Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Ethen Mapes responded to a medical call involving an elderly female whose oxygen machine had quit working. Upon arrival, the subject was having difficulty breathing. The subject pointed CO Mapes to a closet with an oxygen tank inside. CO Mapes retrieved the oxygen tank and was able to get the subject's breathing back to normal.
CO Jared Ferguson received a call of a kayaker stuck on float ice on an inland lake in Dickinson County. CO Ferguson responded to the call and found the kayaker had broken free of the ice but was unable to paddle back to his vehicle's location. CO Jared Ferguson loaded his kayak in the back of his patrol truck and transported the kayaker back across the lake to his vehicle. The gentleman was very shaken and stated he could not have gone back out due to his nerves and fatigue.
CO Jeffrey Dell checked a boat and kayak coming into a launch along a local river. No personal flotation devices (PFDs) were in either the boat or the kayak for the three subjects aboard. Upon further inspection CO Dell observed two beaver traps in the front of the boat that were tagged with another's name. When asked, the operator of the boat claimed he believed beaver trapping to have ended and had taken the traps to turn in to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). CO Dell informed him that the season was still open and that he was not permitted to take the traps even if the season was closed. A citation for failure to provide enough PFDs was issued. The owner of the traps elected not to press charges for theft and trapper harassment.
CO Anna Viau received a call from an Iron River police officer who had found a recently deceased beaver under a tire in the back of a truck he had impounded for Malicious Destruction of Property violations. CO Viau looked up the registered owner of the truck on the DNR's Retail Sales System (RSS) and found that he did not have a fur harvester license. CO Viau met with the Iron River officer and examined the impounded truck. She seized the beaver as evidence, then jointly interviewed the suspect with the Iron River officer. The suspect admitted to trapping the beaver without a license. He stated he had attempted to purchase a license but was unable to due to it being after April 1. Charges are pending with the Iron County Prosecutor's Office.
CO Anna Viau gave a presentation to the Environmental Science class at Kingsford High School about Michigan conservation officers. She discussed the training and job duties of the career, as well as some previous cases her and other conservation officers had been involved in.
CO Todd Sumbera and Sergeant (Sgt.) Calvin Smith worked a remote stream in Chippewa County that walleye spawn in. Not long after the COs arrived, they observed two individuals approach the stream and start spearing walleye. The COs contacted both individuals and after a brief investigation the duo confessed to making multiple trips to the stream to spear the spawning walleye. An additional sack that was hidden in the woods contained 16 walleye that the pair had speared earlier. In total the pair had speared 26 walleyes. A report has been submitted to the prosecuting attorney requesting charges for illegal take of walleye, take walleye out of season, possess more than five walleyes, fish in a closed stream, and possess spear on a designated trout stream. All 26 walleyes, two spears, and one landing net were seized.
CO Mike Olesen was checked a local boat launch for anglers. During the patrol, a father and son who were launching their boat had a medical emergency. CO Olesen used supplies from his medical kit to assist with care of the wound sustained during the launch, allowing the father to transport his son to the local emergency room for treatment.
CO Mike Olesen was on patrol when a call from Chippewa Central Dispatch came out of a grass fire that was out of control. CO Olesen responded and upon his arrival volunteer fire departments from both Dafter and Soo Township, along with staff from the Michigan DNR Fire Division had the 12 acre fire contained. CO Olesen interviewed the homeowner who started the fire to burn some yard debris when the strong wind quickly spread the fire. A report has been submitted to the Chippewa County prosecutor requesting charges for burning without a permit and for failing to prevent the spread of a fire.
CO Mike Olesen responded to another call for a grass fire that was out of control. A homeowner was burning when embers caught nearby grass on fire and was quickly spreading out of control. CO Olesen issued the homeowner a citation for failing to prevent the spread of a fire.
COs Todd Sumbera and Cole VanOosten were on patrol of a closed trout stream in Chippewa County when they apprehended a group that had speared approximately 60 suckers and a walleye. The COs informed the fishermen that they were in a closed trout stream and could not fish or possess a spear on that river. Tickets were issued for possessing a spear on a trout stream and taking a walleye out of season.
CO Mark Zitnik contacted a man at his camp in Schoolcraft County who had an arrest warrant for poaching a bear in June of 2020. The arrest warrant is from an investigation led by CO Andrea Dani back in September of 2020's bear season. CO Dani received a complaint that a subject was up at his camp and had shot a bear out of season. CO Dani followed up and located evidence of the crime and had COs from the home area of the suspect conduct an interview. A full confession was received that the hunter shot the bear in June and put his 2016 bear seal on the animal and brought it to a local taxidermist. The warrant was served, and a $500 bond was posted.
CO Mark Zitnik executed an arrest warrant and search warrant in Alger County on a residence after a six-month long investigation. CO Zitnik was assisted by; Area 1 officers, Corporal (Cpl.) Mike Hammill, and Alger County Sheriff Deputies Captain Waldron, and Sgt. Grahovac. The team seized two deer rifles and a shoulder mounted 10-point buck shot back in 2019. The investigated resulted in a felon in possession of a firearm shooting a 6-point buck, multiple drug charges, larceny of a 11-point buck, unlawfully transport a deer without a valid deer tag attached and transport a stolen deer. The subject will be arraigned in the Alger County Courthouse on April 22. Further charges are pending.
COs Michael Evink and Stephen Butzin assisted a Delta County Sheriff deputy with a traffic stop in Rapid River. During the traffic stop what was believed to be methamphetamine, was recovered from the operator of the vehicle. The vehicle did not have a license plate, nor did the operator have a valid license, and had outstanding warrants. He was lodged at the Delta County jail.
CO Robert Freeborn was conducting surveillance on a vehicle that was suspected to be involved in illegal spearing. While watching the vehicle, CO Freeborn observed a subject come back to the truck carrying a white bag that appeared to have something in it. CO Freeborn contacted COs Steve Butzin, Chris Lynch, and Cpl. Mike Hammill who responded to the area to assist. The subject was contacted and found to be in possession of walleye illegally taken and out of season. A report will be submitted to local prosecutor.
CO Andrea Dani received a report of a car versus moose accident on M-28 near Deerton. The driver was not injured in the crash, and a report was completed by Michigan State Police. CO Dani collected the moose, which was killed in the crash, for Wildlife Division biologists to conduct a necropsy and collect data.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol near Garden Township checking several fishermen when he encountered and individual fishing without a license. During the contact CO Butzin observed a large grass fire spreading towards several residences. The fisherman was given a warning and CO Butzin quickly responded to the fire and directed Garden Township and DNR Fire to the scene. Thankfully, the fire was able to be contained before it reached several houses in the downtown area. The cause of the fire was due to a resident dumping hot ashes from a wood stove into a grassy field. This individual was cited for disposing of a flammable substance causing a grass fire.
CO Steve Butzin and Cpl. Mike Hammill were on patrol in Ford River Township. The COs observed three anglers in an area known to have many spawning walleyes. As the COs approached, they noticed that the anglers were in possession of five walleye. After a short while, contact was made with the anglers. Two citations were issued for possession of walleye during a closed season, and one additional citation was issued for attempting to take walleye during a closed season. The weight of the walleye totaled approximately 21 pounds, these fish were seized and donated. The anglers face fines, costs, and restitution of nearly $800 for this offense.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual who was possibly possessing a walleye out of season in Wells Township. CO Butzin went to the location of the complaint and observed two individuals trolling with rods in their hands. The anglers were observed for a short while before contact was able to be made. One fisherman was found to be in possession of an undersized walleye. A citation was issued for possession of walleye during a closed season.
CO Steve Butzin responded to several wildfires. In majority, the cause of these fires was due to individuals burning debris during a no burn or high fire danger. Several citations were issued which included two citations to individuals burning without a permit, and one citation for failing to prevent the spread of fire. In addition to these citations several warnings were also issued.
CO Nathan Beelman was at his residence when he received a call from the Charlevoix US Coast Guard Station regarding a boat they had contacted earlier in the day. The coast guard contacted an angler who was in possession of four walleye. At the time of their contact, the coast guard crew members were unsure if the walleye season was currently open. CO Beelman patrolled to the area where the boat was believed to have launched from and while in route, observed the suspected angler going the opposite way on a state highway. CO Beelman followed the vehicle and contacted the angler after he pulled over at a gas station. The angler stated he was unaware that walleye season was currently closed and was currently in possession of his limit of five walleye. After further conversation, the angler realized he had never fished this early for walleye on Lake Charlevoix and had never looked at the season dates. The angler was ticketed for possessing walleye out of season and was able to release one of the walleye that was still alive. The other four walleye were donated to a local family.
CO Chad Baldwin responded to a call about a grass fire burning out of control on a dry and windy day. Multiple fire departments fought the fire and were able to get it under control after multiple acres had burned including neighboring property that was housing a communication tower. CO Baldwin interviewed the suspect who was burning papers, when an ember escaped his burn barrel and ignited the dry grass. No burn permits were being issued in Charlevoix County on the day the fire occurred. The individual was ticketed for failing to take precautions to prevent the escape of a fire.
CO Tom Oberg responded with the MSP and Otsego County Sheriff's Department to a call of an intoxicated armed subject threatening his girlfriend. The girlfriend was able to get away from him and make her way to a nearby road to call 911. Once on scene, a deputy was able to locate the subject driving in the middle of a farm field and was able to get him stopped and detained. CO Oberg and an MSP trooper interviewed the girlfriend who only had minor injuries. The suspect was taken into custody for driving under the influence along with other pending charges.
CO Tom Oberg was sitting stationary patrol off a closed trail to ORVs. Shortly after getting set up, CO Oberg noticed a dirt bike approaching him on the closed trail. CO Oberg made a traffic stop on the dirt bike. He explained to the rider he had just drove past a sign that stated, "No ORVs" after making contact. Upon checking the subject through Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), CO Oberg found the subject to have a felony warrant for dangerous drugs out of Otsego County. CO Oberg placed the subject in custody and transported him to the Otsego County jail.
CO Tom Oberg was sitting stationary patrol off a closed ORV trail in Otsego County near a main highway. CO Oberg heard a strange noise just up the road from him and shortly after, heard yelling. CO Oberg pulled out to the main highway and could now see a sport utility vehicle (SUV) flipped over onto its roof. CO Oberg rushed over to the accident and contacted the two occupants who were able to get themselves out of the vehicle and miraculously only appeared to have minor injuries. CO Oberg assessed both occupant's conditions which one was bleeding from a cut on his finger. CO Oberg provided first-aid, and the subject declined any further medical attention. The vehicle had lost its drive shaft, and both rear wheels came off the axle, causing the rollover accident CO Oberg took the accident report and remained on scene until the vehicle was removed from the roadway.
CO Tom Oberg responded to Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord to take an accident report for an ORV crash that occurred earlier in the day. When CO Oberg arrived, multiple nurses asked CO Oberg for his assistance regarding an intoxicated subject who became very disorderly and was throwing things at the nurses and doctors. CO Oberg went to the room the subject was in and was able to calm the subject down. The Gaylord Police Department officers arrived shortly after. CO Oberg then proceeded to go his original call regarding the ORV accident.
CO Jon Sklba was patrolling Presque Isle County when he noticed a vehicle parked in a remote area. Suspecting that the owner of the vehicle may be building a permanent blind on state land because of building material in the back of the pickup, CO Sklba decided to contact the subject. After parking the patrol truck, CO Sklba observed the subject exit the woods carrying an empty bait bag. CO Sklba inquired with the subject who admitted to placing bait at his hunting spot where he also failed to remove his stand. While talking with the subject, it was discovered that CO Sklba had been attempting to contact the same subject last fall at another heavily baited hunting spot that the subject admitted to baiting. A ticket was issued for the violations.
While on patrol in Alpena County, COs Jon Sheppard and Jessica Curtis responded to a 911 hang up and possible domestic violence situation. Central dispatch gave a suspect description and advised officers and the COs that he had left the scene. Acting on a tip, COs Sheppard and Curtis responded to a hunting camp in the area. The COs located the suspect at the camp and detained him for questioning. He was turned over to MSP for further investigation.
CO Jon Sheppard received a complaint in Alpena County that someone had demolished an old farmhouse and was burning the debris. CO Sheppard responded to the address and contacted the landowner who had a large fire burning. Upon inspection of the debris, it was to be processed lumber from the house that was recently demolished. CO Sheppard issued a ticket for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Paul Fox was on patrol when he received a Report all Poaching (RAP) complaint at the Cheboygan Dam. The complainant stated a subject captured a muskrat with a fishing net and stashed the animal in his vehicle. CO Fox advised local dispatch that he was responding but was out of position. A local Cheboygan City Police Department officer was available and responded to the parking lot where the subject was. A traffic stop was made as the subject was driving out of the parking lot. Upon investigation, the Cheboygan Police Department officer found the driver to be intoxicated. Additionally, the subject, while handling the live muskrat, received multiple bites from the rodent. EMS was requested to treat the bite wounds. CO Fox arrived and contacted the subject who admitted to taking the muskrat to release in his pond. CO Fox located the animal still alive and in the bed of the subject's truck. The muskrat was released back into the river unharmed. The subject, in addition to being arrested for operating while intoxicated, was issued a ticket for possess captive wildlife without a permit.
CO Paul Fox conducted a late-night patrol of the Trout River in Rogers City. CO Fox was targeting illegal fishing methods. However, during the patrol, CO Fox contacted subjects having a bonfire in the Herman Vogler Conservation Area, which is a local park. The subjects were there after the close of park hours, were intoxicated, using marijuana in public, and underage. The Rogers City Police Department arrived on scene to assist. A sober driver was contacted and arrived to transport the intoxicated subjects and tickets were issued for minor in possession (MIP) and marijuana violations. After the CO and officers cleared the above situation, they observed a flashlight across from the river. Being in the middle of the night, such activity was highly suspicious. CO Fox crept along the riverbank until he was within feet of the subjects. When it was obvious, they were not attempting to take fish, CO Fox announced himself. After the subjects caught their breath, the CO and officers identified the subjects and checked for any outstanding warrants. One of the subjects had an outstanding warrant. He was turned over to the local units for enforcement.
CO Sidney Collins reports an illegal bobcat case that resulted in a guilty verdict. The bobcat was taken out of season in Montmorency County. The subject caught the bobcat in a foothold trap while targeting coyote. The subject admitted to killing the bobcat before season after the bobcat was found in the subject's freezer. The subject paid $500 in restitution and lost their hunting privileges for one year.
CO Sidney Collins responded to assist Montmorency County deputies with a suicidal subject. The older gentleman was having some health issues and wanted to scare his daughter after an argument by putting knives up to his neck. CO Collins and deputies were able to calm the gentleman and get him in for a mental evaluation at a local hospital.
CO Sidney Collins responded to a 911 call of a drunken male walking in the road in Montmorency County. CO Collins was able to locate the subject on the side of the road hitchhiking. CO Collins talked the subject into going back into his home and taking a nap.
CO Sidney Collins was first on scene to a garage fire in Montmorency County. When CO Collins arrived, the garage was fully engulfed and was starting to melt siding on the house. CO Collins was able to assist the homeowners getting their pets out of the house and relocating them. CO Collins then evacuated other homes in the area as the fire was spreading into the woods and towards other homes. Thankfully, the fire department was able to stop the flames from spreading further and able to save most of the home. No injuries were reported.
CO Sidney Collins was just ending her shift in Montmorency County when she saw a person pop up in the bed of a pickup truck on a 65 miles per hour (mph) highway. CO Collins made a traffic stop on the vehicle. Once the vehicle was stopped, a woman and small child popped their heads up from the pickup truck bed. CO Collins asked the driver why the person and small child were not in the vehicle with seat belts on. The driver replied that they "were on two tracks just going for a ride". CO Collins explained the importance of seatbelts, especially with a child on a fast-moving highway. CO Collins told the driver anything could happen, a deer jumping in the way, a vehicle hitting them, etc. The driver was issued a ticket for failing to provide a seatbelt for a child.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a two-vehicle head-on crash on a back road in southern Montmorency County. Upon arriving, it was determined that both vehicles involved were traveling in the center of the roadway coming over a hill. CO Liestenfeltz monitored the injuries of one of the subjects who had a compound fracture above the ankle. Two subjects were transported to the hospital.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling the Lewiston area in Montmorency County when he observed a subject on a quad drift onto a public roadway into the oncoming lane of traffic. The subject then started to do a wheelie down the shoulder of the roadway. CO Liestenfeltz attempted to catch up to the ORV and then observed the operator cut across a gas station parking lot onto another roadway at a very high rate of speed. CO Liestenfeltz caught up to the ORV as it pulled into a driveway. Upon investigation, it was determined the operator of the ORV had a revoked driver's license. CO Liestenfeltz issued the operator a ticket for carless operation of an ORV and a warning for driving on a revoked license.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling the Atlanta area in Montmorency County when Montmorency County Dispatch put out a call about a domestic violence situation where a subject was destroying items in the home. CO Liestenfeltz responded to the area and assisted deputies from the Montmorency County Sheriff's Department with one of the subjects who had left the scene. It was determined that no assault had occurred and the whole situation will be a civil issue. The scene was cleared with no issues.
