Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 1, 2021


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COs Todd Sumbera, Mike Evink, Mike Olesen, and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the MSP with a search for a missing person in central Mackinac County. The search was very extensive covering both land and water.

COs Robert Freeborn and Todd Sumbera were on patrol when they observed a pickup truck stopped in the middle of a two-track. As the COs pulled alongside the truck, CO Freeborn observed the passenger take a drink of a beer. The COs got out and talked to both subjects. When the passenger was confronted about the beer, he denied having any. The passenger eventually produced the open beer he hid under his seat. A citation was issued for open intoxicants.


CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol in an area known for illegal ORV activity. While checking an area that is closed to ORVs, CO LeClerc found a side-by-side style machine stuck in a mudhole in the closed area. After several attempts to remove the vehicle, the occupants gave up and headed toward the road. CO LeClerc met them at the road, gathered their licenses, and advised them to remove it or call for help to remove it. The driver was issued a ticket for operate in closed area. CO LeClerc made sure they were safe and in good condition due to the constant rain, cold temperature, and loss of daylight. Help arrived and the machine was removed..

CO Jon Sheppard heard a call from Alpena County Dispatch of a domestic violence situation while patrolling Alpena County. While en route to the address, dispatch advised all units that approximately 10 people were involved and it had turned physical. CO Sheppard arrived second on scene and assisted the MSP in separating all parties while more officers arrived. CO Sheppard assisted with scene security and interviewing witnesses. MSP troopers have submitted their report to the prosecutor and charges are pending.


CO Troy Ludwig received a complaint of waterfowl hunters hunting within the safety zone of multiple homes on Lake Mitchell in Wexford County. When the CO arrived on scene, he observed four hunters in a boat hunting off a small island in the middle of the lake. Using computer mapping software and a laser rangefinder, CO Ludwig determined that the hunters were indeed within the safety zone of at least eight different homes. As the CO continued to watch the hunters, he observed them motor after a wounded duck without unloading their firearms and shoot the bird without the vessel ceasing all forward momentum, which is required by law. When CO Ludwig made contact with the hunters, they advised that they had not received permission to hunt within the safety zone of any of the homes and a vessel inspection determined that they were short one wearable and one throwable PFD. Multiple citations were issued to the hunters for the waterfowl and marine violations.

CO Richard Stowe responded to a personal injury accident in Grand Traverse County. CO Stowe learned the driver of the vehicle was pinned inside and was unable to free themselves from the wreck. The first responders on the scene were unsuccessful in removing the person because there was a large dog in the vehicle that would not let anyone near the trapped individual and bit one of the firefighters who was trying to assist. At that time, CO Stowe utilized his department issued “catch pole” and removed the large retriever from the vehicle, with no further injury to the animal or any other first responders. The driver was then quickly extricated from the car and transported to the nearest hospital for treatment, and the dog was turned over to family members.

CO Angela Greenway assisted CO Josh Reed in the locating and stopping of a suspect vehicle involved in a road hunting complaint. The original complaint was that a dark colored Chevy truck was seen with someone shooting a deer out of the vehicle. As the incident developed a second suspect vehicle, a red Ford truck was seen going slowly and allegedly looking for something in the same area. CO Greenway located the Ford truck and made contact at a nearby residence. CO Reed arrived and knew of the suspect driving the vehicle from past contacts. CO Reed questioned the driver and only occupant. Through his investigation, it was discovered the driver was suspended, had warrants for his arrest, and was in possession of methamphetamine. The subject was lodged, and charges are filed with the prosecutor’s office.

CO Tim Barboza witnessed an ORV operating against the flow of traffic on the roadway and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While talking with the operator, CO Barboza smelled the odor of intoxicants and asked the driver how much he had to drink. The driver stated two beers. CO Barboza conducted SFSTs and requested that the operator take a PBT, which resulted in a .174. The operator was arrested for OWI and driving while license suspended.


CO Phil Hudson received a complaint of building materials and shingles dumped on public land. CO Hudson walked nearly seven miles following pieces of debris along the roadway headed away from the public land. CO Hudson located a trailer at a residence with drywall and other building material piled on it. CO Hudson interviewed the resident and received a confession that he dumped the materials on state land. CO Hudson made sure the subject cleaned up the illegally dumped materials from public land and issued him a citation for littering.

CO Casey Pullum conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle where the driver was suspected of operating while intoxicated. During the contact with the driver, CO Pullum remembered a recent interaction at the suspect’s residence for narcotics. While attempting to identify the female passenger, she supplied a false name of her step-sister to avoid detection on outstanding arrest warrants. However, her step-sister had an extensive criminal history including narcotic charges. CO Pullum obtained consent to search the vehicle and located two hypodermic needles and syringes with what field tested as methamphetamine. Other drug paraphernalia was also located during the search. Both occupants were taken into custody on possession of methamphetamine. Additional information was obtained about other drug activity at the male suspect’s residence. After a short interview, a search warrant was obtained for the residence. Enlisting assistance from COs Brad Bellville and Jesse Grzechowski, Oscoda County Sheriff Department deputies, and MSP troopers, a search warrant was executed on the male suspect’s residence. A female at the residence was taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Iosco County and all items to cook methamphetamine were seized by CO Pullum and the local MSP drug team. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.


CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to a personal injury vehicle accident where a motor vehicle struck the rear of a large utility farm trailer. The vehicle then entered a ditch and flipped onto its top. The sole occupant was unconscious and pinned in the vehicle when CO Bucholtz arrived. Multiple fire departments assisted on scene and had to remove the victim with the “jaws of life.” The unconscious but breathing victim was then taken to a local hospital by ambulance before being transferred to a trauma center by helicopter.

CO Dan Robinson completed an investigation on an illegal bait complaint in Montcalm County. CO Robinson located a bait pile from a complaint and photographed the area. After returning to the site a few weeks later and talking to the possible suspect, it was discovered that in the weeks between the individual had put out another 150 pounds of corn near his deer blinds. A report and charges will be submitted to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office.


CO Travis Dragomer located a large pile of apples near a treestand while investigating a baiting complaint in Berrien County. CO Dragomer checked the location the following day to find a hunter in the treestand hunting over the bait. CO Dragomer issued the hunter a citation for hunting over bait when prohibited.

CO Jeremy Beavers was walking along a trail in the Portland SGA when a truck approached. CO Beavers contacted the subject and asked if he was deer hunting and he said yes but did not have any luck. As CO Beavers was talking with the subject, he could see an uncased crossbow on the floor of the back seat. CO Beavers instructed the subject to park the vehicle. Once the vehicle was parked, CO Beavers observed the crossbow was loaded as well. The subject was cited for transporting an uncased and loaded crossbow in a motor vehicle.

CO Jeremy Beavers saw a subject walking down the road with two large bags of apples who stated he was going to bait his hunting land. CO Beavers explained that baiting was illegal and had been illegal in the Lower Peninsula since last deer season. CO Beavers went on to say that baiting has been illegal in Ionia County for several years. CO Beavers and the subject walked to the subject’s truck where he also had a mineral block. CO Beavers asked for the subject’s identification at which point he spotted a bow in the back seat. CO Beavers asked the subject if he was planning to hunt and he said that he might. CO Beavers asked where the case was, and the subject said he did not have one. CO Beavers then learned that the subject did not have a hunting license. CO Beavers then asked the subject if he had been hunting without a license because he has seen his vehicle at this location more than once. The subject admitted to hunting without a license and stated his plan was to wait until he shot something and then he would purchase one. He went on to say that he was warned by his father and a friend that he should get a license but still chose to hunt without one. The subject was cited for the violations encountered during contact.

CO Casey Varriale received a complaint of after-hours shooting in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County. CO Varriale contacted the suspects and found five loaded pistols in the vehicle. There were two rifles and a shotgun located in the bed of the truck. An additional three handguns were unloaded and encased in the cab of the truck. An investigation was conducted, and CO Varriale discovered one pistol was unregistered and belonged to a suspect who had an active warrant for his arrest. In addition, it was determined that the suspect with the warrant was smoking marijuana while in possession of the loaded pistol. He did not have a CPL. CO Varriale cited the owner of the firearms for a land use violation. The other suspect was arrested on his open warrant and his firearm was seized.

While dispatching an injured deer, CO Jackie Miskovich was notified by a landowner that there were four vehicles that had trespassed into their yard. The vehicles accessed her property from a parcel of township property that is closed to motor vehicle use. After finishing with the injured deer, CO Miskovich patrolled to the township property and met the caravan. Contact had already been made by Muskegon County deputies and they were in the process of deciding what to do. CO Miskovich advised that this property and the surrounding private landowners have had a huge issue with people going through their properties and tearing them up. Citations were written to all the drivers of the vehicles.

CO Jackie Miskovich was contacted about someone trespassing on private property who was tracking a deer. CO Miskovich contacted the suspect, and a confession was obtained regarding hunting on posted property as well as other farmland property in the surrounding area. The suspect also confessed to shooting a 7-point deer and that he tracked and recovered the deer onto property which he did not have permission to hunt. Evidence was seized and charges were submitted to Muskegon County.


CO John Byars received a RAP complaint about a small game hunter who had shot a hen turkey and was trespassing. CO Byars determined the hunter had been trespassing, committed larceny of a trail camera SD card, and was in possession of a turkey that he had not legally harvested. The investigation will be turned over to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review.


CO Bob Watson was on a late-night shining patrol when he backed up a St. Clair County Sheriff deputy on a shining stop. There were two young men inside the vehicle who were shining well after 11 p.m., were in possession of a loaded/cocked crossbow, and were transporting the weapon uncased. They stated they were only target practicing at a friend’s house before it got dark and decided to go for a drive due to being stressed out about coronavirus. It was approximately midnight when they were stopped. The crossbow and night vision optics were confiscated, and citations were issued for transporting an uncased/cocked crossbow, shining between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and possessing a weapon while shining.

While en route to Belle Isle, CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint from Clinton Township Police Department officers that they had a man pulled over on unrelated charges and he had a dead deer in the back of his pickup with no tag. CO Deppen spoke with the driver. The man did not have his hunting license or deer tags with him. The man said he shot the deer earlier in the day and was on his way home to get his kill-tags. CO Deppen issued the driver a citation for transporting a deer without a valid kill-tag attached.

COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were checking waterfowl hunters on Lake St. Clair. One hunter could not produce a federal waterfowl stamp and had no history of purchasing one. The hunter said, “I can show you a picture of my federal stamp.”  COs explained a photo of a stamp is not enough because it could be anyone’s stamp. The waterfowl hunter was cited for hunting waterfowl without a federal stamp.

During the beginning of a wildlife patrol, CO Joseph Deppen was passed on the right by a vehicle traveling on the shoulder. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was cited for driving a vehicle on the shoulder and was given warnings for speed and careless operation.

CO Mike Drexler received a baiting complaint on land open to hunting at the Waterloo Recreation Area. After foot patrolling the area, which included trips knee deep through a swamp, CO Drexler walked up on two subjects that drove a pickup truck onto state property from private property. Right as CO Drexler walked out into the open, he observed one subject finish dumping out a bag of carrots. When CO Drexler announced himself, the subject dumping the bait immediately stated, “I’m baiting, but a bucket is OK, right?”  CO Drexler pointed out that even a bucket was not lawful, but the subject had dumped three large bags of carrots and sugar beets. Citations were issued for bait deer and ORV on state land.

Sgt. Shane Webster was notified that a subject was deer hunting over bait in an area the local officers had been watching for several weeks. Sgt. Webster was able to contact the hunter who claimed that there had only been bait out during the Independence Hunt for another disabled veteran hunter. Sgt. Webster pointed out that the Independence Hunt had ended, and the subject had been witnessed dumping bait on that very day. The subject confessed he was using bait and corn was found covered by straw in front of the stand. A ticket was issued for baiting deer in a closed county.

CO Christopher Knights worked Belle Isle and located two individuals inside the zoo. They were carrying a blanket and bottle of wine. CO Knights pointed to the “no trespassing” sign they walked past and the fence around the entire area and advised them of the law. Both were issued trespassing citations.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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