District 4 - Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Hunters had mixed success. Some of the complaints included hunting over bait, shooting from a vehicle and carcass dumping. He received TIP reports of hunting in closed areas, wanton waste and hunting from the road. Ice anglers went out on some very thin ice next open water. He also checked sport netters, who had poor success. Campers at Rock Lake and Stark campgrounds were warned for unattended fires and loaded firearms in the camping areas.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check deer hunters. She investigated a trespass complaint and wrote car-killed deer permits.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check deer hunters. A wetland restoration order was served and accidental otter catches were collected. Complaints of deer baiting, hunter harassment, trespass, and hunting deer without a license were received and investigated. Enforcement action was taken for deer-hunting violations.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked deer-hunting and trapping activity. TIP calls of dumped deer, trespass and after-hours shooting were also investigated.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for deer-hunting activity. Numerous hunters were checked, and they were reporting fair success. Late-season waterfowl hunters were also checked. Enforcement action was taken for various violations.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked the firearms deer season and monitored waterfowl-hunting activity. Numerous contacts were made and enforcement action was taken on a variety of violations. Guida assisted a hunting party with questions regarding property lines and hunter harassment. A call was fielded where an individual shot at the neighbor’s dogs that were interrupting his deer hunting.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) focused on activity related to deer hunting this past week. He contacted one person who had shot an overlimit of deer and committed several other violations while attempting to get away with the violation. Party hunting violations were also an issue over the week as hunter numbers decreased. A Pequot Lakes firearms safety instructor was also presented with a 50-year instructor award.
CO Scott E. Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking big-game hunters during the week and weekend. He took several TIP complaints involving possible big-game violations and fielded many outdoor law-related questions. He noted several anglers on some area lakes with the new ice. Caution is advised as the early ice is unpredictable and can be very dangerous to venture out on. Time was spent patrolling the SRA for park violations and vehicles were checked for state park permits. There was a complaint of several bike riders out on the closed trails in the park. Remember the trails in the CCSRA (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area) are closed during the deer-hunting season. A few car-killed deer permits were also issued during the week.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) and COC Mikeena Mattson worked big-game enforcement throughout the week. During the week, one hunter was encountered in his hunting stand after he had harvested and tagged a buck in a lottery deer permit area. Through conversation, the officers found that the hunter had borrowed a deer tag from another person who had not been hunting, and was not even in northern Minnesota when the buck was harvested. Though the hunter tried to continue to hunt after he had reached his limit, he was advised of the party hunting and lend/borrow laws. Enforcement action this past week was taken for lending/borrowing a license/tag, taking a deer overlimit, hunting deer over bait, no blaze orange, no license in possession, allowing or directing youth to violate game and fish laws, and CWD feeding/attractants ban violations.
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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!
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District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) continued to work deer season by following up on baited areas, illegal stands, and ATV complaints. A few duck hunters are persisting but having issues dealing with shore ice and chunks. The ice anglers checked were prepared to break through and convinced it wasn’t worth it to get back to fishing.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time working deer firearms season. Enforcement action was taken for hunters transporting loaded firearms, operating an ATV during closed hours of the firearms season, various ATV violations, and trespassing. She also spent time following up on a wetland violation.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked firearms deer hunting throughout the week and weekend, again taking enforcement action for hunting deer over baited areas. Speldrich walked into one baited property and found it wasn’t just deer being attracted to the piles of corn placed by the stands. Two loose ponies were just as surprised to see Speldrich as she was to see them. The ponies didn’t belong on the property and Speldrich was able to locate the owners. Other violations included improper validation of deer tags, no license in possession, and young hunters under 18 without helmets on ATVs. She also investigated a TIP complaint of hunters shooting from the roadway.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked mostly on trespass issues over property disputes. Deer hunters enjoyed warmer weather this past week. Enforcement action was taken for shooting a deer after hours, untagged deer, and failure to validate a deer tag.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent a majority of the week monitoring deer-hunting activity in the station. TIP complaints regarding various hunting violations were fielded and investigated. One complaint came in regarding someone who had shot a large buck from a motor vehicle. With CO Chad Thesing’s assistance, the suspect was located and enforcement action was taken for an array of game violations. A late-night patrol for illegal hunting activity resulted in a traffic stop resulting in a DWI arrest. Other violations for the week included failure to register, transporting loaded firearms, and no license in possession.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked deer season activity. He took calls regarding trespassing and road hunting, and worked with neighboring officers.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) checked a hunter who had one skinned buck hanging in his shed. He noticed six sawed-off deer legs near the buck. After a long discussion, the hunter showed Bertram another buck that he had hidden in a pile of tires. Bertram issued a citation for an overlimit of bucks and seized the deer.
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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.
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District 12 - Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking big- and small-game hunters. Time was also spent rescuing a trumpeter swan and bringing it to a wildlife rehab center. Lor also reports anglers are starting to get out with the early ice. However, he would like to remind everyone to be cautious of thin ice.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking deer hunters. Hunters were reporting mixed success, but most were seeing deer and had opportunities to bag a deer. Krauel also checked some early ice anglers who ventured out onto the ice. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, illegal party hunting, taking an overlimit, possession of marijuana, and several deer-tagging violations.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) reports seeing many hunters with a successful second half of the firearms deer season. Investigations were conducted on hunting over bait, wanton waste, license violations, rifle in the shotgun zone, and hunting from the road right of way. Londgren also responded to a call where a hunter found two dead bucks that were locked together.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reported checking deer hunters in the area. Calls of shooting from the roadway were looked into and individuals were cited for the illegal behavior. Citations were also issued for hunting deer over bait, which gives the hunters an advantage over others who decide to follow the law. Benkofske was also able to stop a vehicle with several 911 calls on it regarding it crossing into the other lane of traffic on the busy highway. The driver was severely impaired and was arrested for 2nd degree DUI with help of the State Patrol.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking deer hunters. Hunters had less success as the week went on and the weather warmed. Unfortunately, the biggest buck seen was hit by a vehicle. Seamans investigated a TIP of a hunter in the woods wearing all black clothing. The hunter was located and ended up not having a deer license. Enforcement action was taken and the hunter’s firearm was seized. Additional enforcement action for the week included hunting with the aid of bait, failing to wear legal blaze orange, and operating an ATV illegally.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked deer hunters, trappers and a few waterfowl hunters this past week. Deer hunting dropped off a lot from the opening weekend but some hunters had some good hunting days midweek and a few nice bucks were taken. Waterfowl hunters had some success on larger water bodies and field hunters had some success in the freshly harvested corn fields. Enforcement action was taken deer tagging violations, no blaze orange and trespass
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and handled hunting complaints. Numerous dumping complaints were received. Other calls were received for trespassing and leaving stands in WMAs.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying numerous support flights for the firearms deer season, a wolf telemetry flight and a flight to support the Lake Superior Marine Unit.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter avionics and maintenance scheduling. He also prepared for pilot training classes, and an upcoming high school class visit to present information on aerial moose and deer surveys.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working calls for deer season, covering open stations, taking TIP calls and assisting Region 1 officers with calls and deer-hunting activity.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) assisted officers on calls during the week. Vacant statins were worked. Time was spent with WCA updates to cases.
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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement