Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 27, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored snowmobiling activity west of Warroad following complaints about snowmobilers driving too fast, too loud, and not stopping for intersections. Area wildlife management areas were patrolled, and a complaint about dumped deer is being investigated.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included taking fish without an angling license, angling with an extra line, no shelter license, no angling license in possession, failure to display shelter identification and license, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of dressed fish fillets on a special-regulations body of water. A reminder to all that the shelter removal date for Minnesota/Canada border waters is March 31.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spent the week removing abandoned fish shelters and litter from the Thief and Red Lake rivers with CO Elwell. Anyone with information regarding the owners of the abandoned shelters can call the officers directly or contact the TIP line to remain anonymous.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling activity on special-regulation lakes this past week. Time also was spent monitoring snowmobiling and ATVing activity on area trails and lakes. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) checked late-season ice anglers and checked area lakes for the removal of permanent shelters. A BWCAW detail was worked with other officers. They checked multiple anglers targeting trout. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports monitoring fishing activity in the station and assisting the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with a call from a concerned citizen about a possible collapsed portable fish house on the lake for a couple days. The debris turned out to be house wrap from a local construction site. Calls about sick raccoons were taken. Question about possible sick animals may be directed to DNR Wildlife offices. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers. Other time was spent working on a wolf depredation case in Mahnomen County and assisting Becker County with a few calls for service.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) handled calls of possible deer poaching, worked ongoing cases, and assisted local law enforcement on calls for service.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports accessing lakes is becoming more difficult as ice pulls away from shorelines. Extreme caution is advised during these last few days of the ice-fishing season.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and ATV riders. Prep work continues for future safety education classes. Potential shoreline violations were received and investigated.

CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working ATVing and fishing enforcement. Enforcement action for the past week included operating an ATV without headlights and fishing without a license. Leeb also assisted in releasing an eagle that was caught in a foothold trap. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked area anglers, who were having some success. Coyote hunters continue to struggle in the area. Littering cases were investigated, and injured deer were dispatched. 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports monitoring fishing for overlimits. Juveniles were contacted about illegal bowfishing and snagging fish in the Otter Tail River system. Due to the high volume of complaints about fish being left at this location, there is a high likelihood this area will be closed to bowfishing.  

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on angling enforcement, following up from a taxidermist inspection, and getting more familiar with her station. She would like to remind anglers that snagging is not a legal way of catching fish. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. He also worked on snowmobiling enforcement issues this past week. One incident involved an abandoned snowmobile in a road ditch. Lake aeration permits and system inspections also received enforcement time. Complaints about deer-carcass dumping and ATVers on snowmobile trails were received.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked angling activity and received a call regarding an injured swan. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) investigated two separate complaints about anglers taking an overlimit of crappies and an overlimit of perch. A litter complaint about someone dumping fish remains in a ditch was investigated.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) assisted Aitkin County with an apartment building fire. She also received a call regarding ice-fishing gear left on the lake all day with no one to be found. Upon responding to the call, Kunst found there to be evidence of a snowmobile crash on the lake. The crash was investigated and the fishing gear was linked to the crash. 

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) reports WMAs were checked for abandoned property and other issues involving the illegal use of ATVs to access a lake through a WMA.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports ice fishing and snowmobiling activities remain the main focuses. Recent snowfall in the past week created some of the best snowmobiling conditions all year on trails and lakes. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports anglers continue to drill holes in their search for a good bite. Waters projects, including dock building and replacement, have begun. Property owners and contractors are reminded to verify whether a permit is needed and, if it is, to obtain the permit prior to beginning a project. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time checking anglers and worked ATVing and snowmobiling enforcement. Zavodnik fielded a call involving dogs chasing deer and a bald eagle that may have been shot.  

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports citations were issued for willful trespass on public land after hunters ignored the warning for illegal deer stands and cutting large trees issued a few years ago. They repeated the same violations and, to top it off, they decided to put in food plots as well.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the past weekend in the BWCAW focusing on trout-fishing activity. Violations included angling without a license, taking trout without a trout stamp, and a trout overlimit.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trout anglers this past week and saw few fish. He also checked a few people after panfish. Those anglers caught a few fish. Velsvaag also worked up the Gunflint Trail checking anglers and a few snowmobile riders.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. He also worked snowmobile trails and remote trout lakes. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) and CO Hill investigated the report of a recently killed and dumped black bear near a local hiking trail. While the caller was certain it was a bear, it turned out to be the remains of a salvaged, road-killed deer. Manning also followed up on a couple of bear-hunting issues and ice shelter concerns. She assisted Cook County with a call regarding a couple of snowmobilers riding on a groomed ski trail, right past several “no snowmobile” signs. Manning also contacted a pair of anglers who had made their way across the ice on the harbor by canoe. While they had plenty of tackle and a six-pack of beer, they were not wearing or even had life jackets in their boat.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) patrolled in the BWCAW during the past week. However, some of the anglers were short either a fishing license or a trout stamp, so the number of fish the group got to take home ended up being fewer than they originally thought. A few more license violations also were encountered. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) issued vehicle-hit-deer possession permits and monitored fishing activity on inland lakes. Open-water anglers were out in high numbers on Lake Superior this past week. A report about a deer being caught in a fence was taken. Murray successfully released the deer.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. The CO also took care of miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, answered calls about nuisance animals, attended training, and assisted the county with a stabbing incident. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, snowmobiling, and decorative forestry materials. Van Asch also gave assistance to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with the recovery of a stolen snowmobile. 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored the second round of fish house removal in the northern part of his station. Once again, he was pleased with everyone meeting the deadline. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the past week working fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Many people were checked throughout the week. Duncan also worked some spring beaver trapping and assisted with a trapping issue that was self-reported. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time assisting in training new dogs for the DNR and other agencies. K9 Schody was called to assist another agency regarding a missing and suicidal person believed to have been in the woods. The person was located prior to their arrival. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobile riders enjoying what could be the last week of winter riding. Boaters also were found trolling on Superior when the waves allowed.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a remote-lake detail with another CO. They addressed some angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling violations. Guida also fielded his first nuisance-bear complaint.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports working on the ice for late-season angling activity. A reminder was given to anglers to remove all items from the ice when leaving. Several concerned lake-home owners have completed lake cleanups in the area.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) enforced fishing, trapping, and ATV laws this past week. Enforcement action was taken for feeding in a CWD area, expired registrations, and unattended lines. Best is still seeing lots of kids without helmets on Class 2 ATVs. Seatbelts also must be worn if the rider is under 18.  

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling activity and handled a dead eagle. Outdoor topics were discussed on a radio station.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked angling activity and patrolled the Foot Hills State Forest for illegal ATV operation. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. Ice conditions generally are holding up well. Some ATV riders were out, but the majority of them were transporting maple sap. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted the sheriff’s office with a call regarding a domestic assault. She also patrolled local lakes and received a complaint about a wolf hanging out next to a residence.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on a possible public waters violation, late-season pike fishing, and panfishing activities. Starr also assisted Morrison County by finding a stolen vehicle. The occupant of the stolen vehicle also had felony warrants and was arrested.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked fishing enforcement on Lake Mille Lacs this past week. Increasing amounts of ATVing activity were observed throughout the week on and around Lake Mille Lacs. Likewise, increasing amounts of campfires were observed throughout the area. She also assisted Aitkin County with a domestic disturbance.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week checking anglers on area lakes. A game farm inspection was also conducted. 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers and ATVing activity this week. He also fielded calls about a road-killed fisher and responded to AIS-related questions. 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) monitored area lakes for angling activity. ATV enforcement was conducted on most lakes. 

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports monitoring the spring crappie and sunfish bite on area lakes. Calls from the public involved miscellaneous wildlife-related issues regarding otters and raccoons. He also investigated a suspected overlimit/littering/wanton waste call in which more than 300 fish were found dumped within the road right of way in Morrison County. Please contact the TIP line (800-652-909) if you have any information regarding the incident.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and ATV riders, followed up on complaints, and investigated illegal burning sites. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Fishing pressure on area lakes has slowed as ice conditions have deteriorated. 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and worked ATV complaint areas. A dumping complaint was investigated. Follow up was done on a big-game case.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports a truck went through the ice on a small local lake and has been removed. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. Time was spent investigating a littering complaint. Maass also investigated a hunting complaint involving possibly shooting from a motor vehicle.

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted homeowners with a nuisance-wildlife complaint in Savage. Fogarty also took a report about target shooting in the Bradshaw Lake WMA. Fogarty discovered the suspects also shot signs and left trash at the WMA parking area.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture with deer-management meat distribution. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) responded to a call about a woodchuck stuck in a car at a local car dealership. The woodchuck was found in the engine compartment of the car and refused to leave. The woodchuck eventually was removed from the vehicle but managed to escape and hunkered down in a vending machine. In the end, the woodchuck was safely removed from the vending machine and released back into the wild.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time patrolling local WMAs, SNAs, and state parks. Time also was spent checking shore anglers and investigating litter complaints. As river levels start to come down and activity increases, anglers and boaters are reminded to check their boats to ensure they have the appropriate PFDs and safety devices.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking anglers who are still venturing out onto lakes. He also did recreational vehicle enforcement. He investigated a public water violation and issued a wildlife-possession permit for a car-killed fisher. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers on the river. Some boaters were out as the water began to recede. The CO also patrolled area wildlife management areas for illegal off-road activity and assisted the county with calls.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working anglers and light goose hunters. The waterfowl migration continues throughout the area.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVers and light goose hunters. ATVing activity has increased with the closing of most other activities.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working ice fishing, ATVing, state park, and light goose-hunting enforcement. Light goose hunters are reminded that white-fronted “specklebelly” geese may not be taken. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked angling and ATVing activity. He also spoke with anglers about ice conditions, which are deteriorating fast. Vernier also dispatched an injured deer.

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) worked ATV riders and shore anglers, and assisted a neighboring station with wildlife-related complaints. Time also was spent patrolling for burning issues and inspecting local WMAs and WPAs. 

CO Ryan Hanna (Hutchinson) reports spring cleanup is happening with people burning. Don’t forget to obtain burning permits for your respective area.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) worked with out-of-state agencies on deer cases during the past week. Numerous calls were fielded related to the upcoming turkey season. WMA and WPA locations were patrolled throughout the area. Incredibly large numbers of waterfowl are moving into the area and making the local skies extremely entertaining to watch for waterfowl enthusiasts.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking angling, ATVing, and illegal burning activity this past week. Ice on area lakes is very dark and starting to pull away from shore. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) checked the first open-water anglers of the season this past week. WMAs and waterfowl production areas were patrolled for seasonal dumping issues. Ducks and geese continue to be numerous in the area, with wood ducks starting to appear. Make sure your wood duck houses are ready!

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked areas for ATVing activity. Several areas of concern were identified where riders were entering seasonal wetlands and causing disruption. Coyote hunters and some open-water shore anglers were checked throughout the week as well.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the past week. He also patrolled WMAs, state parks, and WPAs. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports anglers were found to be fishing inside the closed area below the Dresbach dam, and enforcement action was taken. Lock and dam closure areas are in place for public safety. A reminder of this is a fatal boat incident near a spillway in Pool 11 in Iowa during the weekend. 

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) assisted the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office with a burglary that occurred near Oronoco.  

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports many people out fishing, walking, antler hunting, taking pictures, or just checking boat accesses. On a crisp morning, an angler advised the officer to not judge him by what he was wearing on his feet. He was wearing mittens on his feet because he forgot his boots. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving a complaint of people fishing and keeping trout. Upon further investigation, the anglers were found without licenses and stamps, and in possession of a number of fish. Multiple citations were issued. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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