Kalli Hawkins
WTIP Outdoor News Podcast

DNR Conservation Officers Win Award For Helping Person In BWCA

Two Minnesota DNR conservation officers were recognized this month for helping to save a man’s life in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness last March.

Conservation Officers Anthony Bermel and Mitch Lawler were off-duty in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely when they helped evacuate someone who was having an apparent heart attack.

Officer Anthony Bermel works as a CO for the DNR near the Iron Range town of Babbitt. He covers the Ely and Babbitt areas, including patrols inside the BWCA. He was ice fishing in the BWCA last March when he and Lawler received a report that another angler on the lake they were at was suffering a heart attack.

After talking with the other angler, they assisted search and rescue and medical responders to help get to the man out of the wilderness. He was eventually taken by air lift to a regional hospital.

Their actions helped the man get lifesaving treatment much faster, the DNR reports. They were presented an award in early February by the DNR for their efforts. Bermel and Lawler received their awards from Capt. Rodmen Smith, head of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division.

Listen to this week’s episode to hear the full story from Bermel as he recounts the experience.

In more outdoor news, it’s the time of year when anglers and hunters need to buy new fishing and hunting licenses. Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2022 expire Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Licenses for 2023 are now available wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold, online at the DNR’s website. They are also available at many gas stations and some outfitters in Cook County.

Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

All 2023 fishing licenses become effective Wednesday, March 1. New licenses are required for 2023 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 28.

The stream trout and lake trout season in Cook County and across the Boundary Waters goes until March 31.

The open water fishing season starts this year on Saturday, May 13.