CO William Kinney received a complaint of a reckless motor vehicle in Grand Traverse County. It was stated by the complainant that the reckless vehicle intentionally drove off the roadway to hit a goose. The complainant had witnessed the vehicle drive off the roadway into the grass to hit the animal. Afterwards, the vehicle accelerated at high speed to leave the scene. CO Kinney is working with local businesses to obtain surveillance footage of the vehicle and incident. Anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to call the Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800
CO Justin Vanderlinde responded to a complaint of an angler illegally netting a pike out of the Boardman River at the Union Street Dam. On arrival at the dam, CO Vanderlinde learned that suspect had left. CO Vanderlinde worked the Union Street Dam the following day and was successful in locating the suspect. CO Vanderlinde interviewed the suspect obtaining a confession and recovered the pike from the suspects residence. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a subject fishing on a trout stream that is closed to fishing. CO Killingbeck contacted the subject who said he knew the stream was closed to possessing fish, but he thought he could still fish there if he released the fish he caught. The subject complained that every river and stream access points should have signs saying they are closed or open. CO Killingbeck explained how to look at trout maps and when trout season opens. A citation was issued for Fishing in a Closed Stream.
On Sunday morning, April 11, CO Scott MacNeill responded to a medical emergency of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at a shooting range on U.S. Forest Service land in Manistee County. MacNeill was the first responder on scene and located a man with a single .40 caliber wound to his thigh. The man had plugged the hole with his finger in an attempt to stop the bleeding. As CO MacNeill examined the wound, he realized that due to amount of blood that was pooled up in his leg, the bullet had struck an artery and the bullet had not exited. CO MacNeill immediately knew the wound was life threatening and quickly used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The man was transported to an emergency trauma unit for further emergency procedures.
CO Scott MacNeill assisted the Manistee County Sheriff's Office with a vehicle pursuit after a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The pursuit began near the City of Manistee and, during the chase, speeds upwards of 93 mph were met. Multiple other driving violations were observed. The vehicle pursuit proceeded into Wexford County. The suspect driving the vehicle surrendered after Wexford County deputies successfully deflated his tires, using stop sticks rendering the vehicle undrivable. The occupants of the vehicle were arrested without incident and processed at the Manistee County jail.
CO Tim Barboza received a complaint of people fishing a closed trout stream in White Cloud. CO Barboza patrolled to the area and located a couple fishing the stream. CO Barboza contacted the anglers and asked if they were familiar with the stream, they were fishing. They stated they were not, but saw people fishing it all the time. CO Barboza asked if they have ever looked through the fishing guides. The anglers stated they had one with them. CO Barboza checked their fishing licenses, then explained that the stream they were fishing was a Type 1 trout stream and was not open for any fishing until the last Saturday in April. CO Barboza cited one of the anglers for fishing the closed trout stream.
CO Tim Barboza responded to a complaint that there were anglers on Brooks Lake keeping walleye that had recently been stocked. CO Barboza watched the angler for a while, observed him catch a fish, and put it in the boat. CO Barboza located the suspect's truck and trailer at the launch and was waiting for him to come to shore when he saw the boat head to a residence across the lake. The angler got out of the boat with a bag of fish and walked up to the house. CO Barboza was able to identify which house and patrolled to the other side of the lake, contacted the suspect, and located the walleye in the bag. CO Barboza seized the fish and cited the man for taking walleye out of season.
CO Tim Barboza assisted a Grant City police officer being dispatched to an individual who was suffering an overdose. CO Barboza grabbed his medical gear and went to the residence where the overdose had taken place. CO Barboza and the Grant City officer entered the house and found the victim laying on the bathroom floor unresponsive with needles on the floor nearby. The officers administered Narcan, but the male was still unresponsive, with labored breathing. The officers gave a total of three doses of Narcan, and the victim regained consciousness. The victim received a total of seven doses of Narcan, four from his friend prior to the officers arriving on scene, and three from CO Barboza and the Grant City officer. The victim was loaded into an ambulance and transported to the hospital.
CO Josh Reed assisted the MSP and Mecosta County Sheriff's Office with the search for a male subject who threatened to go to a house and shoot his ex-girlfriend. An address was obtained, and CO Reed assisted the MSP with a search of the property and surrounding area. The subject was not located and believed to have left the area in a vehicle.
CO Micah Hintze observed three vehicles that had surpassed a federal forest road barrier and parked next to a closed trout stream. The group appeared to be camping, had fishing gear outside the vehicles, and three steelhead in the bed of a truck. As they readied to leave, CO Hintze contacted the group, who all denied fishing the closed waters. One of the men stated he was fishing a nearby open body of water and caught all three steelhead the night prior. A check of the man's license history showed he had not purchased a 2021 fishing license. A citation was issued for possessing fish without a valid license.
Sgt. Brian Olsen was checking a spawning closure on the Cut River in Roscommon County when he noticed an angler spearing fish in the river. Sgt. Olsen was able to get behind the angler without him noticing. The man was holding his spear up to show his girlfriend a fish he had just speared when Sgt. Olsen made contact. Sgt. Olsen educated the individual on the reason for the spawning closure and issued a citation for taking fish in a closed stream.
COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of three anglers fishing on a closed stream in Missaukee County. The COs patrolled to the area and located the anglers actively fishing on the Clam River. The anglers stated they were unaware that the stream was closed and that they were just learning how to fly fish. The COs educated the anglers on how to locate closed streams online and the importance of knowing the laws and where you are fishing. A citation was issued for fishing a closed trout stream.
CO Tyler Sabuda was patrolling after dark in Iosco County when he came across an individual trespassing while fishing. CO Sabuda conducted surveillance on the angler and saw him keep and hide two fish, which he could identify as walleye due to the fisherman's headlamp. CO Sabuda and Oscoda Township Officer Heath made a traffic stop on the suspect as he drove away. The individual immediately stated he had no walleye before CO Sabuda asked any questions. Officer Heath dealt with the driver being suspended while CO Sabuda located the fish stashed by the suspect. The individual was issued a citation for recreational trespass and taking walleye during the closed season. The assisting officer charged the individual for operating on a suspended license.
CO Tyler Sabuda was patrolling after dark in Iosco County when he observed some anglers fishing an area where walleye had been spawning. CO Sabuda observed the anglers for multiple hours when one of them finally landed a walleye. The individual quickly hid the fish while his friend went and checked if anyone else was around. The friend came back saying, "You're good, no one's here." The individual that caught the walleye grabbed a knife and went to the river and immediately started cleaning the fish. CO Sabuda went to contact the angler before they could throw the carcass in the river. CO Sabuda was very close to the angler before identifying himself. The angler thought it was his buddy messing with him and looked away laughing before going back to cleaning the fish. CO Sabuda identified himself again and the angler was extremely startled by the CO's presence next to him. The angler was cited for taking a walleye during the closed season.
While patrolling in the Rifle River Recreation Area in Ogemaw County, CO Kyle Bader contacted a group of individuals fishing in a closed stretch of the Rifle River. One angler was already putting a brown trout on a stringer. CO Bader asked them if they could identify the fish and they did correctly. The angler also said they just looked up the minimum size for brown trout and it was large enough to keep. Unfortunately, they did not bother to look at the season dates for Type 1 trout streams. The angler was cited for fishing in a closed trout stream.
CO Kyle Bader along with COs Brad Bellville and James Garret investigated a complaint of a turkey killed from a motor vehicle in Oscoda County. CO Bader responded to the complainant's residence and collected evidence and documented the scene. The complainant witnessed the suspects drive by with one of the individuals sitting on the tailgate of a truck and shoot a turkey. The complainant was able to obtain the license plate from the vehicle. Dispatchers in the DNR Law Enforcement Division's Report All Poaching dispatch center were able to work some magic with the license plate and provided the COs with a possible suspect address in Oscoda County. When the COs arrived at the address, the suspect vehicle was parked in the driveway. There were approximately seven men in a pole building swapping turkey stories. During the process of interviewing the men, an unrelated turkey was discovered in a vehicle as well as a large corn pile with turkey feathers in the front yard of the residence. Interviews and further investigation revealed that turkey was killed over bait and never tagged. One of the men confessed to shooting the turkey from the original complaint while sitting on the tailgate of his truck while his friend drove down the road past a flock of turkeys, just as the witness described. That turkey was recovered from a different residence in Oscoda County. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor's Office on the suspect who shot the turkey from the moving motor vehicle and the second suspect who shot the turkey over bait and failed to tag it.
Sgt. Robert Hobkirk responded to a RAP complaint of individuals fishing in the closed section of the Tittabawassee River near the Sanford Dam in Midland County. Two anglers were located under a bridge fishing the closed area of the river. A citation was issued to each angler for the violation. On the same day, Sgt. Hobkirk contacted an angler in Bay County who was in possession of a Northern pike. When contact was made, the angler stated that he had just caught a pike and was not sure if he could keep it or not. The angler was keeping the pike in the bed of his pick-up in a cooler with no ice or water. The angler was issued a citation for possession of the Northern pike during the closed season.
CO Mike Haas came across a gentleman in central Montcalm County that had a large fire in his backyard. At that time, many counties were under burn restrictions due to the dry weather. The CO also noticed that the fire appeared to contain items that should not have been burnt. CO Haas contacted the man at his fire who admitted to not knowing he wasn't supposed to be open burning. The man explained he had his own yard waste and home renovation business, and he was burning yard waste from his job sites along with furniture and other items he had been paid to dispose of. The man was issued a citation to address the various burning and disposal violations.
CO Travis Dragomer observed two anglers fishing upon a closed trout stream in Berrien County. CO Dragomer located a steelhead on a stringer that was unable to be revived. CO Dragomer issued a citation for illegally taking and possessing the steelhead upon a closed trout stream. CO Dragomer issued the other individual a citation for possessing a fishing rod upon a closed trout stream.
While patrolling on opening day of turkey season, CO Sam Schluckbier investigated a turkey blind and decoy set-up on a field edge. While checking the hunter's license and decoy set up, he found piles of bird seed underneath each decoy. The hunter admitted to placing it there a week prior though he knew it was illegal to bait turkeys. The hunt was terminated, and the hunter was issued a citation for hunting turkeys over bait.
The day before turkey season opened, COs BJ Goulette and Robert Slick received a call from the Report All Poaching hotline that a subject had just shot a turkey. They responded to the area, but the suspect had left the area when they arrived. The property owner identified a couple different people he had given permission to hunt on his property. The COs identified the hunter and contacted him. He admitted to killing the turkey and claimed he thought the season opened on April 15th. The subject claimed that he thought about calling to turn himself in when he saw the date on his tag said April 17th, the COs explained that it would be easier to believe his story if they had gotten a call from him instead of a witness.
CO BJ Goulette was almost at the end of his shift when he heard a dispatch from the county 911 regarding an erratic driver on a busy divided roadway. The driver had swerved, hit vehicles, and left the roadway into the median before stopping in a turnaround and losing consciousness. The subject was unresponsive when CO Goulette was the first to arrive on scene. The subject was slumped over with his foot on the brake of the vehicle still running and in drive. After failing to wake the subject up, CO Goulette feared that the subject's foot may come off the brake at any time and the vehicle would enter a very busy roadway. CO Goulette broke a window out of the locked vehicle in order to put the vehicle in park. After gaining entry and safely turning the vehicle off, the driver regained consciousness, but it was obvious he had experienced either a medical emergency or drug overdose. The subject was taken by EMS to a local hospital for testing and evaluation.
When CO BJ Goulette signed into service on the opening morning of turkey season, he noticed an unusual amount of 911 radio traffic. Nearby county deputies were attempting to locate suspects at-large from an attempted gun store break-in from the night before. CO Goulette responded and assisted with securing the area and locating the last of the six suspects involved with the break-ins.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Huron Manistee National Forest roads when she observed two dirt bikes operating towards her patrol truck. The bikes observed the truck and quickly turned around. CO Cullen followed the dirt bikes and observed them stop at a nearby parked truck and quickly jump off the ORVs. Upon CO Cullen's arrival, she observed one of the riders grab something and quickly throw it in the woods. Contact was made and CO Cullen directed the rider to grab the item, which was found to be a beer can. When asked why he threw the can, the rider said he "Got nervous". The same rider was found to have a suspended driver's license. Warnings were issued for operating a closed road, while citations were issued for littering and operating an ORV with a suspended driver's license.
COs Justin Ulberg and Casey Varriale responded to complaint of individuals possibly fishing a closed trout stream. COs Ulberg and Varriale responded to the area and located a vehicle and a tent set up next to the stream. It was discovered that the subjects inside the tent were not fishing, but rather partaking in the annual "Senior Skip Day" at the local high school. While talking to the subjects, COs Ulberg and Varriale noticed the smell of marijuana. After questioning the subjects, a small amount of marijuana was turned over and the violation was addressed. The two subjects were informed that they would have to vacate the area since they were camping on private property.
CO John Byars received a RAP complaint about someone trapping squirrels in Lansing. The suspects had trapped a squirrel and it had made its way into the backyard of the complainant. CO Byars contacted the complainant and was given a trapped squirrel and the trap. CO Byars contacted the suspects at their residence, and they stated it was an incidental catch while targeting red squirrels and ground hogs due to property damage. The suspect had a valid hunting license and CO Byars educated him on alternate methods. The suspect decided to change to live traps in case of future incidental catches.
CO Pete Purdy was first on scene to a 911 call of a subject walking in the roadway blocking traffic. CO Purdy arrived on scene and used his patrol vehicle with emergency lights to block the road and prevent the subject and himself from being struck. The subject was incoherent and would not speak to CO Purdy. The individual was turned over to Brighton City Police Department and Livingston County EMS.
CO Larn R. Strawn received an anonymous RAP complaint of subjects killing a goose out of season. CO Strawn investigated and located fresh foot tracks leading to a hunting blind in a field. CO Strawn confirmed that indeed an animal seemed to have been shot in the area and developed the possible suspects by matching complaint information, location data from OnX Hunt, and county land records. CO Strawn interviewed three subjects who ultimately admitted to shooting a goose with a .22 caliber rifle and tossing it into a swamp. CO Strawn located and recovered the dead goose, the firearm, and additional evidence. CO Strawn is seeking a warrant for the offense.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of two deer carcasses, with their heads cut off, that were dumped in the middle of a field. CO Strawn responded and located the deer and discovered drag marks, hair, and foot tracks leading to the back yard of a nearby residence. In the backyard, CO Strawn discovered deer heads and signs that the deer had been there for quite some time. CO Strawn interviewed the homeowner and determined the deer were shot lawfully during the previous hunting season. The deer carcasses were dragged into the field because of the overwhelming smell. The homeowner was issued a warning for littering and collected the carcasses and returned them to his yard.
CO Nick Wellman located several baited turkey hunting spots over the last month prior to turkey season starting. On opening day of turkey season, CO Wellman was assisted by CO Jason McCullough on a baited area in southern Calhoun County. CO Wellman went in early to observe and two hunters arrived to hunt two separate spots, both baited with corn. CO Wellman observed both for a short time and then went to each blind and made contact. The hunters were husband and wife. The husband had been the one baiting the area and was charged with hunting turkey over bait and ordered to clean up the corn.
CO Nick Wellman had a location in Branch County he had been observing since October of 2020 for baiting activity based on complaints from a local resident. Just prior to turkey season, CO Wellman was able to locate two baited tower blinds on the property. On opening morning, COs Wellman and Jason McCullough headed south to contact the hunters hunting the baited blinds. Upon arrival, a truck was found parked at the entrance to the property. CO Wellman went into the property where he was able to contact the hunters. One was hunting over bait but otherwise legal. CO Wellman located the second hunter as he was climbing down from his tower blind. CO Wellman found a large male turkey buried in leaves near the blind, still untagged even though the bird was killed over an hour earlier. In addition, the man killed the turkey as it was standing in a pile of cracked corn and was still hunting with a loaded firearm in his blind as CO Wellman approached. The man admitted to baiting this property and hunting turkeys over it for several years prior. The man also admitted that he was going to shoot a second turkey over the bait if the opportunity presented itself. The first man was charged with hunting turkey over bait, and the second man was charged with taking a turkey over bait, failing to immediately validate/attach a kill tag, and will be charged for the illegal turkey. The turkey was seized and donated to a local, less fortunate family.
