Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 17, 2020

DISTRICT 1

CO Josh Boudreaux followed up on a trespass complaint in Marquette Township. Suspects were reportedly hunting on the complainant’s property and drove their ORV around multiple “No Trespassing” signs to retrieve their deer. Boudreaux followed the drag marks over a mile to the kill site which was well onto private property. During the interview, suspects stated they didn’t know they were on private property although they dragged the deer a half mile onto state land before gutting it. A citation was issued for failure to validate kill tag and charges are pending with the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office for (ORV) trespass.

CO Josh Boudreaux was returning from a patrol when Marquette County Dispatch aired a Be on the Lookout for a suicidal subject in the area of Richmond Township. After an update that the individual was believed to be southbound on M-35 from Palmer, Boudreaux turned around to attempt to locate the subject. Almost immediately, the subject drove around the next curve and Boudreaux spun around to follow the vehicle which voluntarily pulled over onto a side road. After determining there were no weapons in the vehicle or on the subject, Boudreaux sat and talked with the individual until Michigan State Police troopers arrived on scene to transport the individual for a psychiatric evaluation.

CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County when he stopped to conduct a processor inspection at a local deer processor. Painter located a 6-point buck with a tag that was not correctly validated. Painter contacted the individual whose license was on the deer and learned that he had not shot the deer but that he purchased the license for his son to put on his deer. The deer was seized, and a report has been sent to the Gogebic County Prosecutor’s Office for further review.

DISTRICT 2

COs Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, Breanna Reed, Mike Evink, Andrea Dani and an MSP trooper executed a search warrant on a suspect’s house for felon in possession of firearms and suspected illegal deer. During the search, firearms were located in the bedroom and throughout the rest of the house. Several deer antlers in question were also located. Butzin and Reed interviewed the suspect’s father and son on scene. The suspect’s son confessed to shooting two deer in violation of the APR and using his girlfriend’s deer licenses. Multiple rifles and crossbows, along with several sets of deer antlers were seized as a result of the search warrant. Butzin and Reed later interviewed the son’s girlfriend who confessed to loaning him her deer licenses. A report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for felony in possession of firearms and for charges on the suspect’s son for taking deer in violation of the APR and using the kill tags of another.

COs Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, and Breanna Reed were on patrol when a call came out for a fleeing homicide suspect on foot. The COs responded to the area and the suspect was taken into custody without incident by multiple law enforcement agencies. After the suspect was taken into custody, the COs assisted in securing the scene where the victim was located. The suspect was lodged in the Menominee County Jail on open murder charges.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when a call for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in progress came out. Lynch responded to the scene to begin assisting medical personnel when another call came out for CPR in progress. Lynch diverted to the second call and conducted CPR on the victim along with a city police officer. The officers conducted CPR for 45 minutes while paramedics conducted more advanced treatment. Both victims, unfortunately, passed away.

CO Cole VanOosten was at the prosecutor’s office turning in a report when a call for help came over the radio. An unresponsive elderly female was found on the ground at her residence. VanOosten responded to the area and was first on scene to provide first aid to the woman who had lacerations to her face and was actively seizing. VanOosten provided first aid to the woman until emergency medical personnel arrived. It is believed that the woman slipped and fell on a patch of ice and hit her head on her vehicle rendering her unconscious.

DISTRICT 3

CO Adam LeClerc had a condemnation hearing for a case involving the defendant using a live capture bear trap in an attempt to take a bear on state land, small mammal traps set out of season without name tags, and the defendant did not have a fur harvester’s license. LeClerc presented the defense attorney with evidence that the live capture bear trap was active with door attached on state land. The defendant forfeited the traps to the state of Michigan without having a hearing. The criminal case against the defendant is still ongoing.

CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling the south part of Alpena County when she had an oncoming vehicle cross the yellow line in front of her patrol vehicle. After turning around to initiate a traffic stop, Curtis found the vehicle in a nearby driveway. The truck had corn and other feed in the bed, a freshly emptied beer can and the vehicle had no insurance. As Curtis walked the driveway, she observed corn spread out in the yard, a trail camera over the corn, a feeder with feed in it, and fresh footprints walking to the backyard. Curtis found the operator of the vehicle hunting in a blind that also had corn down shooting lanes. The subject had no hunter orange. The subject was issued a ticket for the several violations and additional charges have been requested.

CO Sidney Collins received a complaint from a local deer camp in Montmorency County about a possible trespass. Collins met with the manager of the property and located footprints and drag marks in the melting snow. Collins followed the footprints and drag marks in the snow for approximately a half mile on each side of the fenced property. The drag marks stopped at truck tire imprints. Collins located a cabin on the suspected trespassing property. An individual at the camp admitted to gut shooting an 8-point buck that morning and following its tracks into the privately fenced property. They did not call to get permission from the property manager. The 8-point deer was seized and donated to a local food bank. Charges will be sought for recreational trespass.

