Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 24, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) contacted an individual who admitted to doing damage in Beltrami Island State Forest, including driving through a metal gate. Assistance was given to the Lake of the Woods Sheriff’s Office with a drowning at the Northwest Angle.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) focused efforts on ATV and OHM enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for ATVs and OHMs with expired registration.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) responded to two nuisance-bear complaints and took calls on allegedly abandoned baby fawns.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) spent time handling assorted calls of nuisance animals, working an Upper Red Lake enforcement detail and investigating a complaint of ATV riders trespassing.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending training this week in Roseville. A suspected wolf-depredation case was investigated.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji No. 1) attended a NASBLA training in Montana.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with CO Prep interviews in St. Paul this week. A cease and desist order was issued at the requests of the local government unit, and AIS compliance checks were conducted at area public water accesses.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked a TIP call of an individual taking fish using a net at an area dam. He was able to get to the area and watch the person use a landing net to scoop up several fish. Thanks to the TIP call, Swedberg was able to find the group of people and found there were several more issues on top of the netting violation.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling, boating and leeching activity. Trails were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. A call of a possible abandoned fawn was received. People are reminded to leave baby animals alone as they are most likely not abandoned and the mother will return.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Anglers have found moderate success but noted warming water temperatures.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled several nuisance-bear calls this week as well as injured fawns. Plautz advises folks to take in bird feeders or garbage if they have a bear in the area.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) received several calls regarding an abandoned fawn wondering around the City of Elbow Lake. Brown wants to remind everyone to leave fawns where they find them.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and ATV and OHM riders. A fishing overlimit complaint was received and investigated. Questions from the public were received about high water and OHM accident investigation.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Minnow permits were also issued.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for an illegal fire.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and boaters.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) assisted with a youth firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boat and water safety, and off-highway vehicle violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling activity and investigated ATV complaints. She also spoke at a firearms safety class.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) has noticed an increase in the number of recreationist getting outside with the change of weather recently. Baum took enforcement action on various angling, boating, and recreational vehicle violations.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) handled several nuisance-bear complaints and patrolled the lakes and trails. Training was provided to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office on boating and ATV laws.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) assisted an ATV rider who was stuck back on a trail after their ATV blew a tire. A nuisance-bear complaint was investigated.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) attended a week-long boating instructor training out of state. Several TIP calls and questions were also handled.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) received a call from a family that had brought baby cygnets home and wanted to raise them. The cygnets were picked up and brought to a local animal rehabber. Reminder, leave wild animals in the wild where they belong. In most cases the parents are off feeding and will return to their young.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports continued assisting the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office & Emergency Management with flood relief on Rainy Lake. The good news is the lake has crested and water levels have receded approximately 3 inches since the crest. Boat and water safety enforcement on Rainy Lake was conducted along with monitoring the no-wake zone within 500 feet of shore. Again, please be respectful of this ordinance, which most likely will be in place for at least another 30 days.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) responded to a wildfire and assisted with a firearms safety class.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports an uptick in the violation rate for transporting watercraft with drain plugs installed was noted and time was focused on educating recreational users on the requirements. Water levels continue to drop but are still nowhere near seasonal norms. Bear sightings are becoming more frequent. Remember to remove food sources.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports beaver and wolf issues haves remained constant throughout the week. Bugs remain problematic.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and ATV activity. Recreational activity appeared to be lower than usual during Father’s Day weekend.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports ATV activity was high over the weekend, with much of the traffic along the newer developed trails. There are still some closed ATV trails due to flooding and damage.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and ATV riders this past week. Velsvaag took several calls on deer fawns and beaver complaints.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with handgun training for the latest CO Academy. She also aided with the return of a canoe that had lost on an area lake after heavy rains and flooding.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily ATV and AIS enforcement throughout the week. A couple citations were issued for youth passengers without helmets on ATVs.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) and USFS Officer Belmore spent time on ATVs. They encountered a very lost party driving on a severely washed out road without cell coverage. The officers were able to point them in the right direction.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement activities during the week. Anglers were having good success this week but the bugs were biting as much as the fish.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) reports that while at a local resort checking anglers, Brown noticed that a fishing rod over the back of an unoccupied boat was moving. Brown walked over and picked up the rod and reeled in a large crappie. The owner came down to the harbor and enforcement action was taken for the unattended fishing line. While speaking to a mother about not having a helmet on her child on an ATV, another member of the party fled on a dirt bike. The individual was tracked down shortly after and charges of fleeing on a motor vehicle are pending.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River)reports many complaints for boats not complying with the no-wake zones.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the area walleye and panfish bite, with summer patterns finally setting up.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked ATV complaint areas and handled nuisance-bear complaints.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) followed up on information provided from Wisconsin conservation wardens that involved multiple violations in Minnesota. A call of someone chasing geese with their boat on an area lake was responded to and enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) assisted with a complaint of a party that intentionally drove his boat through a flock of geese on an area lake.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) received calls of deer being aggressive towards people and dogs. This behavior is most likely due to a fawn very close by.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. An ATV complaint was worked along the Munger Trail, and follow up was completed on a possible dumping of hazardous waste. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking ATV riders and anglers. Benkofske also assisted on medical calls, local lake association meetings, and firearms safety classes.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) spent the week on boating/fishing, and ATV activities. A wetland-digging incident was also investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) patrolled area lakes and accesses. TIP calls and nuisance-animal calls were followed up on. Griffith also assisted local deputies on a domestic in progress.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended training with the Pine County Sheriff’s Office and State Patrol. Speldrich received information that anglers on local lakes may be taking more fish than allowed.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked a variety of activities this week, including sport fishing, boating, and ATV/OHM enforcement. Time was spent at an AIS check station. A talk was given at a lake association meeting.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. Assistance to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office was provided.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took a variety of animal-related calls over the week. Deer are creating road hazards as of late and motorists should use caution at high-movement hours. Assistance was given to the State Patrol on a traffic situation and revoked driver’s license case. A shoreline-alteration situation was also worked on with the area hydrologist.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) took several phone calls about nuisance bears. A trapping complaint was taken with enforcement action for failing to tend traps.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) reports enforcement action was taken for expired boat registration, no angling license in possession, and operating a mechanical weed roller without a permit.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) report windy weather slowed the weekend water activity down some. Area fishing has tapered off on some lakes and picked up on others.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports a ride-along was provided to a student. Bear sightings have been reported in the area.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) received numerous complaints of nuisance bears. He would like to remind people concerned about bear activity to completely remove all food sources such as bird feeders, garbage, and grills and place them inside until natural food starts to grow in the woods.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) gave extra patrol in the Sauk Rapids area on the Mississippi River and Little Rock Lake. Hanna observed many people doing things right, but a few were not.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) fielded numerous wildlife-related calls over the week. Area residents were seeking advice on problem bears, hungry deer, egg-laying snapping turtles, and baby critters.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) reports river levels have lowered and made fishing piers accessible again. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring boaters and following up with complaints.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week participating in interviews for potential conservation officer candidates. Additionally, TIP calls were fielded from the public.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the metro area for boating and fishing and Fort Snelling State Park for park usage. He took enforcement action for failing to display valid watercraft registration, unregistered watercraft, riding on transom, lack of PFD, careless driving/speeding in a state park and no vehicle permit
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boat and water safety during the week. In addition to patrolling area lakes, he responded to a target shooting complaint in a WMA. Enforcement action was taken for that violation.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) provided training at Camp Ripley to the new CO Academy.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued with an ongoing wetland case in which two cease and desist orders were issued. Assistance was also given to Afton State Park in regards to a vehicle incident that occurred.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers and boaters in the area. He also patrolled areas of Dakota County for off-road vehicle usage.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week ATV and boating activity. Heat and strong winds have hampered some outdoor activity. However, OHV operators enjoyed the weather at the Appleton ORV Park.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, boat and water, invasive species and ATV enforcement this past week. High winds and high temperatures were the norm for boaters and anglers over the weekend.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time working ATV enforcement at the Appleton ATV Park. Time was also spent with K9 Earl at USPCA Region 12 PD1 K9 Trials held in Wright County. Thanks to all of those who came out to visit and meet K9 Earl at the event.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. Block also spent time enforcing OHV activity at the Appleton Area Recreation Park. Time was also spent following up on AIS violations. Block would like to remind folks to ensure watercraft are free of invasive species.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports a pair of kayakers decided to go out onto a lake on a windy day with whitecaps. Both kayakers ended up in the water and a person on shore called 911 as they were unable to see the kayakers. The kayakers were smart and each was wearing a life jacket. Klehr responded and was able to spot the kayakers in the water and knew they were OK at that point. The kayakers were rescued by the Litchfield Rescue Squad airboat. Klehr also spent a day at the Appleton OHV Park in Swift County working ATV, OHM, and ORV enforcement.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) spent time this week on boat and water safety and sport fishing activity. Other activities worked included AIS and ATV enforcement. The end of the week was focused on patrolling local rivers and assisting the local sheriff’s office.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) focused patrol efforts this past week on ATV, AIS, and fishing activity throughout the area. Larson also worked the Hutchinson Water Carnival boat parade and fireworks, with many boaters observed having a good time.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding wildlife concerns, commercial fishing and minnow trapping, and wetland/prairie conservation concerns. He worked mainly angling, boating, and invasive species enforcement activities. Lake fishing activity dropped as river fishing conditions improved.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on recreational vehicle and fishing activity. VanThuyne also checked water-related equipment for AIS compliance.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent time focusing on angling, AIS and ATV enforcement this week. Baby animal calls continue to pour in. Please do not handle the animals, their mother is caring for them more often than not.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) assisted with training for new hires at Camp Ripley this past week.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing, ATV, and boating activities. Many kayaks and canoes were seen on the Root River over the weekend, after heavy rainfalls in the area. The horse trails were also busy with many riders enjoying the trails. Horse riders are reminded that their horse passes must be in possession with them while riding the trails, not left at their campsite.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled his station for fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area PWAs.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. Davis patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) responded to urban wildlife calls including two rattlesnakes near homes. A person was found to have a raccoon living with them (by choice) in their house. Possessing live, protected wild animals is generally not allowed. To legally rehabilitate or otherwise possess protected wild animals, a special permit is required.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week instructing defensive tactics and firearms training to the new Academy class.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly ATV riders and anglers during the week. Heavy rains caused fields and rivers to flood early in the week. Heyn also worked on cases and answered numerous animal-related calls.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports that recreational boating activity is picking up on area lakes. Schneider attended training for the Honor Guard.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) assisted with CO Prep interviews for the 2023 Academy. She also spent time canoeing part of the Root River with CO Moua checking trout anglers.