Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 15, 2019


CO Johnathan Kamps completed an investigation for tagging a deer with a base license. Upon investigation and interview with the suspect, the CO determined that the individual still had an unvalidated deer combo tag in possession. Kamps also found out the suspect shot two bucks during the 2018 season that were in violation of Upper Peninsula antler point restrictions. Evidence was seized, and law enforcement action was taken.

CO Josh Boudreaux was returning to his residence when a call was aired for a domestic assault in progress in Champion. Being the closest unit, Boudreaux responded to the scene and separated both parties until another unit from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department arrived.

CO Dave Miller conducted an ice angler patrol in Baraga County to check anglers coming off Huron Bay. A check of a group of anglers found success with a 42-inch pike. The anglers explained that they were fishing on approximately one inch of ice, and the ice was cracking as they pulled the fish through the ice. Miller educate the subjects on the dangers of fishing on thin ice.

CO Brian Lasanen and PCO Byron Parks assisted the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office with locating a runaway from the RICE house in Stanton Township. The subject was court ordered to be there and fled on foot into the woods. Both Lasanen and Parks were able to locate the area where he fled into the woods and called for a K9. The suspect was located about two miles away after he flagged down a car. The driver of the car called 911 and reported they just picked up a person who was running through the woods. A deputy responded and transported the subject to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

COs Brian Lasanen, Doug Hermanson, Dave Miller and PCO Byron Parks conducted a sound meter patrol on Trial 17 in Houghton County. The COs contacted approximately 75 snowmobiles and tested four for possible sound violations. Two were found to test over the legal decibel limit of 88 decibels. Enforcement action was taken on the two loud sleds. Throughout the rest of the patrol numerous violations were addressed for registration and trail permit violations.


CO Steve Butzin was patrolling Garden Township when he observed a vehicle stopped alongside a county road. When Butzin attempted to contact the individual for defective equipment, the vehicle drove off. Butzin had his emergency lights and sirens activated but the vehicle did not stop. After a brief pursuit, the vehicle came to a stop in a field. The individual was arrested and lodged at the Delta County jail. A report has been submitted for charges of fleeing and eluding a conservation officer, altering and forging a license plate, having an improper license plate, operating a motor vehicle without valid registration or insurance, and possessing open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. The individual also had five outstanding warrants, one of which was for an unpaid citation which Butzin had issued earlier last year.

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin successfully served an arrest warrant without incident on a subject for illegally taking two 8-point bucks and borrowing a deer tag. 

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin successfully served an arrest warrant without incident on a subject for illegally taking an 8-point buck.

CO Robert Freeborn and PCO Michael Olesen received a report of a potential illegal deer being taken by a youth during the 2018 rifle deer season. Further investigation along with a retail sales system check was completed to determine that there was a high probability that the offense had occurred. Contact was made with the father of the youth and during the investigation he confessed to his son taking a 3-point buck during rifle season without a tag. The firearm used to take the deer was seized and a report has been submitted to the local prosecutor.

CO Robert Freeborn and PCO Michael Olesen received a complaint of an individual fishing with too many lines on Big Bay de Noc. The COs, along with assistance from COs Stephen Butzin and Chris Lynch, contacted the ice angler on the bay. It was determined that there were multiple violations among the anglers on the bay. One angler had 12 lines and enforcement action was taken by s Butzin and Lynch.


CO Chad Baldwin responded to a complaint of a deer running loose inside of a residence in Charlevoix County. The homeowner’s daughters were walking the family dogs outside when they spooked a deer and gave chase. The dogs chased the deer through a pond and around to the front of the house. The homeowners witnessed the commotion from inside and ran out of the front door to call off the dogs. The deer made a 90-degree turn and ran through the open front door and into the residence. The residents used the kitchen table chairs, and stools to try to confine the deer to the large living room. They opened the double doors leading out to the back porch hoping the deer would run out. Unfortunately, the wooden floors were not conducive to deer’s hooves and the deer flailed around as if on ice, taking out the Christmas tree, ornaments, furniture and damaging a piano. When Baldwin arrived, he could not believe the scene inside of the house. Broken ornaments, couch cushions, blankets and pillows were strewn about the floor. The deer was exhausted and stressed. It was resting on the floor between the Christmas tree and wall. Baldwin armed with a blanket and catch pole, stepped into the makeshift corral. Baldwin was able to cover the deer’s head with the blanket and drag it out from behind the Christmas tree. Baldwin dragged the deer out to safety onto the back porch where it was released.

While checking a group of anglers on Bass Lake, CO Andrea Albert and PCO Andrea Dani discovered two anglers with five undersized pike. It was determined that one of the pike was given to them by a neighboring angler. Tickets were issued for the undersized pike and warnings were issued for no name or address on tip-ups.

CO Andrea Erratt reports a hunter who shot a 4-point buck, trespassed onto private property to track and gut the deer, and then loaded the untagged buck in his truck has pleaded guilty in court. The hunter paid $2,225 in fines, costs, and reimbursement to the state, plus lost his hunting privileges until 2024 for shooting the deer in violation of the APR law.

