Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes responded to a missing subject in Ontonagon County after a young girl ran into the woods behind her house and had not been seen for over two hours. Michigan State Police (MSP) K-9 assisted in tracking the missing subject into the woods. During the track, the missing subject was found by two hunters returning to their nearby camp. The missing subject was returned to her parents.
CO Zach Painter received a Report all Poaching (RAP) complaint involving a video posted on social media of a subject intentionally running over a flock of geese with his truck. CO Painter located an address for the subject in Gogebic County. CO Painter interviewed the subject and learned that the event took place in Iron County, Wisconsin.
CO Painter contacted Wisconsin Game Warden Robin Miller who had already located a goose that had been run over by a vehicle in the same location. COs Painter and Dave Miller returned and re-interviewed the subject. A full confession was obtained, and charges are being sought in Wisconsin.
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling the Porcupine Mountains State Park during a busy weekend. CO Mapes worked his way to outside the park to contact a reported intoxicated driver. After failed standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), the subject was arrested for operating while intoxicated. A preliminary breath test (PBT) analysis showed that the subject was over three times the legal limit.
COs Jenni Hanson and Byron Parks assisted the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office search for an unstable, assaultive 18-year-old male who fled into the woods. While travelling to a mental facility, the suspect assaulted his mother, causing the vehicle to crash into the ditch, and then took off on foot in Stannard Township. The suspect had been known to take hallucinogenic drugs prior to the attack. The COs, along with MSP troopers from the Wakefield Post, MSP K-9 units from Calumet and Iron Mountain Posts, and local friends and family searched the area. After about ten hours in the rain, the subject was located without incident. He was placed under protective custody and transported to Aspirus Ironwood Hospital.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling Dickinson County when he observed two kayaks on a local river system fishing. CO Ferguson contacted the two individuals and found both subjects did not have personal floating devices (PFD)s. During the contact, one individual was questioning why he should have a PFD on a kayak. At that moment he flipped his kayak in the water and was submerged. The individual was not questioning the law after he had to swim with the kayak in hand, back to shore. A citation was given for no PFDs.
COs Shannon Kritz, Jeff Dell, Jared Ferguson, Anna Viau, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon proctored a hunter safety field day in Menominee County. About 30 participants were educated on Michigan’s hunting laws and ethics, safe firearm gun handling, archery equipment, and tree stand safety. At the end of the day participants took the written examination and earned their Michigan Hunter Safety Certificate.
CO Jeremy Sergey checked a group of four waterfowl hunters on Lake Levasseur on opening day of duck season. Upon checking one of the individual’s ammunition, CO Sergey discovered the hunter had all lead shot shells in his possession. CO Sergey also examined the vessel they used and discovered there was only one PFD for the four individuals on the vessel. Citations were issued for the lead shot and for failing to have PFDs for each person onboard.
COs Cody Smith, Josh Boudreaux, Dave Miller, John Kamps, and Jeremy Sergey assisted troopers from Negaunee and Calumet, along with Marquette County Search and Rescue in a search for a missing kayaker. The kayaker was last seen paddling Lake Michigamme and had not been seen by her boyfriend in quite some time. When it got dark the boyfriend decided to call 911 and report that she was missing. The COs responded to the scene with multiple patrol vessels and combed the lake with flashlights and thermal imaging until 4 a.m. but were unable to find the missing kayaker on the 6.7 square mile lake. At that point visibility was low from rain and the search was called off until daylight by Marquette Search and Rescue. Upon continuing the search at daylight, the kayaker returned to the camp she departed from. The COs made contact to find out where she had been. Realizing she was lost; the kayaker had paddled to shore when it was dark. She attempted contact at a camp with the most lights, but nobody was home. Wet and cold she forced entry into a screened porch where she tried to warm up. Still cold and with no phone, she broke a window and took refuge inside the camp for the night. When she woke in the morning, she microwaved her cold wet clothes before hiking the road knocking on camp doors for multiple miles before finding someone to give her a ride to camp. The COs recovered her kayak and returned it to camp for her.
CO Cody Smith was patrolling a well-known waterfowl hunting location when he observed an individual in jeans, a flannel shirt, and a hunter orange vest. Striking the CO as odd waterfowl hunting apparel, CO Smith contacted the individual. CO Smith asked if the individual was hunting grouse and waterfowl. The individual responded that they were targeting waterfowl. When asked how much experience the hunter had with waterfowl hunting, they responded saying they were just getting into it. CO Smith checked the hunter’s license and shotgun and discovered they were missing a plug and a federal duck stamp. When asked about both violations, the hunter stated that they thought you couldn’t have four shells in their gun, so they only put two in to be safe and that they thought the waterfowl license was all that was needed to hunt waterfowl. CO Smith educated the hunter on what needed to be corrected before the next duck hunt. The hunter was also informed that ducks have great vision and hunter orange was not needed.
CO Josh Boudreaux was patrolling northern Marquette County when he came upon a group of subjects on ORVs that stated they were trying to get back to Ishpeming and were turned around. CO Boudreaux had the group follow him back through a series of two-tracks until he intersected a main road, then directed them south towards the correct trail, which they could follow back to their vehicles. The group was happy to be headed in the right direction as it was getting dark and the temperature was dropping.
COs Mark Zitnik and Cole VanOosten were on patrol during the opening day of waterfowl season in Alger County when they heard a large amount of shots coming from a remote creek. The COs were able to locate the hunters and it was determined that one of the hunters was in possession of toxic/lead shot. A citation was issued to the hunter for possessing toxic shot while waterfowl hunting. This was the subject’s third citation for this offense.
CO Cole VanOosten responded to a complaint of ORVs tearing up an ORV parking area near Newberry and as he neared the parking area, a large group of ORVs left the parking lot. As he was following the group, the ORV in the rear was swerving in the middle of the road and attempting to drag race the others in the group. The ORV nearly hit CO VanOosten’s patrol vehicle on multiple occasions without the operator even noticing. A traffic stop was conducted, and a citation was issued for careless operation of an ORV.
CO Cole VanOosten followed up on a complaint of trash dumped on the private property of another. CO VanOosten was able to find items that identified to whom the trash belonged. An interview was conducted, and the subject stated that she did not know it was someone else’s property and that she just thought it was state land. CO VanOosten informed her that it did not matter if it were state or private land and that she couldn’t dump her trash on either. A citation for litter was issued to the individual and the site was cleaned up.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted the MSP and local agencies in apprehending a subject with outstanding felony warrants. The officers received a tip that he was seen in a local retail store. The subject fled the store just before the responding officers arrived. After searching the area, a deputy located the subject in a parked car at another retail store. Upon seeing the deputy, the subject fled on foot from the car into a wooded area that led to a residential neighborhood. CO Freeborn and an MSP trooper set up a perimeter in the area the subject would most likely run toward. After a few minutes, CO Freeborn observed the subject looking around a house right at the officers. CO Freeborn and the MSP trooper pursued on foot and apprehended the subject in a backyard of a residence. The subject was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine. Additional charges will be filed from the local sheriff’s department for the illicit drugs. Following the arrest, it was determined the acquaintance the subject was with had outstanding warrants as well. The acquaintance was found shortly after, hiding in a family member’s residence.
CO Robert Freeborn appeared on the tv show “Ask the DNR.” CO Freeborn addressed several pertinent hunting and ORV questions from callers. Even though the show was via Zoom, it was a successful show and many questions were answered by several Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin had a case recently adjudicated on one of two suspects involved in a fish spearing case. The suspects were caught with the speared fish and then eluded the COs on foot. The suspects were quickly appended. This suspect was fined $3,550 with $1,070 of that being restitution for the illegal fish, the suspect was ordered 250 hours community service in lieu 60 days jail, placed on probation, and fishing privileges revoked until 2022.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin recently had a case adjudicated on an illegal 8-point buck. CO Lynch conducted a taxidermy inspection and located a suspicious 8-point buck that was brought in. After some follow up, CO Lynch developed a suspect. COs Lynch and Butzin interviewed the suspect who confessed to illegally taking the deer. The suspect was fined $6,990 with $6,000 of that being restitution for the deer, five days jail, probation, hunting privileges revoked until 2025, and the crossbow was forfeited.
CO Mike Evink was heading to conduct a patrol on the opening morning of duck season when he received a complaint that there were hunters running their bear dogs well before legal hunting hours. CO Evink responded to the area and was unable to locate any dogs hunting prior to legal hours. After further investigation CO Evink was able to locate a camp close to the complainant that was housing bear hounds. It turns out that when people at the camp started getting ready for hunting, the dogs became excited and started to howl like when they were hunting.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in the Garden Peninsula when he observed a fire creating thick black smoke in a ditch at the front of a residence. CO Butzin went to the residence and waited near the fire, which consisted of building materials and plastic, for a short while. It was apparent that no one was attending the fire. Contact was eventually made with the homeowner who started the fire. A citation was issued for open burning prohibited materials and a warning was given for failing to attend a fire. After leaving the residence, a short while later CO Butzin observed a vehicle that was not able to stay within its lane of travel. The driver of the vehicle was contacted and found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The driver was arrested and lodged at the Delta County Jail.
CO Andrea Albert came across four hikers in the Jordan River Valley that asked for a ride. They had hiked in and stayed the night in the hike-in only campground and were now hiking back out. The hikers were exhausted from their journey and had several miles to go. CO Albert transported the hikers to a location closer to the end of their hike so they could finish their last couple of miles on their own completing their journey. The hikers were very appreciative for the assistance.
CO Andrea Albert was asked by Antrim Central Dispatch to assist with kayakers who needed help on the Jordan River. The caller advised another person in his party was under water and was not breathing and he had to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to revive her. CO Albert was directed into the closest driveway to the subject’s location and then had to hike in along the river on foot. Dispatch was pinging the reporting party’s phone and CO Albert’s phone to guide CO Albert to their location. The river was very high and running up on the banks after a recent heavy downpour. After a lengthy and wet hike along a heavily wooded stretch of river, CO Albert found the two subjects and checked for injuries. The two subjects were paddle boarding and the female subject had hit a submerged tree and was pinned under a log in the swift high water. It took her husband a few minutes to get to her and get her unpinned. She was unconscious, not breathing, and he had to perform CPR, forcing water out of her chest and she began breathing again. East Jordan EMS and fire canoed and kayaked in to transport the victim to the next access point. The victim was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
CO Chad Baldwin attended two hunter safety field days in Charlevoix County. He was able to do a short presentation at each field day with over 100 students being in attendance. The students and parents were very thankful for the volunteers and CO Baldwin running the class so their kids could get out in the woods and start gaining experience.
CO Chad Baldwin assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department and East Jordan Police Department with a search of a wooded area for a subject that had fled after a single motor vehicle accident. A witness heard the suspect yelling he was not going back to jail as he ran down the road. CO Baldwin and an East Jordan officer checked a two-track leading them into the woods near the area the subject was last seen. CO Baldwin assisted in searching the area on foot and they were able to locate the subject about 100 yards into the woods. When he was spotted, he surrendered to CO Baldwin and the officer and was detained for the arresting officer.
COs from District 3 conducted a hunter safety field day located at the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord. Throughout the day, students were instructed on topics pertaining for hunter safety rules and laws.
CO Tim Rosochacki encountered a subject on a state land two-track who had a doe in the back of his truck on the archery deer opener. Upon further inspection, the deer did not have a kill-tag attached. The hunter pulled his kill-tag out of his wallet and stated he was just about to tag it. CO Rosochacki advised the subject that it is required to tag the deer before completing any other tasks. After some additional questioning, it was discovered the subject was also hunting over a baited location. The subject was cited for failing to immediately validate his kill-tag and warning him for hunting over bait.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Devil’s Lake in Alpena County for waterfowl hunting activity on the season’s opening day when she observed hunters in the distance shoot at a bird flying over. Upon further investigation, the hunters had shot an American bittern which is a protected species similar to a heron. The hunters stated that the bittern appeared to be a hen mallard when it flew by them and when they retrieved it, they thought it was some type of merganser. CO Curtis educated the hunters on positively identifying the waterfowl species before shooting. CO Curtis issued a ticket to the subject who had shot the bittern.
CO Jon Sklba received a complaint of subjects in Presque Isle County placing a dam of trees and shrubs in a river to stop the flow of water. The complainant speculated that subjects blocked the river to slow or stop the passage of salmon and to congregate the fish for easy poaching. CO Sklba responded to the area and found the air smelled of castor. CO Sklba also observed what appeared to be a beaver slide and multiple sticks that had been chewed by beaver. CO Jon Sklba is very familiar with the area and about every other year beavers dam the exact area and there is a beaver lodge within 100 yards of the dam. Based on the evidence, CO Jon Sklba concluded the dam to be the work of beaver.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he observed an ORV traveling down the middle of the roadway at a very high rate of speed. When attempting to catch up to the ORV, CO Liestenfeltz observed it pass a vehicle. CO Liestenfeltz eventually was able to stop the ORV. The operator was issued a ticket for operating an ORV on a public highway and a warning given for careless operation.
Sgt. Mike Mshar was checking a land-locked section of state land in Montmorency County when he discovered a large gun blind on a trailer. Further investigation discovered several bait piles consisting of corn, acorns, and salt. Sgt. Mshar was familiar with the blind as he had previously warned the same subject two years prior for the same violations. The subject was also accessing the state land by going through a locked gas facility which was not a legal access. Sgt. Mshar removed the blind and contacted the subject. The subject became very belligerent with Sgt. Mshar blaming him for the terrible hunting conditions in Michigan as well as numerous other world issues. The subject ended the conversation stating he was moving back to Ohio.
