DNR report: Dec. 16
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) followed up on trapping cases and assisted with fur registration. Many more bobcats were seen at registration than in previous years. Ice anglers are finding good ice on many lakes, but caution should be exercised when venturing out on the ice.
Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) checked deer hunters and anglers throughout the week. Responded to a deer hunting complaint south of Finland. Registered fur at the Finland registration station. Numbers of trappers as well as animals harvested seemed to be down.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked muzzleloader hunters and trappers this past week. Checked anglers on area lakes. Took a couple of nuisance animal complaints and responded to an ATV complaint.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked muzzleloader hunters and stored equipment. Ice fishermen are in full swing, but success has been slow. Worked a muzzleloader hunter over bait case. Play it safe around traditionally bad ice areas. But otherwise, it's good ice so far.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a very busy weekend. Lots of people out for the last weekend of muzzleloader season, early ice walleyes, and even a few grouse hunters. Many people were happy just to be out in the beautiful weather. Some stayed out after dark to watch the full moon come up and listen to a pack of wolves howl in the distance as they were waiting for the walleyes to cooperate. Assisted local volunteers certify 30 new students in a snowmobile safety field day.
Mary Manning (Hovland) checked trap sites and assisted with fur registration in Grand Marais. Helped volunteer instructors with field testing of a large group of snowmobile safety students. Special thanks to the volunteers who do the bulk of the work to insure kids (and adults) are safe in the woods. Handled maintenance and seasonal equipment issues.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked fur registration for trappers. Participated in a snowmobile safety class. Attended law enforcement firearms training at Camp Ripley. Checked the first of the season's ice anglers. Fishing success was low but spirits were high.
Mike Scott (Northeast) worked with local government unit in Cook County and Department of Natural Resources waters folks on a new public waters violation where impacts to a trout stream have occurred. Provided training to conservation officers in certifying them to carry tasers. Began work on a background investigation for new hires for the Division of Enforcement this spring.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) checked baited deer stand locations looking for muzzleloader hunters hunting over the bait. One hunter was located in a tree stand that has been checked for several weeks. The muzzleloader was seized and a citation was issued.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several cases of people illegally hunting deer over bait were investigated. By following the rules ethical hunters avoid expensive citations and restitution that can total several hundred dollars for a single deer, as well as the loss of firearms and bows. A few illegal trap set were located and removed. A person was charged for failing to comply with conditions of burning permit and burning of prohibited material.
Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked early ice anglers on the St. Louis River and Superior Bay. He finished up with watercraft storage and shrink wrapping of patrol watercraft. Road kill complaints handled. Trapping questions fielded.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports some equipment maintenance issues were performed.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted inland officers with fur registration and incidentally caught furbearers. Wolf questions were answered, and information was given to local bait dealers about changing rules regarding bait from infested waters. Seasonal equipment maintenance was handled in preparation for the snowmobile season.
Don't break the ice
Although cooler temperatures have moved in and ice is forming on some lakes, many of the conservation officers cautioned those who are starting to venture out on the ice. They said although it may look like there is a layer of ice, there are still many open patches of water.