Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports spending most of the week at Camp Ripley for annual emergency vehicle operation instructing. Animal-related complaints and small-game-hunting opener took place as well.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports attending the Fur Takers of America Trappers College in Indiana this past week.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports fall activities are now getting into full swing with a plethora of opportunities to spend time outdoors available. Anglers are providing mixed reports of success with multispecies creels observed. Early season goose hunters have been finding success and increasing numbers of geese have been observed in the area. Grouse hunters were contacted with most reporting few birds in the bag due to heavy vegetation in the woods. ATV use has increased as the weather cools, although insect numbers are still high as well. Several calls about miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints and uncommon species for the area were fielded. Training was also attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and public access sites. Area forest roads were checked and ATV use were monitored. Two inches inches of rain fell locally. Fishing activities and boating continue. Small-game and waterfowl hunting were checked. Equipment work and administrative tasks rounded out the week.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) spent most of his time in training during the week. He also spent time checking grouse hunters, who had mixed success over the weekend. Violations were related to transporting loaded firearms.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV and fishing activity. The small-game and archery deer seasons opened over the weekend, but overall less activity than expected was observed. In addition, time was spent training at Camp Ripley, presenting at a firearms safety class in Hibbing, and checking areas throughout the station known for illegal timber harvest.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time following up on multiple complaints and assisting with EVOC training over the week. Heavy vegetation and warm weather led to a slow opening weekend of small-game season, and the last weekend of early goose season led to low numbers of geese being harvested. Zavodnik continues to compete various investigations and administrative work.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, ATV, and hunting activity. Fall anglers and goose hunters reported moderate success. Few hunters were observed over the small-game and archery deer-hunting opener. Broughten fielded calls regarding waterfowl-hunting regulations. Class 1 and Class 2 ATV operators/owners are reminded people under 18 are required to wear an approved helmet. If the child is too small to wear a helmet, the child will need to wait to be a passenger on the ATV.