Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 21, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobiling activity on Lake of the Woods and assisted with a snowmobile safety course in Warroad. Violations encountered included taking fish without an angling license, no permanent shelter license, unmarked permanent shelter, and no angling license in possession.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working snowmobiling and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports snow blowing across the region has made travel on Upper Red Lake difficult. Resorts have had a tough time keeping roads plowed. Time was spent patrolling for angling activity, snowmobiling activity, and finalizing commercial minnow inspections.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended annual training and checked local anglers and snowmobile riders. He also assisted the Clearbrook Police Department with a search warrant related to stolen property, counterfeit bills, and narcotics.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling snowmobile trails. A detail was worked with three other Minnesota COs and two Ontario officers. They spent their time focusing on the enforcement of the border water regulations on Lake of the Woods. Multiple citations were issued for various angling-related violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) has taken calls about litter being left on area lakes and is following up on those complaints. Anglers should be reminded the shelter removal date is fast approaching and all shelters need to be removed in the Perham area the first Monday of March. No shelters may be left or stored at area public accesses.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing, coyote hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) gave a boating safety talk as part of the MinnAqua program to Minnewaska-area fifth-graders. Additional time was spent investigating a trespass complaint and answering questions related to the turkey-hunting season.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports anglers were monitored as the game fish season enters its final days, with citations issued for extra lines.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, snowmobile and ATV riders, and fish houses. A fishing tournament was worked with CO Holt on Smith Lake with several ATV and snowmobile violations detected. Ice conditions have finally improved on area lakes, but the season is now winding down.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) and State Trooper Churchill visited the Wheaton High School early last week to visit with students. Wood had meetings with the Traverse County Sportsmen’s Club and Ortonville DNR Fisheries.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports an unattended ice-fishing shelter with no ID or license was discovered. Goodman followed a well-beaten path to a garage where he located the 77-year-old owner working under a vehicle. The gentleman quickly admitted to leaving the shelter out all day and night for the past three weeks, in addition to leaving an unattended line down during that time as well. When Goodman asked for the man’s angling license, he explained that he had been fishing that particular lake his entire life and had never purchased an angling license. The angler noted that he hadn’t caught many fish in the past three weeks. The angler acknowledged that he came out ahead in avoiding detection for so many years but agreed it was time to get in compliance with DNR regulations.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) report complaints about litter left behind by ice anglers are becoming more frequent. Cars and trucks driving on snowmobile trails have been reported and investigated.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of sunfish, unattended lines, expired registration, and taking fish without an angling license. Kunst wants to remind anglers to ensure their angling licenses are in personal possession before going out onto the ice to fish.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the past week’s activity mainly involved angling and snowmobiling activity. Most anglers reported fishing success slowed as the cold front moved in to the area. A meeting was attended in Koochiching County in preparation for spring fishing activity on the Rainy River.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time attending a week-long training and followed up on a few hunting violations from the previous deer-hunting season. Multiple snowmobile crashes occurred during the past week, some resulting in serious injury.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports a fatal snowmobile crash south of Tower this past week. Remember to slow down and stay on the right side of the trail.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated the death of a gray wolf, and two bobcat-possession cases. Bozovsky responded to a snowmobile injury crash where speed appeared to be a factor. A wolf was killed on a snowmobile trail south of Side Lake. The CO is trying to determine whether it was intentional or accidental. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the TIP line or CO Bozovsky directly. It’s not unusual to have dead animals in a COs truck, but to have a wolf, a bobcat and a bald eagle in one day of work is unusual and turned into a little extra work.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions have greatly improved and trail conditions are good. Velsvaag received multiple calls about border-water fishing regulations and northern pike length restrictions.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the week. A few small trout were seen in the bag. A snowmobile event was worked in Cook County.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATV, and snowmobiling activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also took care of miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused much of the past week on sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for several angling, snowmobiling, and big-game violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) staffed the TIP Wall of Shame at the Northland Deer Classic in Duluth and fielded questions about many natural resources topics.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked area lakes and rivers. Unfortunately, the fish were not cooperating for anglers. Time was spent following up on ongoing cases and handling equipment maintenance. Schmidt taught at a snowmobile safety class in Cromwell and worked area trails.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) investigated a possible wolf depredation involving a dog, answered calls about trespass, and assisted with nuisance-wildlife complaints. He worked area snowmobile trails for snowmobiling violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked with district officers at the annual sport show at the DECC in Duluth. The TIP display was on hand and officers answered many questions. He also assisted CO Murray with a big-game case in the Two Harbors station.