Conservation Officer

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked fishing and ATV enforcement. She spent time training with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and also followed up on nuisance bear and raccoon complaints.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended training at Camp Ripley and worked on some equipment needs. A BWCA detail with CO Bozovsky was worked with remote lakes checked. Boat registration and PFD issues were addressed. Starr continued to fulfill background investigation tasks.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent part of the week training at Camp Ripley. He also fielded calls and questions about bear hunting, checked anglers and followed up on TIP reports. One case included an individual who was caught attempting to shoot sandhill cranes. Callers reported that while standing outside and grilling burgers, they saw someone shoot from out the window of a pickup truck and in the direction of a sandhill crane. Thanks to witness observations, Grundmeier tracked down the shooter within minutes of the poaching event.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) started work in his new station. Time was spent checking anglers and patrolling for ATV activity. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for training.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. One individual tried to avoid an angling license check by throwing his fishing rod down and walking away from it when Krauel approached. When Krauel asked for an angling license, the individual stated he was not fishing. After Krauel advised the individual that he had been observing him angling, the individual admitted he didn’t have a license and was hoping Krauel hadn’t seen them angling. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, unattended lines, no life jacket, possession of marijuana, and using a bluegill for bait. Krauel and a neighboring officer also made an arrest for boating under the influence.

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