Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 17, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. A felony drug arrest was made on the ice, and multiple fish overlimits were encountered.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobiling and angling enforcement. The weather has been playing with the ice, causing heaves in areas. Enforcement action was taken this week for angling with an extra line, angling without a license in possession, and illegal transport of fish.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) patrolled during the I-500 cross-country snowmobile race, the Lake Bronson Lions fishing derby, and the Thief River Falls Lions fishing derby.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking anglers on special-regulation lakes and monitoring snowmobiling activity on area trails. Time was spent attending a meeting in St. Paul and working snowmobile enforcement with a neighboring officer as snowmobilers capitalized on fabulous weather and trail conditions.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a meeting in St. Paul, a taxidermy inspection was completed, and time was spent checking snowmobile operators.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked angling activity on area lakes. Snowmobile trails were busy during the weekend.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobilers during the week. Time also was spent working trapping activity and patrolling snowmobile trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and noting shelters and litter before the upcoming shelter-removal date. Several deer-possession permits were issued. CO Vinton received a call from a cabin owner who had a deer with a missing rear leg. The animal was no longer keeping up with other deer and had bedded down under a boat in the man’s yard. The deer was removed.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to reports about an abandoned ice-fishing shelter and a wildlife-related complaint, and followed up on a report of snowmobiler trespass.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports spending the week working fishermen, checking aeration systems, and handling calls about dogs chasing deer and sick deer.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) coordinated with instructors for upcoming firearms safety classes. Calls from the public included questions about ice fishing and possible mountain lion sightings.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports that with forecasted temperatures being way above average, ice safety might be compromised by next weekend for vehicles and large fish houses. Folks are encouraged to be mindful of the potential danger and prevent unnecessary risks.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to focus on fishing enforcement. Extra lines and unattended lines were found throughout the week.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and fish houses. Ice conditions are still good, but no snow on the ice is making it slick on area lakes.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this week working ice-fishing activity despite above-average temperatures. Numerous contacts ended with enforcement action for no angling license, extra lines, unattended lines, and fish overlimits.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work angling and spearing activity on area waterways. Time has been spent in and around popular ice-fishing locations, monitoring potential litter and abandoned shelter violations. Predator hunters and trappers were checked.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports predator hunters were checked and calls were handled regarding concerns about ice conditions, ice fishing, and predator hunting.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked ice fishermen and their shelters, as well as snowmobiling activity. Snowmobile trails continue to deteriorate.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing activity. CO Broughten fielded calls regarding injured animals and snowmobile trails. He assisted local law enforcement with a suspicious person and also provided a law enforcement college student with an educational ride- along. Enforcement action included several angling violations.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and gave a talk to students at Central Lakes College.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of people out on area snowmobile trails as recent snowfall has improved the trail conditions.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports a frequent violation being encountered is failing to transfer ownership of snowmobiles.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports area snowmobile trails were monitored, local lakes and public access sites were checked, and state forest roads were patrolled.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked snowmobilers and anglers this past week. CO Velsvaag also followed up on several calls and had questions about trout and spearing regulations.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) logged many miles on the snowmobile this week and spent a good portion of time checking anglers.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers and snowmobilers during the week, dealt with a report of a car-injured wolf, and attended a meeting in St. Paul. A fishing tournament and a vintage snowmobile run were worked with more than 200 sledders participating in the latter event.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes, checking anglers. Despite heavy use, snowmobile trails remain in great condition. Violations of failing to display current registration decals were encountered.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing activity throughout the week. A law presentation was given to youths in Hoyt Lakes who were obtaining their snowmobile safety certificates.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a combination of good trail conditions and warm weather made for an extremely busy snowmobiling weekend. Violations included excessive snowmobile speed, angling with extra lines, and angling with no license in possession.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports great winter conditions for both anglers and snowmobilers, alike. He patrolled by snowmobile, checking remote designated trout lakes and checking snowmobiling activity.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) patrolled the Ramstad State and GIA snowmobile trails. One angler learned the hard way that reading the regulations book every year is a good thing. He could have saved himself a fine and a ticket had he read about and gotten the “non-trail registration” for his sled rather than hoping that a CO would not notice his 2011 registration.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked snowmobiling enforcement as well as checking ice anglers. There was an extremely high volume of snowmobile traffic with the ample snow conditions. Speed was a problem with several clocked in the 80s. The statewide speed limit is 50 mph.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking snowmobilers on area trails.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers. He also helped with a snowmobile safety class in Northome and assisted with a snowmobile accident near Hill City.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling activity, fishing enforcement, and answered miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. He also checked area trout lakes and patrolled area snowmobile trails.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and snowmobiling activity with the most sleds seen all year. With the MNUSA snowmobile ride being located in Grand Rapids, hundreds of sled enthusiasts hit the trail to celebrate Minnesota’s great trail-riding opportunities.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working on a trapping investigation.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked area lakes for angling activity and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Several enforcement contacts were made for various snowmobile operation, equipment, and registration violations. Patrols in Jay Cooke and Moose Lake state parks resulted in contacts for no vehicle and cross-country ski permits. Dogs off leash also were observed. CO Humphrey also worked with Fond du Lac tribal and state biologists on a deceased and recovered collared wolf.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with K9 training in the metro area. A talk was given to a snowmobile safety class in Floodwood.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails. CO Olson also attended the annual fishing contest on Island Lake, fielding questions and checking angling licenses.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) processed evidence from cleared cases and answered questions related to regulations on Lake Superior.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area lakes and made contact with several anglers. CO Sullivan also worked snowmobiling activity and assisted with the apprehension of a subject who fled on snowmobile.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and snowmobilers. Trails were in good condition this week. CO Hunter also assisted a stranded motorist who was stuck in the snow.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Ice anglers were still out trying their luck. Violations observed were no license and unattended lines.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Lots of anglers were out enjoying the lakes area. CO Guida also instructed approximately 30 students in snowmobile safety.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) checked many anglers. Enforcement action was taken for fish houses without identification and/or shelter tags displayed, angling with unattended lines, and snowmobile speeding. An individual who was water-skipping on his snowmobile understood the possible consequences of his actions when it was explained that someone unfamiliar with the area may follow his tracks after dark, into the water and drown.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports complaints about illegal use and obstruction of snowmobile trails were investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity where fish houses were being removed due to slow bites and a warm forecast. Some beaver trappers were out chipping ice as the pelts are priming up. CO Verkuilen also monitored a trespassing complaint and answered questions regarding the upcoming Ducks Unlimited ice-fishing contest on Mille Lacs.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) conducted follow-up on cases from the deer season. Anglers were checked on Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) readied evidence for upcoming court cases.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) noted an extreme upswing in fishing pressure this past week with the warmer weather. The CO reports marking fish houses with GPS for litter problems continued.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled area lakes, checked anglers, and dealt with some complaints of ice fishermen leaving garbage on the lakes. All kinds of nuisance animal-related calls were taken. CO Grundmeier and the Minnesota State Patrol also apprehended a couple of convicted felons who were found near a business in town. The felons thought it would be a good idea to try to get away by running into the woods. The path left by the runners led to their arrest after officers followed their tracks in the snow about a half-mile into the woods. Further investigation turned up many stolen items linked to the individuals.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time monitoring state forest areas and assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with traffic stops and a theft at Walmart.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked angling, hunters, and OHVing activity.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area, taking complaints about possible double-tripping and overlimits. The officer also assisted a deputy on a trapping complaint.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) took a TIP call regarding unattended tip-ups on an area river. The anglers were back when CO Kuske arrived, and when asked where they had been earlier, they admitted to going back to their house. CO Kuske educated them about the rule of staying within 200 feet of their tip-ups and the law regarding operating an ATV that has current registration.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVers, and trappers. An incidental otter was seized from a trapper who was trapping mink.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) checked a 4-year-old fishermen who caught an 8-pound northern on a tip-up. Both he and his grandpa had big smiles and a good story.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked ice-fishing activity. Anglers are reminded of the fast-approaching fish house/shelter removal date of March 6. Area lake accesses have already began to deteriorate.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) investigated a number of dumpings in the Sand Dunes State Forest and on private land. He was assisted by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office. He interviewed suspects and located the violator, and summonses will be issued. CO Sladek also attended an Elk River park archery deer-hunting meeting. The harvest was over 90 percent.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) encountered an ice fisherman on Lake Waconia who had lost a rod and reel down his ice hole after a fish hit his bait. The angler then caught a fish on his other line and pulled out a northern pike. Much to the surprise of the angler, the northern pike also was hooked to his rod and reel that had gone into the lake.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers on metro-area lakes and continued to follow up on a big-game TIP complaint in Minneapolis. He also attended the deer-planning meeting with Asian community members at the Lao Family Center.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week at detection training school with his K9 partner, Shelby.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week checking shelters on the ice for proper identification and licensing. Enforcement action was taken for shelters left unoccupied overnight without being licensed and failure to display identification on shelters.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) conducted compliance checks of fishing shelters and wants to remind users that all shelters require identification, except for portable shelters that are occupied. She also investigated a report of angling harassment. Enforcement action was taken for no ice shelter identification, no angling license in possession, juvenile passengers with no helmets on an ATV, and various other violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers and aeration systems, and worked ATV enforcement on area lakes. He also spent time investigating a couple of complaints regarding possible game violations.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) responded to a TIP call in a neighboring station, one in his station, and also spoke with a group at East Ridge High School along with another conservation officer about the job of a conservation officer.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and conducting investigations. Many anglers are removing shelters ahead of pending warm weather.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports focusing activity on littering and ice-fishing enforcement. The officer spoke to a local fishing tournament on Lac qui Parle about littering problems on the ice.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time this last week checking anglers and fielding numerous wildlife-related calls. CO Gutzwiller also taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class held in Dawson.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ATVing, ice fishing, and commercial minnow trapping during the week. A snowmobile safety class was taught in Ortonville.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) reports a local coyote tournament produced a few coyotes even though hunting conditions were tough. Enforcement action was taken for driving a motor vehicle within the restricted portion of a WMA.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) patrolled lakes for angling and trapping activity. He also gave a presentation for an area firearms safety class. CO Vernier received calls about a truck going through the ice, a backhoe going through the ice, trespassing, trapping violations, and a dumping complaint.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) reports a Class 2 ATV broke through the ice near “thin ice” signs. The sheriff’s office made the decision to close the lake to all vehicle traffic, including ATVs, due to unsafe ice.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) handled a falconry call where enforcement action was taken. He also assisted the State Patrol and McLeod County Sheriff’s Office with locating a suspect who fled following a traffic stop.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) focused enforcement on sportfishing. An investigation regarding an overlimit of walleyes took place, with enforcement action taken.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) provided information concerning food plots and took information about an active bald eagle nest in Round Lake Township.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling activity and performed aeration system inspections this week.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATVing, trapping, and coyote-hunting enforcement this week. Another report was taken about a vehicle breaking through the ice; the ice is not safe for automobile traffic.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports complaints about anglers removing houses and leaving trash on the ice were taken.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports assisting Goodhue and Rice counties with vehicles through the ice. CO Hill also presented a talk to a group of Native American students who were interested in the job duties of conservation officers.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) reports enforcement action was taken for taking trout without a trout stamp, fishing without a license in possession, and violating the CWD feeding ban.
CO Phil George (Rochester) took a complaint about a person feeding deer in the feeding ban zone, and rescued an injured owl.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) continues to field several calls about injured and dead wildlife, including a deer in an attached garage that did not want to leave.