Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 9, 2021
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling an intersection near the Porcupine Mountains ski hill when he observed a snowmobile fail to stop at a stop sign before crossing a road. CO Mapes attempted to stop the snowmobiler but was unable to get around the subject until after they had run through yet another intersection. Upon contacting the rider, CO Mapes noticed that the subject was visibly intoxicated. After field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test which read .18 blood alcohol content, over twice the legal limit, CO Mapes placed the rider under arrest for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated.
CO Jenni Hanson assisted a MSP trooper with a felonious assault incident in Bruce Crossing. An elderly male with a diminished mental status pointed a handgun at his son’s head. The officers responded, de-escalated the situation, and brought the elderly male to the hospital for evaluation.
CO Jeremy Sergey was heading out to check a lake in Marquette County when he discovered several bags of household trash dumped all over the road heading into the lake access site. After digging though several bags of cigarette butts and old lottery tickets, CO Sergey was able to identify to whom the trash belonged. CO Sergey went to the individual’s residence and obtained a confession after a very short interview. A citation was issued to the individual for littering.
COs Jeremy Sergey and John Kamps were patrolling near Station Road when a snowmobiler ran straight through a stop sign. CO Sergey caught up with the individual several miles down the trail and issued him a citation for careless operation of a snowmobile. The same intersection had a fatal snowmobile crash several years earlier.
CO Steve Butzin was conducting a night patrol on Little Bay de Noc. While on patrol CO Butzin encountered several anglers with lines that were not being attended, one being a tip-up that had a flag up for over 35 minutes prior to CO Butzin making contact. Upon contacting the anglers, they admitted to setting the lines and said they were going to check them when they woke up that morning. CO Butzin explained how lines must be in immediate attendance. Two anglers received citations for fishing without lines in immediate control.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin conducted a meat processor inspection and located a suspicious record. The COs followed up with the hunter who confessed to taking a 5-point buck without a license. The antlers and gun were seized, and a report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cole VanOosten received a call of an injury accident that occurred on a snowmobile in northern Luce County. CO VanOosten was first on scene and assisted with providing medical treatment and transporting the patient off the trail and into the ambulance. It was the rider’s first time riding a snowmobile and he had just rented the snowmobile earlier that morning. The rider made it approximately 30 miles before he hit a tree.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling on snowmobile in Mackinac County when he discovered a tip-up placed in the middle of a lake. The flag on the tip-up was up at the time it was located and there was no ID on the tip-up. CO VanOosten waited next to the tip-up for approximately 45 minutes before he was able to contact the angler. The angler admitted to setting the tip-up earlier that morning and not tending to it. CO VanOosten issued the man a ticket for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
CO Nathan Beelman observed a vehicle ahead of him cross the fog line multiple times and then cross over the center line twice. The vehicle then failed to signal before making a turn. CO Beelman initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who initially struggled to get the vehicle in to park and keep it from rolling away. The driver showed no signs of intoxication and was able to park the vehicle in a nearby parking lot. The driver was found to be 90 years old and was working on remodeling a home all day and was extremely tired. The subject fell asleep while CO Beelman was running the subject’s driver’s license. CO Beelman contacted a family member who was nearby and gave the driver a ride home. At the end of the contact, the elderly driver agreed that it was probably best not to drive after dark from now on.
CO Tom Oberg just began his shift when central dispatch advised a snowmobile crash had just occurred where the operator reportedly hit a tree. CO Oberg responded to the crash and located the operator on the snowmobile trail. The operator had attempted to negotiate a curve but lost control and hit a small tree with the rental snowmobile which threw her approximately 10 feet from the snowmobile. Luckily, the rider only sustained a sore knee from the accident and did not want medical attention.
CO Sidney Collins was contacted by a local homeowner in Montmorency County about a nuisance bird. The complainant was unsure what kind of bird it was at the time but stated it would follow people and vehicles down the road, even riding on truck beds or windshields at times. The complainant stated one time he was bringing in groceries and the bird walked into his home. CO Collins met with the homeowner and found the bird making all the ruckus. The bird was a male grouse. CO Collins was able to capture the bird and release it in a more remote location far from any homes.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were working a snowmobile enforcement sound meter patrol in Montmorency County when a 911 call was dispatched about a subject lunging towards moving cars while walking on the side of a county road. The COs were closest to the area and responded. The subject was non-compliant, very intoxicated, and had warrants in a local county.
CO Paul Fox concluded an ongoing investigation involving an individual who harvested an over-limit of bobcats in Presque Isle County during the 2019 bobcat season. CO Fox originally received an anonymous tip that a subject may have taken an illegal bobcat. CO Fox followed up with the complaint and was able to locate a fur processor in Michigan that received a bobcat from the suspect. Additionally, CO Fox located a fur processor in Minnesota that also received a bobcat from the suspect that same year. CO Charles McPherson assisted in follow up inspections and evidence collection. CO Fox interviewed the suspect, who admitted to taking an over-limit of bobcats and taking bobcat during closed season the previous year. Charges were submitted and authorized by the prosecutor’s office.
CO Paul Fox was checking ice anglers on Tomahawk Flooding when he saw a group of anglers with several tip-ups out. One of the anglers admitted to setting too many lines, but stated the extra line was just to test a new prototype lure. Unconventional as it was, the “prototype” lure still had a hook and was capable of catching fish. Another member of the fishing party assured the CO that the subject had a fishing license because they purchased their licenses together at the same time. When the CO checked the subject’s license purchase history, it revealed that the person had not purchased a fishing license since 2018. Confronted with this new information, the subject stated that their mother usually buys their fishing license and that the mother must have forgot. Tickets were issued for fishing with too many lines and fishing without a license.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Trail 449 in Montmorency County. He observed a snowmobile drive through the stop sign at a high rate of speed without even attempting to slow down. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a stop on the snowmobile. Upon contact, the operator stated that he knew no cars or other snowmobiles were coming so he did not think he had to stop. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket.
In Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews investigated reports of a sow black bear with cubs that had been illegally killed during the summer of 2020. CO Andrews, along with COs Brian Brosky, Josiah Killingbeck, and Sgt. Grant Emery served a search warrant at the residence of the suspect later in 2020. During the search, the bear was recovered from the property. Evidence was seized, including firearms and cell phones. Due to the statements made during the interview with the suspect and the evidence found, CO Andrews requested charges through the Lake County Court, an arrest warrant was approved for the suspect. Prior to the scheduled trial in February of 2021, the suspect plead guilty to illegally taking the bear. The suspect and the Lake County prosecutor agreed to five days imprisonment in the Lake County Jail, $3,500 in restitution, $400 in court costs, a loss of hunting privileges for three years, and if all penalties are not fulfilled in one year, the loss of rifles that were seized as evidence.
CO Steve Converse was patrolling ice anglers when he observed two subjects fishing that appeared to be fishing with nine lines. CO Converse observed that one of the tip-ups had a flag up for over a half hour. CO Converse contacted the subjects and one of the subjects standing outside the shanty stated those three tip-ups over there did not belong to them. The subject then pointed to a vehicle that had just pulled up and was quickly turning around to leave. The subject on the ice explained that the subjects in the vehicle had set the three tip-ups several hours earlier and left. CO Converse was able to get to his patrol truck and catch up to the subjects several miles away. Upon contacting the subjects in the vehicle, they admitted that the tip-ups on the lake were theirs and they had left to go downhill skiing. CO Converse escorted the subjects back to the lake and verified that the tip-ups belonged to them. CO Converse cited one of the subjects for leaving the lines unattended.
CO Josh Reed concluded an investigation from the firearms deer season. Two subjects were caught on a trail camera trespassing and not wearing hunter orange. The subjects were identified, and interviews were conducted with both individuals admitting to the hunter orange and trespassing violations. The report was sent over to the prosecutor’s office for review.
COs Ben Shively and Micah Hintze were on snowmobile patrol when they observed a snowmobile displaying an expired registration that was over 20 years old and no trail permit. CO Shively conducted a stop on the snowmobile and found the driver to be operating with a suspended driver’s license. Subject cited.
COs Breanna Reed, Matt Zultak, and Ben McAteer were checking anglers on Higgins Lake in Roscommon County when they witnessed several tip-ups set up around three ice shanties. The COs contacted the anglers and established what tip-ups belonged to which anglers. One of the anglers admitted to having six lines in the water but the COs still had three tip-ups unaccounted for. The anglers said the tip-ups did not belong to any of them. After further investigation, CO Reed noticed a distinct knee pad print next to each of the tip-ups. CO Reed recalled one of the anglers she had talked with earlier had grey knee pads on. COs Reed and Zultak re-contacted the angler and asked where his knee pads had gone. The angler stated he did not have knee pads. CO Reed was positive he had knee pads on at the time of initial contact. After looking around, CO Reed was able to locate the knee pads buried under the snow next to another angler’s shanty. The angler confessed to having too many lines out and stated he hid the knee pads. Citations were issued for fishing with more than three lines and no name/address on tip-ups.
CO Jesse Grzechowski checked a group of ice anglers while on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County. Upon contact with the anglers, CO Grzechowski watched one of the anglers pull a jigging rod out of the water and quickly stash it in a bucket. CO Grzechowski asked the angler how many lines he was fishing with. The angler held up a different rod that was also in the water and said he had two tip-ups out for a total of three lines. CO Grzechowski asked about the other rod he had stashed into a bucket and the angler said he was not fishing with it. CO Grzechowski advised the angler that he watched him fishing with it. The angler denied fishing with the rod three times before admitting to fishing with it and having too many lines out. CO Grzechowski checked the angler’s record for prior violations which revealed he had been previously charged two times for fishing with too many lines. A citation was issued.
COs Craig Neal and Josh Wright patrolled road ends along Saginaw Bay in Arenac County checking anglers as they came off the ice. They were checking three anglers who just came off the ice when CO Wright asked how many fish they had caught. Two of them stated that they did not do very well and maybe had 10 fish between the two of them. The third angler stated he was not sure but that he had not done very well either. CO Neal asked to look at his fish. The angler ended up having 39 perch in his minnow bucket, 14 over the legal limit. CO Neal issued the angler a citation.
While patrolling western Midland County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a side-by-side operating down the middle of a roadway at a high rate of speed. Due to poor road conditions, CO Haas caught up to the ORV, but he witnessed it operate onto state land and predicted where the ORV would return to the roadway. CO Haas drove around the large section of state land and intercepted the ORV after it had illegally operated through a wetland and over a stream. A citation was issued to the operator for the ORV violations.
CO Matt Page checked anglers over the week and issued one citation for fishing without a license to a subject who had not purchased a license in over four years. Additionally, a 17-year-old was warned for fishing without a license. CO Page showed the new angler how to purchase a license online and he was educated on the licensing laws.
CO James Nason responded to a complaint that was called into Kalamazoo County Dispatch Center. The caller stated that one of her front windows to her home was shattered due to a large bird that had flown into it. Upon arrival, a red-tailed hawk was found sitting on the woman’s front porch. CO Nason was able to catch the hawk without incident. The bird was then delivered to a licensed raptor rehabilitator. The facility hopes to rehabilitate the injured bird as it appeared to have only superficial injuries.
CO Chris Reynolds worked a report all poaching (RAP) complaint in Jackson County where a landowner’s dog was caught in a trap and the landowner noticed the trap was untagged. CO Reynolds walked the complainant’s property and located several other traps without tags. CO Reynolds patrolled the area around the complainant’s property and contacted a trapper as he was coming onto the complainant’s property. The trapper did not have any of his traps tagged and he did not have a fur harvester’s license. The complainant stated he did not want to prosecute for trespassing. A citation was issued for using untagged traps and for not having a fur harvester license.
CO Chris Reynolds, while patrolling Jackson County, observed building materials dumped in a state game area. CO Reynolds located a recent receipt to a store with the person’s name and account number. CO Reynolds interviewed the subject who said an employee was supposed to have dumped the items at a landfill. The individual contacted the employee who showed up and confessed to taking the items to the game area. CO Reynolds issued a citation for littering and the employee cleaned up the items.
