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Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports for Northeast Minnesota

Oct 04, 2023 10:51AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Boreal Community Media files

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - October 4, 2023

Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports many more grouse hunters were checked over the week as the woods slowly opened. Clearing woods and more hunters did not result in more grouse being taken, however. Violations included angling without a license in possession, no lifesaving device on a watercraft, and angling with an extra line.

CO Brent Ihnen (Ely #2) checked waterfowl and small-game hunters this week. Additional time was spent patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV activity.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked small-game hunters and bear baits. He patrolled ATV trails and checked remote trout lakes. He followed up on bear-hunting investigations and small-game-hunting complaints.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) reports that most hunters are having mediocre success chasing grouse, but the folks willing to put in the miles via foot are seeing lots of birds. Trespass issues persist and hunters are reminded that it?s their responsibility to know where they are hunting, their target, and what?s beyond it. Enforcement action was taken this week for transporting dressed game birds without an attached fully feathered wing, uncountable fish, unmeasurable fish, and no skin patch left on the fillet. One hunting party was cited for trespassing.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily small-game and spruce-top enforcement throughout the week. A grouse hunter was arrested for DWI and also cited for transporting a loaded firearm and unlawful transportation of game birds. Another individual was cited twice in three days for driving after revocation on the roadway on an ATV. Assistance was provided to St. Louis County on another DWI.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked ATV riders and grouse hunters on a very wet fall week in the woods. ATV trails were closed for a few days following very heavy rain to let the pooled water run off. Many people came to the area to look at changing leaves. A few salmon anglers had some luck with pink salmon in the tributaries. Enforcement action taken for ATV violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) continues with field training COC Jamus Veit. Grouse hunters continue to have success as the leaves have quickly fallen from the trees. Large numbers of pink salmon are running in the rivers/tributaries. The officers monitored the last remaining bear baits. Enforcement action taken was for license and watercraft registration violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked small-game, waterfowl, and deer archery activity during the week. Hunters are seeing some birds when weather allows but rain and areas of fog have made hunting a bit more challenging. Murray assisted Lake County deputies and local volunteer instructors with a youth ATV course where 29 new youth riders earned their ATV certificates.

Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the fall season is in full swing with grouse hunting, waterfowl hunting and fishing on the Rainy River. An invasive species enforcement road check took place south of Eveleth along Highway 53. Animal-related complaints were handled and ATV enforcement action was taken. People are reminded that children need to have a helmet on when operating or a passenger.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working small-game hunters and anglers on the Rainy River. Simonson also patrolled area trails and forest roads this past week.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling reports continue to be positive in the area. If you are still venturing out on area waterways keep in mind that hazard markers will start being removed for the season. What began as a soggy weekend ended on a high note as abnormally warm weather has extended the flying insect season with an abundance of hornets noted. Grouse harvest numbers being reported are mixed. As the underbrush begins to open up, it seems the grouse are taking to the air more quickly than the previous week. High numbers of campers and those staying at hunting shacks were observed throughout the area.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring hunting activities over the week and the removal of bear hunting related items. Angling and boating activities continue to be checked. Beaver-related problems have been steady. ATV riders were checked, and forest roads and spruce top harvest activities continue to be checked. Round-the-clock phone calls on a variety of topics were responded to.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily small-game and angling activity. Larson also spent time with other officers checking boats for AIS violations. He also spent time at Camp Ripley for training.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game, waterfowl, and ATV activity. In addition, time was spent presenting at a firearms safety class and working an AIS check station. Precipitation throughout the week limited recreational activity, but most hunters checked were still finding success. Violations encountered included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, operating an ATV on a closed trail, and registration/equipment violations.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) continued field training with COC Nick Bruesewitz. Time was spent assisting with an AIS check station monitoring watercrafts for water-related violations. The pair also investigated a trespass case involving balsam bough theft.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, hunting, and trapping activity. Fewer hunters than expected were encountered in the field this week. ATV activity remained high through the week. Due to recent amounts of rain and high ATV traffic, area trails and forest roads are becoming rutted. Broughten also fielded calls regarding dogs chasing deer, nuisance animals, and waterfowl regulations.

Cook vacant.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Jeff Humphrey (NE) updated wetland and waters cases completion status with pending restoration order deadlines. Humphrey worked a fall AIS check station in the Eveleth area with district 5 and 8 officers and DNR Ecological and Water Resources staff. New computer rollout training was attended in St. Paul.