Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 9, 2018

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the firearms deer season opening weekend and saw moderate success with the mild temperatures. Numerous calls to retrieve deer from posted land were fielded. Hunters are encouraged to contact the landowner and try to obtain permission prior to calling the area conservation officer. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring fall beaver-trapping activity and checking waterfowl and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Time also was spent issuing possession permits for deer and bears that had been struck by vehicles, investigating trespassing complaints, and assisting the sheriff’s office with a call about a possible drunk driver who drove into a ditch. 

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) reports a busy opening weekend of the firearms deer season. Some hunters found that using corn and grain wasn’t enough to bring the deer in, but they did work well as a conservation officer attractant. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy opening weekend of the firearms deer season. He visited numerous deer camps and contacted hunters about hunting over bait. Vollbrecht also spoke to a class at Bemidji State University and spent time speaking on radio stations regarding the firearms deer season. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement when a small buck crashed through a window and was inside an apartment building. When officers walked in to open the patio door, the deer decided to exit by breaking through another window. Vollbrecht also responded with a boat to a report of a suspicious object floating in the water. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) handled a complaint about trespass and shooting from a road, which also was in the direction of a residence. Guns were seized and a deer was confiscated. Also, a large buck was confiscated while the CO assisted with a case involving a felon in possession of a firearm.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports one lucky deer hunter was pleasantly surprised when the whitetail buck he thought he shot was in fact a mule deer. The hunter said he would gladly add the antlers to his garage wall collection of distinct and unusual antlers.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) assisted with the transfer of an injured eagle to a rehabilitation center. She also patrolled areas for deer-shining activity and investigated a complaint about deer baiting.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) fielded several calls the week before the firearms deer season regarding a variety of questions and concerns. Plautz assisted a new resident in tracking down a firearms safety card from another state so he could purchase a hunting license. Plautz also cited two hunters for hunting deer over bait and investigated an incident in which a car was struck by a bullet from a hunter shooting at a deer. 

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked small-game hunting and trapping activity. Time also was spent working the busy opening weekend of the firearms deer season. Complaints were received about blinds left on state wildlife management areas, deer baiting, and trespassing. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Some of the complaints included hunting over bait, shooting from a roadway, trespassing, and carcass dumping. He worked with neighboring CO Tim Collette on complaints about vehicle being operated on closed forest roads in the Pillsbury State Forest. Deer-baiting complaints were investigated. Corn, apples, and pumpkins seemed to be the most common baits. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) and COC Shane Zavodnik had meet-and-greets with hunters at baited deer stands during opening morning of the rifle season. Although some people initially denied any knowledge of deer baiting when confronted, they eventually admitted to being well aware of the baiting rules and regulations when questioned further. Another deer hunter confronted about hunting over bait was oblivious to the rules and regulations. He willingly showed the officers multiple prohibited deer attractants put down in the area, as well as corn set out, all in his camouflage attire and without any blaze orange on while hunting. A call from dispatch was responded to regarding an individual who had shot a deer from a roadway. The person admitted to shooting the doe off the road and said he and his kid didn’t get anything during the weekend, so he wanted to go home with a deer. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (Ray) checked spruce top harvest sites, issued permits for car-killed animals, and met with a landowner about beavers creating a dam on a creek, causing water to back up near an access road. The firearms deer opener was busy, although reports of harvested deer were not common. One person lit a propane heater in his stand on opening morning. It malfunctioned and the stand caught on fire, burning it to the ground. The subject was able to get out without injury. 

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring hunting and ATVing activity. Broughten also worked the opener of the firearms deer season. Multiple violations of hunting deer over bait were investigated. In one instance of an individual hunting over bait, the person stated he “watched those game warden TV shows and he should have known it was a matter of time before he was caught.” Broughten also assisted with a DWI arrest and a domestic abuse no-contact order violation.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) had one of his busiest openers and observed a good number of harvested deer. Hopkins found numerous hunters in violation of the baiting laws and seized many firearms. There also were calls about shooting from vehicles and trespassing. One hunter was charged with hunting big game with the use of an electronic device. Hopkins also assisted a hunter who had trouble tracking a deer. The deer eventually was located and could be utilized. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked baited areas prior to the season and during the opening of deer firearms season. Baiting was on the forefront again, with five hunters cited and rifles seized on opening day. A trumpeter swan was found dead, but that was likely caused by a collision with a power line.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) dealt with illegal deer baiting, checked whitefish nets and activity, and assisted the sheriff’s office with a rollover crash.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a TIP complaint regarding deer baiting and checked deer and grouse hunters during the opening weekend of the firearms deer season. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and COC Lerchen worked a busy firearms deer opener in the northland. Seven deer baiters were cited and their rifles were seized on opening weekend. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted with a DWI arrest and fielded many calls about hunting regulations. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the firearms deer opener along the North Shore, with most hunters checked at least seeing some deer. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked ATVing activity, checked small-game and waterfowl hunters, and worked AIS enforcement. He also worked the deer opener. Violations included operating an ATV during closed hours, transporting a loaded firearm, an uncased firearm in a state park, an unregistered ATV, taking deer with the aid of bait, taking antlerless deer without an antlerless permit, a minor in possession of a handgun, and no park sticker/pass. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) investigated baiting complaints, checked hunters, assisted the county with a suicidal male, and responded to a bar fight. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) reports enforcement action was taken on multiple baiting cases where deer and firearms were seized. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) had a busy week leading up to the firearms opener, answering TIP calls and regulations questions. During the hunt, trespass complaints were mediated and other complaints were answered. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week preparing for the firearms deer-hunting season. Activities included following up on complaints, checking deer stands for possible baiting violations, and trespass issues. A few stand-location disputes were investigated. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) focused work on the firearms deer season throughout the week. Calls and complaints about trespass, damage to property, baiting, hunting without a license, shooting from the roadway, posting public land, lost hunters, licensing, and illegal ATV operation were received. Hunters are reminded to review regulations before the season to avoid potential issues and enforcement action. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports enforcement action was taken for hunting deer without a license, hunting deer over bait, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, untagged deer, failure to validate a license, and failure to have a license in possession. Time also was spent checking for compliance of permits and proper paperwork with balsam bough and spruce top harvesters in the area.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the firearms opener primarily in the Cotton area. Evening and nights were worked in areas with shining complaints from previous seasons. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and ATVers, along with deer hunters. Commercial herring netters were checked, with moderate compliance with records requirements. A load of balsam boughs was inspected, with permitting and traffic violations found. An angler on Lake Superior decided to take a chance with an extra line when he thought wardens would be in the woods for deer season. Thanks to the CO’s close observations and a quick response, the subject admitted to the violation and enforcement action was taken.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy firearms deer opener. Numerous field contacts were made and violations detected. A baiting investigation was completed that resulted in the seizure of three semi-automatic rifles. The violators face hefty fines, forfeiture of all their firearms, and revocation of big-game hunting privileges. Guida also responded to a call about a hunter finding two dead bucks in a field. Upon the CO’s arrival, two large, mature whitetails were located, dead-locked at the antlers. The landowner was issued a possession permit for both deer and intends to have a taxidermy mount done.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) worked the firearms deer season opener. Nice weather was good for both hunters and deer movement as well with good success seen. Calls regarding deer shining, hunting deer over bait, vehicles in closed areas, and shooting too close to houses were handled.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking big-game hunters during the opening weekend of the 2018 firearms deer season. He investigated several complaints including baiting, deer-feeding ban violation, failure to validate tags and a complaint about someone hunting with a rifle in the Rice Lake refuge. Assistance was given to local agencies on several calls for service. The CO also investigated someone possibly putting a gate on county property. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) and COC Leah Kampa spent time working on baiting and trespassing complaints. ATV special permits and wildlife possession permits were issued throughout the week. A possible wolf depredation complaint was investigated. Speldrich and Kampa also assisted in locating a lost hunter. A wetland violation was investigated. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) would like to remind deer hunters that they must know what is beyond their target, as rifle bullets can travel very far to cause damage.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) was kept busy with calls and complaints associated with the firearms deer season opener. Trespassing calls started prior to the opener and continued right through the weekend. 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering numerous questions about the upcoming deer season. Opening weekend found COs in Pine County following up on baiting complaints and taking enforcement action for violations of untagged deer and transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Several reports of missing hunters were taken.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated calls about medical supply garbage dumped in a wildlife management area, trespass, and nuisance turkeys. On opening weekend of the firearms deer season, Kuske found a husband and wife hunting over bait. The corn they had put out prior to the season was still piled by their stand within the 10-day window before season opener. Firearms were seized and citations were issued. Kuske spent the rest of deer opener going from call to call of neighbor and hunting disputes. One of the calls involved a family dog that was shot by a neighboring hunter. The family was hunting in the woods and one of the family members came to see a deer they shot and had brought the dog (both the person and the dog were wearing blazing orange). A hunter on a neighboring property shot into the neighboring landowner’s woods and shot the dog near the family. The hunter’s gun was seized and charges are pending. 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) finished up training with COC Elwell. One angler was surprised to see the officers standing right behind him. The man was provided an expensive reminder that throwing cigarette butts in the water is littering.  

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) reports a busy deer-hunting opener. One hunter started his season early when he shot a buck out of the window of his truck. It was his fifth deer this year! He faces multiple charges as well as the loss of his hunting privileges and equipment. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) and COC Ashley Whiteoak checked duck and archery hunters earlier in the week and worked the busy firearms opener checking deer hunters. They responded to a couple of trespassing complaints. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl hunting with an unplugged gun, hunter harassment, and stands left in wildlife management areas.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) located two people inside the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area archery hunting for deer. They were advised the park is closed to all hunting. Several other groups were contacted and educated about the closed area before they went into the woods.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) continued to work with COC Blong Lor during the final week of Step 3 field training. They patrolled the Minnesota River in the Bloomington station for angling and boating activity. They also assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff with nuisance-wildlife complaints and an illegal campsite. Le and Lor worked the deer opener in southeast Minnesota with District 18 officers.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) focused on the 2018 firearms deer season. Poor weather did not slow down hunters from getting out into the woods. Enforcement action was taken for hunting with the aid of bait, failure to register deer, constructing a permanent stand in a WMA, and hunting in a state park. Multiple stands were removed from the state park.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) worked waterfowl, angling, and big-game hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a rifle in the shotgun zone, insufficient blaze orange, failure to validate a deer tag, and transporting a loaded gun in a motor vehicle. Gutzwiller also spent time speaking to five Outdoor Adventures classes held at the Blaine High School.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports enforcement action for the week included hunting deer over bait, illegal ATV operation, hunting deer in a closed area, and licensing violations.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working hunters. The firearms deer opener was wet and dreary but hunters were still out in full force. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, nonresident with a resident license, failure to tag deer, allowing a juvenile to violate a game law, and no deer tag in possession.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the firearms deer opener was busy and wet. Violations included baiting, trespassing, shooting from motor vehicles, shooting from a road right of way, illegal license use, and other illegal taking violations. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) started the opener of deer season with a group of hunters that were hunting with the aid of bait. One hunter in the group did not have his deer license with him in the field. When the hunter was supposed to be looking for their license in the house, he instead went to town to buy one. When the hunter returned from town, it was found that he also did not have a valid driver’s license. Other time during the weekend was spent following up on trespassing complaints and issuing car-killed deer tags.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers and small- and big-game hunters. He attended the Pheasants Forever pollinator plot to assist with approximately 100 first-grade kids scattering flower seeds for future growth.  

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent the majority of his time working deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Hunting over bait piles, tagging violations, and trespass complaints were investigated. CO Henke reminds hunters to call #TIP on their cell phones when they see violations occurring.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports working a busy week leading up to the firearms deer season. Baits were checked and multiple trespass complaints were handled. Hill had been monitoring multiple enclosed box stands that a landowner had been baiting with corn dating back to last deer season. Hill finally contacted hunters using the stands on opening morning. Two hunters were cited for hunting deer with the aid of bait and their firearms were seized. Hill contacted another hunter at his father’s residence after Hill observed a dead doe hanging in the garage. As it turns out, the deer was actually shot by the hunter and when the hunter found out that it was a violation of the antler-point restriction, he decided to cut the antlers off and throw them in the woods. 

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) worked a busy firearms deer opener. A road-hunting complaint was worked with fellow officers, and multiple ongoing complaints were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for antler-point restriction violations and failure to attach a site tag.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *