Weekly Conservation Officer Report


Ely: Hunters not wearing florescent orange were encountered and reminded that the color requirement  is for safety.  One hunter used the excuse that he wasn’t very far from his home to excuse him from needing orange.

St Cloud: CO Kuske and a local homeowner helped two guys that were stranded in their broken down boat and no paddles on board on an area lake. When the boat was towed back to shore CO Kuske checked for enough life jackets to find they were one short with enforcement action taken. Later that week CO Kuske checked the same two guys heading out in their new kayaks. The kayaks did not have the required registration and neither of them had life jackets. CO Kuske asked the guys how they could be so lucky as to run into her twice in one week on different lakes.

Montevideo: A young bull moose walked through the area. When checking a shore fisherman at 2 a.m. the angler threw the rod next to him into the river. Unfortunately for him he did not throw it far enough. The angler did not have a license and said that it was his friend’s fishing pole. Enforcement action was taken.

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked grouse, goose, bear, and archery deer hunters. A calf depredation was investigated in Pennington County. Questions were answered at a Minnesota Trappers Association meeting.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, angling, ATV enforcement, bear, migratory waterfowl and small game. CO Benjamin, along with COs Mishler and Prachar, assisted at an ATV event held out of Carps Pit in Beltrami Island State Forest. Our primary goal was to help ensure that all registered individuals were compliant with regulations prior to starting the event. There were minimal violations noted, which was outstanding considering that there were over 160 registered. As for small game opener, the leaves and underbrush are still a little thick, making grouse hunting that much more challenging but overall, people were happy with the weather and just enjoying the outdoors, getting a bird was considered a bonus. Enforcement action was taken for the following: failure to extinguish a campfire, fail to display current registration on an ATV and hunting small game without a license.

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) repots a very busy week in the Warroad area. Goose hunters were checked, with varying success. Grouse hunters were checked in Beltrami Island and Lost River State Forests, as well as the surrounding areas. Bear season is still in swing, as well as archery deer season and focus continues on both. The LOW/Roseau Co ATV Fun Run was also attended. There were 166 registered riders and only two violations. Way to go riders! Enforcement action taken for the week included hunting small game without a license, no state waterfowl stamp, no federal waterfowl stamp, no special goose permit, transporting a loaded firearm, operating ATV without ATV safety, operate unregistered ATV, and passenger/operator of ATV under 18 without helmet.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) had a busy week of checking early goose and bear hunters as well as numerous ATV complaints. The weekend brought the small game opener and archery deer opener. CO Prachar assisted the county with a gun call as well as taking enforcement action on an unplugged shotgun and practicing taxidermy without a license.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the Thief River Falls Firearms Safety class, monitored hunting on the small game opener, and conducted follow up on an open elk hunting violation. Participation in upland bird hunting was at a minimum in the area and local goose hunters had marginal success at best. Enforcement action included operating an ATV on a state hwy, migratory bird stamp violations, and ATV registration violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring bear hunting, early goose hunting, small game/grouse hunting and angling activity on special regulation lakes and Upper Red Lake throughout the week. Time was spent patrolling area ATV trails, monitoring boater AIS compliance, handling nuisance beaver complaints and issuing car kill deer possession permits. A local TIP call was investigated regarding people camping overnight at a public access. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office locating a vehicle involved in an assault involving a firearm and the Bemidji Police Department checking areas in an attempt to locate / check the welfare a person who was reported missing and possibly camping in remote areas of the county. Enforcement action for the week included unlawfully transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle, passengers under 18 year old on an ATV not wearing helmets, and burning prohibited materials

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking early goose hunters. Time was also spent checking small game hunters, anglers, watercraft operators, and ATV operators. Bear hunting complaint areas were also worked. A call regarding two swans that had been shot was investigated. Violations included no federal duck stamp, no stamp duck stamp, no early goose permit, unplugged gun, and insufficient numbers of PFDs.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) issued a special beaver permit and answered questions about hunting and public land use.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked opening weekend grouse and archery hunters. He also investigated a TIP complaint and baiting complaint.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy weekend of the small game/archery opening weekend. Several hunters were checked, but success was not very good. Most hunters reported seeing birds, but with the thick foliage they were unable to see them. A complaint was received of individuals shooting ducks on an area lake, but was unfounded. Time was spent preparing and teaching a firearm safety field day. CO Vollbrecht patrolled area ATV trails and forest roads.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with instruction at the on-going Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley last week’s block of instruction dealt with traffic stops, high risk and felony stops and emergency vehicle operations.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked bear, deer and grouse hunters. He also worked ATV enforcement. Violations of unregistered baits and unregistered ATVs were handled.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and goose hunters. A few bow hunters were checked on opening weekend. Time was also spent working a shining detail, handling a cripple hawk call, investigating complaints of illegal baiting, ATVs in state park and a complaint of about 10 golf carts with drivers that may be intoxicated tearing up a new public access on an area lake. The laws and ethics portion of FAS class was also given to the Pelican Rapids FAS class.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) monitored angling and boating activity. Small game and deer archery opening weekend was worked with hunters stating there were too many leaves on the trees yet to see birds. Calls of car hit deer and an injured bald eagle were received. Trails were patrolled for ATV activity. Follow up was continued on open cases. CO Warren assisted local LGU with possible wetlands violation.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring early goose hunting, dove hunting, and angling activity. Time was also spent following up with several wetland and public waters complaints. A trespassing complaint was also handled and is still being investigated. Calls from the public included various waterfowl and deer hunting regulation questions.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS, WCA, PW and APM complaints and ongoing cases. Time was also spent checking fishermen and small game hunters.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a few geese moved back to the area but very few hunters were found. Anglers were checked with emphasis placed on over limit complaints. An angler reported a near collision with another boat which didn’t have any navigational lights on. The small game and archery opener was worked with very few contacts made. Richards gave a presentation to 5th grade Breckenridge area students for Wilkin County conservation days.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked opening weekend of small game and archery deer season. No small game hunters were encountered but a few archery hunters were checked. Complaints of aquatic vegetation violations were handled and a commercial weed harvester was checked. Hunting cabin vandalism is still under investigation.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters, goose and dove hunters. Additional time was spent working AIS enforcement and taking calls in the Fergus Falls and vacant Wheaton station. Numerous questions have been answered regarding the upcoming duck and firearms deer season and complaints of squirrels and nuisance beaver were handled.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen and hunters. Fish over limit cases were made with CO Richards’s assistance. Deer hunting complaints were worked with CO Forsberg.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on opening weekend of bow hunting this past week. Quite a few bow hunters took to the woods in search of deer, both adults and youth. Enforcement action was taken for occupying an illegal stand on a WPA, allowing a juvenile to hunt deer over bait and unregistered ATV. Assistance was given to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office locating a fishing boat that hadn’t been heard from for several hours on a very windy day. The senior citizens fishing were located in a calm area having a good afternoon. Summer enforcement equipment was stored for the winter off-season.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on dove hunters, goose season, fall angling activity and AIS law compliance. Follow-up was completed on an RPN for wetland restoration. Anderson worked with local wildlife officials in getting an injured bald eagle picked up in Pope County. Time was spent reviewing and issuing minnow transportation permits and fielding calls from the public regarding lost FAS certificates, questions about WMA/WPA use, waterfowl hunting questions and the use of crossbows/scopes used by persons over 60-years-old.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV, and ORV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for small game and goose hunting activity. CO Baumbarger assisted in a shining work crew with area CO’s, and issued nuisance beaver permits.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked small game hunters and archery deer hunters. He assisted local law enforcement with a domestic assault, handled a big game trespassing case and took care of some equipment maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for several ATV violations and no federal waterfowl stamp.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spent the week in training related to trapping enforcement.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports good weather was a catalyst for lots of outdoor activity in the woods and on the water. Grouse hunters found some birds and perch fishing was very good. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappie, loaded firearm on ATV, litter, no lifejackets, and ATV on roadway.

Remer – vacant.

