Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 18, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) and COC Vang checked goose hunters near Warroad and on Lake of the Woods. Area anglers also were checked and a calf depredation was investigated.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked early goose hunting and the youth waterfowl hunt. Calls were fielded throughout the station, and assistance was given to other local law enforcement agencies.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) continues to investigate some big-game hunting violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) handled calls about an injured pelican and injured bald eagle.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement activities on early season goose and bear hunting. Anglers were checked on special-regulation lakes, and AIS compliance was monitored. Time also was spent handling a call about an injured eagle. It was transported to Northwoods Wildlife Rescue for rehab of a broken wing, the result of a collision with a car.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) worked on public waters and wetland cases this past week. Time also was spent working bear-hunting activity and checking anglers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) finished Step 1 of field training with COC Victoria Griffith. The officers spent the past week working sportfishing and boating activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) completed the final week of the first step of field training with COC Vincent Brown. Brown and Vinton patrolled the Perham station and took enforcement action for several aquatic plant management violations relating to weed roller and hydro jet operation.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working ATVing and waterfowl-hunting activity. This weekend was an awesome success for multiple groups of youth duck hunters, and many limits were seen. However, the hunting was so good that a couple of adults felt the need to get in on the action. Each received tickets for taking waterfowl out of season.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked commercial enforcement on bear outfitters, checked anglers, and worked other ongoing cases and wildlife-related complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports a wolf-depredation complaint was investigated. Time was spent working the youth waterfowl season during the weekend. A group of juvenile goose hunters were stopped after they were seen brandishing what appeared to be a shotgun out of the passenger side window of their vehicle while they drove down a highway. The gun turned out to be a plastic toy shotgun. After a lengthy discussion on gun safety and possible outcomes of their careless and reckless behavior, they realized the seriousness of the situation and were released.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking youth waterfowl hunters, early goose hunters, and anglers in the Pelican Rapids station. Landmark also handled a trespassing complaint involving deer-stand placement and captured an eagle with a broken wing. The eagle was brought to the Raptor Center by a volunteer for rehabilitation.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working waterfowling, ATVing, and boating enforcement throughout the week. Leeb also assisted with an investigation of a waterfowl-related trespass complaint.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued field training COC Cassie Block this past week. They checked early goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters during the weekend. One young hunter found himself a limit of blue-winged teal.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a trespass complaint was received and investigated and turned out to be unfounded as the hunters were legally hunting from the water.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked goose hunting, ATV riders, and angling activity. Time also was spent following up on aquatic plant management violations and handling nuisance-animal complaints. Holt checked on a complaint concerning a possible violation of the Wetlands Conservation Act.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts this past week on early-season goose hunters and fall fishing activity. Goose-hunting success has been mixed, with lots of birds getting wise and heading to the city limits.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with an injury ATV crash involving juvenile operators.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked several anglers this past week. Time also was spent on two public-waters-alteration cases. A complaint about wanton waste was checked, and nine geese were found dumped in a ditch near Lake Plantagenet without any meat removed.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check hunting and fishing activity. She also investigated an illegal gill net and received a call regarding an unoccupied boat that came untied from a dock.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports complaints about personal watercraft operators chasing loons and careless operation of wakeboard boats received some enforcement time.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) reports many hunters were observed successfully harvesting bears. Zavodnik has noticed an increased amount of activity in the woods regarding prepping for the upcoming deer-hunting season and continues to work on a number illegal bear-hunting cases. A number of nuisance-bear complaints were handled, as was a possible wolf-depredation call.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated a lake hydraulic jet complaint, attended a special hunt orientation meeting, and worked the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. A large nighttime fire was located after the owner decided to burn down a garage. He had no permit and had not notified the people who should have been contacted. Enforcement action was taken.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the past week focusing on bear hunting inside the BWCAW. BWCAW activity continued to be unseasonably high, and most portages along the popular routes were choked with travelers.