Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 22, 2020
CO Jeffrey Dell received a complaint from a subject whose residence and vehicle had been struck by a bullet. CO Dell was able to determine the bullet had originated from a neighboring property. CO Dell contacted the owner of the neighboring property and observed several targets that were in the direction of the victim’s residence. Also observed was an entire Winnebago recreational vehicle that had been intentionally burned and a large pile of solid waste that the owner stated he was going to burn. CO Dell strongly advised against the unlawful disposal of the solid waste. A report has been filed with the county prosecutor’s office.
CO Josh Boudreaux contacted two anglers fishing a closed trout stream early one morning. The anglers, who were from the area, admitted they figured the stream was probably closed but saw others fishing that morning and assumed it was OK. The anglers were cited for possessing fishing equipment on a closed stream and given information on how to access the Michigan trout stream maps on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.
CO Ethen Mapes responded to a suicidal subject in Ontonagon. Upon arrival the subject was found not to be suicidal but just upset that their cable provider was unable to connect her over the weekend.
CO Michael Evink received a call about two anglers targeting pike during the closed season. CO Evink contacted the two kayak anglers. One received a warning for fishing without a current license. Both anglers received tickets for failing to have a personal floatation device (PFD) in their kayak with them.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he observed two anglers fishing. Upon checking both anglers, it was determined they were both from out-of-state and fishing without a license. The anglers said they were just fishing for the day and figured they would just risk not buying a license. Their risk didn’t pay off and both anglers received citations for fishing without a license.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin received a complaint of walleye being speared in the Ford River. After working the area for a few nights, the COs work paid off. The COs were conducting surveillance when two ORVs drove by them. One ORV had two passengers that wasn’t designed for two passengers. No one was wearing a helmet and the ORVs were not licensed. The COs followed the ORVs to the river and watched all three subjects trespass onto private property. The COs observed two of the subjects walking back to their ORVs. One subject was carrying three bags containing a total of nine speared walleye. Upon the COs identifying themselves to the subjects, the one carrying the bags of walleye dropped the bags and ran. A foot chase ensued, and the COs quickly apprehended the suspect. It was determined the third subject had also fled on foot. An MSP K-9 unit was called to track the subject. Upon looking for the third subject, a fourth bag containing two speared walleye was located. The third subject was later located at his house and confessed to spearing all 13 walleyes. The spear used to take the walleye was also located. The first subject that ran was taken to the Delta County Jail and charged with two felony counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer, possessing walleye closed season, and possessing fish without a license. A report will be turned into the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for review on the second subject who fled the scene. He is facing charges of resisting and obstructing a police officer, taking walleye closed season, taking walleye by illegal means and methods, and possessing a spear on a trout stream. The last remaining subject was turned over to his parents and is not facing charges.
CO Todd Sumbera was patrolling a creek that was filled with steelhead when he came across a vehicle in the area and no one was around. After a few minutes, CO Sumbera watched a flashlight beam of light leave the stream and head his way. Upon making contact, the individuals stated that they were after smelt. CO Sumbera asked if they were after smelt, where was their net? The individual stated it was in the truck. The individual then changed his story and said they were after suckers. When asked what they were fishing them with, he said they’re just looking. Further investigation led to the discovery of a spear and two steelhead that they had speared. A ticket was issued for possessing a spear along a trout stream.
COs Chad Baldwin and Tim Rosochacki responded to a complaint about a deer being taken illegally on Beaver Island. During the investigation, two suspects were identified, located, and interviewed. During the interview, the witness explained to the COs that he and a friend went for a drive one evening and the operator of the vehicle observed several deer standing off in a field adjacent to the road. The operator stopped the vehicle and removed a .22 caliber rifle from the backseat, took aim and fired a single shot, striking the deer in the head. The driver stayed and field dressed the deer and dragged it up to the roadside while the other retrieved a garden tractor and wagon from his residence. The deer was taken back to the residence, hung in the garage, and processed the following day. One suspect bagged up the carcass and venison in separate bags and departed. The illegally harvested deer carcass was located in a county gravel pit. A garbage bag of venison and the rifle used to take the deer was seized at the suspect’s residence. Multiple charges are being sought through the Charlevoix County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Eric Bottorff assisted three different vehicles that were stranded with no cell phone coverage and stuck in the mud in remote areas of Cheboygan County. Four subjects were given warnings for traveling over 200 hundred miles to get to northern Michigan during the Governor’s Executive Order (EO).
