Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 28, 2020


CO Doug Hermanson received sentencing information on a subject who was found to have shot an over-limit of bucks during the 2019 firearm deer season. The subject was ordered to pay a reimbursement of $2,000 and his hunting privileges were revoked for the remainder of 2020 and the following three seasons.

COs Jeffrey Dell and Shannon Kritz patrolled the waters of Green Bay for marine and fishing activity. One boat had multiple anglers on board. All occupants produced a valid Michigan fishing license except one. The one who did not produce a license was busy fighting a fish on the line. When asked for his fishing license, he produced a Wisconsin fishing license even though he was well within Michigan waters. He then produced a 2019 Michigan fishing license. Lastly, he attempted to purchase a license on his phone in front of the COs. The man was issued a citation for fishing without a license.

CO Josh Boudreaux received a complaint of individuals keeping short splake on a trout lake in western Marquette County. Additionally, there were multiple reports of the same individuals shining lights into cabins from the water after dark which made many residents uneasy. CO Boudreaux responded to the area and tucked into the wood line where he could observe the suspect individuals on the boat. As the night went on, CO Boudreaux watched the pair troll along the shoreline with spotlights spearing or “gigging” what were later determined to be bullfrogs and then throwing them in a cooler in the bow of the boat. CO Boudreaux contacted the pair after they got off the water and discovered they were in possession of an over-limit and undersized amount of splake and three bullfrogs. They were ultimately issued citations for possessing an over-limit of splake, illegal take of amphibians, and warnings were given for undersized fish and other minor violations.


COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn responded to Dodge Lake in Schoolcraft County. The call was about a truck, trailer, and boat that rolled into the lake and were completely submerged. Once on scene it was clear that all people were safe, and the vehicle was deep enough that the newly formed Schoolcraft County dive team was called to safely hook the truck to the tow truck to be removed.

CO Mike Evink was working on paperwork at the Manistique Marina when he noticed a golf cart signaling for assistance. CO Evink went to check on the situation and observed a male on the ground who had been stung multiple times by bees. CO Evink requested emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and assisted until the individual was turned over to EMS.

CO Robert Freeborn assisted the MSP in locating missing children who left on a walk several hours earlier on a Lake Michigan beach and had not returned. CO Freeborn and MSP began looking for the kids and shortly after they returned home.

COs Robert Freeborn and Michel Evink assisted the MSP in a dirt bike personal injury accident. The rider had struck a tree in the trail, possibly lost consciousness, and broke a few ribs. The rider was able to make it out to the trailhead where he was checked out by EMS. The rider refused treatment at a hospital and went back to riding for the day.


CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a 911 call along the Sturgeon River. A female subject had fallen from a raft and had gotten pinned underwater for some time. When her companions removed her from the water, they had to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The location of the incident was very remote and difficult to access. CO Rosochacki led a group through a swampy area on one side of the river, while another group of rescuers approached on a raft upstream. The raft group was able to make it to the victim and get her back across the river to a waiting ambulance.

CO Eric Bottorff was leaving the Gaylord DNR Operations Center when he saw a passenger inside a vehicle parked at the entrance throw litter out of the window. The passenger decided that he would rather pick up all of the visible garbage along that stretch of roadway than receive a ticket. The subject was warned for littering after he was done.

COs Paul Fox and Jon Sklba were conducting a marine patrol on the Thunder Bay when they encountered a disabled vessel. There was no tow service available and the winds were pushing the vessel towards a rocky shoreline. The COs were able to assist in getting the vessel back to the harbor.

CO Paul Fox was patrolling near Black Lake and Onaway State Park after a severe windstorm struck the area. CO Fox removed several large trees from primary county roadways and checked the state park. Multiple campers were damaged by falling trees. Fortunately, only minor injuries were sustained.


COs Ryan Andrews, Brian Brosky, and Kyle Publiski performed a marine search and recovery operation for a missing boater in Mason County. Due to murky water conditions, the search teams were limited to electronic side scan sonar systems that can detect shapes and objects in the water. After 24 hours of searching, the victim of the drowning was located by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Mike Bomay was on patrol when he observed a minibike being operated by an adult traveling on the wrong side of the roadway on a busy paved road. An oncoming van drove into Sgt. Bomay’s path to avoid hitting the minibike in a no passing zone. The operator was not wearing a helmet and there was no ORV license visible. Sgt. Bomay conducted a stop and discovered the subject’s driver’s license was suspended and that the operator had multiple warrants for his arrest. The subject was lodged, and his minibike was impounded.

