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CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County when he responded to assist other agencies with locating a subject that had become lost behind his home while looking for his dog that had run away. The subject and his dog were located and assisted out of the woods and back to the residence.
COs Brian Lasanen and Zach Painter worked the Lake Superior Pro Rally Race, which is held each fall in Ontonagon, Baraga, and Marquette Counties. The COs patrolled, in conjunction with US Forest Service law enforcement officers, near the spectator staging areas.
CO Jenni Hanson received a call from the Porcupine Mountains State Park staff regarding an anonymous complaint that was reported to their office about someone intentionally poisoning a bear. CO Hanson interviewed the suspect and received a confession. The suspect had put wasp spray canisters covered in peanut butter in a pillowcase in which he suspended from a tree. On the outside of the pillowcase was jelly to attract the bear. The suspect was tired of the nuisance bear in the area and attempted to take matters into his own hands. Charges are being requested through the Ontonagon County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Phil Helminen and Jared Ferguson investigated the illegal taking of a 10-point deer in Dickinson County. The COs interviewed the suspects involved who claimed that the deer was shot in another part of the county by a person with a valid tag. The COs served search warrants to gather evidence. It was determined the deer was shot by an individual without a license and the deer was tagged using another person’s license. A report was submitted to the Dickinson County Prosecutor for charges of taking a deer without a license and using the tag of another.
CO Phil Helminen was patrolling when he observed a vehicle swerving in the roadway. CO Helminen noticed the vehicle also had an expired registration plate. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle and after speaking to the driver, CO Helminen observed signs of intoxication. The driver performed standard field sobriety tasks (SFST’s) and was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI). The driver had several additional violations as his driver’s license was revoked for prior drunk driving arrests, no insurance on the vehicle, an improper registration plate, and an open intoxicant inside of the vehicle. The driver was lodged in the Dickinson County Jail on several charges.
COs Phil Helminen and Jared Ferguson assisted deputies from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office with a report of a person being shot at while out on a remote road near a hunting camp. The camp was surrounded by officers, and the occupants were brought out from inside of the camp. After completing their investigation, one individual was arrested by Sheriff deputies on firearms charges.
CO Shannon Kritz received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a possible recreational trespass incident. A landowner found ORV tracks and deer drag marks on his posted property. CO Kritz followed the trail back to a neighboring property and a subject was contacted. He was interviewed and admitted to wounding a deer with his crossbow and following it onto his neighbor’s property without permission. Charges were submitted to the Menominee County Prosecutor for recreational trespass.
CO Alex VanWagner responded to assist on a one vehicle rollover crash in Iron County. The occupants of the vehicle did not have any major injuries and were evaluated by emergency medical services (EMS). The incident was turned over to the Michigan State Police (MSP).
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling northern Dickinson County when he observed an individual dressed in black walking on a county road. CO Ferguson observed the individual quickly turn and attempt to hide a shotgun in the grass. CO Ferguson made contact and a citation was written for failing to wear hunter orange while afield hunting.
COs Anna Viau, Jared Ferguson, Alex VanWagner, Phillip Helminen and Sergeant Brian Bacon conducted a Hunter Safety Field Day for 42 students and parents. The students learned how to safely handle firearms in the field, archery equipment safety, tree stand safety, first aid, and laws and regulations. The students had completed the online course prior to the field day.
CO John Kamps and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Alex Bourgeois checked a bear bait site and found it to be baited with chocolate. The COs were able to develop a suspect and check other bait sites in the area belonging to the same hunter. Chocolate was found at one other location. Evidence was collected at both sites and the COs contacted the suspect at his residence. A full confession was obtained for baiting with chocolate at both sites. Charges will be submitted through the Dickinson County District Court.
COs John Kamps, Cody Smith, and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Alex Bourgeois were at the right place at the right time when they observed a side-by-side driving at a slow speed. The COs watched the ORV for a brief time until they saw the passenger shoulder a 12-gauge shotgun from within the ORV. The COs stopped the ORV as the individual attempted to shoot a grouse from the side-by-side. The individual received a citation for possessing an uncased/loaded gun in a motor vehicle and a warning for attempt to take game from motor vehicle.
CO John Kamps and PCO Alexander Bourgeois checked a group of waterfowl hunters in Marquette County. After a routine check, it was discovered that they were in possession of lead shot and an unplugged shotgun. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol in Baraga County when he observed an individual standing in the ditch while looking in the woods. The individual stated he had just watched a doe bound across the road with an arrow sticking out of it. As the county is closed to the harvest of antlerless deer, CO Smith investigated further by obtained the direction the deer had come from and then proceeded to walk down a nearby, recently driven on, ORV trail until he reached an ORV parked with a crossbow placed in the back. He located a couple of subjects soon after and was told they had shot a deer and were trying to find it. CO Smith informed them that shooting does in the area was not allowed. CO Smith retrieved the license of the hunter and enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Mark Zitnik and CO Andrea Dani, with assistance from Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Division biologist Heather Shaw, and volunteers Al Augustyn, and Norm Belko, held a Hunter Education Field Day at Superior Central High School. All the students passed the course and achieved their Hunter Safety certificate.
CO Michael Evink and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Ryan Cox were on patrol in Schoolcraft County when they responded to a request from Regional Dispatch to conduct a well-being check on a female walking and crawling on all fours on the roadway. She was reported to have had her head on the pavement and then was observed crawling into a residence from the roadway. As they were the only available law enforcement in the county, the COs headed that way to check on the female. Once out at the residence, a male with facial injuries approached the COs. The male was reluctant at first to provide information but later told them that he was assaulted by his girlfriend, identified as the female who was crawling on the road. The male claimed the female was not taking her medication and had drug and alcohol problems. The female was highly intoxicated and not very cooperative with the COs. After investigating the incident further, it was determined that the female had assaulted the male and was taken into custody for domestic assault. On the way to the county jail, the female became agitated and spit in the patrol truck on multiple occasions, banged her head on the dash, and needed to be restrained multiple times by the COs. Once at the jail, the female continued to spit in the patrol vehicle and was assisted into the jail by corrections staff due to her assaultive behavior. The female was lodged on the charge of domestic assault and resisting and obstructing police.
COs Robert Freeborn and Cole VanOosten received a tip of three anglers fishing a closed trout stream with nets. They were joined by CO Michael Evink at the scene and set up to surveil the anglers. The anglers were contacted when each were observed netting large chinook salmon in the closed stream. The anglers were issued citations for fishing a closed trout stream, taking fish with an unlawful method, and restitution for the fish taken. The suspects later pled guilty and each paid $540 in fines.
CO Robert Freeborn received a complaint of a large-scale land use violation where a subject upgraded nearly three miles of road, through a large portion of state land as well as private property, after his land use permit was denied by the DNR. COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink documented the area with video as well as GPS. The case has been turned over to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for investigation and is ongoing.
CO Todd Sumbera was patrolling state land for small game hunters when he observed a vehicle pull up and stop a short distance behind him, while the driver began shuffling things around in the passenger seat. CO Sumbera contacted the individual and asked if he was grouse hunting. The driver stated that he was not but his daughter in the back seat claimed otherwise. Further investigation revealed the suspect had two rifles that were uncased and one of which was loaded. A citation was issued for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Mike Olesen received a complaint of a local fishing charter who had failed to provide his monthly catch reports to the state for several months. CO Olesen had given the same individual a verbal warning last year for the same violation and explained the importance of having his catch reports submitted in a timely manner. A citation was issued for failing to provide monthly catch reports this year.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol of the Milikokia River when he observed two anglers fishing for salmon. CO VanOosten watched from a discrete location as the men attempted to foul hook salmon in the river. The men were chasing the salmon to congregate them so that they could illegally hook them. CO VanOosten observed one man hook and land a large chinook salmon by the tail, the other man assisted by netting the fish. Contact was made and the men eventually admitted that they were attempting to snag the salmon. Three illegally harvested chinook salmon were seized and donated to a local family. A report was generated for review from the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor for attempting to snag and for retaining foul hooked fish.
CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint of a large owl that appeared to be sick or injured at the end of a driveway in Antrim County. CO Baldwin located the owl, which was a large great horned owl, that displayed signs of being hit by a vehicle. After several attempts, CO Baldwin was able to capture the owl and place it in a dog crate where he could better examine it. The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, so CO Baldwin contacted the Skegemog Raptor Center in Traverse City where the owl was turned over and is now under the care of a licensed rehabilitator.
COs Chad Baldwin, Nathan Beelman, Adam LeClerc, and Kyle Cherry participated in the Northwest Michigan Career Quest event at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. Eleven school districts were present, and 400 to 600 freshman and sophomores visited career booths they were interested in. The COs fur kit and ORV display attracted many students who attempted to name all the animals displayed on the table and learned about the career and day to day activities as a conservation officer.
CO Nathan Beelman was contacted by Charlevoix Central Dispatch regarding a juvenile who shot a deer and watched it run onto private property on which he did not have permission to access. CO Beelman arrived on scene and discovered that the juvenile was hunting on city property and did not have an adult with him as required. The father was ticketed for failing to supervise the juvenile while hunting. He was also educated on the importance of being with the juvenile for safety and making sure the juvenile takes ethical shots. Permission was eventually received to track the deer and CO Beelman assisted with tracking the deer until the blood stopped in a pasture. The juvenile and father stated they would resume tracking in the morning.
CO Adam LeClerc was on the way to patrol the Bear River for salmon fishing activity when he received a RAP complaint of illegal snagging activity at the Bear River Dam. After observing the anglers, CO LeClerc witnessed an angler hook a fish in the stomach, land the fish, and not return it to the water. The angler was also observed using two hooks in a section of river where only one single pointed hook is allowed. The angler was written a ticket for using an illegal method and retaining foul hooked fish. The fish was seized and donated to a family in need.
CO Adam LeClerc presented at the Harbor Springs Outdoor Club Hunter Safety Field Day. Approximately 20 students were in attendance. CO LeClerc explained the current hunting digest and answered questions from the attendees.
COs Duane Budreau and Jack Gorno conducted a patrol on the Bear River in Petoskey as a follow-up to numerous complaints of individuals snagging and retaining foul hooked fish. Several tickets were issued for violations that the COs witnessed.
CO Andrea Albert stopped a side-by-side ATV in the Jordan River Valley for operating in a closed area. The subjects admitted to driving by two “No ORVS” signs but continued as they did not believe it applied to the roads. They had fishing gear in the back and were headed to go fishing in the closed trout stream. A ticket was issued for the illegal ORV operation, and they were educated on the trout stream regulations.
CO Jack Gorno went to a banquet for the Independence Hunt for disabled veterans in Cheboygan County. CO Gorno discussed regulations, antler point restrictions, and harvest reporting information to many hunters.
CO Tim Rosochacki was traveling down a state highway when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle. The subject stated, "Why are you stopping me? You can't do that.” CO Rosochacki explained to the subject that conservation officers are licensed to enforce all state laws, including those within the motor vehicle code. The subject was ticketed for speeding.
