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

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Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – January 9th, 2015

District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bobcat-trapping activity in area WMAs and the Lost River State Forest. Assistance was given to local law enforcement in locating a missing person and with a traffic accident.  
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week checking fishermen and following up on some last-minute trapping complaints. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies regarding a train versus car accident in Warroad.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked an enforcement detail on Lake of the Woods with multiple officers during the New Year’s holiday. He also responded to a call about trespass in which hunters were asked to leave property they were hunting without permission. The hunters did not leave when told to do so by the landowner. CO Woinarowicz, with assistance from a State Patrol trooper, located the individuals drinking beer at a different location on the property. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing and littering.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports assistance was given to the sheriff’s office in locating and arresting an assault suspect on Upper Red Lake.

District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) took a report about a car in a lake and continued to check on a concern regarding unlawful ditching.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and trapping activity. Officer Holt also participated in work details on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. A TIP complaint was received and is under investigation.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) responded to a call about two large bucks with their antlers locked. One of the bucks was deceased from their battle. With the help of the reporting party, the officer was able to free the living animal, and after a while that buck recuperated and wandered into the woods. Follow-up was conducted on a coyote case in which several individuals were cited by the sheriff’s department for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle. The officer confirmed no further enforcement action was needed, and clarified coyote-hunting regulations for the individuals.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) took information regarding a vehicle through the ice, incidentally caught otters, and commercial minnow dealer activity.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with a work crew on Otter Tail Lake resulting in 13 citations. Several violations encountered were fishing with extra lines, unattended lines, no shelter tag, no identification on a fish house, illegal-length fish, and fishing without a valid fishing license.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) reports a work crew was held in the Elbow Lake station on New Year’s Day, with numerous violations detected. Lots of questions regarding the new AIS boat trailer training have been fielded.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked ice fishermen and trappers. Two complaints were received on New Year’s Eve – one from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office regarding a stolen ATV and one from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office regarding a vehicle ramming fish houses on Moon Lake outside of Brandon. A group of juveniles decided to ram fish houses with their truck. They rammed the first house but it was a spear house, and they ended up dropping the front of their truck into the spear hole, in the process getting stuck. Several charges will be pending, along with a hefty tow bill.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports that after he observed suspicious behavior and fresh blood on the floor of a spear house, an angler eventually admitted to spearing an illegal-length northern pike on a special-regulation lake. The fish was found hidden in a gunny sack beneath the back seat of a vehicle. To make matters worse, the angler was found to have transported a loaded rifle onto the lake, as well. Enforcement action was taken.

District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) monitored ice-angling activity. Trapping activity was relatively slow due to the lack of snow. Enforcement action was taken regarding possession of a small amount of marijuana.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reports pressure ridges continue to create problems to those who attempt to cross them on the ice. One truck and two ATVs broke through this past week on Leech Lake.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers. Some reports about weak ice near pressure ridges were reported. CO Mathy also assisted with a domestic disturbance, made a warrant arrest, and checked the few remaining bobcat trappers.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on trapping, spearing, and ice-angling activity. Cold and windy weather limited recreational activity. CO Broughten also assisted the State Patrol with a vehicle off the road.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) reports a large deer was poached in Todd County; only the head was removed.

District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports assisting Voyageurs National Park staff with locating a radio-collared wolf that was located outside the park. A deer found dead by a local trapper was investigated as possibly being shot, but it was determined fatal injuries were sustained from a vehicle collision.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) worked the trout opener for lakes in the BWCAW. The officer also investigated a complaint about unauthorized vehicles using state snowmobile trails.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, spearing, and trapping activity. The officer closed out an invalid-license case from the firearms deer season. The officer also investigated a trap-tampering case in which the snare and a trapped animal were stolen.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) is investigating a report from a dog owner whose dog got caught in an untagged snare in the Virginia area. The dog is OK, but the owner, who is a sportsman himself, is frustrated about the trapper who left the trap tags off his snares.  

