Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – October 7th, 2016


CO David Miller responded to a complaint of a deer that was trapped along the shoreline on Huron Bay at the base of a cliff. Miller met the complainant, realized that there was no way to get to the deer from the cliff above, and went back to get a patrol boat. Miller was able to find a spot to launch the patrol boat fairly close to the area and was able to move the deer along the shoreline to a location where it could get up to the bank.

CO Denny Gast is investigating a new illegal ORV trail that had been recently cut on state land to access Keystone Bay in Keweenaw County. This has been an ongoing problem with ORVs causing damage to the area.

CO Ethen Mapes responded to the call of an injured bald eagle in Ontonagon County. Two veterans had found the eagle struggling to fly in a farm field. After a short chase, the injured bird was caught and transported to Marquette’s Raptor Rehabilitation Center be evaluated.

CO Brett Delonge received a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked in a remote location on state land. Delonge located the vehicle and determined that it had been stolen. The vehicle had also been used in a burglary in Wisconsin where numerous items, including guns, were stolen. The vehicle was turned over to the local sheriff’s department and arrangements made for Wisconsin investigators to process the vehicle.

CO Mark Leadman received an anonymous complaint of a subject shooting a turkey in his yard. The investigation led to a residence where an elderly gentleman admitted to shooting the turkey because they would not stay out of his yard. The elderly gentleman also admitted to shooting turkeys several years earlier for the same reason. It was determined that bird feed was placed regularly in the yard for song birds but also drew in the unwanted turkeys. The deceased hen turkey was located under a wood pile in the backyard. A warrant is being sought through the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office.


CO Michael Evink was conducting a marine patrol of Indian Lake. He had numerous good contacts, but did locate one boat with three individuals fishing. They did not have licenses, but were going to let any fish they caught go. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Zitnik was on ORV patrol when he made a stop of two ORV riders for failing to license their ORVs. The riders both agreed they needed ORV licenses and it was wrong, and that they did not think they would get caught. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Zitnik was dispatched to assist Alger County EMS personnel into a remote spot of the Au Train River for a female who had possibly broken her hip. Once on scene, EMS personnel determined the woman fractured her femur as a result of jumping from a rope swing into shallow water. Zitnik, Au Train Fire, and EMS personnel extricated the woman from the river and into the ambulance. The woman was treated at Marquette General Hospital.

COs Calvin Smith and Mark Zitnik stopped to assist with a disabled vehicle. When the COs made contact with the driver, he became very nervous and stated the car belongs to his girlfriend. Upon further investigation, it was found the license plate on the Mustang came back to a 1995 Chevy pickup and had no insurance. Enforcement action was taken.

PCO Nathan Sink and CO Kevin Postma obtained a confession from an individual in reference to early bear bait. For several years Postma had been working one particular strike bait sight with no results. Postma was able to develop a suspect and obtain a confession once the individual was confronted with some blatant evidence. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kevin Postma was working ORVs near the Pine Bowl in Kincheloe. A group of ORVs was stopped and educated for operating in a closed area. Two of the ORVs had no ORV registrations but were taking advantage of the Free ORV weekend.

CO Jon Busken attended a career fair at Lake Superior State University. There were many interested potential applicants. Busken was able answer questions from the attendees.

CO Bobby Watson has been preparing for the upcoming bear season by scouting the local area and locating numerous active bait sites. Watson was recently able to locate and contact an out-of-town bear hunter who had been tending an illegal bear baiting site. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Budreau responded to a complaint of an injured baby loon that had been attacked by an eagle. Upon making contact with the complainant and viewing the bird it was discovered that it was actually a hen hooded merganser. The complainant was concerned the bird could not fly; however, Budreau explained to the complainant that the bird cannot take off from dry land and needs water to get up speed in order to take flight. The bird was taken to the Maple River and released.

CO Mark DePew and PCO Colton Gelinas arrested a subject on three outstanding warrants for an illegal elk investigation DePew had been working since May. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Otsego County Jail.

CO Tim Rosochacki was contacted by a DNR park ranger in the Pigeon River Country State Forest) who had located what he thought was an active “meth” lab. The CO arrived locating all the components needed to make methamphetamine. The CO contacted SANE (Straits Area Narcotic Enforcement) who assisted in the follow up investigation. Several suspects were identified and a search warrant of their residence was obtained. Three individuals were arrested for possession of methamphetamine and lodged in the Otsego County Jail.

CO Rosochacki received a RAP complaint referencing a deer shot in the Pigeon River Country. Two subjects were identified and admitted to being involved in the poaching incident. Warrants are being sought through the Otsego County prosecutor’s office.

CO Jon Sklba was traveling on a county road when he was passed by a vehicle. Sklba followed the vehicle as it continued to speed up, and exceed 80 mph. He initiated a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle said he didn’t know COs could pull people over for speeding. Sklba issued the citation.

