Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — April 28, 2017

DISTRICT 1

CO Jason Wicklund and CO Shannon Kritz were on patrol when they received a “be on the lookout” for a truck wanted in a vehicular assault in Iron River and was possibly heading towards Ironwood. The vehicle was located in Gogebic County and the driver was detained by tribal police officers while arrangements were made to bring the suspect back to Iron River. The COs were heading that way and gladly transported the suspect back with them where he was questioned by local authorities and lodged in jail.

CO Jason Wicklund and CO Doug Hermanson worked Lake Gogebic access sites checking perch fisherman. The first check of the day turned up marijuana and the second group had illegal pills and narcotics. Another group that came off the ice had violations which included riding double on ORVs, no helmets, and unregistered ORVs. Enforcement action was taken.

While re-fueling his patrol truck, CO Jeremy Sergey observed an individual across the street place a large piece of plastic on a fire. There were also two young children poking the fire with sticks. When Sergey made contact with the individual, he noticed melted plastic bottles and other debris burning in the fire. Sergey got the young children away from the hazardous fire and called the fire department to assist him in putting the fire out. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Mark Leadman and Brett Delonge each worked a shift at the UP Boat, Sport and RV show at the Superior Dome in Marquette. A large number of people stopped by the DNR booth to ask questions and pick up the latest informational pamphlets.

DISTRICT 2

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he observed a parked vehicle and a male subject with a little dog running at his side on private property off an ORV trail. Upon approaching the subject, Lynch observed the subject suspiciously reaching back into the vehicle. The subject was putting a loaded 270 back into a case. Lynch observed a second male subject just finishing up digging a hole with a shovel not far from the vehicle. Lynch asked the subject next to the vehicle what he was doing and he said burying his dog. Lynch walked over to the dug up hole with the two subjects and the dog following along. Upon looking down into the hole at was an empty cardboard box, it was then realized the subjects were going to kill their dog. Lynch asked what was wrong with the dog. One subject stated the dog was old. Lynch asked the subjects if they had permission to be on the private property and they said no. Lynch advised the subjects that they are trespassing and also can’t have a loaded a rifle in their vehicle. Lynch mentioned to the subjects the dog appears to be pretty healthy yet and asked if they thought about taking it to the animal shelter 10 minutes away from their location. Lynch also advised the subjects that the landowner probably won’t approve of what they were about to do. The subjects agreed their actions probably weren’t the smartest thing to do. The dog was turned over to the animal shelter to find a “new home” and enforcement action was taken for the loaded gun in the vehicle.

CO Tom Oberg was patrolling Munuscong Bay when he encountered a couple individuals ice fishing. Oberg proceeded to check their fish and fishing licenses. Oberg was advised that they were both tribal members, but only one angler had the subsistence fishing license. Oberg asked the individual who did not have a subsistence license how many lines she was fishing with. She stated five lines. Oberg explained that the St. Mary’s River is part of the Great Lakes and she has to follow state of Michigan fishing regulations, and could not have more than three lines if she did not have the subsistence card. The subject was cited into tribal court for the violation.

CO Tom Oberg was patrolling Munuscong Bay when he stopped to check a group of ice fisherman. Oberg checked their catch and fishing licenses, and was advised they were tribal members. As Oberg was checking the fish caught, he noticed a couple of walleye. Oberg asked the individual if he had a subsistence fishing license and he stated he did not, but thought that he could fish for walleye until March 31. Oberg explained to him that only applies to inland waters for tribal members. Oberg also explained that the St. Mary’s river is part of the Great Lakes and he has to follow state of Michigan fishing season closures and regulations, if he did not have a subsistence fishing license. The subject was cited into tribal court for the violation.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Mike Feagan testified in an informal hearing for an excessive snowmobile exhaust noise citation. The operator was found responsible for operating a snowmobile with an exhaust decibel level of over 88 decibels and was fined $245 for the violation.

CO John Sklba was patrolling on Kings Highway in Presque Isle County when he encountered a vehicle traveling eastbound at a very slow and unsafe speed. Sklba initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver. During this contact and further investigation, Sklba learned that the motor vehicle was unregistered and uninsured. The driver was arrested and lodged at the Presque Isle County Jail and the vehicle was impounded.

Sgt. Mark DePew was patrolling on state land in southern Otsego County when, from a distance, he observed an individual walking, carrying a firearm but not wearing hunter orange. Contact was made with the subject who stated he was predator hunting and was aware he was in violation for not wearing hunter orange. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Kinney received a complaint from the local forester of an abandoned camping trailer found on state land in Wexford County. Kinney found the trailer and was able to obtain the owner’s information from the license plate. He made contact with the owner. The owner indicated he had left the trailer on state land unoccupied since the firearm deer season this past November. Multiple other violations were present when Kinney discovered the abandoned campsite as well. Enforcement action was taken.

While at his residence and getting ready for an evening patrol, CO Converse observed a vehicle quickly pull into his driveway. Converse went out to contact the driver who informed he was there to file a complaint. The man had witnessed a subject driving around recklessly in the area and saw a couple of couches and a coffee table fall from the suspect’s truck. Armed with a vehicle description and last known location, Converse canvassed the area and located the vehicle parked at a residence. Converse set up down the road and watched the vehicle as it pulled onto the roadway, taking off at a high rate of speed. Converse followed the vehicle for a short distance and made contact with the driver after he pulled into another driveway. Converse quickly realized that the subject was likely intoxicated and operating on a suspended license. A LEIN check revealed the driver had a warrant for his arrest and several prior alcohol violations. Sobriety tests were conducted and the subject was found to be well over the legal blood alcohol limit. The subject was arrested by Converse and charged with OWI 5th offence, DWLS 3rd, open intoxicants.

CO Ryan Andrews was watching several anglers fishing in the Pere Marquette River in Lake County when he noticed one individual repeatedly leave the river and enter onto posted private property. The angler was cutting through the property to check on his friends who were fishing upstream. Upon contacting the individual, he said that he was aware it was private property and saw the postings, but said it was easier walking on the shore than the water. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was on patrol when he observed an ORV operating on M-37 where ORV operation is prohibited. The ORV passed Killingbeck’s location and he observed a license plate with an expired tag. Killingbeck stopped the ORV and determined that the plate had been expired for over five months. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck took a complaint from Lake County Central Dispatch of two swans that were shot on a pond behind a residence. Killingbeck responded and found two trumpeter swans that had been shot by what appeared to be a pellet gun. Killingbeck was able find the suspects who were two juveniles. The children were outside with a high powered pellet gun and had gotten bored of shooting at cans. They both saw the swans swimming in the pond and made the decision to shoot them. Both juveniles were petitioned into probate court.

DISTRICT 5

CO Mike Hearn observed fresh ORV tracks along the shoulder of M-72 in Kalkaska County. Hearn followed the tracks and determined where they had left the highway and continued operating onto multiple pieces of private property. The tracks led Hearn to an ORV that was parked at a local bar. Having received multiple complaints regarding the exact violation in the past, Hearn set up surveillance on one of the parcels of private property the ORV had crossed. A short time later, the ORV was observed operating against the flow of traffic on the state highway and trespassing on private property. A stop was made and enforcement action was taken.

CO Ben McAteer and Sgt. Brian Olsen contacted a group of anglers on River Lake in Crawford County. During the contact, one of the anglers was acting extremely nervous. The COs learned the angler had not purchased a fishing license since 2015. While standing downwind of the angler, the COs caught the odor of marijuana. When questioned about the smell, the suspect pulled out a bag with marijuana and a glass pipe. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Craig Neal was called for assistance at a grass fire in Missaukee County. Neal responded and interviewed the suspect responsible for starting the fire. The fire had been started in an old metal horse trough and was not properly covered to eliminate debris from falling out. The suspect had walked away for a couple minutes and when he came back the grass was on fire. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Craig Neal and Sgt. Brian Olsen responded to a complaint in Kalkaska County of a subject cutting wood on state land. The COs were able to locate the suspect, who admitted to cutting standing trees on state land without a permit. Neal explained the permitted rules for cutting dead and down trees on state land to the suspect. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling for fishing activity at an Iosco County boat launch, CO Kyle Cherry approached a vehicle sitting in an unusual location along the water’s edge. While the driver stated they were just enjoying the view, Cherry could smell an overpowering odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. After a brief investigation, the driver admitted to smoking marijuana. Cherry seized a bag of suspected marijuana and a glass pipe. Enforcement action taken.

DISTRICT 6

While on foot patrol on public land, CO John Byars noticed a treestand that had been left after the March 1 deadline. The CO also noticed trees had been cut for shooting lanes. The treestand had a name and number on it, as required by law. The CO made contact with the owner and issued a ticket for failing to remove the stand.

CO Joe Myers received information regarding a fisherman in the Saginaw River who was jigging with illegal gear during the walleye closed season. The CO interviewed the suspect about the activity and gear. The fisherman admitted to the illegal activity and enforcement action was taken.

COs Joe Myers and Josh Russell were on patrol of the Tittabawassee River in Saginaw County when they came upon three fishermen at the Center Road Bridge. One fisherman was fishing with illegal gear during the closure and was cited for the violation. The two other fishermen had one pole between them. The COs observed one fisherman using the pole before they made contact. When they saw the COs, the pole traded hands and was given to the fisherman that had a license. Tickets were issued for fishing without a license.

CO Jason A. Smith contacted a couple of young fishermen who were lingering around a stream with a substantial population of pike in it. There were spears in the truck, but an attempt was not made to take the fish illegally. The fishermen said they were well aware of the laws and penalties for doing so illegally.

CO Jay Person assisted the Midland County Sheriff’s Office on a shots fired/gunman call in Midland County. The complainant stated a neighbor came out on his front porch and fired two shots into the back of his vehicle. After a long period of trying to make contact with the suspect via telephone, it was determined the suspect used an air rifle in the shooting. This was an ongoing neighbor dispute between the complainant revving his vehicle in front of the suspect’s house, and the suspect having enough of it. The suspect was lodged in the Midland County Jail.

