Friday, January 27th, 2023
Friday, January 27th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated an 11-point buck that was
poached north of Thief Lake in Roseau County. TIPs are kept
confidential and may qualify for a cash reward. Anybody with
information is encouraged to call the TIP line at (800)

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) worked a boat and water safety
detail with CO Huener.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) spent time following up on fish
overlimit investigations.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the
Independence Day holiday weekend on Lake of the Woods. Boater usage
was extremely high.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) patrolled areas for ATV
activity. The law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) investigated a WCA violation and
a public waters violation.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) reports a potential wetlands
violation was investigated and a nuisance bear complaint was

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) participated in a television
interview about the “Pick it or Ticket” campaign.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted the DEA and sheriff’s
department with investigations. Charges are pending in a case in
which a 690-pound bear was taken out of season.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) reports several complaints involving
juvenile operation of ATVs were investigated.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) educated boaters about the new law to
drain water from boats.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) and CO Forsberg assisted the Otter
Tail County Water Patrol with security during the Pelican Lake
fireworks display.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) monitored angling, boating,
and ATV activity. The officer assisted Becker County deputies with
security and law enforcement issues during the Detroit Lakes
fireworks display.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports boaters were informed about the
new law about draining water from watercraft to prevent the spread
of invasive species.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked boats at public accesses
and educated the public on the new invasives laws and boat-draining

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) fielded calls about loose elk and an
injured goose.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) contacted a subject riding an OHM
on a public highway at noon. The operator failed field sobriety
tests, and after being told he was under arrest for DWI, the
subject fled from the officer on foot. The operator was apprehended
and was placed under arrest. Osborne, along with a Grant County
deputy, assisted Officer Nelson and Officer Anderson with a runaway
boat on Pelican Lake. The operator had fallen out of the boat and
the boat was running in the circles. Officers were able to get the
boat stopped by throwing ropes into the path of the boat. One of
the ropes lodged around the prop, enabling the officers to shut off
the motor.

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spoke with boaters regarding
invasive species, with several questions answered. Enforcement
action was taken for angling, boat/PWC safety, and access-related

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports many complaints were received
and investigated, including unlawful possession of a bobcat,
possible septic pollution in a wetland, beaver problems, and the
shooting of a turkey during the closed season.

CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) worked with area wildlife personnel
banding geese on area lakes. Approximately 300 geese were captured
during two days.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked the Crow Wing River on
invasive species, littering enforcement, and underage drinking by
tubers and canoes.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) answered questions regarding bear
lotteries and bear guiding.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a call about an injured owl
that was hit by a car.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) participated in the Pick It or Ticket
campaign and educated water users regarding the new pull-the-plug

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) assisted with teaching a boat and
water safety class.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) arranged transportation and displayed
the Wall of Shame at the Remer Firemen’s Day Event.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) responded to an ATV accident that
resulted in severe injuries.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Lloyd Steen (Ray/Kabetogama): After 30 years as a “game
warden” in northern Minnesota, CO Steen will retire this week.
“I’ve truly enjoyed my career and working with many fine sportsmen
and sportswomen,” he said.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports a number of campers were
evicted from the state park for a number of violations that
disturbed other campers. On an extremely windy day, an elderly
sailboat operator was rescued after he got pushed into shore and
couldn’t get back out.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) experienced a busy holiday weekend.
Numerous citations and written warnings were issued for a variety
of ATV and OHM issues. Every one of the citations and written
warnings that were issued could have been avoided if the operator’s
parents had been monitoring their children.

CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a boat was found to be four PFDs
short, two people over capacity, and somebody was fishing without a
license. One walleye overlimit was found, along with a case of
illegal transportation of fish.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that bear complaints
have slowed a little.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports many fishermen are still not
bringing their fishing licenses with them, which causes plenty of
extra effort and work for the officers. Increased enforcement may
have to happen if the trend continues.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted Lake and Cook counties with
an accident and spent time working ATVers during the holiday

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled inland lakes and Boundary
Waters lakes.

CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) handled a car-killed calf moose
early in the week. Biological samples were collected from the
animal, and the meat was salvaged. Bear complaints continue to come
in as some raspberries are starting to ripen. A good berry crop
should lessen the human-bear issue.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked invasive
species, monitored ATV activity, and assisted with a boat and water
safety class on Pokegama Lake.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) received a call about a
family of mink that decided they were going to celebrate the
holiday weekend, too. A mother mink and her five young were spotted
on a local beach soaking up the rays. After a little coaxing, the
family of mink moved off into the brush.

CO Jeff Koehn (Grand Rapids – OHV specialist) patrolled for OHV
activity. He spent time checking state forest campgrounds and
contacting OHV users.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) attended a lake association meeting
and worked on a waters complaint during the week.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters,
processed paperwork for wolf depredations, investigated an
illegally taken deer, helped with a boat and water safety class,
participated in an invasive species work on Lake Winnie, and
handled a complaint about altering the cross-section of a

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart tracked ongoing
and new Wetland Conservation Act and public waters cases.

District 8 – Cloquet area

Water Enforcement Officer Mike Scott served three restoration
orders for public waters violations; a person built a road across a
designated trout stream in the Grand Marais area.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports boat and water safety was the
primary enforcement emphasis during the holiday weekend.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on wetland violations in
the area.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports area state parks were
patrolled where enforcement action was taken for no vehicle permit
and swimming in a posted closed swimming area.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cloquet) patrolled the Fond du Lac State
Forest. He assisted other district officers with a boating
enforcement detail in the Duluth area.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports an ATV crash in Cass County
involved an 11-year-old who was airlifted with injuries after
crashing an 850 cc machine.

CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) worked area ATV and fishing activity
during the week. Several warning citations were issued for illegal
off-highway motorcycle operation.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports that while issuing a boater a
citation for no life jackets, he asked him if he had ever had a DNR
violation. The boater stated that this would be his fourth life
jacket citation. Officer Guida also assisted in the recovery of an
intoxicated male who jumped off the Breezy Point paddle boat. The
soaked individual was taken to the local detox to dry out.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked many of the summertime outdoor
activities and assisted other officers on Gull and Big Sandy

CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) reports two anglers were cited for
operating their ATVs in public water. They also were found to be
using alcohol, which probably dulled their senses.

CO Chad Sherack (Pequot Lakes) noticed more PFD violations
during the holiday weekend than in the past. Enforcement action was
taken on nine separate stops on the 4th. Officer Sherack also was
told more than once that the state had nearly sunk someone’s boat.
Officer Sherack inquired and found many boaters are forgetting to
replace the plug after removing it when going lake to lake. One
angler returned to the dock after parking his truck and trailer
only to find his boat nearly filled with water. The boater said,
“It just isn’t part of my routine and it will take some getting
used to.”

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports the new invasives law
regarding mandatory boat plug removal on all lakes was enforced.
Many people already were familiar with the July 1 law and complied
without notice from the officer. A few appeared to have a
deep-seated resentment about having a dry boat. Written therapy was

CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a
motorcycle vs. deer accident involving injuries.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assistance was given to the
local sheriff’s department with a boat that caught on fire at a
dock and then floated out into the lake. Officers had to keep other
boaters away who were trying to get a close-up of the burning

CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received reports of PWCers
operating at a speed greater than no-wake within 150 feet of

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) helped out homeowners who had
nuisance animal problems involving bears damaging property and
fox/coyotes killing chickens.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted sheriff’s deputies, State
Patrol officers, and tribal officers in the locating and
apprehending of a burglary suspect early in the week.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Lake Mille

District 11 – Albany area

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted neighboring officers on the
Mississippi River, focusing on invasive species enforcement.

CO Rhonda Keniston (Long Prairie) assisted with an invasive
species detail on the Mississippi River, with an emphasis on zebra

CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) conducted ATV enforcement on
local trails.

CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) handled several TIP calls and
complaints about animals.

CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) and Officer Musatov cited three young
men who were pulling a skim board with an ATV in the Mississippi
River and on a sand bar in the Monticello area. The suspects had
driven their ATV through the river to a several-hundred-yard sand
bar and were basically skiing behind the ATV. Their actions were
causing erosion and sediment concerns, as well as disrupting
nesting birds on the sand bar.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) participated in an invasive species work
detail on the Mississippi River in the St. Cloud area.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) made contact with ATVers
operating illegally in the road ditch.

District 12 – St. Cloud area

CO David Schottenbauer (Princeton) checked an angler who said he
had two sunfish. He then explained that he uses a counter so he
wouldn’t lose count – it was on three. When he showed CO
Schottenbauer his fish, he counted four.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted CO Musatov with a felony
arrest on the Mississippi River.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports a nuisance bear complaint was
handled, as was a possible solid waste violation.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy holiday weekend in
between rain. Most anglers and boaters enjoyed the area lakes. A
few anglers tried to fish during the weekend without a license;
enforcement action was taken .

