Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 3, 2020


CO Byron Parks was off duty when he received a burning complaint on a day burning was prohibited. CO Parks responded to the complaint and upon arrival, he could see a large burn pile with a tree burning on top. CO Parks contacted the owner of the home and asked whether he checked to see if burn permits were available that day. The owner stated he did not and that he asked some neighbors if he could burn today. They told him that it would not be a big deal if he burned today. CO Parks explained to the owner how to check the status of burn permits each day and what he was able to burn. A citation was issued for burning without permit.

CO David Miller received a call of a fawn that was born in the middle of a busy roadway, and the mother had run off. The fawn had lain down in the roadway and would not move. Nearby property owners were slowing down traffic to keep the fawn from getting hit until CO Miller arrived. CO Miller removed the fawn from the roadway and placed it near the back yard of the property owner. The fawn reunited with its mother a short time later.


COs Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, and Mike Evink responded to a bear in a tree in a residential area in Escanaba. The COs and Escanaba Public Safety Department blocked off the intersection and conducted crowd control while DNR Wildlife Division staff worked on sedating the bear with a dart gun. After the bear was sedated and removed from the area, COs Butzin and Lynch assisted DNR Wildlife staff with releasing the bear. Within a week COs Butzin and Lynch responded to another bear in a tree in a residential area in Escanaba. The COs worked with Escanaba Public Safety Department on crowd control while DNR Wildlife staff worked on sedating the bear. After the bear was sedated it was removed from the area and released.

CO Steve Butzin responded to a reported escaped forest fire. When CO Butzin arrived on scene, he observed that a small debris pile which an individual was burning near his property line had escaped and burned several neighboring properties. CO Butzin was at this residence approximately a year ago and warned the individual it was dangerous to be burning where he was as his fire was located near a dry grassy field. A report has been submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges for allowing a fire to escape.

COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink along with MSP were dispatched to a report of overturned kayaks on the Manistique River who then became lost on the river. The officers responded to the area and were able to determine a general location of where the kayakers were from to a cell phone ping. Due to the remote location of the river, COs Freeborn and Evink, along with two MSP troopers, proceeded on foot through the woods. The kayakers were found in good health. The kayakers were assisted out of the woods by the officers and returned to the local canoe livery. The kayakers were advised they did the right thing and stayed put in one location and started a fire. This made locating them a lot easier.

CO Mark Zitnik was dispatched to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Miners Falls to assist three hikers lost during a recent storm. They reported walking for three hours to find their vehicle. CO Zitnik drove them an additional 10 miles to the vehicle’s location. The three hikers were happy and thankful.


After leaving Fishermen’s Island State Park, CO Erratt received a complaint from Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Central Dispatch about a boat taking on water at the Ironton access site. CO Erratt talked to the new boat owner who had launched his new boat without putting in the plug. When he tried to pull the boat back out of the lake, the axle on his trailer broke. CO Erratt called for a tow company who arrived on scene and was going to enlist help from a local marina to lift the boat.

COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick assisted the Tuscarora Township Police Department with a domestic violence complaint in Cheboygan County. It was alleged a suspect had thrown an axe in the rear passenger compartment of his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle while she was inside it, he stated he was going back into the house to get a firearm. The COs set a perimeter around the residence while township officers spoke with the female who had left the scene. A short time later, the male subject was taken into custody without incident.

COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg responded to a report of an ORV crash with injuries in Otsego County. COs Cherry and Oberg were able to meet the injured juvenile ORV rider and his mother, who was able to transport him to a nearby main roadway. COs tended to the juvenile and assessed his injuries which appeared to be a broken leg and arm. The COs remained with the youth, who was then transported to the hospital by Otsego County EMS.


COs Rich Stowe and Will Kinney were patrolling a Grand Traverse County lake and encountered a subject who advised that they thought they had purchased a current fishing license but did not have it with them. A check of the Retail Sales System found that the subject had not purchased a fishing license since 2014. The subject was issued a citation for fishing without a license.

While patrolling Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski located two subjects fishing on a small inland lake. CO Publiski watched as both subjects packed up their fishing gear and headed towards the boat launch. CO Publiski waited until the subjects were at the boat launch to make his presence known. As CO Publiski pulled up, one of the subjects began throwing undersize largemouth bass into the lake. CO Publiski had the subject get out of the boat and dump his fish out onto the ground, revealing one undersize bass still in the bucket. CO Publiski then walked around to the side of the boat, reached down in the water and recovered the other undersized bass. CO Publiski issued a ticket for possessing under-sized bass.

CO Steve Converse was on patrol at Tippy Dam checking anglers and asking about their success. While near the parking lot, CO Converse observed what appeared to be an undersized brown trout being carried up to a vehicle. CO Converse watched as the subject opened a cooler, pulled out a bunch of suckers, put the trout in the cooler and then put the suckers back on top. CO Converse walked over and contacted the subject and asked what kind of fish were in the cooler. The subject stated just suckers. CO Converse then explained what he had observed and asked the subject if he could look. The subject opened the cooler and stated, “See, just suckers.”  CO Converse then located two undersized brown trout under the 28 suckers that where in the cooler. CO Converse issued the subject a ticket for possession of the undersized trout.


CO Casey Pullum was requested by local law enforcement to assist with the search of two lost hikers in the Huron National Forest in Oscoda County. Upon obtaining GPS coordinates from dispatch, CO Pullum was able to instruct the responding deputies to the closest roads and trails. Upon arriving in the area, CO Pullum located a two-track that was not on the map and quickly found the subjects. He was surprised to see these “hikers” standing near a vehicle stuck in the sand. CO Pullum detected the smell of alcohol on the driver, and upon completing SFSTs, the driver was arrested for OWI.

CO Jesse Grzechowski received notification from Alcona County Central Dispatch of two lost girls. They were hiking with their father when they separated and became lost for several hours before calling 911. CO Grzechowski arrived at the trailhead and patrolled the area of their last known location on his ORV. He traversed many deadfalls and navigational hazards while continuing his search. CO Grzechowski located the lost girls before sunset and transported them several miles back to their parent at the trailhead. The girls did not have any water, hiking gear, and were wearing flip flops. They were in good health and no medical attention was needed.

COs Craig Neal and Phil Hudson assisted with rescue and evacuation efforts in Arenac County due to flood conditions. The COs utilized patrol boats to rescue numerous citizens and their pets from flooded residences along the Rifle and Pine Rivers.

District 5 COs responded to the city of Midland to assist District 6 with rescue and evacuation efforts when the Edenville and Sanford dams failed. Responding COs brought patrol boats and ORVs to reach victims in areas that were not accessible due to flood waters. Many days were spent working with other agencies in a team effort to protect lives and preserve property.


CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to an out-of-season bass complaint. CO Bucholtz arrived on scene and observed the subject fishing. When CO Bucholtz asked how the subject had been doing, the subject stated he had caught four bass and was keeping them in a nearby bucket. CO Bucholtz located the bucket with five bass. In addition, the subject could not tell CO Bucholtz what the size-limit for bass needed to be for possession. All five bass were released back into the water and swam away. The subject stated he had been fishing his entire life and thought bass could be kept on the Great Lakes year-round. A citation was issued for possessing bass out of season.

CO Mike Haas was patrolling in western Isabella County when he received a fishing complaint. A complainant said he had witnessed a gentleman fishing from shore along the Chippewa River and he appeared to have been keeping undersized walleyes. CO Josh Jackson was in the area and met CO Haas at the complaint location. The COs contacted an angler matching the complainant’s description and the gentleman admitted to retaining undersized walleyes. The COs were able to release the fish back into the river and the man received a citation for possessing undersized walleye.

While patrolling southern Isabella County, CO Mike Haas encountered a four-wheeler operating towards him in the wrong lane of the roadway while driving around a large curve. The operator of the four-wheeler had to quickly maneuver his machine out of the way of the CO’s truck to avoid an accident. CO Haas turned his truck around and caught up to the machine and conducted a traffic stop. The operator had a young child on his lap; neither he nor his passenger had on a required crash helmet, and the machine lacked a valid ORV license. The man was educated on the various safety concerns and issued a citation to address the violations.

COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas responded to the Midland flooding. While en route they were directed to the area of Homer Road where the Carrow Creek Drain crosses the road. Rescuers were attempting to help people who were stranded on the opposite side. Together with other COs and local rescue personnel, approximately 120 people and their belongings were helped across the rising water, as well as a dozen large livestock, several goats, numerous dogs, and one donkey.


CO Anna Cullen was checking vessels coming off a small boat launch on an inland lake in Muskegon County when she observed a small vessel come off the water with two anglers exiting the vessel. CO Cullen contacted the individuals and asked if they had any luck fishing. One of the individuals advised they only had one bluegill but threw the rest back in the water. CO Cullen walked around the vessel and noticed a smallmouth bass on the hull of the boat, connected to a stringer. CO Cullen asked about the fish, and the individuals advised they did not know what it was. The fish measured about 12 inches. A citation was issued for possessing a short bass.

CO Sam Schluckbier was checking a bayou connected to the Kalamazoo River and located two subjects fishing but not in possession of fish. The male subject stated that he was not fishing but dropped his hat in the water and had to “fish” it out. The female subject claimed she was not fishing but helping him. CO Schluckbier refuted the story by checking the fishing hooks and lines. Both lines were still baited and wet. After further questioning, the subjects admitted they did not have a fishing license. The male subject was found to have a felony warrant for his arrest out of Van Buren County. The subject was advised of his warrant and then issued a citation for fishing without a license.

COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer observed a boat trolling with what appeared to be too many lines. Upon further investigation it was determined that the three anglers upon the boat were trolling with 12 lines. When asked how many fishing poles they were using the owner of the vessel stated, “Too many.”  A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines.

CO Travis Dragomer responded to a BOL for a stabbing suspect out of Niles Township. CO Dragomer drove by the suspect’s last known address and observed a vehicle parked in the driveway matching the BOL description. He then spotted two individuals, one male and one female, in front of the van. The male subject had a bloody nose and was holding a bloody paper towel. CO Dragomer ordered the suspect into the arrest position and took him into custody. The suspect was turned over to MSP.


CO Katie Baker was contacted by Owosso Police Department regarding an arrestee who was found in possession of approximately 80 turtles. With thoughts that there may be a commercialization issue, CO Baker contacted a detective for assistance with the case. Together, CO Baker and the DNR detective interviewed the suspect at the Shiawassee County Jail. A home inspection was also conducted. The turtles all appeared to be in good health and of legal possession. A reptilian specialist was contacted to inventory and identify the specimens. No enforcement action was needed at the time. Follow up will be conducted on the number and species of turtles identified.

CO Todd Thorn was patrolling the Grand River in Lansing by boat and contacted a couple of men who were shore fishing. The older male stated that he did not have a fishing license and did not think he should have to have one because he was taking the younger male fishing to get out of the house. CO Thorn attained the man’s name and date of birth and then the men ran to a vehicle and took off. CO Thorn discovered the suspect had three warrants for his arrest and had a suspended driver’s license. Later that evening, CO Thorn sat in his patrol truck near the angler’s residence and saw him drive the vehicle from earlier to that residence. Contact was again made, and the man was lodged at the Ingham County Jail on his warrants. He was also issued tickets for fishing without a license and driving on a suspended license.

CO Todd Thorn observed a group of three anglers who were fishing. CO Thorn made contact and found that one of the anglers did not have a fishing license. Almost immediately, all four males began to accuse CO Thorn of being racist and became very disrespectful and belligerent about the officer and the DNR. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.


During fisheries patrol, CO Dan Walzak contacted an angler who stated that he and his two partners caught some fish, but the fishing was not great. Looking in the vessel, CO Walzak observed several fish on the floor of the boat in front of a large cooler. When CO Walzak asked how many fish were on the floor of the boat, the owner answered that there were “probably a dozen.” A quick count of the fish revealed that there were at least 20 visible. CO Walzak then asked what was in the cooler and the boat owner replied that there were fish inside. Counting the fish, it was found that there was a total of 90 white bass – 15 fish over the limit. The owner was issued a citation for possession of over-limit of white bass.

CO Christopher Knights was finishing up his shift in Oxford, Oakland County, when he decided to check the ITC powerlines off Granger Road. CO Knights drove the power lines and noticed a vehicle parked at the bottom of the connecting pit. CO Knights met the individuals at their truck and asked if they knew they were trespassing. One person from the group stated yes, because he used to come to that spot as a child. CO Knights advised all four of them the laws pertaining to trespassing as well as the consequences. CO Knights issued all four individuals’ tickets for recreational trespassing.

COs Breanna Reed and Jaime Salisbury were patrolling Belle Isle when they contacted an angler who did not have a fishing license. The COs ran a file on the subject who was coming back no record. Upon further investigation, the COs were able to identify the subject as an illegal immigrant. U.S. Border Patrol units were contacted, all information was handed over.

CO Joseph Deppen was on marine patrol checking launches along Lake St. Clair. CO Deppen observed a group of anglers fishing and placing fish into individual buckets behind their chairs. CO Deppen made contact and started checking fishing licenses. The anglers had quite a few sunfish and rock bass. One angler said someone gave him a pike and it is in his bucket as well. CO Deppen asked if he measured it and the angler said no. The pike was of legal-size, but CO Deppen counted the angler’s other fish. Two of the four anglers were over-limit of panfish. CO Deppen asked the anglers if they know what the limit was for panfish. The anglers responded they had last year’s guide but did not look at it. CO Deppen handed the anglers citations for over-limits of panfish and a new fishing guide. CO Deppen explained the limits on panfish had not changed; it was still 25.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a complaint that an individual had a coyote puppy. CO Ingersoll was assisted by CO Eric Smithers and interviewed a suspect in Lenawee County. The COs advised the suspect that they were there because of a Facebook post of him possessing a coyote puppy. The suspect initially lied to the COs and advised the COs that he had taken the coyote puppy to a nearby veterinary clinic. The COs gained consent to search the suspect’s residence and, after searching the residence, the COs located the coyote puppy in the basement. Once the COs located the coyote puppy, the suspect advised he forgot that it was there. The suspect was issued a citation for possessing wildlife without the proper license. The coyote puppy was transported to a nearby rehabilitator to be released once old enough.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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