Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 28, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports duck hunters were checked and success over the weekend appeared slightly down from recent weeks. Activity on the Rainy River was high over the weekend and the bite is starting to pick up on the river and Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked the youth firearms and early antlerless seasons in northwest Minnesota. Mild weather kept deer movement to a minimum, but Woinarowicz still checked some nice deer hunters had taken.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) spent time working an investigation of bough harvesters trespassing on posted private property. They returned numerous times after being advised of the trespassing on the private property. Regas worked with the landowner to be alerted when the trespassers returned. Regas eventually nabbed the trespassers as they were trespassing and harvesting even more boughs. One trespasser was arrested on an outstanding warrant and the remaining trespassers were released with notice of pending charges by criminal complaint for gross misdemeanor trespassing and theft of timber/decorative boughs. The case is currently ongoing with the landowner to establish the extent of the damage or total theft of decorative boughs from the 40-acre parcel.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) responded with a Beltrami County deputy and state trooper to a call of a deer trapped in a swimming pool. The deer was tangled in three different types of rope and cables, along with a tarp and various pool equipment. The deer was released unharmed from the tangle and the freezing water.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking deer hunters during the youth and early antlerless seasons. Time was also spent checking turkey and grouse hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) patrolled area lakes and forest roads. Waterfowl hunters were having mixed success.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports lots of hunters in the area’s early antlerless season. Warm weather caught some hunters ill-prepared as a number of complaints were taken regarding whole, gutted deer dumped on minimum maintenance roads. It appeared the hunters didn’t take the necessary steps to remove the hide and cool the deer before it spoiled. It is illegal to wantonly waste harvested game.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked alongside COC Jesse Drown this week. Enforcement action was taken for careless operation of an off-highway motorcycle on a highway, lend/borrow of a big-game license, and transporting a loaded firearm.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked complaints about dogs chasing deer and hunter-harassment.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) reports duck hunters were pleased to find plenty of migrating birds. Ring-necked ducks, mallards and redheads were most commonly found in game bags.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl, pheasant and deer hunters. Injured-animal complaints were received around Evansville.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports a few new ducks are being seen in the area, and warmer weather during the last park of the week brought out some fall anglers around the area.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports helping with the interview panel for upcoming traditional hires. Numerous hunting questions and complaints also were fielded.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focused on small-game and big-game enforcement. Overall, the bird numbers observed by hunters have been disappointing and there has been limited success.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and COC Ryan Christenson presented a snowmobile law and regulation class for a local sheriff’s office.
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) found an uptick in hunting and angling participation leading into the weekend.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) conducted follow-up on a trapping case, and enforcement action was taken. Brown also worked with CO Wood on a walleye-overlimit case.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a hunter was cited for bowhunting over bait while also occupying an illegal treestand in a wildlife management area. Several reports of hunter harassment were fielded, with charges pending.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports successful grouse and woodcock hunters.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked small-game and deer-hunting activity.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) reports enforcement action was taken for violations including illegal possession of deer, taking antlerless deer in the wrong zone, hunting deer without a license, and unplugged shotgun.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass County lakes for waterfowl-hunting and angling activity. Hunters and anglers are reporting limited success.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports a busy MEA weekend with lots of people enjoying the outdoors, including duck hunting, grouse hunting, riding ATVs, fishing, boating, or the hunting deer. Enforcement action for the week involved license issues and youth ATV violations.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the Rainy River and working small-game hunters.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports small-game and waterfowl hunters continue to provide positive reports.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) heard numerous comments on the lack of deer. Waterfowl-hunting success remains sporadic.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) assisted the county with investigating several sewage-dumping complaints and also looked into deer-hunting violations.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked big-game, small-game, and ATV activity. Grouse hunters had success as cover continues to drop in the woods.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and ATV activity. A high number of grouse hunters were found in the woods this week and reported moderate success.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports dry and warmer weather in the Ely area made for a very active MEA weekend. Grouse and deer reports were fair and some success was seen for both.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) took multiple calls about netting regulations and northern pike angling regulations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a spruce-top thief was apprehended after dark on state land when he returned to pick up his cut tops. Charges are pending.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) spent the week field training COC Hudson Ledeen. They worked small-game, fishing, and ATV enforcement. The officers encountered people harvesting decorative materials. Enforcement action was taken for ATVs operating in the lane of traffic.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game and ATV enforcement activity during the week. Murray also assisted with a motorcycle crash with injuries on Highway 1.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) reports an individual was caught with a truckload of stolen spruce tops, which were seized. Brown also helped locate a group of lost hunters who were found safe.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner Si assisted CO Brown with a spruce top theft case and attended training this week.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked grouse hunters and recreational vehicle activity during the previous week. Holt attended a youth firearms safety field day to speak about laws and ethics in hunting.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued field training with COC Andrew Ladzinski. A complaint was investigated regarding illegal shooting lanes being cut and illegal ATV operation.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) reports a deer-hunting TIP call was investigated, and the involved hunter was located, but there were no violations found.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) followed up on complaints that involved trespass and possible fishing violations. Time was also spent working night deer-shining activity in past complaint areas.
CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) reports violations encountered this week included violating the deer-feeding ban in Carlton County, leaving stands and cameras overnight in a WMA, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and burning without a permit.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) and COC Coby Fontes spent time this week working a big-game case. Hunter checks also were done.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) field trained with COC Ben Ulrich. They worked possible baits before the deer season and got ready for the youth firearms season.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled for waterfowl-, sport fishing, and deer-hunting activity this week. Water temperatures are getting cold and anglers and boaters are reminded to check for life-saving personal flotation devices prior to launching.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) reports youth deer hunters in the area reported lots of success. Common violations reported were trespassing and litter.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking youth deer hunters and early antlerless hunters during the week. A dirty campsite was also investigated, with contact with the individuals.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) was joined by COC Violet Ohnstad for a week of field training. They spent time with ongoing investigations of bear and swan carcasses found in the area.
CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time checking multiple hunters out for the early antlerless and youth firearms seasons over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate a site tag and various ATV-related violations.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) saw more duck hunters last week. There are new birds in the area thanks to cold weather. Flerlage investigated a wetland/lakeshore violation.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked small-game hunters in search of grouse. Lake activity was monitored where several people were getting their boats off the lake for the end of the season.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked big-game, small-game, and ATV-riding activity. Griffith would like to remind hunters and recreational riders to read through the regulation books before heading out.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports ATV activity surged as warmer weather returned and enforcement action was taken for allowing youthful operation of ATVs and youth operating ATVs without required helmets.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) found a case in which a youth’s first deer was not registered properly by the supervising adults. The father explained that because a family dog broke into the garage and ate most of the deer, the registration requirement was forgotten.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) spent time with Forestry Division personnel investigating area fires. Time was also spent with local partners on a shining complaint after the legal shining hours.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) conducted follow-up on a case of wildlife feeding. An investigation into shooting after legal hours found that the hunter was also trespassing, which led to seizure of the deer.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports violations for the week included no navigation lights, hunting without a small-game license, and no federal duck stamp.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) continues to investigate cameras being left in WMAs and people operating a motor vehicle in a waterfowl production area. Shining complaints were also reported.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) continued training COC Trent Anderson, who will be going to the St. Cloud Station. Hunters are cautioned to check attractants that they purchase at a store. Most of the products contain flavor and food products, which make them considered bait.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports enforcement action was taken for license violations and loaded firearms.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) and COC Tony Hams spent time during the week checking small-game hunters, working ATV enforcement, following up on baiting complaints, and working the early antlerless and youth deer seasons.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent time following up on wetland and public water violations.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) received a complaint in the Bock area about a headless deer. Upon talking with the landowner, there was a large buck that was illegally shot and its head was removed. Anyone with information is encouraged to step forward or report it to the TIP line.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) reports a case was successfully solved concerning a TIP call about a deer taken over bait.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled with COC Matt Paavola for ATV activity, angling activity and deer hunters during the youth and early antlerless season.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spoke at a firearms safety class. Violations this week included license-possession issues.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports that while conducting a hunting check on a pheasant hunter on federal land, the hunter quickly displayed a bag with his shotgun shells labeled “steel.” The hunter said he did this to prevent mixing up loads while hunting. Unfortunately, the “steel” bag was filled entirely with lead shot. Enforcement action was taken for possession of toxic shot on federal land.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) followed up with state park rules involving liquor, an illegal camp fire, being in a state park during closed hours, and illegal camping.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking waterfowl hunters and anglers. Duck numbers remain low with hunters seeing few divers in the area.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) reports a suspected lost firearm was turned into Fogarty. The firearm was located by another hunter in a parking lot of public hunting land. He also followed up on a suspicious vehicle containing hunting clothes. Fogarty was able to make contact with the archery hunter, who did not have a hunting license.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) continued training COC Adam Stennett this week. They responded to a TIP call of possible night hunting.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) dealt with a complaint about an archery hunter and responded to a trespassing complaint.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) followed up on a wetland-filling complaint that resulted in a cease and desist order and restoration order being served. An unattended deer stand was also removed from a WMA.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring area waterfowl hunters.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked small-game and waterfowl hunters.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) reports K9 Earl spent time training in the Brainerd area this past week.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports warm, dry weather is speeding harvest, however, many fields of corn remain unharvested.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, deer-, migratory waterfowl-, and pheasant-hunting enforcement last week.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reminds pheasant hunters of the additional blaze orange clothing requirement when there is a firearms deer season in progress.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) followed up on a trespass complaint.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) responded to TIP calls and fielded various questions on hunting regulations.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continued field training COC Znajda. Archery hunters and small-game hunters were reminded to be wearing an adequate amount of orange during any open firearms deer season.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) reports a fire investigation, a meet-and-greet with a veterans pheasant hunt in Worthington, and trespass issues.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) answered questions from the public in regards to upcoming regular firearms deer season.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning stands left in WMAs. Very little standing corn remains in the area.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent a portion of the past week in the Twin Cities assisting with potential new CO interviews.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports the corn crop harvest has progressed substantially in the county.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato 2) spent the week checking anglers, small-game hunters, ATV riders and youth deer hunters.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked waterfowl-, small-game, and deer-hunting. The youth deer hunt saw extremely low participation, with warm weather and high winds.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) received and investigated a TIP that resulted in a citation for extra lines.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked deer, pheasant, and duck hunters this week.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) spent time on do-ATV enforcement and talking to landowners about burning violations.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) checked upland and waterfowl hunters.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) and COC Choua Khang spent this week monitoring boating, fishing and waterfowl-hunting activities on the Mississippi River and various lakes surrounding the area. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful possession of a protected bird.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked hunters taking part in the early antlerless and youth deer seasons. Despite above-normal temperatures, a fair number of deer were harvested.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports a busy MEA youth and early antlerless deer season. Participation was high and many of the state campgrounds were nearly full.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) reports an individual was contacted pheasant hunting without a pheasant stamp. The individual’s excuse was he thought pheasant stamps were optional, “just like the duck stamps.” The individual was advised that neither pheasant stamps nor waterfowl stamps are optional if targeting those species. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports lots of kids were out over MEA weekend.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports wildlife-related calls were handled regarding an eagle, deer, and a pet raccoon.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received complaints of failing to retrieve ducks and trespass. He also inspected the facility of a new falconer in the area.