Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – January 15th, 2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods’ south shore, Knight Island, and the Northwest Angle.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement this past week. As ice conditions continue to improve, more and more people are venturing out and away from marked roads and trails, so keep in mind that there were still areas with as little as 4 inches of ice as of last Friday.
CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) reports a commercial minnow dealer inspection was completed regarding a local minnow deal with the help of CO Regas and CO Benjamin.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor area fishing and snowmobiling activity. Calls about a vehicle stuck in a wildlife management area, car-killed deer, and illegal dumping of carcasses were addressed. CO Woinarowicz also investigated the possible illegal taking of a bobcat, and multiple vehicles in state parks without permits.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent investigating TIP calls, assisting a neighboring officer with minnow dealer inspections, investigating a complaint about a bait dealer selling frozen minnows without VHS-free certification, and working an ongoing deer-hunting case.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports giving a snowmobile laws presentation to members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Time also was spent checking anglers on area lakes and rivers.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received a call about a wetland violation and a car-kill deer, and attended a sportsmen club meeting.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) and a COC continued to see an increased number of ice anglers as temperatures dropped and ice thickened. The COs began investigating a timber trespass complaint on a wildlife management area. A call about a frozen swan was taken. The COs found the swan bogged down with heavy ice on its wings. The COs scared the animal into walking to open water where the ice melted from its wings and the bird swam away.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, worked fur registration, and followed up on deer-registration data.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) took complaints about taking too many fish, illegal activity on WMAs, and angling on a trout lake before the season opened.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) investigated a complaint about hunter harassment and failure to tend traps.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing shelters continue to go out with better ice conditions from the cold weather during the weekend. However, two fish houses found the water due to a lack of ice in isolated areas.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with fur registration at the Wadena location and taught two snowmobile safety classes.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) reports complaints were handled regarding litter, dogs chasing deer, and ATVers on roadways.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, snowmobilers, and ATVers. Violations for the week included spearing without a license, angling with extra lines, expired ATV registration, angling without licenses in possession, and failure to display shelter licenses.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing/spearing, snowmobiling, and ATVing enforcement throughout the station. Follow up work was completed on open trapping, deer-hunting, and wetland cases.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking trappers, fishermen, ATVers, and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent patrolling Glacial Lakes State Park.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked snowmobile trails and ice anglers. Parthun also assisted local law enforcement officers with a call involving shots fired and a suspect fleeing.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports ice-angling activity is increasing with the improving ice conditions. Anglers are encouraged to use caution as thicknesses are still variable in areas. Furs were registered after the close of the bobcat and otter seasons, and car-kill deer permits were issued. A car-killed bald eagle was picked up, as well.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers in the area. Most anglers are using snowmobiles and ATVs to access fishing locations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring trapping, angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity. Snowmobile trails are in poor shape.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) attended the funeral of retired conservation officer Lt. Julie Olson. Olson was a mentor to many officers, both new and veteran.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continues field training with a conservation officer candidate. The COs began investigating a timber trespass complaint on a wildlife management area. A snowmobile safety field class was conducted and included 25 young riders.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) reports monitoring angling, spearing, and snowmobiling activity throughout the area. Ice conditions are improving, with anglers using ATVs and snowmobiles to reach their favorite spots.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and checking anglers. Area forest roads were checked. Public access sites were checked, and equipment work was completed.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated a case in which a dog was killed by a wolf on Lake Vermilion. The dog was just let out to relieve itself, and was grabbed only yards from the home. The officer also investigated a deer that had been dumped on private property. A wounded deer was reported in the Soudan area, but the officer was unable to locate it.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity, and registered bobcats and otters. Not having licenses in possession for two anglers was the least of the pair’s worries, as the smell of marijuana coming from within the fish house was obvious. One angler gave up the baggy and was cited. A trapper registering otters hadn’t obtained his site tags (which are supposed to be in hand and validated at the site of the kill) until nearly a month after he trapped and transported the otter. He didn’t take into account that the purchase date and time is stamped on the tags and officers have access to the license transactions electronically.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) prepared reports for court stemming from an arrest with deputies from the St Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked some ice fishermen, and ice conditions have improved with the colder weather. A lot of places have 8 inches now, but caution still needs to be the rule, and the deep snow that has fallen has altered how the late ice has formed.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) says anglers are reporting that water is gushing up through holes they cut on some lakes.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled GIA snowmobile trails and checked sledders. The officer also checked a few anglers and cross-country ski passes.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers on area lakes. More recreational vehicles and even a few cars are being used now, but ice thickness continues to be wildly inconsistent.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) said a final farewell to a mentor, co-worker, and great friend. Lt. Julie Olson (ret.) played a big role in CO Schottenbauer’s professional development. Olson was laid to rest this past weekend and will be missed greatly by CO Schottenbauer; fair winds and following seas.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobiling and angling activity during the week. CO Murray also responded to several car vs. deer incidents on Hwy. 61 as deer seem to be on the move.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) went to a meeting with DNR Forestry in Deer River. He also assisted with fur-tagging, checked anglers, and patrolled for snowmobile activity.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, worked trapping enforcement. He said farewell to Julie Olson, one of the nicest people and hardest-working COs to serve the state of Minnesota.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking angling activity and finishing up with cases from the archery deer season. CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers in the area, with enforcement action taken for no angling license in possession and failing to have a shelter license on a permanent fish house.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing activity. He checked anglers and worked some ATV/snowmobile enforcement. CO Wichmann also handled wildlife calls and followed up on deer season violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on a trespassing complaint. Calls about injured and nuisance animals were handled.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several calls were received from ranchers concerned about continuing conflicts between their cattle and wolves. There’s still not enough snow to be well groomed.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile and an unlawful snorkel device on an ATV.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted the DNR Division of Wildlife with the last fur-tagging day that otters and bobcats were required to be brought in and tagged. A meeting was attended with the Minnesota Trappers Association.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the St Louis Harbor, where ice conditions remain questionable. Cross-country ski passes were checked at area trails, with disappointing compliance rates among many skiers checked.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) assisted with fur registration, seized an accidentally caught fisher, monitored a few snowmobilers out on the trails, and checked anglers on area lakes.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) took enforcement action on a group of contractors and carpenters who were observing their tip-ups during their lunch break; the tip-ups were over 430 feet away. The measurement needed to be within 200 feet.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking ice anglers and darkhouse spearers, cross-country skiers, and trapping activity.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, spearing, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement. The officer and other district COs also attended a funeral for former officer Julie Olson.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued training with a COC. The officers attended air boat training in Bemidji.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice conditions have improved, but slush and large pressure ridges have developed on Gull Lake and other area lakes. He worked complaints of speeding snowmobilers on Gull Lake.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) continued follow-up investigations on deer season cases. She also checked several anglers who were making it out, several for the first time.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week. CO Lee received a call from a party regarding debris and garbage left on an area lake. Information located at the scene led to a party being cited for littering and no angling license.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen around Lake Mille Lacs. Assistance was given to the DNR Wildlife Division on a case of damage to crops by deer, along with many hunting-, trapping-, fishing-, and snowmobile-related law questions answered throughout the week and weekend. The CO assisted a party who had gotten stuck on the edge of an area township road, and assistance was given to the State Patrol with a driving complaint.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the funeral of retired DNR Lt. Julie Olson. Speldrich also received information regarding dogs chasing deer. The dogs were caught on a trail camera video, chasing the deer.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time at fur-tagging day, helping with the registration of bobcats and otters.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking ice conditions and monitoring anglers in the Pine City area. He received calls regarding trespassing, trapping, and public waters.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports assistance was provided to the Todd County Sheriff’s Office with a suicidal subject who was believed to be on an area lake. CO Silgjord located the subject and found him to be safe and doing a little late-night angling.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports that while checking fishermen, several ATVs were found with expired registration. A snowmobiler was operating his sled without the required muffler, and enforcement action was taken. A complaint was received about coyote hunters shooting too close to a residence.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) continues talking to hunters who used bonus tags in lottery deer areas and landowners who illegally obtained the free landowner deer license (they were found to not be actively farming 80 acres of land). Kuske found two separate anglers fishing with extra lines. One angler had a tip-up, a fishing pole down, and was holding a spear over a spear hole when checked. When asked how many lines the person was using, the angler looked up and said, “Too many.”
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) and a COC spent the week on fishing, snowmobiling, and ATVing enforcement. The COC also presented at two snowmobile safety classes. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and ATV registration issues, an overlimit of crappies, extra lines, minor consumption of alcohol, and possession of marijuana.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a trespass complaint and the taking of a deer without a license. Follow-up was done regarding fur that had not been legally registered.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and State Patrol with the search for a missing child. The child was located and returned home, a little scared but OK.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) focused her attention on snowmobiling and angling enforcement in Scott County. Leuthardt also attended snowmobile training in Bigfork during the week.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice-fishing and snowmobiling activities in the west metro area. He visited a local bait shop in Victoria and responded to animal-related complaints. He also is assisting a California warden with a possible hunting violation.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked fishing and ATV enforcement on area lakes. She continued mentoring law enforcement students from Century College with an assignment they had regarding the duties of a CO. CO Kruse also handled a call regarding ginseng questions and is working on a few deer-related cases.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also conducted and assisted with interviews from cases left over from the deer season.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked ice anglers and snowmobilers during the week. He also responded to a call regarding an injured Canada goose in Maplewood.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring recreational vehicle activity. He also handled TIP complaints, answered calls about coyote hunting, and scheduled firearms safety classes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working ice fishermen, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. A few medium-size fish houses are showing up on area lakes; they’re being pulled onto the ice by ATVs.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting deer-hunting investigations, checking anglers, and working snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobiling and shelter registration violations.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) and a COC assisted CO Miska with a coyote tournament. CO Picht and the COC received a call from a frightened homeowner in Lac qui Parle County who observed two SUV-type vehicles being driven through adjacent properties, and shooting from the vehicles. The witness was afraid because of the shooting being so close to the residence. One of the SUVs was white and had a coyote on top. CO Picht is asking for assistance in identifying the occupants of the SUVs.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. He also followed up on complaints from the deer season and spoke about ice conditions on a local radio program.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking anglers. A few anglers were reminded that the trout season is not open until Jan. 16, while other anglers were caught using too many lines. Klehr also participated in a work detail in Big Stone County during a coyote-hunting tournament.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked snowmobiling and limited ice-fishing enforcement. Oberg also followed up on a call about a dead bald eagle on an area lake.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked sportfishing, small-game hunting, and snowmobiling activity. Gruhlke also completed his radio program with KKOJ, discussing topics including snowmobile law, open seasons, and ice safety.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, ATV and snowmobile operators, trappers, and small-game hunters during the week. Snowmobile safety presentations were given in Hope and Mantorville.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) received a report from a concerned citizen that a group of snow and Canada geese were frozen in the Cedar River. The geese were merely resting on the ice before continuing on their way.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, snowmobilers, and ATV operators. Time also was spent following up on TIP calls and other complaints.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) continued training a COC. The officers worked anglers on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River and snowmobilers in Wabasha County. The officers also followed up on a TIP complaint about a car-killed deer taken without a permit, and continued an investigation of trespassing by deer hunters.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working small-game hunters, coyote hunters, and snowmobilers. CO Boyum also worked complaints about snowmobilers operating on cross-country ski trails.
CO Phil George (Rochester) and a COC contacted several ice anglers, and enforcement action was taken for possession of controlled substances. CO George and COC also investigated a public waters violation.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) and a COC noticed a plume of black smoke coming from behind a residence. A homeowner was burning prohibited materials.