Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 7, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included angling without a license, possessing an overlimit of walleyes and sauger, and possessing illegal-length walleyes.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) conducted patrols for trapping, ice angling, and snowmobiling activity this week.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) responded with fire and rescue and ambulance crews when a propane tank exploded inside a fish house on Upper Red Lake with four occupants inside. All four made it back to shore, where they were given medical attention by a husband and wife. The husband and wife had emergency medical backgrounds and just happened to be on shore at the resort at this same time. Enforcement action was taken for an individual leaving fishing lines unattended. After the initial contact, Sura followed the man back to the man’s fish house, where he stated his fishing license was located. The individual proceeded to shut and lock the fish house door. Sura then watched through the fish house window as the man rapidly pulled up several fishing lines.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working trapping and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Regas noted anglers reported a slow bite as they faced the challenges that accompanied the frigid -30-degree weather.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports anglers are starting to take ATVs and larger fish houses out on area lakes. Vinton assisted the sheriff’s office with a pickup truck that had gone through the ice on an area lake on Christmas day. Several car-killed deer possession permits were issued, and a TIP about a possible overlimit was received. Vinton, along with several dozen other representatives from other law enforcement agencies, attended the funeral for New York Mills Police Officer Ron Smith. Smith was a 14-year veteran officer who lost his battle with COVID-19. Vinton and RTO Oldakowski discovered a vehicle that had gone through the ice on an area lake the night of New Year’s Eve. The COs contacted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and determined the driver had gotten out. The driver was later identified by the COs and that information was passed onto the sheriff’s office.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity on area lakes; ice conditions continue to vary. Wildlife management areas and WPAs were monitored.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports that a side-by-side UTV broke through lake ice on an area lake during the weekend. Anglers are urged to use caution and check ice depths before venturing out with vehicles and houses.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked a busy weekend with snowmobile activity, ice fishing, and more follow up on deer-season complaints. Plautz assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a suspicious vehicle complaint, which resulted in a violation for transporting loaded firearms.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports enforcement efforts were focused on angling and ATV-related activity. Additional time included taking reports of trespassing and assisting the Minnesota State Patrol with an accident involving pedestrians and a semi.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a complaint was received and worked with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer regarding a fish house and litter in a waterfowl production area in Otter Tail County.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking pheasant hunters, anglers, and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent on equipment maintenance and monitoring furbearer-trapping activity.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity. Baum reminds people venturing out on the ice that conditions can change quickly and to be sure to check ice thickness.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working anglers and snowmobiling enforcement throughout the week.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Anglers navigated deep snow and very cold weather during the week, which led to many failing heaters and vehicles that wouldn’t start. The lake ice is still extremely variable with 8 to 22 inches seen and reported.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fur registration was attended at the International Falls area DNR office. Overall trapper numbers were down in the area. A report of a vehicle going through the ice on Rainy Lake was taken. The individual was able to get out safely.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports trapping and spearing activity is ongoing in the area. Trespass complaints were taken and addressed. Outdoor users need to keep in mind that disrespect for other people’s property can lead to further restrictions for all outdoor recreational activities.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports weekend temps at -30 degrees resulted in few outdoor activities taking place. Angling activities were checked with anglers having limited success.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time assisting the DNR Wildlife Section with fur registration earlier in the week. He also attended a funeral as an Honor Guard member to pay tribute to Itasca County Deputy Jayme Williams.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and trapping activity.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted St. Louis County and Morse and Ely ambulance with a snowmobile accident near Burntside Lake.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked the BWCAW trout opener with several officers. Few people ventured into the wilderness, given the cold weather. Wahlstrom also responded to a medical call on the cross-country ski trail and also to a call for a lost couple who were extremely cold and didn’t have any survival gear.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked pine marten, fisher, and otter sets. Snowmobile trails also were patrolled.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked trapping and angling enforcement and followed up on a violation from the deer season. A dumping complaint also was investigated.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports seeing a heavy amount of snowmobiling activity throughout the week in Cook County. One citation was issued for failure to transfer a snowmobile title. Hill also worked a detail in the BWCAW during the trout opener that took place on New Year’s Day. Activity was way down compared to other years, but with temperatures well below zero with a deadly wind chill, that was to be expected. One angler was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and trappers and patrolled area lakes on snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a fishing license, no fishing license in possession, unattended fishing lines, and using perch as bait. Enforcement action also was taken for multiple fishing line violations and no shelter tags.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked trapping complaints, and monitored snowmobiling activity.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked anglers and trapping activity during the week. Complaints involving illegal trapping were investigated. Time also was also spent working snowmobiling and ATV riding in the area. Enforcement action involved taking illegal-length walleyes and ice shelter violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and snowmobiling activity. Deer-season case work was also followed up on, with cases being closed out. Sutherland also responded to a snowmobile crash in which an individual fell from his snowmobile and broke his ankle.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, spearing, snowmobiling, and trapping activities. Several anglers were contacted over the holiday weekend.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) responded to a call that involved a dead deer found in the caller’s yard. The investigation found the antlerless deer died by archery. The person who shot the deer and the location where the deer was taken is still unknown.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and answered questions about trapping. WMA and AMA complaints were received in regards to deer-season violations. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders and following up on trapping investigations.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) assisted an angler group that was locked in a permanent fishing shelter after having a door handle failure. Through an open window, Sullivan provided the occupants with the required tools to remove the door handle. They were really excited to be released form the shelter and continued angling after the door handle was replaced.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking snowmobilers and anglers. Enforcement action taken for expired registration and no shelter licenses. If anyone has any information about damage that was caused to a fish house in the narrows on Big Sandy Lake sometime New Year’s Eve night, please contact CO Benkofske at email@example.com
