Michigan Cuffs & Collars – June 3rd, 2016
CO Miller had received trespassing complaints from the property owner regarding a very good trout stream. While sitting along the stream, he watched two individuals approached the no trespassing sign along the stream. When they were within about five feet, a tribal game warden pulled up to the individuals and said, “You may not want to go past those signs, CO Miller lives just up the road and he could be watching you.” The two fisherman turned around and jumped in their truck and left.
CO Jared Ferguson received a complaint of an ORV operating down the roadway at night. Ferguson was able to contact the operator and enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, CO Adam LeClerc heard of a complaint of an ORV trespassing on private property. State troopers arrived on scene first to ensure the vehicle and drivers did not leave. LeClerc arrived to find a side-by-side ORV stuck on the power line in the mud and another ORV that came to ‘help’ without the proper licensing. After running the driver of the stuck ORV through dispatch it was revealed that the driver had an expired license. The second ORV driver claimed that he had not purchased a sticker because he normally doesn’t leave his property but he purchased one for last year. After asking if he had problems with the DNR before he said he had never received a ticket from the DNR records checks revealed otherwise. Enforcement action was taken on both ORV drivers.
CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol when he came across a vehicle in the ditch on a US Forest Service road in Gogebic County. Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, LeClerc noticed someone sleeping in the passenger seat. After several attempts, LeClerc was finally able to wake the individual. Based upon lethargic body movements and slurred speech, LeClerc determined the person was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Backup was called and after questioning by the Michigan State Police trooper it was determined the individual had driven on a suspended license and got stuck when trying to turn around. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Pat Hartsig and Sgt. Jerrold Fitzgibbon attended a Wildlife Division meeting in Seney and spoke to the group about laws and regulations as they pertain to registering and sealing fur-bearing animals.
While on routine marine patrol, CO Robert Freeborn was checking a local hot spot for perch. After checking several boats and a few nice catches of perch, the officer came across a boat with an expired registration. When the officer asked the operator about the registration, the subject stated that he had renewed it and showed a card for proof of renewal. After looking closely at the card it was determined that the card the subject had produced was for an ORV registration and not a boat. After a quick check in the computer the registration was verified to be expired. A citation was issued.
CO Jeff Panich was working an ORV patrol on Drummond Island. Over 500 jeeps showed up on the island after completing the first ever jeeps across the Mackinac Bridge. Panich worked the island and had no issues with any of the jeeps while there and the group was appreciative of his presence.
CO John Wenzel was on patrol when a vehicle came up from behind him at a high rate of speed. The vehicle then passed Wenzel with oncoming cars present. The oncoming vehicle began flashing its headlights and sounding it horn as it pulled onto the shoulder to avoid a head on collision. Wenzel stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver who stated that the CO was driving to slow. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Postma stopped a group of ORVs riding the trails in the Kincheloe area. Postma noticed one of the dirt bikes to be unregistered. When questioned, the driver happily showed Postma his trail sticker and ORV registration, which was located on the inside of the front fender covered in mud, enforcement action was taken.
COs Bobby Watson and John Wenzel participated in a career fair at the Newberry High School. The COs made contact with many youths who were interested in becoming a conservation officer and the most appropriate path to take in order to become one.
CO Steve Speigl received information of a deer that was taken without a license during the 2015 firearm deer season in Antrim County. Speigl found the suspect lived in Grand Rapids and called CO Justin Ulberg for assistance. Ulberg was able to obtain a confession about the deer taken illegally and seized the deer which had been mounted. Charges are being brought against the suspect in Antrim County.
COs Nick Torsky and Eric Bottorff followed up on a complaint where a subject was caught on a trail camera driving in a wildlife opening/planted field in the Pigeon River Country, behind a gate. The man was identified and ticketed for the offense.
CO Kelly Ross received a complaint in Montmorency County of a coyote in a trap which was stuck in a fence. When he arrived the coyote had already been shot and had broken the trap free from where it was initially anchored. Ross attempted to locate where the coyote had come from and in doing so located a spot where a homeowner was feeding deer. The homeowner was issued a citation for feeding deer in a closed county and the investigation continues reference the coyote in the trap.
CO Bill Webster was checking fishermen on Fletcher’s Pond near the dam when he asked a fisherman for his license and how he was doing. The fisherman initially stated he had approximately 12 bluegill and as they approached his bucket he said he might have a few more than he should. After the fish were counted the angler was 27 bluegill over his limit and was issued a citation for the over limit.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling for turkey hunters when he observed three ORVs trespassing on a utility right-of-way. The ORVs were stopped and Killingbeck discovered that one had no spark arrestors and two were not titled. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and CO Kyle Publiski were on patrol when they observed a Jeep and a dune buggy operating together with no plates affixed. The COs stopped the operators and discovered that both owners had failed to transfer the titles and that the Jeep had no insurance and no plate. Enforcement action was taken.
River. When Converse asked the man if he was aware of the closure, the angler advised that he was familiar with this portion, stating he knew it “used to be closed this time of year.” When Converse asked him why he assumed it was open now, the angler said he couldn’t find the regulations in the digest so he figured the regulations changed. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Converse was checking a local spot in Manistee County where the local teens tend to congregate for parties. Upon arriving to that location, he found an unattended fire burning and a significant amount of trash. As Converse investigated the scene, a car full of teens drove around a U.S. Forest Service gate and dirt berm, and pulled into the site. Converse talked with the teens and ascertained that they had involvement with the impromptu gathering, and were responsible for the fire and the mess. Converse waited with the youths as they cleaned up the area and put out the fire. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Wells of Newaygo County was on marine patrol when he observed a small watercraft with no registration occupied by two anglers. Wells made contact with the vessel and noticed that no PFDs were aboard the vessel. The subjects were both fishing and one of the anglers had not obtained a current fishing license. As Wells began to count the number of pan fish in the live well, he discovered an 11 inch largemouth bass which was undersize and out of season. The subject that did not have a license and admitted to catching and keeping the bass.
CO Mike Wells of Newaygo County received a call on his day off from an informant fishing at Hesperia dam. The informant advised Wells that he observed two subjects chase a steelhead up a feeder creek next to the dam and make use of a hand net to catch the fish and placed it on a stringer. Wells responded to the area and made contact with several witnesses to the act. They identified the two subjects whom were still fishing at the dam. Wells contacted the anglers and admissions were obtained that one of the subjects chased the fish up the creek for the other subject to net and catch the fish. The first subject then struck the fish in the head to dispatch it and put it on his stringer. Citations were issued to both subjects for the unlawful method, and the fish was seized and donated.
CO Sam Schluckbier responded to a small brush fire that ignited in Kalkaska County. The homeowner was cleaning ashes out of his wood burner and thought they were cooled down enough to dump into the woods. Local firefighters responded to assist and extinguish the fire. The incident is still under investigation.
CO Brian Olsen was patrolling Ogemaw County when he noticed a large group of ORVs coming from a railroad right-of-way. He stopped most of the group to educate them on where they could operate; however, one ORV continued down the roadway. When Olsen finally caught up with the operator, he conducted a traffic stop. While talking with the driver, he smelled a strong odor of intoxicants and conducted field sobriety tests. The subject was given a preliminary breath test which also indicated he was operating while intoxicated. He was arrested and lodged in the Ogemaw County Jail.
CO Warren MacNeill investigated a wildfire near the airport in Iosco County. Although most of the fire origin was disturbed while extinguishing the fire, MacNeill was able to locate some evidence and foot tracks leading toward a mobile home park. After interviewing a number of residents in the park, he obtained confessions from two juvenile males who lit the fire. They were lighting dry grass on fire while “playing with a lighter.” Enforcement action is being sought.
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 that was closed to fishing. Sgt. Kieft walked the creek bank 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.
COs Mark Siemen and Jason Smith worked a joint marine patrol for a local two-day fishing tournament that took place out of the Lexington State Harbor in Sanilac County. Multiple contacts were made with fishermen and multiple warnings were given by the COs.
While on patrol of the Saginaw River System, COs Quincy Gowenlock and Will Brickel made many contacts due to the nice weather. Several citations were given for various marine and fishing violations during the patrol.
During a night patrol, CO Mike Haas observed two anglers using compound bows on a boat on a lake with illuminated spotlights. Haas located trucks parked at a rustic boat launch and waited for the anglers to return to shore. Haas contacted the anglers as they returned to their trucks and asked to see their fishing licenses. One angler presented his license while the other stated he was not fishing and that both bows in the boat belonged to the licensed fisherman. After Haas informed the anglers that he had watched them out on the lake for some time, the unlicensed angler admitted to bowfishing. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas checked a pair of anglers at a popular fishing hole. One of the subjects admitted to not having a fishing license. While talking to the COs, the subject mentioned he had been fishing in other areas around the state recently, but had not purchased his license for 2016 yet. An RSS check revealed that the subject had not purchased a fishing license since 2008. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol in Isabella County, CO Dan Robinson observed two individuals fishing on a local lake. After watching the anglers for some time, they started to head in to the boat launch. Robinson checked the boat and anglers for safety equipment, fish, and licenses. One of the subjects said that he forgot to buy his license for the year. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Paul Higashi cited an angler for illegal possession of two largemouth bass. The angler had also caught several rock bass. The angler attempted to get out of the situation by stating he thought the two largemouth bass were rock bass. Higashi pointed out the clear differences for the angler’s future reference.
CO Greg Patten responded to an ORV personal injury accident on the Cedar Creek trails in Muskegon County. A woman struck a stump and flipped the ORV on top of herself. Fire and ambulance brought her out and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
CO BJ Goulette received a tip from Station 20 of a turkey that was harvested without a license. The hunter posted a picture of himself with the turkey on social media. Records revealed that he did not have a valid turkey license. The suspect admitted that he realized he had the wrong license before he went hunting, but decided to go anyway and shot the bird the second time out. He gave a written confession and was cited for taking a turkey without a valid license.
COs BJ Goulette and Ivan Perez received a tip from Station 20 of a successful hunter that posted a picture of himself on social media with a harvested turkey. Records revealed that he did not have a 2016 turkey license. The subject was not home when the COs first stopped in to see him, but his mother was more than happy to show them the turkey in the garage that had his father’s kill tag on it. The interview with the suspect later revealed that the dad wasn’t going to get a chance to get out and hunt for the first hunt so he was just going to “swap” tags with his 21-year-old son and have him get a late season tag for Dad to use. The subject confessed to swapping tags and taking the turkey without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Drexler and Peter Purdy were patrolling the Huron River where they made contact with a group of anglers with several violations. The anglers were found to be in possession of walleye during the closed season, which were also undersized. When Drexler asked if anyone had previous contact with the DNR, one of the anglers who kept two of the walleye stated he had recently received a ticket. Drexler soon recognized the angler as a subject who he issued a ticket for fishing without a license only two weeks prior. One of the anglers in the group also had 10 outstanding warrants. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler was patrolling the Huron River in Ypsilanti when he contacted a group with a few fishing violations. After issuing verbal warnings and leaving the group, Drexler was contacted by anglers across the river who stated while the CO was checking the group, another angler from their group down river saw the CO, threw his fishing pole in the weeds, and took off running. Drexler found the pole and six undersized and out of season walleye hidden on shore. Drexler returned to the group and had them call the suspect back to his location. The suspect eventually came back and enforcement action was taken.
CO Shane Webster encountered a subject fishing who stated he was just practicing catch-and-release and therefore didn’t believe he needed a license. Webster informed the subject of the actual laws. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Reynolds was checking anglers on a local lake when several anglers were observed on the other side of the lake fishing. When contact was made, one of the anglers threw his fishing pole into the weeds and said he was just casting for one of the young children with the group. The subject was advised that he had been observed from the other side of the lake fishing for a while before contact was made. The subject then confessed to fishing. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Ennett assisted with the annual controlled burn at the Petersburg State Game Area. Ennett patrolled the location of parked state equipment and the burn sites. He also remained on scene for traffic control and general public encounters.
CO David Schaumburger received a Report All Poaching complaint of a subject selling wild baby rabbits on social media, in Wayne County. The post had a phone number and a name and with the aid of dispatchers, Schaumburger was able to pinpoint an address for the subject. Schaumburger contacted the subject via text message that he was interested in buying one of the rabbits and set up a location to meet the subject. When a location and time was set, Schaumburger set up surveillance on the area to watch for the subject who stated he would be carrying the rabbit in a box. The CO viewed the subject coming into the area and quickly made contact with the subject so he would not attempt to run. Upon making contact, the subject was shocked that he had been texting with a CO all day. One rabbit was seized at the location, and two more were located at the subject’s residence. The three baby rabbits were taken to a local rehabilitator so they could be eventually released into the wild. The subject was notified he had committed two misdemeanor offenses, for possessing wildlife without a rehabber’s permit and one for offering to sell wildlife. Enforcement action was taken.
CO David Schaumburger completed an investigation of a deer being taken without a license. Schaumburger questioned the subject on the date and time of the kill and was able to produce a picture on his phone that showed the deer in question dead at 9:29 a.m. Schaumburger asked what time the subject purchased the license, to which he replied, “I just cannot remember.” Schaumburger told the subject that the DNR retail sales system computer showed him purchasing his deer license at 2:40 p.m. and that he had killed that deer without a hunting license. The subject replied, “Sometimes I go hunting without my license, but I always eventually buy it.” Charges are being sought with the Lake County prosecutor’s office.
CO Jason Becker was patrolling the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area for late night fishing activity when he contacted two subjects heading out to bow fish and one subject to go shore fishing. A license check revealed that one subject had not purchased a fishing license. While talking to him, Becker could smell marijuana. The angler was also in possession of marijuana and a glass pipe. Enforcement action was taken.