Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 21, 2018
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored area angling activity and saw large amounts of litter still being left by anglers. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, illegal-length northern pike, angling with extra lines, possessing a small amount of marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia, ATV and snowmobile registration violations, no snowmobile or ATV safety training, and shelter license issues.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking anglers and monitoring trapping activity throughout the week. Time also was spent assisting Washington state fish and wildlife officers and Alaska wildlife troopers with an investigation regarding a moose that were taken illegally during the 2017 Alaska moose season. Charges are pending in Alaska.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports following up on wetland- and public water-related cases. Time also was spent investigating a suspected wolf depredation complaint and a deer that was shot and dumped just off a roadway near Fosston.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Ice conditions continue to improve, but caution is advised when traveling on the lakes as ice depths vary greatly. Time was spent closing cases from the firearms deer season.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports calls about a raccoon in a person’s yard was taken. The description of the raccoon led Vinton to suspect the unseasonably warm weather woke up the hibernating critter and it was still a little groggy. Vinton directed the concerned homeowner to Wildlife staff if the raccoon didn’t return to its bed. Vinton attended the funeral for CO Cheslie (Leuthardt) Grundhauser, who passed away after a battle with cancer.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked on trapping complaints, ice-fishing activity, and attended the funeral of CO Cheslie (Leuthardt) Grundhauser.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and fish houses on area lakes. CO Goodman and Osborne checked several anglers who were using extra lines, with one angler stating, “I was just trying to catch some fish.”
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking multiple anglers on various lakes around the area. Hughes also checked trapping activity and issued car-kill deer permits.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) assisted the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office with the recovery of drowning victims from Fish Trap Lake. It appeared the two men drove their ATV onto thin ice that was created by a pressure crack. They were unable to get out of the water and back on to thicker ice.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Virginia and worked on setting up the riding portion of the class. Area anglers and spearers were checked. One spearer Frericks checked was taking full advantage of the new northern pike regulations and had speared seven pike. Two of the pike were over the 26-inch slot, and the rest were under 22 inches.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports a resident of Hoyt Lakes assisted living called when he observed an individual shoot a deer in the woods by their building. The hunter shot the deer with a crossbow within city limits. The individual was charged, and the deer was seized.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and trapping activity. ATVs and snowmobiles are now being used on area lakes but ice conditions continued to vary on many lakes. Murray assisted volunteer snowmobile safety instructors with a youth field day where students earned their safety certificates. An investigation regarding an illegally taken gray wolf continued, and any public information may be reported by contacting the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, small-game, and recreational-vehicle enforcement. The warm weather had ice anglers out in full force. Individuals heading out onto area lakes should remain vigilant and take proper ice safety precautions.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on local area lakes and investigated a complaint of a state land trespass. He is working with DNR Forestry officials on the matter.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the area lakes north of Duluth.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports vehicles began driving on some area lakes this past week and angling activity increased. One common violation observed was no shelter license for occupied non-portable shelters.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) responded to an ATV that went through the ice on Lake Mille Lacs. The warmer weather has led to poor ice conditions, cracks, and open-water areas forming on the lake.
O Dan Starr (Onamia) worked ice-fishing activity and found extra lines, marijuana, and no license in possession. Starr played the role of “The Grinch” when he issued a citation to an individual who cut down and stole a Christmas tree from a state park.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATV riders, and pheasant and deer hunters. Follow-up was done on some deer-season cases with a charge for an overlimit deer against a person who shot four deer in a three-deer zone, including two bucks.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports working ice anglers and small-game hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, extra lines, small amounts of marijuana, no ATV registration, and an overlimit of crappies.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and ATV activity on the metro-area lakes. He also took calls regarding animal-related complaints in north Minneapolis and a TIP complaint in Chanhassen.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time investigating multiple reports about poached deer in which deer were dumped at various locations throughout the station. He also assisted the Rosemount Police Department with a neighborhood archery complaint and worked with local and county hydrologists on various public waters violations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Blong Lor (Redwood Falls) spent the week checking anglers, squirrel hunters, pheasant hunters, and archery hunters. A presentation was also given to a wildlife class at Red Rock Central High School.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received a call about a deer that was dumped. He referred it to the appropriate local officer.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling and hunting enforcement this week. A trespass complaint was investigated. Howe testified in court regarding a case in which he had assisted a local police department.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) checked goose hunters, pheasant hunters, and ice anglers. A moderate number of geese are still present in the Rochester area but success among hunting parties has been mixed.