Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 9, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked bear, goose, and teal hunters, as well as boaters and anglers on Lake of the Woods and Lake Bronson. Violations for the week included waterfowl hunters who shot early, killed wood ducks out of season, killed sea gulls and a tern, possessed lead while waterfowl hunting, hunted with an unplugged shotgun, and hunted without a small game license and/or state and federal waterfowl stamps.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) spent time patrolling for ATVing activity, checking anglers, and working bear, early teal, and early goose hunters. Sura also worked at the DNR booth at the State Fair. A bear-hunting trespass complaint was investigated.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke at the Thief River Falls Lions club and patrolled during the opening weekend for bear, teal, dove, and early goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, failure to register a bear bait, no sign at a bear bait, leaving equipment in a WMA, angling without a license, taking small game without a license, no life jackets in a watercraft, and watercraft and ATV registration violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working bear-hunting opener, early teal season, and early goose season this past week. Regas reports while on patrol he encountered an escaped captive white-tailed deer running with the wild herd. Efforts to locate the deer and determine where it may have come from continue. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working the early teal and goose seasons. Several groups were contacted during the opening weekend. Time was also spent checking bear hunters and anglers. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a shore angler was reminded he could not transport his fish live in a bucket of water that was removed from infested water. 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, dove hunting, and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent during the weekend working the early teal and goose seasons. Violations encountered were not having a small-game license, no federal duck stamps, and unplugged shotguns.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week continuing follow-up with wetland violations and issuing resource protection notifications on new violations discovered. Other time was spent checking teal hunters, early goose hunters, bear hunters, and helping out at the CO Academy. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports working a busy holiday weekend with primary efforts focused on waterfowling and boating safety enforcement. Many teal hunters were checked with limits the first two days of the season, while early goose hunters checked were nearly skunked. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked opening day of the early goose and teal seasons. Hunters were found having some success with doves. A special-regulation lake was monitored for overlimits and double-tripping. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and teal and goose hunters. Violation rates were high for the teal season, including shooting early, unplugged shotguns, no licenses, and no stamps.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working early teal- and goose-hunting and fishing enforcement. Violations encountered included taking wood ducks out of season, no federal or state waterfowl stamps, no HIP certification, and using unplugged shotguns. A complaint about some dove hunters shooting within city limits was also handled.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on a variety of activities during the week. Few duck hunters were seen participating in the early teal season, and even fewer teal were seen in the bag. However, ATV violations were prevalent. 

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked off-highway vehicles, angling, recreational boating, early teal and goose seasons, and bear hunting. Case investigations and background investigations were conducted throughout the week as well. Enforcement action was taken for numerous off-highway vehicle violations.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports it was a busy holiday weekend. Bear hunters, ATV riders, anglers, and boaters were checked. Some time was spent working on existing big-game and public waters-alteration cases.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) responded to an ATV crash and a motorcycle crash. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, illegal-length fish, juveniles without helmets on ATVs, expired registration, and transporting aquatic plants. 

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports an influx of visitors to the area for the holiday weekend. He spent time working early teal, early goose, bear hunters, and ATVing activity/complaints. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time this past week working the bear opener, checking sturgeon fishermen on the Rainy River, and monitoring ATVing activity throughout the area. Early goose season hunters reported hunting to be slow. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear hunters opened the season a bit on the warm side with biting insects still near peak condition. ATVing activity has increased during the past week.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and forest roads. Bear-hunting activities were checked, and angling, boating, and wild rice harvesting were monitored. 

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily ATVing and bear hunting enforcement. Larson also responded to several trespass and property complaints. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports time was spent helping at Camp Ripley for trapping week at the CO Academy. CO Zavodnik also spent time handling multiple trespass calls.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, hunting, and ATVing activity. Fishermen and goose hunters reported moderate success. Bear hunters reported poor success. CO Broughten also investigated a complaint about people squatting on public lands. The complaint was unfounded.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) received several complaints about an individual camping at a public water access in the Ely area. When the CO arrived, he found that not only was the individual camping at the access but the person also had used a chainsaw to cut several trees down in order to make the spot more open. 

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked bear-hunting activity this past week. He received several calls about nuisance bears. Velsvaag also followed up on a dumping problem on state land and received a call about carcasses dumped on public land.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a variety of activities around the busy Labor Day weekend. During the week leading up, time was spent checking bear baits, handling complaints, testifying in court, and assisting with a youth firearms safety class in Babbitt. Enforcement action included untagged crayfish traps, extra fishing lines, unattended fishing lines, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, taking a mallard during a closed season, and expired OHM and ATV registration.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked bear baits and bear hunters as the season got off to a warm start. A TIP call was received about an angler in the refuge at French River, but the individual was gone by the time officers arrived. 

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports a busy week in Cook County as fall activities are in full swing. Due to abundant natural foods, Hill was concerned the bear harvest would be relatively low during the first few days of the season. However, Hill was surprised that the majority of hunters were successful. A hunter was warned after a few candy wrappers were found at his bait site. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) worked bear hunting opener and early teal opener. Brown checked bear baits and bear hunters. Enforcement action was taken for several baiting violations.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked early teal and goose hunters, worked bear-hunting activity, monitored wild rice harvest, and instructed at the CO Academy. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided K9 demonstrations at local events. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register bear baits and youth under 18 without helmets on ATVs.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked bear season opener and early teal season over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for bear hunting over unregistered baits, failing to register an ATV, attempting to take mallards while hunting for teal, and for not having licenses in possession.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working big-game, migratory waterfowl, angling, and ATVing enforcement. Several bear hunters were contacted during the season opener. Teal and goose hunters were observed having moderate success as well.  

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused on bear hunting and ATVing activity. Most bear hunters contacted in the field reported a slow start to the season. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled the station for bear- and goose-hunting activity, but not a lot of hunters were afield. ATVing activity remains high, and complaints were handled in the northern end of the station resulting in enforcement action being taken.  

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked ATV complaint areas and dealt with issues related to youthful operators, illegal operation on roadways, and trespass. Time was spent working early goose and teal seasons, and the officer handled a call regarding a couple of wood ducks that were shot.   

Lake Superior Marine Unit

No report available.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) Spent time checking anglers, recreational watercraft, ATVs, and working the early teal and goose opener. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations and taking wood ducks out of season. 

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time checking early teal hunters, ATV riders, and bear hunters throughout the week.  

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy holiday weekend with focus on sportfishing, boating, all-terrain vehicles, migratory waterfowl, and bear-hunting activities. Officer Guida addressed an off-highway motorcycle being illegally operated in a public road ditch. A burning complaint was investigated. The landowner had been warned in 2018 for a similar violation but this time received a citation for the illegal burning. There were bottles, broken glass, iron, aluminum, wire, and plastics in the smoldering fire.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time checking bear hunters, anglers, and responding to complaints. The ATV trails were busy during the weekend. Assistance was given with an ATV accident on the Red Top Trail. Griffith also stopped a car operator for driving down an ATV trail. The driver stated that he did not notice the large “Soo Line Trail” sign, but noticed the road seemed a little bumpy.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reported checking waterfowl hunters, bear hunters, and recreational vehicle users throughout the holiday weekend. Wild Rice Days in McGregor drew a large crowd to the area. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked bear season, wild ricing activity, duck season, goose season, and ATV, watercraft, and fishing activities. Violations of insufficient PFDs were found, along with no boat lights at night. Bear hunters were found with some loaded guns in a motor vehicle, untagged bears, and un-registered bait sites.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for boating and angling activities. Westby also spent time at the CO Academy in Camp Ripley and attended the Minnesota State Fair and worked with the other divisions to answer questions.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked the early teal and Canada goose opener during the weekend. Teal numbers and hunters seemed down, but a fair number of geese were taken. Anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity were worked. Assistance was given with a water rescue on the Sauk River in Waite Park. 

