Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 13, 2017
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy investigated an illegal bear bait site on the opening day of bear season. As the COs approached the site, they observed two subjects in a ladder stand in full camo. One subject was pointing a shotgun directly at the bear bait approximately 20 yards from the stand. The COs observed the subjects for a short time and only one subject was observed handling the shotgun. The COs announced themselves and made contact with the hunters. Multiple violations were quickly discovered including hunting bear without a license, no hunter orange, illegal tree stand and the illegal bear bait. Both subjects were cited and an investigation is ongoing into the guide hired by the hunters.
CO Jeffrey Dell contacted an angler fishing a river in Menominee County. When asked for his fishing license, the angler produced a Wisconsin fishing license. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a Michigan fishing license.
CO Jeffrey Dell observed several people fishing. Upon making contact with two of the three fishermen, the third placed his rod down and sat in the car. Dell asked all of the fishermen for licenses. The man in the car stated he was just hanging out and not fishing. Dell informed him that he had observed the man cast several times and issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Brett DeLonge was patrolling an area popular for waterfowl hunting when he heard an ORV approaching his location. DeLonge was able to stop the unregistered ORV that was carrying the operator and two passengers. After DeLonge made contact and addressed the violations, the operator was under the impression that those rules didn’t apply because the ORV wasn’t being operated on the roadway. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brett DeLonge was conducting an ORV patrol on a section of trail when he observed an ORV pass his location that appeared to be unregistered. DeLonge conducted a stop and upon contact DeLonge found that the ORV was indeed not registered and the operator did not have a valid operator’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Lynch was working the early goose season opener watching a group shooting geese in a field. After the hunt was over, contact was made. One hunter failed to produce a state waterfowl license or a federal duck stamp and was in possession of two geese. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Lynch was on his way home after patrol when he observed a vehicle swerving in and out of his lane in a careless manner. The vehicle then took a left turn off the highway and suddenly stopped and now was blocking the roadway impeding traffic. A traffic stop was conducted and contact with driver was made. The driver passed standard field sobriety tests and stated he was just trying to figure out how to change the song on his new radio. Enforcement action was taken for careless driving.
CO Pat Hartsig was patrolling for goose hunters when he heard a shot from his patrol vehicle. He watched a hunter run into a field and retrieve a goose. Upon checking the hunters, it was found that one was in possession of toxic lead shot and another did not have a waterfowl license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Pat Hartsig interviewed a subject regarding a bear that was taken at night, out of season, with no license. A confession was obtained and the bear meat, hide, carcass, and skull were recovered from multiple locations. A second warrant is being sought on a subject for aiding and abetting the possession of an illegal bear due to hiding the meat in a freezer.
CO Pat Hartsig was checking goose hunters in the field. When asked for his license, one hunter stated it was in his truck. He placed his shotgun in his layout blind and shut the doors and tried to lead Hartsig away from it. Hartsig thought the behavior was suspicious and a check of the firearm revealed there were five shells loaded in the firearm. Enforcement action was taken for hunting waterfowl with an unplugged gun.
COs Bobby Watson and Calvin Smith were on routine patrol when they came across an elderly couple that had driven their minivan into a large mud hole and became stuck. The COs assisted the couple with removing their van and helped them on their way. The couple was very appreciative and told the COs that they thought they were going to have to spend the night, as they did not have cellphone coverage to call for help.
CO Steve Speigl was patrolling the Jordan Valley in Antrim County when he came across a Jeep and a truck that had just spun ‘doughnuts’ in a grassy and sandy area right next to the Jordan River. Both drivers immediately denied causing the damage, but Speigl quickly pointed out the matching tire tracks leading from the damaged area to the rear tires of both vehicles. Both drivers then admitted to creating the damage, agreeing it was a dumb thing to do. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bill Webster was working Fletcher’s Pond in Alpena County when he came across a couple of anglers who were having some luck. One angler was in possession of a largemouth bass that was undersized. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kelly Ross was patrolling in Montmorency County when he observed several ORVs operating carelessly on a public roadway. Ross noticed several violations such as no helmets, no ORV decals and riding double. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kelly Ross was patrolling a local lake in Montmorency County when he encountered a subject who was fishing. A check of the subject revealed he did not have a valid driver’s license. Ross continued his patrol only to then observe the same subject operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway after leaving the lake. A traffic stop was made and enforcement action was taken.
District 3 COs took part in the first hunt period of the 2017 elk season. Area officers worked in shifts to patrol the open and closed hunt area as well as conduct field checks of elk that were harvested. COs reported no violations and good success rates in the field. COs also assisted with tracking and recovering several elk. One highlight of the early hunt involved CO Kelly Ross and Sgt. Mike Mshar who assisted a young man in a wheelchair in harvesting a cow elk with his crossbow. Ross’s intimate knowledge of his work area was the major factor in the young man’s success.
CO William Kinney received a complaint at the Hoosier Valley Gun Range in Grand Traverse County of people target shooting. At the gun range, target shooting on Sunday is prohibited and is an ongoing issue. Kinney arrived on scene and found two individuals target shooting. Both individuals admitted to not reading the state land use rules and paid no attention to the sign that read “No Shooting on Sundays.” Enforcement action was taken.
COs Colton Gelinas and William Kinney patrolled the Betsie River and Platte River looking for illegal salmon fishing activity. The COs made numerous contacts during their patrol and enforcement action was taken on two individuals for snagging and using illegal lures.
CO Colton Gelinas was on patrol on the Platte River checking salmon fishermen when he encountered two anglers who were excited to show him their catch of the day. Gelinas observed 12 salmon in a cooler. Gelinas asked the suspects if they knew the limit for salmon. The suspects believed the limit was 10 salmon per person. Gelinas seized the additional two fish and enforcement action was taken.
COs Rebecca Hopkins and Colton Gelinas investigated an over-limit of salmon complaint. The subjects brought their own chest freezer to a rental cabin and filled it with salmon caught during their stay. Admissions of the number of fish caught and sorting through over 130 packages of salmon fillets resulted in one subject being cited for possessing an over-limit of salmon.
CO Ryan Andrews was on patrol along the Pere Marquette River in Lake County in an area of catch and release only when he received a complaint from an angler who had witnessed another person catch a chinook salmon and place it in a cooler in his boat. Due to dealing with the same group earlier for other violations, the CO recognized the physical description of the group and was able to locate them farther down the river as they left the landing in their motor vehicle. Andrews followed the vehicle to a residence where he made contact with the group and gained consent to search their coolers and discovered the 25 pound king salmon. The suspect then confessed to taking the fish and said it was because it was his first king salmon and because it was so big.
CO Chuck McPherson received an ORV trespass complaint from a landowner in Roscommon County. The property was properly posted and existing trails had been blocked off. However, the trails continued to be opened up, fences taken down and trespassing signs removed by people riding their ORVs. While working the complaint, McPherson was able to catch several ORVs in violation of ORV trespass. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling a small lake on the west side of Missaukee County when he noticed a boat with a registration that expired in 2012. He contacted the boat at the launch to investigate the registration and check fishing licenses. After checking a fishing license, Neal began counting bluegills that were in a bucket on the boat. After counting 31 bluegills, Neal looked at the second angler and asked if she had a fishing license. She stated that she did not and admitted to fishing a little bit. The over limit of bluegill were seized and enforcement action was taken.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling Reedsburg Dam in Missaukee County when he noticed several anglers fishing. Neal watched an angler catch a largemouth bass that was obviously short. The angler looked around, grabbed his bucket, filled it with water and tossed the short bass in the bucket. Neal made contact with the angler. The angler stated he didn’t know why he was keeping the fish. The largemouth bass measured in at 10 inches. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling a gravel pit in northeastern Missaukee County for illegal ORV use. After sitting there for just 10 minutes, a group of four ORVs climbed the hill on the backside of the gravel pit and raced through it. Neal activated his emergency lights and stopped the four riders. Neal explained to them that the gravel pit is a closed area to ORVs as well as climbing the hill on the backside is illegal because it is not a designated trail and causes erosive conditions. Enforcement action was taken.
CO John Byars was watching several anglers fishing from a boat on Rainbow Lake. The CO made contact and determined that one of the anglers did not have a fishing license. The angler refused to admit he was fishing and told the CO he was wrong. The angler was highly intoxicated and threw an anchor into the water to purposely splash the CO. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joe Myers received a complaint of a deer shot and left next to the roadway. The CO arrived on the scene to find two antlerless deer that had been shot. The deer had been gutted and back straps taken out. The investigation is ongoing and suspects have been identified.
Sgt. Ron Kimmerly took a call of an injured bald eagle in Montcalm County. The eagle had a broken wing and the injury appeared to be at least a week old. Kimmerly took the eagle to his office for some food and water while attempting to find a rehabilitator or a veterinarian on the busy weekend. The choices for the eagle were either, steak, perch or catfish. The eagle chose catfish and gobbled down six pieces along with some water. The sergeant was able to get the eagle to a rehabilitator later that day, but unfortunately the majestic bird passed later that night. The sergeant will be attending the eagle’s necropsy in attempts to rule out any foul play.
CO Robert Hobkirk received a waterfowl complaint in progress. Unable to respond, Hobkirk remained in contact with the caller and advised Sgt. Scott Brown and CO Kyle Bucholtz of the situation. Upon receiving the information, Brown and Bucholtz responded to the area. The anonymous complainant stated multiple suspects had been targeting out of season waterfowl. On scene, the COs located three hunters and a dead wood duck. One of the hunters eventually took responsibility after initially attempting to deny involvement. The suspect later stated he believed the duck to be a teal when he shot; however, his description of a teal was not that of the dead duck. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Zach Bauer was off duty when he was notified of a possible snagging complaint. Bauer just happened to be driving through the area where this angler was located. Bauer met the lieutenant at the location from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department to assist. Bauer proceeded to the river and located the anglers. From what Bauer saw it did not appear that these anglers were snagging, but they were using illegal treble hooks for the creek they were fishing. The gear was seized and a citation was issued for the illegal gear.
COs Tyler Cole and Matt Page were patrolling northern Van Buren County for ORV activity when they spotted two ORVs operating on a public highway. Upon initiating a stop, one ORV stopped and the second fled. The COs made contact with the ORV operator who had not fled. While interviewing the subject that had stopped, the second ORV had a change of heart and returned to talk with the COs. The operator of the ORV who fled was 16 years old and stated that he “was scared to get a ticket”. After investigating and making a phone call to the parents, citations were issued for operating an ORV on a public highway and fail to license an ORV.
While patrolling Big Fish Lake in Cass County, CO Tyler Cole made numerous contacts with fisherman. While conducting a check, Cole noticed two fishermen in the vicinity immediately reel in their lines and proceed to head towards shore upon seeing that a CO was near. Cole cut the contact short with the boat he was with and caught up to the boat heading towards shore. Upon investigation, both subjects were found to be fishing without licenses. Both subjects were cited for fishing without licenses.
CO Tyler Cole received a tip of possible waterfowl hunting violations at a popular hunting spot in Cass County. Upon making contact with the hunting party in question, numerous violations were found, including hunting without a license, hunting waterfowl over bait, and hunting with unplugged shotgun. One of the subjects was found to have taken four Canada geese illegally. The subject who took the geese was cited for hunting without a license, taking waterfowl with the aid of bait, and for using an unplugged shotgun. The geese and the subject’s shotgun were seized.
CO Andrew Monnich patrolled Lenawee County on the early goose opener. Many successful hunters were contacted during the patrol and enforcement action was taken on a number of hunters who failed to have plugs in the firearms and hunters that failed to purchase federal duck stamps.
CO Brandon Hartleben checked Four Mile Lake at Chelsea State Game Area for waterfowl hunting activity at the end of legal shooting hours. Hartleben observed a rowboat slowly moving across the lake after sunset that was not displaying a white light. Hartleben made contact with the subject at the launch and discovered that the man had been out fishing and had been somewhat successful. A check of his catch revealed he was in possession of a 12-inch largemouth bass. Enforcement action taken.
Sgt. Jason J. Smith was on marine patrol when a park employee advised him that a couple of waterfowl hunters camping at Green Lake had shot a wood duck during the early teal season a couple of days prior. The park employee stated that they had also found a mallard in the trash can when they were dumping trash. Smith went to the campground and spoke with wives of the hunters who stated that their husbands were hunting on Green Lake. Upon leaving, Smith saw them get their cellphones out and start dialing. Smith located and talked with two of the hunters who denied everything and stated it must have been another hunter. He asked where the third hunter was and they stated he was down the road. Smith located the third hunter who was in the process of hiding his shotgun. Smith learned that the third hunter had been hunting without a license and later confessed to shooting the wood duck. He reestablished contact with the two other hunters who ultimately admitted to shooting the mallard during the closed season. Both ducks were recovered from the trash. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Jason J. Smith attended an outdoor event at the Venture Church in Howell. The event had hunting clinics for a variety of things like waterfowl and archery deer hunting. Smith spoke with all the attendees about laws and hunting safety.
While patrolling a canal near the seven sisters in the St. Clair Flats, COs Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Todd Szyska observed a freshly breasted blue winged teal carcass floating in the water. Deppen followed the feathers on the water back to a residence where it had originated. On the dock the suspect was filleting the breasts off of a second blue winged teal. Deppen confronted the hunter and explained why the discarded carcass could not be thrown into the waterway. The hunter had no clue and only offered he thought he was feeding the turtles. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Matthew Zultak checked a vessel on Lake St. Clair that was two PFDs short for four people. The COs also discovered five under-sized largemouth bass in a cooler that one of the occupants was sitting on and claimed had no fish in it. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel checked three goose hunters on a golf course who had just finished getting their limit and were packing up. One of the shotguns was found to be unplugged. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brad Silorey was patrolling state land in Macomb County checking waterfowl hunters when he made contact with an individual who still had his goose decoys out and was not packing up well after legal shooting hours had ended. Silorey contacted the hunter, and immediately asked to see his firearm. The man stated that it was still loaded, and that he was just going to start packing up. As Silorey was speaking with the man, several geese flew in near his decoys. The suspect made the comment “Awe you came several minutes too early.” Silorey smiled and politely told the suspect that he would be in a lot more trouble if he had shot the geese after hours. Silorey asked the suspect if he knew when legal shooting hours ended, to which he responded that he did not. Along with hunting after hours, the suspect also had an unsigned federal duck stamp. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Raymond Gardner was checking fishermen in Brownstown Township at Hull’s Trace. While checking one fisherman, Gardner found that the man did not have a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking waterfowl hunters in the Erie State Game Area, CO James Zellinger encountered one subject hunting without a waterfowl license or a federal migratory bird hunting stamp. Zellinger also checked three waterfowl hunters in vessels without a PFD onboard. Enforcement action taken.