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Rick

OutdoorMN News - 14 candidates begin training to join state conservation officer ranks

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Rick

The 19th class of candidates to take part in the Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Officer Academy has begun training at Camp Ripley. 

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This year’s class includes 14 recruits who bring with them a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some of them have been sheriff’s deputies and police officers, while others serve for the Minnesota National Guard or decided to make a career change and study to become a conservation officer.

“As with all the men and women who’ve proudly served this division and the people of Minnesota since 1887, I’m confident these 14 people will continue our tradition of enforcing natural resources laws and understanding the importance of education and outreach as we serve the people of Minnesota,” said Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director.

The officer candidates began training at Camp Ripley on May 20 and will continue there until August, learning about topics ranging from fish and wildlife laws to patrol procedures, and rules of evidence to fish and wildlife investigation.

They’ll also learn about the vital role conservation officers occupy in their communities and the part they play in developing the next generation of anglers, conservationists and hunters. Upon graduation, they’ll spend several months field training with experienced officers. The candidates will be assigned to their own stations in December.

“Conservation officers live in the areas they serve and, due to the nature of their work, become integral parts of their communities,” said Smith.

Attendees of this year’s Academy bring with them a wide variety of experiences. Some have a traditional law enforcement background while others took part in a program called CO PREP, which provides candidates before the Academy with law enforcement training such that they’re eligible for Peace Officer Standards and Training certification. Over the years, the CO PREP program has been highly successful in creating a conservation officer workforce that more closely reflects the state’s population.

There are 155 conservation officer field stations in Minnesota. Currently, 27 of them are vacant; this current class will reduce the vacancies by about half. Each station covers about 650 square miles.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • fins_n'_feathers
      Fished for a few hours this afternoon after the rain went through and the wind died down a bit. Tried a good dozen places in between black bay and the Brule and only got around 10 fish for the effort. The water was still pretty much ice cold at a cool 65 degrees in the main lake. We checked a few off shore reefs and saw zero signs of life on the ones we checked. The places we did get a few fish was were there was a rock to mud transition near shore on points. All in all another tough outing for us and on a side note, on the way in we pulled cranks in shallow water and the May flys were thick on the surface on the wind blown side. 
    • rkhinrichs
      I fished at the Forbes canoe access below the dam one day. And caught a 16 inch on a fly. I will give it a float and report back after the fourth
    • going4it
      Any tips on smallies up there? First time coming up. 
    • srj
      Nice report as usual, Hoey. We are fishing Wed and Thurs. Sounds like it will be ugly hot coming up. Hopefully, the fish will finally get into their summer patterns.
    • JBMasterAngler
      Definitely hit up some trails. My kids love to hike and explore. They surprise me with their willingness to keep trekking along. 
    • JBMasterAngler
      As long as there are bugs to eat, the trout will always hit the surface. As summer progresses, there will be less and less trout to catch.
    • rayguy
      Does it ever quit blowing?  Tough conditions this week. Fish scattered all over the place.  Bass hitting the best, panfish the least. Walleyes in the middle.  Best for us has been late afternoon on lindys and leeches. Nothing great but with the warmup coming I think things will improve. Did see a 7-8 lber caught ,  on a Daredevil of all things.  Keep the beer cold.  Go get em.  Rayguy
    • NorthBound&Down
      Thanks for the information!
    • OutdoorLife4Life
      Hey guys! We were up last weekend but only got to fish for a few hours. We caught a bunch of pike anywhere from mid teens in length to the low 20” range. We also caught a few bass and a few walleyes. Biggest eye was 19. We contacted all our fish from 16-20 feet. Most of our bites came on a jig and minnow. My wife and brother and law were trolling spinners but only managed pike. We did try crawlers without any success but again we were only out for a few hours. We fished on whitefish and targeted bars and a couple of wind blown underwater points. Good luck this weekend! Maybe we’ll see ya out there!
    • Chill62