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9/19/2021 - 10/2/2021
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes responded to a search and rescue in the Porcupine Mountains after a hiker signaled for help. The Porcupine Mountains State Park rescue boat was utilized to transport first responders, park rangers, and CO Mapes to a location on the shoreline of Lake Superior. Rescuers hiked into the subject, who had suffered a heart attack, and were able to extract the hiker from his campsite and bring him to an awaiting ambulance. The search lasted for several hours in the night with heavy rain.
CO Zach Painter, while working a complaint late at night in Gogebic County, had an unrelated vehicle pull up, stop, and roll down their window to talk. CO Painter spoke to the operator of the vehicle, who said he was just out driving around trying to clear his head. While talking with the subject, CO Painter noticed several signs of intoxication. Standard field sobrieties tests (SFSTs) were given to the operator of the vehicle, who was ultimately arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI). CO Painter also located a loaded pistol in the center console of the vehicle and the subject did not have a concealed pistol license. The subject was lodged in the Gogebic County Jail. A report was forwarded to the Gogebic County prosecutor for review.
CO Byron Parks assisted Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) conservation wardens with instructing at a Michigan Hunters Safety Course in Baraga County. The officers conducted a two-day course, with the first day being material review and the second day being the field day and test. All participants successfully received their hunter's safety certificate.
CO Shannon Kritz was on patrol when she observed an ORV with two riders not wearing helmets. CO Kritz stopped the ORV and noticed the operator had an open container of beer. The operator explained that they had been bird hunting and they stopped to have a beer. The operator did not finish the beer before continuing the ride, but knew it was illegal to have an open container on an ORV. CO Kritz asked him if his gun was unloaded, and he replied that it was. CO Kritz then checked the gun which was loaded. Enforcement action was taken.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon was checking duck hunters when a three-wheeled ORV drove by without an ORV trail permit and no brake light. Sgt Bacon stopped the ORV and soon discovered that the operator was on parole, had a revoked driver's license, and had two misdemeanor warrants for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and operating while revoked. The operator was lodged in the county jail.
Sgt. Brian Bacon was patrolling northern Dickinson County, when a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction was observed doing 91 miles per hour (mph) in a 55-mph posted speed limit zone. Sgt. Bacon stopped the vehicle and the operator's comment was, "You have a car like this, you factor in the cost of tickets when you buy it." The operator was cited for speeding.
CO Jeremy Sergey and Sgt. Mark Leadman were observing and checking waterfowl hunters at dusk during the regular waterfowl season. After observing one group unload their shotguns several minutes after legal hunting hours and operate back to the launch site with one subject riding on the bow, a check of all gear was conducted. The COs noticed immediately there were no PFDs for the three occupants. A check of their shotshells revealed two and a half boxes of lead shot. Seven spent lead shot shells were found in the bottom of the boat. A necropsy of the only duck they had killed contained several lead shot bb's. The duck and lead shot were seized. Law enforcement action was taken.
COs Andrea Dani and Mark Zitnik assisted with a Hunter Education Field Day at Munising High School. There was a great turnout from youths and adults who had completed the online course. The COs will be assisting with another Field Day at Superior Central Schools on October 4th.
CO Steve Butzin was off duty when he observed a vehicle at a local fishing site. The owner of this vehicle was known in the past to snag fish. CO Butzin walked in and was passed by two subjects, one being the owner of the vehicle. Neither had any fishing gear. CO Butzin continued on and observed another individual wearing shorts and shoes who was wet from the waist down. It was obvious that this was not a regular fishing adventure. CO Butzin contacted the angler by asking how the fishing was. The angler recognized CO Butzin from a previous incident and when the other two subjects returned, the angler turned to the other two and whispered, and all three looked at CO Butzin and began to pack their gear. The type of gear they were using was set up for snagging. CO Butzin walked back down the riverbank and noticed a large salmon laying on the bank. CO Butzin contacted all the individuals and identified himself as a conservation officer. Further investigation revealed that the individuals were snagging fish and were in possession of two salmon that had been foul hooked. Two of the anglers received citations for possessing foul hooked fish.
CO Michael Evink responded to an abandoned ORV on a sand bar in the Manistique River. The ORV had been there for multiple days with the keys still in it. CO Evink ran the vehicle identification number, which returned to an individual who lived down state. CO Evink left a message for the owner, who contacted CO Evink the following day. The caller stated the ORV should have been in his garage, and if not, it was stolen from his cottage. CO Evink secured the ORV at Manistique Public Safety and went to check the owner's cottage. CO Evink observed what appeared to be forced entry into the cottage. CO Evink asked for assistance from the Michigan State Police (MSP). CO Evink turned the breaking and entering over to MSP for further investigation and is assisting the MSP with the investigation.
CO Colton Gelinas assisted Mackinac County Sheriff's Department processing stolen property that was stored on state land.
CO Colton Gelinas spent a week of evenings at Engadine School teaching hunter safety to 20 future hunters, all students passed the class and are excited to start out their hunting careers.
COs Colton Gelinas, Justin Vinson, and Cole VanOosten held a Hunter Safety Field Day at the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club Trap Range. There were close to 50 participants in the field day. Various donations from local restaurants and sporting goods stores allowed every participant to win a prize at the end of the day. One lucky youth was able to win a donated .22 rifle. Attitudes at the field day remained high, even in unfavorable weather. Special thanks go out the Hiawatha Sportsman Club and their volunteer members, great job by all!
CO Cole VanOosten was on ORV patrol when he observed a vehicle parked in an area where a tree stand has been left illegally for several years. Upon making his way to the stand location, CO VanOosten contacted an individual who was tending to the tree stand. The subject admitted that he had put the stand up approximately three years prior and left it out since then. Additional violations included no name and address on tree stand and penetrating the cambium of a tree by using climbing bolts. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Cole VanOosten worked an illegal bear bait barrel that had been placed on commercial forest (CFA) land in northern Luce County on the opening day of the third bear season hunt. After several hours of conducting surveillance at the location, a subject arrived and began to tend to the bait station. CO VanOosten contacted the subject, who was actively guiding clients that day. A citation was issued for the use of a bear bait barrel on CFA land. Warnings were issued for establishing/tending a bait placed prior to 31 days before the open bear season and for litter.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Luce County on the opening day of waterfowl season when he received a complaint from the Report all Poaching (RAP) hotline of a group of hunters shooting geese after legal hunting hours. CO VanOosten drove to the area and contacted the hunters. It was determined that the hunters had shot seven geese after legal waterfowl hunting hours. The hunters initially stated that they had shot at waterfowl after legal hunting hours but that they were just finishing off crippled geese. An interview with witnesses determined that the group had shot at three groups of geese after legal hunting hours. With the assistance of astute witnesses, it was determined that the group had shot geese as late as 33 minutes after the close of waterfowl hunting hours for that day. The geese were seized, and a report was generated for review from the Luce County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Cole VanOosten was first on scene following the report of a missing angler in Schoolcraft County. The angler had not been in contact with anyone for approximately 30 hours. A family member located the angler's truck at a boat launch in Schoolcraft County. CO VanOosten used his patrol boat to search the lake and located the man's empty boat. A multi-agency search occurred for the missing individual, who had known medical issues. The following day, with assistance from DNR Aviation, DNR Forest Resource Division (FRD), MSP dive team, MSP, Sault Tribe Law Enforcement, and the Schoolcraft County Sheriff's Department, the man's body was located in the lake. CO VanOosten assisted the MSP dive team in extracting the body from the lake.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol near the Newberry DNR office early in the morning when he observed a large diesel truck operating without any taillights and no license plate. CO VanOosten attempted a traffic stop on the individual to address the violations. After activating the emergency lights, the operator of the vehicle pulled over and slowed to a speed of approximately 25 mph but continued driving the gravel shoulder of M-28. After failing to stop and operating at a slow rate of speed for approximately one-quarter of a mile, the operator re-entered the highway and rapidly accelerated. CO VanOosten initiated the siren on his patrol truck and notified central dispatch that he was engaged in a pursuit. CO VanOosten pursued the vehicle for approximately two and a half miles before the operator crossed the centerline and came to a stop on the adjacent sidewalk. The operator was taken into custody and lodged in the Luce County Jail for fleeing and eluding, operating without a license, and failure to transfer title within 15 days of purchase.
COs Mike Olesen and Todd Sumbera conducted a Hunters Safety Course and a Field Day in Chippewa and Mackinac Counties. The Hunter's Safety Course had a total of 11 participants and the Field Day had 37 participants with some attendees driving from approximately four hours away to attend and receive their hunter's safety certificate. The Field Day was held at the Chippewa County Shooting Association.
CO Justin Vinson was patrolling a two-track road in Luce County and checking for hunting activity when he noticed a pickup truck stopped in the middle of the roadway. CO Vinson pulled alongside the truck and noticed two uncased shotguns wedged in the front seat. The two men admitted the shotguns were loaded and that they were looking for grouse. The two suspects received citation for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.
CO Andrea Albert and PCO Jack Gorno were on patrol in Antrim County when they observed a vehicle, that was traveling on US-131, leave the roadway, drive off the gravel shoulder and hit two roadway reflector signs. The COs observed the vehicle re-enter the roadway and cross the centerline. The COs initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which failed to immediately stop. Upon contact the driver presented outward signs of intoxication. The driver was unable to perform SFSTs and was arrested for felony OWI third offense. At the jail, the subject blew a .287 on the breathalyzer, which is approaching four times the legal limit.
COs Andrea Albert, Andrea Erratt, and PCO Jack Gorno attended a career vehicle day at North Central Academy in Mancelona. They brought their patrol trucks, a quad, and a patrol boat. The students enjoyed climbing on the quad and in the boat while the COs explained conservation officer's responsibilities and how they use the vehicles to patrol the woods, lakes, and rivers.
COs Andrea Albert, Andrea Erratt, and PCO Jack Gorno patrolled the Boyne River. CO Albert advised CO Erratt there was a group of anglers in a remote area of the river chasing salmon with legal gear. Later that day, CO Erratt observed the same group of men after dark using headlamps and watched as one angler changed his fishing rig to a large un-baited treble hook with slip weights directly above it. CO Erratt watched as one angler chased salmon downstream to his friends, who were spread out on the shore fishing with the same setup of bare treble hooks with slip weights. CO Erratt walked up behind the angler and turned on her flashlight as they gathered on shore smoking marijuana. CO Erratt ticketed the four men for fishing with treble hooks on the Boyne River and warned them for fishing with un-baited hooks, recreational trespass, and smoking marijuana in public. She also warned two of the anglers for failing to display their fishing licenses and another for taking and possessing one salmon by an illegal method.
CO Andrea Erratt observed a car headed into the Jordan River Valley. CO Erratt circled back around and spotted the car parked by the Jordan River. She observed a man standing in the river holding a spear, and heard his son cheering, "Get a fish daddy!" CO Erratt walked down the steps toward the river as the man was walking across an island in the stream, he looked back toward her standing by his girlfriend and son and dropped the spear. CO Erratt told the man he might as well bring the spear back across the river. The man claimed he was not attempting to spear the salmon in the river, but he was spearing frogs with the homemade spear. CO Erratt issued him a ticket for possessing a spear on a closed trout stream and for attempting to take frogs without a fishing license.
While off duty, CO Nathan Beelman received a complaint from a Charlevoix County sheriff's deputy, regarding a subject shooting from a motor vehicle at a deer. CO Beelman arrived in the area a few minutes later and assisted the on-scene deputy. A witness observed a subject shoot from a truck on the county road and kill a deer that was standing just inside an apple orchard. The suspect then ran into the orchard and started dragging the deer away. CO Adam Leclerc and PCO Brandon Maki arrived to assist and found the suspect walking down the road in the dark. When they stopped to talk to him, he fled into a cedar swamp. The COs were able to quickly find and apprehend him. The second suspect that was in the vehicle also left the scene and hid the vehicle and the firearm used to shoot the deer in a field down the road. The driver initially denied shooting at a deer from the vehicle, but eventually stated that the passenger of the truck was the one that shot from the vehicle. All evidence found at the scene and the statements of witnesses point to the fact that the driver was in fact the shooter. The deer was found hidden in an empty apple crate inside of the orchard and the firearm was located hidden in a deer blind. Both suspects are facing multiple charges for resisting and obstructing, taking game from a motor vehicle, failing to tag the deer, and not wearing hunter orange among other charges. The suspect was hunting on a deer damage permit given to him by the landowner.
CO Duane Budreau and PCO Brandon Maki received a RAP complaint from an individual who had found multiple garbage bags dumped on state land. The complainant reported finding a packing label with a name and address on it. The COs contacted the complainant, and he led them to the dump site where multiple garbage bags were discovered. After digging through the garbage, the COs were able to identify two suspects. The following day, the COs contacted the two suspects. The female was the first to be contacted. When asked about the garbage, she stated she had no knowledge about it. The COs asked if she lived with anyone else and she stated she lived with her boyfriend, and he would be home shortly. When her boyfriend was questioned about the litter he reluctantly confessed to the dumping. He was ticketed and advised to clean up the dump site and properly dispose of the garbage.
CO Tim Rosochacki was monitoring the Cheboygan Dam for salmon fishing activity when he observed three different subjects keep fish that were not hooked in the mouth. CO Rosochacki contacted the subjects who admitted to keeping the foul hooked fish and showed where they had been hooked. Tickets were issued and the fish were seized.
COs Tim Rosochacki, Adam LeClerc, Brian Maki, Jessica Curtis, Dan Liestenfeltz, and Sgt. Mark DePew patrolled the Trek the Mac, an all-terrain (ATV) /ORV event in Mackinaw City. Nearly 800 ORVs were participating in crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick assisted the Cheboygan County Search and Rescue Team with a training exercise. The COs helped to explain and demonstrate handheld global positioning system usage in a search and rescue scenario.
CO Tim Rosochacki was checking baited hunting locations on the opening weekend of archery deer season in Cheboygan County when he encountered a 14 and a seven-year-old hunting on state land without adult supervision. Their mother was contacted and arrived on the scene. She explained that she had dropped the two boys off earlier and knew they needed an adult to be present. The mother was ticketed for allowing the youth to hunt unsupervised and warnings were given for the other violations.
CO Tim Rosochacki followed up on a group of homeless individuals who have been camping on state land all summer in Cheboygan County. Initially, CO Rosochacki had given them a warning for camping at the same location for greater than 15 days in August and for having litter surrounding their campsite. They were advised to relocate and were told they would have to do so every 15 days. After receiving several complaints about a messy camp, CO Rosochacki located the same group in another location. They had been there for nearly 30 days and again had a littered campsite. A ticket was issued for the camping violation and the group was given 24 hours to pick up all the trash and vacate the area.
CO Sidney Collins followed up with detectives from a double bull elk case from 2018 in Montmorency County. New leads have been developed and the investigation is ongoing.
CO Sidney Collins checked in a cow elk for a successful hunter in Montmorency County. CO Collins hiked into the kill site and was excited to see that it was a successful, elderly hunter. CO Collins met the hunter earlier in the season and learned that he had been struggling with Parkinson's Disease. The hunter was so determined, he walked back with his walking sticks through rough terrain and several steep hills. The hunter pushed himself past limits, beyond what he thought he could do. CO Collins then assisted the hunter and his wife out of the woods, moving brush and other obstacles out of the way for the hunter to make it safely out.
CO Jessie Curtis assisted Montmorency County Sheriff's Deputies with a domestic violence and assault complaint. The female suspect was lodged without incident for two domestic violence charges.
While patrolling Montmorency County, CO Jon Sheppard was dispatched to an elk hunter who had killed an elk outside the legal area. CO Sheppard seized the elk for evidence and the meat was donated. Charges are being sought through the Montmorency County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Jon Sheppard attended a Lion's Club meeting in Alpena. CO Sheppard answered questions from the group about hunting and fishing laws and conservation officer's roles.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Jessie Curtis were patrolling in Montmorency County when CO Liestenfeltz observed a vehicle cross the centerline of the roadway. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and when the driver was contacted it was immediately apparent that the driver had been consuming alcohol. There were also two young juveniles in the vehicle as well. CO Liestenfeltz asked the driver if there were any open containers of alcohol in the vehicle. At this time the driver leaned inside the vehicle to tell the young juvenile in the front seat to give CO Liestenfeltz the alcohol. CO Liestenfeltz then asked the juvenile if the subject had given the alcohol to them to hide when they were getting pulled over and the juvenile replied, "Yes." The driver failed SFSTs and was found to be nearly triple the legal limit when a PBT was taken. CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody and later lodged. The juveniles were transported back to their residence and turned over to a parent. The subject was charged with OWI high blood alcohol content, OWI, child endangerment, driving on a suspended license, and open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. The subject also had a statewide warrant out of Oakland County which he was picked up on.
CO Tim Barboza responded to a RAP complaint of duck hunters hunting during the closed season on Croton Pond. CO Barboza was able to locate the two waterfowl hunters and articulated to them that they were hunting in the closed southern zone management area. He escorted the hunters back to the boat launch and cited the hunters for hunting waterfowl closed season and seized the two mergansers they had taken.
CO Angela Greenway was patrolling the Haymarsh State Game Area campground for hunting activity and was flagged down by a camper who had heard someone yelling for help to the south towards the dam. CO Greenway headed to the parking lot at the dam and met up with two hunters that had heard the call for help as well. CO Greenway and the hunters split up to cover more area and were able to locate two lost bow hunters a short time later. The two hunters had gone back to look for a lost water bottle and got turned around.
CO Ben Shively was on foot patrol along the north branch of the White River in Oceana County and was watching an angler who was using illegal gear. CO Shively observed the subject snag a salmon in the stomach with a bare treble hook and drag the fish onto shore. CO Shively contacted the subject who was cited for snagging and illegal gear. Warnings were issued for no fishing license in possession and using an un-baited hook.
CO Ben Shively responded to a RAP complaint of subjects snagging salmon in the White River near Hesperia in Oceana County. CO Shively located two subjects fishing in the area and observed one angler fighting a salmon. CO Shively observed the subject land the salmon and remove the illegal treble hook from the dorsal fin. The angler immediately smashed the fish in the head with a rock. CO Shively contacted the subject who stated he wasn't keeping the foul hooked fish and the fish was still alive. CO Shively tossed the dead fish onto shore which did not move. The subject was cited for retaining a foul hooked fish and warned on the use of illegal gear.
CO Ben Shively was on foot patrol, along the north branch of the White River, at night when he observed two anglers actively attempting to snag fish and one subject walking in the river with a large net. CO Shively contacted CO Micah Hintze, who responded to the area. Upon CO Hintze's arrival, the subjects packed up and began walking downstream on the opposite side of the river. The COs drove to the dead-end parking area on the other side of the river and contacted the subjects returning to their vehicle. The subjects were found to be a father with his two juvenile sons who all had illegal gear on their fishing poles. The father was checked for prior convictions and was found to have five prior convictions, two of which were for snagging. The subject was cited again for snagging and illegal gear.
CO Ben Shively observed a group of anglers using illegal gear. While watching the anglers, one of the anglers walked towards where CO Shively was hiding behind a tree and CO Shively identified himself and advised the subjects not to cut their lines. One subject immediately turned away and broke his line and dropped it in the river. CO Shively found two of the anglers to be fishing without licenses and all three were using illegal gear. CO Shively was able to retrieve the single oversized treble hook from the river. Two subjects were cited for fishing without a license and warned on the illegal gear. The last subject who had broken his line, was cited for illegal gear as it was his second time in three years being cited for the offense.
CO Scott MacNeill responded to a complaint of individuals hunting waterfowl on the backwaters of Tippy Dam the day before the season opened. CO MacNeill contacted the subjects, who were in possession of a Wood Duck. They admitted to hunting ducks but thought that it was the opener. CO MacNeill cited the three individuals for hunting prior to season.
COs William Kinney and Bill Haskin were patrolling the Betsie River in Benzie County for salmon fishing activity. The COs responded to a complaint of five individuals illegally fishing within 300 feet of the Homestead Dam. Upon arrival, all five individuals were located still illegally fishing in the closed water. Citations were issued to the anglers for the violation.
CO Amanda Weaver participated in a joint operation with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Traverse City Air Station. For this patrol, CO Weaver conducted a three-hour aerial patrol in a USCG helicopter over Benzie, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse Counties. The patrol focused on providing overhead coverage of the Platte and Bestie River systems, with special attention paid toward the Homestead Dam to address frequent violations. Ground units were available to respond in case CO Weaver witnessed any violations while flying overhead. The patrol provided a unique opportunity to view areas from a different vantage point and increase collaboration between state and federal organizations.
CO Tyler Sabuda responded to a recreational trespass complaint on a lake in Iosco County. The hunters were told by the property owner they did not have permission to hunt, but they opted to set up on the owner's property anyway. CO Sabuda contacted the hunters and cited them for recreational trespass. The hunters had harvested three ducks, which were seized as well.
CO Charlie Jones observed a group of waterfowl hunters at a local pond in Kalkaska County. Upon checking the hunters, two unplugged shotguns were located among the group. A citation was issued for waterfowl hunting with an unplugged shotgun.
CO Chuck McPherson and PCO Ryan Weakman contacted a group of waterfowl hunters at a marsh in Roscommon County. One of the hunters had shot a Canada Goose and had not purchased a waterfowl license or a federal waterfowl stamp. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting waterfowl with no license.
CO Chuck McPherson and PCO Ryan Weakman received a complaint of a subject camping on state land in Roscommon County since the spring of 2021. The camper had posted no trespassing signs on the state land around his campsite. The COs contacted the camper and received a confession on posting no trespassing signs. The camper was issued a citation for posting the signs on state land and a warning for the extended camping.
CO Breanna Reed was patrolling Missaukee County during the archery deer opener when she attempted to drive down a two-track but was unable to as it was blocked by an unoccupied parked truck. CO Reed searched for and contacted the owner. The owner stated he was running late this morning and did not want to scare the deer away. He also stated he had been warned in the past for blocking access to state land. CO Reed informed the subject that if there was an emergency, law enforcement and EMS would have no way to get through the road. CO Reed issued a citation for blocking access to state land.
CO Jeff Goss responded to an ORV personal injury accident on the ORV trail near the Gladwin Trailhead. Two dirt bikes were coming toward each other on a curve and collided. Complicating matters, the accident occurred approximately two miles from the nearest road. One rider had a compound leg fracture and the other suffered possible neck and shoulder injuries. Gladwin County Sheriff's Deputy Johnson as well as Secord and Billings Township Fire Departments assisted with treating the patients and transporting them to the road where they were taken to a local hospital.
CO Jeff Goss had hidden a trail camera on an illegal ORV trail leading to an illegal deer bait. After monitoring the illegal ORV trail for two weeks, CO Goss received a picture of a subject operating on the trail with an ORV loaded down with bait. CO Goss recognized the man because a month prior he was caught on another one of CO Goss' cameras. The prior incident involved the same subject illegally crossing a river to access an illegal bear bait. Much like the last time, CO Goss contacted the subject as he came back from dumping the bait. The subject was less than excited to see CO Goss waiting for him. The subject was issued a ticket for illegally operating an ORV in a closed area.
CO Craig Neal was prepping his boat to patrol Saginaw Bay at the Pine River Access Site as an angler was taking his boat out. CO Neal asked the angler how the fishing was. The angler stated he caught about 18 perch, but they were all smaller than the 25 perch he caught the day prior. CO Neal asked to see the fish and eye-balled what appeared to be well over 18 fish in the live well. CO Neal counted them twice and counted 28 both times. The angler stated that he counted them the best he could as they were swimming in the live well but admitted it was his mistake. CO Neal issued the angler a citation for being over his daily possession limit of perch.
COs Jill Miller and Chad Foerster were on patrol on the Saginaw Bay and Saginaw River during the middle zone waterfowl opener. While conducting waterfowl checks they contacted two hunters with unplugged shotguns. Additionally, one hunter did not have a federal duck stamp which is required for waterfowl hunting. Citations were issued for the unplugged shotguns.
CO Michael Haas and PCO Cullen Knoblauch responded to a complaint in Montcalm County for a self-report into the RAP hotline of a hunter who shot a spike buck which violates the antler point restriction for that area. The COs conducted an interview with the hunter and determined he is a new hunter, and this was his first deer ever harvested. The hunter never saw the spike antlers until he tracked and located the deer with a friend. The hunter immediately called to report his mistake. The hunter was given a warning and was educated on safe hunting techniques for the future.
While patrolling Van Buren County, CO Matt Page was passed on a double yellow line by a vehicle with a young operator. After being passed by the vehicle, it was also observed that the vehicle did not have a license plate. A traffic stop was conducted and when asked if he knew the reason for the stop, the driver stated, "Because I'm an idiot." The operator stated that he didn't know he was passing a cop and wasn't sure why he decided to pass on a double yellow. A citation was issued for passing in a no passing zone and the vehicle was found to be properly registered, however the individual elected not to attach the plate to the vehicle. A warning was issued for no plate.
While patrolling closed Type 1 trout streams in Van Buren County, CO Tyler Cole saw a subject walking along a closed section of the Black River. CO Cole observed the subject scout the area for spawning fish, run back to his vehicle to retrieve a fishing pole and begin to attempt to snag the fish. Upon the subject noticing CO Cole approaching, the subject dropped his fishing pole and stated, "Sure are a lot of fish in here" and proceeded to tell CO Cole that he was only looking at the fish. CO Cole informed the subject that he had been watching him fish in the stream for some time. The subject then stated that he had no idea that the area was closed to fishing. While checking on the subjects fishing license status, it was found that CO Cole had written a ticket to the same subject at the exact spot, for the same violation last year. Another citation was written to the subject for fishing in the closed stream.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of a subject who was observed trespassing during the early antlerless deer season in Allegan County. While checking the location of the reported trespass, he located a tree stand with a bait pile of minerals, apples, and salt lick nearby. CO Woodwyk followed up at the location on the archery season opening day and located a hunter who admitted to throwing out more fresh bait, corn and apples, the day prior. The hunter admitted to knowing baiting was illegal in the lower peninsula. A citation was issued for the baiting violation.
COs Rich Cardenas and Kyle McQueer were called to assist the Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) on a search warrant of an illegal marijuana grow in Barry County. While conducting the search warrant, SWET agents located four individuals who were goose hunting the same field as the marijuana grow. Upon arrival, it was determined that one of the goose hunters did not have a plug in his shotgun and another individual was in possession of methamphetamine. The one individual was issued a citation for hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun and a report will be submitted to the Barry County Prosecutor's Office for possession of methamphetamine and a firearm violation.
CO James Nason was sitting stationary in his patrol truck checking a large block of fields for hunting activity in Kalamazoo County when a pickup truck passed him at a high rate of speed. The CO began to follow the vehicle and witnessed the operator fail to stop at a stop sign. CO Nason initiated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, the pickup truck quickly turned into a farmhouse's driveway. The male operator shut his truck off and quickly exited the vehicle and lit a cigarette. Upon making contact, the man was extremely hostile and irate for being stopped. He stated that the truck was his mom's and that he was fixing it for her. The man also stated that he lived at this residence with his mother. Right after the man made these claims, the homeowner exited her home and informed CO Nason that the man in her driveway did not live there and that she had no idea who he was. CO Nason continued to ask for the man's driver license, but he continuously refused to identify himself. CO Nason told the man that if he wouldn't identify himself, that he would be arrested for obstruction. The man said, "Let's go then." While CO Nason was applying the handcuffs to the arrestee, he noticed the odor of intoxicants on the man's breath. The man initially denied drinking anything that day and would not submit to SFSTs or a chemical test. It was also discovered that the subject's license was suspended/revoked, and the man had multiple warrants out of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. CO Nason transported the man to Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo and reached an on-call judge who signed an Affidavit Search Warrant for the man's blood to be drawn for analysis. The man was then lodged in the Kalamazoo County Jail and is facing OWI and Resist/Obstruct charges.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling Ravenna in Muskegon County when she heard on the radio of a tree that was possibly on fire in the Muskegon SGA that was just north of her. She patrolled to the area and met Moorland Fire there. Upon getting to the gate to get into the area, a truck was blocking the gate. Emergency personnel were able to run over some corn to gain access to the gate and get back to the tree that was smoldering. After dealing with the tree and coming back out, CO Miskovich issued a citation to the individual for parking in front of an access gate that was posed with "no parking".
CO Jeremy Beavers checked a location that is currently baited and has been during the previous two deer seasons. The hunter at this location has also never removed his tree stand as required by law. As CO Beavers approached the location, he could see movement in the stand. As he got closer, a hunter was in the stand and appeared to be adjusting it. CO Beavers made contact and the hunter came down from the stand. CO Beavers explained why he was there, and the hunter denied that it was his stand or bait. He instead blamed it on a friend, whose name he provided to CO Beavers. CO Beavers was also aware that there was a trail camera at that location and asked the hunter if there would be pictures of him on the camera baiting the location. At that time, the hunter admitted the stand was his and he baited the location. CO Beavers explained that he knew this was at least the third deer season in a row that the location was baited, and it was always a mineral block with molasses poured on top. The hunter was cited for the violations and instructed to remove his stand.
CO Katie Baker checked a group of anglers coming off Indian Lake. The anglers proudly told her they had gotten their limit of panfish for the day. CO Baker counted the bucket of fish on board finding they were two panfish over the limit. One of the anglers showed CO Baker the count he had going on his cellphone. The anglers had no other violations or priors and appeared to be honest in their mistake. Two panfish were removed from their daily limit and a verbal warning issued.
CO Katie Baker received a complaint of a deceased eagle. The eagle was found in a ditch near the caller's residence. Upon retrieving the bird, CO Baker noticed trauma to the head. It is believed the eagle was hit by a car. It was taken to Michigan State University to have a full necropsy conducted.
COs Katie Baker and Nick Wellman presented at a career fair at Springport High School. 150 students attended the presentation to learn about the job roles and hiring process of how to become a Conservation Officer.
CO Chris Reynolds attended a Hunter Safety Class and Field Day at the Branch County Sportsman's Club Heineman Range in Coldwater. CO Reynolds assisted with the classroom presentations and testing. CO Reynolds explained laws pertaining to hunting, fishing, and trapping. After the class, CO Reynolds answered questions about hunting, fishing, marine, and ORV laws from the 26 students and parents in attendance.
CO John Byars was checking hunters in the Dansville SGA and came across a hunter with a black powder revolver. CO Byars determined that the hunter was a felon in possession of a firearm. The firearm was seized, and a complaint warrant will be submitted to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.
CO John Byars was dispatched by Ingham County Central Dispatch to assist the sheriff's office in a fight due to being the closest unit. CO Byars and a deputy arrived on scene at the same time. The aggressor had a rope around his neck which was removed. The suspect was arrested, and medical assistance was summoned. The Ingham County Sheriff's Office investigated the complaint and will seek a warrant for the suspect's arrest.
CO Dan Walzak observed an ORV approaching him on a rural road. The machine was being operated on the side of the road, the operator was transporting a passenger, and neither occupant was wearing a helmet. CO Walzak pulled over, motioned for the operator to stop and he complied. Contacting the operator, CO Walzak explained the observed violations and asked the operator if he was aware that his actions were unlawful. The operator simply paused, looked down and answered, "Yes, Sir." When asked where he lived, the operator stated that he lived just down the road. CO Walzak asked the operator for his identification and the operator produced it. Explaining that there were just too many violations to simply give all warnings, CO Walzak told the operator that he was going to receive a citation, to which the operator responded, "I understand, Sir". Because of his cooperation and honesty, the operator received a citation for transporting a passenger on an ORV not designed for passengers and received warnings for the other offenses.
COs Keven Luther, David Schaumburger, and Brandon Hartleben conducted a Hunter Education Field Day at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit.
CO Justin Muehlhauser stopped an ORV traveling against traffic and operating on M 15 in Davison Township. The operator stated that he was just heading to the party store and was working on a farm. He then pointed out his slow-moving vehicle triangle. The CO pointed out that it was illegal to operate the ORV on a state highway. After further questioning, the CO explained that the farming exception is not valid when you are several miles away from the farm you are working on and just ran up to the store to get cigarettes. Further investigation determined that the operator's driver's license was revoked. CO Muehlhauser issued the man a citation for operating an ORV with a suspended or revoked license. The operator was allowed to call a friend to pick up the ORV in lieu of impound.
CO Tom Peterson received a RAP complaint containing good information that an individual was baiting deer on private land. Before the archery deer season opened, CO Peterson investigated the site and located bait on the ground in front of a blind. On the archery opener, CO Peterson set up approximately 350 yards away and observed the blind location. He observed an individual possessing a crossbow enter the blind. At 7:00 pm deer entered the location of the baited stand. At 7:20 pm the deer scattered consistent with a shot being taken. At 7:30 pm CO Peterson observed the suspect leave the blind without his crossbow. After continuing to observe the location, CO Peterson determined that the suspect indeed had shot a deer. With the assistance of Sgt. Jason Becker, the COs moved into a good viewing position to better observe the individual track the shot deer. After observing the suspect for three hours, the suspect was able to locate the deer. Both COs contacted the suspect with an untagged buck loaded on his ATV and confirmed that he had taken a 10-point buck. When CO Peterson asked to see his tag, he produced a base license and a deer combo license. After checking the purchase date and time they were purchased at 7:45 pm on October 1st. Shooting hours ended at 7:45 pm. When asked about this, he claimed he shot the deer immediately after getting in the field. The CO informed him he had been observing him since 5:00 pm when he entered the stand. The subject admitted to shooting the deer without a license and then purchasing it at a local store. The COs also confirmed that bait had been placed prior to the season and the subject stated that he added a bag of corn and sugar beets that day. The deer and crossbow were seized, and charges are being sought for the multiple offenses committed.
CO Justin Muehlhauser responded to a complaint regarding a blind set up near Genesee County Parks' property. The complainant reported that there was a bait pile at the location. CO Muehlhauser hiked into the property and located the baited hunt site. The CO contacted the property owner who stated that he allows a friend to hunt the property and he was unaware of his hunting practices. He provided the contact information of the party responsible for the baited site. CO Muehlhauser spoke to the subject who admitted to placing the bait. He specifically stated that he placed corn, sugar beets, and carrots. CO Muehlhauser will be submitting a warrant request to the prosecutor's office for baiting.
COs Danielle Zubek, Tom Peterson, and Sgt. Jason Becker assisted the White Lake Police Department in searching for a missing suicidal person. CO Zubek and Sgt. Becker searched the Cedar Island Lake at night without success and CO Peterson assisted the next day without success. It was later revealed that a family member found the deceased subject not far from his house.
While travelling on I 75, Sgt. Jason Becker witnessed two cars crash in front of him and were blocking the left lane in a construction zone. Sgt. Becker stopped and checked for injuries. Because all the MSP troopers were busy in the area, Sgt. Becker took the crash report and requested a tow truck to have the disabled vehicle removed from the freeway.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when he observed three hunters on state land in Macomb County. CO Silorey observed one hunter in hunter orange and two in camouflage. The hunter in orange was observed near a pond taking a shot at a goose. When CO Silorey approached and contacted the hunters, they stated that they had missed the goose. CO Silorey asked the hunters what exactly they were targeting, as none of the hunter's garments were typical of small game hunters or waterfowl. One hunter stated that he only had a base license and was hunting small game, another hunter stated that he was hunting only waterfowl, and the third hunter stated that he was hunting both small game and waterfowl. During the check, multiple violations were found including failing to wear hunter orange, possession of toxic lead shot for waterfowl, and hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun. The subject that took the shot at the goose was found to be in possession of lead shot and was cited for the violation. The subject who was only small game hunting was not wearing hunter orange and was cited for the violation. The third subject was in possession of a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells but was given a verbal warning due to only having three shells in his firearm at the time.
CO Brandon Hartleben came across what appeared to be a road-runoff in the early morning hours of a weekday patrol in Washtenaw County. The subject produced a badge during the initial contact indicating he was a police officer with Waterford Township. Upon initial inspection, the "Crime Prevention Officer" badge provided by the individual did not appear to be authentic. Further questioning of the subject and observation of an untold amount of loose currency in a cooler in the back seat further raised the COs suspicions. CO Hartleben gained consent for a PBT of the subject, which resulted in a reading of 0.00. Once the wrecker arrived, the vehicle was pulled from the ditch and back onto the roadway. While checking the status of the vehicle prior to it being loaded onto the flatbed, CO Hartleben observed what appeared to be a pistol holster on a belt sticking out from the side of the driver's seat near the center console. Upon closer inspection, CO Hartleben observed that there was in fact a firearm in the holster. CO Hartleben placed the subject under arrest for felony carrying a concealed weapon, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Falsely Representing as a Peace Officer. Seized from the vehicle were a loaded Smith & Wesson M&P 40, a loaded Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380, a TriStar 12GA pump-action shotgun and almost $17,000 in cash. Also seized from the vehicle was assorted police/military tactical gear, a wooden billy club, and a pair of Smith & Wesson handcuffs. An in-custody report was completed, and the subject was arraigned on four felony counts and one misdemeanor.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Maybee for ORV activity when he observed a vehicle that passed him with a light bar that was on and not covered. The vehicle's plate was run through LEIN, and it was determined that the vehicle did not have insurance. CO Ingersoll stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver. CO Ingersoll immediately recognized the driver because CO Ingersoll previously cited the driver back in November for having an open beer in his vehicle. CO Ingersoll spoke with the driver and observed several signs of intoxication and noted two open Bud Lights in his cup holders. When the driver was questioned about them, he stated he forgot about those, and they were from a previous day. The driver consented to field sobriety tests which showed the individual should not have been behind the wheel. After a PBT was administered and the results were double the legal limit at .166, the driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The driver was also cited again for having an open intoxicant and for driving while license suspended.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling the DTE Hot Ponds when he checked an angler who was having some success catching panfish. After checking the angler's fish, it was determined that the angler had an extremely small largemouth bass mixed in the bunch. CO Ingersoll measured the bass, and it was determined it was five inches long. CO Ingersoll advised the angler of the size limit on largemouth bass and stated he was nine inches short and was issued a citation for possessing an undersized Largemouth Bass.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were patrolling the Onsted SGA when they noticed a truck parked that they have had baiting issues with before. The COs came back that morning to check the hunter, but the truck was gone, so the COs decided to walk into the stand where they believed the subject was hunting and located bait at the tree stand. The next morning the truck was parked in the same spot, so the COs walked in and contacted the hunter who claimed the bait was not his. This individual was also hunting with resident Michigan hunting licenses while being a Florida resident and buying resident licenses in Florida. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel was working a Belle Isle shift when the MSP dispatch put out a be on the lookout (BOL) for a wanted vehicle and suspect in a felony child abuse case out of Grosse Pointe Park, adding that the suspect frequents Belle Isle Park. A park ranger spotted the suspect vehicle within two minutes of the BOL being called out and reported it to CO Kiel. The CO watched the vehicle until Grosse Pointe Park police officers showed up and took the suspect into custody without incident.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge attended a Teams meeting with the Lake Superior Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee and provided a law update for GLEU.
Acting Cpl. Jeffrey Dell received a complaint of an aquatic invasive species (AIS) being sold at a local pet shop. Cpl. Dell located the specimen and determined it was indeed a variant of the red swamp crayfish. The crayfish was seized, and the store was educated on prohibited species. A warning was issued to the store which agreed to remove the crayfish from its inventory ordering system.
Acting Cpl. Jeffrey Dell observed a vehicle swerving outside of its lane multiple times while travelling down a highway. Cpl. Dell conducted a traffic stop to address the violation. Upon approaching the vehicle, Cpl. Dell observed multiple waterfowl hunting logos on the rear and side of the vehicle. The driver indicated that he was tired from waking up early to hunt. Cpl. Dell asked if he had any birds or firearms in the vehicle. The man stated he had two firearms. Cpl. Dell asked if they were cased. The driver stated that one of them was. Cpl. Dell asked to look at "the other one". Upon opening the rear of the vehicle Cpl. Dell observed an uncased shotgun, in a pile of hunting paraphernalia, with its muzzle oriented at the back of the driver seat. Further examination showed the firearm was loaded in the chamber and magazine tube with BBB size shot. Cpl. Dell explained how incredibly dangerous having a loaded firearm, loose and uncased, pointed at yourself was. The firearm was cleared and returned. A citation for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle was issued. The driver was given warnings for the firearm being uncased and failing to maintain his lane.
Acting Cpl. Jeffrey Dell responded to a one vehicle roll-over crash on US-41. The driver had attempted to pass with oncoming traffic. Upon correcting back into her lane, she lost control on the shoulder and the vehicle rolled once into the ditch. Both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital for injuries but are expected to recover.
Cpl. Mike Hammill responded to a medical call of a gentleman suffering from a serious medical condition in a remote area while trout fishing. Delta County Sherriff Department personnel checked out at the scene just before Cpl. Hammill. The officers, along with medical personnel, performed CPR with negative success. The angler was taken out of the woods and placed into a waiting ambulance.
Cpl. Mike Hammill checked an angler at the Ford River Access. The angler was from Louisiana and stated he was just passing through the area. Upon contacting the individual, he advised he had no fishing license, no ID and wouldn't give verbal ID. Cpl. Hammill returned to his patrol vehicle and called for an additional unit to respond to his location. While waiting for the additional unit to arrive, the individual started breaking his fishing rods. Then, with a complete swing in attitude, the individual complied and gave Cpl. Hammill his identification. Cpl. Hammill basically told the man if he's going to fish, he needs a license, and can next time purchase one at reduced cost for the day. Cpl. Hammill then advised the man to get on his way and return to fishing only if he has a license.
Cpl. Mike Hammill witnessed a group of houndsmen dragging a 200-plus pound bear off posted private property. Cpl. Hammill has followed up with some of the landowners along the private road and is continuing interviews.
Cpl. Mike Hammill stopped an individual on an ORV with no helmet and an uncased firearm. Enforcement action taken.
Cpl. Pat Hartsig worked checking goose hunters afield. No violations were noted on the days worked, as compliance was high. Most groups checked had not scouted fields and had only a handful of geese to show for it.
Cpl. Craig Milkowski and Cpl. Nick Atkin conducted a net patrol from Lexington Harbor to Mackinaw Straits Harbor, bringing the Hill back to its home port after being used during the Tuskegee P-39 recovery detail. No violations were located during the patrol.
Cpl. Pat Hartsig and Cpl. Nick Atkin were on patrol at Lexington Harbor when they heard a woman yell for help after she fell off the dock into the water. The officers ran to her aid, pulling her from the water onto the back of her vessel where her husband, who had just had back surgery and was unable to assist, was waiting. The woman advised she had suffered no injuries. The couple was very thankful for the help.
Cpl. Nick Atkin followed up on a RAP complaint regarding a net in Saginaw Bay. During the investigation, Cpl. Atkin located USGS research gear set to track the movements and survival of hatchery-reared juvenile Cisco in Saginaw Bay. Cpl. Atkin contacted the complainant and advised.
Several members of GLEU attended the "Michigan Mapping Project: An Emerging Response Technology and Fowl Play: Protecting Michigan's Wetland Wonders from Invasives" webinar, which is part of the EGLE Not MI Species webinar series. GLEU will be presenting a webinar in this series in February.
Cpl. Nick Atkin was contacted by a commercial fisherman who located a wave runner that had blown into his docks. Cpl. Atkin contacted CO Chad Foerster, who followed up on the complaint. According to CO Foerster, the owner was happy the lost wave runner was located.
Acting Lt. Nick Torsky attended the annual convention of the Northern Great Lakes Fur Harvesters in Kinross. Lt. Torsky spoke to a large group of families about the role of a conservation officer, assisted at the youth event where muskrat trapping floats were built, gave a raccoon trapping demonstration, and answered questions from the public throughout the day. NGLFH has supported LED by speaking at the trapping enforcement training, and financially supporting the attendance of officers at the Fur Takers of American Trapper's College each year, of which Lt. Torsky has attended.