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) checked anglers on Lake Mille Lacs and other area lakes. Activity slowed down during the weekend with the dropping temperatures. Griffith would like to remind anglers that all shelters, except portable shelters, need a shelter license. A portable shelter is one that collapses, folds, or is disassembled for transport.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports a fish house broke through on Lake Mille Lacs after a crack came right by the house.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent much of the week checking trapping activity. There also were hunters found utilizing state forest areas to pursue bobcats with hounds.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement during the week. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license in personal possession, no shelter license, no shelter ID, possessing drug paraphernalia, and possessing a small amount of marijuana.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) spent the week preparing for snowmobile enforcement for the winter. He located several ATV riders operating in the area and spoke with them about not being allowed to operate on designated snowmobile trails.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, failure to transfer ownership of a snowmobile, and expired snowmobile registration.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity. A call regarding a deer caught in a fence was fielded. Upon arrival, Silgjord and an assisting deputy watched as the deer freed itself from the fence and ran off.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) assisted other agencies and continued to follow up on deer-hunting cases. He also monitored fishing activity in the area.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and small-game hunters. Reminder to anglers: If you plan to leave your permanent or portable fish house on the lake overnight, you must have a shelter license displayed along with ID and reflective material. E
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled the area for ice angling. He also investigated a headless deer and assisted another state’s DNR with an interview in Minnesota.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers and following up on investigations from the deer season. Additional time was spent issuing wildlife-possession permits and handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Many ATVs and some SUVs were seen on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for taking an overlimit of bucks, lending/borrowing a deer license, angling with an extra line, and operating a snowmobile with expired registration.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week checking ice anglers and conducting recreational vehicle enforcement. Time was also spent checking deer hunters during the late CWD hunt.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice angling and ATVing enforcement on local lakes. He took care of radios in Golden Valley and answered questions from the Asian community regarding small-game hunting and youth firearms safety classes.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked angling activity on local lakes. Fogarty took a report about an angler through the ice on Cedar Lake in Scott County. The angler was with a group and was pulled to safety by the other anglers.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) continued to receive calls regarding a large boat stuck at a public access on Lake Minnetonka.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers and deer hunters. He responded to TIP calls and answered questions about nuisance animals. Arntzen also issued a car-killed deer possession permit and continued to work on big-game cases. He investigated a trespassing complaint and dealt with feeding ban violations.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring ice anglers and pheasant hunters in the area. Enforcement action for the week included license violations.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers in the area and follow-up was conducted for several deer-hunting issues. Enforcement action was taken for taking a deer without a license and hunting with an invalid license.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking local ice anglers and late-season deer hunters. As a note, many local aerators are being turned on, so caution should be used due to changing ice conditions.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling and pheasant-hunting enforcement this past week. Several wildlife-related complaints were handled.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working hunters and ice anglers. Hundreds of fishing shelters were on Lake Shetek by Saturday. A few hardy hunters braved the cold to the very end of the pheasant and archery deer seasons.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this last week working big-game hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, leaving a deer stand out on a WMA overnight, person under age 60 hunting with a crossbow without a permit, and litter.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, archery deer-hunting, trapping, and pheasant-hunting enforcement. Ice-fishing activity continues to increase.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ice angling and snowmobiling activity. He also followed up on violations from the firearms deer season and spoke with late-season pheasant hunters.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time checking anglers on area lakes and enforcing laws related to ATVing and snowmobiling activity.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received complaints about ATV trespass and questions about hunting and fishing laws. He spent time working angling, ATVing, small-game hunting, and archery deer-hunting activities. A pheasant hunter reported losing his Garmin electronic dog collar remote on or near Brown County Road 10 south of Brown County Road 20. Please contact Nelson if you locate the remote.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) asks if any anglers located an Ion ice auger on South String Lake public access in Cottonwood County to contact the CO. The auger belonged to a juvenile who just began fishing, and cooperation would be greatly appreciated. Patrols continued for pheasant-hunting activity as the season came to a close. Anglers are reminded to be aware of aeration systems on area lakes.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked archery deer hunting, pheasant hunting, and other small-game hunting activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted fall deer-hunting investigations. Anglers and shelters were checked on area lakes. Ice shelters are coming out fast, and anglers should check ice thickness as they go.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent most of the week checking anglers. Additional time was spent monitoring pheasant-, waterfowl-, and deer-hunting activity.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked ice anglers this past week. Small-game hunters and trappers were checked. A baiting complaint was investigated.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) checked small-game hunters and ice anglers this week. Numerous late-season pheasant hunters were located hunting without licenses. Henke also followed up on trespass complaints and assisted state park staff with an investigation.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked deer hunters, predator hunters, small-game hunters, anglers, and ATV operators during the week. Davis also responded to a TIP call.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking anglers and hunters. Multiple angling violations were detected and laws were enforced.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on small-game, deer-hunting, and fishing activities. Pheasant hunters were out in numbers during this last week of the open pheasant-hunting season. Harvest reports of roosters were mixed, as they have been all season.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the late CWD hunt. The cold weather made hunting tough, but it had the deer moving.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) spent the week checking goose hunters and anglers. Enforcement activity for the week included an unplugged shotgun, possession of marijuana, and fishing without a license.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) was called out on Christmas Eve to assist an ice angler who was disoriented in the fog on unsafe ice. Ramaker responded with an airboat. With the assistance of Houston County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Brownsville Fire, he located the angler and brought him safely back to shore.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a Christmas walk resulted in a question about a foreign object found in some coyote scat. It was identified as a latex gutting glove. A deer-hunting trespass complaint involved several hours for several officers and was found to be a communication misunderstanding.