District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck, grouse, squirrel, and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Beaver trappers were checked on opening morning.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked small-game and waterfowl hunters. Anglers were checked on area rivers, and complaints regarding illegal shining activity were worked.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports assistance was given to the sheriff’s office with a medical call. A report about an injured goose was handled.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and hunting activity throughout the week. Anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River continue to report fair fishing despite high winds and low temperatures.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time checking duck hunters and archery deer hunters. Time also was spent checking trappers and anglers. Various wildlife and trespass-related calls were received.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored anglers, trappers, and waterfowl and archery deer hunters. During waterfowl checks, he had the opportunity to watch a bald eagle harass a cover of coots for several minutes before giving up when it was unable to separate any from the crowd.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) took complaints regarding waterfowl hunters shooting after hours, taking overlimits of ducks, and people poaching deer.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) checked area WMAs and WPAs for waterfowl, small-game, and archery deer hunters.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on open WCA and public waters cases. Progress was made with local government units toward closing old cases. Time was spent checking AIS compliance at public access and talking to fishermen and duck hunters about removing vegetation and boat plugs.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week working small-game hunters, duck hunters, archery deer hunters, ATVers, trespassing, and littering.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowlers, pheasant hunters, and bowhunters. Corn harvest has increased the past week, enabling pheasant hunters a better opportunity to bag a rooster.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working hunting activity involving waterfowl, pheasants, small game, and archery deer. A complaint involving a fall turkey hunter was investigated, with enforcement action taken for hunting in the wrong zone and trespassing. Trapping activity is being monitored, and a complaint involving a trapper setting early water sets was investigated, with enforcement action taken for the violation. Time was spent working night shining activity, and several complaints have come in regarding tree stands being left in WMAs overnight. Several stands have been taken down and seized, and several more are under investigation.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports minnow transportation permits were issued, and wetland drainage/filling complaints were investigated.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a complaint about a deer with its head cut off, as well as a shining complaint. A reminder that any bait placed by hunters needs to be completely removed 10 days prior to hunting in that location.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked waterfowling, big-game hunting, and trapping activities, noting compliance was good. One trapper called to report that he had caught a bobcat before the season in a leg-hold trap. Between the trapper and the officer, with a little ingenuity and creativity, the rather large, angry bobcat was released unharmed.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a call from an individual looking for a burning permit, whom he referred to DNR Forestry. He also assisted the U.S. Forest Service regarding the illegal use of off-road motor vehicles. Officer Sommers also assisted a Leech Lake tribal CO with a complaint.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) patrolled ATV trails and forest roads and checked a variety of hunters. Some hunters were discouraged by the lack of deer sign, and some were pleasantly surprised that they put a few grouse in the game bag. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations and closed area violations.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted officers and area SWCD staff with a site inspection of a wetland violation. He issued a restoration order to the landowner to remove illegal fill.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, coordinating with DNR Forestry on area issues, and spending time monitoring public access sites.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a case of trapping muskrats before the season was found. Along with that, a trap that was left out for a year was found.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons and nighttime hunting activity. An investigation of a deer being taken illegally was handled. The officer worked the complaint area and cited an individual for misdemeanor shining without a firearm. About three hours later, two individuals were apprehended for gross misdemeanor shining after using car headlights, a light, along with a shotgun being fired out the car window. The shotgun, light, and car were seized, and charges are pending. A trapper harassment call in a river access incident was handled and resolved with a warning. A motorcycle rider was observed transporting a slung-over-the-shoulder, uncased shotgun in the city limits of Hibbing. Moments after the officer spotted him, he was seen popping a wheelie. He was cited for the uncased shotgun and cautioned to ride a little smarter.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) took care of a wolf with mange accidently caught in a trap in the Virginia station. A coyote with mange also was taken care of outside of Biwabik. Fredin also received a complaint about deer stands being destroyed by cutting the ties, and also removing the lower part of ladder stands. The owner believes it is another hunter attempting to control who hunts within the area.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked duck and grouse hunters throughout the week and found duck hunters to be quite disappointed. People are getting ready for the deer season, and anyone finding bait for deer is encouraged to contact the officers so that it can be handled. Baiting for deer hunting is not tolerated and will be prosecuted to the extent of the law.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated a deer poached in the Lutsen area. Anyone with information on the deer that was shot late last week with a firearm is urged to call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small game hunters, ATVers, and anglers. The officer returned calls regarding the upcoming deer season, wolves, car-killed deer, dead raptors, becoming a conservation officer, and possible illegal traps.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked small-game hunters and investigated calls about a nuisance bear, livestock depredation by wolves, baiting deer, ATVers in public waters, and OHV damage to a wetland.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking hunting and fishing activities. She also taught laws and regulations at a firearm safety class in Grand Rapids and investigated a wetlands and public waters violation. She took a complaint about permanent stands being built on Blandin property, which is illegal use of its property.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) reports an investigation of illegal bough cutting resulted in citations for making false statements relating to decorative boughs and failing to obtain a bough-buyer’s permit.
CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) followed up on illegal ATV activity on the Mesabi Trail this past week. CO Velsvaag also appeared for a court hearing and took a call on illegal deer baiting.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowlers, anglers, ATVers, trappers, deer shiners, and boaters in the area. Wetland Conservation Act cases and public waters inventory were tracked.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked deer-shining complaints in the area. Fond du Lac COs and police officers requested assistance regarding an illegally taken deer near Brookston, which resulted in citations for taking deer out of season and without a license.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a couple nights working complaint areas for night deer-shining activity. Many trappers were checked during the weekend.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued to work deer-shining complaint areas. A shining detail was worked with the assistance of several district officers, which resulted in a misdemeanor arrest.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended and assisted with some K9 training in the metro area. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, OHM, and watercraft registration violations. A deer hunter called, upset because someone had cut down two of his stands with a chain saw and also cut three-fourths of the way through the trees where the stands had been located. This case is still under investigation.
WREO Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) worked with DNR Fisheries and the hydrologist from Two Harbors and the city of Duluth regarding a call from the Duluth Police Department about a person who was found in the West Tischer Creek bed with a backhoe, dredging the creek bottom and sides out to prevent more flooding on his property. This person dredged about 50 yards of creek bottom out of both his property and Duluth property. A cease and desist order was issued.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with a burglary-in-progress call. He also assisted the Fond du Lac police with a call that ended up being a deer taken out of season. Items were seized.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked a few shore anglers on Lake Superior. Mistaking a steelhead for a coho turned out to be a costly mistake for one angler. Assistance was given to a local agency in locating a 2-year-old boy lost in the woods, amid wet snow for over two hours. An incidentally trapped wolf was released from a foot-hold set. The next day, the same trapper called to report he had caught a different wolf in the same set. Both wolves were released unharmed.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked the Camp Ripley bowhunt last week. Some of the violations observed were hunting in a restricted area, leaving deer stands out overnight, and littering.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) continued deer-baiting investigations and worked waterfowl enforcement. Officer Guida also addressed miscellaneous nuisance-wildlife calls and was a guest speaker at the Brainerd Area Darkhouse/Spearfishing Association Banquet.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked hunter and anglers, assisted a neighboring officer with a TIP call, worked areas of deer-shining complaints, and assisted the county with a 911 call in which a person was operating an ATV illegally in a wetland and got stuck and wet. The person said he called 911 because he was cold and didn’t want to walk the mile back to a road. The responding fire department got its ATV stuck trying to find the operator, and it took several members hours to get it free.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a complaint about hunter harassment that was occurring regarding an archery hunter, with further investigation continuing.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) investigated early and late shooting of waterfowl, hunter trespass, decoys left on public waters, illegal dumping of garbage, and a boat that showed up mysteriously on posted private woodland.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) finished up on an investigation regarding trespassing and illegal bear baiting. The suspect was cited for baiting without a valid license, failing to register a bait station, and trespassing.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports violations found during the week included hunting without a license and illegal operation of ATVs. One pair of hunters was caught using lights to locate deer late at night. The same pair also was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded numerous phone calls regarding the upcoming rifle season for deer. A complaint regarding an ATV being operated in a wetland was addressed, as well.
