CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked the last busy firearms deer season. Violations detected included illegal party hunting, transport loaded firearm in motor vehicle, possession of marijuana in motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of synthetic cannabis. Officer Guida worked through numerous trespassing and road hunting complaints. An illegal party hunting violation was addressed when it was determined that the other possible member of the hunting party was back at home watching the football game.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent most of the week checking deer hunters. Other activities included assisting the Cass County Sheriff’s Department with a drowning and looking for some elk that escaped from a local farm. Enforcement activity included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, untagged deer, operate ATV during restricted hours during deer season and operate ATVs in a closed area.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored deer hunting activity in the Cuyuna SRA and Pillsbury and Foothills State Forests. He responded to several shooting, trespass and hunter/hunter disputes. He also monitored trapping activity and assisted on a special detail in the Pine River area.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports a horse was shot by a deer hunter at a Pine River area ranch. A firearm was seized and projectile recovered from the dead horse with charges pending results of match. A wolf hunter who brought a wolf to a local taxidermist was not the same wolf hunter who tagged the timber wolf. Investigation continues for illegal party hunting. Officer Shoutz also assisted Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office and many other agencies with a lost hunter who was later found safe sitting next to a warm fire. Enforcement action included fail to register deer before processing, No deer license in possession while hunting, loaded/uncased firearm in motor vehicle and trespass.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) spent most of the week working the firearms deer season. Several tip calls were received and the officer appreciates the public’s help with information during this busy period of the outdoor year. One young hunter supplied information in a shooting from the road right-of-way case and another led to charges for attempting to take migratory game birds and deer in the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the deer season including cases of trespassing, baiting and hunting by ineligible parties. The first ever Kathio State Park hunt was held and harvest totals exceeded expectations. Several trappers were also out which resulted in some incidental catches needing to be handled. Verkuilen also enforced rules concerning the new Scientific and Natural Area south of Garrison.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working deer hunters throughout the week. Several nice deer were seen throughout the week and weekend. In one case the officer was called to assist a party who had a deer legally shot go on to private property. The officer helped track the deer down and when the hunter found the deer he was excited to see it was a nice 10-point buck. The officer handled calls of trespass, hunter harassment, transporting loaded firearms and various complaints of ATVs operating during closed hours. Lots of related questions were also answered throughout the week. Some follow up was done on an earlier fire related case and the report was forwarded to the county attorney. A call of an incidentally trapped fisher was also handled. The officer issued several car-kill deer permits during the week. Enforcement action was taken for various big game violations.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked deer hunters and handled trapping complaints. Several trespass complaints were dealt with as well as hunters complaining of other hunters taking their hunting spots on public ground. Enforcement action taken on various game violations.
■ Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports that trespassing and road hunting complaints were prevalent during the deer season. Most of the trespass issues were related to property line disputes that require surveys to determine. One deer hunting case is still under investigation. He also provided assistance to local law enforcement and medical personnel with a person out of control.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on big game hunting activity. He attended mandatory training at Camp Ripley and handled questions related to deer hunting. Officer Sommers also received multiple complaints regarding ATV’s operating during closed hours, as is the case almost every year.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer and waterfowl hunters during the week. Waterfowl hunters continue to do well, while deer hunters started to see more deer. Mathy assisted the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department with a call and documented a timber trespass on the Chippewa National Forest for their forest officer. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle on two occasions and ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV, hunting and angling activity. CO Broughten continued to work deer and wolf hunting activity. CO Broughten investigated complaints of hunting deer over bait, operating ATVs in a closed area and shooting deer from the roadway. CO Broughten also received many complaints of ATVs operating in closed hours. Enforcement action included operating an ATV on roadway, no big game license in possession, operating an ATV in closed area, failure to register ATV, and failure to transfer ownership of ATV.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked deer hunters during the week. He received complaints for late shooting and wanton waste of two deer. Enforcement contacts were made for no deer license, untagged deer, and taking bobcat out of season.