Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – May 26, 2017


CO David Miller worked a complaint where someone had been cutting locks off gates on state land to gain access to Wildlife Division’s waterfowl fields, which are also closed to motor vehicle use. Several turkey hunters have complained that while hunting an individual has been driving through the fields with his vehicle scaring the turkeys away. Miller was able to locate the suspect and law enforcement action was taken.

CO Doug Hermanson responded to a car versus moose crash in Baraga County. The vehicle sustained considerable damage after striking a yearling moose that had ventured out onto the highway.

CO Shannon Kritz received a complaint from the report all poaching hotline about a newborn calf that had been a victim of depredation sometime the previous night. Kritz responded to the scene and met with the farmer. It was determined that coyotes had killed the calf.

CO Nathan Sink received a complaint of ORVs driving around a closed gate on national forest property, tearing up the land and taking firewood. As Sink arrived at the location to investigate the damage, an individual was observed coming out of the closed area with a load of firewood on his ORV. Enforcement action was taken after a quick confession was obtained.

CO Jeffrey Dell instructed the law and ethics portion of hunter safety at three local hunter safety classes in Menominee County.

CO Jeffrey Dell checked fishermen along the Menominee River. One fisherman was found to be fishing without a valid license. When asked if he forgot to buy his license the fishermen stated, “No, I knew it expired about 10 days ago but I figured I’d fish today and maybe get one tomorrow.” A citation for fishing without a license was issued.

CO Jeremy Sergey came across an angler on the Menominee River who had cut his finger open with a fishing hook. Sergey administered first aid to the individual.

CO Brett DeLonge was walking a closed portion of the Carp River when he observed an angler fishing. Further investigation proved the angler knew he was fishing a closed stream and did not have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Chris Lynch arrested a subject on warrants issued from an illegal deer case. The subject shot a 7-point buck without a license and failed to tag an 8-point he harvested as well.

CO Chris Lynch received an adjudication of an illegal deer case from last rifle season. The subject had taken an 8-point buck without a license. The subject had hunted and likely shot deer for five years in a row without tags until he was finally caught. As part of his plea bargain, the subject had to pay $4,125 in fines, costs and restitution to the state, and the subject had his hunting privileges revoked for five years.

CO Jon Busken was observing smelt dippers at the mouth of the Brevoort River when one angler exclaimed to his fellow fishermen that he had caught a perch in his dip net. The anglers stated that he was going to keep the fish so he could cook it and eat it on the river bank. Several minutes later the angler caught a bullhead in his net and made similar statements. Contact was made with the angler who was found to have a prior DNR violation for retaining a fish not lawfully caught. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kevin Postma checked a fishermen trolling near the mouth of the Munuscong River. Postma asked the fishermen what he was fishing for, to which he replied “whatever I can catch I guess.” Postma advised the fisherman that it was illegal to even target pike or walleye when the season is closed. Postma then focused his attention to the unregistered vessel and the lack of PFDs. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Bobby Watson was on patrol when he observed a vehicle parked alongside a closed Type 1 Trout Stream. Watson approached the vehicle and made contact with two individuals. One fisherman admitted to fishing the closed stream after Watson located his fishing pole stashed in the nearby weeds, but stated they had just gotten there a few minutes prior to being contacted by Watson and had not caught any fish. Watson asked the fisherman to accompany him back to his vehicle to conduct a search. As Watson approached the car, he observed a cooler in the back seat, with the lid bouncing off the cooler from the live steelhead, which had been recently placed in the cooler. The fisherman then admitted to catching the fish. Enforcement action was taken.


While doing a taxidermy inspection, CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County checked a 10-point buck with a suspicious tag. Erratt called CO Jason Becker and asked him to contact the hunter where he lives in Oakland County. During the interview, the hunter admitted to Becker that he shot the 10-point buck at 7:15 am on Nov. 16 and purchased his deer license at 10:34 am on the same day. Erratt called the hunter who stated he did not realize he had forgotten to purchase his deer license until he had shot the buck and looked in his wallet for his tag. Enforcement action is being taken.

CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County responded to a possible hunter harassment complaint on the last day to legally train dogs. The complainant said he was running his dogs on a bear when the dogs ran through someone’s yard. The dog trainer stated as he picked up the dogs, a woman from the house came out and threatened to shoot his dogs and him. Erratt talked to the suspect who lives on a posted 40-acre parcel surrounded by state land. The suspect stated she was worried about the dogs chasing her chickens and admitted she threatened to shoot his dogs but not him. She said her property was posted and she did not want the dog owner or his dogs on her property. Erratt talked to the dog owner and explained that the landowner was worried about his dogs chasing her chickens. Erratt told him he was no longer welcome on the 40-acre parcel and that if he returned he would be prosecuted for trespass. Erratt also warned the complainant for failing to license his dogs.

COs Chad Baldwin and Steve Speigl were working a closed stream prior to the opening of the inland trout fishing season. Baldwin witnessed two men walk out of the woods and up onto the road with fishing gear in hand as well as a large steelhead. When the men saw Baldwin they turned around as to walk back into the woods and the individual holding the steelhead handed it off to the other man. Baldwin instructed them to stop where they were and not to drop the fish back into the water. The men complied and stated that they didn’t know they couldn’t fish there. When asked who caught the fish, the man then holding the steelhead admitted to catching it. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Scott MacNeill encountered three anglers fishing on a closed trout stream in Manistee County. All three anglers were using treble hooks commonly used to snag fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Scott MacNeill received several complaints of turkey hunters hunting from their vehicles. COs have leads and will be patrolling those areas frequented by hunters to deter such activity.

CO Josiah Killingbeck received a Report All Poaching complaint of a subject who had shot a turkey from the roadway in front of a residence in Lake County. Killingbeck responded to the area and talked with the complainant. The suspect had shot from outside his vehicle and then left without retrieving the turkey. Killingbeck was able to determine approximately where the subject discharged the firearm into public property and discovered the distance was 64 yards from the complainant’s residence. Killingbeck was able to locate the suspect using a license plate provided by the complainant. The suspect admitted to the safety zone violation and said that he did not want to go after the bird due after the complainant yelling at him for shooting the turkey. Enforcement action was taken for the safety zone violation.

CO Ryan Andrews was on patrol along the Pere Marquette River checking anglers in Lake County when he made contact with a group of anglers and discovered several of them were fishing without valid 2017 fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license.

CO Angela Greenway assisted the DEQ with security and parking at Ferris State University campus for the Nestle water public hearing meeting that had nearly 300 in attendance to learn about the water removal process.

CO Angela Greenway participated in a community outreach program that provides an opportunity for the community and kids to check out our patrol truck, specialized equipment and talk to law enforcement officers, EMS and firemen.


CO John Huspen was patrolling a stretch of the East Branch of the Au Sable River that is closed to fishing in Crawford County. Huspen noticed three subjects walking away from a culvert and made contact. One subject stated they were out checking the river levels and looking for turkeys. Huspen did a quick search of the area and located a fishing pole and a dozen crawlers hidden under some bushes. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Papineau received a tip in regards to a subject illegally netting northern pike in a county drain in northern Bay County. With assistance from CO Phil Hudson, surveillance was set up on the area. Over the course of about a week and a half, Papineau and Hudson observed a single subject tending numerous illegal nets attempting to catch spawning pike. Based on the evidence, a search warrant was drafted for the subject’s residence. Papineau, Hudson, and CO Chad Foerster executed the search warrant and seized 40 illegal pike, two trap nets and two fish spears. The suspect provided a full confession that all the pike had been caught illegally during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken.

While off duty, CO Phil Hudson received a complaint of subjects trespassing and shooting turkeys from a motor vehicle. Hudson contacted CO Nick Atkin who was on duty and available to respond to the complaint. During the investigation that followed, Atkin located and interviewed the two suspects. The suspects admitted they shot at the turkeys from inside the cab of their truck with a .22 caliber rifle. In addition, neither subject had purchased a turkey license. Enforcement action is being sought through the Arenac County prosecutor’s office.


CO Josh Russell assisted a Michigan State Police trooper in locating a possible meth site in a state game area. The officers found the site which appeared to be a place to store the components. CMET, the local drug unit, was called in to clean up the site.

COs Josh Russell and Mike Hass were on patrol in the Edmore State Game Area when they observed a vehicle in a closed area. Contact was made and the subjects were mushroom hunting and collecting trash/cans. The subjects were educated on the fact the trail they were on was not a legal trail and they were thanked for picking up trash.

COs Joe Myers and Will Brickel were on patrol when they came across a four-car injury accident that had just occurred. The COs stopped and provided first aid until EMS and fire responded.

CO Kyle Bucholtz located multiple illegal tree stands on state property. Investigations continue in some of those cases. Enforcement action has been taken in others. Bucholtz will continue to monitor the tree stands for activity.

CO Robert Hobkirk received a complaint from the Fair Haven Township police chief regarding a number of very large straw bales that had washed up just off of the shore line along the north side of the village of Bay Port during a recent storm. Through the investigation, Hobkirk discovered that the bales had originally been placed at the end of Sand Point as part of a beach restoration project. After conferring with the appropriate DEQ employee, Hobkirk contacted the permit holder from the Sand Point project. The permit holder took responsibility for the straw bales and informed Hobkirk that he would work to get them removed from their current location.

CO Seth Rhodea was checking anglers in Quanicassee when he contacted an angler he had witnessed holding a fishing pole and actively fishing but now was just standing by the water without a pole. Upon asking to see the angler’s license they stated they did not have one and had been warned by their father to get one but didn’t. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.


