Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 4, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked ATV riders in the Beltrami Island State Forest and boaters on Lake of the Woods. Violations included walleye overlimit, jet skis operating at above-wakeless speeds too close to shore, jumping wakes, operating late, and allowing a 10-year-old to operate.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) and CO Prachar wrapped up an ongoing commercial bait investigation; charges were filed.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) provided instruction at the CO Academy on alcohol impairment detection and enforcement, compass use and land navigation, and GPS mapping tools.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) continued to monitor angling, boating and ATV activity this week. Bear-baiting questions were fielded.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) concluded follow-up interviews and reports pertaining to a commercial minnow case on which he was assisting CO Sura. The case consisted of thousands of bags of emerald shiners taken and sold illegally.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time on several waters-related cases this week.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) assisted at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley for scenario day. Nuisance-bear complaints taken.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports angling activity has slowed with the warm weather and local guides and anglers report a slow bite. Several reports of injured animals were taken.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week performing equipment maintenance, patrolling areas lakes, and answering questions at the Becker County Fair. Swedberg also spent time answering questions about nuisance animals and upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked calls about an abandoned PWC and wildlife-related complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent time conducting a deer farm inspection.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) performed AIS compliance checks. Trails and recreational areas were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Leeching and minnow trapping activities were worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week investigating new wetland violations and following up with ongoing wetland violations in the station. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and burning prohibited materials.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) conducted an investigation regarding an eagle nest. Numerous ATV-related violations were addressed this week, including an open bottle and juvenile passengers with no helmets on.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a complaint of an individual hitting golf balls into an area lake was received and investigated. Annual training was completed.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) issued a few citations for no angling licenses and using extra lines. Remember, nonresident, “family” angling licenses allow for spouses and children under 16 years old to angle and keep fish. They do not cover 22-year-olds, and they most certainly don’t cover the boyfriend of a 22-year-old dependent to lawfully fish, as was discussed by CO Lawler and a boat full of anglers this week.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) assisted at Camp Ripley with the academy this week and is beginning another background investigation.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) spent time patrolling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) investigated complaints of fish overlimits and taking geese out of season.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent most of the week assisting with academy training. Time was also spent on ATV and boating enforcement.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for off-highway vehicle and angling violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) reports enforcement action taken for wanton waste of fish, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and no license in possession.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports work continues on Bear Committee items. He’s also working on CO Academy items. Enforcement action taken for AIS violations.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted at Camp Ripley with training at the CO Academy. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending the week working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for angling without licenses, allowing illegal operation of juveniles riding ATVs and failing to remove drain plugs while transporting boats.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports cooler nights already have people thinking of upcoming seasons, with bear hunters starting to scout and ready hunting areas. Animal-related complaints were addressed. A discussion was had with one individual about how feeding wild animals, such as birds and deer, can lead to the presence of predators in areas they traditionally would not be accustomed to occupying on a regular basis.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating over the week. Area forest roads were checked and public access sites monitored. Equipment work and administrative tasks were completed.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time working a detail in the Duluth area. Zavodnik also spoke to approximately 20 students attending the ATV safety field day at the Gilbert OHV Park.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) fielded calls and questions regarding fishing regulations, nuisance animals, and permits.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) took a complaint in Lake Vermilion State Park regarding litter/abandoned property.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and ATV activity. Anglers reported limited success this week.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) patrolled areas of the BWCAW by canoe. Violations included failure to display current registration and angling without a license.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time working remote area trout lakes, monitoring ATV activity, responding to wildlife-related complaints and assisting the county with calls.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a juvenile eagle hanging upside down in a tree, tangled up by a talon. When she arrived on scene the eagle was sitting on a branch, free and looking slightly embarrassed by the experience.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports taking a canoe trip into the BWCAW with other officers. The wilderness was very busy with contacts made with people from all over the United States. There were berries galore, which makes Hill wonder how the upcoming bear-baiting and subsequent hunting season will go.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) took calls of nuisance-beaver activity and a report of illegal structures being built in public waters.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) answered several bear-hunting questions as hunters prepare for the approaching bear season. Enforcement action was taken for parking in the closed area of a public access and allowing passengers under 18 to ride on an ATV without helmets.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish-related questions were answered.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner, Si, attended area events and provided meet and greets and demos. Enforcement action was taken for illegal OHV operation by a juvenile.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) responded to a small-airplane incident in northern Pine County. He provided regulatory assistance for the pilot being arrested for operating the aircraft while intoxicated.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked a couple water-level complaints involving possible illegal manipulation of lake levels.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) dealt with a timber theft investigation. Assistance was also provided for homeowners who were having problems with bears damaging property and struggling with wild animals hanging around the house and killing chickens.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) participated in an invasive species checkpoint in the Isle area.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Multiple violations were addressed, including no helmets on juvenile ATV riders, personal watercraft violations and various angling violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) provided assistance for training the new officers at the CO Academy.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) investigated a complaint of ATV riders operating in a lake, with enforcement action being taken.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) helped remove some debris washed up on a public dock and provided traffic control at a highway crash site.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) followed up on shoreline and bear issues. ATV activity was worked on the Soo Line and Red Top trails. Angling activity was worked on Lake Mille Lacs. A detail was worked on the Mississippi River.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports area nuisance-animal calls were handled.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked ATV, fishing, and state park activities. Enforcement action was taken on an area lake for disorderly conduct after Starr investigated a call of a young couple who were skinny dipping in broad daylight.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, boating and ATV/OHM enforcement this week. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV violations. Time was also spent on equipment maintenance.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) spent time investigating property damage on a local WMA. If anyone has additional information, please contact Westby. He also took an injured-bear complaint near a golf course. The bear was located but the injuries were too sever to rescue him. Westby located fencing along Highway 10 that had been cut so ATV riders could access an area where they are not permitted.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) fielded calls about nuisance beavers and bears throughout the week. Enforcement action taken for various ATV violations.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers in vacant stations. No fishing license and ATV operators with juvenile passengers not wearing helmets were violations encountered.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports enforcement action for the week included feeding deer in feeding ban area, insufficient number of life jackets, and operating unlicensed watercraft.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) handled calls about nuisance and injured animals.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATVs.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent time working a special detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Seamans was pleased to see that many adventurers in the BWCAW were following the rules.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) fielded wildlife-related complaints on bears and other nuisance animals.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent time patrolling for ATV activity and taking calls about nuisance bears in the area.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) received a TIP call about an angler using extra lines and sunfish as bait. Enforcement action was taken for the violations.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) spent time on Lake Superior checking anglers and enforcing boating regulations.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on ATV enforcement during the week.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled metro-area lakes and rivers for boating and fishing and Fort Snelling State Park for park usage. He provided a ride-along to a DNR employee for the purpose of introduction to the conservation officer profession.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) continued AIS enforcement efforts at station public accesses. Violations this week included transporting aquatic invasive species.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) patrolled William O’Brien State Park and the Carlos Avery WMA. He responded to TIP calls. Violations for the week included fishing without a license, extra lines, no license in possession and using game fish as bait.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked on the St. Croix River checking anglers and boaters. The water level is getting lower and it appears the fish bite has slowed.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent most of the week instructing alcohol enforcement at the CO Academy. He also patrolled areas of the county for anglers, with very little success observed. Enforcement action for the week included license violations.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) investigated a dumping complaint in a wetland and assisted a local police department with a wildlife-related complaint where an animal needed to be euthanized. Salzer also dealt with off-highway motorcycle riders who were operating illegally.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time dealing with complaints of an abandoned boat along the Mississippi River and a large litter dump of furniture and TVs on a scientific and natural area. Thomas also assisted at a National Wild Turkey Federation outreach event aimed at getting kids involved in outdoor sports.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week patrolling lakes, rivers, and streams. Rain is needed. Area water levels remain low.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time assisting with firearms safety classes held in Lamberton and Redwood Falls.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working ATV, invasive species, and boat and water enforcement. Wildlife-related calls were fielded.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports an injured pelican was captured that was hanging around an apartment complex. The pelican was relocated to a slough outside of town.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) answered questions about archery hunting and public land. Vernier also began work on a background investigation for the next CO Academy.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with Academy training. This week was focused on alcohol enforcement.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) reports a TIP complaint regarding an overlimit of sunfish on a new special regulations lake was fielded and completed.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) attended training at Camp Ripley and gave a ride-along to a college student interested in becoming a conservation officer.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning hunting and fishing law clarifications. He also removed unattended property from wildlife management areas.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) assisted with teaching new COCs at Camp Ripley over the past week. TIP calls were taken and are being worked regarding littering and angling violations.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) completed a radio interview with KKOJ discussing non-motorized watercraft registration, PFD-use requirements by youth under 10 years of age, and speed/distance laws relating to PWCs.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent time fielding questions about the upcoming hunting seasons. Henke encourages hunters to take a few minutes and read through the regulations book and be familiar with the different regs for each hunting season.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) took complaints of illegal ATV activity. Questions regarding commercial minnow harvesting were answered.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) assisted local agencies and checked water-related equipment for AIS compliance.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled his station for fishing, boating and ATV activity.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) patrolled aquatic management areas, wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites for invasive species violations, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on ATV and fishing activities. Trout anglers reported catching good numbers of small-sized brown trout. Despite the high numbers of small trout being caught, a nice brown trout over 16 inches was checked in the bag.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) is investigating a small-game-related complaint.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for area angling and boating activity.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success was mixed, but some people did OK.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) worked the Turn in Poachers Wall of Shame at the Olmsted County Fair and answered questions from visitors. Time was also spent dealing with a complaint of individuals routinely leaving garbage in a state bike trail parking lot.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) worked with a Wisconsin DNR warden patrolling the Mississippi River for impaired boat operators. Many boaters were contacted and one was arrested for boating while under the influence. Urban wildlife-related calls were taken.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) worked ATV areas and the Mississippi River. Anglers were also checked along the Root River and area trout streams. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming classes at the CO Academy.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) spent time checking ATV riders in the area, especially those operating on the county roads.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, boating and ATV enforcement in southeastern Minnesota this week. Enforcement action was taken for licenses and registration, as well as more slot-fish violations.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) spent time working the TIP display at the Olmsted County Fair.