Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 28, 2022

DISTRICT 1

COs Brian Lasanen, Byron Parks and Sgt. Marc Pomroy investigated a complaint of a group of bear hunters who were trespassing. The suspects were identified, and multiple interviews were conducted. It was determined that a large bear was shot by an unlicensed hunter while the group was trespassing. A warrant request will be submitted for the licensing violations along with trespassing.

CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and responded to the call of a boat stranded on Lake Superior. The location given was described as somewhere between Black River Harbor and Saxon Harbor in Wisconsin. CO Painter, with the assistance of a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper, located the stranded boat several miles from Black River Harbor. There were two subjects on board unable to get their motor to work. The officers were able to tow the boat safely back into the harbor.

COs Jeremy Sergey and John Kamps received information that a hunter had harvested a bear in the wrong bear management unit. The COs were only provided a general location of where the individual was camping. After searching for some time, the COs located the individual camping on state land with two other bear hunters. In addition to obtaining a confession, the following violations also were discovered: unidentified treestand, hunt with a semi-automatic rifle capable of holding greater than six shells, and transport an uncased pistol on an ORV. The bear was seized, and the case is open, pending prosecution in the Baraga County Court.

DISTRICT 2

CO Brandon Maki and Sgt. Mark Zitnik checked a successful hunter who had just shot a bear. The hunter had all the proper licensing and showed the COs the video footage he took during the hunt. The COs assisted the hunter in tracking the bear. After a short track, the COs helped the hunter get the bear out of the woods and to an access point.

CO Andrea Dani observed a four-wheeler trail with several pieces of equipment left unattended at the beginning of the trail. CO Dani followed the ORV tracks until she located a bear bait and a rifle bear hunter in a treestand with no hunter orange. CO Dani contacted the hunter, who also did not have his bear license on his person. CO Dani gave him a warning for the hunter orange and cited him for no hunting license on his person.

CO Steve Butzin checked several bear hunters who were in violation of establishing/tending an illegal bear bait during the 2022 and 2021 bear season as the bait was placed prior to 31 days before open season and barrels with holes larger than an inch were used on private property. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Lynch and Sgt. Mark Zitnik were on patrol checking small game hunters when a truck slow rolling down a gravel road approached the COs. Contact with the driver was made and an uncased shotgun was observed in the vehicle. The hunter was asked for his hunting license, and he was unable to produce one. A citation was issued for an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and a warning was given for hunting without a license.

COs Robert Freeborn and Michael Evink were on routine patrol when they checked a local river for fishing activity. After locating two anglers on a sand island, they were asked to show their licenses. One of the subjects stated he had one, but it was in the car back at the beach access. The COs left the river and checked the status of the angler in question. It was determined that the angler had never purchased a fishing license before. The angler was re-contacted, and his story immediately changed. He was issued a citation for the violation.

DISTRICT 3

CO Duane Budreau attended a Hunters Safety Field Day in East Jordan with over 50 people in attendance. There was a variety of age groups attending the program. CO Budreau fielded many questions about the new mandatory harvest reporting rule. Several people were concerned with the poor cellular coverage in northern Michigan. CO Budreau explained the various options that people will have to report their harvest. CO Budreau also explained the new Department of Natural Resources App for smart phones. He assisted several people in installing the app while talking about it.

Sgt. Mike Mshar was on patrol during the elk hunt in Montmorency County when a complaint came from RAP that a hunter was hunting on a roadway and was aiming a rifle down the road at oncoming vehicles. Sgt. Mshar responded and confirmed that the hunter had set up a tripod actively aiming his rifle down the middle of a public county road. The hunter and his guide were educated on the safety hazards that could occur doing such a careless thing. The hunter seemed to understand and elected to opt for a different location to hunt.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Kinney patrolled the Betsie River in Benzie County for fishing activity during the busy salmon season. CO Kinney contacted anglers from all over the country, in addition to one angler who flew in from Germany just to fish the fall salmon runs. CO Kinney issued several citations over the course of a few days for individuals fishing within 300 feet of the Homestead Dam.

COs Richard Stowe and Joshua Wright were working a night patrol on the Betsie River when they encountered two subjects walking across posted private property in Benzie County. Both subjects were cited for the violation. At another time, CO Stowe encountered two adults and three juveniles walking the same path across the property. The two adults were issued citations for recreational trespass.

CO Richard Stowe was assisted by an MSP trooper in responding to a reported 300-foot violation at the Homestead Dam at night. A subject was observed fighting a fish approximately 150 feet from the dam. Contact was made and CO Stowe assisted in landing the fish. When the hook was removed, it was found to be a treble hook with a ¾-inch gap from point to shank. The subject was cited for both violations and the fish was released successfully.

COs Josh Reed, Angela Greenway, Micah Hintze, and Robert Slick, along with Sgt. Mike Bomay, participated in a speed enforcement patrol on the Muskegon River. COs Tim Barboza and Ben Shively conducted speed measurements from a fixed position along the shoreline utilizing the department issued LIDAR unit. Speed limit on inland waters is 55 mph. Citations were issued for speeding violations of 66, 67, 67, 72, 74, and 81 mph.

DISTRICT 5

CO John Huspen was patrolling Crawford County during bear season when he observed three trucks with hounds parked, blocking a forest road. CO Huspen tracked the subjects in the woods and contacted the group of hunters minutes after harvesting a black bear. The subjects had finished field dressing the bear but failed to place a tag on the animal. Upon further investigation, the hunter had left the kill tag in his brother’s truck, about five miles away. A citation was issued for failing to validate a kill tag.

COs Phil Hudson, Josh Russell, and John Huspen assisted with a Hunter Safety Field Day at the Houghton Lake Sportsmen Club. Approximately 30 people completed the hunter safety class.

COs James Garrett and Matthew Zultak were patrolling Roscommon County in the Red Oak Bear Management Unit when they discovered half of a 55-gallon metal barrel being used as a bear bait station, which is illegal on state land. The next morning COs Garrett and Breanna Reed slipped into the bait station before daylight and waited for the hunter. Approximately one hour after daybreak, a hound truck pulled into the location and the COs contacted the subject as he was filling the metal barrel. After a short conversation, the COs obtained a confession from the subject that he did know metal containers were illegal on state land. A citation was issued for establishing an illegal bear bait station on public land.

DISTRICT 6

While on an ORV patrol in Midland County, CO Jacob Daniel came across some waterfowl hunters. CO Daniel watched two of the three hunters take their limit of wood ducks. Once the hunters headed in for the night, CO Daniel checked the hunter’s shotguns, licenses, shells, and birds. During this, CO Daniel discovered that the hunters were camping. After parting ways, CO Daniel had a feeling that the party shot birds that morning. CO Daniel went back to their campsite. After interviewing the hunters, they pulled two mallard and three wood duck carcasses out of their campfire that was set up to be burned that night. It was discovered that one of the hunters had taken one wood duck over the limit. One wood duck carcass along with two wood duck breasts were collected and a citation was issued for possessing an over-limit of wood ducks.

CO Mark Reffitt followed up on a Montcalm County complaint of a deer feeder located in a wooded area behind a residence. Upon investigation, the CO learned that the feeder belonged to a neighbor of the reported residence. The subject, who had recently moved to Michigan from Florida, was hoping to hunt there with his son during the upcoming youth hunt. The CO educated him on Michigan hunting rules while issuing him a verbal warning for baiting in a closed area. The subject and his son were ordered to remove the feeder and clean up the area around it.

DISTRICT 7

CO Anna Cullen and other area COs were patrolling northern Muskegon County for salmon snagging activity. COs Cullen and Jackie Miskovich noticed two individuals leaving the area, carrying two king salmon. The COs contacted them to inquire about the fish, and the lures they were using. The anglers admitted to snagging the fish; both caught the fish behind the gill plate. The fish were seized, and citations were issued for the violations.

CO Jackie Miskovich was working the White River mouth when an angler retained a fish that they had caught by the gill plate. The individual was run through DNR dispatch for any prior violations, and it was found that the individual had previously been issued a citation for retaining a foul-hooked fish. A citation was issued to the individual.

CO Jackie Miskovich received a call from a PJ Hoffmaster park ranger regarding a couple cameras and a mineral block they had found on the park property. CO Miskovich verified it was the same set-up that was found last fall. Shortly after leaving the park, CO Miskovich received another call from a PJ Hoffmaster park ranger, saying that the owner of the cameras had come in to ask why park rangers were on their property and they had captured them on camera. CO Miskovich then went to the landowner’s house closest to the cameras and asked if they had put in a complaint about park rangers  on their property and was told it was their relative. CO Miskovich interviewed the relatives, who admitted it was their cameras and their mineral block. A citation was issued for feeding deer.

CO Robert Slick issued a citation to an individual fishing with too many lines in Kollen Park. There were five lines out and only one angler attending to them. The individual stated that all he knew were the bag limits. CO Slick informed him that he was only allowed three lines and a citation was issued for the violation.

DISTRICT 8

CO John Byars was assisting an Eaton County sheriff’s deputy with a sick deer complaint when a call from central dispatch came out that there was a person on the side of the road with a firearm. Upon arrival, CO Byars and the deputies approached the person who appeared to be suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot suicide attempt. Medical personnel responded and transported the person to the hospital. CO Byars assisted the detectives in finding evidence using a metal detector. The pistol used was stolen out of Jackson County and the individual was a person of interest with the Lansing Police Department.

CO Ed Rice and Sgt. Chris Maher responded to a RAP complaint of an individual hunting during the closed season. CO Rice and Sgt. Maher located two individuals underneath a box blind with one of them in possession of a rifle. The father stated they were out scouting for deer and not hunting. The father stated he was using the scope from the rifle to scout deer and had removed the bolt from the rifle. Sgt. Maher was given consent to search their backpacks and uncovered a box of ammunition and the rifle’s bolt. The firearm, ammunition, and licenses were documented. Charges are being sought for hunting deer with a firearm during closed season and no hunter orange.

While patrolling Windsor Township State Game Area (SGA), CO Marc Mankowski heard a person target shooting in a closed area and saw bullets hit the lake and trees around him. He located the shooter, and it was evident he was inexperienced and unaware of many safety precautions that should be observed while shooting, as well as the regulations in the game area. The shooter was issued a citation.

DISTRICT 9

While patrolling near Belleville Lake, CO Ariel Young stopped at the boat launch to check activity. CO Young observed an individual carrying a very full five-gallon bucket up the hill. CO Young stopped to ask the individual how the fishing was, and the individual said it had been OK. When asked how many fish were in the bucket, the individual told CO Young that there were 15 or 20 bluegill and crappie. CO Young believed there to be more than 20 fish in the bucket and after further questioning the individual, the person admitted that they did not know the limit for panfish. CO Young took the bucket back to the fishing location and talked with a few other anglers who were with the first individual. CO Young then observed a fish basket that also had quite a few fish in it. CO Young dumped the bucket and found that there was an undersized walleye, four undersized smallmouth bass, multiple gobies (that were recently dead), and an over-limit of panfish. The anglers were cited for the undersized fish and over-limit. They were educated on the use of gobies and that gobies cannot be possessed alive. The anglers thanked CO Young for the education.

CO Luke Robare received a tip from an MSP trooper about an individual who shot three Canada geese without a waterfowl license over bait. CO Robare responded to the suspect’s house with the trooper and investigated the scene. CO Robare discovered that the suspect boxed up two geese and was going to throw them away, the third goose was wounded and ended up expiring in a pond. CO Robare’s investigation found that the suspect had corn in his backyard, shot the geese without a waterfowl license or federal duck stamp, and used lead shot. The suspect said he was upset that the geese were eating his corn. CO Robare will be submitting charges for taking geese without a license.

Sgt. Seth Rhodea was checking lakes in the Lapeer SGA when he located a subject fishing from a kayak on a small lake. Sgt. Rhodea monitored the angler and contacted him when he was leaving the lake. The angler was found to not have a PFD with him while he was fishing. A citation was issued for failing to have a PFD.

CO Mike Drexler was just starting a marine patrol on the Portage Lake chain when he observed a PWC with an operator and a passenger, the passenger appearing to not be wearing a PFD. CO Drexler confirmed the passenger was not wearing a PFD and a vessel stop was conducted. The operator was cited for the passenger not wearing a PFD.

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