Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending July 20, 2020. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) checked anglers and area OHV activity this past week. Elwell conducted a wolf-depredation investigation and prepared for upcoming safety education classes. A call was taken about a young eagle that apparently had fallen from its nest. From the caller’s description, Elwell suspected it was a fledgling eagle trying to get used to its wings. He asked the caller to walk up to it to see if it would fly. As the caller approached, the young eagle took flight and landed in a nearby tree out of harm’s way.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling area lakes and assisting local agencies with cases. With another perfect weather week, lots of boaters were out enjoying themselves. While most boaters were legal there were some who forgot life jackets. One juvenile was observed chasing a loon while operating a personal watercraft. Assistance was given to the county and local police with fleeing suspects, search warrants, and on a traffic stop where the driver had warrants.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked angling and boating activity. Two separate public waterway alteration complaints were investigated. Some time was spent checking for motor vehicles illegally using a paved trail to bypass a closed road at a construction site. Mathy also met with the county attorney regarding two cases from the deer season. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked multiple anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. She responded to two baby merlins that fell out of a tree, a boat that broke free of the dock during the storms, and a car vs. deer crash. Enforcement was take for fishing without a license and other various boating and angling violations.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) focused enforcement efforts on the lakes and trails. Youth helmet violations and too many passengers on ATVs seem to be common violations in the Wadena and Park Rapids stations. A helmet is an inexpensive purchase and is the No. 1 safety equipment to prevent serious injury or death. Riders are reminded to read the OHV rules book before venturing out. Campers in area campgrounds were talked to about possession and consumption of alcohol in state campgrounds, and too many occupants at a campsite. Again, people must read the rules, which are posted near registration stations. The lakes, trails and campgrounds are busy this year and we want everyone to be safe while enjoying the outdoors.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) fielded a variety of calls during the past week. They included a dog repeatedly chasing waterfowl to multiple submerged watercraft that have been in the water for an extended period of time. He also assisted local law enforcement with a felony arrest warrant over the weekend. After several attempts were made to make contact with the suspect, Zavodnik observed him inside the residence. The suspect was eventually found hiding behind insulation in the attic and was taken into custody. Zavodnik continues to focus on ATV and boating complaints around the area.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored a variety of outdoor activities. Several angling violations were addressed including fishing with an extra line and unattended lines. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending two suspects who were involved in a road rage incident that turned into an assault where a bat was used and a knife was brandished.