Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 20, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are reminded that dead smelt and herring need to be certified VHS disease-free.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and followed up on a complaint about property left in the Beltrami Island State Forest. Violations encountered included fishing with extra lines, angling without a license, no shelter license, unmarked permanent shelters, angling without a license in possession, and possession of walleye fillets on a special-regulations body of water.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a call about orphaned black bear cubs in a cornfield. He and CO Tony Elwell located the cubs and transported them to the DNR Wildlife office, from where they were taken to a wildlife rehabilitator in central Minnesota. The cubs will be placed with a collared, currently hibernating sow with cubs of the same approximate body weight. The sow will accept the two cubs as her own when she wakes from her winter slumber.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent wrapping up a timber-theft investigation, monitoring snowmobile and ATV activity, and planning and preparing for upcoming firearms and ATV safety classes.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports most fish houses have been removed from area lakes. Time was spent checking anglers and a few recreational vehicle operators. Various deer-related complaints were received.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) primarily focused on late-season angling activity. CO Mishler also spent time training with K9 Storm.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent time assisting Becker County officers with several calls for service and checking area lakes for ice shelters.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Troy Richards with a search warrant after Richards developed information about the illegal taking of a deer. Several items of evidence were collected. A gray wolf that was accidentally snared by a coyote trapper was turned over to employees of the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing. Reports about litter on state wildlife management areas and dogs chasing deer were investigated.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking angling activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Fishing activity has decreased greatly and anglers struggled to find a consistent bite. Landmark also spent some time following up with the registered owners of vehicles found stuck on snowmobile trails.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers and ATV operators. Baumbarger provided ride-along opportunities for two college students studying natural resources law enforcement and attended a volunteer instructor appreciation banquet in Glenwood for area safety instructors.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on fishing enforcement and commercial inspections. She gave a CO talk to a group of firearms safety students. Wood and CO Leeb conducted a couple of taxidermy inspections. Cases were made from previous seasons for hunting small game without a license and failure to register deer.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to work on a deer-season complaint that is moving through the court system. Plautz also attempted to identify abandoned fish houses still on the ice and checked anglers and coyote hunters this past week.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders, and fish house owners. Overlimit complaints were received and investigated.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked big-game-related complaints and fishing activity. A few reports of dogs chasing deer were received and handled.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch and crappie anglers. Ice conditions are holding up in the area and some fish are being caught. Dogs-chasing-deer and deer-feeding-ban violation complaints were investigated.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working ice fishing and ATVing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration, operating an ATV without a valid driver’s license, and operating an ATV without ATV safety certification.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports ice fishing and snowmobiling activities in the area have been minimal and trails are in fair shape.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that despite recent thawing conditions, snowmobilers have still been active in the area. Angling activity has increased in the area with varied success.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time this past week monitoring lakes for the fish house removal deadline and checking anglers. Zavodnik fielded complaints during the week involving a snare being wrapped around a deer, litter being dumped at a public access, and large trailers being stored at public accesses for an extended period of time.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATV riders, attended a DNR Bear Committee meeting in Grand Rapids, and located a suspected shoplifter who left a store. Bozovsky turned the individual over to the Hibbing Police Department.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling enforcement inside and outside of the BWCAW, as well as snowmobiling enforcement. In one noteworthy contact, Bermel was observing a group of anglers in the BWCAW from a long distance when one member of the group began drinking from a prohibited beer can. He and another member made a joke of it by posing and taking pictures. When the angler finished, he sank the can in the lake. He also had ridden his snowmobile beyond the BWCAW line. Appropriate enforcement action was taken for the violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) patrolled several Boundary Waters trout lakes during the weekend. Violations included angling with no license in possession and using unlabeled smelt as bait.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended an Honor Guard meeting in addition to station patrol work. Manning also worked a Canadian border detail with COs Wahlstrom and Williams and U.S. Forest Service officer Belmore.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports venturing into the BWCAW during the past week. With the help of the local U.S. Forest Service officer, multiple angling groups were checked. Lake trout were biting, and one angler was cited for using a power auger.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the past week. Please clean up after yourself when taking your fish house off the lake, including all boards and garbage.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, snowmobiling, and documenting fish house removal. Several wildlife-related complaints were fielded and handled.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) talked with several anglers throughout the week who had reports of success. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies on calls for service, and enforcement action was taken for fishing and ATVing violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw a big increase in ATVing activity with the warm weather. ATVs are not allowed on snowmobile-only trails even though conditions have deteriorated for sleds. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration, expired registration, allowing unlawful juvenile operation, and ATVs on snowmobile trails
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time checking area lakes for fish house removal. A litter complaint also was investigated. Duncan assisted the local sheriff’s office with calls for service during the week and checked anglers on and along Lake Superior.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and OHVing enforcement during the weekend. He also checked anglers on area lakes and conducted patrols in Fond du Lac State Forest and at local state wildlife management areas and Moose Lake State Park. Humphrey attended an Honor Guard meeting held at Camp Ripley, reviewed restoration orders on two water structure violations, and answered questions about nuisance animals and safety training inquiries.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 Unit supervisory training in St. Cloud during the week. A talk was given to a local college class about the job duties of a conservation officer.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and some hearty boat anglers along the shores of Lake Superior in the Duluth, Knife River, and Two Harbors areas. Olson also checked some of the last snowmobilers of the season on Duluth-Two Harbors trails. Olson and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a trespass complaint in Duluth Township.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters who were heading out for some early-season open-water fun. Salmon and steelhead were said to be biting. A reminder that a watercraft must be equipped with a wearable PFD for each person on board. Bibs and ice fishing clothing with “float assistance” are not U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs, and while still a good idea, do not take the place of a required PFD.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled angling activity and checked anglers. Area snowmobile trails are deteriorating rapidly, and snowmobiling activity is minimal.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling activity throughout the week. Time was spent on Leech Lake and the Whitefish Chain, patrolling for angling activity.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) reports enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juveniles, registration issues on ATVs, and for feeding deer in a CWD zone. The feeding violation carries a nearly $300 fine and is really becoming an issue in the area because it creates environments for deer to congregate and potentially spread disease. Individuals are encouraged to remind each other to take precautions against the spread of CWD.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes for angling activity. New 2020 angling licenses were checked. A call about a suspected poached deer was fielded and investigated in a neighboring station. It turned out to be a wolf kill. Dog owners in the area were cautioned.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity and saw limits of crappies and tullibees. Beaver trappers are getting out and making use of the increasing open water.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to a call about a portable fishing shelter abandoned on a local lake. She also received a complaint about a nuisance bobcat and issued car-killed deer possession tags.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored the extended pike-fishing season on Lake Mille Lacs. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no license in possession, and recreational vehicle registration. Starr will be charging an individual for felony drug possession after a routine fishing check turned up drugs.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily worked sportfishing enforcement this past week. An Aitkin County CWD feeding and attractants ban violation was addressed.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports receiving wildlife-related calls involving skunks, bats, coyotes, swans, bobcats and bears. He also investigated a complaint about a deer possibly being illegally taken and dumped on a property. He also reports assisting an intoxicated person, assisting another agency with a traffic stop, and issuing a deer-possession tag.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint. A litter issue was handled, and animal-related complaints were received. Anglers were checked, and ATV complaint areas worked.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking ATV riders and enforcing burning regulations now that most of the snow is gone. Benkofske brought a 1-month-old bear cub from Isanti County to the wild animal hospital in Garrison. The cub appeared to be abandoned by its mother after being alone for a few hours in below-freezing temperatures. Benkofske spotted the mother bear later in the day with a 1-year-old cub from its last litter. The newborn cub could not be taken care of in that case and will be raised at the hospital until old enough to be released into the wild.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports time was spent issuing wildlife permits and checking possible Wetland Conservation Act violations. A TIP complaint was investigated and the suspect was found to be in possession of five northern pike out of season. The same suspect was caught poaching walleyes in the same location two years earlier. The suspect was cited for taking northern pike out of season and fishing while license privileges are suspended.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent the past week conducting follow-up investigations and checking the few anglers out and about. Assistance was given to the county with a suspected narcotics overdose.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling and ATVing activity on area lakes. Time also was spent on big-game violation investigations.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling activity during the past week. In addition to checking anglers, he answered questions and followed up on animal-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for failure to renew ATV registration and license violations.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers on metro-area lakes and rivers. He also monitored state park and state trails.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) patrolled areas of the county for illegal ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing and taking fish out of season.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. He also dealt with TIP calls involving hunting and abandoned wildlife. Salzer also assisted with multiple firearms safety classes and presented several instructors with 30-year awards.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time working on a big-game case for an out-of-state agency. He also issued a wildlife-possession permit for a car-killed fisher, investigated a littering complaint, and fielded calls about road right of way access.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) took a call during which the caller stated that he had found a dead and “likely shot” bald eagle. Upon arriving at the scene, Thomas educated the caller, pointing out that it was actually an old hen turkey and had likely died of natural causes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week working ice fishing, small-game hunting, and waterfowling enforcement. Spring migration is evident as many species of waterfowl have started moving through the area.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week working ATV riders and light goose hunters. Some snow geese have been seen in the area. Several swans have returned.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the past week checking snow goose hunters and investigating a possible Wetland Conservation Act violation. Enforcement action was taken for taking waterfowl in a closed season.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked angling and trapping activity. He also followed up on a litter complaint and received calls about nuisance beavers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports that during the week, while he checked anglers, a few of them were observed picking up other people’s trash that was left on the ice. All anglers are reminded to help keep the lakes clean.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this past week checking river anglers, patrolling for ATVing activity, and scheduling upcoming firearms safety classes. Continued investigation into a small-game violation was conducted.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) conducted aeration inspections on area lakes during the past week. Ice has deteriorated at a fast pace, making it incredibly unsafe for anglers. Deer investigations continue to be worked from the prior fall, and enforcement efforts were focused on ATV use and compliance.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted commercial inspections. Litter from shelters and anglers have been more visible on shorelines.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on angling and ATVing activity. The CO also continued an investigation and assisted local agencies with several calls.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports ice conditions are becoming poor. Please use caution and consider your safety when taking to the ice.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spoke on laws and ethics at a firearms safety class in Le Center. He also worked on preparing for possible flood response.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the past week checking anglers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling area public water accesses and WMAs.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) attended the internment at Ft. Snelling for retired CO Laboone and an Honor Guard meeting at Camp Ripley.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) gave a presentation on ATV regulations to area law enforcement officers. A call was handled regarding a dead bald eagle found behind a home.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports checking anglers on the Mississippi River with CO Schneider.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) responded to a trout-fishing trespass complaint and spent extra time patrolling closed ATV trails.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) is following up on deer cases. Several boat and water and fishing enforcement details have also been worked on the open waters of the Mississippi River.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking illegal ATVing activity on state forest lands, checking trout anglers, and preparing for upcoming court cases.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) reports assistance was provided to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office with a domestic dispute.