Department of Natural Resources
CO Ethen Mapes responded to an ORV trespassing complaint near Bruce Crossing. Upon investigating ORV tracks onto the complainant’s property, a gut pile was found. CO Mapes followed the ORV tracks to the neighbor’s property where a large bait pile was found as well as an untagged deer. The owner of the deer admitted that he did not want to spend the money on an out-of-state deer license. Citations were written for over-limit of bait as well as possession of an untagged deer.
CO Shannon Kritz received a Report all Poaching (RAP) complaint about a property owner who was blocking access to state land with fence posts and fake Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signage. The roadblock was removed but on the second day of gun season, CO Kritz was patrolling the area when two hunters told her that the roadway was blocked again. This time, the suspect had cut down multiple trees and used a tractor to block off the roadway. CO Kritz was able to follow the tractor tire prints back to a camp. CO Kritz interviewed the landowners and one person confessed to blocking off the access road to the state land, so their hunt was not interrupted, since his son was coming up to hunt on opening day. CO Kritz issued a citation to the individual for cutting trees on state land.
CO Shannon Kritz responded to a report of a lost hunter with the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department. The hunter suffered from a medical condition which caused him to become disoriented in the woods. The hunter was quickly located along a roadway by the first responding deputy and was transported to the hospital for treatment.
COs Shannon Kritz and Jeff Dell assisted the Hannahville Police Department after an officer was physically assaulted by a suspect who fled back into his house. Deputies from the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Michigan State Police (MSP), also arrived on scene to assist. Officers set up a perimeter around the house and the suspect eventually surrendered without incident and was taken into custody by the Hannahville Police Department.
Earlier in the fall, CO Jared Ferguson found ORV tracks going around a DNR Grouse Enhanced Management Site (GEMS) gate in northern Dickinson County. CO Ferguson recruited the help of Corporal (Cpl.) Brett DeLonge to help him with the complaint. While waiting for the ORVs to come out, CO DeLonge stopped another ORV in the area for no ORV registration. Cpl. DeLonge, while talking with the operator, was able to find out his hunting partner was behind the GEMS gate with a harvested 8-point deer. CO Ferguson and Cpl. DeLonge were able to locate the hunter, who also had an unregistered ORV. Citations were issued for unregistered ORV and operate ORV in a closed area on state land.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling a county road in northern Iron County when he observed a side by side operator coming at him without his seatbelt on. CO Ferguson made a traffic stop on the ORV and found the individual in possession of a loaded rifle in the front seat. The hunter stated he was hunting on his way back to camp and when CO Ferguson asked for his deer license, he stated he left them at home. He was cited for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and no license in possession. While filling out the citation, CO Ferguson observed a set of lights coming at him which turned out to be the man’s hunting partner who also had a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle, no helmet, and an unregistered ORV. He was cited for loaded firearm and given warnings for the ORV infractions.
COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps wrapped up a multi-week investigation regarding an individual who had been sabotaging another person’s tree stand on public land, which stemmed from a dispute over a hunting area. The suspect was cutting the straps in such a way that when the individual went to step onto the hang-on stand’s platform it would give way, potentially causing them to fall 15 to 20 feet. Fortunately, the victim was able to prevent himself from falling and quickly left the area where he then contacted the local COs. Cameras were placed watching the stand once it was reset and pictures were captured of the suspect once again cutting the straps. After multiple search warrants were executed with assistance of the DNR’s Special Investigations Unit, an interview was conducted, and the COs received a full confession from the suspect. Charges are being sought through the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office for multiple misdemeanors including hunter harassment, malicious destruction of property, and felony counts of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm less than murder.
CO Josh Boudreaux and Sgt. Mark Leadman responded to a report of a convicted felon hunting with a firearm in Ishpeming Township. The subject had just recently been released from jail. The COs located the vehicle and using information obtained from CO John Kamps, located the blind containing the hunter. Upon contact, the individual, who was dressed from head to toe in camouflage, stepped out and informed the COs that he wasn’t hunting, he was just out watching for this, “massive 10-point buck” so that his brother, who wasn’t currently out hunting, could shoot it. The individual claimed he didn’t have any weapons with him until CO Boudreaux asked to check his blind. The man finally admitted he had a firearm but thought he was ok to hunt because a friend told him he was a non-violent felon. The individual’s firearm was seized, and a report was generated for submission to the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Schoolcraft County when he observed a truck slowly driving towards him. Contact was made and it was determined that the driver was transporting an uncased shotgun, had already harvested a deer the day before, and did not have an unused deer tag. When questioned about the shotgun, the hunter stated that it was for partridge hunting. CO VanOosten informed the individual that grouse season was closed and that the gun must be enclosed in a case to transport. A citation was issued for transporting an uncased gun.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Schoolcraft County when he encountered an individual returning to his hunting camp. Upon contact it was determined that the driver had an open beer in the center console as well as a loaded and uncased .22 mag rifle. The driver was from out-of-state and did not have a deer license. A citation was issued for transporting a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling Mackinac County when he observed a traffic violation in which a traffic stop was conducted. It was determined that there were three deer in the back of the truck. Two of the deer were improperly tagged with a combination license and one of the deer, a 4-point, did not meet the requirements for either of the combination tags held by the hunter. The deer was seized, and a report was generated for review by the Mackinac County prosecutor.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling Mackinac County when he observed a traffic violation. A traffic stop was conducted and upon contact it was determined that the driver was transporting a recently killed deer that was a spike horn. The drive admitted to killing the deer and it was determined that the deer was tagged with a combination license meant for deer with at least 3-points on one side. The deer was seized, and a ticket was issued for possessing a deer without a valid license.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten responded to a complaint of an over-limit of bait in northern Luce County. Upon contact with a subject, it was determined that there was a large amount of bait at the site as well as an artificial light placed above the bait. The COs observed drag marks exiting the woods as well as some blood on a nearby all-terrain vehicle (ATV). An untagged doe was discovered hanging in a tree and the subject stated the deer had been shot the night before with a rifle. It was determined that the deer had been shot over an hour after shooting hours and the hunter had used the light at the bait pile to aid in shooting the deer with a rifle. Another deer carcass was located in a nearby garbage pile. The individual stated that he had shot the deer during bow season with a rifle and he did not have a license to take the deer. The subject had not had a hunting license for over six years. Interviews were conducted and it was determined that there had been four deer illegally taken from the site in the last year. Property was seized and a report was submitted to the Luce County Prosecutors Office for review.
Sgt. Calvin Smith was patrolling Chippewa County when he observed a side-by-side being operated during the quiet hours on a forest road in the Hiawatha National Forest. A stop was made on the ORV and upon further investigation the operator was found to have an uncased firearm sitting on the seat next to him. The operator’s driver’s license was suspended, and he did not have his deer license in his possession. A citation was issued for an uncased firearm in an ORV and for operating an ORV during the quiet hours. The operator’s firearm was seized and the passenger who had a valid operator’s license drove the side-by-side back to camp.
COs Robert Freeborn and Mike Evink were traveling on US-2 when they observed a pickup truck heaped with pine boughs. The COs noticed that truck did not have a license plate and the driver’s side door kept flapping open causing the driver to have to reach over and hold it shut. An enforcement stop was made on the vehicle for the plate. It was determined the owner had just purchased the truck and was waiting on the plate. When asked where the pine boughs were cut, both subjects stated federal land. When CO Freeborn asked for their bough cutting permit, the subjects stated they did not have it with them. CO Freeborn recognized the subjects as the two getting warnings in the past for no permit. A citation was issued for taking pine boughs without a permit.
CO Andrea Dani was on patrol in Alger County when she observed a pickup truck parked at the entrance to a path that CO Dani knew led to an illegal permanent blind with no identifying information on Commercial Forest Land. CO Dani had been to the blind previously, where she noted dozens of trees cut approximately one foot off the ground to create shooting lanes. CO Dani then recognized the pickup as belonging to a subject she met earlier that year when CO Mark Zitnik cited him for baiting deer too early at two different locations nearby. CO Dani contacted the hunter in the blind, who was not wearing proper hunter orange. CO Dani asked to check the hunter’s license and the hunter stated he had just texted his son to tell him he forgot his wallet at camp. CO Dani asked to see the text at which point the hunter admitted that he had never texted his son. CO Dani issued the hunter a citation for hunting without a deer license in his possession and for a hunter orange violation.
CO Andrea Dani was on patrol on a gravel road in Alger County when she observed a pickup truck being operated excessively slow. She followed the vehicle for a few miles, noting the brakes of the truck were tapped about every other second. After a few miles of traveling together at a very slow pace, the driver of the truck pulled over at a parking spot near a river crossing. CO Dani followed and approached the truck on foot. CO Dani immediately observed a fully uncased rifle between the driver and passenger of the vehicle. The driver stated they were just going up to town. CO Dani issued the driver a citation for an uncased rifle in a motor vehicle.
CO Andrea Dani received a complaint of hunter harassment on public land in Alger County. The complainant advised he had scouted and set up prior to bow season. On opening day of rifle season, the complainant was left a note on his vehicle saying he was cutting off the writer who had been in the same spot for eight years. After the evening hunt on opening day, the complainant observed a vehicle blocking the road out of the area, facing his vehicle. The complainant waited out the other vehicle and gave the note to CO Dani. CO Dani texted the number on the note as requested. The suspect stated he had a tree stand about 100 yards to the south of the complainant’s blind, on the opposite side of the road, which had been there for eight years straight. The suspect noted he could not make the complainant move but wanted to let him know there were others in the area that had been there for years. CO Dani then called the suspect and identified herself as a conservation officer. CO Dani gave the suspect a warning for leaving his tree stand out year-round, and then advised him that although he had scouted the area eight years ago, it does not make him the rightful hunter to that area. CO Dani explained that hunters have to share public land, as it is public, and that if he doesn’t want anyone near him, he should scout every year, as would be required, had he removed his tree stand as required. CO Dani then suggested that he might prefer to move to a less concentrated area. The suspect stated he would not attempt to contact the complainant anymore.
CO Mark Zitnik received a RAP complaint regarding a buck that was stolen from a camp’s buck pole. CO Zitnik responded and found that a large 11-point buck was stolen from the camp’s front yard during the middle of the night. After interviewing camps nearby, CO Zitnik believed he had a suspect. CO Zitnik interviewed the main suspect and parties involved and strongly encouraged them to return the buck. That night the buck was indeed returned to the camp, alluding that the buck was in fact stolen by the suspected party. The investigation is ongoing, and a report is being submitted to the Alger County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Chris Lynch followed up on a complaint of someone blocking access to state land. CO Lynch contacted the responsible hunters after waiting for them to arrive back at camp. CO Lynch addressed the following violations: blocking access to state land, hunting deer without kill-tag, and allowing minor to hunt unsupervised.
CO Chad Baldwin located four illegal deer in local processors which did not meet the antler point restriction (APR) requirement. Hunters were attempting to tag the deer with either their regular or restricted license stating that they could use them on antlerless deer this year. Unfortunately, all the deer were antlered, and did not meet the APR requirement. The cases are under review at the Charlevoix County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Adam LeClerc patrolled firearm deer season opener in Emmet County. CO LeClerc contacted two separate hunters who had taken their young sons out hunting with them. Both groups of hunters were found to be hunting over bait. Although CO LeClerc applauded their efforts to pass on the hunting tradition to the younger generation, the older hunters were hunting illegally and disobeying the law. Tickets were issued for hunting deer over bait.
CO Duane Budreau received a complaint of an individual who had been bragging about shooting a 5-point buck over bait. After conducting a license check on the subject for license purchases, it was determined that the man had not purchased a deer hunting license since 2011. CO Budreau responded to the subject’s residence to question him on the complaint. As CO Budreau pulled into the subject’s driveway, he observed what appeared to be an untagged 4-point deer hanging in a tree behind the residence, which is a violation of the APR. When interviewed, the subject made a concerted effort to convince CO Budreau that he was an honest individual. CO Budreau ticketed the man for take/possess a deer without a license and possess deer without validated tag attached. CO Budreau also issued the subject warnings for baiting deer and violation of the APR.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick responded to a motor vehicle crash in Wolverine. A vehicle had left the roadway and went into the ditch along I-75, causing injuries to all three occupants, two of which had severe injuries. CO Tim Rosochacki provided triage first aid to the victims until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived on scene and transported all three individuals to the hospital.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he received a complaint that a neighbor was seen trespassing on an adjacent property. CO Cherry drove out to the suspect's residence and contacted him. After a brief interview, the suspect admitted to trespassing and took CO Cherry back to the area where he crossed the fence. At this time, CO Cherry observed a pickup truck load of sugar beets dumped in a pile on the property near where the suspect stated he shot a deer. The complainant chose not to press charges for the trespass, but a ticket was issued for the bait.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he observed a hunter walking down the side of a roadway. CO Cherry got out to check the hunter who stated that he did not have his licenses on him. The hunter said he had accidentally left them in his friend's vehicle. At approximately the same time, a car pulled up next to CO Cherry that was apparently the hunter's friend who had the missing licenses. While speaking with the friend, CO Cherry discovered there was a loaded and uncased rifle in the truck. CO Cherry was able to confirm the licenses for the first hunter, but the friend was issued a ticket for having a loaded uncased rifle in the vehicle.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he decided to conduct a follow-up investigation on a property that was alleged to be baiting for deer. CO Cherry was able to locate the hunter, who admitted to baiting and informed the CO that his father was hunting in a nearby blind that was also baited. The hunter led CO Cherry to the father's blind. Upon contact with the father, the CO observed he was not wearing any hunter orange. The CO asked the father if he had hunter orange, who then pointed to the "Old English D" on his Detroit Tigers ball cap. CO Cherry explained to the hunter requirements for hunter orange. Both subjects received tickets.
Sgt. Mark DePew made a traffic stop on a vehicle in Otsego County for a motor vehicle violation. Upon contact with the driver, the sergeant engaged in a friendly conversation about the operator's hunting success for the 2020 deer season. By the end of the conversation, the operator admitted to shooting two deer at night from a hidden blind located in his pole barn. The operator then took the sergeant to his residence, gave consent to search, showed him the hidden deer blind with a large bait pile and a motion light located over the bait pile. The subject admitted to shooting many deer over the years at night from this blind and was very apologetic stating, "I needed to get caught." Charges are pending through the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Sidney Collins received a complaint in Montmorency County of a stolen tractor implement off a cabin property. The property owner had pictures of the subject stealing the item. After some investigation, the subject was identified as a local logger. COs Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz interviewed the subject who claimed he was on the property to retrieve his dog. CO Collins showed the subject the picture of him taking the item to which he then admitted to stealing the item off the property. The subject retrieved the item off his property and the COs returned the item back to the victims. Charges were submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
COs Sidney Collins, Dan Liestenfeltz, Jon Sklba, and Paul Fox investigated a complaint of illegal baiting on a large private hunting camp south of Millersburg. The suspect camp placed large amounts of bait, which was visible from neighboring properties. In addition, complaints were made regarding truckloads of bait being brought into the camp. Furthermore, an individual who had outstanding DNR warrants was believed to be at the suspect camp. The COs located the bait and attempted to contact the responsible parties. COs Fox and Sklba saw a fresh set of foot tracks leading away from the camp and followed them through the woods, locating an individual hunting over a large amount of bait. The subject with the outstanding warrant was not located, but later turned himself in. Enforcement action was taken for the bait violation.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz received a complaint in Montmorency County about a single gunshot that was heard just after shooting hours had ended. CO Liestenfeltz responded to the location where the violation had taken place. When arriving, CO Liestenfeltz observed a subject walk out of a barn with blood on his hands. CO Liestenfeltz asked the subject if he had shot a deer and the subject stated, “Yes, and I was just about to go inside and grab my tag to tag it.” CO Liestenfeltz spoke with the subject for a while and it was determined the deer was also shot over bait. They walked to the back of the property where there was a large, baited area consisting of a corn feeder, sugar beets, and apples. CO Liestenfeltz seized the deer and issued the hunter tickets for possessing an untagged deer.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, Paul Fox, Jon Sklba, Jon Sheppard, Jessie Curtis, and Sgt. Mike Mshar conducted a traffic detail on M-33 south in Montmorency County with MSP Troopers Michael Perkins, Jason Kunath, and Norman Berry. During this detail, the COs and troopers made a total of 51 traffic stops and contacted 63 people, mainly hunters, and 22 deer and 16 firearms were checked. Verbal warnings for 48 traffic violations were given and one civil infraction ticket was issued. There were also two misdemeanor arrests and one felony that will be submitted to the Montmorency County Prosecutor’s Office. One warning was issued for a deer tagging issue and two warnings were issued for handgun violations.
COs Troy Ludwig and Bill Haskin concluded a year-long investigation into a black bear cub that had been shot and killed on November 15, 2019. On the morning of November 15th, 2020, COs Ludwig and Scott MacNeill interviewed a suspect who confessed to killing the cub when it came near his tree stand. The suspect advised that he had felt afraid for his life even though the cub had not acted aggressively or attempted to climb his tree stand. Charges will be sought with the Wexford County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Troy Ludwig and Amanda McCurdy responded to a baiting complaint where a pickup truck with its bed full of sugar beets was seen driving into a property. The COs contacted the property owner who admitted to placing bait on the property. Half a truck load of the beets was in front of a blind occupied by the property owner’s father-in-law and the other half was located in front of a tree stand the property owner admitted to hunting over. Located in the blind that the property owner had been hunting out of was a rifle that he was not able to possess because he is on probation. Charges will be sought with the Wexford County Prosecutor’s Office for the violations.
CO Justin Vanderlinde worked with a Benzie County Sheriff’s Department deputy in locating and extracting two lost hunters.
COs Brian Brosky and Kyle Publiski responded to a report of two subjects who were swept off the Ludington pier into Lake Michigan. Together, with help from off duty Mason County Deputy Mark Willis and Ludington Police Officer Mike Fort, they were able to trek out on the pier, amidst 4-6-foot waves and successfully retrieve the subjects. The two men were then treated by medical personnel at the scene and one was transported to the hospital for treatment for hypothermia.
CO Brian Brosky followed up on a RAP complaint where a subject had reported a property owner hunting over bait which could be seen from the road. CO Brosky checked the location from the road and noticed a pile of sugar beets and squash behind a home with a pop-up blind overlooking the location. CO Brosky also saw that someone was in the blind. CO Brosky proceeded up the driveway and was met by the property owner. CO Brosky asked if anyone had been hunting and if a deer was taken at the location. The property owner said there was a deer shot the morning prior by a man on the property and it was hanging in the garage. CO Brosky asked if he could see the deer and the property owner showed CO Brosky a spike horn. CO Brosky asked if the person currently in the blind was the one who shot the deer and she confirmed he was the one who shot the deer. The hunter in the blind had now exited the blind in full camouflage, admitted to shooting the deer over bait and without a license. The hunter had used his brother’s license to tag the deer as he was a non-resident and did not want to spend the extra money for an out-of-state hunting license. When asked where his brother was, he said that he was out in the woods in another blind hunting. CO Brosky followed the subject out to the blind where his brother was currently hunting. Contact was made and this hunter was also not wearing any hunter orange. The brother admitted to CO Brosky that he loaned his brother the license because his brother did not have a license. Multiple citations were issued to the two hunters for the violations encountered.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a vehicle drive by him on a remote road where CO Killingbeck was patrolling for road hunting activity. CO Killingbeck attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation and the driver was slow to stop. Contact was eventually made with the driver who admitted to having a firearm in the vehicle. CO Killingbeck recognized the subject from several years ago when the subject had led CO Killingbeck on a pursuit that ended up with the subject fighting CO Killingbeck. CO Killingbeck learned that as a result, the subject was a convicted felon and was not allowed to possess a firearm. The subject also had a warrant out of Lake County for a burning violation. The subject told CO Killingbeck that his hunting license allows him to carry a firearm no matter if he was a felon or not. CO Killingbeck explained that a hunting license does not restore gun rights. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail for the warrant in addition to the charge of a felon in possession of a firearm.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, located a slow-moving sports car in a remote area of state land. CO Killingbeck observed the vehicle abruptly turn onto a side road. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle for a motor vehicle code violation, and upon contacting the driver, CO Killingbeck observed a shirt laying on something in the passenger seat. CO Killingbeck was able to make out the butt stock of a firearm. CO Killingbeck discovered an uncased and loaded .270 rifle sitting beside the driver. The driver was operating with a suspended license and on probation for a weapons violation. CO Killingbeck learned that one of the terms of the subject’s probation was to not possess any type of weapon. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail for driving while license suspended and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. A report was sent to the subject’s probation officer for review.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on a report of a missing hunter. CO Killingbeck was the first on scene learning that the hunter had been missing for three days. CO Killingbeck and Lake County Sheriff’s deputies began searching the property which lead them to finding the missing hunter who was deceased. It was determined that the subject had fallen out of his tree stand and succumbed to his injuries.
Sgt. Mike Bomay along with COs Josh Reed and Micah Hintze deployed a deer decoy in Mecosta County. A vehicle approached the decoy location as the passenger of the moving vehicle fired four rounds randomly from a handgun out the window. The vehicle was stopped as the passenger attempted to hide the handgun and ammunition under the seat. The passenger was a convicted felon and just released from prison. His wife had purchased the handgun for him one week earlier. The subject was arrested and transported to the Mecosta County Jail.
CO Angela Greenway received a complaint from Station 20 that a 14-point buck was taken without a license. The investigation revealed that the suspect posted shooting the deer about an hour before he purchased his license. COs Greenway and Josh Reed responded to the suspect’s residence to interview him on the conflicting information. At first, the hunter insisted he shot the deer the day after he purchased the license. A short time later, and after the COs had left the residence, the hunter called Station 20 and advised the dispatcher that he wanted to talk to the COs again. The COs responded again to the residence and obtained a full confession of harvesting the deer with no license and purchasing the license afterwards. A report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review.
COs Josh Reed and Angela Greenway responded to an in-progress RAP complaint in a state game area in which the caller advised that he had witnessed a buck running from some residences across a paved road and into the state game area. A subject arrived where the buck had dropped and began to gut the deer. The caller advised that the buck did not meet the APR of four or more on one side. The caller stated that the subject stated that he had shot the deer in the game area and was going to self-report the deer to COs. No call came in from the suspect self-reporting a deer. COs Reed and Greenway located a blood trail from the state game area and back tracked the trail to behind a residence. Once behind the residence, several piles of bait and a blood covered arrow were located. COs Reed and Greenway contacted the suspect who, without any questions being asked, confessed to shooting the buck from his porch over. The buck was seized and the subject was cited for the bait and illegal deer.
CO Josh Reed received an in-progress RAP complaint about a camouflaged hunter trespassing onto private property. CO Reed arrived on scene and contacted the complainant, who advised he had not seen the suspect since he had crossed the fence and went over a berm. CO Reed located the suspect in the prone position on the berm, dressed in full camouflage, and armed with a rifle while overlooking a large rye field. The suspect advised that he was hunting his sister’s field. CO Reed stated that he was on someone else’s property and had no hunter orange. The suspect stated that he usually hunted the property across the street and did not wear orange while hunting in his box blind. The suspect was issued a citation for no hunter orange.
CO Troy Mueller received a complaint of a subject shooting a turkey from a motor vehicle. The witness was deer hunting and watched as the vehicle approached and an occupant shot and killed a wild turkey. The complainant was able to get the vehicle’s license plate. CO Mueller responded to the location and was able to locate the operator of the vehicle. There were feathers on the porch and the doorknob to the residence and the suspect answered the door with the turkey in his hand. CO Mueller seized the turkey and issued a citation for possession of turkey during closed season.
CO Jesse Grzechowski and Sgt. Bobbi Lively received a complaint of two hunters not wearing hunter orange and hunting over bait in Alcona County. CO Grzechowski and Sgt. Lively responded to the area and located the hunters in their ground blind. The hunters were not wearing hunter orange and were hunting over a bait pile. In addition, one of the hunters did not purchase a 2020 deer hunting license. Citations were issued for hunting without a license and not wearing hunter orange.
CO Kyle Bader contacted a deer camp on state land in Ogemaw County that was camping in the same spot last year. The year prior, the camp was left on state land for three months, and when it was removed, there was trash strewn about. The person responsible for the camp was cited for multiple state land violations.
CO Brad Bellville was working a shining patrol in Ogemaw County when he observed a vehicle cast a light into a hay field attempting to locate game. CO Bellville initiated a stop and contacted the driver who had a cocked crossbow and spotlight in the passenger seat. While interviewing the subject, CO Bellville obtained a confession that he not only had plans to shoot the deer in the field but had shot two bucks this year and only tagged one. CO Bellville went to the subject’s residence and confiscated a 7-point deer that was not tagged. Citations were issued for the shining offense and charges are being sought for the untagged deer through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Craig Neal was off duty when he received a call from Arenac County Central Dispatch about a deputy on a traffic stop who was requesting assistance from a conservation officer. CO Neal checked back into service and met the deputy at his location near Standish. The deputy had stopped a vehicle for speeding and the driver admitted that he had an untagged doe in the trunk of his car. CO Neal arrived on the scene and questioned the driver further. He stated they had shot the deer the night prior and simply forgot to tag it. The driver was issued a citation for transporting a deer without a validated kill-tag attached. The deer was seized and donated to a family in need.
CO Craig Neal was patrolling state land on foot in Arenac County during the firearm deer season. CO Neal noticed a hunter sitting behind a stump not wearing any hunter orange. As CO Neal approached the hunter, he also noticed a small bait pile. The hunter quickly stated that she was on private property and refused to identify herself. CO Neal explained to the hunter that she was on state land. The hunter asked CO Neal if she was doing something wrong. He explained to her that she was violating the hunter orange law, hunting over bait, and afield without a valid license or kill-tag. The hunter put an orange hat on, stated she was not hunting, that she was on private property, and that her license and identification were in her truck. CO Neal followed her back to the truck to get her identification and kill-tag. At the hunter’s truck, she was able to produce her identification but no kill-tags. It was found that she never purchased any hunting licenses. The hunter was issued a citation for being afield with a bow and arrow during deer season without an unused kill-tag. Several warnings were also given for the other violations.
CO Josh Russell received a complaint from the RAP hotline that there was a subject who shot a buck and bought the kill-tag afterward. CO Russell researched when the kill-tag was purchased and discovered it was bought in the middle of the day. The complainant stated the buck was shot in the morning. CO Russell contacted the suspect and located the buck still hanging without a tag attached. The suspect also admitted to buying a license after the fact. The suspect was cited for possessing an untagged deer. The deer was seized and donated to a family in need.
CO Hudson received a complaint about possible bait violations in rural Arenac County. He responded to the area and stopped a subject on a side-by-side ORV for not having an ORV registration sticker. It turned out to be the suspect from his complaint. Upon contact with the suspect, CO Hudson located a loaded and uncased firearm in the front seat. Further investigation revealed an untagged deer in the dump box of the ORV. CO Hudson was unable to locate any bait per the original complaint, but citations were issued for the other violations.
Sgt. Brian Olsen noticed a slow rolling vehicle on state land in Roscommon County on his way to a complaint in the area. After clearing the complaint, Sgt. Olsen followed the tire tracks of the vehicle until he located it again. The vehicle had a plastic cover over the plate rendering it unreadable and Sgt. Olsen conducted a traffic stop for the violation and observed an uncased rifle sitting in the passenger seat, a single round in the cup holder, and the rest of the magazine on the floor. As Sgt. Olsen explained the reason for the stop, the driver stated, “I thought you were pulling me over for taking all this wood,” as he dropped his tailgate revealing a truck bed of wood. The driver proceeded to confess to taking the split wood from deer camps in the area. Sgt. Olsen issued a citation to the driver for possessing an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle and issued a warning for the unreadable license plate. No complaints have been received on missing firewood.
CO Chuck McPherson was advised by Roscommon County Central Dispatch about a hunter who called in and stated he was lost and could not find his vehicle. Roscommon County Central Dispatch was able to get coordinates from the caller’s cell phone. CO McPherson responded to the area and located the hunter and his vehicle.
Days before the opening of firearm deer season, CO Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of a turkey that had been shot with an arrow. Upon investigation of the scene, both the arrow and the turkey were located near a tree stand baited with corn. CO Cantrell photographed the turkey, the arrow, and the bait. The site was followed up on throughout the following days. Near the end of firearm deer season, CO Cantrell located a vehicle parked at the location of the baited stand. When CO Cantrell contacted the individual, they were hunting over the bait pile located earlier in the season. CO Cantrell’s investigation showed the suspect was in possession of the same type of arrow used to illegally harvest the turkey located weeks before. While interviewing the suspect, a full admission of guilt was received for both the bait and the taking of a turkey during the closed season. Charges have been submitted to the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Jay Person responded to a complaint of a subject hunting with his grandson from the cab of a semi-truck in the City of Midland. Once on scene, CO Person located the truck and upon approaching, he heard some shuffling in the sleeper area. A male subject and a young boy climbed out of the truck. Confirming this was the suspect, it was discovered the subject had his 9-year-old grandson hunting from the truck with a crossbow. CO Person also discovered bait placed along a wood line 20 yards from the vehicle. The suspect advised that they were just mostly watching the deer, but if a big one came in the grandson would take a shot. The suspect was advised on the long list of charges facing him and a report would be sent to the prosecutor for review. A Midland City Police officer warned the suspect for the hunting within the city limits.
CO Chad Foerster was patrolling a state wildlife area when he observed a truck pull up. Two individuals exited the vehicle and began throwing something into the parking area of the wildlife area. Upon contacting the occupants, it was found that the discarded waste was a processed deer carcass. The CO had the men pick up the carcass and after determining the deer was legally taken, a citation was issued for the litter.
COs Seth Rhodea, Matt Neterer, and Adam Beuthin went on patrol checking waterfowl hunters on Lake Huron near Charity Island and Au Gres. Multiple contacts and checks were made on the waterfowl hunters during the patrol. Several violations were found ranging from loaded firearms in motor vessels while under power and failing to provide PFDs. Additionally, the COs were patrolling the Au Gres River and observed three fishing lines in the water with no one around on the dock at a residence along the river. CO Beuthin walked up to the residence from the river and when he was at the door, he observed an individual sitting in a chair with the television on and looking at a cell phone, not facing the fishing poles in the river. When CO Beuthin knocked on the door, the individual answered the door in a t-shirt, pajama bottoms, with no socks on his feet. When the CO asked about the fishing poles in the river the individual told the CO he was “Kind of watching them from the chair.” The individual was issued a citation for unattended fishing lines.
While patrolling Bay County, Sgt. Robert Hobkirk responded to a RAP complaint of a subject shooting 20 minutes after hunting hours had ended. Upon arrival, lights could be seen in the woods behind the suspect residence. Sgt. Hobkirk was able to get close enough to the subjects in the woods to hear their conversation. Once the individuals gave up searching for the deer, they were contacted. After a lengthy discussion with one of the subjects he admitted to hunting deer without a license, attempting to take an antlerless deer, and baiting. A report and warrant request will be prepared and submitted to the Bay County prosecutor for the violations.
CO Mike Haas was patrolling western Gratiot County when he encountered a subject operating an ORV down a public roadway. The man had a rifle slung on his shoulder, no helmet, and no ORV license. CO Haas explained the weapons and ORV violations as another subject pulled up behind them. The second subject had an uncased rifle on his lap and four untagged deer in his vehicle. The men stated they had finished hunting for the morning and were headed back home from their hunting property. CO Haas asked why the deer were not tagged and the men explained that they were going to tag the deer once they got them home and into their barn. Both men received citations to address the tagging and weapons violations.
During an evening patrol in eastern Montcalm County, CO Mike Haas started driving behind a vehicle that was traveling in the middle of the roadway at approximately 17 miles per hour (mph) in a 55-mph zone. It appeared that the driver was distracted and looking at his cell phone. Eventually the driver noticed the vehicle behind him and swerved quickly back into his proper lane. CO Haas initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. While speaking with the driver, CO Haas noticed a loaded rifle in an open case in the back seat of the vehicle. The operator of the truck was warned for impeding traffic and distracted driving and cited for having a loaded and uncased rifle in his vehicle.
CO Mike Haas was working in eastern Montcalm County and saw a large cloud of black smoke across the county line in Gratiot County. CO Haas located the source of the smoke and witnessed a man on a bulldozer pushing debris onto a large fire. The fire was full of tires, furniture, garbage, and other debris. The man was cited for improper disposal and instructed to find a legal way to dispose of his items in the future.
CO Mike Haas received an in-progress complaint in central Montcalm County that involved suspects hunting from their truck. CO Haas arrived on scene and with his binoculars and was able to locate and watch the vehicle in the middle of a field. Once it was dark, the truck began to make its way to the road where CO Haas intercepted them. CO Haas contacted an older suspect and his grandson in the truck and immediately noticed two uncased firearms between the two men. CO Haas removed both firearms from the truck and noted that they were both loaded, and one weapon was in the ‘fire’ position. During the interaction, CO Dan Robinson and Sgt. Jason Smith arrived on scene and assisted. The subjects were educated on the various safety violations and the older male subject was issued a citation for the uncased/loaded rifles in his motor vehicle.
While working an area in Montcalm County that had numerous past road hunting complaints, CO Mike Haas witnessed two men sitting in their truck on the edge of a cut corn field. CO Haas contacted the gentlemen and discovered that they were not road hunting but checking the goose numbers in the field in preparation for the next day’s waterfowl hunt. While speaking with the men, CO Haas noticed a large pile of ducks in the back of the truck. CO Haas asked what kind of ducks they had shot, and they informed the CO that they had shot mallards. CO Haas asked how many mallards they could shoot in a day, and they stated “six”. CO Haas informed them that they were wrong and could only shoot four, the CO also pointed out that there were thirteen ducks in the truck. One of the gentlemen then stated that some of the ducks were his father’s. None of the ducks were properly tagged if they did in fact belong to his father, so the operator of the truck was cited for possessing an over limit of waterfowl.
CO Dan Robinson and Sgt. Jason Smith responded to an ongoing baiting complaint CO Robinson had been working. The unknown subjects had been caught on a trail camera dumping a large amount of bait and trespassing. CO Robinson used an issued game camera to monitor the area. On the firearm opener, the COs located the hunters in their stands. Both hunters were sitting over a large amount of bait with one pile being over 250 pounds of corn, carrots, and sugar beets. Citations were issued for the violations.
CO Robinson received a RAP complaint regarding a tagging violation posted on social media. A quick check by the RAP dispatchers showed that the individual did not have a current 2020 hunting license. CO Robinson located the individual at his residence. The individual was very upset about what had happened and admitted to hunting without a license, and then tagging the deer with another person’s kill-tag. The deer was seized, and charges are being sought regarding the unlawful tagging.
CO Dan Robinson was investigating a possible safety zone issue in northern Isabella County. While in the area of the complaint, CO Robinson witnessed two hunters in an open field walking out to their hunting spot. The hunters did not appear to have appropriate hunter orange garments. CO Robinson approached the hunters and found one juvenile and an adult. The adult had an orange neck gaiter around his neck, and the youth hunter had an orange stocking hat in his pocket and was carrying two shotguns. A citation was issued to the adult for failing to wear the required hunter orange clothing.
While patrolling North Plains Township in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers spotted a subject walking down the road wearing orange and carrying a firearm. CO Beavers contacted a subject and saw he was carrying a muzzleloader. CO Beavers asked the subject if he was deer hunting and he stated he was. CO Beavers then asked for his identification and hunting license and the subject stated it was back at his camp, just down the road. CO Beavers told the subject to continue to his camp and he would meet him there. As the subject was walking towards his camp, he stopped and waited for CO Beavers to catch up. He then told CO Beavers he did not have a license. CO Beavers and the subject then went to the camp and no additional violations were found. The subject was cited for hunting without a license.
While patrolling southern Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers spotted two subjects walking out of the woods wearing camouflage and hunter orange. CO Beavers asked the first subject he contacted if they were hunting. He stated they were just scouting and that he was out there with his girlfriend. CO Beavers then informed the subject that he saw them in the tree stand and asked if he had a firearm. The subject stated he did, and he left it by the tree stand. CO Beavers and the subject then walked to the tree stand where he discovered the subject was also baiting deer with shelled corn. The subject then admitted he was hunting but his girlfriend was not. CO Beavers cited the subject for the violations.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling in southern Muskegon County when she received a report of an individual hunting over bait in the national forest in the northern part of the county. CO Miskovich patrolled up that way and was able to locate the hunter’s vehicle. After walking around, a ground blind was found with a bait pile directly in front of it with a game camera. The individual came out of the blind and admitted to knowing there was bait there and that he was hunting over it. It was also found that he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm. The firearm was seized, and charges are being submitted to Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.
While patrolling the Jennings Farm in the Muskegon State Game Area, CO Jackie Miskovich was contacted by CO Jeff Ginn about some possible ORVs in a parcel of game area close to the Muskegon Wastewater. COs Miskovich and Ginn patrolled the area and contacted three vehicles that had crossed through a wetland/stream to get to where they had been doing some hill climbing. Citations were issued.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling northern Muskegon County when she observed an individual operating an ORV with an uncased firearm in his lap. CO Cullen instructed the individual that the firearm needed to be in a case when being transported. Further investigation revealed that the hunters had two deer down, one was tagged but the second deer, which was already hanging in the barn, was not tagged. CO Cullen followed the hunter back to his residence and observed an untagged deer hanging in the barn. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Anna Cullen was on foot patrol investigating a baiting complaint when she observed two hunters entering the property, one hunter was not wearing hunter orange. CO Cullen contacted the hunters and asked about the hunter orange situation. The one advised he left it at home on accident. CO Cullen continued to ask where their blind was located. The hunters then led CO Cullen to their blind where CO Cullen observed a bait pile in front of it. It was determined that the hunter who did not have hunter orange did not have his deer kill-tags in his possession. A citation was issued for not having the deer license in his possession and warnings were issued for the other violations.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling northern Muskegon County when she observed an open garage door with multiple deer hanging inside. CO Cullen pulled into the driveway to talk with the multiple hunters who were talking in the barn entrance. CO Cullen was invited to check the kill-tags on the hanging deer. The owner of the property initially advised that he only shot an 8-point that was hanging and a doe about a week ago. As CO Cullen continued to check tags, the individual advised that he actually shot a second 8-point. CO Cullen questioned the individual about the second 8-point, at which point, he admitted that someone else shot it and he lent them his tag. CO Cullen issued a citation for loaning tags to another. Charges are also being sought for the individual who shot the deer without a license.
CO Justin Ulberg investigated a complaint of a deer shot with a firearm during the archery deer season. The complainant had a trail camera picture of a subject walking into the woods carrying a firearm. Approximately 45 minutes later, a second trail camera picture captured the same subject dragging a deer. At the time the complaint was filed, the complainant did not know who the subject was. A few days later, CO Ulberg was notified by the complainant that the subject had returned to the area. This time a license plate was obtained. CO Ulberg, with assistance from Cpl. Ivan Perez, was able to locate the subject at his place of employment. After a short interview, the subject admitted to shooting the deer with a firearm. Further investigation revealed the subject was also hunting over bait and never tagged the deer with his deer license. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for pending charges.
COs Justin Ulberg and Casey Varriale investigated a complaint of a subject shooting a deer with a centerfire rifle in the limited firearm zone. Upon arriving at the subject’s residence, the COs observed two deer hanging in a barn. Further investigation revealed that the deer were not tagged. While examining the deer carcasses, CO Ulberg noticed a small diameter bullet wound in one of the deer. The successful hunter was interviewed and admitted to shooting the deer with a .270. A report is being submitted to the county prosecutor for pending charges.
While doing a routine deer processor inspection on November 16, CO Justin Ulberg noticed a deer tag that appeared suspicious. The license was purchased on November 15th after legal hunting hours and was notched on November 16. While looking at the carcass, it appeared that the deer had been dead for quite a few hours. CO Ulberg was able to obtain a body temperature of the deer and used the time of death study to determine that the deer was killed sometime on November 15. CO Ulberg interviewed the hunter and obtained a confession that the deer was killed without having a license. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he noticed a truck backed into the woods with the tailgate down and two hunters at the edge of the tailgate. CO Bauer attempted to make contact, but the hunters got in the vehicle and took off down the road. CO Bauer followed the vehicle until it turned into a neighborhood. The truck stopped and CO Bauer contacted the occupants of the vehicle. The hunters stated that they pulled into the neighborhood to “tag their deer.” Further investigation revealed that they did not know whose driveway they were in and that there was an untagged deer in the bed of the truck. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol after dark when he located headlights coming out of a field. CO Bauer contacted the hunter who had a loaded shotgun in the ORV and stated he was tracking a deer. CO Bauer asked to check the hunter’s tags and he stated that he did not have them with him. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Travis Dragomer observed a vehicle traveling along side of a railroad track. CO Dragomer contacted the operator of the vehicle who stated he was helping a friend drag a deer that he had shot. After further investigation, an uncased 20 gauge was found underneath the back seat of the truck. CO Dragomer then observed the successful hunter operating a side-by-side with an untagged 4-point antlered deer in the back. CO Dragomer issued one citation to the operator of the vehicle for possessing an uncased firearm in his motor vehicle. CO Dragomer issued another citation to the hunter who shot the 4-point for failing to immediately tag the deer.
CO Travis Dragomer checked a hunting location that has been heavily baited with corn and apples. CO Dragomer located an individual hunting in the tree stand over the baited area and observed that the suspect was not wearing hunter orange. As CO Dragomer approached the suspect, the suspect slowly removed an orange vest from his pocket and draped it over his head. CO Dragomer ordered the suspect down from the tree stand. One citation was written for failing to wear hunter orange while hunting and another citation was written for hunting over bait when prohibited.
While patrolling Van Buren County, CO Matt Page observed two subjects field dressing a deer. As CO Page pulled in to check the hunters, one of the individuals immediately stood up and turned his back to the approaching CO and began attempting to locate and validate a kill-tag. Upon contact, the successful hunter who had shot a small White-tailed doe decided he did not want to use his last buck tag on the deer after nearly a quarter mile drag. The hunter claimed that all his doe tags were forgotten back at the house and wanted to save his buck tag. A citation was issued for failure to immediately tag the deer and the hunter was allowed to keep it. However, he was required to tag it with the only tag on his person which was his last buck tag.
While patrolling the Cornish State Game Area, CO Tyler Cole spotted two subjects walking through a field with no visible hunter orange. Contact was made and it was found that the subject was deer hunting with an apprentice hunter. The apprentice hunter did not have any hunter orange and the other subject stated that he had a reversable winter hat that he was planning on wearing when they reached their tree stand. CO Cole stressed the importance of wearing hunter orange and setting a good example for apprentice hunters and advised the subjects that they could not continue hunting until they were both wearing proper hunter orange. Citations were issued to the adult for hunter orange requirements.
CO Tyler Cole and Sgt. Steve Mooney were patrolling Van Buren County during the firearm deer season and noticed a Jeep driving through a corn field. Contact was made with the driver of the vehicle, who stated that he had an antlerless deer down in the woods and had gone back to the vehicle because he had forgotten his knife. The COs followed the subject to where the deer was and found that the deer had not yet been tagged. When asked to produce a valid tag for the deer, the subject was unable to and stated that he must have left his tags at his residence. The COs followed the subject back to his residence, where he was able to produce valid tags for the deer. A citation was issued for being afield with no tags in possession.
On a tip from a hunter, CO Tyler Cole and Sgt. Steve Mooney responded to a baiting complaint where a hunter was actively hunting over a mineral block. Contact was made with the hunter, who stated that he did not place the bait in the area but was aware of the bait being there since he had to walk past the bait to get to his blind approximately 30 yards away. A citation was issued for hunting over bait.
CO Jeff Robinette received a complaint from a dispatcher at the RAP hotline regarding an individual in Cass County that had possibly shot a 7-point deer prior to purchasing a 2020 deer combination license. The suspect and her fiancé had posted a picture of the suspect with the deer on Facebook the morning after the deer was taken. The picture showed the suspect at night with the deer. The DNR license system showed the license had been purchased at almost 10:00 pm on the day the deer was taken. COs Robinette and Zach Bauer contacted the subject and her fiancé at their residence and interviewed them regarding the deer. The suspect admitted to going out hunting prior to purchasing her license. The suspect’s fiancé stated he had set her up in a tree stand but did not think she would shoot anything. The suspect and her fiancé also admitted that they did not tag the deer or otherwise validate a kill-tag. The suspect stated she had received her kill-tags in the mail a few days after the on-line purchase and still had both unused combination tags. The suspect also had never completed hunter safety as required by law. CO Robinette informed the suspect that she could not lawfully purchase hunting licenses without taking hunter safety unless she purchased an apprentice license. Charges are being sought through the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a license and buying a license without completing hunter safety.
CO Carter Woodwyk had been noticing evidence of trespassing in a wildlife refuge prior to the firearm deer season. On opening day, he checked the area for trespassing hunters and located a subject approximately 100 yards into the refuge standing over a dead 11-point buck. The hunter admitted to shooting the deer just minutes prior. The hunter stated he had been scouting the area since summer and had entered the refuge numerous times. He also claimed that he never noticed the signs prohibiting entry that were posted at the access point he was using every time he entered. A citation was issued for hunting in a wildlife refuge.
CO Carter Woodwyk investigated a RAP complaint regarding multiple individuals operating ORVs with uncased and loaded firearms. The complainant also stated they witnessed these subjects shoot at deer from the ORVs in the past. When firearm season opened, CO Woodwyk patrolled the property in the evening and heard two gunshots come from the property and soon after observed a subject driving an ORV back to a residence with an uncased shotgun on his lap. CO Woodwyk went to the residence attempting to contact this subject and was met by a second individual who rode up to the CO on an ORV while holding a shotgun in one hand and operating the ORV with the other. Soon after, the first subject returned to the residence on a tractor with an untagged deer in the bucket. Citations were issued to both subjects for the firearm and tagging violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint in Allegan County of a group of subjects doing a deer drive on state land and shooting across the roadway at deer. Upon arrival, he encountered five subjects that had just returned to their vehicles. One of the subjects indicated he had just shot a deer during the drive and presented a deer tagged with a private land tag from a different DMU. Soon after, another subject drove up with an untagged antlerless deer in the bed of the truck and two uncased, loaded shotguns in the back seat of the truck. Several citations were issued for the tagging and firearm violations.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling Allegan County on opening day of firearm deer season when he located a hunting blind placed in the front lawn of a residence. The blind was less than 20 yards from the road and an adjacent house. Immediately near the blind, in the grass lawn, was a large pile of shelled corn. CO Schluckbier contacted the hunter who claimed to be new to the sport. The hunter failed to present a hunting license claiming he did not need a deer license on private property. CO Schluckbier spoke to the hunter and the property owner about the laws related to deer hunting. Citations were issued for the baiting and license violations.
CO Sam Schluckbier located 15 household trash bags on state land in Allegan County. An owner of the trash was identified and interviewed. The individuals responsible for the litter were ordered to clean up the bags. A citation was issued for littering on state land.
CO Sam Schluckbier responded to a RAP complaint of an untagged deer. Upon arrival, CO Schluckbier found two subjects beginning to skin an untagged antlered deer in a garage. Further investigation revealed the hunter shot the deer that morning and drove it untagged to his friend’s house to butcher it. The hunter claimed he did not know the deer needed to be tagged but a license history report revealed the subject has been hunting for over a decade. A citation was issued for failing to attach a kill-tag.
CO Sam Schluckbier contacted two subjects driving slowly on a two-track in Allegan County. The vehicle windows were rolled down and the subjects were driving through state game area in a suspicious manner. When speaking with the subjects, CO Schluckbier observed a loaded and uncased rifle sitting between the driver and passenger. Additionally, the passenger had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant out of Ottawa County. A citation was issued for the firearm safety violation.
CO Kyle McQueer was patrolling the Barry State Game Area when he observed two vehicles parked in a parking lot after legal shooting hours. CO McQueer waited on the vehicles until the occupants arrived. Approximately a half hour later, CO McQueer contacted three individuals returning to their vehicles. One individual stated that he had shot three deer and called his two friends to help gut and drag them. CO McQueer asked to see the subject’s hunting licenses which he retrieved them from his wallet in the trunk of his vehicle. The individual then proceeded to hand CO McQueer two deer licenses although he stated he shot three. The individual then took CO McQueer to the edge of the field where the three deer were laying. CO McQueer observed three antlerless deer, all gutted and untagged. CO McQueer cited the individual for possessing an untagged deer, seized one of the deer, and then showed the hunter how to validate his kill-tags and place them on the deer. A verbal warning was also given for was also given for failing to take hunter safety.
CO John Byars was checking a tree stand on state land with no identifying information on it. He located a hunter in the stand and asked him about the violation. The hunter stated it was not his tree stand and at that point, CO Byars asked the hunter to come down so he could check his hunting license. The hunter became verbally combative towards CO Byars stating he was a felon and he is not taking his firearm. As the hunter began to get more verbally combative, CO Byars called for backup. MSP troopers as well as sheriff’s deputies arrived to assist. The hunter became increasingly agitated and several attempts were made to calm him down with no success. Deputies attempted to detain the hunter as he started to walk away, and he resisted. The hunter was ultimately placed under arrest for resisting and obstruction. While being transported to the county jail, the suspect head-butted and broke the divider in the county patrol vehicle. The hunter was lodged in Ingham County jail and later arraigned on a variety of charges.
COs Pete Purdy, Dan Prince, and Katie Baker conducted a joint patrol with the MSP on I 96 in Livingston County. The COs checked multiple deer on traffic stops. One of the deer checked was untagged in which the driver was issued a citation for fail to attach and validate tag. MSP troopers also arrested three drivers with suspended licenses and issued several citations for traffic violations. Multiple warnings were also given for various traffic violations.
COs Chris Reynolds and Nick Wellman responded to a complaint about a hunter who was trespassing and shooting a deer on two privately owned properties, along with railroad property. The COs interviewed multiple neighbors, landowners, and ex-landowners, and were able to identify suspects. CO Reynolds conducted an interview with one suspect who confessed to shooting a buck along with having several other people trespass to help him retrieve the deer. Follow up interviews were conducted with those that assisted him. Confessions were obtained and a report will be submitted seeking charges for trespass.
CO Edward Rice received a complaint about shots fired after legal hunting hours. Upon arrival, CO Rice located foot and ORV tracks leading to a residence. CO Rice contacted three individuals inside a garage where there was a freshly harvested antlerless deer. CO Rice noted the license on the deer was not validated. CO Rice also noticed the license was purchased 10 minutes prior to his arrival and 30 minutes past legal hunting hours. All three individuals were questioned and gave conflicting information. CO Rice engaged with the father who initially stated he shot the deer, but quickly changed his story when questioned about the deer license. CO Rice uncovered multiple violations including taking a deer without a license, failure to immediately validate, tag deer lawfully taken by another/ loan and borrow tag, and ORV trespass. The deer was seized and donated. A report will be submitted to the Hillsdale County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Todd Thorn investigated a complaint from a landowner who found a deer carcass on his property and ORV tracks leading from the carcass to a neighbor’s property. The complainant also stated that there were corn feeders on the suspect’s property and that the suspect may have shot an 8-point deer on Thursday or Friday. CO Thorn responded and walked the property with the complainant. CO Thorn learned that the suspect had purchased only one deer kill-tag for 2020 and it was done after legal hunting hours the night before the complaint was received. CO Thorn observed the ORV tracks, carcass, and feeders. He then contacted the suspect who showed CO Thorn his kill-tag that he still had in his wallet. CO Thorn was also shown an 8-point antlered deer head and cape as well as 78 packages of venison. The man admitted to shooting the deer in his backyard where the feeders were located. The deer was harvested on Thursday and he purchased a deer license on Friday night. The man’s son admitted to dumping the carcass on the neighbor’s property with his ORV. Charges will be sought through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. The meat, head, and cape were seized.
CO Todd Thorn responded to a RAP complaint where the image of a man was captured in a trail camera picture. The man appeared to be dragging a deer from private property onto State of Michigan property associated with a National Guard office. The man in the image appeared to be wearing military boots and camouflage. CO Thorn went to the office with the photo and was provided with the name of the man in the image. CO Thorn contacted the man who confessed to trespassing on private property to retrieve an antlerless deer that he had shot on State of Michigan property. Charges will be sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Larn Strawn received a text message tip that a hunter had been dropped off and was trespassing on a closed parcel of Michigan Department of Transportation property in Clinton County. CO Strawn responded to the complaint location and interviewed a witness who saw a man in camouflage clothing enter the property. CO Strawn conducted a foot patrol into the area and located the trespasser. CO Strawn issued a citation for recreational trespass and escorted the trespasser off the property.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint from a local man who had been watching a suspicious van near his home. CO Wellman requested a deputy make contact and when the deputy arrived, he located the man in the front seat of the van with his window down with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun leaned over his steering wheel. Upon receiving this information, CO Wellman checked into service and responded. CO Wellman was able to get confessions on hunting from the van and killing a deer over bait earlier in the week. Additionally, the passenger of the van was a convicted felon and was not to be around firearms. Charges are pending through Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman received a RAP complaint from Hillsdale County Dispatch that a hunter had watched a man shoot a buck, trespass to get the deer, and then trespass onto the railroad tracks to drag the deer out. The next day, COs Wellman and Chris Reynolds investigated, and three suspects were identified and interviewed. Confessions were received from all three men. One man will be charged with two counts of recreational trespass and one count of railroad trespass with an unlawfully taken deer, while his two friends will each be charged with railroad trespass.
CO Nick Wellman received a trespass complaint in Branch County. COs Wellman and Jeff Goss went to the area locating the suspect who had shot a deer and tracked it onto the complainant’s property. Before arriving, CO Wellman ran the suspect information and found that the only deer license the suspect had ever purchased was that morning several hours after the deer was shot. Further investigation found that the man not only trespassed in attempt to locate the deer but also shot the deer out of someone else’s tree stand on property he did not have permission to be on. The suspect’s friend was also trespassing as the suspect dropped him off on the original complainant’s property to look for blood. Both men will be charged with recreational trespass and the original suspect will also be charged with the illegally taken deer.
CO Nick Wellman was patrolling Branch County when he noticed two deer hanging in a tree. CO Wellman could not see tags on the deer, so he pulled in to check. Two men came from behind the barns and the younger man stated he had killed both deer the night before. Upon checking the tags, CO Wellman noticed the licenses that were attached to the deer were someone else’s. When asked why the older gentleman’s tags were on his deer, the older gentleman stated that he thought he could do that and that the young man was not at fault. A citation was issued to the older gentleman for lending a license to another.
Sgt. Rich Nickols stopped at a deer processor in Eaton Rapids to check on business. When Sgt. Nickols arrived, a man was dropping off two deer. After talking with the owner of the business, Sgt. Nickols checked the tags on the deer that had just been dropped off and discovered they were purchased after the end of hunting hours the previous day. The tags were not validated, and the deer were cold to the touch. After a short conversation with the subject, he admitted to taking the deer without a license. Charges will be sought through the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Keven Luther assisted Monroe County CO Brandon Vacek in locating a capsized vessel within the Point Mouillee Game Area. CO Luther then followed up on a baiting and trespassing complaint within the City of Canton. CO Luther determined that the complainant trespassed upon the property of another and unlawfully removed property. The suspect, who was new to hunting, had placed bait out for the 2020 deer season. After discussing the illegal activity, verbal warnings were issued to both individuals. CO Luther ended his shift after presenting at the Huron Township Police Department. CO Luther discussed how local conservation officers can assist the township officers in a variety of different situations.
CO Keven Luther checked a few properties for hunting activity and then conducted a shining patrol within Sumpter Township. While conducting the shining patrol, CO Luther contacted two individuals within the Cross Winds Marsh shining; a citation was issued on scene.
COs Joe Deppen, Kris Kiel, and David Schaumburger conducted a waterfowl patrol in the Detroit River and Lake Erie when they were approaching a boat and viewed one of the occupants unloading his firearm while the boat was still in motion. Contact was made with the boat and the person unloading said that he was messing around with the decoys. CO Schaumburger told him to be truthful and he admitted to unloading his firearm when he saw the COs. A citation was issued for having a loaded firearm in a motorboat.
COs David Schaumburger and Dan Walzak were patrolling on Thanksgiving morning on the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair when they came across a boat trolling with seven lines between two anglers. The anglers were questioned why and one of them replied that they were “just trying out that lure on the seventh line” and were just about to pull it in. Unfortunately for the anglers, the COs had been viewing them for a few minutes and were issued a citation for fishing with more than three lines.
CO Tom Peterson worked with the MSP in locating a female who had ingested a large amount of prescription drugs in an attempt to commit suicide. The individual was located within a wilderness area of a local state park. The individual was transported to a nearby hospital where she was treated for the drugs and psychiatric evaluation.
COs Tom Peterson and Luke Robare contacted two hunters actively hunting after hours in Bald Mountain State Recreation Area. The two hunters accessed the recreation area in a motor vehicle by power lines owned by ITC. When the COs confronted the two hunters, they said that they were under the impression that they could hunt deer at night. Both hunters were armed with 12-gauge shotguns loaded with buck shot. The men were cited for multiple violations and given several warnings. The COs then escorted the individuals off the property.
CO Tom Peterson received a RAP complaint of a deer being shot within a modular home community in the city of Novi. The CO was able to locate an entrance and exit wound that was consistent with being shot with a crossbow. CO Peterson was able to follow a blood trail that went across multiple backyards and ended at a small pile of sugar beets and pumpkins. Upon further investigation, the CO was able to determine that the deer was shot from an elevated position consistent with being shot out of the window of the home in question. CO Peterson was able to contact the individual the following day, with the assistance of CO Jacob Griffin, and was able to obtain a confession and located multiple other violations including an untagged Whitetail deer hanging in his shed, which the individual was cited for.
CO Jacob Griffin was patrolling Oakland County when he received a complaint about a suspicious vehicle parked on private property and concerns of hunting activity too close to homes. CO Griffin responded to the area and discovered a portable blind with one subject inside. While conducting a routine hunting check, CO Griffin discovered the subject was deer hunting without any hunter orange, trespassing on private property, hunting within the safety zone of multiple homes, and hunting over bait. The subject was educated on the hunting laws, written a citation, and asked to clean up everything he brought in before vacating the property.
CO Jacob Griffin was patrolling Highland Recreation Area and observed a subject dragging a pine tree across an open area back to a vehicle. CO Griffin turned around and contacted the subject. The subject stated that he hit an animal and was looking to see where it went. CO Griffin told the subject that he saw the subject dragging pine branches and then asked what the pickup loaded with pine branches was for. The subject stated that he was taking deadfall branches to the dump. CO Griffin pointed out that they were freshly cut branches and the subject admitted that he was cutting branches for grave blankets. CO Griffin issued a citation for damaging or destroying trees on state land.
While investigating a safety zone complaint, CO Luke Robare determined that the hunter was, in fact, in the complainant’s safety zone. CO Robare talked to the hunter and explained the situation. The hunter agreed to move his stand. CO Robare also checked the hunter’s license. Through casual conversation, the hunter bragged about the buck he shot earlier in the year. He showed CO Robare pictures of the buck that had a date and time stamp prior to the date and time printed on the license in CO Robare’s hand. CO Robare asked about the story and the subject admitted to shooting the 9-point buck and purchasing his license after legal hunting hours the same day. Charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Justin Muehlhauser was on routine patrol in Genesee County when he observed a vehicle driving erratically. Several citizens came up to CO Muehlhauser and said the subject driving the vehicle nearly hit several vehicles before CO Muehlhauser saw it. CO Muehlhauser conducted a stop on the vehicle and determined the driver had consumed alcohol. CO Muehlhauser performed sobriety tests and the subject was arrested for OWI. When tested at the jail, it was determined the subject was nearly three times the legal limit. The subject was lodged for OWI.
CO Jacob Griffin received a RAP complaint of two subjects trespassing on private property and dragging a deer off the property. CO Griffin responded and observed two subjects leaving the property. He also located a deer that had been dragged to a fence next to the road and found the deer was tagged and validated for November 15th. COs Griffin and Justin Muehlhauser checked the area and located another drag mark indicating that another deer had been harvested. The next day, a subject called into the RAP line stating that a deer he shot and tagged had been taken. He stated that he realized that he tracked the deer onto property that he did not have permission to be on. He then shot a second deer, thinking it was the first. The subject recovered the first deer. CO Griffin contacted the subject regarding the deer and asked him if he would be willing to walk CO Griffin through the series of events. CO Griffin explained that the missing deer was recovered and donated through the earlier RAP complaint. CO Tom Peterson and Sgt. Jason Becker met the subject at the hunting location and had the subject walk through the series of events. The subject showed where the deer was shot and re-traced the steps of tracking the deer. The subject tracked the deer across another parcel of private property to end up where the deer were located. The subject showed the COs where both deer were shot and where they had been dragged out. The COs asked where the first deer was located, and the subject stated being butchered at a friend’s house. While on the way to the processor’s, the subject stopped and told the COs that he lied about the deer’s location. He stated that the 12-point buck was his biggest ever and did not want the COs to take it. The subject then led the COs to the deer. After further interview, it was determined that the subject shot both deer on land he was trespassing on and failed to wear hunter orange while afield. Due to the subject’s attempt to hide the deer for an extended period of time, the meat had spoiled, could not be donated, and went to waste. The COs obtained a full confession and charges are being sought through the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass, fail to wear hunter orange, and two illegally taken deer.
Sgt. Jason Becker assisted the MSP in searching for a missing person from an adult care facility late at night. The subject walked away from a voluntary facility and it was determined that this is not abnormal for the subject. After searching the area, there was no sign of the subject, so the MSP cancelled the search for the night. The MSP followed up the next day with family members and local hospitals.
COs Ben Lasher and Bob Watson investigated a recreational trespass complaint where the suspect had shot into a field at a deer. One of the bullets, a slug, ricocheted off the ground approximately 20 yards in front of an occupied blind and struck a hunter in the chest. Luckily, the slug had slowed down, and no injury occurred. Charges for recreational trespass and careless discharge of a weapon will be filed with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Ben Lasher responded to a trespass complaint where the property owner called about a buck being shot in one of his fields by a neighboring hunter. An 8-point buck was found dead on his property and while investigating the possible shooting location, a spent .350 round was found near the property line. The subjects were contacted and came out and advised they shot the deer while on the property they have permission to hunt but no blood or hair could be found on the property. CO Lasher called a local deer tracking dog handler and he responded to the property to use the dog to locate a possible location of where the buck was shot. The dog did not hit on anything in the area where the subjects stated the deer was when they shot. However, the dog did show strong interest in the area where the caller advised the buck was in his bean field. CO Lasher field dressed the deer and located a bullet and will have to determine the caliber. The evidence shows the deer was on the caller’s property when shot. Warrants will be sought for the shooter once the bullet caliber is determined.
CO Bob Watson received a bait complaint in Berlin Township which has been a hot spot for illegal baiting activity this year. CO Watson responded and contacted the complainant who had recorded, with his phone, the suspects driving bait out with ORVs and dumping it at multiple sites. CO Watson later contacted multiple suspects after the evening hunt. The hunters were very cooperative and removed all the bait. CO Watson issued one citation to the camp for feeding/baiting when prohibited.
COs Bob Watson and Breanna Reed were on a night patrol with low activity. While investigating a suspiciously parked truck in a field at 11:00 pm, CO Watson heard a distant gunshot. Within a short time, a vehicle was seen heading in the COs direction. The COs noted the vehicle was missing a headlight. Once the vehicle passed the parked COs, they began following the suspect vehicle. The suspect made two turns and failed to utilize a blinker, prompting the COs to conduct a traffic stop. COs Watson and Reed contacted the driver who seemed very nervous. An uncased shotgun with multiple slugs was found sitting beside the driver in the front seat. No evidence of a deer was found, and the suspect maintained that he did not fire any shots recently. The COs issued the man for possessing a loaded/uncased firearm in a vehicle and a warning for the missing headlight and fail to signal a turn. The COs were unable to locate any shot deer from the direction of the fired shot.
CO Bob Watson was on patrol observing waterfowl hunters on Lake Huron during a recent snowstorm. CO Watson observed one boat that continued moving around throughout the entire morning. The two hunters were seen shooting multiple times at birds, seconds after releasing the throttle and while still under forward momentum. CO Watson contacted the two men at the boat launch. One man had failed to completely unload his firearm and had an expired federal waterfowl e-stamp, claiming the mail had lost his hard copy of the federal waterfowl stamp. Also, the owner of the boat had an expired fire extinguisher. The two men were both issued citations for possessing a loaded firearm while under forward momentum and issued warnings for the other violations.
CO Bob Watson was on waterfowl patrol and observed a group of hunters chasing and rallying birds while under power, trying to stir birds up for a layout hunter. The group was seen on multiple occasions firing at birds while still under forward momentum of their motor. At one point the layout hunter shot two ducks and the tender boat was so far away and busy chasing birds, that the tender was unable to return to attempt to recover the two ducks until nine minutes later. The current of the St. Clair River had long since taken the ducks downstream and the operator of the tender boat gave up searching for the birds after a very brief attempt. CO Watson contacted the hunters when they finally returned to the launch and issued the operator of the boat a citation for chasing/rallying waterfowl and hunting waterfowl while under power. A warning was given for failing to recover wounded/killed waterfowl.
CO Breanna Reed received a complaint of an individual hunting within a safety zone. CO Breanna Reed contacted the hunter and it was determined that he was not within the safety zone but during the contact, CO Reed noticed other violations. The hunter was not wearing his hunter orange and he had no name or address on his tree stand. CO Reed asked the hunter how his deer season had been, and he stated that he had shot a spike horn the previous night. CO Reed asked the hunter for his identification and his hunting licenses. The hunter handed the CO both combination tags. At this time, CO Reed decided to follow the hunter back to his residence where the spike horn was located. Through the investigation, the CO found that the hunter tagged the spike horn with a doe tag that was for a DMU in another area. Charges are being sought for the above violations through St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Breanna Reed received a safety zone complaint that was approximately two miles from her location. CO Reed arrived on location and witnessed an individual gutting an untagged deer. CO Reed was able to identify who had shot the deer and what tree stand they were sitting in at the time. Upon locating the stand, CO Reed noticed a large bait pile with corn, sugar beets, and carrots located 15 yards from the tree stand. The suspect stated that he did not put the bait out, but he did shoot the deer over the bait. CO Reed also noticed that the hunter did not have any hunter orange on at the time of contact. When asking the hunter about it, he stated that he had on orange gloves. CO Reed explained that he had to be wearing a hat, cap, jacket, or vest. CO Reed is requesting charges through the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer over bait and failing to wear hunter orange. CO Reed was able to use a range finder that determined the hunter was just outside of the safety zone when shooting the deer.
CO Breanna Reed and Sgt. Chris Maher were patrolling on Thanksgiving Day when they received a complaint of two duck hunters rallying birds. The COs arrived at the location of the complaint and conducted surveillance on the hunters. CO Reed and Sgt. Maher witnessed a layout blind with a hunter and a tender boat not far from the hunter. The COs watched the tender boat circle around the hunter creating the birds to fly toward the hunter. Just as the tender boat moved out of the way, the hunter shot at the birds in flight. The COs went and picked up a nearby patrol boat to launch and contact the hunters. The tender boat driver was issued a citation for rallying birds using a motorboat.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint of a hunter walking through a farm field with no hunter orange on. Upon arrival, CO Gardner contacted the suspect who was not wearing hunter orange and when CO Gardner asked to see the suspect’s hunting license, the suspect had to get it out of his vehicle. CO Gardner explained to the suspect that he must have his hunting license on his person while hunting. CO Gardner issued a citation to the hunter for not wearing hunter orange and gave a warning for not having a hunting license in possession while hunting.
CO Jaime Salisbury and Sgt. Chris Maher contacted the suspect of a baiting complaint. Upon arrival, the COs could see the bait behind the house. CO Salisbury had been to this residence before and addressed a baiting issue last deer season. Charges are being sought for baiting deer in a closed area.
CO Jaime Salisbury received an anonymous RAP complaint stating that there was a person hunting in the wildlife refuge on the Lapeer State Game Area. With the assistance of CO Raymond Gardner, CO Salisbury located the hunter and removed him from the posted wildlife refuge. The hunter said he did not know the area all too well and did not mean to be in the closed area. CO Salisbury informed him that it was his responsibility to know where he was hunting and issued a citation for hunting in the wildlife refuge.
CO Jaime Salisbury was checking waterfowl hunters on the Lapeer State Game Area. During a check, CO Salisbury found a hunter that could not present a federal duck stamp but said that he bought one online. After checking the licensing system, CO Salisbury determined the man had never bought one for the 2020 season. A citation was issued for hunting waterfowl without a federal duck stamp.
CO Kris Kiel responded to a RAP complaint in St. Clair County of a subject hunting within the safety zone of a residence. When CO Kiel arrived, he could see the subject in a tree stand. Upon making contact, the hunter was 106 yards from the residence, did not have his hunting license on him, was not wearing hunter orange, and hunting over bait. A citation was written for hunting without hunter orange and warnings were given for the other violations.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen responded to a RAP complaint of duck hunters hunting in the safety zone of a residence on Lake St. Clair. The COs used a laser range finder to measure the distance of the home to the vessel, which was 330 feet, 120 feet too close. The COs hid in the bushes and watched the subjects shoot the last couple ducks of their limit before meeting them at the launch. Both subjects were written a citation for hunting in the safety zone.
CO Kris Kiel stopped by a local ORV trespass area on his way home to check for activity during the nicer weather over the weekend. As soon as he pulled in, the CO observed a pickup truck and a subject operating a dirt bike. The subject was written a citation for ORV trespass. As CO Kiel was clearing that contact, another subject entered the pit in a Jeep and tore through a mud hole. Contact was made and the subject was written a citation for unlicensed ORV and warned for ORV trespass.
CO Brad Silorey was conducting a deer processor inspection when a 9-point buck was found. The deer was dropped off at the processor less than an hour after the kill-tag was purchased. After reviewing the processors intake sheets and speaking with the worker, CO Silorey determined the customer dropped off two deer. A 10-point and a 9-point White-tailed deer. Given the details, CO Silorey then set out to interview the subject who had taken the deer. When CO Silorey was finally able to contact the subject, he was able to interview him in person the same day. The suspect stated that he and his two sons shot them down in Kentucky, and then brought them back to Michigan for processing. The suspect also stated that he did not have time to have the deer processed in Kentucky, so he purchased two Michigan kill-tags and tagged the deer with them for processing. CO Silorey questioned the suspect further on his Kentucky hunt, and discovered that not only did the suspect illegally transport the deer taken out of state back to Michigan, but he also took the deer in Kentucky without purchasing Kentucky deer kill-tags. One deer was even shot out of season, one day prior to the Kentucky firearm opener CO Silorey explained to the suspect, that not only did he have Michigan tagging and transporting violations, but he had also illegally taken deer in another state. CO Silorey immediately contacted a fish and game officer in Kentucky and explained the situation. Through joint efforts, charges are being sought in both states for a multitude of wildlife crimes ranging from take deer out of season, unlawful transportation across state lines, take deer without a license, tagging violations, and multiple others. Charges will be filed with Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office for any Michigan wildlife violations.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol checking waterfowl hunters along the shoreline of Lake St. Clair when he observed an individual standing on shore in a prohibited area. CO Silorey decided to contact the hunter, and upon contact, CO Silorey requested to see the hunters license and to check his equipment. After a quick check of the shotgun it was found that the hunter was using a firearm capable of holding more than three shells and was in possession of a second shotgun. While checking the rest of the hunter’s equipment, it was found that he was also in possession of lead shot. Citations were issued for the unplugged shotgun and lead shot, while a verbal warning was given for the second firearm.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were following up on a baiting complaint when they observed a subject hunting a two-person stand along a field edge. There was corn and carrots below his stand. As shooting hours ended the subject never unloaded his firearm and never climbed down from his stand. The COs watched the subject get down approximately fifteen minutes after shooting hours had ended. COs Deppen and Silorey walked back toward his truck and met the subject thirty minutes after shooting hours had ended. The hunter was walking around with the gun still loaded and the safety off. When questioned about the bait, the hunter walked back to his stand and showed the COs piles of carrots and corn. The hunter was cited for hunting deer over bait when prohibited and hunting after hours.
While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Chris Maher noticed an angler trolling with what looked like more than three lines. The COs approached the vessel and noticed the angler was fishing with four lines. The angler was reeling in one fish and put the fish in his live well. The COs had him reel in his remaining three lines and conducted a check of his vessel. The COs explained to the angler he cannot fish with more than three lines, and the angler declared he was not fishing with more than three lines. The angler said, “When you pulled up, I was reeling in or “catching” this walleye, so this line was catching, the other three lines were fishing.” The COs told the angler he was fishing with more than three lines regardless of which line is catching the fish and which line is just “fishing”. The angler was cited for fishing with more than three lines.
While on wildlife patrol in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen was following up on a baiting complaint. CO Deppen walked in and found two men in a tower blind and one of the men had a crossbow. The tower blind was overlooking a large bait pile. CO Deppen had the men clean up all the bait and one hunter was issued a citation for hunting deer over bait/baiting while prohibited.
While checking deer hunters in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen was waiting for a hunter using a quad to exit the field. CO Deppen watched the hunter exit without any hunter orange and then heard the quad fire up. As the ORV entered the roadway a traffic stop was conducted. As the situation unfolded the amount violations became so numerous, CO Deppen almost lost count. The hunter was given a total of six verbal warnings relating to various hunting, general criminal, and ORV violations. The hunter was cited for loaded firearm in a motorized vehicle, hunt afield without hunter orange, and operating an unlicensed ORV.
While checking waterfowl hunters on Lake Erie, COs David Schaumburger, Kris Kiel, and Joseph Deppen noticed a layout boat and tender. Upon checking the tender, one waterfowl hunter had a loaded firearm and a second hunter did not have his license on him. Citations were issued for loaded firearm in a motorboat and hunting waterfowl without license in possession.
CO Mike Drexler responded to a hunting incident where a 12-gauge slug went through a window and into a living room. When CO Drexler and a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene, the homeowner stated he had already contacted a hunter from a neighboring residence. After contacting the hunter and investigating what happened, the homeowner did not want to press charges and the incident will be handled civilly. However, during the investigation CO Drexler found the hunter was hunting over a salt block and that individual was cited for baiting.
CO Andrew Monnich was patrolling an area with heavy road traffic due to a high amount of deer congregating in the fields. CO Monnich heard a gunshot and watched a small buck run into an area with previous trespassing issues. CO Monnich set up an observation post and watched a hunter walk across the road with no hunter orange and accessing the property. Shortly after the hunter returned dragging a buck. After crossing the road, the hunter returned and attempted to cover his tracks in the snow. CO Monnich came out of the bushes and contacted the hunter who claimed to have shot the deer where it was laying. After asking again, the hunter finally admitted he trespassed to get the buck. Violations of no hunter orange and failing to immediately validate and attach kill-tags were also enforced.
CO Brandon Vacek responded to a call from Monroe County Central Dispatch about a group of hunters shining lights and firing a shot after dark at a deer in a large field. The CO was able to locate the group in the process of loading a deer into a truck. The CO questioned the group about the property they had recovered and dispatched the deer on. It was determined none of subjects knew the landowner or attempted to get permission to access the property. Two of the subjects in the group were issued citations for recreational trespass.
CO Brandon Vacek responded to a call from Monroe County Central Dispatch about two waterfowl hunters who were overturned in a vessel, during strong winds, at the Pointe Mouillee SGA. The CO began to search the area and was able to locate the two hunters walking a dike with the aid of a cell phone light. Both subjects were completely soaked and had removed their waders after overturning. Due to the high winds and wet clothing both subjects were showing early signs of hypothermia. Berlin Township Fire Department met the CO at the location and took one subject to the hospital for treatment.
COs Brandon Vacek and CO Nicholas Ingersoll conducted an interview on a subject who admitted to harvesting four antlerless deer in Monroe County and knowingly tagging the deer with antlerless tags for Calhoun County. He also admitted to placing several piles of bait in the area the deer were taken. Charges will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
Sgt. Shane Webster received a call from CO Brandon Vacek who had just returned home from a long shift. CO Vacek received a RAP complaint indicating a subject had shot a deer from a vehicle on the roadway. The complainant had been able to get a license plate number from the suspect vehicle for follow up. Sgt. Webster and CO Vacek contacted the suspect who was in possession of a small buck that had been shot in the head. He claimed his father had stepped out of the vehicle, put his orange on, loaded his firearm, walked behind a single tree on the side of the roadway, and was able to shoot the deer in the field at approximately 200 yards. The father was also interviewed and told a similar version of the story, claiming he was able to exit the vehicle before shooting. When asked if they had permission to hunt the property, they stated that “T loaded firearm hey think so.” Follow up was conducted at the location and with the landowner who exclusively stated that they did not have permission to hunt his property. A report is pending with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Ben Lasher was patrolling Belle Isle when given information of a vehicle parked on the bridge and the female driver was drinking wine. When CO Lasher contacted the driver, she started crying. COs Lasher and Brandon Vacek were able to get her to drive off the bridge to a lot where they could continue to talk. On the second contact with the female driver, she advised she was coming to the island to go swimming. The crisis line phone number was given to the female, which she called. When CO Lasher contacted her again as she left, she advised she was leaving the island to talk to someone else. Both COs kept an eye on her driving noticing she did not leave the island but parked the car and walked down to the river’s edge. CO Lasher contacted her again, concerned she was going to jump in the river. After talking for nearly a half hour, the female agreed to get in CO Lasher’s patrol truck. She refused to go with Detroit EMS, so CO Lasher transported her to Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Cpl. Hammill checked multiple hunters on the opening day of the firearm deer season. Many hunters were contacted with compliance levels seeming high. Cpl. Hammill did contact one individual without hunter’s orange hunting in thick, Beaver flooding. Enforcement action was taken.
Cpl. Mike Hammill assisted a Sheriff Deputy on an accident. Once it was confirmed there were no injuries and the scene was secure, Cpl. Hammill checked the deer in the trailer of the vehicle involved in the accident. A couple quick interviews revealed that the buck was tagged with the individuals wife’s license. She was never in the Upper Peninsula the entire deer season. When Cpl. Hammill gathered the firearm information for the report it was discovered the individual’s rifle was still loaded in both the chamber and magazine. Enforcement action was taken.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge assisted C.O. Jared Ferguson with follow-up to a complaint of ORVs driving around a GEM’s gate in Dickinson County. The officers waited at the gate entrance for roughly an hour after dark and noticed an ORV acting suspiciously near their location. The ORV was stopped for not having a valid ORV Sticker and the check ultimately brought the officers to another ORV behind the gate where the owner had an untagged deer. Several violations were observed during the check and multiple citations were issued.
While patrolling the CWD surveillance zone in Dickinson County, Cpl. Brett DeLonge noticed a parked pickup truck with loose, shell corn in the bed of the truck. Near the vehicle was an illegal ORV trail that had been recently cut on state land. Cpl. DeLonge followed the trail on foot for approximately a mile and located an unmarked permanent blind occupied by a hunter not wearing hunters orange. The hunter had recently cut an abundance of live trees for shooting lanes and had a bait pile full of corn. The numerous violations were discussed, and multiple citations were issued. During the same patrol CO DeLonge located another hunter who had an unmarked permanent blind and using bait in the prohibited area. A verbal warning and citation were issued for the violations.
Lt. Mike Feagan and Cpl. Nick Torsky attended several virtual AIS meetings, including the inter-departmental AIS Core Team, the biannual Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, and the intra-departmental Division Leads on AIS Team. Topics discussed included field season updates, prioritization of work and funding, and updates on potential AIS pathways.
Cpl. Jon Busken conducted a Thanksgiving patrol with CO Justin Vinson in Luce and Mackinac Counties. Multiple contacts occurred. A citation was issued to a hunter who was hunting over excessive bait and did not have his hunting license on his person.
Cpl. Kevin Postma responded to a domestic assault in the Kincheloe area. Cpl. Postma arrived on scene to find that the parties involved had already separated. Cpl. Postma stayed on scene until Deputies arrived and took over the investigation.
On the opener of firearm season, Cpl. Troy VanGelderen checked on a couple of illegal blinds on Federal Land in Oceana County that he had found while turkey hunting in the Spring. Cpl. VanGelderen found a subject hunting in the blind over a large amount of bait. Cpl. VanGelderen asked the suspect how he had gotten there, and he said that he had been dropped off by his son. Cpl. VanGelderen asked if the son was in the nearby illegal blind, and he said that he was. Cpl. VanGelderen told the suspect to not call his son on the phone. Cpl. VanGelderen went to the other blind and found more bait and an empty blind that smelled like fresh cigarette smoke. Cpl. VanGelderen went back to the father and looked at his phone to discover that the father had called his son right after Cpl. VanGelderen had left him. Cpl. VanGelderen had him call his son to return to the location. CO Ben Shively was called to assist, and when the son arrived, both subjects were written tickets for hunting over bait and using illegal blinds on public land.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was working in Cheboygan County with CO Rosochacki when they found a truck parked in the middle of a two-track on State land blocking access. The officers walked down the two-track until they found a pop-up blind sitting in the woods. The hunter inside the blind was hunting over a large amount of bait and was not wearing any orange. Tickets were issued, and a warning was given for blocking the road.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was patrolling Clare County when he found a vehicle parked along the road with a sleeping hunter. The hunter’s uncased shotgun was sitting next to him on the passenger seat. Once the driver was woken up, he said that he was tired from driving up from Detroit to go hunting that morning. The laws on having uncased firearms in a vehicle were discussed, and the hunter was warned, and made to put his gun in a case before he finished his nap.