Area conservation officers of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported that hungry bears continued to be a headache for area property owners this past week.

• Conservation Officer Bret Grundmeier, working out of Hinckley, dealt with a high number of nuisance-bear complaints. Several reports were taken of black bears destroying apple trees, garbage cans, bird feeders, gardens and flower beds. Grundmeier also spent time dealing with violations of the Wetlands Conservation Act and people who altered shoreland areas within public waters.

• Conservation Officer  Ben Karon, working out of Pine City, reported that he spent time this past week checking anglers and boaters, and that success was varied from boat to boat. Karon also helped conduct ATV patrols throughout Pine County.

• Conservation Officer Dustie Speldrich, working out of Willow River, investigated a wolf-depredation call. Speldrich said that three injured calves were documented and confirmed likely injured by wolves. USDA trappers were contacted and traps were set.

Speldrich also patrolled area lakes, taking enforcement action for failing to display current registration. ATV patrol was conducted and enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs in public waters.

“A reminder to Class 2 owners that operation on roadways is permitted but you must be to the extreme right of the roadway, not right down the center of the lane where regular motor vehicles travel,” Speldrich said.

• Conservation Officer Dan Starr, working out of the Onamia office, followed up on boat and water safety complaints resulting in violations for riding on gunwale, unsafe wake, and expired registration.

Starr noted that bear sighting are on the increase, with some campers needing to be escorted out of a campsite due to bear activity. Starr also investigated a fawn that was killed by a very well-mannered Lab.

Starr observed: “It is a very good reminder to keep pets contained to avoid conflicts with wildlife.”

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