Minnesota D.N.R. District 5 Report
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Curtis Simonson started the past week off checking deer hunters in the area. Hunters reported limited success. Time was spent investigating?deer that people reported to be shot and left for waste. With the rifle season winding down, people reported slow deer movement to wrap up the season. Trespass calls were received and handled as well.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports overall deer-hunting activity this past week was some of the slowest observed. Most hunters encountered wondered where the deer were and commented that this was the worst year for seeing deer they can remember. The milder temperatures toward the end of the week coupled with hunters closing up their shacks for the season brought an uptick in activity, but still negative reports. A report of sick raccoons was heard, with the caller concerned her dog had encountered two slow-moving raccoons within the same general area in the past five weeks. Other activity included a trespass complaint and a decorative materials cutter operating without documented permission. Transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle was also encountered.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports most hunting camps were vacant and there was little traffic on area forest roads. Comments from hunters continue about the lack of deer. Public access sites were checked. ATV use was monitored. Equipment work continues.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) reports deer hunters were found to be low in numbers during the third week of the firearms deer season. Zavodnik and COs Bermel and Bozovsky worked a road-hunting detail in a high-complaint area over the weekend. Violations encountered included failure to register deer, shooting from the roadway, shooting from a motor vehicle, transporting a loaded firearm, and no blaze orange. Zavodnik handled a number of trespass and deer-baiting complaints. He reminds anglers to be extra cautious during the early ice and encourages them to wear a PFD and bring ice spikes with them while out on the lakes.