Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 22, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations for the week included angling with too many lines and possessing illegal-length walleyes.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked ATVing, snowmobiling, and angling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra/unattended lines, possessing fillets or immeasurable carcasses on a special management lakes, failure to maintain carcasses on a special management water, operating a motor vehicle other than a snowmobile on a state grant-in-aid trail, possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger, possessing illegal-length walleyes, possessing drug paraphernalia and/or a small amount of marijuana, and numerous angling license violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) assisted a neighboring officer with a trapping complaint. Time also was spent working a fishing and snowmobiling detail in the Grand Marais area.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and snowmobile riders. He also started flight training.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a snowmobile detail with CO Zavodnik in the International Falls area. He also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley and turned in a completed background investigation.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) patrolled area lakes for anglers and began the task of marking fish houses for the fast-approaching shelter removal date. Anglers with shelters out should begin planning for their removal. Flooding and deep snow will make removal of many shelters difficult.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobilers. Many questions were answered regarding the upcoming fish house removal date and how to get houses removed with all the snow on the lakes. Enforcement action for the week was taken for illegal-length crappies, fishing without a license, using extra lines, leaving lines unattended, and leaving a fish shelter on a public access.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Time also was spent working a trapping complaint and responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked snowmobiling and angling activity on area lakes and trails. An old-timers snowmobile run was worked and riders were checked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking angling and snowmobiling activity. The snowmobile trails are in fantastic shape, but vehicle travel on area lakes is now limited to plowed roads, and some slush pockets are showing up. Landmark worked with CO Swedberg and Lt. Seefeldt, checking anglers on Lake Lida. Anglers are reminded that if they leave their houses to visit friends, they are required to reel up their lines.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports more snowmobiling activity than fishing in the area. Time was spent checking trails, lakes, and public lands. A reminder that riding on agricultural land is considered trespass, even if signs are not present.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports focusing on snowmobiling and angling enforcement throughout the week. Activity peaked on Saturday afternoon while the CO worked the Douglas County-area snowmobile trails with Lt. Shelden. A few anglers were checked even though many fish houses have been removed well ahead of the deadline due to deep and drifting snow. One angler had to resort to using a walk-behind snowblower to make a path across a lake because his Class 2 ATV with a plow couldn’t get the job done.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, snowmobilers, ATVers, and fish houses. Several snowmobiles were checked with exhaust systems that were modified to increase the noise level. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports fishing activity is slower with deep snow on lakes. Cases were made on anglers this past week for an overlimit of crappies and multiple instances of illegal drug possession.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on snowmobiling and angling activity throughout the week. The CO also worked a snowmobile and trail enforcement detail with other District 3 officers. Time was spent assisting local law enforcement with an abandoned vehicle on Lake Osakis.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Baumbarger also participated in a snowmobile work crew in southern Otter Tail County and worked with CO Holt on Smith Lake during an annual fishing tournament. Complaints about coyote hunter and snowmobile trespass were received.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated a call about a dead deer. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display current registration, failure to display registration number decals, and failure to have a license in possession while fishing and spearing.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on a litter complaint regarding ice anglers. The report was of litter left behind after a portable fish house was removed. Litter included human waste, cigarette butts, and cans. Fish house burglaries on area lakes have been reported. P
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing on Rainy Lake has slowed. The International Falls Voyageurs Snowmobile Club’s Annual Charity Radar Run event was held on Rainy Lake this past weekend.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) and CO Vollbrecht came upon an interesting case in which the two of them stopped to help a trail rider who had a blown snowmobile belt. After assisting the snowmobiler, the COs decided to work an area for snowmobiler speeding on the trail and observed an individual going 87 miles per hour in a 50-mph zone. As they stopped the snowmobiler, it was clear who the operator was once he started to slow down: It was the same person they helped earlier. As he came to a stop and looked at both officers, he put his head on his handle bars in embarrassment, and quickly admitted to speeding. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports an increase in snowmobiling activity. There were multiple snowmobile accidents in the area, and Fondie assisted at a fatal snowmobile accident. Numerous snowmobile violations were encountered while working trail enforcement. One snowmobile was paced driving in excess of 70 mph down the shoulder of a blacktop road and subsequently was cited for the offense.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Speeding and crashes continued this past week, with a report of one fatal snowmobile crash from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) mainly worked trout anglers, snowmobilers, and ATV riders. A deer-hunting case was investigated, and confiscated furs were processed. He was one of the first officers on the scene of a house fire and responded to an injury snowmobile crash in which the driver struck a tree on the wrong side of the trail.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) responded to two snowmobile accidents with injuries. In both instances, the snowmobiler was on his first ride of the season and was unfamiliar with the snowmobile on which he was operating. Both riders survived their accidents, but their sleds were totaled.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) searched for a moose that was hit by a train in the Skibo area.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked snowmobilers and trout anglers this past week. He also took several calls from people with complaints about the new pike regulations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling activity this past week. Fishing in the area is poor at best, with deep snow and slush. Schottenbauer also spent the week and weekend enforcing snowmobiling rules.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking angling and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobiling violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. Trails remain in good condition and anglers are enjoying some rare ice-fishing opportunities on Lake Superior. Murray also attended a training session in Grand Rapids.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked area lakes, and performed equipment maintenance. Time also was spent on equipment inventories and assisting other agencies with vehicles ditches.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling and fishing enforcement. Violations included failure to display snowmobile registration, operating a snowmobile on the roadway, and snowmobiler trespass. The CO also took miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked area snowmobiling activity, and attended training this past week. Fairbanks also responded to vehicles and snowmobiles stuck in the slush on area lakes.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked primarily snowmobiling, angling, and ATVing enforcement. Anglers are reporting poor to moderate success rates on area lakes. Van Asch also spent time investigating an ongoing timber theft case. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered snowmobile, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, failure to renew ATV registration, operating an ATV on a state highway, no angling license in possession, and possession of a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked the TIP Wall of Shame booth at the Duluth Deer Classic held at the DECC during the past week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked winter fishing on area lakes, including Lake Superior. Snowmobiling activity continues to be high, resulting in many contacts throughout the week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked complaints of violations on ski trails at Jay Cooke State Park, where enforcement action was taken for ski pass violations. Extra enforcement patrols were conducted on Lake Mille Lacs, with enforcement action being taken for unattended lines and shelter violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking ice anglers on Lake Superior. The anglers are venturing farther and farther out. Just a reminder to have an action plan ready in the event the ice becomes unstable.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior as the ice continued to grow. Ice conditions always vary, so be sure to wear flotation gear and carry rescue picks and a chisel.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) provided enforcement for snowmobiling and fishing activity. Patrols were conducted in vacant stations, and enforcement action was taken for no snowmobile safety as well as registration issues. A trapping case is under investigation.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a snowmobile patrol was done in the Lake Vermilion area. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for snowmobile speed and registration violations, and a situation was addressed involving obstruction of a public snowmobile trail.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) assisted with a kids fishing day for McGregor-area kids where juveniles tried their hand at ice fishing. A big thanks all the volunteers and the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. More snow and slush accumulation are making fish house access challenging. With only two weeks to go before the removal deadline, house owners are encouraged to start moving houses or have a plan in place in case conditions get worse.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) spent time patrolling area snowmobile trails. Speldrich also checked anglers and located fishing shelters with improper identification. A complaint came in about deer stealing a horse’s grain. According to the reporting party, a herd of deer would aggressively chase the lone horse away while they ate its grain.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports time was spent dealing with wolf-related complaints.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) was approaching a stop sign at an intersection when a snowmobile rider ran the stop sign. The rider crossed directly in front of Kuske and required her to slam on the brakes to not hit him. Kuske stopped the snowmobiler, introduced herself, and informed him he picked the wrong person to run a stop sign in front of that day. The snowmobiler agreed with Kuske. He also was displaying expired registration but had current registration in his pocket, as did a number of the riders in his group. It is a violation to not have valid registration displayed.
