1/24/2021 - 2/6/2021
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes responded to the report of an individual with a gun who had made a threatening phone call to a local bar after having an altercation with a snowmobiler. The individual was located while operating a motor vehicle and after performing field sobriety tests, CO Mapes placed the suspect under arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI).
CO Ethen Mapes responded to a snowmobile personal injury accident in Ontonagon County after two snowmobiles collided while traveling in a group along the trail. CO Mapes assisted emergency medical services (EMS) in transporting each injured subject to the awaiting ambulances. Injuries included a broken leg as well as a large laceration. Charges are being sought for snowmobile OWI.
CO Jenni Hanson responded to a snowmobile accident on Lake Gogebic in which a 65-year-old male had been operating at a high rate of speed when he struck an ice shelf. He was ejected from his snowmobile and landed on the ice. CO Hanson rendered aid on scene and assisted EMS in his extrication off the ice. The rider likely suffered broken ribs and a possible leg fracture.
CO Jenni Hanson was dispatched to a call involving six automobiles stuck on snowmobile Trail 2. CO Hanson utilized her patrol snowmobile to locate the vehicles and advise the tow company which route would be best to extricate. The drivers of the vehicles claimed Google Maps led them down that route.
CO Jeffrey Dell observed a truck parked on the ice with six tip-ups and a one-man shanty nearby. Upon approaching the shanty, CO Dell observed no one inside and only one occupant sitting in the truck. The occupant of the truck informed CO Dell that his brother had just gone to another part of the lake. He further informed the CO that he and his brother had discussed that each angler was only allowed three lines and that the lines needed to be attended. The brother had chosen to take his chances and leave his lines in the water. CO Dell asked the man to indicate which lines belonged to his brother. Eventually, a man on an ORV showed up and upon seeing the CO with his brother stated, “What are the chances?” The man admitted to knowing that he needed to be present with his lines and showed CO Dell which lines were his. A citation for failing to maintain lines under immediate control was issued.
CO Jeffrey Dell checked a woman fishing on an inland lake. When asked for her fishing license, the woman produced the fishing license and driver’s license. CO Dell noticed that the license information did not match. Upon further investigation, it was determined the license belonged to her adult daughter. The woman claimed she had no idea how her daughter’s license ended up in her possession. A check of the woman’s license history showed she had not purchased a fishing license for the 2020 fishing season. A citation was issued for fishing without a license and a verbal warning was given for borrowing the license of another.
CO Anna Viau was called to assist with a snowmobile accident in northern Iron County. A man from out of state had hit a stump next to the trail and was knocked off his machine, landing on his back. Thankfully, he was riding with friends, who were able to call 911 and keep him warm until help arrived. CO Viau met EMS and Iron County Search and Rescue at a nearby crossroad. While Search and Rescue were preparing their enclosed rescue sled, CO Viau transported an emergency medical technician (EMT) to the crash scene on her snowmobile. Upon arrival to the scene, CO Viau met an Iron County deputy and assisted the EMT with her initial assessment of the patient. Due to the location of the crash, a helicopter was called to transport the patient to a nearby hospital. CO Viau assisted with guiding the helicopter into a nearby clearing, then helped load the patient into the helicopter. The scene was cleared without further incident.
CO Jeremy Sergey and Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman were patrolling Witch Lake in Marquette County when they came across three unattended tip-ups with no identification on them. The COs triggered the tip-ups and waited for over 20 minutes to see if anybody would check them. The COs then followed fresh footprints from the tip-ups to a residence and eventually contacted an individual who stated he set the tip-ups the night before but has been checking them all day every 10 minutes. When the COs asked the individual to pull one of his tip-ups, the individual had to use an ice spud to break through the ice that froze the tip-up in place. Once the tip-up was pulled, a large walleye was found on the treble hook that was nearly dead. The individual was issued a citation for unlabeled tip-ups and a warning for unattended tip-ups.
CO Jeremy Sergey, Sgt. Mark Leadman, and Chocolay Township Police Department Sgt. Carrick conducted a speed enforcement patrol on Trail 417 in Chocolay Township. Over 50 snowmobiles were observed with a high number of violations occurring. Numerous groups were stopped for speeding in the posted 35 miles per hour (mph) residential area. Three citations were issued for speeds ranging from 61 to 71 mph in the posted 35 mph zone.
CO Josh Boudreaux assisted Michigan State Police (MSP) K-9 handler Mack Schlict with a snowmobile crash investigation in western Marquette County. The pair rode snowmobiles out to the crash site and determined through information received in the interviews and through the indicators at the site that while negotiating a curve, the snowmobile drifted from the hard-packed trail into the soft snow and then rapidly accelerated into a cluster of trees where it came to rest just off the trail. The female was treated at a local hospital for forearm injuries and released.
COs John Kamps, Cody Smith, and Josh Boudreaux were patrolling snowmobile Trails 8 and 5 in western Marquette County when they were dispatched to a snowmobile personal injury accident. The investigation revealed that the male rider and his friend had been jumping their snowmobiles across a county road when on the third attempt the rider overshot his landing. After travelling 33 yards through the air the snowmobile impacted the flat ground with enough force to fracture the rider’s right leg.
COs Cody Smith and Josh Boudreaux were on patrol when dispatch aired a report that alleged three people had fallen into the icy water at Canyon Falls. The call was placed by two hikers who had hiked into the main falls and had seen a lady in the water at the bottom of the ravine. The pair of hikers were able to pull the woman out of the water but needed help to get her out of the remote location. The Baraga County Sheriff’s Department, MSP troopers, L’Anse Fire, Covington Fire, and Bay EMS responded to the scene and began to treat the patient’s head wounds and hypothermia. When COs Boudreaux and Smith arrived on scene, they quickly loaded their snowmobiles with the sleeping bags they keep in their trucks in case of emergency and snowmobiled into the scene of the accident. The COs handed over their sleeping bags for the patient and began to pack a trail for the rescue Argo. The patient was safely extracted from the scene and transported to Baraga County Memorial Hospital for treatment. The individual suffered serious head wounds and hypothermia but is expected to make a full recovery. Investigation by Baraga deputies on scene discovered she was hiking alone and not with two other people like she had stated.
COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were patrolling western Marquette County on snowmobile when they encountered a pair of snowmobilers who were in a bit of a predicament. One of the snowmobilers had been on empty for the last 20 miles and was unsure of how to get to the nearest gas station and unsure if he would be able to make it. The COs gave the riders directions to the nearest fuel station and gave them some spare fuel they had been carrying. About half an hour later, the pair returned and told the COs that he had a 10 gallon tank, and his snowmobile took 9.8 gallons of gas at the pump. The group was very thankful for the extra fuel and the assistance.
CO John Kamps checked an ice angler coming off a lake in Marquette County. The angler indicated that he had not caught anything when asked by the CO. After making small talk, the CO again asked if the angler caught anything and pointed to a plastic bag laying in the bottom of the ice fishing sled. The angler then admitted that he had caught and kept a bass. The out of season bass was also three inches under the legal-size limit. A citation was issued.
CO John Kamps was sitting near a boating access site when he saw an individual quickly park his car and begin walking out on the ice without ice fishing equipment. Thinking that it was strange, the CO followed the individual out on the ice and realized that he was walking out to an ice shanty that was tucked in a small cove. When the individual made it to the ice shack another individual stepped out from it. The CO quickly contacted the individuals, being only a short distance behind. After a brief conversation it was determined that the guy in the ice shanty had been fishing by himself that day and he had caught a good number of perch. When the CO asked if he could see the perch the angler did not respond. The CO again asked to see the perch and the angler showed him his bucket. Inside the bucket the CO counted 53 perch, 28 over the legal limit. A citation was issued for possessing an over limit of perch.
CO John Kamps and Sgt. Mark Leadman patrolled snowmobile Trail 417 in Chocolay Township. Multiple contacts were made, and one citation was issued for speeding 62 mph in a posted 35 mph zone. Many residents living along the trail were pleased to see law enforcement out on the trail.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted the MSP in looking for two subjects with felony warrants. The officers received a tip that they were currently at one of the subject’s residence. CO Freeborn, along with Trooper Repinski, located the subjects at the residence that they were said to be at. Both subjects were placed under arrest without incident and transported to the local jail.
CO Robert Freeborn worked the annual fishing derby on Indian Lake. The derby this year was the busiest on record with 571 registered anglers from all over the state. As CO Freeborn made his way around the lake, he was thanked by several anglers for being out there and keeping an eye on the derby. As CO Freeborn checked one group of anglers, he observed the son of an angler slip and fall on the glare ice and hit his face. CO Freeborn assisted the father with medical needs and eventually transported the father and son to shore for further medical treatment due to a possible broken nose and fractured eye socket. CO Freeborn and Corporal Mike Hammill patrolled the second day of the derby which was much quieter. While overall compliance was good, the COs did locate an angler in the derby fishing with too many lines and a citation was issued. The COs also assisted the derby officials with a dispute over the winning pike which was worth $1,400.
CO Robert Freeborn, along with CO Mike Evink, and the sheriff’s department, participated in a group snowmobile patrol in northern Schoolcraft County. Despite having temperatures hovering around zero degrees and wind chills well below zero the trails were very busy. The officers made several enforcement stops resulting in several citations for expired registration’s, no trail permit, and careless operation. The officers also responded to two separate snowmobile accidents a half mile apart from each other. The first involved two snowmobiles where one crossed into the path of an oncoming snowmobile due to excess speed and nearly hit head on but ended up hitting skis. One of the operators sustained substantial injuries resulting in being removed from the trail by EMS. The operator at fault was issued a citation for careless operation and suffered a possible broken ankle. The second accident involved a single snowmobile that failed to negotiate a corner and fell off his snowmobile, which then struck a large Red pine tree head on. Luckily, the operator was uninjured, but his snowmobile was totaled. The operator was issued a citation for careless operation.
CO Mark Zitnik was less than five minutes into his snowmobile patrol when he came upon a snowmobile accident in which a young man was discovered lying in the woods, alongside the trail, and unable to move. It appeared that the 15-year-old nonresident was driving too fast for conditions on the rough trail and struck a tree. The CO rendered first aid with a passerby who was an off duty EMT. Shortly thereafter, Alger County’s Rescue 21 and EMS were on scene and transported the snowmobiler to UP Health Systems Marquette where he had to have emergency surgery before being airlifted to the University of Michigan Hospital for further care.
COs Andrea Dani, Chris Lynch, and Sgt. Jerrold Fitzgibbon were patrolling on Pete’s Lake when the COs observed one angler running to a tip-up. Upon contact, COs noted the angler had four lines set. The angler was issued a citation for fishing more than three lines.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten checked for set lines the night prior to a local ice fishing tournament and located several lines that had been left unattended overnight. The COs contacted three individuals the following morning at each ice shanty tending the lines. The anglers admitting to leaving lines out overnight in hopes of getting a head start on the following day’s tournament. Citations were issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control as well as a citation for fishing too many lines to an individual who had set four lines the night before. Warnings were issued for no name on shanties, no name on tip-ups, and no fishing license on person.
CO Cole VanOosten was on snowmobile patrol of northern Luce County when he located a coyote snare set up on a remote lake. A search of the area revealed nine total snares around the lake. The snares each had several violations including a non-relaxing lock, no deer stop, and no trapper’s identification attached. The next morning, COs Justin Vinson and VanOosten waited for the trapper to check his traps. Contact was made with the trapper and he admitted to setting up the snares and led the COs to all the snares he had set. The trapper stated that he was unfamiliar with the laws governing snaring, so the COs were able to provide him with a furbearer’s digest and explain the laws to him. A citation was issued to the individual for using an illegal snare and a warning was issued to him for using an untagged snare.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Mackinac County when he found a vacant ice shack with several tip-ups around. CO VanOosten tripped one of the tip-ups and waited for 40 minutes before an individual came out to the area. The individual stated that he and his buddies had left earlier in the day to look for a new fishing spot and he just came back to check the lines. In total there were four tip-ups set up outside and a fifth line was discovered inside the shack. The individual admitted that he was tending all the lines. A citation was issued to the individual for fishing with lines not in immediate control and a warning was issued for fishing with more than three lines and no name and address on his tip-ups.
CO Todd Sumbera observed a vacant ice shanty with three tip-ups set up outside. CO Sumbera watched the tip-ups until the owner returned an hour later. The individual stated that he had to run into town quick and drop off his kid. The individual stated that he was gone for around an hour. CO Sumbera issued a citation for fishing unattended lines.
CO Todd Sumbera responded to a complaint of hunters and dogs chasing bobcat across private property. Upon arrival CO Sumbera contacted the hunters involved. An investigation revealed one individual trespassed by leading his dog in on a bobcat track on private property. The individual stated that he assumed it was private when he set the dogs loose. CO Sumbera is awaiting confirmation from the landowner regarding prosecution.
CO Nathan Beelman was on patrol when he observed a vehicle parked next to a popular fishing spot. CO Beelman ran the vehicle’s license plate and discovered that the vehicle did not have valid insurance. CO Beelman ran the registered owner and discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest out of Otsego County. CO Beelman turned around and was able to locate the vehicle driving away. A traffic stop was conducted and while talking with the operator, the odor of an intoxicating substance was detected. The driver was also talking very softly and was slurring his speech. Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were conducted, and the driver consented to a preliminary breath test (PBT). The driver blew a .115 and was arrested for OWI. This was the operator’s second OWI offense.
CO Nathan Beelman received a complaint about a trapper having issues with a neighboring landowner. The trapper had placed traps and then received a call from a neighbor stating that he had removed his traps because he was trespassing. CO Beelman contacted the trapper and the neighbor. The neighbor admitted to removing the traps but stated that the trapper cut across his land to trap the property the trapper had permission on. The neighbor was given a warning for hunter harassment and the trapper was given a warning for trespass. The trapper was able to reset his traps further away from the property line to avoid issues in the future.
CO Chad Baldwin was asked to visit St. Mary’s Catholic School in Charlevoix as part of Catholic Schools Week and was the guest reader for the Pre-Kindergarten class. CO Baldwin talked to the students and explained the job of a conservation officer as well answered any questions the students had about his job. CO Baldwin also brought some animal furs into the classroom for the students to identify and get hands on knowledge of some of the fur bearing animals in the local area.
CO Baldwin investigated a report of two snowmobiles that broke through the ice and sank in Lake Charlevoix. The operators were able to successfully exit the water and get to safety. However, their snowmobiles remain at the bottom of the lake in roughly 40 feet of water. The owners of the snowmobiles were contacted and told the snowmobiles are to be removed as soon as possible. A local diver was hired and plans to recover the snowmobiles are underway.
COs Adam LeClerc and Nathan Beelman responded to a bomb threat in Harbor Springs. The report was of a bomb in the Christmas tree in the center of town with a gunman waiting to shoot at first responders. The COs assisted in evacuating the downtown area and blocking off roads leading to downtown. The scene was secured until the MSP Bomb Squad was able to determine that the scene was safe and the threat to public safety was cleared.
CO Duane Budreau received a complaint on a farm in Emmet County that had been taking in injured wildlife for the purpose of rehabilitating. No one at the farm held any type of rehabilitation permit or other licenses that would allow animals to be held in captivity. CO Budreau had issued the owner of the farm a warning back in 2019 for the same violation. Recent information was given that the farm had several wild animals in cages on the property. The most concerning, was a deer that had been allegedly raised by goats. Information provided was that the deer had been nursing directly from a goat since it was a fawn. The farm also had a raccoon, three Canada geese, a crow, and a large fox squirrel in captivity. COs Budreau, Adam LeClerc, Jessica Curtis, Sidney Collins, and members of the DNR Wildlife Division, removed the illegally held animals from the premises. The owner of the farm was issued an appearance ticket for holding wildlife in captivity without a permit.
COs Duane Budreau, Adam LeClerc and Sgt. Bill Webster, while working a small group snowmobile patrol, observed an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) spinning donuts in the middle of a county roadway. CO LeClerc stopped the vehicle for careless operation. The operator of the machine explained to the COs that he did not realize what he was doing was illegal. He informed the COs that he does the same thing in his car. When told that was also illegal, he questioned, “How else are people supposed to learn to drive on icy roads?” The operator was ticketed for careless operation of an ORV.
CO Eric Bottorff responded to a complaint of a shot fired after 3:00 a.m. near Vanderbilt. After interviewing multiple neighbors, CO Bottorff stopped in at another neighborhood home and noticed a thin blood trail on the driveway. After an interview with the homeowner, he admitted to shooting a deer on the back porch over a bait pile. The deer was seized, and a report will be forwarded to the Otsego County prosecutor for review of charges.
CO Jon Sheppard while on patrol in Alpena County, heard an MSP trooper call for assistance over the radio. The trooper was attempting to stop a subject wanted on several felony warrants. The suspect failed to stop his vehicle and was leading the trooper on a pursuit west from the city of Alpena. CO Sheppard was the closest unit and was requested to assist, since the pursuit was heading directly toward his location. The suspect was pursued to the Posen area. Near the town of Posen, the suspect turned onto a snowmobile trail headed westbound. CO Sheppard continued the pursuit along the snowmobile trail for several miles until the suspect turned into a farm field. CO Sheppard continued to follow the suspect vehicle through several farm fields and back onto main roads. Once on the main roads, CO Sheppard backed off the pursuit to allow the troopers to continue and attempt a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver. The suspect vehicle was successfully disabled, and the suspect was taken into custody after a short foot chase. The suspect was arrested for flee and elude and felony warrants.
CO Jon Sklba was patrolling Grand Lake in Presque Isle County when an angler on the ice caught his attention. CO Sklba looked at the angler through binoculars from a distance away, at the same time the angler was looking right back at him with binoculars. CO Sklba quickly patrolled over to the angler and was close enough to watch the angler pull his extra fishing line. When making contact, CO Sklba joked with the angler that he was fast, but not quite fast enough. The angler admitted to pulling the line and apologized for attempting to hide it. A ticket was issued for fishing with too many lines.
CO Jon Sklba investigated a report that an ORV had gone through the ice on Grand Lake in Presque Isle County. The ORV drove through a thin ice spot on the lake and went in. No injuries were reported, and the ORV has been removed.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling south on US 23 in Presque Isle County when Alpena County Central dispatch radioed a domestic violence call in progress. The suspect fled before law enforcement could arrive on scene. Central dispatch radioed a be on the lookout (BOL) call for a red Ford pickup truck. CO Curtis observed the truck traveling northbound while CO Curtis was patrolling southbound. CO Curtis observed the truck drive off road into a mobile home park. CO Curtis assisted MSP troopers with the arrest of the suspect.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a pickup truck through the ice near the north boat launch on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County. COs Jesse Grzechowski and Curtis responded to the call. COs Curtis and Grzechowski determined there was no truck through the ice. While leaving the boat launch, they observed a side-by-side without an ORV decal pull into the boat launch. Contact was made and after further investigation the driver was arrested for OWI.
CO Jessie Curtis finished an investigation of an illegal bobcat. The investigation revealed that the bobcat was illegally snared. The prosecutor authorized on all the charges, and a warrant has been issued.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling to Black Lake for a pre-season sturgeon patrol when a domestic assault in-progress complaint was called out. CO Collins, along with a Presque Isle County sheriff’s deputy, were first on scene. A couple had a verbal argument when things turned physical and the male proceeded to break into the home and assault the female. The female was able to get the male out of the house and lock the door. The male then took a chainsaw and threatened to get into the home when officers arrived and gained control. Charges are being sought.
CO Sidney Collins obtained a warrant on a subject for taking a bobcat out of season in Montmorency County.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling an area in Montmorency County that has had many recent complaints about snowmobiles operating dangerously. While conducting the patrol, CO Liestenfeltz observed two separate snowmobiles at separate times operating at a very high rate of speed and completely disregarding stop signs. CO Liestenfeltz initiated stops on the snowmobiles and both operators were issued tickets for careless operation of a snowmobile.
CO Amanda McCurdy received a complaint through the RAP dispatch center about a deer carcass and a cooler containing deer meat that was abandoned on the side of the road. She responded to the area and located the carcass and cooler. Inside the cooler there was meat, as well as garbage with an individual’s name on it. Benzie County Central Dispatch conducted a search for the individual and was unable to locate her but found an individual with same last name who lived at a nearby residence. CO McCurdy responded to this residence and interviewed the subject, who confirmed that the named individual was his daughter. He said the carcass belonged to a friend who shot two deer on his property the previous fall. As his friend was a nonresident, CO McCurdy conducted a phone interview and the subject confessed to shooting two deer without having a deer license. He also admitted to dumping the carcass and cooler on the two-track where CO McCurdy received the complaint. Charges were submitted through the Benzie County District Court for taking two deer without licenses.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was checking ice fishing activity on a local lake near Baldwin. CO Killingbeck walked towards an ice fishing shanty and began hearing what sounded like a verbal altercation occurring inside the shanty. CO Killingbeck could hear a subject attempting make someone else drink and was being very vulgar about it. The altercation soon escalated to the subject threatening physical violence to the other person if they did not begin drinking. CO Killingbeck announced his presence and contact was made. CO Killingbeck discovered that the subject making threats was attempting to make his underage son drink alcohol. CO Killingbeck asked the angry subject where his identification was, and the subject refused to identify himself, saying this is America and he did not have to identify himself. CO Killingbeck asked the subject for his fishing license and the subject refused saying that he is not required to show CO Killingbeck his license. CO Killingbeck advised the subject he was under arrest and even though the subject was in handcuffs the subject attempting to headbutt and overpower CO Killingbeck. CO Killingbeck gained control of the subject and walked him off the lake. The subject was lodged in the Lake County jail on charges of resisting and obstructing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and failing to identify himself.
CO Josiah Killingbeck obtained a search warrant based on information received via a RAP complaint of a subject who had illegally shot numerous deer and a bear illegally. Due to the suspects violent criminal history the MSP Emergency Support Team was requested to execute the search warrant. After execution of the search warrant, COs Killingbeck, Ryan Andrews, Kyle Publiski, Steve Converse, Scott MacNeill, Sam Kosinski, and Sgt. Grant Emery located and seized numerous pieces of evidence including antlers, parts of bears, turkeys, and fox that were illegally taken. The subject had a large quantity of ammunition in his home that was not legal for the suspect to possess, as he was a convicted felon. The suspect was lodged in the Lake County Jail on charges of felon in possession of ammunition and numerous other charges are pending for the Lake County prosecutor to review.
CO Josh Reed received a complaint from Sgt. Pippin of the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office regarding a resident reporting hearing a couple of gun shots around 2:30 in the morning. The complainant later observed a group of subjects around 5:00 in the morning in her back yard doing something. Sgt. Pippin responded and advised CO Josh Reed he had located a blood trail and drag marks in the snow. Sgt. Pippin then followed it to a residence just south of the complainant’s residence. Sgt. Pippin contacted the homeowners and observed a deer hanging in the garage. The suspect initially lied about shooting the deer, then decided to tell the truth. CO Reed interviewed the suspect who admitted to shooting the deer around 2:30 in the morning with a .22 next to the complainant’s residence. The suspect then dragged the deer through the snow back to his residence. The deer and .22 rifle were seized, and charges will be sent over to the prosecutor’s office for review.
CO Josh Reed was conducting a foot patrol on Brockway Lake and contacted two ice anglers. One of the anglers admitted to not having a valid fishing license and no identification of any kind. CO Josh Reed escorted the subject to his patrol truck with the intention of obtaining his information and issuing a citation for fishing without a license. The subject began questioning why he needed a fishing license and advised he was not a person but an individual. The subject was given several opportunities to provide his information, but he refused. The subject was arrested for fishing without a license and obstruction. The subject was taken into custody without incident and later identified at the Mecosta County Jail.
CO Tim Barboza responded to Fremont Lake for a side-by-side that went through the ice the night prior. The driver made it out and back home before calling and reporting the accident. CO Barboza met the owner at the lake as he and others were recovering the machine from the bottom of the lake. CO Barboza assisted in recovering the ORV owner’s fishing equipment that the diver retrieved from the machine, as well as ensuring the safety of the recovery crew on the ice.
CO Micah Hintze was on patrol and observed two shanties and multiple tip-ups on the north end of a lake. After approaching from land on the opposite bank, three men were observed removing tip-ups, closing a spearing hole, and packing gear. One angler was heard asking another how big the pike was that he speared, and he just laughed in reply. CO Hintze approached the group of anglers and asked if they had caught any fish, which they denied. The man by the spearing shack was then asked how big the pike was that he speared but he was reluctant to answer. CO Hintze asked where the fish were and they denied having any, yet a pike was observed underneath the gear in one sled. After looking at the second sled, fresh blood was observed on the side, yet they only claimed the one fish. Ultimately, a total of six undersized pike were recovered from the group. Each fish averaged 17 to 19 inches. Citations were issued for both undersize pike and for taking an over-limit.
CO Micah Hintze was on patrol and observed a single ice fishing shanty on the far side of the lake away from the boat launch. An older man was observed jigging inside his shanty while the top was flipped open and repeatedly looking up towards the launch. CO Hintze approached through a swamp from the opposite side of the shanty and observed three tip-ups set, as well as the man fishing with a jigging rod and was observed releasing a fish he caught on the jig pole. After approaching and startling the man inside his shanty, he could be seen through the side window reeling his jig pole up frantically and placing it in a bucket before opening his door. When asked if he was using the jigging rod, the man stated he was only tip-up fishing today. CO Hintze pointed out the bait was still dripping water on the jig rod, and the angler stated he had been jigging but he got out of his shanty and removed one tip-up before he used the rod. He was informed that he had been watched for almost an hour before finally admitting to the violation. The angler was cited for fishing with too many lines.
CO Charlie Jones was on patrol in Kalkaska County when he received a burning complaint in Boardman Township. CO Jones arrived on scene and observed a torn down house with building materials and other toxic items from the structure on fire. The Boardman Fire Department was dispatched to suppress the fire. Education on burning regulations was given. A citation was issued for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Mike Hearn reports warrants have been issued by the Kalkaska County prosecutor for a person involved in the illegal harvest of an antlerless deer. On opening day of the firearm deer season, CO Hearn contacted a hunter who was hunting over bait and was not wearing hunter orange. During the interview, CO Hearn learned the hunter had shot an antlerless deer the day before. CO Hearn returned to the camp to check the deer. The hunter advised that the deer was shot in another county because it was tagged with a different Deer Management Unit tag than the area being hunted. Through subsequent interviews, the hunter eventually told CO Hearn that he was lying, and the deer was shot in Kalkaska. He used a different antlerless deer tag because Kalkaska County did not have any antlerless tags left when he went to purchase one.
CO Mike Hearn reports felony charges have been issued by the Kalkaska County prosecutor for a suspect involved with illegally cutting trees on state land. In October, CO Hearn received a complaint from a hunter who found an area on state land where multiple mature oak trees had been cut down. The site had been marked for a timber sale. A logger had already purchased the standing timber from the state but had not started cutting the trees. For multiple days, CO Hearn conducted surveillance on the site. Eventually he was able to contact the person responsible for the illegal cutting. It was also discovered the suspect was selling the firewood in another county. A forester was brought in to inventory the trees. In total, 40 mature oak trees were cut with a mill value of nearly $2,000. The suspect was also charged with unlawful disposal of solid waste for leaving multiple car batteries at the cutting site.
An arrest warrant has been issued by the Kalkaska County prosecutor for a hunter involved with several hunting violations during the fall of 2020. Over the course of a month, CO Mike Hearn investigated multiple complaints involving a suspect who was taking over state land and pushing others out of the area. A verbal argument had occurred between the suspect and two hunters. The suspect tried to intimidate the hunters from hunting the same location. During the altercation, the suspect admitted to taking down the ladder stand of the other hunters. The suspect was found to be concealing game cameras to monitor human activity in and out of the area. The same suspect set up multiple hunting locations using illegal tree stands, bait, and cutting trees for shooting lanes. The suspect has been charged with hunter harassment, operating an ORV in a wetland, multiple bait and tree stand violations, as well as illegally cutting trees on state land.
District 5 Area 2 COs conducted a group patrol for snowmobile sound meter enforcement in Oscoda County. A total of 35 citations were issued, including 16 for excessive noise surpassing the 88-decibel limit for snowmobiles.
CO Tyler Sabuda responded to a complaint of a deer shot out of season in Iosco County. CO Sabuda was advised by a witness that they observed an individual shoot a deer in the farm field and use a skid steer to retrieve it. CO Sabuda investigated the scene and located tracks in the snow which led to blood and deer hair. CO Sabuda followed the blood trail to the suspect’s property and contacted the homeowner. The suspect advised he had disease control permits (DCPs) and admitted to shooting the deer, knowing it was on his neighbor’s property. Charges are being sought through the Iosco County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass and violation of the DCP regulations.
CO Jesse Grzechowski, along with COs James Garrett, Tyler Sabuda, Casey Pullum, Jon Warner, Kyle Bader, Jeremy Cantrell, and Sgt. Bobbi Lively, handled a snowmobile crash while conducting a group snowmobile patrol in Roscommon County. The operator lost control of her snowmobile and collided with a tree. The operator did not sustain any injuries and was determined to be under the influence of alcohol after CO Grzechowski administered standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs). CO Grzechowski arrested the operator and lodged her at the Roscommon County jail for operating a snowmobile OWI.
While on patrol in Alcona County, COs Jessica Curtis and Jesse Grzechowski conducted a traffic stop on an ORV for failing to display an ORV sticker. After contacting the driver, the COs suspected she was under the influence of alcohol. CO Curtis administered SFSTs, and it was determined the driver was operating an ORV while OWI. The driver was arrested and lodged at the Alcona County jail.
COs Joe Myers and Adam Beuthin were on snowmobile patrol in Midland County. During the patrol, CO Myers noticed a slowly moving truck. The COs stopped on the side of the road and the vehicle pulled up next to the COs and stopped. CO Myers was able to see an open container of alcohol inside of the cab of the truck. The operator was also allowing his dog to freely run around the state forest as he drove around. A citation was issued.
CO Kyle Bucholtz made contact with a subject regarding the feeding of deer. The subject had been warned previously for the issue. Upon speaking with the suspect, the second time, the suspect advised CO Bucholtz she would retrieve a coat from inside her home then meet the CO outside. While waiting, CO Bucholtz walked over to a neighboring property and watched as the feeding suspect exited the backdoor and attempted to hide a pan full of corn from CO Bucholtz. CO Bucholtz confronted the suspect and advised her a warrant request would be submitted for feeding deer. The suspect stated she was attempting to hide the feed as she did not want to have to explain the issue to CO Bucholtz, she advised the corn and molasses mix was meant for woodchucks and not deer.
While checking incoming ice anglers on Saginaw Bay in Tuscola County, CO Joshua Wright noticed an airboat coming in that did not have navigation lights on after dark. When the owner was contacted, it was discovered the boat was missing several pieces of required emergency equipment. The owner received a citation and several warnings.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were working northern Montcalm County when they witnessed several snowmobiles operating at a high rate of speed on a frozen lake. The COs located the group at the boat launch and found numerous trailers, generators, race tents, and vehicles. The launch was packed full. There were also a dozen or so racing snowmobiles on the ice. One of the individuals claimed responsibility and said they were practicing for an event. A track had been cleared on the ice and they were participating in time trials and testing. Meanwhile the group inadvertently prevented anglers from accessing the launch and parking nearby to fish. A citation was issued for holding an event on state lands without a permit.
CO Zach Bauer was contacted by the Bridgman City Police Department of a complaint they received regarding a baited hunting location on church property within the city limits. The Bridgman City Police Department located a possible suspect and forwarded the information and photos of the hunting location to CO Bauer. CO Bauer contacted the suspect who stated that he does hunt the property, baits with corn, and occasionally operates his four-wheeler on the property. CO Bauer submitted a report to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office and charges were approved for placing bait as well as ORV trespass.
COs Travis Dragomer, Jeff Robinette, and Matt Page conducted a group snowmobile patrol in Berrien and Cass Counties. The COs contacted over 50 snowmobilers, issued six citations for trail permit related violations, and gave multiple verbal warnings for other snowmobile related violations.
CO Matt Page assisted the MSP and Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department in reference to a missing person. CO Page, along with a Sheriff’s deputy, patrolled a nature preserve on snowmobile where the missing person’s vehicle was located. Initial responding officers did not believe the individual entered the preserve based on the information provided. The officers did not locate anything while searching the preserve nor did they locate any evidence that the person entered the preserve. The missing person case is ongoing.
CO Matt Page worked a joint snowmobile patrol with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department. During the patrol, several contacts and warnings were given for minor snowmobile violations. One citation was issued for failure to obtain a trail permit.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River State Game Area (SGA) in Kent County when he discovered a pickup truck stuck in the deep snow on a two-track north of 20 Mile. CO Varriale contacted the individual who was coyote trapping and offered to shovel the truck out of the snow. After a few attempts at freeing the truck, the trapper made it safely out of the deep snow and continued to check his trap line.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling Muskegon County for snowmobile activity when she observed an older snowmobile operating on a snowmobile trail. CO Cullen observed that the sled did not have a current trail permit or valid registration. CO Cullen stopped the sled and discussed the violations with the rider. A citation was issued for failure to obtain a trail permit, while warnings were issued for the remaining violations. Several other snowmobilers were contacted and issued various warnings for minor violations and citations were issued for no trail permits.
While patrolling snowmobile Trail 19 in Muskegon County, CO Jackie Miskovich observed two snowmobiles, one of which had no headlight. CO Miskovich attempted to flag down the sleds to let them know, however they quickly turned around upon seeing CO Miskovich and headed back the way they had come. CO Miskovich was able to get ahead of them at the next road crossing where she found them sitting halfway between the two roads waiting for CO Miskovich to leave. Turns out that both snowmobiles did not have trail permits and they had failed to put their current registration on. Both subjects received citations for failing to have a trail permit.
CO Richard Cardenas received a complaint of multiple snowmobiles using Consumers Energy property over the weekend and were trespassing on private property. CO Cardenas responded to the complaint and contacted numerous snowmobilers throughout the day and cited many for trespassing on Consumers Energy property, trail permit violations, and registration violations. A small group of snowmobilers were observed riding with expired snowmobile trail stickers and failed to stop for CO Cardenas when he attempted to stop them with his emergency lights. CO Cardenas was able to track the snowmobiles in the snow, down county roads, and eventually located the snowmobilers on the side of the road when one of them had mechanical issues. Citations were issued for the violations.
COs Kyle McQueer and Justin Ulberg were on snowmobile patrol in Barry County when they received a call from Barry County Central Dispatch of a single injury snowmobile accident on Trail 591 just into Allegan County. The investigation revealed that the snowmobiler was traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to navigate a turn in the trail. The snowmobile struck a tree stump off the trail and the rider was ejected approximately 40 yards from his snowmobile. The snowmobiler could not feel his extremities below his abdomen and was air lifted to the hospital. On scene were the MSP, Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, and Yankee Springs Township Fire.
CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint of an individual camping on state land. Upon contacting the owner of the camper, it was determined that CO Rich Cardenas had dealt with him a couple months prior for illegally camping on state land and was advised on how to do so legally. A LEIN inquiry determined that the subject had a felony and misdemeanor warrants. The jail would not take lodge based on COVID-19 protocols, so he was advised and released on his warrants, given several verbal warnings, and again advised on how to legally camp on state land.
CO Carter Woodwyk patrolled Silver Lake in Allegan County. The patrol netted citations for possession of an undersized and out of season Largemouth bass, an over-limit of sunfish, and an over-limit of lines after a subject attempted to drop an extra line through a hole in the ice. The pole, however, refused to sink.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Oxbow on the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County when he came across a group of anglers who did not have their licenses on them. The CO recorded the names of all the anglers to check their license status through the RAP dispatch center. The CO continued to check another angler in a different section of the lake. Upon return, he was advised one of the anglers had purchased his license approximately five minutes after the CO completed his original contact. The CO returned to the group and confronted this angler and issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Pete Purdy was on Worden Road in the Unadilla Wildlife Area when he observed a set of ORV tracks going to Williamsville Lake. CO Purdy walked out onto the lake and contacted the ORV operator. The subject had pulled a trailer with three other ice anglers and their gear. CO Purdy explained that the wildlife area was closed to motorized vehicles. The anglers advised that they were told by a local bait shop owner that it was legal to operate an ORV in the wildlife area. CO Purdy called the bait shop owner who advised the subjects had asked for directions to the lake but never asked about ORVs. He also included that he knows it is illegal and would never tell someone to do that. The ORV operator did not have a helmet and the ORV was unlicensed. A citation was issued for unlicensed ORV. Warnings were given for the other violations.
CO Ed Rice received a RAP complaint about an individual fishing with too many tip-ups. CO Rice arrived on scene and asked the man how the fishing was going. The man stated it was slow and provided a passport and fishing license. When asked if all tip-ups were properly marked with name and address, the man stated they should be. CO Rice started walking toward the first tip-up, when the man stated he had six tip-ups out. He admitted he knew he could only have three lines, but things were slow and did not think he would see a CO out. The man was also wanted on a misdemeanor warrant. The man posted cash bond for the warrant and was issued a citation for fishing with too many lines.
With the help of CO Shannon Kritz, CO Todd Thorn gained confessions from two men involved in taking an over-limit of antlered deer, shooting an antlerless deer without possessing a valid kill-tag, and borrowing and loaning tags. These offenses occurred in Eaton County and involved a search warrant and multiple interviews.
Sgt. Jason Smith was on patrol in Jackson County when he heard a call of a rollover accident nearby. Sgt. Smith was first to arrive on scene and contact was made with the driver. First aid was administered, and Sgt. Smith calmed the driver down until an ambulance arrived.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of recreational trespass. A private property owner found a neighbor’s pet Golden retriever caught in a leg hold trap someone set on his property. CO Strawn responded and discovered the dog had been released unharmed. CO Strawn located a baited dirt set with an untagged trap, along with additional untagged traps and snares in the area. CO Strawn tracked the suspect to a nearby residence where he was contacted and interviewed. He ultimately admitted to placing the traps and snares and did not have a fur harvester’s license. During the interview, CO Strawn discovered the trapper had previously been warned earlier in the season for hunting and taking a fox with no license, promising the previous CO he would get a license. A citation was issued to the trapper for trapping without a license and a verbal warning for not tagging the traps.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a person feeding deer behind a residence in Shiawassee County. The witnesses told CO Strawn they have called before, and the same person has been warned multiple times for feeding deer. CO Strawn confirmed the previous warnings and was able to locate the corn pile behind the suspect’s residence. CO Strawn knocked on the front door and noticed the inside lights shut off and observed a flash of movement in the residence. CO Strawn went back to his patrol truck and called the suspect on the phone but received no answer. CO Strawn left a message identifying himself as a conservation officer and explained why he was there. While in his patrol truck, a Laingsburg police officer arrived with his lights and siren on. The Laingsburg officer advised CO Strawn the suspect had retrieved a 9mm pistol, barricaded himself in the residence, and called 911 to report CO Strawn for knocking on the door. CO Strawn and the Laingsburg Police Department officer attempted to get the suspect to come outside of the residence, but he refused. CO Strawn left the residence and will be seeking an arrest warrant for the unlawful feeding of deer.
CO Nick Wellman conducted an interview with an individual who was suspected of killing three whitetail bucks during the 2020 deer season. Upon questioning the man, he and his wife both had a story stating the man had only killed two bucks in 2020 and the other small buck was from a previous year. After a lengthy interview, the suspect finally came clean and stated that he had killed a small buck in southern Michigan in early October. He then had his wife buy him a kill-tag, so he still had two valid buck tags in his pocket for his vacation trip to Menominee County. In early November, while hunting in Menominee County, he killed an 8-point and a 9-point the same day. The suspect then took all three bucks to what was found be an unlicensed taxidermist in the Grand Rapids area. Charges are being sought in Menominee County for the violation. Follow up with the taxidermist will be turned over to Kent County COs.
CO Nick Wellman handled a trapping complaint where several untagged traps were located near a beaver dam. CO Wellman located the traps, which ended up being tagged properly contrary to the anonymous complainant. However, CO Wellman did locate an illegal snare that was untagged in the same area. CO Wellman tracked down the owner and it was found that the anonymous complainant had pulled the trapper’s traps out and placed them in an area where they would not catch any animals. Charges will be sought for trapper harassment on the original complainant who has done this several times when other trappers are trapping areas he likes to trap.
CO Nick Wellman was the closest unit to a suspicious situation at a rural gas station where a woman pulled in and parked her car in the middle of the parking lot, sideways. She then left the car running with the door open as she stumbled into the gas station. CO Wellman was able to get there along with an MSP trooper just as the woman was attempting to drive off. The woman was put through SFSTs and failed them. The woman consented to a PBT and the result was .227. She was arrested for OWI and lodged in the Branch County jail.
After receiving a complaint about a wood duck being kept as a pet, COs Ariel Young and Dave Schaumburger patrolled to the address and talked with the homeowners, who did indeed have a wood duck they were keeping. The COs discussed with the individuals whether they had the proper licensing for the animal to which they stated they did not. Since possessing migratory waterfowl without a permit is against state and federal law, the COs seized the animal and took it to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator where it will be assessed as to whether it will be releasable back into the wild or placed at a sanctuary. Charges are being sought with the prosecutor’s office for possessing wildlife without a permit.
CO Ariel Young interviewed a Michigan resident who is reported to have purchased a replacement license for a mule deer after successfully filling the original license. All information from the interview will be forwarded to Montana Fish and Wildlife for further enforcement action.
CO Tom Peterson received a complaint of an individual fishing with too many lines. The CO arrived at the location, identified the subject, and observed his actions from a distance. It was discovered that the individual was over the legal limit of lines. CO Peterson contacted the individual and physically observed him using three tip-ups and one jigging pole. The CO asked the individual if he had anymore lines anywhere else. The subject claimed he did not. The CO then checked fishing licenses, registration on his snowmobile, which was expired, and fish. After checking everything the CO asked if he was sure he did not have any more lines. He was adamant that he did not. The CO then told him he was going to follow his snowmobile tracks to a completely different part of the lake and see what was over there. The subject then claimed he had two more tip-ups. The subject was in violation of over-limit of lines, unlabeled tip ups, unattended lines, expired snowmobile registration, and the individual was not able to produce a fishing license or identification when asked. The subject was ticketed for the over-limit of lines and warned on the other violations committed.
CO Tom Peterson participated in a group patrol on Walled Lake focusing on snowmobile and ORV safety during an ice fishing tournament. Many contacts were made solving most issues with simple education. One individual was cited for operating his snowmobile within 100 feet of people at a high rate of speed and without a helmet. Others were warned for riding double on an ORV, expired registration, and no ORV/Snow permits.
CO Christopher Knights got a tip from a hunter in the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area. The hunter stated that someone was baiting next to the shooting range. CO Knights went to the location that afternoon and located the bait, pop-up tent, and a heater, but no hunter. After a few hours, he returned for the evening hunt and located a vehicle parked just before the shooting range. CO Knights walked the woods and located the hunting blind. CO Knights announced himself and advised the hunter to come out. After speaking with the hunter, he stated he was not baiting for deer, but just feeding them. CO Knights advised the hunter, who was with his crossbow and deer call, that this is considered baiting. After CO Knights issued a citation for baiting, the hunter then admitted he was guilty and was frustrated by not seeing any deer this fall and winter.
COs Danielle Zubek and Chris Knights were patrolling Lake Orion when they noticed several snowmobiles. The COs stopped and talked with the owners. Two snowmobiles owned by the same individual did not have updated registrations or trail permits. A citation was written for unregistered snowmobile and no trail permit.
While on patrol, CO Danielle Zubek noticed a vehicle accelerate quickly out of a turn and after pacing the vehicle, CO Zubek determined the vehicle was speeding. Approaching a traffic signal that turned red, the vehicle proceeded to accelerate, swerve into the left turn lane, and drive through the intersection. CO Zubek conducted a traffic stop and issued a citation for violation of traffic signal.
While patrolling White Lake, Sgt. Jason Becker and CO Luke Robare observed a subject operating an ORV across the lake at a high rate of speed without a helmet. The COs stopped the operator and he stated that he was fishing on the other end of the lake and wanted to see if his buddy was home. The subject stated that he left all his fishing gear out, including leaving his tip-ups set, to go to his buddy’s house. It was also discovered that the subject had a suspended driver’s license and did not have a valid ORV sticker on his machine. The subject was issued a citation for operating his four-wheeler without a helmet.
While a group patrol of White Lake, Sgt. Jason Becker and CO Luke Robare observed two tip-ups which had the flags up and no one had checked them in approximately twenty minutes. The COs went over to the tip-ups to look for name and address and found none. They noticed the tip-ups had been frozen in for some time and there were no tracks in the snow near them. Approximately three hours later, Sgt. Becker observed a subject chipping the tip-ups out of the ice. When contacted, the subject stated that they were his tip-ups, and he has had them out for a long time but can see him from his house. He then stated that he checks them every morning before going to work. Sgt. Becker ran the subject and found out that he did not have a valid fishing license. Sgt. Becker explained that the tip-ups need to be attended and he must be ready to check it as soon as the flag goes up. It was also discovered that the subject lived across the street from the lake and had no view of the tip-ups or the lake at all. The subject was issued citations for unattended lines and fishing without a license and warned for not having his tip-ups labelled with his name.
While on patrol on Walled Lake, Sgt. Jason Becker observed three subjects on a four-wheeled ATV without any helmets leaving their ice shanty. Sgt. Becker stopped the vehicle and interviewed the subjects. They left their fishing spot and were travelling across the lake to meet up with friends. Sgt. Becker informed the subjects that the ATV is only designed for one person and the requirement to wear a helmet. A license check also revealed that the operator did not have a valid fishing license. Sgt. Becker issued a citation for operating an ORV without a helmet and gave warnings on the rest of the violations.
COs Ray Gardner and Justin Muehlhauser were on a snowmobile patrol in Genesee County and during the patrol, the COs stopped two snowmobiles. One of the snowmobiles was unregistered and both did not have snowmobile trail permits. The operators told the COs that they were just testing them out. Both operators were issued citations for not having the snowmobile trail permit and the operator of the unregistered snowmobile received a warning for that.
CO Ray Gardner and Sgt. Chris Maher were checking anglers on Twin Lake in the Lapeer SGA. During one of the checks, CO Gardner found one angler using more than the allowed three lines. The angler was issued a citation for the violation.
CO Ray Gardner and Sgt. Chris Maher were on patrol when CO Gardner noticed the vehicle in front of them was going 70 miles per hour (mph) in a 55 mph zone and did not have a license plate. CO Gardner and Sgt. Maher contacted the occupants. CO Gardner asked the driver why the vehicle did not have a license plate, the driver told him it was because he did not register it yet. The driver then told CO Gardner that he has an appointment with the Secretary of State to get it registered. When CO Gardner told the driver the second reason for the stop was because he was driving 70 mph in a 55-mph zone, the driver became irate and told CO Gardner he was not driving that fast. He told CO Gardner that he knew that the CO was going to lie, so he recorded himself with his phone doing 55 mph. The driver then told CO Gardner to not do him any favors, go write the ticket and that he will see the CO in court. CO Gardner issued the driver a citation for careless operation and issued warnings for operating an unregistered vehicle and failing to update his address on his driver’s license.
CO Robert Watson investigated multiple suspicious deer kill-tags found during taxidermy inspections. One investigation led to a non-resident who had used his resident grandfather’s kill-tag on a 10-point buck. A second investigation led to a hunter who purchased a license after harvesting a 7-point buck. Reports have been generated and will be submitted to the prosecutor for review.
CO Robert Watson and Sgt. Chris Maher were on patrol when a pair of snowmobiles pulled onto the road in front of them from a nearby field. The snowmobiles lacked valid registration and valid snowmobile trail permits. The snowmobiles were followed to a nearby gas station and contacted. The snowmobilers admitted to not knowing who owned the field in which they were just riding in. A citation for no snowmobile trail permit was issued and warnings were issued for the snowmobile trespass and failing to display a valid registration.
CO Robert Watson received a complaint of recreational trespass. CO Watson followed up with the complainant who led him to a set of fresh tracks in the snow. CO Watson was able to follow the tracks to a nearby residence and contacted the homeowner. The homeowner admitted to trespassing on private property during his morning hike. A report is being generated for submission to the prosecutor for trespass.
CO Jaime Salisbury was patrolling a local fishing spot when a BOL for a driver all over the road came out about a mile from his location, heading towards him. CO Salisbury watched the suspect vehicle drive through a four-way stop at approximately 70 mph. After conducting a traffic stop, it was determined that the driver was severely intoxicated. A breath test conducted approximately six hours later in the evening resulted in a .22 BAC. Charges for super drunk driving are being sought through Lapeer County. Citations for failing to stop at a stop sign, careless driving, improper plates, and refusing to take a PBT were all issued on scene.
CO Jaime Salisbury received a RAP complaint regarding a potential illegal burn. Upon arriving at the complaint location, CO Salisbury witnessed fiberglass insulation, carpet, trash, and building materials all burning in a large pile near the road. When CO Salisbury contacted the landowner responsible for the fire, he was met with hostility and anger. After a brief verbal confrontation, CO Salisbury gained the landowner’s identification and issued a citation for illegal disposal of solid waste. The landowner was very upset and said that the DNR has never done anything good for him.
CO Jaime Salisbury was in route to a call from Lapeer County Central Dispatch about a vehicle that was all over the road and then drove into a ditch and then back onto the road. CO Salisbury parked his patrol truck in an area he suspected the vehicle would pass by. After observing traffic for a short time, CO Salisbury noticed a truck matching the description of the vehicle that went into the ditch. The vehicle had fresh white snow packed in the rims indicating that it could have been off the road very recently. CO Salisbury noticed that the vehicle had a burned-out taillight and made a traffic stop. After a brief conversation and roadside testing, it was discovered that the female driver was highly intoxicated. An official breath test resulted in a .24 BAC. A citation was issued for the burned-out taillight and charges are being sought for operating a motor vehicle with BAC greater than .17, super drunk, through the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jaime Salisbury contacted a snowmobile operator who was suspected of colliding with an RV parked on the side of the road and then driving away. Upon contact with the operator, it was discovered that his driver’s license was suspended, the snowmobile registration was expired by four years, and there was not a valid trail permit on the snowmobile. A citation was issued for operating while suspended and operating an unregistered snowmobile. A warning was given for not having a trail permit.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey were on foot patrol, on the ice, checking anglers on a Lake St. Clair canal system. The COs checked over 25 anglers on one canal. One angler CO Kiel contacted was asked how many fish he had. The angler responded, “About 15.” CO Kiel looked in the bucket and thought the angler had underestimated and counted his fish out on the ice. The angler had 27 panfish and a citation was written for possession of an over-limit of panfish.
CO Kris Kiel was checking a marina for ice fishing activity when he observed a subject climb a rock wall, over a guard rail, and past four No Trespassing signs to gain access to the ice in the marina. The subject was contacted and written a citation for recreational trespassing.
CO Brad Silorey was patrolling Macomb County checking private marinas for ice anglers, when he observed a large group of anglers fishing a gated marina. While CO Silorey was conducting checks of the anglers and their fish, he encountered one angler who did not speak English. After several minutes of working around a language barrier, CO Silorey discovered that the angler had never purchased a fishing license. The man was in possession of 10 perch and had been fishing and taking fish for the last several days. CO Silorey was able to contact the man’s wife who spoke better English and explained the situation. The angler was cited for fishing without a license.
COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen were on patrol when they received an ongoing recreational trespass complaint from a marina in Macomb County. The complainant, who was the manager of the marina, stated that multiple ice anglers had trespassed on their property to gain access to ice fish in the marina. COs Silorey and Deppen contacted the subjects shortly after receiving the complaint. The subjects were cited for recreational trespass.
COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen responded to a call for a possible angler through the ice call from Macomb County Dispatch. COs Silorey and Deppen were the first ones on scene and were able to safely approach the area on the ice. The COs observed a portable shanty, helmets, and other ice fishing gear around a large hole in the ice but no one around. COs Silorey and Deppen advised a Macomb County deputy to call the fire department to better assess the situation and what is in the water. Based on the tracks in the snow it was clear that an ORV had fallen through but was unclear if anyone had made it out of the water or not. The fire department was able to deploy an underwater camera and observe the ORV underwater. After statements were received from the neighbors, it was determined that the two anglers had made it out of the water and off the ice, but never notified the authorities of the incident.
CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of trespassing in Macomb County. CO Deppen made the location and found an individual trespassing in a marina to fish. When questioned about trespassing, the subject said he was told by someone he could fish in the marina. CO Deppen explained the marina is closed to ice fishing unless you come in through the frozen waters out front. A citation was issued for recreational trespass.
CO Joseph Deppen followed up on a baiting complaint. CO Deppen caught the subject in his stand for late archery season. The subject said, “I just started baiting a few weeks ago. My wife is going to kill me. She told me not to do it.” CO Deppen agreed he should have followed the rules. A citation was issued for hunting deer over bait where prohibited.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers at a local launch when he heard a snowmobile on the roadway. CO Deppen attempted a traffic stop and the subject kept riding. As the rider circled back around, he finally saw the CO and stopped his snowmobile on someone else’s private property. CO Deppen gave warnings for trespass, operation on a roadway, and unregistered snowmobile. The rider was issued a citation for no trail permit and escorted back to his residence.
CO Joseph Deppen was observing an angler fishing on the ice in Macomb County. CO Deppen observed the angler catch a few and then throw them in his bucket. He repeated this as the sun was setting. As darkness fell CO Deppen walked up behind the angler and he was still fishing. CO Deppen asked the angler how many fish he had, and the angler responded, “I’m not sure, I still need to sort, but I am probably over.” CO Deppen counted the fish, and the angler was over his daily limit. A citation was issued for an over-limit of perch and a verbal warning for recreational trespassing.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were checking anglers in a local marina. As the COs split off, two anglers caught sight of the COs and ran away from their ice sled and poles. CO Deppen stepped out and asked why he was running, he said he had to go to the bathroom. CO Deppen followed the angler back to his ice sled where a large amount of alcohol was discovered. CO Deppen asked if anyone had been drinking. One angler excitedly said, “Not me, I am the sober driver.” The other angler sighed, and said he had a few. A PBT confirmed the minor had been drinking. The angler was given a verbal warning for no fishing license in possession and he was issued a citation for minor in possession of alcohol. The alcohol was dumped out and thrown in the trash.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Bedford Township for snowmobile activity when he observed a snowmobile traveling down the center of Smith Road. CO Ingersoll conducted a traffic stop on the snowmobile for the violation. After contacting the rider, it was determined that his snowmobile was not registered. CO Ingersoll issued the driver a citation for no trail permit and issued warnings for the other violations.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was surfing Facebook checking for unlawfully taken deer during the 2020 hunting season and observed a hunter with a 4-point that appeared suspicious. CO Ingersoll interviewed the suspect who admitted to taking the deer without a license at Pointe Mouillee SGA. He stated that he wanted to try the game area and did not expect to see anything. He also stated this was the first deer that walked out, and he shot it knowing he did not have a deer license. Charges for taking a deer without a license will be submitted to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking the Petersburg SGA when he observed a four-wheeler pass the parking lot driving down the center of the roadway. CO Ingersoll stopped the operator who was not wearing a helmet and advised that he was stopped for operating his four-wheeler on the roadway in Monroe County when it was closed to ORV use. The driver advised that he just bought the four-wheeler and was taking it for a ride around the block. After checking the individual’s driving status, it was determined that he was suspended and unable to operate his four-wheeler on the road. CO Ingersoll issued the driver a citation for no helmet and issued warnings for operating an ORV on the roadway and driving while license suspended.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were checking ice anglers on Evans Lake when they observed an individual without a helmet doing donuts on an ORV. Contact was made with the operator who stated he did not think he needed a helmet. The operator was educated and cited for operating without a helmet.
CO Brandon Vacek conducted a traffic stop on an ORV operating on a public roadway in Monroe County. The driver and passenger traveled several miles north from Ohio, after a recent snowstorm, to meet up with another group and take a ride in the snow. The driver claimed to be unaware of any Michigan ORV laws. The driver was issued a citation for failure to license an ORV and given a verbal warning for operating on a public roadway. The driver and passenger were picked up by a friend from the location and allowed to trailer the ORV back to their residence.
COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich were checking anglers on a small lake in Lenawee County when they observed one individual pack up and start to head of the lake after he noticed them. They contacted the individual and upon further investigation, found they did not have a current fishing license and had not bought one since 2012. Enforcement action was taken, and a citation was issued for fish no License.
While working Belle Isle CO Dan Walzak observed a car on Riverbank Drive, a one-way roadway, travelling against traffic. By the time CO Walzak was able to bring the vehicle to a stop, the driver had travelled approximately a mile against traffic. Upon making contact, CO Walzak asked the driver if she had seen one-way signs posted and the driver responded that she had. The driver also advised CO Walzak that she had been on the island on numerous other occasions but someone else had always driven. The driver was issued a citation for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Arriving at Belle Isle Park for her shift, CO Ariel Young was finishing her first loop around the island when she encountered several cars parked in the road near Lake Okonoka. CO Young contacted the individuals who were impeding traffic as they were ice fishing on the lake. CO Young had everyone move their vehicles to the proper side of the road where there was ample parking. One citation was issued for failing to provide proof of auto insurance.
Great Lakes Enforcement Unit (GLEU)
Cpl. Mike Hammill was on patrol in the Fayette area when he followed fresh truck tracks into a state access site. Cpl. Hammill observed a truck parked at the access site; Cpl. Hammill followed the individual’s foot tracks in the fresh snow where he retrieved what appeared to be a spud for checking ice conditions. Cpl. Hammill retrieved his own spud from the back of his truck and started to follow the fresh tracks on the ice. Cpl. Hammill scanned for miles looking for an ice fisherman or a silhouette of what appeared to be a human. Cpl. Hammill came to a point following the tracks where he could spud through the ice with one hit, approximately 2 -2.5” of ice. As the tracks continued, Cpl. Hammill quickly returned to his truck put his dry suit on and called out ice rescue. Cpl. Hammill returned to the ice taking different vantage points in hopes of seeing any resemblance of a person. Within minutes of the hoover craft arriving on scene an 81-year-old man walked out of the woods. The man explained he took a 3 mile walk on the ice before heading up into the woods. He also explained there’s over 12” of ice where he walked. Cpl. Hammill proved otherwise. The man was embarrassed but thanked everyone for their response.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was contacted by a local CO that witnessed a group of fishermen using an overlimit of lines in a remote part of Little Bay DeNoc. Cpl. Hammill responded putting a trapper’s basket on his back and pulling his personal Clam ice shack with the Dept snowmobile. The anglers had no idea it was the LAW when Cpl. Hammill arrived mistaking him for another angler. Several citations were issued.
Cpl. Hammill assisted CO Rob Freeborn with a local ice fishing tournament on Indian Lake in Schoolcraft County. The tournament was the largest ever with over 550 participants. The COs helped settle a dispute between 2 anglers with the largest Northern Pike of the tournament which was worth almost $2,000.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge participated in a ZOOM meeting with the Northern Michigan University Fisheries and Wildlife Association student group. During the meeting Cpl. DeLonge had a discussion with 20 students about the role conservation officers play in law enforcement, natural resource protection, and recreational education.
Cpl. Jon Busken assisted D-2 officers with a Saturday patrol focused on the Manistique Lakes in Curtis. There was substantial activity related to an ice fishing tournament occurring in the area. In addition to citations issued for fishing violations by local officers, several warnings were given for fishing, ORV, snowmobile as well as marijuana violations.
Cpl. Pat Hartsig and Cpl. Nick Torsky followed-up on a complaint of an individual in possession of two juvenile Blanding’s turtles. The individual conducts “pet rescue,” and had acquired a large aquarium with varied and unknown contents. Upon taking inventory, he discovered the turtles, and notified the Department. Corporal Hartsig is in the process of relocating the turtles to a nature center for educational purposes.
Cpl. Nick Atkin assisted Cpl. Craig Milkowski with an AIS RAP complaint. During the follow up investigation multiple restricted species were seized. The pet shop owner was cooperative and educated on aquatic invasive species.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen participated in ice rescue training with the USCG, area fire departments, and the Oceana County Sheriff Department.
Cpl. Kevin Postma responded to the St. Mary’s River in Soo MI to asst Chippewa Co. Sherriff’s Dept. (SD) with recovering an 800 Mhz. handheld radio belonging to the SD. Cpl. Postma deployed D25’s ROV in about 25’ of water and was able to recover the radio using its rotating manipulator. The radio was turned on several days later and it powered up with no problems.
Cpl. Kevin Postma was returning from a directed patrol on Black Lake when a call went out over Chippewa County Central Dispatch for a snowmobiler that had gone through the ice. Cpl. Postma responded to the scene and donned his dry suit. By the time Cpl. Postma arrived on the shoreline, Bay Mills FD had also donned dry suits and were walking out to the snowmobiler who was standing on the seat of his sled in about 3’ of water. A second sled was observed with only the handlebars sticking out of the water, unrelated to the current rescue. Cpl. Postma assisted with tracking down the owner of the second sled, who advised he went through the ice late at night, made it out, went home, but failed to report. Chippewa Co. SD handled the complaint.
Cpl. Kevin Postma has checked numerous state sport fishermen as well as several tribal subsistence fishermen on both Munuscong and Mosquitoe bays.