MN: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 52
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) reports that ice on western Lake of
the Woods is not safe. Multiple cracks have reopened, with strips
of open water limiting access. There have been numerous reports of
all types of motorized vehicles breaking through the ice.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor
ice-angling activity and last-season archery hunters. He responded
to a complaint about an injured snowy owl and is assisting the
Illinois DNR with an ongoing investigation.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) reports ATV usage was monitored
on trails and frozen waters. CO Warren followed up on a possible
wetlands violation with local government units. Equipment
maintenance was performed.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) checked on a report of a dead bull
moose that appeared to have died of natural causes.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing activity throughout
the week. Anglers continue to report good fishing on area lakes.
Lake of the Woods ice conditions have declined on the western
portion of the lake, and no travel is advised on that side of the
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports archery deer hunters are taking
advantage of the final days of the season.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers and investigated a
wetland alteration complaint.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers and fish houses. Many
anglers were out in the open, enjoying the mild weather.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers, fish houses, trappers,
and ATVers. Up to 12 inches of ice is being reported by
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) focused efforts on a background
investigation of a conservation officer applicant. As many as 10
unoccupied fish houses went through the ice in one area of Buchanan
Lake in Otter Tail County.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports complaints of encroaching on
WMA property and license fraud were investigated. Seefeldt attended
background investigation training.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and fish houses.
A litter complaint was investigated.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports a person called about a missing dog.
Because it was dark out, the caller thought a helicopter would be
helpful to locate the dog.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) assisted with a person and ATV
that went through the ice. The person was in the water for
approximately 20 minutes before being rescued by the Pelican Rapids
Fire Department. The person was treated for hypothermia.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest) assisted the Becker
County Sheriff’s Office with a lost hunter in the Tamarac National
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received numerous questions about
ice safety and was interviewed by a local radio station on the same
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) received complaints of open water
throughout the area, with multiple fish houses going through the
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked ice fishermen and small-game
hunters. Pheasant-hunting success has been limited the past couple
CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) monitored fishing and hunting
activities. Litter and miscellaneous wildlife complaints were
handled. Ice conditions and thickness are still quite
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a couple of ATVs broke through
the ice but nobody was injured. Time was spent checking fishing and
spearing activity and monitoring the station’s remaining hunting
and trapping activity.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) spent time investigating garbage
dumped on a waterfowl production area with U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service officials. Additional time was spent investigating illegal
fires and checking WMAs and WPAs for illegal vehicle traffic.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reports enforcement action has centered
around improperly marked fish houses, expired registration on ATVs,
and angling with extra lines.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) completed equipment maintenance,
addressed some trapping issues, and answered questions about ice
shelters and angling. Officer Parthun also checked anglers on
special regulation lakes, attended a day of training, and monitored
ATV activity in the area.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) seized two accidentally taken fishers.
Ice anglers are out in numbers. Several houses are being moved or
blocked up due to deteriorating ice conditions under the
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport-fishing activity and an
investigation into a wetlands filling complaint.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received a call about a stolen trap that
turned into an investigation of trap tampering and impersonating a
conservation officer. The case is being forwarded to the Beltrami
County Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) reports anglers are advised to use
proper footwear and exercise extreme caution when walking on the
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) primarily monitored ice-angling
activity on area lakes during the week. He noted that some anglers
had success, but it varied widely.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) patrolled
state forest roads/trails, checked trappers, and monitored angling
activity. Many area lakes are supporting hard-water anglers using
portables, permanents, ATVs, and in some cases even
highway-licensed vehicles. Recent warm weather during the holiday
weekend melted the snow that was available for tracking and
createds daytime puddles on the lakes.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) provided
assistance to a local fire department with a grass fire.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking a few ice anglers. Ice
conditions are good, and anglers can travel quite easily by foot or
ATV since there is no snow. Very few fish were observed,
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on trapping cases, and ran
students through the riding portion of the snowmobile safety class.
Snow conditions are still poor, and trails remain untouched.
Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a TIP complaint in Brimson of a deer
shot from the roadway. When confronted by a local landowner, the
shooter stated he had a permit to hunt from a motor vehicle. Fredin
received a call about a possible dead moose along a railroad track.
