Minnesota Conservation Officer TalesEditor’s note: Minnesota Conservation Officer Tales is produced monthly by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of Enforcement.
Editor’s note: Minnesota Conservation Officer Tales is produced monthly by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of Enforcement.
24 HOURS OF BULLWINKLE
Conservation Officer (CO) Marty Stage (Ely) had an unusual number of moose incidents within a 24-hour period. One involved two cars hitting each other and the moose. In another, a plow truck hit two bulls. The last moose, found by a bulldozer operator, most likely suffered from brain worm.
WE DIDN’T THINK
CO Randy Hanzal (Brookston) activated the emergency lights on his snowmobile in an attempt to stop two oncoming speeding snowmobiles. The second snowmobile drove off the trail and partially rolled to avoid running into the back of the first snowmobile. The officer asked the operators if they thought they were traveling too fast for conditions. They responded by saying they didn’t think they were – until they tried to stop.
I KNOW WHAT I SAW
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported that while working on a complaint of three pheasant hunters trespassing, one of the hunters was observed dropping a bag into the weeds. When the hunters were approached, they were found to be within the legal limit. Loftness told the hunters what he had witnessed. After a few moments of silence, a hunter retrieved the bag. It contained three more pheasants. Enforcement action was taken for an over limit of pheasants and trespassing.
HOW ABOUT SOME COMMON SENSE
CO Dan Starr (Tower) found a 7-year-old driving an adult snowmobile in town while following his dad. While it is nice to see youth getting involved with outdoor activities, it should also be done legally.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reported a snowmobiler, who was giving his 5-year-old youngster a ride, was clocked at more than 70 miles per hour. While the operator was claiming his speedometer was broken, the youngster, who was sitting in front, chimed in and told Grundmeier she had just seen the speed dial go past the 70 mark a little while ago.
WHAT’S MY LINE?
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) watched an angler fishing with four lines on the Mississippi River in St. Cloud. When Martin approached, the angler reeled in one of his lines, set the rod/reel on the ice and walked away. Martin asked the angler how many lines he was using. The angler replied, “Just these three, but they’re not biting anyway.” After admitting to using the fourth line the angler was issued a summons.
JUSTICE FOR EVERYONE
Three individuals found breaking into cars at Jay Cooke State Park led CO Scott Staples (Carlton) on a high-speed pursuit. It ended with the suspects’ car going into a ditch and the three people trying to run into the woods. They gave up quickly because it was hard to run through deep snow. One person even lost his shoes, which made running more difficult. All were jailed on numerous charges. The victims had all their items returned except for a jacket that was thrown out of the vehicle during the pursuit.
UNDERWATER TECHNOLOGY LEADS TO A BUST
CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) received information about a snowmobile going through the ice. He found the snowmobile while using an underwater camera. Guida saw something else with his camera – three unattended lines in the water below the fish house. Enforcement action was taken.
SOME BAD ADVICE
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reported three nonresident snowmobilers were stopped for not having trail permits displayed. They claimed when they bought the permits the store clerk told them not to bother attaching them because the DNR wouldn’t be out when it was this cold. That’s never the case.
WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS DOING?
CO Mike Shelden (Alexandria) responded to a complaint of a snowmobiler operating at high speeds across a lake. The individual was clocked at 90 mph. It turned out the operator was a 12-year-old boy riding without a helmet.
LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS
CO Marty Stage (Ely) came across a timber wolf, commonly seen outside of Ely, standing next to the road. Stage went to town to run some errands. When he returned about a half-hour later, the wolf was still standing in the same exact place presumably waiting to cross the highway. After a vehicle behind the officer went by, the wolf finally crossed the highway.
THIS SHOULD BE THE USUAL, NOT THE UNUSUAL
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) made contact with a large family that was having a get-together on an area lake. They were using about 40 tip-ups, and had taken about the same number of northern pike (40) and several walleye from a small area on the lake. Even with the large number of fish taken and lines out, they were well under their limit for both.
GOOD THING I WAS THERE
CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) clocked a snowmobile at 81 mph while the otter-type sled the operator was pulling was weaving back and forth about 6 feet off the ground. The sled contained the snowmobiler’s ice fishing gear, which spilled out; obviously he forgot he was towing the sled. Good thing the officer was following to pick up the equipment.
A STORY THIS ANGLER WILL BE TELLING FOR YEARS
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) reported an angler caught a northern on one of his tip-ups. As he laid the fish on the ice, his other tip-up went up. While he was tending to that fish, a bald eagle swooped down and grabbed the first northern off the ice and proceeded to drag the tip up across the lake. The angler followed the eagle in his truck until it finally dropped the fish. The angler got his tip-up and fish back, although the fish had a few extra puncture wounds.