Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Oct. 25, 2019
Sgt. Brian Bacon, Cpl. Dave Painter, and CO Anna Viau assisted local law enforcement with responding to a call about a possible active shooter at a church in Dickinson County. When the COs arrived at the church, the subject had already been taken into custody without incident. The subject had been acting suspiciously but had no firearms or other weapons in his possession.
CO Josh Boudreaux was following up on a trespass complaint in Richmond Township when he discovered fresh ORV tracks leading through a gate that had been previously cut open. Boudreaux followed the tracks, which led to Cleveland Cliffs Mine property, where he located two individuals riding double on an unregistered ORV without helmets. After talking with the two, Boudreaux learned that the last run in the pair had with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a few years ago landed them a spot on the TV show “Wardens.” A citation was issued for riding double on an ORV.
CO Jeremy Sergey and Michigan State Police Trooper John Edwards responded to a vessel in distress call late at night in dense fog. The calling source said they heard several short rapid sounds from a foghorn on Lake Michigan over the course of 30 minutes. The officers conducted a search of the area but were unable to locate anything. A search was also conducted in the morning; however, that search also revealed nothing.
Along with several other law enforcement agencies, CO Anna Viau assisted the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) with the execution of a search warrant at a residence in Iron County. UPSET discovered several illegal substances and evidence of drug distribution. As a result of the search warrant, four individuals were immediately arrested. Further charges will be sought for additional individuals.
COs Steven Butzin, Robert Freeborn and Christopher Lynch were conducting a group grouse decoy patrol in an area known for grouse hunting. The COs encountered one hunter attempt to shoot the decoy from the passenger seat of the vehicle. When advised that it was illegal to shoot from a motor vehicle, one of the hunters stated that they had driven 40 miles and that was the first bird they saw. The individual was issued a citation for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Steven Butzin was off duty and traveling through Rapid River when he noticed a vehicle parked at an intersection with an individual outside the vehicle laying over the curb. Butzin called Delta County Central Dispatch as he was turning his vehicle around to check on the individual. They informed Butzin that the subject was in anaphylactic shock from a bee sting and was unresponsive. Butzin performed what is known as a jaw thrust on the individual to keep his airway open as the subject’s face and lips were purple and he was barely able to breathe. The subject had already been given two doses of an EpiPen. After several minutes, Masonville EMS and the Delta County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene until Rampart EMS was able to arrive for a transport to the hospital. The individual was discharged from the hospital later that night.
Acting Sgt. Robert Freeborn along with COs Mark Zitnik and Michael Evink received a call in the evening from dispatch regarding an overdue hiker/fisherman. Dispatch advised that a subject had been camping in the Big Island Wilderness area and had not returned. The COs responded with their canoes and gear and proceeded to locate the fisherman. The COs had to paddle and portage their canoes through four lakes and eventually made it to the lake where the subject was said to be camping. By this time, it was well after midnight and the rain had started to set in. The COs located the subject’s canoe at the campsite and located the subject who was deceased from what appeared to be an accidental injury to his leg. The COs advised dispatch of the situation and documented the scene. After several hours of trying for air support, it was determined that the only way out was to back track to the next lake where MSP and local units had made it to the shore with an ORV. The COs loaded the subject in his canoe which was tied off to one of their canoes and paddled back across the lake. Once the COs made it to the trail that connected to the next lake, they unhooked the subject’s canoe and proceeded to portage along steep hills, uneven terrain, fallen trees and exposed roots. After a grueling half hour, the COs were able to get the subject to the next lake. The COs then had to back track to get their gear and then walk back to continue the recovery. The COs located MSP and the other local units on shore where they received help bringing the canoe and subject to a county road where EMS was staged.
CO Adam Leclerc received a call from a tribal conservation officer stating that he found a live bear trap on state land in Emmett County. After reviewing pictures from the tribal COs, Leclerc met them on site. Leclerc confirmed the trap was not the DNR’s and that someone had placed it there illegally. With assistance from the tribal COs, they started monitoring the area for activity. After a couple of days, the trap disappeared but they had already gathered enough information on a possible suspect. The COs went to the suspect’s residence and located the live trap and with a search warrant they secured the trap and are now seeking charges with the prosecutor’s office.
While patrolling on Belle Isle, CO Andrea Erratt of Antrim County checked two fishermen on the Detroit River. The first fisherman said he did not have a fishing license, but his brother did, and he thought he could fish under his license. Erratt explained he needed his own fishing license and had to ask the man three times for some form of identification. Erratt ran a file check that revealed the unlicensed fisherman had four misdemeanor warrants for his arrest, thus explaining his reluctance to turn over his ID. Erratt warned the man for fishing without a license but arrested him and transported him to the Detroit Detention Center where he was lodged on his outstanding warrants.
CO Andrea Erratt of Antrim County patrolled Belle Isle on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday checking over 40 fishermen. Before going to Belle Isle, the owners of Stinger Lures in Boyne Falls donated lures to Erratt to give to fishermen on Belle Isle. Erratt donated Stinger Lures to all the legal fishermen who had purchased their fishing licenses. Erratt also donated lures to two teenage boys who had been involved in a property damage car accident. The young driver said he was so excited about going fishing that he had forgotten to look in his blind spot before pulling from the left lane into a parking spot on his right. Erratt gave the young fishermen Stinger Lures to hopefully cheer them up a little.
CO William Kinney and Sgt. Dan Bigger were patrolling the Betsie River in Benzie County by boat when they came upon a planer board floating in the middle of the river with a fishing line and lure attached. Adjacent to the river at the local campground, the COs found the fishing pole associated with the planer board. After approximately 45 minutes, the occupant returned to his campsite. The angler knew it was illegal to leave his fishing line unattended. He was issued a ticket for the unattended fishing line and the illegally used gear was seized.
COs Andrea Albert and Troy Ludwig were patrolling the Betsie River when they observed an individual they had seen fishing with a rod and reel attempt to take salmon with a net. When the COs contacted the subject, he stated that he was not fishing or trying to net the fish but trying to nudge the fish upstream for his girlfriend to catch. A check with dispatch showed the subject did not have a valid fishing license. A citation was issued for attempting to take fish with a net and a warning was given for fishing without a license.
Lt. Joe Molnar and CO Troy Ludwig were patrolling the Betsie River when they observed two subjects fishing. The first subject hooked a salmon and was able to get the fish to shore. The COs were able to witness exactly where the fish was hooked, which happened to be under the mouth. The subject then looked around and put the fish on a stringer believing no one had seen him retain the foul-hooked fish. While the first subject had been attempting to land his fish, the second subject had kept fishing and was sight casting towards salmon and setting the hook with a jerking motion to hook fish outside the mouth. Molnar contacted the first subject, and as he did, the second subject turned from him and cut his line letting the “lure” and weight fall into the river. Ludwig happened to be just behind the subject and ordered him to pick up his “lure” and come to shore. The second subject was found to be fishing with two treble hooks, with a bit of yarn attached and a large weight, which was not recovered from the river. The COs issued citations for retaining a foul-hooked fish, use of illegal fishing device and littering.
While patrolling Lake Missaukee for waterfowl hunters, CO Micah Hintze observed a group hunting from a boat along a piece of private property. Hintze moved in close to the group and was able to hear their conversations. One man pointed out a red-tailed hawk sitting in the trees over Hintze’s shoulder. Another hunter raised his shotgun, took aim and shot the hawk from the limb. Hintze contacted the group of hunters. In addition to shooting the hawk and trespassing, other violations included an unplugged shotgun and hunting without a license. Evidence was seized and citations were issued to three different hunters in conjunction with the violations.
CO James Garrett was sitting on an early bear bait he had found established prior to Aug. 15, which is the legal date to begin baiting for bear in the Red Oak BMU. At first light, Garrett heard a vehicle with hounds approaching his location. He observed a hunter tend the bait station and then contacted her. Garrett issued a citation for tending/establishing a bear bait prior to the 31 days before season.
CO Josh Wright was patrolling Clare County when he came across a truck parked on state land. There were numerous empty beer cans and litter on the ground next to the truck. Wright followed a trail and was able to get within 40 yards of the hunter who was situated in a ladder stand. The hunter was not wearing the required hunter orange and was not aware of the CO’s presence. Wright backed out silently and decided to wait for the hunter to finish out the evening hunt. After a short wait, Wright heard the hunter shoot twice. The man was surprised when Wright walked in to offer his assistance with tagging and dragging the nice boar bear back to his truck. After providing the assistance, Wright determined the hunter knew he was supposed to be wearing hunter orange. A citation was issued for not wearing hunter orange and a warning was provided for the litter, which was cleaned up by the hunter.
CO Matthew Neterer responded to a RAP complaint near Sebewaing where a group of youth waterfowl hunters were suspected of taking an over-limit of mallards. Neterer discovered that two of the youth hunters were in possession of 12 mallards and did not have federal migratory bird stamps. The hunters received citations for possessing over-limits of mallards and given verbal warnings for not having their federal stamps.
CO Chad Foerster received a complaint from the RAP hotline about an individual possibly shooting deer and leaving them for dead without retrieving them under a deer damage permit. Foerster determined that the suspect did not have permits for the county/township in question. Foerster and CO Jason Smith obtained a confession from the suspect about shooting numerous deer over the past several months without a permit and without retrieving them. Additionally, the suspect showed the COs the location of each deer which were now reduced to bones. A numerous count warrant is being sought on the suspect for illegally shooting the deer out of season along with reimbursement and hunting privileges revoked.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were working a waterfowl complaint in northern Montcalm County when they noticed two subjects in a field glassing and pointing a firearm in the direction of an open field. The COs watched the couple for a few minutes and then approached the pair who stated they had permission from the farmer, and they were planning to harvest a deer. The female subject was not in possession of a firearm at the time and did not have on a hunter orange garment. The male subject was holding a rifle and when asked if he had a hunting license, he patted his pockets and said he didn’t have it on him. A check on both subjects’ license history showed that neither subject had purchased an antlerless deer tag prior to going out. A citation was issued to the male subject for being afield with a firearm during season without a license. A warning was given for having a loaded firearm in/upon a motor vehicle and the hunter orange was addressed.
CO Justin Ulberg was checking anglers at a launch in Ottawa County as they came off the water. Upon contacting two anglers, Ulberg discovered that they were 13 bluegills over their daily limit. Further investigation revealed that one of the anglers did not have a 2019 fishing license. The angler was issued a citation for the violations and the over limit of fish were seized.
COs in the Grand Haven area have been addressing the large numbers of panfish being caught in the Grand River bayous. Recent patrols have resulted in subjects being cited for taking more than their daily limit. CO BJ Goulette approached one of these anglers returning to his vehicle and the subject was vague in his responses about how many fish he had caught or how the fishing was. When Goulette went to retrieve a bucket from his truck to count the subject’s fish, the officer noticed the subject quickly bending over and throwing fish under his car and then standing up like he hadn’t done anything. Goulette continued as if nothing had happened and proceeded to count through the subject’s bluegills and when he reached 25 fish there were still some left in the bucket. The subject made a remark about how he must have miscounted by a couple and that is when Goulette told him to grab the fish from under his vehicle. The subject was cited for having several fish over his limit and was advised that it is hard to sell “an honest mistake” when you try to purposely hide fish.
CO Carter Woodwyk conducted an inspection at a commercial meat processor in Allegan County over the weekend of the Liberty deer hunt. The first deer the CO checked had a kill tag on it that was purchased the morning of the opener for the Liberty Hunt, but it was validated for the following day. The CO conducted a follow-up interview with the youth hunter’s father who eventually confessed to his son not having a valid deer license when the deer was harvested. A report will be submitted to the Allegan County prosecutor for charges.
CO Andrew Monnich was checking anglers at Tecumseh Mill Pond when he observed a fisherman put his rod down and start walking to the parking lot rather quickly. Monnich headed toward the fisherman who noticed the CO approaching and started running. The fisherman jumped a fence and headed toward the river. After a quick foot chase, Monnich was able to detain the individual who stated he only ran because he had no fishing license. A file check through dispatch revealed eight warrants for the individual’s arrest. The fisherman was issued a citation for fishing without a license and lodged in the Lenawee County Jail on the warrants.
COs Shane Webster, Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither worked with the Lenawee County drug team on a flight. During the flight, the COs were able to mark several baiting locations through Lenawee and Jackson counties. They also assisted in pulling several illegal marijuana growing operations. Tickets were written for improperly securing/possessing marijuana plants and baiting deer in a closed county.
CO Shannon Kritz was on patrol when she came across a child who was standing in middle of the road without shoes or a shirt on. The child seemed lost and confused. Kritz got the child out of the road. The child was nonverbal so Kritz walked the neighborhood with the boy knocking on doors trying to find somebody that recognized him. Kritz was approaching a house when the mother came out yelling for him. She explained that she had just realized he wasn’t in the house. She was very thankful and relieved that her child made it home safely.
CO Katie Stawara was investigating social media posts when she came across one indicating a youth hunter had shot two deer on opening day of the Liberty Hunt. An interview was conducted and a confession obtained. The youth shot a doe early Saturday morning. She purchased a CWD tag for it after the fact so she could continue hunting on her single deer tag. That evening, she shot a 7 point. The youth did not have hunter safety and both deer had been shot on the neighbor’s property. The deer were seized, and a warrant is being sought for the violations.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey were patrolling around large gravel pits in Macomb County when they located two deer hunters coming out of the woods during the early antlerless deer season. Both subjects failed to wear hunter orange. Upon contact, one subject failed to purchase a hunting license and the other only had a combo deer license, which is not valid during the antlerless only firearm deer season. When the officers asked if they had taken hunter safety, both subjects replied yes. When checking records, it was found neither subject had taken a hunter safety course. Citations were written for hunting deer without a license and failing to wear hunter orange.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint about two hunters hunting for deer on state land during the early antlerless season in Lapeer County. Gardner contacted the hunters who said they were hunting for deer. Gardner explained to them that early antlerless season only applies to private lands. A citation was issued to both hunters for violation of the hunting regulation.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner were patrolling the Lapeer State Game Area for waterfowl hunters. While patrolling, the COs observed several individuals shooting at geese flying high above them. The COs observed for a short time and after the geese were no longer flying over, the COs contacted the hunters in the field. Upon contact the COs checked hunting licenses and shotguns for plugs. While talking with the hunters, Salisbury noticed a gun case on the ground that appeared to have something inside. Salisbury asked about the case and one of the hunters said that was his extra gun that he used to shoot after his other gun was empty. During the contact it was also found that two of the hunters were in possession of toxic shot. Citations were issued for possession of toxic shot and using/possessing more than one firearm in the field while waterfowl hunting.