The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
CO Jenni Hanson received a call of an off-road vehicle (ORV) trespassing on Big Powderhorn Mountain Ski Resort. CO Hanson responded to the location and contacted the ORV operator. She recognized the subject as someone she had dealt with before on a different trespassing complaint and issued a citation for ORV trespass.
CO Brian Lasanen and Sergeant Marc Pomroy followed up on information regarding a possible antler point restriction (APR) violation. Interviews were conducted with a husband and wife who had shot multiple deer. At the conclusion of the interview, it was determined that a 7-point deer was shot prior to purchasing licenses and a 4-point deer was illegally tagged with a restricted combination tag. Charges are being sought with the Houghton County prosecutor.
CO Zach Painter responded to assist the Michigan State Police (MSP) with a welfare check on an individual who had gone to hunting camp in Ontonagon County and had not been heard from in three days. The officers had very poor directions to the camp and the only way to access it was by ORV. After several hours of attempting to locate the camp, CO Painter and an MSP trooper were able to locate the camp and contact the subject who was fine. When asked why he hadn’t checked in with his wife, he stated that she wanted him to come home from deer camp and he didn’t want too. He shut off his phone because she kept calling him.
CO Brian Lasanen and Sgt. Marc Pomroy investigated a complaint of someone who shot an antlerless deer in an area not open to antlerless hunting. The COs arrived at the suspect’s residence and observed an antlerless deer hanging in the woodshed with no kill-tag attached. Upon further investigation, it was determined there was also an 8-point buck hanging without a kill-tag attached. Interviews were conducted and the hunters were cited for possessing deer without kill-tags attached. The antlerless deer was seized and donated to a needy local family.
CO Alex VanWagner and Detective Josh Boudreaux of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy contacted two hunters in possession of untagged deer. One of the subjects shot a 6-point and the other shot a spike. The subject who shot the spike did not have kill-tags in possession as he ordered them online before going out to hunt. The other had kill-tags and had not yet attached a tag to his 6-point. A citation was issued to the subject who shot the spike, and a verbal warning was issued to the other.
COs Alex VanWagner, Anna Viau, and Sgt. Brian Bacon responded to a residence in Iron River that was reported to be fully engulfed structure fire. CO VanWagner contacted a couple of subjects who were in the residence when it went up in flames. CO VanWagner provided extra clothing from his patrol truck to one of the subjects who was taking a bath when the fire occurred and did not have anything besides a blanket in the blizzard conditions. Another victim was taken to the hospital by emergency medical services (EMS) to be treated for burns. All subjects were able to evacuate from the residence. Also on scene were other Iron County police officers, EMS, and firefighters from multiple local fire departments.
CO Alex VanWagner responded to a recreation trespass complaint in Iron County. The CO spoke with the complainants, who located blood and boot tracks on their property. They believed they knew who had shot the deer due to the amount of hunting blinds around their property. They had not given anyone permission to hunt or access the land recently. The CO contacted the suspects who admitted they shot a doe and knowingly tracked it to the private property and failed to ask for permission to retrieve the deer. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Jared Ferguson was following up on a trespass complaint on a local farm in Dickinson County that occurred earlier in the fall. CO Ferguson went to the property and found two individuals trespassing on private property and using corn feeders with approximately 100 pounds of corn on the ground while hunting. Citations were issued to both hunters for recreational trespass and feeding in the chronic wasting disease (CWD) bait ban zone.
COs Phil Helminen, Alex VanWagner, and Anna Viau followed up on some illegal blinds on state land in northeastern Iron County. They followed ORV tracks to a blind that CO Viau had found the previous day. This blind did not have any identification on it and the ORV had been driven on state land where not allowed. Upon approaching the blind, the COs contacted a 13 year old boy hunting. He stated that he was hunting alone and that he had driven the truck to the hunting location from his nearby camp. He had then driven the ORV to his blind. The boy told the COs that his dad was back at camp. The COs shortly went to the camp and contacted the boy’s father. They advised him of the multiple violations. The father, who was recovering from a foot injury, said he normally hunts with the boy, but was really sore that day so he stayed home. CO Viau issued the man a citation for allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised and for no identification on the blind. He got warnings for no ORV license, allowing a minor to operate ORV unsupervised, allow minor to operate ORV where not allowed, and allow an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle.
CO Shannon Wicklund received a complaint about a subject who had shot a deer from the roadway onto state land. The complainant was able to provide a vehicle description and a partial plate. From that information, CO Wicklund was able to obtain a suspect. CO Wicklund documented the evidence of where the deer was taken and determined the deer was shot within the safety zone of a nearby house. CO Wicklund interviewed the suspect who admitted to shooting the deer and stated he did not realize he was within the safety zone. Charges for the safety zone violation will be submitted to the Menominee County prosecutor.
CO Shannon Wicklund and Sgt. Brian Bacon assisted the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department with the search of a lost person who got their vehicle stuck in a remote part of the county and started walking. The person had wandered into the woods, became disoriented, and was lost for several hours. The person was located without injury.
Sgt. Mark Leadman and CO Jeremy Sergey were patrolling in Marquette County when an individual drove up to them in a truck and engaged them in conversation about the hunting season. Unfortunately for the hunter, when CO Sergey checked the individual’s rifle, he discovered it was loaded with a live round in the chamber. The subject admitted to just putting a round in the firearm for the last half mile trek into camp. A citation was issued for loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling on Dishno Road when an individual drove by with an uncased rifle and shotgun in a pickup truck. CO Sergey could observe the firearms as he passed the vehicle on the narrow road. A closer look revealed the rifle was chambered with a spent cartridge. A citation was issued for the uncased firearms.
COs John Kamps and Jackson Kelly checked a buck that was hanging on a buck pole at a camp. The COs checked the 4-point deer, two points on each side, and found it to be tagged with a unvalidated regular combination tag. Talking with the people at camp they determined it to be harvested by an individual that was hunting just down the road. The COs contacted the hunter to find him hunting without hunter orange. The COs obtained a confession from the individual for harvesting an undersized buck with a combination tag. Evidence was seized and law enforcement action was taken.
COs John Kamps and Jackson Kelly followed a set of fresh tire tracks down a remote two-track. After a short distance, the COs came head-on with two hunters driving in a pickup truck. The COs walked up to the vehicle and observed an uncased rifle alongside the passenger. The rifle was found to be loaded. Two additional loaded and uncased firearms were found in the rear cab of the pickup truck. The driver of the vehicle failed to possess a 2022 hunting license and the passenger did not have one in his possession. The two individuals admitted that they were dropping small amounts of corn all along the two-track to road hunt. Citations were written to both individuals for possession of an uncased/ loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and hunting without a license.
CO Sumbera interviewed an individual who had purchased a license at an odd time and obtained a full confession of him going out hunting and harvesting a white-tailed deer before buying a license. A report has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for taking a deer without a license.
