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Conservation Officers (COs) Jenni Hanson and Zach Painter taught a hunter safety course in Gogebic County. With the help of a recreation safety volunteer instructor, 50 students successfully passed the course and earned their hunter safety certificate. Involved with the instruction were Sergeant (Sgt.) Marc Pomroy, Sgt. Brian Bacon, and COs Jared Ferguson, Cody Smith, and Byron Parks.
COs Brian Lasanen, Byron Parks and Sgt. Marc Pomroy investigated a complaint of a group of bear hound hunters who were trespassing. The suspects were identified, and multiple interviews were conducted. It was determined that a large bear was shot by an unlicensed hunter while the group was trespassing. A warrant request will be submitted for the licensing violations along with trespassing.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and responded to the call of a boat stranded on Lake Superior. The location given was described as somewhere between Black River Harbor and Saxon Harbor in Wisconsin. CO Painter, with the assistance of a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper, located the stranded boat several miles from Black River Harbor. There were two subjects on board unable to get their motor to work. The officers were able to tow the boat safely back into the harbor.
COs Jeremy Sergey and John Kamps received information that a hunter had harvested a bear in the wrong bear management unit. The COs were only provided a general location of where the individual was camping. After searching for some time, the COs located the individual camping on state land with two other bear hunters. In addition to obtaining a confession, the following violations were also discovered: unidentified tree stand, hunt with a semi-automatic rifle capable of holding greater than six shells, and transport an uncased pistol on an ORV. The bear was seized, and the case is open, pending prosecution in the Baraga County Court.
COs Jeremy Sergey and John Kamps participated in the 2022 Law Enforcement Torch Run in Marquette raising money for the Michigan Special Olympics.
CO Brandon Maki and Sgt. Mark Zitnik checked a successful hunter who had just shot a bear. The hunter had all the proper licensing and showed the COs the video footage he took during the hunt. The COs assisted the hunter in tracking the bear. After a short track, the COs helped the hunter get the bear out of the woods and to an access point.
CO Andrea Dani observed a four-wheeler trail with several pieces of equipment left unattended at the beginning of the trail. CO Dani followed the ORV tracks until she located a bear bait and a rifle bear hunter in a tree stand with no hunter orange. CO Dani contacted the hunter, who also did not have his bear license on his person. CO Dani gave him a warning for the hunter orange and cited him for no hunting license on his person.
CO Steve Butzin checked several bear hunters who were in violation of establishing/tending an illegal bear bait during the 2022 and 2021 bear season as the bait was placed prior to 31 days before open season and barrels with holes larger than an inch were used on private property. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Lynch and Sgt. Mark Zitnik were on patrol checking small game hunters when a truck slow rolling down a gravel road approached the COs. Contact with the driver was made and an uncased shotgun was observed in the vehicle. The hunter was asked for his hunting license, and he was unable to produce one. A citation was issued for an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and a warning was given for hunting without a license.
CO Michael Evink assisted Manistique Paper employees in rescuing a deer from the paper mill water flume. Mill employees were able to use a rope to get the deer out of the water and CO Evink assisted in moving the deer to safety through the mill to freedom.
CO Robert Freeborn was called to assist in locating a three-year-old child that had wandered from her residence with her two dogs. CO Freeborn, along with an MSP Detective Sgt., were first on the scene and began to gather information to relay to other officers responding. The child was missing for close to an hour prior to the mother calling for help. After a search plan was constructed, CO Freeborn elected to hike through the cedar swamp behind the house to check out the pipeline and creek in the area. After approximately a half-hour, the child found her way back home with her dogs in the lead, unharmed and in good spirits. The dogs were credited with sticking with the child the entire time and leading the way back home.
CO Robert Freeborn and Sgt. Mark Zitnik participated in the annual security detail for the Labor Day Bridge Walk. The event went off without any issues and the walkers enjoyed perfect fall weather.
COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink were on routine patrol when they checked a local river for fishing activity. After locating two anglers on a sand island, they were asked to show their licenses. One of the subjects stated he had one, but it was in the car back at the beach access. The COs left the river and checked the status of the angler in question. It was determined that the angler had never purchased a fishing license before. The angler was re-contacted, and his story immediately changed. He was issued a citation for the violation.
COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink responded to a safety zone complaint of a bear shot on the side of a county road in front of a residence. The COs documented the kill site along with where the bear was loaded into a truck. A slug and .45 casing were also found on the scene. Several hours later, the subject was located and interviewed. It was determined the hunter had been running the bear with his hounds. He was utilizing a tracking device on the dogs and knew where they were going to cross the road. As the bear crossed with the dogs in pursuit, he shot the bear with his pistol at a very close range. When the hunter was checked, it was determined that the tag was not notched properly. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Baldwin tracked down an individual responsible for abandoning a campsite on state land. Several tents, clothes, children’s toys, coolers full of rotting food, and an excessive amount of garbage were all left behind for close to a month. CO Baldwin located the owner, who stated she had been homeless, but her husband was supposed to pick up the site and never did. She was given 24 hours to have the site cleaned up, but she and her husband never showed. CO Baldwin returned to the home where she was residing and issued several tickets for state land use violations.
COs Chad Baldwin and Nathan Beelman participated in an exercise involving the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the local emergency medical services (EMS), and the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team in the Pine River Channel, which connects Lake Michigan to Lake Charlevoix. During the exercise, the agencies practiced swimmer and drowning victim recovery to help them become more efficient at locating victims in the water both from above and below the surface.
CO Duane Budreau attended a Hunters Safety Field Day in East Jordan with over 50 people in attendance. There was a variety of age groups attending the program. CO Budreau fielded many questions about the new mandatory harvest reporting rule. Several people were concerned with the poor cellular coverage in northern Michigan. CO Budreau explained the various options that people will have to report their harvest. CO Budreau also explained the new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) App for smart phones. He assisted several people in installing the app while talking about it.
CO Tim Rosochacki was contacted to assist the Cheboygan County Sheriff's Department in a search for a missing subject in the Pigeon River Country after dark and in the rain. A 77-year-old male with dementia had called a family member stating his vehicle had become stuck on a two-track but did not know where he was. In a futile attempt to seek help, he began walking in an unknown direction. Sgt. Mark DePew and COs Kyle Cherry, Sidney LaLonde, Dan Liestenfeltz, Paul Fox, and Matt Theunick also responded to assist. A search and rescue team member located the abandoned vehicle stuck in a large mud hole with footprints leading away from it. CO Rosochacki accompanied the sheriff's department K9, and they were able to locate the male subject lying under a tree approximately one-half mile from the vehicle. The subject was cold and wet but otherwise ok.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a lost hunter in Cheboygan County. The hunter had been trying to locate his dog when he got turned around in a very dense swampy area. Knowing he was lost, the hunter smartly called 9-1-1 before walking in an unknown direction. Once CO Rosochacki received the coordinates for the hunter, he quickly knew there was a ridge very close to the hunter's location, which would be the best avenue to get him out of the woods. CO Rosochacki, a Cheboygan County sheriff’s deputy, and the fire chief for Forest-Waverly Volunteer Fire Department, walked the ridge to the hunter's location. The hunter was tired and thirsty but otherwise in good spirits. Another group of hunters located the subject's dog and brought it to his vehicle.
CO Kyle Cherry responded to a complaint in Otsego County of a turkey that was likely shot out of season. CO Cherry identified a male suspect and contacted him for an interview. The subject initially stated that his wife shot the turkey and that he had not been successful this year. After further questioning, the subject admitted that he shot a turkey in the late spring season and used his wife’s kill tag on the turkey. Property was seized, and charges are being sought through the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Sidney LaLonde responded to an ORV accident in Presque Isle County. CO LaLonde assisted deputies with an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that took a corner too wide which resulted in hitting a mailbox. The victim was by himself and was unconscious when a passerby found him in the road. The victim was conscious and breathing when EMS arrived but was very confused about where he was and did not remember the accident. CO LaLonde followed up a day after the accident and talked with the victim. He still did not remember the accident or how long he was laying on the dirt road but seemed to be in good spirits with non-life-threatening injuries.
COs Sidney LaLonde and Paul Fox responded to a lost hiker in Cheboygan County. The elderly hiker was reported missing after dark by his wife when she did not hear from him. This was not the first time the hiker was unaccounted for by family members. The COs responded to the area along with Cheboygan County sheriff’s deputies. Shortly after, the hiker found his way to his truck and called his wife. The officers met with the man and explained the importance of letting a family member know where you’ll be prior to leaving.
COs Sidney LaLonde and Sgt Mike Mshar responded to an elk hunter harassment and trespass issue during the elk hunt. Two separate guides were hunting on a piece of property and were unaware that both had permission to be there. The COs arrived at the location to find several hunters had shot at cow elk and were unsure of how many animals were hit. The COs were able to determine two cow elk were wounded. The hunters were eventually able to successfully locate the cow elk and it was sorted out who had shot what animal.
CO Sidney LaLonde received a call from the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline about a text to the RAP line. The text stated a hunter was being harassed and a gun was pulled on one of the subjects. Then the person stopped texting the RAP hotline. CO LaLonde and Montmorency County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. Two neighbors got into a heated argument while one was hunting the early antlerless season and the other was riding an ORV nearby. The two had a verbal argument, but no threats were made about guns. No violations were found.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was fueling up his patrol vehicle in Montmorency County, when he observed a vehicle and its occupants acting suspiciously in the parking lot. CO Liestenfeltz ran the vehicle’s license plate as it was pulling out of the parking lot and discovered the registered owner of the vehicle had a revoked driver’s license. CO Liestenfeltz was able to catch up to the vehicle and initiate a traffic stop. When the vehicle was stopped, it was determined that the passenger of the vehicle was the registered owner, but the current driver was also suspended. The subject also had multiple warrants for his arrest. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject an appearance ticket for driving on a suspended license. Sgt. Mike Mshar arrived on scene and took the subject into custody for the warrants. The subject was transported to Otsego County to meet MSP troopers for the warrants. A valid driver drove the vehicle from the scene.
Sgt. Mike Mshar was on patrol during the elk hunt in Montmorency County when a complaint came from RAP that a hunter was hunting on a roadway and was aiming a rifle down the road at oncoming vehicles. Sgt. Mshar responded and confirmed that the hunter had set up a tripod actively aiming his rifle down the middle of a public county road. The hunter and his guide were educated on the safety hazards that could occur doing such a careless thing. The hunter seemed to understand and elected to opt for a different location to hunt.
CO William Kinney patrolled the Betsie River in Benzie County for fishing activity during the busy salmon season. CO Kinney contacted anglers from all over the country, in addition to one angler who flew in from Germany just to fish the fall salmon runs. CO Kinney issued several citations over the course of a few days for individuals fishing within 300 feet of the Homestead Dam.
CO William Kinney was patrolling the Betsie River in Benzie County for fishing activity during the busy salmon season. CO Kinney observed one angler fishing in the closed area near the Homestead Dam. CO Kinney confronted the angler and had him come to the riverbank. When speaking with the non-resident angler from Illinois, the angler told CO Kinney that he was aware of the closed area, but he did not know that he had waded into it when fishing on the far side of the river. When CO Kinney asked the angler to present a fishing license, the angler stated he did not have one. The angler was under the impression that he did not need a license to fish rivers in Michigan. Upon further questioning, it was discovered the angler took a guided float fishing trip on the AuSable River this summer. The angler was told by the fishing guide that he did not need a license to fish. CO Kinney explained the misguidance he was given previously. In the end, the angler was cited for fishing without a license.
COs Richard Stowe and Joshua Wright were working a night patrol on the Betsie River when they encountered two subjects walking across posted private property in Benzie County. Both subjects were cited for the violation. At another time, CO Stowe encountered two adults and three juveniles walking the same path across the property. The two adults were issued citations for recreational trespass.
CO Richard Stowe was assisted by an MSP trooper in responding to a reported 300-foot violation at the Homestead Dam at night. A subject was observed fighting a fish approximately 150 feet from the dam. Contact was made and CO Stowe assisted in landing the fish. When the hook was removed, it was found to be a treble hook with a ¾ inch gap from point to shank. The subject was cited for both violations and the fish was released successfully.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a fully involved structure fire with a subject possibly trapped inside. Upon arrival, CO Ginn located a very large bonfire behind a residence with a large group of friends and family surrounding it. Upon inspecting the blaze, CO Ginn noticed the fire contained several tires, mattresses, and other various furniture items. CO Ginn located the landowner who was responsible and cited him for the violation. CO Ginn had the fire department continue to the residence and extinguish the illegal fire. The landowner was also found to have an outstanding warrant for unlawful disposal of solid waste. He was transported and lodged at the Newaygo County Jail.
COs from District 4 participated in the annual Hot Boat marine event on the Muskegon River. Several citations were issued for marine registration and safety-related violations. Medical assistance was provided to a non-responsive female that was turned over to Big Prairie Fire Department. Several verbal warnings were given for operation of personal watercrafts (PWCs).
COs Josh Reed, Angela Greenway, Micah Hintze, and Robert Slick, along with Sgt. Mike Bomay, participated in a speed enforcement patrol on the Muskegon River. COs Tim Barboza and Ben Shively conducted speed measurements from a fixed position along the shoreline utilizing the department issued LIDAR unit. Speed limit on inland waters is 55 mph. Citations were issued for speeding violations of 66, 67, 67, 72, 74, and 81 mph.
CO Tim Barboza participated in a Hook’n Up Vets cook out and target shooting day with veterans from the Grand Rapids Veterans’ Home.
While off duty, CO Casey Pullum received a complaint from Oscoda County Central Dispatch of two subjects lost in the woods on an ORV. The subjects were operating a side-by-side after dark when they became lost and traveled cross-country through the woods and got stuck in a wetland. They had 5% battery on their phone and decided to call 9-1-1 to obtain help. Local dispatch was able to obtain GPS coordinates of their location before their phone died and provided the coordinates to CO Pullum. As the only law enforcement officer with equipment sufficient to navigate the terrain, CO Pullum responded to the area and began the search on his ORV. He located both subjects who were wet and cold but otherwise okay.
CO John Huspen was patrolling Crawford County during bear season when he observed three trucks with hounds parked, blocking a forest road. CO Huspen tracked the subjects in the woods and contacted the group of hunters minutes after harvesting a black bear. The subjects had finished field dressing the bear but failed to place a tag on the animal. Upon further investigation, the hunter had left the kill tag in his brother’s truck, which was about five miles away. A citation was issued for failing to validate a kill tag.
COs Phil Hudson, Josh Russell and John Huspen assisted with a Hunter Safety Field Day at the Houghton Lake Sportsmen Club. Approximately 30 people completed the hunter safety class.
COs James Garrett and Matthew Zultak were patrolling Roscommon County on the opening day for hound hunting in the Red Oak Bear Management Unit when they discovered half of a 55-gallon metal barrel that was being used as a bear bait station, which is illegal to use on state land. The next morning COs Garrett and Breanna Reed slipped into the bait station before daylight and waited for the hunter. Approximately one hour after daybreak, a hound truck pulled into the location and the COs contacted the subject as he was filling the metal barrel. After a short conversation, the COs obtained a confession from the subject that he did know metal containers were illegal on state land. A citation was issued for establishing an illegal bear bait station on public land.
While on an ORV patrol in Midland County, CO Jacob Daniel came across some waterfowl hunters. CO Daniel watched two of the three hunters take their limit of wood ducks. Once the hunters headed in for the night, CO Daniel checked the hunter’s shotguns, licenses, shells, and birds. During this, CO Daniel discovered that the hunters were camping. After parting ways, CO Daniel had a feeling that the party shot birds that morning. CO Daniel went back to their campsite. After interviewing the hunters, they pulled two mallard and three wood duck carcasses out of their campfire that was set up to be burned that night. It was discovered that one of the hunters had taken one wood duck over the limit. One wood duck carcass along with two wood duck breasts were collected and a citation was issued for possessing an over-limit of wood ducks.
CO Mark Reffitt followed up on a Montcalm County complaint of a deer feeder located in a wooded area behind a residence. Upon investigation, the CO learned that the feeder belonged to a neighbor of the reported residence. The subject, who had recently moved to Michigan from Florida, was hoping to hunt there with his son during the upcoming youth hunt. The CO educated him on Michigan hunting rules while issuing him a verbal warning for baiting in a closed area. The subject and his son were ordered to remove the feeder and clean up the area around it.
CO Mike Haas responded to a RAP complaint in Midland County. Various complainants stated that there was a large camp on state land, and it appeared the occupants had been living there for quite some time. CO Haas contacted an individual arriving at the camp and noted that the driver was not licensed to drive. The camp was violating various camping regulations, contained large amounts of litter, and an illegal burn pile. The individual at the camp was warned for the driving violation, cited for the camping violations, and a deadline was given for the items to be cleaned up and removed from the state forest.
CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint from Barry County Central Dispatch of waterfowl hunters who shot at geese, hit a house, and broke a window. CO McQueer responded to the scene and found one window with two BB holes. CO McQueer then contacted the waterfowl hunters. Through his investigation, it was found that they did not have a PFD for their kayak. A citation was issued for not having a PFD in a kayak.
CO Cameron Wright was patrolling St. Joseph County during the early antlerless deer season when central dispatch put out a call of a suspicious person wearing camouflage, an orange hat, and walking slowly through a corn field. CO Wright arrived at the location shortly after and located two deer hunters who were dragging a deer out of a standing cornfield. Neither hunter was wearing their orange due to leaving it behind at their tree stands and the hunters stated that they did not have permission to be in the cornfield. It was also quickly discovered that the deer was improperly tagged. CO Wright began asking questions and discovered that the man who shot the deer was sitting in a tree stand that was less than 65 yards away from a neighbor’s house, well within their 150-yard safety zone. CO Wright interviewed the other hunter and found that he shot a deer earlier that morning with a crossbow. When the hunter showed that deer to the CO, it was discovered that the tag was affixed to the deer, but it was not validated at all. Charges are being submitted to the prosecutor’s office for the safety zone violation and warnings were given for no hunter orange, recreational trespass, and improper validation of kill tags.
CO Anna Cullen and other area COs were patrolling northern Muskegon County for salmon snagging activity. COs Cullen and Jackie Miskovich noticed two individuals leaving the area, carrying two king salmon. The COs contacted them to inquire about the fish, and the lures they were using. The anglers admitted to snagging the fish; both caught the fish behind the gill plate. The fish were seized, and citations were issued for the violations.
COs Anna Cullen, Justin Ulberg, and Casey Varriale were assisting with the “Hot Boat,” patrol at Hardy Pond in Newaygo County. The COs stopped a jet ski after observing it operate at greater than slow no wake speed near anchored vessels. The operator of the jet ski was operating in a reckless manner with multiple people swimming and floating in the area. The COs contacted the operator and noticed they were exhibiting signs of being under the influence of alcohol. CO Cullen instructed the individual to go to the back of the boat and climb the ladder to board the patrol vessel. Immediately following these instructions, the operator fled on the jet ski into the crowd of anchored vessels. The COs located the jet ski, but were unable to locate the driver, who fled on foot up a hill. Approximately 45 minutes later, COs Varriale and Cullen recognized and located the operator walking on a nearby two-track. The suspect admitted to operating the jet ski and fleeing during the stop. When asked why, he advised he was nervous due to him drinking multiple beers and being on federal probation. CO Cullen will be submitting a report to the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office and seeking charges for flee and elude.
COs Jackie Miskovich, Anna Cullen, and Casey Varriale were on patrol in Lake Michigan when they noticed a boat that was trolling for fish with four lines out and only one person in the boat. Contact was made and the individual admitted to having four lines out and knowing they were only allowed three lines. CO Miskovich issued a citation for exceeding the number of lines allowed per angler.
CO Jackie Miskovich was working the White River mouth when an angler retained a fish that they had caught by the gill plate. When CO Miskovich asked to point where they had caught the fish, they pointed to the gill plate. The individual was run through DNR Dispatch for any prior violations, and it was found that the individual had previously been issued a citation for retaining a foul hooked fish. A citation was issued to the individual.
CO Jackie Miskovich received a call from a PJ Hoffmaster park ranger regarding a couple cameras and a mineral block they had found on the park property. CO Miskovich found the mineral block and the cameras and verified it was the same set-up that was found last fall. Shortly after leaving the park, CO Miskovich received another call from a PJ Hoffmaster park ranger, saying that the owner of the cameras had come in to ask why park rangers were on their property and they had captured them on camera. CO Miskovich then went to the landowner’s house, where the cameras were closest to and asked if they had put in a complaint asking why park rangers were on their property and they said no, but maybe it was their relative. CO Miskovich interviewed the relatives, who admitted it was their cameras and their mineral block. A citation was issued for feeding deer.
CO Robert Slick was on patrol when he received a complaint of an individual fishing with too many lines in Kollen Park. CO Slick responded to the location and watched the angler. There were five lines out and only one angler attending to them. When CO Slick contacted the individual, he stated that all he knew were the bag limits. CO Slick informed him that he was only allowed three lines and that he was over. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO John Byars was assisting an Eaton County sheriff’s deputy with a sick deer complaint when a call from central dispatch came out that there was a person on the side of the road with a firearm. Upon arrival, CO Byars and the deputies approached the person who appeared to be suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot suicide attempt. Medical personnel responded and transported the person to the hospital. CO Byars assisted the detectives in finding evidence using a metal detector. The pistol used was stolen out of Jackson County and the individual was a person of interest with the Lansing Police Department.
CO Ed Rice and Sgt. Chris Maher responded to a RAP complaint of an individual hunting during the closed season. CO Rice and Sgt. Maher located two individuals underneath a box blind with one of them in possession of a rifle. When asked how the hunt was, the father stated they were out scouting for deer and not hunting. The father stated he was using the scope from the rifle to scout deer and had removed the bolt from the rifle. Sgt. Maher was given consent to search their backpacks and uncovered a box of ammunition and the rifle’s bolt in the father’s backpack. The firearm, ammunition, and licenses were documented. Charges are being sought for hunting deer with a firearm during closed season and failure to wear hunter orange.
While patrolling Windsor Township State Game Area (SGA), CO Marc Mankowski heard a person target shooting in a closed area and saw bullets hit the lake and trees around him. He located the shooter, and it was evident he was inexperienced and unaware of many safety precautions that should be observed while shooting, as well as the regulations in the game area. The shooter was issued a citation.
While patrolling near Belleville Lake, CO Ariel Young stopped at the boat launch to check activity. CO Young observed an individual carrying a very full five gallon bucket up the hill. CO Young stopped to ask the individual how the fishing was, and the individual said it had been okay. When asked how many fish were in the bucket, the individual told CO Young that there were 15 or 20 bluegill and crappie. CO Young believed there to be more than 20 fish in the bucket and after further questioning the individual, they admitted that they did not know the limit for panfish. CO Young took the bucket back to the fishing location and talked with a few other anglers who were with the first individual. CO Young then observed a fish basket that also had quite a few fish in it. CO Young dumped the bucket and found that there was an undersized walleye, four undersized smallmouth bass, multiple gobies (that were recently dead), and an over-limit of panfish. The anglers were cited for the undersized fish and over-limit. They were educated on the use of gobies as bait and that gobies cannot be possessed alive. The anglers thanked CO Young for the education on size and possession limits.
CO Cody Bourgeois received a complaint and several calls about gunfire on one of the state recreation areas in Oakland County. CO Bourgeois responded to the call. On arrival, CO Bourgeois immediately heard the gunfire. The CO went on foot patrol to locate the shooters. The CO located two individuals shooting several AR-15s, AK47s, and pistols. CO Bourgeois contacted the suspects explaining he had several complaints about the individuals shooting. After securing all the weapons, CO Bourgeois walked around the area to investigate what the suspects were shooting at and the direction of fire. CO Bourgeois identified several issues with the situation. CO Bourgeois used the OnX hunting app to show the suspects that they were discharging their firearms directly at a campground, which was approximately a couple hundred yards through the woods. Also, the CO showed the suspects either ricochets or shots that were in the trees approximately 15 to 20 feet off the ground. CO Bourgeois explained the severity of the shots and that the situation could have left someone injured or dead. Furthermore, CO Bourgeois found explosive targets which are illegal on state lands, and hundreds of empty brass casings. CO Bourgeois had the individuals clean up the area of brass and targets they were shooting at, then escorted them back to the patrol truck. The two suspects were issued a citation for shooting in an undesignated area and were given warnings on several other issues.
CO Cody Bourgeois was on marine patrol on Proud Lake checking multiple anglers and kayakers. CO Bourgeois encountered one group of five kayakers where four out of the five did not have PFDs. CO Bourgeois issued one citation for the group and told them they will have to head in for the rest of the day until PFDs are present.
CO Luke Robare received a tip from an MSP trooper about an individual who shot three Canada geese without a waterfowl license over bait. CO Robare responded to the suspect’s house with the trooper and investigated the scene. CO Robare discovered that the suspect boxed up two geese and was going to throw them away, the third goose was wounded and ended up expiring in a pond not too far away. CO Robare’s investigation found that the suspect had corn in his backyard, shot the geese without a waterfowl license or federal duck stamp, and used lead shot. The suspect stated that he was upset with the geese for eating his corn. CO Robare will be submitting charges for taking geese without a license.
CO Cody Bourgeois and Sgt. Jason Becker were on patrol in Holly Recreation Area and heard a large amount of gunfire not far away. The COs went to the location and found seven subjects with multiple rifles and handguns practicing tactical shooting exercises on state land. There were multiple targets set up with a hiking trail not far behind them. Once all the weapons were made safe, the subjects were educated on the safety concerns and where they could legally target practice. All seven subjects were cited for target shooting in a state recreation area.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey were on foot patrol in Wetzel Recreation Area checking for late waterfowl shooters. No shots were heard before or after the end of shooting hours, so the pair started to check hunters as they left their hunting areas. CO Silorey walked one subject, who was found to be loaded after hours, over to CO Kiel’s location, who was checking another hunter. CO Silorey asked the subject that CO Kiel was checking if he had shot anything. The subject stated yes that he had shot two blue-winged teal. He then dug the ducks out of his decoy bag and handed them to CO Kiel. CO Kiel asked the subject why he thought they were blue-winged teal and he said because they have blue in the wings. CO Kiel proceeded to show the subject why they were wood ducks. It was also found that three of the four waterfowl hunters checked that night had not taken hunter safety. Citations were issued for having loaded firearms after hours and taking wood ducks during the closed season.
COs Brad Silorey, Sydney Griffor, and Alex Bourgeois attended the 2022 youth waterfowl hunt on Harsens Island. The COs were able to speak with the youth hunters about safety, regulations, and the importance of waterfowl management. The COs also were able to participate in the refuge tour with the hunters and wildlife division to give them an up-close look of the managed units. Hundreds of waterfowl were observed as a plethora of various wildlife.
CO Robert Watson and Sgt. Seth Rhodea patrolled Lake St Clair on Labor Day checking waterfowl hunters and boaters. During the patrol citations were issued for hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun, hunting waterfowl with toxic (lead) shot and for slow no wake violations. Multiple warnings were also given during the patrol.
Sgt. Seth Rhodea was checking lakes in the Lapeer SGA when he located a subject fishing from a kayak on a small lake. Sgt. Rhodea monitored the angler and contacted him when he was leaving the lake. The angler was found to not have a PFD with him while he was fishing. A citation was issued for failing to have a PFD.
CO Mike Drexler was just starting a marine patrol on the Portage Lake chain when he observed a PWC with an operator and a passenger, the passenger appearing to not be wearing a PFD. CO Drexler confirmed the passenger was not wearing a PFD and a vessel stop was conducted. The operator was cited for the passenger not wearing a PFD.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Pointe Mouillee SGA checking hunters finishing up their morning hunt when he contacted one vessel showing an improper display of their registration numbers. CO Ingersoll spoke with the hunters and noted they were lacking two PFDs and were in possession of toxic shot. It was determined that the operator of the vessel was going to receive a citation for failure to provide enough PFDs on his vessel and the other hunter was cited for possessing toxic/lead shot.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was working an evening patrol checking individuals at Bolles Harbor who were coming off Lake Erie. CO Ingersoll contacted an angler and asked how the fishing had been, the angler advised he caught a few catfish and some junk fish. While checking the fish, CO Ingersoll observed an undersized channel catfish in the live well. CO Ingersoll measured the fish and determined it was 11 inches, short of the 12-inch minimum size limit. CO Ingersoll cited the angler for possessing an undersized channel catfish.
COs Eric Smither, Andrew Monnich and Sgt. Shane Webster were patrolling Lenawee County when they observed an ORV coming towards them on the roadway. When the operator noticed the COs, they turned around and started to head back the way they had come from. The COs contacted the operator who did not have an ORV helmet on. A citation was issued for the violation.
Sgt Shane Webster and CO Eric Smither assisted the Adrian Police Department in arresting a subject for an outstanding warrant. The COs responded to the request for back-up from the Adrian Police officers who initially responded to a domestic violence call at the residence. Warrants were confirmed for the male subject who resisted when he was told he was under arrest. A short scuffle ensued, and the officers were able to subdue and arrest the subject without injury. Suspected methamphetamines were found on the subject who was lodged in the county jail by the Adrian Police Department.
While conducting radar enforcement on Belle Isle, CO David Schaumburger stopped a vehicle traveling at 49 mph in a 25-mph zone. The man was an uber driver and his reasoning for driving so fast was that he was “Just trying to make a living.” The driver was cited for his excessive speed.
CO Justin Muehlhauser checked two anglers on Belle Isle. The men were fishing along the pier and appeared to be using seven lines. When the CO approached, he determined that one of the lines was not currently being used. The CO asked if they had caught any fish and they stated that the fish were on their stringers. There were two bass on the stringers. However, the CO noticed that there was water in a nearby bucket. He asked if there were any fish inside the bucket, and one of the men said yes and agreed to show the CO; there was an undersized bass in the bucket. The bass measured 12 inches. The subject stated that he knew the size limit was 14 inches and said it would not happen again. The subject was cited for possessing an undersized bass.