Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 4, 2020
District 1 — Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) continued field training with COC Vang. They report working boating and sportfishing on Lake of the Woods, as well as checking bear bait stations. A complaint was received and followed up on regarding an ATV being operated in the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked angling/boating enforcement on Lake of the Woods and monitored bear-baiting activity throughout the station. In addition, time was spent responding to calls, including a check on the welfare of a male in the Beltrami Island State Forest.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on bear-baiting activities, ATV trail enforcement, boating, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout this past week. Time also was spent handling several wolf-depredation complaints and monitoring wild rice harvest activity.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) investigated a wetland violation, checked bear baits, and finished a wolf-depredation complaint.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued Step 1 of field training with COC Victoria Griffith. They worked angling and boating activity on area lakes and Leech Lake. They also worked bear baits and ATVing activity on area trials. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession and providing false information by giving a fictitious date of birth. The officers also met with DNR Forestry staff and followed up on complaints about yard waste being discarded on state forest land.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports week two of field training with COC Vincent Brown. Brown and Vinton patrolled the Perham station, checking for various types of activity including ATV riding, boating, and sportfishing. Enforcement action was taken on property owners in violation of aquatic plant management regulations. The officers continue to patrol the Vergas area in search of an escaped deer-farm deer.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) responded to multiple calls for service with Becker County, including a biking accident and a person overboard. All parties involved are safe thanks to quick responses from the people around them.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Warren also attended a kids hunting and wildlife day at McCollum’s Farm and assisted with the aquatic invasive species station.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action for the past week included illegal operation of an off-highway motorcycle. Numerous injured-animal calls were handled.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the majority of the past week focusing on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. She received a call about a dead eagle and a report of a mountain lion sighting near Doran. Wood also held an ATV Enforcement class for the Wilkin County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy BWCAW detail with other COs along the Canadian border. Lawler also worked anglers and boaters around Alexandria, with a few tickets issued for late PWC operation and angling without licenses. One pontoon after dark was operating without proper navigation lights, and after an investigation, the operator was found to be impaired and arrested for BWI.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fielding questions related to upcoming hunting seasons and nuisance-beaver problems.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, anglers, and ATV riders. Deer-season questions and complaints were received and answered. Several nuisance-beaver complaints were handled in Otter Tail and Grant counties.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports the lakes and trails remain very busy. Many ATV riders, including several juveniles, were violating ATV regulations. The CO fielded two injured-eagle calls, one injured-swan call, and one-injured loon call. He also received a report of a cougar sighting.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time in the boat checking anglers and others recreating on the water. Compliance was good, but the fishing has been slow in the area. A littering complaint was received and the suspects were identified after the CO dug through numerous bags of household garbage. Enforcement action was taken.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) spent most of the past week checking bear-baiting locations. AIS compliance was monitored with a large amount of traffic into and out of the area water accesses.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring wild ricing activities as the harvesting has started. ATV, angling and boating activities continue to be checked. Area forest roads were checked. Public access sites monitored and numerous questions relating to the upcoming fall hunting seasons were answered. Assistance was given to DNR Forestry in the BWCAW.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time in the woods and on the water during the past week. Zavodnik focused his activity on big-game hunting that is approaching. Several nuisance-bear complaints were fielded as well. While on patrol, Zavodnik witness a road rage incident where a vehicle operator was observed brake checking and swerving into the other vehicle. The operator was cited for careless operation of a motor vehicle.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he again focused on bear baiting and ATVing activity. Compliance was found to be high and baiting activity stepped up noticeably. Reports of baits being visited by bears also increased considerably.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and bear baits this past week. He also assisted the U.S. Forest Service and Lake County Sheriff’s Office with the removal of a group of problem campers in the BWCAW. Velsvaag also received several nuisance-animal calls and questions about watercraft regulations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking ATV riders and bear bait stations. He also responded to several nuisance-bear complaints. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to check bear bait stations and educate hunters and nonhunters on bear-baiting and hunting issues. Manning also patrolled forest roads and campgrounds, including taking a call about abandoned camping gear at an area campground and more reports about human waste, diapers, and trash left by visitors along the North Shore.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear-baiting activity this past week. Time also was spent checking area anglers.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports a nice mix of activity throughout the station this past week. A few PFD and registration issued were handled after Hill contacted some paddlers in violation on an area lake. Hill worked in the BWCAW as well, and one person was found to be in possession of a few aluminum cans full of soda pop.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATVing and bear-baiting activity this week. Bear activity remains high in the area.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Stephen Westby (Madison) worked bear baits and a complaint about a sick wolf pup, and checked people fishing. They stopped several ATVers and issued citations for operating on the roadway, transporting a loaded firearm, and a 2nd degree DWI arrest.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) monitored bear-baiting activity, responded to nuisance bear complaints, attended training, and assisted with the Vice President Pence detail this past week.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) fielded numerous phone calls from people with questions about this upcoming firearms deer season. A change that affects hunters locally this year is that Permit Area 179 is a lottery area. In previous years it was hunter choice.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATVing activity during the past week with multiple machines on area trails as temperatures start to dip a bit.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, and ATVing enforcement throughout the area. Bear-baiting activity continues to be monitored. Time was also spent following up on a trespass and ATV-related complaints.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) talked with several people who were out and about preparing for the upcoming bear-hunting season. Time also was spent monitoring ATVing activity and an arrest was made for an individual who was operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the past week working ATV trails and bear baits. Bear-related complaints are ramping up again, and bird feeders are not a great idea unless bear visits are desired. He also assisted with the security detail in Duluth during the week.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) patrolled the Carlton County Memorial Forest, Fond du Lac State Forest, and Sawyer and Kettle Lake WMAs. Humphrey checked ricers in the area who were reporting excellent conditions and some of the best ricing in many years. Humphrey continued checking bear baits in the area for compliance and also investigated a dog-chasing-deer complaint.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and COC Charles Scott worked a security detail in the Duluth Harbor. Multiple bear baits were checked in the area. They also worked ATV enforcement, with a few violations for equipment noted.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 training at Camp Ripley with Schody and the rest of the DNR’s K9 unit. A special security detail was worked in the Duluth area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the past week working the waters of Lake Superior. AIS, boating, and angling made up the contacts during the week, and a special detail was worked with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Enforcement action was taken for no watercraft registrations and angling license not in possession.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATVing activity. Bear baits were monitored.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for boating activity. Numerous questions were fielded about the upcoming waterfowl season, and McGowan continued field training with a new conservation officer. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) conducted boat and water safety checks and enforced fishing regulations around the Backus and the Brainerd lakes areas. Violations included angling without a license, possession of a controlled substance, no throwable, and no license in possession. ATV traffic continues to be high, and enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration, failure to transfer ownership, and no headlights activated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled ATV trails and public waters for activity. Guida fielded a complaint about dirt bikes being operated illegally within road rights of way. Extra patrol to increase visibility resulted in a contact leading to a citation and seizure of drug paraphernalia.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent time checking anglers. A few people were seen collecting wild rice. Harvesters have said it’s been a fair year for rice so far. The CO also received ATV-related complaints about riding recklessly, speeding, and without helmets.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) spent time enforcing laws for fishing, ATV use, wild rice harvest, and bear-baiting activity this past week. A taxidermy inspection was also conducted and is ongoing.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked bear baits as well as ATV and fishing activity. A felony drug case from last winter was followed up on, along with a public waters violation.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports farmers continued to report problems with bears damaging field corn. He also spent time checking on bear-baiting activity.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing, ATVs/OHMs, bear baiting, and wild-ricing activity this past week. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol with a DWI arrest.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent many hours checking bear baits in his area. While checking bear baits, he made contacts for OHV violations. Many people had questions about the rules of the forest for hunting, camping, and shooting. Karon also assisted with a detail in Duluth.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boating activity, and nuisance-animal complaints. Assistance provided to other law enforcement agencies as well.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports checking bear baits, anglers, and other people out recreating. He reports assisting another law enforcement agency with a barricaded suspect, issuing possession permits, and dealing with drug-related offenses and prohibited trailer lights.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week field training with COC Zach Larson. Enforcement action was taken for no boat registration, no PFDs, failing to register bear bait stations, littering, and ATVing violations. An aquatic plant violation was investigated in which cattails were pulled from the lake. The person was cited for removing the cattails without a permit.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers. He also worked ATVing activity and bear-baiting activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and angling with extra lines. An arrest was made for possession of a handgun and methamphetamine.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. A wetland complaint was investigated. ATV complaint areas were worked.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and boaters. Additional time spent working on Wetland Conservation Act violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling and boating enforcement. Maass handled several nuisance-animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of sunfish, angling without a license, and registration violations.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) patrolled area lakes for angling and boating activity. Fogarty issued citations for no PFDs as required in a watercraft, a child under 10 without a PFD in a watercraft, and operation of a PWC after hours. He also followed up on a wetland violation.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked a metro detail. He checked shore anglers, worked boat enforcement, and patrolled state parks and state trails. Lee also returned phone calls from Asian community members about small-game hunting regulations and the big-game shotgun- and rifle-hunting zone.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for park usage. He assisted other law enforcement agencies in the metro with calls for service. He also returned calls inquiring about hunting regulations for upcoming seasons.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused activity on wetland and angling enforcement. He also answered questions related to duck hunting and trapping and took enforcement action for wetland violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time patrolling for both river and lake anglers via boat and shore. Multiple calls related to nuisance wildlife also were handled. Thomas also assisted local agencies with the civil unrest in Minneapolis.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) assisted New Brighton Police with an animal complaint regarding a wild turkey in a house. Due to the window reflection, the turkey believed the window was just more trees and ended up crashing into the house. Upon the CO’s arrival, the turkey was gone.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) focused on boating, ATVing, AIS, and angling enforcement this past week. Numerous questions were answered regarding the upcoming dove and early goose openers.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week at K9 training and attended K9 trials in New Hope. Calls were fielded throughout the week involving burning permits and nuisance-beaver trapping.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working fishing, boating, ATVing, and state park enforcement. Illegal WMA use violations were worked and investigated. A boat fire at a public access in Lyon County resulted in total loss of the boat and damage to the public access dock.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) received several phone calls about hunting croplands that were damaged by hail. Several local cornfields were not harvestable and were chopped, tilled, and disked under. Wiltrout reminds hunters this type of field is considered baited and is not huntable. For further information on what is considered a baited area, please refer to the Minnesota DNR website (mndnr.gov).
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) dealt with numerous angling violations during the past week. Assistance was given to several local law enforcement agencies related to warrants and pursuits. Because of dry weather, a large number of questions have been fielded related to public water access.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent time checking anglers and boaters this past week. AIS activity was monitored. Several ATVer contacts were made. An individual was removed from a public access after he was found camping in the lot.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked boating and fishing activity. A lot of questions regarding upcoming hunting seasons were handled.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent most of the past week on a BWCAW detail north of Ely. COs encountered possession of northern pike within the protected slot limit and unlawful possession of glass and cans. After returning home to the La Crescent area, Ramaker investigated a person unlawfully harvesting ginseng before the season. The ginseng was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) and COC Corey Sura report high recreational activity during the past week in the area. A complaint was investigated regarding an individual tampering with a fee tube at Zumbro Bottoms.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) received training on the safe handling and removal of live rattlesnakes. Kyllo also worked on locating the owner of an abandoned vehicle in a WMA parking lot. Kyllo assisted the county with reports about juveniles causing damage at a local swimming hole.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) continues to work with COC Meng Moua. The officers checked ATV areas and fishing on the river. The officers also investigated a complaint about hunting small game out of season. Hemker was assigned to Minneapolis to assist with the civil unrest situation.