MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 26
CO Ryan Aho responded to the complaint about a raccoon left in a
trap for more than the 48-hour check requirement. The raccoon was
located, and follow-up was done with the trapper. Further
investigation revealed the trapper had a wolf caught in a trap. CO
Aho and the trapper were able to free the wolf, and enforcement
action was taken regarding the raccoon.
CO Jason Wicklund and Sgt. Marc Pomroy deployed the deer decoy
in an area of frequent road-hunting complaints. Occupants of the
first vehicle observed by the COs attempted to “look” at the decoy
through the scope of a 7mm rifle because the subject forgot his
binoculars at home. The subject was ticketed for an uncased firearm
in a motor vehicle. Occupants inside the second vehicle shot the
decoy and took off when the CO attempted to make contact. The
fleeing vehicle didn’t make it very far, as Sgt. Pomroy was able to
CO Jason Wicklund and Sgt. Marc Pomroy received a complaint
about subjects hunting in the city limits of Iron River, violating
“safety zone” regulations. The COs located two individuals who shot
a trophy buck next to a residence where the buck was known to hang
out. The COs seized the deer, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Dennis Gast issued one bait ticket, responded to a trespass
complaint that ended in a ticket, and arrested one Wisconsin hunter
who purchased a Michigan license.
CO Dennis Gast and Sgt. Steven Burton worked a hunter harassment
complaint in Misery Bay. One landowner was issued a ticket for
posting commercial forest lands that he owned. All the signs were
removed from the property.
Following an area baiting flight, CO John Wenzel investigated an
illegal baiting site near a camp. After checking the scene, CO
Wenzel found there were at least seven truckloads of bait, all
within 50 yards of a camp on private land. When contacted, the camp
owner stated that he was not hunting over it; he just liked
watching deer. He did have a loaded rifle near the window
overlooking the piles of bait. The subject received a ticket and
was told to either remove the bait or make it inaccessible to
While filling his patrol truck’s gas tank at a local station, CO
John Wenzel observed a subject nearby filling his truck up, as
well. The subject appeared to have blood on his hands and boots.
When CO Wenzel followed him inside to pay for his gas, he observed
the subject purchase a deer-hunting license, as well. CO Wenzel
then followed the subject to his temporary camp on federal land.
Once there, he contacted the subject about the license purchase and
the blood. After a short attempt at lying, the subject confessed to
shooting an 8-point earlier that morning.
COs Kevin Postma and Jeff Panich attempted to contact a group of
hunters who were in violation of the baiting regulations. The bait
piles were large enough to be measured by the yard rather than by
the gallon. Once the hunters were aware of the COs’ presence, they
utilized radios and cell phones to alert each other, which sent
them all running into the woods. The COs continued to work the area
for five hours, which resulted in seven tickets being issued for
various violations such as illegal bait, hunting without licenses,
illegal ORV operation, and loaded/uncased firearms.
CO Carl Vanderwall found one hunter hunting a baited, permanent
blind on state land. The subject stated that it was not his blind,
nor his bait. The hunter said the apples had fallen off the tree.
The bait consisted of apples and squash. Since squash doesn’t grow
on trees, the hunter was ticketed for the baiting violation.
CO Steve Speigl encountered a man who had purchased seven
antlerless licenses for a county that only allowed two. He had
filled more than the two allowed, putting him over the limit and in
possession of a ticket.
CO Steve Speigl received a complaint about two waterfowl hunters
who were chasing birds with a boat and shooting at them while
underway. CO Speigl located the pair and observed their illegal
activities from a concealed location. When he contacted them, they
had a total of seven violations between them.
CO Joe Molnar was directed into a baited blind by DNRE aircraft,
and as he approached he observed a dead bobcat, obviously gun-shot.
After the CO watched the camp for several hours, two subjects
returned to hunt that evening. CO Molnar obtained a confession from
the shooter of the bobcat. Additional tickets were issued for
baiting, and other warnings were given.
CO Mark DePew investigated a spike bull elk shot in the neck on
the second day of the firearms deer season. Follow-up resulted in
an investigation and interviews by COs Kelly Ross, Mike Mshar, and
Det. Jason Haines. The lead did not pan out, and the investigation
CO Jim Espinoza backed up a county deputy on a complaint
regarding a person who had been threatened by a trespasser. The
person approached the trespasser to ask her if she knew she was
hunting without permission. After being questioned by the person,
the woman began swearing and threatened to “blow his head off.” CO
Espinoza interviewed the subject and found that she had failed to
purchase a license prior to hunting. A ticket was issued for the
license violation, and the felonious assault case was turned over
to a trooper who was hunting with the original complainant at the
time of the incident.
CO Jeff Ginn and Acting Lt. Dave Shaw responded to a hunter
casualty accident on Nov. 15. The victim was hunting in a dense
area when a bullet hit the tree in front of him. The victim got up
to flee the area when he was hit in the arm by a second bullet. The
victim was transported to a hospital in Grand Rapids and released
in stable condition several days later after several surgeries.
Using the evidence at the scene, the COs were able to develop a
shooting suspect. The subject later admitted to shooting twice at a
doe on the adjoining property. A report has been filed with the
prosecutor’s office for possible charges.
CO Michael Wells conducted a deer processor inspection and
observed a junior deer tag that had not been validated. CO Wells
interviewed the now 17-year-old young man at his residence. The
young man stated that he did not buy any licenses, did not go
hunting, and did not shoot any deer. The young man said that his
grandfather probably purchased the license. The grandfather
admitted to purchasing the license but did not shoot the deer. The
trail then led to the young man’s mother. An interview with the
mother resulted in a confession of her shooting the deer without
any deer licenses. The mother also stated that her husband worked
at the deer processing place. The mother was issued tickets for an
illegal deer and borrowing a deer tag, and was given a warning for
feeding deer at her house.
While inspecting a deer processor, CO Michael Wells observed a
doe tagged with a combination license and validated for Nov. 15. CO
Wells interviewed the subject, but had not informed him of why he
was there. CO Wells was surprised when the subject admitted to
shooting a 12-point buck on Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m. A check of the
license showed that it had not been purchased until 11:17 a.m. on
Nov. 15, after the 12-point had already been shot. The subject
later admitted that he shot the doe in the evening and did not have
an antlerless tag. The gun and deer were seized, with two tickets
issued for illegal deer.
CO Jon Warner was patrolling a remote area several hours after
dark and located a freshly killed deer lying in the weeds along a
two-track. CO Warner only had to hide and wait a short time before
a vehicle rapidly approached and came to a quick stop. The subjects
jumped out, grabbed the deer, and quickly loaded it into their
vehicle and left. When stopped, the subjects told the CO they just
stumbled upon the deer and picked it up. Enforcement action was
Sgt. Glenn Gutierrez responded to a trespass complaint in which
the complainant was sitting in his hunting blind watching deer in
his field when he heard a shot and saw one of the deer he had been
watching drop to the ground. The subject didn’t see the shooter and
nobody came out to retrieve the deer. Sgt. Gutierrez set up
surveillance on the deer and, about an hour after dark, two
subjects came and retrieved the deer. Sgt. Gutierrez stepped out of
his hiding spot and contacted two surprised trespassers. The actual
shooter of the deer had received a ticket from Sgt. Gutierrez the
previous day for an illegal bait pile.
CO Rebecca Hopkins responded to a complaint of shots fired on
Thanksgiving night. The complainant saw a vehicle stop and then
heard the shots. CO Hopkins worked surveillance on the area where
the shots were fired. A few hours later, a truck pulled up and
stopped right where the shots had been fired from and its
headlights were turned off. CO Hopkins pulled up to the truck and
found blood and hair in the bed. A short interview led to a
confession from the driver indicating his passenger, who happened
to be his father, had shot the deer. A trip back to the house led
to the freshly killed doe that had already been retrieved.
CO Scott Brown checked on an illegal baiting complaint in which
seven bait piles were located near four blinds. Two of the hunters
were under the age of 17, and the grandfather was supervising the
juveniles. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Lowell received a complaint about a large buck that was
shot buy a hunter who used his wife’s tag. The hunter had entered
the 13-point into a couple of buck contests and was showing it off
all over town. The CO located the deer at a processor and ran the
tag. The tag belonged to the subject’s wife and was bought after
dark on Nov. 16. The subject confessed that he was only doe
hunting, and when the large buck walked out he could not help
himself. Enforcement action was taken.
While talking with a lessee of property where shining and
shooting complaints were common, CO Scott Brown observed a vehicle
headlighting a field. During the stop, it was determined that there
were three shotguns and a crossbow in the vehicle. The driver of
the vehicle had six prior driving suspensions, and the passenger
was a convicted felon. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike McGee and Sgt. Bob Torres observed a hunter in a stand
not wearing hunter orange. CO McGee recalled that in the past he
had gotten complaints about this particular individual for hunting
from an ORV. The COs contacted the hunter and found he did not have
a kill tag in his possession, had no helmet, and had operated the
ORV on the roadway to get to his hunting location.
On the second day of firearms deer season, CO Steve Mooney
checked on two complaints of hunters killing turkeys. The first
complaint was in Van Buren County where CO Mooney collected two
dead turkeys and got a confession to the killings. The second
complaint was in Cass County and involved a nonresident who was
trespassing and had killed a turkey. CO Mooney contacted the
subject with the bird, who was using turkey loads and was not
While traveling a back road in Cass County, CO Steve Mooney came
over a hill and observed a vehicle in the road. There was a subject
at the vehicle and two subjects just off the road with a deer still
kicking at their feet. CO Mooney contacted the subjects and found
that the deer had been shot. CO Mooney observed a firearm in the
vehicle, and upon racking the gun a spent shell came out of the
chamber, still smoking. A person hunting nearby came forward and
advised CO Mooney he had witnessed the subjects shoot the deer from
the vehicle about 10 seconds before CO Mooney had crested the
A property owner in Berrien County observed a vehicle in his
field and discovered three guns in the vehicle but no occupants.
The property owner took the vehicle keys and contacted law
enforcement. CO Andy Bauer was called out on the trespass
complaint. With the aid of local law enforcement, three subjects
were located, two of whom were felons. One of the subjects was
located in a swamp with an 8-point buck he’d shot.
CO Rich Nickols heard a gunshot after the close of shooting
hours on opening day of firearms season. CO Nickols located the
shooter who stated that he was just trying to “do the right thing”
by shooting at an injured deer that he saw in his headlights. The
“injured” deer was never recovered. Enforcement action was
CO Jason J. Smith was investigating a complaint of two subjects
hunting for deer with rifles. CO Smith contacted two subjects in a
van with an untagged deer. One subject stated that they were going
to his residence to get his tag. The second subject, an Ohio
resident, stated that he wasn’t hunting but just helping his buddy.
The Ohio resident admitted he was hunting when CO Smith pointed out
the camouflage paint on his face. A .30-30 rifle was recovered,
along with the illegally taken deer. Enforcement action was
CO Dan Bigger worked an area on opening morning of the firearms
deer season where he had complaints about subjects hunting before
legal hours. More than 30 minutes prior to legal shooting hours, CO
Bigger was able to walk up to a group of locals who all had loaded
guns. No one noticed the CO standing among them until he asked if
the firearms were loaded. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling Jackson County for illegal shining activity, CO
Shane Webster heard a report about a rollover accident near his
location that other law enforcement agencies were handling. A short
time later, CO Webster observed a vehicle travelling toward his
location at a slow rate of speed. As the vehicle passed by, CO
Webster noted that the windows were all broken out, the front
bumper was dragging, and the rear tire was bent. CO Webster
immediately recognized that this was the vehicle from the rollover
accident. CO Webster pursued the vehicle to the driver’s residence
where the investigation showed that the driver was intoxicated. The
MSP and other emergency personnel assisted, and enforcement action
CO Mark Papineau received two complaints from hunters on a
property in Argentine Township. One subject reported that he
located several stands and bait piles on his property. The subject
removed the stands since the person responsible had trespassed to
put them there. The owners of the stands reported that their stands
had been stolen. CO Papineau responded and contacted all parties
involved and informed the subjects that they could no longer hunt
the area until the property line was professionally surveyed. The
following day, the same subjects were found trespassing on the same
parcel of property and were again confronted by the property owner.
One subject raised his shotgun and threatened the property owner
with physical harm. The subject subsequently was arrested and
lodged in the Genesee County jail on multiple charges, including
Specialist Peggy Ruby and CO Linda Scheidler responded to a
baiting complaint where it was alleged the subjects were shooting
with a firearm from a small window in a garage during the archery
season. While making contact with the homeowner, the COs found a
pile of bait directly behind the garage near a treestand. They also
found the small window. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Ken Kovach and Mark Papineau, along with Sgt. Tom Wanless,
assisted MSP in a search for a missing hunter in the Ortonville
Recreation Area. The search started Saturday evening when the
72-year-old dialysis patient did not meet up with his son at the
end of hunting for the day. Three MSP K-9 units, a helicopter, CO
Kovach, and other law enforcement searched for the subject until
approximately 2 a.m. A few officers continued to search until
daybreak when three fresh K-9 units, state troopers, and the COs
returned. The subject was located deceased shortly after 10
After several foot patrols into the Erie SGA following confirmed
reports of baiting and unmarked treestands, CO Mark Ennett located
a hunter using one of the treestands. The hunter denied being the
owner of the stand and had merely begun using it to hunt that day.
CO Ennett pointed out the stand was unmarked and that corn was
still spread around the area at the stand. He issued a warning for
hunting over the bait and issued a ticket for using the unmarked
treestand on state land.