Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a cold and quiet deer opener along the North Shore. Not many deer were seen hanging on the camp pole but hunters were out enjoying the outdoors. Murray checked the first ice anglers of the season with some small lakes already having 4 inches of ice.
Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer hunting activity. Time was also spent checking a few that ventured out for very early ice fishing.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and COC Larson worked on ATV enforcement and searched for baited deer stands leading up to the deer season. Enforcement action was taken on transporting a loaded firearm, hunting over bait, hunting without a deer license, hunting without blaze orange, open bottle on an ATV, and a untagged deer.
A possible trespass complaint was followed up on.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy deer opener and week leading up to it. Numerous deer stands and hunting locations were scouted for illegal baiting. CO Manning and CO Hill contacted one group on opening morning, relieving them of some apples and firearms before sending them off with some paperwork. The process was repeated the following morning, but with the most delicious-smelling bait block the officer has encountered.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports that snow and cold weather seemed to aid hunters for the opening weekend of the regular firearms seasons. Success was limited, but most hunters he spoke to reported seeing a good amount of fresh deer sign and at least fleeting glimpses of deer. Violations included hunting deer over bait and no license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked deer hunters this past week. He also checked a few waterfowl hunters before freeze up at the end of the week. CO Velsvaag had several calls about party hunting and baiting deer.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking multiple hunters during opening weekend of the firearms deer season. The weather was cold and hunters on the shore were not as successful as they would of liked. Hill did notice, however, that the majority of the hunters who he spoke with who harvested deer were successful during late morning/early afternoon. It pays to stay in the stand while others go in for coffee.
A trio of hunters was cited for hunting with the aid of bait after they scattered leftover apples near their stand location. Hill assisted a neighboring officer by tracking down a hunter suspected of transporting an untagged deer.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking deer hunters during the opening weekend. The officer responded to complaints and followed up bait cases. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, transporting loaded firearms, no blaze orange, fail to tag deer, fail to validate tag and ATV violations.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on Lake Superior commercial enforcement during the week. Olson also worked with fellow district officers checking complaints of baits prior to the opening of deer season, dealt with illegal bough cutting with the assistance of the Duluth Police Department and St. Louis County sheriff's deputies.
Opening weekend presented most ideal weather conditions for hunters, with a dusting of snow. Enforcement was action taken for illegal drug possession and firearms violations.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked deer hunters and a couple early ice anglers. Bitter cold enabled one and hindered the other, though plenty of deer were seen moving in spots. Complaints of baiting and trespass were received and contacts made for regulation related questions. Enforcement action taken for ATV violations.