Walker – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Jimmy Van Asch (International Falls) monitored the archery opener, small game opener, ATV, and angling activities. People are starting to make the transition from the lake to the woods with the archery and small game opening this weekend. Grouse hunters were out despite the lack of success and hunters enjoyed great weather for being out in the woods. CO Van Asch and Kittelson also monitored a local ATV ride throughout the International Falls, Littlefork, and Big Falls areas. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid ATV registration, operate a Class 1 ATV on a public highway, operate an ATV with more passengers than allowed, unlawfully transport a loaded firearm, and burning of prohibited materials.

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports busy week with lots of people out enjoying the nice fall weather while small game hunting and fishing. Enforcement action taken for the week included operates ATV on state highway, failure to display current ATV registration, and transport loaded firearm in/on motor vehicle. Youth firearms safety class was attended along with spending time at Camp Ripley instructing emergency vehicle operations and response.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored hunting activities, checked area forest roads and continued monitoring DNR public water access sites.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated ATV in BWCA, it is still under investigation. A couple of nuisance beaver permits were issued due to road flooding. Officer worked small game and archery deer opener. Enforcement action was taken on blaze orange requirements and hunting in a state park. The officer also assisted with the search for a man who was missing in Hoyt Lakes. The man was found in a swampy area lying in water. He had been out there for almost 24 hours.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small game and archery deer season opens, bear hunters, early goose hunters, ATVs, and handled a complaint of a loader excavating a lake shoreline. Folks that did some walking found grouse, however most hunters that spent their time only driving around did not. The officer assisted a number of agencies in locating an overdue (from day prior) 77-year-old ATV driver. When the officer arrived, a searcher said “the game wardens are here so now we’ll find him.” He was right, as CO’s Hopkins and Williams located the driver lying in the mud alongside a river and unable to get up. The officer located some litter with identifying information in it on the local WMA. It turned out that the litter bug had stolen a car and cleaned out the victim’s car in the WMA. The litter bug was easy to find as he was in jail for the car theft. Enforcement action was taken on take bear in quota area with non-quota license, operate motor vehicle on a state trail, no angling license and trout stamp in possession and a number of ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) assisted St. Louis County search and rescue in locating a missing person from the Hoyt Lakes area. The 77-year-old was found after being missing for 19 hours. The small game opener brought numerous people out into the field and onto the trails. Sadly, a large number of hunters were seen simply driving up and down remote trails and logging roads. Those hunters had zero birds when checked. Later on in the day, CO Frericks checked a hunter who was working the brush with his dog who limited out on grouse plus had a few woodcock as well.

Cook – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) took part in two separate searches for missing persons over the week. The first was recovery of an angler who had drowned on Fall Lake. His boat was found swamped on the shore of an island across from a portage, but it took several hours and several agencies working together to locate his body. The second search was for a man near Hoyt Lakes that had gone missing on his ATV. He was located by Conservation Officers Williams and Hopkins after a 20 hour search by dozens of searchers. The victim was showing signs of hypothermia but fortunately after being brought to the Aurora hospital and was quickly upgraded to good condition.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the small game opener. Grouse hunters were few and far between and grouse were about as scarce. The leaves are still on, so maybe everybody is waiting for more of them to fall off before hitting the woods after grouse. Hunters not wearing florescent orange were encountered and reminded that the color requirement  is for safety.  One hunter used the excuse that he wasn’t very far from his home to excuse him from needing orange.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked small game hunters and anglers over the opening weekend of small game and archery seasons. Because of the foliage, those that walked shot some birds, those that drove around didn’t. Walleyes, splake and brook trout are really starting to bite. An over limit of splake was encountered. Enforcement action was also taken for littering. Bear complaints continue to come in at a record pace.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) followed up on bear hunting issues including lending and borrowing bear license, unregistered bear bait stations, and failure to display ATV registration. Officer Manning also helped CO Wahlstrom with an ATV law class for the local sheriff’s office. Nuisance bear calls are still coming in and folks are reminded that cleaning up food sources like garbage and apples will help keep bears away. Also, the DNR does NOT relocate bears as it can be dangerous for bears and people and it can result in a nuisance bear problem in the new location.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the grouse opener with moderate hunting pressure and limited bird harvest. The weather was better than the last couple grouse openers. Lake Vermilion was worked in the vacant Cook station. Law and ethics were taught for Babbitt firearms safety. Thanks to all the volunteers for doing a great job with the class. Enforcement action included dumping solid waste (goose carcasses), hunting in a state park, no blaze orange, no type IV PFD and no license in possession.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunters. Small game opener was met with fewer hunters than birds. Time was also spent on checking ATV and angling activity.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked hunters during the small game and whitetail archery opening weekend. Hunters were having a tough time finding birds with the thick foliage. Follow up on bear investigations continue. Officers Wahlstrom and Manning presented an ATV law and regulation class to the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and hunting violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small game, deer archery, and ATV enforcement efforts over the weekend. Hunter success rates were down with not many grouse seen over the opener but warm weather made it a beautiful weekend to be outdoors. Lake trout fishing has picked up on Lake Superior with some nice fish being caught.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) spent the week working on some ongoing investigations, checked watercraft for AIS law compliance, and checked grouse hunters.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, worked ATV activity, checked small game hunters, goose hunters, and worked commercial enforcement. He continued to work on various investigations. CO Hansen also prepared for upcoming academy training

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored rice wild harvest, worked the small game and archery openers. Hunters that ventured into the woods were able to find some grouse in the area. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and off road vehicle violations.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking big and small game hunting activity this past week.  She took several calls regarding this past weekend’s grouse opener. She is currently investigating the shooting of a Canada goose with an arrow in the Virginia area. Please call with information if you know anything that may be helpful.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked opening weekend of small game and bow-hunting season. With some success had by are hunters, it seems that the grouse and deer populations are on the rise. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a deer license in possession, cutting trees on Blandin lands and for baiting deer.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, bear deer and small game hunters. He also attended an ATV meeting during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working small and big game hunting activity. Wichmann assisted with training at Camp Ripley. Car kill deer possession permits were issued as well.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the past week teaching at the academy at Camp Ripley. Topics were recreational vehicles and emergency vehicle operation. Calls were handled regarding nuisance beaver complaints. Bear complaints were also handled.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the first park of the week working on complaints related to archery deer season. Several calls and complaints of nuisance wildlife complaints were taken. Many reports of bears in residential areas were taken. Wildlife feeders and garbage cans were usually the reasons for the bear activity. Opening of grouse and archery deer had many people in the woods over the weekend. Many ATVs were encountered during the week with operating on the roadway being the common violation. Several calls were also taken from concerned citizens about wolves hanging around houses and not running away approached.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV, big and small game hunting activity throughout the week. Early season goose hunters were checked in the area with mixed results. CO Humphrey organized and participated in an OHV work detail with other district officers. CO Humphrey received calls on nuisance wildlife, loss of a pet dog to depredation and car killed deer. Seasonal equipment maintenance and changeover were conducted. Violations for ATV and OHM equipment, registration, operation, and Illegal stand construction in a state forest were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a college class at Fond Du Lac College about the hiring process and job duties of a Conservation Officer. An investigation into a waters complaint on an area lake turned out to be unfounded. Several people were out for the small game opener in the area. Lots of grouse seen but too many leaves still on the trees kept success low. Very few archery deer hunters were encountered and no successful hunts were observed. Enforcement action was taken for registration and equipment violations on ATVs.

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) followed up on several WCA case’s and closing out several of them. Scott investigated two new WCA and one PW case in Carlton and St. Louis counties. Officer Scott received information that a local construction company had taken water for road dust control on a local road project from a lake that is infested with zebra mussels. The tanker held more than 5,000 gallons of water which was used for dust control on a local road project. Investigation lead to enforcement action for taking infested water without a permit. After discussing the issue at hand with an AIS specialist and inspecting the road construction where the water was used, no other water bodies were in the area that could be contaminated with the water runoff. Officer Scott assisted local officers with an ATV detail dealing with ATVs using wetlands as their playground.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Two Harbors area. Lake trout made up the largest portions of fish being taken. Olson attended training with St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office on Lake Superior and nuisance bear complaints continue to come in at a steady pace. He assisted Officer Humphrey with a detail in Carlton County and received a report of a dead timberwolf north of Duluth. Small game opener had many out in the woods and forest road over the weekend.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) wrapped up a commercial investigation and worked on charter record violations. Pre-archery season baiting complaints were checked and info was received on an early trapping case. Enforcement action was taken for angling, commercial and ATV violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked small game hunters where the grouse hunters were reporting seeing a few birds, but getting few. Squirrel hunters were doing better.  ATVers were monitored and boats being removed from the lake for the year were checked for invasive species issues.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and the small game/big game archery deer opener this week. Complaints of hunters leaving their deer stands and equipment on State WMAs have been fielded. Lots of questions about baiting have been fielded and small game hunters and archery hunters who stumble onto baited stands are encouraged to telephone the TIP line for enforcement follow up. Officer Guida also assisted a neighboring Officer with a public relations function at Camp Ripley.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked archery deer, grouse and bear hunting activity during the week.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted at Camp Ripley with training the emergency vehicle operations course with the conservation officer academy. CO McGowan also worked a busy small game opener, with many hunters being checked. CO McGowan also looked into several TIP calls.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) worked bear baiting and ATV activity in her station as well as responded to several car kill deer calls and nuisance beaver complaints. She assisted with training at Camp Ripley for Academy 16 and attended a town hall meeting for Workman Township by request to speak about ATV enforcement and safety.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) completed an investigation regarding two Sandhill cranes that were illegally taken. The officer spoke at an ATV and Firearms Safety class. Bear hunters were checked throughout the week and violations were addressed. Enforcement actions were taken for taking sandhill cranes out of season, shooting over a roadway, shooting from a vehicle, wanton waste, transporting a firearm illegally, and expired registration on an ATV.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the small game and archery opener over the weekend. Quite a few grouse hunters were checked and a few advised they were seeing some birds. The Officer assisted at Camp Ripley with scenario day at the Conservation Officer Academy where new Officers learned about recreational vehicle laws. Patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for ATV and OHM activity and lots of ATV, fishing, OHM and hunting related law questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a lama taken by a wolf was investigated and federal trappers were called in and a nuisance beaver permit was issued for removal of some problem beaver. Patrol was also done in several areas of county land and also several WMAs in the Malmo station. Enforcement action for the week included various OHM and small game related violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the Law Enforcement Memorial Association Honor Guard Camp at Camp Ripley. She also spent time checking archery and small game hunters although the majority of the violations detected were ATV and OHM related. Enforcement action was taken for under 18 without helmets, operating an OHM on a roadway, expired OHM registration and failure to display ATV registration.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked small game and deer bow season opener to find very little success. The acorns are thick and deer did not move. A big game case was investigated in which shots were fired and deer reported to be shot. Investigation revealed small game activity made the deer run, and no violations were found. Enforcement action was taken on a revoked driver and division training was accomplished.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked a few deer hunters during the archery season opener and investigated a case of taking deer during the closed season. Archery deer season and small game opener made for very busy state forest areas, which had already been seeing a lot of use by ATVers and bear hunters. Violations found throughout the week included taking deer out of season, establishing illegal bear baits and illegal operation of ATVs. A couple timber trespass investigations were started and several nuisance animal calls were handled.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took a variety of calls that included nuisance animals, ATV complaints, and calls regarding questions about upcoming hunting seasons. He spent time checking hunters in local state forests, wildlife management areas and also checked anglers around Pine City. He assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with recovery of a stolen boat, issued nuisance beaver permits, and took enforcement action on illegal ATV and OHM operation over the weekend.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMAs. A few hunters were out trying their luck with grouse hunting. Hunters had some success but most reported hearing them flush in thick brush. A few bow hunters were checked reporting most deer seen in Oak forest eating acorns. Time was also spent handling trespassing and ATV issues.

WREO Rob Haberman conducted wetland site visit and a TEP meeting in Pine County. WREO Haberman also assisted in training cadets on emergency vehicle operations at Camp Ripley. WREO Haberman also worked the wall of shame at Camp Ripley’s annual open house event.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) received a report from a resident who had an animal get in their chicken coop and kill 175 chickens and a complaint call of goose hunters shooting after hours was investigated on the Mississippi River. CO Kuske and a local homeowner helped two guys that were stranded in their broken down boat and no paddles on board on an area lake. When the boat was towed back to shore CO Kuske checked for enough life jackets to find they were one short with enforcement action taken. Later that week CO Kuske checked the same two guys heading out in their new kayaks. The kayaks did not have the required registration and neither of them had life jackets. CO Kuske asked the guys how they could be so lucky as to run into her twice in one week on different lakes.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated several lake cabin sites where garbage was being burned in fire rings and homemade illegal burners. Complaints of bears hanging around residences continue to be an issue, most would like to see the animals hunted but there is a lack of permitted hunters for the area. A shoreline violation was reported to CO Kuske which involved a homeowner building a rock wall or jetty about 15 feet into the lake without a permit. Complaints of Class 2 ATVs operating in the traffic lane of public highways instead of on the shoulder where the law requires. CO Kuske assisted with instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. A number of calls were generated to DNR Fisheries and Enforcement when a Tribal Fisheries survey boat showed up unexpectedly on Lower South Long Lake late at night this past week. The communication glitch between agencies is being addressed as well as AIS inspections and precautions.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers, small game hunters and bow hunters. Time was spent assisting with the CO Academy for ATV week. Enforcement action was taken for no PFD, failure to display boat registration, leave deer stand in SNA overnight. Thesing worked the Camp Ripley appreciation day, talking with people who attended the event.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies also gave a law talk at the Annandale firearms class. CO Mies gave talks on trapping and fur at Ney Park for 5th grade kids, over 300 kids attended. CO Mies checked archery deer and goose hunters.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) is working with a landowner who had damage to some of his livestock by another animal. The officer fielded calls concerning regulations for the upcoming hunting seasons as well as what can be hunted in local WPAs. Fishing and AIS field work continue to be the primary work activity outside the office.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on weedroller cases. Participated in a site visit at a cabin site on an area lake where shore owners had multiple issues. A law and ethics presentation was also provided to firearms safety students in Melrose.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in the 2015 Todd County SWCD Envirofest, displaying the Wall of Shame as part of the presentation. Worked continued on open APM and PW cases. Hunting, angling, and OHV activities were checked.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked small game hunters and archery deer hunters. CO Musatov investigated the dumping of 61 tires on the Michaelson Farm WMA in Rice. Anyone with information about this dumping please call the TIP line. Several injured/sick animal calls were handled including a nuisance beaver. Enforcement action was taken on a case involving taking a deer out of season. CO Musatov spoke at a youth ATV safety class. CO Musatov assisted with an investigation of the illegal taking of a bear with charges pending.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked deer, goose and small game hunters. He followed up on a number of TIPS on deer baiting. He took enforcement action on a number of violations. He assisted with an owl in Sauk Rapids hung up in a tree. Thanks to a young man he was freed from the tree and escorted to the rehabilitation team members and escorted to the Raptor Centers.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended the Wright County Conservation Day at Ney Park and gave presentations throughout the day on Conservation Officer duties and mammals of Minnesota. Small game opener and archery opener were also worked with a lot of hunters out in the morning hours. No harvested deer were seen this past weekend. A Firearms Safety Class presentation was done in Monticello. Enforcement action was taken for no small game license, unplugged shotgun while hunting migratory birds, no blaze orange and operating a motor vehicle in a WMA.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking bow and small game hunters over the weekend. Many hunters were out for the opening of archery deer hunting. Most deer hunters checked did not see many deer. CO Langevin received a call from a landowner that a deer had been found on his property that was shot by a bow. The deer had been gut shot and must have traveled to his land. CO Langevin looked for hunters in the area but was unable to locate any. CO Langevin spent part of the week teaching at the academy for emergency vehicle operation.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent the majority of the week assisting at Camp Ripley with academy training. Enforcement action was taken on operate and ATV on a state trunk highway.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended Braham Youth Day and firearms safety classes. Small game, archery, and bear hunters were checked as well as anglers. Officer Londgren patrolled the Rum River, WMAs, and took public water violation complaints

