Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 9, 2018
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored area snowmobiling and angling activity. A complaint is being worked regarding a fish overlimit case.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, possessing drug paraphernalia, possessing a small amount of marijuana, and possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working snowmobiling and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Time also was spent handling assorted wildlife-related calls and assisting with training for the State Patrol Academy.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting with a snowmobile safety class in Bagley. Time also was spent following up on a complaint regarding deer stands left in a wildlife management area.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a large event on Otter Tail Lake to celebrate the 150th birthday of Otter Tail County. Live music and large tents, a snow golf course, and sled dogs were all part of the celebration. CO Vinton contacted hundreds of attendees who had brought their fish houses to the area to camp for the weekend. Compliance was good. Two vehicles did find thin ice late during the night and broke through. No injuries were reported.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week checking ice anglers and coyote hunters, and monitoring snowmobile activity. A reported snowmobile accident was investigated.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity in the Pelican Rapids and Lake Park area. The officer also taught the law and ethics portion of the Rothsay firearms safety class to 15 students.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked area anglers and located the owner of a fish house without identification. CO Plautz also attended a meeting and worked on reports.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Fish house-identification violations are still being encountered with one person saying that he thought it was OK to not have identification and a fish house license on his house since the lake didn’t have a public access.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most of the week working angling activity. Several cases were made involving angling with extra lines, angling with unattended lines, and possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. One angler left two rattle reels in the water while he went to get some gas for his fish house generator. Upon returning, CO Lawler was waiting to ask him about the fishing lines, which were illegally left in the water. Not surprisingly, a northern pike had swallowed one of the hooks very deeply while the angler was gone, giving CO Lawler and the violator an easy illustration as to why it’s illegal to leave lines unattended.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts included checking fishermen, ATVers, and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent checking coyote hunters, following up on trespass complaints, and conducting aeration inspections.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) continues to work on ice fishing and recreational vehicle activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, extra lines, expired registrations, and drug possession.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Cold weather and lack of snow limited recreational activity. CO Broughten received multiple complaints about vehicles being driven on snowmobile trails.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports angling, snowmobiling, and trapping were the prominent activities noted this past week. Trails were monitored with the start of the Arrowhead 135 race. Recreational vehicle registration issues are still common occurrences.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports the week began with bitter-cold weather for the Arrowhead 135 and ended with more bitter cold and windy weather bringing out the hardiest of the winter recreationalists finishing up with a vintage snowmobile event. Fishing has been fair. Groomers have been working hard at keeping snow trails in good shape, but riders are reminded to use caution on the land and lake trails by reducing speeds at night to avoid overdriving headlights. Wind-swept blowing and drifting snow, as well as plowed roads, can create unexpected obstacles during periods of reduced visibility.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads and local snowmobile trails. Fishing activity remains low.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked snowmobilers and anglers. The CO also took some calls about dogs chasing deer and the snaring of foxes and coyotes.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobilers and ATVers as well as a state park, and finished investigating a decorative forest materials TIP case that resulted in enforcement action being taken. The officer made contact with three individuals blocking a public access road. The officer returned later to see if they’d left litter and found where the car had been cleaned out and the litter was left on the road. Four items had the driver’s name on them, which made it easy to finish up the case with a citation.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) turned over pelts donated by local trappers to the Minnesota Trapper’s Association’s Tanned Fur Project. These pelts are used to teach school-age kids about the various furbearers around them. A great horned owl that was killed by a vehicle and delivered to a local taxidermist was completed. This specimen was donated to the Mountain Iron School District to also be used for educational purposes.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he participated in a work group inside the BWCAW. Conditions varied between lows of minus 22 and highs of 18 degrees and snow. Several groups were contacted.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) found, on several trips into the BWCAW, that many people are in the habit of not having their fishing licenses in possession. And in some cases, not having one at all. The fishermen all seem to know that they need to have it on them, but usually ask if the officer can “just call it in.”
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area snowmobile trails and lakes. One young rider who was contacted stated that he knew his modified sled exhaust was illegal, but decided to ride it on the trails anyway. CO Manning also issued a possession permit for a road-kill coyote.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent much of the week working angling and snowmobiling activity. Time also was spent in Little Falls with the State Patrol Academy, teaching water survival.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, and assisted at the scene of vehicle accidents. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile on a public roadway and failing to display registration.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling activity and fishing enforcement, and answered miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. He also assisted the county with various calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, responded to predator-hunting complaints, and assisted the county sheriff’s office and State Patrol with vehicles in the ditch.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling activity and ice-angling activity, with many sledders out and trying to use the area trails. Multiple car-kill deer tags have been issued.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobiling enforcement. Assistance was given to local law enforcement in addressing a possible big-game violation.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work winter fishing, which included checking both ice fishermen and open-water fishing along the Lake Superior shore. Time also was spent working on a trapping case, assisting with an investigation started by a Wisconsin warden, snowmobiling enforcement, and working area ski trails.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended ice rescue training with the U.S. Coast Guard station in Duluth and checked anglers in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and on the St. Louis River.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the Lake Superior shoreline. In some instances, ice anglers were sitting in portable houses while casters were reaching open water just 20 to 30 yards away. Some coho salmon and herring were seen in the bag. A day later, the wind would change and remove the ice.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and snowmobiling violations.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. A large amount of garbage, including numerous piles of animal fecal matter, were located around a rental fish shelter. The owner of the garbage was contacted, and enforcement action was taken. A wolf depredation case also was investigated. A nice bobcat was turned in this week as an accidental catch during the closed season and will be donated to the Minnesota Trappers Association. The DNR Information Center forwarded a call to CO Guida about four dead gray squirrels that were found on a property. According to the reporting party, it seemed unusual since they were intact, not bloody, and almost look like they fell from the trees and froze.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) Hadrits investigated a case of vandalism and damage to a grant-in-aid ski trail. He also worked with a local high school’s wildlife forensic science program by presenting them the TIP Wall of Shame.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking fishermen. Area snowmobile trails were monitored, and the SRA was patrolled for park violations.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. One group of eight boys were checked while celebrating a birthday by ice fishing. Mom, Dad, and a younger brother were relegated to a separate shelter.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) has located several shelters on the ice with DNR numbers displayed but no licenses. CO Ladd also followed up on a trapping case and a big-game case as well as an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on a litter complaint regarding ice anglers. The report was of litter left behind after a portable fish house was removed. Litter included human waste, cigarette butts, and cans. A complaint about dumping was investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes, checking anglers. The CO also took complaints from anglers about litter left on the ice by other anglers. CO Speldrich assisted the sheriff’s department with a possible sighting of a woman who was reported missing by Grand Rapids police.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted a local trapper with an incidental catch of a large, adult bobcat that had its rear leg caught in a snare. After a lot of patience, and careful use of a catch pole, the barely-injured bobcat was successfully released. Another wild animal-related call that was taken involving a resident who returned home and found a woodchuck sitting on a bed. Live traps were used to remove the woodchuck.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers in the Pine City area. He also assisted Wisconsin wardens with a license fraud case and issued possession permits for car-hit deer.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports she checked two men in a large fish house, but when they opened the fish house door, the CO saw they didn’t have any lines down. They were just consuming beverages. They asked that she please not tell their spouses, as they told them they were “going fishing.” CO Kuske also spent time picking up a large amount of garbage at a local public access – garbage included a number of cans and glass bottles. She also checked two anglers in a portable house who also had two tip-ups outside the house. CO Kuske asked the anglers how many lines they had, and they said four. Then she pointed at the boot of one of the anglers and asked about the fifth line the angler was stepping on and trying to hide.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring angling activity. A ride-along opportunity was provided to an area college student.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spoke at the Holdingford DNR firearms safety class. Time also was spent working anglers, ATVers, and snowmobiles. A trespass call from the deer season was investigated, with charges pending.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ice fishermen, following up on deer cases, and issuing wildlife possession permits.