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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – September 27th, 2013


CO Jason Wicklund received a Report-All-Poaching complaint about a possible overlimit of panfish on a local Dickinson County lake. The CO met with the complainant who advised that the individuals come up every year and catch fish, but he never sees them put any back. The complainant also provided photographs of the individuals, as well as boat registration numbers. CO Wicklund located the individuals just before dark at a local resort and watched as they cleaned fish in a garage. A check of the 11 anglers revealed that they were all licensed, but none of them knew the possession limits for panfish or how many fish they had caught that day. They also admitted to cooking and eating panfish earlier in the day. The anglers were in possession of approximately 500 fish. Tickets were issued, and after a discussion on possession limits and ethics, the anglers agreed to pay over $2,000 in restitution to the state of Michigan for the fish.
CO Dennis Gast observed several subjects fishing in a small boat on a remote trout lake where no bait is allowed and the limit is one fish. CO Gast could see a worm container inside the boat. The two anglers landed their boat on the far shore and began to fish from the shoreline. Officer Gast approached from behind them and listened as they talked about the bait restrictions on the lake. The CO contacted the anglers, who were both using worms as bait. One of the subjects did not have a trout license, and the boat was unregistered. Both subjects were ticketed.
CO Trey Luce observed four subjects fishing on the shoreline of Deer Lake in Ishpeming. As CO Luce approached, one of the subjects quickly set his fishing pole down and began to act busy with his cell phone. The CO asked the subject for his fishing license, and he replied that he wasn’t fishing. After a short conversation about what the CO had observed, the subject admitted to fishing and received a ticket for fishing without a license.
In response to an ongoing complaint about ORVers operating on the highway, CO Jason Wicklund spent an afternoon working an area of concern. It didn't take long before the first ORVer came down the highway, against the flow of traffic. The operator was ticketed.


CO Jerry Fitzgibbon and Sgt. Darryl Shann responded to a report of an overturned canoe floating in Autrain Bay. The square-sterned canoe was bobbing bow-up in the 4-foot swells. The canoe was recovered and turned over to the Alger County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Mike Evink contacted two anglers about seven miles out of Manistique on Lake Michigan. The two had not had much luck catching fish, so they decided to add more lines. A total of nine lines were observed, and a ticket was issued.


CO Mike Feagan received a complaint and investigated where a landowner made a rock wall across half of the Sturgeon River, attempting to keep canoes and kayaks away from his shoreline. A warrant was obtained and served for impeding the natural flow of a river.
CO Nick Torsky was patrolling the Pigeon River Country when he found fresh horse tracks entering a closed area. CO Torsky followed the tracks and located a group of horseback riders who admitted to knowing they were riding in a prohibited area. The leader of the group was ticketed for riding in a closed area.
CO Mark DePew was looking for shiners when he contacted a group of juveniles just before 11 p.m. The juveniles were in possession of a shotgun with bird shot, and after interviewing the group, CO DePew believed they were not attempting to shoot deer. The juveniles were turned over to their parents.
CO Mark DePew watched two anglers on a sinkhole lake in the Pigeon River Country. When they were contacted, they were in possession of seven undersized fish – the limit is one fish per person. One of the anglers did not have a fishing license and they were using live bait, which is also prohibited. The anglers were ticketed for their violations.
CO Steve Speigl responded to a call about lost hikers in the Jordan Valley of Antrim County. The hikers, who did not have a compass, GPS, or flashlights, became disoriented as darkness set in. Fortunately, the dispatch center was able to obtain a GPS fix from the hiker’s cell phone. CO Speigl, after an approximate one-mile trek cross country, was able to locate the hikers and escort them to safety.
CO Steve Speigl responded to a call about a wildfire in a remote area in Antrim County. Once on the scene, he was assisted by DNR and local firefighters to determine the origin of the fire. Firefighters advised CO Speigl they had found what they believed to be a marijuana plant growing on the property. After a short interview with a tenant camping on the property, CO Speigl was able to obtain a confession and was directed to several other marijuana plants growing on the property. Warrants are being sought for multiple offenses.
CO Andrea Albert found a spot on state land that was baited for deer and that also had a trail camera set up on it. CO Albert contacted the suspect and ticketed him for baiting deer prior to Oct. 1.


COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski patrolled for illegal fishing activity near the weir on the Little Manistee River. Several arrests were made, including one subject who possessed a gaff hook and another subject who used a large landing net to scoop salmon late at night. The subject netting salmon had five illegal fish totaling approximately 82 pounds.
Sgt. Mike Bomay received a RAP complaint about subjects hunting geese in a campground, violating safety zone regulations, and trespassing. CO Mike Wells received the same complaint from Central Dispatch. CO Wells was able to contact the complainant and advise Sgt. Bomay of the exact location of the suspects and the best direction for an approach. Sgt. Bomay made contact with the goose hunters and discovered an unplugged shotgun in addition to the other violations. CO Wells arrived and took enforcement action.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Brian Brosky were patrolling the Pere Marquette River system and observed a suspicious car parked on a rural road near the Middle Branch of the river. A subject was located standing on top of a logjam with his line straight down into the river. After observing the subject through binoculars for a length of time, the COs discovered that he was using homemade weighted hooks. CO Brosky circled around downstream to the roadway and approached the subject from behind. Sgt. Bomay continued surveillance in the event the subject changed locations or illegally hooked a fish. Sgt. Bomay saw that the subject was getting nervous and looking behind him frequently, and suddenly CO Brosky appeared in the binocular view. Enforcement action was taken, including seizing a dozen freshly made weighted hooks.
CO Brian Brosky was working the Pere Marquette River at Indian Bridge and located a group of subjects snagging salmon and swearing at other anglers in the area. The illegal crew quickly grabbed the illegal fish, lit up cigarettes, and headed for their vehicle. CO Brosky was out of position to make contact and requested the assistance of the Mason County Sheriff’s Department. A deputy had the vehicle stopped within minutes, and CO Brosky was able to make contact, seize the fish, and issue a ticket. One of the subjects was a 15-year-old who CO Brosky warned a week earlier for snagging.
CO Troy VanGelderen was patrolling Lake Michigan and located a husband and wife trolling with too many lines. Upon the CO making contact with the vessel, the operator displayed two licenses for the CO. The fishing licenses were two different colors, one being expired. CO VanGelderen requested to see the licenses again, and after waiting several minutes as the subject searched his wallet, CO VanGelderen checked the female in the license sales system and discovered she had not purchased a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
Lt. David Shaw responded to a complaint about recreational trespass while the local COs were attending training. Two trucks with dog boxes were driven through an open gate with posted signs and briefly stopped at a residence. One of the subjects knocked at the door of the residence, and before waiting for a response, jumped back into his vehicle and continued to drive back into the private property to recover two packs of hounds that had treed a bear. Due to the early hour, the property owner was still in bed when the subjects knocked. Before the two trespassing vehicle operators could return to the gate to exit, the property owner positioned his own vehicle to block the exit. Lt. Shaw separated the two parties and discussed the importance of respecting property rights while dog training. One ticket was issued for recreational trespass.


CO Jason McCullough arrived in time to check an angler before he was able to leave a local boat access site. During the conversation, the subject explained to the CO his vast knowledge of the fishing world, including habitat, species, and fishing techniques. All went well until CO McCullough asked to look at his fish, three of which were undersized bass, the largest being 10 inches. Ironically, the man informed the CO that he did not realize those fish were actually bass. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Jon Wood and CO Jason McCullough were checking an area for early morning goose hunters when they observed one hunter out of a large group who grabbed his firearm and ran into a nearby woodlot. The COs were able to follow and apprehended the suspect a short time later. The suspect admitted to knowingly hunting with an unplugged firearm. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Matt Liestenfeltz was on patrol when he heard a chain saw in the distance. He located the source of the noise and found several individuals cutting live, standing trees on state land. The subjects were ticketed for cutting wood without a permit.
CO Matt Liestenfeltz was following up with an individual about shooting after dark and located piles of deer bait on his property. The subject was ticketed for baiting deer before Oct. 1.
CO Matt Liestenfeltz was on patrol after dark and responding to a complaint about shots fired when he observed the occupants of a vehicle who were shining. He contacted the occupants of the vehicle and located a .22 long gun in the vehicle and some open containers of alcohol. The subjects were ticketed for shining with a weapon in possession.
COs William Cherry and Chuck McPherson were on patrol when they observed a vehicle slow-rolling. They watched the vehicle and heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the vehicle. They contacted the occupants and discovered they had thrown a firecracker from the window of the vehicle. The subjects had multiple offenses and were written multiple tickets.
CO Chuck McPherson was called to assist STING, the undercover narcotics unit, in the removal of some marijuana plants from private property in Roscommon County. During the contact, he located three bear baits established before the legal date. In the same location he located a live trap and a leg-hold trap, which were set. Contact was made with the property owner who was letting an individual hunt bears on his property this year. CO McPherson investigated another parcel of property in Ogemaw County where the subject is also known to hunt and located two more early bear baits. CO McPherson conducted surveillance for a week on the sites and was able to determine the subject was not tending the leg-hold trap every 24 hours, as well as establishing more than three bear bait stations. CO McPherson conducted an interview with the subject and issued multiple tickets, including establishing a bear bait prior to the legal date and failing to check leg-hold traps every 24 hours.


COs Jeremy Payne and Quincy Gowenlock arrested two hunters in possession of nine Canada geese in the Maple River State Game Area. They had shot the geese in the refuge, which is closed to hunting. They also did not have plugs in their shotguns.
CO Ken Lowell contacted two anglers who were involved in a bass-fishing tournament in Montcalm County. When the CO checked the pair, they advised they had their five bass and were heading for weigh-in. It was determined that only one angler had a fishing license. The angler told the CO that they only had five bass, one limit, and that they were legal. The CO advised that he saw him fishing and issued him a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Nick Atkin responded to a medical emergency in remote area of the Rifle River where a subject severely injured his leg. The CO and other first responders, based on their knowledge of the area, were able to get the injured man safely off the river to medical attention.
CO Scott Brown received a call from the maintenance ranger at Port Crescent State Park regarding a camper who had fabricated the “Passport” on his plate by taping two letter Ps on the registration tab. He originally said he bought them from a woman outside the Secretary of State office in Caro for $9 and something would be arriving in the mail. After a brief and directed discussion with him regarding the ramifications of altering a Secretary of State vehicle tab, the subject admitted to putting them on the tab himself in an effort to save the $11 Passport fee. He was ticketed for illegal entry and evicted from the park at the request of the ranger.
CO Seth Rhodea received a complaint about a subject trespassing on his neighbor’s property while operating an ORV. The complainant had gotten photos off his trail camera and was able to identify the trespasser and provide the CO with the information. Upon CO Rhodea contacting the suspect, he admitted to driving across the neighbor’s land, and a warrant will be sought.
While patrolling in Sanilac County, CO Seth Rhodea observed what appeared to be illegal materials being burned in an unattended brush pile. Upon stopping to check the fire, the CO located shingles and other construction-type materials in the fire. After a couple of phone calls, the responsible party was located and issued a ticket for the illegal burn. He also was warned about not watching the fire, and he was instructed to extinguish the fire before the CO left.


CO Chris Simpson was conducting patrols one evening near Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan when he ticketed three people for fishing without licenses and one for retaining an undersized bass.
Sgt. Zach Doss, Sgt. Jeff Rabbers, and COs Steve Mooney, Andy Bauer, Chuck Towns, Mike Mshar, and Patrick McManus worked a baited area on the early goose season opener and observed as five men took eight geese over the area that had been baited with corn, before being stopped by the COs. All five were ticketed for hunting waterfowl with the aid of bait, with three additional charges on a separate individual for using lead shot, an unplugged gun, and a licensing violation.
COs Greg Patten and Chris Simpson encountered a sailboat just about to begin sailing in an organized race on Muskegon Lake. The operator was ticketed for no registration after COs discovered the boat was not registered. Another sailing vessel was contacted that had begun the process of documentation but had not been registered during the past two boating seasons.
Sgt. John Jurcich located two dirt bikes being operated on county roads in Muskegon County. The operators had no ORV licenses, no helmets, were riding along roads, and operating illegally on public land. Enforcement action was taken, and the operators were escorted to a legal trail and parking area within the Cedar Creek Trail system.


CO Brian Fish, along with local deputies, investigated a complaint about anglers on shore not getting along with anglers in a boat over rights to a fishing spot. Both sides were being stingy about the area’s fishing and were advised to grow up a bit.
CO Kyle Bader was conducting a marine patrol on the north lake chain and heard some shooting. CO Bader checked the hunters and found one subject had taken geese. He’d also failed to buy his small game and state and federal waterfowl stamps. A ticket was issued.
CO Dan Bigger checked remote locations along the Shiawassee River and observed anglers wading in the river and attempting to duck out of sight behind the bridge. CO Bigger left the immediate vicinity and the two subjects hiding behind the bridge. CO Bigger crossed the river and made his way through the woods to the subjects’ locations. CO Bigger watched as the two anglers slowly re-entered the river and began fishing. CO Bigger contacted the anglers and found that one of them did not have a fishing license. The angler claimed he thought that every Labor Day was free fishing weekend. He was advised that Labor Day is on a Monday and therefore even if it had been free fishing weekend, the weekend was over. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking launch sites along the Shiawassee River, CO Dan Bigger observed subjects across the road from the launch with a setup for goose hunting. CO Bigger contacted the six subjects, one of whom was embarrassed when he handed his hunting license over with no federal stamp. The hunter admitted he knew better and stated it was a last-minute decision to hunt. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Mark Ennett was checking the equipment and fish on board one of only two boats in Plum Creek, when the second vessel pulled up and attempted to leave the area. Upon stopping the boat, it was quickly noted they did not have any registration numbers or decals displayed, nor did they have enough PFDs on board. The boat owner originally stated his boat was brand new and he never has put numbers on the boat. An investigation showed it to have been like this for the past four years. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Lacelle Rabon was on marine patrol when he received a RAP complaint from Lake St. Clair. The complainant was looking for a location to waterfowl hunt along the Metropolitan Park shorelines, and he alleged that an unknown waterfowl hunter threatened him. The complainant and the subject exchanged words while armed with shotguns and the subject made the statement, “How about if I shoot you?” The subject and other witnesses denied making the statement. The investigation continues.
CO Mike Drexler was about to check three subjects fishing at a boat launch when he observed a female subject smoke what appeared to be a hand-rolled cigar and pass it to another female subject. As CO Drexler approached, he detected the odor of burning marijuana and instructed the female subject to place the marijuana-filled cigar on the ground. The CO observed several bags of marijuana in an open purse that was directly in front of the first female subject. Warrants will be submitted to the prosecutor.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling back roads when he observed a dirt bike coming toward him. CO Shively could see a mirror on the left side of the bike, but as the bike passed he observed that the bike was under 100cc’s and there was no plate. CO Shively attempted to turn around, and after seeing the CO’s patrol truck the subject took off. CO Shively was able to track the subject to a residence and located the dirt bike and helmet through an entry door into a garage. After numerous knocks at the front door, a young woman came out and advised that she was upstairs sleeping and knew nothing about the dirt bike. CO Shively advised her to go into the residence and have the subject who hid the bike come out. Two minutes later, the subject exited from the residence. The subject stated that he had gotten scared and pulled into his buddy’s house and hid the bike. CO Shively recognized the subject from two years ago when he ticketed him for ORV trespass. The subject was ticketed for operating an ORV on a public roadway and for failing to license his ORV.

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