COs Trey Luce and Mark Leadman worked a complaint of illegal deer stands and early deer baiting in Marquette County. The COs were contacted by a subject who stated the equipment was his and that he was hunting under his tribal status. A check of his tribal status found him to be outside the recognized treaty area. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon contacted a group of bird hunters on opening day. A check of their vehicle revealed an uncased/loaded shotgun on the seat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Grant Emery contacted a group of hound hunters along the Michigan-Wisconsin border. A check of the group found the nonresidents had failed to register their dogs, one was without a license, and another had failed to license his ORV. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund received a complaint about possible shining/shooting of deer. The CO requested that a city officer wait at the residence while he searched the area where the suspects were last seen. The city officer informed the CO of the return of the suspects, and they were detained until the CO arrived. The suspects were interviewed, and one subject was lodged on a bond violation and felony firearm possession.
CO Jason Wicklund checked several groups of hunters on the opening of small-game and bear hound season. Several individuals were contacted with violations including loaded firearms in motor vehicles, open intoxicants in motor vehicles, and no hunter orange.
CO Brian Bacon contacted a subject near an illegal bear bait. The subject stated the bait was his, but denied leaving anything at the site. When CO Bacon walked him back to the bait and showed him all of the litter on the ground, the subject quickly changed his story. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kyle Publiski and Jeff Panich were on patrol when they received a RAP complaint about subjects snagging fish in the Carp River. The COs proceeded to the location, set up surveillance in the area, and caught two different groups that were snagging fish and keeping foul-hooked fish. Two of the snaggers were observed smoking marijuana. As contact was made, it was learned that the snaggers who were smoking marijuana were actually the ones that called in the RAP complaint.
The day before the bear opener, CO Mike Hammill encountered a subject camping on state land. After speaking with the man for a few moments, the CO became suspicious of some comments that didn’t make sense and noted that he was nervous. The subject agreed to take the CO to his bear-hunting stands to prove he was a law-abiding hunter. The CO took him up on his offer, but the subject could no longer remember where any of his hunting stands were located. Upon returning to the camp, the CO started to figure out what was taking place and asked the subject to show him the two bow cases he had in the back of his vehicle. One case was empty, which led to the admission that the subject’s son was out hunting before the season. A short walk from the camp revealed the early hunter in a treestand over an illegal bear bait. The subject tried to claim that he was scared and that’s why he had his bow with him and was in full camouflage in his treestand. Also, his license wasn’t valid until the third hunt period, but the subject had removed that information from his license in hopes a CO wouldn’t notice. A citation was issued, and the bow was seized.
CO Mike Hammill and Lt. Eugene Hagy were working bear hunters and came upon an ORV parked on a trail with a bag of apples on it. A subject was tracked to a nearby treestand with a large pile of apples in front of it. The subject said he was just baiting his deer stand for the first time and wasn’t sure if it was legal yet or not. However, it was obvious the bait site had been well established. The subject was informed it was not legal and was ticketed for the early deer bait violation and given a warning for failing to disclose he was in possession of a handgun. He was told to remove the bait.
While checking boaters in Big Bay DeNoc and Garden Bay, CO Mike Evink and Sgt. Darryl Shann made contact with the operator of an older boat with expired registration. When asked about the registration, the owner stated he had purchased the boat earlier in the spring and had not titled it. He further explained he thought the previous owner’s registration was still good since it said ‘12’ on the sticker. He was warned for failure to title the boat and was ticketed for the expired registration.
CO Matt Theunick received a tip that an early season goose hunter had shot a duck. After meeting with the hunter, CO Theunick left with a hen mallard carcass and the breasts, which had been taken off. The subject left with a ticket for taking waterfowl during the closed season.
CO Matt Theunick and Sgt. Greg Drogowski received a call about a 6-point buck head still in velvet at a residence. A visit to the residence resulted in locating stolen DNR trail signs as well as the 6-point buck’s head. The deer had been dead for one to two weeks. The COs learned the suspect currently was in the Cheboygan County jail on other charges. An interview at the jail resulted in the subject saying he hit the deer with his truck, but had failed to get an accident report or road-kill permit, because he had been “drinking too heavily that night.” The subject eventually admitted he hit the buck on purpose with his truck, swerving across the road to hit it, and then shooting it with a .22 rifle, because he wanted some venison. Warrants are being sought.
CO Mark DePew contacted an individual shining for deer at 12:30 a.m. The subject was issued a ticket for shining after 11:00 p.m.
CO Bill Webster received a complaint about shots being fired at night and a dead deer that was located the next morning. CO Webster was able to locate the suspects’ vehicle, and after being interviewed, the subjects confessed to shooting two deer that night. CO Webster seized the firearm used to shoot both deer and has submitted a report to the prosecutor’s office.
CO Sean Kehoe observed a subject fishing within 300 feet of the Boardman River weir. The subject was fishing near a posted sign that indicated the area was closed to fishing. The subject told CO Kehoe that he does not fish in the area very often and was not aware he was fishing in a closed area. Checking the records, CO Kehoe discovered that he had written this subject a ticket for a fishing violation that occurred in the same general area the previous year. CO Kehoe also found out that the subject was wanted on an outstanding warrant from downstate. The subject was ticketed for the fishing violation and then lodged at the local jail on the warrant.
CO Steve Converse was working on foot along Pine Creek when he observed three subjects along the creek. One of the subjects was spearing salmon while the other two were assisting with rounding up and transporting the fish. CO Converse contacted the subjects and seized 10 speared salmon they had taken illegally. The subjects were ticketed for taking salmon by illegal method and charged restitution for 102 pounds of fish.
CO Steve Converse was at Tippy Dam at about 1 a.m. when he observed four subjects wading near the coffer dam and attempting to snag salmon. The subjects were in a location where CO Converse could see them but could not make contact with them. After an extended period of time, the subjects came back to shore with 20 salmon. CO Converse had taken notes regarding hook locations on nearly all the fish and knew them to be illegally hooked. Interviews with the subjects led to confessions that all of the fish in their possession were foul-hooked. Tickets were issued, and restitution will be sought for approximately 120 pounds of salmon.
CO Angela Greenway was patrolling a section of the Pere Marquette River when she observed four subjects salmon fishing. After observing the subjects for a short time, CO Greenway noted that the gear setup on two of the subjects’ fishing lines was illegal. While running a records check, CO Greenway discovered that the two were ticketed by her two years ago at the same location, on the same date, and with the exact same illegal gear setup. Enforcement action was again taken.
CO Mike Wells responded to a complaint about a gun-shot buck found on private property. CO Wells backtracked the blood trail and located a second antlerless deer, also dead with a gunshot wound. CO Wells continued following the blood trail to a small cabin. CO Wells contacted the resident and was able to obtain a confession to the shooting of the antlerless deer. Through the investigation of the direction of the shot fired, it was determined that while shooting at the antlerless deer, the bullet passed through the small doe and struck the buck in the neck, killing the deer. Warrants are being sought from the prosecutor’s office for taking deer during the closed season.
CO Chuck McPherson was contacted by a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper who had talked to a subject with a limit of bluegills. COs McPherson and Chris Bowen sat on the small flooding and watched several more subjects fishing. A check of the anglers leaving the pond resulted in a ticket for an overlimit of bluegills.
COs Chris Bowen and Chuck McPherson were patrolling on state land and observed an ORV operator riding on a closed area of state land. The COs tracked the subject and contacted him as he walked out of the woods just after he finished baiting his deer blind early. The COs were able to locate several more deer blinds baited early in the area.
CO Bobbi Lively received information regarding a possible illegal bobcat taken the previous fall. While on the property to contact the suspect, CO Lively observed an illegal snare set. The subject admitted to CO Lively he had snared the bobcat out of season and decided to keep the bobcat, purchase a tag for it, and seal it during the season.
CO Mike Hearn responded to a pursuit initiated by a local deputy. CO Hearn knew the trail road onto which the suspect had turned during the pursuit and traveled ahead to intercept the fleeing vehicle operator. The suspect saw the patrol vehicle ahead on the trail road and drove into the brush in an effort to elude the CO. The suspect’s vehicle became stuck, and as officers exited their vehicles to apprehend the subject, he was able to move the vehicle forward, striking CO Hearn’s patrol truck. The suspect was taken into custody.
CO Mark Papineau was patrolling state forest lands on an ORV when he approached a pickup truck parked on a forest trail. CO Papineau contacted the occupants and learned they were setting up treestands for the upcoming deer season. The subjects were nervous and CO Papineau quickly discovered why: They had a multitude of violations, including open intoxicants, uncased firearms, concealed handguns without a permit, various deer bait violations, and they’d used screw-in tree steps on state lands. Arrests were made.
COs Jason McCullough and Steve Lockwood were able to wrap up a lengthy trapping investigation in which a subject had sealed multiple otters and left traps out after the end of last trapping season. The subject was charged with trapping during the closed season.
CO Nick Atkin was dispatched to a search and rescue situation in which a lost angler with health conditions was missing on Saginaw Bay after dark and in the rain. Central dispatch provided the CO with GPS coordinates for the lost angler. The CO walked approximately 11⁄2 miles in the harsh conditions into the shallow water of the bay and contacted the wet and frightened angler at his stranded vessel. The angler was unable to walk, so the CO pulled the small vessel into deeper water and drove the boat to safety.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted two goose hunters who had several marine violations regarding their hunting boat. The hunters were operating an unregistered boat, had failed to transfer ownership of the boat after purchasing it, and only had one life jacket for the two of them. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Hobkirk received a RAP complaint about poison being placed out by someone in the Verona State Game Area and a large number of small, dead animals being found. Once the CO arrived, he located three containers of poison and eight animal carcasses near the poison. After an interview, it was found that a local farmer was poisoning the animals due to the damage they were causing to his corn. Charges are pending for taking wild game by illegal methods.
CO Christopher Holmes has been investigating several subjects who violated various wildlife laws in Kalamazoo County. During one investigation, CO Holmes determined a subject was waterfowl hunting on a local lake connected to the Kalamazoo River. CO Holmes concealed himself along the river’s edge for approximately three hours, waiting for the subjects to exit their hunting blind. During this time, CO Holmes noted 12 shots from the subjects who were shooting at geese well after hunting hours had ended. During this time, the RAP hotline also was taking complaints about late shooting in the area. CO Holmes contacted two subjects and determined only one of them was hunting. The subject was in possession of three geese and two protected sea gulls. The shotgun used to take the waterfowl was not plugged, and lead shot was being used. The subject had no waterfowl license or federal waterfowl stamp and had shot the geese well after hunting hours had ended. Marine violations also were addressed, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer was contacted by local animal control authorities due to the fact that they had received a report from the hospital about a subject who had been bitten by a raccoon that was being held as a pet. CO Bauer was able to locate the subject who had the raccoon and seized the illegally held animal. The subject was ticketed for illegal possession of a live raccoon.
CO Mike McGee checked a husband and wife fishing from a canoe. CO McGee found that they did not have fishing licenses and did not have any life preservers on board. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer contacted a man and his girlfriend hunting in Warren Dunes State Park. Neither hunter was wearing hunter orange and they were hunting both turkeys and small game and had taken a squirrel. The man was teaching his girlfriend how to hunt. CO Bauer explained the laws regarding hunter orange and took action on the safety violation.
CO Jeff Robinette contacted a hunter who was finished hunting for the morning. The hunter said he had heard excessive shooting farther back on Crane Pond SGA. CO Robinette investigated and located a juvenile hunter with an adult hunter. Neither were wearing hunter orange and stated they had been target practicing, but later admitted to attempting to take game. The two subjects also transported the firearms uncased to the game area. Enforcement action was taken, with a large number of warnings being issued and a lengthy explanation of the applicable laws.
CO Dan Bigger observed several subjects fishing along a river on the top of a dam. CO Bigger witnessed one of the subjects balancing on a log over the dam where several people have drowned in the past. CO Bigger made his way to the top of the dam and was able to get the angler’s attention. The angler did not want to come to the shoreline, but finally did. Upon contact on the shore, the angler admitted to not having a fishing license because he did not agree with having to pay money to catch and release fish. It also was found that the female angler with whom he was fishing had a valid PPO out. Enforcement action was taken for the fishing violation, and the subject was lodged on the PPO violation.
CO Dan Bigger observed an angler catch several panfish on the Shiawassee River before he made contact. The angler stated that she did not have a license and that she couldn’t believe the CO was that far down the river. She did not have ID and was requested to pack up her gear and walk to the patrol truck. The angler was somehow able to provide ID once at the patrol truck. Enforcement action was taken.
While en route to Lake Lansing, CO Rich Nickols came upon a vehicle/bicycle personal injury accident. CO Nickols was the first emergency responder on the scene and provided first aid to the victim. The cyclist had a nearly amputated leg just above her ankle and was showing signs of shock. CO Nickols attended to the victim until emergency medical services personnel arrived and helped load her into the ambulance. There is no update on the victim at this time.
COs Damon Owens and Derek Miller responded to a complaint about a possible overlimit of panfish being taken on a small lake in Washtenaw County. Upon locating three subjects, the COs found them in possession of 96 fish (21 over their legal limit). Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kris Kiel and Todd Szyska responded to a complaint about a group of subjects who were baiting a field for geese, and took turns checking the field during prime time. Early one morning, CO Szyska observed two subjects hunting over decoys in the baited field. The CO contacted the subjects and found one subject had 24 lead shotgun shells. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler was checking anglers along the Huron River when he observed one angler smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. After contacting the subject, the CO confirmed this suspicion after detecting the strong odor of marijuana. Further investigation revealed several bags of marijuana, paraphernalia, and an illegal switchblade knife. All illegal items were seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Linda Scheidler received a RAP complaint on the opening day of the small-game season about a squirrel hunter who was not wearing hunter orange. Upon contact with the hunter, the CO detected the odor of intoxicants and performed field sobriety tests. The hunter was arrested for hunting while intoxicated and was lodged in the Lapeer County jail.
CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint from a subject fishing at the Harley Ensign access site on Lake St. Clair. The subject observed two anglers in possession of an undersized muskellunge. The caller witnessed one of the anglers cut up the fish. The offal went into the lake, and the head of the fish went into a garbage can. The caller followed the angler to his vehicle, where the body of the fish was placed, and then he copied down the license plate number. The subject then went back to fishing. By the time the CO arrived, the subjects were gone. The CO retrieved the fish head from the garbage can, ran the license plate from the vehicle, and proceeded to the address. After interviewing the registered owner, it was determined that the fish was at the other subject’s residence. The CO interviewed the second subject, received a confession, and the muskie was produced from the refrigerator. After measuring the head and body, the muskie was determined to be 36 inches long. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach checked several squirrel hunters on state lands in and around Lapeer County on opening day of the small-game season. The CO encountered one subject who was wearing a reversible hunter orange/camouflage vest. He was wearing the camouflage side out and no orange was visible. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Kieft responded to a complaint of "shots fired" in the Commerce Township area. After verifying the address where the shots were heard, CO Kieft attempted to contact the homeowner near a detached garage on the property. Looking through the open garage door, CO Kieft watched as the male subject was “breasting out” five Canada geese. Further investigation determined that the subject did not have a valid federal migratory bird license or Michigan waterfowl-hunting license, possessed an unplugged shotgun, and had discharged a firearm within the safety zone. A ticket was issued for possessing/taking geese without proper licenses, and restitution for the geese was sought.