District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl hunters on Thief Lake,
Nereson WMA, Roseau River WMA, and in surrounding fields. A large
wildfire that burned more than 30,000 acres was investigated, and
charges are pending.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) assisted some disabled hunters with
obtaining permits, and a project was completed on a local
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spent the week attempting
to enforce burning restrictions. Low humidity, abnormally dry fuel
sources, and extremely high winds made for a dangerous combination,
and a burning ban was in place. Still, there were multiple fires
ignited with some escaping and causing multiple acres to be
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked on several fires while on
assignment with the Wildfire Arson Investigative Team in northwest
Minnesota. A trespass complaint was investigated, as was a
complaint about taking an overlimit of waterfowl and late shooting.
CO Backer investigated a complaint of wanton waste in which a deer
was shot and left to spoil by someone hunting by archery.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) spoke to the Clearbrook firearm safety class
about laws, safety, and ethics. The officer worked with DNR
Forestry personnel on a wildfire investigation.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) patrolled WMAs and WPAs for waterfowl and
archery deer-hunting activity. The lands were checked for stands
and equipment left overnight. The officer also spoke to the
Minnesota Darkhouse Angling and Spearing Association.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) checked duck/goose hunters, archery
deer hunters, and anglers. The officer and CO Forsberg responded to
a car-moose crash on I-94. The moose was salvaged and research data
collected. A grass fire was investigated in Clay County. The fire
was started during a burning ban imposed because of the extremely
dry and windy conditions.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked waterfowl hunters,
ATVers, anglers, and big-game hunters. Complaints regarding ATV
operation, anglers transporting lake water or failing to remove
drain plugs, burning during a fire ban, aquatic plant removal, and
TIP calls were investigated. The officer assisted the sheriff’s
department with executing a search warrant.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked waterfowl hunters,
archery deer hunters, and anglers. Complaints about a farmer
encroaching on WMA land, deer poaching, and aquatic plant removal
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked area hunters throughout the
week. Plautz also scouted state land for treestands being left
overnight, as well as bait sites.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters,
bowhunters, and boaters. Several calls were answered regarding
bowhunting laws, aquatic invasive species, and the upcoming
CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) spent time investigating trespass and
timber theft complaints. Fishing and boating activity was quite
high with the warm temperatures.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on waterfowl
hunters, anglers, and boating safety enforcement. Anderson also
worked a TIP call about people hunting after the 4 p.m. closing on
Saturday in the Herman area. The hunters were located and
enforcement action was taken, with several other violations besides
late shooting. Burning activity picked up in Stevens County, and
some folks were found to be burning without permits and burning
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) spent the week working waterfowl hunters
and answering calls regarding upcoming deer seasons. Waterfowl
hunters were fewer in number, and success has decreased.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) and CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids)
assisted with security and law enforcement efforts during the
Pagami Creek fire in the Ely/Isabella area.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked waterfowl and small-game
hunters. He investigated several late-shooting complaints and
assisted local law enforcement regarding a shots-fired call in town
that turned out to be a “spud gun.”
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) assisted Officer Broughten with an
individual who shot a trumpeter swan and also had an assault rifle
in his possession while hunting migratory waterfowl. Officer Mathy
also was interviewed by a local newspaper regarding hunting topics.
He investigated two wolf depredation complaints resulting in a
compensation claim for one lamb that was killed.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) monitored angling, small-game
hunting, and waterfowl hunting activity. CO Broughten received a
call concerning a group of duck hunters that shot a swan. CO
Broughten initiated an investigation of a group of three duck
hunters that resulted in one individual charged with shooting a
swan and a second individual arrested for hunting while
intoxicated. Firearms were seized from both individuals, and both
cases are being forwarded to the Cass County attorney for
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) investigated
a complaint about ATVers illegally using the Paul Bunyan State
Trail and assisted with a search for a missing person in the Paul
Bunyan State Forest. Officer Adam also investigated
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) worked with
landowners and county SWCDs on wetland issues. Voluntary
restoration of a WCA case was achieved when the landowner
voluntarily removed all-illegal wetland fill.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports several nuisance
animal complainants were handled. One phone call brought CO
Kittelson out to where a whitetail buck had attempted to cross a
fence when its antlers got tangled in the fence. After a short
rodeo event and with some help from area hunters, the buck was
released from the fence.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked on a deer case regarding illegal
archery hunting, monitored fishing activity, worked grouse hunters,
and found some waterfowl hunters enjoying the nice weather.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports many calls have come in
regarding nuisance bears. Several deer baits were located and will
be monitored. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a
loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and for operating an ATV in the
road right of way without a valid driver’s license.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and canoeists in the BWCAW.
CO Velsvaag also followed up on a litter complaint and took calls
about the new deer-hunting regulations and trespass.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked grouse hunters and spent some time
checking a couple moose hunters. Officer Stage received calls about
litter, road-kill deer, and various other subjects.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked grouse and moose hunters. Recent
changes to gun transportation and grouse-hunting regulations appear
to have an impact on numbers of grouse seen along the forest roads.
Unfortunately, trash and litter was as plentiful as birds. The
officer also took a complaint from a party who was upset when a
hunter on an ATV passed him on a roadway with an uncased gun across
his lap (while he drove) and pointed at the complainant.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked several hunters. CO Wahlstrom
also assisted wildlife biologists with registering bull moose that
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) continued to work moose and grouse
hunters. Both groups are having varied rates of success. An
investigation was started on a small wildfire that occurred during
the weekend. Two local fire departments, in addition to DNR
firefighters, doused the fire, which was limited to an acre or
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse hunters, duck hunters,
and anglers. He investigated calls regarding trespass, shots fired
at night, ATV trespass, illegally posted land, and shooting from a
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked waterfowl hunters and
anglers, worked small-game hunting activity, assisted the county
with a house fire, and answered questions about the upcoming
firearms deer season.
CO Brent Speldrich (Northeast ATV Rec) assisted the Aitkin County
Sheriff’s Office with an ATV accident with injuries on the Red Top
trail loop. The ATVer was going too fast for trail conditions and
fell off his machine when it rolled. The machine appeared to land
on the operator and injure him. Officer Speldrich arrested the
driver of a vehicle who was operating without a valid license. A
criminal complaint was filed with the court. Officer Speldrich also
assisted D8 officers with a shining detail. One illegal shiner was
found to be in possession of a doe that hadn’t been site-tagged and
the site tag wasn’t validated. The individual was issued citations
for his actions.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids)
worked aquatic invasive species enforcement activities. Enforcement
action was taken for unattended decoys. He assisted with a victim
recovery from Dixon Lake. Arhart also issued two Wetland
Conservation Act restoration orders for Itasca County
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked small-game hunting, archery, and
off-highway vehicle enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey
also issued a wetland restoration order regarding a
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) worked on several wetland
and waters complaints in the area. Two possible waters violations
have been referred to the area hydrologist for follow-up.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked archery and bear hunters.
Baiting violations were investigated. ATV complaints were
investigated and problem areas worked.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several deer-hunting violations
were investigated. Bear complaints continue. Waterfowl and grouse
hunters were checked.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked salmon anglers
and late-season boaters on Lake Superior. ATV complaints were
handled, and questions were answered about upcoming hunting
seasons. Enforcement action was taken for license and ATV
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) investigated a TIP call regarding
nonresident anglers taking overlimits and double-tripping on a
special regulation lake in the area. Shoutz also responded to a
report of a capsized boat on the Whitefish chain. The sole
occupant, an angler, was out of the water and the 14-foot boat was
being pulled to shore. The boat swamped from the high wind, and as
the angler was pulling up his anchor he found himself in the lake.
He was not wearing a PFD, but was rescued shortly after the
incident. For the second weekend in a row, an archery hunter
reported seeing grouse hunters with guns and a dog hunting in the
Crosslake State Game Refuge.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) made contact with two 18-year-olds who were
operating an ATV on the road shoulder and possessed uncased
firearms on an unregistered machine. One hunter admitted to hunting
small game without wearing blaze orange.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area) assisted
visitors and trail users in the Cuyuna Country SRA. He also checked
anglers, and waterfowl and small-game hunters.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) assisted with an adult firearms safety field
class, handled a case of illegally posting public land, and took
numerous phone calls. One call resulted in enforcement action for
illegally transporting zebra mussels from Prior Lake. Approximately
200 mussels were still attached to a swim raft after the owner had
spent about $12 pressure washing it at a metro area car wash. All
of the mussels did appear to be dead from being out of water for an
extended period of time and the raft had not been placed into a
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked waterfowl hunters during the
week. Croatt also assisted the sheriff’s department with the search
for a missing kayaker on Mille Lacs Lake on Friday afternoon. Winds
over 40-plus miles per hour and waves reaching over 6 feet made
rescue attempts difficult. The kayaker was found deceased the next
CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s
Department with a call. A person was located at a residence a short
time later, but when officers attempted to make contact with the
individual he came to the door with a knife. After a period of time
the party dropped the knife and was taken into custody.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received a TIP complaint about late
shooting on a local lake. The TIP information resulted in
enforcement action for shooting after the close of waterfowl
hunting hours. It turned out the hunters read the regulations book
wrong. Heaton also worked shining complaints in the area. An
investigation is being conducted regarding a shining
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) patrolled the Solana State Forest for
ATV traffic. Aquatic invasive species enforcement was worked during
the week. Deer shining activity also was monitored in the Malmo
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers and waterfowl
hunters.Enforcement action was taken for common violations such as
no license in possession and no throwable life preservers.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) encountered two hunters shining deer in
the Cold Spring area after the legal time; the men had two
spotlights, a bow, and marijuana in their possession at the time of
CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) investigated a deer shot with a
firearm that was dumped on private property.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, waterfowl hunters, and
deer hunters. Time was spent working baiting cases, an overlimit
case, a trespass complaint, and shining complaints.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO David Schottenbauer (Princeton) worked an ongoing waters
complaint. CO Schottenbauer spent most of his time working hunters
in the area, with a few late hunting issues.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) worked waterfowl hunters in the area. Time
also was spent at two firearm safety classes in Mora. Enforcement
action was taken for an unplugged shotgun while waterfowl
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled several hunter trespass
complaints. Violations found were unplugged shotguns, unsigned
federal duck stamps, no federal duck stamps, and lead shot.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) patrolled Lake Minnetonka. Violations
included no fishing license, children under 10 without a PFD,
invalid boat registration, and no throwable PFD. She also responded
to a TIP call regarding an individual who took an overlimit of
crappies on Lake Sarah.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) had court on a DWI arrest. The CO also
checked fishermen on area lakes and the Mississippi River.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) investigated a deer-hunting
complaint. He also did fishing and AIS enforcement.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked hunters and anglers in the area. He
met with a youth program coordinator at Vietnamese Social Services
for a community event.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued working on TIP complaints. He also
checked waterfowl, archery, and small-game hunters.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked waterfowl hunter enforcement in
Anoka County. Enforcement action was taken for license violations,
unplugged guns, and shooting hour violations.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) is working on deer cases and
aquatic vegetation complaints in Ramsey County. CO Kruse talked at
an orientation meeting for the upcoming youth deer hunt at Afton
State Park and handled various TIP calls.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and
working waterfowl hunters. Duck numbers seem to have plummeted.
Enforcement action was taken for shooting hours violations and
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week checking fishermen,
bowhunters, and waterfowl hunters. With the extremely dry
conditions and red-flag fire warnings, time was spent patrolling
area WMAs and state parks. Assistance was given throughout the week
to local fire departments at numerous fires.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) continues to monitor a nongame
issue. Waterfowl numbers on area WMAs has moderated.
WREO Larry Hanson (southern Minnesota) investigated a possible WCA
violation in Renville County. WCA and public waters violations
continue to come in with several involving illegal tiling.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked waterfowl, small-game, and
archery deer hunting activity. Additional time was spent checking
angling and boating activity, and advising boaters about invasive
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked activity on area lakes. High
winds for several days prevented many from getting on the lakes.
Waterfowl hunting activity has decreased dramatically. Assistance
was given to local law enforcement and firefighters for cornfield
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke about hunting regulations on a local
radio program and attended an event at the Prairie Woods
Environmental Center. He also assisted on a deer case involving the
illegal lending and borrowing of deer licenses.
CO Angela Londgren (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl hunters, anglers,
small-game hunters, and archery hunters, and patrolled county
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) noted that the soybean harvest is all but
over and the corn harvest is moving rapidly.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) checked hunters with six-duck limits to
hunters with several misses. Enforcement action was taken for ATV
violations, motorized decoys during a restricted period, no PFDs,
and no license in possession.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked fishermen, waterfowl hunters, ATV
operators, and boaters. Work continued on educating the public
about AIS laws.
CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports working waterfowl and deer
hunters. Officer Siems also responded to an ATV crash. Follow-up on
several TIP calls was conducted.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked waterfowl-hunting activity this
week with a wider variety of ducks seen in the bag. Trespassing
complaints continue to be reported. Enforcement action was taken
for failure to remove plugs from watercraft, no license in
possession, unsigned stamps, and trespassing.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports many trespass calls regarding
posted land with many citations issued. One of the cases will be
turned over to the county attorney for gross misdemeanor charges.
While responding to a trespass complaint, it turned into an illegal
drug case. Evidence was seized, which included what is believed to
be black heroin and drug paraphernalia.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports a boater was contacted while he
was preparing to leave the access in Red Wing with several thousand
zebra mussels on his boat. He did not leave the river with his
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) was called out after a person watched
individuals shine and shoot deer from the window of the vehicle
after dark. With the assistance of Fillmore County deputies the
suspects were caught; charges are pending. CO Boyum also received a
call about two bucks locked together by their antlers. The caller
stated that the bucks had been locked up for at least four hours.
Upon the CO’s arrival, the bucks were still locked together. The
antlers were then shot off and the bucks separated. Both bucks
dropped from exhaustion. Before the CO left, one buck had stood up
and walked off and the other was still recovering.