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Conservation Officers (COs) Jenni Hanson and Zach Painter were dispatched to a call regarding a man who had fallen through the ice on Lake Gogebic. The COs, along with a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper were able to secure the victim in a boat and return him safely to shore. The victim suffered minor ailments from being in the water for an extended period but is expected to make a full recovery.

CO Anna Viau received an anonymous Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint that a man had shot a wolf. CO Viau, with assistance from CO Alex VanWagner, contacted the suspect and after denying any knowledge of the wolf for a short time, the man admitted to shooting the wolf. He showed the COs the carcass and even helped load the wolf into the back of CO Viau’s patrol truck. Charges are pending with the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Shannon Wicklund responded to multiple wildfire calls. A reduced amount of snowfall in Menominee County led to dry conditions much earlier than in previous years. In one circumstance, a fire was started due to an escaped ember after a subject had put wood in his outside wood furnace to heat his house. Due to the dry conditions and heavy winds, the fire grew and escaped quickly burning five acres before being controlled. Law enforcement action was taken.

On a high fire danger day in Menominee County, CO Steve Sajtar responded to a wildfire in Nadeau Township. CO Sajtar arrived on scene and investigated the fire. The landowner admitted to burning a pile of tree stumps in his yard and causing the adjacent wood lot to catch fire. Burning permits were not issued in Menominee County due to high fire danger. CO Sajtar issued the landowner one verbal warning and one citation.

COs Shannon Wicklund and Steven Sajtar attended the Escanaba Management Unit Spring Fire Refresher. This was an opportunity for fire officers, foresters, and conservation officers to coordinate responses to local wildfires.

CO Jeremy Sergey gave a presentation at a science class at Aspen Ridge School. Topics discussed included the duties and responsibilities of Michigan COs, as well as what students could be doing right now, if they are interested in a career as a CO.

COs Jeremy Sergey, Jared Ferguson, and Alex VanWagner attended a sportsman’s dinner at the Iron Mountain High School. The COs set up a booth and had an opportunity to interact with members of the public. The COs then joined members of the public for dinner.


CO Michael Evink responded to a burning complaint in Schoolcraft County. Once on the scene, CO Evink contacted the individuals by the fire. He informed them that no burning permits had been issued for the day and there was a high fire danger. Additionally, many of the items being burned were not permissible items to be burned in an open pit. CO Evink issued a ticket for burning without a permit and gave a warning for illegal disposal of solid waste.

COs Andrea Dani and Cole VanOosten participated in a Manistique High School fundraiser for the senior all-night event. There was a “Jocks versus Cops” basketball game where graduating seniors played local law enforcement.

CO Jason Ruth and Sgt. Calvin Smith were patrolling in Chippewa County when they observed a large plume of black smoke. Upon further investigation, the COs located an old farmstead that had several old outbuildings still on the property. One of the old buildings was fully engulfed in flames. The COs notified Chippewa County Central Dispatch of the fire and requested Bruce Township Volunteer Fire Department to respond. Contact was made with an individual who stated he had started the fire to clean up the farmstead. The man thought it was ok to burn the buildings as burning permits were being issued for the day. The COs educated the individual on that only brush, grass clippings, and yard debris could be burned with a permit and that a building with shingles is never allowed. A citation was issued for open burning of solid waste.

CO Scott Pankow and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department with a missing individual in the Paradise area. Due to the remote area, the COs used their tracked utility terrain vehicle to assist in the search. The man was found a couple days later by an off-duty police officer who came across an individual who fit the description of the missing man. The man was very surprised that anyone was looking for him as he had decided to do a couple of nights of winter camping.

CO Scott Pankow was fueling up his patrol truck when a call from Chippewa County Central Dispatch aired over the radio of a suicidal male with a knife near his location. CO Pankow assisted the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department, and the individual voluntarily went to the hospital for an evaluation.

CO Scott Pankow assisted the MSP with an individual who crashed into the drive-through at a local restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie. After further investigation the individual was placed under arrest for operating under the influence of drugs and lodged in the Chippewa County Jail by the MSP.

CO Scott Pankow and Lieutenant Kevin Postma attended a career day at the Rudyard High School. CO Pankow talked with students about the path to becoming a conservation officer.


While on patrol in Antrim County, CO Andrea Albert came across a car that was stuck in the ditch. Tracks showed the vehicle had spun out on the snow-covered road and slid into the ditch. Assuming at first this was a slide-off due to the poor road conditions, CO Albert contacted the driver to make sure she was all right and to see if a wrecker needed to be called. The driver stated she was trying to pull over to answer a text and went into the ditch. CO Albert noticed the driver was displaying signs of intoxication and conducted an operating while intoxicated (OWI) investigation. A tumbler of open intoxicants was in the driver’s side cup holder and the driver stated she was drinking at a party the night before and she was on her way home. The driver was lodged for OWI with a .268 blood alcohol level and ticketed for the open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. Assistance was provided by law enforcement partners from the MSP and Antrim County Sheriff's Department.

CO Nathan Beelman was checking boating access sites when he pulled in behind a vehicle that had just entered the access site. CO Beelman observed the passenger of the vehicle throw two beer cans into the woods. CO Beelman contacted the driver and passenger who readily admitted that it was, “Pretty dumb,” that they threw the cans into the woods. The passenger was also found to have freshly opened another can of beer. The passenger picked up the thrown beer cans and was ticketed for the open beer in a motor vehicle.

CO Nathan Beelman was in the area when a be on the lookout (BOL) was aired from Charlevoix Central Dispatch regarding an erratic driver that was possibly intoxicated. CO Beelman located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The driver showed signs of intoxication and was subsequently arrested after refusing standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs). The driver resisted officers at the hospital when a blood draw was sought and kicked and pushed officers that were attempting to help hospital staff. Eventually the blood draw was completed by court order and the driver was lodged at the county jail.

CO Chad Baldwin received a litter complaint by a property owner who had located trash and processed deer parts on his property last fall. CO Baldwin was able to identify a suspect and conduct an interview. During the interview, the suspect admitted to dumping the trash and deer parts. The suspect also admitted to failing to harvest report the deer he had taken. The suspect was warned for littering and given a ticket for not registering his deer.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling in Montmorency County when he observed a subject sitting in a tent with garbage all over the ground. CO Liestenfeltz also observed that the subject did not have a dispersed camping permit. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the subject, and it was determined that the subject in question had an active warrant out of Otsego County. The subject was arrested and turned over to Otsego County deputies without issue. 

COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Paul Fox arrested a subject on an open warrant for a convicted felon possessing and using a firearm. This warrant was from an incident that occurred back in December of 2023. The COs arrested the subject and lodged them at the Alpena County Jail.

COs Sidney LaLonde, Matt Theunick, Jack Gorno and Tim Rosochacki held a presentation at the Inland Lakes schools in Indian River. The COs presented their fur kit, animal tracks and read a book about nature to the students. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire officers were also there with Smokey Bear and fire engines.

CO Jon Sheppard received a phone call from a landowner in Alpena County. The landowner was out of town but reported that he had trail camera photos of someone stealing his tree stand. Based off the pictures, CO Sheppard and the landowner were able to identify the suspect who used a tractor to transport the tree stand. CO Sheppard observed the suspect’s property from the road with binoculars and spotted an open trailer with a tree stand very similar to the one that was reported stolen. CO Sheppard contacted the suspect and interviewed him. The suspect admitted to taking the tree stand and said that the reason he took it was because he knew it belonged to the victim. CO Sheppard seized the tree stand and returned it to the owner. A report will be submitted to the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for larceny.

COs Alex Bourgeois and Jon Sheppard held a recruiting event at Alpena High School where they had attended and had lunch with students. Students were able to ask the COs questions about their job and how to become a conservation officer.

COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney LaLonde, and Paul Fox conducted a group patrol of the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The COs were focusing on hound hunting activity and illegal ORV use. Several hound hunters were contacted, and the COs located a hound that a hunter was looking for. The hunter was contacted and reunited with his dog.


