Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 16, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck hunters on the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area and Thief Lake. Enforcement contacts included transporting a loaded firearm, possessing lead shot, and failure to make an effort to retrieve a wounded goose.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, small-game, waterfowl, and big-game enforcement. Several contacts were made during a busy weekend with lots of grouse hunters in the forest.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) reports enforcement action during the past week was taken for leaving equipment unattended overnight in state wildlife management area, farming portions of a WMA, and ATV-registration violations.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) focused on archery deer and waterfowl hunting this past week. CO Elwell also handled a litter complaint and answered calls about the upcoming youth firearms deer season.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports continuing work on a big game-related case. Time also was spent checking grouse, pheasant, duck, and archery deer hunters throughout the past week.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking area WMAs and waterfowl production areas for small-game, archery deer, and waterfowl hunters. A commercial game farm TIP was looked into, and contact was made with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent with regard to the case.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked small-game enforcement and ATV enforcement. Registration and trail pass violations were handled, and a warrant arrest was made.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. AIS compliance checks were performed with many people removing seasonal recreational equipment. Waterfowl- and small-game hunting activity was worked. Warren worked the pheasant-hunting opener.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) continues to work with COC Meng Moua on the last week of Step 2 of field training. Pheasant opener was busy, with mixed results among hunters. The officers also responded to TIP calls of hunting after hours and trespass.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers, pheasant hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators, issuing roadkill permits, and following up on early shooting complaints.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and ATV riders, as well as small-game and waterfowl hunters. One group had a fair number of dark geese as well as a blue goose. CO Osborne assisted COs Leeb and Wood with an ATV safety class in Grant County.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) assisted Douglas County officers with the search for an individual who fled on foot after a pursuit. The CO also assisted the Wheaton Police Department with a domestic assault case.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored angling activity and archery deer and small-game hunting. A report about gunshots late at night and shining activity was investigated. Holt worked a busy opening weekend of the pheasant season in the Osakis area.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored the opening weekend of pheasant hunting around the area, as well as the waterfowl hunting reopener. Most hunters were in compliance and had some success with more birds around the area. Anglers are still getting out targeting walleyes and muskies. Two were cited after hiring a guide but forgetting to purchase angling licenses themselves and another angler was cited for using extra lines.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to check small-game hunters and ATV riders. Kunst also assisted with a detail in the metro. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked small-game hunting activity. She received multiple calls regarding possible hunting violations and assisted the county with a fraudulent DNR license investigation.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports outdoor activity remains high. Several hunters were checked. Four big-game investigations are being worked. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports more leaves falling, which contributes to more grouse in hunters’ bags. Outdoor activities continue as the weather has been cooperative for grouse hunting, ATV riding, fishing, and spending time with family and friends. Compliance overall was good, and enforcement action was taken for unlawful deposit of garbage on public lands.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear-related complaints continue to come in. Most of these complaints can be traced to the bear finding some food source. Follow-up on a waters complaint was completed.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time working a TIP complaint regarding a possible angling violation. Zavodnik, along with CO Bermel and his trainee, found that an Indiana party on Lake Vermilion was in possession of 40 walleyes over the limit and were also over the limit on northern pike. He, along with other COs, also worked a forestry case resulting in the seizure of several thousand spruce tops. Zavodnik also assisted local law enforcement in the apprehension of an individual wanted for first-degree assault. The person was arrested without incident.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports that a spruce top timber trespass was investigated. Bozovsky also assisted multiple agencies in a vehicle pursuit that ended near Kinney. The pursuit ended after the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office conducted pit maneuvers to stop the suspect. The driver and passenger were taken into custody.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports that a landowner called to report a grouse hunter shooting at a bird from the road near his house. A quick check of where the shotgun hulls were located revealed the bird was shot at well within 500 feet of the occupied residence. Enforcement action was taken for the trespass violation.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports several searches and rescues occurred during the week involving visitors who became lost off of trail systems. Please remember now that the woods are more open with no leaves or undergrowth, it is easy to step off a trail and become lost.