Department of Natural Resources
While patrolling Menominee County, Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon and Conservation Officers (COs) Jeremy Sergey and Anna Viau were called to assist with the search for a missing woman. The COs helped search along waterways and in areas the woman frequented in the past. After a short time, Sgt. Bacon and CO Viau located the woman and helped make sure she made it home safely.
While fishing a lake in Marquette County on his day off, CO Josh Boudreaux observed a boat containing two anglers catching numerous fish and not returning any to the lake. The lake contained a large quantity of rainbow trout with a size limit of 12 inches and CO Boudreaux had been catching many undersized fish. Seeing that the two anglers hadn’t appeared to have thrown back a single fish, CO Boudreaux suspected they had undersized fish and contacted CO John Kamps to see if he was available. CO Kamps was an hour away but said he would start heading that way. Shortly after, the anglers headed into shore and began cleaning their fish on the dock. CO Boudreaux contacted the anglers and found them to be over the limit and have in possession multiple undersized rainbow trout. CO Kamps arrived on scene and a citation was issued for possessing an over-limit of rainbow trout.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol during the north zone duck opener when he received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint that someone had shot multiple swans in the Sturgeon River Sloughs. CO Smith vacated the wetland he was working and contacted CO Doug Hermanson to see if he was closer to the area. Upon arrival to the scene, the alleged hunters were spotted and contacted by COs Smith and Hermanson. A routine waterfowl check was done, and lead shot was in one of the hunter’s gun cases. Upon asking the hunters where the swans were, they informed the COs that they stashed them where they dropped. Retrieval of the trumpeter swans was made, and citations were issued for possession of trumpeter swans along with possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when a call came in of a structure fire with multiple explosions and ammunition popping and landing on the nearby roadway. CO Smith responded to the area securing the scene and contacting the power company and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the occupant of the dwelling. The occupant was attempting to start his cooktop when it ignited from an apparent propane leak in his residence blowing him through two walls of his house. Luckily the occupant sustained minor injuries. CO Smith collected firearms that survived the blast and put them in safe storage at the sheriff’s department until the owner could retrieve them.
COs Breanna Reed and Steve Butzin received a suspicious shots complaint. The COs patrolled the area for several weeks in attempt to locate the illegal hunting activity. While conducting a stationary patrol, one subject came out at the end of legal hunting hours and began hunting within 30 feet of the COs. The COs observed the individual for a short while before making contact. The subject was found to be in violation of his crop damage permit by hunting outside of legal hunting hours. The subject was also found to be in possession of a loaded and uncased firearm in or upon a motor vehicle, as well as possession of a firearm while intoxicated. The subject’s blood alcohol content was nearly double the legal limit. The subject was arrested and lodged at the Delta County Jail.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were serving one of two suspects a two-count arrest warrant for illegally shooting sandhill cranes. The warrant was served without incident. After serving the warrant, the COs interviewed the suspect about suspected illegally taken deer CO Lynch had information about. The suspect confessed to shooting an illegal 8-point in 2017 and an illegal 10-point in 2018. Both sets of antlers were seized, and the rifle used to kill the deer was already seized from the suspect shooting a sandhill crane with it. A report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for review. CO Lynch later served the second suspect a three-count arrest warrant without incident for illegally shooting sandhill cranes.
CO Chris Lynch concluded an extensive investigation, with the assistance of COs Steve Butzin, Breanna Reed, and Justin Ulberg, and a Wisconsin conservation warden of a complaint of deer being taken illegally. After numerous interviews, three suspects were developed, and it was discovered they were shooting deer utilizing deer damage control permits. All three confessed to multiple violations. The illegal deer and weapons used to kill the deer were documented with one weapon being seized. A report is being submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
COs Andrea Dani and Mark Zitnik presented at Agri-Palooza at the Michigan State University Research Farm in Chatham. The presentation focused on what it means to be a conservation officer. Fifth graders from around the area were taught what COs do, how COs prepare for their workday, and why conservation laws are important. The students were then given a tour of a CO truck and all the gear associated. CO Zitnik covered the major points of basic survival skills and tools as well.
CO Mark Zitnik received a complaint of two waterfowl hunters in a closed refuge in Alger County on opening day of duck season. CO Zitnik responded to the boat launch just after first light. The CO located the hunters in the closed section of the refuge via canoe. The CO asked the hunters if they thought it was strange that they were the only ones in the area. They responded that it was odd, oblivious to the fact they were in the refuge. The two hunters were issued citations for hunting in the refuge and two geese and three ducks were seized.
CO Justin Vinson was on routine patrol when he received a waterfowl complaint involving hunting within a safety zone on South Manistique Lake. CO Vinson responded to the scene and, after several interviews and examination of the scene, it was determined the two men were hunting well within a safety zone. During the investigation, it was also found that one of the men shot a duck after legal shooting hours, and the other had his hunting privileges revoked until 2021. Charges are being sought through the Mackinac County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Chad Baldwin responded to a call for a lost individual on state land. The lost person had cell phone coverage and was able to call 911 to let them know where he had entered the woods. CO Baldwin was very familiar with the area and found the caller’s vehicle and then he was easily able to determine what direction the caller started off. The weather and time of day was a concern, as daylight was fading, and heavy rain had been falling for most of the day. CO Baldwin decided to enter the woods and track down the individual before it got too late. After a short hike through extremely dense vegetation, CO Baldwin could hear the person breaking sticks and branches as he walked. CO Baldwin called out to him and had him walk towards his voice. After several minutes, CO Baldwin located the individual and observed that he was quite mentally shaken. CO Baldwin calmed him down while making sure he was not injured or too dehydrated to walk back out. Together they returned to the lost man’s vehicle and stayed there until CO Baldwin was confident the man could drive back to his cabin.
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling the Boyne River and witnessed an angler foul hook a salmon. The angler landed the fish that was hooked just behind the gills and proceeded to put the fish on his stringer. Upon contact, CO Mapes asked the subject where the fish was hooked. The angler stated that the fish was hooked “by the mouth.” After clarification, the man admitted that he meant “by the mouth” as in “near the mouth” not “in the mouth.” The man was ticketed for possessing a foul hooked fish.
CO Adam LeClerc was working the Boyne River salmon run with CO Ethen Mapes. CO LeClerc observed a pair of anglers using gear that was illegal for the gear restricted river. The anglers were observed attempting to illegally hook multiple salmon in the body of the fish. The one angler was also observed using his rod to harass the fish as they tried hiding under a log. The anglers were contacted, and both were issued tickets for using illegal gear on the gear restricted stream. They were educated on the other violations that the COs observed.
CO Adam LeClerc met with the Emmet County Prosecutor regarding a live capture bear trap found on state land during the dog training season. While working with neighboring law enforcement agencies, information was given to CO LeClerc about a live capture bear trap placed on state land. Through interviews, trail camera pictures, and numerous search warrants, a suspect was found who was the owner of the trap. The trap was seized, along with other live capture traps typically used for raccoons and skunks, that were also set illegally on state land. The prosecutor’s office authorized charges on the suspect and an arrest warrant was issued. The case is pending.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about Bennett Creek running dark and possibly polluted by a nearby well. CO Erratt patrolled to the creek and talked to a Friends of the Jordan River member whom she had just met at the meeting. CO Erratt asked if there was a beaver dam or pond upstream and she said, “No.” CO Erratt and the complainant drove and walked upstream checking the stream and the well which turned out to be fine. Further upstream, CO Erratt located a huge beaver pond that had drained when a clump of cedar trees had fallen on the dam. The complainant who lived on Bennett Creek which is a tributary of the Jordan River was relieved the creek was not polluted.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was on patrol in Briley Township in Montmorency County when he observed an ORV operating down the center of the roadway at a high rate of speed. CO Liestenfeltz stopped the ORV and it was determined the operator had been drinking throughout the evening. The subject was put through Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) in which he did not pass. The subject also had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than two times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. The subject was placed into custody for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and lodged at the Montmorency County Jail.
Sgt. Mike Mshar was off duty in Montmorency County when he located a large bait pile with a game camera set up at the site. After further investigation, it was determined the bait and camera were placed by a local elk guide. An interview was conducted, and the guide admitted to placing the bait in order to have his client shoot an elk from it. Charges are being sought for the violation.
