Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – September 11th, 2015f

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked both the bear season opener and early goose opener. 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad), with neighboring partners, met with staff from DNR Forestry/Wildlife, Beltrami Island State Forest, and Hayes Lake State Park in order to discuss the issue of illegal permanent stands and left-behind personal property on state land.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a very busy bear opener and early goose opener. CO Prachar has seen some large flocks come through Lake of the Woods County, but they are varied and sporadic.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor bear-hunting activity in the area, assisted the State Patrol with an impaired driver, and provided a ride-along opportunity for a law enforcement candidate.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked the busy Labor Day holiday, with many anglers and boaters taking to the water with the late-season hot weather.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) checked a few dove hunters and found various fishing, AIS, and hunting-related violations.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked waterfowling, angling, and ATVing. He had calls about a dead, banded bird, bear-hunting violations, and trespass.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) monitored the last days of recreational boating on area lakes.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) reports a youth-size ATV operator was stopped when the officer observed a youth operator without a helmet and two youth passengers not wearing helmets. It was determined the operator was only 8 years old and decided to go for a ride without telling Dad. The children were loaded and transported back to their residence after failed attempts to contact the parents. The officer and children arrived at a residence to find an angry dad waiting for them on the deck. The dad had woken up from a nap and discovered the ATV and kids missing. The importance of wearing helmets and following ATV regulations was explained to the children. No tickets were issued, but video game privileges have been revoked by Dad for the time being.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with the potential new conservation officer interviews at Camp Ripley. Interviews ran for four days, with as many as seven panels and up to seven interviews a day.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports enforcement action was taken for unregistered bear baits.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and early goose hunters. The early goose season was the poorest seen in several years, with no geese around and few hunters out.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received a complaint about harassment of a deer swimming in a lake; the public is reminded to give wildlife space, as chasing wildlife with a motor vehicle is illegal and can harm or contribute to the death of the animal.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring bear baiting, goose hunting, angling, AIS, and boat and water safety activity. Enforcement action was taken for unplugged guns, no federal stamps, no state stamps, angling without license in possession, a juvenile under 18 without a helmet on an ATV, and transporting aquatic vegetation without a permit.

WREO Joe Stattelman investigated shots fired close to a public access. It was found that two neighbors had been shooting a bee hive out of a tree. As CO Stattelman explained the danger of where the pellets may fall due to the large number of people in the area and on the lake, two neighbors pulled up and informed the shooters that their wives and children had just been rained on by falling pellets on their deck and had run into the house for cover. At least three rounds of pellets hit their deck. The shooters quickly realized their mistake and apologized.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) observed the fewest geese and possibly the fewest hunters in many years.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) handled complaints about trespassing (shooting too close to buildings) and destroying bulrush in public waters.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated bear-hunting complaints, and enforcement action was taken for unregistered bear baits, operating unregistered ATVs, and operating an ATV in a wildlife management area.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) received and investigated a TIP complaint about illegal hunting in the vacant Wheaton station, as well as illegal dirt bike operation.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports participation in the early goose hunt was down from past years, but warm weather brought out a lot of fishermen and boaters for Labor Day weekend.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a special AIS detail.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports the September goose season saw limited participation and few birds being taken.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) spent the majority of the week teaching fishing laws and patrol methods at the academy.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) fielded calls about a sick pelican, nuisance bears, dead loon, and people cutting aquatic plants.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) checked bear hunters and illegal cross country travel to bait and refresh bear baits. Reminder, cross-country travel or off-road travel is allowed only for retrieval of legally harvested big-game animals by licensed hunters during the month of September.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports enforcement action was taken for illegal-length sturgeon, failure to validate sturgeon tags, transporting unmeasurable and unidentifiable fish, no angling license in possession, illegal ATV operation, and transport of a loaded firearm.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV, unlawfully transport a loaded firearm, no angling license in possession, failure to validate sturgeon tag, possess/transport unmeasurable fish, and failure to remove drain plug.  

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes, checking public access sites, patrolling area forest roads and responding to questions from the public.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated a possible illegal bear taken, but it proved to be an unfounded complaint. The officer also investigated hunter harassment, illegal posting of public land, a hunting stand in state park, illegal bait stations, and illegal hunting of beaver. The officer also responded to a moose killed by a vehicle.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports a frequent visitor to the local state park was found altering his annual vehicle park permit to squeeze out a couple of extra months. However, his efforts failed.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked early season goose hunters. One group of seven hunters took their limit in less than an hour on opening morning. Enforcement action was taken on other goose hunters for no state or federal stamp and no PFDs.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was given a gelatin substance that was found attached to a boat lift; the substance will be looked at by water specialist. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports nuisance-bear reports have picked up again, with a number of issues outside of Ely.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports bear complaints are still coming in and they seem to be everywhere, as the CO has seen more bears this year than ever before while driving around.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked bear hunters and bear bait stations. Numerous hunters have opted not to register their bait stations this season; paperwork will be sent to many of these individuals.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) made several ATV contacts with enforcement action taken for illegal juvenile operation, expired registration, operating on roadways without a driver’s license, and no OHM registration.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear-hunting activity. Many hunters were successful early.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking bear hunters, ATVers, and anglers.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted Lake County search and rescue personnel with locating four hikers who became lost on the Superior hiking trail. After approximately five hours of searching, the hikers were found tired but in good condition.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) spent most of the week monitoring bear-hunting activity.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted the county with a suicidal male.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time following up with activity involving the illegal use of motor vehicles in a state forest classified as “limited.” Driving off a signed forest road is illegal in a limited state forest unless the trail is posted open.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting without a state waterfowl stamp, hunting without a federal waterfowl stamp, hunting without small-game license and for not having a plug in a waterfowling gun.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, bear hunters, ATVers, state parks, and goose hunters.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working bear-hunting activity.

CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) assisted with a TIP complaint and took calls on boating and ricing regulations. CO Velsvaag found several ATVers in areas closed to motorized use and took enforcement action.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports many people were out using ATVs during the holiday weekend, with the most common violation encountered being operating on the road.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) received calls and complaints about nuisance animals, unlawful ATV use, bear bait registration, ricing, early goose season and trapping.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) responded to a TIP call in which people were suspected of shooting ducks on an area lake. Without any proof and the suspects denying it, there was no way to prove that it happened. A citation was issued for an ATV violation that was observed while he looked for the suspected violators.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports enforcement action was taken for multiple boating violations.     

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including working the bear and early goose season openers, checking wild rice harvest and fishing activity, and patrol of the Crow Wing State Forest and Cuyuna Country State Recreational area.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with training for the CO Academy.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) fielded calls of possible fish overlimits, commercial minnow dealer violations, and nuisance beaver complaints.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports a TIP call resulted in enforcement action for no angling license, wanton waste, false application for a husband/wife license, and taking fish during the closed season.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a trespassing complaint was addressed and a gill net was seized from an individual who was using it to attempt to take fish. According to the violator, the net was made in Mexico where it was legal to use. He also said that it was a gift from his mother and was usually displayed as a decoration on the wall of his restaurant.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on weed roller permits and assisted with the hiring process for new conservation officers.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assisting with teaching new conservation officers at Camp Ripley during the week.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on a shining complaint in which a farmer reported a vehicle occupant shining a fenced in pasture with a spotlight. The suspect and his passenger were interviewed and issued a citation for the violation.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports some off-highway vehicle registration violations were found, along with some parents who allowed their kids to unsafely ride ATVs and dirt bikes out on the roadways.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) issued nuisance-beaver permits, and spent time checking anglers around Pine City.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Keith Bertram (WREO) checked a few goose hunters with poor success reported. 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports one ATV operator was stopped after the officer noticed his two juvenile passengers were without helmets and the machine was not displaying registration. The stop revealed the operator also had an open container of alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week at Camp Ripley, teaching angling enforcement to the new conservation officers.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted a fire investigation in which a structure was burned illegally under an unauthorized burning permit.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for an Amish firearms safety class.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a dogs-chasing-deer complaint, with the dogs’ owners found and enforcement action taken. The dogs were found to be the same dogs that had killed a fawn a year ago in the neighborhood.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) assisted a neighboring officer with a turtle investigation.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) fielded calls in regards to waterfowl hunting.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked an ATV detail in Pine County, checked bear and goose hunters, patrolled local lakes, and had ride-alongs.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked aquatic plant management permits, and a trespass was handled.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) instructed at the academy during the week.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) spent the week participating in the interview panel for applicants applying for the academy scheduled to start in 2016.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) took enforcement action for no small-game license, no APM permit for a weed roller, and wanton waste of mourning doves.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the dove and goose opener, finding quite a few people hunting but having mixed success.

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers, goose hunters, and working an ATV detail in Pine County.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) investigated a TIP about a possible goose overlimit and answered questions about open seasons.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) took enforcement action for several violations involving early goose season hunters.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) had site inspections with the area hydrologist and aquatic plant management specialist regarding an illegal sand blanket case and various aquatic vegetation cases on White Bear Lake.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a shoreline violation, patrolled wildlife management areas, and assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency with a suspicious person.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy holiday weekend checking boaters on the river. Dove and early goose opener brought many people into the fields.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spoke at a firearms safety class in Rosemount and responded to miscellaneous animal-related calls and hunting questions.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) assisted the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office with a search for a 2-year-old girl who walked into a cornfield west of Marshall. Multiple agencies and fire departments assisted, and the toddler was located with no injuries. 

CO Doug Lage (Marshal) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked commercial minnow dealers. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports a freezer full of rotten raccoons was discovered dumped on Mariah WMA.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) completed K-9 demonstrations during the State Fair.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) received multiple nuisance-beaver complaints and followed up on a trespass complaint.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked dove and goose hunters and ATV activity.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) would like to remind hunters it is their responsibility to know what licenses they need, not the store clerk’s.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated a complaint of damage to DNR property.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including the dove opener and the September goose season.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) documented a variety of hunting offenses in citations and warnings.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) addressed a complaint about dogs chasing deer.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked numerous dove hunters, and many hunters are experiencing success. 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) focused enforcement efforts for the week on angling, AIS compliance, and monitoring ATV activity.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) responded to a TIP call about illegal goose-hunting activity. Multiple violations were encountered regarding goose hunting and trespassing issues.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent time working the State Fair DNR information booth where he fielded a variety of questions from the public.

WREO Julie Siems conducted K9 demonstrations at the State Fair, as well as offering AIS education talks.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports anglers did well on the river and trout streams, with limits and overlimits taken. 

CO Phil George (Rochester) investigated a trespass complaint.

CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports receiving complaints about ginseng diggers trespassing. He also finished up a case in which raccoons were taken illegally. Bear damage to a cornfield was reported by a farmer.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports goose hunters were out in force and many geese were around, but bag check revealed success was down a little from previous years.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports responding to several nuisance-animal complaints, working on an issue related to some illegal docks on Lake Pepin, and meeting with a park manager about an upcoming special hunt.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a few ginseng hunters were out and commenting about the mosquitoes and heat.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated an illegal-dock complaint and received another call about a rattlesnake in a resident’s yard.

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