District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) followed up on TIP reports. He worked on vehicle maintenance and administrative tasks and handled several phone calls. One caller advised of a nerve-racking ring of his doorbell at 2:30 a.m., saying nothing good comes from a doorbell ring at that time of the night. What he found was a deer that had apparently climbed up 10 steps onto his deck and was licking the doorbell.
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports working fishing enforcement. One individual was contacted who was so convinced he only had 10 crappies that he counted them out for Kyllo. He was convinced he was over limit when he counted to 11. A highlight of Kyllo’s week was talking to several young waterfowl hunters who bagged their first birds during the youth hunt. It was refreshing to see new hunters enthusiastic about the sport and proud to show off their birds. She also taught the law and ethics portion of an ATV safety class to 43 students.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended an Honor Guard meeting and assisted with the Academy 19 graduation ceremony. In-service training was attended and vehicle maintenance issues were handled. Silgjord checked anglers in the station and worked the youth waterfowl hunting weekend. Rainy weather kept many indoors but several anglers and hunters were seen afield with mixed bags.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) responded to calls including trespass, wetland violations, a deer taken out of season, and hunters raining BBs down onto a house. Enforcement action was also taken for safety equipment violations and transporting a loaded gun. Questions continue to come in regarding new deer feeding and hunting restrictions in Todd County.
District 4 - Walker area
Conservation Officer (CO) Randy Posner (Staples) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck. The panfish bite has been getting better. He found some anglers fishing without licenses. Posner spent time in the Pillsbury State Forest. He found evidence of vehicles operating on closed forest roads and causing damage. He checked goose hunters in Morrison and Cass counties. Posner worked on a litter complaint and checked a few youth duck hunters.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) completed a background investigation on a CO applicant. A few bear hunters and anglers were checked.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking anglers, ATV riders, goose hunters, and bear-hunting activity. She investigated a headless male deer. If anyone has more information about it, please call. Hughes responded to assist Cass County with a person lost in the woods. A deputy found him and led him out of the woods safely.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports working several bear hunters and handling several illegal bait and trespass issues as well as ATV activity and wild ricing.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked enforcement of all-terrain vehicle laws, aquatic plant management laws, and big-game investigations. Guida worked on an assigned background investigation of a CO PREP applicant out of state, trained Enforcement staff at Camp Ripley, and began a field training assignment.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ricing, waterfowl and bear-hunting activity along with an ATV trespass complaint.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and boating activity throughout the week. McGowan also started field training a new officer from the CO Academy. The officers checked numerous waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating, angling, and waterfowl violations. The officers also assisted local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV enforcement activity in the Foothills State Forest area. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV use, ATV registration violations, and equipment. Patrol for youth waterfowl hunters was conducted. Angling and boating safety was worked over the weekend and enforcement action was taken for an illegal-length fish and safety equipment violations. Additionally, an illegal bear bait was found and action was taken regarding bear-baiting requirements.
CO Scott Fitzgerald, Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (CCSRA) reports starting Step 1 field training with COC Emily Leeb. They checked for fishing and boating related activity in the park and on the Mississippi River. The SRA was patrolled for vehicle permits and illegal vehicle activity and many outdoor law-related questions were answered. Fitzgerald and Leeb assisted a local agency with a call for service. Enforcement action for the week included bear-hunting, ATV, and park violations.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity where the recent cool weather has quickly moved fish into fall patterns. A lot of people were also out enjoying the reduction in insects as they rode ATVs and prepared for next weekend’s archery deer opener.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ATV, fishing, boating, and big-game enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV violations, boating registration, bear-hunting violations, failure to obtain a burning permit, and burning prohibited materials.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated bear hunting TIPs. She patrolled the Nemadji State Forest for recreational vehicles. She noted several areas where ATV operators were traveling off-trail. A reminder the Area with Limitations means no motorized vehicles are allowed and the hunter/trapper exception does not apply. Speldrich also taught the law portion of youth firearms safety to youth in the Kerrick area.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked the bear season, ATV, fishing activities, and boating regulations. A road-killed bear was taken care of and a trespass concern handled. Youth waterfowl activity was also monitored with very few ducks being harvested. State parks were also worked with full campsites found.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking area goose hunters and kids who got out for youth waterfowl weekend. Some success was found with local wood ducks and migrating geese. Enforcement action was taken for lead shot and unplugged guns. Benkofske also teamed up with the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office for extra Labor Day boat patrol.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted in serving a search warrant, patrolled local WMAs, and checked anglers, hunting activity and ATV riders. Londgren also took several calls on trespassing and how to properly post property in preparation for the upcoming deer seasons.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working on bear-hunting activity and patrolling for ATV violations. He also assisted with a search warrant and spent time working on evidence management.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint. Anglers and hunters were checked. He also handled animal- and litter-related calls.
Natural Resources (NR) Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance items and administrative tasks. He also attended a meeting in St. Paul for state senators and staff concerning the Aviation Section’s fleet. Questions were answered about Aviation Section needs and current and future work projects. Maas flew with another pilot to complete his low-level waiver annual check ride.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew Leech Lake creel flights and located a malfunctioning wolf telemetry collar. Jensen assisted a field officer with obtaining photos of a wetland violation and also allowed the officer to see their patrol area to document surface water and waterfowl bird locations.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a Leech Lake survey and gave a low-level waiver ride. Heineman also trained in the airplane and helicopter and attended a Flight Instructors Renewal course.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
Water Resource Enforcement Officer (WREO) Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week working AIS and boating activity, checking anglers and responding to TIP calls. Time was spent attending the graduation at the Academy. Background work was conducted.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) checked early goose and bear hunters. Case files were updated and calls were returned.
WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) served a search warrant for a wetland violation. Pictures, measurements and soil samples were taken to assess the extent of the violation. A background investigation was finished up for the Enforcement Academy in 2020.
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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement