CO Reports: Deer Hunters: Beware of Feeding and Lure Bans – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

District 9 – Brainerd Area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) Patrol started for illegal big game bait hunting. Crow Wing County continues to be a chronic debilitating disease management zone, therefore the use of salt/minerals and any deer feed is prohibited.

Guida attended the CO Academy graduation where 18 new conservation officers entered field training assignments this week. Guida began her assignment by training COC Ben Ulrich at the station. This week they worked on the application of small game hunting, big game hunting, boats and sport fishing. The warm climate reduced hunting activity. Numerous sailing contacts were made.

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Ban on feeding deer: Affects the counties listed below. Please note that attractants have not been banned in these counties and may be used.

Beltrami, Carlton, Chisago, Douglas, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Pine, Pope, Roseau, and Stearns.

Deer feeding and attractant ban: Affects the counties listed below.

Aitkin, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Norman, Pennington, Olmsted, Polk, Ramsey, Red Lake, Rice , Scott, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington, Winona.

Currently in force, September 19, 2022

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CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) worked small game deer, bear and archery hunting activities this week. He spent time patrolling Cass and Crow Wing counties for ATV activity. Coercive measures were taken for various crimes.

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time monitoring small game hunters and ATV drivers throughout the week. Cook also spent time in the Fifty Lakes area monitoring activity for the ATV Ride and Rally.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent the week training in Indiana at Fur Takers of America Trapper’s College. He learned skills to help with hunter education and trapping.

District 2 – Bemidji Area

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

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking up on goose and small game hunters. Many squirrel catchers were reviewed, and most were successful. Swedberg also attended training for the operation of ATVs and patrol trucks. Other time he devoted himself to following up on complaints about the management of aquatic plants, monitoring fishermen and following up on complaints about lake service providers. The week’s enforcement action included burning without a burn permit and operating a water jet without an APM permit.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked with bear hunters, small game hunters, fishermen, and ongoing cases. He also launched an investigation into a complaint of dead and injured sheep.

District 4 – Walker Zone

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) began training a new conservation officer candidate who graduated from the CO Academy. Officers worked lakes and logging roads in the Cass County area throughout the week. Activity in the area has picked up with a decent bite of fishing in early fall and the start of opening small game and bow deer hunting. Enforcement measures were taken for numerous infractions related to boating and angling.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checking out hunting and ATV activity. She also investigated a complaint related to waterfowl. Coercive measures were taken against a minor without a helmet in an ATV.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports that he patrols public lands and lakes/rivers for seasonal activity. Some enforcement actions consisted of ATV riders under the age of 18 without helmets, registration violations, no license in possession, and resort requirements for boat rentals. He also received various animal-related complaints and responded to a nonsensical complaint about the dumping of geese.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) began field training with COC Znajda. He spent time working with the archery deer opener and small game opener as well as the related OHV application. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and big game registration issues without a valid license. A case of dog hunting was investigated.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked on big game hunting, angling, ATV traffic and invasive species. He also responded to calls for service. He spent a lot of time doing background research. Cross reminds boaters and fishermen to pay special attention to boat trailers for hidden invasive species like zebra mussels, which can be hard to see, especially on carpeted berths.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked fishermen and boaters. A fishing TIP was investigated. Mathy also checked activities related to hunting, ATVs and AIS. Enforcement action was taken for angling, navigation and AIS violations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids Area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the small game deer opening and archery over the past weekend, with many small game hunters in the woods. Limited success was had with all the leaves still on the trees. Enforcement action was taken for dirt bikes riding in the center of a highway, failing to transfer a title, operating a motor vehicle in the highway right-of-way without a valid driver’s license, and careless operation. Sutherland also arrested an individual who had a warrant.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) reviewed RVs and anglers during the previous week. He also spent time working with grouse and deer hunters with archery during the first weekend. Holt worked on TIP complaints and oversaw the goose hunt. The enforcement action involved ATV violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) patrolled the area and worked a combination of small game hunting, ATV driving, and fishing. The success of the grouse hunt varied, but overall it was good considering there is still a thick layer of leaves in the forest. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley attending required training.

District 10 – Mille Lacs Area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked the lake for activity and found that the boats and docks were starting to go out for the season. As more hunting seasons opened up, questions arose about land use and legal hunting ages. Verkuilen also attended training and followed up on complaints.

CO Victoria Griffith (Island) spent time controlling both big and small game hunters. Success was slow. ATV activity and angling were also monitored. Assistance was provided in a firearms safety class.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reported checking hunters and ATV drivers in the area. The law was enforced for taking woodcock out of season, transporting loaded firearms, trespassing, and not wearing helmets on young ATV passengers. Benkofske also assisted in a case of trapping geese without an advance goose permit and trapping geese with guns unplugged.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) spent time working on waterfowl, fishing, and ATV activities. The bear hunt continued, despite abundant acorns falling. Measures were taken for the registration of ATVs, additional lines and illegal use of motorboats in a closed area. Archery hunters were found to be successful on the first weekend of archery.

District 11 – St. Cloud Area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked on area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activities. He spent time at a local gun safety class and spoke with students in Uppsala. He spent time working on the small game openers and archery over the weekend. Westby worked on a TIP complaint from someone who burned tires and other restricted items. The enforcement action included failure to wear a helmet on young ATV riders, failure to hold an ATV safety certificate, operation of off-road motorcycles within the highway right-of-way, failure to transfer ATV title, and failure to license in possession.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked seasonal activities in the area. He attended a firearms safety class and was introduced to ethics and laws. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking out anglers and hunters. Bertram talked to some bowhunters who had success with antlerless deer. Nuisance animal calls were handled.

District 12 – Princeton Area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking in on the anglers and preparing for a busy matchup of archery, deer and small game. He controlled several hunters and very few were successful in the hot weather and the leaves still on the trees. Enforcement measures were taken for the absence of a small game license and fishing with additional lines. An arrest was made on outstanding warrants.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) checked in with anglers and answered questions about the upcoming deer season. Hanna also attended multiple events that included questions and answers on DNR rules and regulations.

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