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports high numbers of snowmobile enthusiasts out enjoying the snow. During one contact, she asked a rider if he had a snowmobile safety certificate. His response? “But I’m 40 years old!” Residents born after Dec. 31, 1976 need to have a certificate to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota. Kyllo also spent time working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, trying to locate paperwork for timber wolf mounts that were brought into the state from Canada in the 1990s.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a patrol on an area lake resulted in the arrest of an angler who was without a license and had an active felony warrant.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) finished a deer-poaching investigation with enforcement action taken.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) met with a local lake association and DNR hydrologist regarding an upcoming project, checked anglers and shelters, attended a Minnesota Deer Hunters Association banquet, stopped by a local fishing contest, and assisted a local police department with a high school prank involving a deceased raccoon.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working snowmobile riders. Krauel would like to remind snowmobilers that it only takes one trespasser to cause trail closures and ruin the experience for other snowmobilers.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) worked snowmobiling and ice-fishing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, extra lines, expired snowmobile registration, and other violations.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) reports time was spent investigating a possible illegal trapping complaint.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and snowmobiling activities on area lakes and trails. He also patrolled state parks and trails and answered questions from the Asian community about youth firearms safety classes.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) continues to focus his efforts on snowmobiling and ice fishing activity. Conditions continue to be ideal for snowmobile riding. A call about an injured deer in downtown Minneapolis was handled.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) worked snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, extra lines, and numerous snowmobiling violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) responded to a call regarding a nuisance turkey that has been chasing residents around a neighborhood. Thomas walked the neighborhood and located a house where the residents had been feeding the turkey daily. He told them that was likely the reason the turkey was hanging around. The feed was removed and follow-up will be done to see if the turkey leaves.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) had the opportunity to meet many anglers, including numerous youth, who participated in the Centerville Lions Annual Ice Fishing Contest.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked on a big-game case and fielded calls about predator hunting.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Blong Lor (Redwood Falls) spent the week checking ice anglers. Recent heavy snows have made transportation on the ice challenging. Time also was spent checking snowmobilers and coyote hunters.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) assisted CO Fagerman and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement with a fishing and snowmobiling enforcement detail in the Grand Marais station. Remote trout lakes were checked.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked ice anglers, coyote hunters, and snowmobilers throughout the week.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked area angling and snowmobiling activity. He also followed up on a turkey registration issue and a deer feeding ban complaint. Vernier completed aeration inspections and collected an incidentally taken fisher.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) focused on snowmobiling activity for most of the week. Angling and trapping enforcement also were worked during the week. Klehr also assisted the State Patrol and Meeker County with vehicles off the road and jack-knifed semis in Meeker County during inclement weather and icy road conditions.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received a call about snowmobiler trespass on a wildlife management area. He also worked snowmobiling, small-game hunting, and angling enforcement.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports assistance was provided to the Minnesota State Patrol and the Mountain Lake Police Department on an assault and DWI arrest.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking angling activity and patrolling for snowmobilers and ATV operators.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked predator hunters, trappers, anglers, and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Davis also spent time patrolling state parks and wildlife management areas.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports working angling, snowmobiling, and ATVing activity this past week. Anglers with hard-sided shelters left on lakes are reminded to monitor their shelters. The shelter-removal deadline is coming up (March 4), but now is the time to make sure that your shelter is blocked up and not frozen in.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked coyote hunters this past week. He also checked ice anglers around Spring Valley.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers and snowmobile operators. George also spoke with a professional group about DNR laws, CWD, and water safety practices.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking ice anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Time also was spent inspecting taxidermists’ records and facilities.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spent time doing taxidermist checks and followed up on hunting violations.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports a number of predator hunters were out and about and were contacted.