10/31/2021 - 11/13/2021
Conservation Officer (CO) Jenni Hanson received a hunter harassment complaint of a subject pouring diesel fuel on a deer bait. The complainant had trail camera pictures of the suspect pouring the liquid, and even got a license plate to identify the suspect. CO Hanson interviewed the suspect, who subsequently admitted to pouring the fuel. He claimed to have thought it was someone else setting up their bait near his to "mess with" him. CO Hanson has requested charges through the Gogebic County Prosecutor's Office for hunter harassment.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol late at night during a snowstorm and located multiple vehicles in the ditch. After making sure everyone in the vehicles were unharmed, CO Painter assisted in traffic control while the vehicles were removed from the ditch.
CO Jeffrey Dell was first on scene to a structure fire at a camp. A hunter had placed clothing by a propane heater then went to check trail cameras. Upon returning, he observed that the structure was on fire. The hunter suffered from smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished by volunteer firefighters, but the structure was a total loss.
CO Jeffrey Dell responded to a hunter harassment complaint. An altercation ensued after one individual set up a hunting stand within 75 yards of another party on state land. An investigation was conducted, and a report is being sent to the prosecutor's office for possible charges.
CO Phil Helminen was patrolling in Dickinson County when he observed an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) driving down a road that had a bag of bait in the CWD area. The ATV turned onto state land and drove around a berm into a closed area. CO Helminen contacted the operator and discovered the subject had placed bait at his blind in the no bait area. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in area not intended for use and warning for baiting.
CO Shannon Kritz was patrolling commercial forest reserve property prior to archery season when she found a hunting site where bolts had been screwed into a tree to act as steps to access a tree stand. When CO Kritz contacted the hunter during archery season, he was unable to provide a hunting license as he had left it at camp. CO Kritz also observed the hunter was hunting over bait in the core CWD area. CO Kritz told the hunter to remove the bolts from the tree, issued a warning for failing to have his hunting license in possession, and issued a citation for hunting over bait in a closed area.
CO Shannon Kritz responded to a forest fire that had occurred the night prior. CO Kritz contacted a homeowner who explained he was burning household garbage on the ground and then left his residence. By the time the fire was reported, it had spread to the nearby woods and his woodpile. The homeowner stated he had burned garbage there for 20 years and did not have a problem. CO Kritz also observed the homeowner was burning treated wood and other prohibited items. The homeowner was cited for burning household waste without an approved container and issued a warning for allowing the fire to spread.
CO Jeremy Sergey received a report that a father and son were out deer hunting in a pop-up blind on private property. While they were hunting, an ORV with two individuals on it, drove onto the property, saw two deer near the father and son's blind, and shot their rifle within close proximity of the father and young child. When the father began yelling at the individuals, they took off to a nearby camp. With assistance from CO John Kamps and MSP Trooper Wachnicki, CO Sergey drove into the suspect's camp. After interviewing 11 individuals, inspecting over 15 firearms, and collecting a large amount of evidence, the officers were able to recover the ORV and the firearm used in the crime. Both had been hidden in the woods. The officers also obtained a full confession from the suspect. The individual is facing prosecution on several charges at the Marquette District Court.
CO Todd Sumbera investigated a "shots fired at night" complaint which led to the tracking down of two suspects and the suspect vehicle. Interviews were conducted with both suspects and a full confession was given for shooting at an antlerless deer at 3:00 am with a .22 mag rifle and for using the headlights of the car to locate the deer. They also admitted to shooting from the vehicle. A report is being compiled and submitted to the prosecutor's office for associated charges.
COs Todd Sumbera and Cole VanOosten assisted the New York Department of Environmental Conservation with an investigation involving a Michigan man who travelled to New York and attempted to take a deer without a license. The investigation revealed that the Michigan man shot and wounded a deer with a firearm while the season was closed and without a license. Additionally, the hunter was hunting with the aid of bait which is illegal in that state. The Michigan man and a New York man were charged with six violations of illegal deer hunting in the state of New York.
Acting Sgt. Steve Butzin, along with CO Mike Evink and CO Brandon Maki, conducted a Hunter Safety course at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Pocket Park in the UP State Fair Grounds. The students were taught roles of conservation officers, rules and regulations, safety and survival basics, and firearm handling skills. The class had a 100% pass rate.
COs Michael Evink and Brandon Maki investigated a self-reported killing of a wolf. The juvenile trapper informed the COs this was his first-year trapping and believed he had caught a coyote. He dispatched the animal and brought it home to his parents. His parents were concerned that it may be a wolf due to the size and contacted the COs. A DNR wildlife biologist confirmed the animal was a female wolf. A report has been created and will be submitted to the prosecutor's office for review.
CO Tom Oberg responded to a report of a side-by-side roll-over accident in Otsego County. CO Oberg arrived on scene and investigated the incident. The four occupants, luckily, were unharmed from the crash. CO Oberg explained to the operator that the area he was riding in was closed to ORV use. CO Oberg completed the accident investigation report and issued a ticket to the operator for operating in a closed area.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he observed a deer hunter just walking into the woods with a bow. When contacted, the hunter did not have his hunting license on him, and it was also discovered that he had a revoked driving status. The hunter claimed that his hunting buddy had driven to the location, but he was already in the woods in his stand, and he did not know where that was exactly. CO Cherry confirmed the hunting license and continued to check a nearby baited tree stand. CO Cherry discovered that the hunter, who was in the stand hunting over the illegal bait, was a juvenile who was not old enough to be hunting on his own. A short conversation revealed the juvenile's father was the same hunter that CO Cherry had just contacted. CO Cherry had the juvenile call his father and meet back with CO Cherry. A brief investigation revealed violations, including allowing a juvenile to hunt unsupervised, failure to remove the tree stand at the end of the season, use of deer bait on three stands, driving on a revoked driving license, and others. Multiple tickets were issued to the father.
COs from District 3 assisted with a Hunter Safety field day at the Indian River Lions Club on Sunday, November 7th.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a report of a suicidal subject with a firearm in a rural area of Cheboygan County. CO Rosochacki met up with Cheboygan County Sheriff's deputies and set up a perimeter around the area. Due to outstanding work by the dispatcher, the subject put down the firearm and walked out to the road where he was detained by law enforcement. The subject was transported to the hospital for mental health assessment.
CO Jon Sklba contacted a hunter coming out of the woods in Presque Isle County. After speaking with the hunter, CO Sklba asked if the hunter had any bait out. The hunter advised he did, and the hunter and the CO went to the stand to check it out. While at the stand, CO Sklba also noted the litter the hunter had been leaving behind and that his stand was without any identification. Tickets were written for the litter and unmarked stand and the bait was cleaned up.
CO Paul Fox received a complaint of early waterfowl shooting near Posen. CO Fox responded to the area and located the waterfowl hunters. While checking the hunters it was discovered that one hunter was using an unplugged shotgun. Additionally, the hunter had shot a muskrat illegally. A ticket was issued for the violations.
COs Paul Fox, Jon Sklba, Matt Theunick, Kyle Cherry, and Nate Beelman participated in a Hunter Education field day. Students were taught and participated in several firearm and archery safety practices and discussed regulations and ethical hunting behavior. Over 50 students attended.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz received a complaint of an illegal tree stand and bait site this past August in Montmorency County. The bait site had a large amount of corn, carrots, and apples as well as a mineral block. CO Liestenfeltz had also observed that the tree stand did not have a name or address and there were also trees and limbs cut to create shooting lanes at the site. After monitoring the site for many weeks, CO Liestenfeltz was able to contact the hunter at the site while actively tending the bait. The hunter admitted to running the bait site year-round to keep deer in the area. CO Liestenfeltz issued the hunter a ticket for baiting and having no name on the stand. Warnings were issued for keeping the tree stand on state land year-round as well as the cutting of trees and limbs. The area was cleaned up and the stand was removed.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling Montmorency County late at night when they noticed a suspicious vehicle driving slowly with their windows down. The COs followed the truck for several miles and saw spotlights come on both the driver's and passenger sides of the vehicle. CO Collins made a stop on the vehicle. The driver did not have any weapons but admitted to shining for deer. The driver also was in possession of open alcohol in the vehicle. The driver was issued tickets for the violations.
CO Jon Sheppard received a complaint from a hunter in Alpena County that two dirt bikes drove around his fence and through his property while he was hunting. CO Sheppard responded to the area and located a truck leaving the area with two dirt bikes loaded into the truck bed. The dirt bikes matched the description given by the hunter. CO Sheppard initiated a traffic stop on the truck. CO Sheppard questioned the two subjects about the trespass. The subjects eventually admitted to driving around a fence on the property. CO Sheppard returned to the scene of the trespass and was able to locate two sets of tire tracks from dirt bikes. A report is being submitted to the Alpena County Prosecutor's Office and charges are pending.
CO Jon Sheppard assisted Michigan State Troopers (MSP) troopers in conducting a search warrant in Alpena looking for hunting equipment purchased fraudulently online. The equipment was located, and the investigation is ongoing.
CO William Kinney received a complaint of a bait pile located on Forest Service land in Wexford County. CO Kinney was able to locate the illegal bait pile. In addition, CO Kinney discovered an ORV trail that had been illegally made through the public land. Blood was also located at the bait pile. CO Kinney followed the blood to a gut pile in close proximity. After speaking to several individuals, the hunter was located and interviewed. The hunter admitted to the illegal baiting and off-road activity. It was also discovered that the hunter did not have the proper kill-tags at the time the 8-point was harvested. The 8-point was later seized and donated. A report is being generated to submit for prosecution.
COs Patrick McManus, Justin Vanderlinde, Scott MacNeill, Amanda Weaver, Jack Gorno, along with Sgt.'s Dan Bigger and Grant Emery, hosted a Hunter Safety field day at the DNR office in Traverse City. The class consisted of approximately 20 students who travelled all the way from the Upper Peninsula and downstate to attend the field day. The students were taught the basics of safe hunting practices and had the opportunity to shoot crossbows. This was the first time in several years that a class was coordinated exclusively by conservation officers in the Traverse City area.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a vehicle parked partially in the roadway in a very rural area. CO Killingbeck stopped to check on the vehicle and discovered that the plate on the vehicle did not belong to the vehicle. CO Killingbeck contacted two occupants in the vehicle. CO Killingbeck was advised that the vehicle was out of gas. CO Killingbeck inquired about the license plate and was told that it did not belong to the vehicle and the driver had been too busy to get a plate for the vehicle. CO Killingbeck ran the driver through Law Enforcement Information Network and learned that he had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail. The vehicle was impounded for no insurance.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a report of a subject laying in the roadway unresponsive in the Baldwin area of Lake County. CO Killingbeck was first on scene and discovered a male subject slumped over a bicycle. CO Killingbeck suspected an overdose and, just prior to administering Narcan, the subject was moved to a prone position and the subject woke up. The subject admitted to using methamphetamine (meth) but said meth could be laced with narcotics. The subject was turned over to EMS and the subject was transported to the hospital.
CO Breanna Reed located a baited tree stand three weeks prior to contacting the hunter and owner of the tree stand. When CO Reed contacted the hunter, he stated he did not understand how CO Reed had located the tree stand and he thought someone had turned him in. CO Reed informed the hunter she found the tree stand and bait while walking around the woods. CO Reed issued the hunter a citation for baiting deer in a closed county. CO Reed issued a warning for using an illegal ORV trail to access his tree stand and a warning for no name or address on his tree stand.
CO Jimmy Garrett conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle suspected of shining while participating in a shining flight in Roscommon County. Upon contact, the two occupants of the Jeep denied shining from the vehicle even though a spotlight was sitting between them. CO Garrett was able to get a confession from the suspects after he advised the DNR had a plane in the air watching them. When asked about any weapons in the vehicle, the two occupants denied having any. They allowed CO Garrett to search the back but would not let him look in the front of the vehicle. COs Matt Zultak and Ben McAteer showed up on scene and were able to convince the driver to hand out his loaded .45 caliber pistol from the center console. Neither occupant had a concealed pistol license (CPL) license to possess the loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. A warning was issued for the CPL violation and a citation was issued for shining with a weapon in possession.
CO Tyler Sabuda checked on a complaint of a baited tree stand on public land in Iosco County. When the hunter saw CO Sabuda, he immediately climbed out of his stand. When CO Sabuda asked to check the hunter's license, he claimed to have forgotten it at his residence. After some more questioning, the hunter admitted he didn't have a license. CO Sabuda issued a citation for hunting without a license.
CO Casey Pullum was patrolling rural Oscoda County roads late at night when he encountered a pickup truck stopped in the middle of the roadway. CO Pullum noted numerous things that made the situation suspicious. As he approached the vehicle, he noticed it was occupied by a driver who appeared to be on his cell phone. CO Pullum asked if everything was ok with his vehicle as he was stopped in the lane of traffic and the driver said, "Yes, I'm just answering a text." CO Pullum asked if there were any firearms in the vehicle to which the driver stated, "No." However, when asked if there were any crossbows in the vehicle the driver stated, "Yes, it's in the back." CO Pullum asked if he could look at the crossbow as he exited his patrol vehicle. The driver sighed and stated, "Alright, I'm going to level with ya. It's right here" as he pointed to his passenger seat. The driver turned on the interior dome lights and CO Pullum could see an uncased, cocked, and loaded crossbow laying on the passenger seat and a handheld spotlight on the center console. The driver stated he was feeling the pressure of not having his tags filled by this time of year and was looking for a new spot to hunt. He thought it would be easier to get a deer this way. The driver was cited for transporting a loaded crossbow in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeff Goss was checking state land in his patrol truck when a hunter stopped and started talking with him. The hunter showed CO Goss a trail camera picture of the buck he was hunting, and CO Goss recognized a very distinctive tree in the photo. CO Goss quickly remembered that the tree in the photo is located near an illegal bait pile he was on his way to check when he encountered the hunter. The two went back to his bait pile and a citation was issued.
CO Ryan Weakman was checking a parking lot to state land near Peach Lake in Gladwin County when a vehicle quickly left as he pulled in. CO Weakman attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation and the vehicle fled. A pursuit ensued and the vehicle crashed a short while later in a private driveway. The driver and passenger fled the scene but were apprehended a short time later. Warrants are being sought on the driver and the passenger was arrested on outstanding felony warrants.
CO Jay Person was waiting on a boat to come in off the Tittabawassee River in Midland County. When the angler returned, CO Person asked if he had any luck. The angler advised he caught one at 30 inches. CO Person knows the river holds trophy walleye and had to see this one. Come to find out, the angler caught a 30-inch steelhead. CO Person has worked Midland County for 23 years and has never seen a steelhead come out of that river.
CO Jill Miller was on patrol in Crow Island State Game Area (SGA). She contacted a pheasant hunter and when she asked how his hunt went, he stated good. There was a long pause after his response and then he admitted to having three pheasants. A citation was issued for take/possess an over limit of male pheasants.
CO Jason King and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk conducted surveillance on a suspect baiting in Saginaw County. The COs witnessed the suspect actively hunting over bait and casting a light over the clear-cut opening around his blind every few minutes well after legal hunting hours. CO King contacted the suspect after he exited his blind and began walking down a trail toward his vehicle. Upon contact, CO King witnessed the suspect put his rifle on the ground and walk toward him in attempt to hide the rifle. CO King recovered the rifle. Upon inspection of the rifle, he discovered it was still loaded with a round in the chamber, as well as in the magazine tube. Upon interviewing the suspect, they discovered that he had not purchased a valid 2021 hunting license and had an uncased 22 rifle in his vehicle. The suspect was cited for hunt deer no license, hunt over bait in closed area, hunt deer during closed season, and hunt after legal hunting hours. The suspect was also given warnings for hunt with unauthorized firearm, use of artificial light while in possession of firearm, and having an uncased firearm.
CO Adam Beuthin received a complaint of an individual trespassing onto private property to retrieve a deer that was shot earlier in the evening. CO Beuthin arrived at the location of the complaint and was able to retrieve the deer with the landowner's permission. CO Beuthin was able to determine it was harvested with a firearm based on the entry and exit wounds on the animal. The CO then went to the suspect's residence and talked with the suspect about the deer that wasn't tagged and shot with a gun. The suspect answered the door and slid his deer tag to the CO through the door. The tag was crinkled up to the point where the date and time of when the tag was purchased was illegible. After further conversation it was discovered that the deer was shot without a valid license. When the CO asked for the weapon used to kill the deer the suspect took the CO into the garage and handed him a crossbow with cobwebs on it. The CO asked the suspect where the firearm was that was used to kill the deer. The suspect lowered his head and then handed the CO a 20 ga. shotgun from a case in the garage. Enforcement action was taken, and a warrant was issued through the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Mike Haas responded to a bait complaint in northeastern Isabella County where a complainant stated he had seen two large piles of illegal bait. CO Haas arrived at the complaint site and witnessed a group of men setting up a hunting stand next to a very large pile of sugar beets, carrots, and another large pile of pumpkins. One of the men on scene admitted he had placed all the bait out and he had recruited his friends to help him put up his hunting stand. The man stated he wasn't that familiar with hunting and assumed he needed all the bait to be successful. The man received a citation for the unlawful bait and brought in a large trailer to remove all the bait.
While patrolling a complaint area for illegal shining activity in Isabella County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and crossing the center line multiple times. CO Haas initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who lacked a valid driver's license and had seven confirmed warrants for his arrest. Multiple agencies informed CO Haas to advise the subject of his warrants and release him, however Newaygo County stated that they would like the man arrested and transported. CO Haas warned the man for his driving violations, arrested him for his outstanding warrants, and transported him to a Newaygo County deputy.
CO Cullen Knoblauch and CO Dan Robinson received a complaint of trespassing and unlawful trapping on leased property in Montcalm County. The COs were in the area when the complaint came in. The caller reported a trapper had shot an animal earlier in the morning. The COs located the traps and noted that neither trap was tagged as required. CO Knoblauch tracked down the trapper and contacted him. It was discovered the trapper makes it a practice not to tag his traps. The trapper told the COs that he had trapped and shot a fox earlier in the day in one of the seized traps. A citation was issued to the trapper for untagged traps and the traps were returned to him. A verbal warning was also given for recreational trespass.
CO Dan Robinson concluded a month-long investigation involving tires dumped on private property. The caller had used game cameras in an area where trash was being dumped on a regular basis and captured subjects dumping tires. The vehicle in the photos was unique but had not been located. While on patrol CO Robinson witnessed the vehicle he had been looking for and was able to get a license plate number. An interview was conducted, and the subject admitted to dumping the tires. Charges are being sought on the case.
A Barry County Sheriff's Deputy asked CO Kyle McQueer for his assistance in attempting to locate an individual who had a warrant for their arrest. When the deputy and CO McQueer arrived at the residence, they observed an individual sitting inside of a car on the property. The deputy knew the individual and knew he had a warrant. He was placed under arrest for his warrant. After the individual was placed under arrest for his warrant and secured in the patrol vehicle, the officers contacted the homeowners who stated the individual they were looking for was not home. After much conversation, the individual they were looking for came to the door and was placed under arrest for her warrant. Both individuals were lodged at the Barry County Jail for their warrants.
COs Sam Schluckbier and Carter Woodwyk responded to a trespass in progress near the Fennville Farm Unit. CO Woodwyk walked the property but was unable to locate the suspect prior to him stealing a trail camera and vacating the area. The following day, further investigation generated a suspect for the trespass. CO Schluckbier conducted a lengthy interview and eventually obtained a confession to the trespass. After visiting the suspect's residence, it was discovered the suspect had also shot and failed to tag an antlerless deer while trespassing. Charges are being sought through the Allegan County Prosecutor's Office.
COs Carter Woodwyk, Justin Ulberg, Casey Varriale, and Robert Slick assisted the Grand Haven Public Schools Outdoor Education class with their annual chukar hunt at Olive Acres in Ottawa County. The chukar hunt is part of the outdoor education class curriculum that brings their hunter safety education portion of the class in full circle. Students from every range of experience participated in the hunt and their education on hunter safety showed throughout the day. It was a safe day with many chukars taken by the hunters.
CO Carter Woodwyk patrolled the Fennville Farm in Allegan County for the goose season opener. Multiple warnings were issued for unsigned federal migratory bird hunting stamps. One warning was issued for not having a Michigan waterfowl hunting license and another warning was issued for hunting with a firearm that could hold more than three shells. Overall, the hunters were in compliance with the waterfowl laws, and they were anxious for the geese to start flying.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint a few weeks prior of hunters who were possibly baiting for deer on a small private parcel of property that was surrounded by the Allegan SGA in Allegan County. The CO followed-up on this location and located a crossbow hunter in a pop-up blind with shelled corn scattered on the ground approximately 20 yards in front of the blind. The hunter admitted to knowing that baiting was illegal in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan but stated that he figured if he spread the bait out it would not be a big deal. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint in Allegan County of multiple subjects possibly fishing Bear Creek. Bear Creek is a small, Type I trout stream that closes to all fishing activities on October 1st of every year. The CO arrived on scene and located three subjects, two who were fishing, just below the culvert at the M-40 highway. The CO watched the anglers for a while before making contact. When contact was made, one angler was found fishing with a weighted treble hook that did not have any bait on it. A second angler was observed fishing with four single hooks set up in a perch rig fashion. The third angler was not fishing but did indicate he had a stringer of fish in the water that he had caught earlier in the day. While issuing citations to these anglers for taking/possessing fish on closed waters, a fourth angler came out of the woods from the creek's edge. This angler was also stopped and cited for possessing fishing gear along a closed trout stream.
CO Travis Dragomer conducted a traffic stop on an individual who was shining a field for deer during November. The operator also had a compound bow in the vehicle. One citation was issued for shining during November and one warning was given for shining with a weapon in possession.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were both dispatched to a recreational trespass complaint in Muskegon County. The property in question is highly regulated, fenced, and posted, and is available to hunt by permit only. Even with a permit to hunt the property, there are still areas that are restricted. Two hunters were observed entering the restricted area through a hole in the fence, with climber stands, and weapons in hand. CO Miskovich was able to observe both hunters in the restricted area, beginning to exit the property for the evening. Contact was made and COs Cullen and Miskovich instructed the hunters to lead them back to their climber stands that were left in the woods. The COs wrote both hunters for recreational trespass and failing to have their kill-tags on their person.
CO Jackie Miskovich received a complaint that someone was seen walking into a parcel of Muskegon County Road Commission property (MCRC). CO Miskovich waited for the person to exit the property after shooting hours ended and found that the individual was hunting on the posted MCRC property without permission. They were also afield without their hunting licenses on them while out hunting for deer. A citation was issued for recreational trespassing and hunting without licenses on their person
CO John Byars received three separate Report All Poaching (RAP) complaints about a possible illegally harvested whitetail buck. The three complaints reported the bucks were harvested before the purchase of their licenses. CO Byars contacted the suspects who admitted to harvesting the deer before they purchased licenses. CO Byars seized the antlers and reports will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review and prosecution.
CO Pete Purdy and a Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy responded to a 911 call of a male subject on a four-wheeler acting strange. The subject parked the ORV in the driveway of a house and entered the house, taking off his boots but still wearing his ORV helmet. The residents at the house did not know the subject and asked what he was doing. The subject exited the house and began walking down the road while wearing the helmet and leaving the ORV behind. CO Purdy and the deputy checked the area but were unable to locate the subject. It was later discovered the ORV was recently stolen in Shiawassee County. The suspect broke into a shed, vandalized multiple items, then took the ORV. The ORV was returned to the owners. The Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office advised they had identified a suspect and are handling the investigation.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint of two men from Ohio who were caught trespassing. CO Wellman responded to the area and was able to locate the subjects at a residence nearby. After interviews, it was found that the men were not only trespassing, but they were also hunting over bait and hunting without licenses. Charges will be sought through the Branch County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint from a local farmer that someone had driven around his entire field of standing soybeans with an ORV causing extensive damage to the field. Based on an earlier complaint that CO Wellman worked in the area, he was able to identify a suspect and obtain a confession. Charges are currently being sought through the Branch County Prosecutor for ORV trespass and destruction of property.
CO Jason McCullough was following up on an on-going timber theft investigation and caught one of the suspects red-handed shortly after cutting down a tree on federal land. CO McCullough is continuing to document locations of the theft and determining a dollar amount for the stolen timber. Felony charges are expected.
CO Cullen Knoblauch conducted a taxidermy inspection in Jackson County and located a 9-point buck that was suspiciously tagged. The suspect was interviewed and admitted to buying a hunting license after the deer was killed by her boyfriend in Ingham County. CO Knoblauch interviewed the suspect who admitted to borrowing his girlfriend's tag for this deer but also using his girlfriend's tag for an 8-point in 2019. The case will be forwarded to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office for charges.
CO Tom Peterson investigated a complaint of a deer that had been shot and died in the backyard of a Clarkston home. The CO was able to follow a blood trail leading to a heavily baited area with a constructed blind overlooking it. After further investigation, it was determined that the property owner shot the deer the night prior and lost the blood trail. The CO confiscated the deer and charges for the violations will be sought through the prosecutor's office.
CO Tom Peterson located an individual hunting over bait while trespassing on Groveland Township property. CO Peterson explained the rules and regulations behind baiting and informed the subject that no one has permission to hunt Groveland Township property. Charges are being sought for these violations through the prosecutor's office.
CO Danielle Zubek received a complaint for a private landowner posting no trespassing signs on state land in Highland Recreation Area. CO Zubek contacted the landowner and advised to remove the no trespassing signs and remove the boats, cars, trailers, and other items that they have stored on state land. CO Zubek advised the landowners to have their property surveyed. CO Zubek will notify the supervisor at Highland Recreation area of the problem.
CO Danielle Zubek was contacted by CO Andy Monnich for a group of anglers taking multiple limits of walleye over the course of several days. The COs responded to the Luna Pier area in plain clothes for surveillance of the group. The COs witnessed the group of anglers clean a limit of fish from the morning trip and launch their boat in the early evening to head out for a second trip. After the group finished cleaning fish, they would dump the carcasses over the seawall of their lakefront rental home. Due to calm waters in Lake Erie, the COs were able to enter the water and retrieve the carcasses. All carcasses were measured, and several short walleyes were found. After the group returned, the Luna Pier Police Department conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The COs assisted with the stop and discovered the group had 24 walleyes over their limit. The COs issued citations to the group and confiscated the over-limit of walleye.
CO Luke Robare interviewed a hunter who purchased a combination license after he shot two deer. The hunter admitted to shooting two bucks on October 26th at 6:30 pm and purchased his combination tag the same day at 8:30 pm. CO Robare seized all the meat from the two deer and both racks and will be pursuing charges through the local prosecutor's office.
CO Luke Robare assisted the MSP on a hit and run crash in the Holly area. The suspect crashed into another vehicle and fled southbound on I 75. The MSP dispatchers were able to see the suspect's vehicle on a traffic camera. CO Robare was the only uniformed officer in the area of the suspect and stopped to detain the subject until troopers could arrive on scene to investigate.
CO Justin Muehlhauser and Sgt. Jason Becker located a vehicle parked in front of a gate on Consumers Energy property. The COs went in on foot and located a hunter and his son hunting on nearby Genesee County Land Bank property. The site was baited with apples and carrots. The subject was cited for using bait to aid in the taking of deer.
All Area 2 COs attended the Hunter Safety field day at Williams Gun Sight and had approximately 50 students successfully earned their Hunter Safety certificates.
CO Jaime Salisbury was dispatched to an illegal baiting complaint. When CO Salisbury arrived on scene, he located the hunters and the bait they had placed to hunt over. While speaking with the hunters, it was discovered that one of them shot a 7-point buck earlier that morning in the same field. CO Salisbury asked to see a photo of the deer and noted that the timestamp on the photo was 8:30 am. After conversing for a moment about the deer the man had shot, CO Salisbury asked to see the man's hunting licenses. When handed the licenses CO Salisbury noticed that the tags were purchased at 9:11 am. CO Salisbury pointed out this discrepancy to the hunter and asked if he had shot the deer before buying his tags. The hunter admitted to shooting the deer and then buying the tag after the fact. CO Salisbury followed the hunter back to his home and confiscated the illegally taken deer. Citations were issued to both hunters for hunting over bait. Charges will be sought through the Lapeer County Prosecutor's Office for the illegally taken deer.
Sgt. Chris Maher and CO Jaime Salisbury interviewed a man regarding a suspicious deer he had located at a local deer processor while doing an inspection. Sgt. Maher interviewed the suspect and was given a full confession of the hunter having gone hunting and shot a 9-point buck before having purchased his tag.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Martin Lawrence responded to a complaint on Harsen's Island of shots fired at 1:45 am the previous morning. The COs contacted a subject at the suspected residence, who denied everything. The COs then asked him to walk them out to his deer blind behind the house. While walking to the blind, CO Lawrence found blood in the backyard and asked the subject about it. He lowered his head and admitted shooting an 8-point buck at night. The subject also admitted to shooting the deer with his shotgun during the archery season with the aid of an artificial light and had not purchased a deer license yet this season. The firearm and the deer were seized, and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor.
CO Brandon Hartleben met with a complainant on his property to check on baiting activity occurring on a neighboring property. The complainant advised that he could see the bait from his property and had spoken with the landowner about baiting being illegal. The complainant was out checking his property the day after talking with the neighbor and noticed that not only had he failed to remove the bait but had added more. While walking the property edge with the complainant, CO Hartleben noticed that pumpkins had also recently been added to the mix. There was a hunter sitting in a ladder stand over the bait. CO Hartleben contacted the hunter who turned out to be a 16-year-old guest of the property owner. When asked if anyone else was out hunting, the young man replied that the property owner was also out hunting just up the ridge. CO Hartleben contacted the property owner and identified two other large bait piles in the immediate vicinity. The property owner and young hunter were given an education on the laws related to baiting and feeding and the property owner was issued a citation for hunting deer over bait.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a call from Monroe County Central Dispatch, and they advised that an individual had called stating that a hunter had trespassed onto their property and retrieved a deer just after daybreak. CO Ingersoll met with the complainant who advised that while he was out hunting, he heard what he thought was an arrow hitting a deer and observed a deer run onto his property. He stated that he then observed an individual walk to the deer that had been shot and drag it back into his property. The complainant took CO Ingersoll to where the hunter had observed the individual trespass and CO Ingersoll observed a hunting blind and a bait pile along the complainant's property. CO Ingersoll was able to walk to the residence as it was in a subdivision. COs Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek met with the suspect who stated that he had shot a deer just after shooting hours that morning. He then admitted to walking onto the complainant's property and dragging the deer back to his property and placing it in the shed. The COs questioned him about the bait, and he stated he knew it was illegal, but it was the only way he could get them into his property. After speaking with the landowners, they advised they did not want the individual to possess the deer as he had not asked for permission to retrieve it. The COs seized the 8-point buck and warned the hunter for trespassing and will be seeking charges through the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office for taking a deer over bait.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nick Ingersoll received a RAP complaint involving a subject who harvested an 8-point buck without a license in Monroe County. The COs conducted an interview with the suspect and received a full confession for the violation. It was determined the suspect had harvested the buck with a crossbow early in the morning, then drove to a store to purchase a hunting license to properly tag the deer before it was dropped off at a local processor. The COs seized the suspect's weapon and deer for evidence in the case. Charges will be filed with the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Joseph Deppen was working on Belle Isle in Detroit. CO Deppen set up surveillance on three anglers setting up to catch fish. CO Deppen observed them for a few hours and radioed CO Keven Luther that one of the three was already over his limit for perch and they were also using an illegal net to catch gamefish. The COs contacted the subjects and multiple violations were addressed. The anglers were cited for over-limits of perch, possess undersized largemouth bass, and possess aquatic invasive species. One in the group also had prior offenses for over-limits of fish.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge was working near Negaunee in Marquette County when a single vehicle P.I. accident took place near his location. Cpl. DeLonge was first on scene and contacted the driver, who had difficulty breathing from the impact and had a large laceration on his hand. Cpl. DeLonge applied first aid care to the individual until EMS arrived.
Cpl. Jon Busken was first on scene of a camper fire in Mackinac County. Cpl. Busken assisted local firefighters with scene control and took statements from the witnesses.
Cpl. Craig Milkowski performed multiple dockside inspections during the state commercial fish closure. No violations were observed, and all plan on fishing in December.
Cpl. Kevin Postma attended an area Maritime Security Meeting hosted by the USCG.
Cpl. Kevin Postma assisted D1 with a presentation on inland tribal enforcement as it pertains to the 1842 Ceded Territory.
Cpl. Nick Atkin conducted a whitefish closure patrol on the Saginaw Bay from Bay Port to Oscoda. All commercial fisherman checked were at the docks.