Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – July 7, 2017


COs Ethen Mapes attended Camp 911 in Ontonagon where fifth graders from several school districts gathered to meet all the different emergency personnel. Mapes gave a safety talk to the students on marine and ORV safety. Helmets and life jackets were stressed as highly important pieces of safety equipment.

CO Doug Hermanson responded to a roadkill moose in Baraga County. He assisted Michigan State Police on the personal injury accident crash and removal of the moose from the roadway.

CO Ethen Mapes was on marine patrol on Lake Gogebic when he spotted six unattended fishing lines in the water. Mapes tied his patrol boat off to the dock where the poles were located and waited for the owners of the poles to come to the dock. After a while, it was clear that the anglers were not coming to attend to their poles. Mapes walked up to the house as the anglers pulled into the driveway. They stated they had gone to the bar for a couple of drinks and had forgotten to pull their lines in. Law enforcement action was taken for not having immediate control of their fishing lines.

CO David Miller responded to a car versus moose accident in Baraga County. An immature bull moose had been struck by a motor vehicle along US-41 and Ohio Mine road. The vehicle sustained severe damage and the moose succumbed to its injuries.

COs Brian Bacon, Shannon Kritz and Nathan Sink assisted the local Wisconsin wardens with a joint patrol to assist Florence, Wisc., and Crystal Falls Mich., high school students on a float trip of the Brule River.

COs Brett DeLonge and Mark Leadman were patrolling a catch-and-release-only lake in Marquette County when they observed anglers fishing from an unregistered boat. While conducting a license and marine safety check, the COs located a walleye one of the anglers had kept. The COs escorted the group of anglers to the dock and addressed the violations found during the check.

CO Mark Leadman and Sgt. Ryan Aho were patrolling a popular pan fishing lake when they observed two subjects fishing from kayaks. One of the subjects was fishing without a license and neither had life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.


Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon and CO Mark Zitnik were first on scene of a roll-over ATV accident. No one was injured; however, the side-by-side ATV that had been rented just 15 minutes earlier had to be rolled over and pulled out of the ditch by a wrecker. A sizable wrecker bill and a ticket for careless operation followed.

CO Kevin Postma contacted three fishermen fishing on the north end of Duck Lake on Sugar Island. These were the same three fishermen that Postma and Sgt. Mike Hammill checked two weeks prior. At that time there were three fishing rods along the bank, but of course the only individual fishing was the one with the fishing license. This time, Postma observed all three of them fishing. Upon contact, one of the fishermen threw his pole down into the canoe. When Postma asked for their fishing licenses, they advised they had left them in the truck. It was eventually sorted out that the same two that didn’t have fishing licenses two weeks earlier, still didn’t have fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Tom Oberg was waiting in line for the Neebish Island Ferry when he noticed a side- by-side ATV leave the ferry. As the ATV drove past, Oberg did not see any ORV stickers displayed on it. Oberg conducted a traffic stop on the ATV. It was determined the operator had a suspended driver’s license in Michigan. After verifying through central dispatch, Oberg arrested the subject and transported him to the Chippewa County Jail.

CO Tom Oberg was on marine patrol on the Gogomain River when he contacted two individuals fishing. Oberg made contact to see how their fishing was going. After checking their fishing licenses, Oberg asked to see their required safety equipment on the vessel. After the subjects looked through all their compartments on the boat, the two fishermen failed to present any life jackets aboard. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Bobby Watson and Calvin Smith worked the annual Grand Prix 500 Race in Detroit with several other COs from around the state. With efforts from Michigan COs and Michigan State Troopers, the event went smoothly with no major incidents.


CO Andrea Albert checked two lake trout anglers that had just returned off of Lake Michigan. The fishermen were in possession of three lake trout, but only one of them purchased a fishing license. The limit for lake trout in East Bay is two per person. Albert advised either one of them had an over limit of lake trout or the other one was in possession of fish without a license. A safety check of the vessel found two additional marine safety violations. A ticket was issued for the over limit and warnings issued on the safety violations.

CO Kelly Ross assisted with the investigation of a motorcycle versus elk accident in Montmorency County where the subject was critically injured. The subject struck the elk while traveling on M-32. The subject was airlifted to Traverse City with extensive injuries.

CO Bill Webster was patrolling ORVs in closed area locations in Montmorency County. He contacted multiple ORV operators and issued tickets for operating in closed areas. In addition numerous other violations were witnessed and addressed.

CO Jon Sklba worked with a local conservation group in Presque Isle County posting aquatic invasive species signs at area public launches prior to the busy boating season. The signs are important to educate the public on the ways to transport their boats between different bodies of water without moving invasive species.

CO Jon Sklba was dispatched to a trap located in the Thunder Bay River near Hillman in Alpena County. The complainants advised that the trap had already captured a goose and a duck. Sklba responded to the area and located the top of a dog kennel that had floated down the river until it was hung up by a downed tree. No animals were found. The obstruction was removed to avoid any entanglement issues with local wildlife.

Sgt. Michael Mshar responded to a remote location in Montmorency County where a subject who was mushroom hunting found a large 6×6 bull elk that was dead. It was determined the elk had probably been wounded during the December elk hunt and was not located at the time.


Working Silver Lake Sand Dunes, CO Kyle Publiski and CO Brian Brosky were parked on top of one of the hills watching for illegal operating when they heard a crashing sound behind them. The COs turned around just in time to see a side-by-side coming to rest upside down. The COs quickly backed up behind the ORV to stop any other vehicle from coming over the hill and becoming involved with the accident. The COs helped investigate the crash and drove the injured passenger to the parking lot for EMS care.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was advised by Lake County Dispatch that an intoxicated man was asking for gas at a staging area in Lake County. Killingbeck made contact with the callers at the staging area and within minutes, he located the suspect operating in the parking lot on an ORV without a helmet or eye protection. Killingbeck made contact with the operator who was not making sense when talking and could hardly walk. It was determined that the subject was intoxicated and nearly three times the legal blood alcohol limit. The subject was also driving on a suspended license from previous drunk driving convictions and was arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail for operating while intoxicated.

CO Ben Shively was four vehicles behind a Ford F-350 pickup at a roundabout in Silver Lake State Park when the vehicle began brake-torking in the roadway with pedestrians next to the vehicle. Shively conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and issued the subject a citation for careless driving.

CO Jeff Ginn responded to a Newaygo County Campground to address an aggressive Canada goose. Upon arrival, Ginn observed the goose affectionately referred to as Bruce the Goose, hanging around a couple of parked vehicles in the campground. It was alleged the goose had been seen hissing and charging at young children trying to feed him. Bruce was captured by Ginn and relocated to a remote Newaygo County lake several miles from the campground. Bruce didn’t appear too aggressive and it is believed the interaction with the campers allowed Bruce to become too comfortable. This should be a reminder to simply enjoy the wildlife from a distance.


CO Mike Hearn responded to the Twin Lake Boating Access Site in Kalkaska County to handle multiple complaints of illegal storage. Several lakefront property owners were storing their detached trailers and leaving boats moored at the access site over the weekend to give them more room for guest parking on their private property. Warnings had been given in the past for this activity; however, owners weren’t correcting the issue. Hearn removed the trailers and boats with a wrecker service and the owners were cited for the violations.

CO Matt Liestenfeltz followed up on a complaint of nine anglers taking undersized bass in Missaukee County. Liestenfeltz made contact with the anglers who had taken 14 smallmouth bass. Two of the bass were under the required size of 14 inches. Enforcement action was taken.

