• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Reports-September 26, 2022 | The mighty 790 KFGO

ByMary M. Ward

Sep 26, 2022

District 1 – Baudette district

Last update: 2022-09-26

Comd Ben Huener (Roseau) led the field training with the COC hams. They spent time taking a waterfowl identification course, checking bear bait, and controlling small game and waterfowl hunters. Thief Lake had a good turnout, with hunters having mixed success. Violations encountered included shooting before hours and indiscriminate littering.

Commander Corey Sura (Baudette East) completed annual training at Camp Ripley. Waterfowl hunters were checked during the weekend opening. Sura saw moderate success among hunters over the weekend with typical early-season mixed sacks, mostly comprised of blue-winged teals. Violations of personal flotation devices have been addressed.

Cmdr Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) conducted field training with COC Paavola. They worked the waterfowl opening weekend, where moderate to good success was found with several hunting groups having mixed bags and some limits. Investigations have been conducted into deer hunting over bait and illegal bear bait stations. Enforcement action has been taken for taking deer on bait and establishing bear bait stations without a valid permit.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking bear, grouse, bow deer and duck hunters last week. Regas reports working the opening of the duck hunt, which started with near-perfect duck hunting conditions on opening morning. Regas noted that the hunters reported seeing a good number of ducks, but also that their shooting skills were a bit rusty. Time was spent training water safety officers at the State Patrol Academy at Camp Ripley, checking a few late-season anglers on area lakes, and investigating a complaint of wolf depredation. . Violations encountered and addressed in the past week included waterfowl stamp violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports significant small game hunting activity. Enforcement measures were taken for lack of a small game hunting license in possession and also for pointing/shooting from a motor vehicle.
Warroad #1 vacant.

Warroad #2 vacant.

Baudette #1 vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji district

Last update: 2022-09-26

AC Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports contacting several waterfowl hunters during opening weekend. Time was also spent checking bear hunters, bow deer hunters and anglers. Various offenses related to angling and hunting have been observed.

Commander Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) continued his training in the field. We spent time patrolling ATV trails, lakes and looking for waterfowl opener. It was a busy waterfowl opening to many public accesses, with a mixed bag of ducks. Waterfowl hunters took mallards, wood ducks, pintails, ringnecks and teal. Time was also spent preparing and maintaining equipment for the waterfowl season.

Cmdr Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week monitoring small game hunters and waterfowl hunters. He controlled many duck hunting groups over the weekend, and most of the groups had some success and nearly all of the groups were law abiding. Teal, wood duck and ringneck ducks were the most common ducks over the weekend, with a few redheads and mallards mixed in. in a shotgun while hunting migratory waterfowl.

Cmdr Al Peterson (Osage) participated in on-the-job training and worked as a bear and duck hunter. The duck opener was good for most hunters. Almost everyone had ducks and many had their limit. Peterson also responded to an intrusion call on a squirrel hunter. The hunter has been located and enforcement action has been taken for trespassing and lack of a permit.

Commander Steve Chihak (Moorhead) gave a presentation on law and ethics as part of a firearms safety course at Pelican Rapids.

AC Angie Warren (Mahnomen) has spent time practicing small game, archery and bear hunting. The WMA and WPA zones were patrolled. The angling activity has been worked on with a few anglers trying their luck. The opening of the waterfowl season was worked on with hunters having good success. Complaints from personal watercraft operators harassing waterfowl and the removal of beaver dams were monitored.

Bagley vacant.

Bemidji #2 vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

Last update: 2022-09-26

Commander Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports having checked a good number of duck hunters during the regular opening, with high regulatory compliance. Opening day produced a good average of ducks for most hunters, followed by a sharp drop on the second day. Additional time was spent vetting anglers and responding to complaints of target shooting on public lands and harassment of hunters. Goodman also received a call from someone who had hit a deer in central Stevens County. The person later discovered that the deer had traveled the remainder of its journey into Otter Tail County in a trailer that it was pulling.

AC Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled complaints about the illegal destruction of aquatic vegetation, set up an ATV safety class, and worked on the opening weekend of the waterfowl hunt. Several calls were answered regarding the next deer season, the hunting of young and trespassing. Plautz addressed ATV violations encountered this week and worked on a potential fishing double trigger complaint. She responded to the call of a dead deer found in a field, which likely died from a collision with a motor vehicle.

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports devoting most of his law enforcement efforts to angling and hunting waterfowl and small game throughout the week. He saw a lot of hunters for the opening of the waterfowl hunt this weekend. A high percentage of groups he encountered were lucky enough to get their limits. Hunters reported seeing mostly teal, with the occasional mallard or wood duck.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked waterfowl hunters, anglers and ATV riders. The majority of waterfowl hunters checked were very disappointed with the lack of waterfowl present, with many expressing their displeasure with the start of teal season. Osborne assisted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents in a waterfowl baiting case in Douglas County.

AC Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) watched the waterfowl hunters on the busy opening weekend. Lots of bands have been vetted and almost all of them have had very good success. Teals were the most commonly harvested birds, with several limits of two and three hunters counted. Muskellunge anglers have also been monitored as late season activity resumes. Bowhunters have also been checked, with a few having success early in the season.

AC Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week participating in training at Camp Ripley and enforcing waterfowl over the weekend. She also spent time with Breckenridge fifth grade students talking about invasive species and the importance of everyone doing their part. On the waterfowl opening, Wood took a TIP report on an individual who shot a pelican. This TIP led to a dead pelican and a citation issued to the person responsible. Wood appreciates the arrival of these TIPS and hopes the public will continue to call what they see throughout the busy fall hunting seasons. Law enforcement on angling has also been worked on.

Cmdr Emily Douvier (Morris) reports assisting the training staff with various tasks around Camp Ripley. She also continues to work on a background investigation. Questions and complaints have also been received regarding the opening of the duck hunting season.

Commander Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports law enforcement efforts for the week focused on controlling waterfowl hunters and anglers. Additional time was spent training and checking bow hunters. Baumbarger observed that waterfowl hunters had some success on opening weekend. Several hunting groups attributed the low success to the start of the teal season and felt the birds were dispersed and educated.

District 4 – Walker sector

Last update: 2022-09-26

Commander Jordan Anderson (Wadena) continued COC Znajda field training. Time was spent investigating a deer dumping incident and controlling fishermen. Waterfowl hunters were checked over the opening weekend. Most hunters had a few ducks in the bag.

AC Patrick McGowan (Walker) continued his training with a new conservation officer candidate. Officers worked on lakes and rivers in the Cass County area throughout the week. The area has been occupied by waterfowl hunting and fishing. Enforcement action was taken for multiple limit violations, boating safety violations and numerous waterfowl hunting violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked hunting and angling activities. She also answered the call of an injured eagle. Enforcement action was taken with no permits in possession, no HIP certification and no extra fishing line.

Cmdr Michael Cross (Lake George) practiced archery, deer and bear hunting, and small game hunting throughout the week. The weekend was mostly a cross check of waterfowl hunters and bow deer hunters. None of the Waterfowl Hunters Cross checked were skunk when they opened. Considerable time was also spent on ongoing background investigation.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily controlled waterfowl hunters and anglers. A hunter harassment call was received and investigated. Time was also spent training last week. Enforcement action has been taken for waterfowl, angling and ATV violations.

Comd Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports a busy start to the waterfowl season. Hunters have had success with mixed bags of mallards, teals and wood ducks. He also checked squirrel and grouse hunters in the area. Some enforcement actions included insufficient permits, disconnected shotgun, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of lead shot while hunting waterfowl, insufficient number of life jackets , the taking of a migratory non-game bird and various recreational vehicle registration issues.