Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of north-central Minnesota for Monday, Oct. 18:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked duck and grouse hunters. He also followed up on a trapping complaint and reports of deer shot in fields in three different locations in Roseau and Marshall counties. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters in the area. New birds and colder weather showed up during the week, providing some increased waterfowl-hunting activity and success. Sura also worked miscellaneous equipment maintenance and inventory.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) checked small-game hunters and anglers throughout the week. Reports from grouse hunters are increasing as the leaves are falling off the trees and underbrush. There’s been decent fishing success in a few areas. He fielded calls relating to food plot use for the deer season.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) taught an ATV safety class in Newfolden, worked on Lake of the Woods with CO Huener and checked waterfowl hunters in the area. Enforcement action for the week included a walleye overlimit, angling with extra lines, transporting dressed walleyes without a patch of skin, no helmets on juvenile ATV operators, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, littering in a wildlife management area, untagged migratory birds and federal waterfowl stamp violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV activity and checking big- and small-game hunters this past week. Time was spent handling reports of nuisance beavers, complaints of litter and carcass dumping, assisting instructors with an ATV safety field day and investigating TIP (Turn in Poachers) information. Violations encountered and addressed this past week were for operation of ATVs on non-motorized hunter walking trails.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports hunting and fishing activity has been slower due to weather. Time was spent working big- and small-game activity.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
Baudette #1 – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a firearms safety class in the Fertile area. Time was also spent checking anglers and archery deer hunters. Several duck hunters were contacted throughout the week.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked waterfowl hunters and small-game hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling and waterfowl hunting on area lakes. He towed a group of hunters to a local resort after they had motor problems. Online training was completed, and area ATV trails were patrolled.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating calls of possible fill in an area lake and possible wetland violations. He also received a TIP of a vehicle that had trespassed on posted land and was stuck in a big mud hole. Vinton also issued a number of car-killed deer permits and forwarded a call and photos, taken by a local bowhunter, of a very sickly looking deer. Vinton also continued work on a background investigation, conducting several interviews and compiling the information. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing on posted land.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking duck hunters, anglers and upland bird hunters. Duck-hunting success has been mixed in the area since opener, but more ducks seem to be moving into the area now. Not many pheasant hunters were seen this weekend, and even fewer birds. Swedberg also answered many questions regarding safety classes and requirements for youth hunters with the youth season approaching.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked two separate trespass cases and a trapping violation, as well as complaints of vehicles blocking access to state forest gates. He also handled two nuisance-beaver permit requests.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing and waterfowl- and small game-hunting enforcement. Time was also spent working the pheasant-hunting opener over the weekend. Prior to the start of the season, Chihak was contacted by an individual requesting information on ATV/OHM use on state forest lands. During the conversation, the individual commented on how poorly the pheasant hunting had been thus far. When informed the pheasant season started on Saturday, the caller became quiet. After a long pause, the caller stated, “I guess I’m in trouble now.”
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters, pheasant hunters and archery hunters. He also continued working on a background investigation for the upcoming CO Academy. Waterfowl numbers in the area are poor and hunters are anxiously awaiting the start of a migration. Most pheasant hunters found success on opening day with reports of decent numbers of small, unidentifiable broods mixed in. Hunters interested in hunting walk-in access properties are reminded to purchase the $3 WIA validation before hunting. Enforcement action was taken for no small-game license, trespassing, no WIA validation and hunting without licenses in possession.
Bemidji #2 – vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with two firearms safety field days this past week. Plautz worked the opening of the pheasant season, finding a few hunters out enjoying the fall weather. Several phone calls were received on upcoming deer seasons. Sick- and injured-deer calls were handled. Plautz assisted the State Patrol with a crash involving several horses.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts this past week on waterfowl and pheasant hunters, as well as fall anglers. Lots of good contacts were made across the area as warmer weather continued into the fall. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unregistered ATVs and transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle. A hunting safety talk was also given to a large local business as part of their “Lunch and Learn” event.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports working a busy pheasant opener. Waterfowl-hunting activity remained low. Many great contacts were made during the weekend, from first-time youth hunters to more-experienced hunters still willing to put the miles on foot to flush birds with friends and family. Additional time was spent checking archery deer hunters and investigating trespass complaints. Hunters are reminded to use multiple sources for determining road right-of-way boundaries and to pay attention to posted signs. Enforcement action included hunting within a wildlife refuge, no pheasant stamp and no license in possession.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl numbers in the area are down and the hunters Osborne talked to didn’t have good hunts this past weekend. A few roosters were found in the bag over opening weekend.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week working on her assigned background investigation. She took calls from the public with questions regarding waterfowl and deer hunting. She also attended Breckenridge Elementary School’s fifth-grade invasive species presentations. She’s happy to see what the kids learned about invasive species and is glad they are able to help spread the word.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working waterfowl, small game and fire enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included toxic shot in possession on federal land and while hunting migratory waterfowl, no pheasant stamps, no license in possession and burning prohibited materials.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators, and bowhunters and investigating illegal fires. A dog-bite complaint was investigated at Glacial Lakes State Park.
Fergus Falls – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for ATV operators, as well as small-game and big-game activity. Baum continues working on a big-game investigation.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports continuing to work on a background investigation, checking hunters and anglers and patrolling wildlife management areas. He received complaints/calls regarding hunting laws, trespass, nuisance animals and property/equipment being left overnight in WMAs.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking anglers and small game and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. The grouse harvest is rising as the leaves fall. Kunst received calls in regards to dispersed camping, permanent duck blinds and general hunting questions.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers as the fishing and weather continue to be good. Three fishing complaints were received and investigated. One resulted in enforcement action for angling without a license and extra lines. Several training sessions were completed.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled area lakes for angling and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations. McGowan also attended the Cass County Minnesota Deer Hunters Association banquet, where numerous questions were answered regarding the upcoming deer season.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked big game hunting and small game hunting and checked anglers. Case work, training and equipment maintenance were also completed. Cross reminds hunters that all attractants and deer feeding are banned in Hubbard and Cass counties. Refer to page 79 of the 2021 Minnesota Hunting Regulations book.
ATV rec officer – vacant.