Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 26, 2019
CO Josh Boudreaux responded to a 911 hang-up call at the residence of an elderly female in northern Marquette County. Dispatch operators stated they could not get an answer when they called the residence back and were concerned it may be a medical emergency. Boudreaux began knocking on doors and windows, attempting to gain a response from someone inside. After multiple attempts, a light came on in the residence and Boudreaux was able to speak with the homeowner who was not in distress but had dialed 911 by accident.
CO Brett DeLonge did a television interview with TV6 News in Marquette to discuss new regulations for boaters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. The law requires boaters to remove all vegetation attached to the boat or trailer when leaving a lake and requires the water to be drained from the livewell.
CO Cody Smith and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Cole Vanoosten went with local biologists to check a bear den site. Three bears were pulled from the den including a sow and her two yearlings. The biologists changed tracking collars, tagged the yearlings, took blood samples, and several measurements including overall length, temperature, and weight. At the conclusion of the collection of information the bears were returned to their den to continue their hibernation.
COs Cody Smith and John Kamps were observing anglers on Keweenaw Bay near L’Anse when they noticed an angler with a stringer full of fish. The COs watched as the subject had an over-limit of trout and salmon and handed several fish off to another angler on the bay. Contact was made with both anglers and a confession was obtained for catching and keeping an over-limit of trout and salmon. A citation was issued for possessing an over-limit of salmon.
CO Jared Ferguson assisted Michigan State Police (MSP) with a domestic violence incident in Dickinson County where a male suspect was arrested.
COs Steve Butzin, Chris Lynch, PCO Mike Oleson, and DEGLE Detective Trey Luce investigated a complaint of several campers burning on Little Bay de Noc. When the COs arrived at the location, they located two campers that had been completely burnt. The COs contacted the owner of the trailer at the scene and he admitted to setting the campers on fire. The campers had frozen into the ice over the winter and he felt it would be easier to burn them rather than attempt to get them out of the ice. The incident is under investigation and could result in the subject facing several charges, along with having to remove all the debris that was left behind.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual hunting deer during firearm deer season without a license. After several months of investigation, Butzin, CO Chris Lynch, and PCO Mike Oleson interviewed the individual at his residence in Garden Township. A warrant request has been submitted to the Delta County prosecutor’s office for illegal take of a 9-point deer, illegal take of an 8-point deer, two counts of borrowing the kill tag of another, and possession of a walleye out of season.
While patrolling Little Bay de Noc, CO Steve Butzin observed an ice shanty that had several fish lying on the ice outside of it. When Butzin knocked on the shanty and announced himself there was no reply. Butzin left and observed the shanty from a short distance away.After about 10 minutes the anglers returned to the shanty. Butzin immediately contacted them when they opened the door of the shanty, several unattended lines were observed. A citation was issued to the anglers for fishing with lines that were not in their immediate control.
CO Chris Lynch recently had a case adjudicated in court where a hunter illegally took an 8-point deer and was sentenced to five days in jail, ordered to pay $5,325 in fines and restitution, and his hunting privileges were revoked for six years.
CO Ethen Mapes and PCO Jackie Miskovich responded to a call from Charlevoix County Central Dispatch of a possible fatal snowmobile accident. Upon arrival to the scene, they found that the individual was deceased. Mapes and Miskovich worked with a Charlevoix County deputy to conduct the accident investigation. Further follow up investigation is ongoing to determine the factors of the accident.
CO Eric Bottorff was patrolling the Pigeon River Forest when he was stopped by two elderly wildlife viewers who could not find their way out due to very poor road conditions and a lack of road signs. In order to ensure that they did not get stranded, the couple was escorted out by Bottorff.
CO Tim Rosochacki assisted with several incidents in Cheboygan County in which he was the closest unit to a complaint. One of which was a main power line down across a major highway. Rosochacki helped divert traffic onto a secondary road until the line was removed from the roadway. Another incident involved a subject experiencing a mental breakdown. Rosochacki made contact with the subject and was able to calm him down until EMS arrived.
CO Jon Sklba reported that a group involved in the theft of hunting blinds in Presque Isle County had been sentenced. In total the group was sentenced to 440 days in jail. The group was ordered to pay $22,800 in fines and restitution. They had hunting and fishing rights revoked for a total of nine years. The group had been linked to multiple thefts throughout the county over a period of many years.
CO Paul Fox attended a large career exposition in Gaylord. Hundreds of people were in attendance looking for future career paths. Fox answered questions pertaining to careers as a conservation officer as well as other DNR careers.
CO Paul Fox did a presentation for a local Boy Scout troop in Presque Isle County. Fox talked about his job as a conservation officer, how to become a conservation officer, and various outdoor and wildlife topics. The fur kit was used to teach the troop about the different wildlife in Michigan.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling Hodenpyl Dam on the last day of pike season when he observed anglers fishing across the lake from him and noted one angler on an ORV was checking a long line of tip-ups that spanned over a quarter mile. Ludwig contacted the angler who had been using the ORV and admitted to using eight tip-ups. Ludwig then contacted the anglers in the shanties nearby who were both spearfishing and noticed that one of the anglers was using a minnow attached to a multi-pointed hook, in addition to the three tip-ups he was already fishing. Citations were issued to both anglers for fishing with too many lines.
COs Josh Reed and Josiah Killingbeck observed two subjects ice fishing on Canadian Lakes in Mecosta County. Both anglers were found to be fishing with too many lines. One subject had 10 lines and the other had five. The subject with 10 lines was also found to be 30 bluegills over his legal limit of 25 along with an undersized out-of-season largemouth bass. While being questioned about the over-limit of fish, the subject attempted to hide the bass in his hand and place it into a bucket holding several other fish. In addition to these violations, he also failed to have his name and address attached to his tip-ups. Both subjects were educated on the proper fishing requirements and issued citations for fishing with more than three lines and possession of an over- limit of bluegill.
CO Steve Converse has received several trespassing complaints stemming from trail camera photos. With the recent warmer weather, private property owners are now able to access their remote properties and retrieve their game cameras that have been left out over the winter. Several property owners have found pictures on their cameras of subjects trespassing on snowmobile for predator hunting. One property owner noted the same subject trespassing almost every day for a month. So far one subject has been identified and contact was made. During the contact, the subject admitted to trespassing and was also found to be actively feeding deer with a trailer full of sugar beets. A warrant is being sought in that case.
While working fish runs on the Muskegon River, CO Jeff Ginn encountered three anglers fishing in a smaller aluminum fishing boat. Upon checking the subjects for Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), they were found to be short one. Ginn explained the importance of having the correct number of PFDs, especially during the high-water situation, and the fact the water temperature was only 37 degrees. Ginn issued a citation for the violation and provided the anglers one of his extra PFDs. This allowed them to finish fishing for the afternoon and the subjects agreed to return the PFD to a local sports shop in Croton when they cleared the river.
CO Mike Hearn and PCO Jesse Grzechowski were called to a residence where a search warrant was being served by the Kalkaska County sheriff’s office. While serving the warrant, deputies found three dead deer and a dead wild turkey at the residence. The COs subsequently investigated and determined the deer and turkey were possessed illegally. A warrant request was submitted through the Kalkaska County prosecutor’s office for charges. An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect, who has previously been arrested by the DNR for poaching six deer in the past.
CO John Huspen and PCO Nathan Beelman received a complaint about anglers on Lake Margarethe fishing for northern pike and walleye during the closed season. The COs checked numerous anglers on the lake and contacted a few groups who were using tip-ups to try and catch perch. One of the anglers had a valid warrant for his arrest. He was walked off the ice by the COs and turned over to the Crawford County sheriff’s office for transport to the jail.
CO Mark Papineau assisted the Arenac County sheriff’s office investigate a suspicious situation involving a possible homicide. Arenac County deputies stopped a vehicle near I-75 for numerous traffic violations. Upon contact, the driver was acting very strange. According to deputies, the man indicated he was camping on state land in Gladwin County and practicing survival skills. The contact led to a vehicle search and the discovery of an uncased, loaded handgun along with a pillow and tarp that was covered in blood. The driver was arrested, and Papineau was contacted to assist in the search for the camp. After a brief search, Papineau located the camp and a very detailed search of the surrounding area was conducted. No evidence of foul play was located. The incident remains under investigation by the Arenac County sheriff’s office.
PCO Adam Schiller and CO Quincy Gowenlock responded to a complaint of deer bait near St. Charles. Upon arrival, the COs noticed a pile of corn and carrots next to the road. Schiller contacted the homeowner and inquired about the bait. The homeowner said he was feeding birds and not deer. As Schiller continued to speak with the homeowner, he noticed the license plate on his truck read, “Love to Hunt Fish and Trap.” After determining the homeowner was an avid outdoorsman, Schiller told him that most birds don’t eat shelled corn. The homeowner finally admitted to placing the corn and carrots out for deer. The homeowner was informed about the bait/feed ban in the Lower Peninsula, which he admitted knowing about. He was then issued a citation for his violation.
CO Seth Rhodea and PCO Tom Peterson during patrol of Huron County came across two subjects returning to shore in an air boat off Saginaw Bay. The two individuals claimed that the ice fishing was slow, and they had not caught much. They showed multiple buckets only containing a total of seven fish. Rhodea noticed what appeared to be a grain sack stuffed under PFDs in the bow of the boat. The COs located two grain sacks one containing 21 perch the other containing 22 perch. The owner of the boat claimed they hid the fish so no one would know how well they did. Rhodea then located another nine fish located in a plastic grocery bag, at which time the owner claimed that Rhodea must had caught them. The individuals were nine fish over their limit for the Saginaw Bay. The owner of the boat was cited for possessing an over limit of perch.
CO John Person and PCO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a complaint from Midland County dispatch. The complainant stated that there were three dead deer in her backyard, and she has no idea how that could have happened. The COs responded and there were indeed three dead deer in her backyard, all a short distance from one another. There was still snow on the ground, so it was easy to see tracks. It appeared that the deer had died right where they stood. The COs checked the area for any possible evidence of what may have happened to the deer. When the deer were examined, it did not appear that they had been shot or suffered any serious trauma. All three deer were turned over the Wildlife Division and were sent to the Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing for necropsy.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau received a complaint about a deer carcass and other items dumped on a homeowner’s property. While investigating the dumped items, the COs were contacted by a neighbor of the complainant who explained he had dumped the deer carcass in the field. The individual explained that he had legally acquired the deer with a road kill salvage permit. However, the man was not able to explain why he had dumped the deer and other items on the neighbor’s property, and he stated he was not aware of who owned the property. The subject also admitted to setting up a hunting blind on the neighbor’s property. When Viau ran the subject’s file, the return confirmed he had an active warrant out of Van Buren County. A citation was issued for littering and the subject was transported to the Van Buren County Jail.
While following up on a littered deer head that CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau had found at a public boat launch, the investigation led them to a person suspected of illegally taking three deer during the 2018 hunting season. After conducting several interviews, the COs found the person who littered the deer head and enforcement action was taken. The investigation into the illegal deer is ongoing.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling through Ottawa County when he observed a semi-truck run a busy stop sign. The CO stopped the driver who stated he did not want to get slammed with the liquid in the tanker he was hauling, so he did not stop for the intersection. The CO explained how the stop sign was very well visible from a long distance away and he needed to accommodate for that in the future. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Hartleben and PCO Luke Robare interrupted a male and female subject fornicating inside a motor vehicle at the Doyle Lake access site in Waterloo State Recreation Area. Once the two subjects were fully clothed, Hartleben and Robare ran them both through LEIN. The male subject came back with a felony domestic violence warrant out of Jackson County. Robare arrested the subject and a meet near the Washtenaw/Jackson county line was arranged with Michigan State Police. The subject was ultimately transported and lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
CO Nick Wellman was on his way home when he noticed several kayaks all together on North Lake in Branch County. Wellman observed three kayaks pulling a paddle boat that was nearly submerged under the water. In all, there were six subjects on the kayaks and paddle boat. The group disappeared behind a section of land and Wellman spent the next hour trying to relocate them to attempt to get them to shore safely. After several attempts, Wellman was able to locate the group and guided them to shore. By the time they reached shore, the paddle boat was completely submerged. Upon contact, Wellman took the individuals who had fallen into the lake and put them in his patrol truck with the heat on to warm them up. The men stated they were staying at a cabin for the weekend, had paddled down to a local bar, and were coming home when the boat became waterlogged. They stated they didn’t have any PFDs with them and didn’t know they were required. The men were warmed up, and later picked up by a friend. The group received three citations for not having PFDs on a kayak. They stated they now understand why having PFDs is very important.
CO Raymond Gardner was on patrol in Attica Township, Lapeer County, when he noticed a 4-wheeler driving towards him. When Gardner noticed the operator was not wearing a helmet, he performed a traffic stop. When Gardner contacted the operator, the man said, “I already know, I’m in trouble.” Gardner also noticed that the most recent ORV license sticker on the 4-wheeler was from 2017. Gardner explained to the man that before he could operate his 4-wheeler on a public roadway, he must have a helmet on and a current ORV license sticker. A citation was issued for the violations.
CO Keven Luther joined in on an area group marine patrol within the southern portions of the Detroit River. The officers contacted approximately 48 vessels and 68 anglers during the patrol. Luther issued three citations during the patrol. Two citations were issued for not having an operable fire extinguisher aboard a vessel and one for not having a PFD for every passenger aboard a vessel.
CO Dan Walzak participated in an area marine group patrol along the Detroit River, issuing two citations, one for insufficient PFDs on vessel and another for no fire extinguisher on vessel.
CO Christopher Knights received a complaint in Lake Orion regarding a deer hanging from a tree behind a barn. Knights contacted the homeowner and interviewed him regarding the deer. The individual stated he shot the deer the last day of bow season and just now moved the animal outside of his barn for coyotes. Knights had already checked the individual for a deer hunting license before arriving and knew he hadn’t purchased a deer license. Knights asked if he had a tag for the deer, he advised he failed to purchase one for the year. Both Knights and the homeowner walked back to the deer and Knights noticed traps around the property as well. After checking the traps, he noticed none of the traps had any identification on them. Knights advised the individual of the laws pertaining to deer licenses and trapping regulations. A report will be filed with the Oakland County prosecutor’s office for taking the deer without a license and a citation was issued for possession of untagged traps.