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DNR Report: Nov. 22

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District 6: Two Harbors area

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reports that the second week of the regular firearms season went well for hunters in the Echo Trail area. Although there were fewer hunters in the field, success rates seemed higher. Officer Williams investigated two poached deer in a road ditch east of Ely and a trespass complaint in the same area. Violations included trespassing, illegal party hunting, and hunting over a baited area.

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 Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked deer hunters throughout the week. Success has been limited, but there have been very few hunters visible as well. Hunters are reminded to watch that muzzle. Several times while checking hunters, the hunter has completely forgotten about his or her firearm muzzle, pointing them at their partners' or the officers' legs. They had to be reminded that it is a very poor way to handle a firearm. Ironically, this has only been the older hunters and NOT the kids. The kids have shown excellent firearm handling skills.

 Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked deer hunters during the week. Many people were road "hunting" with uncased guns, open actions, and rounds sticking in the heater vents ready for shooting deer from the roadway. Many people aren't out enjoying what deer hunting is supposed to be about -- getting out in the woods and enjoying the day. When checking one road hunting duo, the passenger had the muzzle of his gun nestled up against the rib cage of the driver. When asking the driver how he felt about his partner's gun sticking in his side, the driver shrugged his shoulders and stated it was no big deal because it was unloaded. The officer asked the passenger to point the gun in a safe direction because he didn't want to be a witness to what could happen.

 Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) checked deer hunters and took another report of hunting deer over bait. Deer are moving around more than during the previous week and the officer also took a report of a deer chasing a dog in the pet owner's yard. Manning followed up on previous baiting and deer hunter complaints.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of deer hunting enforcement. More baits were located and known baits were monitored. Seven more people were cited through the week for hunting over bait. In each case rifles were confiscated, as were three bucks that were shot over bait, adding a $500 restitution cost to the offender's fine amount. Baits have run the gamut from various types of grain and grain blocks to sweetened salt blocks, apples, squash, carrots, or a combination of several of these foods. Other enforcement action for the week included unlawful party hunting, failure to wait the two day waiting period after purchasing a license, failure to register deer within 48 hours, failure to validate a deer tag, permitting or directing a juvenile to hunt in violation of game laws, and picking boughs without a permit.

Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the last week checking deer hunters and trapping activity. Multiple hunting over baited areas were investigated with enforcement action being taken. The harvest is down compared to last year with many hunters complaining. The officer worked an ongoing investigation with the U.S. Forest Service. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, shooting from the roadway and transporting an illegally taken big game animal.   

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the deer take seems to be slower than in previous deer seasons. The mild temps have allowed hunters to spend more time in the woods and on deer stands. A trespass complaint was investigated and he continued work on baiting complaints. A decoy detail was worked north of Duluth. Night work continues for deer shiners. Kamloop anglers along the North Shore were also checked. Registration and tagging questions are still being fielded.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Marine Unit) worked deer season activities in neighboring inland stations. Baiting complaints continue to come in. Trespassing and shooting from the road complaints were checked and follow-up was done on cases from the beginning of deer season. So far, hunters in the Arrowhead have had a very slow season in most areas. Enforcement actions were taken for deer and ATV violations.

Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week working deer hunting activities. The Lake Superior boat was washed and removed from the water for the season.

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