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CO Byron Parks was patrolling Houghton County when a call came over dispatch of an autistic 20-year-old who had been missing for approximately four hours. The subject was enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program which provides people who are at a higher risk of disappearing a locator wrist band that sends off a signal. CO Parks assisted the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department in a search for the subject. With the equipment that tracks the signal of the wristband, the subject was located within an hour. The subject was about two miles from his home, fishing near the Portage Canal.
CO Phil Helminen followed up on a complaint of recreational trespass in Dickinson County. A subject had operated their ORV onto posted private property and set up a hunting blind. CO Helminen contacted the subject and found him to also be hunting with bait in an area closed to baiting. The hunter stated he saw the no trespassing signs but thought that some other hunter was just posting them to keep him away. The hunter stated he knew the previous owner of the land but did not get permission from the current landowner. At the landowners’ request, the hunter was removed from the property and was also cited for hunting over bait in a closed area for baiting.
CO Cody Smith worked a popular waterfowl hunting location for the north zone waterfowl opener. The location is heavily hunted by college students from Michigan Technological University. CO Smith throughout the day, noticed there was nearly 100% turnover rate of hunters as he did not recognize many from years past. This influx of new college hunters brought inexperienced, new to waterfowl hunters, that were trying to get into the sport with fellow classmates. CO Smith observed multiple violations and based off of his observations saw no intent of trying to intentionally break the law from the hunters in question. Rather than writing the first-time duck hunters, CO Smith chose to take an educational approach and teach them how to do things properly as there were no immediate damages to the resource. CO Smith showed each group how to download the new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) App so they can purchase the proper licenses and download the waterfowl hunting digest from the internet.
CO Cody Smith assisted with hunter safety classes in both Wakefield and Ishpeming, welcoming 80 new hunters to the field. CO Smith taught tree stand safety to the students stressing the importance of using a good harness. CO Smith also recommended purchasing a lifeline that will save a hunter from falling if they slip while climbing in or out of their tree stand. The importance of unloading and securely hooking your firearm or bow to your haul line before raising it to your stand was also stressed.
CO Jeremy Sergey put together a hunter safety field day for 20 students in Ishpeming. COs Cody Smith and Jackson Kelly along with Sgt. Mark Leadman assisted with certifying all participants. Demonstrations with gun handling, tree stand safety, law presentations, and a hunting scenario were completed.
CO Jeremy Sergey was the guest speaker at three different criminal justice classes held at Northern Michigan University. Over 100 students attended the classes and learned about the job functions of a CO, investigative techniques, and how to apply to become a CO.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Fairbanks Township when he observed an ORV traveling down a highway at a high rate of speed. CO Butzin attempted to catch up to the ORV, which was driving erratically, and at one point passed a vehicle in a no passing zone going up a hill. Eventually CO Butzin was able to make a traffic stop on the operator. The operator was cited for careless operation of an ORV and warned for operating an ORV on the highway.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when they received a complaint of an altercation in progress between a bear hound hunting group and a group of private property landowners. The COs arrived on scene to learn some of bear hunters had entered private property to retrieve their hounds and had been confronted by the landowners. The COs explained the laws surrounding the recovery of dogs on private property and the ethics involved in doing so. The bear hunting group agreed to avoid the area of the private property landowners.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when they were dispatched to a group of stranded motorists in the Hiawatha National Forest who had a 9-month-old infant with them. The COs located the stranded motorists whose vehicle was stuck in the mud. The COs guided a tow truck service to the scene who successfully recovered the stuck vehicle. The motorists were thankful for the response.
COs Justin Vinson and Mike Evink responded to Shingleton for the recovery of a moose that was killed after being struck by a vehicle. A local towing company was contacted to recover the moose. The COs field dressed the moose and CO Vinson transported the animal to a local game processor. The meat will be distributed to local food banks for dispersal to those in need.
COs Mike Evink and Andrea Dani presented to fifth graders from several area schools at Agri-Palooza in Chatham. The COs shared with the students what a day in the life of a Conservation Officer is like, as well as taught a short lesson on basic wilderness survival gear and tactics. The event included elementary students from Marquette and Alger Counties. COs Evink and Dani were able to have a positive interaction with over 150 students.
