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Conservation Officer (CO) Byron Parks and Corporal (Cpl.) Tom Peterson were patrolling southern Houghton County near the end of muzzleloader deer season. During the patrol, CO Parks observed a truck traveling towards them on the same road. Eventually that truck backed into a parking spot. As CO Parks passed the truck, he observed what looked to be a gun case on the dash of the truck. When contacted, it was discovered that the rifle in the gun case was loaded. A citation was issued for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. 

CO Jenni Hanson was dispatched to a search and rescue at Black River Harbor. A hiker had fallen on the beach and injured her leg. She was unaware of her exact location because she had hiked a few miles from her vehicle. By using her four-wheeler, CO Hanson was able to locate the patient on the beach and transport her safely to the ambulance where she was treated.


CO Andrea Dani was patrolling in Alger County when she observed an ORV cross M 28 in the evening, with no headlights or taillights. The operator also had a gun case across his lap. When signaled to stop, the subject fled on the ORV. After a chase and a short foot pursuit the subject was apprehended. Upon a search of the subject, several containers of methamphetamine were located. The subject was arrested and has been charged with the possession of methamphetamine, felony firearm, fleeing and eluding 4th degree, resisting/obstructing, reckless driving, and operating an ORV with driver’s license revoked. During a follow up investigation, additional drug and the illegal taking of whitetail deer violations were discovered as well. The investigation is still active.

COs Steven Butzin and Robert Freeborn investigated a report of a possible unlicensed meat processor. After concluding the investigation, several suspected illegal deer were discovered. The COs followed up with the hunters involved and confirmed their suspicions of deer being taken without licenses and the loaning of deer tags to others. Citations were issued for the violations.

COs Robert Freeborn and Justin Vinson participated in the annual Schoolcraft County “Shop with A Cop” program. The COs picked up their assigned child at their residence and then they were brought to the Three Seasons Café. The café donated a complete breakfast to all the kids involved, along with a to-go package. After breakfast, the kids were transported to various local shops where they were each given $150, which was donated by the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge for the kids to use for Christmas presents for their family members. After shopping, the kids were transported to the local movie theater where they were treated to a movie along with snacks and drinks which were sponsored by the theater and FOP, while the officers wrapped the kid's presents. The kids were then transported back home with several goodie bags and the presents they chose. Several local agencies participated including the Michigan State Police (MSP), Manistique Public Safety Department, Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department, and the Sault Tribe Police Department.

CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual trespassing and hunting deer after hours. CO Butzin located the hunter and observed him hunting approximately 40 minutes after legal hunting hours had ended. Contact was made and the hunter was also found to be possessing a firearm while intoxicated. The hunter was lodged at the Delta County Jail. A report has been submitted to the court requesting additional charges for hunting deer without a license, hunting after legal hunting hours, hunting with a firearm during closed season, recreational trespass upon lands of another, as well as failure to wear hunter orange.

CO Michael Evink was patrolling state land when he located a truck parked on a trail. CO Evink observed a woman in a camouflage jacket standing next to a birch tree and asked what she was doing. Her reply was she was collecting birch bark. CO Evink asked if she was alone, and she stated that her boyfriend was out looking for deer. A few minutes later her boyfriend emerged from the woods with no hunter orange and no rifle. CO Evink asked what he was doing, and he stated he was in fact hunting. CO Evink asked where the gun was, and the hunter stated he left it in the woods. CO Evink tracked the hunter's tracks in the snow and located the rifle. The hunter was issued a ticket for hunting without hunter orange.

CO Justin Vinson took part in “Ask The DNR,” a show produced by WNMU-TV that allows callers to have their questions answered by a panel of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees. Topics covered during the hour-long broadcast included the Upper Peninsula deer herd, wolf management, ORV use on snowmobile trails, and late season archery hunting.

CO Cole VanOosten conducted a processor inspection in Luce County and located an antlerless deer whose tag was bought just a couple hours previously. Additionally, the closest area where antlerless harvest is allowed was nearly an hour away from where the tag was bought. An interview was conducted, and it was determined that the animal had been shot without a license and the tag had later been purchased before dropping the deer off to the processor. A report was written requesting charges against the hunter for hunting and taking an antlerless deer without a license.

While returning from a trip to Lansing, CO Cole VanOosten encountered a log truck on I 75 with no lights displayed well after dark. After watching two vehicles nearly collide with the truck, CO VanOosten conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle to address the safety violation. It was determined that the trucks wires had been dragging on the road causing them to malfunction. The driver was able to phone a family member who was able to escort the vehicle back to their shop for repairs.


CO Nathan Beelman responded to an illegal burning complaint. Off-duty fire personnel spotted dark, black smoke in the woods behind a residence and alerted CO Beelman to the fire. Fire personnel arrived to find a subject burning mattresses, multiple bags of clothing, aerosol cans, and many other prohibited items. The fire had also spread to the garbage still sitting on a nearby aluminum trailer. The subject was ticketed for burning prohibited items.

CO Nathan Beelman and Sergeant (Sgt.) Bill Webster assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department with a shots fired complaint involving a known felon with multiple active warrants. This stemmed from a complaint of two duck hunters calling 911 and reporting that they were taking fire from across the lake. The COs assisted with scene security and observation while a search warrant was obtained. Multiple firearms were seized, and further investigation is ongoing.

CO Adam LeClerc and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) James Rowley responded to a complaint of shooting from a motor vehicle. After searching the area and talking with the complainant, no suspects were found. While exiting the area, the suspect vehicle was located and a traffic stop was conducted. Open intoxicants were found in the vehicle along with a loaded shotgun in the back seat. Four minor in possession tickets were issued and parents were called to pick up their children at 1 AM. The vehicle was impounded, and the shotgun seized. Additional weapons violations are being sought through the Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Duane Budreau and PCO James Rowley responded to a recreational trespass complaint. Information was provided by the angry property owner that the individual trespassing had walked on his property tracking a spike horn buck. The property owner mentioned that he has multiple cameras throughout the trees on his property. He has had many confrontations with the suspect over the past years. Both parties were interviewed, and statements were taken. The individual accused of trespassing walked onto the property a very short distance looking for blood and backed out. The suspect did have a pile of corn, pumpkins, and cubed sugar beets at the back of his property. He tried to convince the COs that the bait was for his son to shoot squirrels off. The individual was ticketed for baiting in an area closed to baiting.

COs Alex Bourgeois, Dan Liestenfeltz, and PCO Jeremy Woods attended the “Shop with a Cop” event at Meijer in Alpena. The event had a great turn out and was an overall success.

While patrolling Alpena County, CO Jon Sheppard responded to a local business where an MSP trooper had located a suspect wanted on felony warrants. The officers attempted to contact the suspect inside the store. He fled out the back door on foot. After a short foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody.

CO Jon Sheppard responded to a single vehicle roll over crash while patrolling Alpena County. CO Sheppard arrived on scene first and contacted the driver who was uninjured but trapped in the vehicle. CO Sheppard broke a window to extricate the driver from the vehicle so he could be checked by emergency medical services (EMS) and to get him away from the vehicle that was leaking gasoline and other fluids.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz and PCO Jeremy Woods attended three holiday events throughout northern Michigan. The COs attended “Shop with a Cop” in Alpena, “Shop with a Cop” in Gaylord, and a “Stuff a Truck” event at Jays Sporting Goods in Gaylord. The COs made many positive contacts during these events and enjoyed working with people in the community.


COs William Kinney, Logan Turner and Amanda Weaver hosted a “Stuff a Truck” toy drive at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Traverse City. The goal of the drive was to fill the bed of a DNR patrol truck with as many toys as possible that were then donated to Toys for Tots. The COs collected plenty of toys as well as several hundred dollars in cash donations. The donations will be distributed by Toys for Tots to families in need around the Traverse City area. The COs were very grateful for the partnership of both the Sportsman’s Warehouse and Toys for Tots for making this event a success.

