Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 20, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent the week checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. A windy week made for fairly tough conditions and an inconsistent bite. Questions were answered regarding bear baits.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated complaints about early bear baits and answered numerous questions about the upcoming bear season. Area bear hunters are reminded that a valid bear license is required prior to establishing bear bait stations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Regas also reports handling several wildlife-related calls about nuisance bears causing crop damage, and tracking a moose that was struck by a truck pulling a boat. The moose wandered into the woods adjacent to the highway and later died from the injuries sustained in the crash. The moose meat was salvageable, and a possession permit was issued to the driver involved in the crash.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports bear activity has ramped up. Complaints were handled regarding nuisance bears in crop fields, and bear-baiting activity has started for the upcoming season. Prachar worked with Beltrami County to arrest and charge an individual for third-degree sexual assault.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a firearms safety class in Crookston. Time also was spent checking anglers, working on wetland cases, and following up on a wolf-depredation case. A wildfire case was investigated in Roseau County.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports issuing resource protection notifications for the area hydrologist regarding potential public waters violations. He also looked into TIPs regarding possible fish overlimits from anglers staying at local resorts and fielded calls related to injured or sick raccoons, skunks, and foxes. The dry conditions are stressing area wildlife, and diseased animals are becoming a common occurrence. People are reminded to stay clear of possibly sick animals. If one is dispatched, the small-game mammal should be carefully bagged and disposed of in the trash or buried. Notification of the local conservation officer is required if a protected animal is dispatched.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) assisted with an interview for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. North Dakota officers will follow up with any charges or citations.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. AIS compliance was monitored. A complaint about digging in a wetland was investigated, and a nuisance-bear complaint was worked with DNR Wildlife staff. Warren also assisted Becker County and White Earth police with a domestic dispute.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on complaints related to aquatic vegetation and possible wetland violations. Property owners are reminded to contact their local soil and water conservation districts or DNR office to ask questions prior to altering shoreline or property.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to work with the area wetland inspector on ditches and ponds being illegally dug out.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent the week checking anglers and following up on a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order. Goodman also assisted the sheriff’s office with an unoccupied boat adrift on a local lake and investigated motor vehicle activity in WMAs.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy recreational boating activity on area lakes as hot and dry weather continues. The drought has dropped lake levels to never-before-seen levels by Lawler, causing headaches for some people with larger boats at accesses.
CO Hannah Wood (Wheaton) assisted with the roadside pheasant count surveys and issued minnow-transport permits.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement throughout the week. Douvier also assisted local DNR Wildlife staff with their August roadside wildlife surveys and set up a TIP wall at the Stevens County Fair.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Baumbarger also gave a boat and water safety talk at a local lake association meeting.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for recreational vehicles, angling, boating, and bear-baiting activity. Baum also spoke at two firearms safety classes. He received a TIP complaint about fishing with extra lines, which resulted in enforcement action.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) assisted in the rescue of six people whose boat capsized. She also attend lake association meetings and investigated a shoreline complaint.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the week working bear-baiting, ATVing, and fishing activity. Several burn-ban violations were encountered in Huntersville State Forest. Currently, no fires are allowed on DNR-managed lands in the station.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked on bear-related items, including testing and reviewing the updated bear-bait registration website and looking for early bear baits.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) gave assistance to local biologists in tracking a collar that had been placed on a small wolf pup. It eventually was found that the collar had broken off the wolf and the pup was no longer in the area.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. Time also was spent helping out with an ATV safety field day and handling nuisance-bear complaints.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) responded to nuisance-wildlife calls. He received several questions about upcoming big-game seasons and assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint regarding people riding ATVs on the river bank during the low water conditions.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily ATVing and bear-baiting activity. Larson also spent time working on potential wetland and shoreline violations.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling, ATVing, and OHMing activity. With warm and dry conditions, fewer ATVs are being seen on local trails.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports that as bears start to forage more in preparation for the winter months, nuisance-bear complaints have increased. Zavodnik also spent time focusing on ATV and watercraft patrol. There have been several capsized-watercraft incidents that have taken place. He wants to remind everyone to wear a life jacket, especially in watercraft that are less stable in the water.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. He also assisted local law enforcement with the search and arrest of a person with a felony warrant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the weekend focusing on bear-baiting activity. Several guides and individual hunters were contacted, and early reports were good.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers and commercial nets on Lake Superior. Bear baits and inland lakes also were worked.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a variety of enforcement activities. A fire started and quickly spread near Isabella on Sunday afternoon. Assistance was provided with notifications and checking area cabins for occupancy. Many nuisance-bear issues were handled, as well as injured-deer and wolf-depredation calls.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area boating and angling this week. Schottenbauer also came upon a wildfire near Hogback Lake that was started by an illegal campfire on private property that was left unattended. Fire danger remains very high, and there are no campfires allowed in Lake and Cook counties for this reason.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking baits during the start of bear-baiting season. So far, so good with baits being in compliance. Hill spent time checking boats on Lake Superior and also at Lake Superior accesses during the week. Hill had a potentially scary contact with an angler on Lake Superior. While checking the angler, who was fishing from an 8-foot kayak in large waves, the angler was hesitant to show Hill and CO Wahlstrom the PFD he had behind him in the kayak because he was afraid he would tip the boat. This contact was a great reminder that although you may have a PFD on board your watercraft, it does you no good if you cannot access it. Wear your PFD.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) is investigating a litter case in which waterfowl and other animal carcasses were dumped at a public parking lot.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, and handled nuisance-bear complaints this week. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted with an ongoing investigation and attended an area event, providing K9 demos.