District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-09-16

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on an invasive species violation, testified at a trespassing hearing, and addresses nuisance wildlife complaints. He also checked hunters making use of the cool weather and lack of insects. On the lakes the docks are coming out, tubing and skiing has pretty much wrapped up, and boat lights are needed for about all evening fishing.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking lots of small game hunters over the opening weekend. Most reported a tough hunt with the amount of leaves still on the trees. The officer followed up on a fishing TIP complaint and also followed up on a previous wetland complaint. The Officer also monitored ATV traffic in the Solana State Forest and surrounding county land and checked a few fishermen that ventured out on Mille Lacs Lake even with the rough water. Several archery deer hunters were also checked with most reporting a tough hunt with the amount of mosquitoes still in the woods and a lot of cover yet for the deer. The Officer answered lots of questions regarding AIS, hunting, fishing, boating, and ATV laws throughout the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various hunting violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked bear hunters and baits over the week. She handled a call of possible hunter harassment on county land. An investigation is being conducted. Speldrich answered questions regarding nuisance beaver and fielded calls regarding deer permit areas and archery deer hunting questions.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continues field training with a COC. Officers spent the week preparing for small game, archery, and youth waterfall day. Officers investigated a trespass complaint and shooting within 500 ft. of a building. Enforcement action was taken on driving ATVs in prohibited areas, driving OHM on prohibited trail, illegal burning, and fail to display registrations. Officers investigated a deer baiting incident that led to an arrest and forfeitures. Follow up was also concluded on a burning prohibited materials case. Numerous checks on small game hunters and youth water fowlers, very high compliance rate overall for the weekend. Landowners are reminded to review the posting requirements and follow them if they should need to pursue charges on trespassing.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked some grouse hunters and squirrel hunters during the opening weekend of small game season. A few archery deer hunters were also found hunting and preparing deer stands during the first weekend of the bow season. A majority of early season goose hunters that were checked had success harvesting geese, and some groups ended their hunts with a limit of geese. Bear hunting activity slowed quite a bit compared to early season levels. Violations found for the week included hunting geese with an unplugged shotgun, illegal operation of ATVs and a few instances of hunting over illegal bear baits.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about hunting seasons, nuisance animals, and took complaints regarding ATV and OHM operation. He checked anglers, hunters, and spent time in the Chengwatana State Forest over the weekend. Enforcement contacts included operating OHMs on roadways, no safety certificates, operating ATVs with too many passengers, and youth under 18 without helmets.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked hunters on opening weekend of small game and archery deer. Grouse hunters reported flushing a few birds but had a tough time getting a shot off in the thick underbrush. Squirrel hunters had a little better luck but numbers were also down. Enforcement action was taken during the week on ATV violations.

WREO Rob Haberman worked on two cases involving individuals failing to comply with restorations orders. A deed restriction was placed on one property for failure to comply with a Restoration Order. WREO Haberman also worked on AIS Enforcement around his assigned work area.