MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue 24
CO Jason Niemi discovered an unpaid campsite at the Cedar River
Campground. While waiting for the camper to show up, he observed a
slow-moving vehicle enter the campground that was operating in an
odd manner. He contacted and arrested the driver for driving while
intoxicated. The subject was in possession of drug paraphernalia
and admitted to having been smoking marijuana, as well. He was
lodged in the Menominee County jail.
CO Derek Miller responded to a call for help from a group of duck
hunters who had run out of gas in their duck boat. CO Miller
located the hunters and safely returned them to the boat
CO Derek Miller observed a motor vehicle with two occupants who
appeared to be road hunting. The subjects had loaded/uncased
firearms, were in possession of marijuana, and the driver had a
suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Robert Crisp responded to a personal injury accident in Alger
County. CO Crisp administered aid to the female driver who had
suffered a slight stroke while on the way to the hospital for her
blood dialysis appointment.
CO Robert Crisp, while on patrol, came upon a hunter who had just
pulled off to the side of the road. CO Crisp stopped to check on
the driver’s condition. The driver had a shotgun near him and CO
Crisp checked the firearm and found it to be fully loaded with
birdshot. When asked why he was driving around with a loaded
shotgun, the hunter replied because he never sees any COs around
the area. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andrea Erratt responded to a baiting complaint. She checked the
site in the rain and surprised both herself and the hunter. She was
surprised to find someone out bowhunting in inclement weather, and
he was surprised with a ticket.
CO Andrea Erratt conducted a plain-clothes fishing patrol on the
Boyne River. She was fishing a hole from the bank when an
individual waded out into the river in front of her and began
fishing the same hole. This required her to quit fishing to avoid
tangling lines. The man who stepped in front of her was fishing
with an illegal device and received a ticket for it.
CO Kelly Ross worked plain-clothes at the 9th Street Dam in Alpena.
Two subjects were practicing “snag and release” after intentionally
snagging several fish, photographing them, then releasing them. One
other subject retained a foul-hooked fish and CO Joe Molnar was
called. Enforcement action was taken.
CO William Webster received a complaint about a subject with a
combination license who shot a 4-point buck in DMU 487. Regulations
require that antlered deer taken with a regular combo license in
DMU 487 have a minimum of three points on a side. The subject
already had returned downstate. CO Brandon Kieft followed up with
an interview and the subject confessed. Enforcement action was
While working the elk hunt, CO William Webster was contacted by a
guide who reported that one of his antlerless elk hunters had shot
a spike bull. The shooter was remorseful and apologetic. The elk
was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark DePew reports the disposition of an illegal turkey case
from this spring. The subject paid over $1,300 in fines and costs,
plus restitution, and lost his hunting privileges for the year of
conviction plus three more years.
CO Mark DePew worked a complaint of snagging on the Boyne River.
After a short time, three subjects were ticketed for snagging,
retaining foul-hooked fish, and illegal gear.
CO Richard Stowe received a deer-baiting complaint that turned out
to be piles of leaves. Contact at the camp, however, showed
evidence of baiting, which led to the discovery of baited deer
stands. A ticket was issued.
During the October elk hunt, two separate hunters with
antlerless-only elk tags mistakenly shot two spike bull elk on the
same morning. Both hunters reported the incidents, and they are
being investigated by COs Bill Webster and Matt Theunick.
An elk guide, who was warned during the August elk hunt for guiding
without a license on public land, was found guiding elk hunters
again on public land in October. This time he was ticketed. COs
William Webster, Matt Theunick, and Sgt. Greg Drogowski teamed up
to make the case.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a complaint regarding a person who
had an illegal treestand on state land in Lake County. CO Greenway
located the stand and found that not only had the person failed to
place his name and address on the stand, he also had used screw-in
steps and was hunting over bait. Enforcement action was taken on
the violations, and the bait was removed.
CO Jim Espinoza received a complaint about people snagging salmon
on the Pere Marquette River. After arriving, CO Espinoza had
difficulty locating the suspects mentioned in the report but had no
problem finding subjects attempting to snag fish. Tickets were
issued to people retaining foul-hooked fish and using illegal
CO Jim Espinoza was working a foot patrol on the Pere Marquette
River when he observed two subjects attempting to snag salmon. One
of the subjects was known locally for bragging about taking fish
illegally and not getting caught. The subject and his fishing
partner were ticketed for possessing fish taken illegally.
CO Jeffery Ginn contacted a subject on the Muskegon River with a
total of 13 trout. The subject was eight trout over the limit,
which included three brown trout during the closed season and five
undersized rainbow trout. Tickets were issued to address the
CO Michael Wells responded after 11 p.m. to a poaching complaint
and three shots being fired. What started as a poaching complaint
turned out to be a barracked gunman who fired three shots inside
his father’s trailer. CO Wells was the first person to arrive on
the scene and called for backup. The standoff lasted approximately
eight hours before the gunman gave up and was taken into custody
with no one being harmed.
CO Mike Hearn located a pile of garbage being burned behind a
residence. After several interviews, it was determined that the
neighbor had agreed to burn trash for the owner of the trailer
across the street. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bobbi Lively located a baited deer stand where the subject had
used screw-in steps and failed to put a name and address on the
stand. Officer Lively located a vehicle nearby but could not find
anyone in the stand. She waited for the subject to come out of the
woods, and after locating an uncased bow in his vehicle, she asked
the subject to take her back to his stand where he had been
hunting. At first, he took her to the stand she had just checked
and she explained to him that he had not been hunting there. The
subject then took CO Lively to a second illegal stand that also was
CO Joel Lundberg encountered two subjects in the woods who had been
hunting. They stated that they hadn’t had any luck, but CO Lundberg
found a bloody arrow in the back of the truck. The subjects
confessed to shooting two deer, neither of which had been tagged.
The subjects also were in possession of marijuana.
While following up on a bait complaint, CO Joel Lundberg found a
subject hunting illegally over a bait pile. During the
conversation, the hunter indicated that he had shot a deer;
however, he still had all of his tags. Further discussion led to a
confession for failing to tag a deer.
CO Joshua Wright received a call at his residence that individuals
were taking large overlimits of geese after shooting hours. CO
Wright responded in his personal vehicle and found the hunters
packing up. After identifying himself, Officer Wright investigated
and found a total of six geese over their limit and an unplugged
gun. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joshua Wright and Sgt. Tony Soave were patrolling in conjunction
with a night flight for shiners after hours. The COs stopped a
vehicle for shining an hour after legal hours had ended and found a
passenger in possession of a bow with an arrow ready. Evidence was
collected, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jay Person was dispatched to southern Midland County to
investigate a Report-All- Poaching (RAP) complaint of a subject
shooting a hawk. The caller stated that a subject was observed
shooting a hawk out of the air behind his residence. When CO Person
arrived at the location, no one was home; however, a search of the
area revealed a dead redtail hawk in the field behind the
residence. Later in the day, a follow-up investigation with the
subject led to his confession of shooting the hawk. When asked why,
he stated he was a pheasant hunter and has been watching the hawks
kill numerous pheasants in the field. The subject shot the bird out
of midflight with a .22-caliber rifle. The bird was seized, and a
warrant is being requested through the prosecutor’s office.
While patrolling in Tuscola County, CO Seth Rhodea observed a
vehicle whose occupants were shining with handheld flashlights out
both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. A traffic stop
was made, and a rifle was located next to the passenger in the
vehicle. A deer also was found in the bed of the pickup; the deer
had been hit by the driver of the truck. The deer and firearm were
seized by the CO, and the driver and passenger both were ticketed
for shining with a weapon in their possession, possessing an
uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, and possessing a road-killed
deer without a permit.
CO Vicki Goss finally caught up with a couple of hunters who were
suspects in an ongoing RAP complaint involving baiting and
trespass. The subjects were found in their treestands with arrows
nocked one-half hour after legal hunting hours. Both subjects were
hunting over piles of carrots. Appearance tickets were issued for
the violations, and one subject was transported to jail on an
CO Quincy Gowenlock and Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers
responded to a felonious assault call in Gratiot County. The
complainant had been having problems with hunters trespassing on
his property and observed one of their vehicles parked on the side
of the road near his property. The caller jumped on his ORV and
drove to the suspect’s vehicle to get the plate number. As soon as
the victim pulled up to the vehicle, the subject came out of the
woods with a gun. The subject told the victim that he was going to
shoot him in the head. As the victim took off on his ORV, the
subject shot his gun down the middle of the road. The subject was
apprehended, interviewed, and lodged in the county jail.
COs Jeremy Payne and Quincy Gowenlock were working duck hunters in
the Maple River State Game Area (SGA) when they observed a group
hunting in the refuge. The hunters were all issued tickets for
hunting in the closed area, and all their ducks were seized. The
COs then checked another group of six hunters near the refuge. Each
of these hunters also received tickets. Four hunters had no plugs
in their guns, one had no license, and another was hunting with two
COs Andy Bauer and Zach Doss worked sections of streams in Van
Buren County. Given the activity level, the COs worked 14 straight
hours and issued 20 tickets. Some of the violations encountered
were illegal hook size, unbaited hooks, retaining foul-hooked fish,
and snagging fish. Three of the subjects ticketed by CO Doss had
been written tickets for similar offenses by CO Steve Mooney
earlier in the week at the same location. Several of the
individuals who were ticketed had been warned for minor offenses
earlier in the week.
COs Greg Patten and Chris Simpson investigated a complaint of
someone taking deer illegally with a firearm during the archery
season. Responding to the complaint, COs Patten and Simpson found
two bucks that had been shot with a firearm and another buck that
was shot with an arrow, but was untagged. After interviews, two
subjects confessed and were issued tickets.
COs Gerard Goulette and Ivan Perez worked the Grand Haven Marsh for
duck-hunting activity. They observed two swans flying and flare
when they heard gunshots. When COs Goulette and Perez located the
hunters, they were retrieving two birds that they had just shot.
When the COs made contact, it was observed that the subjects had
their guns loaded while under power. One of the subjects was proud
to show off his binder of laminated photos for duck identification
and quickly identified the birds they shot as coots. The COs had to
explain that the birds were actually grebes.
CO Andy Bauer received an anonymous complaint regarding a bowhunter
with a firearm who was shooting at deer. CO Bauer interviewed the
bowhunter who claimed he shot at a coyote with the gun while he was
CO Ken Cerny responded to a shining and shooting complaint in the
Sturgis area. While in the area, CO Cerny observed a vehicle
matching the description of the suspect vehicle. When the vehicle
was stopped, CO Cerny found five juveniles with five loaded guns
and a spotlight between the front seats. CO Cerny also located a
gun-shot deer in the area. The investigation continues.
COs Zach Doss and Andy Bauer responded to a RAP complaint regarding
subjects shining on Wolf Lake. COs observed the subjects for some
time while they used a spotlight and attempted to spear fish.
Several violations were noted when the subjects were contacted,
including no navigation lights, an unregistered motorboat, and
attempting to take fish by unlawful method, as spearing season is
COs Rich Nickols, Dan Bigger, and Jeremy Payne worked the waterfowl
opener and located two subjects hunting in a newly established
waterfowl refuge. The subjects had close to their limit of ducks
taken illegally and wondered why no one else was in the area.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Damon Owens assisted the local police departments with the
search for an armed bank robbery suspect. CO Owens assisted the K9
unit in locating the suspect who was hiding in the woods with a
duffle bag full of cash, a mask, and a handgun. Enforcement action
COs Damon Owens and Shane Webster contacted three subjects who were
hunting waterfowl on private property without permission. During an
interview, the subjects stated that they were legal, as they did
everything “by the book.” In addition to the trespassing, the COs
found unplugged shotguns, use of toxic shot, and no federal
waterfowl stamp. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Linda Scheidler is investigating numerous baiting complaints.
While following up on one of them in northern Genesee County, CO
Scheidler and the complainant were approaching a treestand and
observed a bowhunter in the stand. After the CO asked the hunter to
come down, the three were talking about the baiting regulations and
a doe walked up to the bait pile and started to feed 15 yards from
the trio. Enforcement action was taken, and the bait was cleaned
CO Brandon Kieft followed up on a complaint about a hunter who had
shot two deer in a county park, but failed to tag them. With the
assistance of a local deputy, CO Kieft walked the park area and
located the hunter’s treestand which was facing a bait pile of
corn, sugar beets, and carrots. CO Kieft and a deputy responded to
the hunter’s residence and conducted an interview. After numerous
lies by the hunter, a search of the house, garage, and backyard
produced evidence of two untagged deer and the baiting violation.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Kieft conducted an interview with an individual who shot
an antlerless deer from his truck window with a crossbow. On the
night of the violation, local deputies conducted traffic stops of
two vehicles and located the illegally taken deer. A written
confession was obtained, and CO Kieft seized the individual’s
crossbow. Warrants will be sought on violations of taking a deer
from a motor vehicle, taking a deer after legal hunting hours, and
failure to tag a deer.
CO Ken Kovach received a tip that two subjects were hunting an area
with a rifle during the archery-only season in the shotgun zone. CO
Kovach set up on the subjects and waited them out. Well after dark,
the subjects came out of the woods with rifles. CO Kovach contacted
the subjects, who eventually admitted to hunting a monster buck.
They wanted to get the deer before someone else did during the
season. Enforcement action was taken.