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and grouse hunters this past week. He also took multiple nuisance-animal complaints and questions about the trespass law.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the past week checking small-game hunters, ATV riders, and anglers. Nuisance-bear calls are still coming in daily. Don’t be the neighbor who causes a problem bear – bring garbage and your bird feeders inside.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to wrap up issues from the bear season, including checking bait stations. Grouse hunters have continued to flock to the area. She also checked anglers and ATV operators and stopped a rather inattentive driver for speeding, littering, and failing to notice the flashing lights behind him for a couple of miles.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and COC Ryan Brown assisted CO Zavodnik on a walleye-overlimit TIP on Lake Vermilion that resulted in a gross overlimit for four Indiana residents. A wide array of violations were addressed, including fishing with extra lines, fishing without a license, no federal duck stamp, unregistered an off-highway motorcycle, illegal juvenile ATV operation, and transporting or possessing spruce tops without a permit.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) hit local trails and roads this past week on his ATV and monitored recreational vehicle and grouse-hunting traffic. A reminder to keep at least one wing on your birds when transporting them. Loaded firearms were too common during the week, as Hill found multiple people in violation. One hunter didn’t even know the shotgun he had cased in the rear of the vehicle was loaded. Hill had multiple people approach him and call him during the week, asking about the legalities surrounding discharging a firearm on a road while hunting small game. All hunters should refer to Page 9 of the latest hunting and trapping regulations booklet and familiarize themselves with the 500-foot rule.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, small-game, and waterfowl hunters and boaters. He also patrolled campgrounds and for ATV and AIS activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked hunters this past week and worked on equipment maintenance. She received a birch pole theft complaint. She also is investigating a call about an archery-hit deer that was left to die.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) and COC Charles Scott checked local small-game and waterfowl hunters. They assisted with the rescue of a mountain bike rider who was injured and needed to be located and transported out of the woods. They also assisted with a duck hunter whose boat capsized. The hunter was able to remain afloat until other hunters were able to reach him because he was wearing his life jacket. Sutherland and Scott located the hunter’s partially submerged boat and towed it to shore.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) assisted Itasca County deputies with a duck hunter whose boat capsized. The hunter was located and medical attention was given by first responders.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked an ongoing spruce top case this past week that resulted in enforcement action for no buyer’s permit and failure to maintain required records.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) and COC Curtis Simonson started the week by working waterfowl enforcement on a WMA during the closed season.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) investigated a waterfowl-hunting TIP call, assisted in a deer-shining work detail, and worked commercial forest product enforcement, wolf depredation and trespass complaints.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on a deer-baiting complaint and attended a meeting in Grand Rapids on trapping enforcement. Small-game hunters were checked in the area, and enforcement action was taken for operating a motor vehicle on a closed trail and license violations. First aid assistance was provided for a person on an off-highway motorcycle who crashed on a trail in the Nemadji State Forest. Because of several suspected injuries, the victim of the crash was flown to a hospital in a helicopter.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked river anglers and trollers as the lake trout season drew to a close. Boaters are still getting out on Lake Superior when the wind allows, with good catches of rainbow trout and salmon. ATV and OHM areas were worked, with calls handled regarding wolves, trespass, charter licenses, and commercial fishing.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) and COC Bechel had contact with an ATV operator who traveled on a snowmobile trail in the state forest. Upon seeing the officers, the operator threw his open beer can, hoping to avoid a citation. Enforcement action was taken, but the operator avoided a littering citation as officers allowed him to pick up the can.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received complaints about hunting deer over bait and trespassing. A large fire was investigated, and it was determined that the permittee had not activated his permit. The large fire would have required a variance. DNR Forestry and the Brainerd Fire Department helped extinguished the blaze.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) worked a detail in the metro during the past week. He also issued a permit for a road-killed deer and took a complaint about hunters baiting deer and using attractants for deer.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) reports shoreline alteration complaints were investigated and documented.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled trespass calls and ATV complaints. She also checked small-game hunters and investigated a littering complaint. Speldrich responded to assist with a detail in the metro and responded to assist with traffic control in an incident on Interstate 35.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took a variety of calls about upcoming seasons and confusion with the youth hunt. A TIP call of a possibly poached deer was investigated. He also responded to a call about lost hunters in a WMA.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) reports missing hunters were located after they got lost in the Wealthwood State Forest. Hunters, and those recreating in the woods/waters, are reminded to inform someone who isn’t recreating with them about their plans.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) saw numerous hunters and ambitious dogs out during the pheasant opener. He saw mixed success.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) and COC Tou Vang report checking anglers, duck hunters, and pheasant hunters. They investigated a deer carcass being dumped at a boat launch and an aquatic plant management violation. Baited deer stands were worked.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, anglers, and ATV riders, and followed up on wetland violations. Several calls about trespassing were investigated.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking small-game and archery deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting waterfowl in a closed area.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for waterfowl and archery deer hunters. Additional time was spent checking small-game and pheasant hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a small-game license, operating an ATV on a U.S. highway, and failing to register a watercraft.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and small-game hunters in the metro area. He assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a deer-removal program and patrolled state parks and state trails.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) responded to a TIP complaint about a swan being shot. The suspect was found and charged.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked hunting activity. Several TIP calls were handled during the week. Enforcement action was taken for shooting swans and hunting during the closed waterfowl season.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working the second waterfowl opener for the Central Zone. Violations included no stamps, possessing an illegal-length walleye, unsigned federal duck stamp, and parking violations.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) saw a variety of ducks during the weekend. Through checking hunters, it appears that some ducks have moved on their way and new ones are arriving. Enforcement action was taken for no plug in a shotgun, no federal duck stamp, and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week checking hunters and conducting investigations. Pheasant season opened with warm weather and corn-harvest activity at full throttle. Almost all hunters seen were on WMAs. Warm, dry, and dirty conditions hampered pheasant harvest.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week focusing on archery deer, angling, and small-game enforcement. Pheasant opener was busy with many people taking advantage of the warm weather.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the pheasant opener was busy with grasslands full of hunters. Hunter numbers in the area were up from the past few years. Many archery deer hunters continue to wait for cooler weather. All hunters are reminded that firearms deer season blaze clothing requirements are in place during the four-day youth deer season.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) finished Step 2 of field training with COC Stephen Westby. They worked the area for waterfowl hunters, anglers, and pheasant hunters. The officers made contact with several ATV riders for violations. They also spoke at an ATV safety class in Willmar.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) reports good hunter numbers during opening weekend of the pheasant season with average success. Time was also spent on AIS, sportfishing, and assisting with public waters violations. Investigations into WMA and WPA violations continue.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls requesting clarifications to hunting and trespassing laws. He worked mainly pheasant hunting, fishing, boating, ATVing, and invasive species activities. There were a large number of pheasant hunters taking part in the opener. Anglers had some success fishing perch, and a few walleyes were caught. One anglers claimed there were “bluegills big enough to dance with” in a local lake. No such fish have been observed.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) worked an extremely busy pheasant opener. A large number of hunters were contacted during the weekend, but overall hunter success was very poor.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked angling, ATVing, small-game, and big-game enforcement. Pheasant opener was fruitful for most.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game and big-game hunters, anglers, boaters, AIS activity, and ATV operators during the past week. He also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) focused most of his activity around small-game enforcement and the 2020 pheasant opener. Hunter numbers in the area were very high.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, and pheasant hunters this past week. Crops continue to come out of the fields at a good rate, helping the pheasant hunters.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) worked a detail in the metro area. She also worked in the Crosby area with CO Flerlage, checking waterfowl and small-game hunters. Assistance was given in locating two small-game hunters who got lost and their cell phones died.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) worked pheasant opener. Most hunters reported seeing some birds. One hunter was cited for hunting before legal shooting hours (9 a.m.). Some very black smoke in the sky led to Schneider finding a landowner who was burning an old shed. The subject’s DNR burning permit only allowed for burning natural vegetative materials.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated a hunter-harassment complaint and worked a detail in the metro area.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) investigated trespass-related calls.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports assistance was given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recovering missing property. Pheasant hunters were checked in neighboring stations.