Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Nov. 12, 2019. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports preparing for and working the busy firearms deer hunting opener.  Many contacts were made and hunters reported varied success as the rut appears to be in full swing.  CO Regas encountered one happy hunter on her first year at deer camp, Peyton, 10 years of age, was the only one in their camp to harvest a deer on opening day.  Her smile was almost as big as the rack on her very respectable 8-point buck.   Time was spent investigating a TIP call of nice 8-point buck which had been shot while shining and taken out of season, all of the individuals involved have been identified, interviewed and charges are pending. Violations encountered and addressed during the firearms deer opener included multiple violations of transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles, several fail to validate site tags, fail to affix site tags to the deer and multiple ATV registration violations.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking several calls leading up to this deer season. Many relating to licenses, trespass issues and car killed deer. CO Vinton took a TIP call the day before the season opened that a person had shot a deer and was dragging it to their garage. CO Vinton contacted CO Swedberg (Detroit Lakes), who was near the area, and CO Swedberg was able to make contact with the suspect before they were able to hide the deer. The shooter admitted to shooting the deer, over bait, from their upstairs bedroom window. Enforcement action was also taken during the opening weekend for hunting over bait, failure to validate tag, untagged deer, a warrant arrest and small amount of marijuana.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked deer hunters.  Success rate appeared to be around 25 percent for groups checked.  Complaints of road hunting, shining, hunters in refuge, baiting, and trespassing were investigated.  Enforcement action was taken for deer tagging violations, loaded firearms in motor vehicle, ATV violations, and feeding ban violation.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking multiple firearms deer hunters over opener. She also responded to a trespass complaint, and dogs chasing deer. Enforcement action was taken on people hunting over bait.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports that he worked on deer hunting enforcement this past weekend.  Hunters had mixed success.  Some of the complaints include hunting over bait, shooting from a road, untagged deer and litter.   Anglers that went out had fair success.  Walleye and northern were the most active.  Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.  Campers in the forest were warned for unattended fires, alcohol at a state camp ground and litter.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working firearms deer hunters in the Pelican Rapids Station. Hunters reported mixed success with fewer hunters than normal observed on Sunday of opening weekend.  Landmark provided a ride along opportunity to a local high school student who is interested in becoming a Conservation Officer. Landmark received calls from the public regarding people sighting in guns within five days of season, trespassing, and a suspicious dead buck. Landmark and CO Swedberg investigated the incident and were able to determine the big buck was the loser of a serious fight with another buck. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate site tags, operating ATV during illegal hours, possession of illegal firearms in a shotgun zone, and deer stands being left on wildlife management areas.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week preparing for the rifle deer opener. CO Swedberg investigated potential baiting cases and assisted other COs with baiting investigations. Other investigations involved a hunter who shot a deer a day early, and shoot from the roadway cases. Many hunters in the area were successful and several nice bucks were seen over the weekend. Enforcement action for the week included take big game out of season, hunt with the aid of bait, and other license violations.   

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports checking deer hunters during the firearm season opener. Many great contacts were made with memorable deer hunting stories shared to include a 12-year old bagging a prize buck as his first deer and large party of three generations braving the elements to spend time afield together. Goodman worked with the Grant County Sheriff’s office on hunter harassment calls. Additional time was spent checking pheasant and goose hunters. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, no license in possession, and deer tag/validation violations.

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