District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) followed up on various deer complaints throughout the week and prepared for the regular waterfowl season opener. Correspondence with area Wildlife staff was conducted regarding a possibly sick bull moose near Greenbush. The Elk Hunt Orientation was attended at Lake Bronson for the second elk season. Waterfowl hunters were checked during the opening weekend at both Thief Lake and Roseau River Wildlife Management Areas. Hunters reported good success. Violations for the week included various ATV violations, hunt waterfowl over baited area, transport loaded firearm, and no Federal Duck Stamp.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued field training with a COC. Time was spent working ATV enforcement and the Waterfowl Opener. A focus was also placed on AIS while making contacts with hunters using watercrafts and decoys for waterfowl hunting. Surrounding WMAs were patrolled for small game, bear, and archery deer hunters. Violations included: taking small game without a valid license, false application for license, unsigned federal stamp, allowing illegal operation of ATV by juvenile, operating unregistered ATV, no license in possession, and allowing dog to pursue big game animal.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking grouse, duck, goose and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Time was spent investigating a trespassing complaint, nuisance beaver complaints, patrolling area forest roads and trails for ATV, OHM and ORV activity and monitoring boater and duck hunter AIS compliance. CO Regas patrolled for shining activity and worked a shining detail with a neighboring officer. The Upper Red Lake Citizens Advisory Committee meeting was attended. Enforcement action for the week included transportation of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and hunting without license in possession.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking boaters and anglers on area lakes. Time was also spent checking small game hunters and working the duck opener. Many questions regarding the fall hunting seasons were also answered. Violations encountered included unplugged gun, no state waterfowl stamp, no HIP certification, and take smallmouth bass in closed season.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATVs, AIS, angling, waterfowl and archery deer hunters. He also assisted other agencies with personal injury accidents requiring three life flights and a stolen vehicle that was also a rolling meth lab. The waterfowl opener found hunters having success while deer hunters were forced out of the wood due to mosquitos.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowlers, small game hunters and recreational boaters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy opening weekend of the waterfowl season. Accesses were busy opening morning with a lot of shooting. Most bags consisted of teal, mallards and wood ducks. A shining detail was worked with area officers in a complaint area. CO Vollbrecht patrolled forest trails and roads for grouse hunters and ATV use. Bear bait stations continued to be checked.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) continued to monitor bear hunting activity and checked ATVs in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was also spent working with a county attorney on an upcoming court case. The officer worked the opening of waterfowl hunting and responded to assist with a medical call in Itasca State Park. A bicyclist fell off his bicycle resulting in injuries serious enough to require helicopter transport to a hospital. Enforcement action for the week included waterfowl hunting violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area WMAs and WPAs for archery deer hunters and small game hunters. The duck opener was very warm and skies were clear but many of the hunters had a mixed bag of wood ducks, mallards and teal. A TIP call of late duck hunters was investigated and a hunter was contacted that was new to duck hunting and not aware of the 4:00 pm closing. A dog owner was contacted after a complaint of their dogs chasing deer was received.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) received mixed reports on duck opener from happy hunters and others reporting few duck. Complaints of permanent stands on water and violating the 500ft trespass rule were worked. Miscellaneous complaints of litter and PWC’s on a small trout stream were handled. The 4 jet-skis were reported by multiple complainants and were allegedly running at full plane on the Straight River which is a narrow designated trout stream. After seeing for himself and talking to the jet-skiers, one operator was confused why he doesn’t have the right-of-way. Citations were issued.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports an average opener for duck season with a 2-3 bird limit for hunters. If in the right location some hunters were able to shoot a limit. The prairie chicken opener was also worked with few hunters out due to the heat. Time was also spent checking fishermen, following up on shoreline issues, checking bow hunters and assisting with the field day of a firearms safety class.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area waters. CO Warren followed up on complaints of anglers with multiple lines, possible burning of illegal materials and hunting waterfowl out of season. CO Warren was contacted by a Becker County deputy in regards to a car injured bear. Area trails were worked for ATV activity. Opening of waterfowl season was worked with hunters reporting mixed results and enhanced observation of waterfowl equipment for AIS violations were enforced.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on open WCA cases and AIS law compliance. Time was also spent checking waterfowl hunters, small game hunters, and ATV riders. Several site visits were conducted on possible wetland violations. Fishermen and boaters were checked. A background packet was picked up at Camp Ripley and a background investigation started for the CO Prep Program.
Moorhead – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports duck hunters had good shooting over the opener with many blue wing teal dominating the bag. AIS enforcement was also a priority discussing aquatic vegetation with hunters. Additional time was spent checking anglers and monitoring fishing pressure. Follow-up was completed on a public waters violation with a restoration order issued. Violations addressed were predominately related to waterfowl hunting.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed an ATV down a county road for couple miles then stopped the machine entering a driveway. Violations encountered were: operating without registration, no muffler, under 18 no helmet, no ATV safety certificate, and operate ATV on county roadway. Enforcement action was taken. Plautz worked a busy duck opener with many hunters having good success. A mixed species of ducks were observed and violations encountered were unplugged shotgun, and no HIP certification. Plautz reminded duck hunters regarding AIS regulations as they loaded boats from a duck pond.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity primarily checking duck hunters and checking duck boats and reminding duck hunters about the importance about AIS during duck season. Complaints were addressed regarding trespass, wanton waste and litter. A WCA violation was addressed and restorations orders were served this week as well.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters, boaters and ATV operators. Early shooting, trespass and felons in possession of firearms complaints were investigated. Hunters were successful on opener morning with a mixed bag. Hunters were surprised with the 80 degree temperatures during the 2014 duck opener.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked fishing and waterfowl enforcement this past week. Warm weather all week was nice for anglers but annoying for waterfowl hunters. A sport fishing case on Lake Miltona was completed involving a group of eight fishermen from out of the area who had 15 walleyes over their limit, both in their livewell and cold storage. The illegal fish were seized and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued step 3 field training with a COC. The officers continued to work heavy fishing pressure on Lake Osakis with enforcement action taken again for crappie overlimits. Boating and AIS activity was monitored all week with one boat operator arrested for a gross misdemeanor BWI. The duck opener was worked over the weekend with numerous hunters out and about. Most groups had a few ducks in the bag and the harvest was average. Numerous violations were documented including license/stamp/HIP issues, unplugged guns, toxic shot, transport loaded firearms in motor vehicles, no PFDs in duck boats, use motor in WMA, and hunt/shoot during closed hours. The highlight of the weekend was reuniting a hunter with his expensive shotgun after he had mistakenly left it as he was loading up his vehicle at the end of a hunt. Several suspected aquatic vegetation violations are currently under investigation.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) and a COC focused enforcement efforts on fishing, waterfowl and AIS activity. Officers spent a considerable amount of time over the weekend checking waterfowl hunters in the area. Hunters reported decent success on opening day, followed by a slower day on Sunday. Officers spent time speaking with hunters using boats for waterfowl hunting and educating them on AIS laws. Officer fielded calls from the public regarding an injured goose, trespassing complaints, road killed mink, and a TIP call regarding a possible over limit of perch and angling with extra lines. The officers also issued commercial minnow permits. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, no federal stamp, no small game license, unplugged shotgun, and no life jackets. Hunters are reminded that they are still required to have life jackets in their duck hunting boat.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, waterfowl hunters, and monitoring AIS compliance. Waterfowl hunters had a good opener around the area despite warm temperatures and a good crop of mosquitos. Additional time was spent on a trespass issue, commercial enforcement, and checking bow hunters.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked archery deer hunters, ATV operators and small game hunters. Parthun assisted with a medical, handled a few property dispute/trespassing issues and took park in a Cub Scout overnight camping event. Parthun worked a very warm waterfowl opener, seeing a few ducks harvested and helping one hunter remove his stuck jeep from the mud. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, fishermen and ATVs. Officer Hunter received multiple trespass calls and complaints of hunters not getting along. CO Hunter received information of over limits of waterfowl and fish.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports checking several duck hunters over the opening weekend of waterfowl, with compliance being very good. A wolf was seized from a depredation control zone, and a nuisance bear was seized as well. A vehicle hit bear was also dispatched.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, big and small game and waterfowl hunting and ORV activity with nothing unusual to report. He handled a complaint of removal of aquatic plants without a permit; handled a PWC complaint in the Park Rapids station; had a complaint of a fire along the Heartland State Trail.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reported duck hunters did well while grouse hunters are still looking for better success. CO Mathy responded to tips of out of season duck hunting, state trail damage, and fishing in a closed area. Enforcement action was taken for fishing in a closed area, unplugged gun while duck hunting, AIS violations, and license and stamp violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, small game hunting and waterfowl hunting activity. Opening waterfowl hunting yielded moderate success despite warm temperatures. Many waterfowl hunters expressed their concerns with hunters shooting before legal shooting hours. CO Broughten investigated calls of advertising at a public water access, camping on a Wildlife Management Area, and deer poaching. CO Broughten also investigated a complaint of hunter harassment where a property owner was reminded his property did not include the lake. Enforcement action included no small game license in possession, no small game license, no federal duck stamp, no state waterfowl stamp in possession, no HIP certification, and operating an ATV on a public highway.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked duck season opener where success was slow with the hot weather. Contacts were made for no small game license and wanton waste. Complaints were handled on beaver, bear, and baiting.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) worked waterfowl hunter and invasive species checks. Assisted on a medical incident involving a bicyclist with head trauma. Continued OHV patrol in several state forests. Finding many people out enjoying the autumn colors before the leaves fall off the trees. Most waterfowl hunters were having good success and taking advantage of the warm weather. Handled calls for injured animals, hunter trespass, general hunting questions and ATV use and special use requests.
WREO Shane Siltala reports checking waterfowl hunters during opening weekend. Hunting success was fair, with mainly teal, wood ducks, and ringnecks found in the bag. Hunters and boaters were also checked for AIS law compliance. Follow up was also conducted on an ongoing aquatic plant violation case. Enforcement action for the week included no throwable lifesaving device and transport aquatic vegetation.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continued training with a COC. CO Kittelson and the COC monitored boating, ATV use, angling, waterfowl and small game hunting. Duck opener was very eventful in Black Bay of Rainy Lake area, hunters checked seemed to do very well, with a larger than expected wood duck count. Regulatory checks of anglers were conducted on local rivers and Rainy Lake, also conducted were boat enforcement and safety checks. Sturgeon fishing was in its prime as the end of the season is near. Sturgeon anglers checked reported catching a large amount of sturgeon ranging from 20 to 70 inches. CO Kittelson and the COC assisted other COs from the district with an AIS checkpoint held at the Int’l Falls Port of Entry, US Customs; there was a 56 percent violation rate. Throughout the week, several questions concerning the waterfowl and upcoming deer seasons were fielded, the call load continues to increase as the openers draw near. Enforcement action for the week included possession of an untagged sturgeon, angling w/o a license in possession, no legal lifesaving device on board a boat, transporting an unmeasurable fish, juvenile in possession of tobacco, juvenile in possession of alcohol, taking migratory waterfowl while in possession of toxic shot, taking migratory waterfowl from open water, taking migratory waterfowl w/o a federal duck stamp, transporting fish w/o a patch of skin, transporting a watercraft w/ the plug in and operating a watercraft without a fire extinguisher.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the 2014 Waterfowl opener in the Cook area was very slow. The weather was very warm, and very few hunters were observed. A work detail was attended in Int’l Falls. A falconry inspection was completed in a vacant station. The leaves are falling from the trees and a few more grouse are being observed.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the duck opener, on-going small game and bear seasons, ATVs, invasive species enforcement at the Port of Entry in International Falls, stream anglers and taught a Firearms Safety Class in Hibbing. The officer also investigated two wolf depredation complaints with one sheep depredation confirmed as a wolf. The officer also dealt with a deer farm escape, discovered after a car hit one escapee. The other two escaped deer were euthanized as they were not captured by the owner. One trio of duck hunters erred by one not having a state duck stamp, two that shot pied-billed grebes, and one having marijuana and drug paraphernalia in possession (found when checking for toxic shot). Another duck hunting team was transporting loaded firearms in their motorized boat in anticipation of shooting ducks from open water. Enforcement action was taken on transport loaded firearm, no state duck stamp, take non-game migratory bird, no small game license in possession, transport aquatic macrophytes, bait bear with solid waste not bio-degradable, fail to register bear bait station, possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked an aquatic invasive species detail in International Falls. Enforcement action was taken for failure to drain watercraft and transporting aquatic plants. The Virginia area experienced a slow duck opening weekend. Few hunters were seen out but those hunters that were checked all had some ducks in the bag. While walking to a remote duck blind, CO Frericks noticed a person walking through prime grouse habitat, wearing blaze orange and carrying a loaded shotgun. When asked for a license the person admitted he did not have one but said he wasn’t hunting. A citation was issued for hunting without a license.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked duck hunters with clear blue skies and few birds seen around the area. Time was spent on Lake Vermilion and lots of boaters out enjoying the nice weather. Most of the anglers had a few fish but many stated fishing was tough. Reports of more Grouse are being seen. Fredin assisted on an AIS work detail in Int’l Falls.
International Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a very warm waterfowl opener did not deter some hunters from getting in the blind over the weekend. Although there were fewer hunters than last year those that were out reported good luck with mostly mallards and wood ducks. Violations included hunting migratory birds during closed hours.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked grouse hunters and duck hunters on the duck opener. The sky was blue and it was around 80 degrees, so the hunting was pretty poor. Grouse are around, but not in great numbers. People are finding them though. Fishermen are reminded that the small mouth bass season is closed. People were found to be actively fishing for and keeping these fish.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that even though Cook County isn’t known as a duck hunter’s destination, he did check a few parties of hunters who all had a good number of birds. Even though the hunters did well with their fowl, a few ran afoul of the law including unplugged shotguns, lead shot, and lack of PFDs in the duck boats. He also assisted the U.S. Forest Service and paddled into the BWCA to retrieve a prohibited item that a group of campers had. Other enforcement action included, unregistered canoes, no fishing license, duck stamps and small game license in possession.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked numerous grouse hunters, most driving the roadways, but saw few birds taken. Duck hunters were fewer in numbers. Anglers were having better luck, particularly on Lake Superior. When asked for his trout stamp, one angler stated he had been fishing for salmon, not trout…stamp still required. ATV operators are reminded that anyone under 18 must wear a helmet-even on side-by-side machines.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the weekend waterfowl opener with hunter and duck numbers higher than last year, although most ducks didn’t want to decoy. The officer and several Babbitt residents caught a juvenile loon that was wrapped up in fishing line. All the line was removed and the loon seemed in good shape upon release. CO Bermel assisted Ely PD with an attempted suicide and warrant arrest. Enforcement action for the week included illegal length northern, fishing without a license, no HIP certification, no angling or small game license in possession, passing in a no passing zone, and several ATV and OHM violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked waterfowl opener. Waterfowl hunters were few and far between, and the blue bird weather did not help their cause. Time was also spent working ATV and small game hunters this week.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the waterfowl opener, checked small game hunters and monitored ATV activity. With the blue bird days over the weekend, waterfowl hunters had limited success. The leaves are starting to fall and the grouse hunters are starting to pick up a few more birds.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked big and small game enforcement efforts along with fishing and ATV activity during the week. Grouse hunters and Lake Superior fishermen had better luck. Murray also assisted with a youth Firearms Safety Class in Two Harbors. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, grouse hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Investigated and handled calls on sick/injured moose, livestock depredation, wolves attacking a dog, shooting geese on the water, an injured owl, and shooting a loon. Enforced AIS laws and talked with a firearms safety class. Assisted with a car accident, a fishing overlimit, and a revoked hunter.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked small game, big game, waterfowl , and ATV activity. Violations included over-limits of walleye, northern, and bass, ATV’s on the roadway, youth without a helmet on ATV, and waterfowl hunting without a license.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked an AIS detail, checked anglers, checked waterfowl hunters, assisted the county with the search for a suspect that fled into the woods and attended a PD1 trail with his K9 partner Si. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si certified through the United States Police Canine Association. Enforcement action was taken for fail to remove drain plug, no HIP certification and ATV registration violations.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) assisted the local sheriff’s office with a search for an individual that was suspected to be hiding in the woods near a residence. The suspect was later found by law enforcement. She checked waterfowl hunters this past weekend and found that hunters did fairly well considering the weather. Stamp violations were found during activity checks. She also worked boating and angling activity. She worked a duck shooting complaint and also deer shining complaint.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked an active duck opener weekend with the overall success pretty good. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for one group of hunters who shot a protected migratory bird and another group who shot before the legal hours. CO Sutherland also gave a law talk at a youth firearms safety class.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV activity and the waterfowl opener. Enforcement action was taken for no plug in shotgun while waterfowl hunting, operating ATV on closed forest roads, operating on roadway, and DWI.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) worked ORV and AIS Enforcement this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and boaters and took several calls on owls and questions about the waterfowl opener.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) continued field training with a COC. Officers checked hunters during the opening duck season and hunters reported a fair amount of ducks in the area with a wide variety of species taken. Enforcement action was taken for ATV passenger under 18 without helmet. Time was also spent on a complaint about an illegally taken black bear and enforcement action was taken. Wolf depredations were investigated regarding a small dog and cattle
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking small game and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Complaints of archery hunting over bait were addressed and he worked nighttime shinning complaints.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) investigated a couple wolf depredation complaints with one resulting in a control zone being opened. Enforcement work involved checking grouse, deer, and bear and waterfowl hunters. An illegal bear case was completed and will be sent to the County Attorney for charging. Several fishermen were checked during the week. A couple people were charged with illegal deer shining over the weekend. Officer Duncan also talked at a firearms safety class.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked the waterfowl opener. Mixed results were observed with teal, wood ducks and geese in the bag. Grouse hunters that were checked were also reporting mixed results. Heavy foliage continued to hamper their efforts. ATV operators were checked and stops were made for unlawful operation. Patrols were made into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and wildlife management areas. Ricing activity was still taking place in the area and questions continued to be received about the upcoming deer season. CO Humphrey attended a youth trapping education class in Cromwell. CO Humphrey also attended a memorial service for retired CO Wayne Forsythe. Violations for OHV operation, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and hunter harassment were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a slow waterfowl opener in the area most likely because of the very nice weather. Very few ducks were seen in the bag and no violations were found. Archery deer hunting and bear hunting activity was also worked in the area with some investigations into hunting deer over bait and trespassing being looked into. K9 training continues with K9 Schody. Assistance was given at K9 testing held in Grand Rapids where DNR K9 Si and his handler Mike Fairbanks were certified. ATV and off-highway motorcycle activity was worked in the area and enforcement action was taken for registration, operating with juvenile not wearing helmet, equipment, and operating on the road violations.
WREO Mike Scott worked on a background investigation for a potential new Conservation Officer for academy training next spring. Attended a Wetland Conservation Act meeting with St. Louis County LGU, SWCD, and BWSR and the new St. Louis County Attorney assigned to work with WCA cases. Time was spent working at the Minnesota State Patrol Dispatch Center in Roseville for the waterfowl season opener. Many calls coming in reference shooting in the early morning hours scaring some people. Calls for illegal hunting activity were handled as well as calls for general DNR questions, and several injured raptors including two bald eagles that had locked their talons together and were in the yard of person in Columbia Heights.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked small game and bear hunters north of Duluth. Both were reporting a slow harvest. Questions answered on wetland issues and the boundaries of the metro deer hunt near Duluth. Olson assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s with calls for service and checked area public landings for boats and AIS.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior. As trout season comes into its last week of the year, anglers are finding good numbers of lake trout and a few of impressive size. ATV complaints continue in the usual spots, and warm sunny weather brought out the grouse and leaf hunters in large numbers. Enforcement action taken for angling, watercraft and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked AIS, boating, big game, ATV, and small game enforcement throughout the week. He worked on reports and started a background investigation on a possible conservation officer candidate. He also tried to locate the owner of a kayak that was damaged and picked up by a boater in Lake Superior.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued with field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate. The Officers checked small game hunters with limited success being reported by hunters. Officers also checked anglers who were reporting walleye activity picking up along with pan fish. Officers attended Student Success Day at Central Lakes College. Officers gave a presentation to a packed house on Conservation Officer duties, hiring process to become a Conservation Officer, and a Q & A on laws. Officers also worked the opening duck hunting season with good numbers of ducks harvested in the area. Officers remind hunters to check and make sure plugs are placed in their firearms before hunting migratory game birds. Enforcement action was taken this past week for hunting migratory game birds with an unplugged gun, insufficient PFDs, and no waterfowl licenses or stamp.