District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a busy start to the BWCAW trout lake opener. Violations included no shelter tag displayed on a fishing shelter, and operating an ATV on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked ice fishermen and the last of the grouse hunters before the season closed. Stage received a call that one of the snowmobile trail gates had been left closed. The officer was able to get the gate safely open with a bit of creativity just minutes before the first three snowmobiles of the day came along.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with COs Murray and Duncan checking anglers during the BWCAW trout opener. The COs had the pleasure of watching an otter cross a lake in front of them one morning.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted again with a car stuck in another section of a snowmobile trail. The officer also patrolled trails during a dogsled race near the Gunflint Trail.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers in the BWCAW, along with the trout opener on those lakes. An uptick in the number of car-killed deer on Hwy. 61 was noted.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, answered calls about wolves, wrapped up cases from the deer season, and assisted a stranded motorist. Enforcement action was taken for snaring violations.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) investigated several anglers for trespassing to get onto area lakes to ice fish. Property owners are seeking maximum prosecution for trespassing on posted property, which is a gross misdemeanor carrying up to a $3,000 fine, a year in jail, and loss of DNR privileges. 
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted the county with the search for a suspect who fled into the woods. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si tracked the suspect from a residence into the woods, over a river, along a power line, across a road, and into a pine plantation. CO Fairbanks and K-9 Si were able to flush the suspect out of the woods. He gave himself up to the officers watching the perimeter.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) took a call about a dead owl north of Grand Rapids. She investigated a trapping complaint with CO Shawn Wichmann, which turned into multiple big-game violations and seizure of deer meat, hides, and a rifle.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and small-game activity.  
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) patrolled for ATV activity and spent time enforcing snowmobile violations. There was an increase in snowmobile activity with the recent snowfall in northeastern Minnesota.

District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) reports nuisance-animal calls were handled, and a raccoon was delivered to a rehabber in the area.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports good ice and fair angling has contributed to a huge upswing in the number of anglers seen on local lakes. During a small work detail with area officers, several violations were uncovered. Angling with extra lines, angling with no license, angling with no license in possession, operating an ATV with expired registration, and operating snowmobiles with expired registration were a few of the violations encountered.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) participated in a work detail with neighboring officers and Forest Service law enforcement for the opening of trout fishing within the BWCAW. Snowmobile enforcement also was worked during the weekend.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) finished up an investigation into a trapping violation in which enforcement action was taken for failing to tend and illegally setting a trap.
WREO Mike Scott worked with DNR Forestry on access issues for a land-locked person trying to obtain access to his hunting property through state land.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked trout anglers on a nice opener in the BWCA, with a few nice lake trout in the bag. Continued cold will only make for safer ice as the season continues. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked angling, snowmobile, ATV, and trapping enforcement throughout the week.

District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) completed a gray wolf depravation complaint with all information being turned over to the USDA. Officer Lee received a TIP report about a party taking overlimits of crappies, which is under investigation at this time.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked trappers and anglers. A fisher caught accidentally in a bobcat set was confiscated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) instructed Nisswa-area youth in snowmobile safety education. Their riding test is pending snowfall. Officer Guida also worked the New Year’s holiday checking angling activity. Angling with extra lines and other license violations were detected and addressed.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked anglers, spearers, and trappers during the week. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, no licenses, and alcohol/marijuana offenses.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on trapping issues and reports of accidental fisher. He also checked small-game hunters in the Pillsbury forest. Archery deer hunters report a poor finish and not many deer observed.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) checked area trap lines and spent time on the ice checking anglers. One angler on Big Sandy thought he would try to put his illegal-length walleye down his fishing hole as CO Peterson pulled up to his fish house. The fish was dead and was not going to swim away for the angler.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angling activity as ice conditions improved and more houses were left out. Even with the lower temperatures, one truck had to get extracted from the ice, and ice ridges continue to pop up. ATVs are the go-to means of ice travel.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers on Lake Mille Lacs; some reported success. In one case, the officer located five unattended tip-ups nowhere near anglers. The officer monitored the area and found that the anglers went to town to run some errands. The tip-ups were seized, and citations were issued.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) followed up on a muzzleloader deer case and reports were forwarded to the county attorney’s office for charging. The officer received a call about a wolf stuck in a coyote trap. The officer responded, and with the help of the trapper the wolf was freed from the trap and ran back of into the woods. Lots of fishing, trapping, ATV, and wolf-related law questions were fielded.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received reports about wolves being taken illegally. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated these cases, which both turned out to be coyotes.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked with tribal officers on an inter-agency project, which includes both tribal and non-tribal recreational opportunities. Violations found were numerous. Extra lines and unattended lines led the way, with no license in possession and unmarked fish houses also found.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) attended the annual meeting of the Minnesota Trappers Association. CO Grundmeier tagged furs for trappers from around the state and answered questions about trapping laws. Most trappers reported having pretty good luck catching bobcats and otters.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time answering questions about trapping and registering animals, followed up on incidentally taken animals, and worked snowmobile complaints around Pokegama Lake. People insist on leaving public accesses, public lands, and public waters as their personal trash-disposal sites. If you see or know of anyone dumping trash in these areas, call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports a 2013 poaching case came to a conclusion with four individuals pleading guilty. A call about littering on Mille Lacs was addressed, and an incidentally caught fisher was turned in by a local trapper.

