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Conservation officers check area muzzleloaders, trappers

District 9 - Brainerd area CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) began step 3 field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate. CO Lee observed a small amount of ice fishing activity as ice conditions are very unpredictable and dangerous. CO Lee and a COC ...

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) began step 3 field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate. CO Lee observed a small amount of ice fishing activity as ice conditions are very unpredictable and dangerous. CO Lee and a COC presented at Emily area snowmobile safety class. CO Lee and a COC also fielded big game calls relating to a suspicious camper and a deer that was trapped in a fenced yard.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week of checking muzzleloader deer hunting, trapping, small game, and fishing. An issue of a neglected dock causing a hazard and litter problem on an area lake was responded to for compliance.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) and a COC attended fur bearer registration in Brainerd and trappers had reported success during the pine marten and fisher season. Thin layers of ice formed this past week on lakes, however, fishermen are encouraged to use caution ice fishing with the warming temperatures this weekend. A snowmobile safety class was attended and a presentation was done at the Merrifield Marathons snowmobile club.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) and a COC patrolled shore anglers. Ice has slowly been forming on the shoreline on most lakes, however early ice anglers have ventured out on North Long Lake. Muzzleloader deer hunters were checked during the special hunt at Crow Wing State Park. There were a few successful hunters on the first day and no violations were observed. Temperatures are expected to drop at the end of the next week and will hopefully begin to form some ice for anxious ice anglers and spearers.

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CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked trapping, archery and muzzleloader activity. Assistance was also given to DNR Wildlife Staff at fur registration and with an injured swan call. Anglers are continuing to show good restraint in venturing onto minimal ice.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) began field training with a Conservation Officer Cadet (COC). Enforcement efforts were spent working ice fishing, deer hunting and trapping. Time was also spent talking with trappers at a fur registration station and checking in furs. Officers spent time working a burning complaint and other ATV and trapping complaints.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent time primarily on trapping activity, checking trappers and assisting Wildlife Division with fur registration at Backus. A small turnout was seen as not many trappers are out this year with lower fur prices. The officer also monitored the ongoing muzzleloader deer season and presented the law portion of a snowmobile safety class.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) followed up on big game cases from deer season. Trappers were checked as well as small game hunters. Ice conditions on area lakes remain poor; please use caution on lakes.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking some small game and muzzleloader hunters throughout the week and weekend. The officer assisted a neighboring officer with a call of an injured swan on a local lake. Officers were able to break ice to get to open water and capture the swan that had a broken wing. ATV activity was monitored throughout the station and some late season open water fishing activity was checked during the week also. The officer fielded a call of an injured eagle and answered many fishing, hunting, and ATV related law questions. Also a car kill deer permit was issued.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked on a background investigation for a potential new hire. She issued car kill deer possession permits. Speldrich received calls regarding sighting in firearms during muzzleloader season, general hunting questions and trapping concerns. She received an interesting call from a neighbor whose picture window was shattered by a grouse that flew through it. The grouse survived and was trying to fly through the house. The grouse was eventually caught and released.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) found very little ice with some fishermen anyway. Small pike and panfish were found. Trapping issues were dealt with, along with a trespass issue.

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Mille Lacs Lake regulations were posted at some access sites and resort owners were met.

Spear fishermen should be reminded that pike and rough fish may be speared and make sure

that other game fish are not harmed.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent most of the week working on trapping activity and checking a few muzzleloader deer hunters. A day was spent assisting with furbearer registration. Trappers reported having luck finding good numbers of fisher and otter. Lake ice conditions in the area have slowly degraded due to unseasonably warm weather. Early in the week a small handful of anglers were found fishing on a couple of small, shallow lakes that had 3 to 4 inches of ice. Many area lakes had open water and ice on most lakes was unsafe for foot travel.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking ice conditions and trapping activity in the area. He assisted DNR Wildlife staff with registering furs, checked state forest areas for activity, and answered questions about muzzleloader hunting. Ice that was on lakes has deteriorated with warmer temps over the week. Use extreme caution if venturing on ice in the Pine County area.

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