WEEKLY DNR ENFORCEMENT REPORT: Bucks with antlers locked near Moorhead, Ice fishing enforcement etc.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Jan. 5: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bobcat trapping activity in area WMAs and Lost River State Forest....

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Jan. 5: 

District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bobcat trapping activity in area WMAs and Lost River State Forest. Assistance was given to local law enforcement locating a missing person and with a traffic accident. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. Citations were issued for anglers using too many lines.  

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked trapping, ATV, snowmobiling and angling enforcement throughout Warroad, Lake of the Woods and the Beltrami Island State Forest. Enforcement action taken included no angling license in possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, possess small amount of marijuana and unmeasurable fish.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week checking fishermen and follow-up on some last minute trapping complaints. Assistance was also given to local law enforcement agencies for a train vs car accident in Warroad. Violations for the week included angling with unattended lines, no angling license in possession, and possessing dressed filets on LOW.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week of fishing on Lake of the Woods.  Anglers report that fish numbers are increasing ever so slightly, although the walleye being caught seem to be larger. With the recent snow and strong winds, the snowdrifts make the ice more difficult to traverse. Plan accordingly if you are making a long trip. Enforcement actions include angling without license, no license in possession, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked an enforcement detail on Lake of the Woods with multiple officers over the New Year’s holiday seeing success to be very location dependent. He also responded to a call of trespass where hunters were asked to leave property they were hunting without permission. The hunters did not leave when told to do so by the landowner and CO Woinarowicz, with assistance from a State Trooper, located the individuals drinking beer at a different location on the property. Enforcement action for trespass and litter was taken. Additional enforcement action for the week included snowmobile registration violations, snowmobile trespass; possess dressed fillets on special regulation lake, and angling license violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports concentrating enforcement efforts on angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes, trapping activity and snowmobile activity throughout the week. Time was spent investigating a TIP call regarding  litter on Upper Red Lake and a few complaints anglers trespassing to access a couple of area lakes.  Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office locating and the arrest of an assault suspect on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, unmarked fishing shelters, angling without license in possession, fail to display snowmobile registration and possession of filleted fish on the ice/unmeasurable fish.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a snowmobile safety class in Crookston. Time was also spent checking anglers on area lakes. ATV and snowmobile operators were also checked. Violations included no angling licenses and no ATV registration.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had a report of a car in a lake and continued checking on a concern of unlawful ditching. Angling, predator hunting and snowmobiling activities were monitored.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on Bemidji-area lakes. The cold weather has helped to improve ice conditions, but a vehicle did go through on Lake Irving.  Anglers are reminded to use caution when traveling on the lakes and avoid areas where the current is moving under the ice. CO Vollbrecht worked with CO Holt on Red Lake and also worked with CO Prachar on LOW. Angling activity remains high on Red Lake with good numbers of fish observed. An accidentally caught fisher was seized. 


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and trapping activity. Officer Holt also participated in work details on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. A TIP complaint was received and is still under investigation. Enforcement activity for the week included angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, possessing unmeasurable walleye and angling with extra lines.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports preparing classroom materials for the upcoming EVOC class for the CO Prep program, taking calls of another vehicle through the ice, assisting with an investigation for Conservation Officers in a western state and picking up an accidentally taken fisher.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, most reported finding cooperative fish. Spearing activity remains high, as well as the fish action. Extra lines, no license and ATV registration violations were found. Follow-up on deer season cases continue with a subsequent search warrant, along with other follow-up and evidence inventory.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. He also took calls about injured eagles and swans.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working angling, ATV, and snowmobile activity on area waters. CO Warren assisted another CO with follow up. Questions regarding ice angling, spearing and ice houses were answered. 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent a majority of the week monitoring angling activity, which has increased over the holidays. The officer responded to a call of two large bucks with their antlers locked. One of the bucks was deceased from their battle. With the help of the reporting party the officer was able to free the living animal and after a while he recuperated and wandered off into the woods. Follow up was conducted on a coyote case where several individuals were cited by the sheriff’s department for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle. The officer confirmed no further enforcement action was needed and clarified coyote hunting regulations for the individuals. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, failure to display shelter tag, unmarked or improperly marked fish houses, fail to display snowmobile registration, fail to display ATV registration, fail to renew ATV registration, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, operating a snowmobile without a safety certificate.

Water Resources Enforcement Officer Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on checking fishing activity on rural lakes around the Becker and Otter Tail counties. Time was also spent working on open Wetland Conservation Act cases and planning for upcoming Aquatic Invasive Species booths at sport shows and AIS training for Lake Service Providers.

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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