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Conservation-officer reports reveal variety of offenses during deer season

Nov 26, 2017 08:49AM ● Published by Editor

White-tailed deer. (2014 file / News Tribune)

By Sam Cook from the Duluth News Tribune on Nov. 25, 2017

Conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources come across many different violations during Minnesota firearms deer season. Here's a sampling of reports from conservation officers across Northeastern Minnesota from the recent Minnesota's firearms season, which ended this past Sunday. The excerpts are taken directly from the officers' reports after the second weekend of the season.

Darrin Kittelson, International Falls — "One individual reported that he had shot, tagged and skinned his deer and had it hanging underneath a lean-to attached to his house ready to butcher the next day. Someone cut the body from the head and walked off with his deer, only leaving the head."

Matt Frericks, Virginia — "While checking deer hunters in the Britt area, CO Frericks saw a truck heading down a snowmobile trail. A short time later, CO Frericks located the vehicle stuck up to its axles. The driver/deer hunter failed numerous sobriety tests but was just under the legal (alcohol) limit. He received a citation for operating the truck on the snowmobile trail. A local towing company was called in to give an estimate on the cost to remove the vehicle. Due to the wet area, a tracked vehicle had to be brought in to remove the truck. The tow-truck driver said the minimum tow bill would be $1,000."

Mark Fredin, Aurora — "CO Fredin took a call of hunter harassment, where a young woman was sitting in a stand on state land and was harassed by two separate individuals that ended up being father and son. One person on an ATV drove circles around her, cursing, and got stuck for a period of time. After he left, the other came by yelling verbal insults."

Marty Stage, Ely — "There has been a lot of shooting-from-the-road complaints, and it is completely amazing that some people are actually surprised that it is against the law to shoot from the roadway. The deer hunting trespass incidents seem to be on the increase as well."

Darin Fagerman, Grand Marais — "(Some) hunters report that wolves are responding to grunt and bleat calls thinking it's the dinner bell."

Anthony Bermel, Babbitt — "One individual was caught hunting from the same baited stand twice in seven days with a citation and seizure of equipment both times... Two people were apprehended for killing deer over baited areas ... (One deer) was shot right next to a cabin over a feeding trough."

Jeff Humphrey, Cromwell — "A number of phone calls with questions and concerns were taken over the week dealing with unethical and unsportsmanlike action and behavior from other hunters including neighbors, friends and relatives."

Matt Miller, Lake Superior Marine Unit — "A 16-year-old was stopped while operating a snowmobile without a helmet on a county road with a loaded rifle on his back and wearing insufficient blaze orange. Another deer hunter/ATV operator was stopped for operating in closed hours, without displaying current registration, without headlights on the road, and with a revoked driver's license."

Other — Many conservation officers listed the most-common violations encountered. They included deer-license violations, trespass, shooting from the roadway, hunting over a baited area, loaded guns in a motor vehicle, over-limit of deer, illegal party hunting, no blaze-orange clothing, operating an ATV during closed hours and failing to tag a deer.

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