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Weekly Conservation Officers Report

Nov 08, 2022 12:24PM ● By Editor
District 6 - Two Harbors Area - From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources • November 7, 2022

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports hunting pressure over the deer firearms opener in the area of the Echo Trail was very high. Nearly every pull off and trail head was occupied by a hunter. Reports from hunters were very poor and only a few successful hunters were located. Violations included false bill of sale for decorative materials, careless fire, hunting without a license in possession, and insufficient blaze orange.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and deer hunters this past week. Deer-hunting success was mixed but fishing has been good. Velsvaag received calls about shooting hours and transporting deer.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked the firearms deer opener and checked whitefish nets throughout the week. The officer responded to several big game hunting complaints. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait and whitefish netting violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took calls on hunting and checked deer hunters and stands during a very slow firearms opener. Manning checked hunters in Magney State Park and reminded several that firearms must be cased and unloaded in areas closed to hunting (like parking lots). She also responded with other wardens and deputies to handle an ongoing property line dispute that erupted into yelling match; parties cooled down and dispersed. One hunter was eventually cited for placing bait and hunting over it right off the main trail used by his neighbors with whom he had been arguing.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy opening weekend of deer season. A bit of rutting activity was seen, although most groups report low deer numbers and a largely disproportionate ratio of does to bucks. A doe was seized that was taken in a buck only area. An arrest was made on an individual illegally transporting spruce tops that had controlled substances in their possession. Enforcement action for the week included hunting with aid of bait, permitting a juvenile to hunt in violation of the game laws, fail to validate deer tag, hunter harassment, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, fail to carry consent for decorative materials, driving after cancellation inimical to public safety, and expired ATV registration.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked deer and grouse hunters on opening weekend of the firearms deer season. Complaints of tree stands on WMAs, baiting, and off-hour ATV operation were received and checked. Assistance was given to local agencies with a fatal car crash and traffic complaints. Enforcement action taken for big game and ATV violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) and COC Hudson Ledeen report a tough opening weekend of firearms deer season. Hunters reported seeing very few deer, and expressed frustrations with local wolf populations. However, a nice 8 point buck and nice spike buck were seen harvested opening morning. Hill and Ledeen want to express their concern with the lack of blaze orange compliance throughout the weekend. One hunter even exited the woods without any blaze orange on, and had a loaded firearm on their ATV to boot. Officers were also disappointed to not see a single youth hunter, and want to remind sports-persons to bring a kid hunting. Other enforcement action included hunting deer with the aid of bait, operating an ATV with too many passengers, without headlights, and with a juvenile without a helmet on.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the opening weekend to the firearms deer season. Fewer hunters were seen in the field this opener as rain and windy conditions for part of the weekend made for tougher hunting. Enforcement action was taken for licensing and ATV violations.
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