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) had a watercraft inspector on a
ride-along on Minnetonka.

CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) joined other officers in working a
boating safety enforcement detail on Lake Minnetonka. A boater
reported that he either lost his pontoon boat or it was stolen
while he was with friends near Big Island. The boater was concerned
and surprised that it wasn’t where he left it, unanchored, on a
windy day. The pontoon was found adrift halfway across the

CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) assisted the South Lake Minnetonka
Police Department with the apprehension of a fleeing

CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) responded to a cougar sighting
reported in Scott County.

CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) responded to a TIP call at Bryant Lake.
Two individuals were found angling with extra lines, and another
was fishing without a license.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted staff at Fort Snelling State
Park during the 4th of July weekend due to a high number of

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Greg Salo (East Metro) worked the Mississippi River during
the holiday weekend and found several registration and PFD
violations on kayaks and canoes.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) assisted CO Salzer with a BWI

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the aquatic invasive species detail
with district conservation officers at Bald Eagle Lake.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) spoke to a firearms safety class at
the Oakdale Gun Club.

CO Tony Salzer (Eagan) reports one boater was found to be
enjoying himself too much and was arrested for BWI.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked an aquatic invasive
species work crew in Ramsey County and issued a restoration order
for a deck built in a lake bed.

CO Alex Gutierrez (Forest Lake) worked an invasive species
detail in the White Bear Lake area. One boater arrived at the
launch with his trailer transporting aquatic vegetation. The CO
asked the owner if he saw a problem with the trailer. The owner
responded, “not really.” The CO informed him that what he was
dragging was actually Eurasian milfoil and educated him on the
importance of removing this and any vegetation prior to leaving a
boat access, along with now removing the drain plug and draining
all the water. The owner then complained about how bad the milfoil
had gotten in the water in front of his lake home. Enforcement
action was taken.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports boat safety compliance was
high during the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the same cannot be
said for ATVs. Enforcement action was taken for taking rabbits out
of season, no hunting license, operating ATVs on roadways, too many
passengers on ATVs, no helmets on juvenile ATV passengers,
insufficient PFDs, stowed PFDs, and boat/ATV registration

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked an invasive species work crew on
Artichoke with Officer Miska and a boating detail on Green

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked the 4th of July holiday
weekend and focused on angling, boating, and invasive species

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports enforcement action taken for
BWI, careless operation, riding on the gunwale, insufficient PFDs,
illegal PWC operation, and registration violations.

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) taught firearms safety classes
throughout the week and spent the holiday weekend checking boaters
and anglers.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) spent time enforcing ATV and OHM
laws, and handling a trapping issue.

CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent the week checking boaters,
anglers, ATV riders, and bow fishermen.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked a boat and water detail on
Green Lake. Invasive species enforcement on area lakes and accesses
has become common. One boater apparently had an issue with the law
due to coming off of water that was not infested. It didn’t take
long for the plug to come out before the citation booklet did.

CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) worked boaters and PWCers, spending a
lot of time at lake access sites educating boaters on the new
invasives laws.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) took enforcement action for riding
on gunwales, registration issues, no type IV PFD, and no angling
license in possession.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s
Department with a search for a missing person, worked boat and
water safety issues, and followed up on invasive species

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted CO Hutchins in rescuing an
elderly individual who was fighting a losing battle, attempting to
right his sailboat after it capsized.

CO Bob Geving (Mankato) reports many boaters were surprised to
learn of the new boat plug and livewell laws.

CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports time was spent giving a
presentation to area youth about outdoor survival topics.

CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports assistance was given to a
stranded boater.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on angling and
boat and water enforcement efforts.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports time was spent late Saturday
evening assisting the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office in searching
for a 4-year-old and her mother on the Cannon River. The search
ended successfully when the two were recovered minutes before their
raft floated into a large log jam.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked a detail on Pool 8 for La Crosse
Riverfest and on Pool 5 with numerous violations encountered.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spent time attempting to locate and
working with game farmers on two elk running in the area.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports several stranded boaters
were assisted as well and many Panda awards handed out to kids
wearing their PFDs.

CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports the Mississippi River
continues to rise to several feet above normal water levels for
this time of the year. Many of the sand bars are underwater.

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