District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) prepared for and worked the opening weekend
of firearms deer season in Roseau, Kittson, and Marshall
counties. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait,
shooting from the roadway, and leaving a blind on WMA
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked with CO Pilot
Murray for the firearms deer season opener. One individual fled
from CO Woinarowicz in his vehicle and then ran into the woods
after removing his blaze orange jacket. The plane was soon overhead
and when the violator heard it circling he realized escape was
unlikely and came out of the woods. He was arrested and faces
charges for DWI and other violations.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored deer hunting and fishing
activity throughout the week. Numerous complaints were handled,
including trespassing, hunter harassment, shining, baiting,
shooting from roadways, careless driving, and operating ATVs during
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked a variety of hunters and
anglers. The officer assisted with investigating the theft of PWCs
and tribal nets.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports mild weather kept deer hunters on
stand most of the opening weekend. A 16-year-old hunter shot
himself in the foot during the afternoon of the opening of the
firearm deer season. The young hunter was airlifted to the
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a successful start to the
firearms deer season. A party was attempting to retrieve a deer
from a WMA and got three trucks stuck in the hunting area. A
52-year-old male shot himself in the hand when he put his hand over
the end of the 20-gauge barrel while getting up from a kneeling
position. The hunter admitted to not having the safety on. He was
airlifted to the hospital.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) focused enforcement efforts on firearms
deer-hunting activity. One hunter abandoned a firearm and clothing
in a field. The items can be returned if the hunter comes forward
and contacts the officer. Cougar questions were common.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked night shining complaints during
the week and a busy opening weekend of deer season. Trespass
complaints were investigated, and several license issues were
addressed. Plautz assisted an area officer with a gross misdemeanor
case regarding illegal deer.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked deer hunters, fishermen, and
waterfowl and pheasant hunters. CO Baumbarger also investigated
complaints of trespassing, shooting deer from the road, shining,
and chasing deer with motor vehicles.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on opening
weekend of firearms deer season, pheasant hunters, and waterfowl
hunters. Most crops have been harvested in the area, but hunter
numbers and the deer take seemed below average. Anderson
investigated a couple of different shining complaints.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) assisted the sheriff’s department
with an assault involving two hunters and a suspicious complaint
involving threats and gunshots. While checking two hunters, who
happened to be state Sen. Mary Olson and her husband, a third
hunter approached who was in obvious distress. He stated he had
fallen from his treestand. Assistance was provided to him and he
was ultimately airlifted to a hospital.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received calls about ATVers operating
during restricted hours, gun hunters in the state game refuge, and
hunting over bait. Officer Hunter also received a complaint, which
remains under investigation, that an individual shot a deer the day
before the rifle season.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked trespassers and road hunters
during the deer opener. He investigated several baiting
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on big-game hunting activity. In
addition, he answered numerous questions regarding the deer-hunting
regulation changes and checked on a complaint from the U.S. Forest
Service regarding people illegally cutting pine trees. The
complaint was unfounded, as the individuals had the proper
authority to cut the trees. He also assisted the Cass County
Sheriff’s Department in attempting to locate a burglary
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring waterfowl
and deer-hunting activity. CO Broughten also handled several other
trespass, hunting, and ATV complaints.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) assisted with
a wetland violation site in Otter Tail County and monitored hunting
activity during the opening weekend of the deer firearms season.
While checking one nervous hunter, Officer Siltala asked if he had
any luck, and the hunter said he hadn’t seen anything. When the
officer asked how the specks of fresh blood got on his coveralls,
the truth soon emerged and he admitted he shot a doe but didn’t
have a doe permit.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a baiting case was made, in which a
deer camp of three hunters faced losing guns and over $2,500 in
fines and restitution. Numerous tagging issues were addressed. A
father was cited for shooting an antlerless deer and having his
youth son tag it. The youth is now restricted to a buck only, which
will decrease his odds of getting his first deer. Many fishermen
were out during the wee. One boater was found to be intoxicated and
was charged accordingly.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked balsam bough cutters, a number of
baiting complaints prior to and during the deer rifle opener, and
the deer rifle opener. An individual involved in a firearms
violation was seen again about 2 hours later after he hit a guard
rail on a bridge with his car. He was turned over to the sheriff’s
department and was arrested for DWI. An individual purposely
trapping owls was investigated, and charges are forthcoming.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) would like to remind hunters that just
because you have hunted in an area for 30 years does not give you
any more right to hunt that land than anyone else. Numerous hunters
received citations for hunting deer over bait. Each of the hunters’
firearms was seized. One of the hunters who received a citation for
hunting over had received a citation from CO Frericks for the same
offense in 2007. Upon conviction, the hunter’s big-game hunting
privileges will be revoked for 3 years.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) came upon a vehicle in the ditch and the
driver was arrested for DUI – the preliminary breath test was more
than three times the legal limit. Deer opener started out with
hunters calling the sheriff’s office and reporting someone was
shooting at them while they were in their stands. Deputies, a State
Trooper, local police officers, and the CO responded to this “shots
fired” call. Both hunters stated they believed shots were fired in
their direction and the shots were coming from a residence where
loud cartoon music was being played over speakers. A call was
placed to the residence and the owner came and met with the CO and
stated he did not shoot toward the hunters but in the air to scare
the deer away from his home so no one will shoot his home when the
deer are there. He also stated he likes cartoon music and feels he
can play it however he wants. A search of the home found a loud
speaker attached to the garage and pointing out into the woods with
deafening music and empty shot gun shell casings nearby. The
homeowner was charged with hunter harassment. The award for most
unethical activity goes to a man who was with his two kids and was
stopped on the road and had his 15-year-old daughter take three
shots from the road at a group of deer in a hay field while the
landowner watched from his stand.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the deer opener and arrested several
people for baiting violations. All the bait users were aware that
it was illegal to use bait, but gambled that they would not be
checked or caught. Firearms were seized in all instances, and the
time it took to investigate and watch the bait sites took away from
the time the officer had to work other activities and complaints in
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports many hunters were found to be
not validating their site tags as well as not placing the tag on
their deer as required. Two complaints of shooting deer from the
roadway are being investigated.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) issued citations for deer hunting
over bait and seized the hunters’ rifles for forfeiture. The CO
took calls about stolen traps and trap tampering.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) investigated calls about timber theft,
ATV trespass, chasing wildlife with a motorized vehicle, early
trapping, baiting deer, trespass, car-killed deer, and answered
about 30 calls relating to the deer season. Enforcement action was
taken for hunting deer over bait.
CO Jeff Koehn (Grand Rapids – OHV specialist) investigated a report
about a group of deer hunters operating ATVs in a wetland to access
illegal treestands in a DNR wildlife management area.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart worked angling, duck
hunting, trapping, and netting activities. Duck hunting was
reported as “the poorest in 30 years.”
District 8 – Cloquet area
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) checked several firearms deer hunters
this past weekend. Most hunters were in compliance with the
laws. However, enforcement action was taken for insufficient blaze
orange. One complaint about a deer in a WMA being shot by a subject
on the road is under investigation.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) investigated a complaint about reckless
discharge of a firearm. One bullet passed through several walls in
the house before lodging in the closet wall. The case was turned
over to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department. Several shining
and trespassing complaints were investigated.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports working
commercial fishermen and investigating commercial fishing required
paperwork and reporting.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted district
officers with shining complaints in west of Duluth.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports deer hunters were checked with
enforcement action taken for untagged deer, failing to validate
site tags, hunter trespass, shooting from the roadway, and hunting
big game without a license. One hunter called the TIP line to
report that he had accidentally shot a doe and nobody in his
hunting party had an antlerless permit. Three grouse hunters called
the TIP line when they jumped a doe and heard a single shot from a
rifle very close to them the day before the season began. Two men
saw the grouse hunters and took off, but the grouse hunters got a
license plate, called it in, and enforcement action was taken. On
the lighter side, a hunter reported pulling the card on his trail
camera and was surprised to see a photo of a cow.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a TIP call about late
shooting/shining turned out to be a lost hunter who subsequently
was found soaked with sweat from nervousness and walking aimlessly
through the dark woods and swamp.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a young boy killed a bear out of
season and without a license. The boy was left in a stand alone in
the woods with a rifle while his guardian hunted nearby.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) investigated a possible waterfowl hunter
harassment case and checked a few other waterfowl hunters who had
lead shot and PFD violations. Two hunters who took what they
believed to be 9 bluebills were relieved when the officer told them
that they had 9 ringneck ducks. A case involving a 10-point buck
found shot and left to lie in a hay field is under
CO Chad Sherack (Pequot Lakes) responded to a wildfire complaint in
the Foothills State Forest and arrived to find a deer camp
completely burned down due to a negligent fire or possible
electrical short. The deer camp lost tents, heaters, guns,
computers, coolers, deer, and more due to the fire. Neighboring
deer hunters observed the fire and put it out before it spread too
far into the forest.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Mike Lee (Isle) received a call about parties hunting from
permanent stands that were too tall, or as the complainant stated,
“skyscrapers in the trees.” Officer Lee located the stands on
public land with one stand being 26 feet from the ground and the
second being nearly 24 feet from the ground. When asked why he was
hunting from such a tall stand, one person stated, “I didn’t know
there was a height restriction.” In Minnesota, no person may take
deer from a constructed platform or other structure that is higher
than 16 feet on either public or private lands.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) worked baiting cases during the
opener resulting in several citations for hunting over bait and
firearms being seized. Heaton responded to a call about a hunting
accident in which one member of a hunting party shot another with a
shotgun. The slug from the shotgun grazed the side of the victim’s
head, leaving him with a non-life threatening injury.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent the opening morning of the
firearms deer season dealing with individuals who were hunting over
corn-filled deer feeders. In some instances, corn was just piled on
the ground and in other cases, tube-style feeders were tied to
trees and painted camouflage in an attempt to conceal the
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) handled TIP complaints and dealt with a
hunter harassment case.
District 11 – Albany area
CO Mike Martin (St Cloud) worked the Governor’s Deer Opener in
Morrison County during the week. Officer Martin also inspected a
public waters basin that has been impacted by a farmer who was
digging a drainage ditch for tiling.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) investigated trespass complaints, hunter
harassment, and use of an airplane to chase deer.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) assisted the Stearns County
Sheriff’s Office with hunters shooting at a deer in a county park
closed to hunting.
District 12 – St. Cloud area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports numerous complaints were
investigated and several violations were found with the most common
violation being hunting deer over a baited area.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) reports a busy firearms deer
opener. Enforcement was taken for shooting within 500 feet of an
occupied building, failure to validate deer tags, illegal dumping
of deer carcasses, and allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated an incident in which an elk
was photographed on a trail camera by a bowhunter. Several trespass
complaints were handled.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) worked the deer opener with COs Kuske
and Haberman on several baiting cases in Morrison County. He also
assisted a warden from another state with a license
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers and small-game hunters in the
metro area. He also investigated the taking of trout out of
season. Officer Lee also worked the deer opener in southeast
Minnesota. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate
deer tags, taking deer without the required number of antler
points, and no deer license in possession.
CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) reports a case was made for transporting
three untagged deer hidden underneath gear in the rear of an
enclosed truck bed. CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) worked
waterfowl and trapping enforcement. He checked fishermen and
patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park. CO Neitzke attended a training
meeting. He also worked the deer opener with CO Quandt in Goodhue
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) reports several calls were received about
dumped deer and waterfowl carcasses.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) investigated a TIP complaint that a
person was posting pictures of illegally taken animals on a social
networking web site. The investigation led to three people being
charged for various hunting violations.
CO Alex Gutierrez (Forest Lake) checked a few groups of goose
hunters; one group was issued a citation for using an electronic
call while hunting migratory game birds.
CO Tony Salzer (Eagan) and CO Siems investigated some illegal
trapping activity and dealt with an illegally taken buck in Dakota
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) took enforcement action on numerous
violations during the opening of firearms deer season. These
violations included illegal shining with a firearm, trespass, and
chasing deer with motor vehicles. The officer also investigated an
incident in which a hunting dog was killed in a Conibear trap. The
dog’s owner was not familiar with this type of trap. The officer
encourages all dog owners to review page 51 of the Minnesota 2010
hunting and trapping regs handbook which explains how to free a dog
caught in a body-gripping trap.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) was able to make a case against a
hunter who shot a deer from the roadway. The violator was located
with the assistance of the aviation unit. The deer was seized and
restitution was charged.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that conflicts between landowners
and hunters were high; being a mediator for most incidents seemed
to be the norm. A report of hunter harassment was taken and is
under investigation in Yellow Medicine County. Several trespassing
citations were issued. Also, several trapping violations were taken
care of, and one 10-point buck was seized from a person who shot it
while hunting from a road right of way.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports two hunting accidents occurred
during the opening weekend of the deer season, one of which
resulted in a hunter being shot while sitting in a pickup.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) received a call to come look at a
deer that a Hutchinson resident had shot in Renville County; the
buck had a large rack that hadn’t officially been scored but was at
minimum a 17-pointer that was still in full velvet. This was the
hunter’s first deer in 15 years.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked a busy firearms deer
season. Insufficient blaze orange was once again a common
offense. TIP reports were followed up on for felons in possession
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Phil George (Mantorville) worked deer-hunting issues throughout
the week. He also took calls regarding harassment, shooting too
close to buildings, shooting from the road, and trespass.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked several shining details, opening
of deer season, and checked small-game hunters. He located one
group of hunters who had butchered their deer and never tagged or
registered their deer. A number of deer were seized, and paperwork
was issued for the violations.
CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports an individual was shot while
inside a residence, resulting in minor injuries; a hunter in the
area was shooting at a deer.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports an investigation of an eagle
that was shot by some duck hunters is under way.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports shining complaint areas were
worked. One subject caught shining stated his dog chases deer and
he was looking for a deer to see if the dog would chase it. At that
time he was going to use an electronic collar to fix the problem.
He was advised to find another alternative.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) assisted with an incident in which a buffalo
was shot in a leg, probably before the deer season.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports that on Saturday, a large black
bear was hit and killed by a combine while the operator was picking
CO Dan McBroom (Rochester) reports hunters in Zone 3 are finding it
more difficult than they may have thought to follow the new antler
point restrictions. Lt. Dean Olson and CO McBroom released a timber
wolf from a trap outside of Rochester.