DNR report: Nov. 19
Reports filed Sunday by area DNR officers.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports that TIP complaints continue to come in at a steady pace. If hunters are going to do something wrong or illegal, there are many eyes watching out there and they are willing to call the TIP Line. Worked on complaints as well as general deer season and shining activities. Enforcement action was taken for several deer hunting related violations.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked shining complaint areas and checked deer hunters. Some nice deer were taken in the area. Investigated a complaint of a hunter pointing his gun at another hunter and looking at him through his scope. Checked traps and investigated big game violations.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) dealt with a couple of fellows who were dumping household garbage in the woods. When asked why they were doing it, one stated that the wayside rest that they had been dumping garbage at had closed for the year.
He also took a couple of calls on some pretty tough deer hit by vehicles. One was loaded into a back of a pickup. When the man got to the area he was going to field dress it, the deer stood up in the back of the pickup, jumped out and took off. The man called the officer and canceled the road kill permit. Another man called and asked him for a road-kill permit for a big 10-point buck that he struck with his truck. Fagerman told him to take the deer and he would meet him at his residence. The man called back about 10 minutes later and said when he backed up to load the deer it ran off.
Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to work primarily deer hunters. Investigated reports of hunters hunting and shooting very close to the 500 feet required distance from residences. One hunter remarked that he was sure he was 500 feet away because all he could see were trees.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked deer hunters this past week and responded to calls on ATVs and whitefish netters. Also took several complaints on illegal hunting camps up the Echo trail. Checked several trappers and fishermen out before the ice comes.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked deer bait cases throughout the week and seized more rifles for illegal bait piles. The word seems to be getting out, but there still seems to be some confusion as to what constitutes bait. Bait is anything that is food. Minerals (salt licks) and scents are legal, but just because it's in a block form, doesn't mean it's a salt lick. Molasses and grains are commonly used in the blocks.
While in a store recently, just before deer season, Stage observed brisk sales of what would be illegal bait if used for deer hunting. Retail stores are not required to make mention of this on their pallets of merchandise, but it might seem the responsible merchants would consider doing so to keep their innocent customers from making costly mistakes. That is often one of the first excuses the officers hear when violators are found with bait: "The store should have told me it was illegal."
The responsibility falls on the buyers to read the label before placing the block or other food material in the forest for deer hunting.