Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 11, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) and COC Tou Vang conducted commercial taxidermy inspections and followed up on deer that were not registered. They also report working muzzleloader hunters, as well as ice anglers on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) reports calls included a complaint of dogs chasing deer and multiple deer that had been poached and dumped on state land.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) spent time on the bays checking people spearing pike and anglers on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Violations included littering, no ATV registration, failure to have identification information on fish house, failure to display shelter tag, no angling license in possession, and an overlimit of sauger/walleyes.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) monitored area muzzleloader-hunting activity and patrolled during the elk hunt.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports area lakes saw a lot of angling pressure as the overflow of anglers who were not able to get out on Upper Red Lake shot from the hip with plan B in pursuit of crappies and bluegills.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports ice conditions on Upper Red Lake are conducive to fishing, but no ice is 100% safe. Cracks have opened up around the lake and refrozen, causing thin ice that can be dangerous. Time was spent working on Upper Red where enforcement action was taken for multiple overlimits of walleyes, illegal-length fish, no angling license and extra lines.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Time was also spent following up on deer-related cases and checking muzzleloader and archery deer hunters.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked ice anglers and muzzleloader hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored ice activity on nearby lakes and found that more people are going out onto the ice. A lot of time was spent checking ice anglers on Upper Red Lake.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) reports a lot of the area lakes have walkable ice and fishing has been good. Swedberg wants to remind anglers to check regulations before going out and double-check that they have purchased their license for the year.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ice anglers and trespass complaints. Some muzzleloader deer hunters were also checked. Most reported slow activity.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working deer-hunting, pheasant-hunting, trapping and goose hunters.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked muzzleloader hunting and also spent time on small-game hunting on WMAs and WPAs.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) and COC Brown spent the past week monitoring angling, muzzleloader-, and pheasant-hunting activity. Calls from the public included reports of dumped deer carcasses and trespassing.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked muzzleloader deer and goose hunters last weekend. Time was also spent checking early ice anglers.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were focused on checking deer hunters and pheasant hunters, and monitoring trapping activity.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working big- and small-game enforcement.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued field training with COC Cassie Block. Time was spent working hunters out for the muzzleloader season and checking anglers out on early ice.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored pheasant-hunting activity throughout the station as conditions are excellent and birds are around. Deer-season investigations continue to wrap up.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) spent investigating TIP complaints and following up on open cases. Enforcement action involved numerous deer-hunting-related violations as a result of the follow-up investigations and TIP complaints.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) took a report of a bullet hole in a deer stand that led violations for lend/borrow, unlawful party hunting, and taking an overlimit of deer. Wood took phone calls regarding public waters violations, a bear sighting, shooting from a vehicle, and several complaints of out-of-state people taking an overlimit of fish.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a cease and desist order was issued to a contractor in Grant County for draining a public water body.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) reminds people to check the ice conditions while venturing out onto the lakes.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) reminds anglers that designated trout lakes are closed to angling for all species until the trout season opens.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports of hunting deer over bait, filling a wetland, and a dog caught in a trap were received and investigated. Enforcement action was taken for underage possession of alcohol and angling violations.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) has been following up on a baiting case.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Curtis Simonson started the past week off checking muzzleloader hunters in the area. Overall, activity was slow. Hunters have reported slow deer movement as well.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) spoke to an individual in regards to a dog chasing deer on his property.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports area lakes were monitored, but little to no angling pressure was observed due to unsafe ice.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) assisted multiple law enforcement agencies with a shooting event that occurred this past Friday morning and also assisted the State Patrol with a highly intoxicated individual who continually resisted officers while under arrest. Soon after Zavodnik cleared the jail, he responded to a call involving an intoxicated individual who was reported walking on the side of the road and had pointed a shotgun at someone. The subject was apprehended without injury.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) found a grouse hunter with his truck parked in the middle of the road and spent shells lying nearby. The hunter shot a grouse about 15 feet behind a no trespassing sign. The hunter said he didn’t see the sign.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) completed reports for several cases stemming from rifle deer season investigations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) reports few muzzleloader deer hunters were observed taking to the woods.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports more anglers are making their way out onto the ice and finding conditions vary greatly even on the same lake.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) took several calls on the pike regulations and answered more questions on marten trapping.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) followed up on big-game investigations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports enforcement action included purchasing/using unlawful combination angling license, unattended lines, insufficient blaze orange, and an unmarked deer stand in a state park.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this past week. Temperatures have been mild but the lack of snow has aided ice buildup.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) worked ttrapping activity and handled administrative tasks. No violations were encountered.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked deer muzzleloader and ice angling activity this past week. Open-water anglers are still able to access boat launches on Lake Superior and several anglers were checked with some nice lake trout.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Westby located several pheasant hunters not wearing enough blaze orange during the muzzleloader deer season. They would like to remind hunters and trappers to look over the blaze orange requirements for the firearms deer seasons, which includes the muzzleloader deer season.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports an arrest was made for outstanding warrants.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) assisted with the gifting of a fur-bearing animal to a local school for educational purposes.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the first full week of the muzzleloader season.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports most of the smaller lakes in the area now have enough ice to access them on foot.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted a State Patrol trooper with multiple vehicles off the roadway on an icy stretch of the interstate. Thankfully, nobody was injured and most of the cars just needed a pull out of the ditch or median.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) followed up on complaints and investigations from the deer season.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) and COC Charles Scott worked multiple hunting over bait complaints. Enforcement action taken.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) assisted at the Jay Cooke State Park special muzzleloader deer hunt. Several parkgoers were contacted for not having vehicle permits and allowing dogs off-leash.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with checking ice anglers in the Deer River station.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports boats have been fishing Lake Superior in the area of McQuade Safe Harbor and Knife River, with reports of steelhead being caught. A reminder that all unclipped rainbow trout must be returned to the lake immediately.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time on equipment maintenance, and assisted the Forestry Division with a spruce harvest inspection.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked on watercraft maintenance and investigated an incident where a contractor cut down a tree with an active bald eagle nest within it.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) continued to train with COC Brown. They did not see as many hunters out this past week due to the lakes starting to freeze over.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) handled a trespass complaint and a call involving ice fishing equipment with no anglers visible.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) saw a few hunters out for the muzzleloader season. Grouse hunters were checked, and they were finding some birds.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) answered questions regarding the remaining waterfowl running out of open water.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) followed up on two deer-carcass-dumping complaints on private property.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) says a sick or injured trumpeter swan was reported, but Speldrich and the wildlife manager were unable to get close enough to catch it.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) investigated a case of spruce-tree cutting on a WMA, which led to a citation being issued by CO Maass at the suspect’s home in the metro. An incidental fisher was turned in, with concern heard from trappers about the high number of fishers and a short season.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked hunting activity this past week. Hunters afield were low in numbers, as were animals harvested.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre spent time patrolling Stearns and Todd counties. Ongoing deer and wetland violations continued to be investigated.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked deer and pheasant hunters, as well as anglers.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) collected a car-killed fisher, investigated big-game-related complaints and assisted a local PD on a traffic stop that resulted in the recovery of stolen property.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reminds hunters who are using state WMAs to remove their deer stand after each hunt. Deer stands and ground blinds are not allowed to be left overnight on WMA land.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports checking the first ice angler of the season. The lone individual was running five tip-ups.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent time following up on littering complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports several injured trumpeter swans were taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports enforcement action for the past week included hunting with the aid of bait, using a crossbow without a permit, hunting without blaze orange, and trespassing.
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports wetland violations were enforced and trespass calls were investigated. One person was cited for chumming the water with bait and using too many rods.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the past week working big-game hunters.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) responded to calls regarding dogs chasing deer, litter/carcass dumping, illegal party hunting, and injured animals.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and handled hunting complaints.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) followed up on a big-game investigation and answered hunting-related questions. Enforcement action taken for hunting with the aid of bait.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took a call from an individual in Minneapolis about a permit to mount a red fox.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked hunters and anglers during the unseasonably warm weather.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) responded to complaints of individuals feeding wildlife in violation of the feeding ban and assisted the sheriff’s office with an exhausted deer stuck on thin ice.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a complaint involving the cutting of decorative material from a WMA.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking river anglers. The walleye bite continues to be good.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) continued to patrol Fort Snelling State Park for trails and park usage, and worked complaints of dogs off-leash.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking late-season waterfowl hunters on the river.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) continued training with COC Cross. Arntzen and Cross continued working on ongoing investigations, responded to trapping-related calls, and assisted in Wetlands Conservation Act orders.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for hunting and angling activity.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) conducted maintenance on various equipment that is assigned to his station. Enforcement action was taken for deer that were transported illegally out of the CWD zone.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports enforcement action for the week included no federal stamp and failure to have licenses in possession.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) deployed K9 Earl to conduct an article search. Shining activity was also worked throughout the week.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports enforcement action for insufficient blaze orange and license/tag/stamp violations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) gave assistance to DNR Wildlife with WMA issues.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports deer-hunting investigations are ongoing.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked deer- and pheasant-hunting enforcement this past week.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on possible wetland violations.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) spent time on big-game investigations, license violations, and assisting the local DNR hydrologist with a public waters violation.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked primarily deer, pheasant and small-game hunting, as well as fishing activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) checked numerous parents who took advantage of the weather and brought youth afield with them to enjoy hunting. Ice angling has begun locally.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to calls relating to licensing, the use of wireless devices while hunting, and information concerning WMAs and WPAs.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked deer- and small-game-hunting activities. Big-game violations were investigated.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on small-game and deer-hunting activity this past week.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters this past week.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) responded to TIP calls and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) is investigating a hunting trespass case.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) observed some people trying their hand at ice fishing. The most ice observed by Henke was only 2 inches. Please use caution and stay off the ice until it is thicker.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) checked deer hunters and pheasant hunters throughout the past week.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports a few late-season waterfowlers out this past week. One group’s dedication bagged three nice mallard drakes on the last day of the season. Fishing activity on the Minnesota River has been heavy.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports completing field training duties with COC Sura this past week. The officers mainly worked muzzleloader deer and waterfowl hunters and found limited success.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) investigated an incident of a buck shot from the roadway.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports that with the nice weather, duck hunters were out until the end of the season. Overall, it was a slow close to the duck season.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) observed some anglers taking a gamble on thin ice. Anglers are urged to exercise caution and check ice thickness often.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) finished field training with COC Meng Moua. They received complaints of people hunting ducks in a closed area and hunting deer in a state park. They were called out well after sunset to assist a duck hunter who had motor issues. The duck season ended with a good number of hunters.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) continued to work on ongoing investigations from the deer-hunting season.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) fielded multiple calls about dead deer that were found, and recovered deer that were lost in earlier seasons.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) investigated a report of a young hawk that had been “kidnapped.” It was found an individual had captured the hawk to use for hunting. The individual had all necessary permits and was an experienced falconer.