District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods, bear hunters in area WMAs and Beltrami State Forest, early goose hunters near Badger, Roseau, and Warroad, and grouse hunters in Beltrami Island Forest. DNR Forestry staff was assisted with unoccupied campers being left in a state forest.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring early season goose hunters and bear-hunting activity throughout the week.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time checking a suspected wetland violation site. Time also was spent checking deer, bear, and goose hunters. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked. Violations included fish overlimits, no PFDs, no fire extinguisher, and no federal duck stamp.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATV, AIS, and bear baits. Plans changed on the small game and archery opener as he assisted other agencies with recovery of two stolen vehicles and other stolen property.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked the opening weekend of small-game and archery hunting. Early goose season hunters were checked.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked hunters and ATV riders. On opening evening, one deer hunter was followed and checked at camp where the morning kill was hanging without a tag. While the CO issued a citation, his brother drove into camp with a second untagged deer. Additional enforcement action was taken.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) attended a meeting of officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, White Earth tribal conservation department, and the DNR to discuss regulations and enforcement response.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time checking archery and youth duck hunters during the weekend. Car-killed deer and nuisance-beaver permits were issued.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) began Step 3 field training with a COC. The officers spent time working hunting-related activity including archery deer, small game, and early goose. Lake Osakis continues to receive heavy fishing pressure, and time was spent investigating overlimit complaints involving sunfish and crappies.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking goose hunters, bowhunters, fishermen, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent on a possible wetland violation.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, fishermen, and ATVers. Officer Hunter also received a call about an injured eagle.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to check early season goose hunters in the area, as well as some bear-baiting issues.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with small-game hunters trespassing on posted property, investigated a litter/dumping issue on state forest land, and received a call from a bear hunter who entered the wrong harvest zone while electronically registering a bear.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, goose-hunting, deer-hunting, and bear-hunting activity. CO Broughten observed few archery deer and small-game hunters taking to the woods. Broughten also investigated a depredation complaint.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV Rec) worked area forests and trails during the week. Several illegal cross-country trails were located, and follow-up contacts were necessary. Some grouse hunters struggled to bag birds but were encouraged that the population may be increasing, based on hearing more birds in the woods.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports calls for service included a complaint about wolves in the area of a horse ranch; signs of wolves were visible, but no depredation had taken place. The individual was informed of possible solutions and steps to take in the future should the wolves take any of his horses.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working the opening weekend of grouse hunting. Few hunters were observed and fewer grouse were seen.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended firearms training and worked small-game and archery deer seasons. The officer also investigated a report about a turkey being taken out of season (and not in a hunting zone) and a wolf being taken by a small-game hunter in defense of the hunter’s dog.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual firearms requalification and followed up on early season goose hunter trespass issues. A nuisance timber wolf call was investigated.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received calls about a bear cub “hanging out” along a roadway ditch. People stop to feed the bear, then call the CO concerned that it’s going to get hit by a car. The sow has been seen in the area, but the enticement of food is too desirable to the cub.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) and other local law enforcement officers investigated a report about suspicious and abandoned camping equipment inside the BWCAW.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a few bear hunters were checked, and an area where some garbage was left behind was investigated. Another call about a wolf coming after a couple of dogs was taken during the week.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to work bear hunters and check bait stations. The officer also assisted with regional tactics training and firearms qualifications in Hibbing. CO Manning also looked into the high concentration of human feces being left near a popular beach area on Lake Superior’s shoreline.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a fairly quiet grouse opener in the Babbitt and Isabella area with few hunters and birds seen. An underage drinking party was located in a gravel pit by CO Bermel and a St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office deputy, and seven underage alcohol citations were issued.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game and archery deer seasons along the North Shore. Enforcement action was taken for ATV registration violations and youth operation without a helmet.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) investigated multiple trespass complaints.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, small-game activity, and checked bear hunters.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked bear and deer hunters this past weekend. She also checked grouse hunters. CO Sindelir received a TIP call about possible illegal waterfowl hunting in the Deer River area. CO Sutherland, Lt. Koehn, and CO Sindelir responded to the call, where enforcement action resulted in citations and warnings.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked goose-hunting activity and the youth waterfowl hunt. Enforcement action was taken for goose hunting without a federal duck stamp, a state duck stamp, a small-game license, a special season goose stamp, and having a loaded gun in a watercraft while in motion.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked with a COC the past week. The officers were involved with a deer-baiting case in Duluth. Assistance was also given to CO Hanzal after he received a report about a moose being hit by a train.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked the opening of archery deer season. Many areas were checked during the weekend, and a couple violations of hunting over bait were found.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a restoration order was issued for a wetland violation in one area, and another suspected violation is under investigation. One wolf complaint in which wolves were going after cattle was received and was referred to USDA Wildlife Services. After receiving new information, an investigation was started on a case from last fall in which a suspect trespassed, cut trees on private property, and hunted deer over bait. K9 training continues with Schody. A litter investigation is ongoing in which a large amount of garbage from a family was dumped in a local wildlife management area. It was found that they recently moved out of the state. They were contacted and paid to have the garbage cleaned up, but criminal charges are still pending.
WREO Mike Scott closed several WCA cases in St. Louis and Cook counties. Youth waterfowl hunters were checked, and one group checked was found to have no plugs in the shotguns. The parents seemed to think the kids were responsible for the plugs.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) returned several calls about big-game regulations, in particular the metro hunt for the city of Duluth.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ATVers and hunters on the opening week of archery and small-game seasons.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked bear-hunting and archery deer-hunting enforcement. Deer baiting and shining complaints are being investigated. A complaint about an individual arriving late to a fishing tournament and illegally bypassing the watercraft inspection is being investigated. The watercraft inspector indicated that he was nearly run over, and the angler became irate and directed profanity toward the inspector when he was instructed to submit to the inspection.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked small game hunters this past weekend with limited success being reported by hunters. Officer Lee continued with field training with a COC this past week. The officers followed up on possible bear-baiting violations, along with reports of deer hunting over bait.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked small-game hunters and continued monitoring bear season. The officer also took a call regarding a group of hunters that had driven their vehicles down a snowmobile trail and were camping and ATVing in the Pillsbury State Forest, which is closed to ATVs.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) followed up on a fishing TIP complaint and also followed up on a wetland complaint. The officer also monitored ATV traffic in the Solana State Forest and surrounding county land, and checked a few fishermen who ventured onto Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled a call about possible hunter harassment on county land. An investigation is being conducted.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continues field training with a COC. The officers investigated a deer-baiting incident that led to an arrest and forfeitures. F
WREO Rob Haberman worked on two cases involving individuals failing to comply with restoration orders. A deed restriction was placed on one property for failure to comply with a restoration order.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports complaint calls about ATVers doing damage in wetlands were investigated, with the ATV owner claiming he thought it was only a wetland if it had cattails in it. The ATV owner was educated.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports an individual who was cleaning up an old farm place was cited for burning tires, shingles, and other prohibited materials. CO Kuske also worked several late-shooting complaints.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports assistance was provided regarding a possible drowning victim on Middle Spunk Lake. The individual was located mostly unharmed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked small-game, goose, and archery hunters. Enforcement action was taken on ATV violations, fail to plug shotgun, and trespass complaints were investigated.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) investigated a large dumping incident on a wildlife management area. After three hours of digging through the garbage, he found a name, and after four interviews and five residence visits and a number of phone calls, he located the violator. A summons was issued, and the dumping was cleaned up by the violator and taken to the landfill.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted with two regional firearms qualifications. Time also was spent working goose hunters and ATVers. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered ATVs, no helmet for ATV passengers under 18 years of age, operating an ATV on a county road and no state waterfowl stamp.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) spent much of the week following up on zebra mussel violations. Enforcement action was taken for transporting zebra mussels, no personal flotation devices onboard a watercraft, and no federal duck stamp.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP)) investigated a TIP complaint about someone digging and filling a shoreline on Prior Lake, but it turned out that the person had a legitimate permit from the state.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl, dove, and deer hunters on metro wildlife management areas and fields. He also continued checking anglers around metro lakes.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) started field training a COC. They checked numerous small game, youth waterfowl, archery deer, and goose hunters in the field.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) received a call about a great horned owl that had gotten into a pigeon coop and was trapped. With assistance from the landowner, they were able to capture the owl and release it back into the woods. The pigeons in the coop were not so lucky after spending the night with the owl.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) took a report from near Benson regarding a deer that was illegally taken before the archery season. Anyone with information is asked to call the Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many youth had a successful waterfowl hunt. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing, angling without a license, and hunting big game without a license.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on trespass complaints. He also checked anglers and archery hunters.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a report about dogs chasing deer in the Winthrop area. She also checked goose hunters during the week and young duck hunters during the youth duck hunt. Missing required stamps and plugs where found.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a near-perfect archery and small-game opener in southern Minnesota. Oberg also checked goose hunters who continue to have success around Hutchinson.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received questions regarding trespassing and goose hunting. He had many contacts with youth waterfowl hunters.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. Youth waterfowl day kicked off with little participation in the area.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) talked with several youngsters during the youth waterfowl hunt this past week. Archery hunters were checked.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring small-game and waterfowl hunters.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, archery hunting, and waterfowl hunting.
WREO Julie Siems reports a restoration order was delivered.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy small game and archery opener. Squirrel hunters had better success than previous years.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked hunters and anglers. Contact was made with hunters with no small-game licenses and ATV operators with no registration and for operating on a county highway.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking small-game hunters, archery hunters, and anglers during the weekend. Time also was spent doing a presentation for a group of youth waterfowl hunters in conjunction with the Red Wing Wildlife League and talking to an ATV class in Bellchester. Some fishing and hunting violations were detected.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and hunters during the week. Some anglers were doing better and most squirrel hunters had some success.