DNR Enforcement report: Deer season dominates weekend

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Nov. 8: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) prepared for and worked the opening weekend of firearms deer season in Ro...

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Nov. 8:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) prepared for and worked the opening weekend of firearms deer season in Roseau, Kittson and Marshall counties. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, shoot from the roadway and leaving a blind on a wildlife management area overnight. Duck hunters were also checked on Thief Lake.

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) worked ATV activity and the deer season opener. Hunting success appeared to be fair. Enforcement activity for the week included numerous big game violations.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) received complaints on hunter harassment and trespassing.


Local law enforcement was assisted with a domestic involving a firearm. Enforcement action was taken on hunter harassment, hunting with bait, WMA violations and ATV violations.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) participated in two call-in interview shows for local radio stations on new regulations and hunter ethics. Baiting complaints were investigated, and area WMAs were monitored for illegal ATV activity. CO Woinarowicz worked with CO Pilot Murray for the firearms deer season opener. One individual fled from CO Woinarowicz in his vehicle and then ran into the woods after removing his blaze orange jacket. The plane was soon overhead and when the violator heard it circling, he realized escape was futile and came out of the woods. He was arrested and faces charges for DWI and other violations. Other enforcement action for the week included take deer over baited area, transport loaded firearm, recreational trespass, leave stand in WMA and ATV violations.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) attended training and made preparations for the firearms deer season. The deer opener was worked with many hunters out and about with average success. CO Warren worked with the plane on possible bait sites and a trespassing complaint. Many complaints of trespassing and shooting from roadways were received with investigations ongoing. Enforcement action included no license in possession, no licenses, trespass, failure to display registration and shooting from the roadway.

CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) investigated complaints of trespass, ATV use and road hunting. Shining complaints were worked with other area officers. Numerous questions were answered on the use of lottery and management tags. Enforcement action for the week included untagged deer, no antlerless permit and firearms transportation violations.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) worked a busy opening weekend of the 2010 deer season. Success was spotty during the weekend, but most hunters enjoyed the warm sunny weekend. CO Vollbrecht monitored shining in the area and worked with the LGU on an ongoing wetland violation. Areas were checked for baiting activity.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored deer hunting and fishing activity throughout the week. Hunters reported fair harvest numbers of deer over opening weekend despite the warm weather. Numerous complaints were handled including trespassing, hunter harassment, shining, baiting, shooting from roadways, careless driving and operating ATVs during closed hours.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.


District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports an average start to the firearm deer season, with varied success and some nice bucks taken. Waterfowl hunters were also out, but few ducks are in the area. Complaints of leaving elevated stands on a WMA, trespass and deer baiting were investigated. A UMC student rode with the officer during the deer season, and the officer spoke to the Red Lake Lions Club about fall activities.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked a variety of hunters and anglers. The officer assisted with investigating the theft of personal watercraft and tribal nets. Complaints of shining, trespass, stands left on a WMA and a swan striking a power line were investigated.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) responded to complaints of shining, trespass, shooting at big game from the road, deer baiting, ATVs operating in a closed area and hunter harassment.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) reports many deer hunters afield during the opening weekend of the firearm season. Hunters reported seeing lower than average numbers of deer, and the harvest seems to be down. Complaints of trespass, deer baiting and late shooting were investigated. ATV and waterfowl hunting activity was monitored.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports mild weather kept deer hunters on stand most of the opening weekend. Questions about deer baiting were common when talking to hunters. The officer spoke to the Perham Sportsman Club about hunting laws and safety rules. A 16-year-old hunter shot himself in the foot, the afternoon of the opening of the firearm deer season. The young hunter was airlifted to the hospital. The most common violation found over the weekend was untagged deer and fail to validate deer tag.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports a successful start to the firearm deer season. Hunters report seeing good numbers of deer and the harvest seems to be above average. Complaints of trespass, deer baiting, shooting from the road, operate ATV during closed hours, operate motor vehicle in a WMA and shooting from a motor vehicle. A party was attempting to retrieve a deer from a WMA and got three trucks stuck in the hunting area. A 52-year-old male shot himself in the hand when he put his hand over the end of the 20-gauge barrel while getting up from a kneeling position. The hunter admitted to not having the firearm safety on. He was airlifted to the hospital.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) verified and documented several deer baiting complaints before the opening of the firearm deer season. Those sites were checked on the opening day and enforcement action taken. Complaints of trespass, deer shining, late shooting, deer baiting, shooting from the road, illegal part hunting, borrow/lend a license, ATV operation and stolen traps were investigated.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) focused enforcement efforts on firearm deer hunting activity. Deer baiting, trespass, ATVs operating in a closed area and shining complaints were investigated. One hunter abandoned a firearm and clothing in a field. The items can be returned if the hunter comes forward and contacts the officer. Cougar questions were common.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked waterfowl and pheasant hunters prior to the start of the firearm deer season. Many hunters were out for the firearm deer opener. Success by deer hunters seems to be fair. Complaints of deer baiting, trespass, late shooting, hunting without a license and shining were investigated.

Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson assisted District 1 and 2 officers with complaints and hunting activity during the firearm deer season. The officer worked with Pennington County officials on wetland alteration violations. The officer attended an enforcement meeting related to invasive species.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked the firearms deer opener with District 1 officers. The nice weather kept hunters in the stands longer and hunter success seemed to be good. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV operation, hunting over bait, shooting from roadways, loaded firearms and DWI.

Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew the Bemidji duck survey and ringneck duck telemetry.

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