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy waterfowl hunting opener. Numerous contacts were made with hunters. Violations included unplugged shotguns, shooting before legal hours, no license in possession, unsigned stamps, and hunter harassment. One hunter indicated that in the fall of 1984 Conservation Officer Gary Guida (Retired) issued him what he thought was his last violation.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focusing around the duck season opener. Numerous hunters were checked with mixed success averaging about two birds per hunting party, mostly wood ducks and mallards. Compliance was found to be very good with duck hunters, a few enforcement contacts were made for no PFDs, possession of toxic shot, and licenses not in possession.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy waterfowl opening weekend. Numerous hunters were checked and most hunters had fair success with wood ducks and teal being the most common in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for license/stamp violations, possess toxic shot while waterfowl hunting, unplugged guns, duck over-limit, and watercraft safety violations.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked many outdoor activities with a focus on waterfowl. Wood ducks were the main bird in the bag. Most hunters still need to work on waterfowl identification.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out and the fall bite is picking up. Waterfowl opener went well good numbers of hunters and a fair amount of ducks. Most common duck in the bag was wood duck and the mallard was a close second. No lights, no PFD, and no state or federal stamp violations were found. He checked grouse hunters and the report was poor. The hunters explained that is still too many leaves on trees to see all of the birds they flushed. The archery hunters report the deer are becoming more active with the cooler weather. He worked with neighboring on vehicles operating on closed roads in the Pillsbury Forest. The complaints of litter and garbage dumping continue to come in.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working a busy duck opener with most hunters finding some success along with several mosquito bites. CO Peterson left the duck ponds and checked jet skis and anglers out on area lakes where several folks were out enjoying the warm weather. Several small game hunters were out and CO Peterson also checked some bear baits, one that was abandoned but non-biodegradable materials were left behind.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the duck opener where too nice of weather kept waterfowl from moving much. Anglers were also checked and panfish activity is picking up. The nice weather also brought out ATV activity with common registration and safety equipment violations.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked hunters for waterfowl and small game hunting. Waterfowl opener had mixed results as the warm weather made hunting a bit more difficult. The officer seized a pileated woodpecker from a small game hunter; that was a first. Bear and deer hunters were also checked. Enforcement action was taken for shooting before legal shooting hours, no plug in a shotgun while waterfowl hunting, failing to extinguish a fire and burning of prohibited materials.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking waterfowl hunters over the weekend. Even with the warmer and clear weather most reported seeing and getting a few ducks. Patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for ATV, big game, small game and Forestry resource related activities. It was nice to see lots of kids out hunting with their parents. The Officer investigated a call of someone operating an ATV on a Wildlife Management Area and also some hunting related issues on the same management area. Follow up was done on a wetland violation that occurred earlier in the month and a nuisance bear call was also fielded. A TIP complaint of someone taking waterfowl before the season opener was investigated earlier in the week. Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement was done in and around the Malmo area and AIS work was done with a neighboring Officer. Please remember whether you are waterfowl hunting, fishing or boating to remove all aquatic vegetation, drain all live wells, and remove the drain plug in your boat before leaving the access. Lots of fishing, hunting, boating, and AIS law related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various waterfowl and ATV violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated an illegal bear hunting case where the hunter didn’t register or sign the bait station where he had harvested a bear. When interviewed, he stated he didn’t register the bait station because it was too much work to do the paperwork and he didn’t have access to a computer to do it on line. He didn’t sign it because he didn’t want CO Speldrich to know who was hunting the bait since it wasn’t registered. At the end of the interview, enforcement action was taken for unregistered bait, unsigned bait, non-biodegradable material in the bait, illegal off trail travel in a limited state forest and baiting without a license. Speldrich worked the waterfowl opener finding some success. She investigated a call where one group of hunters believed another fired a shot in their direction to keep them from hunting nearby. An investigation revealed that the other hunting party shot at a duck, not at the other hunting party. Speldrich followed up a wolf depredation case and took many calls regarding waterfowl opener.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued training of a COC. Officers conducted a full inspection on a taxidermist. The investigation led to enforcement action on the following items: no commercial taxidermy license, no federal license, undocumented waterfowl, and a goose out of season. Officers conducted follow-up on bear hunting issues, and illegal baiting case. Citations were issued for illegal burning issues. Despite a warm and “blue-bird” waterfowl opener, local hunters had moderate success, finding a mixed bag of waterfowl species. Enforcement action was taken failure to retrieve ducks, no state and/or federal duck stamps, PFD violations, and failure to sign stamps. **Reminder to waterfowl hunters, retrieve your downed birds as they may disappear from drifting, predators, or just forgotten. It is also important so you can verify the species you have downed.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found quite a few duck hunters that had luck harvesting mallards, wood ducks, teal and geese on the waterfowl opener. Bear hunting activity was high and a few hunters were found hunting over unregistered bear baits and using baits that contained illegal material. Area lakes were also active with some anglers catching sunfish and others finding an aggressive Largemouth Bass bite.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered questions about trespassing and waterfowl hunting throughout the week. He spent time checking anglers and boaters in the Pine City area, spent time scouting areas for waterfowl hunting activity, and also worked on current complaints regarding ATV operation and bear hunting violations.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) worked the waterfowl opener on area lakes and potholes. Fair success was seen. Mallards, ring neck, and wood ducks were most common with a few teal. Many hunters were complaining that other hunters were sky busting and not letting the ducks get in close enough. Hunters were reminded to pull drain plugs and pick vegetation from duck boats. Enforcement action was taken on waterfowl violations.
