Michigan Cuffs & Collars – May 20th, 2016


Conservation Officer (CO) Doug Hermanson located two nonresident anglers fishing on a closed portion of the Falls River in Baraga County. They had some difficulty reading the stream map on their phone so Hermanson showed the anglers the stream listings by county and gave further directions on the open area that can be fished.

CO Doug Hermanson made contact with anglers on the Pilgrim River in Houghton County. The anglers were fishing in an open section of the river but targeting brook trout, contrary to the brook trout restoration area initiative. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO Matt Eberly assisted Wildlife Division by responding to a complaint of a sick raccoon. The raccoon was showing signs and symptoms of distemper and rabies. The animal was collected and turned over to Wildlife Division for testing.

CO Denny Gast responded to a moose versus vehicle accident in Baraga County. A yearling bull moose was struck by a pickup truck. Severe damage was done to the truck with no personal injuries to the vehicle occupants. The moose was transported to a local meat processing facility. The meat that can be salvaged will be distributed to needy families.

CO Jared Ferguson was called to assist with an animal that was caught inside a foothold trap that was believed to be a wolf. Upon further investigation, the animal was a chocolate Lab.


COs Mark Zitnik and Calvin Smith followed up on a suspicious fur registration. After interviewing the husband, it was found that the husband used his wife’s tag on his marten. Law enforcement action was taken.

While off duty, COs Mark Zitnik and Calvin Smith were dispatched to a wolf that was severely injured on the highway. The COs contacted Wildlife Division and met them at the scene. The wolf was determined to be struck by a logging truck and had to be euthanized. The wolf was collected by the biologist.

Corporals Shannon Van Patten and Marvin Gerlach along with COs Mike Evink, Robert Freeborn, Chris Lynch and Calvin Smith participated in a night time group patrol of Little Bay De Noc.

COs Mike Evink and Calvin Smith investigated a suspicious grass fire in the Garden Peninsula. On two separate nights a field was set on fire and the local fire department quickly extinguished the burn. The investigation is ongoing.

CO Chris Lynch responded to a grass fire near his location. Upon arriving on scene the fire was spreading close to home. Fortunately, the fire department was able extinguish the fire. The suspect said he never planned for the leaf pile he was burning to start the field he was burning next to on fire. The suspect was ticketed for failure to prevent the spread of fire.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol checking anglers when he observed three subjects near a net put out by the DNR for egg collection. Lynch contacted the three minors and found that one had driven an ORV back into a closed area. The ORV was removed and the minor was turned over to his parents. The parents and the minor where educated on ORV laws.

COs Jon Busken, Bobby Watson and Sgt. Mike Hammill teamed up with Fisheries Technician Wayne Heinzman at the local tackle party sponsored by the Tahquamenon Area Sportsman’s Club. Over 200 kids showed up for the event and had an opportunity to learn fish identification, win prizes and even learn how to cast with the popular “catch a bass” casting game. The event raises some money for the local sportsman’s club but more importantly allows kids to leave with the knowledge and gear to hit the lakes and rivers this fishing season.

CO Jon Busken was on routine patrol when he observed two individuals walking from the banks of the Black River in Mackinac County. Contact was made with the individuals who said the fishing had been good and had just finished cleaning their catch. Busken examined the fillets and found several brook trout fillets. The angler claimed he did not know that the fish were not in season. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Andrea Albert finally caught up with a subject hunting turkeys over bait in Antrim County. The illegal activity was discovered by Albert several years ago. COs over the past nine years had made numerous attempts to catch the violator in action. The second day of the spring turkey season, Albert found the subject hunting turkeys over bait; he had driven to his hunting property with a suspended license and also had a warrant out for his arrest. Albert ticketed the hunter for driving while suspended and on the warrant. He was also ticketed for hunting turkeys over bait.

CO Andrea Erratt reports that she continues to follow-up on a complaint of an individual dumping approximately 10 gallons of used oil in a wetland next to a trout stream. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) personnel have been requested for assistance with follow up and the cleanup effort.

COs Matt Theunick and Nick Torsky were checking a Lake Huron coastal stream (a designated trout stream) in Cheboygan County and observed a man holding a large net. Upon seeing the officers, the man threw the net to the ground. When contacted, he stated he wasn’t fishing, then changed his story and said he was dipping for smelt. The net was a large mesh type, where smelt would have gone right through. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Matt Theunick and Nick Torsky received a complaint of a subject hunting wild turkey prior to the season in Cheboygan County. Contact was made with the man as he was walking out of the woods with a shotgun. Although he claimed he wasn’t hunting turkeys, after back-tracking, turkey decoys and corn were found where he had been hunting. Tickets for hunting wild turkey during the closed season and hunting turkey over bait were issued, and the shotgun seized.

CO Mark DePew policed a bear-car accident in Otsego County, salvaging what was possible from the bear.

COs Eric Bottorff and Matt Theunick taught and assisted at a hunter safety class in Cheboygan.

CO Paul Fox contacted two fishermen who were dipping for smelt in Nagel Creek. They were excited to show Fox the 10 smelt they had caught; when he looked at the minnows he informed the fishermen the smelt they had caught were actually chubs and shiners.


CO Kyle Publiski was checking the pier near Pentwater when he observed a stringer of bass hanging from the walkway. Publiski spoke with two anglers who advised they had taken the fish, but were adamant that bass season was open. Publiski educated them about the season dates and asked for licenses. One angler advised he hadn’t purchased his license for the year yet. When Publiski took a closer look at the bass, he also discovered that two were undersized. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Steve Converse assisted the USFS, MSP and the Manistee County Sheriff’s Department in an attempt to locate a missing subject who was visiting Manistee County to fish and camp along the Little Manistee River. A search party was orchestrated when the man’s friend visited the campsite and could not locate him. The missing man was found deceased the following day in the river, with drowning as the likely cause.

CO Sam Koscinski responded to a complaint where a homeowner was stating that she believed the neighbor had taken a deer illegally. The caller advised that a shot rang out from the residence next door and she watched a deer tumble down a hill. Koscinski responded and found a dead deer lying in the woods behind the suspect residence. Koscinski was able to obtain a confession from the homeowner who advised that he thought the deer was a bobcat and had shot at it. She advised she was trying to shoot what she believed was a bobcat to prevent it from getting in to her poultry barn as she had recently lost some chickens. Koscinski advised her that she did not kill a bobcat and had instead killed a full grown whitetail doe. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Troy Mueller of Osceola County responded to a fire in Mecosta County. The person living there stated he was planning to burn some trash in a burn barrel. However, he was concerned about the long grass and weeds around the burn barrel catching fire and spreading. So, he lit the grass on fire. The fire quickly spread uncontrollably burning two acres and two barns. The fire department advised that they have responded to this house for three years in a row on grass fires. Enforcement action was taken.



CO Craig Neal responded to a complaint of a subject shooting at sandhill cranes with a rifle from his vehicle. With help from other COs and Missaukee County Sheriff’s Department, Neal was able to locate the vehicle and interview the suspect. The suspect confessed to shooting at the sand-hill cranes. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Bowen responded to a Roscommon County complaint of fishermen fishing a closed portion of Backus Creek. Bowen found several people fishing the closed stream. The fishermen explained they thought the river was open for spearing and had several fish. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Chuck McPherson and Craig Neal were patrolling the spawning closure on the Cut River in Roscommon County and found a subject in waders bow fishing the closed river. COs contacted the subject and found the subject was also fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Casey Pullum and Bobbi Lively conducted a fishing patrol in kayaks along a portion of the Au Sable River in Oscoda County. This section of river is a designated trout stream and closed to fishing this time of year. The conservation officers encountered two individuals fishing the closed area. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josh Russell was patrolling Foote Dam for fishing activity when he noticed an angler dip the tip of his rod in the water and jerk the rod to the side. The angler did this several more times and hooked a fish. After the fish got off the hook the angler put a split shot just above the treble hook and tried again, this time successfully snagging a fish. When Russell approached the subject, he cut his fishing line. Shortly into the contact, the angler realized Russell had been watching him the entire time. He admitted to snagging fish and enforcement action was taken.

Sergeant Brandon Kieft was patrolling for fishing activity when he noticed a vehicle parked along Smith Creek in Iosco County. This area is a designated trout stream and closed to fishing.  Kieft walked the creek  and eventually made contact with a male angler. Further investigation determined that the subject had two prior violations for snagging and taking fish during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken.


On a recent patrol in Huron County, COs Bob Hobkirk and Kyle Bucholtz located an illegal burn. A local resident was attempting to burn processed lumber and insulation from a demolished trailer. The fire was extinguished and enforcement action was taken.

During a late night patrol in Tuscola County, CO Jason A. Smith found a subject sucker spearing in the middle of the night. The subject had previously been present on separate occasions when his buddies had been caught illegally netting planted trout and spearing steelhead. The subject had previously been able to avoid involvement during the earlier encounters. However, this time he was in possession of an illegally speared northern pike. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Seth Rhodea made contact in Sanilac County with two turkey hunters as they were returning to their truck with a turkey. As it turned out, the turkey had not been tagged. Upon checking the unused tag, Rhodea discovered the hunter’s tag was not valid for the season he was hunting in. The turkey was seized and enforcement action was taken.

CO Jay Person responded to a call that there was a dead bald eagle on the side of U.S.-10. Upon arrival, a mature eagle was located in the median of the highway. It appeared to be hit by a vehicle but no report was ever filed. Person secured the banded eagle and turned it over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The bird will be taken to the lab to determine the cause of death.

CO Joel Lundberg worked the opening day of the 2016 turkey season. Lundberg field checked nine successful hunters and even took pictures for two groups of successful hunters so that all the successful hunters could be included in the photo. A father and son had both filled their turkey licenses opening morning and a husband and wife were also both successful. It was a very good opener and a great success rate among hunters checked.


CO Matt Page had investigated a complaint of a subject hunting turkeys with the aid of bait. Page located the bait and worked the location on numerous days. CO Steve Mooney was called to assist and began surveillance at the baited location before daylight one morning. A subject showed up and began turkey calling a short distance from the bait. After observing the subject for a while, the subject became impatient and started to leave. Mooney made contact and the subject admitted to placing the spin feeder and that he did not have a turkey hunting license. In addition, the subject admitted to shooting a turkey in 2014 without a license, which Page already knew about. Lastly, the subject is prohibited from possessing a firearm, due to prior felony convictions. Mooney seized the firearm, cited the subject for hunting with the aid of bait and hunting turkeys without a license, and will be seeking a warrant for felon in possession of a firearm. A warrant is also being requested for the 2014 turkey that was taken without a license.

CO Steve Mooney was on patrol when he observed two turkey hunters walking across a field. Mooney observed that as soon as the subjects saw his truck, they immediately walked into the woods nearby. Mooney located the subject’s vehicle and waited for them to return. After waiting approximately five minutes, the subjects returned to the vehicle and Mooney made contact. The subjects were found to have been turkey hunting without licenses and were using shotgun shells with shot that was too large according to the law. The subjects were cited for both violations.

While checking the Rouge River, CO Justin Ulberg received a tip that an angler was attempting to snag steelhead. Ulberg responded and was able to observe the subject while he fished. Ulberg watched the subject as he walked the shoreline looking for steelhead. The subject would then cast out a bare hook and attempt to snag the fish. Ulberg contacted the subject and the angler confessed to trying to snag fish. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Peter Purdy and Mike Drexler checked anglers at Island Lake Recreation Area Spring Mill Pond. One angler was in violation of the artificial lure only gear restriction. He was fishing with worms and minnows. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Peter Purdy and Mike Drexler checked anglers at the Island Lake Recreation Area Spring Mill Pond. One angler was waist deep in the water wearing waders and a fly vest. When asked for a fishing license he advised he neglected to purchase one. A retail sales system check revealed he hadn’t purchased a license since 2014. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Mike Drexler and Peter Purdy were checking anglers along the Huron River in Ypsilanti when they contacted two anglers fishing without a license. One angler was from out of state and stated he just didn’t have time to purchase a fishing license. The COs commented that the subjects probably should have purchased licenses when they were buying bait. Enforcement action was taken.

While on patrol for turkey hunters, CO Chris Maher noticed several bags of trash and construction debris dumped in Waterloo Recreation Area. Maher with the help of CO Shane Webster, looked through the bags of trash in order to find suspect information. After several interviews, a confession was obtained. Enforcement action was taken and the suspect was directed to pick up the remaining trash.

While conducting a fishing patrol at Heritage Park in Shiawassee County, CO Jason King came in contact with two subjects shore fishing on the Shiawassee River. King discovered that the two subjects had not purchased valid 2016 fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds observed an ORV driving on a public road in Hillsdale County. A stop was conducted on the ORV, with numerous violations observed. The officer advised the subject of all of the violations and explained the importance of wearing a helmet while operating an ORV. The subject said “I only live down the road.” The officer gave verbal warnings on a few of the violations. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ORV without a helmet.


While checking anglers on the Detroit River, COs Dave Schaumburger and Dan Walzak checked a vessel with a subject fishing and his “fishing partner” reading a book. It was found that the boat was lacking a throwable life preserver and also the registration certificate. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Ennett was investigating an illegal dumping complaint in the Pointe. Aux Peaux State Wildlife Area. While on foot patrol, a group of three anglers walked past to a nearby creek. Ennett continued to search for the trash, while also giving the trio a chance to set up. All three were actively fishing when Ennett approached them to check the two adult’s licenses. The father of the young boy stated that he was “just casting” for his son, after he had already set the pole down and walked away from it. They were also about 20 feet apart, and the boy was handling his own rod just fine. When Ennett pointed out that he had watched them for several minutes, the father implied the son did not know how to fish. He did, in fact, ask the boy “you don’t know how to fish, right?” The son answered in an offended tone that yes, he did know how to fish, and waggled his fishing rod as proof. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Mark Ennett and James Zellinger responded to a fishing with too many lines complaint at the Edison Fishing Pier in Monroe. There was a large crowd enjoying good weather and some fish being caught. However, the violation was not found and there were no tickets or warnings issued to anyone.

COs David Schaumburger and Brad Silorey were checking vessels and anglers entering marinas from the Detroit River with the assistance of Border Patrol. They contacted a group of four anglers and decided to question them on their trip as the COs were suspicious of a possible illegal charter operation. Investigation led to information that the captain had approximately 25 walleye filleted at his residence. The COs followed up at the residence and located 50 walleye fillets in his possession. The captain of the vessel was allowed to keep his daily possession limit of 10 walleye fillets and the rest were seized by the COs. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars, Import

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