Conservation Officers Report District 5 9-28-21
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the opening weekend of waterfowl hunting was relatively uneventful in the area as the nice blue-bird days don?t go hand in hand with good duck hunting. A few birds were seen in the bag. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. A few animal-related complaints were handled as well. Enforcement action for the week included license and waterfowl stamp issues.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending the week checking small-game hunters, ATV activity, sturgeon anglers and duck/goose hunters this past weekend during the opening weekend of duck season. A goose-carcass-dumping case was investigated as well. Lots of people have been out enjoying outdoor activities this fall. Enforcement action taken this past week was for failing to validate sturgeon tags, fishing without a license, and not having a fire extinguisher onboard watercraft.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) continued work on a background investigation, fielded various animal-related calls and attended Division training at Camp Ripley. He checked hunters on the waterfowl opener. They reported limited success. Most commented on how great the weather was but not the best for waterfowl hunting. Violations encountered included transporting loaded firearms on ATVs, taking/possessing nongame migratory birds, and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, boating, small-game and big-game hunting and ATV activity. Area forest roads and public access sites were checked. Equipment work was tended to. Administrative tasks were completed. Numerous phone calls and inquiries were responded to.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily small-game and waterfowl enforcement. Waterfowl hunters had success over the opening weekend finding limits of ring necks. Grouse hunters were still having difficulty finding shots at birds with much of the foliage still hanging on.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) worked ATV enforcement, small-game activity, and waterfowl opener. Time was also spent returning calls regarding hunting regulations, responding to TIP information, and nuisance bears. Most waterfowl hunters reported seeing few ducks and having fewer shots. Many grouse are being seen, despite a lot of cover remaining along trails.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports that while on boat patrol, he addressed a person angling with an extra line. The individual in violation was also found to be in possession of an overlimit of fish back at their residence. Zavodnik continues to address trespass complaints and spruce top-theft cases.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting, fishing, and ATV activity. Small-game and waterfowl hunters reported limited success. Many ponds, rivers, and creeks that usually hold ducks are dry. Fall anglers reported moderate success. Broughten also assisted with law enforcement at the Greenwood Fire.