the lake he didn’t have any fish in his vehicle but he did have a loaded handgun on the front seat right next to him. The subject did not have a permit to carry.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports slower ice fishing activity. Time was spent responding to calls involving car killed deer, deer feeding issues and spring trapping season. Enforcement action was taken on an individual for trapping without a license, trapping during a closed season and not checking snare traps daily. The complaint was reported after a citizen found a deer killed by a snare. Lawler continues to investigate a deer poaching issue that’s several months ongoing, with new developments this past week. Additionally, a FAS class was completed with over 70 Alex/Miltona area students being certified. Thanks to all the volunteer instructors who donated their time for the class. Airboat training was also completed.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to monitor fishing activity noting that several lakes in the station continue to receive steady fishing pressure. Overlimit complaints and investigations continue to be worked. Additional time was spent working ATV and predator hunting activity and follow up work was done on a deer case. Meetings regarding the upcoming CO Academy were attended and a road killed wolf from Douglas County was salvaged and turned over to DNR Wildlife.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice fishing and ATV activity. The officer spoke to the entire Morris Area Elementary School student body about the job of being a Conservation Officer at the “Dare Mighty Things” program. An airboat operation training session was attended in the Fergus Falls area. Anderson also assisted at the Glenwood Minnaqua program where 80 kids attended and were assisted with their first ice fishing experience. Calls were fielded regarding light goose season, ATV operation, angling, and firearms safety questions.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) handled complaints of dogs chasing deer, dumped carcasses, and car killed critters. He conducted equipment maintenance and processed evidence. Officer Parthun also handled complaints in a neighboring station. Enforcement action included allowing dogs to run at large without identification and operating a motorized vehicle in an Aquatic Management Area.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen in the area and spoke about the rules and regulations at the turkey clinic held in Park Rapids. Turkey hunters can also find information on the DNR website as well.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) investigated several cases of deer hides and heads being dumped in road ditches. He received calls regarding people inquiring about the winter deer kill in the area. Officer Oldakowski also spoke to a group of ambitious students at an early spring firearms safety class.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He also noted that the weekend cold front slowed ice angling activity and recent snowfall brought out a handful of late season snowmobiles.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and monitored fish house removal. He noted that fish house removal was aided by good ice conditions and perch fishing remained decent in spite of the snowy and abnormally cold weather.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports working fishing and snowmobile enforcement in the Remer area. He also assisted other officers with a work crew held on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful possession of immeasurable fish, no fishing license, possession of fish within the protected slot, fishing with more than two lines, and recreational vehicles violations.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) monitored angling activity in the Staples area. He also gave a presentation to the St. Cloud Chapter of Musky Inc. and received a complaint of night time coyote hunters scaring cattle through a fence.

CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) attended a monthly TEP meeting to discuss ongoing wetland issues and proper enforcement of wetland violations. He also met with SWCD staff to review wetland case files, and met with area hydrologists to discuss ongoing water appropriations compliance efforts. Officer Siltala also met with the area AIS specialist to discuss current AIS issues and projects for the upcoming season and monitored late season ice angling activity.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking fishing activity and ice shelter removal on Rainy Lake. Conditions have worsened with the recent 12+ inches of snow received over weekend. He attended a meeting with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, US Border Patrol, and MN DNR Enforcement where border issues concerning game and fish were discussed.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports another 12 inches of snow fell shutting down most outdoor activities. Snowmobile activities continue to be monitored. Equipment work, work planning, and administrative items are ongoing.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports more new snow and continued cold temperatures in the area. Snowmobile trail conditions continue to be good. Little angling activity going on. Calls of sick and injured deer were handled.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up with owners of ice shelters who had not removed them from area lakes prior to the deadline. In spite of the deep snow, all but three people had their shelters off the ice. Two of those shelters were removed within a day and one remains. Several inches of new snow brought Virginia area snowmobile trails back to life. Snowmobile traffic was heavy over the weekend and snowmobilers reported good conditions. A few trout and crappie anglers were checked.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time locating the owner on an abandoned fish house that was froze in with no ID, beer cans and liquor bottles frozen into the ice. He received calls about sick/injured deer and the deer feeding program. Fredin attended court for a trial on a speed violation were the operator was cited for speeding 83 mph on a state snowmobile trail. Just prior to court the party decided to pay the fine.

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports ice shelter removal date came and went. Most shelters were removed, while deep snow and poor planning kept others from being removed on time. About seven inches of fresh snow fell last Friday morning just in time for weekend snowmobile traffic which was higher than usual. Violations included: fish house on ice after legal removal date, storing an ice shelter at a public landing, and litter.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked some of the snowmobile trails and lakes. Officer attended a meeting with Canadian Conservation Officers and Border Patrol. Time was also spent checking the few trout fishermen in the BWCAW, but they are few and far between. Remember to buy your new fishing license. Your old fishing license expired February 28.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) watched a fisher chase a snowshoe hare across the Gunflint Trail. Unless there were endurance issues, the hare probably wasn’t going to end up on the fisher’s menu, but the CO was impressed at how fast a fisher can motor in deep snow. The CO took enforcement action for taking a small game animal (Canada Lynx) out of season. A young man shot it last fall after he believed it to be a bobcat. Bobcat season wasn’t open at the time and the lynx is a federally protected animal.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked snowmobile and ski trails throughout the week. The continued cold and new snow is extending the season for these outdoor winter activities and helping to keep trails in excellent condition. Trout anglers found limited success.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports the Wall of Shame was brought to the Ely Sportsman’s Expo and a presentation was given about over limit and baiting cases, as well as questions being answered. He monitored fish house removal. Most people planned ahead and got them off early, and those that didn’t worked hard work and were persistent. Enforcement action was taken for a few houses that weren’t off by the deadline. Snowmobile trails remained in good condition.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored snowmobile trails and checked anglers. The Officer had two ride-a-longs. One was with a law enforcement college student and the other was a DNR Park employee working on his NRO certification. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) received a call of snowmobilers trespassing on private property. The trespassers were using an easement granted to a utility company to ride unbroken powder under the power lines with their mountain sleds. The trespassers showed blatant disregard for clearly posted private property. The property owner did manage to get photographs of the riders and turned them over to the DNR. Outdoor enthusiasts should take note that utility easements through private property are not public thoroughfares, in most cases the easement is for the utility company only. Showing a lack of respect for private property causes more property to be closed to outdoor recreational users.

Silver Bay – vacant.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, responded to a call of a person through the ice, and checked area lakes for fish house removal.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers on area lakes and Bowstring Lake. Answered calls about snowmobiling, and cited one person with possession of drugs.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails and attended the Grand Rapids Sports Show with K-9 Si. Area panfish anglers had good success this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and OHV registration issues.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers last week. She spent time working the TIP trailer which was at the Grand Rapids Jaycee’s Home, Sport, and Travel Show. Anglers are reminded to purchase their 2014 license as last year’s expired in the end of February.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers over the past week with some sportsmen getting out on the still thick ice. Some of the local lakes are beginning to be thick enough that extensions are needed on ice augers. Enforcement action was taken for leaving an ice shelter on the lake after the removal date. Action was also taken for no angling license. CO Sutherland also worked the local sport and travel show where the Wall of Shame was displayed.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, lakes for shelters, snowmobiles and state parks. He also handled littering complaints and worked a TIP Wall of Shame display during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working snowmobile and fishing activity. Snowmobile activity has decreased dramatically due to deteriorating trails. Fishing activity has picked up with the warmer weather. Wichmann also investigated a small game violation.Radco 300

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) checked ATVers and snowmobilers this past week. Trail conditions improved after the snow with few people out. CO Velsvaag also took a shift at the TIP trailer at the Grand Rapids Home and Sport Show, and assisted with a snowmobile safety class for kids.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, snowmobiles, and he investigated blocked public access complaints. Fishing success was sporadic with the changing weather patterns. More lake ice travel was observed; then 10+ inches of snow fell in some areas restricting truck movement again. Wetland Conservation Act and public waters case were tracked. Enforcement action was taken for public access violations.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on ice shelters left on public accesses. Anglers we checked on Lake Superior as well as shore anglers. Snowmobile trails were worked and reports trails were in good shape. Wildlife and injured animal complaints were handled.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent several days working fishing enforcement on Lake Superior. Many people have been taking advantage of ice conditions allowing for anglers to get on Lake Superior and catch salmon, lake trout and herring. Area snowmobile trails remain in very good condition and time was spent working snowmobile enforcement. Officer Duncan attended a meeting with Duluth city leaders and organizers of the Duluth city bow hunt. Officer Duncan also talked at a youth steelhead fishing clinic.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey investigated livestock depredation and alleged deer poaching complaints. Several calls were received about emergency deer feeding. CO Humphrey attended a high school career fair sponsored by Fond Du Lac College. Snowmobile and ATV violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke with several high school students about the job duties of a Conservation Officer at a career fair held at Fond Du Lac College. Very little fishing activity to report in the area. There are a few people out trying to find crappies in the area, but they are not having much luck. Annual wildlife detection testing was attended in Anoka where K9 Schody certified for another year. Follow up continues on older cases.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked a few ice anglers holding out on the big lake even as the ships are starting to go through. A snowmobile trespass complaint was handled where riders are disobeying posted signs along a power line on private property. A reminder to all riders that gas lines and power lines go through a lot of private land, and the easement is only for the utility and not for public travel. If they are posted, stay off! Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers fishing the shore and ice of Lake Superior. Still seeing herring, salmon, loopers, and lake trout being caught. The first laker left Duluth so we will see how long the ice fishing continues. The officer also patrolled snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobiling violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) attended a thermography course for operation of the FLIR for the aviation division, followed up with owners of fish houses left on lakes, and checked panfish anglers.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity included checking fishing and cross country ski activity, and responding to calls of miscellaneous nuisance and injured wildlife, and dogs chasing deer. Ski pass compliance was found to be excellent and ski trails are still in good late season condition. Low numbers of anglers were found out on area lakes having mixed success on panfish. A few anglers were found fishing under recently expired fishing licenses, while migrant geese, swans, and ducks were observed returning to creeks and rivers that are starting to open up.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing enforcement and followed up on abandoned shelters left on the ice. Officer Guida returned training equipment to the Camp Ripley Training Center. The area snowmobile trails are in rough shape due to thawing temperatures.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice anglers that are out are finding some active pan fish. The ice conditions are good but the frozen snow drifts and crusty slush continue to be trouble. He worked on a trespass complaint by coyote hunters. He worked with neighboring CO Tischler checking anglers extra lines and no license violations were found. Complaints of trash left on the ice by anglers were reported.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports patrolling area snowmobile trails which have deteriorated a bit from the recent warm weather but still are seeing some traffic. She also patrolled area lakes where anglers are seeing some success but need to be aware of areas of slush when venturing off familiar conditions on what may appear to be a short cut, as one group of anglers discovered.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ice angling and coyote hunting activity in the Brainerd area. He also responded to injured wildlife and information calls.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and continued a timber trespass case.

Pine River – vacant.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored angling activity on area lakes; some anglers have had some luck with tullibees and perch. Snowmobiling activity was high with the recent snowfall. Please remember that the Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trails are no longer designated as such as of April 2. Enforcement action was taken for ATV’s operating on a US Highway, operating an ATV without a safety certificate and speeding on a snowmobile.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) followed up on complaints of litter left on the ice, checked anglers, and monitored snowmobile traffic around the Pine City area. CO Wynn answered questions about upcoming turkey seasons, trapping questions, and checked areas around the Chengwatana State Forest. Snow and slush conditions on area lakes have improved with the recent cold weather.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports seeing a few fishermen out trying their luck at some pan fish. A few sleds were seen around enjoying the recent snowfall and trying to get that last ride in before spring finally arrives. Calls of a truck blocking a snowmobile trail and a call for a car kill deer permit were fielded. The Officer attended a combined Tribal and State warden meeting for the upcoming Tribal harvest season. The Officer also attended a meeting for the upcoming Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to take calls from landowners that were concerned about the condition of deer in the area. More and more folks have been starting to feed deer which has brought high numbers of deer into residential areas and moved more deer activity along busy roadways. This increased deer activity has created the problem of more car versus deer accidents. Late season snowmobiling continued and trail conditions held up well during the short warm up.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activities. A meeting was attended with other enforcement agencies on the upcoming spring harvest on Mille Lacs. CO Starr also assisted deputies with a call. Another dog chasing and harming deer issue was also taken, with CO Tetrault making contact and taking enforcement action with the owner of the dog.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked snowmobiling activity over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration, failure to display registration and failure to display state trail sticker on an out of state snowmobile. She also responded to several car injured deer calls and patrolled the Nemadji State Forest.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended a meeting regarding upcoming Mille Lacs tribal netting. Time was also spent checking smaller lakes with some crappies seen. Checks were made for fuel wood permits in state forests and ATV and fishing license questions were answered.

WREO Rob Haberman attended a Tactical Flight Officer course during the week. WREO Haberman was trained on advance uses of thermal cameras (FLIR) and airborne law enforcement tactics and surveillance. WREO Haberman was also trained in current case law pertaining to airborne law enforcement practices. WREO Haberman also attended the Pine River High School career exploration day as a quest speaker presenting about what it is like being a Conservation Officer and working for the DNR.

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity where catch rates are still slow but ice is holding up well. Some beaver trappers were also out making use of open water in with current. Verkuilen also issued car kill tags and attending a spring planning meeting.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers, snowmobile operators, and ATV operators during the past week. Officer Martin continued to work at Ripley preparing for the upcoming academy too.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) is seeing carp shooters out breaking the law already. Enforcement action was taken on ten illegal shooters with equipment seized. Most heard rumors that the season opened but failed to confirm what those regulations are by reading a regulation book.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked a possible WCA violation. Few anglers were out. Coyote hunters were giving their dogs workouts. Sandhill cranes in snow covered fields and Canada geese landing on frozen waters looked a bit confused!

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and trappers. Time was spent on injured and sick looking deer. An incidental fisher was seized. Thesing spoke on a radio call in show.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers during the past week. CO Mies also gave a law talk at the Darwin firearms safety class. CO Mies also worked on removing a fish house on the lake past the deadline.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) taught a class on DNR statutes for the natural resources law enforcement students at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. She was also interviewed by a law enforcement student on what it’s like to be a DNR Conservation Officer. Another owl was found dead and picked up by CO Kuske. Many owls seem to not have made it this winter due to starvation from the deep snow with the hard crust on top. Few anglers are out on the area lakes due to it being hard to get out on the lakes.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received a number of complaints about dogs chasing and injuring deer. Complainants were upset with the lack of accountability people have for their dogs and the disregard for the health and safety of deer struggling to survive the winter. One dog owner that was counseled saw no issue with allowing his dog to “play” with the deer. Enforcement action was unable to be taken in these situations because the CO did not witness the events. CO Kuske found fishing activity has slowed; only a few lakes in the area are producing fish. CO Kuske continued to assist with prep for the CO Academy and attended a Division Strategic Planning meeting.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) continued to work on ice shelter removal follow up. CO Musatov attended a deer listening session in Cambridge. CO Musatov assisted with preparation for the upcoming CO academy.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) investigated a calf kill to determine wolf vs. coyote, spoke at firearms safety classes, checked anglers/snowmobiles, and worked with DNR Wildlife on a call of dead deer on a piece of property. Officer Londgren also received a call from a taxidermist of a wolf that was dropped off at his shop, which after investigation turned out to be a pet hybrid wolf that the owner wanted mounted.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) answered a call of a road kill otter. He assisted the DNR Wildlife Division at a deer management meeting in Cambridge. He also followed up on a license purchasing violations with charges pending.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several ice shelter past the deadline and litter cases. Several wildlife calls were taken care of involving coyotes, hawks and deer. Enforcement action was taken for fish house violations and no angling license.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports working several dumped deer carcass complaints. O One of the carcasses looked to be a road kill that was processed and the remains were left on the side of the road. The second carcass looked to be a harvested deer from the past season. The antlers were removed and some meat from the hind quarters was taken. The rest of the unprocessed carcass was dumped along a county road. CO Langevin also received numerous reports of dead fish on a few area lakes. The area fisheries office was notified and they are conducting oxygen level tests.

Cambridge – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers and cleaned up litter on area lakes. He gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Waconia. Several calls were returned on various questions.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. CO Salzer received phone calls regarding otters and ice houses. Salzer also dealt with some equipment issues.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota and Hennepin counties for fishermen. He gave a presentation to a youth firearms safety class in Rosemount. CO Neitzke patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and did an aerator inspection. He also returned phone calls and did some equipment maintenance.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and ATV activity in the metro area lakes. He patrolled state parks, state trails, and wildlife-management areas. He spoke to a group meeting in the Hmong community on hunting, fishing, and state park regulations. He also did equipment inventory and answered questions on firearms safety classes.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) returned calls for questions about fishing regulations. He set up schedules for upcoming FAS classes in the Bloomington station. He patrolled West Metro area lakes for angling activity.

Bloomington – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spoke to a class at Forest Lake High School about the job of a Conservation Officer. CO Arntzen responded to a complaint of people dip netting fish through an open area on the ice; enforcement action was taken. He also continued to check anglers on area lakes, set up firearms safety classes, and investigated a report of a possible cougar sighting in which no evidence was found.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time monitoring angling activity and continued checking area lake aerators. WREO Block also dealt with an ice shelter that had been left at a local access. Presentations were given to firearms safety classes held in Jordan and Prior Lake. WREO Block also responded to the complaint of two bald eagles locked together in a front yard in Shakopee. The eagles were eventually separated and transported by Raptor Center staff to their facility for monitoring.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for ice angling activity. CO McGowan also prepared court documents for upcoming court trials, and completed follow-up on a trespass case. Spring time equipment maintenance was also completed.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he assisted WREO Block, and staff from The Raptor Center, responding to bald eagles that were injured in Shakopee. Two eagles had been involved in a territorial dispute and crashed landed in a residential yard. He spoke to a firearms safety class in East Bethel. CO Johnson checked trout anglers on Cenaiko Lake, and ATVs in Anoka County.

Eagan – vacant.

Maplewood – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports seeing more and more migratory birds as the Minnesota River opens up. Most outdoor recreationalists observed were bird watchers, maple syrup gatherers and shed hunters. Firearms safety training was attended in several communities.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVs and light goose hunters. Area sloughs have re-frozen resulting in fewer geese being seen. Firearms Safety Classes were taught in Slayton and Fulda.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) advises that snow geese are starting to show in some areas. Lakes are beginning to thaw and becoming more unstable each day. Commercial inspections are continuing.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, commercial, and WMA enforcement. A TIP call resulted in a group of trucks found mudding on a WMA. Enforcement action was taken for illegal motor vehicle operation. ATV operators are reminded that the Ag Zone ditch restriction begin on April 1. The law and ethics portion of firearms safety classes were taught in Minneota and Cottonwood.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with a contractor informational meeting in Jackson County. A WCA restoration order was issued in Murray County.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) attended a DNR volunteer instructor appreciation banquet in Spicer. He conducted commercial inspections. Denz also checked a number of ice anglers who were unaware of a change that made their 2013 angling license expired as of February 28. He located the owner of a fish house that was left on a public access for an extended period of time.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) dealt with a fish house that had been abandoned at a lake access. She attended a meeting to discuss a proposed ATV ordinance in Renville County. Mueller also continued doing commercial checks in the area. She also attended an appreciation dinner for area volunteer firearms, snowmobile and ATV instructors.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) followed up on a deer dumping case. Time was also spent looking at a potential waters issue on Buffalo Creek. A firearms safety talk was also given at the Shady Lane Sportsman’s Club.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received night hunting complaints. He gave a presentation at a Turkey Clinic. Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling and small game enforcement.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week patrolling for light goose hunters and preparing for upcoming training. Beckmann spoke at a snowmobile safety class that was hosted by the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office in St. James. He also attended the monthly meeting of the Cottonwood County Game and Fish Club with the regional training officer to answer questions regarding the Hunter Education and Firearms Safety training program.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) attended the Firearms Safety classes in Lakefield and Jackson and taught the law and ethics portion of the class. He also continues to follow up on commercial records keeping issues.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) investigated illegal dumping of animal carcasses. Litter on lakes is still an issue and observations/complaints were fielded as snow dissipated. Spring turkey hunting questions by the public were answered. The migration of waterfowl ceased as cold weather came in and open waters froze again.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling activity. Ice along shore and at access points is starting to deteriorate, but many lakes still have a decent amount of ice on the main basin. Aeration inspections were performed, public lands were patrolled, and planning was completed for upcoming DNR youth safety classes.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing and ATV activity. Time was also spent continuing to respond to complaints of litter on lakes and PWAs as well as responding to complaints of individuals burning prohibited materials.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, coyote hunting, trapping, and ATV activity this week. Anglers are still experiencing some success and even some shore anglers have made their way out with the recent warm weather. Time was spent investigating trapping and coyote hunting complaints. Calls from the public were also handled.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports finding canoe and kayak activity on area rivers. Anglers on lakes are having some success with pan fish. A dumping complaint is being looked in to.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV and angling activity during the week. The officer also made preparations for an upcoming boating & water safety class.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV, snowmobile, and winter trout fishing activity. Several nuisance wildlife complaints were received and resolved.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) attended regional K9 detector dog trials. An AIS information booth was worked with K9 Brady in Rochester. The Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee conference was also attended. Assistance was also given at Lake Service Provider training.

Albert Lea – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports people fishing from boats and on the ice in the area. People were out antler hunting and crow hunting. He went to Lake of the Woods and worked an ice fishing detail to the NW Angle. Hemker also was at the UMRCC meeting.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking ice and open water anglers this past week. Time was also spent checking ATV activity, teaching at a FAS class in Wanamingo and making preparations for an upcoming appreciation banquet.

CO Phil George (Rochester) taught the laws and ethics portion of two firearms safety classes and attended a field day. Officer George checked anglers and ATV operators and removed an ice house from are lake.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishermen are pulling boats across the ice to the open water below lock and dam 8. The boat ramp in Genoa is open and fishermen are having success; trout streams are rising and muddy. He attended the Upper Mississippi Conference held in LaCrosse, Wisc. He gave a firearms safety talk to a class in Caledonia and a boat safety presentation to a class in LaCrescent. Signs of spring are finally here with sightings of bluebirds, redwing black birds, blue herons and robins.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers on the Mississippi. Success was fair to good as sunfish, northerns and perch were seen in the bag. CO Boyum spoke at a FAS class in Preston as well. Time was also spent removing an ice house that was abandoned on an area lake. More questions are coming in about the upcoming turkey seasons. Shed hunters are having success also.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success was good with limits and overlimits seen taken. Heyn also worked with a Wisconsin Warden checking for Minnesota anglers. Two individuals were observed kicking in the door and breaking into The Great Alma Fishing Float on the Minnesota side of the river. Heyn was checking anglers nearby and responded taking the two individuals into custody.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and snowmobile enforcement, as well as assisting officer efforts on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action included extra lines, possession of filets/immeasurable fish, unregistered ATV’s, no licenses, etc.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of CO pilot training. Jensen also flew wildlife telemetry flights and shelter removal flights. Wildlife telemetry flights included a search for a missing bear, wolf pack counts and a missing fisher. Jensen also checked ice anglers from the plane with a new CO Pilot and wrote one warning for no angling license in possession and one citation for no angling without a license. Jensen then performed some night currency flight training and worked on Aviation Section safety items.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two days of helicopter wolf pack counts and an airplane instrument training flight. Heineman also attended a safety seminar for pilots at Anoka County Airport.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley/Brainerd on aviation training with Lt. Schottenbauer and CO Pilot Jensen. Telemetry and ice shelter surveys were flown. Enforcement action was taken on Leech Lake for angling violations. An aviation training symposium was attended in Blaine.

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas attended the Minnesota aviation gathering at the Anoka County Airport. Excellent classes were given on safety, survival, flight training and maintenance topics.

NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew a currency flight.

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:

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports working on Instructor backgrounds and planning for Instructor certification training for Firearms Safety/Hunter Education. Planning for Instructor appreciation events was also done. Friday he attended an Instructor appreciation banquet in Spicer where he presented 30 and 40 year Instructor length of service awards.

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez visited the MN State Patrol Radio shop to correct some radio problems he was having. The RTO assisted Washington County Sheriff’s Dept. with a “several shots fired call” in a rural area of Hugo. Upon arrival the RTO located two vehicles parked on a shoulder of a road. The RTO could hear several shots being fired. While tactically approaching, it appeared evident that it more than one person apparently target shooting. RTO Gutierrez confirmed that it was three young men, legally target shooting in a safe direction using hearing protection. Both the Deputy and RTO cleared without incident.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on backgrounds and preparing for an upcoming Safety Instructor Banquet. An instructor group and gun club members where met with in Windom with concerns about upcoming online field days at the gun club.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week taught an ATV Volunteer Instructor Clinic. He also assisted with training sixteen new volunteers for the Trail Ambassador program. Other duties performed last week included picking up training and show supplies at Ripley, legislative items, and work planning.

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