COs Jared Ferguson and Jeff Dell combined efforts to serve an individual who shot two 8-point antlered deer in the 2019 rifle firearm season. CO Dell was able to track the subject down at his place of residence and serve him his misdemeanor warrants.
While on patrol in southern Iron County, Corporal (Cpl.) Dave Painter and CO Anna Viau followed some ORV tracks to a secluded part of the Michigamme River. From the shoreline, the COs observed two anglers ice fishing near their four-wheeler. The men had driven their ORV across Wisconsin Electric property, which the company does not allow. Wisconsin Electric is a power company owning land surrounding that body of water. As the COs walked out to check the men, the COs counted nine lines being used between the two anglers, seven tip-ups, and a jigging pole for each man. After counting the perch caught by the anglers, CO Viau issued each man a citation for using too many lines and the owner of the ORV received a verbal warning for ORV trespass.
CO Shannon Kritz and Menominee Police Officer Mark Kropf patrolled fishing activity in the city of Menominee after receiving multiple complaints of anglers failing to follow social distancing protocols that violate the Governor’s Executive Order. Menominee Police issued a warning to all anglers via social media that fishing hotspots could be closed if social distancing protocols were not followed. The officers observed high compliance with the Executive Order since the warning was issued. Many anglers expressed concern about social distancing and were thankful that others were practicing it. The officers also checked many successful walleye anglers with the largest fish measuring 29 inches.
CO Jenni Hanson received an anonymous tip regarding two five-gallon buckets overflowing with engine oil left behind on a recent logging site. CO Hanson investigated the spill and was able to determine the company and contractor who left behind the mess.
CO Jenni Hanson conducted a patrol of the last ice anglers in Gogebic County. A check of Lac Vieux Desert found violations for an over-limit of panfish, failing to display a fishing license, and failure to remove an ice shack by the required date.
CO Robert Freeborn received a complaint of a deer carcass that was dumped in a popular walking place. The caller stated that there was still a tag on the deer. CO Freeborn located the deer and was able to read the tag. After tracking down a name and phone number, CO Freeborn was able to contact the suspect who admitted to dumping the carcass a few days prior. The suspect stated the deer was from this past season and wanted to get it out of the camp property. A citation was issued for litter.
CO Steve Butzin interviewed an individual regarding a 5-point buck that appeared to have been illegally taken. A confession was obtained for taking the deer without a license. A report is being submitted through the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Todd Sumbera responded to a call of a deer stranded on the ice in Moran Bay. Due to unsafe ice conditions on the bay and a boat launch that was frozen solid, CO Sumbera contacted the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Department. Mackinac County was able and willing to supply their hovercraft. From the hovercraft, Michigan DNR wildlife biologist Dave Jentoft was able to tranquillize the deer and CO Sumbera used a catch pole to capture and bring the deer aboard the hovercraft. CO Sumbera and biologist Jentoft relocated the deer to a safe location; the deer was able to make a full recovery.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about unattended tip-ups left out on Lake Charlevoix. CO Erratt used a shovel to chip out three orange tip-ups with no names on them and talked to the closest lakeshore homeowner who said they had been frozen in the lake for a month. He also said he had observed footprints going through the snow in his yard coming from a street behind his house. CO Erratt patrolled to the street and was unable to locate the owner of the tip-ups but did observe a woman spreading corn in her backyard surrounded by dozens of turkeys. While CO Erratt talked to the woman’s husband who was in his driveway, several deer ran right by them toward the backyard. After asking for and receiving the man’s consent, CO Erratt walked into the backyard and was able to walk right up to turkeys eating corn spread on the ground while equally tame deer ate corn out of a trough. The man and his wife said they were not hunters and did not know it was illegal to feed deer. CO Erratt explained the reason for the baiting and feeding ban due to the existence of chronic wasting disease and Bovine tuberculosis in Michigan’s free-ranging white-tailed deer herd and warned the couple for feeding deer.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, Jessie Curtis, Jon Sheppard, and Casey Pullem assisted the Montmorency Sheriff’s Department and MSP troopers with the search of an escaped inmate from the Montmorency County Jail. The officers searched the nearby area and local state forests. The suspect was found the next morning and additional charges are being sought.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Jon Sheppard responded to a complaint of a lost hiker in Montmorency County. The COs went to the hiker’s last known location and were able to track down and locate the lost individual. The COs led the hiker out of the woods and to his vehicle. No medical attention was needed, and the hiker was very appreciative of the COs’ efforts.
CO Josh Reed was contacted by CO Josh Wright from Clare County. CO Wright advised that a boat had been located by a subject out walking on state land. The MC numbers came back to a boat stolen out of Mecosta County. CO Reed contacted Sgt. Pippin of the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and advised him of the boat being found. Due to the county being short staffed, CO Reed advised Sgt. Pippin that he would handle getting the boat back to the county. CO Reed responded to the scene where CO Wright was already waiting. The fire department responded with a side-by-side to assist getting the boat out. The boat was able to be retrieved without any damage. The boat was then transported back to the Mecosta County Sheriff’s office and placed into the jail sally port for processing by Sgt. Pippin. The owner responded the next day and retrieved his boat.
CO Micah Hintze was patrolling the White River near Hesperia late at night and observed a single angler wading the river and fishing. After a couple of hours, the angler was unsuccessful and began packing his gear. As he waded down the river toward his vehicle, he used a headlamp to scan the shallow waters and was attempting to net the spawning walleye that were abundant in that stretch. The angler ultimately was successful netting a large female walleye before exiting the river. As he gained his footing on the bank, he was contacted by CO Hintze and was still holding the walleye in hand. The suspect was cited for taking/possessing walleye during the closed season and taking fish by illegal method.
CO Ben Shively was conducting a midnight patrol when he observed three subjects that were using a cast net on an inland body of water in Oceana County. CO Shively contacted the subjects and discovered them in possession of tadpoles, crappie, bluegill, and a sucker in a bucket. Citations were issued for take fish/amphibian by illegal method-cast net and fishing with no license. A warning was issued for taking amphibians during the closed season.
CO Josh Wright responded to a complaint of an angler fishing during closed season in a Type 1 trout stream. CO Wright was able to approach the angler without being seen and observe the angler actively fishing. CO Wright contacted the angler and discovered that he had three brown trout in his possession. The angler tried telling CO Wright that he was confused about the maps. CO Wright took the time to explain the maps and rules. The angler was issued a citation for taking trout during the closed season.
CO Josh Wright responded to a complaint of a subject that had posted a picture of himself holding a dead muskrat on Facebook. The posting had captions of the subject stating he had shot the muskrat in the eye with his 9mm handgun as it was swimming in the water. CO Wright contacted the man who tried to lie about the circumstances. The subject eventually admitted to the violation and told CO Wright that he didn’t know it was illegal to shoot a muskrat. He also told CO Wright that after posting his picture to a sportsman’s forum, he began to get a lot of negative feedback. Charges will be sought for the violations through the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jesse Grzechowski located a truck parked near a Type 1 closed trout stream while on patrol in Alcona County. CO Grzechowski followed footprints downstream and located two anglers fishing. When asked why they were fishing a closed trout stream, one of the anglers said he didn’t want to read the fishing guide. The anglers received a citation for fishing a closed trout stream.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted two anglers fishing near Saginaw Bay. When the CO asked if they had any luck, one of the anglers advised he had caught a walleye. The area the anglers were fishing was inland from Saginaw Bay and is an area that is closed to walleye fishing. Upon asking for the anglers for their fishing licenses, both anglers advised the CO they did not have valid fishing licenses. Both anglers were issued citations and the walleye was released back into the water.
CO Mike Haas witnessed a vehicle parked in an area along the Chippewa River that had numerous recreational trespassing issues in the past. CO Haas walked the area along the river until he encountered an angler fishing from “posted” private property. After witnessing the gentleman catch and retain a walleye during the closed season, CO Haas contacted the angler. The man had six walleyes in the grass around him and immediately admitted to fishing without a fishing license and claimed that he had caught all the fish. The walleye were seized and the man was issued a citation to address the violations of trespassing, fishing without a license, possessing undersized walleye, possessing an over-limit of walleye, and possessing walleye out of season.
CO Mike Haas responded with fire personnel to a grass fire in northwestern Isabella County. The subject had ignored the statewide burn ban and attempted to burn various overgrown areas in his backyard. The fire spread across a grass field and started a large pile of yard waste and debris on fire. Local firefighters were able to contain the fire and extinguish it before it spread onto the neighboring property. The man that started the fire received a citation to address the violations of burning without a permit and failing to prevent the spread of fire.
While on patrol along various closed trout streams in Berrien County, CO Travis Dragomer observed an angler fishing a closed Type 1 trout stream in Watervliet, Berrien County. CO Dragomer issued the angler a citation for fishing a closed trout stream.
COs Jeff Robinette and Travis Dragomer assisted Fisheries Division in Berrien County after being notified that there had been a large crowd gathered around the stocking truck during a fish stocking operation in Berrien Springs the previous day. COs Robinette and Dragomer responded to the location and maintained a visible presence for day two of the operation while the fisheries personnel stocked the St. Joseph River with approximately 29,000 coho salmon. During the stocking operation only a few people were present, none in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order.
CO Chris Holmes received information that several anglers may be taking over-limits of perch on a Kalamazoo County lake. CO Holmes watched the anglers for approximately three hours gathering information resulting in citations for taking bass out of season and an over-limit of perch.
CO Sam Schluckbier made contact with two subjects small game hunting without hunter orange. Further investigation revealed that one subject had not bothered to purchase any licenses since 2016. Citations were issued for the safety and licensing violations.
COs have seen a dramatic increase in illegal ORV activity on state lands in Barry and Allegan counties during the COVID-19 “Stay at Home” order. Numerous citations have been written for operating where prohibited, safety violations, and licensing violations.
CO Nick Wellman was on patrol when he heard two distinct .22 rifle rounds about half a mile east of his location. Right after the shots went off, CO Wellman heard a single Canada goose fly away. Knowing that most geese are paired up this time of year, CO Wellman went to the residence where the shots came from and investigated. After speaking to the woman at home and her husband, it was found that the wife had shot at the geese and killed one. The husband stated, “We all shoot at the geese at this house.” CO Wellman collected evidence and charges are pending review with the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Ed Rice received a complaint about an individual suspected of poisoning a fox. CO Rice contacted the complainant while in route to the location of the suspected poisoning, who shared further information surrounding the incident. Upon arrival, CO Rice located a silver pie tin with a blue liquid substance in it. Approximately 10 yards from the tin there was a dead raccoon. Further searching led to a red fox approximately 20 yards away. Evidence was collected at the scene. Further action will be taken pending laboratory results.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a person trespassing and breaking into forest fire trucks at the DNR Rose Lake warehouse facilities. CO Strawn patrolled to the warehouse and assisted MSP troopers who had responded to the complaint as well. CO Strawn conducted witness interviews, reviewed surveillance, and assisted with scene security at the warehouse. CO Strawn also assisted MSP troopers with scene security at a suspect residence nearby.
CO Christopher Knights was patrolling the Holly State Recreation Area when a hunter walked across the road. CO Knights noticed the hunter had two firearms with him and was not wearing hunter orange. CO Knights approached and the hunter walked back to his truck. CO Knights asked the hunter if he had any hunter orange garments, and the individual started to pat down his coat and rummage through his gear. After frantically searching, the subject pulled out the orange from his backpack. CO Knights advised the hunter he always needs to be wearing it while in the field. The hunter admitted he was in the wrong. CO Knights issued the hunter a citation for failing to wear hunter orange.
CO Luke Robare was patrolling the Flint River at the Holloway Dam and contacted an individual who was fishing. CO Robare asked the man if he had any fish; the man stated that he had a walleye and a catfish on his stringer. CO Robare started to inspect the stringer of fish and the man started to act nervous. The man asked CO Robare what the size limit was for walleye. The man stated that he thought the size limit was 14 inches and he said that the walleye he caught was 14.25 inches. CO Robare informed the man that he should not be concerned about the size limit right now because the walleye season was closed on the Flint River. CO Robare issued a citation and educated the angler on the rules and regulations but encouraged him to study them on his own.
CO Luke Robare was patrolling the Flint River near the Holloway Dam and came across an angler fishing from a kayak. The angler was using a jig with a Twister Tail. CO Robare informed the angler that the river was closed to artificial bait during the walleye spawning closure. The angler did not have a valid fishing license and did not have a PFD in his kayak. CO Robare issued the man a citation for using artificial bait and not having a PFD.
CO Bobby Watson was patrolling a local hot spot for ORV trespass and encountered two young riders. One of the riders lacked the proper ORV registration sticker and protective eyewear. A civil infraction was issued for lack of protective eyewear and a warning was given for the ORV trespass and registration violation.