Firearms deer hunting complaints, late-season waterfowl activity - MnDNR CO Reports

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Nov. 19, 2018 District 4 - Walker area Conservation Officer (CO) Randy Posner (Staples) reports working on deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Complaints reported and investigated were hunting...


Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Nov. 19, 2018

District 4 - Walker area

Conservation Officer (CO) Randy Posner (Staples) reports working on deer-hunting enforcement this past week. Complaints reported and investigated were hunting over bait, shooting after hours and carcass dumping. He checked duck and goose hunters and the report was poor. One group of hunters had to break a quarter-mile of ice to get to their hunting spot and another group got stuck in the ice after having trouble with their motor and boat icing. Ice anglers who went out on very thin ice and had some success. Reports of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury State Forest were investigated.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued follow up and investigation into deer season cases. Assistance was provided to two duck hunters who were stranded on the lake when they had boat motor issues on a very breezy 13-degree day. A call was received from a landowner who found two whole deer dumped on their land with their heads cut off and no meat taken. Illegal taking of forest products was also investigated.

District 9 - Brainerd area


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) checked deer hunters in the 100 series of permit areas. Trespassing, theft, and car-killed deer possession permits were addressed. Guida continued training a conservation officer candidate (COC).

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) handled calls for trespassing, baited stands, injured wildlife and hunters without blaze orange during the last weekend of the rifle deer season.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports continued Step 4 field training with (Conservation Officer Candidate) COC Jacque Hughes. They checked deer hunters throughout the week and weekend with a few having some luck at getting a deer. Calls regarding injured deer and people wanting a car-kill deer permit were handled. Patrol was also done in the SRA for park and hunting violations. Lots of outdoor law-related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Fitzgerald and Hughes handled calls of trespassing, shooting from the road and possibly illegally taken deer. They also assisted with a case of someone taking spruce tops without a permit. Enforcement action for the week included various big-game violations.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training with a conservation officer candidate. They checked firearms deer hunters and late-season duck hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transportation of loaded firearms, invalidated deer tags, unregistered deer, and burning of prohibited materials.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked trapping and firearms deer-hunting activity. Complaints of shooting from the right of way and trespass were investigated.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked deer hunters for the final week of gun deer season and issued road kill tags. Duck hunters were also out but most needed to break ice as shorelines and back waters freeze. Verkuilen also transitioned equipment, checked some grouse hunters, and answered Mille Lacs questions regarding the ice-fishing season.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a TIP complaint of hunting deer over bait and using spotlights to shoot deer at night. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait. Speldrich received a complaint of dogs chasing deer. The dogs’ owner was educated on the violation. She also assisted neighboring officers with rounding up escaped cervidae. Complaints of road hunting, trespass and ATV operation during closed hours were also taken.


CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked deer season and noted an extreme increase in Zone 2 hunters coming over to Zone 1 for the last week of the season. A discharge of a loaded gun in a vehicle was investigated and enforcement action was taken. Luckily, the shotgun blast did not hurt anyone. Instances of trespass and hunting on a game refuge were also handled.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked hunters during the week and weekend. Various hunting complaints were handled and Croatt assisted the sheriff’s office with a call for service. A reminder to all who are processing deer to dispose of them properly. That means not in road ditches in front of people’s yards.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) has been getting calls of the annual neighbor feuds that happened during deer season. The calls include neighbors trespassing, neighbors harassing each other and neighbors stealing stands and game cameras. The most common cause of the problems is deer stands being built or put up right at property lines. Calls of stands in WMAs came in and hunters are reminded that it is illegal to leave portable deer-hunting stands overnight or build permanent deer stands in wildlife management areas.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on a turtle-trapping case that resulted in enforcement action for no recreational turtle license, failure to tag, and failure to tend. Cases from the deer season and earlier this fall were also followed up on.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) handled calls about road-killed animals. He fielded question in regards to the upcoming muzzleloader season and investigated a road-hunting complaint.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports doing follow-up investigation on cases involving lending/borrowing a deer license and taking deer over bait. Two illegally taken deer were seized for an officer investigating a case in Region 2. Ice anglers were checked over the weekend on area lakes. Two to 5 inches of ice were observed on shallower lakes with deeper lakes in the area still having mostly open water.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports checking the first ice anglers of the season. Citations were issued for extra lines, illegal-length northern pike, and possession of marijuana. Follow up was also conducted from deer season complaints.


District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) received a complaint of an individual hearing shots and later seeing flashlights in the woods. Two males were later located and found to have shot two deer after the season was closed, purchasing licenses after harvesting the deer, and no site tags on the deer. Londgren also cited an archery hunter for hunting over bait and investigated a beaver-taken-out-of-season case.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking deer hunters. Krauel also checked a few ice anglers returning from braving the thin ice. He would like to remind anglers that ice conditions are very dangerous this time of year and can vary greatly from lake to lake.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and handled hunting complaints. Several calls about animals were received. Violations were found for shooting from road, trespassing, and shooting within 500 feet of a residence.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying numerous enforcement-support flights for firearms deer hunting, waters violations and early season angling pressure. Jensen also completed biannual spin/recovery training. Assistance was given to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with locating waterfowl hunters who were stuck in pack ice. A fellow hunter got them free and back into open water.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed airplane spin training. He also completed administrative tasks and worked on training materials.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week following up on calls and complaints from th4 firearms deer season. Time was spent working with LGUs and COs regarding ongoing and new Wetland Conservation Acct and public water cases. Several site visits were held and a TEP meeting attended. Several calls of dumping of garbage around the Detroit Lakes and Vergas areas were taken. Please take the time to take your garbage to the dump. Don’t make it someone else’s problem.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked on WCA cases with local LGUs. Scott also checked deer hunters in the Carlton and St. Louis county areas. The end of the season found many hunters still in good spirits even though many had not connected with a deer. Scott did a presentation to local high school students about careers with the DNR.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) continued to work the deer-hunting season, assisting area officers and working vacant stations. Haberman also worked on WCA cases and issued restoration orders. TFO duties were conducted with the Aviation Unit for air support missions.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) assisted another conservation officer with a TIP call regarding hunting on a state trail. Two individuals were found to be hunting on a state trail without blaze orange during a closed season and possibly trespassing on private property. Enforcement action was taken. 

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

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