Weekly Game and Fish Violations


CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time following up on wetland complaints and responding to injured animal calls. Anglers were checked with some having a little luck but overall it has been a slow bite over the hot days. One angler was observed fishing from a dock and when CO Klehr ask to check the anglers fishing license the angler said that they thought you only needed an angling license if you went fishing in a boat.


CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked night time fishing and boating activities. Watercraft registration and lack of proper lighting at night issues were addressed. Starr assisted Morrison County Sheriff’s Department with a barricaded subject who had felony warrants and had made violent threats earlier in the evening. Starr worked a case in the Princeton Station, in which golfers chased a flock of geese with golf carts and subsequently killed a juvenile goose. This type of fowl behavior by humans is unacceptable and charges are forthcoming.


District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored ATV activity throughout the Badger, Roseau, Salol, Warroad areas as well as in Beltrami Island State Forest. An intoxicated ATV operator was arrested and booked for DWI. A joint patrol of the Red River was worked with an officer from North Dakota Game and Fish.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, AIS, angling and ATV enforcement. Two separate wolf depredations were reported and investigated this past week in Strathcona and Wannaska. Both reports confirmed calves were taken by wolves. A timely reporting of possible depredations by livestock owners is encouraged so that we may investigate and get the proper resources out to the property to minimize further loss to them. In both cases resources were made available to the livestock owners within 24 hours of the reports.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) focused mainly on AIS and ATV enforcement. It’s good to see that the majority of anglers and boaters seem to be in compliance with Minnesota’s AIS rules and regulations, but there are still a few stragglers. An interview regarding an active investigation was conducted. A call for a suspicious person at Zippel Bay State Park was also taken. The male ended up being able to leave before officers could make contact. In his hasty exit, he hit another camper’s car and left the scene. Later in the day, CO Cowden and CO Prachar were able to locate and stop the man. Enforcement action taken for the week included fail to remove boat plug, fail to drain livewell, no angling license, no license in possession, and no throwable PFD.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week near Lake of the Woods. Fishing on the south end of the lake has been slow but the dedicated fishermen have been able to put fish in the boat. Many anglers who brave the wind and waves have found better success on the north end of the lake. Enforcement action taken includes youth on an OHM, illegal length fish, and overloaded watercraft. Other enforcement action taken includes failure to remove drain plug along with two DUIs.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring boater AIS compliance, ATV / ORV trail activity and angling / boating activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent assisting instructors with the Blackduck FAS class and field day and he gave the laws and regulations presentation. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated and other wildlife calls were handled. A local TIP call was investigated which lead to a couple of anglers being cited for over limit of sunfish/bluegill. Anglers are reminded to check the regulations synopsis for any special regulations for the body of water they are angling.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting with a firearms safety class in Crookston. Time was also spent monitoring a fish tournament on the Red River in East Grand Forks. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked on local lakes and rivers. Violations included no angling license, angling with extra lines, and various watercraft related violations.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling, boating, WMA use and an area that vegetation had been sprayed near a creek edge. People are preparing for fall hunting and are asking questions before the seasons start which is appreciated.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked boater and anglers. He also answered questions about upcoming hunting seasons and fielded a few bear complaints.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating in the area. ATV traffic was monitored on closed trails. Boaters were checked for AIS compliance at public accesses. CO Vollbrecht also followed up on several nuisance animal complaints.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) patrolled the Mississippi Headwaters water trails and checked ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was spent checking angling activity and AIS compliance in Itasca State Park. Time was also spent following up on a complaint regarding the illegal removal of aquatic plants. Enforcement activity for the week included AIS violations.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports inspecting weedroller permits, ATV patrols and AIS inspections at area accesses. Anglers were contacted and TIP calls were investigated. CO Vinton prepared a case for prosecution with the county attorney. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a valid license and extra lines.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked AIS enforcement, boat and water safety and assisted on a vehicle crash with injuries. Enforcement action was taken for failing to drain livewell and failure to pull boat plug, and follow up on a litter/ATV theft case. Nuisance bear and beaver complaints were also handled.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and boaters. Boating activity was high over the weekend with many people. Time was also spent working on shoreline issue and aquatic plant removal. An ATV complaint was also investigated.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time checking anglers on area waters. CO Warren patrolled forest trails for ATV and off road vehicle activity. Assistance was provided to State Patrol for a multiple injury accident. CO Warren answered questions at the Becker County Fair and manned the TIP Wall of Shame. Follow up was conducted on unlawful removal of aquatic vegetation, public waters violations, and a complaint of possible deer poaching activity. CO Warren also followed up on calls of injured juvenile eagles.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling activity, trespass issues, AIS enforcement, and wetland complaints. The officer picked up an injured broad winged hawk and it was brought to the Raptor Center for rehabilitation. The officer spoke with a license retailer that was advising people they could use their Minnesota license in North Dakota to fish. The officer advised that licenses are only valid in the state in which they are purchased. The officer also responded to a call of a coyote chasing an individual on a lawn mower, assisted Buffalo River State Park staff, and investigated trespassing issues in the Oakport Township of Moorhead. Time was also spent at the Becker County Fair where the officer discussed new rules and regulations with the public. Enforcement action was taken for failure to affix boat registration.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS activity. Time was spent following up on WCA, PW, APM and APO complaints and violations.  Time was spent at the Becker County Fair answering questions at the DNR building and TIP wall of Shame.  An interview was given to WDAY regarding the lower AIS violation rates this year.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports typical summer activity on area lakes. Anglers and boaters were checked along with AIS contacts. Information was also received for potential over-limit activity.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a complaint of illegal burning, worked AIS enforcement, fishing and boating throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken regarding two young girls operating an ATV illegally.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen, boaters and working AIS enforcement throughout the week. Additional time was spent handling calls on skunks, beaver and a dead eagle. Computer work was done prior to having truck up-fitted with new computer/tablet.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen and ATVs. A complaint was received of a PWC operating at high speed through a marked swimming area on Eagle Lake.  Osborne located the PWC operating just outside the swim area at a high rate of speed.  Contact was made and subject was arrested for operating a motorboat while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, operate a motorboat through a marked swim area, operate a PWC at greater than slow no wake speed within 150 feet of a swimmer, and careless/reckless operation.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored fishing, boating, ATV and AIS activity. Lakes were busy but windy conditions kept some people off the water. DNR watercraft inspectors reported a couple of violations involving the transportation of aquatic vegetation with enforcement action taken. One boat was checked with two adults and two children on board without any PFDs at all; a citation was issued. Calls regarding weedroller violations and a possible cougar sighting were also taken.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused efforts on anglers, boaters and AIS enforcement. Time was spent reviewing and issuing interstate minnow transportation permits. Calls were fielded from the public about an injured fawn, ATV safety classes/requirements and fishing questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week included checking fishermen, boaters, PWC operators, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent issuing a restoration order, and checking weed roller permits.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) handled nuisance animal complaints, worked invasive specifies enforcement, worked an ATV complaint and a trespass complaint. Questions regarding fall big game hunting have started already. Preparations were made for an upcoming court trial. Enforcement action was taken for allow illegal use of ATV, fail to remove drain plugs and registration violations

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) helped teach and evaluate at the CO Academy. Two youths were found operating an ATV on a road and parents were contacted.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked boaters, recreational vehicles, and AIS. An AIS law review was discussed at the Leech Lake Advisory Committee meeting. Enforcement action was taken for several boating, AIS, and ATV violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and boating activity. Angling success remains poor. Warm weather brought out a high amount of boating and ATV activity. Deer flies remain the highest complaint among recreationists. CO Broughten fielded calls of nuisance beaver, AIS decontamination, destroying aquatic vegetation. CO Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with a domestic. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no angling license, no lifejacket, possess largemouth bass on catch and release lake, failure to transfer ownership of watercraft, operate OHM within road right of way, failure to register OHM, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, possess drug paraphernalia, and possess small amount of marijuana.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) assisted DNR Eco and Waters on irrigation without a valid permit violation. Halverson also worked fishermen on lakes and river.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) prepped and instructed at the current academy. Assisted other agencies on calls. Patrolled area forest and trails. Contacts made for youth ATV passengers without helmets, failure to display registration, non-resident trail pass issues and investigation into renegade/illegal trails.

Remer – vacant.

Walker – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing success on Rainy Lake has picked-up; however, high winds have prevented anglers from being able to fish areas proficiently.  Enforcement fishing action taken throughout week included no angling license in possession, illegal length fish, and transport filleted fish while on the water. Nuisance animal complaints continue to roll in and be handled along with checking on a vandalism complaint at state boat access sites.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports monitoring angling and boating activities on Rainy Lake. The high winds that continued into the weekend made fishing difficult for most.  Anglers were still able to pick up fish that were held up in few calm bays and shorelines.  Time was also spent addressing possible waters issues on Kabetogama Lake and the Ash River. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, possession of immeasurable walleyes, and possession of an illegal length walleyes.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) responded to a call of a man who had fallen out of his boat. Tragically the individual died before he could be rescued. The individual was found a few hours after he had fallen overboard. The officer also responded to an ATV crash with injuries, the driver was transported to the hospital. Officer worked violations in the BWCA with CO Fredin and CO Williams and a stranded boater was towed out of the BWCA. The events of the week serve as a reminder to all of us, that these fun activities have inherent risk, so please remember to take precautions like wearing life jackets on the water and helmets on ATVs.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV’s, state park enforcement and taught firearms safety, ethics and the law to 76 attendees at the Hibbing-Chisholm Chapter of the MDHA Youth Day. The officer stopped a vehicle near a Hibbing City Park for a couple of non-driving violations and found the driver impaired. The officer turned the driver over to Hibbing PD who ended up arresting him and found him to have a blood alcohol content well over twice the legal limit. The officer finished with that case and assisted the Hibbing PD with a fight and disturbance call. Alcohol was involved with a number of the juveniles to include one who fled on foot from a HPD officer. The juvenile broke his arm in the process of clearing a fence. A Canadian angler was found angling without a license and stated he thought the non-resident fishing license would be $100 like it is in Manitoba, so he figured he would take a chance and fish without one. A Minnesota angling license is a bargain compared to Manitoba and certainly a bargain compared to the citation he received. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, OHV trespass, a PWC 150’ speed violation, and false application for an angling license for a Texas couple who was not married who obtained a married angling license.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety and a bow hunter education class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center. Several dumping and litter cases are being investigated. ATV traffic remains steady with enforcement action being taken on the parents of juveniles for allowing illegal operation of an ATV by their children. A local dairy farmer contacted CO Frericks to inform him he lost six sheep in one night to a timber wolf. A federal trapper was brought in to eliminate the problem wolves.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) Received complaints of ATV’s driving down around town and the driver’s often doing wheelies on the machine. Youth operating OHM and ATVs on county and township road is occurring often with the parent’s consent. Strong winds kept boating and fishing numbers down.

Cook – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) patrolled areas of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. High winds made for some very dangerous boating conditions and as a result only a few anglers were seen or checked. Violations included failure to display canoe registration, and take fish with an unattended line.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) observed the occupant of an oncoming vehicle throw litter out the vehicle’s window, and a stop was made for the violation. CO Stage didn’t say a word and the passenger quickly hung his head and admitted throwing two beer bottles out his window. He said it was stupid for him to have done it since he was just blocks from home. The occupants went back and searched for the bottles, found them, and traded them for a ticket.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped teach Defensive Tactics to Conservation Officer Candidates at Camp Ripley. The officer checked ATVers and a pair of dirt bike riders who had taken the state highway rather than trailering to get to a place to ride. In addition to having bikes that weren’t street legal they were also lacking motorcycle endorsements. CO Manning also assisted Cook County in a search and rescue of a pair of canoeists in the BWCA; they were located in good health and re-united with the rest of their party.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV, AIS, angling, and big game enforcement throughout the week. Nuisance bear calls continue to come in spite of the large crop of blueberries and raspberries. Grouse are showing up with 1-2 bird clutches being observed. Enforcement action included cutting firewood without a state permit, unregistered ATV, no PFDs, and failure to have required navigational lights after sunset.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and ATV activity. CO Schottenbauer handled a few bear and eagle complaints and assisted local law enforcement with a domestic violence complaint.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and ATV activity during the week. The warm weather was great for recreation opportunities but catching remained slow for the fish bite. Murray also took calls of nuisance bear activity and the illegal removal of a beaver dam effecting lake levels.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled ATV trails, attended a district meeting, worked on ongoing cases and spoke to the Island Lake Association at their annual meeting.


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, worked ATV activity, and worked commercial enforcement. He continued to work on various investigations. CO Hansen also prepared for the division’s upcoming firearms and defensive tactics training.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, responded to injured wildlife complaints and assisted in the search for evidence in a stabbing. The area angler success was on the plus side. Enforcement action was taken for operate ATV on roadway, operate ATV on roadway without a valid license and fail to display registration on ATV.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked Wetland Conservation Act and aquatic vegetation violations over the past week. CO Sutherland also took action for an individual who was operating an ATV on the shoulder of a county road at excessive speeds.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also attended a district meeting during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV, fishing and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, unregistered ATVs and ATV DWI. Wichmann also attended a district meeting in Grand Rapids.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) followed up on calls and returned telephone calls after a two week vacation. Field work involved check shore fishing and ATV activity.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) attended boat operation training in the Duluth/Superior Harbor and Lake Superior. Nuisance wildlife calls were handled and a report of calf carcass that was found on a local farm was confirmed a wolf depredation

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) completed a boating school in the Duluth Superior area. A final meeting was done on a wetland violation that has been fixed and investigated a wildfire along an area road. Dryer weather in the area has dried vegetation and people are asked to take extra caution around campfires.  K9 assistance was given to a local PD in searching for evidence in a severe assault case and K9 assistance was also given to a local CO on a complaint of someone shooting geese out of season. It turns out that the person was harassing them and not shooting them because of their unsanitary demeanor. Some nuisance animal complaints were received and some helpful information was given out.

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) worked with the local officer on Lake Vermilion reference the new infestation of spiny water flea. Information was exchanged with him and the operators of the mechanical Portage into Trout Lake to ensure compliance with the AIS laws are addressed for those folks portaging into Trout Lake from Lake Vermilion. Officer Scott answered questions about AIS and lake service provider laws at Lake Service Provider training in Grand Marais. Officer Scott Staffed an AIS booth at the Grand Marais Fisherman’s Picnic event. The booth was with MN Sea Grant and information was provided to those who stopped by about AIS issues and concerns. Officer Scott handled a Wolf that was hit by a car on Hwy 2 West of Floodwood.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) completed a boating class and worked a boating safety patrol with SLCO Sheriff’s deputies on Island Lake. Enforcement actions were taken for registration issues. Olson reports bear complaints are still being addressed and handled.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. He handled a call of an eagle tangled in fishing line. Upon the officer’s arrival, it was found that the eagle had apparently freed himself and was back to flying across the lake. Assistance was given to local agencies with “in progress” calls. Enforcement actions were taken for commercial and angling violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) completed commercial, ATV, AIS and Boat and Water enforcement throughout the week. He took nuisance animal complaints, and investigated someone shooting at geese. He also assisted on a fatal motor vehicle accident.  He completed equipment maintenance and worked on reports.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled public water accesses for AIS violations. A black bear cub was removed from a public roadway. Officer Guida answered some questions via telephone for a local lake association newsletter.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for boating activity. CO McGowan also spent time training at Camp Ripley with the new recruits, and spoke at a lake association meeting. Enforcement action was taken for numerous fishing, boating, and AIS violations.


CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) investigated an ATV trail located on a Wildlife Management Area where ATVs are not permitted. CO Peterson also assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley and assisted in administering the written test to Conservation Officer applicants.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement during the week. Enforcement contacts included failure to remove drain plugs after being told by a DNR inspector.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) observed more pounds of vegetation than fish coming out of local lakes. A high majority of boaters were observed cleaning off boats and trailers. Enforcement action was taken and a hearing was attended for failing to remove boat plugs.  Boat light violations were also addressed. Sunset is getting 1-2 minutes earlier every evening so boaters should frequently check the sunset table in a regulation guide. Verkuilen also dealt with a road kill bear, responded to ATV complaints, and answered questions regarding the Mille Lacs regulation change.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted with training at the academy. Anglers were checked on Mille Lacs Lake; people were enjoying the lake and having fun angling. ATV activity was monitored with a few slight issues found and addressed. Additional interviews were conducted for an ongoing investigation.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assisting with training at Camp Ripley for the class of Conservation Officer Candidates. The Officer assisted with physical training and also scenario day. Several calls for nuisance beaver were fielded and permits were issued. The officer also attended court for a hunting related case from last fall. A call of a party being harassed was investigated and many fishing, hunting, boating, and ATV law related questions were answered. The Officer gave a ride along opportunity for a DNR intern. Patrol was done around Mille Lacs Lake for fishing, boating and AIS related activity. Please remember to drain all water related equipment, remove all vegetation from your boat and trailer and remove the drain plugs and leave them out when you travel down the road.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled for ATV violations. Enforcement action was taken for under 18 without helmets. She also worked AIS enforcement and checked anglers.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked night time fishing and boating activities. Watercraft registration and lack of proper lighting at night issues were addressed. Starr assisted Morrison County Sheriff’s Department with a barricaded subject who had felony warrants and had made violent threats earlier in the evening. Starr worked a case in the Princeton Station, in which golfers chased a flock of geese with golf carts and subsequently killed a juvenile goose. This type of fowl behavior by humans is unacceptable and charges are forthcoming. Questions came on bear situations and the upcoming season. Assistance was also given at vehicle crashes, deer car kills, and traffic complaints.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) set up one of the TIP Wall-Of-Shame trailers at the Pine County Fair and spent some time talking to fairgoers about DNR laws and the Turn in Poachers program. Time was also spent updating the public about boat and water safety on a local radio program. A few nuisance animal complaints were handled and reports of anglers taking too many fish were investigated. Public accesses were patrolled for aquatic invasive species violations. Most boaters checked were found to be very familiar with invasive species transporting regulations and law compliance was good.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls on requests for beaver permits, nuisance animals, and answered questions about upcoming hunting seasons. He spent time at the Pine County Fair answering questions near the TIP trailer, assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with traffic control during the parade, and also checked anglers around the Pine City area.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended computer training in St. Paul. Time was spent patrolling Mille Lacs Lake and area lakes. ATV activity was monitored on area state forest and bear baiting questions were answered.

