Mainstreet Radio-Brainerd’s Leif Enger reports on increased law enforcement efforts to protect wildlife from over-hunting and poaching.
1988 Minnesota AP Award, first place in Feature category
1988 Northwest Broadcast News Association Award, award of merit in Feature - Large Market category
(00:00:01) How you doing? Today is fellows that's fine. Have you been fishing or hunting? I was in Lake of the Woods Pine Island camp like in the woods area
(00:00:09) on the Minnesota side of the u.s. Customs checkpoint in Baudette Federal fish and wildlife agent Pat. Bosco talks with two guys in a red Plymouth Station Wagon Ontario plates. The back of the wagon is filled with shotguns fishing rods and coolers. The driver says are
(00:00:24) empty. Okay, you mind if we just take a look at some of your gear right now real quick, and we'll problem step out of the car, please.
(00:00:30) Bosco and some Thirty other federal agents are on special detail in Minnesota during this hunting season many of them spent the weekend Staffing surprise Road checks at three US Canada border crossings this one in Baudette and others in Warroad and Roseau. It's the largest Road check effort. So far the season involving not only the feds but conservation officers from Minnesota, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
(00:00:54) Okay, sir. Thank you. Thank you. Have a good trip home
(00:00:57) the spectacle of so many uniforms hole. Third pistols and bulletproof vests looks more like a television drug raid than a check for game violations, but waterfowl Overkill is a serious problem when the birds are scarce to begin with and many poachers says DNR enforcement officer Butch Durland have a Smuggler's
(00:01:15) cunning. We've found out I found gas cans that have been supplied with false bottoms and they can pack fish and ducks and there we found ammo boxes with false bottoms with duck breasts. Just unbelievable gun. Nice axe with fish fillets or Ducks hanging underneath the hood of the engine numerous places people can invent to put things it's
(00:01:38) amazing. The officers do have some special help in their search for illegal kills a tall gaunt hound named Fritz has just arrived in the back of his trainers pickup truck. Fritz's talented nose can sniff out a hidden Mallard or a plastic wrap pin Tail as well as the occasional baggie of marijuana a few Hunters Take Along for those slow days, even without dogs Road check efforts so far this season have shown a 20 to 30 percent violation rate field operations officer. Mike group of the dnr's enforcement division says that tie especially in a drought year with ducks near an all-time low
(00:02:16) when folks taken over limit. They are harvesting something that we do not anticipate being harvested. All our seasons are based on that the concept of a harvestable surplus and when Hunters take more than they should they cut into to effectively. What is the breeding population or the breeding stock for that species? Obviously most duck Hunters anybody's been in a field just a few years can actually see the decline
(00:02:43) Dave Hall is a US fish and wildlife agent who has spent years fighting poachers in his State of Louisiana. He is one of the agents now working against waterfowl Overkill in Minnesota Hall is optimistic saying even though there's a high violation rate the violations themselves are mostly quite small a duck or two over limit and he says even modest scale poaching is becoming socially out of date
(00:03:06) even people who don't even hunt and the restaurants that I've been in throughout Minnesota, even the waitresses or you know people up here are aware of waterfowl. They like to see him around that awareness, I think. Is driving the point home? I'm starting to see social pressure. That's so important against people that violate This Is Where It Starts education and social pressure and law enforcement is part of the educational
(00:03:32) process the penalty for taking too many ducks ranges up to $700 or 90 days in jail. And the DNR says enforcement will remain at a high level until the waterfowl season closes November 6th enforcement officer Butch dear land says the addition of the federal agents. Allows for more bag limit checks of hunters in the field greater visibility and well-known hunting areas. And of course more frequent Road
(00:03:56) checks. We may have a for men working on a side Country Road doing a road check from a popular hunting area. We may have a major check like last weekend on I-94. You just never know where we might turn out
(00:04:10) DNR enforcement officer Butch dear land. This is Les fanger in Baudette.