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Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 2, 2021


Conservation Officer Ethen Mapes responded to a medical call involving an elderly female whose oxygen machine had quit working. Upon arrival, the subject was having difficulty breathing. The subject pointed CO Mapes to a closet with an oxygen tank inside. CO Mapes retrieved the oxygen tank and was able to get the subject’s breathing back to normal.

CO Jeffrey Dell checked a boat and kayak coming into a launch along a local river. No personal flotation devices (PFDs) were in either the boat or the kayak for the three subjects aboard. Upon further inspection CO Dell observed two beaver traps in the front of the boat that were tagged with another’s name. When asked, the operator of the boat claimed he believed beaver trapping to have ended and had taken the traps to turn in to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). CO Dell informed him that he was not permitted to take the traps even if the season was closed. A citation for failure to provide enough PFDs was issued. The owner of the traps elected not to press charges for theft and trapper harassment.

CO Anna Viau received a call from an Iron River police officer who had found a recently deceased beaver under a tire in the back of a truck he had impounded for Malicious Destruction of Property violations. CO Viau looked up the registered owner of the truck on the DNR’s Retail Sales System (RSS) and found that he did not have a fur harvester license. CO Viau met with the Iron River officer and examined the impounded truck. She seized the beaver as evidence, then jointly interviewed the suspect with the Iron River officer. The suspect admitted to trapping the beaver without a license. He stated he had attempted to purchase a license but was unable to due to it being after April 1. Charges are pending with the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Anna Viau gave a presentation to the Environmental Science class at Kingsford High School about Michigan conservation officers. She discussed the training and job duties of the career, as well as some previous cases she and other conservation officers had been involved in.


CO Mike Olesen was checked a local boat launch for anglers. During the patrol, a father and son who were launching their boat had a medical emergency. CO Olesen used supplies from his medical kit to assist with care of the wound sustained during the launch, allowing the father to transport his son to the local emergency room for treatment.

CO Andrea Dani received a report of a car versus moose accident on M-28 near Deerton. The driver was not injured in the crash, and a report was completed by Michigan State Police. CO Dani collected the moose, which was killed in the crash, for Wildlife Division biologists to conduct a necropsy and collect data.

CO Steve Butzin was on patrol near Garden Township checking several fishermen when he encountered an individual fishing without a license. During the contact CO Butzin observed a large grass fire spreading towards several residences. The fisherman was given a warning and CO Butzin quickly responded to the fire and directed Garden Township and DNR Fire to the scene. Thankfully, the fire was able to be contained before it reached several houses in the downtown area. The cause of the fire was due to a resident dumping hot ashes from a wood stove into a grassy field. This individual was cited for disposing of a flammable substance causing a grass fire. 

CO Steve Butzin responded to several wildfires. In majority, the cause of these fires was due to individuals burning debris during a no burn or high fire danger. Several citations were issued which included two citations to individuals burning without a permit, and one citation for failing to prevent the spread of fire. In addition to these citations several warnings were also issued.


.CO Chad Baldwin responded to a call about a grass fire burning out of control on a dry and windy day. Multiple fire departments fought the fire and were able to get it under control after multiple acres had burned including neighboring property that was housing a communication tower. CO Baldwin interviewed the suspect who was burning papers, when an ember escaped his burn barrel and ignited the dry grass. No burn permits were being issued in Charlevoix County on the day the fire occurred. The individual was ticketed for failing to take precautions to prevent the escape of a fire.

CO Tom Oberg responded with the MSP and Otsego County Sheriff’s Department to a call of an intoxicated armed subject threatening his girlfriend. The girlfriend was able to get away from him and make her way to a nearby road to call 911. Once on scene, a deputy was able to locate the subject driving in the middle of a farm field and was able to get him stopped and detained. CO Oberg and an MSP trooper interviewed the girlfriend who only had minor injuries. The suspect was taken into custody for driving under the influence along with other pending charges.

CO Sidney Collins was just ending her shift in Montmorency County when she saw a person pop up in the bed of a pickup truck on a 65 miles per hour highway. CO Collins made a traffic stop on the vehicle. Once the vehicle was stopped, a woman and small child popped their heads up from the pickup truck bed. CO Collins asked the driver why the person and small child were not in the vehicle with seat belts on. The driver replied that they “were on two tracks just going for a ride.” CO Collins explained the importance of seatbelts, especially with a child on a fast-moving highway. CO Collins told the driver anything could happen, a deer jumping in the way, a vehicle hitting them, etc. The driver was issued a ticket for failing to provide a seatbelt for a child.


CO William Kinney received a complaint of a reckless motor vehicle in Grand Traverse County. It was stated by the complainant that the reckless vehicle intentionally drove off the roadway to hit a goose. The complainant had witnessed the vehicle drive off the roadway into the grass to hit the animal. Afterwards, the vehicle accelerated at high speed to leave the scene. CO Kinney is working with local businesses to obtain surveillance footage of the vehicle and incident. Anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to call the Report All Poaching Hotline at (800) 292-7800

CO Justin Vanderlinde responded to a complaint of an angler illegally netting a pike out of the Boardman River at the Union Street Dam. On arrival at the dam, CO Vanderlinde learned that suspect had left. CO Vanderlinde worked the Union Street Dam the following day and was successful in locating the suspect. CO Vanderlinde interviewed the suspect obtaining a confession and recovered the pike from the suspects residence. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a subject fishing on a trout stream that is closed to fishing. CO Killingbeck contacted the subject who said he knew the stream was closed to possessing fish, but he thought he could still fish there if he released the fish he caught. The subject complained that every river and stream access points should have signs saying they are closed or open. CO Killingbeck explained how to look at trout maps and when trout season opens. A citation was issued for fishing in a closed stream.

CO Scott MacNeill responded to a medical emergency of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at a shooting range on U.S. Forest Service land in Manistee County. MacNeill was the first responder on scene and located a man with a single 40-caliber wound to his thigh. The man had plugged the hole with his finger in an attempt to stop the bleeding. As CO MacNeill examined the wound, he realized that due to amount of blood that was pooled up in his leg, the bullet had struck an artery and the bullet had not exited. CO MacNeill immediately knew the wound was life-threatening and quickly used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The man was transported to an emergency trauma unit for further emergency procedures.


Sgt. Brian Olsen was checking a spawning closure on the Cut River in Roscommon County when he noticed an angler spearing fish in the river. Sgt. Olsen was able to get behind the angler without him noticing. The man was holding his spear up to show his girlfriend a fish he had just speared when Sgt. Olsen made contact. Sgt. Olsen educated the individual on the reason for the spawning closure and issued a citation for taking fish in a closed stream.

COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of three anglers fishing on a closed stream in Missaukee County. The COs patrolled to the area and located the anglers actively fishing on the Clam River. The anglers stated they were unaware that the stream was closed and that they were just learning how to fly fish. The COs educated the anglers on how to locate closed streams online and the importance of knowing the laws and where you are fishing. A citation was issued for fishing a closed trout stream.

While patrolling in the Rifle River Recreation Area in Ogemaw County, CO Kyle Bader contacted a group of individuals fishing in a closed stretch of the Rifle River. One angler already was putting a brown trout on a stringer. CO Bader asked them if they could identify the fish and they did correctly. The angler also said they just looked up the minimum size for brown trout and it was large enough to keep. Unfortunately, they did not bother to look at the season dates for Type 1 trout streams. The angler was cited for fishing in a closed trout stream.

CO Kyle Bader along with COs Brad Bellville and James Garret investigated a complaint of a turkey killed from a motor vehicle in Oscoda County. CO Bader responded to the complainant’s residence and collected evidence and documented the scene. The complainant witnessed the suspects drive by with one of the individuals sitting on the tailgate of a truck and shoot a turkey. The complainant was able to obtain the license plate from the vehicle. Dispatchers in the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Report All Poaching dispatch center were able to work some magic with the license plate and provided the COs with a possible suspect address in Oscoda County. When the COs arrived at the address, the suspect vehicle was parked in the driveway. There were approximately seven men in a pole building swapping turkey stories. During the process of interviewing the men, an unrelated turkey was discovered in a vehicle as well as a large corn pile with turkey feathers in the front yard of the residence. Interviews and further investigation revealed that turkey was killed over bait and never tagged. One of the men confessed to shooting the turkey from the original complaint while sitting on the tailgate of his truck while his friend drove down the road past a flock of turkeys, just as the witness described. That turkey was recovered from a different residence in Oscoda County. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office on the suspect who shot the turkey from the moving motor vehicle and the second suspect who shot the turkey over bait and failed to tag it.


Sgt. Robert Hobkirk responded to a RAP complaint of individuals fishing in the closed section of the Tittabawassee River near the Sanford Dam in Midland County. Two anglers were located under a bridge fishing the closed area of the river. A citation was issued to each angler for the violation. On the same day, Sgt. Hobkirk contacted an angler in Bay County who was in possession of a northern pike. When contact was made, the angler stated that he had just caught a pike and was not sure if he could keep it or not. The angler was keeping the pike in the bed of his pick-up in a cooler with no ice or water. The angler was issued a citation for possession of the northern pike during the closed season.


CO Travis Dragomer observed two anglers fishing upon a closed trout stream in Berrien County. CO Dragomer located a steelhead on a stringer that was unable to be revived. CO Dragomer issued a citation for illegally taking and possessing the steelhead upon a closed trout stream. CO Dragomer issued the other individual a citation for possessing a fishing rod upon a closed trout stream.

CO BJ Goulette noticed an unusual amount of 911 radio traffic. Nearby county deputies were attempting to locate suspects at-large from an attempted gun store break-in from the night before. CO Goulette responded and assisted with securing the area and locating the last of the six suspects involved with the break-ins.

CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Huron Manistee National Forest roads when she observed two dirt bikes operating towards her patrol truck. The bikes observed the truck and quickly turned around. CO Cullen followed the dirt bikes and observed them stop at a nearby parked truck and quickly jump off the ORVs. Upon CO Cullen’s arrival, she observed one of the riders grab something and quickly throw it in the woods. Contact was made and CO Cullen directed the rider to grab the item, which was found to be a beer can. When asked why he threw the can, the rider said he “Got nervous.” The same rider was found to have a suspended driver’s license. Warnings were issued for operating a closed road, while citations were issued for littering and operating an ORV with a suspended license.


CO John Byars received a RAP complaint about someone trapping squirrels in Lansing. The suspects had trapped a squirrel and it had made its way into the backyard of the complainant. CO Byars contacted the complainant and was given a trapped squirrel and the trap. CO Byars contacted the suspects at their residence, and they stated it was an incidental catch while targeting red squirrels and ground hogs due to property damage. The suspect had a valid hunting license and CO Byars educated him on alternate methods. The suspect decided to change to live traps in case of future incidental catches.

CO Larn R. Strawn received an anonymous RAP complaint of subjects killing a goose out of season. CO Strawn investigated and located fresh foot tracks leading to a hunting blind in a field. CO Strawn confirmed that indeed an animal seemed to have been shot in the area and developed the possible suspects by matching complaint information, location data from OnX Hunt, and county land records. CO Strawn interviewed three subjects who ultimately admitted to shooting a goose with a 22-caliber rifle and tossing it into a swamp. CO Strawn located and recovered the dead goose, the firearm, and additional evidence. CO Strawn is seeking a warrant.


CO Joseph Deppen was checking local launches in the early morning. Two anglers came into the launch with one walleye and no PFDs. A citation was issued for fail to provide enough PFDs for everyone aboard.

CO Joseph Deppen was headed home and was slowing down to a red light. A vehicle passed CO Deppen in the bicycle lane and blew through two red lights at high speed. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was written a citation for driving while license suspended. The passenger, a licensed driver switched places and the vehicle cleared the scene.

CO Joseph Deppen was finishing patrol and headed home on I-94. He was passed by a vehicle on the right shoulder at a high rate of speed. The driver was clocked at 105 mph. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver admitted to speeding all the time and that he would just pay it. When CO Deppen issued the citation for 105 mph in a 70-mph zone, the driver demanded to know the price. CO Deppen told him it was up to the court and to contact them within 10 days. The driver became upset and said, “All the real cops can tell me how much the ticket is, I am going to fight this. There is no price on it!” The driver was released, and CO Deppen cleared the scene.

CO Ben Lasher contacted four people in the Port Huron Game Area after hearing them talking about rolling a “blunt” marijuana cigarette. As CO Lasher approached the group, he used his flashlight to get a better look at the subject trying to roll the cigarette on top of a hard sided gun case. The subject also had a holstered handgun and another handgun laying on a log next to him. An unloaded shotgun was in the gun case. The cups they had used as targets were still hanging in branches, no back stop, and no brass was collected until CO Lasher asked to see what they had picked up. A warrant is being sought for violations of the suspect CPL license, use of marijuana in public and warnings given for the littering, failing to pick up targets, and brass.

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