While launching a boat at North Higgins Lake State Park in Crawford County, COs Ben McAteer and Sgt. Brian Olsen noticed an angler pack up his gear and leave the area as they arrived. After launching the boat, McAteer made contact with the angler. He did not have a fishing license and was in possession of two undersized rainbow trout. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Casey Pullum responded to an ORV versus Jeep personal injury accident in Oscoda County. Pullum was the first to arrive on scene and was able to apply first aid to the victims until EMS arrived. The jeep was driving south on a county road and T-boned the ORV driven by a 13-year-old female with a 16-year-old male passenger. They both sustained non-life threatening injuries and were taken to the local hospital. Pullum assisted the Oscoda County Sheriff’s Department with the follow-up investigation.

While patrolling the state forest campgrounds in Gladwin County over the Memorial Day weekend, CO Steve Lockwood noticed the smell of marijuana coming from a campsite. When Lockwood began to investigate further, the suspect began to laugh uncontrollably while clearly smoking marijuana. Lockwood walked into the campsite in full uniform and jokingly asked the subject for a “hit.” While still laughing, the suspect surprisingly passed the joint to Lockwood. Enforcement action taken.


Sergeants Ron Kimmerly and Tony Soave were working a marine patrol in 30 mph winds on the Shiawassee River in the Federal Flats area. The waves on the river were close to 11⁄2 feet. The sergeants then came across two kayaks with an adult in each. When the sergeants got closer they noticed that there was an infant between the legs of the female kayaker. While neither of the adults were wearing a PFD or had one on board, the infant was wearing one. The male kayaker did not know where he was and advised the sergeants that they were trying to get to the Center Road Bridge on the Tittabawassee River. Kimmerly advised that it was at least 10 miles away and they would capsize in the high winds. Due to the extremely dangerous situation, the sergeants put the kayaks and the three individuals in their jet boat and took them back to their vehicle. The adults were issued citations for no PFDs and the sergeants took some extra time discussing the possible ramifications of the situation they were in.

In Sanilac County, CO Seth Rhodea contacted two anglers trolling on Lake Huron that were fishing with 12 lines, double what would have been the legal number of lines for two anglers. Citations were issued for fishing with too many lines.

CO Mark Siemen was parked in his patrol truck on the side of a road in Sanilac County when a vehicle drove by, nearly striking the side of the CO’s patrol truck. The operator of the vehicle held up a beer can and then sped off. While Siemen followed the vehicle, he saw the driver throw the beer can out the window and sped up away from the CO. The driver continued driving north running multiple stop signs as Siemen attempted to catch up to the vehicle. Siemen contacted Sgt. Scott Brown to assist with the traffic stop in northern Sanilac County. Once the vehicle was stopped, the driver was arrested for multiple warrants out of Lapeer County and was issued citations from Siemen. The subject was transported and turned over to the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office.


CO Chuck Towns was contacted by Allegan County Sheriff’s Department personnel about a missing and endangered person. Cellphone towers indicated an approximate location in the Allegan State Game Area. Towns conducted a broad search of the area and located a set of tire tracks leading off the road in a remote location on state land. Towns followed the tracks and located the missing person and his dog in a vehicle which had become stuck in a wetland. The subject had been stuck in the spot for two days without food or water. Arrangements were made with the sheriff’s department to return him to Portage. His dog was returned to his family.

COs Tyler Cole and Matt Page were checking Witco Ponds for fishing activity when they encountered a person fishing. After watching the subject catch and release a bluegill, contact was made. When asked how the fishing was, the subject stated that he had not caught anything all day. After informing the subject that he was observed catching a bluegill, he admitted to catching the bluegill and fishing without a license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.

CO Tyler Cole checked Mill Pond in the city of Dowagiac and observed two subjects fishing. A check for fishing licenses was conducted. One subject produced a valid license, while the other produced a valid Indiana fishing license. The subject stated that he had just moved to the area, and did not realize that a fishing license was required in Michigan. The subject was educated on the laws of fishing in Michigan and a citation for fishing without a license was issued.

While checking anglers at 6th Street Dam in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg spoke with a couple of anglers who were preparing to fish. Ulberg discovered that neither subject had bought a fishing license. Ulberg informed the anglers that they would have to purchase a license before they began fishing and explained different ways to get a license. Approximately one hour later, Ulberg was checking for anglers at a different spot along the Grand River and noticed the same two individuals, one of which was actively fishing. Neither subject had purchased a fishing license. Both were surprised to see the CO again. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Mike Drexler was clearing a marine patrol when he received a complaint of a subject who was intoxicated and crashed his vehicle into a tree at the Pinckney State Recreation Area. The investigation revealed the operator was a 17-year-old male who was heavily intoxicated. Drexler administered sobriety tests and subsequently arrested the operator for operating while intoxicated and minor in possession. The subject registered a .19 BAC on the breath test, over twice the legal limit. A warrant is being requested through the prosecutor’s office.

CO Troy Ludwig participated in a river clean up with students from Eaton Rapids High School. The students had previously spent three hours each learning how to operate a kayak and given the chance to put their skills to the test while cleaning up the Grand River.

CO Todd Thorn received some new information regarding a significant deer poaching case that he has been investigating that took place in Lansing. Two witnesses were interviewed and four sets of antlers were seized after being turned over to Thorn by the witnesses.

CO Todd Thorn arrived at the Spartan Speedway after receiving a Report All Poaching complaint of a deer caught in a fence at the racetrack. With the help of racetrack employees the deer was released from the fence.

While patrolling the Grand River by boat, COs Todd Thorn and Robert Slick made contact with a man and a woman fishing from shore behind a home. When contact was made it was learned that neither had a fishing license. Both were adamant that they should get a verbal warning and be left alone. The COs investigated further and found that the female had felony and misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. Enforcement action was taken and the female was lodged on her warrants.

CO Matthew Neterer received a complaint of a fawn that was in the roadway hanging around a road-killed doe. Neterer responded and located the fawn in a nearby hay field. Neterer was able to capture the fawn and transport it to a nearby wildlife rehabilitation facility.


While on marine patrol in Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen came across two kayakers in a heavily congested area. The kayakers were drinking and were having difficulty navigating the waterways. The kayakers were taken to calmer waters and a safety inspection yielded that the kayakers did not have any life jackets. The kayakers said they took them out the day before. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kris Kiel received a Report All Poaching complaint of three anglers in a boat that had caught their limit of walleye, loaded their boat, left the area, and launched again a short time later in St. Clair County. Kiel and CO Brad Silorey sat on the suspect’s vehicle until they returned to the launch. While waiting, the COs checked other boats coming off the water. They contacted three groups with short walleye, one with an over limit of walleye, and found a vessel with not enough PFDs on board. When the suspect’s vessel returned to the launch, the three anglers were found to have 14 walleye. The COs separated the subjects and interviewed them. The subjects admitted to taking the first 18 walleye and placing them in another vehicle parked down the road. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kris Kiel checked three anglers coming off a boat launch on the St. Clair River. The subjects stated they had caught their limit. When Kiel counted their fish, four additional fish were found in their live-well. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey, while on marine patrol, checked a vessel with two adult males and two children that were fishing. Neither adult had a fishing license, the vessel was unregistered and there was only one adult PFD on board, which was on a small eight year old. The other child on board, who was under 6 years old, was not wearing a PFD, and there was no type IV PFD for the vessel. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Kovach has been busy checking walleye anglers in St. Clair County. On one particular patrol in the early morning hours, Kovach observed several subjects catching and keeping a large number of fish, without throwing any back into the water. Upon checking the anglers a few hours later, Kovach discovered the subjects were 19 fish over their limit. The anglers commented that they thought they would be OK as they didn’t think the CO would be out at that time. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Kovach has contacted several anglers with short fish in both the St Clair River and Lake Huron. Enforcement action was taken.

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