Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 11, 2020
CO Anna Viau received a call of a fawn that had jumped into an open basement foundation and was unable to get out. The complainant guessed the fawn had been in there without the doe for at least a couple days. Upon arrival to the scene, CO Viau and the DNR wildlife technician Ryan McGillviray observed the fawn in the basement looking healthy but could tell from the amount of foot tracks that it had been wandering around for a while trying to find a way out. McGillviray and Viau were able to capture the fawn without incident and release it in a nearby wooded area.
COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were on marine patrol when they checked two individuals fishing for walleye. After a brief conversation, one of the individuals confessed that there were two short walleye in the boat. A safety check of the boat also determined it did not have an adequate number of PFDs or a fire extinguisher. The individual was cited for possessing short walleye and given a warning for the marine safety violations.
COs Cody Smith and Josh Boudreaux received a complaint of an individual shooting a pair of Canada geese. Upon following up with the complaint, the COs were able to track down a suspect obtaining a full confession and were led to the dump site of the two geese. When asked why the individual had shot them, the individual exclaimed that they were tired of picking up goose poop and had just had enough. The individual stated that they just wanted to kill one to get a point across to the remaining geese so that they did not come back. When the suspect asked what the potential charges were CO Smith explained the list of violations as take two geese out of season, failure to have a state waterfowl license, failure to have a federal duck stamp, take waterfowl with an unplugged gun, take waterfowl with lead shot, no harvest information program survey, and tagging violations. The list of violations was turned over in a report to the prosecutor’s office and awaiting review.
COs Steve Butzin and Chris Lynch were patrolling the Marquette and Delta County line. COs encountered several anglers, when one of the anglers saw the COs, he dropped his fishing pole and began to look the other direction. Further investigation found that the angler did not have a valid fishing license and had an outstanding warrant for contempt of court on a domestic violence charge in Marquette County. The angler was issued a citation for fishing without a license and arrested on his outstanding warrant.
COs Andrea Dani and Michael Evink responded to a call regarding a fox stranded on a sandy spot on the east side of Grand Island. It appears the fox had fallen off the rock cliff above and landed on the sandy portion below. The rock face was too high and steep for the fox to go back up and too far from a lower elevation shoreline for the fox to swim to. The COs were able to catch the young fox with a catch pole and kept him secured for transportation. The fox did not appear to be injured and was released back on to Grand Island in a more easily accessible location.
CO Michael Evink conducted a marine patrol of Lake Michigan. The first salmon boat CO Evink encountered was using too many lines. CO Evink issued a ticket for fishing with too many lines.
COs Mike Olesen and Todd Sumbera patrolled the Saint Mary’s River from Sault Saint Marie. During the patrol, an individual was spotted attempting to snag salmon. Contact was made with the individual and it was determined that he was a tribal member snagging without proper licensing. The individual was cited into Tribal Court and the snagging equipment was turned over to Tribal Law Enforcement.
CO Duane Budreau responded to a complaint of subjects shooting geese on a golf course in northern Emmet County. The complaint was anonymous, but information provided was that some of the maintenance personnel on the golf course had shot about a dozen geese for defecating on the grounds. COs Budreau and Adam LeClerc went to the course and interviewed several employees until finding someone that was an eyewitness to the incident. The witness stated that he was not only concerned about the illegal killing of the birds, but he was also concerned for his own safety as well as the other employees. When the shooting started, he and the other employees took cover behind a pile of lumber. The shooter was using a .22 caliber rifle and shooting in all directions. COs Budreau and LeClerc interviewed the shooter, an elderly gentleman suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. The man denied all allegations to start with; however, after persistent questioning, his story changed to him admitting to shooting some warning shots to scare the birds. He said that he did not think a .22 would even kill a goose. After further questioning, the man admitted to killing two geese. COs Budreau and LeClerc searched the wooded area where the witnesses reported the geese to be dumped. Several piles of feathers were located indicating multiple birds had been dumped in the area; however, predators had hauled off the carcasses. A report and warrant request were submitted to the prosecutor for taking waterfowl out of season.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Bill Webster was patrolling Pickerel Lake when he checked two anglers who had been having a good day of fishing. As Sgt. Webster spoke to the anglers, he asked how many fish they had caught. One of the anglers said, “good,” as he started reaching in a five-gallon bucket to show off the fish. One fish that the angler grabbed from the bucket was a short largemouth bass, so Sgt. Webster had the angler hand him the fish and asked him about size limits. The angler wasn’t sure he said, but he thought it was 14 inches. Sgt. Webster measured the fish and it was only 12 inches. The angler admitted he did not measure it and understood that he would be receiving a ticket for the violation.
CO William Haskin was patrolling Wexford County and received a complaint of a swan was injured or tangled in something. CO Haskin located the swan and responded by boat on the backwaters of Hodenpyl Dam. CO Haskin cut the swan loose from a bunch of fishing line and released it.
CO Amanda McCurdy spent a day working marine patrol aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel out of Frankfort. This inter-agency patrol primarily targeted boaters violating the slow/no wake law in effect on Betsie Lake. However, several hours were also spent on patrol in Lake Michigan where dozens of contacts were made checking for fishing licenses and safety equipment. This joint effort helped to ensure the safety of boaters on Lake Michigan and one citation was issued to an angler for fishing without a license.
COs Justin Vanderlinde and William Kinney completed an investigation resulting in a full confession from an individual who was trapping without a trapping license. A report is being sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.
COs Kyle Publiski and Brian Brosky assisted the Mason County Sheriff’s Office with the recovery of a victim who apparently drowned in the Pere Marquette River near Walhalla. The victim had been missing for approximately two days when someone located his kayak on the river with no one near it. After a search of that stretch of the river where the kayak was found, Mason County divers were able to locate the victim’s body.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Grant Emery assisted with two bear hunting clinics put on at the Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center in Cadillac. The COs assisted with the instruction for the law portion of the class as well as techniques on how to become successful bear hunter. Every student that attended was successful in drawing a bear tag for the 2020 season.
COs John Huspen and Sgt. Brian Olsen observed several people bowfishing at midnight on the Muskegon River at Reedsburg Dam State Forest Campground. While checking the area for any possible illegally taken fish, Sgt. Olsen noticed an uncased .30-30 in the back seat of one of the vehicles. As the anglers left the campground, the COs followed the vehicle. The vehicle was not displaying a registration plate, so a traffic stop was initiated. The driver of the vehicle was driving while license suspended, had no proof of insurance, there was a valid warrant for his arrest, and he had an uncased .30-30 in the back of the vehicle. Due to COVID-19 the local jail would not lodge the subject. The driver, who was cooperative, contacted a friend to come and get him and his passenger. He was issued a citation for no proof of insurance and a warning was given for the uncased firearm. He was advised of his warrant and released.
CO Mike Hearn received a tip of a property owner running dogs off a bear bait on their property in Missaukee County. CO Hearn dropped off CO Jeremy Cantrell to attempt to locate the bait on the property. CO Cantrell was able to locate the bait on the back of the suspect’s property. While the COs conducted further investigation the property owner arrived at the location. The COs interviewed the suspect and were able to gain a confession. A citation was issued for the early bear bait.
COs Jeff Panich and Jesse Grzechowski patrolled Lake Huron checking multiple vessels and anglers. One of the vessels had two anglers with more than six lines out. When CO Grzechowski asked the anglers how many lines they had out, they replied, “Too many!” The COs determined they had a total of 10 lines. Both anglers received a citation for fishing with too many lines.
CO Joe Myers was patrolling the Au Sable State Forest when saw an ORV drive very quickly past the CO. As the ORV drove past the CO, he noticed a rifle behind the head rest of the driver. CO Myers was able to get behind the ORV and stop it without incident. The driver was found to have a loaded and uncased rifle, open container of alcohol, and failed to register his ORV. A citation was issued for the uncased/loaded firearm and written warnings were given for the open alcohol and unregistered ORV.
In early June, CO Joe Myers was contacted by a local Midland County resident with whom he has had positive contact with multiple times in the field. CO Myers is familiar with the man and his children. The man advised that his son was diagnosed with terminal Becker Muscular Dystrophy and was a participant of the “Make-A-Wish Foundation” and asked to see if CO Myers could be there for his son during this time. The foundation was granting the boy’s wish by giving him a fishing boat. CO Myers was asked to ride with the boy and provide him with assistance in marine safety and procedures. Unfortunately, in July the boy was involved in an ORV accident that left him with life threatening injuries. The boy was air lifted to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for a series of surgeries that saved his life. In addition to his terminal diagnosis, he is now fighting an uphill battle with more surgeries, paralysis, and other permanent conditions. Finding out about this tragic accident, CO Myers gathered some DNR-related items and headed to the Bay City State Park where the boy and his family were camping for the weekend where he visited with the boy and his family. CO Myers will still be part of the “Make-A-Wish” event in the future. Event details will be determined due to COVID-19 restrictions and the developing medical issues due to the recent accident.
CO Matt Page received a complaint of a captive fawn in a dog kennel at a private residence. Upon contacting one of the residents, it was found that the fawn was in the kennel for about a week and that the family wanted to keep the deer as a pet. The fawn was extremely malnourished and seized from the location. The fawn was turned over to a rehabilitator and a citation was issued for possessing a fawn in captivity.
CO Matt Page and Sgt. Steve Mooney were patrolling Lake Michigan when they observed what appeared to be two individuals fishing with too many lines. While approaching the vessel, the anglers were waving their hands and yelling at the approaching COs that they were too close. The anglers soon realized who was approaching and their demeanor changed as they were in fact fishing with too many lines. A citation was issued for the violation to the boat owner and a warning was given to the passenger.
CO Anna Cullen was off duty when she observed an active corn feeder and mineral block in plain view on private property. Pointing directly at the feeder was a game camera and a tree stand. CO Cullen recorded the sighting and returned to the property owner’s residence a couple days later. The property owner admitted to putting the feeder and mineral block on their property even though they were aware of the current ban. Charges are being sought with the Muskegon County prosecutor.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County when he heard gun shots being fired at approximately 8 p.m. CO Varriale responded to the gun range in the game area and saw a truck sitting in the closed portion of the gun range. The truck sped away, and CO Varriale drove after it to conduct a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, the operator admitted to shooting his gun after hours in the closed area. Also, an investigation revealed the operator of the vehicle was shooting his gun from the truck. The suspect was issued a citation.
While traveling on US-131 in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg observed a vehicle in his mirror approaching him at a high rate of speed. Once the vehicle passed, CO Ulberg was able to utilize his radar unit and discovered the vehicle was traveling at 120 mph. CO Ulberg observed the vehicle exit the highway and was able to conduct a traffic stop. The driver was issued a citation for the violation.
COs Daniel Prince, Nick Wellman, Ed Rice, Richard Cardenas, Jeremy Beavers, and Sgt. Troy Bahlau attended the law enforcement vehicle tribute which lined the funeral processional route for MSP Trooper Caleb Starr who was killed in the line of duty. The funeral service was held in Mason, Mich., and hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Michigan attended.
CO Daniel Prince assisted Howell City Police Department and Howell Area Fire Department at the Lake View Cemetery in Howell. Two citizens visiting the cemetery noticed a red-tailed hawk stuck between three small tree trunks of a cedar tree. The hawk became wedged while chasing a squirrel which was also still in the tree. The hawk was safely removed from the tree and released unharmed.
Sgt. Rich Nickols was called at home by Station 20 to assist with stranded boaters on Lake Ovid at Sleepy Hollow State Park. Sgt Nickols retrieved his patrol boat and responded to the lake where he located three subjects in a disabled boat that had been blown across the lake to the opposite side from the boat launch. Sgt. Nickols was able to safely tow the vessel and its occupants back to the boat launch.
CO David Schaumburger encountered a PWC that was displaying a 2018 registration. The operator was lacking his paper registration, did not have a boater safety certificate, and failed to transfer the title from last year. The operator stated that he did not make any attempts to transfer the title or update the registration and “don’t care.” The operator was given a citation for operating an expired vessel.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen checked anglers on a Lake St. Clair fishing pier. One angler showed CO Kiel his fish basket containing a bluegill and an obvious short pike. When the CO asked the angler if he knew what the minimum length of pike was, the angler spread his two index fingers out about 16 inches and asked, “This big?” The pike measured at 20 inches, was seized, and a citation written for possession of an undersized northern pike.
CO Breanna Reed was checking boat launches in St. Clair County when she contacted three anglers who stated that they “had a successful day.” CO Reed asked the anglers how many fish they had caught. The anglers looked at each other and were unable to give a clear answer. CO Reed found that each angler was over their legal possession limit. Citations were issued for possessing an over-limit of pan fish.
CO Jeff Goss worked Belle Isle a two-day weekend with COs Todd Thorn and Katie Baker. The COs responded to a suicidal subject on the MacArthur Bridge, a burned-out abandoned car in a traffic lane, and two medical response calls. COs Goss and Baker also assisted the Detroit Fire and Harbor Master on a call of a man in the Detroit River trying to save his dog. The man was picked up by a fishing boat and returned to the shore safely.