COs Grant Emery, Jason Wicklund and Sgt. Marc Pomroy assisted the
U.S. Forest Service during an ORV rally in Gogebic County. Several
hundred ORVs participated in the event and enforcement action was
taken for operating on the roadway, juveniles operating while
unsupervised, and helmet/seat belt violations.
CO Brian Bacon responded to two wildfire complaints in Dickinson
County. Careless burning was determined to be the cause in both.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ryan Aho responded to a complaint of a turkey shot from a
vehicle window. A subject was interviewed and confessed to shooting
the turkey out the window of his truck within the safety zone of a
residence. It was also determined that he had borrowed a turkey tag
and shotgun from a friend. The turkey was seized and enforcement
action was taken.
COs Matt Eberly and Dennis Gast checked a boat near the Huron
Islands and found 16 lake trout aboard, including some filleted and
hidden. Two tickets were issued to the occupants of the boat for
the overlimit and all fish were seized.
CO David Miller responded to a call of overdue kayakers. A search
was started and shortly thereafter the kayakers were located
walking out from an area river. The kayakers spent the night in the
woods. Both were fine and had experienced kayak problems.
CO Doug Hermanson arrested a subject for keeping walleyes during
the closed season on Lake Gogebic. The subject tried to release the
fish by dumping a bucket of walleyes out of the boat as the CO
approached. One walleye that was dead and didn’t sink was seized as
CO Marvin Gerlach reported that several cases from last deer season
were adjudicated recently. He had a couple of illegal deer cases in
which the subjects paid over $1,500 in court costs and fines. In
addition, they lost all hunting privileges for two years. Another
subject pled to 14 counts of a non-resident purchasing resident
licenses over a period of six years. The subject paid $1,500 in
COs Mike Hammill and Derek Miller received information from a DNR
employee that a group of subjects on ORVs had plans to operate in a
nearby wetland. The employee had made contact with the subjects at
a local gas station and informed them of the regulations with
further instructions not to operate in the wetland. The subjects
scoffed and indicated that they could do what they wanted. Upon
arrival in the area COs Miller and Hammill located fresh ORV tracks
and set up to box them in. The plan worked and nine subjects were
charged with illegal operation of an ORV in a wetland and nine ORVs
were impounded. Some of those apprehended were repeat customers of
CO Mike Hammill contacted two anglers at a local trout stream.
After checking fish and licenses, the CO found a few extra brook
trout. The pair was issued tickets for being overlimit and the fish
CO Derek Miller contacted a subject at the Holland Lake State
Forest Campground who failed to pay for his site. The subject
explained to the CO that he was certain that the campground doesn’t
open until Memorial Day and that he didn’t have to pay for the site
until then. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andrea Albert was summoned to the scene of a large trash pile
that was on fire. This was the second day in a row that the local
fire department had been called out to extinguish a trash fire that
burned out of control at the same location. The subject responsible
was warned for unlawful disposal of solid waste and ticketed for
burning without a permit.
COs Steve Speigl and Andrea Erratt worked together to nab a subject
who was road hunting for turkeys. A father and his two sons were
calling in a bird when the road hunter pulled up, stuck a shotgun
out of the truck window, and shot the turkey. In addition to the
three legal hunters who witnessed the incident, both landowners
also watched as the subject shot very close to their house. Tickets
were issued for hunting from a motor vehicle and for failing to tag
a turkey. The subject was also warned for trespassing and for
discharging his firearm within a safety zone of another without the
permission of the landowner.
CO Andrea Erratt issued a ticket to a subject who was unlawfully
burning 25 tires in order to retrieve the scrap metal from the
wheels. Tires continue to be a major litter issue whether they are
dumped on state land or burned for salvage collection.
COs Carl VanderWall and Duane Budreau have been teaming up to work
illegal ORV and monster truck activity at several state land
locations. Several wetland areas were being used as mud pits and
some forest roads in the area were rutted to the point of being
impassable. Multiple warnings as well as several tickets have been
issued. In extreme cases, offenders have had their vehicles seized
CO Michael Feagan and Sgt. Greg Drogowski investigated the possible
possession of an illegally taken elk. The subjects were contacted
and a 6×6 elk head was produced at their residence. The
investigation confirmed the elk was a winter kill, possibly hit by
a vehicle, and found by the subjects a month ago. The elk head and
antlers were seized, and a warning given regarding illegal
possession of elk parts.
CO Bill Webster was called to the aid of a stranded motorist on
state land. The driver had put an address into his GPS that took
him through the state land where he became stuck in large ruts in
the trail. While waiting for the tow truck with the driver, CO
Webster could hear a vehicle coming down the trail revving its
engine. CO Webster saw the mudder truck coming around a corner
nearly sideways, throwing mud in every direction. CO Webster
contacted the driver who stated he knew what he was doing was
illegal. The driver of the truck was ticketed for creating erosive
conditions and warned about his careless driving.
CO Bill Webster received a complaint of a van stuck on a trail on
state land in the middle of the night. When CO Webster arrived in
the area he located a snowmobile gate that had been smashed,
destroying the gate and the posts that held it in place. A berm
preventing access to the area also had been excavated by a tractor.
The van was gone but CO Webster followed tractor tracks back to a
farm, where the CO discovered the tractor had been used without
knowledge of the landowner. Further investigation located the
operator of the van who stated he and some friends were driving on
state land and had gotten stuck, so he used the tractor to get it
out. When he came to the gate he did not want to go around so he
decided to crash through it. CO Webster issued a ticket for
operating a motor vehicle where prohibited with restitution being
sought for the damaged gate. Investigation continues into the
unauthorized use of the tractor.
CO Sam Koscinski assisted the Michigan State Police (MSP) and local
county deputies with the search for a missing mushroom hunter in
northern Osceola County. With the aid of a MSP helicopter the lost
hunter was located in a swamp. The mushroom hunter had left his
yard in search of morel mushrooms at approximately 9 a.m. and was
reported missing at 6 p.m. The elderly mushroom hunter had a heart
condition and other medical problems, and had to be led one mile on
foot from the swamp to an outside road. The grateful mushroom
hunter was returned to his home shortly after dark.
While patrolling the Manistee River via a jet boat, COs Steve
Converse and Sam Koscinski contacted a subject fishing and
discovered he had three outstanding arrest warrants. A local deputy
transported the subject to jail.
CO Carla Soper was investigating a turkey baiting complaint along a
Consumers Energy power line when she encountered five ORVs
operating illegally on the utility easement. Other violations noted
included illegal roadway operation, recreational trespass, and no
ORV licenses. One subject was operating while his drivers license
was suspended. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jeff Ginn and Brian Lebel patrolled back roads on a cold, rainy
day checking for possible illegal road hunting of turkeys. The COs
observed a slow moving vehicle approximately a half-mile away. COs
Ginn and Lebel stopped and watched with binoculars as the vehicle
came to a stop several times. At one point the barrel of a shotgun
was observed sticking out of the passenger side of the vehicle. The
COs drove up to the vehicle and surprised two subjects as they were
about to shoot at a wild turkey from the vehicle. The subjects were
in possession of open intoxicants and the only turkey license they
had was outdated and for the wrong area. Enforcement action was
While off duty, CO Chuck McPherson saw a news story of a local man
missing for more than a week. CO McPherson was familiar with the
subject, as he had contacted him for several years in the spring
looking for shed deer antlers on state land in a specific area. CO
McPherson contacted MSP troopers who were handling the
investigation and gave them the information and general location,
which led them to the subject’s vehicle a few hours later. The
subject was found deceased in the vehicle.
CO John Huspen contacted two subjects who were cutting firewood
without a permit and in an area closed to taking firewood. A third
subject on scene was operating an ORV in a closed area of state
land. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Bobbi Lively and Jon Warner reported on the sentencing of a
subject who took a deer out of season with a rifle over a bait pile
after dark in the fall of 2010. The judge ordered the subject to
pay $1,000 in fines and $1,000 restitution plus serve nine days in
CO Mike Hearn responded to a forest fire on a high fire danger day
with high winds. The fire was contained to 15 acres and was caused
by a campfire left to burn out by subjects who were in the area for
the trout opener and camping on state land. Investigation continues
to identify the campers.
CO Brian Engelhard responded to a grass fire near Hubbard Lake. In
addition to grass, a woodpile containing several mattresses,
shingles, and other prohibited material was burning. According to
the landowner, he was attempting to burn two small plastic grocery
bags of garbage when the small fire ignited the large pile. A
ticket was issued for allowing fire to escape. This is the second
fire the landowner has allowed to escape in the last few
CO Jason A. Smith obtained a four-count warrant for a turkey hunter
this spring. The charges include two counts of possessing an
untagged turkey, one count of taking an overlimit of turkeys, and
one count of hunting turkeys without a license.
CO Vicki Goss assisted a local township fire department on an
illegal burn. The fire escaped from a dumpster where the landowner
was burning old furniture, plastic, tires, and various other solid
waste. A follow-up investigation with the subject determined that
he was hauling away furniture for individuals and burning them down
for the scrap metal. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Chad Foerster and Jeremy Payne concluded a case in court
involving six illegal deer from the 2010 deer season. The two
defendants were ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the state,
$1,200 in fines and costs, loss of hunting privileges for three
years, 15 days on tether (house arrest), and the condemnation of
the firearms used to kill the deer.
CO Jeremy Payne contacted a subject fishing in Isabella County who
advised he had forgotten to buy his fishing license. After the CO
ran the subject through LEIN, it was determined that he had an
outstanding felony warrant for his arrest. The angler was lodged
and given a verbal warning for fishing with no license. The next
day and after the subject bonded out of jail, the CO found him
fishing again unlicensed. This time the subject was issued a ticket
for fishing without a license.
While performing undercover surveillance for illegal ORV activity
in the Allegan State Game Area, CO Mike Mshar contacted subjects
who had gotten their truck stuck in a wetland. The subjects
explained that they were trying to get a hold of a friend to assist
them before the game warden showed up. CO Mshar informed them the
game warden had shown up. The vehicle was impounded and tickets
were issued for the illegal operation.
CO Ken Cerny worked shore fishing locations on the St. Joseph River
and encountered two different subjects keeping bass out of season
and one subject with an overlimit of panfish. CO Cerny also
arrested two of the subjects on outstanding warrants and turned
them over to the appropriate agency.
CO Andy Bauer received a Report-All-Poaching complaint of a subject
on a lake without a public access, shooting a Canada goose. CO
Bauer responded and obtained a confession from the subject. CO
Bauer recovered the dead goose and the firearm used. The subject
was ticketed for taking the goose during the closed season.
CO Steve Mooney observed a boat without registration numbers being
operated on a local lake in the rain. CO Mooney waited for the
subjects to return to shore and discovered that the three anglers
did not have fishing licenses and that there were no personal
flotation devices in the boat. A ticket was issued to address the
marine safety violation.
CO Cary Foster, while patrolling the Portland SGA, located a large
pile of household refuse that had been partially burned. CO Foster
searched the area and located a possible name and location for
follow up. Upon contact with a resident at the location, the CO
learned that an individual at the home had a friend take the trash
away with the promise he would burn it at another location. CO
Foster interviewed that subject and obtained a confession to the
littering. A ticket was issued for the violation and the subject
will clean up the site.
CO Cary Foster, while checking fishing licenses, was handed a
personal identification card by an angler as ID used to purchase a
license. While at this location he observed that person walk to a
vehicle and drive away. A quick computer check indicated the person
did not have a driver’s license and was suspended 32 times with 13
convictions for driving while suspended. CO Foster caught up to the
vehicle and conducted a traffic stop to arrest the driver for
driving while suspended and another outstanding warrant.
CO Cary Foster encountered a subject fishing at a dam on the Grand
River who was in possession of a smallmouth bass that he claimed
another angler gave to him. CO Foster ticketed the angler for
possession during the closed season, as it was the same person he
contacted attempting to take pike during the closed season.
CO Greg Patten contacted a subject trying to register a river otter
for another person at the Muskegon SGA. After investigation of the
second subject a ticket was issued for a tagging violation.
COs BJ Goulette and Ivan Perez were on patrol at Muskegon Lake when
they observed several shore anglers catching panfish. When
contacted, two of the subjects observed catching fish denied
fishing. A record check showed that neither subject possessed a
current fishing license. Each person was ticketed and one was
placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant.
CO Jeff Goss investigated the illegal killing of a turkey. CO Goss’
investigation found that one subject had killed a turkey without a
license and had used the uncased gun that was found in his vehicle.
The second subject admitted to having a loaded .357 handgun in the
same vehicle. He did not have any hunting license and was not
eligible for a concealed pistol license. Enforcement action was
CO Jeff Goss located two vehicles parked in an area frequented by
wild game and observed uncased firearms in both vehicles. During CO
Goss’ investigation he searched the vehicles and found three
additional uncased/loaded firearms, fresh wild turkey parts, and a
live snapping turtle in one of the trunks. CO Goss interviewed the
drivers of both vehicles and obtained a confession on the illegal
killing of the turkeys and the illegal possession of the turtle.
Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jason J. Smith and Damon Owens responded to an accident that
occurred on a non-motorized trail within a state game area. A
subject was riding their horse in a permitted event when the horse
and rider fell. The rider was uninjured but the horse broke its
leg. The COs calmed the rider down and called a veterinarian to the
scene to attend to the horse. Regretfully it was determined that
the horse could not be saved and had to be euthanized.
CO Shane Webster assisted a United States Fish and Wildlife agent
with executing a search warrant. The agent had information that a
subject had an illegally mounted wood duck and hawk in his
possession. The subject tried to sell the migratory bird and
raptor, which is a federal violation. The illegal items were seized
and enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn located a subject fishing on the Grand River in the
Lansing area who had an overlimit of steelhead. The recently
planted trout were also under the legal size limit. The subject was
ticketed for the overlimit violation.
CO Todd Thorn and Sgt. Troy Bahlau observed a vehicle parked on a
trail closed to motorized vehicles. Further investigation revealed
that the occupants of the vehicle were in possession of marijuana
and open intoxicants in the motor vehicle. Enforcement action was
CO Brian Fish assisted a local police department at the scene of a
fatal car accident. Three subjects were ejected from the vehicles
with one subject pronounced dead at the scene.
COs Kris Kiel, Todd Szyska, and Mark Papineau worked surveillance
in St. Clair Shores, stemming from a RAP complaint of subjects
taking vast overlimits of panfish. Officers worked throughout the
night and were able to make an overlimit case. Two additional
subjects were fishing without licenses.
CO Al Schwiderson has been checking a turkey hunter’s baited area
for the last week. He finally was able to catch the subject in the
blind. The subject had a trough feeder with a wire mesh over it to
limit access to deer. The subject had been hunting turkeys for
years and stated he was convinced he could bait for them. The
subject was also hunting three days prior to the season opening.
Enforcement action was taken.
Checking an angler fishing in a small stream, CO Dan Walzak asked
the angler how he was doing. The angler responded that he was not
doing any good and stated “That’s OK, there’s another place that I
go to where I’ve been catching huge perch every year – I’m just
going to go there.” When the CO asked to see his fishing license,
the angler stated that it was supposed to be in the glove box of
his car but he could not find it, and added that he did buy one. CO
Walzak asked for the subject’s driver’s license, and just before
running the check, CO Walzak asked the subject if he actually
bought a license for the year and the response was “no.” Running
the check, it was found that the subject’s last license purchase
was in 2005. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Szyska watched three subjects fishing at Marsac Point.
After a few minutes the CO approached and when one of them saw the
CO he set his pole down. None of the three had fishing licenses.
While CO Szyska was dealing with the subjects, he recognized one of
them as a subject who he issued a ticket to at the same location
for the same violation two years prior. Enforcement action was
COs Todd Szyska and Ken Kovach checked anglers in the cuts and
canals on Harsens Island. CO Kovach observed a man and a woman
fishing. Each of them had their own bucket with three bluegills and
two bluegills, respectively. After getting verbal confirmation that
there were no more fish, CO Kovach found another bucket with 15
bluegills in it next to their vehicle. After getting consent to
search the vehicle, the CO found a smallmouth bass wrapped in a
plastic bag in the trunk. The COs obtained a confession and a
ticket was issued for the possession of a bass during the closed
CO Jon Sklba checked an angler at Veterans Park who advised he was
having car issues so he decided to kill some time fishing while his
car cooled. CO Sklba asked the subject for his license and was told
he didn’t have one, as he was only fishing to kill time until his
car cooled off. The CO mentioned the fact that the subject had
brought with him two large tackle boxes and three fishing poles.
The subject finally admitted that he did not think that he would
see a CO and was issued a ticket.
Lt. David Malloch and CO Mike Drexler checked numerous anglers at
various locations. Five subjects were found fishing without
licenses and two other subjects had multiple outstanding warrants
for their arrest. Enforcement action was taken.