Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — May 12, 2017


CO Jared Ferguson received a complaint involving ORVs damaging a local county trail system. Ferguson responded to the location and discovered severe damage caused by the ORVs. The area will be patrolled for future illegal ORV activity.

CO Mark Leadman was checking fishermen along the Carp River in Marquette County. One fisherman was located fly-fishing and they quickly exited the river when they observed the CO. Upon contact, the fisherman began digging through his wallet and then claimed he must have left his license at home. He soon admitted he did not have a license and apologized. He stated that Leadman had ticketed him several years earlier on the same river for fishing on the closed section of the stream. A check revealed the subject had been contacted nearly one year earlier to the day for fishing on the closed section and also did not have a valid fishing license at that time. Enforcement action was taken again.

CO Mark Leadman and Sgt. Ryan Aho were patrolling along the Little Garlic River that is closed to fishing until the trout opener. The COs soon spotted two subjects with fishing gear and a backpack. The COs followed the two subjects for nearly a mile down the road back to the parking area without being observed by the fishermen. When the two fishermen spotted the COs patrol truck parked along the road, they abruptly stopped, whispered to each other and changed direction into the woods in an attempt to sneak around the CO truck. Leadman and Aho announced their presence and questioned both subjects about their actions. One fresh steelhead trout was located inside the backpack. Both subjects admitted that they observed a sign posted near the river that stated it is closed to fishing until the trout opener. One subject also stated that a passer-by alerted them to the fact that the river is closed to fishing. Both subjects discarded the warnings and fished anyway which led to both of them being cited for fishing on a closed river. A check revealed that both subjects had been ticketed on several occasions prior for hunting and fishing violations.

CO Brian Lasanen was the closest unit to a call of a personal injury accident involving a motorcycle and a deer. Lasanen arrived on scene, assessed the situation and provided first aid for the injured rider. Lasanen applied direct pressure to a laceration on the victim’s head until paramedics arrived.


CO Mark Zitnik was patrolling a closed section of stream along the Rock River when he observed an individual fishing in the closed area. Zitnik made contact with the angler and asked if he knew this was a closed area to fishing. The angler stated he did not. Zitnik then asked why he had hidden his truck and kept looking back to see if anyone was around while fishing and the angler could not come up with an explanation. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jon Busken was patrolling the Tahquamenon River for smelt runs when he came upon a group of four anglers. While watching the fishermen, the CO heard one member state that it sure had been a long time since he fished. The group returned to shore and began smoking marijuana. Contact was made with the group. The angler who stated he had not fished for so long was found to not have a current fishing license. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.

COs Kevin Postma and Tom Oberg assisted the Wildlife Division with recovering a dead wolf, It was determined that the wolf was killed by other wolves in the area.

CO Gustafson responded to a call from a DNR Fisheries Division creel clerk at the Pine River access about a deer injured with the hind quarter “cut off.” The deer was determined to be taken down by dogs and was dispatched. The area was patrolled heavily and several concerned neighbors will be monitoring dog activity.

CO Watson received a tip of a muskrat trap that had been found near a local marsh. Watson and CO Smith responded to the complaint and located the trap and found an additional six muskrat traps. All the traps appeared to have been left unattended through the winter. Contact was made with the owner of the traps, and enforcement action was taken.


CO Andrea Albert received a complaint from a beaver trapper of another person setting traps near the traps he had just put out the day before. Although somewhat unethical, the traps were set legally except for the person on the trap identification tag did not purchase a fur harvester’s license. A follow up interview with the trapper resulted in a ticket being issued for trapping without a license.

While driving through the Jordan River Valley at 7 p.m., CO Erratt came upon a family of four hiking down Jordan River Road. They had started at Warner Creek Pathway parking lot and had got lost. They were trying to get back to their car by following their GPS. Erratt gave the family a ride back to their vehicle.

While doing a taxidermy inspection, CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County checked an 8-point buck with a suspicious tag. Erratt talked to the father who had brought the deer in for his son who lived and worked downstate. Subsequent investigation revealed that his son had shot the buck on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 and purchased his deer license on Sunday, Nov. 20. Erratt contacted the son via telephone and he admitted hunting deer without a license and shooting the 8-point buck. Enforcement action was taken.

Sgt. Mark DePew was patrolling on I-75 in Cheboygan County when a vehicle passed his position traveling above the posted speed of 70 MPH. A traffic stop was made on the vehicle, contacting the operator and front passenger. The operator was found to be a suspended driver. Upon further investigation, the front passenger was the owner of the vehicle and allowed the operator to operate after knowing the individual did not have a valid license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kelly Ross made a check of a legally tagged deer during the November firearm deer season in Montmorency County. As a result of information gathered during this check, Ross conducted a Facebook search warrant and obtained information leading to a subject and multiple deer that were taken unlawfully. Ross interviewed the subject in Saginaw County and received a confession to the taking of multiple deer with no licenses. COs Kelly Ross, Brad Bellville, Paul Fox and Sgt. Michael Mshar conducted a search at a cabin in Montmorency County where evidence was seized in relation to the illegal deer. Additional charges are pending.


