Weekly Conservation Officer Report


Virginia: CO Matt Frericks spoke with a federal wolf trapper who was removing problem wolves from a farm where the owner suffered losses of cattle. The trapper reported removing 6 wolves from one piece of land alone. CO Frericks met with another landowner only about a mile away who is also reporting aggressive wolf behavior

Malmo: Calls regarding nuisance beaver were fielded and permits were issued. Multiple calls of bears doing damage to crops were taken and in on case a bear was destroyed and gifted away to another party.

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked bear baiting activity around Roseau County. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Assistance was given to Roseau County Sheriff’s Office with a drug bust.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked bear baiting, AIS, angling and ATV enforcement. CO Benjamin along with CO Cowden gave a safety and regulations briefing to the Firearms Safety Class at the Warroad High School, stressing the importance of safe handling of firearms and explaining the actions of a responsible hunter. Time was spent going over the regulations book with the future hunters, pointing out that the majority of the violations that we deal with could have been avoided if only the individual had taken the time to read the regulations prior to engaging in the activity. Enforcement action was taken for the following: allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, passenger on an ATV under the age of 18 without a helmet, angling with an extra line and no throwable legal life saving device on board a watercraft.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week working Lake of the Woods and the surrounding area. Time was spent focusing on angling and OHM enforcement, as well as bear baiting. Anglers were checked on both the north and south side of the lake, with the north seeing much better luck. Enforcement action taken for operating OHM on public highway, no helmet or eye protection on OHM for operator under 18, operating unregistered OHM, and no angling license in possession.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. CO Prachar is preparing for the 2015 bear season to start and anticipating a busy September with many hunting seasons opening in the near future.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended annual training at Camp Ripley, taught the law and ethics portion of the Thief River Falls firearms safety class, and continued to monitor bear baiting activity. Bear hunters are reminded that they are required to register all baits, even those on private land, by the next postal day following the establishment of that bait. Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration violations and unlawful operation in a WMA.

Thief River Falls #2 Vacant

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring boater AIS compliance, angling and boating activity on special regulation lakes and bear baiting activity throughout the week. Time was spent at the fall in-service training and nuisance beaver complaints were handled.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class in Crookston.

Time was also spent checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers. Bear baiting activity was also monitored. ATV operators were contacted and past complaint sites were checked. A public waters violation site was inspected. Violations included no angling license and no helmets on ATV passengers under 18-years-old.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted training at in-service and the CO Academy.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht spent time at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley working with cadets on watercraft operation and learning boating regulations. CO Vollbrecht was also an evaluator during scenario day at Ripley.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked bear baiting and ATV activity throughout the week. Complaints were received regarding ATVs operating in areas they shouldn’t be. CO Holt investigated a complaint of two dogs which had chased down a fawn and killed it. The officer also checked on a complaint of bears damaging crops.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports collecting an injured loon for a local vet to check out, assisting the MSP with a multiple vehicle crash on US Hwy 10 and taking a trespass complaint of target shooting within 500 feet of a corral. Anglers were contacted and AIS prevention was discussed. CO Vinton participated in a radio broadcast for WCCO from the cities broadcasting live from Perham. The areas hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities were discussed.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked bear baiters and ATV riders. He also assisted with in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) returned from western fire duty. The weekend was spent checking fishermen and looking for early goose hunters.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working areas for bear baiting activity. Angling and boating activity was monitored. CO Warren followed up on complaints of possible wildlife harassment, poached deer, vehicles tearing up forest roads, and worked with the area hydrologist in regards to a possible public waters violation. ATV riders were checked for regulation compliance. Questions were answered in relation to crossbows, permit to carry and the upcoming deer season.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring intensive goose season hunters, bear baiting, and ATV activity. Annual in-service training was also attended at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given to Becker County Sheriff’s Department in the search for a burglary suspect. Calls from the public included an injured deer and a young red squirrel stuck in a window well. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license in possession and obstructing the ingress/egress of a public access site.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week instructing at in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was spent on WCA and APO cases. First aid and CPR training were attended.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) attended training at Camp Ripley and fielded questions from the public on numerous topics. Public waters violations were followed up on with enforcement action taken. Time was also spent on angling, ATV, AIS, and waterfowl enforcement.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked multiple complaints of wetland ditching and tiling. Plautz worked with SWCD, NRCS, the Otter Tail County Board and the county attorney’s office on these issues. A TIP of over limit of fish is being investigated.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) assisted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office with a search for a domestic assault suspect that fled on foot. Questions and comments were taken at the Douglas County Fair in Alexandria while working the TIP Trailer. Aquatic plant removal cases were investigated with the APM Specialist and lakeshore alteration cases were investigated with DNR hydrologist.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen, boaters and ATV operators. Additional time was spent working the TIP “Wall of Shame” trailer at the Douglas County Fair. Numerous questions from the public were answered regarding upcoming hunting seasons while working the TIP trailer.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATV complaints, August Canada goose season and AIS law compliance. Anderson worked Lake Minnewaska pubic accesses for AIS violations. Annual in-service was attended at Camp Ripley and minnow transportation permits were reviewed and issued. Calls from the public were answered regarding nuisance wildlife, and upcoming deer and waterfowl season questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen and working on a commercial minnow case. Additional time was spent speaking at the annual Pope County Pheasant Restoration Youth Day, performing maintenance on station equipment, and attending annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) attended three days of training, checked wild rice harvesters and answered questions related to big game hunting. Rice in the area is still a bit green.   Parthun was a presenter at a Firearms Safety Class and took a complaint of possible wolf depredation. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered ATV.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Range day was also attended at a local firearms safety class. A wolf depredation was investigated as well as a possible wetland violation. An ATV complaint was investigated near a Wildlife Management Area.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, ricing, and boating activity. Angling success remains poor and most wild rice is still green. CO Broughten spent time checking bear baiting activity. CO Broughten investigated public waters violations, aquatic plant violation, a possible stolen ATV, and nuisance beaver complaints. CO Broughten also attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted local law enforcement with a domestic.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) attended ATV club meetings and gave youth Firearms Safety talks along with patrolling area forest and trails. An abundance of illegal cross country travel in the limited forests is occurring and violators are being contacted and educated to cease any future use of the illegal trails. Bear baits stations are popping up and again a reminder to baiters in limited forest classes no off trail travel is allowed until September, once a bear is harvested then the ATV may be utilized to drag the animal. She assisted with traffic of recreation vehicles related to Brainerd International Raceway.

Remer – vacant.

Walker – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) continues to monitor the bear baiting activities throughout the area with baiting in full swing. Questions regarding ATV use on surrounding trails were fielded and ATV complaints continue to be investigated. CO Van Asch also attended the annual in-service training for the division held at Camp Ripley.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, checking access sites, and attending training. CO Fondie spent time with computer data entry and returning phone calls

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week working on bear baiting. The officer assisted CO Fredin with a TIP call on Lake Vermilion that led to an over-limit case. Officer responded to Aurora to assist PD with nuisance bear complaint. Officer also handled a couple of more bear complaints, residents were advised to remove garbage/ feeders.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley, worked bear bait station checks, state park enforcement, and prepared class materials for teaching classes at the Conservation Officer Academy.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke with a federal wolf trapper who was removing problem wolves from a farm where the owner suffered losses of cattle. The trapper reported removing 6 wolves from one piece of land alone. CO Frericks met with another landowner only about a mile away who is also reporting aggressive wolf behavior. Area wild rice beds are starting to ripen and some ricers are anxious to get out there. CO Frericks reminds wild rice gatherers to be patient and wait for the rice to ripen and the rice will be more abundant and of better quality.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent much of the week with division’s yearly training. Numerous complaints have been received about a three foot bear causing issues throughout the entire town of Aurora. Fredin spent time on a TIP call on Lake Vermilion’s Cook Station that resulted in a citation and fish seized.

