Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 6, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) closed out cases from the firearms deer season. Enforcement action taken for angling without a license in possession, trespassing on agricultural lands, failure to validate a deer tag at the site of a kill, transporting an untagged deer in a motor vehicle and unlawful party hunting.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) taught the law and ethics portion of the youth snowmobile safety class in Newfolden and monitored area muzzleloader hunting activity.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) notes that due to the ongoing drawdown of Thief Lake and the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, water levels and currents on the river are higher than normal for this time of year, especially at the confluence of the Thief and Red Lake rivers. Take caution while venturing out onto early ice.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports fishing is well underway on Upper Red Lake. An ATV and equipment went through the ice on Saturday night, and there are areas of open water.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time following up on an ATV complaint and a public waters complaint. Possession permits were issued for various wildlife.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) finished up deer-season work and answered questions about upcoming game and fish seasons.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) began Step 4 field training with COC Kunst. They worked the Remer station so Kunst could get a feel for where things are in her future work station. During an afternoon on Red Lake they observed several walleye limits.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) began the final step of field training with COC Jordan Anderson. Snowmobile activity is likely to increase with the snow so remember to check your registration.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week checking ice anglers and working on some ongoing cases. With about 10 inches of snow coming down this past weekend, ice conditions are not going to improve anytime soon.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) handled calls, followed up on current cases and assisted local law enforcement.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) worked the muzzleloader deer opener over the weekend. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked the opening of muzzleloader deer season. With the recent snowfall, the first snowmobile riders of the season were worked.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) followed up on some deer-hunting complaints and did a radio interview for a local station.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking pheasant hunters, trappers, and deer hunters.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized some reports from prior deer-season cases and investigations. A background investigation began on a prospective new employee.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) completed investigations from deer season. Calls about licenses and baiting were received.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored pheasant hunters and trapping. Ice conditions are still dangerous throughout the area; any form of travel on the lake is not advised.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked the muzzleloader deer opener last weekend but severe weather kept most people indoors.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports checking anglers and muzzleloader deer hunters. Blizzard conditions limited activity but brought out the first few snowmobile riders of the season.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked a few hunters but most stayed in because of the winter storm. Complaints of deer-carcass dumping and unregistered deer were investigated. A complaint of road hunters in the Pillager area was also received.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked on open deer-season cases. Lake ice thickness is variable with open water showing on many lakes where there was once ice. Heavy snowfall will prevent the ice from getting thicker for the foreseeable future.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) and COC Seifermann spent the past week conducting follow up from the firearms deer season, investigating a bear incident and issuing deer-possession permits.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) assisted a camper with collecting their belongings for departure at the seasonal closing of the Woodenfrog Campground.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports phone calls and comments continue about the lack of deer and poor deer hunting this year.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook), the State Patrol, and local law enforcement responded to call Sunday afternoon involving a snowmobile going through the ice and partially sinking. Zavodnik worked with St. Louis County dispatch to identify where the stranded individual had fallen through and was transported via snowmobile to where EMS was standing by. Despite being wet and a little cold, the individual was found to have no apparent injuries.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports help is wanted in identifying the hunter(s) responsible for shooting two deer in the same location in McCarthy Beach State Park on the last day of the firearms deer season. The deer were loaded up in a hurry. Please call the TIP line or Bozovsky directly. A snowstorm brought out the first snowmobilers of the season. It took Bozovsky only about a minute after leaving the office to find the first violation. Trappers are reminded to read the regulations book as a report of trappers targeting fishers, martens and bobcats was handled. The season doesn’t open until Dec. 21.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports violations the past week included angling without a license in possession and failure to display snowmobile registration.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) reports muzzleloader hunters were met with tough conditions due to the recent snowfalls.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked for ice-angling activity. He also followed up on big-game investigations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports lake ice thickness is extremely varied and anglers are advised to check frequently when they choose to venture out.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) finished up a deer-hunting investigation. Muzzleloader hunters are going to have a tough go of it with all the snow, although lots of deer movement was observed.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Heavy snow and mild weather are not helping the ice.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports attending training at Camp Ripley last week.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted volunteer instructors with a youth snowmobile safety class during the week.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked small-game hunters and followed up on fall deer-hunting investigations.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Marc Johnson worked small-game hunters, ice anglers and muzzleloader deer hunters.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the opening of the muzzleloader deer season. Case work was finished up on from the rifle deer season and ice anglers were spotted on area small lakes.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) fielded nuisance-wildlife complaints. He finalized a fall deer-hunting case with charges being filed.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports some anglers in the area found a decent crappie bite, making for a good start to the ice-fishing season. Several nuisance-animal calls were fielded.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) gave assistance to local agencies during the recent winter storm event. Make sure you renew snowmobile registration before venturing out now that the season is suddenly upon us.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) completed all paperwork and reports following the firearms deer season.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) followed up on deer-season investigations and reports.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received a call Thanksgiving morning reporting a dog had found two fresh turkey carcasses that were breasted out in the Moose Lake area. Even though it was Thanksgiving, they were taken out of season so an investigation is underway. Anyone with information is asked to call TIP at (800) 652-9093.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted other law enforcement with vehicles stuck in the blizzard. Common violations of failing to display snowmobile registration numbers and modifying a muffler to be louder were found and handled.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) continued training COC Ryan Hanna during Step 4 of the field training process. Guida and Hanna assisted a local police department with a fatal snowmobile crash investigation.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time investigating cases from the firearms deer season.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd West) handled a TIP call of possible poached deer and reports of deer feeding in the CWD zone.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) and COC Leeb report patrolling for big-game hunting and fishing activity. Few individuals were found due to weather conditions.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) and COC Mikeena Mattson reports enforcement action for possessing and transporting a protected animal without a permit and failure to display current snowmobile registration.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) followed up on firearms deer cases and worked muzzleloader activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) reports enforcement action for duck hunting during the closed season, duck hunting with toxic shot, duck hunting with an unplugged shotgun, and allowing youth to hunt illegally.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) spent the past week following up on investigations from the deer season.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports the muzzleloader deer season started with trespass and hunter-harassment calls. Starr took enforcement action for failing to register deer, a common violation.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) finished up some work on deer-hunting cases and trespassing complaints from the firearms deer season.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) assisted with crashes due to a mix of poor driving and heavy snowfall. The first snowmobilers of the year were checked.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time the past week checking pheasant hunters.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked a lend-and-borrow case and discovered that several other deer were illegally harvested.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) gave a talk to the Albany snowmobile safety class.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent time completing interviews. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register a deer.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) handled calls about dogs chasing deer, and carcass-dumping complaints were handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) gave class presentations at Princeton High School about a career as a conservation officer.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the past week working big-game hunters and responding to injured-animal calls.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week following up on deer-hunting cases.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports enforcement action for operating a vehicle on a snowmobile trail, operating an out-of-state snowmobile without a trail pass, and operating an ATV illegally.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports numerous calls about people throwing deer carcasses in ditches and parking areas. This behavior taints the sport of hunting and is illegal.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked ATV complaint areas.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked district vicinities for hunters and took enforcement action for no required state park vehicle permit.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to field several nuisance-wildlife questions.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the duck and 3B deer season in Scott and Carver counties. He checked a few pheasant and squirrel hunters in metro WMAs and patrolled the Gateway State Trail.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) was busy checking deer hunters during the firearms 3B season and the opening of the muzzleloader season. A group of hunters was found gun-hunting deer in the St. Lawrence U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service property (closed to gun hunting deer). Upon questioning the hunters, it was found they did not read the rules and had just gone on word of mouth from someone else they knew. The rule sign was located directly in front of the hunters’ vehicle. This area was also 338 and the hunters were hunting with A season licenses during the B season. Fogarty also located an angler at Quarry Lake (trout lake). The angler did not read the rule sign at the start of the dock to find the trout season was closed until January 2020. Enforcement action was taken for taking trout out of season, hunting big game without a license and federal trespass.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time following up on questions about the muzzleloader season. Time was spent training at Camp Ripley.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports enforcement action taken for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling, operating a snowmobile with expired registration, and operating a snowmobile on a closed trail.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on big-game hunting activity during the week. Kpachavi spent a majority of his time training at Camp Ripley.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) checked anglers on both the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. Thomas also assisted local agencies with various vehicle crashes due to the poor weather conditions.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) continued field training COC Brett Wiltrout. They worked the muzzleloader deer opener and did snowmobile enforcement.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working big-game, waterfowl, angling, and snowmobile enforcement.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) fielded several calls about deer hunting and angling.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports many duck hunters were out for the last weekend with poor success observed. One group of hunters was rescued with the help of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office after their boat ran aground and was stuck on a sand bar.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) fielded calls about trespassing and hunter harassment.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week working deer investigations and pheasant hunters.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) and COC Derek Daniels spent the past week checking goose and deer hunters.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) urges anglers to use extreme caution when venturing out on the ice.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports pheasant hunters who braved the weather saw some success with the fresh snow.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) followed up on ongoing deer season investigations.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) investigated calls of dumped deer carcasses.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding hunting law and ethics clarifications and commercial game farm questions. Late-season pheasant hunters reported difficulty locating highly pressured roosters.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) began Phase 4 of field training with COC Aaron Larson. Deer investigations from the firearms season are ongoing.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked waterfowl, pheasant, and deer hunters this past week. Some duck and goose hunters continued field hunting with too much slush and ice on area potholes.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted checks on big-game, small-game, and waterfowl hunters.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes and public lands. Lusignan resolved a TIP call of a subject illegally possessing a deer.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked trappers, anglers and ATV operators, and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) followed up on several animal-related complaints. Goose hunters continue to call with questions about restrictions when hunting near populated areas.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spoke about laws and ethics at a snowmobile safety class, and also assisted state and local agencies with calls.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports the warmer weather has been keeping some water open for waterfowl in the area.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent time patrolling ATV and snowmobiling activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spent the past week field training COC Derek Schneider. Waterfowl hunters were checked but fewer birds are being seen on the river. A hunter was cited following a trespass complaint. The officers also assisted a stranded person in a mud boat in the duck marsh. The hunter had not accounted for the river water-level drop.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) contacted a hunter suspected of hunting without a license.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) checked 3B season deer hunters and muzzleloaders. Multiple trespass calls were investigated with enforcement action taken.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports lots of ducks on the river in some areas and hunters who found them had good success.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working the last weekend of the 3B deer season and the duck season and the opening weekend of muzzleloader deer season. The duck season picked up just enough at the end to keep most folks interested.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) responded to a call from a homeowner who believed someone shot his house. The hunters had been following a wounded buck and found it on a nearby property. They obtained permission from a neighboring landowner to finish off the deer and retrieve it, but failed to ask the complainant’s permission even though his house was less than 250 feet from where some of the shooting occurred. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) reports the deer harvest slowed compared to the A season. Many goose hunters were checked who were rapidly approaching their limit. Additionally, a man was arrested for obstructing a conservation officer.