CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports grouse, deer archery, waterfowl hunting, and fishing on the Rainy River continue to be the main emphasis of the workload, along with animal complaints and ATV enforcement. Kittelson and CO Slatinski assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office with locating a hunter who had been missing for about 10 hours. The hunter was transported to a local hospital and treated for hypothermia.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) continues to monitor area trails for unauthorized use. He fielded nuisance animal complaints and issued possession permits for road-killed deer. Waterfowl hunters are still hopeful for the big flight, with success minimal for most of the past week. As the outdoor focus changes, recreationalists are reminded regulations are still in effect for watercraft and ATVs even when their use is incidental to other endeavors, such as accessing hunting areas. He also assisted local agencies with a search for a missing hunter. The hunter was located.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring ATV and small-game activities. Grouse-hunting success remains poor. Public access sites continue to be checked. Beaver-related problems continue. Time was spent on equipment work and returning phone calls. Fishing activity continues.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, small-game hunting, archery deer hunting and waterfowl-hunting activity. Cold, windy weather seemed to limit recreational activity. Anglers who ventured out appeared to find some fish. Broughten checked numerous grouse hunters and bough harvesters. Grouse hunters had better success this past week, likely due to most of the leaves having fallen. Broughten fielded several ATV complaints and trespass concerns.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons, ATVs, balsam bough cutters, deer-baiting complaints, and assisted the State Patrol with a road-rage driver who displayed a handgun and a shoplifter who fled from a business. Suspects in both incidents were apprehended. One small-game hunter racked up six violations, including no small-game license, uncased handgun in a motor vehicle, expired driver’s license, unregistered ATV, and failure to display registration. Other enforcement action for the week consisted of additional ATV violations.
CO Matthew Frericks (Virginia) and COC Jacob Swedberg spent the week working deer, grouse, and waterfowl hunters. They were also able to meet with two different groups of youth to help with projects relating to conservation, specifically on wolf trapping and muskie fishing. Other enforcement time was spent working on a trap-tampering complaint, burning violations, and ATV violations.
International Falls #2 – vacant.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports warmer and dry weather finally arrived in Ely over the week and a huge increase in hunting activity was noticed. Grouse numbers were still relatively low, but a few hunters reported a good number of buffleheads and ring-necked ducks. Williams also assisted the St. Louis County rescue squad and U.S. Border Patrol on Snowbank Lake after a group capsized their canoe in 30-mile-per-hour winds and 27-degree air temperatures. The group had safely made it to an island but were wet and very cold. The people and their equipment were located and brought off the lake.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked designated trout lakes and grouse hunters. He also made sure bear hunters removed their bait stations during the week.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and COC Lerchen report working waterfowl and grouse hunters, whitefish netters, and deer shining. Investigation into a decorative tree theft is ongoing. Several complaints were investigated throughout the week. A few hunters did very well on ducks, although duck numbers were sporadic, and grouse hunters averaged about a bird per person. Enforcement action taken included taking a wild animal from a motor vehicle, duck transportation and stamp violations, failure to transfer watercraft ownership, and storage of property on state land.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area ATV and hunting activity. There seems to be a rumor about a law change that allows guns to be loaded while on an ATV going around town. Schottenbauer has been clarifying that the rumor is not true. Schottenbauer has also been assisting the Lake County Sherriff’s Office with lost hikers and motorists following GPS directions into odd places.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked area hunting activity. Fall anglers were also checked, animal complaints were handled and a bear-hunting investigation was followed up on.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game activity and took complaints of nuisance beaver activity. Small ponds and lakes had skim ice forming on them, signaling that winter is on its way. Murray answered questions about the upcoming firearms deer season and took a call of hunter trespass.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, worked ATV activity, checked small-game hunters, and worked AIS enforcement. Duck hunters were also checked. Ducks have left the area and swans are showing up.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught at the district firearms safety field day, checked waterfowl and small-game hunters and assisted the county with a vehicle rollover. The area grouse hunters had good success this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and arrests for outstanding warrants.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working big-game, waterfowl, ATV, and small-game enforcement. Grouse hunters continue to have moderate success throughout the area. Van Asch assisted Itasca County deputies with a capsized boat. All of the occupants were located. They were extremely cold and given medical treatment.
Hill City – vacant.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the week working many different activities. Many contacts were made with people small-game hunting, archery deer hunting, waterfowl hunting, and fishing. A few violations were encountered, but the vast majority of people were lawful. ATV activity was also high during the week. Duncan assisted local law enforcement with a couple calls for service and also worked on a complaint that resulted in locating a stolen camper trailer. Night shining activity was also worked during the week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) did a K9 talk and demonstration for first-grade students at Esko School. ATV patrols were conducted in the Nemadji State Forest where several contacts were made for unlawful juvenile operation. Extra time was put in to following up on older complains of dogs chasing deer and burning violations. Area forest spots were patrolled, checking compliance on commercial tree and bough harvesters.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked shining complaints and night work west of Duluth. During the middle of the week he checked inland walleye anglers, who have been doing fairly well. Olson finished with open-water boat items and checked with U.S. Coast Guard crews on upcoming training and work planning. Bears are still out and about putting on winter weight, as several bear concerns were addressed.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked hunters and anglers as the seasons continued to change. Some skim ice was found on area lakes as trout anglers tested inland waters, and duck hunters looked for divers passing through. Groups of ATV riders were contacted in the Silver Bay station operating in what they admittedly described as “a careless manner.” A complaint was received of a deer being gutted in an odd place. Enforcement action was taken for waterfowl, angling, boating, and ATV violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.