Minnesota Cuffs & Collars, May 27th, 2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated multiple illegal fires. Charges were discussed with the county attorney regarding a case of fishing out of season.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) reports numerous complaints in and around Warroad regarding juveniles on OHMs and ATVs. Parents, please read the regulations so that you are aware of what your children can and cannot do on these vehicles.
CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) gave assistance to a motorist who was hauling another truck on a trailer when the truck fell off on the highway. The operator was thankful for the help, even after he was issued a citation for driving after suspension.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) arrested an individual for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. Enforcement action was taken on multiple personal flotation device violations, including an insufficient number of life jackets on boats and children under 10 not wearing life jackets.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports a TIP call regarding an overlimit of walleyes on Upper Red Lake was received, and the subsequent investigation by officers resulted in enforcement action taken.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) worked with CO Mishler a couple days on Upper Red Lake this week. The hot bite tempted several people to take more than their daily limits. The officers received a TIP call about a group of anglers possibly taking an overlimit of walleyes. The officers were able to locate the group of anglers and ended up seizing 28 walleyes for overlimit violations. The officers ended up with six other overlimit cases throughout the week, and assisted local COs with several other overlimit cases on Upper Red. In total, 67 illegal walleyes were seized. A special thanks to the TIP callers. Without your assistance, who knows how many illegal walleyes the group would have taken home. Anyone who thinks he may have information on illegal fish or game activity is encouraged to call the Turn in Poachers hotline at: 1-800-652-9093.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on illegal hunting-related cases. Time also was spent working AIS enforcement.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) reports fire-detection flights resulted in locating a state land trespass violation that included a wetland violation and an unlawful bridge.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) helped out with qualification shoots at Camp Ripley. He also assisted the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office with putting on two ATV safety classes.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) attended annual firearms qualification and training in DWI-detection techniques at Camp Ripley. The officer also assisted with training at the academy during scenario day.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and boat and water safety during the week. Time was spent checking AIS compliance in and around Itasca State Park.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports responding in the middle of the night to a rural New York Mills address at the request of an Otter Tail County deputy. A resident had shot a bear in his yard. The bear was in a large dumpster and was acting aggressively. The resident was aware of the two bear attacks in recent weeks and was afraid of what the bear might do. His quick reporting of the shooting allowed for the bear to be salvaged.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with CO Academy and in-service training and followed up on ongoing cases.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a calf depredation complaint was investigated, and the report of a person with a bobcat was investigated.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) closed out cases involving items left at public accesses, false application for licenses, and stocking fish without a permit. Complaints about nuisance bears continue to be received, as well as a complaint about a possible cougar in the area.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) investigated complaints about trespassing, a deer caught in a snare, a deer head in a dumpster, beaver-related complaints, and nuisance-bear complaints.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) shares that people leaving dead rough fish in ditches and near public accesses continues to be a problem. Dead snapping turtles are being observed along roadsides.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and focused on fishing, boating, and aquatic vegetation throughout the week.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) completed an interview with a high school student who wants to be a conservation officer someday.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated a complaint about a captive bobcat. The owner is providing proper paperwork for the CO.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most of the week investigating separate cases of farmers killing geese on agricultural fields. Both instances were witnessed by concerned citizens who called the TIP line about what they observed. After considerable time investigating both and conducting several interviews, suspects from each case admitted to the violations. They both expressed frustration about the damage families of geese cause to planted fields, but were informed of the appropriate way to handle the problem.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) attended annual firearms re-certification training at Camp Ripley.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) attended training at Camp Ripley and spoke at a kids safety day event in Starbuck.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers and off-road vehicle operators.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spent time providing firearms training for field officers.
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) reports that during a fishing check, CO Sullivan contacted two anglers who stated they did not have any fish in possession. CO Sullivan observed a stringer connected to the watercraft, in the water. The CO confronted the anglers once he observed the stringer move and small ripples on the surface. The subject was found to be in possession of a largemouth bass out of season and was angling with two lines. Enforcement action was taken for the angling violations.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) spent time preparing a deer-baiting case for trial and testifying in court. The defendants were found guilty.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) responded to several wildfires and worked TIP calls.
CO Colleen Adam (Northwest Region OHV recreation officer) addressed nuisance-bear and roadkill bear issues.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) responded to a grass fire that got out of control, received a nuisance-bear report, and took a call about a fawn located with no doe around. Reminder: Please do not pick up baby animals in the wild.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended training at Camp Ripley. Much of the officer’s time was spent on Vermilion checking anglers.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports a boater operating without navigational lights an hour-plus after sunset and with no life jackets on board nearly hit a pontoon being operated in front of him. The officer stopped the boater and took enforcement action to the cheers of the pontoon occupants who came by to exchange words of unhappiness with the boater.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) is investigating the report of a person who dumped the contents of his waste tank from his RV into the ditch off of a county road.
