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MN DNR Weekly Report for Oct. 8, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports his focus for the past week included small-game and waterfowl hunting, angling, ATV use, state park compliance, and trail use. Angling activity has increased on reports of greater success and a hot bite. The weather forecasted for the area had waterfowl hunters hoping for fresh birds in the area. It appears some were pushed into the area although not as many as were expected. With leaves nearing or at peak color, grouse hunters are still not having an easy time locating birds off trails but the scenery has created photo ops for shutter bugs.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports a week of rain and ongoing complaints regarding beavers. Duck and grouse hunting remain poor with rain further diminishing outdoor activities. ATV activity remains constant. Public access sites and forest roads were monitored. Equipment work was completed.

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, small-game hunting, and waterfowl-hunting activity. Poor weather limited recreational activity. Fewer anglers were observed this past week. Broughten checked bough harvesters and attended training.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports he spent the entire week at Ripley for training.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked waterfowl and small-game hunters, with ATVs being worked in conjunction with hunting activity. More grouse are showing themselves and hunters are seeing more as leaves are starting to fall. The violation theme of the week seemed to be the unsafe transporting of loaded firearms in motor vehicles and motorized boats, along with shooting ducks from motorized boats, followed by not having PFDs. Two firearms safety classes were taught in Hibbing. A road killed wolf incident was handled, which was the second in a month. A wetland case was closed out with a citation for failing to comply with a restoration order. Other enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, shooting from a motor vehicle at a wild animal, taking waterfowl in open water, violating federal law (watercraft under power) while duck hunting, no HIP certification, no PFDs, and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) and COC Andrew Goodman spent time checking grouse hunters and balsam bough cutters. While driving to an access of a local duck-hunting lake, the COs checked two people camping together at the adjacent campground. Once their records were checked, the COs learned there was a no contact order between the two parties. The offending individual was arrested and transported to the local jail where she was charged for the violation. A landowner contacted Frericks reporting that an unknown individual shot a turkey from a vehicle on his posted property. Other trespass violations were investigated. Frericks encourages landowners to review the trespass regulations and legally post their property. Failure to do so makes pursuing trespass charges nearly impossible.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent part of the week winterizing boating equipment. Complaints have been received about bait being found at deer stands; these locations will be checked prior to deer rifle opener. Fredin investigated a report of lending and borrowing an archery tag that resulted in parties charged and deer seized.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) assisted the Ely Police Department after a fight in downtown Ely. Williams was flagged down after driving by a busy restaurant and told that a fight had occurred just moments before and one of the people involved had already fled on an ATV. When he arrived on scene he found the other person involved still unconscious on the ground. After an ambulance and other law enforcement officers arrived it was discovered the fight had escalated from an argument over crab legs.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers this past week. Fishing was slow and the few grouse hunters checked had poor success. Velsvaag took several calls on the upcoming firearms deer season and handled nuisance beaver complaints.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled forest roads checking bird hunters and people out enjoying the fall colors. Strong winds caused many roads to become blocked by falling trees and took a toll on the fall color spread. Parents are reminded that all kids under 18 years of age must be wearing helmets and be buckled in when riding in side-by-side machines, even when hunting for birds.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent the entire week at Camp Ripley for training. He responded to calls via phone remotely as they came in.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small-game hunters and anglers. The Lake Superior tributaries are busy with anglers trying their luck during the salmon run. Enforcement action was taken for angling and state park violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted volunteer instructors in teaching youth firearms safety and ATV safety classes this week. Fall colors have reached their peak along the North Shore and are dropping off steadily. Murray continued big-game investigations and checked waterfowl hunting activity.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked grouse and waterfowl hunters and investigated calls of deer baiting, litter in bear baits, and trespass. He also attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and trespassing.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked ATV activity, checked small-game and waterfowl hunters, and worked AIS enforcement. Numerous calls about wildlife were answered.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended training at Camp Ripley, worked waterfowl activity and responded to complaints about injured and nuisance animals. Lots of ducks in the station this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and transporting aquatic vegetation.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) continued to work waterfowl and archery deer hunting activity. Complaints of baiting and trespassing were handled. Sutherland also spoke at a youth firearms safety class. Road kill deer permits were on the rise so be careful while driving as the deer are on the move.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused mainly on waterfowl and small-game enforcement. Van Asch attended training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent on follow up investigation of an ongoing case.

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) answered questions regarding nuisance wildlife and responded to TIP calls this past week. Little hunting activity was seen given the wet weather. Willis attended a firearms safety field day along with other District 8 officers in the Duluth area.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) and COC Taylor Hochstein spent the week focusing on waterfowl hunting and fishing activity. Both waterfowl and fishing success was limited with the rainy and cold weather being a factor. The two spoke at and assisted with two different firearms safety classes in the Duluth area. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations, fishing with an extra line and unattended lines.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work all the fall outdoor activities. People were checked fishing, grouse hunting, deer hunting, waterfowl hunting and operating ATVs. Duncan also assisted with a firearms safety class. One day was spent at Camp Ripley for training and complaints of illegal deer hunting and trespass continue to the investigated.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended funeral services for Correctional Officer Parise as part of the DNR Enforcement Honor Guard. Humphrey assisted other district officers and volunteer instructors at a youth firearms safety field day held in Duluth. Humphrey worked waterfowl and small-game hunting activity throughout the week. Ring-necked ducks were a mainstay for duck hunters. OHV patrols were conducted with several violations encountered for licensing, operation and equipment violations. A citation was issued to a waterfowl hunter for operating a motorized watercraft in a wildlife management area. Other violations were found for firearms transport, license and stamp possession, and HIP certification.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with teaching a firearms safety class in Duluth. Waterfowl and small-game hunters were checked in the area. Compliance with the laws was found to be good. K9 assistance was given to an area agency in assisting with tracking people who fled from a crashed motor vehicle. Extra ATV patrols were conducted in the Cloquet and Carlton areas, where violations consisted of unlawful juvenile operation, no helmet, and operating in the middle of the roadway. A tip led to an archery hunter who was found to have taken a deer over bait. He was cited and the deer and crossbow were seized.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended training at Camp Ripley, worked small-game and waterfowl enforcement around Duluth area, worked AIS enforcement for water-related equipment being removed for the season along with watercraft that have been waterborne all summer. Olson assisted volunteer firearms safety instructors with a well-attended firearms safety field day at the United Northern Sportsmen retreat. Olson fielded trespass complaints and firearms deer season questions and reports leaves are at peak colors in the Duluth area.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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