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement throughout his assigned work area. WREO Haberman also met with county attorney staff about AIS laws and inspections of watercraft.  WREO Haberman also met with Aitkin County staff and TEP panel staff on a case in Aitkin County area. WREO Haberman also helped conduct training in Brainerd.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found class 2 ATVs operating on public highways in the lane of traffic as if they were a car instead being on the shoulder where the law requires them to be operated. CO Kuske checked fishing activity on area lakes and fielded inquiries from the public on nuisance bears and fall hunting seasons.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with instruction at the CO Academy with the new RMS system. Time was spent setting up the TIP wall at the Stearns County Fair. Angling activity was monitored and local access sites were worked for AIS violations.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) attended training in St. Paul. The officer also traveled to the metro for equipment exchange. A roadside survey was also counted.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters and AIS enforcement in the Albany area. Nice weather had people out enjoying the lakes. CO Thesing spoke with the St. Joseph firearms safety class about laws and ethics. Enforcement action for the week included no throwable PFD, no fire extinguisher, and no license in possession.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on AIS complaints. CO Mies checked ATVs and boaters.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked anglers, watercraft, and OHV activities. Nuisance animal complaints were addressed.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Isanti, and Wright counties. Follow-up was conducted on several aquatic plant restoration orders. Time was also spent at the Stearns County Fair answering questions regarding AIS laws and upcoming hunting seasons.


District 12 – Princeton area

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted at the academy with training. Time was also spent on area lakes checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken on unattended fishing rod and reel.


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Several bear complaints were received. ATV complaint areas were worked.


CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. Most anglers were not having much success, only small panfish. CO Langevin also checked many boaters for Aquatic Invasive Species and related issues. Violations included no license in possession, no wearable PFD and fail to remove drain plug.


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes. He followed up on a wetland and public waters case. He assisted local agencies on a number of calls. He answered question on the upcoming goose season.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked an Aquatic Invasive Species detail on local lakes, checked anglers/boaters/ATVs, and assisted with the academy at Camp Ripley. Officer Londgren also received nuisance animal complaints, and calls regarding hunting out of season and trespassing.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked public access sites checking for AIS violations. Boaters and anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers. Calls were returned on hunting questions.


CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and boaters and following up with wetland complaints. CO Grewe worked a detail on Lake Minnetonka with Hennepin County Water Patrol.  Violations included minor consumption and transporting aquatic vegetation.


CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) observed slower boating and angling activity through the week but still found people out enjoying the warm weather. She found some anglers having some success pan fishing. Questions were answered regarding surface water use on Prior Lake, the early August intensive goose hunt, and ATV use in Scott County. Enforcement action was taken on transporting zebra mussels, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and careless driving.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters in the metro area lakes and rivers. He monitored the DNR testing in Brooklyn Park. He also took calls on nuisance animal complaints and answered questions for the Southeast Asian community on big game and small game regulations.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) returned calls for waterfowl that were dying in Richfield which was referred to the USDA. He also received a call of the illegal possession of snakes in Minneapolis. He completed an investigation of a waters violation case in Eden Prairie and assisted with the Conservation Officer written examination in Brooklyn Park.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also patrolled the St. Croix River for angling and boating activity. Salzer participated in an Invasive Species detail in Anoka County with violations detected and enforcement action taken.


CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked an AIS enforcement crew in Anoka County as part of the “Think Zero” Weekend. He transported an injured broad-winged hawk from Lino Lakes to The Raptor Center. CO Johnson checked anglers and boaters throughout the week. He patrolled at Afton State Park.


CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week focusing on anglers throughout the area. He spoke at a firearms safety class, investigated delinquent ginseng dealers, and helped fellow officers with an AIS detail in Anoka County. Enforcement action for the week included angling without valid license, failure to submit yearly ginseng records, and various watercraft violations.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mostly boating and fishing enforcement around the metro area lakes and rivers. He participated in an AIS work detail in Anoka county finding good compliance. CO Pril also responded to miscellaneous animals and scheduled with firearms safety instructors for upcoming presentations.


CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working an AIS enforcement detail in Anoka County. He also spent time checking anglers, boaters and investigating a TIP call. Violations for the week included failure to remove drain plug, illegal fish trap, drug paraphernalia, transporting live fish, and using game fish as bait.


District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boat safety, checking anglers and conducting investigations. Nuisance goose complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registrations, operate ATVs in driving lane, and summer ditch operation restrictions.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating and OHV activity during the week. Time was also spent patrolling several state parks. OHV riders are reminded that the Appleton OHV Park is a state Grant-In-Aid Trail. Riders are reminded to read up on rules regarding ATV, OHM and ORV registration and safety training requirements. ATV, boating and public access violations were encountered during the week.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted DNR Eco/Waters with a site visit in Murray County on a possible PW violation. Officer Hanson and K-9 Reggie assisted with the “Think Zero” news release and worked AIS issues in empty stations and surrounding lakes and rivers.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported normal summer activity was worked throughout the week. Time was also spent assisting at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Invasive species was the main focus over the weekend as it was designated as “Think Zero.” The law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught in Wood Lake. With the release on the 2015 hunting regulations handbook, questions were answered dealing with the upcoming fall hunting and trapping seasons.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) brought the indoor Tip Wall of Shame to the Chippewa County Fair. Assistance was given to the LqP County Sheriff at a crime scene. A resurface of the bike trail from Montevideo to Wegdahl has brought out many walkers and bikers to the outdoors.


District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time teaching about use of force at the CO Academy.  Time was also spent working ATV enforcement in the area of the Crow River Valley. Calls were answered regarding waterfowl hunting and the legality of AR pistols in the shotgun/handgun zone.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding nuisance wildlife and a public waters violation. He investigated deer hunting and trapping cases and taught at a Firearms Safety Field & Range Day. He also spent time on boating, angling and AIS enforcement activities.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted license checks on anglers, safety checks on boaters and AIS compliance checks on all of them. ATV activity was monitored on roads and GIA trails. An injured owl was rescued and arrangements were made for rehabilitation to the Raptor Center.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time following up on wetland complaints and responding to injured animal calls. Anglers were checked with some having a little luck but overall it has been a slow bite over the hot days. One angler was observed fishing from a dock and when CO Klehr ask to check the anglers fishing license the angler said that they thought you only needed an angling license if you went fishing in a boat. CO Klehr also spent time doing roadside surveys assisting the other divisions in the DNR.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) taught at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.


District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked boaters on area lakes this past week. The officer assisted in training new officers at Camp Ripley. Anglers were also checked.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATV activity.  Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes & rivers. The officer also monitored AIS activity and ATV activity during the week. Time was also spent checking activity at wildlife management areas and state parks.  A law & ethics presentation was given at a youth firearms safety class in West Concord.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, and ATV activity. Road right of ways have reopened to recreational use by ATV riders. CO Howe spoke on laws and ethics at two Firearms Safety classes and assisted with the “Cops ‘n Bobbers” youth fishing program.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, and recreational vehicle activity. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations. Issues were addressed regarding Wildlife Management Areas and nuisance animal complaints.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishing, boating and ATV activity. Additional time was also spent patrolling for AIS compliance. Officer Ihnen also completed follow up investigations regarding illegal fishing activity.