Princeton – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers, goose hunters and handling miscellaneous wildlife complaints. Violations included no fishing license and not having an Archery Deer license in possession.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) patrolled the Mound station and talked at a youth firearms safety class in Bloomington with CO Le. He talked on the Hmong radio regarding small game regulations, trespassing issues, and worked the small game opener in southeast Minnesota. Violations included transporting a loaded firearm, camping on a non-designated camp site, and trespass complaints.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the currently assigned Waconia station for hunting and boating activity. He responded to calls for a dog injured while swimming in the lake and illegal dumping at a public access. He worked the 2015 Small Game/Deer archery season in Carver County. He spoke at a FAS class in Bloomington that included more than 50 adults and students.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Waconia – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

Conservation Officer Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled for small game hunters and checked archery licenses during the weekend opener. CO Salzer also assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. Salzer also patrolled for angling activity in Anoka County.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked archery deer and small game hunters in Anoka County. She worked AIS enforcement at area accesses, checked individuals ricing in Carlos Avery WMA and handled injured animal calls and TIP calls. She worked on a couple deer cases, worked a St. Croix bridge detail and handled many calls with questions regarding waterfowl hunting on the Rice Creek chain of lakes.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working the archery deer and small game opener. CO Arntzen assisted a neighboring officer on a complaint of a person hunting deer over bait. He also investigated a wetland violation and answered many questions about the upcoming hunting season.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the deer archery and small game opener with CO Neitzke. They checked a number of hunters in the field with the very nice weather. CO Johnson spoke to a firearms safety class in Maplewood. He responded to a couple of fishing TIPS during the week. CO Johnson patrolled at Afton State Park.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy weekend patrolling the area for small game and deer hunters. He patrolled area rivers and responded to a medical involving a person with a broken leg on the Minnesota River. TIP calls were handled and he assisted at the Capable Partners deer hunt in Dakota County. Enforcement action for the week included, trespassing, angling with extra line, using gamefish as bait and allowing illegal ATV operation.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked small game and deer archery opener weekend in southeast Minnesota. Several hunters were seen out hunting in the woods and a fair number of them were seen with limit of squirrels. Goose and dove hunters were also checked in Dakota and Washington counties. CO Pril also spent some time on equipment maintenance and followed up with an old deer case.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio Show. Lake Benton has been doing well with fishing and shore fishing is on the rise. The Officer taught a Firearms Safety Class in Tyler and conducted a litter and wanton waste investigation which resulted in enforcement action being taken. Bow hunting had a great start with several nice bucks being taken.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports there were a good number of archery hunters out for the opening weekend. Reports of stands left in a WMA and shining were investigated. A young bull moose walked through the area. When checking a shore fisherman at 2 a.m. the angler threw the rod next to him into the river. Unfortunately for him he did not throw it far enough. The angler did not have a license and said that it was his friend’s fishing pole. Enforcement action was taken.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted the Lincoln County SWCD with a survey and site visit in Lincoln County. A Murray County WCA violation was completed. Hunters and fishermen were checked and a special project was worked. Enforcement action was taken for both fishing and hunting violations.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported a lot of hunters took to the woods with the start of the archery deer and small game seasons. Success was low for archery deer hunters as most stated they are patiently waiting for a chance at that big buck. A few nice bucks were harvested. With water temperatures starting to cool down fall walleye success is picking up. Investigations were conducted during the week dealing with hunting, ATV and public land violations.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking dove and Canada goose hunters. Archery deer opener revealed numerous hunters afield. Several wildlife calls were received. Numerous antlerless deer questions have been answered.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. He answered questions about the upcoming deer season. Denz also spoke at a firearms safety class in Willmar.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week checking anglers. The weekend brought the opener of small game and archery deer hunting. Many people were taking advantage of the nice fall weather and participating in small game hunting, fishing, riding ATVs, deer hunting, and many other fall activities. Klehr had an intern ride along over the weekend as well. Enforcement action included no fishing license, fail to remove drain plug on boat, and transporting aquatic vegetation on boat trailers.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked the TIP line and assisted State Patrol dispatch with questions during the small game and archery opener. She also assisted with the academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked the opening of the small game and archery season this week. Time was spent following up on a TIP call in the area. Oberg also answered calls related to licenses and feeding deer. Tablet training was also attended in St. Paul

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) responded to a TIP call reporting the possible hunting of pheasants during the closed season. He also instructed at two youth firearms safety classes. Other time was spent on small game, archery deer hunting, angling, and ATV activities. Nelson had a fisherman suspiciously pack up and leave quickly to avoid being checked. The suspect’s careless and dangerous driving behavior led Nelson to attempt to stop the suspect for traffic violations. Nelson was able to identify the suspect but was unable to stop the vehicle and lost sight of it. Nelson assisted a local police department with a pursuit involving the same suspect and vehicle three hours later. The suspect was taken into custody and the vehicle was impounded.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked sport fishing, small game hunting, and the archery deer opener. Gruhlke received information on the baiting of deer. He followed up and enforcement action was taken. Gruhlke also received complaints of shooting too close to buildings and late shooting.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked small game and early goose hunting activity. Angling activity has increased with comfortable temperatures. Numerous questions were fielded from the public regarding upcoming hunting seasons. ATVs and operators were checked.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked goose hunters this past week. Archery hunters were checked. Complaints of shining are beginning to come in. A burning violation was handled.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked a busy small game and archery deer season opening weekend. The officer also checked anglers, boaters, goose hunters, and ATV operators. The officer responded to several calls of illegal hunting activity.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked fishing, hunting, and recreational vehicle enforcement. The officer reports a busy small game and archery deer opener with multiple complaints coming in. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations and waterfowl hunters are reminded that AIS laws apply to their duck boats as well.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week investigating a trespass complaint, issuing nuisance beaver permits, and working ATV enforcement. Time was also spent working the small game and archery deer season openers. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, and possession of loaded/uncased firearms in a state park.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking fishermen and boaters, as well as deer, waterfowl, and small game hunters. Officer Ihnen responded to a number of TIP calls relating to trespass and other violations. In addition time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance near public water accesses.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent the week in training related to trapping enforcement. Many phone calls and emails were also answered on a variety of subjects related to fall hunting and trapping seasons.

WREO Julie Siems checked many hunters over the small game opener. Many squirrels were counted and great law compliance was found. A ride along was provided to a local law enforcement student. Several trespass calls were also investigated.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) report working a very busy weekend of the small game and archery opener. Small game hunters had some success but the heavy vegetation limited it. Most archery hunters were seeing deer but very few were checked. Fishing continued to be strong on the big river. Trespass was again the most popular violation along with some license issues.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports small game hunters had good success bagging squirrels. Bow hunters harvested a few deer. With assistance from Houston’s Sheriff’s Office and other CO’s he followed up on trespass issues and overcrowding state forest campsites. Complaint from a bow hunter that small game hunters were shooting at squirrels in his direction. He had on bullet hit the tree he was in. He counted three more near him. He made contact with the hunter and reminded that hunters are responsible for their shot. Identify your target and what’s beyond. All species of fish continue to bite on the river. Fritz prepared equipment for upcoming duck season.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly hunters and anglers during the week .Lots of people were out for small game/bow openers, but success was low for people contacted. Several groups angling also had trout during the catch and release season.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy small game/archery opener. Despite great weather the hunting was only fair. Only one deer was checked over the weekend. Most hunters did report seeing deer though. Squirrel hunters did not do much better as many hunters had no luck at all. A bright spot over the weekend was the grouse hunting. Hunters reported flushes and birds were seen in the bag. Violations encountered were transport loaded firearm, no blaze orange and trespassing.

CO Phil George (Rochester) reports working the small game opener. Hunting was fair to good as most hunters had a squirrel or two in the bag. A few archery hunters were also out. Success was limited but most stated that they saw deer. One angler was cited for possessing trout out of season. Trespass complaints and baited areas investigated.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

The ongoing Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley last week contained a block of instruction that dealt with traffic stops, high risk and felony stops, and emergency vehicle operations.

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

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