Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 15, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and blackpowder hunters around the area. A report about shooting from the roadway was investigated.
CO Nick Prachar (Baudette) reports that the colder weather has brought the start of the ice-fishing season on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration on a snowmobile, no angling license in possession, and possession of a controlled substance. “You can just look it up, right?” is no excuse to not have your fishing license. It is illegal not to have it in possession while you’re fishing.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent taking reports of incidental catches of fishers and pine martens and working on an applicant’s pre-employment background investigation.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) checked anglers and bobcat-trapping activity. A complaint about wanton waste was handled, and follow-up was completed on a big-game case.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked muzzleloader deer hunters and trappers, and assisted at the Fosston snowmobile safety class.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) assisted a neighboring officer with a timber theft case and continued a background investigation on an applicant.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week checking small-game hunters and muzzleloader deer hunters. Time also was spent following up on illegally imported deer carcasses.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) taught the regulations portion of a snowmobile safety class in Detroit Lakes. She received calls about a possible wounded bear, car-hit deer, obstruction of legal access to a public water, and the possible taking of an overlimit of fish. Assistance was given to the Detroit Lakes police department with a horse on the loose in town.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked on a background investigation and followed up on trespassing and trapping complaints. A call about a dead snowy owl was taken, and also a nuisance snowy owl getting after an individual’s chickens was turned over to DNR Wildlife staff.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a complaint about a person blocking a public access has been an ongoing issue with numerous fishermen complaining about not being able to access the lake. The officer and area law enforcement are working to get the issue resolved.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) completed an investigation into illegal hunting activity by nearly every person involved with a particular group. Citations were issued for hunting deer without a license, illegal party hunting, untagged deer, and unregistered deer. Two different fishing groups were cited for possessing illegal-length crappies on a local lake with a special regulation.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports colder weather has started making more ice. Generally, 6 to 8 inches are being reported, with less in a few deep areas of lakes and other historically weak ice locations. A birch tree-cutting complaint and muzzleloader deer complaint were received and investigated.
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) issued a restoration order for a wetland violation and took complaints about shooting from a motor vehicle and shooting after hours. He continued to check and muzzleloader deer hunters.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked ice fishing, trapping, muzzleloader hunting, and ATVing. Several cases are still under investigation. A deer shot from the roadway was investigated and turned over to tribal wardens. Enforcement action was taken for a northern pike overlimit.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked muzzleloader hunters and ATVers. An ATV with two individuals went through the ice on a local lake.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) monitored cases of illegal spruce top harvest and checked muzzleloader deer hunters and associated activities. CO Slatinski also assisted local authorities with a vehicle rollover and fielded questions regarding fish house definition changes and related license requirements.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports citations were sent out for a deer-baiting case and a combination forest product theft/canceled driver’s license case from the previous month. In another case, a hunter dumped deer carcasses on the side of the road. Evidence led the CO to one of the hunters, and it turned out that besides the littering violation, two hunters also had not registered their deer. The officer checked on the status of a person that had not returned to his vehicle for days. The officer found the person winter camping a half mile away and doing fine.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports more and more anglers are taking to the ice in the Ely area. Ice conditions continued to vary greatly on lakes, with some areas easily supporting ATVs and other areas unsafe for foot traffic, as one perspective angler on Shagawa Lake found out after falling through near-shore ice.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked lakes and ice conditions and found some lakes to be a bit alarming. This week, the officer observed open water on local favorites like Fall, Ojibwa, Burntside, Tofte, and Garden. Areas are opening up and there was rain water on the ice and fast deterioration before the snowfalls. The local area saw Ely people dropping fish houses and trucks though the ice, so be smart. One fellow coming up from the Twin Cities was convinced that there was a foot of ice and that it was all safe. He had a load of ATVs on a trailer and didn’t seem convinced when the officer told him otherwise. Just because the ice is all white now doesn’t mean it is safe.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a muzzleloader hunter thought it was good idea to park his truck on an access road to block the entry of other hunters. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) assisted another victim of a cell phone map app. A delivery truck ended up stuck several miles inland on an unplowed forest road. The driver showed the officer the phone with the route displayed – including a stretch of an old, impassable logging road. CO Manning was able to help the driver and the responding tow truck find a place to turn both large vehicles around and get back to civilization.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked big-game, trapping, angling, and ATV enforcement. Work was completed on ongoing big-game and trapping investigations. Ice anglers continue to report steady success on area lakes.
CO Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked follow-up from rifle deer season with enforcement action taken for illegally transporting a big-game animal, failing to tag a big-game animal, and failing to validate a deer tag. CO Sutherland also took action on anglers fishing without licenses.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week following up on cases from deer season. Deer-dumping complaints continue to come in. Ice anglers were checked, and some permanent houses are being seen on area lakes. Complaints about ATV use on snowmobile trails were investigated, and trout-angling complaints were handled.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore, responded to complaints received from north of Duluth about dumped deer carcasses on public lands, and responded to a complaint about timber theft in the Floodwood area.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) noted that ice slowly has been forming on most lakes. He checked some rabbit hunters and the harvest was low.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked the last weekend of muzzleloader deer hunting. Hunters in the area reported not seeing much deer movement and had limited success.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for late season deer hunting and ice fishing activity. CO McGowan also assisted other law enforcement agencies with calls for service.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked a late-season baiting case, assisted with firearms training at Camp Ripley, and checked early ice anglers.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, spearing, and muzzleloader and trapping activity. A deer-feeding complaint also was handled.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers on a Lake Mille Lacs. Other people were found small-game hunting and trapping in the area.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in ice-fishing activity. The week started out with many lakes still without fishable ice. Toward the end of the week, many lakes had sufficient ice to support anglers on foot, and a few areas had enough for ATVs.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking ice conditions, followed up on deer season complaints, and spent time checking state forest areas.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) responded to a party possibly through the ice on Mille Lacs. A passerby saw just a bucket and auger on the ice and figured the owner fell through, but the person later was found on shore.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued car-kill deer permits, picked up a fisher and a pine marten caught after the season from trappers, and retrieved a snowy owl that had been hit by a car. The owl is going to be stuffed and donated to an area school.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, deer and pheasant hunters, and trappers. Investigations continue regarding deer season violations involving illegal party hunting. Illegal deer stands left in public hunting areas were addressed.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking pheasant hunters and muzzleloader deer hunters. Cases involving trespass, hunting deer over bait, and portable treestands overnight in WMAs were investigated.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, trappers, and a few anglers who reported most areas still with thin ice. Time was spent working on a background investigation, following up on complaints about trespass, wanton waste, and carcass dumping.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters, trappers, and ATVers. Violations were found for illegal lending/borrowing of deer licenses, failing to tag deer, failing to validate tags, and failing to register deer.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several investigations related to the past firearms deer season and trespassing calls. High winds have left lakes with open spots or very thin ice in spots.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) removed several camping items abandoned in a nearby state forest. Enforcement action was taken for lending and borrowing big-game licenses, deer overlimits, and driving after suspension.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and bowhunters in the metro area this week. He wrote a supplemental report and answered questions from the Asian community on small-game hunting season and firearms safety classes.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week completing background investigation interviews. CO Weyandt received another call about a snowy owl that had been found dead. The owl likely was hit by a vehicle in Chanhassen. A call was received about a sick swan on Little Long Lake.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week patrolling deer hunters, monitoring ice conditions, and following up with complaints.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a possible wetland violation.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked big-game and small-game hunters. Some ice anglers were checked on a couple of area lakes in Dakota County.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week checking goose hunters in the area. There were lots of geese around and many groups were having luck.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking hunters and conducting investigations. Muzzleloader season ended rather quietly. Several ice anglers are creeping out on new ice.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports working the close of the muzzleloader deer season and continuing to check pheasant hunters.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts on deer, pheasant, and goose-hunting activity. Anglers are again venturing onto ice on local waters.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) continued to follow up with several deer investigations. Pheasant hunters checked said they were able to find some birds in cattail areas.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) checked pheasant hunters, deer hunters, and ice fishermen. TIP reports were investigated regarding big-game cases.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on deer season cases. He received calls about injured animals. Time also was spent on commercial investigations.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on litter complaints where people illegally dumped deer carcasses. Other poaching investigations from deer hunting are still ongoing, and TIP reports are still coming in about illegal hunting activity.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) took a phone call from a person reporting to have observed a snowy owl just east of Jackson. That would be the second snowy owl in a week, with the first being an injured one on the west side of the county.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) worked trapping and fishing activities this week. CO VanThuyne also followed up on cases from deer season and assisted local agencies on several calls.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports assistance was given to the State Patrol during a winter storm with whiteout conditions.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) followed up on complaints about individuals taking overlimits of walleyes.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent patrolling for trapping activity and predator hunters. Officer Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to a local snowmobile safety class.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the week checking goose hunters. Other time was spent closing out trespassing cases.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a trespass case from September was closed out with a citation being issued.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a somewhat quiet close to the 2017 muzzleloader deer season. Hunting pressure increased during the final weekend and several successful groups were contacted with mostly does. Ice fishermen are beginning to venture out onto the backwaters and finding a few panfish.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports working a relatively busy week of the goose migration on area fields and rivers. Goose hunting enforcement action included hunting without federal and state waterfowl stamps, no stamp in possession, no HIP certification, and hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.