Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the second weekend of the regular deer firearms season has come and gone, with one more week left. Heavy, wet snow came, making it difficult to get in and out of camps and to see in the woods. It seems like the harvest is down the second weekend, compared to the first, because of the snow. Enforcement action for the week included ATV violations, borrowing and lending licenses, and site-tagging issues.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports checking many hunters out trying to fill their 2021 firearms deer licenses. Success rates were pretty good throughout the area. Enforcement action taken this past week was for possessing a small amount of marijuana and transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports heavy snow has arrived in the area. Some forest roads and ATV trails are not passable due to trees down. Little hunting activity was noted and very few deer were observed harvested. Complaints continue about the lack of deer and wolf numbers. Forest roads continue to be checked and equipment work is ongoing. Computer-based training was completed.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily deer-hunting enforcement. Larson encountered several violations throughout the week including taking deer with the aid of bait, expired ATV registration, no deer license in possession, operating an ATV during closed hours, and transporting a loaded firearm. Larson also worked a stolen-boat complaint, trespass complaint, and a complaint related to operating an ATV on a bike path.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked big-game-hunting activity. Fewer hunters were seen in the field during the second week of the firearms deer season and those who were reported not seeing many deer. Numerous calls were fielded and some investigations remain ongoing. Violations encountered included hunting over bait, trespassing, failure to register deer, and no deer license in possession.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) assisted CO Aaron Larson with investigating a deer-baiting case involving multiple hunters in violation. Neighboring COs as well as a metro CO found that two bucks were taken over bait opening weekend. Multiple license and deer-registration violations were also found. Zavodnik assisted the State Patrol with multiple car crashes and a DWI arrest during the first snowfall. He also arrested an individual with a warrant while investigating a suspicious-activity complaint.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Hunters reported limited success this week. Broughten fielded calls regarding trespass, timber theft, and hunting during closed hours.