Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Josh Boudreaux followed up on a trespass complaint in Marquette Township. Suspects were reportedly hunting on the complainant’s property and drove their ORV around multiple “No Trespassing” signs to retrieve their deer. CO Boudreaux followed the drag marks over a mile to the kill site which was well onto private property. During the interview, suspects stated they didn’t know they were on private property although they dragged the deer a half mile onto state land before gutting it. A citation was issued for failure to validate kill tag and charges are pending with the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office for Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) trespass.
CO Josh Boudreaux responded to a complaint of a loaded firearm being left near a residence in Sands Township. The property owner, who has two children that regularly play outside, discovered the firearm while walking near his driveway and suspected that it was his neighbor’s who accesses the nearby state land through his property. Upon following up with the neighbor, it was discovered that he had shot and tagged a spike buck with a combination tag. A citation was issued for the tagging violation and the deer was seized to be donated to a needy family in the area. The suspect stated he had left his firearm on his neighbor’s property because he didn’t want to be seen walking through the neighborhood with a firearm. After explaining some hypothetical “what if” situations, the individual admitted it was not smart to leave a loaded firearm unattended.
CO Josh Boudreaux was returning from a patrol when Marquette County Dispatch aired a Be on the Lookout (BOL) for a suicidal subject in the area of Richmond Township. After an update that the individual was believed to be southbound on M-35 from Palmer, CO Boudreaux turned around to attempt to locate the subject. Almost immediately, the subject drove around the next curve and CO Boudreaux spun around to follow the vehicle which voluntarily pulled over onto a side road. After determining there were no weapons in the vehicle or on the subject, CO Boudreaux sat and talked with the individual until Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers arrived on scene to transport the individual for a psychiatric evaluation.
CO Dave Miller used a deer decoy along a road where road hunting has been a problem for many years. CO Miller only had the deer decoy set up for approximately 30 seconds before an individual pulled up in a truck and placed his loaded gun out the window. The subject was stopped prior to shooting the decoy. The subject was ticketed for possessing a loaded and uncased firearm inside a motor vehicle.
O Jeremy Sergey received a complaint that an individual was hunting very close to their house. The complainant was concerned because he had his wife and child at home. When CO Sergey arrived at the house, he could see the hunting blind was indeed close to the house. CO Sergey used a range finder and determined the blind was 103 yards from the house, well within the 150-yard safety zone. CO Sergey contacted the hunter who stated he used a range finder to determine he was outside of the safety zone. CO Sergey asked the hunter to get his range finder out and measure the distance; the distance was 103 yards. A citation was issued for hunting with a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied residence without permission from the homeowner.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County when he stopped to conduct a processor inspection at a local deer processor. CO Painter located a 6-point buck with a tag that was not correctly validated. CO Painter contacted the individual whose license was on the deer and learned that he had not shot the deer but that he purchased the license for his son to put on his deer. The deer was seized, and a report has been sent to the Gogebic County Prosecutor’s Office for further review.
CO Michael Evink was asked to speak to a local Girl Scout troop. CO Evink spoke about what his duties are as a conservation officer. The troop was working on its first-aid badge and were required to speak to a first responder; CO Evink discussed how being a conservation officer and a first responder go hand in hand. CO Evink showed the troop some of the first aid gear he carries daily and how it can be used in remote areas.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when he was dispatched to a hunter harassment/ possible assault complaint. The victim hunters of the complaint were scared to leave due to the physical threats made by the suspect. CO Lynch located the victims and escorted them out of the area. COs Lynch, Steve Butzin, and Breanna Reed went back to the scene for further investigation. A possible suspect was developed, and the COs went to his house. While interviewing the suspect, an illegal deer was discovered that the suspect had shot. The suspect shot a spike horn buck while trespassing and tagged it with his combination deer license, which is a violation of the Antler Point Restrictions (APR). The suspect also shot the deer within the safety zone of five houses, which he didn’t have permission to do. The suspect has had multiple violations with the department and just received his hunting privileges back after shooting a deer with a firearm out of season. The illegal deer and rifle used to shoot the deer were seized. A report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for charges of taking an illegal deer subsequent offense, trespassing, and hunting/discharging a firearm within the safety zone.
COs Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, Breanna Reed, Mike Evink, Andrea Dani, and an MSP trooper executed a search warrant on a suspect’s house for felon in possession of firearms and suspected illegal deer. During the search warrant, firearms were located in the bedroom and throughout the rest of the house. Several deer antlers in question were also located. COs Butzin and Reed interviewed the suspect’s father and son on scene. The suspect’s son confessed to shooting two deer in violation of the APR and using his girlfriend’s deer licenses. Multiple rifles and crossbows, along with several sets of deer antlers were seized as a result of the search warrant. COs Butzin and Reed later interviewed the son’s girlfriend who confessed to loaning him her deer licenses. A report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for felon in possession of firearms and for charges on the suspect’s son for taking deer in violation of the APR and using the kill tags of another.
COs Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, and Breanna Reed were on patrol when a call came out for a fleeing homicide suspect on foot. The COs responded to the area and the suspect was taken into custody without incident by multiple law enforcement agencies. After the suspect was taken into custody, the COs assisted in securing the scene where the victim was located. The suspect was lodged in the Menominee County Jail on open murder charges.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when a truck pulled out in front of them with a deer in the bed of the truck. It was apparent the driver wanted the COs to pass him. The COs followed the subject home to find the buck was a 10-point that the hunter just shot and didn’t even gut it. The hunter was asked where the tag was for the deer and he pulled it out of his wallet. The hunter was asked why he didn’t tag it, and he stated because he didn’t have a knife. It was pointed out to the hunter that he had a knife in his back-right pocket. The hunter was then asked where his gun was located. The hunter said behind his seat. Upon locating the rifle, it was uncased and still loaded, with two live bullets in the magazine and the empty cartridge was still in the muzzle. The hunter received a citation for failing to immediately validate and attach the kill tag to the deer and having a loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when a call for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in progress came out. CO Lynch responded to the scene to begin assisting medical personnel when another call came out for CPR in progress. CO Lynch diverted to the second call and conducted CPR on the victim along with a city police officer. The officers conducted CPR for 45 minutes while paramedics conducted more advanced treatment. Both victims unfortunately passed away.
CO Mike Olesen assisted special agents from the Department of Social Security and Veteran Affairs. The search warrant was served on an individual that was involved with social security fraud. CO Olesen assisted with the seizure of an elk mount that was purchased using fraudulent funds.
COs Colton Gelinas, Todd Sumbera, Michael Olesen, Cole VanOosten, Justin Vinson, and Sgt. Calvin Smith conducted a group patrol along US-2 in Mackinac County during the firearm opening weekend. A traffic stop was made on a vehicle for defective equipment. The truck was pulling a trailer with Christmas trees, underneath those Christmas trees were three illegal deer. COs Olesen and Sumbera interviewed the driver of the truck, who stated that he did not shoot any of the deer on the trailer. However, some of his family members did who were travelling back out of state. CO Gelinas contacted the remaining family members at a McDonald’s parking lot. CO Gelinas was able to obtain detailed confessions of the illegal taking of deer with no licenses and loan/borrow tags of another. The COs seized three illegal deer and three weapons in this case. A report has been submitted to the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor.
CO Todd Sumbera received a tip that there was an untagged antlerless deer hanging from a tree at a business just outside of the city limits of Sault Ste. Marie. CO Sumbera arrived on scene to find the untagged antlerless deer. The business owner stated that he did not shoot the deer, nor did he know who did. CO Sumbera conducted a thorough investigation of the scene that led him to the neighboring property. Matching purple latex gloves were found at both locations with drag marks from the suspect’s property to the location of the deer. Contact was made with the landowner, which revealed three suspects involved in the taking of the antlerless deer. CO Sumbera contacted and interviewed the three suspects regarding the deer and found that the deer was shot after hours with use of a spotlight on private property where permission was not obtained. Two of the individuals then entered upon the private property to retrieve the deer. From here, CO Sumbera gathered that the deer was taken back and dragged from their property to the neighboring private property where the deer was field dressed. A report will be submitted with charges sought.
CO Cole VanOosten was at the prosecutor’s office turning in a report when a call for help came out over the radio. An unresponsive elderly female was found on the ground at her residence. CO VanOosten responded to the area and was first on scene to provide first aid to the woman who had lacerations to her face and was actively seizing. CO VanOosten provided first aid to the woman until emergency medical personnel arrived. It is believed that the woman slipped and fell on a patch of ice and hit her head on her vehicle rendering her unconscious.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about a Facebook post of a hunter posing with a small buck possibly shot in violation of the APR requiring three points on one side. COs Erratt and Andrea Albert interviewed the hunter at his residence in Antrim County and he initially claimed he shot the buck on opening morning in Otsego County. As the COs questioned him about purchasing his deer license opening afternoon, he admitted he was lying and that he had shot the small buck on his property. CO Erratt will be seeking a warrant for the hunter’s arrest from the Antrim County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a 4-point buck deer in violation of the APR.
CO Duane Budreau flew with pilot Kevin Jacobs and they located a possible bait site in Antrim County where deer had dug up fresh snow in a clearing in front of a blind. The pilot passed on a picture and global positing system (GPS) information about the location to CO Andrea Erratt. CO Erratt checked a man hunting with his 15-year-old grandson in the blind baited with apples and corn piled in the clearing in front of the blind. The grandfather admitted he had been baiting the blind every day and said he had put out about four gallons of bait that day. He said he thought the legislature was going to pass a law allowing deer baiting. CO Erratt ticketed the grandfather for baiting deer with apples and corn and warned his grandson for hunting deer over bait.
COs Andrea Albert and Andrea Erratt ran a deer decoy patrol in a remote area in Antrim County targeting road hunters shooting from motor vehicles from the roadway. A pickup truck traveled by once and returned a short time later. The driver stopped in front of the decoy and put his rifle out the truck’s driver side window and shot. CO Albert could hear him racking in another shell. At the same time, CO Erratt was driving up behind the subject with her patrol truck emergency lights activated. CO Erratt observed the rifle barrel sticking out of the truck window. CO Albert contacted the shooter who finally realized what he was shooting at was not a real deer. When asked what he was thinking when he shot and the deer did not move, he replied that he had not sighted in his rifle and he thought he missed. A ticket was issued for the violation and the rifle was seized.
CO Duane Budreau received a complaint of trespassing and hunting deer over bait. The complainant, while back on his property, noticed a bloody drag mark and tracks leading back onto his neighbor’s property. CO Budreau responded to the scene and followed the drag mark and tracks back to a pile of pumpkins in front of a blind. CO Budreau attempted to contact the property owner where the deer had been shot. It was soon determined that the hunter was the boyfriend of the property owner’s sister. The deer had been processed the same day it was recovered. CO Budreau was able to find the cape and remains of the carcass in a nearby dumpster. The deer was a small button buck. CO Budreau dug through the bags of scraps and located the tag attached to a leg. The tag was determined to be improperly used as it was a combination regular tag attached to an antlerless deer in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 024. The hunter was ticketed for the tagging violation and received warnings for the trespassing and hunting deer over bait.
CO Adam LeClerc had a condemnation hearing for a case involving the defendant using a live capture bear trap in an attempt to take a bear on state land, small mammal traps set out of season without name tags, and the defendant did not have a fur harvester’s license. CO LeClerc presented the defense attorney with evidence that the live capture bear trap was active with door attached on state land. The defendant forfeited the traps over to the State of Michigan without having a hearing. The criminal case against the defendant is still ongoing.
CO Ethen Mapes responded to a hunter harassment complaint in Charlevoix County. The complaint stated that every evening during hunting hours, a subject would start playing a saxophone outside. The hunters stated that the deer would get spooked and clear the area as soon as he started playing. CO Mapes contacted the saxophone player who stated that he wasn’t trying to scare the deer. The man stated that the deer like it when he plays saxophone and it shouldn’t bother anyone’s hunting. CO Mapes and the man came up with a plan that he would play the saxophone inside during deer season and if playing outside, the man would play around lunch time or after dark.
Sgt. William Webster responded to a hunter harassment complaint concerning duck hunters in Charlevoix County. When Sgt. Webster arrived with the complainants, they advised him that every time they call to the ducks, the man across the lake loads his rifle and shoots. This had been going on for at least an hour. Sgt. Webster found a good observation point and watched with binoculars as the duck hunters went back to hunting. The suspect would look through his binoculars, watch the duck hunters, load his rifle, not shoulder the gun and fire into the woods. Sgt. Webster watched this conduct happen two times in a 30-minute time frame. Sgt. Webster contacted the suspect and asked what he was doing. The suspect stated he was sighting in his rifle for deer season. After a brief interview, Sgt. Webster was able to get the man to confess to being upset with the duck hunters waking him up and he wanted them to feel his pain. The hunters didn’t want to press charges, but a warning was given for hunter harassment.
CO Tim Rosochacki was patrolling in the Pigeon River Country when he contacted a truck with three occupants shining flashlights out the windows along a two-track after dark. CO Rosochacki contacted the subjects and located a loaded and uncased rifle in the rear passenger compartment and an additional loaded rifle in a case. The individuals stated they were looking for coyote tracks along the road. Two subjects were ticketed for having loaded rifles in the vehicle, and all subjects were warned for shining in the month of November.
COs Kyle Cherry, Tom Oberg, Paul Fox, Tim Rosochacki, and Sgt. Mark DePew responded to a report of a dead elk in the Ford Lake Road area of Otsego County. An on-scene inspection of the carcass determined it had been shot with a firearm. An investigation is underway.
CO Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Mark DePew responded to a call of an illegal trap set in Otsego County. CO Cherry responded and pulled the illegal traps, identified and contacted the trapper. It was discovered that the trapper was new to trapping and had realized his error. CO Cherry educated the new trapper on the regulations.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling the south part of Alpena County when she had an oncoming vehicle cross the yellow line in front of her patrol vehicle. After turning around to initiate a traffic stop, CO Curtis found the vehicle in a nearby driveway. The truck had corn and other feed in the bed, a freshly emptied beer can, and the vehicle had no insurance on it. As CO Curtis walked the driveway, she observed corn spread out in the yard, a trail camera over the corn, a feeder with feed in it, and fresh footprints walking to the backyard. CO Curtis found the operator of the vehicle hunting in a blind that also had corn down shooting lanes. The subject had no hunter orange on him either. The subject was issued a ticket for the several violations and additional charges have been requested.
CO Sidney Collins received a complaint from a local deer camp in Montmorency County about a possible trespass. CO Collins met with the manager of the property and located footprints and drag marks in the melting snow. CO Collins followed the footprints and drag marks in the snow for approximately a half mile on each side of the fenced property. The drag marks stopped at truck tire imprints. CO Collins located a cabin on the suspected trespassing property. An individual at the camp admitted to gut shooting an 8-point buck that morning and following its tracks into the privately fenced property. They did not call to get permission from the property manager. The 8-point deer was seized and donated to a local food bank. Charges will be sought for recreational trespass.
CO Sidney Collins followed up on a littering complaint from a hunting camp in Montmorency County. A camper was set up on state land as a gathering place during bow and rifle season. CO Collins checked the site several times and noticed trash was building up and blowing around in the area. CO Collins then noticed the camper trailer was taken off state land and the trash was left behind. CO Collins had previously noted the trailer’s plate, thinking they may leave their trash behind. CO Collins contacted the subject who made the excuse that they did not see the trash they left behind. CO Collins issued a ticket for littering and instructed the subject to return to the site and clean up all the trash.
CO Jon Sklba received information of a possible shipwreck on the shores of Lake Huron in Presque Isle County, that was recently uncovered due to a high windstorm. CO Sklba was able to locate and photograph the wreck and submitted them to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for their interpretation. NOAA will be sending out a crew to further inspect the new find in an attempt to learn its origin.
CO Paul Fox and Sgt. Michael Mshar investigated a complaint of a dead bull elk in the northeast portion of the Pigeon River Country in Cheboygan County. The dead elk was found south of Onaway in the Canada Creek region. The elk appeared to have died around the 1st of November. The cause of death is unknown but suspicious. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline.
COs Patrick McManus and Amanda McCurdy were driving south along M-22 and West Bay when they noticed a large plume of black smoke from in front of one of the houses on the bay, subsequently pulling over to investigate the source. It was determined that a subject was burning several pieces of furniture along with other assorted household items in their yard, turning into a hazardous situation to vehicles and bystanders passing by. The COs told the subject to extinguish the fire and CO McManus issued a citation for the illegal disposal of solid waste.
COs William Haskin and Troy Ludwig had been working a carcass dumping complaint for most of deer season. The COs received a tip of who might be dumping the carcasses and a vehicle description. After several weeks of investigation and another complaint, the COs were able to locate a suspect. After interviewing the suspect, the COs learned that the suspect had trespassed and shot six deer at night with a spotlight. Other charges included tagging violations, baiting, uncased gun in a vehicle, and taking an over-limit of deer. Charges are being sought through the Wexford County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Justin Vanderlinde assisted the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department with investigating a hunter involved shooting. The incident occurred while putting the firearm in a vehicle which resulted in one hunter shooting his hunting partner in the buttocks. The gunshot wound was non-fatal, and the victim is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Josiah Killingbeck received an anonymous tip of shots fired after dark at a residence in Lake County. With the assistance of COs Ryan Andrews and Brian Brosky, contact was made at the residence in question. A hunter admitted to CO Killingbeck that he had shot an 8-point buck but that it was not after dark. The COs could see a bait pile behind a shed that had several flood lights overlooking the bait pile. CO Killingbeck asked to see the hunter’s license and the hunter produced both combination deer licenses. The hunter soon admitted to not tagging the 8-point he had taken. While looking at the 8-point deer that was untagged, the COs observed a second deer head. The hunter advised that his grandson had shot the second deer. Both hunters told the COs that they had shot the deer at a stand behind the residence. The COs looked at the blind with the hunters and observed no tracks whatsoever in the snow near the blind. One subject said that his tracks had disappeared in the snow along with deer drag marks. The COs discovered a large patch of blood over the bait pile behind the residence. The subject with the 8-point buck kept telling CO Killingbeck that he had shot the buck with a .243. However, there were no bullet holes in the deer’s body cavity. The COs discovered a small caliber hole in the head of the 8-point. After several more stories, the truth was obtained from both hunters. The COs learned that the 8-point had been shot with a .22 the day before firearm deer season opened over the bait pile. The second buck had been shot by another hunter at 1 AM over the lighted bait pile with a crossbow. The COs seized the deer, a .22 with a lighted scope and mounted flashlight, and a crossbow with a lighted scope and attached flashlight. A report is being sent to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for numerous charges related to the illegal taking of both deer.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol during firearms deer season, assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Department with a traffic stop where two deer were in a trailer. CO Killingbeck observed one deer had a deer license that was not validated. CO Killingbeck inquired who had shot the deer and was told that a subject who was not in the vehicle had shot the deer. CO Killingbeck inquired whose license was on the deer. The driver of the vehicle admitted his license was on the deer. The subject driving said that he was unable to hunt anymore and when another member of deer camp shot a deer, the driver of the vehicle offered his tags so the subject who shot the deer did not need to use their tags. Tagging regulations were explained to the hunters and a phone interview was conducted with the other hunter. A confession was obtained for borrowing a license. A report is being sent to the prosecutor’s office for charges of borrowing a hunting license.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was working Thanksgiving Day when he observed a vehicle after dark driving slowly down a back road in rural Lake County. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle for several motor vehicle violations and discovered that the passenger in the vehicle was holding a loaded uncased rifle in his lap. The passenger told CO Killingbeck he had “forgotten” to case his gun after hunting and was cold, so he just jumped in the vehicle and took off. CO Killingbeck explained the dangers of a loaded firearm in a vehicle and that it was illegal to hunt from a vehicle. A citation was issued to the subject for possessing a loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a complaint of a dead eagle laying in some water along the side of the road. CO Greenway was able to retrieve the bird in a flooded area wearing her issued waders. The eagle was found directly under powerlines and upon inspection of the bird, it was CO Greenway located an area of burned feathers under the right wing and a wound on its back that appeared to be burned skin and feathers. The eagle was submitted to the Wildlife Division laboratory for necropsy/cause of death confirmation.
CO Ben Shively was called to assist Oceana County Sheriff’s deputies on a traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle that had passed by the complainant’s residence five times following the retort of two shots. A deputy was able to stop the suspect vehicle that was towing a trailer with a freshly shot, untagged doe. As CO Shively was responding to the scene, he was contacted by an MSP trooper who had taken a complaint three days prior of a button buck and 3-point buck that were dumped in a ditch in the same area. CO Shively arrived on scene and interviewed the three occupants of the suspect vehicle. After interviewing each suspect, CO Shively was able to get a confession on the doe that was shot that night, two other deer they shot at that night; confessions were also obtained on the button buck and 3-point that had been dumped in the ditch and had been taken while road hunting at night on opening day of firearm deer season; and a confession on a 7-point that was at their camp which had been taken on Saturday night while road hunting. Their rifle, a spotlight, and four deer were seized that night. CO Shively was able to locate another doe that had been shot by the subjects two days later. Charges are being sought on the three suspects for taking deer with artificial light, loaded uncased firearm in motor vehicle, take deer from in or upon motor vehicle, and shine with weapon in possession. Reimbursement in the amount of $7,000 will be sought along with condemnation of the firearm and spotlight.
CO Ben Shively was contacted by an Oceana County Sheriff’s sergeant who was responding to a shot fired complaint. As CO Shively was responding, the complainant attempted to contact the suspect vehicle, which was parked on the road with a subject who was out with a flashlight in a field. Upon the complainant making contact, the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed, running stop signs and off roading into a field. The suspect vehicle drove out of the field, across a paved road and into a deep ditch next to a corn field and became buried in the mud. The driver and three passengers fled on foot from the truck. Deputies and troopers arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the corn field. CO Shively met the complainant and located a doe in the ditch near his residence. Oceana Counties K-9 unit arrived on scene and CO Shively assisted with locating the suspect’s tracks. While the K-9 was tracking, a small passenger car pulled up to the scene where the truck was buried. The Oceana County sergeant contacted the passenger in the car who was covered in mud. The passenger admitted to the sergeant that it was his truck and he had shot the doe. The suspect was able to contact the two females and male that had also fled the vehicle and they were picked up along the roadway by a deputy and troopers. CO Shively took the suspect out into the corn field and was able to locate the suspect’s firearm which was in a case that he had hidden in the cornfield. Warrants will be sought on the two males for taking deer with an artificial light, shine with weapon in possession, and take deer in or upon motor vehicle. Reimbursement in the amount of $1,000 will be sought for the doe, and condemnation will be sought for rifle and spotlight. The driver was cited by Sheriff’s Department for careless driving.
CO Ben Shively responded to a complaint from Oceana County Central Dispatch of a vehicle that was road hunting in the Silver Lake area. CO Shively responded to the area and located a vehicle matching the description pulled over on the shoulder of the roadway. Upon contacting the driver, CO Shively located a loaded rifle lying across the driver’s lap and open intoxicants in the vehicle. After running the driver through sobriety testing, he was cited for loaded/uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
CO Ben Shively worked a bait complaint in Oceana County where a subject was allowing a processing plant to dump their vegetable scraps on his property. At least 20 dump truck loads had been dumped along the powerlines on the subject’s property, which had two tower blinds set up on the piles. CO Shively with the assistance of an Oceana County deputy, were able to contact two hunters hunting over the piles. Citations were issued for hunting deer over bait when prohibited and the property owner was cited for placing bait/feed when prohibited.
CO Josh Reed responded to a RAP complaint of a possible untagged deer. CO Reed located the suspect vehicle and was able to see parts of a deer covered by a tarp. CO Reed was able to locate the suspects a short time later and obtained a confession for having two untagged deer in the bed of the truck. The suspect and his 16-year-old son both had shot does on the neighboring property which they had permission to hunt and had not tagged them. The 16-year old’s deer had already been butchered. Both had valid kill-tags for the year and advised that they just hadn’t gotten around to tagging them. One deer was seized from the adult male along with a kill tag from both subjects. The report will be sent over to the prosecutor’s office for review on the tagging violation.
COs Josh Reed and Angela Greenway responded to a RAP complaint of an in-progress trespass/no hunter orange complaint. The caller had been working in his field and observed a male on state property not wearing any hunter orange. The same male was then seen in a tree stand on the property line with no hunter orange. The caller advised that they have had ongoing issues with two subjects trespassing and shooting deer on their property and the neighbor’s property. CO Reed contacted two hunters, and both assumed that they had permission to retrieve their deer. It was determined that both had trespassed on the posted private property. The subject that shot the deer admitted that he knew the buck was on the neighbor’s property but shot it anyway. Charges will be sought for the trespassing through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Jeff Ginn observed a motor vehicle shining a light from both the driver and passenger side of the vehicle attempting to locate deer. CO Ginn was able to follow the suspect vehicle for a short time prior to conducting a traffic stop. The suspects were cited for shining in November. The occupants admitted they knew the rules but decided to shine anyway.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a complaint of a possible trespass. Upon further investigation, CO Ginn located two gut piles along the property line and a blind near the property line. CO Ginn was able to observe a large pile of carrots near the blind as well. Upon contacting the landowner, CO Ginn identified the subject hunting the blind. Upon contacting the suspect, CO Ginn located two untagged deer hanging in a pole barn. The suspect confessed to shooting the deer while they were on the neighboring land. He also admitted to placing the bait and transporting the deer to his residence without attaching the kill tags. Charges are currently pending in the Newaygo County court.
CO Mike Wells and Sgt. Mike Bomay received information of a subject that had taken an over-limit of antlered deer. Upon contacting the suspect, an admission was received that he had harvested a 6-point, 5-point, and a 10-point, which was at a local taxidermist. The subject claimed that he had accidentally harvested the 5-point on opening day. He explained that he shot at the 6-point buck and that the bullet passed through the 6-point and struck the 5-point killing it. CO Wells asked the subject if he had called the DNR on the alleged accidental take. The subject admitted that he did not call, and he advised that he tagged the 6-point and he took possession of the 5-point without tagging it. He processed both deer at his residence. The subject could retain the 6-point buck, the 5-point was seized due to it being untagged and the 10-point was seized from the taxidermist due to it being the over-limit deer. Warrants will be sought for the failure to immediately tag deer and the over-limit of antlered deer.
While following up on baiting complaints, CO Mike Hearn contacted a landowner in Fife Lake and gave him a warning for unlawfully baiting deer on his property. A week later, CO Hearn returned, and found a hunter hunting over bait on the property. Through interviews, CO Hearn learned the hunter was told by the property owner that the bait needed to be cleaned up. The hunter chose to ignore the order. A citation was issued to the hunter for illegal baiting.
Over the last year, CO Mike Hearn has handled multiple complaints regarding landowners using an adjacent forest trail in Kalkaska County for their own benefit. Hunters have complained they have been told by the landowners they can’t use the public land, and several ORV related conflicts have taken place with the property owners. CO Hearn has previously warned the landowners for posting state land with private property signs. While patrolling the area, CO Hearn observed multiple no trespassing signs and a semi-load of fuelwood that was being stored on the state land. CO Hearn contacted the property owner, who argued easement rights with him. A citation was issued for illegal storage and illegal posting of state land. During the following work week, the subject contacted the local Forest Resources Division land manager and was also advised that he was in violation of the law and the items needed to be removed. His deed record was pulled from the county where it specifically states that his property is land locked and he does not have a defined easement with the state of Michigan. The subject plans to contest the charges in court.
CO Micah Hintze received a RAP complaint from stating a subject had taken a buck in Missaukee County in violation of the 3-point on one side APR. During the investigation, CO Hintze located a heavily baited blind and a hunter who wasn’t wearing hunter orange. Initially the man denied both seeing or taking a deer recently. When CO Hintze located blood nearby and confronted the subject again, he simply asked how much trouble he was in. The man confessed to taking a buck he knew was too small and shooting it over bait. CO Hintze helped the hunter pick up the bait and returned with him to camp. The small buck was seized, and multiple violations were addressed to include take deer with APR violation, place bait in the lower peninsula, take deer with use of bait, fail to immediately tag deer, and fail to wear hunter orange. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of two untagged antlered deer hanging in a barn in Missaukee County. He responded to the location and encountered the suspect’s two brothers. While asking about the suspect, the two brothers advised he was in town and he had the key to the barn with him. CO Cantrell told the brothers he would wait by the barn until the arrival of the suspect. After several minutes, one of the brothers came back out to the barn and stated he believed his nephew may be inside. Upon gaining entry to the barn, CO Cantrell observed the suspect and the nephew standing next to the two deer. CO Cantrell inquired as to why the suspect was hiding in the barn. He stated it was due to the untagged 7-point buck that was hanging. CO Cantrell obtained a confession, seized the suspect’s rifle and the deer. Charges have been filed through the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a license.
CO Jon Warner received a recreational trespass complaint in Iosco County. The suspect shot a deer from their residence on property they did not have permission to hunt on. CO Warner arrived and followed the bloody drag marks from the field where the deer was killed to the residence where the deer was located without a tag. CO Warner checked the suspect’s deer license and it was apparent the tags were purchased just a few minutes before CO Warner’s arrival. The suspect admitted to taking the deer from land he didn’t have permission to hunt on and was in possession of the deer with no hunting license. A citation was written for possession of an untagged deer and a warrant is being sought through the Iosco County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass.
CO Tyler Sabuda received a RAP complaint in Iosco County of individuals road hunting, shooting multiple times in a field, and not wearing any hunter orange. CO Sabuda arrived on scene and contacted a female who had shot four deer without having any deer licenses. CO Sabuda observed all four deer on the property without any kill tags attached. The female was cited on four counts of possessing a deer without a license.
CO Jeff Panich was notified by Alcona County Sheriff deputies in the middle of the night concerning a report of several deer being shot from a truck. A witness reported to dispatch he had seen a truck shoot at deer in front of his house while using lights to locate the deer. The witness got dressed and followed the truck before the shooter could gather the deer from the field. The witness advised the Alcona County Sheriff’s Office of the location of the truck. CO Panich arrived on scene and, after hearing the statements by the witness and the deputies, CO Panich spoke with the suspect. The suspect stated he never shot at any deer and told the CO he was just driving when the caller chased him. CO Panich noticed blood on the back of the pickup truck and asked about it. The suspect led CO Panich to an untagged 6-point buck hanging in the garage. Further investigation led to a rifle hidden underneath a log pile as well as a full confession from the suspect that he shot two does in a field from the truck in the middle of the night. Charges are being sought through the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office for two counts of taking a deer after legal hunting hours and one count of taking a deer without a license.
While on patrol in rural Arenac County, CO Phil Hudson observed headlights in a field after dark. He grabbed his binoculars and went on foot to a location he could better observe the activity. CO Hudson watched as a couple subjects loaded an ORV onto a trailer and drove back towards the roadway. He made his way back to his patrol truck and continued to observe the activity. CO Hudson stopped the vehicle for operating on the wrong side of the road. Upon contact, CO Hudson immediately observed blood on the driver’s hands and asked him what the blood was from. The driver stated that he “did not know.” After further questioning, the driver admitted to shooting a deer in a different location and they were now getting their ORV to go retrieve it. CO Hudson followed the subjects to the other location and located an untagged deer. The subjects advised they had lied earlier because they did not want to use their kill tag on the deer. A citation was issued for failing to immediately attach a kill tag.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling Arenac County when he received a RAP complaint from a landowner in reference to a man trespassing in his field. CO Neal arrived on scene to find the suspect’s vehicle stuck on the edge of the field. He contacted the operator of the vehicle and asked what happened. The suspect stated that he was driving by the field, saw a deer, got out of his vehicle, shot it, and tried to drive into the field to retrieve it. CO Neal asked the suspect if he knew who owned the land and if he had permission to be on the property. The man stated that he didn’t see any “no trespassing” signs so he thought it was okay. CO Neal explained to the man that farmland is not required to be posted. CO Neal was able to locate the dead antlerless deer still laying in the field. The suspect only had a combination license and did not have a proper tag for the antlerless deer. A wrecker was called to get the vehicle out of the farm field. The suspect was issued a citation for recreational trespass and for taking an antlerless deer without a license. He also had to pay an expensive tow bill.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling the Sterling Truck Trails in Arenac County when he pulled off to the side as a vehicle approached on the narrow trail. The operator of the vehicle stopped to talk with CO Neal. The operator stated that they had not seen any deer since opening day of the season. As the conversation progressed, CO Neal asked if he could look at the firearms in the vehicle. The driver claimed the firearms were in the bed of the truck and he exited the vehicle to assist CO Neal. Just as the man was about to drop the tailgate, he confessed that he “screwed up.” When the tailgate came down, it revealed an untagged yearling antlerless deer. The man stated that he meant to shoot a buck and accidentally shot a doe instead. He did not have a proper tag for an antlerless deer. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Josh Russell was contacted by the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Department about a hunter that had reported shooting a large black bear in self-defense the previous day. The hunter was now hoping to get a permit to keep the bear. COs Russell and Ethan Gainforth responded to the hunter’s residence to investigate. Upon investigation, the hunter’s story changed from one of self-defense to simply shooting the bear as it walked through his hunting location. The hunter admitted that the bear never approached him and was shot over 60 yards away broadside, indicating that the bear never appeared to be a threat. The bear was seized, and charges will be sought through the Gladwin County Prosecutor’s Office.
While out checking hunters on public land, CO Josh Wright observed a vehicle crest over a hill on a state land two-track. Upon seeing CO Wright standing in the two-track, the driver immediately stopped, put the vehicle in reverse, and disappeared out of sight. CO Wright headed the direction of the vehicle and was able to quickly make it over the hill. The vehicle was now stopped just down the hill. CO Wright observed the operator, now outside of the vehicle, open the back door and grab a bolt action rifle. He watched as the subject tried to eject the bullets out of the rifle. CO Wright approached and advised the man to stop what he was doing. The man dropped his head and stated, “This was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.” He continued by admitting to having a loaded and uncased firearm in the vehicle. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Chad Foerster checked a hunter after legal hunting hours as the hunter was exiting the woods with a loaded firearm. During the conversation with the hunter, it was determined that he had shot a 6-point buck during the bow season. After a license check, the hunter was found to be in possession of his deer kill-tag, which is only good for the taking of a single antlered deer. The hunter ultimately confessed to shooting the deer with his crossbow over bait, processed it with his father, and failed to tag it. A warrant request is pending for the illegal deer and warnings were given on scene for the loaded after hours and hunting over bait.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol on the Saginaw River checking anglers when he observed a vessel with three individuals fishing. When the CO made contact, he asked everyone for fishing licenses. One of the anglers advised the CO that he didn’t have his on him but had purchased it. After checking with dispatch, it was discovered that the individual did not have a fishing license for 2019. The angler was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
While patrolling western Isabella County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a hunter sitting in a rifle stand who was not wearing a required hunter orange garment. CO Haas contacted the man in his blind and addressed the violation. The man had an orange knit cap in his blind but stated he had taken it off when he became too warm. The hunter had two loaded rifles in his possession in the blind and was unable to produce a deer license. After checking the hunter’s DNR purchase history, it was determined that the man had failed to buy a deer license for the 2019 season. A citation was issued to address the violations.
While traveling to the Montcalm County Courthouse to drop off paperwork, CO Mike Haas was tailgated by a vehicle that was eager to pass the CO. Numerous times the vehicle began to pass the CO's truck and was then forced back behind CO Haas due to oncoming traffic. After some time, the vehicle passed CO Haas on a hill as they entered a “no passing zone.” CO Haas paced the vehicle at over 95 miles per hour (mph) in a 55-mph zone and conducted a traffic stop. The operator of the vehicle stated that they were in a hurry to get home and admitted that they didn't know conservation officers could conduct traffic stops. CO Haas issued a citation to address the traffic violations.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint from the RAP hotline of a suspect hunting from a motor vehicle in a small town of central Isabella County. CO Haas checked the area and located a truck partially hidden in pine trees parked in the middle of a large grass field. CO Haas parked his truck nearby and began to walk through the field towards the truck. While approaching the truck, CO Haas spooked multiple deer that ran towards the truck. Two rifle shots rang out as the deer ran past the vehicle. CO Haas contacted the suspect in the truck who had just missed a nice buck with both shots as it ran away and was annoyed that CO Haas had scared the deer away. CO Haas notified the man that he was not allowed to hunt from a motor vehicle without a proper permit. The man was unable to locate his deer licenses and stated he must have left them at his house and that he had never been in trouble with the DNR before. CO Haas checked the man's license purchase history and discovered that the man did not purchase any 2019 deer licenses. CO Haas also checked the suspect’s criminal history and discovered that he had three prior convictions from the DNR for loaded firearms in a motor vehicle and for hunting without a license. The suspect received a citation to address the firearm and licensing violations.
COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson were patrolling central Montcalm County and received a complaint from the RAP line. A complainant was concerned with a hunter who was hunting in a residential area and possibly violating the safety zone law. The COs arrived at the complaint area and located a hunter sitting behind his house in a hunting tent overlooking a small wood lot. The hunter was unsure of the safety zone requirements and was surprised that he was hunting within five of his neighbor’s safety zones. The COs explained the safety concerns and issued a citation for hunting within a safety zone.
CO Josh Jackson received a complaint from the RAP hotline of an owl stuck in a foothold trap. Upon arrival, the officer and the caller located a large owl hopping around in a nearby field. The owl was caught by a toe and was unable to take off from the ground. The CO and the caller were able to throw a towel over the owl and safely remove the trap. The owl quickly flew off and is expected to make a healthy recovery. The foothold trap had no identification tags on it and several neighbors were questioned. Unable to determine a suspect, multiple nearby neighbors were given contact information and the incident remains under investigation.
CO Josh Jackson received a call about a hunter on Hunter Access Program (HAP) land who is failing to sign in/out. As CO Jackson arrived at the property, he observed the suspect walking to his car after the evening hunt. The hunter was questioned about signing in/out during each hunt and was asked to see a valid hunting license. The hunter stated he was signing in and out during each hunt but was unable to provide a valid deer license. Subsequently, the hunter was cited for being afield with a loaded firearm without possessing a valid deer license.
CO Matthew Neterer was working a nighttime patrol in an area where there had been recent reports of deer being poached from the roadway. CO Neterer observed a suspicious pickup truck in the area a short time later. When CO Neterer attempted to get behind the truck to obtain a license plate number, the truck accelerated quickly at a high rate of speed. As CO Neterer initiated a traffic stop, the truck fled down a nearby driveway and two male subjects ran from the vehicle into a residence. Both subjects were later taken into custody without incident. The passenger was released at the scene and the driver was lodged in the Sanilac County Jail and later charged with felony fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstructing a police officer, Operating Under the Influence Liquor (OUIL), and possessing a beaver without a license by the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Seth Rhodea stopped a car for disregarding a stop sign. The driver was found to be suspended, operating without insurance, operating without registration, and transporting open intoxicants. The driver initially provided false information and when it was discovered that he had provided false information he attempted to run but was immediately taken into custody and lodged in the Sanilac County jail.
CO Joshua Wright was patrolling in Tuscola County when he saw a person butchering a deer in their shed. The CO went to congratulate the hunter. While checking the deer, CO Wright noticed that there was a Mentored Youth tag on one of the antlered deer that the adult said he shot. The adult admitted that he put his child’s tag on it because he did not buy one. It was also discovered that the same hunter shot an antlerless deer and then bought the license after. Weapons and deer were seized. Charges are being sought through Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint from the RAP hotline of a subject who had shot a deer without having a valid 2019 Michigan deer license. While in the area of the subject’s residence, CO Ulberg observed the subject pull into his driveway with the deer in question still on the subject’s truck. After a short interview, the subject admitted to shooting the deer without having a license. While observing the deer, it was noted that there was a small bullet entrance wound on the deer carcass. Further investigation revealed the subject shot the deer with a centerfire rifle in the limited firearm deer zone. The deer and firearm were seized. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint in Ottawa County regarding the dumping of deer carcasses on private property. CO Varriale located the two deer carcasses, and an investigation led to a suspect who lived down the road. CO Varriale contacted the suspect and the suspect claimed he did not think it was illegal to leave deer carcasses on the side of the road. The suspect was issued a citation for littering.
CO Anna Cullen interviewed an individual suspected of purchasing his tags after harvesting a 10-point buck. A confession was obtained, and charges will be submitted to the Muskegon County Prosecutor for the violations.
CO Anna Cullen received a trespassing complaint in Muskegon County. CO Cullen responded to the location and was able to contact the suspect. It was determined the suspect was not trespassing but was in possession of kill tags that did not belong to them. The suspect advised their father allowed them to use the kill tags, so they did not go to waste. The individual was cited for the violation.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Huron Manistee National Forest. While checking on a previously located baited tree stand, CO Cullen observed an individual who was actively hunting in the tree stand. New bait was also placed underneath. CO Cullen made contact and received a confession from the hunter for placing the bait below the tree stand. A citation was issued for the violation.
While patrolling in the Manistee National Forest, CO Jackie Miskovich came upon a truck parked in an area not designated for motor vehicles. After looking at the truck, it was determined the occupant was out hunting. Walking on a trail past the truck, CO Miskovich came upon an occupied ground blind with a bait pile in front of it and a game camera pointing at the bait. Approaching the hunter and asking for his identification and hunting licenses, he stated they were in the truck. While walking back to the truck to retrieve his licenses, CO Miskovich discovered that the hunter knew there was bait out in front of his blind and he knew it was illegal. CO Miskovich advised the hunter that he needed to mark his blind to identify it was his and that he needed to carry his hunting license on him. A citation was issued for hunting over bait in an area restricted to baiting/feeding.
Sgt. Steve Mooney and CO Zach Bauer were on patrol when they noticed a deer hanging from a tree at a residence. Sgt. Mooney and CO Bauer contacted the hunter and further investigation revealed that the deer did not have a valid 2019 deer hunting tag attached as required by law. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Zach Bauer was off duty when he received a phone call from the RAP hotline about an angler keeping under-sized walleye at the Berrien Springs dam. CO Bauer checked in service and responded to the complaint. CO Bauer located the angler and further investigation revealed two under-sized walleye in the angler’s possession. The two walleye were seized, and a citation was issued for the violation.
Sgt. Steve Mooney and CO Kyle McQueer were patrolling the Three Rivers State Game Area (SGA) when CO McQueer noticed a vehicle parked alongside of the road in an odd location. As Sgt. Mooney and CO McQueer drove past the vehicle, they noticed an individual standing approximately ten yards into the woods wearing an orange jacket and no firearm. CO McQueer turned his patrol vehicle around and, when CO McQueer’s patrol vehicle got closer to the hunter’s vehicle, three individuals came walking out of the woods. Two of the individuals seen walking out of the woods were carrying shotguns. One of the individuals carrying a shotgun had no hunter orange and the other individual carrying a shotgun did not meet the hunter orange requirements. Both individuals seen carrying shotguns only had a base license and no deer license. A citation was given to both individuals for failing to wear hunter orange/failing to meet hunter orange requirements, as well as possessing a shotgun loaded with slugs during firearm deer season with no deer licenses.
CO Richard Cardenas received a RAP complaint of three subjects seen walking into the Barry SGA with hunting equipment past legal shooting hours. CO Cardenas located the suspect vehicle which had several empty gun cases in the back. CO Cardenas used a hand-held Forward-Looking InfraRed unit which allowed him to locate and approach the three subjects hunting in the woods. The subjects were contacted in the woods with loaded firearms and were using artificial light to hunt game. Citations were issued for hunting past legal shooting hours.
While following up on a complaint of a felon in possession of a firearm, CO Sam Schluckbier came upon a subject hunting private property. The hunter was sitting overtop a bait pile of corn when confronted. CO Schluckbier asked the hunter about the bait pile while checking her license. She claimed that she knew the law prohibited baiting deer, but that did not stop her from placing over 15 gallons of shelled corn near her stand. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint on Thanksgiving night of two subjects trespassing in Allegan County. The witness stated that he watched a vehicle stop on the roadway while the driver grabbed his shotgun and jumped into the bed of his four-wheel drive truck. The passenger then became the driver as they sped across the farm field in the direction of several deer. The suspect in the bed of the truck fired once at the deer before scaring them off. CO Schluckbier was able to locate the subject’s vehicle at a nearby residence. The suspect attempted to lie about the incident when CO Schluckbier interviewed him; however, he became honest when CO Schluckbier advised him of the severity of the violations. The suspect admitted to shooting at the deer so his girlfriend could gut it. Charges will be sought through the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office for several violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Allegan SGA when a vehicle approached him head on. CO Woodwyk stepped out to talk with the driver. The driver stated he had a shotgun in the back of the vehicle and proceeded to show CO Woodwyk a loaded, uncased firearm. CO Woodwyk then noticed a second gun case in the bed of the truck. Upon checking this firearm, it was discovered this firearm was also loaded. A citation was issued for the safety violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint in Ottawa County from CO Jackie Miskovich regarding a subject trespassing on Consumers Energy property. CO Woodwyk checked the hunting location and noticed a fresh pile of bait that was placed within the past few days but no hunter. CO Woodwyk checked the location again in the evening and observed a hunter that was actively hunting and trespassing on the property. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Chris Holmes responded to the complaint of a trespass where a property owner was using a cellular enabled trail camera which sends photographs to his cell phone as soon as they are taken. CO Holmes looked at the photos and identified a suspect. A short time later the complainant had a picture of the suspect walking up to his game camera and received an alert the game camera was shut off. CO Holmes interviewed the uncooperative suspect at his residence and then left the area. The complainant contacted CO Holmes after he found his game camera was missing. As the complainant was leaving the area, approximately five handgun shots were heard coming from behind the suspect’s house. A second cellular game camera captured the suspect again trespassing on the complainant’s property. Charges for multiple crimes will be sought through the prosecutor’s office.
While on patrol, CO Chris Holmes noticed fresh vehicle tracks leading onto a Consumers Energy powerline. CO Holmes checked out the area and stopped two individuals driving on the powerline looking for firewood to cut. CO Holmes found that the driver had a suspended driver’s license along with the trespassing violation. Citations were issued for the violations.
COs Andrew Monnich, Eric Smither, Mike Drexler, Brandon Hartleben, and Sgt. Jason Smith participated in a bait flight focusing on Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties. Multiple bait sites were located, marked, and investigated. During the patrol, CO Monnich and Sgt. Smith followed up on a bait site when they located an individual hunting near their vehicle. The COs discovered that the hunter was without any hunter orange and did not have a hunting license. The hunter claimed to be just sitting in the field relaxing and not hunting. When asked about the firearm, the individual stated that he brought it in the event he was attacked by a coyote. During the same patrol, COs Hartleben and Drexler followed up on a bait site where they located one hunter hunting over bait and another hunter with no license and no hunter orange. During the same contact, the COs investigated what appeared to be a somewhat large processing operation in which the hunter claimed he only did for friends. The hunter was educated on laws pertaining to processing and enforcement action was taken on all other violations.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were working a spot known for illegal hunting activity. The COs were parked in between barns on a farm watching over a field when they observed two hunters walking across the field with shotguns. Both individuals got onto an ORV and headed towards the road. The hunters made a turn on the road and the COs tried to conduct a traffic stop. Upon activating the siren on the patrol truck, the driver looked back and threw his shot gun in the ditch and continued another 50 yards and then stopped. The hunters first lied about throwing the shotgun, but once CO Smither came out of the ditch with it, they agreed they did throw it. Enforcement actions were taken for loaded firearms on an ORV, no helmets, riding double, being on a closed roadway, failing to register ORV, and failing to display hunter orange.
CO Andrew Monnich received a tip from an off-duty police officer about a guy sitting in a tree stand just off a busy road without hunter orange. CO Monnich went to the area and spotted the hunter who tried to hide once CO Monnich got out of the patrol truck. CO Monnich had to yell up to the hunter multiple times before the hunter acknowledged him. When CO Monnich asked what he was doing not wearing hunter orange, the hunter replied, “I am hunting. It’s prime time; you’re going to ruin my hunt so you can leave now.” CO Monnich advised the hunter to get down out of the tree which he did. Enforcement action was taken for the no hunter orange, a warning for recreational trespassing was given, and the hunter was escorted off the property.
CO Nick Wellman was at a call where a duck was stuck in the ice. CO Wellman was speaking to the complainant when a man drove up the road in a golf cart heading out hunting with two uncased firearms leaning on the dash. In addition, one of the firearms, a .44 mag, was loaded. A citation was issued.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint from a Station 20 dispatcher referencing a 12-point buck that had been killed by a non-resident who never purchased a 2019 deer license. CO Wellman began investigating and worked closely with a CO from Tennessee as well as COs from Wayne County, COs Dave Schaumburger and Keven Luther, to do simultaneous interviews. Due to hard work by the Wayne County COs, full confessions were received that the man from Tennessee came up and shot a large 12-point without hunting licenses, then used a family member’s kill tags to attempt to make the deer legal. The 12-point and the firearm were seized by the Wayne County COs and charges are being sought through the Branch County Prosecutor.
CO Shane Webster responded to a complaint of a deer taken within the Portage Lake State Campground and left behind a dumpster in the park. With a good vehicle description, CO Webster was able to contact a group of campers in the park who knew the suspect. A phone call to the suspect was made and an agreement to meet a few hours later was made to explain the issue. The subject came back to the campground and stated that he had an “emergency” at work. The subject led CO Webster to the deer which he had buried under leaves. He explained that he had been hunting on the campground edge into the recreation area land and the deer had run into the park after being shot. He was worried he would be in trouble for taking the deer out of the campground and he had also forgotten his licenses at home, which is why he had left. A ticket was issued for failure to immediately tag the deer.
While patrolling Clinton County, CO Larn R. Strawn received a BOL for a hazardous driver in a tractor-trailer travelling south on US 127. CO Strawn located the hazardous driver and conducted a traffic stop. While contacting the driver and investigating the complaint, CO Strawn discovered the driver had an active arrest warrant for a previous deer baiting violation. CO Strawn arrested the subject on the warrant and ultimately released him after he posted the required cash bond for his assurance to appear in court.
COs Todd Thorn, John Byars, and Sgt. Richard Nickols executed a search warrant at a residence to seek evidence of killing deer at night using a luminescent scope. The search resulted in a phone, scope, and other electronic devices being seized. Information will be processed, and charges will be sought through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. While the search was being conducted, the suspect admitted to having shot at least one deer well after hunting hours.
CO Katie Stawara assisted MSP with a recreational trespass case which resulted in a home being struck by a bullet. Interviews were conducted and evidence collected. A confession was obtained for recreational trespass; however, evidence remained inconclusive on a suspect for the careless discharge. A warrant is being sought for the recreational trespass charges.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll responded to a car versus tree personal injury accident. CO Ingersoll was first on scene where he observed an individual slumped over the steering wheel unresponsive. CO Ingersoll was unable to locate a pulse and the individual was not breathing. CO Ingersoll and a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy extracted the patient from the vehicle, and that is when CO Ingersoll started to perform CPR. The officers used their Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the patient and three shocks were provided by the AED prior to fire and EMS arriving on scene. After approximately an hour of working on the patient and all attempts at reviving the patient failed, he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is investigating why the crash had happened.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Keven Luther conducted an interview on a hunter who was suspected of shooting an 8-point white-tailed deer without a license. The COs interviewed the hunter who confessed to shooting the deer without a license. The hunter stated that he thought he had his combination license when he went out hunting. He said he shot the deer then he realized he did not have his hunting license and went to the store after he had shot the deer to purchase his hunting license. The COs confiscated the antlers and advised the hunter they were going to be submitting charges to the Monroe County Prosecutor.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek conducted an interview on a hunter who had shot a deer in Kentucky without a license. The COs assisted Kentucky’s Fish and Wildlife Division by interviewing the suspect who lived in Monroe County. After a lengthy interview, the COs were able to obtain a confession from the hunter. The hunter advised that he went to Kentucky and, once he got to Kentucky, he realized he did not know his social security number. He stated that he could not purchase his hunting license and he advised he paid his friend to purchase his hunting license and he used his friend’s hunting license to tag the deer he had shot. The hunter provided a written confession, and the COs seized the firearm that was used. The case will be turned over to Kentucky’s Fish and Wildlife Division to pursue charges.
CO Keven Luther checked on an active baiting case he’d been working on since the beginning of the 2019 deer season. CO Luther contacted the suspect while he was actively hunting over bait with an invalid 2019 hunting license. CO Luther contacted CO Brandon Vacek to assist in the investigation after discovering three fully processed deer carcasses near the suspect’s vehicle. The two COs interviewed the suspect uncovering five deer all taken over bait in two different counties. The COs also determined that one of the deer was taken by a non-resident without a valid Michigan 2019 hunting license. Evidence of the illegal activity was taken, and a case report will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for formal charges. While attempting to collect some of the evidence from a local meat processor, the two COs witnessed a subject attempt to drop off a deer with a 2018 hunting tag. The individual was cited on scene.
CO Keven Luther witnessed a man operating an ORV without a helmet on a county road. While contacting the individual, it was determined that the man had several local warrants. The man was cited on scene of operating an ORV without a helmet and transported to a local officer for his warrants.
CO David Schaumburger received an anonymous complaint of a hunter hunting over bait. The complainant told the hunter he was calling the DNR at 8 AM in the morning. The CO had a busy day and contacted the same hunter in the same location three minutes after shooting hours ended hunting over the bait. The hunter did not have a hunting license and was also not wearing hunter orange. Multiple citations were issued.
CO David Schaumburger and Captain (Cpt.) David Malloch were checking anglers fishing for bluegill when they came across an angler who stated to the COs that he had 25 bluegills. The COs counted the fish twice and counted 26 bluegills. The angler was continuing to fish as the COs walked up and the COs suspected the angler was giving fish away to his fishing partners. A citation was issued for possessing over the limit of bluegill.
CO David Schaumburger and Cpt. David Malloch began checking anglers at Lake Erie Metroparks Marina when one of the anglers stated to Cpt. Malloch, “You should have been here a few minutes ago; I think the guys in the white trucks that just left were over the limit.” The COs made haste and caught up to the anglers, who had stopped in a parking lot. Consent was given to search the vehicles and, after counting the two buckets of fish for the two anglers, 61 bluegills were found. A citation was issued for possessing over the limit of bluegill.
CO David Schaumburger responded to a call of ORVs drag racing on the roadway in Monroe County. CO Schaumburger did not immediately observe any ORVs operating on the roadway; they were only on their property, so the CO shut his lights off to observe them. Lo and behold, it only took a few minutes for one the ORVs to ride down the road where the CO was observing. The CO turned his emergency lights on and surprised the ORV operator. The operator said he was driving down the road to investigate a vehicle with its lights off, which was the CO. The CO explained he received a complaint about the ORVs, and he wrote the operator a citation for operating an ORV on the roadway and gave him a warning for no helmet, no eye protection, and no ORV license.
CO Brandon Vacek received an anonymous tip that a hunter was possibly in possession of an over-limit of ducks at Pointe Mouillee SGA. The CO contacted two hunters who showed him six drake mallards and one hen mallard they had shot. After a check of the hunters’ licenses and gear, the CO located an additional two hen mallards hidden inside a gear bag. The subject was issued a citation for an over-limit of mallard ducks. Full reimbursement for the duck is being sought by the prosecutor.
CO Jacob Griffin was conducting an inspection at a local deer processor when he discovered multiple deer and records not adding up. CO Griffin was able to immediately follow up with one subject whose name was attached to one of the deer. CO Griffin reviewed with the subject several issues found regarding the 10-point antlered deer the subject possessed. The subject admitted to hunting with a crossbow and taking the 10-point antlered deer without having a license to hunt deer. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken. During the same inspection, CO Griffin found an additional 10-point antlered deer with suspicious information. CO Griffin followed up with both the subject who claimed the deer and the subject who the kill tag belonged to. After speaking with both subjects, CO Griffin discovered one of the subjects found the deer and that it was killed by someone else. The subject not only took the deer but used the license and kill tag of the other subject to illegally tag the deer in order to get it processed and mounted. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Justin Muehlhauser received a RAP complaint about a turkey that was shot out of season. The caller reported watching a neighbor shoot a turkey in the backyard over a bait pile. Apparently, the bird was still in the yard and flopping around. CO Muehlhauser responded and made contact at the suspected residence. A man approached the CO and immediately advised that he had done something wrong. CO Muehlhauser asked him what he did. He stated that he put some feed out for the Sandhill cranes and almost immediately a couple turkeys came in and started eating it up. He was upset about it and thought he would try to scare them away with his firearm. He ended up shooting a tom with a .22 caliber rifle. CO Muehlhauser explained a variety of violations including hunting within a safety zone, taking a turkey out of season, taking a turkey over bait, and taking a turkey with an illegal firearm. The turkey was turned over to the CO and the firearm was seized. Charges will be sought for multiple violations through the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Ben Lasher took a complaint of a freshly killed buck. The property owner suspected it was shot from the road sometime during the afternoon. Shortly after telling the caller to standby while CO Lasher responded, the caller advised two trucks just pulled in. CO Lasher requested a deputy to assist if closer so the suspects would not get away. When the deputy and CO Lasher arrived, the caller was still in the field with the suspects and the deer. The deer was shot in the neck and dropped where it was standing so only the suspects would know where the deer was in the field. One of the three suspects admitted to shooting the deer with the other suspect’s gun. A ticket was issued for recreational trespass.
CO Ben Lasher responded to a lost hunter search and rescue in St. Clair County, coming in at the end of the search, and assisted with getting volunteer firefighters out of the woods. The hunter was found but left his deer and firearm in the woods. CO Lasher met the hunter the next morning to assist him with finding his possessions. Once back at the parking lot, it was found that the hunter did not have an antlerless license to take a doe with a firearm; the hunter will be charged with taking an antlerless deer without a license.
CO Jaime Salisbury was on patrol and noticed a truck parked on a field edge where someone was hunting. CO Salisbury parked and waited for the hunters to come out of the field. CO Salisbury contacted the hunters well after shooting hours had ended and he noticed both were still loaded after hours. While talking to them, CO Salisbury noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from one of the hunters. CO Salisbury also witnessed clues leading him to believe the subject was intoxicated. CO Salisbury then administered a preliminary breath test to both hunters and one of them blew a .158 blood alcohol content. CO Salisbury issued citations for being loaded after hours as well as hunting while intoxicated. The hunter’s firearm was also seized as evidence.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner interviewed a suspect of an illegal deer found on a Facebook page. Upon contact the individual readily admitted to having shot the 8-point buck before he purchased his tags. The antlers and meat were seized. Charges are being sought through the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen contacted a subject that had his weapon still loaded 44 minutes after legal published hunting hours. The subject left his hunter orange in the field so he could find his deer when he went back for it. The COs walked over a half mile through a swamp to check to see if the deer was tagged. The deer was tagged, and the hunter orange hat was hanging in the tree by the deer. The subject was issued a citation for loaded after hours.
COs Kris Kiel, David Schaumburger, and Joseph Deppen attended court this week on a subject that they had caught taking an over-limit of walleye this fall. COs Schaumburger and Deppen conducted extensive surveillance on the subject, notorious for taking over-limits of walleye. CO Kiel contacted him in possession of seven walleye. The subject was also apprehended in 2011 for taking an over limit of walleye and possession of under-sized walleye by CO Kiel and Lt. Todd Szyska. This time, the judge sentenced the subject to fines, reimbursement, and two years of fishing license revocation along with he cannot even possess fish.
CO Brad Silorey was conducting checks at a local deer processor when a hunter pulled in with three deer on the back of the vehicle. CO Silorey greeted the hunter and congratulated him on his harvest. CO Silorey asked the hunter when he took the deer. The hunter stated that he shot the buck the morning of November 15 and the two does were shot on the evening of November 15. CO Silorey looked at the tags on each deer and noticed that one of the tags was purchased on November 15 after legal shooting hours. The subject was questioned on the findings and confessed to shooting one of the antlerless deer without a kill tag. The deer was seized and immediately donated to a needy family. Charges are being sought for the illegally taken deer through the local prosecutor’s office.
CO Joseph Deppen assisted Macomb County Sheriff’s Department on a subject with a suspected overdose. CO Deppen was first on scene and the subject did not have a pulse and seemed to have been lifeless for some time. CO Deppen directed the family members to step outside and started CPR. CO Deppen stopped CPR when relieved by the local fire department. The subject was pronounced deceased soon after.
CO Bobby Watson was trying to enjoy a day off from work when a shot rang out close to his residence at the last minute of legal shooting light. Hours later, CO Watson observed a side-by-side operating in a field across the road. CO Watson knew from personal experience that nobody is supposed to be hunting in that field. CO Watson grabbed his badge and ID and walked across the road to check on the situation. After talking with two men, it was discovered one of the hunters had shot well across the property line, trespassing by around 75 yards. The hunter was also attempting to recover an antlerless deer but had not purchased a 2019 antlerless deer kill tag due to him relying on his father’s senior citizen discount to provide his antlerless tags. The hunter had also failed to unload his .450 Bushmaster while searching for his deer at approximately 7 PM, well after legal shooting hours. The side-by-side the two men were utilizing had multiple bags of carrots loaded into it, and the location of the tree stand from which the hunter had taken the shot also had a large salt lick placed in front of it. CO Watson gathered contact information from the hunter responsible and informed him that he would be in touch the following day. A citation was issued for being in possession of a loaded firearm after legal shooting hours, and the hunter was required to purchase an antlerless deer tag.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint about people target shooting at the Lapeer Shooting Pit. The Lapeer Shooting Pit closed on November 26, 2019, for construction. Upon arrival, CO Gardner contacted the two groups of subjects who were with two Lapeer County deputies who also responded to the complaint. When CO Gardner asked why the subjects were there when it was closed, one subject from the first group said that he didn’t know it was closed. When CO Gardner pointed out the “Range Closed” signage and the closed and locked gate, the same subject said he didn’t see the sign and didn’t think the closed gate meant they couldn’t come in. Another subject from the second group said that he drove up from Detroit and wasn’t going to waste the trip up to the Lapeer Shooting Pit. CO Gardner wrote one citation to the leader of each group and gave the rest of the group members verbal warnings.