Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – October 3rd, 2014

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) reports correspondence with area wildlife staff regarding a possible sick bull moose near Greenbush.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spent time working ATV enforcement and the waterfowl opener. A focus was placed on AIS while making contacts with hunters using watercrafts and decoys for waterfowl hunting. 
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) patrolled for shining activity and worked a shining detail. The Upper Red Lake Citizens Advisory Committee meeting was attended.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking boaters and anglers on area lakes.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted other agencies with personal-injury accidents requiring three life flights, and a stolen vehicle that also was a rolling meth lab.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowlers, small-game hunters, and recreational boaters. 
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) patrolled forest trails and roads for grouse hunters and ATV use. Bear bait stations continued to be checked.  
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) responded to assist with a medical call in Itasca State Park. A bicyclist fell off his bicycle, resulting in injuries serious enough to require helicopter transport to a hospital.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) investigated a TIP call about late duck hunters, and a hunter was contacted who was new to duck hunting and not aware of the 4 p.m. closure.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) handled complaints about litter and PWCs on a small trout stream. The four PWCers were reported by multiple complainants and were allegedly running at full plane on the Straight River, which is a narrow, designated trout stream. After the CO for himself the activity and talked with the PWCers, one operator was confused why he doesn’t have the right of way. Citations were issued. 
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) worked the prairie chicken opener and reports working with few hunters out due to the heat.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) was contacted by a Becker County deputy in regards to a car-injured bear.
WREO Joe Stattelman conducted several site visits on possible wetland violations.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports duck hunters had good shooting during the opener, with blue-winged teal dominating the bag.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed an ATVer down a county road for couple miles then stopped the machine as it entered a driveway. Violations encountered were operating without registration, no muffler, under 18 with no helmet, no ATV safety certificate, and operating an ATV on a county roadway. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity primarily on duck hunters and checking duck boats and reminding duck hunters about the importance of AIS issues during duck season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters, boaters, and ATV operators. Early shooting and felons in possession of firearms complaints were investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) completed a sport-fishing case on Lake Miltona involving a group of eight fishermen from out of the area who had 15 walleyes over their limit, in their livewell and cold storage. The illegal fish were seized, and enforcement action was taken. 
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued Step 3 field training with a COC. The duck opener was worked during the weekend, with numerous hunters out and about. The highlight of the weekend was reuniting a hunter with his expensive shotgun after he mistakenly left it as he was loading up his vehicle at the end of a hunt.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) and a COC fielded calls from the public regarding an injured goose, trespassing complaints, road-killed mink, and a TIP call regarding a possible overlimit of perch and angling with extra lines.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports waterfowl hunters had a good opener around the area despite warm weather and a big crop of mosquitos.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a warm waterfowl opener, seeing a few ducks harvested and helping one hunter remove his stuck Jeep from the mud. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received multiple trespass-related calls and complaints about hunters not getting along.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports a wolf was seized from a depredation control zone, and a nuisance bear was seized, as well. A vehicle-hit bear was dispatched.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) had a complaint about a fire along the Heartland State Trail.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) responded to tips of out-of-season duck hunting, state trail damage, and fishing in a closed area.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated a complaint about hunter harassment where a property owner was reminded his property did not include the lake.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked duck season opener, where success was slow with the hot weather.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV Rec) handled calls regarding injured animals, hunter trespass, general hunting questions, ATV use, and special use requests.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports sturgeon fishing was in its prime as the end of the season is near. Sturgeon anglers checked reported catching a large number of sturgeon ranging from 20 to 70 inches.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) completed a falconry inspection in a vacant station.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) dealt with a deer farm escape, discovered after a car hit one escapee. The other two escaped deer were euthanized, as they were not captured by the owner. One trio of duck hunters erred by one not having a state duck stamp, two that shot pied-billed grebes, and one who had marijuana and drug paraphernalia in possession (found when checking for toxic shot).
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports that while walking to a remote duck blind, he noticed a person walking through prime grouse habitat, wearing blaze orange and carrying a loaded shotgun. When asked for a license, the person admitted he did not have one but said he wasn’t hunting. A citation was issued for hunting without a license.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time on Lake Vermilion and saw lots of boaters out enjoying the nice weather. Most of the anglers had a few fish, but many stated fishing was tough.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a warm waterfowl opener did not deter some hunters from getting in the blind during the weekend.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) reminds fishermen that the smallmouth bass season is closed. People were found to be actively fishing for and keeping these fish.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked a few parties of hunters who all had a good number of birds. Even though the hunters did well with their fowl, a few ran afoul of the law, including unplugged shotguns, lead shot, and lack of PFDs in duck boats.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports that when asked for his trout stamp, one Lake Superior angler stated he had been fishing for salmon, not trout, for which a stamp is still required.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and several Babbitt residents caught a juvenile loon that was wrapped up in fishing line. All the line was removed, and the loon seemed in good shape upon release. CO Bermel assisted Ely police with an attempted suicide and warrant arrest.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) reports the leaves are starting to fall and the grouse hunters are picking up a few more birds.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted with a youth firearms safety class in Two Harbors.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) investigated and handled calls about sick/injured moose, livestock depredation, wolves attacking a dog, shooting geese on the water, an injured owl, and shooting a loon.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, big-game, and waterfowl hunting activity.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted the county with the search for a suspect who fled into the woods. 
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) assisted the local sheriff’s office with the search for an individual who was suspected to be hiding in the woods near a residence. The suspect later was found by law enforcement.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for a group who shot before the legal hours.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV activity and duck opener.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) took several calls about owls and questions about the waterfowl opener.  

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time on a complaint about an illegally taken black bear, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) addressed complaints about archery hunting over bait, and he worked nighttime shining complaints. 
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) completed an illegal bear case that will be sent to the county attorney for charging. A couple people were charged with illegal deer shining.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended a memorial service for retired CO Wayne Forsythe.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports that K9 training continues with K9 Schody. Assistance was given at K9 testing held in Grand Rapids, where DNR K9 Si and his handler Mike Fairbanks were certified.
WREO Mike Scott handled calls regarding injured raptors, including two bald eagles that had locked their talons together and were in the yard of person in Columbia Heights.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) tried to locate the owner of a kayak that was damaged and picked up by a boater in Lake Superior.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) attended Student Success Day at Central Lakes College. Officers gave a presentation to a packed house about CO duties, the hiring process to become a CO, and laws.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy waterfowl-hunting opener. One hunter indicated that in the fall of 1984, conservation officer Gary Guida (retired) issued him what he thought was his last violation.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focusing around the duck season opener.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy waterfowl opening weekend. Enforcement action taken for license/stamp violations, possessing toxic shot while waterfowl hunting, unplugged guns, duck overlimits, and watercraft safety violations.  
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports most hunters still need to work on waterfowl identification. 
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on vehicles operating on closed roads in the Pillsbury forest. Complaints about litter and garbage dumping continue to be fielded.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) checked PWCers and anglers on area lakes.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the duck opener, where too nice of weather kept waterfowl from moving much.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) seized a pileated woodpecker from a small-game hunter. That was a first.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) investigated a call about someone operating an ATV on a WMA. 
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated an illegal bear-hunting case where the hunter didn’t register or sign the bait station where he had harvested a bear. When interviewed, he stated he didn’t register the bait station because it was too much work to do the paperwork, and he didn’t have access to a computer to do it online. He didn’t sign it because he didn’t want CO Speldrich to know who was hunting the bait, since it wasn’t registered. At the end of the interview, enforcement action was taken for an unregistered bait, unsigned bait, non-biodegradable material in a bait, illegal off-trail travel in a limited state forest, and baiting without a license.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reminds waterfowl hunters: Retrieve your downed birds as they may disappear from drifting, predators, or just may be forgotten. It is also important so you can verify the species you have downed. 
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports bear-hunting activity was high and a few hunters were found hunting over unregistered bear baits and using baits that contained illegal material.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked on current complaints regarding ATV operation and bear-hunting violations. 
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports many hunters were complaining that other hunters were sky-busting and not letting ducks get close enough.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) checked duck hunters on opening weekend. The most common violation seen was no PFDs or insufficient PFDs in duck boats.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports one angler was found angling out of a pontoon. As the officers approached, the angler began throwing some sunfish out of his bucket, into the lake. The angler realized that the fish were not swimming away, so he began trying to hide fish in his jacket pocket. When asked about the fish in his pocket, he explained that he was going to release those fish. The angler had six sunfish in his jacket pocket and was 11 fish over his limit while on the lake. The officers went to his house, and the angler got into the house before the officers and attempted to hide packages of fish behind his toaster. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled a trespass complaint. A possible WCA violation is under investigation. 
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls), while stopping at a local state park, overheard two dissatisfied park visitors tell the park manager that they were disappointed that the fall colors in the park were not as pretty as they had expected and the trails were way too muddy.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers during the past week.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reminded an angler that smallmouth bass is currently a catch-and-release season.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports an act of sportsmanship: An archery hunter shot a nice buck, but after searching for hours and hours he couldn’t find the deer. Two days later, it was located and had begun to spoil. The hunter called Kuske to say he would tag and register the deer. With a one-deer limit, this was a tough decision, but he said it was the right thing to do.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint, as well as several animal-related calls.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked small-game and archery hunters, anglers and boaters, and ATVers.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big lake) checked a WMA for a littering complaint.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports two hunters were not representing good hunting ethics and laws by drinking beer at 7 a.m. on opening morning and throwing their beer cans in a WMA pond, trespassing on posted private property to make it easier for them to reach the pond, and hunting without required stamps. Proper enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports the warm weather had most hunters off the duck ponds early in the day.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports one hunter commented that he swatted a couple mosquitos that were the size of teal he shot. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled nuisance-animal calls about beaver damage, foxes killing chickens, and coyotes.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week investigating complaints and checking waterfowl hunters.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the waterfowl opener in Carver County.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week investigating TIP calls, handling trespassing complaints, and doing AIS enforcement.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that Carlos Avery WMA was full to overflowing with hunters. Unfortunately, many of them were shooting at birds that were well out of range.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a call about an individual who shot two trumpeter swans in Carlos Avery WMA. Both swans were located and were dead. They also handled a case in which an individual shot a barred owl in Carlos Avery WMA.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) had a very busy opening weekend for waterfowl. Hunters who found healthy wetlands were rewarded with limits of ducks.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reminds waterfowl hunters that life jackets are required even when using duck boats.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) found an algae bloom on Coon Creek near Dead Coon Lake.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) conducted an AIS Check Station in Big Stone County.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) received a complaint about careless hunters shooting toward other hunters.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on complaints of trespass, shooting from motor vehicles, and late shooting.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) issued three cease and decease orders on a possible wetland violation.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) had the privilege of attending the WMA dedication to conservationist Virgil Voigt D.V.M. in McLeod County this past week.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the sheriff’s office with a river search.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked waterfowl opener.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports ducks taken were almost all juveniles, and identification was a problem with hunters.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) patrolled the Minnesota River for hunting and fishing.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports area waterfowlers did fairly well.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) received several calls regarding migratory waterfowl complaints.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) spent time doing AIS checks at public accesses.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent time spent at a Fillmore County SWCD-sponsored career day at Forestville State Park, where more than 150 students attended.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, and waterfowl and archery deer hunters.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Phil George (Rochester) reports enforcement action was taken for unplugged shotguns. 
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports a 70- inch sturgeon was observed caught and released.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) worked a detail on the St. Croix near Stillwater. Some violations related to waterfowl hunting were detected.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports duck opener came with poor hunter success. Bag checkers reported less than one duck per hunter, and 65 units at two busy landings. It also was reported there were nine units in overflow parking at sunset the night before the opener.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) worked the duck opener. Wood ducks were the most common duck observed in the bag. The mosquitos were also out in force on the sloughs.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) investigated complaints about airboats being operated in a closed area. Fritz and CO Hemker assisted Colorado officials with a hunting violation.

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