Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 12, 2019


CO Cody Smith was on patrol when he noticed a vehicle parked on the side of the road with the hazard lights on. After approaching the vehicle, Smith learned that the vehicle’s fuel had gelled up and they were trying to get a tow through their insurance company. Smith waited with the vehicle being that it was -7 degrees and dropping, to ensure the occupants did not freeze. Smith continued his patrol when a tow company responded to the scene.

CO John Kamps and Sgt. Mark Leadman responded to numerous complaints of a large moose lying in the middle of snowmobile Trail 5 in northern Marquette County. The officers located the moose in poor health and unable to stand up or get off the snowmobile trail. Wildlife Division personnel were informed of the situation and the moose was euthanized and removed for safety reasons.

COs Smith and Boudreaux patrolled Keweenaw Bay for fishing activity. Many anglers were contacted throughout the afternoon, with little fishing success to be seen. In addition to the anglers, COs contacted a few individuals working to chip their permanent shanties out of the slushy ice prior to the March 31 deadline for shanty removal in the Upper Peninsula.

CO Painter was on patrol in Ontonagon County checking ice anglers on Lake Superior. Painter observed a subject catch a coho and throw it on the ice. Painter contacted the subject and asked him for a fishing license. The subject was found to be fishing without a license and had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. Painter lodged the subject in the Ontonagon County jail and enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license.

CO Painter was on patrol in Ontonagon County and responded to a snowmobile versus vehicle accident. Painter assisted on the scene until emergency medical services arrived to transport the operator of the snowmobile to the hospital. The operator sustained minor injuries.


CO Justin Vinson and a deputy from the Luce County Sheriff’s Office patrolled Luce County for snowmobile activity. The two officers were monitoring an intersection when they heard what sounded to be like sleds racing on a nearby road. Upon investigation the officers observed a man, not wearing a helmet, doing doughnuts on a snowmobile in the roadway. The man was stopped and it was discovered that he was also operating on a suspended license, was under the influence of alcohol, and had an outstanding warrant from the 92nd District Court. Law enforcement action was taken.

COs Robert Freeborn and Mike Evink were called out in the middle of the night to search for a missing snowmobiler. At approximately 3:15 a.m. a group of snowmobilers contacted 911 stating that they lost one of their snowmobile party members. They believed he had missed a turn on the trail. The group stopped for a break and when their cohort didn’t arrive, they choose to continue and not look for their buddy. They continued 20 plus miles to where they were staying and contacted dispatch. Dispatch was able to ping his phone from three hours earlier and were able to use the information to determine a direction of travel. As the officers prepared to launch their sleds, they received a call from dispatch stating that a gas station clerk arrived at work to find a man sleeping on the ground in front of the gas station doors. His description matched that of the abandoned snowmobiler. MSP was able to respond to the scene and confirm the snowmobiler was safe, but cold.

CO Steve Butzin was patrolling the Hyde area when he encountered several lost snowmobile riders. Butzin assisted the riders in getting to their destination.

Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon was headed to a training session in Marquette when near the Alger/Marquette County line he came upon an MSP trooper beginning CPR on a female that he made a traffic stop on. Fitzgibbon immediately pulled over to assist the trooper as he was administering CPR. Based on their training and experience, the officers suspected it to be related to a narcotic overdose. The trooper administered Narcan, continued CPR, and by the time paramedics arrived and began their transport the victim had a pulse and was breathing on her own. It is believed she will likely survive.


COs Budreau, Baldwin, and Sgt. Webster were patrolling the Chandler Hills area on snowmobiles when the COs stopped near a large open area, they noticed a coyote running across the field. A second later they heard two gunshots, but they were not able to see the person who was shooting. The COs checked the area and located hound hunters and the hunter who was shooting was wearing snow camouflage. When the hunter was questioned about not wearing hunter orange, he said she forgot it and didn’t have any. Enforcement action pending.

CO Jon Sklba responded to a complaint in Montmorency County by a landowner who had evidence that someone trespassed and harvested an animal from his property. Sklba responded to the area and was able to determine that a deer had been shot and taken from the complainant’s property. Sklba was able to track down the responsible party, approximately a mile away, who admitted to shooting the deer the day prior. The subject stated that he and his father agreed that they could use more deer meat to have a taco salad bar for a graduation party. The subject along with a friend had trespassed on the property of another and shot a deer in March. Charges are pending.

CO Collins assisted Wildlife Division with inspection of a decommissioned Privately Owned Cervidae facility. There were no white-tailed deer present in the enclosure. The ranch will continue the decommission process by taking down the fence.

CO Curtis received a tip of a subject feeding deer at his hunting blinds in southern Alpena County. Upon further investigation, Curtis found multiple snares on the property, due to recent snowfall it was apparent that the snares had not been checked within the last two days. The snares were also left out past the season end date. The subject had two different trapper’s information on the trap tags of some snares. Curtis located the trappers and enforcement action is pending.


