Conservation officers busy with deer opener


November 10, 2023

Conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources were busy with the firearms deer opener last weekend. Cloquet’s Tony Elwell reported that “most hunters struggled to see much for deer movement over the weekend.”

Violations Elwell responded to included hunting with the aid of bait, taking antlerless deer in the wrong zone, license violations, and blaze orange violations. He offered a reminder that blaze orange is now required on synthetic ground blinds placed on public land.

Mikeena Wehr, the Carlton officer, investigated incidents of hunter harassment with the discharge of firearms, dogs chasing deer, and wildlife management area violations. She took action on transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, transporting a crossbow armed with a bolt in a motor vehicle, allowing a juvenile to violate game laws and a juvenile ATV operator without a helmet on.

Jacob Willis out of Brookston found multiple baited stands and continues to work on ongoing tips. He fielded a call where a person shot at a deer from the road right-of-way next to a house, where the property owners were outside having a campfire, resulting in multiple charges.

Vinny Brown, an officer in the Northome area near Lower Red Lake, had quite a surprise on opening day. He caught up with the hunter on opening day of the 2023 deer season and arrested him for being a felon in possession of a firearm. While transporting him to jail, Brown saw a vehicle driving erratically and alerted deputies, who stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant. Brown stopped to assist and found that a passenger was about to give birth. Officers went to retrieve gloves to assist with the delivery and within 30 seconds, the mother had delivered the baby on her own in the front passenger seat. The mother and baby were in good health and were transported to a hospital by ambulance. Brown’s passenger was transported to jail.


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