Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the opening of the 2021 muzzleloader deer season was slow, with few people observed in the field despite the weather being mild. A few animal-related complaints were handled, as were questions in regards to muzzleloader hunting and licensing. No enforcement action was needed this weekend.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the muzzleloader deer opener. Activity was pretty slow throughout the area. Simonson also checked a number of people out doing a little last-minute grouse hunting this past weekend.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) followed up on incidents from the firearms deer season. Cases were concluded and complaint areas were checked on. Questions on the muzzleloader season and northern pike spearing were fielded. A few individuals were out braving the wintery conditions, still after the whitetails. Ice conditions are still not safe for any kind of recreational activity.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ice fishing is in full swing. With little snow cover on area lakes, ice conditions continue to improve. Illegal spruce cutting continues. Muzzleloader deer hunting was nonexistent. Snow continues to melt as above-freezing daytime temperatures continue. Public access sites were checked and equipment work and administrative tasks were completed.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked small-game hunting and angling activity. Anglers are reminded that ice is still dangerously thin in most parts of the state and to exercise extreme caution, even when fishing small bodies of water. Time was also spent preparing equipment for the winter season and responding to calls.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time taking calls related to big game, trapping, and nuisance animals over the week. He also spent a majority of the week taking care of equipment and putting it away for the winter. Zavodnik continues to wrap up several decorative product cases from the fall.