Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 1, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. A boyfriend and girlfriend were cited after having purchased a combination angling license, which is for married couples only.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked ATVing, snowmobiling, and angling enforcement. Benjamin also assisted with an annual snowmobile safety class in Warroad where 22 students earned their certificates.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated untagged and untended traps in the Thief River Falls area and responded to a call about dogs chasing deer.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) reports enforcement action was taken for various portable and non-portable fishing shelter violations. Ice anglers are reminded that portable shelters left unattended or overnight need reflective material, a shelter license displayed, as well as ID displayed. Furthermore, nonportable shelters just out for the day still need a shelter license and ID displayed.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) spent the week checking anglers on area lakes and working a detail with area officers and supervisors on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for various violations, including angling with extra lines, angling with unattended lines, possession of dressed fillets on special-regulation lakes, angling without a license, overlimits of walleyes, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and other drug-related charges. A careless driving incident also was handled on Upper Red Lake.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a local sports club meeting. Time also was spent working predator-hunting activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports recent snowfalls have improved area trails but brutally cold weather slowed most outdoor activities in the area. Several calls were received about a couple of dead swans on an area lake that most likely struck a power lines. The area is near a spot of open water frequented by local swans. DNR Wildlife staff is aware of the situation and wanted to let the public know that unless the swans become a risk to the motoring public, nature will be left to take its course.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, small-game hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobiling activity, and conducting aeration permit inspections. Enforcement action was taken for failure to transfer snowmobile registration, operating an unregistered snowmobile, operating an aeration system without a permit, and angling without a license in possession.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to work on a background investigation for a possible future employee. Plautz also conducted a snowmobile safety field and test day, certifying 15 students during the weekend.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) worked a detail on Lake Mille Lacs with COs Karon and Lor. Goodman spent additional time working snowmobile trails with CO Baumbarger, with limited activity found despite good trail conditions. A report about dead swans was fielded. It was determined the extreme cold had caused the birds to become frozen to the ice in an area previously kept open by flowing water.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATVers, and snowmobile riders and fish houses. A trespassing complaint was received and investigated regarding a coyote hunter.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports an enforcement detail was worked on snowmobile with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Anglers were checked, with a few citations issued for extra lines, a crappie overlimit, and illegal-length fish.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) had the honor of handing out hunting knives to several young hunters at a banquet. They’d harvested their first deer this past fall.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) patrolled lakes for angling activity. Fishing remains slow for the majority of fish species. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display current registration, not having a license in possession, and failure to properly display a shelter tag.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for several pike within the protected slot, unattended lines, extra lines, unlicensed fish houses, possessing walleye fillets without carcasses on a special-regulation lake, and no license in possession.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports bitter cold continues in the area, which limited outdoor activities. However, recent snowfall brought out more snowmobile traffic. COs Slatinski and Kittelson attended the Arrowhead 135 rules and safety meeting, and monitored traffic at major road crossings during the start of the race.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) reports frigid temperatures in the Northland. The CO observed minus-41 degrees with expected temperatures to hit as low as minus-50 degrees in the next couple of days. A few of the violations encountered during the week included expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ownership, possession of marijuana, and excessive speed on trails.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports extreme temperatures as low as minus-44 degrees were seen in the area and the overall amount of outdoor activity decreased. Time was spent assisting a contractor with a project requiring a waters permit. The party is hoping to start when the weather cooperates. To avoid delays, now is the time to apply for permits for projects that are being planned for early spring.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) assisted local law enforcement with one of many snowmobile crashes this past week. Speed was the contributing factor in all of the crashes. While working snowmobile trail enforcement, Broughten stopped a snowmobiler for going through two posted stop signs. The snowmobiler was going too fast and had no way of stopping. The snowmobiler stated, “Well I slowed down, but I guess I should have stopped.”
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling Virginia-area lakes for anglers and found little activity. The CO also attended a memorial service for Duluth Police Department K9 Haas.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) responded to a snowmobile accident with injuries in which the driver was thrown from his machine and struck his head on a tree.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trout anglers this past week. Fishing was very slow. Velsvaag took several calls about trapping regulations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent time checking trout anglers and working snowmobile trails. Bermel responded to two snowmobile accidents on consecutive days involving head injuries and a broken femur. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display snowmobile registration, no trout stamp, live minnows on a trout lake, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked snowmobilers and ice anglers along the North Shore. The extreme cold kept most people off the ice.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked anglers on area lakes. He also handled an injured-deer call and continued to work an ongoing snowmobile trespass problem.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. He also responded to miscellaneous complaints regarding wildlife.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training, checked anglers, and monitored snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and snowmobile registration issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and snowmobilers, with enforcement action taken for unregistered snowmobiles and not having angling licenses while fishing. Presentations were given to multiple grade-schoolers at a local elementary school where furs of Minnesota animals were shared with the students.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked snowmobiling and angling activity in the area. Anglers are reporting limited success with frigid, subzero temperatures experienced during the weekend.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports that despite the frigid temperatures, many people were still willing to brave the cold to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The people who dressed right found out that most area trails are in good shape. Enforcement action was taken for violations including juveniles riding snowmobiles without a safety certificate, no shelter license, and snowmobile and ATV registration issues.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked anglers on area lakes and rivers and checked shore anglers along Lake Superior. Time also was spent following up on trespassing complaints, snowmobile trail issues, and nuisance/injured animals. Schmidt assisted with a search warrant and taught a safety class for Proctor High School students.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked several lakes for winter fishing during the week. Several complaints were investigated. Time also was spent on equipment maintenance, equipment inventory, training, and computer work.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobile and OHV enforcement. CO Humphrey also assisted the sheriff’s office with a vehicle rollover incident. A report of a snared deer is also under investigation.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers in the Duluth harbor. Catches of sturgeon have been showing up in the evening bite, while coho salmon are being caught along the North Shore and in Two Harbors. During the week, Olson also attended the United Northern Sportsmen’s 65th annual ice-fishing contest on Island Lake.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A few boaters are getting out from the Two Harbors access and having some success with salmon.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. Three individuals escaped an early-morning fish house fire on Lake Mille Lacs and were located several hours later to ensure proper cleanup. A return to the site the following day showed they did a fantastic job of cleaning up. Two brothers were contacted after Mlynar witnessed them drag racing snowmobiles on a trail located on a township road. They crested a hill at nearly 60 mph, riding side by side. Luckily, nobody happened to be coming from the other direction during a busy vintage ride using the same trail. Fines for their actions will be in the range of $375.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking ice-angling, spearing, snowmobiling, and ski trail activity. Several enforcement contacts were made for violations including no ski passes and possession of illegal-length northern pike. A sick, emaciated deer was recovered and submitted for disease testing.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area) reports working area mine lakes for trout anglers. CO Fitzgerald reports a call about an injured deer was taken, and assistance was given to the State Patrol with a vehicle that had gone off the highway.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) responded to welfare check calls regarding fishing shelters that appeared out of the ordinary. Sullivan assisted with the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. The CO also checked anglers on area waters. This past week’s violations included extra angling lines, no angling license, expired snowmobile registration, and no shelter license. One angler with four baited angling lines down stated he was just getting two of the lines ready for later.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ben Karon (Isle) took time to look into TIP complaints and start doing routine commercial checks at local bait shops. Many hours were spent on Lake Mille Lacs in the extreme cold, checking anglers with other conservation officers from around the state. Although there have been many hours dedicated to protecting the resources on/in Mille Lacs, it is unfortunate to report there are still many violations being found. Reports of theft on the lake have been taken. Please remove all valuables from your ice shelter to help avoid unwanted hardship. Time has been spent being visible and time has been spent observing (day and night) to try to deter this type of illegal activity.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated complaints about snowmobilers trespassing. One of the complaints was near a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail. The landowner reported that snowmobilers went around a gate on his property where the grant-in-aid trail used to be. The other reporting party requested extra patrol where snowmobilers were traveling on to her agricultural land.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) followed up on a complaint about dead wolves hanging in someone’s yard. When asked if it was possible they could be coyotes, the caller was adamant they were wolves. A check at the address showed they were legally taken coyotes and foxes.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a turtle-trapping investigation was completed, with enforcement action taken.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent time checking anglers on area lakes. Time also was spent at a St. Cloud State University career fair and working anglers on Lake Mille Lacs.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. Krauel also spent time working snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, possession of marijuana, angling with extra lines, and no angling license.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) followed up on numerous cases from the deer season. Time was spent at the Stearns County Courthouse regarding a boating while intoxicated case.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and ATV and snowmobile riders. Violations were found for no angling license, no shelter license, and extra lines.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports a trapping case was investigated resulting in violations for untagged snares and trapping without a license.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers at Fort Snelling State Park and on Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. He also assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a deer-removal program.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time patrolling area lakes, checking ice anglers and ATV users. Maass also handled a nuisance-animal complaint and fielded several phone calls dealing with hunting questions.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) reports working metro-area lakes for ice-fishing activity. Time also was spent training on the use of new technology. A large snowmobile event was worked, with many riders braving the elements and a low amount of snow.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) took a report of two abandoned fish houses on O’Dowd Lake.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent time checking anglers and snowmobilers and following up on complaints. Grewe continued training with K9 Shelby and attended computer training.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also assisted Washington County deputies with their youth snowmobile safety class. The radar runs on Forest Lake were attended, with many violations observed for ATV use.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) rendered assistance to the State Patrol with a traffic accident, responded to a call regarding a suspiciously-killed fox, and conducted aerator inspections.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) concentrated enforcement efforts on angling and recreational activity. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, ATV violations, angling violations, and litter. Numerous complaints were fielded involving litter on local lakes.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) continued work on a big-game case with which he is assisting another agency.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) conducted follow-up on a deer-hunting situation from last fall between a landowner and a hunting party.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked coyote hunting and snowmobiling enforcement, and an ice-fishing tournament on Lake Benton. A presentation was given at the Balaton Sportsmen Club’s annual meeting.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, ATVing, coyote-hunting, and snowmobiling activity during the week. Coyote hunters are reminded that the use of motor vehicles to drive, chase, run over, or kill animals is illegal.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked area angling and snowmobiling activity. He also assisted the county with a motor vehicle crash with injuries and a snowmobile crash with injuries.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding wildlife problems and angling regulations. He also worked local ice-fishing contests and small-game hunting activity.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent the week enforcing angling and ice shelter laws. Violations encountered included no ice shelter identification or license, littering, and angling license violations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game hunters, trappers, anglers, and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Davis also spent time patrolling state parks and state wildlife management areas.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports working angling, snowmobiling, and litter enforcement this past week. Henke reminds anglers that registration is required for all hard-sided houses when on the ice. And please clean up after yourself!
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked small-game and predator hunters. Ice conditions throughout the area continue to be inconsistent.
District 18 – Rochester area
Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time working the late-season CWD hunt in Deer Permit Area 346. Despite extreme temperatures, a good showing of resilient hunters hit the field for the three-day hunt.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports monitoring deer-hunting activity in Permit Area 346. Cold weather made it difficult for hunters and success was limited.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports arresting multiple subjects for possessing controlled substances, felons in possession of firearms, and multiple felony warrants throughout the week. Hill also cited an individual for possessing a squirrel without a license and took part in patrolling Deer Permit Area 346 during the late-season CWD hunt.