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CO Reports: Enforcement action taken for illegally harvesting decorative materials

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - January 24, 2023

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District 9 - Brainerd area

CO (Conservation Officer) Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) Contact was made with people who were illegally harvesting decorative materials from federal forest land. Enforcement action was taken. Sullivan also had several complaints of snowmobile riders who are trespassing on private property and reports deer-hunting violations continue to be investigated.

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) spent the week on snowmobile checking riders and anglers. Trapping activity was monitored. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and license/registration issues.


CO Andrew Ladzinski (Pine River) conducted snowmobile patrols on Upper and Lower Whitefish Lake. Anglers are reporting a very slow bite, with many perch showing up on their graphs. Snowmobile training was attended at the U.S. Border Patrol Station in International Falls.

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) checked multiple anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speeding, expired registration and angling with extra lines.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes and snowmobile trails this past week. Compliance with registrations and licenses was good. Enforcement action was taken on shelter license and identification violations. Some snowmobilers were instructed on how to properly display registration numbers and the registration year decal. Guida fielded miscellaneous wildlife-related calls and issued car-killed deer possession permits.

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the past week.


CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked snowmobilers enjoying the trails. Ice fishing has been steady on area lakes. He spent time on a background investigation.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails. Trails are in rough condition after the recent warm weather and in need of some new snow. Cross-country ski trails were checked. He assisted the Bemidji Police Department with a report of a stolen snowmobile. The machine and suspect were located.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports continuing work on a background investigation for a potential new conservation officer. Vinton took several calls ranging from dogs chasing deer to angler harassment during pre-fishing for a local, permitted tournament.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked Cass County lakes and snowmobile trails. Most anglers in the area are reporting a slow bite. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked snowmobile enforcement, trapping, ice angling, and cross-country ski patrol. Cross encountered an illegal fish dumping in the Cross Country Ski lot where violators dumped filleted crappies, walleyes, packaged bacon, and a package of seasoned chicken breast. Please reach out if you have information on this. Enforcement action was taken for cross-country ski violations, unmarked ice shelters, snowmobile violations, ATV violations, and angling violations.

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Turn in Poachers (TIP) in Minnesota - Report a violation in progress:

To report a violation: call 800-652-9093 24 hours a day, or key in #TIP on your cell phone.

To report a violation that isn't time sensitive: Use the form at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/tipreportingform.html

Don't let poachers spoil your future hunting or fishing enjoyment - or success.

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CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on snowmobile trails and lakes. Enforcement action was taken for taking deer without a license. Snowmobile riders are reminded to read the rule book for appropriate placement of registration numbers and stickers.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports attending training, completing maintenance, and following up on complaints from the public. Some enforcement action consisted of no angling license, no license in possession, no shelter license, no snowmobile helmets on youth under 18, extra line violations, unattended lines, unmarked/improperly marked shelters and failure to display ATV registration.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to work on a background investigation of a CO applicant. Snowmobile trails and anglers were also checked. Most continue to report a slow bite. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, and snowmobile violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and completed follow up. Four anglers were found in possession of sunfish overlimits. Enforcement action was taken for the overlimits and the sunfish were seized. Enforcement action was also taken for angling with extra lines.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling, snowmobiling and trapping activity in the area. As ice thickness continues to increase, larger fish houses are being seen on area lakes. Even tandem-axle fish houses are showing up. Sutherland took enforcement action for angling without a license in possession and failing to have proper registration on a snowmobile.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) monitored snowmobile riders and angling activity. Time was also spent following up on complaints involving trespassing and illegal trout-fishing activity. Holt continued working on a background investigation on an applicant for the next CO Academy.

Read more 'CO Reports'
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - February 7, 2023
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Tues., January 31, 2023
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Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - January 10, 2023
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - January 5, 2023
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - December 28, 2022
Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - December 20, 2022
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Brainerd Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports -

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports both angling and snowmobiling activity were high throughout the area. Snowmobile trails are in great shape and the weather has been very favorable for going for a ride. Several complaints were followed up on and ongoing cases were worked on.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked snowmobile traffic. Some riders were complacent about properly attaching their registration and trail stickers. Fish house numbers increased despite challenges with lake access.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked area snowmobile trails. Activity was busy throughout the weekend. Time was also spent checking area lakes for angling activity. Angling success varied. Violations encountered included transporting a loaded firearm, driving ATVs on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, angling without a license, ice shelter violations, and expired ATV registration. A reminder to anglers that all non-portable ice shelters must be licensed.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked anglers and monitored snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for no trail pass, extra angling lines, unattended lines, unlawful fillets on special regulation lakes, and no fishing license. Benkofske also participated in a law and safety talk for the Big Sandy Lake Association.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing, snowmobiling, and trapping activities. Assistance was given to local sheriff’s offices and fire departments. Violations for extra lines, under-sized walleye, and snowmobile registration were found. Failing to transfer ownership of recreational vehicles continued to be a large problem.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) spent time patrolling ice angling, snowmobiling, and trapping activities in her area. She also spent time checking anglers on Mille Lacs Lake. Enforcement action was taken for various angling violations. Whiteoak reported that area trail conditions varied and advises riders to research conditions before going out.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for angling and snowmobile activities. Heavy snow has made many of the lakes and rivers dangerous to travel on because of all the slush and weaker ice. Please use caution while traveling on the ice. Travel slowly while in a truck as high speed can cause ice to break easier when the ice is weak. Time was spent at Camp Ripley preparing for the upcoming CO Academy and future training. Trapping complaints were handled. Please contact the DNR about any incidental trapped animals.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) conducted equipment maintenance and monitored angling and snowmobiling activities. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile-registration violations.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area and found ice conditions very inconsistent, with a lot of slush on top of the ice. Snowmobile activity has slowed a bit with cloudy and foggy conditions through the weekend. Calls concerning injured animals were also handled.

CO Trent Anderson (St. Cloud) attended training and focused on angling and snowmobile enforcement for the week. Calls were fielded regarding injured-animal and ice-condition concerns. Anglers, please use caution. Area ice conditions have changed dramatically with weather fluctuations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, no shelter tag, expired registration, and transporting loaded rifles. Slushy conditions continue on area lakes. Be prepared if you plan on leaving the main plowed roads.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. He also worked a busy snowmobile activity weekend. Krauel also spent time working on deer cases.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) attended a district meeting. Hanna also patrolled for snowmobiles and angling. Hanna talked with complainants about trespassing issues.

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