CO Matt Theunick was working the elk hunt when he located a subject with an outstanding warrant for prior game violations. Upon confirming the warrant, the suspect was arrested, bond taken, and issued an appearance date for court in Cheboygan County.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol on his department issued dirt-bike when he noticed an area where a vehicle had parked and what appeared to be a footpath going into the woods. CO Oberg followed the path on foot and located a ladder tree stand that did not have a name or address. CO Oberg also noticed a large pile of apples near the stand. A couple of days later, CO Oberg returned to the stand and located an archery hunter sitting in it. CO Oberg addressed the violations to the hunter. A ticket was issued for baiting deer in a closed area and a verbal warning was given for the tree stand violation.
CO Tom Oberg responded to Montmorency County to assist local emergency units near Hillman in searching for an 81-year-old male who was missing with health issues, including dementia. The elderly male left his residence on his side-by-side ORV around 1:00 PM and never returned home after several hours, which was unusual for him. The following morning the subject was located a short distance from his residence. CO Oberg was assisted in the search by COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sydney LaLonde, Tim Rosochacki, Paul Fox, Sgt. Mark DePew, the Montmorency County Sheriff's Department, MSP, and Hillman Fire and EMS.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling the Thunder Bay River in the City of Alpena when he observed a subject fishing with what appeared to be illegal fishing gear. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the subject and determined that the angler was using a large, weighted jig head below two other fishing hooks on the same line. When asked about the gear, the subject admitted that he knew it was most likely illegal and the jig was still considered a weight. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for the gear violation.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling the Ocqueoc River near the sea lamprey weir. Lots of salmon were spawning in the weir, drawing people’s attention. CO Fox observed multiple anglers in the weir. Meanwhile, two subject on the bridge over the river were signs warning the anglers that it was illegal to fish within 100 feet of the weir. At that point, CO Fox popped out of the tree line and contacted the anglers. In addition, one angler was using illegal fishing gear. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Paul Fox was off duty when he received a complaint about anglers snagging salmon at the Ocqueoc River Weir and trespassing on private property along the Ocqueoc River. CO Fox responded to the area and located two subjects fishing in the weir. A ticket was issued for fishing within 100 feet of a lamprey weir. The trespass issue was resolved without enforcement action needed.
CO Logan Turner was patrolling by canoe during the middle zone waterfowl opener. While working a beaver flooding, CO Turner checked two hunters who did not have federal duck stamps. The hunters stated that they did not know they needed them. After checking their purchase history, it was found that the hunters had purchased federal duck stamps in prior seasons. Both hunters were cited for hunting waterfowl without a federal duck stamp and four birds were confiscated.
CO Richard Stowe responded to an injured owl complaint in Benzie County. The owl had been hit by a car and the caller had assisted the bird placing it on a stump on the edge of the woods and provided directions to CO Stowe. The barred owl was recovered and taken to a rehabilitation facility the following day where it is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Richard Stowe spoke at a sportsman’s club dinner in Benzie County. The status of fish and game activity to date was provided to the 50 attendees, as well as a brief overview of the deer registration process.
COs Josiah Killingbeck and Scott MacNeill doubled up for a foot patrol along the Manistee River near Tippy Dam in Manistee County, Dickson Township. COs Killingbeck and MacNeill received an anonymous tip from an angler of a group just down the river using illegal fishing gear and snagging salmon. The COs located the group and observed their activity before making contact. The COs contacted the group who attempted to break off their fishing lines so the COs wouldn't see the illegal fishing gear they were using. The COs determined that the six anglers did not have valid fishing licenses, were using illegal tackle, and possessed seventeen salmon taken by an illegal method. COs Killingbeck and MacNeill conducted interviews and determined that more fish were in coolers in a vehicle back in the parking area, which put the six anglers in possession of an over-limit of salmon. A total of 463 pounds of salmon were recovered. The six anglers were issued citations and an additional $4,630 of restitution, with additional fines and costs being requested. The salmon were provided to families in need in Manistee County.
CO Josiah Killingbeck received a tip from CO Ryan Andrews who was off duty and had received a complaint of two subjects catching salmon in a closed stream. CO Killingbeck responded to the area and located the two subjects, who were still fishing on the closed stream. CO Killingbeck asked the subjects if they had caught any fish and both subjects said that they were not having any luck. After speaking with the subjects for several minutes, CO Killingbeck asked the subjects where the fish were that they had caught. One of the anglers admitted that he had caught a fish and it was near their vehicle. The fish were recovered, and the subject admitted that he had caught the fish near the back and knew it was illegal to possess. Both subjects were cited for fishing in a closed stream.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while patrolling private property on the Pere Marquette River, observed three subjects trespassing on posted private property. The subjects had walked quite a distance across the property. CO Killingbeck contacted the subjects who said that they had just stepped out of the river. CO Killingbeck advised the subjects that he had been watching them for quite some time. The subjects then changed their story and admitted that they had observed the numerous no trespassing signs and decided to disregard them. All three subjects were cited for recreational trespass.
