Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Feb. 1, 2021. The complete report is available at

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports fishing on area lakes was slow this past week with a few panfish being caught. Trails have seen quite a bit of traffic and are showing wear. A TIP of coyote hunters trespassing was investigated and the group was talked to about making sure they know where they are and that permission was obtained.

Vinton also assisted the Perham Police Department with a missing child who was suspected of walking outside in the bitter cold in nothing but pajamas. Vinton arrived on scene and obtained a description and name for the child. When Vinton went to a neighboring house for permission to look for the child in a detached garage, he saw the child lying face-down in the snow and not moving. Vinton grabbed the child and carried them to the waiting ambulance, which transported them to the local hospital. Vinton learned the next day the child was going to be OK. Enforcement action was taken for failure to mark a fish house, no license in possession, failure to display ATV registration and trespass.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) responded to a single snowmobile crash during the past week, which involved the operator striking a tree and leaving him unconscious for a lengthy period of time. The operator was conscious when Zavodnik arrived at the scene, but he sustained head and leg injuries. Fortunately, the victim was wearing a helmet or the injuries could have been much worse. Zavodnik also worked snowmobile speed enforcement and recorded an individual operating at a speed of 94 miles per hour on the trails. The operator was well aware of the 50-mile-per-hour speed limit and admitted to traveling too fast. Other enforcement action taken over the past week included modified snowmobile exhaust, failure to transfer ownership, operating a snowmobile with no registration, and failure to validate and attach a deer tag.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling Mille Lacs Lake for fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for unmeasurable fish, possession of dressed fish on the lake, ice shelter on the ice without a license, failure to display an ice shelter tag, failure to display shelter identification markings, fishing without an angling license, no fishing license in possession, unattended lines, failure to affix an unexpired decal on a snowmobile, and unregistered snowmobiles. She assisted at the fur registration at the Aitkin DNR office and spent time patrolling Jay Cooke State Park. Along with CO Dustie Speldrich, Whiteoak saved a domesticated farm duck that was found on a busy road and nearly got hit by cars. The duck made it home to its owners. The owners where happy to have their duck, named Mo, back. They explained that Mo is known as their watchdog.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls-West) monitored area angling and snowmobiling activity. He responded to trespass calls and conducted follow-up investigations from this past deer season. Enforcement action was taken for taking deer with an invalid license and using a bonus permit before it was valid.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) worked furbearer registration, started an investigation on a trapping case, and checked ice anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Northwest Angle this past week. Fishing success around the Angle was good overall. Violations encountered included various snowmobile and ATV registration issues, no fishing license in possession, and fishing without a license.


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