Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes responded to a complaint about shots fired after dark near Ewen in Ontonagon County. After conducting interviews and tracking a blood trail, CO Mapes was able to gain a confession from an individual, who was also a felon. The individual admitted to shooting a deer that was standing under a yard light from the back window of a residence. Michigan State Police (MSP) Troopers Evan Fazatt and Logan White also responded and assisted in the investigation. An 8-point buck and a hunting rifle were seized, and charges are being sought through the Ontonagon County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a valid kill-tag, shooting a deer after shooting hours, and felon in possession of a firearm.
CO Ethen Mapes assisted the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office in an off-road vehicle (ORV) pursuit which initiated when a deputy tried to arrest the driver on a felony warrant for flee and elude. A short chase ensued in the Bruce Crossing area until the suspect drove into a swampy area. CO Mapes tracked the rider and his passenger into the swamp and found them hiding in the woods. The operator was taken into custody on the felony warrant and charged again with flee and elude.
CO Anna Viau received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of a deer that had been taken with a bow after legal shooting hours within the city limits of Iron River. CO Viau interviewed the suspect at his residence who subsequently admitted to shooting the deer with a crossbow after legal shooting hours. CO Viau seized the 8-point deer as and charges are pending at the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office and charges for Iron River city ordinance violations may also be filed.
CO Shannon Kritz was patrolling commercial forest land (CFL) in Menominee County when she came across a closed gate that was posted with “no trespassing” signs. CO Kritz attempted to access the CFL from a different road and ran into another gate that was posted “no trespassing.” The next day, CO Kritz made contact with the landowner who admitted to posting the CFL with no trespassing signs because his son was coming up to hunt. CO Kritz issued a warning for the violation of posting the property and forwarded the information to the DNR Forestry Division who will determine if the landowner must unenroll the property from the CFL program.
CO John Kamps checked two waterfowl hunters as they pulled their boat up to the boat launch. After a routine check of licenses and hunting equipment, one of the individuals was determined to be transporting a loaded firearm in a motorboat and the other was determined to have a shotgun capable of holding three or more shells. A citation was issued for hunting with an unplugged shotgun.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten interviewed a suspect involved in several hunter harassment complaints during bear season. During the interview, the suspect admitted to several illegal bait barrels, ground blinds, and tampering with a camera used in the investigation. A report has been submitted to the Luce County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Todd Sumbera was investigating a waterfowl hunting complaint on Munuscong Bay when he observed a camouflage duck boat push multiple flocks of ducks off the water. The birds flew to and between a couple of hunters set up in layout boats, shots were fired. Shortly after, the hunters began picking up the associated party in the layout boats. CO Sumbera made contact, finding a loaded shotgun in the motorboat along with an admission of rallying birds. Citations were issued for rallying waterfowl and for possessing a loaded shotgun in a motorboat while under power.
COs Todd Sumbera, Mike Evink, Mike Olesen, and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the MSP with a search for a missing person in central Mackinac County. The search was very extensive covering both land and water.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when a call of a personal injury accident came out nearby. CO VanOosten was first on scene and provided first aid to three adults and two children until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived.
COs Robert Freeborn and Mikael Evink located an individual cutting pine boughs on CFL. After talking with the subject, he stated he thought he had permission. The COs advised that the timber company that owns the private property more than likely do not want anyone cutting. The COs documented the scene and placed a phone call to a forester from the timber company. Investigation is ongoing.
COs Robert Freeborn and Todd Sumbera were on patrol when they observed a pickup truck stopped in the middle of a two-track. As the COs pulled alongside the truck, CO Freeborn observed the passenger take a drink of a beer. The COs got out and talked to both subjects. When the passenger was confronted about the beer, he denied having any. The passenger eventually produced the open beer he hid under his seat. A citation was issued for open intoxicants.
COs Robert Freeborn and Steve Butzin responded to a one car rollover on a remote forest service road. The COs arrived on scene along with the fire department. The driver was pinned under the steering wheel of the truck. Using the CO’s axe, the front windshield was cut out giving the driver more room to stretch his legs until EMS arrived. It was determined that the driver was stuck in his truck for several hours after rolling over before he was found by a motorist passing by.
CO Robert Freeborn was off duty at his residence when a neighbor knocked on his door advising a tree had fallen on a power line knocking the line down and starting a fire. CO Freeborn advised dispatch of the situation and blocked off the intersection where the line was down until the fire department and power company arrived on scene.
CO Michael Evink assisted MSP troopers and K-9 locate a missing hunter in Schoolcraft County.
CO Michael Evink assisted MSP troopers with an operating while intoxicated (OWI) arrest in a remote portion of state land. A complaint occurred that detailed a group of loud passengers being pulled by a side-by-side. The complaint was due to the loud music and voices on the trail during prime hunting hours. An MSP trooper was able to locate the group and began dealing with the driver who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Once on scene, CO Evink was able to assist by dealing with the other seven members of the group and aiding the primary trooper. One individual was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint from a property owner who stated that he had caught two hunters on his property with an untagged deer and were now trying to flee the scene. CO Baldwin was only a few miles away from the complaint and responded to find the property owner blocking the hunters from driving away. After interviewing the complainant and the suspects, it was determined that the hunters were given permission to retrieve their deer on the adjacent property but did not receive permission to be on the complainant’s property which is where the deer had expired. The hunters had crossed a barbed wire fence and continued to track the deer. The complainant caught the hunters about to tag the deer and field dress it until he told him they were trespassing and wanted them off the property. With the complainant’s permission, CO Baldwin escorted the hunters back to the deer, had them drag it onto property they had permission to be on, and field dress it. The deer was seized as evidence and a report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office for recreational trespass charges.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz of Montmorency County salvaged a road-killed elk just west of Atlanta. CO Liestenfeltz had the meat processed and turned the processed meat over to CO Andrea Erratt of Antrim County. On Thursday and Friday, CO Erratt delivered over 150 pounds of elk meat to 19 needy families in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Otsego Counties.
COs Nathan Beelman and Chad Baldwin received a call from Charlevoix Central Dispatch regarding a subject who was stuck and lost on a state forest two-track off from a seasonal county road. CO Beelman was able to find the subject within a few minutes after receiving the call. The subject was in an area with limited cell service and was stuck in a mud hole. After approximately 30 minutes of work, COs Beelman and Baldwin were able to assist the subject with getting out of the mud hole and were able to direct the subject back to US 131. The subject stated that she had come up north to look at the fall colors and decided to take a back road, she then became lost, and then stuck. She was very grateful that COs were able to locate her and help her back to a main road.
CO Nathan Beelman received a complaint regarding a subject placing bait and hunting over it in the Darnton Nature Preserve. CO Beelman patrolled to the area and arrived just before the end of hunting hours. CO Beelman was able to observe the subject exiting his tree stand and stopped the subject to check his license. The subject admitted that he did not have his hunting license or identification with him. After further questioning, it was found that the subject had not purchased a hunting license yet this year. While talking with the subject, CO Beelman was able to observe shelled corn spread throughout the knee-high grass along with a small pile of apples approximately 20 yards from the subject’s tree stand. CO Beelman began walking with the subject back to the subject’s residence to retrieve his driver’s license. The subject retrieved his backpack from the field and CO Beelman observed an empty Coors Light can sticking out of his backpack and another laying in the field under the backpack. The subject participated in standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) at his home and blew a .064 on a preliminary breath test (PBT). The subject was ticketed for hunting without a license and hunting over bait and given a warning for hunting while intoxicated.
CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol in an area known for illegal ORV activity. While checking an area that is closed to ORVs, CO LeClerc found a side-by-side style machine stuck in a mudhole in the closed area. After several attempts to remove the vehicle, the occupants gave up and headed toward the road. CO LeClerc met them at the road, gathered their licenses, and advised them to remove it or call for help to remove it. The driver was issued a ticket for operate in closed area. CO LeClerc made sure they were safe and in good condition due to the constant rain, cold temperature, and loss of daylight. Help arrived and the machine was removed.
CO Duane Budreau caught up with a subject he had investigated earlier this summer for illegally killing geese out of season. CO Budreau had obtained a warrant for the individual’s arrest for taking geese out of season and using an illegal firearm to take waterfowl. The subject posted a $500 cash bond on the two-count warrant. The man was given warnings for using toxic shot, using a firearm capable of holding more than three shells, fail to retrieve waterfowl/wanton waste, taking an over-limit of geese, hunt waterfowl without a license, and hunt waterfowl without a federal duck stamp.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz received a complaint about a stolen trail camera in Montmorency County. The victim had placed a second trail camera up monitoring the camera that was stolen. CO Liestenfeltz was able to obtain a positive identification of the subject that took the trail camera. The victim did not want to press charges. CO Liestenfeltz was able to return the trail camera to its owner.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was called out from his residence to assist the MSP in southwest Otsego County with a deer that had been shot from a vehicle. The complainant saw the subjects shoot a deer from the vehicle and was able to obtain a license plate. After gathering that information, the MSP went to the subject’s house and contacted the owner of the vehicle in question. The subject confessed to shooting the deer from the vehicle. The deer and firearm were confiscated. Charges will be pending in Otsego County.
CO Jon Sheppard heard a call from Alpena County Dispatch of a domestic violence situation while patrolling Alpena County. While in route to the address, dispatch advised all units that it was approximately ten people involved and it had turned physical. CO Sheppard arrived second on scene and assisted the MSP in separating all parties while more officers arrived. CO Sheppard assisted with scene security and interviewing witnesses. MSP troopers have submitted their report to the prosecutor and charges are pending.
CO Troy Ludwig received a complaint of waterfowl hunters hunting within the safety zone of multiple homes on Lake Mitchell in Wexford County. When the CO arrived on scene, he observed four hunters in a boat hunting off a small island in the middle of the lake. Using computer mapping software and a laser range finder, CO Ludwig determined that the hunters were indeed within the safety zone of at least eight different homes. As the CO continued to watch the hunters, he observed them motor after a wounded duck without unloading their firearms and shoot the bird without the vessel ceasing all forward momentum, which is required by law. When CO Ludwig made contact with the hunters, they advised that they had not received permission to hunt within the safety zone of any of the homes and a vessel inspection determined that they were short one wearable and one throwable PFD. Multiple citations were issued to the hunters for the waterfowl and marine violations.
CO Richard Stowe responded to a personal injury accident in Grand Traverse County. CO Stowe learned the driver of the vehicle was pinned inside and was unable to free themselves from the wreck. The first responders on the scene were unsuccessful in removing the person because there was a large dog in the vehicle that would not let anyone near the trapped individual and bit one of the firefighters who was trying to assist. At that time, CO Stowe utilized his department issued “catch pole” and removed the large retriever from the vehicle, with no further injury to the animal or any other first responders. The driver was then quickly extricated from the car and transported to the nearest hospital for treatment, and the dog was turned over to family members.
CO Josiah Killingbeck had been checking a deer blind that was baited with apples for several weeks with no success at contacting the responsible party. While doing an early morning patrol, CO Killingbeck observed a vehicle parked near the blind. CO Killingbeck contacted the hunter in the blind. The subject told CO Killingbeck that he did not know that it was illegal to bait until recently and that he had removed the bait. CO Killingbeck asked the subject why his blind did not have a name on it. The subject said he did not know that was a requirement, even though the subject said he is a very law abiding citizen. The subject suddenly pulled up his coat and undershirt revealing a handgun tucked inside his pants. CO Killingbeck learned that the subject had been disqualified from obtaining a Concealed Pistol License (CPL). The subject told CO Killingbeck that he was open carrying. CO Killingbeck explained that a handgun tucked inside the waistline and covered by a coat is not open carry. The subject became very uncooperative and CO Killingbeck placed the subject under arrest for carrying a concealed pistol. The subject was lodged in the Lake County Jail.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a RAP complaint of a subject shooting a deer from the moonroof of his car with a crossbow. The illegal deer was then loaded into the trunk of the car and transported to nearby state land by the suspects. The suspects took the backstraps and dumped the remains of the carcass. As the investigation continued, it was then discovered that the suspect shot a second deer that evening but was unable to recover it. CO Josh Reed patrolled the area this deer had allegedly been shot and was able to locate it. A few hours later, CO Greenway received a call from the suspect, and he confessed to shooting three deer that evening. He stated that the deer CO Reed found was the first deer he had shot. He also admitted that his ex-girlfriend had shot a deer on the same road prior to him shooting that one. The suspects then went to another area and shot a third deer. Charges area being filed with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Angela Greenway assisted CO Josh Reed in the locating and stopping of a suspect vehicle involved in a road hunting complaint. The original complaint was that a dark colored Chevy truck was seen with someone shooting a deer out of the vehicle. As the incident developed a second suspect vehicle, a red Ford truck was seen going slowly and allegedly looking for something in the same area. CO Greenway was able to locate the Ford truck and make contact at a nearby residence. CO Reed arrived and knew of the suspect driving the vehicle from past contacts. CO Reed questioned the driver and only occupant. Through his investigation, it was discovered the driver was suspended, had warrants for his arrest, and was in possession of methamphetamine. The subject was lodged, and charges are filed with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Tim Barboza witnessed an ORV operating against the flow of traffic on the roadway and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While talking with the operator, CO Barboza smelled the odor of intoxicants and asked the driver how much he had to drink. The driver stated two beers. CO Barboza conducted SFSTs and requested that the operator take a PBT, which resulted in a .174. The operator was arrested for OWI and driving while license suspended.
CO Micah Hintze received a complaint late in the evening of spearing on a closed trout stream. The complainant watched a truck enter his property, drop a man off who retrieved a spear from the bed of the truck and entered the river. Shortly after arriving in the area, the vehicle which dropped the man off was observed entering the property and come towards CO Hintze. The driver saw the patrol truck, turned around and attempted to leave the property. CO Hintze stopped the truck as it entered the roadway and spoke with the driver who admitted to dropping his friend off to spear salmon. He stated he was coming to pick him up when he saw the patrol truck but had not contacted his friend yet. CO Hintze secured the driver’s phone and identification and followed the truck from a distance to the pick-up location. A man was seen exiting the river, spear in hand and dragging one salmon. The man got into the passenger seat and the vehicle proceeded towards the exit. CO Hintze stopped the vehicle, and while speaking with the suspect, he admitted to spearing a salmon and didn’t have a license. The violations consisted of fishing a closed trout stream, fishing without license, recreational trespass, and taking a fish by illegal method. The spear was seized for evidence and citations issued.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling closed trout streams in Oceana County and observed a vehicle parked near a bridge with two individuals attempting to hide as he patrolled past them. CO Shively turned around and parked his patrol truck down the road and got into position to watch the river. CO Shively watched the two subjects on the far side of the river with pitchforks and another subject with a gaff on his side of the river. CO Shively contacted the subjects, who immediately attempted to hide the pitchforks and gaff. CO Shively was able to locate the two pitchforks the adults had, and the gaff that a 13-year-old male had in his possession. The adults were issued citations for possessing a spear along a closed trout stream and fishing without a license. Warnings were issued for attempting to take fish by an illegal method.
CO Ben Shively observed a waterfowl hunter in Oceana County and contacted him as he returned to his vehicle after hunting hours had ended. The hunter immediately put his head down and admitted to harvesting five mallard ducks. CO Shively inspected his ducks and confirmed what the hunter had admitted. The hunter stated he shot at his fourth drake mallard and shot a hen mallard. The subject was cited for taking an over-limit of waterfowl.
COs Josh Russell, Jeremy Cantrell, and Mike Haas worked an illegal ORV event in Clare County. The COs were able to locate the event and determine who organized it. It was being held at a local trailhead in the county and was taking up a huge portion of the parking lot. The organizers did not have the proper permit required to hold the event. A citation was issued for holding an event on state land without a permit.
CO Phil Hudson received a “shots fired” complaint in Gladwin County after his shift had ended for the evening. Based on the information within the complaint, he decided to investigate it in the morning. COs Hudson and Josh Russell proceeded to the location the following morning. They located a hunter in a blind with a crossbow hunting over a truck load of sugar beets. The hunter did not have a hunting license and had never purchased one in past years. Citations for hunting over bait and hunting without a license were issued.
CO Phil Hudson received a complaint of building materials and shingles dumped on public land. CO Hudson walked nearly seven miles following pieces of debris along the roadway headed away from the public land. CO Hudson located a trailer at a residence with drywall and other building material piled on it. CO Hudson interviewed the resident and received a confession that he dumped the materials on state land. CO Hudson made sure the subject cleaned up the illegally dumped materials from public land and issued him a citation for littering.
COs Casey Pullum and James Garrett received a complaint of recreational trespass. The complainant stated the suspects were trespassing, removing memory cards from trail cameras, deleting pictures, and putting the cards back into his cameras. The complainant had photos of them on his cameras after they replaced the memory cards. COs Pullum and Garrett went to the suspect’s home and conducted an interview. It was determined there were multiple other violations including baiting and feeding of deer and taking animals without a license. During contact with the suspects, the COs were advised that both had active warrants for their arrest. They were taken into custody on the warrants. One suspect wanted his coat, so CO Pullum escorted him into the house where he witnessed multiple firearms. It was later determined that the suspect was a convicted felon. A search warrant was executed, and 16 firearms were seized from the residence. The case has been submitted to the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.
CO Casey Pullum conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle where the driver was suspected of operating while intoxicated. During the contact with the driver, CO Pullum remembered a recent interaction at the suspect’s residence for narcotics. While attempting to identify the female passenger, she supplied a false name of her step-sister to avoid detection on outstanding arrest warrants. However, her step-sister had an extensive criminal history including narcotic charges. CO Pullum obtained consent to search the vehicle and located two hypodermic needles and syringes with what field tested as methamphetamine. Other drug paraphernalia was also located during the search. Both occupants were taken into custody on possession of methamphetamine. Additional information was obtained about other drug activity at the male suspect’s residence. After a short interview, a search warrant was obtained for the residence. Enlisting assistance from COs Brad Bellville and Jesse Grzechowski, Oscoda County Sheriff Department deputies, and MSP troopers, a search warrant was executed on the male suspect’s residence. A female at the residence was taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Iosco County and all items to cook methamphetamine were seized by CO Pullum and the local MSP drug team. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Kyle Bader responded to a complaint of an overdue hunter in the Maltby Hills area of Ogemaw County. The complainant split up with his hunting partner with the agreement that they would meet back at the truck after they hunted a small clear-cut. The caller returned to his truck in less than an hour and waited for his partner for approximately three hours. He blared his horn until it malfunctioned and fired nearly a box of shotgun shells to get a response from his hunting partner. Finally, when it started getting dark, he made his way to an area with good cell phone signal and called 911. COs Casey Pullum and Brad Bellville responded to the last known location to assist. They worked on creating a plan with the Ogemaw County K-9 deputy while CO Bader checked the high probability locations, ORV and snowmobile trails. CO Bader located the lost hunter on a nearly impassible two-track less than a mile from where the two split up. He was embarrassed, but otherwise in good health and glad to see help arrive.
CO Adam Beuthin was patrolling Saginaw Bay for waterfowl hunters when he observed a subject on a vessel attempting to take waterfowl while the vessel was under power. Upon contact, the subjects on the vessel admitted to knowing what they had done was wrong. A citation was issued to the subject who had been shooting at the waterfowl while under power.
CO Kyle Bucholtz assisted the local sheriff’s office with an assault and arson case. The suspect burned his home down after assaulting a female. The suspect then jumped from the burning home and fled into a heavily wooded area. CO Bucholtz and a local deputy later located the suspect in the wooded area and took him into custody without incident. The local sheriff’s office is investigating the incident further.
CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to a personal injury vehicle accident where a motor vehicle struck the rear of a large utility farm trailer. The vehicle then entered a ditch and flipped onto its top. The sole occupant was unconscious and pinned in the vehicle when CO Bucholtz arrived. Multiple fire departments assisted on scene and had to remove the victim with the “jaws of life.” The unconscious but breathing victim was then taken to a local hospital by ambulance before being transferred to a trauma center by helicopter.
CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to an in-progress baiting complaint in Sanilac County. A hunter was hunting state land when he observed an individual arrive in the area and spread an unknown substance on the ground. The subject then proceeded to hunt over the substance. Upon receiving the complaint and arriving on scene, CO Bucholtz located the suspect deer hunting from a raised platform. Below the suspect was a large bottle of Buck Jam. The substance was also found spread on the surrounding areas. CO Bucholtz wrote the subject for Hunting Deer Over Bait.
CO Mike Haas was patrolling northern Montcalm County when he witnessed vehicles parked near a closed trout stream. CO Haas watched two subjects fishing and informed them they were fishing on a closed trout stream. The subjects admitted to not paying attention to what stream they were fishing and did not check the fishing regulations. CO Haas asked if they had caught any trout and one subject stated they had not, but they had caught walleye in a different river earlier in the day. CO Haas inspected the walleye in the subject’s cooler, and it was discovered that one of them had retained an undersized walleye. Citations were issued to address the numerous fishing violations.
CO Dan Robinson completed an investigation on an illegal bait complaint in Montcalm County. CO Robinson located a bait pile from a complaint and photographed the area. After returning to the site a few weeks later and talking to the possible suspect, it was discovered that in the weeks between the individual had put out another 150 pounds of corn near his deer blinds. A report and charges will be submitted to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Dan Robinson was called to a farm field in Gratiot County where the callers found an injured juvenile Bald eagle. CO Robinson and the callers went back out to the field where the bird was located and were able to capture it. CO Robinson drove the eagle to Saginaw County and turned it over to rehabilitation facility staff for treatment.
CO Dan Robinson was patrolling state game area sections in Montcalm County when he located a vehicle that was possibly a suspect in a bait complaint that he had received from that same morning. CO Robinson went out on foot and located a hunter packing up his hunting gear. After asking the hunter about bait, which he denied, CO Robinson walked out into the field in the game area and located fresh corn dumped in line with the hunting blind. The hunter still denied knowing the bait was there. After helping the individual get his gear back to his truck, CO Robinson saw the bucket described in the previous complaint. The individual eventually admitted to putting the corn out and showed CO Robinson the partial bag left that was in the truck. A citation was written for hunting/placing bait where prohibited.
CO Travis Dragomer located a large pile of apples near a tree stand while investigating a baiting complaint in Berrien County. CO Dragomer checked the location the following day to find a hunter in the tree stand hunting over the bait. CO Dragomer issued the hunter a citation for hunting over bait when prohibited.
CO Tyler Cole came across a vehicle illegally parked while patrolling the Crane Pond State Game Area (SGA) in Cass County. While running the license plate, a subject came out of the woods and stated that it was his vehicle. The subject said he knew he should not have parked there but did not want to waste good hunting time by parking further down the road. He stated that he was hunting alone; however, CO Cole observed two empty bow cases in the back seat of the car. After talking with the subject more, the subject admitted that his 14-year-old niece was hunting with him. The 14-year-old was found to be hunting almost a quarter mile away from where the uncle was, without tags and not within the required visual or audible distance from the adult/guardian. Citations were issued for allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised and a warning was given for parking illegally.
On a tip given by CO Matt Page, CO Tyler Cole checked on a bait pile in Cass County. The bait pile in question was approximately two truckloads of apples dumped on the edge of a corn field. CO Cole responded to the area and observed a vehicle parked near the field. CO Cole checked the area near the bait pile but did not observe anyone hunting over it. The CO waited at the vehicle and contacted a hunter returning from hunting. CO Cole asked the hunter if he had any idea why he was being contacted. The hunter replied, “Probably because of the apples.” The subject claimed to have been hunting on the opposite side of the field from the bait pile but did admit to placing the bait a week prior. Charges for baiting deer in an area closed to baiting will be sought through the Cass County Courts.
CO Tyler Cole was patrolling the Cornish SGA well after dark and observed two vehicles parked along the roadway. CO Cole walked the area on foot and observed two subjects dragging a deer back toward the road. Contact was made and it was found that the deer was not tagged. The subjects had field dressed the deer and dragged it approximately three quarters of a mile before contact was made. The subjects claimed to have not tagged it in fear that the tag would have fallen off during the drag; however, investigation revealed that the subject had left his tags in his vehicle while hunting. A citation was issued for failing to immediately attach a tag.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint that was called into the RAP Hotline of an archery hunter carrying bait to his blind. Upon arrival, he could see two hunters from a distance setting up a hunting blind. While watching the subjects set up, CO Schluckbier observed one subject dump a bag of minerals onto the ground in front of the blind. A subsequent check of the hunters revealed they were both hunting deer over bait and one subject failed to purchase his hunting license. Citations were issued for the violations.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked several hunters throughout the Portland SGA. CO Beavers first encountered a group of hunters getting ready to load a deer in the back of a small car. CO Beavers checked the deer and observed that a kill-tag was not attached. At that time, the subject produced his unused deer kill-tag. CO Beavers instructed the hunter to validate the kill-tag and attach it to the deer. The subject was cited for not tagging the deer.
CO Jeremy Beavers was walking along a trail in the Portland SGA when a truck approached. CO Beavers contacted the subject and asked if he was deer hunting and he said yes but did not have any luck. As CO Beavers was talking with the subject, he could see an uncased crossbow on the floor of the back seat. CO Beavers instructed the subject to park the vehicle. Once the vehicle was parked, CO Beavers observed the crossbow was loaded as well. The subject was cited for transporting an uncased and loaded crossbow in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeremy Beavers saw a subject walking down the road with two large bags of apples who stated he was going to bait his hunting land. CO Beavers explained that baiting was illegal and had been illegal in the lower peninsula since last deer season. CO Beavers went on to say that baiting has been illegal in Ionia County for several years. CO Beavers and the subject walked to the subject’s truck where he also had a mineral block. CO Beavers asked for the subject’s identification at which point he spotted a bow in the back seat. CO Beavers asked the subject if he was planning to hunt and he said that he might. CO Beavers asked where the case was, and the subject said he did not have one. CO Beavers then learned that the subject did not have a hunting license. CO Beavers then asked the subject if he had been hunting without a license because he has seen his vehicle at this location more than once. The subject admitted to hunting without a license and stated his plan was to wait until he shot something and then he would purchase one. He went on to say that he was warned by his father and a friend that he should get a license but still chose to hunt without one. The subject was cited for the violations encountered during contact.
CO Casey Varriale received a trespass complaint in Byron Township in Kent County. CO Varriale investigated and discovered a bait pile, a dead 7-point buck, and an active trespass issue. After interviewing the complainant, several witnesses, and the suspect, it, was determined that the trespass issue was ongoing. CO Varriale arrested the suspect last year on similar charges and was surprised he was still engaging in the same illegal activity. The case was forwarded to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and charges were approved. The suspect turned himself in after charges were issued.
CO Casey Varriale received a baiting complaint in Caledonia in Kent County. CO Varriale responded to the scene and located a ground blind with a hunter sleeping in it. CO Varriale woke the hunter up and asked him why there was a bait pile in front of his blind. The suspect denied there was a bait pile there. CO Varriale showed the suspect the pile of carrots 20 yards in front of the blind. The suspect admitted to baiting the deer all season long and was issued a citation.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint of after-hours shooting in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County. CO Varriale contacted the suspects and found five loaded pistols in the vehicle. There were two rifles and a shotgun located in the bed of the truck. An additional three handguns were unloaded and encased in the cab of the truck. An investigation was conducted, and CO Varriale discovered one pistol was unregistered and belonged to a suspect who had an active warrant for his arrest. In addition, it was determined that the suspect with the warrant was smoking marijuana while in possession of the loaded pistol. He did not have a CPL. CO Varriale cited the owner of the firearms for a land use violation. The other suspect was arrested on his open warrant and his firearm was seized.
While dispatching an injured deer, CO Jackie Miskovich was notified by a landowner that there were four vehicles that had trespassed into their yard. The vehicles accessed her property from a parcel of township property that is closed to motor vehicle use. After finishing with the injured deer, CO Miskovich patrolled to the township property and met the caravan. Contact had already been made by Muskegon County deputies and they were in the process of deciding what to do. CO Miskovich advised that this property and the surrounding private landowners have had a huge issue with people going through their properties and tearing them up. Citations were written to all the drivers of the vehicles.
CO Jackie Miskovich was contacted about someone trespassing on private property who was tracking a deer. CO Miskovich contacted the suspect, and a confession was obtained regarding hunting on posted property as well as other farmland property in the surrounding area. The suspect also confessed to shooting a 7-point deer and that he tracked and recovered the deer onto property which he did not have permission to hunt. Evidence was seized and charges were submitted to Muskegon County.
CO Daniel Prince was conducting a foot patrol in the Deerfield Township Nature Area in Livingston County when he was contacted by a woman walking her dog. The woman found a compound bow which was neatly left in the parking lot near her car. The bow had been left over night in the grass. CO Prince left a note for the hunter. Later in the afternoon the hunter realized that he was missing his bow when he went to go hunt. He returned to the Deerfield Township Park and found CO Prince’s note tie-strapped to the fencepost. The hunter contacted the RAP Hotline and CO Prince was able to get the hunter’s bow back to him.
CO Todd Thorn was on routine patrol when he spotted some fresh tire tracks going onto Consumers Energy property where he knew people were not supposed to be. CO Thorn followed the tracks and spotted a pickup truck parked behind some tall grass with the tailgate down. As CO Thorn approached further, he spotted a man in camouflage with a rifle slung over his shoulder and a dog walking nearby. CO Thorn continued to watch as the man walked the fields. After several minutes, the hunter started to walk in the direction of his vehicle but did not have the rifle any longer. CO Thorn approached to make contact and asked where the rifle was. After some discussion, the hunter said he threw the gun in some long grass when he saw another vehicle. The firearm was located, and the hunter was ticketed for trespassing, hunting without a license, and hunting small game without wearing orange.
CO John Byars received a RAP complaint about a small game hunter who had shot a hen turkey and was trespassing. CO Byars determined the hunter had been trespassing, committed larceny of a trail camera SD card, and was in possession of a turkey that he had not legally harvested. The investigation will be turned over to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Chris Reynolds received a call from a farmer who stated he had found a large buck he thought had been poached. CO Reynolds responded and checked the wound which was an obvious two blade broad head wound. After contacting some of the landowners and hunters in the area, it was found that a hunter had tracked and lost the deer from a neighboring property. CO Reynolds back tracked and found that the deer had come from the property where the hunter had hunted. CO Reynolds contacted the hunter who was very appreciative that he had been found as it was the largest buck he had ever shot in over 40 years of hunting.
CO Katie Baker conducted a shining patrol and during the patrol CO Baker located a vehicle with a large light bar operating on the road. Two prior complaints had been received on the vehicle earlier in the week. The vehicle was found to have the incorrect license plate attached. A traffic stop was conducted and during the stop, CO Baker located a loaded/uncased AR with attached laser and a loaded/uncased crossbow. There were also multiple shining lights. The firearm and crossbow were seized. A citation was issued for transporting an uncased firearm and bow.