CO Mike Olesen and Sgt. Calvin Smith patrolled Chippewa County on the opening day of the firearm deer season. The COs contacted a hunter who had an illegal ORV trail leading to his permanent blind that was left out all year. The individual was found to be hunting over a bait pile that had approximately 50 gallons of sugar beets and he was not wearing any hunter orange. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Schoolcraft County during the morning of the firearm deer season opener when he encountered an ORV operating during the ORV quiet period. Upon further observation, it was determined that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. A traffic stop was conducted, and CO VanOosten contacted two hunters headed to the woods hunting. It was determined that neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt or helmet. CO VanOosten informed them of the quiet period law for ORVs during firearm deer season, and that they must wear seatbelts or helmets in an ORV. It was determined that both hunters were in possession of uncased firearms. One of the hunter’s firearms was loaded. The hunter stated that he wasn’t worried about the gun being loaded because the safety was on. After a quick hunter’s education lesson as well as a refresher on Michigan law regarding transporting firearms, CO VanOosten ran files on the individuals and determined that the driver was a suspended driver with an active warrant for her arrest. The driver was advised of the warrant and both occupants received citations for the infractions.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Schoolcraft County when he came across an ORV parked on state land. It appeared that a hunter was using the ORV to access a hunting location. CO VanOosten observed a loaded and uncased handgun on the front seat of the side-by-side with nobody around. CO VanOosten waited a short distance away for the hunter to return from his day of hunting. After several hours, contact with the hunter was made as he drove back to his hunting camp. It was determined that the hunter had a suspended driver’s license and did not have a valid concealed pistol’s license (CPL). The hunter stated that the pistol had fallen out of his pocket when he had gone hunting that morning which is why it was on the seat of the ORV while he was out hunting. Citations were issued for loaded and uncased firearm and operating on a suspended driver’s license.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten were on patrol in Luce County when they encountered a subject who was headed out hunting. The hunter had driven an unregistered jeep with no insurance. Contact was made at the vehicle, and it was determined that the hunter did not have his deer tags on him and was hunting with an AK-47 rifle with a 30-round magazine which was loaded and uncased in the back of the vehicle. The COs detected an odor of intoxicants on the hunter who stated that he had probably drank a little too much to be hunting that day. An open intoxicant was also witnessed inside the vehicle. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the hunter was concealing a handgun in his hunting jacket. A file check determined that the man had a suspended driver’s license as well as no CPL. The firearms involved were seized and the suspect was arrested and lodged in the Luce County Jail. A report was generated requesting charges against the man for numerous charges.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten were on patrol of Mackinac County when they encountered a permanent blind on state land. As they looked at the blind, it appeared to be vacant as no vehicle was around and nobody was observed in the blind from a distance. As they approached and illuminated the blind with their light, they observed a man attempting to hide in the blind. Upon contact, the man was not wearing hunter orange and did not have a hunting license on his person. The hunter admitted that he had already shot a buck and was continuing to hunt to fill his wife’s tag. Citations were issued to the man for no hunter orange, hunt deer with no license, and no name on blind. Further investigation revealed that the subject didn’t have a license because he had given it to a family member that had shot a deer without a license. Another CO was sent to the suspect’s residence downstate where the buck had been transported. The hunter who had shot the deer admitted that it was the only buck they had on camera, so he decided to shoot it and borrow another’s tag. A report was generated requesting charges for taking a deer without a license and loaning and borrowing a deer tag.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint in Garden Township of an individual who trespassed on farmlands of another and shot a whitetail buck. CO Butzin responded to the location and discovered fresh tire tracks, blood, and deer hair. The identity of suspect was known by the caller. COs Butzin and Rob Freeborn went to the suspect’s residence and located a dead 8-point whitetail buck. The subject admitted to taking the deer on the property in question. The buck and firearm were seized as evidence and a report is being submitted to the Delta County Court requesting charges.
COs Robert Freeborn and Steven Butzin received a complaint of a possible illegal deer hanging at a residence. Upon arrival, the deer in question was in an outbuilding. After interviewing several family members, it was determined that an additional illegal deer was in the same outbuilding. Several citations were issued including, hunting without a license, and two counts of failing to validate a kill-tag. The deer and firearms were seized. Both deer were given to needy families in the local area.
As opening day of Michigan’s firearm deer season had come to an end, CO Brandon Maki was about to call out of service when he received a report of a collared wolf emitting a mortality signal. CO Maki met CO Andrea Dani a short time later. The COs arrived on scene and were able to find a dead, gunshot wolf that was placed in a garbage bag underneath a pine tree. The COs observed fresh four-wheeler tracks and boot prints leading to where the wolf was dumped. The COs seized the wolf and followed the four-wheeler tracks to the nearby road. COs Dani and Maki went to where the tracks led to a camp and contacted the occupants at approximately 1 AM. The COs were greeted by an individual of the camp and after questioning, he admitted to shooting the wolf. Subsequently the individual’s firearm was seized. COs Dani and Maki returned to the same camp a few days later for a follow up interview, when it was discovered that the individual was also deer hunting without a license. A report is being submitted to the Alger County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Andrea Dani observed a permanent blind on Hiawatha National Forest property with an over-limit of bait. CO Dani observed the hunters did not leave the blind until well after legal shooting hours. Upon contact, CO Dani observed the rifle was still fully loaded. Each hunter stated they had shot a deer during archery season and still had the remaining portion of their kill-tags. CO Dani also found that neither hunter had taken hunter safety. Enforcement action was taken.
PCO Ryan Cox and CO Michael Evink contacted a hunter with an over-limit of bait at their blind. Once contact was made the hunter and his young grandson admitted to bait that included a 50 pound bag of corn, a 50 pound bag of carrots, close to 10 gallons of sugar beets, and a mineral block. Additionally, the elder hunter did not have hunter orange on in the blind.
CO Chad Baldwin and Sgt. Bill Webster received multiple baiting complaints on opening day of the firearm deer season. The COs located hunters hunting over bait at several of the sites. When asked why they were baiting and whether they knew it was illegal, all the hunters knew it was illegal but decided to bait anyway. The hunters stated they were hunting in locations where they would not be able to see a deer if they did not use bait. Tickets for baiting in the closed area were issued to the hunters at each site.
CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint from a hunter in a tree stand on private property who stated that he had shot a deer and several minutes after the shot an individual, that was apparently hunting nearby, get in his vehicle and drive up close to his tree stand. The vehicle was doing donuts, honking its horn, and the driver was yelling at the hunter in the stand. The hunter was scared to get down and called 911. CO Baldwin and a sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene, but the vehicle had departed the area. The event took place close to the end of hunting hours and the hunter couldn’t tell exactly what type of vehicle was used but had an idea of who it might have been. CO Baldwin is currently conducting interviews and will be seeking charges for hunter harassment through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Nathan Beelman was in the area when a call for a suspicious person came out. The subject was reported to have been walking without shoes or a shirt along the road in freezing temperatures. CO Beelman was the first on scene and observed the subject walking along the road. CO Beelman gave the subject commands to stop, but the subject began walking through multiple backyards and then attempted to hide while reaching into his pockets. CO Beelman detained the subject for his safety and turned the subject over to local police who had dealt with the subject earlier in the day.
CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster contacted some camp owners with property adjacent to state land. The owners had cleared and planted two large food plots on state land, were hunting deer with the aid of bait, cut numerous trees for shooting lanes, failed to have identification on tree stands, and maintained an illegal ORV trail on state land. Tickets were issued and the state land trespass violations were addressed.
CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster checked a baited deer hunting blind on state land. The COs observed a dead untagged antlered deer was next to the unidentified blind. The hunter had forgotten his hunter orange, so he put orange duct tape on his cap. A ticket was issued for hunting deer over a large bait pile and warnings were issued for failing to immediately tag his deer, no identification on the blind, and no hunter orange.
CO Tim Rosochacki observed a truck parked on state land with half a bag of apples hidden underneath the vehicle and some shelled corn spilled on the ground. A short walk down a trail revealed a hunter in a blind hunting over bait. Upon contact, the hunter was not wearing hunter orange. The hunter was a felon and thought he didn't need hunter orange because he was using a crossbow during the rifle season. A ticket was issued for no hunter orange and warnings were given for hunting over bait and no name on the tree stand.
COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg were conducting routine taxidermy inspections in Otsego County when they observed a 5-point deer tagged with a restricted kill-tag that was unvalidated. After seeing it did not meet the APR’s, the COs contacted the hunter and conducted an interview. The hunter stated he forgot to validate the tag and was under the impression that the deer just had to have four antler points, not four on one side. The COs educated the hunter about deer regulations and a report will be forwarded to the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Tom Oberg checked a hunting blind during the firearm deer season that he located in archery deer season. The blind was baited for deer. CO Oberg contacted the hunter while he was hunting. CO Oberg addressed the issue of baiting deer in a closed area. The hunter stated everyone was baiting and it wasn't fair to receive a ticket for it. CO Oberg explained that it was still illegal, and a ticket was issued.
CO Jack Gorno and Sgt. Mark DePew were on patrol in Cheboygan County when they contacted a vehicle that was driving slowly and appeared to be road hunting. A loaded firearm was discovered, and CO Gorno ticketed the subject for the violation.
CO Jack Gorno was on patrol in Cheboygan County and contacted a subject sitting in his vehicle on state land. A check of the subject's firearm revealed that he had a loaded shotgun in the vehicle. CO Gorno ticketed the subject for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
COs Matt Theunick and Jack Gorno were dispatched to a trespassing complaint in progress in Cheboygan County. After arriving, the COs went into the area and found the trespasser. It was determined the subject was trespassing on private property and had been doing so for years. A ticket was issued for recreational trespass.
COs Sidney LaLonde, Jon Sheppard and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling Alpena County when the COs came across a juvenile hunting by himself. The COs talked with the hunter who was too young to be hunting alone. The COs had the father come to the area. Upon questioning the father, it was found he had tagged an antlered deer with his son’s license. The deer was confiscated, and a report was submitted to Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jon Sheppard responded to a recreational trespass complaint in Alpena County. The suspect had walked through another’s property to get to their hunting location. CO Sheppard interviewed the suspect who admitted to walking through the neighbor’s field. A report will be submitted to the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney LaLonde contacted a subject in Montmorency County who was operating a vehicle down a state land forest road. The operator of the vehicle was contacted, and it was determined that the driver had a loaded rifle in the back seat. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling in Montmorency County when he observed a truck operating down a designated ORV trail. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop and observed a deer in the back of the truck that did not have a kill-tag attached. A ticket was issued for possessing an untagged deer.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Montmorency County when he observed a vehicle that had an obstructed license plate covered with snow and ice, a license plate light that was not working, and the vehicle was also continuously weaving from the center line to the fog line. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and it was determined that the driver was intoxicated. CO Liestenfeltz arrested the subject and lodged them for operating while intoxicated (OWI).
CO Paul Fox was patrolling state forest land in northern Presque Isle County when he came upon a Jeep that was stuck in a small pond. The Jeep was unoccupied and buried up to its widows. CO Fox waited for someone to return to the area. After a brief wait, multiple subjects arrived, including the driver of the Jeep. The driver admitted to operating the Jeep in the wetlands and getting it stuck. CO Fox advised that such vehicle operation was illegal and damaging to the environment. A ticket was issued for operating an ORV in a wetland.
CO Paul Fox followed up with a bait complaint on state forest land near Millersburg. CO Fox was able to contact two subjects hunting near the area of the bait complaint. Both subjects were hunting over bait and admitted to placing the bait. One of the subjects was not wearing hunter orange and had an active arrest warrant out of Cheboygan County. Tickets were issued for the violations and one subject was arrested for the outstanding warrant and turned over to the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Paul Fox and PCO Alex Bourgeois were on patrol in northern Montmorency County during the firearm deer season. The COs observed a vehicle driving slowly down a back road. As the COs were driving behind the vehicle, it pulled off to the side of the road and stopped. The COs contacted the driver of the vehicle and observed that the passenger of the vehicle had a loaded and uncased rifle on his lap. A ticket was issued to the passenger for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
COs Paul Fox and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling Cheboygan County in the Pigeon River County State Forest when they observed an ORV parked in an area closed to ORV operation. The COs followed a set of foot tracks to a ground blind where the driver of the ORV was hunting. The subject was not wearing hunter orange and was hunting over bait. A ticket was issued for the bait violation and warnings given for the other violations.
COs Sidney LaLonde and Dan Liestenfeltz assisted Kansas Game wardens with an illegal whitetail deer case. The deer was shot in Kansas but tagged with a North Dakota kill-tag. The COs assisted the Kansas Game wardens with interviewing the suspect who lived in Montmorency County.
CO Sidney LaLonde was patrolling Montmorency County when she found an illegal bait site containing a truck load of sugar beets. CO LaLonde checked the hunter on the site and found the hunter did not have his licenses in possession and did not have his name on his tree stand. A ticket was issued for the bait.
CO Sidney LaLonde was patrolling Montmorency County when she came across a deer hunter sitting in a ditch. The hunter had just hauled out an 8-point buck and was exhausted. The hunter was recovering from having broken both his legs not long before and had two canes. CO LaLonde was able to put the deer in her truck and give the hunter a ride back to his vehicle.
CO Sidney LaLonde received a complaint of an illegal blind in Montmorency County. Upon checking the blinds, CO LaLonde found a bait pile and blood drag marks going back to a large farm field. CO LaLonde ran the landowner for hunting licenses and found he had not purchased any. CO LaLonde interviewed the homeowner and he admitted to shooting a doe without a license. CO LaLonde confiscated the deer and submitted a report to the prosecutor’s office for an illegal deer.
CO Logan Turner was patrolling Wexford County when he noticed three deer in the bed of a pickup truck at a residence. CO Turner did not see a kill-tag on one of the deer. CO Turner contacted a subject at the house and confirmed that one of the deer did not have a kill-tag attached and was in violation of the APR’s. The individual who shot the deer stated he saw the antlers far away and shot at it, not thinking he was going to hit the deer. The deer was seized, and a report has been forwarded to the Wexford County prosecutor.
CO William Kinney closed out a two-year-old waterfowl case from 2020. After attending a jury trial, a guilty verdict was reached for a hunter who had shot and injured a trumpeter swan. The hunter had misidentified the bird believing it to be a goose while out waterfowl hunting. The hunter was sentenced to fines and costs.
CO Zack Walters was contacted by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s deputies regarding an illegal burn in the Northport area. CO Walters met with the deputies and contacted the landowner. CO Walters issued a citation for burning unauthorized materials as the landowner was burning his dilapidated barn and other constructed materials located within it.
COs Josiah Killingbeck and Ryan Andrews contacted a hunter who was hunting over a bait pile. The COs discovered that the subject had no license and that another subject was hunting on the property over bait. Additional hunters were contacted on the same property also hunting over bait and told the COs they had no idea that baiting was illegal. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, observed a slow-moving vehicle on the roadway. When CO Killingbeck contacted the subject, he observed an uncased rifle in plain view laying in the passenger seat. CO Killingbeck asked the subject to exit the vehicle and observed a handgun on the subject’s waistline. CO Killingbeck asked the subject if he had a CPL and the subject said he did not. CO Killingbeck observed another rifle uncased in the back seat and determined that both rifles were loaded. Two other handguns were in a backpack in the back seat with loaded magazines within reach of the driver. An extendable baton was found in the driver’s door. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail for carrying a concealed weapon, loaded firearm in a vehicle, and possessing an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling in the late evening hours of November 15th when he observed the lights of a vehicle ahead of him. CO Killingbeck observed the vehicle turn onto an ORV trail and drive very slowly down it. The vehicle was observed repeatedly stopping and going. The vehicle eventually turned around and CO Killingbeck contacted the vehicle’s occupants. CO Killingbeck observed an AR style rifle in between the passenger’s legs. CO Killingbeck asked the subjects if the rifle was loaded, and the driver told CO Killingbeck, “It shouldn’t be.” CO Killingbeck determined that the rifle was loaded. The subjects told CO Killingbeck that they were just “scouting” for a spot to hunt the next morning. CO Killingbeck observed a large light between the subjects. Both subjects were cited for possessing a loaded uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
While at a local deer processer, CO Killingbeck contacted a subject dropping off a spike horn buck. The subject told CO Killingbeck the deer had been shot in Osceola County. The subject told CO Killingbeck that the deer used to have three points on one side but most of the horn had been shot off. CO Killingbeck looked at the antlers and found no recent damage to the antlers. CO Killingbeck again spoke with the subject who eventually admitted to seeing the deer and knew it was a buck but made a hasty decision to shoot before making sure the deer was legal. The subject also admitted to hunting over bait. A report is being submitted to the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Josiah Killingbeck advised that the start of the 2022 rifle season took on a somber tone in several deer camps. CO Killingbeck responded to three separate incidents where hunters were found dead in the first three days of the season. All three subjects were determined to have passed away from natural causes and all three subjects were in their deer blinds, except for one who was dragging a deer. In one case, CO Killingbeck was the first on scene of a subject who was in an elevated blind. CO Killingbeck started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the hunter and was assisted by CO Ryan Andrews and Sgt. Grant Emery, along with deputies of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. CPR was performed until the subject reached the hospital and was pronounced deceased.
CO Josh Reed contacted Sgt. Mike Bomay to assist with a trespasser witnessed by CO Reed being dropped off onto property known to be closed to hunting and posted no trespassing. CO Reed observed the hunter exit the vehicle, with a rifle, wearing full camouflage, and no blaze orange. CO Reed was able to stop the vehicle operator a short distance from the drop off location and had him return to the scene. CO Reed followed the hunter’s tracks in the snow to a large brush pile where the hunter was hiding from CO Reed. The hunter was escorted out of the woods by CO Reed while Sgt. Bomay assisted with the interviews of both suspects. CO Reed will be following up with the property owner for charges to be filed with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Jeff Ginn requested the assistance from the United States Forest Service (USFS) to address several illegal blinds on USFS property. The adjacent landowner had developed illegal roads in the forest and built permanent elevated blinds on federal land. The suspect was contacted, and the violations were addressed by the USFS, and the blinds were removed with a tractor that day. USFS law enforcement will conduct follow up regarding the enforcement action.
COs Jeff Ginn and Kevin Bunce responded to a residence where five deer were reported to be hanging untagged. Upon arrival, the COs located a single whitetail buck untagged. Upon contacting the resident, he initially explained his minor brother had taken the buck. Additional questioning revealed the suspect had lied and he was the one who shot the deer without a license.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a complaint of subjects hunting in a state park near a private subdivision. The complainant provided a license plate from one of the vehicles. Further investigation resulted in an interview with a suspect. It was determined that the suspect had harvested an antlerless deer the night before but had not tagged the deer. The suspect was cited for the violation, and he was also found to have two outstanding warrants.
CO Josh Reed was patrolling the Martiny State Game Area (SGA) and noticed three sets of foot tracks in the fresh snow. The tracks led from the game area into the Trans Canada gas company property. CO Reed followed the tracks for over a mile into the gas fields. Three subjects were located actively hunting near a beaver pond. All three were cited for recreational trespass.
CO Micah Hintze received a complaint of a large amount of bait on a neighboring property. On the afternoon of the rifle season opener, CO Hintze followed foot tracks to multiple baited stands and retrieved the hunters and had them return to their cabin. One of the hunters was a juvenile hunting without adult supervision. Citations were issued for hunting deer over bait, no hunter orange, allowing a juvenile to hunt unsupervised, hunt deer without license, and possessing a loaded firearm after hunting hours.
CO Tim Barboza received a RAP complaint of a truck in the Muskegon SGA that had driven through a trout stream. CO Barboza responded and located a truck on the opposite side of the stream with a hunter visible behind the vehicle. CO Barboza contacted the hunter and observed a 30-round magazine in the hunters AR15 rifle. CO Barboza asked how many rounds were in the magazine and the hunter replied, “I honestly don’t know.” CO Barboza asked for the magazine and discovered there were 20 rounds. CO Barboza advised the hunter that he was not allowed more than six between magazine and chamber and the hunter replied “Yeah, I was just thinking that was probably a law.” Hunters using large capacity magazines are required to put a block in the magazine which renders it incapable of holding more than five rounds. CO Barboza cited the hunter for hunting with a prohibited device.
COs Kevin Bunce and Josh Reed responded to a RAP complaint that involved a family believed to be loaning/borrowing tags. The COs contacted the subjects who had multiple bucks hanging throughout their yard. Interviews were conducted with the family members who had tagged deer. One individual with a tagged deer was unable to give accurate descriptions of their hunts. Upon further questioning, the subject confessed to purchasing a license to ensure her family members did not “tag out” before the rifle season began. The deer was seized, and a report will be submitted to the Mecosta County prosecutor for further action.
CO Charlie Jones checked on a location where illegal baiting had previously been reported in Kalkaska County. On arrival, CO Jones observed multiple dead deer lying on the ground with a very large amount of bait. Two hunters out of three were still sitting in tree stands overlooking the bait. Corporal Mike Hearn was called to assist with interviews. It was determined three hunters were all hunting within a few yards of each other over the bait. One of the hunters was hunting without a license and the other without a license in possession. The three deer were seized. Citations were issued for baiting, no name/address on tree stands, fail to immediately validate kill-tag, and hunting without a license. The hunters were instructed to clean up the site and remove all bait.
CO Charlie Jones was off-duty at the time he received an in-progress RAP complaint in Oliver Township of Kalkaska County. The complainant reported that two individuals were driving around a in side-by-side shooting and chasing deer. CO Jones contacted the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department for any available units to assist. Sgt. Kevin Schaub managed to catch up to the hunters until CO Jones was able to get to the location. CO Jones arrived shortly after and determined the driver of the side-by-side had a hunt from a standing vehicle permit but was driving around with a loaded and uncased firearm in the vehicle. The driver was issued a citation for possessing a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and failing to immediately validate his kill-tag.
CO Charlie Jones was passing Rainbow Jim’s Bridge across the Manistee River in Kalkaska County when he observed a hunter walking towards the launch across the bridge with no flashlight or rifle and he looked wet. CO Jones turned around to ask the hunter if everything was ok. The hunter seemed disoriented and under stress, then realized CO Jones was a conservation officer. The hunter explained they overshot the landing, and his friend was still in the water under the bridge needing help. CO Jones contacted the second hunter sitting in the river holding on to his drift boat under the bridge. CO Jones tied the boat to shore and assisted the man out of the water onto the riverbank. The man was weak due to the water temperature. CO Jones managed to get the man up the steep embankment and over the guardrail where his patrol truck was parked. CO Jones contacted the local dispatch center for EMS and fire assistance to check the hunters for hypothermia. It was determined that one hunter had been in the water for 30 to 40 minutes. One hunter refused any medical treatment while the other was cleared after warming up in the ambulance. The drift boat was pulled from the river by the Fife Lake Springfield Fire Department.
COs Breanna Reed, James Garrett, Charlie Jones, Matt Zultak, Ben McAteer, and Sgt. Brian Olsen conducted a night-time deer decoy patrol in Missaukee County. Sgt. Olsen watched as a hunter illuminated the decoy with his vehicle headlights. When contacted, the hunter stated he knew he was in trouble when the deer did not move after he shot it. CO Reed issued a citation for hunt after hours and shine with weapon in possession. The subject’s firearm was seized during the incident.
CO Breanna Reed responded to a safety zone complaint on opening day of firearm deer season in Missaukee County. CO Reed contacted the hunter in her blind. The hunter knew a neighboring house was close but was unaware that there was a law involving safety zones near houses. The blind was approximately 112 yards from the residence. The hunter was issued a citation for the safety zone violation.
CO Casey Pullum responded to a complaint that gunshots were heard two nights in a row out on public land in Oscoda County. CO Pullum responded and contacted a father and son team of hunters as they were just leaving the woods with a spike horn buck. The father stated that his son had shot the spike and that he had gotten a deer the night before. ORV tracks led back to their blind which was baited. CO Pullum followed the hunters back to their cabin to investigate further and discovered an untagged 10-point buck, an untagged 6-point buck, and a doe. All the deer were seized, and charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Casey Pullum and a USFS Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) conducted a traffic enforcement detail on a state highway in Oscoda County during the firearm deer season in attempt to locate illegally harvested deer. Using speed measurement, radar, CO Pullum conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck that was traveling in excess of the posted speed limit. During the stop, CO Pullum and the USFS LEO noticed three deer in the bed of the pickup. When checking the kill tags on the deer, CO Pullum noticed one tag was purchased in the afternoon on the day prior and validated for the same day. CO Pullum conducted a short roadside interview on the shooter/driver and obtained a confession the deer was shot in the morning and the tag was purchased after the fact. The deer was seized, and the driver was cited for his speed. Charges are being sought for over-limit of deer through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs participated in a shining flight in Oscoda and Ogemaw Counties in November. With the assistance of the pilot, they contacted a vehicle with two occupants who were shining deer and in possession of firearms. Citations were issued for shining while in possession of weapons. During the same flight, another vehicle was located by the plane for shining and the occupants were issued a citation for shining in November.
CO Kyle Bader participated in the annual “Give a turkey, not a ticket” community service event with multiple other law enforcement agencies in Ogemaw County. Many local businesses donated frozen turkeys the week before Thanksgiving and officers from the MSP, Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Division (LED), West Branch Police Department, and Rose City Police Department distributed the turkeys to people they encountered during traffic stops or calls for service.
CO Kyle Bader made a traffic stop on a vehicle and discovered that the deer on the top of the sport utility vehicle was untagged there was an uncased rifle and a cocked and loaded crossbow inside the vehicle. Further investigation revealed three of the four rifles in the vehicle were loaded and not properly cased. Two of the hunters were cited for possessing loaded and uncased firearms in a motor vehicle. One of the hunters was issued a citation for failing to immediately validate and attach his kill-tag.
COs Josh Russell and Ryan Weakman were on patrol in Clare County when they observed a white-tailed buck on top of a car at a residence. The COs did not see a kill tag attached to the buck, so they pulled in the driveway. When the COs pulled in the driveway, they observed three subjects standing over two more deer laying on the ground. When the COs approached, they discovered that neither of those deer were tagged. One subject could not find his license and the other retrieved his from the truck. Citations were issued for failing to immediately validate and attach kill-tags to the deer.
COs Josh Russell and Ryan Weakman were on patrol in Clare County when CO Russell observed a subject skinning a deer. The COs contacted the subject and discovered the deer had not been tagged yet. The hunter produced his licenses from his pocket. The deer had been killed several hours prior. A citation was issued for failing to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag.
COs Josh Russell, Ryan Weakman and Jeff Goss received a complaint of subjects shooting deer and livestock at night in Clare and Gladwin Counties. While working late, CO Russell heard a gunshot and witnessed a vehicle race away from the scene. CO Russell stopped the vehicle and contacted the subjects. He located a .22 caliber rifle, high-powered flashlight, and several .22 caliber rounds in the vehicle. CO Goss arrived on scene to help interview the subjects. The COs received full confessions from the subjects for shooting livestock (sheep) the night prior, as well as more than 20 deer over the previous three weeks. Additional suspects came out in the interviews and COs Russell, Goss, and Weakman contacted and interviewed those individuals. The COs will be seeking numerous charges in both Gladwin and Clare Counties.
Sgt. Jon Wood was patrolling public land in Clare County when he contacted a truck with several subjects inside and a white-tailed buck in the back. At first glance, a kill-tag could not be seen on the deer. During the contact, the occupants of the truck verbally indicated their firearms were being transported legally. However, upon further investigation, one of the occupants was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm. In addition, after closer examination, the buck in the back of the truck was found to be improperly tagged. The buck had been shot the evening before and belonged to a fourth subject who was not in the truck. A phone call was made, and the fourth subject showed up on scene. After a short interview, citations were issued for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and for failing to validate the kill-tag on the white-tailed buck
While patrolling near the Floodwood Swamp in Clare County, CO Ryan Weakman encountered subjects traveling in a Jeep that thought they saw some hunters trespassing on their friend’s property. While talking to the subjects in the Jeep, a truck was observed driving up the trail behind them. The driver of the Jeep indicated that those were the trespass suspects in the truck. CO Weakman spoke with them when they got to his location. While discussing issues with the occupants, one of the passengers appeared very nervous. When CO Weakman asked them if their guns were all cased up, one of the back seat passengers stated, “None of the guns are in cases but they are all unloaded.” CO Weakman located four uncased firearms in the back seat. All four subjects were issued citations for having uncased firearms in a motor vehicle.
In Bay County, CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol opening day of firearm deer season when he received a complaint of a hunter hunting within the safety zone. CO Beuthin responded to the area but was not able to locate anyone hunting within the safety zone. Upon returning to his vehicle, the CO was approached by an individual who struck up a conversation about his recent hunting activity. The individual told CO Beuthin he was unsuccessful that morning but had harvested a 9-point on November 6th. The CO asked to see the individual’s hunting licenses when the CO observed the individual purchased his deer licenses at noon on the day, he said he harvested the 9-point buck. CO Beuthin asked the individual what time he harvested the 9-point, and the man told the CO he shot the deer at about 8:30 in the morning. After further conversation, the man confessed to harvesting the 9-point without a deer license. A warrant request will be submitted though the Bay County Prosecutor’s Office for the illegal harvest of the deer.
CO Ethan Gainforth received an anonymous complaint of a subject in Tuscola County who had shot an over-limit of antlered deer. The suspect was contacted afield while hunting for his fourth antlered deer. The individual confessed to taking three antlered deer earlier in the archery and firearm deer seasons. Charges will be requested through the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Mike Haas patrolled private property in Isabella County where he had multiple trespassing complaints in the past, the owner was out of state and had asked for assistance with the issue. While checking the property, the CO located two individuals hunting from a tent and issued a citation to address the trespassing violation. When CO Haas asked one of the subjects why he looked familiar, the man hung his head and reminded the CO that he had been cited by him five years prior for the same issue.
During a heavy snow fall in Isabella County, CO Mike Haas was passed by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was displaying expired registration, passed in a ‘no passing’ zone, and was traveling over 70 mph in a 55-mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver admitted she did not know the CO’s truck was a police vehicle. A citation was issued to address the violations.
While patrolling state land during a rainy day of the firearm deer season, CO Mike Haas encountered a truck operating slowly on a two-track along the Bay and Gladwin County line. The CO contacted the driver as he pulled over and fumbled with something in the seat next to him. CO Haas pointed out that the man’s gun case was not secured and could see there was no rifle in the case. When asked where the man’s firearm was, the man moved a flannel coat revealing a rifle resting on the seat next to him. CO Haas secured the firearm which was loaded with multiple rounds and explained the obvious safety and fair chase issues. The man admitted he knew better since he had been cited for the same violation in the past. A citation was issued for having a loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
On the deer firearm opener, CO Dan Robinson contacted an individual hunting who had a large amount of bait out. Prior to the firearm season, CO Robinson had received several complaints about the individual and had located the illegal bait which required crossing the Chippewa River. After several failed attempts to contact an unknown suspect before the opener, CO Robinson checked it again the morning of the firearm opener and found a hunter in the blind. After helping the hunter light his propane heater and answering a few questions, CO Robinson issued a citation to the hunter. He also got a warning for stretching a rope across the river and leaving it up most of the season. He was using it to pull himself across in a small boat, but it was also a potential navigation hazard.
CO Travis Dragomer investigated a baiting complaint in Berrien County. CO Dragomer located a hunter who was actively hunting over the bait pile which consisted of corn and minerals. After further investigation, it was determined that the hunter was hunting without his kill-tags and was allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised. CO Dragomer issued citations for hunting over bait and being afield with a firearm without kill-tags. A warning was given for allowing a minor to hunt without adult supervision.
CO Travis Dragomer located a 6-point antlered deer illegally tagged with a restricted deer license and the tag was not properly notched out. CO Dragomer issued the hunter a citation for not properly validating a kill-tag. A warning was given for tagging the deer with the improper tag.
CO Cameron Wright and Sgt. Steve Mooney were patrolling St. Joseph County on opening day when they received a complaint of a hunter who shot a deer off the neighbor’s property without permission. When the COs arrived, they saw the landowner standing with the subject and saw the deer in the bed of his truck. The suspect admitted to shooting the deer over the property line and said he wasn’t thinking clearly when he saw the buck walk out of the woods. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
On the opening day of firearm deer season, CO James Nason received a trespassing complaint in Kalamazoo County and was able to respond within minutes. Upon arriving on scene, CO Nason found that the complainant had followed the suspect to their residence and was waiting outside for police. A photo of the man was taken on the complainant’s property with GPS coordinates and a full confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO James Nason received a RAP complaint of a bolt from a crossbow floating in the reporting party’s pond near their home. Investigation revealed that the bolt came from a neighboring property where he noticed a shooting target set up and multiple bait piles along with deer attractant. After multiple failed attempts of contacting the suspect, CO Nason was finally able to catch the man outside of his home. Upon interviewing the man, the subject stated that he was target shooting with his crossbow and that he lost a bolt in the woods. The bolt that CO Nason had from the complainant’s pond matched the other bolts that the suspect had in his possession. The suspect stated that the corn was for “turkeys” and that he had not intended on attracting deer. CO Nason then pressed the man on why he had a crushed/blended deer attractant out with the corn. The man insisted that it was only “chipped brick” that the CO was witnessing. After further questioning, the man eventually admitted to placing the deer attractant out in attempt to lure deer to his 1.5-acre property. Evidence photographs were taken, and a report is being submitted to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for the baiting violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a hunter harassment complaint in Allegan County on the opening morning of the firearm deer season. Through interviews with the complainants and the suspect, it was determined that the suspect initiated their vehicle’s car alarm multiple times throughout the morning. Additionally, the suspect sounded off an air horn approximately six times on two different occasions throughout the morning. The suspect denied setting off the car alarm on purpose to harass the neighbors hunting and denied ever sounding off an air horn. The complainants had multiple video/audio recordings that distinguished the two different sounds coming from the same direction. The suspect allowed the CO to search their residence and the CO located an air horn package on the top of their garbage in their trash bin. Charges were submitted to the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office for hunter harassment.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of a large deer drive occurring in the Allegan SGA in Allegan County. The CO responded to the area and estimated approximately 20 subjects standing around vehicles where they just finished doing a push. The CO checked all the deer that were present and verified kill-tags on each of them. A subject pulled up to the group when the CO was wrapping up his checks. The CO asked if they had a deer in their truck bed and they advised they did. The driver opened the bed of the truck and showed the deer to the CO. The 45-year-old female driver indicated she harvested this deer. When the CO checked the tag on the deer, it belonged to a subject born in 1942. The CO asked the female what year she was born, and she stated, “On that tag, 1942.” Further questioning revealed that this subject used her father’s antlerless kill-tag to tag her deer. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Justin Ulberg investigated a complaint of a subject shooting a 10-point white-tailed buck during the archery season without having a valid 2022 deer license. The subject posted a picture of himself posing with the buck on a social media site. A check of the subject’s license purchasing history revealed the subject had not purchased his deer license at the time of the kill. CO Ulberg interviewed the subject and obtained a confession. A report will be submitted to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for pending charges.
While performing a deer processor inspection in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg located a deer that was tagged with a QR code and not an actual deer tag. A check of the hunter’s license purchasing history revealed that the hunter did not purchase his deer license until 3:00 PM on opening day of deer season. CO Ulberg interviewed the subject and questioned how his opening day deer season went. The subject indicated that he was hunting in the morning and shot the buck around 12:00 PM. CO Ulberg pointed out that the hunter did not purchase his license until 3:00 PM on opening day and questioned the hunter if he was hunting without a license. The hunter attempted to change his story saying that he didn’t hunt in the morning and shot the deer in the evening. CO Ulberg pointed out that he did not properly tag the deer after killing it. The subject’s deer license was seized, and he was issued a citation for failing to validate and tag his deer.
COs Mark Reffitt and Jeremy Beavers were patrolling Portland SGA during the firearm deer season when they encountered two hunters in possession of an 8-point buck in the bed of their truck. When asked who shot the deer, one of the hunters stated his wife shot it that morning and tagged it, but then went home because she wasn’t feeling well. The COs did not believe the suspect’s story and followed them to another parking lot where they met up with another truck full of hunters. Upon questioning the second group of hunters, the COs were able to confirm that the suspect himself had shot the 8-point earlier that morning and did not want to waste one of his tags on the animal. The individual eventually admitted to shooting the deer and was issued a citation for using another person’s kill-tag.
CO Anna Cullen received a RAP complaint regarding a recreational trespass, blood trail, and potential bait pile in Muskegon County. CO Cullen located the footprints in the snow and followed the blood trail and prints to the back of a nearby residence. CO Cullen interviewed the suspect, who admitted to hunting without a license, hunting over bait, hunting after hours, and recreational trespassing while tracking the deer. Charges are being sought with the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Anna Cullen responded to a shots fired complaint near the Muskegon Wastewater property. A parked vehicle was located containing one occupant who had in their possession a loaded firearm and a loaded crossbow in the vehicle. Consent was gained to search the vehicle and CO Cullen located deer hair and flesh in the passenger seat. CO Cullen interviewed the driver to find that a deer was shot at, and he dropped his friends off in the area to track the deer. The other friends were located and interviewed. All cell phones were seized and reviewed via consent and search warrants. Multiple charges are being filed for each suspect with the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jeremy Beavers contacted a pair of hunters who were dragging a doe and stated they had another deer that was just behind them. The doe did not appear to have a validated kill-tag attached. CO Beavers instructed the hunters to take the doe to the parking lot and retrieve the other deer after that. CO Beavers then obtained two deer kill-tags, both of which were unvalidated and not attached. CO Beavers then asked what type of firearm was used and one hunter stated it was a .30-.30. CO Beavers explained that the firearm cannot be used in the limited firearm deer zone and the hunter stated he was not familiar with that rule. CO Beavers explained the necessity for the rule and how long it has been in place. The hunter stated he shot both deer and that the other subject was not hunting. Another firearm was not found, but there was an uncased and cocked crossbow in the backseat of the truck. The additional hunter continued to state that she was not hunting when questioned. CO Beavers explained licensing rules and penalties for violating those rules to her. CO Beavers cited the first hunter for the violations discovered during the contact.
CO Lisa Taube and Sgt. Jason Smith responded to a RAP complaint in Livingston County for a hunter violating the firearm safety zone. The suspect was interviewed and admitted to hunting from her indoor patio area, which was in the safety zone of her neighbor’s home. The victim was adamant she wanted to prosecute, and the suspect was cited for hunting with a firearm within the safety zone.
CO Thomas Jaakkola received a RAP complaint about a hunter in Jackson County using a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle to kill two deer earlier in the week. The hunter was interviewed and stated that he had shot two bucks in his back yard with his 6.5 Creedmoor. It was determined that the hunter was also baiting deer. Both bucks were seized, and a report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office requesting charges.
CO Ed Rice received a RAP complaint of a waterfowl hunter shooting prior to legal hunting hours. CO Rice contacted Sgt. Chris Maher and met at the complainant’s residence. The complainant and witnesses advised they heard four or five shots prior to legal hunting hours and believed there were multiple shooters. Sgt. Maher, with permission, commandeered the complainant’s vessel to locate the hunters. He and CO Rice located the hunters who admitted to shooting approximately 15 minutes prior to legal hunting hours. Charges will be sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for hunting before legal hunting hours.
CO Chris Reynolds observed multiple bucks hanging in a tree at a home in Hillsdale County. He spoke to the homeowner (not the person who shot the deer) who stated a friend was hunting and shot the deer. CO Reynolds noticed one of the tags was recently purchased and contacted the buyer who stated they bought the tag for a friend. CO Reynolds tracked down the hunter who confessed to shooting all three antlered deer and having his friend buy another tag so he could take another antlered deer. The third antlered deer was seized. A report will be submitted for taking an over-limit of antlered deer and borrowing the kill-tag of another.
CO Marc Mankowski received a RAP complaint of a hunter in the Potterville SGA wearing all orange and carrying a firearm during the evening hunt on November 14th. CO Mankowski was off duty and contacted an Eaton County Sheriff’s deputy that was in the area to check the complaint. CO Mankowski suited up and responded. The deputy contacted the hunter who readily admitted to shooting a button buck with a shotgun. The hunter firmly believed it was November 15th. The suspect pulled up the calendar on his phone to prove the date was the 15th and said, “Oh CRAP!” The deer was seized and donated to a local family in need. Charges are pending.
Sgt. Rich Nickols received a tip about a hunter in Clinton County suspected of shooting a third buck. After some digging into license purchases, Sgt Nickols contacted the hunter and interviewed him about the deer he had harvested. The suspect stated he had lost his original licenses, so he had his wife purchased a combination license that he tagged two bucks with. The suspect then bought his own replacement tags and continued to hunt, ultimately shooting an 11-point buck. The suspect was still in possession of a remaining tag as well. Sgt Nickols seized the remaining tag and the 11-point rack. Charges are pending.
On opening day of firearm deer season, Sgt. Damon Owens along with COs Martin Lawrence and Keven Luther observed a vehicle parked near a privately owned field and wood lot. CO Luther had worked with the property manager and knew no one had permission to hunt the property. Sgt. Owens maintained the perimeter while COs Lawrence and Luther walked the property. After a long foot patrol, the COs were able to locate and contact the subject just as he was getting into his tree-stand. The male was not wearing hunter orange and his hunting location was baited. A field investigation was conducted, and the male confessed to placing the bait and knew he was trespassing. The male was issued a citation for hunting over bait and hunting without hunter orange. He was informed that if he returned, he would be charged with criminal trespass (since most of the trespassing signage had been removed or had fallen over the last few years).
During a late-night shining patrol, CO Dave Schaumburger followed around a suspicious vehicle for quite some time. Although he never saw the vehicle spotlight any deer, the vehicle had stopped in the middle of the road a few times to switch drivers and at one point the vehicle did a 30 second burnout on the road. That was when CO Schaumburger decided to stop the vehicle. When the CO contacted the vehicle, he observed an uncased bow and arrow in the backseat. He asked the driver if he could look around in the vehicle and the CO found two open bottles of beer and an uncased shotgun under the back seat. The driver was cited for open intoxicants, careless driving, and having an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Keven Luther found a baited tree stand earlier in the year that he was unable to locate anyone hunting over during the season and advised CO Dave Schaumburger to check into it. CO Schaumburger went to the property and located a vehicle in the area. CO Schaumburger walked to the stand and was unable to locate the hunter until he glassed the surrounding area and found a hunter in a tree stand 200 yards away who was not wearing hunter orange during the November firearm deer season. The CO contacted the hunter who was not hunting over bait but was not in possession of any hunter orange. A citation was issued for the violation.
Acting on one of CO Keven Luther’s tips of a baited stand, CO Dave Schaumburger walked into the property and found a young man bowhunting in a tree during the November firearm season without any hunter orange. The hunter was 17 years old and did not realize that he needed hunter orange while bow hunting. The CO educated the young man and ended the contact positively, even giving the youth a ride to his vehicle a quarter of a mile away when the wind chill was in the teens. The young hunter was very thankful and left very educated.
While patrolling for hunting activity on the opening day of firearm deer season, COs Ariel Young and Dave Schaumburger located a hunter who had an obvious pile of bait they were hunting over. The COs stopped and contacted the hunter who stated that they did not place the bait. After exiting the blind, the hunter was also lacking hunter orange garments. During the interview, it quickly became apparent that the hunter was a very novice hunter who didn’t know many of the rules and regulations. After questioning the hunter further about learning all the issues in hunter’s safety, the hunter stated that they had not taken the course and thought their military experience was more than sufficient. The hunter was escorted back to their vehicle and issued a citation for failing to wear hunter orange and given warnings for the other violations. The COs talked at length with the hunter about the importance of taking hunter’s safety and not coming back out until doing so.
CO Cody Bourgeois worked a trespassing complaint in Oakland County. CO Bourgeois located a blind and bait. He set up surveillance and observed two hunters walking into the blind without hunter orange. When CO Bourgeois contacted the hunters, neither hunter had hunting licenses and they were hunting over bait. Further investigation led to CO Bourgeois discovering one of the hunters shot a buck earlier in the week. CO Bourgeois seized the 8-point buck, the meat, and shotgun used to take the deer. The hunter was issued citations for hunting without a license, hunting without hunter orange, and hunting over bait. Further charges will be sought for the illegal deer that was shot earlier in the week.
CO Christopher Knights got a call from a local deputy. The deputy stated that he responded to a residence for someone who was discharging a firearm towards another residence and after arriving at the subject’s home, the deputy noticed bait around the property. CO Knights met the deputy at the subject’s home, and immediately noticed an electric feeder and sugar beets on the ground. The deputy stated the homeowner had more feeders on the property along with some very large blinds. The CO and deputy walked the property and found another electric feeder and another blind facing it. The homeowner was cited for baiting and the individual discharging his firearm towards the neighbor’s home was cited for reckless discharge of a firearm from the deputy.
Acting Sergeant (A/Sgt.) Justin Muehlhauser assisted CO Chris Knights with a complaint of shining in Addison Township. CO Muehlhauser patrolled the area just before dusk and decided to set up in a nearby driveway at dark. Just as darkness set in, the CO noticed a vehicle turn onto the road and begin to slow roll the area described in the complaint. The CO then watched as a beam of light cast across the field to the south. The vehicle then sped up and continued westbound and past the CO. The CO conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for shining in November. The CO approached the driver and immediately noticed a cocked, uncased crossbow in the front passenger seat with the bolt removed and resting on the floor. The CO questioned the driver who stated that a deer just ran across the road, and he almost hit it. He explained that he was afraid that he might hit another one, so he shined the field for his safety to see if there were any more deer. When the CO questioned why there was a cocked crossbow in his front seat, he stated that he didn’t know it needed to be cased. The CO explained that it would have to be un-cocked, cased, and inaccessible to the driver, not cocked and sitting in the front seat next to a tactical flashlight. The suspect denied shining for deer. With obvious wildlife violations, the CO issued the driver a citation for shining deer with a weapon in possession and possessing / transporting a loaded and uncased crossbow. The crossbow, bolt, and flashlight were seized as evidence.
A/Sgt. Muehlhauser patrolled Seven Lakes State Park in Holly Township. The CO noticed a ground blind just off the road and saw the hunter outside as it appeared that he was getting ready to leave. The CO decided to check the hunter. While checking the hunter, the CO noticed footsteps heading west from the blind. The CO looked closer and noticed carrots sitting on the ground. The CO questioned the hunter who stated that he did not put any bait out. He admitted that the blind was his and that he had left it there since opening day. He said someone else must have put the carrots out. The CO explained that he was hunting over it and therefore responsible for it. The hunter was cited for baiting deer in a closed area.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when he received a tip regarding a deer that was taken on Consumers Energy property earlier that day. CO Silorey was able to access the Consumers Energy property and find an ORV trail leading to someone’s residence. CO Silorey was able to contact the suspect and interview him on his harvest. The blind in which the suspect had stated he had taken the deer from was overlooking Consumers Energy property. Additionally, the suspect had additional blinds, cameras, and bait well beyond his property line. The suspect admitted to trespassing to retrieve the deer using an ORV and admitted to baiting deer. A report will be generated and submitted to the local prosecutor’s office.
CO Brad Silorey was working the Harsens Island managed unit when he observed three hunters who were packing up and then began to walk back to their vehicles. CO Silorey contacted the hunters at the access site and began to check their licenses and equipment. Two of the hunters were not able to provide any hunting licenses and stated they had them at their residence. One of the hunters stated he was from out of state and was “Just trying to have a good time with family.” The out of state hunter had no Michigan waterfowl license, no federal duck stamp, was hunting in the managed unit without a permit, and was hunting with an unplugged shotgun. Another hunter in the group also did not have a Michigan waterfowl license or a federal duck stamp. The third hunter had all his licenses but was in possession of an unsigned federal stamp. Citations were issued for unplugged shotgun, hunting without Michigan waterfowl license, and no federal stamp.
CO Brad Silorey was conducting early morning surveillance on layout waterfowl hunters. CO Silorey contacted CO Kris Kiel for assistance after witnessing multiple violations from multiple groups. CO Kiel prepped and launched a vessel and was able to pick up CO Silorey. Both COs contacted the multiple groups and wrote three different groups for having a loaded firearm in a motorboat underway.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking hunters in St. Clair County when he heard a gunshot very close to his area. He waited and watched a hunter having difficulty tracking a deer he just shot. After fifteen minutes, CO Deppen exited the woods and assisted in the track. CO Deppen tracked the deer, and the hunter hauled the deer back to his blind. In front of the blind was a large pile of corn and sugar beets. The hunter looked at CO Deppen and said, “Well I guess we better address this then.” The deer was confiscated and charges for baiting while prohibited and taking deer over bait are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of waterfowl hunters shooting within the safety zone of a residence. CO Deppen responded to the area and using a rangefinder found the distance to be 99 yards from the occupied dwelling. CO Deppen contacted the hunters, and all were issued citations for hunt/discharge firearms within the safety zone.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey responded to a complaint about a deer drive and loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Upon responding to the scene, they found two different parties hunting around a corn field that was being harvested. In total there were seven hunters, and nine fully gutted untagged deer were found lying in a field. Multiple citations were issued for failure to validate/attach kill-tag and verbal warnings were given for hunter orange and shooting from a motor vehicle violation.
CO Sydney Griffor received an in-progress over-limit of walleye complaint that was called into the RAP hotline. The complainant advised the angler caught several walleyes, filleted them out, and threw the fish carcasses into the St. Clair River. He also stated the individual was still actively fishing. CO Griffor responded to the location in Marysville and spoke with the angler at his truck. She asked how many fish he had, and he stated he had seven walleyes and handed her four bags of filleted out fish. CO Griffor asked the angler where he filleted the fish and he stated at another location. CO Griffor walked down to the river near his fishing poles and gear. She discovered paper towels and fillet knives that were still wet with fish scales. CO Griffor looked into the river and observed multiple walleye carcasses at the bottom of the river right in front of where he was fishing. The angler was in possession of mutilated fish and issued citations for over-limit of walleye and littering. The fillets were seized.
CO Sydney Griffor received a complaint from a St. Clair County deputy about a possible illegal deer case. The deputy originally received a complaint of shots fired, and upon arriving on location, discovered a buck hanging in a garage without a tag on it. CO Griffor interviewed the hunter and determined the individual shot the deer over bait and did not purchase his deer license until the day after he shot the buck. CO Griffor seized the venison from the processor, which will be donated to a local family in need. A report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office and charges will be sought for the illegal deer.
CO Sydney Griffor received a complaint from the RAP hotline about possible recreational trespass and a deer being taken on Consumers Energy property. COs Griffor and Kris Kiel responded to the residence and interviewed the hunter. After further investigation, the COs determined the hunter trespassed onto the private property and shot a buck over bait. CO Griffor responded to the game processor and seized the deer. Working jointly with Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger, the venison will be donated to a family in need. A report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office and charges are pending.
CO Sydney Griffor and Sgt. Seth Rhodea were on patrol in St. Clair County for shining activity. During the patrol, the COs observed a vehicle driving slowly down the road and shining a spotlight out the passenger window of the vehicle. CO Griffor conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and the COs discovered open beers inside the vehicle. The driver was not under the influence, however, was issued a citation for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. The passenger was issued a citation for shining during the month of November.
CO Sydney Griffor received a RAP complaint about an 8-point buck that was possibly taken illegally. CO Griffor responded to the hunter’s residence for an interview. Upon arrival, CO Griffor observed deer hooves sticking out over the bed of the individual’s truck. In the bed of the truck there were four deer piled on top of one another. Three of which belonged to the hunter’s friends. CO Griffor interviewed the hunter, and he showed her the untagged buck he shot the night before. Every deer in the truck had a kill-tag attached, besides the buck he shot. When asked where his kill-tag was, he stated he purchased his deer combination tags online before his hunt and claimed he was unaware it needed to be tagged. The hunter made it known that he has been hunting for years and has had much success. CO Griffor advised the hunter if he has been hunting for years, he should have known it is illegal to be in possession of untagged deer. The buck was seized and donated to a family in need. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office pending charges.
