District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored area goose, sandhill crane, grouse, bear, elk, and archery deer hunting activity. ATV complaints were investigated in Badger.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) reports an unpermitted fire was investigated and small-game hunters were checked on opening weekend.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers and boaters on area rivers. Bear-hunting activity was monitored, and registrations checked for compliance. Areas were patrolled for ATV activity. Complaints about deer taken out of season and possible wetlands violations are being investigated.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) attended training in Thief River Falls, checked angling activity, and worked boat and water safety. A complaint of a herbicide used on aquatics complaint was received.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored bear, goose, and small-game hunting throughout the week. ATV and OHM complaints were handled, and a wildfire was investigated.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Erskine) checked goose, small-game, dove, and archery deer hunters. Officer Hutchins also answered several questions regarding deer baiting.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) looked into a wolf-depredation complaint that turned into an investigation of an undetermined person taking a portion of a calf and then leaving the rest in the owner’s pasture.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department with the removal of an ATV accident victim from the crash site.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy small-game opener. CO Vollbrecht also attended annual training in Thief River Falls and spent time checking bear hunters and complaints of baited deer stands and nuisance bears. CO Vollbrecht assisted county officials with a report of a missing boater on Big Wolf Lake. The boater was located in the river, waiting for the wind to calm down.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) began the last phase of field training with COC Lawler. CO Vinton requested the assistance of pilot CO Jensen to help in the investigation of a recent case. COC Lawler rode along in the aircraft with Jensen. While in flight, the officers were requested by the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department to assist in locating a suspect who fled into the woods on foot after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a slow opener for area archery hunters. Warm weather, wind, and a large amount of un-harvested crops had deer moving very little. CO Seefeldt and CO Forsberg followed up on reports of deer baiting. CO Seefeldt also followed up on reports about dogs chasing deer.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to a dispute between a commercial fishermen and an angler and continued follow-up on a dead-wolf complaint.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked bowhunters, attended training at Thief River Falls, followed up on shoreline and aquatic plant violations, and worked deer-baiting complaints with the Moorhead CO.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked on the background investigation of a future employee. Plautz also worked bowhunters and small-game hunters. A call was taken regarding a stray dog in Glendalough State Park. Plautz retrieved the dog from park rangers, only to find that the dog and a small deer had been running together as playmates. One cabin owner described the Lab as it jumped into the lake after some geese, and then watched the deer jump in the lake after the dog. The dog owner was located, and the canine was safely returned home.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boating-related invasive species enforcement, early goose season hunters, and bow deer season opener. A complaint was received about some goose carcasses that were dumped on private property.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) took complaints about ATV trespass, baiting, illegal operation of ATVs, dead deer, and illegal dumping of big-game carcasses. Parthun also continued working on a public waters violation, conducted equipment maintenance, and attended training. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle and numerous ATV and OHM violations.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked deer and bear hunters in the area. Complaints about ATVs were on the rise. CO Oldakowski also assisted at the Conservation Officer academy.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked grouse hunters and archery deer hunters. Mathy also responded to calls about a nuisance bear and a lost boater who was found without incident.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports enforcement action was taken for illegally possessing a raccoon.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV, hunting, and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on the roadway, no ATV safety certificate, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and expired ATV registration.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) attended a meeting in Cass County to determine wetland impacts on a proposed ATV trail.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports grouse hunting was poor at best with no birds observed in the bag and few hunters.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports ruffed grouse hunters found that their quarry was scarce on the opener and few birds were taken. Three hunters transporting handguns were encountered during the weekend, with two doing it illegally. Handgun hunters are reminded that handguns must be cased and unloaded unless one has a carry permit.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports complaints concerning trespassing were taken and dealt with. Deer are on the move, and motorists are reminded to be more cautious this time of year. One motorist hit two deer in less than 15 minutes.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports bear hunting continues with some hunters believing due to the lack of food in the area, the bears have moved on to other areas.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and grouse hunters. Grouse-hunting success was low in the Ely area. CO Velsvaag took enforcement action following a complaint about a boat without lights. The operator had been cited for the same offense within the past several weeks.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the opening grouse and archery seasons, dealt with road-killed animals, and assisted with traffic control at a car accident. Moose-hunting orientation class was conducted in Ely for successful moose license applicants. CO Stage also investigated a big-game case in the BWCAW.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent a busy weekend checking grouse and bear hunters. The officer also checked anglers fishing Lake Superior tributaries for salmon.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) followed up on bear-hunting investigations and checked bear bait stations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the small-game and archery opener, investigated hunter harassment complaints, monitored OHV activity, and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable life preserver, no angling license in possession, bear bait issues, and hunter harassment.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) received a TIP call about an overlimit of bluegills being taken below a local dam. CO Sutherland investigated the complaint and found the group of individuals with more than triple their allowed limit. Citations were issued and restitution was paid for the bluegills.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, bear hunters, and small-game hunters. He investigated a trespass complaint, attended a district shoot, wrapped up wolf-controller activities, looked at a possible wetland violation, and worked a deer-baiting case.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked with COC Wichmann. The officers worked a bear hunter-harassment investigation and checked area hunters. Assistance was provided to the Wildlife Division in the recovery of a dead cow moose that local hunters had found.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked the small-game opener, finding a few grouse in the bags. He also checked some angling, early goose, and bear-hunting activities.
District 8 – Duluth area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) provided use of force training for COs in northwest Minnesota for two days. Officer Scott also worked with Carlton County Planning and Zoning officials on several wetland cases that are ongoing and with one new one.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports two moose were killed by car collisions during the week; however, the meat was salvaged and went to several good causes.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports working on a bear case for multiple days. Duncan and COC Mueller also investigated a wolf depredation case.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted the sheriff’s office after a deputy stopped a vehicle for driving on the Munger Trail near Carlton. The driver was arrested for numerous violations, which included driving after revocation, felony drug charges, and two outstanding warrants. A complaint resulted in the arrest of two individuals for trespassing when they were found dressed in camouflaged clothing and running through a yard where they hid a compound bow with arrows tipped with broadheads. A track with K-9 Schody showed that both individuals had been on an agricultural field where they did not have permission to be. This incident is still under investigation. While investigating another incident, CO Humphrey tried to stop an ATV with two individuals on it who had fled. CO Staples ran after the ATV on foot and caught them about a half-mile away across two hay fields. The suspects were trying to hide behind a large hay bale. The driver was taken into custody and the ATV was seized and is being held for forfeiture. The passenger and the three live chickens they had with them on the ATV were allowed to leave with no charges being filed. K-9 Schody was instrumental in assisting Cloquet police with searching for evidence in an armed robbery that occurred in the City of Cloquet. Evidence was recovered, and the case remains under investigation by the police department.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Commercial and charter enforcement issues were handled.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked angling, AIS, commercial, ATV, small-game, and archery deer enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken angling, commercial, AIS, boating, and firearms transport violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included the investigation of deer-baiting complaints and checking bow-deer, goose, and grouse hunters. A cease and desist order was issued and criminal charges are pending in a case involving illegal removal of a large amount of emergent aquatic vegetation and lakebed excavation.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) answered calls regarding illegal shooting, lane clearing on public land, dumping of fish guts in a state forest, and deer baiting.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked invasive species enforcement in the Gull Lake area and continued to work on weed-roller complaints on Gull Lake.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assisting with Academy 14 training, as well as field training COC Peterson. A deer-baiting case and a wolf-depredation case were investigated.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received a call from an ATV user who said his neighbor was putting nails and screw-in boards in the ditch where he operates. An investigation is being conducted. Heaton also is following up on ongoing public water and wetland violations.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked a lot of bear hunters during the week. Small-game hunters also were checked with a few reporting decent numbers of grouse being found. A wetland violation was handled, time was spent investigating arson fires, and time was spent instructing at the current CO academy.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted CO Grundmeier with several bear-hunting issues, and they spent time checking small-game and archery hunters in the St. Croix State Forest. Dry conditions have fire danger extremely high in the area. Burning restrictions are in place with only recreational campfires allowed.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Keith Bertram (WREO) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. CO Bertram also assisted with a firearm safety class in a vacant station and spent time on an ongoing investigation of illegal big-game hunting. CO Bertram also prepared reports for an illegal turtle case that will be going to court.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) responded to several dumping complaints in which geese that were breasted-out were dumped along roadways, along with one report about a pile of carp and suckers being dumped in Rockville. Please contact TIP (800-652-9093) if you have any information about the illegal dumping.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) checked WMAs and other public lands for small-game hunters. CO Kuske also conducted AIS checks at public access sites and investigated a report of an abandon boat.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated calls about ORVs being operated below the ordinary high-water mark on the Mississippi River.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) attended a regional meeting, and checked numerous hunters out in the Rum River State Forest and Mille Lacs WMA.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters and issued a number of summonses and written warnings. He also followed up on a dumping complaint.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the small-game and archery deer openers. Goose hunters were checked all week. Violations documented were shooting black birds, no state or federal duck stamps, and no small-game licenses.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Wright counties for waterfowl hunters. Salzer spent much of the week in court for a deer case he and CO Glaser investigated in 2011. He also assisted CO Sladek in finding a group of unlawful goose hunters in Wright County.
CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resource Enforcement officer) followed up on an invasive species complaint on Medicine Lake. A public waters filling violation was found along the Minnesota River near Shakopee. She also testified in a jury trial on a deer case from last fall in which the defendant was found guilty of taking an overlimit of deer, transporting illegally taken big game, and failing to tag a deer.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) reports a deer-baiting case was made and more baiting complaints are being received.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working angling, off-road vehicles, goose hunting, and AIS activity. The officer attended a meeting in Rogers and a training seminar in Shakopee.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) attended training in Rogers and worked the small-game opener in southeast Minnesota. He also checked goose hunters, boaters, and shore fishermen.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with District 18 in southeast Minnesota during the small-game and deer archery season openers. Violations observed were no blaze orange while small-game hunting, trespassing, overlimits of squirrels, and littering.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) certified K9 Axel in the USPCA PD1 police K9 trials last week.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked on aquatic vegetation cases, a wetland case, and handled various TIP calls. She attended a full day of regional training, is working on a litter case, and handled a call about a car-killed bear.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked the small-game and archery openers in Anoka County. CO Muyres responded to a TIP call regarding a small-game hunter, and utilized K-9 Hunter to track down the hunter in the woods who was not wearing blaze orange.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) was a guest speaker at the annual Big Stone County Farm Bureau meeting, where the duties of a conservation officer were discussed.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that the archery deer opener was busy. Assistance was given with securing a landing pad large enough to handle four medical helicopters that responded to a house explosion in Tracy.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports most early goose hunters are finding plenty of geese.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) states that enforcement action was taken for treestands found in a wildlife management area, no waterfowl stamps, and youthful operation of an ATV. He contributed to a local radio show that focuses on outdoor recreation activities in the Lincoln County area.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) issued permits in response to animal complaints about nuisance muskrats and beavers. Denz also checked anglers who were unaware that the smallmouth bass season is catch and release only as of Sept. 10.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time investigating a possible deer-baiting violation. CO Oberg also spent time training new academy recruits on defensive tactics at Camp Ripley.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) checked an angler who was having trouble locating a current fishing license. In her purse she was able to locate a 1980 Minnesota Deer Cooperator patch and a 1989 Minnesota fishing license. The 2012 fishing license, however, was not to be found.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) responded to a soybean field on fire. Upon arrival, the officer observed a combine on fire and assisted in extinguishing it.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports several waterfowlers were scouting for “huntable” water.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to TIP calls and investigated possible wetland and public waters violations. He also investigated several trespassing complaints.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports assistance was given to the sheriff’s department, which requested help locating a missing boater on Swan Lake. After five hours on the water the individual answered his cell phone and was guided to shore.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports a busy small game opener weekend. Hunters averaged three squirrels per hunter with many folks getting their limit of seven.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports field training with COC Bermel. While patrolling the Whitewater State Park boundaries on foot, the officers located a baited archery stand, which they returned to later and located a subject hunting the stand. Enforcement action was taken, and a bow was seized. The officers also encountered a group with uncased bows in the state park and an untagged, fully processed deer, which resulted in enforcement action and seizure of the deer. Late in the day, the officers located two individuals who possessed closed- season trout, resulting in enforcement action and seizure of the trout.