Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Coby Fontes (Warroad South) spent the week enforcing ATV and small-game regulations and following up on various cases. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration and transporting a loaded firearm.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working small-game, archery deer, waterfowl-hunting and angling activity throughout this past week. Time was spent monitoring area recreational vehicle trails for activity, assisting CO Hutchins with a detail patrolling the Red River and working a shining detail with CO Vollbrecht monitoring shining complaint areas. Regas encountered a vehicle from which he observed people shooting at deer with the aid of artificial lights. The vehicle was stopped and the driver and front passenger are facing charges for shining for deer while in possession of a firearm, takin g deer out of season, taking deer with the aid of artificial light, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, taking deer with non-expanding ammunition, trespassing on agricultural land, driving after revocation and open bottle in a motor vehicle. Violations encountered this past week also included an overlimit of wood ducks, no PFDs and angling license violations.
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked grouse hunters and archery deer-hunting activity around the Beltrami Island State Forest, Red Lake Wildlife Management Area, Lost River State Forest, and Roseau River WMA. He also investigated a trespass case in Kittson County that involved “No Trespassing” signs being moved.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls- West) investigated a TIP complaint of a possible walleye overlimit, monitored area waterfowl activity, and investigated area shining complaints. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in motor vehicle and motor vehicle insurance violations.
CO Tony Hams (Warroad North) spent the week checking small-game hunters and monitoring ATV traffic.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working waterfowl enforcement throughout the week. Time was further spent checking archery deer hunters and bear hunters. Anglers were checked on rivers in the area.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling and waterfowl-hunting activity on area lakes. Time was spent patrolling area ATV trails and forest roads. The grouse take continues to improve as visibility increases in the forests. A restoration order was issued for a public waters violation.
CO Andrew Goodman (Perham) continued to work waterfowl-hunting and fall angling activity. Migrating ducks carried by this week’s cold front and soaking rains produced a mix of species for hunters. Goodman issued public water restoration orders, responded to TIP calls and spoke at a Dark House Association meeting.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) continued training with COC Just Frisch this week. They primarily worked migratory waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters. The officers also followed up on cases from the previous deer season. Enforcement action for the week included migratory waterfowl hunters not having the correct licenses, unplugged shotguns, and ATV violations related to juveniles.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked small-game and waterfowl hunters and worked ongoing cases. Peterson also responded to calls about an illegal structure in the state forest and littering.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and archery hunters. Waterfowl hunters are still having good success and archery hunters reported more deer moving with the cooler weather. Time was also spent following up with ongoing wetland violations.
CO Brett Fox (Bemidji #2) spent the week patrolling for angling, small-game, and waterfowl-hunting activity. Fox also recovered an injured eagle in Beltrami County and delivered it to a Raptor Center-affiliated rehabber. Violations this week included an unplugged shotgun, no federal duck stamp, and no state duck stamp.
Bagley – vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to field train COC Liz Carlson. Time was spent checking for waterfowl hunters in the Central Zone during the closed season. The officers responded to a TIP call regarding illegal waterfowl hunting. Time was also spent checking shore anglers and waterfowl and archery hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, hunting in a closed season, hunting without a license, and operating an ATV without headlights.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports spending most of his enforcement effort on waterfowl activity. Enforcement action was taken for taking waterfowl in the closed season and no life jackets onboard watercraft. He also spent time checking anglers and completing annual training.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters, boaters and anglers. ATV safety class organization was completed and administrative work was conducted. A possible wetlands violation in Douglas County is being investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) investigated a compliant of waterfowl hunting during the closed season. The out-of-state hunter was contacted in the blind and surprised to hear of the week-long season closure in the Central Zone. He also had failed to purchase a state waterfowl stamp. Enforcement action was taken and Lawler also seized a couple of ducks. Fall anglers were monitored on area lakes. They were having moderate success for seemingly all species, despite the strong winds all week long.
