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Tributaries open and muddy-up the Rainy River, making fishing difficult, DNR officers say

A young hunter did the right thing when he called the local conservation officer after shooting at a Tom turkey and finding a hen had been hit.

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, April 25.

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) continues to monitor the removal of the remains of multiple fishing shelters on Lake of the Woods and Hayes Lake. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports checking anglers on the Rainy River. The past week provided some less-than-favorable weather conditions, but some sturgeon are still being caught. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines and operating an ATV on the state highway. COs Sura and Simonson pulled into a local river access where they found several individuals attempting to load a half-sunken boat onto its trailer. Apparently the boat had a bilge pump malfunction and the boat began to go down while on the river. Luckily, a boat of good Samaritans witnessed the unfortunate event unfolding and helped by towing the boat to the access and assisted getting the boat trailered. All boaters made it to shore safely. Sura and Simonson also responded to assist local agencies at the International Falls School for a call of a bomb threat.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to monitor ATV and turkey hunting activities in the area. He also attended training at Camp Ripley. Flood waters are at a dangerous level, and he wants to remind everyone to take the precautions that are needed to maintain safety. If you’re able to volunteer to fill sandbags, please reach out to your local authorities.

READ MORE MINNESOTA DNR COVERAGE:
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Conducted every five years since 1990, the survey originally was scheduled for the summer of 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) checked area turkey hunters and found little success with recent weather conditions. He also attended annual training and answered calls on beaver trapping and bear licenses.

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CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) monitored ATV and turkey hunting activity this past week. He also readied equipment for use to aid with area flooding.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time at Camp Ripley for annual training. Time was also spent taking various wildlife-related complaints and checking on a boundary-related issue along an area scientific and natural area. Turkey hunters were also checked.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time working the Rainy River. The bite has slowed as tributaries opened up throughout the weekend, creating dirty water. He patrolled areas for ATV activity and checked creeks for spring fish run activity.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a slow, snowy start to the turkey season. Area lakes are beginning to break away from shore and rivers are filling with runoff. Vinton reports attending annual in-service training and investigating TIPs of ATV activity and trespass. Enforcement action was taken for ATV operation on a state highway.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with in-service training and with a trespass case. Peterson also received calls of dogs chasing deer, wildlife-related calls and deer license violations.

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CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working spring turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. A report of a calf killed by wolves was investigated. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time patrolling area wildlife management and waterfowl production areas. Area forest trails were monitored for off-road vehicle activity. Calls of an accidentally caught otter and possible illegal activity in Itasca State Park were investigated. Warren attended annual training at camp Ripley.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking turkey hunters and spring beaver trappers, and attending annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Landmark spoke at a local QDMA youth turkey hunt. All youth hunters saw turkeys and had plenty of stories to share about their hunt. Calls from the public included complaints of hunter harassment and conflicts between landowners and beaver trappers. Enforcement action was taken for the accidental harvest of a hen turkey.

Bagley – vacant.

Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) continued to work illegal dumping and spring turkey hunting. He also fielded reports of bird mortality. Activity has coincided with weather fluctuations as many people anticipate sunny days and the open-water season. Goodman spent additional time monitoring fish runs and ATV activity.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to several TIP calls regarding illegal turkey hunting, including shooting turkeys from a motor vehicle. Plautz assisted another officer with an overlimit of turkeys and a lend-and-borrow license investigation. Plautz spoke to a firearms safety class on laws and ethics, monitored fish run activity, and worked area off-highway motorcycle and ATV riders. A young juvenile did the right thing when he called the local CO after shooting at a Tom turkey and finding a hen had been hit. The youth immediately called Plautz to notify her of the situation.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked turkey hunters in the snow and sleet. Complaints of a floating dock and a submerged boat were received and investigated in Douglas County. Assistance was given to the training staff at Camp Ripley for Annual In-service Training.

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CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and spoke at a firearms safety training class.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) went to annual training at Camp Ripley this week. She also spent time on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports focusing time in the field on turkey hunters, anglers and nuisance-animal complaints. Questions were also answered for the local upcoming firearms safety class.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, beaver trappers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent attending annual training and handling incidentally caught otters.

Osakis – vacant.

Elbow Lake – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also patrolled for turkey hunting, angling and ATV activity. He reports fielding numerous calls in regards to sick/injured/deceased wildlife.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) attended annual training. She also responded to a call of a dead eagle.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) completed training at Camp Ripley, worked on follow up of TIP calls, and worked on equipment maintenance.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) attended training, monitored trapping activity and took various phone calls throughout the week. Kunst also investigated a shoreline violation and a dogs-chasing-deer call.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the week on a variety of activities. Enforcement action was taken for operating an OHM on a highway, an ATV on a closed trail, transporting a loaded firearm and numerous other recreational vehicle violations, as well as an order for protection violation. State forest roads and trails are currently closed in Huntersville.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to sporadically check ice anglers. Access points have largely melted and the ice can’t be trusted. Some time was spent working a deer-hunting investigation. Mathy also worked on Bear Committee items and took a nuisance-beaver complaint.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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