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COs Alex VanWagner and Phil Helminen spoke at a trapping education course in Dickinson County. The COs discussed ethics and regulations pertaining to trapping and nighttime furbearer hunting.
CO Phil Helminen was on patrol when Dickinson County Dispatch put out a call for a personal injury vehicle crash with multiple people injured. CO Helminen was nearby and responded to the scene finding one person unresponsive and five others with severe injuries. Medical aid was rendered until paramedics and additional officers arrived on scene. Several people were extricated from the vehicles and taken to the hospital, while one was transported by helicopter. Three people involved in the crash died as a result of their injuries. The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police (MSP) Iron Mountain post is investigating the crash.
CO Shannon Kritz was the first on the scene of a medical call involving an unresponsive female. CO Kritz was led by the homeowner to subject, who was lying unconscious on the bathroom floor of the residence and not breathing. CPR was started and an AED was attached. When emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) arrived, Narcan was administered to the unresponsive female and CPR continued. The female regained breathing and consciousness while being transported out to the ambulance. The female was transported to the hospital to receive further medical treatment.
CO Jared Ferguson was called to assist the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Department with a search and rescue incident in northern Dickinson County. Two individuals were following their GPS when it led them down an impassable road in which they became stuck and were running out of gas. The officers were able locate them and escort them back to roadway.
CO Anna Viau attended a Halloween event in Iron River, joining an MSP trooper, Iron River Police officers, and other Iron River businesses in handing out candy to local children. Several children were dressed up as police officers and were excited to interact with the local officers.
CO John Kamps and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Alexander Bourgeois were investigating a complaint of an illegal deer blind in Marquette County when they observed a man setting up a deer camp. After further investigation, it was found that the subject had been camping there for over a year. The subject also had two deer bait sites near his camper. CO Kamps and PCO Bourgeois checked the bait sites and found approximately 10 gallons of corn and apples at each bait site. A citation for having greater than two gallons of deer bait was issued to the subject.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Jackson Kelly assisted the United States Coast Guard after a 17-foot boat capsized at the mouth of the Carp River during a bad storm. Debris was strewn along the rocky lake shore from the Carp River to the Michigan Welcome Center. It was determined the boat broke from its mooring, crashed on the rocks, and was ripped apart by the intense wind and waves. After an investigation it was determined nobody was onboard the vessel.
COs John Kamps, Cody Smith, Jackson Kelly, and PCO Alex Bourgeois worked a grouse decoy patrol addressing an area that had received road hunting complaints. The COs were in position to watch a vehicle slow roll up to their location and then observe the passenger of the vehicle uncase a 20-gauge shotgun and point it out the window of the vehicle. As the individual attempted to take aim at the decoy, he was stopped by the COs. Law enforcement action was taken for loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when dispatch stated there was a bomb threat at the Escanaba High School. CO Lynch responded to the high school to assist with the school lockdown while the school was cleared. No threat was located.
CO Brandon Maki was driving on US Highway 41 to a complaint when he observed a large blood stain on the rear of a car in front of him. CO Maki followed the vehicle for a short distance before it turned into a residential area. CO Maki made note of it and continued on to address the original complaint. Once finished with the complaint he returned to the area in which he had observed the blood-stained vehicle turning into a residential area. He located the residence and observed deer entrails laying near the end of the driveway where the same blood covered car was parked. CO Maki knocked on the front door of the residence and was met by two individuals who claimed they had shot a deer the morning prior. The individuals took CO Maki to see the deer which was inside their freezer whole. While showing CO Maki the deer in the freezer, it was discovered it had not been tagged. Another whole deer was discovered rotting on the floor which was not tagged as well. CO Maki cited both individuals for failing to immediately validate and tag their deer.
COs Andrea Dani and Brandon Maki were patrolling near the Seney ‘Stretch’ in Schoolcraft County when a report of a two-car accident was reported a short distance away. The COs arrived on scene and assisted alongside the Alger County Sheriff Department, MSP, Munising Township Fire, and Alger County emergency medical services (EMS).
Sgt. Mark Zitnik, along with COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani, held a basic Hunter Education Field Day at Munising High School where 25 students received their hunter education certifications.
COs Michael Evink, Robert Freeborn, and PCO Ryan Cox conducted a Hunter Safety Field Day in Manistique. Close to 50 youth were present. PCO Cox presented to the class and maintained a station teaching the youth gun safety. All students passed the class and were presented their Hunter Safety Certificate.
Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Ryan Cox and Michael Evink observed a van parked next to Thompson Creek. The stream is closed to fishing, and it appeared there was a stringer next to the van. Contact was made with seven individuals, and it was discovered that all seven individuals had been fishing in the closed stream. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted in a fatal motor vehicle accident where a kayak and roof rack came off a vehicle. It struck a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, going through the windshield which resulted in the driver's death. CO Freeborn assisted on the scene and shortly after, assisted in the road closure with the local fire department. The accident was handled by the MSP.
COs Todd Sumbera and Sgt. Calvin Smith were patrolling for waterfowl hunters when they checked a group of five hunters. Three of the five hunters had their limit of ducks and the group stated that they were going to pack up and call it a day. COs Sumbera and Sgt. Smith decided to stay in the area and observe the group longer as it appeared they were continuing to hunt. They observed some members of the group illegally rallying ducks and continuing to shoot additional ducks. As the boat came to shore the COs stepped out and announced their presence. One hunter was found to be over-limit on ducks and a second hunter was in violation of shooting while under power and possessing a loaded firearm in a motorized vessel. Citations were issued for each violation and a warning was given for failing to tag and identify waterfowl belonging to others.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten held a Hunter Education course for approximately 50 kids in the Newberry and Engadine areas. COs Vinson, VanOosten and Lieutenant Skip Hagy along with assistance from the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club conducted a field day for the students. Approximately 50 kids attended as well as approximately 20 to 30 adults and parents. Stations included a rifle range, shotgun range, tree stand safety, muzzleloader safety, and a trapping segment. Thanks to donations from local businesses and individuals, every student was able to leave with a prize including the grand prize of a Henry .22 rifle donated by a Hiawatha Club member. The COs also conducted a separate Hunter Safety course and field day within the Newberry/Engadine Amish community.
CO Andrea Albert responded to a medical call in a remote hike-in only campground in the Jordan River Valley. CO Albert used her four-wheel drive patrol truck to transport the patient out to a waiting ambulance. CO Albert also transported the second person in the hiking party back to their vehicle at the beginning of the trail, so they could drive to the hospital.
CO Kyle Cherry was responding to a “Be on the Lookout” (BOL) of a reckless driver in Otsego County. CO Cherry was able to locate the suspect vehicle as it was entering I 75 heading southbound into Crawford County. CO Cherry was able to catch up with the vehicle and discovered it was displaying a license plate belonging to a different vehicle. A traffic stop was initiated, and the vehicle attempted to flee by continuing southbound on I-75. The vehicle ultimately crashed, and the driver then fled from the vehicle on foot as CO Cherry pursued in a foot chase. The chase ultimately ended with a TASER deployment. CO Cherry was able to detain both the driver and passenger of the car until additional officers arrived. Charges for the driver include flee and elude, resisting and obstructing, as well as several motor vehicle violations. Charges are being brought before the Crawford County Court. CO Cherry was assisted on scene by the Grayling Police Department, MSP, Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, and Grayling EMS.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick assisted the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department in the recovery of several stolen firearms and hunting equipment from a group of juveniles who had broken into a residence. The juveniles were located target shooting by CO Theunick on state land with the stolen firearms and the sheriff’s department was contacted to follow-up on the open case.
CO Tom Oberg had worked a complaint over a year ago regarding a tree stand placed on state land that appeared to be overlooking a food plot, also on state land. After multiple attempts of CO Oberg checking on the stand, he never witnessed anyone hunting out of it. CO Oberg checked on the stand over the summer and noted the subject failed to remove his tree stand from state land. CO Oberg checked the stand again during this October and finally located the subject hunting. CO Oberg address multiple violations such as hunting over bait, constructing a food plot on state land, no name/address on a tree stand, and failing to remove the tree stand by March 1st. CO Oberg issued tickets to the subject for hunting over bait as well as failing to remove his tree stand by March 1st. Warnings were given for the other violations.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney Collins were patrolling in Montmorency County when they observed an ORV operating down the center of the roadway at a high rate of speed. The COs paced the ORV at approximately 60 miles per hour (mph) and initiated a stop. The driver admitted to operating much faster than 25 mph and was issued a ticket for the violation. A warning was issued for operating in the roadway.
COs Sidney LaLonde and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling state land in Montmorency County when they came across a suspicious vehicle that was being operated erratically. The vehicle was stopped, and the operator was found to have several violations including, unregistered vehicle and no insurance. A compound bow was found in the front seat and the driver did not have any valid hunting licenses for 2022. The subject also had several opened beers in the vehicle. Tickets were issued for numerous violations and the vehicle was parked until the owner was able to put insurance on the vehicle.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a slow-moving vehicle that was shining deer. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle for a motor vehicle code violation and discovered that the driver and passenger were in possession of bows and crossbows. CO Killingbeck addressed several motor vehicle code violations and issued a citation for shining while in possession of a weapon.
COs Josiah Killingbeck, Tim Barboza, Josh Wright, and Sam Kosinski, and Sgt. Grant Emery, along with deputies of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant on a residence where CO Killingbeck had information that a subject, who is a convicted felon, was in possession of several firearms and ammunition. The subject at the residence had outstanding warrants for his arrest and was lodged in the Lake County Jail. Three firearms were found at the residence, along with nearly 1,200 rounds of ammunition, which were all seized. Another subject arrived at the residence who was determined to be living at the location. This subject is also a convicted felon and admitted to being in possession of firearms seized from the residence. A report was sent to the Lake County Prosecutor and charges were authorized on both subjects for felon in possession of firearms and felon in possession of ammunition.
CO Tim Barboza received a RAP complaint of trespassing and a deer shot over bait. CO Barboza located the area where the deer was shot and confirmed bait being out. The hunter was contacted, and he admitted to shooting the deer over bait. CO Barboza then asked to see where the hunter had tracked the deer and confirmed it was onto another’s private property. CO Barboza seized the deer and donated it to a local family. CO Barboza has submitted the information to the county prosecutor for charges of an illegal deer, trespassing and hunting over bait.
CO Tim Barboza received a RAP complaint about trespassing where the landowner had found a chair and a tree stand on his property. CO Barboza walked the property with the owner and located three hunting sites, two of which had trail cameras set out. CO Barboza could see a foot path through the weeds which led to a residence on the edge of the caller’s corn field. CO Barboza contacted a male at the residence who admitted to CO Barboza that he was trespassing and had set the trail cameras and chair on his neighbor’s property. CO Barboza will be submitting a report for recreational trespass charges on the suspect to the prosecutor.
COs Ben Shively and Micah Hintze were working a shining complaint in Oceana County when CO Shively saw two quads come off a dirt road and onto the pavement after 11 PM. CO Shively observed the two quads using headlamps to shine the field he was sitting in. The quads turned onto a forest service road that ran through a 40-acre section of federal land. CO Shively radioed CO Hintze and the COs covered both entrances onto the federal land. CO Hintze heard the quads coming towards his location and they were able to conduct a traffic stop on both quads. The subjects were cited for shining after 11 p.m. and operating an ORV without a helmet.
CO Zack Walters assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department in securing a scene at a single vehicle property damage accident on October 30th. CO Walters arrived on scene and talked with the agitated driver until Osceola County deputies arrived. The driver was subsequently arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI).
COs Breanna Reed and Charlie Jones conducted a traffic stop in Missaukee County while patrolling for shiners. The suspects stated they were out raccoon hunting and trying to get some training in for the dog. Both hunters in the vehicle were unable to produce their fur harvester licenses. CO Reed issued a citation for failing to exhibit a fur harvester license.
