Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with snowmobile safety training in Warroad. A search continues for volunteers in the great snowmobiling city of Roseau. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports rough ice conditions on Lake of the Woods. Time was spent working solid waste and litter violations on Lake of the Woods. Make sure that you take everything off of the ice that you brought with you.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted the sheriff’s office with the recovery of a stolen snowmobile, answered questions about ice shelter licenses and identification, and investigated the possible taking of a bobcat out of season.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused angling enforcement on Upper Red Lake. Assistance also was given to the county with a DWI traffic stop.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports following up on past wetland violations and deer hunting-related violations from the 2016 deer season.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) concentrated on angling, predator hunting, ATVing, and snowmobiling activities. He also responded to a trespass complaint, wildlife-related calls, and assisted another agency with a panic alarm at a financial institution.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. The bite remains sporadic on most lakes.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking ice anglers and shelters on area lakes. The ice is very rough after the warm weather, but area lakes seem to have between 14 inches 20 inches of ice.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and following up on complaints about dogs chasing deer.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity, with anglers reporting a slow bite. CO Warren checked multiple snowmobilers on trails who appeared to be having mechanical issues. Upon inspection the CO was informed that the iced-over trails were causing their machines to overheat.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and coyote-hunting activity in the Moorhead station. The officer picked up several dead eagles and took a report about several deer found dead. It is possible these deer died from acidosis as a result from eating too much corn. If you insist on feeding deer, please mix corn with other types of feed. Several young shed hunters were reported trespassing and were reminded that agricultural land doesn’t have to be posted in order for it to be illegal to enter. A spear-fishing investigation also was conducted and an individual was found to have violated seven laws, including no angling license and no spearing license.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week checking ice fishermen and small-game hunters. Trespass complaints were investigated.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) continued to work ice fishermen and fish shelter activity. Complaints of ATVers operating on the Central Lakes Trail were handled.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports complaints about an abandoned snowmobile left at the access, fish overlimits, and fish house violations were investigated in Douglas and Otter Tail counties. COs Osborne and Wahlstrom assisted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office with a large underage drinking party on the ice. The party consisted of more than 30 vehicles and close to 60 people on the ice. The lake will be checked again for removal of the large amount of trash that was left on the ice from the party.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working ice fishing and snowmobiling activity. Minnow transportation and wildlife possession permits were issued.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and commercial minnow operations.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) followed up with two different county attorneys on active cases and scheduled court appearances. He also checked anglers and snowmobilers.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Snowmobile operation in the area has ceased as the snow has turned to crusty ice. Time was spent preparing for a bear committee meeting.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen. The CO also attended the Gull Lake fishing contest and Ringnecks Forevermore Banquet, and handled a few nuisance-wildlife questions.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports the lack of snow has become a common topic of discussion in the area. Littering both on and off the ice continues to be a frequent problem.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week working snowmobilers and anglers. The area hosted the annual Snowmobile Fun Run, and even with recent rain and melt, the groomers had the trails in good shape.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked a busy week of fishing activity and worked snowmobiles and ATVers. A TIP call about a possible deer taken out of season was investigated. It turned out to be a road-kill deer and the person had not obtained a car-kill deer permit. A fishing tournament was worked on an area lake with the largest crowd the officer has seen participating. Numerous violations were encountered.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports numerous snowmobilers were cited for operating unregistered snowmobiles and speeding. Some parents of juvenile snowmobilers learned that they can be held accountable for their children’s actions and received citations for allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) investigated a report about lake plants being cut with a plow and checked into a report of garbage bags dumped along a roadway. The bags appeared to be bait used for trapping.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he attended the annual Ely snowmobile fun run, which saw a good turnout although trail and lake conditions are still only fair after recent warm weather and rain.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked with other officers in the Ely station focusing on snowmobiling and angling activity.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a couple TIP calls in the BWCAW, resulting in violations for motorized equipment, cans, failing to transfer snowmobile ownership, attempting to take overlimits of fish, no cisco labeling, too far from tip-ups, and transporting fish without a skin patch.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, ATVers, and fish shelters on area lakes in the Evansville area. Complaints about snowmobiling and angling violations were investigated.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked anglers on area lakes, handled nuisance-wildlife calls, and investigated a complaint about snowmobilers operating on a ski trail.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, followed up on a trapping case, and assisted the county with a search warrant.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the past week. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, angling without a license in possession, and an unregistered snowmobile.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling and snowmobiling activity. CO Van Asch also attended the Hill City snowmobile safety class, giving a law presentation to students.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working on trapping issues and assisting with a large trapping case. Area lakes were worked for anglers and recreational vehicle operators.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports calls came in regarding car-killed deer resulting from deer feeding near busy roadways.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports lots of fishing activity in the area with little success found. The snowmobile trails are in poor condition because of the lack of snow. A complaint about a dog chasing deer was investigated.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore in pursuit of coho salmon and Kamloops trout. Car-kill deer permits were issued in the Duluth area. Area snowmobile trails are in need of a fresh snowfall, as they are reported to be in rough condition with slippery spots.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and worked a complaint regarding overlimits of salmon.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked anglers this week. She also followed up on an ATV trespass call and had a trespass call about anglers illegally accessing an area lake.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) completed an investigation regarding the destruction of a beaver lodge. CO Sullivan also checked fish houses on area lakes for proper identification and shelter licenses. He also assisted with the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) checked snowmobilers and anglers, did follow-up work on cases from the deer season, attended a lake association meeting, and was part of a work crew for the Gull Lake fishing tournament.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and associated ATVing/snowmobiling activity. Assistance was given to the Aitkin Sheriff’s Department with a youth ice-fishing event.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen throughout the week and weekend. Area snowmobile trails were monitored, but traffic was light due to a lack of snow. The CO assisted the local sheriff’s department with a kids ice-fishing day event on a local lake. Around 80 kids were able to get a chance to catch some fish and learn about ice-fishing techniques and equipment. Officer Fitzgerald also assisted a neighboring officer with a call about a trespasser crossing private land to access a lake. CO Fitzgerald and the Wealthwood officer received a call about a deer on Lake Mille Lacs that could not get off the lake because of the glare ice. The COs were able to capture and transport the exhausted deer to a wooded location.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports coyotes are starting to get active as their breeding season approaches.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found quite a few hunters and trappers out pursuing coyotes. He also checked ice anglers. A few calls came in from landowners concerned about bears and bear cubs they found wandering around. Callers were urged to leave the bears alone and were reminded that it’s quite normal for black bears to snoop around during warm spells.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls this week regarding questions about trapping, boating registration, and ice shelter identification. Be sure to have some kind of ice cleats on as CO Wynn has seen numerous individuals fall on the ice.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports a fisherman contacted on Mille Lacs stated he witnessed a car that was traveling at a high rate of speed hit an ice heave and launch several feet into the air. It then went spiraling in circles for about 50 yards. The driver exited and began to pick up bumper parts and other miscellaneous pieces. The fisherman said it was quite the sight, and the driver only had to slow down and pass over a road bridge that was about 10 yards away.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a truck went through the ice on an area lake. It was a shallow area over a sand bar, and the occupants were able to get to shore safely. They were not familiar with the lake and did not research conditions prior to driving on it. Ice conditions vary.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked ice anglers and spearing activity. CO Thesing also spoke at a DNR firearms safety class in Holdingford and conducted follow-up investigations on deer cases, with enforcement action taken for individuals taking a doe in a lottery zone with no doe permit. One case was made where a person was over his limit because he shot two bucks – one with a bow and one with a gun.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports a litter investigation was handled where an angler was tracked down and advised to go back to the lake and clean up the fecal matter he left on the ice, along with other littered items.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) was handling a call regarding an injured car-hit deer in a ditch when the landowner stopped by in his truck to see what was going on. While CO Kuske was talking to the landowner, she watched his truck roll down the hill, go down the road, down a steep embankment, and into the woods CO Kuske gave the truck owner a ride home to get his chain saw to get the truck out. The landowner ended up taking the car-hit deer. CO Kuske also cited a contractor who failed to file the mandatory contractor liability form before working in a wetland. This was the sixth time the contractor has been cited for failing to file the form.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week focusing on angling enforcement. Most anglers were reporting a slow crappie bite on area lakes, except for one group. After the CO had checked several houses and only found one or two crappies in possession, he was surprised to see several crappies and sunfish on the ice outside of a house. He was even more surprised to find the occupants of the house were a 13-year-old, 11-year-old, and a 7-year-old. The juveniles told CO Krauel that they pull the portable fish house out every night after school and fish until bedtime. After listening to several angling stories, the CO congratulated the youths on being the most successful anglers on the lake that night.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked ice-fishing activity. Recently, several anglers have been found with fish that have gone to waste, lying on the ice outside their fish houses.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted Sherburne County deputies and Big Lake police with a vehicle that broke through the ice in the channel between Big and Mitchell lakes. No one was injured, but the vehicle was totally submerged and the driver and passenger escaped without any injuries. CO Sladek also assisted nongame and wildlife officials with injured swans.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a turkey-related complaint in Minneapolis.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spoke at an outdoor adventures class in Champlin about conservation officer duties and also attended a fishing event on Eagle Lake.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) presented law and ethics at a firearms safety class of 40 students in Norwood. She also assisted with a kid’s fishing event on Eagle Lake in Hennepin County. Aeration inspections were completed, with few issues.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) investigated the death of several swans on a local lake. Also, assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, which was investigating stolen recreational vehicles.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. He also recovered a stolen fish house, issued a possession tag for a fisher, and continued to work cases from the deer season.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) assisted a neighboring officer in locating and recovering a stolen fishing shelter.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) started an investigation into a large amount of garbage and household items dumped at a state wildlife management area.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted the local sheriff’s office after a vehicle was reported to have broken through the ice on Lac qui Parle Lake. The vehicle was being driven in an area that is commonly open and was only a few hundred yards from open water.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) reports time was spent checking ice anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) says farmers who own ATVs are reminded that they are required to get public-use registration besides agricultural registration if they want to use the farm ATV for ice fishing and other non-farming activities.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time assisting with a big-game investigation as well as conducting a local taxidermy inspection.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) was a featured guest on the MinnDak Outdoors radio show on KDIO radio in Ortonville.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on trespassing complaints. He also answered questions about nuisance-animal control and issued deer possession tags.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) patrolled area lakes for ice angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity. He also worked area trapping and collected multiple incidentally taken fishers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking ice fishermen. Flooding issues were investigated and are being worked on by the area hydrologist with the DNR.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) worked angling activity and followed up on some ongoing cases.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. The officer also attended a kids fishing event in Owatonna.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent much of his time this week following up on open investigations. CO Henke also spent time working fishing, CWD feeding ban enforcement, and snowmobiling enforcement. Snowmobilers are out in full force with the fresh snow in the area.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports assisting the sheriff’s office with a snowmobiling accident. He also responded to CWD feeding ban complaints and checked fishermen and predator hunters.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a few wildlife possession permits were issued, and assistance was provided to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol during a traffic accident.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports coyote hunters were out during the weekend. Multiple groups were checked and most were seeing coyotes.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) assisted the State Patrol and Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office with two car crashes, one resulting in two fatalities. The recent re-freeze of Lake Byllesby and Zumbro has allowed more anglers back out on the ice.