Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 19, 2022


Conservation Officer (CO) Jenni Hanson was dispatched to a call of two lost juveniles in the 18,300-acre Sylvania Wilderness. While out hiking, the two Wisconsin teenagers had lost the trail and became stranded in the woods. CO Hanson was able to contact the individuals via cell phone to acquire their exact location. CO Hanson, along with a Gogebic County sheriff’s deputy, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) personnel, and Gogebic County’s Search and Rescue team located the lost individuals four miles south of their campsite. They were rescued from the woods without incident.

COs Alex VanWagner and Phil Helminen patrolled Sunset Lake. Two subjects were fishing off the boat launch dock and were contacted by the COs. Neither subject had a fishing license, and both were issued citations for fishing without a license. During this time, a pontoon boat had pulled up to the boat launch but was having difficulty docking. The COs assisted the pontoon to the dock and contacted the operator, who admitted to consuming alcohol. Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were administered, and the operator was arrested and lodged for boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol. The operator was also cited for refusing to supply a preliminary breath test (PBT) sample.

COs Phil Helminen and Alex VanWagner were patrolling on Lake Antoine when they contacted two individuals fishing on a boat. When asked if they caught any fish, one angler stated they had a few bluegills. He also offered that he wanted to be honest as he had an undersized largemouth bass. The angler turned over the bass that was undersize. While speaking with the same angler, CO Helminen asked about another fish inside of the boat in a bucket and the angler turned over another undersized largemouth bass. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Steve Butzin, Chris Lynch, and Robert Freeborn conducted a hunter safety field day at the Escanaba DNR Pocket Park with the help of DNR staff JoAnn Alexander. This successful class resulted in over 28 students receiving their hunter safety certificates.

CO Justin Vinson stopped a vehicle towing a boat with aquatic vegetation wrapped around his prop. CO Vinson informed the subject that all water and vegetation needed to be removed from his boat prior to transporting it. After educating the subject on the importance or preventing the spread of AIS a verbal warning was given.

CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Luce County when he observed an individual fishing from shore. Upon contact with the individual, he stated that he was not fishing but helping his grandson learn to fish. With nobody else in the immediate area, CO VanOosten asked where his grandson was. The man pointed to a young boy who was fishing with another adult approximately 150 yards away. The man was issued a citation for fishing without a license.


CO Tim Rosochacki and Cpl. Nick Torsky responded to a report of a pair of kayakers whose kayaks had become swamped in rough conditions beneath the Mackinac Bridge. The COs arrived on scene at the same time as the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) out of St. Ignace and assisted in retrieving the subject’s belongings floating in the water, while the USCG took them into shore for evaluation. Both subjects were wearing PFDs, which was paramount to their survival in the cold water.

COs Kyle Cherry and Tom Oberg were on marine patrol in Otsego County when they contacted a group of three anglers on a boat. One subject stated he did not have his fishing license on him. The COs ran a check in the licensing system and discovered the subject did not have a fishing license at all. As soon as the COs re-contacted the angler, he immediately admitted he did not have a license. A ticket was issued.

COs Kyle Cherry and Dan Liestenfeltz were flagged down by a group of frantic boaters while on marine enforcement patrol on Torch Lake. A female subject, due in part to an elevated level of intoxication, had slipped on a boat, struck her head, and briefly went unconscious. Recognizing that the female was extremely disoriented and confused, the COs transported the female to EMS on shore where she was successfully taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

CO Sidney Collins received a complaint from the Clear Lake State Campground workers that someone was not paying at a nearby forest campground and refused to leave. CO Collins talked with the campers who were claiming to be homeless and living there while looking for jobs and a home. CO Collins noticed there was a small child at the campsite as well. CO Collins assisted the family in recommendations for low-income housing. CO Collins found a camping site on state land for the family to move to that did not cost any money.

CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Montmorency County when she came across a motorist with a camper on the side of the road with their vehicle hood up. CO Collins stopped to see if she could assist the driver. The driver stated he had just broken a coolant line and the vehicle over heated. The driver was able to fix the coolant line but was not sure how much fluid was left. It was the driver’s lucky day, because CO Collins happened to have a gallon of coolant in her truck bed, along with bottles of water, with which to mix it. The motorist was extremely grateful for CO Collins stopping and helping.  


CO Logan Turner and Sgt. Dan Bigger were patrolling the Platte River area near the weir when Sgt. Bigger noticed a child stuck against the weir grates due to the water pressure. The child’s family had already gone through the weir and did not notice the child was stuck. Sgt. Bigger was able to walk out onto the weir platform, pull the child out of the water and put the child safely on the other side.

CO Ryan Andrews was assisting the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in searching for an individual who had assaulted a man and stolen his car. CO Andrews located the vehicle and the suspect at a gas station in Baldwin. After contacting the suspect to detain him, the suspect resisted all efforts to be taken into custody. A struggle ensued that led to CO Andrews being assaulted as well. After a short altercation, CO Andrews used his training and experience to take the suspect to the ground and placed him in custody. The suspect was evaluated by Life EMS for injuries and released to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for booking into jail. The suspect is being charged with numerous criminal charges, including resisting and obstructing an officer, assault, and auto theft.

CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol in Lake County, observed an ORV operating that was unlicensed. CO Killingbeck contacted the subjects, and both said that they put a slow-moving farm equipment sign on the back of the ORV and figured it was “good enough.” CO Killingbeck advised the subjects that they needed to have an ORV license to operate on public roads in Michigan.  The driver said, “How can you expect me to know that.” CO Killingbeck explained that ORV regulations can be readily accessed. A citation was issued for failing to license an ORV.

CO Zack Walters assisted the Parks and Recreation Division at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. CO Walters wrote several citations within the park for exhibition driving, no seatbelt, and disobeying directional signs, all of which are safety concerns for the park. CO Walters also handled a personal injury report at the dunes, where an individual thought they had suffered spinal compression.

CO Ben Shively worked the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area. CO Shively worked stationary speed patrols on the entrance ramp into the dunes and issued three citations to subject operating at 35 mph plus on the 15-mph entrance ramp. CO Shively also issued citations for exhibition riding along the beach and operating an ORV without a helmet. CO Shively came across a side-by-side that had lost control on the entrance ramp and hit a guard rail causing the side-by-side to flip over the guard rail and land upside down against trees 10 feet down from a retaining wall. There were no injuries in the accident.

CO Ben Shively was patrolling USFS roads closed to ORVs in Oceana County when he heard a side-by-side operating at a high rate of speed on the nearby county road. CO Shively positioned his truck facing the way the side-by-side would come and observed the side-by-side operating down the middle of the closed road and had it on radar traveling at more than the 25 mph ORV speed limit. CO Shively conducted a traffic stop on the side-by-side and found the driver had a 4-year-old sitting on an 11-year old’s lap sharing a seatbelt. CO Shively explained the closure of the USFS roads, local ORV ordinances, and safety requirements. The subject was cited for careless operation and sent back to his campsite on federal land.


While on marine patrol on Torch Lake in Kalkaska County, COs Charlie Jones, Ben McAteer, and Jacob Hamilton observed a PWC operating at greater than no wake speed in a no wake area. CO Hamilton contacted the operator and observed he was slurring his words. The operator admitted to having about five or six beers but said he felt fine. The PWC was escorted to shore and SFSTs were performed. The operator was arrested for BUI of alcohol and lodged in the Kalkaska County Jail.

COs Jessie Curtis and Casey Pullum were patrolling Hubbard Lake in Alcona County and received a complaint of a boating accident. Upon further investigation and after performing SFSTs, CO Curtis determined the operator was under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for BUI.


