District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated several arsons, with assistance from DNR Forestry and Minnesota BCA. Opening weekend of the firearms deer season was worked. Multiple hunting over baited areas were investigated with enforcement action taken.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke at the Argyle Sportsman Club on new regulations and hunter ethics and patrolled the area for deer bait.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) conducted follow up on possible trespass complaints, and an investigation of individual’s mowing on a WMA was closed.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked the busy firearms deer hunting opener.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports giving presentations at the Red Lake Falls Lyons Club and the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association prior to this year’s deer opener.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) reports one hunter was found walking around looking for something he knew he was forgetting. He was in camo with the orange on the car seat.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) executed a search warrant for an illegally taken deer.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a very busy firearms deer opener. Several hunters were checked and reported varying success.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked with COs Vollbrecht and Parthun investigating several hunters using bait. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) followed up on reports of hunter harassment, chasing deer with motor vehicle, and trespass.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked late season duck hunters and followed up on a dog chasing deer complaint.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) followed up on reports of baiting deer, untagged traps, and trespass. Hunters must properly dispose of deer carcasses after processing.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with the Governor’s Deer Opener in Fergus Falls. Most hunters believed standing corn and heavy winds contributed to a slow opening weekend.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked a busy deer opener but high winds kept the success rate down. Violations encountered were: fail to validate tag, untagged big game animal, hunt deer over bait, transport loaded firearm, insufficient amount of blaze orange, possess drug paraphernalia, leave portable deer stands in waterfowl production area overnight, and trespass.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on a complaint of an eagle that had been shot.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports one group of seven hunters was observed piled into a truck bed, driving across a field returning from a deer drive. When approached by officers, it was discovered there were four loaded firearms in the motor vehicle and two of the hunters didn’t have licenses. Enforcement action taken along with two seized firearms.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) investigated reports of deer shining in the Graceville area. The officer worked a shining work crew in the Ortonville/Graceville area. Anderson found one person, posing as another person and using that person’s deer license to shoot and tag a deer. The person had no deer license of his own. Calls were fielded this week regarding disability permits, doe permits, deer hunting questions, unattended traps complaints and legal water access questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) spent time checking trappers, deer hunters, pheasant hunters, and waterfowl hunters.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) walked in on several baited deer stands in multiple locations. Subsequent enforcement action resulted in the issuance of citations, as well as the seizure of deer, firearms, and other items. Revocation of hunting privileges is pending.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) encountered complaints of shooting from the road, shooting before and after legal shooting hours, and ATVs operating in the restricted hours.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports trappers turned in a pair of accidentally taken fisher and one trapper reported that a lawfully set trap had been stolen.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports one trespass complaint involved three parties whose truck got stuck and approached a rural household for assistance. While asking for help they saw some geese in front of the residence. Instead of asking for permission, the parties tried to sneak by the residence (ducking under the front picture window) in an attempt to shoot the geese. The landowner saw them and of course was upset.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) reminds hunters choosing to transport uncased firearms that they must be completely unloaded including the magazine.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) started opening of deer season checking on baiting. People have yet to learn a $400-plus fine, seizure of firearm, and revocation of deer hunting privileges is not enough deterrent.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports deer opening weekend was quiet with only a couple disagreements between deer camps mediated.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) teamed up with CO Kittelson to work the Ray station. Officers found a few issues with illegal party hunting and an alcohol issue that led to charges.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) with the assistance of CO Schmidt, arrested two individuals who were cutting and stealing thousands of dollars worth of spruce tree tops on county land in the Toivola area.