Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 8, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked big-game, angling, and ATVing enforcement. Several public-land trespass incidents were looked into and are being investigated.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports varying ice conditions on and around Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for a litter violation.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring muzzleloader hunting, ATVing, and angling activity on special regulation lakes. Time also was spent assisting the sheriff’s department search for and recover missing anglers on Upper Red Lake, and assisting a neighboring officer investigate a TIP call of anglers taking overlimits of walleye on Upper Red Lake, which resulted in enforcement action.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports a busy week on Upper Red Lake. Ice conditions remain unstable. There were several ATVs that broke through the ice this past week. Please check with the local resorts for ice conditions and use extreme caution while on the lake.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) followed up on an escaped-cervid complaint. He also received a nuisance-animal complaint from DNR Wildlife personnel.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked area lakes for angling activity. Ice conditions vary greatly and few people are out fishing. CO Vollbrecht also responded to complaints about wanton waste of deer and littering.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week checking small game hunters, muzzleloader deer hunters, and ice anglers. Time also was spent conducting a background investigation on a potential conservation officer candidate.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) monitored and performed muzzleloader hunter checks. Complaints about a deer stand left in an aquatic management area, illegal dumping of deer carcasses, and a nuisance gray wolf were received.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) received a report about a bull moose in Wilkin County. A report of individuals taking ducks out of season is still under investigation.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports following up on a trespassing complaint resulting in enforcement action. Time was also spent assisting with fur registration. Questions were answered related to ice fishing and deer hunting. Archery and muzzleloader deer hunters were checked with enforcement action taken for violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on complaints this week. Ice conditions have worsened, and few fishermen were out, but a portable fish house was investigated because it broke through the ice.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked trappers and waterfowl hunters. Several complaints were received, and follow-up will continue. Most lakes are open in the area, with geese still around.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked on finishing up some trespassing complaints that came in after the deer season. A deer-hunting case was worked with CO Richards regarding an untagged/unregistered deer, but after talking with the subject and his girlfriend, it was revealed another deer was harvested by way of illegal party hunting and given to someone who didn’t know about the registration requirement. Citations are pending.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on pheasant hunters, trapping activity, and muzzleloader deer hunters. COs Anderson and Baumbarger worked the vacant Elbow Lake station, with several violations encountered regarding hunters not wearing enough blaze orange.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, ATVers, and fishermen. Ice conditions are poor, and one fish house through the ice was reported.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) reports monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Muzzleloader hunters report moderate success.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports ice in the area possibly got worse with the warmer weather this week. A few muzzleloader deer hunters were checked. Work continues on a background investigation for a CO applicant. Two separate deer-carcass littering complaints were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered ATVs.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) spent the week patrolling for muzzleloader deer hunters and ice fishermen.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports muzzleloader season continues with little activity. Pine marten and fisher trapping season came to a close, with most trappers getting pine marten. Enforcement action was taken for the burning of prohibited materials.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports trapping and muzzleloader deer-hunting activities were the main focuses of activity. Ongoing investigations were worked, and accidental trapper catches were picked up and processed.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working on trapping-related matters, monitoring area lakes, and checking area forest roads.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked muzzleloader deer hunters this past week. He also checked trapping activity and found some anglers on the ice.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted with fur registration in Tower. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marten out of season, registration violations, and trapping without a license. Trappers appear to have had a good fisher/marten season, as many limits were registered. It was nice to see a good number of children taking part in trapping.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked trapping and hunting activity, followed up on deer-hunting cases, registered furs, and continued with the investigation of a spruce top theft case arrest from the week prior. The officer assisted other COs with a case involving forest products and a felon with a firearm. The suspect was taken to jail.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling and checking fisher and pine marten trappers during the 6-day season. Many trappers took their limit of the two animals. CO Frericks assisted St. Louis County deputies in searching for a suspect who fled on foot after a vehicle pursuit. The suspect was apprehended a short time later. CO Frericks met a muzzleloader hunter who was excited that he’d killed a nice buck with his new muzzleloader. However, he’d trespassed to shoot the deer and had neglected to buy a muzzleloader license. The deer and muzzleloader were seized.