Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 29, 2019
CO John Kamps was patrolling Trail 8 in Marquette County when a snowmobile blew past a stop sign and crossed a frequently traveled road. The CO was able to make contact with the individual later down the trail and law enforcement action was taken for careless snowmobile operation.
CO John Kamps assisted the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue teams for missing snowmobilers during a weekend blizzard. With wind gusts that reached over 40 mph and in deep snow conditions, Kamps was able to help find three different snowmobilers who were all reported missing in different locations near Trail 8. After spending multiple hours in the blizzard conditions, all three snowmobilers were found and brought back to safety.
COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were on their way home from a training in Houghton when they noticed a vehicle which appeared to be stuck down a side road. After turning around, the COs discovered that the vehicle was stuck on the railroad tracks and appeared to have gotten stuck trying to turn around on the snowy road. Upon contact with the railroad company, the COs learned a train was headed to their location and would be unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with the truck. With the tow truck being a great distance away, Boudreaux and Kamps helped the driver and his wife remove their vehicle from the tracks.
CO Doug Hermanson and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted a snowmobile patrol near South Range in Houghton County to address complaints in the area. The officers checked many sleds during the afternoon patrol, with violations addressed for exceeding the sound decibel limit, failure to register a snowmobile and failure to purchase trail permits.
CO Brian Lasanen was on patrol when he heard the radio call of a hit and run accident. Lasanen was close to the area and responded to assist Houghton County deputies. The suspect vehicle was located, and the suspect found with the vehicle. The suspect was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and OWI.
COs Mike Evink and Steven Butzin patrolled Big Bay de Noc looking for fishing activity. Due to poor weather, activity was light. However, the officers located a gill net in the bay and turned the information over to Great Lakes Enforcement Unit.
Probationary Conservation Officer Ariel Corr, CO Calvin Smith, and a Chippewa County sheriff’s deputy provided first aid to a victim who fell off his roof while shoveling snow. The victim was transported to War Memorial Hospital for further treatment by Kinross EMS.
CO Colton Gelinas and Luce County Deputy Tim Maskus responded to a snowmobile personal injury accident in northern Luce County. Upon arrival at the scene, the officers found a male to have a broken arm after hitting a tree with his snowmobile; speed was a factor.
COs Colton Gelinas and Kevin Postma responded to a wolf killed in Chippewa County. The hunters believed that the wolf was a coyote, shot it and after discovering that the animal was a collared wolf the hunters reported their mistake. The shooter was a 7-year old, hunting as a mentored youth with his father who directed them to take the animal. A report has been forwarded to the Chippewa County prosecutor for review.
CO Chris Lynch and PCO Michael Olesen were working snowmobile enforcement on Trail 8 in Alger County when a call came out for a two-vehicle personal injury accident a short distance from their location. The COs responded to the traffic crash and performed traffic control duties while EMS and fire assisted the victims of the crash.
CO Chris Lynch and PCO Michael Olesen were working with CO Mark Zitnik performing a group snowmobile and ice fishing patrol in Alger County. During the patrol of South Bay, Trout Bay, Sand Point and surrounding trails, multiple violations were discovered including one small splake, careless operation of a snowmobile, failure to attach snowmobile registration, failure to register snowmobile and failure to attach trail permit. In total, 10 tickets were issued along with 20 warnings given during the patrol.
CO Andrea Albert and PCO Andrea Dani received a complaint from a landowner of three snowmobiles running over his fence and trespassing on his property. The landowner had the snowmobiles stopped and was waiting for the COs arrival. The COs contacted the suspects and issued citations for trespassing.
Sgt. Mark DePew had just completed his shift during a severe blizzard in Otsego County when he was contacted by Otsego central dispatch which advised several people were stranded in their vehicles on Alba Highway for over seven hours and needed emergency help. Dispatch advised initial first responders were unable to get to the stranded people because of the blizzard conditions and impassable roads. DePew responded on his department snowmobile contacting 11 stranded people providing survival blankets and assessing each person’s medical status. After checking each person and finding them OK, the sergeant organized a rescue response, safely taking each person one by one on his snowmobile out to waiting Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and MSP patrol cars who then took them to local hotels for the night. The sergeant advised no injuries were reported during the rescue.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick patrolled the speed limit area of trail 720 in Cheboygan County. Three operators were cited for violating the posted speed limit of 35 mph on the snowmobile trail. During one of the encounters, it was discovered that one of the operators also had a suspended operator’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Eric Bottorff and Tim Rosochacki responded to a complaint of a snowmobile that had caught fire on the snowmobile trail south of Indian River. On arrival, the COs ensured that there were no injuries to the rider and assisted in removing the engine and skis from the roadside. The rest of the snowmobile was destroyed by the fire.
CO William Haskin observed an individual fishing on Hodenpyl Dam backwaters with seven tip-ups at one time. Haskin watched the individual catch a 30-inch pike, contacted the individual and enforcement action was taken.
COs Steve Converse and Scott MacNeill were on patrol of Manistee County when they stopped to assist an MSP trooper with a traffic stop where the suspect had an outstanding warrant. This stop resulted in the suspect fleeing in his vehicle when the trooper attempted to arrest him. Several miles down the road, the suspects’ vehicle was unable to navigate a sharp corner in the snowy conditions and crashed into the trees. MacNeill and Converse assisted the trooper in tracking the suspect on foot after he fled his vehicle. The suspect was located several hundred yards away, where he continued to be noncompliant. Officers used a TASER and were able to take the individual into custody. The suspect was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons as a result of the motor vehicle accident and lodged in the Manistee County jail on several felony charges.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Josh Reed, while on patrol, were contacted by Lake County central dispatch and asked to respond to a snowmobile personal injury accident. Reed and Killingbeck investigated the cause of the accident and, after speaking with the driver, determined that the driver was intoxicated and admitted to driving 80 to 90 mph before failing to negotiate a curve in the roadway which resulted in the crash. After making sure the driver was not injured and refused medical treatment, the driver was arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail for OWI.
CO Troy VanGelderen was checking anglers on the ice and observed an angler acting suspiciously while he approached. Upon contacting the angler, it was determined he was fishing with too many lines. The angler stated his daughter was supposed to be fishing with him, but she was taking a nap. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines.
COs Mathew Zultak and Chuck McPherson were patrolling Higgins Lake and located several tip-ups with no one around. One of the tip-ups had a flag that had been tripped indicating a fish was on the line. The two COs sat at a distance for around a half hour when they noticed an ORV pull up to check the tip-up. The COs contacted the subjects and found open intoxicants in the ORV, no identification on the tip-ups and lines not under immediate control. Enforcement action was taken.
COs John Huspen, Matt Zultak, Chuck McPherson and PCO Nate Beelman contacted anglers fishing with too many lines on Higgins Lake. The anglers advised there were others fishing with them but were on shore getting bait. A time later the subjects returned. They had no ORV license on their ORV and did not have their fishing lines under immediate control. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Matt Zultak and Chuck McPherson contacted five anglers on Houghton Lake. Three of the anglers did not have fishing licenses and were smoking marijuana in a public area. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Steve Lockwood, Craig Neal and Ethan Gainforth patrolled Saginaw Bay on their snowmobiles. Throughout the patrol, several citations were issued for unregistered snowmobiles and unlicensed ORVs. The COs checked hundreds of anglers as they made their way off the ice. One angler stated that he had caught his limit of walleye. However, when he dumped his bucket of fish out onto the ice more than his limit of eight walleye fell out. The angler stated the bite picked up right at the end and he kept throwing fish in the bucket without counting. A citation was issued for possession of an over limit of walleye.
CO Mark Papineau completed an investigation regarding a Gladwin County resident who had shot a 9-point buck without a license. Papineau received the tip while investigating a separate case involving the unlawful taking of a deer. According to the tip, Papineau was informed that the suspect had been hunting without a license and shot a large, 9-point buck during the first week of the firearm deer season. License purchase records confirmed that the suspect had not purchased any licenses and several photographs clearly depicted the suspect with the deer. Papineau contacted the suspect and obtained a full confession. Papineau was also able to recover the antlers and head of the deer, which were also illegally tagged with another person’s license. Warrants are being sought for taking the deer without a license and the borrowing/loaning of tags.
CO Mike Haas and PCO Brandon Vacek received a complaint that a bobcat had gotten stuck in a resident’s deep window well in central Isabella County. The COs checked on the bobcat and it appeared to be uninjured and healthy. A long board and ladder were placed in the window well and the COs determined the bobcat would most likely climb out if left undisturbed. The COs heard back from the complainant the following day and were told that the bobcat had climbed out of the window well at some point in the middle of the night.
CO Joe Myers and PCO Dan Liestenfeltz conducted a late-night fishing patrol along Saginaw Bay. The COs contacted many individuals and were able to check a lot of fish coming off the bay. Later in the evening, the officers patrolled a parking lot on foot, searching for any illegal or suspicious fishing activity. The COs observed a cooler in the back of an out-of-state truck that was open and in plain view, over flowing with walleye. The COs moved to an unmarked patrol unit and watched the vehicle until they were able to follow it to a local motel. After sitting on the vehicle all night and assuming they would be going out fishing again in the morning, the vehicle left the motel and went to a gas station where they were filling-up to head back to Ohio. Upon contact, it was found that the anglers had 16 walleye over the legal possession amount. The illegal walleye were seized, and citations were issued for the violations.
CO Sam Schluckbier was checking a public access site on Gun Lake in Barry County when he observed a snowmobile drive across the lake. The operator was not wearing a helmet and was holding onto a youth passenger who also was not wearing a helmet. Schluckbier followed the subjects to a nearby cabin where he was able to make contact. The driver and his 6-year old son borrowed an unregistered snowmobile from his father-in-law and took it across the lake. Schluckbier advised the father of his concern for the child’s safety and informed him of the several violations he had committed. A citation was issued for the safety violation.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau checked several inland lakes in Allegan County during. They made contact at one shanty surrounded by five tip-ups and two anglers inside the shanty jigging for panfish. One angler denied having a line in the water prior to their arrival. He stated that he baited his hook as a back-up fishing rod that his son could use in case a school of fish came in. Schluckbier and Viau were skeptical of the story they were given when it was pointed out that a second hole was drilled, and the bait was saturated with water from recent use. Further investigation revealed additional fishing violations and a citation was issued for failure to identify the tip-ups by name and address of the owner.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at Cranberry Lake in Kent County where he witnessed an individual fishing. Varriale contacted the individual and she immediately stated she wasn’t fishing. Varriale told her he witnessed her fishing from his truck and she still had a rod in her hand with the line in a fishing hole. The individual still stated she was not fishing despite the facts presented to her. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Mike Drexler was off duty when he received an in-progress recreational trespass complaint in an area where trespassing has been a problem in recent years. Drexler responded and was backed up by an MSP trooper. Together, they were able to track the suspects who were still in the area rabbit hunting on several properties where they did not have permission. Citations were issued for recreational trespass.
CO Jason McCullough completed an investigation involving a large buck that was killed with a bow and arrow around midnight, during firearm deer season, within a local city limits. The suspect had watched a deer bed down along a set of railroad tracks on his way home from the store. The suspect went home grabbed his bow and arrow, drove back near the deer, parked his car, stalked the deer down the opposite side of the railroad tracks and shot the deer. The suspect then went home, met a friend, and the two of them went and retrieved the deer. After the suspect hid the deer under some tires, he started a car in his driveway, which backfired. The neighbors called to report shots fired within city limits. The local city police department answered the shots fired call and discovered evidence of the deer. McCullough responded to the scene and along with the city police, were able to obtain a confession and gather overwhelming evidence. A full confession was obtained and a follow up investigation, with the assistance of CO Jeff Goss they located the friend who had helped recover the deer. Warrants were sought through the local prosecutor’s office.
CO Nicholas Wellman was patrolling for anglers in the southern end of Branch County when he noticed several anglers on a small lake. After observing the group for a period, Wellman contacted the angler. One of the anglers was fishing without a license and had five tip-ups in the water. The person stated that he was native American and could do those things. Wellman informed him that this far into southern Michigan, many of those laws do, in fact, apply to everyone. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines and a written warning was given for fishing without a license.
CO Matthew Neterer investigated a case where a coyote hunting dog was shot and killed while pursuing a coyote across private land. The victim claimed that the accused shot his dog intentionally. The accused stated that he mistook the dog for a coyote. The case is being reviewed by the Ingham County prosecutor’s office.
While checking for fishing activity on Lake St. Clair, COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen were checking anglers near the Coast Guard station. The COs smelled marijuana coming from a shanty and contacted the angler at his shanty. The angler stepped out and was accompanied by a plume of suspected marijuana smoke. The angler was questioned about his marijuana use and the angler said, “It’s legal man.” The angler was cited for using marijuana in a public place.
CO Ray Gardner was on patrol and stopped at the Lapeer Shooting Pit to check on the activity. While there, Gardner found two individuals who were shooting at stuffed teddy bears. When asked, the individuals said they didn’t know they couldn’t do that, despite all the signs stating what allowable targets are. A citation was issued for shooting at improper targets.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen located a single ice shanty on a canal behind a residence. Upon checking the shanty, a single subject fishing inside stated that he had his fishing license in the house. The subject reappeared with his wallet but said he must have left his fishing license in his boat. Upon running the Retail Sales System, it was found the subject had not purchased a fishing license since 2014. The subject received a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Pat Hartsig was checking ice anglers on Lake St. Clair when he observed an ORV operating carelessly on the ice. The operator was contacted and in addition to operating carelessly, they failed to license the machine as well as another machine that was operated. Tickets were issued for the careless operation and unlicensed ORVs.
CO Robert Watson was patrolling Hewitt Pit in St. Clair County, when he observed two subjects for approximately one hour while they shot many rounds with multiple different firearms. Watson observed the two subjects shoot at the frozen ground from near point-blank range, sending multiple rounds ricocheting through the trees. Watson then was able to observe the two subjects as they packed up their firearms and left the area, walking back to their vehicle. The two shooters approached their pile of empty ammunition boxes and spent casings, and both began kicking the garbage into the weeds. Upon seeing this, Watson issued both shooters citations for littering and educated them on basic firearm safety.