Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars Report — December 16, 2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that ice has finally arrived on Lake of the Woods. Tip-up anglers and those spearing have been slowly working across Bostic Bay. Be safe when venturing out on early ice to avoid any emergencies due to breaking through thin ice.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the snowmobile safety class in Grygla, monitored area hunter activity, and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Snowmobile operators are reminded to check the expiration of their registration prior to hitting the trails.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring muzzleloader hunting, trapping, and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Time was spent investigating TIP information, snowmobiling-related complaints, and issuing wildlife possession permits. CO Regas attended the Bemidji Archery Club Open House where time was spent answering questions regarding hunting regulations and domestic pets chasing deer.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) attended the fall Red Lake technical meeting at Red Lake. Several topics covered included upcoming regulations and harvest plans.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking muzzleloader deer hunters throughout the week. Time also was spent checking trappers and working predator hunters.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had multiple wildlife-related complaints, and worked trapping, hunting, boating, and ice safety. Snowmobile safety classes were planned, and a sportsmen’s club meeting was attended.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers. He also answered questions about the upcoming ice-fishing and snowmobiling seasons.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) and a COC assisted another officer on cases involving the unlawful importation of deer carcasses; 2016 has been a busy year for the new CWD law.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked trapping and muzzleloader deer hunters during the week. Time also was spent following up on cases from the previous deer season and removing illegal deer stands from Itasca State Park.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports enforcement action was taken for the unlawful importation of deer carcasses regarding deer harvested out of state.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring muzzleloader hunting, trapping, and snowmobiling activity in the Moorhead station. The officer would like to encourage anglers to use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice as recent snowfall has insulated and created uneven thickness of ice in areas.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports goose hunting continues to be good and deer hunters were rewarded with cold weather after the snowfall. A wolf depredation complaint was handled, along with a report of a mountain lion sighting.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) found some ice fishermen eager to get the season started this weekend. CO Plautz also checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity on the muzzleloader deer season and ice fishermen.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored the first ice fishermen of the winter season this past week. Trespassing complaints from the muzzleloader deer season were investigated as well.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports time was spent removing illegal stands in area WMAs and monitoring pheasant-hunting and trapping activity.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) reports follow-up was done on illegally imported deer. Minnow transportation and deer possession permits were issued.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked the last weekend of the muzzleloader deer season. Trapping activity was monitored, and a public waters case was initiated.
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) was advised of a timber wolf that was hit by a car on State Hwy. 71 in Hubbard County. The wolf was located and donated to Bemidji State University for education. CO Sullivan continued to work big-game hunters in the area. Hunters reported not seeing many deer in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and taking big game without a license.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and trappers. Ice formed on area lakes late this week with some anglers seen on thin ice on shallow, small lakes. Time also was spent investigating a trespassing and a complaint of someone purposefully blocking a public access with a snow-plowed berm.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked muzzleloader hunters and complaints about road hunting.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) reports enforcement action was taken for fishers trapped out of season and operating ATVs on a state highway.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports muzzleloader season came to a close with little activity observed as weather became cold. A Koochiching County invasive species meeting was attended.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports muzzleloader hunting has kept some determined deer hunters out in an attempt to fill their tags. The officer assisted with a crash involving a vehicle leaving the roadway. CO Slatinski also met with county officials as they plan an aquatic invasive species compliance program.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked small game/trapping issues, checked fishing activity on the river, and monitored muzzleloader deer hunters.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing trapping and hunting season issues. Additional snow fell and lakes finally froze over after sub-zero weather hit the area.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) gave a demonstration to students at Parkview Elementary School in Virginia about furbearers in Minnesota. CO Frericks also spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Cherry.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports several days of temperatures dipping way below zero have improved ice conditions in the Ely area and the first ice anglers were checked. Snowmobile trail conditions are still poor, with low areas remaining soft and wet and overall low snow amounts.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) handled a call about a deer at a bird feeder with an arrow in it. The next morning, a call came in about another deer that had fallen through the ice on the Kawishiwi River.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that he checked his first anglers and snowmobilers of the year. Most lakes remain unsafe for travel because recent snowfalls have insulated the ice.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked muzzleloader hunters, took a call about nuisance wolves, checked for a sick moose, and assisted Cook County with a domestic incident and a stranded motorist. Automobile drivers are reminded that not all forest roads are plowed and getting stuck in a remote location can be dangerous.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping activity and the final weekend of the muzzleloader deer season.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) met with the county attorney’s office for ongoing cases, checked trappers, worked a baiting complaint, and took calls about swans that couldn’t fly.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the first ice anglers of the season. Most lakes are still unsafe to travel on, so be cautious. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for not having an angling license in possession.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked big-game, small game, trapping, angling, and snowmobiling enforcement. The 2016 muzzleloader season came to an end during the weekend with minimal success reported.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time during the week monitoring the station for deer hunters. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office when a wanted suspect fled into the woods. CO Silgjord located the suspect near a residence and was able apprehend him. After he secured the suspect, the man advised the officer that he “looked like a nice guy, so he didn’t run.” The fact that the suspect had been on the run for some time in the cold weather with a K-9 unit not far behind may have also influenced his decision.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working trappers and archery deer hunters, and finished out the muzzleloader season. Time also was spent working an ongoing trapping complaint and trespassing complaint. The officer investigated a complaint about trapper harassment and handled incidental furs
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time investigating a couple trespass complaints involving deer hunting and ATV usage. Trapping enforcement continues to be monitored.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked on a shooting complaint with other area officers. Muzzleloader deer season and trapping enforcement work continued throughout the week. An incidentally caught fisher was handled. Road-kill deer permits were issued. A car-killed eagle was turned over to DNR Wildlife staff. CO Humphrey also assisted Jay Cooke park staff with the special muzzleloader hunt and a complaint involving the removal of beaver dams within the park.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on a trespass investigation, and checked late-season muzzleloader and archery hunters. Diehard shore anglers were checked while casting from the Two Harbors breakwall in sub-zero temps.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked the close of the muzzleloader deer season and checked some early ice anglers this week. A TIP call was received and investigated regarding a muzzleloader hunter hunting within the city limits of Crosby. The hunter was located and also was operating an ATV on a snowmobile trail illegally. Illegal party-hunting violations are being investigated. Officer Guida also issued wildlife possession tags for car-killed deer. An accidentally taken fisher was reported and is going to be donated to a local middle school science class for education purposes.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spend time patrolling for snowmobiling and late-season deer-hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to tag a big-game animal, failure to validate a deer tag, failure to register a big-game animal, and numerous snowmobiling violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, trappers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Ice conditions are poor and unsafe. CO Hunter also received calls about hunting over bait, trespass, and rifles used during muzzleloader season.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked muzzleloader, trapping, and grouse-hunting activity. Follow-up on firearms deer cases also continued. An ice angler created an unnecessary emergency response by leaving his sled unattended on the ice just before dark.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week included assisting the Deerwood Sno-Serpents Snowmobile Club with its youth snowmobile safety class, removal of a dead deer that died in an area lake, and patrolling hunting activity during the final weekend of the muzzleloader deer season.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports ice has slowly been forming on the shorelines of most lakes. However, early ice anglers have ventured out on North Long, Gull, and the Crow Wing River. A violation was observed in which a license holder was not lifting his own net.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) continued monitoring the muzzleloader deer season, and checked trappers and a few anglers.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) reported the small lakes in the area are frozen over and are seeing some angler activity. CO Verkuilen also checked muzzleloader hunters, responded to a trespass complaint, and monitored shining complaint areas.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked muzzleloader deer hunters who were out. Anglers were found venturing out on the ice. Please use caution if you plan to ice fish. An illegal walleye was seized – ensure that you are aware of the fishing regulations for the body of water that you are fishing.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a report about sickly deer. Shining complaints were worked.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) assisted local sheriff’s departments regarding criminal activity and assisted with the arrest of a wanted fugitive. A trespass case and damage to property cases also were worked.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) report trapping activity continued, and enforcement activity was taken for failing to register harvested furbearers within 48 hours.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMAs, checking a few small-game hunters. Time also was spent assisting a neighboring officer with a poaching investigation.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked the last week of muzzleloader deer season. Some groups were out making drives, but few deer were seen. Illegal lending and borrowing of deer licenses were investigated, with enforcement action taken. CO Thesing also talked at the St. Augusta snowmobile safety class and participated in a radio call-in show.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, small-game hunters, and the last of the muzzleloader season deer hunters. The CO also handled calls concerning road-kill deer, and an owl that was found dead.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) addressed overlimit and lend/borrow violations when a deer hunter was found trying to fill a bonus tag in a lottery area. During the investigation it was found that the person had already shot two bucks in the deer area, using his non-hunting mom’s license to cover one and failing to register the other, as well as trying to take a third deer.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) talked to a homeowner about a complaint regarding the number of dead squirrels that were in his backyard. It was found that the person was live-trapping and then killing squirrels that were doing damage.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked hunting, ice fishing, and snowmobiling activity. An ATV was noticed on an area lake that had open water two days earlier. No fish is worth breaking through weak ice. Deer-baiting cases are continuing to be made late into the muzzleloader season.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a trespass complaint. Hunters were checked, and violations were found for no blaze orange during the muzzleloader season.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked deer hunters and followed up on a lend-and-borrow case. The CO also answered a number of trapping questions and met with Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge managers. He continues to follow up on a number of baiting cases.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) checked deer hunters and followed up on open deer cases. CO Krauel also gave law presentations at two snowmobile safety classes.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week checking small-game and big-game hunting, and trapping activity around Scott County. CO Leuthardt also investigated a TIP regarding fishermen at a designated trout lake and followed up on possible hunting violations from the firearms deer-hunting season. Enforcement action was taken for driving under the influence and CWD violations.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) checked late-season anglers on the St Croix River. Several archery hunters were checked, and enforcement action was taken for no blaze orange, failure to register deer, and failing to validate a site tag.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent most of the week investigating several TIP calls involving possible big-game hunting violations. He also handled calls about waterfowl that appeared to be frozen in the ice, a trapping complaint, and dogs chasing deer.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for continued hunting activity. CO Salzer also assisted with a snowmobile safety course in St Francis.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) received assistance from the Roseville Fire Department with a loon that was stranded in a small pool of water on Lake Owasso.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working muzzleloader deer and pheasant hunters. Investigations continue to be worked dealing with the illegal taking of big game.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) checked pheasant and deer hunters throughout the week. CO Dirks also investigated a case of shooting from the roadway.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) conducted multiple big-game investigations involving trespass, shooting from a motor vehicle, no license, and untagged big game. Enforcement action was taken. CO Gutzwiller also followed up with complaints involving individuals taking overlimits of pheasants.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) dealt with multiple trespassing questions and issues during the week. She followed up with a complaint abut a pheasant hunter shooting from his vehicle and also addressed issues with traps in the Sibley County area.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports a large amount of damage was done to the Ewy Lake WMA in Watonwan County. Damage was caused by vehicles being driven into the management area and tearing up fields, along with numerous signs being knocked down and damaged.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and muzzleloader deer hunters this week. Few hunters made it out for the last weekend of the muzzleloader season. A few individuals have tested the ice late this week, but anglers are advised that the ice is unsafe with the heavy snow.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports time was spent on a complaint about coyote hunters trespassing.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking deer, pheasant, and goose hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring trapping activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for goose and muzzleloader deer hunters. Additional efforts were spent teaching a snowmobile safety class and handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports enforcement action for the week was taken for failing to display federal duck stamps for inspection and burning prohibited materials.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working the last week of the muzzleloader deer season.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly goose, deer, and coyote hunters during the week. CO Heyn also had court date on a BWI arrest from the summer.