CO Dave Miller received a complaint about a deer being shot at night next to a residence within the village of L’Anse. The next morning, Miller received information that the deer was taken to the suspect’s camp for processing. Miller responded to the camp and located a gut pile, rib cage, hide and the neck of the deer along the road near the suspect’s camp. Upon examination, it appeared as though the deer had been shot with a gun. The suspect and his hunting party were questioned and admitted that one of them had shot the deer with a handgun after it was wounded with an arrow and ran into town. The investigation is ongoing with charges for hunting in the village limits, safety zone violations, trespassing, allow minor to hunt unsupervised, and damage to property and is being reviewed by the prosecutor’s office.
CO Josh Boudreaux received a complaint of an individual fishing a closed section of a trout stream in Marquette County. Boudreaux responded to the area and hiked to a vantage point where he could observe the angler. After observing the individual fish for several minutes, Boudreaux contacted the angler who stated, “I had no idea the stream was closed!” As Boudreaux followed the angler back to his truck, he pointed out the two signs he passed on his way to his fishing spot which stated the stretch of river was closed, including one which was posted on the tree in front of his parked truck. The angler’s fish was seized, and a citation was issued for fishing a closed stream.
Sgt. Brian Bacon and CO Anna Viau noticed a recently made ORV trail going around a berm on state land in Iron County. The COs followed the trail until they located a side-by-side ORV on the trail. In the passenger seat of the ORV was a gun case. Bacon shortly spotted an individual in the woods, who turned out to be the operator of the ORV. The individual was hanging a treestand very close to a treestand in a nearby tree. After contacting the individual, he soon admitted to not having properly labeled the existing treestand which had been left on state land for a few days. The COs brought the man back to his ORV and asked about the gun case. The man admitted he had a loaded .22 caliber rifle in the case. After confirming that the rifle was loaded, the COs wrote the individual a citation for having a loaded firearm on his ORV and gave him warnings for his unlabeled tree stand and for operating his ORV in a closed area.
CO Chris Lynch successfully served an arrest warrant on a subject for shooting an illegal 8-point buck and 10-point buck. The subject is currently facing charges for shooting sandhill cranes, as well.
CO Colton Gelinas was working a shining patrol in Mackinac County when he observed a truck using a green tinted spotlight to shine fields. Gelinas contacted the subjects who believed that they were legal to shine during the month of November. Gelinas advised the subjects that from Nov. 1-30, shining is not allowed. Gelinas also advised the subjects that shining, when legal, must cease from the hours of 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Gelinas issued a citation for using an artificial light during unlawful hours.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when a call of a suicidal teen was reported near his location. VanOosten began searching for the individual and located the vehicle that the teen was reported driving. The suspect was not in the vehicle, but the engine was still warm, and the door was slightly cracked. VanOosten began looking for the teen on a trail near the vehicle. With the help of the Luce County Sheriff’s Department, the teen was located and brought in for medical attention without incident.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when he received a request to notify an individual at a remote cabin that a family member had passed away. The family was unable to reach the individual because of lack of cellphone service. VanOosten responded to the location and notified the individual of the circumstances.
CO Paul Fox received a call from the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office regarding a subject who shot a deer with a rifle from a vehicle. The deer was shot on private property. The caller was able to get a license plate and identified one of the suspects. Fox responded to the scene and tracked down the suspects. Upon interviewing the suspects, confessions were obtained about shooting the deer. The deer and the suspect’s gun were seized. Charges will be filed for multiple violations, including the illegal deer.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz investigated a tip regarding a 10-point buck that was killed on state land by a subject who didn’t have a license. The subject also had prior violations with the DNR. The subject posted a picture on Facebook with his deer that morning. Liestenfeltz checked the subject on the Retail Sales System and determined that the subject had purchased one single buck tag the same morning prior to when he posted the picture on Facebook. Liestenfeltz interviewed the subject and, after multiple lies were told, he eventually confessed to shooting the buck the night prior without a license. Liestenfeltz seized the deer and the bow and arrow with which it was shot. Charges were submitted to the prosecutor and a warrant was issued for the subject’s arrest. Liestenfeltz was able to arrest the subject on the warrant and a court date has been set.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis received a complaint of salmon snagging on the Thunder Bay River in Alpena. The COs drove to the dam and observed fishing activity. They also observed several anglers on shore and three in a boat. One subject in the boat had a fish on, so the COs watched closely as it approached the side of the boat. The salmon was hooked in the back, nowhere near the mouth. After taking a picture, the subject put the salmon on a stringer and continued fishing. The COs watched for another 30 minutes and then called the group over to the shore. The COs asked the subject where he hooked the salmon. The subject said that he hooked it “where everyone else is.” The COs advised him that they had been watching everyone fish for approximately two hours. The subject admitted that it was a foul hooked fish. Curtis issued a ticket for possessing a foul hooked fish. The fish was seized.
