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9/5/2021 - 9/18/2021
CO Ethen Mapes was dispatched to a 911 call for a severely dehydrated hiker four miles down the Big Carp River Trail in the Porcupine Mountains. CO Mapes packed water bottles and first aid equipment and hiked in to locate the subject. After locating the subject, CO Mapes determined that the subject was severely dehydrated from hiking all day with little to no water source. CO Mapes rendered aid to rehydrate the hiker before they walked back out to an ambulance.
CO Brian Lasanen and Probationary Conservation Officer, (PCO), Phil Helminen was patrolling Houghton County when they attempted to stop an ORV operating on a county road for an equipment violation. The ORV looked back at the COs and accelerated away at a high rate of speed down the road and jumped onto an ORV trail. Fortunately, the ORV soon stalled out and the officers were able to make contact. After a short struggle, the COs were able to control the subject and place him under arrest. The subject was lodged in the Houghton County Jail on multiple felony charges and multiple local warrants.
CO Brian Lasanen and PCO Phil Helminen checked Otter Lake in Houghton County for waterfowl hunting activity. While checking the lake, the COs observed a subject fishing from a kayak. The COs contacted the subject and asked to see a fishing license. The subject stated he didn't think he needed a fishing license for fishing inland lakes. The COs explained the proper fishing license requirements and cited the individual for fishing without a license.
CO Jenni Hanson observed three ORVs operating in Gogebic County. In the front of the group was a man and child riding double on a dirt bike and not wearing helmets. Next was a small girl on a dirt bike and another girl on a four-wheeler. It was determined that the girls were 10 and 6 years of age, and neither of them had taken the ORV safety certification course. None of the machines had working brake lights, taillights, headlights, or ORV stickers. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jenni Hanson was first on scene at an accident where a 14-year-old dirt bike operator lost control and crashed his bike into a ravine. He was conscious and breathing but complaining of arm and leg pain. CO Hanson provided aid until the ambulance arrived.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County when a car passed him at an extremely high rate of speed. CO Painter paced the vehicle at an excessive speed and conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. The stop revealed the operator to be 16 years old with three younger passengers in the car. The operator of the vehicle was issued a citation speeding.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and observed a vehicle cross the center line several times and it was traveling at a high rate of speed. CO Painter conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and was able to smell an odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle. CO Painter conducted standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) on the driver, and he was found to be under the legal limit and able to drive. CO Painter located two open cans of beer in the vehicle and the two subjects in the vehicle admitted that they had been drinking on their way to camp on Lake Gogebic. While talking with the subjects, the passenger stated that he had around five beers. When asked where the rest of his empties were at, he admitted to throwing them out of the window of the truck. The violations of open intoxicants and littering were addressed.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and contacted two subjects baiting for bear and getting ready to hunt. The two subjects were riding double on a four-wheeler with no helmets. The subjects also created an illegal ORV trail on federal land. A check of their bait revealed they were using an illegal barrel on public land. The subjects had also cut a large maple tree down for a shooting lane. A check of their tree stand found no identification on their tree stand. Violations that were addressed include transporting a passenger on an ORV not designed, no helmets, operating an ORV on public land contrary to regulations, use of a barrel to bait bear on public land, cutting of trees on public land, and no identification on their tree stand.
CO Anna Viau and Sgt. Brian Bacon attended a Hunter Safety Field Day in Stephenson. Around 45 students attended, along with parents. COs covered laws and regulations, hunter responsibilities, and finished with a question-and-answer portion.
CO Jeremy Sergey spoke at Northern Michigan University (NMU) for a CJ490 Professional Development & Assessment class. Topics discussed included: duties and responsibilities of a Michigan conservation officer, how to apply to become a CO, how to prepare for academy life, what academy life is like, and how to build a competitive background.
CO Jeremy Sergey, Detective Josh Boudreaux, Corporal Brett DeLonge, and family members participated in Marquette County's Law Enforcement Torch Run, which raises money for the Special Olympics. The run started at the Superior Dome and ended at Northern Michigan University's Jacobetti Complex.
CO Jeremy Sergey received a complaint that someone cut an apple tree down on state property at the Michigan State Police (MSP) Post in Negaunee. The complainant stated that the individual was gathering apples and when he could no longer reach the apples, he tried to shake the tree to get more apples which did not work. The individual then cut the young apple tree down and collected the rest of the apples. The complainant took photos of the incident. As CO Sergey was on scene, the suspect drove by, and CO Sergey contacted the suspect at the Negaunee Township Hall. The suspect confessed to cutting the apple tree but said he had been pruning the apple tree for 40 years. A citation was issued to the suspect for damaging/destroying the tree on state land.
While on patrol, COs Mark Zitnik and Andrea Dani came across a two-track blocked by a vehicle near the end of legal shooting hours. Approximately 50 feet behind the vehicle were openings on both sides of the road capable of parking in. The COs knew from prior experience that there was more than one hunting spot off the road. The COs waited for the hunter to return and made contact. The hunter stated his bear guide told him that was where he should park. The hunter was issued a citation for blocking road access on state land.
CO Mark Zitnik was on his way home in a rainstorm when he was passed by a vehicle at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was travelling over 90 mph in the heavy downpour. A traffic stop was made, and the driver of the vehicle was cited for careless driving.
CO Mark Zitnik contacted a subject who had been camping on Ewatt Lake all summer. The camper was cited for having a camp in one location on state land for over 15 consecutive days.
