Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 28, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) began field training with COC Vang. They worked boating and sportfishing on Lake of the Woods and checked bear bait stations in the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area. A complaint was received and followed up on regarding a trespass issue and no registration of deer. 

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, ATVing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. Larson also checked anglers coming off Lake of the Woods. 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) patrolled for ATVing and bear-baiting activity. He also responded to a call for assistance regarding a snake that was found in a heated area of a medical machine at a local hospital. Hospital staff had captured the small snake prior to his arrival. He found a northern redbelly snake, which is native to Minnesota and is non-venomous. He transported the snake to a new location and released it back to the wild. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working bear-baiting activity as well as boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted at an event in St. Paul, started paperwork for wetland complaints, and investigated a wolf-depredation complaint. 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) began Step 1 of field training with COC Victoria Griffith. They worked angling and boating activity on area lakes as well as Lake Winnibigoshish. They also worked a boat and water detail on Lake Vermilion. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports beginning Step I of field training with recent DNR Enforcement Academy graduate COC Vincent Brown. The officers went over expectations for this phase of training and Brown was introduced to the Perham station. The COs also assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a fatal boating accident on Otter Tail Lake. An escaped deer farm deer was spotted, and the owner was contacted. Efforts are being made to retrieve the deer. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked trespass and aquatic plant-removal complaints. He also monitored bear bait sites.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. AIS inspections were performed. Areas were checked for bear-baiting activity.  

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring angling, bear hunting, boating activity, and ATV activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public included bowfishing complaints, complaints about wakes from wake boats, and questions about bear baiting. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers, boaters, and personal watercraft operators. Additional time was spent investigating illegal weed roller operation and monitoring AIS law compliance. 

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on angling and commercial minnow dealer/transport enforcement. She took calls regarding digging a pond and an injured owl.  

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) started field training with COC Cassie Block. Time was spent assisting the Wadena Police Department with a call for service and following up on aquatic plant management violations. The officers worked fishing and boating activity on area waterways and assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a fatal boating accident on Otter Tail Lake. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports public water and aquatic plant management violations are being monitored in Grant and Otter Tail counties.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on angling, boating, and ATVing traffic throughout the week. Time also was spent monitoring AIS compliance on water-related equipment transported throughout the area. Holt followed up on Wetland Conservation Act violations and handled nuisance-beaver complaints. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. No fishing license in possession and expired registration were the most common violations observed. He also checked boaters and PWC operators on area lakes. PWC violations observed included driving too close to shore at faster than no-wake speed. Boating violations observed were no registration and insufficient PFDs. He also received a complaint about a bowfisher dumping rough fish at public accesses. 

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time during the past week on ATVing, fishing and boating enforcement. Bear baiting is in full swing. Remember to read the rules to prevent violations, as many people wait several years to get drawn.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking bear baits, ATV riders, and watercraft and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for angling without an angling license in personal possession, operating a personal watercraft after legal hours, and taking fish without a license.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Curtis Simonson started the past week getting to know the station. Action was taken on nuisance-animal complaints. A porcupine was captured within city limits and relocated to a more suitable area outside the city limits. Anglers and boaters were checked on Rainy Lake throughout the week. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) traveled to Minneapolis for a work detail. He followed up on an open public waters case with the area hydrologist. Slatinski also assisted St. Louis County with a stranded boater on Rainy Lake, who spent a couple hours adrift in the dark. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activity. Most wild rice in the area remains green. There were multiple questions about wild rice during the past week as the harvest season approaches. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) took several nuisance-bear complaints and advises people to move all garbage, grills, bird feeders, or other food sources indoors so that bears are not tempted to grab an easy meal. He continues to complete several cases he’s been working on from the previous months and has been addressing various boat and trailer owners who have been storing their items at public access sites.  