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of people out fishing on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama. However, the fish were not cooperating.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports an increase in angling activities resulting in a number of angling violations.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) followed up several ongoing cases.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he assisted the St. Louis County rescue team and the U.S. Forest Service after strong winds and heat put homes and cabins in danger near the Foss Lake Fire northwest of Burntside Lake.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked in the area of the fire in Ely in case assistance might be needed. There is so much dry and dead standing balsam in the area that any fire could turn into the next big one.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did remote ATV patrols and lakes by boat.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took reports about a mangy wolf in Hovland.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers and boaters in and out of the BWCAW.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent time working on station equipment.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) patrolled a few days in the BWCAW, where canoe registration compliance was low.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports enforcement was action taken for no valid watercraft registration displayed, no license in possession, and an insufficient number of PFDs.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) took enforcement action for overlimits of walleyes, operating ATVs on public roadways, transporting aquatic vegetation, and failure to remove watercraft plugs.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner Si attended the “officer down” 5K in Aitkin, where they assisted in a K9 demo.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) completed division training.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) spent time handling several nuisance-animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove boat plugs, failure to display valid boat registration, insufficient PFDs, no angling license, and illegal-length walleyes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers for angling activity, and AIS enforcement was worked at landings.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports life jacket compliance during the first week of fishing has been the best he’s seen during his career.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended an area district meeting and completed squad maintenance.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports extra patrols were conducted in area state parks where contacts were made for being in the park after hours and permit violations. One stop of a vehicle resulted in the driver being cited for driving after revocation, and the passenger going to jail on a warrant
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Upper Red Lake for fishing activity.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports enforcement action was taken for watercraft entering public water accesses with zebra mussels attached, resulting in a $250 fine. One boater informed the watercraft inspector that he didn’t have time to clean all of the zebra mussels off and had lived on Gull Lake for 40 years and was “grandfathered in.” Even with the watercraft decontamination station up and running a few miles up the road, the boater backed into the lake, contrary to the inspector’s direction.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports enforcement action was taken for shooting protected songbirds – ironically, at the same residence where 22 years ago a man was arrested for shooting an osprey. A sunfish overlimit case was made against an individual with a long history of game and fish violations, including past overlimit convictions. The majority of the sunfish seized in the case were quality to trophy-size, resulting in much higher restitution for the violator, who stated at one point during the contact that he went to school to be a game warden.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended training and assisted Aitkin Fisheries staff with Rippleside fourth-grade fishing education day.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports complaints of ATVers on closed trails in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the laser shot display at the Aitkin community event. A TIP complaint of a possible wetland violation was investigated, as was a litter complaint at a public access.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received reports about nuisance bears, porcupines, and beavers. Several grass fires occurred throughout the week and weekend. Responsible parties in these fires face fines and suppression costs.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports several nuisance-bear calls were taken that involved black bears getting into bird feeders and garbage cans.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with the Pokegama Lake Association Freshwater Fair, speaking to area fifth-graders.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) gave assistance to the local sheriff’s department with an ATV accident. The operator involved in the accident decided to climb an embankment, causing the ATV to roll back onto him. The individual was treated for possible back and neck injuries.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and bowfishing activity.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked turkey hunters, along with attending training.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spoke to a high school class and a second-grade class about the job of a conservation officer.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) had two ATV “trail ambassadors” encounter a wildfire while patrolling the Pine Center Trail. The fire was burning on county forest land and threatened to get into a pine plantation. Their quick actions to contact DNR Forestry and to conduct some fire suppression on their own prevented the situation from becoming a bigger, more serious fire.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports a local game farmer had five elk escape, with four rounded up and returned to the pen. One cow elk is still on the loose south of Randall. If it’s seen, please contact CO Joyce Kuske.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) fielded a nuisance-beaver complaint.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled an injured-eagle complaint. It turned out to be a juvenile eagle that had fallen from a nest
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) investigated several TIP calls.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) received several nuisance animal-related calls.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) took enforcement action for possessing drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana in a motor vehicle.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent time working on a waters complaint.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) took complaints from the public about keeping baby wild animals.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports turkey hunters were finding it tougher going with less active birds.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) attended training at Ripley and served a restoration order.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) investigated a TIP call regarding a fish overlimit on a local Carver County lake.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) saw an increase in boaters and anglers throughout Scott County.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) continued to follow up on AIS violations in Hennepin County and took care of equipment maintenance.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled the St. Croix River for angling and boating activity. Several violations were found on the St Croix River, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued to work on aquatic vegetation cases, handled injured and nuisance-animal calls, and worked on a litter complaint.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers and boaters, and doing AIS enforcement.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent time at Camp Ripley completing division training. He also assisted with the Morgan firearms safety training field day.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports a 92-boat tournament on Lake Shetek. The catch was about half a walleye per boat on average.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, boating, fishing, and off-highway vehicle activity during the week.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted with the local “Take a Kid Fishing” tournament during which more than 30 fish were caught and all kids received a fishing pole and tackle.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working anglers and following up on wildlife-related complaints.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office with a grass fire investigation.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spent time on TIP calls related to keeping bass during the closed season.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) completed division training at Camp Ripley.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted Meeker County in an effort to find a missing child. The child was found unharmed.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a call about an OHV/ATV mud group ride along the Minnesota River near Franklin. The caller was concerned about damage to WMAs and township roads along the river.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked on a TIP case in which some coots were shot out of season.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded questions regarding pheasants being taken out of season, along with ongoing litter issues at public access points.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) investigated a complaint about dumping bow-shot fish on private property.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) responded and investigated TIP calls regarding overlimits.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, turkey hunting, and ATVing activity. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for boating and AIS violations.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) represented the division’s pistol team by competing in two pistol matches.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, turkey hunters, and ATV operators during the week. Multiple angling violations were encountered during the week.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking state forest areas for illegal ATV use. Time also was spent checking anglers on area streams. Compliance was good.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports fishing success on the river has picked up a little.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and ATVers. Turkey hunters were out as well, but things were quieter with the heat.
CO Phil George (Rochester) took complaints about a manure spill, an obstruction in a trout stream, and off-road vehicles operators who were operating in a river bottom. The CO issued a nuisance-beaver permit and located an injured deer.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week on the big river, as well as attending in-service firearms training and handling numerous calls and complaints.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for sport fishing and boat/water safety enforcement. A special beaver permit was issued.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received several wildlife-related calls, including calls about a roaming bear and a fawn that was found and was reported to have two heads.