District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters, deer-hunting activity and anglers. She also attending the local Minnesota Deer Hunters Association chapter banquet.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) and COC (Conservaton Officer Candidate) Mikeena Mattson worked ATV riders, small-game hunters, youth deer hunters, and big-game enforcement this week. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal youth ATV operation, transporting a loaded firearm, failure to obtain a wildlife-possession permit for an animal, and trespassing complaints. Questions were also fielded while working the TIP trailer at an MDHA banquet.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked big-game, migratory waterfowl, and sport fishing enforcement this past week. Anglers were checked on an area lake with limits of crappies. A lost hunter was located in a neighboring station at the conclusion of the early antlerless season. The lost hunter signaled to officers by firing his hunting rifle numerous times. A Police K9 and the county’s drone also assisted with the call. A migratory bird hunter was checked coming off a heavily populated lake in possession of numerous shotgun buck shot and slug cartridges. Enforcement action was taken. A call of late shots was investigated and it turned out to be an 11-year-old deer hunter and her neighbor finishing off a wounded deer.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) and COC Calie Kunst had a very busy work week with MEA weekend and the youth deer-hunting opener. Multiple TIP calls were taken and worked as well, including shooting waterfowl after hours and hunting out of season. There were many ATV riders out this past weekend, too. Contacts were made with the riders and they were educated on the need to display valid registration and when a juvenile can legally operate an ATV.

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Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

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CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) observed a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities this past week. Sullivan worked deer-hunting activity and responded to calls of trespassing, reckless discharge of a firearm and illegally taking big game. ATV activity was also high due to exceptional weather.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and waterfowl-hunting activity throughout the week. He also checked numerous deer hunters during the early antlerless season. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of working waterfowl and early antlerless/youth deer-hunting activity, a special enforcement detail in the Crane Lake area, and investigating reports of suspicious hunting activity. Confusion over the regulations and licensing was found in nearly every group checked during the early antlerless/youth firearms deer season. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for violations including no waterfowl stamps or HIP certification, transporting loaded guns in motor vehicles, miscellaneous ATV registration and operation, and possession of marijuana. A reminder to area deer hunters that mandatory CWD testing is required in this area for all deer taken in any season.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking small- and big-game hunters over the weekend, as well as a few anglers. Time was spent patrolling the SRA for illegal ATV and hunting activity. He handled several calls for service that included big game, nuisance animals, assistance to local agencies and possession permits. Enforcement action was taken for park violations.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) attended armorer training and assisted with preparing equipment for winter storage. Time was also spent monitoring hunting and fishing activity throughout the MEA week.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling small- and big-game enforcement. She also spent time following up on a poaching complaint, nuisance-bear complaint, and assisted Aitkin County with a suicidal person.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on bear season littering issues. She handled a call of nuisance beavers and assisted the sheriff’s office with wrangling loose horses on a busy county road. A local farmer contacted her regarding a loose cow that has been out for several nights. The farmer was worried he would get called in for illegal shining as he looked for the cow after legal shining hours.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked waterfowl and small-game hunters, as well as the youth firearms deer season. An almost 100 percent success rate was found for youth deer hunters. A case of abandoned property on a WMA was also worked. Nuisance-beaver complaints were also taken, in addition to a call about a wolf that would not leave a yard full of chickens.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) continued field training with COC Jessica Lambertz. The officers spent time the week monitoring angling and hunting activity in the station. A few young hunters were contacted during the youth hunt, and one had a nice sized buck. The Sauk Centre Conservation Club invited the officers to present this week, and the walleye bite has picked up in the station. A possible wetland violation was located and an investigation is ongoing.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked a variety of activities with neighboring officers including waterfowl, deer baiting and deer shinning complaints. The officer heard of many good reports of the youth deer season and would call it a success based on his observations. Some angling activity is being seen but has tapered off.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) continues to conduct surveillance in areas were deer were shot at night and left to rot. Duck hunters and having more divers in their bags. Bertram also spoke at a trapper education field day.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, hunters, ATV riders, and youth deer hunters over the past week. Londgren continues to take complaints on trespassing; please review Page 8 of the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations on how to legally post your property. Areas were checked for bait, and nuisance-animal calls were also handled.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. Violations were found for transporting loaded firearms and transporting improperly dressed game birds. Numerous ATV contacts were made for illegal youth operation and equipment violations.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking small-game hunters. He also had the opportunity to check several youth deer hunters. Krauel also spent time checking late-season anglers.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports working small-game and waterfowl hunters. Enforcement action was taken for no pheasant stamp, transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles and no license in possession. Benkofske also investigated shining complaints.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a wolf telemetry flight and attended to administrative tasks.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance items and brought a helicopter for a school display with CO Haberman in Remer. Many groups of students heard the different uses of the helicopter and the role of a tactical flight officer. It was part of their Fall Forest Day event.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports giving another CO pilot some flight training and assisting with ferrying aircraft to a different base. Jensen completed various training tasks as well.

Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) spent time flight training and moving an aircraft to Bemidji for future flights.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on new public water and Wetland Conservation Act cases. Time was spent updating old cases and checking fall hunting and fishing activity. A meeting was attended.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) conducted site visits in Nisswa for wetland violations. Restoration orders were issued for violations in Mille Lacs and Pine counties. Haberman conducted tactical flight officer duties with NR Pilot Maas in Cass County. Haberman also checked small-game hunters and waterfowl hunters.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) attended a site visit for an extensive public water violation on Lake Minnetonka. Fill was placed below the ordinary high water level to install larger rip rap armoring on the shoreline. A TIP call was received about a skid loader doing work on a shoreline in Scott County. A permit had been issued for the work and no enforcement action was taken.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement