Conservation Officer

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked hunting activity including waterfowl hunters, the youth deer season, and the CWD management zone. He also attended training and issued roadkill tags.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received a complaint of a floating bog believed to be cut by a lakeshore owner. The complaint was unfounded. Several TIPS of possible hunting over bait and feeding deer during a feeding ban were taken. Residents of Pine County: Please remember there is a feeding ban due to CWD. For more information, see mndnr.gov/cwd/feedban.html. Several area youth harvested deer over the weekend. Time was spent with the local MDHA Quad Rivers chapter to promote the group and invite new members.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on deer-shining complaints and a possible deer poaching case. Waterfowl hunters are reporting the skies to be empty until cold pushes birds south. Calls about deer season confusion continue to come in. A juvenile who shot two does during youth season was coached on proper hunting practices to avoid overlimits.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found a high number of young deer hunters taking advantage of the early youth firearms deer season. It was good to see more young hunters out, many of whom had help from their parents. Quite a few were checked who had luck harvesting their first deer. A lot of time was also spent checking state forest areas, where too many hunting groups had been leaving their garbage and camping gear behind with hopes of saving a good spot. The forest users were educated about the requirement to clean up after themselves and leave the state lands as they found them. The violations were dealt with.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked small-game hunting, big-game hunting, the early youth deer season, and ATV activity this past week. Violations encountered included failure to display valid ATV registration, failure to transfer ATV ownership, operating an ATV without lights on, illegal ATV road right-of-way operation, no blaze orange clothing, no deer hunting license in possession, no small-game license in possession, and failure to obtain a burning permit. Calls were fielded regarding waterfowl hunting and use of snowmobile trails. A big-game hunting incident was investigated and subsequent enforcement action was taken for youth hunting violations.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week checking waterfowl hunters and other small-game hunters. ATV patrol was conducted. Investigations into big-game cases continue. Isle – vacant.

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