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MN DNR Weekly Report for Sept. 11, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports much of the recent focus has been on bear hunting activity with many contacts and quite a few successful hunters. Anglers in the area are also finding some success on area waterways. When asked for a fishing license, one angler was proud to say he didn’t need one anymore because he had recently turned ninety years old. Time was spent assisting the forestry division on follow up in regards to a fire on a Rainy Lake Island. The officer also attended the local MDHA Youth Day at the Moonlight Archery Range where the laser shoot system was a popular activity. Enforcement action was taken for various bear hunting violations including hunting the wrong area and unregistered bear bait stations.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored angling, boating, ATV’s, wild rice harvest, and checking area forest roads and public access sites.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked bear and goose hunters, anglers, ATV’s, OHM’s, assisted Chisholm PD with a suicidal subject, handled a trespass complaint where geese were shot too close to residences, and handled an above average number of wildlife complaints.  A truck load of litter was tracked to the responsible party, who had a revoked driver’s license.  The officer met an OHM driver on a city street popping a wheelie at 30 mph; enforcement action was taken. Violations of discharge firearm within 500’ of a dwelling, and numerous OHM and ATV, including duplicate violations to an ATV driver that another CO had cited three weeks prior.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling for bear and goose hunters. Few of either were seen. In his travels, CO Frericks came across a few deer baits that appear to be set up for the upcoming archery season opener. A road killed Great Horned Owl was picked up and turned over to a local taxidermist. Once completed, the owl will be donated to the Mt Iron School district.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports a search of local duck ponds for youth waterfowl hunters were not to be found, probably due to no ducks in the area.  A few groups of geese hunters were having success.  Violations of no early goose license, no state or federal duck stamp, un-plugged shotgun, and no HIP certification were found.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports bear hunting activity was steady but low in the Echo Trail area during the week. Several hunters checked reported their baits being visited by increasingly larger bears as the season went on. The youth waterfowl hunt was not heavily attended in the Ely area, but success was generally good from those who did.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the bear season, boats, and fishing enforcement.  The bear season results have been relatively good and some nice bears are being taken.  Fishing has been good as well.  The leaves are beginning to turn and the northern lights have been brilliant.  Fall is in the air.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) continued to check bear hunters and baits during the week. He patrolled the BWCA and did a remote patrol by ATV.  The CO is getting second hand reports on bear issues.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) followed up on bear hunting cases and checked hunters in camps and in the field.  The officer located the remains of a bear in which minimal meat had been removed; anyone with information on who may have wasted most of the animal is urged to call the TIP line.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent a lot of time in the boat during the week.  One individual who was fishing alone on a remote lake was observed using an extra line and smoking marijuana; he was very surprised when he was checked.  Enforcement contacts for the week included extra line, small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, license violations, no Type IV PFD, and litter.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear hunting activity this week.  Time was also spent checking anglers on the shore and inland lakes.  CO Schottenbauer assisted with an ATV accident in the Superior National Forest.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) continued to monitor bear hunting activity and patrolled for ATV activity in the area. Campgrounds are busy and hunters are having good success with bear hunting. The officer also handled nuisance wildlife complaints and calls regarding deer hunting regulations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to work bear hunting and fishing activity. Most hunters were seeing bears hitting their baits and success seemed fair to good. Angling slowed down on Lake Superior with few fish seen in boats. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled for illegal ATV activity and checked anglers and bear hunters.  Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal youth ATV operation, fail to transfer ownership of an ATV, and passenger under 18 without a helmet.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) continued investigation on a bear hunting case, checked anglers, monitored wild rice harvest, and taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class. CO Fairbanks, and his K9 partner Si, also responded to assist the local police department in locating suspects that fled in a motor vehicle then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot after shooting an off duty officer’s home and squad car. The area pan fish anglers had good success this week. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and illegal operation of an ATV.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked early goose hunting season, bear season, and Youth Waterfowl Day.  CO Sutherland also took multiple calls of garbage being dumped and investigations are ongoing.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling, big game, migratory waterfowl, and ATV enforcement throughout the surrounding areas.  The weekend brought Youth Waterfowl Day and many eager youth hunters reported good success.  Early goose hunters continue to do well with large goose populations still around.  CO Van Asch also spent time fielding nuisance animal calls and closing out open investigations.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) reports that bear hunting success has been prevalent in the area.  CO Prachar responded to complaints of goose hunters and enforcement action was taken on multiple unregistered bear baits issues.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working ATV complaint areas and trails. Bear hunters were checked and some early goose hunters have been having some luck.  The officer handled two public water issues and attended a district meeting.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked several days on ATV patrol throughout the station.  Bear hunting and fishing activity was also monitored.  CO Duncan made contact with several groups that were out during the Youth Waterfowl Day. A fishing trespass complaint continues to be investigated, he assisted with a wolf depredation investigation, and public waters complaints were handled. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked AIS, boating, angling, OHV, ricing, and hunting enforcement during the week.  Calls were taken on bear hunting, dumped deer carcass, and feeding ban questions/concerns.  Patrols were conducted in the Fond du Lac state forest, local wildlife management areas, and county managed lands.  Rice harvesters were checked for licenses and safety equipment.  Waterfowl numbers overall were reported as poor for the youth day hunt.  CO Humphrey assisted other officers and local law enforcement with a search warrant.  CO Humphrey also attended a district enforcement meeting in Duluth.  Violations for no license in possession, OHV operation, and registration were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody assisted local agencies in searching for two suspects that fled from a motor vehicle after a high speed pursuit. One subject was found and taken into custody and the other was not located. Off-highway vehicle enforcement was conducted in the area with enforcement action being taken for no safety certificate, operating OHM on highway, and registration violations. Other calls of nuisance animals and baiting deer were answered and are being dealt with. One call of someone using explosives to take fish in the St Louis River was investigated and was completely unfounded.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a district training and meeting. Bear hunters and camps were checked north of Duluth and the Two Harbors area. CO Olson worked ATV enforcement in the Saginaw area; parents are reminded that persons under 18 are required to wear helmets.   He fielded a nuisance bear complaint and questions in regards to arranging a licensed hunter to relieve the issue.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and bear hunters.  Assistance was given to area agencies in responding to a call of someone who fell from Palisade Head.  Minnow trapping and wolf complaints were received and archery hunters are starting to take to the woods to prep their tree stands.  Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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