DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports mild weather over the weekend meant a huge amount of hunting, fishing, ATV, snowmobile, and skiing activity. A good amount of time was spent focusing on ski trail pass enforcement. A 100% compliance rate was seen. Violations included operating an ATV with no safety certificate and failure to display ATV registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked deer hunters and anglers this past week. Snowmobile activity picked up a bit but trails aren’t groomed. Velsvaag worked a detail in the Grand Marais area and took calls about deer zones and a designated trout lake.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week checking snowmobilers and anglers. He attended training at Camp Ripley and worked on equipment. Enforcement action was taken for multiple snowmobile violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped provide use of force training and participated in annual training at Camp Ripley. Manning attended a meeting of the DNR’s Honor Guard to review previous events, plan for Police Week in 2022 and practice drill and rifle work. She also hit area forest roads on snowmobile. Groomers are working to pack trails and roads so conditions are varied. Trails and ditches may appear good, but hidden rocks are not far below the surface in many spots so ride cautiously.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, muzzleloader, small-game, and recreational vehicle enforcement throughout the week. Training was completed and a presentation was given to a homeschool group.

CO Dave Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked early ice anglers, muzzleloader hunters and trappers throughout the week. Recent snowfall has brought many snowmobilers to the area, but riders should use caution as trails are not in prime condition. Trail crews are packing current snow to make a base, but more snow is needed before any meaningful grooming can happen.

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the muzzleloader deer season came to a quiet close. Overall hunter numbers in the area seemed to be down from previous years. Snowmobile activity and spearing activity are picking up, but upcoming nice weather might hinder ice-making. People are reminded to use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice, and to be prepared for the worst. Enforcement action for the week included operating an unregistered snowmobile and trespass issues.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. Larson spent time investigating illegal snowmobile trail usage and checking anglers on Lake Vermilion.