CO Paul Fox and PCO Daniel Liestenfeltz responded to multiple complaints of trespassing and hunter harassment on Hunter Access Program lands in southern Alpena County during the January late antlerless season.


The Wexford County Prosecutor’s office issued charges to an individual who committed multiple state land violations. CO William Kinney has been working the case since mid-August. The suspect had established an early bait site, committed several violations with a treestand and ground blind, and had even used a tractor to build a food plot on state land. Enforcement action was taken.

While on patrol in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews was patrolling area lakes for ice angler activity. Andrews stopped at a small lake and observed several anglers fishing. After a short time, two anglers began packing up their gear to leave. Andrews contacted the anglers near their trucks after they left the lake. Upon checking their daily catch, it was determined that one angler was several fish over his daily bag limit of panfish. The angler with the over-limit then asked his partner if he would like to have his extra fish. Andrews then educated the anglers on legal possession and daily bag limits. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Troy Van Gelderen and PCO Josh Reed received a tip of a married couple in Mason County shooting illegal deer. Van Gelderen and Reed gathered enough evidence and went to interview the couple. The COs discovered that the couple had shot several deer and used whatever deer tags were available. They also recovered an antlered buck head with an antlerless license on it. It was also discovered that some of the licenses were bought after the deer were shot. A report was sent to the Mason County Prosecutor’s office for the appropriate charges.


During a recent patrol on Bear Lake in Kalkaska County, CO Mike Hearn contacted a group of anglers that was packing up their fishing gear at the end of the day. Everyone in the group was heavily intoxicated. During the contact, multiple violations were found including using excessive lines, possession of undersize trout and using a snowmobile without any helmets or registration. A sober person from their lakefront cabin was used to retrieve the snowmobile from the ice and citations were issued for the fishing violations.

While on a snowmobile patrol in Kalkaska county, CO Mike Hearn and PCO Jesse Grzechowski witnessed a snowmobile trespassing on posted private property. A stop was made for the violation, including no trail permit or registration displayed. The rider stated even though he didn’t have permission to be on the property, “Everyone has been riding there for years.” The operator was warned for the trail permit and registration violations but received a citation for recreational trespass.

While on patrol at Bear Lake in Kalkaska County, CO Mike Hearn and PCO Jesse Grzechowski observed a group of anglers catching multiple fish on the ice. After a lengthy surveillance, contact was made with the anglers. After checking for licenses and counting tip-ups, it was determined that there were too many lines. One angler stated two of the lines belonged to his girlfriend who was away getting bait. Several tip-ups did not have the owner information on them. The CO and PCO checked the fish that were caught and found two brown trout that were both one inch too short. The anglers were warned about not having their tip-ups marked and not having their licenses in possession. They received citations for fishing with too many lines and possession of undersize brown trout.

COs Chuck McPherson and John Huspen received a complaint of a live raccoon caught in a foothold trap in Roscommon County. The complainant stated that the raccoon had been stuck in the trap for the last couple of days. The COs were able to release the animal and identify the trapper. Other traps were also found in the area without any identification on them. Contact was made with the trapper and enforcement action was taken.


CO Quincy Gowenlock received a call from Saginaw Central Dispatch regarding stranded hunters on the Shiawassee River within the Shiawassee River State Game Area. Three hunters had launched from the St. Charles Field Office to go waterfowl hunting and had apparently run out of gas somewhere on the river. An exact location of the hunters was unknown, and dispatch did not have any emergency services that could respond to the area. Due to the below freezing temperatures and approaching darkness, Gowenlock responded with the assistance of US Fish and Wildlife Services Officer J. Hunter. The officers launched a jet boat and traversed down river. A short while later the officers located all three hunters who were extremely cold from the weather. A tow line was rigged, and the three hunters were towed back to the field office.

COs Jason King and Adam Beuthin attended the Shiawassee Flats Citizens and Hunters Association January 2019 meeting at the St. Charles field office. Topics included harvest reports, crop experiments, moist soil results, and wildlife statistics. There were approximately 20 attendees at the meeting.


CO Sam Schluckbier conducted an investigation on a family who was sharing deer tags during the 2018 hunting season. Each family member was interviewed separately regarding the allegations. The suspect’s mother admitted to buying a deer tag after her son had killed a doe with his crossbow. The deer was illegally tagged before it was taken to the processor. While interviewing the son, Schluckbier discovered he was a convicted felon and had a warrant for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken, and charges are being sought through the Allegan County Prosecutor’s office.

CO Richard Cardenas encountered a group of individuals cutting wood along the roadside which appeared suspicious. When Cardenas stopped to investigate, he noticed that the ORV they were using had been freshly painted and the ignition had been tampered with. While he was attempting to identity the subjects, one of them repeatedly provided false information and grew increasingly agitated. While Cardenas was attempting to pull a photograph of the subject on his computer, the subject jumped onto the ORV and fled down the road. Cardenas pursued the subject for several miles until the operator left the roadway, attempted to cross a field, and became stuck. After a short foot pursuit Cardenas took the suspect into custody. When the suspect was identified it was revealed he had multiple arrest warrants and was on probation. Further investigation on the ORV revealed it was stolen several months prior. The subject was lodged on the warrants and charges related to the pursuit. The stolen ORV investigation is continuing.

CO Casey Varriale received a complaint from CO Justin Ulberg regarding a deer that was shot with a gun within the city limits of Walker in Kent County. Varriale interviewed witnesses in the neighborhood and eventually made contact with the suspect. The suspect stated he commonly practices dry firing his rifle on the deer that walk around the neighborhood. The suspect stated he commonly puts the crosshairs of his scope on a deer and will “dry fire” the rifle. The suspect admitted on this particular day he did not check if the gun was unloaded and shot a live round at the deer, killing it. The investigation has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for possible formal charges.


CO Mike Drexler responded to a Livingston County Dispatch complaint where a subject shot two antlerless deer from his residence. Drexler and a Livingston County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the scene and located two freshly killed antlerless deer. Contact was made with the shooter who stated he had licenses to take the deer. Drexler pointed out that the season ended 10 days prior and the subject was hunting within several safety zones. The deer were seized and donated, and the case will be submitted to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s office.

CO Mike Drexler responded to an anonymous complaint of a subject keeping a wild opossum as a pet. When Drexler arrived, the mother of the listed suspect stated they had a squirrel they were rehabilitating as it was caught in their friend’s basement. Drexler contacted a licensed rehabilitator in Washtenaw County for guidance and the squirrel was released in the subject’s back wood lot. A verbal warning was issued for possessing wildlife in captivity.

CO Wellman was patrolling when he noticed a small beagle on the edge of the road. Wellman got out of his patrol truck and saw two additional beagles. All three dogs looked very tired and dirty. Wellman followed the dogs on foot for a distance and finally was able to get the dogs to come to him. Wellman called the person listed on one of the dog’s collars and located the owner. A local hounds-hunter had been missing the dogs and met Wellman to retrieve his dogs.

CO Katie Stawara investigated a complaint of an individual suspected of shooting three antlered deer during the firearm season. At the residence, the CO located three deer matching the description of those provided by the complainant. Two were tagged using combo tags while the third was not. Unable to contact the suspect, Stawara returned the next day only to find the untagged deer had been removed. An interview was conducted, and the suspect stated she was suffering from vertigo and could not remember the details of the day the third antlered deer was shot. She admitted it could be a possibility that she thought the buck was a doe and shot it on accident. A warrant is being sought for an over limit of antlered deer.


CO Brad Silorey and PCO Jaime Salisbury conducted a taxidermy inspection in Macomb County. After inspecting several hundred antler racks and other wildlife, Silorey and Salisbury identified 10 racks that required further investigation. The following day, Silorey and Salisbury interviewed two different subjects who both confessed to illegally taking the deer without having kill-tags. Seven different subjects are still under investigation, and charges are being sought with the prosecutor’s office on the two subjects who were already interviewed.

CO Nick Ingersoll was just starting his shift when he observed a vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed. After Ingersoll caught up to the vehicle is was determined that she was going 95 mph in a 70 mph zone. Ingersoll stopped the vehicle and questioned the driver on why she was in such a rush, and she stated she was late for work. After Ingersoll checked her driving status it was determined that she was also suspended out of Michigan and Ohio. The driver also had multiple warrants for her arrest. The driver was lodged by Huron Township PD for her warrants.

CO Christopher Knights was on patrol in an area frequented by ORVs on International Transmission Company property. Knights noticed halogen lights on the trail headed his way. After a few minutes, two side-by-sides approached Knights. Just before they got to him, Knights activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop them. As soon as Knights activated his lights, both side-by-sides turned around and took off. Knights was able to stop one ORV. He advised the operator of the trespassing and the ORV laws he was violating by operating on the roads. Knights issued a citation for recreational trespassing and warnings for operating on the public highway. Knights was able to get a name for the other ORV operator and will follow up.

CO Jacob Griffin and PCO Brandon Vacek responded to an illegal hunting site on state land in Oakland County. The COs investigated the hunting site to discover an illegally placed ground blind, an unmarked tree stand, several cut trees, multiple devices screwed into various trees, illegal tube style feeders, and multiple bait piles all exceeding the bait limit. PCO Vacek and CO Griffin contacted the responsible subject the following day while the subject was hunting. The subject admitted he knew he was responsible for two of the violations. PCO Vacek educated the subject on all the violations. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jacob Griffin was traveling through a village in Oakland County when a vehicle approached very rapidly from behind. The subject in the vehicle accelerated and passed CO Griffin in a no passing zone in the village while exceeding the speed limit. Upon witnessing this, CO Griffin conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. During the traffic stop, the subject admitted to CO Griffin she was late for work and what she did was irresponsible. The CO educated the subject on the safety concerns regarding her actions. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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