Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a fairly quiet second weekend of the firearms deer season. Ice anglers are venturing out on some area lakes with some shallow lakes now having almost 6 inches of ice. Deer-baiting investigations continued and complaints of illegal dumping of deer carcasses were received.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked deer hunting and angling activity this past week. He also took time for a radio interview in Two Harbors.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) and COC Aaron Larson worked primarily firearms deer hunters and also checked spearing activity and worked two spruce top cases resulting in more than 2,000 spruce tops seized.
Two deer were seized and violations addressed during the week included hunting deer over bait; trespassing on agricultural land; transporting a loaded gun in a motor vehicle; littering; failure to register bear baits; unregistered bear; timber trespass; no decorative tree material buyer permit; and no helmet on a juvenile ATV passenger.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a deer in a septic tank hole; the deer fell into the 8-foot-deep hole and was unable to get back out. The landowner opted to try to help the deer escape the next morning before resorting to dispatching it. He called the following day to report that the contractor was able to dig out the edge of the hole so the deer could walk out.
Manning continued to check firearms hunters and took a report of bear hunters on ATVs damaging a private roadway.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports deer-hunting pressure stayed up through the week into the weekend, although hunters were harder to come by after a day of mist and freezing drizzle on Sunday. Several ice anglers were checked during the week; ice depths reported were between 2 and 6 inches, and all anglers were reminded the ice is far from safe.
Violations included discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied building, discharging a firearm within a road right of way, and taking big game without blaze orange.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked deer hunters this past week. Several people were out fishing on the ice and deer hunting slowed considerably. Velsvaag followed up on several deer-hunting complaints and took several calls on the change in the upcoming marten season dates.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports that hunters saw more deer on stand throughout the week. Warmer weather made it more enjoyable for hunters. Grouse hunters were also checked and reported great success.
Hill contacted a few deer hunters slowly driving on a dirt road around lunch time. The pair of hunters told Hill that they didn’t have any luck during the morning hunt but were hoping that their luck would turn. While speaking with them, Hill noticed a large bag of corn in the bed of the pickup. As it turned out, the pair of hunters and their two partners back at camp decided to dump corn in front of their stands. All four hunters showed Hill their stand locations and were subsequently cited for hunting deer with the aid of bait.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) focused primarily on deer hunters and ATV activity in the area. He followed up on past investigations and responded to complaints. With lakes starting to freeze up, Wahlstrom reminds anglers to keep safety in mind and to check the ice thickness before venturing out.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked deer hunters as the milder weather during the weekend helped keep hunters longer in the woods and in the stands. Olson helped with a case in the Cromwell area resulting in multiple violations, including for road hunting and trespass. He responded to calls resulting in a violation for an untagged deer and other license-related violations, and reports of car-deer incidents.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked deer hunters and commercial cisco nets. ATV complaints were handled and questions answered regarding open-water waterfowl hunting on Lake Superior. Seasonal equipment maintenance was handled. Enforcement action was taken for commercial and ATV complaints.