Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending July 22. The complete report is available at

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued assisting cattle owners with wolf depredation problems and took some calls from pet owners who were having problems with wolves killing their dogs. Area lakes continued to produce a good sunfish and crappie bite, and time was spent checking anglers for fishing licenses and boats for proper safety equipment. Violations found included fishing with extra lines, fishing without a license and not having enough life jackets in the boat.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) investigated an injured calf that had been bitten by a large predator and had to be put down. There is no solid evidence of what broke the 3-week-old calf’s back, but teeth marks would suggest a bear. Starr met with new owners of a resort and answered questions regarding natural resource concerns. Flash flood warnings and severe storms resulted in campers leaving the state park.

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports hosting a youth ATV safety class in Fergus Falls over the weekend. Time was also spent following up on reports of geese being shot at by lakeshore owners. Richards and officers from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office worked a busy access (Deer Lake) due to complaints of conflicts between tubers and those attempting to launch boats. Courtesy and common sense would go a long way toward preventing the conflict.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked with CO Zavodnik at the International Falls Port of Entry checking fish and working AIS enforcement on anglers coming back from Canada. Numerous fish seizures were made for overlimits, no skin patches, and uncountable fish, along with transporting water in a watercraft. Numerous bear-related calls were fielded and administrative tasks were attended to.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area lakes checking boaters and anglers. He also spent time investigating calls about turtle law violations, ATV complaints, and nuisance bears.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of working a canoe patrol detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where he checked activity related to boating, fishing, and wilderness use. Enforcement action was taken on four individuals found illegally in possession of 42 walleyes and trying to catch more on a remote lake in the BWCA.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, AIS and angling enforcement. Time was spent monitoring traffic in the forest this past week as gatherers are starting to scout for berries and mushrooms. If you’re traveling on forest roads, please do so with your headlights on as conditions are dry mostly and the dust is thick, causing some visibility issues and safety concerns. Benjamin also attended the funeral of Red Lake Nation Conservation Officer Shannon Barron.


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