Weekly Game and Fish Violations

HardWater-IceExpo-468x60From the DNR:


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing):The officer responded to a call of a 150 pound bear caught in a foothold trap set for coyote. The bear was released, ran 20 feet, climbed up a tree for 10 seconds, and then ran off into the woods a little more educated.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo): An individual reported that while he was enjoying a milk shake in fast food parking lot, a bear cub came up and swiped it from him. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the bear cub was not a Black Bear as thought but rather a Syrian European Brown Bear cub. The cub was apprehended without incident and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility until the owner could be located. The owner later realized the cub had escaped and made attempts to locate it. Turns out the bear couldn’t ignore the restaurant’s sweet aromas and busted out of his crate and transport trailer to indulge while the owner was sampling some for himself.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake): found an individual bow hunting in a tree stand over bait and he immediately said he was hunting squirrels. When CO Kruse got him to admit that he was indeed hunting deer, she asked for his deer hunting license and he didn’t have one. Enforcement action was taken.


Here is the full report: 

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers and duck hunters on Lake of the Woods and the Northwest Angle. Preparations were made for the deer season. Boats and equipment were winterized.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a gray wolf depredation, conducted AIS checks and a radio interview, and responded to a calls of a car struck deer and unlawful burning. The public is reminded that recreational shining is only lawful within two hours of sunset. Enforcement action for the week included unlawful use of artificial lights to spot or locate game and burn without permit.

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked grouse hunters, state park, ATV activity, waterfowlers, anglers and aquatic invasive species enforcement. While working a shining detail Hanson encountered a pair of young men who seemed to have too much extra time on their hands at four in the morning. Hanson found equipment in their vehicle consistent with burglary and drug use. Local law enforcement officials were advised of identities and circumstances. CO Hanson assisted CO Woinarowicz releasing a wolf reported accidentally caught in a trap.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked small game hunting, trapping activity, ATV activity, shining activity, angler activity on Upper Red Lake and monitored AIS compliance throughout the week. A hunter trespass investigation was completed with enforcement action taken. Time was spent answering several questions regarding the upcoming firearms deer season, issuing car kill possession permits and target range permits and a special detail was worked with neighboring officers. Enforcement actions included trespassing and ATV violations.

District 2 – Bemidji Area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and a COC worked on several public waters, WCA, and aquatic plant management cases this week. The officers visited the sites and documented what work had been done, then coordinated with DNR and local government unit biologists to start the restoration process. The officers spent time checking archery deer hunters, waterfowl hunters, and trapping activity. Hunters are reporting seeing few deer. Ducks in the work area are spotty, but good hunts are being had by hunters who are in the right areas.  Anglers continue to take advantage of the warmer than normal weather. Fishermen report fair success, but are happy to be out enjoying the warm sunshine. Enforcement action was taken for taking over-limit of waterfowl, shooting waterfowl in open water, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, taking waterfowl with toxic shot, license and stamp violations, unlawfully set traps, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued training with a COC. Time was spent preparing for the upcoming Firearms Deer Season. Vollbrecht and the COC patrolled ATV and Snowmobile trails with a neighboring officer. While working in the woods officers have seen increased deer sign and early rut activity. Time was spent working a shining detail. They were working with other officers when they came across a vehicle in the ditch. The vehicle had a small fire under the hood which soon spread to the rest of the vehicle and fully engulfed it, despite the officers’ attempts to extinguish it with the fire extinguishers from their squads. The vehicle had one occupant who was removed prior to the fire getting out of control. Time was spent working in the Baudette area where they observed three ATVs and an OHM operating illegally.  They were stopped and enforcement action was taken.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking grouse hunters and trapping activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was also spent patrolling ATV trails, working AIS and checking waterfowl hunters. Archery deer hunting was monitored and questions were answered about the upcoming firearms deer season. Holt assisted with a car fire and received complaints of waterfowl hunters trespassing. Enforcement activity for the week involved waterfowl hunting violations.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking waterfowl hunters and trappers. Trappers should be reminded that, until deer season, one article of blaze orange clothing is required, and then the requirements for the deer season should be followed. TIP investigations are continuing for various violations.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) wrapped up field training with a COC. Time was spent investigating a wildfire, enforcing illegal ATV activity, and responding to multiple complaints of potentially illegally taken deer. Calls were also taken for trap tampering issues, as well as a potential wolf depredation issue. Officers spent time in the Warroad station and completed multiple angling and AIS checks. Enforcement actions included: operating unregistered ATV and operating ATV off designated trail in state forest.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent another busy week checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters and archery hunters. Time was also spent following up on several complaints of trapping by water before season. Forsberg did a newspaper interview on the upcoming firearms deer season, worked late shooting complaints on waterfowl hunters and worked shining activity.


CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) focused enforcement efforts checking angling and boating activity with a fall bite providing a few fish in the bucket. Warren checked waterfowl hunters and followed up complaints of illegal hunting activities.  Anglers and waterfowl hunters were checked for AIS compliance. Questions were answered in regards to the upcoming firearm deer season. Warren attended a DNR safety committee meeting with state department members. Illegal shinning complaints were received and areas worked for activity.  A complaint of possible illegal leeching activity and trespass were received and investigated.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week finishing up a background investigation for the CO Prep program. Additional time was sent working on open WCA and protected waters cases.  Site visits were conducted for possible WCA violations. Several phone calls were received and answered regarding the upcoming firearms deer season.


Moorhead – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received numerous calls with questions relating to the upcoming firearms deer season. Complaints of trespass and early water trapping were received. A whitetail rack was surrendered after an investigation revealed it was illegally taken. Duck and goose hunters were checked with some migrant birds new to the area. A report of an incidental caught fisher was also received.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) issued deer possession permits, seized a car killed bobcat and donated to MTA. Plautz assisted a parent with self-certification on a firearms safety certificate and delivered the certificate to the parent. Plautz checked waterfowl hunters with success on diver ducks, checked archery hunters, and worked some night shining activity.  Plautz responded to a trapping complaint of trespass and seized two traps and issued a citation for trespass. A complaint involving an angler fishing with extra lines was investigated. Civil matters were handled regarding property line boundaries and leased land issues. A wetland draining compliant is being investigated as well.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked waterfowl, small game hunters and fishermen. Nelson set up and attended a sportsmen’s event in the Fergus Falls station. Complaints of persons camping on public access sites, injured deer and skunks digging in yards were investigated. Several questions regarding firearms deer season have been received. A WCA violation was also investigated.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent much of last week following up on citizen calls regarding license questions for the upcoming deer season. Questions about youth shooting antlerless deer and disabled hunters obtaining permits to shoot from a motor vehicle were answered. A citizen complaint on a trapper setting water sets prior to the 9 a.m. opener resulted in enforcement action. Preparations for the upcoming deer season continue to be made.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work hunting activity including waterfowl, pheasant, small game, and archery deer. Scouting and other preparation is ongoing for the upcoming firearms deer season, and several trap sets and trappers were checked throughout the week and weekend. Several possible wetland violation complaints were fielded and investigated and follow up was done on open cases. Fishing pressure remains constant on area lakes and AIS activity was monitored involving fishermen, waterfowlers, and lake service providers (LSPs) removing water related equipment from infested water bodies.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on trapping enforcement, shining complaints and waterfowl hunting activity. Anderson received a complaint about a trapper trapping and trespassing. Time was spent working deer shiners with other district officers.  Two individuals were cited for camping on a state public access site and another individual was cited for illegal burning. Anderson spoke at a snowmobile safety class and issued minnow transportation permits. Calls were fielded regarding deer season, firearms safety training and trapping regulations.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking waterfowl, pheasant, and deer hunters. Additional time was spent checking trappers, ATV, and OHM operators. Station equipment was worked on and calls were returned regarding injured animal questions, and trespass concerns.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) broke ice with his kayak checking waterfowl hunters so winter is on the way. He assisted the sheriff’s department with a vehicle in the ditch call and worked some late night shining details. Parthun assisted a hunter whose dog was killed in a body gripping trap. A reminder that the small game season in the Schoolcraft Game Refuge is closing.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATVs and hunters. Officer Hunter received calls of possible trespass and bait near deer stands. CO Hunter responded to a lost hunter in the Paul Bunyan State Forest

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to work waterfowl hunters and shining cases. Many questions were answered regarding the upcoming deer season and a assistance was provided at a medical call.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on big and small game and waterfowl hunting and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Received calls regarding the upcoming firearms deer season; had a complaint of no trespassing signs being torn down.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked duck hunting and trapping activity in the area. Time was also spent checking for big game violations as deer have begun to move around more. Calls of no trespassing signs placed on state land and invasive species concerns were also received.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ATV small game hunting, trapping, and waterfowl hunting activity. Angling activity slowed. Waterfowl hunters are starting to see a few ducks, however success was limited. CO Broughten assisted Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a call of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. CO Broughten also assisted with Northland School’s Firearms Safety. Enforcement action included take migratory waterfowl with illegal device, unplugged gun, and cut balsam boughs without a permit.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked a deer shining work crew in Todd Co. Halverson handled many calls on upcoming deer season and trapping season opener.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled area forest roads and trails and came across grouse and waterfowl hunters and many eager hunters prepping for the upcoming firearm deer season. Responded to complaint of ATV’s in closed areas and trails and met with DNR Forestry staff about burning and closure violations.

