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Conservation Officers (COs) Brian Lasanen, Byron Parks, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Marc Pomroy investigated a complaint of a hunter who posted two smaller antlered deer on social media. The complainant was worried the hunter was misusing his combo tag. Contact was made with the hunter and his girlfriend. After a short interview, a confession was given by the hunter. He advised he shot two bucks and used his girlfriend’s tag for one of them. A report will be submitted for charges.

CO Zach Painter and PCO Zack Smith were on patrol in Ontonagon County. The COs were at a gas station fueling up their patrol truck when they observed a car pull into the gas station with a deer hanging out of the trunk. The COs congratulated the successful hunter who told the COs that he had got the 8-point buck earlier that morning. A check of the license revealed it to be bought after the subject said he had shot the deer, and it was only a base license. A check of the subject’s license history revealed that he had not purchased a deer license since 2014. After a short interview, a confession was obtained, and the deer was seized. A report will be submitted for taking the deer without a license.

CO Jenni Hanson checked a deer hunter exiting the woods by four-wheeler. CO Hanson noted the subject left the woods approximately 30 minutes past legal shooting hours. CO Hanson observed the operator was not wearing a helmet. While checking the subject’s firearm, CO Hanson discovered that the firearm was still loaded. A citation was issued for transporting a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle and a warning was issued for operating a four-wheeler without a helmet.

On the second day of Michigan’s firearm deer season, CO Alex VanWagner and PCO Kyle Romzek were dispatched to a report of a severely injured hunter. Dispatch advised a tree had fallen on him during the high winds that afternoon. The COs were first to arrive on scene and were led into the hunting spot by another member of the hunting group. The hunters said they checked in with each other on radios and when they did not hear back from the victim, they went to check to see that he was okay. The hunters found the victim injured and with a large tree lying on top of him. Once assessing the situation, the COs decided that the ambulance would not be able to make it to their location in the woods. They headed back out to the main road and were able to locate another access point to the injured hunter. The COs transported EMS personnel and their equipment via patrol truck to the injured hunter as the hunting group cleared trees in the way. The COs assisted emergency medical services (EMS) by providing first aid treatment for head and possible spinal injuries. The injured hunter was placed on a back board and transported out of the woods using their patrol truck. Once out to the main road, CO VanWagner drove the ambulance to the Iron River Hospital while EMS personnel treated the hunter in the back. PCO Romzek followed behind with CO VanWagner’s patrol truck. The injured hunter was flight cared out of Iron River via EMS MedEvac helicopter to Wausau, Wisconsin for further treatment. CO VanWagner followed up with the injured hunter’s spouse and daughter regarding the incident a few days later. The hunter was in critical condition upon arrival to the hospital and medical personnel were unsure if the hunter would survive. The family was told that the hunter was lucky to be alive and probably would not walk again following surgery on the head and vertebrae. Shortly before CO VanWagner contacted the family, the hunter had regained mobility in all limbs and stood up for the first time. He was finally able to have a conversation with the family as well. Doctors described his recovery so far as “miraculous.” CO VanWagner requested updates from the family and extended wishes for a speedy recovery. They thanked the COs and EMS personnel for their efforts.

CO Alex VanWagner received a complaint regarding a suspiciously tagged 10-point buck. CO VanWagner was able to locate the hunter’s address and went to the residence to interview him. The subject confessed to shooting the buck on his property the day prior and used his wife’s deer license to tag the deer. The subject stated he had his wife buy a tag so he could keep hunting in case he harvested a deer. The 10-point was seized, and a report will be submitted to the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Alex VanWagner, Anna Viau, and Sgt. Brian Bacon conducted a deer decoy patrol in Iron County. The COs observed a pickup truck creep down the road, stop near the decoy, and the driver exited the vehicle with a rifle. CO VanWagner also observed an uncased rifle on the passenger’s side next to a male subject. The COs announced themselves and contacted two male hunters and a female hunter. The driver admitted he was going to shoot the deer and only possessed an antlerless tag. The group of road hunters told the COs the female just shot a buck a few miles back and an untagged 8-point buck was lying in the bed of the truck. The hunters were interviewed further regarding the events and all three hunters were issued citations.

CO Steve Sajtar responded to a home invasion in progress in Menominee County. CO Sajtar assisted the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police (MSP) in locating the home invasion suspect while the suspect was attempting to break and enter a local grocery store. Upon contact, the suspect stated, “I was just looking for a house to hang out in.” The suspect was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property (MDOP) and home invasion.

CO Steve Sajtar responded, along with Nadeau Township Fire personnel and MSP troopers, to a report of an occupied dwelling fire. After confirming the house was properly evacuated, CO Sajtar was able to locate the homeowner’s runaway pets and return them to the owner. No injury or death occurred. 

COs Phil Helminen and Jared Ferguson investigated a hunter for shooting more deer than he had tags for. The COs went to the hunter’s residence and found that he purchased one deer tag and had shot three bucks: a 6-point, 8-point, and 11-point. The hunter did not use his tag on any of the deer and had used his son’s tag on the 11-point. The hunter stated he shot the first deer and did not want to be done hunting, so he did not tag the deer and continued to hunt. The deer were all seized, and a report was submitted to the Dickinson County Prosecutor for charges.

CO John Kamps contacted two hunters in a vehicle. In the vehicle, the CO located an uncased rifle and a loaded pistol that were not being carried legally. In addition, one of the occupants of the vehicle was a nonresident who had not purchased a deer license. A citation was issued.

COs John Kamps and Jackson Kelly contacted a hunter who was suspected of shooting a 6-point deer without a license. The COs were able to obtain a full confession and retrieve the antlers from the deer. Enforcement action was taken with the case going to the prosecutor’s office for review.


On opening day of firearm deer season, COs Andrea Dani and Brandon Maki received multiple complaints of excessive baiting occurring on private property. The COs arrived at the property and contacted a female at the residence who stated her father, husband, and son were out hunting on the property. COs Dani and Maki then located one blind and contacted the hunter. The hunter was not wearing hunter orange, he was hunting over an excessive amount of bait, and he did not have a valid deer license. CO Maki issued a citation for hunting without a license and gave two warnings for the other violations. COs Dani and Maki located two other blinds nearby. Both blinds overlooked excessive amounts of bait and appeared to have been left in a hurry as jackets, gloves, and even a wallet were left in the blind. The COs went back to the residence and spoke with the woman who stated her family was out hunting and that if they weren’t in their blinds, they would be afoot still-hunting deer. Eventually it was discovered that the son was hiding upstairs, and both the father and son admitted to hunting without licenses. A report will be submitted to the Alger County Prosecutor's Office for review.

CO Brandon Maki received a complaint that an individual had shot two deer but only had a single deer kill tag. After a lengthy investigation the suspect stated she had only shot one deer and had shot it a little after noon on November 18th. Based on his investigation CO Maki asked her if she had purchased a license after killing the deer and she admitted that was correct. The firearm used was seized along with the venison. A report will be submitted to the Alger County Prosecutor's Office.

While on patrol, CO Robert Freeborn observed an area of commercial forest land that was damaged from subjects cutting pine boughs. Upon further investigation, a possible suspect was determined along with the vehicle. After conducting surveillance, CO Freeborn observed the suspect vehicle enter the area. CO Freeborn was able to contact the subjects who had a pickup load of boughs freshly cut from the same area as before. After interviewing the suspects, a full confession was given. The pine boughs were taken as evidence and the landowner was made aware of the situation. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor and restitution will be sought for the value of the boughs taken.

CO Robert Freeborn observed a pickup truck coming at him on a two-track road. As CO Freeborn pulled off the road to make room for the other vehicle to pass, he observed an untagged buck in the truck bed as it went by. CO Freeborn turned around on the vehicle and it immediately pulled over. The driver exited the vehicle with a kill tag in hand. The subject stated seeing a DNR truck just reminded him to tag his buck. CO Freeborn explained the buck needed to be tagged immediately. A citation was issued for failing to immediately tag the deer.

COs Michael Evink and Sgt. Mark Zitnik were patrolling the Germfask area when they observed an ORV cross the road. The operator was not wearing a helmet and had an uncased gun on the ORV. The COs contacted the operator and found the firearm was loaded with seven rounds and there was no ORV sticker. The operator was issued a ticket for having a loaded weapon on an ORV. 

CO Justin Vinson investigated a complaint from a hunter who had his ground blind stolen. The complainant provided CO Vinson with the make and model of the blind, as well as a trail cam picture of the rear half of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). CO Vinson investigated the location where the blind was taken and followed ATV tracks down a pipeline right-of-way that ultimately led to a suspect camp. When asked about the blind, the group said they found it on the pipeline, and it had blown away in the wind. CO Vinson was able to return the blind to the complainant.

CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol during the firearm deer season opener when he stopped at a local buck pole. While looking at the deer hanging, he observed a “spike” (2-point white-tailed deer) tagged with a combination tag (meant for deer with at least three points on one side). Contact with the hunter was made and a citation was issued for the APR (Antler Point Restriction) violation. The deer was also seized and donated to a local family.

COs Mike Evink and Cole VanOosten responded to a complaint of a deer shot at 10:30 at night in Schoolcraft County. CO Evink and the complainant tracked the blood trail and located the dead deer a short distance away on the complainant’s property. CO VanOosten conducted time of death calculations on the animal and determined that the animal’s death was consistent with the witness’ observation, and the wound sustained by the gunshot. The blood trail was backtracked from the dead deer to a neighboring residence where a large bait pile was observed. Contact was made with the suspect who had previously been convicted for a similar offense and was revoked from all hunting. The suspect initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted to shooting the deer after hours without a license. The firearm was seized, and the shell casing was recovered as evidence. A necropsy of the animal recovered the small caliber bullet used by the suspect. The deer was donated to a local family and charges were requested by the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a license, taking a deer outside of legal hunting hours, hunting over a bait greater than two gallons, and hunting while hunting privileges were revoked.

CO Cole VanOosten was working during the Thanksgiving Holiday when he encountered a waterfowl hunter braving the cold wintery weather. Contact was made and it was determined that the man did not have his licenses on his person. While on the radio and confirming that the man had the proper license, CO VanOosten observed a duck approaching away from the hunter’s view. CO VanOosten got down and got the man’s attention to tell him he had a duck approaching. The man was able to grab his gun and make an excellent shot on the duck, his first duck of the day. A warning was given for not having his waterfowl licenses on his person.


CO Nathan Beelman assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department with a medical call where a juvenile had fallen down a set of stairs into a basement and was bleeding from her head. The juvenile was reported to be in and out of consciousness. CO Beelman assisted with carrying the juvenile out of the basement and into the waiting ambulance. 

CO Adam LeClerc contacted a hunter in an area in which CO LeClerc found bait before rifle season. Upon checking the hunter when he returned to his vehicle, CO LeClerc noticed a white bag commonly used for bait barely stuffed into the hunter’s coat pocket. When confronted about the bait bag, the hunter admitted that he was baiting the area. A ticket was issued for illegal baiting in the lower peninsula. Warnings were given for no name or address on tree stand or ground blind and cutting trees for trail on state land.

CO Chad Baldwin located a vehicle parked on state land with no visible license plate. CO Baldwin walked up to the vehicle, assuming the owner was out hunting, only to find both the driver and passenger sitting inside. CO Baldwin interviewed the driver who had a valid registration for the vehicle but said he was procrastinating on attaching his license plate. The passenger was a minor. The driver and the passenger had hunting clothing with them, one broken/disabled bolt action rifle, and valid hunting licenses. The driver stated they were getting ready to go hunting and walk some ridges because they did not have a blind to use. The driver seemed nervous, and his story seemed suspicious, so CO Baldwin, being aware of a ground blind in the area, asked if anyone else was hunting nearby. The driver stated there was no one else around but CO Baldwin told him he was going to take a walk around the area anyway. As CO Baldwin took a step away from the vehicle, the driver stated that his son was out hunting. CO Baldwin asked where his son was at and the driver stated, “He’s in the blind.” CO Baldwin had the driver accompany him back to the blind where CO Baldwin located another youth hunter, hunting without supervision, without any licenses in possession, and who had never taken hunter safety. CO Baldwin also discovered bait in front of the blind and when questioning the father, he stated the blind was a “community blind” and he did not know bait had been placed in the area. CO Baldwin escorted the pair back to the vehicles where he instructed the two minors to clean up the bait and take down the blind. The father was ticketed for allowing a youth to hunt unsupervised and for hunting over bait in an area closed to baiting. 

CO Chad Baldwin responded to a complaint of hunter harassment on opening morning of the firearm deer season. CO Baldwin was familiar with both the complainant and suspect as this type of harassment has happened in previous deer seasons as well. The complainant recorded the suspect walking the property line while carrying and revving a chainsaw repeatedly. CO Baldwin and several East Jordan police vehicles entered the suspect’s property to interview him. The suspect had a total of six warrants between three different counties as well as a previous hunter harassment warrant from Charlevoix County. The suspect had fled the scene, the investigation is ongoing, and law enforcement units are attempting to locate the individual.

CO Chad Baldwin located several hunters who were kayaking down the Sturgeon River the evening of the firearm deer season opener. CO Baldwin could see one hunter had an antlered deer in his kayak, so the CO waited for the hunters at the nearest bridge. Once contacting the hunters, CO Baldwin helped them drag their gear up onto the road where he discovered they were father and son who had kayaked back into their own private property quite a way upriver. The son who was still a teenager, had harvested a nice six-point buck and was eager to show it off. However, once CO Baldwin checked the kill tag attached to the deer, he noticed it had not been validated. CO Baldwin explained the importance of not only attaching but immediately validating the kill tag as well. CO Baldwin gave a warning to the hunter and continued his patrol.

