Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 19, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked deer hunters throughout Roseau, Marshall, Kittson, and Lake of the Woods counties. The weather definitely affected hunter success, but a number of successful hunters were observed late during the second weekend of the season.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) continued to work the firearms deer season. Sura also took a call in which a deceased snowy owl was located at a person’s farm. The owl will be given to the Section of Wildlife to use for education.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) spent most of his time on big-game enforcement throughout the week. Hunters report with the snowstorm and temperature change, the deer were moving a lot more, but visibility was poor. Brown also responded to a hunter with an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound during the weekend. That day, the hunter learned trigger discipline and, thankfully, only needed a few stitches.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) worked firearms deer hunting this week. Elwell continues to field trespassing complaints and TIP calls involving big-game violations observed by other hunters.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working deer-hunting activity throughout this past week. Time was spent monitoring trapping activity and assisting the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office in locating a lost hunter.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) continued working firearms deer season activity. CO Vollbrecht and CO Regas responded to a call about a missing hunter. They were able to locate the individual and get him back to his hunting group.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports weather changed drastically during the latter half of the rifle deer season, with strong winds, colder weather, and snow. TIP calls about trespass, possible hunting while intoxicated, and hunting from the roadway were investigated.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking deer hunters. There were quite a few waterfowl hunters who were excited to see a big push of birds move into the area.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) investigated reports of an overlimit of bucks, lending/borrowing licenses, and late shooting. Violations of untagged deer, unregistered deer, use of radio equipment to take deer, and hunting with an invalid license also were handled.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working small-game, waterfowl, and deer-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent assisting South Dakota game wardens with an investigation.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking deer- and waterfowl-hunting activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public included various deer-hunting TIP reports and complaints. The most common complaint was trail camera theft or tampering. One incident investigated involved a parent illegally purchasing a deer license for a 9-year-old. Hunters must be 10 years old before they can purchase a license.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked a busy deer season, with several contacts made in the field. Plautz also assisted the sheriff’s office with an attempt to locate a wanted felon.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) recovered a deer suspected to be poached in northwestern Grant County. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to use one of the TIP reporting options.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked deer hunters and ATV riders. Several trespassing complaints were received but could not be prosecuted due to the property not being properly posted. Road hunting and open intoxicants were found with the arrival of cold weather.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked waterfowl and deer hunters throughout the past week. Hunters reported mixed success in the snowy conditions.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) received some helpful TIP complaints and continues to encourage people to submit information using the TIP line. Baum took enforcement action on various violations including failure to display ATV registration, failure to validate a deer tag, untagged deer, feeding ban violations, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Baum was dispatched to the area of a report of someone who shot and killed a deer from a motor vehicle. The individuals who called in this violation were able to gather information about the vehicle, which allowed Hubbard County deputies to stop the vehicle. Baum is grateful for the individuals who were willing to call this illegal activity in, which resulted in enforcement action taken for shooting from a motor vehicle, taking a big-game animal from a public road right of way, untagged deer, and failure to validate a deer tag.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) continued to work the firearms deer season and saw mixed success across the station. The first measurable snow fell on the area during the weekend, and a few snowmobiles were seen already.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the second weekend of the regular deer firearms season has come and gone, with one more week left. Heavy, wet snow came, making it difficult to get in and out of camps and to see in the woods.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports heavy snow arrived in the area. Some forest roads and ATV trails are not passable due to trees down. Little hunting activity was noted and very few deer were observed harvested. Complaints continue about the lack of deer and wolf numbers.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily deer-hunting enforcement. Larson encountered several violations throughout the week including taking deer with the aid of bait, expired ATV registration, no deer license in possession, operating an ATV during closed hours, and transporting a loaded firearm. Larson also worked a stolen-boat complaint, trespass complaint, and a complaint related to operating an ATV on a bike path.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) assisted CO Aaron Larson with investigating a deer-baiting case involving multiple hunters in violation. Neighboring COs as well as a metro CO found that two bucks were taken over bait on opening weekend. Multiple license and deer-registration violations also were found. Zavodnik assisted the State Patrol with multiple car crashes and a DWI arrest during the first snowfall. He also arrested an individual with a warrant while investigating a suspicious-activity complaint.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports hunting activity continued strong, although most of the camps in the Ely area emptied before the rain and snow fell in the middle of the week. A wolf was found shot and killed on the Echo Trail on Friday morning. Anyone who may have any information is encouraged to contact Minnesota Turn in Poachers at 800-652-9093.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took two calls about hikers walking through areas popular with deer hunters while wearing almost no orange and no brightly-colored clothing. Both hunters stated they warned the hikers about hunters in the area. One pointed out that one orange hat between three people was not enough for them to be seen easily; apparently their dog was well attired. Manning also took a couple of after-the-fact calls about hunters claiming hunting privilege to public land based on past use. Public land is open to all. Hunters seeking exclusive hunting areas should purchase land.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a much colder second weekend of firearms deer season. Snow arrived to the North Shore and provided some tracking snow for hunters, improving the harvest. Murray continued to investigate illegal baiting activity and responded to reports of hunter harassment and trespass.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) reports that an illegally taken doe was seized after it was taken in a bucks-only area, and a TIP report about an individual hunting deer over corn was investigated. The baiting TIP resulted in a firearm being seized as well as charges of hunting deer with the aid of bait.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) focused primarily on deer-hunting activity throughout the week. Time also was spent investigating a TIP complaint and checking anglers. Holt received several complaints regarding trespassing and assisted with numerous questions on big-game hunting. Enforcement action involved ATV violations and transporting loaded firearms.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports that deer-hunting success among hunters significantly improved with the onset of colder weather. Several citations were issued for transporting loaded firearms.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw many hunters out this weekend, and more success than the last. TIP calls were answered, and heavily hunted areas were proactively patrolled. After the CO followed up on an ongoing case, two hunters were found to be hunting with the aid of bait. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work the firearms deer season and related issues. Trespass complaints were handled, with most people just needing an explanation of the posting requirements. Duncan also checked archery deer hunters.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked the firearms deer season, investigating complaints of trespass, hunting without a license, and baiting. Humphrey also checked on waterfowl-hunting and trapping activity.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked in the Meadowlands to Two Harbors station during the week. Olson responded to a deer retrieval dispute in Duluth Township between neighbors, working as an arbitrator for a successful outcome. He also responded to a TIP at the Lester River, resulting in violations for no angling license and trout stamp.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked deer hunters and addressed related complaints. Hunter harassment and use of bait were addressed, as was the transport of loaded firearms on an ATV.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and big-game enforcement this week. He was assisted by a neighboring CO with some angling checks. An overlimit of walleyes was detected in which an angler had 23 walleyes in his possession – 17 over the limit. A field contact with a deer hunter resulted in a lend/borrow license case. The hunter was using his girlfriend’s license while she wasn’t afield in an attempt to take another buck. Hunter-harassment and trespassing calls were investigated. Baiting complaints investigated resulted in seized rifles and fines.
CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) spent the majority of the week working deer-hunting activity. Several trespass issues were handled, and many questions were fielded.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) worked mainly deer-hunting and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV use during restricted hours and on closed trails, hunting deer over bait, and attempting to take a deer overlimit.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking deer hunters in the area. A pair of lost dogs were returned to their owner.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) is investigating a large buck that was illegally shot in the city limits of Baxter. The animal’s antlers were removed and the remaining portion of the deer was left. The incident occurred on Clearwater Road. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Turn in Poachers hotline. Rewards are offered.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked deer-season activity including night hunting, trespassing disputes, and deer acting suspiciously.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated deer-baiting complaints. She also responded to trespassing complaints and a portable stand theft. Speldrich investigated a public waters violation in which a waterfowl hunter used an abandoned, disassembled boat to create a path across a marshy area to open water. Speldrich assisted the county with a car-vs.-deer property damage accident. The vehicle was unoccupied and disabled, blocking a lane of traffic. Speldrich also observed a container of what appeared to be a controlled substance inside the vehicle.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to stay busy handling deer-season complaints and checking hunters. Trespassing complaints increased quite a bit during the second weekend of the season. Some of the trespassing investigations resulted in the CO finding hunters sneaking around on private property while wearing camouflage clothing and no orange. Trespassers were also caught on trail cameras while trying to illegally hunt private property.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) continued to check deer hunters during the week. Follow-up was conducted on TIP reports, and he also patrolled for late shining and shooting activity. Waterfowl hunters also were checked, and reports indicate diving ducks are starting to move through the area.
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) spent the week checking firearms deer hunters throughout the area. Several anglers were checked on the Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, failure to validate a site tag, untagged deer, lending and borrowing a license, and no license in possession.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a variety of calls were fielded regarding deer-hunting topics. One contact resulted in a hunter being arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) mainly worked deer hunters. The deer harvest in the area seemed to be about average. One group of hunters checked had 13 deer that were processed. None of the deer had been registered.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports a busy second half of the deer season. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, hunter harassment, and invalid licenses. A hunter also was found smoking marijuana in his truck before heading out into the woods. He was cited and it was agreed upon that it was best for him to skip hunting that evening.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled the area for deer hunting and spoke with many successful hunters. Hanna checked one group of people who claimed to have not been successful. Through conversation it was found the group had three untagged deer. Hanna took enforcement action.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working the deer hunt. Krauel also investigated a report of hunter harassment in which an individual impersonated a law enforcement officer to secure his hunting spot.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking deer hunters and following up on complaints. Violations included hunting without wearing blaze clothing as required and failing to validate a deer tag.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked big-game and small-game hunters in the metro area. Some anglers were checked, and he answered questions from Asian hunters about small-game hunting regulations during the firearms deer season.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking small-game, deer, and waterfowl hunters. He handled several trespassing issues and assisted an out-of-state agency on a big-game case. Arntzen also worked late-shooting complaints, issued several permits for car-killed deer, and continued investigating ongoing cases.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued to check deer hunters throughout the week. A lot of calls were fielded regarding hunting regulation questions.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for big-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. He also finished up an assist with Wisconsin wardens on a big-game case.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the firearms deer season was the main enforcement focus during the week. A couple inches of fresh snow were welcomed by deer hunters. The 30- to 50-mph wind that came with it was not.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time working shining and big-game hunting activity. K9 Earl was utilized for evidence recovery involving big-game violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and Dassel Fire and Rescue with a hunting-related firearms incident.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) testified at a hearing related to a big-game case. Ongoing enforcement efforts continued to focus around the firearms deer season, with numerous TIP calls taken and a large number of investigations related to shooting from motor vehicles. Trespass-related calls also were fielded and worked.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) located a vehicle parked in a WMA while the owner was out hunting. The owner was located and arrested on a U.S. Marshals Service arrest warrant.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports spending most of the week working the ongoing deer season. Based on numbers of harvested deer seen in the field, as well as speaking with hunters in the field, harvest in the area seemed to be lower than normal.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on trapping, pheasant-, and deer-hunting activities. Moua wants to remind archery and small-game hunters that a blaze orange cap and vest are required during any of the open firearms seasons, including muzzleloader and the late CWD firearms seasons.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATVing activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) was assisted by CO Siems and K9 Brady on a possible shooting-from-the-roadway case. K9 Brady quickly led officers to a baited stand, which led to a number of baited stands. Multiple citations were issued, and multiple deer were seized.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week checking for deer-hunting activity during the firearms season. A baiting complaint was investigated, as were many trespass complaints. Assistance was given to an individual who woke up to find a deer in a swimming pool. The deer appeared to have tried to jump on top of the pool, not realizing the cover was not solid. With assistance from CO Derek Schneider and the homeowner, the deer was successfully removed from the pool and wandered back into the woods.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports a complaint was taken about a deer hunter on the shoulder of a county road. The complainant called back shortly after, reporting the hunter killed a deer from that location. In addition to shooting from within the road right of way, it was found the hunter also used two-way communication with another hunter to push the deer to his location. Along with Houston County deputies, Ramaker and CO Boyum helped locate a youth hunter lost while on state forest land.