District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) worked the firearms deer and wolf opener. He cited an individual for hunting deer over bait near Murphy City. Johnson investigated a complaint of riding all-terrain vehicles during restricted hours and enforcement action was taken. He checked on reports of a dog chasing deer, and an illegal deer stand on state land. Johnson assisted Conservation Officer Wahlstrom with a trespass complaint in Schroeder.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) attended training by the U.S. Border Patrol on tracking. Manning continued to check bear bait stations and found signs left by hunters. Several will be receiving paperwork in the mail. Numerous phone calls were answered regarding the wolf season and car deer permits were issued. Manning also worked a busy firearm deer and wolf season opening weekend. Deer baiting reports were checked and an injured deer was dispatched in the wildlife refuge.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) dealt with unlawful trap sets, checked deer hunters and wolf hunters during the opening weekends. Some hunters sitting over deer baits were very surprised to see conservation officers on opening weekend. A few citations were issued and guns seized for forfeiture. One case involved a gun passed down through generations. The hunter took a big chance just for a deer. The DNR and media have published many articles about deer baiting in the last couple of years.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended sign cutting and tracking class at the Border Patrol station in Duluth. He worked the opening weekend of deer and wolf season. Some nice deer were harvested in the area. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, trespassing, hunter harassment, operating an all-terrain vehicle during closed hours, failing to validate site tag and illegally transporting big game.
Conservation Officer John Velsvaag (Ely) checked on baiting complaints during the week and took enforcement action over the opener. Velsvaag also checked waterfowl hunters and saw very few birds taken. He took a call on an accidentally taken fisher and questions about the deer season.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) focused mainly on trapping and deer hunting enforcement. In one instance, a trapper using illegal bait was discovered by the local U.S.Forest Service law enforcement officer, and the information was turned over. Further investigation revealed several other lynx zone trapping violations. Enforcement action was taken for use of fresh meat as bait, chain length on foothold trap longer than 18 inches, use of drag on foothold trap, and use of sight attractant within 20 feet of a trap. Five individuals were charged on deer opener for hunting deer over bait, and five rifles were seized. Conservation Officer Stage assisted in apprehending a sixth hunter hunting over bait in the station. Other enforcement action included possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, operating an unregistered boat and possession of a road kill deer without a permit.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked deer hunters, trespassers, gill netters, and all-terrain vehicle violations. Stage didn't see any wolves taken throughout the weekend, but heard several packs howling. Disappointingly, deer baiting is still going strong and some unhappy violators lost their family heirloom rifles again this opener. One group covered their oats, corn, and acorns with 1-inch of sand to either deter aerial detection, or as they put it, “to make it no longer a bait pile.” It is still a bait pile and cannot be hunted for 10 days after every last kernel is gone. The deer helped Stage out by scratching the sand away to show what was underneath. If you know of a baited deer stand, give us a call. We will keep the information confidential.