Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Sept. 6, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked goose- and bear-hunting activity. Goose-hunting success was spotty, but several limits were observed. Goose hunters are reminded to know what licenses are needed.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the Labor Day weekend monitoring the start of the early goose and bear seasons. Success was better than average in the fields around Lake of the Woods for geese. Woinarowicz also worked with CO Benjamin in the Warroad area and Beltrami Island State Forest. Enforcement action for the week included hunters not having small-game licenses, no federal waterfowl stamp, failure to register bear bait as prescribed, and multiple violations in which juvenile ATV passengers and operators weren’t wearing helmets.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working the early goose-hunting opener, as well as angling and boating activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Goose hunters contacted had good success.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports an increase in ATVing activity in the area during the Labor Day weekend. Time was spent working bear-hunting activity and ATVing activity. Prachar also assisted the sheriff’s office and area law enforcement with the influx of people surrounding the World Ploughing Competition. Competitors and farmers from more than 30 countries met in a field southeast of Baudette to compete for bragging rights and prestige among their peers. The event brought a large number of competitors and spectators.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused on bear baiting and bear-hunting activity, as well as ATV enforcement. Mishler also attended training at Camp Ripley.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a training session at Camp Ripley. Anglers were checked at area lakes. Goose hunters and bear hunters also were contacted. Various waterfowl- and bear-related violations were encountered.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued work on a background investigation. Early goose season and bear hunters were checked with mixed results. Nuisance-bear complaints were taken, and a complaint about individuals burning garbage was investigated.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working ATVing enforcement and checking bear-hunting activity. Other time was spent following up on aquatic plant management violations and at training. Enforcement action was taken for altering the cross-section of a lake bed, operating an ATV without registration, and operating an ATV in the road right of way.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) followed up on a deer-poaching case, checked anglers and boaters, attended training at Camp Ripley, and worked bear hunters and bait enforcement.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent time checking anglers, dove hunters, and early goose hunters. Landmark also spent time at Camp Ripley for CO Academy instruction and training.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports an active Labor Day weekend with boating, fishing, and hunting activities. Goose hunters in the area had spotty success.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a possible poached deer and is working on the details of that. The CO also assisted with an Amish firearms safety class.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, anglers, goose and dove hunters, and ATV riders. Numerous ATV and early Canada goose violations were encountered. COs Osborne and Goodman witnessed a near-tragic vehicle accident on a state highway. A woman stopped her vehicle almost completely in the driving lane and another vehicle had to swerve around her to avoid rear-ending her. When she was contacted by CO Osborne and asked why she stopped in the traffic lane, the driver said because she was waiting for a butterfly to fly out of her vehicle. Osborne observed a monarch butterfly cocoon hanging from her rearview mirror with a freshly hatched monarch butterfly crawling on the outside of the cocoon. She didn’t seem to notice the near-miss that just had occurred because she was paying too much attention to the butterfly.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued working on APM compliance checks with quite a few people operating outside of permit conditions, resulting in enforcement action.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking anglers, ATV riders, bear baits, and early goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, failure to display valid watercraft registration, OHMs being operated on public road rights of way, no federal waterfowl stamp, and no state waterfowl stamp.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked bear hunters and recreational vehicle operators. He also attended several days of training at Camp Ripley.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports time was spent on an employment background investigation, along with working the information booth at the State Fair.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) spent time checking bear bait compliance, checking anglers, and working ATV enforcement. Despite precipitation Sunday, bear-hunting activity was still high. Angling activity for sturgeon and walleyes has noticeably started to increase on the Rainy River.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports that as school begins, the opportunities for outdoor activities increase. Local campgrounds and accesses were busy for the holiday weekend. Wild rice gatherers began to search for a ripened bounty. ATVing activity is picking up, and operators are reminded to travel where allowed and not rely on tracks in the grass, as many trails do not allow for motorized travel this time of year. An emergency communications meeting was attended. It included a wide variety of interested people, from the local to international level.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week getting ready for the bear season. Most hunters indicated their baits were being visited regularly. There were a couple of beaver-damage complaints, along with some nuisance skunks. Hopkins also assisted with a serious ATV crash.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the bear-hunting opener, anglers, boaters, ATV riders, and a boating complaint. He also taught a firearms safety class in Hibbing. Bozovsky investigated the illegal taking of a large bear, which was dumped in the woods after being shot elsewhere.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring bear-hunting, goose-hunting, and angling activity. Few bear hunters were observed in the field. Goose hunters reported seeing a moderate number of birds.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the beginning of the week helping out at the State Fair information booth. He also attended training for several days at Camp Ripley.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked bear opener, checking hunters and bait stations. It was a busy weekend for ATV operators, most of whom were violating at least one law. Riders are reminded that everyone age 12 and older and born after July 1, 1987, must complete a safety class prior to operating an ATV. One operator was stopped on a state highway while running a machine with expired registration and carrying three passengers, two of whom were young children without helmets.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily bear baiting and the bear opener. Violations addressed and under investigation include unregistered bear bait, no sign, wrong zone, and baiting with non-biodegradable material.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking bear bait stations and bear hunters, and following up on wildlife-related calls.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked on an applicant background investigation, attended training, checked bear hunters and anglers, and patrolled for illegal ATVing activity.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, big-game, waterfowl, and ATVing enforcement. He also answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the bear opener, checked anglers, and monitored ricing activity. Bear-hunter success was excellent this past weekend. Fairbanks and his K9 partner, Si, also assisted in locating a lost camper.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the opening of the bear season. From contacting hunters, it seemed like a successful hunt so far this year. Sutherland also assisted Itasca County with an ATV accident in which a helicopter transported the victim.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports enforcement action was taken for an insufficient number of PFDs on board a boat, no angling license in possession, failing to display ATV registration, unsigned federal duck stamps, baiting bears with solid waste, and no identification on bear baits.