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MN DNR Weekly Report for Nov. 13, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports another busy weekend with deer hunting.  One individual reported that he had shot, tagged, and skinned his deer and had it hanging underneath a lean-to attached to his house ready to butcher the next day. Someone cut the body from the head and walked off with his deer, only leaving the head.  Enforcement action involved hunting deer over bait, criminal damage to property, borrowing and lending licenses, and OHM violation.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports deer hunting activity has been the main focus during the past week. Illegal carcass dumping complaints have begun to come in. Calls were followed up on of illegally taken deer and license violations. Areas showing evidence of spruce top, balsam bough, and birch pole theft continue to be located. If anyone has information or knows of locations where individuals are taking these resources, please pass the information on to a local officer for follow up.  

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) checked trapping, big game, small game and netting activities. Enforcement contacts were made for deer license violations, transport loaded firearm, hunt over bait, operate ATV in closed hours, hunter harassment complaint, trespass, shoot from the roadway, and agency assist with welfare check.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area hunting activities. The first ice house appeared on an area lake. Hunting complaints were checked and variety of questions were answered. Hunting success remains poor and hunter numbers continue to dwindle.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) had a busy week with deer hunters.  Enforcement action was taken for shooting from roadway, loaded guns in motor vehicle, trespass, over-limit of deer, hunt without valid license, illegal party hunt, and lend and borrow license.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent most of the week working deer hunters and working hunting complaints.  The usual issues of deer baiting and shooting from the roadway continued and two firearms were seized for the violations.  A deer taken out of season investigation was concluded after interviewing the hunters at deer camp.  A deer hunter reported a deer with unusual lesions in its internal organs.  Arrangements were made to get the deer tested.  More deer are being taken now that temperatures have warmed, as hunter and deer activity have increased.  Enforcement action was taken on hunt deer over baited area, discharge firearm at a big game animal from a roadway, unlawful party hunting, no blaze orange, operate motor vehicle on a state trail, operate ATV during the closed hours, and unregistered ATV.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a very busy 2nd weekend of deer season handling numerous shooting from the roadway cases. Of those cases, one was a 16 year old who shot from the roadway and took a deer on ag land. This same juvenile was in CO Frericks’ FAS class last year and was told during the class specifically about shooting from the roadway and trespassing on ag land. In another case, CO Frericks is working with CO’s Hopkins and Velsvaag regarding deer hunters who are suspected of numerous violations including trespass, transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle, and taking an antlerless deer without a permit. While checking deer hunters in the Britt area, CO Frericks saw a truck heading down a snowmobile trail. A short time later CO Frericks located the vehicle stuck up to its axels. The driver / deer hunter failed numerous sobriety tests but was just under the legal limit. He received a citation for operating the truck on the snowmobile trail. A local towing company was called in to give an estimate on the cost to remove the vehicle. Due to the wet area, a tracked vehicle had to be brought in to remove the truck. The tow truck driver said the minimum tow bill would be $1000.    

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked deer season that started off slow but, deer activity increased throughout the week.  CO Fredin took a call of hunter harassment, where a young woman was sitting in a stand on state land and was harassed by two separate individuals that ended up being father and son.  One person on an ATV drove circles around her, cursing and got stuck for a period of time.  After he left, the other came by yelling verbal insults.  Other enforcement actions were hunting over bait with firearms seized, fail to validate license, fail to attach license, and fail to register deer.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports deer hunting activity continued to be high over the second weekend of the regular firearms deer season. Unfortunately so was the violation rate. Investigations included trespass, litter, and several deer shot off the roadway.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) found the deer season to be slow for a lot of people.  There has been a lot of shooting from the road complaints, and it is completely amazing that some people are actually surprised that it is against the law to shoot from the roadway.  The deer hunting trespass incidents seem to be on the increase as well.  Take the time to read the laws before you hunt.  

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some hunters have ditched the gun for the ice rod as the CO checked his first ice anglers of the year.  He also patrolled by snowmobile for the first time this season.  Some of the hunters that are waiting for the big buck, don’t believe the rut is in full swing quite yet as some have seen many does with nothing following behind.  Other hunters report that wolves are responding to grunt and bleat calls thinking it’s the dinner bell. One person described what he saw as a fight between a doe and a wolf, but the fight soon ended as other wolves joined in.   The CO has never heard it described this way.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) worked a snowy week of deer season.  The officer investigated a trespass case involving deer hunters and took calls on wolf depredation.  While there is some snow on the ground, conditions are not good for snowmobiling in most places and the lone group of sledders seen was towing a broken down machine down the road back to the cabin.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports numerous cases resulting in deer violations with several noteworthy incidents over the past week. One individual was caught hunting from the same baited stand twice in seven days with a citation and seizure of equipment both times. Enforcement action was taken against two people who shot deer off the road, one of which was transported untagged in a vehicle. Two people were apprehended for killing deer over baited areas, one of which was shot right next to a cabin over a feeding trough. Numerous other deer hunting violations were charged as well.  A TIP call led the officer to an individual who had illegally cut balsam boughs along the edge of hole #2 green at the Ely golf course, with enforcement action taken. Ice fishermen are out on several area lakes. 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) checked grouse hunters, trappers, ATV riders, ice anglers, snowmobilers, bough collectors, and deer hunters.  CO Schottenbauer did not see the partridge in the pear tree, but still assumes Christmas is around the corner.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked multiple hunters with success rates varying. Hunting and trespass complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken for hunting, state park and trespass violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a cold and wintery second week of deer season. Most area lakes were completely frozen this week but are not safe for travel yet. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and illegal ATV use.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked calls related to the deer season, relocated a mink that was killing tame ducks and the duck owner caught in a live trap, and responded to a deer through the ice call.  Enforcement action was taken for shooting from a motor vehicle, shooting at a big game animal from the road right of way, several loaded gun violations, trespass, no license in possession, and no ATV safety.  Multiple deer were also seized.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted with the execution of a search warrant, worked baiting complaints, checked hunters, investigated hunter harassment complaints, and checked a couple of ice fishermen. Please use extreme caution if venturing out on to the ice! Enforcement action was taken for hunt over bait, no license in possession, and arrest for outstanding warrant.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked deer hunters this past week. She took complaints of road hunting and use of ATVs during closed hours. Enforcement action was taken for various big game violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a very busy first full week of deer season. Enforcement action was taken for multiple deer over-limits, multiple baiting cases, shoot from the roadway at a big game animal, shoot from a motor vehicle, failing to tag a deer, failing to validate a deer tag, and illegal party hunting.  Remember that when party hunting, if you are using someone else’s tag they need to be in the “field” hunting with you.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused primarily on big game hunting throughout the surrounding areas.  Deer hunters continue to report steady success during the second weekend of the firearms deer season.  CO Van Asch conducted follow up work on an ongoing big game investigation.  Several deer hunting related complaints were also fielded and handled.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) followed up on shooting from roadway complaints and trespassing complaints.  Baiting complaints, blaze orange, and shining complaints were also worked during the week.  Snowmobile complaints have been ongoing as trails are not legally open until December 1st.  The officer assisted two different parties with deer retrieval on posted property and worked complaint areas for use of ATV’s during closed hours.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the week working firearm and the archery deer season.  Several complaints were investigated and a few resulted in citations being issued.  Some examples of the violations encountered include hunting without a license, hunting over bait, no blaze orange, and failing to validate tags.  A few investigations are still ongoing that are requiring more evidence collection.  Complaints of trespass were looked into.  Calls of wounded deer going onto other people’s property were resolved without issue.  Officer Duncan also investigated a possible waters violation during the week.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports firearms deer season work continued with several contacts resulting in enforcement action for untagged deer, failing to validate licenses, illegal transportation, transporting loaded firearms, and other license related violations.  Baiting issues continued to be addressed.  Hunters were reporting better results the second weekend with more deer movement.  Lots of does/fawns and young bucks being taken.  A number of phone calls with questions and concerns were taken over the week dealing with unethical and un-sportsman like action and behavior from other hunters including neighbors, friends, and relatives.  

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) continues with another busy week over the firearms deer season. Several calls and complaints of various violations were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from the road at big game animals, trespass, insufficient blaze orange, hunting deer over bait, and transporting loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. One of the calls investigated was from a witness that saw someone shine and shoot at deer from a motor vehicle well after dark. At the scene of the complaint a dead deer was found. Two hours later, a vehicle fitting the description described by the complainant returned and picked up the deer. They were stopped by officers and three individuals were contacted in the vehicle. Their vehicle, firearm, and light used in this violation was seized as evidence and they got to spend the night in the county jail. They are facing gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor charges for several violations.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week assisting in the vacant Brookston station.  The hunters have reported seeing fewer bucks but decent numbers of does and fawns. Deer camps were checked in the Floodwood meadowlands area, resulting in license violations and hunting over bait issues. The colder temps have frozen the majority of the swamps and bogs, allowing dryer boots for many. Trespass and neighbor disputes were also responded to. Many camps were vacated early Sunday afternoon. Some hearty walleye anglers were also checked on the lakes north of Duluth.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked deer hunters, herring netters, and provided patrol in vacant stations.  A 16 year old was stopped while operating a snowmobile without a helmet on a county road with a loaded rifle on his back and wearing insufficient blaze orange.  Another deer hunter/ATV operator was stopped for operating in closed hours, without displaying current registration, without headlights on the road, and with a revoked driver’s license.  A call of deer shot in a state game refuge resulted in a citation.  Enforcement action was taken for big game, small game, ATV, sled, and wildlife violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

District 9 - Brainerd area