DNR conservation officers' report: Youth waterfowl hunt, Grouse opener etc.

Here's the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Sept. 20: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) testified in court for an angling case and attended a regional meeting a...

Here's the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Sept. 20:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) testified in court for an angling case and attended a regional meeting at Itasca State Park. Waterfowl activity, boating activity, and wetlands issues were monitored at the Northwest Angle with CO Birchem. Waterfowl identification was taught at the Agassiz/Thief Lake Youth Waterfowl Mentorship Clinic. Many new ducks and geese have entered the area in the past week.

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) attended training at Itasca State Park. Early goose, grouse, and deer hunters were checked. Many hunters thought grouse numbers appeared up over the opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for firearms transportation violations.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) followed up on wildlife complaints, checked small game hunters, and checked waterfowl hunters. Numerous bear hunters were still trying to harvest a bear. Grouse hunting success appeared to be fair over the opening weekend. Hunters on foot had better luck than the road hunters. CO Birchem attended a regional meeting. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended a regional training session, checked area sandhill crane and youth waterfowl hunters, and conducted an interview with a local radio station on upcoming outdoor opportunities. CO Woinarowicz checked local hunters out for the small game opener. Hunter success was poor with low numbers of birds and high numbers of leaves still on trees. Although harvest numbers were low hunters enjoyed the mild temperatures and were happy to be afield. Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration violations, fail to register bear bait, transport untagged big game animal, and burn prohibited materials.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on the Red Lake River. Boat and water safety and invasive species checks were performed. Area WMAs were monitored for activity. Questions were answered in regards to the upcoming firearms deer season. A call of a possible injured hawk was taken. CO Warren attended regional training and meeting at Itasca State Park.

CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) attended a regional meeting, monitored area angling activity, and disposed of a nuisance bear that had been causing damage. The small game opener was worked. Enforcement action for the week included early goose season violations.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) worked a busy opening weekend of the small game season. ATV complaints were investigated in the Waskish and Kelliher areas. CO Vollbrecht attended a regional training/meeting at Itasca State Park. The classroom and riding portion of an ATV safety class was taught in Kelliher.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, bear hunting and small game hunting throughout the week. Grouse hunters were out on opening weekend with hunters reporting fair numbers of birds. Fishing continues to be good on Lake of the Woods with several over limit cases made. A shining detail was worked and an ATV fun run was monitored with many riders attending and enjoying the numerous local trails.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports an average number of archery deer hunters out for the opening weekend. Hunters were having varied success. Property line disputes between hunters were addressed, and a complaint of a suspicious person camping on state land was investigated. The officer delivered a safety message at the Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, as part of a youth hunt orientation day.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked hunters during the small game and archery deer hunting opening weekend. Canada goose hunters were having the best success. A dead bald eagle was sent to the USFWS for analysis. A group conducting a "Wild Food Summit" were out harvesting wild foods. The group was aware of the hunting seasons and were wearing blaze orange clothing. Complaints of bear in town, beaver dams flooding roads, and wolves killing coon hounds were investigated

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) reports a slow start to the small game and archery deer seasons. Grouse, goose, and archery deer hunters were checked.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked bear, goose, grouse, and archery deer hunters. Grouse hunters report seeing few birds. OHV and angling activity was monitored. The walleye bite continues to improve.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) attended a Wildlife Management Area dedication on Dead Lake near Dent. The new addition protects about seven miles of shoreline from alteration. A sick deer call was referred to DNR Wildlife for investigation. The Youth Waterfowl Day brought some hunters out with some wood ducks and teal observed. Archery deer hunters were out, one hunter checked took a doe and a buck during the opening weekend. Deer shining and ATV complaints were investigated.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) checked archery deer and Canada goose hunters. Few youth waterfowl hunters were out during the Youth Waterfowl Day. Deer baiting and trespass complaints were investigated.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked archery deer, bear and waterfowl hunters. Deer baiting and ATV complaints were investigated. The officer spoke to the Callaway Firearms Safety Class about laws, safety, and ethics.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked OHVs, bear hunters, and bear baits. Nuisance animal issues and wolf depredation complaints were investigated. The officer assisted with a youth waterfowl class that included shooting clay targets.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, Canada goose hunters, archery deer hunters and young waterfowl hunters participating in the Youth Waterfowl Day. Very few young hunters were out. Complaints of a sick ferret at a golf course, deer baiting, trespass and an injured moose were investigated.

Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson worked on invasive species education and enforcement, including speaking with dock and lift removal companies about not transporting equipment used in zebra mussel-infested waters to another lake for use. Hanson assisted other officers during the small game and archery deer season opening weekend. Wetland alteration issues were addressed in Polk, Pine, Otter Tail and Beltrami counties.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked the busy small game and deer archery openers over the weekend and assisted District 1 and 5 officers on a shining detail. Murray also flew wolf surveys and worked on aviation training items.

Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple Leech Lake boat surveys and ring neck duck telemetry.

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