CO Mark Leadman is following up on a minnow dealer who failed to
renew his license from 2009 despite being warned about this last
CO Trey Luce has been getting more and more complaints about dogs
running deer. Unfortunately, the heavy snow crust is allowing dogs
to easily run on top of the snow while deer are breaking through.
Enforcement action is being taken in cases of owners allowing their
dogs to run at large.
CO Marv Gerlach and PCO Todd Thorne came upon some suspicious
paperwork when conducting a taxidermy inspection. Follow-up
investigation revealed a case in which three subjects had engaged
in illegally borrowing and loaning of tags to avoid paying for
nonresident deer kill tags. The COs obtained confessions and seized
a deer rifle. The subjects are facing charges for taking two
CO Ryan Aho checked on a complaint about an ORV through the ice in
the Groveland Mine Ponds. The owner of the ORV had organized help
from anglers in the area, and they were able to retrieve the ORV
from the shallow water.
CO Grant Emery worked late-season bluegill anglers on a popular
lake. One subject was ticketed for being 33 fish over the limit,
and another nonresident was ticketed for fishing without a
While traveling on U.S.-2 in Gogebic County, CO Grant Emery was
passed by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. CO Emery
paced the vehicle at over 90 miles per hour. A traffic stop was
initiated, and enforcement action was taken.
COs Reid Roeske and John Wenzel handled separate fire complaints in
Delta County. Both situations involved people allowing fires to
escape. One was a brush pile fire and the other was a grass fire.
Over 30 acres burned. Tickets were issued in both cases.
COs Mike Evink and Derek Miller were investigating an illegal deer
case when a vehicle pulled out in front of them with an expired
license plate. A stop of the vehicle revealed the driver’s license
was suspended and revoked. The subject was lodged.
CO Derek Miller conducted an investigation into several traps that
had been left out after the season closed. After many interviews
and a lot of footwork, CO Miller uncovered an illegally taken
otter. The otter was seized, and the subject was charged for the
COs Kyle Publiski and Jeff Panich assisted a local deputy with a
domestic violence disturbance. The COs were first on the scene and
noted injuries to both parties. Interviews were conducted and
statements taken, which resulted in arrests being made by the
CO Jeff Panich responded to a complaint that a subject was
attempting to burn down his trailer home. The CO learned that the
subjects were burning household goods, clothes, and furniture
because they were being evicted. They assured the CO that they
wouldn’t burn the home down and were then issued a ticket for the
illegal burning of solid waste.
CO Jeff Panich responded to a complaint to find a subject burning
tar paper and roofing shingles. The subject indicated that he knew
it was against the law, but did it anyway. A ticket was
CO Duane Budreau encountered an individual who was searching for
and digging up historical artifacts on state land in Emmett County.
CO Budreau advised the subject that it was illegal to excavate or
remove historical artifacts from state land without a permit. The
subject was a historian and was seeking to preserve local history
in the area. He was cooperative, and CO Budreau gave him a verbal
warning. The subject agreed to advise all of his friends who search
for treasure that it was necessary to obtain a permit before
engaging in this type of activity while on state land.
While patrolling the Pigeon River Country State Forest, CO Eric
Bottorff overheard an ambulance call regarding a subject
administering CPR to his partner in a remote area of the PRC. The
two had been dog-sledding when one collapsed. CO Bottorff
responded, and ran the last half-mile into the woods to the
subjects’ location. CO Bottorff took over CPR until emergency
medical personnel arrived. The victim was transported out of the
woods and to the hospital. His condition is unknown.
CO Matt Theunick received multiple complaints about an abandoned
ice shanty on Black Lake. The board with the name on it had been
pulled off, and there had been an attempt to burn it. Concerned
that it might go through the ice, CO Theunick and Sgt. Greg
Drogowski dismantled the shanty and moved it to shore. In the
meantime, CO Richard Stowe learned who owned the shanty. CO
Theunick and Sgt. Drogowski interviewed the owner and received a
confession. Enforcement action was taken, including the requirement
that the subject remove and dispose of his shanty from the
CO Bill Webster was on patrol when he saw an ORV operator without a
helmet doing “donuts” around anglers. CO Webster talked with the
anglers in the area as he walked to where the ORV stopped. The
anglers expressed their anger with the operator, stating he was
operating carelessly within 100 feet of them and their equipment.
CO Webster contacted the 12-year-old rider and his father and
explained the law, and then issued the father a ticket for his
son’s illegal operation.
Lt. Dave Shaw was returning from Lansing when he witnessed the end
of a “road rage” incident. While stopped at a traffic light in an
unmarked state of Michigan vehicle, Lt. Shaw observed a subject
with a metal pipe in his hand exit a vehicle in front of him. The
subject started swinging the pipe at the driver seated in a vehicle
directly in front of Lt. Shaw. Lt. Shaw, in uniform, stepped
outside his vehicle and approached the subject, ordering him to
drop his weapon. The subject quickly re-entered his vehicle and
left the scene. The victim yelled to the officer that the subject
also had threatened him with a knife. Lt. Shaw phoned 911 and
followed the subject until the subject jumped from the vehicle and
fled. Lt. Shaw was assisted by officers from the local police
department as they searched for the subject. One-half mile away,
one of the local officers and Lt. Shaw observed the subject and
pursued him on foot. The subject was taken into custody with the
aid of the K-9 unit, was lodged, and was charged with felonious
assault and resisting/obstructing a peace officer. The subject also
was wanted on a warrant for a probation violation.
While patrolling the White River shortly before midnight, CO Brian
Lebel observed bright spotlights downstream from a remote access
point. After walking to the location and watching the subjects
netting and snagging fish, CO Lebel saw the subjects go to a nearby
residence. With the assistance of a local deputy, contact was made
at the residence, where three juveniles were found in possession of
five walleyes and two steelhead taken illegally. Illegal gear,
including “M-60” snag hooks, was seized. The juveniles were turned
over to their mother, who had to be awakened and was not happy with
CO Mike Wells received a complaint regarding a subject who had
caught and kept a walleye during the closed season near the Croton
Dam. CO Wells responded and spent more than four hours conducting
surveillance on the subject. When the subject finished fishing and
returned to his vehicle, CO Wells made contact. A 2-pound walleye
was located, and the subject was ticketed for illegal
CO Mike Wells responded to a recreational trespass complaint on the
Muskegon River where the complainant’s property was posted and he
was having trouble with several individuals. CO Wells contacted two
of the trespassers, and while talking with the subjects about
private property issues, another subject walked onto the property,
passing seven “no trespassing” signs. Enforcement action was
COs Steve Converse and Carla Soper were dispatched to a complaint
regarding possible illegal fishing activity. The COs located two
subjects along a remote trout stream who had set up a small shelter
on the river bank. The COs observed the subjects as they intently
watched steelhead with no attempt to take them. The COs finally
contacted the subjects and found a large spear. When questioned
about the spear, the owner stated that he hadn’t taken a steelhead
yet, but when he did, he was probably only going to take one.
Enforcement action was taken, and the spear was seized.
CO Brian Brosky responded to a complaint about possible illegal
fishing activity in Lake County. CO Brosky arrived at the scene of
the complaint and located a vehicle parked along a closed trout
stream on private property. CO Brosky followed tracks in the snow
for two hours and finally located two subjects with fishing
equipment. The pair indicated they had permission from the
landowner to access the river. Contact was made with the landowner,
who stated that no permission was given to the subjects. Tickets
were issued for recreational trespass and fishing in a closed
CO Mike Hearn contacted the owner of a shanty left on a local lake
past the March 15 removal date. The subject indicated he’d sold the
shanty to another individual. The second owner was contacted and
named yet another subject to whom he had sold the shanty. The third
subject contacted was the current owner, and enforcement action was
CO Joel Lundberg stopped to talk with a hunter who was out running
dogs. Upon reaching the window of the vehicle, Officer Lundberg saw
that the hunter frantically was trying to unload his firearm.
Further investigation revealed another loaded firearm in the
vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Engelhard reported that an Iosco County jury found two
subjects guilty of fishing in a closed area. In addition to the
convictions, one of the subjects was held in contempt of court by
the judge for disregarding his instructions. The case began when a
concerned angler called the Report-All-Poaching hotline after
observing two subjects fishing in a closed area of the AuSable
River and keeping steelhead. CO Engelhard quickly responded to the
complaint; however, the subjects had already left. The following
day, CO Engelhard rechecked the area and contacted the same two
subjects fishing in the closed area.
COs Jason A. Smith and Philip Hudson were working spring fish runs
in Tuscola County when they were contacted by a group of anglers.
The group questioned the COs about what and where they could spear
legally. They also asked where the fish were. The COs told them of
a creek a few miles away that had good numbers of pike in it, but
as previously discussed, they could not legally spear the pike. The
COs moved locations and about 10 minutes later the same subjects
showed up at the previously discussed location and began trying to
spear the pike. The COs watched the subjects for a while, until
they came within two feet of CO Hudson. When CO Hudson contacted
the subjects, they had a 27-inch pike on the end of their spear.
Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Ron Kimmerly took a complaint about anglers using artificial
lures in the closed waters in the Shiawassee River State Game Area.
When Sgt. Kimmerly arrived on the scene, he observed a large
campfire in the parking lot with empty beer cans all around it.
Sgt. Kimmerly contacted an angler who was fishing for suckers about
40 feet away. He told them that ground fires were prohibited in the
game area. He then told him that the possession of alcohol and
bottles and cans also was prohibited, along with littering. The
angler told Sgt. Kimmerly that all the beer cans were there when he
arrived. Sgt. Kimmerly looked down in the grass and asked the
angler to hand him the beer can right next to his feet. The can was
open and still full of cold beer. At this point, the angler told
Sgt. Kimmerly that it was his beer but none of the others were.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Cary Foster ticketed an individual fishing at the Portland Dam
after the angler commented about catching a small pike. CO Foster
searched the shoreline for a short distance and found a stringer
belonging to the angler, which included the northern pike taken
during the closed season.
CO Dave Rodgers responded to a late-night report of subjects taking
walleyes by snagging and during the closed season at Sixth Street.
CO Rodgers observed three subjects snagging below the dam after
midnight, and in one case one carried a walleye to a van. Contact
with the subjects as they attempted to leave the area resulted in
three tickets for snagging and four walleyes seized, with a total
weight of 36 pounds. The largest illegally taken fish weighed 14
While conducting undercover surveillance at the Allegan Dam along
the Kalamazoo River, COs Patrick McManus, Mike Mshar, and Chuck
Towns witnessed a subject snagging and retaining foul-hooked fish.
Contact was made and enforcement action was taken.
While conducting surveillance along a local closed trout stream
loaded with steelhead, CO Patrick McManus watched two subjects
unsuccessfully attempt to catch some fish with their hands, then
leave. The subjects arrived back a second time that same night with
a net and were successful at illegally taking a steelhead. When
contact was made, it was learned that one of the subjects had been
ticketed eight days earlier for taking a foul-hooked walleye in the
area and had paid the fine only hours before. The subject was
ticketed again, and requests have been made to the judge to revoke
the subject’s fishing privileges.
CO Jeff Robinette obtained a disposition from an investigation from
last deer season. CO Robinette discovered a nonresident hunter had
borrowed an antlerless deer license from a Michigan resident and
had killed a deer. The Michigan resident was ticketed for loaning
the license, and the nonresident was charged with various
violations including the taking of an illegal deer. The nonresident
pleaded guilty to taking the illegal deer and paid $1,000
reimbursement to the state, along with losing his firearm and his
hunting rights for the year of conviction, plus three additional
CO Steve Mooney responded to a RAP complaint about a subject taking
overlimits of cohos from the pier in St. Joseph. The complainant
stated that the subjects already had taken their limit and had left
and returned, and one subject had taken another limit. CO Mooney
arrived in time to catch the subject with the second limit at his
vehicle and obtained a confession to double-tripping. CO Mooney
followed the subjects to their residence and verified that they’d
already taken limits the same morning and had returned for more
Sgt. Zach Doss received a telephone call from a retired Law
Enforcement Division employee who stated he had observed a subject
on a stream with a large net. CO Steve Mooney was contacted and was
able to respond within a few minutes; he located a father and son
on the stream, with the father allowing his 15-year-old son to use
illegal fishing gear in an attempt to snag steelhead. The father
was ticketed, and the son was given an explanation about the
CO Rich Nickols received a call about a disorderly subject dressed
in camo trying to flag down passing cars. CO Nickols located the
subject lying in the middle of a state park campground road. CO
Nickols’ investigation found the subject to be highly intoxicated,
soaking wet, and wearing a personal flotation device. It was
determined that the intoxicated subject capsized his canoe in the
lake and swam to shore. The subject was in the water for
approximately one hour in 33-degree weather; it is likely the PFD
saved his life. CO Nickols assisted the mildly hypothermic subject
to his campsite and recovered the sunken canoe.
CO Damon Owens contacted two subjects who were fishing from a boat
on a rainy, cold day. The subjects were surprised to be checked by
the CO and stated that they “always follow the rules.” CO Owens
noted that their vessel registration was expired, and one of the
subjects was fishing without a license. Enforcement action was
Following up on some open cases from last fall, CO Dan Bigger
finally was able to interview a subject about an illegal deer case.
Within the first minute of the interview, the subject confessed to
killing three deer illegally. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dan Bigger followed a plume of black smoke to a residence.
Behind a barn, a subject was burning an old couch, with the flames
getting very close to the barn. The subject didn’t get a burning
permit and didn’t have any water available to put out the fire. CO
Bigger helped put out the illegal fire and took enforcement
CO Peter Purdy contacted the driver of an ORV that was being
illegally operated on the roadway. The operator also was illegally
carrying a 2-year-old passenger and a 7-year-old passenger on the
ORV. None of the occupants of the ORV were wearing helmets or eye
protection, and the ORV was unlicensed. The operator stated that he
was lacking in his knowledge of the ORV laws, so he parked the ORV
and called for a ride. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mark Papineau, Todd Szyska, and Kris Kiel, along with PCO Mike
Drexler, worked the Clinton River’s spillway dam for violations and
observed several anglers intentionally “snagging” spawning northern
pike. One subject was warned earlier in the day for targeting the
pike. The COs had observed the subject snag five pike, remove the
hook from their bodies, and kick the pike back into the river.
After the COs contacted the individual again, he advised that he
had not caught any fish. That subject, along with two others, was
ticketed for taking northern pike during the closed season. Two
others were ticketed for fishing without a license.
CO Mark Papineau received a complaint through the RAP hotline
regarding a subject attempting to snag spawning northern pike in
the Fenton Mill Pond. CO Papineau responded to the area and
observed the suspect’s vehicle leaving the parking lot. CO Papineau
stopped the vehicle and contacted the single occupant. During
questioning of the driver, CO Papineau was directed to a pail
secured in the rear hatch of the vehicle. Located inside the pail
were two out-of-season northern pike with a combined weight of 12
pounds. The illegally taken pike were confiscated, and the driver
was ticketed for possessing northern pike during the closed
While working a group patrol on the Huron River, CO Kris Kiel, PCO
Mike Drexler, and CO Dan Walzak contacted several subjects
suspected of taking walleyes out of season. The first subject, upon
seeing the COs, looked visibly panicked. The COs contacted the
subject, who stated there were walleyes in the bucket he was
carrying. He also stated that the fish were still alive and he
could just put them back in the river. The COs told him that was
not going to happen and asked for his fishing license and driver’s
license. As the subject was getting out his documents, he continued
to repeat how sorry he was and how this was the first time he had
ever done anything like this. However, the COs had information that
this subject had done this in the past. In all, the subject had six
walleyes in the bucket totaling 21 pounds. Enforcement action was
While patrolling along the Huron River, CO Brandon Kieft located
two anglers fishing for trout. The anglers were aware that the DNR
had just released a number of trout in the river and were hoping to
catch a few. CO Kieft informed the anglers that trout season hadn’t
opened yet, and they were fishing a closed section of the river.
The subjects were issued tickets for the violations.