CO Nick Wellman was just finishing an interview for a background investigation when he was sent to a car versus pedestrian accident nearby. CO Wellman arrived with MSP troopers along with fire and EMS personnel. A vehicle traveling southbound struck a female bicyclist traveling in the same direction. The female bicyclist was pronounced deceased upon arrival of all personnel. CO Wellman assisted the MSP with securing the scene, evidence collection, accident reconstruction/photography, and helping Branch County Victim Services with speaking to several family members of the deceased female who arrived on scene. The accident is currently under investigation.
CO Danielle Zubek received a complaint for people fishing in the Huron River during the closure. Upon arrival, CO Zubek witnessed four anglers fishing in the river and catching several trout. CO Zubek contacted the anglers, explained the closure on the river, and issued citations for attempting to take trout out of season.
CO Joseph Deppen contacted a local landowner regarding an ORV complaint from the previous year. The operators of the ORVs were unknown, but the landowner had photos and videos of the operators and their ORVs tearing up her property. CO Deppen compared the ORVs and the operators and they were the same persons who were tearing up state land. The landowner still wanted to press charges now that perpetrators have been identified. After the prosecutor's office reviewed the footage and case report, CO Joseph Deppen was approved on a two-count warrant for ORV trespass and riding double.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking local launches in the early morning. Two anglers came into the launch with one walleye and no PFDs. A citation was issued for fail to provide enough PFDs for everyone aboard.
CO Joseph Deppen was headed home and was slowing down to a red light. A vehicle passed CO Deppen in the bicycle lane and blew through two red lights at high speed. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was written a citation for driving while license suspended. The passenger, a licensed driver switched places and the vehicle cleared the scene.
CO Joseph Deppen was finishing patrol and headed home on I 94. He was passed by a vehicle on the right shoulder at a high rate of speed. The driver was clocked at 105 mph. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver admitted to speeding all the time and that he would just pay it. When CO Deppen issued the citation for 105 mph in a 70-mph zone, the driver demanded to know the price. CO Deppen told him it was up to the court and to contact them within ten days. The driver became upset and said, "All the real cops can tell me how much the ticket is, I am going to fight this. There is no price on it!" The driver was released, and CO Deppen cleared the scene.
CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of an angler possibly keeping bass out of season at a local fishing spot. CO Deppen made the location and found a suspect matching the description in the complaint. CO Deppen observed the angler pick up a large stringer containing Smallmouth bass and place it in his bucket in his wagon. CO Deppen contacted the angler as he was exiting the area. The angler had seven Smallmouth bass in his bucket. The angler was issued citations for possession of Smallmouth bass during the closed season and possession of an over-limit of smallmouth bass. A verbal warning was given for possession of a Smallmouth bass less than 14 inches. The fish were weighed, and restitution will be sought for all the fish caught out of season.
CO Joseph Deppen was working a marine patrol and saw a vessel far out on Lake St. Clair. CO Deppen approached and noticed it was a small inflatable dingy occupied by two anglers. The boat was unregistered, and one occupant did not have a PFD. A verbal warning was given for the unregistered vessel, but the angler was cited for fail to provide enough PFDs for everyone aboard.
CO Joseph Deppen was working Marine/Aquatic Invasive Species patrol in Macomb County. CO Deppen watched two anglers using invasive species as bait. CO Deppen approached the anglers and one angler saw CO Deppen coming. He signaled to the other angler, and he cut his fishing line. CO Deppen asked why he cut the fishing line and the angler said it accidentally broke. CO Deppen grabbed the anglers other rod and using a lure, CO Deppen snagged the cut line as it was drifting away. CO Deppen pulled in the line, bobber, and live goby that was hooked through the bottom lip, still very alive. CO Deppen had both anglers reel in all their lines. There were live gobies on two of the five lines left in the water. CO Deppen issued citations for use/possess live aquatic invasive species and issued the second angler a citation for littering for cutting his line.
CO Ben Lasher contacted four people in the Port Huron Game Area after hearing them talking about rolling a "blunt" marijuana cigarette. As CO Lasher approached the group, he used his flashlight to get a better look at the subject trying to roll the cigarette on top of a hard sided gun case. The subject also had a holstered handgun and another handgun laying on a log next to him. An unloaded shotgun was in the gun case. The cups they had used as targets were still hanging in branches, no back stop, and no brass was collected until CO Lasher asked to see what they had picked up. A warrant is being sought for violations of the suspect CPL license, use of marijuana in public and warnings given for the littering, failing to pick up targets, and brass.
CO Jaime Salisbury was patrolling for ORV activity when he noticed a vehicle pulling a trailer drive through a red light. CO Salisbury conducted a traffic stop and was told by the driver "I knew the light was red, but I'm having car trouble, so I didn't want to stop." CO Salisbury told the driver if they were having trouble, they shouldn't be driving and putting others at risk. A citation for running the red light was issued.
CO Mike Drexler was patrolling in Dexter Township when the vehicle in front of him passed another vehicle in a double yellow, no passing zone. CO Drexler conducted a traffic stop and learned the driver had a suspended license. The driver also had several outstanding warrants. A citation was issued for the traffic violations and the subject was advised and released on his warrants.
While patrolling to his residence, in Monroe County, CO Brandon Vacek observed a dirt bike pass him going the opposite direction on a public road. The driver had no helmet and was observed trespassing through a farm field before returning to the roadway. The CO quickly flipped around and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver stated he had just performed some mechanical work on the bike and was testing it out. The CO advised the driver of the numerous violations observed and was provided an opportunity to find alternate transportation home for himself and the bike. The CO issued a citation for failure to register an ORV. The driver was given a verbal warning for operating without a helmet, operating on a public roadway, and ORV trespass.