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and snowmobile and trail enforcement this past week. Illegal drugs and contraband were seized from an individual using them in an angling shelter on public water.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted with natural resource officer training and helped out with a kids’ fishing day in McGregor.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking anglers on area mine pits and found a few were having some luck at catching some nice trout. He completed a case of a public access violation and fielded many outdoor law-related questions during the week and weekend.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) assisted with a medical call, helped some shed antler hunters with public land boundaries, and answered questions about turkey hunting.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, failure to have ice shelter license, failure to properly identify an ice shelter, and failure to have a fishing license in possession.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found quite a few trappers out pursuing coyotes. Coyote hunters also were out at night taking advantage of the bright conditions created by snow cover and moonlight.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity in the station. A presentation was provided to Melrose High School students for their career day.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and patrolling state wildlife management areas for trapping activity. Time was spent on aeration permit inspections, equipment maintenance, and responding to a wildlife-related call. Kampa received a complaint about ATVers operating on a snowmobile trail.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of fishing and ATVing violations. A deer-hunting case concluded in regards to unlawful party hunting. Assistance was given to other local law enforcement agencies for an ongoing assault and wrong-way drivers.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, angling with extra lines, possession of marijuana, no snowmobile registration, possession of illegal-length walleyes, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports a trapper-harassment complaint was investigated, and an aeration inspection was completed.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers on district-area lakes. He also worked with an outreach intern from the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife to present a hunting regulations presentation to the Karen and Vietnamese communities.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports a trespassing snowmobiler was stopped and was found to have registration that had been expired about as long as the driver had been alive.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on snowmobiling activity during the past week. He worked a snowmobile detail in Dakota County and also attended Pheasant Fest in Minneapolis. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile operation violations and registration violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports speaking to a group of students in Forest Lake about firearms safety. Arntzen also spent time checking anglers and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. Violations for the past week included fishing without a license, no license in possession, and failure to provide a receipt for gifting wild animals.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking ice anglers on local lakes. Time also was spent driving to a nearby state to return a rifle seized from a revoked hunter. The rifle was found to have been stolen approximately 30 years ago in a residential burglary and will be returned to the rightful owner.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) followed up on people who purchased their deer licenses on the same day they registered deer.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working ice angling, ATVing, ORVing, snowmobiling, and coyote-hunting enforcement. Commercial and aeration system inspections were conducted.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ice fishing, predator hunting, and snowmobiling activity during the week. Miska was the featured guest on the MinnDak Outdoors radio show on KDIO Radio in Ortonville.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports time was spent throughout the week checking anglers, coyote hunters, and ATV riders.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) completed aeration inspections and followed up on a trespass complaint. Vernier also picked up an incidentally caught fisher from an area trapper.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked angling, snowmobiling and ATVing enforcement for the majority of the week. Other time was spent assisting with an injured bald eagle. Klehr also assisted a neighboring officer with a TIP report of a possible fish overlimit. This investigation is ongoing.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) reports assistance was provided to a neighboring conservation officer during a game farm inspection.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continues to work complaints regarding the use of snowmobiles and ATVs to chase coyotes and drive through wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas throughout the area.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted aeration inspections. Angler and shelter inspections were performed as well. Assistance was given to local law enforcement for vehicles off roadways.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on snowmobiling and trapping activity. VanThuyne also checked anglers and followed up on complaints.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the past week checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for predator hunters.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continues to check area lakes and rivers for angling activity. He also assisted with a medical situation on an area lake.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the past week checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent monitoring predator-hunting activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for angling and snowmobiling activity in the area. An area Wildlife League meeting was attended at which an update on new regulations was given. The CO also assisted the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office with various calls for service.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) met with the county attorney’s office on several deer-hunting cases. While checking ice anglers, he arrested a person in possession of felony – controlled substances.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) investigated a trespassing complaint and performed a game farm inspection.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) spoke at a firearms safety class and assisted another officer with investigating a fish overlimit complaint. Predator hunters have been busy this past week, and a citation was written to one for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working ice fishing and snowmobiling enforcement this past week.