Conservation Officer Report
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Enforcement
15011 Highway 115 (Camp Ripley)
Little Falls, MN 56345-4173
LTC Greg Salo, Assistant Director, 651-259-5045
Report Fish & Game Violations
Call T.I.P. at 1-800-652-9093 or Cell #TIP
Minnesota CONSERVATION OFFICER REPORT
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended court in Roseau County regarding charges from a hunt over bait case from last fall. Two drivers/vehicles were found trespassing on the Roseau River WMA pool 3 dike. Multiple violations were encountered and the two individuals were arrested on active warrants.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked AIS, ATV, and hunting enforcement. The Beltrami Island State Forest was alive this past weekend with small game hunters, the Roseau/LOW Sportsman’s Club Annual ATV Fun Run, and the annual Saddle-Up for St. Jude event! Wind, rain, and thick foliage put a damper on the grouse hunting but many still put in their time, a few with something to show for it. Enforcement action was taken for littering (unlawful deposit of animal carcasses).
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) continued to monitor early Canada goose hunters and bear hunting activity. The small game opener was relatively quiet with mild temps and rainy conditions. CO Woinarowicz responded to calls of injured deer and ginseng certification. Enforcement action included no small game license, no State or Federal waterfowl stamp, unplugged shotgun, fail to register bear bait, and ATV registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV, AIS, bear hunting, archery deer hunting, small game hunting, and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent investigating a TIP call with enforcement action taken for over limit of perch. Enforcement action for the week also included ATV registration and blaze orange violations.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck North) reports focusing time on ATV, small game, and big game enforcement. Time was spent checking bear, grouse, and archery deer hunters. Archery and small game opener was busy with several hunters taking to the woods. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent the week checking bear hunters, archery deer hunters, and small game hunters. Many people were out and about, testing their luck with grouse over the “opening weekend” but success was limited. Time was also spent checking ATV activity and following up on ongoing complaints.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls East – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time working the archery deer season opener. Time was also spent checking anglers and early goose hunters. A wildfire case was investigated. Various fall hunting related questions were answered throughout the week.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked grouse and goose hunters. He also attended a UOF meeting.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked the grouse/archery hunting season openers. Hunters are reporting mixed reports with the thick foliage making it difficult to see birds. CO Vollbrecht worked angling activity on area lakes and responded to a report of a moose in the city limits of Bemidji. Individuals are reminded to keep their distance from wildlife, especially when they are in residential areas. Area trails were patrolled for ATV activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji #2) worked bear hunters and anglers during the week. Time was also spent investigating several TIP complaints and working on a background investigation on an applicant for the next CO academy. The officer worked complaints on Leech and Cass Lake with other officers from the area and checked grouse and archery deer hunters. Enforcement action included failing to register bear bait station, take bear in wrong permit area, and over limits of fish.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports being the guest speaker for the Perham Noon Rotary Club. A wide range of topics were discussed from AIS to CWD, changes to the upcoming deer season, and slow fishing on area lakes. CO Vinton presented the law portion of a FAS class, patrolled area WMA for illegal camping, and opening day of archery deer and small game seasons. Enforcement action was taken for APM violations, ATV, and license issues. He also continued work on a background investigation.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the archery and small game opener. Time was also spent on a background investigation for the upcoming CO academy.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity. Follow up continued on hydraulic jet and weed roller cases. Areas were worked for bear and early goose hunting activity. CO Warren patrolled area trails for ATV activity. The opening weekend of small game and archery hunting was worked. Hunters reported fair to poor success rates due to many leaves still on the trees. CO Warren taught the safety and ethics portion of firearm safety in Detroit Lakes.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, goose hunting, and deer hunting activity in the Moorhead station. The officer took calls from the public regarding geese dumped in the ditch, fish dumped in a lake, nuisance beaver, and an injured deer that needed to be dispatched. The officer also had a student participate in a ride along. The first deer hunter of the year was found hunting over bait and enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait and leaving his stand out on a WMA. The officer would like to remind hunters that it is their responsibility to know the rules and make sure they are not hunting over bait. Many products on the shelf of local sporting goods stores contain liquid or solid food products and are illegal to hunt over.
