MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 8
COs Trey Luce and Mark Leadman had a snowmobile operator fail to
stop in the Gwinn area. They tracked the sled to an unrelated
residence where the operator had hidden it behind a house, then
fled on foot. The sled was impounded, and the investigation
CO Jason Wicklund was working a late-night fishing complaint in
Gogebic County when he observed a three-wheeler being operated on
the roadway. The ORV did not have a break/tail light, and the
operator was having a hard time keeping the ORV on the roadway due
to the wet, heavy snow. The CO contacted the operator and
determined that he was operating while intoxicated and was driving
while suspended. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter contacted a group of anglers taking advantage of
the nice weather. Each of the subjects had a different account
regarding the catch for the day. Three undersized pike were found
hidden in a snow pile near the group, and enforcement action was
CO Dave Painter assisted local deputies with the investigation of a
serious snowmobile accident. At 3:40 a.m., a snowmobiler collided
with a horse on a snowmobile trail near Iron River. The horse was
killed in the collision, and the snowmobile operator was seriously
injured. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Jason Wicklund stopped an ORV operator leaving a gas station in
Iron River, for a registration violation. A check on the subject’s
driving status revealed a warrant for his arrest for domestic
violence. The operator was arrested on the warrant, and the ORV was
loaded into the back of the CO’s patrol truck. Several days later,
CO Wicklund received information about an ORV that was stolen from
a camp in northern Iron County. A check of the ORV that the CO had
taken the previous week determined that the ORV was the stolen ORV
from the camp. The subject, who was still in jail, was charged with
two felony counts and remains in jail.
CO David Miller was called out from home to assist in the search
for a missing family stuck on a snowmobile trail in Baraga County.
After a short search, CO Miller found the family and was able to
pull them out with his truck.
COs Reid Roeske, Jerry Fitzgibbon, and Sgt. Darryl Shann
investigated the illegal killing of a wolf in central Delta County.
With the assistance of a department pilot and plane, the COs were
able to locate the site and the dead wolf. The investigation
During a recent snowstorm, while other departments in Schoolcraft
County were shorthanded, CO Michael Evink assisted the Michigan
State Police (MSP) by checking on a car in the ditch. Once there,
he identified the female driver and found a valid warrant for her
through Delta County. She was turned over to MSP troopers.
COs Robert Crisp, John Wenzel, and Jerry Fitzgibbon conducted a
group patrol in Alger County. They came across one subject in
possession of marijuana, a subject with a probation violation
warrant, one subject fishing without a license, and another subject
with an unregistered snowmobile and no trout license.
CO John Wenzel was patrolling with an intern and attempted to
arrest a subject on a warrant for failure to appear on a DNR-issued
ticket. The subject didn’t answer his door, but CO Wenzel later
learned the subject had been inside the house. CO Wenzel returned
to the residence, this time with MSP troopers. They knocked on the
front door, and the subject attempted to run out the back door,
where CO Wenzel was waiting.
COs Jeff Panich and Kyle Publiski conducted a snowmobile patrol in
north Chippewa County. They observed two snowmobilers go through a
stop sign at a high rate of speed. After a long chase, the COs
caught up to the reckless snowmobilers and stopped them. An
investigation revealed that both operators were driving on
suspended/revoked licenses. They both were issued tickets for
reckless operation of a snowmobile and driving with a suspended
CO Mike Hammill conducted a fish patrol on Manistique Lakes and
located an ice shack with unattended setlines. The CO was able to
track the owner through the snow and issue a ticket for the
violation. Later, the CO came upon several tip-ups that were
unattended and again tracked subjects through the snow. Tickets
were issued for unattended lines.
Conservation officers in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet counties
focused their efforts on ice-fishing activities and late ice shanty
removal. Several shanties were left out past the March 15 deadline,
and a few of those have gone through or are stuck in the ice,
making them difficult to remove. Enforcement action is being taken,
including several tickets for using too many lies and fishing
without a license.
Concerned that a person had been hit by a vehicle, Emmet County CO
Carl VanderWall stopped and assisted with an 84-year-old woman who
was lying in a snowy ditch along a busy highway. She had been
picking up deposit cans when she slipped and fell and broke her
ankle. She was appreciative of the assistance rendered by the CO
and another passerby who stopped to assist her until medical
personnel arrived on scene.
Cpl. John Morey and Sgt. Greg Drogowski field-tested a new Arctic
Cat Prowler ATV on Burt Lake. Apparently it took quite a few
anglers by surprise, as five tickets were issued for fishing with
more than three lines and unattended lines, as well as multiple
warnings for various other violations. Several comments were heard
about usually seeing the COs on snowmobiles or four-wheelers, and
not one of these new vehicles.
CO Mark DePew contacted four snowmobile operators along a county
road. While he talked with them, one operator appeared to be
intoxicated. Following an investigation, the individual was
arrested for operating while intoxicated. A further search of the
subject resulted in the CO finding narcotics. The subject was
arrested and lodged at the Otsego County jail.
While on a fish patrol of the backwaters near Hodenpyl Dam, CO
Koscinski observed a subject operating an ORV without wearing a
helmet. CO Koscinski observed a second subject without a helmet get
on the ORV and then watched the pair proceed to check on some
tip-ups. CO Koscinski contacted the subjects as they were pulling
lines. In addition to the ORV violations of no helmets, riding
double, and no ORV license, the two subjects were fishing with 12
tip-ups, and one of the subjects did not possess a fishing license.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sean Kehoe checked a subject fishing near Bower’s Harbor. When
CO Kehoe asked the subject if he had any fish, the subject
responded, “No.” CO Kehoe then observed what appeared to be a fish
that the subject was sitting on. When questioned about it, the
subject responded, “It is so small I wasn’t even considering it to
be a fish.” CO Kehoe observed that it was a 10-inch lake trout –
well undersized, but considered a fish, nonetheless. A ticket was
issued for the undersized trout.
While checking fishing activity on Long Lake, CO Sean Kehoe
approached a subject who appeared to fall into an ice auger hole.
As the CO got nearer, it appeared the subject kept falling in and
out of the hole in the ice. Investigating further, CO Kehoe
observed that the subject was not actually falling, but rather
attempting to push a 10-inch walleye down the hole using his foot.
The almost-dead fish would not cooperate and kept floating back to
the surface, where it was detected. A ticket was issued for the
CO Justin Vanderlinde reported on the conclusion of a case in which
a subject was charged for purchasing a hunting license while
revoked. The subject pleaded not guilty, and the case went to
trial. CO Vanderlinde was able to use photos he located on the
subject’s Facebook page, which showed the license and an uncased
firearm in the subject’s vehicle, along with other evidence to
obtain a guilty verdict. The subject was sentenced to seven days in
jail, $680 in fines and costs, and had his hunting license
revocation extended until Dec. 31, 2014.
CO Steve Converse was checking two subjects on the Big Manistee
River when he discovered a 7-pound northern pike concealed under
snow in the bottom of the boat. When asked about the illegal fish,
the subjects claimed that although the fish was concealed, they had
no idea they could not keep it. A ticket was issued for
CO Troy VanGelderen was contacted by personnel at a local medical
facility in regard to a subject who was admitted with a gunshot
wound. The subject said he was squirrel hunting when he shot
himself in the foot. The subject admitted to sitting on the couch
and seeing a squirrel in the backyard. The subject then grabbed his
.22-caliber rifle and ran outside to shoot the squirrel. The
subject missed the squirrel and slung the gun down to his side with
his finger on the trigger. This caused the subject to fire one
round into his foot, missing every bone and tendon in his foot. CO
VanGelderen confirmed that the subject had never taken a hunter
safety course. In addition to attempting to take a squirrel during
the closed season, other violations included no hunter orange, no
small-game license, and the careless use of a firearm.
CO Jeff Ginn was conducting surveillance of a Newaygo County stream
when he observed two subjects wearing waders and dressed in
camouflage approach the stream with a spear. CO Ginn was able to
witness both subjects spearing steelhead and northern pike before
making contact with them. Within minutes of ticketing the first two
subjects, two other subjects were apprehended fishing the closed
trout stream. Tickets again were issued for the fishing
CO Mike Hearn conducted a nighttime fishing patrol to check for
setlines. He located one shanty with a vehicle parked next to it
and contacted the angler who was catching panfish and had a dozen
over his limit. CO Hearn continued to check shanties and located
one with a bucket in front of the door with the name of the subject
he had just ticketed for an overlimit. CO Hearn could see a setline
in the shanty and located a tip-up set nearby. After waiting a
while, the subject arrived in his vehicle to check his lines and
explained to the CO that they were his second and third legal
lines. Officer Hearn explained to the subject that his lines needed
to be under his immediate control.
CO Becky Hopkins responded to a breaking-and-entering call, and
upon arrival at the scene, she found a broken window with fresh
tracks beneath it. She then observed a subject hiding in the woods
not far away. She was able to catch the subject and matched
footwear impressions from his shoes to the tracks by the broken
window. The subject was turned over to local police.
CO Warren MacNeill investigated a complaint about an illegally
trapped bobcat. The subject confessed to catching the bobcat in a
coyote set during the closed trapping season.
CO Brian Olsen watched a subject who was fishing, and upon seeing
the CO approach, hid his fishing pole. The subject lied about his
age, and his mother, who also was fishing, corroborated his story.
The subject had not purchased a fishing license, and his mother had
a warrant for her arrest.
CO Seth Rhodea and intern Paul Fox were patrolling in Sanilac
County when they stopped to check some rabbit hunters. Upon
requesting to see the hunters’ licenses, only one hunter was able
to produce a small-game license. The other hunter told CO Rhodea
that he had a license but left it at home. A check of the retail
sales system showed that the hunter had never purchased a
small-game license. He was ticketed for hunting without a
While on patrol and checking fishing activity, CO Scott Brown
observed a large plume of black smoke rising from the ground behind
a residence. A closer look revealed two individuals standing over a
fire in the backyard where two tires were burning, along with brush
and household trash. CO Brown issued a ticket to the landowner for
illegal disposal of tires.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint
about a hunter shooting at Canada geese in the Maple River State
Game Area. The complainant advised that he saw the subject shoot at
a Canada goose and then send his black Lab into the water after it.
The CO arrived on the scene 15 minutes later and contacted the
subject, who stated he was hunting woodchucks. However, as the
questioning continued, he admitted to shooting at a goose. The
goose was never found, but other violations came to light. The
subject was hunting from a dike, had no hunter orange, and was
using a rifle to hunt waterfowl during the closed season.
Enforcement action was taken.
While conducting taxidermy inspections in Saginaw County, CO Daniel
Lee located a business with less-than-accurate records. On the
books were several bears reportedly from Canada but without the
required seal, importation, or CITES information. The taxidermist
explained he had bought the business a few years ago and the former
owner told him most of the information requested was unnecessary.
After checking with Canadian officials, the CO learned that the
bears had been legally taken and imported into Michigan. The
taxidermist was ticketed for not keeping adequate records.
During a taxidermist inspection in Saginaw County, CO Chad Foerster
found a taxidermist with numerous untagged mounts. Further
investigation revealed that the taxidermist had illegally killed a
bobcat and then mounted it. A ticket was issued for the bobcat, and
the mount was confiscated. Numerous verbal warnings were given for
the record-keeping and tagging violations.
CO Steve Mooney was walking an area of suspected turkey baiting
when he observed an illegal deer-feeding station with a trail
camera on the neighboring property. Further investigation led to an
admission from the landowner to illegally feeding deer.
While conducting a foot patrol along Bear Creek, COs Mike Mshar and
Chuck Towns encountered subjects fishing. One of the subjects could
not produce an all-species fishing license. Upon inspection of
their gear along the stream, an unregistered 9 mm handgun was found
hidden in one of their bags. The gun was confiscated, and charges
Conservation officers conducted patrols along the Grand River near
downtown Grand Rapids in Kent County. These patrols targeted
numerous annual complaints about closed-season walleye harvest,
retention of foul-hooked steelhead, and fish overlimit cases.
Enforcement efforts have led to eight arrests for retaining
foul-hooked fish and overlimits, and the seizure of 16 steelhead
and the tackle used in those violations. COs are targeting
individuals who are taking multiple limits of fish per day by
leaving and returning to the river. COs also are encountering
numerous subjects giving steelhead away during the day each time
they reach a daily limit. The anglers are then continuing to
harvest fish throughout the day, ultimately taking multiple
COs Chris Simpson and BJ Goulette were conducting a night patrol
along the Muskegon River after the close of the walleye season.
After locating a parked vehicle near the Consumers Power plant, the
COs patrolled on foot until they located three subjects who had
passed signs and a fence to fish at the warm-water discharge. The
trespassers were ticketed for trespass and no fishing licenses, and
one subject was arrested on two outstanding felony warrants – one
from Michigan and one from Florida.
CO Kyle Bader investigated a complaint about a subject taking
overlimits of panfish. CO Bader watched the subject hide a bag full
of fish underneath his back seat. Upon further investigation, it
was determined that the subject was 10 fish over his legal limit.
Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, CO Jason J. Smith observed three subjects drinking
and smoking marijuana. CO Smith determined that one of the subjects
was wanted on three outstanding warrants. Enforcement action was
CO Dan Prince responded to a complaint that a large trash pile had
been dumped in the Gregory SGA. CO Prince’s investigation led him
to a subject who confessed to dumping the trash in late February.
Enforcement action was taken, and the subject was required to clean
up the illegally dumped trash.
COs Damon Owens and Jeff Walker investigated a poaching complaint
in which seven deer had been taken illegally. The COs interviewed
the subjects and received written confessions about the illegal
activity. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking the Shiawassee River for fishing activity, CO Dan
Bigger contacted a subject in a small motor boat with no
registration numbers and no PFDs on board. CO Bigger advised the
subject that the river is fast and unpredictable during the spring
thaw, and that a subject drowned in the swift current last year.
Enforcement action was taken for the safety violation.
CO Pete Purdy was the first responder on the scene of a vehicle
fire. The operator lost control of the vehicle, struck a tree, and
the vehicle caught fire. The driver escaped before the vehicle was
fully engulfed and was taken to the hospital for his injuries. CO
Purdy stayed on the scene until the fire department took control of
COs Pete Purdy and Dan Prince investigated a complaint about a
carcass illegally dumped on state land. The COs were able to obtain
the name and address of the shooter, and when contacted, the
subject confessed to the illegal dumping. Enforcement action was
CO Damon Owens was the first on the scene of a two-car accident in
which one subject was pinned inside the vehicle. CO Owens assisted
with first aid and traffic control as the rescue unit used the Jaws
of Life to extract the injured victim.
CO Kyle Bader assisted the MSP in the pursuit of a fleeing suspect.
When the subject ran into a muddy field, the MSP vehicles ended
their pursuit. CO Bader’s four-wheel-drive patrol vehicle was able
to keep up with the fleeing subject. The pursuit ended when CO
Bader and the troopers were able to tackle the subject and take him
into custody. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Papineau assisted local police department officers with the
apprehension of a murder suspect. The suspect was in his vehicle in
a Wal-Mart parking lot. As officers secured the area and tactically
approached the suspect’s vehicle, the suspect took his own
CO Ben Lasher received a RAP complaint about deer caught in
oversized traps. The CO followed up with the information on the
traps, which came back to a trapper out of Mio. The trapper stated
that he filed a report two years ago that these traps were stolen.
CO Lasher’s investigation led him to a subject who admitted they
were his traps, and that he found them in a ditch. This subject did
not have a license to trap. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Kieft followed up on a complaint about an ice shanty in
Oakland County that had not been removed by the March 1 deadline.
The shanty was not properly marked with the complete name and
address of the owner. Using the partial information listed on the
shanty, CO Kieft located the owner, and a check of the owner’s
license history also showed that he had not purchased a fishing
license for the 2010 season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Mike Drexler checked ice anglers coming off
Lake St. Clair. While PCO Drexler was checking anglers near the
road, two other anglers noticed him and began dumping their fish on
the ice. Realizing they were over their limit, one of the anglers
quickly drilled a hole with his auger and dumped the extra perch
down the hole. When PCO Drexler contacted the two anglers to check
their fish, CO Kiel came up and questioned the anglers about the
fish he had witnessed them dumping. The anglers eventually admitted
to taking an overlimit of perch and were ticketed.
CO Todd Szyska finalized a case involving an antlerless deer that
was taken in the fall of 2010. The subject pleaded guilty to taking
the deer illegally and was sentenced to probation, 10 days of
community service, $1,000 restitution for the deer, conservation
fees, and court fines and costs. The subject also lost his hunting
and fishing privileges for one year.