Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 27, 2019

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted COs Woinarowicz and Benjamin with a gross overlimit involving two anglers.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) received regarding individuals camping/leaving equipment overnight at Wheeler’s Point and the Graceton Beach public access parking areas. Neither of these allow for camping or leaving trucks and trailers overnight. Enforcement action will be taken against individuals who do this.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are reminded the aggregate limit for walleyes/sauger is six – not eight as it was last winter. 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) handled numerous snowmobile-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) spent time issuing car-killed deer possession permits, following up on a trapper-trespassing complaint with enforcement action taken, and patrolling area snowmobile trails.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports a steady angling activity on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken on walleye overlimits, possession of fillets on a special regulation lake, angling with extra lines, and possession of controlled substances.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a snowmobile safety class in Red Lake Falls. Time was also spent checking ATV and snowmobile operators.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) continued field training with COC Calie Kunst. They worked angling activity on Upper Red Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnibigoshish, and Bemidji-area lakes. Ice conditions continue to improve, but caution is advised as ice depths vary greatly. 

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) spent time patrolling the local snowmobile trails and lakes around the Bemidji and Itasca areas. The majority of the lakes in Beltrami and Clearwater counties still have slush on top of the ice, but this hasn’t seemed to deter anglers from enjoying the weather and catching fish. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) and CO Jordan Anderson report fishing activity has picked up with more houses seen on the lakes. Trapping enforcement was worked prior to the start of the fisher/marten/bobcat season, which began this past Saturday. The COs used an airboat to assist the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with flooding issues on the Otter Tail River near Fergus Falls.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent time following up on new information on past big-game cases. The investigations remain ongoing. 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Glyndon.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) saw heavy ice-fishing traffic this past week with most lakes having walkable ice. Extreme caution should still be taken as slush pockets and thinner ice areas have been found across the county.

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) continues to monitor goose and pheasant hunting in the area. Some lakes are showing signs of flooding on top of the ice. Shelter owners are encouraged to block up above the ice. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued to work a background investigation last week. Vehicles and fish houses found themselves going through the ice. Luckily, getting them out of the lake was successful.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) spent time following up on complaints from the deer season and assisting CO VanderWeyst with a deer-hunting complaint in the Brooten area.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) patrolled for ATV, snowmobile, and ice fishing activity the past week. Goodman found high compliance rates and most people taking extra ice safety precautions. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked completed big-game investigations and forwarded them for charging.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) spent time assisting other officers with a deer-hunting case and following up on a TIP complaint.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on complaints of snowmobiles trespassing on agricultural fields and speeding on city streets in Pillager.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated dogs chasing deer and followed up on deer-hunting-related cases.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) and COC Seifermann investigated a complaint of illegal possession/taking of several deer. The call originated from county probation officers during a probation check. They found a whole deer (hide still on) and parts of another deer thawing out in a basement sink of a residence. Charges are forthcoming against several people involved.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) checked and monitored trapping activity. Despite a depressed fur market, more trappers were encountered in the field so far this year than in the previous several years.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) dealt with a trapping violation. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) reports the first snowmobile stop of the year was due to an individual operating 82 miles per hour on the trail. Shortly after the stop, Zavodnik smelled the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the driver and he also sensed the operator was under the influence of alcohol. Despite being extremely apologetic, the driver was arrested for operating a snowmobile under the influence and several other violations.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobiles, investigated decorative materials cases, assisted the State Patrol at an injury crash, and followed up on open deer-hunting cases.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling activity. Ice conditions on area lakes have not improved even with the recent cold weather.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity continued to be slow in the area.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and a few trappers this past week. Marten trappers had nice weather but a fair amount of snow. Velsvaag also saw a few snowmobiles out on newly groomed trails.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time on the snowmobile checking anglers and snowmobilers.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended the funeral for retired CO Ken Schlueter as part of the DNR Honor Guard. The pine marten and fisher trapping season is off to a slow start and non-trappers are advised that the season is later this year than in the past. A bucket of fish remains was dumped at a parking area and anyone with information is asked to contact the officer.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent time on potential deer-season violations requiring follow up.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area trapping and snowmobiling activity this past week. Much of his time was spent on a continuing background.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports contacting multiple anglers fishing throughout the week. One lake in particular had anywhere from 6 to 16 inches of ice. An angler who drove his truck out onto the ice was reminded to be careful. One shelter violation was handled.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ice angling and snowmobile activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Marc Johnson worked small-game, snowmobile enforcement, and ice-fishing activity. They spent time along the area’s trails and lakes and worked a day on Lake of the Woods in conjunction with the local COs.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports enforcement action was taken for license issues, snowmobile registration issues and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week of ice angling and snowmobile activity. Roadkill deer tags were also issued.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, and unregistered snowmobile.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored trapping activity with the fisher, pine marten, and bobcat season opening over the weekend.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended training in McGregor with law enforcement and EMS agencies from around the region.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked trails and lakes for snowmobile enforcement. Anglers able to get out are reporting a slow bite. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) completed field training COC Wood.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a Fur Committee meeting and worked on training with K9 Schody. Extra time was spent patrolling complaint areas where trespassing has been a problem

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports St. Louis Harbor inside Park Point is starting to see some fishable ice.

District 9 – Brainerd area

Report unavailable

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on trespassing and deer-feeding complaints. 

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) reports the ice conditions on Mille Lacs are still variable and caution should be taken.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) continued to work on a background investigation for a potential new hire.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on ice fishing and snowmobile activities. Anglers are reminded to use extreme caution when venturing out, as many places have 3 inches or less.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports snowmobile trails were fairly busy and some enforcement action was taken for operating faster than 50-mph speed limit.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) reports some small-game hunters have been out with little success.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week conducting a background investigation for the upcoming Academy. Silgjord also assisted with a big-game investigation.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on pending deer cases. He fielded calls about dogs chasing deer and about coyote hunting.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and snowmobilers, as well as deer and pheasant hunters. Enforcement action included an overlimit of crappies, illegal-length northern pike, driving an ATV with a youth passenger with no helmet, and snowmobile registration violations. Assistance was given to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office on a call about a man with a gun.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent time on a dog-chasing-deer complaint and patrolling for snowmobile activity.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week working several snowmobile trespass complaints.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) assisted local officers with looking for a suspect after he fled from officers.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) took a call regarding a dead gray wolf on the highway in Sherburne County. The wolf was hit by a motor vehicle and it will be put to use for educational purposes.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled snowmobile trails, checked small-game and archery hunters, and continued to work on a background investigation.

CO Blong Lor (Center City) reminds snowmobilers about the importance of staying on the trails as there has been a lot of trespassing issues that could result in a loss of trail sections. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports enforcement action for operating a snowmobile without registration displayed, operating a snowmobile over the speed limit, and fishing without a license. 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) handled dumping complaints and animal-related calls.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobile riders in Wright County.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) returned phone calls to the Asian community and answered questions about the small-game-hunting season.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) reminds people to use extreme caution when venturing out on the ice in the metro area and to check the ice depth often. Violations this past week included license issues and illegal-length northern pike.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports that during an ice fishing check an angler stated he did not have a fishing license because he hasn’t seen a CO around in a while and figured he could get away with it. The angler was cited for taking fish without a license. Moments earlier, an angler complained about being checked too often on the lake.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) investigated a trespassing complaint, which resulted in a deer overlimit violation. 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) conducted media interviews with other area officers on snowmobile safety and operation.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked southeastern Minnesota for the late CWD hunt. 

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a complaint of possible deer taken with the aid or use of bait.

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) removed a deer stand from public land over the week. Fogarty followed up on a complaint of hunting deer on City of Shakopee park land.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued follow up of an ongoing investigation. People of interest were interviewed with different leads in the investigation.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated several TIP calls and issued several deer-possession permits.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) took enforcement action for angling/spearing license issues, failure to display a dark house license, extra and unattended lines. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) continued checking goose hunters in the area as well as pheasant hunters. Enforcement action for the week included trespass, DUI and hunting migratory birds over bait.

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking ice anglers on local lakes.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) received reports of deer carcasses being dumped on area WMAs. Salzer also assisted with an ongoing big-game investigation.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) and COC Derek Daniels spent time throughout the past week checking anglers, pheasant hunters, ATV and snowmobile riders.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports three pickups went through the ice on Lake Shetek.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports both archery deer and pheasant hunters are taking advantage of the nice weather as the season close dates quickly approach. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) continued follow up on big-game violations stemming from 2019 deer seasons.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time working on a background investigation for an applicant with the Division of Enforcement.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) spent time investigating deer hunting, trespassing, and small-game-hunting violations.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded TIP complaints regarding trapping and small-game violations. Deer cases continue to be investigated.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) gave an ice safety talk at the Jackson County Central High School.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports so far one ATV has gone through the ice and is still submerged in a lake. Another ATV broke through the ice on a different lake but had help that prevented it from becoming submerged. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for small-game and predator-hunting activity.

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes and public lands. The ice thickness varies from lake to lake. Be cautious when venturing out on the lake. 

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on angling and trapping activity. VanThuyne also followed up on several deer cases and checked pheasant hunters.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) spent time checking pheasant hunters and trapping activity. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) responded to a Turn in Poachers call of illegal activity and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reminds ice anglers to pick up trash before they leave the lake.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the late CWD hunt. Coyote hunters were out and report hunting has been good. One group, unfortunately, spent too much time pulling each other out of deep snow while the coyotes slipped away. 

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) reports that many people in his area tried to punch their deer tag during the special CWD hunt. Fitzgerald assisted state and local agencies with a two-vehicle crash on Highway 14. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spent the past week field training COC Derek Schneider. Late-season CWD deer hunts brought some hunters afield but the number of deer checked has been low. Enforcement action was taken after a hunter shot a buck in a zone that wasn’t open during the late-season deer hunts. The buck was also seized.

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) spent time finishing up a trespass case where a large buck was taken on land the individual did not have permission to hunt on. A complaint of a deer shot during the muzzleloader season on land that is not open to firearms deer hunting was investigated. The complainant was upset with the lack of ethics shown by the other hunters. During the investigation, it was found the complainant had been hunting near a very large pile of shelled corn.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent time assisting local agencies on various calls and on an ice safety presentation to a local school fishing club. Enforcement action was taken for taking deer not meeting the antler-point requirement. 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week of ice fishing enforcement on the backwaters of the Mississippi River and the late-season CWD deer hunt in southeastern Minnesota.

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked ice anglers on Mississippi River pools 8 and 9. Water has recently come up in those pools, leaving standing water on the ice in some areas. Enforcement action was taken for using extra lines, fishing without a license and shooting within 500 feet of a residence.

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