MN: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 52
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) spent the week checking anglers on
Lake of the Woods. Ice conditions are improving enough to allow
full-size trucks and fish houses on certain roads.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) followed up on hunting stands
left in wildlife management areas. Area snowmobile trails were
checked for activity. Anglers on the Red Lake River were catching a
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) reports area anglers were checked, and
snowmobile trails were monitored for activity.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling
activity throughout the week. Area trapping activity was monitored.
Enforcement action was taken for fishing and snowmobiling
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports improving ice conditions on area
lakes. The officer spoke to a snowmobile safety class in Crookston
regarding laws, safety, and riding ethics.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked trappers, anglers, and
snowmobilers. Trespass complaints were investigated, and
preparation for a bear case going to trial was done.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and snowmobilers. The officer
also assisted the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department present a
snowmobile safety class for area youth.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Ice
conditions are improving on area lakes, but caution is still urged,
as ice conditions vary. Open cases from the firearms deer season
were investigated and completed.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports increasing activity on
snowmobile trails. Ice conditions on area lakes are improving, and
some people are starting to drive vehicles onto the ice.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) reports wanton waste and trapping
complaints were investigated.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, spearers, snowmobilers, and
ATVers. Accidentally taken fishers were turned in by trappers.
Trapping complaints were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) conducted follow-up on deer
hunting-related violations. Richards also spent time checking
anglers and shelters on local lakes.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement effort on fishing
and snowmobile activity. Plautz found fish shelters without proper
identification and shelter tags.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) spent time finishing up on cases from
deer season and met with the county attorney to discuss appropriate
charges regarding those cases. There is some snowmobile activity,
but the snow conditions are not great.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, snowmobilers, and
pheasant hunters. Trails are improving in the area after the recent
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to follow up on a couple of
cases from the muzzleloader deer season and spent time checking
pheasant hunters. Additional time was spent checking angling and
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked fishermen and pheasant
hunters. Trapping activity was monitored, and equipment maintenance
was performed on station equipment.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) assisted CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) with
checks of anglers on Lake Minnewaska last weekend. Snowmobilers are
reminded to check their snowmobile registration and trail stickers
before they hit the trails this season.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reports several complaints about dogs
chasing deer were received this week.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) investigated complaints of dogs
chasing deer and stolen traps. He also checked ice anglers and
trappers. Parthun also met with local prosecutors regarding a
big-game case from before the firearms deer season.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Ice
conditions are improving, but people are not driving vehicles on
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked ice anglers this week, and ice
conditions have improved. Predator hunters are out and about with
varied success. Coyote hunters are reminded that if they use radios
for unprotected animals, a permit is needed and they should contact
their local CO.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused enforcement efforts on
sportfishing activity. In addition, he spoke to the
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School biology class regarding
careers in natural resource law enforcement and the duties of a
state conservation officer. He received a call regarding a deer
that was seen near a person’s deer feeder with an apparent broken
leg, which the caller believed to be from being struck by a
vehicle. When the officer suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to
feed deer so close to a highway, he was told that the six deer at
that person’s feeder never crossed the road and her deer wouldn’t
let any other deer feed at her feeder, so that was not the case in
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports ice fishing is in full swing. Two
calls regarding wolves were investigated. Both involved young
wolves – one accidentally trapped, the other appears to have been
killed by a larger wolf.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) continues follow-up investigations on
big-game cases. He also investigated a trapping complaint.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) continued investigations on illegal
dee-hunting activity and gave an individual an educational
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) checked fishermen and snowmobilers.
Halverson received two fishers that were accidentally caught by
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala checked ice
fishermen and discussed invasive species laws and the importance of
preventing the spread of these species.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked ice fishing and
spearing activity on Rainy Lake, along with snowmobile
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the ice conditions on area lakes are
slowly getting better. The local snowmobile club has groomed its
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a multi-state waterfowl case was
worked, with charges pending for illegal take of geese.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, trappers, hunters, and
snowmobilers, and continues to follow up on big-game cases. An
individual who the officer knew from previous violations was
observed with a cancelled driver’s license and an arrest warrant.
