Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Oct. 4, 2021. The complete report is available at

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for hunting, angling, and recreational vehicle traffic. He took enforcement action for various hunting and aquatic plant violations. Baum found varying success among small-game hunters. He met a lot of ATV riders out riding to view the fall colors.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked big-game hunting, waterfowl hunting, and angling. There was plenty of activity out and many people were seen enjoying the nice fall weather. Enforcement action was taken for multiple big-game violations and waterfowl violations.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports it was a busy week with many hunters and anglers enjoying the nice weather. Anglers continued to have success while duck and grouse hunters were having a more difficult time finding birds. Mathy also assisted with a large big-game investigation.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked waterfowl-hunting activity and handled nuisance-animal complaints this week. Angler success was good while hunter success was slower. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted in locating a suspect who fled into the woods and located a juvenile runaway. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and an arrest was made for outstanding warrants.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to check waterfowl and grouse hunters. Grouse hunters are reporting seeing more birds in the woods as the leaves fall off the trees and shrubs. A law and ethics talk was given at a firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for several small-game and bear-hunting violations.

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) checked duck, archery and small-game hunters this week. ATV activity remains high during the fall color change. ATV riders are reminded to ride respectfully on public roads to stay safe and maintain a positive perception of the sport. Enforcement action was taken for careless operation of an ATV, unplugged gun, transport a loaded firearm, and license and registration violations.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking archery hunters and following up on several ongoing cases. Swedberg also followed up on multiple burning complaints over the week and took enforcement action on fires containing prohibited materials. Other time was spent on squad maintenance and checking anglers.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked duck-hunting activity in the area with continued success had by area hunters. Enforcement action was taken for not having small-game licenses, federal duck stamps and a state waterfowl stamp. Sutherland has taken numerous calls of deer being hit by vehicles recently. Be careful while out driving as the deer are on the move.


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