District 9 - Brainerd area

CO (Conservation Officer) Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports high activity this past week with the youth deer, waterfowl and bear seasons, as well as turkey and small-game hunting also going on. Ladd is training in a new CO candidate and worked several complaints of trespass and fielded several questions for the upcoming deer season.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV activity in the Foothills State Forest and assisted with an accident with injuries. Sullivan also worked big-game activity in the area. Area lakes have seen a decrease in activity due to the cooler weather.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) began a field training assignment with COC Stephen Westby this past week. Sport-fishing activity and big-game hunting activity were monitored. Baiting complaints and illegal posting of public property were investigated. Enforcement action was taken. Reports of hunters shooting antlered deer during the antlerless-only season were investigated.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for waterfowl and angling activity. McGowan also checked early antlerless deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for a walleye overlimit and numerous other angling and waterfowl violations.

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CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked a busy MEA weekend. The weather made it interesting for hunters and ATV riders. Cases were made for taking a buck during the antlerless hunt, failure to validate, failure to register, operating on a closed trail, littering and expired ATV registration. Several other baiting cases remain under investigation.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking the park for deer hunters during the early antlerless and youth season over the weekend. Time was also spent checking waterfowl and small-game hunters as well. He answered lots of outdoor law-related questions and issued car-killed deer permits. Patrol was done for illegal ATV activity and several ATVs were found on the park property illegally. Fitzgerald also spent time checking for state park permits on vehicles. Lots of vehicles were contacted on the new Overlook lot that did not have a permit. Park-goers should be reminded that anywhere in a state park a permit is needed on your vehicle even to drive through a state park. Fitzgerald also checked several late-season trout anglers on area trout lakes. Enforcement action for the past week included various park violations and also ATV violations.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent time checking duck hunters. The colder weather has brought a few new birds to the area. He worked a detail in the Finland area, checking ATVs and grouse hunters. Many grouse were being seen with the leaves gone from the trees. Hunters were out taking advantage of the early antlerless and youth deer seasons.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, small-game, waterfowl and deer-hunting activity. Time was also spent training and covering the youth deer hunt on the local radio station.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) began Step 3 of field training with COC (Conservation Officer Candidate) Corey Sura. They report following up on a couple wetland violations. Several shore anglers were checked fishing the Red River. Few duck hunters were out, and those who were had varied success. It appears some more divers have moved into the area with the recent cold front. The officers also worked the youth firearms deer season.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked youth firearms deer season hunters and a few waterfowlers.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Time was spent checking waterfowl and grouse hunters.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports completing required department training. The youth weekend deer season was a success with several young hunters finding success. TIP calls of possible deer taken from the road right-of-way and duck hunters shooting in open water were investigated. No violations were observed and several hunters were contacted because of the TIPs. Calls of a very tame deer causing issues were also taken and advice was given to the caller.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases, handled violations of storing watercraft on state property and operating unregistered watercraft. He also received calls of trespass and road-hunting complaints.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, big-game, small-game, and waterfowl enforcement. Time was also spent responding to TIP calls and miscellaneous wildlife complaints.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked waterfowl, small-game and pheasant-hunting activity. Area WMAs and waterfowl production areas were patrolled for activity. Angling and boating activity was worked. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, waterfowl, pheasant, and youth deer-hunting activity. Pheasant hunters are not finding many birds, while waterfowl hunters were seen with some late-season migrants including goldeneyes and buffleheads. Calls from the public included miscellaneous injured-wildlife complaints and reports of trespass. Landmark investigated a number of violations within Maplewood State Park, including corralling two random dogs that had been running for a while in the park with no known owner. Enforcement action was taken for no state park pass, transporting a loaded firearm in a boat, insufficient life jackets in a waterfowl boat, and allowing a juvenile to violate games laws.

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District 4 - Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time over the past week on ATV, fishing and big-game enforcement. Violations related to off-trail ATV use were observed and investigated. A few grouse hunters were checked, but not many birds were seen. Youth deer hunters saw good success in the area and there are plenty of deer remaining for the regular firearms season hunters.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check hunting, fishing, and ATV activity. She received multiple calls regarding hunting related questions. She assisted with a semi vs. truck vehicle crash and a vehicle off the road.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) worked Leech Lake for anglers. Mathy patrolled for small-game hunters, ATV activity and the youth deer season. He also went to a call about a deer complaint. Mathy began field training a conservation officer candidate.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked hunting activity including waterfowl hunters, the youth deer season, and the CWD management zone. He also attended training and issued roadkill tags.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on deer-shining complaints and a possible deer poaching case. Waterfowl hunters are reporting the skies to be empty until cold pushes birds south. Calls about deer season confusion continue to come in. A juvenile who shot two does during youth season was coached on proper hunting practices to avoid overlimits.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked small-game hunting, big-game hunting, the early youth deer season, and ATV activity this past week. Violations encountered included failure to display valid ATV registration, failure to transfer ATV ownership, operating an ATV without lights on, illegal ATV road right-of-way operation, no blaze orange clothing, no deer hunting license in possession, no small-game license in possession, and failure to obtain a burning permit. Calls were fielded regarding waterfowl hunting and use of snowmobile trails. A big-game hunting incident was investigated and subsequent enforcement action was taken for youth hunting violations.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) worked the early antlerless and youth deer seasons. Time was also spent checking anglers on area lakes. Walleyes continue to bite on a couple area lakes with some nice fish seen over the long weekend. More roosters were seen in the station as crops around the area continue to come out. Colder weather has also started to push some ducks into the area, but few hunters were seen chasing them.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activities this past week. He found many happy hunters. He also completed administrative duties and vehicle maintenance.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports a busy past week with the youth and early antlerless deer hunts. He reports investigating TIP reports and big-game and WMA violations. He assisted Benton County with a call of an intoxicated driver in a field near a WMA. The driver was placed under arrest for DWI and another male was placed under arrest for hunting while intoxicated. Additional enforcement action consisted of blaze orange violations, WMA violations, no PFD, and driving after revocation.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) and COC Curtis Simonson started the week getting prepared for the early antlerless deer season and the youth hunting season. Waterfowl activity was monitored throughout the week as strong winds and cool weather pushed down a new batch of birds. As the weekend appeared, there was an abundance of hunters taking advantage of the early antlerless deer season. Deer hunters were reporting the deer movement being slow. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, shooting bucks during the antlerless season, and not wearing orange during the early antlerless firearm season.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking small-game and waterfowl hunters. Krauel also spent time working ATV enforcement and assisting in the search for two different missing hunters.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters, anglers, ATV riders, and several boaters taking out their boats for the season. Calls were responded to for dogs chasing deer, trespassing, public water violations and injured animals.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. Complaints were received for leaving stands in WMAs. Follow up was done on a big-game investigation and animal-related calls were handled.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports a busy weekend checking hunters, responding to calls, and answering questions from the public. Assistance was given to Mille Lacs Sheriff’s Office in locating a missing archery deer hunter in a remote area of the county south of Isle. The hunter was found alive and well in the early hours of the following morning by the search party. An investigation was also conducted where it was found that a non-hunting grandfather sat in a blind over bait with his 6-year-old grandson. The child was using a toy bow with a broadhead-tipped arrow and wounded a deer he shot at. Enforcement action was taken and the extent of the deer’s injuries are unknown.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Bob Geving (Mankato) reports working with ground units due to aircraft maintenance and inclement weather. Activities worked included waterfowl hunting, small- and big-game hunting and trespassing.

Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) completed an annual flight review concentrating on IFR flight skills.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and worked on training and administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a night shining detail in support of local officers. Jensen also gave a flight review to another pilot, searched for a missing boater and searched for illegal bough harvesters in northern Minnesota.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed helicopter trout stocking in Voyageurs National Park with 500 pounds of brook trout. He also attended an aviation webinar and completed administrative tasks.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on updating cases, working with LGUs and COs regarding new and ongoing violations, and court actions. Time was spent checking hunters and monitoring activity for the youth deer season. Small-game hunters were checked. ATV activity was monitored in problem areas. Calls and questions from the public were fielded.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on cases in his assigned area. AIS enforcement was worked with fall fishing picking up. Calls for service were answered.