CO Katie Baker received a complaint of a 10-point deer found close to a trail camera with a photo of two unknown suspects. CO Baker determined the deer had been shot with a bow. Contact was made with local neighbors and the shooter was found. The hunter admitted to accessing the complainant’s property without permission in attempt to locate the deer shot the evening prior. The hunter did not venture far before ending the search. He admitted to knowing he and his friend were caught on camera and that he planned to speak with the homeowner later that day. The complainant did not want to press charges; instead, the hunter and landowner exchanged numbers for further contact. CO Baker issued a verbal warning for the recreational trespass, made the hunter validate a kill-tag, and gave him his 10-point deer.
CO Jason McCullough secured a search warrant for property with a long history of violations. There was a deer observed hanging at the property with no record of anyone purchasing licenses along with other violations. The warrant was served by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department emergency support team. CO McCullough along with COs Nick Wellman, Ed Rice, Jeff Goss, James Garrett, and Sgt. Rich Nickols participated in the search and discovered evidence of illegally taken deer, trespassing, stolen firearms, narcotics violations, and a felon in possession of firearms. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Nick Wellman was at home on pass day when he received a call from a local man who had shot a big 10-point buck and had watched it run onto the neighbor’s property where it died. The man was told by the neighbor that he could not retrieve his deer. Later that night, the complainant went back to where he had shot the deer and noticed head lamps and people talking near where the deer had died. The man believed the neighbor was stealing his deer. CO Wellman responded and was able to follow a very good blood trail to where the deer died, only yards from the property line. CO Wellman was able to follow drag marks where someone had taken the deer. CO Wellman followed the drag marks and located a suspect. After a brief interview at the landowner’s house, the man admitted he was frustrated the neighbor had shot one of his deer, so he took the deer and hung it in his barn. CO Wellman seized the deer and returned it to the original hunter. CO Wellman will follow up with the other half of the incident who helped the suspect drag the deer out. The original man will be charged with possessing an untagged deer. Follow up will determine what charges are requested for the other individual.
CO Nick Wellman worked a complaint of a hunter that had been asked not to bait on the landowner’s property last year because it was illegal. The hunter told the landowner he can do whatever he wants. This year the hunter continued to bait. CO Wellman located the man hunting over a large pile of corn and carrots. The hunter had only his wife’s deer tags in his possession and, after a lengthy interview, it was found that man had already killed two deer this year illegally over bait, had his wife buy him tags so he could shoot more deer, and a full confession on hunting turkeys in the spring of 2020 without licenses. Charges are pending through Branch County.
CO Christopher Knights worked two Stonegarden patrols in Macomb County. On one of the patrols, CO Knights checked an angler from shore. The angler could not provide a fishing license, CO Knights ran him through Law Enforcement Information Network, and it turned out he had two warrants for his arrest from Monroe and Macomb Counties. CO Knights was advised Macomb County wanted the individual and he was turned over to them. CO Knights also issued him a citation for fishing without a license.
While on patrol, CO Christopher Knights stopped a vehicle speeding on M-59. The individual did not have a driver’s license and he also had a warrant out for his arrest. CO Knights was advised by the MSP to advise and release. CO Knights issued him a citation for driving without a license.
CO Christopher Knights was walking some farm fields in the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area looking for hunters, when he located a tree that was perfect for a tree stand, and after checking it out he noticed a hunter. CO Knights observed him for a couple of minutes and then was able to get his attention. The hunter acknowledged the CO and CO Knights advised him to take out his arrow from his crossbow and come down. After doing so, CO Knights noticed a camera a few yards in front of the tree. After walking toward the camera, CO Knights observed a large pile of bait. CO Knights asked the hunter if he knew the baiting laws and he advised he did. CO Knights walked the hunter back to his vehicle and issued him a citation for hunting over bait.
CO Tom Peterson and Sgt. Jason Becker responded to a call of dirt bikes operating in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. Sgt. Becker was first in the area and was able to locate the subjects. Upon interviewing both riders, it was discovered that one was a minor. His parent was contacted and came to the scene. Once at the scene, CO Peterson and Sgt. Becker explained the violations that included operating on state land closed to ORVs, operating ORVs on the road, a minor operating an ORV unsupervised, no ORV safety, no eye protection, and no ORV stickers. Citations were issued for no eye protection and allowing a minor to operate unsupervised.
COs Dan Walzak, David Schaumburger, Nick Ingersoll, Mike Drexler, Breanna Reed, Brandon Hartleben, Ben Lasher, Luke Robare, Christopher Knights, Thomas Peterson, Jamie Salisbury, Andrew Monnich, Danielle Zubek, Corporal Pat Hartsig, Sgts. Damon Owens, Jason Becker, Chris Maher, Lieutenants Mike Feagan, Dave Shaw, and Todd Szyska all worked the presidential campaign rally on Belle Isle. All COs working the event worked well together with the Secret Service, MSP, US Border Patrol, Detroit Police Department, and the United States Coast Guard to provide a safe event. Many high-profile people were at the event including former Vice President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and musical guest Stevie Wonder.
CO Ben Lasher was patrolling St. Johns Marsh Game Area when he stopped three boats coming back from waterfowl hunting all with navigation light violations. One ticket for failing to provide PFDs was issued and warnings for the light violations.
CO Bob Watson was on a late-night shining patrol when he backed up a St. Clair County Sheriff deputy on a shining stop. There were two young men inside the vehicle who were shining well after 11 p.m., were in possession of a loaded/cocked crossbow, and were transporting the weapon uncased. They stated they were only target practicing at a friend’s house before it got dark and decided to go for a drive due to being stressed out about coronavirus. It was approximately midnight when they were stopped. The crossbow and night vision optics were confiscated, and citations were issued for transporting an uncased/cocked crossbow, shining between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and possessing a weapon while shining.
CO Bob Watson backed a St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputy up on a stop involving two men stating they were coyote hunting but were in the process of shining. The subjects were in possession of two centerfire rifles. The young men had the proper licenses for nighttime fur harvester hunting, as well as possessing game calls and typical coyote hunting lights. Both men were issued citations for shining with a weapon in possession.
CO Bob Watson was patrolling the St. Clair River late one night for walleye fishing activity when a call came out through the city dispatch regarding two anglers fighting, one which had pulled a knife on the other. CO Watson was at the exact location of the incident which had happened moments before CO Watson arrived. A Port Huron Police officer arrived on location. The knife-wielding man was still on scene and interviewed. The man turned out to have an active sex offender registry warrant out for his arrest. The Port Huron Police Department lodged the man based on his warrant.
