Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling and boating activity in the area. Weekend activity revolved around the small-game opener and the ATV activity that goes with it.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports a slow opening weekend for grouse and archery deer hunters. With temperatures near 80 degrees and scattered thundershowers, game wasn’t on the move very much. Hunters checked reported flushing a few birds but ground cover is still too thick to see many of them.
Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations and nuisance bear activity was handled.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked small-game hunters in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas. One hunter checked was wearing shorts, a tank top and flip-flops due to the warm weather. He reported seeing no grouse during his jaunt. Lake trout are being caught on Lake Superior in decent numbers.
Enforcement action was taken for minor ATV violations over the weekend.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Inland wild rice harvest in the Arrowhead is about done, with challenging rice conditions this year. Grouse season opened with foggy, warm weather.
An injured eagle was delivered to a local rehab office and enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports small-game hunting got off to a slow start on the Echo Trail. Drizzle gave way to steady rain and most hunters reported seeing no grouse all day. Angling success, however, was very good on several lakes and several near-limits of walleyes were seen.
Violations included transporting a loaded firearm and unmarked bear bait.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked anglers and grouse hunters this past week. Grouse hunting success was mixed but several hunters did well even with the amount of green vegetation.
He also followed up on some old complaints and took several calls regarding nuisance animals.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) assisted the sheriff’s office with a call in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He also checked grouse hunters, ATV operators, anglers and bear hunting activity.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled state and national forest roads checking ATV operators, motorcyclists and grouse hunters. Manning also checked anglers, bear hunters and baits, and worked the start of archery deer season.
Manning answered calls regarding the upcoming deer season and state parks hunts, small-game hunting, firearms transport and lake access.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy grouse opening weekend. Some very small, late-hatch grouse were noted in hunters’ bags with meat equal to that of a woodcock.
Time was also spent on bear hunting, ATV and angling enforcement. Enforcement action included possession of an illegal-length northern pike, insufficient personal floatation devices, blocking a public access, expired ATV registration and a passenger under age 18 without a helmet.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small-game hunters over the opening weekend. Success was limited with road hunters all driving the same roads. The hunters who got out of their vehicles or off of their ATVs had different results. Wahlstrom responded to a call for help in the BWCA with area officers and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Enforcement action was taken for firearms violations.