CO Jessie Curtis, along with other local law enforcement and several Oakland County K9s who were in town for training, searched a wooded area behind a home for a missing four-year-old in Alpena County. The four-year-old was found safe and unharmed approximately two hours later.
CO Jessie Curtis, along with other local law enforcement and several Oakland County K9s who were in town for training, searched for a fleeing felon in Alpena County who was suspected to be armed. Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper (Tpr.) Heidi Killingbeck and CO Curtis, who were holding a perimeter, received a call of a suspicious vehicle approximately a block away that was parked on the front lawn of a residence. The vehicle had its lights on, driver’s side window down, and a phone charger shut in the door. The owner of the residence had the vehicle towed. Another suspicious vehicle was called in behind a local bar downtown. Upon further investigation and an interview, Tpr. Killingbeck and CO Curtis discovered that a subject was attempting to pick up the fleeing felon and had left the last suspicious vehicle as they feared the police were close. The subject was arrested by Alpena City Police for aiding the fleeing felon.
On opening day of duck season, CO Jon Sheppard patrolled the area of the Long Swamp in Alpena County. After several hours of walking the area and observing duck hunters, CO Sheppard contacted a group of hunters as they were exiting the marsh checking them for ducks, licenses, and equipment. When asked to see any waterfowl taken, the hunters produced a garbage bag filled with duck breasts and one intact wood duck. CO Sheppard counted the breasts and asked what kind of ducks they shot. The hunters said they were all wood ducks. With 46 duck breasts and one intact wood duck that left them within their limit of wood ducks. CO Sheppard advised them that the meat had to have one fully feathered wing attached to be able to identify what kind of ducks they had. CO Sheppard seized the duck breast for evidence and issued tickets for possession of unidentifiable waterfowl.
CO Patrick McManus responded to a complaint of subjects possibly snagging and netting fish along the Platte River. When CO McManus arrived, he located the group but did not see any activity as described by the complainant. CO McManus observed the suspects for over an hour as they relocated away from the other anglers downstream. It was at that time that CO McManus observed one of the suspects net a fish out of the river and another retain a foul hooked salmon. Citations were issued for the illegal use of gear.
CO Justin Vanderlinde located four anglers who were fishing the closed waters of the Betsie River at different locations. This was the third time that one of the anglers had been written for the same offense. All anglers were cited for fishing in a closed trout stream.
CO William Haskin assisted Wexford County deputies on a domestic violence complaint where the suspect fled on foot. CO Haskin located the individual and he was taken into custody to be charged.
CO Steve Converse received a complaint of duck hunters having shot a bald eagle. CO Converse contacted the complainant and was told that, while fishing on the Manistee River, he had observed a bald eagle flying over a bayou and then heard a shot and saw the eagle fall from the sky. COs Converse and Joseph Myers responded to the area and located the suspects as they arrived at the access site. The subjects admitted that an eagle had been shot and it was still alive. With the help of the subject, the COs were able to locate and capture the injured eagle. The eagle was taken to a rehabilitation center. Charges are being sought through the Manistee County Prosecutor’s Office.
While on patrol on the opening day of archery season, COs Ryan Andrews and Brian Brosky followed up on a tip that a hunter would be hunting over a large bait pile in Mason County. The two COs located the bait location and contacted two individuals that were hunting in a blind overlooking the bait. One of the individuals had been previously charged by each CO for previous DNR violations and was currently revoked from being eligible to obtain a hunting license for violations from last year’s deer season. Both men in the blind had archery equipment with them and were charged with hunting over bait and one was arrested for hunting deer while his hunting license privileges were revoked.
CO Ryan Andrews observed an angler using an illegal lead weight and treble hook repeatedly attempt to snag salmon from the Baldwin River. Once the man landed a fish that was hooked in the side of the body, CO Andrews watched the man take the illegal gear off his line and put it in a separate container in his gear bag. After the fish was not returned to the water and the fisherman was packing up his gear, CO Andrews made contact. When questioned about his fishing gear, the fisherman said the lure fell out of the fish when he landed it and he lost it. Once CO Andrews stated he watched him use it and hide the illegal gear, the man claimed he didn’t know it was illegal. The angler also stated that he didn’t know it was illegal to keep a foul hooked fish. CO Andrews educated the individual on fishing regulations and issued him a citation for retaining a foul hooked fish. After the man left the river, other anglers volunteered information to the CO that they had told him earlier he was using an illegal lure and he stated that he knew but didn’t care.