COs Breanna Reed, Charlie Jones, and Sgt. Brian Olsen were called to a vehicle that was shining multiple fields in Missaukee County. CO Reed was able to locate and conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. The occupants advised they were competing in a local raccoon hunting competition that was going on. When asked why they were shining multiple fields out of the vehicle, the hunters stated they were looking for raccoons. They had multiple firearms in the vehicle at the time and it was after the legal shining time of 11 p.m. The hunters stated they knew they had gotten “sloppy” and should not have been shining the fields. A citation was issued for shining after 11 p.m.
COs James Garrett and John Huspen responded to a shining complaint in the St. Helen area of Roscommon County. The occupants were observed shining out both sides of the vehicle after legal shining hours. The COs made their way to the area and were able to sit in the dark waiting for the vehicle to appear. The COs observed the vehicle with a spotlight being used out of the passenger side of the vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted, and the COs noticed the passenger attempting to hide something. Both occupants were ordered to put their hands outside of the vehicle windows. An uncased and cocked crossbow was sitting between the driver and passenger just into the back seat within arm’s reach of both occupants. The crossbow was equipped with a quiver that held two bolts. The third bolt was lying next to the crossbow outside of the quiver. The passenger of the vehicle was cited for shining with a weapon in possession and the crossbow was seized as evidence.
After clearing a recent traffic stop for shining, COs James Garrett and John Huspen were notified of another vehicle casting lights out of both sides of the vehicle in southern Roscommon County. COs Huspen and Garrett made their way to the area of the shining activity and observed both the driver and passenger shining lights out of their windows. CO Garrett initiated his emergency lights in an attempt to conduct a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle failed to stop for approximately 100 yards. Due to the tinted back window of the vehicle, the COs were unable to see into the vehicle as the truck finally came to a stop. The COs exited the patrol truck and ordered the occupants to show them their hands. CO Huspen ordered the passenger to exit the vehicle and step to the back of the truck. Then the driver was ordered out of the vehicle and was observed to have a pistol on his hip. The driver advised he had a valid concealed pistol license. The driver was told to step to the back of the vehicle. CO Huspen shined his flashlight into the backseat and observed a firearm case with only two out of the four latches closed. The driver stated it was a .410 shotgun with a laser. CO Huspen observed two .410 slugs sitting in the ash tray of the vehicle. The shotgun with small laser pointer attached by electrical tape was seized as evidence and a citation was issued for shining with a weapon in possession.
While patrolling in Ogemaw County, CO Kyle Bader heard Ogemaw County Sheriff’s deputies run a file check over the radio for a man they had detained. CO Bader recognized the name as a known associate of a person he’d been looking for in reference to a littering case on state land over a year ago. The man CO Bader was investigating had abandoned a smashed car on state land. CO Bader asked the deputies if his suspect was there with them by chance. They confirmed that he was so CO Bader responded to the location and interviewed his suspect about the car. The man was issued a civil infraction citation for littering.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling Saginaw Bay near the Pine River for waterfowl activity. Legal hunting hours didn’t start until 7:23 AM that day. At 7:17 AM, CO Neal heard a volley of shots to the south of his location. He pulled his patrol boat out of the phragmites to go locate the early shooters. CO Neal was able to locate and contact the four hunters with assistance of a second volley of shots from the same group still prior to legal hunting hours. They had already killed a drake mallard and a hen redhead. CO Neal asked what time they first shot. They stated, “Not too early, maybe 7:15 AM.” Then CO Neal asked if they knew what time legal hunting hours started. One of the four hunters stated, “Last he checked it was 7:04 AM.” CO Neal asked when the last day he hunted was. The hunter stated opening day. CO Neal proceeded to check all their licenses, shotgun shells, and shotguns for plugs. One of the four was found to be hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. Several citations were issued to the group.
CO Adam Beuthin received a complaint of an individual who harvested a deer in a closed area of the Tobico Marsh Unit of Bay City State Park. After gathering information, CO Beuthin went to the individual’s residence to interview him about where and when the deer was harvested. With the help of COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson searching the state land behind the individual’s residence, it was determined the deer was harvested in an area closed to hunting and taken over a bait pile. A warrant request will be requested through the Bay County Prosecutor’s Office for the illegal harvest of the deer.
CO Mike Eovaldi was conducting night surveillance of salmon anglers at a harbor in eastern Sanilac County. CO Eovaldi watched one angler using a headlamp to spot and attempt to snag several salmon. While CO Eovaldi watched, the angler successfully hooked into a fish. The angler then turned off his headlamp and made a phone call while fighting the fish, making sure to keep the fish low in the water. A second angler approached with a net and landed the foul-hooked fish. Once in the net, the anglers hastily made a bee line for parking lot with the fish. CO Eovaldi saw their effort to get to their vehicle and ran to cut off the anglers. CO Eovaldi contacted the anglers just before they got to their vehicle and located a large gash where the Atlantic salmon was snagged. The angler received a citation for retaining a foul hooked fish and the salmon was seized, photographed, and donated to another angler.
CO Adam Schiller responded to a BOL for a four-wheeler operating with three young subjects. CO Schiller was able to locate and stop the ORV operated by a 12-year-old with two passengers under 12 years of age. The operator’s father arrived on scene and told the CO that he did indeed give his son permission to operate the four-wheeler with the two young passengers. CO Schiller discussed with the youths the safety concerns he had regarding their operation and the father was issued a citation for allowing the minors to operate the ORV without supervision.
While on a salmon patrol in Cass County, COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer located two anglers fishing upon Dowagiac Creek. The COs witnessed the two individuals intentionally snag multiple salmon. The COs contacted the anglers and located four illegally taken salmon. The fish were seized, and multiple citations were issued for retaining foul hooked fish.
CO Cameron Wright was working the St. Joseph River for walleye anglers when he observed a man and woman carrying a stringer full of short bass up to the parking lot. When the two subjects noticed the CO approaching them in the parking lot, they quickly turned and began speed walking the opposite direction. CO Wright yelled for them to stop and asked if they had been fishing. The man said they were there to watch the sunset and that they don’t fish. Four short bass were eventually located hidden in the trunk of their vehicle and citations were issued.
CO Cameron Wright was working the St. Joseph River when he contacted a large group of anglers fishing the bank. CO Wright asked how the fishing was and quickly realized that no one in the group spoke English. The CO was able to utilize Google Translate and his small Spanish vocabulary to interact with the anglers. It was quickly discovered that no one in the group had fishing licenses and that there were three coolers full of panfish. Enforcement action was taken, and the fish were seized.
CO Cameron Wright was patrolling for shining activity around midnight when he observed an older Dodge pickup truck drive by at less than 20 mph. The truck then slowly turned into a field shining its headlights for over 20 seconds. The truck then slowly turned around into the middle of the road as if it was scanning its headlights throughout the entire field. CO Wright conducted a traffic stop and discovered that the man was just too intoxicated to remember how to get home. Standardized field sobriety tests were conducted, and the man was arrested for OWI.
CO Justin Ulberg investigated a complaint of an individual who shot a white-tailed buck without a valid deer license. The subject posted several pictures on a social media website about shooting her first deer with a bow. Further investigation showed that the subject had not purchased a deer license for the 2022 season. CO Ulberg spoke with the subject who admitted to shooting the deer without a license. When asked where the deer was, the subject stated it was at a taxidermist. CO Ulberg questioned the subject about how the deer was tagged and the subject stated that she used her stepson’s deer license. Charges are pending prosecutor review.
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers and COs BJ Goulette, Rob Slick and Justin Ulberg investigated a tip of a pond being baited for waterfowl in Ionia County. Prior to opening day of the south zone waterfowl season, the COs checked the pond and located a large amount of shelled corn in a shallow section of water. On the waterfowl opener, the COs took up an observation position and watched as several individuals were hunting waterfowl. After the subjects were done hunting, the COs contacted the group. One of the subjects admitted to placing the bait six days prior to opening day. The other hunters denied knowing the pond was baited. The subject responsible for placing the bait was issued a citation, his shotgun was seized, and 18 ducks were confiscated.
CO Justin Ulberg investigated a complaint of an individual who shot a white-tailed buck without having a valid license. CO Ulberg interviewed the subject and questioned him about the day and time he shot the deer. The subject admitted to shooting the deer approximately ½ hour before purchasing his license. The deer rack was seized, and a report is being submitted to the Kent County Prosecutor for pending charges.
While patrolling the Grand River in Ottawa County and checking for waterfowl and anglers, CO Justin Ulberg came across two young hunters coming in from the morning hunt on a boat. While checking the hunters’ gear, CO Ulberg noticed that the subjects never emptied their firearms, and all guns were still loaded. One of the hunters had two firearms in his possession and failed to get a Michigan waterfowl license. CO Ulberg educated the hunters on the safety issues associated with firearms being loaded while operating a boat and possessing more than one firearm per hunter while waterfowl hunting. The subject was issued a citation for the license violation.
COs Anna Cullen and Justin Ulberg patrolled Lake Michigan for waterfowl hunting activity. The COs observed a vessel with a layout boat close by. The COs contacted the vessel and did their basic marine safety and waterfowl checks. It was found that one of the firearms did not have a plug to prevent it from carrying more than the three-shell limit. Charges are being sought for the violation.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling around Muskegon Lake from shore when she observed a boat that appeared to have six fishing lines coming from it, with only one person on board. CO Miskovich launched a boat in the lake and contacted the boat in question. It was found that the individual had six lines out in the water and only one occupant on board. A citation was issued for fishing with more than three lines. CO Miskovich continued to patrol around Muskegon Lake and found a second boat that only had one individual on board with five lines coming off the boat. CO Miskovich contacted the boat and what she saw was confirmed. A citation was issued for fishing with more than three lines.
CO Cullen Knoblauch discovered a possible unlawfully taken deer at a deer processor while following up on a different unlawfully taken deer. CO Knoblauch interviewed the processor and identified a suspect who lives in Wayne County. CO Knoblauch contacted COs Ariel Young and Martin Lawrence requesting they attempt contact with the suspect. COs Young and Lawrence contacted the suspect and obtained a confession of him shooting a 7-point buck in the Sharon Valley State Game Area on October 1st and purchasing his license on October 2nd. Charges are being sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Chris Reynolds responded to an in-progress recreational trespass in Branch County. When CO Reynolds arrived, the complainant and suspect were on the complainant’s property. CO Reynolds interviewed the suspect who showed where he was hunting which was on the complainant’s property. The suspect also stated he had shot a deer while hunting. A report will be submitted to the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass. The deer was donated to a family in need in the area.
CO Chris Reynolds received a call from a farmer in Hillsdale County regarding a trail camera which was stolen that captured a picture of an ORV with two individuals leaving his property. CO Reynolds tracked the ORV through three properties and located the ORV at a residence nearby. The homeowner was interviewed and said it was her son who had been driving the ORV. The son and his girlfriend were interviewed and confessed to driving the ORV and taking the trail camera. The camera was recovered. It was discovered both individuals had warrants for their arrest. The female was advised and released due to jail restrictions. The male was taken into custody and lodged at the Hillsdale County Jail on multiple warrants. A report will be submitted to the Hillsdale County Prosecutor’s Office for ORV trespass on three properties along with the larceny.
Sgt. Rich Nickols and CO Cheyanna Langworthy worked the pheasant season opener at Rose Lake. Approximately 160 birds had been released on the previous day. The hunters were very supportive and thankful for the pheasant release program. Only one hunter was checked who did not have the required pheasant license, but he was able to download the new licensing app and purchase his license on the spot.
While on marine patrol, CO David Schaumburger came across a pair of anglers who were perch fishing. The two anglers had their perch in two buckets, both without water. When the CO pulled up to the anglers, they dumped one of the buckets into the water so the “fish could swim around alive.” The CO had the anglers count their fish into one bucket and they had 57 perch between the two of them. One of the anglers said that they were using the smaller fish in the bucket to “upgrade.” The CO pointed out they could not “upgrade” fish that were belly up and they were in possession of too many fish. The anglers were cited for possessing more than the daily limit of perch. When the CO was pulling away, the angler asked the CO if the Judge would be lenient to them since they were “trying.”
COs Joseph Deppen, Brad Silorey, and Sydney Griffor were checking waterfowl hunters on Lake St. Clair. They checked one hunter who was taking out his grandson. The hunter said he was teaching his grandson how to hunt properly. The hunter was cited for possession of lead shot, unplugged gun, and no personal floatation devices (PFDs). The COs encouraged him to take his family hunting, but he needs to do it in a safer and more legal manner.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint of a hunter who purchased their deer license after taking a deer. CO Gardner contacted the suspect and asked them if they had taken any deer this season. When the suspect said they did, CO Gardner asked what day they took the deer. The suspect said they took the deer on the 2nd or 3rd of October. CO Gardner explained that he had reason to believe that suspect took the deer on October 1st and then purchased his deer license on the 2nd. The suspect hesitated and then admitted to buying their deer license after taking a deer. The suspect said that it wasn’t until after they shot the deer that they realized they didn’t have their kill-tag. The suspect also said that they didn’t move or transport the deer until after they purchased their deer license. CO Gardner informed the suspect that it doesn’t matter whether they didn’t move the deer until they had a license. CO Gardner explained the deer was illegally taken because they didn’t have a license prior to taking the deer. CO Gardner then seized the deer skull. A report will be submitted to the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Jaime Salisbury received information from an informant through Station 20 regarding a single gunshot heard from private land where CO Salisbury has been monitoring trespassing activity. CO Salisbury responded to the location and started walking the property where the shot was suspected to come from. CO Salisbury checked the tree stands on the property and was unable to locate a hunter or fresh sign of a hunter having been present earlier that morning. CO Salisbury decided to walk a bit further towards the southern property line attempting to find evidence of the gunshot or a hunter. When CO Salisbury was approaching the property line, he could see the base of a tree stand on the adjacent property. CO Salisbury noticed a hunter sitting in the tree stand with a firearm sitting across his lap. CO Salisbury announced himself and called the hunter down from the stand. When asked about the gunshot, the hunter denied having shot anything and claimed to be turkey hunting. CO Salisbury then discovered the hunter had no turkey license. The hunter continued to deny having shot his gun and claimed he was not deer hunting. CO Salisbury asked if he had shot anything this season and he admitted to having shot a doe earlier in the year with his crossbow. CO Salisbury noticed that he was in possession of both his combination tags and had not purchased an antlerless license. When asked, the hunter stated they had not tagged their deer. The hunter eventually admitted to having shot at a deer earlier that morning with his gun and missed. Charges are being sought in Lapeer County for hunting deer with a firearm during bow season. Charges are being sought in Genesee County for taking an antlerless deer and not tagging it. The firearm and deer meat were seized as evidence. While CO Salisbury was investigating the situation above, another hunter approached the CO and hunter. CO Salisbury asked the first hunter to walk back towards the truck and he began talking to the second hunter. After a short conversation and seeing fresh blood in the back of his pickup, it was discovered that the second man hunting the property was also hunting with a firearm and had shot a 10-point buck the previous night with a firearm. CO Salisbury went back to the hunter’s residence and seized the 10-point as well as the firearm he was hunting with. Charges are being sought in Lapeer County for the illegal take of the 10-point and hunting with a firearm during archery season.
CO Cody Bourgeois received a complaint and videos regarding hunter harassment. CO Bourgeois shared the information with Sgt. Justin Muehlhauser. They decided that having two angles watching the property would be good way to work it. After meeting with the complainant, the COs instructed him to act normally and do everything as if they weren’t there. After the suspect spotted the hunter walking into the stand, the COs observed two hours of him driving the field edge blasting the horn, playing loud music, banging pots and pans, shining the field with headlights, and forcing his dog to bark. The COs contacted the suspect and after several minutes of interviewing him, got him to admit that he does not like the neighbor and wanted to ruin his hunts. The suspect was issued a citation for hunter harassment.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Luna Pier for some evening walleye fishing activity. CO Ingersoll watched several anglers fishing along the pier from the parking lot who did not look like they were having very much success for several minutes. After watching the anglers, CO Ingersoll started his checks along the pier contacting each angler as he went down the line. CO Ingersoll contacted one individual sitting in a chair with a fishing pole sitting next to him and asked for his fishing license. The angler quickly advised CO Ingersoll he was not fishing and just saving a seat for his buddy who was coming. CO Ingersoll advised him that he watched all the anglers he was contacting fish and watched him with a pole in his hand, fishing prior to walking out on the pier. The angler quickly put his head down and advised him that he did not have a fishing license and admitted to fishing and not saving a seat for his buddy. CO Ingersoll issued a citation for fishing without a license and advised the angler to be honest with law enforcement in the future.
COs David Schaumburger and Keven Luther contacted a hunter on a piece of private property that the COs found to have baited stands on. The hunter was walking around and not hunting over bait and was not found to be in any violation. During questioning of the hunter, his stories were not lining up and CO Luther had reason to believe there was a second person hunting on the property. CO Schaumburger walked back to the truck with the hunter while CO Luther walked into the woods to one of the baited stands finding a hunter hunting over bait. That hunter was issued a citation for hunting over bait and hunting without a license. Both hunters were trespassing on the property after CO Schaumburger contacted the owner who advised nobody has permission to be on the property.
CO Sydney Griffor patrolled the city of Algonac for fishing activity. She observed a vessel at the city boat launch. While checking the vessel, CO Griffor observed a walleye floating in the river. CO Griffor asked the individual about the fish and the angler admitted to throwing it in the water. Upon further investigation, CO Griffor discovered the two anglers had a total of 15 walleye, which is three over the legal daily limit of 12 walleye. The three illegal walleyes were seized, and a citation was issued to the individual for possessing an over-limit of walleye.
CO Cody Bourgeois worked a shift on Harsens Island patrolling for waterfowl activity. CO Bourgeois encountered many legal hunters with great success. One group of hunters did not understand any of the waterfowl rules and had multiple violations. Both hunters were over their shell capacity, one was over by eight while the other was over by 28. Furthermore, one of the hunters in his pile of ammunition possessed lead shot. On top of all these issues, the watercraft the group was using was not registered, and the hunters did not have the proper safety equipment on board. The hunter with lead received a citation for possessing toxic shot and was given a warning for over the limit of shells. While the other hunter received a citation for failure to provide PFDs for each occupant onboard and was given warnings for the other violations.
CO Cody Bourgeois was working late when a call came in for shooting after hours. CO Bourgeois was right around the corner from the lake. On arrival CO Bourgeois noticed a watercraft paddling in towards the boat launch, the CO hid and waited for the boat to reach the dock before making contact. Upon contact, CO Bourgeois noticed the vessel did not have any registration displayed. When asked the suspect stated he’s never registered the vessel. The CO checked licenses, and equipment for waterfowl hunting, and everything seemed to be legal. When asked about legal shooting time the hunter stated he did not know when it was, nor did he look at his phone. The CO explained that it is extremely important to know the times when hunting is over because it gives the hunter an extreme advantage over the ducks coming back to their roost. The CO issued the hunter two citations for operating an unregistered vessel and failure to provide PFDs. The suspect was given warnings on everything else.
CO Luke Robare investigated a bait complaint and found two baited sites and one blind on Consumers Energy property. CO Robare checked the area again on the weekend and located the suspect’s vehicle. CO Robare contacted the hunter in the field and found him hunting over one of the baited sites. CO Robare issued the hunter a citation for baiting.