Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – July 15th, 2016


Conservation Officer Brian Lasanen checked two anglers fishing off of the Bergland Bay fishing dock. Both anglers advised the officer that they were both 16 years old. Lasanen asked them for their ID and explained they looked older than 16 and that a lot of 21-year-old kids try to claim they are 16 to avoid a ticket. After gathering information from one angler, Lasanen asked the second angler for his information. The angler gave his information but had a hard time remembering his birthday. After struggling to come up with a correct birthday that would make him 16, he stated that he lied and was actually 21. Law enforcement action was taken for fishing with no license.

COs Ethen Mapes and Brian Lasanen were traveling north on US-45 just south of Bruce Crossing when they witnessed a vehicle exit a driveway in front of them and accelerate to a very high speed in a short amount of time. As they approached an intersection, the driver of the vehicle put his turn signal on but missed his turn. Mapes conducted a traffic stop. After performing standard field sobriety tests and refusing to submit to a preliminary breath test, the driver was placed under arrest for OUIL. Charges have also been filed for refusing a preliminary breath test upon request of a peace officer.

Conservation Officer Matt Eberly assisted the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office with the report of several cows running down Sturgeon River Road. Eberly herded the cows toward an abandoned farm, the owners were located and the cows were returned to their pasture.

Conservation Officer Ethen Mapes and Sergeant Grant Emery patrolled Lake Gogebic. Many violations were addressed while patrolling the busy lake. Violations included failure to display fishing license, failure to disclose possessing a concealed pistol when approached by a peace officer, faulty personal floatation devices and registration violations.


CO Jon Busken was patrolling Milakokia Lake and began approaching a boat in the shallows. Upon seeing the CO, the operator started the boat and began to motor away. The CO noted that the boat had an expired registration. Contact was made with the occupants who were found to have been drinking. All were under 21. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jon Busken was on ORV overtime patrol when he observed a side-by-side swerving when heading towards him. The operator then threw a beer can from the vehicle in front of the CO. Contact was made with the driver who admitted to having 6 or 7 beers that day and he was too drunk to be driving. Sobrieties and a PBT were administered. The PBT registered .132. The operator was arrested and transported to the Mackinac County Jail.

COs Jon Busken and Robert Watson were on ORV overtime patrol near the mouth of the Two Hearted River in northern Luce County when they observed ORV tracks riding past a no trespassing sign and onto a state beach. Contact was made with the operators as they returned from trespassing on the private property and riding in a closed area of state land. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Watson and Sgt. Hammill were patrolling a local river when they passed a small boat with two fishermen in it. The boat had no visible registration numbers. Watson and Hammill turned around and caught up with the boat which quickly noticed the patrol boat approaching and came to a stop. Contact was made. The operator of the boat claimed that the boat belonged to his friend and he knew it wasn’t registered, and he was gambling by taking it out on the river. Enforcement action was taken.

CO John Wenzel and Sgt. Mike Hammill were on patrol when they checked a group of fishermen who said they had a basket with pan fish in it. After checking the fish basket, the COs noticed a short bass among the fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO John Wenzel was on marine patrol when he came across a vessel that had run out of gas on a local river. Wenzel went to the boat launch and retrieved the extra gas can from the operator’s truck and delivered it to the stranded vessel.

Sgt. Jerrold Fitzgibbon and CO Chris Lynch patrolled Little Bay de Noc. The walleye bite and weather was good that day and several anglers and boaters were out. Tickets were issued for possessing fish with no license, undersize walleye, and an expired boat registration.


Conservation Officer Andrea Albert made a traffic stop on an ORV operating illegally on the US-131 right of way on the designated snowmobile trail. Further investigation found the operator under the influence of alcohol. The operator had a blood alcohol level of .13. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Antrim County Jail for operating an ORV while intoxicated and ticketed for operating on the highway right of way.

While on patrol CO Erratt observed a vehicle veer off the roadway behind her and then back onto the roadway coming to a stop. Erratt turned around and activated her emergency lights at which point a can of beer was thrown from the vehicle. Contact was made with the driver and the occupants of the vehicle. The driver was arrested for operating while his driver’s license was suspended, reckless driving, open intoxicant in a motor vehicle, and issued a citation for refusing a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). The vehicle was towed with a broken axle and a blown tire resulting from the driver’s actions.

While working in conjunction with area conservation officers conducting an ORV patrol in Charlevoix County, Sgt. Mike Feagan encountered numerous ORV offenses. Feagan issued three tickets for operating ORVs in a closed area, all of which had driven past “No ORVs” signs. In addition one ticket was issued for operate an ORV without a helmet, and two tickets for unlicensed ORVs, as well as ten verbal warnings for various ORV violations.

CO DePew stopped a vehicle near the Pigeon River Country State Forest where the operator was not wearing a safety belt. Found in the vehicle were open intoxicants and an uncased firearm. In addition, the contact lead to the recovery of a 6×6 bull elk (antlers and head). The investigation continues and charges are pending.

CO DePew and probationary CO Kyle Cherry checked a suspicious vehicle from Kansas at a public access site. Running the registration showed it to be a stolen plate. Contact was made with the occupants and they were found to be in possession of marijuana and to have suspended driver’s licenses. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Steve Converse was on patrol when he observed a vehicle partially in the roadway that appeared to be having engine problems. As Converse was pulling up, the engine compartment suddenly caught fire. After helping put the fire out, CO Converse discovered that the driver was very intoxicated, had open intoxicants in the vehicle, was driving on a suspended license, had expired plates, and no insurance on the vehicle. The last proof of insurance had expired in 2013. The subject was also on probation and one of the terms was not to violate any criminal law. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was checking subjects fishing on a lake when he discovered one angler was in possession of an undersize bass. Killingbeck explained the importance of knowing regulations when fishing. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Bass Lake in Mason County, CO Brian Brosky and CO Kyle Publiski observed two subjects fishing. Upon making contact with the anglers, the two were asked for their fishing licenses, which both stated were at home. A quick check through the license system revealed that neither angler had purchased a fishing license since early 2015. To further compound the two anglers’ problems, it was also determined that the two anglers had no life jackets aboard their boat and were in possession of several fish without their fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kyle Publiski and CO Brian Brosky were patrolling in Lake County for illegal ORV activity when they observed a subject walking away from a swamp covered in mud. They made contact with the subject and discovered that he was illegally operating in a wetland with his ORV and was stuck. Four other ORVs were located in a closed area nearby who were friends of the subject stuck. Citations were issued for operating ORVs in a closed area.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling for illegal ORV activity when he observed several ORVs operating in a wetland on a utility right-of-way. Killingbeck discovered that two of the ORVs were stuck in the swamp. Killingbeck made contact with the operators who admitted they knew it was illegal to be where they were but said it had looked like so much fun they just couldn’t resist the temptation. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Craig Neal and Matt Liestenfeltz stopped an ORV on a county road that was struggling to turn around. The operator was only 13 years old and had not yet completed an ORV safety course. There were five other younger kids riding with her on the side-by-side. The COs took her back to her camp where they spoke to her father.

CO John Huspen assisted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department and Grayling City Police Department with a subject who was reported to be overdosing. The officers on scene hooked up an AED and gave CPR until EMTs arrived. The subject was transported to a hospital after being given Narcan.

CO Mike Hearn conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle pulling a trailered boat without a proper trailer plate. Upon contact with the driver, Hearn observed signs of intoxication. A field sobriety examination was conducted to determine alcohol impairment. Subsequently, the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated. He was lodged in the Kalkaska County Jail.

COs Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz responded to the Grayling Hospital for an ORV injury accident that occurred in Kalkaska County. An investigation determined that the driver was operating a 3 wheeler on a private property trail while unlawfully transporting a passenger. Neither of the occupants were wearing helmets. While going downhill at a high rate of speed, the driver lost control and struck a tree with the side of the ORV. Both occupants hit their legs on the tree and were ejected from the ORV, suffering broken bones in their legs, ankle, and feet as a result of the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

CO Casey Pullum received a complaint of a subject killing a turkey within the safety zone of a neighboring residence in Oscoda County. Pullum made contact with the complainant and gathered evidence at the scene. While interviewing the subject, he confessed to shooting the turkey near his front door. The distance was only about 50 yards from the neighbor’s residence. Further investigation showed that the man had four prior violations with the DNR. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County prosecutor’s office.


CO Joel Lundberg located an empty car parked on state land and followed another set of tire tracks from that location into a nearby two-track trail. Lundberg then located another vehicle with two passengers inside. Lundberg investigated to make sure everyone was OK and noticed the driver was not wearing any clothing. In addition, the driver had a lit marijuana cigarette in his hand. Lundberg then noticed a female passenger try to hide an open beer bottle down between the seats. The male was very uncooperative and the investigation revealed the driver had three valid warrants out of the local court. The driver was lodged in the county jail and enforcement action was taken with the passenger for possession of controlled substances and improper conduct on state land.

CO Kyle Bucholtz received a complaint of subjects keeping undersized bass. Bucholtz responded to the area and located two subjects who were in possession of undersized bass. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jason A. Smith found a couple of fishermen who were both possessing an over limit of pan fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jason A. Smith issued an ORV citation to a subject who was located about seven miles from where he began his ride, but claimed he was just making sure the machine was running OK before he took it up north. He did not have an ORV sticker on the machine. Smith took enforcement action.


While checking anglers along the Rouge River in Kent County, CO Richard Cardenas and CO Justin Ulberg were able to observe two anglers from a short distance away. While the subjects fished, they made jokes about being checked by the DNR and then would make comments that they worked for the DNR when other anglers walked passed. Cardenas and Ulberg eventually contacted the subjects. One of the subjects did not have a fishing license and denied fishing. After the COs informed the subject that he was being observed for quite a while, he then admitted to fishing. It was also discovered that the subject had a warrant for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken for the fishing violation and the subject was lodged at the Kent County jail.

CO Matt Page responded to a complaint of a subject possibly selling turtles at a flea market. Page responded and discovered that the subject had a number of map turtles and that he was in possession of an over limit of turtles. The subject was cited and also warned about selling turtles taken from the wild.

CO Matt Page and Sgt. Zach Doss observed an ORV being driven on a public road. Upon stopping the ORV, they discovered that the ORV was occupied by four individuals, two adults, two kids and the family dog. The ORV was designed to be operated by one individual. The subjects were not wearing helmets and did not have eye protection. The subject was cited for operating on a public road and was warned for numerous violations.

CO Brad Brewer received a report all poaching complaint of subjects keeping undersize bass on a St. Joseph County lake. Brewer responded and discovered six undersize bass that had been kept by two subjects. Both subjects were cited for keeping the undersize bass.

CO Paul Higashi was working southern Kalamazoo County when he encountered two subjects fishing and a third person tying up his fishing equipment. The three subjects had not purchased fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Pete Purdy made contact with an angler who didn’t have his fishing license with him. His 2016 fishing license was confirmed, however, the subject had two outstanding misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. Purdy arrested and lodged the subject in the Livingston County Jail for his warrants.

CO Jason McCullough contacted two anglers fishing on a local lake. McCullough asked how the fishing was going. One angler stated they had just kept one bluegill. As McCullough started to look at the bluegill the angler tried to cover up an out-of-season bass in a plastic bag. The angler stated he knew bass had to be a certain length but he didn’t have a tape measure. McCullough explained in addition to length there was also a bass season and enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds noticed a kayaker from across the lake with no visible PFD and a young child aboard. When contact was made, the subject immediately knew what the issue was. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds checked a boat with two anglers fishing. Contact was made and the subjects told the CO about all the fish they had caught and kept. The CO asked to check the caught fish finding two bass that were less than 14 inches. The subject stated he thought they only had to be 12 inches. The CO measured the fish and both bass were less than 12 inches. The fish were seized and enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds observed an angler at an access site hurrying to get his boat on his trailer. When the CO made contact the fisherman seemed nervous as the CO went to check the fish basket which appeared to have numerous fish in it. As the CO untied the basket, the angler said, “I got a limit.” The CO dumped the basket and the angler was clearly over his limit of panfish. The angler stated, “I was going to let the over limit go as I counted them into the cooler.” Enforcement action taken.

CO Chris Reynolds, while on patrol, noticed a group of kayaks paddle into a shallow bay as soon as they noticed the CO, as if to hide. The CO carefully navigated the bay and made contact. The kayakers said they got nervous because they had forgotten their PFDs and were hoping he would leave the area so they could get back to their home. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Justin Muehlhauser checked an angler returning to his vehicle at the Mt. Morris Rd. Bridge on the Holloway Reservoir. The man stated that he did catch a fish but he wasn’t quite sure what it was. When Muehlhauser checked the catch, it was discovered that the man was in possession of a smallmouth bass. Muehlhauser informed the man that the season did not open until Saturday. The man claimed that he had no idea. He said that usually he just fishes for catfish, he didn’t catch any that day so he was just happy to catch something. Upon closer examination it was also discovered that the bass was undersized. Muehlhauser provided the man with a 2016-2017 fishing guide and pointed out the season dates and size limits for smallmouth. Enforcement action was taken.

While observing anglers at the Holloway Dam, CO Justin Muehlhauser observed an angler reach into his tackle box and pull out a hand rolled tobacco paper cigarette believed to contain marijuana. The angler sat in plain view with other anglers and children present at the dam. Muehlhauser decided to make contact with the subject. As soon as the angler saw the CO, he hid the cigarette cupped in his hand. Muehlhauser explained to the angler that there was no reason to hide it because he had already seen it. The man replied, “Seen what, the blunt?” Muehlhauser instructed the man to hand it to him. The CO was able to confirm his suspicion about the marijuana. The substance was submitted for analysis and the case is pending prosecution in the Genesee County Court.

CO Jacob Griffin was on patrol in Oakland County when he spotted an off road vehicle operating on a public roadway. As Griffin proceeded to pull the subject over he noticed that there was no registration of any kind on the ORV. Griffin informed the subject of the laws pertaining to registering an ORV and operating on a public roadway. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jacob Griffin was on patrol in Oakland County when he spotted one subject operating an ORV on a public roadway with a small child. Griffin pulled the subject over and discovered that the subject did not have the ORV registered. The subject was informed that he cannot be riding double on an ORV designed for one person and that he cannot be operating his ORV on a public roadway. The operator also failed to wear a helmet and safety glasses. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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