District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked duck hunting and small-game enforcement in the Thief Lake area. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. The fall shiner run was monitored with CO Gorecki.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked small-game hunting activity with hunters reporting small numbers of grouse. CO Warren received complaints about possible deer taken and trespass issues.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling activity and duck, goose, and grouse hunters, and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. Nuisance-beaver permits were issued and an injured-owl complaint was handled. A report of a deer suspected to have been poached was checked, but the deer had been struck by a vehicle.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending most of last week checking waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent checking anglers, watercraft operators, and prairie chicken hunters.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked boating, waterfowling, and archery deer hunting. He also responded to a trespass complaint and attended a sportsmen’s club meeting.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked waterfowl and archery deer-hunting activity throughout the week. Several grouse hunters also were checked. Officer Holt responded to complaints about nuisance beavers and big-game hunting violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) received TIP complaints about duck hunters shooting after the 4 p.m. closing. The call was investigated, and no hunters were located. The area will receive additional attention. Several calls were received relating to the federal government shutdown and hunting waterfowl production areas and the national wildlife refuge. Hunters were given what information the CO had been given, and addition questions were referred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A TIP about a deer in a snare was investigated. The snare appeared to have been left out since last season and just recently snared the young buck as it tried to make a rub. There was no tag on the snare as required by law.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) took calls regarding the upcoming deer season and reports of trespass. He also received reports about anglers taking overlimits of walleyes.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working waterfowl, fall turkey, and prairie chicken hunters.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a road-kill bear was handled, with evidence that the bear recently had been shot. Follow-up will continue regarding this incident, and any information is appreciated.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled a TIP call about a possible goose overlimit and took complaints about nuisance beavers, motorboats being operated in a WPA, and a beaver dam holding too much water.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports an in-progress TIP call in the Evansville station resulted in enforcement action taken for hunting waterfowl during the closed season.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a couple more cases of crappie overlimits were handled on Lake Osakis.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) received a few calls about duck hunters hunting waterfowl during the season split. Calls also were handled this week regarding deer stands being left on public lands and several calls regarding closed WPAs due to the federal government shutdown.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) addressed problem bear issues and checked waterfowl hunters and anglers. He also gave a presentation to a group of hunters involved in a youth hunt and answered questions regarding the upcoming firearms deer season.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports waterfowl enforcement was prevalent, with a mixed bag a ducks. Officer Oldakowski also received a report from a concerned citizen regarding a snapping turtle that was stuck in a water-control structure in a dike system. With a little help from a citizen and a 2×4, the turtle was freed from the structure and rolled several yards through the structure in the current, before righting itself and crawling away on the bottom.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a call with a question regarding the federal government shutdown and concern that a person would be unable to purchase a license.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked small-game hunters, deer hunters, and anglers during the week. He also assisted in teaching a firearm safety class.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) attended training at Camp Ripley and monitored hunting activity. He noted that nighttime deer-poaching complaints have started to increase, and duck hunters are getting a few ducks in the area.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala checked small-game and waterfowl hunters during the weekend. He also educated hunters about AIS laws and worked with the county attorney regarding a recent wetland case
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports attending annual firearms and defensive tactics training at Camp Ripley. Fishing, grouse hunting, waterfowl hunting, and bear hunting enforcement rounded out the rest of the week.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports a special lottery archery deer hunt within the city of Cook was monitored.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked waterfowl-hunting activity (with several violations encountered), but also worked small-game hunters and anglers, dealt with two individuals removing firewood without a permit, investigated a public waters violation, assisted the U.S. Forest Service, and assisted area law enforcement agencies in locating a suicidal person who was carrying a shotgun. While trying to locate the suicidal person, the officer also dealt with a separate incident of littering in a city park. The driver left the scene and was stopped by the officer, and it was found the driver had a suspended driver’s license and was in possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana. When the officer asked why he threw out the garbage, he said he was just making room in his van.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) handled calls concerning a road-kill wolf and bear. The wolf was collared and turned over to DNR Wildlife officials. The bear was given to a person who contacted CO Frericks and asked for it. Numerous duck hunters were seen out. One duck hunter was checked on the way to the duck blind. The duck hunter had an unplugged gun, no small-game license, and no state waterfowl stamp. The duck hunter was advised it would be wise not to proceed any further.