District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked firearms deer activity throughout Roseau, Marshall, and Kittson counties. Violations for the weekend included hunt over a baited area, leave permanent stand in a WMA, fail to tag deer, illegal party hunting, and erecting a permanent structure on state forest land.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) took enforcement action for failure to validate site tag, failure to affix tag prior to transport, and hunt deer over baited area.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) reports that multiple people “forgot” that hunting over bait is illegal and enforcement action was taken and firearms were seized.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports enforcement action for the week included numerous transport loaded firearms.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) took enforcement action for transport loaded firearm in motor vehicle, untagged deer, fail to validate site tag, shoot from roadway at big game, open alcohol container on ATV on state highway, operate ATV in closed hours, and WMA violations for blocking gates and leaving stands overnight.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) reports enforcement action included ATV violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports assistance given to a neighboring officer on multiple hunting over bait cases.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports several firearms and animals were seized as a result of hunting violations.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) reports one man was killed in a hunting accident. The Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked deer hunters, investigated bait complaints and assisted with a suicidal male.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked with neighboring officers on several baiting cases.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) and Officer Vollbrecht and a COC worked a TIP compliant where an individual had taken a deer out of season while shining.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports enforcement action for shooting big game from a road right of way.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) conducted follow up on a wildfire.A cigarette was the likely cause.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent time working on shooting from roadway and shooting within 500 feet of a residence.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received a trapping complaint; investigation ongoing.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) investigated complaints of hunting in an SNA.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports violations addressed were related to deer hunting with some firearms seized.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) retrieved an injured red-tailed hawk from the side of the road and sought medical attention for it.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked pheasant, waterfowl, and deer hunters.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports deer baiting and tagging issues have been the most common violations encountered this week.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) took enforcement action for hunting over bait, untagged deer, invalidated deer tag and illegal treestands on a WMA.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports on opening morning, a hunter was found still legally intoxicated from the night before hunting over bait.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the opening of firearms deer season and waterfowl hunting activity.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) received complaints of deer shining, hunter harassment, complaints of shooting within 500 feet of a house, and deer baiting.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) was part of a work detail during which 10 separate baiting offenders were apprehended before 9 a.m. on opening day.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) reports a hunter fell out of a treestand after the strap broke and was transported by air ambulance.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked many hunters possessing intensive harvest permits. Unfortunately for them, there are no intensive or managed zones anywhere nearby where they can be used.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) responded to a call of an unoccupied boat floating on Leech Lake that was nothing more than one that was blown free from a nearby shoreline.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated several complaints of deer baiting where multiple hunters were cited and their firearms seized. In one instance while checking deer licenses CO Broughten made contact with an individual who did not have a license and was currently prohibited from possessing a firearm. The firearm was seized. CO Broughten arrested the individual for violating his probation and hunting without a license.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated complaints of wanton waste deer, shooting off the road, and hunting over bait.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) reports investigations and violations for use of radio equipment/wireless to take protected wild animals.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports a number of traditional hunting camps sat vacant.
