Weekly Game and Fish Violations


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From Richard Sprouse with the DNR:


From Alexandria area

“Another angler was very proud to tell (CO Mitch) Lawler at the boat access about his early morning muskie catch, however, it was found that he hadn’t yet purchased a fishing license for this year; enforcement action was taken.”

From Aurora area

“(CO Mark) Fredin received a TIP call of possible duck hunters. The hunters were located and seen with duck decoys and a spinning wing decoy. The Officer observed both hunters shoot. They were checked on shore and both stated duck hunting was poor. They had shot at a wood duck swimming and missed. They produced licenses and had a copy of waterfowl regulations with them. They were shown the opener date and both hunter’s jaws dropped. “

From Aitkin area

“Angling contacts included one shore fisherman who found out it is not ok to throw a sucker against a tree prior to returning it to the water.”


District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) experienced a busy week of waterfowl and small game activity.  Complaints of illegal bear baits were investigated. Dumped deer and goose carcasses were also investigated. A calf depredation was confirmed near Skime as being killed by wolves.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued training a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC), working mainly on wildlife identification and watercraft operation. Calls answered included nuisance beaver issues, deer hunting questions, and a goose out of season case. Enforcement action is pending for multiple waterfowl violations including take in closed season, no state or federal waterfowl stamp, no small game license, and litter. CO Woinarowicz also assisted with a car struck moose in Marshall County.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking goose, grouse, bear and archery deer hunters. Anglers were checked on area station lakes and boater AIS compliance was monitored. Time was spent patrolling area forest roads and trails for ORV, ATV and OHM activity and a wolf depredation complaint was investigated. Enforcement action for the week included hunting without a license, no state waterfowl stamp, no federal waterfowl stamp and no early season goose permit.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending much time checking goose hunters. Time was also spent checking anglers, small game hunters, and watercraft operators. Boaters were also checked for AIS compliance. Violations included unplugged guns, hunt geese in the surface water restricted area and take nongame migratory bird.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATVs, AIS, early goose hunters and participated on a radio talk show. He also assisted another agency responding to an officer involved shooting.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowlers, grouse hunters and answered questions regarding the upcoming deer season.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked grouse hunters and early season goose hunters throughout the week. CO Vollbrecht responded to a complaint of a goose hunter shooting an hour after legal hours. Arriving in the area the hunter was stopped while he was leaving. The individual turned out to be an inexperienced juvenile hunter. Time was taken to go through the waterfowl regulations book and explain several regulations to the hunter. CO Vollbrecht patrolled forest roads and trails with CO Holt on ATV while checking for bear bait stations. Several were located requiring follow up investigations. A permit was issued to an individual to operate during the closed hours of the firearms deer season.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked grouse hunters and ATVs throughout the week. Time was also spent checking bear baits and bear hunting activity. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking area WMAs for archery deer hunters and small game hunting activity. Calls were taken about landowner deer license requirements and dogs chasing deer.  Complaints about a local hobby farm owner letting their pot-bellied pigs roam free was relayed to the wildlife division. A female angler was arrested on a warrant and CO Vinton assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff with a complaint of bones being dumped near a rural cemetery.  The bones were from several years ago and were from a deer.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted Becker County deputies locate and transport two lost hunters in the Smokey Hills State Forest. He also worked with Park Rapids Forestry on a litter case involving a dead freezer containing rotten meat being dumped. The litter bugs promised to clean up the mess in order to avoid expensive restitution costs. Criminal charges with fines still to follow.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen, bow hunters and goose hunters. Goose hunting activity slowed with few hunters out. He also spent time working on a shoreline issue, trespass complaint, and talked at Pelican Rapids firearms safety class.


CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked small game hunting activity with hunters reporting slow success due to too many leaves on the trees yet. Early goose hunting and ATV activity was monitored. CO Warren followed up on calls of an injured eagle, unlawful target shooting, possible wetland/public waters violation and met with local SWCD. Time was spent on angling and boating activity on area waters.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on open WCA cases. Time was spent on site visits and working with LGUs. Several RPNs, restoration orders, and certificated of satisfactory restoration were filed. Time was spent talking to fishermen at public access points about AIS laws. Assistance was given to a bike rider that had struck a construction sign on the side of the road. ATV and hunting activity was patrolled in the Smokey Hills and Ponsford Prairie areas. Public waters restoration sites were visited. A Use of Force meeting was attended at Camp Ripley.

Moorhead – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) heard reports of very few geese around for the last weekend of the early season. Duck hunters should expect to see decent teal and mallard numbers for next weekend. Scouting will be the key to their success in most cases. Angler numbers continue to decrease but very good fishing remains on a lot of lakes. Richards responded to a public waters violation complaint in Otter Tail County with enforcement action taken. An AIS meeting was attended in Breckenridge. Questions were answered for big game hunting and nuisance beaver problems.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked archery and goose hunters through the week as well as fall fishermen. Several archery hunters are having success. AIS hours were worked and boaters were talked to about transporting invasive species.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) handled several calls this past week regarding deer and duck season questions. Wetland violation issues were handled as well as checking boaters, goose hunters and bow hunters.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs, boaters and AIS compliance.  AIS compliance was excellent in the boats checked but the compliance for ATV operators was not. Please remember that anybody born after July 1, 1987 is required to have ATV safety certificate before they can operate an ATV on public property. Few ducks were seen in the area while scouting for the duck opener.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused efforts this past week on goose hunting and sport fishing activity. The fall walleye bite is heating up on area lakes with quite a few fish caught.  One boat was leaving a lake with an out of season small mouth bass in the livewell, as none of his fellow fishermen were aware the season had closed a week earlier. These avid fishermen were reminded to always check the regulation book before heading out and keeping fish. Another angler was very proud to tell Lawler at the boat access about his early morning muskie catch, however, it was found that he hadn’t yet purchased a fishing license for this year; enforcement action was taken. Expired ATV registration and nuisance animal calls were also addressed.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued step 3 field training with a COC. Officers continued to work heavy fishing pressure on Lake Osakis. Angler checks on the water led to an over-limit on crappies, and a smallmouth bass kept during the catch and release only season.  Enforcement action was also taken for angling without a license in possession. Boat and water safety checks were conducted as well as AIS compliance. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable PFD and no fire extinguisher on a watercraft over 16 feet in length.  Follow-up was done on litter cases from last week. Officers attended training at Camp Ripley. Additional time was spent working hunting activity involving archery deer, small game, early goose, and dove.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) and a COC focused enforcement efforts on dove and early goose hunters. They observed minimal hunting activity and mixed results. The officers encountered individuals without license in possession, no small game license, and unplugged shotguns. The officers also worked fire enforcement and encountered several violations including no burning permit, burning outside of permitted hours, and burning of prohibited materials. One individual was found to be using waste oil as a “fire starter.” He was advised that is not an accepted method to start a fire and received a citation. The officers attended the Pope County Pheasants Forever Youth Pheasant hunting event at a local shooting preserve and educated the group on pheasant hunting regulations.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, goose hunters, bow hunters, and monitored AIS compliance this past week. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators, investigating a trespass complaint, checking WMAs for illegal stands, and patrolling for dove hunting activity. Baumbarger attended federal court in Bemidji on a commercial minnow case, and attended the local Pheasants Forever youth day.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked trout lakes, bear baits, archery deer hunters and small game hunters.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs and hunters. Officer Hunter checked on a wild rice complaint and possible lake pollution on the Crow Wing chain.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to check early season goose hunters in the area with hunters reporting fair success. Gear was prepared for the upcoming duck season. The law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught to an energetic group of youths waiting for the upcoming seasons.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, big and small game hunting and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Issued a nuisance beaver permit; assisted with a wolf depredation; forwarded a nuisance bear complaint to a Leech Lake Tribal Warden and Division of Wildlife; answered questions about goose hunting regulations; and received a call regarding potential trespass issues during firearms deer season.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and grouse hunters. Anglers are still looking for the fall walleye bite to turn on. Grouse hunting was tough. CO Mathy also responded to a trail obstruction report and worked AIS enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for small game and AIS violations.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) attended the ATVAM Fall Rally and Ride in Beltrami Island State Forest patrolled state forest road and trails. In the same location officers had contact with an organized horse ride fund raiser, so horse passes and ATV passes/registration were on checklist. The attendees had a mixed bag of weather to deal with but everyone seemed in good spirits gathering for good causes. Hunters were checked and admitted it was mostly an excuse to get out and enjoy the last weekend of summer as the foliage is still pretty heavy creating a challenge to see the game.

