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1/10/2021 - 1/23/2021
Conservation Officers (COs) Zach Painter and Ethen Mapes conducted an after dark patrol on Lake Gogebic. The COs observed several tip-ups with no one around them and multiple flags up on the lighted tip-ups. The COs waited nearby to see if anyone would check the tip-ups. After a half hour of waiting with no activity at the tip-ups, the COs followed off-road vehicle (ORV) tracks to a nearby residence and contacted two subjects. The subjects admitted that the tip-ups belonged to them. A citation was issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
CO Brian Lasanen was patrolling Houghton County at approximately 8:15 pm when a radio call went out regarding a subject who had slipped off a breakwall and into Lake Superior. CO Lasanen and a Houghton County deputy responded to the location and met a local first responder who had just arrived. As a team, they located the subject still in the water, clinging to the side of the breakwall. The team navigated the frozen surface of the breakwall and utilized a system of ropes to safely get the subject out of the water and back onto the breakwall. The subject was then assisted to waiting emergency medical services (EMS) for transportation to the hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
CO Anna Viau assisted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Resource Division with follow up of a gate blocking access to state land. The landowner had failed to respond to official written communication regarding removing the gate and legality of the state easement. The gate was secured in an open position and the ‘No Trespassing’ sign was removed. Further enforcement action will be pursued when the landowner returns from his seasonal home.
CO Jared Ferguson received multiple complaints from a property owner regarding ORVs going around his gate and past his no trespassing signs in western Dickinson County. CO Ferguson continued to patrol the area frequently and eventually ran into an ORV on the individual’s property. The operator said that he had been taking the trail for years and nobody cared about the trespassing signs. The operator was written a citation for ORV trespassing and escorted from the private property.
CO Josh Boudreaux arrested an individual on a six-count warrant regarding a hunter harassment case that took place in Marquette County this past fall. The individual was lodged at the Marquette County jail with bond to be set at arraignment.
CO Josh Boudreaux responded to report of a suicidal male actively cutting himself with a knife in Ishpeming. Upon arrival on scene, CO Boudreaux and an Ishpeming City police officer calmed the man and assisted EMS with stabilization for transport to the hospital.
CO Jeremy Sergey checked multiple anglers over the weekend. Several warnings were issued for individuals not having their fishing licenses on them and for unlabeled tip-ups. One individual told CO Sergey he had his license but did not have it on him and seemed surprised when CO Sergey proceeded to verify his purchase history via his portable radio. While verifying his purchase history, the individual admitted he did not purchase a fishing license this year. CO Sergey learned the individual had not purchased any type of hunting or fishing license since 2016. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Cody Smith stopped by the Baraga DNR Customer Service Center to talk to a biologist when a trapper came in to seal his fur. Upon checking the furs, some issues were observed. The individual brought in two bobcat and two fisher pelts with only one bobcat skull. To add to this, none of the animals were tagged. When asked to see the tags for the animals, the individual provided four 2020 tags none of which were validated. When asked about the two fishers, the trapper stated that one was an incidental from last year. This was verified from an email earlier in the year. CO Smith followed up with the trapper at their residence and discussed the many violations that seemed to be accidental on their part. The trapper agreed that they had messed up. Enforcement action was taken, and one citation was issued for the tagging violations.
COs Cole VanOosten and Mark Zitnik stopped at a home in Grand Marias to follow up on a late pine marten and fisher registration. When the COs arrived, they asked the man, who was splitting wood at the time, about his deer season. He explained how poor it was, but he managed to shoot a buck the last day of bow season using his old Browning bow. The COs were invited into the garage with the gentleman to look at the deer. Inside they observed evidence that led them to believe the deer had been shot with a crossbow. The COs asked the hunter to grab his bow, he picked up the dusty bow and attempted to shoot at a target. The man tried for several minutes to pull back the bow string back but was unable. He then confessed to shooting the deer with his crossbow instead. After the COs informed the man of the legal action that would need to take place, he stated he thought he could use the crossbow if he were 65 or older. He also stated that he did not want to let anyone know he could not pull a compound bow back anymore. A warning was issued for the fur registration and a report will be sent to the Alger County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges for the illegal deer.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he noticed black smoke in the area. CO Lynch located the origin of the fire along with the responsible subject. The burn pile was fully engulfed, and the subject was burning household furniture including couch cushions and bed mattresses. The subject received a citation for burning prohibited materials.
COs Steve Butzin and Chris Lynch responded to a great-horned owl that was stuck in a leg hold trap in the Ford River area. The COs were able to get the injured owl out of the leg hold trap and transported to a raptor rehabilitator in Marquette where it is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Chris Lynch handled an incident where a 64-year-old male subject had gone out fishing on Big Bay de Noc near Garden and had driven his four-wheeler into an open pressure crack and drowned. CO Lynch, along with DNR Fire Officer Brett Bednarski, recovered the subject from the open water. Corporal Mike Hammill, the Michigan State Police (MSP), Garden Volunteer Fire Dept, Tri-Star EMS, Delta County Search and Rescue, and the Delta County Sheriff’s Department assisted on scene.
COs Cole VanOosten and Sergeant (Sgt.) Calvin Smith received a complaint of tip-ups being left out overnight on the Tahquamenon River. The following morning, the COs patrolled to the area and located three tip-ups that appeared to be left out over night as they were frozen into the river. The COs tripped one of the tip-ups and waited for someone to tend to the tip-ups. The COs located a 17-inch northern pike lying next to one of the tip-up holes as well as a beaver snare pole set under the ice. The COs waited several hours before two men came and checked the tip-ups from an airboat. Contact was made and the individuals who admitted to leaving the tip-ups out all night and that their cabin was nearly four miles downriver. The individuals also admitted to catching the short pike the day before and left it on the ice because it swallowed the hook. The COs informed the individuals that if they tended to their tip-ups it would be less likely that the pike would have time to swallow the hook and would be able to be released. The individuals initially denied knowing anything about the beaver snares set nearby. A consent search of the airboat revealed several snares without identification tags attached. One of the individuals finally admitted to setting the snares and after pulling up the snare pole it was determined that there were no identification tags attached to that snare either. The individual that admitted to setting the trap also did not have a fur harvesters license. Both individuals were issued a citation for fishing with lines not in immediate control and the individual that set the beaver traps received a citation for possessing untagged snares and a warning for trapping without a license.
CO Todd Sumbera contacted a group of three ice anglers on an inland lake in Mackinac County. Before making contact, CO Sumbera observed a total of eleven tip-ups that were set. Upon making contact, one individual stated that he was not fishing, “Just making sure nobody falls through the ice.” CO Sumbera then asked the other two anglers how many lines were they legally allowed to fish with? One of the anglers replied “Four?” CO Sumbera explained to the anglers that even if that were the case they would still be in violation since they had eleven lines in the water and their friend was not fishing. After further investigation it was also found that neither of the individuals had their name and address on any of the tip-ups. Citations were issued for fishing with more than three lines and for no name/address on tip-up.
Sgt. Calvin Smith came across a serious personal injury snowmobile accident in Chippewa County involving two teenage boys, a 15 and a 16-year-old, who had been riding on a snowmobile together. It appears the operator lost control and the sled flipped causing severe injuries to the operator and serious injuries to the passenger. The operator who was in critical condition was airlifted to the hospital. The investigation continues with CO Mike Olesen assisting.
COs Andrea Albert and Andrea Erratt placed a deer decoy in a remote area in Antrim County last deer season in response to road hunting complaints. A subject pulled up in his truck and shot at the decoy through his truck window. The subject pled guilty and was fined $975, lost his hunting privileges for three years plus a year of conviction, and his rifle was forfeited to the state for the violation.
CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster were patrolling the Jordan River Valley on snowmobiles when they contacted two snowmobilers that did not have trail permits. One rider was given a warning for failing to transfer title and both operators were issued tickets for no trail permits. A comment was made by one of the riders that it was not right that COs were out working on a Sunday evening.
CO Nathan Beelman assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department with a subject who had committed suicide behind his home. CO Beelman arrived shortly after the first officer and assisted with locating the subject in the woods behind his home. The subject was found deceased and CO Beelman assisted with removing the subject from the woods.
CO Chad Baldwin located a suspect of a recreational trespass complaint occurring in December. The suspect was caught by the landowner on multiple trail cameras, but the identity of the suspect was not known. Having only a vehicle description, CO Baldwin and the landowner continued to monitor the area where the trespass had taken place and were lucky enough to get a plate number of a similar vehicle in the area several weeks after the initial incident. CO Baldwin conducted an interview of the suspect and received a full confession for the recreation trespass violation. The case is under review at the prosecutor’s office in Emmet County.
CO Tom Oberg received a complaint in early December that he followed-up on regarding an abandoned vehicle left on state land in the Pigeon River State Forest. CO Oberg located a registered owner from a vehicle identification number (VIN) located on the vehicle and contacted the subject. The subject stated he sold it to someone a while ago and did not know exactly who he sold it to. CO Oberg explained that since the vehicle is still registered to him, it is technically his responsibility. CO Oberg gave the subject the option to contact the person he sold it to or remove it himself as soon as possible without any repercussions. In mid-January, CO Oberg checked back on the vehicle and it still was not removed. CO Oberg contacted the registered owner again, who stated he forgot about it. CO Oberg explained that ample time was given for him to figure it out. A report is being submitted to the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges.
CO Tom Oberg was on snowmobile patrol near a road that intersected with the snowmobile trail. CO Oberg witnessed a snowmobile approach the intersection, fail to stop for the stop sign, and continue going at a high rate of speed. CO Oberg was able to catch up to the operator several miles down the road. CO Oberg explained to the operator that he failed to stop at the stop sign. The operator replied, “Yeah, I’ll admit it, I rolled through that stop sign.” CO Oberg explained to the operator a ticket would be issued for careless operation of a snowmobile which led to the operator becoming quite angry. The operator went on by stating, “I’ll take this to court because now I’ll say that I did stop for that stop sign.” The operator was issued a ticket for careless operation.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling a small Montmorency County lake. CO Collins checked a youth angler who was brand new to ice fishing and was up visiting his grandpa from down state. CO Collins noticed the young angler had too many tip-ups set out. CO Collins educated the young man on the fishing regulations and the amount of fishing lines allowed.
CO Jon Sklba was patrolling northbound on US 23 in Presque Isle County when a vehicle ran a stop sign, forcing the CO off the roadway to avoid a collision. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle. The operator offered no excuse for running the stop sign, additionally he was operating an uninsured vehicle with expired registration. The operator was issued a ticket for failing to stop at the stop sign. CO Sklba submitted a report for operating without insurance. The vehicle was impounded.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a snowmobile that went through the ice on Fletchers Pond in Alpena County. The operator of the machine was able to get himself out, but the snowmobile sunk. CO Curtis arranged a recovery service to remove the snowmobile from the water. The snowmobile was removed later that day. Anglers are reminded that ice is unpredictable, and caution must be used when traveling on ice covered water.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling southbound from Grand Lake in Presque Isle County after checking anglers when a domestic violence in progress call was dispatched in Alpena County. Dispatch advised that the suspect fled the scene. A be on the look-out call with the description of the suspect’s vehicle was dispatched. CO Curtis was traveling southbound on US 23 when she observed a vehicle matching the description traveling northbound. CO Curtis attempted to catch up to the vehicle when the vehicle took a side street north of the residence and took his truck off road. CO Curtis was able to catch up to the truck and the suspect was no longer in the vehicle. CO Curtis was able to radio to other law enforcement the individual’s whereabouts. The suspect was quickly located and stated that as soon as he saw CO Curtis’s brake lights come on, he knew he was in trouble. The suspect was arrested for domestic violence along with other charges by the MSP.
CO William Haskin was contacted by the MSP and asked to assist in the pursuit of a felony fugitive who had driven a vehicle into an MSP trooper’s vehicle and fled. The suspect was in a Polaris Ranger side-by-side, using trails and unimproved roads as a means of travel. CO Haskin responded, along with COs Mike Hearn and Breanna Reed, to assist and patrol the more remote areas with their equipment. The pursuit came to an end as the suspect was caught and arrested.
CO William Kinney was contacted by CO Andrea Albert from Antrim County, regarding an 8-point deer head found during a routine taxidermy inspection. CO Albert had some concerns regarding the license attached to the antlers. CO Kinney contacted the hunter over the phone to address some concerns the COs had. It was discovered when speaking to the hunter, that the deer was shot prior to the license being purchased. The hunter told CO Kinney that he was out hunting with the intent to observe the food plots planted on their property. He stated he did not think he would have seen such a large buck. This resulted in the hunter harvesting the deer without a license. A report was filed with the Benzie County Prosecutor’s Office. The case is pending the prosecutor’s review.
CO Amanda McCurdy and Sgt. Dan Bigger assisted the National Park Service in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with the report of an individual who was stranded partially down a dune climb near Pyramid Point. The teenage boy had attempted to follow his friends down the sand dune but got stuck above an approximate 100-foot drop. Due to unstable ice and sand conditions, he was unable to climb back up, and was exposed to harsh winds and cold temperatures. National Park rangers successfully rescued the young man by rappelling down to his location, attaching a harness, and hoisting him back up to secure ground. The boy was cold and scared, but in otherwise stable condition.
COs Brian Brosky and Ryan Andrews were checking snowmobile activity at a trail intersection when they were contacted by two snowmobilers who appeared to be a bit frantic. They explained to the COs that one of their friends had just crashed, his sled was disabled, and he had received an injury to his arm. The COs were able to follow the two snowmobilers about three miles to a location on the snowmobile trail where they located the injured snowmobiler, who appeared to have a broken wrist. The COs were able to transport the injured person to a waiting ambulance where he was then transported to a local hospital. The injured person’s snowmobile was towed away by the friends who told the COs that they were grateful that they happened upon them, as they had no idea how long it was going to take to travel to a location to get help for their friend. They were not familiar with the area and they did not have cell service to call for help.
CO Tim Barboza responded with Newaygo County deputies to a call of a woman at a gas station slumped over the wheel, unresponsive. When the units arrived on scene, the woman was conscious, and when she opened the door, was holding a methamphetamine pipe. The plate on the vehicle also returned to another vehicle and the driver had a suspended license. The vehicle was impounded, and upon an inventory search, more drugs were found inside the vehicle. The driver was checked out by medical personal and transported by the sheriff’s department to jail.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a compliant on Hills Lake about tip-ups being left out unattended and overnight for several nights. CO Greenway was able to locate several tip-ups on the ice and no one around. CO Greenway was able to identify the house where the owner of the tips-up resides and contacted an occupant who confirmed that the tip-ups belonged to them and that they were set on Friday. CO Greenway pulled eight tip-ups and one had a 21-inch pike on the line. Citations were issued for unattended lines to the anglers responsible.
CO Angela Greenway received a complaint of an injured bald eagle in the Fife Lake area. CO Greenway arrived at the address and met the homeowner who indicated that he had been seeing this juvenile bald eagle for a few days now walking on the snow but never flying away. CO Greenway was able to track the bird in the snow and locate it. The injured eagle was captured and transported the sick/injured eagle to a rehabilitator facility for care.
CO Angela Greenway received a compliant of an injured turkey in a driveway near Big Rapids. Upon arrival, CO Greenway immediately identified the bird NOT to be a wild turkey but a domestic chicken. It had been sitting in the snow for so long it had melted the snow all around it. CO Greenway was able to capture the chicken and advised the complainant that it was a chicken, not a turkey. The complainant was asked if any neighbors had chickens. He was surprised it was a chicken but then said that yes, his neighbors south of him had chickens, and that they had gotten out a couple of days ago. CO Greenway took the rescued chicken to the neighbor’s house, but no one was home. CO Greenway took the chicken to her residence and cared for it for two nights. On the third day, CO Greenway was finally able to contact someone at the residence and reunite “Roscoe the Rescued Chicken” with its owner and flock.
CO Jeff Ginn received a RAP complaint of a bobcat being trapped in a foot hold trap during the closed trapping season. CO Ginn requested Deputy David Israel to respond to the scene to make sure the bobcat was not taken by the trapper. While in route to the scene, CO Ginn was contacted by Deputy Israel explaining the trapper was on scene attempting to harvest the bobcat. Upon arrival, Deputy Israel explained the trapper was fully expecting to harvest the bobcat and had a long gun out ready upon his arrival. An interview conducted by the officers revealed the suspect had seen the animal run into a culvert the day before. The trapper was confident it was a bobcat, so he set a trap at the entrance of the culvert to capture the animal. The trapper was cited for trapping bobcat during a closed season.
CO Charlie Jones and CO Bill Haskin followed up on a complaint of an individual snowplowing two tracks closed to prevent access onto state lands. The COs interviewed the suspect and he admitted to doing so because he did not want his tree stand stolen. The suspect was educated on stand land rules and a citation was issued for blocking access to state land.
COs Ben McAteer and Matt Zultak conducted a snowmobile patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County. While on patrol, COs McAteer and Zultak located six tip-ups baited with minnows. After talking with several groups of anglers in the surrounding area, the COs determined the tip-ups were left unattended. After an hour of waiting, CO McAteer began tracking three sets of footprints to a hotel approximately a quarter of a mile away. The tracks led to a hotel room on the main floor and contact with the fisherman. The subject stated the lines were left in the water unattended because his four-year old son had to use the bathroom, and they decided to go out for dinner after that. A citation was issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
CO Casey Pullum received a complaint of a deer carcass dumped on a back road in Oscoda County. He located the carcass and a small container with two black trash bags that contained deer parts and a 2019 deer tag. The suspect was located approximately two miles away and interviewed. The suspect stated he was completely unaware how his 2019 kill-tag could have been in that bag but gave a couple of excuses including someone broke into his house and stole the items as well as his friend may have been responsible. His friend was located in Montmorency County after the suspect provided a name. When CO Pullum arrived at the friend’s residence, he noticed an untagged deer hanging in the garage through a partially open door. When asked, the man initially stated the deer was a roadkill and he had not shot any deer this year. Unfortunately, his 15-year-old brother was there and quickly corrected him stating, “Yes you did…the one in the garage.” The man confessed to shooting the deer without a license. Charges for taking a deer without a license will be sought through the Montmorency County Prosecutor’s Office. CO Pullum determined the friend did not dump the deer carcass in the original complaint, so the investigation continues.
COs Jesse Grzechowski, Kyle Bader, and Brad Bellville assisted with the recovery of three missing individuals on state land in northern Ogemaw County. They had been reported missing earlier in the week. The bodies of both adults as well as the eight month old infant were located. COs were called to assist in recovery of the bodies. The investigation is being conducted by the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Joshua Wright responded to a call of an attempted suicide in Tuscola County. Initially, the call stated the person had taken pills, but while in route, CO Wright was updated that the person had now cut their wrist. Once on scene, CO Wright could not find an open door. CO Wright had to breach the front door and eventually a bathroom door to get to the person. First aid was rendered, and the person was transported to the hospital to receive professional help.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint through the RAP hotline regarding an illegally dumped deer in Isabella County. The complainant’s property had a steep hill along a public roadway where people frequently dumped their trash down the hill and into a small stream. A deer carcass was found within recently discarded refuse, and a tag was still attached to the deer. CO Haas tracked down the owner of the tag and the suspect admitted that the deer was his and took responsibility for the improper disposal. A littering citation was issued to address the violation.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when Berrien County dispatch put out an unknown injury accident near his location. CO Bauer responded and was first on scene to the accident. A passenger car appears to have not stopped at a stop sign and pulled out in front of an empty dump truck. CO Bauer checked both occupants of the vehicles for injuries. CO Bauer was assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department who arrested one of the drivers for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he located a group of goose hunters. CO Bauer contacted the group hunting near a field edge. Further investigation found one of the hunters was hunting with an unplugged shotgun. A citation was issued for the violation.
While on patrol, CO Matt Page observed a vehicle lose control and he was nearly struck head-on before the vehicle left the roadway. The operator luckily missed the CO, several trees, and a nearby swamp. CO Page contacted the driver who was uninjured. A local tow company was called to pull the vehicle out of the ditch and a citation was issued for driving too fast for conditions.
CO Kyle McQueer assisted the Barry County Sheriff’s Department with a motor vehicle accident in which a car left the roadway and crashed into a sea wall on Gun Lake. Upon arrival, the officers found the vehicle was hanging over the water. Further investigation determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated and lodged at the Barry County jail.
CO Kyle McQueer came upon a two-car accident in Allegan County. He advised Allegan County Central Dispatch and checked the occupants for injury. While investigating the accident with the Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy, CO McQueer observed a marijuana pipe on the floorboard of the driver side seat. Another marijuana pipe was located on the driver’s person. The Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy ran the individual through Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and determined the driver was under the influence of marijuana. The individual was arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Marijuana and was lodged at the Allegan County jail.
CO Richard Cardenas was patrolling Thornapple Lake in Barry County and contacted ice anglers who were in possession of sunfish. CO Cardenas found that one of the anglers did not have a fishing license and denied fishing altogether. After further discussion, the angler confessed that he had been fishing and had drank a significant amount of alcohol. Further investigation determined that one of the subjects had warrants for their arrest. A citation was issued for the license violation and a sober driver was requested to drive the subject’s home.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint of tires being dumped on state land in Allegan County. CO Schluckbier found a large pile of approximately 300 tires located on a snowmobile trail. He was able to remove the tires with the help of additional DNR staff. Several additional piles have been located within the county. An investigation is ongoing.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling an area known for recreational trespass along Big Blue Lake, in Muskegon County, when she noticed a bunch of vehicles parked on the roadway with sled marks going down to the lake. CO Miskovich followed the trail and observed subjects on the ice with her binoculars. CO Miskovich observed nine tip-ups out on the ice and one subject jigging. CO Miskovich contacted the group, and it was found that there was a total of three people out, however only two were fishing. When asking about their equipment, CO Miskovich found that their tip-ups were not properly labeled. A citation was written for an over-limit of lines and warnings were given for no name on tip-ups and recreational trespass.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg were on patrol at Murray Lake in Kent County when they contacted an angler with a bucket of fish. The angler told the COs he caught his limit and offered the COs a chance to count his catch. After counting the fish, it was discovered the angler possessed 28 bluegills. The angler was given a citation for the three bluegills he possessed over the limit of 25.
While checking ice anglers in Kent County, COs Justin Ulberg and Casey Varriale observed an angler tip-up fishing for pike and pan fish. The angler had four fishing poles in the water and admitted to having five tip-ups set. COs Ulberg and Varriale also noticed five large pike in the angler’s sled. When questioned about the over-limit of pike and having too many lines, the subject stated that other anglers on the ice were fishing with him. COs Ulberg and Varriale questioned the other anglers fishing and only one came forward and admitted to setting two tip-ups and catching two of the pike. The other anglers stated that they had never met the subject. A citation was issued for taking an over-limit of pike and for fishing with more than three lines.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were performing marine maintenance on a vessel when they received a complaint of anglers using more than three lines per person in Muskegon Lake. The COs cleared and investigated the complaint. Upon contact it was found that there were indeed too many lines being used. A citation was issued for fishing with more than three lines. A warning was issued for failing to properly label one’s tip-ups.
CO Todd Thorn learned that an Ingham County prosecutor and judge had recently signed off on paperwork ordering the return of two sets of 8-point antlers to an East Lansing man who had shot both deer at night over bait with the aid of a thermal scope. CO Thorn had initially sworn to five charges against the man through Ingham County courts. The charges had been approved by the prosecutor’s office and included two counts of taking deer illegally. He learned that the lawyers agreed on a plea deal of one count of borrowing a tag and that sentence would be dismissed if the East Lansing man is not caught violating any laws prior to the spring of 2021.
CO Todd Thorn followed up on an investigation that began during a taxidermy inspection in Eaton County. CO Thorn contacted a man who had dropped off a set of 8-point antlers at a taxidermist and told the taxidermist that he had shot the deer when the tag belonged to someone else. During the conversation with the hunter, he admitted to CO Thorn that he had shot the deer using his friend’s kill-tag because he left his at home. The man stated that he had shot one other antlered deer during the 2020 deer season, but the antlers were gone. As CO Thorn walked back to his patrol truck, he noticed a set of antlers sitting by the man’s pole barn that had a 2020 tag attached. At first the man did not want to allow CO Thorn to look at the antlers but eventually retrieved the antlers and showed them to CO Thorn, who verified that the tag belonged to the interviewee. A second set of antlers were next to that set that did not have a tag attached. Those antlers appeared to have been killed about the same time. The man said that he had shot the deer belonging to the untagged set during the 2019 deer season. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Ed Rice received a call from central dispatch about a suicidal subject. CO Rice advised dispatch he was only a few minutes away and would respond. CO Rice arrived and located the subject in an upstairs bedroom crying uncontrollably. CO Rice was able to calm the subject down. The subject was taken by EMS to a local hospital for medical observation.
CO Larn R. Strawn participated in meetings and training with local K-9 handlers and their patrol dogs. CO Strawn worked with deputies, officers and Tactical Response Team members from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Lansing Police Department, and a private security police Tier 1 Explosive Ordinance team. CO Strawn coordinated the meetings and training to facilitate professional development and to strengthen relationships with local law enforcement partners.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a homeless person living in a local state game area. CO Strawn located and contacted the man. The man explained that he is currently displaced from his home because of issues related to COVID-19. CO Strawn discovered the man had a valid camp registration card posted and was lawfully camping. CO Strawn explained the land use rules, camping requirements, and advised him to move to a new location at least a mile away if he chose to continue camping. CO Strawn is contacting local community services to assist the camper with a better housing solution.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling for waterfowl hunters in Branch County when he located a group hunting open water of a local lake. CO Wellman hiked in and observed them for several hours leading up to the close of legal hunting hours. CO Wellman waited as they kept calling at birds after legal hunting hours. Eventually, 12 minutes after shooting time ended, one man stood up and shot at a group of geese going over. CO Wellman made contact and the man confessed to shooting 12 minutes late. A citation was issued to the man for the violation.
Sgt. Jason Becker worked with CO Tom Peterson on an incident where a snowmobiler went through the ice on Wolverine Lake. The subject was pulled from the lake by the Oakland County Marine Division and later pronounced dead at the hospital. Both COs worked with local agencies on reporting responsibilities and are working on removing the snowmobile from the lake.
CO Bob Watson responded to a complaint of two ice anglers fishing on an old gravel pit that is privately owned. CO Watson contacted the two anglers who claimed they thought it had recently been bought by the county and was now public. CO Watson followed the two fishermen back to the road, passing multiple “No Trespassing” signs. CO Watson then issued both men citations for recreational trespass while they waited for their ride to take them home, since they had been dropped off.
COs Ray Gardner and Jaime Salisbury checked ice anglers on Twin Lake in the Lapeer State Game Area (SGA). During one of the checks, an angler had two northern pike that were caught on a tip-up. When the COs measured the fish, they both were less than the required 24 inches. The angler was issued a citation for taking undersize northern pike.
While driving on I 94, CO Joseph Deppen had a vehicle approach him at a high rate of speed. The vehicle started tailgating CO Deppen in his patrol vehicle. The vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic trying to find an opening. The vehicle raced by CO Deppen and was clocked at 103 mph. A traffic stop was conducted, and a citation was issued for careless driving.
CO Joseph Deppen was following up on a processor inspection which showed an individual harvested multiple deer in the 2020 season. The subject purchased a single deer tag early in the season and then got a replacement single deer tag late in the season and had other replacement antlerless deer tags during the season. The subject was also paying in full for all taxidermy work done for an antlered deer his brother allegedly shot. CO Deppen interviewed the brother who allegedly shot the antlered deer. The brother did not have a credible story and it kept changing. After interviewing the subject about the antlered deer, he finally came clean and confessed that he did not shoot the antlered deer. He said his brother called him after he had shot an antlered deer and did not have a tag for it because he used his single deer tag on a doe earlier in the season. Records revealed the shooter turned in another antlered deer during the late season using his “replacement” antlered deer tag. After interviewing the shooter, he admitted to shooting the first buck without a tag and the second buck was shot and tagged using his replacement tag. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office for illegally taking two antlered deer during the 2020 deer season along with other tagging violations.
CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Chris Maher were headed to the district office when they noticed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed. As the COs were about to stop one vehicle, another silver BMW grabbed their attention. The vehicle was traveling at 107 mph in a 70-mph zone, tailgating drivers, and did not use any turn signals. A traffic stop was conducted on an unhappy and uncooperative driver. She was cited for careless driving.
While traveling on Strasburg Road in Monroe County, CO Nicholas Ingersoll passed two side-by-sides traveling the opposite direction. CO Ingersoll initiated his lights and attempted to pull over both side-by-sides for operating on the public roadway, when one of the side-by-sides failed to stop and took off. CO Ingersoll initiated a pursuit with the side-by-side and headed eastbound on Stadler Road. After a few moments on Stadler Road, the side-by-side attempted to lose CO Ingersoll by entering a nearby field where CO Ingersoll continued pursuit. CO Ingersoll pursued the side-by-side through two fields before the side-by-side eventually came to a stop behind a residence. The driver of the side-by-side was arrested for Fleeing and Eluding and for operating an ORV on a public roadway when closed. CO Ingersoll was assisted with arresting the driver by the MSP and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. After questioning the driver on why he ran, he stated that he thought he could enter a field and avoid the ticket. The driver was lodged at the Monroe County jail pending his charges.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking a group of hunters on the opening weekend of late goose season. After checking the group of hunters, CO Ingersoll noticed one of the hunters possessed a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. The hunter advised CO Ingersoll he was wrong, and a third shell did not fit into his firearm, and to double check. CO Ingersoll demonstrated that three 3 ½ inch shells did in fact fit in his magazine tube. The hunter was cited for hunting waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were patrolling near the Onsted SGA when they passed a vehicle covered in mud and matching the description of a vehicle that had been off-roading in a restricted area. The COs followed the vehicle at a distance and observed the Jeep driving into people’s yards, doing doughnuts, and tearing up the parking lots of the game area. A traffic stop was conducted, and tickets were issued for careless driving.
CO Eric Smither assisted the MSP and Clinton Police Department on searching for and locating a missing individual who had left home earlier that day. CO Smither met with MSP troopers and the Clinton Police Chief at Tate Park at approximately 11:00 am to help get a plan on where to search for the subject who had left home at approximately 3:30 am that morning. The MSP had already called for the MSP K-9 and Trooper 2 helicopter who were in route. CO Smither checked a few areas that Trooper 2 called out once on scene and checked a few leads that had been called in by the public before assisting the MSP K-9, MSP troopers, and the Clinton Police Chief locating the individual in the woods south of Tate Park called in by Trooper 2. The individual was uninjured, able to walk out of the woods, and was then transported to the hospital for evaluation.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Keven Luther issued five verbal warnings to youths for trespassing into the Belle Isle Zoo. The youths were given the choice between picking up litter and receiving a citation. All individuals chose to pick up litter. CO Luther also issued a citation to one individual for driving while license suspended.
Great Lakes Enforcement Unit (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge received a phone call request from District – 1 officers late at night to assist them and the City of Negaunee Police Department with a gunshot deer incident in progress. Cpl. DeLonge met Negaunee City officers near the suspect residence where they had been watching the house for activity. Cpl. DeLonge then went to the suspect residence and contacted the homeowner. While explaining to the homeowner why he was being contacted, Cpl. DeLonge was informed by the Negaunee City officers that they could observe an untagged deer hanging in the garage as well as several fresh ORV tracks leading into the garage. The homeowner was reluctant to tell Cpl. DeLonge or the City officers much information as he consented to the officers going into the garage and checking the gunshot doe. CO Josh Boudreaux arrived on scene after finishing up on a separate illegal deer case and received a quick briefing of the incident. After a lengthy interview with the suspect and investigation of the surrounding area it was determined that the doe had been shot at night with a firearm within the Negaunee City limits. The homeowner finally admitted to shooting the deer because he had been unsuccessful during the regular firearm season. The case was turned over to CO Boudreaux and is pending several charges.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was on patrol in Oceana County when he heard an MSP Trooper on a call of a subject lying next to his vehicle along US-31. When the Trooper approached the subject, the subject jumped up and ran into the woods yelling that he was the alpha and the omega and was wearing a dinosaur mask. Cpl. VanGelderen went to a neighborhood paralleling the highway. A short time later, a call came into the local dispatch that there was a subject wearing a mask who had walked into a house. Cpl. VanGelderen and an Oceana County Sheriff Deputy found the suspect trying to enter another home. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Oceana County Jail.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was called by an Oceana County Sheriff Deputy for a Snowy Owl that could not fly and was sitting on the beach along Lake Michigan. Cpl. VanGelderen arrived with a fishing net, and the officers caught the owl. The owl was transported to North Sky Raptor Rehabbing in Interlochen where it is being nursed back to health since the owl was malnourished.
Cpl. Nick Torsky responded to several questions regarding the commercial bait industry, including collaborating with Cpl. Busken and EIS Detective Luce on a case concerning the dumping of water used to haul bait by a commercial operator. That investigation is scheduled for follow-up.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge noticed a significant amount of recent traffic on state land in Menominee County in an area typically used by just deer hunters. Cpl. DeLonge followed tracks to a parked vehicle that had deer hunting equipment in the backseat. After following foot tracks and ORV tracks Cpl. DeLonge noticed an ORV pulling a deer blind and two individuals. When the individuals noticed the officer, they began talking amongst themselves and were hesitant to approach Cpl. DeLonge. After a check of the area and an interview, it was determined that the individuals were just removing their deer blind but were doing so with an unregistered ORV and operating off trail. The violations were discussed. The individuals then provided Cpl. DeLonge with a hunter harassment complaint and information that will forwarded to local officers.
Cpl. Mike Hammill walked in on a fresh boot trail to discover several bobcat sets, the first 330 trap was tagged with the trapper’s name and the additional traps were not. Cpl. Hammill contacted the trapper asking him to tag the additional traps.
Cpl. Sean Kehoe assisted GTSD with traffic control at a personal injury accident where both lanes of traffic were shut down due to the accident. Cpl. Kehoe directed motorists on how to get around the closed roads for almost an hour.
Cpl. Sean Kehoe contacted a subject cutting wood on state land. When he was asked for his permit, the subject admitted that he did not have one and he was just trying to find a way to heat his home without spending a lot of money as times were tough. Cpl. Kehoe explained to the subject that due to COVID the permits were currently free, but he still needed to get one. The wood cutter was happy to hear that. A warning was issued due to the circumstances.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge patrolled several Marquette County lakes on snowmobile. Several anglers were contacted during the patrol and compliance was high. Cpl. DeLonge also conducted several snowmobile checks with only a few minor violations that were addressed.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge checked several access sites between Marquette and Grand Marais looking for commercial fishing activity. No commercial activity was observed but several snowmobile and ice angler checks were conducted during the patrol.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was on patrol when a call came out of a person in the water near Kate’s Bay in the Garden Peninsula. Cpl. Hammill responded along with MSP and Delta County Sheriff’s office. The man had gone out ice fishing before daylight and driven into large open water crack that developed over night. The individual was pulled from the water and pronounced dead on the scene. The following day Cpl. Hammill and CO Lynch and MSP’s dive Team recovered the ORV from 15 FOW.
Cpl. Jon Busken swore to a warrant for failing to submit commercial fishing harvest reports. This was a joint investigation between Cpl. Busken and Cpl. Brett DeLonge. The officers will work to satisfy the warrant in the coming days.
Lt. Mike Feagan and Cpl. Nick Torsky attended various AIS-related meetings, including the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition annual meeting, the monthly AIS Core Team meeting, which was held jointly with the TIS (terrestrial invasive species) Core Team, and a joint meeting of the AIS Core Team’s Outreach/Education and Boating workgroups.
Cpl. Nick Torsky attended various virtual invasive species webinars and trainings, including the Department’s Hemlock Wooly Adelgid webinar, and AIS toolkits for local government.
Cpl. Sean Kehoe patrolled East and West Grand Traverse Bays looking for commercial fishing activity. Activity seems to be low due to the winter months. A few sport fishing perch boats were spotted but that was it. Ice fishing in the area is moderate with minimal ice conditions making it questionable on some lakes.
Cpl. Kevin Postma demonstrated the operation of the D25’s ROV unit at Rudyard area schools. Cpl. Postma explained how, what, where and why D25 uses the ROV to Rudyard’s robotics class. The robotics class was building subs from bilge pumps and PVC framing. The principle of the PVC subs was like that of the highly advanced ROV using impellers to control depth and direction.
Cpl. Kevin Postma assisted with recovering an injured eagle that had been struck a vehicle on I75. The eagle was transported to Chippewa Animal Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie where it was eventually put down.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was patrolling in Oceana County when he passed a snowmobile travelling down the road with the operator not wearing a helmet. The operator turned around to watch Cpl. VanGelderen turn his patrol vehicle around, and then accelerated. Cpl. VanGelderen caught up to the snowmobile a few miles away, and the snowmobile stopped. The operator was written tickets for not wearing a helmet and not having a trail permit. Other warnings were given.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen conducted a minnow inspection on a store that is selling smelt in Ziploc bags, and advertising them as bait. The store was found to have a freezer full of bags of smelt with prices written in magic marker on them. The store was warned and told to stop selling the smelt since they had not been VHS tested and certified.