Minnesota Cuffs & Collars, May 6th, 2016

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling, ATV, fire, and small-game enforcement this week. The Rainy River’s current picked up a bit, affecting water clarity that in turn may have affected the bite, as reports of both suckers and sturgeon declined.

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) spent most of the week checking angling, trapping, and ATV activity in the area. Multiple ATV complaints were handled around the Warroad area.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports increased sturgeon-fishing activity on the Rainy River.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked an investigation with CO Vollbrecht where information had been received about walleyes taken out of season with the use of a gill net. The officers located the gill net, caught the suspect removing the gill net from the water, and seized the gill net. Upon interviewing the suspect, he admitted he likes to eat fish. He said he cannot catch fish with a rod and reel so he resorted to using a gill net. Charges have been forwarded to the county attorney.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) assisted the county with a suicidal individual near Upper Red Lake.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking a wildfire complaint that occurred on an area WMA.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had a call about deer eating cattle feed and assisted other agencies. A reported python in town may be a Minnesota native – a hognose snake – after a police officer did a photo lineup. 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked sucker spearers and trout anglers. He also investigated a headless deer and picked up an injured bald eagle.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) assisted the Becida Sportsmen’s Club with a firearms safety class.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) took a TIP call about people spearing in a closed area, but the spear fishermen were gone by the time he arrived. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked a TIP regarding bass fishing out of season and investigated wetland filling.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent time checking fishermen and working ATV-related complaints.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received calls regarding incidentally caught otter. A report about a Canada goose taken out of season was received, with the investigation ongoing. 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) took a complaint about two individuals spearing in a closed area.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) attended the DU Green-Wing “duck fair” in Fergus Falls. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) reports  an injured bald eagle was captured, with plans to get the bird to the Raptor Center. Plautz checked on a wetland issue with a plugged culvert and assisted lake associations with beaver problems.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked the border waters fishing opener in Wheaton with COs Miska and Anderson.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and OHMers. Several burning complaints and questions were investigated.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this week investigating a case of hunting turkeys during a closed season.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports a car operator was stopped regarding a gas drive-off for the Morris police.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked spring fish run activity, beaver issues, trespassing complaints, and conducted a follow-up from last year’s firearms deer season. 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) investigated a call about spearing in a closed area. An owl found dead was donated to a school and in the process some impromptu biology lessons on owls were given to groups of middle school students.

CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) assisted with a property damage crash in which a young driver hit two bald eagles at the same time with a small passenger car. The raptors struck the middle of the front windshield and the windshield shattered. The driver was frightened from the incident but was unharmed. CO Sullivan also had contact with two anglers who were in possession of 20 crappies, but neither angler had a license. Enforcement action was taken. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked commercial minnow nets.

CO Chelsey Collette (Remer) worked on a littering case, checked crappie anglers, collected incidental otters, patrolled ATV trails, and handled nuisance-wildlife complaints.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) fielded calls regarding nuisance beavers, firearms safety, aquatic plant violations, and public waters violations.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked one group of Rainy River sturgeon anglers fishing along the shoreline; not only were they sturgeon fishing, but minutes before the officer’s arrival a wedding ceremony was conducted in which a couple was married along the banks of the Rainy River, with sturgeon poles in hand. Congrats to the happy couple with future wedding anniversaries and sturgeon fishing.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) checked ATV activity, and computer work is ongoing