WREO Shane Siltala worked AIS enforcement and checked fishermen on area lakes. Boat numbers were down, but AIS compliance was good. Some limits of decent perch were seen, however walleye success seemed to be limited. Officer Siltala also visited with county SWCD personnel to discuss WCA issues. A WCA Restoration Order was also issued for a wetland violation within the shoreland protection zone.

Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking a few grouse hunters throughout the week and observed a few birds taken. The leaves are just starting to fall so the best hunting is still to come. Fishing remains slow and not many anglers were observed.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small game, deer and bear hunting activity, trout angling, investigated two public waters violation complaints, and continued following up on open small game, big game and littering violations. Even though the change in firearms transport laws have been on the books for a few years now, hunters are still having issues with transporting loaded guns while hunting and transporting uncased firearms within the city. One motorcycle riding hunter had his uncased shotgun slung over his back in town, while one ATV hunter had his gun in the case, however it was fully loaded. Enforcement action was taken on no small game without a license in possession, uncased firearm and loaded firearms transport violations and OHM violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has begun taking calls from landowners and other sportsmen about deer baits that are being found and some shining activity that was observed. Other calls being taken are from parents trying to arrange classes for their kids to obtain their firearms safety certificates. High numbers of grouse hunters were seen out over the weekend but few reported seeing any birds.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) wrapped up a case where a Deputy encountered a bow hunter and identified him and asked for his hunting license. The hunter was unable to find a license so the Deputy relayed the information to CO Fredin. A check showed the hunter’s hunting privileges were suspended for an unpaid past trespass charge. Fredin received a TIP call of possible duck hunters. The hunters were located and seen with duck decoys and a spinning wing decoy. The Officer observed both hunters shoot. They were checked on shore and both stated duck hunting was poor. They had shot at a wood duck swimming and missed. They produced licenses and had a copy of waterfowl regulations with them. They were shown the opener date and both hunter’s jaws dropped.

International Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the majority of the week on foot patrol inside the BWCA wilderness along with CO Tetrault. Several bear and grouse hunters were checked with varying success. Violations included bear baiting within the BWCA, baiting bear with solid waste, and illegal OHM operation.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the grouse hunters and did some ATV work. Canoe activity in the BWCAW is still relatively high. Hunters are still having a little trouble finding the grouse due to the leaves that are still hanging on. The fall colors are wonderful, but there wasn’t a lot of activity this past weekend. Officers encountered an underage male who had a warrant out due to all his dirt bike related violations. He has had many violations this summer and it doesn’t look like he has any intention of following any of the laws regarding dirt bike usage. His Dad just keeps bringing his bike home and they just keep paying the tickets.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he was very pleasantly surprised at the amount of grouse he saw during the second weekend of grouse season after a disappointing opener. Lots of activity was encountered over the weekend. People were out fly fishing for brook trout in the streams, fishing inland lakes, ATVing and canoeing. Bear and grouse hunters were also out in numbers. Mix that in with a few leaf lookers and bird watchers and the back roads were bustling with activity. One fellow learned the lesson the hard way, and in front of his young son, that it is not a good idea to carry a loaded shotgun on an ATV. A couple of calls on nuisance bears were taken.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked grouse hunters and continued to work bear hunters. Vandalism that has plagued the county has moved into the woods with two apparent hunters on ATV’s damaging signs and gates on the Boyd Road ATV Trail. An ATV club member nearly caught them and any information on the incident would be appreciated, as the money to repair the damage done would be better spent insuring access and improving trails for appreciative users.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked small game and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action included operation of an ATV on a state highway, operation of an ATV on a roadway without a valid driver’s license, failure to stop at a road crossing on an ATV, and unregistered kayak.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) finished a project in the BWCAW. CO Schottenbauer also worked anglers and boating activity in the area. Time was also spent working big game, ATV activity and various animal complaints were handled.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) was involved in an operation that took place in the BWCAW with area officers. Wahlstrom attended a meeting at Camp Ripley, handled bear complaints and other nuisance animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and angling violations.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) checked grouse hunters and wild rice harvesters during the week. Grouse are still hard to find with the leaf cover still abundant. Fall fishing activity is still showing a few nice fish on the inland lakes. Enforcement action was taken for fishing license violations and failure to drain water related equipment before transporting.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse hunters and anglers, worked a shining complaint, assisted landowners with nuisance wildlife issues, and dealt with trespass calls.


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, small game activity, and big game activity. Violations included transport a loaded firearm, fail to display registration, no license in possession, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a youth, and operate an ATV on the roadway.  He also assisted the county with an ATV crash/DUI.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored small game activity, worked early goose hunting complaints and attended a K-9 unit meeting/training at Camp Ripley. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner “Si” also assisted the county in locating a robbery suspect. Grouse harvest was slow with lots of foliage still in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and possessing illegal length walleye.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking on a possible aquatic plant violation. She also spent time investigating a possible wolf depredation on a cattle farm in the Cohasset area. She spent time checking small game and big game hunters.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small game and archery hunters over the past week with the roughed grouse sportsman not seeing many birds due to leaf cover. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a closed area, operating an ATV with and individual under 18 without a helmet. Enforcement action was also taken for hunting geese without a state or federal duck stamp.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, small game and archery deer hunters. He also handled several hunting complaints during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked bear hunting and OHV activity throughout the week. Time was also spent working the grouse and archery deer hunting. Grouse hunters were out seeking birds in northern Aitkin County.


CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) participated in the ATVAM event in NW Minnesota. He patrolled for ORV activity and checked hunters using ATVs to access areas. Various contacts were made during patrol.


Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, sport angling, boating, ATVing, goose hunting and bear hunting activities. Panfish continue to bite, compliance was good. CO Arhart also tracked public waters and wetland impact complaints in St. Louis County. Waterfowl and deer hunting questions were answered. Some migrant rink necked ducks trickled into the station.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) continued training with a COC. Time was spent checking small game hunters in the area and reports few grouse being taken. Time was spent answering calls about an injured goose, upcoming wolf seasons, and assisting State Patrol for watercraft hitting a bridge overpass. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, no lights on an ATV, and having an ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week investigating a couple deer hunting violations that resulted in hunting over bait, illegal take and licensing violations. Several animal complaints were fielded including a legal wolf kill due to protection of domestic animals. Officer Duncan completed a couple falcon inspections, returned several calls, investigated a possible waters violation, and checked small game and archery deer hunters in the field. Time was also spent working complaint areas for illegal deer shinning activity.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) spent time following up several livestock depredation complaints and returning phone calls. Several questions about upcoming deer season and licensing were addressed. Small game hunters were checked on the Sawyer WMA and Carlton County lands with little to report. Hunters had difficulty getting at grouse with heavy foliage. Some ATV operators were also checked in the area.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked litter cases, deer and bear hunting activity this past week.  One case under investigation is almost done with possible charges of trespassing and baiting.  This case was from last fall. A talk was given to a firearms safety class at Cloquet High School. A special detail focusing on activity on and around Lake Superior was worked with results showing good compliance with the laws. A K9 meeting and training was attended at Camp Ripley where all of the DNR k9s worked on training and bettering their skills for the upcoming fall seasons. A talk was given at the local MDHA banquet in Carlton where attendance was over 400 people. Several questions were answered and kids worked on their shooting skills in the laser shot booth

WREO Mike Scott conducted two site visits on potential WCA violations and referred to LGU. Officer Scott checked grouse hunters in the Duluth area and while there was limited success spirts were high with one youth talking about when the leaves fall he will see more birds. ATV’s were checked and enforcement action was taken for allowing juvenile passenger to ride without a helmet, operate unregistered ATV, operate ATV on State Highway.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior. Seasonal maintenance was completed on patrol boats and evidence was processed from old cases. Assistance was given to local agencies with emergency calls, and ATV complaints were checked. Enforcement action taken for AIs, angling and ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked small game, big game, angling, boating, OHM, and ATV enforcement throughout the week. Time was also spent on getting cases up to date.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, trail use and small and big game hunting activity in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area and Pillsbury State Forest, he also responded to a complaint of ATV’s & ORV damaging a county park.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for hunting activity. CO McGowan also spent time following up on TIP calls, and patrolled for ATV activity. CO McGowan also completed a report for a boating while intoxicated arrest and submitted the report to the county attorney’s office for charging.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked early goose, grouse, archery deer, and bear hunters. Angling contacts included one shore fisherman who found out it is not ok to throw a sucker against a tree prior to returning it to the water.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is slow the most cooperative fish have been the bass. Violations he found were no license, extra lines and not enough life jackets. He worked on complaints of shooting in residential areas at night and a complaint of bear damaging property north east of Brainerd. He worked with WREO Haberman on AIS violations. Some of the violations observed were plugs in the boat while transporting, as well as water and live fish. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. Campers in the forest were warned for litter and uncertified wood.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) continued working with area farmers with wolf and turkey damage reports, issued nuisance beaver permits, and responded to trespassing complaints and reports of illegal deer stands on state forest land.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received additional deer baiting complaints. Trespassing complaints were also received. Area ATV Safety Instructors, Trail Ambassadors, and Officer Guida instructed numerous youth during the riding portion of their ATV safety certification.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including investigation of deer baiting and waterfowl related complaints, responding to nuisance animal issues, checking early goose and bow deer hunting activity, and checking fishing, boating and wild rice harvesting activity.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued with training of a COC this past week. Officers checked small game hunters with limited success being reported by hunters. Officers followed up on a trespassing complaint of ATVs. Officers also checked bow hunters and bear hunters who were reporting slow activity. Officer Lee attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for setting up Emergency Vehicle Operations Training for fellow conservation officers and academy cadets. Officer Lee also attended a Use of Force meeting and training held at Camp Ripley for the department’s Use of Force instructors.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angling activity where he saw moderate success for crappies. Small game hunters were out but frustrated with the full leaf cover. Verkuilen also worked a Lake Superior detail, assisted with security at the DNR firearms auction, and responded to an ATV injury crash.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted with a long range patrol in the BWCA with the Ely officer. Small game, big game, anglers and BWCA enthusiasts were checked throughout the week. Many enjoyed the great but cool weather. Enforcement action was taken for leaving non-biodegradable items on a bear bait site.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports investigating a wolf depredation complaint and fielding several calls on wolf related nuisance questions. Small and big game hunters were checked throughout the Malmo Station. A few of the small game hunters were having some luck but most reported it was tough hunting due to the heavy cover. The Officer investigated a call of an illegal ATV trail in the Solana State Forest. Please remember the Big Game Exemption during September only applies to retrieving big game. ATV activity was also monitored throughout the Malmo Station. Lots of questions regarding fishing, hunting, trapping, ATV and boating laws were fielded over the weekend. A TIP call on someone hunting ducks out of season was also investigated. Aquatic Invasive Species laws were also monitored over the weekend.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received wolf depredation calls, possible illegal bear hunting information and questions regarding archery deer and firearms deer hunting permit areas. She also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued training with a COC. Officers worked the area for small game hunters, archery deer hunters, and bear hunters. A couple of illegal fires were dealt with and enforcement action was taken. Local anglers were checked and one over limit of crappie was found. A number of questions and concerns were addressed concerning the upcoming spearing season on Lake Mille Lacs. Officers took enforcement action relating to ATV violations, relating to juveniles and parents allowing illegal operation. A beaver doing damage issue was addressed and non-lethal methods are being implemented.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw a lot of grouse hunting activity throughout the week and most bear hunters reported baits not getting hit very often. Some time was spent patrolling lakes and rivers for angling activity. Water levels have been very high and caution and common sense need to be used when boating on area rivers and streams. Time was also spent assisting local law enforcement with a search warrant that resulted in finding marijuana plants and other drugs.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week following up on complaints of ATV’s in prohibited areas, tearing up county and township roads, and operating in WMAs. CO Wynn checked hunters and anglers through the week as well. CO Wynn spent time answering questions about nuisance animals, dogs chasing big game, and game farm licensing. CO Wynn continues follow up on deer baiting complaints, some bear hunting issues, and answering numerous questions each week about current and upcoming hunting seasons. Save yourself some time and effort by picking up and familiarizing yourself with the hunting regulations booklet this fall.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked small game hunters and archery hunters. Heavy cover is still keeping things slow for grouse hunters. A few archery hunters are having luck seeing deer but are still waiting for bucks. Early goose season concluded on Monday, September 22; hunters saw few birds.

WREO Rob Haberman investigated a TIP complaint of ORV’s operating in a wetland in Cass County. Law Enforcement action was taken and a CDO was issued for the violation. WREO Haberman also worked AIS enforcement around his assigned work area. Lake Service Providers are gearing up for the season equipment removal. WREO Haberman would like to remind individuals to clean and inspect equipment before transporting it down the road. WREO Haberman also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley to discuss future training and flights.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

WREO Keith Bertram spent time this week at the Morrison County Waterfest. Approximately 350 sixth graders and school staff were educated on AIS laws and shown samples of AIS. Citations were also written to parties that did not comply with public waters restoration orders in Isanti County.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) responded to a dispute between lakeshore owners over a drainage ditch that runs between the properties. Both want the water to drain from their soggy lawns but are reluctant to be neighborly and come to an equitable solution. CO Kuske and County Soil and Water officials provided some mediation. CO Kuske inspected WMAs for illegal stands, met with a nuisance beaver trapper and patrolled area ATV trails. An investigation was conducted into the report of illegally taken deer and wanton waste, outcome still pending. As boats and docks start coming out for the season, CO Kuske conducted AIS inspections at several public access sites.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked complaints of Class 2 ATV’s running down county roadways in the lane of traffic, OHM’s (dirt bikes) running on the road and a person in the city of Little Falls burning garbage in their backyard fire pit. A call of someone shooting from a truck in the roadway is still under investigation and while checking squirrel hunters at a local Wildlife Management Area CO Kuske watched two hunters come out of the woods and quickly place a plastic bag of something in the back. Kuske proceeded to check the hunters and they had all necessary licenses and three squirrels in a backpack. CO Kuske questioned the hunters what was in the bag in the back of the vehicle. The hunters pulled the bag out which was a bag of garbage they had collected on the WMA from previous littering hunters. CO Kuske thanked them for picking up all the trash.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in Todd County Envirofest 2014. CO Friese assisted with the Minnesota DNR Auction in Zimmerman and worked with fellow officers on an AIS detail. Areas were checked for hunters. Area lakes were checked for activity.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) has spent the week training a COC. The COC had to deal with wetland and public waters violations. The fish bite is starting to pick up, and an angler was caught with an over-limit crappie. The DNR gun auction was worked with a decent turnout with the nice weather. Other enforcement action for the week included checking goose hunters, squirrel hunters, ATVs, and deer archery hunters. Two reports of a moose were taken in back to back mornings. The first report was north of New Munich, and the second south of St. Johns.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers last week. CO Mies attended Ney Park and talked to over 200 kids about furs and trapping. CO Mies attended the Darwin firearms safety class with a COC. CO Mies checked archery deer hunters and goose hunters.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) provided instruction and gave a law and ethics presentation at a local firearms safety class. Time was also spent following up on a baiting case and worked on a wetlands violation. Multiple ATVs were stopped throughout the week with varying violations. Preparations for the upcoming waterfowl opener were made. Goose hunting and angling activity were monitored with some geese being taken but a slow fish bite. CO Silgjord had the privilege of watching a group of young goose hunters take a few birds. The hunters were appreciative of the fact that CO Silgjord held off on his compliance check and took cover while the birds attempted to land in their decoy spread.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) the worked heavy fishing pressure in the area. AIS compliance was excellent with all the anglers coming into the area. Vehicle maintenance was also completed.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth firearms safety class. Anglers, hunters, and ATV’s were checked. Violations were found for smallmouth bass out of season, illegal length fish, and allowing illegal youth operation of an ATV. A burning prohibited materials complaint was investigated.


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked the DNR auction in Zimmerman, checked anglers/boaters and hunters, spoke at firearms safety classes and a Natural Resources class at a local high school. Officer Londgren also assisted with a multi vehicle accident which involved several turkeys causing a hazard in the roadway.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and small game hunters. Reller also checked on a possible big game violation and a possible wetlands fill complaint. Small game hunters were mainly targeting squirrels, but with the foliage so thick it made the hunter tough going. Angler should be reminded that the smallmouth bass season is catch and release only now.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) continued training with a COC. Small game hunters were checked but they reported low numbers of animals taken. The officers checked shore fishermen in the Carlos Avery WMA and discovered a 16 year old fishing without a license. Few early goose hunters were still around, but most hunters are eagerly awaiting the 2014 waterfowl season to open.


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked small game hunters and goose hunters. Small game hunters enjoyed good weather but the underbrush was still thick and success was low. ATV activity was also high due to good weather. Enforcement action was taken on unregistered ATV and no helmet when required.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the St. Croix River bridge security detail with CO Vang Lee. AIS violations found by watercraft inspectors were followed up on all week. Multiple calls were returned and handled all week for questions in Hennepin, Scott and Carver counties on hunting, trapping, nuisance animals and trespassing.


CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. Salzer also patrolled for goose hunting activity. Some groups had success with geese but there are still many fields with crops yet.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked small game, ATV, and fishing activities in Scott County. He responded to a complaint of a big dumpster left on Spring Lake boat launch parking lot and talked to a youth firearms safety class in Elko. He followed up on zebra mussel violations and took care of accidently trapped otter in Scott County. Officer Lee also worked the bridge detail in Stillwater.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) provided a ride along to a CO Prep candidate. He checked anglers, boaters and hunters in the West Metro area as well as covering Bloomington and Fort Snelling stations. He returned calls regarding hunting regulation questions and responded to a TIP call. CO Le assisted at the Division’s gun auction in Zimmerman Township. Violations found were no angling license, angling with extra lines, no vehicle permit in State Park, and illegally transporting AIS on watercraft.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week investigating trespassing issues, late shooting complaints and TIP calls. CO Arntzen continued checking anglers, small game, early goose and archery deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, angling with extra lines and illegal length walleye.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked mostly archery and goose hunters during the week. He continued checking anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He also spent some time patrolling wildlife management areas, state parks and responded to animal calls and other calls.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) continued work on AIS activity as well as following up on shoreline complaints. A possible wetland violation was investigated in Hennepin County. A meeting was attended with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in St. Paul as well as an Enforcement Safety Committee meeting, which was held at Camp Ripley.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued training a COC. They finished up on a case in which a 12-point buck was shot over bait with a crossbow. They also assisted with equipment for the auction, talked to two law enforcement classes at Century College and assisted with a stolen gun that was confiscated during a big game case. They met with State Patrol Dispatchers in Roseville, did equipment maintenance and worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes and streams. The Officers also checked many small game hunters and goose hunters and handled various nuisance animal calls.


CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) investigated several deer baiting complaints. He also checked a shoreline complaint on the Mississippi River in Ramsey. CO Johnson responded to an injured deer in Ramsey. He checked small game hunters during the week. CO Johnson conducted an interview on a possible bear hunting violation.

Eagan – vacant.

Hastings – vacant.

Maplewood – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and early goose hunters. Calls for various injured wild animals continue to be handled. Deer and duck questions are numerous.  Deer investigations are beginning.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many of the doves left with the last cold front, however there are still a few to be hunted. Fall walleye fishing has picked up the last week. CO Picht received a call of a bow hunter trespassing on posted land. Officer Picht searched the posted land and found the hunter lying down under a tree.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) did a weekly radio show. A Firearms Safety Class was taught in Tyler and the Officer spoke to a Cub Scout group in Marshall about water safety. An eagle flew into a power line and was picked up in Lincoln County. Fishing activity in the area has picked up on area lakes with a lot of shore fishing.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training at Camp Ripley. An RPN and a restoration order were issued in Watonwan County and two site visits for a WCA violation were conducted in Lincoln County. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and rivers.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, archery deer hunting, boating, and ATV activity during the week. Minnow transportation permits were issued. The officer continues to pick up trash left behind by shore anglers. A Firearms Safety Class was taught in Benson.  Angling violations were encountered.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week checking small game and archery deer hunters. Fishermen continue to wait for the fall walleye bite to really pick up. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with a few issues on WMAs. Along with CO Lage, he gave a presentation to a group of Cub Scouts in Marshall.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked archery deer, small game, angling, invasive species and early goose season. He also spoke to a trapping class about laws relating to trapping and answered questions concerning trespass, hunting the river and legal access to water.

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up with trespass and archery hunting complaints. He monitored public areas for deer stands left overnight. He spent time monitoring OHM and ATV activity.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. Goose and dove hunters were checked. The Sherburn firearms safety class was taught. Cease and Desist orders were filed on a public waters violation. ATV activity was monitored. Commercial activity investigations were completed.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued working small game and archery hunters in the area.  CO Oberg also attended use of force instructor meeting and training at Camp Ripley. Officer Oberg gave another firearms safety talk at Gopher Campfire. Officer Oberg spent time getting equipment ready for the waterfowl opener.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked goose hunters during the week. An eagle that was hit by a car was picked up. A report of apples dumped at a WMA was taken. She assisted with a FAS safety class in Hutchinson. She attended a meeting and training at Camp Ripley.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave presentations at two firearms safety training classes. He also received calls regarding trapping and hunting access questions. CO Nelson worked primarily deer, waterfowl, angling and ATV enforcement.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked archery deer, small game, and waterfowl hunters. CO Howe also presented on laws and ethics at an All Day Field and Range Day for a Firearms Safety class near Minnesota Lake. A ginseng digger was found harvesting ginseng from a Wildlife Management Area without a permit.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended a use of force meeting at Camp Ripley. The officer investigated a public waters violation. Anglers and archery hunters were also checked.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, small game, and migratory waterfowl activity during the week. Several calls were received regarding migratory waterfowl questions and animal complaints.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked anglers, archery deer hunters, and goose hunters. A law and ethics presentation was given to a Firearms Safety Class in Faribault.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working early goose hunting, small game, and archery (deer) hunting. Nuisance wildlife complaints were addressed. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking hunters, anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also took part in a safety fair held at a local elementary school. Possible public waters and wetland violations were also investigated.

WREO Julie Siems reports conducting a K9 detection demonstration. APM and WCA cases were also followed up on,

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week on small game and archery deer issues. An AIS detail was worked and a firearms safety field day was attended. Anglers and boaters were still out enjoying the nice weather.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly hunters and anglers during the week. Fishing success was mixed and bow hunter success was slow. Heyn checked into trespass complaints and several other deer hunting complaints. A number of people were scouting for ducks and liked what they saw.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river is going down again and fishing has picked up. A bow hunter shot a mature doe that had a fully developed fawn. She must have been bred last March. Several bucks harvested that were still in velvet. Follow up on small game hunters trespassing. Charged a ginseng digger for trespassing and seized the illegally dug roots. He did a joint agency commercial check on one of local businesses.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, goose, small game, and archery deer hunting enforcement. The water levels are dropping on the big river and the fall bite is improving. A presentation was also given to a firearms safety class.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating trespass complaints. Time was also spent checking small game hunters and a few trout fisherman. A few shining complaints have also been received.

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) flew one lake creel survey and attended a quarterly pilot meeting at Camp Ripley where fall work plans were set up and assigned.  Pilot Jensen cancelled some flights due to weather and continued work on various projects with hangars and safety items.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew a wetlands flight at the request of a CO as well as telemetry and multiple creel survey flights. A pilots meeting at Camp Ripley was attended and aircraft maintenance issues were also addressed.

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas attended the quarterly pilot meeting at Camp Ripley. Upcoming fall projects were discussed, as well as safety, maintenance, and pilot training plans.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

See Also:


NE RTO Shelly Patten attended a meeting for the Conflict Management team. Project assignment status was reviewed and future meetings and project progress check in dates were scheduled. Patten attended a UOF meeting at Camp Ripley. Patten attended the MDHA Banquet in Carlton with COs Scott Staples and Matt Miller. A lasershot booth was set up and was a popular venue for the kids. Officers also handed out regulations booklets and answered many questions. This banquet is the largest in the state with about 500 people in attendance.  Patten also worked on Instructor training updates and fielded many calls from parents seeking Firearms Safety classes for their children.

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports attending a use of force Instructor meeting and training at Camp Ripley. He also planned for upcoming/rescheduled Firearms Safety Instructor certification training, assisted an Instructor group with setup of a field day site for online firearm safety students, and planned for upcoming firearm safety field days. Calls were also returned answering questions about hunter apprentice and other hunting regulations.

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with Century College shooting sports class for introductory to shotgun shooting and also spoke to the college students about the aspects of elevated tree stand safety. RTO Lawrence is working in conjunction with RTO Patten in revising the firearms safety instructor training program. RTO Lawrence spoke with some firearms safety instructors on field day requirements and questions related to the upcoming firearms deer season. RTO Lawrence assisted with a firearms safety range and field day at the Carlos Avery wildlife area property and attended a meeting with the Minnesota Volunteer Safety Instructors Association.

SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke attended a Minnesota Volunteer Instructor Association meeting with RTO Lawrence. He attended a Safety and Health Fair at the DNR Headquarters. RTO Neitzke gave a presentation to a youth firearms class at Dakota County Gun Club. He also attended a firearms safety field day at Post 435 Gun Club, and he attended two online firearms safety All Day Range And Field Days at Gander Mountain in Lakeville.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on background checks for new HEFAS instructors and upcoming classes. Time was also spent working on a lasershot system that is to be used for an event in Owatonna that was having some issues.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens represented DNR Enforcement at the fall All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) Ride and Rally event in Roseau this past weekend. Owens took part in a conference call meeting regarding a motorized recreational vehicle project. He also worked on the Snowmobile Regulations Booklet, Trail Ambassador program items, equipment items and responded to many emails and phone calls.

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