Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 16, 2021

DISTRICT 1

COs Ethen Mapes and Zach Painter were investigating a poaching complaint in Bergland when a vehicle entered the parking lot of the boat launch at a high rate of speed. The driver sped through the parking lot, coming to a screeching stop just before the gate to the fishing pier. The driver honked the horn for approximately 30 seconds before spinning the tires all the way out of the parking lot and blowing through two stops signs. COs Mapes and Painter ran to their patrol truck and were able to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver was found to be intoxicated and irate that her husband was not fishing where he told her he would be. CO Mapes placed the driver under arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI) as well as possessing open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.

CO Jeffrey Dell responded to a call from central dispatch of a male subject shoving a female into a vehicle and driving away. CO Dell was able to locate and stop the vehicle. It was determined that the male subject had assaulted his girlfriend while driving down the highway. The male subject was taken into custody by the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department for domestic assault and violation of a Personal Protective Order.

CO Anna Viau assisted Iron River Police Department with a call about an ORV operator who had fled from IRPD Chief Bristol, then shortly after was involved in a hit-and-run crash. Along with several deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office and Caspian Police chief, CO Viau assisted in the search for the suspect, who had fled on foot after the crash. The officers were concerned for his safety as witnesses to the crash had stated that the suspect had injured his leg in the crash. The officers were unable to locate the suspect at first, but later that morning, the suspect was located and taken into custody without incident.

COs Josh Boudreaux and Cody Smith traveled the western Upper Peninsula and posted State of Michigan flags at the gravesites of three COs (Arvid Erickson, Emil Skoglund, and Andrew Schmeltz) that died in the line of duty for National Police Week. The COs cleaned the gravesites and performed a small ceremony before posting the flags in memoriam.

DISTRICT 2

Cole VanOosten and Colton Gelinas were interviewing several suspects regarding stolen trail cameras. During this investigation, it was discovered that several of these suspects illegally harvested steelhead with a spear. A total of 27 steelhead were illegally taken from a small trout stream in western Mackinac County. A report is being submitted to the Mackinac County Prosecutors Office. 

CO Colton Gelinas contacted Mackinac Island Public Schools inquiring about a possible hunter safety class on the island. COs in Michigan make every attempt to organize hunter safety classes and field days in their patrol areas each year.

COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink conducted a patrol of Big Bay de Noc. Fishing was slow on Lake Michigan, but the COs encountered quite a few boats. Most boats were in full compliance; however, as the COs approached, it was obvious that one individual frantically was reeling in a rod. Once contacted, it was confirmed that he was fishing with too many lines. CO Evink recognized the individual as one who previously had been caught fishing with too many lines. He was issued a ticket for the violation.

CO Robert Freeborn received a disposition back from the court from an illegal deer case from last fall where the subject killed an 8-point buck without a license. The subject was ordered to pay $6,450 in fines and restitution, lost their hunting privileges until the end of 2026, and the firearm used was to be forfeited.

CO Steve Butzin was doing some follow up from the 2020 deer hunting season. CO Butzin encountered one individual who shot a deer during bow season without a license. During this investigation, a set of 8-point antlers was seized from the individual. A report is being submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office requesting the charge of take deer without a license.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Albert received a complaint of a bear cub about the size of a puppy that was running through traffic while crossing a busy highway near Mancelona. Further investigation found the cub was not accompanied by a sow, so the 8-pound cub was captured by hand and turned it over to the Wildlife Division (WLD) for further evaluation on its condition. WLD was able to successfully place the cub with a collared sow bear with cubs.

CO Andrea Albert observed two subjects fishing from a pontoon boat. Upon contact and checking for fishing licenses, neither angler, who were out-of-state residents, had purchased a fishing license. Their excuse was that the owner of the boat that they were borrowing owned property on the lake; therefore, they did not believe they needed a license to fish. Tickets were issued for fishing without a license and the anglers were advised how to purchase a fishing license on their smart phones to continue fishing for the day.

CO Sidney Collins was on ORV patrol in Montmorency County when she came across two lost subjects on ORVs. The operators had become lost and were almost out of gas and without any cell phone service to call for help. CO Collins assisted the ORV riders out of the woods and made sure they were able to make it to a gas station.

CO Jon Sheppard was on patrol near the Black River in Cheboygan County when he received a tip that there was someone fishing on the Black River near the Kleiber Dam. CO Sheppard observed two subjects from the top of the dam. One of the subjects was fishing on the closed section of the Black River. CO Sheppard made his way down to them and advised them that this section was closed to fishing due to the sturgeon spawning. The suspect who was fishing did not have a valid fishing license. Enforcement action taken.

DISTRICT 4

While on patrol for illegal ORV activity in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews located several trucks operating on a utility right-of-way (ROW) closed to motor vehicle operation. While investigating the situation, CO Andrews discovered the operator of one vehicle was driving with a suspended license and had an active warrant. It was also determined the passenger of another vehicle had several outstanding warrants. Both individuals were taken into custody for their warrants and taken to the Lake County jail. At the time of their arrests, one truck was stuck, and the other was having mechanical issues. A wrecker service was called for assistance to remove the vehicles from the closed area. Citations were issued for operating in the utility ROW and driving with a suspended license.

COs Jeff Ginn and Ben Shively assisted DNR fire officers with an investigation on a wildfire which consumed nearly 100 acres. The investigation revealed a small cooking fire on federal land which was not extinguished properly and later rekindled. The investigation led CO Ginn to a nearby residence which provided the names of the subjects who had camped at the location the day before the blaze. CO Ginn conducted interviews and obtained a confession from the suspect who had started the fire. A report was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office seeking prosecution. 

While on patrol in Newaygo County, CO Tim Barboza heard EMS ask for assistance with a woman who had fallen down a hill while hiking. As a result of the fall, the woman had broken her knee and was stuck in the river at the bottom of the steep hill. CO Barboza responded to the scene and assisted EMS and the fire department in loading her in a Stokes basket and carrying her up the hill to a waiting ambulance.

DISTRICT 5

CO John Huspen came across an ORV accident in Crawford County involving a young man who had been thrown from his ORV. After being ejected, the ORV ran over the operator. CO Huspen knew the young man from coaching him in football. As CO Huspen approached the victim on the ground the young man said, “It’s my football coach!” This helped calm the victim’s nerves. The young man was transported to a local hospital and airlifted to Traverse City for further evaluation.

COs Breanna Reed, Chuck McPherson, and Matt Zultak conducted a group patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County. The COs contacted an unsteady kayaker who was fishing and asked if he had a personal floatation device (PFD). The kayaker stated he did not know that it was required. The COs followed the kayaker back to shore to ensure he made it there safely. The man stated that he been out fishing all day and had around 10 to 15 fish. The COs counted the panfish located in the bottom of the kayak; it was determined that the angler had an over-limit of panfish. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 6

COs Jay Person and Jason King were requested by the Midland County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the search for an 82-year-old female who was reported missing. The woman’s car was located at a dead-end road at the Tittabawassee River by the Midland County Sheriff’s Department. As the COs were getting their boat ready, a K-9 officer with the MSP located the victim’s body hung up on a log in the middle of the river. COs Person and King launched the boat and recovered the body from the river. The female had been reported missing the day prior by her husband.

CO Chad Foerster received a RAP complaint about an individual fishing from shore and keeping every fish he caught, including undersized walleye. Upon contacting the angler, he was found to be in possession of numerous undersized walleye as well as a largemouth bass that was not yet, in season. Citations were issued to the angler for the violations.

CO Dan Robinson was working state lands in Midland County where there have been ongoing issues with ORVs operating in closed areas. Operating on his assigned patrol motorcycle CO Robinson stopped and talked with a group of individuals constructing a paintball course. The group had dropped off a large pile of pallets a few days prior. The group opened the gate and drove their trucks into the closed area to get back to the area they set up the course. The group was cited for operating vehicles in the closed area and several verbal warnings for constructing on state lands and for holding an event without a permit.

DISTRICT 7

CO Casey Varriale received a complaint about a turkey dumped in a ditch on private property with half a kill-tag still attached to it. The turkey was found in Algoma Township in Kent County. CO Varriale located the turkey and discovered only the beard, fan, and spurs had been removed. All edible portions of the turkey were still intact. CO Varriale located the owner of the turkey tag who denied dumping the turkey. The suspect stated the meat on the turkey went bad, but he was able to salvage the “trophy” parts of the turkey. The suspect also stated the turkey fell out of his truck and must have rolled into the ditch. CO Varriale lectured the hunter about hunting ethics and what the public assumes about hunting when someone kills a turkey for no other reason than to gain a “trophy.” A citation was issued to the suspect for littering.

CO Anna Cullen was checking boats at a launch on the Muskegon River when she observed a group of kayaks operating on the river. When she asked for all three vessels to hold up a PFD, two of the kayaks were unable to provide one. CO Cullen instructed the individuals to remain at the launch, and to provide a form of identification. When CO Cullen ran their names, both individuals returned with valid warrants. The warrants were confirmed but were advise and release. CO Cullen issued a citation for failing to provide a PFD on a kayak.

CO Jackie Miskovich was working Hilton Park Road, in the Muskegon SGA, when she noticed that a new sign that had been posted had been shot up and the posts were in two parts. CO Miskovich asked some people in the area if they knew anything about it and she was able to obtain some pictures of the suspect vehicle. CO Miskovich ran the license plate on the vehicle and went to the residence to interview the individuals. A confession was obtained, and a citation was issued for destroying state property.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County when he observed a charter boat coming in from Lake Michigan. The CO observed a registration violation and conducted a stop on the vessel. The charter captain indicated to the CO that he and his two occupants caught a three-person limit of lake trout (nine) and one chinook salmon. The CO requested to see the anglers’ fishing licenses. Only two of the anglers could produce valid fishing licenses. The third angler was cited for possessing fish without a fishing license and three of the lake trout were seized.

DISTRICT 8

CO Chris Reynolds responded to a complaint in Jackson County of an individual keeping bass out of season. When CO Reynolds arrived, he observed the angler put something in a cooler near the area he was fishing. As CO Reynolds made contact, the angler tried to get CO Reynolds away from the cooler. CO Reynolds asked the angler what was in the cooler with the angler finally saying he had a few fish in it. The angler opened the cooler and inside were three undersized largemouth bass. CO Reynolds advised the individual of the season on bass along with size limits. The bass were seized, and a citation issued for taking bass during closed season.

CO Ed Rice received a necropsy report of a red-tailed hawk recovered in Jackson County. The report indicated the cause of death was due to a single gunshot wound. CO Rice continues to gather potential suspect information related to a trespass incident that occurred near where the hawk was recovered.

CO Nick Wellman swore to arrest warrants on six separate cases in Branch County this week. Charges were approved for several illegal deer cases from the 2020 deer season.

Sgt. Rich Nickols was requested to respond to an apartment complex in Dewitt Township to assist with a deer that had jumped through an apartment window. Sgt. Nickols was assisted by DNR wildlife biologist Chad Fedewa. The deer, a young buck, entered the first-floor apartment by jumping through a closed window and did significant damage in the apartment. Responding Dewitt Township police officers were able to open a door that connected to a garage area and the deer was chased through the garage and out of the building.

DISTRICT 9

COs David Schaumburger and Luke Robare were on marine patrol in the middle of the night on the Detroit River when they approached a vessel fishing for walleye. The anglers had four walleyes between the four of them; however, one of the walleyes measured only 14 inches. A citation was issued for possessing an undersized walleye.

During a group patrol on the Detroit River, CO Joseph Deppen observed a subject place more than 30 white bass into a vehicle and leave. CO Kris Kiel stopped the Chicago resident and found he was in possession of 92 white bass. The subject also had not purchased a fishing license. The fish were all confiscated, citations were written for possessing an over-limit of white bass and possession of fish without a license. Reimbursement will be sought. Many of the fish weighed over two pounds each.

COs David Schaumburger and Luke Robare were on marine patrol on the Detroit River when they came upon a boat with three people on board fishing for walleye. One of the anglers stated they had 13 walleyes, so the COs asked for all three fishing licenses. The person at the helm stated that he was only the driver and didn’t have a fishing license The other two anglers provided fishing licenses, but with only two valid fishing licenses, the anglers were over their daily limit of walleye. A citation was issued for the owner of the vessel for possessing over the limit of walleye.

CO Bob Watson was on marine patrol in Muscamoot Bay and contacted multiple bass anglers. One pair of anglers were on a charter fishing trip and had visited the area from Ohio. One of the men failed to purchase a 2021 fishing license. The man was issued a ticket for fishing without a license.

CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers fishing along a boardwalk in St. Clair County. CO Deppen saw three lines casted out on the river in rod holders and a lone angler casting for walleye nearby. CO Deppen asked if they were his rods. The angler responded, “Yup, all three of those are mine and this is my fourth,” while smiling. CO Deppen asked if these are your three, then why are you casting for walleye with a fourth line? The man shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know, but thanks for giving me a warning on this one.” CO Deppen told the angler, this was not a warning type of situation, especially since he knows the law and is purposefully breaking it. A citation for fishing with more than three lines was issued.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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