CO Sydney Griffor was on patrol when she observed a deer hunter walking to his truck in full camouflage. CO Griffor stopped and spoke with the hunter and asked why he was not wearing any hunter orange. He stated he forgot to put his orange hat back on after leaving his blind. The hunter was advised that he must wear orange even when sitting in a blind and when afield. The hunter was issued a citation for failure to comply with hunter orange requirements.
On the opening day of firearm deer season, CO Jaime Salisbury received a complaint about a deer blind that was too close to a home. When the CO arrived, he measured the blind and found that it was only 71 yards away from the complainant’s residence. There were no hunters in the blind when CO Salisbury was there, so he advised the complainant to call back when they noticed a hunter in the blind. About two hours later, the CO was informed that there was now a hunter in the blind. CO Salisbury returned to the location and found a hunter inside the blind. A citation was issued for hunting inside the safety zone.
Sgt. Shane Webster and CO Mike Drexler were doubled up on the firearm deer opener. Just after the COs had started patrolling the Waterloo Recreation Area, Sgt. Webster observed a hunter in the woods not wearing any hunter orange. After the COs contacted the hunter, he flipped his hat inside out to show he had orange with him. A citation was issued for firearm deer hunt without displaying hunter orange.
CO Brandon Hartleben was checking hunters at Chelsea SGA and contacted a group of waterfowl hunters coming in off the Marl Pits after an evening hunt. While checking licenses and equipment, CO Hartleben identified that one of the subjects was using an unplugged shotgun. Additional follow up using the subjects 3-inch Winchester Xpert shells confirmed that the shotgun was indeed capable of holding more than three shells. In addition, the subject was not in possession of his federal migratory bird stamp which had been mailed to him after purchasing the eStamp version online. Another member in the hunting party had also failed to sign his federal migratory bird stamp across its face. Both subjects were warned for the stamp violations and the subject with the unplugged shotgun was issued a citation for waterfowl hunting with a firearm capable of holding more than three shells.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll made a traffic stop on a vehicle after observing a violation and located two deer lying in the trailer. CO Ingersoll asked the operator to tell him about his hunt while he checked the two 8-points tags. The hunter was excited to admit he shot the deer on the morning of the 15th, opening day. CO Ingersoll noted the licenses were purchased on 11/15/22 at 9:13 AM. CO Ingersoll spoke with the hunter who was extremely honest and admitted he thought he had a buck tag, but realized he only had antlerless tags and went and bought the licenses after the fact. While talking with the hunter CO Ingersoll could smell alcohol coming from his breath and asked him if he had been drinking. The individual stated he had three beers from Coldwater to Monroe and eight total throughout the day. CO Ingersoll administered standardized field sobriety tests and observed several signs of the subject being intoxicated. Preliminary breath test results showed him at .119 BAC, and he was arrested for operating while intoxicated. Charges will be sought for the two illegal deer he had shot in Hillsdale and both bucks were seized.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll conducted a processor inspection and located a deer tagged on 11/9/22 but the tag showed that it was bought on 11/10/22. CO Ingersoll conducted an interview with the hunter who admitted to shooting the deer on the 9th without a license and buying it after the fact. CO Ingersoll noted problems with her story and asked if her husband had taken the deer, which she denied. CO Ingersoll was able to speak with the husband and advised him that his wife was looking at some charges and the husband quickly advised CO Ingersoll that his wife was lying for him, and he shot the deer. He stated he did not want to burn his other combination tag and be tagged out before gun season. The husband was able to confess to using his wife’s tag and the wife apologized for lying to CO Ingersoll. Charges will be sought through the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll stopped an ATV operating down a back road on the firearm deer opener. CO Ingersoll noticed the driver had a loaded crossbow strapped to the front of the ATV. CO Ingersoll spoke with the individual who was advised ATVs were not allowed to be operated on the roadways in Monroe County and that possessing a loaded crossbow on an ATV was also illegal. CO Ingersoll cited the rider for possessing a loaded crossbow on an ATV and warned him for operating his ATV on the roadway.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking duck hunters at Pointe Mouillee SGA when he contacted two hunters who had little success. CO Ingersoll conducted a full and thorough check of all their equipment and licenses, and it was determined that one of the hunters only bought a Hunt/Fish combination and failed to purchase a waterfowl license for Michigan or a federal duck stamp. The individual was cited for no state license and warned for not having a federal duck stamp.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were patrolling south of Devils Lake when CO Monnich remembered a deer camp in the area that had some tagging violations in archery season. Upon arrival, they noticed three deer on the buck pole, and another being butchered in the garage next door. They contacted the owner of the camp and asked if there were more deer hanging in the other barn, he stated they have nine total. While checking the other deer in the barn, it was observed that three of the does hanging had tags bought after legal hunting hours on the day they were validated. The hunter confessed he shot all three on one sit but didn’t want to use his combination and didn’t have antlerless tags, so he bought them after the hunt. All three does were seized and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received a tip on opening day of firearm deer season that a group of vehicles were shooting deer off the roadways. Unable to find the group that morning, they received another tip on Saturday that the group was back, and they had shot a good buck and a possible subject was identified. COs Monnich and Smither decided to work the area early Sunday before light to see if they could find the group. While down in the area, the COs noticed a vehicle matching the description driving the blocks watching the deer in fields. A traffic stop was conducted for a traffic violation. Upon contact, three uncased rifles were in the truck and blood in the bed. The driver stated he shot a buck the day before, a quick check of the license system showed he didn’t have a valid kill-tag for the animal harvested. The Michigan COs coordinated with an Ohio DNR officer and seized the deer. Charges are being sent to the prosecutor’s office. All animals seized were donated to Lenawee Helping Hands and Hunters for the Hungry.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were investigating a separate incident when they encountered Sgt. Shane Webster coming down the roadway. As they met up, CO Monnich noted a large buck laying in the yard of a residence nearby without a tag. Upon making contact, the COs observed the individual butchering a doe in his garage that was also untagged. The COs asked the individual where he had taken the deer and he advised them that he had taken them from his stand behind the barn. The individual pointed to a tree stand just into the woods. When asked about the untagged buck and doe, the individual stated that he hadn’t gotten to tagging the buck and admitted that he did not have a kill-tag for the doe. The COs had been at the residence a few years earlier for bait/trespass violations and CO Monnich and Sgt. Webster checked the individual’s stand where they located corn and a mineral block. When asked what he used to take the deer the individual stated he shot them both with a 450 Bushmaster, but upon further investigation by Sgt. Webster, the individual admitted to using a 7.62x39 rifle. The deer were seized, and a report will be written and sent to the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office for take deer without a license, take deer with an unlawful weapon, and take deer over bait.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were on patrol when they noticed waterfowl hunters in a field. Upon contact, two of the hunters stated they didn’t have their licenses on them but had them. CO Smither went to the truck and ran the names in the system, and it showed one hunter failed to purchase a federal waterfowl stamp for the year. CO Monnich checked the firearms for proper plugs and found that two of the hunters did not have plugs in their guns. Citations were issued for the license violation and the failure to plug firearms.
CO Eric Smither was patrolling Lenawee County when he observed an individual walking into the woods from their truck with three bags of cobbed corn. CO Smither contacted the individual and he admitted to having corn and peanuts in front of his stand. A citation was issued for bait/feed deer.
COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich were patrolling an area known for road hunting activity when they observed a hunter sitting in his vehicle under his blind overlooking a food plot. The COs contacted the hunter and upon further investigation, found an uncased firearm in the passenger seat. A citation was issued for uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich received a call from a Tecumseh Police officer on opening day about a pile of pumpkins in a wooded area that had a truck parked next to it earlier in the day and the pumpkins had a trail camera on them. The COs waited until later in the day and were advised that the truck was back. The COs located the pumpkins and trail camera and observed a tent blind approximately 30 yards away with the hunter inside. The COs announced themselves and observed that the hunter was not wearing hunter orange. The hunter admitted that the trail camera was his, but he did not place the pumpkins there. A citation was issued for not wearing hunter orange.
COs Brandon Vacek and Eric Smither attended the first day of the Stuff-A-Truck event hosted by the Outdoor Adventure Center. The COs interacted with numerous families, passed out DNR Law Enforcement Division swag while taking donations and posed for several pictures. The COs collected one full pickup truck load of toy donations by the end of that day’s event.