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Conservation Officer Report
Compiled By Richard Sprouse, Minnesota DNR, 800-366-8917, Ext 2511
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Division of Enforcement
15011 Highway 115 (Camp Ripley)
Little Falls, MN 56345-4173

Report Fish & Game Violations
Call T.I.P. at 1-800-652-9093 or Cell #TIP

 

CONSERVATION OFFICER REPORT
8-31-15                                                

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Bear baiting activity was monitored around Roseau, Kittson, and Marshall counties. A complaint of an illegal permanent camp was received in Beltrami Island State Forest.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked bear baiting, AIS and ATV enforcement. CO Benjamin attended in-service training at Camp Ripley this past week.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley in the beginning of the week. Bear baits were checked as well as anglers and boaters. Time was also spent on ATV and OHM activity. Enforcement action was taken for passenger under 18 on ATV without helmet, allowing illegal juvenile operation of OHM and operating ATV without ATV safety training.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week of patrolling for activity in the Lake of the Woods area. CO Prachar worked at the information booth at the State Fair on Saturday.  A possible wolf depredation case was handled for a neighboring officer.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued monitoring bear baiting activity and responded to calls of nuisance beavers. Bear hunters are reminded to purchase a license prior to setting out bait for bears as well as registering the baits, even on private land. Enforcement action for the week included transport loaded firearm in motor vehicle, ATV registration violations, fail to register bear bait, fail to obtain license prior to placing bait, unsigned and unregistered baits.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring ATV trail activity, wild rice harvest activity, boater AIS compliance and angling and boating activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent on numerous complaints of bears causing damage to corn crops and a number of calls from the public with questions regarding wild rice ripeness were answered. A TIP call was investigated involving the filling of a wetland and a CDO was issued

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending the majority of last week at Camp Ripley instructing at a fire class for the CO Academy and attending annual in-service training. Anglers and an aquatic plant management (APM) complaint were also checked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had complaints of a dead eagle, problem bear, leeching and litter. He monitored ATVs, AIS, boating, angling and attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. The highlight of the week was participating in a youth pheasant hunt event at a local game farm with other volunteers and sponsors. Over 50 kids shot the laser gun duck hunt, BB guns, 22 cal., archery, clays, learned about trapping, old muzzleloaders and how to care/clean the birds they shot over the hunting dogs. All received prizes including guns, archery and other outdoor sport items.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) spent a majority of his week at annual in-service training and monitoring bear baiting activity.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) attended annual in-service training and assisted with academy training.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked bear baiting and ATV activity during the week. Calls were taken regarding injured deer and the illegal removal of aquatic plants. Officer Holt also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) attended mandatory in-service training at Camp Ripley. The COs worked on defensive tactics, firearms training and first aid. CO Vinton also reports assisting other officers with an ongoing case. Complaints of trespass and possible hunter harassment were fielded.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at annual in-service training, monitored bear baiting and checked boaters.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week attending training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking fishermen, issuing a nuisance beaver permit and following up on a complaint of an osprey being shot.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked bear baiting activity and monitored ATV activity. Follow up was conducted on possible public water and access violations. An investigation of a pontoon chasing geese was closed. A complaint of possible illegal application of chemical outside of permit conditions was received and investigation is ongoing. Angling, boating and the wild rice harvest was monitored. CO Warren attended annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring boating safety, angling, and bear baiting activity. Assistance was given to Clay County on a medical call. Calls from the public included crossbow and bear baiting questions. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license in possession.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week instructing at Camp Ripley for in-service training.  Time was spent following up on field inspections for possible WCA violations. Work was permitted at each site.  Follow up to the public with questions and phone calls were completed.

 
District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a fair number of doves in the area and hunters could have good hunting with a little bit of scouting time. Nuisance beaver complaints were received and bear hunting questions were answered. Fish are beginning to enter into early fall patterns. Enforcement efforts were related towards angling, boating, and AIS.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and ATV operators. Additional time was spent working AIS enforcement and assisting the county with a drunken driver/car crash. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer providing security for DNR wildlife posting.
 
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs and boaters. Annual training was attended at Camp Ripley. Osborne attended the Outdoor Expo in Alexandria and worked the TIP ‘Wall of Shame’ trailer with LT Shelden answering numerous questions from the public. There were 1.300 youngsters at this event and it was a huge success. Equipment issues were encountered and dealt with also.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused on boaters, angler activity and AIS law compliance. CO’s Anderson and Baumbarger participated in a boating/angling work crew on Lake Minnewaska and Lake Reno this past weekend. Additional time was spent assisting Traverse County with a dumping complaint and issuing a nuisance beaver permit to a landowner. Minnow transportation permits were issued and assistance was given to officers with the new RMS system. Questions from the public were answered regarding upcoming deer and waterfowl seasons.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included investigating a wetland complaint, checking fishermen, ATV, and OHM operators. Additional time was spent on nuisance beaver complaints and monitoring AIS law compliance. Several calls were taken regarding work at a public access, and haying questions on WMAs.

Wheaton - vacant.

District 4 - Wadena area

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports investigating a litter complaint at a public access.  Bear baits were checked in the area and goose populations were monitored for the upcoming season. Assistance was provided to trapper education instructors during a class and a presentation was given to youth at a sportsman’s club youth field day event.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked AIS, anglers, boaters, and ATVs. Bear baiting activity was monitored. Annual required training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for AIS and ATV violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, ricing, and boating activity. Recreational activity was low in the area. Anglers found moderate success.  Bear hunters report a slow start to the bear baiting season. CO Broughten investigated calls regarding destruction of a beaver dam, operating a weedroller without a permit, and nuisance beaver.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) attended annual training and checked trails. She worked a case of wild rice enforcement.

Remer - vacant.

Walker - vacant.

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual training in Camp Ripley and checked wild rice conditions on area rice lakes. Several complaints of nuisance bear activity were handled and advice was given to the landowners. CO Frericks patrolled Virginia area lakes over the weekend. Fewer people were seen out than expected. Of those boaters who were encountered, enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs.  

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports monitoring fishing and boating activity on the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. Offsite weigh-in and invasive species checks at the International Falls Bass Championship Tournament were monitored.  Bear baiting and ATV enforcement rounded out the week’s activities.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) worked angling, ATVs, AIS, and bear baiting activities during the week. CO Van Asch attended the International Falls Bass Championship Tournament over the weekend. The tournament saw a large number of spectators and participants from all over the country. Hunters were putting the finishing touches on their bear bait sites before the season opener. CO Van Asch also assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Department and the International Falls Police Department in moving a bear out of town that was reluctant to leave the area. The bear finally moved on safely with some encouragement from the officers.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week at annual training. Time was also spent working bear baiting and ATV enforcement. The officer took a couple of complaints of nuisance bears. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, bear baiting, ATVs, state park enforcement, and littering complaints, and taught species ID, wildlife complaints and wolf classes at the Conservation Officer Academy. Several nuisance bear complaints were received with the majority easily cured with food source removal. A TIP call of two anglers using extra lines was handled with the pair found using extra lines and illegally using bass and sunfish for bait. Other enforcement action was taken on fail to register bear bait station and operating an ATV on a public highway.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked bear baiting activity throughout the week and noted few hunters baiting compared to past years. Complaints where heard of people out harvesting green rice. Ricers have been going out but most return after a short time stating rice not ripe yet. Took a call from a concerned homeowner who had a large wolf stand outside their yard seemingly unafraid watching them.

Cook - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) continued to focus on bear baiting activity and angling. The number of registered bear baits doubled over the week but warmer weather seems to have slowed bear activity at the baits. Angling activity remained low but many anglers were having good success.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) continued to check bear baiting activity, guides and soon to be hunters. Questions on nuisance bears were answered. An ATV patrol led the CO back into very remote areas and many of the designated trout lakes were found to be empty.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) again helped teach firearms and arrest and control tactics at annual training at Camp Ripley. Officer Manning also checked bear bait stations prior to the start of the season on Tuesday. CO Manning also checked ATVs and anglers and took calls on nuisance bears

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily bear baiting and angling/boating enforcement through the week. One angler was trolling crankbaits, and as the CO approached he quickly tried to subtly reel in his second line. When the angler realized he wasn’t going to get all the line in before getting caught, he broke the line. Not only did he fail to get out of the extra line citation, he was out a $9 Rapala. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra lines, no PFDs, fail to display watercraft registration, no navigational lights after sunset, no license in possession, and no OHM registration. A litter case is ongoing.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked bear bait stations. Time was spent on angling, boating, and ATV activity as well. While CO Schottenbauer was out on a traffic stop he noticed the sound of air leaving his truck tire. He was able to find a safe place to change the tire off the highway. It was turning out to be a rough day but when he pulled out of the parking area he happened to check an angler that had showed up while he was working, only to find the angler was without a license or a required trout stamp. Rough day for all.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking bear baiting activity. Nuisance wildlife calls continue to come in and are were dealt with. ATV activity was worked throughout the week as well.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to nuisance bear and wolf complaints during the week and checked anglers on Lake Superior. Bear baits were checked and a call of illegally taking geese was investigated. Murray also attended several days of fall enforcement training at Camp Ripley.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) Checked anglers and bear baiters, patrolled area ATV trails, inspected watercraft for AIS violations, assisted State Patrol with an accident, investigated a trespass complaint, and worked a TIP on possible taking of waterfowl out of season. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unauthorized motor vehicle on an ATV trail.  

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, commercial enforcement, and bear baiting activity. He also assisted with in-service firearms training at Camp Ripley.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, investigated wetland complaints, monitored bear baits and worked ricing activities. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si also certified through the United States Police Canine Association in Police Dog 1.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked bear baiting activity and anglers. Enforcement action was taken leaving a plug in a boat that is being transported on a roadway. Yearly firearms training was also attended by CO Sutherland

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working game and ATV activity. Wichmann attended training at Camp Ripley at the beginning of the week. Nuisance bear and wolf depredation complaints were also handled.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) worked several ATV complaint areas this past week. He helped teach a youth ATV safety class. CO Velsvaag also checked ricing activity.

District 8 - Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week attending annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working ATV complaints, public accesses were worked in the area, a complaint of parties shooting clay pigeons in a Wildlife Management Area was handled, a wolf depredation complaint was handled and numerous complaints of bears were received. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week at Camp Ripley participating in annual training. Officer Duncan also worked bear baiting activity within the Duluth station.  ATV and AIS enforcement continue to be worked when illegal activity is observed. Bear complaints were fielded and guidance was given. A wolf depredation was also investigated.  Officer Duncan was also a guest speaker at a neighborhood nature camp.    

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) assisted in armoring division handguns at Camp Ripley during the week. CO Humphrey continued work on a fire investigation. CO Humphrey received calls on unlawful ATV use, bear bait registration and trapping. Humphrey encountered AIS and OHV violations.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 training in the metro area and also assisted with judging a K9 trial in Hill City. A follow up investigation into a wetland violation continues in the area. Some off-highway vehicle enforcement was conducted in the Cloquet where enforcement action was taken for no safety cert., equipment and registration violations. Extra patrol in area state parks was conducted after receiving complaints of vandalism. Assistance was given to a neighboring CO in giving a talk to several young kids at a nature camp about the job of a Conservation Officer.
 
WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) worked with a local officer on a wetland violation case, and assisted another in trying to locate a private company that is taking water from AIS infested water body to use elsewhere for commercial applications. Information was shared with other Local Government Units to see if they have seen or heard about the company in question. Officer Scott checked anglers on area lakes with fishing showing slow signs of picking up for crappies and walleyes. Enforcement action was taken for fail to remove drain plug. Officer Scott checked bear hunters who were tending their baits this week. Several bear hunters were contacted and reported that they had bears coming into some of their baits and were looking forward to the opener. One bear hunter stated that he had two sows with cubs coming into two different baits and no boars or cub less bears. He remained optimistic about the opener though.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time during the week at annual training. Olson followed up with a district officer of a wolf depredation complaint and worked AIS enforcement at area public access. Bear complaints are still being fielded and answered questions on duck hunting possibilities on the St. Louis River estuary.

CO Officer Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Wild rice harvesters were checked on some area lakes, but it seems a little early for the rice. ATV and permanent tree stand violations were checked on an area Aquatic Management Area, and will followed up on during deer season. Structures, motorized vehicles, and cutting of trees are prohibited on these management areas. Enforcement action was taken for commercial, ATV, and other violations.

District 9 - Brainerd area

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) assisted with annual training a Camp Ripley for officers in firearms and tactics. She also worked bear baiting and ATV activity.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, aquatic invasive species, and ricing activity during the week. An area farmer was permitted to remove a bear that was destroying his corn and division training was attended. Bear baiting activity was also monitored.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley for several days. CO McGowan fielded numerous phone calls regarding questions on the up-coming hunting season. CO McGowan also completed a DWI report for the county attorney’s office for charging. 
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a detail with area conservation officers. Officer Guida assisted with annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Patrol was done monitoring the Paul Bunyan Trail north of Brainerd where numerous cyclists were reminded to stop at road crossings. Some near misses have been reported. Please remember to be safe along the trail.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked ATVs, monitored bear baiting activity prior to the opening of the season, and assisted with a tribal demonstration on Gull Lake where charges are pending for ricing without licenses and illegal use of a gill net. Annual training was completed at Camp Ripley and assistance was given at the new officer academy.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity included fishing, wild rice harvesting, and bear baiting activity, and investigation of calls and complaints including shoreline alteration, garbage dumping. 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) station reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out and the walleye bite has picked up some. The pan fish and bass has been the most active. Violations he observed were no license and no PFDs. He worked with neighboring officers on a gill net violation.  Aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake received some enforcement time. Plugs in the boats and aquatic vegetation on trailers were found. He checked horse riders in the Pillsbury Forest for horse passes and approved firewood. Rock Lake Campground and Crow Wing State Park also received some attention.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) attended annual training, worked on some equipment maintenance, and followed up on an investigation. Anglers are reminded to always clean vegetation and remove drain plugs prior to leaving an access.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded phone calls regarding about an injured fox and deer. Questions about the upcoming bear season were also taken. ATV violations in the area were also addressed. The officer conducted vehicle maintenance and attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working on checking bear baits throughout the week and weekend. The Officer found quite a few baits and bear hunters are reminded to register their baits on line once they are established. A call of a cow killed by a wolf was investigated. The cow was found to have been killed by a wolf and Federal trappers were called in to trap the nuisance wolf. Assistance was given to another CO in trying to locate a party on a garbage dumping complaint and the Officer assisted at Camp Ripley with inspecting division guns. A call of someone operating an ATV in a wildlife management area was taken and a call of a bear hunter illegally traveling off trail with an ATV to bait was investigated and enforcement action was taken. Patrol was done for AIS activity around the Mille Lacs Lake area and boaters were checked for safety related items. Several nuisance bear complaints were taken and lots of hunting, ATV, OHM, forestry, boating and fishing law related questions were answered over the week. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, OHM and bear hunting related violations.
 
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.  She assisted callers with nuisance raccoon and bear issues. Speldrich received information regarding illegal shining activity and an investigation is being conducted. Bear baiting issues are also being investigated.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended a waterfowl management meeting and annual in-service training. Assistance was given to local police, sheriff’s departments, and State Patrol with a fleeing felon. The individual had felony warrants and fled police officers in two counties, before fleeing on foot into a corn field. Numerous agencies and concerned residents combined to apprehend the subject.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) was busy most of the week with checking bear hunters and bear baiting activity. Bear baits with large amounts of garbage were found throughout some state forest public hunting areas. Time was spent tracking down the hunters responsible for establishing the illegal baits and leaving the public hunting areas a mess. Citations and warnings were issued for littering and baiting bear with illegal material. Time was also spent assisting farmers with bear destroying their field corn, instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy and answering questions about DNR laws at the State Fair.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week at Camp Ripley for training. He took calls including an eagle trying to get into a cage of baby turkeys and reports of fawns along the freeway. CO Wynn spent time on the St. Croix River over the weekend monitoring boaters and anglers. He also spent time checking public accesses and state forests for activity.  Enforcement contacts included allowing illegal juvenile operation of ATV’s, OHM’s, and fires at public accesses. 

District 11 - St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on a deer case. CO Silgjord met with the county attorney regarding possible charges in one case. ATV activity was monitored as was the fish bite on area lakes. Violations for the week included allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, youth on class 2 without a seatbelt, and illegal use of poison.

CO Keith Bertram (WREO) spent the week working several wetland complaints in Todd County. Cease and Desist Orders were issued. Enforcement action was also taken for no angling license, extra line, and insufficient boating safety equipment. 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on fishing and boating activity. The officer also assisted local law enforcement searching for a fleeing felon. Training activity and vehicle maintenance was also completed.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted with access authorization through private land and resigning areas that are now open to deer hunting at the Lake Alexander Scientific and Natural area and an accidental trapped mink was picked up from a trapper. 
Calls of deer season questions are coming in with the many new antlerless lottery areas. 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last checked anglers. CO Mies also attended training at camp Ripley.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers, AIS and ATV activity. Time was spent assisting at the CO academy at Camp Ripley. Nuisance animal calls were handled involving a coyote, an owl and beaver. Enforcement action included over limit sunfish, no license in possession, no PFD and transport aquatic weeds on boat trailer.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received complaints of ATV’s operating on public highways, in the lane of traffic, impeding traffic. A law talk was provided to an ATV safety class. While patrolling area lakes violations of persons riding on the gunwales of watercraft was addressed and enforcement action was taken for no PFD in a kayak. CO Kuske attended training in St. Paul, receiving a new computer and other equipment.

St. Cloud - vacant.

District 12 - Princeton area

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation in Buffalo to People First organization, giving them information on fishing laws, where the local fishing piers are located and how to receive disability licenses through the DNR for angling. Reller also attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters. He issued summons and written warnings for Illegal PWC operation. He attended a Firearms Safety Class at the Elk River Sportsman’s Club where he did a law presentation. He monitored AIS violations at accesses with very good compliance. 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked aquatic plant permit issues. A shooting complaint on the Mississippi River was investigated. CO Musatov attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and investigated a calf kill. Bear baits and anglers were checked, nuisance and injured animal calls were handled.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent the week at Camp Ripley. Time was divided between instructing at in-service and the academy. Nice weather was welcomed all.     

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. Most anglers were not having much success, only small panfish. CO Langevin also checked many boaters for Aquatic Invasive Species and related issues. CO Langevin also attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Violations included no license in possession, no wearable PFD and fail to remove drain plug.

Princeton - vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) assisted Carver County with a stolen vehicle from South Dakota. Assistance was given to Scott County with a vehicle that went off the road onto the Minnesota Valley State Trail. Waters violations were investigated with Lt. Glaser. Telephone calls were returned daily on hunting season questions.

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) investigated a shoreline/wetland complaint along with several nuisance animal complaints. CO Grewe checked boaters and fishermen on Lake Minnetonka and spoke at a firearms safety class in Plymouth. Violations included gunwale riding and lifejacket issues.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. She attended a firearms safety class and answered numerous calls regarding the upcoming hunting seasons. Leuthardt checked anglers and boaters on various waters around Scott County and followed up on TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken on angling with extra lines, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to have legal lifesaving device on a watercraft, angling without a license and angling without a license in possession.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the metro area lakes and rivers. He attended in-service training at Ripley and talked at a youth firearms safety class in St. Paul. He returned calls on nuisance animal complaints and answered questions to the Hmong community on deer hunting regulations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked fishing, boating and AIS activities in the West Metro. He assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff with a beaver problem. He took enforcement action for no angling license, no angling license in possession, and taking fish by an illegal method: netting.

Bloomington - vacant.

Mound - vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area

 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Officer Salzer also assisted DNR Wildlife with a call in Anoka County.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) worked the DNR Enforcement booth at the State Fair. He assisted Ontario and Missouri COs with interviews of suspects in St. Paul. CO Johnson transported an injured crow to The WRC in Roseville. He attended firearms qualification at Camp Ripley. CO Johnson checked anglers during the week.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating enforcement around the east metro lakes and rivers. He spent time patrolling for off road vehicles in WMAs and AIS enforcement on area lake accesses. Violations included fishing with extra lines, trespass, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended three days of in-service training at Camp Ripley. She took calls of bear and cougar sightings in her station and handled calls with questions regarding hunting laws. CO Kruse continued to work on aquatic vegetation, litter and wetland cases. She handled injured animal calls and worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week checking anglers and off road activity throughout the area. He spent time at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training as well as returned calls to the public seeking information on upcoming hunting seasons. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, trespassing, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, no fishing license in possession and watercraft not displaying license.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports attending use of force and firearms training at Camp Ripley. He also investigated TIP calls, checked anglers and patrolled the wildlife management areas. Violations for the week include littering and an over limit of fish.

Eagan - vacant.

Metro Officer - vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. An out of season trapping complaint was investigated. Annual training was attended at Camp Ripley. This officer spent time picking up litter left by shore anglers. The amount of litter seen by this officer is unacceptable. Angling and ATV violations were encountered.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. Trespassing with dogs around the Canby area was reported; investigation is ongoing. A concern of cattle jumping the fence into a walk in area was reported.  

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boat safety, checking anglers and conducting investigations. Angling success seems spotty on area lakes.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working fishing, boating, ATV, and WMA enforcement. Hunters are reminded that it is illegal to leave property such as trail cameras and deer stands on WMAs overnight. AIS compliance continues to be good. A few beaver problems are being reported with special permits being issued.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training K-9 law updates in Minnetonka. A court date was set for jury trial on an APM violation. AIS checks were completed on water related equipment on area lakes and rivers. Officer Hanson and K-9 Reggie attended the second annual youth day in Alexandria where over 1,300 people attended. 

Benson - vacant.

Madison - vacant.

Redwood Falls - vacant.

Worthington - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time at Camp Ripley for in-service training during the week. Enforcement activity for the week included dealing with OHM and ATVs that were operating on the roadways and following up with possible wetland violations. Other activity included taking calls regarding nuisance beavers and people hunting geese out of the season.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) finished instructing at the annual officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. Oberg also help setup a display for Youth Conservation Day and spoke to a youth ATV safety class in Gaylord. Oberg also followed up on calls relating to deer licenses and nuisance animals.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) armored division handguns at Camp Ripley. He received a call regarding nuisance beavers and answered questions pertaining to trespassing and careless discharge of a firearm. He also spent time on small game, AIS, boating and angling enforcement.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted routine checks on anglers and boaters. ATV activity was monitored on roads and GIA trails. WMAs were patrolled for vandalism and litter. Questions were fielded regarding the upcoming hunting seasons and also AIS prevention.

Windom (Vacant)

Willmar #1 - vacant.

Windom - vacant.

District 17 - Mankato area

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers, AIS enforcement, and monitoring ATV activity. Follow-up was completed on an illegal dumping complaint.  Requests from the public seeking information on the youth deer season and early goose season were returned.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week at Camp Ripley training for the division’s annual in-service. The officer also responded to questions about the upcoming fall hunting seasons and checked anglers in the area.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers. The officer also monitored AIS and ATV activity during the week. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week at Camp Ripley for training and equipment maintenance. Angling, ATV, and OHM activity was worked. Hunting related questions have been coming in. CO Howe also assisted the State Patrol with stalled vehicles.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, and recreational vehicle enforcement.  A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearms safety class in Northfield. The officer attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also monitored AIS compliance at PWAs and near area lakes and rivers. In addition CO Ihnen also investigated a dumping/litter violation.

WREO Julie Siems attended annual in-service training.

Albert Lea - vacant.

Mankato #1 - vacant.

District 18 - Rochester area

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and boating as well as attending some training. The Mississippi and St. Croix rivers were very busy over the weekend with many folks out enjoying the last few weekends before fall and school. Enforcement action was needed for license, registration, operation issues.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) worked the river and checked boating and fishing. He also attended in-service training. He received a call from a person in their late 70s that was going to start hunting and fishing and had many license questions. He called back the following day and wanted to know why Hemker was not at the sporting store to sell him his licenses. They went through the process a second time.

CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports going to Camp Ripley for training. Followed up on a litter complaint from a beer party that was on state forest property. He investigated an out of season squirrel hunter that was trespassing. He worked public boat landings looking for invasive species violations.

CO Phil George (Rochester) attended in service training, checked ATV and watercraft users, and anglers at area waters. He assisted DNR Wildlife with a dead deer that died suspiciously.  Enforcement action was taken for failing to pull the drain plug on watercraft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. Heyn also worked on equipment and assisted the USFWS post waterfowl closed areas. Heyn talked to a number of hunters scouting for the upcoming hunting seasons. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports assisting the CO Academy. Time was also spent answering many questions about the upcoming deer season and changes. A few anglers were out with limited success. CO Boyum spent time checking ATV areas. Compliance was high.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week attending in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent instructing at the academy. Fishing in the area remains slow.

Rochester #2 - vacant.

Training Section

 

The main topic of Academy 16, week 7, was environmental enforcement. COC’s learned about wildfire enforcement and nuisance wildlife complaints. A guest presentation was given by the aviation team, which included a tour of an enforcement helicopter and scout plane. COC’s participated in a nighttime observation exercise containing five reality-based training scenarios. COC’s finished up the week by getting their Taser certification.

Aviation Section
 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) gave two low level waiver rides to CO Pilots which allows us to fly lower which is needed for our DNR missions. 

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter administrative tasks and flight instructor/student training files. 

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and worked on low-level waiver re-certification with Pilot Heineman.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports flying multiple creel flights as well as telemetry and photo missions. He attended three days of in-service training.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a telemetry flight for Camp Ripley DNR Wildlife staff. Jensen also assisted with an aviation presentation at the DNR Enforcement Academy. The rest of the week was spent at in-service training at Camp Ripley.

 
Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

 

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.

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the online portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. See www.mndnr.gov for details.
Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

Reminder---anyone born after December 31st, 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 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

Reminder---Anyone born after July 1st, 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, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
See Also:
STAFF NOTES:

NE RTO Shelly Patten continued work with conservation officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. Patten taught firearms, defensive tactics and scenario based training to CO’s from around the state. Patten is reviewing the latest education materials provided for the Snowmobile Safety online program.

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports teaching defensive Tactics at Camp Ripley for Officer In-Service training and Academy 16. He also assisted with rifle training and Use of Force scenarios at in-service training. Wednesday he attended a forum in Big Lake about the benefits and issues surrounding the use of non-toxic/lead free ammunition for hunting.  Saturday he helped facilitate a youth hunter education/firearms safety field day in St. Cloud.

Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence assisted other Use of Force instructors with annual Conservation Officer In-service training involving use of firearms and defensive tactics.  Other items included attending first aid training and inspecting issued officer handguns.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke assisted with conservation officer annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. He contacted instructors regarding snowmobile and firearms safety. RTO Neitzke also worked on volunteer safety instructor background checks.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with in-service training.

NW RTO Jeff Halverson assisted RTOs at annual training with Use of Force and range days.  Halverson is also preparing for fall FAS classes.

RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Shelly Patten                                   218-244-8051       
West Central RTO Frank Rezac                     320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us
Rec Veh Coord Bruce Lawrence                    651-674-6184    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Dan McBroom                        507-843-2032    daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke                      651-463-3168    kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us
NW RTO Jeff Halverson                                218-894-3577    jeff.halverson@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

 

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