New Regulations On Winnibigoshish, Saganaga and Over 30 other Lakes

Poles n Holes web 2015

DNR announces new special angling regulations

Angling regulations will change on nearly three dozen waters this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Among the changes: Anglers will see more restrictive walleye regulations in and around Saganaga Lake in Cook County. Lake Winnibigoshish will have a relaxed, or narrower, protected slot limit for walleye. And northern pike special regulations will be removed on Big Birch Lake in Todd County.

Changed and new special and experimental regulations will be posted at public accesses on affected lakes and become effective March 1, except for those involving Sand Lake in Itasca County and connected waters, which will be effective in 2016.

New regulations

Saganaga, Sea Gull, and Gull lakes (Cook County) and connected waters – Walleye will have a 17-inch minimum length restriction and a bag limit of three established to protect small walleye to make the most of limited production of those fish from natural reproduction or stocking. Fish managers have been concerned for several years about low numbers of young walleye seen in these lakes, and the possibility that without some protection, those low numbers would result in even lower numbers of adult fish, with further reductions in spawning success. Effects of this regulation will be studied for the next 10 years, and will be reviewed with the public in 2024.

Sauk River chain of lakes (Stearns County) – Anglers will have an expanded opportunity to harvest channel catfish, which became established in the late 1970s and since have become very abundant. A bag limit of 10, but with only one of the 10 longer than 24 inches, is to provide the opportunity for more harvest yet still provide a healthy population of catfish.

Lake George (Hubbard County) – Bass will have a protected slot limit of 14-to 20-inches, with one longer than 20 inches allowed in a possession limit of six. The lake has a healthy population of bass shorter than 15 inches but fewer larger bass compared to other nearby lakes and the regulation is designed to boost numbers of larger bass.

Sand Lake (Itasca County) and connected waters (Birdseye, Portage and Little Sand lakes) –Starting in May of 2016, walleye will have a 17- to 26-inch protected slot limit with one fish longer than 26 inches allowed in a possession limit of six. This experimental regulation is intended to increase abundance of spawning-age walleye, stabilize reproduction, and end boom-and-bust cycles of fishing success for walleye. The regulation will be monitored for 10 years and its effect on walleye and fishing will be reviewed with the public in 2025.

Modified regulations

Lake Winnibigoshish – Walleye will have an 18- to 23-inch protected slot, with only one longer than 23 inches, relaxed from the previous 17- to 26-inch protected slot. This is to allow for more harvest opportunities while still maintaining protection to spawning-age fish. In recent years the slot limit on Winnibigoshish has consistently met objectives established for the regulation.

Clitherall and Sewell lakes (Otter Tail County) – On Clitherall Lake, smallmouth bass will have 14- to 20-inch protected slot limit with one longer than 20 inches allowed in a possession of six. This regulation replaces the catch and release regulation that has been in place for the last 10 years. The regulation for largemouth and smallmouth bass on Sewell Lake has also been changed to a 14- to 20-inch protected slot limit.  This replaces the 12- to 20-inch protected slot limit. Both lakes have quality populations of bass but managers believe these lakes can sustain quality fish while allowing additional harvest for bass shorter than 14 inches.

Big Mantrap (Hubbard County) – Black crappie will no longer have a 10-inch minimum length restriction but will continue to have a restricted bag limit of five. The minimum length limit was determined to be ineffective at increasing the size of crappie in Big Mantrap Lake.

Dropped regulations

Special or experimental regulations will be dropped on four waters and return to statewide or border waters regulations.

Regulation objectives for improving northern pike in Big Birch Lake in Todd County; walleye and sunfish in Cottonwood Lake in Grant County; and sunfish in Mississippi River navigation pools 5, 5a, and 8 on Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters were not achieved, so special or experimental restrictions will be lifted.

For similar reasons, on Jewett and Pickerel lakes in Otter Tail County, bass regulations will return to statewide limits.

Regulations turning permanent

Three lakes that have had experimental or temporary emergency regulations will become permanent special regulations. Reduced bag limits of five sunfish on Pimushe Lake in Beltrami County and 10 sunfish on Star Lake in Otter Tail County were shown to have effectively maintained quality populations of sunfish.

The temporary catch-and-release regulation for a genetically unique population of lake trout in Mukooda Lake in St. Louis County was made a special regulation to conserve these fish for further study. On nearby Little Trout Lake, which also has a unique genetic population, there will be a new catch-and-release regulation for lake trout. Both lakes are accessible in Voyageurs National Park and anglers may travel through these lakes with lake trout legally harvested on other waters.

In most years, the DNR reviews the effectiveness of some existing regulations and also considers proposals for new regulations. After evaluating information collected from lake and angler surveys, the department takes public input before making decisions based on management goals. For more information, see www.mndnr.gov/fishmn.

DNR TO SURVEY DEER AND ELK BY HELICOPTER

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Low-flying helicopters will be used for white-tailed deer population surveys planned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for January through March in central and southeastern Minnesota, if suitable snow conditions develop.

“We use aerial surveys to help monitor deer populations in portions of Minnesota,” said Gino D’Angelo, DNR farmland deer project leader. “These flights provide data to improve our understanding of how deer populations respond to management, which helps us to make decisions about future deer hunting season regulations.”

Deer will be counted during daylight hours at an altitude of about 200 feet. These counts are used to estimate deer numbers in deer permit areas. A representative sampling of 1 square mile areas within the permit areas are flown that allows for a statistically valid representation of the population in a given area.

“The goal is to complete deer permit areas 214, 215, 218, 219, 221, 223, 224, 229, 241, and 248 in Becker, Benton, Cass, Hubbard, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Wilkin, and Wright counties; and deer permit areas 341, 343, 345, 347, and 348 in Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties,” D’Angelo said. “Successful completion of the surveys requires continuous snow conditions over the survey areas in order to complete them all.”

Aerial elk surveys are also planned for the Kittson County and Grygla elk ranges in northwestern Minnesota.

Spring Turkey Permit Deadline is Friday – Application Information Is Here

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From the DNR:

Reminder: Spring wild turkey permit application deadline is Friday

The deadline to apply for early season spring wild turkey hunting permits is Friday, Jan. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The spring season, which runs from April 15 to May 28, is divided into eight time periods. Only people age 18 and older who want to hunt during the first three time periods (A-C) need to apply for a spring turkey permit. Permits for the remaining time periods (D-H) can be purchased over-the-counter.

Permits for the last five time periods and youth licenses for any time period are sold over-the-counter starting March 1. Surplus adult licenses from the first three time periods, if available, are sold starting around mid-March.

For more information, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.

WEEKLY GAME AND FISH VIOLATIONS

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HIGHLIGHTS: 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit)
One hunter called for a possession tag for the rack and skull of a deer he had been seeing during season. Before the hunter could legally take the deer, he overheard a pack of wolves take down the nice buck. A check of the area a few hours later revealed no remnants of the 11-pointer other than a backbone, ribcage, skull, and a leg.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre)
CO Silgjord also assisted the State Patrol with a bear that had been struck on I-94. The bear, a large male, was estimated to be about 350 pounds and totaled out a full-size pickup truck. The bear was donated to a local organization and the meat will hopefully be salvaged.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany)
One TIP complaint investigation found that a suspect hit a large buck with his car in September, took the deer without a permit and saved it for his work, big buck contest. The suspect shot a small 6-point buck during gun season, then used his tag for the car hit buck and brought the head to work to win the contest. Enforcement action was taken and the deer was seized.

 

The entire list: 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked deer hunters in Zone 1 and followed up on some deer complaints. A trespass was investigated and information was taken for several other cases.

 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) focused on big/small game and ATV enforcement throughout the Warroad area to include the Northwest Angle and Beltrami Island State Forest. The firearms deer season concluded and proved to be a disappointment to many hunters in the area; most hunters spoken to report very low encounters with deer throughout the season. Calls for service included a report of a deer taken by a firearm from a motor vehicle on the road right of way in Williams, investigation is on-going. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid registration on an ATV.

 

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week wrapping up the rifle deer season for 2014. Time was also spent on trapping, small game, and ATV enforcement. A complaint of a deer shot from a vehicle, off the road, is also under investigation.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a slow deer harvest to close out the firearms season. Spearing activity has shown mixed results on the frozen bays of Lake of the Woods and Rainy River. Enforcement action was for fail to register deer, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored firearm deer hunting activity for the final week of the season, seeing limited success. Early ice anglers were checked on the Red Lake River in Thief River Falls. Anglers are reminded that ice conditions vary greatly on bodies of water with current and caution should be used whenever traveling on ice. CO Woinarowicz answered calls for car struck deer, illegally disposed of deer carcasses, and possible cougar sightings. Enforcement action for the week included failure to register big game and unlawful party hunting.

 

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked zone 1 deer hunters. Enforcement action taken for illegal party hunting, transporting loaded firearm in motor vehicle, lending hunting license and fail to possess licenses. CO Hanson spoke to a 97-year-old hunter who was hoping to fill his deer tag.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working deer hunting, trapping and angler activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Many anglers took to the early ice on Upper Red Lake. Two anglers received a scary reminder that travel on ice is not safe when their ATV broke through the ice on Upper Red Lake. The two anglers were extracted from the frigid water and were treated for exposure by EMS personnel. CO Regas worked a special detail with neighboring officers, which resulted in enforcement action taken for shooting from a roadway.

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on big game related cases from the firearms deer season. Time was also spent working archery deer hunters and trapping enforcement. Some anglers are also venturing out onto the ice.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had a report of an injured swan, assisted other agencies and had reports of trespass concerns after the fact.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked firearms deer hunters, a few trappers and had court.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked the closing weekend of the 2014 firearms deer season.  Hunting activity was moderate with more people observed heading out ice fishing.  Ice depths vary greatly and caution is advised.  CO Vollbrecht worked a detail with neighboring officers and an individual was observed shooting from the roadway and cited.  Time was spent working with fisheries staff on an Aquatic Management Area violation.  A complaint of improperly posted property was taken.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji #2) checked deer hunters, ATVs and trapping activity throughout the week. Complaints were received regarding trespassing, shooting from the road at a big game animal, shining and highway licensed vehicles operating on closed GIA trails. A TIP complaint was also investigated.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports following up on cases from the 2014 rifle deer season, assisting CO Alan Peterson (Osage) with a search warrant and felony arrest for a felon with a firearm, dealing with dogs chasing deer and attending the Perham snowmobile safety class.  Ice on many of the smaller lakes averages 4-5” and ice anglers should remember all safety precautions. Many of the larger, deeper, lakes remain open.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked with neighboring officers on a case involving a felon in possession of a firearm, hunting w/o a license and transport illegal big game. An arrest was made, a search warrant was obtained, executed and charges are pending.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports that fishermen are starting to venture onto the ice, but conditions vary.  Pheasant hunters are stilling chasing birds and a few goose hunters are still out.  A bald eagle was recovered that appeared to have ingested lead, possibly from a gut pile of a deer.  The bird was sent to the raptor center for recovery.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received and investigated calls of possible injured swan, illegal dumping of deer carcasses, accidentally caught fisher and possible angling violations.  Follow up was conducted on open cases from the firearms deer season.  Questions were answered in regards to ice angling and trapping.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week following up with deer season activity. The officer also spent time speaking with snowmobile safety instructors in the area and preparing for upcoming snowmobile safety classes. The officer fielded calls from the public regarding baited deer stands, archery hunting, and muzzleloader questions. The officer took enforcement for shooting big game from the roadway.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on WCA cases and completing site visits.

Time was spent assisting a neighboring officer with a search warrant and apprehension of a felon who was believed to be in possession of a firearm. Several fishermen were talked to. Many had caught some fish and reported 2 to 4 inches of ice on the lakes. Caution is urged. Ice conditions do vary in the region and with warm temps ice is unpredictable.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reported follow-up activities related to the firearms deer season. Richards checked waterfowl hunters and answered questions related to trapping. Information was taken on incidental caught fisher and planning with Fergus Falls Community Education for snowmobile safety classes. Ice anglers are venturing out but caution is still advised.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finished up investigating cases from the firearm deer season. Plautz spoke to a Natural Resource class in New York Mills School and taught laws and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class. Plautz monitored ice conditions and checked ice fishermen through the weekend. Waterfowl hunters were checked with minimal success.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) finished up on calls from deer season and focused enforcement activity checking fishermen. Nelson warns anglers to be careful as ice conditions are not good after the recent rainfall.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters and ice fishermen. Ice thickness varies throughout the area and anglers should take safety precautions if they venture on the ice. Goose numbers are down from previous weeks. The majority of the snow in the area has decreased with the warm weather over the weekend.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued working on deer hunting investigations throughout the week. Lots of questions were answered regarding waterfowl hunting on the remaining open water throughout the area. A deer shot in a Missouri CWD zone and brought back to Minnesota was given to DNR Wildlife for testing.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to follow up on investigations from the firearms deer season. Additional time was spent checking waterfowl, pheasant, small game, and archery deer hunters. Trapping and snowmobiling activity was monitored. Ice fishing and spearing activity has started in the station with Lake Osakis already receiving a lot of fishing pressure.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the ice fishing activity, ATV operation and snowmobiling activity. Snowmobile complaints regarding trespass, operating on roadways and expired registration were handled. Fishing success has been spotty. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as questions answered regarding legal snowmobile operation, antlerless deer permits, and muzzleloader season questions. A call on an injured heron was also taken care of.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing activity around the area has increased over the past week, despite an ATV and truck going through the ice on Lake Minnewaska. The officer checked fishermen, coyote hunters, pheasant hunters, bow hunters, and monitored trapping activity. Additional time was spent checking snowmobile operators, ATV operators, and investigating illegal fires. Calls were handled regarding muzzleloader season, and injured animals.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked another busy week of firearms deer season. Hunters enjoyed much warmer weather for the last weekend. Some evidence was processed and special details were worked. Ice anglers were checked. Enforcement action was taken for hunting on a closed game refuge, transporting loaded firearms and setting untagged traps.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters and trappers. Officer Hunter received a call of a deer that had been found on their property that they believed had been shot. The rightful archery hunter claimed the deer.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) finished up some deer season work in the area. Assistance was provided to other officers on a search warrant. An accidentally taken fisher was seized and donated to a trapping organization. Ice anglers were checked, as some shacks started appearing on the ice. A reminder to ice anglers that all shelters on the ice are required to have the owners identification properly displayed.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on big game hunting activity. Nothing unusual to report. He handled a trespass complaint.

 

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) focused enforcement efforts on the end of the firearms deer season. The cold weather and relatively low number of harvested deer led to fewer hunters in the woods than previously. Only a handful of harvested deer were checked. Hunters reported seeing a fair number of does and fawns, but few bucks. CO Shroyer switched gears later in the week to check early ice fishermen and trapping activities. Sportsmen are cautioned to be wary of deteriorating ice conditions with the warm weather this past weekend. Not all bodies of water in the station have safe ice yet. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, failure to validate a site tag, and operating an ATV without a visible tail-light.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on deer hunting activity. Deer hunting success was limited last week. Deer hunters expressed that they are seeing a fair amount of does, but limited bucks. Smaller lakes in the Longville area are starting to freeze over, however there is still open water. Anglers are advised to check ice conditions before venturing out on the lake. CO Broughten fielded calls of trespass, shooting from roadway, and taking a doe without a permit. CO Broughten also assisted Cass County Sheriff’s Office with an attempt to locate a burglary suspect. Enforcement action included: transported loaded firearm in motor vehicle, failure to transfer ownership of ATV, operate ATV on roadway, no ATV safety, and no doe permit.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the deer season in zone 1, one contact for loaded gun. Ice fishermen showing up on small lakes and back waters of rivers. Accidental fisher turned in and gifted to Minnesota Trappers Association. Investigation started on a parked truck being shot with a shotgun.

 

WREO Shane Siltala met with local SWCD staff to review current WCA concerns. A CDO will be issued for illegal wetland filling. Deer hunters were also checked during the last weekend of the firearm season. Hunters reported seeing more wolves than deer. Few deer were seen harvested. Area trapping activity was monitored as well as early ice fishing activity.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) worked the deer hunting activity in the area. Hunters continued to find little success during the last week of the season. Follow up investigation is being conducted on a trespass complaint. Time was also spent on trapping enforcement and checking surrounding ice conditions with a few individuals getting out on the early ice to spear. CO Van Asch also assisted International Falls Police Department with a possible bomb threat at a local business in town.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports low numbers of deer hunters and it appears many have given up for the season. Ice houses are starting to show up on area lakes and a few snowmobilers are out on the first snow of the year.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the 2014 firearm deer season ended quietly. Some hunters voiced their opinion that perhaps too many quality bucks, and small spikes and forks were killed due to the buck’s only season in the area. Ice fishermen are starting to venture onto the ice. Some reported up to 7 inches of ice in some of the shallower bays. A couple 40 inch plus northerns were taken. Caution is urged due to the fact that ice is never consistent in depth and is never totally safe.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) during the week officer took complaints on trespassing and hunting over bait, investigation into these matters is ongoing. It appears that many deer hunters in the area had given up on the final weekend. Ice has now covered Lake Vermilion and anglers are venturing out into the bays. Ice is reported to be 2-8 inches in the bays) depending on the area. It is still very early so use extreme caution when venturing out on the ice. Enforcement action was taken on angling with extra lines and license not in possession.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) closed out the firearms deer season just the way it started, with a deer baiting case. Snow aided in the case as a deer was shot over bait the previous day. All the evidence was easy to follow, including the destination of the illegally taken deer via an ATV to the hunter’s house. ATV tracks were also followed over a mile into a Hunter Walking Only access area where two hunters were installing a huge deer stand, aided with the ATV. Enforcement action for the week was taken on hunt deer over baited area, multiple transport loaded firearms, deer over limit, unlawful party hunting, operate ATV during restricted times, operate ATV in prohibited area (hunter walking area) and unregistered ATV.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking the few deer hunters remaining in the woods and observed that some of those hunters began resorting to rather unsportsmanlike practices including trespass, operating ATVs during closed hours and not wearing a stich of blaze orange. Most area lakes started to make good ice and a few spearing shacks were seen out but with warmer temps over the weekend the ice seemed to have deteriorated a little. Angler area advised to use caution when venturing out onto Virginia area lakes.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) finished up the week’s deer season with does being shot from roadways and fields. One individual found in possession of a doe stated that while in his stand a injured doe ran by and he let it go knowing not to shot does, but later found it dead and harvested it. The bullet hole in the doe’s side clearly shows cause of death. Most hunters who did not see deer stated wolf signs were everywhere and wished more wolves would be removed.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted St. Louis County with a lost hunter on the Echo Trail. The hunter was 8 hours late meeting with the rest of his hunting party when rescuers arrived. He was however able to find his way to a road where he was found by another group. When Officer Williams arrived on scene two of the lost hunter’s party had gone into the woods in an attempt to locate him and were now unaccounted for. Rescuers had to then turn their attention to finding the other members of the group who went searching with no way to communicate. Fortunately they were able to hear the sound blasts from a rescue vehicle and followed it the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked on some fall cases and stored seasonal equipment. The deer season was very quiet and the deer were a bit tough to come by. The weather didn’t always help with some days having what seemed like hurricane force winds. Now everyone will be on to ice fishing. The ice was building nicely, but with the recent warm rains, it will be more dangerous than ever. Be extra careful and use safety equipment such as ice picks, PFDs, and an ice chisel to check ice thickness.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a significant increase in wolf sign compared to the last two deer seasons. Many of the tracks seen were from packs and scent marking spots were common during the last couple of weeks. Many of the shallow lakes were checked by the CO and he found 4-7 inches of ice on the lakes he checked. Use caution on all lakes especially the deeper ones that take longer to freeze. If you feel you must venture out, ice picks and throwing on a life jacket would be good ideas. The warmest weather of the deer season couldn’t coax hunters out on the last weekend as most had given up. Early ice walleye fishing has been good so far.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a vehicle dragging a beaver; the carcass was located along with a number of others intended as bait for the upcoming wolf hunt. The officer checked deer hunters and several stands and blinds; few successful hunters were encountered. The officer also checked ice anglers, who reported better success

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and deer hunting enforcement, including road hunting complaint areas. A few more hunters were out with the warm weekend weather. Ice conditions are good for foot travel in most areas. Enforcement action for the week included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, too far from tip-up, and no license in possession.

 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked another week of deer hunting. It ended the way it started with few hunters, and fewer deer. Time was also spent checking those that are starting to venture out on area ice. CO Schottenbauer encourages caution on area lakes as ice conditions vary.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked deer hunters, trappers and ice fishermen. A few anglers are making their way out onto the ice with some nice fish caught. The firearm deer season wrapped up with a foggy and rainy day. Many hunters were discouraged with the low deer numbers along the shore. Complaints were handled and investigations were followed up on.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to investigate big game and trapping cases. Baiting and illegal dumping of animal carcasses and debris on public lands continue to be common complaints. The last weekend of firearms deer season was a warm and foggy one with few deer harvested. Some dark house spearing and angling has started on some area lakes with a few shallow lakes having up to seven inches of ice being reported.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked deer hunters and worked complaints of possible hunter harassment, baiting, trespass, shoot from a roadway, and shoot from a motor vehicle. Enforcement action was taken for lend/borrow license and tags.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, big game, and ATV activity. Violations included hunting deer over bait, shoot from the roadway, lend borrow a license, illegal transportation of big game, take antlerless deer in bucks only area, deer over-limit, fail to validate tag, fail to register deer, and operate ATV in closed hours.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked deer hunting complaints, monitored bough harvesting, investigated trapping complaints and checked anglers. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si assisted CO Hanson with a shooting from the road case. K-9 Si was able locate a spent rifle casing on the roadway where the illegal hunter had shot from. Enforcement action was taken for fail to tag, fail to register and shoot from roadway

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked firearms deer hunters this past weekend. Deer hunting seemed slow, even though the weather was warmer. She also worked trapping and fishing enforcement. Ice is never considered safe, please use caution. She responded to a call about a fire on an island on Deer Lake, no one was hurt and no buildings were on fire. As it turns out, it was a recreational bonfire.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the last week of rifle deer season with some hunters out braving the cold weather. CO Sutherland also worked late season duck hunters with some local success had. Enforcement action was taken for taking an antlerless deer in a lottery zone without a permit, wanton waste, deer over-limit and failing to register a deer.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working deer hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from roadway, allowing minor to hunt in violation and trespassing.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATV activity and deer hunters during the past week. CO Velsvaag also checked a few ice anglers venturing out onto thin ice. CO Velsvaag received several calls about the upcoming fisher/marten season and spearing regulations.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working the firearm deer season. Many telephone calls were received and returned during the week. Several deer shacks were visited. A couple TIP complaints continue to be investigated and an antlered deer taken in an antlerless only zone was reported.

