Weekly CO Report from the Minnesota DNR

Brought to you by Mid Migration Outfitters

Courtesy of Joe Albert and the Minnesota DNR:


District 1 – Baudette area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, bear and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Although a few people would beg to differ, it seems the bear season is off to a slow start in Zone 12. Many hunters have been reporting strong hits on their baits right up until the day before opener with little to no activity thereafter. This may have something to do with the oaks dropping a plethora of acorns this year starting right around opening day. Parents: If you own an ATV or an offhighway motorcycle, please educate yourselves on the rules as they pertain to youthful operation prior to allowing your kids to operate them. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV/OHM, operating an OHM without safety training, operating an OHM on a public road, operating an ATV on a public road without a valid driver’s license, failure to display registration on an ATV/OHM and operating an ATV without headlights.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) taught the law and ethics portion of the Grygla-area firearms safety class, conducted the orientation class for the initial elk season, and continued monitoring early goose, elk, and bearhunting activity. Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration, migratory waterfowl stamp, bait registration, and baitwithoutlicense violations.

 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) patrolled the station for bear and early goosehunting activity. Elwell assisted CO Woinarowicz with the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class in Grygla. Enforcement action taken for failure to validate a bear site tag, hunting over unregistered bear bait, transporting a loaded firearm, operating a motor vehicle within a WMA, and expired ATV registration.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working early season goose hunting, bear hunting, angling and boating activity on area lakes throughout the past week. Goose hunters contacted had varied success. Time was spent working on an applicant pre-employment background investigation. Violations encountered and addressed included unplugged shotgun and angling license violations.

 

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports a successful bear season so far. Many successful hunters have proudly shown off their harvest. Prachar worked biggame hunting activity, ATV activity, and angling activity. He made an arrest for possession of controlled substances with the assistance of the Blackduck Police Department and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

 

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent the week focusing on bearhunting and baiting enforcement as well as early goosehunting activity. She also worked a BWCA detail with other officers. Enforcement action for the week included angling without a license, no wild rice harvester permit, and non-biodegradable materials in bear bait.

 

Baudette West – vacant.

 

Warroad South – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) checked goose hunters during the week. Time was also spent working bearhunting enforcement. Anglers were also contacted.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked bear and goose hunters. He also assisted with a lake survey and finding a radio collar.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) started field training with COC Kunst. They worked angling activity on area lakes and Lake Winnibigoshish. Vollbrecht continued work on a Division background investigation and worked ATV activity on Labor Day.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports continuing background investigations and starting Step I of field training with recent Conservation Officer Academy graduate COC Jordan Anderson. The COs contacted several youth duck hunters during the special youth waterfowl weekend. Most all groups had ducks and all reported having a good time. Anderson inspected birds, shotguns and licenses for those who required them. Early goose hunters were finding success where they could find smallgrain crops that had been harvested. Boat and water patrols andfishing checks were also conducted. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations including no license in possession, no federal waterfowl stamp, expired seven-day non-resident angling license and no Type IV PFD. 

 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent time checking biggame and waterfowl hunters. Quite a few groups of youth hunters were checked with all of them having at least two birds in the bag. Good numbers of bluewinged teal ducks were seen along with greenwinged teal, wood ducks, and mallards. Other time was spent working a turtle investigating where an individual was selling undersized snapping turtles out of his backyard without any licenses. Charges are pending for multiple violations.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked bear hunters and baits, followed up with a deeroutofseason case and worked on a pre-employment background investigation.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working early goose hunting. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were taken. Requests from the public seeking information on current and upcoming hunting seasons were addressed.

 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. Early goosehunting activity was worked. Patrol was conducted for ATV activity. AIS compliance was worked as boats left area lakes for the season.

 

Headwaters – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time finalizing a background investigation for a potential new employee. She checked a few youth duck hunters who had some success on opening day. Goose-hunter numbers are minimal, though there are some birds in the area. A shoreline complaint and a call about a potentially illegal duck blind were received and investigated.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and dove and goose hunters. Additional time was spent on equipment maintenance and checking youth waterfowl hunters. Baumbarger fielded calls about an injured eagle and a sick moose in the Norcross area.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. Station equipment maintenance was performed and equipment transfers were completed. Questions from the public about vehicle travel in WMAs, fish possession limits, transporting fish, netting of minnows and boat registration were received and answered.

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports teal provided decent action for the youth hunt over the weekend. Anglers have also started having good walleye action on various lakes. Questions were answered on upcoming hunting seasons.

 

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) received numerous calls about a sick moose wandering along a highway this past week. DNR Wildlife staff later located its carcass and transferred it to the University of Minnesota for testing. Additional calls were handled regarding youth waterfowl weekend and public land access.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) made quite a few good contacts with young duck hunters over the weekend. They were having a blast and harvesting some waterfowl. Wood ducks and teal were common among the groups and plenty of good times were had by all. Aquatic plant management cases were followed up on with more citations issued to lakeshore owners who aren’t operating weedrollers within permitted guidelines. Injured-animal calls were also taken.

 

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused primarily on finishing up a background investigation of an applicant for the next CO Academy. Time was also spent on a possible wetland violation and following up on an APM case. A nuisancewildlife complaint was received regarding deer damaging crops.  

 

Morris – vacant.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck. The panfish bite has been getting better. He found some anglers fishing without licenses. Posner spent time in the Pillsbury State Forest. He found evidence of vehicles operating on closed forest roads and causing damage. He checked goose hunters in Morrison and Cass counties. Posner worked on a litter complaint and checked a few youth duck hunters. 

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) completed a background investigation on a CO applicant. A few bear hunters and anglers were checked.  

 

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking anglers, ATV riders, goose hunters, and bearhunting activity. She investigated a headless male deer. If anyone has more information about it, please call. Hughes responded to assist Cass County with a person lost in the woods. A deputy found him and led him out of the woods safely. 

 

Lake George – vacant. 

 

Park Rapids – vacant.

 

Walker – vacant.

 

Remer – vacant. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) assisted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources with a bear incident. He also received several nuisancebear complaints in the area. Kittelsonchecked bear hunters, goose hunters, anglers and ATV operators throughout the week. Officers participated in a youth event with the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association’s Trails End Chapter. Enforcement action taken for the past week involved not having the required amount of personal flotation devices and functioning fire extinguishers, operating an ATV without headlights on and failing to obtain state and federal migratory waterfowl stamps. 

 

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent the past week working angling, boating safety, bear hunting, and ATV enforcement. After a week into bear season, Zavodnik still noticed a fair number of bear hunters trying to fill their tags. Sturgeon anglers were active during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken due to unattended lines and illegal party fishing for sturgeon. Zavodnik also attended the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association youth event held in International Falls over the weekend. Despite the cooler weather, approximately 100 attendees came to learn about various outdoors actives. 

 

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports bearhunting reports are still positive and nuisance bear complaints still continue to come in. Anglers have been successful as the fish transition to fall patterns. A check of anglers and boaters for safety compliance was positive with no violations on the boats checked. As the leaves begin to change and the daily high temperatures aren’t as high, questions on the fall hunting seasons are starting to be heard.  

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports numerous outdoor activities are in full swing, including boating, ATV riding, early goose hunting, wild rice harvest, angling, and bear hunting. Numerous phonecalls were received during the week. Forest roads and public access sites were monitored. Beaver-related complaints have again started with roads being flooded.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week continuing to work bear hunters. Success in his station appears to be high. Investigations into ongoing bear cases continue. Hopkins also worked anglers. A few of them were cited for no angling license.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked bear hunting, early goose hunting, angling, and ATV riders. He attended a special deerhunting orientation meeting and worked an ATV ride with the assistance of CO Frericks. Another large bear was dumped, only this time on private land and after being dragged down a road for a long distance. An angling couple were both found without licenses and Bozovsky received a new variation of reasons for not having a license: It was the spouses’ first time fishing and if she liked fishing, they were going to buy their licenses on Monday. He explained thats not how it works and they were cited. Another angler was observed using a downrigger, a planer board and a conventional rod and was cited for extra lines. A bear hunter chose to hunt over an unregistered bait, had no bait station sign, no identification on his barrel, and bait that was not readily bio-degradable. Enforcement action was taken forangling without a license, angling with extra lines, no license in possession, no PFD on a PWC, no rules decal, hunting within 100 yards of an unregistered bear bait station, no bait station identification sign, non-bio-degradable bear bait, OHV trespass and a number of ATV violations.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended the CO Academy graduation and assisted in posting colors as a member of the DNR Honor Guard. Wild rice in the area is starting to ripen and a few ricers were checked. By the time of this publication, wild rice in the Virginia area should be ripe and ready to harvest. Frericks worked with CO Bozovsky in the Chisholm/Buhl area during a large ATV run. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered ATVs, juveniles not wearing helmets and several other ATV violations. Bearhunting activity remains steady and a father and son were checked hunting together out of the same stand. Unfortunately, the son (a juvenile) had not registered the bait they were hunting over. A warning was given and the bait was registered by the time Frericks got back to his patrol vehicle.    

 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring bearhunting, goosehunting, angling and ATV activity. Bear hunters reported good success. Angling success still remains limited.Broughten attended a meeting with commercial property owners regarding trespass complaints. He also attended the Hoyt Lakes and Aurora city deer hunt meeting.

 

Cook – vacant. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) spent the weekend patrolling areas of the BWCA by foot and canoe. Angling success was fair to poor. Violations included baiting bears inside the BWCA, ricing without a permit in possession and baiting bears with non-biodegradable materials.

 

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked bear hunters and bear baits. He also received multiple calls about nuisance animals and trapping regulations.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked bear hunters, ATV riders and anglers. Time was spent on Lake Superior checking anglers, many of whom had salmon and lake trout in the bag. Training was completed at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for biggame and angling violations.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked bear hunters and also focused on boat and water and angling enforcement inside and outside the BWCA. Compliance throughout the week was good, but violations included insufficient PFDs and no license in possession. Several questions were answered and complaints checked into throughout the week.

 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bearhunting activity this past week. Time was spent on ATV trails and angling activity as well. 

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bearhunting and ATV activity during the week. Bear hunters are having mixed success but are reporting bear activity at baits. Murray received acomplaint of ATV riders operating in closed areas and investigated a litter complaint on county lands.

 

Tofte – vacant. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) spent time working on an applicant’s background investigation, checked bear hunters, maintained equipment, and patrolled for AIS violations related to watercraft transportation.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) and COC Marc Johnson worked bearhunting, waterfowl-hunting, smallgame and ATV activity in their station. They spent time patrolling the state parks and campgrounds. In addition, Hansen and Johnson worked fishing and boating safety enforcement and AIS inspection on area lakes and at public accesses. Warnings and citations were issued for failure to remove drain plugs, no tail lights on a boat trailer, no throwable life preserver inside a motorboat, no fire extinguisher/horn in a motorboat, failure to display registration, operating an ATV on a state highway, no youth ATV helmets and an unleashed dog inside a state campground.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked bear hunters and monitored early goose/youth waterfowl activity. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided a K9 demo for the Wounded Warrior Project at a local resort. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity with the walleye and panfish bite heating up for the fall. He also worked local bearhunting activity with hunters having good success. He also spoke about safety and game and fish laws to a youth firearms safety class.

 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked a mix of ATV, boating, angling, and bear hunting. Bearhunting success in the area continues to be good. Fishing pressure is light but the walleye and crappie bites are starting to pick up in certain locations. Enforcement action was taken for various violations including driving a truck on an ATV/snowmobile trail.

 

NE ATV officer – vacant. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended the graduation ceremony for the recently completed Academy as part of the Colors Detail with the Division Honor Guard. Willis also attended instructor training at Camp Ripley as a Division use of force instructor. A large multi-agency detail was worked in St. Paul for a large event on the Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no license in possession and gunwale riding on a motorboat under way.

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working on ongoing wetland issues and responding to bear complaints. Schmidt attempted to chase an injured wolf that was in grave condition, but to no avail. Schmidt worked boating and angling activity on area lakes and found numerous fishing violations related to licenses and illegallength fish. ATV activity is steady and time was spent checking dove and goose hunters.  

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) reports COC Hanna Wood graduated from the CO Academy last week and started Phase 1of field training with him. Duncan and Wood served a restoration order, a restoration order extension, a resource protection notice and are attempting to serve others. They’ve have been working bear bait sites and attempting to find hunters waiting to be picked up by their guides. They also spent some time on the water and encountered numerous violations. Examples included no Type IV PFD, extra lines, and fishing without a fishing license. They had a firearms safety field day on Sunday with the other district officers. While onsite, they also responded to and assisted with a severe medical. 

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked bear and early goosehunting activity. Goose hunters continued to report good numbers of birds being seen and harvested. Humphrey attended a Division Honor Guard meeting and CO Academy 19 ceremonies held at Camp Ripley during the week. Humphrey assisted with a firearms safety field day held at the United Northern Sportsmen’s Club. Officers there responded to and assisted with a medical emergency. Calls were received about goose hunting, bear hunting and timber wolf concerns.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) checked boating, fishing and early goose hunters over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, hunting without a license in possession, and unplugged shotgun. Assistance was given at a firearms safety field day class north of Duluth. Assistance was given at a medical incident that occurred during the class. A complaint of littering on state forest land was investigated.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth-Two Harbors waters during the week. Catches of chinook and some coho salmon are showing up in the creels. AIS was also worked at the public access points along the North Shore. Bearhunting questions and nuisancebear complaints were also tended to during the week. Olson attended a firearms safety field day with District 8 officers at the United Northern Sportsmen’s Club north of Duluth.

 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Equipment maintenance items were handled and wild rice harvesters were checked on inland lakes. Commercial checks were completed and state parks patrolled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

 

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports working several bear hunters and handling several illegal bait and trespass issues as well as ATV activity and wild ricing. 

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked enforcement of all-terrain vehicle laws, aquatic plant management laws, and big-game investigations. Guida worked on an assigned background investigation of a CO PREP applicant out of state, trained Enforcement staff at Camp Ripley, and began a field training assignment.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ricing, waterfowl and bear-hunting activity along with an ATV trespass complaint.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and boating activity throughout the week. McGowan also started field training a new officer from the CO Academy. The officers checked numerous waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating, angling, and waterfowl violations. The officers also assisted local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.  

 

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV enforcement activity in the Foothills State Forest area. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV use, ATV registration violations, and equipment. Patrol for youth waterfowl hunters was conducted. Angling and boating safety was worked over the weekend and enforcement action was taken for an illegal-length fish and safety equipment violations. Additionally, an illegal bear bait was found and action was taken regarding bear-baiting requirements. 

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports starting Step 1 field training with COC Emily Leeb. They checked for fishing and boating related activity in the park and on the Mississippi River. The SRA was patrolled for vehicle permits and illegal vehicle activity and many outdoor lawrelated questions were answered. Fitzgerald and Leeb assisted a local agency with a call for service. Enforcement action for the week included bearhunting, ATV, and park violations.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity where the recent cool weather has quickly moved fish into fall patterns.A lot of people were also out enjoying the reduction in insects as they rode ATVs and prepared for next weekend’s archery deer opener.  

 

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ATV, fishing, boating, and biggame enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV violations, boating registration, bearhunting violations, failure to obtain a burning permit, and burning prohibited materials.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated bear hunting TIPs. She patrolled the Nemadji State Forest for recreational vehicles. She noted several areas where ATV operators were traveling offtrail. A reminder the Area with Limitations means no motorized vehicles are allowed and the hunter/trapper exception does not apply. Speldrich also taught the law portion of youth firearms safety to youth in the Kerrick area.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked the bear season, ATV, fishing activities, and boating regulations. A roadkilled bear was taken care of and a trespass concern handled. Youth waterfowl activity was also monitored with very few ducks being harvested. State parks were also worked with full campsites found.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time checking on bearhunting activity and patrolling area lakes checking anglers. Some anglers enjoyed decent crappie fishing. One angler checked got a little carried away and was caught using multiple rods at one time. Many of the bear hunters checked had successfully harvested a bear and others reported their baits getting hit often. Bearhunting violations found included using illegal material as bait and not signing or registering baits properly.

 

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent much of his time checking bear hunters and bear baits. Time was also spent checking boaters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations as well.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports working fishing enforcement. One individual was contacted who was so convinced he only had 10 crappies that he counted them out for Kyllo. He was convinced he was over limit when he counted to 11. A highlight of Kyllo’s week was talking to several young waterfowl hunters who bagged their first birds during the youth hunt. It was refreshing to see new hunters enthusiastic about the sport and proud to show off their birds. She also taught the law and ethics portion of an ATV safety class to 43 students.  

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended an Honor Guard meeting and assisted with the Academy 19 graduation ceremony. In-service training was attended and vehicle maintenance issues were handled. Silgjord checked anglers in the station and worked the youth waterfowl hunting weekend. Rainy weather kept many indoors but several anglers and hunters were seen afield with mixed bags. 

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) followed up on TIP reports. He worked on vehicle maintenance and administrative tasks and handled several phone calls. One caller advised of a nerveracking ring of his doorbell at 2:30 a.m., saying nothing good comes from a doorbell ring at that time of the night. What he found was a deer that had apparently climbed up 10 steps onto his deck and was licking the doorbell.

 

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports working goose hunters, youth waterfowl hunters and checking anglers. Time was spent working AIS enforcement at local public accesses. Enforcement action for the week included failure to have a federal duck stamp, failure to have a state waterfowl stamp, failure to have a special goose license, fishing without a license, no fishing license in possession and failure to have a throwable flotation device on board a watercraft.

 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) responded to calls including trespass, wetland violations, a deer taken out of season, and hunters raining BBs down onto a house. Enforcement action was also taken for safety equipment violations and transporting a loaded gun. Questions continue to come in regarding new deer feeding and hunting restrictions in Todd County. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking area goose hunters and kids who got out for youth waterfowl weekend. Some success was found with local wood ducks and migrating geese. Enforcement action was taken for lead shot and unplugged guns. Benkofske also teamed up with the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office for extra Labor Day boat patrol.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted in serving a search warrant, patrolled local WMAs, and checked anglers, hunting activity and ATV riders. Londgren also took several calls on trespassing and how to properly post property in preparation for the upcoming deer seasons. 

 

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers, boaters, and bear hunters. Time was also spent working water violation issues.

 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent patrolling for invasive species and assisting other agencies. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, failing to display valid watercraft registration, and hunting waterfowl without a plug.

 

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working on bearhunting activity and patrolling for ATV violations. He also assisted with a search warrant and spent time working on evidence management.

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters over the weekend. On Saturday, youth hunters were out in force in the Pelican Lake area. Most of the young hunters had some good shooting but not as much harvesting. It was great to see parents getting out with their young, eager waterfowl hunters and teaching them the sport of waterfowl hunting. Anglers in the area are finding some success with the changing seasons. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no PFD onboard a watercraft and registration violations.   

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint. Anglers and hunters were checked. He also handled animal– and litter-related calls.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) assisted the Scott County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a missing boater on the Minnesota River. Division training was conducted at Camp Ripley. Many calls were fielded about the upcoming waterfowl season.

 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked early goose hunters and anglers. Youth waterfowl weekend had great weather and youth hunters had plenty of opportunity. A beaver permit was issued to a local municipality. Several huntingoutofseason complaints were received.

 

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking shore anglers and recreational boaters. Assistance was also provided to other agencies during an event held on the MississippiRiver. Enforcement action for the past week included angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and a warrant arrest.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers for fishing and boating activities. He attended PEER training at the Saint Paul Police Department and assisted District 14 officers at the 2019 Red Bull event on the Mississippi River.

 

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling and boating activity along with early season goose hunters. Maass also assisted with an event on the Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, riding on the gunwale, no federal stamp, no early goose permit, and possession of toxic shot.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the checking anglers, training with K9 Shelby and following up on complaints. Grewe also worked an event on the Mississippi River sponsored by Red Bull.  

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked early goose and mourning dove hunters in Carver and Scott counties. He assisted Scott County and local police with the search for a missing boater on the Minnesota River. Lee worked shore anglers on metroarea lakes and rivers. He answered questions from the Asian community on smallgame hunting regulations and issued a beaver permit in Scott County.

 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) reports focusing on boat and water safety activity during the past week. In addition to patrolling area lakes, Kpachavi worked an event on the Mississippi River and assisted a retired CO and the Raptor Center with a loon issue on Christmas Lake. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating PWCs after hours, and gunwale riding.

 

Ft. Snelling – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) began field training with COC Brett Wiltrout. Arntzen also worked the sturgeon opener on the St. Croix River, checked goose hunters and worked a waterfowl violation TIP. Violations for the past week included leaving property overnight at a public access, possessing lead shot, taking waterfowl in a closed season, taking of non-game birds, hunting without a license and no federal stamp.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for youth waterfowl hunting activity. He assisted with a youth waterfowl hunting event and assisted with a TIP call regarding the early goose season. Salzer also received a TIP regarding deer season.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) attended instructor in-service training prior to Divisional in-service training. Questions regarding upcoming hunting seasons were fielded. Enforcement actions was taken for angling without a license.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the majority of the week monitoring anglers and dove hunters in the area. He also worked boating details for the Chicago concert in Hastings and the Flugtag event in St. Paul. Enforcement action for the week included no life jackets in a boat, expired registration, gunwale riding and possession of marijuana.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) began field training a new officer who graduated from the DNR CO Academy on Sept. 3.They spent time checking ATV riders, anglers, dove and goose hunters, and youth waterfowl hunters. They also patrolled Blue Mounds State Park. Enforcement action for the week included angling and hunting license violations.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, boating, and mourning dove and goosehunting enforcement. Time was also spent checking and talking to youth hunters who were out for Youth Waterfowl Weekend. Assistance was given with a firearms safety field day put on near Tracy. Hunters are reminded to review the WMA restrictions in the hunter regulations handbook on Page 101. 

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating and OHV activity during the past week. Dove, early goose and youth waterfowl hunters were also checked. A few youth waterfowl hunters were happy to show Miska their first ducks ever taken. Transporting loaded firearms violations were encountered.

 

Lake Benton – vacant. 

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Montevideo – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers, goose hunters, and ATV operators. He educated boaters about AIS laws.

 

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) worked boating, angling, and goose hunting. He spent time at a TIP trailer during Prairie Pothole Days in Kandiyohi. Vernier also issued a deer possession permit.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time getting equipment ready for the fall hunting seasons, which now are upon us. Healso checked on complaints of aquatic plant removal and people keeping and trying to raise wildlife. The youth waterfowl weekend was a success with lots of kids having a great weekend to hunt ducks before the regular season opens. Waterfowl hunters are reminded to make sure they have lifejackets in good condition when out on the water hunting as the water temperatures keep dropping.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) presented a 40-year volunteer firearms safety instructor award to Gary Kruggel. Thanks again,Gary, for all of your volunteer service to Minnesota’s youth!Nelson also worked dove and waterfowl hunting, boating, invasive species, fishing, and ATV enforcement activities.

 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) started field training with COC Larson during the past week. A background investigation was completed. The officers focused enforcement efforts on ATV compliance, sport fishing, goosehunting activity, and the youth waterfowl hunting weekend. A reminder that 16 and 17yearolds are required to have a federal waterfowl stamp while waterfowl hunting.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) discussed the youth waterfowl weekend, goose season, and dove season on his radio program.He noted several participants in the youth waterfowl season. He also worked boat and water safety and the goose and dove seasons.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked goose and dove hunters in fields. Anglers and boaters were checked. ATV activity was monitored. Public accesses were patrolled. Lake water temperatures are becoming cooler, but many are still very green with algae, prompting many people to avoid recreating and angling on them.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) had a busy week checking waterfowl hunters. Youth waterfowl hunters were checked over the weekend. Most were able to get a few birds. VanThuyne also checked recreational vehicles and anglers.  

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the past week. He also checked waterfowl hunters and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas. Davis also worked on a background investigation for a DNR applicant. 

 

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working anglers and migratory waterfowl hunters. He checked early goose hunters onthe opener. Early goose hunters had good success but since then hunting has been slow with very few migrant geese observed.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking angling, boating, and ATV activity this past week. There are a few early goose and mourning dove hunters in the fields. The weather has been cooling, making for a pleasant transitional time of the year.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent most of the week checking early goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters. Ihnen also patrolled for fishing and boating activity. Additional time was spent checking mourning dove hunters.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers this past week. Training at Camp Ripley was attended. He also monitored ATV and AIS activity.

 

CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) attended the DNR Academy 19 Graduation at Camp Ripley. He checked anglers on lakes around Waterville and saw a lot of crappies being caught. Flerlage spent time working goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters over the weekend. He talked with ATV users operating on the roads.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked another busy week on the river and in the woods of southeast Minnesota. Numerous calls and questions were handled regarding the upcominghunting seasons. The youth duck and early goose hunters experienced pretty good success over the weekend and the Mississippi River continues to produce panfish, bass andwalleyes. Violations for the past week mainly were license and registration issues.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and hunters during the week. Wood ducks were around in areas for the kids on youth waterfowl weekend. Heyn also did prep work for upcoming court cases.  

 

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent most of the week checking anglers on Olmsted County reservoirs. Additional time was spent monitoring ATV activity and following up on deerfeeding complaints. Enforcement activity for the week included fishing without a license, ATV passengers under 18 without a helmet and transportation of aquatic macrophytes. 

 

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked early goose hunters. A hunter was contacted who had an unplugged shotgun and enforcement action was taken. A complaint of ATVs unlawfully driving on state land was investigated. He gave a law and ethics presentation to a National Wild Turkey Federation youth hunting event at the Gopher State Sportsmen’s Club. Assistance was given to other local law enforcement agencies on critical events. 

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking dove hunters, goose hunters and a few youth duck hunters. One group of three youth hunters all shot their first wood duck. They also fell waistdeep into the muck and mud but came out smiling. Dove hunters who found watering holes had success as well. 

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) has been field training COC Derek Schneider this past week. They spent time checking boats on the river and observed anglers having very good luck catching panfish. Many shore anglers were found fishing without a license. Time was also spent checking hunters during the early goose season and youth waterfowl hunters. Some youth had good success. ATV trails were also worked in the area and a rider was cited for not having proper registration.  

 

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports checking anglers throughout the week on various lakes in Goodhue and Wabasha counties. A nice panfish bite was seen on North Lake with trolling being the hot ticket. Hill contacted a goose hunter who reported difficulties finding birds. An ongoing trespass issue dating back multiple years was worked and charges were sent in. Vehicle maintenance was completed. Local WMAs and state parks were also patrolled for activity. 

 

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) attended use of force training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working in the BWCA. Enforcement action was taken for various violations. 

 

Rochester #1 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance items and administrative tasks. He also attended a meeting in St. Paul for state senators and staff concerning the Aviation Section’s fleet. Questions were answered about Aviation Section needs and current and future work projects.Maas flew with another pilot to complete his lowlevel waiver annual check ride.

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) worked on the ground with local units over Labor Day. He also attended a Division Safety Committee meeting and Academy 19’s graduation ceremony. He also flew big-game enforcement support flights.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew Leech Lake creel flights and located a malfunctioning wolf telemetry collar. Jensen assisted a field officer with obtaining photos of a wetland violation and also allowed the officer to see their patrol area to document surface water and waterfowl bird locations.

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a Leech Lake survey and gave a low-level waiver ride. Heineman also trained in the airplane and helicopter and attended a Flight Instructors Renewal course.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week working AIS and boating activity, checking anglers and responding toTIP calls. Time was spent attending the graduation at the Academy. Background work was conducted.

 

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) checked early goose and bear hunters. Case files were updated and calls were returned.

 

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) served a search warrant for a wetland violation. Pictures, measurements and soil samples were taken to assess the extent of the violation. A background investigation was finished up for the Enforcement Academy in 2020.

 

WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling, ATV, dove, and goosehunting activity this past week. Pre-employment background investigations continue and time was spent following up on wetland and waters cases.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked on a Division background. She is also monitoring WCA cases for completion. Assistance was given to a local agency on an individual passed out in his vehicle on the roadway.   

 

WREO (NE) – vacant. 

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions. 

 

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check online for the online course information. (It’s also at www.mndnr.gov.)

 

Please check the DNR website www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. 

 

Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

Reminder: Anyone born after December 31, 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 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.

 

Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 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.

 

See Also: MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html

STAFF NOTES:

Southwest Metro RTO Brett Oberg continued working the early goose and dove season this past week. He also continued work on safety education and use of force project work. An RTO meeting was also attended.

 

Southeast Metro RTO Phil George attended a meeting and use of force instructor training, assisted with baiting complaints and assisted District 14 with a boat and water detail on the Mississippi River in the metro area.               

 

Southwest RTO Jen Mueller spent the past week preparing for upcoming trainings. She did an interview with KEYC out of Mankato for the firearms safety instructor of the year story. Shealso completed a radio interview for an upcoming story on ATV safety in the Pipestone area. Mueller also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley.

 

North Metro RTO Brandon McGaw attended meetings and training at Camp Ripley. Some time was spent working early goose hunters and anglers.  

 

Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence assisted with teaching use of force training concepts and firearms qualifications for enhanced instructor training. Lawrence attended meetings this past week with members of the ARMCA Association of MN (off-highway motorcycles) and attended a regional training officer meeting at Camp Ripley. He transferred equipment and completed maintenance of Enforcement ATVrelated equipment. 

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