Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 28, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended training at Camp Ripley. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and Hayes Lake. Assistance was given to a Manitoba conservation officer and RCMP officer with checking anglers along the international border by Buffalo Point on Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the Grygla snowmobile safety class, attended a career fair for high school students interested in careers in law enforcement, attended training at Camp Ripley, and investigated a complaint of a large pile of home remodeling waste being burned.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) worked angling activity on and near Upper Red Lake. Numerous complaints were fielded about people with “RV”-style wheelhouses who dump their sewage on the ice before they leave the lake. One contact was made with a suspect. Sewage and litter continue to be an issue on area lakes.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending training at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent checking anglers and snowmobile operators, and responding to various wildlife-related complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, small-game, and snowmobiling enforcement. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Twin Valley.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking angling activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Few lakes have angling activity because travel off a plowed road is impossible without a snowmobile or tracked ATV. CO Landmark also prepared for an upcoming court case and investigated several trapping violations.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time on a background investigation. Plautz also worked snowmobiling and fishing enforcement.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) attended training at Camp Ripley and conducted equipment maintenance and inventory during the week. Time was spent coordinating upcoming safety classes in addition to checking anglers and snowmobiles. Goodman reports finding anglers with ORVs and ATVs unregistered on area lakes.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy ice-fishing activity throughout Douglas County, even though lake slush is the worst it’s been in several years. Any lakes that have plowed roads have lots of wheelhouse activity, while those unplowed have been mostly left alone.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration issues, fish house violations, and fishing without a license in possession.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent investigating a deer-poaching complaint.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time on trails and lakes in the area, checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Kunst also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Leech Lake and other Cass County lakes throughout the week. CO McGowan also spent time patrolling state snowmobile trails and training at Camp Ripley.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers and snowmobile riders. She assisted in removing a dog from a foot-hold trap.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) attended training at Camp Ripley and completed equipment maintenance. Most outdoor activity in the area has been snowmobiling or angling and spearing. The snowmobile trails are in excellent condition, but extreme temperatures have kept snowmobile activity down. Angling and spearing activity continues to be steady with moderate success noted.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also spent time checking snowmobiling activity.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. In addition, time was spent attending training at Camp Ripley and completing administrative tasks. Low temperatures throughout the week brought a decline in recreational activity, and local anglers reported limited success.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) assisted multiple law enforcement agencies in the search for a known individual with multiple warrants out for his arrest. After several hours of the multi-agency search, the suspect was located and apprehended.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Recent cold weather appeared to have limited recreational activity. The few anglers that were encountered reported limited success. CO Broughten also fielded calls regarding trapping laws and spearing regulations.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions are getting worse on many lakes, but snowmobile trail conditions are good.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking area trout lakes. The officer assisted the Use of Force team in teaching firearms tactics at Camp Ripley.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted with teaching for annual firearms qualifications with division officers. CO Manning also patrolled snowmobile trails and forest roads, responded to a call about a lost skier, checked a few small trout lakes, and checked ski passes at Pincushion ski trails.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training and worked anglers, snowmobilers, and cross country ski trails. One person was contacted after leaving two portable shelters overnight on a local lake. The shelters didn’t have IDs or shelter tags, gear and litter were frozen into the ice, fish were left on the ice, and a set tip-up was left out. The individual also was burning prohibited garbage outside a cabin.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports seeing heavy snowmobiling activity in the area throughout the week. A few registration violations were handled, along with riders not stopping at road crossings. Hill has received ongoing calls regarding snowmobilers illegally operating on the new non-motorized section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail in Tofte.
CO Don Murray ( Two Harbors) worked snowmobiling and angling activity during the week. Area lakes are showing more signs of slush conditions, making access more difficult for anglers.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and monitored snowmobiling activities. Enforcement action was taken for unattended tip-ups, no shelter license, possession of illegal-length fish, and no fishing license in possession. A traffic stop was made that resulted in the arrest of an individual who gave a preliminary breath test over three times the legal alcohol limit. The individual received additional charges regarding test refusal at the jail.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and attended training. There were many complaints about vehicles traveling too fast on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possessing illegal-length fish.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and snowmobiling activity during the past week. Trout season saw its first full week of action. Remember that only one line and preserved minnows can be used on these waters.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and trapping activity throughout the week. Time was also spent following up on TIP complaints and answering questions about sick and injured animals. Holt attended training at Camp Ripley and responded to deer-feeding complaints. Feeding deer is illegal in Itasca County in response to CWD.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, snowmobiling, darkhouse spearing, and trapping enforcement. Division training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored the end of the bobcat hunting and trapping season. Most hunters and trappers reported having to work hard to have success with the deep snow in the woods. Angling and snowmobiling activity in the area continues to be greatly dependent on the weather. Training was attended at Camp Ripley.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working by snowmobile, patrolling area trails and lakes. CO Duncan attended a day of training at Camp Ripley and also spoke at a youth snowmobile safety class.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile trail enforcement and checked area lakes for angling activity. CO Humphrey patrolled Moose Lake State Park, local wildlife management areas, and attended Enforcement Division training held at Camp Ripley during the week. Violations for dogs off leash, snowmobile speed, operation, and registration were encountered.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended in-service training during the week and worked area snowmobile trails and lakes north of Duluth during the weekend.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Strong winds have prevented any accessible ice from forming on the Minnesota side of Lake Superior so far.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Additional plowed roads are increasing truck access on local lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no shelter licenses and expired registration.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent most of the week training at Camp Ripley. He also attended the winter meeting of the Minnesota Trappers Association and assisted with registering fur.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobile and cross-country ski pass enforcement this week. The CWD landowner deer hunt was monitored. CO Guida also assisted the Use of Force Team in the annual re-certification of conservation officers in CEW/Taser use.
CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) assisted with officer training at Camp Ripley this week and spent time working on area lakes and snowmobile trails as well as continued some work on a trapping investigation involving an out-of-season fisher.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) reports anglers were out but limited by lower-than-average temperatures for the coldest week of the year. Verkuilen also attended training.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time on snowmobile trails and Lake Mille Lacs. Trapping activity was monitored, with the end of the bobcat season arriving. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations. Griffith would like to remind anglers to reel up their lines before going to town to have lunch.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a TIP call about an illegal (trap) box set near the Nemadji State Forest. The investigation showed no violation. She also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time at Camp Ripley, completing annual training. The CO also checked trappers and ice anglers and patrolled snowmobile trails. A few more lakes in the Hinckley area saw pickups and wheelhouse traffic for the first time of the winter. Despite the improved ice conditions, a vehicle and a person on foot broke through the ice.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
Co Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails. Ice is in good condition, but there are several inches of slush on areas of Cedar Lake.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity and attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and various snowmobile registration violations.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with division firearms training. A vintage snowmobile racing event was worked with COs Westby and Vang.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked area lakes for angling activity. Coyote hunting trespassing complaints were investigated, with a citation issued. S
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) continued to work on a pre-employment background investigation. Anglers were checked and snowmobile enforcement was conducted. Aeration inspections were completed.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking fishermen and snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for no license, extra lines, illegal fish, marijuana, and expired snowmobile registration.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobiling activity. CO Krauel also attended division training. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no shelter license, and no ATV registration.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails. CO Hanna also worked with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on a snowmobile that was burned on Little Rock Lake. If anyone has any information on the burned snowmobile, please call the TIP line. CO Hanna also educated multiple people on the northern pike size regulations on various area lakes.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent following up on big-game cases. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer without a license, lending/borrowing a deer license, hunting without a firearm safety certificate, and placing a shelter on the ice without a license.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week participating in division training at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given to Carver County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile that was destroyed in a fire that occurred during a ride.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on cases from the deer season. Grewe also continues to get complaints about people feeding deer where feeding isn’t permitted at this time.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking ice anglers and snowmobilers. Time also was spent in training. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, and leaving lines unattended.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) checked ice anglers on local lakes. Ongoing deer-hunting investigations continued. With most aerators now operational in Dakota County, anglers are reminded to use caution when fishing on aerated lakes because of inconsistent ice conditions.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers and doing ATV and snowmobile enforcement. He also fielded calls about aeration systems and trespassing issues.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and snowmobiling activity. CO Salzer also worked snowmobiling activity in neighboring stations. Time was spent finishing a big-game investigation and a wetland complaint.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) attended division training at Camp Ripley. The officer also conducted follow-up to assist an out-of-state investigation. Anglers were checked on area lakes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this last week working on a background investigation. Time also was spent training at Camp Ripley. K9 training was attended in New Ulm with local handlers.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, snowmobiling, and coyote hunting enforcement. One happy ice angler who was checked had just retrieved his cell phone from the bottom of a lake in 23 feet of water by snagging it with a hook after locating it with a fish camera. To top it off, he was able to turn the phone on and pull up his online-purchased angling license.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ice angling and snowmobiling activity. He completed division training at Camp Ripley. CO Vernier also followed up on a trapping violation.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week focused on sportfishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Big-game and small-game investigations continue.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) spent the majority of the week working ice fishing, snowmobiling, and ATVing activities. He also received calls requesting information about how to suggest fishing law changes and clarifications for fishing and hunting regulations.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) attended training at Camp Ripley during the past week. Aeration inspections were conducted on local systems. TIP calls were fielded related to ice angling and coyote hunting.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that there continues to be open water on some area lakes that is not associated with aeration systems. CO Gruhlke observed snowmobiling activity on the Des Moines River.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement this week. Angling activity continues to increase on area lakes, and hard-sided shelter owners are reminded to display registration that’s visible from the outside.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended annual in-service at Camp Ripley during the week. Time also was spent checking ice anglers and snowmobilers on lakes and trails. A trespassing complaint was addressed.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on trapping, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Time also was spent registering otters for trappers, as the otter season came to a close. Trappers are reminded to adjust their traps, if necessary, to reduce incidental otter catches during the closed season.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking anglers on the Mississippi River. An impaired ice angler was contacted while leaving a fishing access – the driver was arrested for DWI.
CO Boyum (Rushford) reports checking coyote hunters and snowmobilers. The snow the area received helped hunting and success was good to fair.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) checked ice anglers and recreational vehicle operators. Fishing success has slowed considerably. Snowmobilers are just starting to get back out on the trails. Parents are reminded that youth ATV laws still apply on public waters. Youth still need to wear helmets and use seatbelts on Class 2 ATVs.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and small-game hunters during the week. Heyn also assisted other officers with follow-up interviews on cases.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week instructing firearms training at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent checking area ice anglers and following up on hunting investigations.