District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers and duck hunters on Lake of the Woods and the Northwest Angle. Preparations were made for the deer season.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a gray wolf depredation, conducted AIS checks, and responded to calls about a deer struck by a car and unlawful burning. Recreational shining is only lawful within two hours of sunset.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls), while working a shining detail, encountered a pair of young men who seemed to have too much time on their hands at 4 a.m. Hanson found equipment in their vehicle consistent with burglary and drug use. Local law enforcement officials were advised of the identities and circumstances.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and a COC worked on several public waters, WCA, and aquatic plant management cases. The officers spent time checking archery deer hunters, waterfowl hunters, and trapping activity. Hunters are reporting seeing few deer.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued training with a COC. Time was spent preparing for the upcoming firearms deer season. Vollbrecht and the COC They were working with other officers when they came across a vehicle in the ditch. The vehicle had a small fire under the hood which soon spread to the rest of the vehicle and fully engulfed it, despite the officers’ attempts to extinguish it with the fire extinguishers from their squads. The vehicle had one occupant who was removed prior to the fire getting out of control.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) wrapped up field training with a COC. Time was spent investigating a wildfire, enforcing illegal ATV activity, and responding to multiple complaints of potentially illegally taken deer.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters, and archery hunters. Time was also spent following up on several complaints of trapping by water before season.
WREO Joe Stattelman finished a background investigation for the CO Prep program. Additional time was sent working on open WCA and protected waters cases.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received numerous calls regarding the upcoming firearms deer season. Complaints of trespass and early water trapping were received. A whitetail rack was surrendered after an investigation revealed it was illegally taken.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a trapping complaint regarding trespass and seized two traps and issued a citation for trespassing. A complaint involving an angler fishing with extra lines was investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a citizen complaint about a trapper setting water sets prior to the 9 a.m. opener resulted in enforcement action.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports several possible wetland violation complaints were fielded and investigated, and follow up was done on open cases.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) received a complaint about a trapper trapping and trespassing. Time was spent working deer shiners with other district officers. Two individuals were cited for camping on a state public access site, and another individual was cited for illegal burning.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) assisted the sheriff’s department with the report of a vehicle in a ditch and worked some late-night shining details. Parthun also assisted a hunter whose dog was killed in a body-gripping trap.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to work waterfowl hunters and shining cases. Assistance was provided at a medical call.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked duck hunting and trapping activity in the area. Time also was spent checking for big-game violations, as deer have begun to move around.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a call about a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
WREO Shane Siltala met with local soil and water conservation district staff to discuss wetland issues.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking grouse hunting and trapping activity. Activity on the Rainy River for fall walleye fishing has slowed.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting and trapping seasons, anglers, and balsam bough cutters. He also investigated a complaint about the taking of a nongame migratory bird. The officer investigated four cases of large amounts of litter being dumped. In one case, a bank deposit slip exposed the dumper of a truck load of carpet, while another was determined via mail and canceled checks. Another was dealt with as part of a trapping case and another had been lit on fire, requiring the officer to put out the flames. The officer responded to a call about a 150-pound bear caught in a foothold trap set for coyotes. The bear was released, ran 20 feet, climbed up a tree for 10 seconds, climbed down, and then ran into the woods, a little more educated.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has taken several calls from motorists concerning road-killed deer. It appears the lack of antlerless deer tags has people taking those deer they hit with their cars and usually pass up. CO Frericks is in the process of wrapping up several investigations regarding illegal dumping. A timber wolf was released from a trap with assistance from CO Fredin and the trapper who placed the trap.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint about hunter harassment. When some hunters put up a ladder stand on public land, others believed they were too close so they yelled, intimidated, and tampered with the stand.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports Ely had its first real winter storm of the season, and although it was brief and the weather has improved, duck-hunting reports have been poor.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked whitefish netters and fishermen throughout the week. Deer hunters are reminded that some of the products sold in the stores are not legal for deer hunting. If it has anything other than minerals in it, it is a violation to use it for deer hunting.