District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for boating enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and angling violations. McGowan also continued working waterfowl enforcement, issuing several citations and warnings. An ongoing illegal bear-bait investigation concluded with a citation. McGowan continues to train a new conservation officer in field training.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled area lakes and rivers for waterfowl-hunting activity. Some hunters are finding wood ducks and mallards. One hunter checked forgot to put the plug back in his gun before hunting migratory waterfowl. The hunter also experienced outboard motor problems and paddled all the way back to the landing. A reminder to consult with the waterfowl regulations to be aware of the Central Zone closure from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. Guida continued working with COC Ryan Hanna as his field training officer. They assisted numerous youths obtain their firearms safety certificates over the weekend at a local safety education class.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) contacted waterfowl, small-game, and bear hunters this past week. Fishing and boating safety were worked, too. Additionally, numerous ATV riders were contacted. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no small-game license, no state waterfowl stamp, no HIP certification, no PFD, and no licenses in possession. The public was educated on display of ATV registration and possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) continued training with COC Leeb and reports this past week was slower with waterfowl hunters finding little success. A few hunters were found successfully getting their limits, but most reported very few sightings of birds. Small-game hunters were also struggling to fill bag limits, most likely due to the weather and that there is still a lot of cover. Enforcement action taken included some warnings for park permit violations, an AIS violation, and a litter complaint. He also answered questions from the public about upcoming seasons.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked waterfowl- and small-game hunting activity. Animal-related complaints were handled and Honor Guard duties were also attended to.