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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – January 3rd, 2014

DISTRICT 1

CO Mark Leadman was working the Lake Levasseur waterfowl area one evening as a rowboat returned to the launch site. No life jackets were observed inside the boat. Officer Leadman explained the importance of having the life jackets as he checked the hunting gear of the two hunters. One of the shotguns was without a plug, and the same subject was in possession of numerous lead shot rounds. A ticket was issued for the hunting violations, along with a verbal warning for not having the necessary life jackets.
CO Trey Luce was patrolling western Marquette County when he encountered an unregistered ORV. CO Luce also observed blood on the back of the ORV, and the operator said he shot a deer with his bow and arrow. The operator explained that the registration was back at his camp. CO Luce followed the subject back to camp, where the CO located a skinned-out deer wrapped in a tarp in the bed of a pickup truck. The subject retrieved a used ORV registration decal from inside the camp, along with his unvalidated archery deer tag. He explained how he had peeled the ORV decal off an ORV that he had sold this summer. The subject was ticketed for failing to validate and attach his kill tag and was given a warning for the unregistered ORV.

DISTRICT 2

COs John Wenzel and Jared Ferguson were contacted by Escanaba Public Safety regarding a trespassing issue on city properties. CO Wenzel was able to contact the trespasser on his way out to his hunting stand. CO Wenzel advised the individual that he was not on city property, but private property. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol CO Kyle Publiski observed fresh ORV tracks through the woods. CO Publiski followed the fresh tracks on foot for over a mile when he noticed a deer hanging in a tree approximately 15 feet off the ground. CO Publiski lowered the deer to the ground and found that the deer license was not validated. CO Publiski continued on the track and came upon an individual cutting down trees to make a larger shooting lane. CO Publiski asked the individual about the deer, and the hunter said he had shot the deer over two miles away from where it was hanging. He further explained that they bring deer to this area to process them. CO Publiski asked the hunter why he had not validated the license, and the hunter didn’t have a response. A ticket was issued for the tagging violation, and warnings were given for cutting trees on state land.

DISTRICT 3

CO Jon Sklba investigated a complaint about a fence that was possibly restricting the natural flow of wildlife. While investigating the complaint, CO Sklba located illegal deer bait in excess of two gallons on the adjacent property, within view of the suspect property. Enforcement action was taken on both issues.
CO Eric Bottorff conducted surveillance on salmon snaggers after receiving a complaint. The CO watched a group of three subjects snag and attempt to give away their snagged fish. After contact, they were found fishing with illegal gear. All three were ticketed for snagging and the illegal gear.
CO Steve Speigl, while checking waterfowl hunters, overheard local deputies trying to find a suspect who rolled a car and fled the scene. Being in the immediate area, CO Speigl made a pass through town and spotted the suspect. The suspect, after knowing he had been seen, attempted to flee again. CO Speigl was able to chase the suspect down on foot and detain until turning him over to deputies for further questioning.
CO Bill Webster was patrolling the Devil’s River when he observed an individual using a net to catch salmon. In a short period of time, the subject managed to net two fish. Contact with the subject was made, and he admitted to catching fish during the past two weeks with the net. CO Webster seized the fish and fillets of the fish that were caught earlier and ticketed him for taking fish by an illegal method.

DISTRICT 4

CO Steve Converse set up surveillance on a group of waterfowl hunters off shore on Lake Michigan in the Manistee area. CO Converse was able to observe several violations, including rallying ducks and possession of a loaded firearm in a motorboat while under power. When the subjects came to shore, CO Converse, along with CO Carla Soper, checked the group. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sean Kehoe followed up on a complaint about a Jeep stuck in an area where the operation of ORVs is illegal. CO Kehoe was able to track down the owner of the Jeep and discovered that the Jeep was no longer in working order. CO Kehoe issued the owner of the Jeep a ticket for unlawful operation and instructed him to arrange to have the vehicle removed.
Sgt. Mike Bomay received a complaint about a subject hunting state land who had shot a deer and tracked it onto private property past multiple “no trespassing” signs. The landowner of the private property had advised the subject several times to stay out. On this occasion, the subject tracked his deer right under one of the hunters from the private property. Upon being contacted by the officer, the subject couldn’t understand what the landowners were so upset about. Enforcement action was taken, and the deer was delivered to a family in need.
CO Brian Lebel responded to a complaint about a subject shooting deer from a motor vehicle and when contacted, the subject fled on foot. Sheriff’s deputies responded and were able to locate the suspect. Enforcement action was taken, along with seizure of the firearm.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a Report-All-Poaching complaint regarding an untagged deer at a residence. Upon arrival, CO Ginn contacted the suspects, who later confessed to shooting the deer, without a license. In an attempt to hide the fact that the deer was possessed without a license, one of the individuals had his mother purchase a kill permit after the fact. The subjects were ticketed for the loaning/borrowing of tags, as well as the illegal deer.
CO Jeff Ginn was on stationary surveillance late at night where he had received several recent shining complaints. CO Ginn observed a vehicle occupant shining for deer during the shining ban. Upon making a traffic stop, the CO found the subjects were in possession of a .22-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. Tickets were issued for shining while in possession of firearms.
CO Angela Greenway was on patrol when she observed a pickup truck being driven down a rural road with three subjects in the truck’s bed. Upon noticing the CO following them, all three subjects ducked down and attempted to hide. The vehicle was stopped, and CO Greenway determined that the subjects were attempting to zip up a case containing a bow. Upon further inspection of the vehicle, a second uncased bow was located in the back seat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Wells was working a complaint about a subject who was hunting while his privileges were revoked due to past poaching violations. CO Wells was able to set up on property the subject was known to hunt, and observed the subject exiting the woods with a bow and arrow. The same individual also was a suspect involved in another complaint of shining and shooting deer with a rifle from a motor vehicle. The suspect vehicle was registered to the same suspect CO Wells was with, and a doe and the firearm used to take it later were seized. Enforcement action was taken for hunting while revoked and taking deer from a motor vehicle with the aid of an artificial light.

DISTRICT 5

CO Matt Liestenfeltz received a call at home around midnight from the sheriff’s department. Their deputies were on a traffic stop with two subjects who had an untagged deer in their vehicle. CO Liestenfeltz responded to the scene and determined the untagged deer had just been shot. The antlers were sawed off, and the subjects were heading to one of their houses to butcher the deer. CO Liestenfeltz obtained confessions from the two individuals that they had been shining and shot the 7-point buck with a .270 rifle. In addition, the subjects confessed to doing the same thing to two other deer within the past two weeks. CO Liestenfeltz is seeking charges for taking three deer out of season, shining with a weapon in possession, and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
COs Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz were on a late-night shining patrol when they observed a vehicle with a headlight and a taillight out. The vehicle was stopped, and they determined the driver was highly intoxicated and the passenger was in possession of marijuana. The driver was lodged for operating while intoxicated, and warrants are being sought on the passenger for possession of marijuana.
CO John Huspen was on patrol and contacted three subjects gutting a deer. After further investigation, CO Huspen determined there was no tag on the deer and the subjects had killed the deer an hour earlier and a half-mile away. The individual who shot the deer was ticketed for failing to immediately attach a kill tag.
CO Brian Olsen started working an area that was drawing a lot of shining complaints. While sitting in the area, he observed a vehicle from which a light was used. The traffic stop led to two brothers riding around, looking for deer with an uncased bow lying in the front seat. The bow was ready for action, as it had an arrow nocked and ready. CO Olsen issued a ticket for shining with a weapon in possession.
CO Mark Papineau responded to a complaint from numerous archery deer hunters in regard to ORVs being operated on state land. According to the complaints, several ORVers had been driving in an area not open to ORV use and harassing hunters. CO Papineau contacted a group of ORVers, and a ticket was issued.
CO Mark Papineau responded to a trespass complaint involving a small-game hunter. The complainant stated that he was deer hunting on his private property when he observed a small-game hunter on his property. CO Papineau was able to find a possible suspect at a nearby camp on state land. After a long discussion involving multiple people, one of the subjects confessed to trespassing and hunting small game without a license. Multiple tickets were issued.

DISTRICT 6

COs Chad Foerster and Nick Atkin were checking perch anglers on a patrol to locate waterfowl hunters. During the contact, the COs found that one of the anglers had shot a deer, processed it, and failed to tag the deer. Enforcement action was taken.
After receiving a complaint, CO Nick Atkin contacted a deer hunter and questioned him about an untagged deer. During the interview, the CO found out that the subject had one untagged deer and had taken three other deer illegally. Enforcement action was taken.
While heading down a state highway, CO Seth Rhodea observed a vehicle waiting to pull onto the road. There was a deer strapped to the roof. The CO pulled over and made contact with the driver, who was transporting the deer for another person. The tag was found to be not properly validated, and the hunter who killed the deer was contacted and ticketed for failing to validate his kill tag.
COs Quincy Gowenlock and Dan Lee were checking duck hunters in the Shiawassee River State Game Area when they saw a hunter throw what appeared to be a duck into the corn behind him. When the COs checked the group, they were in possession of their limit of hen mallards. The COs left the group and circled back around to check the corn behind them, where they found a hen mallard, still warm. When asked about the bird, the party could not settle on which far-fetched story to stick with. Tickets were issued to all three in the hunting party for possession of an overlimit of ducks.
CO Dan Lee received several calls about 40 minutes after duck-hunting hours had ended to let him know that a group of hunters in the Shiawassee River SGA were shooting late. The CO, with the help of CO Ivan Perez, contacted the group at their residence. The hunters said they heard the staff at the check station say that hunting hours ended at 6:44, not 6:24. CO Perez explained that they were heard shooting at 6:55, which would have been late either way. Enforcement action will be taken.
CO Joel Lundberg saw headlights in the woods behind a residence several hours after dark. A vehicle came out to the roadway, and a traffic stop was conducted. There was an individual in the bed of the truck, and two untagged deer. Two of the vehicle’s occupants admitted shooting the deer and not tagging them. The third individual had a deer hanging in a barn down the road, with a license that he borrowed from a friend. Tickets were issued to the group members.
CO Joel Lundberg made a traffic stop of a vehicle, and the driver had a suspended license. After a lengthy interview, the CO learned of a deer that had been shot at the deer camp where the individuals were going. CO Steve Lockwood was called and asked to go to the camp and do an interview with the shooter of the deer. CO Lockwood interviewed the suspect at camp and got a confession on the individual not tagging his deer. CO Lockwood was able to retrieve the deer, and a ticket was issued.
CO Jeremy Payne was checking a camper on state land and noted a strong smell of marijuana when the owner came out to talk to the CO. A search was conducted, and two large baggies of marijuana were found. The camper also did not have his camp registered. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 7

CO Greg Patten ticketed two campers who appeared to be living on the Muskegon SGA and continue to relocate their campsite. After checking a recent site, CO Patten found the campers had been burning plastics and other non-biodegradable items in their fire pit. The campers were further encouraged to move on and discontinue their misuse of the area.
CO Mike Mshar responded to a complaint about trespass in progress, and located the subjects. They claimed that they thought they were on commercial forest land because the landowner’s name where they were illegally hunting was the same as that listed in the guidebook they were reading. CO Mshar advised that this was a different landowner and that the commercial forest land was on the other side of the county. Enforcement action was taken per the landowner’s request.
CO Mike Mshar contacted two subjects returning to their vehicle after dark from bowhunting. When asked how their hunting was, they indicated they had not had any success. CO Mshar identified blood on one of the subject’s arrows and requested the truth. An untagged antlerless deer was located hidden behind a vehicle. The successful hunter indicated that she had left her license at home, and her father indicated that he was going to tag the deer for her. CO Mshar discussed the rules with them and gave them a warning for the untagged deer. A ticket was issued for hunting without a license in possession.

DISTRICT 8

CO Jeff Goss conducted a processor inspection and located a deer with a suspicious tag. Further investigation revealed that the same man had two deer at the processor, one of which was a tag belonging to an elderly woman. As luck would have it, the subject showed up to pick up his deer while CO Goss was still there. Upon questioning the subject, it was discovered that he shot a 6-point earlier in the season and tagged it with one of his combination license tags. A few days later, he shot an 8-point and didn’t want his season to be over, so he had his elderly aunt purchase another set of combination licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Derek Miller assisted the MSP and local deputies on a call regarding a suicidal/homicidal subject in the woods with stolen shotguns. The officers arrived on the scene and began evacuating houses in the area, along with seasonal homes in the woods where the subject was known to be hiding. A short time later, the subject came out and surrendered to officers without incident. The subject did state that he shot at a subject in the woods and threw his guns into a wooded area before surrendering to officers. The search continued well into the night, and it was determined that nobody had been injured.
CO Kyle Bader followed up on a RAP complaint regarding a tagging violation. The subject first denied shooting any deer, but after a short interview, he produced a 9-point rack from the corner of a garage. There was an invalidated kill tag tied to an antler. Further questioning revealed that the subject had purchased the tag after killing the deer. A ticket was issued for failure to immediately validate and attach a kill tag.
CO Kyle Bader took a RAP complaint from a subject who found a fresh, gun-killed deer in a wooded area of his property. CO Bader responded and located the deer. After a lengthy necropsy, a rather unique slug was removed from the carcass. Evidence indicated the deer was shot from the road and died in the woods. CO Bader interviewed a resident of the closest and only house in the area. The subject admitted to shooting at a woodchuck with a muzzleloader. When CO Bader asked for a slug for the muzzleloader, the subject produced one very similar to the one taken out of the deer. The subject subsequently confessed to shooting at a deer but thought he missed it. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor.
CO Todd Thorn was dispatched to a recreational trespass complaint that had occurred the previous day, and no subject information was available. The complainant stated that a large 9-point buck had been taken off his property and gave a description of the vehicle to the CO. A neighbor had seen the activity and informed the landowner. CO Thorn went to the location on two separate occasions, and on the second trip was able to learn the identity of the subject by talking to neighbors. The subject was contacted at his house about two miles away, and after some discussion, admitted to having taken the deer off of the property without permission. The deer was seized, and a request for charges will be submitted.

DISTRICT 9

COs Kris Kiel and Todd Szyska were working a field for shining activity in Macomb County when a vehicle showed up and began spotlighting out the driver’s side window of the vehicle. The COs watched the vehicle occupants cast light multiple times. The vehicle eventually was stopped. The father stated that they were shining the fields, not looking for deer, but looking for poachers. No weapons were found in the vehicle, and the shining during November law was explained. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Kieft investigated a complaint about shots fired, and possible firearms deer hunting in Addison Township. While investigating the complaint, CO Kieft determined that a deer was shot with a crossbow, and the kill tag was not validated properly. There also was an excessive bait pile on another portion of the hunter's property. The subject was ticketed for the excessive bait and warned for the validation of the kill tag.
CO Brandon Kieft received a RAP complaint that two male subjects were jumping on a locked park gate and using a rock to try and break the lock. They had been hunting earlier in the evening and wanted to drive back toward the field where they had been. The complainant provided a license plate number, and CO Kieft conducted a follow-up interview. The subjects ended up being 14 and 17 years old. They confessed, and enforcement action was taken.
While working northern St. Clair County for shining activity, CO Ken Kovach found a subject sporadically shining and followed the vehicle for approximately 12 miles. When the vehicle was stopped, the CO found six occupants who had been shining with a loaded, uncased rifle in the backseat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach followed up on an excessive bait complaint and contacted a subject who was standing in the middle of a bait pile. The bait pile was in excess of 50 gallons of apples, carrots, and sugar beets. The subject was trespassing and hunting one hour after legal hunting hours. Enforcement action was taken.

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