Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 8, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked waterfowl hunters, grouse hunters, and a bear hunter throughout the week. Grouse hunting remains slow and duck hunting has been decent for those putting in the work to hunt the low water.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent the week checking anglers, waterfowl hunters, and grouse hunters. He also worked on resolving a property boundary dispute.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) worked small-game hunting enforcement and investigated a complaint about an ATV in a wildlife management area. Calls were fielded pertaining to the rifle deer season and requirements for firearms safety for youth.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking deer, duck, and grouse hunters, as well as anglers on special-regulation lakes this past week. He also investigated ATV trespassing and assisted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigators with an investigation.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on water-related cases this week. Time also was spent checking anglers, duck hunters, and bear hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked area lakes for angling activity and followed up on complaints about individuals hunting waterfowl in the Bemidji Game Refuge. He also assisted Montana conservation officers with interviews related to a big-game investigation.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) followed up on multiple burning complaints and took enforcement action on fires containing prohibited materials.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked waterfowl and small-game hunting activity. Patrol was conducted for ATVs and off-road vehicles. Warren monitored activity in area wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time checking anglers and waterfowl hunters. The agricultural harvest is in full swing. It has moved wildlife around and created an uptick in hunting activity. During a routine ATV-registration check, Goodman discovered one ATV operator was impaired. Enforcement action for the week included an ATV DWI and violation of a restoration order.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, waterfowl hunters, and ATV riders. A hunter-access complaint was investigated. It turned out to be a civil issue with the township and neighboring landowners.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked a hunter-harassment complaint and continued working on a background investigation.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and bowhunters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Baumbarger also handled nuisance-beaver issues and several injured-animal calls.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for hunting, angling, and recreational vehicle traffic. He took enforcement action for various hunting and aquatic plant violations.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked big-game hunting, waterfowl hunting, and angling. Enforcement action was taken for multiple big-game violations and waterfowl violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) worked hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing, hunting without a license, and various other waterfowl-hunting violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of people were out enjoying the woods and waters, whether it was fishing, hunting, riding ATVs, or hiking. Animal-related complaints and trespass complaints were handled throughout the week.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports working small-game hunters, goose and duck hunters, ATV enforcement, and anglers on the Rainy River. Bear-hunting activity also was monitored this past week.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports nuisance-bear reports continue to come in, as well as complaints about people feeding other wild animals, which are causing problems and concerns for neighbors. The area was busy, with ATV riders, grouse hunters, and waterfowl hunters contributing to most of the activity. In one instance, two off-highway vehicle operators drove next to the officer’s patrol vehicle at a stop sign and then continued onto the highway, operating in the driving lane and on the shoulder at a high rate of speed. Contact was made with both individuals.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring public access sites and checking fishing activities. Small-game hunting activities were checked, as were area forest roads.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily small-game and decorative material enforcement. Larson also investigated a potential shoreline violation.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game, archery deer, and waterfowling activity. In addition, time was spent speaking at a firearms safety class in Buhl, responding to calls, and attending a community event in Chisholm.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time investigating multiple trespass complaints involving ATVers and theft of decorative materials. He also assisted multiple law enforcement agencies with a search for a known individual who fled on foot during a traffic stop.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, hunting, and ATVing activity. Broughten also fielded calls regarding bears, trapping regulations, and license questions.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a weekend of clouds and rain did not deter small-game hunters in the Ely area from searching trails for grouse. Waterfowl hunters reported still seeing a good number of geese north of Ely, but few ducks.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled forest roads and trails, checking small-game hunters and ATV operators. Manning also checked end-of-season trout anglers on inland lakes and worked the salmon run on Lake Superior tributaries.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily spruce-top theft cases throughout the week. He also checked some duck and grouse hunters. Three separate spruce-top thefts were solved, including a large theft on state forest land. Charges for gross misdemeanor timber trespass are pending. Additional enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded gun in a motor vehicle.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game hunters and archery deer hunters this week. Mild weather and peak fall colors brought lots of travelers to the North Shore.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked grouse hunters and conducted ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for no small-game license in possession, no ATV trail pass, and transporting a loaded firearm.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and worked anglers, big-game and small-game hunters, boaters, and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints and assisted other agencies.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner Si assisted in locating a suspect who fled into the woods and also located a juvenile runaway.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked duck-hunting activity in the area. Sutherland has taken numerous recent calls about deer being hit by vehicles. Be careful while driving because deer are on the move.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) focused on small-game hunting and ATVing activity. Complaints about trespassing, shooting too close to residences, operation of ATVs on closed trails, and deer-stand issues were handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to investigate the possible illegal take of a black bear. Duncan worked small-game hunting areas and checked waterfowl hunters during the week. Complaints were followed up on, including night shining deer locations, ATV trespass, and possible illegal harvest of decorative materials. Anglers and archery deer hunters were also checked throughout the week.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) followed up on a big-game investigation and a wetland case, and assisted with a detail in the Two Harbors station with CO Murray.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small-game hunters and ATV riders. The wet weather had bird hunters scrambling to find birds over the weekend. Olson also investigated birch-pole cutting in the Brimson area with CO Duncan and responded to calls from people with questions about the firearms deer season.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers as the lake trout season drew to a close. ATV- and bear-related complaints were received and handled. A road-hit moose near Duluth was dispatched and signed over to a private party. A detail in the BWCA was worked related to fire closures.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) investigated reports of filling wetlands and altering the cross-section of a lakebed. Deer hunters in the area reported issues with domestic dogs chasing deer. Sullivan also worked on litter complaints and was a guest speaker at an area firearms safety class.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked waterfowl and ATV enforcement this week. Numerous boaters and anglers were checked while enjoying the warm fall weather. Guida took enforcement action on various license, shotgun, and stamp violations. A college student participated in a ride-along with Guida.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent time conducting a background investigation for the current hiring process of new conservation officers. He also checked duck hunters and ATV riders.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time this week patrolling for ATVing activity and small-game, archery, and waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent on Lake Mille Lacs, checking anglers and recreational boaters. Griffith also assisted local agencies with calls.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for ATVing activity and small-game, archery deer, and waterfowl hunting. She also assisted an angler who was stranded on Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received complaints about trespassing and WMA violations. She also received information that a camper was parked in an unauthorized area in a state forest.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on a waterfowl complaint of hunting in a state park. Upcoming deer-season concerns also were fielded. Work plans with the Mille Lacs Tribal DNR were launched, as a new deer-season structure is coming to Kathio State Park.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to deal with wolf depredation of livestock in the Hinckley area. Depredation investigations confirmed the losses of an adult cow and calves, along with non-fatal injuries to a calf. Several wolves were removed from farms where livestock were killed and injured. An investigation also was completed involving two individuals who attempted to steal money from a DNR campground. The two thieves were caught on camera while attempting to take money out of a self-service pay tube. Charges are pending.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked the Mississippi River for angling and waterfowl-hunting activity. He also investigated a complaint of filling a wetland and worked with the Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District. Westby received complaints about ATVers crossing Highway 10 illegally and located a fence that had been cut along the road right of way.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity, bear, small-game, and archery deer hunting, fishing and AIS. He also arrested an individual with an outstanding warrant.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked duck hunters, bowhunters, and squirrel hunters. Time was spent on the water, checking boaters and anglers. A firearms safety field day was worked with neighboring officers.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, insufficient boating safety equipment, and possessing smallmouth bass.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking waterfowl, small-game, and big-game hunters. Time also was spent following up on public waters issues.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking small-game hunters and migratory waterfowl hunters. Krauel also spent time patrolling for ATV activity and working on a wolf-depredation complaint.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for waterfowl hunters, anglers, and archery deer hunters. Additional time was spent issuing wildlife-related permits and presenting at a firearms safety class. Wetland and lakeshore violations continued this week, resulting in a cease and desist order and a resource protection notification.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked waterfowl hunters, who were again out in good numbers this week. Fogarty took enforcement action for no life jacket and federal stamp violations.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked duck hunters and small-game hunters in the metro area. Fishing and boating activities were monitored, and he answered questions from the Asian community about small-game hunting regulations. He also followed up on a small-game hunting trespass issue in southeastern Minnesota.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week patrolling for small-game and archery deer hunters. A littering issue at a public access was investigated. Trespass complaints continue to be investigated.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on waterfowl-hunting activity. During the weekend, he assisted Carver County officers with a verbal and physical altercation between multiple people.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking waterfowl hunters and anglers on local lakes and rivers. Multiple nuisance-animal complaints also were handled.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small-game, waterfowl, and archery deer hunters. He handled several TIP calls regarding trespassing and shooting after hours. Arntzen also conducted follow-up on investigations regarding a couple of wetland and public waters violations that resulted in the issuance of restoration orders.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) assisted a neighboring officer with a wetland issue on Bald Eagle Lake. Waterfowl and small-game hunters also checked, with reports being slower with warmer weather.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking waterfowl hunters and anglers throughout the week. Waterfowl hunters reported less success during the second weekend of the season. Archery deer hunters reported slower hunts with the warm weather.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working waterfowl hunters. The majority of them had some luck harvesting mostly teal, mallards, and wood ducks. Time also was spent at a K9 conference.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports working a DNR booth at a career fair at Southwest Minnesota State University. Duck and goose hunters are reminded that the Central and South zones are closed Oct. 4-8.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking waterfowl hunters and anglers on area lakes. Time also was spent enforcing ATV laws and fielding questions pertaining to their operation. Block also spent time following up on cases and helping fellow officers with a firearms safety class for youth.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports a litter-dumping complaint was followed up on in which the person responsible was cited and required to clean up what was dumped. Klehr also checked a number of waterfowl hunters during the weekend.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week working shore anglers and small-game hunters. ATV and big-game enforcement also were focuses. Questions are being fielded about new deer permit area boundaries and bag limits.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to focus enforcement efforts on waterfowl hunting, ATV use, and fall angling activity. Numerous calls were fielded related to water access and the upcoming pheasant season.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked waterfowl and deer hunters. Angling activity has picked up with lower water temperatures.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking anglers and migratory waterfowl and small- and big-game hunters. Lusignan is investigating a big-game case.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week checking areas for small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. A baiting complaint was investigated. He also responded to a complaint about a possible illegal burn.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked small-game, waterfowl, and deer-hunting activities. Trout anglers were also checked, with many anglers reporting catching good numbers of brown trout.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked waterfowl and small-game enforcement this week. Henke reminds deer hunters that placing stands overnight on state and federal property is prohibited.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked a few duck hunters who were brave enough to battle mosquitoes and warm weather this week.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters. Boyum continues to work cases from last season and has been assisting other COs.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) reports time was spent responding to an unusually high number of calls about sick animals.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports fewer duck hunters, but some limits of ducks were checked. The river was very busy with a large fishing contest, the Wisconsin duck opener, and recreational boaters enjoying good weather. He followed up on trespass and illegally-taken-deer complaints. A sick fox was hanging around in town at a local golf course and was reported to have taken some golf balls.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) worked on a complaint regarding hunter harassment and deer feeding. Assistance was provided with an out-of-state big-game investigation.