Conservation Officer Report – District 5

Conservation Officer Report – District 5

November 23, 2022 News -- KSDM-KGHS 0

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the regular firearms deer season came to a quiet close with cold weather moving into the area. Overall, it appears the local harvest rates were lower than previous years. The area has seen enough snow to bring out some snowmobile traffic. People are reminded to make sure their registrations are current and be cautious of thin ice on small bodies of water.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week monitoring deer-hunting activity, trapping activity and grouse hunters. ATV activity was also monitored throughout the week as well. Equipment maintenance was conducted as well.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports an uptick in deer movement as the firearms season ended. The number of hunters on the last days also appeared to be up compared to previous seasons. Overall, for the season the number of hunting complaints was down for the area. Several individuals contacted were not giving up for the year and planned on shifting gears and dusting off the muzzleloader for another try.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the firearms deer season came to a close much like it started: Few hunters, if any, out hunting, no deer observed harvested, and numerous complaints about the lack of deer. Equipment work and administrative tasks were completed over the week. Additional snow has fallen and it appears the deer are in for another long winter in the North Country.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) checked deer hunters the last week of deer season. Larson focused on working road hunters and doing game checks. He followed up on complaints related to vehicles on trails and found violations relating to this. He also encountered ATV-related violations and investigated several state park violations. Hunters reported having a tough season with few deer being seen.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) continued working the firearms deer season. Another decline in hunting activity was seen due to the cold weather/snow. Hunters checked were finding little success. Time was also spent attending a Pathblazers Snowmobile Club meeting in Hibbing and assisting local law enforcement agencies. Violations encountered included taking an antlerless deer without a permit, trespassing, and various ATV violations.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) along with COC Fontes continued to work on a trespass case from the previous week and worked at a waterfowl and angling detail during the week. Fontes and Zavodnik also worked the third weekend of the rifle season around the area. Hunting activity was extremely slow, most likely due to the cold conditions. Enforcement action was taken in regards to waterfowl hunting, angling, and operating a motor vehicle.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring deer-hunting and trapping activity. Few deer hunters were encountered during the last week of the firearms deer season. Deer hunters who were out continued to report limited success. Many hunters reported seeing more wolves than deer. Recent cold weather started to ice-cap smaller ponds and lakes. Broughten also fielded calls regarding operating a motor vehicle on a closed trail, trespass, car-injured deer, and hunting deer over bait.

Cook vacant.