WEEKLY DNR ENFORCEMENT REPORT: Owl shooting, Fish house removal etc.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for March 25: District 1 - Baudette area CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) continued to investigate a gray owl shooting and gave a wolf presentat...

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for March 25:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) continued to investigate a gray owl shooting and gave a wolf presentation to a local school. Heavy snow conditions on Lake of the Woods continue to hamper fish house removal. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition with the most usage of the year being observed.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a call of an injured deer that was struck by a train, continued area commercial license inspections, and conducted follow up investigations on ice shelters left on public accesses. Anglers were checked with CO Hutchins on local lakes and snowmobile trail activity was monitored. Enforcement action for the week included snowmobile registration violations, no state trail permit, excessive speed on snowmobile, fail to stop at cross road on snowmobile, and no snowmobile safety training.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked snowmobile enforcement on area trails and waterways. Accesses were monitored for ice house removal and waterways were monitored for litter left after ice houses were removed. CO Warren worked ATV activity and answered questions in regards to area snowmobile trails and snowmobile regulations.


CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) checked area anglers and monitored snowmobile activity. Fishing pressure has slowed with the inability to travel around lakes. Snow and trail conditions remain good. Enforcement activity for the week included failure to remove shelters from area lakes. Most houses were successfully removed before the deadline with only handful of houses left by owners waiting until the last day to start removal.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) attended a Waterfowl Identification School at Whitewater State Park. Time was spent becoming familiar with the station and making introductions to local businesses and resorts. Snowmobile activity was monitored on the Kelliher area GIA snowmobile trails, and follow up was conducted on a snowmobile trespass complaint. CO Regas worked snowmobile enforcement with CO Vollbrecht. Enforcement action for the week included allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile, fail to transfer of ownership of a snowmobile and operating a snowmobile at a speed greater than 50 mph. CO Regas reports the snowmobile trails are in excellent condition.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting fair fishing on Lake of the Woods, but a difficult time getting fish houses off the ice. Anglers are reminded that fish houses need to be removed from Lake of the Woods by the end of the month. Several complaints were handled ranging from snowmobiling complaints to litter on the lake. Enforcement action taken during the week included fishing and snowmobiling violations.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #1 - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking fish houses that had been left out on the ice after the deadline and violations were then sent to the owners. Time was also spent checking anglers and predator hunters. Many snowmobile operators were out this past weekend. The most common violations observed again were speed and failing to stop at road crossings.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had calls of a dead owl and moose sighting. He participated in a radio talk show and monitored snowmobiles, angling and shelter removal. Assistance was provided to the White Earth Tribal COs with ongoing cases. Future planning was completed for Snowmobile, Firearm and ATV safety classes.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and documented fish houses still not removed from area lakes. Trails remain in excellent shape and snowmobile activity remains high. Assistance was provided to the local police department

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored activity on area snowmobile and cross country ski trails. Area trails are groomed and in excellent condition with the new snowfalls throughout the week. CO Vollbrecht worked with CO Regas and a Beltrami County Deputy on a snowmobile detail over the weekend. Snowmobiles were stopped for speed and registration issues. CO Vollbrecht met with the county attorney regarding ongoing cases. Area lakes were checked for fish house removal and officer continues to work with people on removing their houses from the lake. A BSU student rode with the officer for an afternoon.

CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) investigated a possible over limit TIP and continued to deal with shelters left on the lake past the deadline. Snowmobiling conditions remain very good.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) patrolled area snowmobile trails this past week. Trail conditions remain good to excellent with groomers maintaining trails. CO Seefeldt received several reports of snowmobiles chasing coyotes and fox. One individual was cited after several people observed him chase the fox for several minutes then run it over with the snowmobile. Several complaints were also received regarding snowmobile trespass. CO Seefeldt also continues to monitor the removal of fish houses after the removal deadline. Several citations were issued for failing to get fish houses off in time. A meeting was attended and equipment was prepared for possible flood duty.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored shelter removal and worked snowmobile trail enforcement. Compliance on the trails was good with a few trail pass and registration violations. He followed up on miscellaneous wildlife complaints.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and snowmobilers. Fishing activity decreased with the deep snow and slush issues on area lakes. Continues to monitor late fish house removal and assisted with a search for a party in a fish house during the blizzard. Complaints of snowmobilers chasing coyotes were investigated.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent most of the week training in Winona. CO Holt attended a waterfowl enforcement training which covered all topics related to the waterfowl season and waterfowl. Snowmobiling activity was monitored throughout the area; most trails are still in good shape. CO Holt also followed up on ice houses still out on the ice past the deadline.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week attending training in St. Paul for L.E.A.D.S and L.O.C.K.U.P for Use of Force. Time was spent contacting some user groups regarding AIS issues and upcoming meetings. Several phone calls from the public were fielded. Flood equipment was inventoried at Dunton Locks.

Perham - vacant.

Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and assisted moving aircraft. Heineman also attended a pilot meeting at Camp Ripley.

NR Pilot Luke Ettl flew helicopters in support of the western Minnesota Deer Survey.

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