CO Andrea Albert received a complaint of an archery hunter using bait to hunt deer. Further investigation revealed that the hunter had taken an 8-point deer without a license and with the aid of bait. After shooting his buck, the hunter immediately went to the store and bought a license. The illegal deer and processed venison were seized, and charges were submitted for taking a deer without a license and taking a deer with the aid of bait. The penalty for both violations include five years hunting license revocation and $6,000 in restitution for an 8-point deer.

CO Andrea Albert found a pop up blind on state land that was about 200 yards from the road on the evening of November 14th. The blind had a trail marked with blaze orange flagging about every 20 feet from the road to the blind. The blind appeared to have been just set up and when CO Albert checked the shooting lane she found beets, apples, and corn. The next day on the firearm deer opener, CO Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster contacted the hunter in the blind to address the illegal baiting violation. The hunter denied having bait out, until CO Albert walked him down his shooting lane and he then admitted to baiting. While CO Albert was issuing a ticket for the deer bait, the hunter asked, “How did you guys ever find me, with a drone or something?” A ticket was issued for hunting with the aid of bait, a warning was given for no identification on the blind and the hunter was advised to clean up the bait.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley observed a subject operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with three buckets of apples and corn traveling a two-track next to a residence. The COs followed the ATV down the trail at a distance. CO Budreau stopped just prior to cresting a hill where the ATV was parked at the bottom. CO Budreau and PCO Rowley approached the hilltop on foot and observed the subject throwing the apples and corn out in front of a blind. When the man finally noticed the COs, PCO Rowley was standing at the back of the ATV. After recovering from his surprise, the man admitted that he was putting bait out to hunt over. He told the COs that he got the apples from a nearby tree. When asked why not simply hunt the apple tree, the man explained that it was on his neighbor’s property and did not have permission. CO Budreau checked the global positioning system and advised the hunter that he was already trespassing on the same neighbor’s property with his trail, blind, and bait. The man was ticketed for baiting deer in an area closed to baiting and instructed to either contact the neighbor for permission or move his blind.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley responded to a complaint of someone posting commercial forest land (CFL). When the COs arrived at the location, the entire stretch of CFL along the roadway had been posted, “PRIVATE, NO HUNTING.” There was also a sawhorse style gate with a “No Trespassing” sign blocking the entrance. The COs moved the gate aside and drove into the property to find a baited blind with a food plot. The hunter in the blind advised that he was told by the owner to post the property to keep other people out. PCO Rowley explained to him that CFL property can’t be posted. The hunter was advised to remove the signs and was ticketed for baiting deer in an area closed to baiting.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley responded to a complaint from rangers at Wilderness State Park of illegal blinds in the interior of the park. CO Budreau had hiked out to the blinds previously to confirm the active usage, the construction, and the exact locations. The blinds were over a mile back through the thick swamps and hardwoods of Wilderness State Park. They were of permanent construction and had been there for many years without removal. CO Budreau and PCO Rowley revisited the blinds on opening day of the firearm deer season to find only one blind occupied. The hunter was very surprised to see the COs that far back in the park. The hunter advised the other blind belonged to his son who was coming the following day. The hunter was ticketed for hunting from an illegal blind and instructed to have them all removed prior to the close of season.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley checked a blind on state land that COs Budreau and Ryan Cox had found last year. The blind was permanent and left out for several years. When CO Budreau checked it last year, there were several bags of sugar beets dumped in front of it. CO Budreau and PCO Rowley, checked the illegal blind and found it was occupied by a 16 year old hunter. After further investigation, PCO Rowley found acorns dumped in front of the blind. There were no oak trees for miles. The young hunter was advised to have his father come to the scene. When the boy’s father arrived, he took full responsibility for the blind and the bait. PCO Rowley ticketed the man for the blind and gave him warnings for both the bait and allowing a 16 year old to hunt unaccompanied by someone 18 or older.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley were attempting to patrol a section of state land in northern Emmet County when they came across a vehicle parked in the middle of the road. The vehicle was unoccupied and completely blocking access to state land. It was close to the end of shooting hours, so the COs decided to wait with the vehicle to see if it belonged to a hunter. Shortly after dark, the hunter returned to the illegally parked vehicle. The man was dressed all in dark clothing with no hunter orange. PCO Rowley ticketed the man for the safety violation and warned him for his parking.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley assisted a farmer with a cow in the roadway. The COs helped push the cow several miles down a snow-covered slippery road at night, while directing traffic. The cow was stubborn and confused as it kept turning around in the roadway. She was one of thirty that had gotten loose the day before. The cow was safely corralled into a livestock trailer and returned to her farm.

CO Kyle Cherry was conducting follow up during firearm deer season in Otsego County. While attempting to contact a pair of hunters in a known baited blind, CO Cherry ran into the hunters walking back from the blind to their trucks. The hunters denied hunting from the baited blind. After more investigation, the hunters admitted that they had placed the bait in front of the blind and had been hunting over it. Further investigation revealed one of subjects was a felon who could not possess firearms. Multiple tickets were issued, and additional charges are being sought through the Otsego County Court.

COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg were conducting processor inspections in Otsego County when they had discovered a deer that was likely shot without a license. The COs interviewed the hunter at his residence where he confessed that he shot an 8-point buck without a license. Charges are being sought through the Otsego County Court.

CO Tom Oberg received a complaint on opening day of firearm deer season regarding a possible APR violation. CO Oberg responded to the area and contacted the hunter. After running the hunter through the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), it was found he had a felony warrant for his arrest on a drug related charge out of the MSP Gaylord Post. CO Oberg placed the subject in custody. The subject also admitted to shooting at a deer with a rifle despite being a convicted felon. A report is being compiled and will be submitted to the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges for felon in possession of a firearm. The possible APR violation continues to be investigated. 

CO Jack Gorno responded to an ORV trespass complaint in eastern Cheboygan County. After talking to the witness, CO Gorno contacted the hunter on the neighboring property. CO Gorno obtained confessions on five different wildlife violations including take deer without a license, discharge within the safety zone, hunting over bait, no hunter orange, and ORV trespass. CO Gorno also seized the 4-point buck. Charges are being sought through the Cheboygan County Prosecutor.

COs Alex Bourgeois and Jon Sheppard contacted a deer camp in reference to an extremely large bait pile that was discovered during a bait flight. The COs contacted the hunter while he was hunting over the bait pile. The subject was hunting without a license and did not have hunter orange on. The COs went to the bait pile to take photos of it for evidence and were able to see just how massive it was. The bait pile was approximately 80 yards long by 50 yards wide and had hundreds of pounds of sugar beets, carrots, and shelled corn. The COs also discovered other hunters in blinds. The COs found bait at multiple blinds within the property with people hunting over them. The hunters were all advised to clean up the bait and were issued tickets for baiting deer.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz and PCO Jeremy Woods were on patrol in Montmorency County when they observed a pickup truck driving at a high rate of speed before abruptly pulling into a driveway. CO Liestenfeltz and PCO Woods watched the house from down the road and approximately 30 seconds later, the subject pulled out of the driveway at a high rate of speed, disregarding a stop sign. A traffic stop was conducted, and contact was made with the subject. The subject admitted to consuming alcohol earlier in the evening. While on scene at the traffic stop, Montmorency County Dispatch advised CO Liestenfeltz and PCO Woods that a subject had just called 911 stating that their tires were slashed. The complainant also gave the suspect’s name to the dispatch center. This was the same subject on the traffic stop. A large knife with rubber residue on the blade was recovered from the front seat of the truck. The subject was also given standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), which they failed. The subject also blew over the legal limit for preliminary breath test (PBT). The subject was placed under arrest and charged with malicious destruction of property (MDOP), operating while intoxicated (OWI), and driving while license suspended (DWLS).

Sgt. Mike Mshar was on patrol when observed a slow-moving vehicle with the window down, occupied by two men wearing hunter orange. When contacted Sgt. Mshar discovered that they were in possession of a bag of cocaine. While Sgt. Mshar was addressing the violation, a second vehicle arrived that was driven by the father of the passenger in the initial vehicle. CO Dan Liestenfeltz arrived on scene shortly after to assist. Both COs suspected the father was driving under the influence of alcohol and asked him to complete SFSTs, which he failed. The man was also carrying a loaded pistol which, despite having a concealed pistol license (CPL), is illegal when intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The COs searched both vehicles and located additional cocaine in the first vehicle along with three rifles. A second pistol and rifle were found in the father’s vehicle. The father was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and possession of a firearm while intoxicated and lodged at the county jail. The case has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office for review.


CO William Haskin was patrolling Wexford County on the opening day of firearm deer season and checked a corn feeder on private property that he had found earlier in the year. CO Haskin located a group of hunters, one of which did not have a hunting license. After checking the license purchasing history and interviewing him, CO Haskin found that the individual had not purchased a license since 2019. During the interview, the hunter admitted to shooting two deer the previous year in the same location. CO Haskin went back to the hunter’s residence and confiscated the deer. A citation for hunting without a license was issued and charges are being sought for take deer without a license in 2022.

CO Josiah Killingbeck received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of a subject who had shot a deer after dark, with the aid of a light, no hunter orange, and was observed dragging the deer to a residence. CO Killingbeck and a Lake County deputy responded to the suspect's residence and contacted two subjects; CO Killingbeck observed a freshly gutted-out deer hanging in a tree outside the residence. The deer did not meet the APRs for Lake County and was not tagged. The subject told CO Killingbeck he was walking back to the residence from his blind when he saw the buck and shot. The subject was adamant he shot the deer during legal shooting hours, but when asked what time, the subject told CO Killingbeck a time which was nearly a half hour after legal shooting hours. After further questioning, the subject said he was walking back from his blind, saw the buck, and used his flashlight to illuminate the deer so that he could see to shoot. The subject admitted that he had been hunting without hunter orange and was within the safety zone of another residence when he shot. The deer was seized along with the firearm that was used to shoot the deer. A report is being submitted to the Lake County prosecutor for charges.

CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Joshua Jobin located a baited blind during a bait flight. While attempting to contact the hunter in the blind, a pile of sugar beets and a blood trail were discovered. CO Publiski and PCO Jobin followed blood and drag marks to a closed pole building next to the residence. Contact was made with a subject who admitted to hunting over bait and taking a doe the evening prior. The subject opened the pole barn, and an untagged doe was hanging. The subject was cited for hunting over bait and failing to immediately tag the deer.

CO Ben Shively followed up on bait sites in Oceana County and located a hunter setting up his climber the day before the firearm opener. CO Shively explained why he was there, and the subject took him to his pile of sugar beets, corn, and a mineral block. The subject was cited for baiting deer. Later that day, CO Shively contacted the same subject this time CO Shively was contacting him because he was seen by a cell camera trespassing onto the neighboring property and retrieving an 8-point deer. The subject gutted the deer in front of the blind and drug the deer back onto the property past no trespassing signs. Charges are being sought on the suspect for recreational trespass.

CO Ben Shively was patrolling federal land in Oceana County when he observed a vehicle parked just off the road. While passing the vehicle, CO Shively observed a subject sitting behind a tree approximately 15 feet away, dressed in camouflage with what appeared to be an orange belt. While backing up, CO Shively observed the subject reach inside his coat, pull out an orange stocking cap, and put it on. CO Shively contacted the hunter who was adamant that his orange belt counted as hunter's orange because he only needed to have 15 percent of hunter orange on. He then told CO Shively that was what the law required. CO Shively explained what the hunter orange law actually says and issued the subject a citation for no hunter orange.

COs Ben Shively and Kevin Bunce were working a shining patrol in Oceana County when they observed a pickup truck headlight a field and then proceed towards an intersection. Before reaching the intersection, COs Shively and Bunce observed a spotlight come out from the passenger side window and begin shining the field. The COs conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and found the grandfather and grandson to be shining in November and shining with firearms in the vehicle. The grandson was cited for shining in November and warned for shining with weapons in possession.

CO Tim Barboza received a complaint from Newaygo County Central Dispatch of a hunter in the Manistee National Forest who got into an argument with another hunter before daylight. As the other hunter was walking away, the suspect drew a pistol and shot three rounds. CO Barboza arrived on the scene and located the suspect who admitted to drawing and firing his pistol while walking away from the other hunter. The incident is under review by the prosecutor for charges.

COs Troy Mueller and Kevin Bunce were patrolling Osceola County when they received an anonymous tip of a bait. The COs contacted the property owner at his blind and located a large volume of bait scattered throughout the property. In addition to the bait, the hunter was not wearing hunter orange and had not purchased a hunting license for 2023. The COs located two more hunters, each hunting over additional bait piles. Both hunters were lacking hunter orange, and one of the additional subjects was also lacking any hunting licensure for 2023. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Kevin Bunce and Troy Mueller were patrolling Osceola County checking deer baits. The COs checked a bait on private property and located an individual standing outside of a hunting blind. The hunter had just shot a deer over a bait pile which consisted of apples, carrots, sugar beets, and a mineral block. The deer also did not meet the APRs for the county. The deer was being gutted/cleaned by the subject's hunting companions. Upon inspection of the deer, the buck lacked any kill tag validated or affixed. The hunter acknowledged he knew that baiting in the Lower Peninsula was illegal and that he knew he should have taken a closer look before firing at an illegal deer. Enforcement action was taken.


