We’d been hearing rumors about the upcoming waterfowl season in Minnesota, so we went straight to the expert, Steve Cordts, with the Minnesota DNR.  Here are 5 questions with Steve:

1) What is the latest on the teal season?         We won’t know for sure if the FWS will allow it until later in June.  But we are likely to use the hunter survey we are planning to do after next hunting season to collect hunter preferences on teal seasons as step 1.  Then we’d be able to better weigh all the pros/cons before making a decision in 2015.

2) What is the latest on the August goose season?     Should be the same season as last year.

SD_Hunting_C2_300x2503) Did any snow geese get shot this year in Minnesota? If so, how many would you estimate?      I did not hear many reports this spring, but harvest in MN is always fairly low (100s to a few 1000)

4) Are you still thinking that we’d get a waterfowl opener on the 27th?       Can’t be any earlier than that.  Last year was the earliest the opener can be (Sept. 21) and this year is the latest it can be (Sept. 27).  It’s the Saturday nearest Sept. 24.  Fairly safe to say the only way it would be later than Sept. 27 this year would be if we had a 30 day restrictive season when the early opening date is not allowed.

5) If there is no teal season, then we should still have a youth day correct?  Yes.  2 weeks prior to opening day has been our recent policy that seems to work best.

Thanks Steve!

Early Season Bowfishing Success

Jeremy Lewerenz, Bret Amundson and Matt Kargas

Jeremy Lewerenz, Bret Amundson and Matt Kargas

The inaugural “Early Season” for bow fisherman is a success in more ways than one.    Not only is its existence a testament to sportsmen who worked for its creation, but fisherman were able to get out and capitalize on the timing.

“This year is the dream season for bowfishing.”

That’s what Matt Kargas from Minnesota Archery Bowfishing (they offer guided bowfishing) said over a frying pan full of eggs one morning in western Minnesota.   After the epic night we had the night before, I can understand what he’s talking about.

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Last year, I had the chance to ride the Wango Tango for my experience chasing finned creatures with a stick and string.   (Read about it in the Summer 2013 issue of MNSJ Magazine).  It spawned a summer of patrolling shorelines in search of dust clouds and dorsal fins piercing the surface.

When Kargas invited me out again this year for some hog hunting, I couldn’t pass it up.  It was early in the year, the lake hadn’t been fished yet and the weather was finally warm.

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I stopped out to Minnesota Archery and met up with Kargas and his bowfishing partner, Jeremy Lewerenz.  We’d watch the Wild beat Colorado in overtime, then load up his rig and head to a nearby lake.  The wind had died to a manageable level and the stars stretched across the night sky.  A short trip with the outboard put us on the fish and soon the stealth approach was in play.

“You’re bowfishing experience is a classic example of people passionate about an aspect of hunting or fishing in Minnesota that made a change,” said Brooks Johnson, president of Minnesota Bowhunters Inc.  “Last year you couldn’t bowfish a lake for carp,” this time of year.  “It’s wide open now,” Johnson added.

The early season allows you to get on a lake right after ice out, if the ice out takes place prior to the traditional opening date.  When the ice comes off, those fish are stacked up, spawning and ready for the taking.  You could say it’s like “shooting fish in a barrel.”

Battery-powered LED lights light up the water while a silent troller pulled us through the shallows.  Finally a lanky carp appeared in front of the boat, Kargas aimed and was soon 1-1.  That began a night of swarming carp, perfect April weather and a boat full of invasive species.

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We finished with nearly 50 fish that all weighed between 10 – 35 lbs!

“I’m legitimately worried about the weight of these fish,” Kargas said has we approached the landing at the end of the night.    The perfect way to sum up an epic night on the water.

We’ll talk more about this night and bowfishing in general on this weekend’s MNSJ Radio show.  If you’d like to go on some guided bowfishing, Minnesota Archery offers it.  Call them today at 320-693-2061

The regular bow fishing season opens on April 26th and a Minnesota fishing license is required.

Bret Amundson


MN Game and Fish Violations – From the DNR

CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT 04-21-2014 District 1 – Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and conducted follow up on open cases. CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke on laws and ethics at the trapper education class in Thief River Falls and seized a bobcat that had been incidentally caught in a coyote snare. A trespassing complaint was investigated, assistance was provided to a sheriff’s office with a motorcycle accident, and turkey hunters were checked. With the nice weather ATV activity increased dramatically in the area. Enforcement action for the week included ATV operation and registration violations.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) patrolled for off-highway motorcycle and ATV activity. WMAs and other areas were patrolled for fire activity. The law and ethics portion of a Firearms Safety Class was taught in Middle River. CO Warren performed equipment maintenance on patrol vehicles.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity on special regulation lakes, spring fish run progress, spring beaver trapping activity, seized accidental catches and worked on commercial inspections throughout the week. He also assisted the Kelliher Firearms Safety instructors administer the final test with 14 students successfully completing the class and are now ready for the upcoming FAS field day. He attended the Upper Red Lake Area Association meeting and a meeting with the area Forestry manager. Time was spent investigating the dumping of light goose carcasses. With the coming of spring warming the area lakes ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Anglers are reminded to use caution and utilize ice safety equipment and consider the use of a PFD when venturing out on the late season.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting good success catching sturgeon, and that the Rainy River is now open to Wheelers Point. CO Gorecki attended annual in-service training and investigated a possible arson fire. Other calls of service included injured animal calls and fish houses still left on Lake of the Woods. Baudette -vacant. Blackduck #2 – vacant. Karlstad – vacant. Warroad #1 – vacant. Warroad #2 – vacant. District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending annual training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working spring beaver trapping activity. Anglers and ATV operators were also checked. CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored beaver trapping and angling activities. He had a call about a car kill deer and attended training at Camp Ripley. An unlawful posting of a lake public access was investigated. The poster had stolen a no trespassing sign and placed it at the access. He also responded to a call of an officer being shot and assisted with a search for the suspect.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked area lakes for angling activity. Only a handful of people are still venturing onto the ice, use caution. CO Vollbrecht patrolled the Soo Line Trail with CO Holt and checked beaver trapping activity. Officer Vollbrecht assisted with a structure fire and a wildfire investigation on another grass fire. Conditions are very dry with strong winds most of the week making it difficult to control fires. CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring trapping activity and ATV traffic. Complaints were received and investigated relating to illegal trapping. CO Holt also responded to an out of control brush fire which required air support to extinguish. Several area taxidermies were inspected.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending annual spring in-service training at Camp Ripley and monitoring spring fish run. A call of someone shooting as ducks and geese were seen flying was investigated. ATV activity is increasing as the weather has improved. Riders should be reminded that ATV travel in the ditches south of US Hwy 10 is closed through July. Though most lakes in the area still have ice, travel on them would not be advised.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored the local fish run and attended spring in-service training. Angling pressure was low as many lakes became inaccessible due to soft ice on the edges. CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The ice is starting to pull away from shore making access difficult. Time was also spent attending annual training at Camp Ripley, talking at a youth turkey hunt, seizing an accidentally taken otter and following up on a fishing TIP. WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week at in-service providing instruction with the Use of Force Team. Time was spent following up on public waters and burning questions. Time was also spent focusing on fish run activity. Moorhead – vacant. Detroit Lakes – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spent time checking early fish run activity and taking information on incidentally caught otter. Annual in-service training at Camp Ripley was attended and a complaint regarding a turkey hunter was handled. A laws and ethics presentation was given to a Fergus Falls FAS class. Trappers are encouraged to report any incidental caught critters while targeting in season animals.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked a few ice anglers and beaver trappers throughout the week. Annual in-service training was attended and the officer worked on an upcoming volunteer appreciation banquet. Nuisance turkey and deer complaints were handled.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Additional time was spent investigating complaints of individuals shooting geese out of season and spearing prior to season. A firearms safety class was attended in Ashby and the station boat was readied for the upcoming open water season.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Complaints of fishermen catching a swan and a pelican caught in barbed wire were investigated. Fishing activity was monitored in the area.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring fish run activity this past week as well as the opening of spring turkey season. Enforcement action was taken on a pair of adults who had a fully loaded .22 cal. rifle sitting between them on the front seat of their truck; they were using it to “shoot squirrels.” Lawler spoke to a marine mechanic’s class at Alex Tech School about AIS laws and regulations as they prepare for graduation. Nuisance Canada goose calls were also taken.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to monitor the angling and fish run activity in the area. Additional time was spent working ORV and fire enforcement, and follow up work was done on open cases and investigations. Several days were spent at Camp Ripley instructing CO use of force training.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on illegal ATV operation, fire activity and border waters fishing opener. Fishing was slow on the border waters. Many boaters still seem to be baffled about having to exchange water on bait at the access before taking it home to avoid a violation of the AIS water transportation laws. A WCA TEP meeting was attended at the Stevens County SWCD and an RPO was issued to an individual placing fill in a wetland. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as calls handled regarding nuisance beaver, turkey season, WMA use and FAS classes.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) monitored spring fish run and beaver trapping activity. Time was also spent armoring pistols at in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer investigated reports of dogs chasing deer, monitored AIS compliance, and checked fishermen with CO Miska at the border water fishing opener. Wheaton – vacant. District 4 – Wadena area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) worked fishing and ATV activity. Many forest roads are closed right now due to poor road conditions and will open up again when they dry out. Fire danger is high and burning restrictions for Hubbard County go into effect Monday, April 21. CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports the spring beaver trapping is well underway. One trapper reported traps being stolen, with one recovered. Another person called to report he found a live beaver in a trap. There was nothing illegal about the set and the beaver was dispatched and returned to the trapper with his gear. A number of anglers were checked as well with the main target being rough fish.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked ice angling activity during the week. Numerous calls with questions were answered and equipment was prepared for the upcoming open water season. CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ice angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Ice continues to deteriorate from area lakes, which is finally bringing some open water on ponds and smaller lakes. CO Broughten fielded calls concerning accidental caught otter and a public waters violation. CO Broughten also prepared boats for open water and attended annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and checked ATV activity. Assistance was provided to the local police department with a juvenile runaway. CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked area lakes for fishing activity, many are inaccessible and unstable. State forest closures are in place across much of the region and users are encouraged to check the website on Thursday afternoon for the weekend update. Officer Adam attended a meeting in St. Paul, investigated OHV mudding complaints, checked fish run areas and trapping issues, assisted DNR Forestry with wildfire complaints, and contacted a driver for littering. Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala met with local SWCD personnel to discuss wetland issues. He also monitored angling activity and checked ATV activity. AIS educational efforts were also accomplished. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display registration, ATV passenger under 18 without helmet, and operate ATV in road right of way without driver’s license. District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking the end of spring walleye fishing season on the Rainy River with little activity reported as wind and cold temperatures moved into the region. A law presentation was given at a young firearms safety class in Littlefork. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports litter in road ditches has appeared as the snow has started to melt. Public access sites were monitored. Work planning continues. Administrative reporting and office work continue. Very little outdoor activities taking place.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area forest roads and trails for ATV activity and damage due to the muddy conditions. For the second year in a row, people are concerned that ice will cover the area lakes for the fishing opener.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and patrolled for spring beaver trapping activity. Very little late season angling activity has been observed and ATV and OHM activity has picked up. Several calls of litter left behind on area lakes have come in from lake shore owners.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. I. Falls # 2 – vacant. Ray – vacant. Tower – vacant. District 6 – Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports there has been an increase in outdoor activity with the warmer weather later this week. ATV’s have started to surpass snowmobiles as the preferred method of travel on lakes and trails, although many lakes are beginning to get hazardous near landings because the melting snow and ice. Violations included littering, angling without a license, and failing to remove traps.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen and spent time training at Camp Ripley. Officer observed that many new birds are returning to the area after the long winter. The snow is finally starting to disappear and the deer are finding food in places where the snow has gone away.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended yearly in-service training in Camp Ripley during the week. CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped volunteer instructors with hunter education class; folks interested in helping with classes are always welcome to contact the officer. Manning attended division training on trapping and first aid at Camp Ripley. She also helped instruct arrest and control techniques and firearms skills during annual spring in-service.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working a strong crappie bite and investigating possible over limits. A litter investigation was worked with CO Williams. A fish house remaining out on Lake Vermilion well past the deadline was seized with further enforcement action to the owner. ATV activity and closed trails were also monitored. Enforcement action included over limit of crappies, litter, fail to display snowmobile registration, and no fishing license in possession. CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley during the first week of in-service instructing Use of Force and firearms tactics and skills. The officer checked anglers along the North Shore and responded to a TIP complaint in the Silver Bay area.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week along with a complaint of illegal dumping of fish remains. Several calls of injured deer were handled and annual division enforcement training was completed at Camp Ripley. Silver Bay – vacant. District 7 – Grand Rapids area CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked for fishing activity and patrolled for ATV activity. He also answered wildlife calls and small game questions. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast, use caution.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended annual in-service training, monitored OHV activity, handled injured deer complaints and assisted the county with a search warrant. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and OHV registration issues.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) performed maintenance on division equipment this past week down at Camp Ripley. She also checked ATV activity on Blandin property southwest of Grand Rapids. Right now, Blandin has their property closed to traffic due to spring thaw. Anyone caught on Blandin property with a motor vehicle could be charged with trespass. Ice is thinning out around the edges of many lakes, travel carefully.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked some of the last ice angling activity with the ice conditions declining quickly. Enforcement action was for no angling license in possession, operating a watercraft without a throwable and for not having enough life jackets on board. ATV activity has also increased with the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a county roadway.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs and spring trappers. He also received various complaints during the week. CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) worked ATV enforcement activities as the weather improved. He spent the majority of the week attending in-service training at Camp Ripley. District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended annual in-service training held at Camp Ripley. CO Humphrey also armored division handguns for other Officers attending training. CO Humphrey followed up on a deer feeding complaint with MDHA. A call of dogs’ at large chasing deer was reported over the weekend.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent a good portion of the week at yearly in-service training at Camp Ripley where training was received on firearms, defensive tactics, scenarios, and trapping enforcement. Complaints of ATV’s operating on closed trails, trespassing and other violations were investigated over the weekend. Interviews and a search warrant were conducted on a bear case from last fall. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior with a few salmon caught. Officer Schmidt attended in-service training at Camp Ripley for most of the week.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent most of the week participating in annual training at Camp Ripley. A few calls were taken on dogs chasing deer and litter complaints. Lake Superior tributaries are open and the steelhead are starting to make their way up river. Cold water temperatures have been keeping river fishing slow. Some violations encountered were using illegal methods of take and a couple license issues. Lake Superior Marine Unit Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time at in-service training at Camp Ripley. The warmer weather is slowly melting off the snow pack. The North Shore rivers are running pretty well. The majority of anglers are shore fishing though. Work was spent finalizing a class outline for upcoming training with the U.S. Border Patrol.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked anglers and ATV riders. A few diehard snowmobilers were still seen on the North Shore State Trail, though grassy sections are starting to become more common. In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Shore anglers fishing where pack ice has not drifted in, some trying the rivers, and others still ice fishing at McQuad. Seeing some fish, not much in rivers yet. Seeing no smelt activity. Also checked for crappie anglers on inland lakes, as well as beaver trappers. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations. District 9 – Brainerd area CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ATVs, angling activity and wildlife complaints. He also participated in annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week including patrol of fish run, angling, beaver trapping, ATV, and state forest activity, responding to injured and nuisance wildlife issues, and talking with students about careers in natural resource law enforcement at a career day event at Central Lakes College.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked with in-service training of Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley. Officers were trained in multiple topics and training also involved firearm and Taser use. Officer Guida also instructed a group of youngsters in Firearms Safety at the Turn In Poachers headquarters.

CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for late season ice angling activity. Most lakes in the area are not safe for foot traffic and very few anglers were observed fishing. Time was also spent monitoring off-road vehicle activity in the area. CO McGowan also assisted local agencies with a home invasion call. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and off-highway motorcycle violations.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) assisted with training at Camp Ripley and checked anglers on area lakes.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked spring turkey hunters, monitored seasonal closures for State Forests, fielded complaints of burning prohibited materials, and checked on the spring fish run in area creeks. A call of 4×4 trucks ripping up a wetland resulted in a healthy tow truck bill to get out of the swamp and pending charges for all involved.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended annual training. District 10 – Mille Lacs area CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked angling activity and patrolled closed state forests. She responded to a call of an injured eagle. Upon arrival, she determined eagle was still able to fly short distances and appeared healthy enough to survive. Speldrich attended the funeral of Deputy Severson with the LEMA Honor Guard.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent much of the week at Camp Ripley completing annual law enforcement training. Station activity included checking trappers and dealing with nuisance animal complaints. Very few ice anglers were found and ice has become extremely dangerous and really melted away from shore lines. Some ATV violations were found and a case was made involving trapping without a license.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending the Enforcements Division’s annual in-service training during the week at Camp Ripley. The Officer also assisted in armoring some of the division’s handguns. Spring fish run activity and fishing activity was monitored throughout the week. Area state forest roads and trails were checked for illegal spring road closure activity. Please remember to check our DNR website before venturing out on state trails. Most of these trails are closed for the spring road closure. Trapping and turkey hunting activity was monitored during the week. Lots of hunting, fishing, and ATV related law questions were fielded throughout the week.

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) attended training and responded to calls regarding ATV traffic, nuisance muskrats, and dogs chasing deer. No one was observed on the ice with shallow lakes and areas with current having open water.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked turkey hunters during the week seeing few birds. Time was spent checking trapping activity and handling incidental otter being caught in beaver traps. Assistance was also given armoring division handguns.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. He received calls of burning issues, sick and injured animals, and OHV questions during the week. Time was also spent patrolling area state forests for closure compliance. WREO Rob Haberman conducted watercraft inspector training and a law enforcement job discovery clinic at Central Lakes College. He also went to a DNR media course in Grand Rapids. WREO Haberman also spent three days at Camp Ripley for in-service training.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on some equipment issues and assisted a neighboring officer with a separate equipment task. The Onamia Firearms Safety Class was given the law and ethics talk. Nuisance animal calls were taken, along with some trapping concerns. Officer Starr started fish run scouting and is gearing up for turkey season.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked for turkey hunters throughout the week. A few hunters were successful but the snow on opener didn’t help anything. Anglers were checked on area lakes. The Officer also traveled to Ely for a work detail. District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked turkey hunters, anglers, ATVs and burning. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for annual training on shooting, first aid and defensive tactics.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended annual in-service training. A few anglers were out. Most lakes are unsafe to attempt accessing. Creeks were checked. CO Friese assisted with an ATV certification in Browerville. Aeration inspections were completed.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored fires throughout the station, gave a law and ethics presentation at an area Firearms Safety class and investigated a possible wetlands violation. While conducting an evening patrol CO Silgjord located and addressed an underage drinking party with the assistance of a county sheriff’s deputy. CO Silgjord also assisted with division recruiting efforts by attending the Central Lakes College Law Enforcement Career Fair and giving a lecture at a Natural Resources Law Class. Assistance was also given to the State Patrol during the heavy snows that resulted in many vehicles ending up off road. Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at yearly in-service and preparation for the upcoming academy.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, trapping and turkey hunters. The officer found anglers doing very well with catfish on the Horseshoe Chain from shore. Enforcement action was taken for controlled substance violation and false application for a husband and wife license.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports more complaints of dogs chasing deer are coming in with enforcement action taken against the dog owners. CO Kuske assisted a homeowner with bird ID on a flock of Chukar partridge that flew into his garage, and also assisted the State Patrol with cars in the ditch during the last snowstorm. A garbage dumping complaint was handled where people are dumping old TVs and tires in the ditch in front of a residence. A tag was issued for a road hit otter and for car kill deer. With the warmer weather many Class 2 ATVs have been stopped and educated on where they can operate (shoulder of the road) and not on state highways. A TIP call of a poached merganser and turkey was investigated with the merganser found to be recently shot on the Mississippi River. WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week opening new wetland and waters cases. Citations were issued for no contractor responsibility form and no OHM registration. Beaver trappers were also checked.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) met with a minnow dealer to tag equipment that is to be used in AIS designated waters. Spring fish run in under way and CO Kuske spent time monitoring areas, providing protection for these vulnerable fish as they make their spawning runs. CO Kuske attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms class. CO Mies worked on a tip call. District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on the Mississippi and Elk rivers. He followed up on a complaint of an illegally shot hen turkey; charges are pending. He attended annual training at Camp Ripley. He answered a number of questions about turkey hunting and is following up on a trespassing complaint. CO Sladek wants everyone to be careful when navigating the rivers they are very high and cold. He advises everyone to wear a life jacket at all times.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week at in-service training at Camp Ripley. Officer Reller also handled a call related to a possible fish trap which turned out to be just a minnow trap. Most of the lakes in the area still have some ice, but that should change by early in the week.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) attended training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov assisted with prep work for the upcoming academy. An animal call was handled and follow up done on a trespassing complaint.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend in the area’s state parks. The warm weather brought out lots of trail users. The hikers, bikers and horse riders were out in full force on the holiday weekend. Anglers are starting to hit the St. Croix River in search of catfish and suckers. The water is still moving pretty quick and the water level is high on the upper St. Croix. The speed of the water is making some fishing more difficult but anglers are taking advantage of the access to the upper river.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked on wetland violations, illegal fires, and talked with students at firearms safety classes. Officer Londgren also took calls on nuisance animals, and replied to questions on turkey hunting. Cambridge – vacant. District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended in-service training during the week at Camp Ripley.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for angling activity. CO Salzer also patrolled for turkey hunting activity. Salzer also received a TIP of a possible license fraud.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring creek activity. CO Grewe followed up with another littering complaint. Violations included taking northern pike out of season and no fishing license in possession.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) returned calls regarding animal complaints. He patrolled Dakota County for ATVs, ORVs, and turkey hunters. CO Neitzke assisted with armoring handguns and annual in-service training. He also talked to two firearms safety classes.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. He spoke at a FAS class in Bloomington. He checked anglers in the Bloomington station. Bloomington – vacant. Prior Lake – vacant. District 14 – East Metro area

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports the he worked the spring turkey opener. The snow storm on opening day did not help. A young turkey hunter had an accidental double kill over the weekend. CO Johnson received a report of an aggressive turkey that chased a woman in Oak Grove. He spoke to firearms safety classes in Oakdale and Coon Rapids. CO Johnson completed some administrative training.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended three days of in-service training at Camp Ripley. She handled TIP calls and checked anglers on area streams. CO Kruse finished up on a litter case, handled nuisance animal calls and assisted the Wisconsin DNR with a case.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft users, and doing off road vehicle enforcement. CO Arntzen investigated several wetland violations and issued a resource protection notification. He also rescued an injured Bald Eagle and handled several TIP complaints. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, PFD violations, and operating a watercraft without required navigational lights.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week. He did boating and AIS enforcement in Dakota and Ramsey counties and assisted the William O’Brien State Park staff with the retrieval of their fences that were floating down the St. Croix River. Violations included no fishing license, taking trout without trout stamp, insufficient life jackets in boat, no type IV life-saving device on board watercraft, and no fishing license in possession. Eagan – vacant. Hastings – vacant. Maplewood – vacant. Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, and WMA enforcement. Trout fishermen continue to try their luck on those designated stream areas along the Redwood River. A few boaters were out on area lakes trying to find some spring crappies and getting their boats prepared for summer. Boat owners are reminded to check their registration and safety equipment before venturing out. Annual enforcement division training was also attended at Camp Ripley.

CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) reports that the burning of prohibited materials was an issue with enforcement action being taken. Lake Hendricks had a very nice weekend, weather wise, for the opener. Fishing was slow but anglers enjoyed being out in their boats. CO Lage attended several days of training at Camp Ripley.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked the ice free border water opener on Big Stone Lake. Many anglers were excited to be on open water after the long winter. Fishing success was low, but compliance was high. An investigation involving illegally shot migratory birds was taken near Appleton. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the TIP line. Incidentally taken otter were also seized during the week.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Time was also spent instructing fellow officers during the recent annual in-service training session. ATV activity has increased due to warm temperatures and muddy conditions. CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued numerous out of state minnow transport permits throughout the week and conducted commercial inspections. The officer also followed up on a TIP complaint of someone catching walleyes out of season.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) collected several incidental otter caught in spring beaver traps. Please be aware that otter tend to migrate in the spring to ponds where fish spawn. This results in a higher than average number of otter in one area. This concentration led to the recent incidental catch of five river otter in a 24 hour period from one short stretch of the Minnesota River. For more information regarding ways to avoid catching river otter in the spring visit the MN DNR’s website.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Two restoration orders and two RPNs were served in Lincoln County. A WCA violation was reported in Sibley County. AIS info was issued to fishermen on area lakes and rivers. Benson – vacant. Madison – vacant. Redwood Falls – vacant. District 16 -

New Ulm area CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with in-service training. CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports with spring finally here waterfowl are back in large numbers. Oberg reports shore fishing activity is also starting to pick up. Oberg also spent time instructing at officer in-service training at Camp Ripley.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) performed some taxidermist and raw fur buyer checks. He also spent time at Camp Ripley armoring handguns. The rest of the week was spent on fishing activity.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers and ATV operators. Officer Beckmann also assisted with instruction at the division’s annual spring in-service at Camp Ripley.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing, turkey hunters and ATVs in Jackson County. Gruhlke also attended annual training at Camp Ripley. CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Anglers and watercraft were inspected on area lakes. An initial inspection was performed on a game farm. Litchfield – vacant. Willmar #1 – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling activity. Howe also attended in-service training and armored pistols. CO Howe and CO Ihnen assisted local authorities with the search for a drowning victim on Madison Lake.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) had a busy week patrolling for boating, fishing, and ATV activity. Officer Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to a local FAS class. Additional time was spent monitoring spring turkey hunting activity.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked angling, ATV, and trapping activity. TIP calls were investigated. Trapping and litter complaints were also handled.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) instructed officers at Camp Ripley this past week for the division’s annual in-service.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, angling, small game, & big game activity. The officer assisted neighboring officer with a game farm inspection & also responded to a TIP call. The officer gave the law & ethics portion of a firearms safety class in at St. Mary’s School in Owatonna. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV, trout fishing activity, and completed some commercial license inspections. He attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked turkey opener. Follow up on a public water case was completed. A litter violation was addressed and angling violations were encountered. Albert Lea – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a good start to the turkey season with some success reported. He investigated ATV complaints and went to annual training. As he was returning to his residence at 10:00pm on a weekend night he observed an out of control wildfire on a nearby bluff. Local fire departments were contacted and residents were notified. Hemker also spoke about his career at a local high school.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week on the backwaters of the big river, as well as attending in-service training and working first season turkey hunters. The big river is up and a little cold, and fishing has been a little slow, but the trout fishermen have been having pretty good success. Some turkeys were checked, but the birds appeared to still be bigger groups.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked turkey hunters during the week. Hunters checked had mixed success, but some were getting birds. Heyn also attended annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking frustrated turkey hunters. Gobblers being henned up and unresponsive was common. Success was limited. Trout anglers were doing a little better with good stream conditions and warmer weather. CO Boyum also attended in-service training at Fort Ripley.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time last week doing training at Camp Ripley. The weekend was spent checking ATV activity, as well as fishing and boating activity. Numerous ATVs were out taking advantage of the spring weather. Trout anglers were doing well but river anglers were struggling to find any fish. Most boats that were checked did not have any fish on board. Some fishing, boating and ATV violations were detected.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports windy week to start the turkey opener. The weekend shaped up and hunters had good success bagging birds. Trout streams are in good condition. The Mississippi River is at 11.5 with normal being about 5. Most landings are still open, but the water is right at the top of the ramps. The cold weather once again shut down river fishing. Enforcement for the week included no fishing license, fail to display registration on an ATV, and take two turkeys with one shot.

CO Phil George (Rochester) took litter complaints and followed up on a waters violation. ATV operators are reminded of the road ditch ban in place until August 1st. Officer George checked anglers throughout the week and answered many questions regarding the turkey season, zone boundaries, and license issues. Some turkey hunters had success. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV. Rochester #2 – vacant. Training Section Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley. Aviation Section

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew wetland photo inventory missions with DNR Forestry personnel. CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of in-service training at Camp Ripley. Jensen flew the last wolf pack count flight of the year due to snow conditions getting too poor to locate the animals. Jensen assisted with checking anglers from the seaplane on Big Stone and Traverse lakes on the 2014 opener. Nice weather but fishing success was poor. NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten and wolf telemetry and a river survey for Bemidji Fisheries. Heineman also prepared for upcoming statewide goose survey.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time this week working FTO with CO Schmidt. Fishermen were checked along the North Shore of Lake Superior and the French River Fishery was toured. A day was spent in Brainerd dedicated to flight training and the in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Water Resource Enforcement Officers WREO reports are now placed within district reports. Enforcement Education Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at http://www.mndnr.gov. Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR. Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at http://www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!! Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course. Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR. SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website. See Also: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html STAFF NOTES: NE RTO Shelly Patten attended Camp Ripley in-service training which included defensive tactics and firearms training. Patten assisted State Patrol with an ambulance vs. moose crash. West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports teaching use of force techniques at Camp Ripley during officer in-service training. He also planned for upcoming instructor training/firearms safety field days. Instructor equipment needs and questions were also addressed. NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officers annual in-service training. Officers receive training in firearms, defensive tactics, outdoor related topics and first aid. RTO Lawrence spoke with FAS Instructors about upcoming FAS training. SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez spent most of the week at Camp Ripley assisting with Conservation Officer in-service training. RTO Gutierrez has received several registrations and inquiries regarding his upcoming Volunteer FAS Instructor training. Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent most of the week assisting with training Conservation Officers at annual in-Service at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent on instructor background checks. NW RTO Jon Paurus assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officers annual in-service training. Officers received training in firearms, defensive tactics, outdoor related topics and first aid. Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week took care of equipment transfer items, attended the quarterly All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) meeting and worked a deer poaching case. Assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officer’s annual in-service training.

Fishing Licenses, Bear Hunt App Deadline, Upper Red Lake Walleye Regs and more

Want to go fishing? DNR has a license to fit
Bear hunt application deadline is Friday, May 2
Upper Red Lake’s summer walleye regulations unchanged for 2014

Biking is a new option at the annual ‘Walk for Glendalough’ 
DNR announces video-streaming peregrine falcon camera
DNR urges homeowners to resist pruning evergreens with red needles 
10 candidates hope to join DNR conservation officer ranks
Burning restrictions extend to northern Minnesota counties

Want to go fishing? DNR has a license to fit

Resident married couples can obtain an annual combination fishing license for $35, compared to $44 for two adult individual licenses, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Asking a spouse, child or friend to go fishing is one way to start a tradition, said Jenifer Wical, of the DNR’s outreach section.

“Most people won’t start fishing by themselves but they will if someone asks them to go,” Wical said.

Buy licenses at any DNR license agent, online via mobile and desktop at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers, and cut their time between front door and fishing.

For children, a fishing license can be an investment in building a lifetime interest in the outdoors. Lifetime angling licenses for children age 3 and under are $304, while lifetime angling licenses for those age 16 to age 50 are $508.

Want to try fishing for a weekend? Purchase a 72-hour fishing license for $12, around the price of a movie. Teens ages 16 and 17 can buy annual fishing licenses for only $5, little more than the price of some smartphone apps. Kids under 15 are not required to buy a license to fish, but must comply with fishing regulations.

Time outdoors need not end at the boat access. Outdoors-savvy customers can buy hunting and fishing licenses in one fell swoop. A Sports license includes angling and small game for $38, while a Super Sports license includes a trout/salmon stamp, small game with pheasant and waterfowl, and a deer tag (archery, firearms or muzzleloader) for $93.


Upper Red Lake’s summer walleye regulations unchanged for 2014

Regulations that allow Upper Red Lake anglers to keep larger walleye after June 15 will be in effect again for the 2014 open water season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Beginning Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, June 14, anglers must release all walleye 17- to 26-inches long.

Effective Sunday, June 15 to Sunday, Nov. 30, anglers may keep walleye less than 20 inches and must immediately release all walleye 20- to 26-inches long.

The possession limit for both periods is four fish and only one of those fish can be longer than 26 inches.

The more restrictive size limit is necessary for the early season when angler catch rates are high and mature walleye are extremely vulnerable. As the open water season progresses, catch rates and fishing pressure decline, reducing the impact of harvesting larger walleye.

Winter regulations will not be finalized until open water harvest is determined. Winter regulations will be announced in late summer and will be posted on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/fishingregs.


Biking is a new option at the annual ‘Walk for Glendalough’

The completion of a new paved trail at Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake late last summer means that bikers can now join hikers on the annual fundraiser, “Walk for Glendalough,” at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 26. The event starts at the park’s trail center.

The Glendalough Park Partners, along with Department of Natural Resources, will host the 18th annual “walk” to raise money for new park amenities and features. Over the years, the walk has contributed close to $250,000 in park improvements.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward benches, bike racks, and interpretive kiosks along the new trail, and the construction of an outdoor seating area near the trail center suitable for student activities, interpretive programs and weddings. At least two automated external defibrillators also will be purchased for the park.

Two lakeside yurts — circular fabric tents — will be constructed along the new trail this spring that will be accessible by backpacking, biking or canoeing. The yurts will be equipped with bunk beds, similar to the park’s camper cabins.

Funds have been used to provide year-round restrooms at the trail center, restore and furnish the historic lodge, build a picnic shelter and a hiking bridge, add heat and electricity to the camper cabins, purchase rental canoes, construct and fund a bird-feeding station and plant trees and native prairie flowers.

“Many of the amenities that park visitors enjoy today would not have been possible without the funds raised by the walk,” said Park Manager Jeff Wiersma.

Those who chose not to walk can ride a park shuttle down the trail. Returning walkers will gather at the old tennis court to hear the latest park news, total funds raised. The event is an opportunity for park visitors to see new park developments and learn about future park projects.

The park’s new paved bike and pedestrian trail is the first phase of a trail system that will soon connect to the city of Battle Lake, 3 miles away. Completion of the Battle Lake connection is expected in July.

There is no fee to enter the park on the day of the walk/bike.

It wraps up by noon, but visitors can always extend their day with an overnight stay in the cart-in campground or one of four camper cabins. For more information, call the park at 218-864-0110 or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/glendalough.


Bear hunt application deadline is Friday, May 2

The deadline to apply for a Minnesota bear hunting license is Friday, May 2.

Licenses are available at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources license agent, online atwww.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236 at a cost of $44 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

The season opens Monday, Sept. 1, and closes Sunday, Oct. 12. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Thursday, Aug. 1. Remaining unpurchased licenses will be available to anyone eligible starting at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

An unlimited number of bear licenses will be sold over-the-counter for no-quota areas in east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in a no-quota area. Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear. Information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.


DNR announces video-streaming peregrine falcon camera

Once pushed to the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons have returned to Minnesota’s skies and their natural habitat, including the state’s bluffs, cliffs and buildings, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Live video from a nesting pair of peregrine falcons in downtown St. Paul is now featured on the DNR website athttp://webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/falcon/.

The female has already laid four eggs and will incubate them for the next 30 or so days. Last year, the pair laid and incubated three eggs, but none of the eggs hatched.

Hopefully this year will be different.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to watch peregrines raise their young in an urban setting,” said Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor. “It is exciting to watch the birds first-hand, in their normal habitat, without disturbing them.”

A video camera was placed in a nesting box at the top of the Bremer building several years ago. Peregrines have been using the box and raising their young there since 1988, a year after the box was installed.

The peregrine camera was paid for by DNR’s nongame wildlife program, which is largely funded by donations, especially those made when Minnesotans file their state income and property taxes. The lines on the Minnesota income tax form and property tax form, marked with a drawing of a loon, give taxpayers the option to donate to the program, a feature often referred to as the “chickadee check-off.”

The nongame wildlife program works to protect and preserve more than 800 species of animals in the state that are not traditionally hunted or harvested. In addition to peregrine falcons, populations of species such as bald eagles, trumpeter swans, loons, and American white pelicans are directly benefited by contributions to the nongame wildlife check-off. People can help Minnesota wildlife by donating on their tax forms, or donate directly online atwww.mndnr.gov/nongame/checkoff.


DNR urges homeowners to resist pruning evergreens with red needles 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds homeowners to wait to prune evergreen tree branches that have brown or red needles.

“This year evergreen trees in Minnesota had a long, hard winter with plenty of opportunity for injury,” said Val Cervenka, DNR forest health program coordinator. “Chances are your trees are alive and healthy even though they have damaged needles.”

Cervenka recommends waiting till late spring after the tree has put on new growth to decide if pruning is needed.

Moisture loss from drying winter winds, intense winter sunshine and low humidity causes damage to evergreen needles. Therefore, the south and southwest sides of evergreens show more winter damage than other parts of the tree. Trees that are protected by snow, shade or less wind show little to no signs of damage.

Evergreen needles are also damaged when deicing salts are splashed on the tree. Brown and red needles are especially noticeable on pines and spruces planted along highways.

To help prevent winter injury, keep evergreens properly watered throughout the growing season until the ground freezes. Choose tree species that are adapted to local growing and winter conditions. Avoid planting white and red pines, balsam fir and white spruce within 150 feet of a roadway to prevent salt damage.

Consider planting yews and arborvitae on the north and northeast sides of buildings, out of exposure to sun and wind. Wrapping evergreen trees in burlap or other materials in late fall can also help prevent moisture loss from the needles.

For more information on tree care and forest health, visit www.mndnr.gov/treecare/forest_health.


10 candidates hope to join DNR conservation officer ranks

Ten conservation officer candidates with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin training Wednesday, April 23, at Camp Ripley in Little Falls.

It’s the first Conservation Officer Academy since 2012, and the 15th class since academy training began at Camp Ripley in 1994.

DNR Enforcement Director Col. Ken Soring praised the 10 candidates on their selection to the academy.

“This is a strong class of candidates that will receive some of the best natural resources protection training in the nation,” Soring said. “I’m confident that when they graduate these men and women will continue in the conservation officer tradition, willing and able to stand watch over our state’s valuable natural resources.”

The Conservation Officer Academy curriculum includes training in fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Training Board, the licensing agency for police officer training, has certified classes presented at the academy. Upon graduation, the new conservation officers will spend 16 weeks in field training assigned to veteran conservation officers for “hands-on” training.

“It’s an intensive program,” Soring said. “We ask a lot of both the candidates and their families, but it is worth it as these are their future partners.”

Conservation officers ensure the future of natural resources for the people of Minnesota through responsible enforcement of appropriate laws, regulations and rules. A normal station covers 650 square miles so they usually work alone and cover extensive and often remote areas of Minnesota.

List of 10 candidates:

  • Joe Kulhanek has experience as a seasonal park ranger with the National Park Service.
  • Chelsie Leuthardt has been a patrol officer with the Breckenridge and Wheaton police departments, and a corrections and dispatch officer for the Traverse County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Bill Landmark, police officer, Watford City (North Dakota) Police Department; experience with the National Park Service.
  • Jim Van Asch has experience in the building, construction and property management trade.
  • Erik Benjamin is an Afghanistan and Iraq veteran with more than 15 years of U.S. Army and Army National Guard experience. He was a deputy sheriff with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Nick Prachar is an EMT who completed a 200-hour internship with multiple Minnesota conservation officers.
  • Hannah Cowden, community service officer, St. Cloud Police Department.
  • Beau Shroyer, police officer, Detroit Lakes.
  • Marc Hopkins is a Minnesota state trooper. Previously he was a police officer/police chief in Morton.
  • Nick Klehr worked on a dairy farm and a campground/riding stable.

Graduation is scheduled for July 15. The department has already started the hiring process for the next Conservation Officer Academy tentatively scheduled for 2015.


Burning restrictions extend to northern Minnesota counties 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict debris burning in 11 counties in northern Minnesota beginning April 28. The additional counties under restrictions reflect increasing fire potential as the snow recedes. With the snow gone, the exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and spread fires quickly.

Counties beginning restrictions on April 28 include: Beltrami, Carlton, northern Cass (entire county is now under restrictions), Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, and southern St. Louis (south of a line running from Silica on the west to Central Lakes and Brimson on the east. The exact line is a township line between 55 and 56 north and includes all of township 56).

With the 11 northern Minnesota counties, there will be 38 counties under spring burning restrictions. Burning restrictions are already in place for many central Minnesota counties. Burning restrictions mean the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste.  Debris burning is especially dangerous during April and May when most wildfires occur in Minnesota. The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs.

“The spring fire restrictions have resulted in a dramatic decrease in both the numbers and sizes of accidental fires,” said Ron Stoffel, DNR wildfire suppression supervisor.

The DNR advises that even though a county is not currently under spring burning restrictions, residents can’t be ensured they may conduct open burning. Local DNR forestry areas monitor conditions and are able to turn off burning permits in individual counties whenever conditions warrant. This could occur if there is a dry, windy day where fires could start easily and burn quickly, Stoffel said.

Many local areas, counties or municipalities have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning operations. Check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.

Campfires are still allowed. Clear an area around the campfire, watch it continuously and make sure it is out and cold to the touch before leaving.The DNR will add the far northeastern counties (Cook, Lake, and northern St. Louis) as conditions warrant.

Fire conditions may change quickly. Find more information and maps, and check fire conditions onlinewww.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.



Question of the week
Q: The same woodpecker pecks at our house non-stop.  Doesn’t he get a headache after awhile?

A: Woodpeckers have well-adapted structures that act as shock absorbers inside of their heads. They have a hard, but elastic beak, a springy tongue-supporting structure called the hyoid and an area of spongy bone inside the skull. These features, in addition to cerebral fluid, interact to suppress vibration in their head so they can peck all day without getting a headache.
-Lori Naumann, information officer, DNR nongame wildlife program

MNSJ RADIO: A New Podcast Is Up!


We’ve got a huge show for you this weekend.  We go straight to Leslie McInenly with the MN DNR to talk about the deer numbers and how the listening sessions went.  We’ve got 5 questions with Dan Stark, the large carnivore specialist with the DNR to talk about the upcoming bear season.  Robert Utne talks about his unique taxidermy business, Wild Images in Motion.  (Check out the link!) If you’ve wondered how to get kids involved in turkey hunting, Tyler Scott has some tips, Tony Mariotti thinks this could be the last weekend of ice fishing and will tell you how to catch those big panfish and John Arman discusses next year’s No Short Cuts Film Tour event.

Click here to listen:

Or download each segment to your mp3 player:  SEG 1SEG 2 - SEG 3

Youth Turkey Hunting Regulation Changes – From the DNR

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #28                                                                                     April 14, 2014

DNR urges off-highway vehicle riders to check road and trail conditions
With a license, teens can hunt toms for entire turkey season
DNR accepting comments on hunting rules 
Minnesota fishing facts 


Wet, snowy conditions will require temporary road and trail closuresThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will need to close many roads and trails temporarily in state forests, state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas, due to wet, snowy conditions. Road and trail conditions are deteriorating rapidly this spring, and many are not yet firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged. The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions.

“These are normal spring closures that happen when roads and trails become wet and fragile,” said Richard Peterson, recreation program coordinator for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures and frequently check the DNR website for updates.”

Road conditions can change quickly. The DNR advises people to check individual state park, state trail or state forest Web pages before planning trips to avoid being surprised and disappointed by temporary closures.

Road and trail users should pay particular attention to state forest closures. Generally, all roads and trails in a particular forest will be closed, but not always. Those that can handle motor vehicle traffic will remain open but may be restricted by gross vehicle weight. Signs will be posted at entry points and parking lots.

Online road and trail condition information is updated every Thursday by 2 p.m. Changes are added as soon as possible to the “Current Conditions” page on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/trailconditions/index.html). Signs may be in place before the website is updated. All signs must be obeyed.

Road and trail closure information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free, 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       April 14, 2014


Radco 300With a license, teens can hunt toms for entire turkey season

This year for the first time, youth age 17 and younger can hunt the entire Minnesota spring turkey season or until they harvest a turkey and they can choose any location open to turkey hunting, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

Youth age 13-17 need to obtain a license for a fee of $5. Youth age 12 and younger need to obtain a free license. License vendors will add a $1 issuing fee.

Spring wild turkey season begins Wednesday, April 16 and runs through Thursday, May 29.

Gone is the need for youth to pick a single time period and risk getting shut out by bad weather or an unexpected conflict with school, work or family obligations.

“Adults should share their passion for hunting and get kids out in the field.” said Mike Kurre, DNR’s mentoring program coordinator. “The season structure for youth and inexpensive license fees provide the opportunity to build the family turkey hunting tradition from the ground up – or the parents down.”

Licenses may be purchased from any DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. People purchasing via Internet or by telephone should allow seven to 10 days for the turkey license and attached site tag to arrive in the mail. All turkey hunters must have their license and tag in possession when hunting.

A $3.50 convenience fee will be charged for telephone purchases. An additional fee of 3 percent of the transaction amount plus $1.65 for mailing the license will be added to online purchases.

Additional information about the spring turkey hunting season is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.



Game and Fish Violations – MN Weekly CO Report

Double D 468 x 60



District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) spoke at and assisted a local police department with a DARE class. Follow-up continues with the last couple fish houses left on Lake of the Woods. Many northern pike tip-up anglers have been using the lake with mixed results. Mature female northern pike seem to be spread out a bit more than most years. Enforcement action for the week was taken on an angler using too many lines, ATV and OHM violations. An investigation is pending on a wanton waste case involving three deer that were left hanging since last November.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls of an injured owl and dogs chasing deer. The law and ethics portion of Firearms Safety classes were taught in Oslo, Argyle/Stephen, and Newfolden. CO Woinarowicz assisted a North Dakota Game Warden with investigations finding violations of non-residents buying Minnesota resident licenses and taking big game with illegal license.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored activity on the Red Lake and Thief Rivers and access checks were performed. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of a Snowmobile Safety class in Middle River. Trails, WMAs and other areas were monitored for ATV and off-road vehicle activities. Questions were answered in regards to gray wolves, turkey and deer seasons.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angler activity on special regulation lakes and monitored area ATV activity throughout the week. He gave a laws and regulations presentation and assisted the instructors at the Kelliher Firearms Safety classes. Time was spent monitoring spring beaver trapping activity and an accidental catch otter was seized. He completed a commercial inspection at a local taxidermy shop. CO Regas investigated a report of an injured deer which was being followed by a man who appeared to be tracking the deer and was in possession of a rifle. CO Regas and sheriff deputies followed tracks to a residence about a half mile from the original call. The investigation revealed the family’s dog had chased down a deer injuring the deer and the dog’s owner had been tracking the deer to euthanize it. The dog’s owner had taken corrective action with the dog prior to officers making contact with the owner of the dog. Neither the dog’s owner nor officers were able to locate the deer after several hours of tracking it. Time was spent investigating an ATV trespassing complaint and fish house removal progress continues to be monitored on the remaining shelter on Upper Red Lake.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers on the Rainy River were reporting a good walleye bite until Saturday when the water clarity diminished greatly. The river is now open through Frontier landing, and opening up at a much faster rate than earlier this spring. Anglers on Lake of the Woods are reporting difficult and slushy conditions that are making travel difficult.


Double D Outfitters Spring quarter page5

District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and ATV operators. Fish have also started to run in area creeks. Time was also spent working on a game farm inspection. A firearms related training session was attended in Bagley.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) completed mandatory trainings, monitored anglers and beaver trappers. A draining complaint was closed and permit questions were answered concerning wood cutting on WMAs and shoreline alterations. A dead deer was reported on a lake and a reportedly injured eagle was actually so gorged on a car kill deer it could not take flight.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) prepared for upcoming in-service training, answered calls related to turkey season and checked beaver trappers.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored ice angling activity in the Bemidji area. Reports are spotty with most people targeting perch. Time was spent checking area forest roads for activity and monitoring ATV activity.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling and ATV activity. Most forest roads and trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest are now closed due to melting snow and wet conditions. CO Holt attended a DNR Earth Day/Arbor Day event at the Paul Bunyan Mall in Bemidji. Questions were answered regarding AIS, angling and hunting seasons.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting employees for DNR Fisheries and Waters with a site inspection after a neighboring landowner complained of water backing up onto their property. CO Vinton assisted a North Dakota Conservation Officer with a possible license fraud investigation. Several calls were received of deer parts getting dumped in area ditches. All instances appeared to be the result of the melting snow uncovering the parts dumped during the end of deer season.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked anglers and ATV/vehicle enforcement in closed areas of the State Forests. Enforcement action taken for ATV’s in a closed area, over limit of sunfish and culling/sorting.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the ice pulling away from shore. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and following up on a trapping complaint. CO Forsberg also investigated a license fraud case, conducted a game farm inspection, and followed up on a complaint of tree branches left on lake from tree removal. He also talked at FAS class in Hawley, checked for fish run, and assisted with a commercial fur buyer inspection.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent time working on upcoming trainings. WCA and public waters cases were reviewed and several sites were visited on follow up from last year. Several open cases were worked on and LGUs contacted regarding progress. Cases were discussed and guidance given to field COs regarding WCA issues.


Moorhead – vacant.


Detroit Lakes – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice angling has basically come to an end in the area. Ice conditions have become unsafe on most lakes and access to the ice has become difficult. Spring migration has been impressive with various bird species observed. Folks should prepare their watercraft and be ready for open water fishing. An incidentally caught otter was seized and spring beaver trappers were checked.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) dealt with nuisance eagles attacking cows during calving time. An eagle was reported dead hanging from a tree with nest in it. A wolf was accidentally caught in a coyote trap. Litter violations are being investigated and fishing enforcement was monitored. An incidentally caught otter was also seized.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on burning complaints and on geese being shot during closed season. Additional time was spent handling calls on beaver depredation and ATV’s operating on public highways. Fish run activity was worked.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen on area lakes even though ice conditions have deteriorated. Access to lakes has almost been impossible lately with only a few lakes accessible. Anglers should be aware of changing ice conditions and take necessary precautions before heading out to fish. Air boat training was attended in Appleton.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked some of the last ice fishermen of the season on station lakes. Anglers seem to have better success catching panfish than they do getting onto the ice to fish. Most lakes have several feet of open water between the ice sheet and shore, making it difficult to get out. One angler was found to be in possession of an illegal length crappie on a special regulation lake. Assistance was also given to the Douglas Co Sheriff’s Office locating and removing a missing snowmobile from last December found deep in the cattails of Lake Mary.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports continuing to monitor the fishing activity, noting the ice is pulling away from shorelines fast and the best mode of transportation is walking. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire activity, teaching FAS classes, and attending meetings at Camp Ripley. Two individuals were caught operating motor vehicles in a WMA and Johanson and other officers worked on a commercial investigation in District 3.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATVs, fishing and fire activity. Ice is going out on several medium sized lakes around the Morris area. Fish run activity has been monitored on area streams and rivers. Time was spent working illegal burning and issuing minnow transportation permits. Airboat and Ice Rescue training was attended near Appleton. Calls were fielded regarding a bobcat sighting near Wheaton and questions were answered about WMA regulations and firearms safety classes.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and spring beaver trappers. Time was also spent monitoring fish run activity, and seizing incidentally taken otter. Baumbarger attended airboat training on Lac Qui Parle and Artichoke lakes. The training was well put together, covering day and night airboat operation, search and rescue techniques, and very realistic scenarios.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATV activity and angling activity. A call of two dead bald eagles in a field was received. CO spoke at a Firearms Safety Class at the Boy Scout camp.


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) responded to spring fish run questions and patrolled areas of fish spawn. ATV patrols were conducted in agricultural and state forested areas. Questions were taken and a presentation conducted at a local archery club. Questions and topics ranged from the deer, fishing, wolves, and the turkey season to name a few.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked angling and related activity throughout the week. Numerous dead deer calls were received. A call of a deer caught in a fence, a call on a sick fox, and a call on a bird in someone’s yard were also received. Most of the calls were referred to the area DNR Wildlife office.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) is beginning to see fewer anglers on area lakes as the ice is beginning to erode. A vehicle went through the ice in shallow water on Lake Winnibigoshish. ATVs and foot travel are the primary means of get around on the lakes. CO Mathy checked ATV use on closed state forest roads.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ice angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast and lakes are becoming unsafe. CO Broughten completed mandatory training and met with the county attorney on open cases. CO Broughten also fielded calls concerning animal complaints and a public waters violation.


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and checked ATV activity. A wolf depredation was investigated. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered ATV and no fishing license


CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked fishing activity on rivers, area lakes are starting to deteriorate. The temporary forest closures are in place across much of the region and users are encouraged to check the website on Thursday afternoon for the weekend update. CO Adam attended a monthly OHV monitoring meeting and employee meeting in St. Paul.


Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted with two different Lake Service Provider trainings in Alexandria and Walker. Many enforcement related questions were answered regarding LSP laws and permit conditions. A reminder that any business that rents watercraft is now required to obtain an LSP permit. Local angling activity was monitored and AIS laws discussed.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking boating and fishing activity on the Rainy River. The busiest day being Friday with approximately 375+ boats; the catching success decreased as the week and weekend progressed. Enforcement action was taken for no current angling license, illegal length fish, fish transportation issues, no Type IV PFD, and expired boat registration.



CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the week was spent working on equipment, storing equipment, and transporting equipment. Additional time was spent on office items and administrative reports. Outdoor activities were monitored with little noted.


CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports warmer weather again continued to melt a lot of the snow. As the snow melts, large amounts of trash are showing up along the area roads. A few migrating birds were observed passing through the area. Deer are frequenting the roadsides and continue to get hit by vehicles.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was the special guest speaker to the Palo Retired senior citizen at the Loon Lake CC, where Fredin detailed his job requirements and heard a few tall tales from the attendees. Fredin along with other Officers pulled a fish house off Lake Vermilion, the owner was contacted and issues a summons. Vermilion water skipping activities were checked.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


Ray – vacant.


Tower – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted area officers in removing an ice house long past the ice house removal deadline from Lake Vermilion. Although there is still as much as 30 inches of ice on much of the lake’s open areas and weak spots have increased. Violations included angling without a license, possession of an overlimit of crappies, and operating an unregistered ATV.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a couple BWCAW fishing complaints and found some people that weren’t good at counting crappies. ATVs are showing back up on the lakes and there seems to be some confusion about them having a license plate and numbers and registration on them. The plate needs to have the ID numbers, valid  registration sticker, AND be visible. If it is hidden, “lost”, or “just fell off” and in the tool box, you will most assuredly be given extra attention when the officers see you.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found lots of walleye anglers during the week as border walleye season comes to a close. A fair amount of snowmobilers were also out getting their last rides of the season in. Fishing slowed down from the previous week, but a few nice pike were seen. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing licenses in possession, no fishing license, extra lines and unattended set lines. One fellow was using his snowmobile to go into the BWCA to check his illegal unattended set lines. He didn’t even have a fishing license.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted with inspection of a commercial fur buyer. The officer also checked Lake Superior tributaries for break-up. Officer Manning took a call on a pair of deer stuck on Lake Superior’s ice; the deer had apparently walked or swam off by the time the officer arrived.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended a meeting with the Superior National Forest LEO, district rangers and area game wardens to discuss nuisance animals and cooperative law enforcement efforts on national forest lands. The Officer conducted a fur buyer inspection with area officers and met with the county attorney to discuss big game cases.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) followed up on litter complaints and enforcement action was taken for illegally dumping garbage on a roadway. Several injured deer calls were handled and a meeting was attended with the US Forest Service on nuisance animal issues. Drivers on the North Shore please use caution as deer are active around roadways this time of year attempting to find the spring’s first areas of green grass and creating a hazard to drivers.


Silver Bay – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers during the past week. He also handled wildlife calls.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, attended K-9 training and assisted the county with a domestic call. Enforcement action was taken for operate ATV on roadway and angling license issues.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked anglers this past week. Ice is pulling away from the shore on many lakes and is becoming thin in some areas that have current flowing, including Tioga Bay on Pokegama Lake. Please use caution this time of year when accessing the ice. She also traveled up to the Rainy River over the weekend to see how the walleye fishermen were fairing. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late ice angling activity with the pan fish hopping out of the holes. The bite was very good and many limits were seen over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. ATV activity has also spiked in the recent days with the warmer weather. Action was taken for operating an ATV on a county road. An ATV was also reported through the ice on Pokegama Lake. The ATV was promptly recovered the next day out of 25 feet of water and the operator was able to get to safety. The individual had driven over the exact location the day before, but due to the rain overnight it had greatly reduced the holding power of the ice. Please be careful on area lakes.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, spring beaver trappers and state parks. He also worked closed roads and trails during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing. Wichmann also took calls on injured deer.


CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) checked anglers and ATVers this past week. Snowmobiling conditions have deteriorated and several gates have been closed on GIA snowmobile trails. CO Velsvaag also attended a meeting regarding multiple use trail development.


Water Resource Enforcement officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, and a few snowmobilers on area lakes. Panfish and perch angling success improved. Some 12 inch blue gill were observed in creel buckets. Lake ice travel diminished from full-sized trucks to ATVs over the week. CO Arhart also worked aquatic invasive species and angling efforts at the Rainy River, tracked wetland restoration cases, and assisted the Dixon Lake Association with duck nest box maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, for transporting walleye without skin patch, for transporting watercraft with plugs in, for transporting water from infested streams, and for expired boat registration. The first migrant wood ducks were seen in open reaches of Third River. Fresh American goldeneye eggs were observed in nest boxes.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of last week working fishing enforcement on Lake Superior and its tributaries. During the week people were ice fishing Lake Superior and the next day fishing the same location in open water. One day was spent working in St. Paul. Officer Duncan assisted the DNR Wildlife division with a couple deer calls and some other misc. wildlife complaints. Snowmobile and ATV enforcement was also worked.


CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working ATV complaints on roadways and snowmobile trails. Shore anglers were checked on Lake Superior. Ice anglers were checked on local lakes and ice conditions were okay but water and slush were a factor.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and ATV enforcement throughout the week. ATV activity has increased with warm weather conditions. Ice angling activity was sparse on area lakes. Some open water was observed on the St. Louis River near Cloquet, however, lots of ice and debris is mixed with the high moving water. CO Humphrey followed up on a wolf livestock depredation case from the previous week. Several calls were received about deer feeding and sick and/or starving deer. Boats were prepped for the upcoming open water season.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) continued K9 training with partner Schody. Assistance was given with inspecting a commercial fur buying operation in the state. A meeting was attended at Camp Ripley to get ready for the upcoming in-service training for all of the officers in the state. A K9 demo and talk was given to Safari Club International at their annual banquet in Hinckley. A report of a dead eagle was received and checked into. With the snow melting, ATVs and off-highway motorcycles are starting to show up in the area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a public highway, equipment and registration violations.


WREO Mike Scott attended meetings to prepare for the new academy training at Camp Ripley. Training was worked on for trapping enforcement for the new officers as well as upcoming in service training for current officers. Officer Scott worked on runoff from local gravel pit into trout stream was concluded with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to fix the issue and worked with DNR fisheries on AIS issues in the Duluth area.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the North Shore rivers are just starting to open up. Plenty of pack ice on the Duluth end of Lake Superior. Some shore anglers are picking the spots of open water. He assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with blocking local roads due to flooding concerns. He monitored local trails for ATV/ORV use during the spring wet season. Officer Olson checked inland streams for stream trout opener. The snow cover in the woods is still knee deep and a few anglers attempted to snow shoe into local trout streams.


CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Many are showing up to fish, and sometimes having to change plans depending on where the ice has drifted to. Officer Ter Meer has not seen anyone fishing the rivers yet, but plenty of people looking and ready. The Duluth entry gates to the south pier are now open, so depending on where the ice had drifted some are trying there. He has heard from many ready to get out onto Lake Superior in their boats once accesses open up. Online department training was also completed.


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked a few ice anglers on the sheltered harbors where some ice remains. A meeting was attended with DNR Fisheries regarding upcoming commercial activities. A case from last fall was prepped for court. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working anglers on Big Sandy and other area lakes. Most access points were still safe for travel but have quickly been deteriorating. She assisted Aitkin County SO on a call in McGregor of a suspicious person near the school. Enforcement action included an over limit of crappie and ATV registration violation.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including checking fishermen, fish run, beaver trapping, assisting local law enforcement agencies, working a detail in the Superior National Forest between Crane Lake and Ely, giving a presentation on CO duties and furbearing animals at a local church, and responding to various wildlife issues including an incident where a wolf attacked a dog in the yard of a person’s residence.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fishing and trapping activity. Complaints of dogs chasing deer and hunter harassment/trespass were also handled.


CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for ATV activity. CO McGowan also checked ice anglers on area lakes as ice conditions are becoming very poor. CO McGowan also worked with the county attorney’s office on a take deer without a license, and waterfowl hunting violation case that are scheduled for court trials.


CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ATVs, angling activity and wildlife complaints. Two 4WD truck drivers were cited for trespass on posted private property.


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) saw fewer ice fishermen as the weather gets warmer. ATV’s are replacing snowmobiles and seasonal state forest closures are in effect as the trails get soft. A call from a cattle rancher was handled as a large stretch of fence was knocked down by the cattle and wolf tracks were found nearby, and the officer responded to a grass fire started by sparks from a wood fired maple syrup boiler.


CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on litter complaints. He continued with investigations of deer and beaver carcass dumping in the Pillsbury Forest. Pan fish anglers have been out trying their luck with mixed results ice conditions are very dangerous. He worked on a wetland excavating complaint. ATV’s tearing up ditches and in the closed Pillsbury Forest received some enforcement time. Burning without a permit and during closed hours violations were reported and enforcement action was taken.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked ATV and angling enforcement. The ice conditions are weakening at access points. Officer Guida worked with local highway authorities on a deer carcass that was illegally dumped in the road right of way. The hunter from last fall neglected to take off the site tag prior to the dumping and also forgot to register the deer. Officer Guida also worked with training staff on the upcoming academy and in-service training.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked pan fishing activity and continued to monitor dogs that are left unattended. Equipment issues were addressed, along with very pertinent mandatory training. Ice conditions are getting bad on most lakes. CO Starr also worked on ATV issues, investigated a small fire, and took a call about dumped deer carcasses.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) worked with neighboring officer checking fishermen on an area lake where the crappie bite took off for a few days. Area forest roads were patrolled for illegal traffic and a call of dogs chasing deer was handled. A party reported a muskrat chewing through a garage door and targeting old beer cans once inside. The party set a live trap and jokingly planned on getting the muskrat into a support group for his alcohol problem.


WREO Rob Haberman worked on wetland and water cases in his assigned area. WREO Haberman also patrolled state forests for vehicles entering closed forest roads. WREO Haberman also checked fishermen on local lakes.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked checking ice conditions and river levels throughout the county. Ice fishing seems to have ended in the Pine City area with the Snake River rising and breaking up shoreline ice in many access areas of Cross and Pokegama Lake. Some lakes on the north end of the county had fishermen on them, but ice was deteriorating quickly with the warm weather. CO Wynn took numerous calls on nuisance, sick, and injured animals. Forest roads are currently closed in the Chengwatana State Forest along with other state forests in the Pine County area. Check the DNR website for current forest closure information.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working area state forest roads and trails for the spring road closures. Please remember to check our DNR website before venturing out on an ATV being most trails area currently closed for the spring. Area lakes were checked with a few fishermen out but the pan fish bite varied from lake to lake. A complaint of a waters violation was investigated and a call of an injured goose was also investigated. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a complaint of double tripping on a local lake. Some permits were issued and some items were tagged for a local minnow dealer for the upcoming minnow season. Mandatory Department training was done and lots of fishing, hunting, trapping and ATV law questions were fielded.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in beaver trapping activity with the warmer weather and thawing of area creeks and rivers. A few anglers have still been out ice fishing but most areas have been reduced to accessing ice by foot traffic only. There is still some thick ice out there but shorelines have started opening up and many areas of ice have deep slush and some water on top to deal with. Enforcement activity included a report of a swan that was shot and otter being taken out of season.


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored area trappers testing their luck. A few trappers had some luck but had some issues with rising waters with melting snow. Anglers tested their luck in Isle Bay on Mille Lacs but not many fish were seen. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration. Please ensure you ATV registration in up to date for the upcoming season.


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked a dwindling number of anglers as local ice is getting slushing and is starting to pull away from shore. He also checked some beaver trappers, processed some confiscations, and winterized some equipment.


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) fielded calls during the week regarding sick or injured deer, dead eagles, state forest ATV trail closures and depredation related issues. Officer Speldrich also checked anglers who were found out on her lakes enjoying the weather and looking for fish. Officer Speldrich completed investigations for prosecution and appeared in district court. The case stemmed from a case where a bear hunter was charged with trespass and other bear hunting related charges. After consultation with his attorney, the suspect pled guilty to the charges.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked on bow fishing complaints where game fish were shot. CO Mies checked ATVs and worked on a public waters case.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found fishing activity slowing down as ice conditions are deteriorating. Shore fishing is just getting started but most people are having limited success. An individual was stopped for operating a class 2 ATV on a state highway, his excuse was, “How else am I supposed to get to town?” CO Kuske attended an ATV club meeting to discuss safety training and future trail projects. A presentation about the lighter side of being a conservation officer was given by CO Kuske at an insurance company shareholders luncheon.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) spoke at the Sobieski Youth Firearms Safety class and the Royalton Youth ATV Class. A TIP call of suspicious activity at a remote creek area is being investigated and a TIP call of anglers fishing for walleyes before season on the Mississippi River. A couple of landowners with brush piles that CO Kuske noticed with furniture and/or garbage in them were proactively contacted before they burned them illegally and get a fine.


Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted with preparation for the upcoming academy.


WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week opening several new wetland and waters cases in the area. Training was completed. WREO Bertram also assisted with a fur buyer inspection in Otter Tail County.


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked with local agencies to present information to our Amish community regarding environmental laws, rules, and ordinances. Ice along shorelines of local lakes deteriorated rapidly through the week. A few anglers made their way to solid ice and gave it a try. Sunfish were fairly cooperative. Crappies remained stubborn. Creeks were checked for fish run activity.


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVs, and illegal burning activity. Time was spent working spring fish run. Ice conditions in the area reached a point where getting on to most lakes is out of the question. Enforcement action for the week included burning prohibited material, unattended fire, no burn permit and no angling license in possession. Thesing spoke at the Cold Spring firearms safety class.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) took a call regarding two shelters that the floors were cut off and left in the lake. The caller was hoping that those responsible would come and clean up their mess. Unfortunately they have left them out on the lake. Information regarding those responsible can be left with the TIP line.


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored ice conditions throughout the station and found that most deteriorated quickly with the recent warm weather. CO Silgjord assisted fisheries personnel with a northern pike study. ATVs are starting to come out. CO Silgjord would like to remind area residents of the Ag zone restriction from April 1st to August 1st. Fires were also checked throughout the week for permits.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations to firearms safety classes in Monticello and St. Michael. Most lakes in the area have opened up along the shoreline and the ice is deteriorating fast with the high winds and warmer weather making unsafe ice conditions. Enforcement action was taken for fish house being left out after deadline, take furbearer with firearm and taken furbearer out of season.


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman on the Mississippi River. He assisted with a number of nuisance animal calls. Officer Sladek gave an enforcement presentation to a firearms safety class and followed up on a road kill bear. He also investigated a number of ATV complaints.


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers, ATVs, and took calls on littering/dumping. Officer Londgren also spoke at numerous firearms safety classes over the past week.


CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving numerous bear complaints over the past week. Homeowners are reminded, that if they do not wish to have bears near their homes, they need to remove bird feeders. CO Langevin also received a call of a possible wolf kill on a newborn calf. The calf was ruled a stillborn and coyotes had fed on the carcass. CO Langevin has received numerous calls regarding trash left on area lakes. The snow has melted and the trash left by anglers is now highly visible.


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a trespass complaint and handled several animal calls. CO Musatov spoke at two youth firearms safety classes. Open water anglers and ATVs were checked.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week following up with open investigations and attended a court trial in Hennepin County. CO Grewe spoke to a firearms safety class and took several wildlife complaints.


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked area streams for fish run. Several animal nuisance calls were handled. He gave a presentation to the Waconia Lions Club.


CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. Salzer attended a career fair at North Hennepin Community College and assisted with two Firearms Safety Classes. Salzer also dealt with a small game incident.


CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen with CO Pril. He patrolled for ATV enforcement. CO Neitzke returned calls and investigated numerous animal complaints. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and investigated a complaint of illegal camping there.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in district vicinity. He spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Eden Prairie. He took a call regarding an individual that was frustrated with the Canada geese that kept making a mess on his yard so he decided to use a BB gun and shot at them. Numerous calls for questions about fishing regulations were returned.


Bloomington – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked trout anglers and other fishermen on Dakota County rivers. He worked off-road vehicle and ATV enforcement around Dakota and Scott counties. He did AIS enforcement around the Mississippi River accesses, spent some time working at the Cambodian New Year event and responded to calls and complaints throughout the week.


CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring recreational vehicles, and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen spoke to students at a Forest Lake school about hunting and fishing regulations. CO Arntzen also responded to several animal complaints, answered calls about trespassing, trapping, and investigated a wetland violation.

Violations for the week included operating an ORV in a restricted area, no fishing license, and failure to remove drain plug.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) finished a litter case and checked anglers on area streams. She assisted a CO from up north with a fishing case and handled various TIP calls. CO Kruse scheduled upcoming classes, assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County and handled nuisance animal calls.


Eagan – vacant.


Hastings – vacant.


Maplewood – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) conducted airboat training with officers from Regions 1 and 4. Ice conditions on Big Stone Lake are diminishing fast, with many people hoping for ice out in anticipation of the border water opener next weekend.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that the burning of prohibited materials was a common activity this past weekend with enforcement action taken. Lake Hendricks still had 20 inches of ice close to shore. Northern Pike have been seen in area streams.


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) participated in airboat training scenarios on LqP and Artichoke with area officers. Dumping and littering complaints are under investigation. Reports of people shooting fish were received and firearms safety was attended in several communities.


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that Camden State Park was a busy place for this year’s stream trout opener. Around 50 vehicles were counted in and around the park by mid-morning. Fishermen are reminded that angling licenses and trout stamps are required for trout streams that run through state parks. Illegal motor vehicle operation on WMAs continues to be an issue. Enforcement action was taken. Assistance was given with firearms safety classes in Marshall and Belview.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working public water issues and ATVs. Waterfowl are once again moving through the area. Most area lakes are ice free with ice remaining only on the largest lakes.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a meeting in St. Paul. Officer Hanson also followed up on WCA cases and issued AIS information to fishermen. Training was also completed.


Benson – vacant.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked ice anglers and found the ice conditions to be very unsafe. He assisted a neighboring officer with removing fish house floors that were left on an area lake. Commercial inspections were conducted. Denz also spoke to approximately 80 students at a New London Firearms Safety class sponsored by the local chapter of the Izaak Walton League.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked numerous anglers that had success on the opening day of the trout season. Rainbow trout made up most of the limits caught. Throughout the week, she investigated a garbage dump, a complaint of shooting from a green SUV in Birch Cooley Township and dogs chasing deer. She assisted McLeod County with wild turkeys causing problems at an elementary school. Mueller also spoke at a FAS class in Buffalo Lake.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) prepared to instruct at the upcoming officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. Oberg also spent time setting up talks at firearms safety classes for this spring. Oberg also assisted with an injured deer call.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked local trout streams. Cloudy stream conditions made for tough sight fishing, but some anglers did well. Nelson wishes to remind anglers that non-target and/or rough fish need to be released if not kept. Beaching them is illegal.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given to a district officer monitoring areas for illegal activity. Beckmann attended the DNR Commissioner’s Listening Session in Windom with other department personnel. All area lakes are now completely free of ice, with many showing different degrees of winterkill.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing and ATVs in Jackson County. Complaints of bow fishing from shore were received. Gruhlke also completed a radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including bear license application deadline, turkey season and other relevant area activity.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked shore anglers and several ATV operators. Ice is clear of all lakes and there even was the sight of a couple watercrafts out for the first time. Commercial operations were inspected.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, ATV, and commercial activity. CO Howe also attended Division airboat training. The St. Peter trout ponds opened to their usual crowds. A minnow trapper was contacted in the field, with an inspection completed.


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for boating, fishing, and ATV activity. Officer Ihnen also assisted with a FAS class held by a local instructor group. Additional time was spent monitoring compliance for spring beaver trapping activity.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV activity. TIP calls were investigated. The officer worked the trout opener in the southeast with neighboring officers and gave a law and ethics presentation to a FAS class in Morristown.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked the opening weekend of the trout season. A trapping complaint is being investigated. Time was spent on the Minnesota River testing equipment. Several questions from the public regarding the upcoming turkey seasons were answered.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV and angling activity. The officer assisted neighboring officers with the trout fishing opener near Forestville State Park. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV activity and working the trout fishing season opener. Investigated an illegal snare set from the trapping season. Burning permit violations were also handled. A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearms safety class in Adams


WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked trout opener. Follow up on WCA cases was completed. A K9 search for a firearm was conducted. Trespass complaints were also addressed.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement on the Mississippi River as many of the backwaters became ice free although ice still is present on lake Pepin. He also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley in reference to upcoming training and the academy. Finally, he worked a very busy but sloppy opening weekend of trout fishing in the southeast and closed out a trapping investigation.


CO Phil George (Rochester) spoke with an ATV safety class and checked anglers during the opening weekend of the trout season. Officer George worked checking boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River with some boating violations detected.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishermen had a good week fishing on the river. Trout opener, even with rainy weekend, was successful. There were many fishermen with limits.

Area streams were in great shape. Remember, if the DNR doesn’t have an easement along a stream then you need to have permission from the landowner. Just because a car is parked along a stream doesn’t give everyone permission to fish. Turkeys are slowly showing up in traditional strutting areas.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy trout opener. Fishing was fair to good as most anglers had some trout on the stringer. Rainbows were the most common along with a few brown trout as well. Violations encountered were over-limit of trout, possess illegal length trout (slot limit), no license in possession and no trout stamp. CO Boyum also answered calls reference the upcoming turkey season. A trespass call was also investigated.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy trout opener but the weather made for less people and less fish caught than usual. He responded to complaints of ATV’s operating on a closed ATV trail and in a different location an ATV operating on a closed snowmobile trail. He received a call from a person asking about taking his four-year-old turkey hunting. Hemker asked about the young hunter’s ability to use a gun and the proud father explained he was really almost five-years-old. Hemker also attended a Winona County meeting for township representatives and discussed DNR issues.


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked trout anglers over the weekend. The rain muddied up most streams and slowed the fishing down. Anglers were still finding fish on a few of the streams that were pretty clear.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking angling activity. Trout anglers did well with numerous limits of trout seen in the bag. River fishing success has slowed a little. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.

Spring Issue Cover Revealed!



There’s a great, albeit short, story behind this cover photo.


I’d been trying to find a good shot for the cover and there are some great turkey shots out there from a number of our contributors.  I needed one quickly and I mentioned to Ben Brettingen that I was looking for a tom strutting through the woods.  He replied with, “I’ll head out tonight and see what I can get.”


He went to one of his favorite spots, called in a gobbler to 5 yards and BAM!  We had a cover shot.  (If you want Ben for a turkey calling seminar, he’s available!)


We’ve got a great spring issue lined up for you:


Bill Marchel – Spring Photo Essay.  Bill has a great essay for us that includes courtship rituals from ducks, grouse, pheasants, turkeys and more.


Nicole Larson’s Record Tom – Nicole “reaped” a huge tom last year and we’ve got the story in this next issue.


Tyler Scott – Youth Turkey.  How young should you get someone started turkey hunting?  How about this story of a 5-year-old girl that bagged a great bird last fall?!


Jason Mitchell – Getting on late ice chasing big perch is something that Jason knows all to well.


Ben Brettingen – Ben has got stories on turkey hunting and what he went through last year for the walleye opener.


Erik Thue – Cold weather fly fishing.  How to deal with frozen fingers on the fly


Katy Turner – Morel Mushrooms – Learning about hunting from our fathers include more than birds and animals.


Jake Flaa – Huge pike on tip-ups.  Jake experienced one of those days that we all dream of.  Multiple fish over 40″-all in one afternoon.


Of course we’ve got some great photography and more from Matt Soberg, shed hunting and spring migration pictures.  Now is the time to subscribe to get it delivered right to your door.  Click on “subscribe” on the left column today.


Thanks for your interest in MNSJ!


Bret Amundson


Close encounter with a black bear! What would you have done?


This hunter spotted a bear up the road and decided to get a closer look.  As the bear came closer it turned out to be a smaller than what he was looking for.  But then it keeps getting closer…would he have to shoot it anyway?

Watch and find out!





Good luck this spring!  When you bag that gobbler, send it in and we’ll post it here.

Tayler Michels and crew

Tayler Michels and crew

Jason Zins and Jade McGough with two great birds shot in the same place just hours apart!

Jason Zins and Jade McGough with two great birds shot in the same place just hours apart!


Tyler Scott and Erick Johnson

Kali Knutsen with her first turkey!  7 years old, with the Cory Loeffler "Guide service!"

Kali Knutsen with her first turkey! 7 years old, with the Cory Loeffler “Guide service!”

12" beard 1 1/4" spurs Winona County, MN Makenna Braaten from Rochester, MN Age: 7 Sent in by Katrina Arpin - Widow Makers TV!

12″ beard 1 1/4″ spurs
Winona County, MN
Makenna Braaten from Rochester, MN
Age: 7
Sent in by Katrina Arpin – Widow Makers TV!

Luke Sandquist shot his first turkey too!

Luke Sandquist shot his first turkey too!

Dacia Doroff with her Easter turkey!

Dacia Doroff with her Easter turkey!

Eran Sandquist with his snowy spring turkey

Eran Sandquist with his snowy spring turkey

Cory Loeffler sent in another one, this time it's his daughter, Leah!  Pictured with his wife Kelsey

Cory Loeffler sent in another one, this time it’s his daughter, Leah! Pictured with his wife Kelsey

Cory Loeffler (www.drccalls.com) got his cousin Rylie on this bird on opening day!

Cory Loeffler (www.drccalls.com) got his cousin Rylie on this opening day bird!

Bill Marchel braved the elements for this opening day long beard.

Bill Marchel braved the elements for this opening day long beard.

Duane Watt and his friend knocked out a couple nice birds opening morning!  Photo courtesy of Minnesota Archery

Duane Watt and his friend knocked out a couple nice birds opening morning! Photo courtesy of Minnesota Archery


Cory Loeffler (www.drccalls.com) sent in this picture of Sam Mosbeck from opening morning, “Sammy’s first bird!”.

14-year-old Dalton Amundson gets on the board first with a western Wisconsin long beard.

15-year-old Dalton Amundson gets on the board first with a western Wisconsin long beard.