District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-11-25

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) began checking ice anglers, ice spearers, and the ATVs that come with them. Some ice is approaching 7 inches thick but still gives you serine view of the open water nearby. Some canoers thought it would be fun to transition between the two without registration or life jackets on board. The final week of Zone 1 deer season was monitored along with bow hunters in Zone 2. Small game hunters were also out making use of the warm weekend.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted Aitkin County with lost hunters near the McGrath area; the hunters were found promptly. Deer hunters had little success over the week with minimal deer being seen. Anglers were happy as they were out on the early ice for the year. Anglers were checked on Pine and Mille Lacs Lake. People spearing on Mille Lacs Lake had mixed success based on location of spearing. Enforcement action was taken for no spearing license, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the final week of the 2014 firearms deer season. A few hunters come out the last weekend but most reported not seeing many deer. Several calls of trespassing were fielded throughout the week and weekend and also shining activity was monitored during the week. A couple of TIPs regarding illegal road hunting were fielded, lots of law related questions were also answered, and several car kill deer permits were issued for deer. Assistance was given to the local sheriff?s office on a call of a lost hunter and patrol was done around area lakes where fishermen were venturing out for some ice fishing. Enforcement action was taken for various big game violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked the final weekend of firearms deer season finding very few deer being taken. She responded to call of shining and shooting after hours. The occupant of the vehicle shot in the direction of a pastured area, farm buildings and a house. The incident remains under investigation. A call of trespassing was investigated. The individuals who were trespassing left the scene however, a blood trail was detected and a deer was eventually located. Additional violations with this incident may include hunting without a license. An investigation is ongoing. CO Speldrich received additional baiting complaints and assisted neighboring officers with baiting cases. Hunting deer over baited areas was the most prevalent violation seen this deer season. CO Speldrich also issued car kill possession tags, answered questions regarding ice safety and checked traps.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked spear fishermen on Mille lacs Lake and found poor harvest results. Some pike are showing up, but very few for the amount of fisherman out. Deer hunting season came to a close with little activity. Rain and wind made for difficult hunting. Trappers are battling freeze up conditions. Mille Lacs WMA issues were handled, mostly related to stands left in the WMA. Ice conditions vary, please use caution and never assume ice is safe.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had an increase in complaints of trespassing deer hunters during the last week of the firearms deer season. Some otter, beaver, and mink trapping activity was found and the first ice anglers of the season were checked. Some area lakes were found with not enough ice for safe foot travel and other lakes had 6 inches of ice or more. Time was also spent monitoring a couple hundred deer hunters that were lucky enough to draw tags for the St. Croix State Park deer hunt.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week working complaints of deer shot off roadways. CO Wynn answered questions about waterfowl hunting, muzzleloader hunting, ice conditions, and trapping throughout the week. With the roller coaster weather we?ve been having recently, anglers should use extreme caution when venturing out on local lakes. Ice conditions varied from 2-4 inches in places, but rain and warm weather over the weekend is sure to deteriorate local ice. CO Wynn also spent time assisting with the special hunt at St. Croix State Park over the weekend.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked deer hunters during the week and weekend. Several complaints of trespass were handled. Hunters were reminded to contact land owners before tracking wounded deer on private property. Ice fishing has started on Mille Lacs mainly on the south end. Most activity has been northern pike spearing and success has been fair.

WREO Rob Haberman checked deer hunters throughout the week in zone 100. Colder temps earlier in the week kept most hunters indoors. WREO Haberman also checked early ice fishermen on area lakes. Ice conditions are spotty so caution is always advised. WREO Haberman worked on wetland cases in his assigned area.