Weekly Game and Fish Violations

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“Enforcement action was taken for taking waterfowl during closed season, unsigned federal duck stamps, no HIP certification, no small game licenses in possession, transport loaded firearm onboard motorized watercraft and transporting zebra mussels on watercraft.” – Waconia

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck hunters on Lake of the Woods, Thief Lake WMA, Roseau River WMA, and area fields.  Good numbers of ducks are being encountered. The most common birds in the bag are ring necks, red heads, mallards, and widgeon. A rules and regulations presentation was given to a Roseau ATV safety class. Enforcement action was taken on a bow hunter for unlawful party hunting when he illegally put his wife’s tag on a deer he killed.  Other enforcement action for the week included hunters violating the 4pm closure for waterfowl hunting.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued field training with a COC. Time was spent working small game hunters in the surrounding WMAs and checking waterfowl hunters over the weekend. Time was also spent teaching safety classes and doing ATV enforcement. Violations this week included no ATV registration, consuming alcohol in a WMA, no license in possession, unsigned federal duck stamp, leaving hunting equipment in a WMA overnight, and driving ATV on a state highway

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) focused on waterfowl and small game hunting activities. AIS compliance was monitored.  A meeting and training were attended in St Paul and a complaint regarding a commercial minnow dealer was investigated with enforcement action taken.  Time was spent making preparations for an upcoming ATV safety class.   Violations encountered during the week included hunting waterfowl during closed hours and no name and address on a minnow dealer vehicle.

Baudette #1 -vacant.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports continued work on a fire case. Time was also spent checking waterfowl, archery deer, and prairie chicken hunters. Anglers were also checked. Violations included no PFDs, no angling license, and take smallmouth bass out of season.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked AIS, ATVs, leechers and waterfowl hunters. He responded to a car kill bear, assisted with a search for a man with a stolen handgun, monitored shining activity and also attended a sportsmen’s club meeting.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked small game and waterfowl hunters. With help of many volunteers, he also finished up a Firearms Safety field day for local kids.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Hunters are reporting a mixed bag with more ring-necks starting to appear in the area. CO Vollbrecht investigated a complaint of shining and patrolled area trails for ATV activity. CO Vollbrecht worked a security detail for the annual state equipment auction. Time was spent checking waterfowl hunters at accesses for AIS compliance.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored waterfowl and small game hunting throughout the week. Time was also spent working AIS. Officer Holt assisted with the DNR auction in Bemidji and patrolled ATV trails with neighboring officers.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking duck and archery deer hunters. Questions about the fall turkey season, recovering wounded deer from posted property and landowner deer licenses were answered. CO Vinton addressed the East Otter Tail Chapter of the Minnesota Darkhouse Association at their monthly meeting in New York Mills. The topic of AIS was discussed.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked waterfowl hunters, anglers and conducted some AIS checks. Walleye anglers reported a good bite and duck hunters ran out of mosquitoes to kill over the weekend. Complaints of clearing trees on public lands, permanent duck blinds on public waters and deer hunting over bait were worked.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking duck hunters and fishermen. Fishing activity slowed. More diver ducks were seen with the strong north winds. Time was also spent working on litter and waters issues.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ATV activity on area trails. Small game and migratory waterfowl hunters were checked with hunters having fair success. Area waters were monitored for angling activity. CO Warren followed up on calls of possible hunting in closed area and injured cattle.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on a background investigation on a CO Prep Candidate. Time was spent attending a Becker County AIS Symposium. Several fishermen and hunters were checked. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with an ATV complaint.

