Cuffs & Collars – February 10th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) investigated a complaint about an
illegal structure fire and handled an incident involving a dog in a
trap. Most of the week was spent checking anglers on Lake of the
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked anglers and snowmobilers in the
Northwest Angle area of Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was
taken regarding snowmobile registration, no trail stickers, and
miscellaneous fishing violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke to the Golden
Pioneers, a local civic organization in Thief River Falls, about
conservation officer duties and the gray wolf returning to state
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports some snowmobiling in the area
but conditions are marginal, and trail conditions are generally
poor. One snowmobile broke through the ice on the Red Lake
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored snowmobiling and angling
activity. A stolen fish house was recovered, confiscated fur was
handled, and equipment transfers were completed. A trespass
complaint also was investigated.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A
complaint about wolves chasing livestock was investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports two trucks broke through the ice
on Little Pine Lake. A driver was using GPS guidance to leave the
lake in heavy fog and drove into open water near the Ottertail
River inlet to the lake. The driver was able to get out of the
water and walk home. The following morning, a truck was being
driven about a mile away from the first site and broke through the
ice. There were no indications of poor ice. The vehicle owners are
brothers, who were fishing in the same shelter. Plans to remove a
2011 Ford and 2012 Jeep are under way.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) patrolled area lakes and trails during
the annual Lake Park old-time snowmobile event. Even though snow
conditions were poor, many snowmobilers went for a ride. A cougar
sighting was investigated, and the tracks were not believed to be
those of a cat.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers, fish houses,
ATVers, and snowmobilers. Garbage left on the lakes is becoming an
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended the U.S. Coast Guard boat and water
safety class in South Carolina.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest) contacted law
enforcement agencies in Becker County and scheduled aquatic
invasive species training.The training will occur before the
open-water season. Hanson also is working with White Earth tribal
officials regarding AIS issues and enforcement.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spoke to a junior trapper’s class
hosted by Minnesota Trappers Association volunteers in Fergus
Falls. Several fishermen were checked, and violations found
included extra lines, unattended lines, and overlimits. A father
and daughter angling together caught a catch of a lifetime. They
set up their underwater camera and discovered a set of trophy elk
antlers. They were able to hook the antlers and bring them up
through the ice after drilling additional holes. At this time it is
unknown how long this treasure has been hanging out at the bottom
of this Otter Tail County lake.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) seized two more fishers accidentally
caught by trappers. An investigation is under way regarding a
person’s dog that was shot in the ear.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, coyote hunters,
and ATVers. Osborne also worked on a license fraud case with a
Wisconsin conservation warden. Lake Christina was posted with “no
fishing” signs at the public access and around the lake. Lake
Christina was closed to fishing starting Nov. 1, 2011.
CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) monitored fishing and small game-hunting
activity. Calls regarding ice conditions continue to be
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued monitoring angling and spearing
activity on area lakes, including taking part in a work crew in the
Sauk Centre area. One angler was caught using an extra line, and
while CO Johanson was in the fish house writing out the citation,
there was a knock on the door, followed by, “game warden!” The fish
house owner sheepishly opened the door and a friend of his was
standing there. The friend became quiet and the expression on his
face changed drastically when he saw the real game warden in the
fish house taking care of business.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports enforcement efforts for the
week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and predator
hunters, and issuing minnow transportation permits. Baumbarger
assisted the Wilkin County Sheriff’s Department with a search and
rescue effort for a missing snowmobiler on the Bois de Sioux River
who had crashed his snowmobile. The subject was located and then
transported to an awaiting ambulance. He was later transported to a
hospital in Fargo and treated for his injuries.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and predator hunters
during the week. She also answered questions at the Fish Hook Lake
Fishing Derby. CO Hunter also received a call about a timber wolf
that was hanging around a rural residence, and a call from someone
who had hit an otter with his vehicle.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spoke with local cattle producers about
wolf complaints. He also investigated wetland and illegal trapping
violations. Officer Oldakowski also provided assistance to a local
sportsmen’s club that was putting on a youth firearms day, and
issued a permit for a pair of dead bucks found locked together by a
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted U.S. Forest Service law
enforcement officers with the removal of abandoned property from
CO Larry Francis (Remer) attended communications training at Camp
Ripley. He also worked fishing activity, prepared for an upcoming
snowmobile safety class, and provided materials to an adult in need
of firearms safety training.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) monitored ice angling and spearing
activity. CO Broughten followed up on a wetland fill complaint,
provided an individual with an educational ride-along opportunity,
and attended training at Camp Ripley. CO Broughten also assisted
the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with an attempt to locate a
suspect involved in a stabbing.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time monitoring
snowmobiling activity and fishing activity. CO Kittelson received a
report at 4 a.m. about an individual dragging a deer behind a car
down the city streets. Upon investigation, it was determined the
deer was a road kill for which the individual had no permit and had
taken the backstraps; enforcement action was taken.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored trout-fishing activity and state
park issues. Snowmobile trails were in good condition until warm
weather melted snow.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobilers, and
trapping activity. The officer dealt with an accidentally snared
gray wolf and a fisher, which were both turned in by the trappers.
A snowmobile owner continues to be reluctant to put registration on
his sled. The officer addressed the issue with the owner two years
ago, and the officer was told that he received a ticket from
another CO for the same violation a few days earlier. He was
ticketed once again.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was able to wrap up a 2010 big-game case of
shooting from the road by arresting the suspect on warrants and
transporting him to jail to spend the night. The following day, the
man was brought before court where he pleaded guilty.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) encountered a lone fisherman on a remote lake
who was casually sitting in his fish house with the door open,
waiting for the officer to arrive. He had two tip-ups set outside
and two open holes and a Vexilar running inside. The lines were
reeled up with wet, flopping minnows. The angler had beaten the
officer with his extra lines, and he knew it. But he had neglected
to put identification on his shelter, and his tip-up was 400-plus
feet away. The law only allows for 200 feet.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) and other officers checked
snowmobilers during the Cook County Ridge Rider’s Snowmobile Club
Fun Run. The violation rate for trail stickers and registration was
low, and only two people were stopped for speeding. COs also came
upon another group of snowmobilers with no snowmobile safety
certificates. They were told to return to the motel and take the
online course. The proud graduates were encountered later that day
with their new certificates in hand.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked cross-country ski passes and
patrolled state parks. The officer also patrolled sled trails and
found good compliance for both registration and trail
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) responded to a report about a car-kill
wolf that turned out to be a coyote. CO Johnson reports that he
observed a deer (doe) that did not have a tail. She was with her
2-year-old fawns that had normal tails.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) observed a fisherman walking to three
different areas on the ice. As the officer approached the angler,
the fisherman quickly threw his jacket and Carhartts over the extra
lines he had down. Appropriate paperwork was issued.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked small-game, snowmobile, and
fishing enforcement. Violations for the week included failing to
display registration, failing to register snowmobiles, failing to
transfer ownership of a snowmobile, no fishing license in
possession, extra lines, no license, and failing to display shelter
identification and license.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobilers,
trappers, and ATVers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class and
investigated a timber wolf complaint during the week.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) completed interviews from an
investigation of theft of gravel from state land. CO Humphrey also
spoke about ice safety and fishing regulations to the “Kids Plus
Fishing” class at Moose Lake elementary.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working winter fishing
enforcement on area lakes around Duluth. Time also was spent
working on a couple trapping cases.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) continued detector
training with K9 Schody. Staples reports great work by
investigators from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office in turning
up several illegal deer during a search warrant at a residence in
the county. Besides several other charges, the suspect is being
charged with illegally possessing deer. The investigation is
ongoing. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office
in locating a suspect regarding felony assault and burglary
charges. Angling success had been slow in the area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers
fishing the shore of Lake Superior, on the ice at McQuade Harbor,
and boats coming off the lake. Ice anglers also were checked on
Superior Bay and the St. Louis River. The CO is seeing more
undersized fish being kept on the St. Louis River than he has in
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) took enforcement action regarding
several fish houses that did not meet legal marking requirements.
He also found an angler fishing with an extra line, ATVers not
displaying registration, and several people fishing without a
license in possession.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included checking
fishermen and area ski trails and responding to complaints about
ATVers trespassing and driving on snowmobile trails.
CO Patrick McGowan (McGregor) assisted the sheriff’s department
with a driver who was reported to be carelessly driving on the
road, then went onto a lake.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) talked with cattle ranchers about
new rules for wolf problems, checked anglers, and worked the Crosby
area for the annual Scorpion Day festivities.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked with the Cass County Sheriff’s
Department on fish shelter burglaries. The break-ins seem to be
more frequent than in the past, possibly due to no snow and the
ease of lake travel.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) checked anglers on area lakes.
Heaton followed up on investigations and answered questions
regarding wolf seasons, snowmobile registration, and angling
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted with the Fishing for
Knowledge program in which about 175 local sixth-graders spent the
day fishing and learning about fishing.
CO Angela Londgren (Onamia) continues to work a trapping/snaring
complaint area, and took calls regarding nuisance animals, as well
as trespassing complaints.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille
Lacs Lake. The officer also met with the county attorney regarding
an upcoming big-game case.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a
vehicle accident involving injuries. Enforcement action was taken
for use of extra lines and no angling license.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and ATV activity. Time was
spent assisting neighboring officers on an angling work crew on
Sauk Lake. Thesing also prepared a shining case for court.
Enforcement action included no angling license in possession,
expired ATV registration, driving an ATV on the road with a revoked
driver’s license, and extra lines.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers.
Enforcement action was taken for no license, no registration, and
angling with extra lines. Car-kill deer tags were also
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a trap-tampering case. CO Kuske
also checked angling activity in Morrison and Crow Wing
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) continues to get calls about fox/coyote
hunters trespassing under the ruse of capturing their dogs that
they let loose.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes, taking
enforcement action on a number of violations. He assisted with a
couple of litter cases with charges pending.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated several littering cases on
area lakes. Reller also conducted a game farm inspection in Wright
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a vehicle breaking through
the ice on South Center Lake. The driver was able to escape, but
his truck sunk to the bottom in 46 feet of water. CO Langevin also
reports fish houses are starting to be left at area accesses.
Anglers are reminded that fish houses cannot be left at public
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) reports commercial fishermen were checked
while seining carp from Parley Lake; approximately 80,000 pounds
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) received a call from a trapper who was
harassed while trapping.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) responded to a TIP call in Carver County
regarding two fishermen using extra lines. Upon further
investigation, the fishermen were found using 13 lines, and over
half of the lines were more than 400 feet away from their
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) spent the week on angling and ATV
enforcement. He also checked area aerators and armored DNR
Enforcement Division rifles.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working angling activity
on area lakes. Shelter violations continue to be numerous.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with Kao Thao, a naturalist from Fort
Snelling State Park, to conduct an ice-fishing workshop for the
Hmong Women Association. While on patrol at Fort Snelling State
Park, Le received a call to contact the airport police regarding a
report from a pilot who observed the words “HELP ME” drawn in the
snow on the frozen river. The spot was located, and CO Le found
that someone had written “HELLS ANGELS” in the snow.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended a snowmobile safety class
put on by the Ramsey County Water Patrol in Arden Hills. She also
checked anglers and ATVers on area lakes and worked WMA and ORV
enforcement in Anoka County.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) patrolled wildlife management areas,
scientific and natural areas, and state trails.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) investigated two trespass complaints
and one wetland complaint.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers,
predator hunters, and trappers. Enforcement action was taken for
untagged traps, fishing without a license, and fishing with extra
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV,
and coyote hunting enforcement. Ice conditions have deteriorated
with warmer-than-normal temperatures.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting investigations
and checking ice anglers.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted with a multi-jurisdictional
investigation. Local authorities served a search warrant that
resulted in CO Picht investigating possible game violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing
activity. Additional time was spent checking ATV and snowmobile
activity on area lakes. Hatlestad also checked trapping activity
and attended training.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) looked into a possible wetland and
public waters violations. Findings were forwarded to local
government units. Larger shelters were removed from local waters
because of high temperatures.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked trappers and monitored trapping
activity throughout the area. He also spoke about invasive species
at a Delta Waterfowl banquet. He received complaints about dogs
chasing deer and answered numerous questions about ice
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) worked anglers and darkhouse spearing on
area lakes and rivers and also conducted aeration system
inspections, with only one system in operation at this time.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking angling activity this
week. Poor ice conditions continue. Many anglers are pulling their
larger shelters in before the accesses deteriorate. Anglers are
reminded that they may not store their shelters at public
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to TIP calls and assisted
neighboring officers with a career fair held at Minnesota
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked area predator-hunting activity.
Ice-fishing activity also was monitored on area lakes and rivers.
Ice conditions overall remain unpredictable, and those venturing
onto the frozen waters are advised to use extreme caution. An
investigation regarding a suspected poached deer is under
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) assisted officers in the Grand Marais
station with a work detail. Follow-up was done on a trespass
investigation. Enforcement action was taken for miscellaneous
snowmobile violations and fishing violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports open-water fishing is back on the
river. Hemker observed one person break through the ice in shallow
water and helped him get back to his vehicle.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters. The
hunting has picked up, and success has been good. Time also was
spent checking trout anglers. CO Boyum investigated a dumping
complaint, as well as trespassing complaints. Shed hunters are out
in force and are reminded to review trespass laws before heading