• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Minnesota #DNR Conservation Officer Reports | The mighty 790 KFGO

ByMary M. Ward

Sep 20, 2022

District 1 – Baudette district

Last update: 2022-09-19

Cmdr Ben Huener (Roseau) led the field training with COC Anthony Hams. They spent the week enforcing the ATV law and controlling small game hunters, anglers, and goose and crane hunters. It was a slow game opener with reports of little success.

Cmd Corey Sura (Baudette East) assisted with training at Camp Ripley and participated in a firearms safety course where 15 youth received their safety certificates. Time was spent checking bird hunters and bow hunters.

Cmdr Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) conducted field training with COC Paavola. They attended a public showcase in East Grand Forks, taught the law and ethics portion of the Grygla gun safety course, investigated complaints of illegal bear baiting and checked small game hunters over the weekend opening of small game. Enforcement action was taken for an unplugged shotgun, no waterfowl stamps, no helmet on a juvenile ATV passenger, and ATV light and registration violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking anglers and hunters for geese, bear, deer and small game last week. Regas noted that there was still plenty of low cover for game birds to hide. He received similar comments from grouse hunters, who said they saw a few birds but couldn’t get shot. Time was spent managing various wildlife-related calls, answering questions from the public regarding upcoming seasons and the opening of the small game and archery seasons, tracking TIP information and patrolling RV trails in the area.

AC Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports that a small game rain opening prevented some hunters from entering the woods, but others were able to locate birds. Time was spent on big and small game activities as well as ATV activities.

District 2 – Bemidji district

Last update: 2022-09-19

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports bear hunting activity this week. Time was also spent on commercial law enforcement activities. Anglers have been contacted in lakes and rivers in the area.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) began field training with a conservation officer candidate. We spent time patrolling the ATV trails and lakes in the area. Grouse hunters struggled over the weekend as foliage is still thick and very few leaves have fallen in northern Minnesota.

Cmdr Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week watching goose hunters and small game hunters. Many squirrel hunters have been vetted, with most having good results. Swedberg also received training in the operation of ATVs and patrol trucks. Other times were spent following up on complaints about aquatic plant management, checking on anglers, and following up on complaints about lake service providers. Enforcement actions for the week included burning without a burn permit and using an aquatic propellant without an APM permit.

AC Al Peterson (Osage) worked for bear hunters, small game hunters, anglers and current affairs. He also opened an investigation into complicity in dead and injured sheep.

Cmdr Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working on sport fishing, goose hunting and ATV monitoring. Time was also given to the work of small game stag setters and archery over the weekend. Chihak gave a presentation on law and ethics in a firearms safety course at Hawley. He attended the Clay County chapter youth hunt of Pheasants Forever near Downer.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and AIS compliance. The wild rice harvest was monitored. Wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas have been worked for early goose hunters, bow deer hunters and small game hunters. A patrol was carried out for off-road vehicle activities. Follow-up was done on open cases. Online training is complete. Various wildlife-related questions were answered.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

Last update: 2022-09-19

Commander Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) worked angling and AIS application throughout the week, in addition to training at Camp Ripley. The signs of autumn have begun to change the habits of fish and wildlife and have people thinking about the many seasons to come. Goodman encourages people to get an updated rulebook when they get their licenses to keep up to date with the regulations.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) attended mandatory training at Camp Ripley and worked the opening day of the small game and archery seasons. Plautz spent time on the lake fishing and boating and took a high school student potentially interested in working for the DNR on a ride.

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) continued to monitor angling and ATV activity throughout the week. Brown also introduced fifth graders to Minnesota’s Mammal Region and checked on small game hunters who ventured out this weekend. Waterfowl questions were received and answered.

Commander Shane Osborne (Evansville) controlled anglers and small game deer hunters and archery. Emergency vehicle operations training was completed at Camp Ripley. One fishing limit complaint was investigated.

AC Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) has spent much of the week on a law enforcement detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness with AC Bermel. Boaters and anglers have been checked and enforcement action has been taken on several occasions. Small game hunting and the archery opening weekend were monitored, with a few hunters being checked on the ground.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) attended EVOC training last week and spent time wrapping up her background investigation. Time was also spent on ATV enforcement and hunter checking during the last weekend of the start of goose season.

Commander Emily Douvier (Morris) reports assisting the training staff with various tasks around Camp Ripley. Douvier also continues to work on a background investigation for the Division.

Commander Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports that enforcement efforts for the week focused on controlling anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Additional time was spent training, answering calls about the upcoming Waterfowl Opener, and answering questions about ATV operation. A complaint of exceeding the limit was investigated, as was an incident at the state park.

District 4 – Walker sector

Last update: 2022-09-19

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checking hunting and ATV activities. She also investigated a complaint related to waterfowl. Enforcement action has been taken against a minor without a helmet on an ATV.

Cmdr Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports patrolling public lands and lakes/rivers for seasonal activities. Some enforcement actions included off-road vehicle passengers under the age of 18 without helmets, registration violations, lack of licenses in possession, and resort requirements for watercraft rentals. He also received various animal-related complaints and responded to a gratuitous goose dumping complaint.

AC Patrick McGowan (Walker) has begun training a new OC Academy graduate conservation officer candidate. Officers worked lakes and forest roads in the Cass County area throughout the week. Activity in the area has increased with a decent fishing bite in early fall and the start of small game deer and archery hunting openings. Enforcement action has been taken for numerous boating and angling violations.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) has started training on the pitch with COC Znajda. Time was spent on the deer opener and small game opener, and related OHV law enforcement. Enforcement action has been taken for ATV registration issues and hunting big game without a valid license. A case of a dog chasing a deer was investigated.

AC Michael Cross (Lake George) worked on big game hunting, angling, ATV traffic and invasive species. He also responded to service calls. Considerable time was spent conducting a background investigation. Cross reminds boaters and anglers to pay close attention to boat trailers for hidden invasive species such as zebra mussels, which can be difficult to see, especially on carpeted berths.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily controlled anglers and boaters. A fishing TIP has been studied. Mathy also checked hunting, ATV and AIS related activities. Enforcement action has been taken for angling, boating and AIS violations.