CO Pete Purdy assisted DNR Parks and Recreation Division officers with enforcement of an event at the Lake Chemung boat launch. A permit for the event had been denied by PRD. The organizer still carried on with an ice fishing tournament, using the boat launch for activities. The organizer told attendees to park anywhere they could, resulting in unsafe conditions on the roadway and at the launch. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department towed several vehicles, and PRD staff issued several parking tickets at the launch. The event organizers expected 2,000 attendees for the tournament.
CO Todd Thorn was working coyote hunters in Ingham and Livingston Counties when he observed two vehicles driving slowly on a county road. The closest truck had two dead coyotes in the truck bed. CO Thorn contacted the driver and found he had an uncased shotgun next to him on the passenger seat. CO Thorn also located a loaded rifle in the backseat area of the truck. A ticket was issued.
CO Larn R. Strawn conducted a patrol of Clinton County focused on coyote hunting activity. He located a group of hunters with dogs chasing a coyote. CO Strawn contacted and checked the hunters. CO Strawn discovered two uncased rifles in the seat between the driver and passenger. CO Strawn also discovered spent casings matching the rifles scattered across the vehicle on both the driver and passenger floor as well as in the seats. The hunters admitted to shooting from the vehicle. CO Strawn issued citations for possession of uncased rifles in a vehicle. Verbal warnings given for hunting with no hunter orange as well as attempting to take animals from, in, or upon a motor vehicle.
CO Dave Schaumburger assisted CO William Kinney by investigating a complaint of a short muskellunge being harvested. CO Schaumburger interviewed the subject at his residence. The subject said that he and a friend were fishing when he caught a giant muskie. He measured it with his tip-ups and approximated it at 48 inches in which he knew it was over the 42-minimum size-limit. He said that he also looked up a fishing guide online to be sure and it confirmed his thoughts but also that he did not see any footnotes. When he and his associates returned to their cabin, he looked up in the current online fishing guide again and saw the footnote and realized he made a mistake. He said he was upset that he made a mistake and decided to self-report because it was weighing on his conscience. The fish was filleted. CO Kinney went to the location provided and picked up what fillets were left. Further investigation revealed that a genuine mistake had taken place. The subject was educated on his mistake by CO Schaumburger. A property seizure receipt was issued, and the remaining fillets were later donated.
CO Ben Lasher followed up on a RAP complaint where a property owner found his dog in a snare, set by a trespasser. CO Lasher was able to locate fresh tracks and other illegal snares with no tags, cable stop or enough swivels, and followed the tracks back to a neighbor’s property where he was able to contact a suspect who admitted to setting the snares. The dog owner did not have his property line fenced or posted so a recreational trespass charge could not be added to the trapping violations. A warrant will be sought for fail to tag snares and a second charge for the lack of required gear.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Ray Gardner were patrolling Lake St. Clair for snowmobile violations. CO Gardner stopped a snowmobile who sped past within 100 feet of an ice shanty. When asked about it, the operator said he didn’t see the ice shanty there. When CO Gardner informed the operator, he would be receiving a ticket, the operator asked CO Gardner if he needed to make his quota for the month. CO Gardner informed the operator that he doesn’t have a “quota” to meet. The COs explained to the operator that the State of Michigan doesn’t get any money for the ticket he would be receiving. He was informed that an angler was recently killed by a snowmobile for the exact reason he was stopped. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Brad Silorey received a complaint called into DNR Dispatch about several individuals who had speared and kept a tiger muskie on Lake St. Clair. CO Silorey contacted the subjects to see what they had speared. The subjects stated that they had just speared the one “pike.” After a brief look at the fish, it was evident that the fish was not a pike, but a tiger muskie. CO Silorey explained that it was illegal to spear muskie on Lake St. Clair, and that it was out of season and undersized. The angler stated that “It was a pike when it swam into the hole.” After speaking with the anglers further, they stated that immediately after throwing the spear they realized that it was a tiger muskie. Citation issued.