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11/14/2021 - 11/27/2021
COs Ethen Mapes and Zach Painter checked deer at two different meat processors in Ontonagon County and found two APR (Antler Point Restrictions), violations, tag sharing/ tag lending violations, as well as a license that had been bought after the hunter had shot his deer. COs Mapes and Painter have started interviews and have gained confessions on three illegal deer.
CO Brian Lasanen contacted a road hunter who advised he was just out for an afternoon cruise. CO Lasanen checked the hunter's license and gun. The hunter advised the gun was unloaded. A check revealed the rifle to be loaded and one in the chamber. The hunter was ticketed for having a loaded rifle in motor vehicle.
CO Jenni Hanson was off duty hunting on her own private property when she heard a gunshot on her neighbors' property. CO Hanson knew that no one was allowed to be hunting that land. Another neighbor had witnessed two men loading an 8-point deer into their vehicle. When encountered, the suspect gave a fake name and fled the scene at a high rate of speed. The suspect was identified and later interviewed, where he confessed to shooting the deer from the roadway and trespassing onto private property to retrieve the deer. Charges are being requested through the Gogebic County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling northern Dickinson County when a call came out from central dispatch of a suicidal subject trying to drive off a cliff into the water. CO Ferguson responded to the area and located the subject still inside of the motor vehicle. CO Ferguson and a Dickinson County Sheriff's deputy were able to talk her out of the car and get her to the hospital for help.
COs Zach Painter and Alex VanWagner contacted a hunter coming out of the woods who had previous violations at his hunting blind. There was also a gut pile located near the blind. While interviewing the hunter, his story about who harvested the deer kept changing and he admitted there were two bucks back at the camp, an 8-point, and a 6-point. The subject brought the COs to the camp and interviews were conducted on the other three hunters as they arrived at camp from their evening hunt. Eventually, everyone at camp admitted the two bucks were tagged by someone who had not shot the deer. The deer were seized as evidence and each subject showed the COs their blinds as they admitted to over baiting. All four subjects were issued citations for exceeding two gallons of bait, three were issued verbal warnings for no identification on ground blind, and one was issued a verbal warning for litter. A report has been submitted to the Iron County Prosecutor's Office for the deer.
COs Alex VanWagner and Anna Viau followed up on an ongoing over-baiting case on which both COs had spent much time scoping out locations and violations. Early on opening day of the rifle season, COs VanWagner and Viau hiked through a stream and into the woods to locate and check two hunters in a remote section of state land. The COs each contacted a hunter at the same time. Both hunters were over bait by a large amount. The hunter checked by CO Viau was also in an illegal permanent blind which did not have a name/address or driver's license number on it. There was also a 55-gallon steel barrel chained to a tree that had been there for several years, as admitted by the hunter. There was an illegal ORV trail cutting through the woods to the blind. After discussing the violations with the hunter, who was very cooperative, CO Viau advised him he could walk back to his camp, just south of the section of state land, and get his ORV so he could haul his belongings back to camp. As CO Viau was writing out the citations, the hunter came back on his ORV without a helmet on. The man was citated for most of the violations but given warnings for the illegal ORV trail and not wearing a helmet. The hunter checked by CO VanWagner was hunting out of a blind that also did not have any identification on it. The hunter had driven his ORV most of the way to the blind. CO VanWagner cited the man for those violations.
CO Jeffrey Dell received a complaint of ORVs operating on state land during morning hunting hours. CO Dell waited at a road intersection that evening and observed two ORV riders approaching, dragging a deer in a sled. Neither rider had a helmet and they also had uncased firearms. Upon further inspection, neither ORV had an ORV license affixed to it. Upon inspecting the doe in the sled, CO Dell observed that it had not been tagged. The individual who shot the doe had not even validated his tag yet. During the inspection, the hunters admitted to operating their ORVs on state land during prime hunting time. The pair were cited for transporting uncased firearms on their ORVs. Warnings were given for all other violations and the hunter was made to validate and tag his doe.
CO John Kamps was able to serve a warrant for illegal deer taken in 2019 and 2020. The suspect faces charges for two 8-point deer taken without licenses. A hearing is scheduled with the Delta County Court.
CO John Kamps was patrolling for shining activity when he observed a very slow rolling vehicle with a large illuminated light bar on its roof. The vehicle slowly approached the CO's location and came to a stop. Upon checking, it was determined that the single occupant of the vehicle had an uncased rifle on the dashboard and an open beer between his legs. The suspect received a citation for an uncased gun in a motor vehicle. They were advised of the November shining laws and the use of a motor vehicle to locate game.
CO John Kamps was on patrol when he stopped an ORV that was traveling against the flow of traffic on a highway. When contacted, the passenger of the vehicle frantically tried hiding something from the CO by covering it up with a towel. It was determined that the passenger of the ORV had an uncased and loaded 30-06 rifle next to him. The operator of the vehicle was driving on a revoked drivers' license. The passenger received a citation for an uncased/loaded gun in a motor vehicle. The operator received a citation for operating an ORV on a highway.
CO John Kamps checked a father and son hunting a remote section of state land in Marquette County. The CO first located the father who was found to be hunting without a deer license. CO Kamps escorted the father out of the woods and found out that his son was hunting a different section of the state land. Although hesitant, the father finally escorted the CO to his son's hunting location. The son was also determined to be hunting deer without a valid license. A citation was issued to the father for hunting deer without a license.
CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling near Kate's Grade when he checked an individual driving down the grade. The individual had a loaded rifle with a round chambered in the backseat of the vehicle. The individual stated his concealed pistol (CPL) instructor told him he could have a loaded rifle in his truck with a CPL. CO Sergey educated the individual that not only was that wrong, but extremely dangerous. A citation was issued.
CO Jeremy Sergey was investigating a suspicious situation regarding the taking of a 9-point deer when he learned that the Marquette City Police Department had a warrant for the same suspect for a hit and run incident earlier in the fall. CO Sergey located the suspect, who was living at a residence previously unknown to law enforcement. CO Sergey updated the Marquette City Police Department on the suspect's new residence and served the warrant for the police department.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol near the Sturgeon River Sloughs in Baraga County when he observed a truck with an empty trailer at the launch. CO Smith assumed it was a trapper out checking sets and decided to wait for their return. After a brief wait, a camouflaged vessel was observed returning to the launch. CO Smith contacted an individual and asked him if he was scouting birds for the upcoming two-day late duck season. The subject responded that there were lots of ducks moving and he wished he had taken his gun into the house for it to thaw out the night prior. CO Smith looked at the hunter in shock when he stated that he had shot a nice mallard and would have shot more ducks if the gun hadn't frozen up. CO Smith explained to the hunter that waterfowl season in the North Zone had been closed for nearly a week and was about to open two days later for the two-day split season. The hunter stated they thought the season was still open. A citation was issued to the hunter for hunting during a closed season and a verbal warning issued for improper registration display on a vessel.
COs Steve Butzin and Chris Lynch of Delta County and CO Dan Robinson of Isabella County worked together to solve a complaint of shots being fired after legal hunting hours. This complaint occurred in Delta County during the September bear season. The shots were triangulated to a camp where several bear hunters were known to frequent. The complaint led to several interviews and a search warrant being served. After further investigation, one hunter was found to have been hunting in a tree stand well after legal hunting hours. The hunter shot a black bear almost an hour and a half after legal hunting hours had ended. CO Butzin had also dealt with this same hunter last year for taking a deer without a license and using the deer license of another. A report is being submitted to the Delta County prosecutor for the illegal take of a black bear, possess a loaded firearm after legal hunting hours, and using an artificial light to aid in the taking of game. If convicted the hunter could face fines of over $3,500 and loss of hunting privileges for several years.
On opening morning of firearm season, CO Andrea Dani followed tracks to a blind in Delta County. There she observed a hunter field dressing a deer. She checked the deer and while turning its head to observe the antlers, the hunter became nervous and sighed heavily, asking how much trouble he was in. The hunter stated he was just about to put his son's single deer license on the spike-horn buck, because he only had a restricted combination tag left. The hunter was cited for failure to immediately tag the deer, borrowing the tag of another, and APR violation in Zone 1. CO Dani seized the deer and the hunter's rifle. A report is being filed with the Alger County prosecutor seeking charges and reimbursement to the state for the illegally taken deer, license revocation, and for the adult son for loaning his tag.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when they were dispatched to a recreational trespass call. Once on scene, the COs met with the landowner who was out with the trespassers. After interviewing the suspects and witnesses, a search of the area was conducted, and numerous other violations were discovered. One suspect shot a spike horn without a license, loaned two licenses to another, had two uncased firearms in a motor vehicle, and was recreational trespassing. The other suspect shot two does without a license, borrowed two licenses, possessed an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, recreational trespassed, and was currently on bond for several violent felony charges he is facing and is prohibited from possessing firearms. The landowner elected not to press charges for recreational trespass and a report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor's Office for review on the other violations. The deer and firearms were seized.
COs Robert Freeborn and Brandon Maki received an anonymous RAP complaint about a subject who possibly shot an illegal deer. The COs located the subject and after a short interview the suspect confessed to shooting an 8-point without a license and before legal shooting hours. The suspect also produced a kill-tag that was still in his wallet which was purchased after the deer was killed. The firearm and antlers were seized as evidence and the COs will be submitting a report to the local prosecutor for all violations.
COs Colton Gelinas and Cole VanOosten observed a truck in a field well after shooting hours ended the day before firearm deer season in Mackinac County. The COs contacted the individual after he left the field and returned to the residence. Inside the vehicle was a loaded shotgun, rifle, and bow. The individual claimed they did not have the rifle in the deer blind with them, just the bow. A citation was issued for loaded gun in motor vehicle.
CO Todd Sumbera was patrolling northern Mackinac County near the end of shooting hours when he contacted four hunters. The first of which handed CO Sumbera his 2021 single deer license and admitted to already harvesting a 5-point, which he had tagged with his grandson's deer tag. He also possessed a loaded firearm in the motor vehicle. This first individual also stated that another member of the hunting party had harvested a buck that morning. The third individual was in possession of an uncased rifle in a motor vehicle. The fourth individual, who was believed to have harvested a buck earlier that morning, when asked to see his deer license produced a 2021 single deer tag and stated that he had not had any success yet. CO Sumbera asked about the deer he had shot in the morning and the hunter admitted that he had shot a buck and then placed his wife's tag on the deer. Citations were issued for the tagging violations and for the loaded and uncased firearms.
CO Todd Sumbera investigated a deer shot on opening day without a license. The suspect stated that she did shoot the deer, but claimed she had her license before shooting the deer. When confronted with the fact that the license was bought with only minutes remaining in legal hunting hours, the suspect confessed to shooting the deer and buying her deer license after the fact. A report is being compiled and submitted to the prosecutor for review.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol the day before firearm deer season when he followed an illegal ORV trail around a gate and into a closed area of Mackinac County. The trail led to an archery hunter. The hunter admitted that he had driven behind the gate on several occasions but not that day because he was hunting. When asked how much bait he had out, the hunter stated he thought about 200 pounds. Upon closer examination it was determined that the hunter had approximately 800 pounds of sugar beets out, well over the two-gallon limit. A citation was issued for hunting over a bait larger than two gallons and a warning was issued for operating in a closed area.
CO Cole VanOosten was on a patrol of Schoolcraft County when he encountered a hunter returning from an evening hunt on an ORV. Contact was made and the hunter stated that he had not unloaded his weapon because of the cold weather. The rifle was lying next to the hunter's case on the inside of the side-by-side with the barrel pointed up towards the driver. CO VanOosten inspected the rifle to find that it was fully loaded in both magazine and chamber. A citation was issued for transporting a loaded and uncased firearm in an ORV and warnings were issued for possession of a loaded firearm after legal hunting hours.
CO Andrea Erratt, while patrolling in the Jordan River Valley after shooting hours on opening day, checked a hunter standing by the road with a loaded rifle waiting for his friend to pick him up. As CO Erratt checked his license and had him unload his rifle, his friend pulled up with an untagged 10-point buck on the tailgate of his truck. The hunter got out of his truck saying, "Sorry I got excited, and I did not tag him yet." CO Erratt asked if he had his rifle in his truck and he replied yes but it isn't unloaded because he was in a hurry and did not eject the six rounds in his rifle. CO Erratt ticketed the hunter for failing to immediately tag his buck deer and transporting a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle. When CO Erratt told him she was going to let him tag and keep his buck he nearly passed out, having to sit down. He told her he thought he was going to lose the biggest buck he ever shot, and he thanked her for not taking his buck.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about baited blinds on well site openings on a large section of private property. On opening day of firearm deer season, she patrolled to the area and located a blind with sugar beets and a pumpkin out front. While in route to the second blind, CO Erratt contacted the landowner who said he was responsible for all the bait on his property. He agreed to go with her to check his blind and another that both were heavily baited with huge sugar beets, apples, and deep piles of corn covering half of the well site openings. Everywhere CO Erratt walked in the openings covered with fresh snow, she tripped over the sugar beets that the man said he got from his farm downstate. CO Erratt ticketed the landowner for allowing deer feed to be placed on property he owned and controlled and warned him for hunting deer over bait.
CO Andrea Erratt, on the second evening of firearm deer season, went to a gas station to wash her very dirty truck and observed an untagged head of an 8-point buck sticking out of the bed of a truck by one of the pumps. When the hunter came out, CO Erratt asked if he got the buck and he replied, "Yes, I'm taking it to get processed." He walked to the cab of his truck to get his tag out of his wallet. The hunter said he shot the buck early on opening morning. CO Erratt asked if there was a reason that he had not tagged the buck and he said he was just being lazy. CO Erratt ticketed the hunter for failing to immediately tag his deer.
CO Andrea Albert noticed two small bucks at a local buck contest that were claimed to have been shot in Otsego County where there are no APRs. After a short interview with the hunters, it was revealed that both were shot in a county with APRs in place. The illegal deer were seized, and charges are pending for taking a deer in violation of APRs.
CO Chad Baldwin was returning home from an evening patrol when a cow strolled out into the middle of the road in front of him during a snowstorm. CO Baldwin avoided the cow and stopped his patrol truck, utilized his spotlight, and quickly observed at least 20 cows roaming around the front yard of a home and more cows roaming around behind the house and driveway. The house on the property was vacant so, CO Baldwin drove to a neighboring home down the road and obtained a phone number for the farmer who the cows belonged to. The farmer responded and with the help of CO Baldwin and the neighbor, all the cows were wrangled back into the barn and secured for the night.
COs Nathan Beelman and Chad Baldwin were working the opening day of the firearm deer season when a call for a missing airplane came out from central dispatch. The COs were around the last known location of the airplane and began to search a private property parcel for signs of a crash. Local first responders consisting of the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department, MSP, local fire departments, and emergency medical services (EMS) all arrived on scene. A local airplane pilot was dispatched to help search from above and the MSP dispatched a helicopter from Lansing. The search continued throughout the day until the downed airplane was spotted by the MSP helicopter and the first responders were guided into the crash site. Both pilots were found deceased in the airplane and the cause is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
CO Nathan Beelman and Sgt. Bill Webster were checking hunters on opening day when they observed a subject hunting near the roadway without hunter orange on. The hunter was contacted, and it was soon found that the hunter had failed to purchase his hunting license for the season. The hunter was ticketed for hunting without a license and given a warning for failing to wear hunter orange.
CO Duane Budreau and Cpl. Brad Dohm contacted a hunter on opening day of firearm deer season who was hunting from an illegal ground blind. CO Budreau had checked the blind for bait a few days prior to the start of the season. The hunter had placed a mixture of apples, corn, and sugar beets in a wooded box and covered it with chicken wire, making it inaccessible to deer. The homemade scent attractant would have been legal; however, while checking the hunter on opening morning, the COs found more bait placed on the ground around the container. When questioned about the bait, the hunter was quick to blame his grandson. The hunter was ticketed for hunting from an illegal blind as well as baiting deer in an area closed to baiting. While following up on other blinds in the area, CO Budreau and Cpl. Dohm contacted another hunter with bait on the ground. During the series of questioning, it was determined that this was the 'notorious' grandson. The COs of course asked the grandson if he baited his grandfather's blind. The young hunter looked at the COs with a puzzled look on his face and stated, "No, he baits his own blind". A ticket for baiting deer in an area closed to baiting was issued to the young man.
COs Adam LeClerc and Duane Budreau responded to a call from Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet (CCE) 911 Dispatch. CCE 911 called out a person in distress and possible trapped under a tipped over tractor. COs LeClerc and Budreau were the first to arrive on scene. They found the individual was attempting to unhook a back blade from a three-point hitch, when the attachment hinged at the top, trapping the individual between the blade and the pivot by the thighs and forcing him to the ground. CO LeClerc used the top link bar from the tractor as a lever to release pressure off the individual so he could crawl out from the implement. The patient was turned over to Alanson Fire Department and EMS to receive medical attention.
Sgt. Bill Webster was on foot patrol in Antrim County on conservancy land when he walked up on a fresh gut pile. Sgt. Webster tracked it back to a pop-up blind that was baited heavily with potatoes. As Sgt. Webster was taking photographs of the bait, he heard a tractor coming toward him. Sgt. Webster went and hid near some trees and waited for the tractor to leave. The tractor stopped and a man got off the tractor dressed in hunter orange with a rifle and walked to the pop-up blind. As the man was settling into the blind Sgt. Webster contacted him. The hunter admitted to shooting a 6- point over the bait and putting the bait out. A ticket for hunting over bait was issued.
COs Matt Theunick and Tim Rosochacki checked baited locations on state land in Cheboygan County on the opening day of firearm deer. While checking one blind, the COs observed no one in it but could hear voices coming from over a ridge. Upon cresting the ridge, the COs contacted several subjects standing over a deer in the process of gutting it. The subject gutting the deer stated immediately, "I don't have a license." The subject knew he should have had one but stated he forgot and hadn't gone hunting in a while. He was watching online videos showing him how to gut the deer. The subject was ticketed for taking a deer without a license. The deer was seized and donated to a local family in need, and the subject received a warning for hunting over bait.
CO Kyle Cherry was conducting a routine inspection of a meat processer in Otsego County when he came across multiple deer with licensing issues. Two deer were turned in without any validated attached kill-tags, and another deer appeared to be shot without a license. All three deer issues were followed up on, and interviews were conducted. The owners of two of the deer were found to have valid licenses but did not properly tag the deer. Tickets were issued for the failure to tag. The owner of the third deer was found not to have a valid hunting license at all. Charges are being sought through the court system for the third deer violation.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol checking for deer hunting activity in Otsego County when a pickup truck pulled up next to him. The operator wanted to discuss concerns over a possible issue they had come across. While discussing the driver's concern, CO Cherry noticed an open bottle of rum between the legs of the driver. When asked about the rum, the driver stated he was not drinking it but just driving around with it in his lap. CO Cherry removed the driver from the vehicle and conducted field sobriety tests. The driver was found to not be under the influence of alcohol, although further investigation revealed he was driving with a suspended driver's license, no insurance, an expired registration, and had two warrants for his arrest. Tickets were issued for the traffic violations, and the warrants were addressed.
CO Sidney Collins was checking social media when she came across a post of an 8-point buck harvested in Montmorency County. CO Collins noticed the deer picture was posted the night of November 15th. CO Collins checked the retail sales system (RSS) and noticed the tag was purchased the morning of November 16th. The subject made a full confession, the deer was confiscated, and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor's office for take a deer no license.
CO Sidney Collins was assisting CO Dan Liestenfeltz with a hunter harassment case in Montmorency County. The COs were canvasing the location when CO Collins came across a vehicle in a field. When CO Collins pulled up to the vehicle, she observed the driver put down a can of beer. The driver of the vehicle appeared very intoxicated and stated he was lost. CO Collins asked the driver if there were any firearms in the vehicle which the driver stated there was not. CO Collins found an uncased rifle behind the driver's seat. CO Collins ran the driver through field sobriety tests. The subject blew a .24. The driver of the vehicle was ultimately arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possessing a firearm while intoxicated, and open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
CO Paul Fox stopped by a private hunting camp near Ocqueoc to discuss a state forest road trespass and repair issue. While at the camp, CO Fox observed an untagged deer hanging from a tree. CO Fox contacted the hunter who shot the deer and he stated he forgot to attach his tag. A ticket was issued for failing to immediately tag the deer.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Paul Fox, Sidney Collins, Jessie Curtis, Jon Sheppard, Sgt. Mike Mshar, and MSP troopers conducted a traffic enforcement detail in Montmorency County focused on transporting deer and firearms. One subject was on radar traveling 75 miles per hour (mph) in a 55-mph zone. The subject conveniently pulled into the exact location where the COs were parked. The subject got out of his vehicle and began yelling at the COs regarding the area deer herd having all been poached off, as he did not see any deer. Sgt. Mshar then questioned the subject why he was traveling so fast. The subject stated he was just passing cars. Further questioning revealed that the subject had a firearm in the vehicle. A check of the firearm revealed that it was also loaded. A ticket was issued for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and a warning was given for speeding.
CO Jessie Curtis conducted an inspection on a local wild animal rehabilitator in Alpena County. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the rehabilitator did not have a current list of permitted sub-permittees. CO Curtis will be submitting a report to the court for the violations. CO Curtis visited the unpermitted subjects to inform them they do not have permits to rehabilitate animals. One of the subjects had two adult domesticated raccoons. CO Curtis issued a ticket for possessing captive wildlife and the raccoons were returned to the permitted rehabilitator.
CO Jessie Curtis was traveling north bound on M 33 in Montmorency County when she observed antlers from a deer sticking out of a truck bed that was traveling southbound. CO Curtis looked in her side rear view mirror and observed a kill-tag color from a couple years ago. Upon further investigation, the subject had tagged a 10-point deer with a tag from 2019. The subject admitted to hunting over bait as well. CO Curtis issued a ticket for possessing an untagged deer.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis were patrolling southern Alpena County following up on bait complaints when CO Curtis observed a 9-point deer hanging from the buck pole at a camp. Upon further investigation, the subject did not tag the deer and the subject did not believe he had tags left as he admitted that he may have let his son use them for his deer. CO Curtis will be submitting a report on the violations to the court.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney Collins were patrolling northern Montmorency County opening day of firearm season when they observed a vehicle driving towards them very slowly with their windows down. The COs contacted the vehicle and its occupants, and it was determined that there were two loaded and uncased rifles in the back seat of the vehicle. A passenger in the back seat was holding one of them. The passengers admitted that they were out scouting for deer. Two tickets were issued to two different passengers for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, Paul Fox, Jon Sheppard, and Jessie Curtis, along with Sgt. Mike Mshar and MSP Trooper Nick Talbot conducted a traffic detail on M 33 South in Montmorency County. The focus of the patrol was to look for illegal deer, tagging violations, and weapon transportation violations. Overall, the group conducted 69 traffic stops and contacted 109 subjects. There were 69 verbal warnings issued for speed, one verbal warning was issued for a second uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and two verbal warnings were issued for failing to immediately disclose a CPL. A total of seven tickets were written, 32 deer were checked, two deer were seized, and one loaded handgun was seized due to a subject not having a CPL. The tickets that were written were operating a motor vehicle on a suspended driver's license, failing to validate a kill-tag, possessing an untagged deer, using another's kill-tag to tag a deer, two loaded and uncased rifles, and one uncased rifle.
CO Amanda Weaver responded to assist a Benzie County Sheriff's deputy who was in a pursuit with a reckless driver. The pursuit ended when the vehicle got stuck in a large mud puddle, and upon approach, the driver made threats to the deputy. CO Weaver arrived and helped to secure the scene until CO Justin Vanderlinde and seven additional units from the Sheriff's Office arrived. The officers spent approximately two hours attempting to talk the subject out of the vehicle, but he refused to comply and continued making threatening gestures. Shortly before nightfall, the decision was made to forcibly remove the subject from the vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody with only minor injury sustained to one deputy.
CO Brian Brosky was responding to a bait complaint in Mason County, where the suspect was informed via text messaging of the COs presence on the property. The hunter hurriedly exited a blind as CO Brosky approached and tried to walk past CO Brosky telling him he had to use the bathroom. CO Brosky noticed that the subject was attempting to conceal a large bulky item under his hunting jacket. When contacted, the subject admitted to using sugar beets and he removed a partial bag of beets from under his clothing. Several citations were issued for the bait violations encountered, deer that were shot in violation of APR, and trespassing.
COs Josh Reed and Angela Greenway were dispatched to a residence in Mecosta County. A complaint had been received that a subject had shot a deer from his porch with what a .22 rifle. The COs responded to the residence and contacted the suspect and located a .22 rifle, with a flashlight attached to it on the front porch. The rifle was cleared, and a spent round was found in the chamber. The suspect when asked about the rifle on the porch advised he had shot a small doe after seeing that it was wounded. The suspect took the COs to the backyard where a yearling doe was gutted and hanging. The deer was taken down and the suspect advised that the deer had a gash in its back and that was the reason why he had shot the deer. The only wounds the deer had were from the rifle. The deer was seized, along with the rifle, and charges are being sought for the violations.
COs Micah Hintze and Tim Barboza received a complaint, which claimed an individual had taken a 7-point buck early in archery season without a license and possibly at night. The COs met with and interviewed the suspect who eventually confessed to taking the buck and using a friend's tag on the deer. The suspect said the deer rack was at his grandmother's house, who lives nearby. As the suspect was getting the keys for his vehicle from the garage, CO Hintze watched the suspect's brother exit the garage, get in his car, and drive in the direction of the grandmother's house. CO Hintze relayed this to CO Barboza, who immediately went to the grandmother's house to prevent the destruction of any evidence. CO Hintze questioned the original suspect if he had sent his brother to remove or destroy any evidence from his grandmother's, he admitted he told his brother to destroy drug paraphernalia and remove the deer rack so the COs wouldn't find either. Charges are pending for taking deer without license for the original suspect, and aid and abet charges against the suspect's brother.
CO Micah Hintze was on patrol and heard a single rifle shot near his location, almost 30 minutes after legal hunting hours. CO Hintze continued patrolling in the area and heard additional shots. CO Hintze exited his vehicle and shut the engine off to pinpoint the direction of the shots. CO Hintze heard additional shots and it was determined the shots were coming from federal land a few miles away. CO Hintze patrolled in that direction and parked his patrol vehicle awaiting additional shots. Three more shots were heard, and CO Hintze was now on foot walking towards the shots fired. CO Hintze overheard voices shouting for help and was able to locate two hunters in a thick swamp approximately a mile from their vehicle. When CO Hintze contacted the hunters, both men were visibly shaken and stated they were lost. The father and son were not familiar with the land and were using the shots to locate each other. The hunters were very happy to have been located by CO Micah Hintze and guided out of the swamp to their vehicle without further incident.
CO Tim Barboza observed a vehicle driving slowly on a two-track in the national forest. After watching the vehicle for a moment, a spotlight was seen coming out of the driver's side window, lighting up the forest multiple times. CO Barboza stopped the vehicle and on approach, observed the driver leaning over the center console and what looked like an attempt to unload the shotgun he was holding. CO Barboza ordered the driver out of the vehicle and located a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with slugs. The driver stated he was just coming from his hunting spot and had not unloaded it. When CO Barboza advised him that he saw the spotlight, he changed his story claiming he was looking for a new spot to hunt. The subject was cited for shine with weapon in possession and loaded uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Tim Barboza received a complaint of a truck in the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA) that was covered in snow and had been there a while. CO Barboza patrolled to the location and located the truck about 75 yards into the woods. CO Barboza ran the plate with Newaygo Central Dispatch, which returned as stolen out of Kent County. CO Barboza contacted a Kent County Sheriff's detective and had the truck towed out of the game area.
CO John Huspen observed two sets of boot tracks headed toward the fence while patrolling the area of Range 40 of Camp Grayling. Once at the fence, both sets of tracks crossed over the fence. CO Huspen parked his truck and walked back to the area of the tracks. CO Huspen observed two people sitting just outside the fence watching into Range 40. The tracks going into Range 40 were made by the two hunters. Neither hunter had a license in their possession. The two subjects were issued a citation for being afield with a firearm and no license in their possession. They were given warnings for trespassing on Range 40.
CO Breanna Reed attempted to follow up on a complaint of litter, unlabeled tree stand, and bait on multiple occasions. CO Reed was finally able to contact the suspect at a different location than the original complaint. The suspect was heading back to his truck to go pick up the deer he had just shot down the road. He told the CO that he had just shot a "5-point". CO Reed went with him to go get the deer. It was not a 5-point buck, it was a 4-point buck and had already been gutted and was untagged. CO Reed walked back to where the deer was shot and located a bait pile, unlabeled tree stand, and litter under the stand. CO Reed seized the deer and issued a citation for an APR violation and failing to immediately validate his deer tag. Warnings were given for the other violations.
CO James Garrett was on patrol in Roscommon County the afternoon before opening day of rifle season. CO Garrett checked a blind he had found on a prior patrol which had bait at it. CO Garrett found a subject inside hunting over the bait. CO Garrett was surprised to see the hunter with a loaded rifle in the blind. CO Garrett asked why she had a loaded firearm in the blind with her. The hunter stated that she was just "scoping" things out. After a quick interview with the hunter, she admitted that she was hunting deer with a rifle during closed season. CO Garrett issued citations for hunting deer with rifle during closed season, no hunter orange, and baiting deer in a closed area.
CO Jesse Grzechowski responded to a medical emergency of a hunter who had fallen out of his tree stand after his harness broke in Alcona County. CO Grzechowski was first to arrive on scene and located the injured hunter in the woods at the base of his tree stand. CO Grzechowski provided medical attention to the injured hunter who was having difficulty breathing and was unable to move from the waist down. Paramedics arrived on scene and CO Grzechowski assisted in carrying the injured hunter out of the woods on a backboard. The man was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injuries. CO Grzechowski received a "thank you" text from the hunter for his efforts a couple weeks after the event and indicated with intensive therapy, there is a good possibility of recovering and walking again.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was on patrol in Alcona County when he observed two duck hunters hunting in a snowstorm. They continued to shoot multiple times, well after legal shooting hours had ended. CO Grzechowski contacted the duck hunters, who did not have navigation lights on their vessel and were in possession of a loaded shotgun. They used the shotgun on their way back to the boat launch to shoot a crippled duck. The duck hunters received citations for shooting waterfowl after legal shooting hours had ended.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was patrolling an area for shining activity in Alcona County when he observed a pickup truck shine a field with a flashlight out of the driver's side window. CO Grzechowski pulled the vehicle over and contacted the driver and passenger. While interviewing the driver of the vehicle, CO Grzechowski located an uncased rifle in the back seat of the vehicle and an untagged deer in the bed of the pickup truck. CO Grzechowski seized the deer and issued the driver two citations for shining with a weapon in possession and possession of an untagged deer.
CO Kyle Bader was patrolling for illegal hunting activity in Ogemaw County during firearm deer season when he observed some hunters near a dead deer in the back of a pickup truck. No kill-tag was visible on the deer, so CO Bader stopped to ask the hunters about it. They said their mother had killed the deer and was inside. Upon further inspection a kill-tag was located on the deer. CO Bader decided to speak with the mother about her deer. Most of the details she gave when telling the story were very vague. CO Bader told the woman he didn't think she shot the deer and asked who did. She said her son had killed it but didn't have a kill-tag, so he asked her to go buy him one. She did and he put it on the deer. The adult son eventually confessed to shooting the deer. Charges for take deer without license and loan/borrow a kill-tag are being requested through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor's Office.
COs Kyle Bader and Brad Bellville were patrolling in northern Ogemaw County when they observed a man in his driveway who appeared to be field dressing a deer on the tailgate of a truck. The COs pulled in to ask the man about his hunt and check the kill-tag. When the COs made contact, they saw the man had two deer in the back of his truck. At this point in the day, it was dark and while attempting get a better look at the deer in the back of the truck, CO Bellville nearly tripped over multiple bags of carrots that were on the ground. The man confessed to killing the deer over bait. Neither deer had a valid kill-tag attached to it, although the man did have valid tags for both deer in his truck. He was cited for failing to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag for each deer. Warnings were given for the other violations.
COs Kyle Bader and Brad Bellville contacted a landowner because bait was observed on the property during an aerial bait patrol. When the COs arrived, there was loud rap music blaring from a stereo in the neighbor's shed, even though no one was around. The landowner said his neighbor has been blaring his radio and banging pots and pans together during prime hunting hours. He also painted vulgarities on signs and faced them toward his property. After issuing the man his bait citation, the COs went to the neighbor's house to ask about the strange behavior. The COs were met with a strong odor of marijuana smoke when the man came out of the house. After explaining the hunter harassment statute, the COs told the man he would be issued a citation for feeding deer due to the large pile of sugar beets they observed in his back yard when they drove in the driveway.
COs Casey Pullum and Zackary Walters were patrolling along some back roads during a late morning in rifle season when they encountered a pickup truck that had pulled over for them and the driver rolled his window down. CO Walters approached and rolled his window down and they began a conversation about deer season. During the conversation, the driver admitted to having two rifles in the back seat, a loaded pistol on his hip, and did not have a CPL. CO Walters confirmed the firearms were loaded and the driver was taken into custody for carrying a concealed pistol without a license violation and issued a citation for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. The passenger was also issued a citation for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Joshua Wright was on patrol during firearm deer season when a Clare County deputy called him and told him about a possible trespass in progress on gas company property. CO Wright was familiar with the property and knew nobody had permission to hunt on the land. He and the deputy responded to the area and found blood on the road with fresh truck tire impressions on the shoulder of the road. They followed game-cart and boot impressions onto the gas company property and located a freshly killed doe that was stashed close to the road waiting for the suspects to return. CO Wright and the deputy hid in the woods until a Chevy truck came down the road. Contact was made with the occupants of the truck. At first, the driver lied and said they had problems with road directions, but CO Wright called his bluff after seeing the blood covered game-cart in the bed of the truck. The two men admitted to taking three deer off the gas company property within two days. CO Wright followed the men back to camp where the other two deer were located. The deer were seized, and charges are being sought through the prosecutor's office for trespassing, baiting deer, and failing to immediately attach kill-tags.
CO Ryan Weakman was patrolling down M-30 in Secord Township of Gladwin County when he spotted a truck parked on the side of the road with deer legs sticking out of the bed. CO Weakman stopped to check things out and observed an untagged deer in the truck bed, along with what appeared to be deer bait. CO Weakman contacted CO Jeff Goss for assistance in trying to locate the owner of the truck. CO Goss located the hunter on state land nearby. He was hunting over bait, not wearing hunter orange, and hunting out of a blind with no name or address. The hunter admitted to shooting the deer that was in the back of the truck and not tagging it. CO Weakman seized the deer and cited the hunter for hunting deer over bait as well as possessing an untagged deer. The hunter was warned for not wearing hunter orange and hunting out of a blind with no name and address.
CO Ryan Weakman assisted Clare County deputies who were involved in a pursuit of a vehicle. CO Weakman heard the pursuit and checked into service to render assistance. CO Weakman continued to monitor the pursuit while putting himself in position to help should the suspect flee on foot. CO Weakman heard Clare County deputies call out on the radio that the suspect had bailed from the vehicle and fled on foot. He spotted a deputy pursuing the suspect on foot and quickly assisted in the foot pursuit. Two of the Clare County deputies were unsuccessful in deploying their tasers to subdue the suspect. CO Weakman successfully deployed his taser and quickly helped the deputies bring the man into custody. The suspect was wanted on parole violations.
COs Jeff Goss and Ryan Weakman checked a baited area that was located earlier in the deer season. Upon arrival, the COs contacted the landowner who was in the process of driving a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) back to his cabin. The man quickly admitted to having bait on the property. The COs noticed blood on his boots and in the back of the (UTV). He further admitted to having an untagged deer back at the cabin. CO Goss went to one end of the property while CO Weakman and the landowner went to the other end. The COs pulled three more hunters out of baited blinds. The blinds were baited with truckloads of bait. The landowner admitted to purchasing eight tons of sugar beets. Multiple citations were issued for baiting and tagging violations.
On the evening of the firearm opener, CO Jay Person was contacted by the Midland City Police referencing a stolen vehicle on state land. CO Person had received information a few days prior of a suspicious vehicle on state land, but no mention of it being stolen. CO Person contacted the complainant and got directions to the vehicle. CO Person was able to take the city officers right to the vehicle located in a remote section of state land. The vehicle was confirmed stolen out of the City of Midland. The vehicle had the hood ripped off, the back window smashed out and all four tires were missing. The vehicle was turned over to the city police and a wrecker was called to remove it from state land.
CO Seth Rhodea had been monitoring several baited stands on state land attempting to contact hunters hunting over the bait. Over the weekend, CO Rhodea was able to locate three hunters all hunting deer, over bait, early in the morning. All hunters were cited for hunting over bait and warnings were given for stand and blind violations. The following day CO Rhodea was back in the area checking on other stands that had been baited, but were empty the day before, when he located one of the hunters, he had cited the day before. This time the hunter was hunting from an illegal tree stand at a location that had been baited but the bait was now cleaned up. CO Rhodea issued the hunter another citation for hunting from an unlawful stand since the warning from the day before appeared to have no effect on the hunter.
CO Mike Haas was patrolling southern Montcalm County when he witnessed a deer hanging in a garage that appeared to violate the APR in the area. CO Haas parked at the property and verified that the deer was a smaller racked buck. CO Haas attempted to contact someone at the property, but no one was in the garage or at the cabin. While knocking on the cabin door, CO Haas discovered another small buck was lying near the cabin and that deer also violated the APR restrictions; the CO also noted that neither deer was tagged. CO Haas cleared the area and resumed his patrol. Later in the evening CO Haas stopped back at the cabin and spoke with hunters who claimed responsibility for the deer. Citations were issued to address the APR and tagging violations. Both illegal deer were seized and brought to a meat processor participating in the Sportsmen Against Hunger program.
While patrolling the Vestaburg area in Montcalm County, CO Mike Haas witnessed deer legs sticking out of the bucket of a tractor. CO Haas stopped at the residence to contact the successful hunter. The hunter proudly showed off the 10-point deer and explained his early morning hunt. CO Haas congratulated him and began to examine the tag when the hunter began to act nervous and stated that everything was legal with the deer. CO Haas noted that the tag that was on the deer had been purchased approximately 30 minutes earlier. The hunter's story began to evolve but he ultimately admitted that he had hunted and shot the deer prior to having a valid license. The deer was seized, and charges are pending with the Montcalm County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint that hunters had been driving around Mt. Pleasant showing off a very large deer and the deer was not tagged. A complainant provided a license plate number which helped provide a name and address of the suspect. CO Haas located the suspect truck and a large 33-point buck in the bed of the truck at a residence and spoke with two gentlemen. It was determined that the deer had been legally harvested at a privately owned cervid facility and proper paperwork accompanied the deer. Although the hunters had lied about their harvest to various individuals, no legal violations were present.
CO Mike Haas received a RAP complaint stating that a residence in southern Montcalm County had many deer hanging in a barn and some appeared to be untagged. CO Haas contacted a group of hunters walking in a field behind the suspect barn and asked about their season. The group stated they had been having good luck and had eight deer hanging in the barn. CO Haas checked the hunters' licenses, and one hunter did not have his licenses on him. After searching for them in his camper and then the farmhouse, he eventually located them and then went into the barn and attached one of his tags to a deer that was hanging. CO Haas noted another deer lacked a tag and five other deer had tags tied to the deer legs but none of the tags had been notched and validated. Further inspection suggested that the group had been sharing and loaning tags and various violations were noted. Three hunters received citations to address multiple tagging issues and numerous warnings were addressed.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint that hunters had been violating the safety zone law and shot a deer near someone's home. The hunters had been float hunting the Flat River and the complainant provided accurate information and good photographs of the suspects which assisted CO Haas with finding and identifying the group. CO Haas located and contacted the hunters as they arrived at a boat launch along the Flat River. The hunters immediately admitted they had unknowingly hunted and shot the deer within various safety zones and took responsibility for their mistake. Due to past issues and complaints, the complainant requested charges for the violations. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor's office and charges are pending.
CO Dan Robinson was called to an area in Gratiot County for an ongoing trespassing issue. The suspects were using canoes to access state game area sections and were reported to be trespassing on properties along the river. CO Robinson checked the area on foot and was unable to locate the suspects. CO Adam Schiller arrived with a river boat and the COs were able to contact the suspects. They had taken four deer, all of which were not tagged properly. Citations were issued and several verbal warnings given for the trespass and tagging issues.
While on patrol, CO Adam Schiller made a traffic stop on a vehicle that did not have a license plate. CO Schiller contacted the driver and noticed a firearm laying on the backseat. The driver was asked to exit the vehicle. Once the driver was out of the vehicle, the CO secured the firearm. Upon securing the firearm the CO discovered the firearm was loaded including a round in the chamber. When asked about the firearm the driver stated that he was in a hurry to get to his hunting location and forgot to unload it and put it in a case before driving.
While conducting a deer processor inspection, COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer located an entire deer carcass that was shot in Indiana and imported into Michigan in violation of disease control regulations. CO Dragomer interviewed the hunter, and a citation was written for illegally transporting a deer into Michigan.
While working Van Buren County for shining activity, CO Tyler Cole spotted a vehicle driving very slowly along a county road and then begin to shine a field. As soon as CO Cole got behind the vehicle and began to follow, the vehicle stopped shining and began to leave the area at a high rate of speed. After watching the vehicle turn down a dead-end road, CO Cole activated his emergency lights and siren. The vehicle refused to stop and drove at a high rate of speed towards the dead end. When the vehicle reached the end of the road and could no longer continue, the subject turned his vehicle off and put his hands out the window. Two subjects were detained, and consent was given to search the vehicle. An investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle did not have a valid driver's license and had two felony warrants out of Van Buren County. The passenger had a misdemeanor warrant out of Berrien County. The vehicle was towed, and the driver was issued citations for shining in November and various traffic violations. Due to COVID precautions, both subjects were advised and released on their warrants and were picked up by a friend. A report will be submitted to the Van Buren County Prosecutor's Office for additional charges on the driver for flee and elude and driving while license suspended.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling around the Fennville Farm in Allegan County when he observed a truck pulled off on the shoulder of the main county road that runs through the middle of the wildlife refuge. The CO contacted the sole occupant in the truck who appeared to be glassing the refuge with binoculars. The CO noticed upon contact there were two firearms in the front passenger seat, neither were fully enclosed in a case. The CO questioned the operator who quickly admitted that both firearms were also loaded. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling around the Fennville Farm in Allegan County on a rainy afternoon when he observed a truck operating down the roadway with multiple windows down. Additionally, the CO witnessed the operator swerving over the center line and the fog line. The CO conducted a traffic stop. Upon contacting the driver of the vehicle, the CO observed a cocked and loaded crossbow on the front, passenger floorboard, uncased. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a cocked and loaded crossbow inside the cab of a motor vehicle.
COs James Nason and Kyle McQueer received a phone call from Acting Sgt. Richard Cardenas stating an MSP trooper took a complaint of shining and shooting and had pulled the suspects over. When the trooper approached the vehicle, he observed a small, antlerless deer in the bed of the truck without a tag on it. When the trooper approached the driver, there was an individual sitting in the back-bench seat of the truck and not in the passenger seat. The trooper then was given consent to look at the firearms in the vehicle and a rifle was located underneath the bench seat, loaded in the chamber. COs Nason and McQueer headed to the complaint location. The hunter stated that he shot the deer early in the morning, it ran to the road, they loaded it into the bed of the truck and that it was so cold that he forgot to tag the deer. CO McQueer issued citations to the driver of the vehicle for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and transporting an untagged deer. The hunter was issued a citation for failing to immediately validate/affix his kill-tag.
CO James Nason was conducting a foot patrol along the Kalamazoo River when he came upon a subject who could not present him with a fishing license or a valid identification. CO Nason ran the name that the man gave him and found that he had multiple warrants from surrounding counties. Barry County Jail stated that they would lodge the man and that they would meet CO Nason for a prisoner exchange. CO Nason arrested the man and informed him of his warrants. Upon reaching the officer's truck, the man told CO Nason that he gave him his brother's information and not his own, he stated that he was unaware of his brother having warrants. He also stated he has used his brother's identity on multiple occasions because they are only two years apart and look "identical." CO Nason then ran the man's real name and found that he had a felony warrant out of Kalamazoo County for Flee/Elude and R/O on a Police Officer. CO Nason then lodged the man in the Kalamazoo County Jail, he faces multiple charges.
CO Anna Cullen was called into an in-progress recreational trespass. CO Cullen called the complainant on her way to the location, but the property owner said the hunters had left the property. CO Cullen continued to the property to investigate further. Multiple, "No Trespassing," and, "No Hunting," signs were observed along the exterior of the property. CO Cullen walked the property to attempt to find any trace of hunting activity. One pop-up blind was located. While CO Cullen was taking photos, she observed three individuals moving in the woods. CO Cullen announced herself, and noticed they were hauling a dolly packed full of carrots, sugar beets, molasses, and corn. CO Cullen was brought to a second pop-up blind with bait in front of it. A quick interview was conducted, and the hunters admitted to not having permission and taking two deer from the property. Both deer were observed hanging in a nearby barn. Charges are being sought for two illegal deer, baiting, and recreational trespass.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked the Flat River SGA for deer hunting activity during the firearm deer season. CO Beavers noticed a van that was operating very slowly west bound. The van eventually pulled into a driveway, but no one ever exited the vehicle. CO Beavers made a mental note of the van and continued east bound on the road along the game area. After checking several hunters at the end of hours, CO Beavers saw what he believed was the same van. It was traveling west once again at a very slow speed. CO Beavers pulled alongside the van to see if everything was ok and saw two adults and two kids in the van. CO Beavers recognized the passenger of the van as he was at her residence earlier in the deer season investigating a possible illegal deer. At that time, the two adult subjects in the front seat said everything was fine and they were just about to head out and check squirrel traps. CO Beavers was not sure if he heard them correctly and asked them to repeat themselves. The driver stated they were checking squirrel traps and squirrel snares. CO Beavers asked what they were really doing, as trapping and snaring squirrels was not legal. While questioning the driver, CO Beavers noticed an uncased, cocked crossbow between the driver and passenger seat along with some crossbow bolts. Further investigation revealed several ears of corn and a rifle, which was unloaded and in a case. CO Beavers asked about the corn and the driver stated it was for the squirrel traps. The facts revealed that they were road hunting and CO Beavers explained the law, ethical hunting practices, and addressed safety issues. The driver was cited for an uncased and cocked crossbow in a motor vehicle.
CO Jackie Miskovich was working waterfowl hunters when she received a call to help Muskegon City for hunters possibly hunting from shore. CO Miskovich observed the hunter sitting on a stump near the water's edge. Contact was made and CO Miskovich checked the hunter's licenses, and it was found that the subject did not have a valid federal waterfowl stamp. A citation was issued for not having a valid waterfowl stamp. As CO Miskovich was talking with the individual after giving him his citation, he mentioned that there were a couple other hunters that were hunting down the way from him. CO Miskovich went down the road and saw two people hunting and then pack up. CO Miskovich met them back at their vehicle and checked their licenses. It was found that they did not have a valid federal waterfowl stamp, either. A citation was issued for not having a valid waterfowl stamp.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint in Kent County that two individuals were locking deer in a high fenced property and corralling the deer to shoot them. Upon arrival, CO Varriale noticed three deer with tags on them and an uncased loaded rifle in the truck. CO Varriale asked how the hunting was, and the suspects said they shot the three deer in the back of the truck, and one was left in the swamp on the property. CO Varriale asked what time the deer were shot and who shot what. The suspects looked back and forth and could not agree who shot the deer. CO Varriale asked if the suspects were wearing hunter orange. They stated they were not. The suspects stated the deer were shot at daylight or at approximately 7:30 to 7:45 am. The time stamp located on the deer tags indicated the tags were bought on the same day at 8:47 am. The landowner confessed to shooting the deer without tags and after realizing his neighbor called the DNR, he went to the store and bought tags to tag the deer with. CO Varriale and the suspects located the fourth deer on the fence line. Its leg was snapped off and had lacerations from being caught in the fence. CO Varriale again asked who shot the deer. During a brief discussion, the landowner stated there were five deer in total that were shot. The landowner brought CO Varriale to a hill where a final deer was found. The deer had a broken leg and lacerations from being caught in a fence and several bullet holes in it. During an investigation of the carcasses, all the deer had been shot several times. CO Varriale questioned how the deer were in such bad shape. The suspects stated they were not very good shots. They also stated they would "put the deer down, but continue to shoot", which caused confusion on who killed the deer. CO Varriale discussed their unethical and illegal behavior. The firearm and deer were seized and entered as evidence. The case is being sent to the Kent County Prosecutor's Office for review.
While patrolling on opening day of firearm deer season in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg observed a hunter outside his deer blind without any hunter orange on. CO Ulberg spoke to the hunter and asked about having hunter orange. The subject produced a hat and indicated that he had simply taken it off in the blind. Further investigation revealed the subject was hunting over bait with a 30-30 rifle, which is not allowed in the limited firearm deer zone. The subject was issued a citation for hunting with the 30-30 and instructed to clean up the small bait pile of corn.
While performing a deer processor inspection, COs Justin Ulberg and BJ Goulette discovered a deer tag that was validated the day before it was purchased. The COs interviewed the subject who at first claimed the deer was killed two days after the tag was purchased. The story then changed to the deer being killed one day after the tag was purchased. Further investigation revealed that the subject never killed the deer and that the subject purchased a tag for her spouse to tag the deer with. The husband had already killed a deer during archery season and then shot the deer in question during the firearm season. The husband did not want to be done hunting, so he had his wife purchase the tag. The subject was issued a citation for using a license of another hunter.
While performing a deer processor inspection, CO Justin Ulberg located a tag that was purchased two hours before he arrived at the processor. While looking at the deer, it was clear that the deer was not killed within the two-hour window that it could have legally been taken. CO Ulberg contacted the hunter and questioned him when he killed the deer. The hunter stated, "about 3:00 pm." CO Ulberg informed the hunter he wasn't being truthful because the deer was at the processor at 2:30 pm. The hunter then admitted to killing the deer without having a license. After killing the deer, the subject went to the store and purchased his license. A report will be submitted to the Kent County prosecutor for charges.
CO Jeff Robinette and Sgt. Steve Mooney were driving down a road on patrol in Cass County on opening day of firearm deer season. They observed an individual who was on a six-wheeled ORV with a deer hanging from the vehicle. There was no kill-tag attached to the deer and upon contacting the individual, he removed a kill-tag from his coat pocket and stated that he was going to tag the deer. The kill-tag had not been validated at that point. The individual's friend explained that he had told the individual that he better get his tag on the deer and had no sooner spoken the words when he saw the CO patrol vehicle approaching. The individual was told to validate and attach the kill-tag to the deer and that he could keep the deer. However, he was issued a ticket for failing to immediately validate and attach the kill-tag to the deer.
COs Jeff Robinette and Matt Page were on patrol in St. Joseph County during the firearm deer season. The COs pulled up to a van with an individual standing outside the van removing some hunting gear. The COs asked the individual if he had been successful. The individual stated no but that he had supposedly found a deer next to where he was hunting that no one else had claimed. CO Robinette asked him where the deer was located. The individual opened the back of his van and showed the COs an antlerless deer that was untagged. The individual produced an antlerless kill-tag and stated he was going to tag the deer before he left to go home. CO Page asked the individual what he had shot the deer with, and the individual stated he had shot it with a gun. CO Page asked the individual where his firearm was located. The individual stated that he had just put it in a case but that he had forgotten to unload. CO Page located the firearm in a case and verified it was loaded. CO Page unloaded the firearm and put it back in the case. The individual was issued a ticket for failing to immediately validate and attach the kill-tag to the deer, with a written warning for the loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Pete Purdy responded to Tanger Outlet Mall to assist a Livingston County Sheriff's deputy with a larceny in progress. A female with numerous tattoos was seen taking multiple items from several stores. As CO Purdy entered the parking lot of the mall, an individual matching the suspect description ran in front of CO Purdy's patrol truck and jumped into a waiting vehicle. CO Purdy and a deputy with the Livingston County Sheriff's Department stopped the vehicle, and the suspect was taken into custody.
CO Chris Reynolds received a trespass complaint in Hillsdale County on two individuals. The individuals confessed to being on the property saying they were tracking a deer on the property without permission. The hunter who shot the deer described the small, unique buck he had shot, showing CO Reynolds the antler that broke off. After leaving the interviews, CO Reynolds received a complaint about a deer carcass dumped in the road. He responded to find a buck with an antler that was broken off, matching the description of the buck given by the previous individual who was trespassing. CO Reynolds loaded the carcass and went back to the individual's house. At first, the individual denied it was his deer. CO Reynolds asked him to retrieve the broken antler. When he did it was found to be a perfect match. The suspect confessed to dumping the carcass and a ticket was issued.
CO Chris Reynolds, while on patrol in Hillsdale County, observed a vehicle driving in a field with the driver wearing hunter orange. CO Reynolds observed the vehicle drop off a hunter then drive and park in a hedge row, off the road. CO Reynolds contacted the individual in the vehicle and observed an uncased firearm. CO Reynolds asked the individual if the firearm was loaded and the individual stated it was. CO Reynolds contacted the hunter who was dropped off and found that he did not have a license. Citations were issued for a loaded uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and hunting without a license.
CO Ed Rice received a complaint of a subject hunting and not wearing hunter orange. CO Rice went to the suspect's location and heard a single shot, which was also heard by the complainant on the phone. CO Rice pulled into the suspect's driveway and contacted the suspect, who was not wearing hunter orange, briskly walking from a tree stand holding a rifle. When asked about the shot, the suspect stated he dropped his rifle trying to get down from his tree stand and a round discharged. CO Rice asked the suspect if the gun was still loaded, and he stated it was. When asked why he was loaded more than 30 minutes after legal hunting hours ended, the suspect stated he hunts until it gets dark. CO Rice checked the immediate area but did not locate any blood. The suspect stuck to his story that the rifle fell from the tree stand. CO Rice issued citations for failure to wear hunter orange and possessing a loaded firearm after hours. The next day, the complainant contacted CO Rice and stated he located a freshly deceased antlered deer on his property. COs Rice and Chris Reynolds arrived at the property and located the deer. The COs gathered evidence and interviewed the suspect from the previous day. Immediately upon contacting the suspect, he broke down and began crying. The timeline of events described in detail by the suspect painted a clear picture that the deer was poached. The suspect admitted to using an artificial light prior to CO Rice's arrival the previous night and shooting a deer. A video was obtained of the suspect shining his property moments leading up to the shot. Charges will be sought for using artificial light to take game.
While on patrol, Sgt. Jason J. Smith observed a vehicle in front of him with a large amount of blood on the tailgate and license plate. Through the back window Sgt. Smith could observe the driver scrolling through his cell phone which contributed to the driver running a red light. A traffic stop was conducted, and an untagged deer was located in the bed of the truck. Citation was issued and warnings for the traffic offenses were given.
Sgt. Jason J. Smith was off duty when he and his wife came across an accident where the vehicle was on its side. Sgt. Smith was first on scene and was able to get the driver out of the vehicle with the assistance of a trucker that had also stopped. The operator, a little shaken, was in good spirits after the crash.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling Branch County when he noticed four individuals near the road hunting. CO Wellman made contact at the residence and, as he did, one man holding a shotgun quickly walked around the corner of a building and then reemerged without the firearm. All four individuals were hunting, but only two had licenses. In addition, CO Wellman advised the man that he needed to see the firearm that he had just ditched behind the building. The man showed CO Wellman where he hid the firearm, and it was found that the man was a felon in possession of a firearm. Citations were written for the license violations and charges will be pending for felon in possession of a firearm.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling in an area where a local is known for driving around and shooting deer from his vehicle. Right before dark, CO Wellman passed the individual and noticed burned out lights on the rear of the truck. CO Wellman conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon contacting the driver, a loaded and uncased .223 bolt action rifle was located next to him on the center console. During the subsequent vehicle search, CO Wellman located open intoxicants as well as methamphetamine. The driver was cited for the firearm violation. Charges will be sought in Branch County for the methamphetamine. As an added note, CO Wellman charged the same man less than a year ago in Branch County for taking an 8-point buck with a .308 rifle from the vehicle, possession of an untagged deer, and other minor violations. While interviewing the individual during this stop, he stated that he was due in court to be sentenced the next day.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint of a hunter who was seen by a neighbor using a flashlight to shine deer early in the morning on November 15th. The man was shining the deer and then a shot was heard, and the light shut off. CO Wellman was able to track down the hunter who was responsible. After an interview, the hunter admitted to shooting the deer prior to hunting hours while holding a light in his mouth to see the deer. Charges are pending in Branch County.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint of a deer that was lying in a yard without a tag on it. CO Wellman went to the address and asked to see the deer. After a lengthy interview with two subjects at the residence, it was found that the untagged doe had been killed with a crossbow over an hour after dark, over bait, by a man with no hunting licenses, on property he didn't have permission to hunt. In addition, CO Wellman was able to locate a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in the front seat of the suspect's vehicle that the suspect was standing next to when CO Wellman arrived. The man is a convicted felon and admitted to having the loaded 12-gauge to go shoot when he saw CO Wellman coming down the road and threw the loaded gun in his car. Charges for all deer issues as well as the felon in possession will be sought through Branch County.
CO Jason McCullough assisted in searching for a hunter who had not returned home in Calhoun County. The hunter was located in the early morning hours deceased from a presumed heart attack.
CO Cullen Knoblauch was fueling up his patrol truck on November 16th when he observed a large deer rack in the back of a truck. During conversation it was determined that the deer was killed on November 15th at 9:30 am and the license was purchased on November 15th at 2:00 pm. The hunter admitted to killing the 12-point buck prior to purchasing a hunting license. The deer was seized, and charges are pending.
CO Thomas Jaakkola was patrolling Meridian-Baseline State Park when he located one subject on private property hunting over bait and a second subject hunting on the Meridian-Baseline State Park Property. After interviewing both subjects, it was determined that the owner of the property which butts up to the Meridian-Baseline State Park admitted to hunting the state park for the last two years. During interviews, the subject admitted to shooting an 8-point buck during bow season on park property. The deer antlers were seized, and the subject was charged with hunting inside a state park with a firearm that is closed to hunting and no hunter orange.
Sgt. Rich Nickols received a complaint from a subject who shot a deer, left to go get help retrieving the deer, and returned only to find drag marks and a gut pile on the neighboring property. The complainant had taken a picture of the successful kill before leaving. Sgt Nickols went to the house on the adjacent property and located a buck hanging in the garage that matched the picture taken by the complainant. The homeowner stated he had shot a buck in the morning but lost blood during the track. When he returned in the evening, he saw the dead deer in the adjacent field and assumed it was his. Bullet fragments retrieved from the deer confirmed it had been shot by the complainant and the deer was returned.
COs Keven Luther and Martin Lawrence followed up on complaints. While checking the area, the COs observed a pickup truck blacked-out along the fence line of the complaint property. The vehicle cleared the area as COs attempted to make contact. CO Luther noticed that the vehicle's license plate lights were not illuminating the rear license plate. A traffic stop was conducted. While trying to identify the driver, CO Lawrence observed fishing equipment and two buckets within the bed of the uncovered pickup truck. The driver of the vehicle presented the fish for examination and 49 sunfish were observed. Only one of the three individuals that admitted to fishing, had a valid fishing license. One verbal warning was issued to a minor under 18 years of age. The other individual was issued a citation for possession of fish without a license and advised and released on a local warrant.
CO Tom Peterson received a complaint of an individual trespassing on a local lake in Oakland County. CO Peterson was able to contact the trapper who claimed to have verbal permission to trap the southern lake shore but did not have permission to launch his boat from the roadside. During a check of his equipment, the trapper possessed untagged traps, no registration on his boat, no PFD as well as possessing a fishing pole with a lead weight attached to a treble hook commonly used to snag fish. The trapper had an extensive history of prior violations including trespass, untagged traps, seal violations, and salmon snagging. The trapper was cited for untagged traps and no PFD on vessel. He was warned for recreation trespass, possession of snagging gear, and an unregistered vessel.
CO Tom Peterson received a complaint of a possible safety zone violation. CO Peterson arrived at the location and checked the property line and located a stand just outside the safety zone on the neighboring property. Underneath the stand CO Peterson observed that it was baited with apples. CO Peterson contacted the complainant with his findings that safety zones were not violated and then went to contact the suspect. When he arrived at the suspect location, in the open garage visible from the driveway were two whitetail bucks. After contacting the suspect, it was discovered that neither deer were tagged. After further investigation, it was revealed that the suspect had shot one deer with his regular tag and claimed he shot this deer thinking it had 4 or more points on one side. He then admitted when he did not meet the requirements of the restricted tag, he decided he was just going to process it himself without tagging it. The other buck was shot by his niece that morning. She was an out of state resident only here to hunt for the week with her uncle. When asked why she didn't properly validate and attach her tag she claimed that she did not understand the requirements. When asked where she hunted, she claimed that she shot it out of the baited stand. The female was cited for failing to validate and attach the kill-tag. The male subject's deer was seized, and charges are being submitted to the prosecutor office for baiting as well as take deer without valid license.
CO Luke Robare responded to a call that a subject had been shot during an altercation that began with subjects trespassing while hunting. The subject was taken to the hospital with injuries to his leg. The incident is still under investigation by Genesee County Sheriff's Department.
CO Luke Robare and Sgt. Jason Becker responded to a call of a deer with Christmas lights tangled in its antlers in Rochester Hills. Upon arrival, the COs discovered the tangled mess was part of a hammock around the deer's antlers. Because of the snowy and freezing weather conditions, the tangled mess had frozen and was collecting packed snow making it too heavy for the deer to carry around. While the COS were attempting to get a closer look, the deer stumbled and fell to the ground. The COs quickly immobilized the deer. Because the hammock had frozen to the deer's antler, the COs had to cut the antler off. Once removed, the deer was able to walk away, unharmed.
CO Bobby Watson was on patrol and received a tip from a neighboring officer of a hunter who had shot two deer and purchased his licenses after shooting the deer. CO Watson, Sgt. Chris Maher, and Cpl. Pat Hartsig responded to the suspect's residence and conducted a short interview. The suspect was with a friend who claimed to have shot one of the deer. Neither hunter had purchased their license prior to hunting opening morning. The deer were seized, and a report is being generated for taking a deer with no license.
CO Bobby Watson received a complaint of baiting and possible over-limit of antlered deer. CO Watson responded to the suspect's house who lived along a main highway and observed a tower blind within 20 yards of the suspects back door, along with a large pile of pumpkins, corn, and mineral licks positioned underneath the tower blind. The suspect was able to provide proof of two legally harvested antlered deer. A citation was written for hunting over bait in closed area.
COs Jaime Salisbury, Raymond Gardner, and Sgt. Chris Maher were checking on a trespassing complaint when they noticed some bait on the neighboring property. When the COs went to contact the landowner, they witnessed him hunting through the window of his home with a gun aimed directly over the bait. The COs contacted the man and found he had not purchased a hunting license since 2016. Citations were issued for hunting over bait and hunting without kill-tags. A warning was given for no hunter orange.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint regarding an individual possibly hunting without any licenses. CO Salisbury contacted the landowners and gained access to the property to speak with the individuals hunting. Upon contact with the hunters, it was discovered that the person without any kill-tags was only observing a licensed person hunt. While the COs spoke to the hunters, they noticed an automatic feeder about 30 yards in front of the hunting location. As the COs photographed the bait the feeder began spreading more corn. A citation was issued to the hunter for hunting deer over bait. A warning was given for hunting without tags in possession.
CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint about a subject baiting for deer in front of his blind, behind a residence in St. Clair County. CO Brad Silorey did some great game warden work by looking up the suspect on social media. CO Silorey found that the suspect had shot a monster, 13-point buck in 2020. A quick check of license purchases showed that the subject had not purchased a hunting license in 2020. On opening morning of firearm deer season, COs Kiel, and Brad Silorey walked back to check the hunter and found him in his stand, hunting over bait and without any visible hunter orange. While checking the subject's license, the COs asked the subject to show a picture of his deer from last year. The subject showed the COs a picture of the 13-point buck. When asked what he tagged it with, the subject admitted to tagging it with his father's license so that he could take it to a taxidermist. Citations were written for hunt deer over bait and hunt without wearing hunter orange. The deer rack was seized from the taxidermist and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor for take a deer without a license and borrow a tag of another.
CO Kris Kiel responded to a RAP complaint of a possible over-limit of walleye on the holiday. The caller was checking on fishing conditions at the city park in Port Huron when he observed a subject with a walleye on the grass and a stringer with possibly eight more walleye on it. CO Kiel arrived 45 minutes later and checked the suspect. A check of his fish showed a walleye on the grass and six walleyes on the stringer, one over the limit. The subject said he planned on throwing back the fish on the grass. CO Kiel looked at the walleye and observed the fish was dead. CO Kiel asked the subject what time he had gotten there. The subject replied, midnight, the night before. CO Kiel asked if he had any fish in his vehicle. The subject hesitated and apologized about lying and said that he had gotten there at dark the night before and had also kept a limit of walleye before midnight. A search of the vehicle produced eight more walleye in one cooler and fillets from three more walleye, in a smaller cooler. All total, the subject had 18 walleyes, 12 over the daily possession limit. CO Kiel asked where the carcasses of the three filleted fish were, and the subject admitted to throwing them into the water. In total, 12 walleyes were seized, and the subject was written citations for possession of an over-limit of walleye and for possession of mutilated fish.
While on patrol COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen received a complaint of a subject hunting over a baited area. COs Silorey and Deppen contacted the subject at his hunting blind. The subject asked the COs what the issue was. CO Silorey pointed over to the bait pile 20 yards in front of his blind and stated that's what the problem is. CO Silorey asked the suspect for his hunting license, and the suspect stated that he did not have them on him. CO Deppen advised the suspect that he was on Consumer's Energy property. It was later discovered that the subject had never purchased any hunting license for 2021, was trespassing, and hunting over a baited area. Citations were issued for hunting over bait and hunting without a license.
CO Joseph Deppen was working the firearm deer opener when a call went out about five hunters trespassing on posted property. COs Deppen, Kris Kiel, and Brad Silorey responded to the area and initially found one hunter not wearing hunter orange and he had a loaded firearm on an ORV. All the posted signs were torn down and tossed in the brush. A sweep of the property located four more hunters trespassing. They were tracking two deer they shot, but neither were recovered. The hunters were cited for no hunter orange, loaded firearm on an ORV, hunting without licenses, and no licenses on person.
CO Joseph Deppen was handling a trespassing complaint in the north end of the county. CO Deppen located the hunter and he walked past multiple no trespassing signs to access the property. During the check, there was a loud gunshot in the woods due west of CO Deppen's location and it was very close. A citation was issued for recreational trespass and the hunter was allowed to leave. A short time later, a man came out of the woods riding an ORV and entered the roadway without a helmet. CO Deppen stopped the hunter riding without a helmet and asked about the gunshot. The hunter said he was not hunting, and the gunshot must have been somewhere else. CO Deppen noticed a gun case on the back of the ORV and asked the hunter if he was unloaded. The hunter said he was still loaded. The firearm was taken off the ORV, unloaded, and placed in CO Deppen's patrol vehicle. After sticking to his story about not hunting, he finally admitted to shooting a 4 to 6-point buck. The hunter admitted to shooting a deer and he was headed home to buy a hunting license and deer tags. CO Deppen and the hunter walked the property and found a large pile of bait. A blood trail and deer hair were found, but the blood trail stopped after a few yards. The hunter admitted to taking a bad shot. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor's office.