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a solid-waste case in which a truckload of garbage was dumped on mining company land. The individual responsible was even given dump tickets to dispose of the trash properly, but instead dumped the trash and kept the dump tickets. The perpetrator was identified and enforcement action was taken, including having the site cleaned up. Sutherland also worked angling activity in the area with many out-of-state anglers on vacation and concentrating on panfish to fill the frying pan. Action was taken for non-residents angling without a license and not possessing enough life jackets on a watercraft.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked wild rice harvesters and monitored the opening of bear baiting. A cease and desist order was issued in a case in which a large amount of shoreline work was done without a permit.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) followed up on complaints about trespass and worked ATV trails in the area. Time also was spent working AIS at public accesses.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior angling and the annual Bayfront Blues Festival in the Duluth-Superior harbor. He also assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service with a wildfire near McDougal Lake. Homeowners and campers where made aware of the potential fire movement and danger.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) handled numerous burning complaints and a few nuisance-animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for allowing a smoldering fire and activities involving illegal fireworks.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports enforcement action was taken on an operator of a Class 2 ATV who stated he was operating his side-by-side 68 mph down the highway. In addition to careless operation, the operator was advised the local road authority ordinance restricts operation to 30 mph or less on that county road.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) attended a kids fishing day on Gull Lake. Youth anglers were taken out on Gull Lake with area law enforcement officers as their guides. A youth angler guided by Brainerd and Crosby police department officers took largest-fish honors.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) focused on ATVing activity this week. After citing an adult rider for multiple young riders without helmets, the rider sent their significant other to Griffith’s location to complain and swear at her.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received several nuisance-bear and -beaver complaints, as well as injured-animal calls. Speldrich also handled complaints about kids fishing from private docks, OHMs on the roadway, and reports of the illegal cutting of weeds on local lakes.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to deal with complaints about bears destroying field corn and wolves harassing and killing livestock. Several wolves were removed from one farm after an adult cow was taken down and killed.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity, checked anglers, worked AIS, took multiple calls about nuisance bears destroying crops, and assisted with a trapper education class at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting ATV enforcement. Time also was spent conducting equipment maintenance and investigating a public waters violation.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week patrolling for angling and ATVing activity. Krauel also followed up on several wetland and trespass complaints.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent following up on Wetland Conservation Act violations. Two cease and desist orders were issued for wetland violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) fielded some complaints about ATV trespass. Extra patrol was given to the area. Fogarty also assisted Savage police in removing an owl from a soccer net. The owl was removed and given to the Raptor Center for medical attention.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore anglers in the metro area. He assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with an investigation. He also monitored boating activity and answered questions from the Asian community regarding youth firearms safety classes.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He continued investigations into items dumped on area public lands.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a trapping complaint and worked on open cases. Arntzen also fielded questions about the upcoming early teal and goose seasons.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) received a TIP complaint about feeding deer in St. Paul. He informed the resident of the feeding ban and told them how to fix the issue. Hanna also received a bowfishing complaint in Fridley. He patrolled the area but did not locate any bowfishing activity.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) spent time on rivers, checking anglers. He also took some calls about the upcoming deer season and questions about feeding bans. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. He dealt with ongoing equipment issues and attended a meeting. Salzer also fielded several nuisance-animal questions.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week assisting the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office with a K9 request to assist with evidence recovery. Wildlife-related calls were fielded throughout the week.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working public access, ATVing, and angling enforcement. Daniels would like to remind folks to review the new waterfowl and hunting regulations before heading into the field in coming weeks.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports checking anglers and recreational boaters throughout the week. Recent rains improved water conditions on area lakes, which brought many boaters out during the weekend. Activity on area wildlife management areas is picking up as the fall hunting seasons draw near. Dirks reminds users that equipment cannot be left in WMAs overnight. That includes treestands and trail cameras.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ATV and AIS activity. He took several calls about deer-hunting regulations. Vernier also issued a wildlife-possession permit.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports time was spent checking anglers, working ATV enforcement, and following up on trespassing complaints. Klehr also spent time on Saturday at the Meeker County Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Day in Litchfield. There were approximately 100 kids in attendance.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) assisted the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District with a possible wetland violation.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about injured/dead wildlife and requests for hunting and fishing law clarifications.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked AIS, angling, and boat and water enforcement. He reports assisting the Wildlife Section with August roadside counts.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) prepared for upcoming trials and patrolled local WMAs and WPAs during the week. Commercial inspections continued to be conducted and emphasis was put on AIS compliance.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working, AIS, and ATV enforcement, and checking anglers on local lakes.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) monitored AIS activity and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling and ATVing enforcement this week. Henke also assisted local agencies with several calls for service and assisted at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, AIS, and ATV compliance this week. Public lands were checked for vandalism and litter concerns.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked ATVing activity after receiving several complaints about youth riders. Angling activity, boat and water safety, and AIS compliance also were monitored throughout the week.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for area angling and ATVing activity. A report was received regarding a possible road-killed mountain lion. Upon investigation, the suspected mountain lion was found to actually be a large dog.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) assisted with a kids fishing event on Lake Pepin that was put on by the Lake City Police Department. Lots of fish were caught and it was a big hit with the kids.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and ATV riders during the week. Heyn also worked on case follow-up and answered questions about the upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers along the Mississippi River. Time also was spent working ATV areas. Violations encountered were no out-of-state trail permit and illegal operation.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking anglers on the Mississippi River pools 7, 8, and 9. Fishing was slow after the flows increased in the river, but now that the level has stabilized, anglers are doing well on panfish.