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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports

Sep 20, 2022 11:20AM ● By Editor
District 6 - Two Harbors Area - From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - September 20, 2022

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports the Ely area had a very well attended small-game opener over the weekend. Although a huge number of hunters were contacted in the woods and on the trails and forest roads, only a handful of hunters reported any success. Most blamed the still-green and very dense ground cover for the slow beginning of the season.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked grouse hunters and anglers this past week. He also followed up on several complaints and fielded multiple questions on archery hunting and the firearms deer season.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked the small-game opener with area officers. Time was spent checking small-game hunters and anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for hunting and ATV violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked campers in state forest campgrounds and responded to a report of abandoned gear at a park campground. Manning checked anglers and followed up on reports of illegally taken brook trout. She also found an overlimit of lake trout. Grouse hunters checked had good success and compliance was generally good. Manning did take calls of hunters littering, trespassing and shooting toward cabins on posted property. ATV operators were also checked and compliance was generally good. One group of Class 2 ATV drivers received tickets and warnings from Manning, which they apparently didn?t heed as they were stopped again the following day and cited by a neighboring officer.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports spending the early part of the week on a BWCAW patrol with CO Lawler. Great weather was experienced, with plenty of people out enjoying the wilderness. Enforcement action included no PFDs, cans and glass in the BWCAW, and no license in possession. Later in the week, training began with COC Jesse Drown. A busy small-game opener was worked. ATV activity was also high. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, expired canoe registration, no helmet on an ATV passenger under 18, and equipment stored/abandoned on state forest land.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked bear and grouse hunters as fall began to arrive. A few salmon are showing up in the tributaries, and anglers are starting to target them. Assistance was given to state parks with camping in non-designated areas and illegal fires. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and state park violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports contacting a lot of hunters during the small-game opener over the weekend. Compliance was fantastic, with the only violations being no license in possession and transporting a fully dressed bird. A lot of young-of-the-year birds were harvested and even quite a few spruce grouse. ATV riders were abundant, with numerous violations detected. One group was contacted on Friday by CO Mary Manning and enforcement action was taken. On Saturday, Hill contacted the same group of riders and all of them received additional citations for violations and one was even arrested for DUI. Continued investigation was done on a public waters violation. Hill also found a paddle boarder in possession of controlled substances after Hill observed their contraband on the dashboard of their truck in the parking lot. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a soggy small-game and deer archery opener. A few birds were seen by hunters but poor weather no doubt impacted the success rate for the season opener. Murray assisted volunteer instructors with helping 28 new students earn their ATV safety certificates.
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