Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 10, 2017

DISTRICT 1

Sgt. Grant Emery was working the Ontonagon River in Ontonagon when a sheriff deputy requested assistance with a peregrine falcon that was perched on a SUV in downtown Ontonagon. Emery responded to find the falcon as described watching the cars go by. Upon further investigation, the falcon had just finished eating an entire ring-billed gull in front of a crowd of spectators just down the street. The falcon was so full he was only able to fly from car to car. Emery was able to get the falcon to a nearby roof top and out of harm’s way.

CO David Miller was checking a group of bear hunting houndsmen when another vehicle pulled up. One of the subjects in the second vehicle was in possession of a loaded/uncased shotgun. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO David Miller made contact with the operator of a vehicle that was legally shining for deer. The operator asked Miller if he remembered him. Miller did not. The driver said that Miller had issued him a ticket over 20 years ago for shining in November with a weapon in possession. He said he reads the rule book every year so he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

A case recently investigated by CO Brian Bacon, Jared Ferguson and Sgt. Marc Pomroy regarding the over limit of bluegill was recently closed. The four suspects plead guilty, paid reimbursement fees of $1,500 and fishing privileges were revoked until 2021.

CO Jeffrey Dell contacted a bear hunter who was in possession of a firearm. The man was not wearing hunters orange. When asked why the man stated he was too hot. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jeffrey Dell contacted duck hunters returning from their camp on a lake. The duck hunters were found in possession of breasted out ducks without a fully feathered wing attached for identification purposes. Dell informed them if they couldn’t prove the species/sex of the ducks harvested they were going to receive a ticket. The hunters opted to paddle two hours to retrieve the carcasses.

DISTRICT 2

CO Pat Hartsig checked duck hunters on the opening day of UP waterfowl season. Hartsig stopped a group after watching them shoot ducks while motoring around the marsh. It was found that the group had loaded shotguns in the boat while it was underway, as well as one hunter who did not possess a waterfowl license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Pat Hartsig responded to a house fire that was down the street from his residence. After making sure everyone was safe, he blocked the road so fire apparatus could get water from a pumping station to put out the fire.

Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon and CO Mark Zitnik patrolled local lakes and ponds on the opener of waterfowl season. Several hunting parties were checked throughout the day with multiple warnings given and two citations issued. The citations were issued for hunting waterfowl without licenses and no PFD while in a vessel.

CO Bobby Watson assisted with a local group of women who were participating in the “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” program through the DNR. Watson demonstrated to the group proper gun handling techniques while upland bird hunting in thick cover. Watson also discussed typical ruffed grouse habitat, patterns and other tips to help the women expand their knowledge of the outdoors.

Sgt. Mike Hammill received a complaint of a fisherman attempting to snag salmon in a closed section of a trout stream near the Engadine area. Hammill made contact with an angler fitting the description of the supposed snagger. Upon contact, it was noticed that the angler burned his lure off with his recently lit cigarette; when questioned the angler denied burning his line. A file was run with Station 20 and it was discovered the individual never purchased a fishing license in 2017, it was also discovered that the individual was currently on parole from prison. The snagger’s violations included, fish no license, fish closed section of trout stream, operate motor vehicle no driver’s license, littering, fail to transfer title on motor vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Tom Oberg and Calvin Smith patrolled Munuscong Bay on the opening day of duck season. The COs checked over 50 hunters who were enjoying some success. Several warnings were issued for minor violations and citations were issued for violations consisting of possessing toxic shot and for hunting waterfowl without proper licenses.

DISTRICT 3

CO Chad Baldwin was working a midday fishing patrol on the Boyne River when he spotted some questionable fishing techniques by a couple of anglers. Baldwin watched the first angler snag a fish in the river and hand the rod over to his female companion to reel in. Upon closer inspection, Baldwin noticed that they were using treble hooks that are illegal on the river. Baldwin confronted the anglers and they did not deny snagging the fish or utilizing treble hooks. Baldwin seized the evidence and law enforcement action was taken.

While working the Bear River in plain clothes, CO Budreau observed a subject retain a salmon that he had hooked in the head. The subject walked past Budreau looked at him and said, “Hi coach” and continued walking to his truck. As he placed the fish in a cooler in the back of his truck, Budreau asked him why he kept the fish when he knew his prior football coach was the local CO. The subject stated that he thought the head was close enough. Enforcement action was taken. Twenty minutes later Budreau arrested the subject’s fishing partner for snagging two salmon.

While checking waterfowl hunters on French Farm Flooding, CO Budreau was able to make contact with an illegal camper he had been tracking all summer. Budreau had originally noticed the subject’s tent set-up in an area closed to camping. No one was around the camp at the time. There were several five gallon buckets piled up next to the tent. One bucket off to the side was half full of human waste. Budreau had left his business card with a warning notice to break camp and clean up the site. When Budreau returned there was a single bucket left at the site. It was the one half full. During Budreau’s visit with the camper a confession was obtained for the litter and several tickets were issued.

