Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 12, 2021

DISTRICT 1

CO Jared Ferguson received multiple complaints from a property owner regarding ORVs going around his gate and past his no trespassing signs in western Dickinson County. CO Ferguson continued to patrol the area frequently and eventually ran into an ORV on the individual’s property. The operator said that he had been taking the trail for years and nobody cared about the trespassing signs. The operator was written a citation for ORV trespassing and escorted from the private property.

CO Jeremy Sergey checked multiple anglers. Several warnings were issued for individuals not having their fishing licenses on them and for unlabeled tip-ups. One individual told CO Sergey he had his license but did not have it on him and seemed surprised when CO Sergey proceeded to verify his purchase history via his portable radio. While verifying his purchase history, the individual admitted he did not purchase a fishing license this year. CO Sergey learned the individual had not purchased any type of hunting or fishing license since 2016. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.

CO Cody Smith stopped by the Baraga DNR Customer Service Center to talk to a biologist when a trapper came in to check his fur. Upon checking the furs, some issues were observed. The individual brought in two bobcat and two fisher pelts with only one bobcat skull. To add to this, none of the animals were tagged. When asked to see the tags for the animals, the individual provided four 2020 tags none of which were validated. When asked about the two fishers, the trapper stated that one was an incidental from last year. This was verified from an email earlier in the year. CO Smith followed up with the trapper at their residence and discussed the many violations that seemed to be accidental on their part. The trapper agreed that they had messed up. Enforcement action was taken, and one citation was issued for the tagging violations.

DISTRICT 2

COs Cole VanOosten and Mark Zitnik stopped at a home in Grand Marias to follow up on a late pine marten and fisher registration. When the COs arrived, they asked the man, who was splitting wood at the time, about his deer season. He explained how poor it was, but he managed to shoot a buck the last day of bow season using his old Browning bow. The COs were invited into the garage with the gentleman to look at the deer. Inside they observed evidence that led them to believe the deer had been shot with a crossbow. The COs asked the hunter to grab his bow; he picked up the dusty bow and attempted to shoot at a target. The man tried for several minutes to pull back the bow string back but was unable. He then confessed to shooting the deer with his crossbow instead. After the COs informed the man of the legal action that would need to take place, he stated he thought he could use the crossbow if he were 65 or older. He also stated that he did not want to let anyone know he could not pull a compound bow back anymore. A warning was issued for the fur registration and a report will be sent to the Alger County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges for the illegal deer.

CO Todd Sumbera contacted a group of three ice anglers on an inland lake in Mackinac County. Before making contact, CO Sumbera observed a total of 11 tip-ups that were set. Upon making contact, one individual stated that he was not fishing, “Just making sure nobody falls through the ice.” CO Sumbera then asked the other two anglers how many lines they were legally allowed to fish with? One of the anglers replied, “Four?” CO Sumbera explained to the anglers that even if that were the case they would still be in violation since they had 11 lines in the water and their friend was not fishing. After further investigation it was also found that neither of the individuals had their name and address on any of the tip-ups. Citations were issued for fishing with more than three lines and for no name/address on tip-up.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster were patrolling the Jordan River Valley on snowmobiles when they contacted two snowmobilers that did not have trail permits. One rider was given a warning for failing to transfer title and both operators were issued tickets for no trail permits. A comment was made by one of the riders that it was not right that COs were out working on a Sunday evening.

CO Jon Sklba was patrolling northbound on US 23 in Presque Isle County when a vehicle ran a stop sign, forcing the CO off the roadway to avoid a collision. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle. The operator offered no excuse for running the stop sign, additionally he was operating an uninsured vehicle with expired registration. The operator was issued a ticket for failing to stop at the stop sign. CO Sklba submitted a report for operating without insurance. The vehicle was impounded.

CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a snowmobile that went through the ice on Fletchers Pond in Alpena County. The operator of the machine was able to get himself out, but the snowmobile sunk. CO Curtis arranged a recovery service to remove the snowmobile from the water. The snowmobile was removed later that day. Anglers are reminded that ice is unpredictable, and caution must be used when traveling on ice-covered water.

DISTRICT 4

COs Brian Brosky and Ryan Andrews were checking snowmobile activity at a trail intersection when they were contacted by two snowmobilers who appeared to be a bit frantic. They explained to the COs that one of their friends had just crashed, his sled was disabled, and he had received an injury to his arm. The COs were able to follow the two snowmobilers about three miles to a location on the snowmobile trail where they located the injured snowmobiler, who appeared to have a broken wrist. The COs were able to transport the injured person to a waiting ambulance where he was then transported to a local hospital. The injured person’s snowmobile was towed away by the friends who told the COs that they were grateful that they happened upon them, as they had no idea how long it was going to take to travel to a location to get help for their friend. They were not familiar with the area and they did not have cell service to call for help.

CO Angela Greenway responded to a compliant on Hills Lake about tip-ups being left out unattended and overnight for several nights. CO Greenway was able to locate several tip-ups on the ice with no one around. CO Greenway was able to identify the house where the owner of the tips-up resides and contacted an occupant who confirmed that the tip-ups belonged to them. CO Greenway pulled eight tip-ups and one had a 21-inch pike on the line. Citations were issued for unattended lines to the anglers responsible.

CO Angela Greenway received a complaint of an injured bald eagle in the Fife Lake area. CO Greenway arrived at the address and met the homeowner who indicated that he had been seeing this juvenile bald eagle for a few days now walking on the snow but never flying away. CO Greenway was able to track the bird in the snow and locate it. The injured eagle was captured and transported to a rehabilitator facility.

CO Angela Greenway received a compliant of an injured turkey in a driveway near Big Rapids. Upon arrival, CO Greenway immediately identified the bird not to be a wild turkey but a domestic chicken. CO Greenway was able to capture the chicken and advised the complainant that it was a chicken, not a turkey. The complainant was asked if any neighbors had chickens. He was surprised it was a chicken but then said that yes, his neighbors south of him had chickens, and that they had gotten out a couple of days ago. After three days CO Greenway finally was able to contact someone at the residence and reunite “Roscoe the Rescued Chicken” with its owner.

DISTRICT 5

COs Ben McAteer and Matt Zultak conducted a snowmobile patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County. While on patrol, COs McAteer and Zultak located six tip-ups baited with minnows. After talking with several groups of anglers in the surrounding area, the COs determined the tip-ups were left unattended. After an hour of waiting, CO McAteer began tracking three sets of footprints to a hotel approximately a quarter of a mile away. The tracks led to a hotel room on the main floor and contact with the fisherman. The subject stated the lines were left in the water unattended because his 4-year-old son had to use the bathroom, and they decided to go out for dinner after that. A citation was issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control.

COs Jesse Grzechowski, Kyle Bader, and Brad Bellville assisted with the recovery of three missing individuals on state land in northern Ogemaw County. They had been reported missing earlier in the week. The bodies of both adults as well as the eight month old infant were located. COs were called to assist in recovery of the bodies. The investigation is being conducted by the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Department.

DISTRICT 6

No new reports

DISTRICT 7

CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when Berrien County dispatch put out an unknown injury accident near his location. CO Bauer responded and was first on scene to the accident. A passenger car appears to have not stopped at a stop sign and pulled out in front of an empty dump truck. CO Bauer checked both occupants of the vehicles for injuries. CO Bauer was assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department who arrested one of the drivers for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

While on patrol, CO Matt Page observed a vehicle lose control, and he was nearly struck head-on before the vehicle left the roadway. Luckily the operator missed the CO, several trees, and a nearby swamp. CO Page contacted the driver who was uninjured. A local tow company was called to pull the vehicle out of the ditch and a citation was issued for driving too fast for conditions.

CO Kyle McQueer assisted the Barry County Sheriff’s Department with a motor vehicle accident in which a car left the roadway and crashed into a sea wall on Gun Lake. Upon arrival, the officers found the vehicle was hanging over the water. Further investigation determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated and lodged at the Barry County Jail.

CO Kyle McQueer came upon a two-car accident in Allegan County. He advised Allegan County Central Dispatch and checked the occupants for injury. While investigating the accident with the Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy, CO McQueer observed a marijuana pipe on the floorboard of the driver side seat. Another marijuana pipe was located on the driver’s person. The Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy ran the individual through standardized field sobriety tests and determined the driver was under the influence of marijuana. The individual was arrested for operating under the influence of marijuana and was lodged at the Allegan County Jail.

COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were performing marine maintenance on a vessel when they received a complaint of anglers using more than three lines per person in Muskegon Lake. The COs investigated the complaint. Upon contact it was found that there were indeed too many lines being used. A citation was issued for fishing with more than three lines. A warning was issued for failing to properly label one’s tip-ups.

DISTRICT 8

CO Larn R. Strawn participated in meetings and training with local K-9 handlers and their patrol dogs. CO Strawn worked with deputies, officers and Tactical Response Team members from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Lansing Police Department, and a private security police Tier 1 Explosive Ordinance team. CO Strawn coordinated the meetings and training to facilitate professional development and to strengthen relationships with local law enforcement partners.

CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a homeless person living in a local state game area. CO Strawn located and contacted the man. The man explained that he is currently displaced from his home because of issues related to COVID-19. CO Strawn discovered the man had a valid camp registration card posted and was lawfully camping. CO Strawn explained the land use rules, camping requirements, and advised him to move to a new location at least a mile away if he chose to continue camping. CO Strawn is contacting local community services to assist the camper with a better housing solution.

CO Nick Wellman was patrolling for waterfowl hunters in Branch County when he located a group hunting open water of a local lake. CO Wellman hiked in and observed them for several hours leading up to the close of legal hunting hours. CO Wellman waited as they kept calling at birds after legal hunting hours. Eventually, 12 minutes after shooting time ended, one man stood up and shot at a group of geese going over. CO Wellman made contact and the man confessed to shooting 12 minutes late. A citation was issued to the man for the violation.

DISTRICT 9

Sgt. Jason Becker worked with CO Tom Peterson on an incident where a snowmobiler went through the ice on Wolverine Lake. The subject was pulled from the lake by the Oakland County Marine Division and later pronounced dead at the hospital. Both COs worked with local agencies on reporting responsibilities and are working on removing the snowmobile from the lake.

CO Bob Watson responded to a complaint of two ice anglers fishing on an old gravel pit that is privately owned. CO Watson contacted the two anglers who claimed they thought it had recently been bought by the county and was now public. CO Watson followed the two fishermen back to the road, passing multiple “No Trespassing” signs. CO Watson then issued both men citations for recreational trespass while they waited for their ride to take them home, since they had been dropped off.

COs Ray Gardner and Jaime Salisbury checked ice anglers on Twin Lake in the Lapeer State Game Area (SGA). During one of the checks, an angler had two northern pike that were caught on a tip-up. When the COs measured the fish, they both were less than the required 24 inches. The angler was issued a citation for taking undersize northern pike.

CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Chris Maher were headed to the district office when they noticed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed. As the COs were about to stop one vehicle, another silver BMW grabbed their attention. The vehicle was traveling at 107 mph in a 70-mph zone, tailgating drivers, and did not use any turn signals. A traffic stop was conducted on an unhappy and uncooperative driver. She was cited for careless driving.

While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Keven Luther issued five verbal warnings to youths for trespassing into the Belle Isle Zoo. The youths were given the choice between picking up litter and receiving a citation. All individuals chose to pick up litter. CO Luther also issued a citation to one individual for driving while license suspended.

GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT

Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was called by an Oceana County Sheriff Deputy for a snowy owl that could not fly and was sitting on the beach along Lake Michigan. Cpl. VanGelderen arrived with a fishing net, and the officers caught the owl. The owl was transported to North Sky Raptor Rehabbing in Interlochen where it is being nursed back to health since the owl was malnourished. 

Cpl. Nick Torsky responded to several questions regarding the commercial bait industry, including collaborating with Cpl. Busken and EIS Detective Luce on a case concerning the dumping of water used to haul bait by a commercial operator. That investigation is scheduled for follow-up.

Cpl. Mike Hammill walked in on a fresh boot trail to discover several bobcat sets, the first 330 trap was tagged with the trapper’s name and the additional traps were not. Cpl. Hammill contacted the trapper asking him to tag the additional traps.

Cpl. Brett DeLonge patrolled several Marquette County lakes on snowmobile. Several anglers were contacted during the patrol and compliance was high. Cpl. DeLonge also conducted several snowmobile checks with only a few minor violations that were addressed.

Cpl. Sean Kehoe patrolled East and West Grand Traverse Bays looking for commercial fishing activity. Activity seems to be low due to the winter months. A few sport fishing perch boats were spotted but that was it. Ice fishing in the area is moderate with minimal ice conditions making it questionable on some lakes.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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