DNR REPORTReports filed Sunday, Nov. 6, by Minnesota Department of Resources conservation officers.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports that opening weekend of the 2011 firearms deer season got off to a slow start. The number of hunters was on par with previous years, but the woods were very quiet and success rates down. Trespass and hunter conflict reports were noticeably down with the start of the season. Worked with neighboring officers on several baiting cases as well as night shining. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over baited areas, operating ATV during closed hours and other hunting related issues.
Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) checked hunters on the deer opener. Hunting success rates seemed fair to moderate. Ran into a grouse hunter without a license, and enforcement action was taken. Issued tickets for ATV violations in Beaver Bay. Assisted Minnesota State Patrol with a fatal rollover accident on Highway 1 north of Finland.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked hunters during the deer hunting opener. Most people didn’t see a deer on the first weekend of the season. Many of those people did report lots of deer signs though. Worked with conservation officers Manning and Wahlstrom on a baiting detail. Hunters were found over corn piles, their guns were seized and they were issued costly citations. Unlawful ATV usage also took up much of the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for riding on ski trails and other closed areas. A couple of complaints were responded to for operating ATV’s outside legal hours for deer hunters and for cutting trails for cross country travel.
Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy deer opener which included a joint baiting case with conservation officers Wahlstrom, Fagerman, and United States Forest Service officer Huber. Checked other possible baited areas and checked hunters in the field and in deer camps. Investigated a trespass complaint involving several bird hunters who did not realize they were on “candid camera” at the landowner’s food plot. Other activity included checking grouse hunters and trap sets, answering questions about gun transport laws, and attending a district meeting.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the firearms deer opener checking hunters. Success was down but hunters seemed to be in good spirits just being out in the woods again. Worked a detail with area officers where hunters were found hunting over bait. Firearms were seized and citations were issued. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations and transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle from the same people that were hunting over bait the previous day.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the early part of the week following up on complaints. Several of these included trespass and tree stand locations. Time was also spent in the woods looking for illegal deer baiting. Opening firearm deer season was very busy each morning. Enforcement activity included walking into illegally baited deer stands and taking enforcement action. Enforcement action was also taken for illegal night shinning during the week.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports limited success with fewer deer seen seemed to be the theme in the outlining areas for the opening weekend of the firearm deer season. A couple of cases where hunters were found hunting over baited areas were investigated. Several expired ATV registrations issues were dealt with. An ongoing investigation revolving around tree top theft has uncovered several other violations where multiple charges are now pending.
Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted District 8 officer during the firearms opener. The mild temps and gusty winds made for an interesting opener. Many afield reported slim pickings for deer. Other camps experienced good to moderate success. Olson also assisted with forestry violations north of Duluth. Patrol watercraft prepped for winter storage. North Shore projects also worked. Enforcement actions taken for transport untagged big game in motor vehicle and fail to validate site tag.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small game and deer hunters, anglers, and commercial netters during the week. Problem shining areas were worked, with some activity enforced.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) served a search warrant on a deer case from 2010. Charges are pending from the county attorney’s office. Deer hunters were checked inland where windy weather gave hunters a challenge in seeing deer. Compliance with baiting laws was poor. Enforcement action taken for baiting and ATV violations.