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Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 27, 2017


CO Ethen Mapes was on patrol when he came across a bear hunter who failed to purchase a license before chasing bear with his dogs. Law enforcement action was taken for chasing bear without a license.

CO Brian Lasanen checked a group of bear hunters in Ontonagon County with a bear that was shot and field dressed but wasn’t tagged with a kill tag. The hunters advised they usually tag a bear when they get it home. Lasanen had them tag the bear and enforcement action was taken for fail to immediately attach a kill tag.

CO Dennis Gast worked marine and fishing patrols on Houghton County lakes as activity increased due to warmer weather. One angler was cited for fish without a license and several warnings were given to others for defective safety equipment on vessels.

CO Doug Hermanson contacted two bear hunters sitting in a vehicle on a Keweenaw County trail. One hunter had a rifle next to the front seat that wasn’t cased and neither hunter disclosed that they were carrying pistols under a CPL permit. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Doug Hermanson contacted a member of a group after they cut live trees to make an enclosure while camping on state land on Keweenaw point. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dave Miller interviewed a trapper who obtained and tagged his fisher/marten tags after he trapped a marten. Proper tagging instruction was given.


COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn assisted with a fatal accident on US-2. The accident shut down US-2 for nearly four hours. The COs blocked US-2 to ensure safety for all responders. Freeborn and Evink used their knowledge of the area to assist in creating the reroute of traffic and assisted at rural turns in the detour.

CO Pat Hartsig and Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon were patrolling for goose hunters when central dispatch gave out a complaint of hunters that were hunting too close to a residence. After responding and speaking with the complainants, it was found that the goose hunters had shot across the river and their shots hit the house and deck. When leaving the residence, Hartsig received a phone call from a hunter he had spoken to regarding questions he had about trespass while hunting. It turns out the caller was the suspect in the incident. Hartsig informed the caller to stay put while he launched his boat. Upon contacting the waterfowl hunters, Hartsig and Fitzgibbon noticed the hunters using a Go-Pro to film their hunt. After viewing their footage, it was found that the only goose they had shot had flown in front of the complainant’s house and two of the hunters fired at the goose and unfortunately the house. Enforcement action was taken regarding the careless discharge of a firearm into a safety zone.

CO Robert Freeborn and Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon stopped a 4-wheeler operating along a state highway. Freeborn advised the operator that he could not operate along a state highway. When Freeborn asked for the operator’s driver’s license, he was handed an out of state ID card. Freeborn ran a file check on the subject and found that his license had been suspended for alcohol violations. A citation was issued.

CO Robert Freeborn participated in the annual “coffee with a cop” program at the Manistique senior center. Freeborn along with Michigan State Police and local police agencies all gathered at the senior center and had coffee with the local senior citizens and answered any questions they had about the career in law enforcement. Freeborn was able to answer several fish and game and ORV questions. The senior citizens were glad to see the DNR participate in their event.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he observed an unlicensed ORV with two occupants on it when not designed for being operated down the county road. A traffic stop was conducted and contact was made. The driver, who had a suspended driver’s license, was placed under arrest and lodged in the Delta County Jail.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he observed an ORV being operated on a snowmobile trail and the driver not wearing a helmet. A traffic stop was conducted and contact was made. The driver had a warrant out for his arrest and had a revoked driver’s license. The subject was placed under arrest and lodged in the Delta County Jail.


CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County checked two ladies kayaking from Lake Charlevoix into Round Lake. They said they were headed back to their home on Lake Michigan and neither had a life preserver. Erratt ticketed the owner of the kayaks for failing to provide personal flotation devices for the kayaks and loaned them two life preservers so they could safely complete their voyage.

While patrolling Six Mile Lake, CO Andrea Erratt checked two men fishing from a paddleboat. One fisherman reeled in a sunfish as she approached; however, neither had purchased a fishing license. They said she had checked their relatives earlier in the summer in the same paddleboat as they headed out to fish without licenses. Both anglers were ticketed for fishing without a license.

While patrolling Lake Charlevoix, CO Andrea Erratt and Charlevoix Marine Deputy Cameron McDonnell stopped a jet ski operating directly behind a large boat while another personal watercraft jumped the same wake behind him. Erratt ticketed the jet ski operator for operating at greater than slow no wake speed within 150 feet behind a boat and warned his daughter for jumping the wake too close to the same boat.

CO Andrea Erratt received a Report All Poaching complaint about a man camping illegally near French Farm Flooding. Due to past overuse and dune erosion, a state land use order restricts camping near French Farm Flooding to numbered sites. While scouting for hunting sites, the complainant had encountered a camper who had ridden his bike back in the woods to his tent site. Erratt located the man who said he had been camping there all summer. Erratt ticketed him for failing to post a camp card permit and warned him for camping more than 15 days in one location on state land and in a closed area near French Farm Flooding.

CO Andrea Erratt attended a hunter safety field day attended by over 40 students at the Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club. Erratt assisted with a firearm handling station and made a presentation about DNR laws and conservation officer’s duties and responsibilities.


While patrolling the Betsie River on foot, Sgt. Dan Bigger was advised that subjects were fishing within 100 feet of the Homestead Dam. Bigger made his way through the woods, found an observation point, and observed an angler consistently cast into the restricted area. As Bigger began making his way to the angler, he yelled “fish on.” Bigger stood on the shoreline and the angler didn’t even notice he was there as he walked by trying to land the fish he had on that had been caught in the restricted area. After landing the fish, the angler noticed Bigger standing there. Bigger pointed out the sign indicating the 100 foot rule that the angler was standing by and casting into the rushing waters of the dam. The angler admitted he had been trying to get his line where the fish were trying to move into position to get upstream. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Colton Gelinas received a Report All Poaching complaint about snagging on the Platte River. Gelinas responded to the complaint and observed a male suspect to be snagging. He watched the male catch a fish in the tail and proceeded to keep it. Gelinas made contact with the male suspect, issued him a citation and seized his fish.

CO Colton Gelinas was on foot patrol on the Platte River near the lower weir when he observed a fisherman foul hook a fish and put it on a stringer. He made contact with the fisherman, issued him a citation and proceeded to seize his fish.

CO Colton Gelinas was on patrol in Leelanau County when he observed a black pickup truck parked on the side of public land. He observed deer bait in the back of the truck. At this time legal baiting for deer was still a few days away. Gelinas watched the suspect exit the woods with a bait bag in hand. The suspect brought Gelinas to his tree stand, where he observed corn to be scattered on the ground near the stand. The suspect admitted to baiting; however, thought he was legal to bait. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Hopkins worked with CO Mueller at Tippy Dam during an assigned parks initiative. Contacts were very low based on limited attendance and activity. Hopkins and Mueller each issued on citation for “old fashioned” snagging after watching two subjects jerk spoon-like lures eight to 10 times per cast.


CO Mike Hearn located a bear bait station that had been set-up illegally by a hunter in Kalkaska County. The hunter was using several unlawful metal, plastic and glass related items at the bait site. Later that evening, Hearn returned to the site and made contact with the hunter. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz made contact with a group of bear houndsmen in a remote swamp in Kalkaska County. The COs observed the group as they were about to harvest a treed bear. The group had 13 dogs, five more than the eight allowed by law in the chase of a bear. A citation was issued to the licensed hunter for the violation.

While patrolling the Sand Lakes quiet area on the Grand Traverse/Kalkaska County line CO Mike Hearn passed a vehicle operating in the opposite direction. Hearn could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. A traffic stop was made on the vehicle and the subsequent investigation determined that a passenger, who was a licensed medical marijuana patient, was smoking illegally in the vehicle. On top of that, the driver was found to be operating without a valid driver’s license. The driver was arrested for the violation.

Cos Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz contacted a group of hunters in pursuit of a bear. One of the hunters was using a side by side UTV with dog boxes located in the cargo area. The subject was operating on a suspended and expired driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.

COs John Huspen, Ben McAteer and Sgt. Brian Olsen assisted with a search for a suicidal subject in Crawford County. Olsen and Huspen located the highly intoxicated subject walking in the woods. The suspect agreed to be transported to the hospital for a psychological exam.


COs Josh Russell and Michael Haas responded to a lost person situated off of the Heartland Trail in Vestaburg. The COs, along with two Michigan State troopers, began looking for the lost subject who was in the swamp. The COs located the lost subject in the swamp and escorted him to safety.

While on marine patrol on Big Whitefish Lake in Montcalm County, COs Josh Russell and Ken Lowell made contact with two anglers. Upon checking for fishing licenses, it was determined that the female angler was fishing without a license. She claimed that she had purchased a license online. Unfortunately she was unable to produce any evidence that she had purchased a license. She was ticketed for fishing without a fishing license.

CO Joe Myers was contacted by the Isabella/Gratiot Conservation Nature Preserve Association regarding a possible recreational trespass issue on the preserve. The last time the CO was there illegal bait was discovered but no suspect could be found. This time around a tripod style blind was built in close proximity to the bait. The complainant had also provided the name of the hunter who was leasing the property this year. The CO made contact with the hunter at the property. The hunter admitted to placing the bait early and confirmed the bait and blind was his. The suspect was cited for baiting out of season.

CO Will Brickel responded to a complaint from Bridgeport PD of a 35 to 40 year old male subject hunting from a children’s playhouse. Brickel responded to the area and located a subject that stated he had shot a deer earlier in the morning but had taken it to a processor. Upon further investigation it was determined the subject did not have a license to be hunting in the early doe season, was not wearing hunter orange, was hunting without permission in a safety zone, tagged the animal with someone else’s deer license, and the above said license was purchased after he had taken the animal. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Zach Bauer was working an area of the Three Rivers State Game Area when he observed a pit bull run past his location. Bauer followed the dog and located a subject standing in a field with a loaded shotgun and not wearing hunter orange. The subject was found to not have a hunting license, but denied hunting, even though it was obvious that he was hunting. The subject was cited for possessing a firearm in an area frequented by wild game without a hunting license and educated regarding the hunter orange violation.

While working the Rockford Dam along the Rogue River, CO David Rodgers sat and watched activity after getting several complaints during the week of snagging. Rodgers watched an individual on the wall using the “Grand River Twitch” technique. The subject hooked a nice fish, netted it, and placed it on a stringer. Unfortunately for him, Rodgers saw that the orange yarn fly had hooked the underside of the fish. When the subject left with the fish, Rodgers confronted him and told him what he saw. The subject admitted that it was close to the mouth and that he was a regular at the Sixth Street Dam, where he stated he had perfected his fishing technique. A citation was issued.

CO Justin Ulberg received a report of possible drug paraphernalia located in the Rogue River State Game Area. Ulberg responded to the location and found a “one-pot” meth lab. Contact was made with the Michigan State Police drug team, which came to the location to clean up the site.

During the recent fall salmon run, CO Justin Ulberg has investigated several complaints of subjects snagging and keeping foul hooked fish. Ulberg made contact with several young anglers, who were found to be in violations of attempting to snag, possessing foul hooked fish, and using illegal gear. The younger anglers were educated on proper fishing techniques, legal equipment, and where fish needed to be hooked to legally keep them.


COs Mike Drexler and Brandon Hartleben worked a busy marine patrol on the Portage Lake Chain of Lakes when they contacted a vessel with four anglers on board. During the check it was discovered none of the anglers on board had their fishing license on them, the vessel was displaying an expired registration, and they were missing a type IV PFD. Enforcement action taken.

COs Brandon Hartleben and Mike Drexler attended a Hunter Safety Class that was held at the Chelsea Rod & Gun Club. The COs provided information to the students on hunting laws, licensing, and safety issues. The COs then took questions from the 33 students in attendance and from others in the audience that had accompanied the students.

CO Pete Purdy was on patrol when a vehicle following his patrol vehicle began driving erratically. It began to tailgate Purdy’s patrol truck and swerving, crossing the center and fog lines. Purdy pulled his vehicle to the shoulder of the road to allow the vehicle to pass. As it did the vehicle almost struck Purdy’s patrol truck. Purdy conducted a traffic stop and learned the driver was driving in this manner because she was arguing with her boyfriend who was the passenger in the vehicle. Marijuana was found in the vehicle and the driver was unable to provide proof of insurance. Enforcement action taken.

CO Jeff Goss received a public complaint from a man who stated that he had trail cam pictures of a large buck that was killed during the youth season. The complainant saw pictures of the buck posted on an online post and recognized the deer. The comments on the buck pole website mentioned that the deer was killed several miles from where the trail cam photos were taken, raising suspicion about the legality of the kill. Upon checking the complainant’s property, evidence of the illegal trespassing and taking of the trophy deer were located. With the help of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, one of the suspects was located and a search warrant for the suspect’s house was obtained. Later that night, COs Jeff Goss, Troy Ludwig and Jason McCullough executed the warrant. Two days later, the second suspect was located and a search warrant was obtained for his house as well. Goss, Acting Sgt. Todd Thorn, COs Chris Maher and Josh Jackson executed the second warrant. After both search warrants were obtained and searches were completed, Goss had recovered the deer, cellphone evidence, and DNA evidence linking the suspects to the crime. Both suspects gave full written confessions. Multiple charges are being sought through the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office. District 9 CO David Schaumburger also assisted with the case.


While checking hunters on Lake St. Clair, COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey noticed a vessel picking up geese for a group that was hunting close to shore. The vessel was stopped, and during the check the vessel was found to not have any registration numbers and there was also a loaded shotgun aboard. Enforcement action was taken.

While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen observed a boat with three people on board. With the aid of his binoculars, Deppen witnessed all three of the occupants fishing. When Deppen contacted the vessel it was discovered the anglers were short one life jacket, no registration for the vessel was aboard, and one angler said he did not have time to purchase a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brad Silorey was checking anglers returning from fishing at a local DNR access site. Silorey contacted two anglers while they were loading their boat on the trailer. The anglers told Silorey they had caught some bluegills, and that was all. Silorey checked the anglers’ fishing license and then asked to look at the fish. Silorey opened their cooler and saw two undersized largemouth bass mixed in with the pan fish. Silorey questioned the anglers, and with a sigh, they stated they knew they had them. Additionally, Silorey found an undersized northern pike buried at the bottom of all the fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Kovach received a complaint of subjects target shooting in Hewitt’s Pit. The subjects were suspected of shooting at tannerite which is an explosive target and illegal to shoot at on all state lands in Michigan. Kovach was able to locate the subjects and observe as the group shot the explosive device. Contact was made with the group and enforcement action was taken.

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