MN: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 1
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) reports anglers were checked on the Roseau
River with small pike being caught northwest of Roseau.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) reports a complaint of garbage dumping
in the state forest was investigated.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) notes that a large ice crack is still
affecting a large part of Lake of the Woods. Anglers need to use
extreme caution when traveling on the ice.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted an interview
with a Minnesota resident concerning possible violations in
Illinois on behalf of the Illinois DNR Enforcement Division.
Responding to a call of two whitetail bucks locked together in
battle, CO Woinarowicz found that the larger of the two had already
expired and the second was frantically trying to free itself. With
few options and keeping safety in mind, Woinarowicz shot the antler
off the dead buck with a slug from his patrol shotgun. The antlers
flew apart and the live buck bounded away.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked small-game hunting and
trapping activity in the Beltrami Island State Forest area.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) disposed of an accidentally trapped
timber wolf and dealt with a nuisance fisher.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) reminds anglers that if they don’t
intend on keeping an eelpout that they must return it to the water
and not throw it on the ice.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) spoke to the Plummer Youth Snowmobile
Safety Class about laws, safety, and riding ethics.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, ATVs, and snowmobiles.
It was the first time out for most of the snowmobiles.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports warm temperatures, marginal ice,
and strong winds have caused problems for area fish houses. Winds
tipped several houses over and blew them hundreds of feet. Other
houses fell through the ice.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) responded to several incidents of
fish houses falling through the ice, trash left on the ice, and
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and fish houses. Several
cars and half-ton pickup trucks were observed on the ice despite
all the recent warnings.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a dispute between anglers
resulted in one person being arrested for an outstanding
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports anglers, spear fishermen,
ATVs, and snowmobiles were checked on area lakes, with violations
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) seized three fishers from a local
trapper that were incidentally taken. Plautz responded to a
trespass complaint and spoke to an individual who claims a deer is
stalking him on his property.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) reports participating in a fishing
enforcement work crew in the Ottertail and Battle Lakes area.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) received several reports of ice
shelters and ATVs that had fallen through the ice during the week.
In one incident a father and his 5-year-old son almost drowned
after their ATV went through the ice before dawn. The father was
able to get his son up on the ice but struggled to get out of the
water himself, but finally made it.
CO Jon Paurus (Alexandria) spent the week checking on fish houses
that went through the ice.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports the combination of mild temps and
strong winds earlier in the week created rapidly changing ice
conditions on area lakes.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) participated with a work crew in
Otter Tail County and investigated a complaint of an access being
blocked on a WPA.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) was part of a work crew that took place
on Lake Minnewaska. A fair number of anglers were out even with the
high winds and poor fishing conditions. A few pheasant hunters were
out this weekend as the 2011 pheasant season wrapped up.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reminds fishermen that all fish houses
need to have identification on them regardless of whether a shelter
license is needed or displayed.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) processed evidence from the firearms
deer season, completed equipment maintenance, and checked anglers
on special regulation lakes.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a call regarding a landowner
who was harassing a local fisherman on a lake.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) seized two accidentally taken fishers.
He conducted an aerator inspection and discovered open water
encroaching upon the public access due to the warm weather. The
aerator has been temporarily shut down.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a TIP complaint regarding wanton
waste. The complaint involved three geese, one duck, and one grouse
dumped in the woods.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) monitored ice angling and spearing
activity. Angling success slowed, however, several more fish houses
are out on area lakes. Ice conditions have improved but many lakes
are still only averaging 10 inches of ice.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked ice fishermen, bowhunters, and
tagged fur for local trappers. With sunny/windy weather a fish
house broke through the ice on Crook Neck Lake.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) reports one
wetland case was closed out due to a satisfactory
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports ice fishing
activity on Rainy Lake increasing with ice conditions improving;
however, people are still advised to use extreme caution.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes with few
fishermen and very slow fishing. Forest roads were monitored, as
were logging activities.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports most of the bays of Lake Vermilion
have around 18 inches of ice on them; however, the larger parts of
the lake may have significantly less. Ice is never totally
CO Dan Starr (Tower) continued to work on background investigation
duties and monitored some ice condition issues.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent most of the time checking anglers
and spear fishermen. Both groups have been doing well and report
some very nice fish being taken including a 30-plus-inch walleye
and several 40-plus-inch northern pike.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) worked snowmobile enforcement and fishing
enforcement. He spent time working the BWCA winter trout
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked anglers and some snowmobile riders.
Enforcement efforts were targeted towards the BWCA winter trout
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other COs during the
Boundary Waters lake trout opener. There was some angling activity
on Saturday with some nice fish caught. Violations included fishing
in closed areas, fishing for stream trout when only lake trout was
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked cross country ski passes,
patrolled state parks, answered questions about dogs chasing deer,
and handled vehicle maintenance issues.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored angling and snowmobile
activity along the North Shore and in the BWCA.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked on equipment related issues
and checked ice angling activity throughout his station.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports the area panfish bite has
picked up a little over the week with some nice fish seen in the
bag. The recent winds have blown all snow and a few fish houses
from the area lakes.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked trappers and anglers, processed
accidentally caught furbearers, and worked on cases from the deer
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids)
checked dark house spearers, anglers, ATV operators, and trappers.
Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders were tracked.
Complaints of crappie over limits were investigated.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers over the past
week with moderate success had by sportsmen. Ice conditions are
still not the best with anywhere from a few inches of ice to 12
inches in places.
CO Jaysen Hansen (Bigfork) worked on fishing activity, took care of
incidental furbearers, and finished up paperwork.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) received a TIP call in reference
to over limit of northerns on a local lake.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working on a background
investigation for a possible hire as a conservation officer.
Officer Duncan assisted with a work detail in the Grand Marais area
for the opening season of winter lake trout fishing within the
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a man who shot a deer out of
season while using a crossbow was charged. Reports of dogs chasing
deer is again on the rise. Please keep your pets tied or
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) followed up on a
trespassing complaint and a few trapping complaints in the area.
Still some open water on some of the flowing creeks so ice anglers
are asked to be extremely careful when venturing out onto the
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the BWCA lake
trout opener in the area of the Gunflint Trail. He also worked
snowmobile trails in while in the area.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) monitored snowmobile
activity in the Finland/Isabella area. A bobcat was registered for
a local trapper, and an incidentally caught otter seized. Ice
anglers are finding mixed success along with moderate to poor ice
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) investigated a call from a Pine River
resident involving suspicious activity in a fish house. The case is
CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) Shoutz is working on a public waters
violation on the WFC where a landowner attempted a private
reclamation of his lake bank without the appropriate permits. He
also took enforcement action on a trapper who had placed a
“chirping chickadee” inside a cubby box to attract bobcat to his
trap set. It is illegal to use an unattended electronic device for
the purpose of taking small game.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing enforcement and
background investigations over the holiday week. Officer Guida
received incidentally taken fisher from trappers to be turned into
the Minnesota Fur Project. The dollars generated will support
educational training materials for our trapping education
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna) assisted Crosby police with a fleeing
snowmobile investigation where the machine hit a gate in the SRA.
He assisted a bowhunter with a dead battery in the Pillsbury State
CO Patrick McGowan (McGregor) patrolled Aitkin County for angling
activity throughout the week.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) responded to grass fires and fish
houses falling through the ice on the same day and then saw the
first snowmobilers of the season.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports a snowmobiler drove into open
water on Gull. He worked on trapping issues and reports of
incidental fishers being caught. Posner worked with neighboring CO
Tischler checking anglers and working in the Pillsbury Forest
looking for vehicles on closed roads.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received car-hit deer reports and
assisted Carlton County with a property damage car accident.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) reports shifting ice has formed a
dangerous pressure ridge on Pokegama Lake. This ridge is located on
the northeast side of the lake, and extends west. CO Wynn and Pine
County Sheriff’s deputies marked the area, but caution is urged if
operating ATVs anywhere on the lake.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) met with the Mille Lacs County Attorney on cases
from the deer firearms season.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked trappers, collected a couple
incidentally trapped animals and dealt with complaints of
trespassing by trappers.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports calls regarding car-kill deer
permits and questions on law related items were answered throughout
the week. The officer checked some small game hunters who were out
taking advantage of the mild weather.
CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) is working on a public waters violation
on the WFC where a landowner attempted a private reclamation of his
lake bank without the appropriate permits. He also took enforcement
action on a trapper who had placed a “chirping chickadee” inside a
cubby box to attract bobcat to his trap set. It is illegal to use
an unattended electronic device for the purpose of taking small
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) investigated a wetland that was
destroyed when filled.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) responded to TIP calls of individuals taking
over-limits of fish and worked with DNR hydrologists to review
permit violations in regards to a bridge replacement.
CO Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) worked on a public waters wetland
violation. Two landowners and a contractor dug a ditch in the
protected wetland without proper permits. Enforcement action
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) investigated a TIP call that resulted in
two individuals being charged for overlimit of crappies and
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports assisting local police
with a traffic stop that turned out to be a medical
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked on a background
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a quiet close to the archery
season with a few hunters out. Five anglers also were found driving
their ATVs up the snowmobile trail to gain access to a lake.
Outside of driving on the snowmobile trail, they had to trespass
across 100 yards of private land to make it to the lake. The group
was educated on their illegal travels.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports that while checking fishermen on
one lake with only 5 inches of ice another angler drove his half
ton pick-up on the ice. All the anglers in the area of the truck
quickly moved away from the truck as it got close to them. After
the driver stopped and drilled a hole he slowly tip-toed back to
the truck and the passenger in the truck got out and walked back
towards the access. The driver rolled down the windows and slowly
drove off the ice. The passenger got back in at the access they
left the area. One angler said, “Do you think the dirty looks
scared them away or the thin ice?”
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) reports some late-season pheasant
hunters were also checked and were having minimal results.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) investigated a case involving two deer
shot during the closed season and investigated another case
involving multiple deer hunting violations. A large off-road
vehicle wetland violation is also under investigation.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) helped cover a call in a vacant station
and finished up an investigation from the deer season.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a TIP complaint of a hunter
trespass in Washington County.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) responded to a TIP complaint of a possible
big game violation and investigated it. He also responded to a TIP
complaint of a turkey shot in St. Paul with 1LT Peterson.
Enforcement action was taken for taking a turkey out of
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports the pheasant season ended on a
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) checked numerous ice fishermen and
coyote hunters this past week. Ice conditions continue to vary
greatly from lake to lake.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports high winds have opened up large
portions on Lac qui Parle. CO Picht reports that four houses have
gone in the lake this last week. Two houses were blown into open
water. The owners had to use boats to get them out. CO Picht is
looking to identify the owner of a large fish house that went in
the ice to the northwest of Boyd’s landing.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) reports the end of pheasant hunting was
tough with birds very spread out with the lack of snow.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) continued future employment background
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on a deer that was found
illegally dumped on private property. He also received calls about
wounded deer, illegal deer stands on public hunting areas, and
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing
activity. Additional time was spent checking ATV and trapping
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) completed aeration system inspections,
checked a few late-season pheasant hunters, and worked the end of
the archery deer season.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking end-of-the-year
pheasant and deer hunters. Time was also spent checking anglers and
monitoring trapping activity. Aeration inspections in Waseca,
LeSueur, and Scott counties were also conducted.
CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports working angling and hunting
enforcement. Many trespassing complaints have been received. A
reminder, that just because you may not see “No Trespassing” signs,
it does not give you permission to hunt the property.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) gave a law-and-ethics presentation for a
snowmobile safety class. Enforcement actions included unsigned
license and unmarked fish shelters.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) followed up on a trespassing complaint
which resulted in a civil citation being issued.
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports completing a deer hunting
related investigation that resulted in trespass violation being
issued to the hunter.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week
checking ice anglers and open-water anglers. The ice is still in
rough shape and ice anglers are not having much success in the
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports an increase in boat activity in the
area. People are both fishing from boats and using boats to get to
ice-fishing areas. There are areas with open water that are usually
iced over during the duck season. Many archery deer hunters hunted
the last couple days of the season with some success including the
annual event of trailing a deer into the new year.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports boat anglers were caught many
walleye and sauger below the dam sites. He investigated a trespass
call involving squirrel hunters with charges pending.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports attending court from the deer
season. Time was also spent checking a few archery hunters out
until the last day; success was limited.
CO Dan McBroom (Rochester) spent most of the week on goose hunting.
The late goose season came to a close with high winds and tough
hunting. Overall, the season went well with few complaints. There
did not seem to be as many hunters out this late season, as in
years past. One common violation was hunters not having the Federal
Waterfowl Stamp in possession after the license validation
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports concluding several
investigations involving trapping and deer, as well as checking
some ice fishermen.