Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Feb. 10, 2020. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working snowmobiling and angling activity throughout the past week. Time was spent working a snowmobile detail with CO Vollbrecht and CO Mishler for the MnUSA Rendezvous and VIP Ride that brought hundreds of snowmobile enthusiasts to the area trails. Overall compliance was excellent; a few registration and non-resident trail pass violations were observed and addressed. Regas reports receiving a call of a cat with its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar. Advice was provided to the caller and the cat was quickly freed from the jar. Once freed, the cat ran off toward the morning horizon.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Activity has picked up on the lakes as a lot of slush has frozen over. Pockets of slush still remain, however, and trucks are finding deep pockets at times. The ice thickness remains extremely variable. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily snowmobile and angling enforcement this past week and attended the annual awards and training conference at Camp Ripley. Bermel came across a lone snowmobiler after dark who was standing on the trail after he had gone off trail and crashed into several smaller trees, causing damage and minor injury. Speed and alcohol consumption appeared to be factors and appropriate enforcement action was taken. The rider was very fortunate the crash wasn’t much worse. This is a good reminder that alcohol and snowmobiling don’t mix. It is also imperative to stay on the right side of the trail, especially on corners and hills, as this seems to be a continual problem.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports putting on many miles this past weekend on the snowmobile trails as gorgeous weather graced the North Shore. Compliance with snowmobile laws was outstanding with only one citation being issued to a rider for violating multiple laws. Ski pass compliance is getting better as word is getting out that officers are putting their time in checking passes. Time was put into cases from this past fall and equipment maintenance was handled. Hill also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to work ice fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste of sunfish and failure to have an angling license in possession. She also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) focused on snowmobile enforcement over the course of the past week and assisted with the MnUSA Snowmobile Rendezvous, which was hosted in Bemidji. She attended a Bemidji State University Wildlife Club meeting and talked to students briefly about the roles of a conservation officer, what it’s like to be a K9 handler, and fielded questions relating to the topics. K9 Storm also provided a demonstration on zebra mussel detection. Time was also spent attending training at Camp Ripley and teaching a snowmobile safety class for close to 40 students with the help of CO Gray and RTO Oldakowski.

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