Moorhead – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reported fewer ducks and duck hunters over the weekend.  Some migrant birds were seen in the area but most of the blue wing teal vacated. Anglers continue to see good classic fall patterns develop with strong bites. Enforcement action for the week was related to angling, duck hunting, AIS, public waters, and wetland violations.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked with area schools setting up Snowmobile Safety classes for winter. Waterfowl hunters were scarce throughout the week but in force over the weekend. Trespass issues and nuisance beaver complaints were handled. Fishing still remains consistent in the area as well.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused efforts checking waterfowl, small game and deer hunters. Additional time was spent working AIS, online training and handling trespass complaints. Several questions have been handled regarding deer season and license options.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated early shooting complaints and duck hunters trespassing. Several duck hunters were checked with only a few birds in the bag. Duck numbers were down from opening weekend and the officer has checked several waterfowl hunters missing PFDs while in duck boats.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked waterfowl and sport fishing activity this past week.  Additional time was spent coordinating a local FAS class. Lots of questions were answered regarding waterfowl season, nuisance animals, and deer hunting.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued step 3 field training with a COC. The officers continued to work waterfowl hunters noting a few new divers moving into the station. Additional time was spent checking archery deer and small game hunters, following up on open investigations involving aquatic vegetation and fishing, assisting local FAS instructors with an all-day range and field day in Alexandria, and investigating a dogs chasing deer complaint. Fishing, boating, and AIS activity was worked all week with fishing pressure remaining strong, and enforcement action taken again for Lake Osakis crappie overlimits. While investigating a fire, the officers assisted an elderly man with a call and coordination of a fire department response after he accidentally started his skid loader on fire. Unfortunately, the machine was a total loss.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on waterfowl hunting activity, wetlands and fishing enforcement with a COC. The officers worked the vacant Moorhead station.  A call in Pope County was handled about a person doing unpermitted work in a wetland area near Glenwood. The person also turned out was doing work within the state highway right-of-way without a permit as well. The Department of Transportation was contacted and the person has a very expensive mistake to fix. Time was spent checking waterfowl hunters in the vacant Wheaton station and issuing minnow transportation permits.  Anderson is working with the DNR Waters division to get a deteriorating dam fixed on Perkins Lake. Calls were fielded regarding nuisance beaver, firearms deer license questions and disabled hunter options/opportunities.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, waterfowl hunters, and bow hunters. Additional time was spent on a trespass case, answering questions about hunting regulations and grazing practices on Waterfowl Production Areas. Baumbarger attended a meeting in St. Paul, investigated a complaint in Stevens County, and monitored AIS compliance with boaters and waterfowl hunters.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) answered many questions about the upcoming firearms deer season. He issued car killed deer permits, ATV permits and beaver permits. Several complaints were addressed and ATV operators and small game hunters were checked.  Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a license, ATV violations and permit to carry violations.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters and ATVs. Trespass complaints came in and a reminder that any feed placed that may attract deer must be removed 10 days before you can hunt that area.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports while patrolling the area for irregularities, a pair of deer stands were found left overnight in a wildlife management area. Duck hunters reported good success over the week with a variety of birds. Several groups of fourth and fifth grade students were given a wildlife presentation on furs and various animals in Minnesota.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, big and small game and waterfowl hunting and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. He handled a car killed moose. The animal was turned over to the area DNR Wildlife Office in Park Rapids. He also received a nuisance bear complaint.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked duck hunters, grouse hunters, and AIS related issues. Some redheads and scaup were seen coming through on the big water. Calls of excavating in public waters and damage to a state trail were also handled. Enforcement action was taken for unplugged gun, lead shot while duck hunting, hunt without stamps, transport migratory birds without wing attached, and AIS and ATV violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, invasive species, small game hunting and waterfowl hunting activity. Angling and waterfowl hunting success was moderate. CO Broughten checked waterfowl hunters for compliance with AIS laws. CO Broughten also investigated complaints of shooting in closed hours, possible over limit of fish, hunter harassment, and deer baiting. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by juvenile.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked grouse, duck and deer hunters, contacts were made for deer bait, untagged deer, and trespass. Halverson investigated a horse that was eaten by wild animals. Halverson gave law talk at Staples FAS class.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled area forest roads and trails. She responded to a bear complaint and checked grouse hunters. The Officer discovered wetland violations and completed required training.

WREO Shane Siltala checked waterfowl hunters over the past weekend. Hunting success was limited with some wood ducks and mallards seen in the bag. Hunters and boaters were also checked for AIS law compliance on faucet snail infested waters. Officer Siltala also attended an AIS seminar in Detroit Lakes. He gave a presentation to a youth group on hunting and trapping laws and wildlife identification. Violations encountered for the week included no HIP certification.

Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continued training with a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC). CO Kittelson and the COC monitored boating, AIS, ATV use, angling, waterfowl and small game hunting. Calls for service this past week included a gray wolf depredation complaint, where a farmer claimed that wolves had taken one of his calves. Enforcement action for the week included failure to register a bear bait station and failure to register a bear within 48 hours of the harvest.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring forest roads and checking public access sites and beginning seasonal equipment transition. Equipment work continues as does computer work and returning phone calls.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking a few grouse hunters throughout the week and all reported seeing very few birds. A few muskie anglers were observed and said the fish were starting to get active.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking duck hunters on Virginia area lakes. Most hunters report taking at least a few ducks, some even reported taking their limits. All duck hunters that CO Frericks came across were spoken to about the importance of removing all aquatic vegetation from their equipment prior to leaving the access. Area grouse hunters encountered and checked, report almost zero success. A majority of hunters told CO Frericks that despite being out on trails for hours, few if any birds were seen or even heard.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked waterfowl and grouse hunting the area. More grouse are being seen and a few ducks are being taken. Fredin encountered three hunters on a golf cart operating on a county road. They showed him two birds they had shot and asked what they were; they were identified as grebes. They also were found to have a loaded shotgun in the golf cart. Fredin took care of a cow and calf moose that were hit by a train.

International Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports waterfowl hunting pressure was low, although weather conditions for duck hunting had improved. Officer Williams assisted District Officers with ATV enforcement on heavily used trails near the north shore. Violations included: fail to display current ATV registration and taking small game without blaze orange.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked grouse hunters and duck hunters. There were a few more grouse visible now that the leaves are gone and the cold weather brought a bunch of ducks down so it was a good weekend. Officers are again working reports of deer baiting.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended meetings and training during the week. He took phone calls regarding blaze orange requirements for small game and beavers causing problems for roads and snowmobile trails.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy week checking grouse hunters and a few anglers. The officer also participated in a work detail on the trail systems in the Finland and Silver Bay areas; compliance was generally good and many riders were out enjoying the fall colors.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked Lake Vermilion one day and again encountered several violations.  One out of state angler was angling with an extra line and in possession of a closed season smallmouth bass. He said he hadn’t bothered to look at the regulations in Minnesota, and he was also unaware of the walleye and northern slot limits on the lake. Other violations included walleye over limit, no type IV PFD, and no license in possession. The rest of the week was spent following up on complaints, answering public questions, preparing an upcoming presentation, completing a case report, and checking duck and grouse hunters.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area small game hunting activity. Time was spent checking ATV trails. CO Schottenbauer worked an area duck hunting complaint and ATV work crew as well.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking hunters, anglers and monitored ATV trails. The officer assisted the county with several calls, responded to wildlife calls and was involved in an ATV work detail in Lake County with area officers. Enforcement action was taken for hunting and ATV violations and transporting a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked waterfowl, invasive species, and big game enforcement activities during the week. Hunting activity increased with more birds being taken. Murray also assisted with a youth ATV course were kids were taught safe ATV operations and earned their certifications. A call of an injured eagle was also handled by the officer and several deer hunting questions were answered.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters, looked for aquatic invasive species compliance, answered questions about the firearms deer season, worked a shining complaint, and took care of a trespass call. Enforcement action taken for trespass and operating an ATV on a public highway.


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked small game, big game, waterfowl, and ATV activity. Violations included over-limits of ducks/geese, no license in possession, no small game license, ATV’s on the roadway,  ATV equipment violations, hunt in a game refuge, operate a motor vehicle in a closed area, uncased gun in a game refuge, youth w/o helmet, and waterfowl hunting w/o stamps.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked waterfowl complaints, checked small game hunters and monitored bough harvesting activity. The recent cold weather and wind has knocked down the foliage in the area. Grouse hunters had better success. The weather also brought more waterfowl to the area. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs, no license in possession and transport aquatic vegetation.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time working on a background investigation for the division this past week. She also investigated a complaint of possible late shooting while duck hunting in the Prairie Lake area. She handled several calls about the upcoming firearms deer season. She took a complaint of possible illegal activity involving the cutting of boughs.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small game hunters in the area with some success had with the leaves falling fast. Enforcement action was taken on one group who had a grebe in their truck from the mornings duck hunt. The pied-billed grebe is a protected migratory bird that passes through the area on its way south like other migratory birds this time of year. Make sure of your target and be up on your species ID in those early morning low light conditions.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, waterfowl, small game and archery deer hunters. He also worked bough cutting permits and investigated a timber theft complaint.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked small game, big game, waterfowl, and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for unlawfully transporting loaded firearms and operating ATV on closed forest road.


CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ORV and ATVers this past week. He also checked waterfowl and grouse hunters while conducting AIS checks. CO Velsvaag received calls on the upcoming water trapping season.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) completed training with a COC. Officers responded to TIP complaints of illegal ATV operation and enforcement action was taken. Officers worked AIS at public accesses and continued to check waterfowl hunters. Groups have been having some luck with many species seen.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working grouse, waterfowl, and archery deer hunters. Several hours were worked educating waterfowl hunters on aquatic invasive species. A few nights were spent working complaint areas for night deer shining activity. Officer Duncan assisted with a big game violation that involved taking a bear illegally. A wolf control zone was monitored, many telephone calls were returned, and time was spent assisting a USFWS Special Agent with an investigation.  Officer Duncan also made arrangements for two moose to be salvaged after being hit by a train.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) worked waterfowl hunters, archery hunters, small game hunters and ATV users during the week. Fail to report an incidental catch, hunt waterfowl with a gun capable of holding more the three shells, no small game license, no HIP endorsement, cutting trees on state property and littering are some of the violations found this last week.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) focused on waterfowl, big and small game enforcement.  Waterfowl hunters took advantage of inclement weather during the week with many mallards, teal, wood ducks, ringnecks and geese observed. Small game hunters reported better visibility in the woods with high winds removing some of the leaf cover. Patrols were made into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and local wildlife mgt. areas. Calls and questions continued to be received about upcoming deer season. CO Humphrey worked reports of deer shining and investigated the death of a collared timber wolf. Violations for no license in possession, waterfowl stamps, possessing lead shot and possession of drug paraphernalia were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to DNR Human Resources about the job duties of a CO specializing in the K9 unit. Waterfowl hunting showed some success on local lakes this past weekend. Most hunters were found to be in compliance with the law. After checking waterfowl hunters at one remote access, a pickup truck was found to be blocking the exit road. After waiting a short time and the truck still not moving, it was noticed that the cab was full of smoke. CO Staples approached the vehicle to see if they needed assistance and found that the occupants were smoking meth. The driver of the vehicle was taken to jail and is facing numerous drug charges. Complaints of ATV’s operating carelessly and illegally were investigated and enforcement action was taken for operating a class 1 ATV on the Road and no safety cert.  Training and paperwork continues for K9 unit activities.

WREO Mike Scott participated in Conservation Education Days, an educational program that has been sponsored by UMD Forestry at the UMD Forestry Center in Carlton County for the last 46 years. For two days, 5th grade classes from around Carlton County participated in the program learning about conservation as part of their educational science studies. A station for AIS education was staffed by Officer Scott, MN Sea Grant staff and a college student presenting educational information to 24 different 5th grade groups about AIS prevention and education. A commercial minnow harvesting training was conducted in Tower with DNR Ecological Services certifying several new groups for harvesting minnows and bait from infested waters. Continued work on a background investigation for the current CO Prep hiring program

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked small game hunters during the week. Hunters are reporting pockets of success for grouse in the woods north of Duluth. Officer Olson checked landings for the close of Lake Trout season on Lake Superior and followed up on a trespass complaint in Normanna Twp.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers wrapping up the 2014 lake trout season. An ATV detail was worked in the Finland area and an individual was found cutting his own trail system in an area State Park. A local Two Harbors resident was also found burning furniture in his back yard and creating quite a plume of black smoke. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, angling, burning and state park violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked waterfowl hunters, and AIS regulations during the week. The majority of the time was spent working on a background investigation for a conservation officer candidate.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked duck and grouse hunters and worked areas of deer shining activity. One duck hunter was in a small kayak with two large dogs, decoys, a gun, shells, a dead goose and a few ducks. He was very nervous when the Officer pulled up to him as he was afraid the dogs would react and swamp him. There were only a couple of inches of freeboard above the water. The one thing left out was a life jacket. He also said his 12-year-old son was on the river somewhere in a kayak without a life jacket as well. He was given paperwork to help him remember to bring them along next time to avoid a potential tragedy.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked waterfowl, archery deer, bear, and grouse hunters during the week. Shining and ATV activity was also worked. One ATV operator explained his reason for a loaded handgun was concern over a bear or wolf attack.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass County for angling and waterfowl hunting activity. Waterfowl hunters are finding a fair amount of birds around after the latest cold snap. Two anglers were cited for over limits, with one of the anglers 34 sunfish over his limit on a lake that has a special regulation of five sunfish. Enforcement action was taken for fish over limits, angle with extra lines, and numerous waterfowl hunting violations.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focusing around the first week of the duck season. Numerous waterfowl hunters were checked throughout the week with success ranging from limits to no ducks taken per hunter. Other activity included responding to issues of deer baiting, trespass, checking fishing and bow deer hunting activity, and working a deer shining detail with other area officers. Enforcement contacts were made while checking duck hunters for no PFDs, unplugged shotgun, and toxic shot.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big game enforcement. Duck hunters were checked and some calls regarding late shooting were investigated. Officer Guida continued working on a background investigation for the Division.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued with field training with a COC. Officers checked small game hunters who were reporting so-so success. Officers also spoke with anglers this past week who were reporting a pretty good bite for walleye on the whitefish chain. Officers received a call in regards to possible baiting of deer. The area was known to officers, and is under investigation at this time. Officers assisted fellow officers with a detail targeting violations of shinning of deer. Officers also assisted with the search of a handicapped hunter who had become lost near the Cass and Crow Wing county line. The party was located, and except for being cold, was okay.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite continues to be slow. He checked boats for AIS, violation detected were weeds on the trailer and zebra mussel attached to the weeds. He also worked on a report of a dock service provider violation. The complaint was the provider had been hauling lifts from Gull Lake without cleaning the sediment, weed and zebra mussel off of boat lifts. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest and people shooting in restricted areas were investigated. The complainant reports that small game hunters are driving past closed motor vehicle road signs to go hunting. Horse campers in the forest were warned for illegal fires and to not pasture horses in the forested areas.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) spent time working waterfowl hunters, small game, bear, and archery hunters. CO Peterson assisted Aitkin County in a search for a lost hunter who heard the officers and was able to walk out to a squad car after a night in the woods. She worked a TIP of decoys left out on a lake where enforcement action was taken. She also spent time checking for compliance with invasive species laws with so many transporting water related equipment this time of the year.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked hunting activity where less leaves and cooler temperature resulted in improves success. Anglers were also checked doing well but contending with rough conditions. Verkuilen assisted with the search for a hunter and worked late hunting activity.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers, waterfowl and big game hunters throughout the week. ATV activity was monitored in the area and Invasive Species checks were conducted. A pair of hunters were found transporting loaded shotguns on their ATVs and two grouse were seized in result; also, enforcement action was taken for operating a motorboat in a WMA.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working a shining detail with neighboring Officers over the weekend. The Officer checked quite a few duck hunters and small game hunters throughout the week and weekend. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office for a lost hunter that had spent the night in the woods. Luckily the hunter was able to walk out of the woods a short while after the search had started. Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement was done around several area waterfowl lakes. Please remember to clean, drain and dry when you pull your watercraft out of the water. Enforcement action was taken for various hunting violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on investigations and completed reports. Speldrich received calls regarding trespass and possible illegal shining activity. She also answered questions regarding nuisance beaver and completed required online training.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued training with a COC. The weather after the duck opener turned more “ducky” after the weekend, and moderate success was seen in the area. Officers found a swan that had been killed on Lake Onamia, which is being investigated. The officers worked a couple of illegal baiting cases and are still finding a high violation rate. Enforcement action was taken on illegal length fish on Mille Lacs, youth ATV violations, failure to validate deer tag, and an untagged deer. Officers assisted a neighboring officer with illegal motor use in the Mille Lacs WMA and patrolled for AIS violations.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to check waterfowl hunters that were having pretty good luck harvesting wood ducks, teal, mallards and geese. An increase in grouse hunters have also been found trying their luck and many reported finding decent populations of grouse in certain areas. As fall hunting seasons open up, trespassing complaints have increased and hunters are urged to please respect property lines and put in the effort to obtain permission prior to hunting private property.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time working bear hunters, waterfowl hunters, and ATV operators during the week. He spent time monitoring ATV traffic in the Chengwatana State Forest, checked anglers on Cross Lake and the Snake River, and spent time checking small game hunters in state forests lands and WMAs. CO Wynn ended the week following up on a littering complaint and worked a detail in the Willow River station.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked duck and archery hunters. A few ducks were seen but numbers were slim. Foliage remains somewhat heavy for grouse hunters. Time was spent assisting two counties looking for lost hunters. Both hunters spent the night in the woods and were found the following day unharmed. A reminder to hunters to prepare for the worst and pack items like a compass, GPS, matches and items to assist in building a shelter.

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement around his assigned area. A lake service provider was issued a citation for transporting Eurasian milfoil on their trailer. WREO Haberman worked on wetland cases and public water cases. WREO Haberman also checked waterfowl and small game hunters.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent most of the week working waterfowl hunting activity. Hunters were still getting a mixed bag of birds. Cool temps and high winds blew in a variety of diver species. Violations for the week included no federal duck stamp, no state waterfowl stamp, no HIP certification, hunting waterfowl over bait and no license in possession. Time was also spent working big game violations during the week.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked duck, deer, and small game hunters. Time was spent also working on wetlands and AIS. Waterfowl success in the Albany area was fair with hunters bagging more mallards then last week. Deer baiting and illegal deer stands were investigated. Enforcement action for the week included unplugged shotgun, no hip, no license in possession, and illegal taking on non-game migratory birds.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused on fishing, waterfowl and administrative and training tasks. The officer worked a litter complaint and handled calls concerning turtles and burning permits. The officer found extra line violations and navigational light violations this week.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) concentrated on background investigations this past week. A complaint of dogs chasing deer was investigated. Work continued on open APM cases.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a hunter trespass complaint where a neighboring land renter is trespassing on a farmer’s agricultural property to include stealing deer stands and putting up trail cameras. A call of an overfriendly bobcat was taken with the bobcat coming up onto the homeowner’s deck. CO Kuske assisted a neighboring officer with an illegal lend and borrow deer tagging case where mom gave the son her deer tag to use on the deer the son got archery hunting though the mother was not out hunting at the time. Enforcement action was taken with both parties involved.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) spent time working deer shining complaints in Morrison and Crow Wing counties. Assistance was given to D10 during a search for an overdue hunter. High winds this past week caused problems for docks and boat lifts on area lakes. One boat owner had his pontoon blow off the lift and drift across the lake. Duck hunters are having decent success especially on the smaller potholes and flooded agriculture fields.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS and serving wetland restoration orders. An investigation was completed yielding an over limit of crappies and various snapping turtle violations. Duck hunters were also checked. The windy conditions appeared to bring new birds to the area as several ringnecks, bluebills, and canvasbacks were observed in hunters’ bags.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms safety class. CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated complaints of trespass and hunter harassment. Waterfowl hunters were checked with violations found for possession of lead, no PFDs, transport loaded firearms, and operating a motorboat in a wildlife management area. Contacts were made for illegal operation of OHMs.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked TIP calls issued summons and written warnings for Deer hunting after legal hours , deer hunting over bait, no HIP certification, unsigned federal stamp, wanton waste, taking non-game waterfowl (trumpeter swans), possession of toxic shot in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, and unplugged gun. A number of cases are under investigation.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week checking waterfowl and small game hunters. Assisted with a car killed moose in Maple Lake that was unusual for this area of the state. Several TIP calls were also investigated. Waterfowl hunters coming in to boat accesses were checked for AIS violations, but most were in good compliance. Enforcement action was taken for transport loaded firearm in motorized vehicle, unplugged shotgun, no PFD in watercraft, failure to have license in possession

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) continued training with a COC. The Officers checked a large number of waterfowl hunters in the Carlos Avery.  The weather turned cold mid-week and fewer hunters were found, but the hunters who went out were still able to locate ducks.  They gave safety presentations at a Cub Scout meeting and a Firearms Safety Class.


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) attended firearms instructor training at Hibbing Community College. The remainder of the week was spent checking small game hunters and waterfowl hunters. Ducks and geese are a bit shyer after opening weekend but several ducks and geese were seen in the bag.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) followed up on AIS violations found by watercraft inspectors. TIP calls on deer baiting cases were investigated. Watercraft were winterized for storage. Waterfowl hunters were checked all week in the south closed zone and central open zone. Enforcement action was taken for taking waterfowl during closed season, unsigned federal duck stamps, no HIP certification, no small game licenses in possession, transport loaded firearm onboard motorized watercraft and transporting zebra mussels on watercraft.


CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled for waterfowl activity. He also patrolled for angling activity in the West Metro area. He also continued to work on a background investigation.


CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking hunters and following up on complaints. CO Grewe assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint in his area and attended a district meeting.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked small game and duck hunting activity in Scott County. He checked on an ATV trespassing complaint in a WMA in Scott County and followed up with AIS violations. He participated in a District 13 boat oil change at Ft. Snelling State Park and responded to a couple of TIP calls on duck hunters hunting in a closed season in the south zone. Officer Lee also took a call of hunting harassment in Dayton area and enforcement action was taken for illegal possession of geese, hunting duck in closed season, and fishing without a fishing license.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station and Fort Snelling State Park. He checked hunters in Carver and Scott counties. Violations found were angling with an extra line and hunting waterfowl in closed season.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking waterfowl, archery deer and small game hunters. CO Arntzen did a game farm inspection, responded to an injured loon, and handled nuisance animal calls. He also continued investigating TIP calls and a trespassing violation. Enforcement action for the week included no small game license, no state waterfowl stamp, unplugged gun and possession of drug paraphernalia.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spent the week checking mostly archery and small game hunters. He responded to a couple of TIP complaints of people hunting ducks in the closed waterfowl zone. He continued checking anglers on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and responded to injured animal calls.


CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked hunters throughout the week. He investigated complaints of deer poaching in Coon Rapids and Ramsey. CO Johnson picked up a Bald Eagle that had been killed by a car in Coon Rapids. He also spoke to a firearms safety class in Andover, and signed complaints for the Columbus City Attorney.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued training with a COC. They talked to a firearms safety class in Arden Hills and two Minnesota Studies classes at North St. Paul High School. They worked on a license fraud case, handled a nuisance turkey in White Bear Lake and checked on a shoreline violation. They checked numerous waterfowl hunters in Anoka County and continued working on various ongoing cases.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related activity. A site inspection on a wetland restoration was completed in Anoka County. WREO Block also spent time on a pre-employment background investigation and attended a meeting in St. Paul.

Eagan – vacant.

Hastings – vacant.

Maplewood – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) completed his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Fishing activities are picking up with cooler temps. Bow hunters are having limited success.  Trespassing questions regarding posting land have been the most frequently asked.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working waterfowl, small game, and archery deer hunters. Time was also spent monitoring activity on WMAs. Windy conditions slowed fall fishing activity. A meeting was attended in Marshall.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, archery deer hunting, and waterfowl hunting activity during the week. Waterfowl hunters were happy with the cooler temperatures and the variety of ducks in the bag. Diver ducks are showing up in the area. Waterfowl hunters are reminded to read up on the rules for transporting ducks and geese. Hunting and license violations were encountered.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that the cold and wind has brought new ducks into the area. Early shooting and no life jackets in duck boats were frequent violations. Officer Picht reminds waterfowl hunters that they, like all other boaters, must have life jackets on board.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a District 15 meeting in Marshall. Officer Hanson attended a meeting with the county attorney on a WCA violation in Redwood County. Officer Hanson followed up on several WMA and PW cases.  AIS, duck hunters, turkey hunters and bow hunters were checked on WMA’s and private property.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to work waterfowl hunting. Gruhlke attended a meeting in St. Paul. He also discussed waterfowl opener during his weekly radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ. CO Gruhlke checked small game hunters as well.

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check waterfowl hunters with more diver ducks observed in the area. He checked anglers and ATV operators. He followed up on commercial activity.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the Fairmont firearm safety class. AIS information and education was given to the county soil and water division, lakes associations and concerned citizens in Fairmont. Investigations were completed for an elk that was shot in southern Minnesota. Questions are coming in regarding numerous laws for the 2014 hunting season. Commercial investigations were completed.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on issues from the opening weekend of the waterfowl opener. She attended a firearm instructor school in Hibbing all week. She followed up with a snapping turtle issue near a local lake.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave a presentation at an ATV safety training class. He also received calls regarding illegal night hunting activity and inquiries regarding deer hunting and small game nuisances. CO Nelson worked primarily big game, angling, AIS and ATV enforcement.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports focusing on waterfowl enforcement again last week.  Hunters had good success with most able to bag around three ducks. Green wing teal, bufflehead, scaup, and canvasback showed up in the area. At one public water access CO Oberg had a few individuals that decided not to bring their licenses with, a boat without any PFDs and one hunter with an unplugged shotgun.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked archery deer, small game, and waterfowl hunters. Fall hunting activity is picking up, with the weather cooling. Some corn was being picked, which could be a big benefit for the upcoming pheasant opener, but rain put an end to most harvesting activity.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked archery hunters, small game hunters, ATV activity and anglers in the area this past week. The officer also covered the law portion of a firearms safety class.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, as well as waterfowl, deer and small game hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance. A law and ethics presentation was also given to an area FAS class

