Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers. Much of Schottenbauer’s time was spent working small-game and off-road activity in the station.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked waterfowl, small-game and big-game activity during the week. Grouse hunting continued to improve with cooler weather and Murray was lucky enough to encounter an excited youth hunter with his younger brothers and dad, moments after he shot his first grouse.
Big-game investigations continued, with enforcement action taken for failure to register big game, failure to tag big game and wanton waste violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports waterfowl opener was not well-attended around Ely and the Echo Trail. The few hunters who were contacted reported good numbers of ducks and geese, with mostly mallards and wood ducks being seen. Grouse hunters didn’t fare as well, as much of the ground is still covered with foliage and cold, rainy conditions didn’t make for much success.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked small-game hunters and waterfowl hunters this past week. Grouse hunters had low overall success and waterfowl hunters had mixed success. Velsvaag also checked bear-hunting activity and anglers with weather conditions limiting most people’s time afield.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) completed bear guide inspections, checked anglers at remote designated trout lakes, grouse hunters and bear-hunting activity.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports a slow weekend for grouse hunters with few birds seen or in hand. Plenty of ducks were seen, though hunter numbers were down from last year.
Manning assisted Cook County with a search for a woman who swerved to miss a deer on a local gravel road. Unfortunately, she had no idea which road she was on, so volunteers searched for considerable time before she was located almost 10 miles from where her cellphone had indicated.
Manning also answered questions about stream trout fishing and nuisance beavers, and checked ATV operators and bear bait stations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a decent number of waterfowl hunters were out over opening weekend in the area with pockets of good bird numbers. A few groups did very well. Enforcement action for the week included unplugged shotgun, no personal floatation devices, extra lines and allowing illegal juvenile ATV operation.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked small-game hunters, archery deer hunters and bear hunters. Time was spent following up on bear-hunting complaints and checking ATV activity.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked small-game and archery hunters during the week. Some birds were seen but the hunters put some miles under their boots to get them.
Olson worked the duck opener north of Duluth and saw a few ducks Saturday. He checked an area slough where there historically are complaints of early shooting. Anglers are still catching lake trout in Lake Superior.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked duck hunters and some fall anglers as the weather took a real turn toward autumn. Hunters saw some success with local puddle ducks, but some of them had issues with shooting accuracy and purchase of licenses. PFD compliance was good among those hunters checked. Enforcement action taken for waterfowl violations.