Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Oct. 12, 2018
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck and bear hunters on the Thief Lake and Roseau River state wildlife management areas. Violations encountered included failing to try to retrieve ducks and license violations.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked small-game, angling, and boat and water safety enforcement. Benjamin also gave a presentation to the Warroad Warriors Trap Club ahead of a pheasant hunt that will take place in the near future.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports successful waterfowl hunting around the area. Time was spent assisting with the state of Minnesota’s surplus auction in Bemidji.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to conduct field training with CO Karon. The pair joined CO Benjamin for a two-day detail working the Lake of the Woods area. He also spoke at the elk orientation meeting for the third and final elk season in the Kittson County area and taught the law and ethics portion of the Newfolden youth ATV safety class.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking duck and grouse hunters and working ATVing activity, AIS enforcement, and angling activity. Time was spent assisting the sheriff’s office with a search for suspects who fled into the woods, on foot, from a stolen vehicle.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) and COC Ashley Whiteoak checked duck hunters. They also followed up on deer-hunting complaints. Time also was spent investigating a suspected public waters violation.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked hunters and fall anglers and assisted at a security detail.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activities. Waterfowl numbers have increased, and hunters were checked. Complaints about dogs chasing deer were taken and investigated. CO Volbrecht also worked with a Leech Lake tribal CO on a TIP complaint regarding an individual taking deer out of season.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking area WMAs for deer stands, bait, and hunters, contacting anglers, and patrolling for ATVing activity. Vinton also attended training and spoke at a local sportsmen’s club monthly meeting.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working small-game, waterfowl, and deer-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent responding to TIP complaints and attending training at Camp Ripley.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. Angling and boating activity were monitored, with a few anglers finding fish for the bucket. Areas were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. A security detail was worked in Bemidji.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) and COC Lusignan spent the week checking waterfowlers, doing AIS enforcement, and checking on archery deer-hunting activity. Calls from the public included trespassing reports, a public waters violation, and a report of a skunk in a live trap. They assisted county deputies with a suspicious male and attended additional training at Camp Ripley.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports working with COC Benkofske. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl-related violations, water safety, dogs chasing deer, and possession of marijuana.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week on interview panels for conservation officer candidates. CO Plautz also worked waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters, anglers, and ATVing complaints. The CO also is working with a landowner in investigating an instance in which the landowner’s dog was shot with a bow and arrow.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a complaint about duck hunting during the closed season was received and investigated. Subjects were contacted, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports an angler was cited for using too many lines while fishing for walleyes, and another for not enough PFDs on board a watercraft.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored archery deer hunting and small-game hunting during the week. Time also was spent investigating a TIP complaint and working with a trapper on nuisance beavers. Holt assisted a citizen in capturing an injured eagle to hold for the Raptor Center.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, and archery hunters.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports anglers and archery deer, duck, and grouse hunters were out in the field. Reports about nuisance beavers, an injured porcupine, illegal deer stands, and aquatic plant violations were received. Mathy taught several days at the Cass Lake firearms safety class.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Violations detected were weeds on trailers and zebra mussels on pontoon boats coming off of Fish Trap Lake. He also worked on a report about a dock service provider not cleaning its barge. The report was unfounded. Posner also worked on a deer-baiting case with CO Joyce Kuske. He checked duck hunters and found a violation of no state stamp in possession and another hunter shooting a nongame bird. He worked on complaints about ATVers operating after dark in the closed Pillsbury State Forest. Posner also assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a burglary in progress northwest of Pillager.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports his focus for the past week included small-game and waterfowl hunting, angling, ATV use, state park compliance, and trail use.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports a week of rain and ongoing complaints regarding beavers. Duck and grouse hunting remain poor.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, ATVing, small-game hunting, and waterfowl-hunting activity. Poor weather limited recreational activity.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked waterfowl and small-game hunters, with ATVers being worked in conjunction with hunting activity. More grouse are showing themselves, and hunters are seeing more as leaves are starting to fall. Two firearms safety classes were taught in Hibbing. A road-killed wolf incident was handled. It was the second in a month. A wetland case was closed out with a citation for failing to comply with a restoration order. Other enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, shooting from a motor vehicle at a wild animal, taking waterfowl in open water, violating federal law (watercraft under power) while duck hunting, no HIP certification, no PFDs, and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) and COC Andrew Goodman spent time checking grouse hunters and balsam bough cutters. While driving to an access of a local duck-hunting lake, the COs checked two people camping together at the adjacent campground. Once the campers’ records were checked, the COs learned there was a “no contact” order between the two parties. The offending individual was arrested and transported to the local jail, where she was charged for the violation. A landowner contacted Frericks, reporting that an unknown individual shot a turkey from a vehicle on his posted property.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent part of the week winterizing boating equipment. Complaints have been received about bait being found at deer stands. These locations will be checked prior to the firearms deer opener.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the Ely Police Department with a fight in downtown Ely. Williams was flagged down after driving by a busy restaurant and told that a fight had occurred just moments before and one of the people involved had already fled on an ATV. When the CO arrived on the scene, he found the other party involved in the fight still unconscious and on the ground. After an ambulance and other law enforcement officers arrived, it was discovered the fight had escalated during an argument about crab legs.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled forest roads, checking bird hunters and people enjoying the fall colors. Strong winds caused many roads to become blocked by fallen trees and took a toll on the fall color spread.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small-game hunters and anglers. The Lake Superior tributaries are busy with anglers trying their luck during the salmon run. Enforcement action was taken for angling and state park violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted volunteer instructors in teaching youth firearms safety and ATV safety classes this week. Murray also continued big-game investigations and checked waterfowl-hunting activity.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters and investigated calls about deer baiting, litter in bear baits, and trespass. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended training at Camp Ripley, worked waterfowling activity, and responded to complaints about injured and nuisance animals.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) continued to work waterfowl and archery deer-hunting activity. Complaints about baiting and trespassing were handled. Sutherland also spoke at a youth firearms safety class.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) answered questions regarding nuisance wildlife and responded to TIP calls. CO Willis also attended a firearms safety field day along with other District 8 officers in the Duluth area.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) and COC Taylor Hochstein spent the week focusing on waterfowl hunting and fishing activity. The two spoke at and assisted with two different firearms safety classes in the Duluth area.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work all the fall outdoor activities. People were checked fishing, grouse hunting, deer hunting, waterfowl hunting, and operating ATVs. Duncan also assisted with a firearms safety class.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with teaching a firearms safety class in Duluth. Waterfowl and small-game hunters were checked in the area. Compliance with the laws was found to be good. K9 assistance was given to an area agency in assisting with tracking people who fled from a crashed motor vehicle. Extra ATV patrols were conducted in the Cloquet and Carlton areas, where violations consisted of unlawful juvenile operation, no helmet, and operating in the middle of the roadway. A tip led to an archery hunter who was found to have taken a deer over bait. The bowhunter was cited, and the deer and crossbow were seized.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended training at Camp Ripley, worked small-game and waterfowling enforcement around Duluth area, worked AIS enforcement for water-related equipment being removed for the season, along with watercraft that have been waterborne all summer.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) and COC Annette Kyllo spent a varied week contacting waterfowl and turkey hunters and some anglers. One of the week’s contacts involved a person turkey hunting without a license. The man initially stated he was only hunting coyotes. After investigation, the evidence showed he was turkey hunting, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) continued an investigation of an illegal swan-shooting incident during the waterfowl season.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) investigated TIP calls regarding deer baiting, monitored boat landings for aquatic invasive species issues, checked anglers and small-game hunters, and checked ATVers. One ATV operator received a citation for careless operation for traveling forest roads in a state forest at speeds in excess of 50 miles per house while small-game hunters and while other recreational ATV operators were using the same roads. The operator narrowly missed hitting Collette when he came speeding around a corner.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the funeral for Correctional Officer Parise with the LEMA Honor Guard. She also investigated the possible illegal shining and shooting of deer.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) dealt with bear hunters establishing bait stations containing material not allowed by Minnesota hunting regulations. Bait stations were found containing plastic, steel posts, screws and nails, bungee cords, and cement. One hunter hauled more than a dozen sacks of cement over a mile into a remote forest area. The cement was then used to form a structure for housing bear bait.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued animal possession permits and picked up an eagle that was hit on the road. While checking anglers on the Mississippi River, the CO asked one angler what he was fishing for. He told her smallmouth bass. Kuske asked the angler if he liked to keep them and the angler readily admitted he ate them and had recently caught one and cooked it. The angler was surprised to find out that smallmouth bass season was catch-and-release from Sept. 10 through Feb. 24, 2019. While Kuske was working with CO Randy Posner, an archery deer hunter was found hunting with the use of an apple-scented mineral block that also was in the CWD closed feeding zone. The hunter left the area with a baiting ticket and was short one crossbow.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a public waters violation was investigated after a large amount of fill was found in a protected public water.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports shining and burning complaints were worked. Cease and desist orders also were issued on two new wetland violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and small-game hunters. Krauel also took calls about individuals hunting ducks out of season. The CO also worked shiners and followed up on WMA parking area complaints. While parked at one WMA, Krauel observed two individuals pull up in a car and park near him. Several minutes later, Krauel observed smoke and the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The individuals were surprised to see Krauel when he contacted them.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, anglers, and ATV riders. Complaints were taken on after-hours shooting, trespass, litter, and dogs chasing deer.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) worked several TIP calls that resulted in charges for hunting waterfowl out of season and failing to register deer.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) participated in training at Camp Ripley. A TIP call was investigated regarding a waterfowl hunter shooting during the closed season. The hunter was located and did not know the central season was closed. The hunter also was found to be transporting a loaded shotgun. Enforcement action was taken, and harvested ducks were seized.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took a call about a turkey complaint in south Minneapolis and returned phone calls to the Asian community on big- and small-game hunting regulations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) spent time assisting with interviews for potential new conservation officers. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park and checked anglers on the Mississippi River and on Minneapolis lakes.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) and COC Tyler Ramaker responded to a TIP complaint about a waterfowl hunter hunting during the closed season on the St. Croix River. Enforcement action also was taken for the unlawful take of a pied-billed grebe and a double-crested cormorant.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) reports assistance was given to the Rosemount Police Department and the State Patrol with a vehicle accident.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked anglers, watercraft operators, archery deer hunters, and ATV riders throughout the week. Enforcement action for the week included trespassing and license violations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports most of the calls received dealt with trespass complaints and fall hunting-related questions.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) issued permits for nuisance beavers and car-killed deer. He also followed up on questions about deer season.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) and COC Garrett Thomas spent time checking waterfowl hunters and fall angling activity. They spoke at a local ATV safety class in Willmar and an open-mic radio show.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received numerous calls about waterfowl hunting during the closed season. Nelson also taught at a firearms safety field and range day.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers and ATVing activity the past week. Complaints about individuals hunting waterfowl during the closed season were taken.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) and COC Hughes investigated a report of a 4-point buck that had been shot, the location marked with flagging, and then left to rot in the Foster Creek WPA near Alden. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Henke or the TIP line.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports contacting multiple anglers in violation of fishing laws. One couple presented Hill with Wisconsin fishing licenses and told him that the person behind the register in Wisconsin told them that their fishing licenses also should work in Minnesota. They were in possession of five smallmouth bass out of season. Both anglers were cited for the violations after they told Hill that they didn’t take the time to open the fishing regulations booklet. Hill also assisted the State Patrol and the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office in attempting to locate a stolen vehicle.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for small-game and archery deer-hunting activity. Time also was spent assisting agencies in Rochester for a security detail and assistance was given to Winona County in the search for a missing individual.