Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 27, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck hunters at the Roseau River and Thief Lake WMAs. Court was attended for an angling citation. Multiple fires were investigated in the Warroad and Lancaster areas. CO Huener also helped CO Benjamin with a firearms safety class at the Northwest Angle. A report of a drone was investigated at Thief Lake.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted an interview for a local radio station on new regulations and with a local newspaper on bears and hunter success. Calls about shining activity, unauthorized vehicles in wildlife management areas, and an incidentally caught fishers were addressed.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking grouse hunters, duck hunters, goose hunters, and anglers on special-regulation lakes. Time was spent issuing car-kill deer possession permits, attending a meeting in St Paul, and investigating reports of hunters shooting from the roadway.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) checked anglers on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Assistance was given to the county with a possible lost hunter incident.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a youth hunt orientation at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge. Time also was spent checking deer-baiting sites. A litter complaint was reported along the Red Lake River near Crookston.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht also responded to a complaint about individuals shining and shooting at deer.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking complaints about waterfowl hunters being harassed for accessing a pond from a road right of way and a caller who stated that a Cooper’s hawk had flown through a large window of his house. The bird was discovered to be a ruffed grouse. CO Vinton contacted a landowner who was threating to start shooting deer if he wasn’t provided with extra deer licenses. After listening to the landowner’s concerns, the party agreed not to violate the law and work within the system.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked angling, small-game and archery hunting activity. He also conducted a wolf-depredation investigation.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) attended a review of AIS presentations created by Breckenridge Middle School Studio 5 students.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) followed up on a possible wetlands violation. A complaint about a possible hunting-over-bait violation was investigated. A call about possible trespass was worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring waterfowl, shining, deer-baiting, pheasant-hunting, and aquatic plant and shoreline activity in the Pelican Rapids station. The officer investigated complaints about trespass, hunter harassment, shooting within 500 feet of an occupied residence, and illegal weed harvester use. The officer investigated a report about an injured bald eagle near Cormorant and it was discovered the eagle had been shot. If anyone has any information about the eagle, please contact the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) met with multiple landowners about trespass issues this week.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl, small-game, deer, and turkey hunters. A fishing complaint was received and is being investigated, along with a wetland filling investigation near Clitherall Lake.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most the time this week working deer-hunting activity. One case was made resulting in several violations – bow hunting deer without valid licenses, lending/borrowing tags, untagged deer, and failing to register deer.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) received and investigated several complaints about possible hunter harassment and reported shooting after dark, as well as a complaint about people taking too many fish on an area lake.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) responded to two more wetland violation complaints, conducting site visit evaluations and working with soil and water conservation district authorities. Parthun also assisted at the scene of a structure fire and checked numerous hunters and recreational vehicle users during the MEA weekend.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked hunters and recreational vehicle operators. An arrest was made for a parole violation.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) spent the week investigating baiting complaints, and enforcing ATVing and hunting regulations. A black bear case was investigated with the Crosslake CO. An illegally imported elk head was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week working archery, small-game, and waterfowl hunters.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (International Falls) assisted a St. Louis County deputy with questions surrounding resource theft from private property. Time was spent monitoring a moose that was in a fenced area near Pelland Junction and was acting out of ordinary. It moved on once activity in the area subsided.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked waterfowl hunters and assisted with an ongoing big-game investigation. CO Velsvaag received several calls about nuisance animals and received a litter complaint.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked on-going hunting seasons, ATVers, and spruce top and birch theft cases. The officer investigated the third deer shot out of season (with a firearm) in a little over a week. One case has no suspects, another has suspects, and the third was solved and charges are in the works. A state park manager received a complaint of ATVers in the campground and spoke to the responsible party. The manager suspected it would happen again and was correct, as the officer issued citations when he found them ignoring the earlier warning.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) came upon an illegal campsite on public lands. Someone had built a small structure, cut down a live tree to make a shooting range, and left garbage, shell casings, and junk behind. The CO did take note of the words “Mother Nature,” “my happy place,” and “flower child” written on the campsite structure. He wondered why someone who claimed to be so close to Mother Nature would leave such a mess.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked grouse hunting, fishing, and ATV enforcement. Numerous contacts were made resulting in violations, including an Illinois resident who had purchased resident combination licenses under his wife’s name and address.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking small-game hunters, archery hunters, and ATV riders.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports wood ticks have emerged in numbers once again, making a walk in the woods less enjoyable. Murray assisted a neighboring officer with illegal road-hunting activity and investigated nuisance-animal complaints.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking hunters this past week. She also investigated a timber theft case and worked on follow-up from other deer-hunting cases.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling, small-game, migratory waterfowl, and big-game enforcement. COs Van Asch, Grell, and Sutherland assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with a lost hiker in the Bigfork area. The individual was successfully located and medical treatment was given.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) handled numerous nuisance-animal calls during the week and assisted local law enforcement with vehicle crashes. The officer worked a shining complaint and observed a party shining a light out the driver’s window while in a cemetery. CO Schmidt and CO Duncan stopped the vehicle, and the occupants were reluctant to explain their actions due to embarrassment. The occupants finally stated that they were looking for ghosts and used the camera flash, as a regular flashlight does not light up ghosts. They explained that their ghost radar on their phone said there were ghosts in the area.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) checked fisherman throughout the Duluth area. Many grouse hunters also were checked. CO Duncan also worked night shining complaint areas and followed up on trespass complaints.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody conducted a K9 talk and demo for first-grade students in Esko. Small-game hunters were checked during the past week, with grouse numbers reportedly down in the area. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations. Two complaints about found dead deer were investigated in the area. Both appeared to not be illegally taken deer, and most likely were killed by motor vehicles. A complaint about a stolen deer stand was taken and is currently under investigation by the local sheriff’s office. Two litter complaints were taken in the Blackhoof WMA in which garbage and a dead deer were dumped. Both instances are under investigation.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers coming off Lake Superior for lake trout possession. He also checked shore anglers on lakes north of Duluth.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked grouse hunters and ATVers. Assistance was given to local agencies with emergency calls.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Patrick McGowan) patrolled for waterfowl hunting and fall fishing activity. Few waterfowl hunters were observed out over the weekend. CO McGowan also fielded numerous questions and calls pertaining to the upcoming firearms deer season.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) fielded a second call in a week about a bowhunter feeling threatened by a bear and shooting it with his bow. This bear was recovered and was donated to an unrelated party.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) made contact with several hunters who were having success with grouse and squirrel hunting and other were preparing for deer hunting.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked deer hunters, grouse hunters and waterfowl hunters. CO Hunter also received information about parties hunting at night. CO Hunter received a call about people driving and camping in areas that are closed to motor vehicles.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) received a call regarding scraps from a deer that had been butchered were dumped on private property. Trespass continues to be a problem.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) received a complaint about a duck hunter shooting too close to houses on Red Sand Lake. He also worked on duck-hunting enforcement and a TIP of after-hours shooting. CO Posner also spent time in the Pillsbury forest, checking small-game hunters and horse passes and assisting Cass County in locating a lost camper.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Cuyuna SRA) reports checking fishermen and small-game hunters during the week and weekend. The CO also spent time patrolling for AIS violations as people were pulling their boats out of the water for the season.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked shining complaints, small-game hunting, and ATVing activity. A poached buck was found and is under investigation.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in nuisance-bear complaints involving bears destroying corn and hay bales. Farmers reported bears tearing open round bales and also destroying large areas of standing corn. One landowner reported that he had a black bear sitting on top of a round bale of hay, watching him chop corn. There was also an increase in trespassing calls related to the approaching firearms deer season.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time following up on complaints regarding deer stands in WMAs, nuisance beavers, and concerns about baiting deer.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked small-game and waterfowl hunters who reported seeing fewer ducks and geese in the area. Time also was spent investigating a reported wetlands violation.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued ATV permits, closed out beaver-trapping permits, and followed up on a dogs-chasing-deer complaint. The dog owner was located, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling and small-game hunting and trapping activity. A union meeting was attended, and assistance was provided at the Camp Ripley archery hunt.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted with the Camp Ripley bowhunt. Hunter numbers were low this year, with approximately 600 people showing up for the first day. Deer harvest numbers were up. Time also was spent working deer-baiting complaints. Thesing assisted CO Bertram with a baiting complaint that resulted in an individual losing his crossbow and a one year revocation when he was found hunting over a pile of apples and utilizing a commercial deer attractant that contained molasses.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and hunters. Complaints were taken about dogs chasing deer, injured animals, and trespassing.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and working small-game hunters. CO Krauel also spent time working the Camp Ripley archery hunt.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked hunting and fishing activity. Several deer-baiting cases were worked, and several bowhunters were cited for hunting deer with the aid of bait. CO Mohs would like to remind all unethical hunters that choose to use bait to hunt deer that they face a $385 fine, restitution of $500 to $1,000 per deer, and forfeiture of equipment used to illegally take the deer.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and small-game hunters in the metro area. He also investigated a TIP complaint regarding people taking too many fish in Bloomington and assisting a Hennepin County deputy with someone’s pig escape in Ft. Snelling State Park.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports a swan that was shot was investigated at Carlos Avery WMA.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo Station) continued to work waterfowl and archery hunters. Maass also handled several nuisance-animal complaints and phone calls. Enforcement action was taken for leaving a deer stand in a WMA, no federal duck stamp, no state duck stamp, and use of toxic shot while duck hunting.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) has had several reports of people dumping grass clippings and leaves in lakes and on shorelines. A complaint was received about a person harboring two wolves at a house in Mound, claiming they were German shepherds. An investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the local police department.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week working squirrel hunters in the area. He also attended a special meeting for the Hampton Woods WMA, and assisted local agencies with some vehicle accidents. Enforcement action was taken for failure to wear blaze range during firearms deer season, and no license in possession.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spent the week checking waterfowl, small-game, and archery hunters. CO Pril also attended a meeting at the DNR central office to discuss issues between homeowners and Asian hunters.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a littering complaint and fielded many questions about the upcoming firearms deer season.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports deer-baiting cases are being investigated. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of license violations.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time this last week working pheasant, waterfowl, angling, and archery activity. Assistance was given to a youth archery hunter in tracking and recovering a mature doe.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts on angling, archery deer hunting, pheasant hunting, waterfowl hunting, and turkey hunting. With the crop harvest in full swing, more pheasants were seen in possession.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on an illegal-burning complaint. Time also was spent on commercial investigations.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) assisted with an injured bald eagle and issued a wildlife permit for car-kill deer.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on complaints about waterfowl hunters trespassing and leaving decoys out overnight. Other complaints were regarding waterfowl hunters shooting early and late.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) focused patrol efforts on pheasant hunting and fall angling activity. Farmers are finishing soybean harvest locally and switching to corn harvest. Archery hunters reported deer movement has begun to increase.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) continued checking waterfowl, pheasant, and archery deer hunters this week. CO Henke also spent time working AIS enforcement on local waterfowl lakes.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked calls regarding trespass and ongoing ATV-related complaints.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked small-game and waterfowl hunters this week. Activity on the small-game “land” trapping opener was slower than some years.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) responded to public waters and trespass complaints and also assisted local agencies with several calls.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) contacted a subject who littered in the officer’s presence, drove a vehicle on a revoked driver license, gave the officer a false name, and had multiple felony warrants for his arrest.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a call was received regarding someone who shot a swan. COs Heyn and Prodzinski helped locate the subject and the swan, and a citation was issued.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly waterfowl hunters during the week. Hunting success was very good at times in certain areas throughout the week. Hunters were found shooting both early and late.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on complaints about illegal camping, illegal possession of deer, baiting deer, and an overlimit of ducks. The illegal camp was reported because of the amount of trash present, including hundreds of beer cans and the remains of a burned mattress. A person who was illegally camping in a day use area also was in violation of his probation and was arrested by the local law enforcement officers.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) assisted Wabasha County officials with a fishing boat caught on the Lake Zumbro Dam. The only occupant was found safe, but a bit shaken up after he slid down the entire length of the dam and into the water below.
CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) took trespass complaints regarding early antlerless hunters. According to one report, a group of hunters had been warned by the reporting party two years in a row.