DNR Conservation Officers' report: Unlawful elk shooting, Ice fishing etc.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Dec. 6: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked muzzleloader hunters and investigated a trespass complaint on an ...

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Dec. 6:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked muzzleloader hunters and investigated a trespass complaint on an individual who shot a deer from the roadway. Follow-up investigations continued from the rifle season. A search warrant was executed at a residence, and the elk hunting orientation at Thief Lake headquarters was attended.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) found anglers venturing out by ATV and snowmobile on Lake of the Woods. Ice conditions are rough, and the ice has a long way to go before it is safe. A wetlands violation and a trespass complaint were followed up on. CO Birchem gave a school presentation to third graders on timber wolves.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) is investigating the possible unlawful shooting of a cow elk in the Grygla area. A cow elk was found shot northeast of Grygla and although there is an open elk season in that zone, all current hunters contacted stated they had not shot at any elk in the area. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Turn In Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093. CO Woinarowicz taught the law and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class for the Warren and Stephen/Argyle classes. He also checked early ice anglers and area snowmobilers. Enforcement action for the week included registration violations, allowing illegal snowmobile operation by juvenile, no snowmobile safety certificate and burning of prohibited materials.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked muzzleloader hunting activity with a number of hunters out having some success. Area WMAs were monitored for activity. Area snowmobilers were out enjoying the recent snowfall. Parents are reminded to make sure juveniles participate in snowmobile safety classes. Calls were received on a possible sick raccoon, automobile hit deer and gray wolf concerns. Ice anglers are starting to creep out onto the Red Lake River. The public is reminded to use extreme caution as ice thickness can vary.

CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) checked early ice anglers. Ice is still not reliable for anything other than foot travel. Assistance was provided to another officer executing a search warrant. CO Backer assisted the sheriff's department with a report of two snowmobilers that were stuck in a swamp and wet. Trapping activity, snowmobile activity and muzzleloader activity was monitored.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) worked on investigations from the firearms deer season. It was determined one hunter failed to validate a tag used during the first weekend of the season. The tag was used again the following weekend to tag a six-point buck. Other tagging violations were discovered during the investigation. A search warrant was executed on a house with the assistance of CO Backer, 1st. Lt. Kirlin and the sheriff's department. Trappers were monitored as the fisher/pine marten season comes to an end. The first fish houses of the year were observed on area lakes. Snowmobile activity in the Kelliher and Waskish areas was monitored.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored muzzleloader and fishing activity throughout the week. As temperatures were mild, an increase in muzzleloader activity created more success throughout the week. Anglers are reporting anywhere from 3 to 7 inches of ice on Lake of the Woods and fair numbers of fish being caught. As temperatures are expected to be in the single digits throughout the rest of the week, resorts are gearing up for the beginning of the busy ice fishing season.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received calls for injured/sick bald eagle, car kill deer and trespass. Anglers, snowmobilers, muzzleloader deer hunters, trappers and coyote hunters were checked. Other law enforcement agencies were assisted with vehicle crashes and cars in the ditch. Reminder: People cutting spearing size holes in the ice, please mark your hole when you move your shelter.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked muzzleloader deer hunters, trappers and anglers. Anglers are starting to venture onto the ice. Caution is urged for everyone going onto the ice.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports improving ice conditions on area lakes; 3 inches to 10 inches of ice is reported, but there is slush or water in many locations. Anglers should carry safety equipment and tell someone where they are going and when they'll return. Trappers are taking a few fishers, and muzzleloader deer hunters are using the snow to their advantage. Snowmobilers have been riding in the road ditches and some trails but the groomers have not been out. Violations detected: no blaze orange during the muzzleloader deer season, operate snowmobile on the road and shelter left on a public access.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports varying ice conditions on area lakes. Many lakes have 4 to 8 inches, but the ice isn't the best quality, and there are slushy spots. A few anglers are using snowmobiles and ATVs on the ice. Muzzleloader deer hunters are seeing deer, but the snow has made travel challenging. Snowmobiles are out but no trail grooming has been done. Snowmobilers are reminded to check their machines for current registration.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers, trappers and a variety of hunters. Several calls of injured deer or deer observed in uncommon areas (next to the road, on the ice, or in back yards) were received. A TIP call resulted in a number of violations detected, including borrow/lend a license, hunt deer over bait, over limit of deer and fail to register deer. Several trespass complaints were investigated. The complaints involved hunters, anglers and snowmobilers. Firearms deer season issues continue to be investigated.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports increasing angling activity on the lakes. Some walleyes are being caught. Muzzleloader deer hunters generated complaints of late shooting and shooting from the road. A snowmobile trespass complaint and deer baiting cases are being investigated.

Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson continues to investigate a litter complaint. Muzzleloader deer hunters and anglers were checked. The officer met with government officials regarding wetland, public waters and invasive species issues.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

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