COs John Huspen and Jacob Hamilton were patrolling in Crawford County when they were dispatched to an in-progress complaint of someone shooting deer from a vehicle. CO Hamilton contacted the complainants near where the incident occurred and was told that the suspect was still in the area. The complainants stated they watched the subject shoot from the vehicle. COs Huspen and Hamilton located a pickup truck parked on a two-track and found a subject dragging a small deer across the field toward the pickup truck. Contact was made with the hunter, who claimed to have shot the deer while standing up near his truck, but upon further questioning, the subject admitted to shooting the deer out of the window of the truck. The deer and rifle were seized, and a report will be submitted to the Crawford County prosecutor for review.

CO Kyle Bader was patrolling a remote area of state land in Ogemaw County on the second day of firearm deer season when he observed two trucks pull into an area and stop. The CO contacted three hunters who got out of the first truck, stating they were going to track a deer that one of them hit on opening day. CO Bader asked if their firearms were in cases, to which they replied, “No.” CO Bader asked if the firearms were at least unloaded, and he got three different responses: “Yes,” “They should be,” and “No, mine’s not.” CO Bader inspected the firearms and found three uncased rifles, one unloaded, one unloaded in the chamber but with a full magazine inserted, and one loaded in the magazine and chamber. A citation was issued for possessing a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Kyle Bader responded to a complaint of an individual deer hunting with a firearm inside the safety zone (150 yards or less). The hunter was located and determined to be 80 yards away from the complainant’s residence and 60 yards away from the complainant’s neighbor’s house. He was cited for the violation. The complainant told CO Bader he had heard a shot from the blind the night before, and shortly after, he had watched a man load a deer into a small black car. When the hunter’s “friend” arrived on scene, he was driving a small black car. CO Bader interviewed the driver about shooting a deer the day before. He said the last deer he killed was in bow season. CO Bader obtained consent to search the back of the vehicle and located hair with fresh blood in the trunk of the car. The man then changed his story and admitted to killing a deer within the safety zone and not tagging it. A citation was issued for the tagging violation.

COs Brad Bellville and Kyle Bader noticed two individuals using flashlights near their vehicle, well after dark. Upon approaching them, the COs discovered that the two were trying to tie a harvested spike horn buck to the bumper of their Ford Bronco. After investigating, the COs found two uncased and loaded firearms in the vehicle and determined that the spike was untagged. The individuals were issued citations for carrying loaded firearms and for failing to immediately tag the deer.

CO Ryan Weakman recently observed a deer hanging at a camp in Clare County. While inspecting the tag, CO Weakman noticed a corn feeder in front of an elevated box blind. CO Weakman also observed a second corn feeder near the cabin with additional sugar beets and carrots underneath the feeder. CO Weakman further noticed a mercury vapor light strapped to a tree in front of the box blind. A ticket was issued for the illegal bait and a conversation was had regarding the mercury light overlooking the bait.

COs Phil Hudson and Sgt. Jon Wood was patrolling state land in Arenac County recently when they met two vehicles at an intersection. As Sgt. Wood was talking with the driver of the second vehicle, he noticed a handgun lying on the hood of the subject’s truck. When asked about the handgun, the driver became excited and couldn’t believe he had left the handgun on the hood and that it hadn’t fallen off while driving down the two-track. When asked about other firearms in the vehicle, the subject stated he had a couple of other long arms, one of which turned out to be uncased in the passenger front seat of the truck. A ticket was issued for having an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Jeff Goss was checking deer at a local deer processor when he located a large 8-point buck with a suspicious tag on it. The tag indicated that the deer was killed that morning, but after conducting time-of-death testing, it was determined that the buck was shot the night before. When CO Goss interviewed the female hunter, it was discovered that she did indeed shoot her deer the night before and then purchased her deer license after the fact. The deer was seized and donated to a needy family and a ticket was issued for the violation.

CO Jeff Goss was on patrol when he saw a man skinning out a deer in his garage. CO Goss stopped to check the hunter, only to find out that the man did not have a kill tag on the deer. A second untagged deer was located outside the garage. The subject stated he didn’t have them tagged because he purchased his tags that morning online. CO Goss questioned the man on whether he had purchased his tag before or after he shot the deer. The man tried to lie to CO Goss about when he shot the deer, but it was evident that the deer had been dead for several hours. After further interview, the subject confessed to shooting the deer before purchasing his license online. The deer were seized and donated to a needy family and a ticket was issued for the violations.


While on patrol in Saginaw County, CO Nick McNamee responded to a RAP complaint of a suspect shooting a deer with a firearm during archery season. Through the investigation and interview, it was determined that the deer was shot with a firearm and the license was purchased in the evening after the deer was shot. The 11-point deer was seized. Charges and reimbursement through the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office are pending.

While on patrol in Saginaw County, COs Nick McNamee and Adam Beuthin responded to a RAP complaint of a suspect shooting a deer within the firearm safety zone. Through the COs investigation and interview with the suspect, it was determined that the hunter was well short of the minimum 150 yard safety zone at 90 yards. The suspect also admitted to trespassing to retrieve the deer and did not have the deer tagged upon arrival of the COs. A citation was issued for the offenses and the 8-point buck was seized.

While checking state land sections along the Isabella and Clare County line, CO Mike Haas and PCO Kyle Romzek contacted two subjects hunting deer with a .22 caliber pistol. It was also discovered that one hunter had failed to purchase his deer tags and the other hunter did not have her licenses with her while hunting. A citation was issued to address the firearm and licensing violations and the male subject was arrested and transported to the Gladwin County Jail for five outstanding warrants.

CO Mike Haas witnessed a group of hunters transporting two field-dressed, antlered deer on the back of their side-by-side. CO Haas contacted the group and noted that neither deer was tagged. A hunter claimed one deer and stated his tags were back at his house and the other deer was shot by a young hunter who proudly described his hunt to the CO. The group and CO met at the property owner’s house and the hunter tagged his deer while an older gentleman started to tag the juvenile’s deer. CO Haas explained to the hunters that the juvenile who shot the deer had to tag the deer with his license, but the group stated the juvenile did not have any deer tags. CO Haas educated the group about tagging and licensing requirements and a citation was issued to address the multiple violations.

CO Mike Haas and PCO Kyle Romzek investigated a hunter who shot two large antlered deer in Isabella County during the opening day of firearm season. The COs determined that the deer were most likely shot prior to the hunter having any deer tags. An interview was conducted with the hunter who confirmed the COs suspicion and admitted that the licenses were purchased only after harvesting the deer. The deer were seized, and charges are pending with the Isabella County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Dan Robinson was working a bait complaint when he witnessed a vehicle drive past with the barrel of a firearm visible in the passenger’s arms. CO Robinson followed the vehicle for a short distance with intentions on making a traffic stop on it before it pulled into the driveway where the bait complaint had originated. The CO witnessed the passenger step out with a lever-action rifle in his arms. A citation was issued for the uncased rifle and a warning given for the bait issues on the property.

CO Jacob Robinson and Lt. Jeremy Payne were patrolling in Montcalm County when they contacted a subject float hunting at a local kayak launch. The hunter possessed a loaded firearm after legal hunting hours and the COs indicated the scent of marijuana. The subject admitted he was under the influence of marijuana and that he was in possession of a loaded firearm after hours. A citation was issued to address the violations.

CO Jacob Robinson was on patrol in Montcalm County when he received a complaint from the RAP Hotline in reference to a subject who shot two antlerless deer with a firearm on the opening days of the firearm deer season. The complainant believed the subject may be a felon. The CO contacted the subject and confirmed the subject’s criminal history, and that the antlerless deer were harvested with a firearm. CO Robinson was also able to get a confession that one of the antlerless deer was harvested without a license. The CO seized both deer and charges are being sought for the illegal method of harvesting the antlerless deer. The deer were turned over to a local processor who then donates the meat to families in-need within the local community.

COs Jacob Robinson, Marissa Sturtevant, and Sgt. Chad Foerster were on patrol in Montcalm County when they received a complaint from the RAP Hotline in reference to a deer tagging violation. The COs contacted the subject and got a confession that he placed his wife’s kill tag on his antlered deer. The COs seized the antlered deer and charges are being sought for using another person’s kill tag on the antlered deer. The seized deer was turned over to a local processor who then donates the meat to families in-need within the local community.

While on patrol in Gratiot County, COs Adam Schiller and Michael Lator received a complaint of shots fired from the roadway. The COs responded to the area where they observed an individual backing up in a truck from the field where the shots were called out from. The COs pulled into a residence behind the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle exited with a long gun in hand. Upon contact, the individual admitted that he had shot at a deer from his vehicle and then went into the field to “finish” the deer off. The suspect took the COs to the location to where an antlerless deer was found lying deceased in the field with a gunshot wound. The suspect had shot the deer, never tagged the deer, and was hunting without kill tags in possession. Citations were issued for the tagging violation and an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

While on patrol in Montcalm County, CO Adam Schiller received a complaint of two individuals trespassing in an open field. When CO Schiller arrived on scene, he found two subjects in the field looking for the deer they had shot on the property without permission. After admitting to shooting the deer from across the road, not knowing who owned the land, and believing there was no problem with discharging their firearm across the roadway to shoot the deer in the neighboring field, a citation was issued for recreational trespass on a farmland.


While checking hunters at the Cornish State Game Area (SGA), CO Matt Page observed a vehicle in the parking lot with a crossbow in the back seat. Upon running the license plate, it was found that the registered owner did not have a hunting license. CO Page observed the vehicle from a distance and waited nearly two hours for the hunter to exit the woods. CO Page observed the individual throw a shotgun in the back seat and contacted the hunter. Upon contacting him, it was found that the shotgun was not in a case and the hunter was a convicted felon. CO Page seized the firearm and ammunition from the individual. A citation was issued for possessing an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor for a felony charge of convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

CO Casey Varriale received a complaint in Algoma Township in Kent County of a hunter baiting and taking an over-limit of deer. CO Varriale went to the suspect’s residence and saw a bag of sugar beets and acorns visible from the driveway. CO Varriale interviewed the suspect who quickly admitted to baiting deer under his hunting blind. Additionally, the suspect admitted to shooting a doe and tagging it with his daughter’s tag. CO Varriale collected the evidence and is submitting a warrant request through the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint regarding an individual shooting deer and not tagging them. According to the complainant, the suspect had five deer hanging in a barn that were not tagged. CO Ulberg conducted a deer license search on the suspect and discovered he had only purchased two 2023 deer licenses. CO Ulberg, along with COs Casey Varriale and Mark Reffitt, responded to the subject’s house and observed five deer hanging in the barn, none of which were tagged. CO Ulberg contacted the hunter who confessed to shooting four of the deer, while a friend shot the fifth deer. The hunter admitted to knowing he did not have enough tags but shot the deer anyway. CO Ulberg seized the hunter’s 2023 deer combo licenses and the two deer carcasses the subject did not have tags for. A report was submitted to the county prosecutor’s office for the violations.

While following up on a deer baiting complaint in Ionia County, COs Mark Reffitt and Jeremy Beavers learned that the suspect shot a deer earlier that season without first purchasing a kill tag. After some preliminary investigation, the COs discovered that the subject was being untruthful in stating that he had purchased his tag before killing the buck. After discussing the matter with the COs for several minutes, the subject eventually admitted to killing the buck in the Ionia State Recreation Area and purchasing his kill tag on the way home. The hunter was cited for baiting deer in a closed county, his adult son was issued a verbal warning for baiting, and charges will be sought with the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office for the illegal deer.

During the firearm deer season opener, COs Jeremy Beavers and Mark Reffitt investigated a baiting and trespassing complaint. The complainant stated the suspect cut shooting lanes onto his property and was baiting with a salt block, sugar beets, and shelled corn. After determining the identity of the hunter, the COs made several attempts to contact him to no avail. On one attempt, the COs were able to speak with the suspect’s mother who provided the COs with his phone number. The COs met with the suspect and his wife to question him on the bait and trespassing. The suspect admitted to the bait but didn’t think he was trespassing. The COs explained that it was clear he cut a shooting lane on the neighboring property, and it was likely that his bait and stand were as well. CO Beavers then asked the subject for his deer licenses, and he stated they were in the house. CO Reffitt asked his wife if she hunted to which she stated no. After arriving with the deer kill tags, CO Beavers asked if they were his and he said yes. CO Beavers explained that the tags have the purchaser’s information on them. The suspect then admitted that his wife purchased the tags for his use. After further questioning, it was discovered that the suspect was hunting at the beginning of November without a license and shot a doe. After shooting the doe he called his wife, and she went and purchased tags. He used his wife’s tag on the doe and then took it to a processor. The suspect showed CO Beavers a picture of the deer with a date and time stamp. CO Beavers explained that the doe was killed and tagged illegally. CO Beavers informed him he would be submitting charges to the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office for an illegal deer and was cited for the bait.


CO Marc Mankowski was conducting a processor inspection and a truck pulled in with a buck and two does in the bed. The two does had licenses that were purchased that morning, and an interview was conducted with the hunter.  The hunter initially lied, but later confessed to shooting the buck and returning to his vehicle to get his knife. He then spotted two does near his truck and harvested both then drove to the store and purchased the licenses. The hunter stated, “I watch the TV show Wardens all the time and always get so mad at the people that lie and sure enough, I did the same thing, I’m sorry.” The two deer were seized, and charges will be sought with the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Elliot Worel and Jason McCollough responded to a Calhoun County Dispatch call for a home that had been shot. Initially, the complaint appeared to be a safety zone violation. Once on scene, it was apparent to the COs that this was not the case. The home had been intentionally shot at from the roadway by a disgruntled ex-lover of the resident. The COs gathered witness statements and evidence until they turned the complaint over to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office. No one was injured and the investigation is still ongoing.

CO Brandon Benedict assisted the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Department with an individual who had a self-inflicted firearm related wound. The individual was retrieving his shotgun for a shot at a deer and inadvertently pressed the trigger while the gun was pointed toward his head. The gun discharged and while the slug did not strike the subject, the blast from the discharge caused minor injuries to his face. The individual was treated and released from the hospital.


While CO Keven Luther was investigating a trespassing complaint, he was informed that the suspects had just been spotted on a trail camera located on the property. The complainant was nearby and visibly saw two trespassers enter two different properties without consent. CO Luther contacted the Romulus Police Department to assist with setting a perimeter around one of the properties. A perimeter was set while CO Luther searched the area. The Airport Police Department relieved the Romulus officers while CO Luther continued the search. An Airport Authority officer located the hunter’s vehicle approximately a mile away from the two properties, leading CO Luther to believe that there may be more than two trespassers. CO Luther was able to contact one of the hunters exiting the Airport Authority property on a main road with a loaded 450 bushmaster. The male was visibly intoxicated, and the firearm was immediately secured by CO Luther. The male was searched for further weapons and detained by the Airport Police. CO Luther then contacted two additional hunters. One of the three hunters was a juvenile and was educated and issued a verbal warning for trespass, while the second hunter was informed that formal charges will be sought through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for trespass, no hunter orange, and hunting without possession of a deer kill tag. The intoxicated male was transported by the Airport officer to the Romulus Police Department for a breath sample. The male was informed that formal charges would be sought through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for hunting while intoxicated. The male was taken into protective custody by the Airport Police once his blood alcohol content (BAC) was determined to be 0.302. The male was taken to Beaumont Taylor hospital for a medical evaluation.

CO Cody Bourgeois located several piles of bait on a property in Lapeer County and worked it throughout the week. CO Bourgeois was watching the suspect's property when he observed the homeowner in the backyard hunting with a firearm and not wearing hunter orange. The CO walked out and contacted the hunter and asked where his hunter orange was. The hunter stated he did not think he needed to put it on since he was in his own backyard. The CO continued to question the hunter asking where the bait on the property was located. The hunter stated that there was none as he was standing next to a mineral block. The CO walked the property with the hunter discovering several bait piles that the CO already knew were there. CO Bourgeois then asked the hunter if he had any luck this year and the hunter stated, “Yes one 6-point.” When the CO and suspect were back at the house, the CO noticed another set of antlers that were freshly skull-capped and tucked under the suspect's deck. The CO quickly saw that it was not a 6-point. CO Bourgeois discovered another set of antlers and the tag on the antlers was the hunter's bear tag. When questioned, the hunter stated the antlers were his son’s and that they got confused putting the tags on. The CO had the son who lived next door come over and discuss the 8-point that was harvested. The son tried to hand the CO the proper tags to the 8-point, but the CO knew better and questioned the son about the tags. The CO could tell the tags were just cut. The son eventually admitted to just filling the tags out and shooting the deer and his dad tagging the 8-point with the bear tag so he could continue to hunt another buck. The father was cited for no hunter orange, hunting over bait, allowing another individual to use his tag, and improper use of tags. The son will be charged with an illegal deer, failure to validate the tag, and failure to report his harvest. The 8-point was also seized for evidence.

As legal hunting hours closed, CO Justin Muehlhauser observed a vehicle parked in a field with two occupants inside. The CO found it strange as it was the last 30 minutes of legal shooting light. He decided to circle back and set up to watch the vehicle. The operator soon exited the vehicle and seemingly noticed the CO watching. He and the other party then quickly scrambled around and started walking into the woods. CO Muehlhauser contacted and questioned them about their activity. The man was very short in his responses and seemed very nervous. The CO was eventually able to get a story out of him that he shot a deer about an hour earlier and he was waiting for his dad to get there to help him recover it. The CO then questioned where his gun was. The man stated that his dad had it. The story didn’t make any sense as he said he gave the gun to his dad who left to go get a cart so they could retrieve the deer. The CO asked to see the deer. The man led the CO to the deer in the field which was already field dressed and was untagged. As the CO inspected the deer, it became apparent that the deer was shot with a small caliber rifle. Even though the CO pointed out the entry would, the man remained adamant that he shot it with a 12-gauge shotgun. The CO made the man tag the deer at that time. They then started back to the vehicle and CO Muehlhauser stopped off at the small section of woods where he first contacted the hunters. There, he discovered a gun case hidden in the woods with a loaded .270 rifle. Eventually, the man confessed to shooting the deer with the rifle. The man was cited for taking a deer with an illegal firearm and failing to immediately tag a deer.

CO Luke Robare received a call from the MSP that an individual had shot a deer in his backyard, within 50 yards of other houses, over bait, and almost an hour after legal shooting light. CO Robare responded to the area with the trooper assigned the call as well. CO Robare was able to determine that the deer was taken over bait, within a safety zone, and the subject did admit that it was outside legal hunting times when he shot it. CO Robare is pursuing charges with the prosecutor’s office for the violations.

CO Luke Robare conducted an interview with a suspect for a possible illegal deer. CO Robare was informed that a hunter possibly shot a deer without a license. The hunter posted that he had shot an 8-point buck on October 14th, 2023, but after checking the license sales history, the hunter did not buy his license until the following day on October 15th. CO Robare interviewed the suspect and he admitted to shooting the buck without a license. CO Robare seized the antlers and will be pursuing charges with the prosecutor’s office.

Sgt. Jason Becker was following up on a baited location that was observed from a bait flight earlier in the month. As Sgt. Becker approached the blind, he announced himself and had the hunter step outside. As the hunter stepped out, Sgt. Becker observed that he had no hunter orange clothing and was putting a beer can in his jacket pocket. Through conversation, it was discovered that the hunter had placed nearly a pickup load of sugar beets in front of his blind, had not purchased a 2023 hunting license, consumed alcohol while hunting, and had taken a deer earlier in the season. Sgt. Becker secured the man’s weapon and ensured he safely walked back to his residence. Sgt. Becker issued the hunter citations for hunting without a license, hunting over bait, and no hunter orange. Sgt. Becker explained the other violations and that the bait needed to be cleaned up. The hunter stated that he would have the bait cleaned up the next day.

COs Kris Kiel, Joseph Deppen, and Sydney Griffor were on patrol in lower Lake Huron when they stopped to observe a duck boat hunting long-tailed ducks in the distance. The COs watched the hunters chase down “cripples” multiple times and shoot at them while the boat was under power. When the COs observed them do it the third time, they raced in and made contact just before they made it back to their decoy spread. All three hunters’ shotguns were fully loaded, and one subject even had his shotgun off “safety” position.  All three subjects received a citation for possessing a loaded firearm in a motorboat under power.

