District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) completed cases from the muzzleloader and firearms seasons. Muzzleloader hunters and trappers were checked throughout the week. Two reports of illegally dumped deer were investigated.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked big game, small game/trapping, and angling enforcement. Spearing and ice fishing are on the horizon.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked furbearer trapping activity, mostly in the Beltrami Island State Forest. CO Prachar also took enforcement action for illegal sets for fishers and pine martens, as well as transporting a loaded muzzleloader.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated complaints of an unlawfully taken fisher, recreational trespass, and deer baiting.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking muzzleloader hunters and investigating a report of baited stands during late-season archery hunting.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers. Follow-up was completed on ongoing cases from the firearms deer season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports stopping by the Crookston DNR Wildlife office for fur registration day. Time also was spent contacting muzzleloader deer hunters and small-game hunters.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored AIS efforts, hunting, and water/ice safety. He also assisted CO Oldakowski with a volunteer snowmobile safety instructor clinic.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) and a COC checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers in the area. Low fur prices are resulting in few trappers out.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked trapping and muzzleloader deer hunters during the week. Time also was spent working on a trapping complaint.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended fur registration, training at Camp Ripley, and worked with a neighboring officer on an unlicensed deer hunter case.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) investigated a possible wetlands violation. A complaint about burning of illegal materials was investigated. Aquatic plant management cases were closed.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring muzzleloader and archery deer hunters, trapping activity, and small-game hunters. Several deer hunting violations were investigated, and follow up was conducted with meat processors regarding the new CWD deer importation rule. The officer also attended fur registration at the Detroit Lakes DNR Wildlife office, where the number of trappers and furs registered appeared to be down this year.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports the lack of ice has ice fishermen eager for colder weather. Goose hunting continues in the area, along with some pheasant hunting.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked ice conditions, deer hunters, trappers, and small-game hunters throughout the week. CO Plautz also attended fur registration at an area station and found multiple trappers not obeying trapping rules. Attempting to register last year’s fisher, no trapping license, fishers trapped out of season, and failing to validate site tags were some of the violations encountered.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked muzzleloader deer hunters and pheasant hunters. ATVers are using the Central Lakes Trail, and trespass complaints were handled.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked muzzleloader and pheasant hunters. Yearly trailer inspections were performed and a fisher was seized.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a call about thick, black smoke led to enforcement action for illegally burning a large pile of household items removed from a foreclosed home. CO Lawler also worked the end of the muskie season from the boat. One angler was found using too many lines; a citation was issued.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on pheasant hunters and muzzleloader deer hunters.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) reports most deer hunters have left the area, but many deer are being seen along the roadside. Use caution if traveling through area. CO Sullivan observed ice forming on smaller lakes. Trapping activity throughout the area is slow due to low fur prices.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a few trappers and hunters are still out while the lakes remain ice-free in the area. Upcoming cold weather should have the lakes producing ice soon.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Few muzzleloader deer hunters and trappers were observed this week. Lack of snow and ice has limited winter recreational activity.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked muzzleloader season and checked trappers. CO Halverson also registered fisher fur for local trappers.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports pine marten and fisher trapping came to a close, along with fur registration being attended. A few people were out attempting to harvest a deer with the use of a muzzleloader.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) spent time monitoring muzzleloader deer hunting and trapping activity. Persistent fishermen are still finding a few fish on the Rainy River although the success rate has dropped. CO Slatinski took a report from a local trapper about sheep running loose in a heavily wooded area around the Galvin Line. The individuals stated he had to get a photo or he knew nobody would believe him. It is reported the sheep have been in the area for about a month. If anyone can provide contact information about the possible owner, it would be appreciated.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads and checking public access sites. Some area lakes opened back up only to re-freeze – no angling activity was observed.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked trappers and muzzleloader hunters this past week. Trapping was difficult with the heavy snowfall and few muzzleloader hunters were seen.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing deer, trapping, and small-game seasons. The officer also registered bobcat, otter, fisher, and marten furs. One trapper was cited for holdover furs from the past season. Deer-baiting complaints continue to trickle in. The officer followed up on an investigation resulting in violations of failing to register deer, unlawful party hunting, and false application for a license. The CO also located a suspect involved in a timber theft case, which was turned over to the U.S. Forest Service for enforcement action. The officer also assisted the U.S. Forest Service on a spruce top theft case.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the marten and fisher trapping season was again busy in the Ely area. Success was good in areas, but overall fur registration seemed to be down in most of the north. Violations included deer overlimit and pine marten overlimit.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked an ongoing fishing case and checked marten and fisher trappers. The smaller lakes are starting to freeze up, and the ice looks thick with a white cover of snow, but it’s nowhere near thick enough to walk on, so please stay off of it.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports time was spent on fur registration where officers detected some hold-over furs from the previous year. Ice and open-water anglers, muzzleloader hunters, and trappers were checked during the week. Insufficient blaze orange was a common problem, and enforcement action was taken for failing to register deer as required. Many deer carcasses are being found illegally dumped in road ditches.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked muzzleloader and small-game hunters throughout the week. Pine marten and fisher traps were checked, and the officer assisted in registering furs in Finland.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked deer muzzleloader and trapping activity during the week. CO Murray also assisted with a youth snowmobile safety course in Two Harbors and checked area lakes for ice conditions. Most lakes in the area still had areas of open water.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked trapping complaints, checked muzzleloader hunters, checked small-game hunters, and responded to K9 assist requests. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si assisted in locating evidence in a wolf case and in locating a suspect who fled from officers on foot, into the woods. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked trapping activity, with the number of trappers and the catch rate down. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action for failing to tend traps daily.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked trappers, ATVers, and muzzleloader deer hunters. He also worked baiting and litter complaints during the week.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked big game and trapping enforcement in the area. Muzzleloader deer hunters were checked, with minimal success reported. CO Van Asch also attended fur registration in Grand Rapids. The number of trappers registering fur was down considerably from years past.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time following up on big-game cases, and assistance was provided to the county with a vehicle that rolled into Fish Lake.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked fisher and pine marten trapping season, attended fur registration in Duluth, and investigated a trespass complaint.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working trapping enforcement. Several trap sites were looked at, and trappers were checked in the field. Archery deer hunting continues to be worked. Taking deer in a closed area was investigated, resulting in charges.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued with follow-up work from firearms deer season. The CO also assisted with a special muzzleloader hunt in Jay Cooke State Park.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and commercial netters as the weather turned colder. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers. The officer assisted with the first fur registration day where few furs were brought in. Complaints about dumped deer were investigated, and a fisher accidentally caught after the season was seized.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked with DNR Parks and Trails staff to monitor a trespassing complaint adjacent to the Paul Bunyan Trail as a result of numerous low-hanging and broken limbs and obstacles due to the last large snowfall. The snow has melted and area trail volunteers were able to clear the trail for any upcoming use. Off-trail travel was observed, and three juveniles were sent home to their parents. CO Guida also cleared an illegal treestand and hunter from a restricted-use aquatic management area and investigated a muzzleloader deer hunter under the influence of alcohol.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. There were even a few ice anglers out who he checked after they got off the ice. They reported a slow northern bite. CO Posner also checked goose hunters on the fields along the Mississippi and Crow Wing rivers, and he worked on complaints about deer carcass dumping and wanton waste.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for late-season muzzleloader and waterfowl hunters. CO McGowan also assisted local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked some deer hunters during muzzleloader and archery hunting seasons. Trappers were making the most of the six-day fisher and marten season.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) followed up on deer cases from the recent deer season. Training was attended at Camp Ripley, and deer possession tags were issued. CO Tetrault also completed a search warrant for an ongoing investigation.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking small-game and big-game hunters throughout the week and weekend. A few fishermen were trying their luck at late-season open-water fishing. Calls regarding nuisance beavers and car-kill deer permits were fielded.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) completed firearms deer season investigations, including a case of individuals taking multiple deer from a motor vehicle, after shooting hours, on agriculture land, where no permission was granted. The individuals are facing gross misdemeanor charges, multiple fines, revocation of hunting privileges, and revocation of firearms and vehicles.