WREO Rob Haberman checked duck hunters over the opening weekend. WREO Haberman checked watercraft and gear for AIS violations and reminded hunters of AIS rules. WREO Haberman issued a warning to one hunter for forgetting his license back in his cabin. WREO Haberman also worked ATV traffic with the warm weekend and investigated an APM violation on Round Lake in Crow Wing County.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking for angling activity and preparing for duck opener. The fish bite is starting to pick up with fisherman reporting success with panfish, walleyes and bass. Assistance was provided to fisheries staff with a walleye fingerling survey on Little Birch Lake. Duck hunters were checked on opening weekend. The most common violation seen was no/insufficient PFDs in duck boats. One hunter was found to be using an unplugged shotgun. A mixed bag of ducks was seen at most locations in the area with teal and woods ducks were the most prevalent species seen.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) continued training with a COC. Officers worked duck, squirrel and deer hunter, anglers, shoreline and wetland issues. Waterfowl success in the Albany area was good with most groups having several ducks in the bag. Teal, wood ducks and a few mallards were seen. Angling success has been picking up in the area. One angler was found angling out of a pontoon. As the officers approached, the angler began throwing some sunfish out of his bucket into the lake. The angler realized that the fish were not swimming away so he began trying to hide fish in his jacket pocket. When asked about the fish in his pocket, he explained that he was going to release those fish. The angler had six sunfish in his jacket pocket and was 11 fish over limit on the lake. The officers went to his house and the angler got into the house before the officers and attempted to hide packages of fish behind his toaster. Enforcement action was taken. Enforcement action for the week included over limit walleye, over limit sunfish, transport loaded gun, shoot from a motor vehicle, no federal duck stamp, unplugged shotgun shoot non-game migratory bird and ATV 2nd degree DWI.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) continued working on open cases. Unseasonably warm weather and relentless mosquitoes did not make waterfowl opener very pleasant for hunters. The number of waterfowl hunters was about half of average. A trespass complaint was handled. A possible WCA violation is under investigation.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) while stopping at a local state park CO Kuske overheard two dissatisfied park visitors tell the park manager that they were disappointed that the fall colors in the park were not as pretty as they had expected and the trails were way too muddy. W Waterfowl opener had quite a few hunters out but success was limited. CO Kuske did law talks at the Upsala firearms safety class and the Royalton ATV safety class. Coincidentally enroute to the Royalton ATV safety class CO Kuske stopped an ATV illegally operating on the county road near where the class was being held.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Todd and Wright counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violation, unplugged gun, no angling license, and no boat registration. Wetland restoration orders were also served in Wright County.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers during the past week. CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven Firearms safety class. CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters this weekend.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. The waterfowl opener hunters in the area were educated on AIS regulations. An angler was reminded that smallmouth bass is currently a catch and release season.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports an act of sportsmanship, an archery hunter shot a nice buck but after searching for hours and hours couldn’t find the deer. Two days later it was located and already begun to spoil. The hunter called CO Kuske to say he was going to tag and register the deer anyway, with a one deer limit this was a challenging decision, but said it was the right thing to do. A family feud had one brother, the day before duck opener, hire a contractor to breach a dike which would drain a 40+ acre wetland complex, which presumably is some of the family’s hunting area. CO Kuske responded by issuing two wetland cease and desist orders and a citation to the contractor. Two hours later the other brother went in and plugged the breach to stop the draining until the matter can be settled by Soil and Water Officials. In another case a contractor hired by a township is being cited for not following the proper protocols when he placed a culvert in a road adjacent to a wetland. CO Kuske continues to investigate several illegal deer cases, a headless buck was dumped along a road, a small fawn was shot at night and left behind, and a case that involved a hunter that lost his tags after taking a deer in North Dakota. Assistance was provided to another CO with removing several illegal stands in a WMA. Duck hunters found removing aquatic plants a challenge from their boats and equipment but all that were checked understood the importance of the AIS issue and showed a good faith effort in cleaning their gear. With the nice weather most waterfowl hunters were done by 10AM or earlier on opener, average number of birds per group was five, mostly teal and wood ducks.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked waterfowl hunters. Violations were found for un-plugged shotgun, possession of lead shot, no PF’s, and no licenses/stamps. A public waters complaint was investigated as well as several animal calls.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked waterfowl opener, checked small game and archery hunters, anglers and boaters, and ATVs. Officer Londgren followed up on baiting and trespassing complaints and handled nuisance animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken on: PFD violations, license violations, and use of electronic decoys.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big lake) worked waterfowl hunters and issued summons and written warning for no small game license, possession of toxic shot, no life jackets, no HIP certification, no FAS in possession. He followed up on a deer baited complaint. He checked WMA for a littering complaint. He followed up on a trespassing complaint charges pending.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked waterfowl hunter over the opening weekend. Hunters appeared to have a pretty good hunt with a lot early migrators still in the area with the unseasonal warm weather. The main species harvested were blue wing teal, wood duck, shoveler and green wing teal. Most waterfowl hunters were in compliance, however two hunters were not representing good hunting ethics and laws by drinking beer at 7am on opening morning and throwing their beer cans in a beautiful wildlife management area pond, trespassing on posted private property to make it easier for them to get on the pond and hunting without the required stamps. Proper enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) continued field training with a COC. They report a busy waterfowl opener. Many hunters harvested good numbers of ducks, mostly wood ducks and teal. The warm weather had most hunters off the duck ponds early in the day. Violations included unplugged shotgun, possessing lead shot, enter WMA during closed hours and no small game license.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) worked small game and duck hunters during the week. Duck opener was warm and the ducks were flying. One hunter commented that he swatted a couple mosquitos which were the size of teal he shot. Enforcement action was taken on unplugged shotgun, no state duck stamp, take waterfowl out of season and operating an ATV on a public highway.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the duck opener with CO Grewe in Scott, Carver and Hennepin counties. Hunter success was fair to poor. Watercraft operators were checked all week for AIS violations. Many calls were returned on hunting questions. Nuisance animal calls were handled on beaver damage, fox killing chickens, and coyotes.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for waterfowl activity on the opening weekend. Success was mixed but lots of hunters were out on the opener. Salzer also assisted with some big game issues in Washington County.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week investigating complaints and checking waterfowl hunters. CO Grewe spoke at a firearms safety class. Violations included no hunting license in possession, shooting before legal hours and failing to sign required waterfowl stamps.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the duck opener in Scott County and followed up with zebra mussels violations in Prior Lake. He took a TIP complaint of possibly taking over limit of geese and trespass in Scott County. Violations included unsigned federal duck stamps, failure to register a canoe, and fishing without angling license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) followed up with several AIS violations in the Minneapolis lakes area. He worked the Waterfowl Opener in Carver County. He handled phone calls regarding hunting regulations and upcoming talks.