MN DNR Weekly Report for Oct. 10, 2016

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (Int'l Falls) reports 20 local youth were certified in an ATV Safety Training Class along with the riding portion. Small game hunters were out in the field between rain showers, however few birds were...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports 20 local youth were certified in an ATV Safety Training Class along with the riding portion.  Small game hunters were out in the field between rain showers, however few birds were seen in the bag.  Several other complaints were handled, ranging from ATV issues, deer stand issues, and nuisance animal complaints.


 CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring small game activities over the week.  Grouse hunting remains poor with few birds observed.  ATV activity continues. Area forest roads were checked and monitored.  Public access sites continue to be monitored; very little angling activity noted. 



CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week doing online training.  The officer took a few complaints of nuisance bears in the area.  Investigation is being conducted on poaching of deer and after hour waterfowl hunting.  More enforcement action was taken on invasive species violations, and investigation into shoreline violations.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked grouse and waterfowl hunters, ATV’s, OHM’s, taught a Firearm’s Safety Class in Buhl, and handled incidents of a motorcycle traveling at over 100 mph and an SUV driven by a 13 year old.  The officer also dealt with a state park issue of a report of an individual trespassing, spoke to the Hibbing/Chisholm Rotary Club on hunting seasons, and dealt with a road killed bear and bobcat and a TIP call of a trumpeter swan dumped on the highway (which turned out to be litter).  Enforcement action was taken on transport uncased handgun, transport aquatic macrophytes, no horse pass, and several ATV violations.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continued field training duties with COC. The officers investigated a TIP call of a doe that was shot on Esquagama Road south of Biwabik. The doe was shot in the roadway and left where it fell on the shoulder of the road. No effort was made to retrieve any meat. Violations like this give all hunters a bad image. If anyone has information regarding the identity of the person who shot this doe, please contact CO Matt Frericks at (218) 404-0600 or the TIP line. Follow up investigation was performed on some litter violations.  


CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked small game hunters and ATVs looking for the elusive grouse.  Foliage is starting to fall making pursuit a little easier, hunters walking with dogs on side trails are finding more birds due to the volume of traffic on forest roads.   Officer Adam assisted other agencies with a search for a missing ATVer and a lost hiker.  Enforcement action was taken for operate ATV on public highway and operate on non-motorized trail.



International Falls #2 - vacant.


District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports cold weather and snow followed by rain, made for slower hunting and angling activity. Those who did venture out reported seeing an increase of waterfowl around Ely. Grouse hunters also reported seeing more birds as the understory is finally leaving, one group targeting woodcock had limits for both days they hunted the area. Violations included a juvenile ATV passenger without a helmet.


CO Marty Stage (Ely #2) worked duck hunters in the area and found some to be having good success.  Grouse hunters were having a little more trouble with success. The officer attended a meeting and checked on some old archery deer baiting locations from previous years.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a much slower week in the backwoods.  Even with the leaves gone in the lower brush areas, hunters are reporting poor results as far as grouse go.  Most success has been with young of the year birds.  Many walking trails are impassable from the heavy snow from last December that has pushed the alder brush and willows over the trails.  Enforcement action was taken for abandoned boats on public lands.



CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports an uptick in numbers of grouse hunters, although not in numbers of birds taken. A few hearty waterfowl hunters were also checked and they reported spotting a few ducks over the past week.  A very nice bear was also taken over the weekend as bear season winds down.  Anglers and campers were also checked; several reports regarding a group of hunters with ATVs camping near Lake Superior were investigated as was a call regarding a camper with live minnows on a designated trout lake.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent time at Camp Ripley working on divisional shotguns.  More heavy leaf chaser traffic competed for trail space with grouse hunters in the area.  Time was spent checking duck hunters, anglers on remote lakes, and assisting Lake County Sheriff with a suspect that fled near an ATV trail.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked big game, waterfowl, and grouse hunting activities during the week. Fall colors have now peaked in the area and leaves are steadily falling making grouse easier to spot. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) continued field training with COC.  Officers checked waterfowl hunters, small game hunters, and anglers.  Enforcement action was taken on a trespassing complaint and no license in possession.  Officers continued follow up on an over-stay camping issue in a state forest.  Many hunters were seen with few birds.



CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked boating, ATV, small game, waterfowl hunting, and fishing enforcement.  Violations included operate ATV on roadway, and transport aquatic macrophytes.  CO Hansen also spent some time on UOF and FTO work. 


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) certified at the USPCA Detection trials, checked anglers, worked follow up investigation on a bear hunting complaint and assisted the county in locating a suicidal female that was out in the woods. The colder weather and north wind brought some new ducks into the area. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked duck and deer hunting activity.  Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over a baited area.  CO Sutherland also assisted Itasca County with a search for a missing person.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, state parks and campgrounds.  He also checked small game and waterfowl hunters during the week.



CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked big game, small game, migratory waterfowl, and ATV enforcement.  Waterfowl hunters are starting to see more birds moving into the area and a variety of species were observed in hunter’s bags.  Assistance was given to Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office responding to an armed home invasion.  The suspect was located and taken into custody after attempting to flee from officers.  Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, unplugged shotgun, taking a protected non-game species, insufficient number of PFDs, and no small game license in possession.


District 8 - Duluth area CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked waterfowl hunters and ATV complaint areas. A request from an ATV operator that had become stuck on a state trail was handled. Officer Schmidt taught at the Hermantown Firearm Safety class.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) followed up on several calls and complaints.  Work was done on a wetland complaint, conservation easement complaint, and hunting complaints.  Time was also spent working small game, fishing, ATV activity, and night shining complaints areas. 


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted regulatory checks on hunters throughout the area.  Waterfowl hunters were spread out again with the central zone reopening.  Another slow week with mixed reports; ring neck ducks being the most abundant of those harvested.  CO Humphrey took calls on baiting, nuisance animals, trespass, shoot from the road, non-emergency assist and numerous questions on the upcoming deer season.  Violations encountered for ATV/OHM operation and registration, various small game/waterfowl equipment and licensing, trespass discharge firearm w/in 500’ of residence, and transporting undressed birds.



CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with working area lakes in the metro area where enforcement action was taken for hunting in closed season, over limit of crappies, angle with extra line, angle without license in possession, and angling without a license. Enforcement action was taken on a wetland violation on the Midway River. Extra ATV patrol was conducted in the Nemadji State Forest where enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, failing to obey trail signs, operating motor vehicle in a closed area, and registration violations. K9 Schody recently became recertified in detection training through the United States Police Canine Association so he is ready for another year of work helping to protect our natural resources. Nuisance bear and beaver complaints continue to be received in the area.


Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked grouse and duck hunters.  Several times in a weekend, the officer found himself looking down the barrel of a careless hunter's shotgun.  Reminders were given to those hunters that basic rules of firearms safety apply to the novice and experienced hunter alike, and through clear practice of these lessons, hunting remains a very safe outdoors activity.  Calls were taken regarding injured blue herons and injured swans.  Enforcement action taken for waterfowl violations.


Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

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