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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Aug. 4, 2017


COs Dave Miller, Brett Delonge, Brian Lasanen and Doug Hermanson worked a joint patrol with the National Parks Service around Isle Royale. The COs made several contacts and compliance was high with only a few minor violations noted. The COs also assisted national park rangers with removing a navigational hazard and locating a hiker whose family was trying to get a message regarding a medical emergency at home.

CO Brian Lasanen assisted the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with a search for a missing 15-year-old hiker who fled from the group after making suicidal comments. Lasanen, along with Ontonagon Sheriff deputies, Michigan State troopers, and USFS employees were able to determine the last known position of the missing hiker. Lasanen, two state troopers and a USFS law enforcement officer hiked into the last known position of the hiker to secure a perimeter for a responding K-9 unit. Lasanen heard an odd sound so he and the USFS officer followed the sound, yelled for the missing hiker and got a faint response. Eventually they located the hiker who was scared but in good health with only a twisted ankle. The hiker was transported out of the woods and turned over to medical personnel for further evaluation.

CO Denny Gast assisted Wildlife Division staff with the annual goose roundup, with over 300 geese captured for biological data and banding before releasing them.

CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling Lake Gogebic for late night boating activity when he found two set lines. Law enforcement action was taken for fishing with unattended lines.

CO Nathan Sink assisted the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office when a prisoner escaped the jail the night prior. Sink assisted in securing a perimeter in the area. Initial searches did not locate the subject, but the subject was eventually taken into custody from a residence without incident.

COs Jeffrey Dell and Jeremy Sergey attended a meeting with the Wisconsin DNR to discuss issues pertaining to enforcement of the boundary waters.


CO Mark Zitnik along with Michigan State Police were dispatched to a domestic in progress. Upon arrival, the boyfriend was complaining that his girlfriend was beating on him. Further investigation revealed that the boyfriend had been striking his girlfriend. When the CO and trooper put the individual under arrest he stated, “Look at all the marks on my body from her.” The trooper said to the boyfriend, “I do not see any marks on you.” The boyfriend said, “I don’t bruise like a peach for God’s sake.”

CO Robert Freeborn assisted COs Christopher Lynch and Pat Hartsig with an illegal charter operation. After a brief interview with the charter operator, the COs were able to determine the fisherman was operating illegally. The charter operator received several citations.

CO Robert Freeborn assisted Sgt. Michael Hammill with a traffic stop. Both COs had dealt with the driver the previous week on several motor vehicle, watercraft and other violations. The driver was still driving without a license plate and was issued another citation for operating without a valid registration plate.

While on patrol, CO Robert Freeborn checked a small fishing boat. While talking with the fishermen, Freeborn noticed their boat did not have a current registration. While continuing to talk with the fishermen, Freeborn noticed a pellet gun with a scope sitting in the boat. He asked the fishermen what the gun was used for. The fishermen stated they keep it in the boat in case they see a muskrat swim by. Freeborn explained to them that it was against the law to shoot a muskrat and that it wasn’t even trapping season for them. Freeborn then proceeded to check for life jackets and fishing licenses. The fishermen stated they did not bring life jackets. Citations were issued for no PFDs.

CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when a call from Central Dispatch came through advising that an individual had been electrocuted at work and was neither conscious nor breathing. Oberg had an Automatic External Defibrillator and responded to the call. Upon arrival, the individual had regained consciousness and seemed to be doing well besides the fact of not being able to remember much about what happened. EMS arrived on scene shortly after to evaluate him.


CO Budreau investigated the possible theft of a petroglyph (rock carving associated with native American artwork) from state-owned land in northern Emmet County. The petroglyph was reported to be one of two known petroglyphs in Michigan. Through Budreau’s investigation, a possible third undocumented petroglyph may have been discovered at a private residence near the original location. Information has been shared with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians for confirmation.

Before launching her boat on Deer Lake, CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County used her binoculars observing several fishermen in boats. Erratt caught up with one of the boats on the north end of the lake. As she approached, two fishermen in the bow of the boat slowly put their rods down. The two Tennessee residents had not purchased fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.

Cheboygan County was hit hard with several thunderstorms, especially in the Black Lake area. CO Matt Theunick assisted other first responders and reported numerous boats overturned from the high winds. No personal injuries were sustained.

CO Tim Rosochacki worked Burt Lake in Cheboygan County contacting several boaters and anglers. Four anglers were located in a small fishing boat with no life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.

While at the launch site on Burt Lake’s Maple Bay, Sgt. Mark DePew observed a pontoon boat run aground on shore. The operator then attempted to exit the boat but fell onto the shoreline. DePew approached the operator who was found to be intoxicated. He was lodged in the Cheboygan County Jail for operating a watercraft while intoxicated. The Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department assisted.

CO Bill Webster received a Report All Poaching complaint about a live fawn in captivity in Alpena County. As Webster was pulling into the driveway, he observed the fawn in a small fenced in area. The people at the residence stated they had just picked the fawn up two days before and didn’t know what to do with it. The fawn was transported from Sandusky to Alpena and they had been bottle feeding it. The fawn was removed and placed with a rehabilitator and enforcement action taken.


CO Colton Gelinas participated in Leelanau Kid’s Fish Day. Over 3,500 bluegills were stocked in a small pond in Leelanau County. The weather held off and allowed close to 600 kids to participate in the event.

CO Ryan Andrews was on patrol along the Pere Marquette River in Lake County when he checked an angler who was fishing from the bank in a gear restricted area of the river. The contact revealed that the angler was fishing with live bait in an artificial-lure-only area. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was directly involved with a young child who had a near drowning experience on the Pere Marquette River. Killingbeck responded to a 911 call of two subjects clinging to an overturned canoe. Killingbeck’s knowledge of the river allowed him to quickly find the victims. With the help of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Killingbeck was able to crawl out on a log in a very high and fast moving current and grab onto the young child who was reported to have been trapped under water and under a canoe for four to five minutes. Killingbeck also helped an adult out of the river. The child was taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a downstate hospital, but is expected to survive.

Working a small lake in Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski stopped a couple of boats showing expired registrations that were in front of a large party onshore. While dealing with the expired registrations and no life jackets on board the boats, the DJ of the party started to blast the theme song from “Cops” over the speakers for the duration of his contact. After he cleared his stop, the party goers waved and thanked Publiski for his service.

CO Casey Varriale was on Hick’s Lake in Osceola County where he witnessed a man in a rowboat taking a nap. Varriale contacted the individual and noticed his rowboat was filling up with water. Varriale asked if the individual had a PFD, and the individual said he did not. The individual was towed safely to shore and was told he needed to have a life jacket on board. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Phil Hudson received a complaint that a subject was shooting deer using a crop damage permit and was just leaving the deer to rot in the field. During the course of the investigation, Hudson caught the suspect shooting a young buck that was in velvet. Antlered deer are not legal to shoot under crop damage permits. Charges are being sought through the Arenac County Prosecutor’s Office.

In March of 2017, CO Jon Warner received a complaint of an ice fishing shanty falling through the ice on Tawas Bay in Iosco County. The owner of the ice shanty was not able to be identified due to unsafe ice conditions. In late June, the same ice shanty washed up on shore and the owner was identified. Warner made contact with the owner and enforcement action was taken.

While working a group patrol on Secord Lake in Gladwin County, CO Steve Lockwood and Sgt. Jon Wood observed two anglers fishing from a dock. As the COs approached the dock, the anglers saw the patrol boat and quickly reeled in their lines and began to walk away from the water. The COs were able to make contact with both anglers before they disappeared. When asked about their fishing licenses, one of the anglers stated that it was “in his truck.” The second angler admitted to not having a license. The first angler was unable to locate his license in his truck and told the COs that he must have misplaced it. A quick check through the Retail Sales System revealed that the angler had not purchased a current fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Will Brickel, Jay Person and Sgt. Ron Kimmerly used their jet boat to assist with evacuations during the recent floods in Midland County. The COs dropped the boat on the water-covered roads just off Saginaw Street in downtown Midland. The COs evacuated 12 subjects and four dogs from their homes. The COs assisted with a number of other calls for rescues throughout the county.

While on patrol in Sanilac County, CO Mark Siemen was stopped by two kayakers on the Black River. The two kayakers stated they saw a small buck tangled up in a fence along the river bank. After getting a GPS location from the subjects, Siemen was able to locate the deer. The deer appeared to be very tired and worn out from being tangled in the fence and hanging upside down. With assistance from a neighboring property owner and off duty Deputy, Siemen was able to cut the deer from the fence. The deer had an injury to its leg from the fence but was able to swim and run away.

During a marine patrol on Stevenson Lake, COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas observed a personal watercraft operating at high speeds too close to a paddle boat and swimmers. The operator of the PWC was doing circles around the swimmers and speeding towards them while turning at the last moment to splash them. The COs stopped the man on the PWC and explained the numerous safety violations. The man stated he was just trying to splash his buddies and make waves for them, but admitted it was probably not a good idea. Enforcement action was taken.

While working the flood detail in Isabella County, CO Dan Robinson made contact with two individuals getting ready to kayak the flooded Chippewa River. Robinson gave the individuals several reasons why they should not go on the river, most of them related to the high water and swift current from the heavy rains. Later in the day, Robinson spotted the individuals’ vehicle at a county park. It appeared the subjects had gone down the river despite the warnings. After checking the area and interviewing the person at the pick-up site, it was discovered that three of the four people in their group were unaccounted for. Robinson was assisted by a Michigan State Police helicopter that was in the area already, two local fire departments and MSP troopers. All three subjects were located but three of their four kayaks were lost in the river as all four had capsized during their trip.


While patrolling the Barry State Game Area CO Richard Cardenas located an illegal camp site. Cardenas made contact with the subjects and discovered multiple violations at the camp site. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Sager Road near Dagget Lake, CO Richard Cardenas made contact with subjects on an ATV who were not wearing helmets, had no ORV registration sticker, and were riding double. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Richard Cardenas was patrolling Fine Lake in Barry County when he observed a personal watercraft violate the 100-foot rule. Cardenas stopped the vessel and made contact with the subject. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Richard Cardenas received a Report All Poaching complaint about a personal watercraft being operated recklessly on upper Crooked Lake in Barry County. Cardenas responded to the complaint and located a subject towing a tuber without an observer. Cardenas stopped the personal watercraft, made contact with the operator, and enforcement action was taken.

CO Richard Cardenas was patrolling Barry County when he contacted multiple people fishing on the Thornapple River at the McCann Road Dam. Subjects were found to be fishing without a fishing license and possessed fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chuck Towns responded to a complaint of an illegal camp in the Allegan State Game Area. The camp was located and found to be occupied by two subjects who had recently become homeless. One subject was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant and the other was given information on local available resources for assistance.

While observing anglers along the Grand River near the Webber Dam in Ionia County, CO Cary Foster located two subjects using cast nets, which is illegal on inland waters. Further investigation revealed one walleye, 21 undersized largemouth bass and five bluegill were among the 59 fish taken illegally. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Matthew Neterer, while patrolling Michigan Center Lake in Jackson County, observed a man fishing from a dock. Neterer approached and asked to see the man’s fishing license. The man exhaled loudly, got up from his chair and stated, “You made me spill my beer.” The man produced his driver’s license and stated that he had purchased his fishing license online. A quick check of the retail sales system revealed he had not. When confronted, the man stated that he was a law abiding citizen and began to name COs that he had encountered in the past. He went on to say that he had turned in a poacher that had illegally killed “one of the biggest bucks killed in 2016.” Neterer tried to explain to the man that his retail sales system history showed a sporadic history of purchasing fishing licenses in the past 10 years. The man cut Neterer off and stated, “You don’t have to explain anything to me.” After receiving his citation for fishing without a license, the man stated that he “regretted turning in the poacher.”

CO Matthew Neterer, while checking for fishing activity in the Lansing area, overheard radio traffic from the Michigan State Police advising that a suspect provided a false name and had just fled on foot from a traffic stop. Neterer was in the area and helped set up a perimeter for a K-9 search. As CO Neterer was taking up a perimeter point, he observed a subject matching the description walking down the sidewalk. Neterer approached him and asked for his identification. The suspect fled behind a building and Neterer gave chase. He pursued the suspect for several blocks before a Michigan State Police unit was able to cut him off. Neterer placed the suspect in custody and turned him over to Michigan State Police. It was later determined that he was wanted on felony warrants.

CO Matthew Neterer responded to a call in Meridian Township of a sick deer wandering the roads of a subdivision. Upon arrival Neterer observed a young buck lying in a driveway of a nearby home. The buck was unfazed by human presence and appeared to be very sick. Neterer was assisted by two Meridian Township police officers and they were able to move the deer to a safe location where it could be dispatched. Neterer fielded questions and concerns from the nearby residents about CWD. Neterer assured the complainant that the deer would be tested at the MSU wildlife disease lab and that they would be provided with a necropsy report.


After coming off shift, CO Joseph Deppen received a phone call from dispatch involving an injured juvenile bald eagle that fell out of its nest after a storm knocked a large tree to the ground. The caller reported the juvenile bald eagle may have a broken wing and the mother eagle may also be trapped beneath the fallen debris. Deppen contacted CO Brad Silorey and both COs launched their patrol boat on Lake St. Clair and proceeded to the callers location on a nearby island. With the male bald eagle circling and watching, the juvenile bald eagle was located and rescued from the fallen tree. Using chainsaws, the COs cut their way through the rest of the tree and were not able to locate the mother eagle. The juvenile eagle was taken to a local rehabber. The following day, the juvenile eagle was sent to Michigan State University for surgery. Veterinarians hope to use pins, screws and plates to stabilize the wing for the juvenile eagle and nurse it back to health.

While on patrol in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen responded to a call from the local sheriff’s department regarding complaints about a dead spotted fawn hanging from a tractor on the side of the road. Deppen went to the location and photographed the deceased spotted fawn hanging from the bucket of a tractor with a sign attached. Residents soon came out and tried to explain they were hanging the deer to make drivers aware to slow down and stop speeding past their house. Deppen explained they could not be in possession of a spotted fawn and there were other ways to notify drivers to slow down without hanging up deceased wildlife. The residents claimed they were aware they could not possess the spotted fawn, but they still wanted to send a message to people driving by. Enforcement action taken.

While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen noticed a vessel reeling in a good number of walleye. A license check and safety inspection yielded two short walleye and the anglers did not have a fire extinguisher aboard. Enforcement action was taken.

COs David Schaumburger and Brad Silorey, while on marine patrol, approached a vessel with three occupants fishing for walleye. Upon making contact, the COs asked how many fish and what the smallest walleye they had was. One angler stated they had four walleye and two were 13 inches – -legal for the St. Clair River. The COs measured the fish and found two to be undersized, 12 inches. The angler stated that one of the walleye had been floating down the river and they just picked it up, but did not have an excuse for the second undersized fish. Enforcement action was taken

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