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking fishermen. One subject was checked as he was spearing on a lake where pike 24 to 36 inches are protected. The subject speared four pike in the protected slot and tried to hide them from CO Bertram. The subject was issued a citation, and the pike and equipment were seized.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent the week checking Wright County lakes for fishing activity and following up on several calls about injured animals. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended lines, and possession of marijuana.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) spent the majority of the week checking anglers, snowmobilers, and trappers. CO Londgren also worked with a South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department officer on a case, in which a Minnesota resident was charged with purchasing resident licenses in multiple states and also was revoked from angling.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) focused on ice-fishing activity. Contact was made with several individuals in a fish house. One of the individuals stated he wasn’t fishing. He said his fishing privileges had been revoked. Several hours later, the revoked angler posted photos of his catch on social media. CO Mohs returned to the fish house and questioned the angler about the photos and statements he made on social media. The angler admitted to fishing and posting the photos. The angler was cited for fishing after his fishing privileges were revoked.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) was patrolling for snowmobiling activity and decided to check a fish house with two tip-ups outside. The CO knocked, and the owner came to the door. When he realized it was a conservation officer, he stated, “You better get your ticket book out.” CO Birdsall observed five additional lines down in the house, along with the two tip-ups. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a Wetlands Conservation Act violation in Hennepin County. CO Maass also continued to work ice anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers on area lakes and trails.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) helped a Colorado officer locate a suspect in Minneapolis.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers and aerator systems on area lakes. Snowmobilers were checked on Dakota County and Scott County trails and lakes. CO Pril also provided a ride-along to a high school student and spoke to a group of Boy Scouts about conservation officer duties and responsibilities and about fishing regulations.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week checking ice anglers in the area. Enforcement action for the week included fishing license violations.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week doing recreational vehicle enforcement and checking anglers. He also investigated a littering complaint, scheduled firearms safety classes, and handled TIP calls.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working angling, coyote-hunting activity, and commercial enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) monitored ice-fishing activity and checked coyote hunters. A fisher was caught in a snare in Renville County. The trapper called and reported the incidental catch, as required by law.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked anglers and snowmobilers, and conducted investigations throughout the week. Complaints of both fishing and big-game overlimits were investigated, with enforcement action taken.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports unattended lines was one of the main enforcement issues during the week. Ice fishermen are reminded to reel up their lines in their fish houses before leaving to visit another fish house.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) issued deer possession tags. CO Denz also followed up on deer cases and spent time on TIP calls related to overlimits of fish.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) gave a conservation officer talk at a local firearms safety class.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports some anglers were found using extra lines and questioned why it matters how many lines are down since they were not catching anything anyway. They were informed with enforcement action that the law is still the law and they can only use two lines while ice fishing, no matter how the fish are biting. CO Klehr also assisted Meeker County officials with a large grass fire that was most likely started by someone throwing a cigarette out a vehicle window.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) and CO Dirks investigated a walleye overlimit case that resulted in enforcement action being taken. Numerous anglers were cited for angling with extra lines, possession of small amounts of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. A deer investigation was completed, with enforcement action being taken for a deer overlimit, lend/borrow violations, illegally entering a refuge, and transport of illegally taken big game. Deer and hunting equipment were seized as a result of the investigation.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers and ATV operators. Anglers removing their shelters from area lakes are reminded that shelters may not be left on public water accesses.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) completed aeration inspections this past week. The majority of the officer’s time continues to be checking anglers due to the lack of snowmobiling activity.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) encountered a crappie overlimit, fishing license violations, and drug violations. One angler found the temptation of catching a pike with a hot dog too tempting and was willing to use an extra line to attempt the feat. He was issued a citation for his efforts.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters and rabbit hunters. During the warmer weather, trout fishing has been OK as long as the streams do not mud up.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week on an ice-fishing detail in the BWCAW with CO Hill and CO Williams.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week of fishing enforcement. Some ATV and snowmobiling enforcement also was worked, and some registration issues were addressed.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending most of the week following up on an illegal deer-hunting case.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Various WMA-related calls were also handled, too. CO Heyn also talked with the county attorney’s office regarding deer cases.