Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 29, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked deer hunters, duck hunters, grouse hunters, and walleye anglers throughout the week. A complaint about hunter harassment is being investigated from the youth deer season.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent the week checking bird hunters, anglers, and youth deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for an individual assisting in taking deer with the use of bait.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports a good turnout for the youth deer season. Prior to the start of the season, Brown was left a voicemail by an individual stating there was a wounded deer in a field with its head flopping around. Once Brown received cell phone service, he called the individual back. The caller stated, “After a closer look, I see that it is a wet cardboard box, so you don’t need to come dispatch it.”
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored deer-hunting activity during the firearms youth deer hunt, and responded to multiple calls from people with questions about regulations regarding the youth deer hunt. He also responded to a call about ATVers in the Old Mill State Park.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports encountering a trio of hunters erecting hunting stands while getting ready for the upcoming firearms deer season. However, they were also placing a pile of sugar beets out in front of the deer stand they were erecting. When they realized that it was likely that the sugar beets may not be completely consumed in sufficient time before opening morning, they found it in their best interest to remove the sugar beets on their own. Regas also reports investigating a gray wolf mortality. It was determined the wolf was an immediate threat that was actively pursuing cattle and was shot by the livestock producer. The wolf was donated to the Bemidji State University biology department for scientific research and educational study.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) received complaints about deer shining and questions regarding CWD. Shining activity was worked.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting many drivers after they had collisions with deer. Drivers are reminded that this time of year deer can be moving at all hours and drivers need to drive cautiously. Vinton also met area hydrology staff for a site inspection at an area lake. Several calls were taken about possible fishing overlimits.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with a trespass case, worked deer hunters and handled calls regarding late shots and hunter harassment.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. Complaints about possible illegal activity in area WMAs were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time working the youth deer hunt along with the early antlerless season. She responded to a TIP call regarding a fish overlimit in which two separate anglers were found with overlimits of crappies. Plautz cited a hunter for hunting big game without a license as the hunter explained to her that he went to town and got gas, went to the ATM machine, and drank a beer, but forgot to buy a hunting license.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports that several complaints were received and handled involving trespass, poached deer, shining, deer carcasses being dumped, and shooting from a vehicle. One complaint involved a six-point buck that was shot and gutted. Then the whole deer was dumped in a road ditch near Stalker Lake in Otter Tail County. Anyone with information should call the Turn in Poachers line.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked pheasant and deer hunters. Time also was spent following up on complaints involving WMAs.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working small-game, waterfowl, fishing, and big-game enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for taking a hen pheasant and use of toxic shot on federal land. Multiple trespass complaints were handled.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) checked multiple hunters and ATV riders throughout the week. Youth deer hunters were checked, and a crappie-overlimit case was worked.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked the youth/early antlerless deer seasons as well as fishing activities. Many people are getting ready for the upcoming deer season. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, allowing illegal youth operation, and PFD-related violations. Illegal possession of a big-game animal, excavations in a public water, and wetland violations also were investigated.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked hunting activity. One duck-hunting group had to be assisted in getting unstuck from thick muck on the shore of Leech Lake.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) spent the majority of the week dealing with illegal spruce top/birch pole issues. Small-game and ATV activities continue to be monitored.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports conservation officers and multiple law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant in regard to decorative forest products during the week. Zavodnik continues to investigate trespass complaints in regard to spruce-top theft throughout the area.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Broughten observed few youth deer hunters during the youth deer season. Broughten also fielded calls regarding timber theft, trespass, and littering.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that small-game hunting activity was heavy during the long MEA weekend. Violations included no angling license in possession, angling without a license, and fishing on a designated trout lake without a trout stamp.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote trout lakes, small-game hunters, and ATV riders out enjoying the trails. He took individuals from the Cook County High School AP Environmental Science class and Cook County Soil and Water on Lake Superior to collect water samples.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy MEA weekend of hunting activity. Citations were issued to several people for transporting loaded firearms.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports Cook County was full of small-game hunters and ATV riders throughout the week. Grouse harvest is still high, with near-limits being consistently seen. A reminder to leave a wing on your birds if you plan to transport them in your vehicle. Hill responded to a trespass and possible poached-moose call up the Gunflint Trail. The homeowners claimed to have seen two hunters dragging a dead moose across the driveway. Further investigation showed that the homeowners were actually watching their driveway via security camera as they were sitting in their other house a few states away. The “hunters” were neighbors, and the “moose” was actually a large tent.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) monitored grouse-, waterfowl-, and deer-hunting activities while also conducting ATV enforcement. A possession permit was issued for a roadkill moose, and enforcement action was taken for several youth ATV helmet violations and ATV registration issues.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked hunters, investigated baiting complaints, worked a detail, and assisted the county with a suspicious-activity call.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) checked small-game and big-game hunters, duck hunters, anglers, and ATVing activity throughout the area. Enforcement action was taken for numerous duck-hunting and big-game violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked a bear case in the Duluth area and followed up on trespassing complaints. ATV-related complaints continued, along with disability permitting for the deer season.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work night shining complaint areas within the district. Time also was spent working archery deer-hunting locations. A variety of calls were investigated, which included hunting from a motor vehicle, trespass, illegal decorative material harvest, litter, and assisting the Duluth Police Department with a hunting violation within the city.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) received calls and complaints involving deer feeding, litter, nuisance wolves and beavers, trespassing, youth deer season-related issues, firearms safety, and apprentice hunter validation issues. Humphrey issued a restoration order on a wetland violation and checked small-game hunting and trapping activity on area WMAs.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small-game hunters and shore anglers. Questions were fielded about access to different types of public land, license purchase errors, and ATV use during the youth deer season. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) responded to a call about a bear and two cubs that were planning to winter under a deck. Sullivan was able to encourage the bears to move along. Sullivan also worked activity associated with the youth and early antlerless firearms seasons.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) reports that a Class 2 ATV operator was cited for reckless operation when he came off a forest road and proceeded to spin donuts on the blacktop county road on the centerline with traffic coming. When stopped, the operator stated he just couldn’t help himself after such a good day of riding.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked deer hunting, sportfishing, and on a background investigation this week. A case of illegal dumping of deer carcasses within the road right of way is being investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity where a fall crappie bite was observed on several lakes. The youth deer season generated concerns from people not anticipating rifles and blaze orange in the woods yet. Verkuilen also looked into suspicious dead deer and assisted with a highway crash.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for ATVing activity, small-game hunting, archery deer hunting, and the youth firearms deer hunt. Enforcement action was taken for youth operating ATVs without lights, as well as wanton waste. She also assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office with the search for a lost hunter.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) took calls about feeding deer in a CWD-monitoring area. She also received a nuisance-beaver complaint and gave the landowner technical advice. Speldrich responded to a call on state-owned public property where someone had posted “no trespassing” signs.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) checked multiple waterfowl hunters, with poor success found. The early antlerless deer season and youth season were monitored, with registration violations found. A youth deer hunter mistook a gray wolf for a coyote and killed it. A river otter was killed accidentally at a nuisance-beaver trapping site.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked small-game, waterfowl-hunting, deer-hunting, and sportfishing activity this past week. Questions were fielded regarding ATV use in state forests and trespassing.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked waterfowl hunters and took several calls about trespassing and complaints about waterfowl hunters shooting toward buildings. Westby worked the youth early deer season and early antlerless deer season in the area, with most hunters seeing many deer. Westby would like to remind all hunters to check over their license before they go out to make sure they have the proper tags for the area they plan to hunt.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked the early antlerless and youth deer seasons. More deer are being hit on the roads, and several car-killed deer permits were issued. A deer-baiting case was made for hunting over corn and apples.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) checked hunters and anglers. Waterfowl hunters checked during the weekend had little success. Deer-possession permits were issued. Area lakes were checked as the fall crappie bite has started.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports a busy early antlerless season. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, lending and borrowing a deer license, taking a legal buck instead of an antlerless deer, and leaving stands in a WMA. A cease and desist order was issued to stop work in the case of a wetland violation.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking anglers and small-game, big-game, and waterfowl hunters. Time also was spent following up on public waters issues and a burning investigation.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for deer and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent investigating trespass complaints and dumped deer carcasses.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters. Krauel also spent time following up on a hunter who shot a turkey vulture. When the person realized someone saw him doing it, he took off running into the woods. The witnesses called it in, and Krauel was able to find the shooter walking out of the woods an hour later.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked some remote archery deer hunters camping in a state recreation area. Fogarty also observed a driver come into the SRA with an open tailgate and a truck box full of yard waste. The driver got back into his vehicle when he noticed Fogarty approaching him. One traffic stop and a long conversation later, the driver said he thought it might be better to place his yard waste at his local city compost pile.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the metro area for hunting, fishing, and boating activities. He took enforcement action for no angling license, fishing with an unattended line, failure to display valid boat registration, fishing while privileges were revoked, no vehicle permit while in a state park, no PFD while waterfowl hunting, and no federal duck stamp.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) reports that a situation with dogs chasing deer was dealt with, and the dog owner was cited due to continued violations.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring waterfowl hunters in the area. He also checked hunters out for the youth and early antlerless deer seasons.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week primarily checking archery deer hunters and pheasant hunters. Duck hunters have reported shooting some divers with the colder weather starting to push birds south. Several deer-hunting complaints were investigated. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with a motor vehicle crash.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports checking anglers, pheasant hunters, and youth deer hunters throughout the week. Pheasant hunters are reporting good pheasant numbers throughout the area.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working hunters. Trumpeter swans are scattered around the area in good numbers. Corn harvest is progressing slowly due to recent rains.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working the youth deer season and following up with ongoing big-game investigations. K9 training was attended at Camp Ripley. K9 Earl also assisted with an evidence search for shell casings regarding a shooting-from-a-motor-vehicle complaint.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the extended MEA weekend was busy with pheasant hunters, youth deer hunters, and anglers. Deer hunters are reminded that site tags need to be validated before the deer is moved from the site of kill and that registration is required within 48 hours.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked pheasant hunters, archery deer hunters, small-game hunters, and anglers. Klehr also checked hunters taking advantage of the early antlerless season and the youth firearms deer season. Violations observed included no license in possession, hunting the wrong zone, and not having the correct stamps.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week on big-game and small-game hunting enforcement. Calls were fielded about public lands and the correct type of licenses for the youth deer hunt. The end of the week concluded with a phone call from a landowner concerned about the border of his new hunting land.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning trespassing, stands and blinds illegally left on WMAs, and requests for hunting law clarification. He worked primarily deer, pheasant, waterfowl, and ATV violations.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports that a deer investigation is ongoing related to hunting over bait. Pheasant- and waterfowl-hunting activity continues to be the predominant focus, enforcement-wise.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week working small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. The youth firearms deer hunt seemed to have lower participation than in past years. Compliance with blaze orange requirements during the youth deer hunt was mixed.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked deer hunters, waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters, anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. Davis monitored AIS activity and patrolled WMAs, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas. Multiple violations were encountered.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) investigated a report about anglers taking too many crappies on an area lake. The investigation led to Henke issuing citations to three different groups of anglers for taking overlimits of crappies and to one of the anglers for having a suspended angling license.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week following up on various hunting complaints. Assistance was given to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office regarding a vehicle crash and a burglary in progress.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports the first decent north wind of the fall brought limits of ducks to the marsh but they quickly found the refuge and hunter success slowed.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reminds archery deer hunters and fall turkey hunters that they need to wear blaze orange during the early firearms deer seasons.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a lot of deer activity with the early antlerless and youth deer hunts, along with archery hunting. An ATV operator did not stop for Hemker when signaled at a road intersection. The operator, when contacted later in the day, said he was scared because he did not register his ATV.