CO Josh Reed concluded a litter investigation involving a large pile of household refuse in the Martiny State Game Area (SGA). Several names with addresses were located at the dump site. CO Reed interviewed many subjects over several weeks and was able to identify the main suspect. Upon interviewing the suspect, an admission was obtained for illegally dumping the garbage on state land. The suspect immediately advised that he would clean the area up. He even got his friends to help in cleaning up the original dump site as well as other garbage in the area. The main suspect in this case was issued a citation for littering.
CO Ben Shively was working a creek in northern Oceana County when he observed four subjects walking along the creek. CO Shively watched as two male subjects jumped into the creek in their shoes and shorts and began chasing the king salmon that were spawning. CO Shively observed one subject attempt to take a salmon by hand, while the other subject kicked one towards shore and then grabbed it by hand. CO Shively contacted the two subjects as they were walking back to their vehicle with the fish. Both subjects were issued citations for taking a fish by an illegal method. The subject that had taken the salmon by hand was also placed under arrest and lodged at the Oceana County Jail on three outstanding warrants. Reimbursement of $170 will be sought for the 17-pound king salmon.
CO Mike Wells received information of a subject who baited deer last year and was up to the same activity this year. CO Wells conducted a foot patrol of the location and located an elevated shack with approximately 50 pounds of corn and some sugar beets in front of the blind. Several days later he returned to the stand location and contacted an individual in possession of a crossbow. CO Wells requested her deer license and she stated it was back at her residence. A citation was issued for the baiting of deer when prohibited in Newaygo County and warning was issued for no license in possession.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to an assault in progress. Upon arrival, the suspects had just left the scene after they assaulted a male subject by hitting him in the head with a club. The victim had four seizures prior to EMS arriving as a result of the assault. The assailants were later located and arrested by the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department.
Opening day of archery season, CO John Huspen contacted a subject that had been operating his ORV cross country to set up his hunting location on state land. Upon contact, the subject was found to be hunting over a bait pile. During an interview, the subject stated that he put the bait out to get an advantage over other hunters. The subject stated that without the bait, he wouldn’t be able to shoot deer in this location. Then the subject told CO Huspen that deer hunting would be easier if the state outlawed baiting all together. A citation was issued for the violations.
CO Mike Hearn was contacted by a local bear hunter that believed he was the victim of hunter harassment in Kalkaska County. After hunting for a week at his private property bear blind, the complainant became suspicious of the lack of all animal activity in the area. He started looking around his hunt site and found two hidden glass jars with an unknown white substance inside. CO Hearn met with the complainant and located additional signs of trespass on the property. The jar has been sent in for laboratory analysis to check for possible poison and fingerprints. The case remains under investigation.
CO Brad Bellville was working the middle zone waterfowl opener when he encountered two waterfowl hunters on the edge of a lake. While checking the hunters, one of them stated his semi-automatic shotgun was jammed and he ejected four shells from the gun. No other violations were observed, and CO Bellville drove away. What the hunters did not realize was that CO Bellville only drove out of sight and returned through the woods on foot with the suspicion that the hunter was “floating a fourth shell” and the gun was not actually jammed. After settling in close to listen and watch, it was only a matter of minutes before the hunters started talking about getting away with floating the fourth shell. Contact with the hunters was made again and CO Bellville obtained a confession from the hunter that he was knowingly hunting waterfowl with more than three shells. A citation was issued for the violation.
COs Tyler Sabuda and Jesse Grzechowski observed a group of waterfowl hunters shooting at non-game species throughout the morning in Alcona County. The hunters shot at cormorants, seagulls, blackbirds, and a loon. The COs contacted the hunters and cited them for hunting without a license, attempting to take a protected species, and no Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) for their boat.
COs Jeff Panich and Jesse Grzechowski received notification from Alcona County Central Dispatch that two hunters had become lost at dusk. The COs quickly responded to the hunters’ camp and had to use an ORV to get back to the hunters’ last known location in a thick cedar swamp. Eventually, the COs had to travel the remaining distance on foot and were able to find the two elderly men. They were in good health except for being very sore and fatigued. The COs assisted the hunters back to the ORV and transported them back to a nearby camp for EMS to conduct medical evaluations.
CO Mark Papineau was conducting stationary surveillance on an ORV complaint received in Gladwin County. A portion of state land that was closed to ORVs was being destroyed by large trucks. CO Papineau noticed a truck without a tailgate enter the nearby county road, accelerate quickly, and begin doing multiple donuts in the roadway. The operator of the truck almost hit another motorist during the incident. CO Papineau followed the vehicle into the driveway of a residence and contacted the driver. He was cited for careless driving and operating a motor vehicle with expired registration.
While out on patrol, CO Adam Schiller received a complaint that individuals were reported on state land partaking in a possible party. The CO responded to the area of the party and local deputies met the CO to assist in the response. The CO led the deputies down a two-track into the state land. They then observed a large fire and multiple individuals around the fire. The subjects drove vehicles back into the state land. The state land was cleaned up by the subjects and enforcement action was taken.
COs Dan Robinson and Josh Jackson participated in Project RED, a rural education day devoted to educating students on the importance and know-how of farming. Fourth grade students from Isabella County attended. COs Jackson and Robinson led a session on ORV safety and introduced the students to the role conservation officers play in protecting the people, lands, and wildlife in Michigan. Over 600 students rotated through the CO’s station throughout the two days.
CO Dan Robinson was working an area known for shining activity where several deer have been found shot in years past. While sitting stationary, CO Robinson witnessed a van pass him while shining a light on the opposite side of the road. The van continued down the road and shined the open field several times. The van was also operating on the wrong side of the roadway. A traffic stop was initiated, and two subjects admitted to shining the fields. CO Robinson advised them that it was legal hours to shine, but also noticed a rifle case between the two front seats. When asked about firearms, the pair stated that they had a .22 rifle in the van between the seats. The rifle, magazine, and ammunition were all easily accessible to the passenger of the van, who claimed he owned the rifle. A citation was issued to the passenger for shining while in possession of a firearm or other device capable of shooting a projectile.
While checking activity on a remote chain of lakes on the west side of Isabella County, CO Mike Haas witnessed anglers in a boat on the lake. After a while the anglers returned to the launch where the CO contacted them. It was determined that neither angler had ever purchased a Michigan fishing license and the boat did not have any PFDs on board. One of the anglers kept trying to use his cell phone and CO Haas discovered that the gentleman was attempting to contact his friends that were still fishing on the lake in a different boat. CO Dan Robinson was nearby and brought his patrol boat to the lake to assist with the incident. Using their patrol boat, the COs located the other boat and discovered that both anglers on that boat had also failed to purchase their fishing licenses and did not possess PFDs. Citations were issued to the individuals to address the marine safety and fishing violations.
CO Mike Haas witnessed a gentleman operating an ORV down the main street of a town in southern Isabella County. The gentleman was not wearing a required helmet or displaying an ORV license. CO Haas conducted a traffic stop to inform the man of the violations and discovered that the gentleman was suspended and did not have a valid driver’s license. CO Haas also discovered that the man had been cited numerous times in the past for similar ORV and snowmobile violations in various counties around Michigan. A citation was issued again to address the violations.
While patrolling in central Isabella County, CO Mike Haas saw a car driving towards him in the incorrect lane. The car swerved back into the proper lane as it passed the CO’s truck and CO Haas watched in his mirror as the car continued to swerve back and forth over the center line. CO Haas turned around and conducted a traffic stop to address the careless driving. The gentleman driving the car stated that he had been steering with his knee while drinking his juice and looking at his phone. A citation was issued to address the distracted driving and crossing the center line.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint of an injured bald eagle seen in a farm field in central Isabella County. CO Haas was able to respond quickly to the area and secure the eagle which appeared to have an injured wing. COs Haas and Dan Robinson then transported the eagle and turned it over to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
While checking Edmore State Game Area in Montcalm County, COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson located a gate that had been cut open allowing access to an area closed to motor vehicles. The COs located a truck operating through the closed area and contacted the driver. The man stated that he was retrieving items left in the woods from a party that had taken place the prior night. In the bed of the truck were numerous empty alcohol containers, a large wooden platform/stage with attached spotlights, and a large metal pole. The gentleman received a citation for operating in the closed area.
CO Justin Ulberg checked an angler while he was concluding fishing on one of the bayous along the Grand River. CO Ulberg discovered the angler was eight fish over the legal limit. Further investigation revealed the subject also had two outstanding warrants. The subject was issued a citation for the fishing violation and lodged at the county jail for the warrants.
While on patrol in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg checked on a vehicle in a popular hunting spot. Contents inside the vehicle suggested the owner was out hunting. CO Ulberg observed the vehicle until two subjects emerged from the woods. One of the subjects was carrying a crossbow while the other hunter had no archery equipment. CO Ulberg contacted the subjects and the subject without the hunting equipment advised that he didn’t have a hunting license, but he was not hunting. CO Ulberg questioned the subjects about the empty bow case in the back of the vehicle. The subjects stated that the bow was back at their residence. It appeared that the hunters were not being truthful, and CO Ulberg stated he would follow the subjects back to their residence to view the bow. The hunters then changed their story and the hunter without the license walked into the woods and retrieved a bow. The subject was issued a citation for possessing a bow afield with no hunting license.
CO Casey Varriale received a tip from CO Justin Ulberg that there may be illegal hunting activity in the commercial forest property off Division Street and Ducoma in Kent County. CO Varriale arrived on scene and saw a car sitting on the side of the road. Shortly after arriving, two men wearing camouflage and carrying bows walked out of the woods towards the vehicle. The first man saw CO Varriale and threw his crossbow into the drainage ditch and continued walking. CO Varriale contacted the individuals and a short investigation revealed neither men had hunting licenses. Citations were issued for hunting deer without a license.
During a check of anglers of Webber Dam, CO Jeremy Beavers checked anglers downstream from the impoundment boat launch. During his checks, CO Beavers contacted two subjects carrying a bucket and fishing rods. CO Beavers asked if they had any luck and they said, “Yes.” They opened the bucket and CO Beavers could see suckers and catfish inside. He also noticed a black bag that appeared to have something in it. CO Beavers asked if there were fish in the bag and was told yes. CO Beavers asked the subjects if they would be willing to open the bag and they said, “Yes.” Once the bag was opened, CO Beavers could see the fish in the bag were smallmouth bass. CO Beavers emptied the fish from the bag, six smallmouth bass in total. CO Beavers asked who the fish belonged to and one angler took responsibility for possessing the fish. CO Beavers could tell the fish were likely smaller than the 14-inch size limit. The largest fish of the six was 12 inches. CO Beavers informed the angler that he was in possession of one too many and all fish were less than the 14-inch size limit. The angler was cited for the infractions.
CO Anna Cullen contacted an individual who was walking on the side of the road in Muskegon County. The individual was holding fishing equipment along with a bucket. CO Cullen contacted the individual and asked if he had any luck with his fishing trip. The individual advised he had fish in his possession and gave consent to CO Cullen to look inside the bucket. Upon further investigation, a 12.5-inch smallmouth bass was found in the bucket. Enforcement action was taken for the possession of the short bass.
COs Jeff Robinette and Tyler Cole were patrolling the Three Rivers State Game Area for hunting/general activity and came across a parked vehicle with one subject standing outside eating a sandwich. While speaking to the subject with the vehicle, the COs heard a chainsaw and proceeded to contact another subject, actively attempting to cut down a live tree within the game area. Both subjects were brought back to the vehicle. Identifications (ID) were attempted to be gained from the subjects, and while the COs were running information, one subject fled on foot into the game area. A K9 unit was requested to start tracking the subject. While waiting for the K9 unit to respond, it was found that the vehicle was reported as stolen, and the subject that fled provided a false ID. A K9 unit from Three Rivers Police Department responded to assist. CO Robinette assisted the K9 unit with the track, while CO Cole stayed at the vehicles with the second subject. Approximately an hour later, the subject was located by the K9 unit 1.5 miles from where he fled and was taken into custody. The subject was positively identified and was found to have an active felony warrant for burglary/home invasion and multiple misdemeanor warrants for various crimes. The subject was transported to the hospital for multiple dog bites and then lodged at the St. Joseph County Jail for his warrants as well as new charges of felony possess stolen vehicle, felony providing false info to law enforcement, four counts of felony resist/obstruct officer, and misdemeanor improper license plate. A civil infraction ticket was issued for damaging a tree on state land.
CO Pete Purdy assisted an MSP trooper responding to a 911 call of four subjects in the parking lot of Hartland Creekside Elementary School. One of the individuals was seen carrying a long gun. The schools in the area went into lock-down procedures and all Livingston County law enforcement agencies began active school shooter response. The school principal attempted to contact the individuals and they ran into a wooded area on school property. When CO Purdy and the trooper arrived on scene, it was discovered that the four suspects were juveniles that had skipped school and were carrying a BB gun to target shoot in the wooded area on school property. The BB gun resembled a lever action rifle. The school was very thankful for the quick response.
CO Nick Wellman responded to the town of Quincy to a report of a man with a gun who was on his way to kill another man for talking to his girlfriend. CO Wellman, along with MSP and Branch County Sheriff’s Department (BCSD), converged on the area in an attempt to locate the man. Just before CO Wellman arrived, an MSP trooper and a BCSD deputy stopped the man and conducted a felony stop. As CO Wellman pulled up to block traffic and help with the arrest, the man took off on foot through a back yard. CO Wellman chased the subject with his patrol truck until they came to a tree line. CO Wellman then got out on foot, chased the subject about 100 yards through a small patch of woods and then caught up and apprehended the man without incident in a soybean field. The .45 caliber handgun and loaded magazine were found under the seat in his car and CO Wellman and MSP lodged the man on several felony charges.
COs Shane Webster and Chris Maher responded to assist a DNR Parks employee who had been asked to check on a subject sleeping in a vehicle in the Waterloo Recreation Area. The Parks employees had been informed that subject was doing drugs in the vehicle and had been staying the night in the recreation area. COs Webster and Maher contacted the occupants of the vehicle, a male and a female. CO Webster recognized the male subject as one whom he had cited earlier in the year for trespassing and had arrested on a second contact for a warrant. During the contact, CO Webster noted evidence of drugs within the vehicle and a search was performed. The COs located suspected illegal narcotics and glass pipes. Charges are pending through the prosecutor’s office.
While working a late-night weekend patrol, CO Todd Thorn was contacted by DNR Dispatch stating that they had received a call from a blood tracker stating that he was tracking a buck for a customer. The dispatchers checked license purchases for the hunter and found that he had only purchased two antlerless deer tags. CO Thorn responded and was able to locate the vehicles. After sitting and watching the vehicles and waiting for the individuals to emerge, the blood tracker appeared and left and then contacted the dispatchers stating that the customer had found the deer but didn’t have a buck tag. CO Thorn waited for the hunter and contacted him and found the untagged antlered deer. The deer was seized, and a ticket was issued.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen responded to complaint from Macomb County Dispatch of goose hunters in a safety zone. Although the hunters were outside the safety zone, one hunter was found to have an unplugged gun and no federal waterfowl stamp. The subject received a citation for the license violation.
COs Joseph Deppen and Kris Kiel were patrolling state land when they encountered a goose hunter alone in a field. COs were checking his licenses and equipment and discovered the hunter had a firearm capable of holding more than three shells. COs checked with the hunter and he said he had a homemade plug in his shotgun. The plug was not long enough, and the hunter was new to the sport. The hunter was given a verbal warning and was told to make a new plug before hunting the following day.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol near a local DNR boating access site checking anglers when a concerned citizen drove up to CO Silorey and stated that there was a man lying on the ground near the boat ramps who needed help. CO Silorey quickly drove over to the location where he observed an elderly man lying on his back, bleeding profusely from the head. CO Silorey quickly radioed local dispatch to send EMS to his location. CO Silorey immediately began to provide aid to the unresponsive man who was having difficulty breathing and showing signs of a seizure or stroke. CO Silorey attached his automated external defibrillator (AED) to the subject in case he began to go into cardiac arrest. When medics arrived on scene, the subject was awake but incoherent. He was then transferred to the nearest emergency room for assessment.
COs Brad Silorey and Joe Deppen conducted a deer processor inspection and found several deer that required further investigation. Contact was made with a hunter who validated her tag for October 1 and had purchased her tags that same day 20 minutes prior to the end of shooting hours. The hunter stated that she bought her tags and got out to her tree stand and shot the deer right after dark. After further questioning, it was evident that the suspect was not being truthful, and CO Silorey was finally able to get the suspect to admit that the deer was shot prior to having purchased any hunting license. While walking the property, CO Deppen discovered that the property was discreetly baited with corn that was scattered throughout multiple food plots on the property. It was discovered through the investigation that a male subject was responsible for the baiting, and charges for taking a deer without a license will be sought on the female subject through the local prosecutor’s office.
COs Nick Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek received a complaint of an individual who had shot a deer over bait. The complaint was sent to the Report All Poaching Hotline, and the complainant provided a video of the hunter stating he had shot a doe over a bait pile. The COs reviewed the video and did not see a bait pile but did see a dead doe in the video. The COs contacted the hunter the following morning and advised him they were there to investigate a doe that was shot over a bait pile. The hunter stated he had shot a doe the night before but did not shoot it over a bait pile. He said he shot it over a stump that used to be baited up until the bait ban took place this year. He said deer continued to come to the stump and hang around. The COs looked at the doe that the hunter had hanging in his garage and noticed it did not have a kill-tag attached. The COs asked to see the kill-tag and the hunter pulled the kill-tag out of his vehicle and advised he forgot to tag it. The kill-tag was not validated or attached to the doe. The COs also reviewed a video the hunter provided of him shooting the deer, and there was no bait that appeared in the video. After speaking with the individual, the CO decided to issue him a citation for possessing a deer without a validated kill-tag attached. The doe was seized and donated to someone who could use the meat. The hunter also advised the COs that he was happy the doe was being donated and asked that if someone else is in need to contact him and he might be able to help.
CO Keven Luther assisted CO Brandon Vacek with a fisheries complaint in Monroe County. The two COs contacted a group of catfish anglers and cited two individuals for 20 over-limit and one undersized channel catfish. One of the men had a felony domestic violence warrant out of Detroit and CO Luther transported him to the Detroit Detention Center for lodging.
CO David Schaumburger received a complaint of a tree stand with bait out in front. The CO contacted the hunter on October 1 who admitted that his dad had been baiting the area for him throughout the previous few weeks and he knew it was wrong. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting over bait.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nick Ingersoll responded to a complaint of recreational trespassing in Monroe County. When the suspect was contacted, she admitted to the trespass and hunting over bait. She also failed to immediately validate and tag the deer. CO Ingersoll is seeking charges through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Tom Peterson responded to an assist to agency call regarding a man trapped in the cab of a semi-truck with a hawk. The hawk was reported to have flown through the open window of the driver’s side of the truck as it traveled down the highway at 65 mph. When CO Peterson arrived, an MSP trooper got the man out of the cab of the truck safely. Upon further investigation, the bird was identified as a turkey; it was safely captured and released unharmed.
CO Tom Peterson responded to two whitetail bucks stuck together in the front yard along a busy road in Oakland County. A saw was used to take a section of antler off one of the deer and CO Peterson was able to free the two deer.
CO Luke Robare was patrolling back roads in Genesee County when he came across some archery hunters dragging a deer out of the ditch and getting ready to load the deer into the back of a trailer. CO Robare contacted the hunters and noticed that the 8-point buck was not tagged. CO Robare asked the hunter who shot the deer, and what time he shot the deer. The hunter explained that he had shot the deer over two hours prior. The hunter stated that his deer tags were in his truck, which was a quarter of a mile down the road. CO Robare accompanied the hunter back to his vehicle and confirmed that he had a valid kill-tag for the deer and issued the hunter a citation for failing to immediately tag his deer.