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Conservation Officer (CO) Brian Lasanen conducted an ice fishing patrol on local lakes in Houghton County. While checking a remote lake, CO Lasanen contacted two anglers inside of an ice shanty. While outside the shack, CO Lasanen overheard one angler say, “Reel up your lines, there’s someone outside.” Contact was made with the subjects and one subject claimed that he was only watching. The second subject stated that he had a license and that all the fishing lines were his. He was cited for fishing with more than three lines.

While working a group snowmobile patrol in Ontonagon County, CO Brian Lasanen arrested a subject for operating a snowmobile while under the influence of drugs (OUID). During the contact, the subject admitted to smoking marijuana, consuming a mixed drink, and taking pain killers prior to going for a ride. Following standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) the subject was arrested and lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail. 

CO Jenni Hanson assisted the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police (MSP) with a fatal snowmobile accident investigation in Marenisco Township.

CO Zac Painter assisted the MSP with a snowmobile fatal crash in Gogebic County. A group of three snowmobilers were traveling back to their cabin when the crash occurred, killing one individual, and sending one subject to the hospital with a broken leg.

Sgt. Brian Bacon and CO Anna Viau patrolled Iron County snowmobile trails during a busy weekend. The COs were parked observing a stop sign on the trail when they observed a group of snowmobiles disregard the stop sign at the intersection. After stopping the group, the COs learned that it was a family group, including the parents of two teenage riders. The father was at the front of the group and had told the kids and his wife on headset that there was no traffic coming and to continue through the intersection. CO Viau issued a citation to the father for careless operation of a snowmobile.

COs Jared Ferguson, Ethan Gainforth, Alex Bourgeois, and Zachary Walters were patrolling Lake Gogebic for snowmobile compliance when they observed two anglers outside of their ice shack. The COs contacted the two men, and they were found to be fishing with too many lines. The COs continued down Lake Gogebic and approached another group of ice shacks and found other anglers were also fishing with too many lines. Citations were issued to both, and warnings were given for no name and address on tip-ups.

CO Alex VanWagner checked a lake in Iron County with two anglers on it. As the CO approached on a snowmobile, he observed both subjects jigging outside the shanty. There were also two jaw jackers and three tip-downs set, a total of seven lines. One subject reeled his line in as the CO pulled up. The anglers had a few crappies on the ice and one of the subjects admitted he put the extra line out because his buddy was catching more fish than him. The violation was addressed, and a citation was issued.

CO Shannon Wicklund attended an annual trapping workshop hosted by the Upper Peninsula Trappers Association. The event provided trapping demonstrations and prizes to children who were interested in trapping or had freshly started trapping. CO Wicklund introduced herself to the children and educated them on what a conservation officer does. CO Wicklund was also able to answer numerous questions from the children along with trappers in the community.

CO John Kamps and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Steve Sajtar observed an oncoming vehicle strike a guard rail, then continue driving without stopping. The COs quickly turned around and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon contact, the driver of the vehicle showed several signs of intoxication. PCO Sajtar conducted SFSTs on the subject. The driver was ultimately arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and lodged in the Marquette County Jail.

CO Jackson Kelly received a complaint of a large dump site on state land. The CO located the site and found several names in the garbage pile. The CO conducted an interview at the suspect’s residence and received a confession. The individual was issued a citation for litter and notified to clean up the garbage.


COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani responded to an EMS call for an elderly male with no pulse and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in progress. The COs took over CPR upon arrival and utilized their automated external defibrillator. Unfortunately, the man was not able to be revived.

COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani patrolled Trail 7 near Christmas. Multiple snowmobilers were issued citations for careless operation for failure to stop at stop signs.

CO Michael Evink responded to a litter complaint where numerous bags of garbage had been dumped on private property. CO Evink was able to identify a suspect based on the garbage left on the scene. It took a few hours to track down the suspect and conduct an interview. After undeniable evidence was presented, the suspect fully admitted to the violation. The suspect was issued a civil infraction for littering and CO Evink made sure the site was restored to the property owner’s expectations.