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers, early teal hunters, early goose hunters, and mourning dove hunters. ATV enforcement was conducted. Time was spent working a TIP complaint, lakeshore violations, equipment maintenance, and working the State Fair booth. 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) checked a pontoon full of fishermen in which a female assured him that she had a license and would look for it. Bertram watched her try to buy a license on her phone while he checked the rest of the group. Unfortunately for her, license purchases are date- and time-stamped and the cell service was terrible.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working a busy teal opener. CO Krauel observed one group of hunters continuously shoot at every waterfowl species that flew into the area. Upon the CO contacting the individuals, they stated they hadn’t shot much and had not hit anything. When CO Krauel advised them that he had watched them and had a K9 handler en route to check the area for downed birds, the hunters admitted to shooting at birds and not knowing what they were. They produced two mergansers that they had hidden. 

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) worked a late shift and spoke with some bear hunters late at night. The hunters had harvested a bear, but the CO learned they had not properly completed some steps. The hunters were educated on how to register a bait station, validate a tag, and properly secure the tag to the bear.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and waterfowl hunters. The early teal and early goose seasons were busy for the second straight year. Seamans is disappointed to report that violation rates were extremely high during both openers. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake), checked teal and goose hunters during the early seasons. Fogarty also patrolled area lakes checking boaters and anglers. Assistance was given to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office regarding a water-related fatality. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports a TIP call was investigated regarding the taking of a goose on dove opener. Enforcement action was taken for possessing lead shot in a waterfowl production area.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time working on an ongoing background investigation. Multiple nuisance-animal calls also were handled. 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking waterfowl hunters and working on a big-game case. He fielded calls about accessing water bodies from the road right of way and questions about nuisance animals. Arntzen also worked on a trespassing case and continued checking anglers. 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for waterfowl-hunting activity on the early goose opener and the early teal season opener. Several violations were detected. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked the early goose and teal seasons. Fewer hunters were out this year but it did appear that most hunters did well. Tetrault also conducted a site visit for fill that was placed in a public water.  

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working the start of the mourning dove, early teal, and September goose seasons. Investigations were worked dealing with early/late shooting, taking birds out of season, and federal violations. 

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked dove, migratory waterfowl, and invasive species enforcement this past week. Dove hunters and early teal season hunters both did well on the opener, with multiple limits observed. Enforcement action for the week included license violations and failure to remove boat plugs.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. Low water levels have greatly reduced the number of huntable sloughs, as teal hunters have discovered.  

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working waterfowl hunters during the teal and early goose openers. He followed up on several questions related to public land use and trespass. 

CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. Block also spent time checking waterfowl hunters during the early teal and September goose seasons. Additional time was spent fielding questions at the State Fair. 

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week on waterfowling enforcement. Additional time was spent fielding phone calls about nuisance beavers. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) attended several meetings during the week. A busy dove opener was worked in the Talcot WMA area with hunters reporting good success. Early teal season and goose hunters were greeted by warm weather and lower-than-average numbers of waterfowl. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked dove, teal, and goose seasons. He noted some success in taking doves and teal, with less success in taking geese. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked a busy holiday weekend. Waterfowl hunters are reminded it is a violation of state law to operate an OHV such as an ATV below the ordinary high-water mark of an unfrozen public water. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent time checking teal and goose hunters this week. Hunter numbers in the area were high throughout the weekend, but success dropped as the weekend progressed. Complaints about early shooting and targeting closed-season waterfowl seemed to be common during the early season.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, and waterfowl hunters this week. AIS compliance was monitored.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and waterfowl-hunting activity. Early goose and teal hunters had little success during the openers. Hunters reported seeing fewer birds than they expected. Low water in the area made access difficult and caused certain areas to be crowded. Remember, AIS regulations also apply to waterfowling boats. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent time completing use of force training at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent checking area duck hunters during the early teal season.  

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) monitored early teal and goose hunters. Although most hunters showed restraint and good duck-identification abilities, two hunters were observed shooting a wood duck and a mallard. Enforcement action was taken. 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy holiday weekend on Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River. Some ATV and OHM enforcement activity also was worked during the weekend, with a few violation detected. Early waterfowl hunting was spotty, but some geese and teal were found in the bag. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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