Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 17, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Nick Prachar (Baudette) reports enforcement action was taken for taking deer over bait, possessing an overlimit of deer, and failure to register deer. CO Prachar also responded to complaints about a snowmobiler operating recklessly in the city of Baudette. The operator was arrested for operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor deer-hunting activity in the area. Multiple hunters found it too cold to sit in a stand and took to their vehicles to road hunt. Enforcement action included multiple cases of shooting from the roadway at big game, transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles, and recreational trespass.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working deer hunting, trapping, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Most lakes iced over this week, and ice anglers have started to venture out on a few of the lakes reporting 4 to 5 inches of ice. Time also was spent working decoy details, with neighboring officers encountering a high violation rate and enforcement action taken for shooting from the roadway and/or shooting from a vehicle.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports a busy week of firearms deer season. Time was spent focusing on deer-hunting activities and checking ice anglers on Upper Red Lake.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) with the help of the DNR flight wing, flew the area, looking for deer hunters using bait.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked deer hunters throughout the week. The first ice fishermen of the year were checked. Complaints about hunting over bait were taken, and several individuals were cited for shooting from the road at big-game animal. A trespass complaint also was investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) was assisted by several conservation officers in the execution of a search warrant after it was discovered a possible felon without a valid license had shot a deer. A deer and firearms were seized, along with drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) followed up on a hunter’s complaint that another hunter had pointed his rifle at him. After responding to the location and locating the suspect, the suspect twice raised and pointed his rifle at CO Peterson as the CO approached. The suspect stated he was using his scope to see other hunters better because he left his binoculars in his truck. Formal criminal charges are pending for pointing a gun at another person.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports working deer-hunting complaints during the week and weekend. Trespass and shooting from the roadway continue to be problems. Goose and mallard numbers are at their peak for the area. People hunting over open water were found to be having memorable hunts, with goldeneyes and scaup dominating the bag.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week working deer-hunting activity. Most hunters are reporting a slower season with fewer deer harvested. Several trespass complaints were handled, along with possible road hunting, hunter harassment, hunting over bait, sick deer, and public land violations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports several citations were issued to hunters for transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Two deer carcasses were dumped into a ditch after butchering but were found by a passerby with some bad news for the suspect – a site tag was still attached to one of the deer.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports calls were fielded from the public regarding deer carcasses dumped in road ditches and questions were answered about waterfowl hunting and blaze orange requirements, accessing water bodies off road rights of ways, firearms safety certificates, trespassing, and clothing requirements for hunting deer (blaze orange or pink).
District 4 – Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked a trapping complaint, an off-hours ATV complaint, a hunter harassment complaint, and two separate cases in which deer were shot from the same county road near Remer.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated several complaints regarding trespass and deer taken from the roadway. Smaller lakes and ponds in the Longville area are starting to freeze over. CO Broughten also assisted with an investigation of a bullet going through a residential building.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunters. A couple of ice anglers were checked and reported 3 inches of ice. Extreme caution is necessary, and travel is not advised on early ice. Large lakes likely will freeze in the next week making it the earliest ice formation in more than a decade. Assistance was provided on a criminal incident in Cass Lake.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports another busy weekend with deer hunting. One individual reported that he had shot, tagged, and skinned his deer and had it hanging underneath a lean-to attached to his house, ready to butcher the next day. Someone cut the body from the head and walked off with his deer, leaving only the head.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports areas showing evidence of spruce top, balsam bough, and birch pole theft continue to be located. If anyone has information or knows of locations where individuals are taking these resources, please pass the information on to a local officer for follow-up.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area hunting activities. The first fish house appeared on an area lake.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent most of the week working deer hunters and working hunting complaints. The usual issues of deer baiting and shooting from the roadway continued, and two firearms were seized for the violations. A deer hunter reported a deer with unusual lesions in its internal organs. Arrangements were made to have the deer tested.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports deer-hunting cases included a 16-year-old who shot from the roadway and took a deer on ag land. This same juvenile was in CO Frericks’ firearms safety class last year and was told during the class specifically about shooting from the roadway and trespassing on ag land. While checking deer hunters in the Britt area, CO Frericks saw a truck being driven on a snowmobile trail. A short time later, CO Frericks located the vehicle, stuck up to its axles. The driver/deer hunter failed numerous sobriety tests, but was just under the legal limit. He received a citation for operating the truck on the snowmobile trail. A local towing company was called to give an estimate on the cost to remove the vehicle. Due to the wet area, a tracked vehicle had to be brought in to remove the truck. The tow truck driver said the minimum tow bill would be $1,000.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) took a call about hunter harassment in which a young woman was sitting in a stand on state land and was harassed by two separate individuals who ended up being a father and son. One person on an ATV drove circles around her, cursing, and got stuck for a period of time. After he left, the other came by, yelling verbal insults.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) found the deer season to be slow for a lot of people. There has been a lot of illegal shooting from the road.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some hunters have ditched the gun for the ice-fishing rod. He also patrolled by snowmobile for the first time this season. Some hunters report that wolves are responding to grunt and bleat calls, thinking it’s the dinner bell. One person described what he believed was a fight between a doe and a wolf, but the fight soon ended as other wolves joined in.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports numerous cases resulting in deer-hunting violations. One individual was caught hunting from the same baited stand twice in seven days, with a citation and seizure of equipment both times. Enforcement action was taken against two people who shot deer from the roadway, one of which was transported untagged in a vehicle. Two people were apprehended for killing deer over baited areas, one of which was shot right next to a cabin over a feeding trough. A TIP call led the officer to an individual who had illegally cut balsam boughs along the edge of hole No. 2 green at the Ely golf course. Enforcement action was taken.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked calls related to the deer season, relocated a mink that was killing tame ducks (the duck owner caught the fisher in a live trap), and responded to a call about a deer that broke through the ice.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted with the execution of a search warrant, worked baiting complaints, checked hunters, investigated hunter-harassment complaints, and checked a couple of ice fishermen.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused primarily on big-game hunting in the area. CO Van Asch also conducted follow-up work on an ongoing big-game investigation.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) reports baiting complaints, blaze orange, and shining complaints were worked during the week. Snowmobile complaints have been ongoing, as trails are not legally open until Dec. 1. The officer assisted two different parties with deer retrieval on posted property.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week working firearms and the archery deer seasons. Several complaints were investigated. A few investigations are still ongoing. Calls regarding wounded deer going onto other people’s property were addressed.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports that one of the matters he investigated began with a witness who saw someone shine and shoot at deer from a motor vehicle well after dark. At the scene of the complaint, a dead deer was found. Two hours later, a vehicle fitting the description described by the complainant returned and the occupants picked up the deer. They were stopped by officers, and three individuals were contacted in the vehicle. Their vehicle, firearm, and light used in this violation were seized as evidence, and they got to spend the night in the county jail. They are facing gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor charges for several violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports a 16-year-old was stopped while operating a snowmobile, without a helmet, on a county road. The youth had a loaded rifle on his back and was wearing insufficient blaze orange. Another deer hunter/ATV operator was stopped for operating during closed hours, without displaying current registration, without headlights on the road, and with a revoked driver’s license.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a trespassing investigation was concluded, and the hunters were determined to be lawfully hunting. An injured deer was dispatched and donated to an individual who stated, “I feel like I just won the lottery!” CO Guida received a report about a stolen trap from a trapper.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) contacted a Class 2 ATV operator who was 9 years old and not wearing a helmet while operating on a public roadway. The adult passenger thought it was OK since it was a dirt road.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports new ice has been forming on area lakes and ponds. It’s been problematic for deer, as several deer were rescued after breaking through ice or being stuck on glare ice.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked deer hunters and investigated associated complaints, such as suspicious shots, carcass dumping, and trespassing.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated calls regarding shooting deer from motor vehicles, shooting from roadways, trespassing, and illegally taking big game. CO Speldrich also followed up on baiting complaints and hunter harassment complaints, and issued deer possession tags.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued with deer season work and shining prevention. ATVers operating during closed hours seems to be an issue this year, with enforcement action taken. CO Starr coached a member of a hunting crew who was intoxicated late at night. The older gentleman indicated he was getting up to hunt early in the morning, but he was advised to sleep in due to his intoxication level. Members of the hunting party agreed.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports emergency rescue was provided for a hunter who fell about 18 feet from a deer stand, in a remote hunting area. The hunter was carried out of the woods by first responders and was airlifted to a hospital.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted Pine County with a traffic stop, stolen property recovery, and traffic control during a structure fire.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) responded to a call about someone burning garbage in a gravel pit. There was a large amount of black smoke coming from the pile. To CO Kuske’s surprise, there was a large number of bananas on top of the pile, but the black smoke was coming from the rubber matting burning underneath the bananas. Deer season brought about a variety of violations. At one deer camp, CO Kuske witnessed hunters in blaze orange with rifles carrying pumpkins out to the woods with them. When they returned later, it was found they were going to try to tag their illegal extra deer with bonus tags in a one-deer-limit area. Another group was checked where CO Kuske counted 24 deer legs lying in a pile. When CO Kuske asked the homeowner to see tags for the six deer, the homeowner produced one tag and admitted that the other five deer never were tagged.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) primarily worked deer season activity. One individual was questioned about his hunting activity. It was found that he’d registered a doe with a bonus tag using a firearm, but the individual did not have a firearms deer license – only a bow license. The individual stated that he thought that he could use a bonus tag for any weapon. The suspect did not mention that the doe he registered on the bonus tag was actually a nice buck, and that he’d already shot a buck with his bow in September. Enforcement action was taken, as were his new shotgun and scope.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent a busy week checking deer hunters. Hunters are reporting great success, with several hunters seeing multiple deer during the season. CO Krauel handled several calls about trespassing, baiting, and various other deer hunting-related matters.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) came upon a hunter who had trained his dog to follow his vehicle along roadways to hunt for pheasants while he transported a loaded firearm to shoot from a vehicle. Several verbal and physical altercations between hunters over deer were handled.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) wrapped up the 2017 regular firearms season. A presentation was given to a local high school class on human impact on the ecosystem, with an emphasis on wetland habitats.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time investigating several TIP complaints involving big-game animal registration, trespass, overlimits of deer, registering a deer in the wrong zone, and more. CO Leuthardt also assisted a neighboring officer investigating shining and shooting complaints.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week checking waterfowl and deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a firearm in a state park.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked a deer-hunting enforcement detail in southeast Minnesota, checked waterfowl and small-game hunters in Dakota County, and spent time answering calls.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) reports dealing with a deer that had become entangled in twine fencing in Afton. The deer was freed with a neighboring CO’s assistance, and it fled with twine still in its antlers.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) followed up on a deer-baiting case, as well as dumped deer carcasses in the area.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports a case involving wanton waste of a buck deer northeast of Ortonville was investigated. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Turn-in-Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports working big-game hunting. The officer investigated reports of hunters hunting without blaze orange, shooting from the roadway, and leaving stands on state land.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working firearms deer season. He handled calls regarding transport of loaded firearms, multiple complaints of shooting from the road, illegal deer transport, and a waterfowl complaint.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking deer hunters and following up on poaching complaints. CO Klehr also checked some duck hunters trying their luck before waters in the area are completely frozen over.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) followed up on complaints of shooting from a motor vehicle and trespass. A dead juvenile trumpeter swan was reported lying in the middle of a township road. High-line wires are suspected in its death.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week dealing with deer season enforcement issues. CO Howe performed general patrol duties, responded to several TIP complaints, and participated in multiple work details with neighboring officers.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on deer hunting and ATVing activity this week. CO VanThuyne also responded to calls regarding trespassing, shooting from the road, and a vehicle operator chasing deer across a field.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the firearms deer season. The CO assisted the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department with a subject who fell from his treestand and was injured. The hunter was airlifted by helicopter and transported to a hospital.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. Lots of ducks were in the area with some hunters doing well as things iced up.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on complaints regarding trespass, no blaze orange, hunting deer without a license, deer baiting, and antler point restrictions. A hunter confronted another hunter who was trespassing, not wearing orange, and baiting deer. The illegal hunter attempted to leave the location but could not find his car keys.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports a hunter was cited for shooting an overlimit of deer after he shot two bucks. He also was in violation because the second buck was in violation of the antler point restriction. The buck’s antlers were cut off and the entire carcass was hidden in the weeds. When asked, the hunter admitted he should have called CO Hill when he realized the mistake was made. A hunter was arrested on suspicion of hunting while under the influence of alcohol. The breath sample the hunter provided in the field was over three times the legal limit.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to Red Wing police and Canadian Pacific Railroad officers with a call regarding individuals hunting on the railroad tracks as two trains were attempting to come through the area. Contact was made with the individuals.