CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling Dickinson County when he observed two kayakers on a local river system fishing. CO Ferguson contacted the two individuals and found both subjects did not have personal floating devices (PFDs). During the contact, one individual was questioning why he should have a PFD on a kayak. At that moment he flipped his kayak in the water and was submerged. The individual was not questioning the law after he had to swim with the kayak in hand, back to shore. A citation was given for no PFDs.
CO Jeremy Sergey checked a group of four waterfowl hunters on Lake LeVasseur. Upon checking one of the individual’s ammunition, CO Sergey discovered the hunter had all lead shot shells. CO Sergey also examined the vessel they used and discovered there was only one PFD for the four individuals on the vessel. Citations were issued for the lead shot and for failing to have PFDs for each person onboard.
CO Josh Boudreaux was patrolling northern Marquette County when he came upon a group of subjects on ORVs who stated they were trying to get back to Ishpeming and were turned around. CO Boudreaux had the group follow him back through a series of two-tracks until he intersected a main road, then directed them south towards the correct trail, which they could follow back to their vehicles. The group was happy to be headed in the right direction as it was getting dark and the temperature was dropping.
COs Mark Zitnik and Cole VanOosten were on patrol during waterfowl season in Alger County when they heard a large amount of shots coming from a remote creek. The COs were able to locate the hunters, and it was determined that one of the hunters was in possession of toxic/lead shot. A citation was issued to the hunter for possessing toxic shot while waterfowl hunting. This was the subject’s third citation for this offense.
CO Cole VanOosten responded to a complaint of ORVs tearing up an ORV parking area near Newberry and as he neared the parking area, a large group of ORVs left the parking lot. As he was following the group, the ORV in the rear was swerving in the middle of the road and attempting to drag race the others in the group. The ORV nearly hit CO VanOosten’s patrol vehicle on multiple occasions without the operator even noticing. A traffic stop was conducted, and a citation was issued for careless operation of an ORV.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin had a case recently adjudicated on one of two suspects involved in a fish spearing case. The suspects were caught with the speared fish and then eluded the COs on foot. The suspects were quickly apprehended. This suspect was fined $ 3,550 with $ 1,070 of that being restitution for the illegal fish, the suspect was ordered 250 hours community service in lieu 60 days jail, placed on probation, and fishing privileges revoked until 2022.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin recently had a case adjudicated on an illegal 8-point buck. CO Lynch conducted a taxidermy inspection and located a suspicious 8-point buck that was brought in. After some follow up, CO Lynch developed a suspect. COs Lynch and Butzin interviewed the suspect who confessed to illegally taking the deer. The suspect was fined $ 6,990 with $ 6,000 of that being restitution for the deer, five days jail, probation, hunting privileges revoked until 2025, and the crossbow was forfeited.
CO Mike Evink was heading to conduct a waterfowl patrol when he received a complaint that there were hunters running their bear dogs well before legal hunting hours. CO Evink responded to the area and was unable to locate any dogs hunting prior to legal hours. After further investigation CO Evink was able to locate a camp close to the complainant that was housing bear hounds. It turns out that when people at the camp started getting ready for hunting, the dogs became excited and started to howl like when they were hunting.
CO Tim Rosochacki encountered a subject on a state land two-track who had a doe in the back of his truck. Upon further inspection, the deer did not have a kill-tag attached. The hunter pulled his kill-tag out of his wallet and stated he was just about to tag it. CO Rosochacki advised the subject that it is required to tag the deer before completing any other tasks. After some additional questioning, it was discovered the subject was also hunting over a baited location. The subject was cited for failing to immediately validate his kill-tag and warning him for hunting over bait.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Devil’s Lake in Alpena County for waterfowl hunting activity when she observed hunters in the distance shoot at a bird flying over. Upon further investigation, the hunters had shot an American bittern which is a protected species similar to a heron. The hunters stated that the bittern appeared to be a hen mallard when it flew by them and when they retrieved it, they thought it was some type of merganser. CO Curtis educated the hunters on positively identifying the waterfowl species before shooting. CO Curtis issued a ticket to the subject who had shot the bittern.
Sgt. Mike Mshar was checking a land-locked section of state land in Montmorency County when he discovered a large gun blind on a trailer. Further investigation discovered several bait piles consisting of corn, acorns, and salt. Sgt. Mshar was familiar with the blind as he had previously warned the same subject two years prior for the same violations. The subject was also accessing the state land by going through a locked gas facility which was not a legal access. Sgt. Mshar removed the blind and contacted the subject. The subject became very belligerent with Sgt. Mshar, blaming him for the terrible hunting conditions in Michigan as well as numerous other world issues. The subject ended the conversation stating he was moving back to Ohio.
COs Patrick McManus and Justin Vanderlinde were on patrol on the Betsie River downstream of the Homestead Dam in Benzie County, focusing on recent regulations passed by the Natural Resource Commission. With incidents of recreational trespass, littering on state land, disorderly conduct, and retaining foul-hooked fish, the COs had a very busy weekend. Overall, the comments were positive about the new rules.
CO Micah Hintze was patrolling the south branch of the Pere Marquette River and was contacted by a concerned angler that a man was fishing around the nearest bend using unlawful gear. CO Hintze located and observed the angler using a large multi-pointed hook with lead melted to the shank, commonly known as a “silver spider.” After watching the angler attempt to snag the spawning salmon from a rock bed, CO Hintze contacted the individual. The angler explained that he had just found the silver spiders on a nearby log and was just trying to get some spawn. After further investigation, it was determined the angler was in possession of eight unlawful devices. The angler was cited for using unlawful gear/exceed hook size regulations.
COs Josh Reed and Steve Converse were conducting foot patrol at Tippy Dam. CO Converse observed a subject fishing with a suspicious lure. After observing the subject for several minutes, contact was made. The angler was fishing with a weighted treble hook and spawn. He advised that he was fishing with the lure because he thought it was the best. The angler was informed to review the regulations and was cited for fishing with a weighted treble hook.
COs Brad Bellville and James Garrett received a complaint of a safety zone violation inside of Rifle River State Recreation Area in Ogemaw County. Two individuals rented a cabin inside the recreation area and had steel shot raining down on the cabin and surrounding area from nearby waterfowl hunters. The COs contacted the complainants and witnessed firsthand shot from duck hunters falling on them and the cabin. Using a range finder, the COs determined the duck hunters were well within the 150-yard safety zone of the cabin. The COs contacted the duck hunters addressing several violations including the safety zone violation.
CO Charlie Jones recently received information about a hunter who had illegally shot a deer in the 2019 firearm deer season in Kalkaska County. An interview was conducted the next day and it was determined that the 8-point buck was taken without a license. The subject who shot the deer admitted to borrowing a tag from a relative. A report was submitted to the Kalkaska County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges.
CO Ben McAteer conducted a patrol focusing on shining activity in Crawford County. During the patrol, CO McAteer observed a sport utility vehicle driving slowly down a dirt two-track with a light was cast from the driver’s side window. A traffic stop was conducted and as CO McAteer approached the driver’s side window, he observed the passenger frantically attempting to remove the bolt from a loaded crossbow. The driver and passenger were interviewed separately and gave different stories about the light being cast from the vehicle’s window. The passenger admitted being the one responsible for the flashlight being shone out of the window, stating that he had thrown an empty dip can out the window earlier in the day and was attempting to locate it. The passenger’s crossbow, arrows, and flashlight were seized; a citation for shining with weapon in possession was issued.
COs Jill Miller and Jason King assisted Upper Peninsula (UP) COs on an illegal bear investigation. The subject had property in the UP but resides in Bay County. Contact with the suspect was made and COs were able to gain a confession from the suspect of shooting the bear out of season. The information obtained was handed over to the UP COs.
While patrolling central Gratiot County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a large cloud of black smoke in the sky. CO Haas located the source of the smoke – a large pile of items including furniture parts, rolls of carpet, clothes, paint, aerosol cans, and other debris were on fire. A gentleman was cleaning up his property and emptying garbage and debris out of numerous outbuildings. CO Haas explained that he appreciated the man cleaning his property; however, the man was disposing of the items improperly. A citation was issued to address the open burning and improper disposal.
CO Richard Cardenas received a report of several deer carcasses on the edge of a farmer’s field, in an area where he had multiple recent reports of deer being shot and the heads removed. While investigating, he could see two antlered deer heads behind a barn at a nearby residence. A subject appeared from the barn and provided consent to come onto the property and inspect the antlered deer heads. While speaking with the subject, another antlered deer was observed in the barn that the subject was currently processing. Upon further questioning, multiple antlered deer heads were found on the property. Another suspect was identified, and both admitted to possessing the deer illegally. Citations were issued for illegal possession of the deer.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling Silver Lake in Allegan County when he encountered three anglers from Illinois. A routine check revealed the anglers were 49 panfish over their daily limit. Subjects stated they had been fishing for over 10 hours that day and never took the time to learn the daily limits. The panfish were confiscated and citations were issued for the over limit.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint that an adult had shot two bucks during the youth deer season. After a lengthy investigation it was determined the suspect took one of his co-worker’s children out for the youth deer season. When the youth stated that he was not comfortable taking the shot, the suspect shot the buck. A second buck was then observed, and the suspect shot that deer as well. While interviewing the suspect, it was discovered that the subject failed to tag either deer. The two deer heads were seized along with the subject’s unused deer tags. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint of a potentially poached deer laying in the back of someone’s yard. The complainant was aware of the shooter, and informed CO Cullen of their location and poaching history. An interview was conducted, and the suspect admitted to shooting two antlered deer over bait in the past two days. Both deer have been confiscated, and charges are being sought with the county prosecutor.
CO Katie Baker investigated an illegal deer case of a suspect believed to have taken an antlerless deer without an age appropriate mentor. Interviews were conducted and a confession obtained. The suspect admitted to taking an antlerless deer with her 20-year-old boyfriend while using an apprentice license. The boyfriend admitted to knowing he was not of proper age but wanted to take his girlfriend out anyway. The suspect admitted to failing to immediately validate and attach her kill-tag as well as failing to wear the required hunter orange while in the gun blind. A case report is being submitted for the violations.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of persons trespassing onto the property of another and putting up a deer blind. CO Strawn responded to the complaint location and investigated. CO Strawn ultimately discovered that although someone indeed entered the property, the trespassers erected a play fort and built a garage for hot wheel cars. Once CO Strawn pointed out his findings the caller took a closer look and, believing the kids next door were the fort builders, he decided to not continue with trespass charges.
CO Nick Wellman was just starting his patrol when a medical call came out for a logger who had a tree limb come down and break his leg. The logger was approximately a half mile into an unknown area of a block of timber. CO Wellman was very familiar with the area and was able to traverse the woods with his patrol truck and locate the man in a blowdown of trees he was cutting. CO Wellman worked on navigating other units to his location including EMS, while talking to and packaging the patient for transport. Ultimately the man suffered a complete fibula-tibula fracture and was transported to the hospital. CO Wellman then loaded the logger’s gear and equipment into his patrol truck and transported it and another logger back to their truck.
CO David Schaumburger received a complaint that a hunter had self-reported he made a mistake and shot an antlered deer instead of antlerless during the early antlerless season. The CO contacted the hunter who stated he was hunting in the evening and he made a mistake and shot a deer with a 5-inch spike. He stated that he was looking at the deer for 10 minutes through his binoculars and did not see the spike until he took the shot and walked up on the deer. The CO appreciated the hunter for self-reporting his own mistake; however, the hunter was given a stern warning for future hunts. The deer was seized and donated to a disabled hunter.
CO Jaime Salisbury received a complaint of a deer that had been unlawfully taken earlier in the week. While conducting surveillance on the area, CO Salisbury was able to determine that there were several different people hunting the area during the closed season. One morning before the sun came up, CO Salisbury snuck into the area. While waiting for the sun to rise CO Salisbury saw a faint light from across the bean field. He watched it trail along the field edge and then up a tree. About 30 minutes after sunrise CO Salisbury went to contact the individual, who had a bow on his lap with an arrow nocked. The man said he was, “just scouting.” He did not have a valid hunting license and deer season was still a week from opening. Citations were issued for hunting deer out of season and hunting without a license. A Mathews compound bow was seized as evidence.
COs Breanna Reed and Brad Silorey received a complaint from an individual who stated he was in line at a local hunting store when the person ahead of him had admitted to shooting a doe without a doe tag. With the help of DNR dispatchers, CO Silorey was able to find an address for the suspect. The COs made contact and the suspect admitted to shooting the doe, stating that he thought it was a buck. He had a single deer tag in his possession when he shot the doe but did not think that he could tag the deer with that tag. The COs had the hunter take them to where he had shot the deer. Before arriving to the location, the hunter admitted to having bait out because he thought it was legal this year. The COs cited the hunter for failing to immediately validate his kill-tag and gave the hunter a warning for hunting over bait.
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