Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 1, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) and COC Marc Johnson worked small-game hunting and ATVing activity in the Beltrami Island State Forest as well as waterfowl-hunting and fishing activity on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. In addition, they assisted the city of Roseau in removing damaged property from the Roseau River caused by high water and followed up on complaints regarding illegal hunting inside a state wildlife management area and trespassing.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked OHV, big- and small-game, sportfishing, and waterfowling enforcement. Multiple trespassing complaints were received and addressed.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) worked big- and small-game hunting, waterfowling, and ATVing enforcement this past week. Elwell also investigated motor vehicles being operated in a WMA and investigated multiple trespass complaints. Hunters are reminded to review Minnesota trespass laws found in the regulations handbook before venturing out onto private lands.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working small-game, waterfowling and archery deer-hunting activity throughout the week. Time was spent following up on aquatic vegetation violations and a public lands trespassing investigation.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time throughout the week checking duck hunters. Time also was spent checking archery deer hunters and working on a hunting-related trespass complaint. An aquatic plant management violation site was inspected. A call regarding a dead moose was received.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area WMAs and WPAs for archery deer hunters and stands left overnight. Several car-injured deer were dispatched, with possession permits issued.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling for recreational vehicles, checking duck hunters, and monitoring fishing activity. During the weekend, COs Swedberg, Landmark, and COC Seifermann found a group of young men who had just finished jumping a personal watercraft from one pond to another across a county road. Charges are pending against the operator pending further investigation.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked complaints about duck decoys left out, deer hunter trespass, and deer stand conflicts.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) assisted the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office and White Earth Tribal Police with domestic issues and a tree across a highway. Information was provided on pheasant-hunting limits, the tribal deer season, and legal access by water for waterfowl hunting.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) and COC Adam Seifermann assisted the Detroit Lakes Police Department with a water rescue of a person whose kayak had capsized. The female was wearing a life jacket and dry suit and the outcome was favorable.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and COC Emily Leeb finalized Step 2 of the field-training program. They worked on a big-game investigation, seizing several deer, deer parts, firearms and narcotics. They also worked night shining activity, deer-baiting complaints, small-game, waterfowl and archery deer hunters, and monitored ATV activity.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) and COC Jordan Anderson worked multiple cases related to big game, with charges and seizures of equipment and animals. Waterfowl hunters were checked, with two arrests made for hunting while intoxicated.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports checking waterfowl and pheasant hunters throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for no licenses, unplugged shotguns, and ATV operation violations. Goodman continues to find evidence of ATV operation on WMA/WPAs and wants to remind operators to stay off public land that is closed to motor vehicles.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a bird hunter was cited for possessing marijuana. Trespass issues were dealt with around Alexandria, and muskie anglers were monitored.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked small-game and deer-hunting activity throughout the week. Time also was spent working vacant stations in the Park Rapids area, checking hunting and ATV activity. Complaints were received regarding hunter harassment and trespassing. Enforcement activity included hunting license violations and drug possession.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The CO also received a complaint about a duck hunter shooting too close to houses on the Crow Wing River. Posner also spent time in the Pillsbury State Forest checking small-game hunters.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check small-game and waterfowl hunters. She also investigated a report about blood and a shell casing on a road and was able to locate a deer at a nearby property by following the blood trail. She also wrote multiple possession tags for bears and deer hit by cars.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) and COC Mikeena Mattson completed a trespassing investigation that led to enforcement action for trespassing and big-game hunting violations. Complaints about dogs chasing deer, illegal deer stands on public land, and wanton waste/littering were received.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports spending most of the past week preparing for and testifying in a jury trial involving a deer-baiting case from 2017. The individual was found guilty of three counts of deer baiting.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports several youngsters reported harvesting their first grouse. A reminder to make sure hunters of all ages have the required licenses and safety training before heading afield. Assistance was provided to a trapper in releasing a fisher from a foothold trap.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time earlier in the week attending training at the BCA. He also handled a number of trespass complaints and concerns regarding the upcoming deer season. CO Zavodnik spent the majority of his time getting accustomed to his new station area.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent a good part of the week dealing with nuisance-beaver and bear complaints. He is investigating a trespass complaint, along with some reported small-game violations.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) checked balsam bough cutters, recovered a road-killed bald eagle, and monitored a special disability hunt at the local state park. A deer hunter in a mentored hunt went against the hunt sponsor rules and state statute and shot a deer without a license for the mentored hunter.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and hunters this past week. Duck hunting improved and whitefish netting started on several area lakes.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled forest backroads, checking ATV operators and hunters. He also followed up on a report about ATV damage on a forest route. She also began checking for deer bait and continued checking bear-bait stations to be sure everything has been removed post-season.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training in St. Paul. A spruce-top case is under investigation. A citation was issued for a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) and COC Larson worked ATV enforcement, small-game hunting, and sportfishing. Deer baits were searched for. Trespassing signs posted on state property were removed. An overlimit of trout was found on a local trout lake.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters. There were more hunters than ducks. He also issued various permits, patrolled complaint areas, and completed paperwork associated with wolf depredation on livestock.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and small-game hunters and worked ATVing activity and AIS enforcement. Numerous wildlife-related calls were answered. He also patrolled state parks and campgrounds and attended a training meeting.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) monitored decorative material harvesting, worked shining complaints, responded to injured animal-related calls, and worked small-game hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) followed up on a deer-hunting-over-bait violation and issued paperwork for a wetland violation. A deer-hunting violation was investigated involving an illegally taken deer. Duncan also checked many anglers throughout the week.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted patrols on county and state lands for various hunting and OHVing activity during the past week. Humphrey also investigated a deer-shooting complaint and dispatched a car-hit deer.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody assisted the local sheriff’s office in searching for a juvenile who allegedly took a lot of pills and fled into a wooded area. The juvenile was located and turned over to medical personnel. After the CO received a call about someone hearing shots in an area just before dark, a residence was checked and an adult male was found trying to hang up a deer in his garage. The man admitted to shooting the deer with a high-powered rifle from behind his house. He stated he didn’t need food; he just wanted some tasty venison to eat. He is facing charges of taking deer out of season and transporting an illegally taken big-game animal. The deer, his rifle, and his ATV were seized.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked small-game hunters north of Duluth as well as end-of-the-season open-water anglers on area lakes. Olson also responded to a trespass complaint and followed up on a baiting site.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked commercial cisco nets and anglers on Lake Superior. Enforcement action was taken for ATVing violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked late-season duck hunters. He also investigated damage at a state forest campground that had been caused by vehicle operators doing spin-outs. Collette also handled several calls about high water levels caused by beaver dams. Water was flooding homes and property.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) covered a wide variety of station calls this past week. Numerous individuals had questions regarding the upcoming firearms deer season and how CWD zone deer will be processed.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing, trapping, waterfowling, archery deer hunting, and turkey hunting activity. He also collected incidental otters and investigating reports of trespassing, baiting deer, and other suspicious hunting and fishing activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling small- and big-game hunting. Enforcement action was taken for litter, burning garbage, burning prohibited materials, and burning without a permit.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a complaint about archery deer hunting over baited areas. Nuisance-beaver calls were taken, and questions about concealed carry while hunting were answered.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports trespass concerns and coon-hunting activity were monitored. Asking for landowner permission before going onto land would help landowner relationships.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week looking for illegal hunting activity and speaking at various meetings and events. Anglers and small-game hunters were checked. Time was spent checking for people shooting after legal hours.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked hunting activity this past week. He handled a TIP call concerning deer carcasses being dumped and worked trespass and wetland cases.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent the week checking waterfowl and small-game hunters. Time also was spent investigating a trespassing complaint and responding to wildlife- and littering-related complaints.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) conducted field training with COC Ryan Hanna. An illegal deer shiner was apprehended, and another individual was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) checked archery, small-game, and waterfowl hunters. Additional efforts were spent patrolling the evening walleye bite on area lakes. TIP reports of baiting big game, wanton waste, and wetland filling were investigated.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports trespass cases were investigated, ranging from feuding neighbors to ignorant parties not respecting property boundaries. Now that hunting season is in full swing, Benkofske has been seeing an upswing in illegally disposed animal carcasses. Remember that road rights of way and parking lots are not places to get rid of carcasses. It gives hunters a bad name and is illegal.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended a work crew in District 12 and checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters in the Wright County area. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers and waterfowl and big-game hunters. Waterfowl hunters are reporting low numbers of birds. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for training.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took a complaint about someone setting nets in a private pond in Prior Lake and duck hunters shooting late west of Waconia. Many questions were answered from the Asian community about deer-hunting regulations.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the majority of the week at training at the BCA. Grewe also spent time checking anglers and waterfowl hunters.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) helped teach a firearms safety field day at the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area. While setting up for the field day, Fogarty observed a dog chasing a deer through the SRA. Fogarty located the dog and its owner. The owner was educated on the rules of the park.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) provided a ride-along for a law enforcement student and assisted with a firearms safety field day in Scott County. Le encountered violations for no state waterfowl validation, no federal duck stamp, unsigned federal duck stamp, no HIP certification, and being in a state park during close hours.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) handled several phone calls about nuisance animals and trespassing. Maass also investigated a report of illegal hunting activity.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. Salzer also received calls regarding hunting area lakes for waterfowl. Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA for hunting activity.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working waterfowl, small-game and big-game hunting, and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, angling with extra lines, unsigned federal duck stamp, transporting an uncased/loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, exceeding the posted speed limit in a WMA, and driving without a valid license.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking archery deer hunters, pheasant hunters, and ATV riders. Enforcement action was taken for license violations.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling and archery deer, pheasant, small-game, and waterfowl hunting during the week. Waterfowl hunters are seeing a mixture of diving and puddle ducks in the bag.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working archery deer and pheasant hunters. The bean harvest is close to complete in the area. Corn, however, remains largely unharvested.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked waterfowl, pheasant, and archery hunting activity. Vernier also assisted on a work crew and spent time at division training. He also followed up on trespass and public waters-related complaints.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continued field training with COC Daniels. Time was spent focused on pheasant hunting, archery deer hunting, and waterfowl hunting. Klehr also attended training in St. Paul during the week for alcohol enforcement.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls and complaints regarding shooting after hours, law clarifications, and deer registration mistakes. He also spent time working angling, waterfowling, small-game hunting, boating, invasive species, and deer-hunting enforcement.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded several TIP calls during the week related to fishing and hunting violations. A big thank you to the anglers who have been picking up garbage in areas along the Des Moines River!
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked waterfowl and pheasant hunters as well as anglers. He also attended the Kilen Woods State Park special youth hunt.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked duck hunters who were seeing few ducks. Deer hunters are seeing more deer moving with the crops coming out and the cooler weather. He also spent time investigating trapping violations and trespass complaints.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking anglers, big-game hunters, and ATV riders. The CO is investigating a big-game violation.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters this past week. He also patrolled his station for fishing, boating, and AIS violations.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reminds duck hunters to have the correct life-saving equipment on board as water temperatures are dropping rapidly. Wear your life jacket!
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports several illegal deer hunting-related investigations were initiated this past week.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and archery hunters. Two hunters were observed taking an overlimit of bufflehead ducks in Pool 8. After killing four extra ducks, the hunters left them behind to waste. An archery hunter was found to be illegally providing attractants near his treestand. Enforcement action was taken in both cases.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the past week focusing on waterfowl and deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, taking small game without a license, unplugged shotguns, and various stamp issues.