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did a remote patrol in the Boundary Waters. He then attended training at Camp Ripley. He also took a phone call from a property owner who stated a bear hunter set up his bear camp on her private property without permission.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated a case of unlawful import of moose parts from Canada and worked with Canadian conservation officers on the case. The officer also assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard in locating a pair of kayakers whose families were concerned for their safety in the stormy weather. The boaters were camped comfortably at a campsite on their planned route in an area with no cellular service.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) taught the law and ethics portions of the firearm safety class in Babbitt. Archery, duck, and grouse hunters were checked during the week.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended training at Camp Ripley, checked small-game hunters and anglers, and investigated complaints about shining. He also investigated public waters violations, a complaint about blocking a public access, and returned a lost shotgun that was found by an area forester lying in the middle of the road.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small-game hunters and ATV enthusiasts. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a closed area and transporting walleyes without skin patches, and trespass calls were taken.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) assisted with a car-kill bull moose south of Hill City.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked TIP complaints regarding shining and shooting from the roadway. The officer also followed up on depredation complaints.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports local duck populations seemed to have dropped off. A few license violations were once again encountered with a couple waterfowl hunters. Another hunting-over-bait case was made during the week. It doesn’t matter that hunting over bait is legal in other states; it’s illegal here. An illegally killed bear also was investigated.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued to follow up on bear registration and baiting violations. Deer-baiting complaints were investigated.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports complaints about nuisance bears and dogs chasing deer were received and investigated. Complaints about baited stands were received.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Fisheries management items were handled for the upcoming cisco-netting season, and ATV violations were checked in St Louis County.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports enforcement action was taken for ATV and waterfowling violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted with fall in-service training held at Camp Ripley this past week. Officer Lee also investigated a TIP complaint about a party taking an overlimit of deer. Officer Lee received a call about a deer that was shot in the leg that came into a yard and was eating from a bird feeder. The deer was gone, but photos from the reporting party confirmed the incident, and the investigation continues.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) took calls about deer shining, deer baiting, and an injured eagle. He also assisted in an incident regarding a duck hunter fatality.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on a report regarding a dock service provider. The complaint was that the provider had been hauling lifts from Gull Lake without cleaning the sediment, weeds, and zebra mussels off of boat lifts. The service provider was located and the matter is under investigation. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury forest were investigated. The complainant reports that small-game hunters are driving past “closed road” signs to go hunting. Horse campers in the forest were warned about illegal fires and to not pasture horses in the forested areas.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked waterfowl-hunting activity including complaints about abandoned decoys and shooting too close to houses. Bowhunters were checked.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended training at Camp Ripley. Small-game and big-game hunters were checked throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for a person possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia and driving after revocation in the Mille Lacs WMA.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports a ride-along opportunity was given to an area college student who has interest in becoming a conservation officer. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s department regarding an individual who was hallucinating and acting suspiciously. ATV patrol was done in the Solana State Forest and surrounding Aitkin County land. Work was done in extending a wolf permit area where livestock has been harassed and injured, and a call about a wolf in someone’s yard was fielded.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) investigated a call about wolf depredation on a 400-pound calf. Heaton confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent the week responding to trespass calls, checking waterfowl hunters, and working bear-hunting activity. A depredation investigation was conducted at a local farm where a 500-pound calf was found to likely have been killed by wolves.
WREO Rob Haberman met with Aitkin County officials about ongoing wetland violation investigations.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled calls about a bait dealer trespassing on private property to gain access to net a river, a nuisance bear, nuisance beavers that were trapped, and buoy markers in the Mississippi River that were thought to be illegal fish lines (ended up being buoys marking dead-head logs). A deer-baiting complaint is being investigated, and a deer hunter was found purchasing an archery bonus tag after he had killed the deer. CO Kuske also received a TIP call about duck hunters hunting during the closed season. Two waterfowl hunters were located who were pretty happy with the success they’d had in shooting almost a limit of mallards and teal. However, they learned the hard way that they should have read the regulations prior to heading out. One of the hunters remarked, “Oh, so that’s why no one else is hunting here and we didn’t hear any other shots this morning.”
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) found a group of waterfowlers who were trespassing on a friend’s uncle’s land. The waterfowlers had numerous issues on top of the trespass when CO Martin found lead shot and a spinning-wing decoy where they were set up. During the course of the investigation, one hunter was found to be without a license, waterfowl stamps, or hunter safety training, and another who is under 21 was consuming alcohol.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on TIP calls regarding duck hunters hunting when the season was closed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked the closed waterfowl season during which she reports issuing six citations to people who were hunting.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent the week checking hunters and anglers in the Wright County area. Several hunters were found to be hunting waterfowl during the closed season in the Central Zone.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted with fall training at Camp Ripley. A trespass complaint was investigated and follow-up work was conducted on a couple bear-hunting cases.
District 13 –West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to calls including hunter harassment, trespassing, and shooting within 500 feet of a home. Multiple citations and warnings were issued for shooting ducks and geese during the closed season, unplugged guns, no HIP certification, no small-game license, no personal flotation devices, shooting several grebes, and angling with extra lines.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) assisted with the conservation officer candidate written exam in Minneapolis. She received several hunting complaints about people hunting in closed areas.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) followed up with a possible deer-poaching complaint that turned out to be a (dummy deer) used for seminar demonstrations on how to harvest a deer. He also investigated a complaint regarding an individual dumping minnows into a lake, and worked the Stillwater bridge detail.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a wetland violation and responded to complaints about waterfowl hunters hunting during the closed season.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spoke to a group of Boy Scouts about firearm safety and conservation officer duties and responsibilities, and responded to calls and complaints.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) worked waterfowl hunters during the weekend. Numerous violations were detected, and enforcement action was taken for overlimits of ducks, possession of lead shot, no federal waterfowl stamp, and illegal parking.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked small-game hunting, archery deer hunting, and fishing enforcement in the Lyon and Redwood county areas. Time also was spent working on complaints of duck and goose hunters hunting during the closed season in the South Zone.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports complaints of waterfowl hunters shooting early and trespassing were taken.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that waterfowl enforcement was the main focus of the week. He continues to see numerous violations amongst waterfowl hunters. Hunters are reminded to have PFDs in their duck boats.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) followed up on public waters and Wetland Conservation Act cases.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) responded with the Hutchinson Police Department to a call about hunters in a state game refuge. Enforcement action was taken for hunting in the refuge. A TIP call also was worked, and several hunters were cited for hunting waterfowl in the still-closed South Zone.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) returned a call regarding possession of a road-kill badger and gifted the badger for taxidermy purposes. CO Nelson received a report of a cougar sighting that turned out to be a large domestic cat.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to a call with Jackson County deputies concerning a person shooting too close to an occupied residence. The operator of the suspect vehicle was arrested for DWI, and an occupant was issued a citation for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied residence.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) reports enforcement action was taken for operating an off-highway motorcycle in a WMA and operating an off-highway motorcycle in a road ditch.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) reports eight ducks were seized and citations were written to a group that was unaware the season was still closed south of Hwy. 212.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and waterfowl hunters. CO Ihnen also patrolled the area for small-game and archery deer hunters
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on checking anglers, boaters, and small-game hunters this week. Enforcement action was taken on PFD and license violations.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking small-game and archery deer hunters. Time also was spent investigating TIP reports. Enforcement action was taken for burning permit violations and taking Canada geese during the closed season.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) assisted Brownsville Fire and Rescue in the search for a missing ginseng digger. They found him walking on a trail, going the correct direction. The digger had lost his bearing for a couple hours.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received many inquiries about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge situation.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) investigated trespass complaints involving small-game hunters and ginseng hunters. An illegal-burning complaint was investigated, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports that during the split of the waterfowl season, one hunter shot four wood ducks with a .17 HMR rifle. The hunter did not have a small-game license or waterfowl stamps, but he did have an active warrant for his arrest.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports that time was spent working shining-complaint locations. Some angling violations also were detected.