Conservation Officer

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled trespass calls and ATV complaints. She checked small-game hunters and investigated a littering complaint. Speldrich responded to assist with a detail in the metro and responded to assist with traffic control in an incident on Interstate 35. Speldrich received a complaint from a hunter who attempted to hunt small game in the Nemadji State Forest but ended up leaving due to the amount of ATV and OHM traffic in the area.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took a variety of calls about upcoming seasons and confusion with the youth hunt. A TIP call of a possibly poached deer was investigated. He also responded to a call of lost hunters in a WMA. Several small-game hunters were checked with good squirrel-hunting success found. Fall anglers were also checked. They had poor success and, in some cases, were not using watercraft lights when they should have been.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked small-game hunting, big-game hunting, and ATV/OHM activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for no license in personal possession, operating an ATV without headlights on, juvenile passenger on an ATV without a helmet on, failure to display valid ATV/OHM registration, and failure to transfer OHV title. Missing hunters were located safely after getting lost in the Wealthwood State Forest. Hunters, and those recreating in the woods/waters, are reminded to inform someone who isn’t recreating with them of their plans: where they are recreating, who they are with, and what time they will return home. Packing basic survival tools like a compass, flashlight, map, charged cell phone, and matches can make a big difference if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) checked hunters and anglers throughout the week. Time was also spent conducting ATV patrol. Assistance was also given to the county.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and small-game hunters and patrolling for ATV activity. Krauel also spent time at a metro detail.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking small-game and archery deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for hunting waterfowl in a closed area. Benkofske assisted with instructing an ATV safety class in Cambridge. Calls regarding illegal deer hunting were also investigated.

Isle – vacant.

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