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MN Conservation Officer Tales - September

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Conservation Officer (CO) Jeff Birchem (Baudette) assisted a local ambulance when four people driving ATVs parked on a hornet's nest. All received numerous bites and one individual was transported to local hospital for observation.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted with the report of several watercraft having problems after a thunderstorm had passed through the Leech Lake area. A pontoon that blew up on the rocks and required the rescue of numerous people, including an infant. A small sailboat capsized with five people on board. A large boat experienced motor problems and was in danger of blowing on the rocks. Fortunately, all people were located and accounted for with no injuries.


CO Tim Collette (Longville) worked an aquatics plants removal violation that involved two individuals pulling a weed cutter through wild rice with a pontoon. They said that their father owned the property and that he had talked to "somebody" who told them it was okay to take out the wild rice. They had no idea who the "somebody" was.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) received several calls about a hyena-like dog creature east of Grand Marais. The animal is almost always seen at night and has been seen by two sheriff's deputies. It has been described as a shorthaired animal with a big head, rounded ears, bigger front shoulders and smaller hindquarters. People have tried to take pictures of it, but they turned out blurry. Could this be an indication that it could be related to big foot? The calls have been very credible so Fagerman said it will be interesting to see what it is. Fagerman also ran into a "pirate" in the BWCA and has pictures to prove it! One firefighter, in charge of driving a boat, dressed as a pirate and gave tourists and coworkers a good laugh in the 90-degree temperatures.


CO Mike Lekatz (Ely) came across an angry woodchuck that was attempting to fight with a kennel full of huskies and the huskies' owners. Lekatz wrote, "The ornery little woodchuck was going nose to nose with the huskies through the kennel fence and supposedly went after the dog's owners when they tried to intervene and chase it away."


CO Tim Jenniges (Windom) reported a white-tailed deer was attempting to avoid the heat when she jumped and crashed through a window into an elderly retirement facility. The deer ran downstairs into the basement of the building. Jenniges and another officer arrived and gently guided the deer back up the stairs and out the door, peacefully ending the incident.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked a man using a 20-gauge shotgun hunting common starlings. Later on some locals spoke of the individual and said he wanted to hunt blackbirds in order to improve his aim for an upcoming skeet competition.


When four personal watercraft operators were observed in violation on the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids, CO Pilot Al Buchert (Grand Rapids) landed his seaplane on the channel and addressed multiple violations.


CO Dan Starr (Tower) took a call about a dirt bike operating on a public roadway near Gilbert. When Starr arrived, what he heard sounded and smelled like a two-stroke motor, but not quite like a dirt bike. While going to a site near an area lake, fresh snowmobile tracks were discovered! When a large amount of noise and people were seen standing on a dock across the lake he further investigated. Starr observed more than 20 people on shore pulling on a rope leading to deep water and a pontoon with a rope going down to deep water. The individual in the water said his snowmobile had sunk when he was skipping from one shore to the next in over 15 feet of water. The snowmobile was recovered and enforcement action was taken for careless operation.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) caught a person shooting articles along a road, including numerous road signs, with a paint ball gun he had recently purchased for his son's 15th birthday.


CO Dean Olson (Rochester) encountered an angler without a license who threw his rod and reel into the river and walked away to avoid detection. However, his floating bobber with the line leading to his rod and reel was his downfall.


While patrolling Nemadji State Forest, CO Kathy Larson (ATV Recreational Officer-Northeast Region) witnessed a young man driving an ATV at a high rate of speed on the shoulder of State Highway 23. Larson followed the ATV for about a half-mile into a driveway. After explaining to the 24-year-old driver and his parents (who had come out of the house to see what was going on) that it was illegal to drive an ATV along the shoulder of a state highway, Larson went back to her truck to write the ticket. The dad said, "Well, he learned a lesson," and went back in the house. The mom stayed outside to tend to the flowers. As soon as Larson finished and handed the ticket to the son, he walked away. The mother said to her son, "And what do you say to the officer?" He turned to Larson and said, "Thank you."


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) observed an individual operating a dirt bike at a high speed, when jumping driveways and roadways. A chase took place through residential and county roads until the individual drove across a field and into the woods. St. Louis County deputies were called for backup and a perimeter was set up where the off-highway motorcycles went into the woods. A short while later the suspect was located in the woods by deputies and arrested. The individual apologized and told Fredin he did not know why he fled. He was placed in jail and charged with felony fleeing. His OHM, which was two weeks old, is going through forfeiture proceedings.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) observed a man taking a picture of a small child no more than 25 feet away from a cow moose and her calf. The cow had her ears back and the hair on her front shoulders was up. It was explained to the man that the cow would have no problem stomping people into the ground if they got too close - and they were too close. The man smiled and said, "OK."


CO Dale Ebel (Duluth) received two reports of fox acting peculiar. One was sighted walking through a rest area checking things out. Ebel watched him for a while and observed a family throwing him meat scraps. This only encourages the young fox to hang around and could potentially become a problem when winter sets in. Ebel also found a fox den located in someone's shed. The fox had a nice corner picked out with plenty of ducks and geese all around the yard. Obviously this wasn't the fox's first trip to the residence.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) saw a fisherman put something in his tackle box as he approached. Unfortunately, the tackle box had a clear top on it and the bag of marijuana inside was still recognizable.


On the way home, CO Chris Johnson (Marine Unit) stopped a vehicle after it had passed him in a no passing zone. After dealing with the driver, he discussed hiding marijuana with the passenger (vehicle owner and brother to the driver) who eventually turned it over to him. The marijuana was dumped in the ditch and the driver and his brother were released. As they were driving behind Johnson after the stop, it didn't take too long to figure out that they had turned around. Suspecting that they were going back to try and pick the marijuana out of the grass and dirt, the officer turned around and found them back at the traffic stop sight doing just that! He wrote them a ticket for possessing a small amount of marijuana.


CO Bruce Lawrence (Pine City) met with the newly appointed Mille Lacs tribal DNR enforcement chief. As they were discussing issues, an adult male bicyclist stopped in the middle of the bridge over the Kettle River, picked up his 10-speed bike, tossed it into the river, and started walking away. The officers made contact with the man (who was very intoxicated) and found that the bike's rear tire went flat and in his frustration he took it out on the bike. The bike was retrieved from shallow water and the intoxicated man returned to the safety of his residence.


CO Tim Jenniges (Windom) encountered three people who were shooting pellet-gun air rifles at bluegills in the water. When approached by the officer they said, "Fish are hard to hit with a gun." Summonses were issued for taking fish with illegal equipment.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) found a large number of boats on a small lake, leading the officer to believe that a fishing tournament was being held. On the way to the access, an ATV pulling a boat with expired registration was observed driving down the county road. The driver was advised of the violation and the violation to occur should he launch his boat. He obviously went home and called his friends on the lake and told them the game warden was coming. By the time the officer got onto the lake, the tournament anglers knew who was coming. It was discovered that an illegal tournament was being held. Three other violations were found, including an underage drinker on a boat containing a 16-gallon keg of beer. They were advised to obtain a permit for their tournament next year.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) saw a car parked in a no camping area and saw the license tabs were altered. The license tabs were for 2002, but a seven was written over the two in permanent marker. The owner of the vehicle was found passed out drunk in a tent down by the lake and later, when awoken, took off into the woods. Fishing equipment was left at the campsite and a check showed the man had no angling license.


CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) responded to a call of a bear with a bucket stuck on her head. A yearling bear was in the area circling around growling at the stuck bear. Another passerby shooed the younger bear away while the bucket was pulled off. The dazed bear ran off. Another good reason for bear baiters not to leave buckets and other non-biodegradable items in the woods.

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I wonder what the "HYENEA LIKE DOG CREATURE" will turn out to be?


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I wonder what the "HYENEA LIKE DOG CREATURE" will turn out to be?


It actually turned out to be a Timber Wolf with it's "summer coat"

They finally got a picture of it and it was correctly identified.

I just love these stories. Some of these people just need to get out of the gene pool. My favorite is the guy that tosses his rig overboard and still has a float attached laugh.gif

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It was a timber wolf but not in it's summer coat but with mange. At least that is what I read. Saw a picture of it too. Almost no hair at all. Really goofy looking.

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Yes it had the mange and man did it look funny. I could see how people thought it was a hyena but the odds of that are very very slim in Northern Mn.

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I once saw a pink elephant up the shore when I was coming out of the Harbor Light. wink.gif

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My person favorite is the frustrated drunk who chucked his bike over the side of a bridge. Man would that be funny to see. Sounds like something from a FOX cartoon.

Now imagine when you hook you daredevil into that bike with 50lb braid...surprise, its a bicycle.

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