Waterfowl hunting and muskie action reports good - MnDNR CO Reports

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Oct. 15, 2018 District 9 - Brainerd area CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked grouse- and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Numerous ATV operators were also contacted throughout patrols. Enforcement act...


Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Oct. 15, 2018

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked grouse- and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Numerous ATV operators were also contacted throughout patrols. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juvenile passengers and multiple loaded firearms in a motor vehicle. Nuisance wildlife calls and permit requests were also handled.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking for small- and big-game hunters during the week and weekend. He also took care of an incidental otter trapped while doing some nuisance beaver trapping and answered lots of law-related questions at the Rice Lake Refuge deer hunt. Fitzgerald patrolled the SRA for park violations and also checked the SRA campground and the state forest campground. Assistance was given to a local agency for a call for service and ATV activity was monitored during routine patrols.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked waterfowl- and deer-hunting activity. A wolf kill complaint was investigated and assistance was given to the sheriff’s office.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) worked waterfowl enforcement, grouse- and turkey-hunting activity, nuisance wildlife issues, and assisted the State Patrol with an accident scene.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) and COC Garrett Thomas spent time working waterfowl hunters on various local lakes, conducted ATV Trail enforcement, and checked grouse and small-game hunters. Enforcement action was taken on a variety of things including the burning of prohibited materials, hunting without a license, and not having licenses in possession.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for ATV and waterfowl-hunting activity throughout the week. McGowan also spent time patrolling Leech Lake and submitted arrest reports to the county attorney’s office. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled for archery and waterfowl-hunting activity. He issued car kill deer possession permits and answered questions regarding the upcoming deer season. A dead deer with no apparent injury or trauma was forwarded to Brainerd DNR Wildlife.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) and COC Shane Zavodnik report angler success has increased with water temperatures falling. Grouse-hunting activity was slow throughout the week, with hunters reporting little success when checked out in the field. With the sudden changes in weather and temperature throughout the region, ducks started to filter in over the weekend. Duck hunters experienced higher-than-normal success rates for this time of year, with many bagging lesser bluebills, ring necks, mallards, and even some canvasbacks and buffleheads. Follow-up work was done over the week regarding a possible overlimit fish case and APM violation.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. Anglers are out and the fall bite seems to be getting better. Muskie anglers on lakes Alexander and Shamineau report catching more fish and having a quite a few follows. He checked grouse, duck and goose hunters and the report was slow. Posner worked in the Pillsbury State Forest checking a few horseback riders. He also worked with neighboring CO Tim Collette on a theft of money from the state park campground pay boxes.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) and COC Leah Kampa checked small-game hunters and found minimal success. Enforcement action was taken for no licenses in possession. ATV operators were reminded to operate with their headlights on. Several bear baits were checked during the last days of the bear-hunting season. Violations were detected including non-biodegradable materials in the bait and failing to sign bear baits. Kampa and Speldrich responded to a medical where an individual fell from a tree stand in the Nemadji State Forest. Complaints of road hunting were also worked.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked waterfowl hunters, archery deer hunting, and the pheasant-hunting opener. Fall fishing was found to be in full swing with muskies on the list of targeted fish. A wild rice harvesting issue was followed up on, along with WMA issues. Trapping and bear-hunting items were also addressed.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked grouse, waterfowl and archery hunters during the week and weekend. A fair amount of ducks was around but most hunters contacted said they were decoy shy. A few more hunters have been having luck with grouse. Please remember that before you pick up a car killed deer, law enforcement or a conservation officer needs to grant permission.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled calls of an injured eagle, an injured grouse, a trespass complaint, and a complaint of shots fired. Kuske worked at the Camp Ripley DAV deer hunt, the Crane Meadows DAV deer hunt and the Camp Ripley Youth archery hunt. The Crane Meadows DAV Hunt had 10 veterans hunting. Six of them got a deer and all 10 hunters saw deer during the two-day hunt.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) started field training with COC Tony Elwell. They spent time checking fall anglers as a decent walleye bite is ongoing in the area. Many nice-sized walleyes were seen during the week. The pheasant opener was worked and many hunters were out trying their luck. Most groups had birds in hand and many reported seeing a good number of birds while afield. Many of the roosters checked were first-year birds and were still molting into their full adult plumage. Some duck hunters were checked as well and there is still a decent number of birds in the area with some new birds showing up with the colder weather. Violations for the week included an overlimit of pheasants, no small-game license, no pheasant stamp, no license in possession, no navigation lights, and possession of toxic shot in a WPA.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked small-game and waterfowl enforcement. He followed up on a previous week’s case. Pheasant numbers were as expected with the large amount of crops in.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) finished up field training duties. Time was spent monitoring angling activity, duck hunters, archery deer hunters, and pheasant hunters. It was the lowest turnout for pheasant hunters seen in the past 12 years in the Albany area. Enforcement action included no personal flotation device, no pheasant stamp, and no small-game license.


District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters. He also checked several pheasant hunters. Most hunters had a mixed bag of grouse, pheasants, and woodcock.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and anglers. Violations were found for no licenses/stamps and hunting in a closed WMA. Musatov also found violations for illegal operation of OHMs.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports continuation of remote fish stocking in northeast Minnesota. Weather patterns made flights difficult throughout the week but brought in quite a number of waterfowl, as seen on area ponds and lakes.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance and was finally able to bring an aircraft back to Brainerd, due to poor-weather delays. He also continued working on the oxygen equipment for the aerial fish stocking tank.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on and storing equipment. Time was spent checking anglers and waterfowl hunters. Wildlife- and hunting-related calls were fielded for the Detroit Lakes area. Meetings were attended and follow up on open cases conducted.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked in south central Minnesota for the pheasant opener Saturday and Sunday. Lots of hunters were checked. Hunting success was mixed but overall slow due to crops still in the field and the recent rain had everything wet and muddy. Spirts were high and everyone talked to was enjoying the clear and dry weather. Waterfowl hunters were checked with limited success as well. Work on several WCA issues and one PW issue were dealt with. He responded to calls about shining and shooting in the Duluth area.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked small-game hunters and waterfowl hunters over the weekend. Three hunters from South Carolina where checked woodcock hunting. They stated, “It was cold up here.” ATV enforcement and AIS enforcement was worked. WREO case duties were also worked on.


--- --- ---

Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

What To Read Next
Inmates in-custody in the Todd County jail in Long Prairie, Minnesota
Inmates in-custody in the Wadena County jail in Wadena, Minnesota
Inmates in-custody in the Aitkin County jail in Aitkin, Minnesota
Inmates in-custody in the Beltrami County jail in Bemidji, Minnesota