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DNR Report: Nov. 15

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District 6: Two Harbors area

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reports that he teamed up with Conservation Officer Stage for his first firearms deer opener as a conservation officer. The weather in the Ely and Echo Trail area turned wintery which frustrating hunters; only a few were able to harvest a deer through the thick snow covered woods. Despite conditions, the woods were full of dedicated people hoping for some luck. Violations included hunting over a baited area, non-resident purchasing a resident license, and trespassing.

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Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked deer baiting cases. One group said they weren't baiting, but had stomped on apples with their boots at their deer stands and by their salt blocks, merely to remove their human scent. They didn't feel the apples constituted bait since they weren't meant as deer food, but instead were for scent camouflage. Rifles were seized as per state law and licenses will be revoked for a year upon conviction.

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a very quiet opening weekend of deer hunting. He worked with other area officers in dealing with deer baiting complaints. Whitefish and herring nets where checked for depth and game fish. A first time hunter was reminded that it is very important to have his license with him. Enforcement action was taken for deer hunting over bait, loaded gun in a motor vehicle and for whitefish nets too deep.  

Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) worked tips on deer bait locations and verified several baited stands. The officer worked the firearms deer opener with conservation officers Fagerman and Wahlstrom. They contacted several hunters on opening morning for hunting over baited areas; citations were issued and firearms seized. Manning contacted one hunter just loading up his ATV to head to the stand and found that he was preparing to carry his loaded rifle along. He was advised of correct regulations before earning a ticket for the violation. The officer also checked traps and worked ATV and trespass complaints.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the firearms deer opener, which saw favorable weather conditions and most groups getting a buck or two. Two hunters were cited for hunting over bait on opener and rifles were seized. Several cases of invalidated deer tags resulted in citations. An incidental fisher was picked up from a trapper. A trespass case was followed up, with a citation issued. Several folks were also found hunting without their license / tag in possession. The late duck migration has seemed to be non-existent in the area with freeze-up likely coming this week.

Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking hunters during the firearms deer opener. The officer responded to several ATV and baiting complaints. Several individuals were cited for hunting deer over bait and one hunter tried to get by without buying a license. The officer also received calls about pheasants and mountain lions in the area.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked firearms deer opener around the Duluth area. He helped fellow District 8 officers with calls and tips. Cases were made for hunting over bait and license issues. The colder temps and light snow cover helped hunters afield. Ice is being made on area lakes. Deer registration questions were fielded and the number of deer harvested appeared to be lower than in previous openers.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked cisco netters on northern waters of Lake Superior. A few sea ducks were seen on the cold waters around Grand Portage. Deer season opener was worked in neighboring inland stations with multiple seizures and citations for hunting over bait. All hunters should be reminded that the unethical and illegal practice of baiting deer carries heavy fines, loss of equipment, and revocation of privileges. Enforcement actions were taken for big game, commercial, and ATV violations.

Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked commercial fishermen on Lake Superior from Grand Marais to Grand Portage on the water, checking net marking requirements. He also assisted area officers with the deer season.

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