District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) and COC Seifermann continued to handle nuisance-bear complaints in the area. They also checked bear hunters, deer hunters and many anglers, and spent time giving a law and regulations presentation at a youth trapper education certification class. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, improper tagging of sturgeon, failure to obtain a burning permit and lending/borrowing of licenses.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) assisted the State Patrol with an individual who was driving a commercial truck without a valid driver’s license and was carrying a load 9,000 pounds over capacity. Waterfowl hunters scratched out a few birds during their hunts with reports of ring-necked ducks starting to make their way into the state. Time was spent responding to a capsized kayak on Rice Lake and checking walleye and sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports the damp conditions have suppressed many fall recreational activities. The leaves have just recently begun to noticeably change color and thin out in the understory. Grouse-hunting activity has been minimal, and hunters who have tried their luck have reported limited success. Slatinski assisted with an inquiry on permitting of several projects in or near area waterways. He also checked a contractor working on thinning a forest stand. Waterfowlers continue to wait for fresh birds to infiltrate the area. Annual training was attended in Hibbing.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring small-game hunting and ATV activities. Fishing and boating continue, and work with DNR Forestry continues on roadway issues. Fondie returned phone calls over the past week and issued permits. Duck hunting remains very poor with few ducks and fewer hunters.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked small-game and waterfowl hunters, anglers, ATV riders and an ATV poker run. He also taught a firearms safety class in Buhl and attended fall qualification training in Hibbing. Enforcement action was taken for no waterfowl hunting license/stamps in possession, no PFDs and several ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety class in Cherry and completed reports for two gray wolf cases. Annual firearms qualification was attended in Hibbing. As Frericks and many other COs were leaving that training, the report of a duck hunter whose kayak capsized on a lake north of Virginia was aired. Numerous COs responded to assist in the rescue effort. The duck hunter was safely recovered. Trespass issues are being dealt with and bough cutters are out in full force. A few anglers were checked and enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring hunting and fishing activity. Poor weather appeared to limit recreational activity. Grouse and deer hunters reported limited success, while anglers reported moderate success. Broughten also investigated trespass complaints and attended training.
Cook – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) finished up a litter case with a citation issued. Time was spent checking grouse hunters and duck hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, no federal duck stamp, and an unplugged shotgun. A few grouse showed up on the roads after the frost. Firearms training was attended.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote trout lakes, as well as ATV riders and small-game hunters. He spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. Nuisance-wildlife complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the week focusing on small-game hunting and ATV activity. The number of hunters checked was still noticeably less than past years but there was a much better showing than previous weeks. Violations included transporting a loaded firearm, an ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, and blocking a public access.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and deer archery hunting activity during the week. Deer are on the move and archery hunters are having some success in the area. Waterfowl continue to be scarce as reported by most hunters but fall fishing has improved. Murray attended annual department training and took nuisance-beaver complaints.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling activity this past week. Time was spent checking grouse hunters and ATV activity as well.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked waterfowl hunters and anglers, investigated a dumping complaint, assisted with firearms safety classes in Deer River, and attended training. Enforcement action was taken for no state waterfowl stamp, no federal waterfowl stamp, and not signing a federal stamp.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked waterfowl hunters, taught firearms safety and attended training this past week. Angler success in the area was good while waterfowl hunting was slower. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked waterfowl and small-game hunters over the past week. With wet and rainy conditions, waterfowl hunters have been happy, but the ruffed grouse hunters have had trouble with windy and rainy conditions. Follow-up work from bear season is being conducted along with multiple road-killed deer tags being issued.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked waterfowl, small-game, angling, big-game, and ATV enforcement. Waterfowl hunters continue to report moderate success throughout the area with a slight influx of new birds into the area. Fall angling and grouse-hunting activity were also monitored. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of waterfowl-hunting violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor waterfowl, grouse, and deer archery hunting. He issued a cease and desist order for work being done in a wetland without a permit. Areas of possible illegal deer feeding and/or baiting were investigated. Violations included license issues and taking ducks with an unplugged shotgun.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) participated in an Honor Guard detail in St. Paul and instructed at a Division in-service training in Hibbing during the past week. Calls were also fielded regarding nuisance animals and animal-related concerns.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) and COC Hanna Wood took a call on trespassing and are working on the investigation. They checked anglers on Fish Lake and Lake Superior and checked waterfowl and small-game hunters during the week. Duncan and Wood participated in a question-and-answer booth at the Peace In Christ Church for an outdoors event.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted patrols in area WMAs and the Fond du Lac State Forest checking hunters and off-highway vehicle users. Humphrey served on an Honor Guard detail in St. Paul and attended Division in-service training in Hibbing during the week. Humphrey fielded calls and complaints of motorized vehicle use in a WMA, late shooting, nuisance beavers, and general hunting license questions.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody assisted checking waterfowl hunters at the Carlos Avery WMA during the week. Enforcement action was taken for speed, unsigned stamps and transporting loaded firearms. In-service training was attended in Hibbing where training was received on use of force and firearms. A work detail was done on the Canadian Border with other COs, K9 Schody, CO Mishler and K9 Storm checking compliance for waterfowl and fishing regulations. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits, aquatic invasive species, and transport violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit