DNR Report: Sept. 9
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked bear season throughout the week. Some hunters and camps were found to be having decent success while others struggled to keep bears coming to baits. Complaints of bait site tampering and competition for hunting space were received. Hunters should be reminded that public land is open to everyone, even other bear hunters. Enforcement action was taken for various bear hunting violations.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked bear hunting throughout the week, with hunters reporting baits being hit and some bears taken.
He received a complaint of hunter harassment after a person came into a hunter's bait station and yelled at the hunter to move because he was hunting in his area and threatened to damage the bear hunter's bait pile. Fredin located the man and found out he wasn't hunting, but teaching his 20-year-old son to hunt ethically. A check revealed neither the father nor son registered their bait station, so neither could hunt their baits. He received a complaint of shining and shooting deer. Wild rice is going strong; one person found out that all ricers need a license, not just the one keeping the rice.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked bear hunters and anglers this past week. He also followed up on a litter complaint and some illegal bear baiting. Took several calls on wild rice and a complaint on illegal ATV use.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked bear hunters, fishermen, and ATVs throughout the week. A complaint was taken from an extremely angry landowner who reported that somebody had trespassed through his road barricades and stapled a poster to a 200 year old white pine on his property.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he encountered every bear baiting violation but one last week. One bait pile appeared that the hunter was cleaning out his freezer and dumping it in the woods. The individual was stopped on the road on his way to the bait with another load of garbage in the back of his truck. He and his partner were given garbage bags and escorted to their five bait piles to pick up garbage left from last year and this year.
Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy bear hunting opening weekend. Warm weather and plentiful food made for challenging hunting. The officer also patrolled forest and park campgrounds, worked a boat and water safety patrol on Lake Superior, spent time at boat accesses educating boaters about invasive species, and check anglers on area lakes. A few more calls about possible cougar sightings were received as were a couple calls regarding bear hunters being harassed by other bear hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm and failure to display valid boat registration.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking bear hunters over the opening weekend and anglers on Lake Superior. While talking with bear hunters on their success, it seemed that more wolves were coming in to the bait piles than bears. Overall there were some nice bears taken. Enforcement action was taken for angling and hunting violations.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) saw several nice bears taken. The woods were busy during the week with people already getting their deer stands ready, target practicing with guns and bows, and working on the shacks for the fall hunting seasons. Fishing pressure on area lakes was higher than past weeks with most enjoying the last week before school starting.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) worked on a variety of issues including illegal structures in public waters and on state property.