MN DNR Weekly Report for Nov. 3, 2014

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking grouse hunting and trapping activity throughout week and weekend. Activity on the Rainy River for fall walleye fishing has slowed with only 30-40 boats observed....

District 5 - Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking grouse hunting and trapping activity throughout week and weekend. Activity on the Rainy River for fall walleye fishing has slowed with only 30-40 boats observed. Lots of people observed gearing up for upcoming firearms deer season. Enforcement action taken for the week consisted of no hunting license in possession and transporting a loaded firearm.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ongoing monitoring of forest roads, ATV trails, and public access sites with very little activity noted. Phone calls, permit issuing, and computer work are on-going. Equipment preparation for winter storage continues.



CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports numerous phone calls were returned relating to various outdoor activities. The few deer left in the area are starting to move around so use caution when driving. A few muskie anglers were observed and having some luck.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting and trapping seasons, anglers, balsam bough cutters, and investigated a complaint of the taking of a non-game migratory bird. The officer investigated four cases of large amounts of litter being dumped. On one case, a bank deposit slip foiled the truck load of carpeting dumper, while another was determined with mail and canceled checks. Another was dealt with as part of a trapping case and another had been lit on fire, requiring the officer to put out the flames. The officer responded to a call of a 150 pound bear caught in a foothold trap set for coyote. The bear was released, ran 20 feet, climbed up a tree for 10 seconds, and then ran off into the woods a little more educated.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has taken several calls from motorists concerning road killed deer. It appears that the lack of antlerless deer tags have people taking those deer they either hit with their cars or usually pass up on. CO Frericks is in the process of wrapping up several investigations on illegal dumping. Citizen reports are starting to come in regarding other “sportsmen’s” deer hunting behavior. A timber wolf was released from a trap with assistance from CO Fredin and the trapper who placed the trap.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint of hunter harassment when hunters put up a ladder stand on public land and other hunters believed they were too close so they yelled, intimidated, and tampered with the stand. Fredin received a shining complaint from private property. Some duck hunters were out but no birds seen. Time was spent winterizing water equipment.



International Falls # 2 - vacant.


Ray - vacant.


Tower - vacant.


District 6 - Two Harbors area  


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports Ely had its first real winter storm of the season, and although it was brief and the weather has improved, duck hunting reports have been poor as many have left the area after the cold and snow arrived. Grouse hunting reports have also poor with many hunters reporting little to no success. Violations included trespass and failure to tag traps.


CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked whitefish netters and fishermen throughout the week. A lot of people are out taking advantage of the nice weather. Other than the overnight blizzard, it has been a very pleasant fall and the firearm deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 8. Deer hunters are reminded to purchase their license and to remember that some of the products sold in the stores are not legal for deer hunting. If it has anything other than minerals in it, it is a violation to use it for deer hunting.  


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked hunters, trappers and whitefish netters during the week. The CO believes that this year will go down as a pretty good year for grouse hunters as many checked during the season reported good luck. The CO also  looked around for people placing bait to attract deer. The CO found some bear stands still left up after the season so some hunters will return next year to find their stands removed from federal and state lands.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) closed out the inland trout season checking lakes and anglers. The officer also concentrated efforts on enforcement of aquatic invasive species transport laws. Several locations were checked for deer bait, including a couple of tips from concerned hunters. While checking area gravel pits, the officer noted an abundance of trash, shell casings, and “targets” left behind by target shooters including cymbals, a milk can, a pillow and circular saw blades, all giving a bad name to responsible shooters.  



CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily trapping, small game, and waterfowl enforcement through the week. Violations encountered included illegal body gripping trap sets, no small game license in possession, underage alcohol violation, and no PFD. The cold front and accumulating snow brought few new ducks into the area, and grouse hunters weren’t finding much success either. Assistance was given on a call in Winton in which an individual led an Ely officer on a high speed pursuit then barricaded herself in her house.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area hunting activity. Time was spent on ATV as well. CO Schottenbauer also checked for AIS law compliance. 


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small game hunters and trappers. The Officer met with the assistant county attorney regarding past cases and attended court for a trial. Wahlstrom monitored ATV trails and worked an AIS detail with Officer Manning.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) investigated trapping and trespass complaints during the week and answered questions regarding the firearms deer season. Recent cold temperatures have started to freeze some shallow ponds in the area.



District 7 - Grand Rapids area  

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse hunters, waterfowl hunters, and trappers. Much of the week was spent documenting deer baiting complaints for visits during the deer season.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, worked archery complaints and assisted with a search for a missing person. The cold north winds brought many diving ducks into the area. Enforcement action was taken for take rough fish out of season, no license in possession and trapping issues.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) helped a neighboring officer work a complaint involving a whitefish net that was set early. Enforcement action was taken for netting early. She also checked on a trapping complaint and checked regular trapping activity. She assisted with an accidental catch involving a wolf where the animal was released from the trap.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowl hunters with some good success had by local hunters. The first big push of northern birds came through over the past week and with the weather outlook more should be arriving soon. CO Sutherland took enforcement action over the week for operating an ATV on the paved portion of a county road, operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV under 18 without a helmet and allowing a minor to illegally operate an ATV.



CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked fishermen, ATVs, trappers and small game hunters. He also worked on several hunting complaints during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week checking grouse and duck hunters. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATV carelessly. Numerous car deer permits were issued throughout the week.


CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) assisted with several complaints of illegal fishing. CO Velsvaag also responded to a call about suspicious activity near a campground and took several calls about deer season.


Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) investigated trapping, stand theft and deer baiting complaints. Many deer hunting questions were answered. WREO Arhart worked wetland and public waters cases. He also worked on equipment. Officer Arhart is retiring November 4, 2014, and would like to thank all the people that helped him during his 23- year DNR Enforcement career in the Thief River Falls, Aitkin, Deer River  and Squaw Lake stations!


District 8 - Duluth area  

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on trapping complaints during the week. He also checked trappers and handled trespassing complaints. ATV complaint areas were worked.   Officer Schmidt assisted area officers with shining work and balsam bough and spruce top complaints were investigated. 


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking duck, grouse and archery deer hunters. A few complaints of baiting prior to the firearms deer season are being investigated. Complaints of illegal nighttime shinning of deer are considerably lower this year. A few issues dealing with trapping were also handled during the week


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued field training with a COC and spent the week dealing with a large variety of complaints and phone calls. Officers conducted investigations into a garbage dumping complaint, a wetland violation complaint and a trapper harassment complaint. Two separate wolf control zones are being monitored.  Several trapping locations were checked. Officers are dealing with deer stand issues on public lands and deer baiting incidents.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked big and small game enforcement. Small game hunters were active over the weekend with mixed results being reported. Patrols were made into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and local wildlife management areas. Several traps were checked for compliance. Calls and questions continued to be received about upcoming firearms deer season. CO Humphrey participated in deer shining work and investigated a timber trespass on state land.  CO Humphrey also assisted the Sheriff’s Dept. with a shots fired call in Automba. Violations for no license in possession, taking fuel wood without a permit and ATV operation were encountered.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to a group of Cub Scouts in the Esko area about the duties of a Conservation Officer, endangered species and invasive species. A K9 meeting was attended in the metro area where training was conducted. K9 assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies where a person was found stealing copper wiring. K9 Schody found the suspect and also key evidence that will be used in his prosecution. Time was spent patrolling the Nemadji State forest where enforcement action was taken for ATV registration and hunting license violations.


WREO Mike Scott completed a background investigation on a potential new Conservation Officer. Grouse hunters and waterfowl hunters where checked with more success on both as the season progress. Several ATVs were checked with a juvenile male found to operating on a county highway with father who was on another ATV with a loaded uncased handgun. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a Motor Vehicle and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a Juvenile.


Lake Superior Marine Unit  

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked small game hunters north of Duluth, and assisted the Sheriff’s Office with several calls and traffic stops. Olson checked area North Shore rivers for fall fish run activity, responded to a landowner dispute, field calls on the upcoming firearms deer season, responded to a bear complaint, worked active shining complaints and tended to watercraft maintenance items.


CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week finishing up the background packet for a candidate for the CO Prep program. He also went on an injured bear and deer call and gave away both for consumption. He assisted the sheriff’s department on a domestic. The CO also worked some night activity on complaints.

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