Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 29th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) continued to investigate a gray owl shooting and gave a wolf presentation at a local school. Deep snow on Lake of the Woods continues to hamper fish house removal.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a call about an injured deer that was struck by a train, continued area commercial license inspections, and conducted follow-up investigations of fishing shelters left on public accesses.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) attended Waterfowl Identification School at Whitewater State Park. Time was spent becoming familiar with the station.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking fish houses that had been left on the ice after the deadline, and violation citations were then sent to the owners.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) tooks calls about a dead owl and a moose sighting. Assistance was provided to the White Earth tribal COs with ongoing cases.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and documented fish houses still not removed from area lakes. Trails remain in excellent shape and snowmobile activity remains high.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored activity on area snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. CO Vollbrecht also met with the county attorney regarding ongoing cases. Area lakes were checked for fish house removal.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) investigated a possible overlimit TIP and continued to deal with shelters left on the lake past the deadline.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) received several reports about snowmobilers chasing coyotes and foxes. One individual was cited after several people observed him chase a fox for several minutes then run over it with the snowmobile. Several complaints also were received regarding snowmobile trespass.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and snowmobilers. He continues to monitor late fish house removal and assisted with the search for a party in a fish house during a blizzard. Complaints of snowmobilers chasing coyotes were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) handled several complaints about dogs chasing deer. People are reminded to keep track of their dogs. A complaint about a deer in a snare also was handled.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports another busy week of snowmobile activity on station trails. Several citations were issued this past week involving registration violations. Fishing pressure remains low on area lakes with the heavy snow cover and recent slush development. A trail camera was set out near a rural residence at the homeowner’s request, to determine if wolves are in the area.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to monitor fishing activity on area lakes. Snowmobile activity also remains steady, and the trails appear to be holding up for now. Time was spent investigating a TIP call and following up on other calls for service.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on snowmobiling activity and angling.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, predator hunters, and snowmobile operators this past week. Time also was spent preparing boating equipment for possible spring flood work, and removing a fish house from an area lake with the assistance of CO Anderson. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license in possession, and leaving a fish house on the ice after the deadline.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked lakes to assure compliance with the shelter removal date. CO Parthun also assisted the sheriff’s department with a few calls and checked area snowmobile trails.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked snowmobiling activity. Direction was given to five fish house owners who left their fish houses on area lakes after the deadline. Fines go up the longer they stay on the lake past the deadline. CO Mathy provided a ride-along opportunity to a local high school student.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Angling success continues to be low in the Longville area with most travel still limited to snowmobile. CO Broughten investigated complaints about fish houses left after the removal deadline. CO Broughten also assisted Cass County Sheriff’s Office with two snowmobile injury accidents.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples), while patrolling a trail on snowmobile, observed a deputy sherif involved in a foot pursuit after a fleeing individual had just jumped out the back bathroom window of his residence. Using the snowmobile on the trail, the officers were successful in tracking the suspect about a half-mile in the snow. Being in the right place at the right time worked out, and the suspect was arrested for having warrants and for fleeing from police officers.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV rec officer) reports several winter fishermen failed to tend to their shelters during flooding and the houses are now frozen solid with a foot of ice inside. Owners are still responsible for removing them. Fines increase as the days go by.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobilers, picked up another dead boreal owl, checked for litter from removed fish houses, and monitored fish house removal, with a couple found left out past the deadline.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) manned the TIP Wall of Shame at the Virginia home show. Numerous questions were answered covering a wide range of topics. A landowner called CO Frericks to report a cow and calf were killed by timber wolves near Mountain Iron. An investigation is under way.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) gave a law presentation to firearm safety students in Palo and Hoyt Lakes. Two fish houses were left on the ice after the March 18 deadline. The owners were contacted and stated they were unable to get to them off due to the deep snow.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on area trout lakes, with few fish in the bag. Several calls relating to BWCAW use were handled.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) worked the DNR booth at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis. He also attending training in Two Harbors.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled snowmobile trails and unplowed forest roads, checking sledders where compliance was generally good. Few anglers were out, and fishing was slow. One group was surprised to learn that the fairly small “rainbows” they had were in fact lake trout.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) attended a district enforcement training session in Two Harbors during the week and prepared for spring flood response if needed. A call about a coyote struck by a vehicle also was handled.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobilers and found the trails to be reasonably busy.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) attended a district meeting and worked mainly snowmobilers and ice anglers. During the weekend, one snowmobiler clocked at 90 mph on the trail commented that the trail groomers shouldn’t do such a nice job.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked fishing shelter removal and snowmobile enforcement. CO Arhart also assisted with training efforts at the duck school held for new conservation officers.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked anglers and snowmobilers during the week. Trail conditions were excellent, and fishing was slow. Wichmann monitored fishing shelters to ensure they were removed from area lakes by the appropriate date. Wichmann also assisted with a local taxidermy inspection.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored shelter removal, worked area snowmobile trails, and handled a call about an injured eagle. The snow and slush on area lakes has made it difficult to get around.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) continues to work a snowmobiling trespass complaint in the Cohasset area. She also helped teach wildland fire investigation to a new group of seasonal firefighters, and did a presentation on deer baiting at Grand Rapids High School.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area snowmobile trails throughout the week. Area lakes were checked for fish house removals and litter.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported that snowmobile trails throughout the area may have been in the best condition in years. However, many contacts were made during the past week with snowmobilers who thought better trails meant faster speeds.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week on snowmobile. Trail conditions have been excellent and many people have been out using their snowmobiles. The most common violation has been with registration.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey also met with a livestock owner and predator controller regarding an ongoing wolf depredation problem near Moose Lake. CO Humphrey received calls about dead boreal and barred owls, and turned them in to area DNR Wildlife staff.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a youth career fair at Fond du Lac College, where numerous questions were answered about the job duties of a conservation officer. A talk and a demo were given to a local 4-H club about the DNR K9 unit and the job duties of a Conservation Officer. A district meeting was attended. Lots of snowmobiling activity in the area to report. Trails are in great condition although the warmer weather will change that in the very near future.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles in the Duluth/Two Harbors areas. He handled a call and offered advice to a resident regarding a bobcat trying to get into a chicken coop.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a district meeting and annual division training. Testimony was given at a court trial on a case from deer season. Late-season snowmobilers were checked, and many shore anglers were waiting for the ice to clear along the North Shore of Superior. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He also checked snowmobilers on trails and area lakes, and assisted a couple of snowmobilers who were stuck in the deep snow. One of the snowmobile operators went through a barbed-wire fence, and the other got stuck when he tried to climb a large snowbank. Litter on the lakes is still an issue that received enforcement time. The violations are more difficult to investigate because of the deep snow.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) responded to a call about a snowmobile that started on fire on a local lake. A married couple was riding when the female operator smelled burning plastic, turned her sled off and got off her snowmobile. Although the CO responded within 15 minutes, the snowmobile was completely gone and unrecognizable as a snowmobile.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent the week primarily on snowmobile enforcement as conditions were great and snowmobilers were out in force. Other activity included preparing watercraft for possible spring floods, and going with the county land commissioner and the sheriff’s department on a snowmobile ride on area trails to assess trail safety concerns.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobile trail enforcement. Officer Guida patrolled grant-in-aid trails and recognized numerous areas where snowmobilers had gone off designated trails to get to fresh snow. The negligent snowmobilers crossed seeded hayfields and over planted trees, potentially compromising landowner/trail club trail easements.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) received information about a potentially trapped black bear cub. It was found that the cub was not trapped and appeared to be healthy. The officer also addressed a complaint about ATVers operating on a snowmobile trail and looked into potential timber theft. The officer also made contact with a group of three snowmobilers with eight violations; enforcement action was taken for the various violations.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked a few anglers who reported not having much luck, and dealt with some complaints about trespassing snowmobilers. A few nuisance-animal complaints were taken, including a report of a homeowner being attacked by a fisher. The caller stated a fisher attempted to get at some dog food in his garage through the dog’s access door. The fisher then approached the front porch and aggressively came after him and his dog. The caller then grabbed a nearby ski pole and broke it while defending himself against the animal. The fisher continued to attack and eventually was subdued with a wooden cane. The adult male fisher was dispatched and collected by CO Grundmeier.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and snowmobile operators. One group of anglers that was checked had a crappie on the ice inside their portable, as well as the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the house. The anglers said they had caught one crappie and two northerns. One of the northerns was discovered half buried in the snow outside the portable fish house. Tickets were issued for the marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and the northern taken during the closed season. The only explanation the anglers had was that they knew the walleye season was closed but thought the northern season was still open. When asked when the last time they had looked in the free angling regulations book, the response was, “Never.”
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting several commercial minnow-related inspections in Stearns, Todd, and Kanabec counties. Violations such as no minnow dealer license, not submitting records, insufficient records, improper equipment, and no angling license were discovered.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) patrolled area snowmobile trails. While speaking with one snowmobile operator who had asked the officer for directions, the officer noticed his machine did not have valid registration displayed. The operator admitted the machine had not been registered since 1997. Enforcement action was taken.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Area snowmobile trails were patrolled. Speed was the major violation in the area. Speeds were recorded at 76, 82, and 92 mph.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked snowmobilers on local trails, and checked anglers and coyote hunters throughout her station. Officer Londgren also worked the DNR booth at the Northwest Sportshow.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) spent the week at Whitewater State Park and the Mississippi River teaching waterfowl school to new conservation officers.
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) responded to a call about an injured deer in a citizen’s backyard.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota, Scott, Carver, and Hennepin counties. He did ATV, snowmobile, and fishing enforcement, and gave a presentation to a Cub Scout Pack. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding taking turkeys during the closed season, crappie overlimits, and various sick, injured, and nuisance animals.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for snowmobiling activity throughout the week. CO McGowan spoke about regulations to new turkey hunters at a turkey clinic.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) talked to firearms safety classes in St. Francis and East Bethel. CO Muyres also worked on a division AIS project.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes. He also patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activities in Dakota and Scott counties.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) attended a Tri-State meeting with South Dakota and Iowa conservation officers. Snow geese have not been seen in great numbers, but the number of Canada geese is on the rise.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working fish and fur investigations. Firearm safety was taught in Slayton. Beaver complaints continue to be taken.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) spent the week checking predator hunters, ice anglers, and snowmobilers. A game farm inspection was completed.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports Montevideo’s first online field day firearm safety class was held, with good reviews. Exchange students from Austria and Denmark attended the class.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week was directed at ice shelter removal, snowmobiles, and coyote hunting. An enforcement detail was worked with the Swift County Sheriff’s Department.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) investigated and took enforcement action regarding fish house removal.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up with information on a trespassing incident in Renville County that had occurred in October. She also completed a commercial inspection and assisted CO Oberg with another. Enforcement action was taken for incomplete commercial records.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) assisted New Ulm police with the investigation of a game farm whitetail buck killed inside a pen at Schell’s Park.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling activity. Aeration inspections were done on Circle, Cody, Clear, and Scotch lakes.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Ihnen also responded to TIP calls and patrolled the Minnesota River.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued working on commercial inspections. A meeting with South Dakota and Iowa wardens was attended.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports the local dam sites are producing a lot of fish. TIP information led Minnesota and Wisconsin wardens to a suspect from Wisconsin who possessed an overlimit – more than 350 fish were in possession, and 200 were crappies. Wisconsin wardens conducted the search and made the arrest.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked boaters and anglers on the Mississippi river. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations, angling in the posted fish refuge near Lock and Dam 3, and illegal-length walleyes.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking angling activity. Two anglers were checked who thought their limit of walleyes was 10. When their fish were counted, they got nervous because they had 11. They were relieved when they were informed the limit was 12. Numerous violations for undersized fish and some boating violations were detected.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) met with the Wabasha County sheriff to discuss the county’s proposal to allow ATVs on county roads.