Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 17, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with the law, ethics, and conservation portion of the hunter’s education course in Roseau. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and the Warroad River.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobiling, ATVing, and angling enforcement.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports an increase in fishing pressure since inland waters have closed to walleye and northern pike fishing.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. The recent cold weather has added ice to area lakes, and anglers were in pursuit of panfish.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports mainly working angling enforcement this week. Time was spent checking anglers on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) attended a meeting in Warroad and trained with K9 Storm. Time also was spent checking anglers on Lake of the Woods.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling and fish shelter removal. Questions about burning and ATV use were answered. He also continued to work on a restoration plan and completed a wolf-depredation case.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) reports an elk carcass was found and reported in the Clearbrook area. Any information regarding the elk would be appreciated.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity and the progress of fish house removal from area lakes.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports completing an investigation into a deer case from this past season, contacting anglers, and notifying people who left shelters at public accesses. CO Vinton also assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a missing child who followed the family dog into the woods.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with an investigation of a deer case from this past season, worked ongoing cases, and monitored ice shelter removal.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time monitoring fish house removal and public accesses for fish house storage and litter. Angling activity was worked with a few anglers out catching crappies.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and ATVing activity in the Moorhead station. The officer also attended a safety instructor forum and taught the law and ethics portion of the Wolverton firearms safety class.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports angler numbers were drastically down during the past week. One unsuspecting group of anglers learned the hard way by breaking through lake ice while on an ATV. The three anglers were able to get back safely onto the ice. A local angler assisted one of the men, and a professional diving team retrieved the machine the next day.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored fish house removal, investigated a TIP call about untagged deer, and checked on littering complaints.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and public accesses. A ride-along was given to a student.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored ice-fishing activity this week as temps returned to normal. Trespassing calls continue to be investigated.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing enforcement on area waterways. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing and ATVing enforcement. A commercial fishing trespass complaint and wetlands violation were investigated.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and monitoring ice conditions on area lakes. Additional time was spent on a littering/burning garbage case.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers and shelters left on the ice. A complaint about the illegal taking of deer was investigated. Some migratory waterfowl have returned.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) spent the week monitoring angling activity. Anglers reported moderate success. Ice is becoming unsafe in areas, and several ATVs and trucks were reported to have gone through the ice on Leech Lake.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) assisted local law enforcement with fishermen and an ATV through the ice. Caution is advised as forecast warmer weather will melt away the current ice quickly.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and ATVers, and had an otter turned in that was accidentally trapped. CO Halverson also assisted with “reality day” at Staples High School.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports people are urged to use caution when venturing out onto ice, as conditions can change daily. Ice shelter removal is encouraged before the deadline of March 31 on border waters. Assistance was given to International Falls Police Department with an uncooperative individual at a local hospital emergency room.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) spent time following up on information received from a commercial taxidermy check.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) checked area fishing spots, finding little activity and minimal success. The ice roads within Voyager National Park have been barricaded. Snowmobiling activity is limited to short treks on the lakes.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and forest roads. Temps below zero limited outdoor activities.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week, and fishing has been slow. Ice conditions improved with the cold weather, but poor ice was still observed in several locations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time noting the few remaining fishing shelters on Virginia-area lakes. CO Frericks also disposed of some litter that was found on an area lake. Someone disposed of a clothes dryer and a barrel of garbage.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports cold and strong winds during the week. Snow conditions are still poor.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) checked anglers and fish houses, as well as patrolling snowmobile trails. Several riders were temporarily stranded along trails as they waited for their machines to cool down enough to ride.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers inside and outside of the BWCAW. Ice conditions are still conducive to truck travel in most areas without current.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this week. Some snowmobilers were still in the area, but trails are all but impassable. CO Schottenbauer also assisted with some stranded motorists northeast of Isabella on an unplowed forest road.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling activity and monitored fish shelter removal from area lakes before the upcoming removal deadline.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers on area lakes, worked ongoing cases, documented fish houses that will be difficult to remove by the deadline, and assisted DNR Wildlife staff with a sick moose.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, continued to investigate an ongoing deer case, assisted with training for the new handler/K9 teams, and attended the Region 12 detection trials.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers, and ATVers. He also handled wildlife-related complaints and prepped for upcoming firearms safety classes.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports checking anglers and monitoring ATV activity in the Hill City area. Time also was spent fielding a complaint involving dogs chasing deer and completing follow-up interviews regarding an ongoing investigation.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time monitoring ATVing and trapping activity in the station. Follow-up was conducted on a big-game case and contact was made with the county attorney’s office regarding pending charges. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office with a call about a possible vehicle through the ice in Duluth Harbor. A weekend patrol resulted in a gross misdemeanor arrest for an ATV operator who was found to be twice the legal alcohol limit.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked area lakes and rivers for ice anglers. Ice conditions are still in fair shape, but anglers have not been experiencing much luck.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working on a trapping investigation. A meeting for the Duluth city deer hunt was attended. CO Duncan also checked area lakes for fish houses and possible litter violations.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with K9 training and also assisted with judging a detector dog trial in Winona. Fish houses appear to be off area lakes in time. One house was left at the access of an area lake with no information on it. An investigation is under way to try to determine who the house belongs to.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked inland lakes north of Duluth and along the North Shore for Kamloops anglers. Ice conditions are starting to worsen in certain areas with a current present.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted the McGregor fourth-graders in making jiggle sticks and learning about ice safety.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked area lakes and confirmed fish shelters were removed. CO Sullivan received a report about pig and deer carcasses being dumped on public property, and the case is under investigation. Questions also were answered about lawful access and navigation of a public waterway.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) investigated two trespass complaints and participated in a job shadow program at Nevis High School. She also assisted the state patrol and sheriff’s department in attempting to locate two horses that got out of a pasture.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked area lakes to ensure that all permanent fish houses were removed or if any trash was left behind. Anglers also were checked.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking for fishermen on area lakes for the late-season panfish bite. The CO also patrolled areas of the Solana State Forest for ATV traffic and forestry violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a prohibited-burning violation. Enforcement action was taken for the violation.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) checked on fish house removal and litter complaints. Ice fishermen were checked.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found little ice-fishing activity during the week, and lake ice was poor and unsafe in many areas. A few ice anglers used planks to get out to ice that was still in decent condition. It was good to see that most of those out testing ice conditions were wearing life jackets and had hand spikes with them.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls regarding trapping, nuisance animals, and burning. He spent time checking state forests and attending a firearms safety meeting. The Chengwatana State Forest remains closed due to wet conditions, and fire danger has been increasing with the dry weather.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked angers, gave a law talk at the Annandale DNR firearms safety education class, and worked on complaints in the area.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended training with District 11. Shelters were off the ice by the deadline.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) attended the Crane Meadows Wildlife Refuge “habitat day,” took calls about dead eagles that were found with the snow melt, and investigated a fish house left on a public access. The CO also checked a possible wetland violation that was found to be a legal excavation. The landowner was digging a permitted pond. A deer hunter from last fall was contacted who had illegally used an antlerless bonus tag in a lottery deer zone.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked area lakes for angling activity but found little to no activity. Commercial inspections were conducted.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) attended a district meeting in Sauk Rapids and participated in ice rescue training with the Chisago City and Stacy fire departments.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on a trapping complaint and a possible deer-hunting violation. He also checked anglers and responded to several wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted with a number of animal-related complaints. He also followed up on a big-game investigation, attended district training in St. Cloud, and assisted with storm damage in and around the Sand Dunes State Forest.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers on the metro area and investigated a turkey-related complaint in Minneapolis. A complaint about coyotes in Minneapolis was investigated. CO Lee also worked the Outdoor News Deer and Turkey classic at the State Fairgrounds.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked in the Bloomington station and at Fort Snelling State Park for fishing activity and park usage activity. He also attended a meeting for new conservation officer hiring with the National Latino Peace Officers Association-Minnesota Chapter.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week training with his K9 partner Shelby.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Waconia and responded to a fire that caused significant damage to a farm.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent a majority of the week working dogs off-leash and trespassing issues on the Luce Line State Trail.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers throughout the area. An arrest was made of a person with an outstanding warrant.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers and watercraft operators on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. He also worked the information booth at the Deer and Turkey Classic in St. Paul.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) took part in an all-female firearms safety class in St. Paul.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time monitoring angling, trapping, and light goose-hunting activity. Calls were fielded regarding the dumping of dressed snow geese on private property, and hunter trespass.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ATV, fishing and light goose-hunting activity during the week. The spring goose migration has been impressive.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many different species of migratory birds were observed this last week. With the snowstorm on Sunday, many seemed to regret their early arrival.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on commercial activity. He also took calls about injured animals and processed permits related to car-killed deer. Time also was spent following up on big-game investigations.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked burning complaints and predator hunting activity. He also worked on commercial license inspections. CO Vernier issued a wildlife permit and collected an incidentally taken fisher.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding injured animals. He also assisted CO Howe in releasing a Cooper’s hawk that was trapped under a deck.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) patrolled WMAs and public accesses, and conducted commercial inspections during the past week. Anglers are reminded that their fishing licenses expired Feb. 28.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted commercial inspections on game farms.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing, ATV, and burning enforcement this week. CO VanThuyne continues to see violations at Minneopa State Park, including no vehicle permit, parking outside of designated parking areas, and ATVers in the park.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) took reports about coyote hunters shooting from vehicles. The officer also taught a motorist how to change a flat tire.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) assisted local emergency crews after a tornado struck the city of Clarks Grove. CO Henke also conducted several commercial inspections this week on individuals and retailers with DNR licenses.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) investigated a possible wetland violation as well as a litter complaint.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, small-game hunters, and ATV operators during the week. The CO also responded to a Turn in Poachers call. Two elementary school youth had the day off from school and went fishing. They observed an angler catch and keep two northern pike during the closed season, so they called the TIP line. The officer located the violator, seized the two fish, and issued a citation for the violation. The officer then met with and thanked the two youth anglers for calling and reporting the violation. The youth anglers assisted the officer in releasing the two seized northern pike back into the river.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked anglers and ATV operators and followed up on deer cases. He also took complaints about crow hunters leaving litter behind and a trespass complaint regarding a hunter taking a treestand that he said was too close to his on an adjacent property.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working more backwater fishermen as well as checking on some animal-related calls and complaints.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) located multiple burning-related violations throughout the week.
CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) gave a law talk at a firearms safety class in La Crescent. CO Fogarty also introduced himself to the Houston County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a call was received from a concerned homeowner regarding a juvenile bald eagle that was acting strangely in his yard. At the scene it was evident that the eagle wasn’t acting very eagle-y. CO Hauser placed a call to the Raptor Center and it was discovered that multiple calls had been received regarding this eagle. With the help of the homeowner, CO Hauser was able to capture the eagle. The bald eagle was then transferred to a Raptor Center volunteer for rehabilitation.