Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — May 5, 2017

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked AIS, ATV, boat/water safety, and angling enforcement. Time was spent working the Rainy River for sturgeon anglers.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a gray wolf depredation case and monitored area turkey-hunting activity. CO Woinarowicz also met with a local sheriff’s officer regarding new efforts to find a missing female.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working trapping, angling, and spearing activity throughout the week. Time was spent handling reports of incidental catches of otters and muskrats, investigating a TIP call, and assisting instructors at the Blackduck/Kelliher firearms safety field day.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at firearms safety classes in Fertile and East Grand Forks. Time also was spent checking turkey hunters throughout the week.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted with firearms safety training and checked turkey hunters and fishermen. He also investigated a wolf depredation complaint.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and recreational vehicle activity during the week. The officer received several nuisance-bear complaints and spent time working at Itasca State Park.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating dumping complaints and monitoring fish run activity. A couple of young anglers were encouraged to return the large pike they had caught a little more quickly. CO Vinton answered a call at about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning from a concerned cabin owner that there was a boat on the lake with bright lights moving slowly along the shore line. CO Vinton advised the caller that night bowfishing started at midnight and was sure that was the situation. The caller was relieved and thanked the officer for answering the phone.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area waters. Bowfishing and spearing activity was worked, with low numbers of rough fish in area streams. CO Warren also assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with a grass fire.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) assisted local agencies with a domestic-dispute call and assisted a North Dakota warden with a license fraud investigation. The officer also assisted a neighboring officer with a report about an unoccupied boat drifting on Lake Lida.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing activity early in the week slowed due to cold weather. Activity resumed later in the week, and included fish-overlimit complaints.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement on fishing and turkey hunting in the area. Illegal-burning complaints were handled as well.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts on fishermen, boaters, and AIS compliance. Additional complaints were handled regarding taking walleyes during the closed season, dead pelicans, and nuisance beavers.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored angling pressure this week, along with fire and ATV activity. Several cases of bowfishing/spearing from shore before open season were made, with a few citations issued.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing, boating, and AIS activity throughout the station. Complaints involving possible wetland and public waters violations were received and investigated, and follow-up work was completed on an aquatic vegetation violation.

CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) reports an incident regarding a dead bald eagle was investigated. Minnow transportation permits were issued.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports calls were fielded from the public regarding a deer stuck in a fence, rough-fish spearing, nuisance-beaver problems, and fishing license questions.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) handled-nuisance animal calls, completed a big-game investigation, and checked turkey hunters.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked panfish and sucker anglers as well as a few trappers. Cold and windy weather largely slowed outdoor activity in the area. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. State forest areas were checked for motor vehicle use in closed areas.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) gave a law talk to three firearms safety classes in Staples and Motley this week.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports sturgeon-fishing activity on the Rainy River was a popular activity this past week. He also spent time following up on a trapping complaint and state park use.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, checking public access sites, working on equipment, and responding to questions from the public.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week. CO Velsvaag also followed up on several calls about spring fish run activity and fires. Several inches of snow slowed the fish run and the crappie bite on area lakes.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked spring fish run, anglers, and ATVers, and assisted the sheriff’s department with a call regarding threats at a bar. Two large ATV rides were worked in the Hibbing, Orr, and Ely stations, with about 400 ATVers and 600-plus people at the Hibbing station ride.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds for spring beaver-trapping activity. Complaints regarding ATV activity have been arriving in increasing numbers.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports lots of time was spent working ATVing activity. One activity worked was a run from Chisholm to Buhl that was reported to have around 350 machines and around 500 participants. Numerous equipment violations were observed. Fredin also responded to a complaint about ATV operators blocking roads, spinning around on roads, and drinking alcohol.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that several inches of snow fell midweek. That was followed by low temperatures and wind.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the last of the walleye run and prepared boats for the fast-approaching fishing opener. People have been getting their boats ready and putting in docks. Remember to register your boats and canoes and load up the PFDs.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports coming upon what may be the last snowmobiler of the year. The fishing slowed from the earlier reports after the ice storm and cold weather. A TIP call was investigated.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) spent part of the week at Camp Ripley completing and assisting with annual firearms certifications. The officer also worked sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River with CO Grell. The pair also assisted a group of folks stranded on the river when their boat motor failed.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV enforcement and sucker spearing with little sucker run noted. A big influx of ring-necked ducks and buffleheads was noted this week.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored spring fish run, and checked steelhead anglers and spring trappers. The CO spent time at Camp Ripley for firearms training and assisted the county with a domestic disturbance.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping, fishing, and boating activity during the week. Murray also assisted with an ATV enforcement detail in the Ely station.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV activity, boating, and sportfishing. He also patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses. Violations included ATVers on snowmobile trails, allowing illegal operation of ATVs, and failure to display registration.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 training and competed at the U.S. Police Canine Association fish and game detection trial. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si, along with the five other DNR K9 teams, performed well and are certified through the USPCA for fish and game detection.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and the spring trapping season. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working angling, boating, trapping, turkey hunting, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. CO Van Asch also gave a laws and ethics presentation at a Nashwauk firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and AIS violations.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent most of the week working shore anglers and smelters along the North Shore. The officer assisted with multiple cases of people illegally catching steelhead and Kamloops along the shore. Nuisance-bear complaints are in full swing.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fish run and smelting enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Smelting activity high. Inland lakes were monitored for crappie fishing. Complaints including littering, trespassing, and overlimits of crappies.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended annual K9 detection recertification in Anoka where all of the DNR K9s were certified in wildlife detection for another year. A talk was given to an ATV class in the Moose Lake area. Some trout-fishing and turkey-hunting activity was checked in the area.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) attended an appreciation banquet for instructors who teach the DNR firearms, snowmobile, and ATV safety classes. Thanks to the many volunteers who make the programs a success.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) spent most of the week enforcing invasive species laws and educating lake service providers regarding invasive species regulations. CO Sullivan also attended a DNR instructor appreciation banquet. A homeowner caught a raccoon in a live trap, and since CO Sullivan was in the area, he assisted with relocation at the homeowner’s request.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and ATV activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also spoke at a firearms safety class and attended a firearms safety banquet.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing, all-terrain vehicle, and nuisance-wildlife complaints this week. During the weekend, a 40- to 50-pound beaver was removed from a window well. Nuisance-bear complaints are coming in, and the CO reminds everyone to remove available food sources like garbage, bird feed, and dog/chicken foods. An injured owl was transported to the Garrison Animal Hospital for rehabilitation. A 15-year-old and 11-year-old were stopped in the right of way. They were operating all-terrain vehicles. They had no safety training, no accompanying adult, no registration, and no helmets. Enforcement action was taken before any accidents occurred.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATVers. CO Hunter also took complaints about injured eagles and problem bears and received calls about a local taxidermist who will not return mounted game to the rightful owners.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports this week that District 9 officers hosted an appreciation banquet at the Nisswa Legion for more than 115 volunteer instructors who teach the DNR youth firearms, snowmobile, and ATV safety programs in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

No report available.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity. CO Silgjord also assisted with use of force training at Camp Ripley. While checking anglers at an area dam, CO Silgjord spoke with a friendly young girl who was fishing with her family. The young angler informed the officer that she was in pre-school. When asked what her favorite school subject was, she replied, “Donuts!” When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she replied that she wanted to be a police officer. CO Silgjord provided the aspiring young angler a Junior Conservation Officer badge, which she gladly accepted.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, spring fish run activity, and ATVers. CO Thesing also worked the DNR confiscated gun auction in Zimmerman where guns, bows, and other equipment were sold. The sale made approximately $270,000, which will be deposited into the Game and Fish Fund.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, turkey hunting, and bowfishing activity. The officer also fielded calls concerning foxes and road-kill deer. AIS education was passed onto bowfishermen who were tying down their equipment with a lot of aquatic vegetation on board their vessel.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and boaters this week. CO Mies also worked on carp dumping from bowfishermen-related complaints.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling for ATVing activity. CO Krauel also talked to two firearms safety classes about DNR laws and hunting ethics.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked the Minnesota-Wisconsin border water river fishing opener. Several wetland violations were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a valid license, possession of marijuana, and expired watercraft registration.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and an overlimit of crappies.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) presented Bob Wieman, of Monticello, a service award for his service of 40 years as a firearms safety instructor.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters on metro-area lakes. He also took a TIP complaint in Minneapolis regarding people fishing for bass out of season.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) continues to see an increase in shore angler numbers. Several TIP calls have been received regarding anglers targeting fish species out of season. A shoreline violation occurred on Lake Riley, and several agencies are working together to remedy the issue.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports a call was taken from a turkey hunter who shot at a turkey and discovered he had killed two birds with one shot. He immediately reported the incident and one turkey was donated for consumption. COs Birdsall and Le helped recover stranded boaters on the Minnesota River and towed their boat back to the access.

