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MN DNR Weekly Report for Oct. 2, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports a busy weekend with a Youth Firearms Safety Field Day in which 40+ kids completed the required training.  Grouse hunters and waterfowl hunters continue to have very limited success.  Animal complaints continue to be part of the work load also.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the final weekend of harvest opportunity for lake sturgeon on the Rainy River brought many groups to the area camping on the banks of the river. Most groups were having very good success both with harvestable size fish and catch and release size fish. CO Slatinski fielded injured animal calls and, along with a neighboring officer, investigated a TIP call of possible fish over limit. A group of 12 individuals, including local officers and volunteer instructors, conducted a firearms safety field day for youth traveling from as far away as White Bear Lake. A presentation at a trapper’s education class was also delivered, where despite cold wet weather the students were eager to learn the information provided by the instructors and were looking forward to be able to get out and put it to use in a couple weeks.  

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked on the lakes checking anglers.  Fall fishing has been decent between the heavy rains.  Over limit of walleye investigation completed with six individuals cited.  Forest accesses and trails are extremely wet, minimize vehicle use to avoid excessive rutting which could result in potential temporary shutdown of access points.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, hunting, ATV, and boating activity. Grouse hunting remains poor with few birds seen. Many questions on where all the birds are.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked grouse hunters and anglers this past week.  He also followed up on several complaints.  Grouse hunters had low success but anglers were doing better when the weather permitted.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took a number of beaver and bear complaints this week.  The high water this summer has increased the beaver issues we are seeing in the area.  Anglers are having some success on Vermillion, and should get better as the water cools.  Waterfowl hunter numbers were lower this week, however goose hunters were finding some decent hunting.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small game, waterfowl and deer hunters, ATV’s, anglers, invasive species, worked a forest product theft complaint, and taught a Firearms Safety Class in Buhl.  The officer spent time investigating two wetland violations and issued two Resource Protection Notifications for the violations.  A wetland restoration order was also served. Waterfowl hunting and ATV violations were addressed.

 CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Virginia. Area bow hunters were checked, some taking deer from the City of Cook hunt. An ATV operator was issued a citation for operating his ATV on the shoulder of Hwy 169 from Mt Iron to Buhl. The operator said he didn’t know he couldn’t drive his ATV there. A call from the Virginia PD led to a young lady being cited for angling without a license. The angler said she thought she didn’t need a license because she was just “practice angling”.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) continued checking grouse hunting activity and most hunters stated few to no birds flushed.  Fishing activity was checked with a fair number out enjoying the nice weather, most had a few walleye in the box.  ATV complaint areas were worked.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports better success over the week from both hunters and anglers. Grouse hunting, while still tough because of the remaining undergrowth, improved the most. Woodcock also were migrating through and one hunter with his limit commented the woods were “dirty” with them. Violations included fail to display current watercraft registration and no lifesaving device onboard a watercraft.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais #2) took an abundance of nuisance bear complaints, including one which resulted in the closure of a BWCAW campsite.  The officer also assisted Cook County emergency responders with a boating accident in which the boater was thrown out of the boat, which was then making the “circle of death” on the lake.  The gentleman was very lucky to be alive and unhurt, but was later seen operating a different boat and he still did not feel the need to wear either a life jacket or the motor cutoff lanyard.   The lanyard would have saved responders several hours of response time had he been wearing one earlier in the first boat.  CO Manning also responded to a report of a boater refusing inspection at an area access and checked anglers and grouse hunters.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a TIP complaint, a solid waste complaint, and checked anglers, grouse hunters, and ATVs.  Enforcement action for the week included angling with an extra line, litter, transport loaded gun on ATV, no small game license, passenger under 18 without a helmet, and insufficient PFDs.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunting and ATV activity this week.  CO Schottenbauer was at William Kelly School in Silver Bay talking about small game hunting opportunities and safety.  Bear complaints have picked up a bit this week too.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marias #3) spent the week checking small game hunters, archery hunters, and bear hunters. Time was also spent on checking anglers along the north shore streams, responding to nuisance animal calls, and follow up on complaints.  

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small game hunting and waterfowl activity during the week. Hunters are having improved success and seeing more grouse this week. Officer Murray assisted with classroom presentations for youth Firearms and ATV safety classes and took a report of nuisance bear activity.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, hunters, and ATV operators.  He issued permits for car killed deer, nuisance wildlife problems, and deer season ATV permits.  Officer Patten helped with two firearm safety classes.  Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a public highway and importing the whole head of a cervidae into the state.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) helped teach Firearms Safety to 75 sixth grade students in Deer River School, checked anglers, worked a hunter harassment case, investigated wetland complaints, patrolled for OHV violations, and monitored waterfowl activity. The area saw a few migrating ring necks and cooler waters temps are producing good angler reports. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, drive after revocation, no ATV safety certificate, fail to display valid registration on ATV, and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) helped with a firearms safety class this past week in Deer River. She and Glenn DelGuidice from DNR spoke to college students about the moose population in NE Minnesota. She also attended the local MDHA banquet. She investigated a timber theft case and checked hunting activity.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowl activity over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for guns with shells in the chamber while a boat was in motion, lead and no plug in a shotgun to prevent more than three shells from being in it, and not having a license in possession.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling, small game, migratory waterfowl, ATV, and big game enforcement.  Duck hunters reported consistent success with a slight increases in overall duck numbers throughout the area.  Follow up was also completed on illegal bear bait activity.  Enforcement action was taken for unplugged shotgun, baiting bear with solid waste not bio-degradable, and no small game license in possession.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) reports a busy week in the area.  Time was spent working small game, big game, and waterfowl hunters.  Officer Prachar also reports working ATV activity throughout the area. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working area lakes for waterfowl hunters and anglers.  Trespassing complaints were investigated and complaints of motor vehicle use in closed areas were handled. Nuisance animal complaints were handled and the officer spoke at the West Duluth Firearm Safety class.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work grouse hunters throughout the week.  Morning work consisted of checking duck hunting activity around the Duluth area.  Other enforcement work involved ATV enforcement on area trails, archery deer hunting, and a call regarding a trespass complaint.  Officer Duncan continues monitoring a public waters complaint and he talked with a local TV station about hunting safety and tips for not getting lost in the woods.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off highway vehicle, and hunting enforcement over the week.  CO Humphrey checked anglers fishing for smallmouth bass on the St. Louis River.  CO Humphrey received calls on a dead moose in the Cloquet area and unlawful use of a motor in a wildlife mgmt. area.  Lt. Speldrich assisted and enforcement action was taken.  CO Humphrey conducted patrols in the Fond du Lac state forest and local wildlife management areas. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked waterfowl shooting hour violations in the area as well as small game hunters. A permit was issued for a car killed fisher and several questions about the current hunting season were handled in the office. Some off-highway vehicle work was done in the Nemadji State Forest with enforcement action taken for operation, equipment, stop sign, and registration violations.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time checking anglers on Lake Superior as the close of lake trout season is upon us, fishing was good during the remaining week. As the fall colors are nearing peak and the leaves are falling, bird hunters are having more success on area trails north of Duluth. Investigation continues on a deer that was shot during the evening hours west of Brookston, please contact the TIP toll free number with any information

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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