CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) A muzzleloader deer hunter was reported to be using a rifle while hunting. When investigated, CO Kuske didn’t find a rifle but did find a scope that the person hid in the snow as he saw the CO approach his stand.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) A deer was illegally taken with a rifle after dark in the area of CR#33 in Big Stone County. Anyone with information about this violation is please asked to call the TIP line @ (800) 652-9093.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking waterfowl hunters and deer hunters. Complaints of trespass and other tip calls were taken. One hunter discarded his carcasses in the roadway and was sent back to clean them up. Trash goes in the trash not in the road ditch.
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling and spearing activity on Lake of the Woods. Trapping activity was monitored. Violations for the week included possession of marijuana and operating unregistered ATVs.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked big/small game and angling enforcement throughout Warroad, the Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods and the Beltrami Island State Forest. The ice on Lake of the Woods is thickening and houses are popping up daily, resorts expect a large influx and believe ice fishing will be in full swing within the next couple of weeks. Anglers on Lake of the Woods are reporting a good bite and those spearing have had decent luck as well. CO Benjamin attended the fur registration that took place in Roosevelt. Calls for service included complaints of trap tampering, a wounded deer in a field and a hunter attempting to take deer with the aid of bait. Enforcement action taken this week included illegal length fish and angling without license in possession.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) has seen a steady increase in anglers on Lake of the Woods. The walleye bite has been slow, but some persistent anglers have been able to fill their limits. The fisher/pine marten trapping season came to a successful end for many local trappers who registered their furs last Friday. CO Prachar arrested a man for felony possession of narcotics on Lake of the Woods. Other enforcement action taken during the week included possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, possession of alcohol by persons under 21 years old, and fishing without an angling license.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked anglers, muzzleloader hunters, and trappers. Enforcement action was taken for deer registration and early fisher violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working trapping activity, ATV activity and angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints, preparing for an upcoming snowmobile safety class and assistance was given to the sheriff’s office with a report of a stolen fish house. Enforcement action for the week included several over length walleye violations and angling without license in possession was quite common. CO Regas participated in the Kelliher High School’s career shadow program providing students interested in wildlife enforcement career information and an introduction to the career as a Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking muzzleloader deer hunters. Time was also spent checking ice anglers, small game hunters and working trapping enforcement.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked deer hunting, trapping, snowmobile and angling activities. He assisted other agencies, responded to car kills, worked at trapper registration, taught laws and ethics at snowmobile safety classes and also attended a sportsmen’s club meeting.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, trappers and talked to a local 6th grade class about fur and trapping.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked trapping activity in the area. Ice fishermen were checked on area lakes with activity continuing to increase with the improvement of ice conditions. Success varies from lake to lake. A complaint of individuals trespassing to gain access to a small lake was taken and investigated. Snowmobilers were observed riding in the ditches, but snow conditions are poor.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked small game hunters and trapping activity throughout the week. Muzzleloader deer hunting was also monitored. Time was spent checking ice angling activity. Enforcement action for the week included several trapping violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports trappers contacted him with accidental fisher taken after the close of the season and investigating TIPs of possible unattended traps and over-limits of panfish. Ice conditions continue to improve with 10-12 inches being common. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration and no angling license in possession.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, monitored trapping and assisted with fur registration. The fish bite was good and deer activity was slowing down. Follow-up was conducted on deer and trapping cases.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports time was spent checking fishermen. Fishing activity is picking up with the improved ice conditions. Time was also spent following up on trapping complaints, possible illegal taking of deer and attending a Minnesota Deer Hunters banquet.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ice angling on area lakes with anglers reporting mixed results and varying ice depths. Trapping activity was monitored with follow up on accidental caught fisher and fur registration. A few snowmobiles have been sighted and complaints of excessive speed received. Muzzleloader deer hunting activity was worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week checking anglers, trappers, and muzzleloader hunters. Anglers are seeing up to 14 inches of ice; however, there are several area lakes that still have open water or thin ice. Anglers are encouraged to be cautious. Angling activity has been slow with only a few fish caught. The officer registered several fisher and otter at the end of the week for local trappers. Calls from the public included questions about fishing the Red River, trespass and hunter harassment.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on open WCA and Public Waters cases. Time was spent following up on progress with LGU’s and hydrologists. Time was also spent working on scheduling upcoming trainings.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports more anglers are taking to the ice with vehicles in some cases. Most reports have been mediocre action at best and caution is still recommended. Richards assisted with fur registration in Fergus Falls with good numbers of fisher observed. Goose hunters continue to have good success near and around Fergus Falls. A radio interview was done on an upcoming snowmobile safety class.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) taught a snowmobile safety class in Henning certifying 23 students over the weekend. Plautz monitored deer hunters and ice anglers throughout the week. Ice conditions continue to increase through the area with much fishing success. Deer carcasses being dumped along road ditches seem to be a common complaint this week.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking deer hunters, trappers, fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Additional time was spent assisting local snowmobile safety instructors set up a class.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and trappers. Fishing activity has increased with better ice conditions in the area. ATV registration violations were encountered the most during the week.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports more and more ice fishing pressure on area lakes every day. Fishing activity was monitored along with ATV and snowmobile, as this remains the most popular method anglers are using on the ice. Panfish are still producing well and drawing the most attention. One citation was issued to an angler for overlimit of crappie.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work deer hunting activity including muzzleloader and archery hunters. Several investigations were closed out and several more remain open. Additional time was spent monitoring pheasant hunting and trapping activity. A lot of ice angling and spearing activity is taking place on area lakes with ATVs and some vehicles being used for travel.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on muzzleloader deer hunters, pheasant hunters, fishermen and ATV operators. Anderson has found ATV’s being used for ice fishing have been legally registered unlike years past. Calls were fielded from the public this week about snowmobile safety classes, coyote hunting, and fish shelter questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, deer hunters, pheasant hunters, and trappers. Additional time was spent working fur registration at the Glenwood wildlife office, answering questions about upcoming snowmobile safety class, and returning calls about spearing on Mud Lake in Traverse County.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked deer baiting cases, trapping cases and unlawful shelters on the ice. Enforcement action was taken for trapping in a state park and various shelter violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, trappers and fishermen. Officer Hunter spoke with trappers at the fur registration day. CO Hunter checked on a fish house that didn’t have reflective material on it.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports many anglers were out with the improving ice conditions with many shacks and houses appearing on the ice. Trapping activity was on the rise as well with the fisher season in progress, and the fur registration station after the season closure. Enforcement action was taken for youth operation of an ATV and using illegal equipment to take waterfowl.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked angling and trapping activity. Anglers are reporting up to 16 inches of ice in some areas and some trucks have been seen on the ice. Pressure ridges and cracks are becoming a big issue for navigation on most larger lakes. Enforcement action was taken for illegally set snares and traps, spear without a license, no angling license in possession, and marijuana possession.
CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) noted an increase in ice fishing activity. Anglers were checked on several area lakes. Panfish and pike were targeted with decent success. A few muzzleloader hunters remain in the woods. No harvested deer were checked. Trappers in the work area continue to be monitored. CO Shroyer attended the furbearer registration station in Aitkin on Friday. ATVs were checked while patrolling and while checking ice anglers. A public waters issue was addressed. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, and no fishing license in possession. Investigations are ongoing related to trapping violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on deer hunting, trapping, spearing, and ice angling activity. CO Broughten checked few ice anglers where most reported moderate success. CO Broughten also checked muzzleloader deer hunters and assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession and failure to notify of accidental killed fisher.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the muzzleloader deer season and check fishermen. Halverson dealt with accidental fisher caught after season ended.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) worked trappers, grouse hunters, muzzleloaders and ice fishermen. Comfortable weekend weather had many out checking fish bite and getting houses/shelters in place.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on muzzleloader and trapping enforcement, enforcement action involved illegal snare set, failure to validate site coupon, and failure to register pine marten. Fur registration was also attended with more furs registered than expected. Ice fishing and spearing activity on Lake Kabetogama and Rainy Lake picking up with better ice conditions observed. People are still cautioned to be careful with ice conditions.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week checking trappers, muzzleloaders, and ice anglers. CO Van Asch attended fur registration day at the DNR Forestry office in Big Falls and saw many individuals that had a successful season. Ice angling and spearing activity has increased on area lakes with reports of good ice. Both angling and spearing are having some luck on the big lakes and people are still encouraged to use caution while venturing out onto the ice. Enforcement action was taken for untagged traps, failure to display valid registration, angling without a license in possession, and failure to register a bobcat.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the woods have again become quiet, muzzleloader activities appear non-existent as does archery hunting, angling activity is limited with poor results reported.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) Officer spent much of the week working the short fisher/martin trapping season, which he finished up by working the Tower fur registration station on Friday. Without having the actual numbers, it appears the amount of fur registered this year in Tower was down. The wolf season in northeast Minnesota closed and the Tower station took in a large number of the wolf registrations. The officer also investigated an angler harassment complaint where a landowner on a lake had a confrontation with an ice angler. The following enforcement action was taken this week: transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to validate marten site tag, illegal water set, angler harassment, illegal length walleye, ATV violations, no angling license in possession, fail to display shelter license, and extra line angling.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked trapping and muzzleloader deer activity, along with anglers and following up on open cases from rifle deer season. The officer investigated a doe that was shot in a buck’s only zone and registered otter, fisher, marten and bobcat at fur registration day. The officer assisted CO Hopkins with an angler harassment case that originated in Itasca County. Enforcement action was taken on deer hunting violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking fisher and pine marten trappers. Issues such as untagged traps were encountered and citations were issued to address the violations. Fur registration day was attended and CO Frericks assisted DNR Wildlife in registering fisher and pine marten pelts. Some trappers were neglectful in validating their site tags and some didn’t even bother to get the site tags until after they had caught their animals. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration at the Hibbing office, fur numbers appeared to be down. Times was spent checking ice fishing on area lakes, most reported around 10-12 inches of ice. Some nice northerns have been speared, and walleye caught along with a few crappies. Fredin responded to a residence whose owner found a dead buck on his property and was concerned it was shot.
Ray – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that fishing activity has increased over the past week and reports have been very good. Officer Williams also assisted with the annual fur registration in Tower. Violations included, operating an ATV on a state snowmobile trail, and take big game in closed season.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCAW and assisted other Ely officers in the successful completion of a case involving multiple people and a large buck poached after the season. There is just enough snow for some activities such as skiing and dogsledding on the lakes, but not quite enough for a snowmobile on the trail. Fishing has been picking up a bit and the ice has been building nicely so far.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that he assisted with a snowmobile safety field day. Numbers of students were way down this year. Please encourage your children to take safety courses. Once they reach 14, they no longer can ride a snowmobile on public lands or trails without a safety certificate. As snowmobile and ski clubs kick off their seasons, please consider joining a club where you live or where you ride or ski. Support your sport because every little bit helps. Fur registration was way down this year for pine marten and fisher. Enforcement action was taken for trapping violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers, spearers and trappers. Taking the time to read the regulations would have saved some trappers money and the pelts they had harvested. Overall, marten and fisher season was slower than last season. Enforcement action was taken for no small game license, lynx zone trapping violations, and lend/borrow tags.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a deer case with COs Williams and Stage. A large buck was seized that was taken out of season with a rifle. Several people were charged with an assortment of taking, transporting, and tagging violations. CO Bermel took possession of incidental pre-season and extra during-season pine martens. Fur registration was worked in Eveleth. Enforcement action was also taken for ATV registration violations and ice fishing violations including angle with an extra line.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked trapping activity. Time was spent at the Finland fur registration as well as checking ice anglers.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking trappers and ice anglers. Fishing remains slow on area lakes. The officer investigated a trapping case that resulted in traps and furs seized. Fur registration was worked in Finland with Officer Schottenbauer. Enforcement action was taken for lend/borrow tags, illegal set traps and untagged traps.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked trappers, muzzleloader hunters, and anglers. Assisted at fur registration, processed incidentally taken furbearers, and looked into a trespass complaint.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, big game, and registered fur. He answered big game and trapping questions, and took care of wildlife calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked trapping activity, monitored bough harvest and investigated muzzleloader hunting complaints. The area panfish bite has been on the up side lately. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, OHV registration issues and no license in possession.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked trapping activity and hunting activity. She took a call concerning trespassing issues and other possible hunting violations. She and two other conservation officers went to investigate the incident and found an untagged deer hanging in camp. She also checked some angling activity. Ice conditions seem to be fairly good in the local area, but caution is still advised for highway vehicle traffic. Always talk to a local resort or bait shop before going on the ice to avoid falling through.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked muzzleloading hunters and followed up with cases from rifle deer season. Enforcement action was taken for an over-limit of deer, taking an antlerless deer without a lottery tag, baiting deer, failing to tag a deer, failing to validate a license and failing to register a deer. A trapping case was also worked where illegally taken fur was transported. Enforcement action was taken for failing to check traps and targeting a species before season. Multiple fur-bearers were seized.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked muzzleloader deer hunters, trappers and ice fishermen. He also worked several hunting and trapping complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked muzzleloader deer hunters and small game hunters.
District 8 – Duluth area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott checked trappers and muzzleloader hunters. Trappers and muzzleloader hunters were far and few between this year, but those talked to were in good spirts with the warm weather and optimistic on outcomes. Work on a WCA violation in northern St. Louis County was conducted with the investigation ongoing.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked muzzleloader season the majority of the week and assisted with the Jay Cooke State Park Hunt. Time was spent working trappers in the area and recovering incidental catches. Anglers are venturing out onto most lakes now and the officer patiently waited for them to return to shore to complete checks. Officer Schmidt assisted instructors in Pine County with a snowmobile safety class.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports that area anglers were out in force as good ice conditions continue to make access to favorite fishing holes possible. The officer attended the trapping registration day in Duluth and checked muzzleloader and late season archery hunters.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) assisted with a tree top and bough cutting investigation. Several days were spent working trapping enforcement. Time was also spent working a recreation vehicle trespass, several deer carcass litter complaints, and an investigation involving archery deer hunting. Deer hunters and fishermen were also checked during the week. Officer Duncan also assisted DNR Wildlife staff with fur registration in Two Harbors and gave a presentation at a snowmobile safety class in Duluth.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity on several area lakes throughout the week. Ice on area lakes is averaging 8-12 inches. Anglers were using ATVs and a few cars were observed on the ice. CO Humphrey continued an investigation into the alleged taking of spruce tips on public land. CO Humphrey assisted with fur registration at Cloquet area Wildlife Office. CO Humphrey also assisted staff at Jay Cooke State Park with the special muzzleloader deer hunt. Violations for hunting deer with aid/use of bait and harvesting/transporting spruce tips without landowner consent form were encountered.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers in the Duluth area. The ice appears in decent condition. Olson attended a Lake Superior Fisheries public meeting. The meeting dealt with the future management plan for Lake Superior and the tributaries. He also assisted fellow District 8 officers with the special deer hunt in Jay Cooke State Park.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) worked the fur registration day in Two Harbors. He observed the number of trappers were down from previous years. Ice anglers have been out in great numbers with the new ice, but need to remember that the ice can be very irregular, especially in areas with current. A kickoff meeting was attended for the 2016 Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan. Enforcement action was taken for trapping, angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked ice angling and trapping enforcement during the week. He also attended fur registration and a Lake Superior Management Plan meeting. He worked the Jay Cooke muzzleloader deer hunt. Time was also spent on completing investigation paperwork. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers and trappers, assisted with fur registration, and monitored late season muzzleloader hunting activity. Cars and trucks are starting to venture out on some area lakes, but others still have some thin ice, cracks and pressure ridges.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports checking ice anglers, who found conditions to be quite slippery and windy this week on area lakes. She also followed up on a couple of deer hunting investigations as well as checked trapping activity.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including follow up work on deer season cases, responding to complaints of dogs chasing deer, wanton waste of deer / dumping of carcasses and other suspicious hunting activity, checking fishing and muzzleloader deer hunting activity, and working with the Deerwood Snow Serpents snowmobile club on youth snowmobile safety instructor training.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) monitored ice fishing and muzzleloader hunting activity. Very few muzzleloader hunters have been observed out hunting, however many ice anglers are starting to venture out on area lakes. CO McGowan also worked Dakota Co for waterfowl hunting activity, and numerous waterfowl hunting violations were detected. One trapper was also cited for an illegally taken fisher.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked anglers on area lakes and muzzleloader hunting activity. A criminal investigation from the late summer was completed and dropped off at the Morrison County Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Officer Guida also prepared for an upcoming drug investigation court trial involving an angler illegally possessing controlled substances on a public water body.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with so-so success being reported by anglers on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes. Officer Lee also continued with investigations from the firearms deer season. Very few muzzleloader hunters were out this past week, but the few checked were reporting slow activity. Officer Lee attended a Snowmobile Safety Training class in Emily which was well attended by area youth Officer Lee spoke to youth attending the class along with their parents about laws and regulations pertaining to snowmobiling and snowmobile safety. The parents stated that they really enjoyed being part of the training, and learned valuable information for them as well.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked trapping, fishing and muzzleloader activity during the week. He also attended fur registration.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked ice angling and spearing activity and the ATV traffic that goes with it. Some buckets of crappies and 38 inch plus northerns were observed. ATV violations were common. If you operate an ATV in Minnesota there is a one-third chance you need to renew your registration this month. A few muzzleloader hunters were out but seeing less deer. Trappers were also out for fisher season but also pulling water sets as even water with current has mostly frozen over.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked people spearing on Mille Lacs Lake. Several individuals had great success in spearing several northern pike. Investigations are being conducted about individuals who are illegally spearing fish other than northern pike; several credible leads are being followed. Fur registration was attended at the Mille Lacs WMA. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, not tending to traps, and failing to validate a fisher tag.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports seeing quite a few fishermen trying their luck out on Mille Lacs Lake and also other smaller lakes in the Malmo station. The Officer checked quite a few spear fishermen looking for pike on Mille Lacs Lake and several of them had some nice pike. Assistance was given to the DNR Wildlife Division with fur registration in the Aitkin and General Andrews offices. Patrol was done for muzzleloader and also small game hunters in the Solana State Forest and surrounding county land. A trespass complaint was followed up on and a TIP on a trapping case was also investigated. ATV activity was also monitored in and around the Malmo station during the week and weekend. A TIP on a possible WCA violation was investigated and lots of fishing, spearing, small game, and big game related law questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration. She worked with the Pine County Attorney on a case from the 2013 deer season. A plea agreement was reached and the defendant pleaded guilty to a felon in possession of a firearm, hunting without a license and fleeing from police. Speldrich attended a LEMA honor guard meeting, followed up on an investigation from firearms deer season, and checked traps.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored spear fishing activity on Mille Lacs and found some nice pike coming in, although action is reported as slow. ATV and snowmobile registration issues were dealt with, along with failing to transfer ownership. A trespass situation was looked into and a deer case is also under investigation. Fur registration was attended. Poor road conditions due to freezing rain, called for CO Starr to assist with vehicles in ditches and traffic control assistance.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time continuing investigations that involved trespassing and deer poaching from the firearms deer season. Trappers were assisted with registering their harvested furs and time was spent on area lakes checking ice anglers. Pan fish and pike were biting throughout the area and violations found included taking fish while using too many lines. There was very little snow cover in the area making snowmobile trails inoperable.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about trapping, ice conditions, and muzzleloader hunting. CO Wynn checked anglers and spent time monitoring trapping activity. He finished up the week following up on deer season complaints and checked WMA areas.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Fishing has been fair seeing a few crappies being caught on smaller lakes. Time was spent at the area wildlife office monitoring fur registration. A complaint of preempting a trapping area was investigated. A party called and reported shots after dark which turned out to be a group setting off fireworks left over from the 4th of July.
