Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 2, 2018

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for violations that included angling with extra/unattended lines, angling license violations, failure to display valid registration on a snowmobile, and operating a snowmobile without registration.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) certified a shipment of ginseng, conducted a taxidermist inspection, responded to two calls about trespass by snowmobile riders and coyote hunters, and worked a detail on Upper Red Lake with CO Mishler.

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused on angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Anglers were out in full force during the weekend in hopes of one last chance to catch walleyes on Upper Red Lake before the season closed. Enforcement action was taken for possession of drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana. Charges are pending for felony drug possession.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and snowmobiling activity. Vollbrecht also worked a detail on Leech Lake during the Eelpout Festival.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports recent snows improved area snowmobile trails. Many ice anglers got ahead of the recent snows and began pulling their shelters off.

CO Steven Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, coyote hunting and snowmobile activity. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming firearms safety classes and responding to TIP calls.

CO Angela Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on snowmobile trails and activity. New snowfall the past week has improved conditions throughout the area. Angling activity was worked, with anglers reporting a slowing in fish activity. Time also was spent on aeration permit checks.

CO William Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Anglers are reminded that fish houses must be removed by March 5 and they should plan accordingly to have them removed before the deadline.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports the recent snowfall brought out some snowmobilers. The snow was welcomed for snowmobiling but it may be more difficult to move shelters from lakes. Vehicles were observed getting stuck.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time on the snowmobile after 14 inches of new snow fell. Groomers hadn’t been on the trail as of yet, but many eager riders were out. Ice fishing enthusiasts also were checked throughout the week. Plautz received a call about an injured owl, and continues to monitor fish houses without proper identification.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, fish houses, and snowmobilers. Snowmobile riders are reminded that altering exhaust on snowmobiles to increase noise is against the law, and complaints about loud exhaust have been received.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the week. Time also was spent checking coyote hunting and trapping activity. Holt followed up on complaints regarding littering on the ice and a car-killed otter.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking fishermen and snowmobile operators. Recent snow around the area brought out a lot of snowmobilers. Additional time was spent on trespass complaints and setting up a firearms safety class.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Angling success continues to be poor. Recent snow has improved snowmobile trails.

CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked the annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, unattended lines, unmarked fish houses, no shelter tags, and ATV/snowmobile registration issues.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked angling and recreational vehicle activity associated with the Eelpout Festival. Snowmobile trails are in good condition with recent snowfall, but lake travel is now difficult without a snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling violations.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports snowmobiling activity increased with the recent snowfall. Angling activity continues to produce varied results, and warmer weather is making it easier for people to spend time trying. A meeting was attended with various stakeholders in regards to the upcoming spring fishing season on the Rainy River.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. He helped another officer by interviewing an angler on a fishing case. The officer also assisted at a snowmobile injury accident and with a disturbance that resulted in the arrest of one party on a warrant.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) noted that heavy snowfall brought large numbers of snowmobile riders to the area. Groups of 10 riders were not uncommon. Most snowmobile riders realized they were sharing the trails with a lot of sleds, but on a few occasions Frericks narrowly avoided head-on collisions with other snowmobiles simply because he was going around corners at a slower speed and as far to the right as possible. Increased snowmobile traffic brought out many unregistered snowmobiles, and numerous citations were issued for those violations. In one instance, as Frericks was preparing a citation for an unregistered sled, he learned there was an active arrest warrant for the person to whom the citation was going. This was explained to the person with the warrant, and Frericks learned the subject’s brother has used his name before. Frericks compared photos of each person but another deciding factor was the weight of each person. The person with the warrant weighed about 187 pounds, while the person in front of CO Frericks weighed well over 250 pounds. The subject was not arrested but received a citation for the violation.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Wolftrack Classic Dogsled Race took place on several of the Ely-area snowmobile trails, which had received more than a foot of snow in past weeks.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) traveled into the BWCAW by dog sled, skis, and snowshoes. Multiple storms left a foot or two of new snow. When added to the existing snow, the new snow has made off-trail travel difficult. The thick ice is probably why there isn’t more slush on the lakes.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended an ice rescue and survival course with the U.S. Coast Guard. Time also was spent checking anglers on remote trout lakes.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling activity and fishing enforcement. He also checked area lakes and patrolled area snowmobile trails, which were in great shape. One snowmobile operator was found to be over the legal alcohol limit. Hansen was running him through field-sobriety testing when the man’s brother stopped in a motor vehicle. Itasca County deputies subsequently arrested the brother for DUI. Hansen also assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a DUI case.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids), along with other COs from around the state, worked Lake of the Woods for angling activity this past weekend. Officers encountered numerous angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity. Trail conditions are superb thanks to the foot of snow that fell during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession and leaving lines unattended while angling. Sutherland also followed up on a case from the rifle deer season in which tags weren’t placed on deer properly.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked snowmobiling activity and angling enforcement throughout the surrounding areas.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and issued possession permits. Area lakes produced a good bite this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and registration violations.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) focused on snowmobiling enforcement as a result of the recent snowfalls. Time also was spent handling nuisance-animal complaints.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobiling enforcement. Anglers are reminded to remove shelters and materials from the ice by March 5.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobile riders and ice anglers. Abundant snow left the trails in great shape. Fishable ice is almost nonexistent on Lake Superior.

