Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 12, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports fishing was difficult and staying warm was even more difficult this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, and numerous violations for controlled substances.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) patrolled state forests and parks, received training, and worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Extremely cold weather left anglers with limited success.
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled area snowmobile trails and wildlife management areas. Anglers were checked on the Roseau River.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) assisted WAO Elementary School with a fishing field trip to Thief River Falls. The fifth-grade class seemed to really enjoy the field trip and learned a lot about fishing.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time this past week checking anglers on local lakes. Time also was spent working predator-hunting activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and a few snowmobile riders. Vinton was contacted by a local coyote trapper who snared a large fisher. The fisher was collected and sold to a local fur buyer.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) returned to work this past week. A snowmobile event was worked, but sub-zero temperatures seemed to cut down significantly on the number of participants.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling snowmobiling and fishing activity. With the coldest weather of the year, not as many people were seen recreating in the Detroit Lakes area.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases, snowmobiling enforcement, anglers, and miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. A report was received about three different grouse flying into three different windows of the same house only minutes apart. Two of the grouse died as a result.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers and snowmobiling activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Snowmobile trails remain in poor condition.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to check ice anglers and ATV and snowmobile riders. Plautz worked with local clubs on upcoming rules and regulations regarding a fishing derby and also took multiple calls about nuisance deer and injured or sick animals.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) observed a significant reduction in the number of anglers during the past weekend due to frigid weather. Time was spent checking shelters for identification, licenses, and litter.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) reports that follow-up from last week’s reported mountain lion sighting revealed it most likely was a coyote.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this past week on the snowmobile working area lakes for anglers and recreational riders. Several anglers were cited for possessing illegal drugs and paraphernalia. One angler was cited for fishing without a license after using his employer’s ATV to get out to the shack. After Lawler checked it over, it was found that the ATV was not licensed, which led to the owner being contacted and cited for that violation.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) continued to work fishing, snowmobiling, and recreational vehicle activity. He assisted with a youth snowmobile safety class during the weekend, and follow-up was completed on open cases/investigations.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobiling activity. She also responded to a call about an injured wolf.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) continued to work snowmobiling and ice angling. Enforcement activity for the week included spearing without a license, illegal-length northern pike, unregistered ATV, failure to transfer ownership of an ATV, extra fishing lines, and illegally placed traps.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked lakes and trails during the past week. Time was spent on area WMAs, with timber trespass and abandoned property issues being discovered. Anderson attended a local Minnesota Dark House and Angling Association meeting to discuss issues seen on the lakes and answer general hunting and fishing questions.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. The lakes were not as busy as prior weeks, likely due to the extreme cold.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. Ice angler numbers have increased and the ice conditions have improved. The CO also checked some trappers and traps in road ditches.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports bitter cold has kept a lot of people home and indoors, but a few brave souls were out snowmobiling and ice fishing this past weekend.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time this past week patrolling area snowmobile trails. Time was also spent this past week checking ice anglers and checking fish houses for shelter licenses.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports despite the extreme temperature change there were still those who faced Mother Nature in pursuit of snowmobiling and fishing adventures. Violations encountered were angling without angling licenses, illegal exhaust on snowmobiles, and illegal operation of a snowmobile and ATV by juveniles.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time monitoring snowmobiling activity and working a detail on Upper Red Lake during the weekend. Zavodnik continues to focus on snowmobile speed on area trails.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked trout anglers and snowmobile riders. He also worked a trapping complaint. An accidentally trapped fisher was turned in. That was not the unusual part, however. The fisher – the supposed master of porcupine predators – had about six-dozen quills on its face and neck, with one that had nearly blinded it. It survived the porcupine, but not the trap. Separate trout anglers on a designated lake were found with no trout stamps and using extra lines (one actually was using two extra lines). One had a bait violation as well. Excuses abounded for the anglers.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes ahead of the cold snap, checking anglers and a few darkhouse fishers. One angler who was trout fishing had neglected to purchase a trout stamp. As Frericks was processing the violation, he found there was a felony arrest warrant for the angler. The angler was arrested on the warrant and brought to jail. The next day, Frericks assisted a State Patrol trooper who was following a person who had a warrant out for his arrest. The driver drove onto an area lake in hopes of getting away from the trooper and a Gilbert police officer. It didn’t work and the subject with the warrant was arrested.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports less activity in the Ely area as the coldest weather of the year arrived. The weekend saw high temperatures making it only into the teens below zero, and wind chills as low as below minus-50 degrees were reported.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) hit the ski trails, checking ski passes and directing skijors to the correct trails. Anglers and snowmobilers were also checked. Manning is following up on a report of anglers with unattended lines.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports contacting anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the past week. Snowmobile violations were nonexistent and Hill wants to thank riders for following all snowmobile laws. One angler forgot to purchase a trout stamp and Hill made sure the angler purchased it on the way home.