CO Brian Lasanen and Sgt. Grant Emery responded to a Report All Poaching complaint of a person who shot a monster 9-point buck at night. The COs interviewed the suspect who admitted that he shot the 9-point Friday night and then went out and purchased a deer license on Saturday morning. The deer and rifle were confiscated and the subject was ticketed for taking a deer illegally.
CO Denny Gast was flagged down near Sidnaw and asked by a hunter to help him load a nice 8-point buck on his truck. The successful hunter was worn out from dragging it out of the woods for the last two hours. Gast helped the man and educated him on the requirement to immediately tag your deer after harvesting it.
CO David Miller sat on a camp just before dark and made contact with its hunters as they returned just after dark. Miller located a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, three uncased firearms in motor vehicles and hunters not possessing a valid kill tag. Law enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Marc Pomroy and CO Nathan Sink went to interview an individual who supposedly shot two deer while only having purchased a single kill tag. After interviewing the individual, he admitted to shooting a deer and was unable to get the deer out of the woods due to the steep terrain. The individual then went back to his residence where he shot another deer later that evening. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jared Ferguson received information regarding two dead eagles that were found in Dickinson County. Ferguson responded to the complaint to recover the dead birds and quickly found evidence to develop a suspect. One of the birds was fitted with a live time GPS transmitter that had gone into mortality mode. After a short interview with the suspect, a confession was obtained for killing the two eagles. The subject stated he had caught both in his leg hold trap sets, and had shot each with a .22. A warrant request is being submitted through the prosecutor’s office.
COs Michael Evink and Rob Freeborn conducted a routine taxidermy inspection. The COs followed up on one set of antlers of concern. The investigation turned up a 75-year-old mother covering for her son. After an interview with mother and son it was determined that the mother did not shoot the deer but bought a tag for her son so he could keep hunting after he already filled his tags. Both the mother and son received citations for loaning/borrowing another’s tag as well as improper tagging. The deer and firearm were also seized.
COs Brett Gustafson and Kevin Postma utilized one of the District unmarked vehicles to apprehend a subject on several warrants. The subject lives on Neebish Island and has avoided enforcement officers on several occasions in the past. Gustafson and Postma got on to the island undetected and set-up surveillance on the subject’s residence. After about an hour and a half, Postma observed activity, as the subject exited the residence to feed his dog. The subject was arrested on two DNR warrants and one tribal warrant out of Chippewa County. The subject was lodged in the Chippewa County jail.
CO Calvin Smith received a complaint of a vehicle that had not moved for nearly four days and was partially blocking a road. Smith followed a set of ORV tracks from a nearby camp and with only minutes left of legal shooting time remaining, Smith waited for the hunter to return. Approximately 15 minutes later, Smith observed the lights of an ATV and made contact with the hunter. Smith asked the hunter if he had a blind with some bait back there and the hunter replied, “No I just walk the logging trails and hunt the clear cuts.” Smith also observed that there was not a firearm on the ATV and asked the hunter where his gun was? The hunter replied, “oh, I hunt with a pistol and just leave it in the woods.” The story quickly started to unravel when he and Smith walked back on the hunter’s illegal ORV trail that led to his illegal blind and a bait pile of nearly a ton of sugar beets. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Postma and Sault Tribe CO Mike Povey interviewed a Sault Tribe trapper with untagged traps. The trapper was caught on trail cameras that were deployed by Postma after locating the untagged traps. While talking with the trapper, the COs noticed a pine martin carcass in the bed of the individual’s truck along with other untagged traps. It was determined that the pine martin had not been tagged. Enforcement action is being sought through Tribal court.
CO Andrea Albert received a trespassing complaint that a hunter had shot a deer on the complainant’s property during the firearm deer season. Investigation of the gut pile left on the complainant’s property led the CO to believe that a small buck was shot and then dragged off the property to an access road. Follow-up with the suspect not only found that he was trespassing, but he had also shot a 2-point buck in violation of antler point restrictions in Antrim County.
While patrolling the Jordan River Valley, CO Andrea Albert contacted a subject slowly driving through the area. When asked if his rifle was loaded, he stated yes so he could quickly jump out and shoot a deer if he saw one. A ticket was issued for the loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Andrea Albert followed-up with a suspicious tag on a 6-point deer that was at a processor. An interview with a husband and wife found that the husband had shot an 8-point deer in the morning and a 6-point in the evening of the same day. He had his wife buy a license to tag the second deer so he could continue hunting. A reminder was given regarding the limit for antlered deer per hunter is two and a ticket was issued for using another’s license.
COs Andrea Albert and Steve Speigl conducted deer decoy patrols in Antrim County. The patrols yielded several violations including loaded firearms in motor vehicles, attempting to take game from a motor vehicle, hunter’s orange violations and one warrant arrest.
On the second to the last day of the firearm deer season, CO Andrea Albert contacted two hunters driving to their hunting location. A traffic stop found that both the hunters had their rifles loaded in a motor vehicle. The passenger, who admitted to hunting during the season, also had not purchased a deer license yet. Tickets were issued for the violations.
CO Tim Rosochacki helped with the annual Shop with a Cop held at the Gaylord Walmart.
CO Colton Gelinas and CO Casey Varriale were on patrol in Grand Traverse County staging for a shining patrol. The COs observed a vehicle with several equipment violations and conducted a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, the driver was found to be in possession of a loaded uncased rifle. The COs also found a loaded handgun in the passenger seat of the vehicle; the driver did not have a license to carry a concealed handgun. Further investigation showed the handgun was also unregistered. The driver was taken into custody and the COs submitted a report to the Grand Traverse Prosecutor’s Office for felony charges.
CO Colton Gelinas assisted Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department with a hunter harassment case. A hunter was lawfully hunting during the archery deer season in Leelanau when he was harassed by another person. The hunter recorded the interaction via his cellphone. Gelinas submitted a report to the Leelanau County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was on patrol when he decided to sit near a vehicle that was parked alongside the road in northern Newaygo County. Killingbeck noticed three freshly emptied bags of corn inside the vehicle. At dark, Killingbeck made contact with a hunter who had no hunter orange and whose muzzleloader was still loaded after hours. The subject admitted to having more than the legal limit of bait. Killingbeck found that approximately 100 pounds of corn was dumped on the ground. The subject was educated on regulations pertaining to deer hunting and enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Shively received a call from a sheriff’s deputy whose family member had witnessed two subjects dumping a deer carcass on federal land. The family member was able to obtain a license plate from the vehicle and Shively was able to locate the subject. Shively interviewed the subject and obtained a confession for illegally disposing of the carcass. The subject was cited for littering and ordered to clean up the carcass and properly dispose of it.
CO Ryan Andrews appeared in federal court in Kalamazoo to testify about the details of a contact along the Pere Marquette River earlier this fall. Andrews testified details of numerous fish and game violations in relation to felony probation violation charges that were witnessed in Lake County.
COs Ben McAteer and Sgt. Brian Olsen followed-up on a shining complaint in a location closed to hunting in Crawford County. While following a slow-rolling vehicle back to the area, Olsen noticed a hunter standing in the wood line in full camo. Olsen exited the vehicle and had McAteer continue after the original vehicle. Upon exiting the vehicle, Olsen noticed a second hunter in full camo inside the wood line. McAteer returned and assisted Olsen with the two hunters just as another vehicle came down the road. Olsen waved the vehicle over and located three hunters in full camo with a loaded rifle in the back seat. As the two COs were dealing with the five hunters, McAteer witnessed another subject in full camo exit the woods and get into a vehicle. They flagged down that vehicle and located two more hunters dressed in full camo with a loaded gun and no hunting licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben McAteer located a vehicle parked on state land in Crawford County that appeared to have fresh blood on the tailgate. He followed tracks that led to a large bait pile and an unidentified ground blind that was occupied by two hunters. While addressing the violations, McAteer learned the hunters had harvested two deer which were back at their cabin. McAteer followed the hunters back to the cabin and observed two improperly tagged bucks. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling one evening in Kalkaska County when he noticed a slow-rolling vehicle traveling on a forest trail. As he pulled up to the vehicle, Schluckbier observed an open bottle of beer located in the cup holder and another one in the driver’s lap. The driver stated he grabbed some beers on the way home from his father’s place. Upon further inspection, the driver had an uncased, loaded rifle and handgun lying in the back seat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin was conducting a waterfowl patrol on Saginaw Bay. While checking some waterfowl hunters, Atkin discovered one subject hunting with multiple firearms and also a licensing violation. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joe Myers was working an area that was hunted by a hunter who does not wear hunter orange. The hunter has been avoiding the CO for some time. However, during one patrol, the CO finally caught up to the hunter who was found not to be wearing hunter orange and hunting well over the allowed two-gallons of bait. A citation was issued for the hunter orange offense.
CO Ken Lowell received a compliant regarding a hunter making a post on Facebook that he shot a buck and doe while stalking a cornfield. Lowell checked the suspect’s license history information to see if he had purchased any hunting licenses. It was discovered that the subject did not have any hunting licenses and after a short interview, the subject admitted to shooting both deer and using his friend’s tags. Tickets were written to both the hunter and his friend for loaning and borrowing deer tags. The hunter who shot the deer was also charged with taking deer without a license.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint that a subject had shot a large buck prior to purchasing a license in Isabella County. After completing numerous interviews, the CO was able to locate the deer in question and eventually track down the suspect who was visiting from the Upper Peninsula and had already returned home. Haas received a confession stating that he had been hunting and shot the deer without a license and had his girlfriend buy a deer tag for him after the fact. Enforcement action was taken and with assistance from CO Kevin Postma in Chippewa County, the deer was seized.
Early in the firearm deer season, CO Mike Haas located a large bait pile in Isabella County. It was a gross over limit of the two-gallon legal limit which contained hundreds of pounds of corn, sugar beets, carrots and molasses blocks. Haas and CO Dan Robinson caught up with a hunter as he was hunting over the illegal bait pile and not wearing the required hunter orange clothing. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Holmes was patrolling some area farm fields for late night shining activity, when he heard 5 to 6 rapid shots and a car speed away to the south of his location. Approximately 30 seconds later, Portage Police Department Dispatch put out that a woman had just been shot in her house. Holmes responded with local officers and found that a woman had been shot in the neck through her bedroom window. Portage police is investigating the crime.
CO Paul Higashi was following up on a complaint of an untagged deer in a garage. It was determined that the deer was road-killed and the subjects had not obtained the necessary salvage permit. While investigating the complaint, Higashi located an untagged turkey carcass in the garage and further interviews resulted in a confession of taking a turkey without a license. Enforcement action taken.
CO Greg Patten received a Report All Poaching complaint about an illegal deer. While at a deer processor following up on that complaint, Patten located an antlerless deer taken during firearm season and tagged with a regular combo deer license. Patten contacted the subject, who shot the deer. The suspect admitted to shooting the deer with a crossbow during firearms season. The suspect said that because he used a crossbow he thought that he could tag an antlerless deer with his regular license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Greg Patten obtained a warrant for criminal trespass for a subject who went on to a subject’s property without permission, walking past “No Trespassing” signs and a closed gate. This was in response to a reporting all poaching complaint.
COs Dave Rodgers and Justin Ulberg checked a group of waterfowl hunters on an inland lake in Kent County. Only two of the three subjects had the proper waterfowl licenses. The third subject claimed that he was not hunting. Further investigation revealed a third shotgun in the boat, which was also unplugged. The subject eventually admitted to hunting without a license. The hunters also did not have the required number of life jackets on board their vessel. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Eric Smither received a trespassing complaint in southern Lenawee County. After speaking with the caller, Smither checked the area where the trespass occurred and was able to find where a deer had been dragged over a fence out of the posted property. The caller had gotten the license plate of the vehicle the suspect was driving and Smither was able to contact the suspect at his residence. Smither was able to get a written confession for the trespass. A report will be sent to the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges.
CO Jason McCullough found a deer head while checking deer harvest information at a local processor. The alleged hunter was a convicted felon and therefore was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm. Additionally, the hunter was still on probation from a prior felony conviction. Assisted by probation officers, McCullough contacted the hunter at his home. The hunter stated his daughter had shot the deer and he purchased a tag for it. The alleged hunter knew he wasn’t supposed to be around firearms. Probation officers located an additional firearm and ammunition in the home. Enforcement action was taken on the wildlife violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk was checking deer with CO Chris Reynolds and A/Sgt. Todd Thorn at local buck poles in Hillsdale County when they observed a suspicious deer. The COs interviewed the suspect at his residence and kept receiving conflicting stories. The COs seized evidence related to the case and will be requesting a search warrant to further their investigation.
CO Carter Woodwyk responded to a complaint in Hillsdale County of a subject who believed to have had their deer stolen by a neighboring property owner. An investigation revealed the subject who shot the deer had multiple violations that included being a youth under 16 years of age hunting unsupervised with a firearm, not being hunter safety certified, and recreational trespassing. The CO later discovered that the deer in question was picked up by the neighbor due to concerns of possible disease in the animal and turned over to CO Chris Reynolds earlier in the day.
CO Raymond Gardner was involved in a group patrol searching for whole deer being brought into Michigan from Ohio. While Gardner was staged as a chase vehicle, COs that were staged as spotters witnessed an SUV cross the Michigan state line with a deer strapped to a hitch cargo carrier and called it out to the chase vehicles. The SUV drove past Gardner who then conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. Gardner made contact with the occupants of the vehicle and explained to them why they were stopped. Gardner confirmed with the occupants that the deer was taken in Ohio and that the passenger was the one who killed it. The occupants claimed they were unaware that they couldn’t bring a whole deer into Michigan from out of state. Gardner then explained the importation law to the occupants, confiscated the deer and issued a citation.
While driving home from a group patrol targeting the importation of deer from other states, COs David Schaumburger and CO Dan Walzak spotted a car with a deer on its roof that was also driving 80 mph in a 70 mph zone. The COs stopped the car for speeding and also inquired about where the deer was killed. One of the passengers said it was his first deer and they were on their way home from Ohio. The COs educated the group of hunters on the importation laws, however, the deer was still seized and enforcement action was taken. The deer will be sent to the Michigan State University wildlife laboratory to be tested for chronic wasting disease.
COs Jason Becker, Raymond Gardner, Jacob Griffin, David Schaumburger, Dan Walzak and Sgt. Stephen Mooney worked a CWD surveillance operation in southwest Monroe County where they monitored traffic for deer coming into the state in violation of laws to prevent the further spread of the disease in Michigan. During the operation, over 5,200 vehicles were observed. The COs seized one deer that was imported into the state without having the spine and head removed as required by law.
CO Ken Kovach received a complaint of a pair of subjects using explosives to fish with in the St Clair River. It was determined by use of the Homeland Security cameras that the subjects were waterfowl hunting. The hunters were checked and no violations were discovered.