Weekly DNR conservation report for northwestern Minnesota
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Troy Richards (Roseau) concentrated on waterfowl and big game enforcement during the past week. Scaup numbers continued to be strong on Thief Lake. CO Richards monitored trapping locations and noted several stands left on WMA property. Possible feeding sites in the "no feed" zone were investigated. Richards spoke with four Roseau High School students whom were targeting coots on Thief Lake. They were disappointed to have only harvested (7) birds. They commented last year they were able to get a limit, which provided a lot of good meat for jerky. Enforcement action for the week included waterfowl violations.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) checked area waterfowl and small game hunters. Seasonal equipment was stored for the winter. CO Milbridge assisted other district officers with a work detail and answered numerous questions on the upcoming firearms deer season. Local trappers were assisted with some accidental catches.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked angling activity and waterfowl hunting activity. Fishing continues to be good on Lake of the Woods and the waterfowl hunters are finding low numbers of ducks. Shining activity was worked with other district officers. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license, angle with extra line, operate watercraft after sunset without navigational lights, insufficient number of PFDs, and ATV's operating on a state highway.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke at a Minnesota Deer Hunters Association meeting in Thief River Falls on new regulations and hunter ethics. He also worked a shining detail with area officers and checked anglers on Lake of the Woods with Lt. Znajda. Woinarowicz checked area trappers and interviewed a landowner that had moved WMA signs over 70ft. to increase his pasture lands adjacent to the WMA. While on patrol Woinarowicz viewed a vehicle swerving all over the road and then stopping. Woinarowicz approached to make sure the driver was not having a medical emergency only to find the driver to be an intoxicated individual that had a BAC of over three times the legal limit. The driver was also in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked small game, waterfowl and archery hunters. Local anglers were still out trying their luck with the walleye population. WMAs were worked with illegal hunting stands being removed. CO Warren worked a shinning detail in Lake of the Woods County.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) focused on deer hunting enforcement for the week. Several areas where checked for deer bait. People are reminded that it is unlawful to feed deer in the feeding ban area. A shining detail was worked in the Lake of the Woods area. A complaint of unlawfully taking walleye from Red Lake was also investigated.
Karlstad - vacant.
Blackduck #2 - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked trappers, anglers, and hunters. Complaints of coonhounds trespassing, wounded/injured deer, beaver depredation, and a cougar sighting were investigated. The officer spoke to a Firearm Safety Class about laws, safety, and ethics. The students were excited to complete the safety course, get their certificates, and participate in the firearm deer season.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) investigated deer shining complaints. One misdemeanor deer shiner was located and enforcement action taken. The questions and concerns about the firearm deer season have increased.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) reports an increase in ATV activity by juveniles. Young riders (under 18) are reminder that drivers and passengers require helmets. Deer baiting, deer shining, and shoreline alteration complaints were investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) continues field training duties with COC Paurus. The officers checked waterfowl hunters and anglers. Walleye anglers continue to have good success. The officers assisted other law enforcement officers with an intoxicated individual, that turned himself in for an outstanding warrant at the jail, after he had a change of heart. The person became violent but was eventually calmed down.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports many crops still in the fields due to the wet conditions. Hunters are concerned how the slow harvest will affect the deer hunt. Several TIP Calls related to deer baiting were investigated. The walleye bite continues to be good, a number of limits were taken. Violations detected: no small game hunting license, transport uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, take waterfowl with firearm capable of holding more than 3 shells, and allowing illegal ATV operation by a juvenile.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) investigated deer baiting, late shooting at waterfowl, trespass, deer shining, and hunting without a license complaints. Reports of loose domesticated elk have been investigated but the animals have not been located. A juvenile was contacted for shooting a duck too close to a house. The juvenile was skipping school at the time. Other law enforcement agencies have been assisting with the increasing number of hunting related complaints.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) stopped a vehicle for driving on the wrong side of the roadway. The driver was intoxicated and had an uncased firearm lying on the front seat, charges pending. Deer shining, trespass, dogs chasing deer, and shots fired at night complaints were investigated. Questions about deer hunting regulations have increased.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) has transferred to the Pelican Rapids Station and started duties there. CO Forsberg is no stranger to the area after having served the Fergus Falls area for many years. The officer checked waterfowl hunters, investigated trespass and deer baiting complaints, and located tree stands left in a Wildlife Management Area. The officer attended a local sportsman's club meeting.