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Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – December 5th, 2014

COs Mark Leadman and Elton Luce contacted two juveniles operating ORVs without supervision and who also were in possession of firearms. The juveniles had plans to hunt unsupervised when they reached their destination. The juveniles were escorted home, and the parents were contacted. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Douglas Hermanson received a call from a bear-hunting outfitter in Ontonagon County who found a dead bear cub near a bear bait. The bear was located where a hunter claimed he shot at and missed a bear. CO Hermanson responded to the scene and collected the cub and a spent rifle casing. A bullet was recovered from a log in the bait pile. Incriminating text messages from the hunter to the outfitter also were retrieved. The cub had been shot then dragged into a nearby creek, and the hunter had gone back home to the Flint area. CO Joel Lundberg and PCO William Brickel were called to conduct an interview. The hunter admitted to shooting the cub then attempting to hide it. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter and PCO Mike Mansell handled a complaint involving the theft of trail cameras and treestands in Iron County. Contact was made with a possible suspect, and it was determined the trail cameras and treestands were placed on private property and were removed by the landowner. After a discussion with both parties, a peaceful resolution was found, and the trail cameras and treestands were returned.
CO Jason Wicklund was working when he came upon a bear hunter who had just had his dog killed by wolves. CO Doug Hermanson was in the area and came to assist with the investigation. The bear hunter informed the COs that he also had another dog killed by wolves two weeks earlier in the same area. As the COs were finishing their investigation, Sgt. Marc Pomroy called to inform the COs that another dog was missing a few miles north of where they were. The COs responded to assist a bird hunter in looking for his dog, which, according to the hunter, had encountered a pack of dogs just prior to disappearing. After two hours of searching, the dog was not located.

CO Jerrold Fitzgibbon and PCO Rob Freeborn set up a grouse decoy in a complaint area. They were targeting road hunting and people shooting from vehicles. Within 15 minutes of setting up the decoy, they had their first customer. PCO Freeborn stopped the driver after a loaded gun was pointed out the driver’s window (allowing the decoy to survive another encounter). The education of hunter safety continued with a ticket being issued for possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle.
PCO Jon Busken and CO Kevin Postma were patrolling Chippewa County when they came upon a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. The vehicle began moving forward when approached by the COs before stopping once again. It immediately was apparent the operator was intoxicated. Multiple open containers of alcohol were recovered from the vehicle. During field sobriety tests, the driver told the COs, “Just take me to jail. I am not going to pass your test.” A later breath test revealed the subject’s blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Chippewa County jail, and tickets were issued to the passengers for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
While patrolling for waterfowl and small-game hunters, CO Mike Hammill and PCO Bobby Watson checked a state forest campground. While they were in the campground, two separate groups came out of their campers with envelopes and money in hand, attempting to pay for their overnight stay. When questioned, each camper admitted to camping for multiple nights without paying. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling the Boyne River, CO Duane Budreau received a complaint from an angler regarding subjects snagging. CO Budreau located two subjects on posted private property – one spotting fish and the other ripping them out of the stream with a snag hook. After the CO observed two salmon snagged, contact was made and one subject identified himself as a tribal member. Both were ticketed for recreational trespass, and the snagger was turned over to the tribal CO for prosecution in tribal court.
COs Andrea Erratt and Steve Speigl received an identical complaint from last year, about a group of nonresident anglers who were snagging. One officer posed as an angler, and observed the blatant snagging of salmon. Tickets were issued, and fish and gear were seized.
CO Steve Speigl and PCO Brad Bellville received a RAP complaint involving field waterfowl hunters and a possible safety zone violation. PCO Bellville contacted the complainant at his residence, and, while inside, heard shots and observed geese falling from the sky. The COs contacted the hunting party in the field and checked birds, licenses, guns, and shells. The COs also used a rangefinder to determine that the hunters were well outside of the safety zone. After the hunters were checked, the complainant requested additional contact, as he had found steel shot BBs on his back deck. The COs again contacted the hunters and informed them that even though they were outside the safety zone, they were still responsible for the final destination of their shot.