WREO Julie Siems reports following up on several restoration orders on wetland conservation act violations. ATV questions were also answered for local police departments.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking trout anglers on area trout streams. Success varied. CO Boyum also spoke with multiple bowhunters out starting to scout and place stands.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and rec vehicles during the week. Several people were contacted operating illegally on the roadway. Heyn also spoke to a FAS class and taught ATV/ORV laws to local law enforcement officers.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending the week checking fishing, boating, AIS, and ATVs. He investigated fishing, littering and ATV complaints.  Hemker had a person on a bicycle approach him to tell him while he was riding on the bike path he had hit and killed a duck. He said he took it home and buried it. He wanted CO Hemker’s card just in case it happened again, but hoped it would not because he planned to get his brakes fixed. Hemker also went to Aitkin County for court.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, watercraft users, and ATV operators. Officer George took a TIP call of an over limit of trout and a complaint from a homeowner of a wild turkey that flew through her front window into her office area. She chased it into a bathroom and locked the door where it expired from its injuries.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports bluegills and crappies are being caught in good numbers. Catfish, bass and trout fishermen an expect plenty of fish. He spent extra time at boat landing working invasive species enforcement. He picked up an injured eagle that was later transported to the raptor center.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly fishing and boating enforcement on the big river as well finishing up some commercial investigations.  Questions are beginning to come in with the release of the fall hunting regulation books. Some fishing and boating violations were documented.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling, boating and ATV activity. Fishing success remains low in the area with a few panfish being caught in limited areas. Time was also spent checking activity at state forest units.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of flying DNR Fisheries research crews in and out of remote lakes for survey purposes. Jensen also attended to hangar maintenance duties. Numerous projects and equipment upgrades are pending.


CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew a pelican/cormorant survey for a study the U of M is conducting. Geving also flew an aquatic vegetation photo mission for Fisheries and two suspected wetland violations missions.


CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) reports several flights cancelled due to high winds and weather. Equipment and supplies were moved to Grand Rapids as the facilities were prepped to start operations.


NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf, marten, fisher and deer telemetry.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions


If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at http://www.mndnr.gov.

Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at http://www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 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!!!

Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.


If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html




Mille Lacs is one of the nation’s top destinations for smallmouth bass fishing, ranked 10th nationally


Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will close at 10 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. A recent angler survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources found the walleye harvest by anglers has exceeded the state’s allotment for 2015 by more than 2,000 pounds. Other fish species including smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskellunge remain abundant in the lake. Fishing for these species will remain open with loosened regulations that allow anglers to keep more of what they catch.

“This action is necessary to conserve walleye populations in Mille Lacs Lake for the long term. Despite the walleye closure, Mille Lacs remains a world class fishing destination with some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the country,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Working together – tribes, local businesses, local government and the state – we will get through this difficult period.”

To help alleviate the economic challenges facing local businesses, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders will meet to discuss emergency relief legislation and a special session to pass it. The governor supports a financial aid package consisting of no-interest loans, property tax abatements, and additional funding for tourism advertising. The governor also has directed the DNR to aggressively address the issues related to the decline of the lake’s walleye population.

Mille Lacs Lakes remains one of America’s premiere fishing destinations. Special regulations allowing anglers to catch and keep more and larger northern pike and smallmouth bass have been implemented to attract more anglers to the lake. DNR tagging studies also indicate that muskies larger than 50 inches have never been more abundant.

The Mille Lacs Lake walleye population is already poised for a comeback. DNR fishery surveys indicate Mille Lacs contains a large population of walleye hatched in 2013 that now are 10-13 inches long. The survival of these fish suggests that the population will improve if more of these walleye and walleye hatched in later years survive their first year and beyond so they eventually can spawn. Population assessments this fall will provide additional information about the walleye population in the lake.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s traditional leaders decided Friday that the Band will temporarily suspend netting through the end of spring 2016.

More on the Aug. 3 walleye closure
The decision means Monday, Aug. 3, is the last day anglers can fish for walleye on Mille Lacs Lake. The closure will remain in effect through Monday, Nov. 30. Fishing for other species remains open. Commissioner Landwehr stressed that Mille Lacs remains one of the premier fishing destinations in the country for other species such as smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskellunge.

Despite restrictive regulations implemented earlier this year, unexpected increases in fishing pressure, catch rates, and hooking mortality in July pushed the harvest by state-licensed anglers to more than 30,700 pounds. The state’s allocation was 28,600 pounds of the 2015 total safe harvest of 40,000 pounds. Tribal harvest was approximately 1,200 pounds below the tribes’ 11,400-pound walleye limit.

Warm water greatly increases walleye mortality on fish that must be released because they did not fall within the harvest slot. This “hooking mortality” of walleyes that die after being released counts toward the state’s limit.

Mille Lacs Lake management
DNR and eight Chippewa bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin work cooperatively to set safe walleye harvest levels on Mille Lacs. Each year limits are set that determine how many pounds of fish state anglers and the tribes can harvest. This year’s limit for walleye was deliberately reduced to 40,000 pounds to protect the existing spawning stock while providing more time for the abundant young fish in the lake to potentially survive to spawning age to rebuild the lake’s walleye population.

Since 2008, not enough young walleye are surviving to maturity and replenishing the Mille Lacs Lake population. As a result, Mille Lacs walleye numbers are currently at a 30-year low. In response, the state has instituted more restrictive walleye regulations to protect the spawning stock and allow young walleye better odds of surviving to maturity.

Additional information about Mille Lacs Lake, the season closure and what DNR is doing to rebuild the walleye population is available on DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.


MNSJ RADIO: On This Week’s Show: Mille Lacs, Superheroes and Lake of the Woods

1610976_1648995465319207_4701873077316388916_nThis week we find out why Mille Lacs Lake could be headed for a walleye closure.  And it could be happening quickly.   Don Periera, the Fisheries Chief at the DNR is our guest.

Jamie Dietman talks about putting on the first ever Superhero Rod Fishing Tournament on the Mississippi, Sunday August 2nd.  Everyone who fishes has to use a 3-foot superhero rod!

And Joe Henry gives us the Lake of the Woods Fishing report and recaps his tournament win on Lake Erie.