Acting Sgt. Steve Butzin received a complaint of hunter harassment in Delta County. The caller stated, while he and his friend were bear hunting, he had an individual park a vehicle right next to his, walk down the trail to his blind, and fire rounds from a handgun every couple of minutes in an apparent attempt to keep the hunter from getting a bear. Sgt. Butzin met the caller, and they went to the location. About a half mile from where the caller would park, the suspect was already waiting outside his pickup as they went by. Shortly after, as Sgt. Butzin returned to the location, the suspect waved CO Butzin over and informed him that, "Those individuals were bear hunting." The suspect's son then arrived at the location. Sgt. Butzin questioned the men about what they were doing in the area. The suspect stated that he was going to check on a tree stand that has been in the area for many years to see if it was still there. Further investigation revealed that the suspect had an early deer bait, established prior to September 15th. Sgt. Butzin then informed the two why he was there and that their story about checking on the old tree stand did not make sense. As enforcement action was being taken for the issues with the early deer bait, two shots were heard nearby. After clearing the interview Sgt. Butzin contacted the original caller, who relayed that he had just shot a bear. Sgt. Butzin assisted the hunter and his friend in dragging the bear out of the woods as it was a large animal. They were very thankful for the assistance as the bear he harvested had been coming in consistently until the suspect had begun disturbing their hunt. The following day Sgt. Butzin was contacted by the hunter who informed him that his bear weighed in at 437 pounds dressed.
CO Mike Olesen participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Chippewa County. CO Olesen ran along with members from the Sault Ste. Marie MSP Post and officers from the Sault Ste. Marie City Police Department. Runners began the leg of the run at approximately 5:00 am and completed the 30 miles to meet the next group to continue the run to Belle Isle.
COs Mike Olesen and Sgt. Calvin Smith patrolled Chippewa County on the opener of bear season. During the patrol, areas with known violations were checked for hunting activity. The COs came across multiple illegal ORV trails leading into bear baits and hunting blinds. While checking one illegal ORV trail, a hunter was contacted in a tree stand hunting with a rifle. The hunter was not in possession of a bear license and was not wearing any hunter orange. When asked if he had a bear license and any hunter orange the individual replied, "I left them in my truck." A citation was issued for hunting with no hunter orange and a warning was given for not having their bear license in possession.
COs Justin Vinson and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the MSP, Mackinac County Sheriff's Department, and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) patrol the waters surrounding the Mackinac Bridge during the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The event was successful with many patrons taking part despite the cold windy conditions.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling Big Manistique Lake when he contacted an angler who stated that he had some luck. The angler stated he had caught a walleye and a 26-inch northern pike. When asked to inspect the fish, the angler showed the walleye but stated he had already cleaned the pike aboard the vessel and thrown the carcass into the water. CO VanOosten inspected the filets that came from the pike which appeared to be much smaller than what can be expected from a 26-inch pike. CO VanOosten explained the importance of possessing the whole fish aboard the vessel so the fish can be identified and measured. A citation was issued to the man for possessing mutilated fish while still on the lake and a warning was issued for litter.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling near the Two-Hearted River when he observed two ORVs stop on top of a sandy bluff overlooking Lake Superior. The ORVs had passed several appropriate parking spots along the trail then climbed a steep bluff causing erosion. A citation was issued for operating an ORV on state land and warnings were issued for creating erosive condition.
COs Andrea Erratt and Nathan Beelman attended two hunter safety field days in East Jordan on consecutive Saturdays and one in Charlevoix on Sunday. They assisted with the shooting range, made presentations about Department of Natural Resources (DNR) laws and the CO's duties while answering several law questions. The students had come from as far away as Warren and Monroe Counties near the Ohio border, Midland, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Cadillac, Traverse City, Sault Ste. Marie, and Drummond Island. All the students enjoyed the great weather during the field days, passed their tests, and were looking forward to beginning hunting.
Sgt. Bill Webster located two illegal tree stands left on state land with a bear bait nearby during the fall of 2020. Sgt. Webster rechecked the area in August of 2021 and the stands were still in place. He relayed the information to CO Andrea Erratt and on the opening evening of bear season, she and CO Andrea Albert checked the tree stands. They found them to be occupied by a bear hunter, with his father photographing. The hunter said he knew the stands were supposed to be taken out at the end of the season and should have the hunter's identification permanently attached. He said a hunting guide had set him up in the location. CO Erratt ticketed the bear hunter for hunting from an illegal tree stand with no name and address and left on state land all year. She warned the father for occupying the second illegal tree stand. The hunter said he would be billing his guide for the fines.
CO Tim Rosochacki assisted with security around the Mackinac Bridge for the Labor Day Bridge Walk, ensuring all participants were able to have a safe experience.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a report of an overturned kayak near the Mackinac Bridge. No persons were observed in the water around the kayak. CO Rosochacki worked with the Cheboygan County Sheriff's Department and the USCG to thoroughly search the area. No persons were discovered, and it is assumed the kayak drifted off the shore. All kayakers are reminded to put their name and contact information on their kayaks as it is not only helpful in determining if a search is necessary but allows for a speedy return of missing property.
CO Tim Rosochacki was patrolling during the elk hunt when he observed a side-by-side ORV traveling at an extremely high rate of speed down an Otsego County Road. A traffic stop was made, and the driver was ticketed for careless driving of an ORV. CO Rosochacki was able to obtain a radar reading of 67 mph.
CO Matt Theunick assisted the Cheboygan County Sheriff's Department in a search for a subject who fled on a motorcycle. The suspect was not found that night; however, information was obtained as to who the operator was. Warrants are being sought through the Cheboygan County Prosecutor's Office.
COs Tom Oberg, Kyle Cherry, and Sgt. Mark DePew reported the sentencing of a subject in Otsego County's Circuit Court from three separate cases they worked on from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 deer seasons. The COs submitted several charges over three years: including trespass, discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, taking game from a motor vehicle, operating while impaired third offense, a felony, and felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant was ordered to pay restitution for the deer, had his hunting license suspended, and had two firearms condemned. The defendant will serve a minimum of 22 months and a maximum of seven years in state prison.
CO Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he observed two side-by-side ORVs driving at high speeds on the Iron Belle walking trail. CO Cherry was able to intercept and initiate a traffic stop on the ORVs before they neared any pedestrians. CO Cherry explained to the ORV operators that they were on a walking and biking trail and that he had observed them drive by multiple signs stating "No ORVs." Tickets were issued, and the ORVs were removed from the trail.
CO Jon Sklba contacted a subject operating a side-by-side ORV in Presque Isle County as it traveled down a state highway. The subject was aware he was not supposed to operate on the highway but complained that since the town now allows them to be operated within town limits there is no direct way to or from town except on the state highway. A ticket was issued.
CO Jon Sklba was on patrol in Presque Isle County when he heard an engine revving and tires squealing. CO Sklba turned at the nearby intersection and observed a vehicle in the roadway doing a burn out. A traffic stop was conducted. In addition to the careless driving, it was discovered the subject was operating a vehicle without insurance and had no registration. A ticket was issued.
CO Paul Fox received a complaint regarding a party that had taken place on state land in Presque Isle County. Several individuals gathered in the area to participate in the social event. During the festivities, several trees were cut down, the surrounding area turfed by vehicles, unlawful debris were burned, and trash left behind. A lengthy list of suspects was developed. Several of the individuals admitted to involvement and took responsibility. They returned the next day to clean up the area. In addition, CO Fox had the subjects remove additional litter that had been there previously.
CO Paul Fox was on patrol near Onaway when a vehicle crash was dispatched. The caller advised that a vehicle left the roadway and drove off a guardrail and into a ravine. CO Fox was closest to the scene and responded. The vehicle was in the trees down a steep ravine. CO Fox checked the driver for any medical emergencies then assisted fire and paramedic crews to remove the driver from the vehicle. Fortunately, no serious injuries were sustained.
CO Jon Sheppard received a report of an ORV accident in Alpena County while off duty. CO Sheppard responded to the scene. Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, MSP troopers, and Alpena County sheriff's deputies were on scene and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was being administered. CO Sheppard assisted with CPR while CO Jessica Curtis investigated the crash. EMS pronounced the rider deceased after approximately 40 minutes of CPR.
While patrolling in Alpena County, CO Jon Sheppard noticed a truck driving on Long Rapids Road with its hazard lights activated and honking the horn. CO Sheppard stopped the vehicle to check the welfare of the occupants. The driver told CO Sheppard that his friend was on a kayak trip on the Thunder Bay River and called because she had left the river and was now lost in the woods. CO Sheppard and CO Dan Liestenfeltz searched the area and were unable to locate the missing person. CO Sheppard had the lost individual call 911 and was able to narrow the search area. CO Sheppard checked the area given to him from Alpena Central Dispatch and was able to locate the lost woman and her kayak. She was returned to her friend's vehicle unharmed.
CO Amanda Weaver conducted several patrols on the Betsie and Platte Rivers for the fall fish runs. Throughout the weekend, hundreds of anglers were contacted on both river systems. Citations were issued for a variety of violations, including recreational trespass, fishing closed areas and illegal camping. These patrols will continue throughout the fall to protect the fish and environment against extensive angler pressure.
Sgt. Dan Bigger and CO Troy Ludwig were patrolling the 300 foot "no fishing zone" near the Homestead Dam on the Betsie River. The COs observed an angler fishing within the prohibited area who was repeatedly attempting to snag salmon. The angler eventually hooked into the body of a salmon and started towards shore to net the fish. CO Ludwig shined his flashlight on the angler as he made his way towards shore. When the angler made his way to shore and netted the fish, CO Ludwig continued shining the light on him and moved within a few feet and stood over the angler. When the angler looked up and recognized who was holding a light for him, the CO asked the angler where he had hooked the fish. The angler replied in the body and admitted that he knew that snagging fish is not a legal method of fishing. When checked for prior DNR violations, the angler had multiple prior violations, including snagging fish. When asked why he continues to snag fish, the angler stated that he just gets the fever. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.
COs Ryan Andrews and Josiah Killingbeck were checking typical areas for bear baits prior to the legal start of baiting season in Lake County. The COs contacted a subject coming out of the woods and while talking to the subject, the COs learned that the subject and two others in his group all drew Baldwin Unit bear tags. The subject stated he was just prepping their hunt locations and confirmed that he knew baiting was not legal at that time. The COs also learned that the subject was planning to bait with popcorn and molasses. After the subject left, the COs returned to the area and located two bait stations already baited with popcorn and molasses. During bear season, CO Andrews contacted a group of bear hunters while they were in their stands hunting over the early bait stations. It was determined that only one subject was aware that the baits were early. A citation was issued for hunting over an early bait site and warnings were issued for failing to properly label tree stands.
Districts 4 and 7 conducted a joint marine enforcement patrol on the Muskegon River during the annual Hot Boat event. Two Great Lakes vessels, two inland lake vessels, and a personal watercraft (PWC) were utilized, allowing thirteen COs to patrol this large-scale marine event. The Warden's film crew was also in attendance and filming the patrol. The COs responded to complaints of assault, a medical call of a non-responsive female, and made a misdemeanor arrest for a warrant out of the MSP. Citations were issued for various marine equipment requirements, including five unregistered vessels, three for no PFDs, and seven citations were issued for vessels operating over 55 mph. The highest speed recorded was 77 mph. Verbal warnings were provided for operating with only an anchor light displayed, six operating with no navigation lights after sunset, no fire extinguisher, no type IV throwable device, and public marijuana use. Sobriety testing was conducted throughout the evening on various stops, and no one was found to be intoxicated while operating.
CO Tim Barboza was on patrol and flagged down by an individual who stated there was a truck stuck in "the gorge" with no plate on it. CO Barboza located the truck and ran the vehicle identification number on the vehicle. CO Barboza attempted to contact the last registered owner of the vehicle. CO Barboza left the vehicle to respond to another call and came back later in the evening to check on the vehicle and located the owner attempting to get his truck out of the gorge. The driver was suspended out of Indiana and had no insurance on the vehicle. The driver was cited for operating through a swamp and his vehicle was towed out of the state game area.
CO Tim Barboza responded to a report of a water emergency called out on the river near the North Junction in Newaygo County. A kayaker had flipped and was unresponsive. When CO Barboza arrived on scene, CPR was being performed by EMS. CO Barboza and another deputy from the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department went to the other side of the river to clear the boat launch so the victim could be expeditiously loaded into an ambulance. CO Barboza assisted in carrying the stokes basket and loading the victim into the ambulance. The victim was air lifted to the hospital for further care but had a pulse and was breathing on his own when he was loaded into the helicopter.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jack Gorno were dispatched to search for a missing 15-year-old on the first day of the Liberty Hunt. The COs knowledge of the rivers and trails helped other agencies involved in the search. The young man was reunited with his uncle later that afternoon.
Sgt. Brian Olsen is conducting a follow up investigation into a hunting accident that occurred in Roscommon County. A successful bear hunter accidently discharged her rifle while going to check on her harvested bear. The discharged rifle lodged a bullet in the hunter's foot causing serious damage. Sgt. Olsen is being assisted with the follow up investigation by the Roscommon County Sheriff's Office.
CO Casey Pullum was patrolling rural two-tracks along a sandy powerline in northern Oscoda County when he came across a small car parked alongside the trail. Due to the location and type of vehicle in that location, CO Pullum was immediately on alert that the situation was suspicious. As he approached, he saw two females walking along the trail in opposite directions. The first female he came to stated she was out picking flowers and rocks. Noticing her odd behavior in mannerisms and nervousness, CO Pullum continued to the next female who was closer to the parked vehicle. The second female was on the phone and stated their battery died and she was calling her boyfriend for help. The situation continued to appear suspicious, so CO Pullum asked for identification from both females. The female claiming ownership of the vehicle was on probation out of Montmorency County for possession of methamphetamine and her driver's license was suspended. The vehicle did not have a license plate nor insurance and the vehicle identification number (VIN) came back to a previous owner. CO Pullum obtained verbal consent to search her car and located a substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. A field test of the substance confirmed it was in fact methamphetamine. The female was taken into custody and charged with possession of a Schedule II-controlled substance. She was lodged at the Oscoda County Jail where she was arraigned and given a $75,000.00 cash bond.
CO James Garrett responded to a report of a hunting accident in Oscoda County on September 15th. The complaint detailed a man had been shot with a shotgun on his left side by a member of his hunting party. While on scene, CO Garrett and the Oscoda County Sheriff's Department administered first aid by putting a tourniquet on his arm above the bullet wound. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The victim along with another member of his hunting party were not wearing hunter orange. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Brad Bellville and PCO Cullen Knoblauch responded to a complaint of baiting for deer prior to the Liberty Hunt. The COs investigated the complaint and located sugar beets near a ground blind. They contacted an individual later in the evening while in the blind and he confessed to baiting deer for a youth hunter. The suspect was cited for baiting in a closed area and the bait was removed from the property in the presence of the officers.
COs Jeff Panich, Jesse Grzechowski, and PCO Cullen Knoblauch responded to a self-report complaint of a hunter who shot an antlered deer during the early antlerless season on private land. The COs interviewed the suspect and he admitted to shooting a 6-point buck accidentally, not knowing for sure if the deer was a buck or doe. Further investigation determined two other hunters were hunting the property and were in direct line of fire from the hunter when he shot the deer. Law enforcement action was taken, and the deer was seized and donated to a needy family.
CO Adam Beuthin was checking perch anglers on the Saginaw Bay when he observed a vessel with two individuals fishing. As CO Beuthin approached the vessel to conduct a license compliance check on the anglers, one of the individuals told the CO he knew he should have purchased his fishing license that day because it was his luck to get checked by the CO while he didn't have his fishing license. The CO advised the man that he did appreciate his honesty, but he still needed to have his fishing license to fish. The man was issued a citation for fishing without a fishing license.
While working the youth and veteran's waterfowl weekend, many hunters were contacted. Hunters were having some success, and all expressed having fun. On one contact, CO Seth Rhodea and Sgt. Robert Hobkirk encountered a blind with two youth hunters. As the COs approached the blind, a pied-billed grebe was observed lying on the floor of the blind. Grebes are a protected species and are illegal to harvest. One youth hunter claimed that he had shot the bird, but no one in the blind could identify the bird. The youth's shotgun was also unplugged. The youth's father was cited for allowing his child to hunt with an unplugged shotgun and warned for the illegal harvest of a protected species. CO Rhodea educated everyone in the blind on how to identify grebes in the future.
CO Seth Rhodea was checking waterfowl hunters in southeast Tuscola County during the early Teal season when he contacted several hunters on a small lake in the area. While speaking with the CO, the hunters advised they had shot a Green-winged Teal and pointed at a duck laying in the water about twenty yards from shore. While looking at the bird CO Rhodea observed details on the bird that led him to believe it was not a Green-winged Teal. The CO had the hunters retrieve the bird and it was confirmed that they had killed a Northern Shoveler, not a Green-winged Teal. A citation was issued.
CO Seth Rhodea was contacted by the Tuscola County Central Dispatch requesting his assistance with an alligator that a landowner had found in his pond. Upon arriving on scene, CO Rhodea located a two-and-a-half-foot alligator and was quickly able to catch it and secure it in his vehicle. The alligator was turned over to a zoo the following day.
Sgt. Scott Brown and CO Matthew Neterer responded to a permit violation complaint at Fish Point State Wildlife Area. Upon arrival, they observed a group of goose hunters hunting the scramble area in a party larger than what was reported on their permit card. While checking the party's equipment and licenses, CO Neterer discovered that one of the hunters was in possession of over 75 shells, six of which were lead shot. The hunter was given a warning for possessing over 25 shells in the managed waterfowl area and a citation for possessing toxic shot while waterfowl hunting.
CO Dan Robinson concluded a trespassing complaint in northern Isabella County. The caller reported hunters, likely setting up for the youth hunt, on his property. CO Robinson found evidence of them being there and a trail camera. With the owner's permission, CO Robinson placed an issued trail camera in the area and identified the suspects who turned out to be juveniles. CO Robinson was able to contact the families, return the trail camera, and issue warnings about trespassing and getting prior permission.
CO Dan Robinson responded to several animal related complaints. The first of the day was assisting the Isabella County deputies with a loose cow on US 127 that was blocking traffic. The officers were successful at keeping the cow off the roadway, but it took the farmer and a bucket of feed to get it back over the fence. The second complaint CO Robinson received was a call about a hawk caught in a corn bin. The bird had flown through the loading hole and could not find its way out after several hours. The fire department was called for help with getting up on the corn bin but prior to arrival the bird decided it had enough and flew out on its own.
CO Anna Cullen and other area officers patrolled northern Muskegon County for snagging activity. Anglers were targeting salmon that were moving upriver. Due to the increased activity, anglers were observed retaining foul hooked fish, fishing without a license, and using lures that violated the current gear restrictions for the area. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling back to her residence when she observed a truck pulling a camper trailer. The operator was operating at a high rate of speed and was struggling to remain in their lane of travel. The vehicle was operating so fast that the camper trailer was swaying back and forth. CO Cullen stopped the vehicle due to the numerous safety concerns. Standard Field Sobriety Tests were performed, and it was determined the operator was impaired. Chemical results confirmed this, and the subject was lodged in the Muskegon County Jail for operating while intoxicated.
CO Robert Slick was on patrol for ORV activity when he noticed a dirt bike traveling towards him. CO Slick turned around and performed a traffic stop on the vehicle. When CO Slick approached the vehicle, the driver immediately said he was just out for a test ride. CO Slick informed him that ORVs are not allowed on the roads in Ottawa County and even if they were, he was traveling too fast and didn't have an ORV license. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Justin Ulberg assisted the Kent County Sheriff's Department with a complaint of a subject's dog getting shot on state land. According to the dog owner, she was walking her dogs in the Lowell State Game Area (SGA) along the Flat River when she heard several gun shots ring out. One of the dogs were struck by a bullet and was taken to a local vet. CO Ulberg assisted by checking the area for possible suspects. At this time, no suspects were located, and the investigation continues.
CO Jackie Miskovich assisted CO Anna Cullen with salmon runs in Whitehall where CO Miskovich made CO Cullen aware of two separate individuals who had foul hooked a fish and proceeded to keep it. CO Miskovich gave descriptions of where the fish were hooked and what the individuals were wearing so that she could easily identify them as she made contact. Citations were issued to both individuals.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at Camp Lake in Kent County where he witnessed a boat moored at the boat launch. The boat had fresh dew on it and appeared to have been moored at the dock overnight. CO Varriale contacted the person sleeping on the boat and advised him he was not able to sleep overnight at the boat launch. During a short investigation, CO Varriale discovered the boat was not registered, the trailer was not registered, the individual had two warrants out of Ionia County, and the individual had a suspended driver's license. In addition, CO Varriale observed a firearm in the back of the individual's pick-up truck. Since the individual was a felon, CO Varriale asked if he could take control of the firearm. The individual advised CO Varriale it was a BB gun and that he had two more in the truck. CO Varriale located the other two BB guns along with body armor in the vehicle. The individual indicated that he used the BB guns for target practice. Since the individual was arrested for armed robbery in the past, CO Varriale advised other officers of his contact and information. A citation was issued for the marine violation and the individual was denied pick up on the outstanding warrants by Ionia County.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol on Wabasis Lake in Kent County where he witnessed a boat traveling on plane with a child bow riding. CO Varriale conducted a marine stop, and the operator immediately slowed down. The operator admitted he knew allowing his son to bow ride was illegal. CO Varriale advised him of his safety concerns and issued a citation for the violation.
While patrolling Silver Lake in Allegan County, CO Sam Schluckbier observed a fishing boat being operated at a high rate of speed and cut between the shoreline and another vessel underway. The fishing boat jumped the wake of the vessel launching itself into the air. Luckily, a collision was avoided. After completing field sobriety tests on the operator, it was determined he was not intoxicated. A citation was issued for reckless operation of a motorboat. The driver apologized for the poor decisions he made while operating the boat.
CO Chris Holmes responded to assist the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety with a large gathering where a report of a felonious assault had taken place. It was reported that a subject had pointed a gun at another person. While the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety was investigating the incident, the suspect resisted arrest, and the large crowd became unruly. Several fights broke out and subjects in the fights began pepper spraying each other. CO Holmes and several public safety officers quelled the fights and broke up the large gathering.
CO James Nason responded to a report of a domestic assault in progress. CO Nason located a man matching the suspect description in a nearby parking lot. The victim had already left the scene in her own car. The suspect was immediately confrontational and would not follow instructions, nor answer any questions regarding the incident. Shortly after the contact, a responding Kalamazoo officer interviewed the victim and informed CO Nason that there was probable cause for arrest. CO Nason arrested and lodged the 23-year-old man on the domestic violence charge as well as an additional alcohol related charge.
CO James Nason responded to a call to attempt to locate a 14-year-old female run-away. She had left a juvenile boarding school in Indiana and had hitchhiked back to the Kalamazoo area where she was originally from. CO Nason responded to the area where she was last seen by her father. Once arriving to the area, he and a responding deputy witnessed the girl running through a nearby park. After a brief foot pursuit, the two were able to detain her. While being detained, the female assaulted the deputy by kicking him in the groin. The 14-year-old will be facing multiple charges including assaulting a police officer.
CO Matt Page while patrolling Van Buren County observed a four-wheeler operating down a road closed to ORV use at a high rate of speed. Additionally, the operator had a young child seated in front of him and neither subject was wearing a helmet. When contacted, the operator stated that he was going "at least 40." The list of violations included operating on a closed road, no decal, no helmet, operating with more occupants than ORV designed, and careless operation. A citation was issued for the registration violation.
While patrolling the Paw Paw area, CO Tyler Cole heard a call from local dispatch concerning a car versus pedestrian accident in the area. CO Cole responded and arrived on scene along with local law enforcement. CO Cole assisted with administering CPR and additional first aid until EMS arrived.
CO Tyler Cole patrolled Van Buren County inland lakes for fishing and marine activity. At Wolf Lake access, CO Cole watched a subject fish for approximately 25 minutes and catch three fish, all thrown back after catching. CO Cole contacted the subject fishing and asked for the subject to produce a fishing license. The subject stated that he was only "testing" his new pole that he had recently purchased and wasn't trying to catch any fish. After CO Cole explained to the subject that he had watched him fish for over 20 minutes and catch multiple fish, the subject admitted to fishing without a license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Katie Baker responded to a call of an injured raptor. On scene, CO Baker found an alert but disabled Great Horned Owl. The owl was removed from the premises and taken to Wildside Rehabilitation in Eaton Rapids.
CO Katie Baker investigated a complaint of a pool that was hit with a firearm round during the Liberty/Youth Hunt weekend. CO Baker located a large hole in the side of the pool with a shotgun slug inside. Further investigation found a neighbor had been out hunting in the area. Interviews were conducted and evidence obtained. How the pool was hit remained inconclusive. However, during the investigation, CO Baker found the hunters were out hunting before purchasing a license. A verbal warning was issued, and all parties were updated on firearm safety.
CO Katie Baker responded to a complaint of an injured juvenile eagle. Upon securing the raptor, CO Baker found it was an Osprey. The Osprey was taken to a rehabilitation facility in Eaton Rapids. It is believed the bird may be suffering from lead poisoning.
CO John Byars was flagged down in the Dansville SGA during the Liberty Hunt by an individual who stated his daughter had shot a buck earlier in the day and would like assistance in finding the deer. CO Byars assisted in locating the youth's first whitetail deer.
COs Pete Purdy and Katie Baker were at the parking lot of the Livingston County Sheriff and prosecutor's offices when a citizen approached and advised there was a man with a gun on the other side of the parking lot. The COs were joined by several deputies and contact was made with an individual wearing fatigue pants, a tactical vest with his right hand tucked into the vest, and a long gun case slung over his back. It was determined the subject was unarmed and was stopping at law enforcement buildings attempting to provoke an incident with police.
CO Jason McCullough received a complaint about a deer in Battle Creek that was acting odd. The deer had wandered out into traffic and was in no hurry to move. CO McCullough responded and was able to remove the deer from the area. The deer was euthanized and submitted to the wildlife disease lab for testing over epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) concerns.
CO Nick Wellman assisted Branch County with a man that had ran from deputies on a traffic stop. CO Wellman was asked to run the K-9 track with their deputy. The man was tracked through the woods to a campsite where a couple stated that they had just given the man a ride to his house in town. CO Wellman assisted with the search of the residence. Warrants were issued for the man.
Sgt. Rich Nickols received a complaint of several deer that were enclosed in a solar farm. Sgt. Nickols responded to the solar farm which is enclosed by an eight-foot fence roughly three miles in length. Sgt Nickols verified no permits had been issued by the Wildlife Division for the enclosure. Follow-up is continuing.
CO David Schaumburger met a waterfowl hunter walking out of the woods at Pointe Mouillee SGA during the early teal season and did a thorough check of licenses and gear. The hunter said he had two Blue-winged Teal back at his chair and was going to walk back in to get them. During the walk, the hunter said he might have a Green-winged and a Blue-winged Teal, but he was not too sure. When the hunter showed the officer the ducks, the CO immediately identified the ducks as Wood Ducks. Back at the truck, the CO showed him pictures of a Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal and the hunter then realized his mistake. A citation was given to the hunter for taking ducks during a closed season.
CO David Schaumburger contacted a waterfowl hunter and while checking his hunting gear he discovered the shotgun could hold more than three shells. The hunter said his grandpa gave it to him and he "thought it had a plug" but never checked. A citation was issued for hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
CO David Schaumburger contacted two waterfowl hunters hunting in a field that the CO scouted this year and found an abnormal agricultural practice occurring. The agricultural field was planted as sweet corn in the spring and after it was picked, it was tilled under a few days before the season. The problem was that instead of leaving the field alone after it was tilled, CO Schaumburger found huge piles of unpicked corn cobs around decoys that had been left out all night. CO Schaumburger worked it diligently for five days and finally contacted a pair of hunters in the morning. When the hunters were packing up, the CO made contact and questioned them about the field. The hunters stated that the decoys in the field were not theirs, it was another group. However, when the CO walked the pair over to the decoys, one of the hunters stated that he saw the piles of corn from a previous hunt, but he did not think it was a problem since they were not hunting those decoys, they brought their own and placed them approximately 50 yards away. On top of the bait, one of the hunters was in possession of toxic shot. Citations were issued for hunting waterfowl over bait and possessing toxic shot.
CO Tom Peterson investigated numerous deer carcasses in the Rochester and Auburn Hills area. Most of which were found near or in water. After contacting Wildlife Division, they confirmed that there is an outbreak of EHD.
CO Luke Robare checked an angler fishing at the Holloway Dam. CO Robare asked him if he was having any luck fishing. The angler responded that he caught a small walleye and bass, along with some pan fish. CO Robare checked the angler's fishing basket and found an undersized smallmouth bass and an undersized walleye. CO Robare issued the angler a citation for undersized fish.
CO Luke Robare responded to a boating accident on Mott Lake. The boat was having troubles starting so the operator used the trolling motor to get to his fishing spot that morning. The operator of the boat tried to start the vessel again, but it would not start, and the battery died as a result. The operator had a second battery on board and hooked the two up with jumper cables and tried the ignition again. When the operator turned the key, it caused the batteries to arc which in turn ignited the fumes from the inboard motor. The boat was fully engulfed in flames and burnt to the water's edge. The operator was able to jump into the water and escape without any injuries.
CO Raymond Gardner was on patrol in the Lapeer SGA when he found a man hunting for deer for the early antlerless season. CO Gardner explained to the hunter the early antlerless season is for private land. During further investigation, CO Gardner found the man purchased a deer license online, so he did not have his kill-tag on him. He was also using a Mossberg Patriot .308 rifle. A citation was issued for using an illegal firearm in the limited deer firearm zone. Warnings were issued for the other violations.
CO Kris Kiel taught waterfowl related firearm safety and waterfowl regulations to a group of youth waterfowl hunters at the Harsens Island managed area. The youth and their parents were also given a tour of the managed area refuge and got to observe thousands of ducks before their hunt.
Sgt. Shane Webster and PCO Thomas Jaakkola observed multiple subjects fishing at the River Raisin bridge on Austin Road. Sgt. Webster and PCO Jaakkola checked the subjects and came across a male and female with a bucket of fish. Upon further investigation into the bucket of fish it was determined that they had an undersized bass and were over their two-person limit of panfish. The male stated he had caught the undersized bass. Sgt. Webster and PCO Jaakkola issued the male subject a citation for being in possession of an undersized bass and both were given a verbal warning for being over their two-person limit of panfish.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers at Hulls Trace boating access site when he observed an individual using a trolling motor with a 10-foot flat bottom Jon boat in the Huron River. CO Ingersoll contacted the individual who had an expired registration from 2018 displayed and noticed a lack of a PFD in the vessel. The individual stated that he forgot to put the PFD in the vessel but reassured CO Ingersoll he was a strong swimmer. CO Ingersoll advised the angler of how strong the current in the Huron River could be and issued him a citation for no PFD on his vessel and warned him for the expired registration.
CO Brandon Vacek contacted a subject operating a boat displaying an expired 2020 watercraft registration at a popular boat launch in Monroe County. The subject explained that he purchased the vessel from his cousin two years ago and failed to transfer the registration into his name because the boat doesn't get much use. The subject was issued a citation for operating an un-registered watercraft and given a verbal warning for failure to transfer the registration.
CO Dan Walzak stopped a car on Belle Isle that was exceeding the speed limit. When CO Walzak activated the emergency lights on his patrol vehicle the car pulled over to the left side of the road instead of the right side. The driver was contacted and was asked about his speed. The driver of the vehicle responded that he and his friend / co-worker were leaving the island to get something to eat and had to come back to the island to continue working at the athletic shelter. CO Walzak then asked the driver why he pulled over to the left side of the road and the driver responded that he got nervous because he had never been pulled over before. When asked for his driver's license the driver stated that it was back at the job site in a sweatshirt that he had worn that morning when he reported for work. The driver verbally provided his name and date of birth at CO Walzak' s request and was told that when he returned to work, he could produce his license. While the workers were off the island, CO Walzak checked on the driver through LEIN and found that the subject had a misdemeanor warrant and a felony warrant for his arrest. Visiting the job site, the work crew foreman advised CO Walzak that the subject did not return to work for the afternoon, stating that he was not feeling well. The foreman also advised that he and his crew were renting a house in Detroit and drove to work from there every morning. Further, the crew was leaving to return to their homes after the workday was done. The foreman provided the address of the house that the crew stayed at and, at the end of the day, COs Walzak and Dave Schaumburger waited at the house and contacted the subject as he was picked up by his co-worker. The agency holding the misdemeanor warrant requested that the subject be advised and released but the agency holding the felony warrant requested that the subject be taken into custody. When placed under arrest on the felony warrant the subject stated, "I knew this was going to happen."
While working Belle Isle, Sgt. Jason Becker was notified by Belle Isle Park staff that an angler reported finding a body along the shoreline. Sgt. Becker responded with CO Luke Robare. The angler reported that he had been fishing for several hours and then noticed a body in the water. The COs noticed a vehicle nearby, parked in a peculiar manner. During the investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle likely belonged to the victim. The incident is still under investigation by the MSP.
ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION SECTION (EIS)
Detective Zellinger reports a 29-year-old Hillsdale County man pled guilty to three counts of violating scrap tire laws on 7/14/2021. In December 2019, MSP responded to a complaint of burning tires at a residence in Somerset Twp., Hillsdale County. MSP photographed the tires present on the property and the case was referred to the DNR LED Environmental Investigation Section for follow up. Detective Zellinger contacted the resident of the property and learned he had been transporting scrap tires from an automotive salvage business in Jackson, Michigan to the property in Somerset Twp. utilizing rented U-Haul trucks. The subject informed Detective Zellinger his plan was to construct a wall/fence around the property using scrap tires. Staff from the Materials and Management Division of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy estimated the property contained 2,444 scrap tires and confirmed for Detective Zellinger the property was not registered as a Scrap Tire Collection Site.
Detective Zellinger requested charges against the Hillsdale County man with the Hillsdale County Prosecutors Office for violating Part 169 (Scrap Tires) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. The Prosecutors Office authorized charges on 10/19/2020 for failure to register a scrap tire collection site, failure to register as a scrap tire hauler, delivery of scrap tires to an unregistered collection site, and open burning of scrap tires. The Hillsdale County man pled guilty to three of the charges and the fourth charge was dismissed. He was sentenced on 9/30/2021 to $725 in fines and costs, 5 days in a work program with the Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office, 6 months' probation, and was credited for having spent one day in jail after being lodged on active warrants.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Brett DeLonge was traveling northbound on I-75 near Grayling when a vehicle with several occupants passed him at a high rate of speed and driving erratically. Cpl. DeLonge activated his emergency lights to stop the vehicle, whose driver disregarded the emergency lights as Cpl. DeLonge pursued the vehicle for ten miles at speeds exceeding 90 mph. Cpl. DeLonge was able to stop the vehicle when the driver attempted to pass a group of vehicles using the grass/gravel shoulder of the highway and a large ditch stopped the vehicle from going any further. Cpl. DeLonge called for assistance on the stop when he found the driver was suspended and held multiple warrants. Cpl. DeLonge advised the driver of his warrants, issued a citation for driving while suspended and turned the information over to the local officers who arrived on scene.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge was patrolling in Marquette County when he was passed by two vehicles at a high rate of speed that seemed to be in a road rage situation. Cpl. DeLonge called local units on the radio and made them aware of the approaching vehicles. Cpl. DeLonge activated his emergency lights and stopped one of the two vehicles. Upon contact Cpl. DeLonge could see that the driver was visibly angry - so much so that the driver was shaking and extremely vulgar about the other vehicle. The driver admitted to driving at 94mph and probably faster to keep up to the other vehicle because he was tired of bad drivers. Cpl. DeLonge issued a speeding citation and a verbal warning for driving carelessly.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge and CO Jeff Dell instructed the women's self -confidence/self-defense class during the Department's BOW (Become an Outdoors Woman) program near Little Lake. The officers had 15 participants between both sessions they instructed.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge, CO Jeremy Sergey, and Det. Josh Boudreaux participated in the Marquette portion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge and Sgt. Mark Leadman patrolled Marquette County during the opening few days of the second bear hunting season. During the patrol the officers contacted several hunters, a few fishermen, and followed up on a bear bait complaint.
Cpl. Mike Hammill focused on AIS hours, conducting many checks at several different locations. One check for a drained live well found a couple of anglers in violation of the slot limit for Little Bay de Noc. The anglers also had an overlimit of walleye and an expired registration. Citations were issued.
Cpl. Mike Hammill found several bear baits, one of which has heavy illegal cutting for shooting lanes. A blind was not yet placed, so Cpl. Hammill plans to return.
Cpl. Hammill received a complaint of several individuals camping illegally on state land in Menominee county. A check of the campers revealed that they were too close to a local State Forest campground. The individuals had numerous firearms for protection from coyotes, wolves and bears. One rifle was on the front seat loaded and uncased. When asked about the firearm the campers stated they saw wolf tracks near their campground. Cpl. Hammill explained that they most likely were not going to be attacked by wolves, bears or coyotes.
Cpl. Hammill was on patrol on a busy main road when he noticed a white van driving extremely slowly for the area. Cpl. Hammill slowed down to see an approximately 3.5-year-old learning to ride a pedal bike. The boy would swerve toward oncoming traffic then regain control of his bike. Cpl. Hammill stopped the van and had a heart-to-heart with the boy's mother.
Cpl. Hammill was on routine patrol when he was flagged down by two motorists that found a Kevlar canoe lying in the middle of the paved roadway. Cpl. Hammill loaded up the very expensive and now very damaged canoe and dropped it off at the nearest gas station, in hopes that the rightful owner might claim it.
Conservation Officer Jeffrey Dell investigated a complaint regarding a deer damage shooting permit (DDSP). The complainant informed CO Dell that he had trail camera photos of persons trespassing on his property. CO Dell was able to develop suspects and conduct interviews. Both subjects admitted to retrieving a deer shot under the DDSP on the complainant's property without permission. A report for possible recreational trespass charges has been submitted to the Prosecutor's Office.
Conservation Officer Jeffrey Dell stopped two persons operating an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) without a valid ORV decal or farm use marking. The pair were riding double on a machine designed for one person. Neither had helmets. Warnings were given to the pair.
Cpl. Kevin Postma contacted numerous salmon fishermen on the Carp River. Several of the fishermen advised they had success on pink salmon in recent days.
Conservation Officer Justin Vanderlinde and Corporal Troy Van Gelderen completed several pet shop inspections in the Grand Rapids area, with no violations observed.
Conservation Officer Justin Vanderlinde assisted the Benzie County Sheriff Department by serving as an on-water enforcement asset for the Ironman Triathlon race held in Betsie Bay. CO Vanderlinde was partnered with USCG Officer Justin Dugan for the patrol. During the swim portion of the event both officers had to rescue a swimmer who had lost consciousness after stopping at a SUP for a rest. The swimmer was transported to shore where she regained consciousness and was transported to Paul Oliver Hospital for observation.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen assisted District 4 by operating the patrol vessel "William Oats" on Hardy Pond for "Hardy Gras" during their Hot Boat weekend.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen assisted and provided instruction for a learning station at a hunter safety class in Mason County at the Ruby Creek Conservation Club.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen received a complaint of a 17-year-old subject self-reporting that he had shot a small buck by accident during the early antlerless season. The subject called because he remembered Cpl. Van Gelderen teaching at his hunter safety class four years ago and discussing these types of scenarios. The subject was punished by gutting and dragging the deer and then transporting it to a nearby processor. Cpl. Van Gelderen called a person in need of a deer who is going to pick up the processed deer.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was patrolling Oceana County when he heard a complaint of a structure fire at a residence. Since Cpl. VanGelderen was only a few miles away, he was the first officer on scene. He made sure nobody was in the residence and then waited for firetrucks to arrive.
Acting Lt. Nick Torsky attended various AIS meetings, including a meeting of Division AIS leads with DNR, a RIPPLE (Reducing Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes) advisory committee meeting, and a GLDIATR (Great Lake Detector of Invasive Aquatics in Trade advisory Committee meeting.
Acting Lt. Nick Torsky and Sgt. Jon Wood attended a furbearer user group meeting in St. Ignace, where Wildlife Division presented potential regulation changes for the 2022 regulation cycle.