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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 23, 2022

DISTRICT 1

CO Brian Lasanen and Sergeant Marc Pomroy followed up on information regarding a possible antler point restriction (APR) violation. Interviews were conducted with a husband and wife who had shot multiple deer. It was determined that a 7-point deer was shot prior to purchasing licenses and a 4-point deer was illegally tagged with a restricted combination tag. Charges are being sought with the Houghton County prosecutor.

CO Brian Lasanen and Sgt. Marc Pomroy investigated a complaint of an antlerless deer shot in an area not open to antlerless hunting. The COs observed an antlerless deer hanging in the woodshed at the residence with a no kill-tag attached. It was determined there was also an 8-point buck hanging without a kill-tag attached. The hunters were cited for possessing deer without kill-tags attached. The antlerless deer was seized and donated to a needy local family.

CO Shannon Wicklund received a complaint about a subject who had shot a deer from the roadway onto state land. The complainant was able to provide a vehicle description and a partial plate. From that information, CO Wicklund was able to obtain a suspect. CO Wicklund documented the evidence of where the deer was taken and determined the deer was shot within the safety zone of a nearby house. CO Wicklund interviewed the suspect who admitted to shooting the deer and stated he did not realize he was within the safety zone. Charges for the safety zone violation will be submitted to the Menominee County prosecutor.

DISTRICT 2

COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten were on patrol in Luce County when they encountered a subject who was headed out hunting. The hunter had driven an unregistered jeep with no insurance. Contact was made at the vehicle, and it was determined that the hunter did not have his deer tags on him and was hunting with an AK-47 rifle with a 30-round magazine which was loaded and uncased in the back of the vehicle. The COs detected an odor of intoxicants on the hunter who stated that he had probably drank a little too much to be hunting that day. An open intoxicant was also witnessed inside the vehicle. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the hunter was concealing a handgun in his hunting jacket. A file check determined that the man had a suspended driver’s license as well as no CPL. The firearms involved were seized and the suspect was arrested and lodged in the Luce County Jail. A report was generated requesting charges against the man for numerous charges.

CO Steve Butzin received a complaint in Garden Township of an individual who trespassed on farmlands of another and shot a whitetail buck. CO Butzin responded to the location and discovered fresh tire tracks, blood, and deer hair. The identity of suspect was known by the caller. COs Butzin and Rob Freeborn went to the suspect’s residence and located a dead 8-point white-tailed buck. The subject admitted to taking the deer on the property in question. The buck and firearm were seized as evidence and a report is being submitted to the Delta County Court requesting charges.

COs Robert Freeborn and Steven Butzin received a complaint of a possible illegal deer hanging at a residence. Upon arrival, the deer in question was in an outbuilding. After interviewing several family members, it was determined that an additional illegal deer was in the same outbuilding. Several citations were issued including, hunting without a license, and two counts of failing to validate a kill-tag. The deer and firearms were seized. Both deer were given to needy families.

DISTRICT 3

CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint from a hunter in a treestand on private property who stated that he had shot a deer, and several minutes after the shot an individual who was apparently hunting nearby got in his vehicle and drove up close to his treestand. The vehicle was doing donuts, honking its horn, and the driver was yelling at the hunter in the stand. The hunter was scared to get down and called 911. CO Baldwin and a sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene, but the vehicle had departed the area. The event took place close to the end of hunting hours and the hunter couldn’t tell exactly what type of vehicle was used but had an idea of who it might have been. CO Baldwin currently is conducting interviews and will be seeking charges for hunter harassment through the prosecutor’s office.

CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Bill Webster contacted some camp owners with property adjacent to state land. The owners had cleared and planted two large food plots on state land, were hunting deer with the aid of bait, cut numerous trees for shooting lanes, failed to have identification on treestands, and maintained an illegal ORV trail on state land. Tickets were issued and the state land trespass violations were addressed.

COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Sidney LaLonde contacted a subject in Montmorency County who was operating a vehicle down a state land forest road. The operator of the vehicle was contacted, and it was determined that the driver had a loaded rifle in the back seat. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

DISTRICT 4

CO Logan Turner was patrolling Wexford County when he noticed three deer in the bed of a pickup truck at a residence. CO Turner did not see a kill-tag on one of the deer. CO Turner contacted a subject at the house and confirmed that one of the deer did not have a kill-tag attached and was in violation of the APRs. The individual who shot the deer stated he saw the antlers far away and shot at it, not thinking he was going to hit the deer. The deer was seized, and a report has been forwarded to the Wexford County prosecutor.

CO William Kinney closed out a two-year-old waterfowl case from 2020. After attending a jury trial, a guilty verdict was reached for a hunter who had shot and injured a trumpeter swan. The hunter had misidentified the bird believing it to be a goose while out waterfowl hunting. The hunter was sentenced to fines and costs.

CO Josiah Killingbeck advised that the start of the 2022 rifle season took on a somber tone in several deer camps. CO Killingbeck responded to three separate incidents where hunters were found dead in the first three days of the season. All three subjects were determined to have passed away from natural causes and all three subjects were in their deer blinds, except for one who was dragging a deer. In one case, CO Killingbeck was the first on scene of a subject who was in an elevated blind. CO Killingbeck started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the hunter and was assisted by CO Ryan Andrews and Sgt. Grant Emery, along with deputies of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. CPR was performed until the subject reached the hospital and was pronounced deceased.

DISTRICT 5

CO Charlie Jones was off-duty at the time he received an in-progress RAP complaint in Oliver Township of Kalkaska County. The complainant reported that two individuals were driving around in a side-by-side shooting and chasing deer. CO Jones contacted the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department for any available units to assist. Sgt. Kevin Schaub managed to catch up to the hunters until CO Jones was able to get to the location. CO Jones determined the driver of the side-by-side had a hunt from a standing vehicle permit but was driving around with a loaded and uncased firearm in the vehicle. The driver was issued a citation for possessing a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and failing to immediately validate his kill-tag.

COs Breanna Reed, James Garrett, Charlie Jones, Matt Zultak, Ben McAteer, and Sgt. Brian Olsen conducted a night-time deer decoy patrol in Missaukee County. Sgt. Olsen watched as a hunter illuminated the decoy with his vehicle headlights. When contacted, the hunter stated he knew he was in trouble when the deer did not move after he shot it. CO Reed issued a citation for hunt after hours and shine with weapon in possession. The subject’s firearm was seized during the incident.

CO Breanna Reed responded to a safety zone complaint in Missaukee County. CO Reed contacted the hunter in her blind. The hunter knew a neighboring house was close but was unaware that there was a law involving safety zones near houses. The blind was approximately 112 yards from the residence. The hunter was issued a citation.

DISTRICT 6

In Bay County, CO Adam Beuthin was approached by an individual who struck up a conversation about his recent hunting activity. The individual told CO Beuthin he was unsuccessful that morning but had harvested a 9-point on November 6. The CO asked to see the individual’s hunting licenses when the CO observed the individual purchased his deer licenses at noon on the day, he said he harvested the 9-point buck. CO Beuthin asked the individual what time he harvested the 9-point, and the man told the CO he shot the deer at about 8:30 in the morning. After further conversation, the man confessed to harvesting the 9-point without a deer license. A warrant request will be submitted though the Bay County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Ethan Gainforth received an anonymous complaint of a subject in Tuscola County who had shot an over-limit of antlered deer. The suspect was contacted afield while hunting for his fourth antlered deer. The individual confessed to taking three antlered deer earlier in the archery and firearm deer seasons. Charges will be requested through the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 7

CO Travis Dragomer investigated a baiting complaint in Berrien County. CO Dragomer located a hunter who was actively hunting over the bait pile which consisted of corn and minerals. After further investigation, it was determined that the hunter was hunting without his kill-tags and was allowing a minor to hunt unsupervised. CO Dragomer issued citations for hunting over bait and being afield with a firearm without kill-tags. A warning was given for allowing a minor to hunt without adult supervision.

CO Travis Dragomer located a 6-point antlered deer illegally tagged with a restricted deer license and the tag was not properly notched out. CO Dragomer issued the hunter a citation for not properly validating a kill-tag. A warning was given for tagging the deer with the improper tag.

CO Cameron Wright and Sgt. Steve Mooney were patrolling St. Joseph County on opening day when they received a complaint of a hunter who shot a deer off the neighbor’s property without permission. When the COs arrived, they saw the landowner standing with the subject and saw the deer in the bed of his truck. The suspect admitted to shooting the deer over the property line and said he wasn’t thinking clearly when he saw the buck walk out of the woods. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken.

On the opening day of firearms deer season, CO James Nason received a trespassing complaint in Kalamazoo County and was able to respond within minutes. Upon arriving on scene, CO Nason found that the complainant had followed the suspect to their residence and was waiting outside for police. A photo of the man was taken on the complainant’s property with GPS coordinates and a full confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office. 

DISTRICT 8

CO Lisa Taube and Sgt. Jason Smith responded to a RAP complaint in Livingston County for a hunter violating the firearms safety zone. The suspect was interviewed and admitted to hunting from her indoor patio area, which was in the safety zone of her neighbor’s home. The victim was adamant she wanted to prosecute, and the suspect was cited for hunting with a firearm within the safety zone.

CO Thomas Jaakkola received a RAP complaint about a hunter in Jackson County using a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle to kill two deer earlier in the week. The hunter was interviewed and stated that he had shot two bucks in his backyard with his 6.5 Creedmoor. It was determined that the hunter also was baiting deer. Both bucks were seized, and a report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office requesting charges.

CO Ed Rice received a RAP complaint of a waterfowl hunter shooting prior to legal hunting hours. CO Rice contacted Sgt. Chris Maher and met at the complainant’s residence. The complainant and witnesses advised they heard four or five shots prior to legal hunting hours and believed there were multiple shooters. Sgt. Maher, with permission, commandeered the complainant’s vessel to locate the hunters. He and CO Rice located the hunters who admitted to shooting approximately 15 minutes prior to legal hunting hours. Charges will be sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for hunting before legal hunting hours.

DISTRICT 9

During a late-night shining patrol, CO Dave Schaumburger followed around a suspicious vehicle for quite some time. Although he never saw the vehicle spotlight any deer, the vehicle had stopped in the middle of the road a few times to switch drivers and at one point the vehicle did a 30-second burnout on the road. That was when CO Schaumburger decided to stop the vehicle. When the CO contacted the vehicle, he observed an uncased bow and arrow in the backseat. He asked the driver if he could look around in the vehicle and the CO found two open bottles of beer and an uncased shotgun under the back seat. The driver was cited for open intoxicants, careless driving, and having an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

Acting on one of CO Keven Luther’s tips of a baited stand, CO Dave Schaumburger walked into the property and found a young man bowhunting in a tree during the November firearm season without any hunter orange. The hunter was 17 years old and did not realize that he needed hunter orange while bow hunting. The CO educated the young man and ended the contact positively, even giving the youth a ride to his vehicle a quarter of a mile away when the wind chill was in the teens. The young hunter was very thankful and left educated.

While patrolling for hunting activity during the firearm deer season, COs Ariel Young and Dave Schaumburger located a hunter who had an obvious pile of bait. The COs stopped and contacted the hunter who stated that they did not place the bait. The hunter was also lacking hunter orange garments. It quickly became apparent that the hunter was a very novice hunter who didn’t know many of the regulations. The hunter stated that he had not taken hunter’s safety and thought their military experience was more than sufficient. The hunter was issued a citation for failing to wear hunter orange and given warnings for the other violations. The hunter was told not to hunt again until after taking hunter’s safety.

CO Cody Bourgeois worked a trespassing complaint in Oakland County and observed two hunters not wearing hunter orange and hunting over bait with no licenses. Further investigation revealed one of the hunters shot a buck earlier in the week. CO Bourgeois seized the 8-point buck, meat, and shotgun used to take the deer. The hunter was issued citations for hunting without a license, hunting without hunter orange, and hunting over bait. Further charges will be sought for the illegal deer.

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