District 5 — Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports lots of people out in the woods preparing for the upcoming firearms deer season. A youth firearms safety class was held at the Indus School, where 15 students completed the online and field day certification course. Grouse hunters continued to have success throughout the area. Animal-related complaints and hunter disputes over hunting stands and public lands were handled.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the seemingly early cold weather has caused difficulties for many individuals planning for the upcoming deer season. Caution should be exercised both when using watercraft and on OHVs when dealing with water crossings and wet conditions. You do not have to be completely submerged in water for hypothermia to set in. Slatinski worked with a Voyageurs National Park ranger and checked whitefish netters Kabetogama Lake. For an activity that is always associated with cold weather and water, recent conditions have been downright brutal. Time was also spent at a firearms safety field day in Indus and seasonal equipment maintenance was completed.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports streams and ponds have frozen over, as have bays on area lakes. Water trapping appears over. Permit requests continue. Injured-animal calls and car-killed deer permits continue. Equipment work is ongoing. Numerous phone calls were taken over the week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time with local conservation officers certifying students in firearms safety at the Indus School District. Despite the snow and winter weather-type conditions, most of the students were attentive and eager to be a part of the field day portion. Complaints were fielded about non-motorized hunting trails being used by motorists who seem to think the trail regulations don?t apply to them. While Zavodnik was on duty, he observed a white trash bag containing plucked ducks dumped on the shore of the Willow River. If anyone has information regarding the violation please call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093. You can remain anonymous. Zavodnik also observed the last good push of ducks hitting the region with goldeneyes, buffleheads, and bluebills observed on the larger lakes.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week getting ready for the upcoming deer rifle season. Time was spent winterizing equipment. Hopkins also investigated an illegal decorative material harvesting case. Enforcement action was taken and a number of spruce tops were seized.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons and ATV riders, assisted the Hibbing Police Department with a call about an attempted suicide, investigated two spruce top timber trespass incidents, and spent considerable time documenting baited deer stands for the firearms deer opener. While investigating what was thought to be a trout-fishing-out-of-season issue, Bozovsky located a spruce top theft area and coincidentally found other suspects violating U.S. Forest Service rules, unrelated to the timber trespass. They were turned over to the U.S. Forest Service for enforcement action. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm, an uncased firearm in the city, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied building, a blaze orange violation and ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring hunting and trapping activity. Broughten investigated multiple trespass complaints. He also gave a presentation regarding natural resources law enforcement to high school students at Mesabi East High School.
International Falls #2 — vacant.