While patrolling on Lake Huron near Huron County, COs Matthew Neterer and Ethan Gainforth encountered an angler fishing alone and trolling with more than three lines. The subject’s registration numbers were displayed improperly, and he failed to affix his registration sticker to his vessel. The subject was found to have a prior conviction for the same violation two years ago. CO Gainforth issued a citation for fishing with more than three lines and gave the subject warnings for the other violations.


While checking anglers along the St Joseph River in Berrien Springs, CO Zach Bauer heard an Oronoko Township police officer calling for additional units for a foot pursuit. CO Bauer responded and located the officer struggling with the suspect. CO Bauer assisted, and they were able to take the subject into custody. The suspect had broken into an abandoned apartment and attempted to break in at multiple other residences.

CO Zach Bauer and Sgt. Chris Holmes were on patrol at Grand Haven State Park when they were notified of a fight on the beach. They responded and witnessed a subject punch another subject in the face. As they approached, the suspect took off running and a foot pursuit ensued. Park rangers were nearby and were able to assist with taking the suspect into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Ottawa County Jail on charges of resisting and obstructing officers as well as assault and battery.

CO Anna Cullen was monitoring a Muskegon County boat launch for aquatic invasive species (AIS) activity when she observed a vehicle pulling a vessel that had a large amount of weeds on both the trailer and vessel. CO Cullen stopped the vehicle, and the driver acknowledged the weeds, stating he was going to clean them off later. CO Cullen informed the driver that the weeds cannot be transported and need to be cleaned off at the boat launch before leaving. CO Cullen issued a citation for the violation.


COs Cullen Knoblauch and Thomas Jaakkola received a complaint that a subject in Jackson County possessed a fawn without a rehabilitation permit. COs Knoblauch and Jaakkola arrived at the residence and observed a female walking the fawn on a dog leash. The suspect was educated on the legality of possessing a fawn without a rehabilitation permit. The fawn was transported to a licensed rehabilitator.

COs Ed Rice, Chris Reynolds, and Sgt. Chris Maher witnessed a vessel operating with an expired registration on Coldwater Lake Chain. They contacted the operator who put a cap over his beer and lowered it to the floor of the vessel. A strong odor of alcohol and marijuana was noted. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and a PBT was administered. It was confirmed the man was over the legal limit to operate a vessel. The man was arrested for boating under the influence and lodged in the Branch County Jail.

CO Jason McCullough received a complaint about a subject shooting deer in Calhoun County. CO McCullough contacted the suspect and obtained a confession. A firearm and processed venison were seized. Charges are pending through the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Kevin Bunce and Jason McCullough were patrolling Goguac Lake at dark when they witnessed a 20-foot pontoon operating without navigational lights. Contact was made and a safety check turned up 16 Type 4 throwable floatation devices, but no wearable PFDs for the eight passengers onboard. The owner was confused about the PFD requirements. Verbal warnings were given to the boaters.


CO Dan Walzak observed a subject operating a PWC on Belleville Lake near the public launch. The subject on the PWC was constantly moving in between the vessels close to the dock and, when space would open, would make tight circles on the water. This would cause wake which would significantly rock the boats attempting to leave the water. CO Walzak contacted the subject who had a misdemeanor warrant from one of the local district courts. CO Walzak issued the operator a citation for causing wake within 100 feet of the dock and advised and released him on the warrant (per the entering agency).

CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers coming into a local marina. CO Deppen started checking fishing licenses and fish when one fish looked short. CO Deppen and the angler measured the fish at 14 inches. The angler said, “Hmmm, it’s an inch short huh?” The angler’s friend spoke up and said, “I told you it was an inch short when you caught it earlier.” Both anglers started laughing. The angler was cited for possession of an undersized walleye.

CO Joseph Deppen was checking for AIS activity in Macomb County. CO Deppen watched one angler fishing strictly for round gobies. He would hook them and place them into a bucket, and then pour them into another bucket in a wagon. As he was packing up to leave, CO Deppen approached and found he was in possession of 60 round gobies. The angler was cited for possession of live AIS.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *