Weekly Conservation Officer's report

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2017-10-16

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked hunting activity which started to pick up as the weather cools off and leaves are coming down. Anglers were still out and some may be doing too well with their fall bite. CO Verkuilen also issued car kill tags and monitored ATV complaint areas.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working small and big game hunters. A few grouse hunters were having some luck but most reported a lot of cover yet for the birds. A few waterfowl hunters were out and some birds were seen in the area. Patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for ATV and hunting activity and many outdoor law related questions were fielded throughout the week. Watercraft were monitored for AIS as many parties were pulling their boats out of the water for the season. A call was received of a dead eagle and the bird was picked up and transported to the Garrison Vet Clinic so it could be transferred to Rapture Center. The Officer also assisted a local agency with a call for service.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) spent the week checking small game hunters. She received a call of a bow killed deer that was left to rot on state property without any of the meat being harvested. CO Speldrich completed a trespass investigation where gravel was taken from state property and a litter/dumping investigation. She answered many questions regarding feeding deer, hunting over bait and what is considered bait. Just because a store sells it, doesn?t mean it?s legal to hunt over it. Please read the ingredient list on all deer feed.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on small game, fishing, and deer season items. Assistance was given on a shining case and a reported dead wolf was investigated that turned out to be a dog. Beaver complaints continue to come in with high water levels. Hunters were found to be prepping their stands for the upcoming deer firearms season.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked hunters during the final days of bear season. Several cases were finished up with enforcement action taken for hunting over unregistered bear baits, unsigned bear baits, transporting untagged bear, and failing to validate site tag. Waterfowl hunters were also checked along with large numbers of small game hunters that were out looking for squirrels and grouse.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time answering questions about trespassing and baiting deer. He followed up on WMA complaints and assisted the Pine County Sheriff's department on traffic stops and a complaint of dogs being stolen from local residents.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked small game, waterfowl, and archery deer hunters. A few more hunters were seen chasing grouse with fair success. Time was also spent checking ATV riders on the Soo Line trail system.