District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-10-14

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked hunters having better success as the leaves continue to fall. The nice weekend brought out a lot of ATV activity which included registration and juvenile rider issues. There was still plenty of lake activity as docks and lifts came out and crappies are biting well. Verkuilen also worked late hunting activity and responded to a wolf complaint.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) had an interesting week. The officer encountered a party transporting a loaded firearm on an ATV while grouse hunting. The party indicated that he spoke with two friends who were cited a week prior for the same violation, in the same spot, by Officer Tetrault, prior to hunting. In another instance the officer was traveling home late at night and observed a large fire with prohibited materials in it. Nearby, was a mobile home being dismantled. When the officer asked the party what he was burning, the party replied, ?just some wood, that?s it? and some paper? and insulation? and shingles?.the mobile home pretty much.? Enforcement action was taken.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports continuing Step 4 training with a COC. Officers monitored shining activity throughout the Malmo station. Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement was done around Mille Lacs Lake and smaller waterfowl hunting lakes. Waterfowl hunters were checked with a few birds seen but for the most part hunters reported a slow hunt. Small game hunters and ATV operators were checked on area state and county land and a nuisance beaver permit was issued for beaver doing damage. A call of someone operating an ATV in a wildlife management Area was also investigated. A meeting regarding Mille Lac Lake was attended and lots of fishing, hunting, and ATV law related questions were answered throughout the week. Enforcement action for the week included various hunting violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a solid waste violation where at least 100 diapers were dumped near a river. She took a trespass complaint and checked waterfowl hunters reminding them of the AIS laws. Speldrich attended a meeting regarding the AWL (Area With Limitations) in the state forests. AWLs are newly designated non-motorized areas where the hunter/trapper exemption does not apply.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) completed step 3 with a COC. Waterfowl stamp violations were found. A meeting about Mille Lacs Lake was attended. Baiting, illegal party hunting, and illegal duck investigations continue. ATV operators are reminded to stay off county highways. Neighboring officers were assisted and shining activities were monitored.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC) spent the past week checking waterfowl hunters, bear hunters and small game hunters. Bear hunting activity was very slow compared to earlier in the season but state forest areas were fairly busy with grouse hunters. Several hunting groups commented they were happy with the number of grouse they found. Enforcement activity included finding illegal bear bait sites and duck hunters out hunting without a license. A taxidermist inspection was completed and an injured Bald Eagle was collected and transported to the Audubon Center for rehabilitation.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time checking ATV complaints and small game hunters. He continues answering questions about the upcoming deer season, pheasant season, and nuisance animals. Enforcement contacts included hunting waterfowl in the closed season.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked small game hunters and waterfowl hunters during the past week and weekend. Time was also spent winterizing equipment and attending a meeting regarding Mille Lacs Lake. A call of a car killed bear was also handled.

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses around his work station. One individual was cited for transporting zebra mussels in his watercraft. A good reminder to boaters is to check anchors and areas where weeds and zebra mussels can fall off and into the boat. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in his assigned area and checked small game hunters having some success with grouse.