District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included possessing an overlimit of sauger and extra lines. Another officer was assisted with a group of anglers in possession of marijuana.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no angling license in possession, angling with an extra line, and possession of dressed fillets.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) investigated a fish house left at a public water access. CO Prachar spent time working on Gull Lake in Brainerd on Friday and Saturday at the One-Lunger 100 vintage snowmobile event. Enforcement action was taken for possession of alcohol by people under age 21, reckless driving, failing to display ATV registration, and operating an ATV with a passenger under 18 without helmet.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked angling, snowmobiling, small-game hunting and trapping enforcement. Hanson also worked the Arctic Blast snowmobile ride with the Minnesota Vikings. One participant lost his snowmobile to a fire. There were no injuries, but the snowmobile was a total loss.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent investigating a TIP report, interviewing a suspect regarding a trespass complaint, case preparation for court trial, and testifying in a court trial.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports time was spent attending a meeting with a local government unit and Board of Water and Soil Resources personnel to discuss a large wetland violation complaint.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, snowmobilers, ATV riders, trappers, and predator hunters. He confirmed cleanup of a burned fish shelter and access debris. He also responded to an assault complaint and a woman having a baby in a bath tub.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking fishermen and following up on TIP complaints. CO Vinton also answered calls about Lake of the Woods fishing regulations and provided assistance to other law enforcement agencies. He also assisted a State Patrol officer looking for advice after he’d contacted a driver with a severed deer head in the back of his truck.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. Time also was spent tagging an accidentally taken fisher and following up on a complaint about a vehicle being driven off the designated road in a state park. When the driver tried driving over rough terrain and through trees, the front license plate was knocked off, making for easy follow-up the following morning.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports a taxidermy inspection was conducted with Lt. Seefeldt, which resulted in several animals being seized and a citation issued for a taxidermist operating without a license.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a whitetail skull plate along with antlers were seized as part of a North Dakota investigation.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity on fishermen and shelters. Predator hunters were checked, and the CO assisted with a snowmobile safety class in Ashby.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and fish houses on area lakes in Otter Tail and Douglas counties. Several violations were encountered, including failure to display shelter license, illegal-length fish, no fishing license, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, expired registration on an ATV, fishing with extra lines, unattended lines, no identification on fish houses, litter, and fish overlimits. Anglers are reminded that they are to take the fish they catch and not throw them on the ice to rot.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) took part in a work crew on Lake Osakis with other officers where numerous citations were issued for a range of fishing and drug-related violations.
COs Jeff Johanson (Osakis) and CO Lawler manned a booth at the annual law enforcement career fair held at Alexandria Technical and Community College.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Time also was spent working on firearms safety class equipment and items related to the bear committee.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and spearing activity. While monitoring angling activity on an area lake, CO Broughten found several northern pike that were left lying on the ice. CO Broughten was able to locate the fishermen responsible for the illegal activity, and enforcement action was taken. CO Broughten also fielded calls concerning trespass and a complaint about enforcement action in which the violator stated he “kind of” broke the law but believed some laws were not meant to be enforced.
CO Colleen Adam (Northwest Region OHV recreation officer) handled calls regarding nuisance animals, wanton waste, and nonresident license issues.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports an invasive species meeting with Koochiching County was attended. Found on the Arrowhead Snowmobile Trail in the Lake Kabetogama area was a Yamaha black vinyl/leather gear bag; to claim, please contact CO Kittelson at (218) 285-9501.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week checking angling and snowmobilers throughout the area. CO Van Asch observed several machines that were quite dated and interesting to see that were participating in a vintage snowmobile run on Kabetogama Lake.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted COs Fredin and Frericks with a search warrant that led to big-game violation charges. CO Hopkins and CO Grundmeier interrupted a burglary in progress while checking for anglers on a remote lake at night. The officers found a vehicle coming out of a WMA. The driver was cited for possession of marijuana and sent on his way. The COs then continued their patrol into the remote area and found that the tracks from the recently stopped vehicle had come from a private cabin. Further investigation found the private property had been burglarized and damaged. COs Grundmeier and Hopkins were able to catch up to the suspect’s pickup, and the driver was arrested for burglary, theft, and criminal damage to property.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) completed an investigation stemming from a TIP call about a person who was seen putting a deer in the back of a vehicle. Charges were sent to the county attorney’s office for consideration.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports assisting officers from around the state during the weekend with snowmobile enforcement on the Gunflint Trail. Two snowmobile events attracted several hundred riders from around the United States and Canada, and the trails received heavy use.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked one snowmobile detail with Border Patrol agents and another up the Gunflint Trail with several COs. Anglers were checked inside and outside of the BWCA. Enforcement action was taken for litter, being too far from tip-ups, and snowmobile violations.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile details with the U.S. Border Patrol and other DNR officers throughout the week. One party had his snowmobile registration and decal tucked below the hood and behind the front shock absorbers so far that the officer had to nearly get on the ground to read it. The party believed it was the “cool” place to have it and informed the officer that it was OK because his friend and others had theirs applied that way. It is not OK, and there is a specified place for the snowmobile registrations that should be followed to avoid enforcement attention.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) took a trapping complaint in which a person got caught in a snare. There was a little wounded pride, but no violation was noted.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked trapping and snaring activity, and looked at areas where complaints had been received about hunting deer over bait.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, attended a deer population meeting, and investigated big-game complaints.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for angling with extra lines, operating an ATV that was unregistered, and operating a motorized vehicle in a closed area.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) took several complaints about speeding snowmobilers and a complaint about damage to a snowmobile trail from a truck being driven on the trail.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on a public waters complaint. Phone calls regarding injured and nuisance animals were returned. CO Schmidt also assisted with a drown-proofing class for the State Patrol.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent most of the week checking anglers. Many permanent fish houses are being marked using GPS and photographed to be sure all litter and blocking is removed when the shelters are taken in for the season.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) investigated a complaint about possible illegal hunting activity during the past firearm deer season. Several possession permits were issued for road-kill deer and other dead animals.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity on area lakes throughout the week. CO Humphrey also patrolled the Fond du Lac and Nemadji state forests for OHV and trapping activity, and gave a presentation to a snowmobile safety class at Barnum High School.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. A road-kill moose was handled on a dark, cold night, with all necessary samples taken for the moose mortality project and the salvageable carcass signed over to an appreciative gentleman.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) completed training and also instructed officer water survival to the State Patrol academy. He also assisted in searching the area for a bank robbery suspect who later was arrested by the local police department. The officer also assisted a state of Wisconsin conservation warden investigating a snowmobiling fatality.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on a litter complaint involving ice anglers. The report was of litter left behind after a portable fish house was removed. Litter included human waste, cigarette butts, and cans. The CO also worked on complaints about trappers trespassing and not checking their traps within the required time.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a report about possible overlimits of crappies coming from an area lake. When checking the area, no anglers were found, but further investigation will continue in this area. Officer Lee also received a complaint about a portable shelter left on an area lake for a long period of time with no shelter identification and a large amount of litter left around it. Officer Lee located the shelter in question and confirmed no shelter identification was present along with litter around the shelter. While he investigated the complaint, the reporting party became uncooperative and agitated, and began yelling and arguing with others in the area, along with Officer Lee. While trying to calm and speak with the reporting party, CO Lee observed that the party appeared to be intoxicated. While checking the reporting party’s information with the sheriff’s department, CO Lee learned that he was on probation, and was restricted to no use of alcohol. The party was advised of this violation, and that his probation officer would be notified of the violation.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) spoke at a natural resources law enforcement class to a small group of adults who were interested in becoming conservation officers. Officer Guida also assisted with training at Camp Ripley, and worked with the local county attorney’s office regarding an intoxicated boater who was arrested on the water this past summer.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) saw heavy angling activity on just about every lake in her area, but the bite was slow. With the slow bite, one angler thought putting a couple of extra lines out would help his odds. When CO Peterson confronted him, he stated that his friend had the lines and had just stepped away. After further investigation, he admitted they were his lines. She also located an angler on Big Sandy with an illegal-length walleye.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake and other area lakes. The CO also met with DNR Wildlife staff on a wildlife issue at a local farm, and lots of law-related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated burglary activity on an area lake regarding a shelter break-in. The information was turned over to the local sheriff’s department for follow-up. CO Speldrich is investigating an incident on an area lake in which a syringe was located and found to contain methamphetamine. Charges are expected for the controlled substance violation.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls during the week regarding trash near ice shelters, questions about burning permits, and questions about nuisance animals. He spent time checking anglers, monitored public accesses, and followed up on littering complaints.
WREO Rob Haberman investigated a possible wetland violation in the Lake Mille Lacs area. WREO Haberman and federal, state, and county staff conducted a site review and will continue follow-up.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) participated in a work crew on Lake Osakis during the weekend. While working the detail, CO Silgjord located one angler with an overlimit of crappies and other anglers attempting to take fish with unattended lines. CO Silgjord also transferred several bald eagles to a federal wildlife officer so they could be sent to the National Eagle Repository. The eagles were hit by vehicles or had struck power lines. Once the eagles are received, the repository will evaluate, store, and distribute the dead bald eagles, parts, and feathers to Native Americans who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes throughout the United States.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting wetland follow-up and serving restoration orders.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) picked up a fisher a farmer had shot that he found in his chicken coop and issued road-kill deer permits. A call about an eagle nest possibly being destroyed was investigated, with the call turning out to be unfounded.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller assisted with a snowmobile work crew in Cook County. Enforcement work concentrated on speed, snowmobiles with excessive noise, and registration.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) continued to work on a deer case from last fall. CO Musatov also spoke at a lake association meeting about local issues.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) received a few calls about accidentally trapped fishers in the area.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) continues to investigate a number of big-game cases with charges pending. He also followed up on a nuisance-animal call. CO Sladek wants everyone who has a pet dog or cat to keep them in control and on their property. This is the time of the year he receives a number of calls about dogs chasing deer and cats sitting under people’s bird feeders.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended a public deer input meeting in Prior Lake with district officers. Calls were investigated regarding trap tampering, set lines, trespassing while fishing and hunting, and animal-related nuisance calls.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling activity in the Mound station. He also answered questions from the Hmong community about the small-game season and ice-fishing regulations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) conducted monthly inspections of aeration permits. With the assistance of CO Brad Johnson, he finished a falconry inspection in Richfield.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) responded to a complaint about vehicles being driven carelessly on area lakes.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports a big-game investigation was completed with enforcement action taken and a deer seized.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week following up on wetland-related case files and complaints. WREO Block also assisted multiple agencies in Jordan with a manhunt for a wanted person.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports a deer was found shot by the city of Benson, near Minnesota Hwy. 9 and County Road 20. No usable portion of the deer was removed. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIP line at (800) 652-9093. This officer also assisted with searching for two missing people in Lincoln County.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) assisted with the search for two missing people on Lake Benton in Lincoln County. Multiple agencies have been involved in the search, which included the use of DNR Enforcement airboats. Ice safety continues to be a topic of conversation.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations, coyote hunters, and ice anglers.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) assisted with another TIP complaint stemming from Red Lake. An aeration inspection was completed. She also assisted with the water confidence class at Camp Ripley for the State Patrol academy.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked mostly angling enforcement. Time also was spent working ATV and snowmobile enforcement.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked a fishing contest on Clear Lake.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked ice anglers, fish shelters, and ATV and snowmobile operators. Commercial inspections were performed.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked lakes for angling activity. ATV and trapping activities also were monitored.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking ice anglers, ATV operators, and predator hunters. Additional time was spent following up on complaints from the public regarding the previous deer season.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working snowmobiling and angling activities. A presentation was given at the Austin Chapter 10 Izaak Walton League monthly meeting.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) reports assistance was given to law enforcement officers from another state regarding big-game animal and waterfowl investigations.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking ATVing and snowmobiling activity, along with angling. He encountered various registration issues and youth passengers without helmets. A report of a person illegally possessing a red fox was handled.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports squirrel and rabbit hunters had another good week of hunting. He attended a two-day meeting addressing goals laid out in the new strategic plan.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports attending court on deer cases from the fall deer season. Time also was spent checking coyote hunters. One subject was found to be trapping coyotes and raccoons without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking angling activity. Time also was spent working on items for the deer committee and checking ATVers.