Conservation Officer’s report

Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Babbitt) worked on deer season case follow up and vehicle maintenance. He helped South Dakota officers with a fraud hunting license case and worked trapping enforcement. Calls were received about roadkill deer, ATV violations, and trespass violations. Trappers are reminded to wear orange as the muzzleloader deer season is now open. <BR><BR>CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked local trappers and trapping activity this past week. Trappers are gearing up for the fisher/marten season. He also checked up on an illegal burning complaint. CO Velsvaag continues to get calls on deer dumped with only portions of useable meat taken.<BR><BR>CO Mike Lekatz (Ely) worked checks throughout the week on small game hunting and trapping activity, and over the weekend on muzzleloader deer hunting activity and fisher/pine marten trapping activity. He also checked closed permit area #116 for muzzleloader activity; investigated a complaint on wanton waste of migratory waterfowl and a report of untagged snares; and handled the release of a lynx that was accidentally caught by a trapper. Some of the smaller area lakes are starting to ice over while the bigger deeper lakes still remain free of ice. There were a few inches of snow on the ground last Saturday and a couple of snowmobilers who were out for a ride.<BR><BR>CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) received and responded to several calls of injured or starving owls. There has been a large invasion of northern owls into this part of the state recently. This is most likely the result of a lack of food in the owls’ usual range, which is a bit farther north. He also checked fisher and marten trappers now that the season has opened.<BR><BR>CO Kipp Duncan (Two Harbors) enjoyed a few days off during the week of Thanksgiving. The days worked were spent on trapping enforcement. <BR><BR>CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found some early season ice fishermen to check. Ice conditions vary a great deal from one lake to another so be very careful. He also worked trapping. Enforcement action was taken for ATV on a state highway and for failing to display ATV registration.