Minnesota Cuffs & Collars Report, September 30th, 2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) took a complaint about a dead 8-point buck and upon investigation determined it to have been killed by wolves.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked fishing activity on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River and ATV activity and small-game hunting in the Beltrami Island State Forest.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked with a COC in the Rainy River area, monitoring sturgeon-fishing activity and waterfowl hunters. One group of waterfowl hunters contacted said they had a bag of eight gadwall ducks. Upon inspecting their bag, officers had to inform them that even though they were in possession of a legal harvest, it consisted of eight coots.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working AIS enforcement, archery deer-hunting activity, bear-hunting activity, grouse-hunting activity, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Time was spent working on ongoing bear-hunting cases, handling nuisance-beaver complaints, and issuing special beaver permits.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) checked small-game hunters, archery deer hunters, and anglers during the past week.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class in Crookston this week. Time also was spent making several waterfowl-related contacts during the duck opener. Small-game hunters and archery deer hunters were checked.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked small-game hunters and archery hunters, and answered questions about the upcoming firearms deer season.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked the waterfowl opener. Hunters reported mixed success and enjoyed good waterfowling weather on the opener.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked bear hunters, small-game hunters, and leech trappers, as well as following up on ongoing cases.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a fair duck opener. Hunter numbers appeared to be down. Time also was spent checking prairie chicken hunters and working on aquatic plant violations.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity, with cooler temps improving success rates. Small-game hunting was worked, with the few hunters out reporting that leaf cover is still pretty heavy. The waterfowl opener was worked with hunters having mixed results.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports assistance was given to a neighboring officer on an angling case, and a complaint about an ATVer chasing deer was taken. Numerous questions regarding the upcoming waterfowl season and firearms deer season were also handled. Numerous violations were encountered on duck opener and the officer would like to remind hunters that it is their responsibility to take ethical shots at waterfowl and to make an effort to retrieve a shot bird.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports seeing several limits of ducks on opening day. Mallards and blue-winged teal were the most prevalent species, but other early migrants were observed. Hunters commented they were not seeing as many wood ducks or geese.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) found minimal hunters and birds around for the opening day of waterfowl season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a fish overlimit complaint was worked in Otter Tail County with area conservation officers.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on waterfowl-hunting activity this week. High winds didn’t help conditions but reminded people of the importance of not overloading their duck boats and always checking for adequate life jackets before heading out.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and waterfowl hunters.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) observed small-game hunters having success hunting squirrels and a few grouse. One small-game hunter was warned for trespassing. CO Sullivan saw a large number of wood ducks and teal harvested throughout the area.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl hunters in the area found hunting to be good as several ducks were in the area for opener. Time was spent in court on a snowmobile case that resulted in a conviction.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked a busy duck-hunting opening weekend. Lots of ATV activity also was prevalent with many group rides and festivals taking place.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports sturgeon and walleye fishing on the Rainy River were monitored. Grouse hunters are still having difficulties seeing grouse with the foliage cover.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and hunters this past week. The officer took multiple calls about trapping and nuisance wildlife.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) worked a case regarding a boater refusing to submit to a watercraft inspection. The officer also made contact with an armed, uncooperative male far off the main road. After a struggle, a lengthy stand-off, and supporting officers arriving, the male was arrested and faces numerous charges. No one was hurt.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent considerable time dealing with an incident in which a park visitor’s behavior at two separate parks was dealt with, resulting in the subject being barred from all state parks.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) continues to receive complaints about bears in the Palo area. Report were made about a sow with two cubs and a boar missing a paw, breaking into sheds where feed was present. Coincidentally, a three-pawed bear was causing problems one year ago in Aurora.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray Station) spent the week dealing with equipment-related issues as well as checking sturgeon and walleye anglers.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked predominately small-game hunters and also worked duck opener. CO Bermel also taught the law and ethics portion of the Babbitt firearms safety class.