CO Sydney Griffor received a call from an individual stating a hunter shot a deer on her property without permission and another hunter witnessed the whole thing. CO Griffor responded to the area and observed an untagged 6-point buck laying in the complainant’s field. CO Griffor followed the blood trail which led to the middle of the property owner’s farm field. CO Griffor observed the hunter’s tree stand with a large amount of bait in front of it. The hunter admitted to shooting the buck within the neighbor’s farm field, but stated he had permission 15 years ago to hunt it. CO Griffor advised the hunter he needs to get permission each year. The buck was seized as evidence and a report will be submitted on charges of recreational trespass, baiting, and failing to immediately tag the deer.

CO Mike Drexler received a call from the University of Michigan (U of M) Police Department referencing a complaint they received of a subject possibly shooting a trophy buck on U of M property. CO Drexler worked with a detective from U of M police determining a suspect. CO Drexler continued the investigation, where he also learned the suspect never purchased a hunting license. After several attempts to track the suspect down, COs Drexler and Tom Jaakkola contacted the suspect at his workplace. The suspect admitted to taking the deer and not having a license until after shooting it. The antlers were seized, and a warrant request will be submitted to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Brandon Hartleben responded to a call of multiple hunters trespassing on park property. CO Hartleben responded to the area and located an orange vest along the property line as he transitioned from the path that led from private property onto park property. CO Hartleben conducted a brief search of the area before locating a 12 year old hunter by himself in a ladder stand. The young hunter indicated that he had shot a deer about 45 minutes ago. When asked if anyone was hunting with him, he pointed towards the woods and indicated that his father was hunting back there and that he could call him. CO Hartleben checked the area and found multiple other stands and a trail camera on park property. CO Hartleben then located the antlered spike that the young hunter had shot. While checking the deer, CO Hartleben contacted the boy’s father walking through the woods not wearing hunter orange. After a lengthy educational experience for both father and son, the deer was seized for donation as it was taken while trespassing. The father was issued a citation for allowing a youth to hunt unsupervised and for being afield without hunter orange. The Northfield Township Police Department arrived on scene and issued the trespass notice for hunting on park property.

After conducting a traffic stop, COs Andy Monnich and Brad Silorey, along with PCOs Zackary Cardinal and Scott Pankow, found multiple illegal immigrants in the motor vehicle. None of the subjects could provide identification or residency and as a result, were turned over to United States Border Patrol (USBP) agents. The subjects were detained by USBP and brought in for processing.


Corporal (Cpl.) Chris Lynch and CO Rob Freeborn were on patrol when they observed a truck coming towards them on a two-track. Upon making contact, it was quickly discovered the driver had an uncased firearm in the vehicle, which through investigation was also discovered to be loaded. The driver was the father of the young passenger in the vehicle. They had been waterfowl hunting and now were road hunting their way out of the woods. Upon checking the driver, it was discovered he had a revoked driver license and didn’t have any hunting licenses. Cpl. Lynch spoke with the young man, who was very enthusiastic to talk about hunting and how good he is at duck calling while CO Freeborn spoke with the father, who was issued a citation for the loaded firearm in the vehicle.

Cpl. Chris Lynch and CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of hunters operating their ORVs in a closed area. After surveilling the area, the hunters were observed driving in the closed area. Upon making contact it was discovered the operators where the same two hunters Cpl. Lynch cited last hunting season for the same violations, among many other violations they had. Both hunters were issued another citation.

Cpl. Mike Hammill contacted two individuals fishing just south of Escanaba near the Ford River. Upon approach, both individuals walked away from their fishing poles and sat at a picnic table. One individual was cited for fishing without a license, and both men had denied/revoked driving status. Cpl. Hammill arranged a ride for the fishermen.

Lt. Reid Roeske contacted Cpl. Mike Hammill after he witnessed an individual purchasing an antlerless deer license late in the morning on the opening day of the firearm deer season. Lt. Roeske also noticed a 9-point buck head in the back of the individual’s truck with what appeared to be last year’s kill tag on the antler. Cpl. Hammill responded to the location Lt. Roeske provided, and contacted an elderly male that purchased the tag that morning. He was questioned on the buck head in the back of his truck. The individual advised that his nephew shot the buck the year before, but the date of birth on the tag matched the older individual. Interviews with both the nephew and the older gentleman were conducted and confessions for loan/borrow of tags and not tagging a deer were obtained.  

Cpl. Mike Hammill was patrolling the Garden Peninsula area when he noticed an individual driving down a county road on an ORV with no helmet on and a rifle in his lap.  A traffic stop was conducted, and a citation was issued for possessing a loaded firearm on an ORV.  Several verbal warnings were also given.

Cpl. Mike Hammill was working a stretch of the Hermansville Grade, which is closed to vehicle traffic. Cpl. Hammill noticed a passenger car heading in the opposite direction approximately a half mile down the grade. As soon as the patrol vehicle pulled onto the grade, the suspect vehicle noticeably started speeding up. Cpl. Hammill eventually caught the car after he had turned onto the pavement and pulled into an unknown residence. A 7mm Mauser was discovered next to the passenger, and a citation was issued. A short time later, a known individual in the area that’s not fully supportive of CO efforts called the RAP hotline demanding to know why a CO was screwing up everyone’s hunting by driving down the grade on opening morning. Cpl. Hammill contacted the complainant and advised him that he had just cited an individual for road hunting, and that the vehicle was heading in the complainant’s direction. The caller became quiet and thanked Cpl. Hammill.

Cpl. Jon Busken was on routine patrol when he contacted a vehicle operator. Contact revealed that the operator had an uncased crossbow, as well as a valid warrant out of Muskegon County. The suspect was lodged in the Muskegon County Jail.

Cpl. Brett DeLonge received a complaint of a hunter who trespassed and shot a deer near Big Bay. After investigating the location and interviewing the suspect, it was determined that the complaint was a result of a family dispute and the land in question was not posted and there was not enough proof that a trespass took place. Further, while interviewing the suspect Cpl. DeLonge learned that the suspect’s wife did harvest a deer at a different location. After checking the time stamp on the license and reviewing the individual’s photo of the deer, the individual confessed to purchasing a tag the day after shooting the small buck. Additionally, the individual failed to complete a harvest report within the required period. A citation was issued to the hunter who harvested the deer.

Cpl. Justin Vanderlinde encountered two deer hunters loading two deer into the back of a truck.  Upon follow up, it was discovered that both deer were harvested by the same hunter who had failed to properly tag either deer, and one of the deer did not meet the APR requirements for the county.  Enforcement action was taken.

Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen found a young hunter dragging a button buck out of the woods after dark without a tag attached. The hunter had the date on the tag notched, but in his hand.  The hunter was unsure how to denote a button buck on his tag.  Education and assistance were given with properly tagging the deer.