Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 21st, 2014
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area anglers and snowmobilers. Fishing success remains slow and fish house removal has begun on Lake of the Woods. Huener also attended the public information meeting in Greenbush regarding the elk herds. He also assisted a neighboring CO with a drug investigation on Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls about dogs chasing and killing a deer, and a deceased bobcat. He also investigated litter left by anglers who were removing fishing shelters.
CO Angela Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored fish house removal from area waters. CO Warren also taught the law and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class in Middle River and assisted a motorist who had run into the ditch.
CO Demo Regas (Blackduck) checked anglers and monitored fish house removal on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. He also investigated TIP calls.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week, most of the time on Lake of the Woods. While checking anglers on Lake of the Woods, he checked one fish house and observed through a window an angler reel up an extra line. When the anglers inside eventually opened the door, CO Gorecki detected a strong odor of marijuana. After subsequent questioning and a search, he seized a significant amount of various narcotics, cash, and other contraband. Charges are pending against three individuals, including one for felony possession of drugs.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted other agencies, investigated a trespass complaint, and conducted a taxidermy inspection. He also removed a dumped coyote from a road edge. On his way to teach laws and ethics at a snowmobile safety class, a large moose crossed the road in front of the officer, adding some variety to the week.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored fish house removal, angling activity, and area trapping activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending airboat operator training in Winona and monitoring fish house removal in the vacant Detroit Lakes station. A TIP about a possible sunfish overlimit is under investigation. CO Vinton received a call from the Detroit Lakes Police Department about deer heads dumped in town. Anyone with information should contact TIP or CO Vinton.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked two fishing TIPs regarding possible overlimits. Shelter removal was monitored and miscellaneous wildlife calls and questions were handled.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports maple syrup enthusiasts have begun their activities, and Canada geese have started migrating back to the area. Reports about light geese have come in from eastern North Dakota, but no concentrations have been seen in the Fergus Falls area. After the snow melted away on our lakes, garbage has been exposed near where fish houses were present.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) prepared his station snowmobile for summer storage. Additional time was spent investigating work being done in wetlands and checking coyote hunters and ATV operators. A meeting was scheduled with the local county attorney.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring anglers during the past week. Complaints about lots of wood left on the ice after the dark house removal date were received. A dead deer caught in a snare was investigated. A citation was issued to an individual who still had not removed his fish house from the public access of a station lake.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATV operation, ice fishing, and burning. Ice conditions are still pretty good on area lakes. The officer checked on a complaint about a dead owl in the vacant Traverse County station and handled several complaint calls regarding illegal OHV operation.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports time was spent assisting DNR Wildlife with marking springs on Lake Simon.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked snowmobilers and fishermen during the week. A reminder that fish houses can no longer remain on the ice unoccupied overnight. Fish houses froze into the lakes need to be removed to avoid fines/penalties. Shelters and contents left on the ice may be confiscated or destroyed by the DNR.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) took calls about dumping that were also related to game and fish violations. He provided information to a local church men’s group on game and fish laws.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reports primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobiling activity. Officer Sommers received two calls regarding starving and/or dead deer; he referred the matters to the area DNR Wildlife office. He also received a TIP call regarding a possible fishing violation from nearly a year ago; the matter remains under investigation.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a tip by observant citizens led him to a group of anglers who were 80 perch over the limit, resulting in citations issued to all individuals in the party.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) checked fishing activity and fish house identification on area lakes. She also took nuisance-animal complaints, worked on equipment issues, and attended a district meeting.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports working a snowmobile enforcement detail with U.S. Border Patrol, National Park Service, U.S. Customs, and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department in the Kabetogama, Namakan, and Ash River trail areas. A wetlands restoration order was issued to an individual for impacting wetlands on state, county, and private lands.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports assistance was provided to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile crash in which one person was injured. An incident regarding someone cutting firewood where they shouldn’t have been cutting firewood turned out to be a misunderstanding.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated a report of deer taken out of season, finished a forest resource theft case, taught a firearm safety class in Hibbing, and spoke at the 92nd Annual Chisholm Sportsmen’s Club banquet.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area snowmobile trails and spoke with snowmobilers about trail conditions. Most anglers have abandoned area lakes, with the exception of a few trout anglers. A pair of anglers fishing on an area lake were checked by CO Frericks. Neither of the anglers had a current angling license and they’d taken a northern pike during the closed season. The pike was seized, and the anglers were cited.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) monitored fish house removal from area lakes. Reports were prepared and sent to the county attorney’s office for upcoming court appearances.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time working the lakes and trails. The weather has been getting better and the snow is starting to get a crust for the first time all winter. Be aware that this is the time that even small dogs can and will chase deer. The deer are in bad shape and don’t need any more stress from family dogs that aren’t attended by their owners.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked remote lakes and areas during the week by snowmobile and snow shoes. Assistance was given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a busy weekend of snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed, registration violations, no state trail sticker, failing to transfer ownership, and fishing without a license.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobiling and fishing enforcement activity along the North Shore. Lake Superior anglers are still enjoying trout and salmon fishing on rare ice formations on the big lake.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored fish shelter removal, and patrolled area snowmobile trails.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) helped a neighboring officers with an overlimit case that resulted in confiscation of fish and charges for overlimits.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobilers, and state trails. He also taught a snowmobile safety class during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) reports enforcement action was taken for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Wichmann also assisted with the polar plunge in Grand Rapids.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast ATV officer) checked anglers this past week and saw very few fish. CO Velsvaag also attended a meeting in Grand Rapids and took several calls about deer feeding and the trout season.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) reports enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and for unregistered snowmobiles. CO Arhart also worked Wetland Conservation Act and public waters cases. A ticket was issued for noncompliance with a wetland restoration order. Dead whitetails were observed in the woods via snowmobile, and area pilots are reporting dead deer as well, apparently casualties of winter.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area snowmobile trails. Fish shelter removal is progressing, and most are off the ice.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on K9 detector training and tracking down the owner of a fish house that was left on an area lake. A complaint was received regarding a possible shot deer, which is still under investigation. A follow-up investigation continues regarding a bear-hunting violation from last fall, and a complaint about early fishing last spring was passed along to another officer.
WREO Mike Scott worked with Ecological and Water Resources-AIS in providing lake service provider training for local providers and resort owners in the Ely area for the upcoming open-water and tourism season.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Questions were answered about open water angling regulations on Superior.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior, checked on ice shelter removal on area lakes, and followed up on bear guide issues.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport-fishing enforcement and dealt with nuisance animals. Officer Guida also worked on lesson plans for upcoming in-service training and assisted with the Brainerd Outdoor Expo. Officer Guida worked with Little Falls CO Joyce Kuske, who interviewed and obtained a confession from a suspect regarding an overdue fish shelter violation.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports spending time becoming acquainted with her with her new patrol area and spending time patrolling area lakes and trails.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) monitored ice angling and shelter removal/litter on Brainerd-area lakes. He also investigated a coyote-hunting trespass complaint in Cass County.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked crappie anglers and one person setting out tip-ups and trying to catch northerns. Several people were still fishing with licenses that expired Feb. 28. Verkuilen also checked some beaver trappers and responded to a complaint about dogs chasing deer.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the annual bear committee meeting. She also participated in a talk given to the local Kiwanis Club with the area wildlife manager regarding deer populations. Speldrich also attended the second day of the Moose Lake Willow Rivers “Fishing for Knowledge” event. The sixth-graders had a great time even though the fish weren’t cooperating.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports phone calls regarding Lake Mille Lacs were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Area public accesses were checked for fish houses and any litter or dumping of garbage.
