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10/4/2020 - 10/17/2020
Conservation Officer (CO) Jenni Hanson was requested by Ontonagon County Central Dispatch to assist with a search and rescue on the Norwich Bluffs of an injured hiker who had slipped and broken her ankle. Other responding agencies were the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office, Rockland Volunteer Fire Department, Ontonagon Volunteer Fire Department, Sonco Ambulance, and a Porcupine Mountains park ranger. The rescuers were able to successfully get the injured hiker off the bluff without incident.
CO Shannon Kritz received a tip that somebody was continuously blocking access to state property. CO Kritz went to the location, walked down the road beyond the blockage, and discovered that it led to a hunting blind with no name or address on it. CO Kritz placed a trail camera to monitor the area and to see if somebody would block the road again. A week later CO Kritz drove by and observed that once again, a large tree had been cut down across the road in question. CO Kritz checked the trail camera and was successful in capturing pictures of a suspect. CO Kritz developed a suspect and conducted an interview. The suspect admitted to blocking the road and also admitted that he purposefully cut down the largest tree he could find since somebody was cutting up the smaller trees he had placed previously. A civil infraction citation with issued for obstructing access to state land and warnings given for cutting trees on state land and for not having identification on the hunting blind.
CO Shannon Kritz received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint from a person who was experiencing hunter harassment. The complainant explained that he was checking his trail camera pictures when he noticed he had a picture of somebody who appeared to be spraying something on his bait pile. CO Kritz developed a suspect by comparing the picture to nearby homeowners and set up additional trail cameras by the hunter’s bait to see if the suspect tampered with the bait again. A week later, CO Kritz was on foot patrol in the area when she saw her suspect walking in the area of the complainant’s hunting stand. The suspect had a spray bottle in his hand and quickly turned around and returned to his house when he saw the CO. CO Kritz checked her trail cameras, which had captured pictures of the suspect back at the hunter’s bait. She interviewed the suspect later that evening and he admitted to spraying the hunter’s bait pile because he was frustrated that hunters had moved in on where he used to hunt on state land. CO Kritz asked the suspect if he ever tried to talk to them and he told her that he had not, but that he was hoping the Round Up would deter them. A report will be submitted to the Menominee County prosecutor for charges of hunter harassment.
CO Dave Miller happened to be in the right place at the right time when an individual stopped his truck, placed an uncased gun out the window, and aimed at a ruffed grouse. CO Miller contacted the subject just before he shot and issued a ticket for possessing an uncased/loaded gun in/upon motor vehicle.
CO Josh Boudreaux assisted the Powell Township Fire Department, EMS, Michigan State Police (MSP) and Marquette County Sheriff’s Department with a search for two individuals who had gotten lost while hiking near the Thomas Rock overlook in Big Bay. Personnel searched the area in the dark and the couple was ultimately located in good health a few miles away by an MSP trooper who returned them to their vehicle.
CO Josh Boudreaux was patrolling north on County Road 510 in Marquette County when he came upon a vehicle pulled off on the side of the road with an elderly couple standing beside it. Upon contacting them CO Boudreaux learned they had a flat tire and assisted the couple with changing it.
CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling snowmobile trail 5 when he came across an unresponsive individual locked in a vehicle while the vehicle was running. CO Sergey initially suspected carbon monoxide poisoning as he could smell exhaust and observed that the individual had very shallow breathing and was slumping over. CO Sergey called for EMS and was about to break the window when the individual regained consciousness. It was determined the individual had very low blood sugar and EMS was able to successfully treat the subject. Once the medical emergency was concluded, the CO addressed the fact that the subject was in possession of open intoxicants and that the vehicle had no insurance or plate. The vehicle was towed, and a citation was issued for the possession of an open intoxicant in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeremy Sergey responded to an automated external defibrillator (AED) incident with Chocolay Township Police Chief Scott Jennings. The two officers performed CPR and hooked up an AED to an individual, who was not breathing and had no pulse, until EMS arrived on scene. The officers then assisted EMS with loading the individual in an ambulance. Fortunately, the individual regained a pulse after several rounds of CPR was performed.
CO Josh Boudreaux took part in a virtual Q & A with the Northern Michigan University (NMU) Criminal Justice Associates Club. CO Boudreaux talked about the life of a CO, what steps to take to make one’s self a great candidate for the job, and how to prepare for the rigors of an academy. Participants had opportunities to ask questions about the job and the hiring process and many expressed a high level of interest in the job and look forward to pursuing more information.
COs Robert Freeborn and Cole VanOosten were on routine patrol checking for road hunters. While traveling a county road, the COs observed a pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed coming toward them. As the pickup truck went by, the COs observed the truck did not have a license plate on the vehicle. The COs turned around and after several miles of catching up to the vehicle, the COs were able to stop it. During the stop it was found that the operator had just purchased the vehicle and was heading home with it. It was also found that the driver had two uncased firearms in the truck, one of which was still loaded. A citation was issued for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Robert Freeborn was patrolling a remote two-track road where one side of the road was public, and the other side was private. CO Robert Freeborn observed a pickup truck parked along the two-track on the public land side that appeared to be set up to haul pine boughs. CO Freeborn located a subject on private land cutting balsam fir boughs that are sold to make Christmas wreaths. CO Freeborn knew the landowner and was fairly certain the subject was trespassing. When asked, the subject stated that he did not have landowner permission and did not realize he was on private property. CO Freeborn walked the subject back to his vehicle and showed him the no trespassing sign directly across from his pickup truck that he walked by. The subject admitted to seeing the sign and stated that all the balsam he was cutting was too good to be true. CO Freeborn contacted the landowner via phone and confirmed that the subject did not have permission to be there. The 11 bundles of balsam boughs were loaded into CO Freeborn’s truck and the subject was issued a citation for recreational trespass. The 11 bundles weighed 320 pounds with a value of $96 and were given back to the landowner.
CO Michael Evink responded, along with MSP troopers from Newberry and Manistique, to the report of an overdue hunter. The hunter was supposed to return to camp for dinner but did not. The hunter told his friends that he was going to hunt the southern edge of the Seney Wildlife Refuge. When the hunter did not return, his friends called 911 to reported him missing and gave what clothing and vehicle description they could. His cell phone was pinged, and a large amount of time was spent in the area where it pinged. Unfortunately, it pinged where he last had cell service and was nowhere near the man or his truck. One of the troopers on scene was able to contact the hunter’s wife and get authorization to access the vehicle’s navigation system. Once the navigation system was accessed, the vehicle’s location updated, which provided an accurate location of the truck. After locating the truck, an MSP K-9 unit was able to track and locate the cold and lost hunter. The hunter was supposed to return around 6:30 p.m. for dinner, the police were called around 8:00 p.m., and the hunter was located just before 4:00 a.m. the following day. The search was complicated by rain and cool temperatures.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol when a call of a missing five-year old child with special needs was reported in the Bark River area. CO Butzin went to the location and assisted other units that were on-scene with the search. After a short while, the child was located and safely returned to his family.
CO Cole VanOosten followed up on an anonymous tip of potential over-limits of otters being taken out of Alger County. An investigation was conducted, and it was determined that the suspect trapper had used tags from another individual to trap additional otter for the past four years. It was determined that over the last four years the trapper had trapped eight otter over his limit and another individual had loaned him otter tags. A report was generated and submitted to the Alger County prosecutor for taking an over-limit of otter and for borrowing the tag of another.
COs Rob Freeborn and Cole VanOosten were on patrol of Mackinac County when they observed a vehicle without a license plate. A traffic stop was conducted, and it was determined that there were two uncased weapons in the vehicle. One of the weapons, a .22 mag rifle, was loaded in the back seat with the safety off. A ticket was issued for transporting a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Andrea Erratt checked nine waterfowl hunters motoring into the Petobego Marsh access site just after hunting hours. The first boat had five hunters and only three personal floatation devices (PFDs). CO Erratt ticketed the boat owner for failing to provide enough PFDs for his boat and warned him for failing to sign his federal waterfowl stamp. He said he was embarrassed to admit he had received a ticket while waterfowl hunting in Marquette last weekend for the same violation. The second boat had two brothers and only one PFD. CO Erratt ticketed one of the brothers for failing to provide enough life preservers and warned him for failing to sign his federal waterfowl stamp and operating an unregistered motorboat. CO Erratt also ticketed the operator of the third boat with two hunters and no PFDs for failing to provide any PFDs and warned him for operating an unregistered motorboat.
CO Andrea Erratt was patrolling on Pinney Bridge Road in the Jordan River Valley when she came across four backpackers walking in the road. The oldest hiker, who was limping, said it was his birthday trip and that they had been rained on all night and morning. He said they were wet and tired and headed back to Deadman’s Hill on the road because it would be an easier hike. CO Erratt asked them if they wanted a ride and they were very happy to get a ride back to their vehicle. The two teenagers and adults thanked CO Erratt several times after she dropped them off at their cars.
CO Andrea Albert received a RAP complaint from a hunter who observed another bow hunter walking into a hunting location carrying a bag of sugar beets. CO Albert was able to catch up with the suspect hunter walking out of the woods with a nocked crossbow well after hunting hours. CO Albert suspected this was a baited location she had found in September while on foot patrol which included a small food plot illegally planted on state land. The hunter admitted to putting out a few sugar beets and planting the food plot. CO Andrea Albert walked back into the hunting location with the hunter. When asked where the bait bag was, he dug it out of some leaves in which it was buried. CO Albert had the hunter clean up the bait which ended up being a large bag full. A ticket was issued for baiting deer where prohibited and warnings were given for having a nocked bolt after hunting hours, littering, no identification on a tree stand, and planting a food plot on state land.
CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol in an area known for illegal ORV activity when he saw smoke from a fire. Thinking there was a group of illegal ORVs in the area, CO LeClerc investigated the fire. CO LeClerc was surprised to find two jet skis dumped on state land and one of them was on fire. CO LeClerc used the fire extinguisher from his patrol truck to subdue the flames until the Melrose Township Fire Department could come and extinguish it with their brush truck. Evidence was left at the scene and leads are currently being followed up on.
CO Chad Baldwin and Sgt. Bill Webster both responded to a three-car accident in Antrim County. The COs blocked north and southbound traffic while other first responders tended to the victims and processed the accident scene.
CO Tom Oberg assisted Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies responding to a motorcycle accident. At the same time of the accident, the two deputies diverted to respond to a breaking and entering call. CO Oberg continued to the motorcycle accident and helped EMS on scene and followed up with the accident report at Otsego Memorial Hospital.
CO Tom Oberg responded to a call of two subjects on dirt bikes trespassing on private property. Contact was made with the complainant, who showed him a recently planted rye field that the dirt bikes tore up. While checking the area, the CO noticed two dirt bikes parked near a house that resembled one of the two reported dirt bikes. Contact was eventually made with two juveniles who advised they were riding in an area they were unfamiliar with and thought they were on state land. After contacting the guardian, the CO requested the boys to follow him back to the complainant’s house to have them apologize to the property owner. Both boys apologized to the property owner and agreed to come over and rake up her field and plant new rye seed. The CO then re-contacted the juvenile’s guardian and advised her of the situation and explained enforcement action would be taken in the future if the juveniles are found riding unsupervised. The guardian stated they would be grounded.
CO Tim Rosochacki was the closest unit to an in-progress domestic violence complaint in Cheboygan County. An adult male was visiting his father when he became combative and struck his father. The father called 911 to have his son removed from the residence. CO Rosochacki arrived on scene and contacted the father, who advised the son was very intoxicated and had left the residence. A short time later, a deputy arrived, and the property was checked. The son was located inside the residence and taken into custody for domestic violence.
CO Sidney Collins was off duty when she received a phone call for assistance from a local trapper. The trapper had caught a bobcat in his coyote trap and needed assistance as bobcats are not currently in season. CO Collins was close by and helped the trapper release the cat without incident. The trapper was very grateful for CO Collin’s help.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint that a subject was taking boat loads of rocks from a nearby island in Lake Huron to use for landscaping at their residence in Alpena County. Upon further investigation, the subjects did not know that there was a law stating that an individual can only take 25 pounds of rocks a year. CO Curtis educated the subjects of the law and gave them a verbal warning.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Montmorency County when she assisted a Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputy on a traffic stop. The driver failed the sobriety testing and was arrested by Deputy Gutierrez. CO Curtis searched the car and located multiple handguns, suspected marijuana, suspected LSD acid blotters, and other drug paraphernalia. Charges are being sought for the numerous violations.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz assisted the City of Alpena Police Department and the MSP in the attempt to locate a subject that had fled from law enforcement. CO Liestenfeltz was advised that the subject may have entered a wooded area between apartment complexes. CO Liestenfeltz used his thermal imager and located a large heat source emanating from inside the wooded area. CO Liestenfeltz entered the wooded area to get a closer look and then passed on the information to other officers. The wanted subject who was hiding in the woods fled in the opposite direction and was apprehended by the Alpena City Police.
CO Amanda McCurdy was on patrol when she found two individuals preparing to go hunting on state land. She stopped to check the individuals for deer licenses and during the conversation noticed a gun case in the back of the vehicle. She inquired about the firearm and one subject claimed he had been small game hunting with it earlier that day. Upon inspection of the rifle, CO McCurdy found it was loaded. She then conducted file checks of the individuals and discovered that the individual who took responsibility for the firearm was on probation and that possessing any weapon was a violation of the probation order. Furthermore, he was found guilty of a specified felony, making it an additional felony violation for him to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition. CO McCurdy issued a citation for the DNR violation of possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and is seeking additional charges through the court.
CO Troy Ludwig led the effort to locate two missing hikers on the Manistee River Trail. COs Scott MacNeil, Patrick McManus, Steve Converse, and Will Kinney, along with MSP troopers, worked to locate a mother and daughter who had missed their scheduled pick up time. COs Ludwig and MacNeil worked long into the night and early morning of the day they were reported missing, until the search was called off. The search began again at sunrise and the duo were found in the early afternoon by CO Kinney. The hikers were not injured or lost. A miscommunication of the day the hikers would be picked up was to blame. It is advised that all details of a multi-day hiking trips be worked out ahead of time and all parties know the dates and times of return and pickup.
While on patrol in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews was checking designated trout streams that were closed to fishing for illegal activity when he contacted two men who were trespassing on private property along one of the streams. One of the men had a fishing pole in his hand but claimed he was not fishing. Both men said they did not have any fish and that they were just looking at the fish. As CO Andrews talked to the men at their truck, which was parked illegally in the roadway, and he discovered fresh wet blood and fish slime on the tailgate of the truck. CO Andrews asked the men what was in the bed of the truck. After a long pause, the owner of the truck stated that he had a speared salmon in the truck bed. The owner opened the tailgate and showed CO Andrews the salmon with a three-prong spear still stuck in the head of the fish. The owner of the truck stated that he had speared the fish just minutes prior and that he knew it was illegal to possess a spear along a trout stream and to take salmon with a spear. Both men were given warnings for trespassing and charges have been filed with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for the speared salmon and possession of an illegal fishing device along the trout stream.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling along the south branch of the Pere Marquette River in Mason County when he came across a vehicle parked in the roadway. CO Shively contacted the male driver, who appeared nervous. CO Shively observed an open can of beer in the center console and retrieved it from the driver. Upon obtaining identification CO Shively ran both subjects through the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) and found the driver to be suspended. The driver also returned with four warrants totaling over $17,500 in bond. The subject was placed under arrest on the outstanding warrants and lodged at the Mason County Jail.
CO Ben Shively was conducting a foot patrol along the south branch of the Pere Marquette River in Oceana County when he observed a subject trespass onto private property and begin to fish. As CO Shively watched the subject, he could see oversized treble hooks on the spoon he was using. CO Shively conducted surveillance on the subject and observed the subject attempt to snag three chinook salmon. When contacted, the subject was found to be using two spoons tied together with four oversized treble hooks attached, recreationally trespassing, attempting to snag, and fishing without a license. The subject denied attempting to snag the fish until CO Shively pointed on the scales that were left on the oversized treble hooks. The subject was cited for fishing without a license and illegal gear.
While patrolling the White River in Oceana County, CO Ben Shively observed two subjects actively attempting to snag salmon in the river. After watching the subjects for over 20 minutes and one subject illegally snagging a fish, which broke his line, he made contact. Both subjects were found to be using treble hooks with a pipe cleaner attached and admitted to snagging. The subjects were cited for attempting to take a fish not hooked in the mouth and illegal gear.
CO Micah Hintze received an anonymous complaint of individuals attempting to spear salmon on a closed tributary creek in Oceana County. CO Hintze and Corporal Troy Van Gelderen responded to the area and set up surveillance on the suspect’s property. Shortly after arriving, three men approached the creek and began looking intently for fish while a fourth man brought a large spear from the residence. The suspects walked the bank scanning the water, so focused on finding fish that they unknowingly passed within feet of the COs. The men passed the spear to each other on different occasions but fortunately no fish were taken. The COs contacted the group, the spear was seized for evidence, and citations issued for possessing a spear along a trout stream, fish without license, and fishing a closed creek.
COs Tim Barboza and Ryan Andrews were on a dedicated patrol at Tippy Dam and witnessed a group of anglers reeling in a salmon. As the fish was netted, it was apparent that the fish was not hooked in the mouth. The COs watched to see what the group would do with the fish. The group placed the foul hooked fish on a stringer and then proceeded to chase and net another fish that was not hooked at all. The COs contacted the group and cited two of the men for retaining a foul hooked fish and illegal method of take.
CO Charlie Jones was on patrol in Kalkaska County when he observed three dirt bikes and a four-wheeler operating on a county roadway at a high rate of speed. CO Jones stopped the ORVs and addressed the issue of ORVs operating on a roadway. CO Jones gave them a warning and released them without incident. A few hours later CO Jones was on M-72 heading westbound towards Kalkaska and observed the same group of ORVs from earlier operating eastbound on M-72. CO Jones attempted to stop the first dirt bike with lights and sirens, who pulled down a dead-end road. The second ATV and dirt bike stopped for CO Jones. After CO Jones made contact, the first dirt bike who attempted to flee, came back to talk to CO Jones. Citations for operating on a public highway were issued. A warning was given for failing to stop for officer.
Sgt. Brian Olsen observed an ORV with two people riding on it turn into the woods on state land in Roscommon County. Sgt. Olsen followed the ORV on foot and observed the two riders placing bait in front of a blind. Sgt. Olsen contacted the two riders on their way out. The riders were riding through the woods in a closed area, riding double, did not have helmets on, and were carrying pistols without a concealed pistol license. Education was given on the hunting, ORV, and concealed pistol violations. The bait was ordered picked up and a citation was issued to each for riding an ORV without a helmet.
CO Chuck McPherson located a deer bait and blind on state land in Roscommon County. The blind had no name and address, was placed prior to September 1, and was baited with corn, mineral blocks, and oats. CO McPherson contacted the hunter on opening weekend of archery deer season. The hunter was the same individual CO McPherson contacted the year prior with the same violations. A citation for baiting deer when prohibited was issued along with a warning for no name and address on a tree stand.
CO Matt Zultak received a complaint of a suspect hunting with a rifle on state land during the Independence Hunt in Roscommon County. The suspect was located by CO Zultak and Sgt. Brian Olsen and upon contact, two suspects were identified. Both were in possession rifles on state land, were hunting over bait, and were not wearing hunter orange. Through an interview, it was determined that one of the subjects was hunting under a disability exemption and the other was not. The hunter with the disability had already unlawfully shot a 6-point earlier in the Independence Hunt. He was continuing to hunt with a rifle on state land. Upon further investigation, information on a second doe was obtained. The hunters admitted to harvesting the doe in Roscommon County and tagging it with an antlerless license from Antrim County. The subjects received citations for hunting without hunter orange and hunting with a firearm during a closed season. They received warnings for hunting with a rifle on state land during the Independence Hunt, possession of two unlawfully tagged deer, and illegally hunting over bait.
COs Joshua Wright and Ethan Gainforth attended a Hunter Safety field day at the Harrison Sportsmen’s Cub in Harrison. There were approximately 40 students in attendance. The COs spoke to the group outside while the participants practiced safe social distancing. Topics of discussion were hunting ethics, safety, and a brief description of conservation officer job duties.
CO Craig Neal was recently checking the AuGres River mouth for boating activity in the evening. There was only one trailer in the parking lot, and it was almost dark. CO Neal waited for the boater to come in. After a long wait, the subject finally came back to the boat launch operating a personal watercraft (PWC) and wearing a set of night vision goggles. CO Neal asked the boater if he was aware that it was illegal to operate a PWC after sunset. The boater stated that he was aware of that and that he “got held up” on the water. Unfortunately, even if the PWC operator could see with his special goggles, nobody could see him due to PWC not being equipped with navigational lighting. CO Neal issued a citation to the operator for operating a PWC after sunset.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint from the RAP Hotline of subjects hunting and shooting from a dike at the Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area located in Bay County. CO Gowenlock responded and was met by CO Joseph Myers. Both COs walked into the game area observing several subjects hunting in two separate groups. The COs each took a group to make contact and conduct a field check. As CO Gowenlock was walking toward his group of hunters, two of the subjects were standing on the dike and began shooting at waterfowl as they flew by. CO Gowenlock made contact and explained to the subjects that it was unlawful to hunt or shoot from a dike in the game area. The subjects were surprised by this and stated they didn’t know. The two subjects were issued citations and released.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint of suspects poaching and trespassing. Upon arrival on scene, CO Gowenlock contacted the complainant who described two suspects that had shot a doe and were tracking through the complainant’s property. CO Gowenlock and the complainant went back into the wooded section and began tracking the suspects and doe. Unfortunately, neither the suspects nor the deer were located. While returning to his truck, CO Gowenlock noted three bait piles in the woods behind some homes. The residents were all elderly and liked to see wildlife. CO Gowenlock explained the laws to them and issued warnings after all three homeowners agreed to pick up the bait. As CO Gowenlock continued back to his truck, he surprisingly came across an illegal marijuana grow in the backyard of another home. Information was collected and was later turned over to the local narcotics task force.
CO Adam Beuthin received a complaint from the RAP Hotline about an individual who had purchased a deer license after posting a photo on Facebook of a 9-point buck. CO Beuthin interviewed the individual and asked if the individual knew why the CO was at the residence. The individual had no idea why the CO was there and when the CO asked about the 9-point, the suspect confessed immediately. The crossbow and antlers were seized, and a warrant was requested through the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office for the charge of taking a deer without a license.
CO Kyle Bucholtz patrolled a local state game area during the opening day of archery deer season. Many hunters were contacted but success was limited. CO Bucholtz wrote one citation after a hunter was found hunting in the game area from a tree stand that was missing the required owner’s identification. Since then, multiple additional illegal tree stands have been located. Unidentified tree stands in the area have been an ongoing issue, CO Bucholtz will continue to check the area for those using the illegal stands.
COs Matthew Neterer and Kyle Bucholtz followed up on several deer hunting complaints in the Verona SGA over an apparent feud over hunting territory. Both parties are claiming that the others were violating. Upon further investigation, one subject was found to be hunting in a ladder stand that did not have his name or address on it but claimed that the stand didn’t belong to him. The same hunter had been found hunting deer with his daughter over bait during the youth hunt and was given a verbal warning. He stated that he didn’t realize that baiting had been banned because the store didn’t have printed hunting digests. The subject received a citation for failing to place his name/address on the tree stand he was hunting from.
CO Seth Rhodea was patrolling in Sanilac County where he located two subjects waterfowl hunting. After watching the hunters for a short time CO Rhodea observed the hunters attempt to shoot a dove. The CO continued to monitor the hunters to the end of legal hunting hours and the hunter continued to hunt after the legal time had ended. Upon contacting the hunters, one was also found to be hunting with an unplugged gun. Both hunters were cited.
CO Seth Rhodea stopped a subject riding an ORV when he observed the operator failing to wear a seatbelt. Upon contacting the driver, he was found to be operating the ORV without an ORV license, had an uncased firearm inside the ORV, and was allowing a small child to ride in the ORV without wearing a seatbelt or helmet. A citation was issued.
CO Dan Robinson was watching a boat launch in the Maple River Game Area after dark waiting for hunters to come in. One boat came in after being out deer hunting. As it was coming in, CO Robinson saw that the operator was using a flashlight to navigate the Maple River. As it turned out the boat did not have the required navigation lights for nighttime operation. A citation was issued for the violation and a warning given for operating an unregistered vessel.
CO Dan Robinson had two complaints come in from the RAP line. Both calls were about the same incident. One caller was the hunter, who had borrowed a tree stand he thought was on state lands, and the other was the property owner who was planning to hunt in that same stand and came upon the hunter in his tree stand. As it turned out the stand was on private property and the hunter had walked past several state game area markers and posted “no trespassing” signs. CO Robinson walked the property line to help settle the issue and found that the hunter was wrong. The property owner did not want to pursue charges against the hunter.
CO Josh Jackson received a complaint that a man and his fiancé were trespassing after they had harvested a deer. The caller stated that he had both on camera pulling a deer across his property. COs Jackson and Dan Robinson interviewed the suspects who admitted to being on the property they were not supposed to be on. Neither suspect had a valid deer tag during the time of the incident. The deer was seized, and a report is being filed for harvesting a deer without a tag, violating antler point restriction regulations, and recreational trespass.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg investigated a complaint that waterfowl hunters’ shots were striking a subject’s house and vehicle. The COs contacted the hunters and informed them of the complaint. While the hunters were outside the safety zone, they were reminded that they needed to be cognizant of what was beyond their target and practice proper gun safety. During the check it was discovered that one of the hunters did not have a Michigan waterfowl license. A citation was issued for the violation.
While checking a group of waterfowl hunters in Ottawa County, one hunter reminded CO Justin Ulberg that he was checked by CO Ulberg the year prior and warned about shooting at waterfowl after legal hours. The hunter went on to say that he double checked the legal hours this year to make sure he didn’t make the same mistake again. While the hunter did stop hunting at legal shooting hours, he failed to purchase a federal migratory bird stamp. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Casey Varriale was following up on a baiting complaint from CO Justin Ulberg in Solon Township in Kent County when he witnessed a man hunting over a bait pile. CO Varriale contacted the suspect and after a short investigation, the suspect admitted to baiting for deer since the spring. The suspect was issued a citation for baiting in a closed county.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River State Game Area (SGA) in Kent County when he witnessed a car suspiciously driving down a two-track toward Spring Lake. CO Varriale noticed there was no registration on the vehicle and made a traffic stop. The owner of the vehicle stated he had just bought the vehicle and did not transfer the title, get it registered, or have insurance on the vehicle. CO Varriale searched the vehicle and found two bottles of liquor in the back seat. Since the operator of the vehicle was 20 years old, CO Varriale had him dump the liquor out and cited the operator for the violations.
CO Jackie Miskovich got a complaint of subjects about to fish a closed stream in the northern part of Muskegon County. CO Miskovich was not very close to the stream, so she called a Muskegon County deputy that was in the area to check it out and to hold anyone that was there. The deputy was unable to find anyone, but CO Miskovich decided to meander up to the area anyway. As CO Miskovich arrived at the stream, she saw four vehicles. The individuals from two of the vehicles approached her and asked if they could fish the stream; she advised them they could not and how even possessing fishing equipment on the stream was a violation. Those individuals then left. CO Miskovich then contacted a female that was sitting in another car. CO Miskovich asked where the other individuals from the vehicles were and she stated they were out fishing the stream. CO Miskovich then headed down the stream where she spotted one individual with a hand net and a fishing pole, and he began walking away from her. That is when CO Miskovich spotted the second individual fishing by the dam. CO Miskovich informed them that the stream is closed to fishing and that they had trespassed. A citation was issued for fishing a closed stream.
CO Richard Cardenas conducted surveillance on a group of waterfowl hunters on Shaw Lake in Barry County. The hunters showed no signs of packing up at closing time and harvested a wood duck 30 minutes past legal shooting hours. CO Cardenas made contact with the hunters and a citation was issued for the after-hours violations.
CO Richard Cardenas received a suspicious camp complaint in the Barry SGA. With assistance from an MSP trooper, they responded to the complaint and located the illegal camp. Multiple violations were found, such as operating a vehicle in an undesignated area, damaging/destroying vegetation, and failing to obtain a camp permit. Methamphetamine was found during a search of the camp and it was also determined that one of the subjects had two active arrest warrants. The subjects were ultimately lodged in the Barry County Jail on the drug possession and warrants.
CO James Nason followed up on information from COs in Otsego County that a 12-point buck had been taken and tagged illegally by an adult during the 2020 youth hunt. While interviewing the suspect who lived in Kalamazoo County, it was discovered that the whole story had been made up by a 7-year old due to jealousy of his 9-year-old cousin who had shot a buck during the recent youth hunt. CO Nason spoke with the young man who made the detailed story up and stressed the importance of telling the truth.
CO James Nason received a complaint of a female in Kalamazoo County who had allegedly shot a turkey in the spring without a license. CO Nason conducted multiple interviews with the suspect and others and found that she did not possess a spring turkey license when she had shot the bird. The father confessed to tagging the turkey with his own tag after his daughter had shot it. Charges are being sought through the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of a subject possibly hunting on a closed parcel of land owned by Allegan County. When he arrived on scene, he observed a pickup truck parked on the side of the roadway matching the one described in the complaint. In the front seat was an empty crossbow case. He walked sections of the property to attempt to locate the hunter and located an empty pop-up blind with a bait block approximately 50 yards off the roadway, in straight view of the suspect’s truck. CO Woodwyk left the area and returned only a few minutes later with a county park ranger to assist in removing the blind. When they arrived, the suspect’s truck was gone. CO Woodwyk followed up with the registered owner of the truck who confessed to hunting the closed area, placing bait, and hiding from CO Woodwyk when he saw him arrive. Charges were filed and approved through the Allegan County prosecutor for the violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint from the Allegan County Central Dispatch of an angler who became stranded when their vessel broke down on the Kalamazoo River. CO Woodwyk responded with his river boat and located the subjects shortly thereafter. The subjects stated they broke down around 4:30 p.m. and were hoping another boat would pass by before dark to rescue them. When 9:30 p.m. came around and the cold evening set in, the subjects decided to call for help. The CO was able to tow them back to a launch and get them to their vehicle and trailer to get on their way home.
CO Kyle McQueer observed a motorcycle ORV being operated illegally on the roadway and attempted a traffic stop. The operator fled at a high rate of speed. Shortly thereafter, the operator attempted to navigate a tight turn causing him to lose control and crash. The operator slid across the on-coming traffic lane and into the grass shoulder on the opposite side of the road. The operator was then detained and checked out and released by EMS for minor injuries sustained in the crash. The operator is charged with multiple ORV and motor vehicle code violations.
CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint from the RAP hotline of waterfowl hunters trespassing on Carter Lake in Barry County. The complainant was able to assist by giving CO McQueer a ride across the lake to the waterfowl hunters in his airboat as the area they were hunting was shallow and inaccessible. A check of the hunter’s vessel found only two PFDs for five people. The operator was cited for failing to provide sufficient PFDs.
CO Kyle McQueer came upon a vehicle that had just left the roadway and ended up in a ditch. A witness advised him that the driver appeared to be having a seizure. After EMS was requested, CO McQueer pulled the driver out of the vehicle and put the driver in the recovery position. An MSP trooper arrived and observed a glucose reader in the vehicle. A quick check of the driver’s glucose showed a hyperglycemic level. The driver was transported to a local hospital.
COs Travis Dragomer and Matt Page observed an individual actively fishing a closed stream for salmon. The COs contacted the angler who had one chinook salmon in his possession that he admitted to snagging in the tail. One citation was written for fishing a closed trout stream and the illegally taken chinook salmon was seized and donated for consumption.
CO Matt Page observed three subjects near a closed trout stream. As the individuals exited the vehicle, they began walking the river and pointing out salmon to one another. As two of the individuals stood by as lookouts, another individual ran back to the truck, grabbed a fishing pole and walked further into the woods out of sight. After a few minutes, CO Page witnessed the three men walking back to the vehicle; however, the individual no longer had a pole. While watching the group, two of the men walked up to the parking lot while the third individual assumed the coast was clear and ran back into the woods, retrieved the fishing pole, and then ran back to the truck while hiding the pole behind his back. CO Page made contact and issued a citation to the individual for possessing fishing equipment on a closed stream. After speaking with another CO, it was found that the individual was written a ticket in the same area within the week.
CO Matt Page, while patrolling for duck hunting activity, heard a fair amount of shots on a body of water. CO Page decided to wait for the group at the entry point to check them for a possible over-limit after their hunt. When the group was finally checked, although they were not over-limit, several violations were observed including no license, several unplugged guns, and unsigned duck stamps. A citation was issued for the unplugged shotgun.
While patrolling closed Type 1 trout streams, CO Tyler Cole watched a group of five subjects looking at the spawning salmon in the river. After 15 minutes, a subject sprinted to a vehicle and pulled out a fishing pole. The subject then ran back to the river and attempted to foul hook a fish. CO Cole observed the subject fish in the closed stream for 10 additional minutes and then made contact. When the CO was seen by the subject, she sprinted back to the vehicle in an attempt to conceal the fishing pole. Contact was made and the CO explained to the subject that he had been observing for some time. The subject retrieved the fishing pole from the vehicle, and citations were issued for fishing a closed stream and fishing with no license.
CO Tyler Cole was patrolling closed Type 1 streams in Van Buren County and observed a subject actively fishing. Upon contact, the subject, in an attempt to hide the fishing pole, threw the pole into the middle of the river. Since the area of the river where the pole was thrown was less than 8 inches deep, the pole was clearly visible while talking with the subject. The subject denied that he was fishing and that the pole was his. After revealing to the subject that he had been observed fishing by the CO before contact was made, the subject admitted to fishing within the closed section. A citation was issued for fishing within a closed stream and a littering citation was avoided when the subject got wet and retrieved his fishing pole from the river.
CO Jeff Robinette was on patrol in Cass County checking for waterfowl hunting activity and located a couple individuals hunting separately in a lake/marsh area. As the hunters returned, CO Robinette checked them to ensure waterfowl laws were being followed. Upon contacting one individual, CO Robinette determined that the subject was a 14-year-old juvenile. CO Robinette verified that the juvenile was hunting unsupervised and that the juvenile’s parent had dropped him off with a canoe to go hunting that morning. CO Robinette also verified that the juvenile did not have any PFDs with him in the canoe and that he was hunting with an unplugged shotgun. CO Robinette instructed the juvenile to contact his parent and request that they respond to pick the juvenile up. The juvenile’s father responded to the location and stated that he had dropped off the juvenile that morning to go hunting. CO Robinette informed the juvenile’s father of the various law violations present. CO Robinette issued the juvenile’s father a ticket for allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised. Verbal warnings were given to the juvenile for not having a PFD and hunting with an unplugged shotgun.
CO Todd Thorn responded to an Ingham County complaint in which an ORV was found hidden on the complainant’s property in a wooded area. CO Thorn tracked boot prints in the dirt to a wooded area owned by Ingham County and closed to hunting. CO Thorn searched the area and found a pop-up ground blind with a crossbow hunter sitting inside. The man was a neighbor who had snuck into the area knowing that the owner did not live in the area. The hunter was given a ticket for trespassing.
COs Todd Thorn and Jason McCullough worked a late-night salmon snagging patrol on the Grand River in the Lansing area. At Moores Dam, they observed a man fishing in a wooded area near the dam. Upon contact, the angler provided a name and admitted to not having a fishing license. He stated that he had recently moved from Kentucky and did not have a Michigan identification yet but had an identification card in Kentucky. Furthermore, the angler stated that he had been dropped off by his girlfriend, whom he did not have a number for, and was going to walk several miles home. Not surprisingly, the name given did not match his physical description. After some discussion and the man’s continued affirmation that he was who he said he was, CO Thorn placed the man under arrest for fishing without a license. CO Thorn then contacted the Lansing Police Department who brought a fingerprint scanner to their location. Fingerprints revealed that the man had a completely different name than the one given and that he had multiple warrants for his arrest. Not only did the man go to jail for his warrants, but he was also charged with fishing without a license and providing false information to law enforcement.
CO Chris Reynolds responded to a RAP complaint in Hillsdale County where a hunter had processed his own deer and decided to dump the carcass down the road from his home. The hunter made the mistake of not taking his tag off the carcass. The hunter was tracked down and confessed to dumping the carcass. CO Reynolds advised the hunter to clean up the carcass and a civil infraction litter ticket was issued.
CO Chris Reynolds was patrolling in Jackson County and observed an ORV on the roadway with the rider not wearing a helmet. Upon initiating a stop, the operator fled and led Reynolds and assisting officers on a lengthy pursuit, both on the ORV and on foot. The operator was eventually taken into custody and it was found he had a felony warrant for his arrest. CO Reynolds issued a citation for operating an ORV without helmet and ORV license. The individual was lodged on his warrant. A report was submitted, and charges were approved for felony flee and elude as well as felony resist and obstruct.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of subjects hunting in a closed area of Windsor SGA in Eaton County. CO Strawn responded to the complaint location and located a pair of waterfowl hunters hunting in the game area. CO Strawn contacted the group and checked them. While checking one of the hunter’s shotguns, the hunter said he removed the magazine plug because he was finished hunting and was going to begin to shoot clay targets. CO Strawn checked the gun and confirmed that it did not have a plug and was loaded in the chamber and magazine with steel shot hunting loads. CO Strawn asked the hunter to explain how he was going to shoot clay targets when he did not have any targets or a launching device with him in his duck boat. The hunter said he forgot the clay targets at his home. CO Strawn also discovered a goose and a wood duck in the boat. CO Strawn issued the hunter a citation for hunting with the unplugged shotgun and explained to him that hunting afield in your duck boat, in an area closed to hunting is not the place to take your plug out to shoot the clay targets you left at home. CO Strawn also issued a verbal warning to both hunters for failing to sign their federal duck stamps.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of a subject who kept a foul hooked fish at the Brenke Fish Ladder on the Grand River in Lansing. CO Strawn responded to the area and located the angler fishing near the fish ladder. While approaching the area, CO Strawn noticed the subject reach into his pocket, retrieve a Gerber tool and attempt to cut his fishing line. CO Strawn was able to grab the fishing pole and order the angler to drop the knife. After yelling at him multiple times, the angler reluctantly dropped the knife. CO Strawn discovered an illegal snagging hook attached to the line and discovered salmon on a stringer nearby. The angler initially denied snagging the fish; however, when CO Strawn told the angler his partners in the area had the whole thing videotaped, he admitted to snagging it. CO Strawn seized the illegal fishing gear, released the live salmon back into the water, and issued citations to the angler for the violations.
During a late-night shining patrol in Clinton County, CO Larn R. Strawn observed a slow rolling truck that completely disregard a stop sign. A traffic stop was initiated, and the driver fled. CO Strawn pursued the fleeing truck and called for backup. The pursuit lasted for nearly ten miles until the driver turned sharply into a driveway and attempted to run on foot. CO Strawn, assisted by Clinton County Sheriff’s deputies, caught the driver and took him into custody. The driver was operating on a suspended license, had warrants for his arrest, and was in possession of a crack pipe. CO Strawn arrested the driver for fleeing and eluding, driving while license suspended third offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, and warrants. CO Strawn lodged the driver at the Clinton County jail.
CO Jason McCullough apprehended two subjects trespassing on private property near Battle Creek. One subject was acting as a lookout for the other who hid his crossbow upon seeing CO McCullough. One of the subjects had been caught trespassing five times previously.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint from a man that a deer he shot was tracked to the property line and then someone had taken the deer from there. CO Wellman went to the site and had the hunter walk him through everything and take him to the spot where he found the deer had been stolen. CO Wellman advised the hunter that he had tracked the deer well onto the neighbor’s property and was trespassing. In addition, the man had gone out and purchased his hunting licenses just prior to CO Wellman arriving to investigate. After a short investigation, the hunter admitted to hunting several times this season without licenses and had already shot three deer this season, all without licenses. Charges will be requested through the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint that a woman had been going to her stand and found a dead deer with its head cut off. CO Wellman responded and located the animal. The complainant then showed CO Wellman a photo from their trail camera of a man carrying a buck’s head out of the area. CO Wellman was able to identify the man with help from a few neighbors. An interview was conducted, and it turned out the suspect’s spouse had shot the deer legally but tracked the deer onto several other properties without permission. The deer was found a day after it was shot, and the meat was no longer good. The property owner is still deciding on whether prosecution for recreational trespass will take place.
COs Ariel Young and Keven Luther contacted an individual baiting for deer while walking the property line of the Lower Huron Metro Park property. CO Luther issued a citation on scene for the illegal baiting.
CO Keven Luther contacted two individuals from two different deer baiting investigations. CO Luther observed both suspects actively hunting over bait and citations were issued on scene. With the assistance of CO David Schaumburger, it was found a deer may have been taken illegally by another subject. An interview was scheduled for a later date and the investigation continues.
CO Keven Luther checked a field known to have illegal hunting activity. While on scene CO Luther contacted an individual baiting for deer. A baiting citation was issued on scene.
COs Ariel Young and Keven Luther followed up on two illegal deer complaints. Full confessions were obtained during both interviews. Case reports will be generated and turned in for formal charges.
Patrolling back to her residence, CO Ariel Young observed an ORV rider on a dirt bike on the roadway without a helmet. Since riding an ORV in Wayne County is illegal, CO Young followed the rider into the gas station and made contact. After discussing with the rider all the issues, CO Young issued a citation for failing to wear a crash helmet and gave a written warning for operating on the roadway.
After receiving a complaint that a neighbor was using bait in the backyard and had a successful hunt, COs Ariel Young and Keven Luther went to the residence to interview the subject. After finding that they were not home, the COs gathered contact information and conducted a phone interview where they gained a full confession of a deer being shot at the baited stand. The COs explained to the subject that baiting was illegal, and that the deer taken over the bait would subsequently be an illegal method of taking game. Charges are being sought with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Dave Schaumburger was checking waterfowl hunters returning at Pointe Mouillee when he located a hunter with a lead shell in his possession. The hunter stated he used the bag for all kinds of hunting and must have missed the shell. A citation was issued for possessing toxic shot.
Checking waterfowl hunters, COs Ariel Young and Dan Walzak encountered a group of three who were finishing up with their morning hunt – two of which had unplugged shotguns. Speaking with one of the hunters, CO Walzak learned that his subject had just purchased the shotgun and claimed that he did not know that the shotgun had to be capable of holding only three shells. When CO Walzak asked him if he had a Waterfowl Guide, the hunter responded that he did but when asked if he had read the guide, the hunter offered no answer. CO Walzak explained that the firearms restriction information is printed in the Waterfowl Guide. A citation was issued for hunting waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
On the eve of waterfowl season opening day, COs Ariel Young and Nick Ingersoll patrolled near Woodtick Peninsula for the early birds getting ready for waterfowl season. A couple of hunters were contacted and warned for not having anchor lights out marking their vessels. The COs then contacted one individual who was in violation with his decoys being set up much too early on the waters of the Great Lakes and connecting waters. Upon contact, the individual stated that he knew he was not supposed to but did not want anyone hunting in his spot. The individual was subsequently cited for the violation.
Working waterfowl opening day, COs Nick Ingersoll and Ariel Young contacted several hunting parties who were having pretty good success. The groups were happy that the ducks were flying so well and were plentiful. The COs contacted a duo who were hunting for the first time and were so happy to have ducks in the boat. One individual happily showed off what he had shot but told the COs he was not sure what the bird was but thought it may be a teal. The COs informed him that what he shot was a grebe and that it was unlawful to kill and possess grebes. The individual was then cited for the error and the bird was seized. The individual was given some quick education for identifying different ducks and what to look for in grebes so that he did not accidentally shoot one again.
Checking hunters as they were returning from a marsh, CO Ariel Young was able to talk to many successful groups. Upon checking one group, CO Young found that two hunters in the group of three were hunting with firearms that could hold more than three shells. Upon interviewing the subjects as to why their firearms were not plugged, the individual was so embarrassed because he frequently waterfowl hunts and all his guns are plugged, and he assumed this one was. The hunter stated that he only loaded three shells all morning, so he was not even aware that it was not plugged. The second hunter stated that he had just purchased the firearm he was using and did not know that it did not come plugged. Each hunter was then cited for hunting with firearms that could hold more than three shells.
COs Ariel Young and Danny Walzak were checking a local spot known for duck hunting when they observed two anglers, one of which was a child checking a minnow trap. The COs made contact and observed that the trap was not correctly labeled. After discussing the issue with the child’s grandfather, CO Young asked the individual for his fishing license. The individual stated that he was not fishing, and the COs kindly reminded him that when they pulled up, he was actively fishing. The individual attempted to play it off as a joke and then admitted to not having a license as he lived just down the road. After talking with him further, the COs observed that the hook set up on his fishing pole was illegal. The individual was then cited for fishing without a license, given verbal warnings for the minnow trap not being labeled correctly, and for the illegal hook set up with which he was fishing.
CO Christopher Knights worked early duck hunters opening morning. CO Knights waited close to a field known for hunters and waited for early shots. A little while after opening hours, CO Knights went in and checked the hunters. CO Knights went through all the checks and found one hunter with an unplugged shotgun. The individual was advised of the law and issued a citation.
CO Christopher Knights checked a group of hunters at a lake located in Addison Township. CO Knights watched the group for a while, then walked in to check them. As he was making contact, he saw a hunter grab his phone and start typing. After getting everyone’s license, that same hunter held up his phone and stated he purchased his license on-line. CO Knights made him aware there is a time stamp on the license, which showed he purchased the license while walking in on them. CO Knights issued a citation for hunting without a license.
CO Justin Muehlhauser followed up on a complaint along a Consumers Energy property. The CO discovered a hunt site where a neighboring property adjoined the power lines. The site was moderately baited with corn, carrots, cabbage, a feed block, and a mineral block. The CO talked to the property owner who stated that her son hunts the property and has for many years. The subject met the CO at the location and admitted to placing the bait and hunting deer at the location. The CO explained the laws for recreational trespass and issued a citation for making use of bait to aid in the taking of deer.
CO Tom Peterson and Sergeant (Sgt.) Jason Becker received a complaint of a group of deer hunters using bait in the aid to take deer. The COs contacted the hunters in the field after locating the bait earlier in the day. The COs asked the individuals about placing the bait. One party claimed that he knew nothing about the bait, then later claimed he placed it during the youth season for his granddaughter. The other party claimed that they did not know mineral was illegal. When the COs asked about the corn that accompanied the mineral, they claimed they didn’t know that it was illegal. Both parties were cited for the violations and instructed to clean up the bait.
CO Ben Lasher was patrolling St. Johns Marsh on the South Zone Waterfowl opener with the “Wardens” show. Twenty-five minutes before legal hunting hours, CO Lasher could hear someone loading a shotgun when the gun fired. CO Lasher could see the group of hunters using lights to look at the gun and no one appeared injured, so he maintained his observation position and waited until daylight to get a better look at the suspect. After daylight it could be seen that the hunters had made their own blinds out of wood 2x4s and fast grass. As the group left, one subject tore down the blind and left it in the field and the other just left it standing. CO Lasher checked them coming out of the field and identified the suspect who had a loaded gun (hunting) before legal hours and also took down the names of the two subjects in the blinds in case they are not removed at the end of the season. The suspect with the loaded gun also had a prior arrest for the same thing in 2012. One ticket issued for hunt/possess loaded firearm before legal hours.
While traveling between local duck hunting areas, COs Bob Watson and Breanna Reed noticed a crossbow hunter exiting the woods and contacted the hunter. As the hunter leaned into his vehicle to store his equipment, CO Watson observed a pistol tucked into the man’s waist band. After failing to disclose the concealed pistol, COs Watson and Reed then requested to investigate the man’s deer hunting spot. The man had a large quantity of bait out and his tree stand failed to have the required contact information attached. CO Watson issued the man a citation for failing to attach his contact information on his tree stand.
COs Breanna Reed and Bob Watson patrolled St. Johns Marsh for the waterfowl opener. The COs contacted many hunters throughout the day; however, not many ducks were being shot. While patrolling the marsh the COs contacted a deer hunter who was hunting over bait and had failed to affix his name or address. The COs cited the hunter for failing to affix his name or address. COs Reed and Watson continued their waterfowl patrol through St. Johns Marsh when they contacted two anglers who were pan fishing. The anglers stated that they did not know how many fish they had but they knew they weren’t over-limit. CO Reed counted each of the angler’s fish and determined that one of the anglers was over-limit and in possession of an undersized bass. A citation was issued for possession of undersized bass.
CO Breanna Reed received a complaint that an individual was hunting without a license and was hunting over bait. CO Reed patrolled to the suspect’s house to interview the hunter. When CO Reed arrived, she could see two individuals walking back into the wooded part of the property from the driveway with bows in their hands. CO Reed walked back to go make contact with the suspects. When the male suspect saw the CO, he tried to throw his bow into the woods. Shortly after, CO Reed was able to get the hunters to admit that they were hunting and that they did not have licenses to hunt. CO Reed addressed the bait situation, the suspects stated that they thought that they could do whatever they wanted to do on private property. CO Reed cited both subjects for hunting without a license and for hunting over bait.
CO Breanna Reed was patrolling Harsens Island when she contacted two anglers who stated that they had been out fishing all day and they had caught “a few.” CO Reed asked the anglers to see their fish and their fishing licenses. The anglers pulled out a bucket with bass and two blue gill, CO Reed immediately noticed that the bass all looked to be under the legal-size limit. The CO asked who had caught the bass and if he knew what size they had to be. The male subject stated that he had caught them all and that the female subject had just started fishing and that he knew that the bass had to be 14 inches long. CO Reed asked the angler if he had a fishing license and how big he thought that the biggest one was. The male subject stated that he thought the biggest one might be 14 inches. After measuring all the bass in the bucket, it was determined that all nine of them were under the legal-size limit with the biggest one measuring out to be 12 inches. CO Reed addressed the over-limit of bass and it was also determined that the female subject had no fishing license. Citations were issued for possession of short bass and fish no license.
CO Raymond Gardner received a complaint for recreational feeding of deer. Upon getting the complaint, he recognized that he had been to the address twice already for the same complaint. During the previous two contacts with the residents, CO Gardner issued a warning. Upon arrival to the address for the current complaint, CO Gardner contacted one of the homeowners and explained why he was there. CO Gardner checked the property and found that the suspect’s had food out for deer. After CO Gardner told the suspects that they would be receiving a citation, they pleaded with him for another warning instead and promised they would stop feeding the deer. CO Gardner told the suspect that they said the same thing the last two times he was there and that there was absolutely no way he was going to give them a third warning. CO Gardner issued a citation for feeding deer in a closed area.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a baiting complaint in Lapeer County. CO Gardner checked the suspect’s property and located a bait pile and elevated hunting blind. The next morning, CO Gardner returned to the property and found the suspect hunting deer using bait. CO Gardner issued the suspect a citation for hunting deer using bait in a closed area.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner followed up on an illegal deer complaint regarding a large buck that was brought to a local processor without a tag on it. During the follow-up investigation, it was discovered that the deer was in fact tagged in Ohio and then brought to Michigan, which is illegal due to CWD concerns. A citation was issued to the processor for accepting a deer from out of state and processing it. Charges are being sought by the owner of the deer for transporting a full carcass into Michigan from Ohio. The deer was seized and will be disposed of by incineration in Lansing.
While on wildlife patrol, CO Joseph Deppen was contacted by the Sterling Heights Police Department about a hunter possibly hunting in a piece of private woods in the city. CO Deppen and deputies made the location and found the hunter trespassing, hunting deer over bait, and he had no hunting license on his person. CO Deppen issued citations for no license on person and hunting deer over bait. Warnings were given for littering and recreational trespass.
COs Brad Silorey, Kris Kiel, and Joseph Deppen began unraveling a possible illegal deer mystery. CO Silorey found the suspicious kill-tag and processor records and then turned over the investigation to his partner for assistance. CO Deppen reviewed surveillance footage of the suspect and another unknown male and started piecing together possible scenarios. CO Deppen did the initial interview with the suspect who claimed they shot an 8-point buck in Macomb County. During the interview, the suspect also identified the unidentified male, previously unknown to COs, on surveillance cameras. CO Deppen realized the first suspect did not know the location of where the deer was killed, what the deer was shot with, or how large the rack was on the deer. CO Deppen focused his investigation on the second suspect. Investigation led CO Deppen to uncover a suspect who was revoked from hunting or possessing wild game for his life in the state of Michigan. CO Deppen obtained search warrants and discovered the original suspect was not even on location during the time the deer was shot. The second suspect purchased tags for the revoked suspect and pretended they shot the deer. CO Deppen and CO Kiel conducted a second interview and the first suspect confessed they did not shoot any deer and they were covering for the revoked suspect. CO Deppen seized the deer and the bow used to shoot the deer. COs are submitting charges to the prosecutor’s office for hunt/take deer while revoked, hunt deer over bait when prohibited, baiting for deer when prohibited, recreational trespass, and use/loan/borrow license of another.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge was off duty and fishing down state when he observed a couple of individuals in a motorboat shooting at ducks multiple times while underway. Cpl. DeLonge contacted CO Jeff Ginn and planned to meet at the dock when the subjects came to shore. Both officers contacted the subjects and Cpl. DeLonge, at that point identified himself and what he observed. CO Ginn also interviewed the subjects and has submitted a report requesting charges to the Newaygo County prosecutor’s office.
Several members of the GLEU attended the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Law Enforcement Committee meeting, discussing interstate commerce laws, movement of baitfish across jurisdictions, regional interjurisdictional cooperation, and ongoing collaboration on enforcement issues related to pathways for aquatic invasive species. Lt. Shaw along with Bob Baxter, Manager of Major Case Unit - Environmental and Climate Change Canada presented a session on the 12-party MOU on Regional Cooperative Enforcement Operations.
Several members of the GLEU attended the Lake Huron Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee meeting, discussing stocking strategies and streamlining of the operations of all Citizen Fishery Advisory Committees, with Cpl. Torsky giving a brief update on GLEU operations in Lake Huron over the summer season.
Cpl. Kevin Postma received a phone call while at his residence about an injured loon. After it was determined that no local COs were working, Cpl. Postma responded to the location a couple miles from his residence. Cpl. Postma was able to catch the loon that was on land and unable to take off. Cpl. Postma then released the otherwise healthy loon on a nearby body of water.