District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO (Conservaton Officer) Vinny Brown (Northome) enforced trapping activities, controlled anglers and responded to animal-related calls. CO Brown received a call of an abandoned bear cub hanging out near the road. The bear was seen in the area for a few days with no sign of its mother. Brown was able to capture the bear cub and turn it into a wildlife rescue. The bear was found to be hungry, dehydrated and with a broken foot. The cub is released when it reaches a healthy weight.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity over the past week when riders were finally out enjoying some spring weather. Sutherland took calls about deer being hit by motor vehicles as they are now on the move with most of the area’s snow gone. The ice conditions on the area’s lakes make it very dangerous to venture out, and at most landings the ice has receded far.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angler and recreational vehicle activity the previous week. Time was also spent on game-related complaints. Holt attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time patrolling the area looking for turkey hunting and beaver trapping. Few turkey hunters were out and beaver hunting activity was also lower than normal due to high and fluctuating water levels. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement agencies on several calls.
District 2 – Bemidji Area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked trapping beavers this spring. Time was spent patrolling for ATV use and checking rivers/creeks for spring fish driven activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting local police departments with boat hull identification number verification and patrolling the station for ATV and turkey hunting activities. Vinton received a call from a local trapper who accidentally caught an otter. The otter was seized and sold to a local fur buyer. Ice conditions are worsening in the area, but colder weather has slowed the ice out. Car damaged deer were dispatched.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) attended a conference with South and North Dakota game wardens where officers discussed past cases, training and rule changes in their respective states. Swedberg also spoke at the Frazee firearms safety class and attended the funeral for Pope County Deputy Owen. Other time was spent checking area streams for fish run activity and performing equipment maintenance.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking on a few remaining anglers and turkey hunters in the Pelican Rapids station. The ice has deteriorated to the point where access is unsafe and anglers should wait for open water. Landmark spent time training with North and South Dakota officers during a Border Patrol meeting. He also attended the funeral for Pope County Deputy Mayor Josh Owen. Landmark spoke to 15 youngsters at a Pheasants Forever turkey hunting event. The youngsters were paired with mentors for a hunt and the success rates were good and all hunters had some action. Landmark also handled seasonal equipment maintenance and impounded incidentally taken otters.
CO Brett Fox (Bemidji #2) spent the week patrolling for ATV and angling. Fox responded to a call regarding an injured swan, which turned out to be healthy. Fox also conducted an investigation into swans suspected of having been shot. Violations this week included ATV registration issues.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training and worked on felling enforcement and ongoing cases.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) checked several beaver trappers, performed equipment maintenance, conducted training and handled several calls for service. Cross also followed up on and worked on open cases.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the week preparing equipment for the upcoming ATV and open water seasons. Time was spent on training and preparation for CO Academy teaching. A turkey hunting-related investigation was terminated with enforcement action.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass County lakes for angling. Fishing pressure is very low due to poor ice conditions. McGowan prepared gear for the upcoming open water season.
CO. Routine maintenance of equipment was provided. Sura patrolled the Rainy River for sturgeon anglers. The total number of anglers appeared to be lower than normal and so was the fishing success.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) controlled angling and turkey hunting. She also helped with a car rollover.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports that he participated in training and collected randomly taken otters. He also reports that he is investigating an ongoing big game case.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) spent the week trapping, turkey hunting, ATVing and fishing. Enforcement action was taken for operating a motor vehicle on a closed forest road.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) supervised turkey hunting and sport fishing this past week. A large, active burn was observed from a roadway during a windy day with hot weather. A daytime deviant burning permit inspection revealed the individual was burning a wide variety of prohibited materials, including painted panels, pressed board furniture, chipboard, cement blocks, aluminum cans, steel frames and cardboard – in violation of his permit. The person was issued a citation. The next day, Guida received an e-mail from the area’s forest officer, who had issued the individual burning permit. The ranger said the permit holder had called and asked for another copy of the citation issued to Guida because after Guida left, the citation blew into the large fire and burned up.
CO Andrew Ladzinski (Pine River) spent time patrolling local lakes for angling and checking on turkey hunters and spring beaver trappers. He searched the Pine River after a report of a missing personal watercraft. Ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating on local lakes.
CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time helping with preparations for the upcoming CO Academy. She also took various phone calls regarding trapping beavers in the spring.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking turkey hunters and anglers chasing panfish. Hunters are having some success, but snow late in the week slowed activity.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) attended the funeral for Pope County Deputy Mayor Josh Owen as part of the honor guard. What a fine society Deputy Owen got to serve. He will be missed by family, partners and friends.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time checking on turkey hunters. Catch and ATV activity were monitored. Griffith also continued to follow up on ongoing cases.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) patrolled for ATV riders and checked on turkey hunters. Enforcement was taken for illegal ATV operation on the roadway. Calls for injured animals were also handled.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) assisted the Isle officer with a discard case on Lake Mille Lacs and monitored spring fish run activity. Several wildlife tags were issued throughout the area for deer and other wildlife killed on roads. Incidentally caught otters were also handled. Numerous otters were observed throughout the area. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement with a stolen ATV incident.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) spent time patrolling for ATV riders, turkey hunters and trappers. She also presented a 30-year firearms safety instructor award to an instructor in the area. Mississippi River water levels were high and caused some flooding in local areas.
District 11 – St. The Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) patrolled area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activities. Most of the lakes in the area are starting to see open water along the shore and all ice is very weak. No one should be on the ice. The time was spent at Central Lakes College talking to college students about becoming a conservation officer. He received several complaints about high water and runoff in the area. Westby also spent time speaking at a firearms safety class in Royalton.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) assisted with equipment maintenance at Camp Ripley, spoke to youth and parents at ATV safety training in Buckman, checked on spring turkey hunters and responded to a report of a bald eagle trapped and hanging upside down from a tree in Mille Lacs County. Before Vang’s arrival on the scene, the eagle was able to free itself and flew away. Spring turkey hunters are reporting a slower and more challenging season with the continued cold and snow, but are optimistic because they are seeing turkeys while hunting.
CO Trent Anderson (St. Cloud) focused on turkey hunting and angling enforcement this week. The varying weather conditions have affected the area’s activity. The time was spent on wildlife-related calls and presentations to firearms safety groups in Howard Lake and St. Stephen the areas.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Adam Stennett (Sauk Rapids) worked the station for turkey hunting and fishing. Turkey hunting continued to be slow, but spring fishing picked up. A motorist who hit a bald eagle had help removing it from the grill of his truck. Firearms safety classes were attended and 30-year awards were presented to two instructors from Rice. A special thank you to all our volunteer instructors. The equipment was maintained and other agencies were helped. Enforcement actions for the week included fishing without a license and fishing with extra lines.