District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck hunters on Thief Lake and the Roseau River impoundments. An accidentally trapped bobcat that weighed 60 pounds was surrendered to the CO.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling activity, checked waterfowlers, and patrolled for shiners throughout the week. A complaint about nuisance beavers was handled.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week. CO Gorecki also executed a search warrant on a residence that resulted in the seizure of several big-game animals. Charges are pending, as the investigation is still on going.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending most of last week checking waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent checking archery deer hunters, small-game hunters, and anglers.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received calls about bear-baiting concerns, shining, and theft of a stand and camera.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked waterfowl and grouse hunters. A boat and water safety detail was worked on the Rainy River with COs Huener and Holt.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked big-game hunters throughout the week and taught several portions of a firearm safety field day in Becida. The officer also assisted CO Parthun with removal of an illegal permanent duck blind from a local lake. Complaints about duck hunters shooting after hours and big-game hunting violations were received and investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) assisted White Earth reservation conservation officers with a violation committed by a non-band member.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a slow opener for area pheasant hunters. CO Seefeldt followed up on a complaint about an archery deer hunter using bait.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports the pheasant opener was one of the toughest he has seen in his 20-plus-year career. CO Forsberg also spent time checking turkey hunters, and following up on waters complaints and trespass complaint.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts on fishermen, archery deer hunters, and waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Several complaints were checked this past week, including waterfowl hunters shooting at grebes.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Pheasant hunters are reminded that they can’t use toxic shot on waterfowl production areas.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored fishing activity, as well as waterfowl and pheasant hunting. Lots of questions were taken about the government shutdown affecting public hunting opportunities on WPAs.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports continuing to work heavy fishing pressure on Lake Osakis, with several more overlimit cases made. A TIP call and subsequent investigation led to one man found with overlimits of walleyes, crappies, and sunfish in his possession. The man now faces a substantial fine and license revocation.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports complaints were handled regarding deer shining, along with stands being left on public hunting lands.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) continued working archery deer-hunting issues and checked area waterfowl hunters. He assisted with a youth hunt in Itasca Park and checked small-game hunters. Officer Parthun also began to work on a trespassing and damage to property case and monitored ATV use.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) responded to an ATV on fire and assisted another agency regarding a suspect who’d fled on his vehicle.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) investigated a calf that was killed. The prime suspects are the members of a family of coyotes.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports anglers enjoyed the warm week while deer and duck hunters were looking for fall to arrive.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, hunting, and ATVing activity. CO Broughten also assisted with an investigation in which a waterfowl hunter shot a trumpeter swan. In another instance, while CO Broughten was checking an area for grouse-hunting activity, he found several snowmobile trail signs that appeared to have been intentionally run over by a car. CO Broughten followed the path of destruction to a hunting camp, where he interviewed people who stated they were out for a joy ride, and although in hindsight it was stupid, at the time they found it enjoyable to run over the signs. CO Broughten documented the damage, and a report will be submitted to the county attorney’s office for charging and restitution.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala investigated a public waters violation in which fill had been placed in the channel of a waterway and in the wetlands adjacent to it. The landowner agreed to voluntarily remove the fill.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time monitoring fishing and boating activity on the Rainy River, with enforcement action taken for overlimits and illegal-length fish. Other activities involved investigating several illegal burning complaints and assisting CO Patten and the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office with illegal ATV operation in public waters.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small-game and waterfowl hunters, night-hunting activity, investigated a wetland violation and issued a Resource Protection Notification, assisted the Hibbing police with a DWI and meth possession arrest, and taught a firearm safety class in Buhl. In about an hour’s time, the officer dealt with two groups of ATVers (total of eight) illegally riding on a state trail that is only open to snowmobiling, while another ATVer was encountered nearby who was transporting a loaded shotgun. The operator had passed by and ignored multiple “no motor vehicle” signs. A total of 11 violations were racked up by the nine people.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took calls from landowners about grouse hunters who were either driving or shooting onto their posted property. Time was spent monitoring the landowners’ properties.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports grouse hunting continues to be steady. Violations included transporting cleaned game birds, hunting with no license in possession, and transporting a juvenile passenger on an ATV without a helmet.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time in the BWCAW looking for hunters and fishermen. The officer is finding deer baits and other evidence of illegal baiting activity. Hunters are reminded that it is a violation to use bait, and the law is strictly enforced.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked pheasant hunters in the Ortonville station with CO Miska. While the COs were checking some hunters, two pickups with hunters pulled up to see what the COs were up to. Occupants of both trucks had loaded guns in them. Waterfowl hunters with lead shot and no plugs in shotguns also were encountered. A bowhunter called the CO during the week and told him that he encountered four timber wolves at his deer stand. The hunter tried to scare them off, but they appeared to show no fear. Eventually they trotted away.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) responded to an out-of-control fire at a state park campground. A camper used gasoline to light his campfire, and subsequently the woods around it. Neighboring campers helped put it out before too much damage was done to the forest or people. CO Manning and CO Scott issued a cease and desist order for a wetlands case and conducted a site visit on another wetlands violation.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) investigated incidents regarding baiting, trespass, shining, and major damage to public waters caused by an ATVer.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) received a call about trespass this week involving a bird hunter who was attempting to shoot grouse within 500 feet of the complainant’s home. She also received a call regarding hunter harassment in the Grand Rapids area, which is still being investigated.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked bough cutters, ATVers, state park users, campers, and small-game, and archery deer hunters.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast ATV Rec officer) checked hunters and ATV activity in Remer, Bemidji, and Sturgeon Lake. Some areas had high violation rates, with ATVers and OHMers operating in closed areas. Several offenders were unsuccessful in asking for a warning instead of a citation, after driving past four signs prohibiting motorized traffic.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) reports a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order was issued, and aquatic plant management and public waters complaints were investigated.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a couple of wetland encroachment issues were addressed. The officer assisted with a nighttime work detail during which two men were arrested for the illegal shining of deer, and the driver charged with a DWI.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued to work deer-shining complaint areas. A shining detail was held with assistance from several district officers, which resulted in two gross misdemeanors and a DWI arrest.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast Minnesota) reports significant impact at a site on Loon Lake to cedar swamp wetlands where people created a trail system thought the wetland up to five feet wide by using crushed rock and a larger rock base for the trail system.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small-game hunters north of Duluth. He also worked with fellow District 8 officers on night work in Carlton County and checked shore anglers along the French River.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports a live trap was set for a bear that was seen with a leg-hold trap on its foot. If caught, the trap will be removed from the bear’s foot.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported activity included investigating complaints about illegal ATV operation, deer baiting, hunter harassment, and obstruction of public waters. A cease and desist order was issued to an individual who illegally posted “no trespassing” signs and blocked a public waterway to prevent duck hunters from hunting legally on public waters.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a big-game trespass call was handled, and both the landowner and the bowhunter agreed to the conditions.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on a complaint about a buck being shot and wandering into a yard. The archery hunter who shot the deer was located a short time later and was happy his deer had been located.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked duck hunters and grouse hunters, and monitored boat landings for invasive species transporting. CO Collette also responded to a TIP call about hunters shooting a swan. After extensive searching for the bird, it eventually was pulled out from under the bog where the hunters had shoved it. Charges are pending.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking small-game hunters during the week. A TIP complaint about a couple of hunters shooting out of a motor vehicle was investigated.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received more calls about trespassing. Please properly post your land by following the guidelines laid out in the hunting regulations book. Heaton also received complaints about shining residences and livestock enclosures during legal shining hours.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking small-game hunters, monitoring ATV complaint areas, and winterizing summer equipment.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked pheasant, duck, and deer hunter, as well as boaters and anglers. Thesing also worked baited deer stands and deer-shining complaints.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls), along with a natural resources law enforcement Central Lakes College ride-along, investigated a call about a headless buck in a road ditch, a TIP call about an overlimit of geese, and complaints about late duck hunting on the Mississippi River.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking boaters and hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and insufficient boating safety equipment.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated several deer-baiting complaints. Area WMAs were checked for waterfowl and small-game hunting activity
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several hunting complaints and nuisance-animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, and angling with extra lines.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a lot of hunting activity in the area. Numerous landowner disputes were handled. CO Langevin received a TIP call of about anglers fishing too close to the Taylors Falls dam. The anglers were found and cited.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) received a TIP call about individuals who were shooting cranes. The hunters greeted CO Londgren, stating how they were having a pretty good day and had harvested a few cranes. Their day got worse when they were told they were hunting in a non-crane zone. Enforcement action was taken.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a presentation to a group of Watertown High School students at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club before they went on a pheasant hunt at the Wings of Watertown shooting preserve.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and assisted a neighboring CO with a bowhunting-over-bait complaint.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and shore fishermen. He responded to a complaint in Maple Grove about an individual raising koi fish in a pond in his backyard.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling the St. Croix River for waterfowl hunters and anglers. He also investigated TIP complaints and responded to several complaints about shooting after hours.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week focusing on AIS and wetland-related activity. Hunting complaints were investigated on both state and federal lands. A resource-protection notification was issued in Washington County regarding a possible unpermitted wetland fill.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) reports a busy second waterfowl opener. Numerous hunters were out during the second opening weekend.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spent time investigating complaints and continued checking anglers around metro lakes.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) investigated several properties where aquatic vegetation had been cut on Lake George. He received several complaints about trespassing, and a stolen deer stand.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) is working on a deer case and checked many waterfowl hunters on area lakes. She handled a call about four individuals hunting pheasants before 9 a.m. on opening morning, checked small-game hunters, handled a car-killed fisher, and talked to a firearm safety class in Arden Hills.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports near-perfect conditions in the area brought out many hunters for the pheasant opener. With bird numbers down and a lot of corn still in the field, roosters were hard to come by. Enforcement action for the week included hunting deer over bait.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the pheasant opener was busy with a lot of activity on local WMAs and WPAs. Walk-In Access lands also saw a lot of use. The waterfowl season reopened in the south zone.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working archery deer hunters, pheasant opener, and Duck Opener 2.0. Online adult firearms safety course questions were the most common questions fielded.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports Walk-In Access areas were used by many, and the validation requirement was easily purchased on line.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) completed a site visit on a WCA violation in Redwood County in which fill was placed in a wetland next to the Minnesota River.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke with 80 6th-grade students as part of the annual Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center Conservation Days program.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters throughout the weekend. Pheasant hunters had a rough start to the season with low numbers and lots of crops still in the field. Enforcement action was taken on two archery hunters caught hunting over an area baited with acorns, with no oak trees in sight.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) worked the pheasant opener and the re-opening of the migratory waterfowl season in the southern zone. Three hunters were arrested for hunting waterfowl while intoxicated. Beckmann also presented a law and ethics talk to a firearm safety class in Westbrook.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked waterfowl and small-game hunters for the opening seasons. Assistance was given to local and out-of-state law enforcement in tracking down an individual fleeing in a motor vehicle, then on foot. Apprehension of the suspect was the conclusion. Reports of the sighting of a bull moose were investigated. A local farmer combining corn observed the animal walking in a field heading southeast. He stated he’s seen them before in Canada, but not this far south.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked angling, small-game hunting, and waterfowl-hunting activity. The opening pheasant weekend brought some hunters out to the field with moderate success
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy waterfowl and pheasant opener this past week. Support was given at the governor’s opener in Madelia.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring fishing, and small-game and archery deer hunting. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and no state pheasant stamp.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving a call from a federal wildlife officer who observed two subjects walking out of a state park, looking suspicious and holding bags. Upon further investigation, both subjects were found to be harvesting ginseng from the state park, which is illegal. Citations were issued.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers throughout the week and duck hunters and anglers during the weekend. CO George took calls about dogs chasing deer and several license questions.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports duck hunters had success on the second duck opener. Many calls were received concerning the closing of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge lands. Fall turkey hunters are bagging a few birds.