Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 11, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with removing a dead deer from under a Warroad resident’s front porch. The cause of death is unknown, but it’s suspected to be from an injury caused by being struck by a vehicle. Anglers and snowmobile riders were checked on Lake of the Woods and in the Warroad area. 

CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent time monitoring area snowmobile trails throughout the week. Trail conditions are good, but some of the lake trails have become quite rough. Enforcement action was taken in regards to a snowmobiler with a 2-year-old passenger who was not wearing a helmet. Sura also investigated a call regarding a wolf depredation. 

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports working angling, snowmobile riders, and big-game cases from the 2021 season. With the recent warmer weather, more snowmobile riders have been observed using the trails. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register a harvested bear, failure to register a harvested deer, and allowing a minor to violate a game and fish law.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) monitored angling and snowmobiling activity this week in the area and on Lake of the Woods. Time also was spent talking to folks during the Thief River Falls Jaycees’ fishing derby on the Red Lake River. Elwell also talked with Argyle Rod and Gun Club members about various hunting, fishing, and recreational vehicle topics. 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports an increase in snowmobiling activity. Time was spent working snowmobiling and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for leaving lines unattended through the ice, no license in possession, and possession of controlled substances.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and snowmobile operators throughout the week. Various wildlife-related complaints were received. 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and snowmobiling activity in the area. Time also was spent patrolling vacant area stations. A detail was worked on Upper Red Lake with CO McGowan, and work continued on a background investigation. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area snowmobile trails and lakes. Swedberg worked a snowmobiling detail during the weekend during a local club ride where there were upwards of 500 snowmobile riders present. There were several registration, muffler, and operation violations during the ride. Officers also assisted with a DWI arrest during the event.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, coyote-hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) worked a detail with COs Swedberg and Goodman during a vintage snowmobile run. A significant number of violations were observed during the event, with the most common violation being improper display of registration. A snowmobile crash was investigated in which the rider crashed into a tree and left the scene. The rider was found safe the following day and admitted that alcohol may have contributed to the crash. The crash demonstrates the importance of wearing a good helmet while operating a snowmobile. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to work on a background investigation. Plautz fielded calls regarding fish carcasses dumped in a nearby swamp and dead turkeys and pheasants dumped in a road ditch. She also assisted a neighboring officer with a snowmobile safety class. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, snowmobile and ATV riders, and fish houses. Osborne also attended a snowmobile safety class in Evansville where he gave the law and ethics talk. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked ice anglers throughout the week, despite frigid weather. Pressure on area lakes seems to be a little lighter with each passing week as winter enters its second half. A deer-feeding ban is in effect for Douglas County, so anyone who is trying to help the deer by placing feed out is actually in violation. 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, coyote hunters, and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent on station equipment maintenance and following up on a commercial aquaculture complaint. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for snowmobiling activity. McGowan also spent time checking anglers on Leech and Upper Red lakes.  

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to check anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the week. Kunst took enforcement action for numerous violations, including angling with extra lines, operating ATVs on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, and expired ATV and snowmobile registrations. 

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) received reports from area snowmobile clubs about trespassing. Users are reminded to stay on the trails or they will lose the access that the snowmobile clubs have worked hard to gain. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling activity in the area is picking up with the recent snowfall. Ice fishing has been slow on Rainy Lake, but it hasn’t stopped people from getting outdoors to enjoy the hopes of catching a fish or two. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) spent time monitoring snowmobiling, angling, and spearing activity. With cold weather and increasing ice thickness, spearing activity has slowed considerably. Anglers have started to spread out along the ice road on Kabetogama Lake, with a few fish being caught. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and related snowmobile activity. Area forest roads continue to be checked, as do timber sales. 

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked snowmobiling enforcement and angling activity. Fishing activity has been slow, and anglers reported having minimal success. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports time was spent investigating a deer-hunting case from the previous firearms deer-hunting season. Enforcement action was taken for multiple license violations.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that fishing activity continued to slow during the week and weekend. Snowmobiling activity was high during the weekend, and trail conditions were good.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush continues to be a problem on many area lakes. Velsvaag found several spots with litter from fish houses. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW, checking anglers on remote trout lakes. He attended a meeting at Camp Ripley to prepare for the firearms training for the upcoming CO Academy.  

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked area anglers, fish houses, and snowmobile operators. She followed up on snowmobile complaints and of a dog off-leash in the state park that was harassing skiers. Dog owners are reminded there is no “free run zone” in state parks. Dogs must be leashed at all times for the safety of other park visitors, deer, and the dogs themselves.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) continued checking anglers on area lakes this week. Snowmobiling activity was high, with Schottenbauer finding many lost snowmobile riders in the woods.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports hitting the snowmobile trails and lakes throughout the week. The CO received numerous reports about loud exhausts and operators cutting corners on the trail. In one instance, Hill had to come to a complete stop on a corner to avoid being hit. The operator was stopped, and enforcement action was taken for careless operation and a few registration issues to boot. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, snowmobiling activity, and small-game hunters. Numerous game- and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints and assisted other agencies.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and snowmobile-registration issues.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling activity during the week. Time also was spent following up on a trapping complaint and checking fish houses. Enforcement action involved fish house violations.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, darkhouse spearing, and snowmobiling activity. Limited mobility on the ice continues to hinder ice anglers’ success rates.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled snowmobile trails throughout the district. Registration issues still abound – expired, no registration, and improper display. One of the most common violations is putting the year sticker on and nothing else (and usually not in the correct location). This would be similar to driving your car without license plates and just putting the tabs sticker on the bumper.  

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working snowmobiling activity in the area. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled, and a vehicle on a snowmobile trail was investigated.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) prepared reports and a case file for the county attorney’s office. Anglers were checked on area lakes, and many contacts with snowmobilers were made throughout the week.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile trail enforcement and checked area lakes for angling activity. Humphrey investigated a trespass complaint involving an angler.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports several injured-deer complaints were followed up on. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on near-waters of Lake Superior where coho salmon, brook trout, and round whitefish were biting. Snowmobile operators seemed to have quite a cavalier attitude to following trail signs and general safe riding practices. All of them, when contacted, blamed other riders for trail problems. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) wrapped up work on a deer case from last fall involving wanton waste. The CO did so with the assistance of a warden in Wisconsin, where the suspect resides. Ladd also helped out a local resident who located a small owl that had flown into a window. The dead owl was brought to the taxidermist and will be displayed at Aitkin High School. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled trails and lakes for angling and snowmobiling activity. Guida also checked fishing shelters for licenses and addressed litter complaints. A deer-feeding case was investigated in which an individual was cited for a second time for deer feeding in a chronic wasting disease zone. The first citation resulted in a $285 fine.

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) reports checking ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. A detail was worked on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license, extra lines, and unattended lines. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked ice fishing and recreational vehicle activity. Anglers reported fishing was slow. Common violations observed were extra lines, unattended lines, possession of fillets on special-regulation lakes, and no shelter licenses. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angling activity and saw a lot of fish house movement due to solid ice and a lack of fish. Lack of displayed registration and safety training were addressed. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked anglers and snowmobiling activity. She also attended a LEMA meeting and training. Speldrich responded to questions regarding rules for using smelt as bait and snowmobile registration. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time patrolling snowmobile trails and found the busiest sledding activity of the season. Patrol efforts included trying to catch trespassers and telling trail users to avoid the temptation of driving through fresh snow, on private lands, without permission.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area snowmobile trails and assisted neighboring partners with a large group ride. He also assisted with a snowmobile crash with Morrison County and took a wolf-related complaint and a coyote hunter-trespass complaint.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) received calls concerning injured animals. He is investigating a trapping complaint. Litter continues to be an issue with weekend “anglers” coming to lakes to party more than for fishing.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked on deer-season cases. Angling and snowmobiling activity were monitored. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer with no license, hunting with an invalid bonus tag, angling with extra lines, a crappie overlimit, and fish house ID violations. 

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting snowmobile enforcement. Time was spent working on a background investigation and speaking at the Cokato firearms safety class. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Time also was spent working a snowmobile radar run on Rush Lake.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent following up on investigations from the deer season. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile with expired registration, operating without a safety certificate, placing a non-portable shelter on the ice without a license, and failing to have identification on an ice shelter. 

CO Michael Krauel (Mora) worked ice fishing and recreational vehicle activity. Most anglers contacted were enjoying the great outdoors and spending quality time together. Detected and investigated violations included possession of marijuana, extra lines, walleye overlimits, and unattended lines. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the metro area for fishing and snowmobiling. He also patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for cross-country skiing. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week checking ice anglers and checking fish houses for proper registration and markings. Birdsall also participated in an enforcement detail around the dog sled race on Lake Minnetonka. 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking ice anglers. He also worked with other area officers during a dog sled race on Lake Minnetonka. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, fishing without a license, and modified/loud exhaust on a snowmobile.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week working area lakes, checking ice anglers as well as ATV and snowmobile riders. He also dealt with a deer-feeding-ban complaint and worked on a big-game case. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also participated in a work detail on Lake Minnetonka and attended a youth fishing event in Mendota Heights. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) followed up on several deer-feeding complaints. If you are in the metro area, please refer to the feeding ban that is place. Anglers were checked in the area.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling enforcement this past week. A fishing tournament on Lake Hendricks during the weekend had a great turnout with great weather to make up for a lack of fish. 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time working on a background investigation. K9 Earl also assisted with an evidence search involving a migratory waterfowl violation. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ice angling and snowmobiling activity. He also completed aeration inspections and assisted Kandiyohi County deputies with a crash involving injuries. Vernier also issued a wildlife-possession permit.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Other time was spent following up on fish houses without proper identification displayed on them or no shelter license.

CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) followed up on a TIP investigation in Sibley County. He also partnered with a neighboring officer to check ice anglers on area lakes.  

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to focus enforcement efforts on ice fishing and snowmobile use. A large number of anglers continue to take advantage of good bites and accessible lakes.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked snowmobiling, ATVing, public accesses, and angling enforcement. He took calls concerning injured deer and followed up with concerned citizens.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted angling and shelter checks. Snowmobile activity remains very low. He also attended a Pheasants Forever youth fishing contest. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on angling and snowmobile activity. Time also was spent responding to deer-feeding and coyote-hunting complaints. 

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) patrolled area lakes and checked anglers. The fish bite has slowed. Multiple violations were detected and enforced. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked predator hunters, anglers, and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Davis also worked on a DNR applicant’s background investigation. 

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on angling and recreational vehicle activity. VanThuyne also checked shelters for license compliance and litter. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked a detail on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Area snowmobile trails were patrolled for activity. Henke reminds anglers of ongoing litter issues on area lakes. Clean up after yourselves. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports shed hunters were out in force during the weekend. Multiple sheds were seen that had been found. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy week checking ice fishing, trout stream fishing, predator hunting, and trapping, along with ATV, OHM, and snowmobile riders.  

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) assisted the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office with investigating an ice shelter break-in. A public waters case was handled, along with a violation of federal rule for selling a migratory bird mount.

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time this week checking ice anglers. Kyllo also dealt with a sick-deer call in which a deer was lying on an individual’s front step, leaning against the front door and refusing to leave. The deer was clearly hurt and appeared to have been hit by a car.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *