District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big-game and recreational vehicle enforcement this past week. A field training assignment continued with Conservation Officer Candidate Stephen Westby. Westby and Guida investigated a deer baiting complaint and also confirmed a hunter did not trespass during a lawful deer harvest. Some hunters were addressed who were transporting loaded firearms. Area deer harvest numbers appear to be down, probably due to the unseasonably warm weather.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked firearms, archery deer hunting and trapping activity. Trespass complaints and illegal ATV use issues were also addressed. Time was also spent on the local radio station covering deer hunting topics and questions.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked big-game hunting activity this past week. Hunters reported seeing fewer deer due to warm and windy conditions. Sullivan encountered a wide variety of violations including taking big game with the aid of bait, untagged big game, failure to validate a site tag and transporting loaded firearms. Trespass violations and property line disputes were also reported.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy firearms deer hunting opener. McGowan also assisted with a capsized canoe with occupants on the Whitefish Chain. Enforcement action was taken for numerous deer hunting violations and driving after suspension.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) worked the warm deer opener. Hunters said it was comfortable sitting because it was so warm, but did not see many deer moving. Another complaint of hunters was about other hunters too close to each other or not hunting the way they like. Most, though, were enjoying the tradition of deer season with family and friends.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working the firearms deer season. Quite a few hunters were out and a few deer were seen taken even with the warmer weather. Time was spent before the season checking for baited stands and illegal deer stands in the state recreation area. The Officer also assisted a neighboring officer with a deer-hunting related call and many outdoor law-related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Fitzgerald also checked for people riding on the closed trails and for state park permits on vehicles. Enforcement action for the week included various SRA violations.