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Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – November 9th, 2012


CO Brian Bacon finished the investigation of an illegal bear being taken during the wrong hunt period. A confession was obtained from the suspect, who admitted to taking the bear during the second Carney hunt period and using a third period tag. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ryan Aho checked two subjects parked next to a closed, locked gate. They claimed to be target practicing with a .17-caliber rifle and a shotgun. As they were leaving, CO Aho observed several small caliber fresh bullet strikes on the padlock that was locking the gate. He interviewed the subjects and eventually one admitted to shooting the lock with his rifle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund received a complaint of someone burying nails along a U.S. Forest Service road. CO Wicklund contacted the local U.S. Forest Service officer and a suspect was developed. The officer also recovered over 60 nails buried all along the road. The officers interviewed the suspect, who confessed to burying the nails to deter ORVs from operating near his hunting area.
CO Marvin Gerlach assisted several agencies on a lost hunter complaint. A subject had shot a buck with his bow late in the day. His wife and small children went with him to track the deer after dark. After a while, the family’s only flashlight died while tracking the deer. The subject had spotty cell phone coverage at his location but was able to contact Menominee County Dispatch and give a general location. A siren was activated at the hunters’ vehicle and the family walked out of the woods on their own, following the sound of the siren. All members of the family were in good condition; the children thought the adventure was “pretty cool.”
CO Marvin Gerlach responded to assist emergency crews with a bow hunter who had fallen approximately 20 feet out of a tree holding his deer stand. A limb broke that the subject was standing on as he attempted to climb into his stand. No safety belt was located at the scene. The subject suffered severe internal injuries as a result of the fall. His condition is unknown at this time.
CO Grant Emery contacted two slow rolling hunters in Gogebic County. A check of their vehicle revealed uncased guns and open beer. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Robert Crisp contacted a subject who was bow hunting in an illegal blind over an illegal bait. Tickets were issued for those violations and warnings were given for an illegal ORV trail and cutting of trees on state land without a permit.
CO Robert Crisp was on patrol when he contacted a driver who was shining for deer. The driver was intoxicated, his license was suspended and there were outstanding warrants for his arrest. CO Crisp arrested the driver and lodged him in the Alger County Jail.
CO Kevin Postma was conducting surveillance of several anglers on Nunn’s Creek in Mackinac County. After watching the subjects fish for some time he proceeded to make contact. Upon checking several fishing licenses he noted that two subjects who were fishing earlier no longer had fishing poles. When asked, the two claimed that they were never fishing. The CO explained that he had watched them for quite some time and the hiding of their fishing poles in the weeds wasn’t going to work. Tickets were issued for fishing without licenses.


CO Jon Sklba checked on an illegal blind and bait pile on state land he had found earlier. The subject had also made his own food plot in front of the blind. Upon contacting the subject in the blind, he found him he was in possession of a .308 rifle. The subject promptly informed CO Sklba he was hunting squirrels, not deer. After a brief discussion, the subject admitted to hunting deer with a firearm during the closed season. A warrant is being sought and his rifle has been seized.
After checking two illegal tree stands and bait piles in the Pigeon River Country State Forest for two years, CO Eric Bottorff finally made contact. The subjects had been driving their ORVs behind closed trail roads to access their hunting locations about a mile off the main road. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andrea Erratt worked the Boyne River in plain clothes and fished alongside other anglers. CO Erratt was next to a fly-fisherman when he foul-hooked a salmon in the tail and then retained it. While he was walking up to his vehicle with the salmon, CO Erratt identified herself and issued the subject a ticket and confiscated the salmon.
CO Andrea Erratt assisted local law enforcement with a large group of snaggers at the Bear River. Enforcement action was taken and CO Erratt donated numerous seized salmon to four needy families in the area.
CO Matt Theunick responded to a late night unattended fire on state land that had been a party site. A cell phone was found on the ground at the scene and CO Theunick is following up with contacting the teenage cell phone owner, and her parents.
CO Matt Theunick caught a young man tearing up state land in his truck, doing donuts and spinning out. The truck also didn’t have plates or insurance. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Speigl received a tip from the Report-All-Poaching (RAP) hotline about a person who shot a deer with a rifle during the archery season. CO Speigl responded and found a shell casing from a .270 and other evidence supporting the information. CO Speigl was able to locate the suspect and obtained a confession. The deer, a four-point buck, was seized and enforcement action was taken.


CO Steve Converse worked late hours and split shifts on several days during the past two weeks. His hard work and dedication paid off as he managed to issue 60 tickets related to the illegal taking of salmon during that time period.
While working a fish patrol at Tippy Dam, CO Carla Soper observed a subject attempt to snag salmon below the coffer dam. Contact was made and after obtaining the subject’s identification she discovered it was a subject she had arrested for taking two deer illegally two years ago. CO Soper had recently received information from licensing that this subject had made deer tag purchases while ineligible. The illegally obtained deer licenses were seized and tickets were issued for the snagging and license purchases.
CO Jeff Ginn received an illegal burning complaint of a subject burning a boat. CO Ginn contacted the subject, who admitted to loading the boat up with household refuse and lighting it on fire. The subject was ticketed for the illegal disposal of solid waste by burning.
CO Jeff Ginn received a complaint from a business in the city of Newaygo. The employees came back to work and discovered a dead buck on the lawn of the business. CO Ginn tracked the blood back to a neighboring residence and located the subject who shot the deer the evening before the archery opener. The subject used a crossbow and was hunting under the full moon. The crossbow and deer were seized with a ticket issued for the illegal taking.
CO Brian Lebel received a complaint of a subject who had already taken four bucks during the youth season. A follow-up investigation revealed that two of the bucks were taken illegally without licenses. A friend of the subject provided his archery tag to use on one of the bucks, which was used again on the second buck. Both subjects were ticketed for the deer violations and the deer were seized.
CO Brian Lebel was patrolling in Osceola County when he observed a vehicle shining after 11 p.m. CO Lebel followed the vehicle for several miles and observed lights shining out both sides of the vehicle. Upon stopping the vehicle, CO Lebel located two uncased crossbows and 13 bolts with broadheads. One of the subject’s 12-year-old sons was holding a spotlight while the other subject had attached a high powered flashlight to his crossbow. One of the subjects was previously arrested by CO Lebel for shining and shooting deer. The other subject had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Both crossbows were seized and enforcement action was taken.


CO Bobbi Lively located four separate illegal blinds with illegal bait in a particular area. CO Lively contacted two hunters at two of the blinds, one of whom was also carrying a firearm while bow hunting. The two subjects, along with another subject at camp, were responsible for all four illegal hunt locations.
CO Bobbi Lively checked a hunter using bait in a closed area and hunting from an illegal tree stand without a kill tag after riding his ORV in a closed area to get to the stand. The subject had also cut down trees to create shooting lanes at the hunt location.
While working at dusk, Sgt. Glenn Gutierrez observed a vehicle stop in the road and back up. He then watched the passenger door open. When Sgt. Gutierrez got behind the vehicle, he watched the passenger put a compound bow into the back seat. After stopping the vehicle, the passenger still had the arrows with broadheads sitting by his leg. Both subjects confessed to road hunting for deer. Neither subject had a hunting license. Tickets were issued.
CO Jason McCullough received a complaint of a subject who went into a local license agent to buy his deer license and made comments about already shooting a deer. Without a name to go on, CO McCullough was able to locate the individual in the license system based on the time the license was purchased, a physical description, and his general geographic location. CO McCullough contacted the person he believed to be the suspect and interviewed him. Jason’s thoroughness paid off; the subject was the correct individual and he confessed to shooting the deer without a license.
CO Brian Olsen apprehended a subject who was road hunting for grouse. The subject had a loaded, uncased .410 shotgun right next to him in the front seat of his truck. The subject was from Ohio and stated he didn’t know it was illegal. CO Olsen educated him on Michigan laws.
CO Steve Lockwood apprehended two separate groups of late waterfowl hunters who were hunting on the same flooding at the same time. Though the groups were unrelated, they both hunted well after hours and none of them had plugged shotguns. Tickets were issued.
While investigating an incident for a fail to pay at a gas station, county deputies went to the residence of the suspect. When the officers arrived, they found an untagged deer hanging. CO Steve Lockwood responded and interviewed the subject, who confessed to shooting the deer without a hunting license. A ticket was issued.


COs Scott Brown and Robert Hobkirk received a RAP complaint reference a possible tagging violation. During the investigation the COs determined that an 18-year-old hunter shot a 9-point buck and tagged it with his 15-year-old cousin’s kill tag during the youth hunt. Enforcement action was taken for taking the deer out of season.
While working on the opening day of the South Zone waterfowl season, CO Ken Lowell received a complaint on Duck Lake regarding safety zone violations. The CO contacted the three hunters in their boat. Not only were the men hunting too close to a house, but after checking the hunters’ gear the CO found that two of the men did not have plugs in their guns, one hunter was using lead shot and all the hunters were without federal waterfowl stamps. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of persons trespassing and shooting an 8-point buck with a firearm on the property of a local business. Upon arrival and inspecting the crime scene, the CO recognized the potential for a good track for a police K-9. The CO contacted an MSP K-9 trooper and CO Strawn, the trooper and his K-9 partner tracked the deer. During the track, the K-9 discovered a camouflage coat dropped by the fleeing suspect. The CO found 12-gauge shotgun slugs and a cell phone in the pockets of the coat. The success of the track, uncovering evidence and leading to a suspect residence ultimately gave the CO the upper hand in the subsequent investigation. The CO interviewed the two suspects and obtained a full confession. Enforcement action was taken and the firearms were seized.
While crossing several properties tracking a poaching suspect, CO Larn R. Strawn noted a large illegal bait pile and several deer carcasses near a hunting blind. The CO took photos and recorded a GPS coordinate of the illegal activity for future follow up. A few days later the CO contacted the property owner and inquired about the observations he made on the property. The follow up interview quickly turned into a confession for illegal baiting and taking an overlimit of deer. Enforcement action was taken.
While reading an area paper, CO Dan Lee saw a picture of a youth with his two bucks from the early youth firearm deer season. Since the bag limit for this hunt is one deer, the CO tracked down the family and contacted the youngster’s father. The father admitted to being with his son when he shot the two bucks during the youth hunt. Charges are being sought through the local prosecutor’s office.


CO Greg Patten and Lt. Tim Robson were on patrol in Muskegon County when they located a vehicle parked near Cedar Creek, a closed trout stream. After checking the stream which contained spawning salmon, they contacted an angler in possession of a salmon. He stated his grandfather told him the stream was a good place to go fishing. Officers ticketed the angler for taking fish from the closed stream.
CO Greg Patten was called to a dispute between waterfowl hunters as one was reported to have set a blind 15 feet lakeward of another blind on Muskegon Lake. When he arrived, CO Patten determined this to be true and had to attempt to settle the issue of sportsmanship and sharing the resource between the two hunters.
COs BJ Goulette and Ivan Perez contacted a subject camping at a second location in the Grand Haven SGA. At his first location, trash and litter were left behind and the COs had been seeking this individual, who appears to be living in the game area. During this contact COs ticketed the subject for litter.
CO Ivan Perez handled a RAP complaint which reported a hunter taking a deer without a license in Ottawa County the prior evening. CO Perez responded to the location and contacted the hunter and located the deer in a garage. The CO learned the hunter had recently purchased a $1,300 compound bow but failed to acquire a $15 hunting license. CO Perez seized the illegally taken deer and took enforcement action for the hunter taking the deer without a license.
CO Ivan Perez responded to a RAP complaint along the Grand River of a large number of carp and suckers dumped near the access site by bow anglers. While at the location, two persons began to walk from the river with fishing rods but turned away when they saw CO Perez. They returned without fishing rods and were stopped by the CO. Further investigation led to locating the rods, one of which had large treble hooks affixed to the line. A ticket was issued for possession of the illegal gear along the stream and a warning for license violations.


CO Kyle Bader contacted a hunter as he was leaving the woods. He had not purchased any deer tags in 2012. The hunter told CO Bader that he was just out getting his tree stand up and checking his shooting lanes. He had his bow and arrows along to make sure that there wouldn’t be any limbs that interfere with his draw or shots. The hunter was issued a ticket for hunting without a license.
CO Jeff Goss contacted a subject next to the railroad tracks coming out of a hunting blind. After talking to the subject it was discovered that he was not hunting; however he had been hanging marijuana plants in his blind to dry. A subsequent search of the area located several marijuana plants growing in the woods. A search of the residence revealed several bags and jars containing marijuana as well as four illegal muskrats and a mink. All total over 600 grams of marijuana were seized and charges are being sought.
CO Rich Nickols, while checking anglers on the Looking Glass River, observed two subjects removing a pike from a line. The 22-inch pike had swallowed the hook and was dead so it could not be released alive. While speaking with the subject, CO Nickols could hear a fish flopping in a cooler stashed in the weeds. CO Nickols found two pike in a cooler belonging to one of the subjects and three pike in a cooler belonging to the other subject. All the pike were under legal size. Tickets were issued to the anglers for the overlimit and undersized pike.
CO Pete Purdy was first on scene to an attempted party store robbery. The subject attempted to purchase beer, and the cashier refused because the subject was intoxicated. The subject then lifted his shirt and showed a holstered handgun and demanded the beer. The clerk again refused and the subject walked out the door. CO Purdy arrived on scene and ordered the subject to the ground. The intoxicated and belligerent subject refused at first, but then complied. Once on the ground the subject made several hand motions toward the firearm. Once back-up arrived on scene, CO Purdy handcuffed the subject. He was lodged at the Livingston County Jail.


While checking anglers in the evening hours, CO Todd Szyska encountered anglers attempting to cast for and catch walleyes. However, one of the subjects did not have a fishing license; he claimed he had never bought one in his life. After running the subject’s information through the license system, it was determined that he was telling the truth and had never purchased one. Enforcement action was taken.
While responding to a complaint in Macomb County, COs Todd Szyska and Kris Kiel observed a subject dressed in green carrying a long gun in a field. The COs attempted to contact the subject, who put his firearm down but barricaded himself in his barn and refused to come out. The COs called in back-up. In the meantime as the COs tried talking the subject out, the subject was yelling profane anti-government and anti-law enforcement language at the COs. Shortly after back-up arrived the subject came out. After talking with the subject, it was determined that he had some previous bad experiences with other law enforcement agencies. The subject admitted to hunting woodchucks on his own property without wearing hunter orange. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Ennett responded to a report of a deer carcass with a kill tag attached dumped in a parking lot at the Erie SGA. CO Ennett ran a license check on the kill tag and went to the residence to contact the owner of the tag. Upon arrival, CO Ennett learned that the deer, which was shot by a juvenile, had been stolen by a person known to the hunter’s family, along with other sporting items from a shed. The thief had dumped the deer just before he was arrested by the officers investigating the burglary. No one knew what happened to the deer until CO Ennett appeared at the residence. The deer and the tag were returned to the family.
CO Ben Shively investigated information from Bald Mountain Recreation Area staff of a subject placing shelled corn in a pond one week prior to the opening of the waterfowl season. CO Shively arrived at the area on opening weekend and observed a group of six subjects hunting the pond. CO Shively watched the hunters for over an hour and then contacted the group. CO Shively located the suspect and interviewed him on the placing of the bait. The subject stated that no one else knew about the bait and he’d placed it because his dad was coming up to hunt. The subject was issued a ticket for hunting waterfowl over bait.

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