Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 27, 2021

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Corey Sura (Baudette) reports working angling and ATVing activity during the past week. A cease and desist order was issued for spreading fill in a wetland area.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) focused on bear-baiting activity and ATV enforcement this week. Numerous calls about the upcoming bear season were taken, and a presentation was given to local youth attending firearms safety classes. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes this past week. Assistance was provided to a motorist who had a crash with a large bull moose. The moose died from injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the vehicle was provided a possession permit for the moose. The salvageable meat was utilized, and DNR Wildlife research staff obtained valuable biological samples from the moose.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports an increase in nuisance-bear calls. Bears are fighting to find natural forage, and farm crops are an easy food source.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports providing security at the Greenwood Fire that is burning near the BWCAW.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked from an ATV much of the week, checking bear baits, recreational vehicles, and other state forest activities. Swedberg also answered multiple questions regarding low water on lakes and rivers. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) received new complaints about litter, aquatic vegetation removal, and nuisance beavers. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. AIS compliance checks were performed. A complaint about illegal digging was investigated with the area hydrologist and soil and water conservation district. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on aquatic vegetation, wetland, and invasive species violations. Resource protection notifications were issued in several cases in which violations of wetland fill or illegal removal of aquatic vegetation were found. Time also was spent patrolling for fires and responding to injured-animal calls. Property owners are reminded to look at the DNR website for updates on burning conditions.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports taking questions related to the upcoming hunting seasons. It’s a good time to make sure you have all the proper licenses and stamps before the seasons start. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored AIS and fishing enforcement. With the low water levels, it’s tough to launch boats at many accesses, which also are filled with aquatic vegetation. Overlimit and double-tripping complaints regarding fish were monitored, but no violations were encountered.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports receiving calls and questions regarding the upcoming early teal and goose seasons, road right of way access, and potential big-game violations. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked the DNR booth at the Douglas County Fair this week. Lots of positive contacts were made with community members regarding fish- and game-related questions and topics. 

CO Hannah Wood (Wheaton) assisted with in-service training at Camp Ripley during the week, issued minnow-transport permits, and took several calls regarding miscellaneous wildlife issues. 

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. AIS compliance also was monitored. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) continues to prepare for the upcoming hunting season openers. Time was spent patrolling local wildlife management areas for abandoned property. Fire enforcement remains a primary focus. 

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for bear bait and recreational vehicle activity. Baum also investigated ongoing aquatic plant management and bear-bait violations.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) focused on ATV riding, angling, and bear baiting. Follow-up work was completed on open cases, and Cross responded to calls for service. Cross also attended a youth firearms safety field day. 

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working ATVing enforcement and checking bear baits. Kunst also took enforcement action on ATVers operating on the highway, for expired registration, and for illegal bear-baiting signs. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports that numerous bear-related complaints were handled. Please remove any food sources, such as bird feeders, squirrel feeders, garbage cans, grills, dog food, and apples/acorns. The international border between Canada and the U.S. opened, so fish and game checks were conducted at the Port of Entry in International Falls. 

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports working Rainy Lake, and the U.S. Port of Entry in International Falls. Enforcement action was taken for a lake trout overlimit, transporting fish without skin patches, and not removing boat plugs while trailering. 

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) worked ATV enforcement and angling activity, and attended the “Celebrate Side Lake” event held at the Side Lake Community Center. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports a number of nuisance-bear calls were fielded during the week, and he also assisted a few hunters with clarification on the upcoming bear-hunting season regulations. 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, ATVing, and bear-baiting activity. Low water levels have exposed more hazards on waterways. Broughten assisted with the BWCAW closure and also attended training at Camp Ripley.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused on angling and bear-baiting enforcement during the week. Reports from bear hunters continue to be good as bear activity only continues to increase. Assistance was given to the U.S. Forest Service to help contact visitors inside the BWCAW to inform them of the closure.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked anglers on Lake Superior and checked bear-bait stations. He also spent time responding to fires with the U.S. Forest Service and armored firearms at Camp Ripley.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte), CO Pilot Jason Jensen, and Cook County emergency personnel assisted with a capsized canoe. The victim was found and was brought to safety and reunited with the person’s group. Hill also assisted a hiker in distress on the Superior Hiking Trail.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) spent the majority of the week focusing on bear-baiting and ATVing activities. He attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted with a youth firearms training field day in Cass Lake. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked bear baiting, monitored OHV activity, checked area rice beds, and assisted the county with a warrant pick-up. Area lakes have low water and thick rice. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATVing and angling activity, with many nonresidents in town vacationing. Sutherland took multiple complaints about bears destroying garbage cans, bird feeders, and crops in the area. If crop depredation is happening, please call your local DNR Wildlife office for assistance.

District 8 – Duluth area

Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled the area for ATVing activity, but the heat and dust seem to be keeping people off the trails. Willis also spent time on Honor Guard details and planning. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) was on fire duty this past week.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) continued to note shoreline violations in the Aitkin station. One involved heavy machinery being operated in a lake. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes and ATV trails. Sullivan also checked bear-baiting activity in the area and fielded nuisance-bear complaints. Recreational boating decreased this past week. 

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) handled nuisance-animal calls in the area. Wild rice harvesters and ATV riders were contacted. Rainfall made some small lakes easier to access with canoes. TIP calls about illegal angling were investigated.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled for bear-baiting activity. Guida also assisted with in-service training at Camp Ripley. A car-killed deer permit was issued.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked anglers and boaters on the lakes. Low water levels in lakes and rivers is the topic of the summer. Kayaks and canoes are the best to use on the Mississippi River due to many areas of exposed or shallow rocks.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling, bear-baiting, and ATVing activity in the Isle area. Griffith also followed up on several ongoing cases including trespass, litter, and wetland violations. Assistance was given to local law enforcement on calls. Burning violations also were dealt with throughout the week. 

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV with a youth passenger without a helmet, youth crossing public roads on ATVs without a parent/guardian, and operating an ATV without lights. She also spent time following up on many nuisance-bear calls, teaching laws and regulations at a firearms safety class, and assisting at Game Fair, where many questions were answered.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored low water levels in relation to wild rice and the early teal season. A reminder to waterfowl hunters coming to Lake Onamia that there will be no motorized travel allowed for the early teal season. Bears continue to be a problem in agricultural areas as food shortages continue.  

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to take calls from frustrated farmers about black bears destroying their corn crops. State forest areas were busy with ATV riders and hunters getting their bear baits established. The CO dealt with a few bear baiters who wanted to establish baits in the same areas and could not agree to get along.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent the week checking bear baits and patrolling for illegal ATV use in the state forest. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley this week. Westby also worked on local lakes for boating and angling activity. He also assisted with a firearms safety class and field day in Royalton.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity and checked anglers and bear bait stations. Nuisance-bear calls were taken and investigated. Vang also assisted the Benton County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV safety certification class in Foley. 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with in-service training at Camp Ripley. A first aid recertification training also was attended. Silgjord spent a day at Game Fair, answering a wide variety of DNR-related questions from Fair-goers. The Big Birch Lake Association meeting was attended. 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity this week. VanderWeyst also fielded many calls regarding upcoming hunting seasons and firearms safety questions.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) took calls about nuisance bears, injured animals, and a kayak that someone found. Assistance was given to the local fire and police departments on a large mobile home fire. Anglers and boaters were worked with low numbers out due to windy weather. 

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting ATV enforcement. Time was spent attending training and investigating a wetland complaint.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week patrolling state lands and area lakes. Additional time was spent following up on an invasive species complaint and a Wetland Conservation Act violation. Fire investigations were conducted following several complaints about illegal burning. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit, operating an ATV with expired registration, and dispersed camping illegally. A cease and desist order was issued to a landowner for illegally digging in a wetland. Seamans also responded to an ATV crash on private property. 

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers, boaters, and bear baits. Time also was spent responding to wildlife-related calls.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted Scott County and the Minnesota State Patrol with a single-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 169. The driver sustained minor injuries on the scene and was transported to a local hospital. Fogarty fielded a complaint about an abandoned boat trailer at the Spring Lake access. Fogarty contacted an owner of the trailer and had it removed. 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) completed a fire duty assignment at Superior National Forest. He also patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for park activities. 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling activity during the week. Several area accesses were either closed or unusable due to low water levels during the week. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports that the majority of the week was spent scouting local lakes for usable boat accesses. Many accesses are in poor condition due to the drought. Ensure you scout ahead for usable accesses before opening morning of the upcoming waterfowl seasons.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated several wetland violations and fielded questions about the upcoming early teal season. Arntzen also spent time checking anglers and boaters on area lakes.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. Salzer also checked local areas for teal in preparation for the upcoming early teal season. Salzer did not find many teal but observed large numbers of young wood ducks. Hunters participating in the early teal season are reminded to read the regulations for that season.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also followed up on illegal dumping of garbage.

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled Rice Creek for shore angling. Some people did not have licenses and claimed they did not know one was needed. Hanna also assisted the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol with a call for service on White Bear Lake. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked ATVing, angling, and public access enforcement this past week. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display watercraft registration and no license in possession.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATVing, recreational boating, AIS, and state park enforcement. Assistance was given to other DNR divisions with enforcement issues. A kids fishing event was attended at Swift Lake near Tracy. 

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators throughout the week. Activity on area wildlife management areas is picking up as hunters are preparing for the upcoming hunting seasons. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ATVing and boating activity. He also followed up on a trapping violation. Vernier spent time answering questions about aquatic farms and aeration units. 

CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes and working AIS activity. Block also spent time working ATV enforcement and followed up with questions regarding OHMs.  

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) closed out wetland and public waters cases where violations have been addressed. Other time was spent following up on other new possible wetland and public waters violations. With the drought, some people are doing work where they should not be because the water level is below the ordinary high water level. 

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week investigating small-game complaints and ATV enforcement. Assistance was provided to other DNR divisions regarding wetlands and wildlife management area violations.

CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) fielded questions from people regarding the upcoming early teal season. Patrol efforts were focused on ATVing activity and public water access sites. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted local first responders with a medical call. He also received calls concerning nuisance animals and hunting and fishing regulations clarifications. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous calls during the week related to public hunting areas, waterfowl, and firearms-related questions. Hunters are reminded that new regulations are now available.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the past week. Davis also monitored AIS activity and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas. 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) followed up on a littering complaint. Shore anglers were checked along the Minnesota River as well as its tributaries.

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked ATVing, fishing, and AIS activities. Moua also spent time at a kids fishing event in Spring Valley, where the biggest fish caught was a 17-inch brown trout. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, boating, and AIS compliance this week. There are lots of exposed sandbars on rivers in the area, which has brought out ATVs and OHMs. Just a reminder that it’s a violation of state law to operate ATVs and other off-highway vehicles below the ordinary high water mark of an unfrozen public water. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent time instructing at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training and followed up on various calls. A restoration order was issued for a public waters violation, and questions were answered regarding hunting seasons. 

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) primarily worked angling and boat and water safety enforcement. Time also was spent investigating a complaint about attempted illegal turtle sales and continuing an investigation in which an individual planted agricultural crops in a WMA without permission.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports checking boating, fishing, and ATVing in the area. Hemker also followed up on an OHM complaint and found OHM operators riding in a closed area without registration. He received several nuisance-animal complaints including a red fox that did not want come out from under a parked vehicle.

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