CO Ben Shively responded with Oceana County deputies to a complaint of a subject attempting to steal a utility task vehicle (UTV) from a residence. Upon arrival at the complainant’s residence, they were informed the subject had taken the UTV, but was contacted by the owner on the road and was now on foot behind a farm in the asparagus fields. Employees of the farm were able to locate the subject in the field until law enforcement arrived on scene. Upon contact with the suspect, he was found to be under the influence of methamphetamine and had been drinking. The subject was taken into custody and lodged at the Oceana County Jail.

CO Angela Greenway received a message from a community member that her children had found an owl in their yard that seemed to be injured and could not fly. CO Greenway responded and retrieved the owl taking it to a licensed rehabilitation facility. This facility gave out calendars and educational sheets to CO Greenway to give to the kids who found the owl. They also offered to allow the kids and family to be present when they would be able to release the owl back into the wild. The mother of the children is active in the parent/teacher association and CO Greenway was able to assist in setting up an educational and hands-on session at the schools.


COs Charlie Jones and Jeremy Cantrell were on patrol in Missaukee County when they noticed an ORV operator not wearing a helmet. The COs conducted a stop on the ORV. Upon contact, the COs observed suspicious actions and behaviors from the operator. A glass pipe was located, which is commonly used with methamphetamine. The COs attempted to place the male subject in custody when he tried to run and began resisting arrest. After a brief scuffle, the man was taken into custody and transported to the Missaukee County Jail. The next morning, the COs conducted a follow-up vehicle identification number inspection on the ATV. Upon further investigation, they located a small baggy approximately 1.2 grams of methamphetamine and a second small container containing methamphetamine with another glass pipe. A report has been submitted to the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Josh Russell dedicated multiple hours patrolling Lake Lancer due to complaints of high-speed boating after 7:30 p.m., a local watercraft control. Numerous citations were issued for failing to provide personal floating devices (PFDs), high-speed boating after 7:30 p.m., fishing without a license, and possession of undersized bass.


CO Jay Person and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk checked on a father and young daughter on the Saginaw River. The father appeared to be paddling their disabled fishing boat. Contact was made and it was discovered the outboard motor had sheared a prop pin and was disabled. It was also discovered that the pair had launched at the furthest most launch on the river approximately one and a half miles downriver. The father and his 4-year-old daughter were returned to the launch site. The father was extremely thankful to the COs saying it would have taken him most of the day and into the night to paddle the boat that far.

CO Quincy Gowenlock was on his way to the district office when he came across what appeared to be a motor vehicle collision. Upon stopping and contacting the elderly driver, it was determined that the trailer, heavily laden with logs, had popped off the hitch. With the assistance of two other good Samaritans, CO Gowenlock was able to get the elderly man’s trailer back on and properly secured.

During a late evening patrol in central Isabella County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a boat with two anglers fishing on a small public lake. Using binoculars and a night vision scope, CO Haas watched the group land multiple fish. Shortly after 3 a.m., the boat returned to the launch and the anglers were surprised to see CO Haas waiting for them. One subject had a bucket containing multiple fish including a walleye that was well under the legal possession size. There was also a large softshell turtle in the boat that one angler had caught and intended to eat. CO Haas asked the angler if he knew when turtle season started, and the angler stated he had checked Google and thought turtle season was currently underway. The angler was advised to check the DNR published guides in the future since turtle season was not yet open. During their conversation, CO Haas discovered that the angler’s fishing partner had an active Personal Protection Order (PPO) against the man and the two were not supposed to be in contact with each other. It was also discovered that the angler had multiple, prior fishing and deer hunting convictions over the past recent years and was currently on probation. The angler received a citation for the fishing violations and his probation officer was notified of his probation and PPO violations.


CO Jeremy Beavers spotted an angler wading in the Grand River and noticed what appeared to be a fish stringer attached to the angler’s waders. The CO contacted the angler and asked if he had any luck and he stated, “Yes.”  He then asked the angler if he had any fish on the stringer and the angler stated. “One or two.” Further investigation revealed that the angler had several fish. The CO instructed the angler to come to shore and found there were six smallmouth bass and one catfish. All the smallmouth bass were less than 14 inches. While discussing the issues on size and possession limits, the angler admitted that he was warned once about size limits and knew they were supposed to be 14 inches. The angler was cited for the violation.

