Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 27, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) and COC Tou Vang worked deer hunters through the last weekend of the rifle season. They also investigated a case in which multiple deer were shot and left in fields at multiple locations. Thanks to the public’s help relaying information, they were able to find the suspect and close this case.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued monitoring area firearms deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, a nonresident purchasing a resident license, failure to register deer, and litter deposited in a state wildlife management area.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on deer-hunting activities. Time was spent working shining and shooting from the road complaint areas with several contacts made. Litter complaints about carcass dumping were handled. One of the carcass-dumping calls was pure wanton waste. The individual(s) had dumped three carcasses. Two of the adult does had the hides removed, legs trimmed, and were ready for processing, but none of the meat was removed. The entire carcasses with meat were discarded in the ditch of Three Mile Road. If you know or have any information that will help identify these individuals, please call the TIP line or contact Regas directly. Regas did find interested people who will utilize the salvageable deer meat.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) assisted the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office with a search warrant on an individual who accidentally dialed a deputy and inadvertently turned himself in for being a felon in possession of a firearm and numerous deer-hunting violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked firearms deer hunters. At the lake where on the firearms deer opener he’d found a young girl in shorts and flip flops fishing open water, he found somebody had been drilling holes across the lake and was ice fishing.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) spent the past week field training COC Vincent Brown. Brown and Vinton issued deer-possession permits and took enforcement action for deer stands left in WMAs.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week following up on complaints from the deer season. One case involved illegally taken deer. It was worked with assistance from U.S Fish and Wildlife Service officers. When all was said and done, a group of three hunters were each given citations for multiple violations.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week working on reports from a busy deer season. A possession permit for a car-killed mule deer buck that was struck north of Detroit Lakes was issued.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) took calls regarding an aggressive turkey, a deer stuck in the ice, firearms-possession questions, and more.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked on follow-up investigations and reports from the deer season. Osborne received injured-animal calls, including swans. If you have an injured animal, please call your local DNR Wildlife office in Fergus Falls or Glenwood. Waterfowl hunters were checked with a couple of ducks in the bag, but also lead shot. Please double-check your ammunition before going duck hunting.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked small-game and archery deer hunting throughout the week. Complaints were received regarding injured and dead animals, as well as individuals disposing of deer carcasses in road ditches.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports illegal treestands left on WMAs continue to be a problem, as several more were found left by hunters after the close of the season.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The fair weather continues to bring out a few muskie anglers. The CO received a complaint about deer-carcass dumping in the Pillsbury State Forest.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) primarily worked deer hunters throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, operating an ATV during restricted hours, and driving with a canceled driver’s license. Kunst also took calls about people feeding deer in the feeding ban zone.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports time was spent investigating deer that people reported to be shot and left to waste. Trespass calls were received and handled as well.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports overall deer-hunting activity this past week was some of the slowest observed. Most hunters encountered wondered where the deer were and commented that this was the worst year for seeing deer they can remember. A report about sick raccoons was taken, with the caller concerned that her dog had encountered two slow-moving raccoons within the same general area in the past five weeks.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) continued working the ongoing firearms deer season and the associated complaints that accompany it. Bozovsky worked a road-hunting complaint with COs Zavodnik and Bermel. All sense of safety was disregarded as one road-hunting deer hunter, who was the passenger, shot out the driver’s side window with the driver sitting behind the wheel. When the vehicle was stopped, a total of four citations were issued.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continued to locate more deer baits throughout the deer season. No hunters were found hunting over the baits, however.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports more issues with hunters wearing very little or no blaze orange were addressed during the week and became the No. 1 violation seen for the season.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked deer hunters this past week. He also followed up on deer-baiting violations and had multiple questions about party hunting and using electronic devices while hunting.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked the last week of deer season. Time also was spent checking a few grouse hunters. Schottenbauer came across a couple of cross-country skiers on a partially frozen lake. The skiers were warned about the poor ice conditions.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked hunters, worked shining complaints, and monitored OHV activity. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted in locating evidence on a trespass call.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking deer-hunting activity this past week. She took complaints about trespass, carcass-dumping, and suspicious hunting activity. She also worked on an illegal forest products harvest case.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) had an ongoing case come to a conclusion where it was found that a doe was shot from the road, onto private property, and without a doe permit. The deer also was not tagged or registered. The suspects involved were charged with shooting from the road right of way, transporting an illegally taken big-game animal, along with additional other charges.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) reports ATV issues were common this past week and time was spent investigating lending and borrowing of deer licenses. Tagging and validation issues were common upon checks, and deer-dumping complaints are coming in at a steady pace.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued to follow up on deer-season calls and investigations involving deer baiting, trespassing, shooting from the road, unlawful party hunting, and lending or borrowing licenses. Deer hunters continued to report mixed results. Several camps expressed concern about the number of wolves and coyotes in the area.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) finished the firearms deer season following up on tips of baiting, untagged big-game animals, and unlawful party hunting. K9 Schody assisted in searching for evidence where suspects were believed to have shot from the road at a deer. The case is under investigation. Schody helped recover shell casings from the incident.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) finished the deer season working northwest of Duluth, where road hunters seemed to be out in force during the weekend. These contacts resulted in loaded firearms violations, lack of blaze orange, and other violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked firearms deer-hunting activity with a focus on baiting and individuals who chose to shoot from the road. He requested Aviation Unit assistance with an ongoing case involving corn, oats, and pumpkins used for deer baiting. Photographs should be invaluable with CWD feeding ban, baiting, blaze orange, and ATV registration charges. He also assisted a woman who had chased an ermine out of her house with a hammer.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked several deer-hunting cases this past week as deer season wrapped up. She encountered several deer that were not yet registered, were not properly tagged, or didn’t have the tag properly validated. There were several contacts regarding permanent deer stands on state land, and decorative forestry product thefts were worked.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received complaints from hunters who harvested deer with corn in their stomachs. They assume neighboring hunters are to blame because there is no standing corn nearby. Investigations were conducted because there is a feeding ban in Pine County and a high occurrence of bait still being placed to cheat in taking deer. The hunters who are doing it the right way are frustrated.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports a dead gray wolf in Morrison County is under investigation. A reminder to successful deer hunters to discard their deer carcasses in a proper place, not in view of the public.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) spent the past week checking hunters. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and hunting related violations, which included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, leaving hunting stands overnight in a WMA, litter, no license in possession, and the use of attractants in Aitkin County. It is prohibited there due to a CWD feeding and attractants ban.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) would like to take the opportunity to recognize Richard Kleinschmidt, of Sauk Centre, who recently passed away. Mr. Kleinschmidt was an ardent supporter of conservation and was a longtime member of the Sauk Centre Conservation Club. His efforts to bolster youth participation in outdoor recreation and the shooting sports in the Sauk Centre area were beyond compare. His presence and efforts will be missed by not only his family, but also by many within the community, including CO Silgjord.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports many duck-hunting complaints came in – mainly hunters hunting close to homes. Nuisance-animal calls came in regarding “sleepy” raccoons in odd places.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports assisting Stearns County after a suspect assaulted a State Trooper and fled on foot into the wooded area of St. John’s University.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) reports a deer hunter was found to be hunting over bait after getting caught hunting over bait on opening day. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports many cases of dumped deer carcasses on public hunting land parking lots and road ditches are being called in. This is litter and makes deer hunters look bad to the entirety of the public. Dispose of carcasses properly.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling and hunting in the west metro area. He also patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for trail usage.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) assisted outstate officers with big-game investigations in the metro and checked deer, goose, and small-game hunters in southeastern Minnesota.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) responded to reports about individuals feeding deer in a zone where it is banned and assisted with the search for an assault suspect.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) reports that a littering case, which included breasted-out geese left in a ditch, was investigated.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued with follow-up stemming from the firearms deer season. He also found a person in the woods in St. Paul who was displaying signs of hypothermia. Paramedics were contacted and rendered aid.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking waterfowl and firearms deer hunters. He handled several TIP calls involving big-game violations and many others relating to the illegal dumping of deer carcasses, trespassing, nuisance animal removal, hunter harassment, and late shooting.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week following up on ongoing big-game hunting investigations. Complaints about trespass, hunter harassment, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling were investigated.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on a few calls from the deer season and checked on reports of injured animals. Klehr also spent time checking archery hunters and pheasant hunters. Trespassing complaints are still coming in, mainly in the form of road hunters trespassing while looking for pheasants.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about illegally taken deer, shooting too close to a residence, wanton waste, litter, and hunting law clarifications. He also worked boating and ATV activities.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game and big-game hunters, waterfowl hunters, anglers, and ATV operators during the past week. Davis also responded to several TIP calls and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to follow up on cases and complaints from the deer season. Waterfowl hunters and anglers were checked. He also took reports about wanton waste and littering.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) continues Phase 4 of field training with COC Corey Sura. They dealt with an ongoing trespass complaint and followed up on a complaint about deer carcasses being dumped at a public access.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time checking deer hunters and waterfowl hunters this past week. A trespass complaint was followed up on in which an individual had harvested a deer on property he did not have permission to hunt. It was found the responsible party had talked to a guy running a combine on the property five years ago and had been given permission to hunt the property. However, the individual stated he could not recall the name of the farmer and he said he had not had any contact with him since. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports a complaint was received from a hunter who found himself in the middle of a deer drive being made by other hunters on state forest land. Hunters driving public land for deer need to be considerate of other hunters who may be in the area.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports unusual deer happenings included a call about an injured deer attempting to enter a house patio door and an injured deer that charged a hunter, cutting him in several locations.