DISTRICT 4

CO Ben Shively responded to a complaint from Oceana County Central Dispatch of someone road hunting in the Silver Lake area. Shively responded to the area and located a vehicle matching the description pulled over on the shoulder of the roadway. Upon contacting the driver, Shively located a loaded rifle lying across the driver’s lap and open intoxicants in the vehicle. After running the driver through sobriety testing, he was cited for loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.

CO Ben Shively worked a bait complaint in Oceana County where a subject was allowing a processing plant to dump its vegetable scraps on his property. At least 20 dump truck loads had been dumped along the powerlines on the subject’s property, which had two tower blinds set up on the piles. Shively with the assistance of an Oceana County deputy, were able to contact two hunters hunting over the piles. Citations were issued for hunting deer over bait when prohibited and the property owner was cited for placing bait/feed when prohibited.

CO Mike Wells and Sgt. Mike Bomay received information of a subject that had taken an over-limit of antlered deer. Upon contacting the suspect, an admission was received that he had harvested a 6-point, 5-point, and a 10-point, which was at a local taxidermist. The subject claimed that he had accidentally harvested the 5-point on opening day. He explained that he shot at the 6-point buck and that the bullet passed through the 6-point and struck the 5-point killing it. Wells asked the subject if he had called the DNR on the alleged accidental take. The subject admitted that he did not call, and he advised that he tagged the 6-point and he took possession of the 5-point without tagging it. He processed both deer at his residence. The subject could retain the 6-point buck, the 5-point was seized due to it being untagged and the 10-point was seized from the taxidermist due to it being the over-limit deer. Warrants will be sought for the failure to immediately tag deer and the over-limit of antlered deer.

DISTRICT 5

CO Micah Hintze received a RAP complaint from stating a subject had taken a buck in Missaukee County in violation of the 3-point on one side APR. During the investigation, Hintze located a heavily baited blind and a hunter who wasn’t wearing hunter orange. Initially the man denied both seeing or taking a deer recently. When Hintze located blood nearby and confronted the subject again, he simply asked how much trouble he was in. The man confessed to taking a buck he knew was too small and shooting it over bait. Hintze helped the hunter pick up the bait and returned with him to camp. The small buck was seized, and multiple violations were addressed to include take deer with APR violation, place bait in the Lower Peninsula, take deer with use of bait, fail to immediately tag deer, and fail to wear hunter orange. Citations were issued for the violations.

CO Tyler Sabuda received a RAP complaint in Iosco County of individuals road hunting, shooting multiple times in a field and not wearing any hunter orange. Sabuda arrived on scene and contacted a female who had shot four deer without having any deer licenses. Sabuda observed all four deer on the property without any kill tags attached. The female was cited on four counts of possessing a deer without a license.

DISTRICT 6

While traveling to the Montcalm County Courthouse to drop off paperwork, CO Mike Haas was tailgated by a vehicle that was eager to pass the CO. Numerous times the vehicle began to pass the CO’s truck and was then forced back behind Haas due to oncoming traffic. After some time, the vehicle passed Haas on a hill as they entered a “no passing zone.”  Haas paced the vehicle at over 95 mph in a 55-mph zone and conducted a traffic stop. The operator of the vehicle stated that they were in a hurry to get home and admitted that they didn’t know conservation officers could conduct traffic stops. Haas issued a citation to address the traffic violations.

COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson were patrolling central Montcalm County and received a complaint from the RAP line. A complainant was concerned with a hunter who was hunting in a residential area and possibly violating the safety zone law. The COs arrived at the complaint area and located a hunter sitting behind his house in a hunting tent overlooking a small wood lot. The hunter was unsure of the safety zone requirements and was surprised that he was hunting within five of his neighbor’s safety zones. The COs explained the safety concerns and issued a citation for hunting within a safety zone.

CO Joshua Wright was patrolling in Tuscola County when he saw a person butchering a deer in his shed. The CO went to congratulate the hunter. While checking the deer, Wright noticed that there was a Mentored Youth tag on one of the antlered deer that the adult said he shot. The adult admitted that he put his child’s tag on it because he did not buy one. It was also discovered that the same hunter shot an antlerless deer and then bought the license after. Weapons and deer were seized. Charges are being sought through Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 7

CO Casey Varriale received a complaint in Ottawa County regarding the dumping of deer carcasses on private property. Varriale located the two deer carcasses, and an investigation led to a suspect who lived down the road. Varriale contacted the suspect and the suspect claimed he did not think it was illegal to leave deer carcasses on the side of the road. The suspect was issued a citation for littering.

CO Zach Bauer was off duty when he received a phone call from the RAP hotline about an angler keeping under-sized walleye at the Berrien Springs dam. Bauer located the angler and further investigation revealed two under-sized walleye in the angler’s possession. The two walleye were seized, and a citation was issued for the violation.

CO Richard Cardenas received a RAP complaint of three subjects seen walking into the Barry SGA with hunting equipment past legal shooting hours. Cardenas located the suspect vehicle which had several empty gun cases in the back. Cardenas used a hand-held Forward-Looking InfraRed unit which allowed him to locate and approach the three subjects hunting in the woods. The subjects were contacted in the woods with loaded firearms and were using artificial light to hunt game. Citations were issued for hunting past legal shooting hours.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Allegan SGA when a vehicle approached him head on. Woodwyk stepped out to talk with the driver, who stated he had a shotgun in the back of the vehicle and proceeded to show Woodwyk a loaded, uncased firearm. Woodwyk then noticed a second gun case in the bed of the truck. Upon checking this firearm, it was discovered this firearm was also loaded. A citation was issued for the safety violation.

DISTRICT 8

COs Andrew Monnich, Eric Smither, Mike Drexler, Brandon Hartleben and Sgt. Jason Smith participated in a bait flight focusing on Lenawee and Washtenaw counties. Multiple bait sites were located, marked, and investigated. During the patrol, Monnich and Smith followed up on a bait site when they located an individual hunting near his vehicle. The COs discovered that the hunter was without any hunter orange and did not have a hunting license. The hunter claimed to be just sitting in the field relaxing and not hunting. When asked about the firearm, the individual stated that he brought it in the event he was attacked by a coyote. During the same patrol, Hartleben and Drexler followed up on a bait site where they located one hunter hunting over bait and another hunter with no license and no hunter orange. During the same contact, the COs investigated what appeared to be a somewhat large processing operation in which the hunter claimed he only did for friends. The hunter was educated on laws pertaining to processing and enforcement action was taken on all other violations.

CO Shane Webster responded to a complaint of a deer taken within the Portage Lake State Campground and left behind a dumpster in the park. With a good vehicle description, Webster was able to contact a group of campers in the park who knew the suspect. A phone call to the suspect and an agreement to meet a few hours later was made to explain the issue. The subject came back to the campground and stated that he had an “emergency” at work. The subject led Webster to the deer which he had buried under leaves. He explained that he had been hunting on the campground edge into the recreation area land and the deer had run into the park after being shot. He was worried he would be in trouble for taking the deer out of the campground and he had also forgotten his licenses at home, which is why he had left. A ticket was issued for failure to immediately tag the deer.

COs Todd Thorn, John Byars and Sgt. Richard Nickols executed a search warrant at a residence to seek evidence of killing deer at night using a luminescent scope. The search resulted in a phone, scope and other electronic devices being seized. Information will be processed, and charges will be sought through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. While the search was being conducted, the suspect admitted to having shot at least one deer well after hunting hours.

DISTRICT 9

CO Nicholas Ingersoll responded to a car versus tree personal injury accident. Ingersoll was first on scene where he observed an individual slumped over the steering wheel unresponsive. Ingersoll was unable to locate a pulse and the individual was not breathing. Ingersoll and a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy extracted the patient from the vehicle, and that is when Ingersoll started to perform CPR. The officers used their Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the patient and three shocks were provided by the AED prior to fire and EMS arriving on scene. After approximately an hour of working on the patient and all attempts at reviving the patient failed, he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is investigating why the crash had happened.

COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek conducted an interview on a hunter who had shot a deer in Kentucky without a license. The COs assisted Kentucky’s Fish and Wildlife Division by interviewing the suspect who lived in Monroe County. After a lengthy interview, the COs were able to obtain a confession from the hunter. The hunter advised that he went to Kentucky and, once he got to Kentucky, he realized he did not know his Social Security number. He stated that he could not purchase his hunting license and he advised he paid his friend to purchase his hunting license and he used his friend’s hunting license to tag the deer he had shot. The hunter provided a written confession, and the COs seized the firearm that was used. The case will be turned over to Kentucky’s Fish and Wildlife Division to pursue charges.

CO David Schaumburger received an anonymous complaint of a hunter hunting over bait. The complainant told the hunter he was calling the DNR at 8 a.m. The CO had a busy day and contacted the same hunter in the same location three minutes after shooting hours ended hunting over the bait. The hunter did not have a hunting license and was also not wearing hunter orange. Multiple citations were issued.

COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner interviewed a suspect of an illegal deer found on a Facebook page. Upon contact the individual readily admitted to having shot the 8-point buck before he purchased his tags. The antlers and meat were seized. Charges are being sought through the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office.

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