CO Logan Turner was patrolling near Interlochen when he contacted a hunter on the road who was getting ready to enter the woods. When CO Turner pulled up, he observed the hunter pour a beer out and hide the can. There were two other hunters entering the nearby woods as well and CO Turner asked them to come back. Once the three hunters were together, CO Turner asked the other two hunters if they had hidden their beers in the woods. They denied having any beers, so CO Turner followed their footprints in the snow and located several more beers. Licenses were checked and only one hunter had a license in possession. Once verifying the hunters weren’t intoxicated, CO Turner cited the two hunters for hunting without having licenses in their possession.

In early November, CO Josiah Killingbeck received a Report all Poaching (RAP) complaint of a vehicle shining and shooting. CO Killingbeck responded to the area and located the vehicle. When contacted, the driver was arrested on felony warrants. A search of the vehicle resulted in a loaded and uncased pistol that was stolen out of Wexford County. Through the investigation, CO Killingbeck learned and identified a second person who was a felon and had been in the vehicle but fled when CO Killingbeck’s patrol vehicle was observed in the area. A search warrant was executed at a nearby residence and ammunition was recovered, after a lengthy investigation, CO Killingbeck reported that three subjects were in custody regarding this complaint. The Lake County Trial Court authorized 11 felony charges, including possession of a stolen firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, felony firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and 4th habitual offender.


CO Matt Zultak and PCO Alex Peters located a vehicle at night on state land in Roscommon County. The vehicle was driving suspiciously and using its headlights to shine an open area. COs Zultak and Peters followed the subject to a camp area and when they contacted the driver, they discovered he had a loaded crossbow in his vehicle. Law enforcement action was taken.

On opening day of firearm deer season in Roscommon County, CO Matt Zultak and PCO Alex Peters were dispatched to a safety zone complaint. While addressing the complaint, the COs located an antlered deer hanging by the driveway. After looking at the tag, it was determined the deer was illegally tagged. The suspect had shot the deer earlier in the morning and had his mother purchase a tag 15 minutes after he shot the deer. The suspect proceeded to use his mother’s tag on the deer so he could use his other two tags to shoot more bucks. The suspect was cited for loan/borrow and had to place his appropriate tag on the deer.

During a deer decoy patrol in District 5, COs Breanna Garrett, James Garrett, Matt Zultak, and Charlie Jones along with PCO Alex Peters, observed a vehicle pass the decoy, then back up and fire a shot out of the vehicle. Following this, CO Zultak and PCO Peters stopped the vehicle. Upon speaking with the three occupants in the truck, it was determined that the back seat passenger had fired the shot. In addition to discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, an antlerless deer was found in the bed of the truck that was shot earlier in the day and was untagged. The antlerless deer was seized and donated. The firearm used was seized. A report was completed and forwarded to the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.

While on patrol, CO Matt Zultak and PCO Alex Peters received a tip of two shots fired after dark. The COs patrolled the area where the reported shots had been fired and contacted a subject in a vehicle. The subject stated that he had shot a doe earlier in the evening and, while dragging it out, was being followed by a large cat. The subject advised he fired two shots into the ground to scare the cat off. The COs asked to see the deer, which he stated was in the trunk of the car. Upon inspection of the antlerless deer, there was no tag attached. The suspect stated he did not have a good way to place a tag and was going to apply one when he got home. The subject was cited for failing to immediately validate and tag the deer. In addition to the wildlife violations, it was found that the subject had a personal protection order (PPO) which prohibited him from possessing a firearm. A report was completed and forwarded to the Roscommon County prosecutor for review.

CO Matt Zultak and PCO Alex Peters received a complaint from Roscommon County Central Dispatch asking to assist a Richfield Township police officer who had witnessed a subject shoot at an antlerless deer from a vehicle. Upon arrival, an interview was completed, and the suspect's firearm was seized along with his hunting license and cell phone. The COs had a complaint prior in the year on this suspect for taking too many bucks. After getting consent for a phone search, COs Zultak and Peters were able to locate seven illegal deer from this year. The subject was reinterviewed, and a report is being sent to the Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office for charges of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, hunting after closed hours, attempting to take game from a motor vehicle, and possession of deer without a license.

CO Matt Zultak and PCO Alex Peters received a complaint of a subject taking too many deer and not tagging them in Roscommon County. The COs completed an investigation and contacted the suspect, who confessed to shooting three bucks, one of which was tagged with another hunter’s license. A report was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.

CO Jeff Goss received a complaint in Gladwin County about an illegal ORV trail on state land. On the last day of the regular firearm deer season, CO Goss observed a vehicle with an empty trailer parked near the start of the illegal trail. CO Goss followed fresh ORV tracks 1.2 miles back into a swamp before locating two parked ORVs. CO Goss quickly located one of the hunters. CO Goss followed the tracks farther into the swamp and contacted the second subject, who appeared disoriented in a tall cattail marsh. The subject quickly approached CO Goss and explained that he had gotten turned around while trying to leave for the night. CO Goss explained that there was plenty of daylight left and questioned why he was leaving so early on the last day of the firearm deer season. CO Goss asked to see the stand the man was hunting in, and the man led him to a stand that was only a couple of feet away from the trail. CO Goss followed his footprints and backtracked the subject to an untagged buck lying in the cattails. The subject immediately tried to tell CO Goss that it was not his deer. After explaining all the evidence to the subject, he finally admitted that it was his deer and that he lied because he was startled by CO Goss’ presence. The subject said he had never seen anyone else back there in the ten years he’d hunted the area. Upon checking the subject’s deer tags, it was discovered that he did not have a legal tag for the dead buck. Several tickets were issued, including operating an ORV in a closed area, possessing untagged deer, and taking an antlered buck violating the APRs. Warnings were given for operating an ORV while driver’s license was suspended, operating ORV without a helmet, and possessing an uncased gun on an ORV.

CO Ryan Weakman was checking into service for an evening patrol when a local 911 call came into dispatch about an accidental shooting. Clare County Central Dispatch advised CO Weakman that the victim had accidentally shot himself in the leg with a pistol. CO Weakman was first to arrive and rendered first aid to the victim, who was shot in the upper thigh. It was discovered that the victim had put an unholstered 9mm pistol in his pocket. The victim was transported by ambulance to a Midland area hospital for trauma treatment. The investigation was turned over to the Clare County Sheriff’s Office. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

COs Josh Russell and Jeff Goss received a complaint of an untagged deer at a hunting camp in Gladwin County. The COs contacted the landowner who showed them an untagged deer behind one of the barns. Further investigation revealed a total of two untagged deer, two nonresidents hunting without licenses, and neither had taken a hunter safety class. Enforcement action was taken. 


CO Mike Eovaldi received a RAP complaint that an individual had pictures on his trail camera of an individual hunting with a rifle and dragging out a buck on November 12th. This was three days prior to the opener of Michigan’s firearm season. CO Eovaldi was able to locate a residence for the trespasser who lived nearby. With assistance from Sgt. Robert Hobkirk, CO Mark Siemen, and the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office, a suspect interview was conducted. The COs retrieved two untagged antlered deer heads from the residence. The firearm in the trail camera photos was also located, which was a .22 long rifle, an illegal caliber for deer hunting. Charges will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office for taking deer without a license, taking a deer with a .22 or smaller rimfire rifle, and taking deer with a firearm closed season.

COs Michael Lator and Adam Schiller received an anonymous complaint of two individuals taking deer in Montcalm County without licenses which included pictures of the suspects with multiple untagged deer. The COs interviewed the first suspect who admitted he shot an antlerless deer without a license and used the other suspect’s tag on the deer. The COs then interviewed the second suspect, who admitted to shooting two antlerless deer, going to the store to purchase the antlerless tags, and then later tagging both deer. The individual stated he had both combo deer licenses when he shot the deer but did not want to use them on an antlerless deer. He also admitted to loaning another deer tag to the first suspect to tag his deer. A complaint and warrant request will be filed with the Montcalm County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the numerous violations.

While patrolling state land in Midland County, PCO Kyle Romzek and CO Mike Haas located a camouflage tent containing large amounts of deer bait. Further investigation uncovered multiple baited hunting sites in the area. On an early morning patrol during the final days of muzzleloader season, the COs visited one of the illegal sites and located a person hunting over large amounts of bait well before legal shooting hours. The COs were able to get within a few short yards of the hunter and watched him until minutes after legal shooting hours started. The hunter was contacted, and various issues were addressed. The list of violations included hunting without required hunter orange garments, hunting with the aid of unlawful bait, hunting from an unlabeled tree stand, and hunting before hunting hours. A citation was issued to address the various hunting violations.

CO Mike Haas and PCO Kyle Romzek located a snowmobiler taking advantage of a heavy snowfall in western Isabella County. The subject was operating down county roads at a high rate of speed and he and his passenger lacked the required crash helmets. The COs contacted the subjects and discovered the machine was last registered in 2005 and lacked a valid trail permit. The numerous violations were addressed, and a citation was issued.


CO Carter Woodwyk received a call in the early morning hours from a subject observing lights moving around inside a wildlife refuge. The CO responded to the area and walked out in the direction of where the lights were last seen. The CO located two subjects that were actively waterfowl hunting inside the refuge. When the CO checked the hunters’ licenses and firearms, the CO discovered one hunter was hunting with an unsigned federal migratory bird hunting stamp and the other did not have a valid federal migratory bird hunting stamp in their possession. The hunters were escorted out of the refuge and enforcement action was taken.

CO Travis Dragomer responded to a complaint of an untagged deer. CO Dragomer located a headless deer hanging from a tree near the suspect’s residence. Upon contact, the homeowner admitted to shooting the 5-point deer and not tagging it. The suspect provided CO Dragomer with a restricted tag that he stated he was planning to tag the deer with. CO Dragomer explained that restricted deer tags were only good for antlered deer with four or more points on one side. The suspect advised that he used his regular tag on a 3-point earlier in the season. Further investigation revealed the 3-point and 5-point in the suspect’s possession. A citation was issued for illegal take of the 5-point deer.

COs Tyler Cole and Jeff Robinette followed up on a RAP complaint concerning a possible over-limit of deer. While driving by the suspect residence, the suspect was seen in a detached garage actively processing a deer. As the suspect noticed the CO patrol truck pull into his driveway, he closed the garage door and met the COs in the driveway. After talking for a moment with the suspect, consent to look in the garage was given. Inside the garage, the COs located a fully processed antlerless carcass, along with fresh sets of antlers, a 5-point, 6-point, and 7-point. No tags were found in the garage and the suspect was asked if he still had the kill tags used for the deer. The suspect stated that he did and went inside to retrieve them. The tags appeared very clean and unused. CO Cole asked the suspect, “You weren’t just inside validating these were you?”  The suspect hung his head and admitted to not tagging any of the deer he had taken this season. The suspect had taken three antlered deer and one antlerless deer over a baited site. Evidence was seized and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor for review.

CO Tyler Cole and Sgt. Steve Mooney responded to a RAP complaint concerning illegal deer hunting activities. Upon arrival, the COs heard three shots. The shots were determined to have come from a tower blind located on the suspect’s property. Contact was made with two hunters in the blind. It was determined that each hunter had taken shots at a doe standing near a pile of corn located in front of the blind. Both subjects were unsuccessful in hitting the doe. Neither hunter was wearing the required hunter orange and neither had a hunting license. Both subjects were issued citations for hunting without a license and hunting over bait.


COs Nick Thornton and Chris Reynolds investigated a convicted felon believed to be possessing a firearm while tracking a deer in Branch County. The COs located the individual in the woods; however, his wife now had the firearm in her possession. During questioning, the individual admitted he passed the firearm to his wife upon seeing the COs. The suspect further admitted to shooting several deer with a firearm this season. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office for a convicted felon possessing a firearm.

CO John Byars participated in the “Shop with a Cop” event at the Meijer shopping center in Mason Michigan. This is an event put on by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders in the area. CO Byars assisted a child in shopping for $150 in presents along with a meet and greet with Santa Claus. CO Byars later took the child to the meat department where the child received a ham, a turkey, and other items valued at $100.


CO Dave Schaumburger conducted a taxidermy inspection and located a suspicious deer. A female had purchased her first deer license and had never taken hunter safety. The CO interviewed the hunter and she admitted that she gave her tags to a friend to kill a few deer for her freezer. When the CO contacted the other hunter, he admitted he had shot four bucks the previous year, a 7-, 3-, 9-, and 12-point buck. The 9-point and the 12-point were the third and fourth of the year, and while he did give the meat to his friend, he was displaying the deer on his wall. The antlers and the shoulder mount were seized, and charges will be submitted for the over-limit of bucks.

CO Dave Schaumburger received a complaint that a hunter had shot a deer and trespassed to retrieve it. CO Dave Schaumburger was surprised as he has known this hunter for quite some time to be ethical and legal. The CO called up the hunter who confessed to shooting an 11- point on his property and it ran onto a neighboring property where he retrieved it. The neighboring property owner would like to press charges so a report will be submitted to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass and the antlers were seized.

CO Dave Schaumburger received a call from a Grosse Ile detective regarding a deer that was dead with a bolt sticking out of it. The CO and detective met up, walked the woods, and found a bait pile about 10 yards away from a garage window that had a sandbag style shooting rest in the window. The COs knocked on the door of the residence and inquired about the 11-point deer that was found killed. After the CO found a bolt matching the bolt in the dead deer, the hunter finally fessed up to shooting the deer over the bait pile. When the CO asked to see the crossbow, the hunter initially said it was at his son’s house. While he was dialing his son, he finally said, “I can’t lie to you anymore, it’s over there in the closet.”  The CO followed him over to the closet where he opened the doors, and the CO found a fully loaded/cocked crossbow ready to go again. The deer and crossbow were seized by the CO and charges will be pursued for taking deer over bait and hunting in an area closed to hunting.

COs Dan Walzak and Keven Luther were present at Maybury State Park for the “Stuff a Truck” event to collect Christmas toys for children. Several families came in with Christmas gifts to donate and the COs were present to receive them and speak to all who attended about the duties of Michigan conservation officers.

CO Justin Muehlhauser opened an investigation regarding a 10-point buck which was allegedly taken at night, over bait, and without a license in Flint. Information was provided that the subject was waiting several days to report it to create doubt as to when it was taken. On December 1st, the harvest was reported, and the subject claimed that the deer was taken on November 30th in Arenac County. The COs inspected an area in Flint where the deer was believed to have been taken. There they found feeding troughs and a large pile of sugar beets with remnants of corn scattered on the ground. The COs also found a long drag trail of deer hair which led to a large spot of blood believed to be from the gut pile from the deer. The COs took samples of the hair and blood for DNA analysis, if needed. The COs were then able to locate the deer at a local taxidermist. The head was already skinned, but the COs were able to determine that the deer was dead far longer than indicated on the harvest report due to time of death studies and field investigation techniques. Samples were taken from the deer to match the samples taken in the field, if needed. The COs set out to interview the suspect. The suspect was very defensive and agitated and often spoke in circles. He lied several times during questioning and only changed his story when faced with evidence. Eventually, the suspect admitted to shooting the deer in Flint and using bait. He also admitted to falsifying his kill tag and harvest report. The suspect would not admit to taking the deer without a license. A search warrant will be sought for cell phone data to prove the actual date and time the deer was taken. Multiple charges are being sought through the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Sydney Griffor observed a duck hunting vessel coming into the launch on Harsens Island. Once the vessel made it to the launch, CO Griffor began checking licenses and equipment. While checking one hunter’s shotgun for a plug, CO Griffor observed the other hunter in the group take his shotgun out of the case and begin unloading it. CO Griffor asked the hunter why his firearm was loaded in the boat; he did not have a very good or legal answer. The hunter was issued a citation for possessing a loaded firearm in a boat while underway and the other hunter was given a warning for a federal waterfowl stamp violation.

CO Jaime Salisbury was checking the Lapeer State Game Area for activity when a traffic “Be on the Lookout” came out for an older Jeep that was all over the road and pointing an unknown object at other drivers. CO Salisbury was in the area and located the vehicle. The CO observed the vehicle cross both the fog and center line and conducted a traffic stop. The CO ran the driver through standardized field sobriety tests and determined that the driver was operating while intoxicated (OWI). The driver also had a suspended license from two prior OWI arrests, no insurance on the vehicle, and an expired registration. In addition, the driver also had five warrants for his arrest. The driver was taken into custody and lodged at the Lapeer County Jail on felony OWI charges and cited for operating while suspended and without securities.

CO Joseph Deppen was checking state land for hunting activity when he heard an ORV coming down the road near state land. The driver had a child on the front, himself in the middle, and a child on the back all without helmets. The driver saw CO Deppen and turned around in the road and drove in the opposite direction. CO Deppen stopped the ORV down the road. The driver was issued citations for operating an unregistered ORV and operating an ORV without helmets. The kids were picked up by their mom and the driver took the ORV home.

While patrolling St. Johns Marsh in St Clair County, PCO Zack Cardinal and COs Brad Silorey and Kris Kiel heard multiple rapid shots being fired nearby. PCO Cardinal and CO Silorey began walking into the direction of the shots and witnessed two subjects looking up into the trees. PCO Cardinal made contact and announced himself as a conservation officer. One of the subjects was hunting with a .22 caliber pneumatic air rifle and the other was using a .22 caliber rimfire rifle. PCO Cardinal had the two subjects put down their firearms and requested their hunting licenses while asking about the rapid firing. One subject produced a base license that was not his and the other could not produce any form of identification. PCO Cardinal took the subjects’ information and called into Station 20 to confirm their identity. In the process of searching for a license, one subject’s name came back as a current convicted felon. The subject was then questioned about his criminal history and confessed that he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm or be in the presence of any weapon. PCO Cardinal and CO Silorey walked the subjects out of the woods to CO Kiel’s patrol truck to confirm the subjects’ licenses and probation. Both had proper hunting licenses on file. The subjects had also confessed to riding in the same vehicle as the other hunter who was also in possession of a weapon. The two subjects’ weapons were seized and were logged into evidence, a report was written and submitted, and charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office for a felon in possession of a firearm.

COs Sydney Griffor and Danielle Zubek participated in the DNR’s “Stuff a Truck” event at Cabela’s in Chesterfield. The DNR’s “Stuff a Truck” event collects toys for local families in need during the holiday season. The COs collected 67 toys for all age ranges to be donated to Toys for Tots.

COs Sydney Griffor and Danielle Zubek checked duck hunters on Harsens Island on the last day of the regular waterfowl season for Zone 3. While checking hunting equipment and licenses, one hunter advised CO Griffor that he forgot to put his plug back in the shotgun. CO Griffor double checked for a plug and discovered there was not one in the gun. The hunter was given a citation for possessing a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.

CO Eric Smither and Sgt. Shane Webster contacted an individual who had shot a 9-point buck during gun season and purchased their deer tag after. After a short interview, the individual admitted to shooting the deer then going to Walmart to buy their deer tag. A report will be written and sent to the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Brandon Hartleben interviewed a subject regarding a very irregular license purchase on a 9-point white-tailed deer that was sent in for a European mount. The subject admitted to shooting the deer on the evening of November 16th and then purchasing a license after the fact before hanging the deer at a friend’s house. After the interview, CO Hartleben educated the subject on the applicable laws and the importance of purchasing a license before going hunting. CO Hartleben seized the 9-point from the individual doing the European mount and a report is being written for submission to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office seeking charges for the illegally taken deer.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a complaint from a previous complainant that someone was trespassing on his property and shot an 8-point. He believes it was the same individual that CO Ingersoll charged for baiting in 2020. CO Ingersoll investigated the complaint and was able to determine that not only did the suspect trespass onto the complainant’s property, but he also trespassed onto Michigan Department of Transportation property and had shot the deer on Monroe Rod and Gun Club property over a bait pile where he was not allowed to be hunting. CO Ingersoll spoke with all the property owners who confirmed he was not allowed to be on the property and gained a confession from the hunter for trespassing onto all the properties. CO Ingersoll seized the 8-point and will be seeking reimbursement for the deer taken illegally in the amount of $6,000. CO Ingersoll will also be charging him through the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office for trespassing, taking deer over bait, and failure to register his deer.