CO Amanda Weaver spoke at Homestead Hills Elementary School as part of reading month of March. CO Weaver explained her job as a conservation officer to the class and then read a book that pertained to the outdoors. The class was very engaged and intrigued about CO Weaver’s job and role within the DNR.

COs Josiah Killingbeck, Ryan Andrews, Brian Brosky, Kyle Publiski, Logan Turner, Zach Walters, Amanda Weaver, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Grant Emery executed two search warrants at two residences in Mason County, simultaneously, regarding a bear that was taken illegally. Interviews were conducted, and confessions were obtained for baiting bears before the legal start date and shooting a large bear over a bait that was established early. The bear was seized along with the firearm. A report will be sent to the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Josiah Killingbeck stopped a vehicle for motor vehicle code violations while on patrol and learned the driver had a warrant for his arrest. While speaking with the driver, CO Killingbeck remembered he had previously arrested this subject for a weapons violation. CO Killingbeck learned the subject had a firearm and located a concealed handgun on the floor beside the driver’s seat. An interview was conducted, and the subject admitted to knowingly carrying the concealed pistol without a license. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail.

While on patrol in Newaygo County, CO Tim Barboza heard a call over the radio of an older male who was unresponsive in a residence in Bridgeton. CO Barboza responded to the scene with the MSP, Fremont Fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). CO Barboza, along with the MSP, Fremont Fire, and EMS performed several rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the patient. EMS delivered several shocks from an automated external defibrillator, after which the male began to breathe on his own. The patient was loaded into the ambulance and transported to Gerber Hospital in Fremont.

COs Angela Greenway and Kevin Bunce, along-side DNR Wildlife Division personnel, attended a career fair at the Mecosta Osceola Career Center. Approximately 200 students attended the career fair.

COs Angela Greenway and Josh Reed attended a hunter safety class put on at the Mecosta Rod and Gun Club in Mecosta County. There were approximately 35 students in the class.

Acting Sgt. Ben Shively had just pulled into the Oceana County Field Office after checking anglers when he heard a call come out over the county fire channel. Ferry Township Fire was being dispatched to a stove fire where the occupants could not put it out themselves. CO Shively was less than a mile away and was able to put out the fire with his fire extinguisher from his patrol truck. The fire was contained to the stove.


COs Charlie Jones and Jacob Hamilton were patrolling an area closed to ORVs in Garfield Township, Kalkaska County, when they observed two Jeeps enter the area and begin hill climbing. The Jeeps were attempting to climb the steep sand hills and the COs observed that both Jeeps made multiple attempts to climb the hill. Contact was made with the operators who said they had been coming there for years. Upon further investigation, one of the Jeep operators also admitted to having open intoxicants in the center console of his Jeep. The laws regarding hill climb areas and open intoxicants in motor vehicles were discussed, and enforcement action was taken.

CO Ben McAteer was on patrol in Crawford County in Beaver Creek Township when he observed a vehicle parked at a cemetery after sunset. CO McAteer had received several trespassing complaints from property owners surrounding the property and the cemetery is posted closed to visitors at sunset. Contact was made with two subjects and the passenger was taken into custody for the warrant.

Despite several attempts, CO Matthew Zultak was unable to establish contact with individuals who had been camping on state land for a prolonged period. Upon inspection of the site, it was discovered that several domestic animals were being kept in poor conditions. As a result, CO Zultak alerted animal control authorities and turned over the site for further investigation.

COs Cheyanna Rizor and Ryan Weakman attended Clare High School's annual career night, representing the DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED). Many high school students showed interest in the career of a conservation officer. The COs discussed the challenges and rewards of the job and answered numerous questions posed by the students.

COs Breanna Garrett and Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of freezer contents dumped at Whitlock Lake in Missaukee County. Inside the freezer were large boxes with a subject’s name. The COs followed up with the suspect, who stated she paid her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to take it to the dump, but instead, they must have just dumped it on state land. The COs contacted the daughter and boyfriend who initially stated they were unsure of how the freezer got in that location but later admitted to dumping the freezer and keeping the money they were given. Both subjects were issued a citation for littering on state land.

