Michigan Cuffs & Collars – December 7th, 2012

DISTRICT 1

CO Dave Painter worked the grouse decoy in an area known for road-hunting. A truck pulled up with three occupants who stuck a gun out the window to try to shoot the grouse decoy. The occupants had bird dogs in the bed of the truck, and three loaded, uncased shotguns in the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund was working an early morning shining patrol when he responded to a 911 call about a man having a heart attack. The CO arrived and administered first aid until paramedics arrived on the scene. As the paramedics were tending to the victim, the CO observed a large marijuana-growing operation in the bedroom of the house. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

While on patrol, CO Robert Crisp came upon homeowners who had just witnessed the poaching of a deer near their residence. They explained that the suspect’s vehicle had been driven down a road nearby and gave a detailed description of the vehicle. CO Crisp drove down that road and shortly thereafter contacted the suspects, who still had the rifle uncased, along with open intoxicants. The deer and firearm were seized, and tickets were issued for taking a deer out of season, transporting an uncased firearm, recreational trespass, and transporting open intoxicants.
While driving down an unpaved county road, CO Robert Crisp had to swerve to avoid being hit by an oncoming truck. CO Crisp turned around and initiated a traffic stop. Prior to pulling over, the subject was observed to lean over toward the passenger seat of the vehicle. Upon contact with the driver, it was discovered that there was an uncased firearm in the vehicle. The subject was ticketed for the firearm violation and was warned for the careless driving.

DISTRICT 3

CO Michael Feagan was in his patrol truck watching anglers at the Cheboygan River dam when two subjects pulled up next to him, got out, and started fishing. CO Feagan moved his patrol truck, and then watched the pair snag and keep several fish. Both were ticketed, and later one stated, “We must be the dumbest fishermen alive.”
CO Matt Theunick contacted a bear hunter who failed to seal his bear within the required 72 hours after the kill. In fact, it was more than two weeks after he shot the bear. The subject stated he had only four days left during his vacation after shooting the bear, and it just wasn’t enough time. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carl Vanderwall followed a dirt bike being ridden down the middle of a paved road at 70 mph. The driver did not have a driver’s license, the cycle was not licensed, and the operator was not wearing a helmet. Enforcement action was taken.
While en route to a night shining patrol, CO Michael Feagan and Sgt. Greg Drogowski stopped to assist an elderly woman who was walking down the highway in her pajamas. The COs learned that she had been assaulted by her husband, and had sustained injuries. The local police agency was called, and COs assisted in contacting and eventually arresting the husband for domestic violence.
CO Andrea Albert responded to a complaint about two lost hikers in the Jordan Valley. The hikers planned a 3-mile hike but ended up miles away from their car and were lost and disorientated in the dark. Local agencies assisted in pinpointing the hikers’ general location. CO Albert hiked two and a half miles to their location and led the hikers and their dog back to safety.

DISTRICT 4

CO Troy Mueller was on patrol and made a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven erratically and recklessly through state land. During the traffic stop, a loaded .22-caliber handgun was located. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jeff Ginn and Mike Wells have been investigating illegal charters on the Muskegon River. The COs contacted a subject taking passengers for hire on an uninspected boat, and ticketed the captain for the violation. Contact was made with a second subject, who was operating an unlicensed vessel containing two fishing clients. Both clients were ticketed for fishing without a license. The captain was ticketed for operating an illegal charter. CO Mike Wells also received a complaint about a subject hunting at night behind a residence.
CO Wells located a subject hunting with a crossbow, still in his blind hunting after hours, and without a deer-hunting license. CO Wells issued a ticket for the license violation and provided warnings for excessive bait and other violations observed.
CO Mike Wells received a complaint about an illegal camp on state park property. CO Wells walked to the illegal campsite and observed a large amount of litter spread about due to the evening’s partying activity. CO Wells had to wake the multiple subjects and then had them pick up the entire area, including putting out a fire. Enforcement action was taken to address the trespass and other violations.
CO Mike Wells was contacted by a landowner who reported a suspicious vehicle on his property. CO Wells had received multiple complaints about trespass in this area and of a vehicle matching the description of the suspicious vehicle in this current complaint. CO Wells patrolled to the area and contacted a subject dressed in full camouflage and in possession of a shotgun. The subject was trespassing and claimed to be attempting to shoot at a flock of turkeys that had crossed the road. The subject was ticketed for trespass.

