Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 29, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked hunters on the final weekend of the deer season. Violations for the week included failure to register deer, illegal purchase of venison, driving while intoxicated, and a buck overlimit.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) reports multiple trespass complaints were handled during the past week. In case you weren’t aware, agricultural lands are considered posted and do not require signage, so get permission from the landowner prior to accessing the land.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking deer hunters, trappers, and a few anglers during the past week. Time was spent handling reports about hunter harassment and assorted wildlife-related calls about sick deer and requests for possession permits for car-killed deer.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) checked deer hunters during the last weekend of the rifle season and completed a commercial taxidermy inspection. Mishler also spent time following up on multiple violations encountered during the firearms deer season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) took calls about individuals hunting on the Bemidji game refuge with rifles. Hunters are reminded to double-check where they are hunting and not always rely on phone apps.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week following up on cases from the deer season. Ice conditions in the Detroit Lakes area are anywhere from open water to 7 inches of ice. Anglers need to use caution and common sense.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working waterfowl, small-game, and archery deer-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent following up on and completing investigations from the firearms deer season.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on calls and reports from the firearms deer season. Those looking to hit the ice should use caution as the warmer weather has opened up some spots on area lakes.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking trappers and small-game hunters. Additional time was spent following up on deer-season cases and issuing permits for car-killed deer.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) has received reports about deer and goose carcasses being dumped along roadways. Some of the cases are wanton waste due to the amount of meat left on the carcasses.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked pheasant hunters and followed up on deer-hunting cases. Time also was spent closing out a case involving hunters damaging a state wildlife management area with motor vehicles. Holt also worked vacant stations and participated in a work detail during the last weekend of the 100 Series firearms deer season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked on completing investigations from the deer season. Reports from cases were sent to county attorneys for charging.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time wrapping up deer season cases. Additional time was spent checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated trespassing, shooting from the road, dogs chasing deer, and other big-game violations. Deer hunters report limited success around the area.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunters. He also worked on several cases from the opening week of deer season. A nuisance-bobcat complaint was received, and a road-hunting complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for hunter harassment.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports another firearms deer season is in the books. The season seems to have been one of the busiest as far as major violations and complaints in a long time. Enforcement action was taken for trespass issues, taking antlerless deer without a permit, and illegal transport of deer. People are reminded that game and fish violations sometimes have a snowball effect, meaning once you have violated one law, typically the acts or actions that follow are also a violation, so please follow the rules.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the week was once again filled mainly with activities surrounding the firearms deer season. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement agencies for a lockdown at a local school. Assistance also was provided for an emergency medical incident in a remote part of northern St. Louis County. The last remaining camper at Woodenfrog Campground was advised that the campground would be closed for the season at the end of the day on Sunday.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) assisted local law enforcement and the State Patrol with an individual who had slipped and hit his head on the ice while fishing. The CO also assisted the State Patrol during the early snowstorm that hit the region. He also followed up on a possible big-game violation. During an interview, the suspect stated he “couldn’t remember” whether or not he had harvested a buck in 2018, but later admitted to shooting a 6-pointer. Enforcement action was taken for a lend/borrow violation and illegal party hunting, with restitution.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent most of the past week working deer-hunting cases. He investigated carcass dumping, trespassing, shooting from the road, and a deer found dead that had been shot. Hopkins also worked an angling case and assisted with a domestic assault call.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the firearms deer season, removed a dead deer from a river, and investigated a deer that was found dead from a bullet wound and a spruce top theft valued at over $1,000. One deer-hunting party was found with a hunter without a license and another who shot a doe in a lottery area without a permit. The doe was seized, and they were cited. A couple reportedly took a doe without a doe permit. Upon investigation and trailing the dragged deer, Bozovsky discovered that neither of the hunters had deer licenses, they had been hunting over bait, had an untagged doe without a permit, and one of the hunters was prohibited for possessing a firearm. A deer, a handgun, a rifle, and marijuana paraphernalia were seized.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) testified in a criminal court case early in the week. Heavy snow arrived in the middle of the week and although it made for more difficult travel, most people appreciated it for the last weekend of the regular firearms deer season.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked deer hunters during the last week of the firearms season. Hunter success slowed throughout the week. He followed up on past investigations, which led to several big-game violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer-hunting activity this past week. Heavy snow and warm weather have weakened much of the area ice.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports deer-hunting activity was minimal during the week as a pile of snow blanketed the Arrowhead, pushing deer even closer to the shore. He did, however, contact a youth hunter who bagged a dandy buck. Hill also traveled to Red Wing for a jury trial in his previous station. The CO also assisted Cook County officers with a call for service and contacted an individual in Temperance River State Park without a valid park pass.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked deer hunters and worked deer-hunting-related calls. He also investigated and handled calls about trespass, shooting from the roadway, shooting from a motor vehicle, unregistered deer, untagged deer, failure to validate a site tag, and car-killed deer.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked deer hunters and anglers, worked ATVing activity, and monitored small-game hunting activity.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked hunters, worked decorative material harvesting, investigated trespass complaints, and assisted in locating a suspect who fled from officers into the woods.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy second week of deer season. Enforcement action was taken for not registering a deer, baiting deer, and failing to tag a big-game animal
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports follow up was completed on open big-game investigations and trespass complaints. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies for a fleeing suspect. Enforcement action was taken for a deer overlimit, transporting illegally-taken big game, untagged deer, and failure to register deer.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor firearms deer season activities. Enforcement action was taken for various hunting and trespassing violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) handled calls and checked hunters through the last week of firearms deer season. Baiting issues, ATV complaints during off hours, shooting from the roadway, and trespassing complaints were the most-common issues. Schmidt handled numerous complaints related to dumping of deer carcasses and trespassing in the process.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working the firearms deer season. Many people were checked throughout the week. Some examples of complaints that were followed up on were trespassing, shooting from the road, illegal stands within a WMA, hunting over bait, and hunter harassment. Duncan assisted neighboring officers with several deer-hunting-related issues and checked anglers on area lakes.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working on a litter complaint in which a large amount of garbage was dumped at a DNR parking lot near the Munger Trail. The investigation is ongoing. A search for a person who had outstanding warrants for trespassing, shooting from a motor vehicle at a wild animal, and taking turkey out of season was successful when he was located while he was deer hunting. The warrants were from a case in 2015. The subject was arrested and taken to jail. He was also found not to have a current deer-hunting license, so his gun was seized and he was cited for that violation at the jail.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked commercial cisco nets and late-season deer hunters. Watercraft training items were tended to, and questions were received about trespass and late-season waterfowl hunting on Lake Superior. He also fielded ATV-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for ATVing and commercial violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking deer hunters throughout the past week and weekend. He fielded calls regarding car-killed deer permits and a road-killed bobcat, and investigated deer-baiting complaints and hunter harassment.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) continued working deer-hunting activity and began to see some ice angling on area lakes. Deer hunter numbers and success decreased as the season went on. Ice conditions on area lakes are poor due to warm weather and rain.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy final week and weekend of the firearms deer season. Hunters reported mixed success throughout Crow Wing and Cass counties.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) continued to work the deer season, including trespassing complaints, reports about late hunting, and hunters without enough blaze orange.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time working the firearms deer season. She also spent time checking hunters at the special hunt in St. Croix State Forest, followed up on various hunting complaints, and assisted with an ATV rollover incident.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on complaints about baited properties. She also checked hunters who reported a quiet deer season. A report of trespass and unsafe handling of a firearm was taken and is being investigated.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work the deer season, with few deer harvested the last week. Trespass and neighbor disputes continue to be a huge problem. Trapping issues were addressed, along with a public waters issue.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports that upon making a stop of a pickup operator, the driver told the CO he was out doing some hunting and teaching his two young sons how to hunt safely. On the backseat of the truck, next to one of the sons, was an uncased, loaded rifle. A citation was issued, and some extra time was spent explaining the true rules of safe hunting to the two young passengers. Another check was that of a hunter, in camouflage and in a climbing stand above a pile of corn, with an archery license and no bow in possession. After a lengthy investigation, and many false claims by the hunter, a rifle was found high up in the branches of a tree. The unlicensed hunter had seen officers coming and attempted to hide the firearm.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on TIP complaints. A firearm found by an area hunter was turned in. With the assistance of the Todd County Sheriff’s Office, the owner was located.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on complaints about the dumping of deer carcasses, which were left in areas within sight of the general public. One complainant said it best: “It’s not that I don’t understand deer hunting, but where is some common sense?”
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking pheasant hunters and archery deer hunters. Time also was spent investigating a possible overlimit of fish and a lending and borrowing case, and issuing deer-possession tags.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working small-game hunters and big-game hunters. Time also was spent helping a neighboring CO with the ongoing firearms deer season.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking deer hunters during the third weekend in the 100 Series as well as following up with interviews from TIP calls on earlier season activity. Benkofske also assisted the Benton County Sheriff’s Office with two hunters who were shot in a pheasant-hunting incident.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and investigated hunting complaints. Violations were found for failure to validate licenses or tag deer, illegal party hunting, no blaze orange, and no license.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked small-game hunters and followed up on cases from the deer season. Londgren also responded to calls about trespassing, dogs chasing deer, and wanton waste.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) worked big-game hunters during the 3B deer season. Several goose hunters also were checked, but they had limited success.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted Missouri conservation officers investigate a trespassing and illegal party hunting case involving Minnesota residents. Fogarty also took a complaint about a small-game hunter driving on federal lands while looking for his lost dog. The CO located a group of duck hunters on Rice Lake, taking waterfowl in open water.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the majority of the week working a detail in the east metro and following up on complaints. Grewe also worked the Pine County area this past weekend, checking deer hunters at the St. Croix State Park hunt.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) and COC Calie Kunst took a variety of calls throughout the week. They followed up on a TIP call about someone hunting over bait and two people found with marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily conducted patrol for deer hunters and late-season waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent checking anglers on shorelines of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) checked muskie anglers in watercraft as well as a few ice anglers.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring hunters and anglers in the area. He also continued to monitor baited deer stands.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working archery deer-, pheasant-, and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Pheasant-hunting activity was busy during the weekend with high success thanks to most of the fall harvest being completed.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week working deer-hunting investigations and pheasant hunters.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the week following up on complaints and conducting investigations for deer- and waterfowl-hunting violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) and COC Adam Seifermann worked firearms deer- and waterfowl-hunting activity. They spoke with pheasant hunters and issued several wildlife-possession permits.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) answered calls in his station regarding dead deer found after the season and a large number of dumped deer carcasses. People are reminded to dispose of their deer carcasses properly, as dumping them on the side of the road is not legal.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received trespassing and road-hunting complaints. He also certified ginseng export shipments and continued to follow up on big-game cases.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) worked the opener of the 3B deer season and on a trapping investigation. He removed property illegally left in WMAs and SNAs.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes as well as hunters and anglers. Lusignan resolved a trespass complaint regarding a deer hunter walking on private land that was posted.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) and COC Derek Daniels spent the week checking areas for hunting and trapping activity. They also spoke to an area college law enforcement class on the responsibilities and duties of a conservation officer.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked 3B deer hunters, many of whom were having success. A trespass complaint was received, and the investigation is ongoing.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated complaints of trespassing, hunting without blaze orange, and hunting deer without a license. Hemker also assisted local law enforcement investigate an incident in which a house was hit with a bullet.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports assistance was given to CO Davis on a case where a deer was registered as an archery kill, but a rifle round was recovered from the animal.