COs Patrick McManus and Amanda McCurdy conducted a six-mile foot patrol on North Manitou Island during the week-long firearm deer hunt. This is a specialized hunt that occurs annually and approximately 120 people participated this year. During the patrol, the COs checked numerous hunters, many of whom had harvested large deer from the island. While on the island, the COs assisted the National Park Service with a medical emergency that occurred after an individual cut himself with a knife while quartering a deer. The individual was transported back to Leland by the Glen Lake Fire Department.
CO Richard Stowe responded to a complaint of a shore angler keeping short fish while night fishing in Grand Traverse County. Stowe contacted the angler and conducted a routine license check. No fish were observed during the contact. The angler stated that he had caught only a small walleye and a small pike but had none to show. After leaving the contact and being told that the subject was almost done fishing, Stowe decided to wait and see if the subject continued to fish and to see if he carried any extra gear back to his vehicle. Approximately a half hour later, the subject was observed hurrying back to his vehicle carrying a bucket and was confronted in the parking area attempting to leave driving with his waders on. When the contents of the bucket were checked, an undersized pike was discovered, and a ticket was issued for keeping a northern pike under 24 inches.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a subject in full camouflage with only partially orange gloves carrying a shotgun on a rural road in Lake County. Killingbeck contacted the subject and asked about the lack of proper hunter orange. The subject said that he only thought that he needed orange when deer hunting with a firearm and not while small game hunting. Killingbeck quickly determined that the subject was carrying a loaded shotgun with the safety off. Killingbeck asked the subject why his safety was off, and the subject said that when he goes in the woods, he takes the safety off because upland game birds are fast on takeoff. Killingbeck explained the dangers of carrying a firearm with the safety off and not wearing hunter orange. A citation was issued for failure to provide the required hunter orange garment.
CO Micah Hintze received a complaint of raccoons being killed by poison in Missaukee County. When Hintze responded to the scene, he noticed a deer stand nearby with illegal bait. Further investigation also confirmed poison at the site along with numerous dead raccoons. Hintze removed the poison to alleviate any further issues. When he checked the location a few days later, the hunter was in the deer stand and new poison had been placed out again. Hintze interviewed the hunter who admitted to poisoning the raccoons because they were eating all his deer bait. A citation was issued for taking animals by illegal method.
CO Craig Neal located numerous illegal bait piles in Mason Township of Arenac County while scouting on foot. Neal continued checking the area several times in the following days trying to locate the hunters who were responsible for placing them. Eventually, while checking the area of one of the bait piles, Neal ran into a hunter at his truck. The man stated he had to “use the restroom” and came back to his truck from his stand. The hunter claimed he was hunting the east side of the trail, so Neal walked into the west side to check a known bait pile. Upon coming to the stand, Neal found a crossbow and hunting pack with no hunter in the area. Neal walked back to the parking spot where the hunter was now taking his camouflage hunting gear off knowing he had been caught. Upon contact this time, the hunter reluctantly asked if he could go back to his stand to grab his crossbow. Neal followed the hunter back to his stand and bait pile to get the crossbow and then back to the trucks where a citation was issued for baiting deer while prohibited.
CO Mark Papineau investigated a complaint involving a vehicle that was illegally shining a field in Gladwin County followed by a single gunshot. Papineau responded and spoke with the complainant who indicated that shortly after 11 p.m., they observed a vehicle actively shining a field and then heard a shot from the vehicle. According to the complainant, the vehicle quickly fled; however, the caller was able to provide a plate number. Investigation of the field revealed a dead button buck with a single gunshot wound. Papineau conducted an interview of the vehicle owner, who confessed to illegally shining with several friends. After further questioning, their story fell apart and confessions were obtained. Warrants are being sought.
CO Adam Beuthin was patrolling Saginaw Bay for waterfowl hunters when he observed hunters on a vessel shoot several ducks and attempt to retrieve them with the vessel. Beuthin contacted the vessel and found two of the four passengers were in possession of loaded shotguns. The CO explained it was illegal to be under power with forward progression and have a loaded firearm in the vessel. Two of the hunters were issued citations for hunting waterfowl in a motorboat with forward movement.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas responded to a lost child in Montcalm County. The child had been missing for almost two hours prior to the COs’ arrival. The COs assisted MSP K-9 units in searching for the child in the areas surrounding the point where he was last seen. The child was located after six hours of searching by one of the neighbors who saw an article of clothing matching the description, eventually finding the child in a hollowed log.
CO Josh Jackson located several illegal treestands on a parcel of state land. Frequently checking the area, Jackson noticed a vehicle in a nearby parking lot. Jackson walked into the state land and witnessed a hunter in a bow stand, overlooking a mineral block and fresh apples on the ground. The hunter admitted to dumping the apples prior to his hunt and was subsequently cited for the use of bait.
While patrolling the Vestaburg State Game Area (SGA) in Montcalm County, Sgt. Bob Hobkirk came across an empty ambulance with its emergency lights on parked in the middle of a road. Central Dispatch was contacted, and the CO learned that the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel were at a deer blind on private property with a subject who was having a medical emergency. Hobkirk was able to assist by driving his patrol truck back to the deer blind and transporting the patient out to the waiting ambulance.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint of a deer hunter who was illegally baiting near his treestand. Schluckbier responded to the hunting location provided in the complaint and encountered a crossbow hunter leaving the area. When speaking with the hunter, he asked to see his stand and set up. The hunter escorted Schluckbier to his hunting spot where he located a pile of bait that the hunter had attempted to conceal. A citation for baiting deer was issued.
CO Sam Schluckbier was checking an illegal blind located on state land in Allegan County when he came across another hunter nearby. The hunter could not provide a valid license and further investigation revealed he had improperly tagged a buck several days earlier. A citation was issued for the license violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk has received multiple complaints of subjects misusing the newly constructed Echo Point Shooting Range in Allegan County. Many of the complaints stem from after-hours shooting. The CO was patrolling through the area and observed a subject actively target shooting well after the posted hours. Contact was made with the suspect and the sign showing the usage hours was pointed out on the post next to the shooting station being used. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Michael Haas contacted COs Justin Ulberg and Casey Varriale regarding a hunter that appeared to have shot a buck without a valid license. CO Haas located the subject on a social media site posing with the buck and discovered the subject only had an antlerless tag. COs Ulberg and Varriale contacted the subject and interviewed him regarding the buck. The subject confessed to shooting the buck thinking it was a doe and purchased his buck tag afterwards. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
COs Daniel Prince and Peter Purdy investigated a complaint of a subject shooting deer without a hunting license. The subject was cooperative and turned over a 9-point buck and an 8-point buck, both shot by the subject without hunting licenses. A report will be submitted to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for a warrant request for the two deer taken without hunting licenses and for the subject for illegally baiting for deer behind his home.
CO Brandon Hartleben investigated a complaint involving a subject that took a Lesser yellowlegs while waterfowl hunting at Four Mile Lake at Chelsea SGA. The complainant was able to provide a picture of the suspect’s vehicle and a picture of the Lesser yellowlegs that the suspect supposedly shot. Hartleben was able to locate the suspect and conduct an interview. During the interview, the suspect confessed to shooting what he believed to be snipe until he was confronted and educated by the complainant. A report is being submitted to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for taking a non-game bird.
COs Nick Wellman and Jim Nason went to interview a subject on a recreational trespass complaint. The suspect was hunting on property for which he did not have permission, shot a doe, and then was out looking for it. Sometime during the track, he lost the blood and returned later to continue to look. When he returned to the property, he took a treestand down, hooked it to his vehicle and dragged it through the farmer’s standing soybeans. In all, it was property damage and recreational trespass on two separate properties. The man admitted to everything. Charges are being sought through the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Nick Wellman and Jason McCullough went to conduct an interview regarding illegal otter that they had found earlier in the year. Upon contacting the suspect, Wellman asked the man if he knew why the COs were there. He stated that he knew and that it was because he had killed a big buck the night before and never tagged it. Surprised, the COs handled the illegal deer issue, then asked the man about the otters, to which he confessed to taking an over-limit of otter and not registering them. All illegal game was seized, and reports are being sent to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Brad Silorey conducted a deer processor inspection and found a deer tagged and validated on the same day the license was purchased and dropped off at the processor. A short interview by Silorey and CO Kris Kiel produced a confession of taking the 8-point buck in his backyard and purchasing the license after the fact. A warrant request will be sought through the prosecutor for taking a deer without a license. The deer was donated to two needy families in Richmond that the COs found by contacting the local police department.
COs Christopher Knights and Danielle Zubek were patrolling Highland State Recreation Area and heard shots coming from Lower Pettibone Lake. When they arrived, multiple waterfowl hunters were headed to shore. Both COs checked licenses, firearms and waterfowl for possible violations. As they were checking, another boat showed up just after the first few hunters had left. Upon checking ammunition, Knights found what looked like lead shot. The hunter advised that it was his target practicing ammunition and not for duck hunting. Knights issued the individual a citation for possessing lead shot while duck hunting.
CO Justin Muehlhauser investigated a deer that was taken over an illegal bait pile. A property owner reported that there was a fresh blood trail on their property and was concerned that there may be a wounded deer that wasn’t recovered. The CO followed the blood trail and located a baited hunt site. There was approximately a bag of corn and a bag of sugar beets located at the hunt site. The CO located a gut pile and contacted the property owner. The property owner advised that it was a person who he leases his land out to and provided the contact information of the hunter. The CO interviewed the hunter who eventually confessed to taking the deer over bait and turned over the deer. The deer was donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger. Charges are being sought through the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.