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. There's also the occasional pertinent PSA.
Here's a look at some of the stories that stood out from this week's reports:
Snake found in hospital
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz in west Thief River Falls reports he helped staff at a local hospital with removing a northern redbelly snake, which is native to Minnesota and non-venemous. The staff had captured the snake after finding it in a large medication dispenser, a DNR spokesperson said. The snake had cozied up in one of the heated areas to keep medications at certain temperatures, slithering "probably through vents and things," the spokesperson said. The snake was released safely back to the wild.
More close encounters
In International Falls, CO Darrin Kittelson wrote: "A porcupine was captured within city limits and relocated to a more suitable area outside the city limits." Meanwhile, in Albany, CO Chad Thesing reports that he captured an injured goose, which a concerned citizen brought to a rehab vet.
Also in Albany: A Cooper’s hawk flew into a Sam’s Club, Thesing wrote. After a three-hour team effort, "the hawk was able to fly out a skylight that was removed from the roof."
Late night lumberjack
In Big Lake, CO Trent Seamans says he took a report of a camper "who decided to run a large/loud generator in the middle of the night," which was "used to operate a circular saw and cut down a live tree."
The camper was cited for destroying vegetation.
In Rochester, CO Annette Kyllo reported she took enforcement action regarding an illegal ginseng harvest before the Sept. 1 season begins. She said she "received a call of an individual who had been confronted by landowners for trespassing on private property. The trespasser also had a bread bag full of ginseng shoved down his shirt."
Kyllo added she met with several other landowners to discuss similar past trespassing issues during hunting seasons.
This is somewhat common in Minnesota — the Star Tribune has a feature from 2018 on the coveted, protected herb and its recent history in Minnesota. For a trip down a deeper rabbit hole, MinnPost has this story detailing the time Minnesotans nearly wiped out ginseng within a year in 1857.