Minnesota Cuffs & Collars - October 19th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area waterfowl activity on Thief Lake, the Roseau River WMA, and Lake of the Woods. A commercial taxidermy inspection was conducted with CO Woinarowicz. Anglers who were unable to purchase licenses due to a local power outage were reminded about the 1-888-665-4236 ELS agent and purchasing licenses by phone.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted a taxidermy inspection with CO Huener, assisted with an all-day range day for online firearm safety training students in Thief River Falls, and monitored area waterfowl-hunting activity. Assistance was provided to two sheriff’s departments with reports of illegally taken Canada geese and an off-road vehicle stuck in the Red Lake River.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked boat and water safety on the Rainy River, checked small-game hunters, and checked waterfowl hunters. CO Backer also investigated a trespass complaint and answered numerous questions about the upcoming deer season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) reports time was spent investigating a report of waterfowl hunters using a rifle in an attempt to harvest ducks, a hunter-harassment complaint, and a report of illegal possession of Canada geese.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a booth with CO Mark Mathy at the “passport to the future” event held by Northwest Technical College. A report about a deer being shot and then dumped along a road was taken and investigated.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) reports an investigation continues at the site of a possible wetland-draining violation and regarding several swans being shot. A TIP call was received regarding the use of live bait on a designated trout lake.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters, and fishermen. Time also was spent working complaints about the illegal take of fur, ATV encroachment on a waterfowl production area, shooting within 500 feet of a residence, and shooting hours violations for duck
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received complaints about possible wetland and public waters violations. Richards focused on waterfowling activity and spoke with bowhunters.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) dispatched a sick deer, responded to a complaint about a beaver that had been shot, and worked the pheasant opener. Complaints about deer stands on public property, injured eagles, an injured swan, and trespass issues were addressed. Plautz responded to a grass fire that started when a landowner was burning garbage. A citation was issued.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) began his duties as the Alexandria conservation officer. Citations were issued at a local boat access where several AIS violations were observed. Lawler also worked a deer license-lending case with CO Johanson. A citation was issued.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a TIP call and assistance from CO Reller led to the apprehension of two people who had shot a pheasant from a truck window a week before the season opened. In another incident, a couple of hen pheasant feathers and stories that weren’t adding up led to an interview and admission from one pheasant hunter that he had shot a hen pheasant. The man had cleaned the bird in the field and was planning to keep it, until he saw CO Johanson approaching. The bird was then thrown in the grass, but was recovered when the investigation was complete. Archery deer-hunting activity was worked, and a case was made for illegal party hunting and lending/borrowing licenses after a man shot a deer and then tagged it with his mother’s tag. She wasn’t hunting. AIS activity continues to be monitored and unfortunately, violations continue to be documented. One notable incident involved the attempted launch of a boat on Lake Miltona that was found to be transporting both zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil. The boat previously had been on Lake Minnetonka, which is infested with both. Enforcement action was taken, and decontamination procedures were ordered.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on opening weekend of pheasant season and waterfowl-hunting activity. He also handled complaints about a shallow well going dry after a nearby agriculture irrigation system started operation last week. Water appropriation permits for agriculture purposes end Sept. 30 each year. Farmers were contacted, and enforcement action was taken.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) completed an investigation into a wetlands violation, and handled complaints about trespassing and hunter harassment.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reports a call for assistance from the sheriff’s department was responded to regarding waterfowl hunters who capsized their boat in heavy winds on Lake Winnie. The CO also responded to a call for assistance from a police department regarding an altercation involving numerous students at the high school. CO Sommers received information from a concerned person about pellets from duck hunters on a nearby lake falling on his house.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a complaint regarding public land that was posted “no trespassing” was investigated and was unsubstantiated.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV, hunting, and angling activity. CO Broughten received a report that turkeys had damaged an individual’s truck. After further investigation, it’s believed the turkeys were intimidated by their reflection and attempted to spar with their reflected selves, causing substantial damage to the truck’s doors.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) assisted a deer hunter in tracking and retrieving his bow-shot 8-point buck that crossed a road and entered the Camp Ripley refuge.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) responded to a complaint about deer poaching in progress and arrested three people for gross misdemeanor shining and the taking of a deer.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) taught wildlife identification and wildlife complaint classes at the conservation officer academy, worked ongoing hunting seasons, completed reports from cases where firearms and bows were seized the previous week, and worked balsam bough cutters. The officer also worked complaints about deer being taken out of season and a dead moose that appeared to have been illegally killed. Anyone with information on the moose killed south of Hibbing is asked to contact the officer or the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports several landowners have called to report trespassers on their property. CO Frericks would like to remind hunters and sportsmen to be respectful of others property and be mindful of “no trespassing” signs.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) ended a BWCAW patrol this past week. CO Velsvaag checked waterfowl and grouse hunters and took several calls about wolves and coyotes with mange.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking moose and bear hunters during the last week of the seasons. Bear hunters are reminded to remove their signs and clean up their bait stations. The officer continues to work on a fire investigation with the U.S. Forest Service.
CO Anthony Bermel (Ely/Babbitt) reports spending time learning the area in his new station assignment. He encountered one group of duck hunters that rallied a duck with a motorboat, shot late, had no PFDs, and did not have the required stamps.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking the area for bowhunters and bird hunters. She also investigated a complaint about a fawn carcass getting dumped in the Cohasset area. She received a complaint about late duck hunting where enforcement action took place.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) and CO Jayson Hansen completed a moose-hunting investigation. Enforcement action was taken with multiple violations, including felon in possession of a firearm, no moose license, no small-game license, and no fishing license. Wichmann also completed the field-training program and is now stationed out of Hill City.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters and investigated complaints regarding waters violations, unchecked minnow traps, illegally taken deer, and ATV trespass. He also dealt with issues concerning wolves and assisted a neighboring CO and deputy with a gross misdemeanor shining case with many additional charges. Three individuals were booked into jail, with a truck and two firearms seized.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on a TIP complaint regarding shooting after hours for waterfowl. Complaints regarding road hunting and shooting from the roadway have begun. Officer Schmidt also investigated a trespassing complaint involving the theft of timber.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) says several archery deer hunters have been reportedly using the wrong tag on recently harvested white-tailed deer. A few complaints about problem bears are still being reported within the city limits.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a complaint was investigated in which a person shot and killed a fisher while it was in the process of attacking his cat. The fisher was seized and will be taken care of so it does not go to waste. The cat did not survive the attack. Assistance was given to a neighboring district with a shining and trespassing complaint.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast Minnesota) investigated a new Wetland Conservation Act violation and a public waters violation in which someone repaired a washed-out culvert system north of Duluth so they could reach their hunting area. The violation took place on the Carol Truck Trail, and the repairs done will have to be undone and corrected by the DNR to preserve the quality of the stream crossing.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked a detail with the Coast Guard. Commercial nets checked on the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) took a report about a trail cameral being stolen. The suspect cut down the tree to which the camera was locked.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) investigated a report of a shoreline violation on an area lake and follow-up continues regarding damage to house siding caused by careless duck hunters.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports criminal charges and restoration orders were served in two major impact lake alteration cases. One case involved an individual who excavated and cleared in excess of 40,000 square feet of lakebed and emergent aquatic vegetation to make property more appealing to buyers. The other case involved an individual who dug a trench to lower the level of an entire lake. The rapid release of water from the act caused flooding and damage to a neighbor’s driveway, threatening that person’s ability to access his home. The violator was given several opportunities to make corrections, but refused to comply. He now faces court costs, fines, restoration, and restitution to his neighbor for damage to property.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked duck hunters. Violations observed were hunters in possession of lead shot, unsigned stamps, late shooting, and not enough life preservers.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working on a big-game investigation during the week. He also investigated a fire that was started by a person burning prohibited materials. A call about a wolf taken legally by a predator controller also was handled.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a majority of the week investigating arson wildfires. Time also was spent dealing with bear-hunting violations, trespassing calls, and wildlife complaints.
WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement throughout the area. WREO Haberman also worked on public waters cases and WCA cases.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) encountered two waterfowl hunters who were shooting more than a half hour after legal shooting hours. Officer Martin continues to work deer-baiting issues and deer-shining complaints in the area.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked watercraft for AIS compliance. Pheasant hunters also were checked. Reports about a poached wolf and late-shooting waterfowl hunters are under investigation.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland violations found while using DNR air support in Stearns County. CO Bertram also worked the pheasant opener.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) took complaints about hunter harassment, shooting from a motor vehicle, carcass dumping, and hunting in a closed game refuge.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters and issued summonses and written warnings for possession of toxic shot, unsigned federal stamps, no licenses in possession, and no federal stamp. He also answered a number of trapping and hunting question pertaining to the Sand Dunes State Forest, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, and the Mississippi River.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated several TIP calls – one for shooting a pheasant from a motor vehicle and another for an angling violation.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving a call during the week about two men who shot a deer from the roadway while using a crossbow. The landowner was hunting on the other side of his field when the men stopped their vehicle to shoot. The landowner followed the vehicle and got their license plate number. Then, the suspects stopped their vehicle and offered the landowner $500 if he would not turn them in. The suspects were turned in and were located that night. The shooter did not have an archery license or a crossbow permit. The driver was issued a citation for assisting in shooting from the roadway. The shooter was charged with taking a deer without a license and was charged restitution for the deer. The crossbow also was seized. Both men were given warnings for trespassing.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resources Enforcement Officer) served a search warrant on a property in Shorewood for a wetlands violation. Time was spent at accesses on Lake Minnetonka checking boaters as they removed their boats from the lake for the season.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) assisted with a wetlands conservation violation investigation and assisted Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge officials with the trapping program.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and shore fishermen during the week. He also worked the pheasant opener and investigated a TIP complaint regarding people selling small game and fish.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked hunters in the district and Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. He took enforcement action for unsigned federal duck stamps, lack of PFDs in a duck boat, and unplugged shotguns while waterfowl hunting.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports completing field training and becoming acquainted with her new patrol area and equipment. She also assisted on a neighbor dispute/trespass issue.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) investigated two dumping complaints with CO Arntzen in Washington County. He also responded to calls regarding injured animals and other hunting questions.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) did lakeshore inspections in Ramsey County with the area hydrologist and aquatic plant management specialist, finding various violations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked and attended different media-related events dealing with the Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Marshall. Most hunters struggled to find birds with dry conditions an added challenge.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) states that hunting for waterfowl during closed season has been a problem, with several groups unaware of the season dates. A trespassing call was taken care of, and several trespassing situations are under investigation.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports numerous pheasant hunters and very few duck hunters in the area. The pheasant hunters who were checked had mixed succes. The officer also took a complaint about a possible wetland violation.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked a busy pheasant opener. Several trespassing complaints were handled. Violations included trespassing, shooting within 500 feet of cattle, and hunting without a license in possession.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports a cease and desist order was issued for a WCA violation in Rock County. A site inspection was completed in Cottonwood County as was one in Brown County on past-due public waters violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) responded to a variety of complaints, including baiting, leaving stands in WMAs, trespassing, hunting waterfowl after hours, hunting without a license, shooting coots in open water, operating motorized watercraft in a WMA, and waterfowl hunting in a posted waterfowl sanctuary. He also took enforcement action for burning during a burning ban.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports working pheasant opener and waterfowl re-opener. Due to numerous calls and complaints in various parts of the station, fewer hunters than usual were checked.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) reports enforcement action was taken for taking ducks out of season, along with several stamp violations. Assistance was given to Cottonwood County on a trespass complaint regarding people bowhunting and erecting portable stands in a closed county park. The call was unfounded, as CO Beckmann located an annual treestand photo shoot conducted by a local stand manufacturer.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) focused enforcement efforts on hunting. Pheasant opener in the area was slow. Waterfowl hunting opened again in the Southern Zone, with mixed results. Three waterfowl hunters were cited for hunting in open water. They were anchored several hundred yards off shore, with a decoy spread around them. While CO Howe was photographing them through the spotting scope, three separate individuals drove up, asking if their hunting location was legal.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked angling, waterfowl-hunting, AIS, and pheasant-hunting activities.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week following up on an overlimit case. The officer also is investigating several other cases including waterfowling, litter, and fishing violations.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) reports preparing to instruct at the current CO academy. Public waters cases continue to be investigated. An investigators meeting was attended.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the reopening of the waterfowl season. Follow-up was done on a trespass complaint involving a turkey hunter. Enforcement action was taken for trespass on agriculture land, no federal stamps, and transporting a loaded gun in a motor vehicle.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a wet but successful waterfowl re-opener. He followed up on complaints regarding deer hunting, duck hunting out of season, taking overlimits of sunfish, and off-highway motorcycles in a closed area. He also assisted a Wisconsin officer with a deer case involving a local resident.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly waterfowl and deer hunters during the week. Heyn also assisted deputies with a hunting accident.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports several waterfowl hunters were found to be three-fourths of the way through a case a beer and most the way through their bags of marijuana when contacted by the officer. Charges are pending for hunting while intoxicated.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking angling and archery hunting activity.