Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 22, 2019

DISTRICT 1

COs Josh Boudreaux, John Kamps and Ariel Young were patrolling the Forsyth Township area and had set up a grouse decoy along a gravel road. Soon after, a truck drove past the decoy location and stopped. The two occupants could be seen fumbling around inside the truck and it began to back up. A shotgun barrel could be seen in the passenger side mirror and the passenger fired one shotgun blast striking the decoy. The driver leapt out of the vehicle and began hooting and hollering with excitement. The COs quickly approached the vehicle and that excitement turned to panic as the COs confronted both driver and passenger. The pair was cited for possessing a loaded firearm inside a motor vehicle, no hunter orange clothing, open intoxicants, and the shotgun was seized. During the same patrol, one hunter was issued a citation for no hunter orange and another subject had a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Anna Viau received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of a bear hunter who had shot a bear within the safety zone of another individual’s camp. While on the phone with RAP about the complaint, Viau received a call from Cpl. Dave Painter about a bear hunter who had called him to confess to shooting within the safety zone of a camp. Due to the rapid response and cooperation of both the camp owner and the violator, Viau was able to quickly follow up on the complaint. Using a range finder, Viau was able to determine that the bear was shot within 54 yards of the camp. Charges are pending with Iron County Prosecutor for the safety zone violation.

CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling state land in Menominee County when he noticed camping activity in a location he had been investigating. Further investigation revealed numerous trailers which were part of the hunting camp. All campers had been camped out longer than the 15-night maximum for camping on state land. Sergey had checked the area earlier in the summer and discovered a buck pole, a table and several other items left on state land. The individuals in the deer camp were utilizing all the items left behind when Sergey checked them. One individual arrived with an uncased shotgun in his truck while Sergey was conducting his investigation. Citations were issued for an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, damaging/destroying/ removing state property, and the investigation is ongoing for litter and camping on state land violations.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mark Zitnik was patrolling on Highway 13 when he observed an off-road vehicle (ORV) traveling over 60 mph on the side of the road. The CO conducted a traffic stop and realized that he had ticketed this individual in August for baiting deer early and gave him a warning for swapping his Velcro ORV license from one ORV to another. The rider failed to permanently attach his ORV license that was discussed months earlier. A citation was issued for improper placement of his ORV license.

CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual who was possibly going to be burning unlawful materials. Upon further investigation, Butzin found that one individual did in fact burn a pile of unlawful materials. The materials included wooden chairs, foam cushions, constructed wall material, various metal, mattress box springs and a couch. A report has been filed with the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Michael Evink responded to a complaint of a deer stuck in a fence. Once on scene, Evink located a nice 4-point buck with his antlers wrapped in the fence, thrashing around. Evink contacted Wildlife Division, who then responded to the scene. Using tarps that covered the deer’s face, the wire fencing was cut from the deer and it was safely released.

While on patrol, CO Michael Evink and U.S. Forest Service Officer Dave Tembreull were flagged down by a motorist. The officers received a tip of an individual in a van who had a loaded rifle. Evink and Tembreull were able to locate the vehicle. The passenger in the vehicle had the rifle cased, but it was loaded in both magazine and chamber. The suspect’s wife was driving while three young children rode in the back of the van. The entire family was educated about the dangers of having a loaded weapon in a vehicle. The suspect received a citation for having a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle.

DISTRICT 3

CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling the Boyne River when he watched a father and son desperately trying to catch fish. Mapes watched as the father ran his rod back and forth through the water trying to snag salmon with a large treble hook. After little to no success in landing any of the fish that he snagged into, the son proceeded to try his hand at netting the salmon that were running through the river. Mapes turned on his flashlight and announced himself as a conservation officer. Mapes asked the father what he was doing, the father stated that he was snagging and knew better. Both anglers were issued misdemeanor tickets for attempting to take fish on the Boyne River with equipment other than a single point hook half-inch point to shank.

CO Matt Theunick received a complaint from Cheboygan County Central Dispatch reference a subject reporting shotgun shot landing on his house and truck. Contact was made with the complainant who asked that the hunters shoot in a different direction. The duck hunters were located and advised that their shot was traveling into the safety zone of a home. Theunick checked all six of the hunters for licenses giving warnings for unsigned federal duck stamps, which they then signed. One hunter was issued a ticket for not having his Michigan waterfowl hunting license.

CO Sidney Collins conducted a follow-up investigation of a subject found deceased on state land. It was evident the subject was grouse hunting. The Montmorency County hunter was found dead after a citizen found his dog roaming around. After contacting 911, the county deputies found the man who had been grouse hunting and suffered a heart attack. The death was determined to be medically related.

DISTRICT 4

CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling the Traverse City Forest Management Unit when he contacted two individuals sitting in a truck well after hunting hours. Ludwig spoke with the subjects and it was revealed that they had a cocked crossbow in the back seat. The case the crossbow was in had not been secured allowing for it to be opened quickly and the crossbow bolts were located just under the case within easy access of the operator or passenger. On the floorboard of the vehicle was a high-power spotlight. The operator stated that he had just got done hunting when the passenger had picked him up, but did not have any hunting clothing, nor was he or the crossbow wet from all the rain that evening. The operator admitted he had been out shining the week before but did not have any intention of doing so that night. A citation was issued for having a cocked crossbow in a motor vehicle.

CO Josiah Killingbeck contacted a bowhunter who was covered in blood and walking down the road. The subject told Killingbeck that he was heading back to his truck because he had shot a deer. Killingbeck found out that the man had harvested an antlerless deer, gutted and dragged it to the road but “did not have time” to tag it yet. Killingbeck also determined that the subject did not have a name on his treestand and had cut numerous live trees for shooting lanes. Killingbeck educated the subject on deer hunting regulations and issued a citation for the violations.

CO Jeff Ginn was working the waterfowl opener and was able to observe two subjects chasing a wounded duck with their boat. The boat was clearly underway when the hunters took aim and shot at the injured duck. The shot was well within the safety zone of a lake residence and the shot was directly at the residence. Ginn was able to quickly contact the subjects in his patrol boat. The violations were addressed, and citations were issued for take waterfowl from motorboat with forward movement.

DISTRICT 5

CO Chuck McPherson checked a treestand that had not been removed the year prior from state land in Roscommon County. McPherson contacted a hunter in the stand and observed a large bait pile consisting of beets and apples. No identification was located on the treestand and the hunter was using screw-in steps. Some warnings were given, and a citation was issued for one of the violations.

CO Brad Bellville received a complaint of recreational trespass in Ogemaw County. The subjects were tracking a buck they had shot onto the complainant’s property. Bellville responded and interviewed the subject who said he had shot an 8-point buck in his backyard around 7:20 p.m. the night before and was looking for it on the complainant’s property. Bellville followed what appeared to be a fresh blood trail on the frost covered ground until he arrived at the deceased 8-point buck. The buck was still slightly warm to the touch and pliable which, with the cold night, made the subject’s story suspicious. Bellville returned to the house to re-interview the subject and present the evidence. Bellville obtained a full confession that the subject had shot the buck around 11 p.m. over a bait pile in the backyard. Multiple charges are being sought through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office including take deer after legal hunting hours, baiting and recreational trespass.

CO Casey Pullum located two vehicles parked in an area closed to motor vehicles in Oscoda County. He was able to observe a pile of woodcock and ruffed grouse in the back of the truck. He counted the game and noted there were 12 woodcock and two grouse. While by the vehicle, he heard four quick shots nearby and concluded either there were multiple hunters shooting at the same game or they were using an unplugged shotgun. Pullum contacted the hunters who were not in possession of an over limit of birds; however, three out of the five hunters had unplugged shotguns. Citations were issued for the violations.

DISTRICT 6

COs Matthew Neterer and Mark Siemen encountered a group of waterfowl hunters coming off the water in the Sandusky State Game Area (SGA). The watercraft registration on the vessel that they had been hunting out of was found to be expired by several years, they did not have any personal flotation devices (PFDs), and two of the hunters did not have their state waterfowl licenses. Citations were issued for the violations.

COs Matthew Neterer and Josh Wright were working waterfowl hunters on opening morning near Quanicassee. During one check, Neterer observed a hunter eject two red shells and one green shell from his shotgun. When Neterer asked to see the subject’s shells, he attempted to hand over only the red shells. The green shell had fallen under some hunting equipment near the front of the boat. Upon further inspection, the green shell was found to contain toxic shot and the hunter was using a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. The hunter received a citation for the toxic shot and a warning for the unplugged shotgun.

CO Mark Siemen, while working the early doe firearm season, saw a subject dressed in camouflage standing outside of a hunting tent in a sugar beet field. Siemen parked and walked out to the blind. Before Siemen arrived at the tent, the subject had gone back inside the blind. As Siemen approached, he identified himself and the subject unzipped the door. Siemen could see two people in the blind and neither person was wearing any hunter orange. Siemen asked the hunter if he had any hunter orange to put on and he stated he did not and did not need it because he was hunting on private property. Siemen educated both subjects hunting about the law relating to wearing hunter orange and issued both a citation for not wearing hunter orange.

DISTRICT 7

CO Jeremy Beavers conducted a patrol targeting shining activity. During his patrol, Beavers spotted a vehicle that was shining in Lyons Township. Beavers could see that two passengers were shining fields from the right side of a pickup truck. Beavers contacted the subjects. During his contact, Beavers asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle to which the driver said, “Yes.”  Beavers checked the weapon, which was a .22 caliber rifle. There were also two boxes of rounds in the case with the weapon. The front seat passenger stated the firearm belonged to him. The subject was cited for shining while in possession of a weapon.

CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of subjects that were shooting after the posted hours at Echo Point Shooting Range in Allegan County. The CO was already in the area and responded immediately. When the CO arrived, there were multiple people at the range utilizing it for target practice. Multiple violations were discussed with the subjects, and two citations were issued for using the shooting range after hours.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when he observed a vehicle parked near a closed trout stream. Woodwyk walked the creek and located the subject near the creek waters with a fishing pole in his hand. Based on the fishing equipment the angler had in his possession and the tackle in his tackle box, the CO believed he was attempting to snag salmon in the shallow creek waters. A ticket was issued for possession of fishing equipment on a closed trout stream.

COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer responded to a complaint of a deer possibly shot with a .30-.06 rifle. Dragomer located drag marks, blood and deer hair at the location of the complaint. The COs interviewed the suspect and received a confession of shooting the deer while trespassing with a .30-.06 rifle and for taking an antlerless deer without a license. The COs seized the deer and the rifle. Charges will be submitted to the Berrien County Prosecutor for approval.

COs Tyler Cole and Matt Page patrolled a section of the Paw River known for snagging/fishing within closed stream violations. Two subjects were observed searching for fish with headlamps and flashlights. After approximately 10 minutes, the subjects went back to their vehicle and grabbed fishing poles and began to fish within the closed stream. Contact was made and citations were issued for fishing within the closed stream.

CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint from Station 20 of a deer that was possibly killed with a rifle during bow season. He responded along with CO Nick Wellman and a confession was obtained. The suspect explained that the 9-point was too far to shoot with a bow, so he grabbed his rifle and shot it. The 9-point antlers and a 30-06 rifle were seized as evidence. Charges are being sought through the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 8

CO Andrew Monnich received an anonymous text from a hunter about an individual who shot a buck without kill tags and bought them after the fact. Monnich and CO Eric Smither were able to track down the hunter who not only confessed to shooting a nice 10-point buck, but also a doe without a license. It was also discovered that the hunter had an outstanding warrant out of Lenawee County. He was placed under arrest and lodged in the Lenawee County Jail on the warrant and charges are being filed with the prosecutor’s office on the illegal harvest of a buck and a doe.

DISTRICT 9

CO Chris Knights located a vehicle parked next to a known area for trespassers in Oakland County. Knights waited on the car until the end of legal shooting hours for deer. After a couple of hours, a hunter came out of the woods, again passing the no trespassing sign posted at the road. After speaking with the hunter and pointing out the sign, the hunter acknowledged his mistake. Knights issued a citation for recreational trespassing.

CO Brad Silorey conducted a deer processor inspection and found a deer that looked to have been taken before the license was purchased. After a group waterfowl patrol, Silorey and COs Kris Kiel, and Joseph Deppen stopped by the subject’s residence to ask him about the deer. The subject confessed to taking the 7-point buck before purchasing his license. A warrant will be sought through the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Kris Kiel stopped an ORV for operating an ORV at 60 mph down the middle of the roadway in a county closed to ORV use. The operator was 13 years old and her father was called to the scene. The father was written a citation for allowing a juvenile to operate without supervision and warnings were issued for operating on the roadway and unlicensed ORV.

COs Dave Schaumburger and Joseph Deppen conducted surveillance of a known walleye poacher. The subject was observed trolling in Lake St. Clair and the upper Detroit River. When the subject left the water, CO Kris Kiel contacted him in a gas station parking lot and asked to see his fish. The subject produced a bucket with seven walleye in it. The subject was written another citation for an over limit of walleye.

COs Kris Kiel and Jamie Salisbury checked approximately 50 waterfowl hunters at the Harsens Island management unit during waterfowl season opener. Citations were written for loaded firearm in a motorboat, unplugged shotgun, and fail to provide PFDs. Warnings were given for unsigned federal waterfowl stamps and a registration violation.

CO Robert Watson patrolled the Port Huron SGA for hunting activity. Watson discovered illegal ORV tracks, treestands, blinds and baited sites throughout the SGA. Watson contacted one hunter who was hunting over a pile of carrots out of a treestand that did not have his contact information permanently attached. The hunter did not have his valid deer license in possession. A citation was issued for failing to produce a valid kill tag and for hunting over bait.

CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of a hunter trespassing on Consumers Energy property. Deppen made it to the location one evening and found a hunter in his stand well within the property boundary. The hunter claimed he did not know where he was. The hunter also had a camera overlooking a pile of salt and minerals. The hunter was cited for recreational trespass and hunting deer over bait.   

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