Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 4, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers and duck hunters on Lake of the Woods. Violations for the week included angling with an extra line, leaving a blind in a wildlife management area overnight, shooting an overlimit of hen mallards, and trespass.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports anglers fishing the Rainy River are having success targeting walleyes and sturgeon. Several miscellaneous complaints were followed up on and investigated.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) spent time investigating TIP information with CO Vollbrecht. Violations encountered this past week included unregistered off-highway motorcycle, operating off-highway motorcycles in the road right-of-way and taking deer out of season.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports steady grouse-hunting activity. The numbers of grouse are still high but the birds are wary of hunters this late in the season.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a firearms safety class field day in the Mentor area. He received wildlife- and public land-related complaints.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) followed up on a complaint of a deer being shot from a roadway and shining activity.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) continued working with COC Drown this week. They checked several groups of duck hunters, small-game hunters, and anglers through the week. Swedberg and Drown wrapped up an investigation involving unregistered bear baits and other issues. They also checked two anglers who did not have licenses, were in possession of marijuana, and one also had active warrants. Swedberg and Drown issued both citations and made an arrest for the warrant. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) received calls about elk sightings and complaints of litter, dogs chasing deer and trespass.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) completed deer farm inspections. Time was also spent removing illegal deer stands and equipment from state WMAs.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking duck hunters, pheasant hunters, and anglers, and preparing for the upcoming firearms deer season. Calls from the public included reports of car-killed deer and general questions regarding hunting regulations.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) fielded deer-hunting related questions, and a local snowmobile safety class was attended. 

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) continued focus on angling, pheasant and waterfowl enforcement. Additional time was spent investigating wetland and public waters violations.

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports checking anglers and small-game hunters. Time was also spent with follow up on deer and trapping cases. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) completed an investigation into a bowhunter reported to be using bait near his treestand to attract deer. A large number of overgrown carrots were found placed in the hunter’s shooting lane. Despite his intentions to feed the squirrels, a citation was issued and a crossbow was seized. A muskie angler was giving himself an advantage to catch a monster by using two lines – one live bait and the other artificial. Lawler spotted the violation and ruined the plan by issuing a citation.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focused on waterfowl- and small-game-hunting activity. Several hunters contacted continue to be disappointed by the bird numbers observed this year. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and bowhunters. Deer license and zone questions have increased ahead of the deer season.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and COC Ryan Christenson spent time following up on deer-hunting complaints.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) encourages hunters to take the time to read the big-game regulations in preparation for the regular firearms deer season. Calls from the public consisted of possession-permit requests, injured-animal calls and big-game-related questions and concerns.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on the water over the weekend as people took advantage of the nice weather. Most public access docks have been removed in the area and water levels are low on some lakes, making access tricky in spots. 

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) reports enforcement action taken for numerous waterfowl-hunting violations.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) handled several animal-related complaints along with a few reports of bears causing concern for residents.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week patrolling area forest roads for ATV/small-game-hunting activity. Equipment maintenance was completed during the week, too. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) monitored small-game and ATV activity. The cooperative weather has allowed more people to spend time outdoors and grouse hunters continue to report good conditions.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the trapping opener saw low participation.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) investigated a trapping related complaint and has been working decorative material cuttings.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game, big-game, and ATV activity. Many calls came in regarding hunting rules questions and permit requests as the gun opener draws closer.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time investigating multiple trespass complaints.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) investigated a complaint of people rallying waterfowl with a boat.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports another warm weekend meant high ATV use and grouse-hunting activity. A number of woodcock were still passing through and several hunters reported success.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and whitefish netters. Velsvaag received calls about firearms transportation laws and shooting from roadways.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked remote trout lakes and small-game hunters and checked whitefish nets. He instructed youth during the ATV field day at Cook County School.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted other officers and volunteers with an ATV safety training field day where a record number of students earned certification. Manning also spent time in the field checking areas for illegal deer baiting.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports decorative tree harvest and theft continue to be monitored and worked. A presentation was given to the Ely Rotary Club and truck night was attended at the Babbitt school.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked grouse hunters and ATV operators. Deer hunters were taking to the woods to prepare stands and cabins.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports continuing field training with COC Hudson Ledeen. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in the lane of traffic and failure to properly display registration. The officers assisted the county with an OHM crash near Grand Marais.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game activity and big-game baiting investigations. He also checked fall beaver trapping activity and answered questions on the upcoming firearms season.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) investigated TIP complaints, checked grouse hunters, and monitored bough-cutting activity. 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) responded to wildlife-related complaints. Reminder: People wishing to sight-in their deer rifles in the five days before the firearms deer season need to do it at a gun range. See Page 25 of the hunting regulations book.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner Si assisted the county with locating people who fled into the woods. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for allowing a youth under 18 on an ATV without a helmet. Work was also done in the CWD Zone 679, where there is a feeding ban for deer. Multiple roadkill permits were also issued.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) spent time speaking with deer hunters afield preparing for the upcoming firearms deer season opener on Nov. 5.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued field training with COC Andrew Ladzinski. A trespassing complaint was handled.  

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) reports unlawful decorative material harvesting continues to be an issue not only in the theft of materials from public lands, but trespassing and stealing from private property. Two individuals were caught in the act on private land cutting decorative boughs. Enforcement action was taken for failing to obtain permission to harvest materials, trespassing, driving after revocation, and operating an unregistered ATV. One of the trespassers was also lodged at the St. Louis County Jail for an outstanding warrant.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) continued training with COC Ben Ulrich. They focused on waterfowl-hunting and fall fishing activity. A complaint of an abandoned camp was handled and time was spent working baited stands in the area.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) reports a dumping-of-waterfowl complaint was investigated, as was a shooting-from-the-roadway complaint involving a possible trespass. Duncan also worked a few nights for illegal deer shining.

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) checked small-game hunters and investigated several deer-baiting tips. Good numbers of woodcock were observed in hunters’ bags.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) and COC Fontes spent the week investigating trespass and hunting concerns.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) completed another week of training with COC Ohnstad. They spent time on ATV/ORV enforcement and checking hunters afield.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) reports enforcement action taken for fishing, boating and recreational vehicle violations. 

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) reports enforcement action for deer hunting without a license. Reminder: state recreation area bike trails are closed Nov. 5-20 for the firearms deer season. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) continued working sport fishing and big-game baiting investigations. A reminder to anyone convicted of hunting big game over bait is subject to a forfeited firearm/bow, a one-year big game hunting revocation including compact states, and a $385 fine.

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time getting prepared for the firearms deer-hunting season. Cook also checked ATV riders and small-game hunters throughout the week. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) investigated deer-season complaints and various permits were issued. 

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) reports the nice weather brought out heavy ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm and expired ATV registration. 

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports enforcement action was taken for failure to report the sale and transfer of an ATV, failing to display ATV registration, and juveniles operating ATVs without helmets.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports that while checking a group of goose hunters in a field/pasture area, Starr found a rather shocking ordeal when crossing over several fence wires to get to the hunters. Not only was one wire hooked to a very strong electric fencer, but several geese were found in the blind, along with far too many violations. After getting shocked, enforcement action on the one group included no small-game licenses, no federal stamps, no state stamps, and no HIP certifications. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) spent the weekend patrolling the Camp Ripley archery hunt, with around 2,000 archery hunters taking part. With warmer weather, fewer deer were taken but many hunters were able to bag deer. The heaviest buck weighed 220 pounds. Several complaints about deer stands and other personal belongings left out overnight on Camp Ripley property were handled.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked area hunting activity. He took calls concerning injured animals and an overlimit of fish. He also issued a road-killed animal permit and took a complaint of operating a motor vehicle in a WPA.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) provided a ride-along to a law enforcement student at Alexandria Technical and Community College. Car-killed deer permits issued.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports that tensions are running high for some people ahead of this year’s gun opener. It’s unfortunate that one big buck can turn neighbors into enemies. He advises hunters to make good decisions, be safe, respect your neighbor, and everything will be OK.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) and COC Tony Hams spent the week following up on bait-related complaints and checking small-game hunters and anglers. 

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent time following up on public water and Wetland Conservation Act violations.

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) reports a case concerning archery deer hunting over bait was concluded this week when officers caught the suspect in the act of hunting over bait. 

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) talked with landowners near state property about how to deter trespassing.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled with COC Matt Paavola for ATV activity, angling activity, and waterfowl and deer hunters. Enforcement action included violations for no state duck stamp, unsigned federal duck stamp and no horse pass. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) and COC Adam Stennett continued working the Mound station this week. Deer hunting continues to be slow with fall fishing activity starting to pick up on the rivers. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports getting a call about a suspicious dead deer. The deceased deer was found on public land with a splinted leg. Just a reminder that only licensed wildlife rehabilitators should attempt to rehabilitate injured wildlife.

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) received a call of wanton waste/failure to retrieve waterfowl about field hunters. Fogarty investigated the allegations and found the lost birds. Fogarty checked the hunters and also found several license violations. He also received a report of early trap setting. The traps were seized; case ongoing.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked Carlos Avery for small-game and waterfowl hunters. A deer was seen running on the streets near downtown Minneapolis.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking anglers. Water levels have significantly dropped, creating more access for anglers and more hazards for boaters.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) dealt with a complaint about waterfowl hunters raining pellets on a barn.  

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) handled several calls about illegally dumped deer and goose carcasses in the road right of way and in WMAs.

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) participated in an outreach event where kids were able to trick or treat and learn about different species of Minnesota animals.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) assisted another state with possible waterfowl violations.

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) reports complaints regarding violations in the area that were unfounded. A couple complaints have led to ongoing investigations. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking hunters and anglers.

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) reports corn harvest is nearing completion but little to no moisture continues to make tracking pheasants difficult for the dogs.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) reports that K9 Earl provided assistance to a local law enforcement agency. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) gave a safety talk at an orientation meeting at Camden State Park for a youth hunt. Waterfowl hunters are starting to see some divers.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) followed up on a potential big-game violation. Vernier also took several calls regarding Sibley State Park special hunts.

CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) monitored ATV activity in her station. Questions were fielded; responded to TIP calls. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continued field training COC Znajda. WMAs and WPAs were patrolled for archery and small-game hunters. 

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) spent time on possession permits and fielding calls about deer licenses and permit areas. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) would like to remind hunters to verify that the “State Land” or “Government Land” they locate using cell phone applications are open for public hunting before blindly following the app. Not all state lands are WMAs, and not all WMAs are legal to hunt. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spoke to youth pheasant hunters who were provided a great opportunity by the Watonwan County Pheasants Forever Chapter. The youth took advantage of a youth pheasant hunt with chapter volunteers.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) stopped by the Kilen Woods State Park youth deer hunt on Saturday. He checked anglers as well. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked with COC Dallas Cornell again this week. The officers responded to TIP calls and checked hunters, anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) focused on deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunters. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports crop harvest is nearly complete in the area.

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) conducted a firearms safety presentation in Morristown that focused on safety, laws and ethics. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked an enforcement detail with neighboring officers. Public lands were patrolled. 

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) reports the past week saw a higher number of calls about vehicle-hit deer in the area. Deer get more active during this time of the year.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) took several reports of trespassing. An illegal burn was also addressed.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports several anglers were found in possession of illegal-length northern pike.

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) spent time following up on TIP calls, dealing with various animal-related calls, and dealing with issues between landowners.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) contacted several hunters during the week shooting birds that were not legal to shoot.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports violations encountered were illegal shining. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received complaints of shooting too close to homes, hunter harassment, trespass, along with a public waters violation.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working archery deer hunting, fall fishing and waterfowl hunting as well as dealing with trespass-related calls and questions. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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