Upon investigation, it turned out to be large black plastic bags
filled with processed deer remains. A hunting tag was located on a
carcass, the litterer was located and cited for littering, and the
litterer picked up the remains to bring to the landfill.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
With the holidays, various training this past week, and officers on
leave, D6 had little to no enforcement activity to report.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, enforced trapping
regulations, processed accidentally caught fur, and handled
complaints regarding violations of WMA rules.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids)
checked anglers, darkhouse spearers, and bait and water transport
on infested and on other area waters. Some three-quarter-ton pickup
trucks traveled on Winnie ice. A Wetland Conservation Act
restoration order was issued in Cass County; another restoration
order was rescinded in St. Louis County.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked on her background
assignment this week. She also checked area lakes for fishing
activity. Be careful on the ice; right now there are quite a few
lakes in Minnesota that have opened back up in some areas. Locally,
Pokegama Lake (Sherry’s Arm) and Rice Lake (Cohasset) have spots
that are thin ice-caution areas.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVers, fish houses,
and small game hunters. He also worked on trapping issues during
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked fishing activity, issued a
road-killed deer permit, and answered small-game hunting
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for no
ID on a fishing shelter, no registration on an ATV, and no angling
license in possession.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) attended time-sheet training at the
district office in Duluth and also had background investigation
school in St. Paul.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) said a man who shot a deer out of season
while using a crossbow was charged. Reports of dogs chasing deer
are again on the rise. Most people are surprised to learn that
their beloved pets can become deer killers when allowed to run
free. Please keep your pets tied or contained.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) spent time working on
cases from deer season and also a follow-up in locating a person
wanted on a hunting violation from a long time ago.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on
reports and papers to help secure a final grant application.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended time sheet
training and also background school in St. Paul.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) assisted area law enforcement officers
with delivery of Christmas for Kids toys and dinners to less
fortunate families on Christmas Eve morning. A deer was seized from
a Backus residence, and charges are pending. The deer had a 2008
tag attached. The investigation continues on a horse that was shot
during the muzzleloader deer season on a Pine River thoroughbred
ranch. Anyone with information on this may call the TIP line or the
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked on background investigations. A
district meeting was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) responded to an ATV rollover incident in a
remote area in which the driver was killed and the passenger
sustained injuries including a broken leg.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna) monitored ice fishing and small-game
hunting in an SRA and Pillsbury State Forest.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended training and checked anglers,
trappers, and ATV activity.
CO Pat McGowan (McGregor) continues to complete interviews
regarding TIP calls from this season’s firearms deer season.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) assisted with getting anglers off a
floating ice sheet as several miles of Mille Lacs’ northwest corner
broke away from shore. Muskrat trappers are doing well since there
is enough ice to reach trapping areas, but warm conditions are not
freezing up sets.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) checked area anglers who reported
average success. She received reports of trap tampering and failing
to identify traps.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted with an ice rescue on Lake Mille Lacs
where approximately 30 people were trapped on an ice chunk that
broke loose and was traveling away from shore.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled several complaints about
nuisance animals throughout the week and checked anglers and
trappers. A few late-season archery deer hunters also were found
trying their luck during the unseasonably warm weather.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Lake Mille Lacs.
Shifting ice conditions still plague the lake.
CO Angela Londgren (Onamia) received numerous calls about an
injured swan. With the help of concerned citizens, the swan was
found and caught near Bay View and delivered to the local
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending some division
training at Camp Ripley. Cases from deer season were investigated
and paperwork was forwarded to the county attorney’s office. Lots
of law-related questions regarding fishing, trapping, and ATV laws
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time following up on deer season
cases and wetland complaints. The first vehicle was seen driving on
local waters. Vehicle travel is not recommended, as many places
have less than 8 inches of ice.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked trappers and worked on TIP
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity. The
officer answered calls concerning fishing and water within bait
pails coming off lakes.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) spoke at a Darkhouse Spearing and
Angling Association meeting in Freeport.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports illegal deer stands were removed
from public hunting land.
CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) investigated a possible wetlands
violation. CO Haberman also checked some pheasant hunters.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports a wetlands cease and desist order was
issued to a landowner, and a contractor was ticketed for digging a
ditch that would potentially drain a large wetland area. CO Kuske
assisted the Pierz Police Department with the deposal of a
porcupine that showed up in the office of a local business.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked anglers, trappers, and
small-game hunters throughout the week. Animal complaints were
addressed, and ATV complaints were investigated.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports some late-season pheasant
hunters were out during the holiday weekend with little or no luck.
Trapping in the area continues with good results.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) received a TIP regarding an overlimit of
walleyes. He obtained a search warrant and recovered the overlimit
of fish. Charges are pending.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) checked fishing activity on Lake
Minnetonka. She also met with Hennepin County attorney staff
regarding an upcoming boating while intoxicated case.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) started to see a few ATVers on Lake
Minnetonka. The CO would like to remind people the ice is still not
thick enough to safely support an ATV or vehicle.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked small-game and goose hunters in the
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received a call regarding an owl that
had been shot. He also followed up on a possible deer overlimit
case. Ice thickness varies from zero to 6 inches on the lakes in
the Bloomington area.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent time finishing up investigations
from the deer season and returning phone calls regarding the deer
season and ice angling.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) reports a week of continued CO Academy
background investigations. Officer Jensen attended a pilot meeting
at Camp Ripley and received training on a new time sheet input
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers around some of the metro
lakes. He checked archery and goose hunters and patrolled wildlife
management areas. He also handled calls about injured
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) talked to a career class at an area
high school. CO Muyres also checked anglers on area lakes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports the Minnesota River continues to
provide good fishing opportunities with the warm weather for
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice-fishing and goose-hunting
activity throughout the week. In-service training was attended in
New Ulm, and background investigator training was attended in St.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) investigated complaints regarding
illegally taken deer and trespassing.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports a fishing shelter went through
the ice of Lake Shetek. With another warm weather forecast for the
week, anglers need to continue to pay close attention to ice
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked ice anglers and spearers who
continue to have excellent luck. He checked on a fish house that
broke through the ice and is partially submerged. Litter and rough
fish left on the ice continue to be a problem.
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) reports the pheasant hunting seems to be
tougher yet at this point with no snow to concentrate the birds.
Bowhunters are shooting some deer now with people starting to be
willing to shoot a doe at this point in the season.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports one angler found himself
chest-deep in icy water as he fell through what he thought to be
safe ice. A rescue was made. Investigations were completed from the
deer season with charges going forward regarding the poaching of a
buck with a .22 rifle. The deer was shined and left to lie.
Investigations also were wrapped up on illegal shining and illegal
method of night raccoon hunting. Charges are being filed.
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing
activity. Hatlestad also checked trapping activity and investigated
possible WCA and public waters violations.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to a TIP call about someone
leaving equipment on a WPA and also the illegal dumping of
carcasses. Enforcement action was taken for illegal dumping and
leaving equipment on a WPA overnight.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) worked the end of the Canada goose season
and reports the weather has allowed pheasant hunters ample
late-season opportunities, but success has been limited. ATV
activity is high with no snow for snowmobilers.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) assisted neighboring officers in
investigating a TIP complaint regarding an angler. CO Howe
recovered two dogs that had gone through thin ice and drowned. The
dogs were frozen into the ice, and had to be chiseled out prior to
being returned to their owner.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent time responding to a trapping
complaint, as well as continuing follow-up on a wetland
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) addressed equipment maintenance
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) checked ATV operators and small-game
hunters. Violations included no angling license, youth on ATVs
without a helmet, no fish shelter identification, and no blaze
orange while small-game hunting.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) and some ice fisherman observed a hopping
frog on an island on the river on the first day of winter.
Overlimits of sunfish were found on the ice.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports working late-season
goose-hunting enforcement along with closing out several deer cases
from the fall. He also addressed trapping issues and checked some
of the first ice fishermen of the season.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent some time assisting with the
officer shooting in Lake City.
CO Scott Moran (Wabasha) reports assisting with the officer
shooting incident in Lake City.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking a few archery hunters
still out. The deer have not yarded up with the lack of snow, and
success has been limited. CO Boyum checked some rabbit
CO Dan McBroom (Rochester) spent most of the week on goose hunting
in the Rochester area. A lot of hunters are still out trying their
luck, and there are a lot of geese in the area. Flight patterns are
different almost every day. A lot of geese are in the air from 11
a.m. to evening. Area reservoirs have a fair amount of ice, but
caution should be used when venturing out.