Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the final week of deer season following up on illegally dumped deer carcasses along a roadway and illegal deer-baiting activities. Most area lakes are now iced over, but extreme caution should be used while venturing out onto early ice as conditions vary greatly this time of year.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) finished up the deer season with COC Ben Karon in the Pine County area. He also spent time checking area rivers for trapping activity and lakes for anglers.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports hunting activity picked up for the last weekend of the regular firearms deer season. Hunter success seemed low and many hunters reported not even seeing any deer sign for a slow close to the season.
Several "Turn in Poachers" calls were received around the Ely area, including deer being shot from the roadway and individuals hunting without a license.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked deer hunters this past week. Hunting success was low with fewer hunters out. He took questions on small-game and trapping regulations for winter beaver trapping.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports finishing up the firearms deer season. The success rate remains moderate to low. Enforcement action was taken for minor ATV violations and Olson assisted district officers with a case involving a felon in possession of a firearm.
Car-kill deer permits issued and general calls regarding deer-hunting questions were returned.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and COC Tony Elwell worked on Phase 4 of FTO. Officers checked late-season deer hunters in Lake and St Louis counties, along with a few early ice anglers braving the cold.
A hunter approached the officers in his side by side. After a short conversation, it was determined that the rifle in his lap was loaded. The driver of a vehicle on a county road was found to be suffering from a drug-induced medical issue and brought to a safe place to remedy the matter.
Enforcement action taken for big game violations.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports the kick-off of the ice-fishing and snowmobile seasons in the northeast. Check ice conditions yourself before venturing out and don't rely on hearsay.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked deer hunters and followed up on deer-baiting complaints. Some folks got their venison through collisions and several car-kill deer possession tags were issued.
Manning also took a report of a Canada goose sitting on the roadside watching traffic go by. The bird was a little late to the migration, apparently.
Manning checked burn piles, state parks and trap sets to round out the week.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) continued to check deer hunters and checked the first ice anglers of the year. With the snow we've had, there is very little safe ice.
A deer case involving several people lending/borrowing their deer tags, untagged deer and unlawful transportation is under investigation with charges forthcoming. Additional enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) finished up the last week of the firearms deer season. Many hunters were checked with varying success. Complaints were followed up on and questions answered. Various big-game violations were encountered.