DISTRICT 5

CO Jon Warner was observing anglers when a subject came down the riverbank and started asking anglers to sell him their fish. The potential buyer finally located a subject willing to sell him his salmon. CO Warner discreetly followed the subjects back to the parking lot and observed the exchange of money and fish. He then contacted both subjects, who confessed to what already had observed. Tickets were issued to both subjects.
CO John Warner issued a ticket to a hunter who was hunting over a bait pile the size of a pickup truck.
CO Steve Lockwood contacted a hunter who told him he had shot a doe. However, the subject was still in possession of his hunting licenses. Further investigation revealed that the subject had shot a doe and tagged it with someone else’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason McCullough located a litter pile on state land and was able to get some names out of the trash. The CO contacted a subject who confessed to dumping the garbage. It was the second time the subject was ticketed for the same type of litter offense.
CO Brian Olsen received a complaint about litter dumped on private land. The CO checked the pile and located a name and address. He then went to the address and discovered that the name he found in the trash was that of the previous owner, who had since moved out of the state. The new owner had hired a subject to remove some garbage from the premises. CO Olsen contacted the subject hired to do the cleaning and obtained a confession to dumping the garbage on private land.

DISTRICT 6

CO Seth Rhodea contacted two subjects late at night who were dragging two deer out of the woods. Upon asking the subjects if both deer were tagged, the subjects replied that they had heard coyotes in the woods and were just trying to get out as fast as they could so they didn’t have time to tag the deer. Tickets were issued for failing to immediately validate and attach kill tags.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted three duck hunters shortly after shooting hours ended on the second weekend of the waterfowl season. One hunter had an unplugged shotgun and had failed to purchase any hunting licenses for the 2012 hunting season. Tickets were issued for the unplugged gun and failing to have licenses. Warnings were issued for other violations.
CO Seth Rhodea was contacted at home and was told that several people had heard a gunshot and then witnessed a vehicle leave the area of the shooting. The witnesses were able to get the license plate number from the car, and the occupants initially were contacted by local deputies. CO Rhodea responded to the suspects’ house, and upon questioning them, both claimed to have shot a raccoon. A deer with a bullet wound was later was located in the area where the shooting had taken place, and a second round of interviews resulted in the subjects confessing to shooting the deer. Charges are being requested through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Joshua Wright was checking duck hunters on Saginaw Bay when he encountered a subject with an odor of alcohol on his breath. During his investigation, the CO found five empty beer cans and a partially burned marijuana cigarette. The subject’s firearm was seized, and further enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Foerster received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint regarding waterfowl hunters possibly hunting after the close of legal shooting hours. The CO was able to set up on the hunters and observed them for several hours. When the hunters finally called it quits and unloaded, it was dark and more than 30 minutes past legal hunting hours for waterfowl. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin contacted a duck hunter who had illegally driven his ORV through a marsh. During the contact, the CO also found the operator transported more passengers than the ORV was designed for, and both the operator and rider failed to have helmets. Enforcement action was taken.
While at a processor shop to pick up an illegal deer, CO Ken Lowell saw a large 8-point lying on the floor. The tag on the buck was purchased Oct. 21, after dark. After talking with the taxidermist, it was determined that the deer was brought in Oct. 22. The hunter who shot the deer had admitted to shooting it the night before he brought it in. After an interview, the hunter admitted to shooting the buck and then buying the tag. The deer was confiscated, and enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Ron Kimmerly is working on a case in which a deer was shot from a vehicle Oct. 19, at 2 a.m. on Frandsche Road, just South of M-52 in Saginaw County. The suspect vehicle is reported to be a red, newer Chevy or Dodge pickup. The suspect most likely lives somewhere in southern Saginaw County or northern Genesee County. Anyone who may have information in regard to this case is asked to call the RAP hotline at (800) 292-7800.
CO Phil Hudson observed several subjects fishing in a marina when one of the subjects pointed out the patrol truck to the others and one subject began acting suspiciously. CO Hudson hid his patrol truck and went into the marina store and continued to watch the subjects. After about a half hour, the suspicious-acting subject walked around the building to see if CO Hudson had left the area. The person then baited a line and began fishing. CO Hudson went back to his truck and drove to the anglers as the subject dropped the fishing pole, walked away, and sat in a chair. As CO Hudson checked licenses, the subject stated he was not fishing and only helping watch poles. A ticket was issued for fishing without a license.
COs Joel Lundberg and Jay Person were patrolling when they heard a gunshot after hours. The COs narrowed down the homes in the area to a few to where the shooter might return. Surveillance of the properties revealed that one of the homes had a freshly skinned 6-point buck hanging in the doorway of a barn. Contact was made, and a subject was interviewed, which resulted in a confession that the deer was shot twice with a rifle. The buck was seized, and enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 7

CO Brad Brewer was following up on a baiting investigation at Lindy Lake SGA when he spotted the vehicle believed to be involved in the complaint. The vehicle drove past the officer. It had a duck-hunting boat in the back and was headed toward an access site. CO Brewer contacted the three occupants at the access site and discovered that one of the subjects did not have any type of hunting license and that there was an uncased bow in the vehicle. Additionally, another subject in the group had purchased two resident archery licenses, even though he was a nonresident. CO Brewer asked about the missing license, and the subject admitted that he had given it to another subject to tag a deer. Enforcement action was taken on the license and uncased bow violations, with many warnings issued. CO Brewer then followed up on the loaning of the license and contacted the subject who was provided the loaned license. An investigation and subsequent confession led to the discovery that the subject had shot two bucks and an antlerless deer and had tagged all of the deer with the licenses of others. All three deer were seized, and enforcement action was taken for the various violations, including the taking of illegal deer.
CO Andy Bauer received a RAP complaint about a subject duck hunting within the safety zone of houses on a Berrien County lake. CO Bauer responded and observed a man wearing a red flannel shirt and rowing around the edge of the lake. An investigation led to the discovery that the subject was shooting coots and had shot within 100 feet of numerous houses and did not have any life preservers in the boat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Robinette was in his driveway recording information at the end of his shift when an ORV with two people riding on it drove down the street directly in front of his house. CO Robinette stopped the ORVers and asked if the subject knew that he had just driven by his house, and the subject admitted that he did. Both occupants of the ORV were not wearing helmets, were riding double on an ORV designed for a single person, and were operating on the road. Enforcement action was taken, with numerous warnings issued.
CO Chris Holmes received a complaint from a subject who was archery hunting. The complainant advised the CO that he’d heard a shot before sunrise and then two more shots after daylight. After the subsequent two shots, the complainant saw a buck running from the area with blood on its mouth. He then observed three men looking for what appeared to be a blood trail. CO Holmes responded to the area and went into the woods where the incident had occurred. The CO came upon one subject looking for blood in the woods. CO Holmes detained this subject and then found another subject in the area. Both men stated they were bowhunting and had no clue what was going on. After interviews, CO Holmes determined both subjects were involved in the incident and asked them where the third person had gone. Officer Holmes followed them back to a house and found the third subject had fled to the house with a firearm after he saw the officer in the area. The subject who fled had shot at a doe at approximately 6 a.m. and then shot and killed a 4-point buck with a shotgun. Evidence was seized at the scene, and enforcement action was taken for felon in possession of a firearm, taking a deer with a firearm, and several other hunting-related violations. A felony complaint will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review.
CO Greg Patten waited on a bowhunter one evening after verifying the subject had purchased both combination and archery deer licenses. Upon contact well after dark, the hunter admitted to taking one buck already and was hoping to take additional deer beyond his limit. Enforcement action was taken for the hunter purchasing too many licenses.

DISTRICT 8

CO Dan Bigger’s investigation is complete and a warrant was sworn out for a subject who took a deer illegally in August under a crop damage permit. The large buck was still in velvet, and a measurement gave a score of approximately 154 on the antlers.
CO Dan Bigger responded to a hunter harassment complaint in which a subject was turning on a radio and facing the speakers toward the woods where the complainant was hunting. This was documented more than half a dozen times, and this time the subject was caught in the act. Contact was made, and the subject refused to identify herself and in turn let her dog out in the enclosed porch between CO Bigger and the residence door. CO Bigger contacted the prosecutor’s office while still on scene, and the loud music could be heard over the phone. CO Bigger requested to meet the prosecutor with a report, and two hours later a warrant was issued for interfering with the lawful hunt of another.

DISTRICT 9

CO Todd Szyska worked with CO Ken Kovach, targeting illegal shining activity. While conducting surveillance in a field, a spotlight was cast over the tops of the trees. The COs were able to pinpoint the vehicle and follow it. The occupants were using the vehicle’s headlights and also spotlights on both the driver and passenger sides. The COs pulled over the vehicle and found that the driver was a CPL holder and was carrying a gun. Also during the search, a scoped and loaded .17 HMR rifle was located on the passenger floor of the truck. The weapon was loaded, the safety was off, and it was pointed at the door. None of the subjects had deer-hunting licenses. The driver admitted he was trying to get a deer and stated it figured that the first time he decided to try it (poaching) he got caught. The rifle was confiscated and will be condemned, with tickets issued for the violation of shining while in possession of a firearm.
While working during the early evening hours for hunting activity in northern St. Clair County, CO Ken Kovach observed a vehicle’s occupant shining a spotlight in fields. The CO followed the subject and stopped the vehicle. The subject had just finished hunting for the evening and was on his way home. The subject had his bow with him. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Linda Scheidler responded to a complaint in progress of waterfowl hunters shooting after legal hours. When the CO arrived, the hunters already were packing up. The four adult and one juvenile hunting party had an overlimit of wood ducks. CO Scheidler also found one of the firearms was not properly plugged for waterfowl hunting. Though the hunting after hours could not be proved, the CO took enforcement action for the other violations.
While patrolling Lake St. Clair Metro Park, COs Todd Szyska and Kris Kiel encountered several anglers fishing on the banks of the Black Creek. The COs used binoculars to watch the subjects and noted that they were catching bluegills and crappies one cast after another. The COs approached and conducted fishing license checks and creel counts. CO Szyska found one angler who had a 5-gallon pail loaded to the top with bluegills and crappies. When the angler was asked how many fish he had, he stated he had no idea and didn’t know there was a limit. After counting the number of fish, it was determined the angler had 43 bluegills and crappies in his possession, 18 over the limit. The angler also had two traffic warrants out of the 36th District Court. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Lasher received information from Wildlife Division personnel regarding duck populations in the managed area on Harsens Island. While checking particular hunting zones, CO Lasher encountered a subject in possession of more shells than allowed. After taking enforcement action on that subject, CO Lasher observed a hunter shoot two hen mallards. The hunter took one of the hens and hid it in some corn at the edge of the hunting zone. He then kept the other with the rest of his taken game. When the CO contacted the hunting party, they showed him the birds they had taken. When the CO confronted the hunter who hid the additional bird, the subject admitted taking an overlimit. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Lasher received two separate complaints about the same two hunters who were hunting within the buffer zone between the managed hunting area and the refuge on Harsens Island. The CO contacted the subjects as they were collecting their decoys. When CO Lasher checked the hunters’ bags, he found that they were both over their limit of hen mallards. Enforcement action was taken and an explanation was given to them regarding the safety issues of hunting in the buffer zone.
CO Brandon Kieft was checking an Oxford Township gravel pit near a state game area when he observed a male subject carrying a bag of bait. When contact was made with the subject, he stated that he knew that he was on private property, but didn't think the owners cared. CO Kieft pointed out that there were a number of "no trespassing" signs posted along the adjacent roadway where the subject had parked. The subject also had a backpack full of corn and a 50-pound bag of carrots with him at the time. Enforcement action was taken.

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