Conservation Officer TalesAlthough the Cook County News-Herald knows that the majority of sportsmen and women are law-abiding folks, there are a few that run afoul of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officers. Periodically, the DNR provides a report of some of the miscreants the Conservation Officers (CO) have encountered. The News-Herald shares these stories as a reminder to all to be safe and to follow the rules!
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) investigated complaints of shining, late shooting and shooting within 500 feet of a building. The officer completed equipment maintenance and fielded calls related to the upcoming deer season.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked in the field cleaning up trash from unsportsman-like hunters; unfortunately no personal information about litterbugs was located. Manning patrolled forest roads, trails and campgrounds checking hunters and anglers. The officer also responded to complaints of fox traps set along non-motorized trails used by hunters with dogs. In both cases, traps were legally set. Hunters are advised to use caution with their dogs, know how to remove traps from their dogs, and to remember that it illegal to tamper with a trap or an animal in a trap.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) is investigating a case where a squirrel hunter tried smoking out a squirrel from a hollow tree. DNR Forestry was called in to put out the fire he started.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) assisted a fox trapper in releasing a large wolf from a trap. It was noted that the wolf ’s behavior toward humans was bolder than ever seen before.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) continues to check pheasant hunters and anglers. The officer responded to a call where a 10-point buck and a 12-point buck were discovered dead with their antlers locked together. The battle had taken place in a standing cornfield, and judging from the extremely large area of corn that had been leveled, the battle had raged on for a very long time.
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated a dead swan found on Roseau River WMA and an eagle that had been shot near Wannaska.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) investigated a possible depredation complaint and a complaint of people cutting trees to block a public trail. A trespass complaint where the parties shot at a grouse in someone’s front yard was investigated. The driver of the vehicle was charged with DWI by the sheriff ’s department and CO Backer charged the shooter with no small game license and trespassing. A shining complaint was received where a large buck was shot, the head cut off, and the remainder of the animal left to spoil.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) checked anglers on Mille Lacs Lake with really good success being reported for walleye at night. Officer Lee received a call about a deer that was acting strange. Upon arrival Lee observed that the deer was blind in both eyes and was attempting to enter the complainant's residence. The deer was dispatched and brought to the Mille Lacs WMA for possible testing of the deer.