While patrolling Mill Pond, CO Tyler Cole came across two subjects fishing for bluegill. When asked to produce fishing licenses, both subjects produced valid Indiana fishing licenses. When informed that they were no longer in Indiana, they both acted surprised and embarrassed that they did not know what state they were in. Subjects were both cited for fishing without a license.

CO Greg Patten reported that while driving on a forest road in the Manistee National Forest, a 4×4 truck came down the single track road toward him at a high rate of speed. There was limited sight distance and the truck operator did not see Patten until the last minute, slamming on his brakes to avoid a collision with Patten’s stopped patrol truck. The suspect’s truck had no registration or insurance and the operator and passenger were not wearing seatbelts. Enforcement action was taken.

While on marine patrol on Muskegon Lake, CO Greg Patten located a subject with no wearable PFD, no fire extinguisher, and no registration certificate in his boat. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Greg Patten took an angler harassment complaint where a subject fishing from a bridge on Spring Lake purposefully dumped a bucket containing water and minnows on subjects fishing in a boat below. A warrant for angler harassment was issued for the suspect by the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office.

CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint of individuals snagging steelhead in a designated trout stream in Kent County. Ulberg responded to the area and was able to observe the subjects fishing. It was apparent that one of the subjects was looking for steelhead on their beds and when one was located the subject would attempt to snag the fish. Ulberg eventually contacted the subjects and discovered the other angler was fishing with an illegal sized treble hook that was not baited. Both subjects were in possession of marijuana and neither subject had a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Brandon Hartleben and Pete Purdy both responded to a Report All Poaching complaint of an unregistered bass tournament on Whitmore Lake. Both COs made contact with the leader of Anglers Unlimited at the Whitmore Lake boat launch at the conclusion of the “tournament,” and advised him of the requirement to register all tournaments online using the online registration system. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jason McCullough contacted a rowboat with four occupants well after midnight coming off a local Calhoun County lake. The boat was taking on excessive water and there were no life jackets on board. The occupants, who were all under 21 and had been drinking, were struggling to get the boat out of the water. McCullough explained the importance of having proper marine safety equipment on board, especially in the early spring. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Shane Webster investigated a Report All Poaching complaint of a subject shooting robins. Webster located two dead robins and noted they were shot with a pellet gun. Webster made contact with the resident suspect who stated that they may have died from eating poison he put out for the shrews. Webster asked him why they had holes in them. The suspect advised probably because he had shot them. The man stated the neighbor put out too much feed and attracted them to his yard where they defecated on his stuff. He claimed he did not know they were robins when he shot them, but that he didn’t really care. The man’s pellet gun was confiscated and charges are pending through the prosecutor’s office.

CO Matt Neterer learned of a turkey hunting contest being held at a local sporting goods store and decided to stop in to see if there had been any successful hunters registering birds. Upon arrival, Neterer observed a hunter posing for pictures with a nice tom at the back of the store. When Neterer contacted the hunter, it was obvious that he was very nervous about being checked. Neterer inspected the tag on the bird and discovered that the tag had not been validated. The hunter initially stated that he had simply forgot to validate it but later said that it was because he didn’t have a knife. A citation was issued to the hunter for failing to immediately validate his kill tag.

COs Todd Thorn and Matt Neterer were invited to the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office awards ceremony where they received an award for the way they handled a suicidal gunman in the fall of 2016.


While on fisheries patrol COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey set up surveillance on a group of anglers at a local launch in Macomb County. The anglers were continually trespassing into an area that was clearly marked “no trespassing/no fishing”. After a few hours, the COs approached the anglers in the marked area. The anglers had multiple violations including fishing without a license, over limit of rock bass, and using an invasive live species of goby as bait. The group was taken out of the trespassing area and enforcement action was taken.

COs Ken Kovach and Kris Kiel, along with Sgt. Damon Owens, conducted a group patrol on the Detroit River checking walleye anglers. A lot of contacts were made with few violations discovered. A citation was issued for fishing without a license, and warnings were given for failing to display registration, failure to produce a fishing license and failure to provide a PFD. Filming for the Warden show was also conducted during the patrol.

CO David Schaumburger observed a group of anglers come in with a four-person walleye limit. On board were two youth and their parents. One of the youths told the CO that he had only caught two fish that day. One of the parents was taken aside and educated on the laws pertaining to daily possession limits per person. The parent stated that they caught so many they did not keep track; however, Schaumburger pointed out that they had four different clickers on board each with the names of the four anglers on them to keep track of each anglers fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Reynolds, while working a Belle Isle shift, noticed an elderly woman struggling to get out of a strong thunderstorm and heavy rain that moved in quickly. The CO went to the woman and asked if she needed assistance. The woman was pleased to see a CO. The CO assisted the woman in getting back to her vehicle.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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