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MN DNR Weekly Report for Dec. 4, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports muzzleloader season continues on with little activity. Pine marten and fisher trapping season came to a close with fur registration with most trappers getting pine marten.  Enforcement action was taken for burning of prohibited materials.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports trapping and muzzleloader deer hunting activities were the main focus of activity. Questions in regards to registering furs were fielded. Miscellaneous calls about car killed animals were handled. Fur registration was performed in Big Falls with various reports of success and disappointment heard. Ongoing investigations were worked and accidental trapping catches were picked up and processed.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked on trapping, muzzleloader and firearms deer season cases. Road kill deer possession tags were issued and ice fishing activity and safety issues were checked. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working on trapping related matters, monitored area lakes, and checked area forest roads.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked muzzleloader deer hunters this past week.  He also checked trapping activity and found some anglers out on the ice.  CO Velsvaag had several calls about injured eagles and trapping/snaring regulations.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted with fur registration in Tower.  Enforcement action was taken on possession of marten out of season, registration violations, and trapping without a license.  Trappers appear to have had a good fisher/marten season and many limits were registered.  It was nice to see a good number of children taking part in trapping as they represent the future of fur bearer population control in our state.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked trapping and hunting activity, followed up on deer hunting cases, registered furs, and continued with the investigation of a spruce top theft case arrest from the week prior. The officer assisted CO’s with a forest product and felon with a firearm case; the suspect was taken to jail.  Enforcement action was taken on fail to register fisher.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling and checking fisher and pine marten trappers during the short six day season. Many trappers took their limit of two animals. A few ice fishermen were checked, however that activity almost ceased with much warmer temps and ice conditions worsening. CO Frericks assisted St. Louis County deputies in searching for a suspect who fled on foot after a vehicle pursuit. The suspect was apprehended a short time later. CO Frericks met a muzzleloader hunter who was excited that he killed a nice buck with his new muzzleloader. The problem was he trespassed to do it and neglected to buy a muzzleloader license. The deer and muzzleloader were seized.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) began a background investigation on a potential candidate for DNR conservation officer.  Officer Fredin assisted with fur tag registration in Eveleth.  He also looked into watershed flooding situation outside of Biwabik.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he attended fur registration at the DNR officer in Tower. Trapper numbers seemed to be up from last year with good numbers of pine marten being reported. Violations included trapping without a license and take pine marten during the closed season.

CO Marty Stage (Ely #2) reports the ice has improved significantly and fishermen are venturing out for ice fishing and skating activities.  The bare ice has been perfect for skating on those local lakes with good ice.  But as always, be careful as there are still dangerous places with thin ice and open water.   

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked trapping, muzzleloader, and ice fishing activity. Some anglers are walking out onto ice without a care in the world.  Not checking ice depths as they go, and not having any ice picks on them.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) checked traps and trappers during the short fisher/pine marten season and assisted with fur registration.  The officer also continued to follow-up on registration issues from the recent firearms deer season, checked muzzleloader hunters, and assisted a pair who had underestimated the time they needed to complete their hike and return to their vehicle before dark. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily trapping and angling enforcement and worked on a pre-employment background investigation.  Several trapping investigations were worked with violations to include trapping without a license, site coupon violations, registration violations, affix a tag to a pelt not personally taken, and possession of marten in the closed season.  Marten trappers had a very high success rate with the vast majority of trappers coming in with a limit.  Anglers, on the other hand, are not having much success with anything but pike.  Additional enforcement action included angle with an unattended line and criminal damage to property.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area trapping activity as well as assisted at the Finland fur registration. CO Schottenbauer continued work on the background, and checked ice anglers this week as well.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and trapping activity. Some area lakes are producing some good fishing opportunities while others are not quite safe for travel yet. Reports of trespass and wanton waste of an animal are being investigated and enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked trappers and muzzleloader hunters, patrolled for illegal spruce top and bough cutting, assisted with a search warrant, and worked on finishing cases from deer season.  Enforcement action was taken for trespassing.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) worked on deer season follow-up. She also assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration in Grand Rapids. She worked on some trapping cases that resulted in enforcement and closed a case involving spruce top theft.

CO Tom Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked muzzleloader and early ice angling.  Follow-up work was performed from rifle deer season with enforcement action for illegal party hunting, failure to obtain a roadkill permit, and failure to register a deer.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling, trapping, and big game enforcement.  CO Van Asch assisted neighboring officers with the execution of a search warrant.  Anglers are reporting moderate success on area lakes.  Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) continued to follow up on cases from deer season. Deer dumping complaints are coming in like crazy and miscellaneous wildlife calls were handled.  Officer Schmidt worked the Jay Cooke special deer hunt and assisted with fur registration.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted the Wildlife division with fur tagging at the Cloquet office. Time was spent working a special muzzleloader hunt at Jay Cooke State Park. Complaints of people using illegal stands and trespassing were investigated.  Other enforcement action was taken in the park for not having a vehicle permit and for being in closed areas. Permits were issued for car killed deer and an incidentally taken otter was taken in and will be used for educational purposes. Follow-up on complaints from the firearms deer season continue.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the lakes north of Duluth. Officer Olson responded to a trespass complaint of a muzzleloader hunter in Lakewood Township. Officer Olson also found some bird hunters who were taking advantage of the nice weather and did decent on grouse.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers on the big lake and registered furs for marten and fisher trappers.  Deer season cases were wrapped up. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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