Conservation Officer Tales From Afield

Among my favorite sources for offbeat outdoor news are the reports issued by game wardens and conservation officers, those dedicated individuals who put in long hours afield, often in uncomfortable conditions, to protect our fish, game and natural resources, as well as cite those unscrupulous game law scofflaws.

As usual, this month’s “Game Officer Tales,” from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources includes a few gems.

It seems that during a routine license check, Conservation Officer Nikki Shoutz of Pine River busted an angler when his accompanying grandson happily indicated that his grandpa kept some illegal bass and hid them nearby in the weeds.

“Grandpa said that he could get in trouble if he put them in his bucket since they were largemouth bass,” the boy gleefully told the officer, who promptly issued a citation for taking bass in closed season.

One recent evening, Center City, Minn., Conservation Officer Brad Schultz discovered a car with two occupants inside, parked in an unauthorized location inside the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.

Though Schultz did not report specifics, the two were apparently engaged in an activity commonly known as “hanky panky.”

As the officer approached the car, he reported that the pair attempted to scramble away from his view. In doing so, they rolled off the folded-down back seat and into the vehicle’s trunk

That’s when the spring-loaded seat snapped forward, locking securely into its upright position.

With the car windows rolled up (and likely quite steamy), all four doors locked, and the keys in the ignition, it took some time and some coaching from Schultz before the two lovebirds were able to locate the internal trunk release and extricate themselves.

Based upon the encounter and the couple’s reaction when freed from the trunk, the officer said he doubts he will have any future problem with them.