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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 16, 2018

DISTRICT 1

CO Brian Lasanen assisted the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department with a snowmobile that caught fire. By the time the officers arrived, the fire was out and the only thing left of the snowmobile was the frame and engine block. The owner/operator was uninjured.

CO David Miller has been working fishing activity on Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay. Anglers have been doing very well on splake and lake trout. Ice conditions vary throughout the day depending on weather and wind conditions.

CO Shannon Kritz coordinated with the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department to gather information on two fatal snowmobile accidents.

CO Shannon Kritz responded to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a subject who let his dogs out of his house before checking to see if there were any deer in his yard. The dogs chased a young deer causing it to run into a fence and injure itself. The deer had to be dispatched because of injuries. Enforcement action was taken on the individual for dogs chasing wildlife and the deer was given to a family in need.

CO Shannon Kritz and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted an ice fishing patrol to check whitefish anglers in Iron County. A check of one group found suspicious activity that led to further investigation. One of the two anglers appeared very nervous and a check of the retail sales system found no license purchases for 2017. Further investigation found evidence to lead the COs to discover a gill net set under the ice between the two angler’s ice shacks. Approximately 35 feet of gill net was seized and both individuals were cited.

DISTRICT 2

CO Chris Lynch received the disposition back from an investigation he conducted this fall. Lynch had received a complaint of a spike horn deer illegally taken. He obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence. The search turned up evidence for the illegal deer and marijuana. Interviews were conducted. The deer, rifle and marijuana were seized, and a report was turned in to the prosecutor’s office. A 4-count arrest warrant was put out for the suspect including the following violations: taking a deer with rifle during a closed season, taking a deer without a license, possession of marijuana and discharge of a firearm within the safety zone. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Delta County Jail. The suspect was sentenced to $2,450 in fines and restitution, five days in jail, hunting privileges revoked for five years including the current year, and the firearm used was condemned.

CO Chris Lynch conducted an investigation on a possible illegal bear that had been shot. Pictures of the bear that was shot this fall were obtained. A younger member of the family was the only one with a valid license, but was not in any of the pictures. With the assistance of CO Bobby Watson, interviews were conducted. The COs found that a bear had been shot during the season by someone in the family and had not been registered with the DNR. Enforcement action was taken.

Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon and CO Mark Zitnik were checking ice fishermen fishing Munising Bay when Zitnik discovered a short splake in one angler’s shack. When Zitnik asked to see the splake flopping behind him the fisherman said the short splake would not go back down the hole so he kept it so it wouldn’t go to waste. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Colton Gelinas was checking ice fishermen on a lake in Mackinac County when he discovered eight active tip-ups with nobody around them. Gelinas also noticed a permanent shanty without a name or address. Gelinas followed ORV tracks back to a nearby residence. Gelinas made contact with two suspects who stated they ran out of bait and headed to town to get more. Gelinas informed the two suspects about the line limit per angler in Michigan, as well as failing to attend lines (tip-ups) and not affixing a name/address on all four sides of the shanty. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO Kevin Postma and Probationary CO Joshua Boudreaux responded to a snowmobile accident in the Grand Marais area. The driver of the snowmobile advised that he was traveling approximately 80 mph when he noticed a bridge ahead sign. The driver stated that he slowed down but hit a series of large moguls and lost control. The driver was thrown from the sled and landed in the snow. Fortunately the driver only suffered fractures to his ribs and he was treated and released from the hospital later that day.

DISTRICT 3

COs Nathan Sink and Kyle Cherry were on patrol when a call came across central dispatch of a snowmobile accident, where the individual was thrown off her sled and went unconscious. The individual was taken to the hospital for medical attention. Sink and Cherry responded to the hospital to take the accident report. The individual was doing well and only suffered minor injuries.

COs Nathan Sink and Kyle Cherry were on patrol when a call came across central dispatch of several snowmobiles zigzagging through traffic and jumping snow banks on the main road. Sink and Cherry responded to the call to find the snowmobiles operating against the flow of traffic, operating without trail permits and operating carelessly. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kyle Cherry was responding to a complaint in the Pigeon River Country when he encountered two snowmobiles with expired trail permits. Further investigation revealed both operators were displaying registrations not belonging to their snowmobiles. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Tim Rosochacki was patrolling Black Lake in Cheboygan County and checked an ice shanty with four tip-ups visible outside. Upon contacting the single subject inside, the individual stated his buddy had just gone back to shore and would be returning any moment. The subject did not know that Rosochacki had come from that parking location and no one else was there. The subject then admitted that there was not another angler and that he was alone. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Tim Rosochacki patrolled Mullet Lake in Cheboygan County when he observed an ice shanty with four tip-ups visible outside. Contact was made with the lone subject who admitted to having one too many tip-ups. Fishing was slow and he wanted to increase his odds. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 4

CO Justin Vanderlinde reports the conclusion of a lengthy investigation. The suspect was convicted of the following violations; felony flee and elude in the fourth degree, habitual offender second offense, DWLS second or subsequent offense, shining in November, purchasing a hunting license while his hunting privileges were revoked, and illegally killing a deer. The suspect served 93 days in jail, payed $2,000 restitution for the deer along with other fines and costs, and lost his hunting privileges for a 10-year period of time.

CO Ryan Andrews located a large 7-point buck at a processor inspection during November that was possibly an illegal deer. While following up on the information from the processor inspection in District 4, Andrews enlisted the help of CO Danny Walzak from Wayne County in District 9 to interview several suspects involved in the case. The investigation uncovered that the large 7-point buck had been harvested early in the morning on opening day of firearms season prior to purchasing a 2017 deer hunting license. Warrants are being sought.

CO Josiah Killingbeck followed up on a deer kill tag that was not validated at a processor inspection during the firearm deer season. While speaking with the hunter about the tag, Killingbeck asked the hunter what other deer he had taken. The hunter said he had shot a 4-point buck in Lake County. Killingbeck was able to obtain a picture of the deer and determined that it did not meet antler point restrictions in Lake County. Enforcement action was taken.

While on patrol in Manistee County, CO Scott MacNeill observed a vast over-limit of deer feed piled high near a residence. After further investigation, it was discovered that the individual living at the residence had been using a front end loader to feed the deer. The individual admitted to the gross over-limit, stating he was attempting to help the deer through the winter. MacNeill explained the reasoning behind the two gallon limit. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 5

CO Craig Neal was patrolling Crooked Lake in Missaukee County when he noticed a shanty in a similar location to where he located anglers fishing with too many lines the previous year. While talking with the three anglers, one of them advised Neal his ticket from the last year had been taken care of and this year should be a “gimme” year. Neal asked the anglers how many tip-ups they had out and they advised, “maybe seven or eight.” Neal could see 10 tip-ups from where he was standing, and after a short walk found a couple more. The anglers were cited for fishing with too many lines a second year in a row.

CO Craig Neal was conducting a routine taxidermy inspection in Missaukee County when he noticed a license on a deer that appeared suspicious. After closer inspection, it appeared there was a licensing violation. Neal contacted the individual and before his interview began, the man confessed to shooting the deer and only having one license. The man called his wife and had her buy a hunting license to put on the deer so he could continue hunting the rest of the season. Charges for the licensing violations will be sought through the Missaukee County prosecutor’s office.

CO Matt Zultak conducted ice fishing patrols on the three big lakes in Roscommon County. Multiple fishing violations were addressed. Zultak also took enforcement action on safety and registration violations for ORVs and snowmobiles during the patrol.

CO Matt Liestenfeltz was patrolling a Missaukee County snowmobile trail when he observed drag marks and footprints leading to an area where a vehicle was parked. Following the vehicle tracks to the county road, Liestenfeltz found a second set of drag marks and footprints. Liestenfeltz was able to track the vehicle to a residence that was located nearby. After making contact with the homeowner, he admitted to taking two bucks earlier that day. The bucks were located with kill tags attached, but were not validated. Further interviews resulted in a third buck that the suspect had shot in October. Warrants are being sought through the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Nick Atkin was recently checking anglers after dark as they returned from their fishing activities on Saginaw Bay. Numerous violations were found, including operating snowmobiles without headlights, possession of fish without licenses, and ORVs operating without proper ORV licenses. Enforcement action was taken as well as preventative education for the future.

DISTRICT 6

CO Ken Lowell received an anonymous complaint regarding an over limit of antlered white-tailed deer. Lowell and Probationary CO Zach Painter performed a taxidermy inspection and located one buck shot by the suspect. The COs conducted an interview of the suspect which led to a confession of shooting three antlered white-tailed deer. The third deer was tagged with someone else’s tag. Warrant requests have been submitted to the prosecutor for loan and borrow a kill tag of another and take an over limit of antlered deer.

While checking ice fishing anglers on a lake in northern Montcalm County, COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson came across a fisherman fishing alone in a secluded cove. The COs made contact with the man in his shanty and discovered he was fishing with two jigging poles and also had three tip-ups baited and in the water; two lines over his legal limit. The man had a five gallon bucket filled to the top with crappies and bluegills and the COs also located additional fish in the shanty. The angler had a total of 54 panfish in his possession, 29 fish over his legal daily limit. The angler had accessed the lake with an unregistered snowmobile which he had failed to transfer the title to and he admitted that he had a suspended driver’s license. The over limit of fish was seized and numerous citations were issued.

CO Joel Lundberg and Probationary CO Tyler Sabuda were patrolling the Saginaw Bay for ice anglers when they encountered three individuals leaving the ice on an ATV. The anglers stated they all caught their eight fish limit. The COs asked to see the fish and the driver of the ATV stated, “I’m not really sure how many fish I have in this bag.” The driver had 12 walleyes, not eight. They had been fishing with another group of individuals and the COs contacted them, confirmed their total fish count and determined the driver of the ATV did have an over limit. That individual already had his limit in his machine. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 7

COs Matt Page, Zach Bauer and Sgt. Zach Doss conducted a snowmobile patrol in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties over a weekend. During the patrols, seven citations were issued for trail permit and registration violations. In total, the COs gave 20 verbal warnings for various minor violations.

CO Zach Bauer investigated a complaint of a hunter shooting a deer without a license during the deer season. Bauer interviewed the suspect and obtained a full confession. The subject was cited for the violation.

CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he was contacted by the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline of an angler that was fishing at a nearby dam in a boat in a restricted area. Bauer was close to the dam and responded to the call. Bauer located the vessel that was fishing above the buoys in the restricted area. After multiple attempts to get the anglers attention, Bauer finally made contact with the angler. A citation was issued for being in the restricted area.

CO Jeff Robinette followed up on a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint regarding a juvenile who had taken an 8-point deer on opening day of firearm season. The picture had been posted to the Michigan buck pole website. In the picture the deer was tagged and there was an adult male, later identified as the juvenile’s father, next to the juvenile. According to the retail sales system, the juvenile did not have a deer license for 2017, but the juvenile’s father did have a license. Robinette contacted the juvenile’s father who admitted he had been with the juvenile when the juvenile shot the deer. The father stated that since the juvenile had not purchased a license yet he had tagged the deer with his tag. The skull and antlers had already been made into a European mount and were seized. The father was issued a ticket for the possession of an illegally taken deer.

DISTRICT 8

CO Mike Drexler was on patrol in Sylvan Township when he observed a pickup truck with a dog box in the bed parked in the roadway. Drexler pulled up next to the vehicle that was running just as a coyote hunter popped out of the woods. The CO checked licenses and discovered the subject had a loaded and uncased firearm in the vehicle. The hunter swore to Drexler that it was the first time and he never leaves his firearm loaded in the vehicle. A computer check revealed the subject had been cited for possess loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle twice before. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mike Drexler was checking ice anglers in the Waterloo Recreation Area when one subject started to walk away from his fishing spot as he approached. When asked for his fishing license, the subject initially went to his vehicle to check his wallet. The subject then stated he didn’t have it with him but he did purchase it. A computer check revealed otherwise, and the subject did not have a license for 2017. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Andrew Monnich and Chris Reynolds received a tip of some over-limits being taken on a lake in Lenawee County. The COs went to the area undercover and located the group of shanties and set up next to the group of fishermen and started to fish. While sitting on the ice, they heard two individuals stating that they already had a limit of bluegills each and they were going to keep fishing for a while. Once the individuals were observed packing up, the COs made contact with them and checked licenses and counted fish. Both individuals were well over the legal limit of 25 bluegills. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Andrew Monnich was checking some spearing coops on a local lake when he came across an individual who he had given a warning for not having a fishing license the week before. While checking the angler’s license, Monnich noticed the tail of a pike sticking out from a spot in the shanty. Monnich pulled the speared northern pike out of the shanty and measured it. The pike only measured 20 inches. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Pete Purdy and Probationary CO Nick Wellman contacted an angler on Lake Shannon. The angler was reluctant to show the fish in his bucket. Further investigation revealed that the angler was in possession of 67 bluegill, 42 over the 25-fish limit. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 9

CO Jacob Griffin was patrolling Oakland County when he spotted multiple anglers from a distance. As Griffin checked the fishermen, he discovered one subject only had a sturgeon tag. When the subject was asked why he did not purchase a fishing license, the subject stated that the sturgeon tag was all that was given to him. Griffin explained to the subject that the sturgeon tag is free and the fishing license must be purchased. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kris Kiel and PCO Danielle Zubek were contacted by PCO James Garrett to conduct an interview on another subject for possibly taking a deer and purchasing a license after the fact. The COs were able to make contact with the subject who confessed to taking an antlerless deer and purchasing a license after the fact. The antlerless license was also purchased for the wrong DMU.

COs Kris Kiel, Joseph Deppen, Brad Silorey and Probationary CO (PCO) Danielle Zubek conducted a group patrol on Lake St Clair targeting anglers, ORV and snowmobile activity. Kiel and Zubek made over 200 contacts. Many violations were addressed including unregistered ORVs and snowmobiles and operators not wearing helmets. Enforcement action was taken for these incidents.

CO Pat Hartsig checked ice anglers on Lake St. Clair. While contacting one angler, there were numerous perch on the ice in his shanty. When asked how many fish he had, the angler responded he didn’t know. A count of perch revealed 79 fish, making the angler 29 over the limit. The fish were seized and enforcement action was taken.

CO Pat Hartsig had finished contacting an angler on Lake St. Clair with a perch over limit when he contacted another angler near him. After counting his catch, it was found that this angler was also over his limit of perch by 11. The fish were seized and enforcement action was taken.

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