Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, Nov. 25:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked hunters on the final weekend of the deer season. Violations for the week included failure to register deer, illegal purchase of venison, driving while intoxicated, and buck overlimit.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV (off-highway vehicle) and big- and small-game enforcement. Another firearms deer season wrapped up; success overall was good in the area. Multiple trespass complaints were handled over the past week. In case you aren’t aware, agricultural lands are considered posted and do not require signage, so get permission from the landowner prior to accessing the land. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV during restricted hours, trespassing on posted private/agricultural lands, failure to validate a deer tag at the site of the kill, failure to register harvested deer and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked the final weekend of the firearms deer season. Enforcement action was taken for possession of a firearm by a felon, failure to register big game, unlawful party hunting, and using a bonus permit in a lottery zone.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking deer hunters, trappers and a few anglers throughout the past week. Time was spent handling reports of hunter harassment and assorted wildlife-related calls of sick deer and requests for possession permits for car-killed deer. Violations encountered and addressed this past week included transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles and license violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports deer-hunting activity has remained consistent throughout the firearms season. Time was spent on illegal-taking-of-big-game cases and other big-game-related cases.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) checked deer hunters during the last weekend of the rifle season and completed a commercial taxidermy inspection. Mishler spent time following up on multiple violations encountered during the firearms deer season.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time this past week following up on hunting-related complaints. Time was also spent responding to TIP-related calls. Anglers were checked on area lakes.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) took normal firearms deer season complaints and finished the rifle deer season with a complaint in the Headwaters station.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) checked firearms deer season hunters throughout the past week. He took calls of individuals hunting on the Bemidji Game Refuge with rifles. Hunters are reminded to double check where they are hunting and not always rely on phone apps. Vollbrecht patrolled grant-in-aid ATV trails for individuals illegally operating highway licensed vehicles on them.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week following up on cases from the busy deer season. Ice conditions in the Detroit Lakes area are anywhere from open water to 7 inches of ice. Anglers need to use caution and common sense.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) followed up on cases from the firearms deer season, including drafting and execution of a search warrant, evidence collection and reports.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working waterfowl, small-game and archery deer-hunting enforcement. Mild weather conditions brought an increase in goose- and pheasant-hunting activity. Time was also spent following up on and completing investigations from the firearms deer season.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on small-game-hunting activity. Area lakes were monitored for ice angling activity with ice conditions continuing to vary. Follow up was conducted on open cases. A complaint of possible trespass was received.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on calls and reports from the firearms deer season. Those looking to hit the ice should use caution as the warmer weather has opened up some spots on area lakes. A possession permit was issued for a road-killed bobcat.
Bemidji #2 – vacant.
Headwaters – vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking trappers and small-game hunters. Additional time was spent following up on deer-season cases and issuing permits for car-killed deer. A few geese remain around the area, and ice on most lakes is still pretty thin, with open water still being found on larger lakes. Anglers are urged to use extreme caution if venturing out on the ice.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finished Step 3 field training with COC Hanna Wood this past week. They finalized deer-hunting complaints, followed up on dead deer found on property and completed follow up and interviews on open investigations. Incidentally taken fishers were seized and proper paperwork was completed.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) has received reports of deer and goose carcasses being dumped along roadways. Some of the cases are wanton waste due to the amount of meat left on the carcasses. Warm weather has opened up lakes and made other ice very unsafe. Goose hunting continues to be very good in the area.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time following up on deer investigations. He also handled vehicle maintenance and phone calls regarding ice fishing and muzzleloader seasons.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked pheasant hunters and followed up on deer-hunting cases during the week. Time was also spent closing out a case involving hunters damaging a WMA with motor vehicles. Holt worked vacant stations and participated in a work detail during the last weekend of the 100 Series firearms deer season. Holt gave a presentation on laws, ethics and safety to a youth snowmobile safety class.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked on completing investigations from the deer season. Reports from cases were sent to county attorneys for charging. A snowmobile safety class is being scheduled with local snowmobile safety instructors.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time wrapping up deer season cases. Additional time was spent checking pheasant and waterfowl hunters. The ice remaining on area lakes is not safe for foot travel.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated trespassing, shooting from the road, dogs chasing deer and other big-game violations. Deer hunters report limited success around the area.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunters. He worked on several cases from the opening week of deer season. A nuisance bobcat complaint was received and a road-hunting complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for hunter harassment.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.