CO Joseph Deppen was headed home after a long opening day. CO Deppen noticed two headlamps in a field and what looked like a deer on the ground. CO Deppen turned around and using binoculars, he confirmed two hunters were dragging a deer to their vehicle. CO Deppen exited his patrol vehicle, identified himself and contacted the two hunters in the field. The two hunters dropped the deer and started walking toward CO Deppen. One hunter was carrying a firearm and it was still loaded well after hunting hours had ended. CO Deppen took the firearm, unloaded it, and walked back to the deer. The deer was gutted and untagged. The hunter said he was just about to tag it. When questioned about other deer, the second hunter said he shot a 6-point buck, and it was in the next field. CO Deppen asked, "Is that deer tagged?" The hunter replied, "No". CO Deppen had the first hunter kneel and immediately tag the deer at his feet. A check of the second hunter who shot the 6-point revealed he only had an antlerless tag. The hunter tried to explain he thought an antlerless tag was good for taking any deer. CO Deppen explained what tags he needed to harvest the deer legally. There were verbal warnings given for fail to immediately validate and tag a deer. The 6-point was seized, and charges are being sought through the prosecutor's office for take antlered deer without a license.
COs Joseph Deppen, Brad Silorey, and Kris Kiel checked in on a hunter who was hunting over a pile of carrots in a corn field. The COs contacted the man in his hunting blind who was hunting with a .243 caliber rifle. He said he was hunting coyotes. The COs said, "Hunting coyotes over carrots?" The man exited his blind and was familiar to the COs from past experiences. The man was cited for hunting over a baited area when prohibited and was given a verbal warning for use of an illegal firearm in the limited firearm deer zone during firearm deer season.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking the north end of the county for hunting activity when he noticed lights on the roadway. A hunter was contacted and said he shot a buck. When questioned about if the deer was tagged the hunter said, "Not yet, I got too excited." CO Deppen went with the hunter to check the deer. The hunter admitted to having carrots and sugar beets out on his property. A second hunter was still in the back with a loaded firearm well after shooting hours had ended. The deer was seized along with the hunter's firearm. A verbal warning was given to the second hunter about possessing a loaded firearm after hours. Charges are being sought for illegal take of deer over bait and failure to immediately validate and attach kill-tag.
CO Mike Drexler received an opening day of firearm season baiting complaint in Lyndon Township. The complainant advised he located a bait pile the day prior and just heard shots from that general area. CO Drexler arrived on scene and foot patrolled to the location given by the complainant. The CO located the bait pile and a fresh blood trail near the bait pile which led directly to two subjects dragging out a spike buck. One subject admitted to shooting the deer near the bait pile but claimed it did not put the bait out. CO Drexler pointed out the hunter was wearing insufficient hunter orange with only an item on his belt being orange. After running computer checks on both subjects, CO Drexler further learned one hunter had multiple felony convictions, preventing him from possessing a firearm. The hunter who shot the deer received citations for Bait/Feed Deer and Fail to Wear Hunter Orange. The second subject was arrested and lodged at the county jail for Felon in Possession of Firearm.
CO Mike Drexler received a recreational trespass complaint in Augusta Township where the trespasser was believed to be hunting from his vehicle on the complainant's farm field. The complainant contacted CO Drexler the following day when he observed the vehicle drive to the back of his farm field and park. CO Drexler contacted the trespasser who had a loaded and uncased rifle across the steering wheel and dash of his vehicle. The subject was cited for Loaded and Uncased Firearm in a Motor Vehicle and Recreational Trespass.
CO Brandon Hartleben received a safety zone/recreational trespass complaint from Washtenaw County Metro Dispatch on opening day of firearm deer season. CO Hartleben made contact at the complainant's residence and located the gut pile from the deer that was shot right along the property line. The gut pile was well within the safety zone, but from the blood trail, it was obvious the deer had not been shot at the location of the gut pile. CO Hartleben followed the blood trail back towards the elevated blind that had clothes hanging off the stairs and the gun rest still in the open window. The blood trail stopped near a pile of sugar beets that were directly in front of the blind. Using a range finder and aerial imagery, it appeared that the deer was shot outside of the safety zone, but it was shot over bait. CO Hartleben followed the blood trail back to a residence and passed another large pile of sugar beets along the way. At the residence, a group of hunters were contacted while hanging the deer in a garage. CO Hartleben spoke with the group about the deer and discussed the deer being illegally shot over bait. After verifying which subject shot the deer, CO Hartleben discovered that the hunter also did not have hunter safety. CO Hartleben seized the 7-point antlered white-tailed deer that was shot over bait and will be submitting charges to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking waterfowl hunters at Pointe Mouillee SGA finishing up a windy and snowy hunt. CO Ingersoll spoke with two groups of waterfowl hunters who made it safely back to the launch. One vessel failed to turn on their navigation lights. After speaking with the first vessel owner, it was determined he didn't have navigation lights and could not provide CO Ingersoll with two PFDs. CO Ingersoll spoke with the second vessel owner who had navigation lights but failed to provide CO Ingersoll with three PFDs and expressed he always has them and just forgot them this once. After the safety concerns were expressed, especially with the sudden change of weather with both vessel owners, citations were issued for failure to provide PFDs on the vessel.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking waterfowl hunters at Pointe Mouillee SGA finishing up an evening hunt on Lake Erie. CO Ingersoll spoke with one kayaker who did not have any success. After speaking with him, CO Ingersoll noticed the hunter did not have a PFD on the kayak. The hunter stated he thought he did not need one unless he was a mile offshore. CO Ingersoll asked the hunter if he could swim a mile back to shore in the current water conditions and the hunter stated he could not and should have a PFD on his kayak. After issuing the hunter a citation for not having a PFD, the hunter admitted that he just had forgotten his PFD at home.
Sgt. Shane Webster and CO Nicholas Ingersoll worked an evening patrol checking anglers at Luna Pier. The first angler the COs contacted was from Ohio, and when asked for his fishing license the angler stated that he was just leaving, and it was slow. The COs again asked for the angler's fishing license and the angler stated that his annual license had expired. A license check was run on the angler, and it was determined his 24-hour license he purchased expired on October 27, 2021, almost a month prior to the COs contacting him. While checking the rest of the anglers, the COs contacted a second individual from Ohio. After talking with the second angler, he stated he did not purchase his fishing license. While talking with the angler he stated that he was talking with his friends earlier in the day and said that the COs rarely check anglers at Luna Pier, and he did not need a license. Both anglers were cited for fishing without a license and advised to purchase a license before returning.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Monroe County looking for shining activity when he observed a vehicle driving extremely slow down a rural county road. CO Ingersoll continued to watch the vehicle and at one point the vehicle stopped in the middle of the rural road and then continued down the road. CO Ingersoll eventually stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and spoke with the driver of the vehicle. The driver showed several signs of being intoxicated while speaking with CO Ingersoll. CO Ingersoll asked the driver what he was doing, and the driver stated he was just trying to get home. After speaking with the driver, it was determined that the driver was driving slowly down the rural road because he was grabbing another Bud Light from the back seat and an open 12-ounce Bud Light was in the back seat on the floor. The driver asked several times if he could just have his mom pick him and his Jeep up and he did not want to get in trouble. CO Ingersoll advised him that he would conduct some Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) to make sure he was okay to drive and if he passed, he would be able to go home. CO Ingersoll conducted SFSTs on the individual who was unable to pass all three tests and after a preliminary breath analysis was administered the driver blew .238. The driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and cited for having an open intoxicant in a motor vehicle. The driver was lodged at the Monroe County Jail after a chemical blood test was administered.
CO Andrew Monnich was patrolling during the first snow of the year when he observed a vehicle drive off the roadway into a yard and get stuck. CO Monnich contacted the driver to see if he needed help, the driver got out of the vehicle stating he was lost and could hardly walk. The driver went on to say he was coming from the bar after watching the football game. After field sobrieties and a breathalyzer, it was determined the driver was two times the legal limit. He was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated and charges are pending with the prosecutor's office.
CO Eric Smither and Sgt. Shane Webster received a tip that an individual was hunting on opening day of firearm deer season with no hunter orange, and no hunting license, over bait. The COs contacted the subject in his blind without hunter orange on. When asked to see his hunting license, the individual admitted that he was going to buy a license if he got a deer. While talking with the subject the COs also located multiple smashed pumpkins around his blind. Enforcement action was taken, and a citation was issued for hunting without a license.
Sgt. Shane Webster and CO Michael Drexler received a RAP complaint that a subject was self-reporting for violating the APRs in Antrim County by taking a spike-antlered deer and tagging it with an antlerless tag. The subject had transported the remains of the deer to his residence in Washtenaw County and a friend had pointed out that what he had done was illegal. Due to the subject self-reporting and cooperating the subject's deer license was seized and the meat from the deer was donated.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge was working north on M-95 in poor road/weather conditions and responded to a personal injury accident involving multiple vehicles. Cpl. DeLonge assisted with traffic control while local agencies were short-handed due to several concurrent accidents occurring throughout the county.
Cpl. Mike Hammill contacted a successful hunter during the firearm deer season. The hunter was in the process of dragging his 8-point buck out of the woods with his ORV. The deer had no tag attached and the uncased firearm on the ORV was still loaded. Enforcement action was taken.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen worked with MSP and area 4-3 on "Operation Deer Camp" on M-115 in Osceola County. MSP troopers ran radar, while the COs assisted if there was a hunting-related matter on a stop.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen assisted Area 4-2 with a bait flight. Numerous baited sites were discovered in Mason and Lake County.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen took a complaint of an ear-tagged deer that was shot in Oceana County. Cpl. VanGelderen took the head to the biologists at the Muskegon Field Office so it could be tested.
In response to illegal activity on a two track in the Pentwater State Game Area, Cpl. Troy VanGelderen blocked off the trail by cementing a barrier pole into the ground with materials from the Paris Field Office. The area biologist was appreciative of these efforts since he was not able to get to it due to the busy deer season.