Sgt. Mark Zitnik and CO Andrea Dani prepared students for an upcoming Hunter Safety Field Day by providing the take home study materials, teaching the students how to use Michigan hunting digests, and allowing the students to handle training rifles and shotguns with different actions.
Sgt. Calvin Smith responded to a young bull moose that was hit by a vehicle near Sault Ste. Marie. The moose suffered from a broken hind leg and had to be euthanized. Several hundred pounds of moose meat will be donated to local food pantries for distribution.
CO Nathan Beelman was the first on scene for a homeowner reporting a subject attempting to take items from a vehicle outside of their home. The subject quickly ran away after being confronted by the homeowner. CO Beelman and local police checked the area for the suspect based on a description given by the homeowner. A subject matching the description was located by CO Beelman a short distance away. The subject denied attempting to steal any items but was heavily intoxicated. A Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) check revealed that the subject was on bond conditions prohibiting the consumption of alcohol after a previous operating while intoxicated (OWI) arrest. The subject was arrested on the bond violation.
CO Duane Budreau responded to a possible illegal deer complaint. Information was provided that the deer was found on private property and the property owner suspected the deer had been shot with a firearm. CO Budreau examined the deer and discovered there was an entry wound but no exit wound. Knowing that the deer would have been difficult to track, CO Budreau investigated the surrounding properties and located a vehicle parked on the roadside about a mile to the west of where the deer was found. After further investigation, CO Budreau observed a trail leading into the woods near the vehicle. CO Budreau followed the trail back to a hunting blind. Once CO Budreau contacted the hunter in the blind, it was determined that he had shot an 8-point that morning. The hunter reported that he was unable to find a blood trail and was absolutely disgusted with himself for losing the animal. When CO Budreau advised that the deer had been found, the hunter was absolutely elated. He was thankful that CO Budreau was able to find him and give him the good news. The deer was turned over to the hunter to be properly tagged and all parties involved were very happy with the outcome.
After several attempts at catching a subject taking deer out of season with a rifle, CO Andrea Albert was able to finally contact the suspect in his hunting blind in the evening with a rifle in early October. The subject had not purchased any hunting licenses for years. Further investigation by CO Albert, found the subject had shot a 4-point deer last year in September with a rifle. The processed venison from the illegal deer was seized and charges will be sought for taking a deer out of season in 2021, hunting deer out of season in October of 2022, hunting without a license, and using bait to hunt deer.
CO Tom Oberg responded to a report of a drowning at Dixon Lake in Otsego County. CO Oberg arrived on scene with Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers and local fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. CO Oberg assisted in searching the shoreline near the boat launch for the drowning victim. Shortly after, the body of the elderly man was located by on scene personnel near the dock. The man was pulled to shore, where lifesaving efforts were conducted. The man was transported to Otsego Memorial Hospital but, unfortunately was unable to recover.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Jack Gorno assisted the Tuscarora Township Police Department in attempting to locate a subject who had run from a traffic stop. The subject had fled on foot into a stand of timber adjacent to the roadway The COs assisted in helping to set up a perimeter and tracking the subject through the woods. The subject ultimately turned himself in without incident.
CO Kyle Cherry received notification from the Montmorency County Court that charges were authorized on a male subject from an issue stemming from elk season. The incident involved an elk hunter who unintentionally shot a spike bull elk while only being licensed to take an antlerless elk. The case will continue through the Montmorency County Court system.
CO Kyle Cherry was off duty on a walk with his family in Otsego County when he was flagged down by two female subjects who asked if he had seen an elderly woman on foot. After being told he had not, the two females drove away before CO Cherry had a chance to ask additional questions. Approximately 20 minutes later, CO Cherry found an elderly woman walking in slippers. CO Cherry spoke with the woman who told CO Cherry she knew where she was going and her granddaughters might be looking for her because they had had an argument, and she walked away from their cabin. Fearing that the woman might be lost, CO Cherry contacted Otsego Central Dispatch and discovered that the woman was 84 years old with dementia and the family had been looking for her for over an hour. The dispatcher also advised that MSP had been dispatched to the area to assist in locating the woman. CO Cherry was able to talk the woman into walking to a nearby intersection where her family could meet them to pick her up. CO Cherry waited with her until her family arrived.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney LaLonde continued a lengthy investigation with the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department. Multiple stolen items including several firearms were located and stored into evidence that were part of this investigation. COs Liestenfeltz and LaLonde also continued multiple interviews about a large-scale poaching incident tied to the same investigation. After all suspects have been interviewed, final charges will be submitted.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney LaLonde were patrolling in Montmorency County when they observed a group of waterfowl hunters actively hunting Voyer Lake a week before waterfowl season was open. The COs contacted the subjects at shore when they finished their hunt. The hunters were unsuccessful shooting any ducks, and two tickets were issued for hunting waterfowl in a closed season.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling eastern Montmorency County when he observed a vehicle with a license plate attached that belonged to a different vehicle. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on that vehicle. Upon contact with the driver, it was determined that the subject had a suspended driver’s license, open alcohol, and no insurance on the vehicle as well as the improper license plate. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject an appearance ticket for driving on a suspended license, open intoxicants, and no insurance.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling the Ocqueoc River in the middle of the night during a busy weekend. CO Fox was watching a particular area where spawning salmon were congregating. Eventually, a vehicle pulled up and three occupants walked down to the river. One subject had a fishing pole, the other had a large landing net, and the third went to stand on the bridge crossing the river to act as the “lookout.” CO Fox watched the subject with the pole attempt to snag fish unsuccessfully for several minutes. As the subjects began to return to the vehicle CO Fox stepped out of the tree line and identified himself. All three subjects immediately threw their gear and began running away. After yelling for them to stop, the subjects realized the predicament they were in and returned to the CO. The fishing pole was recovered, along with illegal gear, and several tickets and warnings were issued for miscellaneous snagging related violations.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling Presque Isle County late one night when a call came out over central dispatch regarding a road rage incident in progress. CO Fox assisted the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s deputies with the investigation and helped secure the scene where multiple vehicles had been stopped. Several subjects stated they were planning on fighting each other which resulted in multiple vehicles chasing, swerving at, and boxing each other in. Numerous tickets were issued for various traffic related violations.
Over the course of the weekend, CO Richard Stowe responded to several complaints of fishing in closed waters on the Betsie River. Each time, the subjects were located fishing in the closed waters and citations were issued for fishing in a closed stream and possession of fishing gear on a closed stream.
CO Brian Brosky was watching anglers on the Pere Marquette River when he noticed two subjects begin to smoke marijuana in public. After a short time, CO Brosky contacted the individuals, one of whom he recognized from past encounters who had received citations for the same violation. After obtaining identification, CO Brosky was advised that the subject, who he was familiar with, had an outstanding warrant. The subject was taken into custody and when searched suspected methamphetamine was found on his person. The subject was lodged in jail for the warrant, cited for using marijuana in public. Charges are pending upon lab analysis testing of the suspected methamphetamine.
COs Brian Brosky and Kyle Publiski were patrolling the Pere Marquette River between Scottville and Custer in Mason County when they checked a vessel with three anglers. Upon questioning the anglers if they had fishing licenses, it was determined that one of the anglers was a licensed river guide with a valid fishing license and two were nonresidents fishing without licenses. The subjects were also in possession of five chinook salmon. The subjects were cited for the licensing violations and 72 lbs. of salmon were seized. In addition to court costs and fines the anglers are facing $720.00 in reimbursement fees if found guilty of the violations.
CO Kyle Publiski received a complaint from the state park rangers at Ludington State Park that some subjects were walking around Ludington State Park and randomly shooting birds. The park rangers had pictures from park visitors of the subjects shooting a blue heron. CO Publiski arrived shortly after and contacted the subjects. After a short conversation, CO Publiski was shown a pellet gun in the trunk of their vehicle, along with two hen mallards and a blue heron all shot with the pellet gun. CO Publiski explained to the subjects that duck season was closed, blue herons were protected species, and they weren’t licensed to take waterfowl. The shooter was charged for taking/possessing waterfowl out of season and taking a protected species.
While working in Manistee County, CO Kyle Publiski located five subjects on Pine Creek snagging salmon. The subjects were walking down the shallow creek, letting out only two to three feet of line off the end of their rods, then floating the line over a fishes back and snagging it in the back. CO Publiski watched one subject put two salmon on a stringer that had been hooked in the back in a short time frame. CO Publiski contacted the subject and issued them tickets for snagging salmon.
CO Kyle Publiski received a complaint in Manistee County on the Bear Creek of several subjects snagging salmon with large treble hooks with weight melted to them. CO Publiski walked into the remote section of Bear Creek the next day and located six subjects snagging salmon with the same gear as explained in the complaint. CO Publiski contacted the subjects and issued them tickets for using weight permanently attached to the hook.
On the morning of October 1st, CO Kyle Publiski decided to check on some tree stands that had been left out all season and were baited last season. CO Publiski located four different hunters in the tree stands, all hunting over bait for deer. CO Publiski cited all the subjects for hunting over deer bait and advised them to put their names on their tree stands and remove them from public land this year.
CO Ryan Andrews was patrolling along the Pere Marquette River in Lake County when he located a group of subjects snagging salmon. All five subjects were using the same type of gear, consisting of very large spinning rods with treble hooks baited with yarn. The subjects were locating salmon and then getting as close as they could before flipping their hooks over the fish and jerking the hooks at the fish. CO Andrews watched from about 25 feet away as one individual snagged a salmon in the back, dragged it out of the river, and put it on a stringer. Another subject snagged a salmon by the tail using the same technique. Another subject sat on the bank and smoked marijuana on federal land. CO Andrews contacted the group and issued citations for the violations.
CO Ryan Andrews responded to a snagging complaint about an individual using illegal treble hooks on the Pere Marquette River in Lake County. When CO Andrews arrived, the suspects were not actively fishing, and when contacted, all three subjects had removed their gear from their line and were re-tying with legal gear. The subjects had numerous salmon on stringers that all had hook marks in the bodies of the fish, and they were the only anglers in the area that had caught any fish. CO Andrews talked to other anglers in the area who confirmed the complaint. CO Andrews explained the regulations to the subjects and warned them for snagging fish. A week later, CO Andrews was patrolling the same area, along with CO Brian Brosky, when they observed the same group actively attempting to snag fish. They were aggressively jerking their hooks directly at salmon as they casted just over them and they would cast out and leave their hooks in the middle of the shallow stream and wait for a salmon to swim between them and their hook and then jerked the hook at the fish. Again, they were the only subjects in the area that had fish on a stringer. Contact was made and the subjects were issued citations for snagging salmon.
While patrolling along the Pere Marquette River in an area of private property, CO Ryan Andrews observed a pair of men who were trespassing and attempting to snag salmon with illegal treble hooks. One individual used a large landing net to block a narrow passage in the river and net fish that were not hooked. CO Andrews then contacted the subjects and issued citations for using illegal gear to take salmon.
While patrolling along closed sections of trout streams in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews located a subject who was actively trying to snag fish. While CO Andrews watched, he overheard statements from the subject such as, “To catch these fish you got to force feed them some lead.” The subject was fishing with an un-baited treble hook with a large lead weight tied about six inches under the hook. When CO Andrews contacted the subject, he attempted to snag the hook in some rocks in the bottom of the stream so he could break off the evidence. When that failed, he jerked the hook from the water up into the tree limbs above him and quickly broke off the line. The hook then fell from the tree right at his feet. During these efforts, CO Andrews advised the subject that he already saw what he was using. The individual was issued a citation for snagging in a closed trout stream.
CO Ben Shively was on foot patrol after dark on the north branch of the White River when he observed two subjects walk down the hill from a parking area and enter the river. The subjects walked to the opposite shore and while one of the subjects began to assemble his fishing pole, the second subject set his pole down and grabbed his net and attempted to net a salmon in the river. The subject netted the salmon and took it to shore and put it on a stringer and then went after another salmon. CO Shively contacted the subject before he could net a second fish. The subject denied netting the fish and stated he had just caught it. When it was pointed out that his fishing pole was not assembled, he admitted to netting the fish. The subject was cited for taking fish by an illegal method. The fish was returned to the water.
COs Josh Reed and Angela Greenway responded to assist the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office with a suspicious vehicle complaint on private property. The deputy called the COs initially thinking the subjects may be on the property poaching. While in route, the deputy advised he could hear people yelling for help. The deputy located an elderly couple in a swamp about a half mile from the vehicle. COs Reed and Greenway assisted the Sheriff’s Office in retrieving the couple from the woods. CO Reed, with the assistance of the property owner and a chainsaw, was able to get his patrol truck through the property to the edge of the swamp and transport them out of the woods and to the waiting ambulance. The couple had been out in the woods for two days.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a complaint of a possible illegal deer being processed during the closed season. Upon arrival, CO Ginn contacted several subjects at the residence. Two subjects were found to have outstanding warrants and one subject was in possession of methamphetamine. CO Ginn asked for assistance transporting the subjects to the Newaygo County Jail. Further investigation revealed a large bait pile behind the residence. The landowner was cited for the baiting violation.
CO Micah Hintze was on foot patrol along the Pentwater River and observed an individual using a large landing net attempt to net salmon. After multiple unsuccessful attempts, the suspect retrieved a large metal spear from a nearby shed and returned to the river to spear a large salmon. As the suspect quickly tried to return the spear to the shed, he was met by CO Hintze at the building. CO Hintze knew the suspect from a previous complaint on the same property that resulted in enforcement action. CO Hintze seized the spear as evidence and issued citations for possessing a spear along a trout stream and taking fish by illegal methods.
CO Micah Hintze was on foot patrol on the White River when he observed small trees rustling roughly 30 yards from the river’s edge. He investigated and observed a man clearing an area to fish. After about an hour of clearing brush, the man walked to a car parked at a nearby residence and returned with a large two-piece spear. The man began attempting to spear the migrating salmon, unsuccessfully. He finally gave up and was contacted by CO Hintze as he left. The man informed CO Hintze that he had warrants and that this just wasn’t his day. The man was charged with possession of a spear on a trout stream, fishing a closed trout stream, fishing without a license, and was lodged on two misdemeanor warrants.
CO Matt Zultak and Sgt. Brian Olsen checked a group fishing on the Muskegon River in Missaukee County. CO Zultak determined one of the anglers only possessed an expired fishing license. The anglers were also in possession of 10 undersize bass. They received citations for fishing without a license, possessing fish without a license, and possession of undersize bass.
CO Kyle Bader participated in a math/science night at Surline Middle School in Ogemaw County with a DNR Wildlife Division technician and a local taxidermist. CO Bader estimated at least 200 youths visited the exhibit and learned about fish and game laws, furbearer identification, and the surrogate sow program.
While on patrol in Bay County, CO Adam Beuthin observed a vehicle failing to maintain its lane several times. A traffic stop was conducted and upon walking up to the vehicle, the CO could smell the odor of an intoxicating substance coming from the breath of the operator of the vehicle. Field sobrieties were performed by the operator of the vehicle, and it was determined the operator was operating under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Enforcement action was taken, and the individual was arrested for OWI.
CO Matthew Neterer received several RAP complaints about a group of hunters camping and “partying” at the Rush Lake State Game Area (SGA). CO Neterer then received a tip that they may be parked blocking a DNR work road gate. Upon arrival, CO Neterer found the gate to still be accessible, but located a gut pile nearby and an untagged button buck hidden under goose decoy bags in the bed of one of the trucks. CO Neterer issued a citation for failing to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag and a written warning for not displaying a camping permit on state land.
CO Mike Eovaldi conducted a suspect interview to follow up on a short muskellunge that was reported to be harvested out of Lake Skegemog in Kalkaska County. The 17 year old suspect stated that he and a buddy caught an approximately 43 inch musky, whereas the minimum size limit on lake Skegemog is 50 inches. When asked what happened with the fish, the angler stated that it had been released. CO Eovaldi was able to verify the story with the fishing buddy while conducting the interview. The young angler was under the assumption that every musky caught had to be registered, not just the fish kept. CO Eovaldi educated the angler on the musky harvest report system.
COs Mike Haas and Adam Schiller were working a late evening patrol in northern Montcalm County when they received a RAP complaint referencing an illegal party in the Vestaburg SGA. The COs arrived on scene and located a large group at a bonfire. The gate was pried, and multiple vehicles were parked and operating through fields closed to motor vehicles. Multiple citations were issued to address underage possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct on state land, and operating vehicles in closed areas.
COs Dan Robinson and Jake Daniel participated in the Isabella County Project RED, Rural Education Day. The event is organized by Farm Bureau and hosted at a local farm. The COs presented ORV safety at their assigned station, talking to over 500 fourth grade students from the local school districts over two days, giving each group a chance to learn about the job a Michigan Conservation Officer does and more importantly how to be safe while riding ORVs.
CO Dan Robinson was called to an area where an individual had found a ground blind, a trail camera, and a large bait pile on his property. The suspect had a cellular trail camera and saw the caller on the camera and came to the location. The suspect stated the bait and stand were his and he knew baiting deer was illegal. A citation was issued for the baiting violation and a verbal warning for recreational trespass.
While patrolling south down US 131, CO James Nason witnessed a speeding car being operated carelessly. The subject took the business loop east toward the City of Kalamazoo. CO Nason was able to initiate a stop on the vehicle. During the contact with the driver, the Lansing native would not roll his window down more than an inch, he would not speak to CO Nason, nor answer any of his questions. CO Nason issued the man multiple citations for his careless operation of the vehicle and gave a warning for an improper display of registration.
CO Jason McCullough received a complaint in reference to a farmer in Kalamazoo County who had allegedly burned down a farmhouse on one of his various properties. CO James Nason investigated this further. During his investigation, CO Nason found that the farmer had demolished the home with an excavator and had taken much of the building materials to the dump in multiple tractor-trailer loads. Due to extenuating circumstances, the farmer was unable to bring the small remainder of material to the landfill. The farmer and his farm hands pushed the rest of the house materials into the concrete poured basement and lit it on fire. Once the fire had burned out, soil was brought in, and the remains were buried on site. Enforcement action was taken for the unlawful disposal of the solid waste.
While patrolling Van Buren County inland lakes for marine activity, CO Tyler Cole observed a vessel with three subjects fishing. Upon contacting the anglers, it was found that the only subject on the vessel that had a proper personal floatation device (PFD) was the dog on board. Upon further investigation, it was also found that the vessel was unregistered, a largemouth bass that was less than 14 inches was caught and kept, and only one subject had a valid fishing license. Citations were issued for the undersized bass, PFD, and licensing/registration issues.
CO Tyler Cole received a RAP complaint concerning a subject dumping a bag of fish into a hardware store’s recycling bin. CO Cole responded and spoke with the complainant, who showed the CO the fish that were dumped. In total, eight largemouth bass, all undersized, were dumped along with other sunfish. A suspect was eventually identified and interviewed by CO Cole. The suspect admitted to catching all the fish and dumping them into the local hardware store’s recycling bin because he didn’t want the fish stinking up his garbage bin. A report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office and charges were authorized for the undersized and over-limit of largemouth bass.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked angler activity at Webber Dam. While checking anglers, CO Beavers spotted two subjects fishing from the dam spillway. CO Beavers contacted the anglers, who stated they did not know this was illegal. CO Beavers pointed out the numerous signs they passed that read no trespassing. The anglers were cited for the infraction.
In Ionia County in early October, CO Jeremy Beavers conducted angler surveillance at Goose Creek, a Type 1 trout stream. On this occasion, CO Beavers spotted two anglers fishing in the stream after it was closed to such activity and trespassing on private land. CO Beavers contacted the anglers and informed the subjects that they could not fish the stream at this time as it is closed to fishing and addressed that they were trespassing. CO Beavers then noticed they were in violation of the hook regulations, using lures with treble hooks that are too large. CO Beavers explained the hook size regulations to the anglers as well. The anglers were cited for fishing a closed stream and given warnings for the remaining violations.
CO Justin Ulberg investigated a RAP complaint of an individual shooting an over-limit of turkeys during the 2022 spring turkey season. According to the complaint, the subject filled his tag and then used a family member’s license to tag a second turkey. CO Ulberg interviewed the subject and obtained a confession. A report will be submitted to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Officer for pending charges.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint of an active bait pile in northern Muskegon County. CO Cullen scouted the area and was able to locate the bait pile with approximately 50 pounds of corn, carrots, sugar beets, and apples in front of a cell camera and ladder stand. CO Cullen was able to perform surveillance on the area the next morning and contact the hunter who was actively hunting over the bait pile. A citation was issued for hunting over bait.
