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MN DNR Weekly Report for Sept. 10, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) and CO Candidate Blong Lor spent the week checking bear hunters and anglers on Rainy Lake. They finished off the week by teaching laws regarding trapping at a trapper’s education class and hosting a firearms safety field day. Kittelson and Lor would like to thank all volunteer instructors for their hard work and dedication.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling and boating continue to be popular activities on area waterways. Good reports have been heard from bear hunters in the area. Calls involving injured and road kill animals were fielded. The week was finished off with a youth firearms safety field day in the International Falls area. A special thank you to the volunteer instructors and other assistants who made this another successful youth training session.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring bear hunting, checking ATV activity and monitoring area lakes and public access sites. Problems with wolves and beavers continue. Equipment work is ongoing. Wild rice harvest appears to be a non-event with little harvestable rice seen due to heavy July rains.

CO Duke Broughton (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, ATV, and bear hunting and goose hunting activity. Anglers and hunters reported limited success. Broughten investigated complaints of trespass and litter. He also gave a presentation to hunters drawn for the Cook special archery hunt.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent time on Lake Vermilion, where the bite seems to be picking up. More time was spent doing equipment maintenance and repairs. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, bear, goose and youth waterfowl hunters, state park and invasive species enforcement and attended a deer hunter orientation meeting for an upcoming special deer hunt. A 14-year-old, with legs hanging overboard, along with a 9-year-old, were in an 8-foot, very tippy kayak that was designed for one person. They had no life jackets whatsoever. Bozovsky didn’t have a boat but was concerned for their safety and had the occupants come to shore. He followed that with a long chat with their mom. Enforcement action was taken for an adult hunting during the youth waterfowl hunt, angling without a license in possession, no PFDs, overloaded watercraft, operating a motor vehicle on a state trail and a number of ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked few anglers and boaters in the Virginia area after the Labor Day weekend. Most sportsmen and women seem to be eager to move on to small game hunting. A birch pole cutting incident was investigated with the assistance of the U.S. Forest Service. A TIP call was taken regarding a deer that was killed out of season.  

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked wild rice harvesters throughout the week. Most report not many quality ricing areas this year. Fredin responded to an ATV trespass complaint; the riders were located and said they were new to area and just out exploring. Angling was checked and the fall bite is not occurring yet.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) assisted St. Louis and Lake county rescue squads inside the BWCA. A call for help was made from a campsite after a member of the group had not returned after leaving the site on foot the day before. By the time officers and the Rescue Squad made it on scene the camper had been missing for 25 hours. After several hours of searching, the missing person was found several miles from camp in a low swamp where they had spent the previous night under a pine tree and the day attempting unsuccessfully to signal aircraft. They were returned to their party and rescuers assisted the group in leaving the BWCA.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked bear hunters and anglers during the week. He also assisted the Forest Service with a BWCA detail.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted with a drowning in Ely, assisted with a firearms safety field day in Babbitt, attended training, completed case reports, followed up on complaints, and worked bear hunting enforcement.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear hunting and angling activity. He also continued training with COC Karon as he gets ready to move on to the next step of his training. Time was also spent working ATV activity in the area.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week focusing on bear hunting activity. Time was also spent checking ATVs and anglers and following up on complaints.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear hunting and ATV activity during the week. Archery deer hunters were out preparing stands and looking for deer activity ahead of next week’s opener. Fishing remained good on inland lakes and the annual fall colors have started to turn along the North Shore.

Ely #2 – vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked bear hunting and late summer fishing activities. He checked ATV operators and conducted general patrol. Time was spent at new computer software training. 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked with COC Nathan Benkofske in training. Time was spent working bear hunting cases, ORV recreation, and sport fishing. Work was also done with the area DNR Hydrologist investigating local water complaints. Enforcement action was taken on youths without helmets on ATVs, expired ATV registration, extra fishing lines, and a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and assisted the county with an injured person who fell from a deer stand. The area panfish bite was great again this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, illegal operation of OHVs and an overlimit of crappies.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) and COC Hochstein performed aquatic vegetation site visits and follow up work. Citations were given for spraying aquatic vegetation without a permit. A natural resource professions talk was given to an area Itasca Community College class. A law enforcement talk was also given to an area youth firearms safety class. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working bear hunters, anglers, goose hunters, and ATV riders. Many outdoor enthusiasts were seen preparing for the upcoming small game and archery deer seasons. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, no angling license in possession, no federal duck stamp, and no state duck stamp.

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) and COC Leah Kampa worked fishing enforcement on area lakes. Fishing reports have been slow the past couple of weeks. They worked bear hunting enforcement north of Duluth. Other enforcement activities included boat and water enforcement, AIS at public accesses and ATV enforcement.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked bear hunting and fishing activity in the area this past week. Success appeared to be slow with both activities. Enforcement action was taken for having garbage in a bait. A complaint was received about a wolf attacking a dog. Paperwork was done on deer stands and trail cameras that were seized last fall for being left in an area WMA. Unclaimed items are considered abandoned and will be turned in for disposal. With the upcoming seasons, hunters are reminded that they need to know what they can and can’t leave on wildlife management areas. If you have questions on this, contact your area wildlife office or local conservation officer.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports fall colors are just starting to emerge along the North Shore. Miller and COC Elwell noticed a slight increase in success by area walleye anglers on the St. Louis River and inland lakes. A steady east wind has kept smaller vessels off Lake Superior, so time was spent patrolling area ATV trails and enforcing fishing and boating regulations on inland waters. The pair, along with other officers, were involved with a TIP call alleging that a sturgeon was illegally taken from the St. Louis River. Other enforcement action included citations and warnings for no PFD, no type IV throwable device, no angling license in possession, and not having ATV lights on while on public trails.  

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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