Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) reports a slow opener to the grouse season. Not many hunters reported seeing birds as cover remains thick. The bear harvest remained high with many hunters already ending the season.
Murray attended an officer water survival and instructor course this past week and answered questions about ATV regulations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling, boating and hunting activity this past week. Schottenbauer also assisted with Silver Bay’s firearms safety class. Special "thank you" to the instructors for their hard work.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports thick underbrush and foliage on trees made for some tough hunting conditions for the small-game opener. Overall, the volume of hunters was way down from previous years, especially considering the break in the cool, rainy weather for the weekend. Bird numbers reported, however, seemed about average and the few hunters contacted reported seeing a good number while on foot, hiking little-used trails.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked bear hunters and grouse hunters this past week. He also followed up on a litter complaint and an ATV complaint. Velsvaag also checked on early waterfowl blinds and the end of ricing.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) focused enforcement efforts on small-game and bear hunters and ATV riders. The woods are still thick, but the hunters who put time in and got off the beaten path were rewarded with some birds. Wahlstrom also spent some time checking anglers on area lakes and following up on complaints.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent time patrolling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with CO Lawler and working big-game enforcement. Several calls and complaints were taken throughout the week. A litter investigation is ongoing.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the majority of the week in a Division training class at Camp Ripley. Opening weekend of the small-game and archery deer season was worked north of Duluth and bear hunters were worked in the evenings. Lake Superior commercial enforcement was also worked, resulting in records violations.
ATV and off-highway motorcycle violations were addressed over the weekend.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked river and boat anglers. Salmon are starting to enter rivers, but another week will help. Trollers are still making use of the nice weather to get out after lake trout and salmon.
Training was attended, and follow-up was completed on a commercial net that was caught in a troller’s gear. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.