DISTRICT 4

While patrolling lakes in Benzie County during the waterfowl opener, Sgt. Dan Bigger overheard a group of hunters he was observing talking about the number of shots coming from another group across the lake. Bigger made contact with the hunters and then continued to foot patrol along the banks of the lake. While observing from a stand of cedars, Bigger noted a single duck flying towards the group taht was mentioned from the previous encounter. As the duck set it wings, Bigger heard two shots quickly followed by two more, but only one hunter was visible shooting. Bigger made contact with the group and found that the hunter who had shot the duck was using a firearm that held more than the allotted three shells. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Rebecca Hopkins received a complaint of a dead deer in Crystal Lake surrounded by netting and construction material. Upon examination, Hopkins found an 8-point antlered deer had become so entangled in a beach volleyball net that she had to cut him free. The net was not associated with the area where the deer was found, so it is suspected he drug the net tangled with the metal posts still attached for a significant distance and into the lake. The net likely weighed his head down in the water causing his death.

CO Rebecca Hopkins and Sgt. Dan Bigger made a day of running from river to river in Benzie County addressing multiple snagging complaints, contacting dozens of anglers and writing citations for snagging, illegal lures, and possession of marijuana, along with multiple warnings.

On a late night patrol in Manistee County, CO Converse stopped a vehicle that was shining. During the contact, Converse observed fresh blood in the bed of the truck. Converse asked about the blood and the subjects hesitantly advised they had killed a deer earlier in the day while bowhunting. Converse followed the subjects back to their cabin and discovered an untagged doe in a covered utility trailer. The subjects admitted they had no intention of tagging the deer. While at the camp, Converse also located a lit bait pile with an over-limit of bait behind the residence and numerous M60 spider snagging hooks present. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 5

CO Mike Hearn contacted a group of houndsmen assisting a licensed bear hunter in Kalkaska County. Upon checking licenses, it was determined one of the dog owners had not purchased a “no kill” license prior to participating in the bear hunt. Enforcement action was taken.

CO John Huspen followed up on a complaint of a ladder stand that was placed early in Crawford County. The stand had been placed before Sept. 1 and did not contain a name and address as required by law. The stand also had bait established before Sept. 15 and was well over the legal limit of two gallons. Huspen contacted a hunter in the stand who was not in possession of his hunting license. Huspen talked with the hunter and determined his spouse was out hunting as well. Huspen located the second hunter who had many of the same violations. Education and enforcement action were taken.

CO Ben McAteer observed two anglers fishing an artificial-lures-only trout lake in Crawford County. McAteer observed both anglers using live minnows on their hooks. Contact with the anglers was made and both subjects stated that they were unaware of any special regulations for the lake despite passing two large signs at the camp entrance and the boat launch. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Craig Neal responded to an out-of-season deer hunting complaint in Missaukee County on Sept. 30. Neal was able to locate the hunters in their blinds deer hunting the day before archery season. While issuing citations for two of the hunters, a third subject walked out of the woods. Neal asked the man what he had been doing. He stated he was setting up his blind for the next morning. Neal followed the man back to his blind where a cocked and loaded crossbow was located. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Sam Schluckbier observed a canoeist and a young child that were paddling across Lake Skegemog. Upon contact, Schluckbier found the child was four years old and not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). The older brother advised he did not have any PFDs with him because they were not planning on going for a long trip. Once on shore, Schluckbier located the father of the two boys. Enforcement action was taken for allowing a child less than six years old to be in a vessel without wearing a PFD.

DISTRICT 6

COs Joe Myers and Joel Lundberg were on patrol in Manistee County when they encountered multiple violations regarding to salmon fishing and the illegal taking of salmon. Numerous tickets were issued for snagging, retaining foul hooked fish and license violations.

CO Joe Myers received information of a deer that was possibly shot with a firearm during the first few days of the archery deer season. Myers was able to determine through scientific based research that the deer had unique wounds. Myers interviewed the suspect and gained a confession of the illegal taking of an 8-point buck. The suspect was up front and honest about the mistakes he made and was cited for the violation.

CO Josh Russell located an elevated blind in the Vestaburg State Game Area. Along with the blind there were several trees and bushes cut down. Russell made contact with the individual and educated him on state game area rules and the subject was cited for cutting down the trees and bushes.

While on patrol, CO Kyle Bucholtz heard a medical call come out over the radio. A subject was found pinned under a car after a jack slipped. Bucholtz responded and arrived shortly after an ambulance and sheriff deputies. Unfortunately the subject did not survive.

While patrolling in Northern Sanilac County CO Seth Rhodea saw several goose hunters and stopped to check their licenses and equipment. It was discovered that one of the hunters had no hunting licenses and was using an unplugged shotgun. The hunter was issued citations.

DISTRICT 7

While on patrol at the Rogue River State Game Area in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg encountered two subjects who had parked their vehicles in an area where motor vehicles were prohibited. While speaking to the subjects, Ulberg observed some drug paraphernalia in one of the vehicles and noticed components used to make methamphetamine. Further investigation revealed a cooler in the back of one of the vehicles where methamphetamine was actively being made. Drug teams from Kent County and MSP were called in to assist in the clean-up and more methamphetamine was located in the second vehicle. The subjects were lodged at the county jail with pending felony drug charges.

While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers received a complaint that a group of subjects were netting salmon near Webber Dam along the Grand River by Goose Creek. While making his way to the creek, Beavers spotted two subjects carrying two buckets full of fish, which appeared to be salmon. Beavers was able to make contact with the subjects before they arrived at their vehicle. The subjects stated they had 11 fish in the buckets and there were three additional people with fish downstream. Beavers put the buckets of fish in his patrol truck and then he and the two subjects made their way to the creek. While on the way, Beavers asked the subjects how many fish were with the other members of their group and one stated that he was not sure. Beavers told him that they were only allowed to possess five salmon per person, which would amount to 25 total. One of the subjects stated they should be good then, but then went on to say that he read on the internet they were allowed to have 10 per person. Beavers told him that was wrong and that it clearly states five in the fishing guide. Once Beavers arrived to the mouth of the creek, he found the three additional members of their group sitting down next to a large pile of salmon. Beavers checked the area and noticed there were no fishing poles and only a net. Beavers then counted the fish in the pile, which totaled 35. In total, the group had 46 coho salmon. Beavers asked if they used a fishing pole to catch any of the fish and they stated no. The total weight from the fish netted was 243.44 pounds. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Zach Bauer reports that a case from last December finally came to a close with a plea of guilty from the defendant. Bauer and retired CO Brad Brewer had received information regarding a subject that had killed four bucks, the last two being over the limit. A search warrant was served on the subject’s residence and evidence and a confession were obtained. The subject will pay $13,000 in reimbursement to the state fish and game fund for the two illegal bucks and his hunting rights were revoked for four years.

DISTRICT 8

COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were checking some bait locations the day before the archery opener and observed a man in a parking area close to where a large bait pile was located. The COs made contact with the man who stated he doesn’t hunt in this area but has a friend who does. They asked if his friend was with him and he stated he was just checking his stand and pointed in the opposite direction as the bait pile. Both COs walked through the woods and located the man’s friend who had just dumped a large amount of corn well over the legal amount. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds, while on patrol in Hillsdale County checking for deer hunting activity, observed a hunter walking down a secluded dirt road. When Reynolds went to make contact, the hunter ducked into the woods. The CO immediately made contact with the hunter who stated he didn’t have his license and thought he had left it at home. A license purchase check was done with it showing no licenses purchased for the 2017 season. A citation was issued for hunting without a license.

CO Chris Maher along with the help of Sgt. Bahlau and CO Chris Reynolds,conducted an extensive investigation from the youth hunt. An 8-point buck was found on a property by an individual who was not hunting. The property owner called around to see if any of the neighboring properties had a youth hunter. A nearby youth hunter was located and his family came to retrieve the deer. However, another family claimed it was their deer. Upon completing a thorough investigation the COs determined the deer was in the wrong hands. After presenting the evidence and speaking with both families, the deer was given to the youth who actually shot the deer.

DISTRICT 9

CO Ken Kovach received a complaint of a subject hunting on a property line and shooting onto the neighbor’s property to harvest a deer. Upon arrival, Kovach observed the hunting blind facing the complainant’s property and a gut pile near a bait pile, all of which were on trespassed property. An interview was conducted and a full confession was obtained from the subject shooting the deer on the property of another without permission. The subject also admitted to then tracking deer onto multiple other properties without permission. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ben Lasher was checking archery hunters coming out of the St. Johns Marsh Game Area when a hunter came out of the woods with an untagged doe. The hunter had a license but failed to validate and tag the deer. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ben Lasher had a report of a conflict between a Michigan charter boat and a possible Canadian commercial fisherman. The Canadian fisherman accused the charter captain of messing with his nets. There is no commercial fishing in Lake St. Clair and an investigation of illegal nets has been started.

COs Brad Silorey and Kris Kiel received a RAP compliant from DNR dispatch in regards to a subject who posted a picture of himself with a 12-point antlered deer on social media. After a brief online investigation, it was found that the suspect shot the deer on opening day of archery deer season, and did not purchase a license until after legal hunting hours on the same day. Silorey and Kiel went to the gas station where the suspect purchased his license, and observed the suspect on video footage of him buying his license after hours in the same hunting attire. The suspect also purchased three bags of ice. Silorey and Kiel made contact with the suspect at his residence and interviewed him about hunting that day and the deer he took. The suspect admitted to taking the deer prior to buying his license. Enforcement action was taken. A report will be generated and submitted to Macomb County Prosecutors Office.

CO David Schaumburger approached an individual fishing for walleye and asked how the angler was doing. The angler stated he had not caught anything; however, the CO looked in the fish basket right next to the angler and found an 11 inch largemouth bass. Enforcement action was taken.

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