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent the past week working anglers, boaters, ATV riders, and state park users. An ATV driver was encountered in town and cited for registration that expired two years ago. Fifty-nine minutes later, the same driver was stopped with the same ATV on a non-motorized bike trail. He was cited again, only this time for OHV trespass. His ATV partner was cited along with him. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the week concentrating on bear-baiting enforcement. Baits established north of Ely were down greatly from previous years. Williams also assisted Lake and St. Louis counties search and rescue with a recovery after a fatal airplane crash occurred on White Iron lake.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked boaters and anglers this past week. He also dealt with ATV complaints and litter problems. Velsvaag looked at bear-baiting activity and past problem areas.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued checking bear-bait stations and patrolling area forest roads and trails. Nuisance-bear complaints are down and taking a backseat to nuisance camper and traveler complaints. Visitors are reminded there is no maid service in the outdoors, and that items such as dirty diapers, toilet paper, and used baby wipes don’t just disappear when thrown in the woods. 

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports gearing up for fall hunting seasons as the questions begin to roll in. Anglers were checked and bear baits were monitored. Hill stopped multiple people for failing to remove their boats’ drain plugs before transport. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

COC Stephen Westby started Step 1 of field training with CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork). They located non bio-degradable items in bear bait sites and stopped several ATVers, issuing citations for no helmet on youth, careless driving, and no registration. They also assisted with an ATV rollover and checked people fishing.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored ricing activity, worked bear baiting, responded to bear-related complaints, and assisted the county with an ATV accident. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. Bear-baiting activity also was monitored throughout the area. Enforcement action was taken for several boating and angling violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent much of the past week checking area bear baits. Nuisance-bear complaints have dropped dramatically since the opening of bear baiting. Hochstein also spoke with wild rice harvesters who are reporting a good crop this year.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked ATV activity that stemmed from a large group ride during the weekend. Compliance was good, and few problems were encountered.  

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and COC Charles Scott started the week by introducing Scott to the area as part of the beginning phase of field training. Trails closed to ATVs were checked for illegal operation and possible damage to wetlands. Bear bait stations were checked and found to be in compliance. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) investigated an illegal-burning complaint and a reported possible northern pike overlimit. Humphrey patrolled the Fond du Lac State Forest as well as the Sawyer and Kettle Lake wildlife management areas. Wild rice stands in the area are in excellent shape. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior in the Duluth-Two Harbors portion. Olson also assisted fellow officers working ATV enforcement and bear-baiting stations. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ATV riders and bear bait stations. Time was spent in state parks where visitor numbers are still quite high. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing county lakes throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations. He also assisted local law enforcement agencies with calls for service. 

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing, ATVing, wild ricing, and bear-baiting activity this past week. Best took enforcement action for a panfish overlimit, altering the course of a waterway, and various ATV issues. In one stop of a Class 2 ATV, the following issues were addressed: over capacity, no seatbelts or helmets worn by juveniles, no ATV safety, open container, age of operator, and no valid driver’s license while operating on a roadway. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ATVing, bear baiting, watercraft, and angling activity. Invasive species work was done at landings, and a lakebed alteration case was worked. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled several nuisance-bear complaints where crops were heavily damaged. Bear baits were checked. Wetland and public waters complaints were taken, and several questions regarding bear hunting were answered. Speldrich also assisted the county with a call about a suicidal person.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on bear-baiting sites, ATVing activity, and boating safety checks. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited materials, along with riding on the bow of a boat at high speeds. Starr assisted with a water-skiing accident in which the injured person needed to be airlifted. A strong storm also called for action, as live power lines were down on public roads. State park campers were checked on during the storm.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) started the field-training process with COC Zachary Larson this past week. The officers spent time patrolling area lakes, public lands, and familiarizing Larson with the Sauk Centre station. A public-nuisance complaint was investigated on the Sauk River, and an AIS complaint also was received, resulting in an investigation for transporting zebra mussels.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) followed up on wetland and shoreline concerns. He received calls regarding zebra mussels attached to a boat lift and PWC operation concerns. 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and boaters. A lake home owner was caught cutting a large section of cattails next to his house. An injured goose was captured, and a concerned citizen brought the goose to a rehab vet. Assistance was given with a Cooper’s hawk that flew into the Sam’s Club building. After approximately three hours of trying, the hawk was able to fly out a skylight that was removed from the roof. 

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) served a cease and desist order on a public waters violation and continues to investigate other public water and wetland violations. An angler who did not have the required fire extinguisher observed Seifermann launch his patrol boat. He admitted he knew he didn’t have a fire extinguisher but took a chance at it.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. A complaint of leaving property on a WMA was investigated, and several animal-related complaints were handled.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the past week patrolling for anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent following up on illegal camping in the Sand Dunes State Forest. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, dispersed camping illegally, and allowing a 12-year-old to operate a personal watercraft. Seamans took a report about a camper who decided to run a large/loud generator in the middle of the night. The generator was used to operate a circular saw and cut down a live tree. The camper was cited for destroying vegetation in a campground. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) assisted Hennepin County with a BWI arrest. Enforcement action was taken for boating operation and registration violations.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) assisted neighboring officers with interpretation on a fishing violation, worked a VIP detail, and answered questions from the Asian community about youth firearms safety classes. 

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time patrolling area lakes and rivers, checking anglers and boaters. Maass also investigated a complaint involving the illegal use of hydro jets on an area lake.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. He also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA for after-hours activity. Several contacts were made, and enforcement action was taken.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) started field training with COC Mike Cross. Arntzen and Cross spent time patrolling the St. Croix River and checking anglers on area lakes. They also investigated a trespassing complaint and did AIS enforcement.  

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the past week monitoring boaters and anglers along the river. He spent targeted time at landings checking for AIS compliance. 

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes for and observed multiple public waters or aquatic plant management violations. Violations included operating a weed roller without a permit, using a hydro jet to dredge the lake bottom, and using chemicals to treat/kill cattails. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week checking anglers and enforcing boat safety laws. Hunters are taking to the fields scouting for fall hunting seasons. Several investigations are being conducted.

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time working recreational watercraft, AIS inspections, ATV riders, and anglers. Enforcement action for the week included license violations and extra lines. 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) and K9 Earl provided a demonstration of Earl’s detection skills. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous TIP calls during the past week that have resulted in ongoing investigations of game and fish violations. Public waters violations continue to be investigated. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the past week checking anglers and following up on litter complaints. Klehr also assisted Wright County with a boating accident and assisted Meeker County with a person who was injured while biking on the Luce Line Trail.  

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding hunting law clarifications and injured animals. He primarily worked angling, boating, invasive species, ATVing, and public access enforcement activities. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked angling and boat and water safety enforcement. He followed up on the possible taking of mourning doves out of season. The person was taking rock doves as opposed to mourning doves.

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) worked boat and water safety, ATVing, and sportfishing activity. Additional time was spent on a big-game investigation and patrolling public water accesses. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, AIS activity, and ATV operators during the week. Time also was spent monitoring horse trail pass compliance at Forestville State Park. 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity this past week. Additional time was spent responding to illegal-burning complaints.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, boating, AIS, and ATVing activity this past week. Time also was spent monitoring compliance with aquatic plant management permits.  

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent time checking anglers and boaters on lakes and rivers in the district. Some burning-related issues were addressed. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) is working with COC Meng Moua. They patrolled lakes, rivers, ATV trails, and ginseng areas. They responded to complaints and calls involving horse trail issues, nuisance animals, illegal camping in a state forest, and the early taking of ginseng. 

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) responded to a report about a pollutant in an area creek that was killing minnows. The investigation is ongoing as to the source. Schneider came upon a juvenile riding an ATV carelessly down a roadway and without a helmet. His parent was cited for allowing the illegal operation of the ATV.  

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) received a call about an individual who had been confronted by landowners for trespassing on private property. The trespasser also had a bread bag full of ginseng shoved down his shirt. The individual admitted he had been digging ginseng before the Sept. 1 season start, and enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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