District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area duck hunters on Lake of the Woods and Thief Lake. CO Huener also responded to fires in the Karlstad and Beltrami Island state forest areas.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) was certified as a field training officer after attending training this past week.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) followed up on complaint about a motorized vehicle on a walking trail, worked boat and water safety on the Rainy River, and investigated trespass complaints.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time responding to wildfire complaints in Polk County. Time also was spent checking anglers and waterfowl hunters. Complaints about illegally taken deer were received.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked hunting, ATVing, boat and water safety enforcement, aquatic invasive species enforcement, and assisted with fire duty. The officer watched a group of hunters take limits of geese in less than an hour. When the crew was checked, the CO learned that they were two separate groups that had scouted the area, received permission, then met while setting up and agreed to team up for the hunt.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) reports a TIP call involving bowhunting over bait was investigated, with the individual being issued a citation and a bow seized.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports another good week for waterfowl hunters. Ducks and geese continue to move into the area in good numbers. Archery hunters are seeing more deer as the crops continue to be harvested. CO Seefeldt received a report about illegal possession of a white-tailed deer. Nuisance beaver permits were issued to individuals who are having beaver problems.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking possible deer-baiting sites. ATV activity was monitored in the Smokey Hills State Forest, and calls and complaints about waterfowl hunter trespass were investigated. After all appeal attempts were exhausted, a big-game case was closed after several years of work, and the final ruling was in favor of the state.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with extra patrols in areas of high fire danger. He responded to an eyewitness complaint about a turkey hunter shooting from a motor vehicle. The suspect was located at a nearby cabin with the turkey in hand. After a discussion, denials, and a couple of discrepancies, the hunter relented and told the truth. A citation was issued, and the bird was seized. A follow-up investigation continues on a bear-hunting complaint.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, bowhunters, and anglers. A few ducks have moved into the area with the cooler weather but waterfowl hunter numbers are down. Complaints about deer baiting, late shooting, and trespass were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) received complaints about shooting early, people shooting out of the window of a motor vehicle, and a trespassing complaint.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized a background investigation regarding a future pilot position with the DNR. Plautz also responded to a TIP call regarding a boater going up a river, the boat loaded with concrete bags and lumber. Plautz contacted the individuals who were boating upstream and building deer stands on private property.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) worked mostly waterfowl-hunting enforcement. He received a complaint about a road-killed deer and issued a possession permit. Officer Baumbarger also issued several minnow-transportation permits.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working waterfowl, small-game, and archery deer-hunting activity, with several hunting complaints currently under investigation.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) spent time working fall fishing activity and waterfowl-hunting activity. He reports receiving a call about a skunk that was acting strangely and a person asking about firearm safety training classes.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) received and investigated complaints about dumped waterfowl carcasses, shooting at night, and car-killed deer. He assisted the sheriff’s department with a complaint regarding the reckless use of a firearm and worked with tribal wardens on various complaints. Officer Parthun also initiated an investigation regarding a wetland violation and took a unique call involving a dead bear in a tree. The bear had been mortally wounded when struck by a vehicle. It had then climbed a tree, and remained in the tree after it died.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) took a call from a grouse hunter who had shot a timber wolf that was chasing his hunting dog. The dog ran back to the hunter with the wolf on its heels. The hunter shot the wolf at about 8 yards with bird shot as it was coming directly at him and his dog. Proper measures were taken by the hunter to notify the DNR, and enforcement action was not necessary.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked hunters and anglers during the week. He received and investigated trespassing and late-shooting complaints. Officer Mathy also was interviewed by a high school student about the job of a conservation officer, and assisted a U.S. Forest Service officer with illegal stands and ATV violations on the Chippewa National Forest.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated complaints about taking waterfowl during closed hours.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) continued to patrol area forests and ATV trails, checking waterfowl and small-game hunters, and recreational riders.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking grouse hunters and archery deer hunters. Numerous calls were handled regarding nuisance animals. Possible waters and wetland complaints were investigated with the Koochiching County SWCD technician.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a moose season situation was monitored, along with some bear issues. A case of road hunting was investigated, with charges filed for shooting a bow from a roadway.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked archery, small-game, and waterfowl seasons, as well as nighttime hunting activity, dealt with an injured bald eagle hit by a car, testified in an invasive species administrative hearing, and attended the local Minnesota Deer Hunters Association banquet. The officer seized two shotguns, a crossbow, and a bow, during two incidents occurring on the same day. One incident involved two small-game hunters who had no licenses and the other, a TIP call that resulted in violations of hunt deer over bait, an invalid license, and possessing a crossbow without a permit. The officer also was called to rescue an archery hunter who was afraid to leave his stand because there were wolves under his stand. The hunter was ill-prepared in the first place, as he didn’t even have a flashlight. He was found safe.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) says reports of deer being found without heads have started to come in, as well as reports about deer being shot from the roadway. Numerous young waterfowl hunters have been neglecting to purchase their federal stamps, while at the same time they boast of having bought their state stamps. Their excuse has been that the person at the counter said they didn’t need one. CO Frericks would like to remind everyone that it is the hunter’s responsibility to know what stamps and licenses you need before going to the duck blind.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) continues to check moose, bear, and grouse hunters. The CO was called out to help with a couple of fire investigations in the northwest, including the arson fire that burned several homes in Karlstad.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked small-game hunters and moose hunters. Compliance was generally good. One vehicle carrying would-be hunters was given an unappreciated lesson about the dangers of shooting from roadways in unfamiliar woodlands full of other hunters. CO Manning also investigated the death of a moose calf. The animal was recovered with the help of the hunter who reported it, and biologists were able to determine that it died of systemic infection from an old wound.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) executed a search warrant with area officers regarding a big-game violation. The CO checked also anglers along the North Shore tributaries. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, angling, and big-game violations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse hunters, duck hunters, and anglers. He handled calls about wolf depredation on livestock, illegally taken deer, injured eagles and a pelican, nuisance bears, trespass, deer baiting, nuisance beavers, and illegally possessed deer antlers. He also assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office and issued various permits.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Wichmann completed an investigation into unlawful moose-hunting activity and gave a presentation at a firearm safety class.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, archery hunters, and waterfowl hunters. He also monitored ATV activity.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) attended field training officer classes in Plymouth most of the week. A TIP call regarding waterfowl hunters hunting after hours yielded a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, shooting from a moving watercraft, and after-hours shooting.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) worked small-game and archery deer hunting. Ongoing cases were investigated. CO Hanzal located duck hunters shooting while traveling in a motorized boat.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and COC Mueller finished up the final phase of field training. During the week, officers continued investigating two public waters violations. Multiple complaints were taken regarding the illegal disposal of animal remains along roads.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) received complaints about a dog chasing deer, a property dispute, and hunting waterfowl during the closed season. CO Humphrey also worked moose hunters and small-game hunters in Lake County with 1854 Authority officers.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked complaints regarding taking waterfowl out of season and small-game hunters. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs in closed areas in the state forest and operating a Class 1 ATV on a state highway. A shining detail was worked in which enforcement action was taken for misdemeanor shining. Officer Staples and other officers from the Duluth district helped teach an all-day firearm safety class in Kettle River to online students from around the state. K9 assistance was provided to Cloquet police for an article search.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) attended field officer training in Plymouth. A commercial case was completed, and questions were answered about the upcoming wolf season.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) investigated complaints including garbage dumping, illegal use of an ATV trail, ongoing lakeshore alteration cases, and a trumpeter swan that was shot.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked security at the northwest Minnesota fires.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked waterfowl hunters, continued monitoring wolf-control areas, checked grouse hunters and anglers, and assisted a neighboring district with working deer-shining activity.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) fielded a call from a neighboring station regarding reckless discharge of a firearm. The call was forwarded to the station officer for investigation. Officer Guida also monitored areas for shining activity and late waterfowl shooting.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) assisted DNR Forestry with a wildfire in the Foothills State Forest and ensured compliance with the campfire ban at recreation sites in the Pillsbury State Forest. He also monitored small-game and waterfowl hunters, equestrian users, and bikers in the Cuyuna SRA, Pillsbury State Forest, and the Gull and Crow Wing rivers.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) attended an interview and interrogation class in Walker and assisted with firearm safety class in Pine River. A Crow Wing County court defendant pleaded guilty to charges of felon in possession of firearm, hunting big game with no license, and fleeing. An investigation continues involving rogue duck hunters who shot into the siding of a neighboring home and an unattended duck boat found with goose decoys.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports completing field training with COC Peterson. The officers followed up on a wolf-depredation case, checked fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake, spoke at the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge for a disabled hunt, and assisted with two injured eagle cases.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) assisted the State Patrol with a traffic stop in which the driver of the vehicle fled on foot. He was arrested for fleeing and DWI. Heaton investigated an ATV complaint in the Nemadji in which the operators were intentionally tearing up a wetland. Heaton also investigated a hunter-harassment complaint. The complainant stated that while a subject was hunting bears, four individuals on ATVs drove by his hunting location on two occasions, yelling at him and telling him to leave the area. Heaton’s investigation proved otherwise, since the suspects were both deaf and unable to communicate verbally.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department and State Patrol with several calls during the week. CO Wynn also continued with bear-hunting investigations, answered questions about the upcoming hunting seasons, and looked into nuisance animals and littering complaints.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) spent time investigating fires in the northwest. TIP complaints about hunting ducks during the closed season and possible poaching activity also were taken. One party contacted had taken three ducks without realizing he was in an area where the season was closed for a week.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on deer-hunting complaints and checked waterfowl hunters. CO Mies also worked on wetland complaints.
CO Mike Martin (St Cloud) checked hunters, anglers, and watercraft operators during the week. Officer Martin also investigated late waterfowl hunting, deer-baiting complaints, took several TIP calls, and was interviewed by a local newspaper.
WREO Keith Bertram responded to wetland and public waters violations in the greater St. Cloud area.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on archery violations concerning lending and borrowing of another license.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked the area for an escaped elk seen northeast of Upsala. The incident was resolved the following day by a neighboring CO.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with the special deer hunts at Camp Ripley.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) took a TIP call regarding a duck hunter during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) responded to a number of calls about waterfowl hunting during the closed season. He continued to work a big-game case, with charges pending.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) reports several duck hunters were issued citations during the week since the season was closed and they did not bother to read the regulations.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) continued investigations and assisted other agencies with residency issues. He also handled a TIP call that resulted in two people cited for hunting waterfowl in the closed southern unit.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) checked hunters and responded to several complaints of waterfowl hunting during closed season. He worked angling and AIS efforts.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked hunters and anglers in the metro area. He spoke to a youth firearm safety class in St. Paul and assisted with a range and field day in Scott County. He also responded to a water emergency at Fort Snelling State Park.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl and archery hunters throughout the week. CO Pril also investigated two trespass complaints in Washington County.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked waterfowl hunters in Anoka County. Enforcement action was taken for possession of toxic shot and no PFDs. A few hunters were encountered hunting during the closed season.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked with neighboring officers on an ATV enforcement detail in the Appleton/Lac qui Parle area. CO Miska also attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted DNR Wildlife with a turkey vulture that took up residence under a citizen’s front porch.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted Lincoln County officers with a search warrant in Tyler. He also attended a youth waterfowl event in Windom.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) investigated an illegally possessed deer and issued a nuisance beaver-trapping permit.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) received a complaint about six dead raccoons dumped at a public access. After an investigation, a citation was issued for the violation. Several reports of hunting ducks in the closed southern zone were investigated.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked waterfowl hunters and took enforcement action for hunting during the closed season and hunting after hours. He spent time educating waterfowl hunters about AIS laws and took enforcement action for failure to remove drain plugs and transporting aquatic macrophytes.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports that enforcement activity centered on small-game and archery deer hunters. Abraham encountered some ATV activity and fielded numerous calls received about the firearms deer seasons and the split waterfowl season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked small game, ATV, and angling activity. CO Howe also worked the waterfowl closure. One hunter had taken a limit of ducks and two geese before he was apprehended. He had not read the waterfowl synopsis carefully and did not realize that the season was closed. CO Howe also addressed a landowner dispute related to alleged hunter harassment.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, deer, and small-game hunters. CO Ihnen also patrolled for AIS violations and responded to TIP complaints. He also responded to complaints about individuals burning while most of the area continues to be under a burning ban.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports spending time following up on cases involving small game, overlimits of deer, and a waterfowl violation.
WREO Julie Siems reports conducting many wetland and public water site inspections. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with dispatching an injured deer. A cease and desist order was issued.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) and COC Bermel followed up on a trespass complaint and turned over a felony drug arrest to local law enforcement. Hemker spoke at the high school natural resources classes about his career and fish and game laws. CO Hemker received a complaint about two seasoned fishermen in boats trying to fish in the same location and one who cast a plug and hit the other in the hand. Their versions of the same incident were very different.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports continuing field training with COC Bermel. COC Bermel assisted with a methamphetamine possession case. Enforcement action taken for ATV violations.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and hunters during the week. A number of duck hunters were out during the season split and were wondering why there weren’t any other hunters out. They then were informed the season was closed. Heyn also attended nuclear preparedness training.