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked hunters, trappers, and whitefish netters. The CO also looked around for people placing bait to attract deer. The CO found some bear stands still left up after the season, so some hunters will return next year to find their stands removed from federal and state lands.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports several locations were checked for deer bait, including a couple of tips from concerned hunters. While checking gravel pits, the officer noted an abundance of trash, shell casings, and “targets” left behind by target shooters, including cymbals, a milk can, a pillow, and circular saw blades.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports assistance was given on a call in Winton in which an individual led an Ely officer on a high-speed pursuit, then barricaded herself in her house.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) investigated trapping and trespass complaints during the week and answered questions regarding the firearms deer season.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters, and trappers. Much of the week was spent documenting deer-baiting complaints for visits during the deer season.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, worked archery complaints, and assisted with the search for a missing person.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) helped a neighboring officer work a complaint involving a whitefish net that was set early. Enforcement action was taken for netting early. She also checked on a trapping complaint and checked regular trapping activity.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked fishermen, ATVers, trappers, and small-game hunters. He also worked on several hunting complaints during the week.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) investigated trapping, stand theft, and deer-baiting complaints. Officer Arhart is retiring Nov. 4, and would like to thank all the people that helped him during his 23-year DNR Enforcement career in the Thief River Falls, Aitkin, Deer River, and Squaw Lake stations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trapping complaints during the week. He also checked trappers and handled trespassing complaints. Officer Schmidt also reports balsam bough and spruce top complaints were investigated.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued field training with a COC and dealt with a variety of complaints and phone calls. The officers conducted investigations of a garbage-dumping complaint, a wetland violation complaint, and a trapper harassment complaint.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) participated in deer-shining work and investigated timber trespass on state land. CO Humphrey also assisted the sheriff’s department with a shots-fired call in Automba.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to a group of Cub Scouts in the Esko area about the duties of a conservation officer, endangered species, and invasive species. K9 assistance was given to the sheriff’s office and other agencies regarding a person who was found stealing copper wiring. K9 Schody found the suspect and also key evidence that will be used in his prosecution. Time also was spent patrolling the Nemadji State Forest, with enforcement action taken for ATV registration and hunting license violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked small-game hunters north of Duluth and assisted the sheriff’s office with several calls and traffic stops.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) assisted the sheriff’s department with a domestic complaint.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received and investigated complaints about trespassing. Work was done with both DNR Wildlife and Fisheries staff in enforcement of motor vehicle use in aquatic management areas and leaving stands/equipment overnight on wildlife management areas. Citations and warnings were issued.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) investigated a watercraft inspector report of a party entering an access with zebra mussels and aquatic macrophytes attached to a watercraft. The party was issued citations for these violations. Officer Lee also followed up on a waters violation with a wetland enforcement officer regarding an incident in which a large amount of sand had been dumped into the lake in an attempt to make a sand beach area. It was determined that there was only a minor violation in what the individual had done, and he would be taking action to correct the violation.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) investigated an archery deer-hunting violation, assisted the Crosby police, and extinguished an unattended fire in the Pillsbury State Forest.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) conducted invasive species checks with boaters and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Anglers were checked on Mille Lacs. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, hunting small game without a license, failing to renew ATV registration, and other various ATV violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated areas where hunters may be baiting deer and checked archery deer hunters. She received calls about hunter harassment and portable stand theft, and issued car-kill possession tags for deer. Speldrich also received a call from the east metro area, where a hunter had shot a deer, thinking it was a coyote. The call was forwarded to the correct area, but with firearms deer season just days away, it’s a good reminder to know your target.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a COC spent the week preparing for the upcoming deer season. The officers investigated a wetland complaint in which a landowner was found to be placing logs in a wetland in an attempt to create a floating bridge. The landowner agreed to remove the illegal fill.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered questions about the upcoming deer season and concerns regarding nuisance beavers. He also checked anglers and boaters.
WREO Rob Haberman checked small-game hunters and trappers. One hunter was checked and was found to be transporting a loaded .22-caliber rifle in his Class 2 ATV; law enforcement action was taken.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time checking on trapping activity and looking for pheasant hunters. CO Silgjord also prepared for the upcoming firearms deer season.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, hunters, and deer-shining activity. Car/deer accidents are increasing this time of year.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) has been getting calls regarding annual neighborhood feuds, with the upcoming deer opener looming. The calls include neighbors trespassing, neighbors harassing each other, and neighbors stealing stands and game cameras. The most common cause of the problem is deer stands being built or put up along property lines. Hunters are reminded that it is illegal to leave portable deer-hunting stands overnight or to build permanent deer stands in wildlife management areas.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) completed background investigations and training. CO Friese participated in a shining detail. A trapping complaint is under investigation.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) heard from a 10-year-old boy who is trying to get into trapping, and who found that someone stole his traps. A bowhunter disappointed with the fact his hunting area went from a five-deer to a one-deer limit was found with an untagged and unregistered deer. He was continuing to hunt, attempting to take additional deer and now faces a range of charges, including loss of hunting privileges and equipment. A person building a garage placed fill in a wetland in violation of WCA rules. CO Kuske assisted the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department with the apprehension of an individual wanted on a felony warrant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked waterfowl and archery deer hunters and a few trappers. Violations were found for failing to tag a deer and illegal shining after hours. ATV complaint areas were worked.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters and issued summonses and written warnings for taking non-game migratory birds (grebes) and unsigned federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports an individual told the CO that while he was enjoying a milk shake in fast-food parking lot, a bear cub came up and swiped it from him. Upon arrival, it was determined that the bear cub was not a black bear as thought, but rather a Syrian European brown bear cub. The cub was captured without incident and was taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility until the owner could be located. The owner later realized the cub had escaped and had made attempts to locate it. It turns out the bear couldn’t resist the restaurant’s sweet aromas and broke out of his crate and transport trailer to indulge itself while the owner was sampling some for himself. The owner produced the proper documentation and was reunited with his cub. Steps will be taken to minimize the possibility of another escape in the future.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked hunters during the week. Time was spent investigating a garbage-dumping complaint in the Kunkel WMA. The suspect was tracked down, and enforcement action was taken.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week monitoring hunting activity and finding many waterfowl hunters frustrated with this year’s delayed migration. CO Grewe assisted a neighboring officer with a lend-and-borrow case and continued investigating other complaints received.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) assisted a neighboring officer with an injured deer in Woodbury and assisted a Wisconsin warden with fishing violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small-game, deer, and waterfowl hunters. CO Arntzen also did AIS enforcement, handled questions about the firearms deer season, and took care of trespassing issues.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl, pheasant, and bowhunters around the metro area. He investigated a TIP complaint about a possible big-game violation and assisted a neighboring officer with a big-game violation.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) found an individual bowhunting in a treestand over bait who said he was hunting squirrels. When CO Kruse got him to admit that he was indeed hunting deer, she asked for his deer-hunting license and he didn’t have one. Enforcement action was taken.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported Camden State Park held its annual youth deer hunt during the weekend. Trapping was the main enforcement focus during the week, with multiple violations discovered.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, archery deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunting activity during the week. Violations encountered included trespassing, camping at a public water access, and hunting within an SNA.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) checked anglers, pheasant hunters, duck hunters, and bowhunters. He reports pheasant hunters are having more success, with the crops coming off of the landscape.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked waterfowl hunters, trappers, and archery hunters. He received complaints about trap theft, trespass, and deer stands left in public hunting areas.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) concentrated on AIS enforcement. Waterfowl hunters and trappers were reminded to drain water and remove aquatic vegetation.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the bi-monthly Fairmont City Council meeting, assisting Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District staff. One waterfowl hunter was reluctant to show a duck that he had shot due to not knowing what it was or if it was legal to shoot. The duck presented to this officer was a ruddy duck and was shot on the water. Target identification was emphasized.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked trapping, big-game, and small-game hunting activity. CO Howe participated in work crews for big-game enforcement and the muskrat-trapping opener.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to trespassing complaints and monitored AIS compliance.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) reports numerous complaints were received regarding trapping activity, with several violations were encountered.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) reports time was spent investigating trespass complaints. Car-killed deer possession permits were issued.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports finishing Step 4 training with a COC. The officer worked fishing, waterfowl, and big-game enforcement, as well as investigating numerous calls and complaints regarding trapping and trespass.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) investigated many calls this past week, included taking deer after hours, taking muskrats during the closed season, trespassing, hunting on SNA land, a marijuana grow on a state WMA, and illegal shining.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports deer hunters, trappers, waterfowl hunters, and turkey hunters were checked. Deer hunters are seeing more deer activity, and success has been good. Calls about trespass were investigated.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, and archery hunters, and responding to complaints about baiting. Time also was spent working shining complaint areas, assisting the Red Wing Police Department, and checking on some trapping complaints.