Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – February 28th, 2014

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with an injured barred owl that was found by police officers. The owl was taken to a local rehabber. CO Huener also checked anglers on Lake of the Woods with COs Vollbrecht, McGowan, Miska, and Holt. Violations encountered included angling with extra lines, possessing marijuana, and possessing overlimits of walleyes and sauger.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) performed equipment maintenance, checked area anglers, and completed required training. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations, no state trail permit, allowing illegal operation of snowmobiles by a juvenile, and no snowmobile safety training.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. State parks were monitored for activity, and questions were answered regarding parking and cross-country skiing.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office in locating and checking on anglers who became stranded by weather on Upper Red.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers and patrolling area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails. Time also was spent attending a district meeting in Detroit Lakes and investigating a complaint regarding an illegally possessed deer. 
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity in the area. CO Vollbrecht and CO Holt assisted with enforcement efforts at the annual Eelpout Festival in Walker.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking snowmobilers and ice anglers. Enforcement activity for the week included angling with extra lines, illegal-length walleyes, and multiple angling license violations.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and snowmobilers. Many houses are being removed from area lakes. Time was also spent working predator hunters, following up on a complaint of deer dumped in a ditch and an area meeting and training were attended.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting White Earth conservation officers with a dumping violation, and the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile that went through the ice on the Ottertail River. Two instances of pickups stuck on snowmobile trails were investigated. Calls about dogs chasing deer were looked into, with the owner of a pair of dogs contacted. CO Vinton also completed a possible license fraud investigation for North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking snowmobile and fishing activity. A meeting with Region 1 hydrologists was attended at Itasca State Park.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked lakes and trails in and around work area. Fishing shelter removal was monitored with the March 3 deadline looming. Anglers and trappers are reminded to purchase their 2014 licenses due to expiration of the old ones at the end of the month.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted area officers in Park Rapids with a snowmobile race during the weekend with almost 90 racers. The officer monitored snowmobiling activity on the trail system and fishing activity. Coyote hunters were checked, and aeration systems were monitored.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and snowmobilers. Osborne also attended training in Detroit Lakes and took calls regarding snowmobile safety questions, along with snowmobile-related trespass complaints near Oscar Lake.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring both snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity. Lawler reminded fishermen the fish house removal date in the Alexandria area is midnight March 3.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) had a court trial on a pheasant-hunting case from last fall, and training was attended in Detroit Lakes regarding ELS data privacy.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) investigated complaints regarding dogs chasing deer and predator hunters shooting from motor vehicles.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) took a complaint about a young bear in distress, apparently having awakened during the brief warmup. The CO also checked snowmobile trails, ice anglers, and ice shelters. Officer Parthun spent time on Leech Lake working the Eelpout Festival and assisted local law enforcement officers with snowmobile issues and trespass.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) monitored snowmobiling and fishing activity during the week. She worked the Eelpout Festival in Walker and the USXC snowmobile race in Park Rapids. Officer Hunter aided in crowd control at the festival when a fish house started on fire, which then spread to the pickup truck parked next to it.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received a call about vehicles on the snowmobile trail resulting in a snowmobile found partially submerged in a river. The owner was unable to be located, but the snowmobile was removed from the river. Officer Oldakowski also assisted two hearty anglers who forgot most of their gear at home. They did get to fish, but it is unknown if they were successful.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked activities associated with the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake. Numerous enforcement contacts were made. Angling with unattended lines continues to be a widespread problem.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on snowmobiling and ice-angling activity. CO Broughten also worked the annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) spent time this past week monitoring local snowmobiling and fishing activity. He continued reviewing APM and WCA cases and closing out older files.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports attending the Rainy Lake Sportsmen’s Club’s Annual Fishing Derby on Rainy Lake. A complaint was received about an individual possibly shooting grouse along county roads. The individual was located and was found to be in possession of two spruce grouse. The person was cited for taking grouse during the closed season.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked snowmobilers, anglers, a vintage snowmobile race, took an online training course, and investigated a recent illegal deer hunting complaint. Fish houses were marked to monitor litter and shelter removal. 
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling area snowmobile trails. Numerous sled have been turning up with registration that expired several seasons ago. In each instance the operator claimed it the first ride of the season.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked snowmobile enforcement on area trails. The CO came upon two sleds with one stuck from going off the trail into the woods, and two men attempting to get it out. While the CO talked with the men, alcohol was apparent, and one man took off running up the trail in an attempt to flee from CO Fredin. He was apprehended a short time later by Fredin on his sled, and both subjects were brought out to the road. Babbitt police assisted processing and transporting both individuals to the St. Louis County jail where they were booked for DWI. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Ely area was hit hard again with over a foot of snow falling last week. Snowmobile trails were in excellent condition.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobilers and the last of the walleye fishermen. Fishing was poor, and the slush after the big storm was terrible in places. On one spot on a river, the slush was nearly to the officer’s knees. The officer found out that he is now extremely disliked by an individual. The man had called the CO and wanted to keep a deceased owl for himself. The officer informed the man that he could not do so, but that he could work with local schools if they wanted to have it mounted as a display for educational purposes. The man said he will be angry about it for the rest of his life.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports more heavy snowfalls in the Arrowhead region are resulting in increases in deer moving down to the Lake Superior shore and many more animals utilizing snowmobile trails rather than wading through deep snow. The officer spoke with someone who was not happy that some many folks are feeding deer along the Superior shoreline, drawing deer across the state highway and into the paths of vehicles.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked Eelpout Festival in Walker with CO Mathy. One angler who had lines down in a fish house was eventually found socializing in another fish house. He said he was cited last year at the festival for unattended lines because he went to town and left his lines down. He thought he was OK this time because he wasn’t very far away. CO Bermel then realized he was the officer who issued the citation the previous year. A citation was again issued for unattended lines. In addition, the angler hadn’t purchased a fishing license, and an additional citation was issued for that offense. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and responded to a call about a tree lying across a snowmobile trail. The tree was located and removed with assistance from a deputy and the local fire department. Further investigation showed that the tree was intentionally cut and left.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) assisted with the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with vehicles driving off of roads due to blizzard conditions. The driver of one vehicle that was checked had driven off the road and had his window rolled down and radio turned up. Wichmann woke the driver, and enforcement action was taken for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, dark-house spearers, and respective bait on area infested waters. CO Arhart also worked snowmobilers and Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time returning calls about concern for deer and other wildlife. A deer needed to be dispatched after its leg got caught in the crotch of a cedar tree. Apparently the deer was standing on its hind legs, attempting to get to the boughs, when its leg was entangled.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked on a local fishing tournament held in the Cromwell area. Fish house removal has begun for many anglers with the close of the pike, walleye, and bass seasons. CO Humphrey assisted State Patrol with several vehicles going off the road due to drifting and blowing snow.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) says some snowmobilers are reporting lots of deer on area trails. With the deep snow the animals are reluctant to get off the trails. Snowmobilers are advised to wait for them to find a reasonable exit from the trail before continuing, to lessen the stress on the deer.
WREO Mike Scott reports time was spent working the Sax-Zim Bog area during the weekend talking with many birders who are in the area to view snowy owls, great gray owls, and other winter birds. Information was exchanged with many birders from other states about not over-stressing the birds that already are stressed from the winter. Folks from Boston, Colorado, Indiana, and North Dakota were talked to, along with many Minnesota residents.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) assisted area agencies with traffic items related to the large amount of snow received in the Duluth area.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers on the Duluth Harbor and the St. Louis River. He also worked a vintage snowmobile run in the Proctor and Duluth areas, investigated a possible big-game violation, and performed equipment and office maintenance.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports assistance was given to the State Patrol during the snow event, and an individual contacted while a vehicle was being removed from a ditch resulted in a DWI arrest.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports extra-line violations were addressed. One angler will likely have his angling license privileges revoked due to the same violation last year. Warnings were given to fish shelter owners regarding the removal of all garbage and material from their fish shelter location. 
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) checked a couple of panfish anglers on the Gull River who miscounted their sunfish. It seems the angler accidentally put a couple of sunfish in the hood of his coat. The angler took off his coat during the warm afternoon sun and he either missed the bucket or his partner thought it would be nice to help his friend catch his fish. Fortunately for the angler, he was under the limit and no violations were found. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) spent a good deal of time meeting DNR, court staff, and other law enforcement officers in his new station. 
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assistance was given to the sheriff’s department with a sled that had gone through the ice on a local river. The sled had gone through the previous night and the operator was working on getting it out of the river.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended court regarding a gross overlimit of walleyes from last summer.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports assistance was given to the sheriff’s department in locating a missing snowmobiler. The party crashed his sled and spent the night in a local logger’s skidder. He was uninjured and escaped hypothermia by taking shelter in the skidder. 
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity, including the Ducks Unlimited fishing contest on Garrison Bay.  

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports fielding calls regarding shelter removal deadlines. The officer began documenting all shelters for future litter and removal issues.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) received TIP calls about a landowner placing metal pipes in road right of way to block snowmobilers, and a snowmobile trespass complaint in which the snowmobilers left the grant-in-aid trail and drove onto private property. 
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) reports time was spent on several complaints about dogs chasing deer.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) addressed the problem of modified mufflers and lack of registration with several snowmobilers. DNR Wildlife has started a deer census survey in Morrison County, and several local organizations continue to feed deer in certain areas. A few reports of deer dying from apparent starvation or exposure are starting to surface.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports assisting in locating a missing snowmobiler during last week’s blizzard. While riding the trails, the snowmobiler got stuck in the increasing snow. The driver was unable to free the snowmobile and called 911 for help. During the search, contact was lost with the driver and visibility was poor. While finding a safe place to launch a snowmobile, CO Langevin found the driver half-buried in the road ditch. The driver was unconscious, and paramedics were called for transport.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) followed up on a hunting-out-of-season complaint, a TIP call about an abandoned sled and fish shelter, and a call about an injured bird that ended up being a non-breeding plumage red-throated loon (common to Lake Superior).

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) assisted with stranded motorists and anglers after the snowstorm.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen on Dakota County lakes. He also responded to a complaint about a dead deer. 
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) talked on the Hmong radio on conservation officer duties, as well as hunting, and fishing regulations. 

District 14 – East Metro area

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time patrolling for angling and snowmobile activity. A training seminar was attended in Bloomington pertaining to groundwater. 
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked anglers and snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for loud snowmobile exhaust.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a call in which an individual was hunting in a state scientific and natural area and shot a turkey. Enforcement action was taken.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports a snowmobile radar run was attended in a field near Cottonwood. Lack of snow didn’t stop the event, but required organizers to haul in 20-plus loads of snow to create the track.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and sledders. Anglers are reminded to stay outside of “thin ice” signs.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) checked coyote hunters and ice fishermen throughout the week. A few inches of fresh snow improved trail conditions and brought out a few more snowmobilers.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated complaints about snowmobilers trespassing and driving through WMA and WPAs in the Buffalo Lake area.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls and investigated trapping complaints. Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, predator hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, and commercial activity enforcement.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week following up on various complaints related to trespassing, theft, shining, and trapping. A volunteer safety instructor forum was attended in Worthington.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted the sheriff’s department with vehicles that went off the roadway and completed aeration inspections in Jackson County.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. Fish houses are coming off area lakes in preparation for the upcoming removal deadline. Last week’s blizzard has limited mobility on area lakes.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. The recent heavy snowfall has improved trail conditions. A presentation was given to a group at the Riverbend Nature Center.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, small-game, and angling activity during the week. Davis also testified in court regarding a hunting violation case.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time this past week and weekend checking open-water anglers, ice anglers, snowmobiling activity, and teaching at a firearms safety class in Cannon Falls. With the fish house removal deadline quickly approaching and the large amount of slush on the lakes, people are advised to frequently check on their permanent fish houses.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers and snowmobile operators. Some assistance was also given to stranded motorists. 
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports coyote hunters had some success with the current moon phase. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition. 
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working snowmobile and fishing enforcement. The new snow made the trail conditions good, and numerous sledders are out enjoying some of the best conditions of the year. 
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports answering questions about coyote-hunting regulations. Trespass complaints were taken in regards to shed hunting. Time also was spent on a snaring complaint. CO Boyum worked snowmobile complaint areas, as well.

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