Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — April 21, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked AIS, boat and water safety, and angling enforcement. Sturgeon fishing has been great, both on the river and in Four Mile Bay. Keep a close eye on campfires and burn barrels, and extinguish them if they are to be left unattended.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended training at Camp Ripley, responded to a call about an emu on the loose, and monitored area turkey-hunting activity during the initial 2017 turkey season.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATV and ORV activity on area trails, AIS enforcement, spring beaver-trapping activity, and monitoring station waters for the northern and walleye spawning runs and angling activity. CO Regas also responded to a TIP call about people shooting from a motor vehicle.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a training session at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent checking crappie anglers on local lakes and watercraft operators.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) responded to a wolf depredation complaint in Polk County.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) patrolled area ATV trails and forest roads for activity. CO Vollbrecht also assisted a neighboring officer with a report about an individual shooting from a motor vehicle on a township road. The vehicle was stopped, and it was determined the individuals were transporting a loaded firearm and had shot a porcupine from the vehicle.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) attended two days of training that included crisis intervention and officer safety issues. CO Vinton also was the guest speaker for “Men’s Health Night” in Perham. He addressed the looming budget crisis and proposed license fee increases as well as AIS and new regulations. CO Vinton was the nearest officer to a complaint about a semi-truck driver weaving and nearly hitting another vehicle. CO Vinton observed the erratic driving and stopped the vehicle operator. The driver was arrested by the local sheriff’s office for suspicion of DUI.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling, AIS, and ATV activity in the Moorhead and Pelican stations. The officer received calls from the public regarding dogs chasing deer and questions about turkey hunting.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) attended training at Camp Ripley and followed up on several complaints. CO Plautz also received a call about a turkey that had chased two kids playing in a sandbox. The children ran to their father, who attempted to chase the tom away but the turkey wouldn’t run off. The father then ran the turkey off with a pitchfork.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and fish run activity. Complaints about aquatic plant removal and wetland were received and investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked anglers throughout the county this week. A turkey hunter was reported to be shooting at turkeys from a road near a house. The hunter was contacted, and enforcement action was taken for shooting within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing, AIS, and ATV enforcement.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports checking fishermen and working the fish run on and around area waterways. Training was attended at Camp Ripley this week. Complaints about people taking northern pike out of season and illegal burning were handled
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) participated in a youth ATV safety class in Lake George. CO Parthun also investigated a wetland-filling complaint, and monitored the fish run and beaver-trapping activity.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a complaint regarding a business owner offering mounted ducks for sale was investigated, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and ATVing activity. CO Broughten also continued investigations of illegal fires and wetland violations.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) is investigating a neighbor dispute on dock placement.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports working fishing enforcement on the Rainy River and reminds people that the walleye season has closed. The officer responded to several grass fires in the area and a house fire.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports time was spent training at Camp Ripley, monitoring for burning and wildfire activity, and checking on the many fishing opportunities in the area.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked spring beaver-trapping activity and took care of some incidentally caught muskrats.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports ATV use continues to be high and the most active patrol has occurred in areas just outside of the city. The first open-water anglers of the year were checked, and although the report wasn’t good, they were just happy to be in the boat.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended an awards ceremony and training at Camp Ripley during the week. Backroads that were impassable during the first part of the week are now mostly clear of snow. Many of those roads have trees down across them from winter snow and wind.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) attended the annual training and awards ceremony at Camp Ripley. She also patrolled area state wildlife management areas and state parks in addition to checking anglers on Lake Superior tributaries.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of ATV, angling, and fish run enforcement, as well as attending training.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers along North Shore streams.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports a shoreline complaint was followed up on and an illegal dumping case is being investigated.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and ATVing activity this past week. She also handled follow-up regarding a fire call. B
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working angling, the spring fish run, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. CO Van Asch also attended division training held at Camp Ripley. A nuisance-bear complaint was fielded and handled.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working shore and river anglers along the North Shore. Complaints about people angling for walleyes were investigated, and a TIP complaint regarding people keeping walleyes was handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Superior, including smelting activity.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted patrols in the Fond du Lac State Forest, which is under continued spring road and trail closures. CO Humphrey also assisted the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, and numerous others, with the search for a missing child in the Wright area. The child was located without incident after several hours.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended training at Camp Ripley and also assisted with K9 training in the metro area. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department in searching for a lost 6-year old. The juvenile wandered off in the woods and was later found by a volunteer searcher.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended division-wide training and worked the North Shore fish run. The smelting has been slow in the Duluth-Two Harbors area. Area lakes north of Duluth are becoming ice-free, and the crappies are starting to bite.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers. Division training was attended at Camp Ripley, and a call taken regarding the illegal harvest and sale of birch saplings.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. The CO also observed large amounts of boat-trailering traffic on area roadways, and checks were made for AIS violations.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) attended training at Camp Ripley. CO McGowan also gave a ride-along to a local law enforcement student.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATVers. CO Hunter also attended an awards ceremony at Camp Ripley.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) monitored sport fishing and all-terrain vehicle trail use. Operators of Class 2 ATVs were reminded that passengers under age 18 are required to wear DOT-approved helmets. CO Guida assisted the Baxter Police Department with traffic control in a motorcycle vs. deer collision. CO Guida and WREO Haberman investigated an impacted wetland that was observed by a DNR pilot.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) stored winter equipment and readied boats, attended annual training, checked crappie anglers, and worked on a couple of possible wetland-excavation violations. Complaints about dogs chasing deer and a fishing trespass violation were investigated. Seasonally closed state forests were monitored, where a group of individuals were encountered driving around the closed forests – drinking beer and shooting porcupines. Enforcement action was taken.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked crappie anglers and their boats. Those early boaters showed off their peeling registrations, mouse-chewed PFDs, and gummed-up carburetors. Remember to inspect your gear before hitting the water.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) reports turkey hunters were found in the area, with many people reporting seeing birds and many that had some luck.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending annual training and awards at Camp Ripley. The officer took calls about dumped deer and beaver carcasses and a call about township personnel requesting nuisance-beaver permits. CO Fitzgerald assisted local agencies, and a couple of calls for service and many outdoor law-related questions were fielded. With the opening of the A season for turkey, a few hunters were checked. Several wolf depredation-related calls were investigated, and federal Wildlife Services trappers were called in to take care of the nuisance animals. A couple of bear complaints also were taken.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a littering complaint; an investigation is ongoing. The CO also patrolled area rivers and lakes, checking anglers. She also patrolled for illegal ATVs in problem areas.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked spring fishing activity, with suckers showing up. Turkey season opener also was worked with some birds harvested. ATVing activity was monitored, with violations for illegal youth operation and lack of registration. A TIP call was referred to another officer for fishing walleyes out of season.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in fishing and boating activity. Smelt also started to run, which brought out large numbers of anglers trying their luck with dip nets and seine nets. While the CO checked smelters late one night, a group of anglers was found collecting smelt in their seine net, evidently didn’t expect to get checked by a conservation officer, as they were missing the required fishing licenses.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) attended training at Camp Ripley this week. He also spent time answering questions and calls about upcoming turkey seasons and state forest closures.
Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishing and bow fishermen during the week and weekend.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring angling activity in the station. Division training was attended, and a ride-along opportunity was provided to a local high school student. ATV and fire violations also were addressed.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and boaters and investigated dumped carp shot by bow fishermen. CO Mies also assisted a neighboring officer investigate a TIP call.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVers, fires, turkey hunters, and boaters. Time was spent monitoring area creeks for fish run activity.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on angling, bowfishing, and turkey-hunting activity in the area. One violation he investigated was the illegal shooting of a 27-inch walleye by a bow fisherman.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) attended training at Camp Ripley, picked up an accidental muskrat and accidental otter catch from two local trappers, and assisted on a call regarding an unstable male at a state park.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked turkey hunting and fishing activity. A TIP call regarding a possible poached bear was investigated. More wild turkeys were found afield than turkey hunters this week.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended training at Camp Ripley and checked turkey hunters and anglers. Several nuisance-animal calls were handled regarding sick raccoons and burrowing woodchucks. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, bowfishing out of season from shore, and watercraft violations.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen, turkey hunters, and ATVers. He also issued summonses and warnings for illegally taking smallmouth bass out of season, no fishing license in possession, failure to transfer ownership, and hunting turkeys in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. CO Sladek also followed up on a number of nuisance-animal complaints, investigated a litter complaint in the Sand Dune State Forest, and assisted with an interview regarding a possible fishing license fraud case.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) reports checking anglers and ATVers in the area. Several ATV-related complaints were investigated.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing activities on metro area lakes and rivers. He also attended the annual awards day and training at Camp Ripley and took complaints about animals in Minneapolis. He also investigated a TIP complaint regarding a fishing violation in Minneapolis.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) attended crisis management training at Camp Ripley. The crappie bite continues to be excellent on local lakes. Violations encountered included no angling license in possession, angling without a license, and targeting a species during a closed season.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) handled several unrelated nuisance animal complaints throughout the week. CO Maass also investigated a number of complaints involving targeting fish during a closed season.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) reports TIP calls were received regarding a fox caught in a trap, anglers fishing for bass during the closed season, and anglers fishing a designated trout lake during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy week monitoring anglers in the area. Heavy rains on Saturday morning put a damper on the stream trout opener, but many people still showed up. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license, extra fishing lines, and no trout stamp.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers on the trout opener weekend in Farmington and around area lakes and rivers. He also checked watercraft on area lakes.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity and patrolled for turkey-hunting activity during the first turkey hunting season of the year.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time monitoring angling and turkey-hunting activity. Anglers were prepping watercraft for the South Dakota/Minnesota border waters opener on April 22.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ATVing, commercial minnow harvest, fishing, and turkey-hunting activity. Division training was attended at Camp Ripley. Trash left by shore anglers continues to be a problem.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports a lot of fishermen took to the Redwood River inside Camden State Park for the stream trout opener. Twenty-five-hundred brown trout were stocked in the designated trout stream inside the park.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time talking with a landowner who had questions about a property line dispute, as well as checking fires in the area. CO Klehr also took a report about a person believed to be in possession of an overlimit of fish. Follow-up was completed with a turtle trapper about a trap left in a lake.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) would like to remind riders in the area that ditches are closed to ATV operation until August.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports TIP calls were taken regarding the taking of walleyes and northern pike out of season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent patrolling for OHM and ATV activity. CO Ihnen also responded to a litter complaint near a local public water access.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers and turkey hunters this past week. Time also was spent patrolling the rivers while checking for trapping activity.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) continued working fishing enforcement this week. Time also was spent working spring turkey hunters.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for sport fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a trout stamp, spearing on a designated trout stream, and possessing trout that could not be measured (missing heads).
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports a fair number of gobblers harvested early in the A season. During a check, CO Hill observed a large pool of fresh blood in the bed of a truck. The hunters shortly admitted thereafter that they had shot a tom together. One hunter did not have a turkey license and the other hunter failed to tag the bird.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated a trout overlimit, trespassing, and illegal turkey hunting.
The Cuffs and Collars Report of the Week on Page 30 in the April 14 edition contained a DNR report about a boy in District 9 (Brainerd area) who had been bitten by a beaver. According to the report, local officials said that rabies was not a concern.
Several readers called or emailed regarding the report to alert Outdoor News and the DNR that beavers can indeed carry rabies. Follow-up research confirmed this, and Joni Scheftel, a state public health veterinarian with the Minnesota Department of Health issued this statement to Outdoor News.
“Beavers can transmit rabies. If a person is bitten by a beaver and the animal can be captured, it should be submitted for rabies testing. If the beaver is not available for testing, then the person should receive the rabies vaccine series. Bites from small rodents such as mice and moles are not a rabies risk. However, larger rodents such as muskrats and beavers are of concern for rabies transmission.”
Bottom line, beavers can transmit rabies to humans, so take proper precautions if you’re attacked by one of these large rodents.
Regarding the situation in District 9, the DNR confirmed to Outdoor News that the beaver that bit the boy was captured and tested negative for rabies.