Minnesota Cuffs & Collars - September 14th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area bear and goose hunters. A deer-shining complaint was taken. Assistance was provided to a turkey producer who had wolf depredation problems.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the Lake of the Woods area with Lt. Znajda during the Labor Day holiday. Aquatic invasive species educational contacts were made, and enforcement action was taken for possessing an overlimit of walleyes, angling without a license, and transporting infested water.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) conducted investigations of burning prohibited materials, with enforcement action taken.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, bear hunting, and early goose hunting throughout the week. An Upper Red Lake Citizens Advisory meeting was attended and new fishing regulation options were discussed.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Erskine) reports spending time this week checking early goose hunters and anglers on area lakes and rivers. He also followed up on a suspected aquatic plant management violation.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored early goose and bear hunters throughout the week. He also spent time on area lakes, checking fishermen and boaters and investigating an aquatic plant management violation and an unpermitted fire. Officer Vollbrecht also was called to assist with the recovery of two drowning victims on Lake Winnibigoshish. After an extensive search of the area, both victims were recovered by the dive team.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports field training with COC Peterson. The officers worked accesses for invasive species violations, finding that many anglers are not draining bait and some are still leaving their plugs in their boats when on the highway.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) monitored ATV activity and checked several groups of hunters out for the youth waterfowl hunt. Officer Stattelman also investigated a wetland complaint, checked bear baits and hunters, and followed up on a trespass complaint.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored bear hunters and baiting activity. One bear hunter reported finding a damaged but unopened safe; it was turned over to Becker County Sheriff’s office for processing. Officer Peterson attended a firearm safety class in Osage with COC Peterson and a duck clinic for youth hunters before the youth waterfowl hunt. He also initiated an investigation regarding a dead wolf.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on shoreline issues, ATV trespass on a waterfowl production area, car-hit deer, and assisting state park officials with a horse that got away from a rider.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) worked angling and boating activity and investigated a wolf depredation complaint. Officer Sharp noted that conditions in the Bemidji area remain very dry and citizens are reminded to check with the DNR Division of Forestry before any open burning.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked anglers and boaters and worked AIS enforcement. Area goose hunters were checked as were turtle trappers.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports AIS activity was monitored, and in one incident an Iowa-licensed truck pulling a boat was stopped for transporting the boat with the plug still in place. A subsequent inspection of the boat revealed water in the bilge and two plugged livewells full of water. The driver explained that they were on their way to northern Minnesota and that the boat is usually kept on Spirit Lake in Iowa. Spirit Lake recently was found to contain Asian carp. Enforcement action was taken, and the boat was ordered to be decontaminated.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports time was spent checking goose hunters, investigating illegal fires, and inspecting a commercial shooting preserve. Enforcement action was taken for burning violations and angling without a license in possession.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) continued working on an investigation regarding the alteration of public water. He took reports about an injured hawk, deer acting suspiciously, and troublesome turkeys. Officer Parthun also worked the youth waterfowl day and conducted equipment maintenance.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received complaint calls regarding baiting and checked youth duck hunters during the youth waterfowl hunt.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) responded with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department to a call about a capsized boat on Lake Winnibigoshish. The boat was found in extremely rough water on a windy day shortly after the call was taken. The two boaters were recovered the next day after a long search.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) COC Wichmann investigated a complaint regarding late shooting by a bear hunter, which resulted in no violation found.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking bear-hunting activity. Lots of questions were fielded regarding the upcoming fall hunting seasons, especially the wolf season.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working on a bear-hunting investigation and other bear hunting-related activity. A possible wolf depredation of cattle was checked into, and trappers were put in contact with the farmer.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a public waters violation was looked into with enforcement action pending. ATV issues were addressed.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) taught wildlife identification at the current conservation officer academy. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register bear bait stations, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and a number of ATV and OHM violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked bear hunting throughout the week. Questions have been asked concerning the upcoming wolf season and concerns about the possibility of closure due to lawsuits.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) assisted with fire response, and responded to a TIP complaint, a complaint about boats without lights after dark, and a trespassing complaint. CO Velsvaag also turned over several alcohol violations and some marijuana violations to local law enforcement officers.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) dealt with a bear hunter who didn’t have a bear license to hunt the zone in which he was hunting. A bear-hunting guide and the hunter were both charged with violations, and then the bear guide went to jail on an unrelated warrant. The CO was also called to the U.S. Port of Entry at Pigeon River for two people who tried to import overlimits of fish into the United States. The fish were seized, citations were issued, and the fish were donated to a local senior center. The CO talked to some bear hunters who said they were defrauded by an unlicensed guide. Make sure the guide you do business with is reputable and is able to legally guide in the state where you hunt.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports numerous contacts with hunters. Response to a complaint about ATVers doing damage in a forest campground resulted citations for two individuals. Another investigation of ATVers illegally operating in a state forest campground is ongoing.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked bear hunters and anglers, performed a commercial inspection, met with landowners to explain requirements regarding shoreline work, worked AIS, completed training, and handled complaints from bear hunters about other hunters. A new low was reached by a competing hunter who placed an AM/FM radio, turned on low volume, about 70 yards from another hunter’s bait – apparently to scare bears away from the bait. The hunter found the radio and removed it, and also harvested a bear that he said “danced into the bait.”
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers and bear hunters, monitored OHV activity, and investigated wildfires.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time checking for compliance with aquatic invasive species regulations at some area accesses. The CO assisted the Cloquet Police Department in looking for a gun that was stolen and lost in the woods when a suspect was apprehended. K9 Schody found the gun, and it was turned over to the police department as evidence. Assistance was given in locating some individuals who were shooting rifles into a wooded area. They didn’t know there were houses on the other side of the woods, and several complaints were called in when area residents heard rifle rounds landing near their houses and going over their heads. The individuals were charged with reckless discharge of a firearm by the sheriff’s department.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) and other officers attended the funeral of retired Cook CO Pat McDermott.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) worked with the Minnesota BASS federation on its annual BASS tournament, which was held this year in Duluth on Island Lake.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked anglers on Lake Superior and at public accesses for invasive species. Officer Olson met and conferred with Coast Guard personnel regarding an upcoming port security exercise.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) completed a commercial charter boat investigation. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked bear hunters, early goose hunters, and youth out for the youth waterfowl day. The officer also followed up on a report of an escaped deer from a deer farm.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) responded to nuisance-bear complaints in Pine River. An investigation continues involving excavation and building beyond the ordinary high water mark on the Whitefish chain.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) investigated a bear hunter-harassment incident, checked early goose hunting and fishing activity, followed up on a lakeshore alteration case, and attending training with the U.S. Border Patrol in Duluth.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked invasive species enforcement in the Gull Lake area. Boats coming off Gull that have aquatic weeds on them also have a high probability of having zebra mussels attached to the vegetation. He also worked on weed-roller complaints on Gull Lake.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered numerous questions regarding bear season, waterfowl season, and the upcoming deer season. He also spent time following up on a wetlands complaint and checked complaints about illegal bear baits.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) followed up on a plethora of public waters complaints. She conducted site visits on three different violations. One individual filled below the ordinary high water mark on a local lake. A large group of individuals constructed their own dam to block the outlet of a local lake. A beaver dam had blown out, and they claimed the water level of the lake was dropping drastically. The last individual excavated a public water stream to create “better” wildlife habitat. A DNR hydrologist and other local governmental units are working on the matter. Heaton also investigated a wolf depredation complaint. The reporting party had a 700-pound calf with injuries to its throat and a horse that became lame due to overexertion.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Lake Mille Lacs. A complaint was investigated involving a deer shot and harvested along a highway.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) worked a wolf depredation complaint during the week. He also handled calls about ATVers operating on closed trails in the Solana State Forest. Bear-hunting complaints also were investigated. An ongoing hunter harassment complaint call was taken in the Mille Lacs WMA.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked several groups of goose hunters who reported great luck getting geese to land on harvested farm fields. Grundmeier also assisted beef farmers who continue to deal with wolves harassing livestock.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) assisted with instruction at the CO academy. CO Kuske took TIP calls related to adults taking ducks on youth day and late shooting of geese.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked an AIS detail during the Labor Day holiday. Anglers and watercraft users were checked.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked on wetland cases and checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers. Time also was spent working goose hunters and invasive species enforcement.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at the Rice Sportsmen’s Club meeting about local issues and new laws. CO Musatov also checked goose and dove hunters. A hunter harassment complaint was investigated, and a case was made for shooting nongame migratory birds.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked goose and bear hunters, worked anglers on the Rum River, patrolled the state forest and WMAs, and worked AIS enforcement on local lakes.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked goose and dove hunters, with enforcement action taken regarding a number of violations. He also enforced and educated waterfowl hunters regarding water and vegetation transportation.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) and COC Mueller worked the Labor Day weekend checking early goose and dove hunters. Time also was spent working area lakes. A boat was seen with no registration. Upon further investigation, the operator was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken. A passenger in the boat also was cited for fishing without a license.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked goose hunters and youth duck hunters during the week. Youth hunters all had at least one duck in the bag. Enforcement action was taken on operating an OHM on a roadway.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked a boat and water safety detail on the Mississippi River in Hastings as work was done on the new bridge.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked hunters in Carver and Hennepin counties and assisted Metro officers with a search warrant.
CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resource Enforcement officer) followed up on a wetland-filling complaint near White Bear Lake. She also worked public accesses in Hennepin and Washington counties for invasive species violations.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) reports many phone calls were returned regarding bear and small-game hunting regulations.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) investigated a complaint about the attempted placing of a boat lift with zebra mussels into a non-infested lake. Neighbors identified the violation, ensured the lift was not placed into the lake, and reported the incident. The lift was decontaminated by DNR staff as a precautionary measure. The investigation revealed the lift had not been properly cleaned prior to transport. It had been out of the water for more than 21 days, as required. A citation will be issued after the investigation is finalized.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the early goose opener and checked dove hunters and anglers. CO Pril also investigated a TIP complaint and answered calls. He attended the district shoot in Dakota County and assisted with the youth field day training at Carlos Avery.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Washington and Dakota counties for waterfowl-hunting activity. A ginseng inspection was completed and numerous citations were written for waterfowl violations.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended a day of use-of-force training in Dakota County and handled various TIP calls. CO Kruse also assisted with a deer case in St. Paul.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, AIS, ATV, and migratory bird-hunting enforcement. Youth waterfowl day was slower than previous years.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working fishing and ATVs. Goose numbers remain low. Youth waterfowl hunter numbers were low.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored early goose season and dove-hunting activity throughout the week.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reported that only a few youth waterfowl hunters were seen on the Minnesota River. He also attended a regional meeting in New Ulm and worked on a couple media contacts.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southwest region) attended a meeting in New Ulm. An extension for a WCA violation in Sibley County was issued. Enforcement action was taken in McLeod County where a WCA restoration order has not been completed.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) staffed the TIP Wall of Shame at the 30th Annual Prairie Pothole Day in New London. Denz also followed up on a public waters violation.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working the early goose and dove seasons as well as youth waterfowl day. CO Oberg also spent time answering questions at the McLeod County Ducks Unlimited banquet and worked the Wall of Shame trailer at the Minnesota Waterfowl Association’s event in New London.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked boat and water safety, AIS, small-game hunting, and waterfowl-hunting enforcement during the week, with enforcement action taken for insufficient number of PFDs and registration.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted investigations into reports about suspicious dead deer. Youth waterfowl day attendance was poor compared with last year. Schettler attributes this to dried potholes and wetlands due to the lack of rain for the past two years.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) handled wetland violations and complaints about individuals dumping large amounts of tires in and around WMAs in Le Sueur and Steele counties. Please call if you have any information regarding this issue.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) attended firearms/defensive tactics training and the fall regional meeting. Geving assisted DNR Wildlife staff and other COs with posting the Swan Lake Wildlife Refuge. Geving also investigated a complaint about an illegally taken deer complaint.
WREO Julie Siems (Southeast) reports conducting many AIS enforcement checks. A restoration order was delivered.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports attending a youth waterfowl event during the weekend held in conjunction with youth waterfowl day in Red Wing. The event was sponsored by the Red Wing Wildlife League.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked early goose hunters and anglers, took calls about injured animals, and took many calls regarding the upcoming fall seasons. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports working deer-shining complaint areas. He also attended handgun qualification, a regional meeting, and a trapper education class.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and hunters during the week.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports talking with bowhunters who are geared up for next week’s opener. Questions about limits, bonus tags, and baiting were answered. Time was also spent working shining complaints and checking a few trout anglers. Complaints about ATVers on state forest land have been investigated.