Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officers (COs) Jeremy Sergey, Jared Ferguson, and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Anna Viau instructed a hunter safety class in Channing. This was the area’s first hunter safety class of the year with approximately 50 students taking the course.
While patrolling one of the many trout streams in Marquette County, CO Josh Boudreaux came upon a freshly burned pile of garbage, including items such as a car stereo and other household items. Sifting through the ashes, CO Boudreaux was able to locate some information that pointed to a suspect in the city of Marquette. With assistance from CO Jeremy Sergey, a confession was obtained from the suspect. A litter ticket was issued, and the individual drove out to the site to clean up the mess they left behind.
CO Brian Lasanen attended Boating Under the Influence Train the Trainer instructor class in Gilford, New Hampshire.
CO Jenni Hanson received information of possible illegal turkey baiting activity prior to the opening day of turkey season in Gogebic County. CO Zach Painter and Corporal (Cpl.) Dave Painter worked the complaint and located a blind with several kernels of corn on the ground and decoys in an area that had been scratched up by turkeys. The next morning, the two officers returned to find a subject hunting over a large amount of corn and using an electronic turkey call. Citations were issued for hunting turkey over bait and using an electronic turkey call.
COs Jared Ferguson, Jeremy Sergey, and PCO Viau assisted in a hunter safety class in Dickinson County.
CO Sergey responded to a capsized vessel in the Menominee River below the first dam. There were two individuals who went into the water. The Marinette Fire Department (FD) pulled one individual out of the water, but the second individual was not located. CO Sergey conducted search patterns along the river with Menominee City Police Officer Mitch McRae. The next day CO Ferguson and PCO Viau joined the search. Several other local and state agencies were also involved in the search as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.
CO Sergey attended a public listening meeting regarding Chronic Wasting Disease. Sixty people showed up to voice their opinions of potential baiting regulation changes in the Upper Peninsula.
CO Jenni Hanson and Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper Logan White responded to a complaint in northern Ontonagon County. While leaving the complaint area, the officers observed a vehicle traveling down the roadway, swerving from one side of the road to the other. At one point the headlights were turned off, leaving only the fog lights on. A moment later the headlights came back on. CO Hanson and Trooper White contacted the driver. After performing Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFTS), CO Hanson arrested the driver for operating while intoxicated. The driver was lodged at the Ontonagon County jail.
CO Dave Miller responded to a truck versus moose accident. No injuries were reported, and the vehicle was still drivable. The moose was not salvageable after it was run over by the truck and then the horse trailer.
CO Cody Smith responded to the scene of a bull moose that was hit by a vehicle in Iron County.
CO Brett DeLonge was conducting a late-night patrol in the Van Riper State Park Management area of Little Presque Island and Wetmore Landing along Lake Superior in Marquette Township. CO DeLonge observed several cars parked in a gravel parking area near Wetmore Landing and followed the pathway to the beach, where camp fires and alcohol are prohibited. As CO DeLonge approached the beach, he noticed a camp fire with a large group of people around it. CO DeLonge contacted the group and observed several open and empty alcohol containers. CO DeLonge discussed the violations and issued multiple citations for possessing alcohol where prohibited and having a camp fire where prohibited.
COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn responded to a complaint of road hunting for turkeys. The suspect had left the scene earlier in the day; however, the complainant had taken photos of the truck and the license plate. The COs contacted the suspect the following day. He had turkey parts in the bed of his truck, and they were tagged with his girlfriend’s tag. Interviews of those involved were conducted. A report is being submitted and prosecution is being sought for using tag of another and failing to immediately validate and attach kill-tag.
CO Evink was heading home around three in the morning after working fish runs when a vehicle drove through the grass and pulled out in front of him at a snowmobile trailhead. CO Evink conducted a traffic stop and found out the driver was suspended and on probation. CO Evink issued a ticket for driving while suspended, contacted the individual’s probation officer, and made sure there was a legal driver contacted to get behind the wheel.
CO Mark Zitnik assisted with an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) course in Marquette County at the Deerton school. The CO covered ORV laws and explained the proper operation of an ORV. The students and teachers were very happy for the opportunity to become familiar with ORV and laws and operation.
CO Zitnik was traveling down H-58 when he noticed a four-wheeler coming toward him with flat tires and swerving all over the road. The CO conducted a traffic stop and instructed the young rider of his violations and informed him he will need to have proper air in his tires to operate the vehicle. CO Zitnik escorted the young rider back to his residence and spoke with his parents about the incident. The parents were very thankful and happy to handle the situation on their own.
CO Zitnik was speaking with an angler at the mouth of the Rock River after dark when he noticed a vehicle approaching late Sunday evening. Suspicious, the CO hid in the nearby woods and watched the two anglers walk towards the closed section of the stream where steelhead tend to stack up. The CO crawled into position and watched as the husband and wife fished the closed section of the river, using a flashlight to locate the fish. After nearly being stepped on twice, the CO decided to make contact. When CO Zitnik turned his flashlight on and pointed it toward the man, he looked back at his spouse and said, “Will you stop shining that light in my eyes!” Realizing this was the CO’s light, the wife responded, “Honey, you are in trouble.” The CO then issued a citation for fishing in a closed section of the stream.
COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink assisted MSP in bringing them by boat to a remote camp that had been broken into. The COs along with two troopers traveled several miles to the camp. After a brief investigation it was determined the front door window was broken out and the main door ajar. MSP is investigating the situation.
COs Freeborn and Evink participated in their local hunter’s safety class. The COs assisted in teaching a portion of the classroom and conducted the field instruction a few days later. All the kids enjoyed the nice weather and the hands-on experience shooting firearms.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of a large pile of building debris being dumped in Ford River Township. The caller recorded a license plate off a pickup truck that was stuck in mud next to the debris. When CO Butzin arrived at the location the debris was still there, but the truck was gone. Further investigation found one suspect to have been littering on state land. The suspect was informed to pick up the debris and provide CO Butzin with a dump receipt. The suspect was also issued a citation for littering.
CO Butzin was patrolling Wells Township when he heard a call from Central Dispatch of a fire nearby. CO Butzin went to the location and observed an individual burning debris without a permit. The wind caught the household debris and the fire spread to a couch and grass nearby. Thankfully, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire personnel were able to respond and extinguish the fire before it spread further. A citation was issued for burning without a permit. CO Butzin was about to clear the fire when he heard of another fire in Escanaba Township. He responded to the location and found several acres had burned. Thankfully, the Escanaba Township FD was able to contain the fire before it got larger. Further investigation found one individual to be burning building debris; drywall, plastic, glass, and metal. While burning the debris the fire got away from the individual. The individual was issued a citation for open burning prohibited materials and a citation for failing to prevent the spread of fire.
COs Colton Gelinas, Justin Vinson, and Mark Zitnik had received complaints of over- limit of Coho salmon in Alger County. COs Gelinas and Vinson observed a suspect catch eight Coho Salmon when the limit is five. CO Gelinas observed the suspect give three Coho Salmon to another angler. CO Gelinas advised CO Zitnik of the suspects over-limit. CO Zitnik then contacted the angler and issued a citation for over-limit of Coho salmon.
CO Gelinas was on patrol in Mackinac County when a “BE” on the Lookout came across the radio for suspects wanted in a breaking and entering in Schoolcraft County. An MSP trooper identified the vehicle on US-2 and made a traffic stop. CO Gelinas assisted the trooper with the stop. CO Gelinas and the trooper arrested the individual for breaking and entering. CO Gelinas turned over the arrested individual to a trooper out of the Manistique Post who was handling the investigation.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO Cole VanOosten were on patrol checking smelt anglers when they observed a group of three individuals dipping a large quantity of smelt. The officers observed the group before making contact at their vehicle. The group had 21 gallons of smelt in coolers in the back of their vehicle, 15 gallons over the legal limit. A citation was written to one of the anglers for the over-limit of smelt.
CO Duane Budreau and PCO Jonathon Sheppard attended a hunter safety field day at the Harbor Springs Sportsman’s Club. After a brief presentation covering the importance of safety and the role that conservation officers take, the COs assisted with the field day covering safety with rifles, shotguns, and archery equipment.
CO Budreau and PCO Sheppard responded to a complaint from a landowner who said that two men were trespassing on their private pond. An Emmet County deputy was already on scene. The COs had the subjects in the canoe paddle back to the road where they launched. They were both given a warning and advised that in order to access the creek they were trespassing on private property. While they were finishing with the landowner, the COs saw a side-by-side driving at a high rate of speed in the center of the roadway. When PCO Sheppard contacted the driver, he noticed a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle. At this point, the deputy ran the driver through SFTS and determined that he was under the influence. The deputy administered a Preliminary Breath Test and the driver blew a 0.16, which is double the legal limit. The driver was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.
CO Ethen Mapes was working a late-night shift near Walloon Lake when he witnessed a truck park along a bridge. Two subjects got out of the truck and were shining a creek for fish. The two men then crossed the road onto private property and shined the shallows of the lake. The two men then ran back to their truck, grabbed their fishing gear and ran back onto the private property to fish. Upon contact, the two men who were standing between two “No Trespassing” signs admitted that fishing there was probably a bad idea. The two men were issued tickets for recreational trespassing.
Sergeant (Sgt). William Webster and CO Mapes were patrolling the Boyne River when they witnessed two subjects trespassing on nearby property. While waiting to contact the anglers, CO Mapes watched one of the anglers pull out a hand full of fishing line from his reel and throw it into the woods. Both anglers were issued tickets for recreational trespassing. The COs made the angler go back and pick up the litter.
CO Mapes was on patrol near Walloon when he witnessed the driver of a truck in the oncoming lane throw a can out his window. CO Mapes conducted a traffic stop on the truck. Upon contact, the driver asked, “What’s up?” and was surprised that the can he threw out the window didn’t land in the bed of his truck. When asked how many beers the driver had consumed, the driver stated that he only had a few because he had to go to work soon. A Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) was performed as well as a Preliminary Breath Test before CO Mapes issuing the driver a ticket for littering.
CO Mapes was the first to respond to a report of a man shooting at his neighbor’s kids. Upon arrival, the situation had deescalated and it was found that the juvenile kids were vandalizing their neighbor’s trailer when the “warning” shots were fired. CO Mapes turned the case over to Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Office.
On the opening day of trout season, CO Andrea Erratt attended a kid’s fishing event in Mancelona and Bellaire. CO Erratt handed out DNR tape measures to the kids and new fishing guides to the adults.
CO Erratt attended the Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club Youth Day where kids participated in fishing, archery, shooting shotguns, .22 rifles, tying flies, and fly casting. CO Erratt displayed seized deer antlers and a fur kit, explaining what happens to the game that gets taken illegally. CO Erratt handed out DNR tape measures and talked to kids about DNR laws and conservation officer duties.
CO Tim Rosochacki followed up with an individual who had been cited for leaving his ice shanty on Burt Lake after March 15. CO Rosochacki had been monitoring the ice shanty for some time since the owner cut the shanty flush at the ice surface and left the base frozen in the ice. Eventually, the ice became unsafe, and the shanty remains sunk to the bottom. The incident was referred to the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Eric Bottorff instructed a hunter safety class for 34 students and parents at Northland Sportsman’s Club in Gaylord.
COs Tom Oberg and Kyle Cherry responded to a wildfire in a residential area south of Gaylord on a day when no burning was being allowed due to the dry conditions. Luckily, neighbors had the fire almost out as it just had reached neighboring houses when the COs and fire personnel arrived on the scene. It was determined that the fire had re-ignited in a firepit and was left unattended. A report was compiled and submitted to the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Oberg was on patrol, waiting at a red light at an intersection, when he observed a vehicle drive through the red light without stopping. CO Oberg initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon contact with the driver, CO Oberg could immediately smell the odor of intoxicants. After performing SFSTs, the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and lodged at the Otsego County jail.
CO Oberg received a call regarding a beaver that was inside one of the local car washes in Gaylord and would not leave. CO Oberg located the beaver that was huddled up in the corner in one of the stalls. CO Oberg was able to get the beaver into the bed of his patrol truck. CO Oberg transported the beaver to a location that was a little more adequate for the beaver’s habitat.
CO Oberg helped instruct an ORV instructor course at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. The course focused on individuals who wanted to become ORV instructors. CO Oberg helped teach the motorcycle/dirt bike section of the course.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a fire escaping in Alpena County. The subjects had not called the fire department and were attempting to put out the fire with buckets, shovels, and a water pump. A ticket was issued for allowing fire to escape.
CO Curtis received a complaint of a subject burning when no burn permits were being issued that day. When CO Curtis arrived at the residence, a pile of metal, garbage, and yard waste was on fire. The residents were not home, so CO Curtis called the fire department to put out the fire. The residents were contacted later that day, and a report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office requesting charges for the illegal burn.
CO Curtis was on ORV patrol on state land near Indian Reserve Road in Alpena County when she observed a subject turkey hunting. CO Curtis checked the turkey hunter who was hunting three days before his hunt period started. A ticket was issued for the subject hunting before the license hunt period.
COs Paul Fox and Timothy Rosochacki attended a bi-annual Northern Inland Lakes Advisory Council meeting. Topics of discussion included water quality, fish reports, fisheries management and grants. The COs provided information pertaining to local inland lake fisheries and enforcement issues.
CO Sidney Collins assisted the Montmorency County deputies with a stolen vehicle incident. The officers attempted to locate the stolen truck by an iPhone app, which the victim had left in their truck. CO Collins found the truck several hours later parked on a dead-end road. Tips came into the county dispatch and the deputies were able to locate the person of interest.
CO Collins received a complaint of a subject who shot a turkey close to a neighboring residence in Montmorency County. CO Collins found that the hunter was at fault for shooting in a safety zone. When confronted, CO Collins found several other violations with the turkey hunter including not tagging the tom turkey. A ticket was issued for possessing an untagged turkey.
COs Patrick McManus and Amanda Lake, along with PCO Dan Liestenfeltz were on fish patrol in Northport on an extremely busy day. The COs had over 100 contacts and checked fish coming in regularly. Among one of the many contacts, CO Lake and PCO Liestenfeltz checked a boat that had just come off the water. The COs had watched this boat for approximately 30 minutes in the marina, before making contact. There were four individuals onboard and they had a total of 104 perch in their possession. With the daily possession limit of perch being 25, the boat had an over-limit of four fish. After talking with the subjects, it was also determined that one of the individuals did not have a fishing license at the time the fish were caught. He had purchased an electronic fishing license approximately 20 minutes before the COs contacted the boat, after all the perch had already been caught. This same angler took responsibility for fishing without a license and having an over-limit of perch. The COs seized a total of 29 perch and issued a citation for Possessing Fish Without a Fishing License as well as a citation for Possessing an Over-Limit of Fish.
CO Justin Vanderlinde spoke to a local Cub Scout pack. Topics included wildlife issues and firearm safety.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Breanna Reed were on patrol in Mason County when they witnessed a vehicle travelling at a very high rate of speed that failed to stop for a stop sign. When trying to catch up to the vehicle, the driver failed to stop for another stop sign. The COs finally got the vehicle stopped and contacted the driver. The driver stated that he was in a hurry to get to a dentist appointment. PCO Reed explained to the driver the dangers of driving though stop signs at high rates of speed and the driver agreed. A citation was issued for careless operation of a motor vehicle.
CO Publiski and PCO Reed were on patrol in Lake County when they noticed three large campers parked at the back of a state land food plot. The COs advised the individuals that they could not be camping in that area due to it being closed to motor vehicles. The individuals stated they had camped in the area before and had never been told to leave. CO Publiski advised them of an area down the road open to camping. A warning was given for operating in a closed area and for camping more than 50 feet from the road way. A citation was written for camping on state land with no registration card.
CO Josiah Killingbeck initially received a complaint of a baited turkey blind on state land. CO Killingbeck investigated the complaint and found a total of three blinds expected to be owned by the same owner due to the proximity, the same blind manufacturer, and same bait material used at each blind. CO Killingbeck shared the complaint with CO Publiski and PCO Reed. CO Publiski and PCO Reed patrolled the area the next day to make contact with the owner. The COs located a vehicle and followed boot tracks leading to a turkey hunter hunting over the baited area. The hunter explained that the blinds were his father’s and that his father had shot a turkey the previous evening. The COs followed the turkey hunter back to his residence and contacted the father. The father admitted to putting 50 pounds of sunflower seeds in front of all three blinds, as well as shooting a turkey over bait. The COs explained to the individuals that they would be submitting a report to the prosecutor seeking charges for taking a wild turkey over bait.
CO Publiski and PCO Reed were patrolling Pere Marquette River. While checking camps along the river, the COs located a set line and contacted a subject at the camp who told the COs who left the line out. The COs walked down the river and located the subject who had left out the set line. The COs followed the subject back to the camp and watched him reel up his rod. The subject explained that he had forgot to reel it up before fishing down river to a different area to fish. A citation was issued for unattended line.
CO Brian Brosky just started patrolling in Mason County when he heard radio traffic that an MSP trooper was following an escaped horse. CO Brosky was able to grab the halter of the large draft horse and walk the horse to a seasonal camp that had a horse corral where the horse was secured. The trooper and CO Brosky began to check separate locations to locate the horse’s owner. The trooper came across two good Samaritans that had located two more horses. CO Brosky was able to send photos of the horses to a Mason County Sheriff’s deputy who posted the horses on their Facebook page. Within a few minutes, the Sheriff’s Department’s social media pages received several hundred shares and several thousand views, and the owners were located. The horse’s owner was staying at a campground four miles away and had been looking for the horses since 4 a.m.
CO Josiah Killingbeck observed an ORV operating against the flow of traffic on the roadway. CO Killingbeck contacted the operators and a second subject who was operating a side-by-side that had been converted to a street legal motor vehicle with a license plate. The second subject asked what the rules were for operating on the roadway. The subject told CO Killingbeck “the laws don’t apply to me” because he had a license plate but wanted to know for his friends. CO Killingbeck explained ORV regulations to the group and then observed the “street legal” side-by-side was being operated with off road tires. CO Killingbeck asked the subject if he had Department of Transportation tires on his side-by-side. The subject said that he had taken the tires off after being inspected. CO Killingbeck also discovered the side-by-sides turn signals did not work because the wiring had come loose. CO Killingbeck discovered several other motor vehicle violations and explained to the driver regulations pertaining to making ORVs street legal. A citation was issued for the equipment violations.
COs Josiah Killingbeck and Ryan Andrews responded to an ORV personal injury crash in a rural portion of Lake County. CO Killingbeck was first on scene with the patient who had struck a tree. CO Killingbeck was able to guide CO Andrews and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to his location. CO Killingbeck bandaged the patient’s wounds and provided first aid until EMS arrived on scene.
PCOs Timothy Barboza and Noah Thompson, along with COs Sam Koscinski and Steve Converse, conducted a Hunter Education class at the Big Bear Sportsman’s Club in Kaleva. The COs helped the hunter safety instructors in running a live fire range for the students to familiarize themselves with a few different calibers of firearms. After the live fire portion of the class, the COs then covered the law portion pertaining to hunting and the transportation of firearms.
CO Jeff Ginn and PCO Andrea Dani were following up on a turkey bait in Newaygo County when they observed a side-by-side parked in the woods near a pop-up blind. The COs waited until the hunter emerged from the blind which happened to be 22 minutes after hunting hours. The hunter was observed leaving the area on the ORV when they made contact. The hunter was found to be transporting a loaded/uncased firearm in the ORV. The hunter was also found to be hunting turkey in the wrong hunt unit at the time of the contact. Upon further investigation, the pop-up blind was positioned less than 20 feet from a large amount of cracked corn, bird seed, and sunflower seeds. The hunter was cited for the violations.
CO Ginn and PCO Andrea Dani were dispatched to a littering complaint in Newaygo County. Upon arrival to the scene, they located several bags of household trash along the roadside near the White River. They were able to locate the suspects, who admitted to throwing the garbage in the ditch, as well as two other locations. They stated they were moving out of a local house and simply discarded the garbage since they had nowhere else to put it. The suspects were instructed to pick up the garbage and take it to the local transfer station which was two miles from the dump site. They were both cited for the littering violation.
CO Ginn assisted the Newaygo FD personnel with a brush fire along the Muskegon River. CO Ginn and Newaygo firefighters responded to the scene by boat. Upon arrival, they were able to get on shore and make an attack on the fire and extinguish it.
CO Angela Greenway contacted two subjects fishing off a bridge going over the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette in Newaygo County. The anglers were asked if they had caught any fish. Hesitantly the anglers answered that they had one fish.
CO Greenway asked if the angler had measured the trout, and he stated that he did not but was sure it was over the legal-size limit of 8 inches. CO Greenway measured the fish and it was under the legal-size limit of 10 inches. The angler was issued a citation and provided a fishing guide.
CO Greenway set up an information booth at Lakeside Motor Sports spring open house. The event was attended by approximately 120 people with questions on P.A. 288, open roads, legal areas to operate, and ORV safety. Various other questions were answered related to boating, fishing and, CWD.
CO Mike Wells, along with PCOs Josh Reed and Andrea Dani, worked a turkey baiting complaint just over the county line into Montcalm County. COs set up on the property on opening day of the first season and located the suspect vehicle backed into the two-track leading into the property. COs decided to walk into the property after waiting for first light and located the suspect sitting in a pop-up blind with a significant amount of shelled corn on the ground and a hen turkey decoy set in the middle of the corn. The suspect admitted to knowing that baiting turkey was illegal. While walking the suspect out of the property to his vehicle, another area that had been baited with corn was found. The suspect was issued a citation for hunting turkeys over bait.
CO Wells and PCO Josh Reed were conducting a check of a trout camp when they heard yelling coming from the stream bank just below the camp. The COs observed a female walking at a brisk pace from the camper to the origin of the yelling. The COs picked up their pace and went toward the location of the yelling. The COs looked down the bank and observed an elderly female in waders yelling for help because she was stuck in the mud up past her knees. COs responded to the female and got her out of the mud, up the hill, and back to camp. The party had caught several nice size trout and were planning on heading home later that day.
CO Wells and PCO Jsh Reed were conducting a check of the Pine Street access site and observed an unoccupied vehicle with a 2018 registration sticker on the license plate. Fly fishing gear was observed in the cab along with other fishing gear. A check of the plate through dispatch resulted in the plate belonging to a passenger car and not the truck. After completing a couple of fishing and marine safety checks, two anglers began to wade toward the landing. The COs questioned the two about what vehicle they had brought to the landing. After questioning the two, one of the anglers admitted to driving the truck to the landing and knowing the plate was improper. Both subjects were found to have valid warrants and were taken into custody.
CO John Huspen responded to a burning complaint in Crawford County on a day when no burn permits were being issued. The suspect was observed setting several piles of brush on fire with a torch connected to a 20 pound. propane tank. Firefighters were called to assist with putting out the fires. CO Huspen located a tire and other non-natural materials among the piles of burned debris. Education was given and a citation was issued for burning without a permit.
Sgt. Brian Olsen checked a turkey hunter while patrolling Roscommon County. The man was hunting a couple days before his license was valid. A citation was issued for hunting turkey outside the hunter’s valid season.
Sgt. Brian Olsen was first on scene to a pedestrian versus car accident at the Gambler 500 event in Ogemaw County. A large crowd of approximately 1,000 people had gathered, blocking the roadways during the event. A local citizen trying to get through the crowd made a sharp turn striking one of the crowd members. In retaliation, the vehicle was soon blocked by the crowd and had its tires slashed. The driver was forcefully pulled from the vehicle before an off-duty police officer, who was attending the gathering, stepped in to protect the individual. COs Matt Zultak, Charlie Jones, Mark Papineau, John Huspen, and Kyle Bader assisted with the initial investigation, locating the victim and interviewing the suspect. The scene was eventually turned over to the MSP for further investigation. Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department along with Richfield Township Police helped control the large crowd while the investigation took place. The victim had minor scratches and bruises from the incident and refused medical attention. The victim also had multiple warrants out for her arrest and was lodged in the Ogemaw County jail.
COs Ben McAteer and Matt Zultak stopped a group of ORVs that were operating in the roadway in Roscommon County. CO McAteer discovered one of the operators was driving on a suspended driver’s license and carrying a concealed pistol without a permit. The pistol was seized as evidence and the driver was placed under arrest for the concealed weapon violation. The individual also received citations for operating a motor vehicle while license suspended and allowing a minor to operate an ORV without a safety certificate.
CO Chuck McPherson and PCO Michael Olesen were in route to conduct a marine patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County when they observed two bow anglers alongside a closed stream. The anglers were issued a citation for fishing in a spawning closure.
COs James Garrett and Brad Bellville were patrolling closed trout streams in Ogemaw County when they observed a truck parked at an access site leading to the closed portion of the trout stream. The COs got out on foot and found two individuals fishing in the closed area. The COs had observed the anglers fishing for a while until the subjects began to head back toward their truck. COs Garrett and Bellville contacted the individuals and made them aware that they were fishing a closed stream. The anglers seemed surprised and stated they had been fishing Ogemaw County their whole lives. Both individuals were cited for fishing a closed trout stream.
CO Jeff Panich and PCO Anna Cullen received a complaint of an individual who shot a turkey from a vehicle in Alcona County. The COs responded and met with an eyewitness who was able to obtain a license plate from the suspect vehicle. The COs also located a spent shotgun shell at the scene and determined the vehicle owner was licensed for a different turkey hunting unit. With assistance from CO Joe Deppen, contact was made with the hunter at his residence in Macomb County on the same day. A full confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Panich and PCO Cullen received multiple complaints of individuals catching steelhead with their hands in a Type 1 trout stream in Alcona County. The COs responded to the area and located the suspects in possession of the steelhead. Interviews were conducted and a confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Mark Papineau and John Huspen patrolled the St. Helen area during the annual Gambler 500 in Roscommon County. During the patrol, the COs observed a subject on an ORV navigate a busy intersection at a high rate of speed nearly striking several pedestrians. A traffic stop was conducted, and it was discovered that the ORV operator was a 14-year-old juvenile who was operating unsupervised. The juvenile informed the COs that he was in a hurry to get back to his camp because his parents told him to be home before dark. COs Papineau and Huspen escorted the juvenile nearly six miles back to his camp where a citation was issued to the parents for allowing a minor child to operate an ORV unsupervised.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a call from Saginaw Central Dispatch regarding lost anglers in the Shiawassee River SGA. A Saint Charles Police Department (PD) unit was on scene but was unfamiliar with the state game area. CO Gowenlock responded to the game area to assist the local PD officer with the search. The subjects were located at approximately 11 p.m. near the Miller Drain. When contacted, the anglers stated that they got turned around in the dark and had been walking around for almost two hours. Due to the anglers being cold and tired, CO Gowenlock gave them a ride back to the main gate where their mother was waiting.
CO Jason King and Cpl. Nick Atkin drove to Pine City, Minnesota to represent the DNR Law Enforcement Division as members of the honor guard. CO King and Cpl. Atkin assisted with the funeral service for fallen Minnesota Conservation Officer, Eugene Wynn. Minnesota DNR appreciated the presence and support of the Michigan DNR. Twenty-five out-of-state agencies attended the ceremony.
During the opening day of walleye season, CO Mike Haas contacted two anglers that were trespassing and fishing along the Chippewa River. CO Haas recognized the individuals since he had warned them for trespassing in the same location on a previous date and issued citations to other members of their group for fishing violations.
CO Haas advised them once again that they were trespassing through private property and issued citations for recreational trespassing.
CO Dan Robinson was dispatched by Isabella County Central Dispatch for a raccoon that had a peanut butter jar stuck on its head. CO Robinson arrived at the residence in the city of Mt. Pleasant and located the raccoon up in a tree. Using a catch pole, wildlife gloves, and trauma shears, the CO was able to free the raccoon and send it on its way.
CO Richard Cardenas was patrolling the Barry State Game Area (SGA) when he observed an All-Terrain vehicle (ATV) with two occupants being operated in a closed area of the Yankee Springs Recreation Area. When CO Cardenas turned his patrol truck around to contact the subjects, the operator attempted to elude by increasing his speed. When CO Cardenas activated his emergency lights and siren, the subject again attempted to elude the officer by driving down another road closed to ORV use. A short distance later, CO Cardenas caught up to the ATV and ordered him to stop through his public address system and the subject complied. Along with the fail to stop violation, enforcement action was taken on several other ORV violations such as ORV no helmet, operating in a closed area, no ORV registration sticker, and riding double on an ATV.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer checked a location regarding a previous complaint from last year of a hunter baiting turkey. The COs worked the location this year for the same violation. The hunter arrived and was unsuccessful. The COs contacted the hunter and further investigation revealed the hunter was using illegal shotgun shells to hunt turkey as well as hunting turkey with aid of bait. Citations were issued for the violations.
COs Dragomer and Bauer received a self-reported call of an individual who killed two turkeys with one shot. The COs arrived at the scene and spoke to the two hunters that were involved. The COs located three dead turkeys, two toms and one jake. It was determined that all three turkeys were killed using a stalking method with a hand-held turkey fan decoy. None of the dead turkeys were tagged with a kill-tag. The COs determined that one of the hunters shot one of the toms and hit and killed the jake that was next to him with the same round. Due to the hunters self-reporting the accidental turkey kills, the COs gave the hunters warnings for utilizing illegal decoy to take turkeys and taking an over-limit of turkey. CO Dragomer issued one citation for failing to immediately tag the turkey with a valid kill-tag.
CO Tyler Cole followed up on a warrant request regarding a subject habitually violating fishing laws/regulations. CO Cole had issued five citations to the subject in the past two years for various violations including: attempt to snag; fishing in a closed stream; and possessing fishing gear along a closed stream. The subject was found guilty of his fifth violation in two years, and his fishing license was revoked until 2023.
CO Ivan Perez responded to a complaint in Muskegon County of subjects keeping bass out of season. Upon arriving on scene, it was learned that the suspects had left the area. CO Perez was able to speak with the complainant again who informed him that he saw the subjects catching and keeping largemouth bass. CO Perez conducted a search of the area where the subjects had been fishing and located a hidden bag with eight largemouth bass and an unattended fishing pole with line still in the water. As CO Perez collected the evidence, two subjects arrived that matched the description of the suspects. The suspects were interviewed, and they indicated that had no knowledge of the fish. A Law Enforcement Information Network check on the main suspect showed three active warrants out of Muskegon, one of which was for failing to appear for fishing without a license back in 2012. The suspect was taken into custody and lodged in the Muskegon County jail.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked anglers at the Webber Dam. While making checks, CO Beavers encountered a subject walking from the direction of Goose Creek. CO Beavers made contact and checked the subject’s fishing license and checked for fish. The subject stated he had no fish and said there was one more person behind him. CO Beavers continued to check the remaining angler. When CO Beavers made contact, he quickly noticed a stringer in the water with fish. Without pulling the fish from the water, CO Beavers could see smallmouth bass on the line. The angler had fishing poles, both with lines in the water. The stringer was in between the poles. CO Beavers asked the subject if the fish belonged to him and he said yes. CO Beavers pulled the stringer from the water and told the angler the possession season for bass is currently closed. The angler then said that he didn’t catch the fish; it was his brother-in-law, who CO Beavers had already checked. After getting both anglers in the same spot, CO Beavers explained the season is closed and wanted to know to whom the fish belonged. The anglers argued over the fish for some time in their native tongue, with neither wanting to take responsibility. In the end, the angler who possessed the fish when contact was made was cited for possessing smallmouth bass during the closed season.
CO Andrew Monnich was patrolling the River Raisin during the walleye opener when he observed two anglers coming from a known fishing spot. CO Monnich contacted the anglers who stated they got their limit of channel catfish. CO Monnich checked fishing licenses and then asked to see the fish. The anglers pointed at coolers and stated they were all big catfish and the coolers were full. CO Monnich counted out 20 catfish, which would be the two-man limit, and continued to count 29 more fish from another cooler. Both anglers were issued citations for being over the limit and the 29 fish were seized. All fish were donated to families in need.
CO Eric Smither was contacted by Sgt. Jason Smith regarding a felony warrant for an individual that had run from him and CO Monnich the year prior. The individual was jailed on local charges in Ohio and was being held pending pickup. The subject waved his extradition rights and COs Monnich and Smither picked him up at the Lucas County jail in Toledo. He was lodged at the Lenawee County jail for the felony resist and obstruct warrant.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling in Branch County when a call for a man walking down I-69, taking his clothes off, and acting agitated came out over the radio. CO Wellman responded and, while on the way, another call came in of a man fitting the previous description having just stolen a white Chevy van from a local residence. CO Wellman responded to the area and, along with a deputy, located the subject and the stolen van. The suspect was taken into custody. CO Wellman went back to the original location of the call on I-69 and located the subject’s clothes he had taken off, as well as drug paraphernalia. The evidence was turned over to the sheriff’s department. CO Wellman then assisted with an evidentiary blood draw on the subject as he was still very agitated and resisting officers. The subject was lodged for the stolen vehicle, operating under the influence of drugs, and resisting officers.
CO Todd Thorn and PCO Nathan Beelman received a Report All Poaching (RAP) tip about a possibly illegally taken wild turkey that was killed the day before the season opened. The suspect posted a picture on Facebook the day before the wild turkey season opened and claimed to have shot the turkey that day. CO Thorn and PCO Beelman conducted an interview with the suspect who admitted to shooting the turkey the day before the season started and admitted to not having a license when he shot the turkey. The turkey was seized, and a citation was issued for possessing a wild turkey out of season.
CO Thorn and PCO Beelman were on marine patrol on the Grand River when they saw a pontoon operating after sunset without navigational lights. The boat was stopped, and the operator of the boat admitted to drinking alcohol that day and while operating on the river. A SFTS was conducted, and the operator showed signs of impairment. The individual was arrested for operating a boat under the Influence and lodged in the Eaton County jail.
CO Matthew Neterer and PCO James Nason were patrolling for fishing activity in the city of Lansing when they encountered a vehicle parked in the middle of the street with no headlights or taillights on. PCO Nason pulled up behind the vehicle and the passenger attempted to wave the COs on. PCO Nason activated his emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop. The driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of 0.19. The passenger was also intoxicated and found to be in possession of a loaded pistol with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.20. The passenger did not have a concealed pistol license and failed to register the pistol in his name. The driver was lodged for operating while intoxicated with a high BAC. The passenger was released, and charges are being sought through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Katie Stawara observed an ORV operating down the center of a public road. The ORV contained two riders but was only manufactured for one. Contact with the subjects resulted in the driver being 15 years old. She did not have an ORV certificate and admitted she and her younger sister were out riding without supervision. Additionally, the ORV was unregistered, and the riders did not have eye protection. CO Stawara contacted the riders’ parents approximately three and a half miles down the road at their residence. The parents were extremely agitated CO Stawara came to speak with them. The father was issued a citation for allowing a rider under 16 to operate an ORV unsupervised.
CO Robert Slick was checking anglers at Hopkins Lake when dispatch put out a call that a woman had fallen into the Shiawassee River at the Shiawassee Town Dam. When CO Slick arrived at Shiawassee Town Dam, the woman had made it to shore but was trapped along a steep bank. CO Slick used his throw bag rope to create a loop for the woman to place her body through. Once she was securely in the rope, CO Slick along with members Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Department, pulled the woman to safety. The woman was taken by EMS for treatment.
CO Joseph Deppen was contacted by CO Jeff Panich out of Alcona County reference a hunter taking a turkey from his vehicle. CO Deppen met the hunter at his residence in Macomb County and obtained a confession to shooting a turkey in the wrong zone and not making a reasonable attempt to retrieve the bird. The hunter’s firearm was confiscated, and the case will be handled by the Alcona County COs and the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO David Schaumburger received an anonymous tip that an angler watched four anglers return on their boat, load 20 walleyes into a cooler, leave for a few minutes, then return to the boat and start fishing again. CO Schaumburger contacted CO Dan Walzak for assistance and the two had setup surveillance on the vessel. After a few hours, the vessel returned, and the COs contacted the anglers. All the anglers were separated and each of them confessed to catching a limit of walleye in the morning and again in the afternoon. The anglers took the COs to their hotel where they retrieved the walleye from the morning. A citation was issued to all four anglers for possessing over the limit of walleye.
CO David Schaumburger waited at a marina for a pair of anglers to return that he received complaints for taking over the limit of walleye in the past. When the trio of anglers returned, the CO watched from a distance across the canal and counted one of the anglers put 19 fish into a bucket. The CO made contact a short while later and the captain of the boat stated he dropped his son off the boat a half hour earlier, but they kept his fish on board. The CO had the captain call his son and together they talked on speakerphone. The son told the CO that he was not in town and he had been up north since last Thursday. The captain then apologized to the CO for lying. On top of having one too many fish, one of the anglers on board did not have a fishing license for Canada, putting him over the possession limit in Michigan. Both anglers were given a citation for taking an over the limit of walleye.
CO Danielle Zubek received a RAP complaint of a subject placing bait for turkeys prior to the season. CO Zubek investigated the area and located a large amount of corn and sunflower seeds. With the help of CO Jacob Griffin, CO Zubek set up surveillance on the opening morning of the turkey season. CO Zubek observed two subjects hunting over the bait. Once turkeys came into the bait, both subjects shot at the birds, killing one. The COs contacted the hunters to check licenses and address the violations. Charges are being sought through the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for taking turkey over bait.
While monitoring fishing activity in downtown Flint, COs Zubek and Justin Muehlhauser noticed a man standing near the river at Riverbank Park. The COs moved closer to get a better look. As the COs approached, the man was holding a rope which was tied to a nearby post. The man was on the phone asking for someone to help. The man noticed the COs and exclaimed that he needed assistance. The man explained that he was magnet fishing and had a park bench tied to the end of his line. He desperately wanted help removing it from the water. The COs noticed several other pieces of scrap metal nearby and assumed that he would be scrapping the metal. The COs provided the man assistance in removing the park bench from the water. Once on shore, CO Muehlhauser questioned the man what he was going to do with it. He replied, “I don’t know, just wanted to get it out.” The man claimed that he did not intend to scrap the metal; he just likes removing junk from the river. The COs advised the man to contact the city of Flint so they could recover the bench and were glad that they could be of assistance.
CO Brandon Hartleben and PCO Jaime Salisbury were checking anglers during a Belle Isle shift and contacted two subjects fishing on the north fishing pier. The father and son had come out fishing together and were just getting started. A check of the father’s bait bucket revealed approximately two dozen goldfish mixed-in with shiners. When asked where he got the goldfish, he stated that he purchased them from a pet store because he heard online that they were good to use for fishing bait. The goldfish were separated from the shiners and seized, and file checks were conducted on both subjects. The son came back with Friend of the Court child support warrants out of Oakland and Macomb Counties. The warrants were confirmed, and Oakland County indicated that they were willing to meet at the county line. The father was issued a citation for using goldfish as bait, and the son was taken into custody and transported to a meet with an Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy.