Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Byron Parks received a complaint through the Report all Poaching (RAP) line regarding a subject over-baiting deer by the truckloads. CO Parks responded to the area described and discovered multiple full bags of carrots and beets just set on the ground slightly open. There were piles of apples and pumpkins spread out. Lastly CO Parks found a large blue barrel laying down, with a large hole cut out of the side, inside the barrel were many gallons of corn. On opening day of rifle deer season, CO Parks returned to the area. CO Parks contacted the property owner; the owner stated he was not hunting, just feeding the deer. CO Parks explained the regulations for feeding and baiting are both two gallons, and that feed/bait needs to be spread out on the ground at a minimum 10 feet by 10 feet. CO Parks issued a citation for exceeding feed/bait quantity.
CO Jeffrey Dell checked an illegal ground blind and found a hunter without hunter orange on as the outermost garment. The hunter was also found to be hunting over three times the legal bait limit. The man admitted to knowing the legal bait limit and stated he had received a citation for the illegal ground blind the year prior. CO Dell issued a citation for exceeding the two-gallon bait limit and gave the hunter warnings for the illegal blind and failing to wear hunter orange.
CO John Kamps followed up on a complaint of an individual shooting several beavers on a local lake. CO Kamps walked around the lake and located a single beaver with a bullet hole in it. A suspect was developed, and an interview was conducted shortly after. After a brief interview, a confession was obtained for shooting three beaver with a .243 rifle. Evidence was documented and a warrant is being submitted through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Josh Boudreaux contacted hunters at multiple hunting sites that had violations ranging from over-baiting and cut shooting lanes to illegally placed blinds. One by one CO Boudreaux contacted the hunters throughout the hunt area and issued citations for the violations. Later in his shift, CO Boudreaux talked with another hunter who asked what had happened that morning. He further explained that he had overheard people on his walkie talkie shouting, “The DNR is coming your way, throw your bait in the woods, stuff it in your pockets, do whatever you have to do to get rid of it!” After a good laugh, CO Boudreaux wished the hunter luck and thanked him for the information.
CO Josh Boudreaux was on patrol when he observed a vehicle which was stopped on the side of a two-track quickly pull back onto the road and begin driving again as the CO came into sight. CO Boudreaux recognized the truck and contacted the operator once he stopped at his camp gate not much further down the road. After talking for a couple minutes, CO Boudreaux checked his hunting license but when he asked to check the firearm, which was cased in the passenger seat, the individual stated he had just loaded it. CO Boudreaux asked if that was why he took off when he saw his patrol truck. The individual stated, “No, I would have unloaded it if I saw it was you.” A citation was issued for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman was patrolling late in the afternoon of November 14 when he encountered a side-by-side off-road vehicle (ORV) with two occupants. The subjects were not wearing their seatbelts and contact was made with the driver. As the driver stepped out to wipe several layers of mud off the covered ORV license, Sgt. Leadman observed a beer bottle dripping out liquid inside the ORV. A quick check revealed another open bottle that the passenger was trying to hide behind his feet. Sgt. Leadman asked about the gun case inside the ORV and the driver stated it was loaded in the magazine. Two rounds were pulled from the shotgun and a ticket was issued for transporting a loaded firearm.
CO John Kamps was traveling on a state highway when he was approached head on by an ORV traveling against the flow of traffic and along the highway. A traffic stop was initiated, and CO Kamps immediately noticed there were two people riding on the single passenger ORV and that the adult passenger was holding a cocked and loaded crossbow in one of his hands. The pair was cited for operating an ORV with a loaded crossbow and for operating double on an ORV.
CO Robert Freeborn was on patrol and overheard local dispatch advise of a two-car personal injury accident on US-2. CO Freeborn was the closest officer and advised dispatch that he would head that way. Due to the whiteout conditions, CO Freeborn observed several near wrecks while in route to the scene. CO Freeborn was first on scene and provided medical care until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived and took over.
At the beginning of her shift in Alger County, CO Andrea Dani observed a large, scattered pile of trash along a road through the Hiawatha National Forest. CO Dani found receipts identifying the name of the owner of a specific vehicle. CO Dani contacted the driver, who stated he needed to clean out his car and did not think about it. The driver was issued a civil infraction citation for littering and given two days to clean up the mess.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol when a call of a missing 5-year old child with special needs was reported in the Bark River area. While searching with an MSP K-9 unit to locate the child, a deceased 8-point deer was discovered. After a short while, the missing child was located and returned to his family safely. CO Butzin followed up with the property owner of the property where the deer was found to see if they were looking for a deer. Ultimately it was determined that a nonresident unlicensed hunter had shot the deer and was unable to locate it. Charges have been requested and are pending through the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when he observed a side-by-side ORV operator who was not wearing a seatbelt. A traffic stop was conducted. While in conversation, the operator stated that he had observed evidence of pine boughs being cut on nearby state land. As soon as he mentioned this, CO VanOosten observed a truck drive by on the adjacent road loaded with pine boughs. CO VanOosten was able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle and obtain a confession that the pine boughs were cut on state land. A citation was issued to the individuals for damaging trees/shrubs on state land.
CO Tim Rosochacki was working a complaint where a suspect was making multiple fishing trips a day on Mullet Lake, taking an over-limit of walleye. Prior to launching his boat, CO Rosochacki checked the suspects truck and located a five-gallon bucket in the bed of the truck with several walleye carcasses in it. A short time later, CO Rosochacki contacted the subject at the dock, and he had seven fish on board for him and two other anglers. The suspect admitted to catching four of the fish. When CO Rosochacki mentioned the fish in the truck's bed the subject quickly admitted that he had caught too many fish that day. A ticket was issued for taking an over-limit of walleye.
CO Matt Theunick was patrolling Alpena State Road in Cheboygan County the night before the firearm deer season when he observed a truck parked at a local gun range. He observed the driver unloading an old dresser from the truck bed. The subject began using the dresser as a target and a short time later, the subject got into the vehicle and started driving away without cleaning up the dresser. A traffic stop was made, and contact was made with the driver, who admitted to leaving the destroyed dresser and was found to have a loaded gun in the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jessie Curtis received a larceny of a trail camera complaint in Alpena County. The complainant had pictures of boot prints leading up to and away from the stolen trail camera. CO Curtis knew of another stolen trail camera complaint in the area that MSP troopers had dealt with. MSP troopers had searched a suspect but found no trail cameras. CO Curtis and Trooper Berry compared the boot prints to the suspect’s boots from the original complaint and they appeared to match. CO Curtis interviewed the suspect who confessed to stealing the two trail cameras. Charges are being sought for the larceny of trail cameras.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Montmorency County after dark when a complaint of a domestic assault was dispatched. CO Daniel Liestenfeltz was first on scene along with a Montmorency County deputy. The suspect fled on foot with a knife into the woods. The COs and the deputy were able to locate the suspect using a thermal imaging device. The suspect resisted arrest but was taken into custody.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Montmorency County when she observed an ORV operating against the flow of traffic on a highway. Upon further investigation, the operator did not have a valid license to drive and appeared to be intoxicated. The operator was arrested for operating while intoxicated 4th offense, driving while license suspended, and operating an ORV on a highway.
CO Paul Fox received a complaint south of Onaway regarding an individual who trespassed onto to private property to recover a deer that ran across the property line. In addition, the subject left behind litter and went around a posted sign and gate to recover the deer. The subject was photographed by a trail camera on the complainant’s property. The subject was eventually identified, which led to CO Fox contacting the individual. The person stated that they did not know the property had recently been sold and had always had access to that property in the past. CO Fox advised that permission must be secured prior to entering private property in order recover game. CO Fox also addressed the littering violation. Charges are being sought.
CO Amanda McCurdy received a complaint on the opening day of firearm deer season from Benzie County Central Dispatch of a missing hunter. CO McCurdy responded to the area and met with Benzie County Sheriff’s deputies and the individual’s family. It was reported that the missing person was a 75-year old male who was last seen leaving the cabin at approximately 8:30 to 9:00 am earlier that day. He was diabetic and had heart surgery approximately five months prior and was still suffering side effects as a result of the surgery. No one had been in contact with him throughout the day, and when they realized this, they went to his usual hunting location and located his truck but not the hunter. They informed CO McCurdy that he was a creature of habit and had been hunting the same area for over 20 years. CO McCurdy contacted Sgt. Dan Bigger who coordinated a US Coast Guard helicopter to assist in the search and rescue. Seven additional COs responded, along with two National Park rangers, and two MSP troopers which including a canine unit. The Benzie County CERT team was also mobilized and was placed on standby for possible assistance. Once the helicopter arrived in the area, CO McCurdy worked with incident command, while CO Pat McManus organized communications between the helicopter and ground units. At approximately 9:48 pm, Sgt. Bigger observed what was believed to be a fire in the woods and directed the ground units to the location. At approximately 10:30 pm, ground units located the individual, who had been using a flashlight to signal the helicopter. The individual was assisted out of the woods with the aid of COs and an ATV that was waiting approximately three-quarters of a mile away to take him for evaluation with EMS.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling the Cadillac Forest Management Unit when he contacted a hunter who had cut several branches off a cedar tree as well as cutting down several trees to clear a shooting lane. The hunter also had out a large quantity of bait, which he advised he had not put out but knew it was there. The hunter further advised that the unlabeled tree stand he was hunting in was not his and that he had simply come upon it and decided to hunt out of it. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.
COs in District 4, Area 1, along with the MSP from the Cadillac Post, responded to a large gathering of cars and trucks that had gathered at the Mis-Kal Trailhead for a drag racing and burnout event. The COs and troopers were able to disperse the gathering and the organizer of the event was cited for holding an event on state land without a permit.
CO Brian Brosky had just checked into service when he received a littering complaint. CO Brosky had been working with a property owner who was having issues with individuals dumping garbage on his property. The complainant had set up surveillance cameras and the cameras captured several subjects dumping garbage on his property the evening prior. The pictures emailed to CO Brosky showed a very distinct vehicle and trailer the suspects were using. As CO Brosky was patrolling, he noticed the suspect vehicle that was captured in the photos. CO Brosky was able to make a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle and interviewed the driver of the vehicle and two passengers. CO Brosky noted right away that two of the subjects in the vehicle were in the photos sent to him by the complainant. At first the driver denied any wrong doing, but when he was asked if he wanted to see the photographs captured by the complainant, the suspect agreed to look at the photos and admitted that he and one of the people in the vehicle were in fact the ones captured on camera the evening prior dumping litter on the complainants property. The driver of the vehicle was cited for littering.
CO Angela Greenway, while on patrol, pulled over to take a RAP complaint and was greeted by the owners of the home she pulled over in front of. The couple asked if everything was ok and as CO Greenway explained she had just pulled over to take a complaint, the couple asked if she could inspect their deer blind to determine if it was outside the safety zone of the neighbors. One of the hunters was recently injured, received a wheelchair, and needed to have wheelchair access to his blind. The blind was within the safety zone, so CO Greenway walked the property and located additional options for the blind. CO Greenway also informed the hunters that permission to hunt within the safety zone was the right of the landowner and perhaps could be obtained.
COs Tim Barboza and Jeff Ginn heard a deputy call out a pursuit in which the suspect ultimately fled on foot into the woods nearby. The COs responded and assisted in setting up a perimeter around the section of woods the suspect fled into. A K-9 unit was brought out and the suspect was located shortly after and taken into custody without incident.
CO Josh Reed investigated a complaint in which the suspect had placed bait on the property line of a neighboring farm. CO Reed contacted the suspect at his residence and inquired about the bait. The suspect advised he was just seeing what was around. CO Reed asked the suspect if he had shot any deer over the bait and how many times he had been out hunting. The suspect stated he had been out approximately five times and had not shot anything. CO Reed asked to see the suspect’s hunting license at which point the suspected advised he did not have a deer license because he had not shot any deer. The report will be sent over to the prosecutor’s office for hunting without a license and the bait violation.
CO Ben Shively responded to a suicidal subject who had taken an unknown number of pills in Mason County and drove to a remote Forest Service road in Oceana County. CO Shively responded to the area and located the subject’s vehicle with the subject in the driver’s seat, reclined and passed out. CO Shively was able to wake the subject who was incoherent. CO Shively transported the subject out to EMS where he was evaluated and transferred to the hospital for treatment.
CO John Huspen assisted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Grayling City Police, and MSP on a subject who was barricaded in his residence after a call for medical assistance. Law enforcement was requested after the subject threatened emergency medical technicians. The subject assaulted deputies upon their arrival on scene. Then the man fled to the upstairs of the residence. The deputies called for assistance when the subject began throwing knives down the stairs at them. It was reported by the family the suspect also had hunting rifles upstairs. After a brief standoff, law enforcement was able to get the subject into custody.
CO Tyler Sabuda was conducting a covert patrol in Iosco County, when he observed an angler struggling to land a foul hooked whitefish. CO Sabuda netted the whitefish for the angler and even said aloud that the fish was not hooked in the mouth. The angler decided to keep the whitefish anyway. After some time passed, CO Sabuda contacted the angler in uniform to take enforcement action on keeping a foul hooked fish. At that time, the angler stated, “I know that young kid who netted my fish turned me in,” but never recognized “that young kid” was CO Sabuda. The angler was issued a citation for retaining a foul hooked fish and the whitefish was seized.
CO Tyler Sabuda received a complaint in Iosco County of a possible illegal bobcat. The complainant heard the gunshot and witnessed the suspects load a bobcat into their truck. After the suspects had left the area, the complainant located a cell phone on the ground near the location of the crime. CO Sabuda obtained a search warrant for the phone and was able to locate the suspect’s hunting camp from information on the phone. In addition, he discovered additional conservation violations recorded on the phone. CO Sabuda, as well as CO Jon Warner and Lieutenant Brandon Kieft, contacted the hunting camp on November 15th in Iosco County to follow up on the complaint. The COs obtained confessions from the hunters of shining and shooting a bobcat on November 14th. The bobcat was located and seized. The investigation also revealed some deer violations. Charges are being sought for the illegal bobcat and deer violations through the Iosco County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Joe Myers was investigating a tip that a man in northern Midland County had taken a fox illegally. CO Myers contacted the subject and interviewed him about the fox at his residence and the man confessed to taking the fox illegally. During the interview, the suspect confessed to shooting a doe without a license after the early antlerless season, going to the store afterwards to buy a license, and failing to tag the doe. He also confessed to baiting deer on the back of his property. Warrant requests submitted for numerous charges.
CO Joe Myers was following up with some information about a Midland County man who shot a deer in Manistee County. CO Myers interviewed the man and discovered there was another man involved from Saginaw. Assisted by CO Adam Beuthin, and after a lengthy interview, the COs were able to gain a full confession of road hunting, taking a 5-point buck with a firearm in bow season, using an illegal firearm .22 mag, and hunting without a license. A warrant request will be sent to the prosecutor in Manistee County.
CO Joe Myers was contacted by an Ohio conservation officer from southern Ohio. CO Myers assisted in an investigation regarding the poaching of multiple deer and bobcat in Ohio. A report was written and sent to the Ohio DNR officer.
CO Chad Foerster received an anonymous RAP complaint reference a subject using a rifle to take a deer during the archery season. The CO arrived on scene and contacted the hunter who was in the process of hanging the deer in his shed. Upon initial contact, the hunter was not completely honest with the CO and tried to fool him by showing him the entrance wound. It was apparent that he had shoved a crossbow bolt into the entrance wound trying to cover up the rifle shot. It did not take the CO long to get a full confession from the hunter stating that he did in fact shoot the deer with a rifle. A complaint and warrant were filed with the Bay County prosecutor.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint of a fox caught in a foot hold trap which broke free from its tether and was wandering around a farm field. The CO responded to the scene and began to look for the fox in the soybean field. As CO Gowenlock came through a small, wooded section, he heard a rustling noise and saw the fox head back out into the field. A short foot chase ensued, but the fox’s speed was no match for the quick CO. CO Gowenlock snared the fox using his catch pole and was able to release it from the foot hold trap. The fox grinned at CO Gowenlock and then took off heading for a heavily wooded area.
CO Jason King responded to a complaint of a subject that was harassing hunters in the Saginaw-Gratiot County State Game Area (SGA) in Saginaw County. The subject had also spray painted on the SGA parking lot barrier using red spray paint. CO King contacted the subject and discovered that he had red spray paint on his hands. The subject admitted to spray painting the barrier. CO King issued a civil infraction citation to the subject for damaging/defacing/destroying government property. The subject was instructed to remove the paint from the barrier and was given a verbal warning for hunter harassment.
CO Jason King contacted a subject shooting from the dikes in the Crow Island East SGA. The subject was shooting at targets and spray paint cans without a proper backstop. CO King issued a citation for shooting from the dikes and gave verbal warnings for shooting at non-commercial targets and failing to immediately disclose that he was carrying a concealed firearm.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol when he observed a large amount of black smoke coming from behind a residence in Saginaw County. When the CO stopped to see what was being burned, he observed a large pile of trash bags near the fire. The owner of the property was burning garbage with materials ranging from clothing to three ringed binders. The property owner’s reason for burning the trash was because the waste authority in the area would not take it all at once. The subject was issued a citation for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Joshua Wright received a complaint from Tuscola County Central Dispatch that a person watched and had video of a vehicle drive up to their property and occupants shoot a deer from inside the cab. The vehicle then took off, but after a few minutes, they came back, drove out to the field, and retrieved a deer. The complainant had a suspect in mind who lived around the corner. When CO Wright asked the suspect about the deer he had shot, the suspect started to tell him about a different property that he shot it on. CO Wright stopped him and told him the neighbor has the entire incident on surveillance cameras. At that point, the suspect confessed, and the deer and his firearm were seized. The surveillance tape, along with other evidence are being used to request multiple charges on the suspect.
CO Joshua Wright received a RAP complaint in Sanilac County of a person bow hunting on November 14. The hunter heard a single gunshot from the neighboring property and about a half an hour later, saw a person with a dead deer on an ORV. When CO Wright got to the location, the suspect was gone but he did find a fresh gut pile. CO Wright back tracked the blood to a blind where he located the point where the deer was shot. At the blind location there was about 50 gallons of bait and CO Wright could see a shotgun inside of the blind. With the assistance of Sgt. Scott Brown, they were able to track the suspect down and received a confession from him. The deer was seized, and enforcement action was taken.
COs Joe Myers, Josh Wright, and Seth Rhodea conducted a group patrol at the Nayanquing Point waterfowl unit in early November. During the patrol, the COs located numerous hunters possessing over their allowed limit of 25 rounds of ammunition, license violations, littering, baiting deer, and attempting to take protected birds. The COs issued eight tickets during the patrol and gave an additional 12 verbal warnings.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted several duck hunters on Saginaw Bay as they were preparing to leave for the day. At the beginning of the contact, CO Rhodea located a loaded firearm on the boat while it was under power. Additionally, all hunters onboard the boat had license violations and citations were issued to address the violations.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted two hunters who were found to have an untagged deer in their possession. While looking at where the deer had been killed, the CO located deer bait hidden in the brush line where the hunters had shot the deer. Additional violations included failing to wear hunter orange and hunting deer without a license. Citations were issued to address the violations.
CO Dan Robinson was working a trespassing and illegal bait complaint from the RAP line. The caller stated that he found bait on his property and did not know who was responsible. CO Robinson, with the property owner’s permission, deployed a cellular trail camera and within 24 hours was notified that someone was near the bait site. CO Robinson responded and located the trespasser in a climbing stand. The subject had used an electric bike to get to the site undetected. Charges are pending for the violations.
CO Dan Robinson responded to a hunter harassment complaint that had occurred a few days prior. A hunter had shot and wounded a deer and was attempting to track it. He tracked it to a private lot and asked permission to look for it. The homeowner gave him permission not realizing that he had wounded it hunting. The homeowner, after realizing that the deer had been shot with archery equipment, began making noise and driving her car up and down the road to keep the deer from being located by the hunter. When CO Robinson contacted the homeowner, it was evident that she had issues with archery hunting specifically and said that she would do “what she has to” to protect the deer. CO Robinson explained hunter harassment to the homeowner. No charges were sought in this case.
CO Dan Robinson was following up with an ongoing trespassing complaint when he saw several individuals working on a large, raised deer hunting blind. From the caller’s property, CO Robinson could see a large amount of bait. He contacted the people on the property and the landowner admitted to placing a large number of pears and bags of carrots for deer hunting. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Dan Robinson was first on-scene at a personal injury accident involving an individual who had lost control of his car and crashed into the woods. CO Robinson was two miles away when the call came in. Upon arrival, CO Robinson found a male subject bleeding from his face and head. Treatment was provided until EMS arrived. The accident investigation was handled by the MSP.
CO Dan Robinson received a complaint of trespassing and destruction of property from central dispatch. CO Robinson contacted the caller who said that someone had trespassed into his hunting area and destroyed his cellular game camera. In the course of the investigation and the photos provided, CO Robinson identified some possible juvenile suspects and contacted them at their residence. Ultimately, the juveniles admitted to damaging the camera after they realized they had been captured on it. They brought CO Robinson to the place where the camera was and located the battery tray and SD card they had destroyed. No charges were sought, and restitution was handled between the parties.
CO Dan Robinson responded to a dirt bike personal injury accident in Isabella County. CO Robinson and a Sheriff’s deputy arrived on-scene prior to EMS and found a subject with an obvious broken leg/hip injury. The officers gathered information and checked the injured operator for additional injuries. After EMS arrived, the officers assisted as needed. The Isabella County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.
While on patrol, CO Adam Schiller observed a group of individuals bow fishing in the Maple River SGA. The CO took up a vantage point to observe the activity of the bow anglers. When the boat arrived at the boat launch, the bow anglers were checked by the CO. The individuals bow fishing had no personal floatation devices in the vessel. A citation was issued for the infraction.
CO Adam Schiller was in the area and responded to an accident where a 16-month-old child was fatally struck by a motor vehicle on the roadway. He initiated first aid before medical personnel arrived.
COs Jeff Robinette and Zach Bauer were on patrol when they received a complaint of shots fired. The COs responded to the area and went to a nearby address where the COs contacted the homeowner who said, “You got me,” as he exited his residence. Further investigation revealed that the homeowner shot a deer illegally with a 30-06 during archery season. The homeowner showed the COs the untagged deer hanging in the barn. The COs then questioned the homeowner about why the deer is untagged and the homeowner stated that he did not purchase deer hunting licenses this year. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Matt Page responded to a belated trespassing incident. While familiarizing himself with the property mid-day during a rainstorm, he was surprised to see someone actively hunting a ground blind on the victim’s posted property. Despite being told they were trespassing by the landowner, a fellow hunter, and CO Page, the individual still wanted to argue that they thought they were not trespassing. A citation was issued for recreational trespass.
CO Jeff Robinette received anonymous information from a hunter in Cass County regarding bait on the property of the hunter’s neighbor. COs Robinette and Tyler Cole checked the property on opening day of firearm deer season. One subject was located hunting over a large pile of apples and corn. A citation was issued for the baiting violation and the subject was ordered to clean up the bait immediately.
CO Jackie Miskovich received a tip from the RAP hotline regarding an individual who had an unmarked tree stand on state park property and was baiting with sugar beets. CO Miskovich surveyed the area and found the stand and sugar beets. Later in the evening, CO Miskovich returned to the area and found a truck parked out on the road near the entrance of the trail to the blind. CO Miskovich walked in and found a guy in the blind who was bow hunting. He admitted to placing the bait as well as not labeling his tree stand. Charges were filed with Muskegon County Courts for the offenses.
While on patrol in Muskegon County, CO Jackie Miskovich received a call from a park ranger about a possible fire in the Muskegon SGA. CO Miskovich responded and assisted the DNR fire crew as well as the Egelston and Moorland Township Fire Departments with putting the fire out. The fire was a result of an explosive round of ammunition and it consumed four acres of state game forest in a matter of minutes due to the dry conditions.
CO Anna Cullen received a RAP complaint of an untagged deer in an individual’s garage. Through interviews, it was determined the deer was an antlered deer and was harvested by the suspect. CO Cullen attempted to interview the suspect, who told her there was not a deer on his property, and that he had not shot one. CO Cullen asked the suspect for his deer tags for this season. When the suspect presented both of his 2020 combination tags, CO Cullen was able to get a search warrant for the property knowing that the antlered deer was not properly tagged. A deer hide along with other carcass remains were found to be disposed of in the wood burner. The head of the antlered deer was found hidden on a wood pile near the wood burner without a tag. Charges are currently being sought through the Muskegon County prosecutor.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint of a cut shooting range and permanent blind on federal property in Muskegon County. CO Cullen was able to locate the range and blind and observed multiple bait piles. While investigating, CO Cullen observed the suspect spreading a bag of carrots on the ground. CO Cullen contacted the individual who advised they were attempting to bring in the deer for firearm season and was not aware that baiting was illegal. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Sam Schluckbier was contacted by a hunter who had shot an 8-point buck with his bow. The buck ran onto the neighbor’s property and died. The hunter did not want to trespass, so he attempted to gain permission from the neighboring property owner. He found the neighbor had retrieved, tagged, and butchered the deer within a few hours of him killing it. CO Schluckbier conducted an interview with the neighbor. During the interview, he confessed to not shooting or killing the deer and he admitted to tagging it so he could have the antlers and meat. Further questioning revealed the neighbor had shot another buck earlier in the season over a bait pile. The deer head was confiscated, and charges sought for the possession violation.
CO James Nason responded to a domestic assault in progress near his location. While in route to the address, the suspect fled the home in a pickup truck. CO Nason and a Kalamazoo County deputy were able to locate and stop the suspect vehicle. The suspect was arrested on the domestic violence charge and multiple warrants. A subsequent search of the suspect’s truck yielded methamphetamine and broken glass when the suspect attempted to toss a smoking pipe out of the closed passenger window. The man was arrested and lodged in the Kalamazoo County jail.
CO James Nason conducted an inspection of a local deer processor and came upon a tag on a deer that was suspicious. Upon further investigation and interviewing the suspect, it was found that the man shot a 9-point buck without a license and proceeded to buy a kill-tag minutes before dropping it off at the processor. Charges will be sought for the license violation.
CO James Nason received a complaint from the RAP line of a deer that had just been shot from the roadway. CO Nason was only two miles from where the incident had occurred, and he responded. The situation escalated after the call was made. Upon arriving on scene, a pickup truck was stopped in the middle of the dirt road and three occupants were out on foot. The complainant was in the ditch armed with a rifle arguing with the subjects in the field. CO Nason disarmed the complainant and began to get statements. Upon gaining consent to search the truck, CO Nason found open beer cans and multiple open containers of liquor. Also found were spent .308 caliber casings and a spotlight. The subjects admitted to shining deer but denied having anything to do with the deer that was shot just moments earlier. They said it was merely coincidence that they stopped to urinate right where the dead deer was laying. They were then confronted by the homeowner with the rifle who allegedly fired a warning shot so they would not leave. CO Nason then interviewed the complainant who openly admitted to shooting over the hood of their truck so that they would not leave. A report will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County prosecutor for possible charges on both parties.
CO Carter Woodwyk was conducting a nighttime shining patrol in an area where multiple complaints were received. While sitting on a field, he observed a truck driving slowly down the road and shining a light out the driver’s side window at a group of deer. A stop was conducted for shining in November. While talking to the subject, he observed him holding a .22 caliber bullet in his hand. CO Woodwyk looked at the backseat area for a firearm and located an uncased .22 caliber, single shot rifle laying on the floor. Citations were issued for the shining and firearm violations.
CO Daniel Prince received a complaint of a subject walking his dog in the Brighton Recreation Area. The subject’s dog was caught in a foot hold trap. The man received multiple serious dog bites from his own dog trying to free it from the trap. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Todd Thorn was notified by a DNR employee that a farmer had found a pickup truck in a state game area near Potterville. CO Thorn responded and found the pickup truck in a ditch about a half mile off the road on state land. The license plates were removed but the vehicle identification number (VIN) was still accessible. Using the VIN, CO Thorn came up with a suspect who lived about 30 miles away. CO Thorn contacted the man at his residence and the man admitted to driving through the field because his license was suspended, and he was trying to avoid police. The man also was found by CO Thorn to have a valid warrant for his arrest.
While CO Todd Thorn was sitting in his patrol truck in his driveway getting ready to go out on patrol, an ORV with two adult occupants drove by on the road. Neither rider had a helmet on, and the ORV was barely big enough for one adult, let alone two. CO Thorn stopped the ORV in front of his neighbor’s driveway and made contact. The driver had three warrants for his arrest, two of which were felonies. The man was taken to the Eaton County jail on his warrants and was issued a ticket.
CO Nick Wellman was called to assist the Branch County Sheriff’s Department after they investigated an abandoned, flipped vehicle with blood all over the interior. A hunter reported seeing two people flee the accident. Local deputies were short on help and requested more units for a perimeter and K-9 track. CO Wellman responded. A short way into the track, the duo was spotted, and the female half was apprehended as the male half left her and fled. CO Wellman was directed to a residence where the man had been seen going into. As CO Wellman gained access to the residence, the man went out the back and continued to flee into Indiana. CO Wellman interviewed the homeowners and was able to gain a positive identification on the subject along with a photo of the bloody man who ended up being the homeowner’s nephew. The female half was lodged in Branch County on felony charges of resisting and obstructing. The male half, who already had several warrants, will now have additional charges pending in Branch County.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling after dark and noticed a vehicle in a field and saw several lights around it. CO Wellman watched the vehicle slowly drive towards the road and noted it was dragging something behind it. CO Wellman waited by and contacted the surprised hunters at the road. The truck was dragging a sled with two untagged deer in it. The male half of the hunting party was the only one of the two with hunting clothes on and stated that he shot the doe and she shot the buck but that they had not tagged them yet. When CO Wellman asked the female where she had hit her deer, she had to go look at the deer to answer the question. The female stated her hunting licenses were back at the house, so CO Wellman followed her there to retrieve them. CO Wellman then asked her what she had shot the deer with and she stated, “a 20 gauge.” CO Wellman then asked to see the gun that she shot the deer with and she handed CO Wellman a muzzleloader. After a brief interview it was found that the female had not hunted at all and that the man had shot both deer. The man had licenses for the deer but wanted to give her one and that was the reason for the lie. The man was issued one citation for failing to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag to a deer.
CO Chris Reynolds responded to a complaint in Hillsdale County of an individual parked on a railroad right-of-way. CO Reynolds located hunters on a neighboring property and asked how they accessed the property. It was found they had trespassed across three properties to get to the property they had permission to hunt. A citation was issued for railroad trespass.
CO Todd Thorn and Sgt. Jason Smith responded to a Jackson County complaint of baiting and possible taking an over-limit of antlered deer. They arrived at the complaint location and observed a freshly killed antlered deer laying in a pile of corn and molasses. They found a separate fresh gut pile on a neighboring property. Shortly afterward, a man on a quad arrived and admitted to failing to tag the deer, baiting, and trespassing to retrieve a deer. The man was ticketed.
CO Todd Thorn learned about a social media post with a video of a man killing a deer with a hammer. The details of the video pointed to a suspect in the Charlotte/Potterville area. With the help of DNR Dispatch and a couple of complaints that they received, as well as two MSP troopers, CO Thorn was able to locate a suspect and the deer and gain a confession of killing the deer with a hammer. The deer had initially been hit by a vehicle and it was in the roadway, stunned, when the man decided to try to put it out of its misery by hitting it in the head with a hammer. Charges will be sought through the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs David Schaumburger and Kris Kiel were patrolling the Detroit River when they saw a boat leaving a marina on Grosse Ile. They contacted the boat and CO Schaumburger asked the operator how many perch he caught. The angler replied, “25 or so.” The COs motioned for him to pull up to the dock so they could count his catch, where CO Schaumburger counted 43 perch for one angler. The angler stated that his friend could not come fishing that day so he was fishing for him. The 18 fish over the limit were seized and a citation issued for taking an over limit of perch.
CO David Schaumburger was patrolling for shiners when he viewed a suspicious truck on the side of the road. He followed the vehicle for a few miles until he saw a red light being cast out of the driver’s window. The CO initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and during contact with the driver, he viewed the red spotlight and an uncased rifle on the passenger floor. A vehicle search was conducted, and no additional firearms were located, however the rifle on the floor was a .22 caliber rimfire and the driver was in possession of over 200 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. The driver stated that he was trying out his new predator spotlight and he had just been shooting raccoons on his property. The driver was given three citations: shining in November, shining with a weapon in possession, and having an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle. The firearm was seized as evidence.
CO Jacob Griffin responded to a RAP complaint of a subject hunting in a closed area in the Highland Recreation Area. CO Griffin located the vehicle described in the complaint and waited for the hunter to come out. After waiting almost an hour, the hunter exited the woods without a flashlight in the dark. CO Griffin announced himself and contacted the hunter. The hunter blurted out, “I thought this area was open to hunting” without CO Griffin even bringing up the fact that he was in a closed area. When they got back to the subject’s vehicle, CO Griffin discovered that the subject had a loaded pistol in his vehicle. CO Griffin educated the subject on loaded firearms in a motor vehicle and issued a citation for hunting in the nature preserve area of the Highland Recreation Area.
DNR Dispatch received a call through the RAP line that a hunter mistakenly shot a 4-point buck thinking it was a doe. Sgt. Jason Becker responded to the call and met the subject at his house. The subject had the deer in the back of his truck and wanted to know if his father-in-law could buy a tag and tag the deer with it. Sgt. Becker informed him that it would be illegal to do so. Sgt. Becker had the subject take him to the area that the deer was shot. The subject showed where the tree stand was with a flashlight and then circled around to show where the deer was. Upon further investigation, Sgt. Becker found a rather large bait pile that the subject was trying to avoid. The subject stated that he thought the baiting ban had been repealed. Sgt. Becker pointed out that if that were true, he still had much more than two gallons of bait. Sgt. Becker also pointed out that it is his responsibility to be sure of his target and that it is illegal to transport an untagged deer, along with the other violations mentioned. The deer was donated to feed the needy and charges for taking deer over bait and transporting an untagged deer are being submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
CO Luke Robare heard a call over the county radio stating that a property owner could see headlights on the back side of her property. CO Robare responded with one of the local township officers. CO Robare went and contacted the subjects in the field, where there was a deer being field dressed. CO Robare could see the deer was tagged but upon further inspection of the tag, noticed it was purchased after legal shooting times for that day. CO Robare questioned the hunter who had shot the deer and the hunter stated that he went out hunting that night without purchasing a kill-tag. Once the hunter had shot the deer, he stated that he went to the local gas station and purchased the tag. CO Robare seized the deer and will be submitting charges for taking a deer without a license.
CO Bob Watson received a complaint regarding a truck driving around a field after dark with no lights on. The complainant stated they had shot multiple deer and were rather careless with their shooting. The complainant was able to talk to friends and gather two possible names of suspects. CO Watson discovered where the two suspects lived and waited for them to return from hunting. The two suspects arrived at their residence and CO Watson contacted them. Two antlerless deer were discovered in their truck without proper tagging, and one firearm was discovered to be still loaded, although a firearm malfunction prevented the gun from being able to be unloaded properly. The two hunters stated they had not tagged their deer due to one of them cutting his finger very badly while beginning to field dress the deer and wanting to seek medical attention. A citation was issued for one of the untagged doe and a warning was given for the loaded firearm and the second untagged doe. Safety issues and responsible hunting practices were discussed.
CO Breanna Reed assisted the MSP and St. Clair County deputies with an ORV accident where the rider had lost control of the ORV and flipped it. Witnesses stated that no other vehicles were on the road at the time of the incident. The subject was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and suffered a head injury. He was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital.
COs Raymond Gardner and Jaime Salisbury contacted a subject in reference to shooting a deer with a rifle during archery season. The subject denied shooting the deer with a rifle until the COs informed him that they were going to examine the entry wound on the deer. CO Gardner is submitting a report to the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Mike Drexler received a complaint of a subject who was hunting from a farm trailer on Washtenaw County Preserve Land in Lima Township on opening day of the firearm deer season. COs Drexler and Brandon Hartleben located the subject who had in fact driven a farm trailer onto preserve property and was actively hunting from it. A citation was issued for recreational trespass.
COs Brandon Hartleben and Mike Drexler received a complaint from Washtenaw County Metro Dispatch of a dispute between some hunters and a neighboring property owner in Superior Township. CO Hartleben contacted the complainant, who advised that there were hunters out in the area using guns that violated the local hunting control. The COs contacted both parties at the location to de-escalate the situation and follow up on the local hunting control violation. A check of the hunters and their weapons revealed that they in fact were in violation of a local hunting control that prohibited the use of rifles and shotguns using anything larger than two shot for hunting in that section. A citation was issued for violating the local hunting control and the complainant was given a trespass warning for entering onto the property prior to the COs arrival.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a complaint of individuals who were out hunting and shooting at cormorants that were flying overhead. CO Ingersoll responded to Sterling State Park and watched the hunters. Within 10 minutes CO Ingersoll watched two hunters shoot at a passing cormorant. The hunters did not kill the cormorant, and CO Ingersoll continued to watch the hunters until shooting light concluded. While watching the hunters approach the launch after sunset, CO Ingersoll observed they had not turned on their navigation lights. The hunters were contacted at the launch and advised they needed to have navigation lights after sunset. CO Ingersoll then asked them what they had shot at during their hunt, and the hunters stated they thought they shot at a mallard that passed by. CO Ingersoll advised both hunters that it was not a mallard, it was a cormorant they had attempted to shoot. The hunters stated they thought it was a mallard because of the long neck and tail. It was determined that one hunter had a box of lead shot that he stated was given to him and the other hunter did not have his federal migratory bird stamp signed. Citations were issued for possessing lead shot and unsigned federal migratory bird stamp. Warnings were issued for the navigation light violation and attempting to take non-game species.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek were working a shining patrol on a seasonal road that was closed to the public when they observed a pickup truck pass by. The COs conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for being on a closed roadway and observed beer that was dumped along the side of the pickup truck. After asking the two occupants of the vehicle what was on the side of the vehicle, they advised they must have hit a puddle. CO Vacek advised the individuals it smelled and looked like beer. Both occupants admitted to having open beer in the car while driving and knew once they saw the COs they were in trouble. After the driver gave the COs consent to search their vehicle an open container of vodka was also located. Both occupants were issued citations for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither had been working on contacting a hunter on a large bait site all season. They were able to contact the hunter who had just baited the site and was sitting in a blind. While checking the blind a loaded rifle was also found. Citations were issued for using a rifle in archery season and baiting in closed area.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were patrolling on the evening before the firearm opener when they came across a vehicle parked in the road, running. The driver was located passed out behind the wheel and after several attempts to wake the individual up, the driver came to and became aggressive and hit the gas pedal while the vehicle was still in park, trying to leave. After a few minutes, the driver was taken into custody. Sobrieties were performed and he was found to be at almost three times the legal limit of alcohol. The driver was lodged in the Lenawee County jail.