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DNR Report: Abandoned bear cub rescued, found to have a broken foot

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of April 24.

Minnesota DNR Report logo

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports another winter storm has brought most outdoor activities to a halt. The sturgeon “keep” season on the Rainy River has started, so people are reminded to follow all the special rules that apply when harvesting a sturgeon. Equipment maintenance and training were completed.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the Rainy River this past week checking sturgeon anglers. Fishing reports were slow. The water levels remain high and the water is dirty, but most of the debris has cleared. Forest roads and trapping activity was monitored as well.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports another storm has dropped significant snow and snowmobiles have reappeared. Spring road closures were monitored. Below-freezing temperatures have refrozen small waterways. Trapping activities were checked, as were angling activities. Area lakes remain ice-covered.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily spring trapping and angling enforcement. The snow and cold caused activity to be minimal throughout the week. Larson spent time checking for beaver activity and traps in the rivers. Water levels and flooding appear to be receding. Larson also spent time working on boat maintenance in preparation for the fishing opener. He also assisted other agencies during the whiteout conditions on Thursday.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time answering various ATV-related calls over the week. He also spoke about laws and ethics at a firearms safety class consisting of approximately 20 students. Zavodnik was lucky enough to present a 40-year instructor award to one instructor as well. Equipment maintenance and administrative tasks were completed throughout the week.


CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, trapping and ATV activity. Recent cooler weather and snow delayed spring activity. Lake ice is slowly deteriorating. Broughten fielded calls regarding litter, nuisance animals, and recreational vehicle registration.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) monitored seasonal closures and ATV activity and worked on equipment maintenance. He met with the assistant county attorney to review and prepare ongoing cases.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) reports heavy snowfall over the week have prolonged the spring melt. Most lakes remain entirely locked with ice, while the rivers flowing into Lake Superior remain in a high-flow state. Ledeen had the honor of attending the funeral service for Deputy Josh Owen.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) gave a law talk at the Ely firearms safety class. Thanks to the volunteer instructors. A ride-along was given to a college student. Time was spent patrolling for ATV, angling, and trapping activity. Enforcement action was taken for an ATV operator and passenger under 18 without helmets and for operating on a closed trail. As a reminder, the Prospector’s ATV trail system is closed until further notice. You can monitor trail status on the DNR website.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked river and shore anglers as steelhead activity began to increase. No sign of smelt in the rivers yet, but they should be running soon. Inland lakes are still quite ice- and snow-covered. Some very late snowmobile activity was monitored, and ATV use is picking up. Enforcement action taken regarding state parks, angling and litter.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked Lake Superior streams during the week. Few anglers were catching fish yet as water temperatures are well below average with swift water from inland run off. Murray also issued possession permits for road-hit deer and took a call of an injured bobcat.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) enforced trapping activities, checked anglers, and responded to animal-related calls. Brown received calls of an abandoned bear cub hanging out near the road. The bear was seen in the area for a few days with no signs of its mother. Brown was able to capture the bear cub and turn it over to a wildlife rescue. The bear was found to be starving, dehydrated, and with a broken foot. The cub will be released when it reaches a healthy weight.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity over the past week with riders finally out and about enjoying some spring weather. Sutherland took calls about deer being hit by motor vehicles as they are now on the move with most of the area snow gone. Ice conditions on area lakes are making venturing out very dangerous and at most landings the ice has pulled back a long ways.


CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the previous week. Time was also spent on wildlife-related complaints. Holt attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time patrolling the area looking for turkey hunting and beaver-trapping activity. Few turkey hunters were out, and beaver-trapping activity was lower than normal as well due to high and fluctuating water levels. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies on multiple calls.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jake Willis (Brookston) fielded multiple regulation-related calls this week. Equipment maintenance for the seasonal change continues. Ice is still on many bodies of water, but is fading fast and nowhere near safe to venture out on. Assistance was also given to a local county agency regarding target shooting on state land.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) attended the funeral for Deputy Owen in Pope County as part of the DNR Honor Guard team. He handled a complaint of parties squatting on state property and multiple illegal-dumping complaints that are appearing with the dwindling snowpack. Time was spent working anglers and monitoring activity along the North Shore tributaries.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked anglers along the North Shore and checked rivers for activity and fish run. Time was spent following up on nuisance-animal calls, trespassing complaints and clearing up open case files.

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) monitored turkey hunting and ATV activity this week. An incidentally trapped animal call was handled. Elwell also attended funeral services for Pope County Deputy Joshua Owen, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty.

CO Mikeena Wehr (Willow River) continued work on special projects.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week looking into nuisance-animal complaints. Many people have been reporting dogs chasing deer and people feeding deer. Turkey hunting and fishing activity have been monitored. Karon gave a talk to a firearms safety class. He also attended the funeral for fallen Deputy Josh Owen.


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