District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted CO Eric Benjamin on a complaint of illegal activity by a fishing guide and commercial fish packer. Duck hunters were checked on the Thief Lake and Roseau River wildlife management areas. Duck-hunting violations for the week included failure to retrieve ducks, hunting with an unplugged shotgun, transporting a loaded firearm, no federal Duck Stamp, and operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked hunters during the opening weekend of the waterfowl season and continued monitoring bear-hunting and small-game hunting activity.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) saw mixed results on the opening weekend of the waterfowl season. Strong storms and heavy rains made for difficult hunting, especially for hunters trying to get into flooded and muddy fields.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked the waterfowl opener as well as small-game hunting and angling activity throughout the past week. Time also was spent wrapping up a pre-employment background investigation and hosting a DNR safety program instructor banquet for the area instructor group.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) and COC Calie Kunst worked multiple lakes in the Bemidji area. They found violations including angling with two lines and various boating safety equipment infractions.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) and COC Jordan Anderson worked the waterfowl opener. A trumpeter swab accidentally caught in a legally-set beaver trap was released.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working anglers and small-game and waterfowl hunters. CO Swedberg also assisted the county with multiple calls during the week and worked on a deer investigation.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked duck hunters and handled calls about a solid waste dump, a dog kill, and hunting trespass.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity and performed AIS checks. CO Warren also worked the waterfowl opening weekend. One waterfowl hunter informed Warren that he had fallen from his boat and was able to push from the bottom of the lake to get back up to the boat. When asked about a PFD, he stated he wasn’t wearing one but wished he had been.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking anglers, ATV operators, dove hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Complaints about early shooting, late shooting, and use of motors on WPAs were investigated.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports preparing for and working the waterfowl opener. CO Richards also spoke with fifth-graders about various wildlife species for the Wilkin County Conservation Day.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy waterfowl opener this past weekend, contacting lots of hunters, both young and old. Compliance was good for the most part, with the exception of a few groups. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl license and equipment violations as well as no PFDs.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports assistance was provided to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office with a fleeing subject.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check ATV riders, small-game hunters, and anglers. She checked waterfowl hunters during opening weekend and responded to a call about an injured eagle that was hit by a car.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The CO also checked grouse hunters and the report was poor. Hunters explained there are still too many leaves on trees to see all of the birds they flush. Posner also worked on complaints of litter and animal-carcass dumping.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked duck and grouse hunters. Duck hunters had moderate success, with a mixed bag of mallards, wood ducks, and teal. Training was attended at Camp Ripley, and time was spent on Bear Committee items. Enforcement action was taken for duck-hunting and ATVing violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) assisted the State Patrol and St. Louis County with a vehicle crash on Highway 53. Zavodnik has fielded multiple calls during the past week about nuisance bears and has encouraged callers to eliminate all food sources if possible.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports another busy week in the area. The splendor of fall colors and many recreational opportunities have people outdoors for a wide variety of reasons. Waterfowl opener was a little lackluster with the fewest number of hunters ever observed, likely due to threats of thunderstorms. The second day was better, with more hunters and more birds in the bag. A couple of individuals were assisted when they experienced mechanical issues with their boat while several miles from the access. Reports of wanton waste and sick/injured animals were fielded. A common phrase heard during the weekend was, “I told the salesperson to give me what I needed for duck hunting,” when there were required licenses or stamps missing. The person selling the license is not responsible for making sure you have what you need. Check before you leave the store to make sure you got what you asked for and what you need. In one case, a person was sold an angling license along with waterfowl stamps instead of a small-game license.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the duck opener. Poor shooting, sky-busting, and not retrieving ducks in thick wild rice stands resulted in fewer ducks than there could have been. Bozovsky had chats with a number of hunters about retrieving ducks right away to avoid losses. An angler was encountered who put an end to a mystery regarding a person who gave a false name a number of years ago. At that time, the person had been found hunting deer without a license and over bait. Bozovsky recognized the person, and this time he gave his real name. He was cited for no fishing license, no driver’s license and no insurance. He had paid his deer-hunting tickets from the previous encounter.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at firearms safety and trapper education classes, and then attended the field day for the firearms safety class. Several complaints about aggressive wolf activity are currently being investigated. Few duck hunters were checked during the duck opener. Enforcement action was taken on a juvenile hunter who was given some bad advice about what kind of hunting license he needed. Frericks explained which license he needed and assisted him in purchasing it on the spot, in the field. Frericks also checked two anglers who had a resident combination angling license. He noticed that neither the man nor the woman wore wedding rings. The man eventually admitted they were not married. Their combination angling license was seized and invalidated. The angler was issued a citation and advised he could purchase an individual angling license.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and hunters this past week. Fishing was slow and grouse hunters had little success. Velsvaag also followed up on a litter complaint and took several nuisance-animal calls.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the duck opener, which was fairly good for those hunters who went out. Birds noted in the bag included geese, mallards, wood ducks, and black ducks. Bermel watched one hunter shoot a grebe and then throw it in the weeds. The hunters also had lead shot. Enforcement action was taken. Assistance was provided to the county with a search warrant in which the subject of the warrant also was a litter suspect on a large garbage dump in the woods.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) finished a background investigation, worked ongoing cases, checked waterfowl hunters, and enforced AIS regulations.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Marc Johnson worked small-game, ATV and fishing enforcement, along with the waterfowl opener. In addition, they spent time speaking at a firearms safety class at Bigfork Elementary School. They assisted other law enforcement agencies on several calls, two of which resulted in arrests. Warnings and enforcement actions were taken for no ATV registration, driving after revocation, operating an ATV on a roadway, ATV equipment violations, no license in possession, and an AIS violation.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the waterfowl opener, investigated shining complaints, and handled injured-animal complaints. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted with searching for evidence that was thrown from a motor vehicle during a pursuit.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the waterfowl opener with multiple groups getting out and having success. Enforcement action was taken for not having a federal waterfowl stamp, not possessing a state waterfowl stamp, not being HIP-certified, not having a small-game license, and not having enough PFDs on a watercraft. Work also was done regarding a bear that was taken by an individual without a license and where early bear-baiting and attempting to take a bear in the wrong zone were found.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working waterfowl, small-game, angling, and big-game enforcement. Area waterfowl hunters had a wet opening to the season with rainfall.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw a fair number of waterfowl hunters out despite the foul weather. However, not a lot of birds were seen.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) followed up on wetland issues throughout the week. He also worked the waterfowl opener in the Duluth area. Schmidt also attended the Carlton County MDHA annual banquet.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and COC Hanna Wood spent time checking anglers and small-game and waterfowl hunters. They’ve been spending some time on a wetland violation case that led to a burning-of-prohibited-materials violation. Duncan and Wood also took a call about an injured eagle as well as several TIPs regarding a possible woodcock shot on small-game opener.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a trespassing complaint was received in which a deer was field-dressed on a person’s posted private property.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked duck and goose hunters on the opening weekend of waterfowl season. Geese are starting to congregate, but local ducks are still in their usual spots. Salmon anglers are finding fish congregating near river mouths. Commercial records items were resolved. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and state park violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) followed up on a call about someone removing aquatic vegetation from a lake by going in circles with a boat and motor. He also checked waterfowl hunters during the opening weekend of the season. A TIP call about late waterfowl hunters ended with a pair of hunters with violations that included shooting almost three hours after the end of legal shooting time, hunting without a license, no state or federal waterfowl stamps, no plug in a shotgun, and no life jackets in their watercraft.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing, waterfowling, and small-game and deer-hunting activity. He also attended firearms training and investigated complaints about nuisance beavers, hunter harassment, and suspicious hunting activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on reports about fish overlimits, taking furbearers out of season, and excavation of public waters. Waterfowl hunters were checked on opening day, with a few local birds getting taken before heavy rains moved in.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended training at Camp Ripley and finished up with a background investigation. A possible wolf-depredation call was taken, and four wolves were removed from across the road from the caller by a federal trapper.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked quite a few archery deer hunters and saw a decline in bear-hunting activity. Bear hunters still trying to harvest bears complained that their baits were rarely getting hit due to a bumper crop of acorns.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports assistance was provided to CO Bertram with an ongoing big-game investigation. An angler was surprised to see Silgjord prior to sunrise on waterfowl-hunting opener. The angler was observed utilizing an extra line, and as Silgjord approached the fishing location, the angler cut the line in an attempt to evade detection. However, he did so right in front of Silgjord and there was also a bobber attached to the cut line, providing for easy retrieval of the evidence. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports that area duck hunters did poorly on opening weekend. Most people said they didn’t see many birds. One group of seven hunters had five unplugged shotguns and only one wood duck to show for their efforts.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and waterfowl hunters. Seamans investigated a TIP complaint about waterfowl hunters failing to make a reasonable effort to retrieve downed game. Although the suspects were long gone, one hunter forgot his hunting license at the scene. When contacted, the hunters denied the allegations despite the fact that the complainant was able to find one of their ducks left behind. All four suspects had failed to purchase small-game licenses and enforcement action was taken.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent a day at Ney Park in Wright County speaking to fifth-graders at the annual Conservation Day put on by the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District. A firearms safety presentation was given in Monticello.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports a mixed-success opener for the 2019 waterfowl season. One group of hunters reported that while they attempted to retrieve a downed duck, a snapping turtle grabbed it. The turtle gave up the duck, and the hunters were able to secure it.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked waterfowl hunters during the busy opening weekend. He watched two groups of hunters shoot at a double-crested cormorant. One group misidentified the cormorant for a mallard. The other group thought it was a pintail. All hunters are reminded of the importance of waterfowl identification.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) attended a district meeting and checked anglers on metro-area lakes and rivers. He also worked the duck opener during the weekend and checked small-game hunters at WMAs. Violations encountered were no blaze orange, no state duck stamp, no life jacket on board, and no HIP certification.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) and COC Brett Wiltrout worked waterfowl opener activity and found many hunters having success. Arntzen and Wiltrout also worked fishing on the St. Croix River, checked small-game hunters, and fielded several calls regarding trespassing.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent waterfowl opener patrolling the Mississippi and Vermillion rivers. Hunter numbers were down greatly from past years, but most parties were successful.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) and COC Derek Daniels report a busy waterfowl opener. One particular group of goose hunters had an exceptional hunt, limiting out on geese within the first hour of their hunt.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked waterfowl hunters during a busy season opener. Hunter success varied, and a mixture of diver and puddle ducks was seen in possession.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports waterfowl opening weekend was busy, but thunderstorms and high winds on Saturday stopped hunts early.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked ATV and waterfowl-hunting activity during the opening weekend. He also followed up on a dumping complaint and issued a wildlife possession permit.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked anglers and archery and small-game hunters during the week, and checked lots of waterfowl hunters during the opening weekend. Firearms safety classes were also attended.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave a laws and ethics presentation at a Minnesota Trappers Association meeting. He also represented the Enforcement Division at the 53rd Annual Basil Irwin Conference and Pistol Match.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked hunters on the opening of the waterfowl season. Boats and trailers were checked for aquatic invasive species at access points. The Sherburn firearms safety class was taught, and a 40-year volunteer firearms safety instructor award was presented.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent a busy weekend checking waterfowl hunters. Harvest rates varied, but most hunters were able to find some birds. Henke reminds hunters to check their licenses to ensure they have what’s required, especially for waterfowl hunting.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) transported an injured eagle to the Hormel Nature Center in Austin. It will be brought to the Raptor Center.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, small-game, archery deer, and waterfowl activity this past week. Waterfowl opener brought out lots of hunters.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports working with CO Ramaker and checking waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River. Kyllo dealt with a hunter who had failed to either tag or register his turkey during the spring turkey hunt. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports contacting multiple waterfowl hunters during the weekend. Hill found one waterfowl hunter in possession of two full boxes of toxic shot, which are illegal to use for waterfowl. A citation also was given to a person without a state waterfowl stamp, transporting a loaded firearm, and shooting ducks from a moving boat.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly duck and small-game hunters during the past week. There were many ducks in certain areas.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) attended the Basil Irwin Game Warden Pistol match at the Chatfield Fish and Game Club. Minnesota won the match and again has the “Cup” trophy. A special thanks goes out to the Chatfield Fish and Game Club for allowing the use of the facilities!
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) attended a DNR multi-division meeting about management and conservation of the Reno Bottoms area. Time also was spent checking waterfowl hunters for the season opener.
The post Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Sept. 27, 2019 appeared first on Outdoornews.
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