Here’s when and where you can listen to the show: 

  1. Fargo: AM 970 WDAY  Saturdays at 6am  (LISTEN LIVE)
  2. DuluthAM 1490 The Fan/92.1 FM Sundays at 6am (LISTEN LIVE)*NEW AFFILIATE!
  3. Park Rapids: AM 870 KPRM Sundays at 7am
  4. Walker: AM 1570 KAKK  96.3 FM Saturdays 8:00a
  5. Wadena: AM 1070 KVKK Saturdays 7:00a
  6. Wahpeton: AM 1450 KBMW Saturdays at 8:00a (LISTEN LIVE)
  7. Grand Forks: AM1310 KNOX Saturdays at 10a (LISTEN LIVE)
  8. Fergus Falls:  AM 1020 THE GAME Saturdays at 10a 
  9. MontevideoAM 1460 KDMA Saturdays at 9am
  10. BemidjiAM 820 WBKK Sundays at 7am
  11. St CloudAM 1450 KNSI/103.3 FM Sundays at 6am *NEW TIME  (LISTEN LIVE)
  12. Ely94.5 FM WELY, Saturdays at 6AM  (LISTEN LIVE)
  13. Hibbing: AM 650 WNMT, Sundays at 8AM
  14. Worthington: AM 730 KWOA, Saturdays at 1PM
To get MNSJ Radio on your station, contact us here.  Easy downloadable delivery, exclusive territory and no barter agreement.


*UPDATED: Mille Lacs Closure Imminent – PLUS NO NETTING NEXT YEAR

by Bret Amundson

28,600 pounds of walleye was the quota for anglers on Mille Lacs Lake.  Up to June 30th, we’d only reached 13,000, but in the two weeks at the beginning of July, that number would jump to over 25,000 pounds, accounting for nearly half of the annual quota allowed.

*UPDATE:  According to FOX 9, Governor Dayton has reached an agreement with the Ojibwe Tribe to a ban on netting next year.  Read the story here. 

How is that possible?   That seems like a highly unlikely scenario.

“Totally, totally correct on being amazed at what happened here,” answered Don Periera, Fisheries Chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “It really was a perfect storm.”

To go from 13,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds in a two-week period needed a combination of pressure and weather.

“Mille Lacs at one time could support 300,000 to 400,000 pounds of walleye harvest per year, but the ecosystem is changing dramatically.  It’s going to a different state and we don’t know where it’s going to land,” said Periera.

It can’t support walleye harvest like it used to.  And that means constant management.

“We have a razor-thin margin for error,” Periera explained when discussing the possibility of instituting a catch-and-release or closure situation on Mille Lacs. So what happened in July?

“Effort went up quite a bit,” Periera said.  “It went up from 75,000 fishing hours to 95,000 fishing hours….people showed up big time.  The second factor:  really warm.  The warm weather really hit and the lake really started to warm up into the 70s so that drove hook mortality really high….(and) catch rates approximately doubled from June to July.”

Creel surveys and a science project brought the DNR to the conclusion that 12,000 pounds were taken out during that two-week period.

“We suddenly went from being in a fairly comfortable situation to screaming towards our allocation,” Periera said.

The creel surveys were done at landings with survey crews interviewing the anglers as they’d come off the lake.  And the science project?

“A number of years ago, we did a very detailed experiment in the lake,” Periera explained.  “We actually had anglers fish like they normally do.  We recorded a bunch of information including the size of the fish, what type of gear they used, where the fish was hooked, the water temperature and even depth.  We held those fish in these really large cribs that went all the way from the top of the lake to the bottom of the lake for 5 days to determine whether they died or not.”

“Then we fit a detailed statistical model that explains the probability of that any individual fish would die given those different parameters that we measured,” Periera continued. “That was a very solid study.”

Essentially they would keep an eye on released fish in these cribs to see if any would die.  This study was reviewed by peers across North America and then published in a scientific journal.

With temperatures recorded at one time at 77.7 degrees last week, some hook mortality is expected even if it’s hard to believe that the 12,000 pound number was actually reached in a two-week span.

But here we are.  What does this mean?  Because we’ve gotten so close to the quota so quickly, the next step that could be implemented-the catch-and-release option, won’t even be considered.  It’s possible that there could be the first ever closure on walleye fishing on Mille Lacs.

“We really can’t say right now,” Periera said. “We hurdled past the opportunity for catch-and-release.  That’s the most painful part of all this.”

Catch-and-release still kills fish according to their scientific model.  So the only other option is closing the season.

“Unfortunately we just have no wiggle room on this one,” Periera said. “But we want people to know that fishing for other species is not suspended.”

“We had to close Red Lake.  We had to close it for 7 years because the situation was so dire.  Mille Lacs isn’t near there yet and we don’t want it to get there,” Periera answered. “So it’s best to conserve now for the future.”

Not everyone agrees that those numbers are accurate.

“There just isn’t that many people out there,” said Jamie Dietman, a guide in the Brainerd area.  “I mean you can go to Garrison anytime and see one or two boats out there.  There were a few tournaments, but those are all catch-photo-released and most of the people I know are fishing the flats in shallower water.”

But why would the DNR skew this data?

“I think they’re just trying to save what’s there,” Dietman explained. “For the future, no matter what you do these next couple of years, it’s going to be bad. If they’re looking 4 to 5 years ahead, save what’s there and don’t stress (the fish).”

The crystal ball isn’t full of storm clouds however.

“Fishing has been good,” Periera said. “(There’s) lots of small fish from the 2013 year class that are charging through there.  The bigger ones are pushing 13-inches right now and they are in huge abundance.”

And people are catching them.

“Last year in our assessment at the end of September, their catch rate was even higher than the massive 1988 year class that drove the harvest to 1.2 million pounds in 1992,” said Periera.

So if we can keep these fish from dying, maybe we can see populations start to rebound?

“It’s really going to come down to how they show up in September in our assessment and if we catch them in abundance as two-and-a-half-year-old fish,” Periera continued.  “And they’re probably going to come through and survive this period of elevated mortality that’s really been hurting walleyes in the lake.”

The bottom line is, even if the data from the two-week stretch at the beginning of July seems unrealistic, the DNR wants to preserve this lake for the future and closing it right now might be the best solution to ensure that.

“A little patch here and there isn’t going to help Mille Lacs Lake and all the businesses on it,” Dietman said.

