Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – February 15th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included angling with extra lines, possessing a small amount of marijuana, and failure to obtain a rental dark house license.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) spent time checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and followed up on complaints of illegal snowmobile operation in the Warroad area. A wolf presentation was given to a local elementary school. CO Birchem met with a number of resort owners and fishing guides at an area resort and discussed fishing regulations and litter issues.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Enforcement action taken throughout the week included an overlimit of walleyes, extra lines, unmeasurable walleyes, unattended lines, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and COC Regas report working on a taxidermy inspection at a local business. A case involving an illegally taken bear was completed.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked snowmobile and angling activity throughout the week. The officer taught the laws and ethics portion of snowmobile safety class in the Fosston area. He also received a call about a car-killed wolf and consulted with the assistant county attorney on a baiting case from the firearms deer season.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity throughout the week. A meeting was attended regarding an ongoing investigation. The officer also met with the county attorney to review ongoing cases. A complaint about a 4×4 vehicle operating on the trail was investigated. The owner was attempting to assist his niece, who was stuck on her snowmobile.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) report a blizzard late in the week brought welcome snow to the Detroit Lakes area. CO Vinton received a call from an angler on Big Detroit Lake who had gotten a large plow truck stuck, and that was before the latest snow. CO Vinton was asked by the State Patrol to assist with some stranded motorists on Hwy. 10.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports snowmobile activity remains high with the new snow, and trails are in good condition. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobiling violations.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and snowmobilers. Aeration inspections continue. Area trails remain in good condition due to the new snowfall.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) reports coyote hunters are very active and several trespass complaints were handled. A citizen called and was concerned about a wolf observed in the neighborhood.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Several snowmobilers were checked, as the new snow has improved trail conditions. Nelson also worked on a waters violation and had a court trial.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued ice-fishing enforcement efforts. Citations were issued for angling with extra lines on several occasions. A citation for litter was issued to an individual who admitted to tossing his drug paraphernalia down the fish hole as CO Lawler arrived. Lawler also spoke at a snowmobile safety class where 25 area youth were certified.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) and other District 3 officers worked the Ice Fishing Challenge in the Alex area, promoting safety and focusing on recreational vehicle operation. Johanson turned over an intoxicated driver and subsequent DWI arrest to the State Patrol.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) assisted the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office in locating a family stranded in a blizzard on Sunday.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) and COC Belgard finished investigating a northern pike overlimit case that resulted in the violator being in possession of 28 northern pike over his limit. Charges were filed in the case.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers and addressed equipment issues. He monitored coyote hunting activity, as well as fishing activity during a local tournament. Officer Oldakowski also provided assistance to other law enforcement regarding a car fire and explosion.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing and snowmobiling activity. He also received a call regarding an abandoned snowmobile trailer and attended a meeting with area DNR Fisheries staff.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Recent snowfalls created good snowmobile conditions. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, failure to display snowmobile registration, and no valid angling license.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated complaints about dogs chasing deer and received a complaint regarding turkeys in silage piles.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Davis monitored angling and snowmobiling activity throughout the week and took part in two snowmobile enforcement details.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) continued training with COC Tetrault. The officers patrolled area snowmobile trails and addressed common violations such as failure to display valid registration and no state grant-in-aid trail sticker. Numerous snowmobilers were found traveling faster than the speed limit.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers and snowmobilers during the week. A 220-plus vintage snowmobile run was worked, and a prohibited materials fire in which an old house was burned was investigated. An angler who claimed he had an angling license (and signed the written warning affidavit stating he had the license) tried to cover his tracks by buying the license 44 minutes after the fact. He apparently did not know that the license purchases are date and time stamped. He will be rewarded with a summons for no angling license and signing a false affidavit.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) observed free trade in nature during the week. One day he saw three moose crossing from Ontario to Minnesota. A short time later he observed a pack of wolf tracks heading to Ontario. Add three to the moose count.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) reports a busy snowmobiling week in the area. A motorist who was stuck on a remote, unplowed road was assisted by the CO in getting the vehicle out.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiling and fishing enforcement. Snowmobilers are reminded that they need to stay on their own side of the trail. If you’re going too fast to make the turn while staying on your own side, you’re going too fast.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) patrolled at Tettegouche State Park and conducted an aeration location inspection at the Silver Bay Marina. He also is working on an investigation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took calls about sick owls and forgotten fishing licenses. The officer patrolled GIA snowmobile trails, and checked anglers and fishing shelters on inland lakes.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobile and angling activity this past week. A reminder to those who want to go snowmobiling that they must have a snowmobile safety certificate to operate a sled if they were born after Dec. 31, 1976.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) assisted on a snowmobile work detail in Bigfork and checked trout anglers on lakes in the Ely area.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked anglers, snowmobilers, OHVers, and checked bait on infested and other area waters. CO Arhart also tracked Wetland Conservation Act and protected waters inventory projects for restoration compliance.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) monitored ice angling and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, an overlimit of fish, and failure to exhibit license. Wichmann also investigated a call regarding a snowmobiler running over an animal, which resulted in a citation being issued.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) attended a use of force meeting at Camp Ripley, patrolled snowmobile trails, and checked anglers. Violations for operating a snowmobile on the roadway and speeding were encountered.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity over the past week. CO Sutherland also gave a presentation to two DARE classes at the Grand Rapids Middle School.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) continued training with COC Silgjord. Angling activity was monitored on area lakes. Both CO Schmidt and COC Silgjord participated in a work crew on the North Shore State Trail.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several area lakes have large ice ridges on them. These ice ridges can be extremely hazardous to any unsuspecting snowmobiler that may not see them until it’s too late. Several reports regarding wolf and coyote problems were received.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week working winter fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Many people were contacted, and several violations were found. Officer Duncan also was interviewed by a local outdoor radio program.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey also assisted with a youth “Fishing for Knowledge” program held at Moose Lake Elementary School.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to those seeking careers in criminal justice at Fond du Lac College about the hiring process and the job duties of a conservation officer. A complaint about wolves killing cattle was investigated in the Moose Lake area, and an incidentally caught otter was turned in by an area trapper who caught it in a beaver trap. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department with investigating an ATV accident in which an ATVer struck a parked vehicle on a county highway.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott attended the St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show, staffing an AIS booth with other DNR folks from Eco-Waters Resources. Wetland cases were cleared up with the assistance of BWSR personnel.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and snowmobilers in Lake and St. Louis counties. Multiple instances of illegal snowmobile exhaust were encountered, with many of the operators stating that they altered their snowmobile to make it louder. This illegal act has led to the loss of snowmobile trail access in some areas.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers, ATVers, snowmobiles, and off-road vehicles throughout the week. He continued to work on a commercial and big-game investigation. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana, and ATV and snowmobile violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked snowmobile enforcement, assisted with the MnUSA snowmobile ride in the Brainerd area, and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for ATVers operating on a public highway, unattended fishing lines, expired snowmobile registration, no snowmobile trail passes, and unmarked fish houses.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) attended a Use of Force instructor meeting at Camp Ripley this past week for planning the upcoming in-service training for all conservation officers.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity included responding to calls about dogs chasing deer, suspected illegal fishing, and incidental fur take.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) assisted CO Posner with the MnUSA Rendezvous Snowmobile event. He also monitored ice fishing, snowmobiling, and fat bike trail activity in the Cuyuna SRA and Brainerd Lakes area.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked ice anglers. A lot of fish houses were removed ahead of the expected snowstorm.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the Arctic Blast event during the weekend. Fishermen on Mille Lacs were checked and were found to have some perch and walleyes. Some of the walleyes found in the bag were illegal size. In one case, the party advised the officer that he had measured the fish with a bucket. It is a good idea to bring along a measuring device when fishing on Mille Lacs. A TIP complaint regarding a fishing tournament violation was investigated. The officer also followed up to make sure trees had been removed from a local lake after the officer advised the parties they could not place them in the lake without a permit.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) checked anglers on Mille Lacs. Two anglers were surprised when the officer approached their portable fish shelter. Heaton immediately smelled the odor of marijuana but continued with the license check. When the licenses were produced, she asked the anglers to hand over the weed. With wide eyes, one angler gave her a plastic bag containing marijuana. Heaton said, “All of it,” and the anglers managed to produce three more glass pipes. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports a snowmobile accident was handled on Lake Mille Lacs. The party had gone out for a ride from his fish house and struck an ice ridge, possibly breaking his femur and arm.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) congratulated the 2012 Snowmobile Instructor of the Year, Marvin Dorn, of Pierz. The 83-year old has been active in snowmobile trail development since the 1970s, and has been a safety instructor for 25 years.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) attended pretrial for a turkey case in which the defendant and partner were charged with illegally taking turkeys. Neither of them had a license. The officer also worked anglers and took a trapping complaint.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and snowmobilers. He also checked two litter complaints and returned stolen property to the owner. He delivered a number of deer to families and a church group and attended a Ducks Unlimited banquet at Cragun’s Resort, where he received the 2012 Waterfowl Conservation Officer of the Year Award.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports enforcement action was taken for taking a bobcat out of season.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) assisted with numerous car crashes in the area due to weather conditions.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth firearms safety class. CO Musatov also assisted with the TIP trailer at the St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on special regulation lakes. Car-kill deer permits were issued, and complaints about injured deer were handled.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled and worked a VIP security detail at Ft. Snelling State Park. He also did fishing and snowmobile enforcement with CO Pril in Washington, Ramsey, Dakota, and Scott counties.
CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resource Enforcement Officer) worked at an AIS booth at the Minneapolis Lake and Cabin Show. A public waters violation site was inspected with the area hydrologist in Carver County. The CO was first on the scene at a personal injury crash on a major highway in which the vehicle rolled down a steep hill.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a TIP complaint in Brooklyn Park of an individual with a fresh deer in a garage.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked a snowmobiling detail on Forest Lakes with neighboring conservation officers and Washington County deputies during the weekend. CO Pril also stopped and assisted with a crash in St. Paul before local officers arrived.
CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) completed follow-up on a big-game case. Enforcement action was taken for lending/borrowing a deer license.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) assisted the Iowa DNR by executing a search warrant in Ham Lake.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week was directed at fishing, snowmobiling, and coyote hunting. Heavy snow arrived as forecast.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers. Use of Force Instructor and Armorer meetings were attended.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended an AIS Task Force meeting in Kandiyohi County. AIS education and materials were issued to ice fishermen in Chippewa and Lac qui Parle counties.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke to the Ridgewater College Law Enforcement Club about conservation officer job duties and requirements. He continues to check ice fishermen.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent time checking anglers on area lakes. One couple boasted that it didn’t take them long before they were almost at their limit. It was then noticed they had two extra lines down. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines. A trespassing complaint also was investigated regarding a coyote hunter in Sibley County.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working a vacant station in the area. A good crappie bite on one lake led to extra line citations as well as an overlimit citation.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reported checking ice-fishing activity and fishing shelters. Time also was spent working snowmobile speed enforcement.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) reports investigation into a big-game violation case resulted in charges for a felon who was illegally in possession of a firearm.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked steadily on ice angling and shelter activity. Individual anglers are still being caught with no angling licenses this late in the season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, ATV, and snowmobile activity. Officer Ihnen also worked a snowmobile “radar run” held in Waseca.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) gave law and ethics presentations for two firearms safety classes. He also gave a winter survival/ice safety presentation for a BSA Winter Klondike event.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked on a trapping case from last fall.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) investigated a complaint regarding snowmobilers chasing deer.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports more investigations were worked with the county attorney’s office.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating a burning complaint in which a subject was burning plastic. Enforcement action was taken. Time also was spent checking coyote hunters. One hunter attempted to cross a field in his pickup to hunt coyotes, only to hit a large drift and damage his vehicle and get stuck. Even if he would have gotten a coyote, the price of the hide would not have paid for the damages that were incurred. Shed-hunting trespass calls also have been coming in.
CO Phil George (Rochester) reports phone calls regarding injured animals were taken. Questions about licenses and the feed ban in the four-county area were answered.