MInnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 11th, 2016

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled Lake of the Woods and Lake Bronson. Assistance was given to CO Mishler in removing an illegal fishing shelter.  

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Anglers have until March 31 on Lake of the Woods (weather/ice conditions permitting) to remove their fish houses from the lake, but it is suggested they pay close attention to the ice conditions and mirror the activities of the resorts. 

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad), with the help of CO Landmark, has been following up with an ongoing case involving potentially illegal smelt being imported from Alaska and used for bait on Lake of the Woods. If you are buying frozen bait to use for fishing, the package must have VHS certification, and you need to retain that package while fishing with the bait. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action included angling license violations.  

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports a fish house was removed from Upper Red Lake that appeared to be abandoned. It did not have any form of identification, a license, or reflectors on it. Anglers must remember to get new 2016 fishing licenses.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers. Time also was spent working late-season trapping. Illegal stands were removed from a wildlife management area. 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received calls about car-killed animals, a calf killed by coyotes, work in wetlands, and things left on frozen lakes. The highlight of the week was a work detail shared with CO Gray, checking trout anglers and monitoring snowmobile trails in the Gunflint Trail area.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and participated in a work detail on the Gunflint Trail.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) investigated complaints about individuals leaving garbage on lakes after removing their shelters. CO Vollbrecht also responded to a complaint about a person dumping walleye carcasses in plastic bags on public property. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reminded a couple of anglers the new license year has arrived.  Issues between a permitted aeration permittee and neighboring lakeshore owners were addressed. A call was returned to a person who was concerned that eagles were killing local Canada geese. The caller had seen up to five eagles feeding on two dead geese. The caller was assured the goose/eagle relationship was just as it should be.    

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) attended the Red River Valley Sport Show and answered numerous questions from the public about invasive species. A complaint about a deer killed by dogs was addressed.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received a call about dogs chasing deer. CO Warren also assisted local police with a traffic stop.  

CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored shelter removal south of Hwy. 34, checked anglers, and worked ATV enforcement. Follow-up was completed on a deer season case with overlimit of deer charges. 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored recreational vehicle activity and angling throughout the area. CO Holt also continued to work a TIP complaint.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports most fish houses have found their way off the lakes, with most owners leaving no litter behind. Enforcement efforts were related to fishing and ATV violations.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored fish houses still on area lakes and investigated litter left behind.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, fish shelters, and ATVs throughout the week. Additional time was spent setting up a firearms safety class with local instructors.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) received complaints in the Alexandria station about ATVs on the Central Lakes Trail, accessing Lake Aldrich. The complaints were investigated, and enforcement action was taken for operating a motor vehicle on a state trail. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most of the week checking station lakes for angling activity as well as fish house removal.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) spent time monitoring predator-hunting activity and following up on calls for service regarding dead deer. Training was presented to DNR employees at the regional office.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) fielded calls from the public on firearms safety classes, fish house removal requirements, and area ice conditions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and OHM operators. Additional time was spent setting up an upcoming firearms safety class.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) researched easements on forest roads.  

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports a high school class was given assistance at a reality day with making life choices. Assistance was provided at a medical call, and a wolf-related complaint was received.

CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) reports enforcement action was taken for shelters without shelter licenses, improperly identified shelters, no angling license in possession, failure to purchase a 2016 angling license, and transporting a loaded firearm.    

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) provided assistance to a Wisconsin conservation warden with a fur investigation. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and an unattended line.

CO Chelsey Collette (Remer) took a flight of her station to identify enforcement areas. Collette also handled a beaver-related nuisance complaint, as well as some local ATV issues. A tip call was handled in the Hill City station with CO Mlynar. Due to continued issues with the following situations, Collette reminds the public it is illegal to operate highway-licensed motor vehicles and ATVs on designated snowmobile trails from Dec. 1 until April 1.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, and snowmobiling activity.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) investigated a complaint about fishermen harassing each other on a lake. Officer Hunter also attended training and had a ride-along from a local high school career class.  

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and CO Van Asch assisted with a snowmobile enforcement detail that included officers from Voyageurs National Park, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department on Lake Kabetogama, Namakan Lake, and the Ash River. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) assisted Koochiching County deputies with a vehicle that had broken through the ice on Rainy Lake. Both the driver and passenger were able to exit the vehicle safely before it sank. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area snowmobile trails and checking area lakes, with little angling activity observed.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the busiest week of the season for snowmobiling activity. The water-skippers also were out on Vermilion. The officer took a number of complaints about the skips. The complaints were about garbage being left on the site, late-evening noise, trespassing, and snowmobile trail markers being run over intentionally.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports snowmobile water-skipping was again occurring on Lake Vermilion and officers found snowmobiles, ATVs, and off-highway motorcycles in use. One OHM driver wiped out in front of three officers in the rough, rutted-up snow on the ice. He had no registration on the machine.  The driver arranged for another way to get back, as he hurt his hip in the spill.  

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports some owners of ice shelters who left litter behind will be receiving citations for the violation.  

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports violations for the week included fishing without a license, angling on a designated trout lake with no trout stamp, and operating an unregistered snowmobile.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked inside and outside the BWCAW. Violations included fishing without a license, motorized equipment in the BWCAW, driving a truck on a GIA snowmobile trail, snowmobile speed, and loud exhaust.  

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) coordinated and worked a joint operation with Ontario officers along the border. The officer also attended a meeting about the proposed deer regulations along the North Shore. Enforcement action was taken for angling, drugs, and snowmobile violations. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, and completed equipment maintenance. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) took enforcement action for a license issue and made an arrest for an outstanding warrant. 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for an overlimit of fish. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) attended a career day at Itasca Community College where area high school students were exploring career options.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) taught a snowmobile safety class during the week.

District 8 – Duluth area  

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) attended the end-of-year Duluth city bowhunt meeting. No major changes are expected for next year.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) returned several calls. A small-game violation continues to be investigated. Time also was spent working on investigations with Wisconsin, Ontario, and USFWS officials.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) submitted reports on a baiting case to the county attorney for a pending hearing. A wetland restoration order extension letter was sent.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a K9 talk and demo was done at an area school with K9 Schody and Cloquet police and their K9 Raja. A complaint about deer believed to be poached in the Wrenshall area was looked into and is currently under investigation.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports some small boats are showing up on Lake Superior, trying to find and catch coho salmon. An injured deer suspected of being shot was investigated. The deer was not located in the area and the investigation continues.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and a few early boaters out trolling for salmon.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a complaint about prohibited material being burned at a residence. Upon arrival at the residence, CO Lee discovered that nothing was burning at the time, but material ranging from recliner chairs to automotive oils and greases and other prohibited materials had been burned. The area where the items were being burned was along a lake, and runoff of some of the chemicals had occurred. The individual involved was not located at the time, but the investigation continues.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) met with the county attorney’s office on pending cases and investigated a complaint about a landowner on a small lake posting property he does not own in an attempt to keep people off the lake.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked an angler who had accessed a remote lake by aircraft. The angler was unsuspecting of the contact, and expressed his appreciation for it, proudly displaying his new 2016 angling license. Officer Guida also worked with the Wildlife Section on a deer that was located in a corn crib. The deer, which was extremely emaciated, displayed an injury on its hoof consistent with an accidental snare catch and also had an injury to its neck that likely restricted consumption of food. The deer was dispatched and examined by wildlife staff. An eastern screech owl was recovered and donated to a local educational institution.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reminded anglers to remove all debris from the ice. While discussing this with one group of anglers, CO Ladd was told they wouldn’t dare leave litter on the ice since they believed she’d GPS-marked their fish houses.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports expanding open water around inlets and outlets, which drew some trapping activity as trappers made use of beaver sets they didn’t need to chip out.  

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended training at the St. Paul BCA. The officer is investigating big-game violations from the fall of 2015. 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) conducted follow-up on some cases from the early winter, and the county attorney was consulted on the matter. Two calls about calves taken by wolves were investigated in Pine County, and the investigation found the calves were taken by wolves.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a complaint about someone burning prohibited materials. It was discovered that a large amount of prohibited materials, including furniture, appliances, and plastics were burned. An investigation is being conducted.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) assisted a state trooper with a possible stolen fish house on the roadway and assisted with a county search warrant.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked anglers and ATVing activity.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled a state forest and WMAs for illegal ATV use.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a call about a diseased deer was taken in which a deer had wandered into a farmer’s machine shed. Samples from the deer were taken for testing.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) took care of a car-hit fisher.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted the local police with extra patrol at the Albany district schools for a possible threat.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a complaint about someone blowing up a beaver lodge with Tannerite.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on trapping information with neighboring COs.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a complaint call about two landowners possibly draining a wetland with drain tile installed and ditching adjacent to a wetland.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several wildlife-related complaints and investigated a litter case.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) investigated a fire that was negligently started by throwing out ashes from a wood burner, turning it into a grass fire.   

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) picked up an accidentally caught otter. He also assisted an officer with the interview of a suspect regarding an illegally taken deer.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a trapping complaint and handled several animal-related complaints.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spoke at a firearms safety class and helped with a detail at the central office.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) took enforcement action on a deer being kept in captivity. Aeration units were checked for compliance and were recommended to be shut down due to the increase in temperatures. Ice is getting too thin to keep the signage compliant. 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) returned calls for service including nuisance animals doing damage and took questions on wetland regulations. He completed an investigation of a deer that was kept as a pet. He also delivered several deer to the Karan Organization of Minnesota for needy families. 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) talked at North St. Paul High School about CO duties and hunting and fishing regulations and took calls about nuisance animals in south Minneapolis and Coon Rapids. 

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent  time investigating trapping violations in a WMA. Leuthardt walked several of the area lakes, checking anglers and picking up garbage left behind by anglers. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) assisted the Wildlife Division with a call regarding WMA boundaries and legal access, handled a few TIP calls, and did equipment maintenance. 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) handled a TIP call about several deer carcasses that were dumped along a roadway.     

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) provided a ride-along to a college student who is interested in becoming a conservation officer.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) gave assistance to the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle which had broken through the ice on Lac qui Parle Lake. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent time working light goose-hunting enforcement.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted a group of citizens and businesses upset about the amount of trash on a lake. Two-dozen volunteers worked for about three hours and picked up about two pickup loads of garbage from the ice and shore. Included were rugs, cans, bottles, and more than 50 plastic bags with human feces. Please do your part and pick up your trash when you leave a lake. If you know of someone depositing trash in, on, or around area lakes, please contact your CO.

CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent time monitoring night raccoon hunting after receiving complaints about illegal shining and hunting activity. Hunters are reminded they can only use lights to locate raccoons after they have been treed or put at bay by dogs.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on a fish-dumping complaint and a turtle-trapping investigation.    

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) answered questions regarding the use of night vision and thermal devices.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding shed antler hunting and fishing rules clarifications.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) conducted aeration and commercial inspections.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers and light goose hunters. He also worked with his supervisor in surveying areas in which to conduct AIS inspections.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) investigated hunters taking waterfowl and big game out of season. Enforcement action was taken for out-of-season poaching activity.  

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) attended a Volunteer Safety Instructor forum held at the New Richland Area Sportsmen’s Club.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked ATV and angling activity. One snowmobiler was observed operating his new sled back and forth in a sheltered section of road ditch that still held snow.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) received a call about an otter accidentally caught in a trap. With help from other area law enforcement officers, the otter was released.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked ice fishermen and predator hunters. Several ice fishermen had forgotten to purchase their new licenses. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked with the county attorney’s office on an active investigation and obtained another conviction from a baiting case.  

CO Phil George (Rochester) attended a water easement meeting in Rochester. 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent time attending a trout stream meeting in Rochester and turning in evidence from closed cases.  

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent a busy Saturday assisting a neighboring officer with anglers on the river. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, no throwable PFDs, and angling without a fishing license in possession. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports one person reported seeing a snowy owl in the area, while someone else watched a bald eagle take a rooster pheasant.

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