Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MN: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 36

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bear baiting activity before the
bear-hunting opener. He saw a slow opener to the early goose season
with less than one goose per hunter, and a few cranes being

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) attended regional training in Bemidji
and worked the early goose opener.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted the sheriff’s
department with a neighborhood dispute in which two individuals
were arrested.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) attended an annual meeting and
training at Itasca State Park. The early goose season opened with
hunters having mixed success and very good regulations

CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked an AIS project on area lakes and
Upper Red Lake with good compliance found. Enforcement activity for
the week included ATV violations.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) worked an invasive species work detail
in the Lake of the Woods area with several officers that focused on
the inspection of watercraft being transported. Numerous
enforcement actions were taken for invasive species law violations
as well as fishing violations. In one incident three anglers were
found with 38 walleyes coming from Lake of the Woods.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports good numbers of Canada geese in
the area. Some hunters had success bagging birds, while others saw
birds but didn’t get a shot.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) says that bear hunters are reporting
less activity at bait sites, with bears moving to natural food

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked goose and bear hunters. A golden eagle
was picked up.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) says goose hunters are reporting seeing
fewer geese than previous years, and bear hunters are reporting
lower activity levels at bait sites.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) assisted sheriff’s deputies with a call.
Some cabin owners started removing boats, lifts, and docks.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) reports one boater was given
literature and information about the importance of removing visible
vegetation and pulling the plug. The boat owner started to leave
the access and was flagged down by the officer because vegetation
hung on the trailer. The officer talked to the next boater, and saw
the first boat leaving the access without the weeds being removed.
The officer stopped the driver and issued a citation. The owner
thought the citation was unfair. He previously received literature,
verbal information, asked by the officer to remove the weeds from
the trailer, and still left the access without complying with the
AIS laws.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) investigated a night boating complaint.
Angler success increasing.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) investigated a complaint of
people camping on a public access.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with a FAS shoot in Fergus

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) attended a regional meeting this past
week and also focused work time on the early goose season.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked mourning dove and early
Canada goose hunters. Osborne saw a few groups having success
harvesting Canada geese.

CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) monitored boating and fishing activity.
Shoreline alteration issues due to high water were addressed.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) addressed ATV and fire violations,
certified a couple of adults who took the online FAS class, and
assisted the Todd County SO with a pursuit and search for a suspect
who fled on foot.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) spent time issuing minnow
transportation permits and taking care of injured animal

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) assisted the Stevens County Sheriff’s
Office with a search for a missing boater and the eventual recovery
of a body from Long Lake over the holiday weekend.

CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) assisted CO Anderson and the Stevens Co.
Sheriff’s Department in a drowning victim recovery.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) handled a camping dispute, began a
fire investigation, and monitored ATV trails.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a TIP call of an over limit of
fish and assisted the sheriff’s department on various calls.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) noted that there were many ATVs, boats,
and PWCs out during the holiday weekend.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a tip resulted in an early goose
season violation.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) observed numerous folks packing up their
lake equipment on Labor Day Weekend.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) encountered several instances where
parents were allowing illegal operation of ATVs by their children.
In one instance the parent stated she could not believe that her
child had to follow all these rules when they were on vacation. CO
Broughten advised the parent that vacation did not preclude the
child from needing a helmet.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) started an internship program with a
Brainerd Central Lakes College natural resource law enforcement

CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) issued a
restoration order in reference to the illegal filling of a wetland
and reviewed an ongoing restoration.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area public accesses for
compliance with weed and water removal from all watercraft and
equipment. Compliance was excellent.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) handled a bull moose road kill that
involved an injured driver. The officer assisted the area wildlife
manager with the moose necropsy.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports early season goose hunters were
out and most hunters did very well. Issues like trespassing and
stamp violations were addressed.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint of hunter harassment
stating a known person came into a hunter’s bait station and yelled
at the hunter to move because he was hunting in the person’s area
and threatened to damage the bear hunter’s bait pile. Fredin
located the man and found out he wasn’t hunting, but teaching his
20-year-old son to hunt ethically. A check revealed neither the
father nor son registered their bait station, so neither could hunt
their baits.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) followed up on a litter complaint and some
illegal bear baiting. CO Velsvaag took several calls on wild rice
and a complaint of illegal ATV use.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) took a complaint from an extremely angry
landowner who reported that somebody had trespassed through his
road barricades and stapled a poster to a 200-year-old white pine
on his property.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that with one bait pile it
appeared that the hunter was cleaning out his freezer and dumping
it in the woods. This individual was stopped on the road en route
to the bait with another load of garbage in his truck, but he and
his partner were given garbage bags by the CO and escorted to their
five bait piles to pick up garbage left from last year and this

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking bear hunters over
the opening weekend and anglers on Lake Superior.

CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) received complaints of bait-site
tampering and competition for hunting space.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) reports a group of goose
hunters said they got a little over excited and misidentified a
sandhill crane for a Canada goose and shot the bird down.
Enforcement action was taken for taking a migratory bird with no
season in the Grand Rapids area.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs,
state parks, and campgrounds.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) took calls on upcoming hunting seasons
and handled numerous complaints regarding bear baiting and bear

CO Brent Speldrich (NE ATV Rec) worked with officers who have state
forests in their stations. During these work details, the officers
encountered many instances where ATVs were being used illegally.
Most of these incidents involved bear hunters using them to travel
cross country on undesignated trails to bait bears. While working
these areas, the officers uncovered a nonresident who was guiding
bear hunters. After interviewing these hunters, who paid
approximately $650 each to the “guide,” the officers discovered
that he was also hunting in area 51 and part of a second hunting
camp. At the conclusion of the contact, the “guide” received a
citation for guiding without a license and was issued a citation
for illegal cross country travel.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked the Lake Winnie area with
an invasives work crew this past week.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports bear hunter success was
average, while goose hunters struggled to find numbers of

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) issued a wetland cease and desist

CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) did a K9 demo at the
State Fair and also assisted with a search for a suspect that
escaped from a correctional facility in Wisconsin. An accident was
reported on an area trail when an ATV was found crashed with nobody
around. Further investigation found the owner was at the hospital.
He ran into a tree that had fallen across the trail. Beavers were
the reason the tree fell across the trail. Operators are asked to
always be prepared and drive cautiously.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the first day back from vacation
returning telephone calls and following up on email.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports that some bear hunters may not be
aware that bear hunting regulations and bait site applications are
no longer being distributed to license holders. You must visit the
DNR website and print them yourself for use.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports bear registrations were down
in the Pine River/Backus area with only half a dozen being
registered on opening day. The hot weather on opener may have
contributed to the slow start.

CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) took enforcement action on several ATV

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) wrapped up weedroller violations and an
investigation was done on a report of shoreline alteration and
trespass. Some early duck hunters also had constructed a blind
early and enforcement action was taken.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports the Deerwood rice bed and the
Mississippi River yielded the best wild rice picks in the

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) handled an ATV accident report when an
operator was going too fast to manage a 40-mph curve in the

CO Patrick McGowan (McGregor) McGowan spoke at a firearms safety
class and patrolled area lakes over the holiday weekend.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked wild ricers. Other
activities included surveillance on a marijuana plantation on state

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working bear hunters during the
week and weekend.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports one bear hunter found hunting
over an unsigned bait station that was also baited with prohibited
bait, insisted that his bait sign must have been eaten by a

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked ATV enforcement with CO
Grundmeier in the St. Croix State Forest and also worked complaints
in the Chengwatana State Forest.

CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) worked with other conservation
officers on an investigation of illegal bear guiding. The
investigation led to enforcement action on a nonresident bear
hunter who received compensation for guided bear hunts. The
individual did not have a bear guide license and was operating an
ATV in non-designated areas. Operating ATVs in non-designated areas
in Limited State Forests was a common violation during the bear
hunting opener.

CO Mike Lee (Isle) worked boat and water safety this past weekend
with pretty good compliance observed.

CO Jim Tischler (Water Resources, Mille Lacs) worked special
boating safety enforcement details on Gull Lake and enforced ATV
regulations in the closed Pillsbury State Forest and Cuyuna Country
State Recreation Area.

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) spoke to the owners of several pontoon
style 11-foot paddle boats that didn’t have registration. Any boat
over nine feet in length needs registration.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked boaters and anglers this past

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) handled a TIP call regarding dove hunters
shooting non-game birds.

CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers and
early goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license
violations and unplugged guns.

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) and another local
officer worked a boat and water safety shift on the Mississippi
with excellent law compliance from the watercraft operators.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion to an Amish
FAS class in the Little Sauk area and assisted RTO Rezac with
certification of two new Amish FAS instructors for the Eagle Valley

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports follow up was completed
on seizure and confiscations from previous contacts.

CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) checked early goose hunters with
enforcement action taken for an unplugged gun and several no
license in possession violations.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers, boaters, and early
goose hunters.

CO David Schottenbauer (Princeton) reports time was spent training
officers in the metro.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked goose hunters and issued written
warnings and summons for no federal and state duck stamps unplugged
gun, possession of lead shot, no early goose permit and hunting in
a closed area.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) found angler success to be picking up in
the area and there were also good populations of geese in Wright

CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) reports wildlife complaints were
handled and possible public waters violations investigated.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) returned several calls all week on
hunting questions and injured animals.

CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked a Boat and Water safety project on
Lake Minnetonka with Officer Kahre.

CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) patrolled Scott and Carver counties
during the opening weekend of early goose season.

CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) represented the Division at the Basil
Irwin Memorial Pistol Match.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Fort Snelling) responded to a call of a possible
sick coyote.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled for angling activity on the
Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, and assisted with a presidential
security detail around Fort Snelling State Park.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) attended the fall district training in Anoka
County and investigated a litter case in St. Paul.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Alex Gutierrez (Forest Lake) checked a group of field goose
hunters in Hugo that he recalled checking last year and found an
unplugged gun. As the CO arrived at the field to check the group,
he was welcomed by one of the kids who had been sent back to cars
to get more coffee for the rain-soaked hunters. Although the hunter
not in compliance last year was late to the hunt because it was
raining, he managed to be in compliance this year.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) attended the firearms and use of force
trainings in Cedar and responded to TIP complaints and calls.

CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) attended the annual use of force

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) took two turns at the State Fair last
week. He operated the LaserShot, and fielded questions at the
Enforcement booth.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to a FAS class at the Lino
Lakes PD, finished assisting an Iowa game warden with a case, and
worked AIS enforcement at area accesses.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) checked early season goose hunters.
The officer also followed up on several TIP calls.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the mourning dove and the early
goose hunting seasons opened with a lot of success for those who
scouted out areas.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and early
goose hunters. Most hunters were averaging a bird or less.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked a boat and water detail with CO
Denz on Green Lake.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) completed a weekly radio show. CO Lage
assisted the State Patrol with a rollover accident and a report of
two children riding bicycles on a highway. An injured hawk was
cared for.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent time putting on a presentation to a
sportsmen’s club youth event.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) was called out on a suspected boating
violation on Friday evening; he responded but no contact was made.
Gruhlke completed his weekly radio program discussing the September
Canada goose season, area activity, and dove season.

CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked dove and early goose
hunting activity, and attended required meetings and

CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) reports checking numerous early goose
hunters having successful hunts.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports that cooler weather has slowed
recreational boating and increased angling. Invasive species were
talked about with every boat inspection.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) observed limits of both Canada goose
and doves on their respective opening mornings.

CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) attended the annual Basil Irwin game
warden training conference and pistol match.

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continues to answer questions regarding
floating bogs.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) worked the information booth at the State
Fair, answering a variety of resource-related questions.

CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports working angling and waterfowl

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) fielded many questions regarding the
upcoming deer season.

CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked boating, angling, and early goose
hunting activities.

CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports attending a regional meeting
in New Ulm. Time was also spent checking anglers, watercraft
operators, ATV operators, and early goose hunters. Violations
encountered included unplugged gun, no federal duck stamp, no
angling license, and allow illegal ATV operation.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Phil George (Rochester) took several phone calls concerning
baiting questions.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports several complaints. First
involved an ATV where the passenger threw beer cans onto the road.
They were illegally operating on a county road. Second involved a
complaint from an invasives species inspector. A boat owner went
ahead and launched a boat even after being told not to. Lastly came
a report of an archer shooting trout. Two had been taken. All cases
involved enforcement action being taken.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) ran into people fishing and scouting for
waterfowl on the river, as well as people preparing for deer
hunting and digging ginseng.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports numerous violations were
encountered including a few different hunters who had lead buckshot
in possession while hunting geese.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports enforcement action included
unlawful taking of migratory birds with the aid of bait, unplugged
firearms, and possession of toxic shot.

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