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports some hunters, while sitting in their deer stands on opening morning, were wondering why the local conservation officers were paying them a visit so early to discuss why the corn was spread on the forest floor below their deer stands. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over baited area and transporting loaded firearms.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) assisted local law enforcement after an SUV and horse trailer hit a power pole leaving live wires hanging across the highway.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) notes that smaller lakes and rivers are starting to freeze over. Keep an eye on pets and kids so they don’t go out on this dangerous ice.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) Officer investigated and assisted DNR Wildlife with a call of an injured moose with a radio collar, no apparent foul play and Wildlife took animal for analysis.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports a deer hunter was sitting in his car while the loaded rifle he had been using was leaning against the rear bumper and pointed near his back. The hunter didn’t seem to think there was a problem with it when the officer brought it to his attention.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on a report of a suspicious vehicle seen off-road east of Cotton. The vehicle was located and the two occupants were cutting boughs on county land without a permit. One of the two occupants was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports that last-minute hunters were sighting in rifles within the five days prior to season at a gravel pit that is within four miles of a designated rifle range.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) had a busy and active firearms deer opener with what appeared to be significantly more hunters north of Ely on the Echo Trail.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) saw two bucks taken on opener, and one of those was illegal because the tag had not been validated. Hunters using bait has shown to still be prevalent even with the threat of firearms loss.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports two nice 8-point bucks were seized because a hunter couldn’t follow the most basic of hunting laws. The same hunter had two deer seized from him a couple years ago.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled on foot and ATV checking deer stands and blinds for bait in the week before the firearms opener.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked a few duck hunters.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted the fire department with a mower that caught fire on a cross country ski trail.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) investigated complaints of trespass and illegal deer baiting along with a trap tampering incident.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) reports that extremely low deer numbers have made baiting popular again. Those hunters choosing to use bait will get to sit out next season and give the herd a chance to rebound.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) reports violations included hunting over bait, trespass, ATV on the roadway, ATV in closed hours, illegal shooting lanes and ATV trails.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) took enforcement action for fail to tend traps, transport loaded firearms, and no license in possession.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) answered questions from the public concerning the Grand Rapids city deer hunt and the state firearms deer opener.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action on an individual who shot a deer across a public roadway. The deer was seized and a citation was written.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked ATVs, trappers and big game deer hunters.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) reports enforcement action taken for hunting deer over bait, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) took several complaints of early shooting and hunting near property lines.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week following up on baiting complaints.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) had contacts opening morning with hunting big game over a baited area. The consensus was unanimous it’s not worth getting caught and losing your firearm, fees and automatic revocation.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports that baited deer stands, closed hours for ATVs, and trespass were the theme on opener. Night shining complaint areas continue to be worked.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports trappers were active over the weekend with many pulling water sets with the expected freezing temperatures forecast. A trap theft was reported.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports that on the day before the firearms deer opener, a shot from a high powered rifle that was fired in the direction of this officer was investigated and found three individuals that were shooting at beaver in a pond. Enforcement action was taken for possessing an illegal firearm out of doors within five days before the firearms deer opener and also for illegally taking a fur-bearing animal with a rifle.
WREO Mike Scott spent the deer season opener at the Minnesota State Patrol Dispatch center in Roseville answering calls from hunters. One call from a father with his 12-year-old son was handled where the boy shot and killed the first buck that walked by their stand. As the young hunter and father were looking at the buck it was discovered that the deer had already been shot once. Several minutes later a hunter following the deer tracks and blood trail approached them and told them he had shot the deer and was tracking it. The young hunter gave the deer to the hunter as, in their words, “It was the right thing to do.” Although this was hard for the young hunter he understood that he prevented the deer from going to waste. Hats off to this young man!
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers and commercial fishermen on Lake Superior.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked waterfowl, trapping and deer hunting enforcement.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked invasive species enforcement by checking duck hunters coming off Gull Lake.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) addressed a group of ATVs operating recklessly in a road ditch.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department with a camper on fire in a very remote area. The camper, ATV, firearms, and personal belongings were a total loss. One of the owners was asleep inside when they awoke to find the mattress they were asleep on was on fire. The parties were able to escape with no injuries, but could not believe how fast the fire engulfed the camper.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties over a busy deer opening weekend.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a doe deer was found to have met her death not by a hunter’s bullet, but by her own temptation. The doe got her head stuck in a garden fence and apparently broke her own neck trying to free herself.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) handled several baiting violations and patrolled road hunters.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) arrested a party at a deer camp with an outstanding warrant for violations from the previous deer season.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) fielded several calls of parties leaving stands in WMAs overnight and a few stands were seized.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) reports a deer hunting party admitted to baiting for years. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over a baited area and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. A 10-point buck and an 8- point buck were seized, as well as several firearms.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports a large doe was found shot and left in a WMA, as well as a nice canvasback drake found dumped at a public access. CO Starr also found a bowhunter that was not wearing any blaze orange while sneak hunting in a busy WMA.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports many excuses were heard throughout the weekend but the winning excuse had to be when a hunter was adamant that the pile of shelled corn near his deer stand was intended for squirrel hunting, not for the deer.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) reports contacts included operating ATVs in restricted hours.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) handled calls of shooting after dark and stands left in WMAs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) started out firearms deer season with assistance from Officer Bertram finding two hunters hunting over bait with rifles seized and another hunting party was found with an untagged buck in the back of a truck. CO Kuske had found this same hunting party with rifles in the shotgun zone last year. They stated they would have lunch ready for the officers next year.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted on a call where suspect stole a small 3-point buck from a hunting camp, loaded it on to his car roof and took off. The guy who shot the deer saw the suspect and followed. The suspect was stopped 15 miles away. The suspect stated he was having a tough deer season with no luck and decided to steal it. Enforcement action taken for theft.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports deer season has its share of squabbles with trespass issues. In one such case two landowners were fighting over the placement of a “No Trespassing” sign located at the corner of their adjoining properties. The issue was a 16-inch discrepancy between the two survey pins that marked the corner.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) took part in a radio show on deer hunting and worked TIP calls.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked trapping, fishing, small game activity and deer hunting.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) noticed an increase of illegal party hunting and failure to tag deer/validate tags this year.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) checked a number of duck hunters.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports duck hunters took advantage of a migration push at the end of the week with late migrants showing up in the bag such as bluebills and goldeneyes.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports one group of five older gentlemen had harvested three bucks over the weekend.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) followed up on complaints of dogs chasing deer, watercraft violations, and ATV trespass.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled calls on car killed and injured deer.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Wright counties for waterfowl activity.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) worked the deer opener and provided a ride along to an individual interested in the profession.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked deer opener in southeast Minnesota and enforcement action was taken for failure to validated deer tags.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reported working the firearms deer opener, monitoring small game and waterfowl hunting.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) checked waterfowl hunters earlier in the week. Violations included no small game license, and no federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) assisted officers around the Whitewater WMA where some nice bucks were seen.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked with neighboring officers checking numerous deer hunters on the busy opening weekend.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time following up on shoreline and wetland complaints.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) gave assistance to local law enforcement for a sibling dispute for shooting within 500 feet of a building without permission, hunting in the city limits.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports a deer hunter was found hunting over a large pile of bait.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports a vehicle in Pipestone County was struck by a slug causing damage to the front windshield. The driver of the vehicle was not hurt.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported that with the possibility of poor weather the rest of the week, a lot of hunters showed signs of urgency to get their deer during the opening weekend.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked waterfowl hunters, trappers and ATV operators.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) saw a couple youth on opening weekend with their first deer.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) took a call on opening morning of a hunter who shot two deer with one shot. The hunter claimed he never noticed the second deer until he shot and noticed two deer dropped. The second deer was seized from the hunter and given to a family in need.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) dealt with an incident involving a deer being shot with a rifle in the shotgun zone.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) checked some duck and pheasant hunters as well as trappers.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports one hunter was shocked to know that blaze orange was a requirement while hunting deer.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) addressed trapping issues.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked several young hunters with their first deer. Another young hunter was checked, but his grandfather chose to illegally shoot an antlerless deer and tag it with the youngster’s tag.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) reports a busy firearms deer opener with trespass being the most common complaint.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked big game and small game activity during the week.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) assisted a pheasant hunter in finding a lost hunting dog.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports there were no APR violations found or reported. One duck hunter said it was the best hunting he has had in 20 years.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports a fisherman and boat turned up missing below lock and dam 7. Multiple agencies responded.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports raccoon numbers seem to be low again.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent time checking anglers and waterfowl hunters.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports high winds caused a vessel to go down on Lake Pepin over the weekend with everyone making it safely to shore.