District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2016-09-26

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working at the Annual ATVAM ride in McGregor where lots of riders turned out for the event and also for the grand opening of the Axtell Technical riding area in Aitkin County. The officer checked small game hunters and ATV operators throughout the week and weekend. Waterfowl hunters were checked during the opener and most reported seeing some birds and a few even had been able to take some birds. Multiple law related questions regarding fishing, ATV?ing, and hunting were fielded throughout the week. While patrolling the officer found someone had abandoned seven puppies at a local access. A call to a local veterinarian clinic was made and the puppies were transported there until homes could be found for them. Several hunting related complaints were also fielded over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various small game, migratory waterfowl and burning related law violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) instructed honor guards from around the state and country with the LEMA Honor Guard this week. Officer Speldrich investigated a wolf depredation complaint on a heifer. The heifer was likely killed by wolves and the USDA trappers were called for assistance. Officer Speldrich also followed up on bear hunting violations and answered questions regarding dogs chasing deer and waterfowl hunting.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked a poaching case related to a deer that was found dead in a field, left to rot. The investigation led to a violation of an ATV running through a WMA and other pending items. CO Starr worked waterfowl opener and found many hunters out, with very few ducks. A mixed bag was found with some divers showing up earlier than expected. Overall, hunters are finding less waterfowl this year. ATV activity was worked with driving after revocation violations taken care of. A boat registration violation was also handled, along with assisting local law enforcement with various items.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked waterfowl hunting areas on opening day and found quite a few hunters out searching for ducks and geese. Most hunters reported seeing limited numbers of ducks on the opening weekend but some mallards, wood ducks and teal were harvested in the Pine County area. Duck hunting violations found included transporting loaded shotguns in the duck boat and not having proper licenses. A few hunters were also caught out hunting past the early season closing time of 4:00 pm. CO Grundmeier, with the help of a MN State Trooper, also chased down and captured a bald eagle that was hit and injured by a car. The eagle was brought to the Raptor Center for care.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time during the week checking wildlife management areas and small game hunters. He answered numerous questions about nuisance animals, licensing questions, and ATV operation. CO Wynn worked waterfowl enforcement throughout the weekend in the Pine City area. Contacts were made for no HIP certification, hunting after closed hours, and lack of PFD's.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMA?s. Small game hunters were having success with squirrel and a few grouse during the week and weekend. The weather for waterfowl opener was great but duck numbers seem to be down with only ring neck and wood ducks taken. Time was spent investigating a TIP complaint and a hawk was brought to the rehab center.