Patience paid off when CO Andrea Albert caught two subjects attempting to spear salmon in a closed stream with large, sharpened sticks. CO Albert waited for several hours before catching the subjects, who came in right at dark and tried numerous times to spear the spawning salmon with the pointed sticks. That did not work well so they took a small net and attached it to one of the sticks in an attempt to net the salmon. Violations including attempting to take salmon with an illegal device, no license, and fishing a closed stream. Tickets were issued to both subjects.
CO Mark DePew was working the Boyne River in plain clothes and watched an angler snag a salmon. His partner asked if he was going to keep it, and said he was because the COs had just left and they weren’t coming back. The snagger then was contacted and issued a ticket for retaining a foul-hooked fish.
CO Bill Webster contacted three duck hunters who were doing a lot of shooting and found them to be three birds over their limit. The hunters stated that hunting was really good and they lost track of how many they had shot. The hunters were ticketed for their violations.

CO Brian Brosky responded to a complaint in which a private property owner was experiencing problems with subjects trespassing on his property to snag salmon. CO Brosky was granted permission to access the complainant’s property to check a secluded section of the river, and on his first patrol located a kayaker who had pulled up onto the complainant’s property to snag salmon. CO Brosky watched as the subject hooked into several salmon while using no bait and a weight attached below the hook. When the subject would land fish, she would fillet them immediately and then deposit the carcasses on the private property. When contacted, the subject stated that she does this trip every year as she knows it is an excellent location to quickly obtain a limit of salmon. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Carla Soper and CO Brian Brosky were working a closed portion on Pine Creek when they located several subjects fishing the closed waters and snagging salmon. As the officers were observing the subjects, a passerby stopped to advise the subjects in the water that the river was closed to fishing. One subject who had just netted his second fish stated to the passerby that he knew it was closed but didn’t necessarily care because he wanted the fish. The COs then made contact, and enforcement action was taken.
COs Brian Brosky and Kyle Publiski received a complaint about illegal fishing activity on the Manistee River. The officers responded and walked for over an hour to arrive at the location where the subjects were fishing. The COs set up surveillance on the group and found a total of seven subjects violating the fishing laws, which included snagging, retaining foul-hooked fish, and the use of illegal gear. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Carla Soper and CO Angela Greenway responded to a complaint in which a subject had potentially taken three bucks in violation of antler point restrictions on hunting property in Lake County. The officers were able to locate three fresh deer carcasses with the antlers removed. Using information that had been provided by the complainant, COs Greenway and Brian Lebel then went to Newaygo County where they located the owner of the hunting property and subsequently the name of the person who had been hunting there. The officers then made contact with the hunter, who confessed to shooting three spike bucks. The hunter did not have any licenses to hunt deer and was able to turn over the three sets of antlers. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling state land in Gladwin County, CO Mark Papineau was checking a deer camp when he observed traces of blood in the nearby leaves. The camp was empty, as all the hunters were in the woods hunting. Further investigation led CO Papineau to the source of the blood. Located behind the camper and stashed under a pile of leaves and ferns was an untagged deer. Soon after the discovery, a hunter arrived back at camp and advised that hunting was rough and very few deer had been seen. When asked about the untagged deer stashed in the woods, the subject confessed to the violation.