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) patrolled lakes and snowmobile trails but saw fewer people out and about due to cold weather. Brown responded to a residence after an individual reported he accidentally caught a bobcat in a coyote snare. The bobcat was unharmed by the snare and was released by Brown and CO Fairbanks without incident.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week and found good compliance. As bitter cold moved into the area, activity slowed, but there were still ice anglers out trying for walleyes and perch on Lake Winnibigoshish. There are several snowmobile safety field day classes that recently became available in the Grand Rapids area. If interested, please check out the DNR website.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working sportfishing, darkhouse spearing, and snowmobiling activity throughout the area. Several anglers and snowmobilers were still contacted while enduring the bitter-cold weather on area lakes and trails.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports a snowmobile crash was responded to. The victim had to be airlifted to a hospital for serious injuries.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) reports a littering complaint was handled on state land, and enforcement action was taken for an unlawful fire.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the past week working snowmobiling activity and complaints about snowmobilers using cross-country ski trails. Schmidt also worked cross-country skiers for ski pass violations at Jay Cooke State Park, along with complaints about unleashed dogs.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the shores of Lake Superior, where recent pack ice had anglers venturing onto the ice in the Duluth area. A reminder that pack ice is unpredictable and can depart as quickly as it arrives.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobiling activity. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office with an alcohol-related snowmobile accident.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity in the area. Area lakes continue to build ice, and anglers have been able to navigate well. Several litter cases continue to be investigated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big-game investigations this past week. Guida also offered court trial witness testimony in a past snowmobile violation case. A big-game investigation was completed in which an individual purchased a big-game license and registered a deer six minutes after the purchase. The license was determined to be invalid, and both individuals involved in the lend/borrow violation were subject to enforcement action, including a $500 penalty for restitution.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity, including a lot of nonresident anglers. Ice thickness is finally more consistent, and some hard-sided houses have found their way to their usual locations, just as some owners are pulling them in for the winter.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) reports the Willow River Dam project is nearing completion and soon the reservoir will begin to fill. This will be exciting for area residents.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing, snowmobiling, and trapping activities. Frigid weather prevented outdoor activities and became dangerous in high-wind areas. A deer-poaching incident was investigated, and assistance given with a missing-person search.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week patrolling for snowmobile activity. He took complaints about snowmobilers trespassing on agricultural land.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked ice anglers on area lakes, patrolled snowmobile trails, responded to a nuisance-bobcat complaint, and assisted the Little Falls Police Department in the search for a missing person.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on follow up with fall cases and county attorneys this week. He also worked on fishing activity.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement during the past week. Many fish houses still do not have identification.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) assisted local officers with a search for a missing snowmobiler and a fatal traffic accident.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent investigating an abandoned-snowmobile complaint.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked anglers and snowmobilers. Two litter cases were investigated and follow up was done on a game case.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and snowmobiling activities in the metro area. He investigated a small-game-related complaint in Chaska and responded to an injured deer in Roseville. Lee also monitored state parks and trails.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a complaint involving a large amount of litter left on an area lake. Maass also spent time checking anglers, ATV riders, and snowmobile riders on area lakes and trails.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted Scott County with an unruly individual on Highway 169. The person was calmed down and transported to a local treatment facility.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week doing recreational vehicle enforcement and checking ice anglers. He handled several nuisance-animal complaints and fielded questions about road right of way access. Arntzen also patrolled William O’Brien State park and the local wildlife management areas.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. He also assisted the Wisconsin DNR with a big-game investigation.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes. The CO has seen an increase in the number of forgotten tip-ups frozen in the ice. Please be mindful while leaving at night to do a thorough search of your area to ensure you are not leaving anything behind. Leaving items behind on the ice is littering.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked ice anglers and snowmobilers this past week. A coyote-hunting trespass complaint is being investigated.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports that several coyote hunters had questions about the legality of using suppressors to hunt coyotes. The use of suppressors is legal while hunting.
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) assisted a neighboring officer with a big-game case. The CO also received a number of phone complaints about coyote hunters trespassing.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ice-angling activity. He completed aeration inspections and followed up on a snowmobiling complaint.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) responded to a call about a vehicle going through the ice. Everyone made it out safely. Even with the low temperatures, the ice is never 100% safe.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded several TIP calls during the past week resulting in angling investigations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. Deer cases were handled from fall for violations that occurred during the season.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) focused on angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. Questions about the spring turkey-hunting season were answered.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports higher snowmobiling activity. While he was checking snowmobiles on a trail, two snowmobilers saw Hemker and cut across a field off of the trail and went to a residence. When they were caught, they had to answer for their expired registration and trespassing violations.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports time was spent on a game farm inspection, checking anglers in the Olmsted County area, and completing online training.