CO Scott E. Fitzgerald (Malmo) fielded a call about a structure built in a WMA and a call about possible illegal stands on state land.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted surveillance for deer shiners at several locations in Morrison County. A complaint was received about vehicles other than ATVs being driven on the Soo Line Trail.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked on a possible wetlands violation, and a possible civil violation along Luxemburg Creek, where landowners are violating an easement. Time was spent tracking down a hunter who chose to enter posted private property (twice) in order to track a wounded deer. The hunter had been told to stay off the property in the past and admitted to seeing the legal “no trespassing” signs, as well. He now faces possible charges of gross misdemeanor trespassing and gross misdemeanor transporting an illegally taken big-game animal.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) checked a group of duck hunters who were in the city limits of Little Falls and also took a call about a possible cougar attack on a dog and horse, nuisance beavers causing flooding on roads, and dogs chasing deer.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated deer-hunting violations and checked on several new complaints regarding waterfowl and deer hunting. Enforcement action was taken for illegally taking protected birds (pileated woodpeckers), angling without a license, taking smallmouth bass out of season, no PFD onboard watercraft, and leaving trail cameras in wildlife management areas.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) continues to check small-game, waterfowl, and archery hunters, anglers, and ATVers.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) assisted in releasing a wolf from a leg-hold trap in the area. COs Langevin and Salzer used a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood to hold the wolf at bay while the trapper released the trap. The wolf ran off with no more than a bruised foot.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking duck hunters and small-game hunters. A few of the calls CO Grewe responded to included baited deer stands, failing to retrieve downed waterfowl, and shooting after hours.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and investigated a TIP call.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked goose, pheasant, and small-game hunters in the metro area. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines and no fishing license in possession.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) checked waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River throughout the week. Hunters are reporting slow hunting as few new migrant ducks have moved into the area. CO McGowan also investigated numerous TIP calls throughout Dakota County.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) conducted a falconry facilities inspection in Little Canada.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time working AIS and wetland-related activity. WREO Block and CO Pril worked a detail on the Rainy River near Baudette during the weekend.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) monitored activity in WMAs, where enforcement action was taken for speeding and leaving a deer stand overnight.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many violations involved wildlife management areas, including driving on and farming a WMA. He also encountered people hunting pheasants in a controlled hunt zone.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working pheasant hunters and trappers. Several investigations are ongoing.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked deer, duck, and pheasant hunters throughout the week. Complaints about hunter trespass were investigated.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued two restoration orders in Renville County. AIS checks were completed on water-related equipment on accesses and sloughs in several counties.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on a wetland complaint and a trespassing complaint and issued a nuisance beaver permit.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a night detail with other officers in Henderson area.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working trapping enforcement and raccoon hunters in the area.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding illegal trapping methods and questions regarding hunting information.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County, continuing to work small and big game seasons. Gruhlke also worked waterfowl and fishing seasons. He followed up with the county attorney’s office concerning a trespass case, and responded to a call about an injured trumpeter swan.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked hunting and trapping activity for small game and waterfowl. State property was patrolled for illegal equipment and other possible violations.
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, as well as trapping activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked a security detail at a public hearing in Mankato. Enforcement action was taken on trapping, waterfowling, and ATVing violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports complaints about illegal trapping continue to occupy his time.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) took enforcement action for hunting deer over a baited area, as well as some unlawful trapping and trespass violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) stopped two people shining after hours. They were non-hunters driving around with three children in the car while they smoked marijuana and shined for deer. He also observed a person hide something on public property at a boat landing. The person said he was leaving his phone there so his mother could not track where he was going.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports a landowner found a 12-point buck on his property. It had been shot by a bow. He’d contacted all of his neighbors and no one claimed the deer. He agreed if the CO gave him a possession permit to give the rack back if someone who legally shot the deer came looking for it. That evening, a seasoned bowhunter did claim the buck and was appreciative that the cape was still in good shape for a head mount.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working shining complaints, trapping complaints, and trespass complaints. Enforcement action was taken for trapping violations and trespassing.