Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 7, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Multiple overlimits were uncovered.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) assisted with the bobcat and otter fur registration and worked a snowmobile/angling detail on Lake of the Woods along with other officers from throughout the state.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Violations included no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, allowing youth to violate fish and game laws and possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) presented at a high school career fair on conservation officer career opportunities.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) issued several permits for collector snowmobiles. A regional deer population goal-setting workshop was attended in Thief River Falls. Area hunters, landowners and all who would like their voices heard are strongly encouraged to attend the second workshop that will be held on Feb. 26 in Thief River Falls.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked a snowmobile enforcement detail with CO Patten. Trails are in great shape.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports the slush on Upper Red Lake appears to be here to stay. Many resorts have closed their accesses to wheelhouse traffic or altogether.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Time was also spent checking snowmobile operators on local grant-in-aid trails.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a detail on Lake Mille Lacs with CO McGowan.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) worked with other officers from the area on a snowmobile detail over the weekend. Please remember, if you are riding a snowmobile that is registered in another state, and you want to ride on any grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, you must purchase a trail pass for your machine.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and local rescue departments were called to rescue an angler who was stuck in slush on an ATV and whose feet had become very wet. While on snowmobile patrol with COs Jordan Anderson and Troy Richards, Vinton lost the state-issued fuel card and noticed it halfway through the patrol when he attempted to purchase fuel for the snowmobile. Arrangements were made with the local fuel stop and the patrol continued. The COs, late in the day, contacted a group of snowmobilers at a trail rest area when Richards called Vinton over, saying there was someone he should meet. The citizen rider then produced Vinton’s lost fuel card, much to Vinton’s relief! Thank you!
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases and snowmobile enforcement, and completed a background investigation.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent time working the Midnite Riders Classic Old Timer’s Snowmobile Run.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked area lakes and trails for snowmobile activity. Anglers checked were having some panfish success.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers, coyote hunters, and snowmobile operators.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports slush on the lakes continues to hamper mobility, even with portables. Violations addressed were related to fishing, snowmobiling, and deer hunting from 2019.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on investigations of deer-season cases over the past week.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a trespass complaint was received and investigated. Numerous snowmobile violations were encountered over the weekend with loud/excessive exhaust and registration issues leading the way.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) took part in a fishing and snowmobile enforcement detail with other District 3 officers.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) issued several car-killed deer permits during the week. Wood is pleased with the amount of deer she’s been seeing in the area. She even saw a piebald deer one evening.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time checking anglers, coyote hunters, and conducting commercial inspections.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) spent time on injured-animal calls and checking fish house compliance.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) concluded an investigation with charges after assistance from Arizona Game and Fish on an individual buying resident hunting and fishing licenses in both Minnesota and Arizona during the same calendar years.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports slush and thin ice (for trucks) continue to be problems, but less so than two weeks ago.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) focused on fishing and snowmobile activity and followed up on deer-season investigations. The shelter removal date for much of the state is March 2.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) responded to a complaint she received of corn dumped along a road in Remer. There were approximately 30 piles of corn along a 2-mile stretch of the road. As the call was being investigated, the person who dumped the corn drove by Kunst, admitted to dumping corn and offered to clean it all up. She also received a call about a trapping violation. Enforcement action was taken for failure to call a CO after incidentally trapping a river otter. Anglers were checked as well. Multiple northern pike were being kept within the illegal slot size of 22 to 26 inches.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) followed up on a deer-hunting related case.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports enforcement action for the weekend included snowmobile registration and loud exhaust issues.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) attended a deer goal-setting workshop in International Falls with discussion on many topics. Another workshop is scheduled for Feb. 27, from 6-9 p.m. at the Rainy River Community College. Slatinski assisted a local business with raccoons causing damage and living where they were not wanted.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports deer continue to struggle with snow depths.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) and Lt. Frericks were on snowmobile patrol, and observed an individual traveling at a speed of 86 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour zone. When the individual was stopped and asked how fast he thought he was going, the operator stated, “I didn’t dare look down to see, but I knew I was going too fast.” On another occasion, Zavodnik was nearly struck by an oncoming snowmobiler taking a corner too wide.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a shooting violation.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Anglers reported limited success this past week.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted with an ice safety course hosted by the local college, where participants were able to practice self- and team-rescue techniques.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote trout lakes. Some nice fish were seen in the bag.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted with a youth safety class in Babbitt. Thanks to the volunteers who helped with the course.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling activity this past week.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports cross country ski pass compliance is still struggling, and a few skiers were cited after they admitted that although they saw multiple signs on the trail stating they needed ski passes, they decided to still ski without a pass.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area lakes and trails.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATV and snowmobile activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports enforcement action taken for license issues and snowmobile registration issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked heavy snowmobiling activity over the past week with the nice weather.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time working with the water survival team as training was provided to cadets attending the State Patrol Academy.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) fielded calls and conducted follow up of ongoing cases. Ice conditions deteriorated some with the warm weather.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) reports angling efforts are showing little reward as most anglers are experiencing a tough bite.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) completed end-of-the-month office duties.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement throughout the past week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent extra time patrolling complaints in Jay Cooke State Park. One individual asked if the groundhog saw his shadow. He thought Staples would know since he works for the DNR. Staples did not know and advised the man to check online.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the shores of Lake Superior. Early morning catches of coho salmon were seen.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked snowmobiles inland, with common complaints and repeated violations of loud exhaust. Riders who modify their sled’s exhaust system to be louder than stock can expect a citation when checked.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobile activity. An excess snowmobile noise complaint area was worked.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) took a report of an injured owl.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled area snowmobile trails and lakes.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) followed up on a trapping investigation
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked snowmobile and angling activity throughout the past week. Snowmobile riders are enjoying excellent trail conditions.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked snowmobile, ATV and fishing activity during Crosslake’s Winterfest over the weekend.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) answered many outdoor law-related questions and fielded several calls for service.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity, which appears to be taking a mid-season slump. Attempts to make up for it included too many lines and keeping prohibited-sized fish.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) assisted at a local DNR office for fur registration.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a TIP call of possible illegal coyote hunting and assisted with fur tagging.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reminds fish house owners to check on their houses as the season draws closer to the end.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time completing taxidermist inspections and responding to injured-animal calls.
CO Ben Karon (Pine County) reports arrests were made for warrants and assistance was given to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office with an arrest.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with water survival training for the current State Patrol Academy. Follow up was also conducted on a big-game case from the deer season.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) dealt with a call where a man drove his snowmobile into open water and sunk. The man got out without injury but his snowmobile did not.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) received calls from the public regarding nuisance beavers and possible fish overlimits.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent time at a St. Cloud State University career fair talking to college students interested in becoming a conservation officer.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) handled a call of a person possessing a live red fox.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers, who were finding good success with the steady weather. Krauel also checked many snowmobilers out enjoying the trails.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Time was also spent at the St. Cloud College Career Fair.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobile activity this past week.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted with local furbearer registration, checked anglers and snowmobiles, and took complaints on trespass.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) did follow up on a big-game investigation.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) spent the week enforcing fishing and recreational vehicle laws. Citations were issued for registration issues, speed, and youths not wearing helmets. Minnesota Made Outdoors and Hometown Heroes took a large group of veterans fishing out on Green Lake, and Benkofske stopped by to support and say hi to all.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) conducted follow up on big-game investigations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to two snowmobiles through the ice on Lake Minnetonka over the weekend. Some of the channels on the lake are completely open water and are not crossable.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports that while readying equipment to go on the lake, a motorcyclist pulled into the launch. Upon leaving the asphalt and driving onto the ice the biker promptly tipped his bike. Harleys don’t do well on ice.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) reports two groups of trout anglers were checked and found to have extra lines and live minnows. Fogarty assisted CO Birdsall with a deer-hunting case in Carver County.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) also verified aeration permits and assisted in teaching a water survival course for the Minnesota State Patrol cadets.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) assisted with ongoing big-game investigations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted the USDA and Three Rivers Parks District with distributing management deer to local non-profit organizations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) patrolled wildlife management areas and worked on big-game cases.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) attended the recent furbearer registration after the close of the bobcat and otter seasons.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) fielded questions about angling and deer hunting.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) fielded calls from local departments looking for information on illegal ATV usage in their cities.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) notes warm weather has created slushy lakes and deteriorated snowmobile trails.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) assisted with an ice fishing and snowmobiling work detail in the Grand Rapids area.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) reports a fisher was seized that was incidentally caught in the south furbearer zone.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked a fishing tournament held on Lake Hendricks. A recurring question asked throughout the week by anglers was the legality of crappie rigs and multiple-hook setups. See Page 30 of the Minnesota Fishing Regs booklet for the 9-inch single tackle configuration explanation.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) investigated litter violations on area lakes.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) completed commercial inspections and spoke at a firearms safety class. He also issued multiple wildlife-possession permits.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) took a call from a farmer whose German shepherd was shot at night, possibly by a possible coyote hunter. Klehr is working with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office to locate the person responsible.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) checked activity at local fishing tournaments.
CO Ryan Hanna (Hutchinson) received a dumping complaint on an area WMA. He worked snowmobile activity.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked activity at a local fishing contest.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports litter surrounding fish houses on area lakes is being worked. Anglers are encouraged to help police lakes and report any ongoing issues to their local conservation officer.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) gave assistance to local law enforcement agencies for a vehicle theft that resulted in a high-speed pursuit and apprehension of the offenders.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) worked with local agencies for the Mad Bobber fishing tournament in Madison Lake.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game hunters, trappers, anglers, snowmobile and ATV operators during the week.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) followed up on complaints and addressed ATV violations.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled his station this past week for fishing, ATV, and snowmobiling activity.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) gave an interview regarding ice safety to a local television station. Many hard-sided shelters have been temporarily brought to shore until ice conditions firm up.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) addressed coyote-hunter trespassing.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) focused on snowmobile enforcement.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports great weekend weather brought out lots of outdoor enthusiasts and violation rates were extremely low.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) participated in airboat training on the Mississippi River.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports shed hunters were out in force as the warm weather made being outside comfortable. Shed hunters are reminded to make sure they have permission before going out on private land.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) helped do follow-up work on cases and prepared for upcoming training.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports there were some boats fishing on the river.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent time training on airboat operation.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports charges were made on a suspect for fleeing on a stolen snowmobile.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports fishing continues to be challenging on the backwaters with the changing water levels.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports spending the majority of her time talking with anglers and snowmobilers.