While on patrol, CO Breanna Garrett was dispatched to a grass fire in Missaukee County. The individual who started the fire stated he had used the area windmills to “check” the wind and thought it was a good day to burn. However, the wind picked up as soon as he started the fire. The subject failed to prevent the spread of the fire and consequently burned nearly two acres of land. The subject was issued a citation for burning with no burn permit and was warned for failing to prevent the spread of fire.


CO Chris Kravitsky was contacted by a CO from Indiana regarding a possible deer that was taken illegally in the State of Indiana and the suspect resided in Michigan. CO Kravitsky conducted an interview with the suspect and gathered evidence showing that the 10-point buck harvested in Indiana had been taken three hours prior to the suspect purchasing his license. During the investigation, CO Kravitsky seized the deer. While seizing the deer it was found to have been imported into Michigan illegally as it was not processed correctly according to Michigan’s Chronic Wasting Disease laws. The suspect is facing charges in Indiana as well as in Michigan.


COs James Nason, Cameron Wright, Alex Peters, and Sgt. Chris Holmes attended Portage Central High School in Kalamazoo County. While there, the COs conducted a mock criminal wildlife scenario day for juniors and seniors at the high school who are interested in pursuing careers in forensic science. The day was largely successful, and the COs received positive feedback from the students regarding the scenario that they were faced with.

Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch called out a BOL in Kalamazoo Township for a four-wheeler that was speeding up and down two busy roads near the City of Kalamazoo. CO James Nason suspected the rider came from a nearby neighborhood not far from where the ORV was last seen. After searching the area for a few minutes, CO Nason spotted the operator. A traffic stop was attempted as the ORV sped further into the neighborhood before it pulled into a residential driveway. The subject was visibly agitated with CO Nason and was non-compliant. After the CO explained to the 18-year-old male what charges he could be facing, the young adult began to comply. It was discovered that the individual had a felony warrant out of Kalamazoo County as a female exited the home’s front door and handed the suspect a child and quickly ran back inside. CO Nason reengaged the man and asked him who’s baby he was holding, the man replied, “Mine.”  The CO informed the man that he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. The subject refused to go to jail and continued to hold the young baby. CO Nason yelled into the wide-open front door for someone to come get the child. After a few short moments, the same female from earlier appeared and retrieved the baby. CO Nason immediately took the man into custody and lodged him in the Kalamazoo County Jail without further incident. Citations were issued for multiple ORV violations. 


CO Marc Mankowski was traveling on I 96 in Ingham County when he was passed by a vehicle going over 95 mph and initiated a traffic stop. When CO Mankowski asked the driver why he was traveling so fast the driver responded, “I’m late for bowling league.” The driver was ticketed for the violation.

CO Lisa Taube responded to a complaint in Livingston County about juveniles killing a muskrat with blow guns. It was discovered two juveniles, ages 11 and 13, killed a muskrat with six blow darts. Contact was made with the juveniles and their parents. The juveniles, as well as the parents, were educated on the long list of violations committed. They were provided information on hunting and trapping regulations as well as how to enroll in a hunter safety class. The parents were very appreciative of the response and information.


CO Joshua Salas was on patrol checking anglers in Oakland County when he encountered one angler who had his limit of panfish and one who was one away from his limit. CO Salas decided to go and find a spot to sit and watch the anglers as they continued to fish. The CO observed both individuals catch an over-limit of fish and begin placing them in another angler’s bucket. One angler caught 11 fish over the limit, and the other caught two over the limit. The anglers were contacted as they were leaving and asked about the other fish. The anglers denied that they had caught those fish and said the fish in their buckets were the only ones they caught. The CO informed them that he had been watching them fish for over an hour and that all the fish in the other angler’s bucket were over-limit. The over-limit was seized, and both anglers were issued citations for the violation.

CO Luke Robare received a call directly from an angler at the Holloway Dam on the day after walleye season closed. The caller stated that there were individuals who were fishing with restricted gear during the walleye closure. CO Robare responded to the dam and watched the anglers fish for a few minutes before checking them. Upon checking the anglers, one angler had a walleye on their stringer. CO Robare issued the angler a citation for keeping walleye out of season.