After the vehicle was stopped, it was learned that the subject was
in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He had been
fishing illegally, as his fishing license privileges were revoked
for violations the officer had previously encountered.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Cub Scouts pack meeting
about ice safety. The following day while speaking with two anglers
on an area lake that had an ice thickness of barely 8 inches, the
CO and the two anglers watched in amazement as a person in a
full-sized pickup drove past them. Twelve to 15 inches is necessary
for a medium-sized truck. Area snowmobile trails were
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled snowmobile trails and forest
roads. Manning also checked cross-country ski passes; one man
commented to the officer that a person watching him buy his new
pass commented that he did not think the passes where necessary
since “no one ever checks up here.”
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports several calls were received
about an injured timber wolf as well as a group of wolves
attempting to lure dogs from their yards and onto a frozen lake. An
investigation into a trespass complaint is ongoing.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked on snowmobile enforcement and followed
up on some leftover case work from the fall. The ice has improved
greatly, and there has been an increase in lake traffic. The
officer was called to the Babbitt station to remove a coyote from a
garage in town. The coyote would not leave the garage. It suffered
from a wound and had lost a lot of hair due to mange.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored spearing
activity, worked trapping enforcement, and patrolled for snowmobile
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, wrapped up
investigations from big-game seasons, and checked conditions of
area lakes. He handled a call about an injured deer, assisted a
county sheriff’s department, serviced equipment, and patrolled for
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids)
continued tracking Wetland Conservation Act and public waters
cases. Arhart also checked anglers and dark house spearers on
infested and other station waters.
District 8 – Cloquet area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports continuing follow-up work on
firearms deer season cases. Time also was spent checking ice
anglers and snowmobilers in the area.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports working ice anglers and
snowmobile enforcement. Officer Staples also taught two snowmobile
enforcement classes to local area law enforcement officers.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) was involved in a game farm inspection
that resulted in an illegally trapped raccoon trapped and held in a
cage – a subject waiting for the pelt to prime.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) assisted with archery deer-hunting issues
during the Duluth city deer hunt. A litter complaint and hunter
harassment complaint continue to be investigated.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) and Lt. Manley met with the county
attorney regarding a couple outstanding cases from the fall. A
vehicle inspection and various equipment issues were addressed. A
presentation was made to a local sports group.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on commercial
enforcement, attended some meetings, and checked anglers.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and unit officers met on
commercial enforcement items. Anglers were checked along the North
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) completed work on a
commercial fishing case involving the waste and dumping of many
hundreds of pounds of herring, as well as records violations.
Assistance was given to Duluth police with the location and arrest
of a burglary suspect in downtown Duluth.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) followed up on illegal party-hunting
cases and hunters taking more than one buck during a license year.
Many anglers and dark-house spearers were on area lakes as the cold
weather continues to make thicker ice. Enforcement action was taken
for no ID on fish houses, no spearing license, no angling license
in possession, and expired ATV registration.
CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) checked ice-fishing activity throughout
the week. Several fish houses were found without the required
identification. and reflectors. Shoutz cited an angler for spearing
without a license, and completed a timber trespass
CO Tim Collette (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area) spent time
on snowmobile checking area lakes and trails. Violations included
expired ATV and snowmobile registrations, and many people using
extra fishing lines.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) continued work on firearms deer season
cases, and checked ice fishermen, ATVers and snowmobilers.
Snowmobile trespass complaints also were worked.
CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) focused attention on area lakes where
the panfish bite turned on. Two fishing shelters that were brought
onto area lakes remain stuck in the ice, as when they were brought
out, the ice was 4 inches and they broke through. Officer Speldrich
issued citations for possession of a small amount of marijuana,
angling with multiple lines, failing to display fishing shelter ID,
failing to have angling license in possession, and failing to
display current snowmobile registration. Officer Speldrich also
completed several ongoing cases from the deer season.
CO Chad Sherack (Pequot Lakes) spent time checking ice anglers,
archery hunters, and following up on past complaints.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on firearms deer-hunting
complaints. Some of the violations observed where no license in
possession and failing to register deer. He also worked with
neighboring officers on deer-shining complaints.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on a deer case and checked
ice anglers. He also investigated a case of a wolf that was shot,
and assisted with a local snowmobile safety course.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) continued with follow-up on cases from the
firearms deer season. Officer Lee also checked anglers who were
having so-so success on Mille Lacs Lake.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking anglers on Mille Lacs
lake. The officer also responded on Mille Lacs Lake for two parties
arguing over a fishing area. The case is still under investigation,
but angler harassment charges could be filed. Both anglers in this
case were reminded that fishing should be for recreation, and there
are plenty of fishing spots on the lake.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received another TIP call about
felons in possession of firearms. An investigation is being
conducted. She also received a call about a nuisance fisher that
attacked the reporting party’s chickens.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) monitored and checked area anglers and
snowmobilers throughout the week. Snowmobile traffic has been
steady, with good trail conditions for this time of year.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked anglers on Mille Lacs Lake and
surrounding lakes. Croatt also assisted with a fishing harassment
case on Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Jim Tischler (Water Resources, Brainerd) checked ice anglers and
minnow trappers in the Brainerd lakes area and monitored snowmobile
and small-game trappers in the Pillsbury State Forest.
District 11 – Albany area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted checks of ice fishermen and shelter
houses. Many folks are forgetting to put identification on their
shelters. CO Kuske also investigated a snowmobile trespass and
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, trappers, and
coyote hunters. Follow-up was done regarding a road-killed turkey
and a big-game investigation. The officer also took a complaint
about a fishing shelter blocking a public access.
CO Mike Martin (St Cloud) checked anglers, small-game hunters, and
snowmobile operators during the week. Officer Martin also spent
time following up on a big-game case from the firearms deer season
with Officer Musatov.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week working anglers,
snowmobilers, and ATVers. One group of snowmobilers was encountered
after they all decided to use their snowmobiles as personal
watercraft to cross open water. The group was educated on the
hazards of crossing open water.
District 12 – St. Cloud area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a complaint involving
several unregistered deer. CO Musatov also worked snowmobilers,
with violations found for no registration and no state trail
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He also
checked snowmobilers on grant-in-aid trails. Sladek dispatched an
injured deer in the backyard of a Zimmerman residence.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked many ice anglers, as ice has become
more uniform in the area. Enforcement action was taken for
snowmobile stop sign violations, snowmobilers jumping road
approaches, and no snowmobile registration.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and snowmobilers on metro
lakes and trails. CO Le took enforcement action for no shelter
identification and no angling license in possession.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working big- and
small-game hunting activity, along with angling and snowmobiling
activity. Violations detected included operating unregistered
snowmobiles, failing to display valid snowmobile registration, no
state trail sticker, speeding, operating unregistered ATVs, and
failing to display valid ATV registration.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) worked snowmobile and trail
enforcement, and checked anglers and ATVers. Calls regarding
injured deer and foxes also were received. CO Nelson also assisted
a neighboring CO regarding a deer overlimit case.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked snowmobile enforcement.
Enforcement action was taken for several operating violations and
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) reports enforcement action was taken
for two hunters who were caught hunting deer over bait. The
hunters’ two bows and two deer were seized, and citations were
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mostly snowmobilers on metro-area
CO Tony Salzer (Eagan) patrolled Dakota County for goose-hunting
activity. CO Salzer also patrolled Dakota and Scott counties for
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) reports a week of working on WCA cases
and setting up aeration system inspections.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) assisted CO Phil George from
Mantorville with an illegally taken black bear.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) responded to numerous complaints
about trespassing, all of which involved coyote hunters. The
officer also investigated a TIP call about individuals chasing deer
with pickup trucks.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking ice fishermen and
conducting deer investigations.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports investigating complaints about
hunters shooting feeding pheasants from motor vehicles.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent the week checking snowmobile riders,
ATV riders, pheasant hunters, and bowhunters.
CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) checked numerous snowmobilers during
the week. Officer Graham also checked anglers, spear house
fishermen, small-game hunters, and a few archery hunters.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s
Department with a vehicle that went through the ice on Round Lake
in Jackson County. Gruhlke also assisted a South Dakota
conservation officer with a case that he is working.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for snowmobiling, fishing, and
hunting activity. Officer Ihnen also responded to several TIP calls
relating to trespass and game/fish violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked area lakes for ice-angling
activity. Ice conditions are still inconsistent. Officer Wiebusch
also patrolled snowmobile trails in area counties. Several
registration violations were encountered.
CO Phil George (Mantorville) finished up a big-game license case
and met with the county attorney’s office on other cases.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters in the
area. A few remaining archery hunters also have been out. One lucky
hunter was glad he took a fawn, as he could carry the deer out
instead of having to drag it through the deep snow.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports several deer cases were
worked, and several deer were seized. He also worked with the
county attorneys’ offices in resolving some cases from the
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and goose hunters during
the week. Heyn also handled some snowmobile complaints.