CO Trey Luce assisted local deputies with a report of a deceased
person found in the woods near Michigamme. Apparently the subject
accidentally had cut himself in the neck and chest while operating
a chain saw.
CO Ryan Aho was first on the scene of a head-on car/motorcycle
accident. The driver of the vehicle crossed the center line and
collided with the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was
killed in the crash, and the passenger suffered life-threatening
CO Dennis Gast responded to a hunter harassment complaint regarding
one bear guide dumping bleach on another hunter’s bear bait. The
encounter nearly led to fisticuffs, as CO Gast had to separate the
guides. The investigation continues into the incident.
CO Jason Niemi ticketed a subject for baiting deer early. He issued
the same subject a warning for placing an illegal treestand on
state land. This same subject had been ticketed for the same thing
by CO Niemi a couple years ago.
CO Jason Wicklund responded to an early morning 911 call regarding
an overdue elderly angler. The CO located the individual’s float
tube and fishing gear. A search of the area turned up the missing
angler, who had become disoriented in the low-light conditions the
previous night and couldn’t find his vehicle. The angler was
treated at the scene for dehydration and was released to a grateful
CO Jason Wicklund was on patrol when he observed an ORVer driving
down the highway while pulling a trailer. The operator of the ORV
was not wearing a helmet, and garbage was blowing out of the
trailer and onto the highway. The CO followed the ORV through a
field and contacted the operator, who was unaware of the garbage
issues. The driver verbally gave the CO his name, date of birth,
address, and wife’s name. When this information could not be
verified, the CO placed a call to the residence of the operator and
spoke with the person he said was his wife. The wife informed the
CO that her husband was standing next to her in the kitchen and
didn’t know who the CO had with him, but it definitely wasn’t her
husband. Upon hearing the radio traffic, the driver of the ORV
decided to come clean about his identity and tell the CO that he
had a warrant for his arrest. The driver was charged with several
ORV violations and was lodged on the arrest warrant.
CO Reid Roeske worked complaints about boaters operating without
navigation lights on Little Bay de Noc. While contacting one such
boater, he asked if they had fish in the livewell. The boat
operator said it was empty, but then CO Roeske heard a splashing
sound come from the direction of the livewell. When he checked it,
he found two short walleyes. Tickets were issued.
CO John Wenzel received a call at home regarding a wolf/dog
incident that occurred within 2 miles of his house. CO Wenzel went
to the scene and found that the dog – a mid-sized boxer – had been
attacked by what was described as and later confirmed to be a
CO Mike Hammill and CO Derek Miller were checking anglers after
dark on a local river when they heard a shot. They hiked to the
area of the shot and located a camp. While approaching the camp on
the entrance road, they smelled cigarette smoke. The owner of the
camp said he and his son were the only people there and that they
had not shot a gun. The COs went to the area where they’d smelled
the smoke and found a flashlight on the ground. They then found a
male subject with a rifle hiding in the brush. It later was
determined that he was a guest of the camp owner and had hidden
because he was hunting coyotes without a license and without hunter
orange. Tickets were issued.
CO Jeff Panich was conducting an ORV patrol when he came upon a
truck that had two rifles lying across the hood and nobody around.
After searching for some time, the CO located two subjects over
one-half mile away. The CO explained the dangers of leaving
firearms unattended and escorted the two back to their truck. The
CO ran a check on the firearms and found that one of the rifles was
reported as stolen. Further investigation revealed that the rifle
was stolen in a break and entry incident in Chippewa County. The
firearm was seized, and the case was turned over to the sheriff’s
COs Carl VanderWall and Duane Budreau were first on the scene of a
serious personal injury accident involving a motor vehicle and a
bicycle riden by a 13-year-old boy. The COs rendered first aid
until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived, possibly saving
the life of the young man, who had multiple lacerations and several
CO Carl VanderWall ticketed a subject who was illegally baiting
bears on state land by placing the bait out before season and for
littering by using man-made materials. He and CO Duane Budreau also
evicted illegal campers along the French Farm Flooding in Emmet
County. The COs report that illegal camping on state land has been
on the increase throughout the northwest Michigan area.
CO Rich Stowe worked a complaint in which a bear hunter had an
illegal bear bait, and had blocked access to state land by erecting
a locked cable across a trail road. CO Stowe contacted the
responsible subject and ticketed him for the offense.
COs Eric Bottorff and Nick Torsky responded to a complaint about
illegal horseback use in the Pigeon River Country State Forest a
couple days before the elk season. The riders were contacted and
were aware they were riding in an area closed to horseback use.
Three tickets were issued.
CO Mark DePew watched a vehicle occupant shining a field while
looking for deer. A traffic stop was initiated for a traffic
violation, and the occupants were found to be in possession of a
.17-caliber rifle and open beers. The individuals were ticketed for
CO Nick Torsky was patrolling the Pigeon River Country when he
located three vehicles and horse trailers parked in an area not
open to horseback riding. CO Torsky waited for the riders to return
to discuss the illegal activity. At first the six riders denied
knowing they couldn’t ride there, but then admitted they knew
better. Tickets were issued.
CO Nick Torsky received a call from the Michigan State Police that
officers had pulled over an individual who was in possession of a
loaded .22-caliber rifle, a spotlight, and a knife covered in deer
hair and blood; there also was blood and deer hair in the back of
the truck. Upon CO Torsky’s arrival at the scene, the subject
continued to deny shooting a deer, but eventually confessed to
holding the spotlight while a friend shot the deer. CO Torsky
seized the deer and evidence, and the investigation is
COs Sean Kehoe and Justin Vanderlinde floated the Betsie River,
which was experiencing one of the heaviest salmon runs in recent
history. Numerous tickets were written for snagging, possessing
overlimits, and illegal fishing gear. Several positive comments
were received concerning their efforts.
CO Carla Soper responded to a complaint at the weir on the Little
Manistee River where two subjects had gone downstream to fish in
the closed portion after being told by several anglers that it was
closed. CO Soper was stopped four times in a 2-mile stretch leading
to the weir by individuals advising that the subjects had not taken
heed to warnings and that the subjects had told them to “mind their
own business.” CO Soper located the pair, and they admitted they
were told not to fish but did. Enforcement action was taken.
While working a late-night patrol at Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee
River, COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski observed a subject
catch and retain a snagged salmon while using illegal gear. CO
Converse had to wade into waist-deep water to contact the subject,
who became resistant and attempted to destroy the evidence of his
illegal gear and the fish he had put on a stringer. CO Converse was
able to recover the subject’s fishing rod and illegal gear, but the
subject was able to release the fish that was attached to the
stringer. The subject eventually was escorted to the riverbank by
the COs and denied any wrongdoing. The subject was issued tickets
for snagging fish and using illegal gear. Additional charges have
been submitted to the prosecutor’s office, including resisting and
obstructing an officer.
Acting Sgt. Brian Brosky was patrolling the Pere Marquette River
when he observed a subject land and possess a foul-hooked chinook
salmon. When the subject was informed that he would be receiving a
ticket for retaining a foul-hooked fish, the subject’s grandson
spoke up, reminding his grandfather that he told him to let it go
or he might get caught. The subject agreed that his grandson was
correct and used receiving the ticket as a learning
CO Jeff Ginn stopped a vehicle leaving a state game area for a
traffic violation and discovered the subject was in possession of
several state snowmobile trail signs that the subject had just
stolen from the trail posts. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bobbi Lively contacted several subjects fishing on a local lake.
When asked for his fishing license, one subject indicated he had a
license but did not have it with him. A check revealed the subject
did not have a current fishing license. The subject was ticketed
and taken into custody on a felony warrant out of Tennessee.
CO Murray Cherry contacted an ORV operator in violation and while
running a check for warrants on the subject, the information
included the subject had an expired concealed pistol license. CO
Cherry asked if the subject was carrying a concealed pistol, and
the subject showed the CO a loaded pistol he was carrying in his
CO Joel Lundberg was the first person on the scene of a rollover
personal injury accident. He administered first aid until EMS
personnel arrived and then assisted them until the victims were
transported to the hospital.
CO Steve Lockwood assisted sheriff’s deputies in investigating a
boating/tubing accident on Secord Lake. The victims were being
pulled on an inner tube when it was struck by another boat. Both
victims were minors and were airlifted to a hospital but are
expected to fully recover from their injuries.
CO Brian Olsen reports the conclusion of a case that involved a
subject videotaping his illegal exploits and putting them on
YouTube. As a result of posting his videos, the subject was charged
with several different violations, including the illegal taking of
game. The subject paid $4,000 in fines and costs and was sentenced
to 45 days in jail.
While patrolling the Rush Lake State Game Area at night, CO Robert
Hobkirk observed an SUVer travelling down an unimproved road at a
high rate of speed. There were two individuals standing on the side
step of the vehicle, holding onto the roof rack. When the vehicle
was being stopped, the two individuals tried to get into the
vehicle without being seen. The operator of the vehicle was
ticketed for careless driving, and all occupants left the scene
inside the vehicle.
While checking the Pinnebog River, CO Robert Hobkirk observed an
individual smoking marijuana near the mouth of the river. Prior to
leaving the mouth of the river, the subject was observed putting
the marijuana and pipe into a tackle box. About 45 minutes later,
CO Hobkirk contacted the canoeist near the canoe livery. The
subject was informed that he was observed smoking marijuana and
asked if the marijuana was still in the tackle box. When he was
being ticketed for this activity, he asked CO Hobkirk how he knew
about the subject’s every move.
CO Phillip Hudson was on a late-night patrol when he contacted
several subjects in a pickup truck. CO Hudson located a rifle with
a spent round in the chamber, along with a spotlight. An antlered
deer with a bullet wound to its head also was found in the bed of
the truck. Enforcement action was taken.
On the opening day of early goose season, CO Seth Rhodea contacted
a hunter after watching him shoot at but miss a red-winged
blackbird. Upon contacting the hunter and checking his hunting
equipment, it also was discovered that the hunter had lead shot in
his possession. A ticket was issued for possessing lead shot and a
warning given for shooting at the blackbird.
CO Jay Person assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the
investigation of an eagle’s nest that was cut down in a logging
operation on private property. The nest was active this spring,
according to neighbors in the area. Due to the timber sale being
set up in 2007, and the nest being constructed after that time, the
loggers had no idea the nest was there. The property owners knew
there were eagles in the area, but did not know the nest was on
their property. Due to heavy leaf cover, the nest was hard to spot.
The USFWS is handling disposition of the case.
CO Larn R. Strawn heard several gunshots well after dark while he
patrolled the Au Sable State Forest in Isabella County. Upon
locating the responsible parties, the CO discovered a group of
subjects carelessly handling and discharging a semi-automatic
pistol. The subjects were intoxicated and unlawfully possessed the
firearm. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Patrick McManus and Sgt. Jeff Rabbers assisted Ontario Ministry
of Natural Resources officers with an investigation of four
subjects taking overlimits of smallmouth bass from a remote region
of northern Ontario waters. Interviews were conducted and
confessions obtained for the violations. One of the subjects had
been ticketed at the border for attempting to conceal the fish by
having them filleted and processed. The subjects were in possession
of 32 fish over their limit.
CO Mike Mshar assisted local deputies with an ongoing investigation
of stolen archery equipment from a local outdoors store. Interviews
were conducted in Van Buren County, and some of the equipment was
recovered. Felony charges of breaking and entering will be
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers conducted surveillance on two subjects goose
hunting in an area where the landowners have had issues with
trespassing. When contact was made, it was determined the
individuals did not have permission to hunt. They also did not have
flotation devices for their boat, waterfowl licenses, or federal
licenses, and neither of their shotguns was plugged. One of the
subjects also had a conservation warrant out of Florida for
trespassing while hog hunting.
COs Steve Orange and Dave Rodgers were on patrol during the early
goose season opener when they set up separately to observe a large
group of field hunters who had staked out the location the previous
day at the Rouge River SGA. The COs maintained positions and used
text messaging to communicate while watching the group of 13
hunters. Upon making contact, six tickets were issued for
possession of lead shot, unplugged guns, no Michigan small-game
license, no federal waterfowl stamp, and no state waterfowl
CO Dave Rodgers patrolled on the goose opener along the Grand River
on a personal watercraft. CO Rodgers observed hunters moving along
in a boat and was able to quickly move up alongside the vessel and
identify himself. CO Rodgers discovered the occupants had loaded
firearms and were attempting to take geese from a moving motorboat.
Tickets were issued.
CO Andy Bauer was contacted by an off-duty park ranger from Warren
Dunes State Park about a suspicious subject. CO Bauer, with the
help of park personnel, located a nonresident who had removed 101
ginseng roots, a threatened plant species in Michigan.
CO Kyle Bader received a report about a subject taking an overlimit
of fish. Upon investigation, CO Bader located the subject in
question who did have 44 bluegills over his limit. CO Bader’s
investigation revealed that the subject was arrested for the same
offense last year. The subject stated that since he was only able
to fish once every two weeks, he thought it was OK to take more
than allowed in one day. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Al Mendez contacted a subject fishing without a license. The
investigation showed that the subject was wanted on nine warrants.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason J. Smith responded to a complaint about a number of
gunshots heard on the local game area. When CO Smith arrived at the
scene, he located two subjects who were shooting at whatever they
saw, including animals, trees, mushrooms, and butterflies. The
subjects had no hunting licenses or hunter orange and stated they
didn’t need them because they were on state land. Enforcement
action was taken, and an education on the proper laws was
CO Dan Prince reports that a subject arrested for killing two deer
without licenses, killing a turkey out of season, and killing a
protected sandhill crane and a protected turkey vulture was found
guilty of all charges. The subject paid over $3,000 in fines,
costs, and restitution, the firearm was forfeited to the state, and
the subject lost his hunting privileges for three years.
During the early goose season opener, CO Jon Sklba contacted three
hunters who were returning to their vehicle. As they paddled their
canoe toward shore, one of the hunters decided to shoot a bullfrog.
CO Sklba contacted the group, and the hunter who shot the frog
quickly admitted to it. As the check continued, the hunters were
unable to produce federal waterfowl stamps. The group also was
unable to produce enough PFDs for the number of hunters using the
canoe. Enforcement action was taken, and the remains of the frog
CO Mike Drexler was patrolling for hunters during the early goose
opener when he came upon two young hunters about to set out decoys.
While checking licenses the CO found one hunter was 17 years old
and the other was 16 years old. The CO talked with the young
hunters for a while but informed them that they needed to pack up
until an adult was hunting with them.
CO Ben Shively came upon a golf cart being operated on the roads in
Highland Recreation Area. When CO Shively told the female driver
that she could not operate on the roads, she stated she could
because the golf cart was plated as a low-speed vehicle. CO Shively
obtained her registration and pointed out that the golf cart could
not be a low-speed vehicle because it was gas-powered, the tires
were not D.O.T. approved, she had no shoulder seat belts, no roll
bar, a two-piece plexi-glass windshield, and she was operating a
low-speed vehicle on a road posted greater than 35 mph. CO Shively
educated the female on the requirements of a low-speed vehicle and
advised her that he would cancel the plate at the Secretary of
Sgt. Arthur Green and CO Ben Shively conducted a marine patrol on
Cass Lake in Oakland County. The COs contacted 45 people on the
water and issued tickets for towing without an observer, failing to
display valid registration, and expired registration. The COs also
towed in a disabled pontoon to dry dock that was experiencing
electrical problems and was inoperable in the middle of the
COs Ben Shively, Brandon Kieft, and Mark Papineau worked the annual
White Lake Mardi Gras on White Lake in Oakland County. The COs
contacted more than 175 people during the event and issued tickets
for unregistered watercraft, operating within 100 feet of a moored
vessel or shore, and failing to provide PFDs. Eight verbal warnings
were given regarding marine safety.
CO Linda Scheidler and Sgt. Tom Wanless were on marine patrol on
Holloway Reservoir when they came upon an abandoned canoe floating
down the slow, no- wake channel. The COs towed the canoe upstream
and searched for the owners, but had no luck. The canoe was not
registered, and the HIN came back “no record.” The COs seized the
canoe and notified local businesses to spread the word about the
CO Linda Scheidler found a sailboat where the operator was teaching
a young female how to operate it. There were no life jackets on
board. The CO explained the safety issues of not having and not
wearing life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach received a complaint about a subject selling 13
snapping turtles on Craigslist. CO Kovach contacted the 17-year-old
subject by phone and got more information on the case. He then
responded to the subject’s residence and talked with her and her
father about the violations. The turtles were released back into