District 5 — Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports more leaves falling, which contributes to more grouse in hunters’ bags. Outdoor activities continue to be busy as the weather has been very cooperative for grouse hunting, ATV riding, fishing, and spending time with family and friends. Compliance overall was good, and enforcement action was taken for unlawful deposit of garbage on public lands.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear-related complaints continue to come in. Most of these complaints can be traced to the bear finding some food source. Small-game and ATV activity continue to ramp up as fall progresses. Waterfowl hunters have not been as plentiful as we get into a bit of a lull waiting for migrators to show up. Follow up on a waters complaint completed. Administrative tasks were completed, ass was training.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and public access sites. ATV and small-game activities were checked. Duck hunting remains poor, with little to no birds observed in the area. Administrative tasks, phone calls, equipment maintenance and issuing permits rounded out the week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time spent working a TIP complaint regarding a possible angling violation early in the week. Zavodnik, along with CO Bermel and his trainee, found that a party was in possession of 40 walleyes over the limit and were also over the limit on northern pike. He, along with other COs, also worked a forestry case resulting in the seizure of several thousand spruce tops. Zavodnik also assisted local law enforcement in the apprehension of an individual wanted for first-degree assault. The person was arrested without incident.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked ongoing hunting seasons with an emphasis on duck hunters. A spruce top timber trespass was investigated. Bozovsky assisted multiple agencies in a vehicle pursuit that ended near Kinney. The pursuit ended after the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office conducted pit maneuvers to stop the suspect. The driver and passenger were taken into custody. Enforcement action was taken for an unplugged gun, no federal duck stamp, no HIP certification, no PFDs, no license in possession and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling area trails for grouse hunters. Much of the foliage has fallen and grouse hunters who are taking their time to walk the trails have been doing exponentially better than those who choose to use their ATVs. A landowner called Frericks to report a grouse hunter shooting at a bird from the road near his house. A quick check of where the shotgun hulls were located revealed the bird was shot at well within 500 feet of the occupied residence. Enforcement action was taken for the trespass violation. Other enforcement action taken included hunting without a small-game license, operating ATVs on the roadway and operating ATVs on a snowmobile trail.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring hunting, fishing, and ATV activity. Fishing success on local lakes has been limited. Grouse hunters willing to walk the woods are finding good hunting. Few ducks were observed in the bag this past week. ATV complaints continue to be reported. Broughten also investigated a trespass complaint.
International Falls #2 – vacant.