District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports the pheasant season came to a close with a few out on Saturday, but Sunday’s weather deterred many people.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) participated in a work detail on Sauk Lake with good compliance being found.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) investigated a TIP call, and an individual was found to have shot a deer with his bow over a corn pile. It also was found that he did a lend/borrow deer tag with his wife earlier in the season, making him over his limit. One lakeshore owner was found to have cut bulrush along his shore to get rid of the vegetation for the summer.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking fishermen, hunters, and updating wetland cases. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, extra lines, no ATV registration, and transporting a loaded gun.

District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) completed an investigation on a case of an overlimit of deer and hunting over bait.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a truck went through ice in 5 feet of water on the south side of South Center Lake. Violations included unregistered ATVs, unattended lines, no license in possession, and extra lines.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. Fish houses are showing up on area lakes, with 15 to 18 inches of ice being the norm.

District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) took enforcement action for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, and no registration displayed on a snowmobile.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to a dead trumpeter swan near Patterson Lake. Aeration inspections were done on area lakes.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station and patrolled Fort Snelling State Park. He spent time on getting a newly issued snowmobile ready for the season.

District 14 – East Metro area
CO Anthony Salzer (Ham Lake) answered hunting questions regarding city ordinances.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) responded to a complaint about a deer that was shot out of season, and answered calls about predator hunting and trespassing.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) reports predator hunters are taking advantage of the clear winter nights to pursue coyotes. 
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) handled calls and checked aerator systems on Dakota County lakes.

District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations, coyote hunters, and ice anglers. Pheasant hunters braved the weather to get out for the last week of hunting. Their success was limited.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) checked an ice dam cleanout at a bridge and new tile draining into a ditch connected to a WMA.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports a snowmobile accident occurred in southern Lyon County resulting in injuries. Assistance was given with a snowmobile safety class in Belview.

District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking pheasant hunters during the final weekend of the season.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a report about dumped deer carcasses and a possible bait pile. A trespass complaint with a pheasant hunter also was handled.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) followed up with the Jackson County attorney’s office concerning an angling violation from last summer. He noted that aeration systems in the county had not been turned on as of Dec. 30.

District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) responded to a complaint about a missing dog possibly caught in a trap. Ice conditions are improving.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, trapping, and ATV activity. Ice conditions seem to be firming up with the recent cold snap.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, ATVers, and snowmobile operators. Officer Ihnen patrolled state parks and public water accesses for violations and completed aeration inspections on area lakes.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking anglers. Cold weather is firming up ice conditions, but anglers are still predominantly on foot. A trapping complaint was investigated, with enforcement action pending.

District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking ice-fishing activity. The fishing in the area is sporadic, with some days being OK, but most days have been slower. The weekend saw large numbers of anglers out taking advantage of the nice weather on Saturday.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters; success was fair. Trespass and shooting too close to residences were complaints received. A few small-game hunters were out, with limited success.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and a few snowmobilers. He took a complaint about a non-motorized trail user and snowmobilers not getting along on the state trail. Goose hunters were out on the last weekend.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the boats have been put away. He found an ice fisherman with too many fish who tried to put his extra fish down the hole, but the floating fish would not disappear. He also found a person using marijuana at a state park who admitted to possessing felony drugs in his truck.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked more fishing and hunting activity during the week, and followed up on a few investigations.

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