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Conservation Officer (CO) Byron Parks was patrolling in Houghton County when a call came over dispatch of a two-vehicle accident. CO Parks was only minutes away from the location of the accident and was the first responder on scene. CO Parks located two vehicles with severe front-end damage. CO Parks rendered aid to one of the drivers until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived. Fire had to be dispatched to the scene to extract both drivers from each vehicle by use of emergency equipment.

CO Pete Shambaugh observed an individual on the Bond Fall Flowage checking his tip-ups farther down the shoreline. CO Shambaugh followed the tracks to where the individual was fishing. Two individuals were located fishing with tip-ups. CO Shambaugh contacted the anglers and conducted a routine check. Neither angler was able to produce a fishing license. Citations were issued.

CO Anna Viau was on her way to Iron River to assist with an incident when she was dispatched to a medical call in Crystal Falls for a newborn baby who was struggling to breathe. Upon arrival to the residence, CO Viau found the baby to be breathing and crying, but he still seemed to have something stuck in his throat. The mother was able to keep the baby’s mouth and nose clear until EMS arrived. The baby and his parents were transported to the Iron River Aspirus Hospital by an Aspirus MedEvac ambulance.

CO Anna Viau assisted with scene security around a house explosion that occurred in Iron River. There was nothing left to the house other than a foundation and a wide-spread debris field. Unfortunately, the house’s sole occupant had been found deceased in the remnants of the house. Luckily, no other major injuries were reported. The nearby houses had sustained serious damage due to the force of the explosion and the residents had been evacuated for their safety. The exact cause of the explosion is still under investigation by the Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Iron River Police Department.

CO Alex VanWagner responded with local law enforcement to a business in Crystal Falls for a robbery in progress. The suspect was wearing a mask and had a large buck knife concealed on his hip when he entered the business and attempted to leave with a backpack filled with merchandise. Employees at the business were able to grab and hold the suspect until law enforcement arrived on scene. CO VanWagner assisted on scene and the incident was turned over to the Iron County Sheriff’s Department.

CO Steve Sajtar assisted local law enforcement with the search for a suicidal subject in Menominee County. The suicidal subject left her residence after telling her husband she was going to commit suicide on the nearby railroad tracks. After a few hours of searching, the suicidal subject was located in the middle of a cattail marsh.  Due to being submerged in ice-cold water for hours, the subject was suffering the onset of hypothermia. The subject was wrapped in a survival blanket, given hand warmers, and placed in the back of a heated patrol car to warm up while waiting for EMS to arrive. The subject was turned over to EMS for further medical attention.

CO John Kamps observed a vehicle starting to leak fluids and smoking heavily while going down the road. The CO turned around to assist. When checking the status of the driver, it was determined that the vehicle did not have insurance or registration. Additionally, the operator had multiple warrants out for his arrest. The Marquette County Sheriff’s Department showed up on scene to assist with transport to the county jail. The vehicle was towed, and the individual was lodged on a warrant for shoplifting.


CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Garden Township when he encountered an individual operating an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle. This individual had received four prior citations for violations involving operating an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle as well as damaging state land trees. CO Butzin ran the plate attached to the vehicle and it came back as belonging to a different vehicle. The plate was also expired since 2019 and did not have insurance. A traffic stop was conducted, and the vehicle was towed from the location. A report has been submitted to the 94th District Court pending charges for operating a motor vehicle without securities and operating a motor vehicle with an improper license plate, along with possession of a schedule three controlled substance.

CO Michael Evink assisted Manistique Public Safety with a structure fire that was contained to an unattached garage. CO Evink provided traffic control due to the high volume of traffic in the area around the fire.

COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn responded to a single vehicle accident where the driver lost control and drove into the ditch due to slippery road conditions. The COs handled the accident scene due to being the only law enforcement in the county available at that time.

CO Andrea Dani assisted the MSP with a call of a barricaded gunman. The troopers were able to contact the suspect via a phone call and he exited the residence without incident.


COs Nathan Beelman and Chad Baldwin responded to a medical call of an unresponsive male in Charlevoix County. The COs were one of the first units on scene and helped relieve an EMS technician who was conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and not receiving any response from the victim. Another EMS technician took over and the COs, who were carrying NARCAN, gave it to the technician and it was administered to the patient. The patient slowly began to show signs of life and recovered to the point where he was trying to speak. The COs helped carry the patient out of the house to the waiting ambulance. Upon arrival of additional law enforcement units, the COs helped conduct a search of the bedroom the patient was found in and located narcotics as well as multiple firearms which the victim was not allowed to possess.

COs Chad Baldwin, Duane Budreau, Adam LeClerc, and Nathan Beelman attended the annual Father and Son Weekend at Camp Daggett in Charlevoix County. The COs gave multiple presentations on Friday night consisting of team building exercises based on wilderness survival scenarios. The COs also led the father and son combos through a live action survival scenario in the woods all day on Saturday. The groups were taught how to use a baseplate compass, shoot azimuths, and how to keep an accurate pace count. The objective was to accompany two COs while they attempted to locate a lost hunter in the woods. Overall, all four groups, consisting of over 65 fathers and sons were successful in locating the lost hunter and finding their way back to camp.

CO Andrea Albert stopped two snowmobiles for no trail permits while on snowmobile patrol. Both operators also had suspended driver’s licenses, one had an expired registration, and the other failed to transfer the registration into his name. Tickets were issued and the operators admitted that due to this year’s poor snow conditions, that was the reason why they did not have their snowmobiles squared away with proper licenses and registrations.

CO Kyle Cherry responded to a call of an ORV with two occupants that broke through the ice on a local lake in Otsego County. Both subjects were on shore when CO Cherry arrived on scene. Both subjects appeared okay and refused any medical treatment. The ORV and gear were later removed by a salvage company.

CO Alex Bourgeois was on patrol in Alpena County when he heard a very loud snowmobile coming. CO Bourgeois observed a man with no helmet and wearing shorts drive past him going at an extremely high rate of speed on the roadway. CO Bourgeois was able to catch up to the snowmobile and initiate a traffic stop. During the stop, CO Bourgeois observed more violations such as no trail permit and expired registration.

CO Jon Sheppard responded to a “be on the lookout” report of a stolen ambulance from the hospital in Alpena. The pursuit, which was initiated by the MSP, was terminated because of safety concerns. A short time later, Alcona County Sheriff’s deputies were able to stop the ambulance on a dead-end road. The subject was arrested and lodged pending charges.

CO Jon Sheppard responded to a fatal crash between a pickup truck and a Dial-A-Ride bus. There were multiple other injuries to occupants of one of the vehicles. CO Sheppard assisted with scene security and traffic control while EMS and other first responders tended to the injured parties.


CO Amanda Weaver received a complaint through the Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline of a deer carcass that was dumped off the side of the road with a kill-tag attached to it. CO Weaver contacted the subject whose license was on the deer and was told he knew nothing about the deer and had given his kill-tag to a neighbor who had permission to hunt his property. CO Weaver interviewed the neighbor and eventually obtained a confession for shooting the deer without a license and dumping it in the ditch. Charges were authorized through the Benzie County District Court for hunting without a license and using the kill-tag of another.

CO Josiah Killingbeck received a complaint through the RAP Hotline regarding a subject burning building materials. CO Killingbeck responded to the location and found that a house was being torn down and building materials, including drywall, were being burned. The subject was issued a citation.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling Lake County when he observed a snowmobile displaying an expired 2020 registration. CO Killingbeck contacted the operator who said the snowmobile was registered, but he forgot his stickers and registration at home.  The subject showed CO Killingbeck a photo of a valid registration, but CO Killingbeck determined the registration belonged to a different snowmobile. CO Killingbeck was able to determine that the snowmobile had not been registered since 2020. A citation was issued for the violation.


No Report


PCO Chris Kravitsky and CO Mike Haas recently patrolled the Tittabawassee River in Midland County. The COs contacted a group of anglers that had multiple walleye and a muskellunge retained on stringers and in buckets. The COs asked the anglers what the fish measured, and everyone admitted that no one had a measuring device and were unsure of the fish lengths. The COs assisted with measuring the fish and noted that all walleye were over the required 15-inch size limit, however the muskellunge was about three inches too short. Unfortunately, the angler had already cut the muskellunges throat and the fish could not be returned to the water. The fish was seized, and the responsible angler was cited for possessing an undersized muskellunge.

In September of 2023, COs Mike Haas and Michael Lator received a complaint of an illegally harvested bobcat in Isabella County. The COs caught up to the alleged suspect weeks after the bobcat was supposedly harvested and inquired about the cat. The suspect explained that he had a home in Texas and Michigan and claimed that the bobcat had been harvested in Texas. He then flew the bobcat to Michigan, took photos of it, and made a false hunting story to prank his friends. The COs pointed out numerous red flags and discussed evidence that suggested the bobcat was in fact from Michigan, however the hunter was adamant that the cat was from Texas. CO Haas contacted game wardens in Texas and explained the case. Wardens from Matagorda and Brazoria Counties located the suspect bobcat at a taxidermist shop and collected a DNA sample from the bobcat which was then shipped to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Michigan. The sample was brought to the Michigan State University wildlife lab where testing was completed. In February 2024, lab results were returned to the DNR, which confirmed that the genotype of the suspect bobcat was consistent with the Michigan database of bobcat samples. With this new evidence, the Texas game wardens visited the suspect at his home in Texas and reinterviewed him. They discovered that the suspect did not have a Texas hunting license when the bobcat was harvested, so the bobcat appeared to be illegally taken in either Texas or Michigan. The suspect ultimately called CO Haas, apologized for the run around, and admitted that the bobcat was harvested illegally in Michigan. Criminal charges are pending with the Isabella County Prosecutor’s Office.


No Report


CO Nick Thornton was conducting a processor inspection in Branch County and noticed a suspicious entry wherein an individual who does not hunt had purchased 10 deer licenses. During questioning, the individual admitted that he has people shoot deer for him and then call him to come pick the deer up. Further investigation revealed that neither of the persons who shot deer for this individual had purchased any deer licenses for themselves during the 2023 season.


COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen were conducting surveillance of ice anglers in Fair Haven, Lake St. Clair. The COs counted as two anglers placed their yellow perch into their buckets from the ice. One angler had 15 and the other angler had 23. The anglers then went back to fishing, and each caught more fish. When the two anglers packed up and headed toward shore, the COs pulled up. One of the anglers fell through the ice before making it to shore. The COs threw him their throw rope and pulled him in. The COs slid an ice spud across the ice to the other angler so he could check the ice as he tried to make his way in. That subject soon fell through the ice as well. That angler was able to get back on top of the ice and crawled his way in with use of the spud.  Once the two anglers were safe on shore, CO Kiel counted their fish while CO Deppen went down the shore to assist other anglers trying to get off the ice. One of the original anglers that had fallen through the ice had 32 yellow perch, seven over the limit and received a citation for the over-limit. Despite the citation, the subject was very thankful that the COs were there to help him get out of the water.

CO Mike Drexler received a safety zone complaint where the caller was concerned some goose hunters in a field were too close to several residences. CO Drexler located the hunters and checked the distance to the caller’s house, which was well outside of the safety zone. However, while checking shotguns and licenses, one of the hunters was found to be hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun. A citation was issued.


CO Nicholas Ingersoll was conducting speed enforcement at Belle Isle Park, when a vehicle passed him doing 30 mph over the posted speed limit of 25mph. CO Ingersoll stopped the vehicle. The driver did not have valid insurance, did not have proper paperwork for his tinted windows, had an obstructed license plate, and failed to provide his concealed pistol license. CO Ingersoll cited the individual for speed and not having valid insurance and warned him for the other violations.