Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 30, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area bear-baiting activity. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with the apprehension of an individual who was under the influence of illegal drugs and wielding a knife.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued monitoring bear-baiting activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for baiting bears without a license, non-biodegradable bait, and failure to register bear bait as required.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) handled nuisance-animal-related complaints, investigated a possible wolf depredation, and patrolled the station for bear-baiting and ATVing activity this past week. Elwell also attended a firearms safety class in East Grand Forks, where he talked to youth about safety, ethics, and laws pertaining to hunting.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spoke at two firearms safety classes this past week in Crookston and the East Grand Forks area. Several ATV operators were contacted. Time also was spent checking anglers and watercraft operators.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued work on a background investigation. Time also was spent patrolling for ATVing activity.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked with DNR aquatic plant specialists to conduct compliance checks on aquatic plant management permits such as weed rollers and chemical controls. Most owners complied with their permit, but many hydro-jets were observed, excavating the lake bed and in violation of the law.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. Areas were patrolled for ATVing activity. Follow-up continued on bear-depredation complaints.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, bear-baiting, and ATVing activity. Lakeshore owners who are preparing to remove their watercraft for the year are reminded to remove zebra mussels from their watercraft prior to transporting it away from the public access.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with CO Academy training for scenario day as an evaluator. Plautz also received calls about nuisance animals such as a loon swimming close to a boat of anglers. Plautz continues to work on a background investigation for a possible new employee.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports attending a border water meeting in Milbank, S.D., speaking at a firearms safety field day, and completing annual online training.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent the week contacting lakeshore owners who were in violation of weed roller and APM permits after compliance checks were performed on several area lakes. Weed rollers and beach groomers must follow exact permit specifications or they’re considered illegal and will result in enforcement action.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked ATVing activity and AIS compliance. Time also was spent working on a background investigation of an applicant for the next CO academy.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement. Some of the violations he observed this past week were no fishing license, expired registration, and insufficient life-saving devices. The CO also worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on the Crow Wing River. A complaint about ATVers causing damage in the Pillsbury forest was investigated. He also worked on complaints regarding a bear and a wolf.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued work on a background investigation of a CO applicant. ATV and OHM riders were checked. Some bear baits also were checked in the area. A complaint about a landowner filling a public water was investigated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports most work centered on assisting with teaching emergency vehicle response driving and operation to new COs at the academy at Camp Ripley. Lots of bear-related complaints have been received in the past week. People are encouraged to remove any food source for a couple of weeks, which will typically result in bears moving on. Time also was spent on a cooperative game and fish check detail with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry in International Falls.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) spent time inspecting harvested bears and fish with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources during the weekend. Bear-hunter compliance was good during inspections, but 40 to 50 fish were seized due to violations such as overlimits of fish, fish not readily identifiable, and fish not readily countable. Time also was spent attending the Good Samaritan Society Carnival with DNR Forestry and monitoring weigh-ins at the bass championship with DNR Fisheries.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports bear-baiting activity is picking up and reports of bears hitting garbage cans and bird feeders are still being heard. A report of a moose hit by a train was taken. A Fisheries meeting was attended in Bemidji.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVers, invasive species enforcement, and bear-bait station checks, dealt with a train-killed moose, and followed up with a dogs-chasing-deer complaint. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, numerous boating and PWC violations, no state park vehicle permit, careless vehicle operation in a state park, removing aquatic plants without a permit, transporting watercraft without removing the drain plug, and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) assisted other COs with instruction covering ATV topics at the CO Academy in Camp Ripley. Other time was spent looking for bear baits in the Virginia area. Frericks also worked a detail at the International Falls Port of Entry with agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. While checking an area lake for angling activity, Frericks observed a pickup truck parked next to an access and a person angling from a canoe nearby. When he ran the license plates, he learned there was an active arrest warrant for the registered owner. After a short time, the angler came to shore, where Frericks met him and confirmed he was the owner of the truck. The subject, who did not have an angling license and was in possession of drug paraphernalia, was arrested on the warrant and transported to jail.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring angling and ATVing activity. Angling success was limited this past week. Broughten also investigated trespass complaints and a wildfire.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports bear-baiting season is in full swing with the number of bear baits doubling during the week. The level of bear activity seen at the sites continues to be high.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked bear-baiting activity and took several complaints about nuisance and dead animals. He also checked anglers and boaters on area lakes.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled the forests, checking bear bait stations. The CO also checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and inland lakes, and ATV operators on county and forest roads.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked bear-baiting, angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Assistance was given on a work detail at the International Falls Port of Entry.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on bear-bait activity. He also checked anglers on inland lakes and returned calls regarding wildlife complaints.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and bear-baiting activity during the week. Murray also assisted with the recovery of a stolen vehicle and handled nuisance-wildlife complaints.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) continued working on a background investigation for a conservation officer applicant, checked bear baits, and handled calls about wild rice.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked bear-baiting activity, checked anglers, and taught EVOC at the CO Academy. Area rice beds are looking good.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, big-game, and ATVing activity. Bear-baiting activity continues to be one of the CO’s priorities. Several bear-bait complaints were fielded and continue to be investigated.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked anglers who reported the walleye bite is picking up. Several people were out checking on the area’s wild rice conditions.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked ATVing activity this past week and saw a fair number of people enjoying the trails. Assistance was given to Carlton County officials in searching for a missing juvenile who was located and is safe.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted OHV patrols in the Fond du Lac State Forest, Saginaw State Trail, and Sawyer and Firebird wildlife management areas. Bear-baiting activity also was monitored. Humphrey followed up on an ongoing wolf/livestock complaint in Kettle River where two dead calves were confirmed as wolf kills. Humphrey completed reports on a litter case, assisted with a fish trap investigation, and issued a wetland restoration order.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) answered questions on bear baiting and spent time getting ready for the upcoming fall seasons. Assistance was given to other agencies in getting their detection K9s certified in the metro area. Reports were retrieved for the local prosecutor in a case of fishing without a license from 2015. Apparently, the suspect ignored the ticket and it finally caught up to him when he went to jail on the warrant that was issued.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted two separate boaters during the weekend. One power boat had lower unit problems after running aground in the shallows of St. Louis Bay. The second assist was to a 25-foot sailboat that was having problems in building sea conditions within the Duluth ship canal. After a bridge lift, the sailboater passed safely into calmer harbor waters.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) assisted with recreational vehicle enforcement training at the DNR CO Academy. Guida also assisted with the donation of a car-injured black bear to a person who wanted it.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked bear-baiting, ricing, and ATVing activity. Angling and invasive species also were worked. Assistance was given to the State Patrol with a motorcycle accident.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) followed up on a public waters violation, addressed several weed roller and aquatic blower violations, checked bear-baiting activity, assisted the county with a physical domestic situation in a state forest, and investigated a report of feral hogs.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled the Foot Hills State Forest ATV trails and completed background investigations. Illegal road right of way operation was the most common violation observed.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting with teaching at ATV week at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Cadets learned operating and enforcement techniques. He spent time patrolling the SRA for park violations and also for illegal ATV and vehicle activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to a call about an injured bald eagle. The reporting party witnessed the eagle get hit by a car. The eagle died en route to the Raptor Center. Speldrich also followed up on ongoing Wetland Conservation Act violations.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) had a busy bear week, with a nuisance bear shot, a cub up a tree by a house, and two other depredation complaints. Bear hunters are reporting that baits are getting hit hard by multiple bears. A wetland resource protection order was issued, and enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation on a watercraft or trailer.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in ATV traffic and bear-baiting activity on state forest lands. More time was spent dealing with wolf depredation problems. In one instance, seven wolves were removed from a pasture where a farmer lost livestock to depredation.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time learning new areas in his station. Anglers and boaters were checked. Karon also assisted other COs with the execution of a search warrant.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) checked an individual fishing. During the contact, a second pole was observed completely submerged in the water. The individual admitted that both lines were his. The individual’s buddy was fishing farther upstream with two lines as well. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Time also was spent on various wildlife-related complaints and equipment maintenance.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) observed a plume of black smoke coming from a building site. When Bertram arrived, he found a large fire containing mattresses, wiring, a plastic picnic table, and many others things that shouldn’t be burned. Enforcement action was taken.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and enforcing ATV safety. A case of individuals selling fish was investigated, leading to a search warrant.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and boaters on local lakes and rivers, patrolled state and county lands, and took complaints about ATVers and trespass. Londgren also worked with other officers on an ongoing case, and local government units on potential wetland/public waters violations.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent time helping a neighboring officer investigate the illegal sales of fish and game and also assisted with a search warrant on a property.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) took several calls about bogs blocking a waterway and possibly being blocked intentionally.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in Bloomington and on the Minnesota River. He also worked with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service outreach intern to provide a fishing regulations workshop to the Karen community.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports assistance was given to local law enforcement in locating the driver of a stolen vehicle parked near a fishing pier.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe also worked a shift at the State Fair DNR info booth and fielded several questions on a variety of topics such as chronic wasting disease and the statewide youth deer hunt.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) talked at a firearms safety class at the Prior Lake VFW. Fogarty also took education and enforcement action for a juvenile helmet violation, no ATV safety certificate, and transporting water-related equipment with drain plugs in.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked shore anglers and boaters on metro-area lakes and rivers. He also patrolled state parks, state trails, and wildlife management areas.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) attended multiple community events, including a career fair and a firearms safety class. He also patrolled for illegal angling activity and handled numerous TIP calls.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working on a background investigation for the current hiring process. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs, registration issues, no angling license, and extra lines. Assistance was given to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a suspect with outstanding warrants.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) issued a cease and desist order for a wetland violation and followed up on several complaints of boaters transporting aquatic invasive species.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) fielded several calls regarding upcoming hunting seasons. They were in regard to changes in this year’s regulations. He also handled a complaint about people trespassing and taking animals out of season.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating, and OHVing activity during the week. Instruction was provided at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked fishing, boating, AIS, and ATVing activity. Questions continue to be answered dealing with the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Hunters are reminded that the early goose season starts Sunday, Sept. 1. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with answering questions at a deer input open house meeting in Minneota.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted angler and watercraft inspections. Public accesses were patrolled for litter and illegal activity. Beaver issues continue to be a problem – just as they’ve been for the past month.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued with a background investigation for employment during the past week. Locally, geese continue to migrate into the area and hunters are reporting good numbers of doves.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity. He also followed up on a trespass complaint and assisted with a beaver-damage complaint. Vernier also answered calls pertaining to the upcoming waterfowl season.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes and public lands. Lusignan also conducted a firearms safety presentation in Northfield that focused on safety, laws, and ethics.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) attended a meeting about this year’s CWD deer regulations. He also answered calls about a wetland violation, an injured eagle, and a motor vehicle being driven on an AMA.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports rivers are now close to normal seasonal flows.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent time working angling, ATVing, and public land enforcement. Hunters are reminded that stands, cameras, and other items are not allowed to be left on public land overnight.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) reports enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, extra lines, bass overlimit, and possession of marijuana. Fitzgerald arrested a man who had an open warrant.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports time was spent assisting another CO with a person found to be digging ginseng early. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending time patrolling for early ginseng diggers and ATV riders on state land. A person who was trespassing said the reason he had picked that road to look for ginseng was he remembered it from when he used to go there to smoke pot. Hemker also attended a firearms safety class and a district meeting.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple questions regarding the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Hill worked a dogs-chasing-deer case and took his first report of shining. A ride-along opportunity was given to a college student interested in becoming a CO.