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CO Reports: Deer hunters - be aware of feeding and attractant bans

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports -

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District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) Patrol was started for illegal big-game hunting over bait. Crow Wing County continues to be a chronic wasting disease management zone, so the use of salt/minerals and any deer feeding is prohibited.

Guida attended the CO Academy graduation, where 18 new conservation officers entered field training assignments this week. Guida began his assignment by training COC Ben Ulrich in the station. They worked small-game, big-game, watercraft, and sport fishing enforcement this week. Warm weather reduced the hunting activity. Numerous boating contacts were made.


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Deer feeding ban: Affects the counties listed below. Please note that attractants have not been banned in these counties and can be used.

Beltrami, Carlton, Chisago, Douglas, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Pine, Pope, Roseau and Stearns.

Deer feeding and attractants ban: Affects the counties listed below.


Aitkin, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Norman, Pennington, Olmsted, Polk, Ramsey, Red Lake, Rice, Scott, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington, Winona.

Currently in effect, September 19, 2022

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CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) worked on small-game, bear- and archery deer-hunting activities this week. Time was spent patrolling Cass and Crow Wing counties for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for various offenses.

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time checking small-game hunters and ATV riders throughout the week. Cook spent time around the Fifty Lakes area monitoring activity for the ATV Ride and Rally as well.


CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent the week training in Indiana at the Fur Takers of America Trapper’s College. He learned skills to help with trapper education and trapping enforcement.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) began field training with a conservation officer candidate. Time was spent patrolling area ATV trails and lakes. Grouse hunters struggled over the weekend as the foliage is still thick and very few leaves have fallen in northern Minnesota.


CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking goose hunters and small-game hunters. Lots of squirrel hunters were checked, with most having good success. Swedberg also attended training for ATV and patrol truck operation. Other time was spent following up on aquatic plant management complaints, checking anglers, and following up on complaints about lake service providers. Enforcement action for the week included burning without a burning permit and operating an aqua thruster without an APM permit.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked bear hunters, small-game hunters, anglers, and ongoing cases. He also started an investigation on a compliant of dead and injured sheep.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) began training a new conservation officer candidate who graduated from the CO Academy. The officers worked Cass County area lakes and forest roads throughout the week. Area activity has increased with a decent early fall fishing bite and the start opener of the small-game and archery deer-hunting openers. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and angling violations.


CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checking hunting and ATV activity. She also investigated a waterfowl-related complaint. Enforcement action was taken on a juvenile without a helmet on an ATV.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports patrolling public lands and lakes/rivers for seasonal activity. Some enforcement action consisted of off-highway vehicle passengers under 18 years old without helmets, registration violations, no license in possession and resort requirements for watercraft rentals. He also received miscellaneous animal-related complaints and responded to a wanton waste goose-dumping complaint.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) began field training with COC Znajda. Time was spent working the archery deer opener and small-game opener, as well as related OHV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for ATV registration issues and hunting big game without a valid license. A dog-chasing-deer case was investigated.

CO Michael cross (Lake George) worked big-game hunting, angling, ATV traffic, and invasive species. He also responded to calls for service. Significant time was spent conducting a background investigation. Cross reminds boaters and anglers to pay special attention to boat trailers for hidden invasive species such as zebra mussels, which can be hard to see – especially on carpeted bunks.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. A fishing TIP was investigated. Mathy also checked hunting, ATV, and AIS-related activities. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and AIS violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the small-game and archery deer opener over the past weekend, with many small-game hunters in the woods. Limited success was had with all of the leaves still on the trees. Enforcement action was taken for dirt bikes operating down the center of a roadway, failing to transfer a title, operating a motor vehicle in the road right-of-way without a valid driver’s license, and careless operation. Sutherland also arrested an individual who had a warrant.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked recreational vehicles and anglers throughout the previous week. Time was also spent working grouse and archery deer hunters on the opening weekend. Holt worked TIP complaints and monitored goose hunting. Enforcement action involved ATV violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) patrolled the area and worked a mix of small-game hunting, ATV-riding, and fishing activity. Grouse-hunting success varied, but was good overall considering there is still thick leaf cover in the woods. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley attending required training.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity and found boats and docks were starting to come out for the season. As more hunting seasons opened up, questions came in about land use and legal hunting ages. Verkuilen also attended some training and followed up on complaints.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time checking big and small game hunters. Success was slow. ATV and angling activity was also monitored. Assistance was given at a firearm safety class.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reported checking hunters and ATV riders in the area. Enforcement was taken for taking woodcock out of season, transporting loaded firearms, trespassing, and no helmets on youth ATV passengers. Benkofske also assisted on a case of taking geese without an early goose permit and taking geese with unplugged guns.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) spent time working waterfowl, fishing, and ATV activities. Bear hunting continued, despite there being an abundance of acorns dropping. Enforcement was taken for ATV registration, extra lines, and illegal use of motorboat use in a closed area. Archery hunters were found having success on the opening weekend of bow hunting.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activities. He spent time at a local firearms safety class and spoke with students in Upsala. Time was spent working the small-game and archery deer-hunting openers over the weekend. Westby worked a TIP complaint of someone burning tires and other restricted items. Enforcement action included no helmet on youth ATV riders, no ATV safety certificate, off-highway motorcycle operating within the road right-of-way, failure to transfer ATV title, and no license in possession.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked seasonal activity in the area. A firearms safety class was attended, and ethics and laws were presented. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. Bertram spoke to a few bowhunters who had success on antlerless deer. Nuisance-animal calls were handled.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and preparing for a busy archery deer- and small-game-hunting opener. Several hunters were checked with very few finding success with the warm weather and leaves still on the trees. Enforcement action was taken for no small-game license and angling with extra lines. An arrest was made for outstanding felony warrants.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) checked anglers and fielded questions about the upcoming deer season. Hanna also attended multiple events that included questions and answers about DNR rules and regulations.

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