MIchigan Cuffs and Collars – March 16th, 2012

DISTRICT 1

CO Grant Emery contacted a group of bobcat hunters in Gogebic County who had just harvested a bobcat. A few of the members were not wearing the required hunter orange clothing, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter observed an ORVer operating after dark along a side street in Caspian without the required headlight. A stop of the ORV found the operator was not wearing a helmet. The operator was returning from a friend’s house and thought he would go unnoticed by not using a headlight. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Leadman and Sgt. Pete Wright contacted two subjects trespassing on the Chocolay River. They had walked right past a “no trespassing” sign to access the river. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Trey Luce responded to a subject who had collapsed in his house due to a heart attack. Despite CPR and the use of the CO’s issued AED, the subject did not recover from the attack.
CO Doug Hermanson and Sgt. Steven Burton ticketed one angler at Craig Lake State Park for possessing live bait. A warning was given for an unregistered campsite and an unregistered snowmobile.
CO Jason Wicklund and Sgt. Marc Pomroy responded to a tip about a subject dragging a deer into a residence in Dickinson County. When the COs arrived at the house, they contacted the subject’s wife, and two deer were observed lying on the kitchen floor. The COs were told the deer were from deer season and that she was bringing them in to process them. One of the deer was an untagged spike. A further check of the residence revealed the female’s tag on a spike buck head that she didn’t remember shooting. Later in the evening, the COs contacted a male subject who confessed to shooting both of the bucks, using his wife’s tag on one, and illegally using a combination deer tag on the deer in the kitchen. The deer were seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund ticketed an individual for a tagging violation regarding a bobcat he shot. The subject did not have a kill tag on the bobcat when he registered it, and he’d shot the bobcat two weeks before buying a fur harvester license. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mike Hammill located several unattended tip-ups on Manistique Lake that were completely frozen in the ice. Some of the flags on the tip-ups indicated that a fish was on, but nobody was in sight. The CO followed tracks in the snow to a residence where he located several short pike in a garage. A knock on the door revealed three anglers who were responsible for the unattended lines. They claimed that they kept the short northern pike because they were dead when they reeled them in. The CO explained that was why the law requires an angler to attend his lines. Tickets were issued for unattended lines and short pike.
CO Kyle Publiski responded to a call for assistance from a Sault Tribe conservation officer. The tribal officer encountered a non-tribal subject hunting small game without a license. CO Publiski arrived on the scene and issued a ticket for hunting without a license.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling Little Bay de Noc in response to several complaints in the area. While on the bay, CO Ferguson contacted an angler who was complaining to him about ORVers and snowmobilers buzzing his tip-ups and shack. CO Ferguson worked the area and issued several tickets for careless operation and no registration on the vehicles.
CO Robert Crisp was working the greater Munising Bay area and contacted three subjects who were leaving the ice, heading to their vehicles. One subject stated that they only caught four whitefish. Further investigation revealed an undersized splake that was in a bucket buried in the sled. Enforcement action was taken.
COs John Wenzel and Robert Crisp were patrolling snowmobile trails east of Munising when they received a call from central dispatch about a personal injury accident involving two snowmobiles. According to witness statements, the lead snowmobiler struck a large hole in the trail and was ejected from his snowmobile onto the trail. The second snowmobiler was unable to stop in time and struck the lead snowmobiler, who was lying on the trail. The COs, along with other search and rescue personnel, were able to stabilize both individuals and transport them to a local hospital.

DISTRICT 3

COs Duane Budreau and Carl VanderWall worked a joint snowmobile patrol with Sgt. Mike Borkovich and issued several warnings and three tickets for a variety of violations. One snowmobile operator who had his 3-year-old daughter with him was ticketed for careless operation after the COs observed him running multiple stop signs at over 30 miles per hour. When stopped, the man said he didn’t see the stop signs and appeared to be shocked as to his careless operation through the intersections.
A Lake Charlevoix angler attempted to quickly reel up his extra lines as he was approached by CO Steve Speigl while fishing in an ice shanty near East Jordan. The man was not quick enough and was ticketed for fishing with too many lines.
Sgt. Mike Borkovich gave warnings to three local juveniles who had caught and kept a total of four undersized walleyes while ice fishing on Birch Lake. The youths were having a great time and were out fishing with tip-ups because it was Free Fishing Weekend and appeared to have no clue about size limits or possession limits of the fish. The fish were released back into Birch Lake and all but one appeared to survive the ordeal. To make matters more interesting, the boys were all 16 and under and did not need a license.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski checked on an ice shanty about which complaints had been received in the past regarding overlimits of northern pike being taken. Contact was made, and the anglers were found in possession of an overlimit of pike, in addition to undersized pike. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jon Sklba and Bill Webster patrolled Fletchers Floodwater during a recent fishing tournament. Although the weather was cold and ice conditions were poor, the COs still encountered numerous violations. More than 20 warnings were issued for various violations, and tickets were issued for operating an ORV without registration, no snowmobile registration, operating an ORV without helmets, fishing without a license, and possessing marijuana.
CO Bill Webster patrolled Hubbard Lake on foot, and while checking anglers was told that another CO had checked them two hours earlier. CO Webster continued checking anglers and encountered two subjects who were each fishing with four lines. They stated since they were checked earlier they felt they were safe to put out extra lines. Both were issued tickets.

DISTRICT 4

CO Steve Converse served several multiple-count warrants for violations related to this past deer season. One warrant involved the illegal purchase of a resident license to hunt deer by a nonresident. The individual was charged with hunting/taking a deer without a valid license. Another warrant was related to a landowner who used a game camera to catch a trespasser who had taken deer from property he did not have permission to hunt. The game camera documented that the subject had taken two deer, each with fewer than four points on one side. The investigation revealed that the illegal hunter had borrowed a regular combination license to cover the second buck. Additional charges were filed for the tagging violations.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Troy Mueller were on patrol in Osceola County when they observed three subjects dressed in blaze orange with loaded shotguns standing along a roadway adjacent to posted private property. CO Mueller contacted the group, whose members initially stated they just watched a flock of crows fly by and were waiting for them to pass by again. None of the subjects could produce a small-game license. A check of the retail sales system confirmed that none of the subjects had purchased a small-game license. The subjects admitted that they were going to hunt rabbits on the property down the road. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Wells completed a lengthy investigation of a subject hunting while revoked. CO Wells was able to interview the subject at his place of employment and received an admission of small-game hunting while revoked. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Wells received a trespass complaint in which footprints and blood were left behind in the snow. CO Wells followed the tracks to a location where a raccoon recently had been killed, and then to a nearby residence. After questioning an individual at the residence, several squirrels also were located. The subject had not purchased a small-game license and admitted to the trespass. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 5

CO Mike Hearn ticketed a subject who failed to remove his waterfowl hunting blind from a public lake. Trash had been left in the blind that was frozen in the lake, and the subject was directed to remove the structure.
CO John Huspen assisted with a snowmobile injury accident in which the operator hit a seawall while traveling along the lake shoreline. The operator suffered extensive injuries and was transported to a hospital.
While checking anglers, CO Mark Papineau contacted an angler using an ORV to haul his fishing equipment on the ice. During the contact, CO Papineau observed dried blood smeared across the back of the ORV. The angler admitted to having a successful deer season in which he harvested two bucks. CO Papineau learned that the subject had illegally harvested two bucks and allowed a relative to tag one of the deer. The subject admitted that since he had already taken one buck, he asked a relative to tag the other one. CO Papineau followed the subject to his residence, where he produced two sets of antlers from deer that were harvested during the recent deer season. Charges are being sought.
While checking ice anglers, CO Mark Papineau encountered four subjects fishing with too many lines, all of whom knew the law and were trying to hide the extra lines. Two of these subjects also were in possession of marijuana. Tickets were issued to each individual.
CO Steve Lockwood checked a trapper who had two uncased firearms in his truck. The man also was targeting raccoons during the closed season and had several untagged traps in his possession.
CO Jason McCullough was able to conclude two investigations involving subjects not checking their leg-hold traps for up to five days at a time. After much surveillance and several interviews, the subjects confessed to not checking their traps.

DISTRICT 6

While stopping to check several coyote hunters, CO Seth Rhodea located an uncased firearm in the cab of a truck of one of the hunters. When the CO ran the subject through the computer, the hunter information came back with several warrants. When CO Rhodea attempted to talk with the hunter about the warrants, he took off running through the woods. A foot pursuit ended with CO Rhodea catching up to the hunter and taking him into custody. On the way to the jail, the subject asked CO Rhodea if he had ever been in “Cuffs and Collars.” CO Rhodea told him he had been in there a couple times and there was a good chance this story would make it, too.
CO Joshua Wright responded to a call regarding lost anglers on Saginaw Bay. One angler called 911 and reported that they were caught in a white-out snowstorm and their GPS had no signal. When Officer Wright arrived at the location where the anglers had walked out from shore, he noticed that the water level in the bay had risen by 2 feet and there was only about 50 feet of visibility. CO Wright put on his waders and walked out to the safe ice and set flares out to guide the men in. The local county 911 dispatch took about 45 minutes to help guide the anglers toward the flares by triangulating their cell phone location with the cell phone towers. Both of the anglers were wet from falling through the ice and having to walk in water to get to shore. Both were treated for exposure and mild hypothermia by an awaiting ambulance crew.
CO Phil Hudson was patrolling Saginaw Bay on his ORV and contacted an angler in possession of 97 perch. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bob Hobkirk received information from an individual about a subject who had been bragging to them that he shot more than two bucks during the 2011 deer season. CO Hobkirk started his investigation and located the hunter’s treestand and semi-processed deer carcasses. Evidence was gathered from the carcasses for DNA, and photos of the alleged deer that had been shot were discovered. A search warrant was obtained for the subject’s residence and was executed by COs Hobkirk, Scott Brown, Jason Smith, Chad Foerster, and Sgt. Tony Soave. The subject confessed to shooting seven bucks and finding two dead bucks. All nine sets of antlers were seized, along with the hunter’s bow and his muzzleloader. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
COs Joel Lundberg and Jay Person observed a large number of tip-ups set on Wixom Lake in front of a residence. The COs sat and observed the tip-ups after tripping a flag to see if the anglers were watching them. Over an hour later, and after dark, a subject came out on the ice with a flashlight. Contact was made, and the COs discovered that two subjects claimed the nine tip-ups. When asked how many flags they had up, the subject replied, “none.” A quick shine with the flashlight revealed the two flags that had been up for over an hour. Tickets were issued for the unattended lines, and a warning was given for fishing with too many lines.

DISTRICT 7

After a large snowstorm, CO Andy Bauer responded to a complaint about snowmobilers operating in Warren Dunes State Park. Upon the CO’s arrival, the snowmobilers had left, so he followed the tracks to a McDonald’s parking lot and located the subjects. Upon contact, the snowmobilers, who were from three counties away, stated they had heard about the snowstorm, had purchased new snowmobiles, and had driven directly to Berrien County. The snowmobiles were unregistered and did not have trail permits, along with having been operated in a closed area. Enforcement action was taken, along with an explanation of the snowmobile regulations.
CO Steve Mooney was working ice anglers on one of the few lakes that have ice and checked an angler with a limit of panfish in the morning. The subject made many comments about how he couldn’t believe people would keep overlimits of fish. CO Mooney went back to the same lake that evening, recognized the subject’s other vehicle, and checked the subject leaving the lake with another 14 panfish. The subject was ticketed for an overlimit of panfish.

DISTRICT 8

COs Pete Purdy and Jason Smith received a RAP complaint about coyote hunters trespassing and shooting from vehicles. Both COs responded and checked the area. CO Purdy observed a vehicle matching the description of the suspects’ vehicle, including a dead coyote placed on the dog box in the back of the truck. CO Purdy conducted a traffic stop and contacted the occupants. The COs obtained consent to search the vehicle and found a loaded .22 rifle on the back seat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn signed three separate warrants for DNR violations that took place during last year’s deer-hunting season. One of the warrants was for an illegal deer. Another was for theft of state property, and the third was for possession of a controlled substance, as well as drug paraphernalia.
CO Brad Brewer signed a three-count warrant for a subject who shot two turkeys from his truck. During the investigation, CO Brewer found two uncased and loaded firearms in the subject’s truck – one loaded with a 12-gauge slug.
CO Brian Fish responded to Goguac Lake with the Battle Creek Fire Department after a lake resident called 911. The caller thought he had seen two subjects fall through the thin ice. CO Fish had been at Goguac 11⁄2 hours earlier and noted the open water in most of the lake. After launching their hovercraft to reach the hole in the ice, the responders did not find any evidence of anyone having gone through the ice.
CO Jeff Goss was patrolling and observed two subjects walking across a field, carrying rimfire rifles. He stopped to talk to them and they stated they were going to check their traps. Neither of the subjects was wearing any hunter orange, and they had one untagged trap with them. CO Goss checked several sets and discovered they had not tagged any of their traps. He warned them about the violations and told them they needed to pull the traps and get them tagged. A few days later, CO Goss checked the traps again and they were still untagged. This time tickets were issued.
CO Derek Miller located an angler fishing with six lines on 2 inches of ice. CO Miller walked out and checked the subject, and from a distance got his ID and fishing license. The subject said he thought maybe he could have four lines but wasn’t sure. CO Miller wrote him a ticket for fishing with too many lines.
COs Derek Miller and Todd Thorn contacted a hunter in a parked vehicle alongside a road, who was waiting for his dogs and looking for a coyote. CO Miller told him they were working the area, looking for loaded guns in vehicles and subjects trespassing due to past complaints. They checked his license and his firearm and found that his .22 magnum was loaded and sitting on the passenger seat. A ticket was issued for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Todd Thorn was dispatched to aid a local police department with a situation involving two young men driving a pickup truck who were stopped and found to have a live, but wounded deer in the bed of their truck. There also was a snowmobile in the bed of the truck that was registered to an individual other than the two subjects. The deer had been hit by a car and was then picked up by the pair who saw the accident. Thinking the deer was dead, they drove off. The deer then started moving around in the back of the truck, and around that time they were stopped by a local police officer. Enforcement action was taken, including seizure of the snowmobile, since the owner could not be reached and there was no proof of transfer of ownership.

DISTRICT 9

CO Linda Scheidler received an investigation request from a Wyoming conservation officer regarding a subject who had driven himself and a friend to Wyoming to attend court for a previous drug charge. The allegations were that after court the pair each took an antelope with a firearm during the archery season, without a license. CO Scheidler interviewed the subject, who pointed the finger at his friend. The friend was interviewed, and a confession was obtained. Shortly after, a warrant was authorized for the initial subject for the Wyoming drug charges. CO Scheidler, along with COs Dan Prince and Pete Purdy, assisted located the subject. He currently is incarcerated and awaiting extradition to Wyoming.
COs Kris Kiel and Todd Szyska conducted an interview requested by the Ohio DNR on a subject who may have tagged a buck with an antlerless tag. After interviewing the subject, it was clear that he unintentionally entered incorrect information into the automated system. He still had his antlerless tag and had used the buck tag on his buck. The case was closed.
COs Kris Kiel and Todd Szyska conducted surveillance on a group of anglers and a subject who had a vessel anchored near the edge of the ice sheet. The subject was on the ice catching yellow perch, and it appeared the angler had not been counting. The COs watched the subject drive his vessel to the New Baltimore area and contacted him as he pulled into his boat hoist behind his home. The subject was in possession of 65 jumbo yellow perch, 15 over the limit. Enforcement action was taken.

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