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, big game, small game, and migratory waterfowl activity during the week. Follow-up was conducted on a migratory waterfowl investigation & enforcement action taken.  A Ducks Unlimited banquet was attended and the DNR LaserShot was staffed at the event.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked waterfowl hunting, AIS, and angling activity. Time was also spent answering questions from the public and responding to nuisance wildlife questions. The officer also helped staff the LaserShot at a banquet in Owatonna.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working small game hunting, archery (deer) hunting, and the Fall turkey hunting opener. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a trapping education class in Spring Valley, and a radio interview to KAUS Radio in Austin. Special beaver permits were issued to address nuisance beaver complaints. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

WREO Julie Siems working on background investigations. Waterfowl hunters were also checked and educated on AIS.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time checking anglers, small game hunters, archery hunters and responding to a TIP call of some closed season waterfowl hunters. Time was also spent responding to shining complaints and working on a complaint where an individual drove his 4-wheel drive truck into a trout stream and damaged the stream bank.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week and weekend on the big river. Sunfish, crappie, perch as well as walleye are biting with some limits being checked. Wetland, protected waters, invasives, and litter complaints were investigated with enforcement action being taken. Wisconsin hunters also did very well on ducks.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked checking anglers and small game hunters. Complaints were taken about archery deer hunters using bait. Phone calls to the public were returned and areas were checked for ATV activity.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) attended a joint state and federal agency training session on a possible train derailment along the Mississippi River. He investigated a small game trespass complaint. Fishing is slowly improving on the river. Most species of fish are being caught. Many hunters asking questions about the special antlerless season being held in zone 349.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking turkey hunters out over the opening weekend. Success was fair to good and most hunters that had done some scouting bagged a bird. Time was also spent investigating baiting complaints and trespass complaints. CO Boyum spoke at a Youth Hunt Orientation and also checked a few fishermen as well.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly hunters and anglers during the week. Duck hunters are reminded to check the hunting regulations and not assume the same season as years past with the season split. Heyn also attended a border waters fisheries meeting and other meetings.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good sunfish and crappie fishing along with some walleye checked. He investigated complaints of trespass and illegal deer hunting. Hemker also attended a firearms safety field day.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of mostly ground based activity due to weather issues. Jensen did get a start on fish stocking operations in the BWCA. Jensen also flew a shining enforcement flight. In between flights, numerous hangar maintenance issues and safety review items were worked on.


Pilot/CO Chris Lofstuen flew several deer baiting as well as a wetlands violation photo flights. Bad flying weather created an opportunity to spend time with aviation training and quoting some aircraft maintenance. A shining flight was also flown with CO/Pilot Jensen out of Brainerd.


CO Pilot Bob Geving attended a district meeting, worked on aircraft maintenance issues and continued to prepare for an upcoming FAA check ride.


NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a Bemidji duck survey and a night training flight. Weather canceled some flights and the aircraft is in for a 100 hour inspection.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed admin tasks, and aircraft maintenance. A flight was cancelled due to weather.

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 at Camp Ripley. Work continues on updating the instructor training process and materials. Patten also assisted with a firearms safety class in the Northeast Region.

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports assisting instructors with equipment needs and planning for upcoming instructor training. Wednesday he attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley.  Use of Force instructor training material was also reviewed and calls returned regarding regulation questions.

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended meeting at Camp Ripley with other regional training officers. RTO Lawrence met with members of a local MDHA chapter to show the Carlos Avery field day site for upcoming youth field day training. RTO Lawrence continues to work on changes to instructor training. RTO Lawrence answered calls regarding waterfowl season and the upcoming trapping season.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke attended a snowmobile safety CD instructor clinic with RTO Owens at the Lakeville Gander Mountain. He assisted with a youth firearms safety class in NE Minneapolis. RTO Neitzke patrolled for waterfowl hunters with CO Pril. He reviewed the youth on line firearms safety course. He also attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent most of the week working on changes to the precertification process for new DNR safety instructors. Time was also spent at an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week attended the Regional Training Officers meeting at Camp Ripley. He taught a Snowmobile Safety Instructor Clinic one night in Lakeville. Work on the 14-15 Snowmobile Regulations booklet was completed and they went to print last week. Owens also took care of Off-Highway Vehicle advisory council planning/updates. Planning for upcoming DNR Employee ATV Safety training continued along with other work planning. Numerous emails and phone calls regarding ATV/Off-Highway vehicle questions were addressed as well.

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