Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5

Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5

November 9, 2021 News -- KSDM-KGHS 0

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int?l Falls #1) reports the 2021 Firearms Deer Season Opener was busy with lots of people enjoying the nice weather. Most deer camps reporting some success, some better than others. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer with the use of bait, failure to validate site tag, discharging firearm with a road right of way at big game animal, borrowing lending licenses, and operating ATV during closed hours. People are encouraged to stop road hunting and baiting deer.

CO Curtis Simonson (Int?l Falls #2) reports working the busy and much anticipated Firearms Deer season opener this past weekend. The warm weather had many hunters out enjoying the weekend. Enforcement action taken this past week consisted of hunting deer with the use or aid of bait and not validating site tags. CO Simonson assisted neighboring officers with someone shooting a deer within the road right of way.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) Monitored whitefish netting activity on area lakes. Success was reported and observed to be slower than previous years. The CO handled complaints of animals injured by motor vehicles on area highways. Deer became markedly active with several bucks observed during daylight hours chasing does across roadways. With the opening of the firearms deer season, calls of illegal activity jumped and several individuals were contacted for a variety of deer hunting related violations.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the deer opener was a non-event with the lowest number of hunters and deer taken he has seen. Numerous complaints of no deer and high wolf numbers. A number of camp sites and hunting cabins were vacant. Area lakes were checked along with local forest roads. Waterfowl activity was monitored. A midweek snow storm appears to be bearing down on the northland to once again change the landscape. Watercraft winter prep continues.

Cook vacant

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily small game and deer hunters. Hunters found little success over the opening weekend with reports of very little deer movement. Larson also spent time investigating deer hunting violations.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked big game activity over the firearms deer season opener. Many hunters found limited success over the weekend, with many reporting not seeing many deer or hearing many shots. Warm weather contributed, but also made for comfortable sitting conditions. Violations encountered included hunting over bait, no deer license in possession, and driving after revocation.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports a busy opening weekend with the firearms deer season in full swing. Per usual, addressing individuals hunting over bait was the main focus for the first two days of the rifle season. It was disappointing to see that of the six hunting over bait violations addressed, three of the adults had a minor either hunting or were accompanying them in the stand, and another adult was knowingly allowing the minor to hunt over a pile of corn. Zavodnik encountered several deer hunting license violations, addressed illegally placed ?No Trespassing? signs, and assisted local law enforcement with a felon who fled off into the woods. He also assisted State Patrol with an individual who was suffering a medical condition while driving and crashed their vehicle into the woods. Luckily, the driver sustained only minor injuries during the crash.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Grouse hunter success increased this week whereas waterfowl hunters report seeing few ducks. CO Broughten worked firearm deer opener where deer hunters report seeing few deer. CO Broughten investigated violations of hunt deer with the aid of bait, no blaze orange during firearms deer season, trespass, and hunter harassment.