From the “Gun Caliber or Blood Alcohol Content” Department:
Osakis: ” On opening morning, a hunter was found, still legally intoxicated from the night before, hunting over bait with his 14-year-old son. An arrest was made for hunting while intoxicated and the baiting violation. “
“Corn? What corn? Oh that? I was just eating popcorn in my stand this morning, I swear”:
International Falls: “Some hunters while sitting in their deer stands on opening morning were wondering why the local conservation officers were paying them a visit so early to discuss why the corn was spread on the forest floor below their deer stands. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over baited area and transporting loaded firearms.”
A Teaching Moment:
“One call from a father with his 12-year-old son was handled where the boy shot and killed their first buck that walked by their stand. As the young hunter and father were looking at the buck it was discovered that the deer had already been shot once. Several minutes later a hunter following the deer tracks and blood trail approached them and told them he had shot the deer and was tracking it. The young hunter decided to give the deer the hunter as, in their words, “It was the right thing to do.” Although this was hard for the young hunter he understood that he prevented the deer from going to waste. Hats off to this young man!”
Survival of the Fittest:
Crosby: “A doe deer was found to have met her death not by a hunter’s bullet, but by her own temptation. The doe got her head stuck in a garden fence and apparently broke her own neck while trying to free herself.”
From the “Giving Hunters a Bad Name” Department
Onamia: “A large doe was found shot and left in a WMA, as well as a nice canvasback drake found dumped at a public access.”
Here are the rest of the infractions:
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked firearms deer activity throughout Roseau, Marshall, and Kittson Counties. Harvest numbers seemed fair despite conservative deer limits. Violations for the weekend included Hunt over a Baited Area, leave permanent stand in a WMA, fail to tag deer, illegal party hunting, and erecting a permanent structure on State Forest land.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) successfully completed field training and assumed his duties in his new station covering Warroad, with an emphasis on Lake of the Woods. Areas worked included small and big game. Hunters contacted reported seeing far less deer than in previous years. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate site tag, failure to affix tag prior to transport and hunt deer over baited area.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week patrolling the Beltrami Island and Lake of the Woods state forests. Time was spent working rifle deer opener, which didn’t have as good of harvest results as many hoped. Multiple people “forgot” that hunting over bait is illegal and enforcement action was taken and firearms were seized. Time was also spent checking small game hunters and traps in the state forests and follow-up for illegal ATV activity was completed.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) began working the Baudette station. Time was spent prepping for the upcoming Firearms Deer Season. CO Prachar worked with Capt. Dunn during the opener. They worked in the Beltrami Island State Forest and talked with multiple hunting groups. Hunters attribute the lack of deer being shot to the cold, incredibly windy weather. Enforcement action for the week included numerous transport loaded firearms.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spent the past week preparing for the firearms deer opener. Area hunters reported mixed success. Enforcement action for the week included transport loaded firearm in motor vehicle, untagged deer, fail to validate site tag, shoot from roadway at big game, open alcohol container on ATV on State Highway, operate ATV in closed hours, and WMA violations for blocking gates and leaving stands overnight.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked ATV activity, small game activity, and the opening weekend of the Firearms Deer season. Enforcement action for the week included ATV violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working small game, trapping and the busy opening weekend of the Firearms Deer Season throughout the week. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer on multiple hunting over bait cases. Time was spent investigating a litter/carcass dumping complaint, issuing several car killed deer possession permits and target range permits. Enforcement actions for the week included multiple hunting over bait and unlawfully transporting loaded firearms violations.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and a COC had dozens of contacts with firearms deer hunters over the opener weekend. Hunter success rates were low, but some nice bucks were taken. Trespassing complaints were handled. The officers had several contacts for hunting deer over baited areas. Enforcement action was taken for leaving portable stands unattended overnight in WMAs, hunting deer over bait, taking a doe in a lottery area without a permit, and unlawful party hunting. Other violations included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, unregistered deer, failure to validate site tags, failure to attach site tags, lend/borrow a license/tag, expired ATV registration, and take a big game animal without a license. Several firearms and animals were seized as a result of hunting violations. Waterfowl hunters were encountered earlier in the week with decent success had by hunters.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked bait sites and deer hunters. He assisted other agencies, handled car kills and other deceased wildlife complaints. A wolf depredation was completed. Two cattle were killed, three problem wolves removed. One man was killed in a hunting accident. The Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked deer hunters, investigated bait complaints and assisted with a suicidal male.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy opening weekend of the firearms deer season. CO Vollbrecht worked with neighboring officers on several baiting cases. Deer hunters are reporting slow activity in the woods. Officer worked the TIP trailer and lasershot booth at the Governor’s Deer Opener banquet. Time was spent talking with local media about the upcoming deer season and speaking with an 8th grade science class regarding the career of a CO and deer hunting regulations. A trespass complaint was received and investigated.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) primarily worked deer hunting activity throughout the week. Waterfowl hunting and AIS compliance was also monitored. Officer Holt along with Officer Vollbrecht and a COC worked a TIP compliant where an individual had taken a deer out of season while shining. The officer also assisted with the Governor’s Deer Opener which was hosted in Bemidji. The opening of the firearms deer season was very busy with many hunters checked in and around the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Several hunters were found hunting deer over bait and enforcement action was taken. Other violations encountered included illegal possession of a firearm prior to the opening of the firearms deer season and transporting a loaded firearm.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking area trappers and trap sets for compliance, waterfowl numbers varied with few hunters. Deer opener seemed slow with mixed success. Enforcement action was taken for shooting big game from a road right of way, transporting a loaded firearm and trespassing.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked with CO Adam on a deer bait case resulting in 4 violations of hunting over bait in which firearms were seized. Miscellaneous violations of transporting a loaded firearm, failing to validate tag and no license in possession violations were handled. Follow up on a wildfire was also conducted. It was found that a cigarette was the likely cause. CO Peterson also spoke to a Menahga High School science class about natural resources, laws and CO duties.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports the deer opener was fair at best. It appeared hunter numbers were down and harvest was down also. Time was spent working on baiting cases, shooting from roadway, and shooting within 500 feet of a residence. Time was also spent following up on trapping case, checking waterfowl hunters, and working small game hunters.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked migratory waterfowl hunting activity including follow up on complaints of possible illegal hunting activity. Waterfowl hunting equipment and anglers were monitored for AIS compliance. CO Warren checked hunters, hunting camps and followed up on complaints during the firearm deer season opener. Hunters reported fewer numbers of deer seen and taken compared to previous years. A trapping complaint was received with the investigation ongoing.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent his first week in the Moorhead patrol station. CO Landmark spoke to youth hunters at the Buffalo River State Park youth hunt orientation. The excited young hunters were reminded to handle their firearms safely and enjoy the weekend hunt. He also conducted an interview with a local TV station regarding game laws and hunter safety. CO Landmark observed low deer numbers in the area with many hunters reporting a slow season. CO Landmark investigated complaints regarding trespassing, shooting from the roadway, shooting after hours, deer baiting, and hunting in a scientific natural area. CO Landmark took enforcement action for failure to validate deer tag, transporting an untagged deer, shooting from the roadway, trespassing, and insufficient blaze orange.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS compliance and fishing activity around Detroit and Pelican Lake. Time was spent on open WCA and PW cases. The firearms deer opener was worked in the Warroad area. Baiting cases were made and many hunters checked with few deer seen.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) concentrated on the firearms deer season. Questions were answered throughout the week and a local radio interview was done. Waterfowl hunters were also checked with temperature projections leading most hunters to think the end of the season is near. Violations addressed were related to deer hunting with some firearms seized. Most hunters checked reported little activity.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time prior to deer season responding to numerous trespass and boundary line complaints. Plautz retrieved an injured red tail hawk from the side of the road and sought medical attention for it. Plautz worked a busy deer opener with many hunters having good success. Violations encountered were shooting deer from a roadway, fail to validate deer tag, fail to immediately tag big game animal, untagged big game animal, hunt over bait, and trespass.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked pheasant, waterfowl and deer hunters. Additional time was spent checking trappers and trapping activity. Complaints were handled regarding shooting at deer from the roadway, MV trespass on a WPA and deer shining activity. Several questions have been answered regarding the F/A deer hunting regulations.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked deer hunters and pheasant hunters. Deer hunting success was below average along with participation. Deer baiting and tagging issues have been the most common violations encountered this week.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked deer hunting activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, untagged deer, invalidated deer tag and illegal tree stands on a WMA. Overall, hunter’s kept themselves safe and introduced lots of kids to the sport. Several deer being hit by vehicles were reported and handled by law enforcement.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) prepared for and worked the firearms deer season. Several complaints were received and investigated and enforcement action was taken in several incidents. On opening morning, a hunter was found, still legally intoxicated from the night before, hunting over bait with his 14-year-old son. An arrest was made for hunting while intoxicated and the baiting violation. A case was made on an archery hunter hunting without a license. Additional time was spent working small game, waterfowl, pheasant, and trapping activity. Fishing activity continues and enforcement action was taken for another Lake Osakis crappie overlimit.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the opening of firearms deer season and waterfowl hunting activity. COs Anderson and Nelson worked a waterfowl and deer hunting work crew in the vacant Wheaton station. COs Anderson and Baumbarger also worked a deer hunting workcrew in the Glenwood station on Sunday of the opener. Minnow transportation permits were issued. Calls were fielded from the public regarding disability deer hunting permits, FAS requirements, and firearms deer season questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports decent weather for the deer opener saw a lot of hunters out, with many enjoying success. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking deer hunters, trappers, waterfowl hunters, and pheasant hunters. Additional time was spent attending a district meeting, preparing equipment for winter storage, participating in a shining work detail, and checking complaints of stands being left overnight on public hunting areas. Baumbarger received complaints of deer shining, hunter harassment, complaints of shooting within 500 feet of a house and deer baiting.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy firearms deer opener. Parthun was part of a work detail during which 10 separate baiting offenders were apprehended before 9 AM on opening day. Parthun encountered two young hunters who had both shot their very first deer. Their fathers were very proud. Enforcement action was taken for hunting on a closed game refuge, hunting over bait, insufficient blaze orange, hunting without a license, taking an antlerless deer without an antlerless permit, untagged big animal, failure to validate site tags and no license in possession.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters and fishermen. Unlawful party hunting, trespass and hunting over bait seemed to be the most common violations over the opener. A hunter fell out of a tree stand after the strap broke and was transported by air ambulance.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked the firearm deer season opener. A trespass call was handled where a deer was shot on a property line. A few calls of dumped deer were taken, one of which was apparently a road killed buck that was field dressed and the head removed. Citations were issued for hunting over bait, and failing to validate a deer tag. Hunters are reminded that the site tags must be validated before removing the animal from the kill site. Many hunters were checked with intensive harvest permits in their possession. Unfortunately for them, there are no intensive or managed zones anywhere nearby where they can be used. Hunters are also reminded to know the bag limits and the permit types in the zone they are hunting. Several car killed deer permits were also issued.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) spent a busy week primarily checking deer hunting related activities. A lost grouse hunter was found. CO Mathy responded to a call of an unoccupied boat floating on Leech Lake that was nothing more than one that was blown free from a nearby shoreline. CO Mathy also assisted with the Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener event in Bemidji. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, shooting from a road, transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle, ATV in closed hours, trespassing, and marijuana.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on waterfowl and deer hunting activity. Waterfowl hunters that braved the weather had success. CO Broughten worked the firearms deer season opener. Deer hunting success was poor with few hunters seeing deer. Deer hunting pressure also appeared to be down from previous years. CO Broughten investigated several complaints of deer baiting where multiple hunters were cited and their firearms seized. In one instance while checking deer licenses CO Broughten made contact with an individual that did not have a license and was currently prohibited from possessing a firearm. The firearm was seized. CO Broughten arrested the individual for violating his probation and hunting without a license. Enforcement action included hunting deer over bait, failure to validate deer site tag, and take deer without a valid license.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the deer season opener. Complaints on wanton waste deer, shooting off the road, and hunting over bait were investigated by Halverson. Some very nice deer were shot; fewer hunters and less deer were seen in the field.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled area forest roads and trails checking firearm deer hunters. Several decent bucks were harvested. Investigations and violations for allowing illegal juvenile operation ATV, unauthorized trails construction, wildfire ignition source, hunting deer over bait, use of radio equipment/wireless to take protected wild animals, transport loaded firearm and take antlerless in wrong permit area.
WREO Shane Siltala checked deer hunters over opening weekend. Success seemed to be limited with the windy conditions. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. He also assisted officers with various hunting related violations over the past week. He also issued two WCA restoration orders for wetland violations.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the least amount of activity he has seen for deer hunting. Overall, the worst deer hunting he has seen along with the lowest numbers of deer hunters. A number of traditional hunting camps sat vacant. Phone calls and watercraft storage continue.
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports opening weekend of firearms deer season as slow with very few deer taken or seen. Some hunters while sitting in their deer stands on opening morning were wondering why the local conservation officers were paying them a visit so early to discuss why the corn was spread on the forest floor below their deer stands. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over baited area and transporting loaded firearms. Kittelson and CO Van Asch assisted the State Patrol with a one vehicle crash which involved the vehicle along with a horse trailer striking a power pole and knocking power lines across highway, all parties including the horse were uninjured.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports checking hunters for the opening deer season. Hunters are reporting that the deer numbers have been very low throughout the area during the opening weekend. Time was also spent investigating complaints of illegal hunting activities in the area. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over baited area and transporting a loaded firearm. CO Kittelson and Van Asch also assisted local law enforcement after an SUV and horse trailer hit a power pole leaving live wires hanging across the highway.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working the 2014 F/A deer hunting opening weekend. There were few hunters and fewer deer in the area. A couple large bucks were observed. Smaller lakes and rivers are starting to freeze over. Keep an eye on pets and kids so they don’t go out on this dangerous ice.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) Officer spent the week preparing for upcoming deer season. Enforcement action was taken on early discharge of a firearm, hunting over bait, untagged deer, no blaze orange while hunting, and numerous failure to have hunting license in possession. Officer investigated and assisted DNR Wildlife with a call of an injured moose with a radio caller, no apparent foul play and wildlife took animal for analysis.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) documented baited deer stands ahead of deer opener, worked small game and trapping seasons and the firearms deer opener. Windy and cold temperatures deterred many deer hunters from staying in the woods. The low numbers of deer was reflected in low numbers of bucks being taken. Deer baiting was again present and the officer cleared half of the baited stands with citations the first weekend. ATV deer hunters driving during the restricted times was the highest violation rate the officer has seen. A deer hunter was sitting in his car while the loaded rifle he had been using was leaning against the rear bumper and pointed near his back. The hunter didn’t seem to think there was a problem with it when the officer brought it to his attention. Enforcement action was taken on hunt deer over baited area, transport loaded firearm, take deer with an invalid license, operate ATV during restricted times, no deer license in possession, fail to validate deer site tag, fail to display ATV registration, and willful trespass.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on a report of a suspicious vehicle seen off-road east of Cotton. The vehicle was located and the two occupants were cutting boughs on county land without a permit. One of the two occupants was arrested on an outstanding warrant. CO Frericks met with the owner of a dog that was caught in a trap. The dog owner was concerned about walking through the area in the future and that it might not be legal to trap there. CO Frericks advised her that it was legal to trap where the trap was located and that people had been trapping at that spot for decades. CO Frericks then instructed the dog owner on how to remove a dog from a trap. A very slow deer hunting opener was encountered. It appears that cold temps, high winds and low deer numbers kept hunters out of the woods. Few deer were seen that had been taken. A common violation encountered was failure to validate a deer tag. Several hunters learned that hard way that they need to read the ingredients on the materials they put in front of the deer stands. These hunters received citations for hunting deer over bait.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received complaints of hunters cutting trees on private property which turned out to be spruce top cutters. Last minute hunters were sighting in rifles within the five days prior to season at an area gravel pit that is within four miles of a designated rifle range. Hunter open was slow with fewer than normal hunters out, very few bucks seen, and many stating they are pulling the plug after sitting all weekend and not seeing a thing. Fredin asked one hunter for his hunting license and the hunter responded that he didn’t have one and he was party hunting off his friend’s license.
Ray – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) had a busy and active firearms deer opener with what appeared to be significantly more hunters north of Ely on the Echo Trail. Officer Williams also assisted neighboring Officers on the Fernberg Trail, and Babbitt. Violations included hunting deer over bait, and failure to validate site tag.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the opening deer season and found very few hunters and very few deer. A party of hunters near Tower said they only heard three shots all day. Stage himself only saw two bucks taken on opener, and one of those was illegal because the tag had not been validated. Hunters using bait has shown to still be prevalent even with the threat of firearms loss.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports smiles ear to ear as he encountered a young man and his father after the youngster shot his first deer, a very nice 8-point buck. Other than that, the deer season was poor. Enforcement action was taken for, unlawful party hunting, lend borrow tags, transport of unlawfully taken big game animal, fail to tag big game animals, fail to validate tags, set or tend whitefish nets after hours, and no/improper navigation lights on watercraft. Two nice 8-point bucks were seized because a hunter couldn’t follow the most basic of hunting laws. The same hunter had two deer seized from him a couple years ago.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled on foot and ATV checking deer stands and blinds for bait in the week before the firearms opener. The officer worked with CO Wahlstrom and Schottenbauer on deer baiting cases, checked deer, duck and grouse hunters in the field and checked for illegal ATV use in a state park. Enforcement action was taken for hunt deer without license in possession, taking doe in a buck’s only area and hunting ducks without a state duck stamp.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked an active deer opener weekend, but success was low. A few duck hunters were also checked. Enforcement action included several instances of hunting deer over bait, unlawful party hunting, allowing a juvenile to hunt in violation of the game laws, and no PFDs. Road hunting complaints and trespass complaints were also worked. Assistance was given to wildlife putting down a sick, collared moose. The moose will be tested and researched.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked the deer opener activities in the area. Baiting activity noted and action taken. CO Schottenbauer noted very few deer seemed to be taken in the area.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the firearms deer opener with area officers. The officer assisted the fire department with a mower that caught fire on a cross country ski trail. Wind, cold temps and low deer numbers led to many unsuccessful hunters. Hunting over bait still continues to be a problem. Enforcement action was taken for several hunters hunting over bait, transport loaded firearm and ATV violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping and hunting activity during the week. A cold and blustery deer opener made for low hunter activity and harvest in the Two Harbors station. Complaints of trespass and illegal deer baiting were investigated along with a trap tampering incident. Enforcement action was taken for no hunting license in possession and failure to validate tag.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended a district meeting, worked a complaint on trespass, and checked baited deer stands. Enforcement action taken for hunting deer over bait and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Extremely low deer numbers have made baiting gain popularity again. Fortunately for those hunters choosing to use bait they will get to sit out next season and give the herd a chance to rebound.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked big game and waterfowl activities this week. Violations included hunting over bait, trespass, ATV on the roadway, ATV in closed hours, illegal shooting lanes and ATV trails.
CO Mike Fairbanks ( Deer River) worked the firearms deer opener, monitored trapping activity, worked AIS and assisted the county with vehicles rolled over. Hunter success was on the down side with the very windy and wet conditions. Enforcement action was taken for fail to tend traps, transport loaded firearms and no license in possession.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time this past week checking hunters in the field. She answered questions from the public concerning the Grand Rapids city deer hunt and the state firearms deer opener. A few deer were harvested over the opener. Enforcement action was taken for baiting, illegal ATV operation, failing to validate deer tag and tagging deer, and transporting a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked deer opener with the total harvest in the area looking down. CO Sutherland took enforcement action on a couple individuals who were hunting deer over corn and oats. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action on an individual who shot a deer across a public roadway. The deer was seized and a citation was written. Action was also taken over the weekend for failing to validate a deer tag at the kill site.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked ATVs, trappers and big game deer hunters. He also responded to several hunting complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked fall hunting activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ATV activity and deer hunters this past week. CO Velsvaag saw low success rates for deer hunters, but got reports of good duck hunting in several areas. CO Velsvaag took several complaints of early shooting and hunting near property lines.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week following up on baiting complaints. Trespassing complaints and erecting stands on private property complaints were investigated. Opening weekend was windy and cold and very few harvested deer were observed. Enforcement action taken for timber trespass, hunting over bait, ATV during closed hours and transport loaded firearms.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) had several contacts opening morning with hunting big game over a baited area. The consensus was unanimous it’s not worth getting caught and losing your firearm, fees and automatic revocation. Cutting of shooting lanes, untagged big game animal, operating ATV during restricted hours and no current registration are a few of the violations encountered. The officer also assisted in a search for a missing person.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) finished work as a field training officer for the most recent new Conservation Officers. Preparations were worked for the firearm deer season. Time was also spent working water trapping locations. Baited deer stands, closed hours for ATVs, and trespass were the theme on opener. Many hunting camps were visited during the weekend. Night shining complaint areas continue to be worked.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked big and small game enforcement. Trappers were active over the weekend with many pulling water sets with the expected freezing temperatures forecast. A trap theft was reported. CO Humphrey conducted a site inspection with DNR Fisheries staff at a lakeshore property on Eagle Lake. A Cease & Desist order was issued with a restoration order pending. CO Humphrey assisted DNR Forestry with follow up on timber trespass in the Fond Du Lac State Forest; several contacts were made with enforcement action taken. Deer opener found CO Humphrey assisting CO Speldrich with a deer baiting case in neighboring Pine County. Enforcement action resulted in the seizure of firearms and citations were issued. CO Humphrey responded to complaints of unlawful motor vehicle and ATV use. Patrols into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and local Wildlife Mgt. areas were conducted. CO Humphrey and Lt. Speldrich responded to a hunter fatality in rural Automba Twp. with Sheriff’s Deputies and local EMS. Deer hunters were reporting a slow opener with fewer deer seen and harvested than in previous years.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked hunter harassment, baiting and trespassing complaints over the firearms deer opener. Several hunters were checked in the area and were found to have had little success. Enforcement action was taken for shining, hunt without license in possession and operating ATVs in prohibited areas. K9 assistance was given to a local police dept. in locating a suicidal person that fled into the woods. Assistance was also given to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office in locating a missing teenager with special needs that was believed to be lost in a wooded area. On the day before the firearms deer opener, a shot from a high powered rifle that was fired in the direction of this officer was investigated and found three individuals that were shooting at beaver in a pond. Enforcement action was taken for possessing an illegal firearm out of doors within five days before the firearms deer opener and also for illegally taking a fur bearing animal with a rifle. A follow up on a litter violation where a large amount of garbage was dumped in the Nemadji State Forest resulted in a ticket and a requirement that the suspect also clean the mess up.
WREO Mike Scott worked with DNR Forestry on a trespass issue where a construction company working on CN RR created a road through a bog for access to their construction site. Officer Scott spent the deer season opener at the Minnesota State Patrol Dispatch center in Roseville answering calls from hunters across the state and assisting the dispatchers with DNR related calls. Numerous calls were fielded for questions about deer hunting, laws and rules as well as licensing. One call from a father with his 12-year-old son was handled where the boy shot and killed their first buck that walked by their stand. As the young hunter and father were looking at the buck it was discovered that the deer had already been shot once. Several minutes later a hunter following the deer tracks and blood trail approached them and told them he had shot the deer and was tracking it. The young hunter decided to give the deer the hunter as, in their words, “It was the right thing to do.” Although this was hard for the young hunter he understood that he prevented the deer from going to waste. Hats off to this young man!
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked opening weekend in the Duluth area. With fellow District officers worked baited stands on opening morning. The locations contained bait. However, no hunters in the stands. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV during closed hours. Olson worked a detail with the decoy north of Duluth. The opener was one of the slower one’s this officer can recall in a decade. The high winds and cool temps did not help. It appeared most hunters had left the woods by early afternoon on Sunday.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked deer hunters on a windy and cold opening weekend. Some hunters still found success, while others had issues with baiting, tagging, and tag validation violations. Plans are starting for the renewal of the Lake Superior Fisheries Management plan in 2015. Stay tuned to the French River Fish Hatchery for information on upcoming public input meetings. Enforcement action taken for deer and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers and commercial fishermen on Lake Superior. Opening morning of deer season was spent on the traditional walking into baited deer stands to check for hunters. Some trappers were checked pulling their water sets before they get iced in. Deer hunters were checked over the weekend with little success. Enforcement action taken for big game violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked waterfowl, trapping and deer hunting enforcement. Enforcement contacts included hunting deer with bait, leaving stands on Wildlife Management Areas, hunter harassment and ATV DWI. Assistance was also given and received by the Aitkin Co. Sheriff’s Department on various calls.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on deer hunting enforcement this past week. Hunters had mixed success. Some of the complaints include hunting over bait, shooting from a road, over limit and carcass dumping. He worked with CO Tischler on complaints of vehicles on closed forest roads in the Pillsbury Forest. Deer baiting complaints were investigated corn, apples and pumpkins seem to be the most common bait. Anglers that went out had fair success catching walleye and northern. A complaint of duck decoys left unattended overnight received some enforcement time. Campers in the forest were warned for illegal fire, unattended fires, uncertified wood and trash scattered around the campsite. He worked invasive species enforcement by checking duck hunters coming of Gull Lake and other area lakes.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) spent time working the firearm deer season. Hunters are finding additional pressure to the public hunting grounds and success varied. The DNR Aviation Wing provided assistance with deer baiting complaints. Officer Guida also addressed a group of ATVs that were observed operating recklessly in the road ditch. One operator was cited for failing to display current registration and the others were given pointed advice on how to avoid additional restrictions and damage to the road right of way. Most hunters were happy to see the local Conservation Officer out patrolling local roads and attempting to keep the road hunting activity at bay.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked deer hunters during opening weekend with most hunters asking where all the deer were. Hunters reporting seeing does and fawns, but not many bucks. Officer Lee completed two hunting deer over baited areas investigations with citations being issued to two different parties. Officer Lee also completed two trapping investigations for trapping before season, and the second for untagged traps and preempting trapping sites. With two different parties receiving citations for these violations. Enforcement action was taken this past week for failing to validate deer tag, taking antlerless deer with no antlerless tag, and operating an ATV during closed hours. Officer Lee also assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Dept. with a camper on fire that was located in a very remote area. The camper, ATV, firearms, and personal belongings were a total loss. One of the owners was asleep inside when they awoke to find the mattress they were asleep on was on fire. The parties were able to escape with no injuries, but could not believe how fast the fire engulfed the whole camper.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties over a busy deer opening weekend. Overall success for hunters was low for the opening two days. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, hunt deer over a baited area, fail to validate deer tag, parent allow illegal youth hunting, ATV violations, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possess a small amount of marijuana.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports focusing on the firearms deer opener and saw substantially lower numbers of calls and complaints, hunters in the woods, and deer taken than in the past several years. Complaints of pre-season poaching, suspicious hunting activity, road hunting, posting public land, and trespassing were investigated, and an issue of two hunters shooting the same deer / who gets the deer was mediated. Numerous deer hunters and camps were checked, as well as trapping and waterfowl hunting activity. A doe deer was found to have met her death not by a hunter’s bullet, but by her own temptation. The doe got her head stuck in a garden fence and apparently broke her own neck while trying to free herself. Violations encountered included failure to validate site tag and taking antlerless deer without permit.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) reports a busy deer season opener with some parties doing very well and others not so good. Several of the usual violations were encountered including hunting deer over bait, untagged deer, tags not validated, transport loaded firearms, and operating ATVs on public land outside of legal hours.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports a busy deer opener with hunters finding little success. She handled several baiting violations and patrolled road hunters.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked on deer season complaints including bait, early shooting, trespassing, ATV use, and over-bagging. Hunters are seeing and bagging less deer as Wildlife Managers predicted. Water trappers were also out in force before marshes iced up. Verkuilen also checked some anglers and prepared equipment for winter.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) focused heavily on big game and small game hunters throughout the week. Deer hunters had mixed success over the weekend, but the officer did see several nice bucks. Assistance was given to other officers in which several firearms were seized for people hunting over bait. The officer arrested a party at a deer camp with an outstanding warrant for violations from the previous deer season. Several car kill deer permits were issued. A trespassing complaint was received; the call turned out to not be trespassing but a big game violation in which a deer was seized since the shooter shot from a road way. Enforcement action was taken throughout the week for driving after revoked, false name to a peace officer, transporting a loaded firearm and unregistered ATV.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the firearms deer season opener. Lots of hunters were in the woods even with the cooler temps and windy conditions but most reported a slow season so far. Several investigations involving baited stands were done and the hunters were visited on opening day of season. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office with a call of a lost party who had been scouting for the deer opener. With the help of neighbor and 911 mapping the party was found. Several calls of parties leaving stands in WMAs overnight were fielded and a few stands were seized for the violation. Calls for car kill deer permits were fielded and call of someone damaging a stand on private property was investigated. The Officer also assisted neighboring Officers with baited stands, a party with a warrant, and shining activity. The Officer also patrolled several areas for ATV violations during the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included hunting deer over baited area, operate ATV during closed hours, and leave property in WMA overnight.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) spent the majority of firearms deer season checking hunters who were suspected to be hunting deer over baited areas. One group was hunting over large piles of apples, acorn rage, pumpkins and feed blocks. The hunting party was made up of adults and juveniles. When asked why they were hunting over bait, they stated they thought they only had to stop putting bait out a week prior to deer season and that they didn’t realize that the bait had to be completely gone. They were reminded that all bait has to be gone 10 days prior to the deer season opener. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over baited areas, no license in possession, parent allow illegal hunting by a juvenile and firearms were seized. Another group was caught hunting over baited areas. This hunting party admitted to baiting for years. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over a baited area and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. A 10-point buck and an 8- point buck were seized, as well as several firearms. Speldrich patrolled area state forests for ATV’s operating during closed hours and checked many hunting parties who reported seeing less deer than last year. She assisted the State Patrol with a rollover accident with injuries on I35.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) fielded numerous calls the week before season and assisted CO Hopkins in the Tower station. Season opener found hunting over bait, loaded guns, untagged deer, no validation of tag, ATV violations, trespass, and unattended fire. CO Starr also assisted a young hunter with getting her first deer. A large doe was found shot and left in a WMA, as well as a nice canvasback drake found dumped at a public access. Wanton waste is very serious and there is no reason for it. CO Starr also found a bow hunter that was not wearing any blaze orange while sneak hunting in a busy WMA.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked a busy firearm deer season opener. Violations found included untagged deer, fail to validate deer tag, illegal operation of ATVs and hunting deer over bait. The 2014 deer opener seemed to have an increase in hunting over bait violations compared to prior years. Several deer stands were found next to piles of corn and deer blocks containing molasses and grain. One hunter wanted to make sure he had everything a deer could possibly want and put his deer stand overlooking a smorgasbord of corn, oats, apples, sugar, illegal deer blocks and then topped it all off with a jug full of molasses. Another hunter that was caught near a pile of shelled corn had just been arrested in Wisconsin, a couple weeks prior, for the same violation. Many excuses were heard throughout the weekend but the winning excuse had to be when a hunter was adamant that the pile of shelled corn near his deer stand was intended for squirrel hunting and not for the deer.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week answering questions about the upcoming deer season. He spent time working on baiting complaints and checked some waterfowl hunters during the week as well. The deer opener found many people not seeing deer and out of the woods early on opening morning due to the windy cold conditions. Officers Wynn and Grundmeier seized firearms and issued citations to persons who continue to insist on hunting deer over bait. One of the individuals contacted over the weekend was cited in Wisconsin for hunting deer over illegal bait and had a crossbow seized a couple weeks ago. This weekend he decided that he would try his luck in Minnesota but ended up receiving a citation for hunting deer over bait and had his firearm seized. Other enforcement contacts included failing to validate deer tags, untagged deer, allowing minors to violate game and fish laws, and operating ATVs during restricted hours.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area State Forest and WMAs for deer hunting activity. Deer harvest numbers were lower than previous years. Calls of shooting after dark and stands left in WMAs were handled. Assistance was given to neighboring officers with baiting complaints. ATV’s riding during restricted times were also dealt with.
WREO Rob Haberman assisted area officers over the 2014 deer hunting opener. WREO Haberman worked bait cases, trespass and illegal shooting complaints. WREO Haberman also assisted the Aviation Unit with support of ground operations. WREO Haberman also worked wetland and public water cases in is assigned area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) received a call of an archery shot deer a person had found in the road near a Wildlife Management Area that they wanted a possession tag for if possible. CO Kuske met the caller at their residence to take a look at the deer. The deer had been arrowed and the homeowner was somewhat concerned about how long the deer had been laying there but the meat seemed to be ok. By sheer coincidence the officer happened to have a cell phone number of someone that regularly hunts that area. When called, the archery hunter stated that they indeed had arrowed a doe and had lost the blood trail for tracking with mystery solved for both parties. CO Kuske started out firearms deer season with assistance from Officer Bertram finding two hunters hunting over bait with rifles seized and another hunting party was found with an untagged buck in the back of a truck. CO Kuske had found this same hunting party with rifles in the shotgun zone last year. They stated they would have lunch ready for the officers next year.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent a majority of time working deer hunting activity. Several deer baiting cases were made. With the one deer limit many people are trying to save tags, as many untagged deer and husband’s putting their wife’s tag on the deer when the wife wasn’t hunting were found. Trespass calls were handled and transporting loaded guns were found. Thesing assisted on a call where suspect stole a small 3-point buck from a hunting camp, loaded it on to his car roof and took off. The guy that shot the deer saw the suspect and followed. The suspect was stopped 15 miles away. The suspect stated he was having a tough deer season with no luck and decided to steal it. Enforcement action was taken for theft.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled numerous questions regarding firearms deer season. Most hunters saw deer and many hunters’ harvested deer. Most checked were in compliance. Complaints were moderate.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports deer season has its share of squabbles with trespass issues. In one such case two landowners were fighting over the placement of a “No Trespassing” sign located at the corner of their adjoining properties. The issue was a 16 inch discrepancy between the two survey pins that marked the corner. In another case a person trespassed onto agriculture property without permission and shot a deer literally right in front of the owner. Deer season day 2, CO Kuske was having breakfast at 5:30am when two shots rang out a short distance from his house. Investigating he found a mom and daughter that just hit a deer with their car, the daughter was out with the 30-30 rifle finishing it off. The two were coached on proper protocol for such a situation. An escaped game farm elk that has been on the run for more than four months was finally dispatched with the aid of some deer hunters and as part of routine procedure the animal will be tested. Most hunters found deer hunting to be pretty slow and everyone contacted by CO Kuske felt the case for reduced limits was very justified.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week assisting neighboring officers with deer hunting complaints. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, license violations, and ATV violations. Trappers and small game hunters were also checked.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked the deer hunting opener several deer cases made. CO Mies also checked waterfowl hunters. CO Mies took part in a radio program on deer hunting and worked on tip calls.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking on baited stands and preparing equipment and working the firearms deer opener. Most groups checked had at least some success and some were doing very well. One young hunter checked had the opportunity to harvest a trophy buck. Upon inspecting the buck the hunter found that it had a piece of an arrow and a broadhead still inside of it that had been there quite some time. In a similar incident a young hunter who had attempted to take a deer with his bow Friday night got a second chance to take the same deer on a deer drive later in the weekend, and again found an arrow protruding from the deer. Compliance was good amongst most hunters with few violations seen.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked trapping, fishing, small game activity and deer hunting. The officer assisted neighboring officers with deer hunting complaints. Enforcement action was taken for deer hunting violations.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked firearm deer and waterfowl hunters. Officer Musatov noticed an increase of illegal party hunting and failure to tag deer/validate tags this year. Other violations included hunting deer over bait, shoot from the road, and transport loaded firearm.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked deer hunting opener. He issued summons and written warnings for hunting over a baited area, lend and borrow deer license, failure to validate deer license, transportation of untagged deer, allowing a minor to violate fish and game laws. He checked a number of duck hunters. He followed up on a trespassing complaint. He answered a number of deer hunting questions
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) had a busy week with many phone calls about the deer hunting season and following up on several investigations. CO Reller found that deer harvest appeared to be similar to last year in the area. The waterfowl hunters took advantage of migration push south at the end of the week with some later migrants showing up in the bag such as bluebills and golden eyes. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, no blaze orange, hunt in a SNA and no PFD on board watercraft.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy firearms deer opening weekend. Even with the high winds and cool temperatures, many hunters were out but little was found for deer numbers. A few local hunters had success; one group of five older gentlemen had harvested three bucks over the weekend. Violations included fail to tag deer, fail to validate tag, no blaze orange, use of motorized boat in WMA and angle without a license
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) worked deer hunters. Opener was slow due to weather but harvest picked up as the weekend proceeded. Trespass and property disputes topped the call list. Enforcement action was taken on shoot from the roadway, no blaze orange, trespass, allow illegal operation of ATV by minor, and failure to validate deer license.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked numerous deer hunter over opening weekend, but saw limited success. Enforcement action was taken on hunting over bait, lend and borrow license, trespass, illegal transport, failure to validate, and untagged deer. Complaints of dogs chasing deer, watercraft violations, and ATV trespass were also followed up on.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled calls on car killed and injured deer. The deer opener was worked but hunters had poor success. Trappers and waterfowl hunters were having good success. Telephone calls were returned daily.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Wright counties for waterfowl activity. Waterfowl activity is still considerably slower than normal. Salzer also worked the deer opener in Hennepin and Anoka counties.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and patrolling wildlife management areas. CO Grewe worked the deer opener and provided a ride along to an individual interested in the profession. Violations included unplugged shotgun, no hunting licenses and leaving a deer stand unattended overnight on state property.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked small game and duck hunters in Scott County. He took care of deer stand left on WMA and answered questions on big game hunting regulations. He also worked deer opener in southeast Minnesota and enforcement action was taken for failure to validated deer tags.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled two stations, Fort Snelling State Park and Bloomington, both are temporarily assigned to him. Many phone calls for questions about hunting laws and regulations were returned. He assisted CO Heyn during the deer opener in southeast Minnesota. Numerous violations were found including lending and borrowing deer license, fail to validate deer tag, deer hunting without blaze orange, antler point restriction, and illegally deer hunting in game refuge.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reported working the firearms deer opener, monitoring small game and waterfowl hunting. CO Arntzen also spent time investigating trapping complaints, doing AIS enforcement and working deer shiners. Violations for the week included hunting without a license, failure to validate site tag and untagged traps.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the deer opener weekend and checked several hunters in the woods and fields. Waterfowl and pheasant hunters were also checked throughout the week. He also responded to a couple of complaints and answered calls.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the firearms deer opener. A good number of hunters were out on opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for using a rifle in the shotgun zone. CO Johnson observed burning violations, and issued tickets for burning prohibited materials in Baytown Township. He checked waterfowl hunters earlier in the week. Violations included no small game license, and no federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports finishing field training and had a busy deer firearms opener. He assisted officers around the Whitewater WMA where some nice bucks were seen. He also checked duck hunters on the Mississippi river who saw very limited success. Enforcement action for the week included, lend/borrow deer license, no federal duck stamp in possession, no valid small game license and a deer was seized.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked waterfowl and small game hunters, did equipment maintenance and worked on deer cases. She handled various TIP calls and many calls regarding questions with hunting laws and license questions. CO Kruse worked with neighboring officers checking numerous deer hunters on the busy opening weekend. Violations encountered this week included hunt deer over bait, illegal party hunting, fail to tag deer, fail to validate license, hunting license not in possession and burn prohibited material (couch).
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time following up on shoreline and wetland complaints. A restoration order was issued in Hennepin County for an unpermitted wetland fill. Very few deer were seen harvested during the opening weekend of the firearms deer season.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked on updating several WCA and PW cases. Invasive species checks were completed on several accesses in empty stations. Many hunters were out enjoying the firearms deer season. Assistance was given to local law enforcement for a sibling dispute for shooting within 500 feet of a building without permission, hunting in the city limits. Car killed deer tags were also issued.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked a very busy firearms deer opener. Many calls were handled in Big Stone & Swift counties, including trespassing, shooting from a roadway, chasing deer with a motor vehicle, and shooting from a motor vehicle. A deer hunter was found hunting over a large pile of bait. Violations encountered: hunting deer over bait, shooting from a roadway, transporting loaded and uncased firearm, parent allowing child under 16-year-old to illegally possess firearm, and hunting license violations.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly KLOH radio show. A vehicle in Pipestone County was struck by a slug causing damage to the front windshield. The driver of the vehicle was not hurt. Several trespassing incidents were reported with enforcement action being taken. Trapping violations were dealt with for checking traps. Illegal burning was dealt with and failure to validate tags on big game was a problem.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported that the firearms deer opener was busy with a lot of activity. With the possibility of poor weather for the rest of the A season a lot of hunters showed signs of urgency to get their deer during the opening weekend. TIP calls were worked throughout the weekend. As expected, the deer harvest was down but some nice bucks were taken. Violations encountered dealt with baiting, trespassing, no blaze orange, shooting from a motor vehicle, shooting from the roadway and license/tagging issues. Trapping, waterfowl, and pheasant hunting enforcement were also worked.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked deer hunters and fielded complaints on trespassing and shooting from the roadway. He checked waterfowl hunters, trappers and ATV operators.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) saw a slow start to the firearms deer season. She saw a couple youth on opening weekend with their first deer. A few deer were checked during the weekend, and a few license violations were noted. Duck hunters had some success as the colder weather and wind brought ducks thru the area. ATV registration issues were also dealt with during the week
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) has been officially stationed in Litchfield just in time to work the busy firearms season deer opener. During the week calls were taken about trespass complaints, stands left in public hunting area, and car killed deer possession tags. Baited deer stands were checked during the opener with citations and seizures of equipment and deer. On the opening morning a call was taken of a hunter that shot two deer with one shot. The hunter claimed he never noticed the second deer until he shot and noticed two deer dropped. The second deer was seized from the hunter and given to a family in need.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working a busy opener to the firearms deer season. The wind seemed to play a large role in keeping the deer harvest down. No surprise that baiting was an issue yet again. An incident involving a deer being shot with a rifle in the shotgun zone was dealt with. Oberg also saw some issues with allowing illegal juvenile hunting. Oberg’s favorite part of the deer season is getting to talk with young hunters after they shot their first deer.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning taking deer from the road, shooting across a roadway, baiting deer, taking wildlife in a State Game Refuge and trapping complaints. Many hunters had a successful opening weekend of the deer season. The mallard migration was active.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked primarily big game enforcement this past week and weekend. Some duck and pheasant hunters as well as trappers were checked. Complaints pertaining to trespass, shoot from the roadway, early taking and failure to check traps are being worked.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked deer hunting, small game and trapping activity. Reports of illegal dumping of carcasses were investigated. Deer hunters were checked and a variety of hunting complaints were investigated. One hunter was shocked to know that blaze orange was a requirement while hunting deer. Enforcement action was taken for illegal party hunting, blaze orange, license validation, trespassing and fail to accompany transported big game animal. Deer were also seized for illegal activity.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
Windom – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports a busy deer opener. Success varied on location. Trespass complaints were common throughout the weekend. Trapping issues were also addressed
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked trapping, big game, and small game activity. Deer hunters were greeted with high winds. Overall, success levels seemed low, but some very nice deer were taken. Several young hunters were checked with their first deer. Another young hunter was checked, but unfortunately his grandfather chose to illegally shoot an antlerless deer and tag it with the youngster’s tag. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of big game violations.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) worked deer opener. Many checks were conducted on big game hunters with many violations encountered.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) reports a busy firearms deer opener with trespass being the most common complaint. A number of hunters in the area were successful. The officer also spent time working trapping and waterfowl hunting activity.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked big game and small game activity during the week. Several complaints were received regarding illegal hunting activity. Several violations were encountered during the firearms deer weekend.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working small game hunting, trapping, and the deer hunting (firearms) opener. Time was spent assisting a pheasant hunter locate his lost hunting dog. A number of trespass complaints were investigated, as well as big game violations. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
WREO Julie Siems worked a busy deer opener with complaints of baiting, trespassing and shining all investigated. Several wetland violations were also investigated.
Albert Lea – vacant.
Mankato #1 – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked mainly deer hunting issues with complaints of trespass and baiting. Cases were made for hunting over bait, taking deer without a license, untagged big game and failure to validate. Many phone calls were taken from the public in regards to deer hunting.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a good deer opener with high numbers of successful hunters with very few violations. There were no APR violations found or reported. The duck hunting has been good with one hunter saying it was the best hunting he has had in 20 years.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports a good week for duck hunters. Lots of new ducks in the area. A fishermen and boat turned up missing below lock and dam 7. Multiple agencies responded. Firearm deer hunters had a slower weekend. He saw more hunters in the area than in the past years. Complaints investigated included shining, dead deer along a field, hunters under the influence, use of radios and late shooters. Enforcement included transport loaded firearms and no registration on an ATV.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a slow start to the 3A deer season. Hunters were reporting lower deer numbers. High winds and standing corn did not help either. Hunters did report seeing bucks cruising and on their feet at all times of the day. Violations encountered were fail to validate deer tag, no blaze orange and trespass with trespass being the most common by far. A few trappers were out pulling equipment with the threat of bad weather coming in. Raccoon numbers seem to be low again as well.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking deer hunting activity and responding to trespass complaints. Numerous hunters were checked but not many deer were seen in the deer camps. Time was also spent checking anglers and waterfowl hunters. Several violations were detected for people shooting deer that did not meet the antler point restrictions. Several shining complaints were received and a few other deer hunting violations were detected.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. Lots of deer hunters were out and a number of nice deer were seen taken. Duck hunters also did well. Various other calls were handled and several violations were encountered.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy week and opening weekend of the 2014 deer season. The waterfowl hunting on the big river improved towards the end of the week and into the weekend. High winds caused a vessel to go down on Lake Pepin over the weekend with everyone making it safely to shore. Some very nice deer were checked resulting from several years of APR in the southeast. Violations detected included unlawful transportation of loaded guns, untagged deer, un-validated deer tags, hunting deer over bait, etc.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen reports assisting officers with numerous requests for searching for bait sites, illegally hunting in state parks and other possible violations. Jensen documented one possible PW wetland violation also. Nets on Lake Superior were evaluated and some anglers were checked via floatplane on Mille Lacs Lake.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew Forest Assessment Buckthorn photo flights, fisher and wolf telemetry and the Thief Lake duck survey.
CO Pilot Bob Geving flew big game activity and worked w/field officers on inclement weather days. Geving also assisted with moving aircraft for maintenance.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed the annual trout stream beaver dam surveys for Duluth and Hinckley fisheries. The dams slow the water which warms it, and that’s detrimental to trout. A USDA trapper removes the dams and the beavers. More than 130 miles of stream were flown on the Knife watershed alone, Sand Creek, and Hay Creek watersheds were also flown. He also found possible baiting sites which were passed along to our officers.
Chief Pilot Tom Buker (Brainerd) flew flights this past weekend in support of big game enforcement. Baiting sights next to deer stands were noted and passed onto officers. A boat was discovered adrift on Leech Lake; the owner was later located.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.