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted the Breitung Police Department with a domestic incident and a suicidal incident. A lot of time was spent working the spring fish run, and assisting with the FdL netting on Lake Vermilion. The officer also arrested an individual for felony narcotics and DUI.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked a large ATV ride with around 350 ATVers. The annual ATV ride was worked with CO Fredin, and several varied ATV violations were encountered. A stop prior to the ride involved OHV trespass, expired registration, and no ATV safety certificate. The rider was warned about the safety certificate and told that if he was seen driving again that day, he would be cited for that offense. Four hours later, the officer saw the same driver that had been warned, driving again. The rider was cited the second go-around.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a great deal of time patrolling the Virginia, Mt. Iron, and Eveleth areas for ATV and OHM traffic. Enforcement action was taken on juveniles, with the parents admitting they didn’t know the rules about allowing their children to use the machines. On one stop, as CO Frericks was speaking with the parent about the dangers of his daughter operating an OHM on the shoulder of the roadway, a report about an ATV accident involving two juveniles came over the CO’s radio. The parent said he was going to sell the OHM. 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) wrapped up a trapping trespassing case.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the opening of sucker spearing was busy, with limited success.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) assisted a couple of people in a canoe who’d been paddling through a channel through sheet ice. They found out the hard way that sheet ice moves and closes channels in seconds. The CO was able to break ice in his patrol boat to reach them and broke a channel for them to get back to their campsite. The ice wasn’t thick enough to stand on and was too thick to paddle through. The surface water temperature was 38 degrees. Capsizing in such conditions would lead to certain death. It is a much wiser decision not to rush Mother Nature. Enforcement action was taken for expired canoe registration and burning without a permit.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated a snowmobile burned and left on a forest road. Anyone with information is asked to call her.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports an individual was arrested for a gross misdemeanor warrant.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area shore anglers along Lake Superior and its tributaries.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) met with the county attorney about an upcoming trial. Bear-related complaints were handled.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) answered calls about nuisance wildlife, and continued to investigate illegal garbage-dumping complaints. All area lakes finally are ice-free.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) reports enforcement action was taken for possessing an incidentally caught otter without notifying a CO.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner attended the Children’s Fair in Grand Rapids and assisted the county in locating burglary suspects.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) took a report about a nuisance bear and an injured deer.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) monitored ATVing activity with action taken for operating on the side of a county road at a high rate of speed, operating in a road right of way without a driver’s license, and allowing illegal operation by a juvenile.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVers, spring beaver trappers, and closed forest areas.

CO John Veslvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) worked during the Fond du Lac Band netting and spearing on Lake Vermilion.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working North Shore rivers. Smelters have been having some luck. 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) completed follow-up investigations stemming from illegal license purchases from a neighboring state.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked spring fish run activity the majority of the week along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Trapping violations were investigated, as well as TIP calls regarding the illegal taking of fish.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) assisted with a firearms safety field day in Duluth. Turkeys and hunters were again very active and vocal this week. Drugs, burning, OHM, angling license, and illegal take violations were encountered during the week.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received a complaint about ATVers operating in wetlands and it’s being investigated.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) found the cooler weather has reduced the number of fish in the tributaries, but smelters have been busy at night. Poor results were found.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) assisted the State Patrol with a vehicle that hit two bald eagles and had a broken windshield. The driver of the car and both eagles survived.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) investigated a call about a turkey hunter trespassing on agricultural land.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) allowed a college student a ride-along opportunity.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time at Camp Ripley, preparing training materials for the current conservation officer academy. 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports work was done to update the district evidence storage facility, and several seized wildlife specimens from past cases were delivered to the biology department at Brainerd High School for educational purposes. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, sucker spearing, turkey hunting, and ATVing.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) responded to a call about two dogs possibly chasing deer. The investigation is ongoing. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) caught five OHM operators riding off-trail in the General Andrews State Forest. The operators were reminded that the only place they can ride is on signed trails. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports the Jim Jordan Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association was presented with an award for donating over $300,000 toward youth hunter education.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about turkey hunting, trapping, and fishing on the St. Croix River.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) responded to calls about people disrupting new goslings and ducklings. CO Krauel would like to remind everyone to leave young wildlife alone.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an open mic segment for a local radio station. Living in bear territory was discussed.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on waters and aquatic vegetation cases.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked turkey hunters and angling activity this past week.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call about sick raccoons that were in a homeowner’s yard.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) served as a mediator between two landowners battling over a culvert plugged by beavers and backing up water onto a field. A report about two geese shot and left for waste is being investigated.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked turkey hunters this week.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports several litter-related calls have come in regarding dead carp dumped in road ditches.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted with the St. Paul Women’s Expo and Arbor Day at Braham Elementary School.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) took enforcement action for the transport of a plugged boat and possession of a sandhill crane. He wants to thank the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office for assistance on the interviews. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a possible aquatic plant violation was investigated, and several calls about bow fishermen leaving dead fish along the shorelines were investigated.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a TIP call about an overlimit of crappies.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting turkeys with the aid of bait, no fishing license, and numerous boating safety violations.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers and some turkey hunters during the week.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) took enforcement action for illegally removing natural plants in a state park and transporting zebra mussels.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week at training with his K9 partner, Rocky. CO Grewe also followed up with TIP complaints.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the early part of the week training in combat tactics for women.  

