District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl hunters on Thief Lake, Roseau River pools, and Lake of the Woods. An interview was done with a local radio station regarding the upcoming early youth deer season.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) completed training with a conservation officer candidate and conducted equipment maintenance. CO Woinarowicz investigated a deer-baiting case, assisted North Dakota Game and Fish with an ongoing investigation, and continued two Wetland Conservation Act violation investigations.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) responded to a trespass complaint, worked ATV enforcement, and checked waterfowl and grouse hunters
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and a COC have been working waterfowl hunters, big-game hunters, small-game hunters, and fishermen. Several nuisance-beaver complaints were investigated. A suspected public waters violation investigation was started.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked hunters, investigated a wolf-depredation complaint, and answered calls about upcoming firearms deer seasons.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking waterfowl, grouse, and archery deer hunters. He assisted CO Oldakowski (Wadena) with a vandalism investigation on a WMA and issued several car-killed deer permits. CO Vinton assisted the State Patrol with a person who had gone off the road and then refused to get out of the vehicle.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a slow pheasant opener. Dry and windy conditions along with a lot of corn still standing made hunting tough.
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) reports poor success for pheasant hunters during the opener. Duck hunters continue to see redheads and canvasbacks dominate the early migration.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) received and investigated two separate reports of attacks on horses. One older horse suffered minor wounds, while another was killed. The officer also monitored fishing activity and small-game hunters. Plautz made contact with a group of waterfowl hunters hunting in a closed area.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity on fishing, waterfowling, pheasant hunting, and bowhunting. Additional calls were handled regarding deer-hunting regulations, spinning-wing decoys, trespass, and nuisance animals.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Pheasant hunter numbers were very low during the opening weekend, and Osborne didn’t see a rooster in the bag.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a call was taken regarding waterfowl hunters shooting and leaving a mallard on a nearby landowner’s property without any effort to retrieve it. Upon inspection of the group, five hunters in two boats had one loaded firearm and zero PFDs. Enforcement action was taken, and the mallard was located and retrieved.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused on the pheasant opener, waterfowl-hunting activity, and fishing enforcement. COs Anderson and Baumbarger participated in a pheasant opener work crew in the Morris area. Hunter success was very poor.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) followed up on an aquatic vegetation-related complaint. CO Hunter also answered questions regarding big-game hunting.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports deer-hunting issues and questions are increasing, with bait and trespass issues being investigated.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked duck hunters and anglers. A wanton waste tip and grouse hunters also were checked. Fishing success on area lakes has improved considerably, with limits (and overlimits) observed of perch and walleyes.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated complaints regarding deer baiting and taking deer out of season. CO Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with a traffic stop and a search for a subject with multiple warrants. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and an ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet.
WREO Shane Siltala met with soil and water conservation district staff in several counties to discuss ongoing wetland violations. Investigations were conducted at several different sites for possible wetland violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) finished up field training with a COC. An injured wolf was dispatched near the outskirts of International Falls, along with picking up another from a predator control trapper from a depredation complaint.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, checking public access sites, and continuing work on seasonal equipment transition.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons, invasive species enforcement, investigated a public waters fill complaint, taught a firearms safety class in Buhl, and handled complaints about an injured deer, discarded ducks, late duck shooters, and an ATV accident with injuries. A complaint about duck hunters shooting after the 4 p.m. closure ended up with two hunters hunting 2½ hours late, having toxic shot, not having a license in possession, no life jackets, a federal duck stamp violation, and the littering of beer cans into the lake.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took a call concerning a road-killed timber wolf on Hwy. 53 north of Virginia. The reporting party asked if he could have a permit for the pelt. CO Frericks explained that COs were not authorized to release road-killed timber wolves to private parties at this time. Instead, the timber wolf was turned over to the local Boy Scout troop to be used for educational purposes. CO Frericks also assisted St Louis County deputies by responding to a call about a cabin owner who had his window shot out by a juvenile with a BB gun on Ely Island of Lake Vermilion. The cabin owner reported one of the juveniles had fled in a canoe and the other three on foot. The canoe the juvenile fled in was found, and CO Frericks and the deputies began searching through the woods for the juveniles. CO Frericks eventually located all four juveniles in a cabin they had broken into. The juveniles face numerous felony charges such as burglary, criminal damage to property, and theft.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports several nuisance bear incidents were reported in and around the city of Ely.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) dealt with a couple more calls about wolves attacking dogs just outside of Grand Marais. One man was able to scare the wolf away with a blast from his pistol. Bull moose are involved heavily in the rut, as the fighting arenas in the woods are torn up and tracks along the roadsides show that the bulls are doing a lot of running.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked waterfowling, angling, ATV riding, and invasive species enforcement during the week. Murray also assisted Lake County sheriff’s deputies with the search for a fleeing suspect who had threatened to hurt himself.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters, worked areas for illegal shining, investigated a camping complaint at a WMA, helped with an ATV safety class, and assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Department with a lost hunter.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, investigated waterfowl-related complaints, and worked AIS enforcement.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small-game hunters in the area with grouse and waterfowl takes looking better. CO Sutherland also gave a law talk to a group of youth at a firearms safety class during the past week. Trespassing and hunter harassment calls also were taken.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) reports enforcement action was taken for baiting bears with non-biodegradable materials and operating an ATV on a closed state forest trails.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) received two complaints about duck hunters shooting early.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking waterfowl, grouse, and archery deer hunters. A complaint about a person dumping a deer carcass was investigated. Complaints about shooting from the roadway also were worked. While the CO did some ATV enforcement, a total of seven violations were discovered upon stopping two ATV riders.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports patrols were conducted on county and state lands including the Fond du Lac State Forest and local wildlife management areas. Calls and questions continued to be received about upcoming firearms deer seasons.
WREO Mike Scott continued work on a background investigation for a CO prep program. Grouse hunters were checked, and success is increasing with the leaves off the trees. Enforcement action was taken for no federal waterfowl stamp. A wetland issue dating back to 2007 was worked on, with more progress noted with the EPA and local government units.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working waterfowl hunters. ATV-related complaints continue, and complaint areas were worked.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) started the final training phase with a COC. The officers investigated a wolf-depredation call regarding a family dog that was taken from a yard by the officers also investigated a bear cub that had been shot; the investigation is ongoing.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked deer-shining details with fellow District 8 officers and checked bird hunters north of Duluth. With the leaves dropping fast, their success rate has increased. Olson also responded to an injured deer on a fence in the lakeside neighborhood.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked grouse hunters and ATVers during the weekend. An individual was found burning furniture in his backyard and was issued the appropriate paperwork.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) continued work on a background investigation for a potential CO. Officer Guida also worked waterfowl and small-game hunting enforcement.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) monitored waterfowl-hunting and fishing activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also assisted CO Guida with a TIP call on Pelican Lake, which resulted in an angler ticketed for using extra lines to fish. CO McGowan also took enforcement action for taking waterfowl with toxic shot, no federal duck stamp, no state waterfowl stamp, and angling with extra lines.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) continued to work duck hunters on area lakes and spent some time checking anglers during the weekend. CO Peterson also spent time addressing some issues of state park boundaries and educating folks that hunting is not allowed in a state park.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a livestock depredation incident was investigated. Enforcement contacts were made for use of motorized decoys during the closed period, and toxic shot.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a complaint about trespassing and baiting on private property. The site was located by the owner, and is under investigation at this time.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Archery hunters report the deer are becoming more active with the cooler weather. Deer-baiting complaints have come in and are being investigated. He checked duck hunters, too, and some of violations found were unplugged guns and no duck stamp.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Invasive species, ATV, archery deer and bear hunting activity was also worked. He also worked with CO’s Wichmann and VanderWeyst on an archery deer baiting case. A bow and an eight-point buck were seized with charges pending.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked hunters, worked late hunting activity, and responded to a wolf-related complaint.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) had an interesting week. The officer encountered a party transporting a loaded firearm on an ATV while grouse hunting. The party indicated that he spoke with two friends who were cited a week earlier for the same violation, in the same spot, by CO Tetrault, prior to hunting. In another instance, the officer was traveling home late at night and observed a large fire with prohibited materials in it. A mobile home nearby was being dismantled. When the officer asked the party what he was burning, the party replied, “Just some wood, that’s it … and some paper … and insulation … and shingles – the mobile home pretty much.” Enforcement action was taken.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports continuing training with a COC. The officers monitored shining activity throughout the Malmo station. A call about someone operating an ATV in a wildlife management area was investigated.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a solid waste violation in which at least 100 diapers were dumped near a river. She also took a trespass complaint and checked waterfowl hunters, reminding them of the AIS laws.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time checking ATV complaints and small-game hunters. He continues answering questions about the upcoming deer seasons, pheasant season, and nuisance animals.
WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses around his work station. One individual was cited for transporting zebra mussels in his watercraft.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre), while on patrol, found multiple situations were juveniles were being allowed to illegally operate ATVs and OHMs.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) continued to focus on background investigations. Waterfowl hunters checked reported seeing more ducks Pheasant hunters were scarce, but so were pheasants
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies also worked on waters and wetland complaints.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated calls about deer stands in wildlife management areas and about a boat in the Mississippi River that was tied up to an island and full of water. The boat’s owner was home and safe. Two separate TIP calls were handled about duck hunters out hunting during the closed/split season. One hunter was found with a limit of ducks, and the second duck hunter who had no ducks tried to bribe CO Kuske with pumpkin bars to get out of getting a ticket for hunting during the closed season. Neither hunter had read the waterfowl regulations.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a WCA violation in which a driveway was placed in a wetland. The property owners did not get a permit from the SWCD, and the contractor failed to file a liability form for the work. A group of hunters had good luck shooting six pheasants on opener morning, but their luck changed though when CO Kuske checked them. One hunter forgot to buy a small-game license and another forgot a pheasant stamp.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports calls for service this past week included a report about a swan being taken by waterfowl hunters on North Lake in Monticello. Upon completion of the investigation, it was determined that a juvenile misidentified a trumpeter swan for a goose and shot and killed it. His father, who also was present, was cited as the responsible party and the juvenile was issued a written warning
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted DNR Forestry with trespassing and litter issues where summonses and written warnings will be issued when the investigation is complete. He also continued to investigate a number of deer-baiting issues.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers, boaters, and worked AIS enforcement while temporarily assigned at the Fort Snelling and Bloomington stations.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week monitoring bowhunting activity and investigating TIP complaints.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) continued to work on background investigations. CO Salzer also patrolled Hennepin County for waterfowling activity during the weekend.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the pheasant and duck opener in the Scott County area. Small-game and bowhunters were checked by CO Vang.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) responded to a call about individuals who shot a trumpeter swan. He also worked an AIS detail in St. Paul Park and continued working TIP calls.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) appeared at a trial in Anoka County for hunting deer over bait. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland-related activity as well as an AIS check station being completed in Washington County.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports first aid was given to a spaniel that got cut with barbed wire; the cut was wrapped with a bandage.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) and K-9 Reggie assisted with a short presentation at the Governor’s Opener in Worthington.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked a busy pheasant opener. Waterfowl hunters also were checked. Hunting and license violations were encountered, including: transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports a complaint was received about someone dumping rotten corn and salt on a WMA southeast of Montevideo. Anyone with information should call CO Picht or the TIP line.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) observed two hunters duck hunting on a local lake during the closed southern waterfowl season. During a check, they admitted not being aware the season was closed. The two also were missing life jackets in their boat.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports rescuing a trumpeter swan with CO Mueller. The swan had been shot and is currently at the wildlife rehab center.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received complaints regarding an ongoing wanton waste case, early waterfowl shooting, taking deer during the closed season/illegal weapon, and overlimits of squirrels and WMA violations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for deer, waterfowl, pheasant, and other small-game hunters.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) reports several calls were taken regarding raptors. A trespassing complaint also was investigated.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) reports a handful of nuisance-wildlife complaints were resolved.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking waterfowl hunters. Turkey hunters also were checked. One hunter shot and killed a gobbler, only to have it flop into a river. The hunter then attempted to wade out and retrieve his bird. Upon reaching it, he stumbled and fell and went bobbing down the river with the bird. The hunter said the turkey made a good PFD.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports that on Saturday, 25 hunters were checked on North Lake who had harvested their limit of six ducks. Time was spent checking a shining complaint area.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports river fishing is improving. The second duck opener really improved compared with the first opener. He also attended the Sheldon Valley Sportsmen club meeting.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports time was spent working the second waterfowl opener in the area. Enforcement action was taken for taking small game during the closed season.