CO William Haskin was investigating an individual who was thought to purchase an over-limit of deer combination hunting licenses. A check was done showing the purchases. Haskin was able to find that the individual shot a deer and then purchased two more tags. Haskin was also able to find that the individual shot an antlered white-tailed deer in bow season with a muzzleloader. Charges are pending in the Wexford County and Grand Traverse County prosecutor’s offices.

CO Hubers responded to a complaint of an owl that had entered a bird pen on three consecutive nights and killed several of the complainant’s doves and pigeons. Hubers inspected the enclosure and was unable to find an obvious entry point. Hubers removed the owl from the enclosure and contacted the local raptor rehabilitator for relocation guidance, to reduce the likelihood of the owl returning to the pen to prey on more captive birds. The barred owl was released without incident on the other side of the county.

CO Killingbeck and PCO Reed were participating in a group snowmobile patrol when a snowmobile was observed with no registration decal displayed. Contact was made with the operator, and upon further investigation, it was discovered that the snowmobile had been purchased several months ago but the ownership had not been transferred. Upon requesting a driver’s license, the operator handed the COs a driver’s license that was expired. Reed asked the subject if he had a valid driver’s license and the subject said, “I think so.” It was discovered that the subject’s driver’s license was suspended. The operator was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail.

CO Killingbeck and PCO Reed were on patrol when they observed several snowmobilers disregard a stop sign. Contact was made with the operators and one subject produced an identification card. The COs asked the operator if he had a valid driver’s license and the subject said that his license was suspended but that did not matter because he knew he could operate a snowmobile. The COs discovered that the subject was driving on a suspended driver license from numerous drunk driving convictions. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail.


CO McPherson and PCO Beelman assisted in a bear den check with Wildlife Division. The COs assisted in removing the bear and three cubs from the den. The radio collar was changed, and measurements were taken of all four bears. All four bears were healthy and were returned to the den without incident.

CO Charles Jones was dispatched to a stranded ice angler on Lake Skegemog in Kalkaska County. Due to blizzard-like conditions, the angler was unable to navigate off the ice. Jones and MSP Trooper Jason Darling responded to the lake boat launch. Jones used his patrol snowmobile to retrieve the angler off the ice. With almost zero visibility, Darling used his overhead emergency lights as a reference point back to shore and angler was transported safely back to shore.

CO Mark Papineau completed an investigation regarding deer that had been taken without licenses. The investigation lead Papineau to an 8-point buck that had been shot during the muzzleloader season in 2017. Investigation revealed that the buck was shot on private property in Iosco County, and after numerous taxidermy inspections, records were discovered for the deer. With assistance from CO Bellville, the records were reviewed and revealed that the buck had been tagged with another hunter’s license. In addition, records were discovered revealing a 9-point buck shot in 2018, also without a license. An interview was conducted, and confessions were obtained. According to the subject, the 2017 buck was shot on private land in Iosco County without a license and a tag was borrowed. The 2018 buck was shot on private land in Ogemaw County and a license was purchased after the fact. Numerous warrants are being sought through both the Ogemaw and Iosco County Prosecutor’s Offices.


COs Jason King, Quincy Gowenlock, Adam Beuthin, Jill Miller and PCO Adam Schiller conducted a group snowmobile patrol on the Kawkawlin River and Saginaw Bay in Bay County. Citations were issued for no snowmobile trail permits, failure to register snowmobile and no ORV sticker. Verbal warnings were issued for improper display of snowmobile registration and riding double on an ORV. Good contacts were also made throughout the patrol.

COs Robert Hobkirk and Kyle Bucholtz checked multiple anglers on Saginaw Bay. One subject was found to be in possession of an over-limit of walleye. Through an investigation, it was determined the subject was in possession of his limit and a second subject’s limit. The second subject was found to be having snowmobile issues and turned his limit over to the first subject for transportation to shore. The anglers were educated on the possession law and given a verbal warning.

COs Hobkirk, Jason Smith, Mark Siemen, Seth Rhodea, and PCOs Jon Sheppard and Tom Peterson conducted a plain clothes patrol checking coyote hunters. In an unmarked vehicle the COs contacted several groups of hunters. Two uncased guns in a motor vehicle violation were found as well as a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Citations were written for the three violations.

While conducting fishing checks along the Saginaw Bay shoreline, CO Rhodea and PCO Peterson made contact with a group of individuals who were returning from fishing. One angler was found to not have a valid fishing license. The individual was in possession of six yellow perch; he was cited for the violation and the perch were seized. During the same patrol another group of anglers were contacted. Multiple violations were noted. One individual was in possession of one perch over his legal limit and one undersized walleye. The angler was cited for the undersized walleye and warned about the over limit of perch. The two other individuals in the group were cited for no helmet on an ORV and warned for riding double on ORV.


CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau received a deer feeding complaint from the RAP line. The complainant was able to provide specific details regarding the deer feeding activity, including a video posted on social media. Contact was made with the suspect, who stated she had just found out it was recently made illegal to feed deer in the Lower Peninsula. The COs educated the subject on the reasons for the baiting/feeding ban. The subject was compliant and apologetic. The feeder was subsequently removed, and a warning was issued for the violation.

While patrolling Gull Lake in Barry County one evening, CO Schluckbier and PCO Viau checked a large gathering of smelt anglers. Most anglers were having success and were enjoying the evening on the ice. One individual was found to be fishing without a license and another individual had failed to license his ORV. Citations were issued for the violations.

CO Richard Cardenas and PCO Andrea Dani checked numerous anglers on Thornapple and Jordan Lakes in Barry County. The COs encountered one subject quickly packing up and attempting to leave the ice before they could find he had no license and another subject in possession of an over-limit of sunfish. Citations were issued for both violations.

During a patrol of Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers and PCO Ariel Corr investigated the shooting of two does during firearm gun season in 2018 without a license. Contact was made with the subject and the officers confirmed that the subject was the shooter of the two deer. When questioned, the subject first stated that he had bought his licenses before going hunting. Corr informed the subject that it was not possible based on the information the officers had regarding what time licenses were purchased and when the deer were killed. After further questioning, a confession was obtained that he did purchase the licenses after shooting the deer. The investigation is pending.


CO Shane Webster and PCO Byron Parks were conducting a follow-up investigation on a possible illegal deer taken during the 2018 deer season, along with a possible illegal turkey taken during the fall of 2018. The officers contacted the subject who confessed to allowing his 7-year-old grandson to shoot the deer before purchasing a mentored youth license. The deer head and antlers were seized. The same subject confessed to shooting the illegal turkey during the fall when he had no fall turkey license. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office seeking charges against the mentor for allowing the 7-year-old to hunt and shoot a deer without a license and another charge request for the illegal turkey.

CO Reynolds was patrolling Hillsdale County and observed in the distance what appeared to be a group of coyote hunters. As the officer approached, he observed one hunter place an uncased gun in his vehicle and begin driving along the field edge. When the officer made contact, the hunter immediately tried to distract the officer away from the vehicle. The hunter stated he was coyote hunting and forgot that his hunting license was in the vehicle. The officer followed the hunter to the vehicle and observed the uncased firearm which was still loaded from hunting. The officer discussed the uncased firearm with the hunter stating that he was in a hurry to get to the next hunting spot. A citation was issued for having a loaded, uncased firearm in a vehicle.

CO Shannon Kritz received a RAP complaint about an active deer feeder on township property in Eaton County. Kritz investigated the area and found the active feeder along with a deer stand but no recent footprints indicating where the suspect was accessing the location from. After a long weekend and a fresh snowfall, Kritz patrolled the area again. This time, the suspect had been into the feeder to refill it and put out fresh hay. Kritz followed the tracks back to a local cemetery where it appeared like the suspect parked to access the feeder. Kritz followed up with the township and talked with local cemetery workers. Township employees had observed the suspect park in the cemetery in the past and they remembered the license plate of the vehicle he was driving. From that information, Kritz was able to identify the suspect and follow up with an interview. The suspect confessed to feeding deer and a report will be submitted to the prosecutor for charges.


CO Lasher responded to a vehicle that had gone through the ice on Lake St Clair. The owner reported the accident at approximately 2:30 a.m. but the salvage company could not respond until daylight for safety reasons. The 2019 Dodge RAM was roughly a half-mile from the Fair Haven Access Site with the front end sitting in about five feet of water. The vehicle was removed without incident. The owner/driver was written a careless driving ticket for failing to stop before hitting the pressure crack in the ice.

CO Silorey and PCO Reed were checking marinas in Macomb County when they noticed an individual fishing with five lines in the water. The COs watched the angler check all five lines that were being used before they approached him. Upon contact, Silorey and Reed asked the angler how many lines he had in the water, he stated that he had five and that he knew it was too many. The violation was addressed, and the angler was cited for fishing with more than three lines.

CO Robert Watson was patrolling Hewitt Pit on a busy Saturday and had contacted multiple people shooting firearms. Watson watched a group of shooters for approximately 30 minutes until the shooters packed up their firearms and began leaving the area. Watson met the shooters at their vehicle and asked to see their spent casings and targets that they should have brought back up with them. The shooters admitted to leaving the empty casings in the woods “for the old timers to come around and pick up for reloading.” A ticket was issued for littering in a state game area.

COs David Schaumburger and Dan Walzak were patrolling around the ice in Grosse Pointe checking anglers when they came upon two anglers with seven tip-ups between the duo. Upon seeing the COs walk up, one of the anglers told Schaumburger that he was just about to pull the seventh tip-up because his friend just left within the last five minutes. Schaumburger told the angler it was too late to give him a warning for fishing with greater than three lines and a citation was issued.

CO Knights was checking ice anglers on Pontiac Lake when he witnessed a snowmobile headed towards him. Knights finished the conversation with the angler and was able to stop the snowmobile. After checking for the snowmobile’s registration, Knights noticed the individual failed to purchase a trail permit. Knights advised the rider of the law and issued him a citation for failing to purchase a trial permit.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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