COs Andrea Dani and Brandon Maki worked a snowmobile patrol where the snowmobile trail intersected a motor vehicle roadway near Munising. COs Dani and Maki issued several careless operation citations to riders who failed to stop and ended up in the roadway.

CO Cole VanOosten finished up an investigation in Luce County on a subject who has repeatedly been cited for bear bait violations in the past four years. The man, a local bear guide, had been convicted of three separate violations in a four-year span, making him a habitual offender. The man received $1,000 in fines and restitutions for the infractions.

COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten were on patrol in Luce and Mackinac Counties prior to a local fishing tournament. Nine citations were issued for various fishing violations including five tickets for unattended lines, including one group who had tip-ups set out for over one mile across the lake. Numerous other warnings were given as well.

CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Newberry when a call of a snowmobile accident was received. CO VanOosten responded to the area and located a totaled sled that had hit a large tree. The man declined medical attention. A citation was issued to the subject for carless operation of a snowmobile.

CO Cole VanOosten was off duty when he received a call for assistance from the MSP with locating a potential suicidal subject who had taken off on a snowmobile. A phone ping showed the man was in a remote section of swamp in Mackinac County. Because of poor cell service in the area, CO VanOosten knew that the ping may not be accurate. CO VanOosten patrolled to the area where he began following the man’s tracks from his cabin. The tracks led approximately a quarter of a mile to another residence where the subject’s snowmobile was located. It was determined the man was safe and not a harm to himself or others.

Several COs participated in multi-day snowmobile patrols for the 54th annual I-500 snowmobile race that was held in Sault Ste. Marie. Activity on area trails was extremely high with several hundred snowmobilers contacted, a fresh foot of unexpected snow which fell Friday night added to near perfect riding conditions. Along with the high number of snowmobilers there were also a very high number of violations encountered, with 87 citations being issued for careless operation, snowmobile registration and trail permit violations. There were also tickets issued for off-road vehicle (ORV) violations that were encountered and addressed. Among the ORV violations one ORV had three people on it, two on the seat designed for one and one sitting on the front of it, none were wearing helmets and the ORV had not been registered in several years.


CO Ryan Cox responded to radio call from dispatch of a vehicle in the ditch in Antrim County. Once on-scene, three individuals - one female and two males – were contacted. The female claimed she was driving but after a short investigation it came to light that one of the passengers, who was intoxicated, was actually the one driving when the car went in the ditch. The subject was taken into custody and lodged in the Antrim County Jail for OWI.

CO Duane Budreau assisted the Indiana DNR with an investigation involving a Michigan resident who harvested a deer in Indiana prior to purchasing a license. CO Budreau CO Budreau interviewed the suspect, collected photographic evidence, prepared a report, and forwarded it to the Indiana DNR for prosecution.

CO Nathan Beelman responded to a complaint regarding an injured coyote that was on the porch of a residence. The caller believed it was being pursued by hunters. CO Beelman arrived in the area and observed a hunter arrive on a snowmobile, remove a loaded firearm from his snowmobile, and eventually dispatched the coyote. The hunter was contacted ticketed for possessing a loaded firearm on a snowmobile. 

COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg was on patrol in Otsego County when they observed a snowmobile speed through a stop sign at approximately 35 miles per hour (mph). The COs were able to catch up to the snowmobile and initiate a traffic stop. The snowmobiler admitted that he ignored the stop sign. A ticket was issued.

COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg were patrolling on snowmobiles in Otsego County when they observed a snowmobiler with an expired trail permit and no snowmobile license. The COs initiated a stop and contacted the operator. When the COs tried to establish the subject’s identity, he provided a name that was most likely false. When questioned about it he stated, “I’m not lying about my name, that would be stupid.”  After continually repeating the name originally given, the COs finally got the subject to admit that he was providing a false name because he knew he had a warrant for his arrest. The subject was able to post bond for the warrant but was issued various tickets for the violations.

CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when Otsego County Central Dispatch advised of a snowmobile accident on a snowmobile trail in Otsego County. CO Oberg responded and was able to reach the operator with his patrol truck. The operator failed to negotiate a curve and hit a tree. The operator had apparent injuries to one of their arms. CO Oberg advised central dispatch to pass the information on to responding EMS units. Otsego County EMS arrived shortly later with a snowmobile and rescue sled and transported the operator to Otsego Memorial Hospital for their injuries. CO Oberg completed the accident report regarding the incident.

CO Tom Oberg assisted local law enforcement in the City of Gaylord regarding an incident that involved a male suspect assaulting someone and then fleeing on foot. The suspect had a tether on and cut the tether off in the process. CO Oberg assisted the Gaylord City Police Department, Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies, and MSP troopers. The suspect was eventually located at a residence by law enforcement and was placed in custody.

CO Tim Rosochacki was patrolling an access site on Burt Lake when he contacted three fishermen walking back to their vehicle that were in possession of 89 perch, which is 14 perch over the limit. The subjects stated they had not been counting and did not think they were over the limit. Additionally, a fishing license check revealed one of the subjects purchased a fishing license five minutes prior to being checked. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jack Gorno contacted several subjects at a Burt Lake access site in Cheboygan County. One of the anglers was a subject CO Gorno was wanting to talk to about potential deer season violations. CO Gorno was able to obtain full confessions at the access site regarding a loan/borrow situation from the 2022 firearm deer season. CO Gorno will be submitting a case report to the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Jonathan Sheppard received a complaint from Alpena County Dispatch of abandoned ice fishing equipment on a canal near Lake Huron in Alpena. The equipment looked to have been abandoned for several hours to a day. CO Sheppard responded to the area and walked to the equipment. Ice conditions were not favorable, so CO Sheppard was concerned that someone may have fallen through the ice. CO Sheppard was able to get a phone number for a relative of the owner who confirmed that the owner was not in any danger. CO Sheppard contacted the owner the next day to address the violations of leaving lines unattended. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Paul Fox was on patrol near Posen on M 65 when he observed a vehicle in front of him veer into the oncoming lane and leave the roadway. The vehicle subsequently struck a power pole, causing substantial damage to the vehicle. The driver, while distraught, was not injured. It was determined that the driver fell asleep while at the wheel, thus resulting in the loss of control. The incident was turned over to the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department for investigation.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Montmorency County when he observed a vehicle cross completely into the opposite lane when approaching a traffic light. It was also observed that the vehicle did not have running taillights. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. As the vehicle was coming to a stop, CO Liestenfeltz observed the driver attempting to hide something underneath the front seat of the vehicle. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the driver, and it was determined that the driver hid an opened pint of liquor under the seat. The driver stated that he was opening it and taking a drink as he was approaching the traffic light which is what caused him to go into the opposite lane. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle and the alcohol was secured in the trunk.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a car vs. elk accident in southern Montmorency County. Upon arriving, it was determined that a 5x6 bull had ran in front of the vehicle causing extreme disabling damage. The operator of the vehicle suffered minor injuries from the airbag and refused to be transported to a hospital. The elk was killed on impact. CO Liestenfeltz removed the elk from the roadway and handled the accident crash report. 

CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Montmorency County when he observed a snowmobile traveling down the shoulder of a county roadway at a very high rate of speed. The snowmobile then ran a stop sign before turning onto a different road. CO Liestenfeltz caught up to the snowmobile and when stopped, he immediately observed signs of intoxication. The operator, who admitted to drinking six to seven beers throughout the afternoon, refused SFSTs as well as the preliminary breath test (PBT). CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody and had the snowmobile towed from the scene. The subject also refused the Datamaster breathalyzer, and a search warrant was obtained for the subject’s blood. After the blood was drawn, the subject was lodged and charged with operating while intoxicated and refusing a PBT.

COs Sidney LaLonde and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling Black Lake in Presque Isle County when they contacted multiple subjects who had unattended fishing lines that were previously observed by both COs. Both subjects were issued tickets for unattended fishing lines. They had previously been issued tickets for the same thing. The subjects stated that is how they fish even though it is against the law.

CO Sidney LaLonde responded to a fatal snowmobile crash in Montmorency County. CO LaLonde, along with Montmorency County deputies and local first responders, attempted life saving measures on the victim. The ambulance was unable to reach the crash site location, so officers on scene loaded the victim in the bed of the CO patrol truck and drove him out to the ambulance. Unfortunately, the victim did not survive.


COs Logan Turner, Rich Stowe, and William Kinney attended the East Bay Calvary Sportsman’s Banquet in Grand Traverse County. The COs did a question-and-answer session on stage after the dinner portion. There were over 725 members from the public who attended the event.

COs from Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Wexford, Manistee, and Osceola Counties conducted a large ice fishing group patrol on Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell in Wexford County. The lakes have seen an increase in ice fishing activity over the past few months with anglers traveling from around Michigan and surrounding states to fish. The COs contacted over 300 individuals, gave approximately 75 warnings, and issued eight citations for various fishing and ORV violations discovered throughout the course of the patrol.

CO Logan Turner assisted the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office on a felony warrant tip out of Indiana. The man was wanted for Criminal Sexual Conduct when he fled to Michigan. An anonymous tip was received that the man was staying in a residence near Traverse City. CO Turner and two deputies arrived at the residence and were given permission to enter. The individual was located inside the residence, taken into custody without any issues, and lodged in the Grand Traverse County Jail.

COs Josiah Killingbeck and Kyle Publiski responded to a snowmobile crash in Mason County where the operator suffered internal injuries. Icy conditions contributed to the crash. 

CO Josiah Killingbeck observed a snowmobile disregard a stop sign in front of him. CO Killingbeck began attempting to catch up to the snowmobile and observed the operator disregard two more stop signs. Contact was made with the snowmobiler and a citation was issued for careless operation.

CO Tim Barboza responded to a call for service near the Oceana County line of an unknown incident with a woman calling 911 yelling for help. Dispatch got the caller back on the phone and the woman yelled, “Get someone here before she kills me, I can’t get away,” then hung up. CO Barboza arrived first on scene and contacted the parties inside and discovered it was a domestic assault situation. The MSP also responded to the residence.

CO Tim Barboza assisted a Grant Police Department officer on a traffic stop where there were open intoxicants in the vehicle as well as an uncased .22 rifle in the seats between the driver and passenger. A knife set for processing deer was also visible in the car. CO Barboza spoke with the driver regarding the firearm and the meat processing equipment. The driver stated he had been small game hunting earlier that day and still had the stuff in his truck. CO Barboza ran the individual and discovered the individual did not have his hunting license. The Grant Police Department cited the driver for the open intoxicants and the uncased firearm.

CO Angela Greenway responded to a complaint of an injured bald eagle. CO Greenway was able to recover the eagle and transport it to a licensed raptor rehabilitation facility in Grand Rapids.

CO Micah Hintze attended the Mississippi Flyway Wing Bee training put on by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Carbondale, Illinois identifying waterfowl wings and tails for increased knowledge of species identification, aging, and sexing of waterfowl.


COs Breanna Reed, Jacob Hamilton, Jimmy Garrett, Matt Zultak, Ben McAteer, and John Huspen worked Operation Life Saver. Operation Life Saver is a joint patrol with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan DNR, MSP, and Lake State Railroad to educate snowmobilers to stay off the railroad tracks that run from Grayling to Gaylord. It was a successful patrol with numerous contacts. Five citations for trail permits and registration violations were issued. Only one set of snowmobile tracks illegally crossing the railroad tracks was observed.

CO Tyler Sabuda received a complaint of a fox that had been left in a trap for multiple days in Iosco County. CO Sabuda located the fox and after collecting evidence at the scene and interviewing the suspect is requesting charges through the Iosco County Prosecutor’s Office for failure to checks traps within the required time period.

COs from Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, and Oscoda Counties, along with the Oscoda County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Forest Service (USFS) came together for a joint snowmobile sound enforcement patrol. Decibel levels were tested on several snowmobiles to ensure they were operating under the legal sound limit during the patrol. Citations issued during the patrol included: exceeding the decibel level, no snowmobile trail permits, and failing to register a snowmobile.

CO Craig Neal was patrolling the Tyler Plains state land area in Arenac County when he noticed a truck leaving a dead-end trail with a load of firewood in the trailer. This area has had numerous complaints of illegal fuelwood cutting in the past. CO Neal pulled up next to the driver and asked if he had a fuelwood permit. The driver said that he did not have one and did not realize he needed one. CO Neal asked the driver to take him back to where he cut the wood. The driver pulled back to an oak tree that had just been cut down. The man stated that he cut the tree down because he did not know the rules. CO Neal explained the rules pertaining to fuelwood permits and issued the subject a citation for removing forest products from state land without a permit.

While patrolling Bertha Lake in Clare County, CO Ryan Weakman observed a single ice shanty on the north end of the lake. After several minutes of observation, it appeared that only one angler was tending four tip-ups. Upon contact, it was determined the angler was indeed the only one in the shanty but told CO Weakman his fishing partner had gone to the house to get warm. The house where his friend had gone was over 300 yards away. CO Weakman explained to the angler he would have to pull any extra lines due to his fishing partner leaving the ice and not being able to tend the lines. CO Weakman went to the house and interviewed the angler’s partner who was supposedly fishing with him earlier. The “fishing partner” denied fishing earlier and had been in the house most of the day. The angler was ultimately issued a citation for fishing with too many lines.

A group snowmobile patrol was recently conducted by COs Cheyanna Rizor, Josh Russell, Ryan Weakman and Sgt. Jon Wood. The COs patrolled many miles of trails in northern Clare County, southern Roscommon County, and western Gladwin County. Several citations were issued for snowmobile and fishing violations. In one instance, two snowmobile operators were stopped for not having trail permits. Upon contact, both operators pulled unused trail permits out of their pockets and claimed it was just too cold out and they had not had a chance to affix them to their snowmobiles. Upon further investigation, it was determined neither snowmobile had the proper registration, neither operator had their proper certificate of registration paperwork, and at least one had failed to properly transfer the registrations within 15-days of purchase. It was further learned that they had purchased the trail permits well in advance with plenty of time to affix them and had been riding in the UP several weeks earlier without permits. Citations were issued for not affixing their trail permits and several warnings were given for the other registration violations.


COs Mike Eovaldi and Paul Lyden were patrolling Sanilac County for snowmobile activity when they observed a side-by-side and a snowmobile being operated by seemingly very young kids on a county road. The snowmobile did not have a trail permit or registration, so a stop was initiated. Investigation revealed the operator of the snowmobile was 13 years old and the side-by-side was operated by a 7-year-old along with a 7-year-old passenger. No parents or adults were present at the time of the stop. Eventually, the COs were able to contact the mother of the children who received a citation for allowing a juvenile to operate a side-by-side without direct supervision and given a warning for the snowmobile violations.

PCO Jacob Robinson and CO Mike Haas were conducting a snowmobile patrol through the Au Sable State Forest in Midland County when they encountered a truck operating in an area closed to motor vehicles. The COs contacted the operator and explained why motor vehicle operation through wetlands is prohibited. The truck had been driven around a locked gate, over a dirt berm, and past ‘no motor vehicle’ signs. A citation was issued, and the operator was told to return his truck to a legal trail.

PCO Jacob Robinson and CO Mike Haas assisted CO Marissa Hassevoort with a timber theft complaint in Montcalm County. CO Hassevoort had been working on the investigation and the COs returned to one of the theft sites to look for more evidence. As the COs pulled up to the section of state land, they happened to catch the suspect in the act of cutting and collecting more wood. The suspect was educated on the various rules concerning timber cutting in state game areas and a citation was issued for the violation.

PCO Joseph Closser and CO Dan Robinson were working Isabella County when they signaled for a snowmobile to stop. The snowmobile had two riders and was operating in the middle of the roadway. The snowmobile left the COs at a high rate of speed and continued down the middle of the road, eventually turning onto a paved road, and operating on the wrong side of that road. Unable to pursue the vehicle in the patrol truck, the COs dropped off one of their own snowmobiles and followed tracks to a residence. The suspect was contacted and admitted to seeing the COs and taking off because he was worried about breaking the law and that his young son was on the back of the sled. The COs pointed out the individual was not doing anything wrong except riding in the roadway, which would have meant a simple verbal reminder. In the end the individual was given several warnings and issued a misdemeanor citation for reckless operation.

COs Michael Lator and Adam Schiller conducted a snowmobile patrol in the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area (SGA) where illegal cross-country snowmobile operation is common. During the patrol, the COs came across several violations related to prohibited snowmobile operation in a state game area. In total, the COs issued four citations, including two citations for operating a snowmobile were prohibited and two citations for failing to obtain a snowmobile trail permit.


CO Travis Dragomer observed a vehicle upside down in a ditch along the side of a roadway. A good Samaritan also stopped to check on the vehicle just prior to his arrival on the scene. The vehicle was half-filled with water and no windows, or any glass were visible as they were under water. The vehicle was wedged deep into the ditch, pinning the doors shut and leaving the man trapped inside the car. CO Dragomer and Rosalinda were able yell to the driver and instructed him to pull his trunk lever to open the trunk of the vehicle, which he was able to do. The good Samaritan and CO Dragomer were able to extract the driver from the trunk of the vehicle. The driver was cold and wet but did not have any signs of other major injuries. EMS transported the driver to Lakeland Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

While on patrol, CO Matt Page conducted surveillance on an ice shanty that appeared to be a one-person flip-up style shanty. The location had four tip-ups out at the time and after watching the shanty for over an hour, an individual walked out to the shanty from a cabin and re-baited three of the tip-ups while putting the fourth one back in his sled. CO Page made contact and the angler was found in his shanty jigging with a fourth line. CO Page asked how many lines belonged to the individual. The angler stated that only two of the tip-ups were his and the third belonged to his friend who had left town the night prior. The angler was kind enough to re-bait his friend’s tip-up despite him being out of the state and back at his residence. Additionally, none of the tip-ups had names or addresses attached. A fishing digest was provided to the angler along with a citation for fishing with greater than three lines and failure to attach name and address to a tip-up. The angler was warned for fishing with lines not in immediate control after he admitted to leaving them out overnight.

While on patrol, CO Matt Page responded to a call for assistance with an unruly crowd who had shut down M 51 to do burnouts in the middle of the road. Over 100 vehicles were involved in the incident. CO Page assisted with crowd control and traffic control until the scene was cleared without further incident. The case is ongoing pending review of dash cam footage by the MSP and Cass County Sheriff’s Department.

CO Cameron Wright conducted an ice fishing patrol on a local lake that is known for producing many panfish. CO Wright observed a group of anglers who began quickly catching panfish and keeping them. CO Wright kept count of the panfish being caught by each individual and observed two of the anglers catch their limit. Those anglers then put their 25 panfish in a grocery bag and tied it off. The anglers then continued to fish. Each time they caught another keeper they would walk it over to a friend and give it to them. This continued for over an hour. CO Wright contacted the anglers in the parking lot and explained that each angler is only allowed to keep 25 panfish, which also includes the ones they catch and give away. CO Wright explained what party fishing is and that it is not legal in the state of Michigan. Citations were issued for taking over the limit of panfish.

CO Mark Reffitt was on foot patrol along the Grand River at a popular dam in Ionia County when he observed anglers from the north side of the dam attempting to catch steelhead. After returning to his patrol truck, the CO drove 15 minutes around to the other side of the dam where the anglers had parked. When two of them returned to their vehicle, CO Reffitt asked how their fishing had gone that day. One subject, whose waders were still wet up to his chest and who was carrying fishing gear, stated that they did not fish at all. When asked why, the subject said because they did not have fishing licenses. When the CO advised that he had just watched them fish from the other side of the river, the angler admitted that he was being dishonest about the duo’s activities that morning. A fishing license check turned up positive for one of the individuals, but neither had shown proof of a license and one was unlicensed. A citation was issued to one individual, while the other was given a verbal warning.

While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers and PCO Wes Butler spotted a large plume of black smoke, which typically accompanies an illegal burn. The COs located the fire, which was coming from a woodlot in the middle of a field. The COs went to the nearest residence to inquire about the fire. The COs contacted the residents and a subject stated that it was his fire. CO Beavers asked what he was burning, and he stated brush. CO Beavers asked what else he is burning, explaining that a brush fire is not typically accompanied by such thick, black smoke. The subject then stated he was burning a tire. CO Beavers explained that burning tires is illegal and the subject stated he was not aware of that. CO Beavers went on to explain that burning tires has been illegal his entire career and was likely illegal before he became a CO. The subject then stated he was burning the tire because he did not want to pay the $20 fee that is required to dispose of them at a landfill. The COs then inspected and photographed the fire and discovered that the subject was burning three tires. The subject was cited for the violation.


CO Marc Mankowski received a tip from a Child Protective Services worker that a woman was in possession of a mink inside her home. CO Mankowski, along with an Eaton County animal control officer, visited the house and located a mink and two ducks that the woman had captured from the wild and kept. The animals were seized and transferred to a rehabilitation center. A citation was issued for the violation.

CO Chris Reynolds responded to a call in Hillsdale County of an armed individual heading to a local school. Officers that arrived prior to his arrival went into the school. CO Reynolds, along with another officer, patrolled the perimeter of the school on foot to ensure all entries were locked and checked hidden areas for the individual. After the school was secured, the officers stayed on scene to ensure a safe dismissal for all the students.

CO Nick Thornton handled a Branch County complaint from various property owners regarding reckless snowmobilers trespassing across numerous properties. CO Thornton was able to track one of the snowmobiles to a business in Quincy Township. Further investigation led CO Thornton to the names of all three offenders and subsequent interviews led to confessions from each person. Recreational trespass charges will be sought through the prosecutor’s office on all three individuals.


CO Keven Luther attended a pre-trial at the 35th District Court of Plymouth on an illegal 2022 deer case. The suspect accepted a plea offered by the Wayne County prosecutor. The suspect pled responsible to taking an 8-point whitetail deer over bait. The Judge ordered the suspect to pay reimbursement of $6,000, one year of non-reporting probation and five years of hunting revocation.

CO Luke Robare was flagged down by an individual who wanted to report some possible violations. The individual stated that he witnessed some ice anglers possibly keeping bass out of season. A/Sgt. Justin Muehlhauser was the first to respond to Loon Lake and surveilled the anglers. A/Sgt. Muehlhauser witnessed one of the anglers catch a bass on a tip up and threw it on the ice. As soon as the anglers noticed the COs, they started pulling in lines. COs Robare and Muehlhauser contacted the three suspects and discovered that the anglers were fishing with 18 lines between rods and tip ups. As the COs talked to the suspects, they observed a large pile of bass of all sizes in their sled. Upon further investigation the anglers had 19 largemouth bass and one crappie in their possession. None of the three suspects had current fishing licenses. Each suspect was cited for using too many lines, taking bass out of season, and fishing without a license. COs Robare and Muehlhauser will be seeking reimbursement for the bass that were taken out of season.

COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Joseph Deppen worked a night-time snowmobile patrol with all the fresh snow that had fallen. One citation was written for no trail permit and multiple warnings were given for other minor violations.

CO Robert Watson patrolled Lake St. Clair for ice fishing activity. Many contacts were had. Violations encountered included: no fishing license on person, no fishing license, over-limit of perch, and fail to label tip-ups. Enforcement action taken.

CO Mike Drexler received a call from Waterloo Recreation Area staff in reference to a subject attempting to steal a walnut tree from state property. CO Drexler arrived and observed the subject back his vehicle and trailer off road in an area closed to motor vehicles in attempt to load the walnut tree. The subject received a stern education on timber theft, or the attempt thereof, and received a misdemeanor citation for off-roading on state property.

PCO Les Bleil observed a subject walking with a firearm while checking activity at Chelsea SGA. PCO Bleil observed that the subject was not wearing hunter orange while afield with a 12GA pump-action shotgun. When questioned initially, the subject denied that he was hunting. When PCO Bleil questioned him further, the subject stated, “I am coyote hunting.” PCO Bleil then informed the subject that he must wear hunter orange while afield with a firearm in an area frequented by game. A citation was issued for failure to wear hunter orange.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll stopped two snowmobiles with expired registrations, no snowmobile trail permits, and for operating on the public right-of-way. While the CO was checking both snowmobiles through law enforcement information network, it was determined that one of the snowmobiles was reported stolen out of Benzie County. CO Ingersoll interviewed the driver who was in possession of the stolen snowmobile and determined that it had changed hands a few times since it was reported stolen. It was also discovered that the subject had a child support warrant out of Monroe County. CO Ingersoll contacted the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office and turned the snowmobile case over to them for further investigation. The driver of the stolen snowmobile was issued a citation for no trail permit and arrested for his child support warrant.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation near Erie SGA when the vehicle ultimately failed to stop leading CO Ingersoll on a short pursuit. The driver of the vehicle left the roadway and became stuck, ending the pursuit. CO Ingersoll placed the subject in custody. The subject advised he was scared and should have stopped, and he made a mistake. A search of the vehicle was conducted, and a loaded pistol was found in the glove compartment. CO Ingersoll arrested the driver for Flee and Elude and for possessing a concealed pistol in a motor vehicle without a concealed pistol license. The driver was lodged at the Monroe County Jail pending charges.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll checked a group of waterfowl hunters who had a little success on Union Camp Marsh in Sterling State Park. While checking one hunter’s license, it was determined that he failed to purchase a federal duck stamp and possessed 13 rounds of lead shot. CO Ingersoll cited the new hunter for possessing toxic shot and allowed the hunter to purchase a federal duck stamp on his phone.

While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Ariel Young conducted RADAR surveillance for speeding park visitors. CO Young made multiple traffic stops and gave a few warnings. CO Young did issue two citations, one for a driver driving 20 mph over the speed limit and for one driver driving nearly 30 mph over the speed limit. The first individual was glad to be receiving a ticket and was thankful that the officers who patrol Belle Isle were setting a precedence for speeding violations.

CO Cody Bourgeois worked a Belle Isle shift. During the shift, CO Bourgeois observed a vehicle with its hazards flashing and a man standing behind the vehicle with his hands covering his face. The CO exited the vehicle and noticed the engine was on fire. CO Bourgeois had everyone exit the vehicle and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was towed and both parties refused medical. Both driver and passenger found alternative methods to get back home.


Cpls. Brett DeLonge and Mike Hammill came across a slot limit violation on LBDN. The officers explained the law to the anglers, and they provided time stamped photos that showed the larger fish were taken over the course of several days.

Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen assisted USFWS agents in Jackson with an interview of a subject who had illegally purchased a giant snakehead fish from out of state.

Cpls. Troy Van Gelderen and Justin Vanderlinde conducted numerous bait shop inspections throughout Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Montcalm Counties. One bait shop was found to have numerous game fish in their minnow tanks. A warning was issued, and the fish were seized.