Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 11

DISTRICT 1

CO Marv Gerlach is working a recreational trespass complaint in
which a subject allegedly shot a turkey near another person’s
residence. The investigation is ongoing.

CO Doug Hermanson and Sgt. Steven Burton issued a ticket to an
angler who was smelt fishing on Umbrella Tree Creek. He was
trespassing, catching fish with his hands, and fishing without a
license.

CO Ryan Aho observed a vehicle slowly rolling along a pipeline
commonly used by turkey hunters; Aho contacted the driver as he was
about to exit the pipeline. An uncased shotgun was found on the
front seat of the truck. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brian Bacon contacted a landowner after the landowner allowed a
fire to escape. The subject was burning illegal materials on a
windy day and was unable to control his fire. Enforcement action
was taken.

DISTRICT 2

While working surveillance for fish spawning-related violations, CO
John Wenzel observed two subjects in a boat chasing cormorants. As
they neared the birds, the older of the two went to the front of
the boat and began shooting at the birds. The subjects did this
several times. CO Wenzel contacted CO Mike Evink, who arrived at
the scene with a patrol boat. Contact was made with the subject,
who stated he was a “deputy.” When questioned, it was found that
the subject firing the gun possibly was going to be listed on a
“shooters list” of volunteers who were tasked with controlling
cormorants. He was at that time not on the list. However, he had
been trained recently, and during training it was pointed out that
shooting from a boat under full power is prohibited. The subject
was written a ticket for a much lesser charge of transporting a
loaded firearm in a motor boat and warned for the other
violations.

CO Mike Evink made a traffic stop of a female subject who began
driving erratically and tried to hide from him after he observed
the expired license plate on her truck. Once stopped, he found she
not only had plates from another vehicle, but there was no
insurance on the truck, her license was suspended, and she was in
possession of heroin. She was turned over to a trooper with the
Michigan State Police (MSP), who arrested her for operating while
intoxicated, along with the other charges.

CO John Wenzel was assisted by search and rescue personnel in
locating two kayakers who’d attempted a run down the west branch of
the Whitefish River. One kayaker had tipped over and lost his
kayak. The other had stopped, and neither knew how to get out from
where they were. Both were recovered with no injuries. Their cell
phone was used to locate them.

COs Kyle Publiski and Kevin Postma encountered a subject operating
an ORV in a prohibited area. The subject gave the COs false
information as to who he was and continued to lie. Upon further
investigation, the true identity was obtained, and the subject was
found to be driving on a suspended license. The subject was
arrested.

CO Kellie Nightlinger conducted a foot patrol of a local trout
stream and observed three subjects catching steelhead by hand. She
escorted the trio back to their vehicle where she discovered open
alcoholic beverages and marijuana. Tickets were issued, and one
subject was lodged for the drug violation.

CO Derek Miller backed up MSP troopers on a domestic complaint in
which a female subject was trying to stab her spouse with a knife.
Upon arrival, the CO and troopers were able to secure the knife and
make an arrest without any further injuries. The male subject was
treated for minor injuries and released.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Erratt was able to catch up with seven “mudder” trucks
and Jeeps that were going over the prohibitive berms on state land.
Tickets were issued for illegal operation of an ORV in a wetland,
operating a motor vehicle while license suspended, operating an ORV
without registration, operating a motor vehicle without insurance,
and operation of a motor vehicle without license plates. Several of
the vehicles also were towed and impounded pending an investigation
into damages that occurred.

CO Carl VanderWall reports the arrest of a subject for a second
offense in two years on the Bear River while fishing without a
license.

CO Michael Feagan conducted surveillance on two subjects fishing
for walleyes during the closed season, but not having any success.
After a while, both subjects went up to their cabin, and then took
a walk for 20 minutes – leaving their fishing lines in the water.
Upon their return, two tickets for fishing with unattended lines
were issued.

CO Richard Stowe had a condemnation hearing on a mounted trophy
buck head; the buck was taken during the closed season. The judge
ordered the buck condemned and the defendant to pay the taxidermist
the amount due.

COs Nick Torsky and Mark DePew responded to a complaint about
anglers using boats on a lake in the Pigeon River Country, where
the use of boats is prohibited due to high banks and erosion
concerns. The lake is also restricted to artificial lures only. CO
Torsky watched the four anglers fish with corn and catch a couple
of trout. When the subjects came to shore, COs Nick Torsky and Mark
DePew contacted them and also found they had no life jackets.
Tickets were issued for the numerous violations.

DISTRICT 4

Sgt. Bob Torres, with the assistance of local deputies,
investigated a recreational trespass complaint concerning
road-hunting activity. A subject observed a turkey along the road
and got out to shoot at the bird. The first attempt to fire the
shotgun failed, and the second attempt went off with the gun’s
barrel pointed onto private property and two occupied ground
blinds. The complainants from the blinds obtained the vehicle’s
plate number, and Sgt. Torres was able to track down the subject
and found that the 3-inch shell was still jammed in the 23⁄4-inch
chambered shotgun. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Steve Converse was checking one of the smaller closed trout
streams in Manistee County where steelhead are known to congregate.
When the CO approached the stream, he observed a large net on the
bank with the water in the stream cloudy and stirred up. CO
Converse conducted a search of the area and located a subject
hiding several hundred yards downstream. The subject admitted the
net was his and that he was attempting to illegally land a
steelhead. A ticket was issued for the fishing violation.

CO Steve Converse was patrolling along a closed section of the
Betsie River when he located a vehicle parked along the river. The
vehicle was frosted up, indicating it had been there overnight. CO
Converse took up a surveillance position on the vehicle and
observed several subjects return a few hours later. The subjects
claimed they had started canoeing the river at 12:30 a.m. Further
investigation turned up illegal fishing equipment. One subject was
ticketed for the illegal gear, and another subject was lodged in
jail on an outstanding arrest warrant.

CO Steve Converse checked a subject as he was leaving hunting
property. The routine check found that the turkey hunter had
illegal-sized shot shells in his possession. The subject was
advised about the proper shot size to be legal. A check of the area
after the subject drove away turned up two sites baited with
shelled corn. After working the location for several days, CO
Converse was able to again check the subject as he left the hunting
property. After the two walked to the hunting blinds that were
freshly baited with shelled corn, a ticket was issued for illegally
baiting wild turkeys while hunting.

CO Brian Brosky was working a closed section of a stream in Oceana
County when he encountered three subjects fishing. None of the
subjects possessed a fishing license, and one of the subjects
possessed a live brown trout. The fish was released, and tickets
were issued for fishing a closed stream and the license
violations.

On the opening day of the spring turkey season, CO Brian Lebel
observed a vehicle parked in the same location all day. CO Lebel
became curious regarding the patient hunters sitting in one spot
all day. After the subjects left the area, CO Lebel inspected the
hunting location and found a large amount of bird seed spread at
the hunting site. The following morning, CO Lebel contacted two
subjects hunting turkeys over the bait. One of the subjects did not
possess a hunting license. Tickets were issued for the license
violation and the illegal baiting.

CO Jeff Ginn was the first to respond to a capsized vessel in the
Muskegon River. With the assistance of a volunteer fireman, CO Ginn
was able to launch his patrol boat into the highest water levels in
50 years. CO Ginn maneuvered his vessel upstream in time to save
one subject who was clinging to his capsized vessel. The second
angler was barely holding onto the tree that had capsized their
vessel. CO Ginn was able to save both anglers and provide them with
personal flotation devices and recover their overturned vessel. The
anglers were transported to shore, where an ambulance crew was
waiting to evaluate them to see if they were suffering from
hypothermia. It was estimated the two anglers were in the cold
waters of the Muskegon River for nearly an hour before they were
rescued.

CO Mike Wells responded to a complaint about red fox kits being
held in captivity. Upon questioning, a subject holding a young fox
stated that he killed the adult due to experiencing some losses to
his chickens. After killing the adult fox, the subject flooded the
den to recover the kits as pets. A verbal warning was issued for
the killing the adult, and a ticket was issued for illegal
possession of the kits. The young fox litter was turned over to a
licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

DISTRICT 5

While checking anglers along the Rapid River, CO Mike Hearn
contacted three occupants in a vehicle where he discovered open
intoxicants and marijuana. Warrants are pending.

CO Jon Warner contacted two subjects at the Mio Dam on the trout
opener who were fishing without licenses. Both subjects stated they
thought they wouldn’t need licenses, as they were accompanied by a
parishioner from their church.

CO John Huspen contacted an angler who was fishing the closed
waters of the main stream of the Au Sable River. The subject
admitted he knew he was not supposed to be fishing that section of
the river and was ticketed for fishing closed waters.

CO Brian Olsen investigated a complaint about a litter pile on
state land. He located the site and found some prescription bottles
among the litter. CO Olsen then located the individual whose name
was on the bottles. The individual confessed to dumping his garbage
on state land.

COs Steve Lockwood and Jason McCullough investigated a complaint
about a subject road-hunting for turkeys from a vehicle. The
complainant saw the truck stop and the driver shoot from his
window. The COs found empty shell casings lying on the side of the
road from where the subject reportedly had shot. The license plate
number obtained by the complainant led the COs to the subject at
his residence, where he confessed to shooting a turkey from his
pickup truck.

DISTRICT 6

CO Jason A. Smith received a complaint about hunters who had
possibly taken a turkey during the spring turkey season and were
still hunting. After checking the area, CO Smith located the
hunters, who were both currently hunting turkeys and both had valid
unused turkey licenses in their possession. After interviewing both
subjects, it was determined that one of the hunters had killed a
turkey on the opener and failed to tag the bird. The second hunter
had killed two turkeys on the opener and failed to tag either of
the birds. Charges included failing to tag turkeys, taking
overlimits of turkeys, and attempting to take overlimits of
turkeys.

While watching a group of subjects using spears on a local stream
one night, CO Jason A. Smith noticed that after one of the fish was
speared, the whole group came together to look at what was speared.
The group then began looking around in all directions for a few
moments before the fish was placed in a bag. Once the group
returned to their vehicle, contact was made and a ticket was issued
for possessing an illegally taken pike.

While patrolling the Tittabawassee River during the walleye
spawning closure, CO Dan Lee observed lights in a backyard where
the river had flooded up to near the houses. The CO could see
subjects casting lures. He made contact with the anglers who
couldn’t, when asked, remember what they were fishing for. The CO
seized their equipment and issued tickets for fishing with illegal
gear during the spawning closure.

COs Ken Lowell and Vicki Goss were patrolling Montcalm County when
they located a turkey hunter walking along a private drive. When
the hunter saw the COs he began to run toward his house. The COs
made it to the porch at the same time as the hunter. CO Lowell took
the hunter’s gun while CO Goss took his information. The hunter had
two warrants out of Montcalm County and was hunting turkeys without
a license. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Jeremy Payne and Dan Lee were working on the Tittabawassee
River in Freeland at 11 p.m. on Friday night, an hour before the
walleye opener. Despite the heavy flood waters, the COs still found
anglers attempting to take walleyes before the season opened.
Enforcement action was taken.

COs Jeremy Payne and Jason McCullough have been working a complaint
involving a subject hunting turkeys over bait for the past two
years. This year, while CO Payne worked the turkey opener again, he
took another walk on the property. The CO found the subject using a
bow and hunting over a quarter acre of loose oats and sunflower
seeds. The hunter told the CO that it was a recently planted food
plot. The CO explained the difference and then issued a
ticket.

DISTRICT 7

CO Chris Holmes contacted a subject who was hunting turkeys after
legal hunting hours. The subject stated he was waiting to catch
them going to their roosting tree.

CO Dave Rodgers, while working the Rouge River, observed several
anglers wading and fishing shortly after a fish-stocking at that
location. One angler continued to empty the contents of a mason jar
into the river, which eventually was identified as fish roe. When
the jar was empty, the angler threw the jar and lid into the river.
Another angler in the group emptied all of the trash in the pockets
of his fishing vest into the water to create room for a small trout
he caught and concealed in his vest pocket. When contacted by CO
Rodgers, each angler denied throwing the items into the river, and
the angler continued to argue that he had no fish hidden in his
pocket. When the fish was located, the angler stated he was not
sure if the season was open or what the size limit was for trout.
Tickets were issued for littering and retaining undersized
trout.

CO Steve Mooney spent a large amount of time before the turkey
season locating a number of baited hunting sites, and a group
patrol for the opening day was organized. Sgt. Zach Doss and CO
Andy Bauer were keeping surveillance at one of the sites in 5
inches of new snow. After daybreak, a vehicle drove by the baited
site on a two-track that led through the woods. A short time later,
a shot was heard by Sgt. Doss and CO Bauer. After some
investigating, two subjects were contacted. The subject who was
carrying a shotgun did not have a turkey-hunting license and the
firearm was loaded with illegal shot. The other subject admitted to
placing an active spin feeder on the property. COs Steve Mooney and
Jeff Robinette were called to assist, and further investigation
located another hunter, who was hunting over 100 pounds of cracked
corn, was using illegal shot, and did not have a turkey-hunting
license. An illegally taken turkey was discovered, and a video tape
of the illegal taking of the turkey was recovered. It finally was
determined that one subject had a valid turkey-hunting license, was
going to provide his wife’s turkey license to tag any illegally
taken bird by the other two unlicensed subjects, and that the two
subjects did not buy turkey-hunting licenses because they planned
on hunting the last season and taking an overlimit of turkeys.
Other minor violations were found, and enforcement action was
taken.

DISTRICT 8

CO Shane Webster observed an ORV being operated illegally on a
county road. CO Webster contacted the operator, who was allowing
three people to ride on a vehicle designed for one. The operator
had not purchased an ORV license and allowed all people on the ORV
to ride without wearing helmets or eye protection. Enforcement
action was taken.

CO Damon Owens contacted two subjects on a remote lake who stated
they had just purchased new fishing poles, tackle, and bait and
were enjoying their day on the water and fishing. However, they
forgot to purchase their fishing licenses. Enforcement action was
taken.

In separate instances, COs Dan Prince and Todd Thorn both
investigated the illegal killing of Canada geese. In one incident,
the subject confessed to CO Thorn that he killed two geese but
didn’t think it was against the law. When CO Thorn recovered the
geese they were hidden behind a large tree at the opposite end of
the subject’s property. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Pete Purdy was the first on the scene of a vehicle fire on a
major highway. When CO Purdy arrived, the vehicle was fully
engulfed in flames. Fortunately, the occupants escaped the vehicle
uninjured. CO Purdy stopped traffic until the fire department was
able to put out the fire and local law enforcement arrived on
scene.

DISTRICT 9

CO Mark Papineau completed an investigation in which four deer
carcasses were dumped in Genesee County. The deer carcasses
appeared to have been taken during the deer season, hung in a
garage, spoiled, and were dumped behind an abandoned residence. CO
Papineau located drag marks and a trail of deer hair that led to
another abandoned residence. Evidence recovered from the second
residence led the CO to a different residence in the city of
Davison. Contact was made with the suspect, and a confession was
obtained. Enforcement action was taken.

While checking anglers at Holloway Dam, CO Mark Papineau observed
several dead walleyes lying on the shoreline. During a discussion
with a nearby angler, CO Papineau was informed that a subject and
his son were fishing there the previous day and were keeping
walleyes. CO Papineau was informed that the subject was hiding the
out-of-season walleyes on a stringer in a nearby feeder creek. The
subject also informed the CO that he had written down the license
plate number of the subject’s vehicle. CO Papineau responded to the
subject’s house and obtained a confession.

CO Ken Kovach conducted surveillance of three subjects fishing on a
small lake in the Lapeer SGA, and watched the subjects for over an
hour before they packed up and started to leave. CO Kovach
contacted the subjects, none of whom had a fishing license and all
of whom denied fishing. One of the subjects was wanted on a warrant
and was lodged. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mike Drexler and CO Kris Kiel finalized two separate court
cases, one from ice-fishing season where a subject took a
largemouth bass out of season and was fishing without a license.
The second case involved a subject who failed to remove his ice
shanty prior to the deadline. Both subjects pleaded guilty.

CO Brandon Kieft responded to a complaint involving two anglers
catching and keeping bass during the closed season. CO Kieft
located the experienced anglers in a bass boat working areas near
the shore. He watched as the anglers caught a number of bass and
eventually headed for the access site. The boat was checked at the
access site, and 11 bass were located onboard. Some of the fish
were undersized, and one of the anglers did not have a valid
fishing license. The anglers claimed to be fishing for northern
pike until CO Kieft informed them that pike season also was closed.
The two anglers were ticketed for the violations, and the fish were
released back into the lake.

CO Ben Shively assisted MSP with a trespassing complaint in
northern Oakland County. The complainant was guiding two hunters on
private property and was attempting to call in a large turkey when
the turkey went over a hill and then a shot was heard. The
complainant went over the hill to find two subjects standing over
the turkey 100 yards onto the complainant’s property. The subjects
stated they did not know who owned the property, but figured it was
OK to hunt because they thought no one else was hunting it. Both
subjects were ticketed for recreational trespass, and restitution
will be sought for the turkey.

CO Ben Shively contacted a subject fishing along a closed section
of the Huron River. The subject failed to read the signs stating
that the river was closed and believed he did not need to have a
fishing license because he was not going to keep any of the fish.
The subject was ticketed for fishing without a license and warned
for fishing on a closed trout stream.

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