Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent parts of northern Minnesota for Monday, Nov. 4:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored area duck-, deer- and grouse-hunting activity. A complaint of an ATV on Palmville WMA was investigated.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, big- and small-game and sport fishing enforcement. Forest roads and trails are being opened back up one by one as the water recedes and the ground hardens. This has been good news for grouse hunters and also for the deer hunters who were starting to worry about being able to get to their camps and hunting spots this upcoming weekend for the firearms deer opener.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) conducted a radio interview talking about the upcoming deer season and new regulations, hosted a reporter for a ride-along who wanted to observe natural resources law enforcement, and conducted follow up for ongoing archery deer cases. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations encountered.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked waterfowl and big-game hunting this past week. Elwell also spent time working ongoing cases and answered questions about the upcoming rifle deer season.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV, AIS enforcement, small-game, and waterfowl-hunting activity throughout the week. Time was spent investigating a filling-a-wetland violation, a case of trespass on public lands where an adjacent landowner intentionally blocked public access of an OHV trail, issuing wildlife-possession permits and attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action for the week included waterfowl stamp violations and transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicle/motorboats.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) worked ATV and small-game enforcement. Hunters are gearing up for the firearms opener next weekend.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time checking small-game hunters and archery deer hunters.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports following up on various TIP-related complaints. Time was also spent checking archery deer and duck hunters. Illegal stands in area WMAs were marked prior to the deer season opener, as were unauthorized ATV trails.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) continued flight training and prepared for the firearms deer season.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes as well as Leech Lake. Duck-hunter success increased with migrant ducks. Muskie anglers report having several follows and catching fish over 50 inches. Vollbrecht began field training with COC Lambertz. They spoke to the Bemidji Lions Club regarding firearms deer season regulations and the importance of have boating safety equipment while enjoying lakes in the fall. Time was taken to meet with a BSU wildlife management class to discuss the job duties of a CO.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting several archery hunters, a few small-game hunters and what’s left of the waterfowl hunters. Deer are reportedly moving and several car-killed deer permits were issued. Vinton received a couple of complaints of hunters shooting too close to residences. In each case, the hunting parties were not in violation. Hunters should be reminded, though, they are responsible for their shot and to be aware of nearby homes. A complaint of decoys being left out overnight was investigated and it was discovered the responsible hunter was in jail and unable to pick up the decoys. A hunting partner agreed to retrieve them.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working duck hunters and answering questions about the upcoming deer-hunting opener. Other nuisance- and injured-animal calls were handled.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) mostly worked deer hunters, which included two trespass calls, one resulting in an additional shoot-from-the-road violation. Peterson also worked two carcass dumps, a car-killed bear and a violation of camping in a WMA.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working small-game and deer-hunting activity. Most pheasant hunters checked were having success despite the high percentage of crops still in the fields. Minnow-transportation permits were issued and questions about the upcoming firearms deer season were answered. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on small-game and waterfowl-hunting activity. Lakes were monitored for angling activity. A call of a possible gray wolf depredation was investigated. A complaint of illegal shining activity was worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring deer baiting, waterfowl hunting, pheasant hunting, and angling activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public were all trespass-related and Landmark would like to remind the public that it is their responsibility to know whose land they are hunting on. Waterfowl hunters are having some success with diving ducks, but some of the smaller sloughs are starting to skim over with ice on cold mornings.
Bemidji #2 – vacant
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) finished Phase 2 of field training with COC Anderson. Time was spent answering questions and issuing deer-possession permits. Richards seized incidental-caught fur and responded to a wolf-depredation report. Duck hunters were checked where open water allowed. Hunters were wondering if the bulk of the migration already had come through. Tundra swans and goldeneyes show signs we might be getting to the end. Goose numbers continue to improve thanks to migrant birds and more fields opening up to feed in.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking bowhunters, small-game hunters, and waterfowl hunters. Additional time was spent issuing wildlife-possession permits and answering questions about the upcoming firearms deer season.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) continued to focus on waterfowl and small-game enforcement efforts. Many smaller sloughs and ponds north of Elbow Lake froze over this past week, shifting bird concentrations to shallow lakes. Calls and questions were handled about the upcoming firearms deer season. Additional time was spent following up on a possible wetland violation and responding to road-hunting complaints. Enforcement action taken included decoy placement, hunting license violations, and littering.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) began Phase 3 field training with COC Hanna Wood. The officers worked night shining activity, checked waterfowl hunters, followed up on WPA violation complaints, and checked archery hunters. An illegal burning violation was handled in the field with enforcement action taken. Plautz and Wood responded to a trapper’s call of a wolf in a trap. The officer, with the help of two trappers and a catch pole, successfully released the wolf unharmed. They also assisted other agencies with a semi-truck rollover, structure fire, and a traffic stop.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) received complaints of deer stands left overnight in WPAs and WMAs. A complaint of driving on and using a boat/motor on a WPA was received and investigated. Pheasant and waterfowl hunters were checked.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked angling as well as pheasant and deer hunters during the past week. Time was also spent monitoring recreational vehicle activity and waterfowl hunting. Complaints were received regarding hunter harassment and possible deer-hunting violations. Enforcement action related to hunting and fishing license violations and transporting loaded firearms.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this past week following up on deer-hunting and trespass complaints. Pheasant and waterfowl hunters were also monitored. A case involving an undersized muskie being kept during the summer was completed with enforcement action taken. Lawler also spoke and attended the range portion of a firearms safety class in Alexandria.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer and small-game hunters. Deer-season ATV permits and car-killed deer permits were issued. Complaints of road hunting and trespassing were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and deer-hunting violations.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking waterfowl hunters, small-game hunters and anglers. She also responded to a vehicle off the road. Enforcement actions included extra lines while angling, failure to display a federal waterfowl stamp, and various traffic violations.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.