Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 23, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck-hunting activity on Thief Lake, Nereson Wildlife Management Area, Lake of the Woods and Roseau River WMA. A stranded boat of duck hunters was towed in from Lake of the Woods near Warroad.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) spent time at the Northwest Angle working migratory waterfowl and angling activity.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) made contacts with several successful youth deer hunters over the MEA weekend. He found violations related to waterfowl hunting, ATV operation and illegal fires.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked this past week field training COC Brown. Time was spent monitoring waterfowl and small-game hunters and patrolling the early youth firearms season.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) reports enforcement action taken for prohibited hunting on the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and possession of toxic shot while waterfowl hunting.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) handled reports of nuisance beaver, investigating TIPs, patrolling area ATV trails and patrolling shining complaint areas. Enforcement action taken for shooting a hawk.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) worked an illegal bough-cutting complaint that resulted in a search warrant for the vehicle in question. Meth and other contraband were seized; felony charges pending.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports few duck hunters were out. It appears some more divers have moved into the area with the recent cold front.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked youth firearms deer season hunters and a few waterfowlers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Time was spent checking waterfowl and grouse hunters.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports TIP calls of possible deer taken from the road right-of-way and duck hunters shooting in open water were investigated. No violations were observed and several hunters were contacted because of the TIPs. Calls of a very tame deer causing issues were also taken and advice was given to the caller.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) received calls of trespass and road-hunting complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, big-game, small-game, and waterfowl enforcement.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) conducted patrol for ATV and off-road vehicle activity.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) investigated violations within Maplewood State Park, including corralling two random dogs that had been running for a while in the park with no known owner.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a domestic situation twice at the same residence.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) worked a night shining detail with other area COs and issued minnow permits.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked the youth and early antlerless deer seasons in the Osakis area.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) took several calls from people with questions regarding the early antlerless season in Permit Area 213.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) started the Step 3 of field training with COC Charles Scott over the weekend.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy weekend of early antlerless and youth firearm hunters. Compliance was good overall with a few minor warnings issued. Muskie activity on the water was also monitored.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) worked hunting activity involving waterfowl, pheasants, and deer. A hunting trespass complaint was received and is being investigated.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) checked a few grouse hunters, but not many birds were seen.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) assisted with a semi vs. truck vehicle crash and a vehicle off the road.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) went to a call about a deer complaint. Mathy began field training a conservation officer candidate.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the youth deer season in the area was a success as many youth were able to harvest a deer.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) fielded miscellaneous wildlife-related calls including one involving a bear hit by a vehicle. He contacted a landowner in regards to hunter trespass on private property where the suspects were identified on game cameras. People who are trying any new activities and don’t know regulations are encouraged to pick up the appropriate regulations book or download it online. An increase of very basic violations have been encountered and although it is great to see new people participating, we want everyone safe as well.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports accumulating snow has arrived and most outdoor activities were curtailed due to weather. Ponds and small creeks have started to freeze.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) assisted local law enforcement with an individual wanted on a felony warrant for fleeing law enforcement. When the individual was confronted, he thought it was a good idea to flee from law enforcement again. The individual was apprehended and an additional charge of fleeing on foot was added to his criminal charges.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small-game, waterfowl and deer hunters during the past week. Two timber-theft cases were investigated with enforcement action completed or to be completed on both.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) assisted other COs in a spruce-top harvesting case and took several trespass calls.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) fielded calls regarding trespass, posting requirements, and ATVs causing damage to property.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports hunting success had been fair to good before the snow, but the reduced visibility made for tough conditions.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) responded to several bear-related complaints.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports an individual was apprehended hunting over bait with a crossbow.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) is still running into a lot of loaded guns being transported.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) contacted a few late-season boaters on an area lake. They were cited for not having any life jackets on board. During the contact, which occurred in the snow and wind, they complained that they were extremely cold and wanted to get back to their dock. Hill explained the importance of having a life jacket during extremely cold weather. Duck hunters were checked and a few buffleheads were seen in the bag. The hunters were cited after Hill located multiple boxes of lead (including buck shot) in their gear.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) investigated a report of hunter harassment, and litter complaints continue to be reported.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled campgrounds and checked ATV riders and for AIS. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) took enforcement action for license issues and arrest was made for outstanding warrants.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) took a couple reports of illegal bough cutting in separate locations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) and COC Charles Scott assisted local agencies with calls ranging from stuck vehicles to shoplifting.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) says waterfowl and small-game hunters are reporting slow to moderate success rates, likely due to colder weather and recent snowfalls.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) reports enforcement action taken for insufficient blaze orange, no license in possession, no HIP certification and possession of toxic shot while hunting migratory waterfowl.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) investigated a TIP complaint that a youth hunter took a doe in a bucks-only zone, and the officers determined the deer in question was a legal buck, with a validated tag and tag attached.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) investigated a complaint of someone trapping near a creek in a WMA and found to be perfectly legal.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) responded to reports of illegal youth deer hunting in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas resulting in enforcement actions.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) took enforcement action for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked several complaints of trespass and fielded several questions for the upcoming deer season.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV activity in the Foothills State Forest and assisted with an accident with injuries.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) began a field training assignment with COC Stephen Westby this past week. Reports of hunters shooting antlered deer during the antlerless-only season were investigated.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for waterfowl and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for a walleye overlimit and numerous other angling and waterfowl violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) made cases for taking a buck during the antlerless hunt, failure to validate, failure to register, operating on a closed trail, littering and expired ATV registration. Several other baiting cases remain under investigation.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) checked several late-season trout anglers on area trout lakes.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent time checking duck hunters. The colder weather has brought a few new birds to the area.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, small-game, waterfowl and deer-hunting activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked hunting activity including waterfowl hunters, the youth deer season, and the CWD management zone.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received a complaint of a floating bog believed to be cut by a lakeshore owner. The complaint was unfounded.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on deer-shining complaints and a possible deer poaching case. A juvenile who shot two does during youth season was coached on proper hunting practices to avoid overlimits.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a lot of time checking state forest areas, where too many hunting groups had been leaving their garbage and camping gear behind with hopes of saving a good spot.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked small-game hunting, big-game hunting, the early youth deer season, and ATV activity this past week. A big-game hunting incident was investigated and subsequent enforcement action was taken for youth hunting violations.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week checking waterfowl hunters and other small-game hunters.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) worked the early antlerless and youth deer seasons. Time was also spent checking anglers on area lakes.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activities this past week. He found many happy hunters.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working the Camp Ripley archery hunt.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) assisted Benton County with a call of an intoxicated driver in a field near a WMA. The driver was placed under arrest for DWI and another male was placed under arrest for hunting while intoxicated.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) and COC Curtis Simonson found an abundance of hunters taking advantage of the early antlerless deer season. Deer hunters were reporting the deer movement being slow.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking small-game and waterfowl hunters. Krauel also spent time working ATV enforcement and assisting in the search for two different missing hunters.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, anglers, ATVers, and several boaters taking out their boats for the season.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working big-game, small-game, and waterfowl hunters.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) did follow up on a big-game investigation and animal-related calls.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) observed an individual on a personal watercraft speeding through a raft of coots on an area lake. The group of coots broke apart as they frantically attempted to avoid being run over by the PWC. When they congregated back together, the PWC sped through the group a second time. The driver of the PWC was cited for using a motor vehicle to chase/harass wildlife.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) gave assistance to Mille Lacs Sheriff’s Office in locating a missing archery deer hunter in a remote area of the county south of Isle. The hunter was found alive and well in the early hours of the following morning by the search party. An investigation was also conducted where it was found that a non-hunting grandfather sat in a blind over bait with his 6-year-old grandson. The child was using a toy bow with a broadhead-tipped arrow and wounded a deer he shot at. Enforcement action was taken and the extent of the deer’s injuries are unknown.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked duck and pheasant hunters in the metro area. He patrolled state parks and state trails, and took calls from the Asian community on hunting regulations.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) responded to a large buck killed under suspicious circumstances.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work waterfowl hunters, anglers, and boating activity. Time was also spent investigating a trespassing complaint.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) took enforcement action for no federal duck stamp, unsigned federal duck stamp and no PFD.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking shore anglers. Lerchen also fielded big-game-hunting questions.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) did field training with COC Cassie Block. Time was spent checking archery hunters in the county and investigating wetland violations.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports enforcement action for the past week included trespass, no blaze orange, and waterfowl violations.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time patrolling for waterfowl and deer hunters. River-angler patrol was also conducted.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) started field training with COC Tou Vang. They reported investigating two deer carcasses that were dumped in a WMA, and a deer-baiting case.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated several TIP complaints and fielded questions about trespassing.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) addressed some duck-hunting violations of shooting after legal shooting hours and use of motorized decoys within a WMA.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) fielded numerous calls regarding youth deer hunting and waterfowl regulations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports MEA weekend was busy with pheasant, waterfowl, and youth deer-hunting activity.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time speaking with youth who were out enjoying the youth firearms deer season.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports corn harvest is on the downward slide.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) and COC Meng Moua spent time checking pheasant hunters, archery deer hunters, youth deer hunters, and waterfowl hunters.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) issued a beaver permit and followed up on a wetland violation. Vernier also followed up on a public land complaint and assisted Kandiyohi County with a driving complaint.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking a few youth deer hunters.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) fielded phone calls on the youth deer season and trespassing complaints. Investigations into big-game violations continue.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) observed a nice mixed bag of puddle and diving ducks in the area.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) started Step 3 of field training with COC Zachary Larson. The second opener of the southern waterfowl zone had many hunters with success.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the past week checking primarily pheasant, deer, and waterfowl hunters.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports the reopening of the waterfowl season proved to be a bit slow.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) checked deer hunters and followed up on several complaints. Pheasant hunters are having a tough time bagging any roosters.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports youth deer-hunting seemed a bit down from the 2019 season. Trespass remains a problem.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports crop harvest continues at a rapid pace.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports suspects were apprehended for shining after hours, taking deer at night, and hunting over bait.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) reports the goose hunters around Rochester were out in force and a number of large groups came very close to limiting out.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports waterfowl hunting on the second opener was very good, with numerous limits.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports lots of people out over MEA weekend hunting deer and for the waterfowl reopener.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) checked deer hunters during the youth/early antlerless deer seasons. Several bucks were turned in by hunters that were accidentally shot. Schneider investigated a case where a deer standing near the roadway was shot from a motor vehicle. A hunter on a nearby property was able to get the license plate, which led to the suspects being found.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a duck hunter ran his boat onto a sandbar and needed to be rescued by Hemker via airboat. Hemker also had a person that shot a buck deer during the antlerless season because he forgot it was antlerless only.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports several complaints of trespass were taken of people looking for the “cabbage rocks.” People are reminded they cannot just wander around on private property without permission.