Area Conservation Officer Reports: September 29, 2021


District 9 – Brainerd Zone

Captain Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) took enforcement action this week for various ATV offenses. Other violations included the lack of a small game license, an unplugged weapon, an unsigned stamp, the transport of loaded firearms and the burning of prohibited materials. Reports of unattended decoys and the operation of motor vehicles in public waters were also addressed.

Commander Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports an audit of bear, grouse and duck hunters in the area. Mixed bags of ducks were seen in most areas. A mallard / whistling duck cross was also seen in a local hunter’s bag. Forgetting about life jackets and not knowing which species hunters are shooting at remains a problem. Benkofske also returned a dock segment to a camp on Big Sandy that had floated in a storm and became a danger to other boaters.

Commander Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled migratory waterfowl hunting and sport fishing. Hunters have had varying success with ducks. Complaints have been lodged about the new sunset closing time compared to the traditional 4pm closure. Assistance was provided to a few people in determining who owned the cattle that appeared on their hunting cameras and impacted their archery deer hunt.

Commander Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked on a wide variety of activities last week. Archery hunters in the area report good success and look forward to cooler weather. A large number of waterfowl hunters were out on the opening morning of the waterfowl season. In addition, fishermen in the area reported that the fishing was very good. Sullivan has faced a wide variety of offenses, including angling without a license, hunting large game without a license, having an unplugged shotgun, possession of poisonous shot and not having a life jacket.

Commander Amber Ladd (Aitkin) was in charge of small game and waterfowl hunting. She also patrolled ATV activities in the area and contacted several minors who were operating illegally. Several trespassing calls have been received as deer hunters begin to set up stands and small game hunters are in the field.

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