Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – November 18th, 2016

DISTRICT 1

CO David Miller was working a grouse decoy in a problem area that has significant road hunting activity. After sitting for a couple of hours with the decoy out and not a single vehicle going past, Miller pulled the decoy and walked back to the truck to put everything away. Soon thereafter, Miller heard a truck slowly approaching his position. He hid in the woods on a corner and made contact with the driver when he arrived. The driver of the vehicle had a loaded firearm in the front seat and tried to explain to Miller that his 13-year-old daughter must have loaded it. Enforcement action taken.

CO Shannon Kritz received a complaint about a deer being shot and killed in the front yard of a residence in Gogebic County. Kritz and CO Brian Lasanen responded to the scene and found evidence that a deer had been shot on private property and within the safety zone or the complainant’s residence. The complainant was able to take multiple pictures of the suspect vehicle.

CO Brian Bacon was working ORV activity in northern Dickinson County when he observed an ORV being operated on the roadway at a high rate of speed. Bacon was able to stop the operator and quickly found the ORV to be unlicensed. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Shannon Kritz conducted a patrol in northern Iron County to check small-game hunting activity. Contact was made with a slow moving vehicle, but the occupants claimed to not be hunting. A closer inspection of the contents of the vehicle found open beer cans and an uncased shotgun. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

COs Kevin Postma and Calvin Smith checked some duck hunters trying their luck on a local pond. The two young hunters were not of age to be hunting without supervision and one of the hunters had an unplugged gun and possessed toxic shot. The parents were contacted and advised of the violations.

CO Pat Hartsig was checking waterfowl hunters on the Escanaba River who had shot a few mallards. While checking their licenses, one hunter did not have the state waterfowl license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Pat Hartsig had found a bear bait and blind made from multiple trees cut down in the Hiawatha National Forest. Hartsig finally met the hunter walking into his blind after weeks of attempts. Enforcement action was taken for cutting trees in the National Forest.

CO Pat Hartsig attended a hunter safety class put on at a local high school. Topics such as laws and ethical hunting were discussed with the group.

CO Pat Hartsig, along with CO Chris Lynch and CO Marv Gerlach patrolled Big Bay de Noc and checked numerous commercial fishermen setting out trap nets in anticipation for the upcoming whitefish spawn. Violations such as improperly unmarked nets were addressed.

CO Kevin Postma and PCO Jeremy Sergey assisted with a hunter safety field day at the Chippewa County Shooting Association. Lessons included the safe handling and use of firearms and archery equipment. Adults and youth participated in the event and several students were certified.

CO Kevin Postma responded to the scene of a moose/truck accident on Sugar Island. The driver of the totaled vehicle was unhurt, however the bull moose was found deceased at the scene. Postma took possession of the moose where it was then turned over to a local meat processor. Once the moose was processed, was turned over to area food assistance programs.

CO Kevin Postma held a hunter education class in the Rudyard area and assisted with another hunter education program in the Sault area.

CO Kevin Postma contacted a group of goose hunters with a limit of 24 birds. After a routine license check, it was determined that one of the individuals was not properly licensed. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Lynch was on night patrol when he observed an ORV operating down the middle of the county road. The ORV was unlicensed, had no working tail light when required and the operator had no helmet on. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was issued a ticket for the violations.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol on state land when he observed a truck coming towards him. Once the truck was closer to Lynch, he noticed the driver and passenger had open intoxicants in the cab of the vehicle. Both occupants were ticketed.

DISTRICT 3

CO Matt Theunick and PCO Nathan Sink responded to a complaint of an injured owl. Theunick and PCO Sink located the owl and were able to capture it. The owl was to be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center for federally protected birds.

CO Steve Speigl and PCO Nathan Sink responded to a complaint of six dead Canada geese and two dead mallard ducks dumped by a gravel pit. Speigl and Sink located the birds and after investigation, located the shooter of the birds. The shooter admitted to dumping the birds by the gravel pit and taking the birds without purchasing a waterfowl license. Enforcement action was taken.

After completing an investigation involving a poached deer in Otsego County, CO Tim Rosochacki received arrest warrants for two individuals for taking a deer during a closed season. The subjects were both arrested without incident.

CO Mark DePew contacted several ORVs in Cheboygan County that were not displaying ORV licenses. Upon contact, one of the operators was possibly intoxicated. Field sobriety evaluations were performed but did not support an arrest for operating while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken for the ORV license violation.

COs Andrea Erratt and Andrea Albert attended and instructed at the Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club hunter safety field day. Sixty students received hunter safety training.

CO Andrea Albert, Antrim County, observed a vehicle parked near a local stream that has a history of subjects trespassing on private property to access the small non- navigable stream to take spawning salmon. Albert contacted the angler leaving the stream, who said he was scouting it out for salmon. Albert pointed out the no trespassing signs that he walked by to access the stream. He claimed to not have seen the signs and did not know it was private. After contacting the landowner, a ticket was issued for recreational trespass.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Kinney and CO Troy Muller were working Tippy Dam in Manistee County. The COs watched two men walk down the sidewalk to the river. Kinney observed the two anglers proceed into the water with two large landing nets. The COs sat and observed the two anglers for several minutes and witness one of the anglers net two fish and place them on shore. Kinney and Muller made contact and questioned them in regards to their illegal fishing method. The anglers stated they were there to catch salmon and were unaware that they couldn’t use nets to catch fish. The COs informed them it is their responsibility to know the laws prior to fishing. Enforcement action was taken and restitution will be sought for keeping unlawfully taken fish.

CO William Kinney received a complaint from the Report All Poaching hotline in regards to an individual who had killed a woodpecker up in the Mesick area. After several weeks of investigating, Kinney was finally able to make contact with the suspect. The suspect was very cooperative with the CO and admitted she had killed a woodpecker that had been pecking on her house for several weeks. The suspect helped the CO look for the bullet casing as well as provided a picture of the dead bird. The suspect stated she had no idea she could not shoot the bird until her fiancé came home and informed her that she was in the wrong. Kinney informed the lady that other measures should have been tried. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was patrolling along the Pere Marquette River when he observed an angler attempting to snag salmon with a fly-fishing rod. The angler would let his fly drift over the salmon on gravel beds and would then jerk the line. After several attempts, Killingbeck witnessed the angler hook a salmon in the back and subsequently made contact with him. The angler told the CO that he does not call his method of fishing “snagging.” Instead he calls it “chuck and ducking.” Killingbeck educated the subject on legal fishing methods and a citation was issued for snagging.

Lt. Steve Burton, Sgt. Carla Soper and PCO Casey Varriale worked a stretch of the Big Manistee River below Tippy Dam. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations which included retaining foul hooked fish, use of illegal gear, and purchasing a resident fishing license when not eligible.

DISTRICT 5

PCO Smither and CO Lockwood worked the Pine Creek (closed water) in Manistee County and caught four juveniles, their two fathers and another adult netting salmon. The one father dropped everyone off and left the area, there was one adult on the bridge alerting the net crew to oncoming vehicles and when to hide, then the vehicle came back a short time later to pick everyone up. The COs were watching the whole thing take place and stopped them as they were leaving with seven illegally harvested salmon weighing over 100 pounds.

CO Ethan Gainforth received a complaint regarding the gross over baiting of deer on a property in Clare County. Gainforth and CO Joshua Wright walked to the over-baited tree stand and made contact with two hunters. In addition to the excessive deer bait, it was determined that one of the hunters was hunting without a license. The hunters were advised of the baiting issue and a total of seven blinds, each with gross over limits of bait were found. Multiple citations were issued and the hunters were made to clean up the bait to a legal limit of two gallons.

CO Sam Schluckbier made a traffic stop on an individual coming out of the woods in Kalkaska County. Inside the vehicle were empty five gallon buckets. The driver appeared to act nervous and began to tell stories about previous hunting locations. After interviewing the subject for several minutes, Schluckbier convinced him to walk back to his tree stand. Once at the stand, Schluckbier located approximately 15 to 20 gallons of bait and an illegal tree stand. Surprisingly, the hunter has been cited for the same violations five times in previous years. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Sam Schluckbier made a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle operating on a forest road. During the stop he discovered that the driver was the 13-year-old son of the passenger. When speaking with the passengers he could smell beer on his breath. Open alcohol containers were shoved underneath the seat and a case of beer was located in the back. Schluckbier searched the vehicle and found a loaded handgun hidden under some clothes. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 6

CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to a deer hunting complaint in Huron County. While investigating the scene, Bucholtz located two separate baiting violations. Once the suspects were located, enforcement action was taken.

COs Kyle Bucholtz and Bob Hobkirk patrolled the Saginaw Bay. While speaking with a group of hunters, the COs observed another group of hunters shoot at a flock of cormorants. Two cormorants swam off wounded and a third was seized after it was found dead in the water. Enforcement action was taken for hunting a non-game species.

CO Chad Foerster received a complaint during the youth deer season that indicated youth hunting deer on state land hunting with firearms and without wearing hunter orange. The CO was able to locate the youth hunters in question along with numerous others. When the investigation was complete, the CO found 16 violations ranging from not wearing hunter orange, improper licensing and possession of an untagged deer. All were all educated on the law and enforcement action was taken.

CO Quincy Gowenlock and PCO Troy Ludwig responded to a complaint of a suspect who had purchased more than one deer license for his children. Ludwig made contact with the suspect and he admitted to buying a second set of kill tags for his children knowing they already had them. The suspect explained his ex-wife refused to give him their deer licenses so he could take the kids hunting on his day off. The father just decided to buy them so he did not have to deal with his ex-wife. Enforcement action was taken.

While on patrol in Isabella County, CO Dan Robinson was called to an area where an archery hunter was almost hit by a bullet. The investigation led to a piece of property where two people were target shooting in the woods with a handgun. The individuals were not using a proper backstop and allowed their bullets to travel outside of their shooting area. The incident is under investigation with possible charges pending.

DISTRICT 7

CO Jeff Robinette responded to a RAP complaint of two subjects fishing with illegal gear on a trout stream in Berrien County. This particular stream has a special regulation of the use of single hooks only. Upon arrival, Robinette observed both subjects fishing with treble hooks in the restricted area. Robinette subsequently made contact and issued them citations.

CO Jeff Robinette responded to a RAP complaint of two subjects shooting and killing a swan. The subjects had then returned to a campground where they were staying. Robinette responded and obtained a confession from one of the subjects, who stated that he had mistaken the swan for a Canada goose, as the sun was shining in his eyes. After killing the swan, they had become scared and returned to their campsite. The subject was cited for killing the mute swan.

CO Matt Page and CO Steve Mooney were patrolling closed trout streams in Van Buren County and made contact with a father and son, who were fishing on a closed stream, attempting to take spawning salmon. Citations were issued for fishing on the closed stream to the father, with the son being warned.

CO Tyler Cole and Sgt. Zach Doss were on patrol in Cass County and observed two bowhunters with a deer at their vehicle. Upon seeing the patrol truck, one of the subjects immediately pulled out a deer tag and was going to tag the deer. Doss made contact with the subject before he could validate the tag and asked why he had not tagged the deer. The subject stated that he had shot the deer and had then tracked it a short ways to where it was recovered. The subject stated that he then had gutted the deer and waited for his friend to help drag the deer out of the woods. He stated that he had just not bothered to tag the deer and was going to tag the deer at the truck. It was explained to him that immediately upon recovering the deer, it is required to be tagged with a validated kill tag. Cole issued a citation to the subject for failing to immediately tag the deer. Coincidently, as Cole was writing the citation, the subject’s father showed up, who had been issued a citation at the same location last year by Cole and Doss for allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised.

DISTRICT 8

COs Andrew Monnich and Chris Maher checked two hunters coming out of the Onsted Game Area. The COs noticed a large amount of bait in the trunk of their car. Upon questioning the hunters about the bait, they stated they had put some in front of their hunting spots. The COs asked the hunters to walk them to their stands. Once at the stands they found two large bait piles well over the 2-gallon limit. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Daniel Prince followed up on an illegal tree stand complaint in the Oak Grove State Game Area in Livingston County. Prince was able to make contact with the archery deer hunter while he was hunting in the stand. Prince issued the subject a citation for using screw-in tree steps on state land. The hunter also had no name and address on his tree stand.

CO Andrew Monnich was traveling down US-223 when he noticed a deer hanging in a barn. Monnich checked the deer and could not locate any tag on the deer. As Monnich was walking up to the house, a man came out of the back door asking what he was doing there. Monnich stated he was just checking to see where the tags were for the harvested deer in the barn. The man stated that he had shot the deer last night and had not been out to get tags for it yet, and was unaware that he needed to have tags on private property. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Andrew Monnich received a tip from CO Jeff Goss about a large white-tailed deer that was possibly harvested in Lenawee County by an archery hunter without a license. Monnich looked the suspect’s information up and traveled to Monroe County where the individual lived. Monnich located the suspect and was able to gain a confession for shooting the deer prior to buying his license. The individual stated that a friend of his took the deer to a buddy that processes deer and that they planned on butchering the deer the next day. Monnich contacted CO Zellinger from Monroe County and they both traveled with the suspect to the deer processor the next day. Monnich and Zellinger located the suspect’s deer and found an additional four deer hanging without tags on them. Enforcement action was taken on the suspect’s illegal deer and the investigation on the other four deer hanging in the meat cooler is continuing.

DISTRICT 9

Sgt. Todd Szyska was checking multiple duck hunters on opening day within St. Johns Marsh, St. Clair County, when he came upon a group of four hunters in the process of dragging their vessels out of one body of water over the dike into the main channel. Szyska made a thorough check which located wood duck bag limits for all hunters. However, several marine violations were found which included: not enough life jackets (PFDs), no navigation lights, and improper display of vessel registration. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey set up to observe Lake St. Clair’s Goose Bay for early waterfowl shooters. The COs were able to apprehend the only early shooters within earshot that morning. Three subjects shot two geese before published shooting hours. One of the subjects stated that the two geese were swimming in their decoys and they got excited. The birds were seized and enforcement action was taken.

CO Brad Silorey worked on typing several illegal turkey case reports. Two suspects are being charged with taking illegal turkeys from last fall. The subjects posted a video to YouTube of them taking the turkeys over bait. Additionally, one subject failed to purchase a turkey license for that year. The cases are pending review with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Brad Silorey and Kris Kiel worked a midnight patrol. The COs patrolled Goose Bay in the St. Clair Flats looking for hunters who may have set up their decoys too early. After working the bay, the COs checked hunters at a nearby marsh and at multiple boat ramps. Several violations were discovered including invalidated federal duck stamps and using/possessing toxic lead shot.

CO Ken Kovach and PCO Joseph Deppen responded to a RAP complaint of over-baiting deer and possible trespass in St. Clair County. While investigating the location, it was found the hunters were trespassing on private property and the bait pile was over two gallons. The location is patrolled on a regular basis and the hunters will be contacted.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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