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CO Steve Sajtar responded to a recreational trespass complaint in Dickinson County. The complainant stated that someone had shot a buck with a rifle during archery season, then trespassed onto the complainant’s property to retrieve the illegally shot buck. The suspect was contacted and during the interview he admitted to having a couple beers then shooting the 9-point buck out of his garage window and trespassing on another’s property to recover the deer. The subject also had failed to buy a deer hunting license. CO Sajtar seized the illegally taken buck and rifle used to shoot it. A report was submitted to the prosecuting attorney for review.


CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Delta County when he encountered an individual cutting tree boughs on state land. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that this individual had received a citation for this same violation several days prior. When asked why he continued to cut tree boughs on state land, the individual informed CO Butzin he was attempting to make money to pay his last citation. This individual was cited for damaging/destroying trees on state land, no proof of vehicle insurance, and operating a motor vehicle with an expired registration.


COs Nathan Beelman and Chad Baldwin attended St. Mary’s School Law Enforcement Day. Students were able to learn about different law enforcement agencies and the various equipment they have and use. Students asked many questions and learned about the duties of different law enforcement agencies.

CO Chad Baldwin conducted a foot patrol on state land that joined up to commercial forest land (CFL). CO Baldwin had received a complaint that the CFL property was posted as private, and the suspect also attempted to post state land as private property. CO Baldwin searched the CFL land and located a permanent blind, food plot, and bait. The case is ongoing as CO Baldwin attempts to locate the owner of the baited blind.

CO Kyle Cherry received a complaint from Otsego County dispatch regarding a trespassing incident that was in progress. The caller reported observing a man in camouflage leaving the private property and subsequently confronted him. The man claimed he had shot a deer, but it was later discovered that he was not permitted to be on the property. After a brief confrontation, the suspect left the scene in a pickup truck. The caller followed the suspect and informed central dispatch of the address he went to. CO Cherry and Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputy Jones arrived at the scene and obtained a confession from the suspect for trespassing on two separate properties. Charges are being sought through the Otsego County Prosecutor's Office.

A complaint was received about illegal hunting in Cheboygan County, where the suspect reportedly shot a deer from a motor vehicle with a gun. CO Matt Theunick responded to the complaint, contacted the suspect, and obtained a full confession. Charges will be pursued by the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Jack Gorno and Matt Theunick assisted with a hunter safety day in Cheboygan County. The COs taught new hunters the law portion and answered questions about law changes and current regulations.

CO Jack Gorno participated in a Trunk or Treat event with the Cheboygan County Sheriff's Office. This community public relations event helped increase relationships with the public and interact with local youth. CO Gorno answered several wildlife-related questions during the event.

CO Alex Bourgeois was patrolling near Negwegon State Park when he observed a blind on state land. CO Bourgeois discovered that the blind did not have any information on it and was facing private property. CO Bourgeois walked the property line and observed sugar beets in front of the blind on the private property. CO Jon Sheppard arrived shortly after to assist. The COs contacted the landowner and addressed the violation.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling state land when he discovered a vehicle that had recently been in a traffic crash. CO Liestenfeltz observed a vehicle in a ditch that had struck a tree causing significant damage and airbag deployment. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the driver who stated they had hit a deer which caused them to drive off the roadway and strike the tree. The sole subject inside the vehicle was uninjured. CO Liestenfeltz had emergency medical services (EMS) come to the scene due to the level of damage to the car in order to make sure the driver was indeed ok. 

CO Jon Sheppard received a complaint from Alpena County Central Dispatch of several people hunting on county property near Long Lake. CO Sheppard responded to the property and tracked the hunters until he contacted them. CO Sheppard advised them that there was no hunting on county property and verbally warned them about not hunting the property in the future.

CO Paul Fox responded to numerous reports regarding a bull elk in the city limits of Rogers City. The elk, seemingly comfortable with his newfound home, was creating a large crowd of on lookers. Eventually, people started getting close to it and attempted to feed the bull. CO Fox, along with the help of the Rogers City Police Department, were able to drive the elk out of town and into a wooded area. Numerous contacts were made with the public, city government, and local newspapers regarding the elk. People were advised to stay away from the animal and let it return to its traditional range.


COs Logan Turner and Zack Walters were on patrol when they heard a volley of shots coming from the Petobego Marsh. There were only five minutes left of legal shooting time for waterfowl; the two COs were able to locate the waterfowl hunters due to the muzzle flash from their guns. Several minutes after shooting hours ended, the COs watched the two hunters drop four birds. The hunters were contacted, and CO Turner asked the two hunters how their hunt was, they stated they had only shot one bird. CO Turner informed the two hunters they shot 28 minutes after legal shooting hours and that they failed to attempt to retrieve birds. The two hunters stated that they couldn’t go look for the other birds due to not having waders. Violations for the two individuals were hunt after published shooting hours, fail to retrieve birds, no personal flotation device (PFD), unregistered vessel, and hunt without federal waterfowl stamp.

CO Logan Turner got an anonymous report of a spike buck being killed in Benzie County, which is an antler point restrictions (APR) zone. His investigation revealed that the suspect lived in Alger County and had already returned home. CO Turner contacted CO Brandon Maki in Alger County to continue the investigation. CO Maki interviewed the subject and obtained a full confession. CO Maki seized the deer and charges are being sought in Benzie County for taking an illegal buck in the APR zone.

CO Josiah Killingbeck received a complaint through the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline that someone was shooting at a deer from a vehicle. CO Killingbeck located the suspect vehicle and contacted the driver who claimed the vehicle was out of gas and her boyfriend was walking to get gas. CO Killingbeck determined the driver had a felony warrant for failing to appear on methamphetamine charges. The subject was arrested and upon searching the vehicle, CO Killingbeck and a Lake County deputy located a stolen loaded handgun. CO Killingbeck learned the boyfriend was a convicted felon and parole absconder. The Lake County K-9 unit was called to the scene and an attempt to locate the boyfriend was unsuccessful. A report is being submitted to the Lake County prosecutor for felony charges on both subjects.

CO Josiah Killingbeck checked a deer blind on public land which had been baited and did not have the owner’s name and address on it. CO Killingbeck contacted the 15-year-old hunter who was hunting alone and claimed he had driven to the hunting stand by himself, and his dad was at home. The hunter’s father was contacted who admitted to knowing it was illegal to let his son drive without a parent but advised he was not familiar with regulations pertaining to juvenile hunting, nor was he aware of the bait ban. CO Killingbeck learned the father had put down three bags of corn at his deer blind. Numerous violations were addressed, and a citation was issued.

CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a report of a subject falling out of a tree stand. CO Killingbeck arrived along with a Lake County deputy. CO Killingbeck determined the subject was seriously injured and requested a helicopter. CO Killingbeck provided first aid until EMS arrived on the scene. The hunter was not using a safety harness and had fallen asleep in the stand and fell out. The subject was transported to a downstate trauma center for his injuries.


COs Josh Russell and Cheyanna Rizor observed a subject cutting wood on state land in Gladwin County. CO Rizor recognized the subject as someone she had contacted earlier about cutting wood in a different section of state land. The subject cut down standing timber, which is against the law in Michigan. The subject used a winch on his vehicle to drag the log through the woods to the road where he was going to cut the tree up. The subject damaged several other live trees and brush, creating a large path of destruction while dragging the tree out. The subject did not properly fill out his permit from collecting firewood on the previous trip. A citation was issued to address the violations.

CO Ryan Weakman responded to a RAP complaint of a subject taking deer out of season in Clare County. The complaint indicated the suspect had three deer hanging in his shed just rotting and going to waste. Upon attempting contact with the suspect, CO Weakman noticed deer parts on the suspect’s porch. The shed door was wide open, and one antlered deer head could be seen through the open door. After confirming the suspect was the only resident of the house and he would not come to the door, a search warrant was drafted for the premises. The search warrant was executed with the assistance of COs Jon Warner, Jacob Hamilton, Casey Pullum and Sergeant (Sgt.) Bobbi Lively. The suspect decided to answer the door once the execution of the search warrant began. The suspect told CO Weakman that he was just processing deer for friends, but ultimately confessed to killing several deer from a motor vehicle using a firearm and artificial light. During the search, four deer were found. The suspect admitted to hiding the firearm with his sister, who ultimately cooperated in the investigation, and surrendered the firearm used to shoot the deer. Charges are being sought in the 80th District Court.


CO Adam Beuthin received a complaint of an individual hunting at the Fish Point State Wildlife Area who had shot at and wounded a swan. Several witnesses were able to tell the CO which hunting zone the individual who shot the swan was hunting in. Upon further investigation and a conversation with the hunter it was determined the individual did shoot at a swan. A warrant request will be submitted to the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office for the charge of taking a non-game bird.

While on patrol in the Maple River State Game Area (SGA), CO Adam Schiller observed four individuals with flashlights in a field. As the CO approached the individuals on foot to make contact, he found they were dragging a deer from the woods. Further investigation revealed that none of the subjects had their deer kill tags on them, including the hunter who shot the deer, and that all kill tags were back at camp. After following them back to camp, retrieving the kill tag, and returning to the deer to tag it. A citation was issued for failing to immediately validate/attach kill tag.

While on patrol in the Maple River SGA, CO Adam Schiller contacted three waterfowl hunters hunting from kayaks. Further investigation revealed that the hunters did not possess the appropriate licenses for waterfowl hunting nor did they have any form of PFD in the kayaks. Citations were issued to address the licensing violations and warnings were given for the marine safety violations.


COs Mark Reffitt and Jeremy Beavers interviewed a subject who shot a 10-point buck in Ionia County during the archery deer season. When asked when he shot the deer, the subject began telling a story of how he shot the buck on the morning of the same day he posted a picture of it on social media. The subject initially stated that he saw the deer while hunting from his stand at 6:30 AM, then went and bought his tags at 7:00 AM and came back and killed the deer around 7:30 AM. However, records showed that he had purchased his license well after 8:00 AM that day and it was nighttime in the picture he posted that afternoon. The subject eventually admitted to shooting the deer the night before then buying his tags the next day. Charges are being submitted to the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office for the illegal deer.

CO Tyler Cole received a complaint via the RAP hotline concerning a deer shot with a firearm, which was actively being recovered via a golf cart and tow strap. CO Cole responded and observed a subject driving a golf cart near the backside of a barn located on the property. The subject parked the golf cart and started to walk to the front of the barn when CO Cole made contact. The subject had blood on his hands and was dressed in full camouflage but denied that he had been hunting. After talking with the individual, who repeatedly stated that he was not hunting, CO Cole convinced the subject to show him the golf cart. While on the walk to the golf cart, the subject said that “There might be a deer back here, but I didn’t kill it.” A gunshot antlerless deer was found tied to a tow strap to the back of the golf cart. The subject eventually admitted that he did in fact kill the deer with a firearm. It was also found that the suspect did not have a hunting license and had shot the deer with a 30-30 rifle in the Limited Firearm Deer Zone. Citations were issued and the deer and firearm were seized.

CO Cameron Wright observed a white sport utility vehicle (SUV) leave a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Boating Access Site launch at a carelessly high rate of speed. CO Wright caught up to the SUV when suddenly, the SUV locked up their brakes and swerved off towards the shoulder of the road. CO Wright initiated a traffic stop by activating his emergency lights. As soon as CO Wright’s emergency lights came on, the driver of the SUV dove into the backseat moving items around. The passenger in the SUV then jumped into the driver's seat. CO Wright called for backup and began giving loud verbal commands for both occupants to show their hands. CO Wright was able to order both occupants out of the car without incident. The driver who dove into the backseat was detained in handcuffs for officer safety. Shortly after CO Wright detained the subject, a Three Rivers Police Department K-9 officer arrived to assist. An open-air K-9 sniff of the car was conducted, and the dog alerted to it giving probable cause for CO Wright to search the vehicle. A vehicle search was conducted, and a glass pipe and a baggy of white crystalline substance were found stashed in the rear of the SUV. A field test was conducted on the substance which came back positive for methamphetamine. It was discovered that the subject had on a GPS ankle tether due to being out on bond for a possession of methamphetamine charge out of St. Joseph County. The driver of the SUV was arrested and lodged in the county jail for possession of methamphetamine and operating a motor vehicle while not licensed.


CO Nick Thornton responded to a suspicious vehicle/trespass complaint in Branch County. CO Thornton noticed a case of beer in the back seat and marijuana in the center counsel. CO Thornton located two individuals bowhunting who admitted they didn’t have permission, but thought it looked like a good spot to hunt. Both were cited for recreational trespass at the property owner’s request.

While on patrol in Livingston County, CO Lisa Taube came upon a subject staggering down the road with his face covered in blood. The subject did not know where he was or how he got there. CO Taube helped the subject and called for EMS. While waiting for EMS, the subject started to regain some memory. The subject remembered where he lived, approximately a half mile down the road. After EMS arrived, contact was made at the residence where the subject’s wife stated he has been suffering from seizures over the past year and he must have fallen down the stairs while she was in the shower. EMS transported the subject to the hospital for treatment.


COs Dave Schaumburger and Dan Walzak pulled up to a boat on the Detroit River and one of the anglers stated he just got a ticket the other day from the DNR. He stated, “I was the 8 nothing (8-0) guy,” referencing a previous encounter when he caught 8 fish and his fishing buddy caught none, resulting in him getting an over-limit ticket. During the encounter, CO Schaumburger located what appeared to be a short walleye. Upon measuring the fish, the walleye was 14.5 inches. The angler received another citation for possessing an undersized walleye.

CO Dave Schaumburger contacted a boat at the Wyandotte boat ramp. When asking about their success, one of the anglers said it was not a good day, he did not catch a single fish. The other angler said it was a good day and he had caught nine walleyes. The angler who admitted to not catching a single fish also did not have a fishing license. A citation was issued to the angler for taking nine walleyes, which was three over his daily limit.

CO David Schaumburger was observing a pair of waterfowl hunters when a group of four geese came in. They managed to cripple one of the geese, jumped in their boat and drove to pick it up. The goose was swimming away and the boat was chasing it when the hunter in the front of the boat fired four times while the boat was under power and still in motion to finish off the goose. CO Schaumburger then observed the pair of hunters “fist bump” in the boat, drive it back to shore, and continue their hunt. A little while later, CO Schaumburger questioned the hunters as if he was not watching them for the past two hours. The hunters were not truthful and denied shooting the goose under power. The hunter who took the shots was cited for shooting from a vessel in motion and loaded firearm in a boat.

CO Cody Bourgeois received a complaint from a property owner who located a giant pile of sugar beets adjacent to his property. He also discovered a trail camera that was on his property. The complainant supplied the CO with photographic evidence of a big 10-point buck being taken over the bait pile. The CO met with the landowner and investigated the situation further. The CO was able to track down the hunter and get a full confession. The deer was taken over the bait pile and after legal shooting hours. The CO seized the antlers from the hunter and will be completing a report for an illegal deer. Charges being sought; take deer over bait, take deer after legal shooting hours, failure to report harvest, and recreational trespass.

CO Cody Bourgeois received a tip from CO Brad Silorey that two deer were being transported through his county from Ohio illegally. The CO was given a license plate and followed up with the suspects at their residence. CO Bourgeois questioned the hunters on where the deer were harvested. The hunters were cooperative and supplied the CO with all the information needed. The deer were legally harvested in Ohio; however, the hunters were transporting them illegally due to the fact the deer were still whole. Due to the fact the hunters failed to comply with this order the deer were seized and will be sent to the DNR disease lab to be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The hunters were also issued citations for transporting deer across state lines.

Sgt. Seth Rhodea was patrolling in Lapeer County when he stopped to check a group of duck hunters in the Lapeer SGA. The first hunter Sgt. Rhodea checked was found to not have a federal stamp and state waterfowl license, the second hunter was found to have toxic (lead) shot in his possession and an unsigned federal stamp. The third and final hunter was found to have an expired federal stamp. All hunters were issued citations for their violations.


Corporal (Cpl.) Todd Sumbera followed up on a deer baiting complaint to find that the individual hunting was sitting over a large pile of sugar beets and carrots. The individual stated that he was unaware of the legal limit for baiting deer in Michigan. Cpl. Sumbera explained to him that it is two gallons over a 10x10 area and asked how many gallons he thought he had out. The hunter stated he wasn’t sure exactly and continued to state that he had three tractor/skid steer scoops of beets and a scoop of carrots as well. Cpl. Sumbera located a second blind that had another scoop of beets at it as well. The individual was issued a citation for over limit of bait.

Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen received a bait complaint on a section of private property.  Two days later, Cpl. Van Gelderen received a trespassing complaint near the same property. Pictures of two subjects were shown to Cpl. Van Gelderen from the complainant’s trail camera. Cpls. Van Gelderen and Jon Busken investigated the bait complaint but did not contact anyone at the site. When the COs were leaving, a truck pulled up to them, and Cpl. Van Gelderen recognized the occupants as the trespassers. After an interview, it was discovered that the subjects were the trespassers and that they were tracking a deer that one of them had shot over the bait pile. It was also discovered that the suspect never bought a hunting license. A report is being sent to the Oceana County Prosecutor’s Office for the violations.

Cpl. Justin Vanderlinde completed an investigation of trespass and illegally taking emerald shiners out of Hatlem Creek.  During the interview, the suspect stated, “I’ve been waiting for you to call me, it’s been terrible, I’m never doing this again.”  The suspect was warned for the violation, per the request of the complainant.


In October of 2022, Detective (Det.) Dan Lee received complaints of a wetland being filled on private property in Barry County. A subject from Lansing, Michigan, and brother to the property owner, placed fill in a wetland and in an inland lake without the required permits. This property, and its owner, have been an issue for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for over 20 years. The property is on Gun Lake and is mostly regulated wetland. 

A permit was issued in 1995 for a residence to be placed on the only buildable portion of the property. Since that time the landowner has committed multiple violations of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Stream, and Part 303, Wetland Protection, in an attempt to increase the size of the property and increase the value of it on the market. These attempts resulted in a misdemeanor conviction to the landowner in 2016. The conviction in 2016 resulted in a permit for shoreline and wetland protection which also provided access to the lake for the landowner and protections from erosion. Information from these past events indicate that suspect was involved with the exchange of information regarding the property.

On October 19, 2022, complaints were made to EGLE that the property was again being filled by the suspect. Det. Dan Lee of the DNR Law Enforcement Division EIS responded to the site and observed ongoing fill in the wetland. He contacted the suspect, who explained he had obtained a permit from the county for the work. He presented Det. Lee with a soil erosion control permit, which explicitly states that it does not give permission to fill wetlands. EGLE Water Resources Division (WRD) conducted a site visit to determine the extent of the impact on the wetlands and shoreline. They contacted the suspect and advised him of the violations. WRD provided him information on restoration of the property. The suspect complied with WRD instructions and in June of 2023 the property was fully restored.

Det. Lee filed two misdemeanor charges against the suspect with the Barry County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in July of 2023; placing fill in a wetland without a permit and placing fill in an inland lake without a permit. A plea agreement was reached between the suspect and the prosecuting attorney’s office whereas the misdemeanor charges were dismissed. The suspect plead responsible to a civil infraction violation of Part 91, Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control, and was fined a total of $240.