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports enforcement action was taken on numerous deer hunters for hunting over bait, including a 15-year-old. In another situation where CO Frericks located deer bait on the Thursday before the season, no one was in the stand on opening day. With the assistance of CO pilot Don Murray a hunter was spotted in the stand on Sunday afternoon. The hunter was interviewed and admitted to hunting over bait and taking a deer on Saturday afternoon. The hunter also admitted to using his girlfriend’s deer tag on the deer he shot. When it came time to seize the deer there were two additional deer in the same shed. CO Frericks learned that the other two deer came from the hunter’s 15-year-old nephew. The nephew was contacted and admitted to additional violations of party hunting by using his mother’s and grandmother’s deer tags. All deer were seized.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received complaints of shooting before the season. A number of hunters were attempting to sight in guns on a local gravel pit the Friday before opener even though a designated rifle range was two miles away; they didn’t want to pay the $5 fee.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked deer baiting cases. One group said they weren't baiting, but had only stomped on apples with their boots, at their deer stands, and by their salt blocks, merely to remove their human scent. They didn’t feel the apples constituted bait since they weren’t meant as deer food, but instead were for scent camouflage. Rifles were seized as per state law and licenses will be revoked for a year upon conviction.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked whitefish and herring nets for depth and game fish.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) contacted one hunter just loading up his ATV to head to the stand and found that he was preparing to carry his loaded rifle along; he was advised of the regs before earning a ticket.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports two hunters were cited for hunting over bait on opener and rifles were seized.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked hunters and investigated complaints of baiting deer, trespass, illegal stands, shooting from the roadway, and hunter harassment.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) investigated calls of hunter harassment.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) took a complaint involving a trapping incident.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy deer opener with numerous people cited for hunting over a baited area.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked an investigation that resulted in two subjects being charged for using artificial light to take deer, taking deer during closed season, as well as other charges.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several hunters received surprise visits. Some are still not getting the message that hunting over bait is illegal in Minnesota.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) had the privilege to be in the woods and observe an 11-point buck taken by a young hunter. This 11-pointer turned out to be his first deer.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) gave assistance to neighboring officers on a variety of enforcement issues.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a search warrant in Pine and Kanabec counties. More K9 training was done in the metro area with K9 Schody.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) assisted Officer Hanzal in investigating a deer baiting case for deer opener.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked cisco netters on northern waters of Lake Superior. A few sea ducks were seen on the cold waters around Grand Portage.
Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked commercial fishermen on Lake Superior from Grand Marais to Grand Portage on the water, checking net-marking requirements.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked with neighboring CO Tischler on deer baiting complaints with corn, apples, and pumpkins the most common bait.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) contacted several individuals for deer baiting violations who now face fines, confiscation of firearms, and revocation of hunting privileges.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on a TIP complaint of baiting, which resulted in the property owner admitting to placing bait and receiving a citation and seizure of his rifle.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked late season duck hunters and worked the busy firearms deer season opener.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a case involving a hunter who had shot and registered a deer in a one deer hunter’s choice area and was attempting to take another deer by firearm in the same one deer hunter’s choice area. The hunter was charged with attempting to take an over limit of deer and may have his hunting privileges revoked.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) took questions on the local radio station with wildlife staff. A tip that came into the station while doing the show resulted in three baiting citations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
WREO Rob Haberman assisted the aviation unit with support of ground operations for the deer opener.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted numerous officers from across the northern part of the state with search warrants in the Hinckley area. The warrants yielded evidence involving shining and shooting deer violations that occurred from Finlayson to Hill City. The violators would shine fields, shoot the deer, cut off the heads, and leave the rest to rot in the field. These violators face serious charges.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded complaints regarding stands left in the Mille Lacs WMA overnight. The officer also found two parties shining animals in a field with firearms in the vehicle; a gross misdemeanor.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted several other officers with a search warrant that resulted in the recovery of evidence and finding of suspects that poached multiple deer throughout the area.
CO Scott E. Fitzgerald (Malmo) investigated a TIP complaint of hunting deer over bait and a call of two hunting parties claiming hunter harassment on each other.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) worked the firearms deer season opener. She received information that a known felon was hunting and in possession of a firearm. She and another officer responded to the location, only to have the felon bolt upon their arrival. A search ensued. The end result will be an active arrest warrant, and the felon can expect a 60-month prison sentence as a result of the violation of him being in possession of a firearm. More charges will be requested.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
WREO Keith Bertram assisted neighboring COs with deer baiting arrests.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports that with assistance from CO Thesing and Lt. Bertram, two hunters were visited on the stand after making the choice to hunt over bait. The choice proved to be a poor one, as firearms were seized and citations were issued.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled a variety of issues, including: trespass; shining; failure to validate; hunt big game from road right-of-way; and no burning permit.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted with an investigation where a bear was shot on deer opener up in Marshall County.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports that with assistance from CO Bertram and CO Silgjord two men were cited for hunt over bait and their guns were seized.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports that, assisted by the Morrison County Sherriff’s Dept., he took a call of poachers shining and shooting deer at 5:45 a.m. from their truck. The complainant had followed the truck after the shooting to get the license plate number. The poacher rammed the complainant’s truck twice, got out and punched the complaint, and drove off. CO Kuske located the poachers’ vehicle at a farm, subjects were interviewed and the rifle used (and seized) was found hidden in a grain bin.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) dealt with a trapper using untagged traps.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working trapping, fishing, and pheasant hunters this week.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over a baited area.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) received TIP calls that resulted in a bowhunter who took a deer without a license, a deer that was stolen in the Rum River State Forest, hunters without blaze orange, and traps that were stolen.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) responded to a TIP call with the assistance of CO Arntzen of swans being shot which resulted in summons for taking non-game migratory birds.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a vehicle on I-35 was struck by a bullet on opening day in the northern part of the county. Thankfully, no one was injured.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked trappers, waterfowl hunters and small game hunters in Scott and Dakota counties.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) answered many phone calls on big game and small game regulations from the Hmong community.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) cited two drivers who drove off road, past signs and barriers in Carlos Avery WMA. Both vehicles were stuck and had to be recovered by a local towing company. The tow bill for $500 will far exceed the fine for the violation.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued checking waterfowl hunters and anglers around his patrol station during the week.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week investigating several shoreline and wetland related complaints.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) responded to an injured black bear and a complaint of waterfowl hunters shooting at trumpeter swans.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked deer hunters over the weekend and violations encountered included hunt deer over bait, failure to tag deer, failure to validate site tag and failure to register deer.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked throughout the weekend dealing with trespassing and other illegal taking violations.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports chasing deer and shooting deer from a motor vehicle was a major concern of the weekend.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) received a report of a vehicle struck by a slug. The truck was driving down a county road as a party of hunters walking approximately 200 yards away shot at a deer. No one was injured.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) is asking for the public’s help with information on who killed a deer with a motor vehicle on the grass airplane runway near Graceville. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Turn-in-Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093.
CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) reports a vehicle traveling Highway 23 near Pipestone was struck by a slug Sunday afternoon. The investigation showed that the hunter had shot at a deer and the slug ricocheted off the soil, turned approximately 90 degrees and traveled 200 yards before striking the vehicle. No injuries reported.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) notes that vehicles continue to play too large a part in many hunters’ tactics. Several investigations are ongoing, including two cases of antlerless deer shot and left lay.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on baiting, trespass and shooting from the road complaints.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated a case involving an illegally taken bear.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports baiting once again was a significant issue in the area.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office with the recovery of missing kayaker from last summer.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County and worked small and big game seasons as well as waterfowl hunting.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) monitored small game hunting and trapping activity. Trappers reported many of their sets are being stolen.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) assisted neighboring officers make a case on a party who shot a deer with a rifle in the shotgun zone, a day before the season opened. CO Howe also conducted a ginseng inspection.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to numerous calls from the public regarding trespass, hunter harassment, and other various game/fish law violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy deer opener this past weekend.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent most of the week monitoring trapping, small game, and archery deer hunting activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) investigated a baiting case where the complainant called the officer and told him about a baited stand. The complainant then told his daughter’s boyfriend to sit in the baited stand over the very large pile of corn. When the hunter was contacted by the officer he said he did not know the corn was there and his girlfriend’s dad told him to hunt there.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports enforcement included APR deer, trespass, and failure to validate site tag.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports trappers also have been out and the raccoon numbers seem to be down, as are muskrats.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports the firearms deer opener was extremely busy throughout the Whitewater WMA.
CO Phil George (Rochester) spoke with the local media prior to the deer season opener. A manure spill was investigated and PCA was contacted and the responsible party started the cleanup.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy opening weekend of the 2013 deer season. Violations detected included APR, untagged, unlawful lend/borrow, and more.