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers, boaters, and bear hunters. Bear-hunting success has been great. He followed up on nuisance-bear calls, litter complaints, and bear-hunting violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) had another week devoted largely to bears. She is working hunters, checking bait stations, and investigating a carcass dump in a ditch near a residence in Hovland. Manning has also handled numerous calls about bears behaving like bears in less-than-convenient locations for their human neighbors.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports enforcement action was taken for ATV violations, watercraft registration, and no state park vehicle permit. An individual drove past a park office, was issued a written warning by park staff, and still failed to make a payment.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports a bear-hunting license investigation was looked into with Hill’s Cook County CO partners. The number of nuisance-bear complaints jumped this past week as bears are packing on the calories before they take their seasonal nap.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Stephen Westby finished Phase 1 of field training. They worked area bear hunters – there were no violations – and there were no youth waterfowl hunters in the area.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored early goose activity, handled nuisance-bear complaints, and worked wild rice and birch pole harvesting.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking youth waterfowl hunters this past weekend. She also checked anglers and followed up on some bear-hunting activity.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor bear hunting, wild rice harvesting, and ATVing activity. Time also was spent talking with youth waterfowl hunters who were taking advantage of the early youth hunt.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) followed up on trespass and ATV complaints during the week. Time was spent working anglers and boaters on area lakes. He assisted with a work detail for ATV activity in Carlton County and attended Honor Guard training.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and COC Charles Scott checked multiple anglers along the North Shore, as well as on area lakes. They also spent time working ATV enforcement on state land, handling a littering complaint at a boat access, and dealing with a car-killed eagle called in by a motorist.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports some nuisance-bear complaints are being dealt with. An investigation into illegally possessed birch poles is under way. A buyer was not licensed to buy and did not have proper paperwork for the birch poles.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth and Castle Danger waters. Water temperatures are still varied and sporadic. Anglers mostly caught lake trout. Nuisance-wildlife complaints also were handled during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore, boat, and river anglers on Lake Superior. Emergency calls were responded to at a state park, and assistance was given to local agencies with vehicle crashes.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports a busy past week working bear hunters, early goose-hunting activity, and youth waterfowl hunting, as well as angling and ATVing activity in the area. Ladd also responded to a wolf-depredation call.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked goose hunters during the week. He saw good compliance during AIS checks after the busy weekend. Flerlage also addressed trespassing issues.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and migratory waterfowl enforcement this past week. A complaint about trespass was investigated, and deer-baiting complaints are now coming in. A complaint about a sick deer was forwarded to DNR Wildlife staff.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) observed low ATV traffic in the Foot Hills State Forest this past week. Sullivan investigated deer carcasses found on public land. Enforcement action was taken. Sullivan also assisted with taxidermy inspections.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. A few youth waterfowl hunters were out moving local ducks around. Verkuilen also checked ATV traffic and assisted with setting up the DNR’s confiscated property auction.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on bear bait violation investigations. She also patrolled local complaint areas for recreational vehicle violations.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) focused on the lack of bear bait registration requirements, as numerous “test baits” are showing up in violation of the rules. ATV enforcement action was taken for registration issues and operating against traffic at night. Starr assisted local law enforcement with a felony fleeing case and assisted a neighboring CO with an ATV DWI.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent most of the past week working on bear-hunting activity. State forests were busier than normal with bear hunters, and most of the violations dealt with included not registering baits, leaving litter at bait sites, and operating ATVs in restricted state forest areas.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on goose-hunting activity. He is seeing fall fishing activity increasing.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked youth waterfowling weekend and monitored early goose hunters. Anglers and boaters were checked throughout the week. A litter case was investigated that involved a person who dumped two full-size couches in a road ditch. An old cell phone was found in the cushions of the couch, which led to an interview and an admission of the dumping. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports issuing deer-possession tags, responding to a report about a dead eagle, and investigating several big-game-related complaints.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week checking hunters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and extra lines.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking goose and youth waterfowl hunters across the east-central part of the state. Benkofske also attended a local MDHA meeting. An individual was arrested for DWI on an ATV.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking early-season goose hunters and following up on bear-baiting violations.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for goose hunters and anglers. Goose hunters continue to have trouble following the license requirements. Enforcement action was taken for no federal duck stamp, no state waterfowl stamp, no small-game license, no HIP certification, and no special goose permit. Additional enforcement action was taken for possessing an unplugged shotgun and transporting a loaded firearm in a motorized boat.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. Animal-related calls were handled and a dumping complaint was investigated. Hunting-related calls were received for hunting too close to a residence and failure to retrieve game.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work boaters and anglers on area lakes. Maass also spent time checking early-season goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no federal duck stamp, no small-game license, and possessing toxic shot.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the metro area. He worked youth waterfowl weekend, as well as boating and fishing enforcement on Lake Minnetonka.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on waterfowl hunting and ATVing activity during the past week. Kpachavi checked goose hunters, who generally reported moderate success. He also assisted Carver County officials with a vehicle fire.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) continued to check early goose hunters and answer calls related to the youth waterfowl season. Fogarty also took a complaint about shot falling on a residence bordering a WMA. He would like to remind all hunters that they are responsible for every shot they fire and to know their target and what is beyond it. One poor decision can ruin not only a day’s hunt, but also someone’s life.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked boating, angling, and hunting activities in the metro area. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for vehicle permits and trail usage. Violations encountered were angling with extra lines, expired watercraft registration, illegal campfires in a state park, consumption of liquor while in a state park, and a deer-feeding ban violation.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking early-season goose hunters and youth duck hunters at local WMAs, WPAs, and fields. Time also was spent handling numerous calls related to the new deer-feeding ban.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the past week monitoring hunters in the area. He also checked many youth out for youth waterfowl weekend.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) fielded a handful of complaints this past week. One was regarding trapping in a city with a raccoon in a trap. The raccoon was released without issue. Calls about upcoming hunting seasons also were fielded.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled Anoka County for early goose hunters and the youth duck hunt. Some hunters were practicing their target-shooting skills in Carlos Avery WMA. Not only is it unsafe to target shoot on a WMA, but it is also illegal. Both males admitted to knowing they shouldn’t be target shooting in a WMA. Enforcement action was taken.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the past week checking anglers and goose and dove hunters. Wet conditions for the youth waterfowl hunt provided excellent opportunities to those who braved the conditions.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week focusing on migratory waterfowl, small-game, and angling enforcement. The fall migration has been slow for the area, but several youth hunters who took to the field for the youth waterfowl weekend reported decent success.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continued to work goose-hunting and fall fishing activity. A garbage-dumping violation at a public water access is being investigated, and the people responsible are being tracked down.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls requesting waterfowl-hunting law clarifications and attended training. He worked waterfowl hunting, angling, boating, invasive species, and ATVing enforcement activities. Nelson visited with some duck-hunting cabin owners who found a live mink in the tank of their outhouse. They were able to place a board into the tank to make a ramp for the mink. It escaped with no further drama. The owners were happy to have looked before taking a seat!
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on waterfowl-hunting and fishing activity. VanThuyne also checked watercraft for AIS compliance.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the past week checking angling and goose-hunting activity. Howe also worked ATVing activity, state parks, and horse trail pass compliance.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked goose hunters, anglers, boaters, AIS activity, and ATV operators during the past week. Davis also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) is starting to field calls from deer hunters about the new CWD Management Zone 605. For a detailed map, refer to the DNR website and search “deer permit area map.”
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) continues to work with COC Meng Moua. They spent time on ATVs checking trails and state forest complaint areas. They took down an abandoned camp in a state forest.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports varied success but consistent smiles during the youth waterfowl hunt this past weekend. From the dad and 10-year-old daughter whose game bag was empty but were happy after a morning of bonding on the water to the dad who was nearly busting the buttons off his waders with pride for his 12-year-old son, who had shot his first-ever limit of ducks that morning, Kyllo enjoyed being able to be a little part of these individuals’ hunts.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports archery hunters are getting ready for the Sept. 19 opener.