District 5 - Eveleth area
Conservation Officer Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking archery deer hunters and grouse hunters in the field. There were lots of questions regarding the upcoming wolf season and possible trail closure on Molpus property. Kittleson handled trespass, all-terrain vehicle, and nuisance animal complainants. Fishing activity on the Rainy River was slow with the weather not being very cooperative.
Conservation Officer Dan Starr (Tower) worked some late season fishing, with the walleye action firing up. Muskie fishermen continue to search for that elusive new state record. An individual was found hunting waterfowl on a state game refuge, which will be a costly mistake. A bear season investigation continues and Starr assisted with a moose investigation. A few ducks are still hanging around now since hunting pressure is dwindling. Deer hunters are reminded that they should be sighting in their rifles now, because it becomes illegal to do so five days before deer season.
Conservation Officer Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) finished up work on open cases and helped volunteer instructors with an adult firearms safety class field day. The court notified the officer of the conclusion of an illegally taken wolf case from last deer season where the defendant finally pled guilty.
Conservation Officer Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a large amount of time meeting with landowners and taking complaints regarding hunters who are trespassing on private property. Some hunters are going so far as to cut locks off of gates and replace them with their own. One bow hunter who disregarded a sign and shot a deer about 75 yards from a residence, was issued a citation for trespassing. The hunter’s bow and deer were seized. The archery hunter will also face a $500 restitution charge for the deer upon conviction. Other complaints being investigated include hunting deer over bait, numerous litter violations and complaints concerning duck hunters.
Conservation Officer Mark Fredin (Aurora) has received questions from wolf lottery hunt winners concerning bait. He received a complaint from homeowners of weird “bait” found on their property. An investigation found a dead, decomposing deer with bass and Northern dumped on the carcass. A group of bough pickers were checked and not found to have the required permits for picking on public lands. A check revealed one picker with an outstanding local warrant. He was transported to jail by Fredin.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked grouse hunters and a few designated trout lakes during the week. A couple of loaded guns were found on road hunters. The Fagerman also checked to make sure that bear hunters were removing their stands and signs.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) checked all-terrain vehicle riders and grouse and archery deer hunters. The officer assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in locating a missing elderly woman; she was found safe but a little tired from a long day’s walking. Manning also attended active shooter training in Silver Bay and completed office paperwork.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he checked grouse hunters and all-terrain vehicles. Several hunters mentioned seeing many birds. He did some maintenance work on his all-terrain vehicle and took a call from a taxidermist about a coyote killed by a car.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on small game hunters and all-terrain vehicle activity. Equipment maintenance was performed on seasonal gear. The officer attended the second part of active shooter training in Silver Bay. Enforcement action was taken for illegal burning and driving after revocation.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked grouse hunters and dealt with trespass complaints. Some all-terrain vehicle violations were dealt with and the officer fielded many calls from the public about wolf hunting, moose hunting, deer hunting and trapping issues. Boaters are reminded to have their personal floatation devices on board.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) reported a busy weekend. One grouse hunter was encountered in possession of several packages of synthetic marijuana. Bermel assisted a trapper in successfully releasing a timber wolf accidentally caught in a foothold trap. Other enforcement action for the week included shining deer after hours, transporting a loaded shotgun on an all-terrain vehicle, angling with an extra line, failing to remove drain plug, and all-terrain vehicle trespassing. The officer found that far too many folks are leaving their hunting and fishing licenses back at camp.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked kamloop shore anglers in the Duluth area, checked small game hunters north of Duluth, and assisted fellow district officers for the adult fire arms safety field day. He also attended a Marine Unit meeting. Firearms deer questions have been coming in at a steady pace. He also worked a shining complaint areas in the area.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted with a firearms safety day for adult students. Seasonal deer baiting and hunter dispute issues were looked into, and a few cold- hardy anglers were checked on Lake Superior. Enforcement action was taken for commercial and all-terrain vehicle violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week on waterfowl, boating, fishing, small game, big game, commercial, fire, and all-terrain vehicle enforcement. Equipment maintenance was also performed. Enforcement action was taken for boating and commercial violations.