District 8 - Duluth area

Last updated: 2014-09-30

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) continued field training with a COC. Officers checked hunters during the opening duck season and hunters reported a fair amount of ducks in the area with a wide variety of species taken. Enforcement action was taken for ATV passenger under 18 without helmet. Time was also spent on a complaint about an illegally taken black bear and enforcement action was taken. Wolf depredations were investigated regarding a small dog and cattle

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking small game and archery deer hunters throughout the week. Complaints of archery hunting over bait were addressed and he worked nighttime shinning complaints.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) investigated a couple wolf depredation complaints with one resulting in a control zone being opened. Enforcement work involved checking grouse, deer, and bear and waterfowl hunters. An illegal bear case was completed and will be sent to the County Attorney for charging. Several fishermen were checked during the week. A couple people were charged with illegal deer shining over the weekend. Officer Duncan also talked at a firearms safety class.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked the waterfowl opener. Mixed results were observed with teal, wood ducks and geese in the bag. Grouse hunters that were checked were also reporting mixed results. Heavy foliage continued to hamper their efforts. ATV operators were checked and stops were made for unlawful operation. Patrols were made into the Fond Du Lac State Forest and wildlife management areas. Ricing activity was still taking place in the area and questions continued to be received about the upcoming deer season. CO Humphrey attended a youth trapping education class in Cromwell. CO Humphrey also attended a memorial service for retired CO Wayne Forsythe. Violations for OHV operation, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and hunter harassment were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a slow waterfowl opener in the area most likely because of the very nice weather. Very few ducks were seen in the bag and no violations were found. Archery deer hunting and bear hunting activity was also worked in the area with some investigations into hunting deer over bait and trespassing being looked into. K9 training continues with K9 Schody. Assistance was given at K9 testing held in Grand Rapids where DNR K9 Si and his handler Mike Fairbanks were certified. ATV and off-highway motorcycle activity was worked in the area and enforcement action was taken for registration, operating with juvenile not wearing helmet, equipment, and operating on the road violations.

WREO Mike Scott worked on a background investigation for a potential new Conservation Officer for academy training next spring. Attended a Wetland Conservation Act meeting with St. Louis County LGU, SWCD, and BWSR and the new St. Louis County Attorney assigned to work with WCA cases. Time was spent working at the Minnesota State Patrol Dispatch Center in Roseville for the waterfowl season opener. Many calls coming in reference shooting in the early morning hours scaring some people. Calls for illegal hunting activity were handled as well as calls for general DNR questions, and several injured raptors including two bald eagles that had locked their talons together and were in the yard of person in Columbia Heights.