Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 22nd, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) continues to follow up on investigations involving great gray owls being shot.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to perform commercial inspections and monitored ice shelter removal. Area anglers are reminded it is unlawful to leave a shelter at a public access.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a training session in Thief River Falls that was sponsored by the Minnesota BCA. Time also was spent assisting DNR Wildlife staff with retrieval of a dead moose in the Brooks area.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored snowmobile and cross-country skiing activity on area trails. The CO also monitored the progress of fish houses being removed from area lakes. Several people have struggled with removing their houses due to deep snow and the inability of plow trucks to reach the houses.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) received several complaints regarding snowmobilers chasing coyotes and individuals shooting from motor vehicles.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked snowmobilers and followed up on snowmobiling investigations. Aquatic plant management permits have been received and reviewed.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports coyote hunters were checked during the weekend with enforcement action taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports time was spent checking fishermen, snowmobile operators, predator hunters, and trappers. Baumbarger also investigated complaints about litter left on area lakes and public accesses.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports assistance was provided to local law enforcement regarding a stolen ATV case. Traffic control was provided at the site of a semi-truck that stalled in a series of curves on county road.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch anglers and snowmobilers. Some fish houses and even spear shacks remained on some lakes, and those retrieving them are having a difficult time. Extremely poor planning has put these fish house owners in a tough situation. Enforcement action will be taken for fish houses left after the removal date.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) attended district meeting in Tower and attended training. A complaint about an overlimit of lake trout from Ontario was investigated at U.S. Customs ports of entry in International Falls and Baudette.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) was on his snowmobile a mere 8 feet away from a stop sign when a snowmobiler with expired registration blew the stop sign and sped off at 85 mph. The officer got the driver stopped after two miles of following him. The driver had various excuses, but the officer was not impressed, and the subject had racked up six violations while the officer was following him during his dangerous operation of the snowmobile.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports a TIP call from early October 2012 finally resulted in a citation being issued after CO Frericks was able to track down and locate the offender. The offender commonly ignored phone calls from the CO and refused to answer his door. CO Frericks was able to meet the offender after he waited outside the residence until he came out of his house and was driving out of his driveway. The offender was cited for shooting too close to an occupied residence, and was charged restitution, as well.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to a call about a car-killed bobcat and a call about a dead boreal owl. Owls are federally protected and can’t be kept by private citizens for taxidermy.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) participated in a snowmobile enforcement work crew with other COs around Finland. He also assisted Smokey Bear in Finland’s St. Urho’s Day parade. CO Johnson also recovered a bobcat that was found dead in a local woodshed. The bobcat apparently died of starvation.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) answered numerous wildlife calls regarding owls and bobcats. Both are having trouble with the deep snow and are taking shelter in people’s yards and outbuildings.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers, and monitored fish house removal. Wetland Conservation Act restoration cases were tracked, and lake service provider training events were planned.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, and disposed of a deer that wolves had killed 50 yards from a residence.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) reports a vehicle-struck eagle was recovered and retained for educational purposes.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued a permit for a car-killed bobcat and finished up an ongoing investigation from last fall that resulted in charges for angling without a license and hunting waterfowl without a federal migratory waterfowl stamp.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) responded to a complaint about someone keeping a live bobcat captive in a garage. The complaint was unfounded.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior and on inland lakes. He also checked for fish house removal compliance and removal of debris.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) tracked down the owner of a fish shelter still on a Pine River lake (unoccupied) since the March 4 deadline. It appeared to be a miscommunication with a friend who was to remove it. When asked why there was no license on it, he said that when he put it out three months ago, it was just going to be an “overnight fishing trip.” Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) responded to a call about a small owl sitting on a garbage can at a rural residence. The property owner thought the bird was hurt because it would not fly. CO Collette approached the bird and the owl looked at him and flew away. It appeared to have been sleeping, and flew away when CO Collette woke it up.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending a tribal warden meeting in regards to Lake Mille Lacs during the week.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received complaints about ongoing littering. The person doing the littering seems to be targeting the reporting party.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) received a call about a bear “stuck” in a culvert. After checking on the animal, it appears to have made a culvert at a road intersection its winter hibernation spot.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a snowmobile trespass complaint regarding snowmobilers illegally crossing private farm fields, as well as a coyote hunter trespass complaint. CO Kuske also investigated two dumping complaints, with one being brush piles placed on the ice of the Mississippi River.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week working on water-related issues and wetlands cases. A coyote hunter was issued a citation for transporting a loaded shotgun.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. There have been several reports of eagles being hit by vehicles.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a TIP call of an overlimit was investigated. CO Reller also prepared for assisting with waterfowl enforcement training.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended a youth wood duck house-building event in Hollywood Township, where the kids built 200 wood duck houses.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding deer and state parks. He investigated small-game hunting violations and assisted a local police department/sheriff’s office with attempting to locate a fleeing suspect.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports responding to several nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) removed an abandoned fish house and handled several nuisance-animal calls.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) attended a court trial for a waterfowl-baiting case from last fall.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) spent the week checking predator-hunting, ice-fishing, and snowmobiling activity. Aeration system checks were completed on area lakes.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking angling shelters and traps. Beaver complaints are beginning to surface.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) conducted aeration inspections on area lakes and investigated trespass complaints.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on fish house removal issues and checked panfish anglers. He also conducted commercial inspections in addition to checking snowmobile and ATV operators.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) continued an investigation regarding a possible overlimit of fish. CO Mueller also assisted CO Oberg with a taxidermy inspection.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports working litter complaints on area lakes and at public access sites.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, and ATV and snowmobile operators. Officer Ihnen also responded to TIP calls.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ice angling and snowmobile activity. A law and ethics presentation was given at two firearm safety classes.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked on commercial inspections this past week. Aeration checks were completed on area lakes.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on a trash dumping-complaint on Lake Winona and continues to follow up on deer-related complaints.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers during the week. Heyn also spent time getting things ready for duck school training.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with an unlawful hunting situation in the refuge.
CO Phil George (Rochester) followed up on a deer feeding complaint in Olmsted County.