CO Andrew Monnich was checking anglers on Loch Erin when he came across a group of anglers who claimed to have not caught any fish due to the weather. While checking one of the anglers, CO Monnich noticed a bucket sitting on the opposite shoreline, when asked the fisherman stated that they had a bass in the bucket but planned to let it go. CO Monnich checked the bucket and located an undersized bass that had been gilled to keep. The angler stated they were going to let it go but forgot. A ticket was issued for keeping a bass out of season and warnings were given for undersized and not having a fishing license on person while fishing.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Pointe Mouillee SGA when he observed an individual quickly set a rope down and pick up a fishing pole along one of the inland canals along Roberts Road. CO Ingersoll approached the subject and asked if he was having any luck, and the angler stated that he was not. CO Ingersoll asked if the rope was his stringer, and the angler stated that the rope was not his and he did not know what it was. CO Ingersoll pulled the rope in, and it was determined that it was a cast net with two undersized Largemouth bass entangled in the net. CO Ingersoll advised the angler that he watched him pulling in the net while driving down the road, and the angler admitted to lying to CO Ingersoll and stated that the net was his. CO Ingersoll measured the two Largemouth bass; both were determined to be undersize and taken out of season. CO Ingersoll also advised the angler that he was also using a cast net illegally and was not allowed to use it in the canals where he was fishing. CO Ingersoll seized the anglers cast net and charged the angler for taking Largemouth bass closed season, possessing undersized largemouth bass, and for taking fish with an illegal method.
While checking vessels at Sterling State Park CO Nicholas Ingersoll witnessed a vessel complete two circles near one of the docks at slow no wake and then collided with the dock with the side of his vessel. CO Ingersoll contacted the single occupant in the boat and observed him stumbling around his boat, having a hard time getting his boat secured to the dock. CO Ingersoll spoke with the driver who had slurred speech, and CO Ingersoll could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his breath. CO Ingersoll asked the driver if he had had anything to drink, and the driver stated that he had. He insisted though that he was good to drive and was going to go sleep in the campground for the night. CO Ingersoll conducted field sobriety tests on the driver at the launch, and the driver failed his sobriety tests (SFSTs). CO Ingersoll arrested the driver for boating under the influence. The driver refused to take a preliminary breath test and was cited. The driver of the vessel also refused his chemical test rights and thought since he refused those test that he would not go to jail. CO Ingersoll educated the driver and advised him he was still going to jail, and CO Ingersoll was going to obtain a search warrant for his blood. After a search warrant was obtained and the driver's blood was drawn, the driver was lodged in the Monroe County jail to sober up for the night.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Dan Walzak was passed by a vehicle moving at a significantly faster speed than everyone else. Catching up to the vehicle, which was travelling at almost twice the speed limit, CO Walzak stopped the vehicle, contacted the driver, and asked why she was driving so fast. Answering as if it was common knowledge, the driver responded, "I just got out of work." CO Walzak issued a citation to the driver for speeding.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Dan Walzak observed a vehicle travelling faster than other traffic. As CO Walzak caught up to the vehicle, he observed the vehicle following another very closely and slightly weaving in the lane. Upon stopping the vehicle and making contact, it was found that the female operator knew the driver of the vehicle she was following, and she stated that they were "just fooling around." CO Walzak advised the operator of her speed and manner of driving and requested to see her driver's license and paperwork for the vehicle. The subject told CO Walzak that she had left her driver's license at home and had to provide verbal information as to her identity. Taking that information, CO Walzak checked the subject through the LEIN system and found that she had a warrant out of another local jurisdiction. The warrant was confirmed and found to be valid, a citation was issued for driving without a driver's license on her and the subject posted $250 on the warrant.
Patrolling Belle Isle, COs Ariel Young and Tom Peterson observed a group of park goers that looked suspiciously set on attempting to access the old zoo which is closed and posted no trespassing. After observing the group from a distance, the COs made their way into the zoo and located two different groups of people attempting to look around the area. The COs escorted the groups out of the zoo where everyone was issued a citation for entering the property when it was posted against with trespassing warnings.
Cpl. Mike Hammill and CO Steve Butzin witnessed 3 fishermen on the Ford river casting jigs and stick baits for Walleyes. The anglers caught and kept 5 out-of-season Walleyes. The anglers claimed to not know what type of fish they were or when the season opens.
Cpl. Mike Hammill checked several perch anglers doing well in the narrows in Gladstone. Cpl. Hammill checked one vessel that was 2 perch over limit, a VW was issued.
Cpl.'s Brett DeLonge and Marvin Gerlach patrolled Marquette and Alger county access sites for AIS enforcement/education. The officers also delivered commercial fishing net tags to a state fisher in Munising.
Cpl. Marvin Gerlach conducted an AIS patrol of Menominee and Delta county access sites. Numerous anglers were contacted, and all were complying.
Lt. Terry Short participated in a live radio interview discussing commercial fishing nets, the potential hazards of boating and fishing near nets, the types of net markings, and how to avoid net entanglements.
Cpl. Kevin Postma received and assembled the cable management system for the unit's side scan sonar systems. 200 meters of tether was also spooled onto the reel, increasing the unit's operating depths to 200-250' vs. the 50-70' it was limited to prior to this upgrade.
Detective Zellinger reports a 66-year-old Cass County man pled guilty to a violation of Part 121 (Liquid Industrial By-Products) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act on 4/15/2021. The man served as the wastewater operator for a mobile home park from 2014 to 2018 without the required wastewater operator certification. Without a certified operator in place the mobile home park's permit exemption for discharging wastewater to waters of the state no longer applied. The man discharged wastewater to waters of the state on multiple occasions during the time frame he did not hold the proper certification. The discharge events resulted in violations of Part 121 for improperly managing Liquid Industrial By-Product. The Cass County man paid a total of $700 in fines and costs to the 4th District Court in Cass County.