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Dave

MN DNR Conservation Officer Tales - May 2008

3 posts in this topic

I’M GOING FOR SOME FRESH AIR, DEAR

While checking a group of four fishermen on Lake of the Woods, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) Robert Gorecki (Baudette) noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the fish house. When questioned about this, two of the men produced marijuana and marijuana pipes.

Another man said he was fishing in a portable fish house nearby with his wife, and asked if he could go back there since he did not possess any marijuana, and was only “visiting.” After issuing citations to the group, Gorecki checked the husband and wife’s fish. When the discussion returned to the marijuana incident, the wife became quite upset with the husband. Apparently the husband told his wife that he was “going for some fresh air.”

A FOWL STORY

CO Mike Shelden (Alexandria) interviewed a man who was observed swerving towards the shoulder of the roadway to run over a Canada goose with his pickup. The driver said he swerved to run the goose over because, “It’s only a goose.” He was charged with killing the goose and also must pay restitution.

MUST BE A TEXAS THING

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) followed up on a Turn-In-Poachers call about a person riding in the bed of a pickup truck hunting with an uncased bow. The officer determined the man was hunting rabbits and squirrel from the pickup with his bow. The hunter said he often hunts this way in his home state of Texas and was following in the footsteps of his grandfather who holds the record for the largest armadillo taken in Texas with a bow.

MORAL DILEMMA

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operator cited for intentionally riding on a trail in the closed Pillsbury State Forest told CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area), “You do what you can get away with.”

ANOTHER DWI

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) responded to the report of an ATV that was stuck in the ditch along Highway 53. People driving by reported the operator of the ATV appeared to have difficulty standing, was at times falling over and had his pants around his ankles. Frericks arrested the subject for DWI. This was the person’s fourth DWI in 10 years and his driving license had been revoked. He refused to submit to an alcohol test and was transported to jail. Frericks was told that the subject was too intoxicated to be jailed so he was taken to a hospital where he is currently being treated for numerous psychiatric conditions.

NO VALID REASON FOR SUCH A SENSELESS ACT

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a TIP call that a deer had been shot through an eye at a local golf course. Two suspects were interviewed and admitted to shooting the deer with no valid reason other than it was there and they had a gun.

SINCE WHEN?

CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) investigated a large plume of smoke rolling skyward in eastern Stearns County. He found several men standing around a large pile of burning debris. The pile contained copper wire (plastic coated), empty five-gallon buckets, green treated wood, styrofoam, and other assorted wood and building products. The owner was unhappy when told to put the fire out and wanted to know since when was he not able burn plastic and green treated products. A summons was issued for burning prohibited material.

A GAMBLER OF SEVERAL SORTS

While CO Gary Sommers (Walker) was on patrol, a vehicle approached him from behind and started to drive on the shoulder, which was clear of snow. The car continued along the shoulder and soon overtook Sommers, accelerating as it went by. He activated his emergency lights, but the driver failed to stop. The car finally started to slow, eventually pulling over. When asked about his driving conduct the driver said, “I thought you were some dummy driving too slow, besides, the road was too bad to drive on and I could drive faster on the shoulder.” He was also asked why he had failed to stop when he observed emergency lights, he said, “I thought you were a snow plow.” Sommers advised the driver that it was illegal to pass on the right. The driver questioned, “I thought if there was an emergency you could pass on the right.” When the officer inquired as to what the emergency was, he stated, “I’m on my way to the casino.”

OUT OF THIS WORLD WARNING TO TRESPASSERS

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) chuckled after reading a huge “no trespassing” sign on an unoccupied lake home, which read: “Warning, trespassers will be atomized and beamed to Pluto.”

WHICH ONES DO I KEEP?

CO Alan Peterson (Osage) watched an angler catch bluegills at a rate of nearly one per minute, placing the small ones on the ice and keeping the larger ones in a pail. On two occasions, the angler left smaller fish on the ice for 20 minutes, the second time pushing them back in the water on the officer’s approach. The angler said the little ones were interfering with his attempt to catch the bigger ones. He was cited for culling.

THEY HAD DAD’S PERMISSION

CO Mike Shelden (Alexandria) stopped an ATV being operated on a tar county road by a 10-year-old boy (no helmet and unregistered machine) with his young sister as a passenger. Their father said they could take the ATV down the road to buy a can of pop. Shelden called the father to advise him about the danger of having a 10-year-old operate an ATV on a highway without a helmet and the fact this was illegal. The father said the children could get hit by a car walking down a sidewalk as well.

OFFICER DEFERS TO JUDGE MOM

CO Pilot Al Buchert (Grand Rapids) was working ATVs when he saw a rider on and near the shoulder of a county blacktop highway when he should have been in the ditch. When asked where he should be, the rider replied “At home.” His mother, now stopped behind the officer’s squad, had been monitoring his progress en route back to their residence, which was a short distance away. After making sure the laws were understood, the officer deferred the situation to the higher court, Judge Mom.

CAUGHT AT THEIR FAVORITE WATERING HOLE

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received a call about two men illegally spearing rough fish in a river. Upon arrival, the men and the vehicle were nowhere in sight. However next door at a “watering hole,” the vehicle was found, with speared fish in a pail, and two spears in the back of the truck. Enforcement action was taken.

KAYAKER LAYS AN EGG

CO Marty Stage (Ely) issued a citation to a man with an unregistered kayak that had taken all the eggs from a Canada goose nest. He was going to eat them for breakfast and that he felt it was okay since “they” were trying to reduce the geese numbers in other areas anyway.

SMELTERS ENJOY OFFICER’S CATCH

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked several groups of anglers having luck catching smelt. He also dealt with other groups nearby that preferred to drink and then toss their empty beer cans and booze bottles into the creek. The smelters seemed to enjoy watching those people get citations and clean the garbage out of the creek with their smelting dip nets.

YOU NEVER KNOW WHO MIGHT BE FISHING NEXT TO YOU

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) came across an angler without a license. He also did not have any identification and the first two names he gave to the officer were false. Once the suspect’s real name was given, it turned out he had two felony warrants totaling $13,000 in bail. The suspect was arrested and charged accordingly.

OFFICER REPORTED AS SUSPICIOUS PERSON

CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) went to inspect a public waters violation when a lady came out of the house and threatened to call the police for trespassing. Kahre gave the lady his card and told her she could call the police and to tell them that Kahre was out there. When the police arrived, they told Kahre he was reported as a suspicious vehicle on the person’s property. After a little ribbing by the local police, the Kahre was able to conduct his inspection without incident.

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