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week investigating TIP calls, handling trespassing complaints and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen worked the waterfowl opener and found many hunters having success. He continued monitoring anglers, small game and archery deer hunters. Violations for the week included hunting deer over bait, transporting illegally taken big game, trespassing, possession of toxic shot, and no small game license.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related activity. An active waterfowl opener was worked with few ducks seen in the bag. One angler was seen transporting a boat with water draining as the vehicle turned off a state highway. Upon stopping the vehicle, WREO Block discovered an over limit of crappies in the livewell, which is where the water had been coming from. Boat operators are required to drain all water prior to transporting the boat on a public roadway.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked several waterfowl and small game hunters over the weekend. He continued checking anglers around the metro lakes and rivers and monitored boats and trails for aquatic invasive species. He also spent some time taking care of equipment and responded to calls.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he worked the waterfowl opener. There seemed to be more mosquitoes than ducks with the warm weather. Carlos Avery WMA was full to overflowing with hunters. Unfortunately, many of them were shooting at birds that were well out of range. Enforcement action was taken for lead shot, no small game license, no state waterfowl stamp, and no blaze orange while small game hunting. CO Johnson conducted a falconry facilities inspection in Elko. He took a call about a Pileated Woodpecker damaging cedar siding on a home. CO Johnson spoke to a firearms safety class in Ramsey.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued training a COC. They talked to a firearms safety class in Oakdale and a law enforcement class at Century College. They handled a call of an individual that shot two trumpeter swans in Carlos Avery WMA. Both swans were located and were dead. They also handled a case where an individual shot a barred owl in Carlos Avery WMA. The Officers worked a Stillwater bridge shift, checked numerous hunters over the waterfowl weekend, worked WMA enforcement and did equipment maintenance. They also worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement at area lakes and streams and handled nuisance animal calls. Violations included unplugged gun, unsigned waterfowl stamps, take deer with crossbow without permit, overlimit of sunfish, in WMA during closed hours, no HIP certification and take protected bird.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) had a very busy opening weekend for waterfowl. Hunters who found healthy wetlands were rewarded with limits of ducks. With an increase in hunting pressure, multiple violations were observed. The violations encountered were shooting before legal shooting hours, over limit of ducks, fail to retrieve ducks, no life jacket, no plug, no license, no state or federal stamp, transporting aquatic vegetation, entering Marsh Lake before 5 am, and using motorized decoys.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the waterfowl opener was busy with some good success. A few groups consisting of three hunters were able to bag their limits of six a piece. Most of the ducks harvested were teal, mallard, shovelers, and wood ducks. Some red heads and ringbills were also seen. AIS enforcement was worked during the opening weekend. A few lakes are starting to produce some fall walleye fishing action. Waterfowl hunters are reminded that life jackets are required even when using duck boats.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) completed his weekly radio show. An algae bloom was found on Coon Creek near Dead Coon Lake. Waterfowl hunters had a great weekend with large ducks and small ducks being taken. Mosquitos outnumbered the hunters. Enforcement action was taken on unlawful party hunting, unplugged shotgun, shooting early and life jacket violation.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked a busy waterfowl opener, with many hunters checked during the weekend. Hunter success was decent, with puddle ducks predominately seen in possession. Many reports of early and late shooting were taken. An AIS Check Station was conducted in Big Stone County. Various hunting and license violations were encountered, including an over limit of ducks.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working false applications and Duck Opener. Few ducks were seen in the area. Hunter’s at large sloughs had fair success while those at smaller sloughs did less than fair. A complaint was received about careless hunters shooting toward other hunters. Animal damage complaints continue to be handled. Firearms Safety was taught in Lake Wilson. Enforcement action was taken for false application, operating a motorboat in WMA, and un-drained water in a duck boat.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reported an extension on a WCA violation was issued in Renville County and a site visit was completed on a WCA violation in Lincoln County. A site visit was completed on a PW violation in Big Stone Co. Officer Hanson assisted with a compliance AIS check in Big Stone/Laq Qui Parle Co. Several duck boats, boats and canoes were checked for AIS violations.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked waterfowl opener and noted overall good success with wood ducks. He followed up on trespass, shoot from motor vehicle, and late shooting complaints. Anglers were checked and waterfowl hunters were educated about AIS laws.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) had a busy and warm waterfowl weekend. Blue wing teal, mallards and wood ducks made up the majority of the mixed bags taken. Trespassing complaints were addressed as well as stamp and license issues. AIS and OHM was also worked during the week. Mueller also issued three cease and decease orders on a possible wetland violation.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) had the privilege to attend the Wildlife Management Area dedication to Conservationist Virgil Voigt D.V.M. in McLeod County this past week. Oberg also spent time working waterfowl opener where most hunters seem to bag a couple ducks. Ducks included pintail, redheads, hooded mergansers, blue wing teal, mallards, wood duck, and northern shovelers. Oberg encountered issues related to licenses, stamps and motorized devices.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave a presentation at a firearms safety training class. He also received calls regarding trespassing and taking waterfowl after closed hours. Nelson assisted the Sheriff’s Office with a river search. Nelson worked primarily waterfowl, angling, AIS and ATV enforcement.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked waterfowl opener. There were numerous hunters throughout the county. In most corners of the county it was a successful opener with blue wing teal, wood duck, mallard and spoonbill in the bag. Gruhlke also checked likely fishing spots for fall activity and also worked archery deer and small game hunting activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. Docks and lifts are slowly being removed. Waterfowl hunters and areas were checked. Warm weather was a huge factor in how long activity continued. Hunters were reminded of many rules and regulations. Birds taken were almost all juvenile and identification was a problem with hunters. Some hunters learned the value of a possessing a good dog in the field to retrieve downed and lost birds. A previous public waters violation was rescinded.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
Windom – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy waterfowl opener. A lot of hunters were checked with moderate success. The MN River was patrolled for hunting and fishing activity.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked archery deer, small game, and waterfowl hunters. Waterfowlers did fairly well. Lots of redhead ducks in the area, not too many in the bag. Compliance with AIS laws still remains poor.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, big game, small game, and migratory waterfowl activity during the week. Many hunters had success with the busy duck opener. Several calls were received regarding migratory waterfowl complaints.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters. The waterfowl opener brought a number of hunters to the field and hunters were experiencing success. Time was also spent doing AIS checks at public accesses.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working small game hunting, archery (deer) hunting, and the migratory waterfowl opener. Hunters had limited success, with wood ducks being the most common bird found in game bags. Time was also spent at a Fillmore County SWCD sponsored Career Day at Forestville State Park, where over 150 students attended. Violations included no license in possession, no HIP certification, and taking a non-game migratory bird.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, as well as waterfowl and archery deer hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance. A law and ethics presentation was also given to an area FAS class
WREO Julie Siems reports conducting a K9 detection demonstration. A check station was also worked. Background investigations have started for an upcoming officer school.
Albert Lea – vacant.
Mankato #1 – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. The weekend brought the regular waterfowl opener with blue skies and sunshine. Many questions from the public were answered and phone calls returned. Enforcement action was taken for unplugged shotguns.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly hunters and anglers during the week. Duck hunters had good success on wood ducks over the weekend. The heat and mosquitos made it a little bit tougher in the blinds though. Anglers were also having good luck on panfish.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy waterfowl opener on the Mississippi River. Both mornings produced lot of shooting and hunting pressure was very high. Mainly wood ducks were found in the bag along with a few teal, pintail, ringnecks, and geese. The extremely warm conditions had many hunters leaving early replaced by numerous fishermen and recreational vessels. Enforcement action included transport loaded guns, taking protected birds, unregistered, OHM as well as stamp, license and lead issues. A 70- inch sturgeon was also observed caught and released.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the weekend checking waterfowl hunters, anglers and doing invasive species related work. Large numbers of waterfowl hunters were out feeding the mosquitos. Most hunters were having some success and some were complaining of being crowded by other hunters. A detail was also worked on the St Croix River near Stillwater. Some violations related to waterfowl hunting were detected.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports duck opener to be heavy pressure with poor success. Bag checkers reported less than one duck per hunter and 65 units at two busy landings. It was also reported there were nine units in overflow parking at sunset the night before the opener. The bags were primarily wood ducks and mallards with very few teal. Fishing continues to be good with heavy pressure. Complaints investigated included trespass and illegal deer hunting.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) worked the waterfowl opener. Wood ducks were the most common duck observed in the bag. The mosquitos were also out in force on the sloughs, driving some hunters back to the trucks. Violations encountered were possession of toxic shot, no license in possession and over-limit of wood ducks. A few shining complaints have come in as well. Time was also spent on various calls ranging from hunters on the bike trail to hunters possessing rifles.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports plenty of duck hunters. Unfortunately the harvest along the river was poor, averaging less than one duck per hunter, very few wood ducks. He assisted WI Wardens with a class on shallow drive motors. He investigated complaints of trespass and airboats operating in the closed area. Fritz and CO Hemker assisted Colorado with a hunting violation.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew Bemidji and Thief lake duck surveys, marten and wolf telemetry and a Lake Vermilion boat survey.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a ferry flight to New Ulm to switch aircraft. Upon the flights to and from Jensen found a couple possible WCA violation sites that were photographed and forwarded to local officers. Jensen was weathered out on a couple other flights and is prepping for fish stocking.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew a waterfowl recon flight for southern area COs. Geving continues to study CFII training.
Pilot/CO Christopher Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew multiple creel survey missions over Leech Lake and attended to aircraft maintenance issues. Wolf and fisher telemetry was also flown.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) began his full time tenure with some administrative tasks. Planning for upcoming flights was also done.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
NE RTO Shelly Patten set up a makeup shoot for fall in-service to be held in Duluth on October 6. Patten worked on the new FAS written exam. Patten scheduled ATV/Snowmobile Instructor training to be held in November. Patten worked with area instructors and fielded many phone calls from parents in reference to students looking for Firearms Safety classes.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for Instructor appreciation events and upcoming Firearms Safety/Hunter Education training. Saturday he helped facilitate a firearms safety/hunter education field day in St. Cloud.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence met with firearms safety instructor at Carlos Avery WMA site to go over field day options for youth firearms field day safety training. RTO Lawrence checked along the St. Croix River for hunting activities and found a lot of people out fishing due to the warm weather conditions. RTO Lawrence answered inquiries about the firearms deer season and changes to harvest amounts versus previous years. RTO Lawrence is finding several people sending in emails to the DNR info center are waiting to get access to a firearms safety class this fall. The number of Firearms Safety classes offered is far less in the fall as compared to the spring. RTO Lawrence along with RTO Patten, continue to make updates to the FAS instructor related training program.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke met with a firearms safety instructor about setting up an area for a range and field day. He responded to a call of an owl caught in some fishing line in a vacant metro station. RTO Neitzke answered the Turn In Poachers line on the duck opener. He also assisted with a firearms safety class in Minneapolis.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week preparing for an upcoming RTO meeting by reviewing the Peer evaluation report. Time was also spent on upcoming training for instructors and field days. Assistance was given at a HEFAS class for Amish students in the Harmony area.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week checked duck hunters on opening day. Compliance was high, the number of ducks in hand were low. Violations witnessed included possession of lead shot and take waterfowl from permanent duck blind in public waters. An illegal burn barrel was also discovered while on patrol. Owens also completed possible final review of 14-15 Snowmobile regulations booklet. Equipment needs were handled along with work planning for upcoming training. Numerous email and phone calls related to off-highway vehicles were handled as well.