COs Patrick McManus and Amanda McCurdy responded to the Frankfort Pier when the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department received a call of an individual who had been swept into Lake Michigan due to hazardous wind and wave conditions on the pier. The COs worked alongside sheriff’s deputies and United States Coast Guard to attempt to rescue the victim but were unfortunately unable to locate the subject. After conducting a several hour search, efforts were suspended due to hazardous weather. The following day conditions were deemed too treacherous to continue the multi-agency recovery mission. Despite this, COs McManus and McCurdy launched their boat and patrolled the shoreline between Frankfort and the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Due to the presumed location at which the subject fell in the water, this area was not covered in the search from the day prior. Unfortunately, this effort was unsuccessful as well. On the third day, COs McManus and McCurdy participated in a joint recovery operation with the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office, MSP, and National Park Service. Utilizing an underwater remotely operated vehicle and dive team, the victim was located, and the recovery mission was successful.
COs Patrick McManus and Justin Vanderlinde partnered up over several days to patrol the Betsie River downstream of the Homestead Dam in Benzie County, focusing on recent legislation passed by the Natural Resource Commission (NRC). Fishing within 300 feet of the lamprey weir and camping along the river and campfires are just some of the prohibited acts the NRC voted on for this section of the river. With the addition of recreational trespass, littering on state land, disorderly conduct, and retaining foul hooked fish, the COs had a very busy weekend. Overall, the comments were positive about the new rules, with several anglers thanking them for the change.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling the Betsie River when he observed two anglers enter the river in the area designated no fishing because of its distance to the Homestead Dam. One angler was carrying a fishing rod and the other was carrying a landing net. The CO watched as the angler carrying the fishing rod, casually let his line down within the 300 feet no fishing area, and slowly began walking towards the area where he could begin to legally fish. The angler carrying the net began looking for fish with his head lamp within the 300 feet no fishing area. The CO watched as the angler carefully put the net into the river and attempted to net fish with it. After the third attempt of trying to net a fish, the CO contacted both anglers. An inspection of the fishing gear used by the angler with the rod revealed a hook size a quarter inch too large. Enforcement action was taken for fishing within 300 feet of a weir, exceeding hook size, and attempting to take fish with a net.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was checking a portion of the Pere Marquette River that runs through private property where numerous complaints are taken for trespass and the illegal taking of fish. As CO Killingbeck was pulling into the area, he was flagged down and advised that there was someone believed to be trespassing at that time. CO Killingbeck walked into the area and observed two subjects watching salmon in the river. Soon one subject got a rod out of the truck, but then put it away. The subject then got something out of his truck that CO Killingbeck initially could not identify. However, a gunshot was suddenly heard. CO Killingbeck contacted the subjects and discovered the subject still holding the firearm. The subject admitted to shooting at the fish in the water with the .22 caliber rifle he was holding. The subject also admitted to seeing the no trespassing signs that were also posted. CO Killingbeck asked if there were any other firearms in the vehicle. The other subject who had not shot said that he had a gun in the vehicle. The subject told CO Killingbeck that he had a .22 in a case, but it was loaded. The gun was located and indeed loaded. Citations were issued for the loaded gun in a motor vehicle, attempting to take fish via illegal method, and recreational trespass.
COs Kyle Publiski and Josiah Killingbeck were on patrol when they heard and responded to a call of two subjects stuck at the bottom of a bluff along Lake Michigan, just south of Ludington. The COs met up with Mason County Sheriff’s deputies and area fire departments. COs Publiski and Killingbeck met up with the assistant prosecutor of Mason County, who was attempting to help look for the missing subjects. COs Publiski, Killingbeck, and the Mason County assistant prosecutor began attempting to access the subject’s location via the water’s edge as the bluff was very steep and covered in thick vegetation and blown down trees. The water levels were high and the rescuers were met with four to five-foot waves breaking against the shore, The water’s edge was comprised of large chunks of concrete with rebar sticking out of them that had been dumped along the shoreline to help stabilize the bank making it very difficult to navigate to where the victims were stranded. Navigating the dangerous conditions, the missing subjects, a father and his eight-year-old daughter, were located and safely evacuated from the shoreline back to the top of the bluff.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, was watching a section of the Baldwin River when he observed several subjects fishing. CO Killingbeck immediately noticed that one subject was showing the others how to throw a line across the fishes back and then rip the lure across the fish to snag them. The subject told the others that he was such a good angler that he needed to be a guide and get paid. CO Killingbeck watched the subject catch a fish in the belly and the subject kept the fish. CO Killingbeck noticed a female in the group snagging but was unable to land her fish. Every time she lost a fish, she would become very angry and was yelling curses, jumping up and down in the river and taking her fishing pole and beating the water with it. CO Killingbeck also observed everyone trespassing. Contact was made with the group and the group admitted that their method of fishing was not legal. Citations were issued and the fish seized.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while working Tippy Dam in Manistee County, was pulling into a fishing access when a vehicle pulled over to let him by on a narrow road. The subject then yelled and began spinning his tires and throwing mud on CO Killingbeck’s patrol truck. Contact was made with the driver and CO Killingbeck noticed the aroma of intoxicants coming from the driver. SFST’s were completed and the subject blew a .13 blood alcohol content (BAC). The subject was arrested and lodged in the Manistee County Jail. The driver said that he did not initially realize that CO Killingbeck’s truck was a law enforcement vehicle and that he was just trying to have fun after fishing and yes, drinking too much.
COs Brian Brosky and Kyle Publiski were checking the Pere Marquette River in Mason County when they watched an individual snag a fish with illegal gear and place it on a stringer. The COs contacted the individual and his minor nephew, who was dragging the stringer of fish in the water. The adult individual was cited, and they were told to stop snagging fish use legal fishing methods. The next day the COs were at the same location on the river when they watched three individuals fishing with illegal tackle. After contacting the individuals, the COs realized that one of them was the same minor from the day before, who was now fishing with illegal gear. The adults were cited for using illegal gear. The minor was advised that if he did not learn his lesson this time, and he was caught again fishing illegally again, he would be petitioned into probate court for the violations encountered.
While working anglers in the southeast corner of Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski watch a side-by-side ORV pull into an access site without seatbelts. CO Publiski contacted the driver of the side-by-side and determined that he had been drinking. After administering a battery of SFSTs, a PBT was given; the operator blew a .165. The driver was arrested and lodged at the Mason County Jail.
COs Tim Barboza and Jeff Ginn were on patrol and located a suspected drunk driver traveling south on M-37. They were able to assist on a traffic stop conducted by Deputy Wimmer of the Newaygo Sheriff’s Department. The traffic stop resulted in the arrest of the driver for possession of methamphetamines and other various control substances, as well as driving under the influence and a suspended driver’s license.
CO Micah Hintze was patrolling the south branch of the Pere Marquette River and was contacted by a concerned angler that a man was fishing around the nearest bend using unlawful gear. CO Hintze located and observed the angler using a large multi-pointed hook with lead melted to the shank, commonly known as a “silver spider.” After watching the angler attempt to snag the spawning salmon from a rock bed, CO Hintze contacted the individual. The angler explained that he had just found the silver spiders on a nearby log and was just trying to get some spawn. After further investigation, it was determined the angler was in possession of eight unlawful devices. The angler was cited for using unlawful gear/exceed hook size regulations.
COs Josh Reed and Steve Converse were conducting foot patrol at Tippy Dam. CO Converse observed a subject fishing with a suspicious lure. After observing the subject for several minutes, contact was made. The angler was fishing with a weighted treble hook and spawn. He advised that he was fishing with the lure because he thought it was the best. The angler was informed to review the regulations and was cited for fishing with a weighted treble hook.
CO Tim Barboza was on patrol and heard a Newago County Sheriff’s deputy call out he had a vehicle running from him and blowing stop signs. CO Barboza assisted the sheriff’s office and the MSP in attempting to the locate the suspect after he crashed his vehicle and fled on foot. The suspect was located at a nearby trailer park and arrested on multiple warrants.
While working an ORV patrol, CO Jeff Panich heard radio traffic from Alcona County Central Dispatch regarding a subject running from police who was wanted for felonious domestic assault. CO Panich worked towards the last known location and commenced searching the woods with deputies. After a fruitless search, officers regrouped and decided to give the cabin where the crime happened another search after it was already cleared at the time of the incident the evening prior. Officers observed the door to the cabin kicked in but closed. During the search of the cabin, CO Panich and two deputies located the suspect curled up in the last room underneath a bed. CO Panich ordered the man out and he was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody without incident. Numerous charges have been filed on the suspect from the Alcona County Sheriff’s Department.
COs Brad Bellville and James Garrett received a complaint of a safety zone violation inside of Rifle River State Recreation Area in Ogemaw County. Two individuals rented a cabin inside the recreation area and had steel shot raining down on the cabin and surrounding area from nearby waterfowl hunters. The COs contacted the complainants and witnessed firsthand shot from duck hunters falling on them and the cabin. Using a range finder, the COs determined the duck hunters were well within the 150-yard safety zone of the cabin. The COs contacted the duck hunters addressing several violations including the safety zone violation.
CO Kyle Bader received a complaint that a hunter was baiting deer in Ogemaw County. Further investigation revealed the suspect’s property was mostly a marsh and beaver pond and that he was planning to duck hunt on opening day of waterfowl season. CO Bader watched three duck hunters on the suspect property on the opening morning of waterfowl season for a couple hours and checked them when they came back to their vehicle. During the contact, CO Bader walked past a tree stand with three salt blocks, sugar beets, apples, and a corn feeder all in front of it. The owner of the property was cited for the baiting violation. CO Bader’s citation was the 14th time the man has been charged with a fish and game violation.
CO Charlie Jones recently received information about a hunter who had illegally shot a deer in the 2019 firearm deer season in Kalkaska County. An interview was conducted the next day on September 13, 2020, in which it was determined that the 8-point deer was taken without a license. The subject who shot the deer admitted to borrowing a tag from a relative. A report was submitted to the Kalkaska County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for the violations.
CO Charlie Jones received a complaint from Kalkaska dispatch of an abandoned campsite on state land in Kalkaska County. Upon arrival, CO Jones witnessed household items and trash all over the ground including drug paraphernalia. CO Jones observed a foot path and began to follow it to a possible second location. As CO Jones entered the woods a second campsite was located. A male and female subject were found at the location. With consent, a search was conducted, and methamphetamine was found. The female subject was written a citation for littler and no camp card. Further investigation revealed the male subject had a warrant for his arrest and was taken into custody and transported to the Kalkaska County jail for booking. A report has been submitted to the Kalkaska Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for dangerous drugs.
CO Ben McAteer conducted a patrol focusing on shining activity in Crawford County. During the patrol, CO McAteer observed a sport utility vehicle driving slowly down a dirt two-track. As the vehicle drove, a light was cast from the driver’s side window. The vehicle proceeded to make multiple moving violations and a traffic stop was conducted. As CO McAteer approached the driver’s side window, he observed the passenger frantically attempting to remove the bolt from a loaded crossbow. The driver and passenger were interviewed separately and gave different stories about the light being cast from the vehicle’s window. The passenger admitted being the one responsible for the flashlight being shone out of the window, stating, he had thrown an empty dip can out the window earlier in the day and was attempting to locate it. The passenger’s crossbow, arrows, and flashlight were seized; a citation for shining with weapon in possession was issued.
COs Jill Miller and Jason King assisted Upper Peninsula (UP) COs on an illegal bear investigation. The subject had property in the UP but resides in Bay County. Contact with the suspect was made and COs were able to gain a confession from the suspect of shooting the bear out of season. The information obtained was handed over to the UP COs.
While patrolling central Gratiot County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a large cloud of black smoke in the sky. CO Haas located the source of the smoke - a large pile of items including furniture parts, rolls of carpet, clothes, paint, aerosol cans, and other debris were on fire. A gentleman was cleaning up his property and emptying garbage and debris out of numerous outbuildings. CO Haas explained that he appreciated the man cleaning his property; however, the man was disposing of the items improperly. A citation was issued to address the open burning and improper disposal.
CO Mike Haas heard a call over the radio from Isabella Central Dispatch concerning a domestic violence and possible kidnapping complaint. A woman had been screaming for help on the phone and stated she had been assaulted; a man then took the phone from her and hung up on dispatchers. CO Haas was only a couple miles from the complaint location and was first on scene. Upon arriving to the scene CO Haas separated the parties and ensured the woman was all right. The woman had a sore back and arm from being pushed into furniture and had minor cuts to her hands; she had also been tackled to the ground when she attempted to leave the house, but she denied medical attention. A short time later, deputies arrived on scene and, after interviews were conducted, two men were arrested.
CO Richard Cardenas received a report of several deer carcasses on the edge of a farmer’s field. The field is in an area where he had multiple recent reports of deer being shot and the heads removed. While investigating, he could see two antlered deer heads behind a barn at a nearby residence. A subject appeared from the barn and provided consent to come onto the property and inspect the antlered deer heads. While speaking with the subject, another antlered deer was observed in the barn that the subject was currently processing. Upon further questioning, multiple antlered deer heads were found on the property. Another suspect was identified, and both admitted to possessing the deer illegally. Citations were issued for illegal possession of the deer.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling Silver Lake in Allegan County when he encountered three anglers from Illinois. A routine check revealed the anglers were 49 panfish over their daily limit. Subjects stated they had been fishing for over ten hours that day and never took the time to learn the daily limits. The panfish were confiscated and citations were issued for the over limit violations.
CO Kyle McQueer was first on scene to a serious injury ORV accident. When CO lacerations on her head. The adult operator had a large laceration on his upper lip and a third subject was complaining of neck pain. The five-year-old was airlifted from the scene and the driver and other passenger were transported to the hospital by ambulance. Further investigation revealed the ORV was being operated over-capacity when the tires left the roadway and caused the ORV and passengers to tumble down a very steep cliff, striking a tree. Fortunately, all occupants on the ORV were wearing helmets and all are expected to recover.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint of a deer carcass being dumped on the side of the road in Kent County. CO Ulberg was able to locate the carcass and noticed the successful hunter left his deer tag attached to the carcass. CO Ulberg spoke with the hunter who stated that he had processed the deer at his father’s house and his father was supposed to dispose of the carcass. CO Ulberg spoke with the father who admitted to dumping the deer carcass on the side of the road. The father received a citation for litter.
While checking anglers coming off the water in Ottawa County, CO Justin Ulberg noticed one subject was having a difficult time loading up his boat. While speaking with the angler, he informed CO Ulberg that he was nervous because he had a feeling that he and his friend were over their legal limit of bluegill. CO Ulberg counted the fish in the live well and discovered the two anglers were 38 bluegills over their legal limit. The over limit of fish was seized, and the angler was issued a citation for the violation.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint that an adult had shot two bucks during the youth deer season. After a lengthy investigation it was determined the suspect took one of his co-worker’s children out for the youth deer season. When the youth stated that he was not comfortable taking the shot, the suspect shot the buck. A second buck was then observed, and the suspect shot that deer as well. While interviewing the suspect, it was discovered that the subject failed to tag either of the bucks with his 2020 deer licenses. The two deer heads were seized along with the subject’s unused deer tags. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint of a potentially poached deer laying in the back of someone’s yard. The complainant was aware of the shooter, and informed CO Cullen of their location and poaching history. An interview was conducted, and the suspect admitted to shooting two antlered deer over bait in the past two days. Both deer have been confiscated for evidence, and charges are being sought with the Muskegon County prosecutor.
While on patrol in the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA) East Unit during the archery opener, CO Jackie Miskovich heard a call come out about someone yelling and in distress in the Muskegon SGA. With the assistance of two local hunters who were father and son, and the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, the subject was located. CO Miskovich and the hunters were able to assist the subject out of the marsh where she was treated by local fire and EMS personnel. It was later discovered the subject had been missing for approximately 48 hours and a missing person’s report had just been filed. The subject said she had gone for a walk at night and fallen down the hill where she became disoriented, hurt her ankle, and was unable to find her way out of the marsh. She was showing signs of hypothermia and a sprained ankle. Had it not been for the hunters reporting the incident and returning to the location to assist, the subject may have not been found.
CO Chris Reynolds worked with a landowner who has had trespassing issues. The CO spent quite a bit of time walking the landowner’s property and located several stands and areas where hunters had been trespassing. The CO also found some baited deer stands. COs Nick Wellman and Reynolds conducted an early morning patrol where the COs walked the property and located one of the hunters who was hunting over a baited area. The hunter stated he had observed several no trespassing signs in the area and admitted to baiting the area. A citation was issued for recreational trespass and baiting.
CO Todd Thorn was heading to an assigned patrol shift on Belle Isle when he stopped at a gas station in south Lansing. While filling up his tank, CO Thorn heard a loud bang nearby. He looked in the direction of the noise and saw a car stopped in a drive between the gas station and a restaurant. The lights were off on the vehicle. CO Thorn approached the vehicle from the rear and while approaching, saw a man stumble out of the driver’s seat amongst a large amount of smoke. CO Thorn saw that the man was unarmed, that there was no one else in the vehicle, and checked to see if the man was injured. CO Thorn then saw a loaded handgun and an empty casing on the passenger seat. CO Thorn investigated and found that the man was heavily intoxicated and had shot a round from the handgun into the car towards the engine. CO Thorn later learned that the car was a rental. The driver did poorly on SFSTs and blew almost three times the legal limit on the PBT. The driver was lodged at the Ingham County Jail and the vehicle and firearm were seized.
CO Rusty Byars observed an angler on the Grand River across from the Brenke fish ladder. While approaching, the angler noticed CO Byars coming toward him and turned to his side to cut his fishing line with a cigarette. The CO saw a fresh fishing line sinking into the river. The angler stated he cut it because his line was getting bad, but later admitted that he probably had illegal tackle. A citation was issued for littering.
CO Katie Baker investigated an illegal deer case of a suspect believed to have taken an antlerless deer without an age appropriate mentor. Interviews were conducted and a confession obtained. The suspect admitted to taking an antlerless deer with her 20-year-old boyfriend while using an apprentice license. The boyfriend admitted to knowing he was not of proper age but wanted to take his girlfriend out anyway. The suspect admitted to failing to immediately validate and attach her kill-tag as well as failing to wear the required hunter orange while in the gun blind. A case report is being submitted for the violations.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of persons trespassing onto the property of another and putting up a tree stand. CO Strawn responded to the complaint location and investigated. CO Strawn ultimately discovered that although someone indeed entered the property, the trespassers erected a play fort and built a garage for hot wheel cars. Once CO Strawn pointed out his findings the caller took a closer look and, believing the kids next door were the fort builders, he decided to not continue with trespass charges.
CO Nick Wellman has been working a complaint of someone going into a farmer’s field knocking down a large section of corn and planting marijuana. CO Wellman used trail cameras and late-night surveillance to identify two suspects. CO Wellman then interviewed one of the individuals and gained a full confession for trespassing, malicious destruction of property, growing marijuana in an unsecured area, and littering on several farms. The man is currently facing charges in the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman was on patrol when a call for assistance from the MSP and EMS came in from a possible overdose call where they needed help moving the patient. CO Wellman responded and helped with patient care and running the bag administering breaths while EMS worked to stabilize the patient. CO Wellman, the MSP, EMS, and several good Samaritans moved the patient to the ambulance and then CO Wellman and the MSP escorted the paramedics to the hospital as they were unfamiliar with the area. When CO Wellman cleared the hospital, the man was breathing on his own, getting ready to be airlifted to Borgess Hospital. The man had consumed two fifths of liquor and a 30 pack of beer leading to serious alcohol poisoning.
CO Nick Wellman was just starting his patrol when a medical call came out for a logger who had a tree limb come down and break his leg. The logger was approximately a half mile into an unknown area of a block of timber. CO Wellman was very familiar with the area and was able to traverse the woods with his patrol truck and locate the man in a blowdown of trees he was cutting. CO Wellman worked on navigating other units to his location including EMS, while talking to and packaging the patient for transport. Ultimately the man suffered a complete fibula-tibula fracture and was transported to the hospital. CO Wellman then loaded the logger’s gear and equipment into his patrol truck and transported it and another logger back to their truck.
CO David Schaumburger received a complaint from dispatch that a hunter had self-reported he made a mistake and shot an antlered deer instead of antlerless during the early antlerless season. The CO contacted the hunter who stated he was hunting in the evening and he made a mistake and shot a deer with a five-inch spike. He stated that he was looking at the deer for ten minutes through his binoculars and did not see the spike until he took the shot and walked up on the deer. The CO appreciated the hunter for self-reporting his own mistake; however, the hunter was given a stern warning for future hunts. The deer was seized and donated to a disabled hunter.
CO Jaime Salisbury received a complaint of a deer that had been unlawfully taken earlier in the week. While conducting surveillance on the area, CO Salisbury was able to determine that there were several different people hunting the area during the closed season. On an early Saturday morning before the sun came up, CO Salisbury snuck into the area where he suspected a person would be deer hunting out of season. While waiting for the sun to rise CO Salisbury saw a faint light from across the bean field. He watched it trail along the field edge and then up a tree. About 30 minutes after sunrise CO Salisbury went to contact the individual he had seen earlier. As CO Salisbury approached the tree the man in the stand attempted to hide himself against the tree. The man had a bow on his lap with an arrow nocked. CO Salisbury asked him what he was doing, and he said, “Just scouting.” It was discovered that the man did not have any valid hunting license and deer season was still a week from opening. Citations were issued for hunting deer out of season and hunting without a license. The Matthews compound bow was seized as evidence.
COs Breanna Reed and Brad Silorey received a complaint from an individual that stated he was in line at a local hunting store when the person ahead of him had admitted to shooting a doe without a doe tag. With the help of DNR dispatchers, CO Silorey was able to find an address for the suspect. The COs patrolled to the suspect’s house to make contact. The suspect had admitted to shooting the doe stating that he thought it was a buck. He had a single deer tag in his possession when he shot the doe but did not think that he could tag the deer with that tag. The COs had the hunter take them to where he had shot the deer. Before arriving to the location, the hunter admitted to having bait out because he thought it was legal this year. The COs cited the hunter for failing to immediately validate his kill-tag and gave the hunter a warning for hunting over bait.
While working on Belle Isle, COs Dan Robinson and Dave Schaumburger were called to the area near the casino for a possible domestic. Upon arrival the COs were met by the female half who said that the male was having a mental health issue. He was displaying odd behavior and swimming in one of the shallow canals on the island. The COs advised the female to call back if she needed further assistance. Shortly after, she called dispatch and advised that he was now taking his clothes off and out of control. The COs responded again and worked with the female to get the male safely off the island where he could get treatment and his needed medications.
CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Chris Maher were patrolling Belle Isle when they noticed an angler with a rather full bucket of fish near a fishing hot spot. The COs checked the angler’s license and asked the angler how many fish he had. The angler shrugged his shoulders in an “I’m not sure” answer. The COs counted and determined the angler had 80 panfish in his bucket and one perch. The COs issued the angler a citation for 55 panfish over his limit.