MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 7
CO Mark Leadman contacted three groups of anglers on Deer Lake (a
catch-and-release only/no live bait lake) using live bait and
keeping walleyes. One subject stated that he had called the
district office asking about rules for Deer Lake. Follow-up by CO
Leadman revealed the subject had been advised of special
restrictions on the lake but chose to follow his own rules. Various
other ORV and snowmobile violations also were observed. Enforcement
action was taken.
CO Mark Leadman responded to a complaint about a coyote caught in a
snare. Upon the CO’s arrival at the scene, the complainants stated
that although they had not seen the coyote, they could hear it
howling. CO Leadman quickly found that the “snared coyote” was
actually a couple of beagles chasing rabbits behind a licensed
A subject, whose hunting privileges had been revoked through
December of last year due to a conviction for possessing an illegal
deer, was contacted by PCO Todd Thorn and CO Marv Gerlach regarding
his purchase of hunting licenses during the fall of 2010.
Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling a snow-covered rural Menominee County road, PCO
Todd Thorn and CO Marv Gerlach were almost struck head-on by a
subject driving a Suburban at a high rate of speed. The subject
lost control of the vehicle on a curve while straddling the center
line of the roadway, narrowly missing the patrol truck. The
Suburban left the roadway, sliding backwards into the ditch. The
subject then drove away from the scene before the COs could get the
patrol truck turned around. The COs were able to stop the subject
four miles down the road. The subject did not see a problem with
his driving. Alcohol was not involved, but a ticket for careless
driving was issued.
CO David Miller was called out from home to look for a missing
17-year-old angler on Keweenaw Bay. After a short search, the
angler was located and was fine. He forgot about the curfew his
mother had set.
CO Jason Wicklund worked a late-night group patrol with Wisconsin
wardens, concentrating on border lakes. With sub-zero temperatures,
few anglers were out on the ice. The COs contacted several
individuals fishing who said they caught “a few perch,” and when
checked, one undersized walleye was found. Other violations
encountered during the patrol included unattended lines and failing
to identify fishing shacks.
CO Brian Bacon worked bluegill anglers on the Groveland Mine Pond
system. One angler was found to be in possession of 68 bluegills.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brett Gustafson heard of a rumor that a wolf was shot and killed
during a predator hunt in Ontonagon County. He contacted the
suspect, obtained a confession, seized the hunting rifle, and filed
charges for the illegal take of a gray wolf.
COs Reid Roeske and John Wenzel worked complaints of extra and
unattended lines on Little Bay de Noc. At one point, they observed
two anglers leave their shanty and drive off the ice. The anglers
returned almost an hour later. The COs contacted them and asked why
they had left their lines unattended. With no answer forthcoming,
tickets were issued.
CO Jeff Panich reports that several subjects from Mackinac Island
contested snowmobile tickets in the 92nd District Court. They
argued that the Island folk don’t need to follow snowmobile
regulations. The court and prosecutor disagreed, and all subjects
paid their fines and costs.
COs Derek Miller and Mike Hammill observed a subject on a
snowmobile who appeared nervous when he saw the two COs. Unable to
establish enough probable cause, the COs didn’t make a stop at that
time. Later in the day, the subject was encountered again and it
was observed that something was not right with his trail permit.
Upon contact, the COs found that he had used the bottom portion of
his fishing license as a makeshift snowmobile trail permit. When
questioned, he stated that he thought it was worth the gamble.
Further investigation revealed that the subject was operating on a
revoked or suspended driver’s license, and that he had never
transferred the snowmobile registration into his name. Enforcement
action was taken.
COs in Mackinac County, along with Wildlife Division personnel,
recovered yet another wolf and an investigation is under way.
During the same week, COs in Chippewa County received a complaint
about a wolf being poached. The investigation turned up a gun-shot
wolf, and that investigation continues, as well.
CO Kevin Postma responded to a call for help on Munuscong Bay. A
husband and wife were out enjoying a day of ice fishing when their
Yamaha Rhino broke through the ice. The female subject had gone
into the water with the ORV and was quite cold. CO Postma was able
to winch their ORV from the water and get them on their way.
CO Steve Speigl was on Lake Charlevoix checking ice shanties for
set lines when he observed a pickup truck on the ice, and the
driver of the truck checking several nearby tip-ups. The driver
left the area in the truck and did not return. After several hours
of surveillance, CO Speigl seized the tip-ups and contacted the
angler the following day. The angler was issued a ticket for
leaving nine fishing lines unattended and was warned for failing to
place his name and address on the tip-ups.
CO Eric Bottorff, Sgt. Greg Drogowski, and Wildlife Division
employees recovered a hound that had been killed by a sow bear and
dragged into a den. COs had received a report of the incident the
day it happened, and met with the hunters at the scene. The hunters
had their dogs running a bobcat when they passed within a few feet
of a bear den. The dogs apparently then switched to check out the
bear scent and woke the hibernating sow bear with young cubs. A
fight ensued, during which one dog was killed. The sow was later
tranquilized, and biological information was collected from her and
the cubs, and a radio collar was affixed for further research. At
the same time, the remains of the hound were recovered, along with
its tracking collars, and returned to the owner.
CO Michael Feagan and Sgt. Greg Drogowski watched a subject along
with his young son tending eight fishing lines. Upon contact, the
COs observed a live undersized pike on the ice. The subject quickly
grabbed the pike and threw it into a hole, whereby the pike swam
away. Enforcement action was taken.
Old habits die hard for recently retired Sgt. Chris Morris. While
fishing for pike, he noticed an angler with five tip-ups. He went
and talked with the angler, who stated he had a child in the cabin.
Sgt. Morris called in the complaint and CO Nick Torsky responded.
No children were at the cabin, and a ticket for fishing with too
many lines was issued.
CO Bill Webster patrolled Beaver Lake during a tournament and
located an empty ice shanty with tip-ups set up around it; he then
tripped one of the flags and waited for the owners to check on it.
Almost an hour later the angler came and checked the tip-up and was
issued a ticket for not having his lines under his immediate
CO Bill Webster continued his patrol on Beaver Lake and found 16
tip-ups with no one around them; he then set a couple of them off
and waited for the owners to show up. He did not have to wait as
long this time. After only 14 minutes three anglers came out and
checked the lines. CO Webster asked about the 16 lines, and they
stated there were two more anglers at the cabin. CO Webster
contacted the other two anglers and everybody had a license, but
they were still one line over their limit of 15. A ticket was
issued to one of the anglers for fishing with an extra line, and
warnings were given for not having their lines under their
CO Justin Vanderlinde contacted two subjects fishing on Cedar Lake
in Leelanau County and discovered that the subjects were fishing
with 10 lines. One of the subjects also was fishing without a
license. CO Vanderlinde ticketed each subject for fishing with
extra lines and gave a warning for fishing without a license.
CO Justin Vanderlinde assisted the Benzie County Sheriff’s
Department and the Michigan State Police (MSP) with a reported
suspicious situation. Upon arrival of the officers, the suspect
fled the area on foot. CO Vanderlinde assisted in the pursuit,
which led to a house in the woods. While at the house, the officers
were made aware that the suspect had been given a ride to town by
the homeowner. A short time later, CO Vanderlinde identified the
subject walking in the downtown area and detained him for further
investigation. The subject was an illegal alien and was placed into
custody to await his second deportation.
CO Brian Brosky ticketed an Illinois resident for purchasing 11
resident deer kill tags, including several apprentice antlerless
tags. This subject originally was contacted by Sgt. Kevin Hackworth
after being stopped on a snowmobile for traveling down the middle
of the road in Mason County. The operator was asked about his
license purchases after it was observed that he was carrying
multiple resident kill tags, along with an Illinois driver’s
license. A follow-up investigation by CO Brosky resulted in the
discovery of the illegal license purchases.
Sgt. Mike Bomay was on patrol in Mecosta County when he observed
the head of a buck deer hanging in a tree. Sgt. Bomay contacted a
subject at the residence who stated that his father had shot the
4-point buck. Sgt. Bomay checked the deer tag still attached to the
antlers and determined the tag belonged to the wife of the alleged
shooter. A records check with the retail sales system confirmed
that the female had never purchased a deer-hunting license before,
and this tag was purchased on Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. Sgt. Bomay
interviewed the female who had purchased the license, and obtained
a confession of purchasing the license for her husband at his
request after he shot the buck on opening day. A ticket was
While on patrol, CO Jon Warner observed an area with heavy deer
runways in the snow. He walked the adjacent state land along the
property line and observed several mangers that had been freshly
filled with hay. They were near a seasonal cabin and were
accessible to deer. Also placed near the cabin was a large amount
of corn scattered on the ground. Both deer and turkey were in the
area. The property owner was contacted and admitted to placing the
feed out for the deer.
CO Mike Hearn responded to a wood-cutting complaint. Having run out
of firewood for the season, the subject had filled a 6×6 military
truck with wood.
CO Rebecca Hopkins responded to a complaint of road hunting and
located the suspect vehicle parked alongside a road with the engine
running. Inside the vehicle was a loaded rifle, and the owner was
standing next to the truck. Another subject was located in the
woods with a rifle and was not wearing hunter orange. Tickets were
CO Nick Atkin responded to a complaint about a deer carcass that
had been dumped. During the investigation, the CO contacted a
subject who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. Enforcement
action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin was dispatched to a situation in which multiple
anglers were reported lost on Saginaw Bay overnight. The CO was
setting up search operations when the missing subjects came in.
Both were identified and said they were not injured or in need of
While patrolling on Saginaw Bay, CO Seth Rhodea located a waterfowl
blind that had not been removed after the close of waterfowl
season. CO Rhodea was able to determine who the owner was and
issued a ticket for failing to remove the blind.
While conducting an inspection of a taxidermy business, CO Daniel
Lee located a large 8-point rack with a suspicious tag. The tag had
been validated on Nov. 15, 2010, but had been purchased that same
day at 7 p.m., well after legal hunting hours. The taxidermist’s
records indicated that the deer had been taken on the 15th, and
there was even a newspaper clipping with a picture of the deer
hanging on a buck pole on the 15th, as well. The information was
passed to CO Quincy Gowenlock, who contacted the hunter to discuss
the tagging issue. The hunter admitted to shooting the deer without
a license, leaving it lie until after dark, and returning to
retrieve it with the newly purchased tag. Tickets were issued, and
the large set of antlers and the firearm used were seized.
CO Chad Foerster conducted numerous minnow dealer inspections
during the past several weeks and came across a business that
failed to get a 2011 license. The CO inspected the same business
two years ago and ticketed the business owner for failing to obtain
his minnow dealer’s license. The store owner told the CO that the
fines and costs amounted to $300 for that year. When asked why he
failed to get his license this year, he stated that it must have
slipped his mind. Another ticket was issued.
COs Larn Strawn and Quincy Gowenlock arrested two subjects on
warrants for the illegal taking of a deer. The arrest warrants
stemmed from a previous investigation conducted by CO Strawn. The
persons killed two antlerless deer with firearms during the closed
season. During the course of the investigation, CO Strawn served a
search warrant at a residence. While searching for the antlerless
deer, CO Strawn discovered the hide of a spotted fawn that was
salted and stretched to a board. The hide bore an entry and exit
wound consistent with a large-caliber firearm. The subject
explained that they took the fawn the previous summer because they
were going to teach themselves to tan deer hides and needed a
CO Mike Mshar reported that an illegal deer case from this past
fall resulted in fines and costs over $1,200 and restitution of
CO Andy Bauer obtained a six-count warrant for a nonresident who
had been purchasing resident licenses for a number of years. On top
of court fines, CO Bauer is seeking restitution of $870 for the
difference in license prices.
CO BJ Goulette ticketed a hunter who had shot a bobcat while
predator calling in Mason County, which is closed to bobcat
CO BJ Goulette assisted local deputies with charges against a
coyote hunter for trespassing and reckless discharge of a firearm.
The hunter fired numerous rounds from a centerfire rifle while
standing on the centerline of a roadway next to a residence. This
incident involved coyote hunters hunting with dogs while
trespassing on private land.
CO Dave Rodgers, while checking anglers on Reeds Lake, approached a
small shanty and peered into the window and observed two anglers.
CO Rodgers announced his presence and watched one angler hand his
rod to the other, stating, “You’re the only one fishing.” Rodgers
verbally reminded them that they were sitting in a tent, which is
not soundproof. One subject was ticketed for fishing without a
CO Cary Foster in Ionia County reported late-season snowmobile
activity near the Ionia Recreation Area. During his patrols, he
ticketed one operator for driving while suspended and another for
careless operation after the driver approached at 90 mph along a
roadway. Other violations included no trail permits and
CO Patrick McManus worked the Pine Creek Flooding in Allegan County
in plain clothes in response to continued panfish overlimit
complaints during the past few seasons. One subject told the CO
that he had taken his limit that morning and that he had 21 more
fish that afternoon already. CO McManus identified himself as the
angler was leaving the lake, and after follow-up at the subject’s
residence, a ticket was issued for taking 21 bluegills over the
CO Dan Prince contacted two subjects trespassing on railroad tracks
while hunting for rabbits. One subject was not wearing required
hunter orange. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Dan Bigger and Jeff Walker contacted numerous subjects hunting
small game on state land. Two of the subjects contacted were
hunting without hunting licenses. Enforcement action was
Sgt. Troy Bahlau reports that a Jackson County deer season case has
been finalized through the courts. The subject, who was charged
with four illegal deer, was found guilty on all charges. The
subject was sentenced to 21 days in jail, paid $4,000 restitution,
paid $250 fines and costs, and lost his hunting privileges for four
While working an area known for illegal road-hunting activity, CO
Brad Brewer observed a subject climb on the toolbox in the bed of a
pickup truck and shoot a coyote with his .22-250 rifle. The vehicle
then proceeded down the road with the subject still holding his
loaded firearm. The subjects also were hunting without required
hunter orange garments. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dan Prince reported that two subjects were convicted on numerous
charges from last fall’s deer season, including hunting without
licenses, hunting over illegal bait, no hunter orange, possessing
illegally taken deer, firearm deer hunting in Zone 3 with rifles,
and possession of marijuana. The subjects paid fines, costs, and
restitution of $2,991.
CO Jason J. Smith observed two subjects fishing and keeping
undersized pike. He observed a third subject walk up to the first
two subjects to advise them that it was illegal to keep undersized
fish, to which the two subjects responded, “Oh well.” CO Smith
contacted the first two subjects and also located illegal
marijuana. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Lacelle Rabon was checking Belanger Park for fishing activity
when he encountered two boats at the marina. There were two
subjects in a flat-bottom boat and three subjects were in a 20-foot
boat. All five subjects were cold because they had to re-chop the
ice to get back to the boat ramp, as it had re-frozen. Due to the
ice at the boat ramp, they had to walk on the ice to get up to the
dock and to their vehicles. After extensive chopping of the ice,
they were able to back their boat trailers onto the ice close to
open water and get their boats onto the trailers. The subjects were
all safe on land and their boats and equipment secured. All
subjects had licenses, and they even had a few perch.
CO Todd Szyska checked several anglers, one of whom was a Tennessee
resident who had not purchased a fishing license. CO Szyska also
contacted three subjects riding on an ORV designed for one, and
none of them were wearing helmets. Enforcement action was taken.
Officer Szyska also took enforcement action after stopping a couple
of snowmobilers who were illegally operating on a nearby
CO Todd Szyska approached a shanty to check the subjects inside for
fish, and was overcome by the odor of marijuana coming from the
shanty. The subjects were surprised to see the CO when they opened
the door. One subject admitted to smoking marijuana, and CO Szyska
found a pill container with marijuana in it. Another subject in the
shanty had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and did not have a
fishing license. CO Szyska is seeking a warrant for the possession
of marijuana, and took enforcement action for the other
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Mike Drexler received a complaint about a
sinking shanty on Lake St. Clair. By putting together information
provided by several individuals, the COs were able to develop a
suspect and interview him. Enforcement action was taken.
While working Lake St. Clair, CO Kris Kiel and PCO Mike Drexler
made several fishing contacts. The COs contacted two subjects with
103 perch between them. A ticket was issued for an overlimit. The
COs contacted a male and female walking off the ice. The couple
claimed to have about 50 perch, but upon inspection were found to
have a total of 63. The male subject stated he forgot his license
at home and the woman provided one. A better look at the female’s
license revealed a junior license. The female admitted to not
purchasing a license and that she borrowed the license from a
friend’s younger sister. During the questioning, it also was
determined the male subject had never purchased a license.
Enforcement action was taken.