Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked with COC Karon this past week. Time was spent checking ice anglers and trapping activity. Little muzzleloader activity was noted.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked trapping activity north of Duluth and checked ice anglers. Area lakes have 4.5-6 inches of walkable ice. Be sure to check conditions before venturing onto the ice. Remember: Ice is never safe and conditions change rapidly.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and COC Tony Elwell conducted patrols inland along the North Shore. The pair report slow activity for the muzzleloader deer opener. Time was also spent locating and checking trap lines.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily marten trapping and some deer season follow-up. A trapping group called after catching a lynx in a foothold trap that escaped with the trap still on its foot. The group, including one individual from Australia who was along for the experience, along with Bermel, was able to push the lynx into heavy cover where the chain got caught. While Bermel held a shield, the trapper successfully released the lynx unharmed.
Enforcement action for the week included failure to register deer, no blaze orange, taking protected birds, pre-empt a trap site, illegal trap set, untagged trap and several ATV violations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked trappers and ATV riders, and responded to wildlife calls. Anglers are excited and venturing out on the ice for the early season bite.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) checked his first groups of ice anglers slowly making their way out on the ice early in the week. Warm weather arrived over the holiday and there was rain and freezing rain that continued into the weekend, which made for a slow start to the muzzleloader season.
Violations included lynx zone trapping violations.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trappers and deer hunters this past week. Marten trapping was good but muzzleloader deer hunters were off to a slow start. Velsvaag had several calls about trapping and the new pike regulations regarding spearing.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, trapping and muzzleloader deer season activity this past week. Most hunters checked were seeing some deer, but bucks were elusive.
Ice conditions in the area deteriorated during the warm up but most area lakes were holding 4-6 inches of ice.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to follow up on firearms deer season issues and worked opening weekend of the muzzleloader deer season. She also checked fisher and pine marten sets as that short season opened.
A few bear bait stations were also found to have stands still in place and some hunters will be receiving "reminders" by mail.