WREO Rob Haberman (WREO) checked ice anglers on local lakes throughout his work area. WREO Haberman also checked muzzle load hunters and trappers around the area. WREO Haberman worked on wetland and public water cases in his assigned work area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers on area lakes and followed up on investigations from the deer season. A presentation was provided to an area high school natural resources class.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, spearing, small game and muzzleloader hunters. Enforcement action was taken for taking small game without license.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports several medium sized shelters have appeared on area lakes. Although there are several inches of ice on most area lakes, ice thickness is not consistent and some spots have been reopening. A game farm inspection was conducted. A few muzzleloader hunters were out.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a hunter for illegal lend/borrow deer licenses from firearms deer season. The hunter had shot a buck and called a guy to come tag the deer. Enforcement action was taken for the violation. It’s that time of year now for anglers to check their fish house ID. Houses must have full name and address or MNDNR # or driver’s license number posted on the house legibly. CO Kuske is finding houses with no shelter tag and no ID on them.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland complaints. Wetland Restorations Orders were served in Stearns County. Yet another lend/borrow deer license case was made.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked deer hunters, anglers and ATV activity. Investigations continued on deer cases from the bow and gun seasons with more cases made for over limit of deer and lend borrow of deer tags. Angling success has picked up on some area lakes. A snowmobile fell through the ice on one area lake with plans on getting it out of the lake.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies worked on a deer investigation. CO Mies gave a law talk at the St. Augusta snowmobile safety class. CO Mies dealt with several other calls.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) heard complaints from some about poor luck during the deer season; it must not have been from a lack of deer as the number of car kills lately has been way higher than normal. A muzzleloader deer hunter was reported to be using a rifle while hunting. When investigated, CO Kuske didn’t find a rifle but did find a scope that the person hid in the snow as he saw the CO approach his stand. A parent was cited after dropping off their 15-year-old son at a lake to stay overnight in the fish house while he and the wife went out for dinner. The boy was found operating an ATV without safety training, no helmet and no registration on the machine. Ice conditions on area lakes are quite good, northern pike fishing has been great, several individuals were investigated for exceeding the possession limit of more than one pike over 30 inches. Concerned citizens reported several bears denning up in a culvert, CO Kuske crawled in to investigate and found a sow and two cubs snug as bug in their winter home. People are encouraged not to disturb bears in their den not only for the bear’s safety but people as well.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking ice anglers this week. Many anglers were out on area lakes and finding good numbers of panfish. CO Langevin is still receiving numerous calls for deer parts dumped in the area ditches. CO Langevin also spoke to a snowmobile safety class over the weekend. Snowmobile riders are still hitting some of the area trails even with the poor snow conditions.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked muzzleloaders in the Sandune State Forest. He followed up on a possible wetlands violation. He checked waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River. He did a snowmobile safety class talk to 60+ kids in Otsego. He picked up a coyote with an untagged trap on it. He continued having his trailers inspected to make sure they are safe. He made a number of calls on nuisance animals.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. CO Musatov investigated a call of hunter harassment. A call was received about property left on a WMA- the property was seized.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation in Maple Lake to approximately 40 students of a snowmobile safety class. Reller also monitored muzzleloaders hunters in a permitted hunt in Maria State Park. A few snowmobilers and anglers were checked, but activity has been slow due to the lack of snow and quality ice.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on special regulation lakes. Muzzleloader deer hunters were checked with a few having success. Pheasant hunters were still out looking for birds but found none.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for hunting activity. CO Salzer attended the fur registration the day after the end of the fisher and marten season. Salzer also patrolled area lakes for ice fishing activity.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe presented at a safety day at a local business. Violations included failing to register an ATV and license issues.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and ice fishing activity in Scott County. He responded to a TIP complaint of illegal trapping and nuisance animal complaints. Officer Lee also answered questions regarding duck hunting on the Minnesota River and small game hunting season in the Hmong community.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the Bloomington station for angling activity and responded to a complaint/confrontation at Fort Snelling State Park among visitors. He returned calls for law questions, injured animals and assisted the Carver County Sheriff’s Office with a big game violation that involved an individual who shot an injured deer with a gun and took it home.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) finished an investigation of an illegally taken deer on the last day of the 601 season in East Bethel. A summons was issued, and the deer was confiscated. CO Johnson assisted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department with an incident in Afton State Park. He issued a possession permit for a road kill gray fox. CO Johnson spoke to a snowmobile safety class in St. Francis.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week reviewing wetland and shoreline related cases with a restoration order being issued in Anoka County. Time was also spent patrolling for muzzleloader deer hunting activity. WREO Block participated in a media advisory in St. Paul pertaining to the opening of the snowmobile trails December 1st.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week working on a big game violation case and patrolling the WMAs for tree stands being left overnight. He also continued checking deer hunters and anglers. CO Arntzen handled a trapping complaint, fielded calls about baiting for deer and investigated a TIP call. Violations for the week included leaving stands overnight in a WMA, multiple deer license violations, transport an illegally taken deer, and failure to tag deer.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked deer, pheasant and waterfowl hunters around his patrol area. He checked several ice anglers on some of the metro lakes. CO Pril and CO Kulhanek spent time investigating a big game violation and responded to a call regarding a squirrel in a live trap. CO Pril also answered calls and complaints during the week.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports spending time checking waterfowl hunters and ice fishermen around the area. Ice fishermen were seeing some success with crappie and northern. He also assisted another officer with a big game investigation. Enforcement action for the week included waterfowl and big game violations.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration at Carlos Avery WMA. She checked anglers on area lakes and small game and archery hunters in Anoka County. CO Kruse is working on a trespassing case, a couple deer cases and a litter case. She handled nuisance animal calls, issued a car kill deer permit and did an interview with another student she is mentoring at Century College.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting investigations and checking muzzleloader hunters and ice anglers. Some area lakes are producing some nice walleye. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful transportation of pheasants, trespass, and various deer license issues.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Enforcement action was taken on failure to tend traps. Ice fishermen are doing well on area lakes, and are reminded to be careful.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts towards ice anglers, pheasant and muzzleloader deer hunters. A deer was illegally taken with a rifle after dark in the area of CR#33 in Big Stone County. Anyone with information about this violation is please asked to call the TIP line @ (800) 652-9093. Two snowmobile safety classes were taught in Appleton and Benson.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) closed out several PW and WCA cases in several counties. A WCA violation was discovered and worked in Lincoln Co. for illegal tiling, an RPN was issued and an RO is forthcoming. Muzzleloader hunters and pheasant hunters were checked with enforcement action taken for blaze orange violations.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports the ice fishermen are reporting 10 inches of ice on average. Late season muzzleloader deer and pheasant hunters are having success. Reports of shooting from motor vehicles and shooting deer from the road right away are being investigated.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked muzzleloader and archery deer hunters as well as pheasant hunters. He checked ice anglers and ATV operators. Denz also spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Willmar. He also answered questions at a local dark house association meeting and followed up on trespass and shooting from the roadway complaints.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking muzzleloader hunters and dealing with trespass complaints. There was also a lot of time spent on the ice checking fishermen. It is still important to check the ice since it is not the same all over on every lake. Many ice fishermen were reminded that they need to have their license in possession when they go out fishing. One angler was reminded with a citation that it is important to pull up your lines and not leave them unattended while you go make a beer run.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a TIP call dealing with a removal of a tree from a WMA near Beaver Creek. Deer hunters and anglers were also checked during the week. A complaint of three dead deer in the middle of a field was investigated. Mueller also spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Hutchinson.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued to check muzzleloader hunters as well as pheasant hunters. Ice angling has been slow to get started in the area. Oberg also reports working a wolf case where enforcement action was taken. Snowmobiling activity has all but melted away but ATV’s have been active again.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated a solid waste complaint. He received numerous calls regarding predator hunting regulations. Nelson worked mainly deer hunting and fishing activities.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked small game, angling and muzzleloader deer. He also worked some field waterfowl hunting through Saturday. A few mallard and geese were still being sought after. Ice fishermen have found their way on to several area lakes with ATV’s and larger less portable houses.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) continued investigations on the poaching of deer. Waterfowl and small game hunters were checked. Anglers on ice are reminded to please pick up after themselves while on ice and police others as well. ATV inspections were completed on ice anglers. One deer hunter called in a poached deer that he had found. Upon investigating, it turned out the deer was a road kill and was being used for coyote bait. The complainant however was using an illegal scope on his muzzleloader and enforcement action was taken.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working the muzzleloader hunting season. A handful of TIP calls are currently under investigation. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to check muzzleloader hunters this past week. Pheasant hunters and ice anglers were also checked throughout the week. Questions on trapping regulations were answered.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week monitoring fishing activity as well as checking deer and pheasant hunters. A trapping complaint was also investigated. Officer Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, big game, and small game activity during the week. Complaints were received regarding deer hunting activity and hunter harassment.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATVs, trappers, and muzzleloader deer hunters. The officer spent time working the muzzleloader hunt at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. A number of hunters were successful.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports muzzleloader hunter success remains slow. Ice conditions on area lakes remain highly variable. Use caution if venturing out on the lakes. CO Howe also recorded a radio interview and returned several calls.
WREO Julie Siems worked deer and goose hunters resulting in violations for possessing lead. WCA and waters violations were also followed up on.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking ice anglers and following up on cases from the deer season. Success for ice fishing in the area has been pretty slow but numerous anglers have been out giving it there best efforts. Some fishing and deer hunting violations were detected during the week.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking waterfowl hunters and deer hunters. Complaints of trespass and other tip calls were taken. One hunter discarded his carcasses in the roadway and was sent back to clean them up. Trash goes in the trash not in the road ditch.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and hunters during the week. Duck hunters had a hard time finding open water, but the ones that did shot some ducks. Goose hunters did ok as well. Anglers were having mixed success in the backwaters.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good fishing in the area. He checked limits and near limits of panfish. He checked goose hunters in the Rochester area along with deer and small game hunters. Hemker continues to assist with the search for the missing victim on the river. He also had a ride-along from a local college.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a variety of enforcement activities ranging from archery and muzzleloader deer hunters to ice fishermen and trappers out enjoying the warm weather. Some very nice pan fish are being found in the backwaters. Several investigations from the fall as well as trespass issues were addressed this week.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the panfish bite is on. Check ice thickness before going out on the backwaters. Searching for the missing fishermen continues (4 weeks now). Muzzleloaders that were doing deer drives had good success this past week. He continued with some follow up investigations from the firearm season. Enforcement for the week included no small game license, possession of toxic shot, and not enough blaze orange.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working trappers, deer hunters and waterfowl hunters. The deer take has slowed with goose hunting being spotty.
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 Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew big game support flights for the muzzleloader season. Geving also attended a pilots’ meeting at Camp Ripley and worked on training flights with Pilot Lofstuen.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed annual pilot training for one individual, and attended the quarterly pilot meeting. Fall projects and upcoming winter projects were discussed, as well as safety, maintenance items, and other administrative tasks.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten and wolf telemetry and attended quarterly Pilots meeting.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) finished recurrent instrument flight training. Jensen attended a two day safety meeting for the Aviation Section. Items were discussed including industry trends, equipment updates/needs and upcoming projects. Jensen also coordinated removal of floats and installation of skis on aircraft.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.