Conservation Officer Scott Staples (Carlton) worked hunting activity in the area where success seems to be down from opening weekend of deer season. Complaints of hunting over bait and shooting from the road were investigated in the area. K9 Schody assisted in searching for evidence in both cases. Other contacts were made for operating ATVs during prohibited times, as well as equipment and registration violations.

Assistance was given to the State Patrol after one vehicle was involved in a rollover crash.

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) had another steady week of deer-hunting activity. With the better weather there seemed to be more success. There are still multiple complaints about ATVs operating during prohibited hours and those complaints were addressed.

Willis attended the funeral for South St. Paul Sgt. Slifko as part of the Honor Guard contingent. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV during prohibited hours, untagged big-game animal, failure to validate a site tag and expired ATV registration.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) focused on the firearms deer season. Several checks of hunters resulted in violations for taking antlerless deer without a permit, failing to validate/register deer, unlawful transport and unlawful ATV operation. Calls and complaints of shooting from the road, deer poaching and trespass were investigated.

Humphrey also inspected a commercial spruce top buyer.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked the first week of deer season and few deer were seen. Windy weather and precipitation kept hunters and harvest at bay. Complaints of ATV use in off hours, baiting issues and shooting from roadways were most common calls handled. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, failure to validate, unregistered deer and various ATV violations.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) and COC Mikeena Mattson worked big-game enforcement throughout the week. During the week, one hunter was encountered in his hunting stand after he had harvested and tagged a buck in a lottery deer permit area. Through conversation, the officers found that the hunter had borrowed a deer tag from another person who had not been hunting, and was not even in northern Minnesota when the buck was harvested. Though the hunter tried to continue to hunt after he had reached his limit, he was advised of the party hunting and lending and borrowing laws.

Enforcement action this past week was taken for lending or borrowing a license or tag, taking a deer overlimit, hunting deer over bait, no blaze orange, no license in possession, allowing or directing youth to violate game and fish laws, and chronic wasting disease feeding/attractants ban violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked firearms deer hunting throughout the week and weekend, again taking enforcement action for hunting deer over baited areas. Speldrich walked into one baited property and found it wasn’t just deer being attracted to the piles of corn placed by the stands.

Two loose ponies were just as surprised to see Speldrich as she was to see them. The ponies didn’t belong on the property and Speldrich was able to locate the owners. Other violations included improper validation of deer tags, no license in possession, and young hunters under 18 without helmets on ATVs.

She also investigated a Turn in Poachers complaint of hunters shooting from the roadway.