District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-10-29

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked a lot of anglers making use of the warm weather. There was also a lot of ATV activity many of them working on deer stands. Hunters are out in full force and some are wandering across property lines which generated trespassing complaints. Verkuilen also responded to a TIP complaint where waterfowl hunters claimed confusion between migratory bird regulations and those for other species.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) had a busy week with many hunters and anglers in the area; however, the warmer weather did not allow for much success. Invasive species checks were conducted with water related equipment with emphasis on waterfowl hunters. Big game and small game hunters were checked throughout the week. The officer seized a bow for hunting deer over bait. Other enforcement activity included juveniles on ATV?s without a helmet, transporting loaded firearms on ATV?s and other small game related violations.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports continuing working with a COC in the last phase of field training. They spent much of the week patrolling county and state land where they encountered both small and big game hunters. Many people out reported they were grouse hunting and setting up stands for firearm deer season. Fitzgerald and COC worked several nights monitoring complaint areas for shiners and assisted on a night shining detail in the neighboring county. They assisted a neighboring officer on a baited deer stand case. They also returned many emails and fielded several calls in regards to big game hunting. Assistance was also given to the Sheriff?s Office on a motorcycle accident.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) was called to a report of ATV?s operating in a WMA. The reporting party stated the ATV?s were stuck and had been running over newly planted seedlings. An investigation revealed the ATV operators were working with wildlife to spray the oak seedlings to prevent deer browsing. Speldrich issued car kill deer possession tags and reports of nuisance beaver were handled.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) fielded several complaints throughout the week to include beaver complaints and trespass complaints. Please remember to mind your p?s and q?s and know where you are hunting. An over limit of redhead ducks were seized on Lake Onamia. Other violations included duck stamps violations, ATV violations and hunting over deer bait.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC) checked anglers and waterfowl hunters on area lakes. A handful of anglers did well finding late season crappies. Assistance was provided to one angler that accidentally backed his boat, trailer and tow vehicle a little too far down a boat ramp. Thankfully nobody was injured as the entire truck and trailer ended up fully submerged and needing a tow. Calls and complaints about deer hunting and trespassing increased due to the upcoming firearms deer season. An outdoor field day was provided for a group of young hunters needing their firearms safety certification. A game farm inspection was completed and presentations were provided for an annual Township Officers Association meeting.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) answered questions about the upcoming deer season throughout the week. He checked waterfowl hunters, small game hunters, and worked a detail with other district officers. CO Wynn continues to follow up on a complaint from the bear season and checking deer baiting complaints.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) investigated a TIP complaint of anglers taking an over limit of crappies. Time was spent patrolling complaint areas for shining activity and car kill deer permits were also issued. Waterfowl hunters were checked with mainly ringneck ducks seen in the bag. A meeting regarding fish diet and bioenergetics study on Mille Lacs Lake was also attended.

WREO Rob Haberman attended the Upper Midwest AIS Conference in Duluth. WREO Haberman also investigated an APM & public waters violation near Merrifield. WREO Haberman also worked the Camp Ripley archery hunt.