Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Nov. 9, 2020. The complete report is available at

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook Station) reports a busy weekend addressing individuals who were found hunting deer over bait. Everything from molasses to approximately 300 pounds of corn was observed while addressing the opening weekend hunting violators. Zavodnik also ended up in a foot pursuit with an individual who was stopped for driving erratically. While in pursuit, the passenger of the vehicle thought it would be a good idea to hop in the driver’s seat and leave the scene. Various enforcement action was taken throughout the week. Zavodnik continues to field trespass complaints, mostly due to spruce-top cutting.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) checked areas for deer baiting, worked deer hunting opener and addressed several deer-hunting complaints. Deer baiting was the most prevalent violation over the opening weekend. One deer hunter had enough corn spread out to feed all the deer in the area. In the hunter’s deer stand was enough alcohol to keep a bartender and customers happy for quite some time. The hunter had started drinking before sunrise. Two rifles were seized in that case. Assistance was provided to the Hibbing Police Department with a suicidal individual who had a knife. The incident ended peacefully and he was transported by ambulance. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, no blaze orange, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, possessing a firearm outdoors without a deer license, and ATV violations.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) investigated a trapping complaint, trespass, dogs chasing deer, and fielded numerous calls on deer season through the past week. Plautz is investigating the illegal shooting of an individual’s two dogs, which were dropped in a ditch. The busy firearms deer season was a success for most hunting groups. Violations over the weekend included failure to validate a deer license, failure to register deer, hunting deer over bait, trespassing, and possessing a rifle in the shotgun zone.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked deer baiting, trespass and early shooting violations during the firearms deer season opener. Multiple firearms were seized and charges are pending. Peterson also assisted on search warrants on pending cases.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) primarily worked big-game hunting activity over the firearms deer season opener. Numerous calls were fielded and investigated and follow up was completed on many existing cases. Violations encountered included hunting over bait, allowing a minor to hunt illegally, public trespass, harvesting decorative materials with no permit, no deer license in possession and operating an ATV with no headlights.

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) prepared for and worked the opening weekend of the firearms deer season. Several baited stands were investigated with Lt. Benjamin and CO Johnson, and charges are pending. A check of an illegal camp found the occupant with multiple arrest warrants. The Roseau County Sheriff’s Office came and assistance was given arresting the individual, who attempted to hide and flee. A citation was also issued to someone transporting a loaded gun.


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