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) patrolled the area for fishing, hunting, and ATVing activities. Assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies and enforcement action was taken for ATVing and fishing violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent time at Camp Ripley this past week for mandatory training. A trapping complaint was addressed and found to be a lawful set for nuisance animals. A short time after the CO checked this complaint, a male was stopped on an ATV for operating without headlights. This person was found to have taken the trap as well as an animal that was in it. Enforcement action was taken for trap tampering, operating an unregistered ATV, operating without headlights on an ATV and failure to transfer ownership of an ATV.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) checked bear baits and hunters during the weekend. A case involving a bear cub that was shot was handled during that time. He also worked the opening day of crow hunting and early goose season.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time training at Camp Ripley during the week. Duncan also spent time working bear hunters, ATVing activity and fishing enforcement.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked wild ricing and bear- and early goose-hunting openers during the Labor Day weekend. Rice stands were poor to average.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) took a call from a concerned citizen who tried to take a hook out of a cormorant and was bitten. The caller was worried about getting any disease that the bird carried.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked commercial fishing enforcement on Lake Superior in the Tofte/Schroeder waters, which led to an investigation of an illegal gill net.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked on a background investigation for a potential conservation officer hire. Guida also answered questions related to lawful ATV operation on public land and youth passenger and helmet laws.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, wild ricing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for boating activity. Time also was spent checking early-season goose hunters and working ATVing enforcement.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV and OHM activity in the Foothills State Forest. Several ATV and OHM violations were observed, including failure to display current registration, no trail pass, and operating while impaired.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking wild rice harvesting, early goose hunting, bear hunting, fishing, recreational boating, and ATVing activity. One group of young goose hunters the CO checked never fired a shot, because on their way to their hunting spot, their boat capsized and they all went into the water, along with a shotgun that’s currently on the bottom of a river. They all made it out of the water and were OK.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked bear baits and bear hunters throughout the week and weekend. Speldrich also spent time in the Nemadji State Forest, enforcing ATV and OHM laws. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations. The CO noted that several signs have been posted to remind state forest users that there is a missing hunter from last deer season and to call the sheriff’s office with any information. The hunter was last seen wearing a red jacket, a blaze orange vest, and camouflage pants.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week checking bear baits and bear hunters. Time also was spent checking ATV use in non-designated areas.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week attending training at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent checking anglers in the station.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers, goose hunters, and mourning dove hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting geese out of season, a firearm capable of holding more than three shells while goose hunting, failure to have a federal duck stamp, failure to have HIP certification, fishing without a license, failure to display current watercraft registration, and failure to have a throwable flotation device on board a watercraft.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking goose hunters during the opener. An AIS checkpoint also was conducted in Wright County with other local officers.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working small-game hunters, big-game hunters, and ATV riders.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked bear baits, early goose hunters, anglers, and boaters. An AIS checkpoint was conducted, shoreline and wetland inspections were completed, and assistance was given to other agencies on an incident in Mille Lacs County.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) started the 2019 goose-hunting season with more violations encountered than birds harvested. Time was spent at Camp Ripley, participating in training. Enforcement action was taken for no early goose license, no small-game license, unplugged shotguns, and possession of toxic shot.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers, training with K9 Shelby, and following up on complaints. Grewe also worked at the information booth at the State Fair.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked AIS enforcement at a detail in Wright County. Maass also worked boating and angling activity on area lakes and rivers.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted RTO George at a firearms safety field day for 18 students from the Karen community.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) answered questions from the Asian community on bear-hunting regulations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time patrolling local WMAs and monitoring shore-fishing activity. The heavy weeds in most lakes have made angling difficult. He also responded to calls regarding illegal ATVer trespass and conducted boat maintenance.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the weekend monitoring dove and goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing, unplugged guns, and license violations.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) assisted another officer with an investigation of taking of a deer outside of the season. He also issued a cease and desist order for non-permitted work in public water.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating, and OHVing activity during the week. Dove and early goose hunters were checked. Most of the questions answered during the week dealt with the waterfowl baiting laws as they pertain to oats and other cover crop fields.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked early goose and dove hunters. He also assisted with an AIS checkpoint at Lake Shetek.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity during the holiday weekend. He also answered calls from the public and worked area hunting activity for the early goose season opener.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave a presentation at a firearms safety training class and attended training. He also worked angling, boating, ATVing, invasive species, and early goose-hunting activities.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports blue-green algae was observed on one lake.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, early goose, and ATV enforcement this past week. Numerous goose limits were checked, but some people did not fire a shot.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and ATVing activity this past week. Several boats were checked that were in violation of AIS regulations.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) helped work the State Fair booth by answering questions, mostly about upcoming hunting openers.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the past week. He also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers, boaters, and hunters during the week. Heyn also assisted Wabasha County officials with a kayaker who went in the water due to current and debris on the Zumbro River.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) contacted a person who was illegally harvesting wild ginseng before the start of the season, Sept. 1. The same person was contacted last year for the same violations. Citations were issued, and the person’s ginseng roots were seized. Hill continues to find people illegally burning prohibited materials and burning without a burn permit.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports that a disabled boat was towed to shore, and enforcement action was taken for various equipment and fishing violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked a person with a limit of bass, but only one of them was of legal size.