CO Brandon Vacek received a RAP complaint referencing an individual using a cast net at the DTE fishing piers in downtown Monroe. The CO was able to make the location in time to locate the suspect, but no unlawful acts were witnessed due to the suspect being tipped off to the COs presence by a friend at a different pier. After interviewing the suspect, it was determined he was properly licensed, but was in possession of two undersized largemouth bass, legally taken with a hook and line. In addition, he was found to be in possession of 30 bluegill over the legal daily limit, although he would not admit to the use of the cast net for the method of take. The suspect was issued a citation for possession of undersize largemouth bass and over-limit of bluegill.


CO Robert Watson worked on Belle Isle. As CO Watson was driving along Central Avenue and approaching an intersection, six cars were observed disregarding a stop sign and crossing CO Watson’s path of travel through the intersection. CO Watson conducted a traffic stop and the last vehicle in line pulled over. CO Watson issued a citation for no recreation passport while in a state park and a warning for the traffic violation.

COs Justin Muehlhauser and Brandon Hartleben received a call of a suicidal subject on Belle Isle. The subject made statements to friends that she was going to drive herself into the Detroit River. The COs located the subject’s vehicle at Sunset Point. As the COs arrived, several family members were talking to the subject who was standing near the water’s edge. They were able to assist her safely back to shore. The COs requested emergency medical services (EMS) to have the subject evaluated. Initially, she refused to speak to EMS, but family members were able to convince her to go to the hospital for evaluation. The subject was turned over to the Detroit Fire / EMS and the family.

COs Joseph Deppen and Robert Watson were patrolling Belle Isle when they received a complaint of two men and a large furry mammal trespassing inside the Belle Isle Zoo. The COs entered the zoo and could hear a group of people talking in the distance. The COs closed the distance and found two men trespassing. CO Watson asked if they had anyone else with them and they said no. From the catwalk, CO Deppen radioed to CO Watson he thought he saw a third person somewhere below in a brown coat. A few minutes later, the COs heard a wrestling in the bushes and a man came out in a sasquatch costume. The two men and sasquatch were escorted out of the zoo. Sasquatch’s name and date of birth were verified, and all three individuals received citations for enter, use, occupy, when posted against and verbal warnings for recreational trespass. Sasquatch was also advised not to go into any state land until hunting season ended.


Cpl. Jon Busken was on routine patrol when he observed an individual operating an ORV without a helmet. A traffic stop was initiated, but the operator fled. Cpl. Busken followed the ORV tracks through the woods for almost 3.5 miles, where the trail ended at a garage. Here, he, Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen and CO Anna Cullen contacted the property owner, who stated he did not know the operator’s name but had his phone number and knew he had a warrant for absconding from probation. A photo was provided by DOC which the homeowner confirmed to be the operator of the ORV. The suspect fled on foot when later contacted by Cpls. Busken and Van Gelderen, and multiple law enforcement agencies joined the track in Muskegon County. The suspect was ultimately found in a pond, where he was taken into custody. Enroute to the hospital, he provided Cpl. Busken with a full confession. He was lodged on his absconding warrant with felony charges pending in Muskegon County.

Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen received a call of someone shooting a deer in a complainant’s driveway.  Cpl. Van Gelderen went to the residence and met with complainant, who showed him a blood spot in the middle of his driveway, and then a blood trail that led onto a neighbor’s property.  Cpl. Van Gelderen discovered that the blood trail had begun before the driveway.  When the trail was tracked backwards, it was discovered that it came from another property across the road.  Cpl. Van Gelderen found a hunter on that property trying to search for a deer that he had hit.  The blood trail was then tracked in the other direction.  Cpl. Van Gelderen assisted the hunter with obtaining permission to track the deer across the other property, and then assisted him in trying to locate the deer.