CO Scott MacNeill received several complaints of individuals snagging fish on the Manistee River and responded to the area. After utilizing the jet boat, CO MacNeill was able to patrol downriver from Tippy Dam and observed a half-dozen individuals using illegal fishing gear. CO MacNeill was able to situate himself across from the anglers and observed them using large treble hooks with weight both above and below the hooks as they snagged salmon. After watching the suspects poach several fish using the illegal gear, CO MacNeill contacted the angers who admitted to the use of illegal gear and snagging the salmon they had on a stringer. Five individuals were cited for the use of illegal gear and snagging. Restitution is being requested in addition to the fines and cost of the citations.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling Oceana County when he heard a deputy being dispatched to a recreational trespass complaint. The complainant caught a subject on his property, who had climbed a fence and then placed a tree stand. The complainant contacted the subject and told him to leave the property. As CO Shively pulled onto the road to assist the deputy, he was waved down by another landowner who reported that the same subject was now in a tree stand on his property. They located the suspect’s vehicle and walked in to the second trespassing complaint and found the suspect in the tree stand. Upon having the suspect come down out of the tree, CO Shively asked for his hunting license and driver’s license. The suspect stated they were in the truck. When asked if he remembered from hunter safety what he must immediately do when harvesting a deer, the suspect said he didn’t know because he never took hunter safety. The suspect was escorted back to his vehicle where CO Shively cited the suspect for being afield with no kill-tag in possession and issued warnings for recreational trespass and failing to take hunter safety.
CO Ben Shively was on foot patrol on the north branch of the White River after dark and watched three subjects in waders who were working their way upstream around a bend. CO Shively observed two of the subjects attempting to snag salmon by reeling up their lines to the end of their fishing poles and then putting the rod tip under the water and attempted to snag the salmon. CO Shively observed the third subject who was the only one with a net, attempt to net three different salmon in river. CO Shively was able to sneak up to the subjects as they were occupied with a salmon one of the anglers had snagged in the tail. CO Shively contacted the subjects and cited two subjects for attempt to snag and the third subject was cited for attempt to take fish by an illegal method.
CO Ben Shively was just leaving the Oceana Field Office when he heard EMS and Hesperia First Responders dispatched to a subject who had fallen out of a tree stand and injured his ankle. CO Shively was only five miles away and called in route to the location on federal land. CO Shively arrived in the area, grabbed his first aid bag, and was able to locate the subject 70 yards into the woods. The main rachet strap on the tree stand had frayed and broke and the subject fell approximately 20 feet to the ground. The subject had landed on his feet, but his right foot had landed on a fallen tree causing a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula through his hunting boot at the ankle. CO Shively was able to keep the subject calm until EMS and first responders arrived on scene. The subject was loaded into a Stokes basket and carried out of the woods where he was transported to the hospital for treatment and surgery.
While on patrol, CO Tim Barboza observed a vehicle parked at the White River in White Cloud with a fishing pole leaning against the vehicle. CO Barboza contacted a woman at the vehicle who stated her husband was upstream fishing. CO Barboza contacted the male upstream fishing. CO Barboza asked if he had any luck so far and the angler said he had three trout. CO Barboza asked for a fishing license and the angler presented one. CO Barboza seized the fish from the angler and advised that the stream the angler was fishing was closed. CO Barboza followed the angler to his vehicle and explained to both parties that the stream was closed and explained where they could get fishing guides and check which streams and rivers where open and when, as well as where to call for questions. The angler was cited for taking trout during the closed season.
CO Matt Zultak observed two waterfowl groups hunting on a small lake in Roscommon County, both groups were successfully harvesting waterfowl. The first group was occupying an illegally placed blind. CO Zultak contacted the first group, the group admitted ownership of the blind and to knowing it was placed early without identification. Upon further investigation, both hunters were using shotguns capable of holding more than three shells. One of the hunters had also just been convicted of a concealed weapons felony and was not allowed to be in possession of a firearm. The subjects were issued citations for the waterfowl hunting violations, and the felon in possession of a firearm violation was brought before the Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office for review. After finishing the contact with the first group, CO Zultak observed the second group pick up their decoys and head to the launch. CO Zultak contacted this group. It was determined the group was hunting with shotguns capable of holding more than three shells and had loaded shotguns in a motorized vessel. The subjects also did not have the correct number of PFDs for the vessel. CO Zultak addressed the violations and issued citations for the unplugged shotguns.
COs Matt Zultak and Ben McAteer responded to a complaint of an illegal deer blind that was baited with sugar beets and carrots. In addition, the blind had no identification and the suspect had destroyed multiple trees in the area. Upon leaving the site, the COs confronted a subject at their vehicle. The subject admitted the blind was his and walked the COs directly to it. While talking with the subject, it was determined he was consuming alcohol and marijuana in his vehicle as well as illegally concealing a pistol. Education was given on damaging state vegetation, baiting deer, attempting to carry a firearm while archery hunting, concealed weapons permit violation, and open intoxicants in a vehicle. Citations were issued for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and no name and address on a hunting blind.
COs John Huspen, Ben McAteer, Matt Zultak, and Sgt. Brian Olsen conducted a Hunter Safety Field Day in District 5. There were multiple students from as far south as Bay City and as far north as Sault Ste. Marie.
CO James Garrett was patrolling Roscommon County on the opening weekend of waterfowl season when he observed two subjects duck hunting Backus Lake. CO Garrett sat and observed the hunters for about an hour until they started to make their way back to the launch. Once at the launch, CO Garrett conducted a license and gun check. Both hunters had the necessary licenses, however one of them was in possession of an unplugged shotgun. The hunter stated he knew he was in the wrong, even stating that he told his buddy that he should’ve just left the gun in the car. CO Garrett informed the hunters of all the violations at hand and issued a citation for possessing an unplugged shotgun.
CO Kyle Bader spoke to three groups of students at Whittemore-Prescott Middle School in Ogemaw County at their annual safety day. Each group had approximately 75 students. CO Bader discussed topics including wilderness survival, what to do if you get lost, and how to avoid winding up in that situation.
CO Jesse Grzechowski patrolled the Alcona Pond in Alcona County for waterfowl hunters during the middle zone duck opener. CO Grzechowski contacted a group of hunters and determined a hunter was in possession of two shotguns and did not have a federal duck stamp. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting without a federal duck stamp and received a warning for possessing two shotguns.
COs Jeff Panich and Jesse Grzechowski patrolled Lake Winya in Alpena County for waterfowl hunters. As they approached a group of waterfowl hunters by boat, they observed two dead ducks that the hunters had shot floating near their blind. CO Grzechowski retrieved the ducks for the hunters and noticed the ducks were grebes, which are a protected species. The hunters told the COs they thought the birds were teal when they flew in. The COs confiscated the grebes, and a citation was issued for illegal take of a protected species.
CO Phil Hudson responded to a trespass complaint on private property which started out because of confusion in a lease agreement. While investigating the original complaint of trespass, CO Hudson discovered an untagged deer on the property. The trespass complaint was sorted out as simple confusion over the lease language; however, a citation was issued to the suspect for failing to immediately tag his deer.
CO Jeff Goss received a complaint of shots fired on the opening evening of the archery deer season. The complainant was bow hunting when he heard the shots and then witnessed the suspect drive an ORV to the location where he was believed to have picked up a deer. The next day, CO Goss was investigating the complaint and located a large amount of bait on the suspect’s property. At that time, CO Goss heard an ORV driving back to the hunting location. CO Goss quickly hunkered down and watched as the man climbed up in his blind for the evening hunt. CO Goss figured he wouldn’t be able to move without the suspect seeing him, so he contacted CO Phil Hudson who happened to be patrolling with CO Craig Neal at the time. CO Goss stayed hidden and observed as the other COs got into position to assist when needed. CO Goss watched as several deer came in and out of the suspect’s baited station. Just before dark, CO Goss heard the suspect shoot a crossbow into the ground and then get on his ORV and head back to the house. CO Goss checked the area of the blind and the bait while COs Hudson and Neal contacted the suspect back at his house. Upon checking the suspect’s blind, CO Goss could see both a shotgun and a crossbow inside. CO Goss was unable to locate any evidence of a deer being harvested the night before. However, he did find a suspicious pile of dirt where something had been recently buried. Upon arrival to the suspect’s house, the other two COs had already received a confession as to what the shooting was all about the night before. The suspect admitted to killing three raccoons that were eating his bait and he buried them nearby. The man was issued a citation for baiting in a closed area and given a verbal warning for possessing a firearm while archery hunting.
CO Adam Beuthin on patrol checking waterfowl hunters with CO Paul Lyden on the Saginaw Bay when they checked a vessel that had two individuals hunting from it. CO Beuthin was able to smell burnt marijuana. When asked who had the marijuana one of the individuals told the CO it was his and he just smoked it within in the last five minutes. Enforcement action was taken, and the individual was issued a citation for possessing a firearm while visibly impaired by drugs.
While on patrol in northern Montcalm County, CO Mark Reffitt noticed several individuals fishing a recently closed trout stream. Stopping to investigate, the CO observed six young adolescents fishing and keeping their fish in a bucket. CO Reffitt talked to the anglers, who ranged in age from seven to 11, and helped them identify the different species of fish they had caught. Among the fish were two 6-inch largemouth bass. CO Reffitt taught them why it is important to let such fish stay in the waterway and had them release the fish. One of the angler’s parents arrived, and CO Reffitt explained that he was glad to see the boys out fishing so enthusiastically, but that he wanted them to be sure to follow the rules. CO Reffitt also provided one of the anglers his personal copy of the Michigan fishing guide.
CO Michael Lator received a RAP complaint about a 9-point antlered deer that a subject had taken during bow season without a license in Montcalm County. CO Dan Robinson assisted as they met the suspect’s wife at the suspect residence. They found the deer head behind the garage with a tag on the antlers after obtaining consent to search the garage and surrounding area. The wife stated the tag belonged to her daughter but did not know of her daughter shooting a deer recently. The COs interviewed the suspect later that evening at his residence and received a confession to shooting the deer without a license, and then placing his daughter’s tag on the deer. CO Lator seized the deer head, and a report has been submitted to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office requesting the charge of taking a deer without a license.
An anonymous tip was received of possible illegal waterfowl hunting activity in Ionia County. COs Justin Ulberg, Robert Slick, and BJ Goulette investigated the area and located a baited area with corn just prior to the south zone waterfowl opener. Surveillance was conducted and contact was made with four subjects witnessed hunting over the illegally baited wetland. A full confession was obtained from one of the hunters. The COs seized one black duck, two Canada geese, nine wood ducks, and six mallards along with the subject’s firearm used in the crime. A citation was issued for illegally hunting waterfowl with bait.
CO Anna Cullen received a potential hunting “after hours” complaint in Muskegon County. Multiple attempts were made to interview the suspect at their residence with no luck. CO Cullen decided to attempt to interview the suspect one more time and was finally successful. During the interview, the suspect admitted they had just shot a deer that night. The hunter led CO Cullen to the back yard, where she observed an untagged 6-point hanging from a tree. The hunter said, “I was just about to tag it.” The deer was shot three hours prior to the contact. CO Cullen asked to be shown where the deer was shot. There, she located a blood trail that led to a bait pile. As a result, the suspect admitted to shooting the deer over bait. Charges are being sought through the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office for an illegal deer and failing to immediately validate a kill tag.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were conducting a patrol within the White River Marsh. Contact was made with a group of waterfowl hunters as they were leaving the marsh in their vessel. CO Cullen checked firearms and marine safety requirements while CO Miskovich checked licenses and birds. CO Cullen found that a loaded firearm was aboard the vessel and a citation was issued for the violation.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling Muskegon County when she observed two ORVs that were riding on a parcel of land that is closed to ORV usage. CO Miskovich stopped the individuals and found that the individuals did not have permission to be on the property. One of the individuals was not wearing a helmet and both were ORV trespassing. A citation was issued.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when he came across a vehicle parked on the shoulder of a busy roadway with the driver outside of the vehicle. The CO pulled up to check on the driver and make sure everything was okay when he noticed an open can of Busch Light in the passenger side cup holder. The CO questioned the passenger about the beer, who admitted it was his. Upon gathering identification, the CO discovered the passenger was also under 21 years of age. When the CO asked the passenger if he had ever received a citation for minor in possession (MIP) of alcohol, he stated “Yes, by a different CO about six months ago.” This time, the subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for MIP 2nd offense and given a written warning for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
CO Matt Page was assisted by COs Jeff Robinette and Travis Dragomer working salmon anglers in Van Buren County. During the patrols, several citations were issued including fishing a closed stream and for retaining foul hooked fish.
While conducting surveillance in the rain, COs Matt Page and Travis Dragomer observed an individual snag a salmon. After a short fight, they observed the individual pull the hook out of the tail of the salmon before walking it up to the parking lot. CO Dragomer stayed behind to observe the individual while CO Page made contact. CO Page asked the individual if he had any luck to which he replied that he caught one. CO Page advised the individual that there was a reason he was soaked and contacting the angler. The individual laughed before being asked, “Where’d you hook the fish?” To which he replied, “You know where I hooked it.” The fish was seized, and a citation was issued for retaining a foul hooked fish. In total during the patrols four salmon were seized for retaining foul hooked fish and a possible $490 worth of reimbursement will be paid to the state on top of fines and costs if all parties are convicted.
While patrolling Van Buren County streams during the fall fish run, CO Tyler Cole pulled into a park to check salmon anglers. One subject, who only had a net, observed the CO checking the area and sprinted back to his vehicle to put the net away. CO Cole contacted the group of subjects, who stated that they were not fishing but only looking at the salmon and were educated on legal fishing methods. The group stated that they understood and that they were not planning on fishing. CO Cole then left the area and checked a few other areas for fishing activity. CO Cole then returned to the park where he had spoken with the anglers regarding legal fishing methods. From a concealed location, CO Cole observed both subjects not only fishing, but also using the same illegal methods he had just spoken to them about. One subject was observed picking salmon out of the creek with his bare hands, while the other subject was observed intentionally foul hooking salmon with a bare treble hook. Contact with the subjects was made a second time and the subjects stated that, “They didn’t think they would be checked by a CO twice in one day.” Citations were issued for illegal method of taking fish, retaining foul hooked fish, attempting to snag, and fishing without a license.
CO Lisa Taube responded to a RAP complaint in Shiawassee County for a subject trespassing to retrieve a deer. The suspect left behind evidence with the gut pile and then posted his deer on MI Buck Pole (MBP). The suspect was interviewed at his residence and confessed to retrieving the deer without permission. A report will be submitted to the Shiawassee County Prosecutor’s Office for authorization on charges.
CO Thomas Jaakkola assisted deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office with an in-progress breaking and entering of a storage unit and larceny of catalytic converters. The deputy on scene advised that the suspect vehicle on scene was still warm, but he was unable to locate suspects. CO Jaakkola arrived on scene and, using his issued FLIR unit, walked the area scanning for any heat signatures. He noticed a heat signature coming from under a trailer in the lot and, upon moving closer, could see it was a suspect hiding under the trailer. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. An MSP K-9 arrived on scene a short time later and the second suspect was also taken into custody.
While patrolling Hillsdale County, CO Ed Rice observed an individual operating a dirt bike leave private property and begin riding on the road without wearing a helmet and no ORV license visible. CO Rice conducted a stop, and the man immediately began to argue with CO Rice about violating his rights based on federal law and an unreasonable stop. CO Rice acknowledged the man’s demeanor was like that of a sovereign citizen. CO Rice explained the violations and requested the man’s identification. Initially the man refused. After explaining he would be detained for refusing to identify himself, the man reluctantly provided identification. CO Rice issued citations for operating an ORV without a helmet and failing to license the ORV.
While on patrol, CO Ed Rice observed a pickup truck parked in a closed wildlife refuge area. CO Rice observed a bow case in the bed of the truck. After several minutes, a man emerged from the refuge. CO Rice asked the man where his bow was, and he stated he left it in the woods. CO Rice pointed to a posted sign prohibiting entry to the refuge. The man stated he was unaware. CO Rice walked with the man to retrieve his bow and issued a citation for entering the wildlife refuge.
CO Jason McCullough and PCO Nicholas Thornton were on their way to interview a suspect in an illegal deer case when they observed a side-by-side ORV turn onto the roadway from a gas station. A traffic stop was conducted. Further investigation determined the driver was intoxicated, and he was arrested for the violation.
CO Marc Mankowski conducted an interview with the parents of a youth hunter who had taken a deer without a license during the youth hunt while under the supervision of his father. The licenses were purchased after the deer was harvested and posted online. The investigation will be finalized, and a report will be filed this week with the Eaton County Court.
CO David Schaumburger was patrolling Michigan Department of Transportation property along I 94, which happens to be an ORV hotspot. When he pulled into the property, he was immediately greeted by three ORVs. The CO contacted the operators and addressed the many issues. All the operators were trespassing, did not have any helmets on, and one of the operators was operating with a child between his legs on a single rider ORV. A citation was issued for not wearing helmets and the operators were warned that next time the ORVs would be towed.
CO Luke Robare responded to a call from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in northern Oakland County a week before the waterfowl season opener. A citizen called stating that they heard several shots that morning. CO Robare responded to the area with an Oakland County deputy and found two waterfowl hunters. The hunters stated that they thought it was the opening day for waterfowl in the area. The two hunters were cited for hunting waterfowl out of season and one hunter was cited for an unplugged shotgun.
On opening day of waterfowl season, COs Kris Kiel and Sydney Griffor contacted a hunter who was in possession of lead shot loaded in his firearm. A citation was issued for possession of toxic shot. Another hunter was issued a citation for an unplugged shotgun. A third hunter was written a citation for hunting waterfowl without a federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Brad Silorey and Sgt. Seth Rhodea were on patrol checking waterfowl hunters for the opener of duck season along Lake St. Clair. CO Silorey and Sgt. Rhodea contacted four hunters in an area that was flooded. Shortly after speaking with them and checking licenses, equipment, and bag limit for the day, it was discovered that three out of the four hunters where hunting with lead shot. Additionally, the only hunter who had shot any birds out of the group did not have a state waterfowl hunting license. All three hunters were cited for hunting waterfowl using lead shot and three wood ducks were seized from the hunter that had taken them without a license.
CO Brad Silorey and Sgt. Rhodea were patrolling the waters of St. John’s Marsh when three hunters were spotted packing up for the day. Sgt. Rhodea and CO Silorey parked their vessel and climbed the dike to check the hunters. CO Silorey checked the first hunter’s firearm which was still loaded on the dike. CO Silorey ejected four shells from the hunter’s gun. In addition to hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun, the hunter had failed to purchase a federal duck stamp as well. Sgt. Rhodea checked another hunter in the group who also was hunting with an unplugged shotgun and was in possession of and using lead shot. Citations were issued to both hunters for unplugged shotgun, hunting with lead shot for one hunter and hunting waterfowl without a federal stamp for the other hunter.
CO Joseph Deppen was working the waterfowl opener in St. John’s Marsh. CO Deppen observed two hunters wearing hunter orange, shooting from an elevated dike. They both attempted to hide as CO Deppen approached. CO Deppen contacted the hunters in the woods and initially educated them about managed area regulations. Additional violations including possession of lead shot and no licenses on person. A citation was issued for hunting from a dike and verbal warnings were given for no license in possession and possession of lead shot in a managed unit.
COs Sydney Griffor, Joe Deppen, and Kris Kiel participated in a Hunter Safety Class at Clay Township Police Department. The COs educated the students about the importance of hunting ethics, laws, and answered many questions from the students.
COs Sydney Griffor and Kris Kiel worked the waterfowl opener on Lake St. Clair. Many contacts were made throughout the morning. Citations were issued for unplugged shotgun, hunt without federal stamp, and possess lead shot.
CO Sydney Griffor contacted a bow hunter walking out of the woods after dark in the Port Huron SGA. It was determined the hunter did not have his 2022 deer license. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting without a license.
CO Jaime Salisbury received a complaint about a subject hunting crows out of season. When the CO arrived on scene, he located an individual hunting crows. This is the same individual that CO Salisbury issued a citation to for hunting crows out of season earlier this spring. A report will be submitted to the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for hunting crows out of season.
Sgt. Seth Rhodea was patrolling in the Lapeer SGA on the opening night of waterfowl season. Sgt. Rhodea contacted a hunter and upon checking his firearm, located a round of lead shot loaded in the chamber of his firearm. Additional checking led to Sgt. Rhodea finding more lead ammunition in possession of the hunter. A citation was issued for possession/use of lead shot while waterfowl hunting.
CO Mike Drexler worked the opening morning of waterfowl season starting at the Goose Lake SGA. The game area was very busy with waterfowl hunters and early in the day the CO received a complaint of reckless shooting in the game area. CO Drexler had just started foot patrol when he contacted his first group of duck hunters. The first check revealed a subject with an unplugged shotgun. When the CO checked the hunter’s friend, he discovered a second unplugged shotgun. The hunters were advised they would be receiving citations for the violations and proceeded to pull two plugs out of their backpacks stating they would put them in right then. Citations were issued for hunt waterfowl with shotguns capable of holding more than three shells.
CO Mike Drexler and Sgt. Shane Webster followed up on an illegal deer investigation where a subject purchased a license after shooting a very large buck in Washtenaw County. A confession was received and follow up will be conducted to retrieve the rack from a taxidermist.
