Weekly DNR Enforcement report: Turkey hunting, monitoring ATV activity among main officer activities
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reminds outdoor enthusiasts of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order. He spent time patrolling the tributaries near Upper Red Lake and for ATV activity.
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, April 20:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Rainy River and turkey hunters around Roseau and Marshall counties.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) worked angling, small-game and ATV enforcement. He also patrolled local state parks and forests. In addition, he followed up on several complaints that now are ongoing investigations and assisted the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office with a party complaint in the Beltrami Island State Forest. Violations encountered included careless driving, allowing illegal operation of an ATV and underage consumption.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) worked angling enforcement and boat and water safety. Violations included failure to display boat registration, no angling license in possession, taking walleyes during the closed season and angling with extra lines.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) monitored turkey hunting activity. Hunters had moderate success. He also patrolled area ATV trails and conducted a radio interview on the turkey season and upcoming walleye opener. Enforcement action for the past week included ATV registration violations, no lights on an ATV, failure to stop an ATV at a crossroad and no helmet on a juvenile ATV passenger.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent time checking shore anglers and patrolling for ATV and turkey hunting activity this past week. Cooler weather made it hard for hunters to stay in the blind, but some found success nonetheless. Violations encountered included various angling and ATV violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working spring fish-run activity and trapping activity throughout the past week. Time was spent handling reports of incidentally caught otters while spring beaver trapping and monitoring ATV activity and seasonal trail closures. Regas worked with CO Prachar monitoring activity on the Blackduck River. Violations encountered and addressed this past week included failure to remove traps at the end of the otter season, failure to extinguish a fire and ATV-registration violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reminds outdoor enthusiasts of the governor’s “Stay at Home” order. He spent time patrolling the tributaries near Upper Red Lake and for ATV activity.
Baudette East – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) patrolled Itasca State Park and checked trout anglers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) checked area rivers and streams for spring fish-run activity. Several rivers in the area are closed for angling until fishing opener. He also spent time training in the airboat. Areas were patrolled for ATV activity.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) spent time working spring fish-run activity and patrolling for ATV activity. Time was also spent in the area state parks and talking with various supervisors within the parks. K9 training was also completed.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports concentrating enforcement activities on turkey hunters and the spring fish run. A turkey hunter called Vinton to report accidentally shooting two turkeys with one shot. The extra bird was taken and donated. Ice on many of the smaller lakes is gone and on the larger lakes the ice would not be safe. Area state parks have seen an increase in guests and Vinton talked with park staff to offer any assistance that may be needed.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week monitoring shore fishing and spring fish-run activity. Spring fishing closures are in place throughout the Detroit Lakes area and anglers should check the DNR website to make sure they know where they can and can’t fish. Other time was spent patrolling for fish activity and checking recreational vehicle activity.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the turkey-hunting and stream-trout openers, patrolled state forest land, assisted with investigating several game violations and assisted local agencies with calls for service. Turkey season got off to a good start as local ice-fishing options ran out.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working the start of the spring turkey hunting season and ATV enforcement. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated. Incidentally caught river otters were reported and seized. Time was also spent responding to requests from the public seeking information.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) checked wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas for activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV activity on area trails and forest roads. A fire without a burning permit was investigated. A complaint of illegal dumping of beaver carcasses was received. Warren monitored area lakes and ponds for anglers and leeching activity.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring fire activity, ATV activity, and angling activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public included reports of incidentally taken otters, nuisance beavers, and an injured eagle. Landmark also assisted deputies in a domestic dispute and took enforcement action for traffic violations.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a large number of open-water anglers, both from boats and shore, in the Alexandria area this past week. The water temperatures are still rather cold but some areas are producing panfish. One shore angler was cited for using two lines, saying he knew it was wrong but had observed other people doing it in the past. Turkey hunters were monitored, with one being cited for transporting a loaded shotgun in his vehicle. Fire conditions remain very high in the area and resulted in an unpermitted grass fire jumping a road and burning a neighboring landowner’s field. A citation was issued.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated several shooting-from-the-road complaints involving turkeys and waterfowl. While investigating one of the complaints, Osborne observed two suspicious vehicles in a public hunting area parking lot, which led to an investigation with local law enforcement and forthcoming charges.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working a busy week of fishing and recreational vehicle activity. Enforcement action for week included fishing without a license and allowing illegal juvenile operation of ATVs and OHMs.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) seized incidentally caught otters this past week, checked area streams for fish-run activity and worked ATV complaint areas. Plautz checked successful turkey hunters in the first season and investigated litter/dumping and illegal-burning complaints.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked turkey hunters, ATVs and anglers throughout the past week. Time was also spent monitoring trapping activity in the area. Complaints were received regarding the dumping of deer carcasses and illegal operation of motor vehicles in WMAs. Violations encountered included shooting turkeys from a motor vehicle, turkey registration issues and ATV violations.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on spring turkey, angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. She also received calls/complaints of people netting for fish in a closed area, fishing with extra lines and unattended lines, a road-kill otter, dogs chasing deer, and questions regarding fishing on Lake Traverse and at the area dams. She would like to remind anglers that on South Dakota-Minnesota border waters, two lines per person are permitted and when fishing the dams as long as you have a license from either state you’re welcome to shore fish from either side. Wood also participated in another law enforcement/first responder birthday parade for local children with birthdays and assisted the State Patrol with a vehicle fire on the interstate. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations, turkey-registration violations, and numerous ATV/OHM violations – most involving kids operating on roads with the parents’ knowledge.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports hunting success for turkeys has been good overall. Warmer weather over the weekend brought anglers out on the lake and from shore. Violations were encountered for activities related to both, with expensive reminders handed out.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent checking boats for AIS compliance and required safety equipment. Baumbarger assisted CO Osborne with a TIP complaint in the Evansville station.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked ongoing game investigations with neighboring officers. The start of the turkey and stream trout seasons brought many people out. Enforcement action was taken for various violations related to fishing, hunting, boating, and litter.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check fishing activity. She also took calls regarding trapping activity.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The recent open water brought out a fair number of panfish anglers. Expired watercraft registration was the most common violation observed. He received a complaint of a bowfishers shining lights too close to houses after sunset on the Crow Wing River. He also checked turkey hunters, who report seeing larger groups of turkeys. Toms did not want to leave the main flock. He also spent time checking beaver trappers and picking up accidentally caught otters. Flooding on area lakes, especially Lake Shamineau, is a significant problem for landowners and folks trying to access the lake.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working ATV and trapping enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for an illegal water-set trap. Multiple incidental otters have been called in due to many people trapping spring beavers in her station.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked closed state forest roads for motor vehicle use, turkey hunters, and state park use. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated. Two reports of litter – one household garbage and another animal-carcass dumping – were investigated. Things are getting dry in the area and a fire was investigated where enforcement action was taken for no permit, allowing a smoldering fire, and prohibited material burning. Patrol boats were readied for the upcoming season. A big-game case is also under investigation.
Lake George – vacant.
Walker – vacant.