CO Griffin Korican and Sgt. Jason Becker were checking fishing activity at Kent Lake. The COs observed a group of shore anglers catching a few panfish and putting them in their cooler. At the same time, a boat came across the lake on plane and then stopped in front of the COs and began to fish. High speed boating is prohibited on Kent Lake. CO Korican and Sgt. Becker split up to check the anglers. Sgt. Becker waved the anglers in the boat over to shore to address the speed violation and checked for fishing licenses. None of the anglers on the boat had a fishing license in their possession and one had not purchased a license in the last two years. Sgt. Becker also discovered that the anglers did not have any life jackets or a throwable personal floatation device on board. The operator was cited for not having necessary safety equipment on his boat and fishing without a license. CO Korican checked the shore anglers and when he checked the cooler for the fish the anglers caught, he observed two large pike. CO Korican informed the anglers that pike season was closed, and the anglers stated that they did not know the fishing regulations. The anglers were cited for possessing pike out of season.

CO Brad Silorey and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Zack Cardinal were on patrol checking for ORV activity on a warm day. PCO Cardinal and CO Silorey drove into a local area that is common for trespassers. After walking in on foot, they spotted an ORV rider sitting at the top of a hill. PCO Cardinal and CO Silorey were able to contact the subject who was surprised to see them. PCO Cardinal advised the subject that he was trespassing. PCO Cardinal noticed that the subject had an open intoxicant in the cup holder. After asking him to step out, the subject nearly fell. After consenting to a preliminary breath test (PBT), the subject blew a .117, however the COs never observed him operating the vehicle and it was shut off upon arrival. The suspect’s car was impounded, and he was charged with ORV trespassing and operating an unlicensed ORV.

CO Mike Drexler reports that a timber theft case from 2021 was resolved at a jury trial this week. A complaint was made in October 2021 of a subject cutting down a black walnut tree on Pinckney Recreation Area property. An eyewitness identified the suspect and provided CO Drexler with a photograph of the incident while it was in progress. DNR Forest Resources Division was called to the scene within two days of the incident and determined damages and theft to be valued at over $3,000. The investigation resulted in the subject being charged by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office with trespass on state land causing damages. The subject was found guilty by the jury and sentencing was scheduled for a later date.

Sgt. Jason Becker was patrolling Belle Isle for speed enforcement when he observed a vehicle, operating 12 miles an hour over the speed limit, make a sudden U-turn and was travelling the wrong way on a one-way street. Sgt. Becker conducted a traffic stop and was assisted by CO Nicholas Ingersoll. A Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) check revealed that none of the three subjects in the car possessed a valid driver’s license and the operator had 12 warrants from local courts. The subject was cited for driving while license suspended, operating the wrong way on a one-way road, and speeding. The COs waited for a licensed driver to arrive and drive the vehicle away.

CO David Schaumburger stopped a vehicle traveling at 46 mph in a 25-mph zone on Belle Isle. The driver stated he was driving so fast because he had to use the restroom. CO Schaumburger let him know that he had just passed a few bathrooms. A citation was issued for excessive speed.


GLEU officers attended an aquatic invasive species (AIS) training in Gaylord put on by Fisheries Division and Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) staff. Topics included identification of various invasive crayfish and plant species, reporting and registration of organisms in trade (OIT) businesses, response and eradication efforts, and cooperative education and outreach efforts.

Corporal (Cpl.) Troy Van Gelderen was patrolling Stony Creek in Oceana County when he came upon a truck parked along the creek. Cpl. Van Gelderen saw fishing equipment in the vehicle, so he looked for the owner and found a subject fishing upstream on the closed stream. The subject claimed he did not know the stream was closed and produced a fishing license and a Michigan ID card. The subject admitted to having a restricted license, but Cpl. Van Gelderen soon discovered that the license was revoked. The suspect admitted to driving there. A ticket was issued for fishing the closed stream and the man was instructed he couldn’t legally drive the truck home. He ended up walking home instead.