CO (Conservation Officer) Jim Guida (Brainerd East) Deer hunting activity has resumed and hunters are reminded to purchase the correct permits and not to risk hunting privileges and confiscations while hunting in a baited area .

Guida worked on the Waterfowl Hunting Enforcement and Big Game Hunting Enforcement this week. The central area was closed to duck hunting and its activity was monitored. Compliance was good.

Commander Amber Ladd (Aitkin) continued to deal with several trespassing issues and complaints in the area. Ladd worked on a few deer bait complaints and continued to work on a background investigation for the upcoming CO Academy.

Captain Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) worked hunting, fishing and ATVs this week in the fall. Enforcement measures have been taken for the lack of helmets on minors, problems with registration, the transport of loaded firearms and the longer than expected stay in the forest. Assistance was also provided in an ATV accident with injuries.

Commander Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports an audit of duck and small game hunters in the area. Warmer weather has yet to push duck migrations from areas further north. Enforcement actions were taken for no small game licenses, PFDs, lead bullets while hunting waterfowl and unplugged shotguns.

Commander Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) attended a community outreach event called Touch a Truck. Large trucks and heavy equipment from the Brainerd Lakes region were on display. Community members who attended were briefed on how the equipment is being used and had conversations with the equipment operators. Sullivan has also worked on big game offenses including trespassing and unregistered deer.

Commander Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked out the anglers on the lakes in the area. The fish seem to bite well. Controlled duck hunters seemed to be less successful. Hot weather isn’t bringing new birds lately. Flerage investigated a call regarding a dead swan.

District 2 – Bemidji district

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji # 1) handled several calls and answered various questions and concerns from the audience.

Commander Chris Vinton (Perham) reports receiving calls from off-road motorcycles traveling on county highways and in ditches. He also answered questions related to the archery season and trespassing. Vinton also continued work on a background investigation of the CO Prep.

District 4 – Quartier Walker

Commander Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for hunting and recreational vehicle activities. He helped local law enforcement search and apprehend a person. Baum helped the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV accident. He continues to investigate a big game violation. He participated in an ATV class at Park Rapids and certified 13 young riders.

Captain Jacque Hughes (Longville) verified the hunting and angling activities. The execution was mistaken for exceeding the fishing limit.

Captain Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked on the area’s lakes for angling and boating. Fishermen report mixed success. Enforcement measures have been taken for numerous angling violations.

Captain Michael Cross (Lake George) conducted the training, answered numerous questions and performed equipment maintenance. Outdoor activities have been monitored and an increase in hunting participation has been observed as the fall continues. As we move into the final week of bear season, hunters are reminded to clean out the bait stations and leave the antlers as you found them once you are done hunting.

District 7 – Grand Rapids Region

Captain Vinny Brown (Northome) worked on small game, ATV and big game. A large number of hunters in the area report the capture of a small number of grouse and woodcock. Enforcement measures have been taken for numerous ATV registration offenses, allowing the illegal operation of a side-by-side vehicle by a child, grouse hunting without a small game license, grouse hunting without small game license in possession and transport of loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Questions related to small game hunting were answered and various hunting complaints were taken into account.

Commander Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) has checked anglers and investigated complaints of litter, indiscriminate litter, trespassing and after-hours hunting this week. Fairbanks and its partner K9 Si also taught the laws and ethics portion of a gun safety course. Enforcement action has been taken for licensing issues and the transportation of a loaded firearm.

Commander Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked on the duck hunt with a lull in area action. It appears that the local birds have gone south and there has been no time to bring down ducks from Canada. Enforcement action was taken against an individual who dumped a large amount of construction debris on private property. A citation was issued and the party cleaned up the pile.

Commander Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) noted varying success rates among the area’s grouse and woodcock hunters. Hunters who were ready to walk in and out of the main trail were luckier than those who stayed on the trail. The panfish fishermen were lucky when the poop moved away from the seagrass beds and began to aggregate in deeper water.

Borough 10 – Thousand Lakes District

Commander Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) verified the activity of the lake. Warmer than average weather resulted in large numbers of anglers and pulling out of the wharf. The leaves are starting to pull away from the trees, helping small game hunters. Verkuilen also controlled ATV traffic, issued pest permits and assisted in an arrest at a nearby station.

Captain Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored archery, small game and waterfowl hunters, ATV operators and anglers throughout the week. Several of the anglers audited on Mille Lacs Lake said the fishing success has been slow. The Red Top and Solana Loop mountain bike trails remained busy throughout the weekend. Griffith would like to remind cyclists to stay on the designated trail. Assistance was provided during the week with the search for a missing person. Time was spent throughout the week responding to calls regarding the waterfowl hunt and the upcoming deer hunting season.

Comd Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked on a background investigation for the CO’s readiness program. She has received complaints of injured animals and questions about the upcoming youth hunt.

Commander Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on two separate wolf deaths investigations where veal calves were killed. Small game hunting and archery activities were checked, as well as some brilliant work in problem areas. A case of backfilling of wetlands was also worked on.

Commander Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) reports working for small game, big game, sport fishing and ATV / OHM law enforcement last week. Time was spent helping the Pine County Sheriff’s Office with a search. Time was also spent on completing the annual training. There have been calls for trapping, aquatic vegetation and wetlands.

District 11 – St. Cloud Sector

Commander Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked on area lakes for boating and fishing. Westby has received calls regarding trespassing complaints and general information about MNR. He worked at Spider Lake ATV Park over the weekend. He also located several small game hunters and witnessed an ATV accident in the park.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) continues to monitor mountain biking and hunting activities in the resort. He investigated a wetland violation complaint, issued a permit for a black bear struck by a car, and arrested an individual for DWI.

Commander Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) this week worked on waterfowl law enforcement with a focus on hunters during the closed season. He also notes an improvement in fishing activity.

Commander Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking out hunters and fishermen. A trespass call was processed when a person entered a neighbor’s property and closed a drainage ditch. A shiny deer complaint area has been worked on.

District 12 – Princeton Region

Commander Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking small game hunters and anglers. Krauel also checked out migrating waterfowl hunters and patrolled for ATV activities. Enforcement measures have been taken for possession of marijuana, fishing with a supplementary line and illegal transport of migratory water birds.

Aeronautical section

Captain Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports conducting a waterfowl survey flight and assisting in the search for a missing person in east-central Minnesota. Jensen also spoke to the aviation class at Brainerd High School. Various potential wetland and water violations were found and forwarded to local officers for follow-up.

NR (Natural Resources) pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) stocked trout by helicopter in lakes north of Grand Marais. He also worked on helicopter maintenance and attended an aviation webinar.

Captain Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) completed the required online training. He has worked on training programs and training presentations.

Water resources control officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on open cases and following up on appeals and complaints. Time was spent checking small game hunters and waterfowl hunters. AIS compliance has been verified at the level of public access to the area. The equipment has been maintained.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) continued to work on a background for CO Academy 2022. Cases were verified and a Gun Safety Field Day was held.

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Joe Albert, Communications Coordinator | Enforcement Division

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