Cuffs and Collars - February 3rd, 2012
CO Denny Gast and Sgt. Steven Burton stopped an ORVer when they heard a shot after the firearms deer season had closed. The operator had a .30-06 rifle with him and a loaded, concealed pistol hidden in a pack on his ORV. Charges are pending.
CO Grant Emery responded to a complaint about possible illegal deer hanging in a subject’s garage. CO Emery contacted the homeowner and found two untagged deer hanging in the garage. The subject claimed to be suffering from amnesia and couldn’t say who shot the deer. The deer were seized, and the subject was ticketed.
CO Jason Wicklund and Sgt. Marc Pomroy checked a local deer processor for compliance. Suspicious leads were checked, and several tagging violations were uncovered. The investigation also turned up an illegally killed deer. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Leadman followed tracks in the snow and discovered an illegal body-gripping trap set on the ground. When pulled, the trap was untagged. CO Leadman doubled up with CO Trey Luce and they found and pulled four illegal traps. Efforts to locate the trapper are ongoing.
CO Jason Niemi received a complaint about shots fired at 11:30 p.m. He responded to a residence in the Wallace area and arrested a subject for shooting a spike-horn deer over a lighted bait pile. The deer was untagged. The subject was ticketed and lodged on probation violations.
CO Dave Miller and Sgt. Steven B. Burton checked four groups of anglers on Bergland Bay and found several violations. Tickets were issued for fishing with too many lines and fishing without a license.
COs Brian Bacon and Jason Wicklund worked ice-fishing activity on the small remote lakes near Watersmeet. One angler was ticketed for fishing without a license, and another for possessing three undersized pike.
CO Grant Emery completed an investigation regarding a deer shot within the city of Bessemer. The subject shot the deer from a vehicle and then trespassed to retrieve the animal. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy responded to the complaint about an overlimit of tip-ups on a local river. The COs located numerous homemade tip-ups, and tracks leading to a nearby residence. Contact at the residence revealed the anglers had left for a dentist appointment. CO Bacon made contact later in the day with the suspects, and enforcement action was taken for the unattended lines and fishing with more than three lines.
CO Jason Wicklund received a call about an ORV that went through the ice in Gogebic County. The driver and passenger were able to get out of the water and walk to a nearby residence. Both subjects were uninjured, and plans are in place to remove the ORV.
CO Mike Hammill investigated several subjects hunting after legal hours. They were using crossbows without permits. The CO set up on them and caught them in the act. Tickets were issued.
CO Kevin Postma was in the right area when a call came out to be on the lookout for a drunk driver. Within minutes, the CO located the suspicious vehicle and contacted the driver. The CO arrested the subject for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, expired driver’s license, and possession of a controlled substance. The subject was lodged in the Chippewa County jail.
CO Kyle Publiski was conducting ice-fishing patrol on Munuscong Bay and encountered a subject fishing with too many lines. Upon seeing the CO, the subject tried to pull in his extra lines, but it was too late. The CO found that the subject was fishing without a license and located an undersized walleye. Enforcement action taken.
While on routine patrol, CO Kyle Publiski came upon a vehicle parked in the middle of the road. The CO determined that the subject was out on foot and then proceeded to track him through the woods. The CO located the subject, who was setting illegal snares. Further investigation revealed that most of his snares and traps were not tagged. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Duane Budreau received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint about recreational trespassing, which led to an illegal deer that was killed in Emmet County. After investigating the location and circumstances of the kill, CO Budreau ticketed the subject who had illegally used Deer Management Assistance (DMA) permits that were issued to a farmer near Harbor Springs. The subject was ticketed for unlawful use of the DMA permits and also for recreational trespass while hunting deer.
Sgt. Mike Borkovich assisted at the scene of a two-vehicle personal injury accident in Antrim County. One of the victims who had been severely injured was pinned in a vehicle, which had rolled over several times. Quick work by local Elk Rapids emergency personnel on the scene turned a bad situation into a routine trip to the hospital.
CO Eric Bottorff and Sgt. Greg Drogowski responded to a shots fired and recreational trespass complaint on the border of the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The complainants heard shots and were able to get a license plate number and description of the occupants of the vehicle. The follow-up investigation resulted in a ticket issued for recreational trespass, as the subject, without the benefit of permission from the landowner, had shot at a grouse from the roadway, while both sides were posted private land.
CO Matt Theunick came upon a coyote hunter in his vehicle who was intently watching the ice-covered surface of Douglas Lake, waiting for hounds to run a coyote onto the ice. However, his rifle was uncased inside his truck, which resulted in a ticket for possession of an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Rich Stowe received a complaint about a dog being caught in a foothold trap set behind some local businesses in Traverse City. After a couple days of surveillance, CO Stowe, along with CO Sean Kehoe, was able to contact a subject as he checked the traps. The subject was ticketed for trap-tagging violations, and a follow-up investigation will be conducted concerning possible larceny of traps.
COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski investigated a complaint about excessive deer baiting with possible poaching activity reported. During midday, the COs located a portable blind near an obvious illegal deer bait site. Later that evening, the COs contacted a subject hunting from the blind without any deer licenses and failing to wear hunter orange. Interviews led to an additional suspect in the Saginaw area. CO Dan Lee was contacted by radio and was able to respond to the second suspect’s residence, where several illegal bucks were seized. Numerous tickets were issued to address the violations, including an overlimit of white-tailed deer.
CO Steve Converse was conducting an inspection of a local deer processor when he encountered a subject bringing in five deer for processing. After speaking with the subject for a short time, CO Converse determined that the subject had killed three bucks within the first 45 minutes of daylight on Nov. 15. A check of the tags revealed that one was purchased by the subject’s wife after the buck had been taken. A warrant was obtained for taking an overlimit of white-tailed deer.
CO Carla Soper investigated a marine accident on the Manistee River. It was reported that a subject had operated his watercraft in a reckless manner and caused an angler in a nearby boat to fall, resulting in serious injuries. The warrant was authorized by the prosecutor’s office, and the subject was arrested for the violation.
CO Jeff Ginn was checking shore anglers on Hardy Pond when he located a subject catching and keeping walleyes. After observing the subject for several hours, CO Ginn contacted the subject and discovered multiple undersized walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Brian Lebel conducted a lengthy investigation of a father and son who shot 14 deer during the past hunting season. Nine of the deer were taken without licenses, including an overlimit of bucks. Both subjects purchased multiple buck licenses and were re-using and borrowing tags. A 10-point buck was seized from a taxidermist, and multiple charges were filed. Both subjects have multiple prior offenses with the DNR, including possession of illegal deer and transporting loaded/uncased firearms in a motor vehicle.
CO Brian Lebel was conducting follow-up investigation of an illegal buck at a taxidermy business when he came upon another illegal 9-point buck. The buck had been tagged and validated on the same day of purchase. The suspect admitted to hunting with only an antlerless license when he had three bucks walk by his stand, and he stated he couldn’t resist. Enforcement action was taken, and the buck was seized.
CO Troy VanGelderen received a complaint about shots fired. The CO responded to the location and found a subject sitting in a vehicle with a loaded, uncased muzzleloader. The subject had no hunting license, and a check with the retail sales system revealed he had not purchased one for several years.
COs Matt Liestenfeltz and Mike Hearn conducted a patrol on snowmobiles to check trapping activity and furbearer hunters. The patrol resulted in the arrest of a subject for carrying a loaded and uncased pistol in a vehicle. The COs also contacted a hunter afield without hunter orange. The COs contacted numerous operators of out-of-state snowmobiles with expired registration and no trail permits.
CO Chuck McPherson located an illegal trap set on dry land. The name and address information on the trap indicated it belonged to a local resident. The investigation revealed the owner had loaned the trap to a young trapper who was being mentored in the sport and had received bad information on that particular trap set.
CO Mark Papineau was dispatched to an ORV injury accident in a secluded section of state forest land. CO Papineau arrived on the scene and was informed by a witness that the victim was one mile back in the woods and was severely injured. Neither the victim nor his riding partner were from the area and were unable to provide good information regarding their location. The witness described the area where the accident had occurred, which CO Papineau recognized. CO Papineau drove to the location and located the victim, who was partially submerged in a drainage creek. CO Papineau directed emergency personnel to the location where first aid was performed. The victim suffered from multiple broken bones, possible head injuries, and severe trauma to the chest area. The victim was evacuated from the woods, loaded onto a life-flight helicopter, and flown to a trauma center. The victim was last reported to be in stable but critical condition. The investigation revealed that the victim was operating in a prohibited area at excessive speeds when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed.
COs Jeremy Payne and Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint about shining and shooting in the Alma area, where the complainant was able to provide the plate number of the suspect’s vehicle. The COs searched the field for evidence and located an injured doe. The doe had to be dispatched due to a small-caliber gunshot wound to the left front leg. The COs went to the suspect’s residence and contacted a father and son. Both denied shooting the deer and said they were out shining raccoons. After the two were separated, the father said that his son shot the deer. The son continued to deny that he shot the deer until the COs found the blood trail where the deer was dragged into the garage. Upon searching the garage, the COs found three more deer. Further investigation revealed that the son shot two of the deer and found one along the road. Only one of the three deer was tagged. It was tagged with a used tag that was taken out of the garbage at a deer-processing business where the suspect worked. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Foerster and additional local agencies responded to a Saginaw County 911 call regarding a hunter who had fallen from a treestand. According to Central Dispatch, the caller/victim was badly injured and was going in and out of consciousness. CO Foerster and the other responders launched several vessels for the search due to the unknown location of the victim who was only reachable by water within the Shiawassee SGA. The victim was able to make a call to one of his friends and told him what had happened and that he needed help. His friend knew the approximate area that the victim hunted and was able to locate him by boat and relay his location to authorities. The victim was semi-hypothermic and suffered from a broken back, broken hips, broken femur, and several broken ribs. CO Foerster, along with medical personnel, transported the victim out of the area on his patrol vessel to an awaiting ambulance.
After multiple hours of surveillance, CO Nick Atkin made contact with two perch anglers. One of the anglers was in possession of 139 perch (89 perch over the limit). The second angler was in possession of 72 perch (22 perch over the limit). Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Mshar checked many anglers along the Kalamazoo River with good catches of steelhead. Several tickets were issued for fishing without all-species fishing licenses and for marine safety issues.
CO Patrick McManus responded to a complaint on a local inland lake where a local resident reported that a juvenile trumpeter swan had been shot and buried by two hunters. The resident had been watching the endangered animals all spring, which consisted of two adults and three juveniles. Two subjects were contacted at their residence, and confessions were obtained. The subjects were charged with taking an endangered species and charged $1,500 in restitution.
CO Gary Raak contacted two fully camouflaged subjects exiting the woods with a .22 rifle in the Barry SGA. One of the subjects stated he was only along to observe, since he left his license at home. The subject hunting was issued a ticket for not wearing the required hunter orange clothing. CO Raak left the area and backtracked, locating a second rifle. Contact was made again, and it was determined the second subject did not have a license. He was ticketed for no hunter orange and hunting without a license.
CO Ken Cerny received a RAP complaint a little after 11 p.m. that a resident had observed a vehicle occupant shining and then had heard a shot. The complainant then observed the truck speed away. The complainant hid his vehicle down the road and a short time later observed the truck return to pick up the deer, but when the complainant approached in his vehicle, two subjects took off in the field on foot as the truck sped away. The complainant then hid and waited for CO Cerny to arrive. CO Cerny, with assistance from local deputies, found where the subjects in the field had dragged the dead deer across two different properties, and following their trail, finally located two subjects hiding in a ditch in possession of a freshly killed antlerless deer. Contact with the subjects also led to the discovery of marijuana possessed by one of the subjects. A warrant is being sought for multiple charges on both subjects.
CO Brad Brewer received a complaint about a subject hunting over bait. He located a blind towering over a field and a truckload of corn. CO Brewer contacted the hunters and explained the reason for his visit. The property owner claimed he was not aware that there was a limit on the amount of bait. A ticket was issued.
CO Brian Fish was called to the Battle Creek Airport regarding staff breaking up muskrat dens and killing the muskrats. Airport staff admitted to the act; they stated they were trying to control flooding that was taking place along their new runway. While a beaver-control permit had been issued, they had no permit for taking muskrats or destroying the houses. CO Fish is seeking charges.
CO Brian Fish was called regarding an incident in which an elderly man was walking along a rural street when several deer began running in his direction. The older man did not see the deer in time to move from their path. A deer ran into him from the rear and knocked him to the ground. The man was transported to the Level 3 trauma center in Kalamazoo where, at last check, he was in critical but stable condition.
CO Todd Thorn responded to a complaint about boys dragging deer from the woods behind their home to the back of their house, which was in a subdivision. CO Thorn first spoke with the mother, who stated that she did not know of any hunting activity. CO Thorn then located an antlerless deer by the back door of the home. CO Thorn spoke with the 15-year-old son and his 20-year-old friend about their hunting activities. After finding ORV tracks through the woods behind the subdivision houses, CO Thorn located another deer. CO Thorn found that the 15-year-old had shot two deer and a squirrel from his bedroom window with a .22-caliber rifle, and had only retrieved one deer. A number of charges are being sought, and investigations are ongoing.
CO Pete Purdy was assisted by Sgt. Bahlau, CO Prince, and CO Smith in locating a subject who had made admissions online about shooting deer this season without a license, and any “DNR” officer that comes snooping around will get shot. The COs contacted the subject while he was working on a vehicle in the front yard. The subject apologized for making the online statements, saying he was just trying to show off and also led the COs to the antlers of an untagged 7-point rack. Charges are pending.
CO Linda Scheidler checked the Holloway Reservoir Dam for fishing activity. The CO observed three subjects from across the river. One of the subjects was actively and aggressively snagging. The CO watched and video-recorded one subject who brought in one fish that was foul-hooked. The CO contacted the subjects. The subject who was snagging claimed he was getting bites and was setting the hook. When the CO explained she had video of his actions, he changed his tune. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kris Kiel and Todd Szyska watched as three subjects on state land were releasing and shooting pigeons and chukkars. None of the subjects were wearing hunter orange, and the subject who was shooting the birds had no small-game license. Contact was made, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel received numerous tips during the firearms deer season about a subject who had been hunting deer without wearing hunter orange. The CO also received information that the subject was hunting for a big buck that had been seen in the area. CO Kiel had been checking the area during the season and had been unsuccessful in catching the subject hunting until the late antlerless season. The CO checked the hunting location and found a subject in full-snow camouflage. When the subject was identified, the CO knew he had the subject he was looking for. The subject admitted to the violation and stated that he was not wearing orange because he did not want to alert his neighbors. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Drexler and Mark Ennett responded to a report that three goose hunters in Pointe Mouillee SGA were possibly hunting from a dike. Upon arriving at the location and checking the hunters, it was determined they were on a sandbar in the containment unit and not on shore. However, one hunter had an unplugged shotgun, and another was afield without any of his hunting licenses. Both were issued tickets. During the check, the water levels rose, and the gear that had been on the sandbar began to float away, requiring the hunters to retrieve their equipment via their boat.
CO Mike Drexler checked a piece of undeveloped private property known for ORV issues. Just as the CO parked his patrol vehicle, a subject appeared, riding an ORV without a helmet. In addition to not wearing a helmet, the subject also was operating an unregistered ORV and was trespassing. Enforcement action was taken.
While investigating a hunter harassment complaint, CO Linda Scheidler was talking with the complainant who told her he had taken two different bucks and a doe earlier this season. The CO followed up and found that the subject had only purchased a firearms deer license. The CO spoke with the subject’s father, who told her that he left his hunting license at camp so that his son or others in the hunting party could use it. The case is still under investigation, and warrants will be forthcoming.