Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 16, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) continued field training with COC Tony Hams and spent time during the week checking spear fishers, anglers, and muzzleloader hunters. Time also was spent following up on deer-carcass-dumping complaints. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking muzzleloader deer hunters, trappers, and anglers this past week. Time was spent monitoring road-hunting activity as the muzzleloader deer season came to an end, following up on an ongoing fire case from this past fall, and fielding numerous questions regarding the disease management hunt for Deer Permit Area 184. 

District 2 – Bemidji area


District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) found several folks enjoying the nice weather and ice conditions during the weekend. Plautz monitored the last few days of the muzzleloader season, along with coyote hunters and trappers. 

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports seeing a lot of anglers out this week. He continued to investigate cases from the firearms deer season. He also presented at a snowmobile safety class in Ashby.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked ice anglers, muzzleloader hunters, and ice thickness. Several ATVs have been observed on area lakes. Muzzleloader-hunter success has been low in the area.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to watch this week as area lakes slowly increased ice thickness and people ventured farther out in search of walleyes and panfish. Several anglers were issued citations for ATV, angling license, and shelter license violations. 

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focusing on angling enforcement and follow-up investigations from the deer season. Minnow permits were issued, and a snowmobile safety presentation was given. 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking anglers and deer and pheasant hunters. Additional time was spent talking to area elementary school students about ice safety.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice fishing, late-season big- and small-game enforcement, and conducted numerous taxidermy inspections.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken on a CWD feeding ban violation, no license in possession, and failure to display ATV registration. 

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports checking deer hunters and anglers. Calls were taken concerning several litter/deer-carcass dumping complaints and miscellaneous wildlife-related concerns. He also reports assisting other agencies and arresting a hunter on an outstanding warrant.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) began training a conservation officer candidate for the final phase of field training. The officers worked Cass and Hubbard county area lakes, focusing on ice angling enforcement. Time was spent assisting with an ongoing big-game case. 

CO Corey Sura (Remer) checked ice anglers and trappers in the area. Preparation was done for transitioning into the snowmobile season.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the muzzleloader deer season quietly came to a close, just like it started. The snowmobiling traffic is starting to increase. People are reminded to have registration current and displayed. People are also reminded to use caution when venturing onto the ice.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports checking ice anglers, working the last weekend of the muzzleloader deer season, and monitoring trapping activity in the area. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the muzzleloader deer season came to a relatively quiet close. Spear-fishing activity has picked up in the area. Snowmobilers are beginning to ride some of the area trails and lakes. Ice conditions and thicknesses vary greatly from one body of water to the next and within the same waterway, with slush noted in areas as well. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports minimal ice angling during the week. Some anglers have just started testing the ice. The end of the muzzleloader season arrived with no hunters observed during the week.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, trapping, and hunting activity. Some deeper lakes are still open. Few muzzleloader deer hunters were encountered in the field. Broughten also received a report from a local individual concerned about finding wolf tracks in town.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. Several areas with ice last week opened up this week with warm weather. Snowmobilers are starting to get out, but trail conditions are not good.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent time on area snowmobile trails and unplowed roads. She follow up on an early moose shed found last month. The consensus is it’s the result of an injury or illness. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) began the final phase of field training with COC Jesse Drown. Time was spent on snowmobile training, checking anglers in station lakes, and working Lake Vermilion and Upper Red Lake. An extremely high violation rate was encountered on Upper Red, with more than 50 fish seized from different groups. One noteworthy contact involved a group with 17 walleyes over their limit. 

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked ice anglers getting set up for the first time this year. Ice and slush conditions vary by lake. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked ice anglers, monitored trapping activity, and checked muzzleloader hunters. Trapping- and fishing-related questions were answered.  

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) spent the week field training COC Hudson Ledeen. The officers observed several anglers giving it a go an area lakes. Time was spent investigating numerous big-game violations. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked ice anglers in the area as ice conditions continue to improve. Time also was spent working muzzleloader hunting activity and archery hunters. 

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) monitored the last days of the muzzleloader deer season and ice-angling activity this week. Time was spent answering angling and hunting related questions at the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show in Duluth.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) reports the ice-fishing season is in full swing and area lakes are getting pressure from ice anglers. Sullivan also made contact with a few deer hunters who were successful while muzzleloader hunting. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) trained COC Ulrich. Assistance was given to a neighboring conservation officer with a large hunting group involved in big-game violations. Some angling violations detected this week included illegal-length northern pike, angling without a license, and no license in possession. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) checked ice anglers on Lake Mille Lacs. Walleye-fishing success was slow, but the perch were biting. Wheelhouses and other non-portable shelters were showing up in the southern bays. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on a deer-poaching case and trespass case, worked ice-fishing activity, and enforced recreational vehicle regulations. A reminder to ice anglers using non-portable shelters to review license requirements before placing your shelter on the ice.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) maintained equipment, spent time patrolling for deer hunters during muzzleloader season, and checked ice anglers. She also followed up on a case involving the posting of signs along a local lake to prevent outdoor recreation. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked small-game and muzzleloader hunters, assisted with training at Camp Ripley, and conducted commercial white-tailed deer farm inspections.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) investigated trespass, off-highway motorcycle, and baiting complaints. Ice fishing activity is slowly picking up. Annual training was worked on this week as well.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked ice anglers and deer hunters. Two hunt-over-bait cases were worked during the weekend. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working big-game hunters and ice anglers. Time also was spent helping teach a snowmobile class with the Chisago County and Wild River Snowmobile Club.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrols on anglers and big-game hunters. Additional time was spent handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints and presenting at a snowmobile safety class. Seamans also received and investigated several big game-related complaints. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking ice anglers and monitoring ice conditions. Assistance was provided to another agency. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring ice conditions, and following up with complaints.  

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked ice anglers and followed up on deer-season cases. He contacted a trapper in regards to early-set beaver traps and untagged traps. Fogarty also located a pheasant hunter out in a field at 8:15 a.m. Enforcement action was taken for hunting during the closed hours for pheasants, early-set traps, and untagged traps. 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling activity during the week. Training concluded with COC Cornell, who moved on to the final phase of field training. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent the majority of the week checking ice anglers. Additionally, Thomas assisted with an ongoing deer-hunting investigation and fielded multiple trespass-related calls. As a reminder to local anglers, there are a large number of aerators on local lakes that are just starting to get turned on, so care should be taken when fishing near them. 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) began field training with COC Brett Fox. The officers spent time checking hunters, anglers, and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. They also presented a 50-year firearms safety award to a volunteer instructor and investigated an ongoing big-game case. 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) received complaints about anglers fishing for trout on designated trout lakes. Trout fishing on Cenaiko Lake does not open until Jan. 14, 2023. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking hunters. A few anglers have begun to venture out on the ice. Several violation complaints were received, ranging from hunter-harassment to wanton waste of deer. Investigations continue.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working deer hunting and angling activity. K9 Earl assisted with a search for a firearm.

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked angling and pheasant- and deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Enforcement action for the week included blaze orange and trespass violations.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working deer- and pheasant-hunting activity. He followed up on a big-game violation and a public waters complaint. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked ice anglers and pheasant hunters throughout the area. Additional time was spent checking muzzleloader deer hunters as the season came to a close on Sunday. 

CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) followed up on a TIP regarding illegal big-game hunting activity. Patrol efforts were focused on early ice fishing, pheasant hunting, and muzzleloader deer-hunting activity.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked small-game and muzzleloader deer hunters. A few snowmobiles took advantage of approximately 5 inches of snow in ditches. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports many ice anglers hit the hard water this week in the area. Ice conditions are extremely variable, from open water to 7 inches of ice. Caution should be used when venturing on the ice and remember to bring your ice safety equipment. 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers and deer and pheasant hunters this week. Time also was spent patrolling for snowmobiling activity.

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting activities. Muzzleloader hunting continued to be slow into the closing weekend, while pheasant hunters have been out and about. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked on ongoing cases from deer season this week. Folks are beginning to test the ice thickness by venturing out to typical early season areas. Always remember to bring a chisel and test ice thickness as you go. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking goose and muzzleloader hunters during the week. A trespass violation was investigated, as was a shooting from the roadway call.  

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) began field training COC Adam Stennett for his final phase of training. They worked the station for the remainder of the muzzleloader deer season. They also worked the Rochester area for goose-hunting activity.  

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the ice fishing in the area has finally started. He checked muzzleloader and archery deer hunters but did not see or hear of much success. He continues to receive deer-hunting complaints such as trespass.

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