Conservation Officer Scott Staples (Carlton) reports heavy snowmobile activity in the area this past week. A portion of the area trails still have not been groomed because the ground is not frozen enough to hold the groomers. Trails that have been groomed are in excellent condition. Enforcement action was taken for speed and registration violations.
A report of snowmobiles trespassing on an agricultural field is being investigated and a complaint of a car stuck on the Munger Trail was looked into. This trail is closed to all motor vehicles except snowmobiles. The vehicle was found and the driver stated that he drove on the trail because his GPS navigation system told him to. He was informed that his GPS could not be trusted. He paid for a tow truck to get his vehicle off of the trail.
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked snowmobile enforcement this past week and fielded calls regarding locally specific regulations. Many people are still having issues with how to legally display their snowmobile registration. Make sure to review your regulations book and make sure you are displaying it in accordance with statute.
Enforcement action was taken for failing to display registration, unlawful display of registration and for riding a snowmobile on a state highway.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile enforcement during the week and assisted during a special muzzleloader deer hunt in Jay Cooke State Park. Humphrey armored firearms at Camp Ripley and attended funeral services for a Minnesota National Guardsman as part of the DNR Enforcement Honor Guard detail.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked snowmobile enforcement on area lakes and trails. Unfortunately, the violation rate related to registration and display of numbers was very high. Snowmobile safety certifications and trespass rounded out the more common violations encountered.
Area lakes were worked for ice angling. Many people braved the deep snow and heavy slush, but few were rewarded with much of a bite. Very few fish were seen, but the "slush monster" was alive and well.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked on a background investigation for a potential new hire. She also followed up on ongoing investigations, handled a dogs-chasing-deer call and answered snowmobiling-related questions.