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
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods, bear hunters in area WMAs and Beltrami State Forest, early goose hunters near Badger, Roseau, and Warroad, and grouse hunter in Beltrami Island Forest. DNR Forestry staff was assisted with unoccupied campers being left in the state forest.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring early season goose hunters and bear hunting activity throughout the week. Time was spent patrolling area forest roads and trails for ORV, ATV and OHM activity.
Baudette #1 -vacant.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 - vacant.
Karlstad - vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.
Warroad #1 - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time checking a suspected wetland violation site. Time was also spent checking deer, bear, and goose hunters. Anglers and watercraft operators were also checked. Violations included fish over limits, no PFDs, no fire extinguisher, and no federal duck stamp.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATV, AIS, and bear baits. Youth waterfowl hunters had success. Plans changed on the small game/ archery opener as he assisted other agencies with recovery of two stolen vehicles and other stolen property.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked goose hunters, bear hunters, and answered phone calls.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked the opening weekend of small game and archery hunting. Grouse hunters were surprised by the amount of birds observed during their hunt, but found it difficult to shoot with the tree foliage. Early goose season hunters were checked and reported seeing a big push of birds during the middle of the week. CO Vollbrecht spoke with a group at Enbridge regarding firearms and hunting safety. Follow up was conducted on an area AMA where an individual sprayed a trail to get to the lake. CO Vollbrecht checked fisherman and found the walleye bite was starting to improve as fish move into their fall patterns.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked bear hunting and OHV activity throughout the week. Time was also spent working the grouse and archery deer hunting opener. Enforcement activity for the week included hunting small game without a license, no license in possession, operating an OHM on a public road right of way, OHM registration violations, and ATV safety violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a quiet youth waterfowl day and small game opener. Archery deer hunters were contacted at are WMAs and stated they saw little activity. A complaint of dogs chasing deer was received. CO Vinton attended a meeting with Federal and Tribal law enforcement officials.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked hunters and ATV riders. Grouse hunters checked were few and with no birds in the bag. Deer hunters were also checked. On opening evening, one deer hunter was followed and checked at camp where the morning kill was hanging without a tag. While issuing a citation, his brother drove into camp with a second untagged deer. Additional enforcement action was taken. CO Peterson attended a meeting with US Fish and Wildlife and White Earth Conservation Officers to discuss laws and exchange information.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking goose hunters, archery hunters and fishermen. Fishing activity has diminished with the cooler weather but musky anglers were out in numbers. Time was also spent following up on waters and aquatic plant violations.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity with a few people enjoying the cooler temperatures. CO Warren attended a meeting of officers from the USFWS, White Earth Conservation Department and the MNDNR to discuss regulations and enforcement response to the upcoming hunting seasons. CO Warren worked the small game and deer archery opening weekend with hunters reporting a slow start to the season. Early goose and bear hunting activity was monitored. ATV activity was worked with enforcement action taken on illegal juvenile operation, fail to display registration.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS and WCA activity. Time was spent checking hunters for youth waterfowl day. Fishermen were checked. ATV activity was monitored in the Smokey Hills area. Goose hunting activity was monitored near the Smokey Hills and around Lake Park.
Moorhead - vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) monitored and checked anglers throughout the week. Richards spoke to group participating in a DU mentored youth waterfowl group on the eve of the youth hunt. Goose hunters were checked with mixed success observed. Bow hunters were also checked over the opener. Enforcement action was taken for angling, AIS, and waterfowl violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time checking archery and youth duck hunters over the weekend. Car killed deer and nuisance beaver permits were issued. Additional time was spent enforcing ATV regulations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked the bow hunting opener as well as early goose hunting activity. Fishing activity slowed considerably with the colder temp, but muskie pressure is still high. An AIS meeting was also attended, highlighting minnow trapping regulations.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) began step 3 field training with a COC. The officers spent time working hunting related activity including archery deer, small game, and early goose. Several groups of youngsters were seen bagging a few ducks on the youth duck day. Lake Osakis continues to receive heavy fishing pressure, and time was spent investigating overlimit complaints involving sunfish and crappie. Several litter violations were worked on with enforcement action taken, and additional time was spent monitoring boating and AIS activity. Public hunting areas were patrolled for hunting related activity and violations.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on youth waterfowl day, early goose season and fishing enforcement. Anderson is working with a COC on step 3 of field training. Anderson saw a number of youth out for youth waterfowl day. The kids appeared to be having a great time despite the cooler than average temperatures that greeted them in the morning. Minnow transportation permits were issued. Calls were fielded from the public regarding a nuisance beaver complaint and questions regarding youth waterfowl day regulations.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking goose hunters, bow hunters, fishermen, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent on a possible wetland violation, and fielding calls about upcoming hunting seasons.
Wheaton - vacant.
District 4 - Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy archery deer season and small game opener. Deer hunters had modest success with a few nice deer being harvested. Parthun continued checking bear hunting activity and ATV activity. Some miscellaneous animal complaints were addressed. Enforcement action was taken for uncased firearm on a game refuge, failure to register a bear bait site, open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle and license violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters, fishermen and ATVs. Officer Hunter received a call of an injured eagle. Grouse hunters stated that too much foliage made for tough hunting.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to check early season goose hunters in the area, as well as on some bear baiting issues. Assistance was provided to instructors at a trapper education class, and a few younger hunters were checked over the youth waterfowl opener.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, big and small game hunting and ORV activity. Signed complaints; received a call regarding a sick/injured kingfisher with the call referred to non-game; assisted Cass County Sheriff with small game hunters trespassing on posted property; investigated a litter/dumping issue on state forest land; received a call from a bear hunter who incorrectly entered the wrong harvest zone while electronically registering a bear.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a shift in resource use as cold weather and open hunting seasons brought out more hunters than anglers in the area. Phone calls and questions were received about the disappointing news that zebra mussels have been found in Cass Lake. Nuisance bears are still showing up in the Cass Lake area. Youth waterfowl hunters on Leech Lake reported a good experience with several different species in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for invasive species, goose hunting, boating, and ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, goose hunting, deer hunting and bear hunting activity. Bear hunters were found to have good success with average size bears. CO Broughten observed few archery deer and small game hunters taking to the woods. Broughten investigated a depredation complaint. He also assisted with the range day at Deep Portage Learning Center for students that completed their online Firearms Safety.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked small game and bow openers, and checked deer and bear baits. He delivered car hit eagle to DNR Wildlife Non Game.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) worked area forests and trails during the week. Several illegal cross country trails were located and follow up contacts were necessary. Cold weather greeted the youth waterfowl day but the young people were happy to be outdoors bonding with family. Some grouse hunters struggled to bag birds but encouraged that the population may be seeing an increase based on hearing more birds in the woods. Bear and archery hunters are also hitting the public lands.
WREO Shane Siltala worked AIS enforcement on area lake accesses. He also spent time checking archery and small game hunters over opener weekend. Time was also spent on WCA files.
Remer - vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) began field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC). CO Kittelson and the COC monitored ATV use, angling, bear and small game hunting. Opening weekend of grouse was very slow. This could be due in part to earlier heavy rains and flooding as well as the still thick foliage. Calls for service responded to include a complaint of wolves in the area of a horse ranch; signs of wolves were visible but no depredation had taken place. The individual was informed of possible solutions and steps to take in the future should the wolves take any of his horses. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession to take small game, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, a person under the age of 18 riding an ATV w/o a helmet and operating an ATV on a state highway.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes, checking public access sites, and monitoring area forest roads. The grouse opener was the worst he has seen in recent years; no birds and the fewest number of hunters he has seen.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working the opening weekend of grouse hunting. Very few hunters were observed and fewer grouse were seen. There are lots of leaves on the trees, making it hard to get a shot before the bird disappears. Fishing remains slow with only a few Muskie anglers observed throughout the week.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended firearms training and worked small game and archery deer seasons. The officer also investigated a report of a turkey being taken out of season (and not in a hunting zone) and a wolf being taken by a small game hunter in defense of the hunter’s dog. Deer hunters are chancing being caught, with baits already in place. Those involved should be reconsidering their plans.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual firearms requalification and followed up on early season goose hunter trespass issues. A nuisance timber wolf call was investigated and CO Frericks spoke at an ATV Safety Class in Chisholm. Some grouse hunters were checked but no birds were seen in the bag yet. Most grouse hunters encountered replied that they didn’t expect to see many birds with the amount of foliage on the trees but were excited simply to be out grouse hunting.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received calls about a bear cub “hanging out” along a roadway ditch. People are stopping to feed the bear then call concerned it’s going to get hit by a car. The mother has been seen in the area but the enticement of food is too desirable to the cub. Time was spent checking grouse hunters with few birds seen; when birds were seen they were still in coveys with many young birds.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) observed a fair amount of hunting activity for the small game grouse opener north of Ely, with many hunters checked giving spotty reports of success. Officer Williams and other local law enforcement officers investigated a reported of suspicious abandoned camping equipment inside the BWCAW. Violations included hunting with no license in possession, and operating an unregistered OHM.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the grouse and archery deer opener and found it to be fairly quiet. The deep non-crusted snow last winter was good for the grouse. There are grouse around and it could be a good season once the leaves come off. Officers traveled into the BWCAW on a complaint of a burnt tent. The reporting party placed an X on the map to show officers where the site was. The exact location of the site was searched, but nothing was found. Further investigation is pending.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that grouse season started out to a slow start as hunters found birds to be very scarce. A couple of people found pockets of birds and reported good success, but most found the early season to be disappointing. A few bear hunters were checked and one area where some garbage was left behind was investigated. Another call of a wolf coming after a couple of dogs was taken during the week.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to work bear hunters and check bait stations. The officer assisted with regional tactics training and firearms qualifications in Hibbing. CO Manning also worked a busy grouse opener and took calls on deer feeding, nuisance beaver and the high concentration of human feces being left near a popular beach area on Lake Superior’s shoreline.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a fairly quiet grouse opener in the Babbitt and Isabella area with few hunters and birds seen. A couple youth waterfowl hunters were checked with a few birds noted in the area. No archery deer hunters were observed in the woods. An underage drinking party was located in a gravel pit by CO Bermel and a St. Louis County deputy, and seven underage alcohol citations were issued. Other enforcement action was taken for the week included no PFDs, untagged minnow trap, and allow illegal youthful operation of an ATV.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear hunting activity. CO Schottenbauer also worked the small game opener. Time was also spent working a project in the BWCAW.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked area bear hunting activity. CO Wahlstrom also worked the small game opener. Hunters had limited success with harvesting birds. Time was also spent working a project in the BWCAW.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small game and archery deer opener along the North Shore. A pretty quiet harvest was seen with few hunters encountered. Enforcement action was taken for ATV registration violations and youth operation without a helmet. Nuisance beaver complaints were dealt with and he attended a division qualification shoot.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked bear, grouse, and youth waterfowl hunters. Investigated multiple trespass complaints and attended firearms training.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, small game activity, and checked bear hunters. Violations included angling with an extra line, failure to display registration, no navigation lights after sunset, watercraft ID, burn prohibited materials, and minnow dealer without placards. Grouse hunters are reminded small game shooting hours end at sunset.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) finished step 2 of field training with a COC, checked anglers, monitored early goose activity, worked the small game and archery deer opener this week. The grouse success in the area was on the down side. Enforcement action was taken for no HIP certification, operating an OHV on a roadway and no license in possession.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked bear and deer hunters this past weekend. She also checked grouse hunters. She answered several questions about deer season concerning permit areas and the city hunt. She received a TIP call of possible illegal waterfowl hunting in the Deer River area. CO Sutherland, Lt. Koehn and her responded to the call where enforcement action resulted in citations and warnings.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked goose hunting activity and youth waterfowl opener over the past weekend. Enforcement action was taken for goose hunting without a Federal duck stamp, a State duck stamp, a small game license, a special season goose stamp, having a loaded gun in a watercraft while in motion, waterfowl hunting while possessing lead and for not having a plug in a shotgun. Enforcement action was also taken for destroying emergent aquatic vegetation without a permit.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, small game and archery deer hunters. He responded to trespass and hunting complaints during the week. Grouse harvest was poor.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ORV activity in St. Louis and Lake counties this past week. CO Velsvaag followed up on a trespassing complaint and attended district training. He also received several questions about the Youth Waterfowl Hunt and Early Goose season.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, boating, and bear hunting activities. He took a youth out waterfowling with great success. CO Arhart also attended firearms qualification and worked wetland and public waters cases.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked with a COC the past week on Lake Superior and reports angling has slowed down. Officers were involved with a deer baiting case in Duluth. Time was spent answering calls about the youth waterfowl day and handling a call about an injured turkey vulture. Assistance was also given to CO Hanzal after receiving a report of a moose being hit by a train.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported activity in the station with the start of the small game and archery bow hunt. A few grouse hunters checked are reporting good bird numbers however the abundant vegetation is making a good almost impossible. A large bull moose that was killed by a passing train was collected and brought to a biologist so a necropsy could be done. Hunting over bait, angling without a license, litter and small game hunting were a few of the violations encountered during the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) was busy working the opening of archery deer. Many areas were checked during the weekend and a couple resulted in violations of hunting over bait. Other enforcement work consisted of fishing and ATV enforcement, returning several complaint calls involving archery deer hunting, and assisting area law enforcement with calls for service. Officer Duncan also attended a firearm qualification training day.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended annual fall training that contained use of force and firearms training. A restoration order was issued on a wetland violation in the area and another suspected violation is under investigation. One wolf complaint where wolves were going after cattle was received and was referred to wildlife services. After receiving new information, an investigation was started on a case from last fall where a suspect trespassed, cut trees on private property, and hunted deer over bait. K9 training continues with Schody. A litter investigation is ongoing where a large amount of garbage from a family was dumped in a local wildlife management area. It was found that they recently moved out of state. They were contacted and paid to have the garbage cleaned up, but criminal charges are still pending on the suspects who dumped it.
WREO Mike Scott closed several WCA cases in St. Louis and Cook counties. Received report of new WCA violation in Moose Lake area which is being looked at by local officer. Yearly firearms qualification was attended in Hibbing. Boaters and anglers where checked on area lakes, AIS was discussed with all and enforcement action was taken for no angling licensee, no license in possession, fail to remove drain plug. ATV’s were checked in the Duluth area with enforcement action taken for operating on roadway. Youth Waterfowl hunters were checked and one group checked was found to have no plugs in the youth shotguns. The parents seemed to think the kids were responsible for the plugs. After a frank discussion with the parents away from the kids, the issue was resolved.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time on upcoming maintenance items for the upcoming season changes. Checked small game hunters north of Duluth. Returned several calls on big game regulations. In particular the metro hunt for the City Of Duluth. Handled several road killed deer calls. Shore anglers are showing up along the North Shore. Received a call on a dead bald eagle.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ATVs and hunters on the opening week of archery and small game season. Firearms training was attended in Hibbing and follow up work completed to summer cases. Cold temps are starting to make the woods look like fall again. Assistance given to local agencies with emergency calls. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and angling violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) attended fall firearms and use of force training. The CO worked Lake Superior for anglers and boaters. He also spent time on AIS, ATV, big game, and small game enforcement. A few grouse were seen. One youth waterfowl hunter was checked; she had bagged two hooded mergansers. Enforcement action was taken for hunting, boating, ATV, and angling violations.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked archery, bear and small game activity. ATVs and a call regarding wild rice harvesting were also addressed.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked bear hunting and archery deer hunting enforcement. Deer baiting and shining complaints are being investigated. A complaint of individual arriving late to a fishing tournament and illegally bypassing the watercraft inspection is being investigated. The watercraft inspector indicated that they were nearly run over and the angler became irate and used profanity at the inspector when he was instructed to submit to the inspection. The angler may have a different definition now of tournament fishing earnings.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) assisted with firearms training at a district shoot and wildlife shoot. She also worked area archery and small game hunters.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked small game hunters this past weekend with slow success being reported by hunters. Officer Lee continued with filed training with Conservation Officer Candidates (COC) this past week. Officers followed up possible bear baiting violations along with deer hunting over bait. Officers checked anglers on area lakes that were reporting a good bite on pan fish with walleye starting to pick up. Officer Lee assisted with fall firearms qualifications on duty weapons for Conservation Officers in the Metro area this past week. Officer Lee also assisted with qualifications for the DNR’s Division of Wildlife employees.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) finished up FTO training with a COC on phase two FTO. The officers investigated several TIP calls. CO McGowan also spent time checking goose, bear, small game, archery hunters, and anglers.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) station reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck and the pan fish bite has been getting better. Violation of no license in possession was found. He received a tip call of ATVs in the closed forest that received some enforcement time. The small game hunters were out and had fair success with squirrels. He checked horseback riders for trail passes. He checked goose hunters on the Gull River and in the fields; hunting has been spotty with the geese decoy shy.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked small game hunters and continued monitoring bear season, where successful reports have been pretty slim. The officer also took a call where a group of hunters had driven their vehicles down a snowmobile trail and were camping and ATVing in the Pillsbury State Forest, which is closed to ATVs, and followed up on an investigation of a person who had shot an illegal length musky off his dock with a compound bow and then brought it to a taxidermist for mounting.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on an invasive species violation, testified at a trespassing hearing, and addresses nuisance wildlife complaints. He also checked hunters making use of the cool weather and lack of insects. On the lakes the docks are coming out, tubing and skiing has pretty much wrapped up, and boat lights are needed for about all evening fishing.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking lots of small game hunters over the opening weekend. Most reported a tough hunt with the amount of leaves still on the trees. The officer followed up on a fishing TIP complaint and also followed up on a previous wetland complaint. The Officer also monitored ATV traffic in the Solana State Forest and surrounding county land and checked a few fishermen that ventured out on Mille Lacs Lake even with the rough water. Several archery deer hunters were also checked with most reporting a tough hunt with the amount of mosquitoes still in the woods and a lot of cover yet for the deer. The Officer answered lots of questions regarding AIS, hunting, fishing, boating, and ATV laws throughout the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various hunting violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked bear hunters and baits over the week. She handled a call of possible hunter harassment on county land. An investigation is being conducted. Speldrich answered questions regarding nuisance beaver and fielded calls regarding deer permit areas and archery deer hunting questions.