CO Kyle Cherry was dispatched to an illegal burn complaint in Otsego County. CO Cherry was informed by dispatch that the fire department was already on scene, but the homeowner would not allow them on the property to put out the fire. CO Cherry arrived and was able to de-escalate the argument. The homeowner was ticketed.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling Wexford County on the opening day of the spring turkey season when he stopped at a location where he had seen turkeys congregating a few days prior, directly in front of a hunting blind. The blind was occupied by a hunter who was calling turkeys in. The CO observed the hunter for a while and watched the hunter attempt to shoot a turkey, but then left the blind to stalk the turkey. The CO moved in to observe the hunter’s decoy set up and found cracked corn on the ground. When the hunter returned, the CO contacted him. He was a little surprised to see the CO at the location and admitted to placing the corn. The hunter was cited for using bait to aid in the taking of turkey.
COs Ben Shively, Micah Hintze, Jeff Ginn, and Great Lakes Enforcement Unit Corporal Troy Van Gelderen responded with the Oceana County Sheriff’s Department to a report of an unoccupied boat that was running and found in the cattails on the North Branch of the Pentwater River. The boat had been heard running three hours earlier in the same location by a canoer who took a different cut in the river, on his return to the access he found the unoccupied boat with fishing equipment inside. The COs launched their patrol boats and began a search of the area until the search was suspended at dark. The following morning, a cadaver dog from the MSP was used and determined an area of interest. CO Ginn, using the sonar on his patrol boat, was able to confirm the location of the victim in six feet of water. Divers from the Oceana County Dive Team were deployed in the area and the victim was recovered.
CO Angela Greenway was dispatched to a fire that escaped control. The fire was on a small parcel of vacant land. The landowners were from Grand Rapids and they wanted to “get away from it all” and decided to come up to their property in Mecosta County. They wanted to burn an ant hill when the fire escaped their control. A warrant is being sought from the prosecutor’s office for burning when prohibited.
COs Brad Bellville and Tyler Sabuda responded to a late-night snagging complaint in Iosco County. The COs located the suspects and observed snagging behavior. They contacted the suspects and determined they were in possession of illegal tackle and had taken one of the steelhead by illegal method. The suspects were issued a citation for the illegal tackle and a warrant is being sought for taking fish by illegal method.
CO James Garrett patrolled an area of public land in Oscoda County and located four body gripping style traps still in the water but had been sprung on the last day of beaver and otter trapping season. The following week, CO Garrett returned to the same location and found one of the traps had been reset after the close of season and contained an otter. CO Garrett located a trap tag on the trap, identified the owner, and conducted an interview. Confessions were obtained from the trapper that he set the trap after the close of season due to the otter sealing dates being extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A warrant is being sought through the prosecutor’s office for taking an otter out of season.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling along the Point Lookout area of Saginaw Bay in Arenac County when he noticed a boat trolling a short distance from shore. Using his binoculars, CO Neal observed and noticed there was only one angler in the boat and five lines in the water. When the angler finally returned to the launch, CO Neal contacted him and issued the angler a citation for fishing with too many lines.
CO Jason King responded to an in-progress complaint of two subjects turkey hunting on private property without permission. The suspects were suspected of shooting two jake turkeys on the property. As the suspects left the property and headed north in Saginaw County, CO King was able to intercept the vehicle. A stop and interview were conducted in which CO King discovered two untagged turkeys in the bed of the truck and two loaded uncased firearms located in the cab of the truck. An electronic turkey call was also discovered in the vehicle and was determined that it was being used to assist with calling the turkeys. The two suspects were also in violation of the EO involving the social distance rule. CO King was assisted by COs Quincy Gowenlock, Adam Beuthin, and Joe Myers. The COs went back to where the incident took place and were able to locate the three fired shotgun shells that matched the same shells loaded in one of the suspect’s loaded shotguns. A shotgun wad, turkey feathers, and blood were discovered in the area being trespassed. A report will be submitted the local county prosecutor’s office.
CO Jason A. Smith worked at and around the Quanicassee public boat launch during the first day of the motorboat ban. There were only a couple of boats that went out before he arrived. Most of the contacts were disappointed, but cordial and understanding with the CO. Some games were played, with the most egregious being the subject that tried to claim sailboat status because he had a patch of a poly-tarp stapled to a 1-by-2 piece of wood.
CO Dan Robinson was working an area where there were known turkey hunters. It appeared that the hunters were hunting well after hours. After waiting for the subjects to emerge from the woods, CO Robinson was able to contact them. The hunters were young and new to turkey hunting. One of them showed CO Robinson a properly tagged bird that was taken earlier in the day. After some more questions, the group admitted that they didn’t really know when the hunting hours ended for turkeys but didn’t see anything all evening and came up at dusk. CO Robinson used the opportunity to educate the group on the hunting hours and being sure to know the rules before they go out again.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer responded to an in-progress trespassing complaint in Pipestone Township, Berrien County. COs Dragomer and Bauer located the trespasser who was actively turkey hunting the caller’s property. It was determined the suspect didn’t have a turkey license on his person while hunting. A citation was issued for hunting turkey without a valid hunting license in his possession, and he was warned for recreational trespassing.
CO Chris Holmes responded to a report of a semi-truck versus car accident on I-94 in Kalamazoo County. Prior to his arrival, dispatch reported the driver of the car had assaulted the truck driver with a knife and was attempting to drive away in the semi-truck. CO Holmes and a Kalamazoo County deputy arrived soon after to a chaotic scene with the injured truck driver needing medical attention and the suspect actively attempting to drive away in the semi-truck. CO Holmes and the deputy took up tactical vantage points on the sides of the semi-truck until more units arrived on scene. The suspect then began stabbing himself in the neck and torso. When other police units arrived on scene, the locked cabin of the semi-truck was breached and after a struggle, the suspect was arrested. Further investigation revealed that the suspect was allegedly involved in a double murder earlier in the day in Calhoun County. The subject was lodged and charged for homicide and multiple other criminal acts are pending. The semi-truck driver received serious wounds but is expected to survive.
CO Sam Schluckbier responded to a RAP complaint of two anglers keeping under-sized trout on the Swan Creek in Allegan County. After locating the suspects, it was determined that one angler was in possession of two under-sized rainbow trout and the other did not have a valid fishing license for 2020. The subjects admitted to not taking the time to learn the rules before deciding to fish. Citations were issued for the violations.
While patrolling Jackson County, CO Chris Reynolds observed a hunter in a field pick up two turkeys. The CO waited for the hunter by his vehicle and as the hunter approached and recognized the officer, he walked into the hedgerow and threw one of the turkeys into the woods. As the CO met the hunter, he could see the turkey he was still carrying was untagged. The CO asked why the turkey was not tagged. The hunter stated he had forgotten to tag the turkey. The CO then asked the hunter why he threw the other turkey into the woods. The hunter dropped his head and said, “You saw that one?” The CO advised the hunter that he had been watching him for quite some time and observed him pick up both turkeys in the field. The CO then asked what he was going to tag the second turkey with and the hunter said he had his brother’s tag. A citation was issued for possessing an over-limit of turkeys.
CO Jeff Goss observed two trucks sitting in a field on opening day of turkey season. He watched until he saw two hunters walking back toward the trucks and went to check the hunters. When he got to them, they were both in the same truck. It was a father and son and they were legal. While CO Goss was standing next to the truck talking with the father and son the other hunters walked up. The hunters were unaware of CO Goss standing there and walked right up to him with two untagged turkeys. When the other truck pulled away and the hunters saw CO Goss, they both immediately started trying to find their tags. CO Goss asked if they had ever been in trouble with the DNR for anything before, the one man admitted to being issued a ticket for untagged deer two years earlier. Tickets were issued for the possession of untagged turkeys.
CO Christopher Knights was patrolling through Oxford in Oakland County when he saw an ORV in the distance on the roadway. CO Knights caught up to the ORV and it came to a stop on the side of the road. The ORV had two passengers, neither was wearing a helmet and the ORV had no trail permit or ORV sticker. CO Knights advised the couple that Oakland County roads are closed to ORV use. CO Knights issued a citation for no ORV permit.
During the “Stay Home Stay Safe” EO, CO Jaime Salisbury was asked to join multiple first responders in Lapeer County and pay a visit to a Lapeer resident celebrating his 12th birthday. The officers announced “Happy Birthday” over their public address systems to the birthday boy, who had to cancel his birthday party due to the EO. The responding agencies included personnel from the DNR, MSP, Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department, Lapeer City Police, Lapeer Township Police, and Lapeer County EMS.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen received complaints of vessels fishing in the North Channel outside of Algonac. COs made the location and launched a patrol vessel. The boater out in the North Channel saw the COs and took off toward a canal. CO Deppen was able to quickly launch the vessel and make a stop on the water and speak with the boater. The boater said he was aware of the EO requiring persons to stay at home and the use of motorized watercraft was not permitted during this state of emergency. The angler said, “I saw you sitting there watching me and knew it was time to leave.” The boater also said, “I thought law enforcement wasn’t going to enforce the EO.” The boater was given warnings on vessel registration and slow no wake violations. The boater was cited for violation of EO 2020-42.
CO Bob Watson was on foot patrol throughout the Port Huron SGA when he heard what he thought was a hunter using a crow locator call to locate turkeys. CO Watson continued walking until he observed a hunter quickly walking off the SGA towards the nearby private property line with weapon in hand. CO Watson contacted the hunter who possessed a private land only turkey hunting tag. A citation was issued for hunting turkey on public land with a private land only tag.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received a call from an informant who saw someone possibly hunting turkeys over bait. CO Monnich went the next morning to the location and observed several decoys set in a field over what looked to be a pile of corn. CO Monnich went to the other side of the block and entered the wood line and observed hunters in the blind. Contact was made with the hunters who were claiming they didn’t know the turkey laws. CO Monnich educated the hunters who he had several contacts within the year prior and issued citations for hunting turkeys over bait.