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Conservation reports: Deer recovered under Roseau home's steps, shed hunters searched in SE Minnesota

Here are weekly area activity reports from conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, released Feb. 8, 2022.

Conservation reports from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
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Here are weekly area activity reports from conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Feb. 8, 2022.

Featured updates from around Minnesota

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with removing a dead deer from under a Warroad resident's front porch. The cause of death is unknown but suspected to be from an injury after being struck by a vehicle. Anglers and snowmobile riders were checked on Lake of the Woods and in the Warroad area. Violations included speeding with a snowmobile, expired snowmobile registration, operating a non-snowmobile on a snowmobile trail and possession of marijuana. Fishing on Lake of the Woods has been slow.

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled snowmobile trails throughout the district. Registration issues still abound — expired, no registration and improper display. One of the most common violations is putting the year sticker on and nothing else (and usually not in the correct location). This would be similar to driving your car without license plates and just putting the tabs sticker on the bumper. Make sure you review your regulations for legal display of registration.

CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) wrapped up work on a deer case from last fall involving wanton waste with assistance from a warden in Wisconsin, where the suspect resides. Ladd also helped out a local resident who located a small owl that had flown into a window. The owl has been brought to the taxidermist and will be displayed at the Aitkin High School upon completion

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports shed hunters were out in force over the weekend. Warmer weather made hiking comfortable. Multiple sheds were seen. Snowmobiling is backing off as the trail conditions diminished. Winter trout anglers were also out with the warmer weather. Compliance was high.


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District 16 - New Ulm area, including Willmar Lakes Area

Last updated: 2022-02-07

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-West) spent time working ice angling and snowmobile activity. He completed aeration inspections and assisted Kandiyohi County with a crash with injuries. Vernier also issued a wildlife-possession permit.

CO Cassie Block (Willmar-East) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. Block also spent time monitoring ATV and snowmobile activity. Time was also spent fielding questions from the public.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Other time was spent following up on fish houses without proper identification displayed on them or no shelter license.

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson-West) spent time this week working sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Other activities included snowmobile safety classes and a background investigation for the upcoming CO Academy. Big- and small-game investigations continue.

CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson-East) followed up on a TIP investigation in Sibley County. He partnered with a neighboring officer to check ice anglers on area lakes. The Luce Line State Trail was patrolled for snowmobile activity. Some areas of the trail were starting to get large drifts.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked angling, snowmobile, ATV and predator hunting activities. He also worked the Sleepy Eye fishing contest. It was well-attended, and some nice fish were caught during the contest. Fishing success was slow elsewhere in the area.


CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to focus enforcement efforts on ice fishing and snowmobile use. A large number of anglers continue to take advantage of good bites and accessible lakes. A media interview was conducted discussing ice safety, angling and snowmobile laws.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked snowmobile, ATV, public accesses and angling enforcement. He took calls concerning injured deer and followed up with concerned citizen. Gruhlke visited with the Jackson County Pilot and KKOJ radio discussing the upcoming snowmobile safety field day.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted angling and shelter checks. Snowmobile activity remains very low. He attended the Pheasants Forever youth fishing contest, with 74 youth registered. ATV activity was monitored.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

Last updated: 2022-02-07

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area snowmobile trails and assisted neighboring partners with a large group ride. He assisted with a snowmobile crash with Morrison County. Westby also took a wolf-related complaint and a coyote-hunter-trespass complaint.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) received calls concerning injured animals. He is investigating a trapping complaint. Litter continues to be an issue with weekend anglers coming to lakes to party more than to fish.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked on deer-season cases. Angling and snowmobile activity were monitored. Enforcement activity included hunting deer with no license, hunting with invalid bonus tag, angling with extra lines, crappie taken over limit and fish house ID violations. Vehicle service was handled.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting snowmobile enforcement. Time was spent working on a background investigation and speaking at the Cokato firearms safety class. Enforcement action for the week included fishing while license privileges are revoked, extra lines, no shelter license, no ID on fish house, possession of drug paraphernalia, expired registration and passenger under 18 years old without a helmet.


CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, fish house violations, and possession of marijuana. Equipment maintenance was completed.

St. Cloud vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area

Last updated: 2022-02-07

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling enforcement this past week. A fishing tournament on Lake Hendricks over the weekend had a great turnout with great weather to make up for a lack of fish. A youth day was held in Tracy with about 15 kids who came out to fish on Swift Lake and learn about ice safety.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this last week working on a background investigation. K9 Earl also assisted with an evidence search involving a migratory waterfowl violation.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting investigations and checking ice anglers. Numerous small fish with a few keepers sprinkled in are being caught on area lakes. Good ice conditions may change with the impending warm weather forecasted.

Ortonville vacant.

Benson vacant.

Madison vacant.

Montevideo vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area

Last updated: 2022-02-07

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers during the cold, blustery week. Cold weather did not keep people at home. Plenty of anglers were seen and checked on local lakes. He completed snowmobile and ATV patrol. Enforcement action was taken for helmet violations, expired snowmobile registration and angling with extra lines.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the metro area for fishing and snowmobiling. He also patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for cross-country skiing. He spent time performing maintenance on issued equipment and other administrative works.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week checking ice anglers and checking fish houses for proper registration and markings. Birdsall participated in an enforcement detail around the dog sled race on Lake Minnetonka as well. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no fishing license and a plethora of recreational vehicle safety violations.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and snowmobile activity during the week. He worked a dog sled race over the weekend with multiple officers. Enforcement was taken for recreational vehicle and angling license violations.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking snowmobiles and ice fishing activity. He also spent time in training. Follow up was conducted on feeding ban issues.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking ice anglers. He worked with other area officers during a dog sled race on Lake Minnetonka over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, fishing without a license and modified/loud exhaust on a snowmobile.

Osseo vacant.

Ft. Snelling vacant.

The purpose of the Division of Enforcement weekly report is to promote the activities performed by Division of Enforcement personnel in protecting Minnesota's natural resources through effective law enforcement and education.

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