CO Sklba and CO Paul Fox attended a Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) meeting in Hawks. There were 50 people in attendance and both COs presented an update to the group on hunting rules and regulations along with answering questions.


While on patrol in Benzie County, CO Rebecca Hopkins and PCO Joseph Deppen noticed a vehicle with a 55 gallon drum in the bed of a truck. Once the COs were noticed, the driver came over and indicated he had finally drawn a bear kill tag after 14 years of waiting. He was educated on bear baiting laws and his baits were found to be legal.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling local lakes near Baldwin in Lake County when he observed a boat missing a registration decal. Killingbeck made contact with the operator who said he was just “testing” the boat out. The last registration sticker read 1998 on the boat. The operator also did not have a personal floatation device in his vessel and told the CO that he was a “good swimmer” and was not concerned about a PFD. Enforcement action was taken.

While on patrol, CO Josiah Killingbeck observed an ORV doing doughnuts in the roadway. The operator then began operating carelessly and at a high rate of speed, passing another ORV while going up a blind hill. The ORV was stopped and Killingbeck discovered that the subject was new to riding ORVs in Lake County and had never attempted to educate himself on rules for ORV operation. Killingbeck provided him with a copy of the Michigan ORV handbook and enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling Woodland Lake in Newaygo County when he observed a pontoon boat operating with an expired registration displayed. Killingbeck stopped the vessel and discovered that the vessel registration had not been renewed. The operator blamed the expired registration on his grandmother and advised it was her vessel. Killingbeck also found there was no fire extinguisher onboard as well as no paper registration. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck reported that an illegal deer case from 2015 was adjudicated in Lake County. The case involved a subject who had taken an 8-point buck during archery season of 2015 and purchased a kill tag for it the following day. CO Schaumburger assisted Killingbeck with interviewing the suspect in the Detroit area where a confession was obtained. The hunter was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and $435 in fines and costs. The hunter had his hunting license revoked for one year.


CO John Huspen assisted the Grayling City Public Safety and Crawford County Sheriff Department on a personal injury accident. Officers discovered a subject was trying to exit a moving car when the car he was in hit a parked car, this caused the subject to get pinned between and under the two vehicles. Huspen assisted with closing off the road and crowd control. Huspen also assisted the wrecker driver with the removal of the vehicles from the scene.

CO Sam Schluckbier was conducting a night patrol on local inland lakes in Kalkaska County. While attempting to launch his patrol vessel, a fishing boat pulled up with two occupants. While checking the fishermen, one claimed that he caught a couple nice pan fish and had to keep a smaller walleye because it swallowed the hook. Upon closer inspection, the walleye was well under the minimum 15 inch size restriction and appeared to be in good health. The fish was confiscated and released. A citation was issued for possessing an undersized walleye.

While working at the 2016 Mud Jam in Iosco County, CO Brian Olsen and Probationary CO Travis Dragomer noticed a man lying on the shoulder of M-65, a half-mile north of the event. When they made contact with the highly intoxicated individual, he advised he could not find his friends and decided to walk home to Ludington. After walking approximately a half-mile, he became tired and decided to take a nap. Olsen and Dragomer advised the man that he was walking in the wrong direction. After administering a preliminary breath test, it was determined the man was three times the legal limit. Due to the traffic hazard for motorists and the man’s own safety, the COs placed the man in custody for disorderly person and contacted Iosco County sheriff deputies for a transport. When the transport van arrived, the man was overjoyed to find his friends already inside the transport van.


CO Mike Haas conducted a marine patrol on a chain of remote lakes in western Isabella County. While checking a boat of anglers it was determined there were not enough PFDs on board. The operator of the boat first stated that the other life jackets must have blown out of the boat earlier in the day but then admitted that he didn’t think there would be a CO out on the lake. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling the Rush Lake State Game Area CO Robert Hobkirk issued four citations to ORVs and 4×4 trucks for operating in a prohibited area.

While patrolling Big Whitefish Lake in Montcalm County, COs Ken Lowell and Troy Ludwig made contact with a boat full of anglers. One angler stated that she had left her license back at the cabin. Ludwig obtained her information and checked with Station 20 regarding her purchasing a fishing license this year. The COs were advised that the angler had not purchased a license this year. When the COs re-contacted the angler she told them she had located her license on her cell phone. Ludwig was able to determine the angler had purchased her license on her cellphone after the original contact was made. The angler admitted to the COs she purchased her license after she was caught fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Big Whitefish Lake in Montcalm County, COs Ken Lowell and Troy Ludwig made contact with a boat that was showing an expired registration. Ludwig ran the boats registration through Station 20 and determined the boat was expired. The angler in the boat claimed the boat was not his and belonged to someone in his family. Ludwig explained to the operator that he was responsible for the expired registration. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Matt Page assisted the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department with an emergency response following a tornado in the northern part of the county. Page assisted in checking the area for any injuries and blocking streets with live power lines in the roadway, until the power company was able to arrive on scene.

CO Michael Mshar received a RAP complaint of a subject who had killed a massasauga rattle snake. Mshar responded to the subject’s residence and made contact with him and recovered the snake. The home owner admitted to killing the snake because it was coiled up by his front door and he was afraid it would harm his children, who were playing on the front porch. After looking up the snake online, it was determined the snake was a protected species. He then called and turned himself in. Mshar educated the family on the importance of snakes and how to deal with them should they ever have another situation similar. The snake was provided to Wildlife Division at their request.

CO Michael Mshar assisted Allegan County Emergency Management in checking homes for trapped or injured occupants after a tornado had gone through the county causing extensive damage. Mshar then patrolled the Allegan State Game Area checking for blocked roads due to fallen trees. Mshar informed Allegan County Emergency Management and the game area staff of his findings. Although there was heavy damage to the area, no injuries were reported.

While working in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg observed three anglers wading and fishing in the Flat River. Ulberg waited until the anglers left the river before dark and checked to see if they had any luck. One of the anglers was in possession of an undersized bass and none of the anglers possessed a fishing license. A further check revealed one of the subjects also drove to the river on a suspended license. Enforcement action was taken for the violations.


CO Andrew Monnich was patrolling the Hudson Recreation Area when he came upon a parked vehicle. Monnich noticed two individuals along the bank and observed the individuals. While watching the two fishermen he noticed that one of the individuals was using some sort of narcotics. Upon contact, Monnich noticed one of the individuals put something in his pocket. While questioning the subject about what he was doing he stated that he was just rolling a cigarette. Monnich searched the individuals and located a bag containing cocaine. The individual was placed under arrest and lodged in the Lenawee County Jail.

CO Matthew Neterer responded to a complaint of an SUV intentionally running over a goose near the DNR Customer Service Center in Lansing. Witnesses reported two young men in the SUV intentionally hit the goose and then ran off road leaving deep ruts in the grass. A DNR employee was able to respond and humanely dispatch the injured goose. Neterer ran the license plate provided and made contact with the suspect. The suspect initially couldn’t recall any of the events from the incident until Neterer showed him the pictures of the tire ruts, the injured goose and of his license plate. Upon seeing the pictures, the young man dropped his head and provided a full confession. Charges are pending with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Chris Reynolds and Andy Monnich investigated a trespassing case involving stolen tree stands and trail cameras. The trail camera that had been stolen was outfitted to send pictures to the owner as they were taken, capturing several pictures of the individual and his vehicle. A Facebook user contacted the owner of the property when they recognized the pictures of the individual, which were posted to Facebook. The owner of the property contacted the officers who conducted interviews on the subject who confessed to trespassing and stealing the property. He also implicated a friend who helped him take the property. The officers also interviewed the friend, who was not so cooperative until the officers informed him that pictures were taken, and that his accomplice had ultimately confessed to the theft and trespass. The property was recovered and returned to the owner. Both parties involved were advised that a report will be submitted and charges sought for the trespass and the theft of the property.

While completing a fishing check on a Calhoun County lake, COs Carter Woodwyk and Jason McCullough observed a vessel operating at a high speed during prohibited hours. The COs contacted the operator and discovered he was intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.


CO David Schaumburger was approaching a pair of anglers when he spotted one angler with a bag in his hand walking towards the water. While Schaumburger was trying to get closer, he told the man three times not to dump the contents of the bag in the water. As Schaumburger made contact, the angler opened the bag and dumped it on the boardwalk. Schaumburger quickly picked up four undersize bass, while the angler stated, “I did not know the size limit.” Schaumburger checked the anglers bait bucket and located two live gobies. As he looked in the bucket and asked whose gobies they were, the other angler tried to grab the bucket and spill the contents into the water; however, Schaumburger had control of the bucket and the angler was unsuccessful in his efforts. After getting identification from both anglers, Schaumburger recognized the man who tried to get rid of the gobies from a previous encounter where Schaumburger issued a citation for the same violation of possessing a live invasive species. After issuing citations to both the anglers, the angler who was in possession of the gobies grabbed all of his fishing poles and put them in the trash, stating, “I am never fishing again.”

CO David Schaumburger made contact with a pair of vessels out fishing in Lake St. Clair. The four anglers on board the vessels stated they were out working on their limits of catfish. While checking the coolers on the first boat, Schaumburger spotted an undersized smallmouth bass underneath a large channel catfish. The angler stated that he did not have a measuring tape. While checking the coolers on the second boat, CO Schaumburger asked the angler to remove all of his fish and count them. The angler counted out 22 channel catfish, stating that he must have miscounted. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Kovach and PCO Zachary Bauer were on foot patrol in St. Clair County checking anglers along a riverbank when they contacted several anglers. One angler they encountered did not have a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Kovach and PCO Zachary Bauer were patrolling for ORV activity when they came across an ORV being operated on the roadway. Upon contact the COs noticed the ORV was not licensed. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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