District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) continued to work the firearms deer season. Court was attended on a gross misdemeanor deer shining/DWI case. Assistance was given to officers in the Blackduck area with illegal shining activity, and charges are pending for shining/transporting a loaded firearm as well as operating an unregistered/uninsured vehicle.
CO Nick Prachar (Baudette) reports enforcement action was taken for possession of a slot limit northern. There is no such thing as “spear and release.” Make certain that you know you are about to kill a legal-length fish before you throw a spear through it.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor firearms deer-hunting activity along with early ice angling.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking deer hunters throughout the week. Time was spent investigating TIP calls regarding hunters trespassing, shooting from the road, and shooting from vehicles. A report of stolen traps was forwarded to the sheriff’s office.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports focusing time on deer season and checking ice anglers on Upper Red Lake. An ATVer went through the ice last weekend, and a search was conducted for a group of anglers who were on foot and became lost after dark.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time working on deer season-related cases and following up with deer hunters concerning past violations. An accidentally caught fisher was seized.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued to work firearms deer-hunting activity. Individuals were cited for shooting from the roadway and no blaze orange. CO Vollbrecht responded to a trespass complaint in which an individual shot a deer on an agricultural field after being told by the landowner he could not hunt the property.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports anglers have begun venturing out on area lakes. Ice thickness reports vary. CO Vinton also continued with post deer season investigations.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports that two Hawley High school Students were given an opportunity to ride along with the officer for a day.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on follow up and complaints from the firearms deer season. Complaints about the illegal dumping of deer carcasses were received.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports working on follow-up investigations after the firearms deer season. Waterfowl hunters were checked, with large concentrations of geese throughout the area.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) was called to rescue an injured loon that was on a county road. CO Plautz retrieved the loon and released it into some open water. The officer also responded to an injured swan, where the swan was rescued and transported to an animal hospital for rehabilitation.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) kept busy this week with follow-up work from the firearms deer season. Several people were found failing to register their deer – either forgetting or thinking they didn’t have to.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking pheasant hunters, trappers, and ATV operators.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) finished up the last week of the regular firearms deer season, taking enforcement action for some license and registration issues as well as a deer overlimit case. An adult wolf also was successfully released from a snare set in the Crosslake station.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) followed up on deer season cases. A large, nearly 500-pound black bear was hit by a car outside of Staples.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. CO Broughten also investigated complaints of hunter harassment and illegal party hunting, and investigated multiple complaints regarding dead deer. In most cases, it appeared hunters did a poor job of tracking.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports end of deer season ended relatively quietly, with minimal success by hunters. People are reminded to dispose of deer carcasses in the legal manner, instead of dumping them along public roads.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports deer carcass dumping complaints continue to be investigated. CO Slatinski also encountered the first ice anglers of the year.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked deer hunters this past week and followed up on several hunting complaints. He also took multiple phone calls with questions about deer-hunting regulations and checked some trapping activity.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted deputies and federal Bureau of Indian Affairs officers with a suicidal female who was hiding in the woods. She was found with some minor injuries and was transported by ambulance. The officer also assisted the county and State Patrol with a lost hunter. The hunter had been missing since sunset, five hours earlier. The hunter finally was able to find a trail out of the woods in the early morning hours. The hunter was exhausted but otherwise unharmed. The officer also assisted CO Velsvaag and CO Frericks with a case involving the theft of 80-plus hides from donation boxes. An individual is facing charges.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked a busy week of deer season and a number of complaints. Deer baiting and shooting from the roadway dominated the list, including a case in which a couple hunted over bait, failed to register one of the two deer shot over it, and failed to properly tag one deer. Unlawful party hunting also was handled. The officer found a spruce top theft in progress on state land, followed by the suspect fleeing from the officer on a snowmobile. The suspect was tracked by the officer and then fled on foot. He was arrested when he was found hiding in the brush. Enforcement action was taken.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) found the last weekend of the deer season to be relatively quiet with few shots being heard. Trespass issues and shooting from the road continued to be a common complaints.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that while following up on an investigation of whitefish nets being allowed to freeze into an area lake, he stopped by a residence to find an untagged buck. Upon further investigation, it was determined the buck was shot over bait from the resident’s deck. The .22 rifle (which is not a legal caliber for deer hunting) used to shoot the deer was seized, along with the 8-point buck.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) investigated a call about a hunter taking a deer from a county roadway. The shot was legally taken, although it was close to a residence and on public lands. One member of the hunting party was unhappy that the warden had been called. He was told to expect to see law enforcement if he continued to drive the roads for deer rather than the woods.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunting activity again this week. CO Schottenbauer also assisted the Silver Bay Police Department with a hunting complaint within the city limits.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked deer hunters and handled calls associated with deer season. CO Patten also assisted the sheriff’s office with several calls.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked deer hunters this past week. She also took calls about trespass issues.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working big-game, ATV, and small-game hunting enforcement. CO Van Asch fielded and handled complaints regarding road hunting and trespassing. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer without a license, failing to validate a site tag, operating an ATV during closed hours, and operating an ATV with too many passengers.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) continued to work deer hunters through the last week of season. Baiting complaints, trespassing issues, shooting from the roadway, and deer dumping complaints were handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week working the firearms deer season. Several nights were worked in areas where deer-shining activity has happened in the past.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued with firearms deer season work, which resulted in enforcement action for unlawful party hunting, lending licenses, failing to register deer, illegal transportation, transporting loaded firearms, and other license related violations. Baiting issues continued to be addressed. CO Humphrey assisted Lt. Speldrich with a commercial forest product theft case.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a complaint about deer parts dumped on private property was investigated. Some time was spent patrolling area state parks.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended an ice rescue meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies in the Duluth area, preparing for the ice emergency season. He also assisted the Gnesen Township Fire Department in removing a hunter from the woods north of Duluth who suffered a stroke while in deer cam. The hunter was airlifted to a Duluth hospital.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked deer hunters, early ice anglers, and commercial herring netters.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big-game hunting activity, sportfishing enforcement, and background investigations. CO Guida cautioned anglers who were fishing on thin ice and reminded them that no fish is worth drowning or worth risking the safety of emergency responders in a rescue attempt.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports continued work on big-game cases, finding untagged deer and unregistered deer amongst other violations. She also observed a couple of anglers testing out the ice in various locations.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports working waterfowl and big-game hunters throughout the week.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) continued big-game investigations and completed paperwork on big-game cases. Reports of hunters shooting from the road, hunter harassment, and deer carcasses being dumped also came in.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Cuyuna SRA) reports working the last week and weekend of the 100 series firearms deer season. A call regarding drug paraphernalia being dumped in the SRA was taken, and many outdoor law-related questions were fielded.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the final week of deer season, during which people tried to cut corners, including loaded guns in motor vehicles and lack of ATV registration. Smaller and shallower lakes are iced over, and muskrat trappers were out making use of it before chopping becomes too much work. A few ice anglers also were checked at the shore when they came back from fishing.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) reports that a couple of the southern bays of Lake Mille Lacs have ice in them, but the CO would not consider any of it safe.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) completed an investigation on a report of shooting from a motor vehicle/trespass/illegally take antlerless deer case with the help of a Wisconsin warden. The suspect’s rifle was seized, and charges are pending. The CO also investigated a baiting/trespassing complaint.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the final week of the deer season and saw an increase in trespass calls and an increase in road hunting complaints. One of the more unfortunate problems throughout the firearms deer season was the number of dead or injured deer found and reported by landowners and hunters. A few of the found deer were tracked back to where they likely were shot and further investigation determined that there was likely a lack of tracking effort. A handful of hunters were talked to about the ethical obligation when it comes time to recovering a deer.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time working shining activity and areas of concern about ATV operation and trespassing.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked hunters during the week and weekend. A number of complaints were investigated as hunters grew more desperate to harvest a deer.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked two complaints about dogs chasing deer, with a citation issued. Both dog owners had been previously warned to keep their dogs locked up when they were not home. With the popularity of game cameras, more dogs are being seen running. CO Kuske also consulted with the county attorney’s office on a hunter harassment case from waterfowl season, and started an investigation into deer season license cases.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked duck, pheasant, and archery deer hunters. Time was spent following up on some firearms deer season investigations.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports investigating cases involving untagged deer, failing to register deer, trespass, and illegal deer possession.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) received numerous complaints about deer carcass dumping. Several deer-hunting cases are still being investigated.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked deer hunters, small-game hunters, and trappers. Violations were found for transporting loaded firearms, illegal lend/borrow of deer licenses, failing to tag deer, and overlimits of deer.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking deer hunters and following up on several deer cases. CO Krauel also took calls about hunters trespassing.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Monticello. Many complaints about deer carcasses thrown out on public land and in ditches have been taken.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) reports assistance was provided to the National Park Service in investigating a wolf that was killed by a deer hunter.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) received a call about an emu loose in Chaska. The emu escaped from a farm approximately two months ago in Laketown Township.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) assisted with a wetlands complaint and traveled to Pine County during the weekend for the St. Croix State Park deer hunt.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) had a busy reopener of the “B” season. A hunter self-reported an antler point restriction violation. Several littering complaints were taken regarding dumped deer carcasses. A report was taken regarding geese frozen to a local lake.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time investigating several violations reported during the firearms deer season, including a trespassing complaint, hunting over bait, shooting after hours, and illegal take. Time also was spent investigating a public waters violation.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted a background investigator with work on a CO candidate from the Southeast Asian community. He also met with staff at Fort Snelling State Park regarding reports of vehicle break-ins and illegal use of a motorized vehicle on state trail.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) investigated a complaint in Edina regarding an individual pumping water from the pond behind his house.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (White Bear Lake) started work in her new station and spent time familiarizing herself with the White Bear Lake area. CO Leuthardt also responded to a call regarding a suspiciously dumped deer in a state wildlife management area and answered questions regarding litter as it pertains to dead animals. She also investigated reports of unregistered deer and illegal possession of deer.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) worked ongoing big-game cases this week in addition to taking new TIP calls. Trespass issues with hunters continue to occur, and hunters are encouraged to always know where property lines are located.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working waterfowl and archery deer hunters and continuing to follow up with open investigations from the firearms deer season.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted in several big-game details with South Dakota Game and Fish and COs in southeast Minnesota.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) checked pheasant hunters throughout the week. The officer received several questions regarding scopes on muzzleloaders.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week checking waterfowl, pheasant, and archery deer hunters. Time was also spent working on follow-up investigation from the firearms deer season.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on several TIP calls received during the firearms deer season. Work was completed with an ongoing investigation of deer shot after hours from the road.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports time was spent talking with the Kingston Lions Club at their regular meeting during which CO Klehr introduced himself and explained the duties of a conservation officer.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to follow up on deer-hunting cases and complaints from the firearms season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) followed up on cases from the deer-hunting season. CO VanThuyne also investigated shooting at big game from a road right of way and addressed complaints about treestands left overnight on WMAs.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent most of the week checking deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent time following up on cases from the deer season. The officer continued to work state property for pheasant-hunting activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked ATV, hunting, and trapping enforcement this week. A number of pheasant hunters made it to the field during this weekend’s nice weather.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports finishing multiple cases stemming from the firearms “A” deer season. Multiple dead deer found near roadways were investigated throughout the station, all of which had bullet holes. A small-game hunter was found with squirrels, rabbits, opossums, and northern flickers (protected nongame bird) in the bag. The hunter was cited for possessing the northern flickers.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports he attempted to find a person about trapping trespass and illegal sets but was not able to find the person at his residence. Several days later, he located the trapper on a different trespass complaint in which the suspect was deer hunting in a state park.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week following up on various complaints. A fairly busy “B” season opener was worked as well. Assistance was given to Frontenac State Park staff with various campground violations. Assistance also was given to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office and Prairie Island police with a suspect who had fled in a vehicle and then on foot when a deputy attempted to make contact. Enforcement action was taken for operating a vehicle in a closed area and taking deer not meeting antler point restrictions.