CO Sean Kehoe responded to a complaint of a subject snagging fish at the Boardman River. Upon checking the subject, he denied snagging any fish and stated that the fish on his stringer, a steelhead and walleye, were both hooked in the mouth. Kehoe went onto point out that the walleye on the stringer was out of season. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Sean Kehoe and CO Rich Stowe attended the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet and answered questions for the attendees.

CO Sean Kehoe observed two young anglers walk down to the river with all their fishing gear. A subject on a bicycle that had ridden by Kehoe also rode by the anglers and alerted them to CO Kehoe’s presence. Before even making a cast, the subjects returned to their vehicle and packed up. Kehoe contacted the anglers anyway to find out what was going on. One subject had his license and the other subject claimed he wasn’t fishing and he did not have a license. As the contact continued, the licensed angler started showing Kehoe pictures on his phone of all the fish he had caught recently. While scrolling through the pictures, Kehoe pointed out the picture of the unlicensed angler holding a fish that he had caught the day before. A warning was issued for not having a fishing license and the subject headed immediately to Meijer to get a fishing license.

CO Jeff Ginn assisted the DNR Fisheries with the walleye shocking on the Muskegon River. He trailed the shock boat down river to ensure no anglers took advantage of the vulnerable fish. In the process, Ginn was able to contact several watercraft, resulting in various marine violations. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jeff Ginn had been receiving information about a licensed charter boat captain illegally “chumming” for fish. Ginn was able to locate the angler fishing and observed him fishing with his clients. Ginn was able to observe the charter captain intentionally broadcast loose fish eggs into the water during the trip. The operator was contacted when he returned to the boat launch where he confessed to the violation. This charter operator has been convicted previously for this same violation. Evidence was seized and enforcement action was taken.


CO Mike Hearn patrolled a set of power lines owned by Consumers Energy in Kalkaska County due to several complaints of damage and trespass by ORVs. The large power line runs from Traverse City to Gaylord, and is closed to all motorized vehicles. Several ORV operators were contacted and issued citations for trespass and open alcohol related violations.

CO John Huspen assisted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department on an ORV accident. Three people had been riding on an ORV designed for two. The operator lost control, went off the road, and the three riders were thrown off as the ORV began to flip. All subjects were wearing crash helmets and taken to a local hospital, the investigation continues.

COs Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Bobbi Lively were patrolling waters closed to trout fishing in Iosco County when they noticed some vehicles parked in the area of a closed type D trout lake. The COs were able to sit and observe a group of individuals fishing in the closed trout lake using live bait. Live bait is prohibited on type D trout lakes when the season in open. The COs made contact with the group and enforcement action was taken.

CO Phil Hudson was on foot patrol along the Rifle River when he observed an angler in the process of filleting a walleye. Hudson contacted the angler and advised him that walleye season was closed. The man argued that he had an all species fishing license. After a brief discussion with the angler, Hudson was convinced that he did understand the concept of seasons. Hudson, being quite some distance from his patrol truck, contacted CO Mark Papineau for assistance and a citation was issued for the violation.


CO Ken Lowell was contacted by an Ohio Game Warden regarding a subject that may have taken a deer illegally in Ohio. Lowell and the Ohio Game Warden talked over the case and an interview was set up. Lowell was able to make contact and interview the suspect. During the interview, the suspect made comment about a 10-point buck he shot in Michigan on the opening day of bow season. After further interview and a look at the 10-point, it was determined that the hunter did not have a tag when he shot the Michigan buck. A confession was given regarding shooting the buck without a license and then buying the tag after the fact. Evidence in regards to a buck being shot in Ohio was not established, but the hunter was ticketed for shooting the 10- point in Michigan without a license. If found guilty, the mandatory fine would be between $200 and $1,000 and the mandatory reimbursement to the state would be $7,000.

COs Josh Russell and CO Joe Myers assisted District 7 with a plain clothes operation at the 6th Street Dam and the Rogue River. The COs were targeting the snagging and retaining of steelhead not hooked in the mouth. No major violations were witnessed but several anglers were talked to on their retrieving methods.

COs Quincy Gowenlock, Will Brickel and Joe Myers assisted CO Kelly Ross out of District 5 with a search warrant and interview of a possible deer poaching suspect out of Saginaw County. During the interview the subject admitted to shooting five deer the previous season none for which he had a license for. A subsequent check through station 20 revealed the suspect had three outstanding warrants, one each out of Bay, Midland and Adrian counties with a combined bond of approximately $14,000. The suspect was taken into custody and booked into the Bay County Jail on his arrest warrants.

CO Joshua Wright was checking fishermen in Tuscola County when he came upon a couple with a bucket full of fish. While checking the fish, he found nine smallmouth bass all under 14 inches. CO Wright explained the season and size limits. One of the anglers explained that he was going to let them go when he was done fishing but just keep them so he did not keep catching them while they were there. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Greg Patten investigated an angler harassment complaint on Spring Lake. A subject fishing on a bridge purposefully dumped a bucket of water and minnows on the occupants in a boat below. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor for enforcement action.