Cook – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused on bear bait enforcement over the week. Baiting activity was high and many showed signs of recent bear visits. Violations included: litter, and operating an ATV on a county highway.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped teach defensive tactics and firearms to officers from around the state at annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer also checked bear baits, answered questions on ATV operation by juveniles and Firearms Safety classes, and followed up on reports of fish over-limits and angling license issues.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports attending training at Camp Ripley and working bear baiting. Some nuisance bear calls are still coming in. Enforcement action was taken for fail to transfer ATV ownership and operating on a state highway.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear baiting activity in the area.  CO Schottenbauer also checked several anglers on remote lakes. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for training.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted with teaching firearms training during in-service at Camp Ripley. The officer responded to multiple calls regarding nuisance animals. Bear bait stations, ATV riders and anglers were also worked.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, big game, and ATV enforcement efforts during the week. Lake trout and salmon fishing continues to be good on Lake Superior. A trapping incident was investigated and an illegal report of a beaver dam removal was taken.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended training at Camp Ripley, checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and continued work for ongoing cases. Enforcement action taken for operating an ATV on a public highway.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) answered nuisance wildlife calls. He assisted the Itasca County deputies with a warrant arrest. CO Hansen worked at the DNR Academy with Use of Force training as well as division in-service training.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended in service training at Camp Ripley, worked racing activity and checked anglers. The wet weather kept most people inside last week.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked bear baiting activity during the last week with some baiters have early success getting bears to their baits. CO Sutherland also attended a local lake association meeting where invasive species concerns were discussed.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs and bear baiters. He also attended an annual in-service training during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV driving off trails. CO Wichmann also attended the Splithand Lakes Association meeting.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) attended training at Camp Ripley this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked ATV complaint areas on the Mesabi Trail. CO Velsvaag checked OHM operators on area trails.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) received several complaints of wolves making appearances around people’s homes and livestock. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for in-service training and bear baits were also checked for compliance during the week.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended annual in-service training and assisted in armoring division handguns at Camp Ripley during the week. CO Humphrey assisted COs Speldrich and Staples working the annual off highway motorcycle enduro event held in the Nemadji State Forest. CO Humphrey received calls on wolf livestock depredation, bear bait registration and a loon tangled in fishing line. CO Humphrey issued a wetland restoration order and followed up on an APM restoration project on Eagle Lake. Violations for ATV and OHM operation and registration were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a Firearms Safety Class in Floodwood and attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was spent working the annual enduro race in the Nemadji State Forest. Bear baits were checked in the area and ATV activity was worked in the area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a County Road, equipment and litter violations.

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) spent time at Camp Ripley armoring handguns for divisional officers. Training was attended at Camp Ripley as well for yearly training review. Officer Scott provided input and information to local government unit on wetland violation and public water violation where a person is trying to install an access on their property for access to a lake.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked boaters on Lake Superior and worked AIS enforcement. He assisted a local sheriff’s office with an assault of a paramedic in Canosia Twp, responded to a call of an injured black bear in Rice Lake Twp and answered questions on bear hunting regulations. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a county road.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and assisted with watercraft training at the DNR academy. An ATV detail was worked in the Nemadji State Forest with violations of ATV and burning laws. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and burning violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including attending annual training, evidence preparation for a court case, and checking fishing, bear baiting, and wild rice harvesting activity.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) station reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish and bass have been the most productive for anglers. The nice weekend brought out a lot of boaters and PWCs on Gull Lake. Boating enforcement and safety occupied most of his time. No lights after sunset, insufficient PFDs, PWCs operate within 150’ of shore, and loud boats violations were found. He also worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake and Mississippi River. A complaint of ATV’s causing damage to road ditch near Baxter was also investigated.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled the station for Aquatic Invasive Species violations. Firearms training was done at Camp Ripley. ATV enforcement efforts were appreciated around the Brainerd International Raceway over the National Event weekend.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored bear baits for the upcoming bear season, checked boats for aquatic invasive species at boat landings, followed up on litter found on state land, helped at the academy, and answered calls of possible wetland draining and an injured osprey that turned out to be a seagull.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating and invasive species enforcement. Time was also spent checking bear baiting and ricing activity.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for boating activity. CO McGowan also assisted in teaching the watercraft operation course to the new conservation officer cadets at Camp Ripley. CO McGowan also patrolled around the Brainerd International Raceway during the racing event, and one individual was arrested for DWI on an ATV.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) spent time at Camp Ripley for annual officer training.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity including a local tournament. A PWC complaint was addressed, an invasive violation was followed up, and problems with bear baits were straightened out.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending annual in-service training during the week where the Officer recertified in use of force and firearms. Calls regarding nuisance beaver were fielded and permits were issued. Multiple calls of bears doing damage to crops were taken and in on case a bear was destroyed and gifted away to another party. A call regarding wild ricing issues was investigated and a call of several ATV’s causing problems was fielded. The Officer gave a law presentation to a firearms safety class in the Glen Twp area and 18 youth were certified for their firearms safety training. A call regarding questions on how to donate a bear license to an injured Veteran was taken and paperwork was forwarded to get the license transferred. A lot of bear, small game, fishing, boating, ATV, and OHM law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and OHM violations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) instructed boat and water tactics at the academy. ATV enforcement action was taken on county highway riding, registration, and failing to transfer ownership.   Bear hunting questions came in, along with a car-kill bear permit that was issued. Youth deer hunting questions were also answered, along with many questions on the deer lottery for 2015.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time responding to nuisance and injured wildlife calls that included injured hawks, injured deer and bear destroying field corn. Cool and rainy weather kept area lakes quiet except for a few anglers out trying to find crappie and sunfish. State forest areas were very busy with bear baiting activity. CO Grundmeier spent part of the week completing annual firearms training at Camp Ripley.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) continued to receive complaints of bears damaging corn. He spent time answering questions about bear hunting, the upcoming deer seasons, and concerns of neighbors burning. CO Wynn checked state forest and WMA areas for bear baiting activity and assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with a fleeing suspect, and a shoplifter who ran from Walmart security. CO Wynn took additional calls of beaver complaints and issued nuisance permits during the week.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. Some nice bass were seen on Mille Lacs Lake and muskie are becoming more active. Complaints of bear in corn fields were also handled.

WREO Rob Haberman assisted area officers with ATV enforcement in Brainerd for the Brainerd Nationals. WREO Haberman also conducted AIS enforcement is his assigned work area. WREO Haberman also attended annual in-service at Camp Ripley.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) attended division training at Camp Ripley focusing on first aid, firearms, and defensive tactics. A litter investigation at a public access was addressed with the suspect’s information found in the garbage. Enforcement action was taken. Anglers, boaters and AIS enforcement was also worked this week. Nuisance beaver calls were handled.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on AIS along with checking ATVs. CO Mies worked the bridge detail.

WREO Keith Bertram attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given to CO Musatov and APM staff with lake-wide weedroller inspections in Sherburne County. Citations were issued for no weedroller permit and permit violations.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) with assistance from CO Silgjord investigated two deer poaching TIP calls. In one case the suspects were located with charges pending for transport illegally taken big game, gross misdemeanor shining, take deer out of season, driving after revocation, trespass and felon in possession of a firearm. The second deer poaching case is still under investigation. A group of goose hunters were contacted on the Mississippi River that were illegally hunting in a closed area within city limits of Little Falls. Hunters must be north of the Highway 10 Bridge to be outside of the city limits.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Follow up was done on Waters, APM, and WCA cases.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received complaints and inquiries about class 2 ATV’s operating in the traffic lane of public highways instead of the shoulder where the law requires. Another ATV complaint involved persons tearing up a township road. CO Kuske investigated two garbage dumping complaints as well as fielded several nuisance bear complaints. Assistance was provided to Morrison County with an injury accident where a person was run over by a tractor. A number of inquiries about deer season were handled along with questions about an upcoming public input meeting reference proposed changes to the sunfish limit on Platte and Sullivan lakes. Follow-up investigations were completed on a wetland violation complaint, an illegal burning complaint, a minnow dealer inspection and nuisance beaver complaint. AIS inspections on watercraft were conducted at several public access sites with no violations encountered. CO Kuske attended three days of annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) handled calls concerning a banded goose, AIS concerns and goose hunters. The officer was advised of fish over limits and poaching. Annual in service training was attended.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted APM staff with weed roller inspections on an area lake where a large number of violations were found. Annual in service training was attended at Camp Ripley. CO Silgjord also assisted a neighboring officer with a big game investigation that could result in multiple charges for illegally taking a deer.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) conducted compliance checks on aquatic plant permits. Follow up was done on nuisance animal permits and calls received regarding woodchucks, fox, and beaver complaints. CO Musatov gave a law talk at a youth ATV safety class.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked local lakes for invasive species compliance, boaters, and anglers. Officer Londgren also testified in court, patrolled wildlife management areas, and checked bear bait stations.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked goose hunters, boaters and a few anglers. A lakeshore owner was concerned with the high water level on a local lake and it discovered a beaver had dammed up the outlet to the lake. A complaint of goose hunters shooting ducks was investigated, but it was found that the hunters were not shooting ducks, but were shooting non-game birds illegally. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl hunting with a gun capable of holding more than three shells, angling with extra lines, taking non game birds illegally and angling without a license.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. He followed up on an injured deer. He set up a falconry inspection for Monday evening.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent the week at Camp Ripley. The week was split between instructing at the academy and annual in-service. Calls regarding bear hunting regulations and nuisance beavers were also handled.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. Most anglers were not having much success, only small panfish and some late season bass. CO Langevin also checked bear bait stations in the area. ATV complaints were handled and horse passes were checked in the state park. Violations included no license in possession, no wearable PFD and fail to remove drain plug

Princeton – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked goose hunters, anglers and boaters during the week. Telephone calls were returned daily on hunting questions. Animal nuisance calls were handled.

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the majority of the week at Camp Ripley for in-service training. CO Grewe took calls regarding the upcoming deer season and shoreline vegetation removal.


CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week following up on TIP complaints, attending firearm safety classes, and conducting angling and boating checks around Scott County. With the hunting seasons just around the corner firearm safety classes are once again in full swing, and Leuthardt met many youth excited for their first deer season. An investigation into hunting Canada Geese in a closed area was conducted. Leuthardt wants to remind everyone that knowing the hunting regulations and open areas is imperative before going hunting. She also assisted the State Patrol and Scott County Sheriff’s Office with a motorcycle accident. Enforcement action was taken on no boat registration, angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession and hunt migratory game birds in a closed area.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the Mound station. He followed up with AIS violations and took calls on animal complaints. He also answered questions on bear and deer hunting regulations in the Hmong community.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. He worked fishing and boating activities in assigned stations. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and angling with extra lines.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

Conservation Officer Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer received several animal complaints during the week as well. CO Salzer also investigated a goose hunting complaint.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to three firearms safety classes in her station. She is working on two aquatic vegetation cases on White Bear Lake and a wetland complaint in Lino Lakes. CO Kruse worked AIS at area accesses and worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. She handled injured animal calls, finished up on a waters case on Lake Johanna, assisted a neighboring officer with a wildlife survey and took bear calls.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports teaching the laws and ethics portion to a firearms safety class in Forest Lake. CO Arntzen also checked anglers, attended a meeting with the city regarding trespassing complaints and did equipment maintenance.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked a boating noise enforcement detail on the St. Croix River with COs Kulhanek and Pril. CO Johnson responded to a call of an injured otter in Mendota Heights. The otter was transported to The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. He checked anglers and boaters during the week. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered PWC.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring boaters and anglers throughout the area. He patrolled area WMAs for illegal off road operation, participated in a noise detail on the St. Croix and spoke at a Firearms Safety class. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra line, license not in possession, and fail to display valid registration.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) participated with the boat noise enforcement detail with neighboring conservation officers on the St. Croix River and checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He spent three days at Camp Ripley for the annual in-service training. CO Pril also spoke at two firearms safety classes, provided a ride along to the law enforcement, and returning calls regarding places to hunt and injured animals.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, boaters, off-highway vehicles and early goose hunters during the week. Questions about upcoming hunting seasons are becoming more frequent.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boat safety, checking anglers and conducting investigations. Security issues for DNR Wildlife personnel were investigated.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio and attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Goose hunters are having a hard time finding geese in the area. Several ATV registration citations were issued.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked AIS, boating safety, fishing and ATV enforcement during the past week. Beaver problems were check and a permit was issued. Klehr also took a call from dispatch about a large 12-point buck that was hit by a vehicle and people wanting a permit to have the deer. While issuing the permit for the deer some people passing by would stop and ask to take a picture of the large deer.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) instructed all week at the annual officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. Training revolved around firearms training, combative subjects, and scenario based situations. Oberg also spent time on case following up and returning calls.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) armored DNR Enforcement Division handguns. He also received use of force/firearms training at Camp Ripley. Other time was spent working aquatic invasive species enforcement.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked sport fishing and other area activity. Gruhlke completed his radio program, discussing topics including dove season and waterfowl season. He also attended annual training at Camp Ripley.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended divisional training at Camp Ripley.  Public waters violation sites were worked on.  Anglers were checked from shore.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) monitored AIS and ATV activity during the week. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes and rivers. The officer assisted with staffing the DNR booth at the Steele County Fair. A TIP trailer was staffed at a local event with a neighboring officer. Activities at wildlife management areas and state parks were monitored.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATV activity. CO Chihak attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week at Camp Ripley training for the division’s annual in-service.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) armored division handguns and responded to calls for service from the public.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicle operators. Calls for service were responded to. The officer staffed the TIP trailer at the Shooter’s Roundup event in Morristown.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent investigating a fishing complaint and monitoring AIS compliance on area lakes. Officer Ihnen also participated in the DNR and the State Championship pistol competitions.

WREO Julie Siems followed up on some new Wetland Conservation Act violations and closed out some old ones that were restored.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked on case follow up and checked anglers during the week. Heyn also assisted at the academy teaching watercraft enforcement and operation.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending time on the river checking fishing and boating. He also spent time assisting the DNR’s division of wildlife with duck work and annual training.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming training at Camp Ripley. Several calls were received about questions for the upcoming hunting seasons. Some fishing, boating and state forest violations were detected this past week and weekend.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and boating safety as well as continuing work on open investigations. Fishing is improving on the big river with crappie, sunfish, sauger, walleye, northern, and bass checked in the bag. When the weather cooperated folks were out enjoying the last few weeks of summer. Fall hunting related questions continue to come in as folks begin gearing up and scouting. Enforcement action included trespass, license, safety equipment and undersize fish violations.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports attending in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent assisting at the academy for new Conservation Officers.CO Boyum received calls of injured /sick deer. Phone calls have been coming in about the upcoming hunting seasons. CO Boyum is also investigating dumping complaints.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

Academy Class 16 passed the halfway mark by completing week 6 of training. Boating was the main focus of training for the week. The class spent many hours on the water perfecting their boat approach skills. The remainder of the week was spent developing and improving observation, stalking, interviewing and interrogation techniques.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter administrative tasks, and flight instructor, and student training files.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) finished fire duty last week. Jensen worked on training and maintenance issues upon return to duty.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports despite poor flying weather and taking several days off, completing a survey flight and picking up aircraft equipment in Saint Paul. Aircraft maintenance issues were also attended to.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) conducted flight training operations and equipment maintenance issues.  Geving also worked on flight planning for upcoming missions.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wild rice and Lake Vermilion creel surveys.

Heineman also flew Hoyt Lakes marten and North Shore wolf telemetry. While flying he noticed some small areas showing fall color change.

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