Weekly Conservation Officer's report

District 16 - New Ulm area

Last updated: 2017-12-18

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) followed up on a wetland complaint. He continued to follow up on deer cases and check predator hunters. He also noted limited ice fishing activity due to a lack of safe ice.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) spent time with pheasant hunting and angling activity. CO Vernier spent time reminding anglers of ice safety as an ATV and snowmobile were reported going through the ice. Many anglers were venturing onto the ice this weekend. CO Vernier also worked area lakes and accesses for ATV registration compliance.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) continues with a background investigation of a potential hire for the next DNR academy. Time was also spent following up on investigations from the deer season and meeting with the county attorney on current cases. CO Klehr also assisted other officers with checking ice anglers fishing a great walleye bite.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked predominately fishing, trapping, and ATV activities. Deer stands and other personal property left overnight were seized from Wildlife Management areas. CO Nelson received a call regarding a dog caught in a trap and had the pleasure of dealing with two real gentlemen, the trapper and the dog owner, that worked together to resolve what could have been an emotional situation. Ice conditions are still dicey in areas, so please be careful venturing onto local lakes. Even though ice thickness may seem adequate, the quality of the ice is poor in areas.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) and local officers are investigating a deer that was killed in the Eagle Nest County Park in Watonwan County. The deer was shot with archery equipment and left in the park. Pheasant hunting activity and success continue to improve with the unseasonable weather. A background investigation continues into a candidate for the upcoming academy. Enforcement action was taken for no WIA validation.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled his area checking activity relating to waterfowl, archery deer, fishing, pheasant, and other small game activity. Pheasant and goose hunting continues in the county. A limited amount of ice fishing is occurring. The ice condition on area lakes has been deteriorating and is not in good condition. There is a large amount of open water on the Des Moines River as well.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked small game and big game hunters. Ice angling is slow in progression due to inconsistent ice thickness. Up to 4.5? is being reported in some areas, but there are many open and very thin spots. Anglers have been and will always be reminded to clean up after themselves when leaving the ice. A bull elk was videoed and confirmed in the county early in the month.

Hutchinson East vacant.

Hutchinson West vacant.