Oddities from this week's DNR conservation officer reports

Bear tracking, "pet" deer and some extreme attempts to avoid citations
Publish date:
You can track your bear sightings on the DNR website. 

You can track your bear sightings on the DNR website. 

If you're not familiar with them (or our near-weekly series), the Minnesota DNR issues every week a list of reports from its dozens of conservation officers patrolling the state.

The reports can often be fairly run-of-the-mill – issuing citations for fishing without a license, for example – but quite often they feature something unusual, or downright delightful.

Here's a look at some of the stories that stood out from this week's reports:

Reminder: log your bear sightings

In their reports, conservation officers frequently write they get calls from people about bear sightings. If you missed it, there was another bear sighting in St. Paul over the weekend. Wherever you are in Minnesota, an officer wrote this week: "people who see a bear in the area are encouraged to enter them into the DNR bear tracking app."

While we're talking about interactions with wildlife...

"Pet" deer

In Albany, CO Chad Thesing reports: "A call was handled involving a family keeping a fawn deer in their home." 

Meanwhile, in White Bear Lake, CO Ryan Hanna writes he investigated an animal trapping complaint: "Sometimes it can be tricky to live in harmony with certain animals. It is, however, important to know the ways that landowners can stop nuisance animals from causing damage. Trapping them and keeping them as a pet is not a viable way. Talk with your local CO if you have questions on nuisance animals." 

Wives put the kibosh on husbands' excuses

In Detroit Lakes, CO Jake Swedberg reports he found two men with an overlimit of sunfish. He wrote: "The men were both in possession of two limits of sunfish and claimed their wives had left the previous night and forgotten their fish."

Swedberg said he called both wives, and funnily enough, "neither had any clue about fishing and their husbands admitted to the overlimit."

Putting your teeth on the line

In Hibbing, CO Don Bozovsky says he found an angler using too many lines. As he approached him, he says, "The angler bit the line off on his second fishing rod, which had illegal bait consisting of a sunfish."

Then, when Bozovsky’s back was turned, the angler's young son "was signaled to do the same" and bit his sunfish-baited line.

"Both cut lines were retrieved and enforcement action was taken," Bozovsky notes.

By the way, as this blog puts it, cutting fishing line with teeth = bad idea. It can wear out the tooth's enamel and cause cracks or chips. 

Gaslight much? 

In Cook, CO Shane Zavodnik says he "responded to a call regarding someone burning trash in the middle of town. Upon contact, Zavodnik observed multiple fans blowing on a fire that consisted of garbage and a large tree stump."

The man initially denied that he had anything to do with it "or that there was a fire burning right in front of him," Zavodnik writes.

"After a more in-depth conversation, the suspect admitted to the violation and appropriate action was taken." 

Next Up


Hennepin Theatre Trust announces 2021-22 Broadway schedule

Health and safety protocols will be in place based on state guidance.

Tim Walz

Walz to hold press conference on MN State Capitol safety concerns

This comes amid ongoing threats to state Capitols across the country.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Brooklyn Park standoff: Suspect kills himself, child taken hostage is safe

The standoff ended Thursday night when the suspect shot himself.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies in alley after report of shooting in Minneapolis

Police were sent to the scene by ShotSpotter activation.


COVID-19 shines a light on the struggles facing Minnesota's working mothers

Daycare and school closures have put working families under pressure, with mothers bearing the brunt.

Prada Purse2

Border patrol in Minneapolis intercepts shipment of 173 counterfeit designer bags

If they were authentic, they would have been worth about $405,975.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis councilors propose replacing police department, rent stabilization

Council members are also proposing two charter amendments to help renters in Minneapolis.

Vaccine COVID

MDH expands COVID guidance, urges providers to vaccinate the 65+

More vaccine guidance will be provided in the coming days.

Tom Brady

Coller: Which remaining teams should the Vikings emulate?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 3.33.57 PM

Serious crime was up 15% in St. Paul in 2020

“This was an incredibly hard year for all of us,” Police Chief Todd Axtell said, citing riots and the pandemic.