DISTRICT 7

CO Richard Cardenas was patrolling Barry County in the Middleville State Game Area. During the patrol, he observed a red ORV operating carelessly on the roadway. When the operator saw Cardenas, they turned around and fled. Cardenas turned his patrol truck around and initiated his emergency lights and sirens. The ORV failed to stop and proceeded through some rough terrain, losing the CO. After talking to local citizens in the area, Cardenas received a tip and relocated the suspect. Contact was made with the juvenile operator and the parents. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Bass River Recreation Area, CO BJ Goulette came across two trucks stuck off road in an area not open to vehicle traffic. Enforcement action was taken.

CO David Rodgers assisted CO Justin Ulberg with a snagging complaint along the Rogue River in Kent County. Ulberg watched the fishing activity and relayed the information to Rodgers that the subjects were leaving with a couple of fish. He did not see them snag the fish, but information from a complainant stated he foul hooked them. Rodgers made contact with the subject to investigate the complaint. The subjects stated they caught them in the mouth and did not snag them. A records check revealed that one of the subjects had three warrants for various traffic offenses and the other had a warrant from 2010 out of Manistee for snagging. Bond in the amount of $590 was taken on the snagging warrant. Ulberg transported the other subject and turned them over to a Michigan state trooper for a no bond warrant out of Stanton.

CO Chuck Towns reported making contact with a subject who had taken a northern pike out of season along the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County. The subject tried to tell Towns that the Kalamazoo River is “connecting waters” because it’s connected to Lake Michigan. The subject was corrected on his misinterpretation of the law and arrested for an outstanding warrant.

DISTRICT 8

CO Dan Prince is assisting the Forest Management Division with a wildfire investigation which happened in the Brighton Recreation Area. The fire started on private property and spread into the Brighton Recreation Area. Brighton and Hamburg Township fire departments were able to put out the fire, which burned over six acres. A report will be submitted to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Josh Jackson finished an investigation that started in February wherein he found a 9-point deer at a local taxidermist with suspicious license circumstances. He suspected the hunter had shot the deer and then purchased the license. The suspect ultimately admitted to shooting the 9-point buck, then buying a tag before bringing it in to the taxidermist. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling the Grand River, CO Troy Ludwig observed a boat he recognized from a previous contact at a boat launch. Contact was made and the owner was unable to produce life jackets for the occupants, which he was cited for a month earlier. The owner had also not registered the boat or trailer, nor installed navigation lights, which he had been warned on previously. The owner stated he didn’t think he would get caught because he didn’t believe the area was patrolled. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Shane Webster was patrolling for snowmobile activity during the recent snowfall. The CO spotted two riders who quickly darted between houses to avoid him. Webster was able to track them through the neighborhood and caught up with them as they were trying to conceal the snowmobiles in the backyard. Both machines had multiple violations in addition to refusing to stop for Webster. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Robert Slick and Jason King attended a youth pheasant hunt at Muzzy Pheasant Farm in Shiawassee County. Slick and King spoke to the participants about firearm safety, ethics and the role of a conservation officer in Michigan. The youth were successful in harvesting multiple birds. It was great to get the youth out in the field and teach them the importance of firearm safety and Michigan’s natural resources.

DISTRICT 9

CO Travis Dragomer investigated a complaint of a blue heron that may have been shot in Genesee County. Dragomer located the bird which he identified to be a sandhill crane. Dragomer performed a necropsy on the bird. The CO was unable to locate any signs that indicated the bird had been shot. Dragomer was able to determine the cause of death to be from power lines.

While checking anglers in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen noticed an angler casting a large lure at the Clinton River spillway dam during the gear restricted period. The angler was contacted and informed of the spawning run and claimed that he was unaware of the gear restriction at the dam. The fishing tackle was photographed and enforcement action was taken.

COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey and Joseph Deppen conducted a taxidermy inspection at a large taxidermist that took over four hours to complete. The taxidermist had incomplete records and specimens that were untagged. The COs also found multiple deer that will require follow-up interviews to see if the kill tags were purchased after the deer were taken. Enforcement action was taken with the taxidermist.

CO Ken Kovach completed an investigation to the alleged illegal taking of a trophy buck. Kovach conducted numerous interviews which lead to a suspect, and a subsequent confession to taking the illegal buck. Enforcement action was taken.

CO David Schaumburger was sneaking through the woods to observe a few anglers when he smelled the odor of burnt marijuana. He observed one gentleman with a joint in his lips, smoking away. He approached the angler and the angler spit the joint out into the water. When asked for his fishing license, he stated that he did not have it on him, nor did he have his ID. Schaumburger asked for his name and date of birth to check him for warrants. The angler had a birthday of 4/20 that he was very proud of. The angler had an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana. The angler was arrested and lodged on his warrant.

Leaving Belle Isle at the end of shift, COs Dan Walzak and David Rodgers were the first on scene at a traffic crash involving two vehicles. Both vehicles suffered substantial damage but, thankfully, neither of the drivers had any serious injuries. Rodgers contacted MSP Station 20 and requested they advise Detroit PD of the crash at the corner of East Jefferson Avenue and Chene Street. The COs managed to move one of the vehicles out of traffic and held down the crash until Detroit Police were able to respond.

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