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a public waters violation and a wetlands violation. Time also was spent on angling and boating enforcement.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week at training with his K9 partner, Shelby.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports attending firearms training at Camp Ripley. He also worked the St. Croix River opener, handled nuisance-animal complaints, and investigated several TIP calls.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week preparing for the St. Croix River opener. The river was busy Saturday morning, with many people reporting success. People are reminded to check their equipment before venturing out, as on multiple occasions, people wearing their new inflatable PFDs failed to arm them. Luckily all parties had the cartridges with them in the boat, and the CO was able to show them how to arm their PFDs.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also assisted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office with an accident and a threats call.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time monitoring angling activity in the area. CO Gutzwiller also followed up on an investigation of hunter harassment.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports focusing activity on recreational boating and OHV enforcement. The officer also spent time patrolling the Minnesota River and the ATV park.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) continued work with turkey hunters and anglers. Along with the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, the CO gave multiple boat and water safety presentations for a youth fishing clinic held by the Little Crow Anglers.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) had a firearms safety class in Grove City where he spoke to about 30 kids regarding the rules and regulations of hunting. A report about a pelican that was shot dead was taken. It was determined where the shot came from, and enforcement action was taken for shooting a nongame migratory bird. Klehr also assisted with an investigation of a person who had walleyes in an aquarium in his house. The walleyes were seized, and the investigation is ongoing. Other activity during the week included responding to grass fires along roadways that were started by people tossing cigarettes out their windows.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports calls were responded to for a variety of complaints, including a deer with a plastic tile around its neck and suspicious tree deaths that may be because of emerald ash borer.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) has handled complaints regarding individuals trespassing to look for mushrooms.

CO Jeremy Henke reports responding to a TIP call about an angler fishing with two lines. CO Henke located the angler and found a traditional fishing pole, along with a large stick with fishing line and hook/bait attached to it. The stick-rod was hidden in a rocky area, and both lines were in the water. The angler was issued a citation for angling with an extra line.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) stresses the importance of obtaining a permit for any project(s) citizens may have in or near a public water body. If you have a project in or near water, please contact your SWCD or the local DNR hydrologist.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) encountered two young men about to go fishing. One did not have his license in possession and the other produced an expired license. CO Seamans told both individuals to get the proper license before they went fishing. Approximately 90 minutes later, CO Seamans encountered both individuals fishing at a different location. Neither individual had a valid 2017 license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Boyum (Rushford) reports a local driver reported seeing a large object crawling across a field. He thought it could possibly be a bear. Upon further investigation, it was found to be two turkey hunters attempting to sneak up on a group of turkeys. They were unsuccessful.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to the Red Wing Police Department with a small passenger car operator who had driven around a “road closed” barrier and had gotten stuck. Previous rain storms had caused water levels in the area to rise, making passage on the road unsafe. When the CO arrived on the scene, it was observed that the road had a few feet of water on top and the front of the vehicle had fallen into an unseen rut and was sitting in the water at an angle. All passengers were uninjured and stated that they had heard the fishing was good in that area and they thought their car would be able to make it. A local tow company was able to pull the car out.

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