DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports hunting activity continued strong, although most of the camps in the Ely area emptied before the rain and snow fell in the middle of the week. A wolf was found shot and killed on the Echo Trail on Friday morning. Anyone who may have any information is encouraged to contact Minnesota Turn in Poachers at 800-652-9093.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week checking deer hunters and following up on investigations. He assisted the U.S. Forest Service on several complaints. Time was also spent on the water checking whitefish nets.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) saw mixed weather impact deer hunting this week, but lower temperatures and a dusting of snow seem to working to hunters? advantage. Manning took two calls of hikers walking through areas very popular with deer hunters while wearing almost no orange and no brightly colored clothing. Both hunters stated they warned the hikers about hunters in the area. One pointed out that one orange hat between three people was not enough for them to be seen easily; apparently their dog was well attired. Manning also took a couple after-the-fact calls of hunters claiming hunting privilege to public land based on past use, however public land is open to all. Hunters seeking exclusive hunting areas should purchase land.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily firearms deer hunters. A few nice bucks were seen taken, but it?s been slow for most people. Enforcement action included shooting at big game from the road right-of-way and unlawful party hunting. A large spruce-top seizure was made after consent was unable to be produced. Enforcement action was taken.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer-hunting activity this week. Time was also spent checking bough-harvester paperwork.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports minimal deer movement during the week had some hunters frustrated. Some small bucks and a few does were checked at various camps. The cold front towards the end of the week pushed some deer around, so there?s hope for hunters with one more week to go. Work was done on an ongoing trapping case. Hill reported no violations for the week.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a much colder second weekend of firearms deer season. This week snow arrived to the North Shore and provided some tracking snow for hunters, improving the harvest some. Murray continued to investigate illegal baiting activity and responded to reports of hunter-harassment and trespass complaints.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the second weekend of the regular deer firearms season has come and gone, with one more week left. Heavy, wet snow came, making it difficult to get in and out of camps and to see in the woods. It seems like the harvest is down the second weekend, compared to the first, because of the snow. Enforcement action for the week included ATV violations, borrowing and lending licenses, and site-tagging issues.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports checking many hunters out trying to fill their 2021 firearms deer licenses. Success rates were pretty good throughout the area. Enforcement action taken this past week was for possessing a small amount of marijuana and transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports heavy snow has arrived in the area. Some forest roads and ATV trails are not passable due to trees down. Little hunting activity was noted and very few deer were observed harvested. Complaints continue about the lack of deer and wolf numbers. Forest roads continue to be checked and equipment work is ongoing. Computer-based training was completed.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily deer-hunting enforcement. Larson encountered several violations throughout the week including taking deer with the aid of bait, expired ATV registration, no deer license in possession, operating an ATV during closed hours, and transporting a loaded firearm. Larson also worked a stolen-boat complaint, trespass complaint, and a complaint related to operating an ATV on a bike path.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked big-game-hunting activity. Fewer hunters were seen in the field during the second week of the firearms deer season and those who were reported not seeing many deer. Numerous calls were fielded and some investigations remain ongoing. Violations encountered included hunting over bait, trespassing, failure to register deer, and no deer license in possession.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) assisted CO Aaron Larson with investigating a deer-baiting case involving multiple hunters in violation. Neighboring COs as well as a metro CO found that two bucks were taken over bait opening weekend. Multiple license and deer-registration violations were also found. Zavodnik assisted the State Patrol with multiple car crashes and a DWI arrest during the first snowfall. He also arrested an individual with a warrant while investigating a suspicious-activity complaint.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Hunters reported limited success this week. Broughten fielded calls regarding trespass, timber theft, and hunting during closed hours.