CO Greg Patten worked an ORV patrol in the Manistee National Forest and observed several subjects operating in closed areas. Upon contact, it was found that they didn’t have trail permits, ORV licenses and no spark arresters. Enforcement action taken.

COs Matt Page and Zach Bauer attended a career fair at the Glenn Oaks Community College speaking to freshman about a career as a Michigan CO. The COs made approximately 150 contacts.

CO Matt Page reports back that sentencing was completed on a prior case involving the illegal taking of an 8-point buck, an antlerless deer, a red fox and illegal possession of a great horned owl. The two suspects in this case were found guilty and ordered to pay a total of $8,250 in reimbursement for the animals taken. Both suspects were sentenced to 10 days in jail, license revocations through 2022 for one suspect and 2020 for the other. Additionally, the judge ordered the condemnation of all three firearms used to take the above listed animals.

CO Tyler Cole was checking fishing activity at the Pucker Street Dam in Niles. After checking a few fishermen near the dam, Cole came across a fisherman that claimed to have a fishing license. The fisherman further stated that he didn’t have his license on him at the time, but stated he definitely had one. After checking license history with dispatch, it was found that the individual not only did not have a license for this year, but has no history of ever purchasing a fishing license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.


CO Andy Monnich was parked on a road in Lenawee County overlooking a small lake channel when a boat came in and anchored near his patrol truck. Monnich stepped out to check how the fishing was and to check fishing licenses. When the fishermen noticed that Monnich was standing on the edge of the channel, one of the anglers dropped his rod and sat down. Monnich asked the man if he had a license and he stated he bought it that morning. Upon checking with DNR dispatch, Monnich was advised that the man had not bought his license yet. Enforcement action taken.

CO Pete Purdy taught the legal portion of a hunter safety class at the Livingston Conservation and Sportsman’s Association. There were 26 total students in attendance.

While checking a local Branch County Dam, CO Isaac Tyson observed multiple fishermen. Contact was made and one of the men claimed he was not fishing. Tyson told the suspect that he had observed him holding the fishing pole. The suspect stated that he had picked up the pole but insisted that he was not fishing. Tyson asked for the suspects ID and he produced an out of state driver’s license. Further investigation revealed he did not have a fishing license, had a suspended Michigan driver’s license, and had illegally purchased resident hunting licenses in 2016. Enforcement action taken.

While on marine patrol in Branch County, COs Isaac Tyson and Josh Jackson located a small cove that they had never checked before. A shore fisherman was spotted and contact was made. Tyson saw what appeared to be a bass in the man’s fish basket. Tyson asked what was in the basket. The man stated that he had some bluegills and two bass, but he wasn’t keeping the bass, he was just going to show them to his grandkids and then throw them back. Jackson looked around to see if any children were in the area and the man stated that his grandkids weren’t home yet. Tyson seized the two small bass and explained that it was illegal to possess bass out of season for any reason. Both fish were less than 14 inches. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Troy Ludwig was dispatched to a complaint of a beaver snared in a trap after the trapping season had ended. Upon arriving on scene, Ludwig was able to locate the beaver and determine the snare had been improperly placed. With the help of a local rehabilitator, Ludwig was able to free the beaver without incident. The beaver was taken to the rehabilitator’s facility for recovery.


CO Ken Kovach completed an investigation of a subject who had a skunk in captivity without a permit. Kovach was able to interview the subject and obtained a confession to having a skunk in captivity for the last two years. Enforcement action taken.

COs Joseph Deppen, Brad Silorey, Al Schwiderson and Matthew Zultak worked a joint patrol at Roods Lake Pit, responding to enhanced complaints from the public of violations at the wildlife area shooting pit in Lapeer County. In total, 13 citations were issued for shooting after posted hours and multiple warnings were given for items such as improper targets. Enforcement patrols of this problem area will continue.

CO Brad Silorey received a text-to-RAP complaint from dispatch in regards to an individual selling baby squirrels on social media. Silorey was able to confirm that the subject was selling the squirrels for $100 per animal. Silorey made contact with the subject and interviewed her at her residence. The subject denied selling any of the animals, and stated that she did not know it was illegal to possess and sell them. Silorey seized four live squirrels, and contacted a wildlife rehabilitator. After a brief check with dispatch, it was found that the subject also had an active warrant for her arrest for a drunk driving charge. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Matt Zultak followed up on a trapping complaint in Lapeer County. Zultak located multiple live traps with expired animals and baited fish hooks connected to cables on the private property. Zultak located the property owner and obtained a full confession. Violations included trapping coyotes out of season, failing to check traps every 24 hours, illegal trapping method. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint at Huroc Park for a subject taking walleye out of season and snagging. Although Gardner did not witness the subject snagging, he did find one 23-inch walleye and nine gizzard shad in his bucket. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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