Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Feb. 8, 2021. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases, snowmobile enforcement, anglers and miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. One report was received of three different grouse flying into three different windows on the same house only minutes apart. Two of the grouse died as a result.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked trout anglers and snowmobile riders. He also worked a trapping complaint. An accidentally trapped fisher was turned in. That was not the unusual part, however. The fisher - the supposed master of porcupine predators – had about six dozen quills on its face and neck, with one that had nearly blinded it. It survived the porcupine, but not the trap. It was the coldest week of the winter, and Bozovsky asked two snowmobile riders how low the wind chill was for them after they were stopped going 80 miles an hour. The wind chill chart actually doesn’t register that low. Separate trout anglers on a designated lake were found with no trout stamps and using extra lines (one actually using two extra lines). One had a bait violation as well. Excuses abounded for the anglers.
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) patrolled lakes and snowmobile trails but saw fewer people out and about due to colder weather. Most ice anglers report a slow bite for anything other than perch. Brown responded to a residence after an individual reported he accidentally caught a bobcat in a coyote snare. The bobcat was unharmed by the snare and was released by Brown and CO Fairbanks without incident.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent a majority of the past week checking ice anglers. The panfish bite at the beginning of the week was pretty good, but by the end of the weekend fishing for all species was very slow due to the cold snap. A snowmobile crash was responded to where the victim had to be airlifted to the hospital for serious injuries.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) started Phase 2 of field training with a new conservation officer. The officers primarily worked sport fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no shelter ID/license, no reflective material on a shelter, no license in possession while angling, unattended lines, small amount marijuana and paraphernalia, failure to display registration, expired registration, and failure to stop at a stop sign.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling snowmobile and fishing activity. With the coldest weather of the year, not as many people were seen recreating in the Detroit Lakes area. Several groups of snowmobile riders were checked and for the most part were law-abiding. Enforcement action for the week included loud mufflers on snowmobiles, no registration displayed on a snowmobile, snowmobile speed, and fishing without a license.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) continued to work snowmobiling and ice angling. Cross reports area snowmobile trails are in pretty rough shape with the lack of recent snow. Enforcement activity for the week included spearing without a license, illegal-length northern pike, unregistered ATV, failure to transfer ownership of an ATV, extra fishing lines, and illegally placed traps.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked big-game investigations this past week. Guida offered court trial witness testimony in a past snowmobile violation case. A big-game investigation was completed where an individual purchased a big-game license and registered a deer six minutes after the purchase. The license was determined to be invalid and the both individuals involved in the lend/borrow violation were subject to enforcement action, including a $500 penalty for restitution.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the shores of Lake Superior, where recent pack ice had anglers venturing on the ice in the Duluth area. A reminder that pack ice is unpredictable and departs as quickly as it arrives. Snowmobile enforcement was worked in and around Duluth, where loud exhaust and trespassing off-trail complaints were received. The recent sub-zero temperatures tempered many outdoor activities over the weekend.