Weekly Conservation Officer's report
Nov 06, 2017 12:59PM ● Published by Editor
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports the deeper snow among the higher elevations of Lake Superior has started the deer migration earlier than normal this year. Where the snow is deeper, you can go miles without cutting a single deer track. Hunters have reported lots of wolf sign and sightings. Many hunters were checked with only two harvested deer seen. Some hunters report passing on does even though they had doe permits. The CO also fielded several phone calls on deer hunting and laws.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) checked deer stands and blinds for bait in the lead up to firearms opener. The officer worked with CO Wahlstrom and USFS Officer Belmore on a couple ongoing deer cases in parks and federal forests. CO Manning also reported a first sighting: a deer hunter strolling the woods in his pajama pants...they were not blaze orange, but his hat and jacket were.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer hunting opener this weekend. CO Schottenbauer took calls for park hunting questions and hunter harassment in the area. Cold weather and snow has kept most hunters from success so far this fall.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked ATV riders and hunters over the opening weekend of the firearm deer season. The rain, snow, and wind added challenges with the success of bagging a deer for some hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, state park violations, and trespassing.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the busy firearms deer opener along the North Shore. Hunters had lots of tracking snow in most areas and the deer seemed to be moving. Many hunters checked reported seeing does and fawns but very few bucks. CO Murray took reports of trespass and deer baiting. Stiff penalties, seizure of firearms, and license revocation has done little to deter some from illegally baiting deer.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy firearms deer opener. One group was found hunting public land with all five of their occupied stands baited. In separate instances a bow hunter and a rifle hunter were also found hunting over bait. Each adult hunter was cited and equipment seized. Those with juveniles hunting with them received an additional charge of directing a minor to hunt in violation of the game laws. Other enforcement action included fail to validate deer tag, attempt to take deer over-limit, transport loaded firearm, insufficient blaze orange, constructing a stand on state land, and burning garbage.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports hunting success was overall good in the Ely area over the opening weekend of the regular firearms deer season. The exception was the Echo Trail where recent snowfalls and heavy brush frustrated hunters who reported very poor visibility and little sign of deer. Violations included deer over-limit, hunting trespass, and failure to register deer.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked deer hunters, trappers, and whitefish netters. There has been around a foot of snow that has fallen and now cold weather making many things more difficult. There are a lot of trees and shrubs bent over in the woods making it hard to travel. The ponds and small lakes are now icing up, so be more than careful on any ice.