Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 17, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included no snowmobile trail pass and possessing an overlimit of walleyes and sauger.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and followed up on a call regarding an incidentally trapped pine marten. In addition, Johnson attended a snowmobile training course held in International Falls.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted follow-up investigations from deer season cases, taking enforcement action for taking deer without a license, lend/borrow big-game license, untagged deer, unlawful party hunting, failure to register big game, using an invalid bonus permit, and illegal sale of a big-game animal.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week. Time was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails, investigating a call about a dead eagle, and giving court testimony in a case from this past waterfowl season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on local rivers and lakes. Snowmobile and ATV operators also were checked. Various angling violations were encountered.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes and patrolled local snowmobile trails. Vollbrecht also worked details on Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake, and Lake Mille Lacs. Numerous angling violations were detected, and individuals are reminded to check recreational vehicle registration before taking them out.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with this year’s CO Academy snowmobile training in International Falls. Vinton focused on the legal and safe use of a radar unit used in snowmobile speed enforcement.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week following up on cases from the deer season. Other time was spent checking anglers and snowmobile riders.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Time also was spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Twin Valley.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time patrolling area lakes and trails for snowmobiling activity. Angling activity was worked. Lakes continue to be challenging due to snow, water on the ice, and varying ice thickness.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports slush on lakes has improved, but vehicles are not recommended quite yet on most lakes. Richards was assisted by CO Osborne with a youth snowmobile safety class held in Fergus Falls.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted a local high school with a fishing event involving fifth- and sixth-grade students near Parkers Prairie. Plautz also registered two bobcats in the field and interviewed a fish house owner who’d failed to purchase a shelter tag for his house.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working snowmobiling and fishing enforcement this past week. She also attended snowmobile training in International Falls as well as a DWI refresher course.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent checking coyote hunters, performing commercial inspections, and following up on deer-season cases.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) investigated a case in which a wolf w as shot near Burleene Township in Todd County. The incident may have taken place during the firearms or muzzleloader deer season. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the TIP line. You can remain anonymous.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) focused enforcement efforts on fishing, snowmobiling, and ATVing activity. Wood is continuing to learn her station and is spending time making many contacts and partnerships with community members.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to work fishing, snowmobiling, and ATVing enforcement throughout the area. The ice conditions have improved some with less slush found, but caution still needs to be used when venturing to new areas.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) assisted the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile crash that resulted in injuries to the operator.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked ice anglers on area lakes. Caution is still advised when you travel on the ice. Some anglers are driving cars and trucks on the lakes, even though the ice is thin and slushy in some spots. Complaints about snowmobilers trespassing on agricultural fields also received attention. He checked on a trapping complaint regarding trappers not removing their catch and checking their sets as required by law.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports angling activity has started to pick up. Recent cold weather has helped the slush problem a bit, and the ice is slowly getting thicker. Mathy responded to a call about a car stuck on a snowmobile trail a mile down the trail from the nearest road crossing. An off-road tow truck had to get the vehicle out, and the driver was cited for driving on the trail. E
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) assisted with instruction at the CO Academy 19 snowmobile operation course. He also provided instruction for an area youth snowmobile safety class and operations course, with assistance from Border Patrol agents and Voyageur’s National Park rangers.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling activity remains minimal given poor lake conditions. Identification of fish houses on area lakes also continues to be a problem, with enforcement action taken during the week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time spent time riding with a U.S. park ranger, patrolling lakes and trails. During the weekend, Zavodnik had the pleasure of handing out a 50-year volunteer snowmobile instructor award to Shirley Baumgartner, with the Cook Snowmobile Club.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobile and ATV riders, and trappers. A deer-hunting complaint was investigated, a report about a sick moose was checked out, and a “Living with Bears” committee meeting was attended.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, snowmobiling, and trapping activity. Anglers reported limited success and still being hindered by slush and thin ice.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week and slush conditions have not improved much. Ice conditions are highly variable, and many anglers are fishing while wearing snowshoes.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. He also worked snowmobile trails and area lakes. Wahlstrom responded to loud snowmobile exhaust complaints, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked dumped deer cases and patrolled by snowmobile throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for taking a doe without a doe permit, a parent cited for a youth deer-hunting violation, and deer-registration violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. Area trails were in excellent shape. Area lakes are still holding slush in areas but have started to improve with the cold weather.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked anglers, and worked trapping enforcement. Time also was spent on snowmobile training and enforcement techniques for new officers.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also patrolled state parks and campgrounds and assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile crash.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, and worked snowmobiling enforcement.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and ice-angling activity. With lake conditions slowly improving, more ice anglers have been able to get on area waters. Many of the multiple slush locations have now frozen over, making travel with snowmobiles or ATVs a bit easier.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. The colder weather is starting to help with slushy conditions on area lakes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked area snowmobile trails this past week. There are still many violations for wrong display of registration. Owners need to check the regulation book to ensure they are displaying registration lawfully.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent the majority of the past week working snowmobiling enforcement in the area. He also assisted with a search for an overdue snowmobile rider in Carlton County.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement during the past week. He followed up on a trapping registration violation, a Wisconsin deer transport concern, and an injured-deer-related complaint. He also returned equipment from a deer-baiting case.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking shore anglers along the North Shore. Early morning anglers in Two Harbors have been catching salmon while braving the cold weather.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore casters and snowmobilers. Salmon, lake trout, and herring have been cooperating for shore-casting anglers when the wind allows.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers and snowmobilers and seized fishers caught after the season was closed. Trucks and wheelhouses are being brought onto the ice on the lakes, but caution is advised, as several areas of thin ice are still being reported.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports snowmobile trails in the area continue to see high levels of use. Area lakes have less slush due to recent cold weather, and anglers are starting to get around on the lakes.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobile trail enforcement and sportfishing. He checked anglers who forgot angling licenses and who failed to transfer ownership of snowmobiles. A TIP call was received and investigated in which a deer carcass was thrown onto the ice of the Mississippi River.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement throughout the past week. Several area lakes still have heavy slush and poor ice conditions.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking for fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the past week and weekend. Patrol was done on area trails, and areas of the park were patrolled for park violations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling, snowmobiling, and trapping enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, failure to display ATV registration, an unlawful-size body-gripping trap, and failure to have proper recess from the opening on a body-gripping trap.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing, and trapping activities. Wheelhouses showed up in full force this past weekend, with numerous folks falling prey to the full moon’s magical powers. Party-goers and hardcore anglers seemed to be enjoying some thicker ice conditions. Starr encountered an angler who was tending 10 lines inside a fish house. Oddly enough, the lines were placed in only six open holes.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) contacted anglers on Lake Mille Lacs. Violations encountered included no fishing license in possession, no shelter license, no shelter identification, failure to display ATV registration, and unattended fishing lines.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with use of force training for DNR Forestry officers. Time also was spent working on an assigned background investigation. A DWI enforcement refresher course was attended.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity this past week. He also attended training, took calls about nuisance coyotes, and helped the DNR Wildlife Section with another nuisance-animal call.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) assisted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office with a critical incident in Sauk Centre. Colder weather has reduced the amount of slush on area lakes, but anglers and those recreating should still be cautious.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A small-game case was investigated. Several animal-related complaints were handled.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, snowmobile riders, and trappers. She also spoke at a snowmobile safety class. Calls were fielded regarding injured animals, snowmobile trespassing/damage, and fish shelters.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers on local lakes and following up on TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, not having shelters licensed, and various ATV violations. An investigation was completed, which resulted in the loss of the subject’s hunting privileges and fines for hunting deer with the aid of bait.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to students at a snowmobile safety class in Rockford this past weekend. He also checked anglers in the Wright County area.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Ice conditions are improving, and more wheelhouses are arriving on area lakes.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the past week checking anglers and doing a variety of follow-up. He also provided a ride-along.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) met with the new Carver County recreational services deputy to formulate strategies for recreational vehicle enforcement. Birdsall also assisted the family of injured Waseca Police Department Officer Arik Matson.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers on district-area lakes. He also assisted Fort Snelling State Park during the annual Winter Trail Day. He worked with local nonprofit organizations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute venison.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) focused on ice-fishing activity. Several deer cases were investigated.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time conducting ice-fishing checks on local lakes. As a note, many local aerators have been turned on during the past week, so anglers are reminded to pay attention to areas of thinning ice.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers and doing snowmobiling enforcement. Arntzen also continued working on open cases from the deer season and did maintenance on equipment.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers throughout the area. He also followed up on cases from the deer season, with investigations ongoing.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ice fishing, predator hunting, and snowmobiling activity during the week. Predator hunters are reminded it is illegal to chase predators with motor vehicles.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent much of the past week training in International Falls. He also spent time checking anglers, conducting aerator inspections, and enforcing regulations related to snowmobiles and ATVs. Great success was reported from a coyote hunt that ran Friday through Saturday evening.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working ice fishing, snowmobiling, and coyote-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent answering questions at a coyote contest held out of Marshall.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. He continued follow-up on deer-season investigations and completed aeration inspections.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time at snowmobile training with other CO Academy classmates in International Falls this past week. Training focused on proper snowmobile handling, tactics, and maintenance. Additional time was spent checking local trappers, who found success trapping muskrats.
CO Ryan Hanna (Hutchinson) received a TIP complaint about shots fired in a state wildlife management area during the early morning hours.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding sick and injured wildlife. He also worked fishing, snowmobiling, and ATVing activities.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted shelter and angler checks on area lakes. Some anglers are driving out on the ice with full-sized vehicles. Ice thickness seems to be around 11 inches. Aeration systems have not yet started, but signage is going up on some lakes.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Ihnen also patrolled his station for small-game and predator hunters.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing and recreational vehicle activity. He also checked predator hunters and continued investigations.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked anglers and trappers in the area. He spoke to a wildlife class at Kingsland High School about the duties of a conservation officer.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) took complaints about trespassing by coyote hunters and investigated a possible illegal burn.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the river rise has made for poor ice. In one case, three anglers who had made a vehicle path along the river found themselves in the water after a day of fishing. The water had risen throughout the day and was over the knee boots of one of the anglers. They were able to get all three vehicles out of the area.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked ice anglers and followed up on cases from the hunting season. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register a deer, failing to have a deer tested for CWD, and fishing with extra lines.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) and CO Annette Kyllo assisted the Rochester Police Department in locating a person of interest involved in a fatal shooting.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports a nuisance-fox call was handled, and many road-killed deer-possession permits have been issued to predator hunters. A case has been started regarding a possible deer-hunting violation.