District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-10-21



CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) saw a lot of boats and docks getting removed for the season, some of which had aquatic vegetation attached. Nice weather and less leaves resulted in a surge of small game hunters seeing more grouse than anticipated. A lot Of ATVs were also in the woods which equated to registration and juvenile violations. Verkuilen also addressed nuisance beaver complaints and transported a road-killed eagle.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers, small game and big game hunters throughout the week. Investigations were wrapped up and submitted to the county attorney.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports continuing work with a COC in the final phase of FTO training. He and the COC spent their time working a lot of big and small game activities. They met with several groups of hunters who were small game, waterfowl and archery deer hunting. Many groups were found to be getting ready for firearm deer season. He and the COC took enforcement action on juvenile ATV operations and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) on an ATV. They also spent time investigating wolf depredation on a local cattle farm. He and the COC also participated in a local ATV safety class and gave a law presentation to the Aitkin Co township members.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked AIS enforcement. A traffic stop was made on vehicle towing a boat with no trailer lights. The driver was returning from Lake of the Woods. Although no AIS violations were detected, further investigation showed the angler was transporting dressed fish without skin patches attached. Enforcement action was taken for that violation and the trailer equipment violation. Speldrich received complaints regarding trespassing, wounded deer, two car kill bear and illegal shinning. She also received questions regarding the upcoming firearms season, shore land restoration and state forest rules.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored small game and waterfowl hunters. Very few ducks remain in the area. An illegal fire was investigated, with enforcement action taken for burning prohibited materials. Pheasant numbers appear to be down, as very few birds were seen. Trespass and beaver issues were also dealt with.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC) spent the week checking waterfowl hunters and a few anglers. Some of the late season anglers were having luck finding crappies on area lakes. Duck hunters seemed to struggle finding good numbers of ducks. A few waterfowl hunters were found hunting without proper licenses and stamps, hunting with an unplugged shotgun and a group was checked that did not have lifejackets in their duck boat. Several nuisance animal complaints were also handled.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time during the week working atv complaints and checking waterfowl hunters. He answered questions about deer season, state forest regulations and questions on burning. Enforcement contacts included lack of stamps for waterfowl hunters.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked waterfowl and archery deer hunters during the week and weekend. A mixed bag of mallards, ring necks and wood ducks were seen along with a few red heads and pintails. A shining and shooting complaint was investigated. The complainant stated they were eating dinner when a party stopped along the highway and shot near his house. Many license questions were answered about upcoming firearms season.