District 5 — Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) and COC Curtis Simonson started the week off checking local deer camps in the area. Hunters reported having some success. Overall, hunters reported the deer movement being slow. Enforcement action was taken this past week for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle and shooting big game (deer) from a motor vehicle. Trespass complaints were addressed and handled as well.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) continued to check on deer-baiting complaints. Deer-hunter numbers have dropped drastically from the opening weekend. Those still hunting are reporting not seeing many deer, and the colder weather makes it more difficult to spend extended time in the field. He took a report of an individual believed to be hunting within the city limits. It is the responsibility of the hunter to know what type of land they are hunting. Several questions were received on the deer zone split, which is new for this year.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time conducting deer-hunting regulatory checks throughout the past week. Hunter success noticeably increased during the weekend, with some people observed harvesting a few nice bucks. Zavodnik assisted CO Frericks with a complaint involving shots heard well after legal shooting hours. During the course of the investigation, several individuals in the hunting camp were found to have been hunting over bait. One of the party members was also successful in harvesting a decent buck, but it was later determined the deer was also taken over bait. Enforcement action was taken in regards to numerous big-game violations during the event.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports another week of poor deer hunting with very few hunters in the field and even fewer deer observed harvested. Comments continue about the lack of deer and high wolf numbers. Area forest roads were checked and public access sites were monitored. Equipment work was completed.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time writing reports for several baiting citations issued over the past week. Once those were completed, COs Frericks and Zavodnik followed up on a report of shooting after legal shooting hours that led to three more citations being issued for hunting deer over bait. After Frericks cleared from that deer camp, he found yet another person hunting over at least 2 gallons of shelled corn. All told, four citations were issued that day for hunting over bait in about four hours. Several trespass cases continue to be investigated. Enforcement action was taken for failure to validate a site tag, unregistered big-game animal and hunting over bait.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring deer-hunting, trapping, and ATV-related activity. Deer hunters continue to report limited success. Broughten investigated cases related to trespass, shooting deer from the roadway, allowing a juvenile to violate game and fish laws, taking a deer without a license, and hunting while privileges are revoked.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) continued working the deer firearms season, small-game hunters, whitefish netting, and road-hunting and trespass complaints. Bozovsky and COs Frericks and Zavodnik worked a road-hunting complaint detail and encountered deer hunters shooting from the road, transporting a loaded firearm and wearing no blaze orange. Hunter numbers tailed off considerably. Hunters were seeing ample does, but bucks were being elusive. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from the roadway, transporting loaded firearms, no blaze orange, failure to validate a deer site tag, no license in possession, traffic violations, alcohol in a state park, and no state park permit.
International Falls #2 – vacant