Minnesota deer harvest increases 16 percent over last year

ST. PAUL-Minnesota firearms hunters registered 161,057 deer through the third weekend of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Preliminary results through the third weekend show that the number of deer registered was up 16 percent from 2016. Of the deer harvested, 53 percent were bucks, compared to 63 percent during the same period in 2016.

In northeastern Minnesota, called Zone 1, total firearms harvest was up 36 percent. In Zone 2, which covers most of the west and central part of the state and runs from Canada to Iowa, harvest was up 10 percent and in Zone 3, in southeastern Minnesota, the take was down 5 percent.

DNR officials said good weather conditions probably helped in the harvest.

Based upon the number of antlerless permits available and the number of permit areas that allow multiple deer to be taken, the DNR is projecting the 2017 total deer harvest to be around 200,000. The 2016 total harvest was 173,213 and to date firearms and archery hunters have harvested about 180,000 deer this year.

In much of Minnesota, the firearms deer season ended Nov. 12, and the northern rifle zone season ended Nov. 19. The late southeast firearms deer season is open through Sunday, Nov. 26. The muzzleloader season begins Saturday, Nov. 25, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10.

Minn. woman arrested on I-94 stop in ND for $1.37 million in pot

WEST FARGO - A northeast Minnesota woman has been arrested after a traffic stop led to the discovery of more than 280 pounds of marijuana, according to the West Fargo Police Department.

On Tuesday morning, Nov. 21, West Fargo police, in a joint effort with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and Stutsman County Sheriff's Office, made a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in West Fargo near the 45th Street exit.

During the traffic stop, a West Fargo police dog indicated that it detected drugs, giving officers probable cause to search the vehicle, police said.

About 286 pounds of marijuana was found in the vehicle and seized, police said. The street value of the marijuana is estimated to be $1,370,000.

Kimberly Norton, 34, was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and was taken to the Cass County Jail. She is from Askov, a town about 65 southwest of Duluth.

More details emerge in shooting 3-year-old girl by 5-year-old brother

DEER CREEK, Minn. - The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office has released additional details regarding an incident in which a 5-year-old boy accidentally shot a 3-year-old girl on Sunday, Nov. 19, in Deer Creek in northwest Minnesota.

The 5-year-old is a brother of the 3-year-old who was shot with a .22-caliber rifle, the sheriff's office said in a news release Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The girl is reported to be in stable condition. The shooting is believed to be accidental at this time, the sheriff's office said.

The rifle involved was hidden at the home and was owned by a parent, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office and Otter Tail County Human Services continue to investigate the shooting.

Western Minn. man charged with starting family's mobile home on fire

FRAZEE, Minn. - A Frazee man has been charged in Becker County District Court in connection with a fire Saturday morning, Nov. 18, at his family's mobile home.

Michael J. Strehlow, 26, faces one count of first-degree arson involving a dwelling.

According to a court complaint filed Tuesday, Nov. 21:

The Becker County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a fire near U.S. Highway 10 and upon arriving at the scene found a mobile home on fire.

The owner told deputies he was sleeping when his wife started yelling the home was on fire and they ran outside.

The man's wife told deputies she was in the kitchen when she saw flames coming from under the bedroom door of her son, Michael Strehlow.

She said she was unable to open the door to the room so she ran to get her husband.

The woman said she then saw her son running from the home, adding that she knew he was angry about something but did not know what.

Michael Strehlow later walked up to a deputy and said he started a fire. A lighter was found in his pocket.

A deputy state fire marshal indicated the fire may have originated near a small closet in a bedroom of the residence and spread to the rest of the home.

Strehlow was arrested and booked into Becker County Jail. A message left for Strehlow's attorney seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.

Woman charged for ramming ex's truck

LITCHFIELD, Minn. - A Litchfield woman faces four felony charges of second-degree assault for allegedly ramming her ex-boyfriend's truck from behind.

Minor injuries were reported to the four occupants of the truck, including two children.

Desirae Margaret Nelson, 21, also is charged with two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault. She made her first appearance Monday, Nov. 20, in Meeker County District Court.

The incident happened was reported around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of a business on East Frontage Road in Litchfield. According to the criminal complaint, the four occupants were inside their vehicle, which was parked, when it was rammed from behind with enough force to push it approximately 25 feet forward.

The complaint said Nelson told Litchfield police that she was angry with the man, who was a former boyfriend, and had hit his vehicle intentionally with her truck. She then changed her story, claiming she had only intended to drive up near his truck. She also told police she didn't know there were two children in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Nelson was placed under arrest at that point and brought to the Meeker County Jail. In an interview at the jail, she repeated that she was angry at her ex-boyfriend. She estimated her speed at the time of the crash was around 35 mph, according to the complaint.

At her court appearance Monday, Nelson was released on $50,000 unconditional bail or $25,000 with conditions, including no contact, direct or indirect, with any of the alleged victims.

Her next court appearance is Dec. 4.

Man injured in shooting at Fergus Falls apartment

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. --- A man is in a Fargo hospital after being shot in an early morning incident on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Police said Tuesday night that the victim had non-life-threatening injuries, while the shooter is not in custody.

The two men apparently were acquainted so police believe there is no danger to the public.

Police would not say why the shooter wasn't arrested, but did say the matter was still under investigation.

Officers were called to the scene about 4 a.m. when a neighbor called in to say there was a disturbance, followed by what they thought was a gunshot, at the apartment building in the 100 block of South Union Avenue.

After investigating, police found the injured man at the Fergus Falls hospital, while the shooter was at the apartment where the shooting took place.