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Firearms deer season ends on a mostly quiet note, DNR conservation officers report

Most of the ice that was being made on Lake of the Woods or Upper Red Lake took a beating with the especially high winds on Sunday.

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, Nov. 22:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked deer hunters throughout a slow second week of the firearms deer season. Violations encountered included shooting from a vehicle at deer, transporting an illegally taken big-game animal, trespassing and transporting a loaded firearm.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports the final days of the rifle season were pretty slow in both participation and success. Some cold, windy weather made an appearance in the area and kept a lot of folks indoors. Most of the ice that was being made on Lake of the Woods or Upper Red Lake took a beating with the especially high winds on Sunday. Sura continues work on several big-game-related investigations.


CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports spending most of his time with the 100 series firearms deer season this past week. According to hunters in the area, the deer are really moving around compared to the opener of the season. Cases from the previous week were also investigated.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) continued monitoring area firearms deer hunters during the final weekend of the season. He investigated a complaint of trespass that led to multiple pending charges, including use of artificial lights to locate game, trespass, buck overlimit, transporting untagged deer, failure to register big game and lending big-game licenses for numerous individuals.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent the week monitoring trapping and firearms deer-hunting activity. Violations encountered included failure to validate a site tag, unregistered deer and transporting an untagged big-game animal.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working deer-hunting and trapping activity throughout this past week. Time was spent investigating TIP (Turn in Poachers) information and working deer-hunting-enforcement details in complaint areas. Violations encountered and addressed this past week included taking beaver in a closed season, leaving traps out after the close of the applicable season (an ongoing case), shining, shooting big game from a motor vehicle, shooting from the road right-of-way, transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles and trespassing.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports encountering fewer hunters afield as the firearms season drew to an end. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, hunter harassment, failure to register deer, shooting from a motor vehicle and driving while intoxicated.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on deer case follow-up from this past firearms deer season. Time was also spent working deer-hunting enforcement in the Grygla area.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) worked the end of the firearms deer season.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked firearms deer-hunting activity. Several calls were taken from individuals who had questions regarding CWD.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking follow-up rifle deer season questions, patrolling the station for trapping activity and completing some required department training. Questions were answered about hunting predators at night with the aid of lights and deer parts dumped in ditches. A case involving litter/dumping on a public water access was referred to the Parks and Trails Division. Some seasonably cold weather has begun to freeze area lakes and winter anglers are eager to venture onto the ice. Anglers need to check ice thickness carefully and remember the minimum recommended ice thickness for foot traffic is 4 inches.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working the end of the rifle deer season and following up on cases from the deer season. Other time was spent assisting the county with calls for service. Swedberg also started an investigation involving a potential walleye overlimit.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked deer hunters and responded to reports of late shots, a possible out-of-season deer kill and trespass. Hunters reported deer activity was slow, and tagging and party hunting violations were handled.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working small-game, trapping and archery deer hunting enforcement. Time was also spent completing open cases from the firearms deer season.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on small-game-hunting activity. Angling activity was monitored with most ponds and bays having a thin sheet of ice. Wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas were patrolled for activity. Follow up on open cases was performed.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on deer-season and trapping complaints. Calls from the public included requests for car-killed deer permits and questions from muzzleloader hunters regarding deer limits. Enforcement action was taken for deer-registration violations.


Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on several after-season deer-hunting and trespass complaints. Plautz spoke to a snowmobile safety class on laws and ethics and worked on some (Enforcement) Division training. Several deer-possession tags were issued. Deer are on the move.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) conducted follow up on deer-season cases and fielded inquiries regarding the muzzleloader season. Additional time was spent checking small-game hunters and completing equipment maintenance.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked pheasant and waterfowl hunters. Deer-season investigations are ongoing and new complaints are still being received. Ice has started to form on small area lakes with the cold weather. Please be careful when venturing out on the new ice.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued follow-up on cases stemming from the firearms deer season. Failing to register deer and lending and borrowing licenses are common violations relating to deer season. Muskie anglers were monitored as their season slowly winds up. Pheasant hunters were monitored as well. A complaint of a neighbor’s dogs running around properties and possibly chasing deer was also handled.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working hunting and recreational activity throughout the week and weekend. Follow-up on various deer cases is being done. Enforcement action taken included no pheasant stamp and no Walk-In Access hunter validation.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking trappers and waterfowl and pheasant hunters. Additional time was spent following up on complaints from the deer season and investigating littering complaints. Some small lakes have started to freeze over and anglers should use extreme caution on the new ice.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent this week attending Peer Support training. She is now part of the DNR Enforcement Division’s Peer Support Team.

Osakis – vacant.

Fergus Falls – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to check deer hunters throughout the week. Calls received included deer being shot off private property in the middle of the night, deer carcasses being dumped illegally and various hunting questions. Kunst also followed up on big-game violations from opening weekend, including shooting from the roadway and taking antlerless deer without a permit.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) spent the week working primarily big-game and small-game hunting. Time was also spent on case work and equipment maintenance as winter approaches. Enforcement action was taken for no deer license in possession, shooting from a motor vehicle, illegally transporting a loaded firearm and shooting from a public road right-of-way.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the week following up on and completing big game investigations from the regular firearms deer season. Preparations also began for the winter season with the impending colder weather; station equipment maintenance was completed. Reports of incidentally taken animals were handled.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports conducting squad maintenance and following up on investigations and reports from the firearms deer season. Calls from the public included assisting with the retrieval of a wounded deer and providing deer-possession permits.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check deer hunting activity. Hunters had limited success. Multiple calls were taken from people who had questions about hunting.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked deer and waterfowl hunters throughout the week. Several lakes are starting to ice over, and hunters reported limited success. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of waterfowl- and deer-hunting violations.

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for hunting activity. Baum took enforcement action for firearms deer hunting in a game refuge open for only archery. He took time this week to conduct maintenance on patrol vehicles.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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