Weekly Game and Fish Violations; Ice Conditions Around The State


Highlights include:

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked muzzleloader hunters, anglers and trappers. Parthun took a complaint of a Bald Eagle killing a domestic duck. The eagle flew into a fenced area holding the ducks. After having a fabulous thanksgiving feast of duck, the eagle was too “stuffed” to fly away. It remained in the fenced enclosure for almost two days. Making the best of a difficult situation, the homeowner took some fabulous photos and after the eagle did fly away, examined the droppings left behind by the eagle to discover what the eagle had been eating. Inside the droppings, the homeowner found some lead shotgun pellets and….wait for it…..duck feathers!  


District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked muzzleloader hunters and trapping activity. Spearing activity was monitored on Hayes Lake. Charges are pending for a trapper who illegally pre-empted several trapping spots on public land.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) focused on big and small game enforcement throughout the Warroad area and the Beltrami Island State Forest. Calls for service included a car killed deer on Thanksgiving. The driver reported hitting the deer and stated that it was still alive but hurt, CO Benjamin responded and found the deer dead in a field, and a possession permit was issued to a passer-by as the driver did not want it.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) focused her time mainly on trapping and angling enforcement. Multiple people set out traps in the Beltrami Island State Forest on Saturday, for fisher/marten and bobcat opener. Investigation of a potentially illegally taken bobcat was completed, with the assistance of a neighboring CO. Violations included illegally placing traps before season to pre-empt trapping spot and no angling license in possession.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) spent the majority of his time on Lake of the Woods. Ice anglers are excited to be out on the big lake early, but still need to be cautious of where they drive. CO Prachar reports an ATV pulling a trailer that went through the ice. Luckily no one was injured. Enforcement action was taken on illegal length northern pike, over-limit of walleye and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked area muzzleloader hunters, fisher trappers, late season wolf hunters, and ice anglers. Area ice conditions vary and anglers are reminded to check the ice prior to venturing onto the frozen water. Follow up investigations from the firearm deer season were conducted and enforcement action was taken for leaving stands in a WMA overnight.

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) finished investigations from the firearms deer season and worked trappers, anglers and muzzleloader hunters.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working trapping activity and angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. While checking anglers on Upper Red Lake one angler was encountered who could not recall if he had purchased an angling license this year. A quick check of DNR records showed the angler did not have a current angling license. Enforcement action was taken and his walleye were seized. Assistance was given to area DNR Wildlife staff with the disposition of a deer. Enforcement action for the week included angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, angling with extra lines and no skin patch on filleted walleye.

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers. Time was also spent working the muzzleloader deer opener. Trapping activity was also checked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) continues an investigation on a shot moose.  Angling/spearfishing and deer hunting activity was monitored.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and trappers.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked trapping and small game hunting during the week. Time was also spent monitoring ice fishing activity. Ice safety is still a concern and anglers should check ice conditions prior to operating motor vehicles out on area lakes.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports that ice conditions have been improving rapidly with all lakes frozen over by the Thanksgiving holiday. Travel is possible by ATV on many of the lakes with 9 inches of ice pretty common. As always, anglers should use caution and exercise good ice safety habits. CO Vinton contacted anglers and reminded them that shelters should be marked with their MNDNR number, driver’s license number or complete name and address.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the muzzleloader opener and found more trappers. Deer numbers and cold weather were deterrents for some. Others were just glad to be out and about. Follow-up on deer season cases was also worked and some ice anglers with spears were checked.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen, pheasant hunters and working the muzzleloader opener. Few muzzleloader hunters were found out. More fishermen are venturing onto the lakes. Full-sized pickups were seen on one lake, while on another lake close by an ATV went through the ice. Calls of crippled deer and over limit of fish were investigated.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ice angling activity on area lakes, with anglers reporting a solid 6-8 inches of ice. The public is reminded that ice conditions can vary and need to use caution when venturing out. Opening muzzleloader season was worked with a few hunters out.  CO Warren continued follow up from regular firearms season, reports of illegal dumping of deer carcasses and an injured swan.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week checking ice anglers, trappers, and muzzleloader hunters. The officer observed several individuals driving their vehicles out onto area lakes. Remember no ice is safe ice and always use caution. Anglers are reporting good fishing with most anglers targeting sunfish and pike. Very few hunters were out on opening weekend of muzzleloader season and those that were out had not seen many deer. The officer took enforcement action for leaving a fish house overnight on a public access.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on a public waters case and several WCA cases. Follow up on open case files was conducted and several calls fielded. Time was also spent on administrative duties.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to an injured swan, checked several lakes and ice fishermen throughout the week, and also found some deer hunters out for opening weekend of muzzleloader. Plautz issued several car killed deer permits. Follow up complaints on deer season of deer shot from road and carcasses dumped are being investigated.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement time checking fishermen and shelters this week. Time was spent checking muzzleloader deer hunters and handling complaints on pheasant hunters. Several questions were addressed this week regarding deer numbers.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked ice fishermen and waterfowl hunters. Fishing success has been limited the last week with the variable weather patterns. Ice thickness varies on every lake and fishermen should be extra cautious when they venture out on the ice. Keep safety in mind and bring your ice picks along. Fewer waterfowl have been seen in the area and muzzleloader deer hunters weren’t having much success on opening weekend.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked primarily ice fishermen this past week. ATV’s are pulling fish houses out on most small lakes, with foot traffic on the bigger water. Panfish success is high right now on several area lakes. Fishing without a license, unregistered ATV and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile were among several violations addressed this week.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to close out investigations from the firearms and archery deer seasons. Time was spent working activity involving muzzleloader and archery deer hunting, as well as pheasant hunters and trappers. Complaints were fielded regarding trap tampering and possible deer baiting, and an illegal deer stand was removed from a WMA. Ice angling and spearing activity is ramping up in the area. One individual spearing was cited for spearing two pike over 30 inches and another was cited for double tripping after he speared a limit of pike in the morning and was back in the afternoon working on a second limit, with another speared pike in possession.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on muzzleloader deer hunters, pheasant hunters and ice fishermen. Pheasant hunters need to remember the blaze orange requirements during firearms deer season while pheasant hunting. Several fishermen were checked with spotty success. Anderson assisted a South Dakota Game Warden with a TIP call about a possible illegal deer. Calls were fielded from the public about trapping issues, antlerless permit questions, coyote hunting questions and muzzleloader deer season questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing pressure has increased on area lakes, but reports of vehicles and ATV’s breaking through thin ice are still being received. COs Baumbarger and VanderWeyst worked on a deer baiting complaint this past week. Other enforcement efforts were spent checking fishermen, trappers, pheasant hunters, coyote hunters, and deer hunters around the area. Calls were fielded on injured animals, fishing questions in the Wheaton station, and complaints of deer over limit.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked muzzleloader hunters, anglers and trappers.  Parthun took a complaint of a Bald Eagle killing a domestic duck. The eagle flew into a fenced area holding the ducks. After having a fabulous thanksgiving feast of duck, the eagle was too “stuffed” to fly away. It remained in the fenced enclosure for almost two days.  Making the best of a difficult situation, the homeowner took some fabulous photos and after the eagle did fly away, examined the droppings left behind by the eagle to discover what the eagle had been eating. Inside the droppings, the homeowner found some lead shotgun pellets and….wait for it…..duck feathers!

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) spent time checking muzzleloader deer hunters, fishermen and trappers. Deer hunting activity was slow and hunters complained of low number of deer, high number of wolves and cold weather. Officer Hunter received a report of a deer stand with bait near it.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked muzzleloader deer hunters over the opening weekend. Trapping enforcement was also addressed over fisher season as well. A car-killed bobcat was seized and donated to a trapper organization’s education program. Ice anglers are becoming more common with the good ice; however, anglers are still encouraged to use plenty of caution with some variable ice in some areas.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on big and small game hunting, trapping, and sport fishing activity with nothing unusual to report. Continued follow-up from firearms deer season. He also handled a complaint of possible rifle shots the day after deer season closed.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked some ice anglers on area lakes. Reports of 8-10 inches of ice were widely reported with weaker ice likely present in some areas. Time was also spent checking muzzleloader deer hunters and fisher traps. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angle with an unattended line, ATV with too many passengers, and unregistered snowmobile.

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) patrolled the Chippewa National Forest checking for small game hunters, trappers, and ice fishermen. CO Shroyer took enforcement action for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and unregistered deer from the regular firearms deer season. A group harvesting balsam bough without a permit was encountered. Enforcement action was taken for harvesting decorative forest products without a permit and driving with a revoked driver’s license.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on deer hunting, trapping, spearing, and ice angling activity. CO Broughten observed few anglers out on area lakes. Ice conditions vary; anglers are advised to be cautious when venturing out on area lakes. CO Broughten also checked few muzzleloader deer hunters and followed up on cases from firearms deer season.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the muzzleloader deer season in Zone 1 with one contact for shooting deer off the road from a motor vehicle. Halverson handled complaints on deer bait, road hunting and trespass. Ice fishing has been getting safer with the colder weather.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) checked muzzleloader hunters, trappers and a couple of wolf trappers in addition to checking fish houses and ATVs. Early ice bite seems to be pretty good. Caution is urged for eager anglers using any vehicle to haul shelters. Please check the ice thickness.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a slow week as cold temperatures and holidays kept most people close to home. Car kill deer permits were given to a few trappers for bait and several complaints in regards to trapping were handled. People are reminded to use extreme caution when venturing out onto the ice, remember no such thing as safe ice!

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week checking small game and trapping activity throughout the area. Time was also spent checking ice anglers enjoying their holiday weekend on the lake and working ATV enforcement. Service calls included a dog caught in a trap and a trespass investigation.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, fisher, marten, bobcat trapping, wolf hunting and trapping, muzzleloader deer hunting, grouse hunting, ATV and snowmobile activities along with bough harvesting, and a commercial fur buyer inspection

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking on trapping, fishing, and muzzleloader deer hunting activity. A few fish houses are starting to appear and up to 8 inches of ice has been reported. Some panfish are being caught but the walleye fishing has been slow.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the regular firearm season ended with very few hunters still attempting to harvest some venison. The season was as expected, with lower numbers of deer harvested. The officer investigated a trespass complaint and deer stands on private property. Ice fishing on Lake Vermilion has picked up as the ice depth increases. The ice depth reports vary from 8 to 10 inches, and we are starting to see ATVs and snowmobiles venturing out on the lakes. Anglers seem to be catching fish, but the most are pretty small. Marten and fisher trapping season opened and much time was spent checking traps. The officer also had a special hunt for muzzleloaders in the Soudan Underground Mine and Lake Vermilion State Parks. The weather was warm on the opener and there was some success on the first day. Enforcement action taken for unregistered ATVs, failure to display registration, and angling with extra lines.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the openers for muzzleloader deer, wolf and bobcat hunting and trapping, as well as fisher and marten trapping. Deer hunters were fairly scarce; however, a better showing was made by trappers. Gears are being shifted from hunting to winter angling as more folks are showing up on the ice.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) assisted researchers from UMD in locating a collared timber wolf that had died south of Eveleth. A necropsy is underway to determine the cause of death. Ice thickness on Virginia area lakes has reached about 10 inches on some lakes. One full- sized pickup was seen on an Eveleth area lake. A local trapper who hasn’t been seeing many fox in the area contacted CO Frericks when he located at least a dozen untagged and unchecked snares, one of the snares held what once had been a very nice sized red fox.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports rain and warmer weather earlier last week did not hurt ice production and several lakes are showing 10-12 inches of ice. Permanent ice shelters are starting to appear on lakes that froze over early. Officer Williams has been warning many of the early ice anglers who are venturing further out that ice thickness can vary greatly in just a few feet and to use caution. Violations included failure to display ATV registration and unmarked ice shelter.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports that the ice is forming very nicely and ice fishermen have been walking out with some frequency. Muzzleloaders, wolf, and marten/fisher trappers started up right after Thanksgiving, so there were a lot of openers all at once. Snowmobile trails open December 1st, but there isn’t anywhere near enough snow yet for snowmobiles.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) saw a cross country skier out on a forest road during the week. A few people wandered out for some early ice walleyes during the week while most stayed inside and warm. The snowmobile trails open on December 1st, but check ahead for conditions.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) followed up on firearms deer season issues and handled seasonal maintenance. Calls were taken on wolf season, fur registration and hunting license purchases. The officer also checked beaver traps and checked for early marten and fisher trapping.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked with CO Murray on a trapping investigation. Anglers, muzzleloader deer hunters, wolf hunters, and trappers were all checked. Lots of people were on the water and in the woods during the warm weekend weather. Enforcement action included wanton waste of pine marten, fail to report incidental take of pine marten, no blaze orange while trapping, illegal body gripping trap set, fail to register deer within 48 hours, and too far from tip-up.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) checked angling activity in the area. Time spent on a trapping complaints and working the trapping opener.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked muzzleloader hunters, trappers and a few ice anglers. A very similar report for muzzleloader hunters as it was for rifle hunters, few deer seen in the woods. The officer responded to complaints in a state park and followed up on big game investigations.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping and fishing activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to report and turn in accidentally caught marten and wanton waste violations. Dark houses are starting to show up on area lakes and ice conditions continue to improve with the cold temperatures.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) wrapped up firearms deer season cases and checked trappers, anglers, and muzzleloader hunters. He also answered regulation questions on the wolf season, handled a trespass complaint, and worked a call on someone not checking traps at legal intervals.


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked on big game cases from deer season. He issued a road kill deer permit. CO Hansen answered questions on wolf trapping


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity and followed up on cases from the deer season. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and OHV registration issues.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended annual POST Board training this past week at Camp Ripley. She also took a call of an injured swan, which was referred to DNR Wildlife staff. She answered questions concerning wolf trapping and the muzzleloader season.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked muzzleloader opener with some individuals successful over the weekend bagging a deer. Trapping activity was also monitored over the weekend with fisher, pine marten and bobcat seasons opening up.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked muzzleloader deer hunters, trappers and ice fishermen. He also responded to trapping and trespass complaints during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week following up with deer hunting investigations. Officer Wichmann also took calls and completed paperwork.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on complaints of deer carcass dumping and solid waste violations. Spruce top complaints were also investigated. Interviews related to violations during deer season were completed and incidental trapping issues were handled.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports local anglers are reporting up to eight inches of ice on area lakes and lots of anglers are taking advantage of the good early season ice. The officer spent time checking anglers, muzzleloaders and trappers during the past week. Time was also spent doing some follow up work from cases made during the firearm deer season

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the first part of the week following up on calls received throughout the deer season. Time was also spent working trapping enforcement.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity on several area lakes throughout the week. Ice thickness varied from 2-10 inches. Several spear houses were out. Some anglers were using ATVs to get around and fishing has been reported as fair. CO Humphrey investigated two calls on commercial bough/spruce top harvesters. A burning complaint was investigated with charges forthcoming for burning prohibited materials. Muzzleloader deer hunters were checked in the area and CO Humphrey continued work on firearms deer season follow up.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) issued several road kill permits. The cold weather has made good ice on area lakes. Boulder Lake is reported to have 8-9 inches of ice. Anglers checked in the Duluth harbor are fishing on 6 inches. The walleye bite in the harbor has slowed over the last few days. Trapping enforcement took priority over the weekend and of the sites checked, all were found to be legal. Olson found very few muzzleloader hunters over the weekend.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and trappers. Early ice has anglers out in full force around Duluth, with many ATVs and snowmobiles seen pulling ice houses around.  A reminder to anglers to make sure your machine’s registration is up to date before you head out on the ice. Some early traps were found before the open of marten season, including violations of the lynx management zone rules. Enforcement action taken for angling, trapping, and ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked on reports and paperwork from the deer season throughout the week.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including follow up work from firearms deer season cases, patrolling muzzleloader deer hunting activity and investigation of illegal tree stands and cutting of trees for shooting lanes in the Crow Wing State Forest. Two individuals received rewards from the Turn in Poachers program for assisting the officer in catching a violator who shot a swan this past October.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports investigating a tip of illegal party hunting during the regular firearms deer season as well as a case of a wolf attacking dogs. She also spent time checking early ice anglers trying to get their bearings out on several of the area lakes. She urges caution to those venturing out as ice conditions can vary on the same body of water.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received requests for car kill deer possession permits. Questions about trespassing have been addressed and Officer Guida prepared for an upcoming snowmobile safety training class. Some anglers are venturing out on the ice carefully.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) followed up on cases from the firearms deer season, checked anglers venturing out on area lakes, and worked the opener of muzzleloader deer season. Many questions about the ice thickness and safety were answered while at an area bait shop. The Officer also spent time checking trap lines on opening day of bobcat and fisher season.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked muzzleloader deer hunting opener. A violation of untagged deer was found. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. A complaint of road hunters in the Crow Wing State Park area was investigated. Ice angers were out and catching some fish; the ice conditions are poor and inconsistent. A report of an over-limit of crappies on a special regulation lake received enforcement time. Complaints of vandals damaging public accesses ramps were reported and investigated. The complaints were unfounded the damage was caused by lake ice.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up and completed investigations and cases from the firearms deer season. Officer Lee also received a compliant of deer carcasses being dumped on private property. On one of the carcasses there was a partial validation tag attached to the carcass, which lead to a party receiving a citation for littering. Officer Lee also spoke to anglers who were reporting a so-so bite, along with varying reports of ice thickness. Officer Lee also checked muzzleloader hunters that were reporting minimal success.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled muzzleloader deer hunters, small game, and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Ice anglers were also checked and most anglers reported limited success. Enforcement action was taken for fail to register deer, illegal party hunting for waterfowl, no federal duck stamp, and fail to sign federal duck stamp.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ice fishing, muzzleloader and trapping activity. A wolf depredation case was investigated and follow up work on firearms deer season cases was also completed.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports as much as 14 inches of ice in some locations. ATV’s are commonly on the lakes now as well as some light trucks and SUVs. People are responding to the DNR’s request to take more northern pike from Mille Lacs.  Spearers and anglers are out targeting pike but catch rates slow.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports starting to see more fishermen venturing out on area lakes including Mille Lacs Lake. Please remember to check the ice and to be careful when venturing out on the ice. Even with the colder temps there still might be areas that are not thick enough to be out on. TIP complaints on trapping and also trespassing violations were investigated and are still being followed up on. A few hunters were out over the weekend for the muzzleloader deer season opener. A call of a deer carcass being dumped in a county road ditch and lots of big game, small game and fishing law related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included various big game violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on firearms deer season investigations.  She received several calls regarding a bear trying to hibernate in a culvert. Callers were asked to leave the bear alone. Speldrich responded to a call of a deer caught in a snare. The doe was caught around its muzzle. The deer was released but died a short time later. The snare was legally set. Speldrich received calls regarding muzzleloader hunting, checked ice anglers and issued car kill possession tags.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored spearing activity on Mille Lacs and saw a few fish, but would still consider action as slow. Trapping activity was worked, with some weasels (ermine) showing up in the take. CO Starr investigated a case where a large male fisher attacked a medium sized dog that was near a home. The fisher had to be physically removed from the trap and would not discontinue the aggression.  The homeowner had to kill the fisher, which appeared to be healthy and well fed. WMA items and an injured goose call were also addressed.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had an increase in ice fishing activity as ice thickness increased to 8 or 10 inches on some lakes. Many anglers are still walking out to their fishing spots and a few are starting to drive ATVs on the ice. A few spots of open water still existed on a couple area lakes. Ice conditions on rivers and streams are not safe. A majority of the snow cover in the area melted during the warm rains from a week ago making most trails inoperable for sledding.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week following up on cases from the fall, and monitored ice conditions on area lakes. CO Wynn has found that ice conditions vary throughout the Pine City area so use extreme caution when using ATVs and UTVs on area waters. Ice may be 8 inches in one spot, but could be an inch in other places. CO Wynn also assisted Wisconsin Wardens with cases from their deer season, answered questions about trapping, and issued car kill deer permits.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked area lakes and found the crappie bite to be picking up. Ice conditions for foot travel appear to be good with some thick enough for ATV traffic.  Check the ice before using an ATV and be aware of areas that have current flowing that causes thin ice conditions. The local sheriff’s department responded to an ATV through the ice before Thanksgiving. Saturday was opener for a variety of seasons, muzzleloader, wolf hunting – trapping, and bobcat, fisher, pine martin trapping. A complaint of early trapping for bobcat was taken.

WREO Rob Haberman checked ice fishermen throughout the week. WREO Haberman also checked trapping activity in his assigned work area. WREO Haberman also attended meetings and worked on wetland cases.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers last week. CO Mies also checked muzzleloaders this past weekend. CO Mies also worked on deer investigations.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, deer and waterfowl hunters. The officer handled questions concerning the upcoming muzzleloader hunting season. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, baiting and license not in possession violations.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked muzzleloader deer hunters, anglers and pheasant hunters. Thesing spoke at the St. Joseph and Albany Snowmobile safety classes. One TIP call was investigated that involved a guy who shot a deer six days after the close of the season and it was his second deer of the year, making him over limit. He tagged his first deer with his girlfriend’s tag. The lending and borrowing of license violation has been a big problem this year. Anglers are finding the ice to be thicker with over six inches on most lakes. Enforcement action for the week included lend borrow, over limit deer, angle with extra line and no angling license.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) did a law talk at the snowmobile safety class in Sobieski and received a call of a landowner asking about the legality of their neighbor’s hanging butchered deer carcasses in their yard for the birds (which is legal in the country) that is luring the landowners dogs over to the neighbors. The landowner was disappointed to hear that they were responsible for keeping their dogs locked up or on their own property.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports more anglers than muzzleloader hunters out over the weekend. A TIP call was investigated. Open investigations were concluded.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting wetland follow-up and serving restoration orders. Snowmobilers and fishermen were checked. WREO Bertram also assisted CO Silgjord with a case involving lending and borrowing deer licenses and taking over the limit of deer.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on cases from the deer season. Two cases of lending/borrowing licenses resulted in hunters taking an over limit of deer. The hunters now face multiple charges, loss of firearms, fines/restitution and revocation of big game hunting privileges. A trap tampering investigation was also completed with enforcement action being taken.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked deer hunters and ice anglers. Violations were found for failure to tag a deer and unregistered deer. CO Musatov worked complaints of snowmobilers trespassing on agriculture fields.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) returned numerous calls after the close of firearms deer season.

Follow-up investigations were conducted and numerous calls regarding muzzleloader season were fielded. Time was spent catching up on paperwork and enjoying time off for the holiday.


CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) responded to a call of stolen traps, found the violator and traps were returned to the rightful owners. Calls were also taken on shooting from the road, trespassing, dumped carcasses, and injured deer. Officer Londgren checked anglers, trappers, small game and muzzleloader hunters.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week monitoring hunting and fishing activity. CO Grewe spoke to a high school class interested in the profession and followed up with complaints. Violations included possessing otter during the closed season and license issues.

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the muzzleloader deer opener, 3B and 601 shotgun seasons finding very few deer taken. Pheasant hunters were out but pheasants are a rare sight. Ice anglers are now venturing out having success but the ice was still not very safe.


CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for deer hunting activity. Salzer also patrolled for goose hunting activity in the area fields. Ice anglers were observed on some area lakes but anglers should be careful for thin ice and the ice on most lakes is still not consistent.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the last couple days of 3B deer season and angling activity in Scott County. He took a complaint in Prior Lake regarding geese stuck on ice and patrolled wildlife management areas. Officer Lee also took a TIP complaint of possibly untagged deer and answered questions on big game hunting regulations. Violations encountered were unregistered deer and failure to validate a deer tag.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time doing equipment maintenance, scheduling snowmobile safety classes and handling TIP calls. CO Arntzen continued monitoring hunting, trapping and fishing activity. He also assisted a neighboring officer with investigating a possible big game violation and patrolled for deer shiners. Violations for the week included being in a WMA during closed hours, leaving stands overnight in a WMA and hunting in a closed area.


CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked the last of the 601 firearms deer hunters. He responded to a complaint of an untagged deer in Anoka. The deer was tagged, and it turned out to be a landlord/tenant dispute. CO Johnson responded to a call of a Red Fox struck by a vehicle in Minneapolis. He received a number of calls regarding injured deer. CO Johnson checked ice conditions on area lakes.


CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports finishing up the second firearm season with very little success observed. He patrolled area waterfowl hunters who were having some success in fields. Pheasant hunters were also checked with no birds seen. Enforcement action included, no blaze orange and license related violations.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked mostly deer hunters around his patrol area and followed up with deer complaints. Ice anglers were seen and checked on some of the metro lakes. CO Pril also responded to injured animal calls and other calls during the week.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working big game activity as well as following up on shoreline and wetland related cases. A restoration order extension was served in Anoka County regarding a wetland case. Calls were answered regarding injured animals and hunting area related questions.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked brave anglers that had been out fishing on area lakes. She worked small game and archery enforcement in Anoka County. CO Kruse continued working on deer cases, worked WMA enforcement and did equipment maintenance.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) closed out a WCA case along with a deed restriction in McLeod Co. With the nice weather Officer Hanson worked deer hunters, pheasant hunters, trappers and ATVs and snowmobiles in empty stations. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts towards ice anglers, pheasant and muzzleloader deer hunters. Ice fishing is in full swing on local waters with anglers having moderate success. Ice conditions are improving daily, but use caution when venturing out.  Big game and license violations were encountered.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Ice conditions in the area vary from 9 inches of ice to open water. Aeration systems are starting to be put in.  Enforcement action was taken on no pheasant stamp and license in possession.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) took enforcement action for shooting from a motor vehicle and hunting deer with a muzzleloader license while in possession of a center fire rifle.  Enforcement action was also taken for hunting deer over bait.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported that the Thanksgiving weekend was busy with a lot of ice fishermen, pheasant hunters, and deer hunters out. Nice weather welcomed muzzleloader deer hunters for the opening last Saturday, but Sunday saw an abrupt change with cold temps and strong winds. Muzzleloader deer hunter numbers seemed to be down from previous opening weekends. Ice fishing activity continues to increase but caution needs to be used because ice thickness continues to vary.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports that numerous muzzleloader hunters and pheasant hunters were checked throughout the week. Transporting loaded firearms and shooting deer from the roadway were common violations. The Officer also took enforcement action when an individual shot a hen pheasant from a pickup window.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked on big game investigations and checked muzzleloader hunters. Ice fishing activity is increasing with caution advised as there continue to be incidents related to thin ice.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking ice fishermen taking advantage of the cold ice making weather. Time was also spent dealing with trespass complaints during the week. There were quite a few muzzleloader hunters that took advantage of the nice weather for the opener. Pheasant hunters were also out and about and having some luck over the Thanksgiving weekend.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked ice anglers enjoying the good early ice and good weather. Hunters enjoyed nice weather on the opening day of muzzleloader, but still had little success. Coyote hunters, pheasant hunters and trappers were checked during the week as well.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) checked mostly small game hunters. Oberg checked a few pheasant hunters that didn’t feel it was necessary to carry their license with them. One hunter took it a step further and thought it was a good idea to hunt in a closed State Game Refuge.  Snowmobile activity was also worked in the area with registration, safety training, and equipment violations observed. Oberg also assisted Wisconsin Wardens with a case.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated a complaint regarding the hunter blaze orange requirement. He also received calls regarding clarification of deer hunting laws. Nelson also spent time working deer hunting and fishing activities.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked small game, angling and the muzzleloader deer opener.  Gruhlke also worked waterfowl field hunters. Some ducks and geese are still in the area. He notes that a few walleye were being caught and kept on the Des Moines River within Jackson County. Follow up on issues stemming from the regular deer season continue.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked small game, deer and waterfowl hunting activity.  Investigations continue regarding poaching of deer. Anglers are finding out that from one day to the next that ice is not always consistent with weather variations.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked hunters during the opening weekend of muzzleloader season. Trapping questions were answered. Small game hunters also took advantage of some of the warmer days. Snowmobile activity is minimal.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week on big game enforcement. Opening day for muzzleloader was very pleasant, but Sunday’s cold limited the number of hunters afield. CO Howe also spoke on laws and ethics at two snowmobile safety classes, did a radio interview, and responded to multiple calls for service.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week working hunters, fishermen, ATV riders and snowmobile riders. Angling and snowmobile activity is starting to pick up. Anglers are reminded to use caution when venturing onto the ice.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) reports a busy Thanksgiving weekend with numerous pheasant, deer, and waterfowl hunters checked. Anglers are starting to make their way onto the ice, but caution should be used as early ice can be unpredictable. Time was also spent monitoring snowmobile and ATV activity.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working the remainder of the late southeast B Firearms Season, in addition to the muzzleloader hunting opener over the weekend. A safety presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Harmony. Complaints of trespass and shooting from a roadway were investigated. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked big game, ATVs, and small game activity during the week. Complaints were received regarding deer hunting and small game activity.

WREO Julie Siems worked muzzleloader opener. Follow up on WCA cases was also conducted.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working on several investigations while working the 3-B deer season as well as the muzzleloader opener. Deer are still cooperating and the long holiday weekend produced deer for both groups of hunters. Enforcement action involved license, tagging, possession, registration, and transportation issues.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. It was a slow end to the 3B season and things really didn’t pick up much for muzzleloader hunters. Duck hunters who found open water or were able to get out were still shooting a few birds.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports duck hunters are still finding small flocks of mallards.  Ice fishermen are having success in the backwaters. 3B / muzzleloader deer hunters found does hard to find. He assisted the Winona Sheriff with searching for missing fishermen (it’s been 3 weeks). Enforcement included an APR violation, no orange and trespass.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a slower week of deer hunting, although one hunter that had hunted in the 200 zone reported seeing 62 deer in one day of hunting. The duck hunters were able to find places to continue to get ducks. The ice fishermen reported catching sunfish and northerns. Hemker also received calls of injured wildlife including an eagle, deer, hawk, and muskrat.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the past week and weekend checking deer hunting, waterfowl hunting and ice fishing activity. Numerous ice anglers were out taking advantage of the early ice. Deer hunters were reporting seeing fewer deer than in the past. Some deer hunting violations were detected.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a slow 3B season. Success was limited. Violations encountered were trespass, no blaze orange and fail to validate deer tag. Time was also spent checking goose hunters and small game hunters. CO Boyum also answered questions in regards to youth licenses, landowner deer licenses and coyote hunting.

CO Phil George (Rochester) checked waterfowl and deer hunters along with a few small game hunters. Ice angling has started on area reservoirs as well. Took complaints of trespassing and injured animals. Enforcement action taken for various waterfowl violations and trespassing.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of wrapping up the majority of firearm deer hunter enforcement request flights. Jensen monitored ice angling pressure on various lakes for local officers. Jensen also performed some required FAA flight training. Aircraft maintenance was handled on poor weather days.


NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended annual training for the helicopters which consist of ground school and flight checks in the helicopters.


NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) conducted pilot training classes, as part of annual helicopter pilot training. He also flew a training flight with another pilot. Aircraft maintenance was also completed.


Pilot/CO Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew fisher and wolf telemetry missions and work on aviation training and aircraft maintenance.


CO Pilot Bob Geving conducted big game hunting support flights. He also worked on training material and prepared for an upcoming presentation.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://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 http://www.mndnr.gov.

Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://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 http://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: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for upcoming snowmobile and Firearm Safety instructor certification training. He also worked on a number of equipment related items during the week.

NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on scheduling instructor forums and instructor clinics in the northeast. Patten started plans for District banquets. Patten continued work on a presentation for the conflict management team. Patten reviewed the online ATV and Snowmobile classes from other states to see what may work for Minnesota. Classes from Montana, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and North Dakota were reviewed.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke attended a meeting in St. Paul. He finished setting up his volunteer instructor forums. RTO Neitzke worked with CO Pril; they responded to a call of a possible deer season violation in Jordan, and they patrolled Scott and Dakota counties. RTO Neitzke also worked the 3B deer season with CO Quandt.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on instructor forums and upcoming training for safety instructors. Time was also spent working in District 18 for the B-deer season and the opener of the muzzleloader season. Few hunters were out for either season and the number of deer harvested seemed to be down from previous years.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week worked on snowmobile safety training items and reviewed online safety training programs. He also checked deer hunters and anglers in the field.

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