Fosston – vacant.
Pelican Rapids – vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fall has definitely arrived. Angling continues to be good and improving in the area. A motorist called in a complaint of persons potentially poaching game birds. CO Richards, along with the Otter Tail Co Sheriff’s Officer, located the vehicle. Three suspects were responsible for shooting ducks and turkeys out of season. They also didn’t possess any legal licenses if season was open. Citations were issued with various charges. Goose numbers improved for the last weekend of the early season. Other enforcement action was taken for fish over limit and waterfowl violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) fielded several questions on trespass and upcoming hunting seasons. CO Plautz spent the week working on an out of state background investigation.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked hunters, fishermen, and answered questions on upcoming hunting seasons. Several injured animal complaints were handled including an injured sand hill crane that was scaring a farmer’s cows. APM cases were closed with the WREO.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sport fishing and migratory game bird hunting. Time was also spent working the small game and archery deer hunting openers over the weekend. Minnow transportation permits were issued.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts were concentrated on checking fishermen, boaters, small game hunters, goose hunters, bow hunters, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent on a deer baiting case, checking ATV operators, and investigating illegal fires. A talk was given on laws and ethics to a youth ATV safety class.
Osakis – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) processed some evidence, began an investigation of a compliant from the Parks division, and handled complaints in a neighboring vacant station. Small game hunters and archery deer hunters were checked, as was compliance with non-motorized trails. CO Parthun provided assistance at two crashes where the victim was air lifted from the scene, due to the severity of the injuries.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked small game, grouse, early goose hunting, wild rice harvest, and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken this week for ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, AIS, hunting and ATV activity. Anglers continue to report limited success. Bear hunters reported poor success this week. CO Broughten observed few grouse in the bag over the small game opener. Waterfowl hunters that were out scouting are finding a limited amount of ducks for the upcoming opener.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked bow and small game openers. Fall fishing is kicking off strong. CO Halverson gave talks at a local high school to Fish and Wildlife classes. A first time bear hunter had great success on a complaint bear, harvesting a beautiful 260 lb boar. CO Halverson attended 9/11 ceremony at 2 Talls in Lincoln.
Walker – vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the recent cool and wet weather kept activity down over the archery and small game opener. With more people in the woods litter and carcass dumping complaints are beginning to be located. An illegal burning investigation was closed out this past week. Officer Slatinski assisted local instructors with an ATV Safety Certification course for approximately 20 students. Enforcement activities included OHV registration and equipment issues, license violations, and litter.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked the small game opener through the mist and rain on Saturday checking several hunters. The harvest was low. The sun appeared on Sunday and moods improved even if the success rate did not. Work continues on open/pending cases.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Few grouse hunters were encountered - heavy rain in the area and dense leaf cover greeted hunters.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended training all week.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the small game and archery deer openers, on-going early goose hunting, bear baiting and hunting, ATV’s, the state park and anglers. Deer baiting was also addressed. Grouse hunters were scarce on Saturday, with more hunters out on Sunday. Success was poor. The officer assisted the Hibbing PD with a burglary suspect, located the suspect and turned him over to the PD who arrested him. The officer also assisted the Chisholm PD and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Dept. with a Class 2 ATV rollover accident with injuries. The driver had been pinned under the ATV and was later arrested for DWI. An individual was cited for dumping a truck load of litter in the woods. Enforcement action was taken on littering, motor vehicle trespass on a state trail, and a number of ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on reports of nuisance beaver activity that is threatening to wash out area roads. Unfortunately, the landowner of the property that the beaver dam is on is unwilling to allow the beaver to be trapped. CO Frericks advised USDA to seek a court order to remove the beaver. The small game opener saw few people out possibly due to the very wet conditions. Very few grouse were seen in the bag but hunters who got off the beaten path reports seeing and hearing high numbers of birds.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports checking many grouse hunters throughout the week and most all hunters stated they saw few to no birds. CO Fredin did not see a single grouse throughout the week in his travels. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s office on a medical and to the local PD on a car accident.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports small game had a fairly slow opener and fewer hunters were seen than years past. Although grouse were present hunters reported very little luck, most having hunted all weekend without seeing a bird. Violations included untagged trap and hunting without a license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the small game opener and found that the rain and cover were probably responsible for the lack of hunters. There were more fishermen than hunters encountered. The leaves are bright and colorful and there are way less people in the area now.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a very quiet grouse opener. A rainy forecast may have kept hunter numbers down. The grouse didn’t appear for hunters that did venture out as reports were poor. The officer did interrupt a hawk trying to make a meal out of a grouse as he rounded the corner in his squad. The hawk went back to its perch while the grouse flew away missing a few feathers. Pink salmon are spawning in pretty good numbers in the north shore tributaries as good success was reported.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) followed up on a wanton waste bear case from the previous week as well as other bear season issues. The officer worked a busy small game opener; hunter numbers and birds seen appeared down a bit. Anglers were plentiful on Lake Superior tributaries as were the salmon they were pursuing; while still looking pretty decent, the salmon were not so apt to bite. Campers in state parks are reminded that they must use the new system to register for sites. Campsites that are unoccupied may be reserved already and not open for the taking; doing so will result in extra paperwork and an inconvenient move for violators.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy small game opener with numerous grouse hunter checks. Almost no hunters reported success with few birds seen. No bow hunters were checked. In one noteworthy angler check, the CO was watching a group with binoculars that seemed way too interested/concerned with the presence of another boat in the area. CO Bermel left the area then set up to observe with spotting scope and soon determined two of the anglers were fishing with extra lines. Citations were issued and equipment seized. Other enforcement action included unregistered OHM, transport loaded firearm in motor vehicle, late hunting, and no license in possession.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked a busy small game weekend. Time was spent assisting a hunter find his hunting party. CO Schottenbauer also worked some lingering bear hunting activity this week as well.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers along the north shore streams. The officer attended a meeting at Camp Ripley, handled nuisance animal calls, and worked bear hunters. CO Wahlstrom attended rifle and handgun training with Officer Oberg.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a fairly quiet small game opener with few birds seen in the bag. Ground cover is still thick with plenty of hiding spots for wary birds. CO Murray continued to monitor the bear harvest and time was spent tracking down illegal deer baiting activity.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked bear hunters, grouse hunters, and anglers. CO Patten patrolled an area with ongoing ATV complaints, worked on a trespass violation, and issued several wildlife possession permits.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the archery deer opener, checked small game hunters, monitored angling activity, and provided K9 demo’s at area events. The area pan fish anglers had good success this week. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and fail to remove drain plug.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked hunting and fishing activity this past week. She worked a fishing over-limit complaint and also a complaint of OHV operation around an Itasca County gate on Itasca County non-motorized property. Enforcement action was taken for fishing and boating violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked small game and bow deer opener. Enforcement action was taken for loaded shotguns in a motor vehicle, not having a small game license, not wearing blaze orange while small game hunting, and trespass.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling, big game, migratory waterfowl, small game, and ATV enforcement. CO Van Asch attended a Trails Task Force meeting held in Itasca County. The weekend brought many hunters to the area with archery deer and small game seasons opening up. Grouse hunters had limited success due to the extensive foliage still on the trees. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no small game license, and transporting loaded firearms.
