Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Sept. 8, 2020. The complete report is available at

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) continued Step 1 of field training with COC Victoria Griffith. The officers worked ATV activity on area trials, bear baits and early goose season. The officers worked angling and boat activity on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for goose hunting without the required licenses, shooting from a motor vehicle, and angling with extra lines. The officers also assisted the local police department.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking bear hunters, ATV riders and anglers. With the holiday weekend and early goose opener, things are busy on the lake, fields and trails. Kunst took enforcement action on unregistered bear baits, litter, a small amount of marijuana, operating an ATV on a highway, using a PWC to harass wildlife, juveniles failing to wear helmets on ATVs, and unattended fishing poles. Kunst is continuing to find multiple anglers without angling licenses.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, bear hunters and early goose hunters. He also monitored OHV activity. Lots of geese were seen this week and bear-hunter success was great. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, youth under 18 without helmet and no navigational lights after sunset.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the early goose opener with very good success had by area hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a state and federal waterfowl stamp, not having a license in possession and having lead shot in possession.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored bear hunting over the opener and into the holiday weekend, with hunters experiencing good success rates. Many people reported seeing multiple bears while they were in the stand. ATV activity was also worked with the most common violation being youth under the age of 18 not wearing a DOT-approved helmet.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled area lakes and rivers checking anglers, recreational boaters, and early goose hunters. Guida addressed boaters failing to display navigational lights as late as one hour after sunset. Guida also addressed an off-highway motorcycles complaint where numerous operators were contacted for illegally operating within the public road right-of-way. Car-killed deer and bear permits were also issued this past week.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing county lakes throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations. McGowan investigated a possible public water violation. He continued field training with a new conservation officer and checked early goose hunters.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) saw a high volume of ATV traffic in the Foothills State Forest this past weekend. ATV regulations were enforced. Sullivan conducted watercraft and angling checks on the Gull Lake Chain and area lakes. Anglers reported to not be having much luck locating the fish. Recreational boaters were enjoying the last days of summer but conditions were cold and windy.


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