“What people need to realize is that we can’t hammer those fish,” Periera said.  “We need to manage them conservatively because they’re our eggs for the future.  People need to realize that walleyes die of natural causes not related to fishing at the rate of 15%-20% per year, so we’re losing existing spawners at a decent clip.

While fishing is what comes to mind when you think of Mille Lacs, saving the local economy has to be a part of the solution as well and Governor Dayton has announced the possibility of some financial assistance for businesses in the area.

Whatever the solutions are, we need to find them quickly to recover one of the best angling lakes in Minnesota.  If the walleye season is closed, we don’t know yet when it would reopen.  December 1st is a possibility, but it’s too early to tell if that will give the lake enough time to rest.

Here more from Don Periera and Jamie Dietman, along with Joe Henry on this weekend’s MNSJ Radio show, hosted by Bret Amundson. 

2015 MN Deer Season Set: What will the regulations be this year?

2015 MN Deer Season Set
Licenses on sale Aug. 1

Hunters can expect another conservative deer season in 2015 as management continues to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

“The 2015 deer hunting regulations will be quite similar to last year, with one-deer limits in most of the state,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the DNR. “Hunters should check the 2015 regulations early, because in the majority of areas, hunters will need to apply for a permit to shoot an antlerless deer.”

In 70 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 29 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck. Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in 11 permit areas and for some special hunts. In three southwestern areas, the DNR is restricting antlerless harvest to youth hunters only.

Hunters can buy deer licenses and apply to the lottery for antlerless deer permits starting Saturday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply for the lottery is Thursday, Sept. 10.

“Given the mild winter for most of the state and reduced harvest last year, we anticipate that hunters will be seeing more deer when afield, and we are already hearing from people that they are seeing more deer this summer,” McInenly said. “We are continuing a conservative harvest approach in order to raise deer numbers consistent with our recent goal-setting process.”

The 2015 season marks the second year of a management approach to rebuild deer populations based on goal setting and listening sessions that indicated a desire for more deer in many areas.

Northern Minnesota hunters will again feel the impact of a bucks-only season. In bucks-only areas, no antlerless deer may be harvested by any hunter, including those with archery or youth licenses. Similarly, no antlerless deer may be harvested by any adult hunters in youth-only antlerless areas. However, as a result of 2015 legislation, new this year is an exception allowing either-sex harvest by any hunter age 84 and up or by hunters who are residents of veterans’ homes.

Another change this year is the return of youth-only antlerless harvest for a few areas in southwestern Minnesota. The measure is designed to increase populations into goal range in areas where antlerless harvest under the lottery system hasn’t been restrictive enough to increase deer numbers.

Details on buying a license
All hunters who purchase licenses by Sept. 10 are automatically entered into the lottery if they declare a lottery deer permit area. Those who do not wish to harvest an antlerless deer are encouraged to purchase their license after the lottery deadline. Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If hunters are selected for both licenses, they must select the one season in which they want to shoot an antlerless deer. 

Deer hunting licenses, lottery applications and special hunt applications are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Lottery winners will be notified in October.

Permit area breakdown

Bucks-only deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 103, 108, 111, 118, 119, 152, 169, 176, 177, 178, 181, 183, 199 and 203.

Youth-only antlerless deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 234, 237 and 286.

Lottery deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 101, 105, 110, 117, 122, 126, 127, 155, 156, 157, 159, 171, 172, 173, 179, 180, 184, 197, 208, 210, 221, 222, 224, 229, 232, 235, 238, 242, 246, 247, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

Hunter choice deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 201, 209, 213, 218, 219, 223, 225, 230, 233, 239, 240, 248, 254, 255, 256, 257, 264, 265, 277, 292, 293, 338, 339, 341, 342, 344, 345, 347 and 348.

Managed deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 114, 214, 215, 227, 236, 241, 287 and 343.

Intensive deer areas in 2015 are permit areas 182, 346 and 349.

The DNR strongly advises hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying. Current and up-to-date information is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer. Information about deer management and upcoming deer population goal setting during the next two years is available at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

DNR mid-summer report: More deer seen after milder winter

doe with fawn

Reports of good white-tailed fawn numbers are coming in from around Minnesota as a milder winter and a conservative approach to the 2014 hunting season are already starting to show results.

Mid-summer reports from wildlife managers around the state place the overall deer population recovery on solid footing. However, during the 2015 season, conservative population management will allow deer numbers to rebuild across much of the state. One-deer limits will apply for most hunters during this rebuilding year.

For more information about the 2015 deer season, permit area maps and links to the 2015 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer

Northwestern Minnesota
Deer numbers in the northwest region appear to be up from last year. Last winter brought mild temperatures and little snow. A conservative 2014 deer season with a low number of antlerless permits issued has resulted in more does and fawns on the landscape.

Abundant spring and early summer rainfall has provided excellent summer deer forage. Deer are feeding in the afternoon and evening in the open, grassy areas and along forest roads, escaping the flies and other insects in the wooded areas.

Doe and buck numbers seem to be moderately increasing in the Roseau, Baudette and Beltrami Island state forest areas. Fawn observations are difficult as they are just now getting big enough to be seen with does in the tall vegetation. Overall, buck observations are the same as last year or lower, with mostly younger bucks being observed.

Wildlife managers in the Thief River Falls, Thief Lake and Karlstad wildlife management areas are seeing more deer than in recent years, including a good mix of bucks, does and fawns. Fawns are still spotted, and there seem to be more twins and even triplets.

Deer numbers remain reduced but are recovering in the Skime area west of Thief Lake, where the DNR took aggressive action to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB) from the state’s livestock and wildlife herds (now considered to be TB free).

In the Bemidji and Park Rapids areas, deer numbers are increasing. There seems to be excellent reproduction and many large fawns have been observed. Buck numbers appear up from last year and some nice bucks have been seen.

In the Fergus Falls and Glenwood areas, deer population numbers remain about the same as last year, both in terms of fawns and adults. The few bucks observed have nice antler growth.

The Detroit Lakes area deer population appears to be up from last year. Many does, plenty of twin fawns and yearlings have been sighted. Only small bucks have been observed.

The northwest region offers a variety of youth and adult deer hunting opportunities at most of the region’s state parks and at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge. The cities of Bemidji and Fergus Falls manage archery hunts, Red Lake Falls offers a deer hunt, several of the scientific and natural areas offer a variety of deer hunting opportunities, and there is a deer hunt for people with disabilities in Orwell Wildlife Sanctuary.

Northeastern Minnesota
An increase in deer numbers appears to be off to a solid start in northeastern Minnesota.

Winter in the northeast wasn’t mild, but it was milder than average. However, compared to some other areas of the state, a deer population recovery in the region can be slower because of factors including a shorter growing season, fewer fawns per doe on average, fewer deer per square mile, winter severity and predation.

With that in mind, wildlife managers are reporting good fawn production overall with single and twin fawns widely reported. Every now and then, triplets are seen. Does appear to have come through the winter healthy enough to support the physical demands of nursing. Fawns are traveling with their mothers at times, are including more vegetation in their diets and appear to have healthy weights for this time of year. Bucks are sporting velvet-covered antlers right now and antler growth is good.

Good fawn production this spring has been a welcomed site in areas where winter severity was extreme in the far northern reaches of the state for three of the last four winters, and where deer populations had declined the most statewide.

In the more southern portions of the northeast region, winter severity was not as extreme, but population numbers are still below target and are being managed for increases.

Along the North Shore and throughout much of the region, last year’s fawns survived the recent milder-than-average winter, and there should be good numbers of yearlings entering the breeding population this fall. Permit areas in the moose range are designated lottery to maintain lower deer populations.

Duluth and some Iron Range communities will hold special in-town hunts to reduce the number of city deer. Permit areas around the Aitkin and Brainerd areas will generally be designated as lottery with a limited number of antlerless tags issued, and more permit areas will be restricted to bucks-only the farther one travels north.

Central Minnesota
Deer numbers are up in central Minnesota due to conservative harvest in 2014, coupled with one of the mildest winters in recent memory. Reproduction has been strong, with fawns being born in late May and early June. The lush vegetation may be making it hard to see deer this summer, but does that are observed in the fields are often accompanied by one or two fawns. Bucks’ antlers are noticeable and developing fast.
Deer are taking any succulent vegetation this time of year, and the browse activity on shrubs and tree saplings is obvious throughout the central region. Landowners who hunt deer and maintain wildlife food plots are saying the deer are numerous and browsing down the food plots as they grow. Many of the central Minnesota permit areas will maintain conservative harvest strategies in 2015. The Metro Deer Management Area (601) will continue to allow for unlimited antlerless harvest. A variety of special hunts, both archery and firearms, have been identified region-wide for 2015.

Southeastern Minnesota
Hunters heading afield in southeastern Minnesota this fall should find plenty of deer. A mild winter and early spring have contributed to strong deer populations there.

Fawns were commonly seen in mid-May, well ahead of the usual June 1 peak fawning period. Most does seem to have twins with them this year, with some reports of triplets. Bucks that have been observed are displaying normal antler development with velvet racks of decent size on mature animals.

Opportunities abound for deer hunting in the southeast during the regular archery, two firearms and muzzleloader seasons. Once again, 300-series permit areas will be open to a special youth season over the weekend of the annual Education Minnesota conference when many students do not have school from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 18.

Special firearms hunts will be offered at a handful of state parks and at Zumbro Falls Woods Scientific and Natural Area. A special archery hunt will be managed within the city of Red Wing.

Each of these hunts has special regulations and deadlines for application, as spelled out in the 2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

Permit areas 346 and 349 in the extreme southeastern corner of the state will again be managed for intensive harvest, as deer populations there are above goal. Crop damage complaints in these areas have been steady this summer as deer congregate to feed on soybeans and corn stalks. An area-wide early antlerless hunt will also be offered in October.

Southwestern Minnesota
The southwest region is seeing encouraging signs this year, as DNR staff continue to report sets of twins and some triplet fawns – and even two sets of quadruplets. These multiple fawns are a sign of a healthy herd, and back-to-back mild winters have no doubt helped.
This is a great time of year for families to view deer in southwestern Minnesota, especially does and fawns. Fawns still have spots but are active and growing. Buck deer have velvet antlers several inches long. An early morning or pre-sunset drive along a rural gravel road will increase the chance of spotting whitetails.

In spite of the good reports, three permit areas have continued to stay below deer population goal levels. As a result, areas 234, 237 and 286 will have a youth-only antlerless season in 2015. With the exception of youth, veterans’ home residents and hunters 84 years or older, all other hunters are restricted to harvest legal bucks only in these areas. The DNR took this step to bring up deer numbers in these areas because even conservative antlerless quotas the past several years have resulted in antlerless harvests too high for herd growth.

MNSJ RADIO: Our 150th Radio Show!

7913 - Bone collector bret crew

Nick Mundt, Michael Waddell, Bret Amundson and T-Bone Turner.

We’re celebrating our 150th show this weekend on the MNSJ Radio Network.  We’ll feature one of our favorite interviews from the archives:  Michael Waddell from Bone Collector.  This interview originally aired two years ago this weekend, after a stop at Minnesota Archery in Litchfield.

We also have Chuck Ellingson from the Watson Hunting Camp giving us a preview on the dove season and early goose seasons.

Plus Joe Henry is back from ICAST.  We’ll find out what new products he saw there that could change your experience on the water next year.  And he’s got the Lake of the Woods fishing report.

Here’s when and where you can listen to the show: 

  1. Fargo: AM 970 WDAY  Saturdays at 6am  (LISTEN LIVE)
  2. DuluthAM 1490 The Fan/92.1 FM Sundays at 6am (LISTEN LIVE)*NEW AFFILIATE!
  3. Park Rapids: AM 870 KPRM Sundays at 7am
  4. Walker: AM 1570 KAKK  96.3 FM Saturdays 8:00a
  5. Wadena: AM 1070 KVKK Saturdays 7:00a
  6. Wahpeton: AM 1450 KBMW Saturdays at 8:00a (LISTEN LIVE)
  7. Grand Forks: AM1310 KNOX Saturdays at 10a (LISTEN LIVE)
  8. Fergus Falls:  AM 1020 THE GAME Saturdays at 10a 
  9. MontevideoAM 1460 KDMA Saturdays at 9am
  10. BemidjiAM 820 WBKK Sundays at 7am
  11. St CloudAM 1450 KNSI/103.3 FM Sundays at 6am *NEW TIME  (LISTEN LIVE)
  12. Ely94.5 FM WELY, Saturdays at 6AM  (LISTEN LIVE)
  13. Hibbing: AM 650 WNMT, Sundays at 8AM
  14. Worthington: AM 730 KWOA, Saturdays at 1PM
To get MNSJ Radio on your station, contact us here.  Easy downloadable delivery, exclusive territory and no barter agreement.