Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 7, 2022
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Alex VanWagner were on patrol in Ontonagon County when they observed a running vehicle parked on an off-trail vehicle (ORV) trail with its hazard lights on. Upon contact with the vehicle, all four occupants were found to be intoxicated. The driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, driving while license suspended, operating an uninsured vehicle, operating an unregistered vehicle as well as refusing a preliminary breath test. One passenger was arrested for possessing a concealed pistol while intoxicated. Both suspects were lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail.
CO Jenni Hanson assisted the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department with the search for a lost 21-year-old female. The woman used her cell phone to advise dispatch that she had gotten turned around in the woods while on foot searching for a vehicle that she and her husband had gotten stuck in earlier in the day. She was unaware that her husband had already removed it. By this time, it was dark, she had low battery percentage on her phone, and she was turned around. CO Hanson and a Gogebic County deputy used the county’s side-by-side to locate the woman and bring her safely back to town.
CO Jared Ferguson and PCO Phil Helminen followed up on a complaint from the Michigan State Police (MSP) of a hunting accident. Through the investigation, it was determined two subjects were grouse hunting in Dickinson County when one hunter flushed a grouse and fired two shots at it. As the grouse circled around him, he fired a third shot. At that point he heard his hunting partner yell and when he went to check on him, he found him bleeding from his face. The hunter was taken to the hospital for his treatment of his injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Andrea Dani and CO Mark Zitnik, along with volunteers, taught a Hunter Education Course Field Day at the Superior Central School.
CO Paul Fox was on patrol when he was dispatched to assist the MSP and Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department to apprehend a wanted fugitive. The suspect was wanted for parole violations and had been at-large for multiple years. Investigators were able to locate the suspect in Presque Isle County. The suspect retreated inside the residence and refused to come out. CO Fox assisted with securing a perimeter of the suspect residence while negotiators were able to convince the suspect to finally surrender. The suspect was arrested without further incident.
COs Josiah Killingbeck and Ryan Andrews assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, MSP, and Newaygo and Mason County Emergency Response Teams with the apprehension of a subject who had robbed a subject while armed and then assaulted the victim. After the subject was apprehended, CO Killingbeck assisted in a search warrant execution of the residence, where weapons were recovered along with illegal drugs.
CO Steve Converse was on foot patrol along Bear Creek in Manistee County when he observed a subject fishing with illegal gear. CO Converse observed the subject for approximately 30 minutes and noted several violations to include: using a treble hook-on Bear Creek, oversize treble hook (1-inch gap), no bait on hook, weight suspended below the hook, and snagging. CO Converse contacted the subject and asked if the subject knew what he was doing wrong. The subject laughed and rattled off all the violations mentioned, except using a treble hook-on Bear Creek. CO Converse asked the subject why he was doing it if he knew the laws so well. The subject calmly stated he had been doing it for 26 years and had never seen an officer. The subject went on to say he wasn’t worried about the fines because he had just won $5,000 on a scratch-off lottery ticket, and it was his time to pay the piper. The subject was issued two violations for snagging and in-line treble hook. About an hour and a half later and now after dark, CO Converse observed several sets of lights in the same area. CO Converse again snuck into the area and observed a subject with illegal gear. While observing the subject, he overheard the subject talking to another angler and CO Converse realized that the subject he was watching was the same lottery winner to whom he had just written tickets. CO Converse again contacted the subject, who this time didn’t have much to say. CO Converse again cited the subject for two violations of in-line treble hook and using a treble hook-on Bear Creek.
PCO Zackary Walters and CO Kyle Publiski received a complaint about a subject float hunting a section of the Little Manistee River. The subject did not have permission to be hunting along that section, as it flowed through private property. The subject also discharged his shotgun within the safety zone of the residence on the property. COs Walters and Publiski later caught up with the subject further down the river. PCO Walters contacted the subject and asked if he had his waterfowl license and federal duck stamp with him. The subject did not. PCO Walters asked the subject to show him what shells he was using, and the subject produced a box of steel shot. CO Publiski then asked the subject if he had any other shells. The hunter pulled out a sandwich bag from his hunting pack which contained shells with lead shot. The subject was cited for possession of lead shot and failing to have his license and federal duck stamp with him. He was also educated about the safety zone while hunting and the need to have permission from the landowners before float hunting the river with private property owners.
PCO Zackary Walters and CO Kyle Publiski were working with a complainant on a trespass issue when there was a personal injury ORV accident reported just across the county line in Lake County. PCO Walters hitched a ride from another ORV rider back to the injured subject, who was located half a mile south on the trail. Once on scene of the crash, PCO Walters learned from the ORV operator who was injured that he had hit a stump in the trail which caused him to lose control and collied with a nearby tree. The subject suffered a broken femur as a result from the collision with the tree. PCO Walters, members from the local fire department, and other riders carried the subject out the half mile to the ambulance.
CO Ben Shively was driving by a closed stream in Oceana County when he observed a pickup truck parked nearby. CO Shively snuck into the creek and found two males and a female in the stream attempting to catch a salmon by hand. CO Shively observed one of the males grab the six-pound salmon and come to shore. CO Shively contacted the group, and all three subjects were cited for take fish by hand and the male subject was charged $60 reimbursement for the fish. Warnings were issued for fish closed stream and to two subjects for fish no license. While walking back to the area where the subjects were in the creek, CO Shively found two more fresh salmon that had a branch run through their mouth and gills 30 feet downstream along the shore. Reimbursement for the additional 31 pounds of salmon will be sought on all subjects.
CO Charlie Jones was on ORV patrol in Garfield Township of Kalkaska County near Camp Grayling when he observed multiple Jeeps and side-by-sides attempting to climb a large hill on a pipeline. CO Jones contacted the group and advised them of the closed area and operating an ORV causing erosive conditions. Multiple subjects were run through dispatch and determined to have multiple warrants. Citations were issued to the group for operating in a closed area and some other subjects were advised of their warrants and released.
COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell were patrolling Holland Township in Missaukee County when they located a truck that was stuck in a large mud puddle on state land. The COs contacted the subjects along with a deputy and an MSP trooper. Upon contact, they located a loaded uncased firearm in the motor vehicle, along with drug paraphernalia. One of the subjects was taken into custody on a warrant out of Osceola County. The Missaukee County deputy seized the drug paraphernalia and will be issuing charges. The COs issued a citation for possessing a loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Jeff Goss spoke to Gladwin High School students about a career as a conservation officer. Approximately 50 students learned about the job duties, responsibilities, and future opportunities as a conservation officer.
CO Jason King responded to an in-progress complaint in Midland County on his pass day. The complaint consisted of a subject actively deer hunting over bait. CO King was able to contact the subject in his ladder stand. CO King witnessed the subject actively hunting over bait and discovered that he had not purchased a valid 2021 hunting license. The subject was advised to remove the bait and was issued a citation for hunting without a license.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling when she observed two dirt bikes operating on a closed county road. CO Cullen attempted to the stop the dirt bikes, but one rider decided to flee. CO Cullen was able to stop the first operator, who advised her, “…has no idea who that guy is,” when referring to the fleeing dirt bike who was riding next to him. A citation was issued for operating an ORV on a closed county road.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint of an individual trespassing on Muskegon Wastewater property. To hunt this property, one needs to have a specific permit for a designated zone. The hunter was found to be parked in a restricted area as well. When the hunter returned from the woods, it was determined they did not have a permit to even be on property. The hunter advised they should have done more research before deciding to hunt the property. A citation was issued for recreational trespass.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint earlier in the fall of deer hunters trespassing on Michigan Department of Transportation property in Allegan County. The property is adjacent to a highway and has fencing around most of it. While walking the property, CO Schluckbier found several treestands, trail cameras, and a mineral lick. After checking it for a few weeks, CO Schluckbier finally located two hunters who were responsible for the items unlawfully placed there. After interviewing the subjects, it was determined they believed the property was recognized as public land. They did not, however, have an explanation for the mineral lick that was placed. A citation was issued for the baiting violation and the subjects were ordered to remove their hunting equipment.
While patrolling closed Type 1 trout streams in Van Buren County, CO Tyler Cole located a subject fishing in a closed section of the Black River. CO Cole observed the subject fishing for approximately 15 minutes and then made contact. Upon noticing CO Cole, the subject dropped his fishing pole at his feet and stated that he wasn’t fishing. CO Cole informed the subject that he observed the subject fishing for some time and asked the subject if he had a fishing license and informed the subject that this section of the river was closed to fishing. The subject was unable to provide a fishing license but provided the CO with identification. Upon investigation, it was found that the subject had a felony warrant out of Berrien County for “assault with a deadly weapon.” The subject was taken into custody and turned over to Berrien County for the outstanding warrant.
COs Jeff Robinette and Tyler Cole were on patrol in Van Buren County checking closed streams for salmon fishing activity. COs Robinette and Cole observed an individual at Lions Park in Bangor fishing in both the closed and open sections of the Black River. COs Robinette and Cole contacted the individual and verified he did not have a fishing license. CO Cole explained to the individual that he could not fish or possess gear along the closed section of the river. The subject stated that he knew the closed section was off limits but that he had intended to try and snag and/or catch the salmon anyway. The subject then stated that the next time the COs caught him he would have a fishing license, but that he would be snagging. CO Robinette issued the subject tickets for fishing without a license and fishing a closed stream.
While on patrol in Cass County, COs Jeff Robinette and Matt Page responded to assist the Cass County Sheriff’s Department with a domestic assault. COs Robinette and Page arrived first on scene and located the victim coming out of the residence with a bloody nose. The suspect had left but was located walking down the street back to the residence. COs Robinette and Page detained the suspect until the Cass County Sheriff’s Department units arrived. When questioned, the suspect stated that he had an argument with the victim, who is his 15-year-old granddaughter, and that she had kicked him in the groin. The suspect stated that he then punched her in the face in response to her kicking him. The incident was turned over to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department for investigation.
CO Katie Baker investigated a complaint of a barn shot with a compound bow arrow. An investigation was conducted, and a suspect identified. During an interview, the suspect admitted to teaching a friend to shoot his bow and watching him miss the target. They were unaware the arrow deflected off the dirt berm behind the target that they were using as a secondary backstop. CO Baker educated the subject on safety regulations and issued a verbal warning to the shooter for careless discharge of a bow.
CO Katie Baker conducted an interview for a private property bait investigation. During the interview, CO Baker obtained a full confession and was able to identify three other subjects involved. All four subjects knew baiting was unlawful. A complaint warrant is being submitted against all four subjects for baiting in a restricted county.
CO Katie Baker and Sgt. Jason Smith worked security at a DNR meeting at the Brighton High School. The meeting addressed the recent proposal of creating a tree seed farm within the community. Approximately 500 citizens attended the meeting to view the presentation and voice their opinions. The meeting was held without incident.
CO Nick Wellman got several charges approved and a warrant issued for a man who had been recklessly operating a vessel earlier in the summer with nine occupants on board. The man crashed the boat, injuring several people and throwing two women from the boat.
Sgt. Rich Nickols responded to a be on the lookout (BOL) from Clinton County Central Dispatch about a vehicle all over the roadway. Sgt. Nickols responded and met a Dewitt City Police Department Officer who located the vehicle parked at an entrance to a cornfield. The driver was passed out behind the wheel with the engine running. Due to the Dewitt officer being outside of his jurisdiction, Sgt. Nickols handled the investigation. It was determined the driver likely was intoxicated from a variety of substances including alcohol, marijuana, prescription pills, and from huffing aerosol. The driver was lodged at the Clinton County Jail.
COs Justin Muehlhauser and Luke Robare worked Mott Lake for waterfowl hunting. The COs conducted a check on a group of four hunters. While checking shells, CO Muehlhauser discovered that one hunter had two boxes of lead shot inside a bag full of miscellaneous shells in the field. Although he wasn’t loaded with the toxic shot, he was cited for possessing toxic shot in the field.
CO Raymond Gardner checked a group of waterfowl hunters in the Lapeer SGA. During the check, CO Gardner found one round of lead shot in one of the hunter’s shotguns. The hunter was issued a citation for using lead shot while hunting waterfowl.
CO Jaime Salisbury was patrolling to a nearby lake when he noticed a subject walking down some railroad tracks. It was discovered that the man had a warrant for a similar trespassing incident just a year before. CO Salisbury issued a citation for trespassing on railroad property.
CO Jaime Salisbury assisted Lapeer County deputies with a man wanted for domestic violence who made threats against the police if they came to get him. The man stated he would kill the police if they came to arrest him. After setting up a perimeter around the residence the man was brought out of his home using a public address system. He was taken into custody without incident.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Martin Lawrence checked a waterfowl hunter who had an unsigned federal waterfowl stamp, no state waterfowl license, and an improper plug in his shotgun. When asked how many years he had been hunting waterfowl, the subject responded, “30 years.” A citation was written for hunting waterfowl without a state waterfowl license and was given warnings for the other violations.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Martin Lawrence checked a waterfowl hunter who failed to sign his unattached federal waterfowl stamp. The subject said he has been hunting waterfowl for years and did not know it required a signature across the face. A citation was written for the violation.
CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Chris Maher were working ORV patrol in Macomb County when they received a complaint from a landowner that there were ORVs operating on his property without permission. The COs made the location and found the trespassers. Subjects were cited for various ORV violations and one subject had warrants for his arrest. He was taken straight to jail, and he was not happy about it.
CO Brad Silorey contacted waterfowl hunters in Macomb and St. Clair counties, responding to multiple complaints from safety zone to late shooters. CO Silorey issued a citation to one hunter who had failed to purchase his Michigan waterfowl license.
CO Brad Silorey worked an illegal deer case that originated from a tip. CO Silorey was able to track the suspect down and interview him the same day. The suspect shot a 10-point deer without purchasing a kill-tag prior to his harvest. Additionally, the deer was taken over a bait pile. Charges are being sought through Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.