Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 4, 2022
COs Zach Painter and Alex VanWagner contacted a hunter coming out of the woods who had previous violations at his hunting blind. There was also a gut pile located near the blind. While interviewing the hunter, his story about who harvested the deer kept changing, and he admitted there were two bucks back at the camp, an 8-point and a 6-point. The subject brought the COs to the camp and interviews were conducted on the other three hunters as they arrived at camp from their evening hunt. Eventually, everyone at camp admitted the two bucks were tagged by someone who had not shot the deer. The deer were seized and each subject showed the COs their blinds as they admitted to overbaiting. All four subjects were issued citations for exceeding two gallons of bait, three were issued verbal warnings for no identification on ground blind, and one was issued a verbal warning for litter. A report has been submitted to the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office for the deer.
CO John Kamps was patrolling for shining activity when he observed a very slow rolling vehicle with a large illuminated light bar on its roof. Upon checking, it was determined that the single occupant of the vehicle had an uncased rifle on the dashboard and an open beer between his legs. The suspect received a citation for an uncased gun in a motor vehicle. They were advised of shining laws and the use of a motor vehicle to locate game.
CO Todd Sumbera was patrolling northern Mackinac County near the end of shooting hours when he contacted four hunters. The first handed CO Sumbera his 2021 single deer license and admitted to already harvesting a 5-point, which he had tagged with his grandson’s deer tag. He also possessed a loaded firearm in the motor vehicle. This first individual also stated that another member of the hunting party had harvested a buck that morning. The third individual was in possession of an uncased rifle in a motor vehicle. The fourth individual, who was believed to have harvested a buck earlier that morning, when asked to see his deer license produced a 2021 single deer tag and stated that he had not had any success yet. CO Sumbera asked about the deer he had shot in the morning and the hunter admitted that he had shot a buck and placed his wife’s tag on the deer. Citations were issued for tagging violations and for the loaded, uncased firearms.
CO Todd Sumbera investigated a deer shot without a license. The suspect stated that she did shoot the deer, but claimed she had her license before shooting the deer. When confronted with the fact that the license was bought with only minutes remaining in legal hunting hours, the suspect confessed to shooting the deer and buying her deer license after the fact. A report is being compiled and submitted to the prosecutor for review.
CO Duane Budreau and Cpl. Brad Dohm contacted a hunter who was hunting from an illegal ground blind. CO Budreau had checked the blind for bait a few days prior. The hunter had placed a mixture of apples, corn, and sugar beets in a wooded box and covered it with chicken wire, making it inaccessible to deer. The homemade scent attractant would have been legal; however, while checking the hunter that morning, the COs found more bait placed on the ground around the container. When questioned about the bait, the hunter was quick to blame his grandson. The hunter was ticketed for hunting from an illegal blind and baiting deer in an area closed to baiting. While following up on other blinds in the area, CO Budreau and Cpl. Dohm contacted another hunter with bait on the ground. During the series of questioning, it was determined that this was the “notorious” grandson. The COs asked the grandson if he baited his grandfather’s blind. The young hunter looked at the COs with a puzzled look on his face and stated, “No, he baits his own blind.” A ticket for baiting deer in an area closed to baiting was issued.
Sgt. Bill Webster was on foot patrol in Antrim County on conservancy land when he walked up on a fresh gut pile. Sgt. Webster tracked it back to a pop-up blind that was baited heavily with potatoes. As Sgt. Webster was taking photographs of the bait, he heard a tractor coming toward him. Sgt. Webster hid near some trees and waited for the tractor to leave. The tractor stopped and a man got off the tractor dressed in hunter orange with a rifle. As the man was settling into the blind Sgt. Webster contacted him. The hunter admitted to shooting a 6-point over the bait and putting the bait out. A ticket for hunting over bait was issued.
COs Micah Hintze and Tim Barboza received a complaint, which claimed an individual had taken a 7-point buck early in archery season without a license and possibly at night. The COs met with and interviewed the suspect who eventually confessed to taking the buck and using a friend’s tag on the deer. The suspect said the deer rack was at his grandmother’s house, who lives nearby. As the suspect was getting the keys for his vehicle from the garage, CO Hintze watched the suspect’s brother exit the garage, get in his car, and drive in the direction of the grandmother’s house. CO Hintze relayed this to CO Barboza, who immediately went to the grandmother’s house to prevent the destruction of any evidence. CO Hintze questioned the original suspect who admitted he told his brother to destroy drug paraphernalia and remove the deer rack so the COs wouldn’t find either. Charges are pending for taking deer without license for the original suspect, and aid and abet charges against the brother.
CO Micah Hintze was on patrol and heard a single rifle shot near his location, almost 30 minutes after legal hunting hours. CO Hintze heard additional shots and it was determined the shots were coming from federal land a few miles away. CO Hintze patrolled in that direction and parked his patrol vehicle awaiting additional shots. Three more shots were heard, and CO Hintze was now on foot walking towards the shots fired. CO Hintze overheard voices shouting for help and was able to locate two hunters in a thick swamp approximately a mile from their vehicle. When CO Hintze contacted the hunters, both men were visibly shaken and stated they were lost. The father and son were not familiar with the land and were using the shots to locate each other. The hunters were very happy to have been located by CO Micah Hintze and guided out of the swamp to their vehicle.
CO James Garrett was on patrol in Roscommon County and checked a blind he had found on a prior patrol which had bait at it. CO Garrett found a subject inside hunting over the bait. CO Garrett was surprised to see the hunter with a loaded rifle in the blind. CO Garrett asked why she had a loaded firearm in the blind with her. The hunter stated that she was just “scoping” things out. After a quick interview with the hunter, she admitted that she was hunting deer with a rifle during closed season. CO Garrett issued citations for hunting deer with rifle during closed season, no hunter orange, and baiting deer in a closed area.
CO Jesse Grzechowski responded to a medical emergency in Alcona County of a hunter who had fallen out of his treestand after his harness broke. CO Grzechowski was first to arrive on scene and located the injured hunter in the woods at the base of his treestand. CO Grzechowski provided medical attention to the injured hunter who was having difficulty breathing and was unable to move from the waist down. Paramedics arrived on scene and CO Grzechowski assisted in carrying the injured hunter out of the woods on a backboard. The man was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injuries. CO Grzechowski received a “thank you” text from the hunter for his efforts a couple weeks after the event and indicated with intensive therapy, there is a good possibility of recovering and walking again.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was patrolling an area for shining activity in Alcona County when he observed a pickup truck shine a field with a flashlight out of the driver’s side window. CO Grzechowski pulled the vehicle over and contacted the driver and passenger. While interviewing the driver of the vehicle, CO Grzechowski located an uncased rifle in the back seat of the vehicle and an untagged deer in the bed of the pickup truck. CO Grzechowski seized the deer and issued the driver two citations for shining with a weapon in possession and possession of an untagged deer.
CO Mike Haas received a RAP complaint stating that a residence in southern Montcalm County had many deer hanging in a barn and some appeared to be untagged. CO Haas contacted a group of hunters walking in a field behind the suspect barn and asked about their season. The group stated they had been having good luck and had eight deer hanging in the barn. CO Haas checked the hunters’ licenses, and one hunter did not have his licenses on him. After searching for them in his camper and then the farmhouse, he eventually located them and then went into the barn and attached one of his tags to a deer that was hanging. CO Haas noted another deer lacked a tag and five other deer had tags tied to the deer legs but none of the tags had been notched and validated. Further inspection suggested that the group had been sharing and loaning tags and various violations were noted. Three hunters received citations to address multiple tagging issues and numerous warnings were addressed.
CO Dan Robinson was called to an area in Gratiot County for an ongoing trespassing issue. The suspects were using canoes to access state game area sections and were reported to be trespassing on properties along the river. CO Robinson checked the area on foot and was unable to locate the suspects. CO Adam Schiller arrived with a river boat and the COs were able to contact the suspects. They had taken four deer, all of which were not tagged properly. Citations were issued and several verbal warnings given for the trespass and tagging issues.
While performing a deer processor inspection, COs Justin Ulberg and BJ Goulette discovered a deer tag that was validated the day before it was purchased. The COs interviewed the subject who at first claimed the deer was killed two days after the tag was purchased. The story then changed to the deer being killed one day after the tag was purchased. Further investigation revealed that the subject never killed the deer and that the subject purchased a tag for her spouse to tag the deer with. The husband had already killed a deer during archery season and then shot the deer in question during the firearm season. The husband did not want to be done hunting, so he had his wife purchase the tag. The subject was issued a citation for using a license of another hunter.
While performing a deer processor inspection, CO Justin Ulberg located a tag that was purchased two hours before he arrived at the processor. While looking at the deer, it was clear that the deer was not killed within the two-hour window that it could have legally been taken. CO Ulberg contacted the hunter and questioned him when he killed the deer. The hunter stated, “about 3 p.m.” CO Ulberg informed the hunter he wasn’t being truthful because the deer was at the processor at 2:30 p.m. The hunter then admitted to killing the deer without having a license. After killing the deer, the subject went to the store and purchased his license. A report will be submitted to the Kent County prosecutor for charges.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling around the Fennville Farm in Allegan County when he observed a truck pulled off on the shoulder of the main county road that runs through the middle of the wildlife refuge. The CO contacted the sole occupant in the truck who appeared to be glassing the refuge with binoculars. The CO noticed upon contact there were two firearms in the front passenger seat, neither were fully enclosed in a case. The CO questioned the operator who quickly admitted that both firearms also were loaded. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, Sgt. Jason J. Smith observed a vehicle in front of him with a large amount of blood on the tailgate and license plate. Through the back window Sgt. Smith could observe the driver scrolling through his cell phone which contributed to the driver running a red light. A traffic stop was conducted, and an untagged deer was located in the bed of the truck. Citation was issued and warnings for the traffic offenses were given.
CO Jason McCullough assisted in searching for a hunter who had not returned home in Calhoun County. The hunter was located in the early morning hours deceased from a presumed heart attack.
CO Cullen Knoblauch was fueling up his patrol truck on November 16 when he observed a large deer rack in the back of a truck. During conversation it was determined that the deer was killed on November 15 at 9:30 a.m. and the license was purchased on November 15 at
2 p.m. The hunter admitted to killing the 12-point buck prior to purchasing a hunting license. The deer was seized by the CO, and charges are pending.
CO Thomas Jaakkola was patrolling Meridian-Baseline State Park when he located one subject on private property hunting over bait and a second subject hunting on the Meridian-Baseline State Park Property. After interviewing both subjects, it was determined that the owner of the property, which butts up to the Meridian-Baseline State Park, admitted to hunting the state park for the last two years. During interviews, the subject admitted to shooting an 8-point buck during bow season on park property. The deer antlers were seized, and the subject was charged with hunting with a firearm inside a state park that is closed to hunting and no hunter orange.
While on patrol COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen received a complaint of a subject hunting over a baited area. COs Silorey and Deppen contacted the subject at his hunting blind. The subject asked the COs what the issue was. CO Silorey pointed over to the bait pile 20 yards in front of his blind and stated that’s what the problem is. CO Silorey asked the suspect for his hunting license, and the suspect stated that he did not have them on him. CO Deppen advised the suspect that he was on Consumer’s Energy property. It was later discovered that the subject had never purchased any hunting license for 2021, was trespassing, and hunting over a baited area. Citations were issued for hunting over bait and hunting without a license.
CO Tom Peterson received a complaint of an individual trespassing on a local lake in Oakland County. CO Peterson was able to contact the trapper who claimed to have verbal permission to trap the southern lake shore but did not have permission to launch his boat from the roadside. During a check of his equipment, the trapper possessed untagged traps, no registration on his boat, no PFD, as well as possessing a fishing pole with a lead weight attached to a treble hook commonly used to snag fish. The trapper had an extensive history of prior violations including trespass, untagged traps, seal violations, and salmon snagging. The trapper was cited for untagged traps and no PFD on vessel. He was warned for recreation trespass, possession of snagging gear, and an unregistered vessel.