District 4 - Walker area

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated trespassing, shooting from the road, dogs chasing deer and other big-game violations. Deer hunters report limited success around the area.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunters. He worked on several cases from the opening week of deer season. A nuisance-bobcat complaint was received and a road-hunting complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for hunter harassment.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking deer hunters throughout the past week and weekend. He saw a few deer that were harvested. He fielded calls for car-killed deer permits and a road-killed bobcat, and investigated deer-baiting complaints and hunter harassment. Fitzgerald patrolled the SRA for illegal vehicle activity and checked for park passes. A few anglers were checked and Fitzgerald warns anglers about the unpredictability of ice conditions and the associated dangers.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) and COC Mikeena Mattson worked big-game enforcement throughout the past week. Fewer hunters were encountered and hunter success varied. Enforcement action was taken this past week for hunting deer over bait, no blaze orange, no big-game license in possession, CWD feeding/attractants ban violations, hunter harassment, trespassing, and public waters violations.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) continued working deer-hunting activity and began to see some ice angling on area lakes. Deer hunter numbers and success decreased as the season went on. Ice conditions on area lakes are poor due to warm weather and rain. Several lakes still have large amounts of open water.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy final week and weekend of the firearms deer season. Hunters reported mixed success throughout Crow Wing and Cass counties. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked the firearms deer season. Some small-game hunters were found. Calls of trespassing were investigated.

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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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District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) continued to work the deer season, including trespassing complaints, reports of late hunting, and hunters without enough blaze orange. Ice conditions are still transitioning as ice anglers, boat anglers, and deer with broken legs were all seen on lakes this past week.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time working the deer firearms season patrolling big-game and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for driving after cancelation, operating an ATV during closed hours of the firearms season, and various ATV violations. She also spent time checking hunters at the special hunt in St. Croix State Forest, followed up on various hunting complaints, and assisted with an ATV rollover incident.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on complaints of baited properties. She checked hunters who reported a very quiet deer season. Speldrich and CO Verkuilen worked the Isle and Willow River stations taking enforcement action for not enough blaze orange. A report of trespass and unsafe handling of a firearm was taken and is being investigated.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work a busy deer season, with very few deer harvested the last week. Trespass and neighbor disputes continue to be a huge problem. Trapping issues were addressed, along with a public waters item. Ice fishing has started, and Starr would like to remind Mille Lacs Lake anglers and spearers to check start dates to avoid an early start.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week following up on TIP complaints. A firearm found by an area hunter was turned in. With the assistance of the Todd County Sheriff’s Office, the owner was located. Pheasant hunters were also checked in the area with some birds being seen.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on complaints of dumping of deer carcasses, which were left in areas within sight of the general public. One complainant said it best: “It’s not that I don’t understand deer hunting, but where is some common sense?” VanderWeyst continues to follow up on other deer-season cases as well.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week conducting follow up from the deer season. Citations were issued for littering deer carcasses on public property and burning a couch. Time was also spent working the firearms deer season in the McGrath area.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent another busy week checking deer hunters. Krauel also checked several ice anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for lending/borrowing licenses, failure to validate a tag, untagged big-game animal, and transporting a loaded firearm.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking deer hunters during the third weekend in the 100 Series as well as following up with interviews from TIP calls on earlier season activity. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, unlawful ATV operation, and failing to register deer. Benkofske also assisted the Benton County Sheriff’s Office with two hunters who were shot in a pheasant-hunting incident.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and investigated hunting complaints. Violations were found for failure to validate licenses or tag deer, illegal party hunting, no blaze orange, and no license. Animal-related calls and dumping violations were handled.

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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

Standby Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) continued flight training, with landings and steep turns being the main focus.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a wolf telemetry flight and attended a helicopter classroom training session. Heineman also attended to administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying support flights for field officers. Jensen also assisted with maintenance duties for helicopter and attended a training class for rotary ops.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) taught classes during the week. He spoke at St. Michael-Albertville High School, showing a presentation on moose, deer, and elk helicopter surveys. He also taught helicopter pilot classes to members of the Aviation Unit.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week following up on deer season work. Time was spent working on new, open and ongoing cases, updating case notes and closing out cases.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on ongoing cases and met with individuals about their violation. Follow up on complaints for baiting was conducted with enforcement action taken by area officers. Hunters were checked in the 604 CWD area and the 100 Series.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement