Cuffs & Collars - February 10th, 2012
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) investigated a complaint about an illegal structure fire and handled an incident involving a dog in a trap. Most of the week was spent checking anglers on Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked anglers and snowmobilers in the Northwest Angle area of Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken regarding snowmobile registration, no trail stickers, and miscellaneous fishing violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke to the Golden Pioneers, a local civic organization in Thief River Falls, about conservation officer duties and the gray wolf returning to state management.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports some snowmobiling in the area but conditions are marginal, and trail conditions are generally poor. One snowmobile broke through the ice on the Red Lake River.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored snowmobiling and angling activity. A stolen fish house was recovered, confiscated fur was handled, and equipment transfers were completed. A trespass complaint also was investigated.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A complaint about wolves chasing livestock was investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports two trucks broke through the ice on Little Pine Lake. A driver was using GPS guidance to leave the lake in heavy fog and drove into open water near the Ottertail River inlet to the lake. The driver was able to get out of the water and walk home. The following morning, a truck was being driven about a mile away from the first site and broke through the ice. There were no indications of poor ice. The vehicle owners are brothers, who were fishing in the same shelter. Plans to remove a 2011 Ford and 2012 Jeep are under way.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) patrolled area lakes and trails during the annual Lake Park old-time snowmobile event. Even though snow conditions were poor, many snowmobilers went for a ride. A cougar sighting was investigated, and the tracks were not believed to be those of a cat.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers, fish houses, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Garbage left on the lakes is becoming an all-too-common complaint.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended the U.S. Coast Guard boat and water safety class in South Carolina.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest) contacted law enforcement agencies in Becker County and scheduled aquatic invasive species training.The training will occur before the open-water season. Hanson also is working with White Earth tribal officials regarding AIS issues and enforcement.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spoke to a junior trapper's class hosted by Minnesota Trappers Association volunteers in Fergus Falls. Several fishermen were checked, and violations found included extra lines, unattended lines, and overlimits. A father and daughter angling together caught a catch of a lifetime. They set up their underwater camera and discovered a set of trophy elk antlers. They were able to hook the antlers and bring them up through the ice after drilling additional holes. At this time it is unknown how long this treasure has been hanging out at the bottom of this Otter Tail County lake.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) seized two more fishers accidentally caught by trappers. An investigation is under way regarding a person's dog that was shot in the ear.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, coyote hunters, and ATVers. Osborne also worked on a license fraud case with a Wisconsin conservation warden. Lake Christina was posted with "no fishing" signs at the public access and around the lake. Lake Christina was closed to fishing starting Nov. 1, 2011.
CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) monitored fishing and small game-hunting activity. Calls regarding ice conditions continue to be received.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued monitoring angling and spearing activity on area lakes, including taking part in a work crew in the Sauk Centre area. One angler was caught using an extra line, and while CO Johanson was in the fish house writing out the citation, there was a knock on the door, followed by, "game warden!" The fish house owner sheepishly opened the door and a friend of his was standing there. The friend became quiet and the expression on his face changed drastically when he saw the real game warden in the fish house taking care of business.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and predator hunters, and issuing minnow transportation permits. Baumbarger assisted the Wilkin County Sheriff's Department with a search and rescue effort for a missing snowmobiler on the Bois de Sioux River who had crashed his snowmobile. The subject was located and then transported to an awaiting ambulance. He was later transported to a hospital in Fargo and treated for his injuries.
District 4 - Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and predator hunters during the week. She also answered questions at the Fish Hook Lake Fishing Derby. CO Hunter also received a call about a timber wolf that was hanging around a rural residence, and a call from someone who had hit an otter with his vehicle.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spoke with local cattle producers about wolf complaints. He also investigated wetland and illegal trapping violations. Officer Oldakowski also provided assistance to a local sportsmen's club that was putting on a youth firearms day, and issued a permit for a pair of dead bucks found locked together by a local landowner.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers with the removal of abandoned property from public lands.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) attended communications training at Camp Ripley. He also worked fishing activity, prepared for an upcoming snowmobile safety class, and provided materials to an adult in need of firearms safety training.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) monitored ice angling and spearing activity. CO Broughten followed up on a wetland fill complaint, provided an individual with an educational ride-along opportunity, and attended training at Camp Ripley. CO Broughten also assisted the Cass County Sheriff's Office with an attempt to locate a suspect involved in a stabbing.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time monitoring snowmobiling activity and fishing activity. CO Kittelson received a report at 4 a.m. about an individual dragging a deer behind a car down the city streets. Upon investigation, it was determined the deer was a road kill for which the individual had no permit and had taken the backstraps; enforcement action was taken.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored trout-fishing activity and state park issues. Snowmobile trails were in good condition until warm weather melted snow.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobilers, and trapping activity. The officer dealt with an accidentally snared gray wolf and a fisher, which were both turned in by the trappers. A snowmobile owner continues to be reluctant to put registration on his sled. The officer addressed the issue with the owner two years ago, and the officer was told that he received a ticket from another CO for the same violation a few days earlier. He was ticketed once again.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was able to wrap up a 2010 big-game case of shooting from the road by arresting the suspect on warrants and transporting him to jail to spend the night. The following day, the man was brought before court where he pleaded guilty.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) encountered a lone fisherman on a remote lake who was casually sitting in his fish house with the door open, waiting for the officer to arrive. He had two tip-ups set outside and two open holes and a Vexilar running inside. The lines were reeled up with wet, flopping minnows. The angler had beaten the officer with his extra lines, and he knew it. But he had neglected to put identification on his shelter, and his tip-up was 400-plus feet away. The law only allows for 200 feet.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) and other officers checked snowmobilers during the Cook County Ridge Rider's Snowmobile Club Fun Run. The violation rate for trail stickers and registration was low, and only two people were stopped for speeding. COs also came upon another group of snowmobilers with no snowmobile safety certificates. They were told to return to the motel and take the online course. The proud graduates were encountered later that day with their new certificates in hand.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked cross-country ski passes and patrolled state parks. The officer also patrolled sled trails and found good compliance for both registration and trail stickers.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) responded to a report about a car-kill wolf that turned out to be a coyote. CO Johnson reports that he observed a deer (doe) that did not have a tail. She was with her 2-year-old fawns that had normal tails.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) observed a fisherman walking to three different areas on the ice. As the officer approached the angler, the fisherman quickly threw his jacket and Carhartts over the extra lines he had down. Appropriate paperwork was issued.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked small-game, snowmobile, and fishing enforcement. Violations for the week included failing to display registration, failing to register snowmobiles, failing to transfer ownership of a snowmobile, no fishing license in possession, extra lines, no license, and failing to display shelter identification and license.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobilers, trappers, and ATVers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class and investigated a timber wolf complaint during the week.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) completed interviews from an investigation of theft of gravel from state land. CO Humphrey also spoke about ice safety and fishing regulations to the "Kids Plus Fishing" class at Moose Lake elementary.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working winter fishing enforcement on area lakes around Duluth. Time also was spent working on a couple trapping cases.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) continued detector training with K9 Schody. Staples reports great work by investigators from the Carlton County Sheriff's Office in turning up several illegal deer during a search warrant at a residence in the county. Besides several other charges, the suspect is being charged with illegally possessing deer. The investigation is ongoing. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office in locating a suspect regarding felony assault and burglary charges. Angling success had been slow in the area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers fishing the shore of Lake Superior, on the ice at McQuade Harbor, and boats coming off the lake. Ice anglers also were checked on Superior Bay and the St. Louis River. The CO is seeing more undersized fish being kept on the St. Louis River than he has in the past.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) took enforcement action regarding several fish houses that did not meet legal marking requirements. He also found an angler fishing with an extra line, ATVers not displaying registration, and several people fishing without a license in possession.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included checking fishermen and area ski trails and responding to complaints about ATVers trespassing and driving on snowmobile trails.
CO Patrick McGowan (McGregor) assisted the sheriff's department with a driver who was reported to be carelessly driving on the road, then went onto a lake.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) talked with cattle ranchers about new rules for wolf problems, checked anglers, and worked the Crosby area for the annual Scorpion Day festivities.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked with the Cass County Sheriff's Department on fish shelter burglaries. The break-ins seem to be more frequent than in the past, possibly due to no snow and the ease of lake travel.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) checked anglers on area lakes. Heaton followed up on investigations and answered questions regarding wolf seasons, snowmobile registration, and angling restrictions.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted with the Fishing for Knowledge program in which about 175 local sixth-graders spent the day fishing and learning about fishing.
CO Angela Londgren (Onamia) continues to work a trapping/snaring complaint area, and took calls regarding nuisance animals, as well as trespassing complaints.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake. The officer also met with the county attorney regarding an upcoming big-game case.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a vehicle accident involving injuries. Enforcement action was taken for use of extra lines and no angling license.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and ATV activity. Time was spent assisting neighboring officers on an angling work crew on Sauk Lake. Thesing also prepared a shining case for court. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, expired ATV registration, driving an ATV on the road with a revoked driver's license, and extra lines.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no license, no registration, and angling with extra lines. Car-kill deer tags were also issued.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a trap-tampering case. CO Kuske also checked angling activity in Morrison and Crow Wing counties.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) continues to get calls about fox/coyote hunters trespassing under the ruse of capturing their dogs that they let loose.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes, taking enforcement action on a number of violations. He assisted with a couple of litter cases with charges pending.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated several littering cases on area lakes. Reller also conducted a game farm inspection in Wright County.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a vehicle breaking through the ice on South Center Lake. The driver was able to escape, but his truck sunk to the bottom in 46 feet of water. CO Langevin also reports fish houses are starting to be left at area accesses. Anglers are reminded that fish houses cannot be left at public accesses.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) reports commercial fishermen were checked while seining carp from Parley Lake; approximately 80,000 pounds were removed.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) received a call from a trapper who was harassed while trapping.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) responded to a TIP call in Carver County regarding two fishermen using extra lines. Upon further investigation, the fishermen were found using 13 lines, and over half of the lines were more than 400 feet away from their shelter.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) spent the week on angling and ATV enforcement. He also checked area aerators and armored DNR Enforcement Division rifles.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working angling activity on area lakes. Shelter violations continue to be numerous.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with Kao Thao, a naturalist from Fort Snelling State Park, to conduct an ice-fishing workshop for the Hmong Women Association. While on patrol at Fort Snelling State Park, Le received a call to contact the airport police regarding a report from a pilot who observed the words "HELP ME" drawn in the snow on the frozen river. The spot was located, and CO Le found that someone had written "HELLS ANGELS" in the snow.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended a snowmobile safety class put on by the Ramsey County Water Patrol in Arden Hills. She also checked anglers and ATVers on area lakes and worked WMA and ORV enforcement in Anoka County.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) patrolled wildlife management areas, scientific and natural areas, and state trails.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) investigated two trespass complaints and one wetland complaint.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers, predator hunters, and trappers. Enforcement action was taken for untagged traps, fishing without a license, and fishing with extra lines.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, and coyote hunting enforcement. Ice conditions have deteriorated with warmer-than-normal temperatures.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting investigations and checking ice anglers.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted with a multi-jurisdictional investigation. Local authorities served a search warrant that resulted in CO Picht investigating possible game violations.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing activity. Additional time was spent checking ATV and snowmobile activity on area lakes. Hatlestad also checked trapping activity and attended training.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) looked into a possible wetland and public waters violations. Findings were forwarded to local government units. Larger shelters were removed from local waters because of high temperatures.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked trappers and monitored trapping activity throughout the area. He also spoke about invasive species at a Delta Waterfowl banquet. He received complaints about dogs chasing deer and answered numerous questions about ice conditions.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) worked anglers and darkhouse spearing on area lakes and rivers and also conducted aeration system inspections, with only one system in operation at this time.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking angling activity this week. Poor ice conditions continue. Many anglers are pulling their larger shelters in before the accesses deteriorate. Anglers are reminded that they may not store their shelters at public accesses.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to TIP calls and assisted neighboring officers with a career fair held at Minnesota State-Mankato.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked area predator-hunting activity. Ice-fishing activity also was monitored on area lakes and rivers. Ice conditions overall remain unpredictable, and those venturing onto the frozen waters are advised to use extreme caution. An investigation regarding a suspected poached deer is under way.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) assisted officers in the Grand Marais station with a work detail. Follow-up was done on a trespass investigation. Enforcement action was taken for miscellaneous snowmobile violations and fishing violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports open-water fishing is back on the river. Hemker observed one person break through the ice in shallow water and helped him get back to his vehicle.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters. The hunting has picked up, and success has been good. Time also was spent checking trout anglers. CO Boyum investigated a dumping complaint, as well as trespassing complaints. Shed hunters are out in force and are reminded to review trespass laws before heading out.