Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 11, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) responded to a call about a snowmobiler who had gone through the ice. The individual had driven into open water near a river outlet on the lake during low-light hours. The individual was able to get himself out of the water and make his way to a lake home to get help.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored area angling and snowmobiling activity and attended a meeting of the Enforcement Division’s Deer Committee. He also checked on a possibly sick moose. It turned out the moose was content and didn’t feel like leaving the area.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent wrapping up a shining case involving three juveniles, with enforcement action taken for taking deer out of season, taking deer with the use of artificial light, and a number of related violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting other local law enforcement personnel with the new snowmobiling while intoxicated law. Vinton continued to work on a background investigation for a potential new CO.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week doing snowmobile and ice-fishing enforcement. He also assisted the State Patrol with vehicles going in the ditch.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed, operating an unregistered snowmobile, illegal-length crappies, fishing without a license, and unattended lines.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports working ice anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. In one instance, the CO found a couple who left six lines down while they went to Christmas dinner. Upon return, they had a tangled mess from a quality walleye caught on the unattended lines.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office fielded dozens of reports about fish house break-ins and Lawler spoke with several victims while they were out fishing in the days following. Anglers are encouraged to take any and all items with value home with them each night and install motion-activated area lights near the doors of their shacks.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a taking-deer-out-of-season complaint was investigated in Browns Valley with CO Richards. It turned out to be a car-killed deer. The subject learned a lesson that it isn’t wise to brag about shooting a deer out of season on social media. An angler was checked with CO Baumbarger. The man had eight unattended lines down for himself as he was making the rounds to other fish houses with a beer in hand.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked trappers and picked up an incidental fisher caught by a trapper.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and snowmobile riders. Temperatures above freezing have caused lots of slush on area lakes. Snowmobile trails have held up well so far in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobiling violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling and snowmobiling were monitored, with enforcement action taken for angling license violations, snowmobile registration issues, illegal-length fish in possession, and operating a highway vehicle on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports lake travel remains difficult due to slush and water on the ice. Fish houses have started to be removed.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) assisted the State Patrol with multiple vehicles off the road due to a winter storm.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) assisted the Hibbing Police Department and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with a homicide investigation on a snowmobile trail in Hibbing. He also worked a littering case that included garbage, a deer carcass and a receipt with a name on it.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports a TIP call concerning untagged traps was investigated. While speaking with the owner of the trap, it was determined that the trap became untagged after it caught a bobcat. Frericks advised the young trapper to invest in better trap tags.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County Rescue Squad after two snowmobilers were reported missing. Rescue Squad members located the female victim and a snowmobile below the ice on White Iron Lake. They spent two more days searching until the male victim could be recovered, also from below the ice.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) observed worsening slush conditions on area lakes. Snowmobiling conditions are OK if riders don’t leave the trails. Several calls about the new pike regulations and the bobcat season were handled as well.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails, assisted with snowmobile training for new officers, and enforced furbearer regulations. He also investigated a complaint about ATVs with tracks being operated on snowmobile trails. ATVs with tracks do not meet the definition of a snowmobile and are not allowed on snowmobile trails.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and assisted with multiple vehicle accidents after the recent freezing rain on area roads.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Van Asch also assisted with an enforcement detail on Upper Red Lake, Lake of the Woods, and the Northwest Angle. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, illegal possession of fillets/immeasurable fish on a special management water, failure to maintain carcasses, and no angling license in possession.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a snowmobile safety class in Cloquet and attended a meeting of the Minnesota Trappers Association in Brainerd. Training continues with K9 Schody.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked ice anglers and snowmobilers in and around Duluth. Violations encountered included license-related violations and unattended lines.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers and snowmobilers. An accidentally-caught fisher was seized, and a detail was worked in the Leech Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish areas, where multiple violations were addressed. The most common violation was illegal-length northern pike, followed by possession of marijuana, using extra lines, and no shelter license.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked snowmobiling, angling, and trapping activity. Fur tagging and other trapping-related information was given at a Minnesota Trappers Association meeting. He also made contacts regarding the deer-feeding ban.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working snowmobilers throughout the week and weekend. He also worked area lakes for fishing activity and found quite a few anglers out enjoying the warmer weather, but that also created some slush on area lakes.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked ice-angling enforcement on Lake Mille Lacs as well as snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, illegal-length walleyes, anglers fishing without licenses, ice shelter violations, failure to register a snowmobile, a small amount marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked ice-fishing activities and noted a dramatic increase in fishing pressure this past week. Nice weather and a good bite were found. Starr found numerous violations of unattended lines – folks who did not pull up before leaving their fish houses.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered questions this past week regarding ATV operation, shelter licensing, and state forest rules.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked snowmobile trail enforcement. Many anglers were checked in their fish houses/spear houses. A number of them did not have their licenses with them. Anglers are reminded that houses left overnight need to have reflective material on all sides of the house. Kuske checked one fish house where a family with a young boy and girl were excited to be getting checked by a warden for the very first time.
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports finishing a big-game investigation. Kyllo also testified in court regarding a sportfishing case and attended training in International Falls.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week working snowmobile activity, anglers, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for expired snowmobile and ATV registration, no darkhouse license, no shelter identification, and fishing license violations.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) continues to work information coming in from the firearm deer season. The CO’s latest case began with a photo posted on a local gas station big buck “bragging board.” The case ended with multiple suspects who are alleged to have committed several violations, including an overlimit of deer, taking a deer without having a license, lending/borrowing a deer tag, failure to register a deer, and a felon using a firearm to shoot a deer. CO Bertram was familiar with the group, as he caught other party members last year with unregistered deer and an overlimit of bucks.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) worked small-game hunters and anglers this past week. Several trespassing complaints were handled. One group of small-game hunters was trespassing on land they previously had permission to hunt.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. The CO also arrested an individual after a brief foot pursuit. The subject faces several charges involving assault, possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of weapons, and no fishing license.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a game farm inspection was completed this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, leaving unattended lines, and various ATV and snowmobile licensing violations.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports time was spent following up on a complaint about a snowmobile through the ice. After several days, no reports had been filed, and the operator of the snowmobile was still unknown. However, the snowmobile was backtracked to a nearby home where the resident admitted to sinking the snowmobile.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time investigating an animal-related complaint and assisted with a trapping complaint investigation. Time also was spent checking ice anglers and ATV riders on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration on an ATV, youth with no helmet on an ATV, allowing illegal operation of an ATV, and angling without a license.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent the majority of the past week checking anglers and following up on deer-hunting cases. Birdsall and a Carver County deputy patrolled together and arrested an angler with an active felony warrant.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with the Ft. Snelling State Park staff during the annual Candlelight Walk event that attracted approximately 4,200 visitors.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) assisted the Hennepin County Water Patrol with snowmobilers who went through the ice on Lake Minnetonka after driving over an ice heave.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers and patrolling state wildlife management areas. He also handled calls about accessing lakes from the road right of way and spent time working on open cases.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) followed up on a call about an injured bald eagle that reportedly had been taken into possession and placed in a box inside an office building due to inclement weather. Upon arrival, Gutzwiller identified the bird as a pigeon, which took flight in the building and was found to be in good health. The pigeon was recovered and released outside the building.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked ice anglers and pheasant and coyote hunters throughout the week.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and conducting investigations. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from a motor vehicle, unlawful party hunting of deer, lending/borrowing deer tags, an overlimit of deer, and transporting unlawfully-taken deer.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice-fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Time also was spent working on big-game investigations from the deer season.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked area angling and ATVing activity. He also patrolled area trails and lakes for snowmobiling activity.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked angling, spearing, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement for the majority of the week. Coyote hunters were also checked during the week as well. Trespassing complaints regarding small-game hunters were taken.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked angling and trapping enforcement. He received calls regarding a blocked lake access and inquiries regarding fishing laws.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) focused activity on angling and trapping enforcement this past week.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports a few ATV registration issues were addressed. Coyote hunters were checked.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) received a complaint regarding anglers who’d blocked off the public water access on an area lake by parking on the ramp. Anglers attempting to remove shelters from the lake were unable to do so. Please keep the accesses open and remember that once your shelter comes off the ice, it may not be left unattended at a public access.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game hunters, trappers, anglers, and ATV operators during the week. Davis also spent time patrolling state parks and wildlife management areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent part of the week in International Falls for snowmobile enforcement training.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports time was spent assisting the sheriff’s office with the rescue of a snowmobiler who broke through the ice on Lake Pepin. With the aid of two airboats, the snowmobiler and a deputy who had waded into the water in an attempt to reach the snowmobiler were pulled out of the frigid water. The snowmobiler was semi-conscious when rescued but had remained with his head and shoulders above the water, thanks to a knife he had used for an ice pick. He was transported by helicopter to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Phil George (Rochester) reports assistance was given to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office with a person who fled from a vehicle stop. Enforcement action was taken for various angling issues.