Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 20, 2020
CO Shannon Kritz received a tip that somebody was continuously blocking access to state property. CO Kritz went to the location, walked down the road beyond the blockage, and discovered that it led to a hunting blind with no name or address on it. CO Kritz placed a trail camera to monitor the area and to see if somebody would block the road again. A week later CO Kritz drove by and observed that once again, a large tree had been cut down across the road in question. CO Kritz checked the trail camera and was successful in capturing pictures of a suspect. CO Kritz developed a suspect and conducted an interview. The suspect admitted to blocking the road. A civil infraction citation with issued for obstructing access to state land and warnings given for cutting trees on state land and for not having ID on the hunting blind.
CO Shannon Kritz received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint from a person who was experiencing hunter harassment. The complainant explained that he was checking his trail camera pictures when he noticed he had a picture of somebody who appeared to be spraying something on his bait pile. CO Kritz developed a suspect by comparing the picture to nearby homeowners and set up additional trail cameras by the hunter’s bait to see if the suspect tampered with the bait again. A week later, CO Kritz was on foot patrol in the area when she saw her suspect walking in the area of the complainant’s hunting stand. The suspect had a spray bottle in his hand and quickly turned around and returned to his house when he saw the CO. CO Kritz checked her trail cameras, which had captured pictures of the suspect back at the hunter’s bait. She interviewed the suspect later that evening and he admitted to spraying the hunter’s bait pile because he was frustrated that hunters had moved in on where he used to hunt on state land. CO Kritz asked the suspect if he ever tried to talk to them and he told her that he had not, but that he was hoping the Roundup would deter them. A report will be submitted to the Menominee County prosecutor for charges of hunter harassment.
CO Dave Miller happened to be in the right place at the right time when an individual stopped his truck, placed an uncased gun out the window, and aimed at a ruffed grouse. CO Miller contacted the subject just before he shot and issued a ticket for possessing an uncased/loaded gun in/upon motor vehicle.
COs Robert Freeborn and Cole VanOosten were on routine patrol checking for road hunters. While traveling a county road, the COs observed a pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed coming toward them. As the pickup truck went by, the COs observed the truck did not have a license plate on the vehicle. The COs turned around and after several miles of catching up to the vehicle, the COs were able to stop it. During the stop it was found that the operator had just purchased the vehicle and was heading home with it. It was also found that the driver had two uncased firearms in the truck, one of which was still loaded. A citation was issued for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol when a call of a missing 5-year-old child with special needs was reported in the Bark River area. CO Butzin went to the location and assisted other units that were on-scene with the search. After a short while, the child was located and safely returned to his family.
CO Cole VanOosten followed up on an anonymous tip of potential over-limits of otters being taken out of Alger County. An investigation was conducted, and it was determined that the suspect trapper had used tags from another individual to trap additional otter for the past four years. It was determined that over the past four years the trapper had trapped eight otter over his limit and another individual had loaned him otter tags. A report was generated and submitted to the Alger County prosecutor for taking an over-limit of otter and for borrowing the tag of another.
CO Andrea Erratt checked nine waterfowl hunters motoring into the Petobego Marsh access site just after hunting hours. The first boat had five hunters and only three personal flotation devices (PFDs). CO Erratt ticketed the boat owner for failing to provide enough PFDs and warned him for failing to sign his federal waterfowl stamp. The second boat had two brothers and only one PFD. CO Erratt ticketed one of the brothers for failing to provide enough life preservers and warned him for failing to sign his federal waterfowl stamp and operating an unregistered motorboat. CO Erratt also ticketed the operator of the third boat with two hunters and no PFDs, for failing to provide any PFDs and warned him for operating an unregistered motorboat.
CO Andrea Albert received a RAP complaint from a hunter who observed another bowhunter walking into a hunting location carrying a bag of sugar beets. CO Albert was able to catch up with the suspect hunter walking out of the woods with a nocked crossbow well after hunting hours. CO Albert suspected this was a baited location she had found in September while on foot patrol, which included a small food plot illegally planted on state land. The hunter admitted to putting out sugar beets and planting the food plot. CO Albert had the hunter clean up the bait. A ticket was issued for baiting deer where prohibited and warnings were given for having a nocked bolt after hunting hours, littering, no identification on a treestand, and planting a food plot on state land.
CO Sidney Collins was off duty when she received a phone call for assistance from a local trapper who had caught a bobcat in his coyote trap and needed assistance. CO Collins was close by and helped the trapper release the cat without incident. The trapper was very grateful for CO Collin’s help.
While on patrol in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews was checking designated trout streams that were closed to fishing for illegal activity when he contacted two men who were trespassing on private property along one of the streams. One of the men had a fishing pole in his hand but claimed he was not fishing. Both men said they did not have any fish and that they were just looking at the fish. As CO Andrews talked to the men at their truck, which was parked illegally in the roadway, and he discovered fresh wet blood and fish slime on the tailgate of the truck. CO Andrews asked the men what was in the bed of the truck. After a long pause, the owner of the truck stated that he had a speared salmon in the truck bed. Both men were given warnings for trespassing and charges have been filed with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for the speared salmon and possession of an illegal fishing device along the trout stream.
While patrolling the White River in Oceana County, CO Ben Shively observed two subjects actively attempting to snag salmon in the river. After watching the subjects for over 20 minutes and one subject illegally snagging a fish, which broke his line, he made contact. Both subjects were found to be using treble hooks with a pipe cleaner attached and admitted to snagging. The subjects were cited for attempting to take a fish not hooked in the mouth and illegal gear.
COs Tim Barboza and Ryan Andrews were on a dedicated patrol at Tippy Dam and witnessed a group of anglers reeling in a salmon. As the fish was netted, it was apparent that the fish was not hooked in the mouth. The COs watched to see what the group would do with the fish. The group placed the foul-hooked fish on a stringer and then proceeded to chase and net another fish that was not hooked at all. The COs contacted the group and cited two of the men for retaining a foul-hooked fish and illegal method of take.
CO Chuck McPherson located a deer bait and blind on state land in Roscommon County. The blind had no name and address, was placed prior to Sept. 1, and was baited with corn, mineral blocks, and oats. CO McPherson contacted the hunter on opening weekend of archery deer season. The hunter was the same individual CO McPherson contacted the year prior with the same violations. A citation for baiting deer when prohibited was issued along with a warning for no name and address on a treestand.
CO Craig Neal was recently checking the AuGres River mouth for boating activity in the evening. There was only one trailer in the parking lot, and it was almost dark. CO Neal waited for the boater to come in. After a long wait, the subject finally came back to the boat launch operating a personal watercraft (PWC) and wearing a set of night vision goggles. CO Neal asked the boater if he was aware that it was illegal to operate a PWC after sunset. The boater stated that he was aware of that and that he “got held up” on the water. Unfortunately, even if the PWC operator could see with his special goggles, nobody could see him due to PWC not being equipped with navigational lighting. CO Neal issued a citation to the operator for operating a PWC after sunset.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint from the RAP Hotline of subjects hunting and shooting from a dike at the Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area located in Bay County. CO Gowenlock responded and was met by CO Joseph Myers. Both COs walked into the game area observing several subjects hunting in two separate groups. The COs each took a group to make contact and conduct a field check. As CO Gowenlock was walking toward his group of hunters, two of the subjects were standing on the dike and began shooting at waterfowl as they flew by. CO Gowenlock made contact and explained to the subjects that it was unlawful to hunt or shoot from a dike in the game area. The subjects were surprised by this and stated they didn’t know. The two subjects were issued citations and released.
CO Adam Beuthin received a complaint from the RAP hotline about an individual who had purchased a deer license after posting a photo on Facebook of a 9-point buck. CO Beuthin interviewed the individual and asked if the individual knew why the CO was at the residence. The individual had no idea why the CO was there and when the CO asked about the 9-pointer, the suspect confessed immediately. The crossbow and antlers were seized, and a warrant was requested through the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office for the charge of taking a deer without a license.
CO Josh Jackson received a complaint that a man and his fiancé were trespassing after they had harvested a deer. The caller stated that he had both on camera pulling a deer across his property. COs Jackson and Dan Robinson interviewed the suspects who admitted to being on the property they were not supposed to be on. Neither suspect had a valid deer tag during the time of the incident. The deer was seized, and a report is being filed for harvesting a deer without a tag, violating antler point restriction regulations, and recreational trespass.
CO Casey Varriale was following up on a baiting complaint from CO Justin Ulberg in Solon Township in Kent County when he witnessed a man hunting over a bait pile. CO Varriale contacted the suspect and after a short investigation, the suspect admitted to baiting for deer since the spring. The suspect was issued a citation for baiting in a closed county.
CO James Nason received a complaint of a female in Kalamazoo County who had allegedly shot a turkey in the spring without a license. CO Nason conducted multiple interviews with the suspect and others and found that she did not possess a spring turkey license when she had shot the bird. The father confessed to tagging the turkey with his own tag after his daughter had shot it. Charges are being sought through the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jeff Robinette was on patrol in Cass County checking for waterfowl hunting activity and located a couple individuals hunting separately in a lake/marsh area. As the hunters returned, CO Robinette checked them to ensure waterfowl laws were being followed. Upon contacting one individual, CO Robinette determined that the subject was a 14-year-old juvenile. CO Robinette verified that the juvenile was hunting unsupervised and that the juvenile’s parent had dropped him off with a canoe to go hunting that morning. CO Robinette also verified that the juvenile did not have any PFDs with him in the canoe and that he was hunting with an unplugged shotgun. CO Robinette instructed the juvenile to contact his parent and request that they respond to pick the juvenile up. The juvenile’s father responded to the location and stated that he had dropped off the juvenile that morning to go hunting. CO Robinette informed the juvenile’s father of the various law violations present. CO Robinette issued the juvenile’s father a ticket for allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised. Verbal warnings were given to the juvenile for not having a PFD and hunting with an unplugged shotgun.
CO Chris Reynolds responded to a RAP complaint in Hillsdale County where a hunter had processed his own deer and decided to dump the carcass down the road from his home. The hunter made the mistake of not taking his tag off the carcass. The hunter was tracked down and confessed to dumping the carcass. CO Reynolds advised the hunter to clean up the carcass and a civil infraction litter ticket was issued.
CO Jason McCullough apprehended two subjects trespassing on private property near Battle Creek. One subject was acting as a lookout for the other who hid his crossbow upon seeing CO McCullough. One of the subjects had been caught trespassing five times previously.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint from a man that a deer he shot was tracked to the property line and then someone had taken the deer from there. CO Wellman went to the site and had the hunter walk him through everything. CO Wellman advised the hunter that he had tracked the deer well onto the neighbor’s property and was trespassing. In addition, the man had gone out and purchased his hunting licenses just prior to CO Wellman arriving to investigate. After a short investigation, the hunter admitted to hunting several times this season without licenses and had already shot three deer this season, all without licenses. Charges will be requested through the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint that a woman had been going to her stand and found a dead deer with its head cut off. CO Wellman responded and located the animal. The complainant then showed CO Wellman a photo from their trail camera of a man carrying a buck’s head out of the area. CO Wellman was able to identify the man with help from a few neighbors. An interview was conducted, and it turned out the suspect’s spouse had shot the deer legally but tracked the deer onto several other properties without permission. The deer was found a day after it was shot, and the meat was no longer good. The property owner is still deciding on whether prosecution for recreational trespass will take place.
COs Ariel Young and Keven Luther contacted an individual baiting for deer while walking the property line of the Lower Huron Metro Park property. CO Luther issued a citation on scene for the illegal baiting.
CO Keven Luther contacted two individuals from two different deer baiting investigations. CO Luther observed both suspects actively hunting over bait and citations were issued on scene. With the assistance of CO David Schaumburger, it was found a deer may have been taken illegally by another subject. An interview was scheduled for a later date and the investigation continues.
CO Keven Luther checked a field known to have illegal hunting activity. While on scene CO Luther contacted an individual baiting for deer. A baiting citation was issued on scene.
CO Dave Schaumburger was checking waterfowl hunters returning at Pointe Mouillee when he located a hunter with a lead shell in his possession. The hunter stated he used the bag for all kinds of hunting and must have missed the shell. A citation was issued for possessing toxic shot.
CO Christopher Knights worked early duck hunters opening morning. CO Knights waited close to a field known for hunters and waited for early shots. A little while after opening hours, CO Knights went in and checked the hunters. CO Knights went through all the checks and found one hunter with an unplugged shotgun. The individual was advised of the law and issued a citation.
CO Christopher Knights checked a group of hunters at a lake located in Addison Township. CO Knights watched the group for a while, then walked in to check them. As he was making contact, he saw a hunter grab his phone and start typing. After getting everyone’s license, that same hunter held up his phone and stated he purchased his license on-line. CO Knights made him aware there is a time stamp on the license, which showed he purchased the license while walking in on them. CO Knights issued a citation for hunting without a license.