The weirdest tales from this week's DNR conservation officer reports

Including a squirrel squabble and a bear-enforced evacuation.
Publish date:

If you're not familiar with them, 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:

A squabble over squirrels

In the Henning area of west-central Minnesota, CO Tricia Plautz was called to a complaint from a resident who enjoys feeding squirrels in their yard.

The subject of the complaint was a neighbor, who is "trapping them and relocating them because they were doing damage to his flowers."

ATV-owning parents risking kids' lives

A serious message from CO Mary Manning, who covers the Hovland area, who said that some parents "continue to treat ATVs as toys by allowing illegal operation by their children and risking the kids’ lives."

Manning said a trail in the Boundary Waters also had to be closed down after damage from a prohibited motor vehicle was identified, while she also had to respond to the removal of a dock from Tom Lake, which she said was the work of individuals "presumably to keep people off 'their lake.'"

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Bear activity forces camper evacuation

Bear activity in the Onamia area resulted in campers having to be escorted out of a campsite, according to CO Dan Starr, who noted there has been an uptick in bear activity.

CO Bret Grundmeier, covering the nearby Hinckley area, notes that he 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," he noted.

Rocks used as obstacles

Rocks were a "common theme" of the calls fielded by CO Keith Bertram, covering the Long Prairie, this week.

"One instance involved large rocks that were being used to block an illegal ATV trail in a WMA (Wildlife Management area)," he wrote. "They were removed."

He added: "Another call involved people blocking a public access ramp of a popular fishing lake with large rocks. Another subject decided to build an illegal rock point into a lake."

Next Up


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.