Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – September 13th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area goose and bear hunters throughout the week. Assistance was given to local law enforcement officers with an ATV crash near Swift.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked bear- and early goose-hunting activity. Anglers were checked, and a complaint about illegal ATV activity was investigated.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) investigated a double-tripping complaint regarding panfish.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked a border detail during the Labor Day holiday. Time also was spent monitoring anglers on Upper Red Lake and checking bear and goose hunters. CO Regas investigated a possible shoreline alteration violation on Upper Red Lake.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearm safety class in Crookston. Time also was spent checking anglers, goose hunters, bear hunters, and watercraft operators.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ricing, ATVers, boating, angling, public access violations, early goose hunting, and bear hunting.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored early goose hunters in the Bemidji area. CO Vollbrecht also assisted with an AIS check station in Lake of the Woods County. The CO also assisted Beltrami County officials with a house fire that was started by an unattended gas grill.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports answering questions about bear baiting, youth hunting licenses, and how to work through the inability to purchase a hunting license due to having privileges suspended for failing to appear or pay fines from ice-fishing season.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked bear hunters and anglers. Hunters reported decreased hunting pressure. Complaints of ATVers in a closed area and another dead heifer were reported in an ongoing case.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports aquatic vegetation permit violations were investigated, and enforcement action was taken.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spoke at a Ducks Unlimited mentoring group on the eve of the youth waterfowl hunt at the Prairie Wetlands Center in Fergus Falls.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports complaints were received and investigated in the Alexandria area. Osborne reminds boaters that throwable PFDs are required on all boats 16 feet long or longer.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) assisted CO Bermel in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a fishing enforcement detail. Several groups were contacted, with a few violations were observed, including fishing without a license in possession and unregistered watercraft.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) concentrated enforcement efforts on goose hunters, ATV complaints, and fishing activity on area lakes. Anderson also assisted the Glenwood Police Department with a possible wanted fugitive in a local motel. COs Anderson and Nelson assisted the Wheaton Police Department with a search warrant execution and a call about dangerous dogs at large in Wheaton. The officers also stopped a vehicle that was being driven erratically near Browns Valley. The driver was found to be an unlicensed 14-year-old with two younger passengers. An uncased, loaded firearm was discovered in the vehicle. The other two kids were hunting the youth waterfowl hunt without the required adult mentor along. The 14-year-old’s parent was cited. The parent admitted to giving him permission to drive the vehicle to go hunting.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) reports maple leaves are turning color, acorns are falling, and flocks of geese are in the air. He assisted other local law enforcement agencies with a drug case and ATV enforcement issues.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) monitored goose-hunting activities and assisted local fire departments with a grassland/field fire that was accidentally started.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted the U.S. Forest Service with the report of a possible mountain lion sighting in the Cass Lake work station, and referred two nuisance-animal calls to the area DNR Wildlife office. Officer Sommers also conducted an investigation into an overlimit of fish, resulting in enforcement action and the seizure of 30 crappies from two individuals from Illinois.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and bear hunters. He also received calls about bear hunters arguing over a hunting location.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala performed a site visit to a WCA violation site in which an illegal ditch was created, which resulted in a restoration order being issued. The ditch had been filled back into original condition, fulfilling the requirements of the order. Officer Siltala also received a call about a strange-looking snake at a local business. One witness stated the snake looked like an escaped cobra. The CO responded to the call and determined the snake was an eastern hognose. The snake is a native to Minnesota. When provoked, it will flatten its head and neck area, resembling a cobra. CO Siltala gave the snake a ride to a remote area and released it back into the wild.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking bear-hunting activity, which involved complaints of trespassing, unregistered baits, illegal baits, and guiding without a guide license.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ongoing hunting seasons, and the state park. The officer also worked angling complaints on Vermilion Lake with CO Fredin. An overlimit of walleyes was found after the officers saw anglers in a boat reel in a number of fish in the morning. The same anglers were found again in the evening in the same area with additional fish.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on complaints about landowners filling wetlands adjacent to lakes, and is investigating reports of bear hunters hunting in the wrong zone.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports bear-hunting activity was still steady with only a few hunters being successful, but most reporting at least some of their baits being visited.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) received calls about bears and beavers, as well as wetlands and dock violations. While the CO launched a boat at a landing, a collared wolf walked down the road and by the officer within 20 yards, and never even looked up.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other officers in checking bear hunters. One hunter was found hunting in the wrong zone, and another was found with a bait station that included a tin can. Five-gallon buckets also were found stashed by one bait station. One person was talked to about leaving baiting items in the BWCA. Several baits were found to be unregistered, and enforcement action will be taken. Another person was given a lesson about making sure he tells law enforcement about the loaded pistol that he has on him in the future.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking bear hunters, ATV riders, and anglers. The bear harvest is down so far this season, but a few nice bears have been taken.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear season enforcement efforts in the Tofte and Grand Marais stations. Violations encountered included hunting in the wrong zone, unregistered bear baits, and litter left at bait site.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working bear hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken on one hunter for establishing an early bear bait, using non-biodegradable material, not registering bait stations, and operating an ATV in a wildlife management area and on state forest land, which resulted in the seizure of a bear and firearms.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked bear-hunting complaints, dealt with issues related to wild ricing, checked anglers, and patrolled for illegal ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ricing without a license and operating an ATV on a public highway.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) finished up some bear-baiting issues during the week Enforcement action was taken for unregistered baits, non-biodegradable materials in a bear bait, and ricing license violations. CO Sutherland also provided security for a state auction held during the weekend.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported several bear hunters were checked throughout the week. A possible wetland violation site was visited by the officer and a colleague.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked on several TIP calls during the week. The calls included two possible deer-poaching incidents, possible goose-hunting violations, and a possible fishing violation. All the TIP calls were investigated, with some requiring continued follow-up. Bear-hunting enforcement continues to be worked.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) followed up on wolf depredation cases. USDA Wildlife services reported several problem wolves being captured.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) reports information about a possible wetland violation in Lake County was looked at and will result in a restoration order for impacts to a wetland.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and in Duluth Harbor. Olson also received calls and comments about timber wolves being spotted within the city limits.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Compliance with boating safety regulations has been high on the big lake this year, a sign of educated boaters.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week on the Whitefish Chain. Officer Lee also attended training given by the Border Patrol.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked early goose- and bear-hunting activity during the week. Complaints about aquatic vegetation removal and transporting aquatic vegetation were received and investigated.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this last week. He also worked on complaints regarding aquatic vegetation cutting without a permit. A complaint about an aquatic weed harvester parked and left unattended at a public access was investigated. Complaints about vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked area lake activity, including complaints about late PWC operation and wildlife harassment.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) was pleased to see youth waterfowl hunters taking advantage of the youth waterfowl weekend. A report of a wolf attacking a calf was investigated. The officer also recovered an injured eagle and brought it to an animal hospital.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working several bear-hunting complaints during the week. These complaints included illegal trails in the state forest, possible posting of state land, and a case of hunter harassment. As we approach the waterfowl season, please remember to clean off your boat and trailer and to drain and leave out plugs when you’re transporting your watercraft down the road.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) followed up on a trespass case. Charges for gross misdemeanor trespass will be sought, along with littering and failure to register a bait station. Heaton checked several bear baits in the Nemadji State Forest. Violations detected included off-trail travel and failure to sign a bait station. Heaton also received information that a horse was attacked in the Sturgeon Lake area. This call is being investigated.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to be busy with bear-hunting activity. Several hunters were checked that had success harvesting a bear, and one hunter reported taking a bear that tipped the scales at over 600 pounds. One bear-hunting group that was checked reported seeing only a porcupine. The porcupine was harvested, butchered, and made into a stew that was one of the best wild game dishes that CO Grundmeier had ever tasted.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) followed up on nuisance-animal calls regarding injured hawks, bears in a tree in someone’s yard, and questions about coyotes and skunks. He also spent time working ATV complaint areas.
WREO Rob Haberman conducted AIS enforcement around the Brainerd Lakes area. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in his work area and scheduled site visits in Crow Wing and Pine counties.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked boat and water enforcement on the Mississippi River. Common violations found were boaters towing water skiers or tubers without an observer on board or without a mirror to use. A number of anglers were found to have not turned on their navigation lights after sunset. Calls about nuisance bears in a farmer’s corn, questions about disability crossbow permits, and youth waterfowl hunt rules were taken.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) issued a citation to an ATV operator for illegal operation after he was observed burning “doughnuts” on a county road and weaving back and forth across the lanes of traffic.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Early goose hunters were few and far between. Weed roller compliance checks were conducted with DNR staff, with poor compliance found on an area lake.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters during the week. Time was spent on invasive species enforcement and TIP calls, as well. While CO Martin was getting ready for work, he witnessed a young man carrying a street sign and looking into cars (including Officer Martin’s squad) while walking down an alley at 4 a.m. The young man was arrested with the assistance of the St. Cloud Police Department after he ran and hid in a yard.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week conducting follow-up on wetlands cases. A restoration order was issued in Kanabec County. A deed restriction was placed on a property in which the owner failed to comply with a restoration order.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a littering complaint of dumping Canada goose carcasses was handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) followed up on a big-game case, with charges pending.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several calls related to waterfowl hunting. Anglers in the area have been finding fishing to be slow on area lakes.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked the youth waterfowl day and reports seeing limited success in the area. Officer Londgren also checked anglers, boaters, ATVers, and bear hunters, and checked on wetland and hunter-harassment complaints.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a firearms safety presentation and waterfowl-hunting presentation at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Carver. Anglers and boaters were checked all week on special-regulation lakes.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding taking deer during the closed season, possible deer-baiting sites, possession of protected birds, and various injured/nuisance animals.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) met with a landowner in Chaska regarding a hunting trespass complaint. Goose hunters and fishermen were checked in Hennepin and Carver counties.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for early season goose hunters. CO McGowan also patrolled the Mississippi River for boating activity. Time was spent assisting officers in the northeast part of the state with bear-hunting enforcement.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked bear hunters with CO Kruse in the Nemadji State Forest in Pine County. CO Pril also continued to work angling, boating, and aquatic invasive species enforcement throughout the week.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) received information about deer stands that were left in the Bayport WMA, which were located and removed.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS, boating, and wetland-related activity. WREO Block also spoke to a group of youth waterfowl hunters at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club prior to their hunt.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) assisted other agencies in the search for a person of interest in a murder in Granite Falls after his vehicle was located near the Minnesota River.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week was directed at fishing, off-highway vehicles, boating safety, and waterfowl hunting. A complaint about another livestock fence causing a boating hazard was investigated.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, boaters, and waterfowl hunters during the week. Youth waterfowl hunters had success during the weekend youth hunt. The officer also assisted with bear-hunting enforcement in District 6.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that large numbers of geese have been seen lately. Doves are very abundant. Fishing has been slow in area.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that early goose hunters are having mixed success in the area.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted local, county, and state law enforcement agencies during a search effort involving a homicide.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked goose and dove hunters. He continued to take enforcement action on AIS violations in addition to illegal operation of ATVs by juveniles.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week checking early goose hunters and anglers. AIS laws also were enforced. She saw a good turnout for the youth waterfowl hunt even with the warm weather.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport-fishing, waterfowl hunting, small-game hunting, and ATV enforcement.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked bait stations at bear-hunting sites in the northeast corner of the state. Youth waterfowl day arrived and went with a few young hunters taking the field.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, ATV, small-game hunting, and waterfowling activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Many young hunters were out for the youth waterfowl hunt on Saturday.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) reports a few hunters were observed on Saturday, taking part in the youth waterfowl day. An injured great horned owl was recovered and turned over to the Raptor Center. A number of trespass complaints were fielded from the public.
WREO Julie Siems (southeast) reports zebra mussels were collected and utilized for training with K9 Brady.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports youth waterfowl hunters had a great wood duck hunt. Most hunters were off the marsh earlier due to the hot weather. He also followed up on a complaint regarding a ginseng-harvesting trespasser.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a large fishing tournament along with warm weather made for a busy weekend on the river.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time this past week and weekend checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, ATVers, and invasive-species related activity, along with responding to a waters violation.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and waterfowl hunters during the week. The kids had a great time on the youth waterfowl day. Heyn also attended a meeting in Wisconsin regarding a project and got equipment ready for the hunting seasons.