DNR report: Dec. 11Minnesota DNR conservation officer reports from the North Shore region last week.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer reports from the North Shore region last week:
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) spent the early part of the week catching up on cases left over from deer season and sent reports to the county attorney for charges. Equipment maintenance and preparations for the upcoming winter seasons were tended to. As fisher and pine marten season winds down, the officer noticed many sets pulled early, which may be an indicator that many trappers did well this season. Thomasen noticed that many trappers were leaving their cubby boxes in the woods after pulling their traps, a violation of the law.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working trapping and hunting enforcement. Many grouse and deer hunters were out during the past week. Complaints continue to be worked involving deer hunting and harassment. Most area lakes are iced over, but this officer will not walk out and check thickness.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports lakes are beginning to become ice-covered in the area but the ice is too thin to venture out safely. Three to four inches of clear good ice is needed for foot traffic. Patrol efforts were stepped up after several reports of traps being stolen. Very few muzzleloader hunters reporting success.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) took a report of a dog caught in an untagged snare. The owner was able to get the dog out, but reports that it was a close call. Most trappers contacted reported a very poor pine marten and fisher season. Smaller lakes have frozen and most are not quite ready yet but should be in a couple of days with some colder temps. Enforcement action was taken for no orange while checking traps and for no ATV registration displayed.
Mary Manning (Hovland) took several complaints on persons illegally dumping carcasses of deer and beaver. The officer checked traps and trappers as well as muzzleloader hunters. Manning also helped teach snowmobile safety classes and followed up on an illegal burning complaint, a baiting complaint, and a trespass issue.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers. The muzzleloader hunting pressure is very low. Illegal bear bait sites are still being found and investigated. Trapping complaints have been reported. One involved a fisher walking down the road with a trap on its head. Trappers are reminded to check their traps regularly and be mindful of over limits. Trespass calls and trapping over limits are under investigation.
John Velsvaag (Ely) continued to follow up on deer season complaints and trapping complaints. He took calls on wanton waste of deer and several complaints of traps not meeting the lynx zone requirements. Spearing and ice fishing activity was observed this past weekend.
Marty Stage (Ely) investigated a lynx case and worked trapping enforcement. Lakes and river froze last weekend and the snow kept falling. Muzzleloader hunters are not too common, but there have been some deer migrating down from up north. Trappers are reminded about the lynx regulations and to remove the marten and fisher boxes from the woods after season or you will be cited.
Officer positions in Silver bay and Babbitt remain vacant.
Jeff Humphrey (Cloquet) reports deer season follow up continued last week. Complaints of dumped deer parts continue to be reported throughout the area. Humphrey assisted at the special muzzleloader deer hunt at Jay Cooke State Park and completed seasonal equipment maintenance and changeover.
Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working muzzleloader hunters and trappers. Schmidt assisted with the special muzzleloader hunt in Jay Cooke State Park. Rivers and lakes are starting to build ice in the area and it shouldn’t be too long before ice fishing gets started. The officer completed reports and met with the county attorney’s office regarding charging for firearms deer season violations. Boats were winterized for storage also.
Scott Staples (Carlton) caught up on phone calls and paperwork after being off for a week. Time was also spent patrolling the special muzzleloader hunt at Jay Cooke State Park where few successful hunters were found.
Stations in Silver Bay and Babbitt remain open.