Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 14, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked area snowmobiling and angling activity. Multiple contacts were made with snowmobilers in the Roseau and Salol areas for speeding and failing to stop at intersections.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Larson worked with several other officers across the lake, finding violations including no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger, angling with unattended lines, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of dressed fillets on a special-regulation lake.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored local fishing derbies and coyote tournaments.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) patrolled for snowmobiling and ice-angling activity. He attended training at Camp Ripley and talked to Lake Bronson-area youth attending snowmobile safety certification about snowmobile laws and ethics.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working snowmobiling and angling activity throughout the past week. Time was spent working a snowmobiling detail with CO Vollbrecht and CO Mishler for the MnUSA Rendezvous and VIP Ride that brought hundreds of snowmobile enthusiasts to the area. Regas reports receiving a call about a cat with its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar. Advice was provided to the caller, and the cat was quickly freed from the jar. Once freed, the cat ran toward the morning horizon.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports some of the resorters on Upper Red Lake have been able to find areas that have not been plagued by the slush and flooding issues they experienced earlier in the season. Prachar found a group that had exceptional success, so he took enforcement action for an overlimit of walleyes and angling with extra lines.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked angling activity and patrolled local snowmobile trails. He also assisted with traffic control during the MnUSA snowmobile ride. Training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) focused on snowmobiling enforcement during the course of the past week and assisted with the MnUSA Snowmobile Rendezvous, which was held in Bemidji. She also attended a Bemidji State University Wildlife Club meeting and talked to students about the roles of a conservation officer and what it’s like to be a K9 handler.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports completing aeration permit inspections and attending the Enforcement Division’s awards and training conference.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working fishing, coyote-hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement. A law and ethics presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Hawley.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking anglers, coyote hunters, and snowmobile operators.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) reports primarily working angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Wood also took calls this past week regarding coyote hunting, road-killed deer, and fishing on Lake Traverse. Wood would like to remind anglers that border waters have different regulations than inland waters and it’s important to know them before you go out and fish.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked snowmobiling, checked anglers, and monitored coyote-hunting activity throughout the week. Time also was spent attending training at Camp Ripley. Complaints were received regarding sick and injured animals.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to work ice fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste of sunfish and failure to have an angling license in possession.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time working snowmobiling and fishing activity in both the Wadena and Park Rapids stations. An incidental bobcat was seized, and follow-up on deer-season cases was completed.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Activity has picked up on the lakes as a lot of slush has frozen over. Pockets of slush still remain, however, and pickup operators are finding deep pockets at times. The ice thickness remains extremely variable
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) followed up on abandoned property left on public lands and attended training at Camp Ripley. He also checked anglers, snowmobiling activity, and trapping activity, and assisted with a medical emergency on Rainy Lake.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobile riders, finished a deer-license-violation case, monitored a fishing tournament and a vintage snowmobile run with more than 200 sleds, and attended training at Camp Ripley.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Tom Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Trout lakes and snowmobilers were worked throughout the week.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) came upon a lone snowmobiler after dark who was standing on the trail after he had gone off-trail and crashed into several small trees, causing damage and minor injury. Speed and alcohol consumption appeared to be factors, and appropriate enforcement action was taken. The rider was fortunate the crash wasn’t much worse. This is a good reminder that alcohol and snowmobiling don’t mix.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game hunters and ATVing and snowmobiling activity. He also patrolled state parks and campgrounds.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked anglers, responded to calls about OHVs stuck in the slush on area lakes, and assisted the county with a barricaded suspect.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling, angling, and trapping activity, with enforcement action taken for operating an unregistered snowmobile and failing to transfer a title.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time monitoring a variety of outdoor activities. Fluctuating temperatures seemed to bring both good and poor fishing. Work was done with neighboring officers on ongoing investigations, and assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies on calls for service.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended Honor Guard team training at Camp Ripley this past week.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) attended meetings at Camp Ripley and participated in training with the Honor Guard. Time was spent handling ongoing investigations and meeting with vintage snowmobile owners to register snowmobiles for event use.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobiling and fishing enforcement. Area snowmobile trails continued to hold up well.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended Enforcement Division training during the week, checked anglers along the North Shore in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas, and worked snowmobile riders along the North Shore State Trail and the area trails around Duluth. He met with the U.S. Coast Guard in Duluth to discuss future training opportunities.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked on area snowmobile trespassing complaints. An injured owl was picked up after it hit an overhead power line.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) attended training at Camp Ripley, worked snowmobiling and angling activity, and investigated a case of birch trees being harvested without a permit.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations observed included extra lines, unattended lines, possession of dressed fillets, and possession of controlled substances.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. Training was attended and assistance was given to a neighboring officer with a timber trespass case. Assistance also was given to the sheriff’s office with a snowmobile accident.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and snowmobiling activity.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports attending the Enforcement Division’s annual training and awards event during the week. He followed up on several cases during the week and answered several law-related questions. Time was spent patrolling area lakes, checking for anglers and for snowmobile-related traffic.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. A typical midwinter slump is keeping fish houses moving around. Verkuilen also monitored sled traffic, checked some rabbit hunters, and attended training.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time on ice angling and snowmobiling enforcement. She also spent time in training at Camp Ripley. She followed up on a complaint of ATV operators rutting up a snowmobile trail and operating off-trail in the Solana State Forest. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received questions about registering antique snowmobiles and followed up on ongoing cases.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked snowmobiling, fishing, and ATVing activities. Fishing pressure remains high, with panfish and pike showing up on smaller lakes.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled some nuisance-animal complaints that included gray wolves harassing cattle and horses. Most of the week was spent on area lakes, checking ice anglers.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week training at Camp Ripley. Wolf depredation complaints were investigated. Time was cut short on Lake Mille Lacs while investigations of illegal operation on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails were conducted.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) completed and turned in a background investigation. Time also was spent during the week checking anglers on area lakes.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activity. He has begun marking locations of fishing shelters that he believes may be left on the ice after the deadline.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent most of his time on angling enforcement. Accidentally-caught otters and fishers were donated to the Minnesota Trappers Association for its educational efforts. Training at Camp Ripley was attended. A work crew was worked on Lake Mille Lacs with neighboring COs. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, illegal-length walleyes, no shelter license, ATV violations, and possession of marijuana.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers throughout the past week. Kampa spoke at the Cokato firearms safety class about laws and ethics. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, no shelter license, failure to display shelter license when required, no fishing license in possession, and failure to display current ATV registration.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working ice anglers and snowmobile riders.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent presenting at a boating safety class. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile with expired registration, operating a snowmobile over the speed limit, and failing to tag a trap. Seamans also assisted with a sled dog race on Lake Minnetonka.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) spent the past week checking anglers on Lake Mille Lacs and other local lakes. Enforcement action was taken for a wide variety of angling violations, recreational vehicle violations, and controlled substance possession. Benkofske, CO Musatov, and deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office held a snowmobile safety training presentation in Foley. Game farms and lake aeration sites were inspected for compliance.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked on several events on area lakes this past weekend, including the Beebe Lake 22nd annual Lions Club fishing tournament and the second-annual Kites on Ice Festival.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, coyote hunters, and snowmobilers. She also attended annual training at Camp Ripley, spoke to a local 4H club, and gave a ride-along to a college student.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time on a work detail on Lake Minnetonka with several other COs. Enforcement action for the week included driving after suspension, angling with extra lines, and registration issues.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Kpachavi also attended annual training at Camp Ripley. He worked multiple events on Lake Minnetonka along with multiple agencies and other conservation officers. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and snowmobile operation violations, angling violations, registration violations, license violations, and illegal narcotics.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV operation on public roads. With the fresh snow, new tracks could be seen crossing private property along trails. Remember, if it is not your land or a place you have permission to be on, stay off.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended the Enforcement Division’s annual awards and training event at Camp Ripley. He also checked anglers in the west metro area. Violations found included no angling license in possession, failure to display valid ATV registration, and an improperly marked fish shelter.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked local lakes for angling activity and patrolled snowmobile trails. Enforcement/education was taken for no license in possession, angling with an extra line, and a fish overlimit.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking anglers and checking the safety of local aeration systems. Time also was spent working a TIP investigation and attending training at Camp Ripley.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. Salzer also assisted with a snowmobile detail in the Isabella area.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. Arntzen attended training at Camp Ripley and continued working on deer-season cases. He also investigated a trespassing matter.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the weekend working a detail on Lake Minnetonka. People were out in big numbers for the Chilly Open and a sled dog race. Anglers on the lake were seen having success on panfish in various bays. Enforcement action for the week included registration violations, extra lines, and operating ATVs without headlights on and youth without helmets.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued working on an ongoing investigation. Paperwork was completed and citations were issued on various cases.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week working ice angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement. Training at Camp Ripley was attended. A snowstorm dropping upwards of 12 inches of snow pushed many anglers off the ice again Saturday night into Sunday.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ice fishing, predator-hunting, and snowmobiling activity during the week. An ice-fishing enforcement detail with South Dakota COs was worked on Big Stone Lake. Aeration inspections were completed on local lakes.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) focused efforts on small-game hunters. Rabbit and predator hunters were checked. Deer-possession permits were issued and training was attended at Camp Ripley. Wiltrout continued follow up on open burning violations with assistance from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on appropriate cleanup procedures.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning diseased/injured wildlife. Several reports of raccoons displaying signs of distemper were received in the city of New Ulm.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) assisted local law enforcement during the past week in locating a suicidal male and at a domestic disturbance. Enforcement action was taken for alcohol and drug violations.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ice anglers and ATVing and snowmobiling enforcement.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) monitored snowmobiling activity. Snow conditions are poor. Anglers were checked. Complaints were fielded regarding predator-hunting methods and the hunters’ dogs.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the past week on snowmobile and angling enforcement. Anglers leaving hard-sided shelters on the lakes are reminded that with the recent snow, they may need to block up their houses to avoid them freezing in. When it’s time to take your shelter in, please remember to pick up all of your blocking material.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked ice anglers and coyote hunters, and attended the funeral of Chief Deputy Beck.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports extra lines and unattended lines continue to be issues on the lake, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game hunters, trappers, anglers, snowmobile riders, and ATV operators during the past week. Davis also patrolled state parks, wildlife management areas, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) assisted the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office by monitoring recreational vehicles on Lake Minnetonka.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on a complaint about a person feeding deer. Hemker also continues to receive many calls related to CWD in the area.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports time was spent checking coyote hunters and anglers.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) attended a meeting with a local fishing club to discuss new border waters regulations.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports shed hunters were out in force just before a heavy snowfall.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time following up on multiple cases of coyote hunters trespassing on private land. The Walleye Seekers annual meeting was attended, as was a kids archery event.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) spent the week checking ice anglers. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and after fishing privileges were suspended due to prior violations. Violations observed included allowing juveniles to ride on ATVs without helmets and failure to display ATV registration.