Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a quiet close to the firearms deer season with few hunters checked in the field. Several ice anglers were checked on shallow lakes enjoying the early ice season, with the ice depth averaging 5-6 inches. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and licensing violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area deer-hunting activity this past week. Heavy snow and warm weather have weakened much of the area ice. Areas that had seen ATVs on the ice a week ago are now questionable for walkers. Use extreme caution on the ice and do not forget the ice cleats, ice picks and a personal flotation device if you go out.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) completed Step 3 of field training with COC Aaron Larson. Enforcement action included hunter harassment, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, litter and an unregistered snowmobile. Deer-hunting investigations are ongoing.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) wrapped up another firearms deer season. Numerous hunters were checked, many of whom were slow-rolling county and forest roads in their vehicles and tempting fate in the event of a big buck popping up near someone’s home. Manning assisted COs Wahlstrom and Hill with deer cases and followed up on bear-hunting issues.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) testified in a criminal court case early in the week. Heavy snow arrived in the middle of the week and although it made for more difficult travel, most people appreciated it for the last weekend of the regular firearms deer season. Violations included hunting without a license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked deer hunters during the last week of the firearms deer season. Ice fishing has all but stopped after the snow due to slush conditions, but a few ventured out as the slush has started to freeze down. Velsvaag followed up on calls from the deer season and trapping questions.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports deer-hunting activity was minimal during the week as a pile of snow blanketed the Arrowhead, pushing deer even closer to the shore. He did, however, contact a youth hunter who bagged a dandy of a buck.
Hill traveled to Red Wing for a jury trial in his previous station. Hill assisted Cook County with a call for service and contacted an individual in Temperance River State Park without a valid park pass. A party was contacted in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked deer hunters during the last week of the firearms season. Hunter success slowed throughout the week. He followed up on past investigations, which led to several big-game violations.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) met with Lake Superior Fisheries to follow up on end-of-the-year reporting requirements for commercial and charter fishers. He worked the last week of the firearms deer season, finding violations for trespassing, hunting over bait and minor ATV violations.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked commercial cisco nets and late-season deer hunters. Watercraft training items were tended to, and questions were received about trespass and late-season waterfowl hunting on Lake Superior. He also fielded ATV-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and commercial violations.