Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Sept. 16. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, bear, deer, small-game and waterfowl enforcement. The early goose season wrapped up with many happy hunters walking away with full possession limits over the course of the season. The small-game season kicked off with minimal success for a lot of hunters as the foliage is still quite intact, giving the ever-elusive grouse ample concealment and hunters more of a challenge than most of them care for. A report was taken and investigated concerning the illegal dumping of geese carcasses, many of which were not even utilized. That is wanton waste. Hunters must dispose of their carcasses properly and respectfully, as not everyone wants to see a pile of dead animals as they drive through the forest. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and hunting without a license in possession.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) and COC Jordan Anderson reported an increase in hunting activity due to the opening of archery deer and small-game seasons. Several bowhunters were contacted and reported limited opening morning success. The COs handled TIP complaints as well as a dispute over permission to track a wounded deer. Hunters are encouraged to speak with their neighbors prior to season opening to discuss situations should a deer need to be recovered on someone else’s property as well as review the legal requirements of posting their land. Enforcement action was taken for littering, hunting with an invalid license, and aquatic plant management issues.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the small-game and archery deer openers, as well as anglers, ATV riders, an ATV ride, and an aquatic plant removal complaint. He also met with a landowner and the SWCD on a wetland fill violation. More evidence was located on the previous week’s bear-dumping cases. Fewer ruffed grouse hunters than usual were afield for the opener, but most hunters checked had some birds, with one hunter showing a limit. An ATV grouse hunter was not demonstrating good decision-making as he was found with a child who had no helmet. But the worst part of the equation was that the adult was drinking, had an open container of alcohol and a loaded shotgun sticking out over the front windshield of the Class 2 ATV. The adult hunter was cited. Enforcement action was taken on unlawfully transporting game birds, transporting a loaded firearm, open container, and a number of OHM and ATV violations.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking dove hunters, goose hunters, and archery hunting activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Goose-hunting success has decreased as fewer birds are in the area, but dove hunters are still having fair success. Calls from the public this past week were all related to nuisance-beaver complaints. Permits were issued. Landmark and CO Richards contacted two juveniles who mistakenly thought the youth duck season was this past weekend. Ducks and lead ammunition were seized and enforcement action is pending. Enforcement action was also taken this week for burning prohibited materials, juveniles on ATVs without helmets, and ATV registration violations.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk about the job of a CO to a local college law enforcement class. K9 assistance was requested to help search for evidence in a case involving a bear hunter in the area. K9 Schody was successful in assisting. The case is still ongoing and under investigation. A large amount of garbage was dumped in an area state forest. A search through the garbage revealed some mail with names on it. After contacting the owners of the mail, it was determined two other individuals were responsible. They were paid to take this garbage to the dump and instead dumped it in the state forest and pocketed the money. Charges are pending.