CO Brandon Hartleben assisted CO Mike Drexler in presenting at a Hunter Safety Class held at Chelsea Rod & Gun Club. There were 31 students at the class plus their chaperones, guardians, and/or parents. An overview of applicable hunting laws and regulations was provided, and questions were fielded from those in attendance.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek conducted a patrol on Lake Erie. During their patrol the COs contacted a vessel operating at greater than slow no wake speed in a slow no wake zone. The COs stopped the vessel and conducted a check of all equipment. During the check it was determined that the vessel owner and operator failed to add enough PFDs in the vessel for all occupants. It was also determined that the vessel owner did not have that on the vessel. The COs issued the owner a citation for failure to provide enough PFDs on board and warned him for failure to provide paper registration and failure to stay at slow no wake speed in a slow no wake zone.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking a group of three waterfowl hunters hunting Erie SGA on opening weekend. During CO Ingersoll’s check it was determined that one of the three hunters did not have a federal duck stamp. When asked why he did not purchase it, he stated that he must have forgotten and advised CO Ingersoll that he would buy it right now. CO Ingersoll advised him it was a little too late for that and he would be issued a citation for hunting without a federal duck stamp. After dealing with the licensing issue, CO Ingersoll was checking the hunter’s blind bags for any toxic shot. In one of the other hunter’s blind bags, CO Ingersoll located 96 rounds of toxic shot. When questioning the hunter about the toxic shot (Lead Shot) the hunter stated he forgot those rounds were in there and should have taken them out before coming out into the marsh. CO Ingersoll issued the hunter a citation for possessing toxic shot while out waterfowl hunting.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and Sgt. Shane Webster were checking a group of hunters completing a morning hunt at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area. After completing a check of all hunting and marine equipment, it was determined that one of the hunters failed to plug his shotgun before heading out to the marsh that morning. The COs also located three rounds of lead in a separate hunter’s waders within the same group. The COs issued a citation for unplugged shotgun and possessing lead or toxic shot.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a tip regarding a deer baiting case he received a week prior that the suspect was out in the woods hunting over the bait. CO Ingersoll was able to respond to the area and locate the suspect who was hunting over his two bait piles. CO Ingersoll questioned the hunter about the almost 100 pounds of corn that he put out, and the hunter admitting to baiting deer and admitted to knowing it was illegal. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter to clean up what was left of the corn and CO Ingersoll issued the hunter a citation for hunting deer over bait.
CO Andrew Monnich received a complaint about a hunter harvesting a 12-point buck and not having a license. CO Monnich was able to check the hunter’s license history, the Facebook post the hunter made and was able to determine the deer was shot prior to buying a license. An interview with the hunter, who after showing all evidence, admitted to hunting and harvesting without a license. Charges are being submitted to the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Andrew Monnich, Eric Smither, Brandon Hartleben, and Sgt. Shane Webster were working Lenawee County on the southern zone waterfowl opener. CO Monnich was sitting in an area where there was the possibility of a baited pond. As soon as legal shooting light came, an excessive amount of shooting took place in the vicinity of the wood lot and pond. CO Monnich radioed all the other COs to meet at his location and try and contact the hunters. The COs located the hunters’ ORV in a field and followed a trail through the woods to the hunting location where they contacted six hunters. While the COs were checking licenses, shot and firearms, Sgt. Webster started counting birds, an initial count showed them to have 17 wood ducks. After observing the waterhole and continued recovery of birds that were still on the water, the total was established at 27, nine birds over the legal wood duck limit for the group. CO Monnich contacted two US Fish and Wildlife agents who were in the area working with the COs and had them bring a tool to further check the pond to see if bait was present. CO Monnich searched the pond for bait and was able to recover large amounts of corn in the water. The hunters were informed of the violation of hunting over bait and legal bag limits. All firearms and ducks were seized, and the case will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
CO Brandon Vacek was contacted by RAP dispatchers referencing a complaint of a hunter shooting ducks at Pointe Mouillee SGA prior to the opening of regular duck season in the south zone. The complainant advised the suspect was hunting in the Humphry’s Unit and was the only vehicle parked in the main parking area. The CO was eventually able to enter the game area and contact the suspect, who was just ending his hunt. After further investigation, it was discovered the subject was in possession of one green-winged teal and hunting with an unsigned federal duck stamp. The hunter was educated about the recent change to waterfowl season dates, then issued a citation for taking waterfowl out of season and hunting with an unsigned federal waterfowl stamp.
CO Dave Schaumburger stopped a vehicle on Belle Isle for traveling 58 mph in a 25 mph zone. The driver had no idea what the speed limit was and had no idea how fast she was traveling. She was issued a citation for excessive speed.
CO Dave Schaumburger stopped a vehicle travelling at 50 mph in a 25 mph zone on Belle Isle. The driver told the CO that in his type of car, which was a Chrysler 300, its very hard to tell how fast you are traveling. The CO stated that he was probably watching the video on his phone that was attached to his vent instead of watching the roadway, to which he did not have a reply. A citation was issued for the excessive speed.
CO Dave Schaumburger stopped a vehicle travelling at 58 mph in a 25 mph zone on Belle Isle. The driver said that there was “no way” he was traveling that fast and estimated his speed at 30 mph. The problem with the driver’s claim was that the CO was conducting radar patrol and the car was the only one on the road when it passed the hidden CO. Along with speeding, the driver had no proof of insurance and expired plates.
CO Dave Schaumburger observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Belle Isle. He activated his radar and determined the vehicle was traveling at 51 mph in a 25 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted and when the CO contacted the driver, she started to argue with CO Schaumburger about inconveniencing her. CO Schaumburger issued her a ticket for operating at excessive speeds, having no proof of insurance, and no registration on person.
CO Ariel Young was patrolling Belle Isle when she encountered a motorist travelling 45mph in a 25 mph zone. Upon stopping the individual, they admitted to not knowing the speed limit or how fast they were going even though they frequented the park. The individual was issued a citation for speeding.
While using radar at Belle Isle, CO Ariel Young observed a motorist make a wrong turn and travel the wrong way down a one-way road. Upon stopping the individual, CO Young was interviewing the driver who was providing all the excuses they could think of for travelling the wrong way down the street. The individual stated that they visited the park often and had never been stopped for travelling the wrong direction. CO Young issued the individual a citation for driving the wrong way down the road.