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked snowmobiling activity north of Duluth as well as areas up the North Shore. Olson also checked anglers on area lakes.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and snowmobile/all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week. A group of local law enforcement officers took part in recreational vehicle enforcement training.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for snowmobiling and angling activity throughout the week. McGowan also spent time following up on a trapping case and working the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) investigated reports of the illegal dumping of fish carcasses and overlimits of crappies. He also gave presentations to students in the Brainerd High School wildlife forensics science program regarding conservation officer duties, fur-bearing animals, and wildlife forensics. Enforcement contacts were made for no trout stamps and no spearing licenses.

CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) monitored snowmobiling activity and checked anglers. A report about a possible fish overlimit was investigated, and the officer helped out with a work detail at the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted with the McGregor fourth- and fifth-grade ice-fishing day on Lake Minnewawa.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked spearing and angling activity for the last week of game fish season. A lot of people removed fish houses in an attempt to beat the snow storms, which created the best snowmobiling conditions of all winter.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) marked fish houses with GPS prior to the snowfall and assisted a first-time fish house owner with removing his house. The wheels of his house were frozen in the ice.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) investigated an abandoned portable fish shelter that was left on an area lake and was found to be frozen in. A number of fishermen coming into area bait shops believe the walleye season on Mille Lacs has been extended, which is not true. Many are misreading the regulation, which allows for angling of northern pike until March 25. Northern pike spearing, and angling seasons for bass and walleyes, ended Feb. 25.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a call regarding someone burning a couch in his backyard within the city limits. The person had been using a soldering iron in a house and a spark had landed on the couch, which quickly ignited. Fortunately, the homeowners were able to push the couch out the patio door and into the snow before the rest of the house caught fire.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) provided a career presentation to the natural resources law class at Central Lakes College and did a question-and-answer forum with an area rod and gun club. An investigation into an unattended line and unmarked/non-licensed shelter resulted in an angler’s arrest after the angler was found possessing a sizeable amount of narcotics and other drug paraphernalia.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and ATV and snowmobile riders. With the new snow in the area, snowmobilers were out in full force. A ride-along was provided to a local St. Cloud State University criminal justice student.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ice fishermen and working snowmobiling enforcement.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked snowmobiling, trapping, and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling violations.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted a district officer with the execution of a search warrant and assisted the Buffalo Police Department with a gun-pointing incident.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week patrolling for snowmobile riders and ice anglers. Seamans and other officers assisted in the rescue of three horses that were stranded on a scientific and natural area island. Coyotes spooked the horses, which caused them to descend a steep bank and swim across the Mississippi River. With guidance from a patrol boat, the horses crossed the Mississippi and reluctantly climbed the steep bank to safety.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) assisted the Orono Police Department with a weapons complaint and school lockdown. One person was taken into custody.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fishermen and following up on complaints. Grewe and K9 Shelby assisted a local sheriff’s office in attempting to locate a gun used in a domestic assault case.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers, fish houses, and aeration systems on area lakes. He also checked snowmobilers on trails and lakes in Dakota and Scott counties. Pril also spent time on equipment maintenance and investigated a trespass complaint.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week doing recreational vehicle enforcement and checking anglers. He also investigated a littering complaint, handled a call about an injured animal, and responded to TIP calls.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) worked primarily coyote hunting and snowmobiling activity during the week. Coyote hunters and snowmobilers were thrilled to have some significant snowfall.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working angling, snowmobiling, and trapping activity. He also followed up on an ongoing trespassing issue.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, snowmobiling, and coyote-hunting enforcement. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with wildlife management area issues.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking anglers trying to catch the last walleyes and northern pike of the season. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile riders operating with expired or no registration.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted a local sheriff’s office with a domestic assault and a search.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers, shelters and aeration systems. A few shelters are still on the ice while others were removed in plenty of time prior to the March 5 removal deadline.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reminds anglers they will need their 2018 fishing license beginning March 1.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers and ATVers and snowmobile operators. Ihnen assisted in conducting area aeration inspections and spent time responding to litter complaints.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spoke with two large-tract adjacent landowners in the area regarding an ongoing investigation. One person said there are no deer in the area and he could not understand what was happening. The second landowner said there are too many deer and they are feeding on his cattle feed.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working more ice fishing enforcement on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Several investigations were wrapped up with convictions from past cases.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating a deer-hunting complaint from last fall.

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