Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 12, 2021
CO Jeffrey Dell responded to a deer stuck in a baseball diamond. The deer was unable to hop the fence or locate the opening. CO Dell was able to herd the deer out of the diamond without incident.
CO Josh Boudreaux received a report that an individual in Negaunee had just shot a deer after dark and was actively tracking it through their backyard. Due to the distance from the complaint, CO Boudreaux called Cpl. Brett DeLonge, who was off-duty, and the Negaunee City Police Department to request their assistance. Upon their arrival on scene, all the blinds in the residence quickly closed and the officers observed an untagged deer hanging in the garage. The property owner finally came to the door and led the officers into the garage. CO Boudreaux and Cpl. DeLonge interviewed the individual, who still had both deer tags in his pocket, who eventually admitted to shooting the deer at a different location, earlier in the day with a firearm. The subject refused to say anything further. Further investigation revealed fresh blood near a large bait pile in his backyard and many sets of truck and ORV tracks. The individual was cited for possessing an untagged deer, the deer was seized and donated to a local family, and the investigation will continue with further charges brought forth at a later date.
CO Jeremy Sergey was at a DNR field office when an individual stopped in to register a fisher. It was six days after the closure of the mandatory fisher registration. An interview revealed the individual trapped the fisher five days after the season closure and he had attempted to make arrangements with a local taxidermist to drop it off. A citation was issued for taking a fisher out of season and the animal was seized.
COs Andrea Dani and Mark Zitnik responded to a complaint of a Trenary man who possessed a live raccoon. CO Zitnik knew the residence well because he seized six raccoon kits from the residence last summer. At that time, the man was given a warning for keeping wild raccoons as pets. When the COs arrived, the man said he would not give up the wild animal. He also informed the COs he had weapons in the house and dogs that would attack them if they entered. After the brief conversation, the man fled back into the house and the COs observed the large dogs snarling at the door. The man returned several minutes later with the raccoon. The raccoon bit him as he attempted to put it in the animal carrier. Alger County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Grahovac arrived and lodged the man for a probation violation. A report will be sent to the Alger County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges.
COs Todd Sumbera and Cole VanOosten were on a shining patrol of Mackinac County when they observed an ORV turn down a section of trail near where they were located. The COs observed the operator cast an artificial light over several fields as he continued on the trail. The COs followed the ORV for several miles and observed him disregard a stop sign on the ORV trail as well as two stop signs on the main road. The COs activated their emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The driver looked back at the COs and increased speed, taking a sharp right turn across a roadside ditch and into the backyard of a nearby residence. The driver drove a short distance before he exited the vehicle and fled on foot. As the driver exited the vehicle, he looked back a second time at the COs’ patrol vehicle with emergency lights activated and began running. As he ran, the COs observed him holding onto a small spotlight which he threw towards the woods. A foot pursuit ensued, and the COs apprehended the suspect a short distance away. The suspect was placed under arrest for flee and elude, and upon a search incident to arrest, it was determined that the subject was carrying a fully loaded revolver in his chest pocket. The subject did not have a concealed pistol license and had a suspended driver’s license. Two spotlights and the revolver were recovered and seized as evidence. The subject was lodged in the Mackinac County jail for flee and elude, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm in commission of a crime, operate while suspended, and shining with a weapon in possession.
CO Andrea Erratt checked an 80-year-old hunter who had shot a large cow elk. CO Erratt helped the guide, the hunter, and his friend load the elk in the guide’s truck.
CO Eric Bottorff reports the results of a verdict in Cheboygan County District Court involving a bull elk hunter who had shot two elk during the 2020 September season. The subject pleaded guilty and paid $5,000 in restitution for the extra illegal elk killed.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol assigned to the elk hunt detail when he responded to a report of a hunter that wounded a bull elk. The hunter and the guide attempted to locate blood and tracks in the snow, which proved challenging due to the wounded elk getting back into the herd. CO Oberg assisted following the minuscule blood trail tracking it for approximately one and a half miles. Upon locating the elk, it was determined it was still alive. CO Oberg advised to wait and not to continue to push the elk possibly causing more harm. After waiting several hours, the elk was located deceased, and the hunter collected the harvest.
