Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 10, 2019
CO Brett DeLonge responded to a complaint of a dead moose along the Michigamme River. The young moose was located and found to be covered entirely in ticks. The head and several organs were removed to be sent for testing at the DNR Wildlife Laboratory in Lansing.
CO John Kamps checked a boat returning from Lake Superior in Marquette. The small boat had been out in one to two-foot waves with large chunks of ice floating nearby. A check revealed the boat did not have any Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) for the passengers onboard. A ticket was issued for no PFDs on the vessel.
CO Josh Boudreaux patrolled Lake Independence following the deadline for shanty removal. Boudreaux located large quantities of garbage and debris left by various anglers. Boudreaux contacted one angler at his residence who had simply cut the top from his shanty, leaving chairs, fishing equipment, and other odds and ends frozen into the ice. Boudreaux explained that the shanty next to his, which had been frozen under nearly 14 inches of ice, was removed by the deadline without issue, leaving no excuses. Multiple shanty owners were contacted with several citations issued for litter. Charges are pending for several subjects for failure to remove shack by April 1.
CO John Kamps was driving through a residential area when he noticed a subject standing at the tailgate of his truck. The subject threw what appeared to be a fish further into the bed of the truck when he noticed the CO. Kamps stopped to investigate the suspicious activity and questioned the subject, who was holding a fillet knife and had blood on his hands. After several denials, it was soon discovered the subject was in the process of cleaning two salmon and one brown trout. He admitted to catching the fish but did not have a Michigan fishing license and was issued a ticket for possessing fish without a license.
While on routine patrol, COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink checked two subjects cutting firewood on federal land. When asked if they had a permit, they stated they did but they forgot it in their other truck. It was then determined that one of the subjects had a warrant for failing to appear for an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge last year. The subject was able to post the $750 bond, released, and given the next available court date.
CO Calvin Smith investigated a carcass dumping complaint in southern Chippewa County, were over a dozen road-killed deer were dumped in a farmer’s hay field. Smith interviewed nearby residences and quickly developed a suspect. Contact was made and the suspect confessed to placing the carcasses in the field so he could take pictures of eagles and other raptors. Smith addressed the violations of trespass, litter and possessing road killed deer without a permit. The suspect personally apologized to the farmer and removed the carcasses from the field.
Cpl. Jon Busken, CO Calvin Smith and PCO Cole Vanoosten attended a lecture class at Lake Superior State University and talked to the class regarding the everyday duties of a conservation officer. Vanoosten also presented the class information on the hiring process and what academy life is like for a conservation officer recruit.
CO Calvin Smith was contacted by Chippewa Central Dispatch regarding an injured bald eagle on I-75 that was struck by a vehicle. Smith located the eagle that was suffering from a broken wing. The eagle was brought to Chocolay Raptor Center where it can be rehabilitated to be returned to the wild.
Cpl. Keven Postma and CO Calvin Smith were first on scene of vehicle fire at a local gas station in Sault Ste. Marie. The COs used fire extinguishers and pushed the vehicle away from the gas pumps. The COs then secured the area while firefighters from Soo Township Fire Department arrived to extinguish the fire.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO Cole Vanoosten received a litter dumping complaint in Luce County. The COs located envelopes with addresses leading them to a local home that was for sale. The COs contacted the real estate agent who had hired a person to clean out the house. Contact was made and the suspect denied dumping the garbage on state land but volunteered to clean up the litter. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Andrea Erratt located an ice shanty left at a Lake Bellaire access site over two weeks with only a last name and Bellaire written on two sides. Erratt located the angler at his parents’ house who said he had pulled the shanty off the ice on March 15, but he had not been back since. Erratt told him she had driven her truck right to the shanty that was sitting in front of a sign that explained it was illegal to store ice shanties on state land more than 24 hours. Erratt ticketed him for storing his ice shanty on state land more than 24 hours and warned him for failing to put his name and address or driver’s license number on all four sides.
While patrolling Boyne River, CO Duane Budreau and PCO Jon Sheppard contacted two anglers that had apparently just gotten out of the river. When asked to produce their fishing licenses, the two anglers stated that they had only been fishing for 20 minutes and that they did not have a current license. The two anglers were given warnings and advised to purchase new licenses.
While inspecting a taxidermist operation in Presque Isle County, CO Jon Sklba located a suspicious badger. The badger was brought in to be mounted the previous summer and evidence suggested it was shot. Sklba checked the owner through the retail sales system and discovered that he had no history of purchasing a fur harvester license. Sklba went and interviewed the owner who advised he saw the animal digging in his yard and that he didn’t know what it was. He admitted that he shot the badger and took it to the taxidermist. Sklba sought a warrant for the charges and an arrest warrant was issued.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a subject feeding deer in Alpena County. Upon further investigation, the subjects had been feeding deer all winter and had many active feed piles around their property. Curtis is seeking a warrant for illegal feeding.
CO Rebecca Hubers and PCO Daniel Liestenfeltz patrolled several miles of closed and open trout streams and drowned river mouths. Several contacts were made, and a few citations issued for fishing without licenses.
CO Troy Ludwig assisted county and state law enforcement units in attempting to locate a suspect who fled into the Manistee National Forest after wrecking his vehicle while attempting to elude authorities. The suspect was also wanted for a breaking and entering that had occurred earlier in the day. The suspect was later apprehended after attempting to seek help from a local residence.
CO Rich Stowe attended the lake trout regulations meeting in Grand Traverse with 120 people present to provide input.
CO Rich Stowe attended the National Wild Turkey Federation event in Williamsburg with 110 people in attendance.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Breanna Reed were on foot patrol in Lake County working the Pere Marquette River when they noticed three individuals walking away from the river. The COs asked to take a quick look at the fish, and it was determined the angler was in possession of two brown trout. The season for brown trout was closed. A positive identification was not readily available with the information the suspect produced. It was later determined that the suspect had come to the U.S. on a work visa many years ago, which had long since expired, and he had never left the country. The suspect was placed under arrest for possession of brown trout out-of-season and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was notified. ICE has placed a hold on the suspect and will be picking him up.
CO Steve Converse and PCO Noah Thompson followed up on a complaint of snowmobiles and ORVs trespassing on private property. There had been approximately 15 different incidents when the snowmobile had been caught on a trail camera pulling dog boxes and investigating bobcat sign in the area. Using the snowmobile registration that had been captured in a trail camera photo, the COs were able to track down the individual and questioned him, obtaining a full confession of trespassing to hunt bobcats in that area using both his snowmobile and ORV. Charges are being sought through the Manistee County prosecutor’s office.
CO Mike Hearn and PCO Byron Parks responded to a report of a collared/tame deer in a residential area in Kalkaska County. Upon arrival, the COs were able to approach the deer and read the tag found on the collar. The name was associated with a residence over two miles away. Contact was made with the owner of the residence. An interview determined that the deer was being kept as a pet after the owner had saved it from a coyote attack when it was a fawn. The deer had escaped two days prior, and the subject had been unable to locate it. The owner was warned for illegally possessing wildlife, and the deer was taken to a rehabilitation facility.
CO Charlie Jones checked a couple of ice anglers at Bear Lake in Kalkaska County. Upon contact, Jones observed five trout in an angler’s bucket. After checking the fish for the minimum length, Jones asked the angler for his fishing license. The angler could not provide a fishing license. A citation was issued for possessing fish without a fishing license.
COs Mike Hearn, Chuck McPherson, and PCO Nathan Beelman conducted surveillance on individuals who were taking undersize brown trout from a Kalkaska County lake. The COs made contact and found the anglers were in possession of two undersize brown trout. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint from the DNR Customer Service Center in Cadillac. The complainant had self-reported that a deer had been shot with a .22 caliber rifle in Missaukee County near the city of McBain. The complainant stated he attempted to scare deer off his crops by firing a .22 caliber at the animals. Cantrell responded to the complainant’s address to interview the man. The subject admitted to shooting at the deer five to six times and he knowingly had a fatal shot on one of them. After further investigation, the subject took Cantrell to the deer. The antlerless male deer was seized, and charges have been submitted to the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
While on patrol near the Cass River in Tuscola County, CO Josh Wright and PCO Adam Schiller observed an angler on the shoreline. When the COs were attempting to make initial contact, the angler threw an object under a row boat. The COs asked the angler for his fishing license and the subject stated he did not have a valid fishing license. The COs then questioned the subject about what he tossed under the boat. he subject stated that he threw a snapping turtle under the boat. The COs informed the subject about the closed snapping turtle season and issued a verbal warning.
COs Josh Russell and Mike Haas were on patrol in the Flat River SGA when they located a vehicle in a turnaround. There were two young children under the age of three in the vehicle with no parents visible. The COs stopped their vehicle and heard a whistle from the other side of the berm. The subject stated he was using the bathroom. After a few seconds the individual stood up and put his clothes back on. A moment later a female subject stood up putting her clothes back on. Both subjects were warned for indecent exposure. Citations for disorderly conduct on state land were issued.
COs Josh Russell, Mike Haas and PCO Brandon Vacek were on patrol in a section of state land in Midland County when they located subjects gathered around a fire in a parking lot. Several of the vehicles were covered in mud and one did not have license plate. While Russell was speaking with the owner of the vehicle, Haas back-tracked the vehicle’s track that led to a mud hole off the road. The subject admitted to operating in the mud hole. Citations for fail to register vehicle and operate vehicle in a prohibited area were issued.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol in Saginaw County when he observed several subjects fishing on a tributary of the Saginaw River. When he contacted the first group of anglers, the CO noticed they were fishing with artificial lures in an area that was closed to using that type of lure during the closed walleye season. The CO asked for their fishing licenses and identifications and proceeded to check another angler. The CO noticed this angler fishing with an artificial lure as well. Tickets were issued to both for fishing with artificial lures in closed waters and one angler was also issued for fishing without a license.
CO Chris Holmes was at an access site checking for activity when Portage PD put out a radio dispatch of a subject actively breaking into vehicles. Holmes responded and apprehended the subject. The subject was turned over to Portage Police officers and was subsequently lodged on several offenses.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint from the RAP hotline of a subject catching and keeping a walleye at the Allegan Dam. The CO responded to the area and located the described suspect. The suspect stated he caught a walleye and released it back into the water. The CO asked the suspect to see any coolers or containers in the suspect’s vehicle. The suspect brought the CO to his vehicle where a consent search revealed a walleye on the floorboard of the vehicle. A citation was issued for possession of walleye out of season.
CO Matt Page received a complaint of a male and female fishing in a closed stream. Page was in the area and able to observe a male subject fishing in the closed stream and a female subject holding a net on the bank. Both subjects, although local, stated that they were unaware that the stream was a Type 1 closed stream. Page educated both individuals and issued a citation for fishing a closed stream.
CO Tyler Cole was patrolling closed Type 1 streams along the Black River in Van Buren County. While watching a group of anglers walking along a path to an open section of river, one angler left the group and proceeded to fish in the closed section. Cole observed the angler fish for approximately 15 minutes before the angler packed up and headed back towards his group. Contact was made with the angler and he stated that his friends told him it was closed, but upon seeing so many fish in the closed section, he couldn’t resist. A citation was issued for fishing in a closed stream.
CO Jeff Goss investigated an illegal deer complaint. CO Goss’s investigation revealed that four men were coyote hunting when they saw a small deer in front of them. Unsure as to what the animal was none of the hunters shot. Soon one of the hunters clearly identified the animal as a deer. Despite having been told twice by other hunters in the party, one of the hunters shot the animal anyway. Upon walking over and looking at the animal he discovered his friends were right, it was a deer. The man chose to leave the deer in the field to rot. A full confession was obtained, the man’s rifle was seized, and charges are being sought for taking deer out of season.
COs Nick Wellman and Kyle McQueer conducted an interview regarding a possibly illegally taken deer during the 2018 firearm season. The COs contacted the initial suspect at his home in St. Joseph County and questioned him. After a short time, the man admitted to killing two bucks on opening day of firearm season and never purchasing any deer licenses. In fact, the man had been hunting since 2009 without hunting licenses of any kind. The COs seized evidence and then went to the home of the individual who tagged the deer for the suspect. The individual was very forthcoming and admitted that he had tagged one of the deer for the suspect. While interviewing him, the COs noticed a nice buck skull and antlers hanging in a tree in the yard. The COs asked him when he had killed that buck and the individual stated it was from 2017 and he killed it at first light on Nov. 15. A quick retail sales system check found that he had not purchased his licenses that year until after 9 a.m. on the 15th. When faced with this, the man admitted to not having a license before killing the deer. Again, evidence was seized and documented. The interviews yielded three illegal deer over two years, in both St. Joseph and Branch County. Charges are being sought through both counties.
CO Shannon Kritz received a RAP complaint about a bobcat that was stuck in a chicken coop in Eaton County. Kritz arrived at the location and observed a bobcat in a chicken coop surrounded by a large pile of feathers and dead chickens. Kritz was able to encourage the bobcat out of the chicken coop using a catch pole.
CO Justin Muehlhauser and PCO Edward Rice checked an angler fishing the Flint River in Genesee County. Rice contacted the angler and asked for identification and fishing license. The man produced a state of Michigan identification card but stated he did not have a fishing license. Rice contacted dispatch to verify the man’s statement. Dispatch advised the man had multiple valid warrants out for his arrest. The man was taken into custody without incident. Muehlhauser was able to set up a meeting with the MSP to turn the suspect over to them.
CO Justin Muehlhauser and PCO Edward Rice observed one angler with four lines in the water in his immediate area at a well-known fishing location. Rice observed the area for additional individuals and none were located. Rice contacted the angler who was able to produce a Michigan Driver’s license and fishing license. Rice asked if all four lines belonged to the angler, who stated yes. The angler also stated he always fishes with four lines. Rice explained to the angler per the law he could only fish with three lines. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines.
COs David Schaumburger and Joseph Deppen conducted a dedicated patrol along the Detroit River targeting walleye anglers. Multiple vessels were contacted throughout the day. Multiple warnings were given for various marine safety and fishing violations. Multiple citations were also issued to American and Canadian anglers fishing in American waters without a fishing license.
CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint about anglers catching and filleting fish along the Clinton River in Macomb County. Deppen responded to the location and found anglers in possession of two buckets of fillets. The fillets were unidentifiable. Deppen had the anglers take him to their fishing location. The anglers pointed out multiple carcasses and skins of fish they gutted, filleted, and thrown on the riverbank and into the water. Deppen issued one angler a citation for littering.