Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 19, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working snowmobiling and angling activity throughout the week. Time also was spent patrolling area trails and handling trespassing complaints.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) primarily worked angling and OHV enforcement this past week. Activity both on the lake and snowmobile trails was significantly reduced this past week due to the unrelenting cold snap that most of the state was experiencing. With the assistance of volunteers and local conservation officers, three separate snowmobile safety courses were conducted, resulting in a total of 33 students receiving their snowmobile safety certification. COVID-19 guidelines limited the size of individual classes, prompting the need for multiple classes to accommodate the interest expressed by parents wishing to enroll their children.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) reports yet another week of frigid temps along the state’s northern border. Despite wind chills as low as minus-50 degrees this past weekend, fishing pressure remained steady on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Aside from checking anglers, Sura also patrolled Koochiching County snowmobile trails with CO Simonson, participated in a training seminar with the U.S. Border Patrol, and assisted Lake of the Woods County deputies and EMS personnel with a carbon monoxide-related medical call. Please ensure you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your fish house before heading out on the lake.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobile riders in the area. Outdoor activity was sparse due to the cold weather. Training was completed with K9 partner Storm.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports brutally cold weather limited outdoor activities this past week. Many anglers have taken advantage of improved ice conditions and little snow to begin moving fish houses from area lakes. The removal date is just a few weeks away in the Perham area and falls on March 1 this year.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling for ice-fishing activity and working on some cases from the deer season. Swedberg also assisted the county with the search for a stolen vehicle.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity on area lakes. Follow-up on complaints of dogs chasing deer and information for an out-of-state game warden were worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers in the Pelican Rapids station. The brutally cold weather did have an effect on the number of anglers. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register fishers, angling without a license in possession, extra/unattended lines, and drug and drug paraphernalia possession.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to check ice fishing and snowmobiling activity. Extreme cold kept the activity very low this past week. Plautz spent time on training and issued car-killed deer permits.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and fish houses, as well as ATV and snowmobile riders. Phone calls about two wild elk spotted south of Brandon were handled.
CO Hannah Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. She took a phone call regarding an injured hawk; she brought the hawk to a vet. It has since made its way to the Raptor Center in the Twin Cities. Wood also assisted Traverse County officers in attempting to locate a vehicle involved in a pursuit.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) participated in a work crew on Upper Red Lake during the weekend with CO Holt. Additional time was spent inspecting permitted aeration sites and speaking with students in the MinnAqua Program at the Minnewaska Area High School.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to check many anglers. Many anglers resorted to playing cards, watching TV, or even in one case playing a full-size arcade game inside their fish house. A bear-hunting case was completed and sent to the county attorney’s office for review.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobiling activity. She reminds people to be prepared for the weather conditions while out on the lakes and trails.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling, and followed up on illegal deer-feeding activity. Enforcement action was taken for illegal deer feeding in Hubbard County, illegal-length fish, no angling license in possession, fishing without a license, and no shelter license.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time in state forests and on the lakes during the past week. A bear-season violation was discovered and investigated. Ice conditions have improved, but the shelter removal date is fast approaching. Enforcement action for the week included abandoning property in a state forest, no bait drum permit, failure to remove a bait drum after the season, and shelter identification/license violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the arctic weather that enveloped the region kept all but the most serious snowmobilers and anglers at bay. An incident of timber theft was reported regarding someone taking bolts of logs from an old logging landing area.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and snowmobile trails. Multiple snowmobiling violations were addressed. Public access sites and area forest roads continue to be checked.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time handling several nuisance-animal complaints regarding bobcats attacking livestock. Very few anglers were observed during the frigid week.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobile riders, and worked a day in the Orr/Crane Lake area. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated and it was determined a calf was killed by a coyote. At midday, a deer was seen on the road, followed minutes later by a wolf, which was trailing the scent of the deer. The deer doubled back, followed about 8 minutes later by the wolf, which was on the deer’s trail. All of this took place within 20 feet of Bozovsky’s squad. The deer and wolf were oblivious to the truck. It is not known if the wolf ended the day with a meal.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) completed required training during the extended cold snap. Outdoor activity has diminished somewhat, but anglers, snowmobilers, and even a few coyote trappers are still out. Several snowmobilers were stopped for operating unregistered snowmobiles.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports very cold weather continued to dominate the Ely area, making outdoor activity sparse. Violations included excessive snowmobile speed and failure to display snowmobile registration numbers.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trout fishing and snowmobiling activity this past week. Fishing was slow but trail conditions were OK. Several people asked about pike length-limit restrictions for angling pike. Several areas had litter left behind near fish houses, and anglers are reminded to pick up after themselves.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area lakes, snowmobile trails, and ski trails. She also took questions about angling and small-game hunting and handled equipment issues.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports cold conditions across the Arrowhead throughout the past week. Angling activity was light but snowmobilers hit the trails despite extremely cold weather. Hill and CO Wahlstrom assisted multiple agencies with a personal-injury snowmobile crash between Lutsen and Tofte. Hill also took phone calls regarding winter camping. If you are planning to come to the area to winter camp, be sure to have flexible plans around the weather. Hill spoke with a group who had a member spend the afternoon in a hospital for frostbite.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) patrolled area lakes and noticed fewer anglers than usual, likely due to the cold weather. A call about a bobcat that suffered from a run-in with a porcupine was taken, and time was spent training.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and snowmobile trails. He also worked anglers, forestry issues, small-game hunters, and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints and assisted the county with a medical situation.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on angling, darkhouse spearing, and snowmobiling enforcement. Anglers who endured the low temperatures reported moderate success at best. Enforcement action was taken for several angling license violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) observed several large groups of snowmobilers out despite the brutally cold weather. Law compliance among snowmobile groups was good, and all of the riders were prepared and dressed for the weather.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) followed up on ongoing cases and worked a detail on Lake Mille Lacs. A dumping case was closed and resulted in a citation for littering on state land.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the past week working in very low temperatures. As the week went on, more and more people were out recreating. Duncan assisted local law enforcement on calls and also checked several cross-county skiers on area trails.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent this past week in K9 school with his new K9 partner. Complaints about nuisance beavers were received, and assistance was given to try to remedy the situation.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports that during the past week a group of anglers needed to be rescued on Lake Superior as the pack ice floated away from shore during a wind switch.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on Lake Superior. Snowmobile riders are finding trails in decent shape, as low temperatures are keeping traffic levels down.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports spending time working snowmobiling and angling enforcement. Time also was spent working Lake Mille Lacs with other area officers. Several violations were encountered, including unmeasurable fish, unlicensed shelters, extra lines, and angling license issues.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked sportfishing activity on area lakes and continued big-game investigations. Sullivan observed violations that included possession of unmeasurable fish, illegal-length fish, and extra lines. Snowmobiling activity in the area was minimal due to cold weather and a lack of snow.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent a cold week on the snowmobile and on area lakes. Angler numbers were low, and the success rate was low.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports patrolling the state recreation area for vehicle permits and illegal vehicle activity. He checked anglers throughout the past week and weekend and found a few trying their luck for trout even with the frigid weather.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) monitored lake debris, including materials left behind as house owners migrate. He also fielded a complaint about trees placed on the ice. Snowmobile traffic was minimal due to extreme cold and lack of snow.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Lake Mille Lacs and local lakes during the frigid holiday weekend. One angler appeared surprised when he came out of the fish house as Speldrich approached. The angler spun around and ran back in to the house. After a delay, Speldrich was invited inside the house. The angler was trying to hide an extra line. A call about murky-looking and rapidly rising creek water was investigated and turned over to city officials. Speldrich would like to remind anglers to pick up their trash, including cigarette butts, from the ice. One local lake that has had issues in the past looked clean this holiday weekend. After mentioning this to a couple of anglers, they confessed that they had been cleaning up after other lake users. The world needs more people like this.