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he attended fur registration at the DNR office in Tower. Trapper numbers seemed to be up from last year, with good numbers of pine marten being reported.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports the ice has improved significantly and fishermen are venturing out for ice fishing and skating activities.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) checked traps and trappers during the short fisher/pine marten season and assisted with fur registration. The officer also continued to follow up on registration issues from the recent firearms deer season, checked muzzleloader hunters, and assisted a pair who had underestimated the time they needed to complete their hike and return to their vehicle before dark.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area trapping activity and assisted at the Finland fur registration.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and trapping activity. Some area lakes are producing some good fishing opportunities, while others are not quite safe for travel.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked trappers and muzzleloader hunters, patrolled for illegal spruce top and bough cutting, assisted with a search warrant, and worked on finishing cases from deer season. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) worked on deer season follow-up. She also assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration in Grand Rapids and worked on some trapping cases that resulted in enforcement and closed a case involving spruce top theft.
CO Tom Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked muzzleloader hunting and early ice angling. Follow-up work was performed from rifle deer season, with enforcement action taken for illegal party hunting, failure to obtain a roadkill permit, and failure to register a deer.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling, trapping, and big-game enforcement. CO Van Asch also assisted neighboring officers with the execution of a search warrant. Anglers are reporting moderate success on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) continued to follow up on cases from the deer season. Deer-dumping complaints are coming in like crazy, and miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were handled.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted the Wildlife Division with fur tagging at the Cloquet office. Time also was spent working a special muzzleloader hunt at Jay Cooke State Park. Complaints about people using illegal stands and trespassing were investigated.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the lakes north of Duluth. Officer Olson also responded to a trespass complaint regarding a muzzleloader hunter in Lakewood Township.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers on the big lake and registered furs for pine marten and fisher trappers.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked fishing enforcement this past week. He also checked goose hunters on the fields along the Mississippi and Crow Wing rivers. The hunters reported that there were still a few birds around.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) checked trappers, muzzleloader deer hunters, and ice anglers. Other activities included giving a laws presentation for a snowmobile safety class, assisting with annual fur registration, and responding to a call about a fish house that had broken through the ice.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) assisted with fur registration and observed that trapper numbers and success were low. CO Sullivan also assisted an angler after his spearing house broke through the ice. The house was floating in open water and was successfully removed.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) followed up on a deer case in which a doe was shot with a bow and was not utilized. CO Ladd eventually located the suspect, who did not have a deer license.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big-game and sportfishing enforcement. Work continued on a background investigation. CO Guida responded to a fire where the landowner attempted to start a large brush pile on fire without a permit. The fire spread rapidly and the local fire department and DNR fire officials were contacted for suppression purposes.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Cuyuna) reports calls regarding car-kill deer permits were fielded, and many outdoor law-related questions were answered. CO Fitzgerald also attended an advanced field training class in the metro. He also transported evidence from the deer season to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for processing.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, trapping, small-game, and muzzleloader activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked muzzleloader hunters and trapping activity.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended fur registration and answered ice safety questions. CO Speldrich also responded to a TIP call about illegal hunting methods. She also worked on a background investigation for a perspective new hire and checked ice anglers.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found quite a bit of muzzleloader deer-hunting activity. There were about 60 hunters participating in a special muzzleloader hunt at St. Croix State Park. Trapping activity was checked, and some time was spent registering pelts for trappers after the close of fisher and pine marten season.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) checked ice conditions and issued car-kill deer permits during the week. He also took calls about dogs chasing deer.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked muzzleloader hunters and investigated TIP calls regarding illegal party hunting and possible lending/borrowing of deer tags. Ice conditions in the Morrison County area are dangerous.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time following up on big-game cases. CO Silgjord also continued working on an assigned background investigation.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working bow and muzzleloader deer hunters. Pheasant hunters and trapping activity were monitored. A talk was given to the Albany and St. Augusta DNR snowmobile safety classes. One muzzleloader deer hunter was cited for shooting 10 minutes after legal hours on a full-moon evening hunt.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking trappers and muzzleloader hunters. Enforcement action was taken for failing to tend traps and lending/borrowing a deer license. CO Bertram also helped a trapper release a fisher that was caught after the season closed. With the help of a catch pole and some plywood, the trapper, officer, and fisher all left the area unharmed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, trappers, and anglers. Time also was spent working on a background investigation.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week following up on big-game issues. CO Krauel also took several calls about carcasses being dumped illegally. He removed several camping items abandoned in a nearby state forest.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) checked archery and muzzleloader deer hunters. All hunters are reminded that the blaze orange requirements are the same for the muzzleloader season and the regular firearms deer season.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked a few small-game and muzzleloader hunters. Activity was limited for most.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) reports following up on deer season cases. Trespass complaints also were handled. Several injured snowy owls were found on the side of the freeway in Maple Grove.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) has shifted gears from hunting to fishing. Anglers along the Crow River are finding walleye-fishing success. CO Birdsall also attended fur registration in Shakopee. Assistance was given to Carver County Sheriff’s Office with an out-of-control grass fire.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked a deer-hunting complaint involving trespassing and damage to property. CO Maass also investigated complaints regarding trespassing and hunting over bait.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and big-game hunters in the metro area. He also worked fishing activity and issued a wild animal possession tag to an individual in Minneapolis.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl, small-game, and deer hunters in Dakota County. He also responded to miscellaneous animal-related calls, TIP complaints, and other various questions. CO Pril also did a career presentation for Lakeville High School students.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports working the end of the duck season. There were a lot of ducks and geese in the area but success varied greatly. He also spent time checking anglers on the river and backwaters.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) followed up on cases from the firearms deer season and checked waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits of deer, unlawful party hunting, lending/borrowing licenses, and waterfowl violations. One hunter was found with extra shells in two shotguns while goose hunting, and enforcement action was taken.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working deer hunting, trapping, and pheasant-hunting activity. Multiple investigations were conducted involving trespass, hunter harassment, litter, and insufficient blaze orange.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports enforcement action was taken for gross misdemeanor shining and underage consumption. A wildfire that burnt into the Big Stone Refuge was investigated. The fire started along the road and burnt about 100 acres. Local firefighters were able to put out the flames before it turned into a large-scale event.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week checking waterfowl, pheasant, and muzzleloader deer hunters. Time also was spent investigating trapping and hunting complaints. The waterfowl season closed with a few groups being able to get some shooting during the final weekend.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) offered instruction at a youth snowmobile safety training class. He also assisted a sheriff’s office with a DWI arrest.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports fielding calls related to wanton waste, trespass, and trapping issues. Information was received regarding a large whitetail buck rack that was stolen from a meat processor in Redwood County. The buck was harvested near the city of Franklin. Local officers and the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office are requesting anyone with any information related to the theft of the rack to contact them.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports pheasant hunting participation has stayed consistent since the regular firearms deer season ended.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) investigated possible burning violations and followed up on a TIP complaint that led to a crappie overlimit violation.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) investigated the illegal killing of a trumpeter swan. CO Henke received information regarding a hunter shooting the swan, while goose hunting, approximately two weeks earlier. CO Henke, along with CO Davis, responded, investigated, and ultimately charged the hunter with illegally killing the swan as well as wanton waste. The firearm used in the incident was seized.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports checking pheasant and muzzleloader deer hunters. CO Hill also spoke with multiple waterfowl hunters and answered last-minute questions before the duck season ended.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to police officers and sheriff’s deputies with a domestic assault incident. A call was also handled with the sheriff’s office regarding a group of hunters who had seen a bunch of deer quarters hanging in the woods near the Cannon Valley trail. With the help of a deputy, the CO located the deer quarters hanging in a tree. Contact was made with the individual to whom they belonged. The individual said they were deer that he had found lying in a ditch. The individual was informed that he still needed a permit to possess road-kill deer. Upon further investigation, the individual was found to also be in possession of a car-kill red fox and two opossums that he admitted to trapping. The individual did not have any permits or licenses to justify possession of the animals. A citation and multiple warnings were issued for the various violations.