Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 7, 2019
While patrolling one of the many trout streams in Marquette County, CO Josh Boudreaux came upon a freshly burned pile of garbage, including items such as a car stereo and other household items. Sifting through the ashes, Boudreaux was able to locate some information that pointed to a suspect in the city of Marquette. With assistance from CO Jeremy Sergey, a confession was obtained from the suspect. A litter ticket was issued, and the individual drove out to the site to clean up the mess they left behind.
CO Jenni Hanson received information of possible illegal turkey baiting activity prior to the opening day of turkey season in Gogebic County. CO Zach Painter and Cpl. Dave Painter worked the complaint and located a blind with several kernels of corn on the ground and decoys in an area that had been scratched up by turkeys. The next morning, the two officers returned to find a subject hunting over a large amount of corn and using an electronic turkey call. Citations were issued for hunting turkey over bait and using an electronic turkey call.
CO Sergey responded to a capsized vessel in the Menominee River below the first dam. There were two individuals who went into the water. The Marinette Fire Department pulled one individual out of the water, but the second individual was not located. Sergey conducted search patterns along the river with Menominee City Police Officer Mitch McRae. The next day Ferguson and PCO Viau joined the search. Several other local and state agencies were also involved in the search as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.
CO Sergey attended a public listening meeting regarding chronic wasting disease. Sixty people showed up to voice their opinions of potential baiting regulation changes in the Upper Peninsula.
CO Dave Miller responded to a truck versus moose accident. No injuries were reported, and the vehicle was still drivable. The moose was not salvageable after it was run over by the truck and then the horse trailer.
CO Cody Smith responded to the scene of a bull moose that was hit by a vehicle in Iron County.
COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn responded to a complaint of road hunting for turkeys. The suspect had left the scene earlier in the day; however, the complainant had taken photos of the truck and the license plate. The COs contacted the suspect the following day. He had turkey parts in the bed of his truck, and they were tagged with his girlfriend’s tag. Interviews of those involved were conducted. A report is being submitted and prosecution is being sought for using tag of another and failing to immediately validate and attach kill tag.
CO Zitnik was speaking with an angler at the mouth of the Rock River after dark when he noticed a vehicle approaching. Suspicious, the CO hid in the nearby woods and watched the two anglers walk towards the closed section of the stream where steelhead tend to stack up. The CO crawled into position and watched as the husband and wife fished the closed section of the river, using a flashlight to locate the fish. After nearly being stepped on twice, the CO decided to make contact. When Zitnik turned his flashlight on and pointed it toward the man, he looked back at his spouse and said, “Will you stop shining that light in my eyes!” Realizing this was the CO’s light, the wife responded, “Honey, you are in trouble.” The CO then issued a citation for fishing in a closed section of the stream.
COs Colton Gelinas, Justin Vinson and Mark Zitnik had received complaints of over-limit of coho salmon in Alger County. Gelinas and Vinson observed a suspect catch eight coho salmon when the limit is five. Gelinas observed the suspect give three cohos to another angler. Gelinas advised Zitnik of the suspects over-limit. Zitnik then contacted the angler and issued a citation for over-limit of coho salmon.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO Cole VanOosten were on patrol checking smelt anglers when they observed a group of three individuals dipping a large quantity of smelt. The officers observed the group before making contact at their vehicle. The group had 21 gallons of smelt in coolers in the back of their vehicle, 15 gallons over the legal limit. A citation was written to one of the anglers for the over-limit of smelt.
CO Ethen Mapes was working a late-night shift near Walloon Lake when he witnessed a truck park along a bridge. Two subjects got out of the truck and were shining a creek for fish. The two men then crossed the road onto private property and shined the shallows of the lake. The two men then ran back to their truck, grabbed their fishing gear and ran back onto the private property to fish. Upon contact, the two men who were standing between two “No Trespassing” signs admitted that fishing there was probably a bad idea. The two men were issued tickets for recreational trespassing.
Sgt. William Webster and CO Mapes were patrolling the Boyne River when they witnessed two subjects trespassing on nearby property. While waiting to contact the anglers, Mapes watched one of the anglers pull out a handful of fishing line from his reel and throw it into the woods. Both anglers were issued tickets for recreational trespassing. The COs also made the angler pick up the litter.
CO Tim Rosochacki followed up with an individual who had been cited for leaving his ice shanty on Burt Lake after March 15. Rosochacki had been monitoring the ice shanty for some time since the owner cut the shanty flush at the ice surface and left the base frozen in the ice. Eventually, the ice became unsafe, and the shanty remains sunk to the bottom. The incident was referred to the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Oberg received a call regarding a beaver that was inside one of the car washes in Gaylord and would not leave. Oberg located the beaver that was huddled up in the corner in one of the stalls. Oberg was able to get the beaver into the bed of his patrol truck. Oberg transported the beaver to a location that was a little more suitable beaver habitat.
CO Collins received a complaint of a subject who shot a turkey close to a neighboring residence in Montmorency County. Collins found that the hunter was at fault for shooting in a safety zone. When confronted, Collins found several other violations with the turkey hunter including not tagging the tom turkey. A ticket was issued for possessing an untagged turkey.
COs Patrick McManus and Amanda Lake, along with PCO Dan Liestenfeltz were on fish patrol in Northport on an extremely busy day. The COs had over 100 contacts and checked fish coming in regularly. Among one of the many contacts, Lake and Liestenfeltz checked a boat that had just come off the water. The COs had watched this boat for approximately 30 minutes in the marina, before making contact. There were four individuals onboard and they had a total of 104 perch in their possession. With the daily possession limit of perch being 25, the boat had an over-limit of four fish. After talking with the subjects, it was also determined that one of the individuals did not have a fishing license at the time the fish were caught. He had purchased an electronic fishing license approximately 20 minutes before the COs contacted the boat, after all the perch had already been caught. This same angler took responsibility for fishing without a license and having an over-limit of perch. The COs seized a total of 29 perch and issued a citation for possessing fish without a fishing license as well as a citation for possessing an over-limit of fish.
CO Josiah Killingbeck initially received a complaint of a baited turkey blind on state land. Killingbeck investigated the complaint and found a total of three blinds expected to be owned by the same owner due to the proximity, the same blind manufacturer, and same bait material used at each blind. Killingbeck shared the complaint with CO Publiski and PCO Reed, who patrolled the area the next day to make contact with the owner. The COs located a vehicle and followed boot tracks leading to a man hunting over the baited area. The man explained that the blinds were his father’s and that his father had shot a turkey the previous evening. The COs followed the him back to his residence and contacted the father. The father admitted to putting 50 pounds of sunflower seeds in front of all three blinds, as well as shooting a turkey over bait. The COs explained to the individuals that they would be submitting a report to the prosecutor seeking charges for taking a wild turkey over bait.
CO Chuck McPherson and PCO Michael Olesen were in route to conduct a marine patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County when they observed two bow anglers alongside a closed stream. The anglers were issued a citation for fishing in a spawning closure.
COs James Garrett and Brad Bellville were patrolling closed trout streams in Ogemaw County when they observed a truck parked at an access site leading to the closed portion of the trout stream. The COs got out on foot and found two individuals fishing in the closed area. The COs had observed the anglers fishing for a while. Garrett and Bellville contacted the individuals and made them aware that they were fishing a closed stream. The anglers seemed surprised and stated they had been fishing Ogemaw County their whole lives. Both individuals were cited for fishing a closed trout stream.
CO Jeff Panich and PCO Anna Cullen received a complaint of an individual who shot a turkey from a vehicle in Alcona County. The COs responded and met with an eyewitness who was able to obtain a license plate from the suspect vehicle. The COs also located a spent shotgun shell at the scene and determined the vehicle owner was licensed for a different turkey hunting unit. With assistance from CO Joe Deppen, contact was made with the hunter at his residence in Macomb County on the same day. A full confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Panich and PCO Cullen received multiple complaints of individuals catching steelhead with their hands in a Type 1 trout stream in Alcona County. The COs responded to the area and located the suspects in possession of the steelhead. Interviews were conducted and a confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the local Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a call from Saginaw Central Dispatch regarding lost anglers in the Shiawassee River SGA. A Saint Charles Police Department unit was on scene, but was unfamiliar with the state game area. Gowenlock responded to the game area to assist the local officer with the search. The subjects were located at approximately 11 p.m. near the Miller Drain. When contacted, the anglers stated that they got turned around in the dark and had been walking around for almost two hours. Due to the anglers being cold and tired, Gowenlock gave them a ride back to the main gate where their mother was waiting.
CO Jason King and Cpl. Nick Atkin drove to Pine City, Minnesota, to represent the DNR Law Enforcement Division as members of the honor guard. King and Atkin assisted with the funeral service for fallen Minnesota Conservation Officer, Eugene Wynn. Minnesota DNR appreciated the presence and support of the Michigan DNR. Twenty-five out-of-state agencies attended the ceremony.
CO Mike Haas contacted two anglers that were trespassing and fishing along the Chippewa River. Haas recognized the individuals since he had warned them for trespassing in the same location on a previous date and issued citations to other members of their group for fishing violations. Haas advised them once again that they were trespassing through private property and issued citations for recreational trespass.
CO Dan Robinson was dispatched by Isabella County Central Dispatch for a raccoon that had a peanut butter jar stuck on its head. Robinson arrived at the residence in the city of Mt. Pleasant and located the raccoon up in a tree. Using a catch pole, wildlife gloves, and trauma shears, the CO was able to free the raccoon and send it on its way.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer checked a location regarding a previous complaint from last year of an individual baiting turkeys. The COs worked the location this year for the same violation. The suspect arrived and was unsuccessful. The COs contacted the suspect and further investigation revealed the person was using illegal shotgun shells to hunt turkey as well as hunting turkey with aid of bait. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Tyler Cole followed up on a warrant request regarding a subject habitually violating fishing laws/regulations. Cole had issued five citations to the subject in the past two years for various violations including: attempt to snag; fishing in a closed stream; and possessing fishing gear along a closed stream. The subject was found guilty of his fifth violation in two years, and his fishing license was revoked until 2023.
CO Ivan Perez responded to a complaint in Muskegon County of subjects keeping bass out of season. Upon arriving on scene, the two suspects had left the area, but Perez was able to speak with the complainant who informed him that he saw the subjects catching and keeping largemouth bass. Perez conducted a search of the area where the subjects had been fishing and located a hidden bag with eight largemouth bass and an unattended fishing pole with line still in the water. As Perez collected the evidence, the two suspects arrived and were interviewed. They indicated they had no knowledge of the fish. A check on the main suspect showed three active warrants out of Muskegon, one of which was for failing to appear for fishing without a license back in 2012. The suspect was taken into custody and lodged in the Muskegon County jail.
CO Andrew Monnich was patrolling the River Raisin when he contacted two anglers who stated they got their limit of channel catfish. Monnich checked fishing licenses and then asked to see the fish. The anglers pointed at coolers and stated they were all big catfish and the coolers were full. Monnich counted out 20 catfish, which would be the two-man limit, and continued to count 29 more fish from another cooler. Both anglers were issued citations for being over the limit and the 29 fish were seized and donated to families in need.
CO Todd Thorn and PCO Nathan Beelman received a Report All Poaching tip about a possibly illegally taken wild turkey that was killed the day before the season opened. The suspect posted a picture on Facebook the day before the season opened and claimed to have shot the turkey that day. Thorn and Beelman conducted an interview with the suspect who admitted to shooting the turkey the day before the season started and to not having a license when he shot the turkey. The turkey was seized, and a citation was issued for possessing a wild turkey out of season.
CO Robert Slick was checking anglers at Hopkins Lake when dispatch put out a call that a woman had fallen into the Shiawassee River at the Shiawassee Town Dam. When Slick arrived at Shiawassee Town Dam, the woman had made it to shore but was trapped along a steep bank. Slick used his throw bag rope to create a loop for the woman to place her body through. Once she was securely in the rope, Slick along with members Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Department, pulled the woman to safety.
CO Joseph Deppen was contacted by CO Jeff Panich of Alcona County in reference to a man taking a turkey from his vehicle. Deppen met the suspect at his residence in Macomb County and obtained a confession to shooting a turkey in the wrong zone and not making a reasonable attempt to retrieve the bird. The man’s firearm was confiscated, and the case will be handled by the Alcona County COs and the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO David Schaumburger received an anonymous tip that an angler watched four men return on their boat, load 20 walleyes into a cooler, leave for a few minutes, then return to the boat and start fishing again. Schaumburger contacted CO Dan Walzak for assistance and the two setup surveillance on the vessel. After a few hours, the vessel returned, and the COs contacted the anglers. All the anglers were separated and each of them confessed to catching a limit of walleye in the morning and again in the afternoon. The anglers took the COs to their hotel where they retrieved the walleye from the morning. A citation was issued to all four anglers for possessing over the limit of walleye.
CO David Schaumburger waited at a marina for a pair of anglers to return that he received complaints for taking over the limit of walleye in the past. When the trio of anglers returned, the CO watched from a distance across the canal and counted one of the anglers put 19 fish into a bucket. The CO made contact a short while later and the captain of the boat stated he dropped his son off the boat a half hour earlier, but they kept his fish on board. The CO had the captain call his son and together they talked on speakerphone. The son told the CO that he was not in town and he had been up north since last Thursday. The captain then apologized to the CO for lying. On top of having one too many fish, one of the anglers on board did not have a fishing license for Canada, putting him over the possession limit in Michigan. Both anglers were given a citation for taking an over the limit of walleye.
CO Danielle Zubek received a RAP complaint of a subject placing bait for turkeys prior to the season. Zubek investigated the area and located a large amount of corn and sunflower seeds. With the help of CO Jacob Griffin, Zubek set up surveillance on the opening morning of the turkey season. Zubek observed two subjects hunting over the bait. Once turkeys came into the bait, both subjects shot at the birds, killing one. The COs contacted the hunters to check licenses and address the violations. Charges are being sought through the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for taking turkey over bait.