Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 22, 2021

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) followed up on a trapping complaint and reports of deer shot in fields in three different locations in Roseau and Marshall counties. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. 

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters in the area. New birds and colder weather showed up during the week, providing some increased waterfowl-hunting activity and success.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) says reports from grouse hunters are increasing as the leaves are falling off trees. There’s been decent fishing success in a few areas.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) reports enforcement action for the week included a walleye overlimit, angling with extra lines, transporting dressed walleyes without a patch of skin, no helmets on juvenile ATV operators, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, littering in a WMA, untagged migratory birds, and federal waterfowl stamp violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) worked ATV activity and checked big- and small-game hunters this past week.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports hunting and fishing activity has been slower due to weather. Time spent working big- and small-game activity.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a firearms safety class in the Fertile area. Several duck hunters were contacted throughout the week.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) towed a group of hunters to a local resort after they had motor problems. Online training was completed and area ATV trails patrolled.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) received a TIP of a vehicle that had trespassed on posted land and was stuck in a big mud hole. Vinton also issued a number of car-killed deer permits and forwarded a call and photos, taken by a local bowhunter, of a very sickly looking deer. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) reports duck-hunting success has been mixed in the area since opener, but more ducks seem to be moving into the area now. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked two separate trespass cases and a trapping violation, as well as complaints of vehicles blocking access to state forest gates.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports that prior to the start of the pheasant season, he was contacted by an individual requesting information on ATV/OHM use on state forest lands. During the conversation, the individual commented on how poorly the pheasant hunting had been thus far. When informed the pheasant season started on Saturday, Oct. 16, the caller became quiet. After a long pause, the caller stated, “I guess I’m in trouble now.” 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) continued working on a background investigation for the upcoming CO Academy. Most pheasant hunters found success on opening day with reports of decent numbers of small, unidentifiable broods mixed in. Hunters interested in hunting walk-in access properties are reminded to purchase the $3 WIA validation.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled sick- and injured-deer calls. Plautz assisted the State Patrol with a crash involving horses. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports enforcement action taken for angling with extra lines, unregistered ATVs, and transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle. A hunting safety talk was also given to a large local business as part of their “Lunch and Learn” event.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports many great contacts were made during the weekend, from first-time youth hunters to more-experienced hunters still willing to put the miles on foot to flush pheasants with friends and family.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports waterfowl numbers in the area are down and the hunters Osborne talked to didn’t have good hunts this past weekend.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week working on her assigned background investigation. She also attended Breckenridge Elementary School’s fifth-grade invasive species presentations.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports enforcement action for the week included toxic shot in possession on federal land and while hunting migratory waterfowl, no pheasant stamps, no license in possession, and burning prohibited materials. 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts focused on checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters. A dog-bite complaint was investigated at Glacial Lakes State Park.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for ATV operators, as well as small-game and big-game activity. Baum continues working on a big-game investigation.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) received complaints/calls regarding hunting laws, trespass, nuisance animals and property/equipment being left overnight in WMAs.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) received calls in regards to dispersed camping, permanent duck blinds and general hunting questions.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received and investigated three fishing complaints. One resulted in enforcement action for angling without a license and extra lines.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) attended the Cass County Minnesota Deer Hunters Association banquet, where numerous questions were answered regarding the upcoming deer season.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) reminds hunters that all attractants and deer feeding are banned in Hubbard and Cass counties. Refer to Page 79 of the 2021 Minnesota Hunting Regulations book.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the Rainy River, grouse hunters, and ATV enforcement this past week. Anglers reported a low success rate on the Rainy River.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) also monitored waterfowl-hunting activity. Teal and shovelers were most of the waterfowl observed in the area this past week. Slatinski fielded calls of injured animals, and nuisance bears are still causing concerns.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ATV use has increased substantially for both hunting and recreational riding.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) assisted another agency with a large dumping complaint. He also wrapped up a few pending cases that he had conducted the prior week.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game, ATV, and archery deer activity. Time was also spent maintaining station equipment and attending a volunteer snowmobile safety instructor meeting in Chisholm.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time investigating a trespass case and completing reports.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spoke to several hunters prepping for the upcoming youth deer season.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking trout anglers on remote trout lakes, anglers in the BWCAW, and ATV riders. 

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports warm and dry weather over the weekend made up for what had been a week of very low hunting activity as many hunters were checked making it out over the weekend. CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked hunters and anglers this past week. Velsvaag took several calls on the northern pike regulations and campfires.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports illegal-deer-baiting investigations continue.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) noticed an uptick in spruce partridge harvest. If readers recall from Hill’s report from last week, he contacted a few people illegally camping at a public access, along with illegally possessing drug paraphernalia. Hill returned to the access on Monday and found a pile of burned garbage. Lo and behold, Hill located a piece of burned garbage bearing the name of one of the campers. More citations were issued for illegally burning garbage and for litter.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked grouse hunters and remaining bear hunters. Brown answered hunting related questions and investigated spruce-top theft.

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.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids)took enforcement action for angling without a license, angling after revocation, and angling with extra lines. He gave law talks at two area youth firearms safety classes.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports duck hunters’ bags continue to be dominated by teal, woodies, and a few mallards.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports extremely high ATV activity throughout the surrounding areas. Due to recent rainfalls, most ATV riders on the trail were covered in mud rather than the dust that previously covered the riders earlier in the year.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) investigated a TIP complaint of illegal harvest of tree tops was investigated. Night deer shining complaint areas were also monitored. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked shining complaints and followed up on a deer shot in a local field. Schmidt also assisted with Honor Guard duties for a retired Border Patrol agent. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV and fall hunting activities. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juveniles. 

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) gave assistance at a vehicle crash in Jacobson. Benkofske also attended the Tamarack Sno-Flyers Club annual meeting. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) stopped an ATV driver on a public roadway and it was determined the driver did not have a valid driver’s license as required. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) continued work on a background investigation and followed up on a shoreline-violation complaint.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked a property where work had been done in a wetland with no permit. Calls of trespassing complaints were taken. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) addressed complaints regarding hunting in a closed area and suspicious lights.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) reports angling success on Lake Mille Lacs remained slow through the weekend. The Soo Line, Foxy Loop, Solana Loop and Red Top trails were busy through the week.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) took enforcement action for youths operating ATVs without helmets, ATV without lights, operating an ATV on a county road, and burning prohibited materials.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled a trespass complaint, and the complainant was advised to properly post their property. She also assisted with recruiting college students to assist DNR Wildlife with CWD testing sites. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) gave assistance to local law enforcement with DUI situations and crashes. A road-killed bear was salvaged and will be utilized.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled trespassing and illegal-burning complaints.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week checking small-game and waterfowl hunters. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked the Mississippi River and area lakes for angling activity.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) is investigating a TIP call of someone shooting a deer from the roadway. A call was taken on Mille Lacs Lake where a pelican was entangled in fishing line. Vang was able to cut and untangle the fishing line and the pelican was released.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) worked the pheasant opener over the weekend. Hunter numbers were low compared to past years, but hunters were seen having some success with roosters being seen in many bags. The fall fish bite also seems to be picking up as well.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) assisted with an attempt to get an ATV transferred to a new owner who had lost his bill of sale from the previous owners.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent time working on annual training and a pre-employment background investigation for the next CO Academy.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spoke at a firearms safety class in Long Prairie. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) followed up on numerous neighbor complaints of trespassing and dogs chasing deer.

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent time following up with ongoing investigations.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint of shooting from the roadway.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) fielded several trespass complaints and answered law-related questions. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and duck hunters and finalizing a background investigation.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on big-game activity for the week.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week checking waterfowl, pheasant, and deer hunters. Violations encountered were lead shot in a waterfowl production area, placing stands in WMAs, and ATV-safety violations.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) answered questions about youth firearms safety classes, deer firearms regulations, and fishing regulations to the Asian community.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park. The nice weather brought out approximately 783 vehicles on Saturday and 800-plus vehicles on Sunday. Enforcement action for no vehicle permit.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) dealt with multiple deer-feeding complaints. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) responded to many calls about illegal firearms inside the Hampton Woods WMA.

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) gave assistance to other COs with ongoing cases/investigations. A public waters call was also looked into where an impoundment was built in a small creek. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked archery deer, migratory waterfowl, and pheasant hunters this past week. 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) investigated deer hunting over bait. K9 Earl assisted with an evidence search involving a big-game investigation. A K9 demo for the kids was conducted while assisting with a firearms safety class field day held in Redwood Falls. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week training and checking hunters.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working waterfowl, archery deer, and fishing enforcement. A CO presentation was also given to the Marshall High School fish and wildlife class. 

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports pheasant success in the area was marginal. Dirks also conducted a big-game investigation. Soybean harvest in the area is nearly done; corn harvest is in full swing. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) worked pheasant hunters. He also issued multiple wildlife-possession permits.

CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. Time was also spent fielding questions on trespass and continuing work on ongoing investigations. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) wrapped up work on a background investigation of an applicant to become a conservation officer. 

CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) gave a law and ethics presentation to firearms safety students in Green Isle. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) reports that treestands that are left in violation are being removed from area wildlife management areas.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) took and worked numerous TIP calls, resulting in enforcement action being taken. ATV and public-access work was also conducted.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) returned phone calls relating to use of state land and the pheasant season.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked pheasant opener and observed huge amounts of pressure by hunters in all areas. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports pheasant opener brought out moderate crowds. Public lands saw good levels of activity. 

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) conducted a firearms safety presentation that focused on safety, laws and ethics. 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking waterfowl, deer, and pheasant hunters.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) checked area waterfowl hunters and a common violation is still the lack of life jackets on board. Fall fishing in the area is picking up and anglers are enjoying the nice fall days.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) assisted other agencies and followed up on TIP complaints.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports a busy week of checking anglers, ATV riders and waterfowl hunters. He also assisted in the rescue efforts of several individuals on the Minnesota River. 

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked pheasant- and deer-hunting activities. The pheasant opener was busy with many people out hunting. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week checking area angling and hunting activity. Enforcement action included license and registration violations. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking deer hunters and small-game hunters. Success was slow. Archery hunters said the “October lull” is upon us.

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) spent time monitoring ATV activity around Olmsted and Dodge counties.

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) was working with CO Fitzgerald when they observed an OHM operating on the roadway. It took several miles to catch up to the OHM and, in the meantime, the driver blew through a stop sign on a paved country road. The operator was found to be a juvenile whose parents knew they were out operating. The parents were contacted to come pick up the juvenile and OHM laws of operation were clearly explained to the parents and juvenile.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked several college students while they were duck hunting on the river. They explained they needed to continue to monitor their phone during a mandatory online lecture.

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports two waterfowl hunters from Wisconsin were hunting Minnesota waters on the Mississippi with only Wis. licenses. As a reminder, Wisconsin and Minnesota angling licenses are valid within the border waters of the Mississippi, but hunting licenses are only valid up to the state line.

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) assisted with the recovery of a stolen vehicle that was abandoned in a WMA.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and waterfowl-hunting activity on the Mississippi River this week. Some new ducks have moved into the area, but the warm fall weather has kept most birds farther north.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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