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the waterfowl opener, and checked small-game hunters and anglers along North Shore rivers.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports waterfowl opener was more active than normal, with more hunters and more birds found in the area – although the combination of hunters and birds did not mean greater success, as most hunters checked were found to have few ducks or geese.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent a fair amount of time working area duck-hunting activity and grouse hunters. Heavy leaf cover is slowing grouse-hunting success.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked duck hunters during the weekend. The duck hunters that were out did relatively well compared with recent years. The rainy, windy conditions were great for waterfowl hunting, but not as good for grouse hunters.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) started field training with a COC. The officers checked duck hunters on opening weekend.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked boating, ATVing, small game and bear hunting, waterfowl hunting, and fishing enforcement.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the waterfowl opener, checked anglers, and worked trespass complaints.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week with duck hunting opener being a success for many hunters. It was noted that on opening morning of duck season, every boat CO Sutherland checked had youth hunters in it.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) and CO Adam checked both sturgeon and walleye anglers on the Rainy River. Two fishermen angling for sunfish were observed, each using two poles, and were later found to be in possession of an overlimit of sunfish at their cabin.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters during the weekend. Few grouse were taken, but many hunters had success while waterfowl hunting.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked anglers and area hunters on the waterfowl opener. CO Humphrey investigated complaints involving the use of motorized decoys, trespass, commercial bough harvesting, hunter harassment, and the illegal taking of a deer. An investigation into untagged commercial minnow traps was completed.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a firearms safety class in Cloquet and finished an investigation into a complaint about a wolf that killed a cow. A TIP call about a hunter hunting waterfowl past legal hours was investigated, and enforcement action was taken for hunting after hours and possessing toxic shot.
CO Andy Schmidt (West Duluth) spent most of the week working small game and archery deer hunters. ATV trails and complaint areas were worked. The waterfowl opener was busy and hunters had some success. Late-shooting complaints were worked during the weekend.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked duck hunters and anglers. Follow-up was done on a burning violation. Duck hunters found a rather slow opener with clearing skies and moderate local duck numbers.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes during the busy opening weekend of waterfowl season. Numerous hunter groups were checked, with the most prevalent duck species in the bag being wood ducks. CO Guida seized a protected-species migratory bird from an individual who shot it, then took enforcement action.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on deer-baiting cases from last week, with a second location found to be baited by the same party.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked deer, small-game, and waterfowl hunters. CO Hunter received information about a possible trapping violation. The CO also responded to a call about a swan shot.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked the waterfowl opener and checked grouse hunters. Wood ducks and teal were the ducks most often seen in the bag, and grouse hunters were reporting seeing birds but not getting many due to the many leaves still on trees.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Waterfowl opener went well, with good numbers of hunters and a fair number of ducks. The CO checked grouse hunters and the report was poor. The hunters explained there are still too many leaves on trees to see all of the birds they flush. Violations he observed included water in ballast tanks and duck hunters not pulling the plugs in duck boats. Nuisance bear complaints were reported in Baxter and Pillager.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working at the Annual ATVAM ride in McGregor where lots of riders turned out for the event. While patrolling, the officer found someone had abandoned seven puppies at a local access. A call to a local veterinarian clinic was made and the puppies were transported there until homes could be found for them.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) instructed honor guards from around the state and country with the LEMA Honor Guard this week. CO Speldrich also investigated a wolf depredation complaint involving a heifer. The heifer likely was killed by wolves, and USDA trappers were called to assist.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked a poaching case related to a deer that was found dead in a field, left to rot. The investigation led to a violation of an ATV running through a WMA and other pending items.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked waterfowl hunting areas on opening day and found quite a few hunters out searching for ducks and geese. Duck-hunting violations found included transporting loaded shotguns in a duck boat and not having proper licenses.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring angling activity and following up on aquatic plant management cases. The waterfowl hunting opener was worked, and complaints regarding the use of motorized decoys and after-hours hunting were fielded and handled.
CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) spent the week preparing for a busy waterfowl opener and checking anglers. Waterfowl hunters were finding moderate success in some areas. CO Krauel also assisted Waite Park police and Stearns County deputies with the apprehension of a suspect who was trying to avoid being taken into custody by ramming into law enforcement vehicles and traveling across wet farm fields.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) attended an informational meeting regarding starry stonewort on Rice and Koronis lakes.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports that on waterfowling’s opening day, she had two hunters still shooting at 5:09 p.m. and checked them when they came into the landing. The hunters had no idea when shooting hours ended, even though they had been duck hunting for four years.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked hunting and fishing activity throughout the week. Many duck hunters got out very early for opener and saw plenty of ducks. Several groups were cited for entering the Carlos Avery WMA during closed hours to claim their “spot” ahead of the crowd. As a reminder, the Carlos Avery WMA is closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) encountered a group of small-game hunters and upon asking to see their hunting licenses, one of the individuals stated he did not have it with him. Upon checking to see if the hunter had a license, it was discovered that he had a warrant out for his arrest. To make matters worse, he locked his keys in his vehicle. Assistance was provided by the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office. A TIP complaint about a bear hunter trespassing resulted in the hunter also being cited for not registering his bait.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. Calls were received regarding a waters impact, burning prohibited materials, and animal-related complaints.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fishermen and following up with complaints. CO Grewe also assisted local police departments with emergencies due to the heavy rainfalls, spoke at two firearms safety classes, and checked waterfowl hunters.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) presented laws and regulations at a firearms safety class in Osseo. Students had great questions, including whether or not a person can hunt with a bayonet on his rifle.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) has received several reports from local taxidermists stating that many of the takers of big-game animals brought back to Minnesota from other states have not complied with the state’s new CWD protocols. She wants to remind all hunters bringing deer, elk, moose, or caribou to review and follow the protocols for bringing their animals into the state.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the duck opener in Carver County and checked anglers on metro-area lakes and rivers.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) and a COC worked the waterfowl opener and found many hunters having success. Violations for the week included no license in possession, transporting loaded firearms, no federal duck stamp, entering a WMA during closed hours, AIS violations, and taking nongame birds.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for hunting and ATVing activity. CO Salzer also patrolled Anoka County on the waterfowl opener and observed several violations. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy waterfowl opener checking hunters in the area. Varying degrees of success were observed.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent time checking archery deer hunters and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Opening weekend of waterfowl hunting was productive for some hunters, while others reported few or no ducks.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports waterfowl opener was busy with plenty of private and public sloughs full of hunters. Bugs continue to be a popular topic for archery deer hunters. Most hunters have decided to wait until a good freeze before going back out.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) reports a fair start to the waterfowl season. Enforcement action was taken for license and stamp issues, and failure to have appropriate PFDs. Please remember all watercraft, including boats used for waterfowl hunting, are required to have approved PFDs for each person on board.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked waterfowl hunters and noted mixed success. He also spent time on beaver-related complaints.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) started training with a COC. The officers transported an injured juvenile peregrine falcon to the Raptor Center for treatment. The officers also worked a busy opening weekend for waterfowl.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked the duck opener. Several checks revealed mostly teal and wood ducks in the bag. Officer Gruhlke also followed up on a complaint about dead pelicans near Okabena in Jackson County.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) focused the majority of his time on waterfowl enforcement, archery deer, and assisting with local flooding issues.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted Blue Earth County officials with flood-water issues. The officer reports a slower-than-normal waterfowl opener, likely due to the plentiful water standing in fields.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports that heavy rains continue to cause high water on area lakes and rivers. CO Howe worked waterfowl opener, with minor violations detected.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) received phone calls from landowners who had deer stands on their property without permission.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the waterfowl opener at the Reno Bottoms on the Mississippi River. High water flooded most of the public access sites and hunting was poor at best.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) and COC worked the waterfowl opener and hunter turnout was poor due to unseasonably high water on the Mississippi River. Angling is still active and the bite has been good for certain species. The officers were involved in a foot pursuit of a shore angler, which resulted in an arrest for possession of a controlled substance.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy opening weekend of the 2016 duck season. The high water had hunters and fishermen finding the birds and fish in all new locations. Enforcement action was taken for the usual license, stamp, and safety equipment issues, along with some toxic shot and overlimits.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for small-game and waterfowl hunting.