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on deer season follow-up, trespass issues, and public access violations. A case of criminal damage to property to the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area is pending, due to a driver of a 4×4 truck rutting up a hayfield for recreation purposes. The driver was confronted by DNR Wildlife staff and was told he could be fined for the offense, to which he replied, “It was totally worth it.” He now faces fines and restitution of over $1,000.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) continued to issue car-kill deer permits, and several bears were reported to have been hit by vehicles in the area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activity in the area. The officer also fielded calls concerning trespass, dogs chasing deer, injured animals, and suspicious activity with shining.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked muzzleloader deer hunters, archery deer hunters, anglers, and pheasant hunters. Several firearms deer season cases were followed up on, with violations found involving the lending and borrowing of deer tags.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) spoke at the Camp Ripley Deployed Soldier muzzleloader hunt orientation and investigated after deer season calls were taken. A report about a complete deer head brought illegally into the state from Montana was handled, and a call about a deer hanging in a person’s yard for two weeks was checked. The deer was found to have been a roadkill and was not edible.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters with violations found for illegal party hunting and overlimits of deer.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking hunters and following up on deer-hunting cases. CO Krauel would like to thank the volunteers and teachers who offer their time to teach youth about safety and the outdoors. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer safety instructor, please contact CO Krauel.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) assisted with the search for a missing paddle-boarder on Lake Waconia, along with several other law enforcement agencies. A snowmobile safety class presentation was given at Independence City Hall. Time also was spent on equipment maintenance in preparation for the upcoming ice-fishing season.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ATV and angler activities in the metro area. He did an investigation of a wetland violation complaint in Eden Prairie with a DNR hydrologist and took calls regarding animal-related complaints.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) investigated two separate reports of trumpeter swan shootings along with several other hunting related issues. She once again stresses that it is the hunter’s responsibility to know what they are shooting at regardless of how long a hunter has been hunting.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) coordinated a deer management program and distributed 18 deer to the Karen Organization of Minnesota for needy families.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) checked anglers and hunters this week. Assistance was given to neighboring officers with an overlimit deer case, possible wanton waste, and illegal transport of a big-game animal. CO Willis assisted local agencies with calls for service, and assistance was given to a Wisconsin conservation warden.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) assisted with the Wall of Shame TIP trailer for the Fridley VFW game feed.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy last week of duck season, checking hunters in the area.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports more goose hunters have taken to the field. The Lac qui Parle refuge pheasant opener drew many hunters.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) is investigating multiple incidents of shooting from the roadway.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) reports pheasant hunters continue to wait for lower temperatures to freeze local cattail ponds. Water levels continue to rise, making it difficult to hunt many public areas without waterproof boots.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports most of the week was spent checking pheasant and muzzleloader deer hunters. The waterfowl season ended quietly, with only a few flocks of migrating ducks and geese hanging around.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with seizing a deer that was possibly hunted in one of its game refuges.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated trapping complaints. She also checked duck, pheasant, and muzzleloader hunters and spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Hutchinson.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) encountered a group of pheasant hunters who had limited success, and while conducting the check, two of the hunters admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol throughout the day while hunting. CO Miller located marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and appropriate enforcement action was taken. One of the hunters was arrested for hunting while impaired.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on muzzleloader and ATVing activity this week. CO VanThuyne also responded to numerous calls pertaining to trespass and wildlife complaints.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked small-game and muzzleloader hunters last week. Assistance was given to state park staff with a park muzzleloader deer hunt. Fall angling continues to be an area of focus.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, deer hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, possession of drug paraphernalia, unplugged shotguns, and trespass.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a call was received regarding a possibly injured bald eagle. The caller had seen the eagle sitting in the same spot in a field for an extended period of time and was concerned it might be injured or sick. Just prior to the CO’s arrival, the bald eagle took flight with no apparent issues.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) patrolled for big game and migratory waterfowl enforcement. Various wildlife-related complaints also were addressed.