The weirdest things from this week's DNR conservation officer reports

Featuring a ridealong rattlesnake, wannabe lumberjack and turtle thief.
Publish date:
timber rattlesnake

A timber rattlesnake, commonly found in southeastern Minnesota

If you're not familiar with them, the Minnesota DNR issues every week a list of reports from its dozens of conservation officers patrolling the state.

The reports can often be fairly run-of-the-mill – issuing citations for fishing without a license, for example – but quite often they feature something unusual, or downright delightful.

Here's a look at some of the stories that stood out from this week's reports:

Illegal wheelie

A 14-year-old was stopped by CO Kylan Hill after driving a "very long wheelie" heading in the opposite direction of travel, in a traffic lane on a state highway. He had apparently taken the vehicle without permission, his parent said, who had their arm in a sling from a previous ATV incident. "A discussion about ATV safety ensued," Hill reports. 

Ridealong rattlesnake 

CO Tom Hemker says he received many complaints regarding wild animals in Winona, including deer, milk snakes, a bob cat, coyote and eagle. One visitor from Illinois was ready to head home when she watched a rattlesnake slither into the undercarriage of her car. Hemker "harassed it with water" until he could reach in and remove it from the engine compartment and set it free. 

'Very poor decision'

A Lake Minnetonka boater "made the very poor decision" of operating while intoxicated. "He made his bad situation worse," CO Clint Fitzgerald says, by resisting arrest and "fleeing" after reaching shore. He was ultimately arrested and taken to jail. 


  • In Grand Rapids, CO Sarah Grell investigated "the illegal taking of a snapping turtle."
  • Someone in Ray cut down a tree at a beach because it was obstructing their view, "much to the dismay of other beachgoers," says CO John Slatinski IV.  
  • A driver allegedly caused property damage to a business with his vehicle and then attempted to flee the area — with a flat tire, CO Scott Staples reports from Carlton. 
  • A group of kayakers told CO Kylan Hill they saw someone shoot and kill two geese on Lake Superior, just east of Lutsen. "Hill would appreciate any and all help from the public with identifying the shooter." 

Next Up