Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 31, 2020

DISTRICT 1

CO Ariel Young was out patrolling the lakes within her county when she stopped and checked some ice anglers on Hamilton Lake. Upon pulling into the parking lot, it was noted that there was a large group of people talking and then quickly dispersing and heading back to their shanties. Young made contact with the individuals and found a short northern pike hidden in a bag near a shanty. Through further questioning, one of the subjects admitted to the fish being his and that he did not have a fishing license. The subject was also on the ice with a snowmobile that had expired registration and no helmet. Young issued a citation for the undersized pike and seized the fish and issued warnings for the registration and helmet infractions.

CO John Kamps followed up on a possible illegal deer. During the investigation, it was determined that the individual would commonly hunt and purchase his licenses after harvesting an animal. The subject was interviewed and proudly showed off his trophies including a very large 7-point buck from this rifle season, a 6-point from last year and a large turkey. The subject confessed to shooting all three of the animals and then purchasing the licenses afterward. The deer antlers and skulls were seized along with the rifle used to take them. Kamps has forwarded the information to the Marquette County prosecutor on the two illegal deer, and the illegal turkey is being forwarded to the county in lower Michigan where it was taken.

CO John Kamps made contact with a deer hunter as he was walking out of the woods. The hunter stated that there was someone sitting on his bait pile with no hunter orange clothing. Kamps walked to the bait pile and found a hunter wrapped in a white bed sheet for snow camouflage. When the individual saw the CO, he started looking frantically through his belongings for an orange hat. A citation was issued for hunting without hunter orange clothing. The hunter was questioned why he was hunting on somebody else’s deer bait and reminded about hunter ethics.

CO Doug Hermanson conducted investigations on deer that appeared to have been tagged illegally during the firearm deer season. Hermanson interviewed multiple subjects and was able to obtain confessions for an antler point tagging violation along with two subjects who used tags purchased by another person. Charges have been requested with the Houghton County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mike Olesen conducted a taxidermy inspection and located a suspicious set of antlers from 2018. The deer license that was attached to the antlers was purchased after legal shooting hours had ended but was validated for the same day the license was purchased. After a short interview, the suspect confessed to Olesen that he had shot the 8-point buck and then purchased his deer license after the fact. The antlers and firearm used were seized as evidence and a report is being submitted to the Mackinac County prosecutor for review for taking a deer without a license.

COs Colton Gelinas and Todd Sumbera conducted an illegal deer interview in Mackinac County. Gelinas received an anonymous tip reference a deer being killed without a valid license. Gelinas and Sumbera contacted the hunter who admitted to killing the deer and buying a license after the fact. Charges are being sought for taking a deer without a license through the Mackinac County prosecutor.

CO Todd Sumbera conducted a deer processing facility inspection and located a suspiciously tagged 8-point buck. Sumbera contacted the shooter of the deer in question. When asked, the subject told the entire story of the hunt. The deer was harvested in early morning without a deer license and, after the hunt, the subject went to the store to purchase their deer license. The 8-point rack and firearm were seized, and a report will be submitted to the Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a license.

CO Cole VanOosten assisted the Luce County Sheriff’s Department with a domestic assault in progress. VanOosten and the Luce County deputy arrived on scene at the same time and separated the individuals involved. The aggressor was lodged in the county jail by the deputy.

DISTRICT 3

CO Tim Rosochacki followed up on a deer discovered at a local processor where it appeared that a subject purchased a license after harvesting an 8-point buck. Rosochacki contacted the hunter and quickly obtained a confession. He stated that he did not expect to see any deer and did not have time to purchase a license before going hunting. The case has been sent to the Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Tom Oberg assisted the Gaylord Police Department along with MSP troopers and Otsego County Sheriff’s Department in the search of a suspect who stole multiple items from Walmart and left without paying. A Gaylord Police Department unit spotted the suspect vehicle and tried to initiate a traffic stop when the suspect fled. After a short pursuit, the suspect crashed his vehicle and fled off into the woods on foot. Oberg was just down the road when the call came over the radio. Oberg assisted the responding units in setting a perimeter on the section of woods in which the suspect fled. After approximately an hour, the suspect was located by an MSP K9 unit. The suspect was taken into custody and lodged at the Otsego County jail.

COs Tom Oberg, Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Mark DePew participated in the annual “Shop with A Cop” event at WalMart in Gaylord along with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, MSP Gaylord Post, and Gaylord Police Department. Many children were in attendance who were individually paired up with an officer. The children were able to get their picture taken with Santa and then were able to shop throughout the store and pick out the gifts they wanted. Fun was had by all.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Haskin received complaints of two individuals shooting a deer from a vehicle with a crossbow. Haskin contacted both individuals and found that one of them had been purchasing resident tags as a nonresident and just a few years ago was getting free tags as a disabled veteran. Charges are pending with the Wexford County prosecutor.

COs Josiah Killingbeck and Ryan Andrews contacted a subject who had shot two 8-point bucks. Killingbeck had located the deer at a processor and identified a tagging violation. Killingbeck and Andrews interviewed the hunter and determined that the hunter had been hunting without a license and shot both deer without a license. The subject admitted to later purchasing tags and normally never purchases hunting licenses prior to hunting. The subject advised the COs that a family member had also shot several deer, where the COs determined there was questionable license purchases with these deer, as well. The COs contacted the family member and determined that the subject had purchased a single deer license and legally shot a deer. The subject then purchased a combination deer license, which is illegal, and shot another deer. Killingbeck then learned of another subject hunting the property who had been hunting without a license. Killingbeck interviewed the subject on the phone and obtained a confession to hunting without a license. Numerous charges are being sought through the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Jeff Ginn is attempting to locate the owner of an abandoned boat which was located on Croton Pond. If you are missing a boat or know of someone who is missing a boat and can identify it, please call the report all poaching hotline: 1-800-292-7800.

CO Mike Wells received information in late September regarding a property owner who discovered a trail camera picture of a subject trespassing on his property. The subject was carrying a shotgun and not displaying the required hunter orange. After canvasing the area several times, Wells was not able to identify the subject. The photograph was displayed on social media and within a week, the subject in the photograph called in and admitted it was him. Contact was made with the subject and it was discovered that he was squirrel hunting, but did not have a base license, nor had he taken a hunter safety class. Due to the subject turning himself in, a warning was issued for the trespass at the request of the property owner. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office regarding the other violations present.

DISTRICT 5

CO Charlie Jones was asked by MSP troopers to assist in locating an absconder suspect in Kalkaska County with multiple felony warrants. Multiple attempts were made throughout the county without success. The last attempt to locate the absconder was at a residence in Kalkaska County. With consent from the homeowner, the house was searched and produced the suspect hiding under a bed. The suspect was taken into custody. While on scene a second male subject gave a false name. It was determined the second male subject also had multiple felony warrants out of the Flint area. Both subjects were taken into custody.

COs Mike Hearn and Jeremy Cantrell instructed at a snowmobile safety course in Kalkaska County. The COs were assisted in instruction by the Kalkaska County Sheriff Department. Facilities and food were donated free of charge to the students by the Kalkaska County Snowmobile Association. All participants successfully completed the 8-hour course. Later in the week, Hearn presented the snowmobile association with a framed glass photo and thank you card as recognition during its December meeting.

COs Brad Bellville, James Garrett, Kyle Bader, Jeremy Cantrell, Craig Neal, Josh Russell, Charlie Jones and Lt. Brandon Kieft participated in “Shop with a Hero” events across the Roscommon District. The events provided Christmas presents for hundreds of under-privileged kids.

DISTRICT 6

CO Joe Myers received information regarding possible trespassers sneaking in from state forest lands. Myers traversed the private property looking for sign of trespassing activity and located several places where trespassing could occur from the adjacent public land. After over three hours of tracking, the CO was finally able to track the three hunters to the private property. The CO was able to sneak up on all three hunters individually. The hunters were found not wearing hunter orange and were trespassing on the private property. After interviewing the suspects, it was determined that multiple deer were taken on the private land without permission. Charges are being sought via warrant request.

CO Adam Beuthin was working with a federal wildlife officer on a trespassing complaint in Saginaw County. They received a complaint that someone had trespassed onto the Shiawassee River Wildlife Refuge after shooting a deer from the neighboring private property. The hunter failed to obtain a permit to retrieve the deer. When the officers arrived at the private property where the deer was shot, they observed a bait pile near the hunter’s blind. After finding where the deer was originally shot and tracking it onto the federal refuge, it was determined that the deer was taken illegally. Not only did the shooter trespass in the refuge, but he was also trespassing on the property where he shot the deer. A warrant has been requested for baiting and taking a deer over bait. The hunter is also facing federal charges for trespassing in the federal refuge.

CO Mike Haas came across a hunter who had harvested an antlerless deer in western Isabella County. When looking into the hunter’s license purchases, it was discovered that the hunter did not have a valid tag for the deer. Haas interviewed the man who shot the doe and he admitted to shooting the deer, calling a family member to purchase a license for him, and then tagging the deer with the family member’s tag. Charges are pending with the Isabella County Prosecutor’s Office to address taking the deer without a license, using a license of another, and loaning a license to another.

DISTRICT 7

CO Travis Dragomer responded to a complaint of a group of waterfowl hunters that was allegedly shooting ducks while motoring around a Van Buren County Lake. Dragomer observed the hunters motoring around the lake but did not witness them shooting. Dragomer contacted the hunters when they came into the boat launch. The hunters possessed 11 ducks and one of the hunters did not have a waterfowl license or a federal duck stamp in his possession. Dragomer issued the hunter a citation for possessing waterfowl without a federal duck stamp.

CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint on opening day of firearm deer season of an individual who had shot three antlered deer in one season; a 10-point, an 8-point and a 7-point. After interviewing the subject and getting consent to search the property, McQueer found no evidence of an over-limit of antlered deer. A week passed by and McQueer gathered more information. After a lengthy interview, the subject confessed to shooting two antlered deer during bow season without first purchasing deer hunting licenses and then shot a third buck on opening day of gun season with his firearm. Charges are being sought through the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of subjects baiting deer in Allegan County early in the November firearm deer season and possibly trespassing. The location was checked multiple times throughout the season, but no hunters were located. After the season ended, Woodwyk stopped by the suspect’s house to interview him. During the interview, Woodwyk discovered and received confessions to three separate illegally harvested deer. All three deer were illegally harvested in different fashions by three different hunters. All the deer meat was seized as evidence and charges are pending against all three suspects with the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 8

COs Jim Nason and Nick Wellman participated in “Shop with a Cop” in Branch County. The COs along with other local law enforcement were assigned and were responsible for a child who came from a household that had been through some recent hardships. The COs assisted the kids in shopping for not only themselves, but also their closest loved ones. The kids were given a $100 gift card to shop for family and to also pick out one gift to donate to the “Toys for Tots” foundation. There were roughly 27 kids that were involved, and it was a great success.

CO Edward Rice assisted the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office with a report of a suicidal person in the middle of an intersection with a handgun. Rice arrived on scene along with a sheriff’s deputy and began talking to the man who found his wife cheating on him. Rice and the deputy began establishing a rapport with the man before safely approaching the man eventually getting the man on the ground and into custody without incident. A knife was located on the man, but no gun. The man was transported to a local hospital for further observation.

CO Larn R. Strawn investigated a complaint of a safety zone violation that occurred on the opening day of deer season. While responding to the initial complaint, Strawn discovered the suspect trespassed and shot a trophy-class 8-point buck. Strawn arrested the suspect for an outstanding warrant from a previous deer tagging violation and driving while license suspended offense. Strawn transported the arrestee to the Gratiot County Jail for fingerprinting and booking on the warrant. Strawn is seeking charges through the county prosecutor.

COs Katie Stawara and Larn Strawn, and Sgt. Richard Nickols investigated a RAP complaint regarding four untagged deer hanging in a suspect’s barn. Immediately upon her arrival to the residence, Stawara could see a deer hanging in the barn through an open door. Unable to contact the suspect, a search warrant was drafted and served. The investigation resulted in three antlerless deer, an 8-point buck, and an unregistered handgun. All deer were untagged, and the meat had spoiled. A follow up interview resulted in the deer having been shot by two friends of the suspect, neither had licenses for the deer. A complaint warrant is being submitted for the deer, handgun, and animal cruelty conditions observed during their search.

DISTRICT 9

CO Bobby Watson responded to a complaint of waterfowl hunters shooting under power near the Blue Water Bridge. Watson was able to arrive just as the suspects were packing up their gear to head in. Watson watched the hunters finish packing up, then slowly start motoring north, appearing to be looking around for birds. Eventually the two hunters were seen shouldering their shotguns and firing multiple times at birds that they had scared up, while still motoring forward. The hunters were contacted by Watson and a citation was issued for shooting while under power.

CO Bobby Watson was patrolling down a back road when he observed a hunter walking through a field with camouflage clothing, an orange cap on, and what appeared to be a rifle. Firearm deer season had recently ended, and muzzleloader season had not yet begun. Watson continued watching as the hunter then climbed into a tree stand. Watson approached the hunter in the tree stand, who when asked what he was doing, stated, “deer hunting.”  Watson then discovered the man had not taken hunter safety. A citation was issued for hunting with a firearm outside of firearm season.

CO Bobby Watson followed up on an old complaint and interviewed a subject who had allegedly purchased his deer combination tag after shooting his buck first. Watson obtained a confession from the hunter and the hunter stated he had screwed up and admitted responsibility. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor for further review.

CO Luke Robare conducted an interview for CO Mike Haas. Haas found a suspicious deer tag during a processor inspection in Isabella County, but the suspect lived in Genesee County. Robare conducted the interview and gained a confession stating that the suspect who shot the deer did not have a valid deer license when the deer was killed. The information was gathered by Robare and passed along to Haas.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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