While checking lakes in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg encountered two anglers fishing from a small boat. The anglers appeared to be having some success as they had some fish in a fish basket on the side of the boat. Further investigation revealed three largemouth bass that were under the legal 14-inch size-limit. The angler claimed that he did not plan on keeping the fish and was going to let them go when he was done fishing. CO Ulberg educated the angler on what “immediate release” meant and issued the angler a citation for taking undersized bass.

CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint of individuals fishing in the fish ladder at 6th Street Dam in Grand Rapids. CO Ulberg responded to the area and was able to get into a position for surveillance. CO Ulberg was able to observe one of the anglers actively fishing inside the fish ladder. After contacting the angler, CO Ulberg discovered that the angler also did not have a fishing license. The subject was issued a citation for fishing within a fish ladder and verbally warned about the fishing license violation.

COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg responded to complaints of individuals shooting after hours in the Rogue River SGA. Numerous contacts were made, and citations were issued for the violations.


CO Todd Thorn and a group of DNR Wildlife employees successfully captured a goose in Eaton Rapids that had an arrow stuck in its wing and fishing line around its leg. The arrow had been in its wing since early spring and resulted in many calls from concerned citizens. The goose was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.

COs Nick Wellman, Larn Strawn, Jeff Goss, and Todd Thorn, along with Sgts. Rich Nichols and Troy Bahlau conducted a two-day multi-county boating under the influence (BUI) patrol of problem areas in Jackson and Branch counties. During the patrol, two men were lodged for BUI. One of the operators was nearly three times the legal limit.


Investigating a RAP complaint of subject possibly in possession of a young turkey vulture, COs Dan Walzak and Ariel Young contacted two subjects who, indeed, had an immature turkey vulture in their apartment. Claiming that they were trying to keep the bird alive to be released, the couple named the bird “Fluffy” and were feeding it bologna and hot dogs. The bird was just starting to acquire its flight feathers and was possibly within a week of being capable of flight. Advising that possession of the bird was unlawful, the bird was taken for delivery to a rehabilitator and a citation was issued for possession of the bird without a rehabilitator’s permit.

After receiving a complaint, COs Ariel Young and Danny Walzak patrolled to Grosse Ile to investigate a resident feeding deer in the driveway. Upon making contact, it was found that the resident was an animal lover and loved watching the deer come near the house. After a little bit of education, the COs issued a verbal warning. Later in the week, CO Keven Luther received a second complaint regarding the same individual who had corn scattered in the driveway yet again. The following day, COs Young and Walzak were back out to Grosse Ile and contacted the individual and issued a citation for feeding deer in a no feeding zone.

COs Nick Ingersoll, Danielle Zubek, and Ariel Young were patrolling Lake Erie near the Woodtick Peninsula for the annual party held on the lake. The COs made numerous contacts and issued several verbal warnings for no boater’s safety, improperly wearing PFDs on jet skis, and for navigational anchor lights. Several tickets were issued for failure to wear PFDs on jet skis, fishing without a license, and no navigational lights. The COs responded to multiple calls for assaults and assisted Erie Township Police Department with a domestic violence incident that occurred.

CO Ben Lasher was patrolling the Fair Haven Access Site when he checked a boat at the dock. The female angler advised she had her fish in the cooler. CO Lasher was given permission to check the fish and she was found to have six bluegill over her limit. The boat owner stated all his fish were in the live well, he was three fish under his limit. One ticket was issued for possession of over-limit of bluegills. Both suspects had prior tickets for fish violations.

CO Bob Watson was patrolling a local state game area where people frequently target shoot. CO Watson contacted two different groups of shooters who had failed to pick up any empty shell casings and failed to bring back their shot targets after they had finished shooting. Each group received a citation for litter.

CO Bob Watson was patrolling the Port Huron SGA when he observed a group of campers camping outside of the legal game area camping dates. Camping is prohibited from May 15 through Sept. 10 within the game area. CO Watson observed one of the campers begin throwing trash into the woods and weeds nearby rather than carrying the trash back to their vehicles. CO Watson contacted the four campers. One had just recently been released from prison, another had a child support warrant, the remaining two did not have valid identification. CO Watson issued citations for litter and for camping in the state game area when prohibited.

CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on Whitmore Lake when he contacted a vessel with four young men fishing. A license and safety check revealed a missing PFD and one subject fishing without a license. The subject was issued a citation for failure to provide a PFD and given a warning on the fishing violation.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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