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

District 1 – Baudette Area

Last update: 2022-09-26

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) did field training with COC Hams. They spent time taking a waterfowl identification class, checking out bear bait, and checking out waterfowl and small game hunters. Thief Lake had a good turnout, with the hunters having mixed success. Violations found included shooting before work hours and wanton waste.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) attended the annual training at Camp Ripley. Waterfowl hunters were reviewed during the weekend opening. Sura saw average hunter success over the weekend with typical early season mixed bags, consisting primarily of blue-winged teals. Addressed personal flotation device violations.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) did field training with COC Paavola. They worked the opening weekend of waterfowl, where moderate to good success was found with multiple hunting parties with mixed bags and some limits. Investigations into deer bait hunting and illegal bear bait stations were conducted. Enforcement action was taken for taking deer for bait and setting up bear bait stations without a valid bear license.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports last week checked bear, grouse, bow deer and duck hunters. Regas reports that he worked on the duck-hunting opener, which started with near-perfect duck-hunting conditions on opening morning. Regas noted that the hunters reported seeing a fair number of ducks, but also that their shooting skills were a bit rusty. He spent time helping with water safety officer training at the State Patrol Academy at Camp Ripley, checking on some late-season fishermen on area lakes and investigating a wolf predation complaint. Violations found and addressed last week included waterfowl seal violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports a significant amount of small game hunting activity. Enforcement actions were brought for not having a small game hunting license and also for lighting/firing from a motor vehicle.
Warroad #1 vacant.

Warroad #2 vacant.

Baudette #1 vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

Last update: 2022-09-26

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports contacting several waterfowl hunters over the first weekend. He also spent time controlling bear hunters, bow hunters, and fishermen. Several violations related to angling and hunting were found.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) continued field training. He spent time patrolling the ATV trails, the lakes, and looking for the waterfowl opener. He was a busy waterfowl opener on many public approaches, with a mixed bag of ducks being brought in. Waterfowl hunters took mallards, wood ducks, pintails, ringnecks, and teals. He also spent time preparing and maintaining equipment for the waterfowl season.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week reviewing small game hunters and waterfowl hunters. He reviewed many groups of duck hunters over the weekend, and most of the groups had some success and almost all of the groups complied with the law. The most common ducks seen over the weekend were teal, wood, and ring-necked ducks, with a few redheads and mallards mixed in. in a shotgun while he hunted migratory waterfowl.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) helped with in-service training and worked with bear and duck hunters. Duck opener was good for most hunters. Almost everyone had ducks and many had their limit. Peterson also responded to a break-in call from a squirrel catcher. The hunter was located and enforcement action was taken for breaking and entering and without a license.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) gave a presentation on law and ethics at a firearms safety class in Pelican Rapids.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time hunting small game, archery, and bear hunting. WMAs and WPAs in the area were patrolled. The fishing activity was worked with a few fishermen trying their luck. The opening of the waterfowl season was worked with good hunters. Complaints from personal watercraft operators harassing waterfowl were followed up and beaver dam removal was completed.

Vacant Bagley.

Bemidji #2 vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls Area

Last update: 2022-09-26

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports that he controlled a good number of duck hunters during the regular opening, with high regulatory compliance. The opening day produced a good average number of ducks for most hunters, followed by a sharp decline on the second day. He spent extra time monitoring fishermen and responding to complaints of target shooting on public lands and harassment of hunters. Goodman also received a call from a person who had struck a deer in central Stevens County. The person later discovered that the deer rode the rest of its journey to Otter Tail County in a trailer they were pulling.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled complaints about illegally destroyed aquatic vegetation, organized an ATV safety class, and worked the first weekend of waterfowl hunting. Several calls were handled regarding the upcoming deer season, juvenile hunting, and trespassing. Plautz handled the ATV violations found this week and worked on a possible double fishing trip claim. She responded to a call for a dead deer found in a field, likely killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports that he spends most of his enforcement effort on angling and waterfowl/small game activity throughout the week. He watched many hunters for the opening of the waterfowl hunt this weekend. A high percentage of the groups he found were lucky enough to reach their limits. Hunters reported seeing mostly teal, with the occasional mallard or wood duck.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) inspected waterfowl hunters, fishermen, and ATV drivers. Most of the waterfowl hunters surveyed were very disappointed at the lack of waterfowl present, with several expressing discontent at the start of teal season. Osborne assisted US Fish and Wildlife Service officers in a Douglas County waterfowl harassment case.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) supervised the waterfowl hunters during the busy opening weekend. Many groups were reviewed and almost all were very successful. Teals were the most commonly taken birds, with various limits of two and three hunters counted. Musk fishermen were also monitored as activity increases late in the season. The Bowhunters were also reviewed, with some having success early in the season.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week helping with training at Camp Ripley and working on waterfowl control over the weekend. She also spent time with the Breckenridge fifth graders talking about invasive species and how important it is that each person play their part. In the waterfowl opener, Wood took a report from TIP about an individual she had shot at a pelican. This TIP led to a dead pelican and a citation issued to the responsible individual. Wood welcomes these TIPs and hopes the public will continue to call in to report what she sees during the fall hunting seasons. She also worked on the angling app.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports that she helped train staff with different tasks at Camp Ripley. She also continues to work on a background investigation. Questions and complaints about the opening of the duck hunting season were also received.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports that the week’s enforcement efforts focused on controlling waterfowl hunters and anglers. He took extra time to attend training and review bowhunters. Baumbarger noted that the waterfowl hunters had some success during the opening weekend. Several hunting groups attributed the low success to the early teal season and believed the birds were scattered and educated.

District 4 – Walker Zone

Last update: 2022-09-26

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) continued COC Znajda field training. He spent time investigating a deer landing incident and monitoring fishermen. The waterfowl hunters were reviewed during the opening weekend. Most of the hunters had some ducks in the bag.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) continued training with a new conservation officer candidate. Officers worked lakes and rivers in the Cass County area throughout the week. The area has been busy with waterfowl hunting and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for multiple excesses, boating safety violations, and numerous waterfowl-related violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) verified hunting and angling activity. She also responded to the call of a wounded eagle. Enforcement actions were taken for lack of license in possession, lack of HIP certification, and an additional fishing line.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked archery on deer and bear hunts along with small game hunting throughout the week. The weekend consisted mostly of waterfowl hunters and archery deer hunters cross-checking. None of the waterfowl hunters Cross checked had a skunk in the opening. He also devoted significant time to ongoing background investigation.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) controlled primarily waterfowl hunters and anglers. He received and investigated a hunter harassment call. He also took time to train last week. Enforcement actions were taken for waterfowl, angling, and ATV violations.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports a busy start to the waterfowl season. Hunters were successful with mixed bags of mallards, teals, and wood ducks. He also checked out squirrel and grouse hunters in the area. Some enforcement actions included insufficient licenses, unplugged shotgun, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of lead shot while hunting waterfowl, insufficient number of life jackets, taking a migratory non-game bird, and various other issues. Recreational Vehicle Registration.