MN: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 40
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl anglers at Thief Lake,
Roseau River WMA pools, and East Park WMA. An illegal ATV activity
complaint was investigated, and assistance was given in locating a
missing hunter in Beltrami Island State Forest.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) assisted local law enforcement in the
search for a lost grouse hunter who had been lost for almost two
days in the Beltrami Island State Forest area. CO Birchem also
completed blood-borne pathogen and fire extinguisher
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) and CO Huener checked
waterfowl hunters. A call about a fox being shot and left in a
field was taken. The subsequent investigation led to an individual
admitting to shooting the fox while duck hunting. He said he shot
the fox out of season to protect young ducks from a predator. The
firearm used was seized, and charges are pending for taking a fox
out of season and wanton waste.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) testified at a court trial regarding a
spring fish run violation; the violator was found guilty. Shining
complaints were investigated, as was a report of someone taking an
overlimit of ducks.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) returned from working the Pagami Creek
fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. CO Gorecki also
monitored fishing, hunting, and commercial minnow-trapping
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) reports a busy week of waterfowl
hunting enforcement. A complaint regarding late shooting at
waterfowl was investigated. The suspects were located and
enforcement action taken.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a wetland drainage complaint
was investigated, and a restoration order documented.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) assisted with security and law
enforcement efforts at the Pagami Creek fire. Upon returning to
station duties, the officer assisted local law enforcement with a
barricaded person possibly armed with an assault rifle.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked grouse and duck hunters. The officer
also spoke to the Two Inlets youth ATV safety class about laws,
safety, and riding ethics.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fewer ducks in the area for
the second weekend. Waterfowl hunters and anglers were checked
during the week. Richards also assisted the Otter Tail County
Sheriff’s Office with an impaired driver complaint.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked fishermen throughout the week
and worked on trespass issues. Plautz received calls about firearms
safety issues and nuisance beavers.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) received several ducking-hunting
complaints during the week.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on fishermen,
boating safety enforcement, invasive species law enforcement, and
waterfowl season’s second opening weekend. Another wetland drainage
complaint and a possible waters violation were checked.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) followed up on restoration orders.
Several calls regarding beaver depredation were handled.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked waterfowl, deer, and small-game
hunters, ATV operators, and fishermen during the week. Officer
Hunter also received a TIP call about an overlimit of fish.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked waterfowl and small-game
hunters during the week. He also assisted local law enforcement
when people got lost in the woods; their pickup became stuck
because they drove off an ATV trail.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) continued to work waterfowling activity
during the week. Officer Francis also took a call regarding tribal
nets floating and not being tended in Lake Winnie.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) monitored angling, small-game
hunting, and waterfowl hunting activity. CO Broughten also
investigated a complaint regarding illegal shoreline alteration and
destruction of aquatic plants.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) investigated
a TIP complaint about a possible overlimit of fish. He also
investigated a call about illegal activity on a public access and
followed up on a public waters violation.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked fishermen on
Rainy Lake and the Rainy River, along with checking grouse hunters
in the woods.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons,
investigated a trespass complaint, taught a firearms safety class
in Buhl, and worked a waterfowl TIP complaint. The officer heard a
number of target shooters firing “rapid-fire” in the woods during
the weekend. One couple in a canoe nearly got shot when someone was
careless and forgot basic firearms safety rules. Apparently ammo
cost was not an issue, as it was reported they fired 100 rounds in
short order. The suspect is still being sought.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has been busy handling calls about
nuisance bears in the Mountain Iron area. A bear cub has been in
the area and some residents have been feeding it because it’s cute
and looks hungry. CO Frericks would like to remind people that if
they feed bears those same bears will continue to come back and
will associate humans with food.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and bear hunters this week.
CO Velsvaag also took a litter complaint and calls about ATV use
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports the grouse woods were
extremely busy with hunters and leaf lookers everywhere. The only
way to get away from people was to go afoot on a narrow trail. Bear
hunters and guides report timber wolves taking up several game cam
images during the bear season. In some instances bears completely
disappeared after wolf images started to appear. One hunter reports
a photo of a big bear eating bait with three timber wolves in the
background. Scat seen around the bait piles seems to confirm that
popcorn, candies, and other sweets do not agree with a wolf’s
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the opener of the moose season
with area officers; some nice bulls were taken. While checking
anglers in the Superior tributaries, the officer approached one
person netting fish out of the river. The officer asked the netter
why he was netting fish. He responded by saying that he did not
want to use a fishing pole because he did not buy a license this
year and that would be illegal. Appropriate paperwork was issued to
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) monitored the pink salmon run on the
western end of the North Shore. Salmon are showing up in numbers
greater than the previous several years. Grouse hunters are finding
success if they’re willing to slow down and look through the heavy
cover to find birds. One pair of hunters had just returned to their
vehicle and were unloading their shotguns when CO Thomasen happened
upon them. CO Thomasen checked their licenses and was visiting with
them about hunting when the CO heard a thumping noise coming from
the area of their vehicle. A short time later, the thumping noise
was heard again and the CO recognized the noise. It seemed the
hunters had shot a grouse, placed it in their SUV, and did not
realize the bird had not yet expired!
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked duck hunting activity in
the area with moderate success had by hunters. CO Sutherland took
enforcement action for not enough PFDs in a watercraft. CO
Sutherland also did follow-up on a dumping case in which household
garbage was dumped in a state campground canister.
CO Brent Speldrich (NE ATV REC) assisted officers with ongoing
investigations regarding illegal bear guiding. He completed
interviews and reports on those illegal bear outfitters. He also
met with county attorneys regarding ongoing cases, received court
dispositions from cases that were through court, dealt with
evidence seized in those cases, patrolled area state forest trails,
and responded to calls from the public concerning ATV issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked deer-baiting complaint
areas. She also checked on a bear-hunting complaint and received a
complaint about ongoing trespass problems.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked waterfowling
activity, checked small-game hunters, answered calls about nets
full of dead fish floating, and responded to a drowning on Winnie.
CO Fairbanks is asking for the public’s help. Someone has cut the
floats off several nets on Big Winnie during the past two weeks.
This has made it impossible for the nets to be found until the fish
caught start to decay and float to the surface. Anyone with
information is urged to call the Turn In Poachers hotline at (800)
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked small-game, archery, and
off-highway vehicle enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey
also continued checking waterfowl hunters during the week.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) assisted the Carlton
County Sheriff’s Office with the search for a lost elderly person.
The person was found after about two hours of searching and was OK.
A fur committee meeting was attended in Brainerd, and several
wetland and waters complaints were investigated. More complaints
have prompted extra patrols in Jay Cooke State Park, where
enforcement action was taken for speeding and not having park
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a large variety of activity is
occurring around the station. Bear complaints have been increasing
as bears scrounge diminishing natural food supplies and resort to
easier-to-obtain human food supplies during the final few weeks
before they den up for winter.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE) checked anglers
on Lake Superior Officer Scott also assisted a local officer with a
boat they stopped that was covered in zebra mussels; the boater was
just coming from Barkers Island and was heading home to clean the
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) tended to
equipment maintenance. Boaters and anglers were checked at area
landings with an emphasis on AIS issues. A trespass complaint was
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers
fishing on Lake Superior and from the shore for lake trout, and
some anglers fishing the rivers for salmon. One angler was found
dumping a pail of pink salmon in the woods to hide them. He was
found to have 22 pink salmon – 17 over his limit. One angler coming
in on a boat said he had a coho salmon, which turned out to be a
protected steelhead. An investigation was started when the CO heard
gunshots one night. Someone later was located shooting raccoons out
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) responded to a call about two men
hunting grouse in the Crosslake Game Refuge, which is closed to
firearms hunting. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a small-game hunter who had
intended to hunt grouse stumbled into a migration of doves and was
excited to learn that season was open and that he had the required
CO Patrick McGowan (McGregor) patrolled Aitkin County for angling
and waterfowl enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action
was taken for unplugged guns, removing aquatic vegetation without a
permit, and boating violations.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) patrolled the Foothills State Forest
for hunting and recreational vehicle activity. Time also was spent
following up on nighttime deer-shining complaints.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that fishing enforcement
received the most attention last week. Boaters are wrapping up the
season, and enforcement action was taken on watercraft owners
failing to pull the plug and drain the water from their craft.
Watercraft coming out of Gull Lake were inspected and found to have
numerous zebra mussels attached to the hulls. The owners were
informed that their hulls needed to be cleaned before the boats
could leave the access.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked waterfowl hunters during the
weekend. The split season for the south zone did confuse a few
hunters who thought the season was still in swing last week.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) followed up on two wolf complaints.
One involved a dog that was reportedly killed by a wolf. The other
was a wolf sighting in a cattle pasture. The wolf in this case
reportedly walked toward the farmer and stopped within 20 yards of
him, not fazed by the farmer’s running ATV or his shouting. The
farmer said the wolf looked sick. Heaton also received complaints
about nuisance beavers, as well as a public waters
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls during the week concerning
nuisance animals, waterfowl season, and questions on the upcoming
deer seasons. CO Wynn also received TIP calls about poached deer
and wetlands complaints.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) assisted county officials with an
investigation of the illegal disposal of a house. CO Kuske also
investigated TIP complaints related to deer hunting.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers, waterfowl hunters,
archery deer hunters, and ATV operators during the week. Officer
Martin also took enforcement action on a local marine repair and
sales shop when it was found transporting watercraft to a local
lake without removing all drain plugs before transport.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) spent most of the week checking
hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, no
federal stamp, and unplugged guns.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked waterfowl hunters, anglers, and
bowhunters. Thesing addressed deer stands left overnight in WMAs
and SNAs. A deer-shining work crew was worked in a neighboring
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week checking small-game
hunters and anglers. There were several cases of waterfowl hunters
hunting out of season. It’s important to check regulations each
year for changes.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters on the Cannon
River. CO Sladek asked a group of hunters how many ducks they had
shot. They advised Sladek that they’d shot a wood duck and a
Virginia rail. He proceeded in checking their bag and identified
not a Virginia rail but a kingfisher. He took enforcement action on
the violation. He also followed up on a deer-baiting case with
CO David Schottenbauer (Princeton) spent time assisting with
security issues at the Pagami Creek fire in the BWCAW.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled several beaver damage complaints
and issued permits to have the beavers removed. Trespass complaints
were investigated; most of them were archery hunters.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for waterfowl and
small-game hunting activity. While heading home after checking
hunters, Salzer observed a waterfowl hunter trailering a boat on
the freeway that still had its plug in. The vehicle was stopped,
and enforcement action was taken for failing to remove the plug and
drain the water.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) responded to a TIP call regarding Diamond
Lake where a hunter was found to be waterfowl hunting during the
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) provided training to area DNR Wildlife
managers in the use of firearms.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) continued to investigate a litter case at
Lamprey WMA. He also checked shore fishermen around the metro-area
lakes and rivers. He worked small-game and duck hunters and met
with an individual about a small-game violation. He also followed
up with a complaint about small-game hunters target shooting at
Paul Hugo WMA.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked waterfowl enforcement in Anoka
County. Enforcement action was taken for early shooting, unplugged
guns, and various licensing violations.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) is working on a few deer cases and
assisted the St. Paul Police Department with a case.
CO Alex Gutierrez (Forest Lake) found two deer hunters who had been
hunting over bait. Both hunters admitted to hunting over the
apples, corn, and other attractants, like molasses. CO Gutierrez
confiscated archery equipment and issued appropriate
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked several TIP complaints with a
neighboring conservation officer. CO Pril also assisted a
conservation officer in another district with language
interpretation in a fish overlimit case.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and
working the second duck opener. Enforcement action was taken for no
plug and license/registration/stamp violations.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) assisted with waterfowl enforcement in
Big Stone County. An investigation continues into a wetlands
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) spent the week focusing on angling and
hunting activity. A waterfowl enforcement detail was worked with
several other COs in the Ortonville station.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked waterfowl, small-game, and
archery deer hunters. Additional time was spent checking angling,
boating, and invasive species activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked numerous duck and goose
hunters. Investigations were completed regarding deer
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted a local sheriff with the
recovery of a safe from the Des Moines River. CO Gruhlke also
checked duck hunters and fishermen throughout the week.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) investigated TIP calls of taking
waterfowl out of season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports spending time checking
waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent checking anglers, archery
deer hunters, and watercraft operators.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking duck hunters,
boaters, and fishermen, and patrolling for ATV operators. He also
gave a presentation to an enthusiastic bunch of students at a
firearms safety class in Kilkenny.
CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports a busy waterfowl “reopener.” She
also conducted follow-up on a wetland violation. Assistance was
given to the sheriff’s office regarding an individual that suffered
a gunshot wound from a member of his hunting party.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked angling and waterfowling activity.
Geving also followed up on an illegal dumping situation.
Enforcement action was taken for illegally dumping household waste,
taking a protected bird, no license in possession, and unsigned
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to field several calls
concerning the upcoming hunting seasons. The officer encountered
two individuals walking in a WMA and wearing blaze orange. After a
brief conversation, the two said they were pheasant hunting.
Another conversation then ensued about the pheasant season starting
in two weeks. Enforcement action was taken.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the weekend
checking waterfowl-hunting activity. Time also was spent checking
anglers and archery hunters. Some fishing, deer-baiting, and
waterfowling violations were detected.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) responded to a call of people hunting in
a state park. The hunter was found, and enforcement action was
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports another good week for squirrel
hunters. River fishing continues to be exceptional. He attended a
joint meeting of the Minnesota and Wisconsin DNRs. Many trespass
calls came in involving ginseng diggers and small-game hunters. All
the complaints were on legally posted land. Several citations were
issued. One trespasser’s vehicle was vandalized when someone cut
the sidewall on two of the truck’s tires; the Houston County
Sheriff’s Department investigated.