WREO Rob Haberman worked on wetland cases in Aitkin County. WREO Haberman also spoke to a couple of ATV riders about operating ATVs on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports several complaints about dogs chasing deer were taken along with a complaint about gray wolves harassing cattle. One local farmer was able to remove a 110-pound gray wolf that he found circling his pasture, trying to get at the livestock within the fence.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted Wisconsin wardens with licensing information, and met with firearm safety instructors regarding upcoming classes.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports an investigation of a dog chasing and attacking deer led to enforcement action and the observation of a wounded family dog. Two neighbors of the dog owner saw the springer spaniel attacking the deer, and they both shot at the dog. One of them wounded it. The dog ran home and required veterinarian attention. The deer was bleeding, but ran off. This is a good reminder for dog owners to keep their animals at home.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies also gave a law talk at a turkey clinic in Kimball.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted a neighboring officer in locating a fish house owner who still had not removed his fish house from a local lake over two weeks past the removal deadline, and investigated an illegal brush pile that was full of household furniture that had been burned.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) provided instruction to a couple of firearm safety classes on laws related to hunting and trapping. CO Kuske also continued to monitor panfish bites on area lakes and addressed rumors regarding lakes being opened to liberalized fishing.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several fish houses either left on lakes or at public accesses. Litter complaints also were investigated on area lakes.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) took complaints regarding local lakes with winterkill and the taking of fish illegally from these lakes, as well as trespassing around the lakes. Officer Londgren also checked snowmobilers, ATVers, and anglers, and received calls about injured animals.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving calls regarding two area lakes in which fish were dying. DNR Fisheries was informed, and the lakes were tested. Both lakes had severe oxygen depletion.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area rivers and lakes. He issued summonses for taking fish by snagging on the Mississippi River. He also assisted in locating a fish house owner who was storing the house at a public access.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity and continued to deal with fish houses that were abandoned on area lakes.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week monitoring fishing activity and removing litter from lakes that was left by some ice fishermen. CO Grewe also followed up with a case regarding a deer taken out of season.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the Bloomington station for angling activity. He returned calls regarding injured and dead animals. Venison was delivered to needy families of the Karen Community.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to a firearm safety class at the VFW in Blaine. She also finished up a couple litter cases, and handled nuisance-animal calls and injured-deer calls.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Washington counties for angling activity. CO McGowan also attended airboat training, which was conducted on the Mississippi River.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) inspected aeration systems in Scott County and checked angling activity. WREO Block also spoke to a group of Cub Scouts in New Prague regarding conservation officer duties and assisted the Scott County Sheriff’s Department with horses loose on a county road.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he took enforcement action for a case regarding an unlicensed person who killed a red fox in Oak Grove. He also responded to a call about an injured deer in Ramsey.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the number of migrating snow, Ross’s, and white-fronted geese increased during the week. Light goose hunters are reminded that it is illegal to shoot white-fronted “speckle belly” geese during the light goose season.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports a trespassing complaint was taken, which resulted in a hunter receiving numerous hunting violations.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations, ATVers, and light goose hunters. Only one flock of snow geese was seen. Fields are extremely muddy.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued numerous out-of-state minnow transport permits throughout the week and followed up on various TIP calls.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) met with a county attorney regarding a WCA violation. Follow-up investigations were completed on WCA and waters cases.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to work on issues related to fish house removal. He also followed up on a trapping complaint.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated a large number of Canada geese dumped in a dumpster at the Outpost in Hutchinson. She also took a call about shots fired from a road in the middle of the night.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) followed up on phone calls related to coyote-hunting activity. A road-kill otter call also was handled.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding sick/injured wildlife and ATVs. He also attended airboat operation training and gave a presentation at a Brown County Citizens Academy meeting.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week working trapping activity and patrolling for snow goose hunters.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) removed an abandoned fish house from an area lake. Howe also helped neighboring officers with abandoned shelters.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and coyote-hunting activity. Calls from the public regarding coyote-hunting issues were handled. A firearm safety field day in Medford was worked with neighboring officers.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, small-game hunting, angling, and litter activity during the week. Airboat training was attended in Winona.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) conducted outreach to noncertified lake service providers. Preparation for the upcoming academy began.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports assisted with instructing an air boat class that included Minnesota COs, Wisconsin wardens, and Minnesota sheriff’s departments. He received several reports about starving deer. Each report was of single deer in farm yards.
CO Phil George (Rochester) attended air boat operation school and taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearm safety class. Officer George also checked anglers and ATV operators and assisted another officer with a deer-poaching investigation. Enforcement action was taken for a trout overlimit.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking crow hunters, shed hunters, and coyote hunters. Shed hunters were out in numbers with the nice weather and melting snow. Time also was spent checking anglers. CO Boyum also assisted in investigating a deer that was shot near Spring Valley, as was a case regarding subjects who wasted multiple deer from the deer season.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received several wildlife calls, including one in which he was able to get a deer untangled from a fence.