DNR report: Nov. 12
Reports filed by Minnesota DNR officers Sunday.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked with other area officers in preparation for deer season, checking into baiting and deer shining issues. Nice weather greeted all hunters, but some hunters, who were hunting over bait, were greeted by citations. Many hunters were found to be not validating their site tags as well as not placing the tag on their deer as required. Two complaints of shooting deer from the roadway are being investigated as well as some trespassing issues.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) had a busy week starting out with coming upon a vehicle in the ditch and the driver arrested for DUI with preliminary breath test more than three times the legal driving limit. Deer opener started out with hunters calling the sheriff's office reporting someone was shooting at them while they were in their stands. Deputies, a State Trooper, local police officers along with the DNR responded to the "shots fired" call. Both hunters stated they believed shots were fired in their direction and were coming from a residence playing loud music over speakers. A call was placed to the residence and the owner came and met with officers and stated he did not shoot toward the hunters but in the air to scare the deer away from his home so no one would shoot at his home when the deer are there. He also stated he likes cartoon music and said he can play it however he wants. A search of the home found a loud speaker attached to the garage and pointing out into the woods with deafening music and empty shot gun shell casings. The homeowner was charged with hunter harassment. Other hunters in the area inquired what the deal was with the load music. Hunters who had bait documented where checked and found resulting in citations and firearms seized. The award for most unethical activity goes to a man with his two kids who stopped on the road and had his 15-year-old daughter take three shots at a group of deer in a hay field while the landowner watched from his stand.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked deer hunters this past week and received several complaints including hunting deer over bait, shooting from the road and trespassing. He also checked whitefish netting activity and followed up on some trapping complaints. Had several calls on trapping, nuisance animals and an injured timber wolf.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked the deer opener and arrested several people for baiting violations. All the bait users were aware that it was illegal to use bait, but gambled that they would not be checked or caught. Firearms were seized in all instances and the time it took to investigate and watch the bait sites took away from the time the officer had to work other activities and complaints in the area. If you don't want to lose Grandpa's family heirloom rifle, don't use bait. It appeared that bait use might be down in the area from last year. Help keep deer hunting an honorable and worthwhile tradition based on skill, patience, and perseverance. Baiting erodes all these virtues, changes natural deer movements, spreads disease, and hurts the hunting camp (that isn't baiting) just over the next hill. Please let us know if you encounter any illegal use of bait for deer hunting by calling the TIP line at (800) 652-9093. All information will be kept confidential.
Mary Manning (Hovland) worked archery and firearms deer hunters. Responded to reports of portable stands left in area prior to season and reminds hunters that they must be removed each day. The officer flew the area looking for baited hunting sites and she worked areas of past deer shining complaints.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) issued citations for deer hunting over bait and seized the hunters' rifles for forfeiture. Several deer hunters were encountered operating their ATVs outside of legal hours for licensed hunters. Took calls of stolen traps and trap tampering.