DNR report: Dec. 3
Reports filed Sunday by conservation officers for the Minnesota DNR.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) finished up on a few outstanding cases from the deer season. Charges were filed against several hunters for shooting from the roadway, trespassing, shooting within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling, and untagged deer. Trapping season for fisher and pine marten began with what appeared to be fewer trappers in the woods. Some area lakes are seeing ice fishing activity. Anglers are reminded to always be cautious of early ice. Wearing a flotation vest and carrying ice picks could save your life.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a call from DNR Forestry that individuals were seen on state land cutting spruce tops without the required permits. Three individuals were found to be involved in the theft and the tops were seized from a residence. Call of a trapper trespassing on private land was received. Area lakes have frozen but are in no way thick enough to walk on. Some snowmobiles have been seen enjoying the new snow.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trappers this past week in the Ely area. Took enforcement action for trapping before season and illegal snowmobile operation. Reports people ice fishing.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked the pre marten and fisher season trappers. This year made it a little easier with all the fresh snow. Trappers are reminded that it is illegal to have their traps or boxes out in the woods before or after the season and that they need to wear orange since the muzzleloader deer season is also going on at the same time.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) continued following up on investigations from the deer and bear season and met with the Cook County Attorney to discuss cases. Received complaints on small game hunters and answered numerous questions about trapping.
Mary Manning (Hovland) checked trappers and trap sets on the opening weekend of fisher and pine marten season and hunters on muzzleloader opener. Snow has arrived, although trails are not open yet due to downed trees and unfrozen swamps, streams, and lakes. At least one report of an anxious angler has been heard, but ice conditions are still thin at best. The officer also wants to remind snowmobilers that the section of trail connecting the Gunflint system to Grand Portage is now Grant-In-Aid and requires a trail sticker.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports assisting the Duluth Police Department with an illegal deer hunting case in the city limits.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports many muzzleloader hunters were contacted on the opening weekend of the season. A complaint of trespassing led to discovery of an over-limit of antlered deer taken. A few last-minute waterfowl hunters were checked. Lots of trappers were checked placing traps at the beginning of the pine marten and fisher season. Several issues were discovered with improperly set traps within the lynx zone where special regulations are in place. Early season snowmobilers are finding that most area trails are closed. The official opening of state snowmobile trails began Dec. 1.
Water Resources Enforcement Officer Mike Scott worked on several older wetlands. A site visit was an investigation on one violation where the property owner is working on removing fill from a bog area. Follow up paperwork and reports were completed for deer season.