CO Sidney Collins was working the elk hunt when a lost hunter was reported in Montmorency County. CO Collins was in the area and was able to quickly locate the hunter in the Pigeon River Forest. The hunter stated he shot a cow elk and when he went to walk out of the woods his cell phone died, preventing him for calling for help or assisting him with directions. At this point, the hunter was found but was unable to recall where the cow elk he shot was. COs Collins and Nathan Beelman were able to assist the hunter in finding his dead cow elk. The COs then assisted in pulling the elk out of the woods for the hunter.
Sgt. Mike Mshar and CO Sidney Collins assisted CO Jon Sheppard with a bull elk kill in Montmorency County. A bull elk was found dead during the late elk hunt. The bull was claimed by two different hunters who both claimed to have shot at a similar sized elk. A necropsy was performed to retrieve the bullet. The bullet was measured and found to belong to one of the hunters. Ironically, it was not the hunter who gutted the bull elk.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling the elk hunt when he received a complaint of a hunter in Otsego County who had shot a spike bull elk and had only a cow elk tag. It was determined that the hunter had also shot a second elk which was never located. The spike bull was seized and will be donated to a family in need. Charges are currently pending with the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Amanda McCurdy received a complaint of a deer that was possibly shot while the hunter was trespassing on private property. She responded to the area and located where a deer had recently been shot and dragged across the roadway. The property owner, who lives out of the area, confirmed that no one had permission to hunt the property and there should not have been anyone on it. CO McCurdy returned to the area and followed the blood trail across the roadway and onto a nearby property. She then located a bait pile with fresh blood and conducted an interview at the residence. The individual confessed to shooting a deer over bait and then trespassed to retrieve it. The deer was seized, and charges are being filed through the Benzie County District Court.
COs Josh Russell and Ethan Gainforth conducted an interview on a subject regarding a complaint about a deer shot without a license. The COs contacted the subject at his residence where he stated he had a tag for the buck and his brother had pictures to prove when he shot it. The COs tracked down the brother and deer head at a local taxidermist. The brother told a similar story, but the tag told a different story. COs Russell and Gainforth went back and interviewed the suspect again. This time they were able to get a full confession. Charges are being sought through the Gladwin County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Craig Neal was checking anglers as they came off the first ice of the year at Eagle Bay Marina in Arenac County. CO Neal asked two anglers how they did. They stated they caught four walleyes and four perch. CO Neal measured the four walleyes and all four were under the legal size limit of 13 inches. CO Neal issued a citation to both anglers.
CO Zach Bauer was contacted by a deputy from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department in reference to a safety zone complaint he was working. CO Bauer checked into service and assisted with the complaint. A sheriff’s deputy arrested one hunter for possessing a firearm while a convicted felon. Another hunter did not have a waterfowl hunting license and had not taken hunter safety. CO Bauer issued a citation for the licensing issue.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg received a trespass complaint of a hunter trespassing to retrieve a deer on the complainant’s property. The COs contacted the complainant and he showed them the blood trail and where the deer died on his property. There were drag marks leading to the road. CO Varriale followed a blood trial from the point of death through a swamp and to a property to the south of the complainant’s property. At the property, CO Varriale located a bait pile and a point of impact of where the deer was shot. As CO Varriale approached the residence, he witnessed a man skinning a doe. CO Varriale contacted the individual and noticed the deer was not tagged. A short investigation revealed the deer was killed the night prior and the suspect stated he does not tag his harvested deer. The suspect admitted to shooting the deer over his bait pile. CO Varriale issued a citation for the violations.
CO Edward Rice assisted the Somerset Police Department with a breaking and entering in-progress. CO Rice and the Somerset Police Department were able to locate the suspect behind a barn. CO Rice contacted the property owner who had not given the suspect permission to be on the property or access the barn. The suspect was arrested without issue and transported to the Hillsdale County jail.
CO Nick Wellman was at home when a complaint came in through Station 20 of a man who watched someone shoot from a vehicle after dark. CO Wellman stayed on the phone with the complainant while he got his uniform on and responded. The complainant was able to update CO Wellman with the suspect’s location as they were still in the field looking for the deer. CO Wellman was just leaving his residence as the suspects were leaving the property. CO Wellman was able to get a vehicle description from the complainant and located the vehicle as it was leaving the area. CO Wellman conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the occupants. After separating the two men, full confessions were obtained on shooting at a deer after dark from inside the vehicle along with other violations. The firearm used was seized, and charges will be sought through the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Pete Purdy assisted the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department with a 911 call of a suicidal subject. The subject was threatening to burn his condominium down and was sending pictures of himself with a belt around his neck to his ex-girlfriend. Upon arrival the subject was very uncooperative. He was eventually taken into protective custody without incident.
CO Todd Thorn was on patrol in Jackson County when he observed a vehicle parked in a strange location on the side of the road facing traffic. He ran the plate and found that it did not belong to the vehicle. CO Thorn then had a woman run to his truck saying that the parked vehicle was hers. She said that she was visiting some friends at the house where she had come from. There was a locked gate across the front of the driveway, so CO Thorn became suspicious. CO Thorn asked for the woman’s identification and she said she did not have one. He then asked for her name and checked the name for driving status and warrants. The woman had two warrants for her arrest, including one felony for drug possession. CO Thorn handcuffed and searched the woman and found a small amount of methamphetamine (meth) on her. He also impounded and searched her vehicle and found more suspected meth in the vehicle. The woman was lodged at the Jackson County jail on her warrants. CO Thorn will be seeking charges through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for several crimes.
CO Justin Muehlhauser followed up on a tip from Metro Police Authority and the Bishop International Airport police regarding a large bait pile bordering their property. The CO checked the area and discovered approximately 15 to 20 gallons of bait. CO Muehlhauser followed up with the property owner who provided a name for the hunter on their property. The suspect did not dispute that he placed the bait. He also stated that he has hunted and intended to hunt the location. He was cited for making use of bait to aid in the taking of deer.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey conducted an interview about a deer taken on private property. The offender said he took the doe behind his house. The COs asked about bait, and the offender said, “Yes there is corn back here, I’ll be honest, and it will save you the walk back there.” The COs needed the exercise and walked to the back of the property with the owner and found corn and the gut pile. The COs also noticed a sign stating, “baiting for deer is illegal”. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Joseph Deppen assisted on an ongoing case spearheaded by CO Justin Vanderlinde of Benzie County. CO Vanderlinde executed a search warrant and found suspects who possibly stole a large hunting platform blind and took it down state. Through a series of search warrants and interviews, COs Deppen and Vanderlinde located the stolen hunting blind and trailer. The investigation also uncovered at least two 8-point deer that were illegally taken in the 2020 season. Various violations that were uncovered range from illegal deer, hunting without licenses, and larceny over $1,000. Charges are being sought through the St. Clair County and Benzie County Prosecutor’s Offices. The case is ongoing, and more charges will possibly be sought.
CO Joseph Deppen worked the late duck season two-day split and observed a vessel tending to a layout rig. The layout hunter shot a duck and crippled it. The tender boat went to get the duck and it was quite mobile. The hunter in the tender was shooting his shotgun in one hand and operating the motor in the other. The hunter went and grabbed his compatriot from the layout rig and together they continued to have loaded firearms in a motorized vessel and kept shooting at the duck under power. CO Deppen contacted the hunters. Numerous marine safety warnings were given, and citations were issued for loaded firearm in a motorized boat.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was contacted by a local meat processor of an out-of-state deer being dropped off at their facility. CO Ingersoll was in the area and was able to respond to the processing facility and met with the suspect who had dropped off an Ohio deer to be processed. CO Ingersoll was advised by the processing facility that they had advised the suspect that he could not bring a deer across the state line unless it met the legal criteria. CO Ingersoll spoke with the suspect who still dropped off a doe that he had shot in Ohio. The suspect stated that he thought he could still get it processed in Michigan. CO Ingersoll explained the importance of not transporting deer across the state line and issued the suspect a citation for importing/possessing an out of state cervid in Michigan. The deer was seized and properly disposed.
CO Joseph Deppen was finishing up checking waterfowl hunters when a complaint came in about multiple vehicles trespassing on private property. CO Deppen arrived on scene and located two out of three suspect vehicles. The third vehicle was stuck in a swamp and could not get pulled out. A tow service towed the vehicle out of the swamp. All three subjects were given verbal warnings on ORV trespass and using ORVs to cause erosive conditions. They were all issued citations for operating an unlicensed ORV.