Pengilly – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) reports a busy small game opener. With so many leaves still on the trees and under-brush grouse were tough to come by, but that did not stop hunters from trying. CO Prachar worked with other CO’s on game hunting investigations. Enforcement action was taken on ATV operators with juvenile passengers not wearing helmets. CO Prachar assisted St. Louis County on a traumatic injury call and MN State Patrol with a DUI arrest.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time working on complaint areas of past archery deer hunting locations and monitored waters complaints. A restoration order was issued due to wetland violation. ATV activity has increased throughout the area, so time was spent working high activity locations. Small game opener brought many people into the woods with grouse being the primary target for most. Archery deer and bear hunting was also worked.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked AIS, boating, angling, OHV, ricing, and hunting enforcement during the week. Calls were taken on bear hunting, dumped bear carcass, and upcoming hunting season questions. Patrols were conducted in the Fond du Lac state forest, local wildlife management areas, and county managed lands. Rice harvesters were checked for licenses and safety equipment. CO Humphrey attended training at Camp Ripley. Violations for no license in possession, OHV operation, and registration were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued nuisance beaver permits and a possession permit for a car killed bear. Assistance was given on area details where suspected hunting violations were reported. With the opening of small game and archery deer seasons, extra time was spent checking hunters over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for miscellaneous ATV violations. A wetland complaint was investigated and is ongoing.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked grouse hunters over the opening weekend. Not many birds were seen in the bag but hunters were enthusiastic just to get out in the woods. CO Olson checked anglers shore angling on inland lakes, some pink salmon are starting to show up in the North shore streams. Bear hunters were also checked, most reported the bears had switched to nocturnal movements during the week. Aspen leaves are starting to turn along the shore and inland trails north of Duluth. Questions are increasing for the firearms deer season and recent boundary changes in the Duluth area.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked salmon anglers in rivers and anglers on the St Louis. Questions were answered about land access for grouse hunting. Wild rice harvesters continued to do well early in the week. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked small and big game hunters around the area and continued a background investigation. CO Sullivan contacted one hunter who was attempting to take big game without a license. The investigation included numerous violations and a large amount of equipment was seized. CO Sullivan also enforced blaze orange or pink violations as well as transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) answered questions at a lake association meeting, checked small game and early goose hunters, and monitored ATV activity. Enforcement activity included allowing illegal youth ATV operation, under 18 operating ATV without a helmet, operate Class I ATVs on public roadways, no waterfowl stamps, and transport loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd 2) worked big game baiting complaints and sport fishing enforcement this week. Officer Guida received a call from an individual that had experienced a nuisance bear earlier this spring. The individual stated that he put a container of cayenne pepper into the sunflower seeds, stirred it up, and that seemed to solve the problem with nuisance bears and also squirrels. He thought maybe he’d share that and others could benefit from the recipe.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing Counties for small game hunters. Grouse hunters reported very limited success. CO McGowan also spent time working Leech Lake where numerous violations were detected.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked bear, archery deer activity, and attended training.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked big game and small game hunters, boaters, fishermen, and ATV’s. Officer Hunter received a call of apples found in the woods and checked on a report of vegetation being removed from a lake.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled fall fishing activity, continued working bear hunters, and ATVs. She also checked several small game hunters and some archery hunters. She followed up on baiting tips and discovered a wetland violation.
Cuyuna SRA – vacant.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the archery and small game opener. Hunters were content with grouse numbers, but deterred by ticks and leaf cover. Lots of anglers were making use of the cooler temperatures and fall bite. CO Verkuilen also monitored ATV traffic and looked into complaints of boat trailers not getting adequately cleaned.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking small game, bear, and archery deer hunters. A few grouse were seen taken with the opener. Calls regarding nuisance beaver and a dead swan were fielded. Patrol was also done for ATV traffic and State and County land in the Malmo station. Lots of outdoor law related questions were answered. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer with a nuisance bear and a few fishermen were checked on area lakes.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed-up on bear hunting violations and public waters violations. She also checked small game and archery hunters on the opener. Grouse numbers appear to be up this year. CO Speldrich attended the funeral for Officer Mathews with the LEMA Honor Guard.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on wild ricing questions and harvesting regulations. Complaints of bass tournament fishermen not clearing weeds from their trailers was addressed. Small game opener was worked with very few animals taken, due to the foliage abundance. Numerous deer were observed on the move, which motorists should use caution.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the small game and archery deer season opener. Stormy weather on opening day kept things pretty quiet. Patrol of bear hunting areas continued and enforcement activity included citations and warnings for unregistered bear baits and unsigned bear baits. A handful of bear hunters were also dealt with that had plastic bags, bottles and other illegal material included in their bait piles. Bear hunters were found on state forest lands leaving garbage behind; including one hunter that had about a dozen candy bar wrappers that he left, on the ground, underneath his stand.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about nuisance animals and the upcoming hunting seasons. He followed up on a commercial records complaint, ATV complaints, and checked areas for small game hunters. CO Wynn also followed up on a wolf depredation complaint and assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with a person who ran from deputies.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMA’s during the small game and archery opener. Heavy foliage made it difficult for grouse hunting but a number of archery hunters contacted had luck with harvesting deer. Time was also spent teaching law and ethics to a firearms safety class and complaint of illegal ATV activity in the state forest was investigation.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled calls requesting information on waterfowl hunting on the Mississippi River, hunting options in the Lake Alexander Scientific and Natural Area, and the legalities of deer stand ownership near the property line. CO Kuske advises the best step is to talk to your neighbors before deer season starts so there is clear communication. Calls of car hit deer and nuisance beaver were also dealt with. Nuisance beaver trapping permits are at a record high due to low trapping activity during the open trapping season.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling and ATV activity in the station. An injured deer complaint was also handled. Law and ethics presentations were provided to students at the Swanville and Melrose youth firearms safety classes. Time was also spent checking archery and small game hunters on opening day. Poor weather and the bugs seemed to be keeping some from enjoying time in the field.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked small game, goose, and bow hunters as well as anglers and boaters. CO Thesing attended the funeral of Officer Bill Mathews. Time was spent working deer shining complaints and a wild ginseng inspection was conducted. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste fish.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports submitting a search warrant for a WCA case and checking fishermen, archery deer hunters, and small game hunters. Investigation and patrol details were also done on a deer shining complaint.
Long Prairie – vacant.
Pierz – vacant.
Paynesville – vacant.
Annandale – vacant.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) focused on hunting activity throughout the week. Time was spent working on a bear hunting investigation. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful possession of wild animals, illegal transportation of big game, illegal transportation of firearms, and bear baiting/hunting violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth firearms safety class. CO Musatov checked anglers and hunters. A dumping complaint was investigated and ATV complaint areas worked.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters, hunters, and recreational vehicles. Lakeshore inspections were conducted with area hydrologist on Chisago County lakes, shooting complaints, and nuisance beaver calls were handled. Enforcement action was taken on failure to submit bear tooth, allow illegal operation of ATV by juvenile, and fishing license violations.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up several nuisance wildlife calls, checked on a possible wetland violation, and checked goose, deer and small game hunters over opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling while all DNR licenses were revoked and several DNR warrants.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent a busy weekend checking small game hunters and archery hunters. Due to poor weather, success was limited. CO Krauel also assisted the local sheriff’s office in searching for a lost hunter. Thankfully, the hunter had packed a compass and dispatch was able to walk the individual out of the woods. CO Krauel would like to remind hunters to plan their hunt and make sure you are prepared in case you do get lost.
Big Lake – vacant.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked small game opener and checked anglers in the metro area lakes. He worked boating activity and spoke to Asian groups at Wilder Foundation on hunting and fishing regulations. He also took calls on two groups of small game hunters who fought over a camp site down in Houston County, and animal complaints in Minneapolis.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district vicinities for hunting and fishing activities. He worked with CO Joel Heyn in southeast Minnesota during the small game/deer archery season opener. CO Le encountered violations for no vehicle permit in the state park, no fishing license in possession, angling without angling license, no trout stamp, take/possessed trout in closed season, and no hunting license in possession.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) continues to see significant early goose hunting in the area with hunters having mixed success. Poor weather conditions hampered the deer archery and small game openers. Officer William Mathews’ funeral was attended in Plymouth and while driving to the funeral a motorcycle crash was witnessed. Aid was provided to the injured motorcyclist until paramedics arrived. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and riding horses on a state trail.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time enforcing ATV, angling, boating and hunting activities. CO Leuthardt reports a slow start to the small game opener with many reporting low numbers of game taken. She also spent time enforcing and issuing a cease and desist on a wetland violation.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent time patrolling public accesses, checking fishermen, archery hunters, and goose hunters. CO Grewe also followed up with miscellaneous complaints and trained with K9 Shelby.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time checking early season goose hunters and small game hunters on opening weekend. Time was spent investigating a possible wetland violation. Enforcement action was taken for no federal waterfowl stamp, no early goose permit, and no PFD.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) investigated a hydro-jet call as well as a buried treasure call on Lake Minnetonka. Background investigation interviews were conducted. Archery deer hunters were checked during the weekend opener.
Bloomington – vacant.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked small game and archery deer hunters over the weekend. He checked shore anglers and watercraft for AIS and safety equipment. A complaint of juveniles shooting and killing Sandhill Cranes was investigated.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports checking anglers, goose hunters, and working the small game and archery deer opener. He also handled an injured animal call and fielded many questions about trespassing. Violations for the week included no small game license, possession of toxic shot, unplugged shotgun, transporting an uncased firearm, insufficient PFD’s, illegal length bass, and possession of drugs.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent most of his time on the busy small game opener monitoring the new Hampton Woods WMA. Squirrel hunters were out in full force with varying degrees of success observed. Enforcement action for the week included hunting waterfowl over bait, no small game license, fail to obtain burning permit, and operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) worked the archery and small game opener as well as anglers. Little success was seen with deer in the area, but some shooting was heard for small game. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, keeping an illegal length bass, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trespassing.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for hunting activity. There was very little deer hunting activity on the archery opener as the heat kept most hunters away. CO Salzer also received a phone call regarding a nuisance opossum that would not leave the area. The solution to the homeowner’s problem was obvious when they said they leave food outside for the feral cats.
White Bear Lake – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
Eagan – vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports primarily working deer and small game activity. Poor weather for part of the weekend along with the large number of bugs seemed to drive down hunting activity for the openers but the officer still encountered some people out squirrel hunting and archery hunting. Area anglers were met with both good and bad success throughout the week.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time this last week monitoring angling activity in the area and continuing to follow up on a background investigation. Officer Gutzwiller assisted CO Picht and Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office with recovering an abandoned boat found in the MN River north of Granite Falls.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers, boaters, dove hunters, goose hunters, and archery deer hunters during the week. Littering issues continue at public boat access and shore angling locations. Officer Miska was a featured guest on the MinnDak Outdoors radio show on KDIO Radio in Ortonville. Waterfowl hunting violations were encountered.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many archery hunters complained about the number of mosquitoes that were out. Crappie fishermen are finding the most success with a few walleye mixed in. The Officer assisted the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Officer with the removal of an old fiberglass boat from the MN River after someone drilled holes in it and removed all registration and VIN numbers. Anyone with information is asked to call contact Officer Picht or the Sheriff’s Office.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) conducted a weekly radio interview with KLOH Radio in Pipestone. Most of the week was spent working fishing, boating, ATV, and hunting enforcement. Small game and archery deer hunters dealt with showers and plenty of mosquitos for their respected openers. Fall walleye and perch success is starting to pick up on some area lakes. The law and ethics portion of a firearm safety class was taught in Tyler.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) reports time was spent checking archery deer and small game hunters. Enforcement action included ATV violations. Investigations are ongoing.
Lake Benton – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked archery deer hunters and noted some success. Time was spent on animal complaints. CO Denz also checked anglers and boaters.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) spent time working deer hunting activity over the archery opening weekend. He responded to calls including public land use, trespass, and burning complaints. CO Vernier followed up on a TIP complaint and took calls including questions about deer feeding, CWD, and trapping regulations.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time working on a background investigation. CO Klehr also attended a firearm safety class at the Cedar Mills Rod and Gun Club where he talked to the kids about hunting rules and regulations. It was a nice weekend for the small game and archery openers where many people were able to get out and enjoy it. Time was spent working baiting, ATV, and trespass.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked goose and mourning dove hunting activity. He also worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. Sunfish and walleye angling activity has picked up recently.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports focusing enforcement activity over the past week on migratory waterfowl and deer hunting activity. Good numbers of geese were seen throughout the area for the final weekend of the early goose season. Archery hunters were contacted and ventured out despite wet conditions.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled his area checking activity relating to angling, dove, goose, archery deer, and small game hunting. CO Gruhlke answered questions concerning the upcoming duck season and he attended the Jackson County Ducks Unlimited annual banquet.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked with Eco-Waters staff regarding public waters violations in two areas. Beaver permits were issued. Outstanding investigations were completed. Questions were answered regarding upcoming hunting seasons. Blue-green algae has been seen on some lakes with warmer temperatures and recreationalists are reminded to keep themselves and their pets clear of the algae.
Hutchinson East – vacant.
Hutchinson West – vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked waterfowl and small game hunters this week. CO Howe spoke about laws and ethics at a firearms safety class, and assisted the State Patrol with several calls.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) monitored a quiet opening to the small game season; bugs, and rain seemed to keep many out of the woods. CO Henke continued checking early goose hunters, success appears limited. Time was also spent monitoring angling activity in the area. Enforcement activity included small game and license violations.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, ATV operators, and early goose hunters. Additional time was spent patrolling area PWAs for AIS violations. Officer Ihnen also responded to a number of calls of questions regarding the upcoming duck season.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked hunters, anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and monitored AIS activity during the week. The officer attended the funeral for Wayzata Police Officer William “Bill” Mathews who was killed in the line of duty. Numerous hunters were out for the small game and archery deer opening weekend. The officer also provided assistance to a Sheriff’s Office and the State Patrol.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato1) focused on goose and archery hunting this week. CO VanThuyne also assisted local agencies on several calls, helped with an investigation, and checked anglers.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATV, goose, and hunting enforcement this week. A number of hunters made it to the field for the small game and archery opener. The officer assisted with a rescue of a stranded boater and continued work on background investigations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato 2) checked early goose hunters this past week. The small game and archery openers were worked. The officer also worked public accesses for AIS violations.
Spring Valley – vacant.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week checking anglers on the Mississippi River. Time was also spent checking small game and archery hunters during the opening weekend. A regulations talk was given at a local sportsman’s club and a law and ethics talk was given to a firearm safety class. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession and failure to have Type 4 flotation device on board watercraft.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) spent time throughout the week focusing on smallmouth bass fishermen in his station. September 11th was the final day for anglers to keep smallmouth bass, and multiple people were found to be in possession of the fish after the closing date. This serves as a good reminder for anglers to familiarize themselves with fall fishing possession limits and seasons. Fishing with extra lines continues to be an issue with anglers throughout the station. CO Hill gave a natural resources presentation to the Region 8 FFA Leadership Conference held at Cannon Falls High School. FFA chapters throughout the entire southeast were in attendance. CO Hill took a report of ATVs illegally operating in the Zumbro River. Other enforcement action for the week included no license in possession, take fish without a license, and transport a loaded firearm.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy opening weekend of the 2017 archery deer and small game season. The hunters were out in force all weekend but it appeared the squirrel success was down. The deer hunters were seeing a few deer but most are just waiting and scouting for the later seasons. Early goose hunters were also found along with horse people in the state forest. Fishing on the big river remains solid with bass, crappies, sunfish, perch, and some pike found in the bag. Some ATV, OHM, registration, and license issues were addressed this week.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and small game and bow hunters over the weekend. Fishing success was good on the river with lots of anglers out. The rain and heat seemed to slow things down for the start to the small game and bow opener.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester #2) spent the week patrolling for sport fishing, small game, and archery hunters. Additional efforts were spent handling wildlife complaints and working ginseng enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for unlawfully picking ginseng in a Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), fishing without a license, taking small game after hours, and burning prohibited materials.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy small game opener. Unfortunately the hot muggy weather made hunting poor at best. Squirrel hunters did poorly stating the gnats and mosquitoes were horrible. Deer hunters on Saturday reported the deer were not moving until after dark. Sunday brought much cooler weather and deer movement increased. Compliance was high and trespass complaints were down. CO Boyum assisted Wisconsin DNR in a ginseng case where a subject failed to purchase a WI license.
CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) had a busy week leading up to small game/archery openers. CO Fogarty located parties preempting State Forest campsites. Education was given in regards to what first come first served means. CO Fogarty also took a TIP complaint of persons using ATV’s at the Wet Bark Trail Recreation area. Two juvenile males were located and made to read the rules of the State Forest out loud. After the reading they both agreed that ATV use was prohibited within the State Forest. CO Fogarty dealt with other State Forest violations and a few ATV violations.
Rochester #1 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a night training flight and attended to maintenance on N605NR.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance, removing and cleaning the aerial spray equipment. He also completed an airplane flight to check the success of the aerial treated plots near Thief River Falls and Roseau. The effectiveness of the aerial applications in our first year appeared to be very good. A second flight next year in early summer will confirm the success of the applications.
CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports a week of flying missions related to fire detection and fire suppression with MIFC out of Warroad. Time was also spent on various administrative and training tasks.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying APM/Waters photo flight and one day of supporting district officers on Leech Lake. Pilot Jensen also responded to a series of seven shots he heard from a local marsh next to his residence. Upon investigation, he found two hunters on the shore. Violations were unplugged gun and no PFD in watercraft. Enforcement action was taken.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week focusing efforts on small game, fishing, and AIS law compliance. Time was also spent following up on complaints and discussing open case progress with CO’s and LGU’s. A Use of Force meeting was attended at Camp Ripley and ATV activity was monitored in State Forests and on county lands.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked outstate on a background investigation.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on wetland cases and public water cases. WREO Haberman and CO Pilot Jensen spent one day checking fishermen on Leech Lake. He also checked small game hunters and ATV activity was monitored in state and county lands.
WREO Keith Bertram (Central) spent most of the week conducting follow-up on wetland cases. Fishermen and boaters were checked. A citation was also issued for using extra lines.
WREO Larry Hanson (SW) continued to work on open WCA and PW cases. Officer Hanson checked fishermen complaints, ATV’s, and AIS issues. Fishermen were out on area lakes with the cool weather.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions.
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for the online course information, also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions.
Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Reminder---anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder---Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.
Reminder---Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
NW RTO Greg Oldakowski (acting) reports archery hunting and bear hunting activity in the area were prevalent. Deer and geese were dumped in road ditches and were investigated as well. Lesson plans for firearms safety classes were rewritten for volunteer safety instructors.
NE RTO Mike Lee attended meetings this past week at Camp Ripley. One of the meetings was for lesson plan review and writing the Firearm Safety Instructor Program. The second meeting was for planning and organizing duties and upcoming training for the Use of Force Team.
South Metro RTO Phil George (acting) spent the week at Trapping School in Indiana.
North Metro RTO Brett Oberg (acting) helped teach a Volunteer Firearms Instructor Clinic at Carlos Avery this past week. Officer Oberg also attended a Use of Force Meeting and an out of state firearms training.
Southern RTO Jen Mueller (acting) attended a RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. She conducted the first half of a FAS Instructor Clinic for Park and Rec students with an emphasis on natural resources at Minnesota State University, Mankato. While on campus, she attended a career connections event and answered questions.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Mike Lee 218-821-9747 firstname.lastname@example.org
NW RTO Greg Oldakowski 218-631-5972 email@example.com
North Metro RTO Brett Oberg 320-234-3741 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Jennifer Mueller 320-234-3499 email@example.com
South Metro RTO Phil George 507-775-2006 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence 763-267-8534 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant