DNR report: Oct. 7Reports filed Sunday from conservation officers for the Minnesota DNR.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) monitored the pink salmon run on the western end of the North Shore. Salmon are showing up in greater numbers than in the previous several years. The moose season got off to a slow start. Warmer than usual daytime temps are likely hindering efforts to find a bull. Grouse hunters are finding success if they are willing to slow down and look through the heavy cover to find birds. One pair of hunters had just returned to their vehicle and were unloading their shotguns and were asked to show their licenses. The three were talking about hunting when a thumping noise came from the vehicle. A short time later, the thumping noise was heard again and it was recognized. It seems the hunters had shot a grouse, placed it in their SUV, and did not realize the bird had not quite yet expired.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked grouse hunters throughout the week. Reports are more grouse are being seen with the leaves falling. Time was spent checking moose hunters. Received calls about deer season and safety class questions.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and bear hunters. Took a litter complaint and calls on ATV use for hunting. Responded to a moose being struck by a vehicle near Ely.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked the Pagami Creek fire as well as grouse and moose hunters. Duck hunting has been very slow, but the grouse hunters have had good success. Small game hunters are reminded to have their orange on.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports the grouse woods were extremely busy with hunters and leaf-lookers everywhere. The only way to get away from people was to go afoot on a narrow trail. Not much for moose hunter activity. A 58-inch and 60-inch bull were seen with a couple of happy hunting parties during the week.
Bear hunters and guides report timber wolves taking up several game cam pictures during the bear season. In some instances, bears completely disappeared after wolf pictures started to appear. One hunter reports a picture with a big bear eating bait with three timber wolves in the background looking on. Scat seen around the bait piles seems to confirm that popcorn, candies, and other sweets do not agree with a wolf’s digestive system. Encountered a very large wolf with what appeared to be a broken front leg hobbling across the road.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the opener of the moose season with area officers. Some nice bulls were taken. Approached one person netting fish out of a river. When asked why he was netting fish he said he did not want to use a fishing pole because he did not buy a license this year and that would be illegal. Appropriate paperwork was issued to the individual. Enforcement action was also taken for snagging fish and small game violations.
Mary Manning (Hovland) was assigned to the Pagami Creek fire.
Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) was assigned to the Pagami Creek fire.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked several different activities during the week. Some of these activities include archery deer, moose, waterfowl, inland fishing, Lake Superior fishing, tributary fishing, and night deer shining complaint areas. Lots of people have been out enjoying the woods. The most common violation was adults allowing children to operate ATVs illegally.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports bear complaints have been increasing as bears scrounge diminishing natural food supplies and resort to easier to obtain human food supplies during the final few weeks before they den up for the winter. Take your bird feeders in at night and keep all trash locked up or expect an unwanted visitor. A meeting was attended on the Duluth archery hunt.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast) checked anglers on Lake Superior on invasive species issues as well as drain plug law and fishing. Assisted a local officer with a boat they stopped that was covered in zebra mussels. Boater was just coming from Barkers Island heading home to clean the boat. An injured coyote in city of Duluth was located and dispatched.
Keith Olson (Marine Unit) tended to equipment maintenance. Boaters and anglers checked at area landings with an emphasis on invasives. A trespass complaint was investigated. Bird hunters have had a slow start in the Duluth area. Hunting questions still coming in at a steady pace for the firearms season.
Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers fishing Lake Superior and the shore for lake trout, and some anglers fishing the rivers for salmon. One angler was found dumping a pail of pink salmon in the woods to hide them. He was found to have 22 salmon, 17 over his limit. One angler coming in on a boat said he had a Coho salmon which turned out to be a protected steelhead. An investigation was started where gun shots were heard one night. Someone was later located shooting raccoons out of season. Some Lake Superior commercial fishermen were also checked. Spent some nights working shining activity. Enforcement action taken for gross over limit, possession of loaded firearm in motor vehicle, possession of steelhead, and angler with multiple hooks in Lake Superior tributary.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked salmon anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. The end of the lake trout season brought wonderful weather for anglers to get in a last cast. Salmon anglers found very few Cohos or kings in the river, and instead had to settle for pinks. Commercial herring netters were checked, and assistance was given to local agencies with emergency calls. Enforcement action taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.
Numerous special deer hunts are scheduled to take place at Minnesota state parks this fall. Access to the parks will vary around the state during the hunts, according to the Minnesota DNR.
Some state parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited public access, and some will be open only to hunters with special permits. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader, and archery options.
The DNR advises anyone visiting a state park during these hunts to wear blaze orange or other brightly colored clothing. Visitors should also check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive and look carefully for hunt-related signage.
Parks where some areas will be open only to hunters with special permits, but other areas will remain open to all visitors include:
-Gooseberry Falls State Park (Nov. 5-20).
-Jay Cooke State Park (Dec. 3-7).
-Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Nov. 5-20).
-Tettegouche State Park (Oct. 15-16 and Nov. 5-20).