Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – November 13th, 2015
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) took action on a party of hunters whose pile of beets outside their cabin aided their hunt from deer stands. A call was taken regarding a poached timber wolf, but it turned out to be a coyote.
CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, shooting big game from a roadway, failing to validate tags, no state park pass, and failing to display ATV registration.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports enforcement action was taken on hunters hunting over bait, shooting a deer from the roadway, transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle, and driving after cancellation.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) judged a wildlife contest for the Warren Community Health Fair, investigated the scene of a dead bull elk, and worked the firearms deer-opening weekend.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) followed up on a case of a deer taken out of season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) worked the 2015 rifle deer season this weekend. Hunting-related trespass complaints were received.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) responded to a rolling domestic, trespass, and dead swan.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted with timber trespass.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked with DNR Forestry case, and with the county attorney on a timber trespass case that included the illegal cutting of more than 7,000 black spruce tops.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) received complaints regarding hunting deer over bait, trespassing, and hunter harassment.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) took TIP calls about stands placed too close to houses and questions about what constitutes bait for deer hunting.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked deer hunters. Corrective action was taken on various violations regarding baiting, transporting loaded firearms, and untagged site tags.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent time checking pheasant and duck hunters.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received calls in regards to dogs chasing deer and reminds the public to tie or fence their dogs up to prevent these incidents from occurring.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted CO Osborne and Lt. Shelden with a baiting case. Numerous questions were answered relating to various activities, and a complaint of someone stealing beaver traps was received.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a complaint about using an ATV on a WMA, but the operator had a special permit. Night shining activity was worked, and a busy opening deer firearms weekend was worked.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen, waterfowl hunters, and deer hunters.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked deer hunters and small-game hunters.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a number of young hunters were successful in killing their first deer.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) monitored fishing activity and investigated wetland complaints.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) investigated a TIP call about an illegal archery deer.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) spent time following up on deer-baiting complaints, hunter harassment, and trespass complaints.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked one hunter who stated he had been hunting for 71 years and this was the first time he had been checked by a warden. The seasoned hunter stated he was glad he had been purchasing licenses all these years.
CO Samantha Hunter (Park Rapids) handled calls about illegal road hunting.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports finding several deer stands left in wildlife management areas before the deer season opener.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) contacted several deer-hunting parties throughout opening weekend. Hunter success was better than years past, as several deer were harvested.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) responded to a call about a person with a loaded firearm, found unconscious near a trail. After further investigation, it was found the individual was under the influence of alcohol. CO Broughten arrested the individual for hunting while intoxicated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reminds people that all bait needs to be removed completely 10 days prior to hunting or to be prepared to face seizure of firearm, loss of big-game hunting privileges for one year, and a $400 fine.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) listened to a few stories about youths shooting their first deer.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports one of the poorest deer openers in recent years. Few hunters and even fewer deer observed harvested. A number of traditional camps were vacant.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated illegal traps. A large number of hunters were found to be hunting deer over bait. They were cited, and their firearms were seized.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent the week prior to deer season locating baited deer stands. The officer then spent most of the first day of the season working the baited sites, ending with five cited. One hunter over bait had no deer-hunting license, was borrowing another person’s license, and was not wearing enough blaze orange. The partner also was hunting over bait and wore no blaze orange.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) observed a very slow opening weekend of the firearms deer season. Most hunters reported seeing does and fawns, but few bucks were seen and fewer were taken.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked earlier-found baited sites for the 10-day compliance and found most cleaned up their sites. Fredin took care of a doe mistaken for a buck that was accidentally shot.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a less-active deer opener this year, with about two-thirds the number of hunters seen north of Ely in the Echo Trail area. Although there were fewer hunters checked, the number of illegal deer baits located increased dramatically with over double the number of hunters cited this year.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked one hunter who was just leaving his truck to head to his stand without wearing blaze orange. A quick donning of the orange remedied the situation. The CO dealt with several whitefish-netting violations during the week. Nets were set too deep, with no names on nets, and nets too close to others.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports that baiting continues to be an issue, and several hunters received paperwork and were relieved of their firearms for trying to get an unfair advantage over other hunters.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked an extremely busy deer opener. Many baited stands were visited on opening weekend with enforcement action taken, including seizure of a large buck.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunting activity. Much of his time was spent on trespassing and baiting issues.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the deer opener. Several contacts were made with people hunting over bait. Citations were issued, and firearms were seized.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked firearms deer opener with the assistance of a few other officers.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, trespassing, shooting within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling, and wounding or killing someone’s domestic animal.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) investigated multiple hunter-harassment complaints, with charges pending.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) located a lost hunter. Hunter success was spotty in the area.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy deer opener.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked ATVers, trappers, and firearms deer hunters.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) responded to a complaint about a felon in possession of a firearm.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) received several calls about whitefish-netting regs and deer hunting questions.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) and COC spent the week with deer hunters in the Brookston and Duluth areas.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked night deer-shining complaint areas. Many people were checked during the weekend, and few harvested deer were observed.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked a few late-season duck hunters during the week, with mixed results reported. A complaint about a minnow trap in a designated trout lake was received and is under investigation.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody gave a demo to Barnum elementary first-graders. Lots of deer-season activity was worked this past week.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) took enforcement action for hunting over bait for two separate groups.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked deer hunters on a warm and windy opening weekend. A hunter on a very remote stand was found with a pile of corn in his shooting lane, despite being well aware of the criminal penalties, hunting revocation, and firearm forfeiture provisions.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) reports one incident in which somebody drove into another camp and cut down a hanging buck, loaded it in their pickup, and drove away.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a report about parties possibly hunting with firearms in the Crosslake refuge. Upon investigation, four parties were located well within the refuge boundaries.
CO Guida (Brainerd) investigated a deer-baiting incident, and enforcement action was taken for stands being left overnight on wildlife management areas.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked trapping and waterfowl enforcement during the week.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting deer without a license, taking deer over bait, failing to validate deer tags, and a nonresident buying a resident deer license.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked with neighboring COs on complaints about vehicles on closed forest roads in the Pillsbury forest. Deer-baiting complaints were investigated; corn, apples, and pumpkins seem to be the most common bait. Anglers that went out had fair success; walleyes and northerns were the most active. A complaint about duck decoys left unattended overnight received enforcement time.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked a case of several deer taken out of season, deer-baiting cases, and several trespass issues.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity of checking waterfowl hunters, trapping, fall fishing activity, firearms deer hunters, and responding to numerous issues surrounding the firearms deer opener.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked deer season, including complaints about litter, trespassing, baiting, and hunters that had been drinking.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) addressed issues with seven different hunters hunting over bait; firearms were seized and citations were issued. Some hunters with deer were found with unvalidated deer licenses.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) gave assistance to the local sheriff’s office with assisting a party who had become stranded in the woods, and a permit was issued for a car-kill bear.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) reports one hunter was caught going to his stand with three loaded firearms on his ATV, and he had bait at his deer stand. A hunter-harassment call was investigated. Several antlerless deer were mistakenly taken by youth in the bucks-only zone. Another adult hunter accidentally shot a doe in the buck-only zone. The deer were confiscated and donated, and enforcement action was taken for the violations.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took numerous pre-deer season calls about a multitude of issues.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a COC investigated hunting over baited stands that included corn, pumpkins, and feed blocks.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted area officers with documenting baited locations through the week.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area WMAs and state forests.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked deer hunters, anglers, AIS, waterfowl, and ATV enforcement.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) investigated a baiting complaint that resulted in the seizure of two firearms and a deer. CO Silgjord would like to remind hunters that to utilize a tag on a deer, the licensee must be afield when the deer is taken.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) and a COC followed up on a deer-shining investigation.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, AIS, and big-game hunters.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled blaze-orange violations. Background investigations are wrapping up.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls), with help from another officer, followed up on a hunter who had taken a deer during archery season, did not register it, and purchased a duplicate archery tag to keep hunting. The hunter also had a felony warrant from another state. The guy’s hunting buddy also got interviewed and was found to have not registered his deer.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports that deer season brought the typical number of trespass complaints and property line squabbles; advice and direction were provided as needed. Deer-shining complaints have become more common, with plans to conduct surveillance in several spots.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) issued a number of summonses and written warnings for hunting deer over baited area, allowing juveniles to violate a game laws, trespassing, PFD violations, and leaving deer stands overnight in the Sherburne refuge
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended a district meeting, had a ride-along, checked anglers and hunters, and continues to conduct a background investigation.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) and a COC patrolled Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties during the week.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) received and investigated several trespassing calls and shooting complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) worked the busy firearms deer opener in Benton, Sherburne, and Wright counties.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) reports enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered ATV, operating an unregistered OHM, illegal operation of an OHM by a juvenile, no OHM safety training, and hunting deer with the aid of bait.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) attended a regional safety meeting.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted another CO with a gross misdemeanor violation that involved several suspects who live in the metro area. He also checked duck hunters.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) assisted a southeast Minnesota officer with an individual who had an outstanding warrant in St. Paul.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) checked several waterfowl hunters.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked with other area COs in assisting Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials with an elk case, certified ginseng for a Maplewood resident, and handled a hunter-harassment complaint.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) handled TIP calls and patrolled wildlife management areas for treestands being left overnight.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) appeared in Anoka County court for a trial involving trespass in the Carlos Avery WMA sanctuary. The suspect was convicted of obstruction of justice and was ordered to stay out of the WMA for one year.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports enforcement action for the week included shooting from a motor vehicle, failure to validate a tag, and illegal party hunting for bucks in the 300 series permit areas.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) gave assistance to the Swift County Sheriff’s Office regarding a hunting accident.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) investigated multiple complaints, including shooting at big game from roadway, chasing deer with a motor vehicle, trespassing, and a parent allowing a minor to violate game laws.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that above-normal temperatures have waterfowl hunters in a stall pattern as the area waits for some new northern migration.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports a large hunting party was cited for erecting numerous treestands on a WMA a week before the firearms opener. The presence of these illegally placed stands on the WMA unfairly forced many local hunters to try and find another place to hunt opening morning.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked primarily deer, waterfowl, small-game, and fishing enforcement activities.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on trespassing complaints. Denz also educated boaters about AIS laws.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) responded to one hunting accident during the weekend to assist Meeker County officers.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) and a COC noted several flocks of diving ducks in the area, as well as migrating lesser Canada geese.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to complaints about a raccoon being left in the ditch, a dispute over a deer, and a verbal dispute over hunting public land.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports violations of blaze orange were common, along with allowing illegal activity by a juvenile. Numerous questions were fielded regarding big-game laws, many of which have never changed.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) made several shining cases.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked one hunter wearing a camouflage shirt. He was hunting in area 291, a lottery area, but thought he was in the Metro Deer Area 601. When asked what county he was in, he named a county three counties away. That county is not in the metro deer area, either. After the hunter admitted that he needed to review the regulations booklet, he was supplied with a fresh copy.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) responded to TIP calls.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational vehicle enforcement.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) investigated a number of TIP calls and complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking small-game hunters, trappers, and archery deer hunters.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports there seems to be a higher-than-average number of trespass complaints.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy deer season opener. Trespass calls were down from previous years.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports several citizens took the time to make some very important phone calls to the TIP line that resulted in COs catching up with some violators who took several illegal deer.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports duck hunting was slow.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, waterfowling and trapping enforcement on the Mississippi River.