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

Including a squirrel squabble and a bear-enforced evacuation.

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.'"

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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."

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