District 12 - Princeton area

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports enforcing small-game, waterfowl, and deer-hunting regulations in the area. Trespass cases were investigated ranging from feuding neighbors to ignorant parties not respecting property boundaries. Now that hunting season is in full swing, Benkofske has been seeing an upswing in illegally disposed of animal carcasses. Remember that road right of ways and parking lots are not places to get rid of carcasses. It gives hunters a bad name with the public and those who are guilty will be charged with litter.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, hunters, trappers, and ATV riders. Complaints were taken on cutting/moving aquatic vegetation, camping on a WMA, hunting in closed areas, trespassing, and incidental furbearers.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and anglers. Several hunting complaints were received. An animal issue and a dumping call were handled.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking small-game hunters and working on equipment maintenance. Krauel also attended training at the BCA and spent time working boat and water safety.

District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He received a complaint of a duck hunter shooting too close to houses on the Crow Wing River. He also worked on duck-hunting enforcement. Hunters report seeing more migrating birds. Archery hunters were checked and report seeing more deer. Posner also spent time in the Pillsbury State Forest checking small-game hunters.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check small-game and waterfowl hunters. She investigated a report of blood and a shell casing on a road, and was able to locate the deer at a nearby property by following the blood trail. She also wrote multiple possession tags for bears and deer hit by cars. Enforcement action included illegal possession of big game, exceeding aquatic plant removal permit, and no license in possession

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) and COC (Conservation Officer Candidate) Mikeena Mattson completed a trespassing investigation that led to enforcement action for trespassing and big-game hunting violations. Complaints of dogs chasing deer, illegal deer stands on public land, and wanton waste/littering were received. Mathy attended training in St. Paul.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd West) checked late-season duck hunters. Very few ducks in the bag were seen. He investigated damage at a state forest campground that had been damaged by vehicles doing spin-outs. Collette also handled several calls of high water levels caused by beaver dams flooding homes and property.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) covered a wide variety of station calls this past week. Numerous individuals had questions regarding the upcoming firearms deer season and how the CWD zone deer will be processed. Guida assisted with training at Camp Ripley to help organize for an upcoming in-service training.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and fall hunting activity. Time was also spent working a wolf depredation call, shining complaint areas and an upcoming firearms deer concern.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing, trapping, waterfowl, archery deer, and turkey hunting activity, collecting incidental otters, and investigating reports of trespassing, baiting deer, and other suspicious hunting and fishing activity.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked waterfowl, angling, and small-game activities throughout the past week. Waterfowl hunters reported slow success despite the latest cold snap. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

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Reminder: Anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition, many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!

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District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling small- and big-game enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for litter, burning garbage, burning prohibited materials, and burning without a permit. She also spent time teaching hunting regulations at a local firearms safety course and followed up on a nuisance-bear report.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked small-game hunters and bough harvesters in the Nemadji State Forest. She received information about portable stands left on WMAs. She investigated a complaint of archery hunting deer over baited areas. Several questions were answered about youth hunting during the firearms deer season if they harvested a deer during the youth hunt. Nuisance-beaver calls were taken and questions about concealed carry while hunting were answered. The Aviation Unit assisted with a dispersed camping issue in the Nemadji State Forest.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) answered numerous calls related to fall activities and nuisance-beaver issues. Waterfowl numbers seem to be down and/or displaced with extreme amounts of water. Nighttime muskie anglers were checked while searching for a fall giant. Trespass concerns and coon-hunting activity were also monitored. Asking for permission before going would help landowner relationships. Nighttime shining activity was also monitored.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) continued field training with COC Jessica Lambertz. They put heavy emphasis on angling and boat safety enforcement this past week. They observed some ducks moving in the station, with some mixed bags being seen. A Melrose Boy Scout troop invited the officers to speak about hunting and boating safety and the role of a conservation officer.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked hunting activity this past week. He handled TIP call concerning deer carcasses being dumped and worked a trespass and a wetland case.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) conducted field training with COC Ryan Hanna. They checked anglers and hunters. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length pike, no PFD, and license violations. An illegal deer shiner was apprehended and another individual was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

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Reminder: Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.

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Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry, attended a quarterly pilot meeting and a pre-survey moose meeting for this winter.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) attended the quarterly pilot meeting. Upcoming winter work, maintenance, and safety items were discussed. He also completed the last of the fall trout stocking in Ely with the helicopter fish tank, and attended the moose survey planning meeting. Moose survey techniques, methodology, data recording, safety, and other items were discussed.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a WCA photo flight to document a violation, a search flight for suspicious campers in a state forest and a wolf telemetry flight. Jensen also attended a FAA class at the Brainerd Airport on post-maintenance inspections.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent time updating cases and working with field officers on new cases. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for a use of force meeting and some training on new equipment.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on cases in his assigned area. Meetings were attended and progress made on Aitkin County cases. Haberman also patrolled for small-game hunters and ATV activity.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) spent most of the week training on the DMT instrument that administers breath tests for DUIs. Two new wetland violation cases were opened. Both violations involved digging unpermitted ditches and leaving the spoil piles in the wetland.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement