Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 13, 2020

DISTRICT 1

COs Brian Lasanen, Ethen Mapes and Dave Miller conducted several sound meter patrols in the west-end of the Upper Peninsula over the last couple of weeks. The COs contacted many snowmobiles and cited seven for being over the 88-decibel limit. Other violations addressed included failure/improper display of registration and failure to attach trail permit.

COs Zachary Painter and Ethen Mapes responded to a snowmobile accident on Lake Gogebic involving one snowmobile. Painter and Mapes were the first responders on scene and were able to determine that the operator of the snowmobile had a broken femur and possibly a shoulder injury. The cause of the single snowmobile crash was due to speed and poor conditions.

CO Jeremy Sergey and Sgt. Mark Leadman were patrolling the Chocolay Trail in a designated 35 mph speed zone. An individual who was leading a group of snowmobilers went through the zone at 59 mph. Sergey stopped the individual who admitted to seeing two posted speed limit signs. A citation was issued for speeding on a snowmobile.

CO Jeffrey Dell attended the Predator Hunters Banquet of the Menominee chapter of UP Whitetails Association. Over 100 individuals were in attendance.

DISTRICT 2

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin served multiple arrest warrants on a subject for felon in possession of firearms and hunter harassment. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on the suspect’s home during the 2019 firearm deer season. The suspect was placed under arrest without incident and lodged in the Delta County Jail.

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin successfully served an arrest warrant without incident on a subject for shooting multiple illegal deer.

While patrolling rural county roads, CO Freeborn noticed a propane truck that appeared to be stuck trying to get up a driveway. Freeborn contacted the driver who appeared to be exhausted from attempting to get the truck unstuck. The driver advised he had been stuck for over three hours and that he attempted to call his company to advise he was stuck, but his phone lost service part way through the call and was unable to call out. He was 15 miles from the nearest town and Freeborn was the first vehicle he had seen since he had been stuck. Freeborn allowed the driver to use his phone and cell booster so the driver could make a call. A tow truck arrived on scene and pulled out the truck.

CO Michael Evink responded to a snowmobile personal injury accident on Big Manistique Lake. Evink was first on scene for an accident involving an elderly rider who hit a large rut in the ice. He lost control of his sled and was thrown from it. The rider was transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

COs Mike Olesen, Justin Vinson and Todd Sumbera attended a two-day off-trail snowmobile training in Munising focusing on deep snow riding and recovery. The COs learned techniques that will allow them to perform off-trail rescues and ensure that COs are able to get themselves out of difficult situations that may arise during a snowmobile patrol.

DISTRICT 3

COs Duane Budreau and Adam LeClerc were invited to the annual Camp Daggett “Father-Son Weekend.” Budreau and LeClerc conducted a variety of presentations to the 55 fathers and sons in attendance. The first night of the event, the COs led the group in an “icebreaker” game in which the participants were placed in a hypothetical winter wilderness survival situation. On the second day, the COs walked the campers through a snowmobile accident scenario and evading arrest investigation. Budreau and LeClerc also gave instruction on orienteering and basic compass reading, survival techniques and a short seminar on trapping.

CO Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Mark Depew responded to a crash involving a 5×5 bull elk on I-75 in Otsego County. No injuries were reported, and the elk was able to be salvaged and donated to area food pantries.

COs Kyle Cherry, Tom Oberg, Tim Rosochacki, Matt Theunick and Sgt. Mark DePew participated in a snowmobile operating while intoxicated and sound enforcement patrol in Otsego County. Despite poor trail conditions, the COs made plenty of contacts with multiple arrests and warnings being issued.

CO Jon Sklba reports that a subject who was charged this past fall for illegally poaching a large antlered deer in Presque Isle County has pleaded guilty. The subject was sentenced to 60 days in jail, fines and restitution of $7,500, and hunting license revocation for three years.

CO Sidney Collins responded to a car versus elk accident in Montmorency County. The elk was salvaged and donated to a local food bank.

DISTRICT 4

CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, heard a Lake County deputy requesting back-up at a residence where a male subject put a gun to a female’s head and was threatening great bodily harm. Killingbeck arrived on scene and learned that the subject had chased the female out of the residence, refused to comply with deputies’ orders and had gone back into the residence to get a firearm. Killingbeck assisted with securing the perimeter and was able to determine that a back window was open. Killingbeck then found fresh footprints running away from the scene. Killingbeck relayed the information to the incident commander and was part of the ensuing security team that ran with a Lake County K-9 Unit. After tracking the subject for several miles, the suspect was apprehended on a nearby roadway by a perimeter car without incident.

CO Josiah Killingbeck was on snowmobile patrol when he was passed by a sled that was displaying an expired registration. Killingbeck was able to contact the group and, upon stopping the operator of the snowmobile with the expired registration, the subject took his helmet off and threw it on the ground along with his gloves. Killingbeck was able to calm the upset subject down, who said that he was up here with friends riding and had jumped on a sled to go for a quick ride. The subject said that he knew the sled was displaying an expired registration but figured no law enforcement would be out on a Sunday morning. Killingbeck educated the subject on snowmobile regulations and a citation was issued for the violation.

CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol after dark, observed a vehicle drive by him with absolutely no taillights displayed. Killingbeck was able to stop the vehicle and observed the taillights were missing from the vehicle. Killingbeck contacted the driver, who told him that he had been in an accident the day before that was not reported and the lights had been smashed out. Killingbeck asked the driver for his license and insurance information and the driver told him that there was no insurance on the vehicle. Killingbeck issued the driver a citation for no insurance and defective equipment. Charges will be submitted for failing to report an accident.

DISTRICT 5

COs Jeremy Cantrell and Mike Hearn responded with the Kalkaska Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police to the scene of a snowmobile accident on Trail 76 in Kalkaska County. Four snowmobiles were operating at a high rate of speed when they crested a hill and struck the groomer head on. Three of the four operators required transport to Munson Hospital for critical injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

COs Josh Russell and Craig Neal were headed to the Roscommon DNR office when they came across a truck in the ditch. Witnesses stated they saw the vehicle swerve all over the road just before driving into the ditch. The COs contacted the driver and passenger and quickly determined the driver was having a medical issue. The COs radioed for EMS and continued assistance at the scene. EMS arrived and the driver was taken to the hospital after suffering a suspected stroke.

COs Kyle Bader and Brad Bellville responded to the scene of a snowmobile crash in northeastern Ogemaw County. The patient was transported off the trail and out to the road by Lupton Fire Department and Ogemaw County EMS personnel.

DISTRICT 6

CO Dan Robinson and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk were working southern Isabella County when they came across a group of people that appeared to be hunting, but at first glance did not have long guns. Most of the hunters had hunter orange, while two individuals in the party did not. The COs stopped and checked on the group; it turned out they were attempting to hunt rabbits with rimfire handguns. The hunters were circled up shooting into the middle of a tall grass area with brush piles. The two individuals without hunter orange approached the COs with their guns in hand and stated that they were also hunting rabbits. The COs issued two tickets for failing to wear hunter orange to the individuals and explained the importance of wearing the required garments. The subjects said they had hunter orange with them but took it off because they were too hot. 

While checking a lake in central Montcalm County, CO Mike Haas encountered an ice angler with a bucket full of panfish. Haas asked how many fish the gentleman had caught, and the angler admitted that he had not been keeping count. The CO and angler counted the fish and discovered that he had almost twice his daily limit. The angler stated he must have lost count and apologized for the over-limit explaining he was a decent guy that always follows the rules. Haas checked the man’s criminal history and noted he had been convicted three times for DNR violations and was currently on probation and had two valid warrants for other unrelated crimes. The man was advised and released for his warrants and issued a citation to address the fishing violation. The gentleman’s probation officer was contacted and informed of the warrants and probation violations. 

DISTRICT 7

CO Anna Cullen was patrolling known fishing locations around White Lake when she observed multiple people fishing. Cullen watched the group on shore, including one person who was ice fishing several yards in front of them. After several minutes of surveillance, the ice angler was seen packing up his fishing gear and heading toward the shore. Cullen positioned herself to contact the angler at his vehicle. Contact was made, and it was determined that the individual had taken multiple fish over his legal panfish limit. A citation was issued for the violation.

While checking ice anglers in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers contacted two subjects that had a northern pike on the ice. Beavers checked the subject’s licenses and then asked to see the pike. The pike appeared to be short and he asked the subjects what length the fish was. One subject stated that he believed it was 24 inches or close to it. Beavers asked if they used a tape measure and was told they did not. Beavers measured the fish and it was only 21.5 inches. Beavers then checked the anglers tip-ups, and none were properly marked. After identifying the angler responsible for the pike, Beavers issued him a citation. The anglers were warned for not properly labeling their tip-ups.

CO Robert Slick was on patrol in Ottawa County when he noticed two individuals walking along 88th Avenue carrying firearms. Slick made contact with the individuals. He asked what they were hunting for. The hunters stated that they were hunting raccoons but were unsuccessful. Slick then asked if one of the hunters had hunter orange. The hunter stated that he didn’t have any with him or in the truck. A citation was issued for the violation.

CO Sam Schluckbier investigated a suspicious set of antlers that were located during a taxidermy inspection. Several interviews with friends and family of the suspect revealed that several deer were taken illegally, one of which was an 8-point buck the suspect had killed and failed to tag. The suspect made his daughter purchase a license and place it on the deer in order to submit it to the taxidermist. Schluckbier confiscated the antlers and compound bow used to kill several deer. The suspect is facing multiple charges through the Allegan and Van Buren County prosecutor’s office.

DISTRICT 8

CO Jim Nason responded to a complaint on Union Lake in Branch County. A group of ice anglers stated a man came out of a home on the lake and broke away ice from the shoreline where they accessed the lake from. This forced them to exit the lake on another property they did not have permission to be on. They pointed out the residence to Nason. Upon contacting the homeowner, he stated his son was the one who committed the act, and he is mentally ill and hadn’t taken his medication that day. Nason explained that the anglers had permission to access the lake from the neighbor’s property and that his son could be charged with angler harassment. Nason also explained the obvious danger the anglers were placed in. The father stated it wouldn’t happen again. A warning was issued.

CO Todd Thorn checked some ice anglers at Hawk Island in Lansing and encountered a subject who could not produce a license and was providing false identification information. The angler became argumentative and wouldn’t give Thorn his real name. Thorn placed the subject under arrest for fishing without a license. As he walked the man back to his patrol truck and off the ice, the man stated Thorn had “captured a good one.” He told Thorn that he would have ran on him if Thorn wasn’t wearing ice cleats. Thorn found an identification card in the angler’s pocket and learned he had three felony warrants, two misdemeanor warrants, and a civil warrant for child support. The felony warrants were for obstructing police and assaulting a pregnant woman. The man was lodged at the Ingham County Jail until he could be picked up by Mecosta County.

DISTRICT 9

The day after the extended archery deer season in Oakland County, CO Tom Peterson received a report of a whitetail buck that was shot and later died in an individual’s front yard. The CO responded to the scene. Upon arrival the CO noted a 6-point antlered deer with an arrow wound. A blood trail and footprints were followed to a stand and feeder on the neighbor’s property. The area was heavily baited with corn and sugar beets. The CO contacted the homeowner of the baited property. He claimed he was hunting the night prior and shot a deer, but was unable to follow the blood trail, so he gave up. The CO inquired about the deer feeder and sugar beets. The subject admitted to placing the bait. When the CO asked for the subject’s deer license, he could only provide an antlerless license for private property. Additionally, the CO verified the subject had already filled his antlered tags for the season. The CO then asked if he was aware that he shot an antlered deer. The subject stated he did not see any antlers because it was too dark. Moreover, the subject admitted to shooting the antlered deer approximately one hour after legal hunting hours. The subject was informed charges will be filed with the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Bob Watson and Breanna Reed patrolled Hewitt Pit in response to multiple complaints of litter. Contact was made with a large group of shooters who had neglected to pick up their spent casings and used targets. A civil infraction was issued to one individual for litter in a state game area.

COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey received a baiting complaint in Macomb County. The COs responded to the area and found the hunter in his stand still loaded well after shooting hours had ended. The hunter claimed he fell asleep in his hunting stand. The hunter was also hunting over a large quantity of bait. The hunter said, “I thought Governor Granholm repealed the baiting ban.” The COs pointed out that former Governor Granholm left office in the mid to late 2000s and she did not repeal the baiting ban in 2019 or 2020; neither did current Governor Gretchen Whitmer. When questioned about his hunting license, the hunter was unable to produce his deer combination license. The hunter was cited for hunting after hours, hunting over bait and hunting without license.

Acting Sgt. Shane Webster tagged along with COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich to perform an interview on a subject. The Lenawee COs had received information that the subject had possibly taken a 9-point white-tailed deer without a license. Faced with the evidence the subject ultimately confessed to taking the deer prior to purchasing a hunting license. Charges are pending through the prosecutor’s office.

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