CO Felicia Znajda (Osakis) worked big-game, small-game, waterfowl, and angling activity throughout her week. Angling reports have been some of the best of the past few weeks, while duck reports were a bit sluggish. Lots of waterfowl hunters were out, with only a few birds taken here and there. A variety of violations were encountered throughout the week, including transporting loaded firearms and possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting. Additional enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited materials and abandoned property on WMAs.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Wetland violation complaints were investigated and calls from people with questions regarding upcoming hunting seasons were answered. Wood also assisted with an ATV safety class.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working deer and waterfowl enforcement. Enforcement action was taken regarding a hunter-harassment incident.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) continued field training COC Levi Brown. During the week, permits were issued for car-killed deer. Nearing the weekend, they responded to a TIP call regarding a group of people hunting migratory waterfowl when the season was closed. After investigation, citations and warnings were issued for hunting out of season. Over the weekend, waterfowl hunters were checked on Lake Osakis and anglers on and around Lake Minnewaska were checked. Enforcement action was taken for various violations.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) reports fall is in full swing, with many archery hunters, waterfowl hunters, and grouse hunters out. Cross saw good success over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for hunting and ATV violations.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) finished Step 2 of field training with COC Manteufel. The week focused on ATV patrols, water safety, sport fishing, and waterfowl enforcement. They followed up on information regarding possible public waters violations and issued a permit for a car-killed bear.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) wrapped up field training a new conservation officer. The officers patrolled Cass County for angling, hunting, boating and ATV activity. Numerous angling, boating, and hunting violations were addressed.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and bird hunters. Grouse hunters are starting to see more birds. Mathy responded to an injured-eagle complaint and worked on Bear Committee-related items. Enforcement action was taken for duck-hunting violations.
CO Corey Sura (Remer) worked angling and waterfowl activity in the Remer area. An angler was cited for fishing without a license.
CO Jacque Johnson (Longville) checked angling and hunting activity. She assisted with a medical. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports checking seasonal hunting activity in the area. He reports utilizing K9 Jet to assist other officers with a waterfowl investigation. K9 Jet was also utilized on a big-game investigation. Seifermann and K9 Jet also were part of Wadena County’s Conservation Day, where nearly 200 fifth- and sixth-graders graders were able to watch a demonstration by K9 Jet, interact with him and learn about the DNR’s K9 program.
ATV rec officer – vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports over the weekend more than 50 young men and women from the International Falls and Littlefork area were certified in firearms safety. ATV, small-game, archery, and waterfowl hunting have been the main focus of the workload. Lots of grouse are still being seen by most hunters. Young ATV operators are reminded to wear a DOT-approved helmet. Enforcement action for the week involved ATV violations.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week checking grouse hunters, patrolling for ATV activity, and checking anglers on the Rainy River. Violations observed this past week consisted of operating ATVs without the required headlights and failing to display registration properly. Simonson also assisted with a firearms safety field day in International Falls.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) checked anglers, small-game hunters, and monitored ATV activity. Anglers were fighting strong winds to stay on their favorite locations. Some success was noted. Small-game hunters continue to chase grouse as the underbrush is starting to thin. ATV activity has increased steadily as the fall season progresses. Assistance was provided at a structure fire, where use of a section of the highway and railway was restricted.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring ATV and small-game activities. Waterfowl hunting remains with few ducks in the area. Area forest roads continue to be monitored. Public access sites along with boating and angling activities continue to be checked. Other time was spent working on equipment and completing various administrative tasks.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) primarily spent time checking small-game hunters in his station. Time was also spent working complaint calls regarding to damage to property. Larson assisted other conservation officers with a decorative materials case resulting in a large seizure of spruce tops. Training was also attended.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game, ATV, and waterfowl activity. In addition, time was spent on online training and completing administrative tasks. Cooler weather has dropped a lot of the cover in the woods, affording more hunters with better opportunities. Grouse numbers remain high and most hunters are finding success.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) continued field training with COC Nick Bruesewitz. Time was spent completing an investigation on a litter case where a citation was issued. While interviewing the subject, it was found that they had a warrant for their arrest. The subject was brought to jail shortly after for a no-bail warrant. Both officers also participated in a career day event at a local high school where a presentation was given to students about the hiring process for becoming a conservation officer. Investigations on big-game and APM violations were conducted throughout the week. The week was ended with the officers assisting local agencies with a domestic assault call involving a firearm. Off-highway vehicle violations were also addressed throughout the week.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting, fishing, and ATV activity. Waterfowl hunters reported limited success and are finding few ducks in the area. Grouse hunters reported good success. Archery deer hunters reported seeing few deer. Broughten also fielded calls regarding dogs chasing deer, firearms deer-hunting regulations, and safety education classes.
Cook – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports he instructed several safety classes over the weekend. Hunting pressure slowed noticeably over the weekend. Cooler, wet weather lasted over the weekend and small-game success reports were very low.
CO Brent Ihnen (Ely #2) worked this week patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Additional time was spent checking small-game and waterfowl hunters.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) followed up on complaints of shooting grouse close to occupied homes. In one case, a picnic table was shot. The officer followed up on big-game investigations and checked anglers and ATV riders. Enforcement action was taken for small-game, big-game, trespass and ATV violations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) provided ride-alongs to interested college students. Time was spent on a spruce-top theft resulting in timber trespass, decorative materials, and litter charges against two people – 1,565 spruce tops were seized. Several citations were issued to grouse hunters transporting loaded firearms on ATVs. Additional enforcement action was taken for baiting bears in the wrong zone, no bear bait sign, unregistered bear bait, non-biodegradable material at bear bait, and youth ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet. Online training was completed, and a nuisance-bear report was taken.
CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) followed up on litter and dumping complaints in state forest areas and dumping complaints in Isabella. ATV trails were checked, with trails drying out well from recent rains. The inland stream trout season wrapped up, as did the lake trout season on Lake Superior. Enforcement action taken for ATV violations.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) continued with field training COC Jamus Veit. Grouse hunters have had mixed results due to inclement weather. The officers monitored the last remaining bear baits. The officers spent time patrolling on ATV with an increase in the number of people riding ATVs. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, transporting loaded firearms, bear-baiting violations, and open containers of alcohol. Hill and Veit also conducted a traffic stop on an ATV. The driver was arrested for DUI and the passenger was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun while intoxicated.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game and archery deer -hunting activity. Cooler weather arrived this week, making for more fall-like activities and hunters getting shacks prepared for the season. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plugs in watercraft before transporting and license violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers, grouse hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Complaints of trespassing were also handled. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms and no hunting license in possession. Grouse hunters continue to see good numbers of birds in the area.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV riders, boaters, anglers and waterfowl and big-game hunters. He patrolled campgrounds and trails. Numerous game and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked hunters, worked angling activity and responded to animal-related complaints. Grouse-hunter success was better this week. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Fennec also assisted in the search for a missing hunter this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and illegal transportation of game birds.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) completed training with COC Matt Brodin this week. Time was spent checking small-game hunters in the area. The officers report a strong grouse population this year, seeing many young cubbies. The area’s fall crappie bite is starting to heat up with officers seeing good-sized crappies being caught. A wetlands complaint was investigated, and the officers worked with the Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District and the owner to create a restoration plan.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity and small-game hunting during the previous week. Time was also spent patrolling recreational vehicle trails and following up on possible public waters violations. Complaints about wildlife management areas were also addressed.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports that grouse numbers are good, and most hunters checked have had some success. Some anglers are also finding success as the fall walleye and crappie bites are starting to pick up. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl-hunting violations and angling without a license.
Pengilly – vacant.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) has started receiving complaints about illegal decorative materials harvest throughout the station. These cases remain ongoing. Hunting activity is well underway with the leaves really starting to fall. Regulatory questions were fielded and ongoing wetland violations were worked.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked angling and waterfowl activity during the week. Time was spent dealing with trespassing and ATV-complaint areas. The officer followed up on illegal camping complaints, checked small-game hunters and handled a complaint of illegal fishing.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time in the woods checking small-game hunters. Grouse hunting has been good thus far in the season. ATV activity continues to get busier as the fall season is upon us. A few waterfowl hunters were checked on area lakes and rivers. Calls were taken for beaver and bear activity as well. Bear hunting and archery deer hunting was also monitored and worked throughout the week
CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) worked waterfowl, small-game and recreational vehicle enforcement this week. Possible wolf depredations were investigated, and OHM-complaint areas were patrolled. Colder weather and north winds have pushed a lot of local ducks out of the area. Although more divers are showing up, other new ducks have yet to arrive. Grouse-hunting success continues to improve. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft safety, small-game, and ATV violations.
CO Mikeena Wehr (Carlton) spent time this week patrolling for waterfowl, small-game, turkey, and big-game hunting activity. Public waters, dispersed camping/litter, trespass, and big-game hunting complaints were investigated. Waterfowl hunting reopened this past weekend in the Central Zone, with some success seen.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week finishing up cases. During the rainy days, time was spent completing online trainings. Karon addressed camping/dumping and wetland issues. Patrol for ATV and hunting violations continue.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked waterfowl season and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week. Contacts were made with hunters, checking licenses and game limits. An overlimit complaint was discussed with a concerned lakeshore owner who observed an angler repeatedly angling in the same waterbody. A firearms safety education class was also completed.
CO Andrew Ladzinski (Pine River) patrolled area lakes for waterfowl and angling activity. He followed up on a report of illegal dumping of deer carcasses on private property.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) worked from the ATV checking riders and small-game hunters. Duck hunters were checked and found steady bird numbers.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked waterfowl, angling, hunting, and ATV riding activity. Time was spent following up on wetland violations. The recent rainy weather helped keep dust down on the ATV trails, keeping them busy throughout the weekend. Enforcement action was taken on ATV, waterfowl, and small-game violations.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked grouse, deer, and bear hunters in the area. Illegal-dumping complaints, land trespass, and shooting from motor vehicle calls were investigated. State forest and state park campgrounds were also patrolled.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked hunting, fishing, and ATV riding activities. A person was found with a warrant and properly dealt with. ATV violations for operating on a state highway, no registration, and suspended driver’s license were also found. Assistance was given to a WMA contractor doing work in the Mille Lacs WMA. Anglers were also checked, with some panfish showing up.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) spent time patrolling bear-hunting, archery deer, small-game, and migratory waterfowl activities. Enforcement action was taken for no hunting licenses in possession while waterfowl hunting, failure to have a federal duck stamp in possession, and failure to sign a federal duck stamp. She also assisted Aitkin County with a medical.
Wealthwood – vacant.
Malmo – vacant.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for boating, angling and waterfowl activities. Much of the week was spent at Camp Ripley assisting with the disabled veteran’s firearms hunt and youth archery hunt. Time was spent assisting a firearms safety field day with Royalton School. He assisted Morrison County with several calls.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity in the station. A decent fall bite continued and many anglers were out trying their luck. No-license and angling after license violations were addressed. Follow up was conducted on ongoing waters and aquatic plant management cases. A ride-along opportunity was provided to a prospective conservation officer candidate. A wetland-drainage complaint was fielded and is currently under investigation. Waterfowl hunters were checked over the weekend.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked area waters this week for fishing and hunting activity. He completed annual training and worked on vehicle maintenance this week. He fielded calls concerning baiting, trespass and a headless deer that was found.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked waterfowl, deer and squirrel hunters. Angling activity in the area was monitored. Assistance was given to neighboring officers on various calls. A goose-overlimit complaint was investigated. Enforcement activity included unsigned stamps and various license violations. A burning complaint was investigated, with a citation issued.