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trespassing complaints, ATV off hour’s complaints and followed up on a trapping issue; which resulted in an enforcement action.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) worked firearm deer season hunters, where low success rates were being reported in most deer camps; however the stories were plentiful. Early ice fishing anglers are now venturing out. Some lakes are reporting up to 7 inches of ice, however, thickness can vary greatly this time of year so use extreme caution. A bobcat that was accidentally caught in a snare was released.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked game enforcement. CO Humphrey issued a restoration order on an APM violation at Eagle Lake and assisted with training at the DNR’s Forest Officer academy in Cloquet. CO Humphrey investigated baiting, trespass, and shooting from roadway complaints during the week. Deer hunters continued to report a slow season with fewer deer seen and harvested than in previous years.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) observed very low numbers of deer being taken in the area during the firearms deer season. The number of hunters was also down in the area. Complaints of hunting over bait, shining and hunting without licenses were investigated. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office when it was reported that a hunter accidentally shot himself in the foot while climbing out of a stand. A person came into the local DNR office to report a large hairy object in the ditch of I-35 near Cloquet. After the individual nervously asked several questions about Bigfoot, the area was checked and no large hairy object was found.

 

WREO Mike Scott checked deer hunters in the Duluth area. They talked to about the lack of deer in the area, comparing it to 1970s deer hunting. He staffed the MSP Dispatch center in Roseville during the weekend. Several calls from folks reporting deer that had fallen through the ice on area lakes. Most wanted to know what to do and how the deer could be saved. Folks were advised on the safety issues trying to save deer on the thin ice.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked with fellow District 8 officers in several locations in the district. The final week of firearms season continued to be slow for hunters. Most deer camps checked over the final weekend had already been cleaned up and locked for the season. Some hunters North of Duluth reported seeing very few deer tracks for the entire season. Ice anglers have been venturing out on the ice. Most reports are coming in with 4-6 inches of ice. A reminder to anglers that ice is never safe. Proceed with caution and care. Reports of bears still roaming the woods came in.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked a few deer hunters on the final weekend of a very slow season. One hunter called for a possession tag for the rack and skull of a deer he had been seeing during season. Before the hunter could legally take the deer, he overheard a pack of wolves take down the nice buck. A check of the area a few hours later revealed no remnants of the 11-pointer other than a backbone, ribcage, skull, and a leg. Multiple dumping sites have been discovered where lazy hunters dumped carcasses in the ditch, some very close to houses. This gives a bad image to all hunters. Enforcement action taken for ATV and litter violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) followed up on cases from the 200 series deer season, helped out with 100 series zones still open and checked early season ice anglers. Although some lakes have good ice, others are still open or have thin ice. Reports were heard of a couple of trucks falling through the ice when they drove onto the edge of the lake.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including follow work on firearms deer season cases, and assisting the sheriff’s department in the investigation of an incident where a bullet from a deer hunter’s high power rifle was found to have entered an occupied residence.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ice fishing, trapping and deer hunting activity. A grandfather is facing charges after allowing his 8 year old grandson to shoot a high powered rifle across the vehicle from the passenger seat while on the roadway. Another hunting party spent hours tracking down a wounded deer, waiting for enforcement assistance and seeking adjoining landowner’s permission in an attempt to recover the animal. By chance it crossed the Mississippi on good ice and willing landowners allowed the pursuit to continue. Their ethical/legal decisions were rewarded with a nice young buck on the final day of the season.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked on equipment this week as well as the monitoring of public land use.  A couple of deer stands left on Aquatic Management Areas were called in and were marked for enforcement action and removal. Officer Guida received a complaint of timber trespass and illegal motor vehicle activity on the Gilbert Lake AMA. The violator is subject to restitution of the firewood and a fine. A shooting from a motor vehicle violation was also charged out in a Hubbard County.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) checked deer hunters on the last week and weekend of the rifle season. Numerous hunters were out and reported limited success. Time was also spent checking ice anglers, and late season waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued with checking deer hunters in Zone 1 this past week and following up on other open investigations. Officer Lee also spoke to anglers that were venturing out onto the ice. Anglers are reminded that ice conditions are varying from lake to lake, and be very cautious. The anglers and dark house spears were reporting so-so success on area lakes. Officer Lee received a call of a deer being shot in the middle of the road. Follow up investigation into the complaint led parties being issued citations for lending and borrowing deer hunting licenses, and unlawful party hunting. Other enforcement action taken this past week included Failure to Tag deer, Failure to Register deer, and operate ATV during closed hours on public lands.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored deer hunting in the Cuyuna Country SRA and assisted the Hinckley Conservation Officer and Park staff with the St. Croix State Park special deer hunt.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) checked anglers and northern spearers. The bite has been slow and the ice unpredictable and dangerous. Reports of double trippers and anglers using extra lines received enforcement time. Violations found were litter and no shelter license. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails and road hunters in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated.  Reports of deer carcass dumping in the city of Lake shore were investigated.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports checking deer hunters the last week of the season, responding to trespassing complaints, and checking a few anglers trying out the early ice. CO Peterson responded to a call of a deer out on the ice on Big Sandy which made its way to shore unassisted. She also assisted an unprepared hunter gut and drag out his buck.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) began checking ice anglers, ice spearers, and the ATVs that come with them. Some ice is approaching 7 inches thick but still gives you serine view of the open water nearby. Some canoers thought it would be fun to transition between the two without registration or life jackets on board. The final week of Zone 1 deer season was monitored along with bow hunters in Zone 2. Small game hunters were also out making use of the warm weekend.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted Aitkin County with lost hunters near the McGrath area; the hunters were found promptly. Deer hunters had little success over the week with minimal deer being seen. Anglers were happy as they were out on the early ice for the year. Anglers were checked on Pine and Mille Lacs Lake. People spearing on Mille Lacs Lake had mixed success based on location of spearing. Enforcement action was taken for no spearing license, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the final week of the 2014 firearms deer season. A few hunters come out the last weekend but most reported not seeing many deer. Several calls of trespassing were fielded throughout the week and weekend and also shining activity was monitored during the week. A couple of TIPs regarding illegal road hunting were fielded, lots of law related questions were also answered, and several car kill deer permits were issued for deer. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office on a call of a lost hunter and patrol was done around area lakes where fishermen were venturing out for some ice fishing. Enforcement action was taken for various big game violations.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked the final weekend of firearms deer season finding very few deer being taken. She responded to call of shining and shooting after hours. The occupant of the vehicle shot in the direction of a pastured area, farm buildings and a house. The incident remains under investigation. A call of trespassing was investigated. The individuals who were trespassing left the scene however, a blood trail was detected and a deer was eventually located. Additional violations with this incident may include hunting without a license. An investigation is ongoing. CO Speldrich received additional baiting complaints and assisted neighboring officers with baiting cases. Hunting deer over baited areas was the most prevalent violation seen this deer season. CO Speldrich also issued car kill possession tags, answered questions regarding ice safety and checked traps.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked spear fishermen on Mille lacs Lake and found poor harvest results. Some pike are showing up, but very few for the amount of fisherman out. Deer hunting season came to a close with little activity. Rain and wind made for difficult hunting.   Trappers are battling freeze up conditions. Mille Lacs WMA issues were handled, mostly related to stands left in the WMA. Ice conditions vary, please use caution and never assume ice is safe.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had an increase in complaints of trespassing deer hunters during the last week of the firearms deer season. Some otter, beaver, and mink trapping activity was found and the first ice anglers of the season were checked. Some area lakes were found with not enough ice for safe foot travel and other lakes had 6 inches of ice or more. Time was also spent monitoring a couple hundred deer hunters that were lucky enough to draw tags for the St. Croix State Park deer hunt.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week working complaints of deer shot off roadways. CO Wynn answered questions about waterfowl hunting, muzzleloader hunting, ice conditions, and trapping throughout the week. With the roller coaster weather we’ve been having recently, anglers should use extreme caution when venturing out on local lakes. Ice conditions varied from 2-4 inches in places, but rain and warm weather over the weekend is sure to deteriorate local ice. CO Wynn also spent time assisting with the special hunt at St. Croix State Park over the weekend.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked deer hunters during the week and weekend. Several complaints of trespass were handled. Hunters were reminded to contact land owners before tracking wounded deer on private property. Ice fishing has started on Mille Lacs mainly on the south end. Most activity has been northern pike spearing and success has been fair.

 

WREO Rob Haberman checked deer hunters throughout the week in zone 100. Colder temps earlier in the week kept most hunters indoors. WREO Haberman also checked early ice fishermen on area lakes. Ice conditions are spotty so caution is always advised. WREO Haberman worked on wetland cases in his assigned area.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week following up on cases from the firearms deer season. Ice angling activity was monitored with a few more anglers seen venturing out on the ice. A trap tampering complaint was fielded and is currently under investigation. CO Silgjord also assisted the State Patrol with a bear that had been struck on I-94. The bear, a large male, was estimated to be about 350 pounds and totaled out a full-size pickup truck. The bear was donated to a local organization and the meat will hopefully be salvaged.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a complaint call of hunters attempting to locate deer after the close of the firearms deer season. In tracking the deer the hunters trespassed on posted private property without permission. CO Kuske did a law talk at the Snowmobile safety class in Upsala and continued investigations of possible illegal tagging from firearms deer season.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting follow-up on wetland cases. Assistance was given to neighboring officers regarding deer hunting complaint investigations. The first ice fishermen of the season were also checked.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) dealt with the fact deer season isn’t over the last day of hunting. Investigations continue regarding lend / borrow cases, fail to register deer, purchase of duplicate licenses and calls of injured deer. Ice on area lakes is looking real good and people are starting to get out in several places.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activity in the area. The officer assisted with a vehicle versus train accident. Enforcement action was taken on waterfowl hunting violations.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time following up on calls from the deer season to include a lend/borrow violation, over limit violation and registration violations. One TIP complaint investigation found that a suspect hit a large buck with his car in September, took the deer without a permit and saved it for his work, big buck contest. The suspect shot a small 6-point buck during gun season, then used his tag for the car hit buck and brought the head to work to win the contest. Enforcement action was taken and the deer was seized. Snowmobile activity was seen in the Albany area with enforcement action taken on loud pipes, and trespass. Ice conditions vary from lake to lake, but the shallower lakes have 5-6 inches of good ice. One angler checked resulted in an extra line ticket.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) station checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked on follow up deer cases. CO Mies checked sleds and worked on complaints.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) finished up cases from firearms deer season. A TIP call was investigated.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl hunters on the Mississippi River. He followed up on a Big Game investigation with charges pending. He answered a number of hunting questions. He checked on some trapping complaints and followed up on a couple TIP calls. He assisted with an injured swan in Monticello.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports finishing up investigations on deer cases from the season. CO Langevin received numerous calls regarding dumped deer carcasses in the area. Hunters are reminded to find an appropriate place to dump processed deer parts. CO Langevin also worked the area for ice anglers. The cold temperatures already have ice fishermen on area lakes. Anglers are reminded no ice is safe especially early ice.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked deer hunters during the last week of deer season. Hunters stayed out of the woods during the cold weather and deer harvest appeared to be below average. Enforcement action was taken on possession of small amount of marijuana and operating an unregistered snowmobile.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) received several complaints of a couple of hunters that were hunting deer the day after the season closed. The hunters were located and stated that they were tracking a wounded deer, the problem however was that they were shooting at the deer. Enforcement action was taken and the deer was seized. Officer Londgren also followed up on complaints from the deer season, checked anglers, snowmobiles, and took injured/nuisance animal calls.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the 3B deer opener finding very few deer taken. Goose hunters were checked having very good success field hunting. A few anglers were venturing out on the ice but it was not very safe. Enforcement action was taken for no blaze orange clothing during firearms deer season, no small game license, unsigned federal duck stamps, no federal duck stamps and over limit of geese.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for deer hunting activity. Violations including failing to validate a tag and uncased firearms. Salzer also patrolled Dakota County for waterfowl activity. Duck hunting activity was slow.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) monitored hunting activity and ice conditions. CO Grewe did an ice safety presentation and asks anglers to prepare and beware of ice conditions before travelling out on to Minnesota waters.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked ice fishermen in Scott County and worked the 3B deer season in Scott County. He talked to an Asian group in St. Paul on hunting and fishing regulations and responded to a few TIP complaints in Scott County. Violations were fail to validate deer tag and hunting with shotgun slugs and pistol in a wildlife management area that is restricted to shot gun with fine shot only.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) gave a presentation to the IBEW (International Brotherhood Electrical Workers) Local 160 retirees and the subject was the Minnesota Conservation Officer’s role as well as the mission of the Law Enforcement Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He assisted CO Chihak with a case where a trumpeter swan was shot and two subjects admitted to the violation.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked deer hunters during the week. He spoke to a snowmobile safety class in Coon Rapids sponsored by the Coon Rapids Sno-Cruisers. CO Johnson assisted a CO from Arizona regarding a license revocation investigation. He received a number of calls about deer violations, and deer hunting questions.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking archery deer, small game, and waterfowl hunters. CO Arntzen investigated a trapping complaint, handled TIP calls and monitored area lakes for fishing activity. He also spoke to a snowmobile safety class in Ham Lake and patrolled wildlife management areas.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week patrolling for big game and AIS activity. WREO Block also followed up on wetland and shoreline related cases. An extension was issued to a wetland restoration order due to the early arrival of winter.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports a busy opening to the B firearm season. He responded to TIP complaints and various questions concerning where people can hunt. He investigated a deer caught in a snare as well as patrolled Spring Lake with other officers. Enforcement action for the week included, untagged snares, and hunting deer over bait.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the season B deer opener weekend with CO Kruse in southeast Minnesota and checked a number of deer and small game hunters there. CO Pril continued checking the metro zone deer area hunters and waterfowl hunters during the week. Some ice fishermen were also checked on a couple of metro lakes and rivers. CO Pril responded to a number of calls and complaints during the week.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked small game and archery deer hunters in the area. She checked individuals at shore that tested the unsafe ice and went ice fishing. CO Kruse and CO Pril assisted COs with the 3B season by working in southeast Minnesota. She continued working on a few deer cases, took nuisance animal calls, and handled TIP calls. Violations included transport loaded gun, target shoot in a WMA, license not in possession and litter.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Warm conditions have helped the pheasant hunters and pheasants. Several calls of injured deer have been received. Deer injured during the slug season are being found by pheasant hunters.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that ice fishermen are finding from 4-6 inches of ice on area lakes. Late season pheasant hunters are finding pheasants in large groups with the snow pack. CO Picht continues to work on deer hunting related investigations and LqP Refuge violations.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week conducting follow up investigations from the firearms deer season. Calls were received from landowners finding dead deer on their property that had been shot by slug hunters. Nice weather over the weekend brought out pheasant and archery deer hunters. A few ice fishermen are venturing out onto area lakes with ice thickness reports varying. Extreme caution needs to be used. Ice thickness seems to be ranging from 3-7 inches but lakes with less are also being reported. Please visit the DNR website for information on ice safety.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted Eco/Waters with follow-up on AIS complaints with K-9 Reggie. Checks were completed on boat lifts and docks in Becker and Hubbard Counties. Officer Hanson also assisted Eco/Waters with groundwater and compliance hydro interviews in New Ulm. Follow-up was completed on WCA and PW cases.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) followed-up on cases from the firearms deer season. Ice fishing activity has started on local waters. Please use caution when venturing out, as ice conditions can vary from lake to lake. Late season pheasant hunting activity was also monitored.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on cases from the firearms deer season. He continues to take trespass complaints regarding snowmobile operation and pheasant hunting. Denz spoke about regulations at a snowmobile safety class in New London.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week checking pheasant hunters and ice fishermen. Pheasant hunters are having some luck in this cold weather and seeing a few more birds moving around. Ice fishermen have to check the ice before going out and have to stay off of a few lakes due to the lack of ice. The lakes they are able to get on they are catching fish. There were even some deer left from the firearms deer season that were checked. The hunter hung them in a tree in his yard and they froze in the cold weather. The hunter had them tagged and registered.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers taking advantage of the early ice. Anglers should be cautious as ice is still very thin in spots. She spoke at two probation groups meetings in Glencoe. She discussed hunting rules and regulations and answered a variety of questions. Mueller also answered questions on coyote hunting.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) followed up on some deer issues from the firearms season. Oberg also worked snowmobile enforcement in the area with a few sleds trying to get out before the snow melts. A work detail was also worked in the area.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated calls of taking deer from the road, trapping and trespass violations. Anglers have been venturing onto the ice with little success. Ice conditions vary greatly and extreme care must be taken when fishing local lakes.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked small game, angling and big game enforcement throughout the week. Pheasant hunters have become more active now that the firearm season closed, with some having good success. There are fewer ducks and geese around although nearly all the snow cover is gone. A few anglers are venturing on to the area ice both on lakes and the Des Moines River.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) continued investigations from the firearms deer season. Waterfowl hunters were checked in fields. Anglers are venturing out on ice and reports are 3-4 inches of ice. Trapping activity picked up for a couple of days as weather warmed up.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

 

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continues to follow up on cases from this past week’s deer season. Some snowmobiling activity is being seen. The officer also reports ice fishing activity is picking up due the cold weather.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for deer, pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent checking snowmobile operators who were taking advantage of recent snowfall. Officer Ihnen also responded to several calls relating to injured deer following the firearms season, as well as complaints of trespassing.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked big game and small game activity during the week.   Complaints were received regarding deer hunting activity. Several violations were encountered.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week following up on investigations from the firearms deer hunting A season. The firearms deer hunting B season opener was worked over the weekend. An illegal shooting of a trumpeter swan was investigated with enforcement action taken. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked on wrapping up cases from deer season. Some ice anglers have been out, pressing their luck. One angler reported 3 to 4 inches of ice in some places, with many other places where the chisel went through the ice on the first poke as he was walking. Lots of water was seen on top of the thin ice, with Sunday’s warm weather.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked the opening of the 3B firearms deer season. Hunters with the wrong license or in the wrong zone were common issues. Waterfowl hunters and archery hunters were also checked.

 

WREO Julie Siems worked 3B deer opener resulting in APR, unlawful party hunting and lend/borrow violations. Non-compliance with the lake service provider permit was also addressed.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

Mankato #1 – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports hardcore duck hunters that found open water shot some nice mallards and black ducks. Early in the week ice fishermen were having luck in the backwaters. Main channel opened up again after the warm weekend. 3B deer opener had wet rainy weather. The larger groups did well with deer drives. Bucks are in lock down mode. He assisted the Winona Sheriff with a search for a fisherman who’s been missing for two weeks. Enforcement for the week included shining after hours without a firearm, fail to tag deer and APR violation.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) conducted follow up from the deer season and checked waterfowl hunters. A few snowmobiles were out before all the snow melted over the weekend. One person located had warrants and was in possession of methamphetamine. Other enforcement action involved some waterfowl hunting issues.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the 3B opener. Warmer weather made it more comfortable but deer movement was slow. The muddy weather made driving deer difficult as well. Most groups did have deer but added it was slow. Trespass complaints were investigated as were shooting from the road complaints. A few pheasant hunters were out and seeing a few birds now that the majority of corn has been harvested.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports following up on deer cases during the week and spending the weekend checking B season deer hunters. Waterfowl hunters were having a difficult time finding open water to hunt by the end of the week. Hunters took advantage of the nice weather on Saturday and fewer people were observed during the rain on Sunday. Some deer hunting violations were detected and a few people called to turn in deer that did not meet the Antler Point Restriction.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. A number of deer hunters were out, but it was slower overall compared to the A season. Duck hunters who managed to get out on the river with all the ice did well with limits and overlimits seen taken.

 

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

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew fisher, marten and wolf telemetry. Heineman also worked on instrument training. Aircraft was also brought in for scheduled maintenance.

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) conducted training flights with CO Pilot Lofstuen and maintenance issues. Geving also participated with a big game enforcement detail.

 

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on aircraft and administrative tasks, and started teaching helicopter ground school training for one of the pilots. He also flew a deer baiting activity for district 8.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew as a safety pilot for John Heineman during a proficiency flight. Also, ground and flight training was received for a required instrument proficiency check. An aircraft was repositioned from New Ulm to Bemidji and a Big Game flight was flown in Districts 2, 4, 7 and 9.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen reports a week of flying support flights for officers on the ground to aid in the investigation of illegal deer hunting. Jensen also searched for missing collared wolves and started pack counts on wolves that could still be found with working collars. Jensen flew a new CO around his station to give him a view of the landscape from above therefore shortening the learning curve for the officer in this first year in the area.

Mille Lacs Winter Fishing Regulations: Read More Here

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Mille Lacs open to pike spearing; walleye regulation unchanged

Dark-house spearing of northern pike will be allowed at Mille Lacs Lake for the first time since the winter of 1982-83, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Anglers and spearers can keep 10 northern pike, of which only one may be longer than 30 inches. Anglers also will be able to fish for northern pike for a longer period of time this winter. The close of the northern pike angling season will be extended from mid-February to the last Sunday in March.

“With the high number of northern pike under 30 inches, we’re providing more opportunity to harvest these surplus fish,” said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR Aitkin area fisheries supervisor.

The lake’s walleye fishing regulations will not change this winter.

Anglers can continue to keep two walleye from 18- to 20-inches, except one out of the two walleye anglers can keep can be longer than 28 inches.

“We’ll continue to protect small and large walleye by extending the existing walleye regulation,” Bruesewitz said.

Although the catch of bass in winter is extremely rare, anglers on Mille Lacs are exempted from the statewide catch-and-release regulation that begins in mid-September. This means anglers may harvest smallmouth bass from the opener until the last Sunday in February. Anglers may keep six fish, only one of which may be longer than 18 inches.

For more information on Mille Lacs Lake, visit www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

Weekly Game and Fish Violations:

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Highlights include:

Moorhead: “Many hunters were struggling to find deer. An interview with one hunter led to the admission that he had shot three deer in one day while hunting by himself. The individual informed the Officer that “he was not aware he couldn’t do that.” 

Hibbing:  “Some hunters have resorted to shooting does from the road (in a buck’s only zone) and trespassing. Two hunters were even found trespassing on the officer’s land. They were advised that they should have looked a little closer to the name on the no trespassing sign.”  

Aurora: “…received a complaint from hunters up at their cabin that when they left for a short time someone drove into the yard and stole a 7-point buck from the meat pole.”

Grand Marais: “…reports as the old saying goes, “Some people will do almost anything for a buck.” One minute a hunter is admiring his prized trophy buck, thinking about entering it in a big buck contest with visions of cash and prizes. The next minute he sees his unlawfully taken animal and his rifle leaving with the local CO and sheriff’s deputy. All he is left with is one of those parting gifts from the CO that you just don’t want.”

Cross Lake: “..Officer Lee also received a call of an injured Trumpeter Swan. The swan was eventually caught after a lengthy chase through the woods, and wrestling match in which Officer Lee finally won. 

Rushford:CO Boyum watched one hunter shoot and drop a deer from his blind. The hunter then walked up to the deer, checked it and then went back to his blind to retrieve his hunting knife. While the hunter was in his blind getting his knife, the deer stood up, looked around and ran away unbeknownst to the hunter. Upon reaching the hunter, he said you are not going to believe what happened to me.

The rest:

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked hunters in the Roseau, Marshall, Kittson and LOW counties. Violations encountered included shooting from the road, trespass, taking an antlerless deer without a permit, transporting illegally taken big game, transporting loaded firearm, fail to register deer, and fail to validate tag.

 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) focused on big game and small game enforcement throughout the Warroad area, to include the Northwest Angle and Beltrami Island State Forest. The firearms deer season continues to yield a less than expected harvest, with hunters reporting scarce sightings of both bucks and does. The grouse population seems to be thriving; they are being seen throughout the area both on and off roads. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm on an ATV.

 

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week checking deer hunters in the Beltrami Island State Forest and surrounding areas. Little success was reported again this week. One group was eager to get out on the ice and decided to test their luck at spearing instead (also not much luck). Time was spent monitoring traps set in the state forest and complaints of hunting over bait were handled. Violations include untagged traps.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked with multiple neighboring officers on an array of different activities ranging from checking deer hunters to spearing activity. The bays and tributaries are starting to freeze up, but the ice is still very thin. Remember to double check how thick the ice is before venturing out and be safe when doing so.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor firearm deer hunting activity. Total deer numbers were lower than recent years but the rut was in full swing during the season with many large bucks taken in the area. Enforcement action included transport loaded firearm, unlawful use of radio to take big game, fail to tag deer, fail to validate tag, unlawful party hunting, and leave stand in WMA.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked a number of details with neighboring officers; monitored deer hunting, trapping and ATV activity throughout the week. Time was spent issuing car killed deer possession permits and assistance was given to the sheriff’s office with a report of a rabid gray fox. A trespassing complaint and a TIP call were investigated. Enforcement action for the week included operation of an ATV during restricted hours of the firearms season and unlawful transportation of loaded firearms.

 

Baudette #2 -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending this week focusing on working the firearms deer season. Several hunter contacts were made throughout the week. Various TIP calls were received concerning illegal hunting methods. Violations encountered included hunt deer over bait, transport loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, fail to register deer, and untagged big game animal.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked litter, trapping, hunting activity and reminded anglers to be careful checking ice conditions. He responded to other agency calls, car kills and another shot moose.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked firearms deer hunters, answered calls and checked a few trappers.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked the first week of the firearms deer season. Hunters are reporting fewer deer then previous years. CO Vollbrecht investigated a complaint of an individual shooting on a refuge and a complaint of an individual shooting from the road. CO Vollbrecht worked a detail with neighboring officers. Time was spent checking late season duck hunters on the river.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) continued to work deer hunting throughout the week. Time was also spent checking hunting activity in and around Itasca State Park. A TIP call was investigated and a complaint was received regarding hunter harassment. Officer Holt worked with neighboring officers on a case of illegally taking of deer by firearms in the Bemidji Game Refuge and taking an antlerless deer in a lottery zone without an antlerless permit. Other violations encountered included transporting a loaded firearm, ATV violations and operating a motor vehicle in an area with limitations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports an active deer season with cold temperatures and spotty hunting. It was either feast or famine with many hunters. TIP calls were investigated and areas prone to violations were patrolled. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from the road, transport loaded firearms, trespass and taking deer without a license. Untagged deer and failure to validate site tags were more common this year and hunters were reminded of the importance of validating their tags.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked deer hunters, monitored trapping activity, followed up on trespass complaints and assisted neighboring officers with shoot from the road complaints. Hunting pressure and deer kill seemed lower than recent years. Peterson also assisted with locating a lone female driving in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to the leg. First aid was rendered while waiting for medics.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working deer hunters. Activity was slow during the week with few hunters out. CO Forsberg followed up on violations of shooting within 500 feet of a residence, shooting of roadway or out of vehicle, fail to tag or validate and hunting over bait. Duck season is over with most smaller bodies of water frozen over. A few fishermen were already out on the lakes. Four inches was found on one smaller lake with several fishermen trying their luck.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked the firearms deer season with hunters reporting few deer taken. Waterfowl hunting activity was worked as was AIS compliance. CO Warren followed up on complaints of trespass, taking deer by use of artificial light, leave deer stand in WMA, dogs chasing deer, a possible sick swan, and illegal lend/borrow hunting tags with investigations ongoing. CO Warren assisted a member of the public and wildlife staff in freeing a deer that had fallen through thin ice on an area lake. Enforcement action included atv usage out of hours, transport loaded firearm, no license in possession and trespass.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) checked on firearms deer hunters throughout Clay, Norman, and Becker counties. Many hunters were struggling to find deer. An interview with one hunter led to the admission that he had shot three deer in one day while hunting by himself. The individual informed the Officer that “he was not aware he couldn’t do that.” The Officer issued the individual a citation for deer over limit and seized several deer and the individual’s firearm. Another incident was reported where several vehicles were chasing deer around a section. When confronted by the officer they asked how they were supposed to follow the deer to see where they go if they couldn’t use their vehicles to follow them across multiple sections of land. Officer Landmark fielded multiple calls regarding trespassing, illegal party hunting, shooting from the roadway, chasing deer with a motor vehicle and deer over limits. Officer Landmark took enforcement action and issued citations for shooting from the roadway, transporting loaded firearms, unlawful party hunting, untagged big game animal, and an over limit of deer.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on FA Deer season. Assistance was given to neighboring CO’s with calls and complaints in their stations. Time was spent in Becker, Clay, Otter Tail, Wilkin, Mahnomen, and Norman counties. A possible waters and WCA violation is being investigated.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received complaints of road hunters in various locations. Hunters checked had many tags going unfilled. Some large bucks were viewed by smart phones. Calls of injured animals going into refuges and private property were checked. Violations encountered for the week included transport loaded firearm, shoot from right of way, and take antlerless deer w/o permit. There is a large concentration of geese in the area despite the mid-winter like temperatures.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued to work the rifle deer season with scattered activity. Plautz responded to an injured raccoon call, several trespass issues were dealt with during the week and multiple phone calls and questions were answered. Hunting violations encountered this week were the following: transport loaded firearms, fail to validate deer tag, lend and borrow deer license, trespass, and fail to immediately tag deer. Ice is forming fast and many areas are showing signs of eager fishermen.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked waterfowl hunters, deer hunters and trappers primarily. Complaints were worked in the vacant Wheaton station with complaints of hunter harassment, trespass, and shooting deer from roadways handled. In addition, deer shining complaints were worked as well.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked deer hunters and duck hunters. Waterfowl hunting activity has really slowed with most of the lakes freezing up. Osborne observed some portable fish houses out on area lakes even though the ice is very thin. Common violations from deer season include hunting deer over bait, transport loaded firearms in motor vehicles and untagged deer.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued working deer season activity with several cases made. One hunter was cited for deer over-limit, after being interviewed by both CO’s Lawler and Johanson, the hunter admitted to shooting three bucks this fall, two of which were illegal. Another hunter admitted to hunting deer during opening weekend without a license. Transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles and drug violations were also addressed. Two ice fishermen were observed on Lake Charlie already. People are encouraged to use caution with early ice conditions.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work the firearms deer season checking hunters; following up on complaints, and completing investigations. Numerous violations were found for illegal party hunting and lending and borrowing deer tags. Overall, the harvest is down, but most hunters saw deer and had to pass on does and fawns. Additional time was spent working waterfowl and pheasant hunters as well as trapping activity.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the firearms deer season and snowmobiling activity. CO’s Anderson and Baumbarger partnered up working the deer season in Stevens and Pope counties. Anderson also assisted CO Miska working the vacant Benson during deer season. Violations encountered include shooting from road right-of-ways and trespassing. Waterfowl hunting has come to a sudden end due to the early freeze up. Snowmobilers were checked already with some riding with expired registration. Ice fishermen are venturing out on area lakes with very thin ice conditions. Extreme caution is advised with the early ice. Questions were answered from the public regarding transportation requirements of harvested deer, FAS class questions and antlerless deer permits.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports deer harvest in the last half of the gun season was down from the early part of the season. The officer checked deer hunters, snowmobile operators, pheasant hunters, and trappers this past week. Additional time was spent checking the first ice anglers of the season, and participating in a work crew in the Elbow Lake area with CO’s Nelson and Anderson. Anglers are reminded that ice is never 100 percent safe and to use caution if venturing onto area lakes as ice thickness varies greatly. Complaints were received of trespass, deer over-limit, and shooting within 500 feet of houses.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked another busy week of firearms deer season. Special details were worked, evidence was processed and complaints were addressed. Enforcement action was taken for hunting while intoxicated, 2nd degree DWI, transporting loaded firearms and trespassing.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked hunters and fishermen. Trapping activity picked up with the new snow. Ice is building and some fishermen are venturing out. Remember that there are a lot of lakes in the Park Rapids area that have current flowing thru them making the ice thin and unpredictable.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to check hunters and camps. Trespass calls seemed to prevail last week. A TIP call was received about a shining and shooting incident. The violators were found and the deer recovered. The firearms lights and deer were seized. Assistance was also provided to medical and local law enforcement at an accidental shooting.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunting activity. Time was also spent checking on reports of persons illegally cutting spruce tops from timber land. CO’s Hansen, Fairbanks, and Patten assisted CO Mathy with a deer case where violations of take over limit of deer, hunt deer over baited area, lend/borrow license violations, party hunting violations, untagged deer, fail to register deer, fail to validate deer tag, and transport an illegally taken deer were found.

 

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) finished field training in the Crookston station, where deer hunting enforcement was the main focus. Enforcement action was taken in the Remer station for unregistered deer, possess drug paraphernalia and marijuana, shoot from the roadway and shoot from a motor vehicle. CO Shroyer spent time getting to know the Remer station and neighboring officers.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on deer hunting activity. Recent weather has caused smaller lakes to start to ice over. Deer hunting success was poor. CO Broughten fielded calls of trespass, shoot from roadway, and hunting deer over bait. CO Broughten also investigated a case involving lend/borrow a big game license and illegal party hunting. Enforcement action included lend/borrow big game license, unlawful party hunting, and no doe permit.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the deer season, complaints on wanton waste deer, shining and trespass. Contacts were made for untagged deer, loaded guns, and take antlerless deer without a permit. Halverson made contact with the operator of a 3-wheeler that had been called in for trespass and ripping up yards and the public access.

 

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled area forest roads and trails checking firearm deer hunters. The cold weather and tighter hunting options made for far fewer hunters the second weekend of firearms deer season. Officer Adam responded to untagged deer, operating ATV’s on closed trails and shoot from the road complaints.

 

WREO Shane Siltala checked deer firearms hunters in vacant stations over the past week. Overall deer hunter numbers appeared to be below average. A complaint of shooting from the roadway was addressed. A call of an injured deer out in the middle of a frozen pond was also responded to. Extra patrol was given to areas of road hunting complaints. Overall hunting law compliance was good.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports second weekend of deer firearms season similar to first weekend with very few deer being seen or taken. However, enforcement action was up with several transporting loaded firearms cases, a couple of cases involving illegal possession of drug paraphernalia and small amount of marijuana, failure to obtain car kill deer permit, discharge firearm from motor vehicle at deer decoy, operate ATV during closed hours, and assisted State Patrol and Koochiching County Sheriff’s Deputy with driving while under the influence of alcohol case.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports assisting COs Patten and Kittelson with a call about an injured swan stuck on a slightly frozen pond just outside of Big Falls. The number of deer hunters taking to the woods was low again this past week and weekend. CO Van Asch did see a slight increase in the success of these hunters with hunters reporting harvesting more bucks then the opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, operating an ATV during restricted times, burning prohibited materials, and failure to have a hunting license in possession.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports very little deer hunting activity observed over the week. Public access sites were monitored and watercraft storage worked on. Spare time was spent on administrative items.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports fish houses are starting to show up on some of the smaller bays of Lake Vermilion and some of the smaller lakes in the area. Ice thickness varies greatly so check the ice often and don’t venture out alone. A wolf incident was investigated. Deer hunting remains slow with few deer and not many hunters.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports that the deer hunting season has been a little tough for local hunters. The cold and the reduced deer herd have made it a tougher season than the past. The number of hunters has reduced drastically from the opening weekend. Enforcement was taken on following issues: fail to validate tag, no deer license, and hunting during the two day waiting period. Officer investigated report of boat left at access on Lake Vermilion, and a wetland violation. Questions were addressed dealing with the new Vermilion State Park with regards to the firearms season. CO Hopkins, CO Bermel, and an 1854 CO investigated a deer stand in a state park and posting of land issues. Ice is starting to form on Lake Vermilion and all of the smaller lakes are iced over. Remember that it is still unsafe to venture out on the ice.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked balsam bough and spruce top cutters, a dog in a snare complaint, but spent most of the week working the ongoing deer firearms season. Some hunters have resorted to shooting does from the road (in a buck’s only zone) and trespassing. Two hunters were even found trespassing on the officer’s land. They were advised that they should have looked a little closer to the name on the no trespassing sign. Cold temperatures and the lack of deer have kept many hunters out of the woods as long as they normally would have or they gave up all together. Hunters are reminded that they cannot mix archery and rifle hunters together in the same party as two separate parties with the issue were encountered. Enforcement action was taken on hunt deer without a license, hunt deer with an invalid license, unlawful party hunting, transport loaded firearm, trespassing, untagged deer, unregistered ATV, and a traffic violation for a hunter running a stop sign nearly colliding with the officer.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) prepared and sent in reports to court for violations of big game hunting activity during the opening weekend of deer season. Numerous reports were taken of people shooting deer and specifically doe’s from the roadway. Enforcement action was taken for transporting untagged big game animal.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint from hunters up at their cabin that when they left for a short time someone drove into the yard and stole a 7-point buck from the meat pole. He received multiple separate calls of hunting from the road and shooting does, in this buck’s only zone. Fredin checked hunters in the woods and visited cabins with most hunters stating few to no deer seen but, plenty of wolf tracks. Balsam bough pickers were checked and a complaint of pickers entering private land is being investigated. Violations of possess small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were addressed.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports deer hunting activity has slowed significantly on the echo trail, with only a fraction of the hunters seen last weekend. Deer activity seemed to be up but very few hunters were successful in the cold and wind. Violations included: no blaze orange, and fail to register deer.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked white fish netting and deer hunters. The season was off to a slow start and very few deer were taken right away, but as the season progresses, a few more are being found. The lakes are icing up and the fishermen are getting restless. Be careful with the new ice as always. Remember have your fishing or spearing license in possession when on the ice.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports as the old saying goes, “Some people will do almost anything for a buck.” One minute a hunter is admiring his prized trophy buck, thinking about entering it in a big buck contest with visions of cash and prizes. The next minute he sees his unlawfully taken animal and his rifle leaving with the local CO and sheriff’s deputy. All he is left with is one of those parting gifts from the CO that you just don’t want. Enforcement action was taken for unlawfully taken deer, lend/borrow hunting tags, no hunter orange, failing to validate tags and drive ATV around barricade into closed area.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to work the cold and blustery firearms deer season. Many hunters have opted to troll the back roads looking for the deer of opportunity rather than find one the old fashion way. The officer followed up on baiting cases from past seasons and handled a nuisance bear complaint. CO Manning also patrolled areas ripe for illegal, late night deer shining.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked firearms deer hunters throughout the week, along with checking the first ice activity of the year. The first northern spearer of the season hadn’t purchased a spearing license. One individual was encountered for the second time in a month road hunting in possession of marijuana. Other enforcement action included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, fail to validate deer tag, hunt on invalid license (2-day waiting period), fail to register deer within 48 hours, and drive in violation of limited license.

 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer hunting activity. While area hunters were having a hard time finding tracks, much less deer, the ice seemed to be setting up nicely on some area lakes. The lack of deer and cold temps prompted several hunters to try their luck on the road. A few of them were found to be driving around with uncased and loaded guns bouncing around their front seats, enforcement action taken.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking deer hunters. Deer harvest success has been very low along the North Shore. The officer assisted the State Patrol with a semi-truck that veered off the high-way into the woods taking out several large trees along the way. Enforcement action was taken for big game and traffic violations.

 

CO Don Murray(Two Harbors) worked the second frigid weekend of firearms deer season along the North Shore with few deer seen harvested. Murray continued with trapping and trespass investigations along with an illegal trash dumping complaint. Many lakes were observed to be completely frozen over already with some shallow lakes with a few inches of ice

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked deer hunters and worked complaints for baiting, shooting from a roadway, trespass, hunter harassment, and operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area. Enforcement action taken for using radios to take big game.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked small game, big game, and ATV activity. Violations included hunt deer over bait, use radios to take game, lend borrow a license, illegal transportation of big game, deer over-limit, fail to validate tag, fail to register deer, and operate ATV in closed hours, and on a county road.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked hunters, worked trapping complaints, monitored bough harvesting activity and investigated trespass calls. In one incident CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si were able to locate a spent rifle casing at a baited deer stand. Enforcement action was taken for use radio to take deer, over limit of deer, fail to validate license, hunt over bait, trespass, cut boughs without consent of property owner and transport loaded firearm.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked  big game and small game activity this past week. She investigated a complaint of road hunting and handled a call concerning an injured deer stuck on a recently froze over lake. Enforcement action was taken for several deer hunting violations, firearms violations and small game violations.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked deer hunters and late season duck hunters over the past week. Limited success was had by deer hunters in the area with cold temperatures and deer numbers being down. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing, failing to validate a deer tag at the site of kill and failing to tag a deer.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked trappers, bough cutters, and deer hunters. He responded to several hunting complaints during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working deer hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for felon in possession of a firearm, untagged deer and failure to validate license. Wichmann also assisted in looking for a lost hunter.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV officer) patrolled for ATVs being utilized by deer hunters. He took calls and complaints of big game hunting violations as well as trapping violations. CO Velsvaag responded to a car accident where a grey wolf was hit and killed. Deer hunting enforcement was the majority of the work load this past week. He assisted district officers with investigations as well.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on complaints of trespassing, shoot from the roadways and ATV operation during closed hours. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms and ATV violations.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports colder temperatures appeared to curtail hunters. Complaints of ATV operation during closed periods and hunters hunting from motor vehicles are being reported and investigated. During the week, Hanzal assisted the county in locating a missing person. A deer was discovered illegally shot by an archer and just left to rot near Basswood road in Duluth. If you have any information about these senseless and illegal killing please call.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continues to work the firearm deer season. Many hunting shacks were checked during the week. Investigations from TIP’s and proactive work continued. Complaint areas of shooting from the road and night shining of deer were concentrated on during the week. Many telephone calls were also received.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued to follow up on active investigations from deer season. These investigations included shooting from the roadway, illegal shining activity, trespass, shooting from a motor vehicle, hunting over bait, illegal ATV use and failing to validate a deer license. Officer Humphrey also fielded several calls regarding deer permit areas and what was legal to take.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports snow and cold has slowed the deer hunting activity in the area. Several hunters are reporting that they are seeing very few deer. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and complaints of hunting over bait and shining are being investigated. One hunter was stopped while operating his ATV against traffic, after dark, on Highway 23 and with no lights on. After getting him stopped and questioning his driving actions, he was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for DUI.

 

WREO Mike Scott worked with DNR Forestry on a forestry trespass issue on state land for timber theft and WCA issues for the trespass; investigation is ongoing. Checked deer hunters in the St. Louis/Carlton County areas. Very low hunter success reported and seen, but spirts were still high. A shooting from the road complaint was investigated with other officers and enforcement action was taken for not validating deer tag at site of kill.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked several details with fellow District 8 officers. During the week deer camps checked and observed many left camp early and headed for home. Olson assisted an Officer with a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle investigation which was turned over to a Fond du Lac officer. Snowmobiles have been running some of the trails in the Duluth area. A baiting complaint was investigated but the information proved to be unreliable. Trappers were checked in the Cotton area and road kill permits were issued.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked deer hunters and trappers. While investigating a dumping complaint at one public water access, another person was caught in the act dumping at a different access nearby. Responsibly disposing of your trash is cheaper for everyone. A wolf complaint was checked and deer season work was done with other Duluth area officers. Enforcement action for small game and litter violations were also handled.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked deer hunting activity most of the week, including trespassing complaints, shoot from roadway, shoot doe in buck only area, operating ATVs in restricted areas and restricted times and hunting over bait. Ter Meer continued deer season work in complaint areas. Enforcement action was taken for big game violations, ATV issues and drug activity.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy firearms deer season. Complaints of unsightly carcass dumping have already come in and are being investigated. Officer Guida followed up on a road hunting complaint where an individual was observed shooting out of a motor vehicle. Officer Guida received reports that numerous portable deer stands were stolen from the Crow Wing County Sebie Lake Memorial Forest over the week. Assistance was given to a first time hunter locating a doe that was shot at. The evidence unfortunately showed that the bullet had entered a large white oak tree and the doe ran away unharmed.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked deer hunters this past week with limited success being reported by hunters. Officer Lee completed two baiting deer investigation this past week with citations being issued and firearms seizure. Officer Lee also completed an investigation into lending and borrowing deer hunting licenses. Charges from the investigation included lending and borrowing licenses, untagged deer and illegal party hunting. The individuals involved also had their deer seized due to the violations. Other enforcement activity this past week included, fail to validate deer tags, untagged deer, and operate ATV during closed hours on public land. Officer Lee also received a call of an injured Trumpeter Swan. The swan was eventually caught after a lengthy chase through the woods, and wrestling match in which Officer Lee finally won. The swan was transported to the Garrison Animal Hospital for evaluation. Officer Lee attended training in St. Paul this past week. The two day training was for recertification as an instructor in aerosol chemical weapons. This training is given to other Conservation Officers each year in in-service trainings as part of the Use of Force Program completed by officers.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports activity still high with a second weekend of deer hunters hoping for the best. She checked several groups and worked road hunters. She responded to a call of hunter trespass where a landowner reported that a hunter shot a buck on his hay field. The evidence supported this and the 9-point buck was seized. CO Peterson also responded to a call of a lost juvenile hunter who was later located at their family cabin. She spoke with the family about having a compass and knowing how to use it as well as having a plan in place before heading out into the field.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy second week and weekend of the firearms deer season. Numerous hunters were checked and the overall success varied. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, take deer without a license, lend/borrow a license, transport a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, take a doe without a lottery permit, fail to register deer, fail to tag deer, trespass, parent allow youth to violate game laws, burn prohibited materials, and one hunter was arrested on a warrant.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focusing around the firearms deer season. Numerous calls and complaints were responded to including trespassing, shooting deer from public roads and motor vehicles, night hunting, deer shot and left, dumping of deer carcasses, wanton waste, and other suspicious hunting activity. Deer and firearms were seized and enforcement contacts were made for a variety of big game related violations.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked deer hunting trapping and trespass activity during the week. One hunter lost his deer to wolves within a mile of town when he was unable to locate it after dark. A call of a deer through the ice was also received but the deer went down before the officer arrived.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored deer and waterfowl hunting in the Cuyuna Country SRA, Pillsbury State Forest and Brainerd lakes area. He investigated trespass and shooting complaints. He also investigated vandalism in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area and handle injured animal complaints.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on deer hunting enforcement this past week. Complaints reported and investigated were hunting over bait, shooting after hours, over limit, trespass and carcass dumping. He checked duck and goose hunters and the report was poor. One group of hunters had to break ¼ mile of ice to get to their hunting spot. Anglers that went out had fair success. Walleye and northern were the most active. He worked on a Snowmobile complaint of a careless driver in Baxter a citation was issued. A complaint of trapping in the city of Brainerd was investigated. Reports of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. He worked invasive species enforcement on Gull Lake checking anglers and duck hunters.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison)  worked deer season including complaints regarding trespassing, baiting, leaving stands out, and shooting too close to a house. Numerous live deer were observed going into the second weekend but snow and cold temperatures appear to have slowed down hunting ambition. Trappers and waterfowl hunters were also observed having ice issues due to small lakes and even portions of larger lakes freezing over already. Verkuilen also followed up on a wetland issue, worked on equipment maintenance, and answered questions regarding the Mille Lacs spearing season.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded several calls throughout the week to include big game, small game and angling questions. The snow and cold seemed to keep are large amount of deer hunters away. The officer addressed calls regarding trespassing while hunting. Please be aware of the areas in which you hunt to ensure you are not trespassing. Enforcement action included hunting deer over bait, transporting loaded firearms, operating ATV’s during prohibited hours, juvenile on ATV without a helmet, failure to register deer and invalid use of an apprentice deer firearm license.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking deer hunters throughout the week and weekend. Most hunters reported a sluggish hunt with the colder weather and snow. A TIP call of a party that had shot at a deer from the roadway at a deer on private property was investigated and shining activity was monitored throughout the week and weekend. The Officer also responded to a party that had gotten stuck on what he thought was a forest road and needed assistance. When the Officer arrived he explained to the party that he was not a forest road and that the trail was not maintained for vehicle traffic. A tow was called to get him out of the trail. Assistance was given to the State Patrol on a vehicle broken down in the lane of traffic. The Officer was able to get a tow for the vehicle and the driver was cited for not having a driver’s license. Lots of big game law related questions were answered throughout the week.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received multiple reports of deer that were found shot and alive on the caller’s property. The deer in all of these cases were does. In one case, the officer tracked the doe’s blood trail, for over a mile, and located the juvenile hunter who shot it the day prior. The hunting party that the juvenile belonged to was educated on the importance of tracking the wounded deer. They were also educated on properly validating deer tags, proper placement of deer tags, possession of hunting licenses while hunting, and that parents can be cited for allowing a minor to hunt in violation of the game laws. Speldrich received a TIP call of an ATV operating in a WMA. The case was made and the operator of the ATV was cited for the violation. Speldrich followed up on additional baiting issues and received several calls from the public regarding wolf and deer hunting. She also received calls for a public waters violation and cattle fencing placed across a river.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to monitor a busy deer season with bait, tagging issues, loaded firearms, ATV in closed hours, and registration violations found. A possible case of a felon with firearm was investigated. Several hunters complained about the abundance of wolves and concerns were heard about the dwindling deer population. Snowmobiles made an appearance, with registration issues found. Other snowmobile violations included ride on shoulder of state highway and lacking proper safety training. Snowmobile riders should be reminded that trails do not open until December 1. Ice fishing has kicked off with some pike hitting the ice. A couple of hard core duck hunters were also checked along with investigating a deer being killed in the state park.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to take trespass complaints and check deer hunters. Activity during the second weekend of deer season was fairly slow, likely due to below zero temperatures. Many area lakes froze over during the week making ice fishing opportunities not far off. Lake ice is obviously still very thin and very dangerous. Recent snowfall also brought out some snowmobiling activity and snowmobile trespass complaints along with it. Violations found throughout the week included illegal stands and ATV activity in wildlife management areas and other deer hunting violations.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls regarding trespassing, muzzleloader licenses, and ATV operation concerns during the week. Snow and cold weather kept a majority of deer hunters inside. Officers did check one lucky hunter over the weekend that braved the cold weather and was able to harvest a very large non-typical buck near Hinckley. Other contacts included illegal stands in WMAs and various ATV violations.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked deer hunters throughout the week and weekend. Cold temperatures made sitting a challenge for any extended period of time. A few hunters that braved the cold were able to harvest a buck. Most smaller lakes have frozen over. A reminder to ice fishermen to be wary of ice conditions before heading out. Tagging issues still remain to be an issue among hunters. Remember to validate tags at the site of kill and attach before transporting. Also, confusion still remains with youth licenses; adults cannot harvest deer for youth.

 

WREO Rob Haberman checked deer hunters throughout his assigned work area for the firearm deer season. WREO Haberman also assisted officers with the aviation unit supporting ground operations for illegal ATV activity, baiting, and other calls. WREO Haberman also conducted a FLIR search flight south of Brainerd to search for a possible downed aircraft. The aircraft arrived at its location without incident, and the caller just lost visual sight of the aircraft due to heavy snow falling and dusk approaching. WREO Haberman also worked answering TIP calls for the Turn in Poachers hotline.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the majority of the week checking deer hunters and working on deer hunting complaints. A detail was worked in Todd County where a high violation rate was seen especially with lending/borrowing licenses. As the season came to a close most parties or hunters reported seeing or taking a few deer. The first snowmobile contacts of the year were made. One stop resulted in multiple violations. With the frigid temperatures most smaller lakes were found to be frozen. CO Silgjord noticed the first ice angler of the year on Sunday as the angler was standing near a crack in the ice with open water only a couple hundred yards out. A reminder to all early ice anglers, they should consider safety first before venturing out. Other violations for the week included transport loaded firearm, transport deer while licensee not accompanying, fail to register deer within 48 hours, allow illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile, and fail to display valid snowmobile registration.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent a majority of time working deer season activities. Deer shining complaints were worked. A lot of violations of lending and borrowing deer tag were found over the week. Ice has covered some lakes and more will follow soon with ice along shores. Enforcement action for the week included lend/borrow, transport loaded gun in motor vehicle, shoot from roadway fail to register deer, hunt deer with no license and trespass.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) concentrated on deer hunting activities. Additional COs assisted in working Todd and western Morrison counties. A variety of violations were handled. Lending/borrowing licenses seemed to be the most frequent violation. A variety of phone call questions were answered; most were deer hunting related. TIP calls were investigated. A few snowmobilers tried out the new snow.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for baiting, lend and borrow deer license, fail to register deer, and transport loaded guns. Several deer and firearms were seized.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked deer hunters. CO Mies also checked ice anglers along with waterfowl hunters. CO Mies assisted neighboring officers and worked on TIP calls.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports that with the one deer limit more hunters seemed to make poor choices in getting their deer this year. Violations in Morrison County included hunting over bait, deer over limit (you mean you can’t shoot 2 bucks?), failing to validate tags, failing to tag deer, shoot from the roadway from a motor vehicle, and the most common violation of using mom’s tag when mom doesn’t hunt. One hunter picked up a car killed deer, but instead of calling a CO for free possession tag he put his wife’s deer tag on, who by the way doesn’t hunt and wasn’t with him, took it home and failed to register it. CO Kuske was called to a violation of a hunter trespassing and shooting within 500 feet of a house. The hunter was found with his father and his son, dragging the deer out of the woods that he had illegally shot. Upon further investigation it was found that the grandfather and father had the youth shoot a deer earlier that day from the road in front of a residence within 500 feet. Unfortunately this was how the youth was mentored on getting his very first deer.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports the most common violation of this deer hunting season was the illegal lending and borrowing of licenses. One individual used the deer tags of two individuals while they were at work and had a third license of another party in his possession that he was trying to fill as well. Two persons disappointed with lack of success while hunting started driving around after dark looking for deer. They will be charged with gross misdemeanors after getting caught shining and shooting a deer on a field. While hunting deer in a corn field two guys encountered a large black bear. At first the bear ran off, but later became aggressive, unwilling to back down from the hunters and continued to advance on them down the corn row. One of the hunters shot the bear and turned it over to CO Kuske. A number of trespass complaints and a hunter harassment case were resolved as well as working several road hunting complaints.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) checked deer and pheasant hunters. Seasonal equipment was squared away for the season. Snowmobile activity in the area increased with the snowfall resulting in numerous violations for altered mufflers and registration issues.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked deer hunters and snowmobilers. A complaint of dogs chasing deer was handled. A TIP call was investigated of hunters in a closed refuge.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked waterfowl and deer hunters. He took enforcement action on a number of violations. He assisted with an injured sand hill crane. He answered a number of waterfowl hunting questions on the Mississippi and Crow River. He continues investigating a number of lend and borrow violations charges pending. He checked a number of snowmobilers.

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week working deer hunters, but did check a few snowmobilers that were out with the first snow. Waterfowl hunting has been limited now to the rivers in the area. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate and register deer, leave decoys out on public waters overnight, unplugged shotgun for waterfowl, hunt deer over baited area and expired snowmobile registration.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a cold close to the area deer season. Many hunters spent time during the week hunting but only some found deer. Numerous trespassing complaints were handled. The large amount of snow in the area also brought out many snowmobilers. Riders are reminded that the grant and aid trails do not open until December 1st. Violations included trespass, no license in possession and snowmobiles on closed trail.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked deer hunters during the week. Hunter numbers and deer taken remain low. Cold temperatures seem to be keeping hunters out of the woods. Violations of shooting from a roadway were investigated. Snowmobiles have shown up in the road ditches and an ice fisherman was observed on a bay of an area lake. Enforcement action was taken on trespass, shoot from a roadway, no snowmobile registration and allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked deer hunters, snowmobiles, and small game hunters. Officer Londgren responded to calls of injured animals, trespassing, hunting from a motor vehicle, rifle in shotgun zone, transporting loaded firearms, and illegal party hunting. Enforcement action was taken on: untagged deer, hunting with invalid license, possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and no license in possession.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the deer season finding very few deer taken. The duck season was pretty much shut down with lakes frozen over. Telephone calls were returned daily on multiple issues.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for big game hunting activity and waterfowl hunting activity. Most accesses are frozen up tight if not the whole lake. CO Salzer responded to several TIP calls regarding deer hunting. Salzer also investigated a case of lending and borrowing a deer license.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking duck and deer hunters. CO Grewe investigated TIP complaints regarding wanton waste and trespassing. Violations included license issues.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked deer hunters and took TIP complaints in Scott County. He continued to assist the Kansas Warden on a deer case and checked duck hunters. He talked to a youth snowmobile safety class in Shakopee and answered many calls on big game and small game hunting regulations in the Hmong community.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked deer and waterfowl hunting activity in Carver County. He assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff during the Dakota Women and Children Commemorative March 2014. He also assisted the Park during the cross-country race on Saturday and numerous vehicles were cited for not having a required vehicle permit.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking deer hunters, small game and waterfowl hunters. CO Arntzen investigated several TIP calls, handled nuisance animal complaints and trespassing issues. He also spent time working deer shiners and patrolling area WMAs. Enforcement action for the week included hunting without a license, failure to register deer, no blaze orange, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being in a WMA during closed hours.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working waterfowl, pheasant and deer hunting activity. Various calls were received pertaining to hunting activities in the Metro area. A restoration order and a resource protection notification were issued during the week both involving shoreline violations.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports a busy second week of deer season, with hunters seeing limited success. Duck and goose hunters were also checked with field hunters doing well. Hunters on the river are breaking ice to get out to their spots. Enforcement action for the week included, lend/borrow deer license, not wearing blaze orange for deer gun season along with waterfowl and fishing violations.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked deer and goose hunters in Dakota County throughout the week. CO Pril and CO Lisa Kruse spent a day checking fewer deer hunters this year than previous years in Pine County due to snow and cold temperature. CO Pril also spoke to a group of Cub Scouts in Mendota Heights and responded to injured animal calls and a complaint of hunters hunting in a SNA.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked deer hunters throughout the week. He issued a citation for leaving a stand in Carlos Avery WMA. He issued a possession permit for a deer fawn in Lake Elmo. CO Johnson assisted COs from Ottertail County on an unregistered deer violation. He transported an injured Bald Eagle to The Raptor Center. CO Johnson received a call from a deer hunter that harvested an antlered doe.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) checked numerous deer hunters in the area, finding low success and pretty good compliance. She worked on deer cases and assisted Wisconsin wardens with cases. CO Kruse handled various TIP calls, took care of nuisance animal calls and worked with CO Pril in the Nemadji State Forest area.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that 12 inches of snow changed both the landscape and the outdoor recreation rapidly. Deer hunters appeared to trade their blaze orange for portable fish houses as about two dozen were seen on the ice. Word with the goose hunters is that the geese left Canada but have not gathered in mass at Lac que Parle.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked the firearms deer season and also checked pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Cold temperatures, wind, and 3-6 inches of snow over the weekend made things difficult for deer hunters. Most of the investigations worked during the deer season dealt with trespassing, illegal road hunting, and tagging/registration issues. Waterfowl numbers are dropping fast with most lakes and rivers froze up but a few field hunters had success.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts towards firearms deer hunters. Multiple complaints of hunters shooting from motor vehicles and the roadway were taken. Trespassing issues were also addressed. A 10-point buck was illegally shot with a rifle and left for dead, just west of Big Stone State Park, off of Minnesota Hwy 7. The violator stopped in the traffic lane and shot from a motor vehicle. Anyone with information regarding this violation is encouraged to call the Turn-in-Poachers hotline @ (800) 652-9093. You can remain anonymous and a reward can be given upon conviction.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Failure to register is a problem with hunters forgetting or not understanding they must register deer 48 hours after the take. It is required to sight tag and register a deer before butchering starts.   Snow conditions slowed the deer harvest.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked on a WCA violation with the Redwood County Attorney and attended a site visit in Lyon County on a Public Waters violation. Empty stations were worked and enforcement action was taken for an untagged deer. A car killed deer tag was also issued. Water accesses were checked for AIS issues in Murray Co.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check deer hunters who were having limited success. He continued to field calls regarding injured deer, shooting from the roadway and trespass. Denz also checked snowmobile operators and received multiple complaints on snowmobiles operating off trail.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked the busy deer hunting season with hunters seeing a few more deer moving around in the snow. Deer hunters were also reminded to register their deer 48 hours after the kill. Duck hunters were also checked during the week as they tried to hunt the little open water that was left. One duck hunter was reminded that he still needed a plug in his gun for duck hunting even during the deer season. There are also people heading out onto the ice for the early ice fishing. They are reminded about ice safety and told to check the ice as they go out.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) reports that the cold weather and snow slowed down the activity for the last push of the deer season. License and registration problems make up the majority of violations. Most of the lakes froze over last week pushing waterfowl hunters to the fields. Those that braved the weather had good results.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working a very uneventful end to the firearms deer season. This year hunters appeared as scarce as deer at times. Cold weather and blustery winds no doubt played a large role in hunter participation and the low number of deer harvested. Officer Oberg took several calls from hunters looking for public land to deer hunt. Officer Oberg also checked several hunters out driving around and found very good compliance with firearms being unloaded.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning taking deer from the road and numerous questions regarding deer/predator hunting laws. The weather conditions made deer hunting difficult. Geese are migrating in good numbers and field hunting could be very successful for geese and mallards. Open water waterfowl hunting opportunities are limited to pools on the rivers.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked primarily big game enforcement the past week and weekend. Some duck and pheasant hunters as well as trappers were checked. Complaints pertaining to trespass and shoot from a motor vehicle were investigated.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) concentrated efforts on deer hunting activity. A family dog was intentionally shot with a shotgun slug near its place of residency and left on the road. Complaints of trespassing, shooting from motor vehicles and illegal dumping of deer carcasses were worked on. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies for traffic accidents. The first snowfall of the season arrived with a few snowmobiles coming out. The first snowmobile accident with injuries also arrived for the area. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing and blaze orange violations.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week working deer hunting activity in the area. Follow up investigation on several complaints are in progress. Trespassing issues continue to put demands on the officer’s time.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) focused on big game enforcement. Deer hunter numbers were down, and few harvested deer were seen. One poacher shot a deer in the front yard of a rural residence, after pulling into the driveway. The deer fell to the ground only 35 feet from the residence. Enforcement action is pending.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking deer, pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring trapping activity and responding

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked big game and small game activity during the week.   Several TIP calls & complaints were received regarding illegal deer hunting activity. Multiple violations were encountered during the firearms deer season.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the majority of the week working the firearms deer hunting season. Success rates appeared to be lower, with fewer hunters seen afield due to the weather conditions. A number of trespass complaints were investigated, as well as big game violations. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

WREO Julie Siems worked a busy deer opener with many not registering, tagging or validating their tags. Shooting from the road and trespassing were also frequent complaints.

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy week of deer hunting enforcement in zone 3. The cold and snowy conditions made for some very good opportunities for the deer and duck hunters. Some very good duck hunting was experienced before most of the backwater froze up. Enforcement action was taken for violations of unlawful party hunting, tagging, registration and validation.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports helping Winona Sheriff’s Dept. with searching for missing fishermen assumed drowned by lock and dam 7. The early winter has frozen up most of the backwaters. Duck hunters had mixed success either shooting near limits or nothing. Deer hunters had a good week despite the cold and snow. This last weekend saw many groups shooting deer.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking deer hunting activity. Several trespass calls were responded to throughout the week. Time was also spent checking waterfowl hunters and ice fishing activity. Very few duck hunters were seen out but numerous ducks were around especially on the smaller rivers. Some deer hunting violations were detected.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a good end to deer season with continued success. The duck hunters continue to access the river and limits of mallards were checked. The accesses are getting limited and on one cold morning Hemker did observe the boat trailer in the first parking stall to have broken taillights. He also assisted the Winona County Sheriff’s Office with their search for a drowning victim.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. Boat launches were icing up, but the hunters who did make it out on the water had some luck. Not as many deer hunters were out, but some deer were still seen taken. Goose hunters also did ok with the new snow.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy deer season. Success varied. Most hunters reported seeing deer; however, they added the numbers seemed a little down. Violations encountered were trespass, shoot from the road, untagged big game, fail to validate. Complaints seemed up from last year. CO Boyum watched one hunter shoot and drop a deer from his blind. The hunter then walked up to the deer, checked it and then went back to his blind to retrieve his hunting knife. While the hunter was in his blind getting his knife, the deer stood up, looked around and ran away unbeknownst to the hunter. Upon reaching the hunter, he said you are not going to believe what happened to me.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked deer hunting issues all week, geese have moved into the area last week and goose hunting activity is picking up.  Enforcement action for deer hunting related events.