CO Bob Watson was on shining patrol late one night when an ORV drove by. CO Watson found it odd that an ORV would still be out driving around so CO Watson followed the man. The man failed to signal a turn and CO Watson conducted a traffic stop. The man turned out to have an active OWI warrant out of the county. The man was lodged based on his warrant.
CO Breanna Reed found an 8-point buck at a taxidermist where the tag was purchased the same day that the deer was taken. CO Reed interviewed the female subject who immediately admitted to taking the deer and purchasing her license after the fact. Charges for illegal deer are being sought through Sanilac County Courthouse.
COs Breanna Reed and Bob Watson worked overtime for Operation Stonegarden on the waters of Lake St. Clair in Macomb County. Due to inclement October weather, the waters in Macomb County were very rough. Very few vessels were contacted. During the overtime, the COs contacted two separate vessels with anglers. The male subject on the first vessel stated that he had been out almost all day. When asked how many fish the subject had, he stated maybe 15 to 20 keepers. CO Reed counted the perch, and it was determined that the angler was 6 over his legal limit. The angler stated that he was only going to keep the big ones. A citation was issued for over-limit of perch. As the COs continued their Stonegarden patrol, they contacted a vessel that was headed back home. The COs asked the anglers how they had done, the anglers stated they had a limit of perch. CO Reed counted the perch on the vessel. After counting the fish, it was determined that the anglers had 72 perch in their possession, 22 perch over their two-person limit. A citation was issued for over-limit of perch.
CO Jaime Salisbury worked a Stonegarden shift in Macomb County. A citation was issued to a waterfowl hunter who was observed throwing their spent shotgun hulls from their hunting boat.
COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen worked Stonegarden patrol on the waters of Lake St. Clair. Neary a dozen vessels were checked while waterfowl hunting, and multiple citations were issued for various waterfowl hunting violations. Some of the violations included hunting from a motorized vessel while underpower, hunting without a Michigan waterfowl hunting license, and hunting without a federal duck stamp.
CO Raymond Gardner and Sgt. Chris Maher responded to a complaint of target shooting in the Lapeer SGA. Upon arrival, CO Gardner and Sgt. Maher contacted the suspects while they were target shooting. Three citations were issued for target shooting in the Lapeer SGA.
While in route to Belle Isle, CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint from Clinton Township Police Department officers that they had a man pulled over on unrelated charges and he had a dead deer in the back of his pickup truck with no tag. CO Deppen spoke with the driver. The man did not have his hunting license or deer tags with him. The man said he shot the deer earlier in the day and was on his way home to get his kill-tags. CO Deppen issued the driver a citation for transporting a deer without a valid kill-tag attached.
While conducting a Stonegarden patrol, CO Deppen noticed a personal watercraft (PWC) coming in with two passengers. It was after sunset and the operator was not wearing a PFD. The operator also had warrants for his arrest. CO Deppen issued citations for operating a PWC after sunset, operating a PWC without a PFD, and gave verbal warnings for slow/no wake.
While checking for waterfowl hunting activity on Lake St. Clair, COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey noticed two hunters picking up a crippled duck. COs stopped the vessel when they were back in route to their decoy spread. During the stop the COs noticed that both firearms were still loaded while the boat was underway. CO Silorey recognized the pair from an incident that happened earlier in the season with a potential reckless discharge of a firearm. The waterfowl hunters were given a verbal warning on an unsigned stamp, and both were cited for loaded firearms in a motorized boat.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were checking waterfowl hunters on Lake St. Clair. During a stop, one hunter could not produce a federal waterfowl stamp and had no history of purchasing a federal stamp. The hunter said, “I can show you a picture of my federal stamp.” COs explained a photo of a stamp is not enough because it could be anyone’s stamp. He needs to have it in his possession, and it needs to be signed across the face. The waterfowl hunter was cited for hunting waterfowl without a federal stamp.
During the beginning of a wildlife patrol, CO Joseph Deppen was passed on the right by a vehicle traveling on the shoulder. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was cited for driving a vehicle on the shoulder and was given warnings for speed and careless operation.
CO Mike Drexler received a baiting complaint on land open to hunting at the Waterloo Recreation Area. After foot patrolling the area, which included trips knee deep through a swamp, CO Drexler walked up on two subjects that drove a pickup truck onto state property from private property. Right as CO Drexler walked out into the open, he observed one subject finish dumping out a bag of carrots. When CO Drexler announced himself, the subject dumping the bait immediately stated, “I’m baiting, but a bucket is ok, right?” CO Drexler pointed out that even a bucket was not lawful, but the subject had dumped three large bags of carrots and sugar beets. Citations were issued for bait deer and ORV on state land.
CO Brandon Hartleben received a complaint from Station 20 regarding an active bait site for deer hunting. CO Hartleben contacted the complainant who advised that several devices had been constructed in the last few weeks that were presumably being used to bait deer. CO Hartleben drove by the suspect property and noticed a vehicle parked in the field, and what appeared to be black tubes farther back in the field. While walking out to check the area, CO Hartleben contacted a crossbow hunter walking from the back-tree line overlooking the tubes. Further inspection of the drain tile tubes revealed they were built and set as gravity feeders and filled with shelled corn. A mineral block was also located in the field by the gravity feeders. The individual was educated on the fact that baiting for deer has now been illegal for two seasons and that even when baiting was legal, he would have been way over the legal amount. A citation was issued for hunting deer over bait.
CO Brandon Hartleben was patrolling in Augusta Township when he heard what sounded like a dirt bike or a group of dirt bikes operating somewhere in the area. CO Hartleben patrolled towards the sound and realized it was a good-sized group of individuals. Using his knowledge of the area, CO Hartleben parked near the railroad tracks along Arkona Road to try and get the group coming off the ITC corridor that is frequently trespassed on. Shortly after arriving, the group of ORV operators exited the corridor and passed CO Hartleben. CO Hartleben conducted a stop on the group and four of the five operators were successfully stopped. During the stop it was discovered that the suspects not only trespassed on the ITC corridor, but had also trespassed through the Vern R. Campbell Park, City of Milan, as they traversed the area. Issues addressed included ORV trespass, operating on a closed public roadway, and operating an unregistered ORV. Citations were issued for the offenses.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking waterfowl hunters at Pointe Mouillee SGA when he heard an individual calling ducks in after shooting light had ended. CO Ingersoll moved to the nearby creek bed and watched the individual for several minutes. After watching the individual for several more minutes, CO Ingersoll observed the hunter shoot at passing geese flying overhead nine minutes after shooting light had ended. CO Ingersoll continued to watch the individual who reloaded his firearm and continued to call ducks into his decoys. The hunter attempted to shoot at a passing wood duck 12 minutes after shooting light had ended, missing again. CO Ingersoll contacted the hunter on the other side of the creek who when approached, was still loaded with two shells in his firearm well after shooting light had ended. CO Ingersoll asked the hunter if he knew what time shooting light had ended, and the hunter stated it was at sunset. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter that he was watching him on the other side of the creek when he attempted to take the wood duck and geese after hunting hours were over. The hunter stated he had lost track of time when questioned why he was shooting and loaded after hours. After checking the hunter’s equipment, it was determined the federal stamp was not signed. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting after legal shooting hours and failing to sign his federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was traveling through Maybee when he observed an individual on a dirt bike without a helmet. CO Ingersoll conducted a traffic stop on the individual and advised him that ORVs were not allowed to be operated on the roadways in Monroe, advised him he was not wearing a helmet, and the dirt bike did not have ORV stickers. CO Ingersoll asked the individual where he was going, and he stated that he was heading to get gas. After a file was run on the individual, it was determined that he had a warrant for assault out of Monroe County. The individual was ticketed for not having his ORV license and warned for no helmet and operating an ORV on the roadway. The individual was lodged in the Monroe County Jail for his outstanding warrant.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking waterfowl hunters at Pointe Mouillee SGA when he observed a vessel approaching the launch without navigation lights on. At this time, it was almost 20 minutes past sunset when CO Ingersoll contacted the vessel operator. While talking with the hunter, CO Ingersoll observed six ducks, four gadwall, one pintail and one mallard sitting on the front of the hunter’s boat. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter of the navigation lights violation and advised him to go and retrieve his truck to pull the vessel out of the water. While waiting for the hunter to grab his truck, CO Ingersoll observed another duck, a gadwall, lying under a set of decoys that were near the front of the vessel in plain view. CO Ingersoll then started to walk around the vessel and observed a second duck, a second gadwall, that was tucked under an open storage compartment with the back end of the duck sticking out in plain view. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter once he came back with his truck of the two gadwall he located. CO Ingersoll asked the hunter how long he has been hunting, and the hunter stated that he has been hunting for approximately ten years ever since he got out of the military. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter that he was two ducks over his limit, and the hunter stated “Roger” and apologized. CO Ingersoll spoke with the hunter once his vessel was removed from the water and the hunter stated he thought he could have six wigeon. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter he could shoot six wigeon, but he did not have a wigeon in his limit. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter that he had shot six gadwall which was legal, but he also shot a mallard, and pintail. CO Ingersoll advised the experienced hunter of his violation and the hunter stated “Roger” again. CO Ingersoll continued to check the hunter’s equipment on his vessel and determined that the hunter did not have a PFD on board his vessel to add to the violations. CO Ingersoll then asked the hunter where his PFD was located, and he stated he did not think he needed one. CO Ingersoll explained that with the extremely high winds, rain, snow, and dangerous conditions that mother nature presented us, this was the worst day to be out on the water and he needed those PFDs. CO Ingersoll issued citations for no PFDs on vessel, no navigation lights, and issued the experienced hunter a citation for his over-limit of waterfowl. One thousand dollars in reimbursement will be sought through the 1st District Court of Monroe for the over-limit.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received a call just after the youth season where a hunter dumped a large amount of bait. The COs checked the location several times and finally contacted the hunter over the weekend as he was placing more bait. The hunter claimed he thought the laws changed, after explaining that if baiting were legal, he would still be over the two-gallon limit of bait that was previously allowed. A citation was issued for baiting.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nick Ingersoll conducted a suspect interview related to a baiting RAP complaint. The COs have been monitoring activity at the baiting location with a department trail camera for several weeks. A search warrant for the suspect’s game camera was issued by the prosecutor’s office. After reviewing the evidence and interviewing the suspect, a full confession was obtained for the baiting. Charges will be sought with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich were able to contact a group of hunters on a trespassing case they had been working since the beginning of bow season. The COs had located the tree stands and located bait in front of each stand on the complainant’s property a few weeks prior. The COs contacted the trespassers on the property while they were hunting. The suspects stated they did not know they could not be on the property, and that they had been hunting it for years. Citations were issued for recreational trespass and hunt over bait.
Sgt. Shane Webster was notified that a subject was deer hunting over bait in an area the local officers had been watching for several weeks. Sgt. Webster was able to contact the hunter who claimed that there had only been bait out during the Independence Hunt for another disabled veteran hunter. Sgt. Webster pointed out that the Independence Hunt had ended, and the subject had been witnessed dumping bait on that very day. The subject confessed he was using bait and corn was found covered by straw in front of the stand. A ticket was issued for baiting deer in a closed county.
CO Christopher Knights worked Belle Isle and located two individuals inside the zoo. They were carrying a blanket and bottle of wine. CO Knights pointed to the "no trespassing" sign they walked past and the fence around the entire area and advised them of the law. Both were issued trespassing citations.
Det. Dan Lee reports: This case began with a complaint from the Frankenmuth Fire Department on March 25, 2020. Chief Phil Kern called Detective Dan Lee of the DNR Environmental Investigation Section to report that his department was called out to 9450 Swaffer Road in Tuscola County for a fire. Upon arrival the fire department found open burning of solid waste associated with construction and remodeling activities.
The owner of the property at 9450 Swaffer Road operates a construction and remodeling business from that location. The owner admitted to the Fire Department that he started the fire. Photographs of the burn were taken by the FD. Copies of the FD call out report and their associated pictures were provided to Det. Lee.
Det. Lee met with the owner on March 25 at the Swaffer Road address where he observed remnants of the burn. The owner admitted to Det. Lee that he burned refuse left over from his construction business.
On April 28, 2020, the owner was charged by the Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney’s office with three counts: 1) Air Quality Part 55 general violations for open burning of solid waste, 2) Solid Waste Part 115 fail to dispose of solid waste at a licensed facility, and 3) Solid Waste Part 115 general violations for open burning of solid waste.
On October 15, 2020, the owner plead guilty to Count 3, Solid Waste Part 115 general violations for open burning of solid waste. Counts one and two were dismissed. He received a penalty of $325 in fines and costs.