Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 21


CO David Miller had a busy bear opener and wrote tickets for
illegal treestands, failing to wear hunter orange, and illegal

CO Trey Luce ticketed a bear hunter who had failed to wear any
hunter orange. Officer Luce also accompanied the subject back to
camp to verify and have him retrieve his license.

CO Ryan Aho investigated an illegal deer bait found on state land.
An investigation led to a nearby individual who admitted to putting
the bait out in preparation for the upcoming archery season.

CO Jason Niemi worked a complaint about a fishing charter taking
overlimits of walleyes. Niemi was able to check the charter boat in
question when it came in during the early morning hours during the
weekend. There were four subjects on board, and they were in
possession of 24 walleyes. The captain of the vessel was
intoxicated and failed a breathalyzer test. The overlimit of
walleyes was addressed, and the charter boat captain was lodged for
boating while intoxicated.

CO Jason Niemi and Sgt. Pete Wright worked an area of Menominee
County in which complaints had been received about unauthorized
crop damage shooters. The COs observed subjects on an ORV who were
riding double with no helmets. A stop was made, and the operator
was in possession of a loaded and uncased .270 rifle. Further
investigation revealed that he was an unauthorized shooter
attempting to take deer on a crop damage permit. Enforcement action
was taken.

CO Jason Wicklund worked the grouse decoy at several problem areas.
Several shooters were contacted, with violations including no
hunting license, loaded and uncased firearms in motor vehicles, and
no hunter orange. One individual decided that shooting at the
decoys was not sporting enough. He decided to try to catch the bird
by running at it, but was intercepted by the CO. The individual
explained he knew it was a decoy because his buddies always put
them out to try to trick him. The CO told the subject his buddies
were not involved.

CO Dave Painter contacted a subject on an ORV attempting to shoot
the CO’s grouse decoy. The subject did not have any hunter orange
with him, had a loaded shotgun on the ORV, and was operating
without a helmet. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Jerry Fitzgibbon contacted a group of bear hunters with numerous
violations. The hunters had used barrels for their baits and had
litter at the site; they had illegal ORV trails; and they were
hunting prior to their hunt seasons. Enforcement action was

CO John Wenzel stopped a vehicle operator who appeared to be road
hunting. On the seat of the car was a shotgun that was properly
unloaded and cased. However, the operator of the vehicle was
extremely intoxicated. CO Wenzel lodged the driver in the county
jail on charges of operating while impaired, transporting open
intoxicants, and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

CO Mike Evink received a report about shining and shooting on the
Garden Peninsula. He went to the scene and located blood in the
field and a nearby parked truck with blood on it. A second vehicle
approached, and the passenger in that vehicle said the truck was
his and it had broken down and was going to be towed. CO Evink
asked about the blood in the back of the truck. Through several
interviews it was found that four juveniles and one young adult had
shot three deer. CO Evink seized the deer, including the head of a
buck in velvet and four guns. The juveniles were cited into probate
court, and the adult was cited into district court.

CO Jerry Fitzgibbon contacted a group of dog/bear hunters who were
operating ORVs cross-country, transporting loaded handguns on ORVs,
and not wearing hunter orange. Tickets were issued.

CO Derek Miller was conducting a foot patrol when he located an
illegal bear bait. He proceeded to a nearby camp to ask if the
people there were the ones responsible for the illegal bait.
Everybody in the camp denied knowledge of the bait. CO Miller set
up on the illegal bait and within a few hours members from the
nearby camp came to try to clean it up. When CO Miller stepped out,
the surprised camp members admitted to owning the bait. Litter
tickets were issued.

CO Mike Hammill investigated an illegal fire in which he located
the burnt remains of a bear. Interviews were conducted that led to
two untagged bears in a garage freezer. Further investigation
revealed that one of the subjects shot a bear before his season
started and the other subject shot his bear out of his bear
management unit. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Andrea Albert and Andrea Erratt worked a joint patrol on the
Boyne and Jordan rivers, issuing several tickets for a variety of
violations including possession of illegal devices such as M60 snag
hooks, oversized hooks, unbaited hooks, attempting to snag fish,
and possession of foul-hooked salmon. Several other anglers were
ticketed for fishing without a license, trespassing, and

CO Andrea Erratt ticketed and evicted a group of anglers who were
illegally camping and also trespassing while snagging salmon on the
Boyne River. After being evicted from their illegal camp, they set
up another illegal campsite and continued to snag salmon, as well
as dump fillet carcasses of salmon on private property. One of the
subjects also had multiple prior convictions for snagging

CO Mark DePew responded to a complaint about subjects who were
illegally cutting wood on state land. While on the scene, CO Depew
obtained confessions for cutting and selling more than 40 cords of
firewood from state land. Chain saws and a wood splitter were
seized and are being investigated further for possibly being
stolen, and two subjects were arrested on numerous felony

CO Mark DePew is investigating a complaint about a hen turkey with
10 young poults being intentionally run over by a vehicle operator
in Otsego County. Anyone with information is asked to call the
Report All Poaching Hotline at 1-800-292-7800.

CO Mark DePew patrolled an area where he has received numerous
complaints about bear hunters trespassing on private property.
Officer DePew located hunters near the property and called for
assistance from CO Kelly Ross. The COs contacted the hunters and
found one of them in possession of a concealed pistol without
having a concealed pistol license. The hunters’ dogs also were
without any identification tags. The hunter was arrested for the
concealed pistol, and charges are being sought through the
prosecutor’s office.

CO Bill Webster received a call about a shot being fired at 8:07
p.m., which was the end of shooting hours. CO Webster went to the
location and found three people looking for a deer. They stated
another person had shot at a deer and had left, but they were still
looking for it. None of the individuals had an antlerless deer
license. After further investigation, one of the hunters admitted
to having shot at a deer. CO Webster continued to search the area
and located a four-point buck under a pine tree. The hunter was
cited for taking a buck outside of the legal hunting season.


After observing several fresh salmon carcasses dumped in the
Boardman River, CO Sean Kehoe contacted a group of nearby anglers.
When questioned, the subjects admitted to catching some salmon. CO
Kehoe asked to see their fish, and the subjects showed him some
fresh fish fillets at their vehicle. CO Kehoe asked if they had
dumped the carcasses in the river and the subjects stated they
wouldn’t do that because they knew it was illegal. CO Kehoe then
asked the subjects where they had put the fish carcasses. The
subjects told him a trash can. CO Kehoe asked the subjects to take
him to the trash can. The subjects then and admitted they had
actually thrown the fish carcasses into the river. Enforcement
action was taken.

While working a group patrol on the Big Manistee River, CO Carla
Soper was contacted on the radio by CO Steve Converse who, from a
position on the opposite side of the river, advised her of a
possible snagging suspect. CO Soper located and observed the
subject attempting to snag salmon. Upon making contact, CO Soper
recognized the individual as someone she had dealt with in the
past. A record check showed that the subject previously had been
ticketed for snagging and possession of an overlimit of salmon. The
subject was issued a ticket for second-offense snagging of

CO Mike Wells received a complaint about a subject hunting with a
crossbow for deer during the closed season. CO Wells responded to
the complaint and located a subject in a ground blind and hunting
over a spincast feeder. The subject informed CO Wells that he
wasn’t hunting deer and produced a fall turkey license. CO Wells
asked how long the subject had been baiting turkeys. The subject
said since July. CO Wells informed the confused subject that
baiting turkeys is illegal. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Troy VanGelderen was on patrol along the White River when he
encountered a subject asleep with a full stringer of salmon. The CO
woke the subject and while checking his identification was informed
by dispatch that the subject had several outstanding arrest
warrants. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Oceana County


CO Jon Warner received a complaint about subjects who had removed
barrier posts and driven into an area along the North Branch of the
Au Sable River to camp. CO Warner located the camp and found the
subjects who were in the area to fish the river. Enforcement action
was taken.

CO Mike Hearn stopped several ORV operators in a residential area
who were operating carelessly, racing, and speeding down the main
road of a subdivision. One subject had several previous contacts,
and three tickets were issued by CO Hearn.

CO Mike Hearn acted on a complaint about ORVers doing damage on
state land and found the site where a race track with jumps for
ORVs had been created. The adjacent property owners were found to
be responsible for the damage. Juveniles as well as adults had been
operating on the homemade race track. Enforcement action was taken,
and the subjects decided to repair the damage.

While working on state land, COs Jon Warner and Bobbi Lively
contacted an ORV operator who was riding in a closed area. His
driving privileges had been suspended, and while they were working
on this contact, a second ORV operator stopped by. This subject had
no helmet and also was operating in a closed area.

Following up on a bear complaint, CO Warren MacNeill followed a
fresh set of ORV tracks in the area of the alleged bait. Officer
MacNeill located the subject operating the ORV where prohibited
with a loaded and uncased rifle.

COs Jason McCullough and Steve Lockwood attempted to stop two ORVs
being operated illegally on state land. The subjects fled and led
the COs on a short chase. One of the subjects crashed his ORV into
the trees but was unharmed. The other temporarily escaped but later
was located and arrested at his residence. When asked why they
attempted to elude the COs, the subjects stated they didn’t want a
ticket for operating where prohibited.


CO Jason A. Smith assisted local deputies with retrieving a boat
from the Cass River after two subjects fell into the water. One of
the subjects drowned in the incident.

CO Jason A. Smith assisted CO Seth Rhodea with a trespass
complaint. A subject was located, and although trespass charges did
not apply, the subject was hunting over an illegal bait pile and it
was revealed that there were tagging violations with an antlerless
deer. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dan Lee received information about a subject putting bait out
too early. The CO went to the residence but no one came to the
door. A quick walk around the yard revealed a feed pile within 100
yards of the residence. The feed pile also showed evidence of a
deer being shot on the spot. The landowner eventually returned and
confirmed that he had shot a deer from the tool shed in the back
yard over the corn that was put out for recreational viewing.
Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dan Lee received a complaint about a subject showing off a
7-point buck he shot on opening day of the early antlerless deer
season. The CO responded to the residence and contacted the
subject. The man showed the CO the carcass of a deer in a shed.
When asked where the head and hide were, he first said in the
woods, then he said in the garden, then he said the head was gone,
then he said he burned it, then he produced a 7-point rack from the
freezer. The man had tagged the deer with a combo tag and validated
it for 10/01/11. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Larn Strawn received a complaint of trespass and illegal deer.
While investigating the complaint, the CO was able to track a blood
trail through a dense swamp to a field. After tracking the blood
trail, the CO located a truck, gut pile, hunting blind, and
ultimately a hunter. The hunter admitted to killing the deer and
trespassing. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Phil Hudson and Quincy Gowenlock were on a joint patrol in
Gratiot County when they observed a vehicle parked along the road
shoulder near a bridge. The COs exited the patrol truck and
observed two subjects fishing under the bridge. As the COs looked
over the railing, CO Hudson saw a stringer that appeared to have
two short bass attached. One of the anglers advised that he was
told that bass had to be 12 inches in length to be legal. The bass
measured 13 and 8 inches. CO Quincy then asked the angler about the
8-inch bass. The angler had nothing to say. Both anglers were
issued tickets for possessing short bass.


CO Cary Foster received a baiting complaint from the staff at the
Ionia Recreation Area that had been passed on by a hunter. Upon
investigation, CO Foster located a bait pile and a camouflaged
hunter seated about 30 yards away hunting squirrels after removing
his orange vest. The hunter was ticketed for not wearing hunter

CO Gary Raak contacted three subjects riding their horses on the
North Country Trail through the Barry State Game Area, right past a
sign informing them not to. One of the subjects attempted to flee,
and when apprehended initially provided a false name.

CO Mike McGee was on patrol on an inland lake in Cass County when
he began to approach a boat in which a subject was fishing. As he
approached, CO McGee observed the angler begin frantically throwing
fish into the water. Once reaching the boat, CO McGee recovered
three dead bluegills floating on the surface and found 28 bluegills
in the subject’s boat. The subject was ticketed for the overlimit
of panfish.

CO Steve Mooney has been actively working anglers on Lake Michigan,
specifically targeting subjects using extra fishing lines. Over a
short time, CO Mooney ticketed four different subjects using extra
lines, including a subject he had seen the previous day in St. Joe
with 11 rods on board, but the angler pulled the lines before he
could be contacted. The next day, CO Mooney observed the same
subject in a boat in South Haven fishing with three extra lines.
The subject was ticketed and informed about the previous day’s

CO Ken Cerny received a RAP complaint about baited hunting sites on
hunter access property. CO Cerny, along with CO Paul Higashi,
investigated during the early antlerless season and located a
subject hunting without hunter orange and over a large bait pile.
The subject admitted that he and his father had placed illegal bait
piles at three other locations on the property. The subject was
ticketed for the violations and will clean up the other illegally
baited hunting sites.


CO Jason J. Smith contacted two subjects who were fishing without
licenses. One of the subjects had an outstanding warrant for his
arrest. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jason J. Smith contacted a subject fishing on a remote lake.
Upon noticing the CO, the subject attempted to throw the fish he
had caught back into the lake. The subject was properly licensed
and had caught legal fish yet asked if he was going to jail.
Sensing something awry, CO Smith ran a check on the subject, which
revealed an outstanding arrest warrant. The subject was indeed
going to jail.

CO Rich Nickols contacted a subject hunting on state land during
the early antlerless firearms deer season. The subject had an
antlerless deer license so he thought he was legal – until the CO
informed him that the early antlerless season is for private land
only. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Damon Owens received information that three subjects trespassed
onto private property to gain access to a river. Upon
investigation, it was revealed that the subjects admitted to
trespassing so that they could launch their flat-bottom boat in
search of “the big one.” The subjects also were fishing without
licenses and did not have any personal flotation devices aboard.
Enforcement action was taken.

While investigating a suspicious vehicle parked in a cornfield
after dark, CO Todd Thorn located a subject hunting without the
required hunter orange. The subject was hunting with his son, who
also was not wearing hunter orange. Enforcement action was

CO Kyle Bader received a complaint about a subject keeping
undersized bass. CO Bader located the subject cleaning the
undersized fish at his dock, with more undersized fish still in his
bucket. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Dan Bigger, Jeff Walker, and Jason J. Smith worked a late-night
complaint of a subject illegally netting fish in the Grand River.
The COs located the subject who was using an illegal gill net to
take fish out of the river. The subject was in possession of
undersized walleyes when contacted by the COs. Enforcement action
was taken.

CO Jason J. Smith received a late-night complaint that a subject
was seen dragging a buck whitetail into a shed on private property.
CO Smith arrived on the scene and located two subjects in the shed,
smoking marijuana. CO Smith located four illegal deer – two
illegally killed bucks and two untagged antlerless deer.
Enforcement action was taken.

CO Al Mendez responded to a trespassing complaint in which a
landowner heard a shot and located a subject dragging a deer off of
his property. CO Mendez located the subject and took enforcement


CO Mark Ennett responded to a report of a possible illegal hunter
at Sterling State Park. Park staff saw a goose hunter in a closed
section of the park and managed to bring him to a parking area. CO
Ennett talked to the hunter, who did not know the dates of the
hunting seasons, was goose hunting several days after the early
season closed, and was using an unplugged shotgun. The subject was
ticketed for the shotgun violation and warned about hunting during
the closed season.

CO Brandon Kieft was patrolling the Bald Mountain Recreation Area
when he observed two young males carrying firearms and not wearing
hunter orange clothing. When CO Kieft approached the two
individuals, they stated they had been target shooting near the
parking lot. CO Kieft asked them what direction they were shooting
and where their targets were located. The individuals were trying
to make up a quick story when CO Kieft noticed fresh bullet holes
that had caused damage to the recreation area signs. The subjects
eventually admitted to shooting at the signs. The subjects were
issued tickets.

CO Brandon Kieft responded to a RAP complaint involving a homeowner
who shot a Canada goose from his back sliding door. The goose was
killed within the safety zone of neighboring houses with a .22
rifle. The area is closed to hunting and the subject did not have
any current hunting licenses. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Linda Scheidler received a baiting complaint from the RAP
hotline. The complainant said he saw a harvested yearling doe that
he knew was taken over bait. CO Scheidler located the hunter’s
blind and bait. She then questioned the suspect about taking a fawn
with spots. He denied it, and showed her photos on his cell phone
of his deer without spots and the same blind where the CO had
located bait. Enforcement action was taken.

CO John Borkovich received a complaint about a large, dead sturgeon
on a stringer tied to a dock in Algonac. The CO responded and set
up surveillance on the dock for several hours. No one returned, so
the CO seized the 66-inch fish. The CO plans to interview several
local anglers to see if they know anything. The investigation

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