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports a call was taken about a deer that went through the ice and was unable to climb back out. Prior to officers arriving, the reporting party was able to rescue the deer by utilizing a canoe, roof rake, and rope. Credit goes to the husband and wife who used the canoe to get close to the edge of the ice and then used a roof rake to dangle a rope around the deer. The deer was pulled to shore and ran off.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers, shelters, and small-game hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, extra lines, unattended lines, no shelter license, and failure to display the required shelter identification. He also reports issuing a citation for transporting loaded firearms and citations in regards to an ongoing bear-hunting investigation, to the same individuals.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports working anglers and patrolling snowmobile trails. Aeration inspections were completed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) asks that anglers remember to pick up their trash when leaving a lake. There have been several complaints about large amounts of trash being left behind.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobiling activity. Krauel also started documenting shelters for the upcoming shelter removal deadline.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent issuing wildlife permits and following up on big-game complaints.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and snowmobiling enforcement during the week. In addition to checking area anglers, the CO assisted Carver County and the State Patrol with an injury crash. Other activity included conducting an aeration inspection and investigating damage to state property and illegal burning with local officers.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and recreational vehicle riders and patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for trail usage. He worked with the city of Richfield, a DNR contractor, and a local nonprofit organization on deer distribution.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the past week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe traveled to Lake Mille Lacs during the weekend and checked anglers braving the frigid weather.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked angling activity on area lakes. Maass also investigated several big-game violations from the past deer season.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) patrolled snowmobile trails, enforcing state trespass laws. Several areas were observed where snowmobilers had left the designated trail and trespassed on state, federal, and private property. More than 15 miles of trails have been lost this year due to trespass.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) assisted other officers with a small-game-hunting trespass issue and monitored state parks and trails.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. Salzer also assisted neighboring officers with ongoing big-game investigations. Anglers are reminded the deadline for ice shelter removal is March 1.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes for angling activity. Hanna spotted a small car stuck on the ice when the temps were below zero. Hanna assisted in getting their vehicle unstuck with the use of a shovel and a good amount of muscle strength.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) reports checking ice anglers, snowmobile riders, and coyote hunters this past week. Angling success has been sporadic on area lakes.
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) checked anglers on area lakes. The bite was slow. Westby received calls about local rules and regulations and complaints about ice anglers leaving garbage on the ice. Westby also investigated a tree stand that was left in a WMA.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling and trapping activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register an otter, license issues, extra lines, darkhouse shelter registration/identification issues, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) spent time this past week focused on trapping, ice fishing, and snowmobiling activity in McLeod and Sibley counties. A taxidermy inspection was completed.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous calls during the past week related to coyote hunting and ice angling. Enforcement efforts were focused around angling and snowmobiling. Drug violations and ice shelter/license violations were encountered.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted surveillance of predator-hunting activity. Reports of illegal angling activity were investigated.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) found the cold weather to have slowed down activity on area lakes and snowmobile trails. Trespassing complaints were taken regarding a trapper in the area.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling and recreational vehicle enforcement this past week. In addition, several groups of coyote hunters were checked. Aeration systems were checked on local lakes. Most are now operational and anglers should use caution because there are several areas of open water due to the systems.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports a complaint was taken and responded to about individuals possessing and raising several species of wildlife in their home. Live wild animals are only allowed to be possessed under specific, permitted circumstances.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received calls about injured wild animals. An injured deer that chose to bed next to an assisted living complex generated phone calls and opinions about how to handle an injured deer.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports predator hunters are having some success and a few shed antlers are being found.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) knocked on the door of a fish house and the occupant had a delayed response to his greeting. Fitzgerald looked through a window and saw an angler quickly reeling up his third line. The angler explained that he watches “North Woods Law” and should know better. Enforcement action was taken.