Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 19, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) patrolled Lake of the Woods and worked ATVing activity in the area. Training was attended with local law enforcement agencies.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended a specialized training conference, checked area anglers, and monitored ATVing activity during the Moose Festival in Karlstad. Parents are reminded that a DOT-approved helmet is required for all passengers under age 18 on any ATV when not on their own private property.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Time also was spent patrolling area ATV trails and complaint areas and staffing the TIP trailer at the Beltrami County Fair.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports following up on various wetland- and public waters-related cases this week. Time also was spent checking anglers and watercraft operators and conducting litter enforcement. The start of the bear-baiting season was monitored.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports traveling to Illinois and Iowa as part of a CO Prep hire background investigation. A lake property owner called to report shooting a bobcat that had attacked his puppy. The landowner reported he’d let the puppy out and soon after heard its cries. The landowner struck the bobcat with a garden tool and the cat let go but refused to leave, continuing to act unusually aggressively. Photos from a trail camera showing a possible trespasser were forwarded to Vinton.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent instructing at the CO Academy.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time patrolling ATV and off-road vehicle activity on area trails. Leeching areas were monitored for activity and litter issues. Boating and angling activity was worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATVing activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public were in regard to dogs chasing deer and a bobcat that bit a puppy. A ride-along opportunity was provided to a local college student, and assistance was provided to Maplewood State Park staff with several cases.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) concentrated enforcement efforts on angling, boating, and ATV riding activity. Several boating-related violations were encountered, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked on the boat and PWC on the Alexandria Chain of Lakes and surrounding lakes. Time also was spent teaching cadets watercraft enforcement techniques at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports assisting at firearms safety and ATV safety field days during the weekend. Students were tested on knowledge learned from classroom instruction and online courses before putting their skills into action. Panfish fishing and off-road vehicles remain the primary focuses of enforcement. Complaints about juveniles illegally operating ATVs and OHMs were taken.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent attending training and teaching an ATV safety class in Glenwood. Calls were fielded about upcoming hunting seasons and allowable uses of property owned by The Nature Conservancy.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Deer feeding, salt block placement, and trespass questions were received and answered. Follow-up on a fishing complaint was conducted.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked angling, boating, off-highway vehicle traffic, and AIS. He also continued working on a background investigation.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports checking bear-baiting activity and activity on public lands. The berry and nut crops have improved significantly from last year and may make bear baiting more difficult than in past years. He also reports assisting with the Academy at Camp Ripley, and is in the process of a background investigation.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and AIS compliance. Bear baiting started, and a few hunters were seen placing baits. A person called to report a cougar sighting.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating continue to be the main focuses of work activity. Bear baiting started this weekend, so work is starting to shift from the water to the woods. An invasive species check station was worked at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry in International Falls during the weekend.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River this past week. With bear baiting opening up this past weekend, bear-bait registration was monitored and AIS work was conducted at the U.S. Port of Entry in International Falls.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating during the week. Area forest roads were checked, and public access sites monitored.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling, ATVing, and bear baiting. He began several investigations on complaints of violations on Lake Vermilion.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATVing and boating/angling enforcement. Bear baiting began during the weekend, and multiple bait sites were checked. Time also was spent presenting at a firearms safety class in Hibbing and assisting local law enforcement agencies on a variety of calls.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and ATVing activity. Broughten fielded calls regarding injured animals and waterfowl regulations. He also assisted local law enforcement in a search for a lost child. The child was located a short distance from her home and was in good health.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and bear-baiting activity this past week. He also did some AIS work near several lakes. Velsvaag received several calls about ATVs being operated illegally on Highway 169 and Highway 1 near Ely.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking bear-bait stations, anglers, and ATVing activity. Time was spent on area trout lakes, and he continued to investigate a trapping complaint.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATVing, angling, boating, and bear-baiting enforcement activities and patrolled in the BWCAW. Enforcement action was taken for minnow-trapping violations.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports the fall hunting seasons are upon us with the bear-baiting season starting during the weekend. A few stream trout anglers were contacted while chasing brook trout. ATV riders were monitored, and a stop was conducted for no headlights. Hill assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and Rescue with numerous calls throughout the week.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and conducted boat safety checks. Wildlife-related calls were taken, and questions were answered about bear baiting. Brown assisted with conducting aquatic invasive species checks at the International Falls border crossing.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Numerous game- and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored bear baiting, and worked an AIS detail this week.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for failing to transfer a boat title, angling without a license, and angling without a license in possession. Sutherland once again dealt with multiple bear-related complaints of the bruins doing damage to bird feeders, garbage cans, and even one that wandered inside a garage.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, boating, ATV, AIS, and big-game enforcement throughout the area. Bear-baiting activity was monitored, as well.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to focus on fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Several questions were answered regarding the upcoming bear-hunting season. Bear hunters in the area are anticipating a good season with several reported sightings and trail camera pictures lately.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) checked angling and ATVing activity this week. Wetland, public waters, and illegal burning cases were handled. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited materials, failure to obtain a burning permit, no license in possession, and insufficient PFDs on a watercraft.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time at Camp Ripley, assisting with training at the CO Academy during the week. A trespass complaint was investigated and will require more follow-up investigation. Duncan also participated in a neighborhood kid event as a speaker.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week answering many phone calls and dealing with miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Litter/dumping complaints were investigated. Trespassing, ATVing, and early bear-baiting calls were handled. Time was spent on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River on patrol for extra enforcement during the Blues Festival in Duluth.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) instructed at the DNR Academy all week.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and monitored public lands for bear-baiting activity. Guida attended a “Bags with Badges” public relations event hosted by the Brainerd Police Department. He also investigated the illegal application of a chemical in a public lakebed. The landowner was trying to remove cattails from the property to improve his beach. Numerous boaters were contacted removing watercraft for the season. Those boaters were reminded of the AIS laws.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) saw anglers having success on area lakes. One angler left his fishing pole unattended while he set up a tent 200 yards away. When the angler reeled in the line, he caught a nice channel catfish. Flerlage agreed that it was the perfect eating-size fish, then ordered the fish thrown back because it was taken illegally. The angler was educated by citation on the illegal fishing method. Lakeshores were investigated for illegal plant-removal devices.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking boaters, anglers, and ATV riders throughout the week. Time also was spent instructing at the CO Academy.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) monitored ATV traffic and scouted for bear baits as some foliage started turning colors. Hunting questions also started picking up. Several calm days of average temperatures resulted in more angling activity.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) assisted local agencies on various calls. Time also was spent on Lake Mille Lacs and the Soo Line Trail. Bear-baiting activity was monitored.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked anglers, ATV riders, and bear baiters in the area. River Fest Festival in Palisade was attended. Benkofske and many other first responders aided in the recovery of a drowning victim from an Aitkin-area lake.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for boating and angling activities. Westby also assisted with a firearms field day event with area partners. He received several complaints about ATVers on the Soo Line Trail west of Highway 10.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on August pheasant counts this week. He also worked on administrative duties and vehicle maintenance. A firearms safety field day class was given to local students at the Paynesville Sportsmen’s Club range.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked area lakeshore residents for violations of illegal weed removal. Several violations were found for using Roundup herbicide on cattails and illegally-run aqua thrusters.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting ATV enforcement. Time also was spent on miscellaneous wildlife-related calls, speaking at the Annandale firearms safety class, assisting a neighboring officer with a firearms safety field day, and speaking at a local lake association meeting.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week checking boaters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, insufficient boating safety equipment, and expired boat registration. Calls about injured and nuisance animals were handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Time was also spent responding to wildlife- and public water-related calls.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrol efforts on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent staffing the DNR booth at Game Fair. Enforcement action was taken for using a game fish for bait, setting an unattended fishing line, trespassing on federal lands, and shooting a hawk.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers. Additionally, time was spent working on a special assignment.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) received information about a theft on the Crooked Lake WMA. Someone during the past week or weekend went into the WMA parking lot and helped themselves to a couple of 20-foot-long, telephone-style poles. Anyone with information on this is encouraged to call the DNR.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled metro-area lakes and rivers for boating and fishing and Fort Snelling State Park for park usage. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) patrolled area lakes for boating and angling activity. Fogarty received a call from an AIS inspector regarding a person refusing inspection. The individual launched his watercraft into the water without inspection. Fogarty located the individual, who admitted to the violation and was cited for it.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office with a serious injury crash. Boating enforcement was a priority, with enforcement action taken for transom riding, personal flotation device violations, and towing skiers without a spotter or mirrors.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling enforcement during the week. In addition to checking anglers, he spent most of the week instructing watercraft operations at Camp Ripley. He also responded to an aggressive off-leash-dog incident on state land.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time deployed on a wildfire. Lerchen also followed up with calls in his station while out of state.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) spent most of the week assisting with training at the ongoing CO Academy at Camp Ripley. He continued to work on incident reports in between training. Salzer also dealt with some equipment issues that came up and worked on class material for more training at Camp Ripley.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also spent time instructing at the CO Academy and attending a law enforcement meet and greet at the Dakota County Fair.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) reports follow-up was completed for an ongoing resource protection notification where several jurisdictions are involved.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling WMAs. Bowhunters are taking advantage of cooler weather to put up treestands on private land. Creek and slough water levels continue to drop.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, ATVing, invasive species, and public access enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. Time was spent working the DNR booth at Game Fair.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked recreational boating, PWC, fishing, ATV, and AIS enforcement during the week. Nonresident trail passes and helmet violations were the most common ATV-related violations during the week.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working angling and AIS compliance. He also spent time talking with fairgoers and displaying the Wall of Shame at the Kandiyohi County Fair.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week at Camp Ripley, assisting with boat and water training. Other time was spent at a firearms safety class in Dassel, along with completing August roadside surveys in Meeker County.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls pertaining to state land access, trespassing concerns, fishing law violations, and questions concerning hunting and fishing laws. He also removed hunting stands and related equipment from WMAs.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ATV enforcement and aquatic invasive species enforcement. He also patrolled at Kilen Woods State Park.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Additional time was spent patrolling for AIS violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted at Camp Ripley with CO Academy boat and water training. Calls about trespassing and nuisance-wildlife issues also were addressed.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement this week. Henke also staffed a Safety Day booth in Albert Lea.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing, ATVing, and boating activities. Time also was spent following up on public waters and wetlands violations.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated an ATV-trespass complaint and had some camping issues on public property.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time answering questions regarding deer hunting and nuisance-beaver trapping.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports dealing with several calls about dogs running loose. Dog owners are asked to be responsible and to control their dogs.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a shooting complaint was handled in which a group of individuals decided to use a rifle to shoot off some rounds from a boat, into the water. When contact was made with the boat occupants, the rifle was found to still be loaded, and an unpermitted, loaded, concealed handgun also was located. Citations were issued, and charges are pending for the individuals involved.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) handled shooting, burning, and wildlife-related complaints. Assistance was provided at a kids fishing event put on by the Lake City Police Department.