Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 29, 2017
Editor’s note: Because of an early Outdoor News deadline, these are reports submitted by the DNR on Dec. 18.
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked on cases from the fall season. Anglers were checked at the Northwest Angle.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a trespass complaint, a public waters violation, and taught the law and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class in Thief River Falls. Area snowmobile trails were monitored, as was ice-fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a valid license, no ice shelter license, no reflective material on an ice shelter, no license in possession, and driving after revocation.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports focusing on angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV/snowmobile registration, angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and transporting walleye fillets without patches of skin attached.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) spent time checking anglers and snowmobiling activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for multiple angling violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring angling activity on special-regulation lakes and snowmobiling activity as the snow starts to accumulate. Time was spent making preparations for an upcoming snowmobile safety class, handling reports of incidental catches of fishers, issuing wildlife possession permits for deer struck by cars, and working on an applicant background investigation.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time investigating pending deer cases. Time was further spent checking ice anglers and ATV operators. Snowmobile operators also were contacted on area GIA trails. Deer and snowmobile violations were encountered this week.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports ice conditions are still variable in the area. Reports of snowmobilers going through the ice were taken by the sheriff’s office. CO Vinton received reports about some shelters left on the ice getting broken into. Anglers are reminded to not leave valuables in their shelters. Several calls were taken regarding the new requirements for shelter licenses.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training, worked on pending cases, and checked ice anglers.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) began working heavy ice-fishing activity. Ice conditions are still variable across the region. CO Lawler continued work on a background investigation and returned phone calls regarding injured animals and ATV complaints. A citation was issued to a spear fisherman for not having a spearing license. He first said he was new at spearing and didn’t know the requirements, but a quick license history check revealed he purchased one last year.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice anglers and ATV operation complaints. Ice conditions are still dangerous on area lakes. CO Anderson received a complaint about possible illegal juvenile snowmobile operation. Calls were fielded from the public regarding coyote hunting/trapping questions and ice fishing/shelter marking questions.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing and trapping activity. Anglers reported limited success. Ice conditions vary greatly from lake to lake. Last week there were multiple reports of ATV and snowmobiles breaking through the ice. Anglers reported finding open water in some locations. Snowmobilers continue to wait for snow.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities, checking snowmobile activity, and assisting the sheriff’s office with a snowmobile accident.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) followed up on information of fishing violations and complaints from last deer season. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers on area lakes and checked bobcat trapping activity. Several people called with questions on fishing regulations.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and trappers, followed up on open deer cases, and as a result cited a hunter for shooting a deer from the roadway. Reports were forwarded to the county attorney on a number of deer-hunting cases. The officer assisted other agencies with pulling out two individuals who went through the ice on a snowmobile on an Eveleth area lake.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that winter is in full swing in the Arrowhead. The CO did a couple of snowmobile patrols with a U.S. Forest Service officer. Not many people were out enjoying the winter weather, though, as snowmobilers and ice anglers were pretty scarce. Six unattended tip-ups were found – left by one group as they went to have lunch at a cabin. A couple of fish that were caught on the unattended tip-ups were returned to the water, and citations were issued to four anglers.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) patrolled area lakes and checked anglers and fishing shelters. The CO continued to follow up on deer registration issues from this past firearms season. Conditions have not allowed for grooming of snowmobile trails, so conditions are quite varied and riders are advised to use caution on stretches of trail where logging operations are under way.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers and recreational vehicles on area lakes. Snow and ice conditions on most lakes are good for ATVs and snowmobiles. Time also was spent on a pre-employment background investigation and on trapping investigations. Enforcement action included unattended lines, expired snowmobile registration, and other registration and license display/possession issues.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, worked ongoing cases, handled complaints regarding public access violations, followed up on a waters violation in which fill was put into a lake. He also responded to calls about car-struck/injured deer. Enforcement action taken for parking in no-parking zone at a public access.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked area lakes for winter fishing activity and checked trapping activity. CO Duncan also spent time preparing for an upcoming trial.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued permits for road-kill deer and took complaints about fishing violations. Time also was spent working on follow-up cases and reports from deer season.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and early snowmobilers. Questions were answered about the local ATV ordinance and upcoming snowmobile seasons. An ATVer was stopped for operating in the middle of a state highway. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing, background investigations, and snowmobile enforcement. CO Guida addressed ATV registration display violations, along with numerous anglers without angling licenses in possession. Some larger fish shelters are being observed on area lakes. New shelter licenses are in effect, and enforcement action was taken on unlicensed shelters and shelters not displaying required information. Check the shelter regulations at mndnr.gov
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked spearing and angling activity. Incidental fur and marijuana issues in fish houses were addressed. Assistance was given to southern Minnesota officers with a firearms deer investigation.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for ice-angling activity. CO McGowan also followed up with TIP calls and cases from this fall’s firearms deer season.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) received a few incidental fishers that were caught. A fire that was intentionally set to a structure was investigated, with charges pending. A stolen fish house was recovered. It was stolen from Pine County. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV with juveniles not wearing helmets.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on some WMA issues, forestry concerns, and snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration, no safety certificate, and riding on the roadway. Fishing activity was monitored, with some pike and panfish providing action. A dispute between fishermen was handled when an ATV operator circled two fishermen who he thought were fishing too close. Enforcement action was taken for reckless operation of an ATV, and a long coaching session was undertaken on being courteous to other fishermen, who are legal.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended use of force training. Time also was spent working on an assigned background investigation. Follow-up from the deer season was conducted, with multiple registration violations being addressed. A law presentation was given to an area youth snowmobile safety class.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports following up on deer-hunting license lending/borrowing cases and a case involving trespass and assault. Ice fishermen were checked on area lakes.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, ATVers, snowmobilers, trappers, and hunters. Trespassing complaints were followed up on, and work continues on a background investigation. Enforcement action was taken for license and recreational vehicle violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week addressing deer-stand issues on public property. An investigation was conducted into a baited archery stand. A background investigation continues for a potential academy applicant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (White Bear Lake) attended training focused on changing law enforcement culture and safety surrounding policing. She also spent time investigating a big-game TIP complaint. CO Leuthardt also checked anglers and archery hunters.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) focused his efforts on small-game hunting and angling activity. Pheasant hunters appeared to have success, and even hunters who did not take a bird home generally reported having several opportunities to have taken a shot. Enforcement action was taken for license violations.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working pheasant hunting and trapping activity in the area. Time also was spent following up with deer investigations and a background investigation. Wildlife possession tags were issued for car-killed deer. CO Gutzwiller also spent time speaking with the media about the fall duck season.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts on deer-, pheasant-, and goose-hunting activity. Ice-fishing activity also was monitored. CO Miska was the featured guest on the MinnDak Outdoors radio show on KDIO Radio in Ortonville.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking hunters and conducting investigations. Pheasant hunters continued to enjoy warm weather, but goose hunters are fighting mud. Several ice anglers are creeping out on new ice. Snowmobile safety was taught in Pipestone.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked small-game hunters and trappers. Enforcement action was taken for license violations. Investigations are ongoing.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on a wetland complaint. He also continued to follow up on deer cases and check predator hunters. He noted limited ice-fishing activity.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continues with a background investigation of a potential hire for the next DNR academy. Time also was spent following up on investigations from the deer season and meeting with the county attorney on current cases.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled his area, checking activity relating to waterfowl, archery deer, fishing, pheasant, and other small-game hunting activity. Pheasant and goose hunting continue in the county.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked small-game and big-game hunters. Ice angling is slow in progression. Anglers have been and will always be reminded to clean up after themselves when leaving the ice. A bull elk was videoed and confirmed in the county early in the month.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing and small-game hunting enforcement. CO VanThuyne also assisted local agencies and encountered a burning violation.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for pheasant and other small-game hunters. CO Ihnen also checked predator hunters and monitored trapping activity. Ice angling activity has also begun to pick up.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports monitoring ice conditions and checking ice anglers in the district. Pheasant hunters were checked. The officer also attended a training and a meeting at Camp Ripley.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports working multiple nights of shining enforcement. Goose hunters were contacted, with multiple stamp and license violations. A subject was cited for burning a large pile of garbage in his front yard. The subject told CO Hill that he had been burning his garbage forever because he didn’t think garbage trucks drove in rural areas. An aquatic invasive species case was handled.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports answering numerous questions about the upcoming January deer hunt. Time also was spent following up on old cases and getting new complaints from the deer season. CO Boyum also registered otter and certified ginseng roots. A trespass case is being investigated, as is a baiting case. CO Boyum also worked goose hunters in the Rochester area.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week checking area fishermen and late-season goose hunters. A wetland violation complaint was investigated, and a law and regulations talk was given at a local snowmobile safety class. Ice conditions continue to vary, and area ice anglers should remember their PFDs and ice picks before venturing out. Enforcement action was taken for no federal stamp in possession, no small-game license in possession, and failing to provide HIP certification.
CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) worked a goose-hunting detail in Rochester. Several flocks of geese were observed with few hunters in the fields. CO Fogarty took a TIP call about the wanton waste of ducks. The anonymous complainant stated he observed what looked like four mallard ducks in the trash outside of a residence. Upon arriving, CO Fogarty located the trash can with the ducks in question. The mallard ducks had clearly passed the point of being salvageable. The party stated he had shot the ducks sometime before the deer season started in early November. The male said he found the ducks while he was putting his boat away for the winter. Enforcement action was taken on burning prohibited materials, failing to sign federal duck stamps, and wanton waste of wild game. CO Fogarty spent time talking with teens at snowmobile safety classes in La Crescent and Caledonia.