Minnesota’s change of seasons, winter to summer, bridged by spring, was reflected last week in the field work of Department of Natural Resources conservation officers (COs).
CO Darin Fagerman, for instance, of Grand Marais was notified by a resident of that North Shore burg that a possibly malnourished bobcat had wandered into town and killed the family’s pet cat. Hunger also has driven other of these stealthy felines into Grand Marais, Fagerman said in his weekly report, evidenced by the amount of suet his bird feeders have lost to them.
The north’s deep snow also hindered anglers last week who valiantly attempted by the regulatory deadline to remove their fish houses in the Perham area, reported CO Chris Vinton. Recognizing that snow and in many instances deep slush complicated these attempts, Vinton worked with several anglers who made what were considered good-faith attempts to comply with the regulation.
CO Tricia Plautz of Henning also assisted anglers in her patrol area who struggled in the snow and slush to remove their winter homes-away-from-home. One house was deposited at a public access, Plautz reported, which, like leaving the shelter on a lake past the sell-by date, is a ticket-worthy offense.
Meanwhile, CO Bret Grundmeier of Hinckley learned anew last week that winter fishing can be a tough habit to break for some anglers. He found a smattering of diehard fisher folk on area lakes who donned hip boots and braved knee-deep slush for a chance to catch a sampling of sunnies and crappies.
Further south, concerned that spring flooding will threaten the bluff-, coulee- and river-rich region surrounding Wabasha, CO Kevin Prodzinski checked and doubled-checked his emergency and rescue equipment.
Finally, deer in the state’s North Woods aren’t the only whitetails to have suffered this winter. Their southernmost counterparts have struggled, too, reported CO Tom Hemker of Winona, who received numerous calls last week about sick and injured cervidae.
One landowner, Hemker said, found a whitetail in a fence, while another reported finding a half-dozen deer relatively close to one another, each dead.