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DNR Report: Sept. 22

Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a fairly quiet small game opener with few birds seen in the bag. Ground cover is still thick with plenty of hiding spots for wary birds. Murray continued to monitor the bear harvest and time was spent tracking down illegal deer baiting activity.

Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked a busy small game weekend. Time was spent assisting a hunter find his hunting party. Schottenbauer also worked some lingering bear hunting activity this week as well.

Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers along the North Shore streams. The officer attended a meeting at Camp Ripley, handled nuisance animal calls and worked bear hunters. Wahlstrom attended rifle and handgun training with Officer Oberg.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy small game opener with numerous grouse hunter checks. Almost no hunters reported success with few birds seen. No bow hunters were checked. In one noteworthy angler check, the officer was watching a group with binoculars that seemed way too interested/concerned with the presence of another boat in the area. Bermel left the area then set up to observe with spotting scope and soon determined two of the anglers were fishing with extra lines. Citations were issued and equipment seized. Other enforcement action included unregistered off-highway motorcycle, transporting loaded firearm in motor vehicle, late hunting and no license in possession.

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports small game had a fairly slow opener and fewer hunters were seen than years past. Although grouse were present hunters reported very little luck, most having hunted all weekend without seeing a bird. Violations included untagged trap and hunting without a license in possession.

Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked the small game opener and found that the rain and cover were probably responsible for the lack of hunters. There were more fishermen than hunters encountered. The leaves are bright and colorful and there are way less people in the area now.

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a very quiet grouse opener. A rainy forecast may have kept hunter numbers down. The grouse didn't appear for hunters that did venture out as reports were poor. The officer did interrupt a hawk trying to make a meal out of a grouse as he rounded the corner in his squad. The hawk went back to its perch while the grouse flew away missing a few feathers. Pink salmon are spawning in pretty good numbers in the North Shore tributaries as good success was reported.

Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) followed up on a wanton waste bear case from the previous week as well as other bear season issues. The officer worked a busy small game opener; hunter numbers and birds seen appeared down a bit. Anglers were plentiful on Lake Superior tributaries as were the salmon they were pursuing; while still looking pretty decent, the salmon were not so apt to bite. Campers in state parks are reminded that they must use the new system to register for sites. Campsites that are unoccupied may be reserved already and not open for the taking; doing so will result in extra paperwork and an inconvenient move for violators.

Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked grouse hunters over the opening weekend. Not many birds were seen in the bag but hunters were enthusiastic just to get out in the woods. Olson checked anglers shore angling on inland lakes, some pink salmon are starting to show up in the North Shore streams. Bear hunters were also checked, most reported the bears had switched to nocturnal movements during the week. Aspen leaves are starting to turn along the shore and inland trails north of Duluth. Questions are increasing for the firearms deer season and recent boundary changes in the Duluth area.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked salmon anglers in rivers and anglers on the St Louis. Questions were answered about land access for grouse hunting. Wild rice harvesters continued to do well early in the week. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.

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