District 1 – Baudette area
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored ice-angling activity on area waterways. Follow-up was conducted regarding a trespass complaint.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing activity throughout the week. Ice conditions seem to be progressing on Lake of the Woods, but reports of ATVers going through the ice were reported. Enforcement action was taken for numerous walleye overlimits, extra lines, and unattended lines.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked the opening day of muzzleloader hunting and fisher trapping. Several trappers were checked while out setting their traps. Only a handful of muzzleloader hunters were observed in the field. The first ice fishermen of the year were checked on a couple of smaller lakes in the Bemidji area. Complaints about dogs chasing deer were investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) found ice conditions improving throughout the area CO Vinton was informed that an angler attempted to drive on the early ice and his vehicle went through. An area trapper call to report a fisher in a trap before the season. The fisher was released.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on deer season issues. He also checked goose and muzzleloader deer hunters.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on Wetland Conservation Act and public waters cases.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) continues to be impressed with goose numbers in the area. Even non-hunters have commented on the high numbers in and around Fergus Falls. Trappers were checked during the week, and incidentally caught fishers were seized. One fisher was ear-tagged in February 2012 at Camp Ripley and found itself in a body-grip trap in Otter Tail County.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) reports duck hunters hunting in the closed northern zone were surprised to find they were hunting during the closed season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) finished cases from the deer season. Trapping complaints were investigated, and fur was seized.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports ice conditions are improving rapidly. Enforcement action was taken for angling with unattended lines as a fisherman headed to shore to take a nap and eat a meal without reeling up his jig poles. In addition, illegal treestands left over from the firearms deer season were seized on WMA units..
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to close out firearms deer-season investigations and spent time checking muzzleloader and archery deer hunters.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports complaints about deer baiting were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for no blaze orange during the muzzleloader deer season.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked the opener of the muzzleloader deer season and found good compliance and few deer. He also checked traps and trappers during the week.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a few complaints about traps being stolen. One trapper, who was reporting his traps missing, also was the alleged thief of another trapper’s sets. A reminder: Taking someone else’s traps or snares is trap tampering and theft.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a complaint regarding someone trespassing and dumping deer carcasses on private property.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) followed up on a wolf-related complaint that resulted in enforcement action for failing to register the wolf and surrendering the carcass to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) continued investigations from the firearms deer season. She also monitored deer-hunting activity during the muzzleloader opener, which was fairly quiet.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored area forest roads, checked lakes, returned phone calls, and worked on reports.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked on a large litter case with over four yards of garbage dumped on the Arrowhead Snowmobile Trail. The owners of the garbage were tracked down, and a citation was issued. State park issues also were addressed. A reminder to snowmobile owners to check registration now, instead of the first day of use.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) assisted the State Patrol with a wrong-way driver, Christmas tree theft on the Superior National Forest, and the Hibbing police with a call about a person threatening to kill several people at the hospital in Hibbing, which was unfounded. A hunting dog owner reported illegal snare and body-gripping trap sets, in which his dog had been caught or nearly so. One trapper was dealt with, while the other remains to be educated.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports marten and fisher trappers were not as prevalent as expected. Reports heard during deer season were that there weren’t a lot of marten or fisher tracks seen.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) spent the week assisting with an out-of-state big-game investigation. He also followed up on pending investigations and prepared for upcoming court cases.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) says reports of the first full-size pick-up traveling on the ice created a stir among the 30-plus anglers in the area who were quite angry about the lack of common sense by the driver and the possibility of their lives being placed at risk in saving the driver if the pickup would have gone through the ice. Thankfully the 7 to 8 inches of good, clear ice held up enough for the pickup to safely get off the ice.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked small-game, big-game, and ice-fishing activity. Violations included untagged traps, foot-hold traps within 20 feet of exposed bait, failing to tend, and pre-empted trap locations. He also investigated a wolf complaint in which an adult horse was killed by wolves near Effie.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, and assisted county officials with domestic altercation incident.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) took calls about hunters being harassed while hunting, as well as trespass complaints.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several trapping violations were found within the special lynx protection zone, and suspect trappers were contacted, with enforcement action taken.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports a fish kill on Island Lake in Cromwell was reported, with DNR Fisheries staff notified. Incidental-caught fur was handled.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) followed up on a complaint involving violations of state statues and Duluth city ordinances associated with the city archery hunt.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) wrapped up case work from the deer season and prepped seasonal equipment for storage.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) followed up on firearms deer season investigations. She also answered calls regarding trapping regulations and the muzzleloader season. Heaton received after-season tips about hunting over bait and trespassing issues.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked the opening of muzzleloader deer season with little activity noted. Several TIP calls were investigated, and the CO assisted with grass fires in which someone had set several fires in road ditches.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received information about possible northern pike overlimits being taken.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) followed up on a shooting complaint that resulted in multiple charges.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports monitoring trapping and small-game hunting activity during the past week and weekend. A TIP complaint of an illegal trapping and debris left in a WMA were investigated.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on smaller lakes that had about 5 inches of ice on them. A TIP complaint involving multiple deer shot during and before the season was investigated.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) had reports from various DNR licensing vendors that this is the busiest muzzleloader season they have had in years as far as licenses sold.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time checking early ice anglers and pheasant hunters. An untagged-deer complaint was called in by a local police officer that resulted in the seizure of a deer and enforcement action being taken.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) hiked a wildlife management area due to a complaint about ATV traffic on the WMA, and an illegal portable deer stand was found, but ATV traffic was unfounded. A complaint about garbage burning was investigated, and calls are still coming in regarding deer-baiting complaints.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked muzzleloader and archery deer hunters, ice fishermen, and timber-cutting permits, and followed up on trespassing cases.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) investigated untagged deer at a residence where the sheriff’s office had conducted a search warrant. The deer ended up to be dumped carcasses at the property.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) reports several calls regarding dead swan were investigated, where eagles were found feeding on them.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and started investigating a complaint about possible illegal deer hunting in the park.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) returned calls regarding a deer that was killed and its antlers missing in Bloomington. He assisted another CO with a possible big-game violation.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small-game hunters, archery deer hunters, and anglers. CO Arntzen fielded questions about the muzzleloader season, handled TIP complaints, and responded to a call regarding an injured deer.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) picked up a great horned owl and transported it to the Raptor Center. He also checked on a trumpeter swan that had fishing line and a bobber tangled around its bill.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week focusing on wetland-related issues. A cease and desist order was served in Scott County, as was a restoration order in Anoka County.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continues working on deer cases from the gun season. She assisted the license center in locating Electronic Licensing System equipment that hasn’t been paid for by a vendor.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) is conducting several investigations from the firearms deer season. The muzzleloader season brought more complaints about trespassing.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked goose, pheasant, and muzzleloader deer-hunting activity during the week. Numerous hunting and hunting license violations were encountered during the week.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice-fishing, pheasant-hunting, trapping, and deer-hunting enforcement.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) completed site visits on three possible WCA violations in Kandiyohi County. A WCA restoration order was issued in Renville County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week following up on various TIP calls. Calls included baited deer-hunting areas, shining complaints, and illegal party hunting with youth deer licenses. Issues also arose with failing to register deer within 48 hours. Time was spent on dumped deer carcasses and trespassing complaints.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week following up on investigations from the firearms deer season. Pheasant hunters and trapping activity also were monitored.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports complaints about trespassing and trapping violations were investigated.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked ice anglers who were out for the first time this season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) primarily worked deer and small-game hunting activity. Some folks are venturing onto the ice to fish.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked trappers, goose hunters, deer hunters, and anglers. Trapping complaints continue to come in and are being investigated.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trapping, small-game, and 3B season deer-hunting activity. A law and ethics presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Harmony.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working deer-hunting enforcement with both the 3B deer season coming to a close and the muzzleloader deer season beginning. Waterfowl hunters also were checked on areas of the Mississippi River where they were able to keep the ice out of the decoys. Trespass again was the biggest problem, with several complaints being investigated.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports the last of duck hunting ended up being a freeze-out. The Minnesota side of the river froze up before the last day. Muskrat trappers are having a good go with the clear ice.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a complaint about duck hunters hunting in a closed area was the result of the hunters thinking they were in Minnesota when they were actually in Wisconsin.
CO Phil George (Rochester) reports a couple hunters were found hunting deer without a valid license.