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continues field training with a COC. Officers spent the week preparing for small game, archery, and youth waterfall day. Officers investigated a trespass complaint and shooting within 500 ft. of a building. Enforcement action was taken on driving ATVs in prohibited areas, driving OHM on prohibited trail, illegal burning, and fail to display registrations. Officers investigated a deer baiting incident that led to an arrest and forfeitures. Follow up was also concluded on a burning prohibited materials case. Numerous checks on small game hunters and youth water fowlers, very high compliance rate overall for the weekend. Landowners are reminded to review the posting requirements and follow them if they should need to pursue charges on trespassing.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked some grouse hunters and squirrel hunters during the opening weekend of small game season. A few archery deer hunters were also found hunting and preparing deer stands during the first weekend of the bow season. A majority of early season goose hunters that were checked had success harvesting geese, and some groups ended their hunts with a limit of geese. Bear hunting activity slowed quite a bit compared to early season levels. Violations found for the week included hunting geese with an unplugged shotgun, illegal operation of ATVs and a few instances of hunting over illegal bear baits.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about hunting seasons, nuisance animals, and took complaints regarding ATV and OHM operation. He checked anglers, hunters, and spent time in the Chengwatana State Forest over the weekend. Enforcement contacts included operating OHMs on roadways, no safety certificates, operating ATVs with too many passengers, and youth under 18 without helmets.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked hunters on opening weekend of small game and archery deer. Grouse hunters reported flushing a few birds but had a tough time getting a shot off in the thick underbrush. Squirrel hunters had a little better luck but numbers were also down. Enforcement action was taken during the week on ATV violations.
WREO Rob Haberman worked on two cases involving individuals failing to comply with restorations orders. A deed restriction was placed on one property for failure to comply with a Restoration Order. WREO Haberman also worked on AIS Enforcement around his assigned work area.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, AIS and boating this week. Fishing in the area remains consistent with pan fish and walleye found in the creel. The officer took complaints in vacant stations concerning waterfowl hunting and archers in a county park.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) started training a COC. Time was spent following up with citations from the previous week and dealing with numerous wetlands and public waters violations. Due to the cooler weather there were few people out. Enforcement action was taken for people fishing with extra lines. During the youth duck hunting day, one child had an extra wood duck that he thought was a teal.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for Swanville FAS and attended the Todd County TEP meeting. Investigations continued on APM violations. A prohibited materials fire is under investigation. There was low to moderate hunting activity.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) picked up a pelican that had died in a person’s yard in Little Falls and issued nuisance beaver permits for area residents. Complaint calls of ATV’s doing damage in wetlands were investigated with the ATV owner claiming they thought it was only a wetland if it had cattails in it. The ATV owner was educated that there are actually many different types of wetlands and not all of them have cattails in them. CO Kuske took a job shadow student from Little Falls High school for the day on Small Game and Archery opener with the student seeing a wide variety of calls that CO’s get. Many squirrel hunters were checked with the hunters having very limited success in the area.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies assisted Wright County SO with a pursuit. CO Mies worked archery deer hunters along with small game hunters. CO Mies finished up on a litter dumping case and checked goose hunters.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports an individual that was cleaning up an old farm place was cited for burning tires, shingles, and other prohibited materials. CO Kuske fielded a host of calls related to nuisance animals including wolf, bear, beaver and cougar. Three special beaver trapping permits were issued and two individuals are hunting nuisance bears. Goose numbers are holding steady and CO Kuske worked several late shooting complaints. Dove hunters have been finding success working fields with standing water and pond areas.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended an area Firearms Safety Class and gave a presentation on laws and ethics. Time was spent checking for ATV activity throughout the station with some infractions being found. CO Silgjord prepared for the upcoming bow season and checked on baited areas for possible opening day activities. Assistance was provided for a possible drowning victim on Middle Spunk Lake. The individual was located mostly unharmed.
St. Cloud - vacant.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth firearms safety class. CO Musatov investigated illegal ATV operation on a WMA, an illegal deer baiting, and illegal dumping of goose carcasses. Several animal complaints were handled and time was spent working aquatic invasive species.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked small game, goose, and archery hunters over the weekend. Officer Londgren reports seeing a few wood ducks and teal harvested for the youth waterfowl day. Enforcement action was taken on ATV violations, fail to plug shotgun, and trespass complaints were investigated.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) investigated a large dumping on a Wildlife Management Area. After three hours of digging through the garbage he found a name and after four interviews and five residence visits and a number of phone calls he located the violator. Summons was issued and the dumping was cleaned up by the violator and taken to the land fill. He issued a summons for hunting deer over a baited area, no license in possession, trespassing and hunting deer without a crossbow permit. He took enforcement action in the Sand Dunes State Forest for illegal operation of ATVs, operating without a helmet, no registration displayed and no registration.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended annual training and gave a presentation to a Firearms Safety Class in Monticello. Reller also checked goose hunters and anglers in the Wright County area. The youth waterfowl hunt on Saturday had a good turnout with the youth finding a lot of shooting action with the Blue Wing Teal migrating through the area. Many life time memories made from harvesting their first duck.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) began field training with a COC. They prepared for small game and archery deer opener. Hunters report that hunting has been slow. On Saturday they checked youth waterfowl hunters on the special youth duck hunt. Several young waterfowl hunters had ducks to show off. Citations were written for operating an ATV with a passenger under 18 not wearing a helmet and a 13 year old driving a pickup truck on a WMA road.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted with two regional firearms qualifications. Time was spent working goose hunters and ATVs. Geese are in the area and some hunters saw some success. Enforcement action was taken on operate unregistered ATV, No helmet for ATV passenger under 18 years of age, operate ATV on county road and no state waterfowl stamp.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) spent much of the week following up on zebra mussel violations. He attended a district qualification shoot. The archery deer, small game and youth waterfowl openers were worked. More kids were seen hunting the youth waterfowl day than any other year and all had very good luck. Enforcement action was taken for transporting zebra mussels, no personal flotation devices onboard watercraft and no federal duck stamp.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for waterfowl activity. Salzer also patrolled for angling activity. He also attended some training pertaining to trapping.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP)) attended the district shoot in Dakota County and worked the small game opener in Scott County. He investigated a TIP complaint of someone digging and filling a shoreline on Prior Lake, but it turned out that they have a legitimate permit from the state. He also answered many calls on big game and small game regulations in the Hmong community.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended the fall in-service training firearms qualification. He worked with CO Heyn during the 2014 Small Game Opener in southeast Minnesota. He patrolled the Bloomington station for angling activity and followed up with reported AIS violations.
Bloomington - vacant.
Mound - vacant.
Prior Lake - vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers, small game, archery deer and goose hunters throughout the week. CO Arntzen attended training in Dakota County, handled nuisance animal calls, investigated trespassing complaints, and patrolled the WMAs. Enforcement action was taken for operating a motor vehicle in a closed area, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked waterfowl, dove, and deer hunters around the metro wildlife management areas and fields. He continued checking anglers around the metro lakes throughout the week. He also spent half a day at a “Touch a Truck” event in St. Anthony where he ran the laser shot system, attended a fall qualification shoot in Dakota County and spoke at a firearms safety class in West St. Paul.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he worked the small game and deer archery opener. He also checked hunters on youth waterfowl day. CO Johnson checked wild rice harvesters in Carlos Avery WMA. Violations included unplugged shotgun, no PFD, and speeding in a WMA. CO Johnson checked a baiting complaint in East Bethel WMA. He attended fall firearms qualification training.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) started field training a COC. They checked numerous small game, youth waterfowl, deer archery and goose hunters in the field. CO Kruse and the COC worked local accesses for AIS, worked a ginseng case and talked to a firearms safety class with about 60 students in Arden Hills. They continued working a big game case and checked anglers on area lakes and streams. CO Kruse attended a day of training in Dakota County. Violations included unplugged gun, no state waterfowl stamp, no fishing license, no federal waterfowl stamp, no type IV PFD, fail to submit ginseng records, failure to remove boat drain plug and fishing license not in possession.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week following up on AIS related cases and shoreline inspections. WREO Block also spent time patrolling for hunting activity over the weekend in Scott County. Divisional training was also completed during the week.
Eagan - vacant.
Hastings - vacant.
Maplewood - vacant.
Metro Officer - vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) completed his weekly radio show on KLOH radio show. Youth Waterfowl hunters had a great morning with a lot of waterfowl being taken and seen on area sloughs. Bow hunters were out with several new crossbow hunters finding success. A Firearms Safety Class was taught in Hendricks for the youth trap shooting class which is the first for Hendricks High School.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) received a call of a Great-horned owl that had gotten into a pigeon coop and was trapped. With assistance from landowner was able to capture the owl and luckily release it back into the woods. The pigeons in the coop were not so lucky after spending the night with the owl. The Youth Waterfowl Day was busy with a lot of happy young hunters harvesting a mix bag of ducks. Most of the ducks harvested were teal, mallard, and wood ducks. Archery deer hunters took to the woods for the opener with most patiently waiting for that big buck. Plenty of squirrel and rabbit hunters were also out. A hunting incident was investigated near Lynd. Fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement was also worked.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, archery deer, goose, and youth waterfowl hunting activity during the week. OHV activity was monitored at the Appleton OHV Park. A report was taken near Benson, reference a deer that was illegally taken before the archery season. Anyone with information is asked to call the Turn-in-Poachers hotline @ 1-800-652-9093 and you can remain anonymous. Angling & OHV violations were encountered.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working dove and early goose seasons. Calls were taken for various injured wild animals. Many deer questions were fielded.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports many youth had a successful waterfowl hunt. Walleye and crappie activity has picked up on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing, angling without a license, and hunting big game without a license.
Benson - vacant.
Madison - vacant.
Redwood Falls - vacant.
Worthington - vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on trespass complaints. He also checked anglers and archery hunters. Denz also followed up on illegal burning in addition to conducting commercial inspections.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a report of dogs chasing deer near the Winthrop area. She checked goose hunters during the week and young duck hunters during the youth duck hunt. Missing required stamps and plugs where found with some of the hunters. A minnow trapper was checked, and a report of trespassing and road hunting was investigated.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a near perfect archery and small game opener in southern Minnesota. Bow hunters checked had not harvested any deer but several reported seeing deer on stand. A few youth waterfowl hunters were also out enjoying the special waterfowl hunt. Oberg also checked goose hunters that continue having success around Hutchinson. Oberg also spoke at the Gopher Campfire FAS class this week.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received questions regarding trespassing and goose hunting. He had many contacts with youth waterfowl hunters. Most youth experienced some success but limits were few and far between. Few archery deer and small game hunters were encountered. Nelson worked primarily waterfowl, small game, archery deer, sport fishing and ATV activities.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked archery deer, small game, angling, ATV, dove hunting and early goose hunting. Gruhlke attended the local DU annual banquet.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. Youth waterfowl day kicked off with very little participation in the area. Fall goose hunters are still searching. Bow hunting activity was moderate.
Litchfield - vacant.
Willmar #1 - vacant.
Windom - vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) talked with several youngsters during the youth waterfowl hunt this past week. Archery hunters were checked. The officer also attended a district meeting.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring small game and waterfowl hunting activity.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked archery deer, small game, and waterfowl hunters. CO Howe also presented on laws and ethics at an All-Day Field and Range Day for a Firearms Safety class in Le Sueur.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, archery hunting, and waterfowl hunting. Saturday’s early youth waterfowl hunt brought out a number of hunters and hunters experienced some success.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, ATV, small game, big game, and migratory waterfowl activity during the week. Many hunters were out for the small game & archery openers. Several young hunters had success with the Youth Duck Hunt. A TIP call was received regarding illegal angling activity.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, early goose hunting, small game opener, archery (deer) opener, and recreational vehicle activity. CO Chihak also attended annual firearms training. Requests from the public seeking information on hunting and trapping regulations were returned.
WREO Julie Siems reports working small game opener and handling some trespass complaints. A restoration order was also delivered.
Albert Lea - vacant.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy small game/archery opener. Squirrel hunters had better success than previous years as most hunters had squirrels in the bag. Most bowhunters stated that they saw deer on stand and stated the cool weather put deer on the move. Compliance was high. A few trespass calls were also investigated.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking hunters and anglers. Contacts were made with hunters with no small game licenses and ATV operators for no registration and operating on a county highway. The laws and ethics portion of two firearms safety classes were taught and several phone calls were taken with questions from the public.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy opening weekend of small game and archery deer season. Numerous hunters were checked finding a varying degree of success. Pan fishing is improving on the river as the high water continues to recede. Violations include license, over limit, and undersize fish violations.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking small game hunter, archery hunters and anglers over the weekend. Time was also spent doing a presentation to a group of youth waterfowl hunters in conjunction with the Red Wing Wildlife League and talking to an ATV class in Bellchester. Some fishing and hunting violations were detected.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a good archery deer and small game opener with limits of squirrels and many deer checked. Fishing has slowed with high water on the river. Hemker attended natural resource classes at local high school to discuss hunting laws and the career possibilities.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and hunters during the week. Some anglers were doing better and most squirrel hunters had some success. Youth duck hunters had a great time with a lot of wood ducks around. Heyn also attended training.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports youth duck hunters had a great morning. Wood duck was the number one bird in the bag. Small game hunters had great weather. He checked many groups with limits or near limits of squirrels. Trout catch and keep season ended with anglers having their way with the trout. Lots of fish caught. The Mississippi River remains high. Fishing on the river is poor. Enforcement included trespass and no trout stamp.
Rochester #2 - 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 marten and wolf telemetry and a Lake Vermilion creel survey. Heineman also did pilot training in the Cessna 185.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) attended firearms qualifications and defensive tactics training. He also attended a district meeting. Geving has been studying and working diligently on a CFII certificate.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a Lake Vermilion creel flight and flew WCA photo request missions. Jensen also ferried aircraft for maintenance upgrades. Jensen continued work on the Aviation Safety Program.
CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Bemidji) completed multiple creel flights over Leech Lake. Time was also spent on aircraft maintenance and equipment issues.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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 Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is 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 Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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 CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 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 CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 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.
NE RTO Shelly Patten was guest speaker for Grand Rapids Kiwanis club meeting. Patten talked about the safety programs and the challenges of keeping up with technology. Patten hosted District shoots in Hibbing for 40+ Conservation Officers. Patten also held training for Wildlife personnel from Region 2. Patten continues work and updates to FAS Instructor training and written exam.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports assisting with District Use of Force training and Wildlife Firearm Qualification training at Dakota County Gun Club. He also assisted area firearms safety instructors with equipment needs and obtaining additional Instructors during field days. Saturday he helped facilitate a firearm safety/hunter education field day for online students at Deltone Gun Club in St. Cloud.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with training of wildlife staff for annual firearms qualifications. RTO Lawrence spent time going over firearms field day training props and conducting follow-up on procedures for instructor training. RTO Lawrence also answered questions related to the upcoming deer season for archery and firearms. RTO Lawrence continues to work on instructor training formats.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke assisted with metro area DNR enforcement district training. He also assisted with the regional wildlife division qualification shoot. Neitzke did a taped interview for a local cable TV channel during which he talked about hunting laws and firearms safety requirements for deer season. He talked to a youth firearms safety class. He also responded to a call of a dead eagle in I-494, which turned out to be a car killed hen turkey.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom assisted with qualification shoots for both Enforcement and Wildlife divisions during the week. Backgrounds for new instructors where worked on along with contacting instructors about upcoming HEFAS classes.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week attended an Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation program meeting at Ripley one day. He assisted with a Youth Firearms Safety class one day this past weekend. Work on the 14-15 Snowmobile Regulations Handbook continued throughout the week. Follow up on youth course emails was completed and numerous OHV/hunting emails and phone calls where taken care of.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens 763-753-1887 firstname.lastname@example.org
NE RTO Shelly Patten 218-244-8051
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549 email@example.com
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032 email@example.com
NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773 email@example.com
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke 651-463-3168 firstname.lastname@example.org
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant