Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 22, 2018

DISTRICT 1

CO Jenni Hanson received a complaint of a possibly injured or sick bear in Watersmeet Township. The bear was missing a patch of fur on its hind leg but was not injured or sick. The curious yearling had climbed onto the complainant’s deck and inside the fenced yard to eat from the bird feeder.

CO Jared Ferguson was working a local lake for marine safety when he observed an individual casting from shore. Ferguson maneuvered over to the individual and contacted him. Ferguson quickly determined the subject did not have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Jared Ferguson and Brian Bacon received several complaints regarding ORVs operating upon a state roadway. While traveling to the Law Enforcement Memorial Services, the COs contacted an individual operating on state highway M-69. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brett DeLonge conducted a patrol on the Dead River Basin in Marquette County. DeLonge contacted several anglers while conducting license checks and marine safety inspections. Fishing was slow; however, the checks were all positive and DeLonge was thanked several times for patrolling the body of water.

COs Dave Miller and Brian Lasanen worked smelt fishermen at various rivers in Baraga County. Miller and Lasanen watched fishermen most of the night and the run was slow. The smelt finally started to run at about 2:30  a.m. and the rivers were black with smelt. The COs watched as three generations of one family couldn’t help themselves and were filling up their buckets and going back to get more buckets and coolers from their vehicles. The group was well over their limit of two gallons each. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dave Miller watched one fisherman fill a five-gallon bucket to the top with smelt. The individual returned to his truck where he dumped the smelt into a cooler in the bed of his pickup truck. The subject then returned to the river where he filled the bucket with smelt a second time. Miller made contact and questioned the fisherman about his first bucket of smelt. The fisherman tried to explain that his cousin had filled the cooler with smelt until Miller explained that he had been watching him the entire time. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mark Zitnik was on patrol checking for steelhead fishermen in the local rivers. Zitnik was approaching a closed section of the Rock River when he noticed two anglers fishing in that section of stream. Upon contact, the one angler cut his line and then stated he did not know you couldn’t fish there. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Mike Evink and Mark Zitnik were working throughout the night checking anglers dipping for smelt. While approaching a creek, the COs noticed three individuals hide. Two laid in the creek and the third crawled in the culvert. Upon contact, the COs noticed they were hiding because they were trying to spear on a designated trout stream. One subject had a warrant out of Indiana and the second had two warrants out of Antrim County and Otsego County. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Michael Evink and Commercial Fish Specialist Cpl. Mike Hammill conducted a joint patrol on the opening day of walleye season in the UP. The officers experienced a high level of compliance and some good fishing reports. The exception to the rule was the 25-year-old who said his mom forgot to get his license for him. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Michael Evink was patrolling Big Bay de Noc. He asked fishermen in the first boat he checked if they caught anything. They said they caught a few bass. After checking licenses and marine safety gear. Evink asked if they had any fish in the cooler. They said yes, three bass. Evink informed the fishermen that bass season didn’t open until the Saturday before Memorial Day. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Calvin Smith and Justin Vinson patrolled the Tahquamenon River. The COs came across a group of anglers who were displaying an expired boat registration. The owner of the boat stated he had received a citation for the same thing over three years ago almost in the same location on the river. Law enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Erratt saw an ORV parked by a trout stream and observed a man standing in the creek with a small net and two kids. The man did not have a fishing license and Erratt explained it was illegal to net fish in a trout stream. The ORV had a 2012 ORV license and the owner did not have a helmet. Erratt issued the ORV operator a ticket for operating an unlicensed ORV, and warned him for not wearing a helmet, riding triple with his young kids and for the fishing violations.

CO Andrea Erratt received a RAP complaint about campers on state land leaving their bags of trash on the side of the road, which they had been doing for years. Erratt checked four campsites nearby and ticketed two campers for failing to post a camp card permit. One woman who had been camping there over a week without a camp card was warned for having expired plates on her trailer and motor vehicle. Erratt was unable to locate the trash dumper, so she picked up the bag and dug through diapers and other stinky trash locating a Walmart receipt from Springfield, Ohio.

Acting Sgt. Brad Dohm and COs Paul Fox and Chad Baldwin assisted DNR Fisheries biologists and MSU research team in capturing sturgeon in the Black River in Cheboygan County. Critical data was collected, and the fish were tagged and released.

CO Paul Fox is working with DNR Wildlife Division regarding numerous deer that have been found dead on a piece of private property in Presque Isle County. Samples from the animals have been collected and sent to the disease lab for testing.

DISTRICT 4

COs Rebecca Hubers, Justin Vanderlinde, Will Kinney, Pat McManus and Amanda McCurdy conducted charter boat inspections at the Frankfort Marina in Benzie County. Numerous vessels were inspected to ensure they functioned properly and had the necessary safety equipment on board. Permits were issued to those captains who met the legal requirements.

COs Will Kinney, Josiah Killingbeck and Ryan Andrews assisted the Michigan State Police with a fleeing felon in Wexford County. The suspect had run from a state trooper during a traffic stop. The COs assisted with the foot pursuit of the suspect alongside MSP. After a lengthy chase, the suspect was surrounded and apprehended and is facing multiple charges in addition to two current felony warrants.

CO Ryan Andrews was checking fishing locations along the rivers looking for a car that was linked to a group of men who had been spearing steelhead. Andrews came upon a car that had been run off the road and hit a tree. The driver stated that the other vehicle had fled the scene just seconds before the officer’s arrival, and the description matched the vehicle Andrews was looking for. Shortly thereafter, the suspect vehicle again returned. CO Josiah Killingbeck and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department arrived to assist in stopping the car with three occupants and there were three spears in plain view. Andrews and Killingbeck searched the car and found .22 caliber rifle shells and a spotlight, along with three steelhead with spear marks just behind the head. Enforcement action was taken and charges have been requested with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office on numerous traffic, fish and wildlife charges.

While patrolling in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews checked a group of anglers fishing in a gear restricted area of the Pere Marquette River. The men had a brown trout in their possession and were fishing with illegal gear. Further investigation revealed a pistol behind the driver’s seat in the vehicle and the driver was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brian Brosky received a complaint that two anglers fishing on a lake in Oceana County were possibly keeping undersized fish. Brosky responded to the location and was able to contact the anglers. The anglers did not have any undersized fish, but did in fact have a vessel that was not registered. The operator of the vessel was cited for the marine violation and he then stated that “the people who called needed to mind their own business.”Brosky informed the subject that the reporting party was doing exactly what they should have done. The reporting party said that they were unable to launch their vessel on the water today as it was not registered and figured that others shouldn’t be on the lake without registration either.

DISTRICT 5

CO Mike Hearn interviewed two turkey hunters in Kalkaska County. The two hunters were under investigation for hunting on private property. They had driven into a subdivision and parked in a gravel driveway of one of the undeveloped parcels. They were attempting to harvest turkeys that were routinely going to feeders behind the nearby homes. The hunters offered no excuse for the blatant disregard for private property. Enforcement action was taken.

CO John Huspen was patrolling near Jones Lake in Crawford County when he observed two subjects kayaking. Huspen used his kayak to paddle out and check the individuals. While approaching the kayakers, Huspen observed one of them fishing. Jones Lake is closed to fishing until June 1 because it is a “Quality Fishing Lake.” It is also designated as a catch-and-release lake where anglers can only use artificial lures. The individual who was fishing was using live bait and neither kayak had a personal floatation device (PFD) onboard. Huspen followed the kayakers safely back to shore and enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Papineau completed an investigation regarding a subject who had reportedly shot two bucks without licenses. Papineau was tipped off to the subject during an unrelated investigation. According to the tip, an Arenac County resident had shot two 8-point bucks and never bought tags for either of them. Papineau executed several search warrants and obtained a substantial amount of evidence. The suspect is also currently on probation for unrelated firearms and hunting violations. An interview was conducted and a confession was obtained for the poaching of two bucks without licenses. Warrants are being sought.

DISTRICT 6

CO John Byars checked anglers at the Pine River boat launch and noticed two men pack up and leave in a hurry once they spotted him. Byars caught up to the men and determined that one of the anglers did not have a fishing license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.

COs Mike Haas and Josh Russell contacted an angler fishing on the Chippewa River. While checking the young man’s fishing license, the COs discovered he had already received all his 2018 hunting licenses along with his fishing license and had not been charged for any of them. The man stated, “Thanks to Uncle Sam, I receive all my licenses for free.” After a brief investigation, it was discovered the man was enrolled as a cadet in a local ROTC program. License fees are waived for full-time, federal, active-duty U.S military personnel. The gentleman had been receiving numerous free fishing licenses and hunting licenses for deer, waterfowl, and small game for three years. The man was charged with using false statements to obtain hunting and fishing licenses and was warned for the previous year’s animal harvests while using illegal licenses.

CO Dan Robinson responded to a complaint at a Mt. Pleasant school in Isabella County. The school staff said that a duck had made a nest in their playground flower garden and staff were not sure if the duck had laid eggs or was chased off by the recess kids before it had the opportunity. Robinson arrived and checked the nest and found several duck eggs hidden in the nest. After consulting with wildlife biologists, it was agreed that the ducks would be better left alone until the eggs hatched. The school sectioned off the area to keep the disturbances down and chalked it up to an educational experience for the students who are anxiously waiting for the eggs to hatch.

CO Dan Robinson was working the east side of Isabella County when a medical call was dispatched within two minutes of his location. Robinson was the first responder on-scene and found a man who had fallen hard on the pavement. He had a very large “goose egg” and bleeding laceration on his head. Robinson waited with the subject, gathered information and watched for changes in the patient’s condition while awaiting EMS arrival.

DISTRICT 7

While on boat patrol, CO Greg Patten contacted three subjects fishing on Lake Michigan. The subjects did not have any wearable or throw able personal flotation devices (PFDs) in the boat. The water temperature was below 50 degrees. The 18-year-old boat operator did not have a boater safety certificate with him nor did he have a boat registration certificate on board. Enforcement action was taken for no PFDs in the boat and the subjects were escorted to shore.

CO James Zellinger received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of a subject shooting a rabbit out of season in the subject’s backyard. Zellinger contacted the subject who admitted to shooting the rabbit. The subject explained he couldn’t stand the rabbit eating all his flowers and other plants, so he shot it. The subject told Zellinger he disposed of the rabbit in a nearby fencerow, because he knew coyotes would get it out of there by the next day. Zellinger was able to locate rabbit fur at that location. Zellinger is seeking charges through the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Kyle McQueer and Jeremy Cantrell patrolled St. Joseph County for the first time since graduating the academy. The two COs made introductions with the prosecutors, dispatchers, county correction officers and other court personnel as well as making several fish and game contacts.

CO Zach Bauer was on patrol checking anglers when he encountered a nonresident angler with a resident fishing license. Investigation revealed that he did not live in Michigan but owned a cottage in Michigan. A citation was issued for the violation.

CO BJ Goulette and PCO Nick Ingersoll were patrolling Allegan State Game Area and came across some anglers that were doing well. Ingersoll discovered an out of season (and undersized) largemouth bass and an over limit of bluegill in their cooler. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 8

CO Sam Schluckbier received a RAP complaint of a dead turkey posted on social media without a kill tag. Schluckbier found that the hunter had not purchased a turkey license for the 2018 spring season. An interview with the suspect revealed that he “spot and stalked” the turkey on opening day, shot it with his compound bow, took a photograph for Facebook, then threw the turkey carcass in a nearby ditch. The incident took place on private property in Isabella County. Charges are being sought through Isabella County Prosecutor’s Office.

A RAP complaint was received indicating a local business was trapping and drowning squirrels. CO Sam Schluckbier located the traps while walking the property. The business owner admitted to setting up the traps due to the squirrels chewing through his siding. Schluckbier advised him of more humane methods to prevent squirrel infestations. The traps were immediately removed.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling near a lake in Hillsdale County when he observed a boat moored near a park with large fishing nets on board. He contacted the occupants who advised they were conducting a fish survey on the lake for the lake association. When the CO reviewed their permits, it was discovered that the lake being surveyed was not listed. After a phone call with a DNR fisheries biologist, it was determined the subject made a mistake on his permit application and received permits for the wrong lakes. A verbal warning was issued for violating the conditions of his permit, and the CO advised the subject to review his permits every year to make sure the information is accurate.

COs Rich Nickols and Todd Thorn conducted a marine patrol on the Maple River in Clinton County. The COs focused on reports of set lines being left in the river. The COs pulled six active set lines and found evidence of many more that had been set. One citation was issued for fishing without a license.

CO Rich Nickols reports that a subject who he had arrested after a lengthy investigation involving multiple deer hunting violations pleaded guilty to taking deer without a license. The subject was ordered to pay $1,450 in fines and costs, $5,000 reimbursement to the state of Michigan, and lost his hunting privileges for three years.

CO Katie Stawara responded to a complaint of a suspect in possession of a fawn. The complainant noted that the suspect has been known to take in a variety of wildlife in the past. Upon contact, the suspect explained she found the fawn in the backyard early that morning and thought it had been abandoned. She called the local humane society and left a voicemail concerning the orphaned deer. She fed the deer goat milk and was waiting to hear back. The suspect believed Stawara was there to pick up the fawn to take it to the humane society. She was educated on the legalities and dangers of possessing wildlife and how to respond to orphaned or injured wildlife. The fawn was removed and enforcement action taken.

DISTRICT 9

CO David Schaumburger approached an angler fishing from the banks of the Detroit River late one evening and asked the angler if he had any luck. The angler stated yes, he had caught some pike. When the CO opened the angler’s cooler, he found three walleyes, one of which was undersize. The angler stated that he did not know there were any laws or rules for fishing, he thought all he needed was his fishing license. Enforcement action was taken for the undersize walleye.

CO Ben Lasher was assisted by U.S. Border Patrol with a flight looking for turkey baits. Numerous sites were found and Lasher walked into them to document the bait and attempt to determine if it was a turkey bait or recreational viewing violations.

CO Pat Hartsig was checking anglers on the St. Clair River in Marine City when he contacted a boat with two anglers. The group states the walleye fishing was so good that they miscounted the fish in their livewell earlier and had to throw back fish. A quick count of their catch revealed they were still over their possession limit, even after throwing fish back. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jacob Griffin received a tip that a large amount of bait may have been placed to lure turkeys. After arriving at the location,Griffin waited for the suspect to use his turkey call as a means to safely pinpoint his location. While waiting to hear the call, multiple turkeys came across the area. Griffin kept watch on the turkeys before he heard a gunshot and witnessed one bearded turkey get shot. Griffin was able to locate the hunter and three turkey decoys surrounded by a large amount of corn. Griffin addressed the illegal activity with the hunter who stated he knew that baiting turkey was illegal, but he doesn’t have much time to hunt. Griffin seized the turkey, the subject’s firearm, trail camera, and hunting license. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Johnathon Kamps contacted an individual fishing along the Flint River. Further investigation determined the individual was fishing without a license and had a felony warrant out for his arrest. Kamps took the individual into custody and enforcement action was taken.

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