Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 24, 2017


CO David Miller received a complaint of a group of hunters camped on commercial forest land, and the complainant also reported seeing two of them on ORVs with an uncased bow and an uncased gun. Miller located the camp and found one hunter with an uncased bow, and a short time later Miller stopped a side-by-side and discovered a concealed weapon that the owner did not have a permit for. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO Brian Lasanen contacted a group of duck hunters. One of the hunters was using a shotgun that could hold more than the three shell limit. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO David Miller made contact with the operator of a vehicle that was legally shining for deer. The operator asked Miller if he remembered him. Miller did not. The driver said that Miller had issued him a ticket over 20 years ago for shining in November with a weapon in possession. He said he reads the rule book every year so he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

CO Jared Ferguson was on patrol in Dickinson County when he came across two individuals target practicing in a state-owned gravel pit. The subjects had considerable litter associated with their target shooting, including a shot up television. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jared Ferguson and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted interviews of suspects believed to be responsible for a string of illegal bear baits that the COs, along with CO Brian Bacon, had been investigating. The three subjects admitted to placing the illegal bear baits because of travel distances.

CO Jeffrey Dell contacted a deer hunter. The man had set up a tree stand on state land without any identification on it and he was carrying a concealed weapon in his motor vehicle without a concealed pistol license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jeffrey Dell assisted Menominee County deputies in removing a man who had driven intoxicated into a woman’s backyard and refused to leave. The man did not remember anything and had nearly driven into the river. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Michael Evink and Rob Freeborn assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in conducting a search warrant on a local residence where the suspect was believed to be possessing firearms when he currently was prohibited because of a convicted felon status. Several weapons were found at the residence and seized by ATF. The investigation is ongoing.

COs Chris Lynch and Pat Hartsig checked waterfowl hunters. Many violations were encountered that day including hunting waterfowl with no base license, no state waterfowl license, no federal duck stamp, unsigned federal duck stamp, no PFD and railroad trespass.

CO Bobby Watson received a tip of some suspicious activity on a local duck hunting lake. Watson conducted a covert patrol in hopes the potential violator would return. Watson soon observed a boat shooting at a duck while still under power. Watson also observed the boat travel up the nearby creek mouth, presumably to jump shoot ducks. Watson waited for the boat to return from the creek at which point contact was made. It was discovered that the owner of the boat was not in possession of any life jackets, was unable to provide a state waterfowl license, and was in possession of a loaded firearm while under power. A confession was also obtained regarding the duck which was shot while under power. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kevin Postma followed a fresh set of tire tracks onto state land. Knowing the vehicle had to come out the same direction it went in, Postma hid his truck and positioned himself in a location in which he could quickly make contact with the occupant(s). As the vehicle approached, Postma stepped into view and made contact with the suspected grouse hunter. Postma asked the driver how his day was going. The driver looked over at his uncased and loaded shotgun and advised, “Well, I’ll tell you in a minute.” Enforcement action was taken for possessing an uncased/loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Jon Busken was patrolling in southern Luce County when he made contact with two occupants in a motor vehicle. Busken observed an uncased shot gun in the center counsel and smelled the distinct odor of marijuana. One joint was found in the vehicle. In addition, the operator’s driver’s license was found to be suspended. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Chad Baldwin and Duane Budreau were patrolling the Boyne River for fishing activity when they witnessed several individuals snagging salmon from the river bank. After watching the suspects for some time, the COs made contact with them and asked where they were keeping the fish they caught. The first individual showed the COs the fish that they had hidden under leaves and debris inside the woods. After confronting them about the method they used to catch the fish, the suspects stated that they thought it was OK to keep the snagged fish because they had let a bunch of fish go before keeping these. Law enforcement action was taken.

On her day off, CO Andrea Erratt of Charlevoix County received two complaints about hunters putting out way too much bait. Erratt patrolled to private land in Antrim County and contacted the landowner by his camper. The hunter agreed to show Erratt his hunting site that was baited with over 25 gallons of corn in feeding troughs, corn with molasses in buckets, sugar beets and apples. The hunter said he thought he could bait with five gallons. Erratt ticketed the hunter for baiting deer with more than two gallons and explained he needed to spread the bait out over a 10-foot by 10-foot area. On Saturday evening, Erratt and Sgt. Mike Feagan patrolled to the site of the second baiting complaint on state land by Harmon Road and located a truck nearby. Erratt and Feagan checked the hunters as they came out from putting more bait by their blinds. Both hunters had more than 20 gallons of corn, sugar beets, apples and carrots on the ground in front of their blinds. Erratt ticketed both hunters for baiting deer with more than two gallons and Feagan warned one hunter for cutting down trees to make a shooting lane.

Sgt. Mark DePew received a complaint that several individuals were snagging salmon on the Boyne River. DePew arrived and conducted surveillance of several individuals. After less than five minutes, DePew observed two individuals attempting to snag fish and one angler keep a foul hooked fish. Enforcement action was taken.


Sgt. Dan Bigger was on patrol when he stopped to observe a group of waterfowl hunters picking up their spread of decoys. Bigger stayed out of sight and observed the group get into their boat and start toward shore. As Bigger observed the incoming vessel, he noted a subject straddling the bow with his legs and in waders. Upon making contact at the boat launch, Bigger advised of the safety issue with the subject riding on the bow and enforcement action was taken.

CO Rebecca Hopkins took a complaint of an illegal ORV trail on state land that included a newly built bridge crossing a creek and a log road built over the adjacent wetland. The ORV trail led to multiple state land tree stands with cultivated food plots and greater than two gallons of bait. Hopkins and Sgt. Dan Bigger contacted two subjects hunting the area who admitted to riding into the area on an ATV not designed for passengers, transporting uncased crossbows, without helmets. One of the hunters did not have his deer kill tags afield and instead presented his muskie and sturgeon fish tags. Citations were issued for ORV operation and license violations. The subjects were given time to remove the logs and bridge, and numerous warnings were given for land damage, bait, and additional ORV violations.

CO William Kinney received a complaint of a wildfire that had occurred in the Cadillac area. The individual had attempted to burn some tall standing grass behind his residence. The fire quickly escaped and ran up hill through a stand of red pines. The local fire department was able to extinguish the flames before the fire could grow in strength. Later that evening, the fire reignited and took back off through the pine trees and up the hill behind the individual’s house. The fire department responded for a second time, as well as the DNR fire division, and the fire was extinguished yet again. Enforcement action was taken for failing to prevent the spread of the fire and burning on a no-burn day.

COs Scott MacNeill and Sam Koscinski worked marine patrol on the Manistee River during peak fishing hours. While on the river, the COs encountered heavy volumes of fisherman on the banks of the river and they issued multiple fishing citations for snagging related charges.


CO John Huspen followed-up on a camp that was found without a valid permit in Crawford County. Huspen located the owner hunting close to the camp in an illegal ground blind with a crossbow. Further investigation determined the subject to be in possession of a controlled substance. A loaded shotgun was also located in the hunter’s motor vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Ben McAteer and Sgt. Brian Olsen responded to a complaint of possible illegal deer hunting in Crawford County. The COs arrived in the area and observed fresh ORV tracks heading from the subject’s cabin into an area closed to ORV use. After following the tracks, a hunter was observed hunting over a bait pile that exceeded the two-gallon limit. The COs returned to the deer camp and made contact with two additional hunters. All hunting blinds were checked and the baited areas exceeded the two-gallon limit. One hunter was determined to be hunting intoxicated without a license and carrying a concealed pistol. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Craig Neal and Sgt. Brian Olsen were patrolling Roscommon County when they noticed a man without hunter orange standing in a marsh with a gun. The COs made contact with the hunter in the woods along the marsh. By this time, he had put on an orange vest and appeared to be small-game hunting. When asked what he was doing in the marsh, the hunter stated he was trying to kill some geese. The hunter was found to be in possession of lead shot which is illegal when hunting waterfowl and the season had closed the day before. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Sam Schluckbier checked a group of waterfowl hunters exiting a field during an early morning patrol in Kalkaska County. The hunters were carrying out eight Canada geese they had harvested. Three of the four hunters presented valid hunting licenses. The fourth hunter failed to purchase a license prior because he claimed the line was too long at the local sporting goods store. Schluckbier confiscated the unlawfully taken birds and a citation was issued for hunting waterfowl without a license.


While patrolling a local state game area, CO Kyle Bucholtz spoke with multiple hunters and checked many deer. Many of the hunters were successful on their hunts despite the warm weather. The state game area was well-populated compared to years prior, but no infractions were found.

COs Bob Hobkirk and Kyle Bucholtz responded to a roll-over accident. An elderly subject crashed into a farm field and was unable to exit the heavily damaged car. The COs assisted an area deputy with steadying the unstable car and calming the subject until the fire department arrived on scene and removed the subject from the car.

CO Robert Hobkirk and Sgt. Scott Brown were checking fishermen in Lake Huron off of Port Austin when they checked a charter boat that was using more than three lines per person. The violation was discussed with the charter captain who was contacted later and cited for the violation.

CO Seth Rhodea responded to complaint of a subject possibly target practicing in an unsafe manner shooting onto his neighbor’s property with rounds reportedly coming very close to the complainant while he worked on his property. Rhodea contacted the suspect at his house and while waiting for him to come outside to speak with him several children told Rhodea that their dad had gotten a deer that day. When the subject came outside, Rhodea checked the deer and found that it had never been tagged and the tag for the deer was still in the hunter’s wallet. A citation was issued for failing to immediately tag the deer and warning was given for the target shooting violations.


CO Justin Ulberg watched an angler catch a salmon that was foul hooked by the Rockford Dam. After removing the hook from the fish’s back, a nearby angler came over and took possession of the fish and placed it up on the shore. Contact was made with the angler who caught the fish and he advised Ulberg that he told the other angler it was foul hooked and he didn’t want anything to do with the fish being kept. Ulberg contacted the subject who retained possession of the fish and enforcement action was taken.

On a late night patrol on the Rogue River, CO Justin Ulberg observed a group of anglers who appeared to be purposely trying to snag fish. During the observation, Ulberg observed one angler keep two salmon that were clearly foul hooked. The anglers were contacted by Sgt. Jeff Rabbers as the group was packing up to leave. A confession was received from the angler who kept the foul hooked fish. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Greg Patten received a complaint from the Michigan State Police regarding a subject who stole another person’s trail camera and urinated in his blind. The camera owner tracked the camera down and found it placed over another hunting spot. There was more than two gallons of bait at the suspect’s hunting spot. Patten contacted the suspect and enforcement action was taken for more than two gallons of bait not spread out over a 10-foot by 10-foot area.

CO Greg Patten assisted Michigan State Police with a search for two breaking and entering suspects. After the search, they went to one of the suspect’s residence and found several illegal marijuana plants growing. Michigan State Police will be taking enforcement action.

CO Greg Patten checked a deer processor at about 3 p.m. and located a deer that was tagged with a license purchased at 12:30 p.m.  that day. Patten contacted the person who killed the deer and he confessed to killing the deer without a license. The subject showed Patten his tree stand with bait and a trail camera in front of it. He said that he did not intend to shoot a deer that day. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Greg Patten reported attending a trial for a subject, who was apprehended for a second time, operating an unlicensed charter boat. The subject pleaded guilty and was sentenced to $625 fines and costs and six months of probation.


CO Daniel Prince investigated a complaint where a subject shot a big brown bat with an airsoft gun in his home and posted it on the internet. Prince was able to educate the subject regarding laws and ethics with bats. The subject was very apologetic and remorseful and removed the video from the website.

CO Brandon Hartleben was patrolling Pinckney State Recreation Area and noticed a large number of vehicles at the Halfmoon Lake Access Site. Hartleben checked the site and discovered there was a heated disagreement between two competing bass tournaments, both using the location. One of the tournaments had registered correctly using the online registration system, while the other tournament organizer failed to register, and failed to check if any other tournaments were registered for this location. After diffusing the situation, Hartleben met separately with each group to ensure that both tournaments could still occur simultaneously without any undue hardship. The unregistered tournament organizer was then cited for failing to register a bass tournament.

COs Pete Purdy and Jason Becker followed-up on a Facebook complaint of a subject taking a deer without a license. Contact was made with the suspect, who confessed to hunting without a license, transport untagged deer, and fail to meet hunter safety requirements. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jason McCullough completed a recreational trespass investigation where a subject drove his vehicle onto a farm without permission. The land owner, who was out scouting, noticed a vehicle parked on his property and confronted the driver. The driver was found to be in possession of an uncased shotgun and stated he was just checking things out. The landowner told the trespasser to get off his property and not come back. McCullough contacted the subject and the driver stated he just tended to wander and wanted to check the property out. McCullough advised the subject it was not a good idea to trespass on private property, especially when he drove by a large “No Trespassing” sign. A warrant was sought through the local prosecutor’s office.


CO Travis Dragomer received a RAP complaint from DNR dispatch regarding an over limit of bait. Dragomer responded to the location of the complaint and located two very large piles of bait at two different hunting locations. One of the locations had approximately 15 gallons of bait in front of a tree stand. The bait included carrots, apples, corn and acorns. Enforcement action taken.

CO Jacob Griffin was on patrol in Oakland County when he discovered a subject who is known to have left multiple stands out on state land for multiple years. Griffin spoke with the subject who admitted to leaving the stands out due to how hard they are to bring in every year. Griffin informed the subject that the tree stands must be removed every year. Enforcement action was taken.

While checking waterfowl hunters in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen heard two ORVs on the next street over. Deppen waited and both ORVs came to an intersection and proceeded down the adjacent road. A traffic stop was conducted. The ORVs were not registered and they were operating on a roadway closed to ORV traffic. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Matt Zultak made contact with a subject who was hunting at a venue which had been under observation for a couple of months. Enforcement action was taken for early baiting, over baiting, early set up of a blind on state land, no name and address on the blind and damaging state vegetation.

CO Matt Zultak made contact with subjects actively trespassing on private farm lands. Upon contact, Zultak stopped a criminal sexual conduct sex crime to a minor that was in progress. Zultak requested back-up from the Lapeer County Sheriff Department. The incident was turned over to the Lapeer County Sheriff Department for further investigation.

CO Christopher Knights was searching some social media sites and came across an individual that posted a picture of a dead deer. The picture looked suspicious, so Knights did some research and was able to find a name affiliated with the picture. Knights discovered that the individual shot the deer on Oct. 1, but the individual hadn’t purchased a license until after legal shooting hours. Knights interviewed the individual and he admitted to shooting the deer than purchasing his license. Enforcement action was taken

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