WREO Shane Siltala assisted with a work detail in District 4 over the weekend. He also spent time checking waterfowl hunters and discussing AIS laws. Local trapping activity was also monitored. He also met with SWCD staff to discuss wetland issues. A meeting was held with the county attorney to discuss water appropriation issues. Some training was completed and wetland cases were reviewed and updated. Several old cases were able to be closed out.

Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking grouse hunting and trapping activity throughout week and weekend. Activity on the Rainy River for fall walleye fishing has slowed with only 30-40 boats observed. Lots of people observed gearing up for upcoming firearms deer season. Enforcement action taken for the week consisted of no hunting license in possession and transporting a loaded firearm.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ongoing monitoring of forest roads, ATV trails, and public access sites with very little activity noted. Phone calls, permit issuing, and computer work are on-going. Equipment preparation for winter storage continues.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports numerous phone calls were returned relating to various outdoor activities. The few deer left in the area are starting to move around so use caution when driving. A few muskie anglers were observed and having some luck.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting and trapping seasons, anglers, balsam bough cutters, and investigated a complaint of the taking of a non-game migratory bird. The officer investigated four cases of large amounts of litter being dumped. On one case, a bank deposit slip foiled the truck load of carpeting dumper, while another was determined with mail and canceled checks. Another was dealt with as part of a trapping case and another had been lit on fire, requiring the officer to put out the flames. The officer responded to a call of a 150 pound bear caught in a foothold trap set for coyote. The bear was released, ran 20 feet, climbed up a tree for 10 seconds, and then ran off into the woods a little more educated.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has taken several calls from motorists concerning road killed deer. It appears that the lack of antlerless deer tags have people taking those deer they either hit with their cars or usually pass up on. CO Frericks is in the process of wrapping up several investigations on illegal dumping. Citizen reports are starting to come in regarding other “sportsmen’s” deer hunting behavior. A timber wolf was released from a trap with assistance from CO Fredin and the trapper who placed the trap.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint of hunter harassment when hunters put up a ladder stand on public land and other hunters believed they were too close so they yelled, intimidated, and tampered with the stand. Fredin received a shining complaint from private property. Some duck hunters were out but no birds seen. Time was spent winterizing water equipment.

International Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports Ely had its first real winter storm of the season, and although it was brief and the weather has improved, duck hunting reports have been poor as many have left the area after the cold and snow arrived. Grouse hunting reports have also poor with many hunters reporting little to no success. Violations included trespass and failure to tag traps.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked whitefish netters and fishermen throughout the week. A lot of people are out taking advantage of the nice weather. Other than the overnight blizzard, it has been a very pleasant fall and the firearm deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 8. Deer hunters are reminded to purchase their license and to remember that some of the products sold in the stores are not legal for deer hunting. If it has anything other than minerals in it, it is a violation to use it for deer hunting.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked hunters, trappers and whitefish netters during the week. The CO believes that this year will go down as a pretty good year for grouse hunters as many checked during the season reported good luck. The CO also  looked around for people placing bait to attract deer. The CO found some bear stands still left up after the season so some hunters will return next year to find their stands removed from federal and state lands.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) closed out the inland trout season checking lakes and anglers. The officer also concentrated efforts on enforcement of aquatic invasive species transport laws. Several locations were checked for deer bait, including a couple of tips from concerned hunters. While checking area gravel pits, the officer noted an abundance of trash, shell casings, and “targets” left behind by target shooters including cymbals, a milk can, a pillow and circular saw blades, all giving a bad name to responsible shooters.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily trapping, small game, and waterfowl enforcement through the week. Violations encountered included illegal body gripping trap sets, no small game license in possession, underage alcohol violation, and no PFD. The cold front and accumulating snow brought few new ducks into the area, and grouse hunters weren’t finding much success either. Assistance was given on a call in Winton in which an individual led an Ely officer on a high speed pursuit then barricaded herself in her house.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunting activity. Time was spent on ATV as well. CO Schottenbauer also checked for AIS law compliance.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small game hunters and trappers. The Officer met with the assistant county attorney regarding past cases and attended court for a trial. Wahlstrom monitored ATV trails and worked an AIS detail with Officer Manning.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) investigated trapping and trespass complaints during the week and answered questions regarding the firearms deer season. Recent cold temperatures have started to freeze some shallow ponds in the area.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse hunters, waterfowl hunters, and trappers. Much of the week was spent documenting deer baiting complaints for visits during the deer season.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, worked archery complaints and assisted with a search for a missing person. The cold north winds brought many diving ducks into the area. Enforcement action was taken for take rough fish out of season, no license in possession and trapping issues.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) helped a neighboring officer work a complaint involving a whitefish net that was set early. Enforcement action was taken for netting early. She also checked on a trapping complaint and checked regular trapping activity. She assisted with an accidental catch involving a wolf where the animal was released from the trap.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowl hunters with some good success had by local hunters. The first big push of northern birds came through over the past week and with the weather outlook more should be arriving soon. CO Sutherland took enforcement action over the week for operating an ATV on the paved portion of a county road, operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV under 18 without a helmet and allowing a minor to illegally operate an ATV.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked fishermen, ATVs, trappers and small game hunters. He also worked on several hunting complaints during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week checking grouse and duck hunters. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATV carelessly. Numerous car deer permits were issued throughout the week.


CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) assisted with several complaints of illegal fishing. CO Velsvaag also responded to a call about suspicious activity near a campground and took several calls about deer season.


Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) investigated trapping, stand theft and deer baiting complaints. Many deer hunting questions were answered. WREO Arhart worked wetland and public waters cases. He also worked on equipment. Officer Arhart is retiring November 4, 2014, and would like to thank all the people that helped him during his 23- year DNR Enforcement career in the Thief River Falls, Aitkin, Deer River  and Squaw Lake stations!

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trapping complaints during the week. He also checked trappers and handled trespassing complaints. ATV complaint areas were worked.   Officer Schmidt assisted area officers with shining work and balsam bough and spruce top complaints were investigated.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking duck, grouse and archery deer hunters. A few complaints of baiting prior to the firearms deer season are being investigated. Complaints of illegal nighttime shinning of deer are considerably lower this year. A few issues dealing with trapping were also handled during the week

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued field training with a COC and spent the week dealing with a large variety of complaints and phone calls. Officers conducted investigations into a garbage dumping complaint, a wetland violation complaint and a trapper harassment complaint. Two separate wolf control zones are being monitored.  Several trapping locations were checked. Officers are dealing with deer stand issues on public lands and deer baiting incidents.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked big and small game enforcement. Small game hunters were active over the weekend with mixed results being reported. Patrols were made into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and local wildlife management areas. Several traps were checked for compliance. Calls and questions continued to be received about upcoming firearms deer season. CO Humphrey participated in deer shining work and investigated a timber trespass on state land.  CO Humphrey also assisted the Sheriff’s Dept. with a shots fired call in Automba. Violations for no license in possession, taking fuel wood without a permit and ATV operation were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to a group of Cub Scouts in the Esko area about the duties of a Conservation Officer, endangered species and invasive species. A K9 meeting was attended in the metro area where training was conducted. K9 assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies where a person was found stealing copper wiring. K9 Schody found the suspect and also key evidence that will be used in his prosecution. Time was spent patrolling the Nemadji State forest where enforcement action was taken for ATV registration and hunting license violations.

WREO Mike Scott completed a background investigation on a potential new Conservation Officer. Grouse hunters and waterfowl hunters where checked with more success on both as the season progress. Several ATVs were checked with a juvenile male found to operating on a county highway with father who was on another ATV with a loaded uncased handgun. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a Motor Vehicle and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a Juvenile.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked small game hunters north of Duluth, and assisted the Sheriff’s Office with several calls and traffic stops. Olson checked area North Shore rivers for fall fish run activity, responded to a landowner dispute, field calls on the upcoming firearms deer season, responded to a bear complaint, worked active shining complaints and tended to watercraft maintenance items.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week finishing up the background packet for a candidate for the CO Prep program. He also went on an injured bear and deer call and gave away both for consumption. He assisted the sheriff’s department on a domestic. The CO also worked some night activity on complaints.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received complaints of trespassing that were investigated. Work was done with both DNR wildlife and fishery staff in enforcement of motor vehicle use on Aquatic Management Areas and leaving stands/equipment overnight on Wildlife Management Areas. Citations and warnings were issued.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fall hunting activity during the week. Time was also spent in court on contested alcohol cases.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked small game hunters this past week along with anglers on area lakes. Officer Lee followed on a Watercraft Inspector report of a party entering an access with zebra mussels, and aquatic macrophytes attached to the watercraft. The party was issued citations for these violations. Officer Lee also followed up on a waters violation with a Wetland Enforcement Officer where a large amount of sand had been dumped into the lake in an attempt to make a sand beach area. It was determined that there was only a minor violation in what the individual had done, and he would be taking action to correct the violation. Officer Lee followed up on a report of possible trapping before season and preempting a trapping location. The individual was identified and received citations for violations.  Officer Lee also followed up on baiting violations for the upcoming deer season.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) answered many questions related to deer season and trapping. TIP calls of illegal deer baiting, and an overlimit of turkeys were taken. A wolf control area was opened for an area rancher and the officer also helped out with the annual rifle sight-in day at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including checking waterfowl, small game, bow deer hunting, and trapping activity, and investigating complaints of suspicious hunting and trapping. Enforcement contacts were made for waterfowl hunters with unplugged shotgun, toxic shot, and possession of marijuana.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) continued to check duck hunters who started bagging more ring necks , as well as checking fall hunters. She spent time checking for deer baiting and shining activity.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for small game hunting activity. CO McGowan also investigated TIP calls, and answered numerous questions regarding the upcoming deer season. CO McGowan also attended a court trial in Dakota Co.

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored hunting fishing and trail use in the Cuyuna Country SRA and Pillsbury State Forest. He and CO Collette worked with park staff to conduct the annual Cuyuna Country deer rifle range day. He also investigated an archery deer hunting violation, assisted the Crosby Police and extinguished an unattended fire in the Pillsbury State Forest.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) continued to check anglers and did some deer season prep work. Concerns were addressed regarding trespassing, stand placement, and trapping season.  There are a lot of waterfowl in the area including swans. Hunters are reminded to check their target and what’s beyond to avoid spraying people and property with pellets.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) conducted invasive species checks with boaters and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Anglers were checked on Mille Lacs with a report of a slow walleye bite and a few success stories of muskies being caught. Small game hunters were checked and a few more woodcock are showing up in the bag. Complaints regarding the upcoming firearms deer season were fielded. Enforcement action was taken for loading a transported firearm, hunting small game without a license, failing to renew ATV registration and other various ATV violations.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working small and big game hunters on state and county land throughout the week and weekend. The Officer checked on a TIP of baiting for deer and also checked several areas in the Solana State Forest for forestry and ATV violations. A presentation was given to a local Cub Scout group on what a CO does and how we protect our natural resources. Time was also spent monitoring shining activity and the Officer checked several waterfowl hunters during the week. Questions regarding fall hunting, ATV, trapping, and AIS laws were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A trapping related complaint was investigated and trapping activity was monitored over the weekend.  Some equipment maintenance was performed on station equipment in preparation for the busy firearm deer season.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked waterfowl hunters and reminded them not to transport lake water and to clear equipment of aquatic plants. Speldrich investigated areas where hunters may be baiting deer and checked archery deer hunters. Trapping areas were patrolled. She received calls of hunter harassment, portable stand theft, issued car kill deer possession tags and general hunting questions. Speldrich received a call for the east metro area where a hunter had shot a deer thinking it was a coyote. The call was forwarded to the correct area but, with firearms season just days away, this is a good reminder to hunt safe and know your target.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked with several other neighboring officers on a big game case in which bear and deer issues were addressed. Trespass issues are surfacing and increasing as deer rifle season approaches. A few new ducks came in, which made die hard hunters happy.   A wolf depredation situation took much of the week. Baiting situations for deer continue to be a great concern. A duck boat without any PFDs called for enforcement action.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC) spent the week preparing for the upcoming deer season. The officers fielded calls from the public regarding nuisance otter, ATV permits, and deer hunting regulations. Officers investigated a wetland complaint where a landowner was found to be placing logs into a wetland in an attempt to create a floating bridge. The landowner agreed to remove the illegal fill. The officers spoke at the Hinckley/Pine City Flames snowmobile safety class where they informed approximately 40 students of snowmobile regulations and safe snowmobile operation. The officers spent the remainder of the time checking small game hunters, ATV riders, investigating the theft of leg hold traps and recovering trapped wolves from wolf control areas.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered questions about the upcoming deer season and concerns with nuisance beavers during the week. He checked waterfowl hunters, ATV complaint areas, and worked AIS enforcement in the Pine City area over the weekend. He also checked anglers and boaters who were out winterizing motors and going out for their final time for the open water season.

WREO Rob Haberman worked on AIS enforcement t local accesses. WREO Haberman also checked small game hunters and trappers over the weekend. One hunter was checked and was transporting a loaded  .22 caliber rifle in his Class 2 ATV; law enforcement action was taken. WREO Haberman also worked on and closed wetland cases in his assigned work area.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking on trapping activity and looking for pheasant hunters. CO Silgjord also prepared for the upcoming firearms deer season.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, hunters and deer shining activity. Car/deer accidents are increasing this time of year. Reminder: Get a permit before you pick up a car kill deer. Assistance was given to neighboring officers on a deer shining work crew. Duck and pheasant success was slow in the Albany area.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) has been getting calls of the annual neighbor feuds with the upcoming deer opener looming. The calls include neighbors trespassing, neighbors harassing each other and neighbors stealing stands and game cameras. The most common cause of the problems is due to deer stands being built or put up right at property lines. Hunters are reminded that it is illegal to leave portable deer hunting stands overnight or build permanent deer stands in Wildlife Management Areas.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) completed background investigations and mandatory training. CO Friese participated in a shining detail. A trapping complaint is under investigation.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) heard from a 10-year-old boy who is trying to get into trapping only to find that someone stole his traps. A bow hunter disappointed with the fact his hunting area went from a five deer to a one deer limit was found with an untagged and unregistered deer. He was continuing to hunt attempting to take additional deer and now faces a range of charges, loss of hunting privileges and equipment. A person building a garage placed fill in a wetland in violation of WCA rules. County planning and zoning also placed a stop work order on the project until SWCD can evaluate. CO Kuske assisted the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department with the apprehension of an individual wanted on a felony warrant. As deer season draws near CO Kuske is receiving a heavy volume of calls, many questions about how many deer a person can shoot, but most are related the quarrels that ensue over the placement of deer stands in conjunction with property lines.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies also checked trappers along with waterfowl hunters. CO Mies worked on wetland complaints.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked waterfowl and archery deer hunters and a few trappers. Violations were found for fail to tag a deer and illegal shining after hours. ATV complaint areas were worked.


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters and issues summons and written warnings for taking non-game migratory birds (grebes) and unsigned federal waterfowl stamp. He followed up on a TIP call of a lend and borrow. He took enforcement action on a number of deer hunting violations charges pending.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) completed Step 4 of FTO with a COC. Areas worked this past week included angling, waterfowl, small game and archery deer. Calls for service included a bear cub on the loose in Clearwater. An individual reported that while he was enjoying a milk shake in fast food parking lot, a bear cub came up and swiped it from him. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the bear cub was not a Black Bear as thought but rather a Syrian European Brown Bear cub. The cub was apprehended without incident and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility until the owner could be located. The owner later realized the cub had escaped and made attempts to locate it. Turns out the bear couldn’t ignore the restaurant’s sweet aromas and busted out of his crate and transport trailer to indulge while the owner was sampling some for himself. The owner produced the proper documentation and was reunited with his cub. Steps will be taken to minimize the possibility of another escape in the future. Enforcement action was taken for failure to sign federal duck stamp, no federal duck stamp, untagged traps and illegally setting water traps.


CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports many hunters were out with the nice weather. Pheasant hunters found a few birds. Late season duck hunters were out but low numbers of birds were reported. The bow hunters report lots of rut activity in the area. Shining activity was also patrolled in the area.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked hunters during the week. Time was spent investigating a garbage dumping complaint in the Kunkel WMA. The suspect was tacked down and enforcement action was taken. Complaints of trespassing and “road” hunting have been received and investigations are ongoing.


CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked deer shiners with other officers over the weekend, and responded to a forestry fire. Officer Londgren also checked trappers, hunters, anglers, ATVs, and patrolled local WMAs. A case was made on a husband/wife combination that were lending and borrowing deer tags, transporting deer illegally, and had an over limit.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked TIP calls on deer and turkey baiting. The trapping opener was worked finding a lot of trappers after muskrats. Waterfowl hunters were checked all week having good success on some days and seeing nothing on other days. Telephone calls were returned every day on hunting and trapping questions.


CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for waterfowl hunting activity. Salzer continued to work on reports on events from the past week. Salzer assisted with multiple firearms safety classes at the Champlin Park High School Outdoor Adventures class.


CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week monitoring hunting activity and finding many waterfowl hunters frustrated with this year’s delayed migration.  CO Grewe assisted a neighboring officer with a lend and borrow case and continued investigating other complaints received. Violations included license issues.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck and bow hunters in Scott County this past week. He assisted a neighboring officer with an injured deer in Woodbury and assisted a Wisconsin Warden with fishing violations. He responded to TIP complaints and returned phone calls to the Hmong community on big game and small game hunting regulations.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in Bloomington Station. He fielded many calls for hunting regulations, TIP calls and injured animals in West Metro area. He assisted with a wetland violation case in an East Metro city and the case is still pending. He attended a District meeting and law update at the Central Region Headquarters. He took enforcement action for illegal transportation of big game animal and issued a car killed permit for a deer.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small game, archery deer and waterfowl hunters. CO Arntzen responded to an injured deer call, issued a car kill deer permit and investigated TIP complaints. He also did AIS enforcement, handled questions about the firearms deer season and trespassing issues.


CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked trappers on opening day of the trapping season. He also checked duck hunters, and handled several hunting complaints. CO Johnson removed a tree stand that had been left in Carlos Avery WMA. He conducted AIS checks during the week.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl, pheasant and bow hunters around the metro WMAs and fields during the week. He investigated a TIP complaint of a possible big game violation and assisted a neighboring conservation officer with a big game violation. CO Pril also responded to animal calls and other calls throughout the week.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week finishing up a pre-employment background investigation on an applicant. WREO Block attended a meeting in St. Paul and conducted several site visits across the metro regarding possible shoreline violations. Big game and small game hunting activity was also monitored.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) found an individual bow hunting in a tree stand over bait and he immediately said he was hunting squirrels. When CO Kruse got him to admit that he was indeed hunting deer, she asked for his deer hunting license and he didn’t have one. Enforcement action was taken. CO Kruse assisted with a fire call in which a party failed to extinguish a bonfire and it started burning the neighboring wetland. She dealt with a game farm case, handled nuisance animal calls and issued ATV permits. CO Kruse worked on a shoreline violation case, had equipment training and checked numerous small game, waterfowl and archery deer hunters.

Eagan – vacant.

Hastings – vacant.

Maplewood – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) did his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. Pheasant hunters are doing very well with the corn almost completely out. Trapping is in full swing, with several early trap placements found. A duck was reported in the town of Tyler was found to be a domestic duck that is roaming the neighborhood. Taxidermy inspections are underway.  Enforcement action was taken on set traps near water early take and dog chasing deer.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported Camden State Park held its annual youth deer hunt over the weekend. High winds made things more difficult for the young hunters. Trapping was the main enforcement focus during the week with multiple violations discovered dealing with trapping within 50 feet of water before the start of the south zone mink/muskrat season. Fishing, waterfowl, and archery deer hunting enforcement was also worked. Waterfowl hunters are still waiting for the big influx of northern mallards. With the corn harvest over 70 percent complete a few more pheasants are being seen.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, archery deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunting activity during the week. Pheasant and waterfowl hunters are having marginal success.  Waterfowl hunters are reminded to know the “Rules of Thumb,” reference water access and recreational use. Violations encountered:  trespassing, camping at public water access and hunting within an SNA.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended an R4 AIS meeting at Laq Qui Parle State park. AIS training was attended in Anoka. WCA and PW cases were closed out in the Southern region. Hunters and fishermen were checked in empty stations.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) checked anglers, pheasant hunters, duck hunters, and archery bow hunters. He reports pheasant hunters are having more success with the crops coming off of the landscape.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked waterfowl hunters, trappers and archery hunters. He received complaints of trap theft, trespass, and deer stands left in public hunting areas. Denz also followed up on a deer hunting complaint.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) along with CO Nelson worked the water trapping opener on Swan Lake in Nicollet County. One trapper was found to be setting traps before the start at 9am. Duck and pheasant hunters were also checked during the week. Mueller also investigated some illegal fires.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) concentrated on AIS enforcement. Waterfowl hunters and trappers were reminded to drain water and remove aquatic vegetation. Oberg reports both duck and duck hunter numbers were down in the area. Time was also spent checking walleye anglers on rivers.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding trespass concerns and a possible wetland violation. He worked primarily waterfowl, trapping, boating and small game activities. Nelson also noted more mallards and gadwalls are coming through the area.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked waterfowl, pheasant and other small game hunters. Archery deer hunters were checked as well. Gruhlke noted fewer pheasant hunters in the area this past weekend and waterfowl hunters were finding it difficult too. Gruhlke also worked AIS awareness throughout the week.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the bi-monthly Fairmont City Council meeting in assistance with the Martin County Soil and Water staff. Information and education was presented on the importance of a proactive approach to the prevention of invasive species.  Waterfowl, small game hunters and trappers were checked. One waterfowl hunter was reluctant to show a duck that he had shot due to not knowing what it was or if it was legal to shoot. The duck presented to this officer was a ruddy duck and was shot on the water. Target identification was emphasized. Trapping complaints were fielded and trappers were advised that even though they are trapping legally that ethics also come into play.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked trapping, big game, and small game activity. CO Howe participated in work crews for big game enforcement and the muskrat trapping opener. Waterfowl and pheasant hunting were slow for most of the week.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers as well as deer, waterfowl and other small game hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring trapping activity. CO Ihnen also responded to trespassing complaints and monitored AIS compliance.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, big game, small game, and migratory waterfowl activity during the week. Numerous complaints were received regarding trapping activity, several violations were encountered.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on trapping, waterfowl hunting, and shining activity this week. The weekend was spent responding to trapping complaints as numerous complaints are already coming in with the opening of the trapping season. Time was also spent checking anglers and doing AIS inspections.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working small game hunting, archery (deer) hunting, and trapping activity. Time was spent investigating trespass complaints. Car killed deer possession permits were issued. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked waterfowl hunters, small game hunters and fielded several questions about the upcoming deer season this past week. Complaints of trespassing were handled.

WREO Julie Siems finished conducting a background for a CO applicant.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) worked with a COC.  They finished up a waterfowl investigation, checked deer and duck hunters, and worked evenings in shining complaint areas. The archery deer hunters were out heavy and many had success.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports finishing step 4 training with a new COC. The officer worked fishing, waterfowl and big game enforcement as well as investigating numerous calls and complaints regarding trapping and trespass. Fishing on the big river has slowed down a little and mainly divers were found in the bag. Enforcement action involved early shooting, unlawful transporting loaded firearms, no license/stamps, etc.

CO Phil George (Rochester) continued field training with a COC checking hunters and a few anglers. Lots of phone calls and questions regarding fall hunting issues. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display current watercraft registration, take deer not meeting antler point restrictions in zone 3.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) investigated many calls this past week, included taking deer after hours, taking muskrat during closed season, trespass, hunting on a SNA land, marijuana grow on a state WMA and illegal shining. Backwaters had skim ice for the first time this season. More ducks are moving into the area. Plenty of deer moving with farmers harvesting the corn.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy weekend. Deer hunters, trappers, waterfowl hunters and turkey hunters were checked. Deer hunters are seeing more deer activity and success has been good. Trespass calls were investigated. Other violations encountered were illegal shining and operating a motor vehicle on closed state forest land. Firearms deer hunters were also out preparing deer stands and deer camps for next week’s opener.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly waterfowl and deer hunters during the week. Duck hunters had better luck with the cooler weather. Heyn continues to check into deer hunting complaints for various violations. Heyn also handled other calls and equipment maintenance.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, archery hunters and responding to complaints of baiting. Time was also spent working shining complaint areas, assisting the Red Wing Police Department and checking on some trapping complaints. Archery hunters are having some success but fall fishing success continues to be slow. Some fishing violations were detected.

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) reported flying a night shining flight in support of ground officers. Jensen had aircraft maintenance performed so other ground tasks were completed. Numerous flight requests await for the coming week before opening firearm deer season.


NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten/wolf telemetry and a Forest Assessment photo flight. Heineman also attended a moose meeting addressing the upcoming 2015 moose survey.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) attended the moose survey planning meeting, worked on aircraft maintenance, and prepped for upcoming pilot training. Trout stream survey flights were postponed due to weather.

CO Pilot Robert Geving (Mankato) flew big game, wetland violation, and a search for stolen property. Geving also flew a waterfowl survey out of Eveleth. Not much to report regarding numbers of waterfowl.

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 worked on Instructor Policy directive and revisions to the Firearms Safety Instructor PowerPoint, Class Plan and Instructor training materials. Patten reviewed Instructor training from other states and took an internet based instructor course to assess if it is something Minnesota could use. Patten gave a radio interview on fall and winter survival with KUMD radio in Duluth. Patten attended and spoke at US Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Annual meeting/training in Duluth with the DNR Marine Unit Sergeant Keith Olson.  Olson and Patten presented training on breaking through the ice and getting out of the water; aftermath survival – fire and shelter building.

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence worked on training topics for revised safety instructor training with RTO Patten. Also, RTO Lawrence spoke with future firearms safety applicants about training requirements and expectations. RTO Lawrence assisted Acting RTO Neitzke at the Dakota County Gun Club with a firearms safety field day and training for existing FAS instructors. RTO Lawrence received communication from an archery hunter who found a wounded deer near an island on the St. Croix River area.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke reviewed online hunter education course materials. He set up and assisted with a firearms safety range day at Dakota County Gun Club. RTO Neitzke answered public questions regarding firearms safety certification process. He also worked big game violation complaint areas with CO Quandt.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on the safety instructors’ application process. Time was also spent dealing with equipment issues and instructor training.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens attended the Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Conservation Advisory Council meeting one day last week. He also made updates to the ATV Safety Training web page, put together information for a newsletter and finished required online training.



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