CO Chris Reynolds worked the archery season opener in Hillsdale County. During the patrol, CO Reynolds located a vehicle that was parked, he had not encountered before in that area. CO Reynolds checked the registered owner of the vehicle and others that lived at the address in RSS, and no one at the address had a current hunting license. After waiting for a while, a hunter was observed walking to the vehicle. When CO Reynolds contacted the hunter, the hunter stated he had not had time to purchase his licenses yet but had blood on his fingers. The hunter told CO Reynolds they had not been hunting but had cut themselves. CO Reynolds kept talking with the hunter who eventually confessed to shooting a deer and led CO Reynolds to the area the deer was shot. An antlerless deer was recovered, and a citation issued for hunting without a license. The deer was seized and donated to a local person in need.
While on an ORV patrol, CO Cody Bourgeois and Sgt. Jason Becker heard what sounded like rapid gunfire coming from Holly State Recreation Area land. While hunting is legal, target practicing is only allowed in designated areas. The COs located several vehicles parked off the road and heard more gunfire in the woods. The COs located seven individuals off a main hiking trail target shooting. The COs made contact and ensured all firearms were cleared and put on safe. Once the scene was safe, the COs explained to the suspects that shooting in this area is illegal, furthermore the safety of shooting next to a hiking trail, and the amount of lead being put into the ground that won’t be cleaned up. The suspects were asked to clean up all their debris and litter on the ground and then to move to their vehicles. All suspects were issued citations for target shooting in an undesignated area.
CO Cody Bourgeois teamed up with his partners in Area 2 to work on an ongoing ORV complaint in Holly State Recreation Area. The suspect created his own dirt bike track on the state land and has been creating erosive conditions. COs Justin Muehlhauser and Luke Robare strategically placed themselves on ORVs around the track while CO Bourgeois stayed in the patrol truck near the road in case the suspect fled. Soon after the COs got into position, they heard a dirt bike approaching their location. The rider made one pass through the track before the COs initiated a stop. Luckily the rider was smart and stopped on contact. The suspect was issued a citation for riding in a closed area. The subject was educated on areas that are open for ORV riding.
CO Sydney Griffor received a wildlife complaint through the DNR RAP hotline regarding feeding deer in Fort Gratiot. CO Griffor received the same complaint about the same individual back in June and gave the individual a warning for the first occurrence and advised them it was illegal to feed deer. CO Griffor responded to the residence and found corn out behind the house once again. CO Griffor issued the individual a citation for feeding deer in a closed area.
CO Sydney Griffor followed up with several complaints from opening day of archery season. CO Griffor received a DNR RAP complaint about baiting deer/hunting over bait in the northern part of St. Clair County. CO Griffor responded to the hunting property, snuck into the woods, and found two hunters hunting an elevated tower blind over bait. CO Griffor issued both hunters a citation for baiting in an area closed to baiting. One hunter had mentioned he shot a 10-point buck earlier that morning on the same property but from a tree stand that was not baited. After further investigation, the following day, and with assistance from COs Joe Deppen and Brad Silorey, another interview was conducted. The interview resulted in the individual admitting to shooting the buck over bait, which is an illegal hunting method. CO Griffor seized the buck from the hunter and the venison will be donated to a local family in need. A report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office regarding taking the deer over the illegal bait pile.
Sgt. Seth Rhodea was patrolling in northern Lapeer County when he observed a single person ORV being operated with an adult and two children on the ORV as well as no one was wearing a helmet. A stop was made, and it was discovered that the ORV license was expired, the driver did not have a valid driver’s license, and did have a warrant for his arrest. Upon checking on the warrant, the subject was advised and released regarding the warrant but was left with an additional citation and instructions to push his ORV to his residence.
CO Eric Smither and Sgt. Shane Webster were patrolling Lenawee County for goose hunting activity when they observed a group of hunters starting to pack up and leave. They contacted the group and upon further investigation, found that one individual did not have a plug in their firearm. Enforcement action was taken, and a citation was issued for hunt waterfowl with an unplugged gun.
CO Mike Drexler followed up on a baited tree stand complaint on opening morning of archery deer. The tree stand was on public land and CO Drexler scouted it out a few days prior to the opener, finding mineral blocks and a large section of grain mineral spread around on the ground, as well as apples. CO Drexler contacted the hunter on opening morning, who stated he wasn’t sure if baiting was legal or not. A citation was issued for hunting over bait.
CO Mike Drexler was following up on a shots fired complaint at the Goose Lake State Game Area on opening day of archery season. As the CO was talking to another hunter at the parking lot, the hunter noticed a group of hunters walking down the trail that appeared to duck into the woods after seeing CO Drexler. CO Drexler contacted the three 20 year old hunters and was just starting to inquire why they were appearing to duck into the woods after seeing him, when the CO heard something fall at the feet of one of the hunters. The CO looked to find a loaded pistol had fallen from one of the hunter’s waistbands onto the ground. CO Drexler secured that firearm and asked if the other two were carrying which they responded yes. The CO secured all three pistols from the individuals who were illegally carrying concealed pistols. CO Drexler also found two of the three were hunting without licenses. Citations were issued for hunting without licenses. The three pistols were seized, and a report will be submitted for all three felony CCW violations.
CO Brandon Hartleben assisted with the Washtenaw County Becoming an Outdoors Woman event by providing the attendees with legal and regulatory information during the classroom portion of the event. CO Hartleben also assisted with the range portion of the event by serving as a range safety and instructor during the archery equipment overview and live fire at the Sharonville SGA range.
CO Brandon Hartleben was able to conduct follow-up on the archery deer season opener with a pair of subjects who had placed their hang-on tree stands up early on state land at Waterloo State Recreation Area. When CO Hartleben and PCO Nick Thornton first located the stands in August, they were unlabeled and there was a mineral lick at the site. Both subjects were issued citations for hanging stands on state land prior to September 1st and were issued warnings for no identifying information on stands and for placing mineral (bait).
CO Chris Knights has had issues the last couple seasons in the south unit of Bald Mountain Recreation Area with baiting, illegal stands, and destroying state land. On the opening night of bow season, CO Knights checked the area in question looking for the responsible individuals. CO Knights walked the perimeter and noticed some movement in a tree blind down the field. CO Knights made contact and had the hunter come down for questioning. The hunter came down and CO Knights checked the blind for identification, it had none. CO Knights noticed more bait next to the stand as well as cut down trees and trail cameras surrounding it. CO Knights walked the state land with the hunter and pointed out all the illegal activity. The hunter admitted to everything, so CO Knights issued him a citation for each violation.
CO Luke Robare received a complaint on opening day of archery deer season. The complaint stated that a neighbor heard, what sounded like a shot gun, at 7:00 am that morning and he thinks one of the neighbors shot a deer with a firearm. COs Luke Robare and Justin Muehlhauser located the property where the shot came from and found two individuals getting into a truck about to leave. COs Robare and Muehlhauser contacted the individuals and found an uncased shotgun in the back seat of the truck, along with buck shot and slugs. CO Robare asked the driver if he had hunted that morning and the driver admitted that he hunted that morning and he shot a doe with his 12ga shotgun. The individual did not have a valid hunting license for the 2022 deer season either. CO Robare will be submitting several charges with the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.
While working on Belle Isle, CO Dan Walzak was sitting at the corner of Picnic Way watching a procession of vehicles going by on The Strand. One of the vehicles suddenly pulled out of the procession, turned around, and quickly accelerated against the flow of traffic. The driver of the vehicle then pulled back into the procession, honking his horn several times to stop traffic to let him in. When the vehicle again reached CO Walzak’ s position, CO Walzak pulled in behind the vehicle, activated his emergency lights, and pulled the vehicle over. After contacting the driver and collecting the necessary documents, CO Walzak asked the driver to explain why he pulled his maneuver. The driver hung his head and did not reply. While the rest of the procession passed by the driver, CO Walzak returned to his patrol vehicle and issued him a citation for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.