CO Trent Anderson (St. Cloud) focused on hunting and angling enforcement for the week. Time was spent handling wildlife-related calls and assisting other local agencies. Equipment maintenance and annual training were completed.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) checked hunters and anglers. Time was spent completing training and equipment maintenance. A career talk was conducted at the Kimball High School Intro to Law Enforcement class on job duties of conservation officers. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, failure to have a life jacket in a waterfowl boat, unsigned federal stamp and passenger under 18 years of age on ATV without helmet.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Adam Stennett (Sauk Rapids) worked on equipment maintenance and completed required training this week. Duck-hunting activity was monitored and anglers were checked. Both were seeing mediocre success. Stennett worked through a call of concerned homeowners regarding duck hunters on a pond near a housing development. Stennett advised all parties of the laws and spoke with the hunters regarding avoiding potential ethical hunting conflicts. A TIP call was fielded of a hunter who shot two turkeys. COs located the hunter and took enforcement action.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. Krauel also worked several TIP complaints of late waterfowl shooting on an area lake. Krauel and K9 Bolt also assisted in a turkey hunting violation and the search for a missing hunter.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working duck hunters. Time was also spent working small-game and big-game hunters. Lor also did a law presentation for a firearms safety class.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) assisted another CO with a late duck shooting complaint. The COs contacted two individuals who claimed the legal shooting hours for duck were after sunset. The officers also assisted another agency with locating a missing hunter.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. Fitzgerald took enforcement action against many waterfowl hunters who had been hunting during the closed season (Monday-Friday). Additionally, enforcement activity included hunter harassment, no PFD on a duck boat, hunting small game without a license, and taking waterfowl from a permanent blind that had been placed in public water.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) continued field training COC Dingmann. They patrolled area WMAs for hunting activity. Dingmann released a 10-point deer that had its antlers stuck in a swing rope. He also removed an injured hawk from the roadway that had been stuck by a vehicle. They gave a presentation to the Zimmerman High School Criminal Justice Class. Enforcement action was taken for hunting in the closed duck season.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers, archery hunters and waterfowl hunters over the weekend. Grewe handled nuisance-animal complaints in the area as well. Violations this week included no life jacket and failure to sign a federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time working the waterfowl re-opener. Time was also spent following up on a coyote complaint. Enforcement action was taken for no PFD, no license in possession, and transporting a loaded firearm.
CO Ben Ulrich (Osseo) spent the week working small-game, angling, and waterfowl enforcement. Multiple game violations were addressed this week, including no license in possession, transporting loaded firearms, and illegal party hunting.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) continued field training with COC Peterlin. They primarily focused on big- and small-game activity. Numerous anglers were also checked, and it appears that the panfish bite is heating up. Most anglers had good numbers of bluegills and crappies in possession. Enforcement action for the week included a boat owner allowing illegal operation of watercraft, angling with extra lines, taking waterfowl in a closed season, and carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) completed field training with COC Scholz. The officers focused on Lake Minnetonka as cooler weather leads to anglers getting out for muskies and walleyes. Enforcement action was taken for angling and watercraft operation violations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked fishing and hunting activities in the metro area. He took enforcement action for no small-game license, no federal waterfowl stamp in possession and an unplugged shotgun. He returned calls regarding hunting regulations and nuisance wild animals.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) and COC Landyn Saewert checked waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters, and shore anglers. Two citations were issued for taking ducks out of season. Time was also spent investigating a public waters violation, an aquatic plant management violation, and multiple trespass complaints. The officers also spoke at a firearms safety class and gave a law and ethics presentation.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County. Enforcement action was taken for people hunting during the closed season for waterfowl and baiting deer. Time was spent assisting other agencies on the St. Croix River. Hunters and anglers are reminded to have proper life jackets when out on the water.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring small-game hunters in the area. He also responded to calls from the public and located duck hunters hunting out of season. Enforcement action for the week included taking ducks out of season and unsigned federal duck stamp.
CO Matt Paavola (White Bear Lake) patrolled for waterfowl-hunting activity on area lakes and checked WMAs for small-game and deer-hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for a group of waterfowl hunters found during the closed Central Zone waterfowl season, with violations including taking ducks during the closed season, hunting without a small-game license and an unplugged shotgun.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and small-game and archery deer hunters. He also assisted another law enforcement agency with an incident and worked a detail in the northern part of the state. Violations for the week included hunting with the aid of bait, taking waterfowl during the closed season and insufficient PFDs onboard watercraft.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked his station for small-game hunters and anglers. Waterfowl hunters were checked over the weekend and reports began to improve as it appears more birds are being pushed with the colder weather. The officer also assisted with a watercraft incident that occurred on the St. Croix River.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Mason Bulthuis (Madison) focused on big-game hunting, angling, and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Waterfowl hunters found mixed success on the re-opening weekend of waterfowl. Bulthuis also spent time assisting with a firearms safety class and an ATV safety course.
CO Dallas Cornell (Ortonville) spent the week working sport fishing, big-game, ATV, and waterfowl activity. Several waterfowl hunters were checked throughout the area. Assistance was given to the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office, which conducted an ATV safety field day.
CO Dustin Roemeling (Worthington) spent the week working angling, archery deer hunting and waterfowl hunting. Enforcement action was taken for license violations. Questions were fielded regarding upcoming hunting seasons. Assistance was given to local agencies.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked waterfowl and archery deer hunters this past week. Success was moderate with a few divers starting to mix with local ducks. Harvest is in full swing despite some storms this past week.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working small-game, waterfowl, turkey, and archery deer-hunting enforcement. Time was also spent working fall fishing activity. Waterfowl season reopened with hunters having good success with local ducks still hanging around. Fall harvest is in full swing, which has wildlife on the move.
Benson – vacant.
Montevideo – vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) spent time working archery and angling activity. He worked waterfowl-hunting activity with hunters having success. Vernier also fielded calls from people with questions regarding ATVs, archery, and public land.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) spent time this week checking hunters and anglers in the area. Success among waterfowl hunters has varied, but new weather trends offer some hope to hunters. Time was also spent completing various trainings.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking small-game hunters and some archery hunters during the week. Hunters are reminded not to leave stands or trail cameras overnight on WMAs or waterfowl production areas as calls of stands left out are starting to come in. Other time was spent answering phone calls from people with questions regarding the fall hunting seasons and safety classes. Klehr checked multiple waterfowl hunters over the weekend as the waterfowl season reopened with some welcomed cooler weather.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) saw an increase of geese to the area, which brought out field hunters. Other activities included continued investigation into TIP calls and follow up with a deer farm. Additional activities included checking ATV riders and shore anglers.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) focused patrol efforts this week on small-game hunting, fishing, and ATV activity throughout McLeod and Sibley counties. Online training was completed, and public hunting areas were monitored.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received several complaints of waterfowl hunters hunting during the closed season. He worked mainly waterfowl hunting, boating, fishing and invasive species activities. Duck hunters had good success after the season reopened.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Windom) spent time working waterfowl, angling and archery deer hunting activity. Numerous questions were fielded from the public regarding rules and regulations involving the upcoming small- and big-game seasons. Waterfowl hunters checked this past weekend had decent success after the break in the season.
CO Jesse Drown (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County for hunting activity. A lower number of waterfowl hunters were observed than expected. Field geese hunters were checked. Active investigations are being worked. Drown assisted local agencies.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) patrolled area lakes and public lands. Waterfowl hunters appeared to have a good success on re-opener weekend. Lusignan addressed a trespass violation.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on waterfowl and small-game hunting activity. VanThuyne also checked archery deer hunters and spoke at a firearms safety class.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on hunting enforcement. Turkey numbers in the area continue to look good, with many turkey seen active in fields. Time was also spent following up on trespass complaints and public waters violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) took a complaint of hunters shooting ducks out of season. Anglers and small-game hunters were checked. Several calls pertaining to the upcoming deer season were also taken.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked waterfowl, angling and ATV enforcement this week. Henke took several calls related to illegal hunting this week. Henke thanks all those who continue to use the TIP program to report illegal activity!
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked with COC Sean Cannon this week and checked hunters, boaters, anglers and ATV operators. The officers patrolled aquatic management areas, wildlife management areas, state parks, waterfowl production areas, and responded to TIP calls. Multiple violations were encountered.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) checked small-game and archery deer hunters this week. Some license and blaze orange violations were found. Angling activity has been steady on the Mississippi River and area lakes. Schneider assisted other agencies with calls and answered hunting related questions.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked the river and forest lands, which included Zumbro Bottoms and Krueger. Anglers were having varied success and small-game hunters were consistently found with squirrels in the bag. Many questions have come in regarding the upcoming deer season.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and hunters during the week. Lots of hunters were out for the waterfowl reopener and hunters had mixed success, from limits to only a few birds in the bag. Heyn also handled other calls and worked on equipment.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester #1) responded to a TIP call of individuals waterfowl hunting during the split in the season. One of the individuals told Kyllo it was ironic this happened to him as he had told another hunter this year to read the regulation book after he had observed the other hunter violating some of the early teal season regulations. Enforcement action was taken. Incidents like this show it is a good idea for everyone from the beginner to the experienced hunter to brush up on the regulations and season dates each year. Kyllo also gave two presentations and focused on archery deer-hunting enforcement.
CO Ryan Christenson (Rochester #2) spent the week patrolling small-game hunters and waterfowl hunters. Success was limited for squirrel hunters in the area, with few seen in bag. Success for goose hunters was better than previous weeks with help from the cool weather. Violations encountered included unplugged shotguns and no HIP certification.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy second waterfowl opener. Success was poor for most hunters and few birds were seen in the bag. Two people were found hunting in Minnesota the day before the season opened. Enforcement action was taken. Archery hunters have been reporting good deer movement with the cooler weather. Boyum answered multiple questions about the coming deer season.
Planning is ongoing for training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (Mankato) flew a new officer orientation flight and waterfowl recon. Geving completed training and attended to other administrative tasks.
CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) completed FAA-approved training and assisted District 2 with a detail.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a rotary training flight and checking local anglers.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) helped bring a helicopter in maintenance back to Brainerd. He also worked on future classes, helicopter fish-stocking plans, and administrative tasks.
CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) rescheduled upcoming training flights because of weather. Aircraft reposition flights were completed. Required yearly training tasks were completed.
Standby CO Pilot Jake Willis (Grand Rapids) spent time at the Grand Rapids hangar handling equipment matters. Meetings for future flights and fall details have begun and details for upcoming events are being ironed out.
NR Pilot Gracie Zeller (Brainerd) ferried a helicopter to annual maintenance with NR Pilot Maas. She also flew various maintenance test flights to return another helicopter to service and flew it back to Brainerd. She instructed CO Jensen during a training flight.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Jeff Humphrey (NE) worked small-game and OHV enforcement over the weekend. Humphrey continued to monitor and update wetland, waters and APM cases with Region 2 officers and other allied agencies’ staff. Humphrey also prepped for two cases heading to court for failing to comply with restoration orders.
WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling, boating, and ATV activity this week. Local state parks and WMAs were patrolled for activity. Public access sites were monitored for AIS violations.
Please check the DNR website 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 online for the online course information. (It’s also at www.mndnr.gov.)
Please check the DNR website www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions.
Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Reminder: Anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition, many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!
Reminder: Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.
Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local conservation officer or regional safety training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR website.
RTO Brett Oberg (SW Metro) attended meetings and completed required tasks. Time was spent working with vendors and testing equipment for the Division. Work on the department’s new ELS/EMS contract also continued.
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence participated in an online meeting with the off-highway user groups representing off-highway motorcycles and off-highway all-terrain vehicle statewide associations. Lawrence attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for discussions on training curriculums involving safety training programs. Other items included reviewing annual employee training policies.
RTO Jen Mueller (SW) attended multiple meetings this week, including one on the upcoming EMS. She also met with instructors and answered questions from both parents and instructors on upcoming youth safety classes. Mueller finished the final draft of the snowmobile student manual and all its necessary supporting documents.
RTO Greg Oldakowski (NW) reports setting up multiple volunteer instructor clinics, with many responses from instructors. A review of a new student snowmobile manual continued. Small-game hunting activity was monitored and hunters were checked.