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) assisted a neighboring officer with the Wisconsin-Minnesota border waters opener. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) followed up on some wetland violations in Anoka County.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) assisted the Colorado DNR with a big-game case.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) presented a 40-year instructor award at the Forest Lake Sports Club.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy weekend working the St. Croix River opener. Fishing was extremely slow, with most boaters having no fish.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) met with the Washington County attorney regarding a case from last winter.

District 15 – Marshall area

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

CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) thanks the individual(s) who cleaned up garbage at the Redwood County 101 river access; your work has been noticed. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports enforcement action was taken for taking northern pike during the closed season and allowing closed-season angling and dip-nets before the season.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked the DNR booth at the Tracy Area Sportsmen’s Show during the weekend. An otter was seized that was accidentally trapped by a spring beaver trapper.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) investigated  a dead white pelican that appeared to have been shot with a shotgun. 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports cold and wet weather kept fishing activity light.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) continues to pick up and dispose of large amounts of litter left by shore anglers. Minnow transport permits were issued.

District 16 – New Ulm area 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) assisted with a big-game investigation.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spoke with kids at a Willmar-area firearms safety class.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spoke to a firearms safety class in Grove City about rules and regulations and answered questions the students had.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a possible wetland violation and checked ATVs for current registration. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) reports the panfish bite has slowed, but bullhead fishing has been good.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports a case involving the taking of ducks and Canada geese out of season was concluded with enforcement action taken.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) is investigating a complaint about an over-limit of fish.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) presented the rules and regulations portion of the Fairmont firearms safety class.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) provided a ride-along opportunity to an individual interested in pursuing a career as a conservation officer.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, turkey hunting, and recreational vehicle enforcement this week.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, bowfishing, ATVing, and turkey-hunting activity this week.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) gave a law and ethics presentation to a local firearms safety class, and investigated a number of wetland and public waters violations.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) followed up on a complaint regarding anglers targeting walleyes out of season.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) investigated a case of a goose that was possibly intentionally killed by a vehicle operator in Albert Lea; the investigation led to a citation being issued.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Phil George (Rochester) investigated a complaint about illegal ATV use by juveniles, along with a litter complaint.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) reports additional patrol efforts were put toward turkey-hunting enforcement. A nuisance-bear call also was taken. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports one turkey hunter stated that he had a bird gobbling out about 150 yards in a field. The bird surprisingly turned and started to run and then fly toward the hunter. The hunter (in a blind) grabbed his shotgun, then looked back out of the blind to see the tom attempting to land in a small tree next to the blind. The tree was not strong enough to hold the bird, so it flapped around and fell to the ground. That’s when a coyote grabbed the bird, and with feathers flying all over, the coyote trotted off into the woods. The hunter, astonished by what had just happened, sat in disbelief. A few moments later, the coyote returned to the field with the bird in its mouth. The coyote stopped to re-adjust its hold on the bird, and the bird broke loose. Unfortunately for the turkey, the hunter was ready this time, and killed the bird with one shot. The hunter then turned toward the coyote, but by then the coyote was running from the area. The hunter said the coyote trotted with that bird like a proud Lab does with a goose. The turkey weighed 23 pounds, minus a bunch of feathers.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) assisted other agencies with arrests and calls. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated fishing and turkey-hunting violations.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports turkey hunters are still having some pretty good success and that spring fishing continues to improve despite the high water conditions on the big river. 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) detected some fishing, boating, and drug-related violations.

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