DNR Conservation Officer weekly report for the week ending October 7
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week checking anglers and hunters. He taught an ATV safety class at the Cook County middle school. Time was also spent assisting with an ATV work detail along the North Shore.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) attended a work crew with officers from around the state focusing on ATV recreation and small-game hunting south of Ely in areas of the Superior National Forest. Hunter success was fair with most hunters reporting seeing birds. Violations included hunting without a license in possession and failure to display current ATV registration.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and small-game activity during the week. Salmon have begun to move into area streams but recent rainfall has made for challenging fishing conditions on North Shore streams. Murray took a water-quality complaint on Lake Superior that is under investigation and continued big-game baiting investigations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent the week checking ATV and small-game hunting activity. Time was spent checking anglers as well. Schottenbauer hosted a group of officers from around the state to work on hunting, angling, and ATV activity in the area.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports despite the rain, wind, and cooler weather people were still out fishing on the Rainy River with fairly good success. A youth firearms safety class was also held where 50 youth battled the elements to complete the certification process. A bear complaint was handled along with a complaint of a possible sick moose. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license and illegal transport of fish.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time teaching a firearms safety class at Border Patrol with approximately 50 class attendees. Despite the wet weather, there was great participation from all. Grouse-hunter activity was observed to be quite slow due to the unusually wet start of fall. Time was also spent successfully recovering an ATV from a previous felony fleeing case that occurred this summer.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports the moist weather has kept most hunters out of the woods. With limited frost, the forest understory is maintaining foliage and making it difficult to see very far off the trails for the elusive grouse. Investigations into two incidents of vehicles abandoned on state lands were initiated. Evidence of illegal use of state snowmobile trails has been common, with additional time spent focusing on contacting responsible parties. A report of criminal damage to property was taken. These are senseless acts that just cause animosity among the different trail user groups. Animal-related complaints involving bears and a moose were heard. The week was finished out providing 48 youngsters with training at a firearms safety field day. The weather did not cooperate it rained all day but no complaints were heard. Hats off to all the instructors who showed up to make it happen.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports with a week of rain, very few outdoor users were located. There are numerous areas of standing water adjacent to roads and trails. Complaints about the lack of ducks and grouse continue. Numerous beaver-related complaints were fielded over the week. Public access sites were checked and work with DNR Forestry continues.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the past week working small-game hunters and ATV riders. Two individuals were dealt with who had loaded firearms in their vehicle. The walleye bite has subsided a bit, probably due to the sporadic weather conditions. A few nuisance-bear complaints also were reported.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small-game and waterfowl hunters, ATV riders, the state park, a multi-ownership trespass complaint, and a WCA complaint. Deer-baiting complaints are starting to come in. Wet conditions kept most grouse hunters out of the woods, but it didn?t slow duck-hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for an unplugged gun, unsigned federal duck stamp, no license in possession, blocking a gate on a WMA, and operating an ATV in a state park.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) is investigating an incident where a large buck was shot and killed likely from the roadway in Wouri Township north of Virginia. The person responsible removed the buck?s head and neck and left the rest to waste. This deer could have been legally taken by you, your son, daughter or your grandchild and would have made a beautiful trophy. If you know anything about this incident you can contact Frericks directly at (218) 404-0600. You can also use the TIP line. You can remain anonymous. Frericks started field training duties with COC Aaron Larson. Time was spent completing training tasks and checking on baited deer stands for archery hunters. Frericks and Larson assisted in the field day portion of a firearms safety class in International Falls for a class of nearly 50 students.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and angling activity. Waterfowl and grouse hunters reported limited success. Continuing rain limited recreational activity. Broughten fielded calls regarding trespass and nuisance bears. He also assisted with a firearms safety class.