District 5 — Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the deep freeze continues in the north. Still, people continue to find ways to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s ice fishing or snowmobiling. Ice fishing on the area’s big lakes continues to be slow and snowmobilers are finding the land trails better than the lake trails. Snowmobile training for new COs and DNR staff was conducted, as was vehicle maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration issues.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) spent time this past week working area snowmobile trails. There were a good number of people who got out and battled the cold weather to ride. Trail conditions have held up well throughout the week. Fishing reports for area lakes remain slow. Enforcement action taken this week was for not having a fishing license in possession while fishing.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the arctic weather that enveloped the region kept all but the most serious snowmobilers and anglers at bay. Although participant numbers were down, there was still plenty of activity in the area. Land-based trails continued to see increased activity as a way to avoid the open, and harsher, open areas of the lake trails. Snowmobile operations training was provided for an officer from the latest Academy. An incident of timber theft was reported of someone taking bolts of logs from an old logging landing area.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time handling several nuisance-animal complaints regarding bobcats attacking livestock. Very few anglers were observed during the frigid week and those checked reported a slow bite. Enforcement action taken included excessive snowmobile speed, snowmobile registration violations, and angling without a license.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and snowmobile trails. Multiple snowmobile violations were addressed. Weekend temps hit 36-below-zero locally, but snowmobile activity remained constant despite the subzero temperatures. Public access sites and area forest roads continue to be checked.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobile riders, and worked a day in the Orr/Crane Lake area. The deep freeze continued with temperatures remaining below zero (including the high temperatures). As low as 30-below zero was experienced on more than one night. The cold kept outdoor activity to a minimum. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated and it was determined the calf was killed by a coyote. At midday, a deer was seen on the road, followed minutes later by a wolf, which was trailing the scent of the deer. The exhausted deer doubled back, followed about 8 minutes later by the wolf, which was on the deer’s trail. All of this took place within 20 feet of Bozovsky?s squad. The deer and wolf were oblivious to the truck. It is not known if the wolf ended the day with a meal. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) completed required training during the extended cold snap. Outdoor activity has diminished somewhat, but anglers, snowmobilers and even a few coyote trappers are still out. Frericks assisted some snowmobile safety instructors in setting up a class for online students in the Eveleth area. The riding portion of the class will be March 6. Check the DNR website for signup information. Several snowmobilers were stopped for operating unregistered snowmobiles. Frericks would like to remind all snowmobilers that registration fees go toward trail grooming and maintenance. Register your sleds!
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Cold weather continued to limit outdoor recreational activity. Fishing success still remains poor. Snowmobile trails are still in need of snow. Snowmobilers are advised to operate with caution. With the lack of snow, there is little protection from rocks, sticks, and other objects.