Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 11, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) continued field training with COC Vang and reports a busy weekend checking bear hunters, goose hunters, anglers, and elk hunters. Bear-hunting success seemed good and a large elk was checked in Kittson County. Multiple commercial inspections were done on local bear guides. Violations for the week included failure to register bear bait, no sign on bear bait, angling with extra and unattended lines, angling with sport fish for bait, hunting geese with an unplugged shotgun, no small-game license and stamps, allowing illegal operation of an off-highway motorcycle by a juvenile, unregistered OHM, no helmet on juvenile passengers on an ATV, failure to register a bear, transporting a loaded firearm, and improper records kept by a commercial bear guide.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods, as well as the bear opener and early goose opener. Moderate success was seen for bear hunters but goose hunters reported strong numbers.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the opening days of the bear and early goose seasons. Bear-baiting success seemed above average prior to the opener, and Woinarowicz heard of many bears taken during the first days of the season. Goose numbers were slightly down in the area.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent patrolling area ATV trails, monitoring wild rice harvest activity, and assisting the sheriff’s office with a call about a suicidal male with a firearm. A report about a landowner shooting at wildlife from his dock was investigated. The investigation revealed one of the tenants saying that the resident had been shooting ducks because they had become a nuisance, defecating on the landowner’s dock. The suspect was identified and the carcasses of two hooded mergansers were recovered where they had been discarded.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked goose and bear hunters. Plus, various nuisance-animal calls and hunting season questions were received.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports another week of field training with COC Vincent Brown. They patrolled the area conducting ATV, aquatic plant management, sportfishing, and goose-hunting enforcement. Enforcement action was taken on several lakeshore property owners for violations relating to weed rollers and hydro jets.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working bear-hunting activity and patrolling for ATVing activity. A lot of ATVers were seen out and about during the holiday weekend. Most were law-abiding, but on an ATV detail with COs Peterson and Landmark, two ATV operators were arrested for drunk driving.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. AIS inspections were performed for compliance. A call about a bear cub in a field was received, and the caller was advised to leave the cub alone, because the mother usually returns.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were focused on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators, and monitoring for AIS compliance. He also spent time checking goose hunters during a busy Labor Day weekend, with most hunters having some success. Baumbarger received a complaint about indecent exposure at Glacial Lakes State Park.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent lots of time on the water this past week around the Alexandria area. Anglers and boaters were monitored. Late personal watercraft operation is a continuing problem, and several citations were issued to both operators and parents of juvenile operators. A few anglers were cited for angling without licenses and using extra lines.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, anglers, and Canada goose and mourning dove hunters. Several bags of garbage were found at a public access in Grant County, and after a short investigation, the perpetrator was found and a citation was issued.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking bear hunters, ATV riders, and anglers. With the holiday weekend and early goose opener, things are busy on the lakes, fields, and trails. Kunst took enforcement action for unregistered bear baits, litter, a small amount of marijuana, operating an ATV on a highway, using a PWC to harass wildlife, juveniles on ATVs failing to wear helmets, and unattended fishing poles. Kunst is continuing to find multiple anglers without angling licenses.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Curtis Simonson started the past week checking anglers and boating activity on Rainy Lake. Continued enforcement on bear baits and bear hunters is being done in the area.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear-hunting activity is in full swing. Early season goose hunters also were contacted, with success noted. Aquatic invasive species, boating, and angling activity were also monitored.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time checking early goose and bear hunters during the past week. Hunters reported a slower-than-normal opening goose weekend, and many observed fewer local birds compared with previous years. Zavodnik dealt with a handful of ATVing violations and also completed an aquatic plant management case. While conducting a regulatory check with a bear hunter, Zavodnik observed multiple unregistered and unposted bear bait sites the hunter placed. Also, the hunter did not have his bear-hunting license with him and his hunting partner was operating an ATV with expired registration. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and boaters, as well as the bear and early goose hunters. Bozovsky also worked on state park enforcement and issued public waters and Wetland Conservation Act resource protection notifications for fill that was placed in wetlands and culverts that were installed in a river without a permit. A bear hunter with an unregistered ATV was stopped. As Bozovsky approached, the hunter had to be told repeatedly to take his hand away from his side, as he kept putting it back to his right belt line. Bozovsky’s suspicion was correct: The man was carrying a loaded handgun. Bozovsky explained that reaching for his gun was not a good idea. The nearby truck, driven by a friend, had transported a loaded bear-hunting rifle for the hunter in the truck. Both were cited.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked bear hunters and bear-baiting activity. He also checked anglers and saw some nice trout taken.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) investigated a wetland complaint and checked bear-hunting activity. He also followed up on a trespass complaint and worked AIS.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports campers at one forest campground reported cleaning up after the previous guests, and one bear hunter decided to dump the animal’s carcass along a roadside. Anglers are reminded to check the regulation book before they wet a line, and to be sure they can correctly identify fish.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports an extremely high success rate among hunters as bears are hitting baits very hard. Hill handled a few bait-registration violations as a few hunters did not provide the required information in their mail-in bait registrations. Hill also assisted the local sheriff’s office by apprehending a suspect in an assault that occurred in Lutsen.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a busy holiday weekend along the North Shore. Wild rice harvesting was in full swing on area lakes, with a good crop this year.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, bear hunters, and early goose hunters. He also monitored OHVing activity.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating enforcement this past week and weekend. She checked numerous bear hunters. Some were having success, which should help quell nuisance-bear complaints in some areas.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the early goose opener. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without state and federal waterfowl stamps, not having a license in possession, and having lead shot in possession.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused efforts on big-game, migratory waterfowl, ATVing, and angling enforcement activities. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked bear-hunting activity this past week, and also saw heavy ATVing traffic. A hunter was found hunting over unregistered baits and using an ATV in a “limited” state forest.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted patrols in the Fond du Lac State Forest, Carlton County Memorial Forest, Sawyer and Kettle Lake WMAs, and the Soo Line Trail. He also checked ricing activity and early goose season hunters. Complaints about hunter harassment and illegal burning also were investigated.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) handled more bear-related complaints during the past week. Bear hunters in the area are having good success this year. Extra patrols were conducted in area state parks, with enforcement action taken for traffic violation-related issues. Assistance was given at two separate ATV crashes during the weekend. One of them involved a fatality.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked boating and angling enforcement on Lake Superior during the holiday weekend. The water temperatures have been all over the place, resulting in tough fishing conditions the past week. Olson investigated an abandoned watercraft at the McQuade Safe Harbor, which resulted in enforcement action. He also assisted a hiker on the Superior Hiking Trail who twisted an ankle. She was transported to Two Harbors.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes and rivers, checking anglers, recreational boaters, and early goose hunters. Guida addressed boaters failing to display navigational lights as late as one hour after sunset. Guida also addressed an off-highway motorcycle-related complaint in which numerous operators were contacted for illegally operating within the public road right of way. Car-killed deer and bear permits were issued this past week.
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. McGowan also investigated a possible public waters violation.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked ATV use on area trails and roads. It was encouraging to see many people wearing helmets while riding, but some needed to be reminded that it’s required for everyone under 18.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) saw a high volume of ATV traffic in the Foothills State Forest this past weekend. ATV regulations were enforced. Sullivan conducted watercraft and angling checks on the Gull Lake Chain and area lakes.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked hunters during the early goose-, bear-, and dove-season openers. The holiday weekend brought out ATV and OHM activity, including underage people riding unregistered machines. Boats were getting moved around, and some were bringing aquatic vegetation with them.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked bear hunters. Enforcement action was taken for failing to sign and register bait stations. Speldrich encountered many ATV operators over the Labor Day weekend. Violations included no registration displayed, OHMs on roadways, and youth under 18 without helmets.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports a domestic dispute in a state park was handled, and a bobcat road-kill permit was issued. Starr assisted an elderly couple that needed help with a harvested bear. Starr reminds bear hunters to take good shots to avoid losing wounded bears.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports ATVing activity was the high and brought with it quite a few accidents. Along with responding to accidents, time was spent searching for an ATV rider who got stuck in a swamp, got lost after trying to walk out of the woods after dark, and spent the night in the woods. State forest areas were full of bear hunters, and lakes had heavy boating and fishing pressure.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) continued to field train with COC Zachary Larson. Time was spent on angling and watercraft enforcement, along with checking early goose hunters.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports monitoring anglers and boaters on local lakes and rivers. He reports seeing bear, dove, and early goose-hunting activity. Calls from the public were regarding injured animals/birds and trespass-related issues.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked the early goose-hunting opener and saw a good number of hunters having success, despite the majority of crops still standing. Time also was spent checking bear hunters, boaters and anglers, and checking for AIS compliance.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for goose hunters, anglers, and boaters. Additional time was spent conducting invasive species enforcement and following up on a dogs-chasing-deer complaint. One individual was cited for dumping seven large bags of trash in the Sand Dunes State Forest. When interviewed, the individual stated he left the bags in a visible area so somebody else could find them and pick them up.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused activity on angling and watercraft enforcement. He patrolled area lakes and waterways and assisted Carver County with a stranded boater and a weapons call. Enforcement action was taken for boating operation and registration violations and angling violations.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked goose hunters during the opening weekend of the early goose season. The CO also worked boat and water safety during the busy holiday weekend. Education and enforcement action was taken for no federal Duck Stamp, no small-game license, no navigation lights after sunset, and operating a PWC after hours.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking early season goose hunters and dove hunters throughout Dakota County. Time also was spent investigating a bear-hunting TIP and investigating an abandoned-property complaint.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers in the area and spent a good chunk of time on the St. Croix River during the busy weekend. Several people were out on PWCs and had to be reminded of the laws regarding how close they could be to another watercraft; one person was cited. Tetrault also responded to a call regarding an illegal trapping set in Oakdale.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week checking anglers and enforcing boat safety laws. Dove season opened with good numbers of hunters in the field with varied success.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) took complaints about illegal ATV operation inside state parks.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning hunting regulations and injured animals. He spent most of the week working dove and early goose hunters, anglers, and boating and invasive species activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports dove and goose hunters found success locally, with dove hunters doing well in the area of the Talcot WMA. A deer information meeting was attended, and several calls were fielded related to nuisance wildlife.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked early goose season and dove hunters in the fields. One hunter was excited and confused because he shot a banded white rock dove. ATVs and operators were inspected. Site inspections were performed for possible violation of lake and wetland excavations. Anglers and boaters were checked.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on ATVing and goose-hunting activity. VanThuyne also checked anglers and followed up on a trespass complaint.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports a busy week checking early goose hunters and dove hunters. Anglers around the area were plentiful.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the past week patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Additional time was spent checking early goose hunters and responding to illegal-burning complaints.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) patrolled for illegal ATVing activity on state land. Early goose hunters were checked and one was found to be without a federal Duck Stamp. A report was received about an angler unlawfully transporting live catfish during a fishing tournament. The report was investigated and enforcement action was taken. Anglers are reminded that fish cannot be transported over land in enough water to keep them alive. Also, all bilge and livewell plugs must be removed from watercraft upon leaving the water.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports an intoxicated boater who was more than twice the legal limit was arrested. People using paddle boards are reminded they must be in possession of life jackets while on the water. A theft from a vehicle occurred during the middle of the day at the Hay Creek Recreational Area. Schneider assisted deputies with locating the thieves nearby and the property was recovered.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) received a complaint about two mature bucks that were locked together in a beanfield. Fitzgerald met CO Annette Kyllo at the scene and saw that the bucks were still actively fighting. After a short period, the bucks crashed through the woods and into a creek. The larger buck pinned the smaller buck under the water until it drowned. The larger buck then started to get pulled under by the weight of the dead buck. Fitzgerald waded into the creek and grabbed the buck’s antlers to keep its head above water. Kyllo used a saw to cut two tines off the still-living buck and the two deer were separated. The surviving buck climbed out of the creek after a few minutes of catching its breath and departed the area.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) worked the early goose opener and the dove opener. One hunter was found wading armpit-deep to retrieve a goose that was shot.