CO Chris Bowen and Sgt. Jeremy Payne assisted three Detroit-area duck hunters on Houghton Lake with an overturned boat. All hunters were rescued prior to the officers’ arrival. CO Bowen and Sgt. Payne were able to retrieve some of the duck hunters’ gear floating in the water. While emptying the gear of water, CO Bowen discovered a Mason jar full of marijuana and paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Brandon Kieft and CO Kyle Bader were patrolling state land for hunting activity when they observed a parked vehicle. The COs made contact, and the hunters said they had not had any success. When CO Bader asked about the blood in the back of the truck, they were quick to admit that there was a deer at their camp and it wasn’t tagged. When the COs went to the camp to check the deer, Sgt. Kieft asked the suspect when he had shot the deer. After initially lying about when he shot it, he later said “about 2 in the morning.” A search of the vehicle produced two uncased crossbows, a spotlight with blood on it, and a receipt indicating the suspects purchased the light at 10:54 p.m. the previous night. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chad Foerster received a complaint about recreational trespass, and when he arrived at the property, he located a hunter dragging out an untagged 7-point buck. Upon questioning the hunter, it was discovered he had shot another 7-point buck earlier and only bought one deer license, also failing to tag that deer. The deer was seized, and the hunter was charged with failing to tag the first buck and taking the second buck illegally without a valid tag.
CO Chad Foerster was called to assist the Hampton Police Department with his four-wheel-drive patrol truck. CO Foerster drove officers down along the Bay Shore where they located one mudder-style truck stuck in the mud and another truck driver attempting to pull him out. Enforcement action was taken for driving a motor vehicle through wetlands, and the driver ended up paying a hefty tow bill.
COs Joel Lundberg and William Brickel were on patrol in Midland County when they made a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation. Upon contact with the driver, it was determined that he had shot a doe during the early antlerless season. The COs then followed the driver back to his residence to take a look at the tags for the deer. While at the residence, it was determined that there were two animals taken during the hunt. One animal was taken by the driver and the other by his friend. Both tags were the driver’s, and neither tag was validated. Contact was made with the second suspect, and a confession was obtained. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Ken Lowell and Cary Foster were working in Ionia County when they located three anglers who were trespassing at one of the dams. All of the anglers were fishing beyond the fences that were posted with “no trespassing” signs. As the COs approached, they observed one angler cut his line in an attempt to get out of a ticket for fishing with illegal gear. Violations included snagging, possession of illegal gear, trespassing, and fishing without a license. One of the anglers had a warrant for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Steve Mooney walked into a fishing site on the Black River and observed two subjects fishing. Upon contact, CO Mooney discovered that the subjects were using illegal gear, specifically a treble hook directly tied above the weight, “baited” with a piece of tube socks. Additionally, one subject did not have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brad Brewer received a RAP complaint about a subject taking an 8-point buck without a license on opening day of archery deer season. Additionally, it was reported the subject had never taken hunter safety as required. COs Brewer and Jeff Robinette contacted the subject and obtained a confession to the alleged information. The subject had killed an 8-point buck on Oct. 1 and had purchased a license Oct. 2, and had never taken hunter safety. Restitution and license revocation will be sought under the new enhanced penalties for a total of $6,000 restitution and five years, plus current-year hunting license revocation. The subject was ticketed, and the deer and the bow used were seized.
CO Greg Patten was on foot patrol along the Muskegon River when he observed a fishing rod lying on the ground near an angler. The rig affixed to the line was made up with a weight located below a fly, and CO Patten was certain the angler would attempt to foul-hook salmon as soon as he left the area. Returning to the stream and a bit of patience led to a ticket being issued when the same angler retained a foul-hooked salmon that he believed was somewhat alright as he was just trying to get eggs for steelhead fishing. A ticket was issued for retaining foul-hooked fish.
CO Greg Patten worked Cleveland Creek several days, but on one occasion observed a trespassing angler attempt to snag. The subject eventually located a carcass of a dead salmon and removed the remaining eggs from the fish. When contacted and ticketed for attempting to snag and trespassing, the individual advised he was just trying to get some eggs. CO Patten had ticketed the same person at the same spot in 2006 with the same alibi.
On the evening of the waterfowl opener, CO Cary Foster found a 14-year-old crossbow hunter, who was alone, returning to a road with a flashlight. It was determined his grandfather had dropped him off and was hunting a mile away across a section. CO Foster waited for the grandfather to return to discuss the situation and define what “accompanied” means when taking young hunters afield.
CO BJ Goulette investigated a complaint from neighbors about a person shooting a hawk with an air rifle. It was learned that a person who raises chickens in an uncovered pen had witnessed a hawk perched near the pen. The homeowner believed he was entitled to protect the chickens and shot the hawk in a residential area with an air rifle. Wounding the bird, he went to a neighbor’s yard where the bird had perched and fired again, killing the red-tailed hawk. A warrant has been sought charging the shooter with illegally killing the bird and safety zone violations.

CO Jeff Goss and PCO Matt Page received a RAP complaint about an adult subject wounding a deer during the youth hunt and then having the youth hunter dispatch the wounded animal. Upon further investigation and interviews, the subject admitted to shooting a doe during the youth season and wounding the doe so that the youth could “finish off the animal.” The subject advised that he thought the purpose of the youth hunt was to help the young hunters, and that’s why he shot the animal first. The subject was informed on the proper and legal methods for the youth season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Rich Nickols received a complaint about a large buck that had possibly been poached. The complainant was out bowhunting and heard two shots near the back of his property. Later that morning, the complainant's nephew was out hunting and discovered the deer injured but not dead. The nephew shot the deer with his bow and arrow and observed what appeared to be a bullet wound on the neck of the deer. CO Nickols responded to the complaint and found the deer as described. CO Nickols performed a necropsy on the deer and found that the wound was likely caused by another buck with which deer had been fighting.
While patrolling late at night, CO Todd Thorn and PCO Andrew Sutzko observed a pickup truck parked at a game area. The COs observed kennels in the back of the truck, along with some traps. After a closer observation, a live raccoon was found in one of the two untagged traps. After waiting for about 15 minutes, the houndsmen came out of the woods and were contacted by the COs. One of the subjects admitted to trapping the raccoon just up the road on state land. PCO Sutzko explained to the subject that it was not trapping season, nor could he have a live game animal in a trap. Enforcement action was taken.

PCO Richard Cardenas and CO Daniel Prince worked a complaint in Oakland County about waterfowl hunters hunting over bait. The COs arrived early to observe the area for hunting activity. The COs contacted three duck hunters early in the morning and found shelled corn in the water in front of their blind. The officers obtained written voluntary statements from the suspects confessing to illegally baiting waterfowl. PCO Cardenas gathered evidence from the scene. When the COs asked why they illegally baited the area, the hunters responded that they wanted to kill a few more ducks. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel was on foot patrol, working waterfowl hunters at the Wetzel Recreation Area. CO Kiel set up approximately 20 feet behind a father and son after observing them not picking up their decoys at the end of shooting hours. CO Kiel overheard their conversation when the father decided to finally pick up the decoys, 10 minutes after shooting hours ended. The son asked the father if he thought anyone would still shoot. The father said, “No, you’re not supposed to.” The son then asked, “Why not?” The father replied, “Because the DNR could be in the parking lot, you never know.” Just then, CO Kiel stood up and the son said, “No dad, he’s right here!” After going through the complete check, CO Kiel listed the violations: firearms loaded 15 minutes after hours, lead shot, unplugged gun loaded with five rounds, and an unsigned federal stamp. The son laughed at the father: “Dad, you’re gonna get a ticket!” Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Kevin Hackworth responded to a complaint involving a person who had come upon a dead deer that had been shot with an arrow. The person gutted the deer to give it to a needy elderly couple who lived nearby. The person became concerned after he discovered a yellow gelatinous material inside the deer’s body cavity and called the RAP line. After inspection, it was found that the material was internal body fat. A permit was issued for the elderly couple to keep the deer, and an explanation of the tagging law was given to the well-intended bowhunter.
CO Derek Miller received a hunter harassment complaint regarding a stolen bowhunting stand. The hunter arrived at his treestand before sunrise and found that half of his treestand was missing. The hunter made the call to CO Miller after going to the neighboring property owner and finding half of his stand lying in the front lawn. Upon arrival, CO Miller did not locate the stand in question. The homeowner stated that it had been moved. Charges are being sought for hunter harassment and larceny.

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