District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked hunters on Thief Lake and the Roseau River WMAs. Enforcement contacts were made with hunters failing to purchase proper licenses and stamps, and hunters transporting loaded firearms in a motor boat.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling, ATVing, and hunting enforcement. Angling activity has picked up along the south shore of Lake of the Woods. Displaced camping in the forest also has picked up. A reminder to campers: You may not leave trailers/personal property unoccupied/unattended in the forest overnight.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted follow-up interviews on bear-baiting cases, investigated a case in which a nonresident was purchasing resident licenses, and answered questions at elk hunter orientation in Lake Bronson.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking duck hunters, grouse hunters, bough cutters, and anglers on special-regulation lakes. Time also was spent working a security detail for the regional DNR auction, issuing car-kill deer possession permits, and assisting a neighboring officer with a dumping /littering investigation. CO Regas and neighboring officers also investigated a TIP report of duck hunters operating motorboats on a WMA. The duck hunters were located, and enforcement action was taken. He reminds people that operation of motorboats, including electric trolling motors, is prohibited on most wildlife management areas.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored grouse hunting and waterfowling activity. Anglers continue to enjoy a good fall bite and favorable weather conditions.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked waterfowl and small-game hunting during the week. Time also was spent investigating a TIP call and finishing up with a background investigation on an applicant for the next CO academy.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating TIP calls regarding possible shooting at night. CO Vinton also conducted an inspection of a new game farm and followed up with a wetland-filling investigation.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked small game, waterfowl, and archery hunting activity. Angling and boating checks were performed.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) investigated calls from the public regarding shining, baiting, hunting waterfowl before and after legal shooting hours, and numerous wildlife-related calls.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports some early migrant ducks provided good action for hunters in the past few days.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked the area for waterfowl hunters and fishermen. CO Plautz also followed up on complaints, issued nuisance-beaver permits, and handled calls about injured owls.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters, and performed AIS enforcement. CO Nelson answered lots of questions regarding Ten Mile Lake being infested with zebra mussels.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) followed up on several more cases involving potential trespassing violations.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing, small game, migratory waterfowl, and deer hunting. An illegal bear-hunting investigation was completed, resulting in the confiscation of the bear.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) served resource protection notices and restoration orders again this week, as he continued to work on waters and wetland violations.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) assisted with a firearms safety class in Remer. Two separate deer TIP complaints were taken and are under investigation.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) made a presentation at the annual Remer school firearms safety class for about 40 students. The field day was held at Thunder Lake Sportsman’s Club. Additional instructors will be needed for future classes. Please contact CO Best if you’re interested.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) investigated a complaint about illegal bear baiting.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of people enjoying the nice weather while grouse hunting, bowhunting, fishing, and riding ATVs. Several nuisance-bear complaints were handled, along with injured eagle and fisher.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports a meeting with several local agencies was attended to address ongoing concerns. CO Slatinski also acted on a call for assistance from an Ontario conservation officer in regards to an overlimit reported to be heading for the U.S. port of entry.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, public access sites, boating, angling, and ATVers during the week.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took enforcement action on an ATVer in a state park, with no park sticker, illegal use of a campsite, and illegal firewood. The CO also dealt with no PFD in a watercraft and transporting a loaded firearm. Finally, the CO investigated and submitted charges on an illegal decorative bough-harvesting case.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons, anglers, ATVers, state parks, and invasive species enforcement.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of his time patrolling for and checking grouse hunters throughout the Virginia station. An area camper called to report that a bear made numerous attempts to get inside a camper while he and others were inside it. CO Frericks called the following morning and learned that they’d shot the bear. A lengthy tracking of the bear revealed that it likely was a nonfatal wound.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) finished up a couple of commercial bear guide inspections, assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a snowmobile that was abandoned last season, started a wetlands investigation, and checked grouse hunters. Assistance was also given on a medical call.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) reports a slight decrease in the number of nuisance-bear calls received this week. CO Manning assisted Cook County deputies and search and rescue volunteers with an all-night search to locate a party who called 911 multiple times from somewhere in the woods near Grand Marais. Located safely asleep in his tent, the person reported he had overreacted to a situation, tried to call for help, and then his cell phone went dead – leaving responders with the task of locating the man and his party and verifying that everyone was OK.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) was notified about a headless moose in a gravel pit. When CO Schottenbauer checked the area, he found an old horse carcass that was heavily scavenged.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small game and waterfowl-hunting activity during the week. CO Murray also is also working a complaint in which geese were illegally shot and left floating in a pond.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, patrolled for OHV activity, worked waterfowl enforcement, and monitored the harvesting of decorative tree materials. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, using a motor boat in a prohibited area, and illegal OHV operation.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time working on a garbage-dumping complaint. She also worked small-game and big-game hunting activity. She also responded to a late-shooting complaint and took a complaint about deer baiting.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on big game, migratory waterfowl, angling, and small-game hunting enforcement in the areas.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) returned several calls throughout the week, checked several grouse hunters in the field, and continued ATV enforcement work. CO Duncan also attended and helped with a firearms safety class.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked small-game hunters and anglers most of the week. Nuisance bear and beaver issues continue to come up, and trespassing complaints are picking u.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued patrols in the Fond du Lac State Forest and local wildlife management areas. There was lots of outdoor activity across the spectrum, from leaf lookers, birdwatchers, agate hunters, and berry pickers to bird and deer hunters, off-road vehicle users, commercial bough pickers, anglers, folks cutting wood, and those pulling docks and boats for the season. CO Humphrey received calls/complaints regarding late shooting and unlawful treestand construction. CO Humphrey issued car-kill bear and deer possession permits.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a meeting with the Minnesota Trappers Association. Extra patrol was conducted in Jay Cooke State Park after state Hwy. 210 re-opened after being closed for five years as a result of the 2012 flood. K9 assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office in searching for a person who fled from a deputy on foot. Assistance was given to a local sheriff’s office with an unoccupied personal watercraft that was found on an area lake. It is believed that the PWC just floated away from a dock.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended firearms safety youth field day at United Northern Sportsman range north of Duluth, where more than 40 students attended the event. He also worked a case in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Duluth. The investigation is ongoing. The CO also responded to a complaint about an injured bald eagle. It ended up being a dead herring gull in the city of Duluth.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports working hunting, fishing, and shining activity, investigating issues of illegal motor vehicle access in the Crow Wing State Forest, illegal waterfowl hunting in the closed Central Duck Zone, abandoned property in the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, hunter trespass, and responding to nuisance bear and beaver problems. Two individuals face gross misdemeanor charges, loss of hunting privileges, and confiscation of an expensive bow after being caught shining deer on posted fenced land late at night while in possession of a bow and arrows.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters and ATVers. CO Hunter also answered questions from neighbors living within a state game refuge regarding hunting and shooting. The CO also had a report about a coyote hanging around a house.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports working a variety of cases including a wetland violation and a littering case. The CO also checked anglers, waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters, archery deer hunters, bear hunters, and ATVers. The CO took a complaint about a public access issue where an angler launched his boat, then left his vehicle parked on the ramp with the trailer still in the water while he fished. It was explained to the angler that just because there is not a parking area at the public access does not mean he can keep his vehicle on the boat ramp while fishing. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) observed a motorist driving erratically and having trouble driving within the traffic lane. Contact was made, and the operator was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports deer-baiting complaints have come in and are being worked. He checked duck hunters and some violations found were unplugged guns and no duck stamps. The CO also spent time on a complaint about duck hunters shooting near houses. He also worked on a complaint about hunter harassment on Margret Lake. A warning was issued because the suspect did not realize duck-hunting season was open.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) took enforcement action for parties shining wild animals after hours. One vehicle was observed with a party standing out of the sun roof while the driver was shining deer. A bow and vehicle were seized, and charges are pending for gross misdemeanor shining.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled calls regarding nuisance beavers, a dead canine presumed to be a wolf, and small-game hunting questions.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports a possible stolen boat was investigated, along with possession of a road-kill deer without a permit.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week following up on complaints about deer baiting and trespassing. He spent time checking anglers and boaters as well.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports two waterfowl hunters flipped their canoe and managed to swim with the swamped canoe to shore. During their struggle to get to shore, one of the hunters called 911 to get a rescue crew because of the onset of hypothermia. When the sheriff’s deputies and the CO arrived, both parties had made it to shore but were disorientated. They were found and taken to an ambulance to warm up. Both men were experienced swimmers – one a life guard – and said staying with the boat saved their lives.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports a complaint about a wetland being filled was investigated, and calls about a dead eagle and two bucks locked together were handled.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked duck, deer, and small-game hunters, as well as anglers and boaters. Illegal deer stands on public hunting land were investigated, with enforcement action taken.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked small-game hunters during the week. Time was spent in the Rum River State Forest as well as the Snake River State Forest.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) found several waterfowl-hunting parties out during the closed season last week. They’d failed to read the hunting regulations.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) assisted local deputies in the search for suspects who fled on foot after a motor vehicle pursuit.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) came upon several hunters hunting during the closed waterfowl season and checked several successful hunters when it reopened.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a TIP complaint at King’s Plant in Bayport regarding an individual who was using a throw net to catch fish.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent time monitoring shore angling along the Crow River. One shore angler was approached and appeared to be snagged. He eventually reeled in an illegal minnow trap.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent time following up on zebra mussel violations on Lake Minnetonka. A call was received that a man parked on the side of Hwy. 169 pulled a long gun out of his trunk and walked toward the woods. It was found that the man was setting up his deer stand on private property.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time enforcing angling and hunting laws. CO Leuthardt also responded to wetland and fill complaints and continued to monitor an active wetland violation where restoration was ordered.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking archery deer, small-game, and waterfowl hunters. He also responded to complaints about littering, trespassing, and nuisance animals.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) checked hunters and anglers during the past week. Vehicles were observed parked inside a field area of a WMA and not a designated parking area. Upon leaving the field, the hunters were found to possess uncased firearms and a bow in an area where hunting is prohibited. Enforcement action was taken.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports enforcement action was taken for late shooting, no small-game license, take nongame migratory birds, and a warrant arrest. Time also was spent working with the aviation unit out of a float plane.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts on angling, archery deer hunting, and waterfowl hunting. One shore angler wasn’t aware the CO was standing nearby. The angler was enjoying a cold beverage and decided the best place to put the empty bottle was in the river. Enforcement action was taken.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time with a busy fall fish bite. He also worked waterfowl hunting. Overlimit violations were detected with both waterfowl hunting and angling.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted Meeker County deputies and Litchfield Fire and Rescue with a call about a person trapped on the Crow River. No one was harmed, but it was a good reminder for people to be extra cautious with the unusually high water and fast currents on the river.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports following up on TIP calls. Heavy local rainfall has resulted in little crop-harvest activity. Over 6 inches of rain has fallen during the past week, resulting in high water levels on local rivers and creeks.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) responded to several complaints about waterfowl hunters hunting out of season, assisted local agencies, and responded to a hunter harassment complaint.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) monitored fishing and small-game, and deer-hunting activities. Additional time was spent on commercial and AIS enforcement. CO Henke gave a law and ethics presentation to a firearms safety class in Alden. He also assisted local law enforcement with emergency calls.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week focusing primarily on archery deer and small-game hunting activity. In addition, CO Ihnen checked fishermen and patrolled for AIS violations.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated a person who was double-tripping with fish and had more than 100 fish over his limit. CO Hemker also investigated a complaint about taking Canada geese out of season.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple trespass complaints throughout the Zumbrota station and neighboring stations. Time also was spent patrolling for ATVs as an increase in ATVing activity was seen. A small buck was found stuck in an electric fence. The landowner had to turn off the fence and cut the wires off of the buck. However, the buck’s injuries were too severe and the animal had to be dispatched.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent time investigating an ongoing trespass case as well as an angler harassment complaint. Assistance was given to the Red Wing Police Department with a foot pursuit. The officer helped with the rolling perimeter and with apprehending the suspect. A TIP complaint regarding possible out-of-season duck hunters was received.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) had court from a DUI case and also transferred a seized boat back to another person arrested for DUI who was allowed to buy it back.