Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Cody Smith received a complaint of an individual tracking a wounded deer on private property. A vehicle description and license plate were given by the complainant and the plate returned to a suspect in L’Anse. Both CO Smith and CO Dave Miller headed toward the suspect’s residence. CO Miller located the vehicle on the road and made a traffic stop on the suspect. CO Smith arrived moments later. An untagged buck was located in the bed of the vehicle as well as a loaded and uncased firearm in the passenger seat of the truck. The subject did not possess a valid deer license. The deer was seized, and the subject received tickets for the illegal deer and the loaded/uncased firearm.
CO Josh Boudreaux was following up on a trap theft complaint when he observed four vehicles pull into a remote area north of Ishpeming and extinguish their headlights. CO Boudreaux crept through the darkness up to the vehicles and observed seven occupants smoking marijuana in the vehicles. CO Boudreaux contacted the group and discovered them to all be underage and in possession of a firearm. CO Boudreaux contacted their parents to come pick up their kids and explained to the kids what would have happened if they had driven away under the influence of marijuana. A citation was issued for Minor in Possession (MIP) marijuana and the firearm was turned over to the parent of the gun owner.
COs Jenni Hanson, Zach Painter, and Corporal (Cpl.) Dave Painter were part of a multi-agency search for a fleeing felon on foot into the Ottawa National Forest. The call originated in Ashland, Wisconsin, when three juveniles stole a vehicle, leading a high-speed pursuit through five towns and two states. The COs played a pivotal role in apprehending all three suspects and taking them into custody. Agencies involved from Wisconsin: Iron County Sheriff’s Office and the Hurley Police Department, and Michigan agencies involved were Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police (MSP), and the US Forest Service.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and conducted a processor inspection. CO Painter located an 8-point buck with a tag from Ontario, Canada. CO Painter contacted the individual who had harvested the deer and confirmed that he had shot the deer in Canada and transported the entire carcass back to Michigan. CO Painter issued a citation for possessing a deer carcass from out of state and seized the deer.
CO Zach Painter responded to a suicidal female subject walking down US 2 in Gogebic County. The subject had gotten into an argument and left on foot stating that she was going to jump in front of traffic. CO painter arrived on scene and calmed the subject down until MSP arrived and assisted in getting her the help that she needed.
While returning from addressing a complaint on Commercial Forest Land (CFL) property, CO Anna Viau responded to a nearby traffic accident on a busy road. As the closest officer, CO Viau was the first on scene. After ensuring that each person involved was in stable condition, CO Viau assisted with the clearing of the scene and traffic control.
Cpl. Dave Painter had received a complaint of a hunter who had taken a 10-pointer in 2018 but had never purchased a license. The complainant also stated the other people the man hunted with may not have purchased licenses. Cpl. Painter, Lieutenant (Lt.) Jason Wicklund, and CO Anna Viau patrolled the location where the group hunts and contacted several hunters at once. Two hunters were cited for hunting without a license, including the one who had shot the 10-pointer last year. Charges will be filed with the Iron County prosecutor for the illegal deer in 2018. Several verbal warnings were also issued, including failure to wear hunter orange and fail to carry hunting license.
Sgt. Brian Bacon received a complaint about a group of hunters camping on state land in Dickinson County who were riding around with uncased guns on ORVs and some who may not have had hunting licenses. Sgt. Bacon and CO Anna Viau approached the camp at the end of shooting hours one day during rifle season. As the COs were walking in, Sgt. Bacon checked the deer hanging in camp while CO Viau waited for an individual walking back to camp through the woods. As the individual walked out of the trail through the woods carrying a rifle, he noticed the CO and turned around and leaned the rifle against a tree. CO Viau greeted the man and asked about the rifle. The man said, “I don’t have a rifle, I was just going for a walk in the woods.” CO Viau told the man she had observed him lean the rifle against the tree. After further discussion, CO Viau determined the man’s hunting privileges were revoked due to a turkey poaching case earlier in 2019. Earlier in the day, the man had been in the blind with his grandson, who had been hunting, but then had spent two and a half hours in the blind with the loaded rifle after his grandson had returned to camp. The man continued to deny any wrongdoing and, once the COs advised him of the consequences of the violation, become very agitated. The COs cited the man for hunting while license revoked. The case is being reviewed1 by the Dickinson County prosecutor. After citing the man described above, the COs remained at the camp to wait for the few hunters that were still out in the woods. After some time, two ORVs returned to camp. One of the four-wheelers had two riders (and was only designed for one) and was dragging a deer: both carrying uncased and loaded rifles, neither wearing helmets, there was no ORV sticker on the ORV, and they drove across a wetland to get back to camp. Both men were cited for carrying loaded and uncased firearms on the ORV and received warnings for all of the other violations. Fortunately, the deer itself was legal and tagged properly.
Near the end of legal shooting hours, Lt. Ryan Aho and CO Ariel Young located a camp where a couple of ORVs were returning. Lt. Aho and CO Young were able to contact the hunters upon their return. The first hunter was not wearing a helmet on his 4-wheeler and was riding an unregistered ORV. The second hunter was not wearing his seatbelt and was driving with a loaded firearm. Enforcement action was taken, and citations were issued for failure to register ORV and for a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
Cpl. Mike Hammill and CO Mark Zitnik were working a complaint in Stonington that Cpl. Hammill received several weeks prior. A Wisconsin man has been coming up for the last ten years hunting and shooting several deer a year without a license. Once at the camp, Cpl. Hammill went on foot to locate the hunter and CO Zitnik went to the cabin to speak with the girlfriend. Several minutes later, Cpl. Hammill located the rifle hunter without a license and obtained a full confession for shooting a 6-point buck with his crossbow and putting his girlfriend’s tag on it. Further questioning resulted in a confession of a doe the hunter had shot the year prior without a license. The rifle, crossbow and meat were seized, and a report is being sent to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Steve Butzin was following up on a complaint when Delta County Central Dispatch put out a call of a serious two-car accident not far from his location. CO Butzin responded to the location and was met by medical first responders, MSP, and Hannahville officers. While medical first responders were tending to the occupants in the two vehicles, CO Butzin assisted in providing GPS coordinates and helping clear a landing zone on the highway for one occupant to be transported to the hospital via helicopter. The incident is being investigated by the MSP.
COs Breanna Reed and Stephen Butzin were patrolling northern Delta County when they saw an individual walking down the road with a rifle. The COs contacted him and had asked if he had any luck. The hunter stated that he had been out walking the federal land in hopes to kick up a deer and get a shot at it. CO Butzin had asked the hunter to see his hunting licenses; at this time, it was determined that the hunter was 16- years old. The COs asked if he had anyone hunting with him. The hunter stated that his dad is back on the camp property. The COs informed the youth hunter that he had to have someone who is 18 years or older hunting with him until he turned 17. The COs followed the youth back to his camp to contact his father. The hunter’s father understood that his son could not be hunting without his supervision. A citation was issued to the father for allowing minor to hunt unsupervised.
CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when a call came out for a vehicle that rolled over and the driver was trapped inside. CO Lynch was the first on scene of the accident. The truck was tipped on its passenger side with the driver still strapped into the driver’s seat. The driver had severe head bleeding as well as neck and back pain. CO Lynch called for a helicopter to transport the subject to a hospital and for the jaws of life. CO Lynch rendered aid to the subject’s head to control the bleeding and then reached through the front windshield of the truck to hold c-spine to prevent further spinal injury. The subject had to be held for over 30 minutes while emergency personal used the jaws of life to extract the subject from the vehicle. The subject was eventually successfully removed from the vehicle and airlifted to the hospital. The subject sustained a fractured vertebra in his neck and lacerations to his head from the crash. Medical personnel later stated, if it weren’t for the driver being properly stabilized while trapped in the vehicle, he likely would be paralyzed.
COs Andrea Dani and Mark Zitnik approached a vehicle along a two-track in a known hunting location. During the investigation, the COs noticed blood on the tailgate of the pickup that led to a deer blind. After following the blood and interviewing all parties involved, it was determined that two of the hunters used another’s tag including a subject that had died two weeks prior. Citations were issued to both hunters for using tags of another. The COs warned the subjects about immediately tagging their deer with their own kill-tag upon taking possession of the deer, having their kill-tags in their possession while hunting, and warned the first female subject about forgery laws.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten checked on a local buck pole where they found two suspicious deer with tags bought later that same day. By using time of death calculations, they determined that both the deer were likely killed much earlier than the tags were purchased. The COs contacted the individuals involved and interviewed them about the deer. Both subjects admitted to shooting the deer before they had purchased their deer license. One of the bucks was shot at 6:05 AM, nearly an hour before legal shooting hours. The other deer was shot prior to the subject purchasing a valid hunting license. Reports were completed on both deer and are awaiting review from the Luce County prosecutor.
CO Colton Gelinas received a call from CO Katie Stawara in reference to an illegal deer killed in Shiawassee County; however, the suspect resides in Mackinac County. CO Gelinas contacted the suspect who stated that he shot a big 6-point in Shiawassee. When confronted about buying a license after killing the deer, the suspect confessed. CO Gelinas advised CO Stawara of the confession and charges are being sought in Shiawassee County.
CO Colton Gelinas was on patrol on opening day of deer season in Mackinac County when he observed illegal ORV tracks going into a closed area. CO Gelinas contacted the hunter who stated that he did not know he was not allowed to operate an ORV in that area. The hunter also did not have a case for his gun or any hunter orange. CO Gelinas issued a citation for the safety violation for not wearing hunter orange.
CO Mike Olesen and Cpl. Kevin Postma contacted multiple hunters and hunting camps around the Hiawatha National Forest in Chippewa County. During the patrol, the COs responded to a call of a deer being shot on private property. Upon arrival it was discovered that an individual had been road hunting and shot a deer on private property. An investigation and interviews were performed, and it was determined that the deer was taken illegally. COs seized the deer and the rifle used by the suspect and a report is being submitted to the Chippewa County prosecutor for review.
CO Andrea Albert checked tags on bucks at the Mancelona buck pole. CO Albert noticed a discrepancy as one of the tags had been purchased just before the buck was brought to the buck pole. COs Albert and Andrea Erratt interviewed the hunter the next morning. He told the COs he had shot the buck first thing in the morning and showed them a picture of the buck on his cell phone. The buck was photographed before he purchased his deer license. The hunter said he unexpectantly got the day off work and admitted he shot the buck opening morning before he purchased his license. CO Erratt will be seeking charges from the Antrim County Prosecutor’s Office for hunting and taking deer without a license.
CO Andrea Albert received a complaint of a dead spike horn buck found on private property. Due to antler point restrictions (APRs) in Antrim County and the surrounding 12 counties, antlered deer must have at least three points on one side that are one inch in length. CO Albert tracked the deer’s blood trail in the snow back to a pop-up blind on the neighboring property. During the follow-up investigation, CO Albert was able to identify who had shot the deer the night before. The hunter believed he was shooting at a 6-point, but after showing him the spike deer and advising the blood trail went right back to his field and blind, he took responsibility for shooting the spike deer. Charges were sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.
COs Andrea Albert and Andrea Erratt conducted a traffic stop on a slow-rolling vehicle in a remote part of Antrim County. CO Albert had run the plate prior to the stop, which came back without insurance. The driver said he was deer hunting and when asked, he admitted to having a loaded rifle in his vehicle. Tickets were issued for possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle and for no insurance.
COs Andrea Albert and Andrea Erratt conducted a stop on a side-by-side ATV on state land. The subjects were just leaving their stand after the evening hunt on opening day of the firearm deer season. The operator did not have a current ORV license and his rifle was still loaded and was not in a case. The hunter at first claimed he did not unload his gun because his hunting partner was cold, and he wanted to get back to camp quickly. Later on, the hunter explained that he did this all of the time. A ticket was issued for no ORV license and for possessing a loaded uncased firearm on an ORV.
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling Charlevoix County when he walked into the location of a ground blind that had been baited the week before. When CO Mapes walked over a ridge, he observed a man shaking out a bag of apples in front of the ground blind. Upon contact the man stated that he didn’t have a gun at the time so therefore the CO couldn’t write him a bait ticket. CO Mapes asked if the apples were for the deer and the man stated that they were. CO Mapes issued the subject a ticket for illegally feeding deer.
COs Chad Baldwin and Ethen Mapes responded to a self-reporting subject who stated that he had shot a large spike on accident. When the COs arrived, they found the spike, which was an APR violation in Charlevoix County. Along with the spike, there was a gutted doe tagged with a Barry County antlerless tag. The subject stated that he was gutting the doe when he looked up and saw antlers, so he took a shot. The subject’s deer were taken, and the man was issued a ticket for possessing a doe without a valid license.
CO Mapes made a traffic stop near Vanderbilt on a vehicle with tinted windows and no trailer plate. The stop produced a 9-point buck that was shot by the father and tagged with his son’s tag who didn’t come hunting. The stop also produced two loaded handguns in the center console. No one in the truck had a valid concealed pistol license (CPL) to carry the pistols loaded and uncased. Tickets given were having loaded and uncased firearms in a motor vehicle and possessing a deer without a valid kill-tag.
CO Chad Baldwin was first on scene for a two-car rollover accident during the area’s first significant snowstorm of the season. CO Baldwin was able to get all victims out of their vehicles and no injuries were reported. There were three separate accidents in a one mile stretch of road due to the deteriorating conditions. CO Baldwin remained on scene to control traffic until the scene was cleaned up and safe.
CO Chad Baldwin was travelling on I-75 in Bay County when a traffic accident occurred a short distance in front of him. CO Baldwin shut down traffic in one lane to attend to a vehicle that had multiple bystanders frantically running around. They told CO Baldwin that the occupant was having a diabetic medical emergency. CO Baldwin relayed all pertinent information to the 911 dispatcher and proceeded to administer first aid to the driver. The driver did not have medication but had some juice in the car which helped the driver’s sugar levels begin to stabilize. Ensuring the diabetic driver was beginning to recover, CO Baldwin attended to the second vehicle involved in the accident which consisted of an elderly couple. The female passenger was having difficulty breathing. CO Baldwin determined that she was in shock from what had just happened, so he talked with her, calmed her down, and helped regulate her breathing until she felt better while waiting until medical personnel and additional law enforcement units arrived.
CO Adam LeClerc and Sgt. William Webster were patrolling on foot in northern Emmett County checking hunters in the field. CO LeClerc had located three baited blinds about one mile in on state land the day before the season. The COs located two hunters in a pop-up blind and, when asked if they had bait out, they both said no. About 50 yards in front of them was corn and apples along with blue jays darting up and down gathering the corn. When CO LeClerc pointed out the obvious, the two hunters admitted they should have known. Both hunters were issued tickets for hunting over bait.
While working illegal baits and blinds in Emmet County, CO Duane Budreau contacted a subject hunting from a permanent blind on state land. The blind had been left out all year. CO Budreau recognized the individual as someone he had ticketed for the same violation several years ago. The hunter acted as if he did not know the blinds could not be left out on state land throughout the year. CO Budreau reminded the hunter of their previous encounter for the same violation. The hunter then admitted guilt and took responsibility for his actions. The hunter was ticketed for hunting from an illegal blind.
COs Tom Oberg and Kyle Cherry were on patrol when they spotted a vehicle shining in Otsego County. CO Oberg initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon contact with the occupants, CO Oberg noticed a deer that did not have a kill-tag attached to it. The COs advised the subjects that it was illegal to be shining in November and advised the subject who shot the deer that the tag needed to be immediately attached after the kill. The subject who shot the deer was issued a ticket for not immediately attaching a kill-tag to the deer.
CO Tom Oberg assisted Sgt. Mark DePew on a traffic stop on I-75 in Otsego County. The driver of the vehicle was hauling two deer that he had shot in the Upper Peninsula. Upon inspection, it was found that one of the deer did not meet the APR and the tag attached was not validated. The deer was seized, and the subject was issued a ticket for not immediately validating the deer kill-tag.
Sgt. Mark DePew, COs Kyle Cherry, and Tom Oberg along with assistance from an Otsego County deputy and a MSP trooper responded to a report of four men who were observed dragging a deer from a nature preserve that prohibits hunting and placing the deer into the bed of a truck and fleeing the area. In addition to witnessing the offense, the witness was able to obtain a license plate of the suspect’s vehicle that was crucial to the investigation. The COs responded to the residence where the vehicle was registered and conducted interviews. It was determined that one of the men, a felon, had shot the deer, a large 8-point, from the vehicle and left the scene. Several hours later, he returned with three subjects and retrieved the deer. The felon was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and lodged at Otsego County Jail. Additional charges are being sought against the felon and the three other men involved in the incident through the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Eric Bottorff checked a crossbow hunter in Cheboygan County the evening before the firearm opener. The middle-aged hunter provided a kill-tag with a 1935 date of birth on it. After a short interview, it was determined that the hunter had taken a tag from a relative because he had “spent too much money” on the way up north and could not afford the out-of-state hunting license until the next day. A ticket was issued.
Sgt. Mark DePew contacted a deer hunter hunting in Otsego County. Upon contact, the Sgt. noticed a large-capacity magazine located in the gun. Eighteen rounds of ammunition were recovered from the magazine. The legal limit allows six rounds of ammunition in a semi-automatic rifle. A ticket was issued.
CO Jon Sheppard was patrolling the Devils Lake area of Alpena County when he heard a car horn in the distance. As CO Sheppard got closer, he realized that the car was blasting the horn in bursts of three which is a distress signal. CO Sheppard found the car and contacted the driver who said that his hunting partner was lost, and his cell phone was not working. CO Sheppard had the driver take him to the ground blind where the lost hunter was last seen. CO Sheppard was able to track footprints in the snow as well as deer blood. After approximately an hour of tracking through thick woods, the partner received a phone call from his lost friend who had made it to Spruce Road. Knowing that Spruce Road was further than where he parked his patrol vehicle, CO Sheppard turned back and met with the hunter at camp. He was uninjured and was unable to locate the deer.
CO Jessie Curtis was on a nighttime patrol in Montmorency County when a vehicle did not turn off its bright lights. Upon contacting the subject, the driver was a 13-year old driving his intoxicated father home with other children in the vehicle. The other children’s parents were called, and they were picked up. The vehicle was towed, and the subject received a ticket for allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a vehicle on the roadway.
CO Jessie Curtis was on patrol in Alpena County when a group of ORVs started toward her on a road in Ossineke Township. The operator of the first ORV had no helmet on and no ORV license. The passengers of the side-by-side had no seatbelts on and no ORV license either. During the contact, the subjects mentioned that they had shot several deer that morning. Upon returning to their camp, CO Curtis asked to look at the deer. The one subject stated that they were in the barn and yelled to another subject to go tag his deer that he shot five hours ago. The subjects were also feeding the deer pumpkins behind the camp and had bait at their blinds. Charges have been requested.
COs Paul Fox and Jon Sklba investigated a baiting complaint near Millersburg in Presque Isle County. The COs were able to locate multiple hunters who were hunting in large tower blinds hidden in wildlife openings. Large amounts of bait were located at each site. In addition, two deer were located at camp that were suspiciously tagged. Upon investigation, it was found that two bucks had been shot without licenses. The responsible parties confessed to shooting the deer without licenses, then buying licenses after the fact. Tag lending and borrowing also occurred. Two deer were seized, and a report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.
CO Jon Sklba was able to resolve a hunter conflict in Presque Isle County. A hunter shot a deer on state land and it went onto private property. The private landowner did not want the hunter to recover the deer. CO Sklba arrived and separated the parties and then listened to both sides of the story. CO Sklba was able to get the landowner to agree that the hunter should have the deer. The CO and the landowners went to recover the deer from the private property where the landowners ended up dragging the deer back to the CO’s truck so it could be given to the hunter. The CO thanked the landowners and returned the deer to an appreciative hunter. The hunter thanked the CO.
COs Jon Sklba and Paul Fox assisted the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department with a shot fired complaint well before first light on opening day of firearm season. The sheriff’s department was able to contact a subject at the location of the shots fired complaint a couple hours after the original complaint. The subject was found to be recovering a still alive deer. Upon arrival, the subject attempted to flee into the night when confronted by the deputy by driving off in his truck without the use of his headlights. The subject was arrested, and the deer was confiscated. Later at the jail, the subject was interviewed by the COs and he confessed to shooting the deer at night, with a light, without a license, while trespassing. Charges are pending with the prosecutor.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling in Montmorency County when a vehicle stopped to ask for directions to where all the deer were. CO Liestenfeltz was showing the subjects a map when he noticed an uncased gun in the passenger seat. After further investigation, the gun was found to be loaded as well. The subject was issued a ticket for possessing a loaded and uncased rifle in a vehicle.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a subject who self-reported accidentally shooting a cow elk during the firearm deer season. The subject thought it was a deer. The elk was donated to a food bank and charges have been requested for shooting an elk out of season without a tag.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a single vehicle rollover accident in Vienna Township of Montmorency County. While in route, the driver of the vehicle fled on foot. An off-duty sergeant of the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department heard the radio traffic, was nearby and responded to the area. He was able to pick up the driver who left the scene and bring him back. While arriving back to the scene, the driver jumped out of the sergeant’s vehicle while it was moving and ran back to his residence. CO Liestenfeltz, an MSP trooper, and a Montmorency County deputy were able to locate the subject inside his residence a very short time later. CO Liestenfeltz put the subject through Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), and it was determined the subject was intoxicated. CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody, and he was lodged at the Montmorency County jail with no issues.
During an airplane assisted patrol on November 16, a large number of waterfowl were observed flying over Lake Leelanau by Sgt. Dan Bigger, who was one of the ground units. Shortly after the waterfowl flew south to the river inlet, shots were heard. The airplane being used was a float plane so Sgt. Bigger asked if the pilot would be able to land the plane and have CO William Haskin row up and check the duck blinds and waterfowl hunters. After checking different groups of hunters, CO Haskin located an unplugged firearm in one group and violations for no Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) in another group. Other area COs on the ground were able to observe the contact and assist in the issuance of citations to allow the plane to continue the flight that was focusing on bait, feed, and other possible violations along the shoreline of Leelanau County and the surrounding area.
While patrolling Wexford County, Sgt. Dan Bigger encountered an individual coming out of the woods along a two-track. Sgt. Bigger asked how the hunter’s day was going, and the conversation led to the hunter explaining how he was hunting using just a little bait. Sgt. Bigger followed the hunter to three different stands that each had large amounts of sugar beets, mineral blocks, and molasses under the cover of the tree canopy. Sgt. Bigger issued a citation for a violation of the baiting order and advised the subject to have it cleaned up.
While patrolling state forest lands in Wexford County, Sgt. Dan Bigger observed a subject loading firewood into the back of his truck. As Sgt. Bigger observed, he noted the subject had cut a standing tree and was putting the wood in his truck as well. Upon making contact, the subject immediately admitted he did not have his fuelwood permit with him that he had gotten back in March. After talking with the subject about cutting down the standing timber, he admitted he shouldn’t have and should have known the rules of the permit better, including the need to have it with him. Further investigation led to the determination that the subject did not have a permit. A citation was issued for removing forest products without a permit.
While conducting an aerial group patrol, CO Bill Haskin located three men dragging several deer from an orchard, one of which appeared to be in violation of Leelanau County’s APR. CO Haskin guided CO Amanda McCurdy who was on the ground to the location where she contacted the individuals. The property owner was in possession of numerous Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAPs), which are separate licenses offered to farmers who are experiencing deer damage on their crops. These permits allowed the individual to harvest the number of deer he had taken. However, none of the deer were tagged at that time and approximately three hours had passed since the individual admitted to shooting the deer. Citations were issued for failing to immediately validate deer licenses.
CO Troy Ludwig received a call from MSP troopers who had performed a traffic stop on an individual who was found with a loaded firearm in his vehicle along with a spotlight. The troopers determined that the suspect had taken an 8-point deer earlier that night after hunting hours had ended. After retrieving the deer from the home of a relative of the suspect, the CO and troopers went to the suspect’s residence to examine the deer the suspect had shot legally on opening day. Through the course of the interview, it was discovered the suspect had taken an 8-point and 6-point deer during archery season and then used his relative’s kill-tags to attach to the deer instead of using his kill-tags. Charges will be sought with the Wexford County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Brian Brosky responded to the Pere Marquette River in Mason County and assisted law enforcement and EMS/fire personnel in locating three subjects who overturned in a canoe while traveling to an area to hunt. Two of the subjects made it out of the water. They located the third subject unresponsive downstream and began CPR but unfortunately the subject did not survive.
CO Brian Brosky and Lt. Joe Molnar worked Mason County for the 2019 firearm deer season opener. During the first three hours, three complaints of hunters self-reporting that they had shot antlered deer in violation of APR regulations. One of the hunters wanted to meet the COs in the Ludington area away from the camp where the deer was taken. While interviewing the hunter, he told the COs he thought the deer was an antlerless deer but when he checked the deer, he realized it was a spike horn. The hunter did not have a license with him, and the COs noted some corn in the bed of his truck. When questioned about the bait, the hunter said that he did not have bait out where he was hunting, and he wasn’t sure where his tags were. The COs followed the subject to camp and noted that the hunter had corn on the ground near his camper. When questioned again about the bait, the hunter eventually confessed to taking the spike horn over bait which was located at his hunting blind. The hunter was never able to produce a valid kill tag, which he said he must have lost. The hunter was later cited for possessing an untagged deer.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Bob Meyers of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department walked into a permanent blind on public land that was baited with pumpkins. No one was in the blind, but CO Killingbeck suspected someone had just left. CO Killingbeck began following tracks in the snow and soon located a subject with an antlerless deer that had no tag on it. The subject admitted to hunting over the bait and said that he never brings his tags with him when hunting because he is close to camp. CO Killingbeck was able to confirm that the subject had proper deer licenses. CO Killingbeck educated the subject on licensing regulations and issued a citation for the untagged deer.
CO Josiah Killingbeck participated in an evening flight during the first weekend of the firearm deer season that was targeting illegal activity. CO Killingbeck was directed to an area where CO Killingbeck encountered an ORV transporting an untagged deer. A citation was issued for the violation. CO Killingbeck was also directed to an area where several subjects were near a roadway and a vehicle had blacked out on the dark road. CO Killingbeck pulled up to the subjects who, when realizing CO Killingbeck was present, began attempting to unload a firearm. CO Killingbeck determined that the subjects had shot a deer but were in possession of the loaded firearm over an hour after legal shooting hours had ended. A citation was issued for the possession of the loaded firearm after hunting hours.
CO Jeff Ginn assisted MSP and Hesperia Police Department on a suicidal subject who had left the scene on foot during a snowstorm. CO Ginn located the subject hiding in a nearby vehicle. He was evaluated on scene by EMS and turned over to his family.
CO Jeff Ginn assisted MSP on a personal injury accident where the driver fled on foot from the scene. CO Ginn estimated the time the driver had been gone from the scene and drove north to the area he believed the suspect would be located. CO Ginn went on foot and located the suspect hiding in the woods under a pine tree. The suspect was detained and later turned over to MSP. The suspect was later arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
COs Mike Wells and Jeff Ginn were working a bait complaint on public property reported to 911. CO Ginn dropped CO Wells off to locate the bait site. CO Ginn conducted surveillance on a secluded camp on federal land. CO Ginn observed two subjects pulling a sled back to camp and could observe a deer in the sled. The deer was untagged upon inspection. The suspect claimed his knife was too dull to validate the tag. He was cited for possessing/transporting an untagged deer.
CO Mike Wells received a complaint of hunter harassment from one brother to another. He met with the complainant and was given two SD cards from trail cameras, the SD cards showed two separate ladder stands locations and photographs were taken of a subject wearing a yellow backpack sprayer standing on both ladders of the stands and spraying an unknown substance on each of the stands. The complainant advised that the subject spraying was his brother and that the stands are on USFS property, next to a private camp owned by the complainant and this brother. The complainant was extremely frustrated because his brother will not allow him to use the camp that their father had willed to them without harassing him while he is there. CO Wells followed the complainant to the stand locations and located signs of dried white droplets on the blinds. Evidence was collected from the blinds to determine what the liquid was. On the morning of the firearm deer season, CO Wells paid the suspect brother a visit while he was hunting in his blind on the private camp. It was discovered that the suspect brother was illegally hunting over bait. CO Wells interviewed the suspect brother, showing him one of the trail camera’s photographs. The suspect brother immediately admitted that he had sprayed both blinds because his brother was intentionally cutting off the deer by hunting the public land next to the camp. CO Wells inquired as to what was sprayed on the blinds and the suspect brother stated that it was “liquid fence,” which is a substance used to deter deer from the area. When CO Wells asked the subject why he sprayed the blinds, he readily admitted it was to scare the deer away. A warrant request will be submitted for hunter harassment and baiting deer when prohibited. The subject apologized and admitted that he let his emotions get the best of him.
CO Mike Wells received a complaint of a subject that was hunting deer over bait in Newaygo County. CO Wells responded to the area just before dark and contacted the subject in his ladder stand looking over approximately 30 pounds of corn. CO Wells advised the subject that baiting of deer is illegal and the subject stated that he had heard that baiting was recently brought back and legal. CO Wells advised the subject that he was incorrect. CO Wells asked the subject for his deer license and he was unable to provide one stating that he left it in the truck. Back at the truck, CO Wells observed a deceased raccoon and an untagged trap in the bed of the vehicle. The subject stated that the raccoon and the trap belonged to his girlfriend’s son who had used the vehicle earlier to check his traps. The subject was unable to produce an unused deer license and stated that he must have left it at home. He did produce the skull cap of a spike buck with one of his combination kill-tags on it that was in the bed of the truck. The subject was issued a citation for hunting deer without a license in possession and bait deer when prohibited in Newaygo County. A Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) check of the subject revealed that the hunter had an outstanding felony warrant for child support. The subject was lodged in the Newaygo County Jail. The investigation into the untagged trap continues.
COs Mike Wells and Jeff Ginn were on patrol during the opening day of firearm deer season. They responded to an area in Newaygo County where a complaint described a pop-up blind with a pile of carrots in front of it. The blind was located, and a subject was contacted with a firearm in the blind. CO Wells asked the subject if he had bait down and the subject admitted to the presence of bait but stated that he did not put it there. CO Wells informed the subject that if he is hunting over it, the bait belongs to him. Checking the subject’s licenses, CO Wells discovered that the hunter possessed a private land antlerless permit for Newaygo County. CO Wells asked the subject if he has any access to private land in Newaygo County. The subject advised that he does not; he hunts public land. CO Wells asked the subject how he had obtained a private land permit and he readily admitted that he used his own telephone number to obtain the permit. Due to the subject living in another county, he failed to provide a property owner telephone number and was advised of his obtaining of the permit illegally. The hunter responded that he was not aware of this. The illegally obtained antlerless permit was seized and the subject was issued a citation for baiting when prohibited with a warning issued for the illegal antlerless permit.
CO Mike Wells worked a detail being the spotter in a plane during an early morning shine/bait flight. Within seconds of take-off from the airport, CO Wells observed a vehicle shining. Several ground units were in the area but slightly out of position due to the suspect vehicle being detected so soon after take-off. CO Wells was able to keep the vehicle under observation for several miles watching as the vehicle shined from the driver side as well as the passenger side. CO Wells was able to determine that at least two subjects were in the vehicle due to spotlights shining out of the driver side and the passenger side at the same time. After tracking the vehicle with the plane for several miles, CO Angela Greenway and Sgt. Mike Bomay caught up with the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on it. The driver and passenger were issued citations for shining in November, and the passenger had an outstanding warrant for taking a deer without a license from 2016. The subject was transported and lodged in the Osceola County Jail.
CO Greenway responded to a trespassing complaint of a subject hunting in a blind that he did not have permission to do so on private property. CO Greenway arrived on scene and the hunter had left the blind. CO Greenway located footprints in the snow and followed them to the road and into a corn field. CO Greenway continued to track the footprints zigzagging through the corn field and eventually was able to observe the subject in full camouflage wearing no hunter orange. The trespasser had hidden his firearm while attempting to flee. CO Greenway was able to locate the firearm leaning against a tree. The subject admitted to hunting in the blind and taking off when he saw the caretaker of the land approaching. The hunter was not wearing hunter orange and did not have a hunting license. Charges will be sought through the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Greenway responded to a safety zone violation complaint in Morley. The subject said she was hunting rabbits not deer. Upon investigation, it was discovered there was corn, carrots, and pumpkins placed in front of the blind she was hunting from. The subject then stated that it was her compost pile where she wants to naturally start a garden. A citation was issued to the subject for placing food material accessible to deer.
CO Ben Shively responded to a trespass complaint in Oceana where a hunter went out to his property to set up for the firearm deer opener and found trail cameras on his property. The complainant pulled the trail cameras and reviewed the SD cards and found multiple pictures, ranging over a two-month period, of a subject dressed in camouflage and armed with a crossbow. CO Shively found who the subject was and checked the RSS and found that the subject had purchased his hunting licenses just five days before the trail cameras were found. CO Shively reviewed the photos on the SD cards and found that on the day the subject had purchased his licenses, he was hunting in the morning and then the next photo showed where a truck had been driven into the corn field and something had been loaded. CO Shively interviewed the subject at his residence and gained a full confession for recreational trespass, hunting without a license, and taking a deer without a license. The subject had harvested an 8-point deer before going to the local sports shop and purchasing his licenses. Warrants will be sought for the charges and reimbursement will be sought for the 8-point, which was donated to a needy family.
CO Tim Barboza received a call from Meceola Central Dispatch of a trespass complaint in Marion involving a hunter shooting a deer on his property. CO Barboza met CO Troy Mueller at the complainant’s property, where the incident took place and interviewed everyone involved in the incident. Through the CO’s investigation, it was determined that the deer had been shot and then the individual went and purchased his license. CO Mueller will seek a warrant request from the prosecutor’s office on taking a deer with no license. The deer was seized by CO Mueller and taken to the Cadillac Field Office to be donated.
CO Tim Barboza heard a call go out for EMS to respond to an accident on M-115 involving a semi-truck being rear ended by a van and an individual being trapped inside the vehicle. When CO Barboza arrived, EMS had just arrived on scene and determined the driver of the van to be deceased. CO Barboza helped control the scene until Osceola County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene. CO Barboza assisted the sheriff’s department in directing traffic to avoid any further accidents.
CO Ben Shively and Sgt. Mike Bomay were patrolling rural roads in Oceana County and observed a slow-moving vehicle stopping in the roadway frequently and traveling left of center multiple times. The vehicle was followed a short distance and observed pulling to the side of the roadway. The driver and passenger were out of the vehicle when the COs approached. The truck was running, and the female passenger was urinating along the roadway. Two open bottles of beer were inside the pickup and an opened half pint of whiskey. The driver had a loaded rifle in the truck as well. CO Shively issued a citation for the loaded firearm and addressed the other violations.
CO John Huspen was patrolling early morning in Crawford County when he noticed a blood spot on the edge of the road, where a deer had died. CO Huspen followed the drag mark in the snow to a nearby driveway and located a dead deer. CO Huspen contacted the resident of the house who advised he saw the dead deer when his son went to the bus and decided to drag it to his yard. Unfortunately for the subject, the drag marks and blood trail in the snow indicated a different scenario. Upon further discussion, the subject admitted to shooting the deer before legal hunting hours with his crossbow from the front porch. Evidence has been collected and warrants are being sought.
CO Charlie Jones received information from Kalkaska County Central Dispatch concerning a 71-year old hiker lost in the woods. The man was hiking in Blue Lake Township, Kalkaska County, when winter weather began to get worse. The hiker’s lack of preparation for the weather and distance caused him to find a tree blind for shelter. CO Jones contacted the hiker by phone and was able to locate him after an hour of searching on foot. The man was led out of the woods and checked by EMS. The man was cleared by medical staff and transported back to his residence safely.
CO Charlie Jones was on patrol in Garfield Township, Kalkaska County, during the 2019 firearm deer season. As CO Jones approached a tree stand to speak with a hunter about multiple violations, the man climbed down from his stand and began running through the woods on foot. CO Jones caught up to the male subject and had him walk back to the vehicle. Citations were issued for no identification on his tree stand and baiting for deer.
CO Charlie Jones was patrolling Garfield Township of Kalkaska County when he observed a suspicious silver vehicle in an area known for road hunting. CO Jones observed the vehicle suddenly drive away at a high rate of speed, so he followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop after it failed to stop at a stop sign. The driver was given field sobrieties and admitted to being under the influence of drugs. The man was also in possession of a concealed pistol in the center console of his vehicle. The driver was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for a blood draw before arriving at the Kalkaska County Jail.
During the firearm deer season in Kalkaska County, CO Mike Hearn checked a private property parcel for trespass. CO Hearn observed where a vehicle had driven in, a person had exited on the passenger side, and the vehicle had left. CO Hearn telephoned the landowner and advised him of the suspicious activity. The landowner advised no one was supposed to be on the property. CO Hearn followed the foot tracks and found the suspect in one of the blinds on the property. The hunter was not wearing hunter orange, did not have a hunting license, and lied about having permission to hunt the property. The suspect continued his lie until CO Hearn called the property owner again. The suspect was removed from the property and a citation was issued for the offenses.
While on patrol in Alcona County, COs Jeff Panich and Jesse Grzechowski followed up on a complaint at a large hunting camp on private property. Numerous violations were found including no hunter orange, hunting without licenses, hunting over bait, and hunting with semi-automatic rifles capable of holding more than six rounds. There were 16 citations issued throughout the camp.
CO Casey Pullum and Sgt. Bobbi Lively conducted a commercial processor inspection on the evening of November 15 in Oscoda County. They located a kill-tag purchased on November 15, 2019, at 11:55 AM, and the hunter dropped the deer off at the processor at 12:30 PM the same day. The COs located the hunter in a local motel and conducted an interview. A confession was obtained from the hunter that he shot the deer without a license. Charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Casey Pullum and James Garrett, along with the assistance of US Forest Service (USFW) Law Enforcement Officer Mike Phillips, investigated a complaint of an individual who shot an 8-point deer without a license. They conducted an interview with the hunter and located an untagged 8-point on the buck pole at the deer camp. A confession was obtained from the hunter. The subject was lodged on outstanding warrants and charges are being sought through the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a deer without a license.
Prior to firearm deer season, CO Kyle Bader received a complaint of ORVs operating on illegal trails on state land. While conducting a foot patrol on state land to check if the complaint was valid, an ORV approached CO Bader on the illegal trail. During a conversation with the driver about operating on illegal trails and the bait in the back of his ORV, the fact that two bucks were at the camp came out. CO Bader went to the camp and located a suspicious tag on one of the deer. Subsequent investigation revealed that the deer was shot by the landowner, who then put his wife’s kill-tag on it. The deer was seized, and charges are pending through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
On November 15, COs Kyle Bader and Brad Bellville responded with Ogemaw County deputies to a complaint of a car getting shot while driving north on M-76. The officers checked all surrounding properties and located the source of the bullet that struck the car. CO Bader located three hunters in the woods with a dead deer. He interviewed the hunters and checked rifles and ammunition against the bullet that was removed from the car. Based on one of the hunter’s location and statements, CO Bader believed he had located the man responsible for the shot. A subsequent interview by Deputy Gilbert confirmed the hunter most likely fired the round that struck the car.
COs Brad Bellville and Kyle Bader assisted West Branch City Police Department and MSP in the tracking and apprehension of a fugitive that fled on foot after a high-speed chase and subsequent traffic crash in Ogemaw County. The COs were involved at multiple stages of a three-mile long track of the suspect through fields, woods, and swamps. Due to difficult tracking conditions, five hours after the incident began the search was called off. COs Bader and Bellville happened to notice fresh foot tracks crossing the road they were on. Knowing they were only minutes behind the fugitive, they set out on foot and followed the tracks. The COs located the fugitive minutes later and took him into custody. The fugitive was turned over to local law enforcement.
CO Craig Neal and Sgt. Jon Wood were patrolling rural Arenac County when they encountered a truck on a narrow two-track. After talking with the driver for a couple minutes about the hunting activity, Sgt. Jon Wood asked about the driver’s firearm. The man stated that it was in the back seat. When asked about checking it, the driver hesitated and said, “Yeah, I think it’s back there.” Upon inspection, a loaded and uncased .308 rifle was recovered from the front passenger seat hidden under a coat. A citation was issued for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Josh Russell and Sgt. Jon Wood were patrolling Gladwin County after dark on the firearm deer opener when they were blinded by a UTV operating down the road with an LED light bar on top. While attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the operator continued to slow roll and hesitated several times before coming to a complete stop. At that time, the COs noticed deer hooves barely sticking above the box sides of the UTV. While CO Russell contacted the driver, Sgt. Wood checked the small yearling antlerless deer in the back of the UTV. In addition to the untagged antlerless deer, a loaded Bushmaster 450 semi-automatic rifle was discovered in the back seat. The driver was issued citations for possession of an untagged deer and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Josh Russell and Sgt. Mark Papineau contacted two subjects who were hunting over a large bait pile of corn and sugar beets. One of the subjects stated his son had shot a spike the day before on the property. After some further questioning, it was determined the subject had killed a 3-point buck in archery season and had shot the spike himself the night before and put his son’s tag on the deer. Warrants are being sought through the Gladwin County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Josh Russell and Sgt. Jon Wood responded to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of trespassing in which a property owner heard a gunshot and found an unknown hunter retrieving a deer from his property. Upon arrival, CO Russell accompanied the landowner to the location and began following footprints in the snow. Sgt. Wood maneuvered the patrol vehicle around the section to the suspect property and was able to locate the deer in the bed of a truck. In addition to the trespass, the deer tag was not properly validated, and CO Russell had discovered several bait piles in the area of the suspect’s blind. A report is being submitted to the Gladwin County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol in the Shiawassee River State Game Area (SGA) checking duck hunters when he contacted a group of hunters coming in from the afternoon hunt. When CO Beuthin asked how they did, one of the subjects told the CO that he shot a hen mallard and an American coot. Upon further inspection, the CO advised the subject he had a Pied-billed grebe in his possession. Enforcement action was taken, and the subject was issued a ticket for having a non-game species in possession.
CO Adam Beuthin was checking a baiting complaint in Saginaw County when he observed a bait pile with blood in the fresh snow around it. CO Beuthin tracked the blood to a gut pile where he found tracks leading him right to the residence on the property. At the residence, CO Beuthin contacted the son of the property owner who had been out hunting. The CO obtained a verbal confession from the son, stating he shot the deer over the bait. An arrest warrant for the illegal deer is being submitted for the individual through the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Quincy Gowenlock responded to a trespass complaint where a deer was shot on the opening day of firearm season. While speaking with the complainant, the CO could see the wounded buck laying down by the creek and the suspect still in his hunting stand. As the complainant was showing the CO the video footage, the suspect shot the buck a second time, killing it. CO Gowenlock drove around to the neighbor’s property and contacted the suspect. The suspect denied being on or shooting onto the complainant’s property; however, when the CO used the OnX App and showed the suspect where he was, the suspect realized he was trespassing. The subject was issued a citation for his violation.
CO Quincy Gowenlock was on patrol with Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Detective Dan Lee when a complaint came in for a subject shooting from the roadway. The COs were right around the corner and conducted a stop on the suspect vehicle. The driver admitted to shooting three times at a buck in a farm field. When the suspect was informed that his actions were illegal, the suspect said, “I did not see any no-trespassing signs.” The COs explained that farmland does not need to be posted. The rifle was confiscated along with the shell casings in the roadway. Warrant authorization is pending.
CO Quincy Gowenlock and EGLE Detective Dan Lee were working in the Shiawassee River SGA, waiting to check hunters coming out after hours. The COs observed a quad coming from private property and into the parking lot of the game area. Upon contact, the COs noted neither subject was wearing a helmet and the quad did not have an ORV license. In the sled, pulled by the quad, were two untagged bucks. The hunters said they were going to tag the deer when they got to the parking lot. The officers explained the deer tagging regulation to both hunters who advised they had no idea. Upon conducting a file check on the subjects, it was discovered that the operator of the quad had a revoked license. The subjects were issued citations for their violations.
CO Matthew Neterer went to a residence to investigate a RAP complaint of an individual bragging about poaching a buck to other students at school. Upon arrival, the suspect stated, “I know why you’re here, I just shot two does and I only have one doe tag and I wasn’t wearing hunter orange.” CO Neterer gathered witness statements and confiscated the antlerless deer that was taken without a license. A report requesting charges was sent to the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office. The antlerless deer was taken to a local meat processor and donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger.
CO Matthew Neterer received a complaint about a video posted to SnapChat of an individual taking an 8-point buck over a corn pile in Huron County. CO Neterer and CO Kyle Bucholtz arrived at the suspect’s residence where he was processing the buck in the bed of his pickup truck. When confronted with the evidence, the suspect gave a full confession. COs Neterer and Bucholtz located blood and hair in the snow over a large corn pile behind the residence. A case report is being sent to the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges for taking an antlered deer over bait in a closed area.
CO Mark Siemen received information about a subject hunting over a large bait pile in Sanilac County. CO Siemen was familiar with the subject and knew that his hunting rights had been revoked for seven years. CO Siemen responded to the location and found the subject hunting with a crossbow over a large sugar beet pile. After speaking with the hunter and completing the investigation, the hunter was arrested and transported to the jail for charges related to hunting deer while hunting rights revoked and hunting over bait.
While patrolling in Sanilac County, CO Mark Siemen observed a vehicle disregard a stop sign. CO Siemen stopped the vehicle and found the driver had a denied and revoked driver’s license, no insurance on the vehicle, and the vehicle had an improper plate on it. After checking the driver through dispatch, CO Siemen was advised he had a warrant out of Macomb County. The subject was arrested for the warrant and charged for multiple driving offenses.
While working in Tuscola County, CO Joshua Wright received a complaint from Tuscola County Dispatch that a landowner found deer drag marks leading from his property to his neighbors. CO Wright found that three deer were dragged over to a neighboring property. When CO Wright contacted the neighbor, he found five dead deer at the residence. Two of the deer did not have tags on them, one of those was confirmed to be a roadkill. While questioning the suspect, it was determined that two of the bucks were taken out of the neighbor’s stand without permission. That put the hunter over-limit of antlered deer since he had already taken one antlered deer in the bow season. Charges are being sought through the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Mike Haas was provided numerous trail camera photographs showing a subject trespassing on private property in western Isabella County. CO Haas located where the man had set up a hunting blind and numerous illegal bait piles on the complainant’s property. After speaking to multiple neighbors in the area, CO Haas recognized one man from the trail camera photos and questioned him about the hunting violations. The man confessed to the crime and charges for recreational trespassing, unlawful baiting, and hunting with a firearm during archery season are pending with the Isabella County Prosecutor's Office.
During the opening weekend of Michigan's firearm deer season, CO Mike Haas received a complaint from Isabella County Central Dispatch. A couple was sitting in their house when they heard a loud crash outside. They noticed their truck windows had been broken by what they thought was a bullet. CO Haas investigated the area and located the path of the bullet. A bullet had hit the truck's driver side window, the driver’s seat headrest, the rear passenger window, the door frame of another car, and into a carport wall. CO Haas then followed the bullet’s path to a nearby farm field and was able to determine where the hunter was standing when they had shot the bullet. A group of hunters were interviewed, and it was discovered that a juvenile had fired the bullet. The adult chaperoning the hunt was held responsible for not properly supervising the juvenile and charges are pending to address the negligent discharging of a firearm and damage to private property.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint that a hunter had stolen another hunter’s deer in southern Isabella County. CO Haas arrived on scene and interviewed both hunters, inspected the shot deer, firearms, and the hunting sites. After following the blood trails and inspecting the bullet wounds, it was determined that the first hunter had shot the deer through its hind legs. The deer then traveled to the neighboring property where the other hunter shot the deer, killing it. The first hunter was upset with the findings and believed that the deer belonged to him since he had shot it first. CO Haas explained the law and notified the hunter that his neighbor had shot and tagged the deer legally.
While patrolling central Isabella County, CO Mike Haas observed a vehicle performing donuts in a road intersection. The vehicle then sped down the road and pulled into a driveway. CO Haas interviewed the driver and addressed multiple violations. Along with the careless driving, the vehicle did not have a license plate, was not registered, and did not have insurance. A citation was issued to address the multiple violations.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas assisted other Isabella County police agencies with two separate attempted suicides. In one case the COs were only a few miles away and arrived within minutes. The victim was being restrained by others in the residence prior to arrival. The COs talked to the subject and stabilized the situation until EMS units came and the victim was transported to a local hospital.
CO Dan Robinson was parked along a county road when a vehicle passed. CO Robinson witnessed two small females waving from the back seat with parts of their bodies outside the rear slider window. A traffic stop was initiated, and it was discovered the two young passengers were unrestrained in the back seat and did not have car seats required for their size and age. A citation was issued for allowing minors to be unrestrained, as well as several warnings.
CO Dan Robinson was patrolling northwestern Isabella County when he witnessed a large fire coming from the rear of a large agricultural building. CO Robinson stopped in to see what was burning, slightly concerned that it might be the structure itself. It was discovered that the homeowners were burning a large amount of furniture, old clothes, and several tires. A citation was issued for open burning of prohibited materials.
CO Dan Robinson investigated a case of a stolen deer in Montcalm County. Hunters called the RAP line stating that they had followed the blood trail of a deer they shot to a neighbor’s property and, from the property line, could see where the deer laid and saw truck tracks. They contacted the homeowners to inquire and they said the deer was “picked up by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).” CO Robinson conducted several interviews and discovered that the deer was not picked up by any DNR employees in the area. It turns out one of the residents called a friend to come get the large 8-point buck. After some negotiation, CO Robinson agreed to meet with the person who came and took the deer and transported it without the tag or without legally harvesting it. Prior to the meeting, the caller advised he dumped it in a nearby ditch and CO Robinson could find it there. The unknown subject who took, transported, and subsequently dumped the deer was identified and charges will be sought through the prosecutor’s office. The deer was retrieved and returned to the young lady who harvested it.
CO Dan Robinson was working home after a long day when a call came out of a large van that was involved in a possible roll-over accident with possible drug or alcohol impairment. CO Robinson responded and arrived on scene with the fire personnel who located the accident in route to another call. The van had traveled through a deep ditch and was stuck in the mud on the other side. Using his waders, CO Robinson was able to get to the van and talk to the passengers. No injuries were reported, but the occupants were behaving unusually. Additional law enforcement units arrived, and the driver was arrested for operating a vehicle without proper insurance. The passenger was also arrested on an outstanding warrant, and it was the second time CO Robinson arrested that individual over the past few years.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg were on a shining patrol on Biggs Road and Fallasburg Parkway in Kent County when they saw a pickup truck lose control on the road and spin out. The COs conducted a traffic stop and the driver seemed intoxicated. The COs conducted standard field sobriety tests, and it was determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was cited for OWI and careless driving and lodged in the county jail.
CO Casey Varriale located a buck on November 16 in Kent County that had a 2018 deer tag attached to the antlers. COs Varriale and Justin Ulberg contacted the owner of the tag and he claimed he put the wrong one on it. The suspect said he had a 2019 deer tag, but it was an antlerless tag. Further investigation revealed the suspect tagged the deer with an old tag for his son-in-law, so the son-in-law did not have to use his final buck tag for the season and could continue hunting. The individual was cited for the violation.
While on patrol, Cpl. Ivan Perez and CO Jackie Miskovich initiated a stop on an ORV after observing the driver did not have a helmet, was riding on the shoulder of a closed road, and had an uncased firearm in his lap. After talking with the driver his violations were discussed with him and a citation was issued.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were performing a marine patrol on Muskegon Lake. Numerous anglers were observed fishing on the pier during their patrol. CO Miskovich dropped off CO Cullen along the pier. While making contacts, an individual who was previously seen fishing could not provide a fishing license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Anna Cullen received a RAP complaint referencing two deer hanging in someone’s yard with un-notched kill-tags attached to them. CO Cullen responded to the location and contacted the property owners. The alleged shooter of the deer advised she shot both deer with a crossbow up north with her brother. Noticing discrepancies in the story, an interview was conducted, and she admitted to her brother shooting both deer and using her tags to tag the deer. A written confession was obtained and both deer were confiscated. The investigation is ongoing, pending charges.
While patrolling Kent County on opening day of firearm deer season, CO Justin Ulberg located a hunter in a stand without any hunter orange. Contact was made with the hunter and CO Ulberg questioned the hunter about not having any orange visible. The hunter stated that he must have left it in his vehicle. CO Ulberg asked the hunter for his deer licenses and the subject advised that he also left those in his vehicle. CO Ulberg followed the subject to his vehicle only to discover the subject did not have any orange garments and did not have a valid deer license. The subject was issued a citation for the violations.
While inspecting a local deer processor, CO Justin Ulberg observed a deer tag that seemed suspicious. CO Ulberg contacted the hunter and questioned him about the deer and when it was killed. After a short interview, the subject admitted to shooting the deer and then purchasing his deer license. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor for charges.
During the firearm deer season opener, Sgt. Jeff Rabbers located a group hunting a large apple orchard in Kent County. One subject was observed hunting without hunter orange. Contact was made with some of the members of the group after an attempt was made to harvest a large antlered deer. The subject witnessed without orange magically disappeared and one of the hunters claimed that the subject wasn’t hunting anyway. Sgt. Rabbers was able to locate the subject’s tracks and a hidden shotgun along a power line running through the orchard. Eventually the fourth subject was located, and it was also determined he did not have a license to be hunting either. The subject was cited for the violations.
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers contacted a group of waterfowl hunters in Ottawa County on the firearm deer season opener. One of the subjects had an unplugged shotgun and another subject did not have a federal duck stamp. The subjects were cited for their violations.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when Berrien County dispatch asked for additional available officers to assist with a track of a suspect who fled from the MSP on a traffic stop. CO Bauer responded to the location and assisted with setting a perimeter and looking for the suspect. The MSP K-9 began a track of the suspect and ended up locating him hiding in the woods.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he located a hunter leaving their hunting location. Further investigation revealed that the hunter had a loaded uncased shotgun in their vehicle. The hunter also was carrying a handgun under their CPL and failed to notify CO Bauer immediately upon contact. A citation was issued for possessing a loaded shotgun in a motor vehicle.
CO Travis Dragomer observed a hunter exiting the woods towards his vehicle. CO Dragomer contacted the hunter who had been dragging out a 9-point antlered deer. The deer did not have a tag attached to it and the hunter had his kill-tags in his vehicle. A citation was written for failing to validate and affix a kill-tag to the deer.
While on patrol in Berrien County, CO Travis Dragomer heard a shot near the end of shooting hours. CO Dragomer observed a truck parked near the area the shot came from. CO Dragomer contacted the hunter coming out of the woods who failed to validate and affix a kill-tag to the antlerless deer that he had shot. A citation was written for failing to validate and affix a kill-tag to the deer.
CO Matt Page and Sgt. Steve Mooney received a call of hunter harassment involving an individual yelling and riding his 4-wheeler onto a lawful hunter’s property. The suspect did this for nearly an hour before the hunter and an adjacent hunter decided to move locations. Statements were taken and an interview was conducted with the suspect who argued that the hunters shouldn’t be that close to the line. A report is being sent to the prosecutor for possible hunter harassment and ORV trespass charges.
COs Matt Page and Jeff Robinette responded to a complaint of possible trespass and observed an individual hunting on the property line that had accessed the property through a field without permission. Additionally, the subject was in possession of a loaded shotgun, wearing hunter orange, and sitting on a bucket. After making contact, the hunter stated that he was not hunting, he was just walking out to retrieve his bucket but wanted to wear orange for safety and carry a loaded firearm for protection. A license check showed that he had not purchased a hunting license for several years. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tyler Cole received a safety zone complaint on opening day of firearm season. A hunter had put a blind up on the backside of a very populated subdivision and residents were concerned. CO Cole responded to the area and located the blind. The blind was found to be within 56 yards of an occupied dwelling and contact was made with the hunter. The hunter stated that he thought that the safety zone requirements were 150-feet and not 150-yards. A citation was issued for hunting with a firearm within the safety zone.
CO Tyler Cole and Sgt. Stephen Mooney were patrolling Van Buren County and came across two subjects walking to their hunting property with loaded shotguns. A license check was conducted, and it was found that both subjects were from Illinois, and neither subject had a hunting license on their person. Further investigation revealed that neither subject had bought a Michigan hunting license since 2015. Citations were issued for hunting without a license.
CO Jeff Robinette was on patrol in Cass County during the opening weekend of firearm deer season. CO Robinette received a call from the local DNR Wildlife Division biologist regarding an individual that had contacted the biologist about two mule deer he and his son had shot out in Montana. The biologist advised CO Robinette that the individual had stated he had not checked in the deer in Montana and that he wasn’t sure what to do. The individual advised the biologist that both mule deer heads were fully intact and that only one of the mule deer’s meat had been deboned. Based on the current Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) importation laws regarding cervids, the biologist advised CO Robinette of the situation. CO Robinette contacted the individuals at their residence and located both mule deer heads as well as the meat. One of the mule deer had been deboned and the other mule deer was quartered as required by law. However, both deer heads were fully intact in violation of cervid import law requirements. CO Robinette issued a ticket for possessing/importing cervids in violation of the CWD import laws.
CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint from St. Joseph County Central Dispatch of an individual hunting within the safety zone of a house on the opening day of firearm deer season. CO McQueer located the subject hunting. The individual was hunting with a bow and arrow and safety zones do not apply to individuals hunting with archery equipment. The individual, however, was not wearing hunter orange. A citation was issued for failure to wear hunter orange.
CO Chris Holmes responded to a domestic assault call in Kalamazoo County. A pregnant female had been punched in the stomach by her boyfriend, who then fled the area. After deputies arrived on scene, CO Holmes searched a nearby apartment complex for the suspect and found him leaving in a vehicle. CO Holmes contacted the suspect and arrested him for domestic violence. He was turned over to Kalamazoo County deputies and taken to jail.
CO Chris Holmes received a complaint of a hunter trespassing in Kalamazoo County. CO Holmes responded to the area and walked into the woods searching for the suspected trespasser. He located the trespasser sitting in a tree stand not wearing hunter orange and hunting over a baited area. When he saw CO Holmes approaching, the subject jumped out of the tree stand and fled the immediate area. CO Holmes located the suspect a short time later and issued citations for hunting without hunter orange, and hunting over bait.
CO Sam Schluckbier located an illegal ground blind on Consumer’s Energy property. While checking the hunters, he found several bait piles nearby. The hunters claimed they read it was legal on Facebook. CO Schluckbier advised them of the current laws restricting deer baiting. The hunters stated that ignorance was not a good excuse. Citations were issued for the illegal bait.
CO Sam Schluckbier received a complaint of trespassing in Allegan County. While checking the spot during opening day of firearm deer season, he found ORV tracks leading onto the property. After following the tracks, he found a hunter with several additional violations. The deer hunter was trespassing, failed to wear the proper safety gear while operating an ORV, transported an uncased firearm, and was hunting with a .243 rifle in the limited firearm zone. The hunter did not deny knowing that he was violating the law. He was surprised to be checked by a conservation officer on opening day. Citations were issued for several violations.
CO Rich Cardenas received a complaint of someone illegally hunting waterfowl on Carter Lake in Barry County. The complaint was that the hunters were trespassing. CO Cardenas responded to the area with his patrol boat. CO Cardenas contacted the hunters on the lake and found that they were trespassing and did not have any PFDs on board. A citation was issued for the safety violation.
CO Rich Cardenas was patrolling the Barry SGA when he observed two hunters walking on the road. Both hunters admitted that they were hunting and scouting new spots in the area. CO Cardenas asked to see their hunting licenses and one hunter provided only a base license and stated he had “tagged out.” The subject then stated that he was only sitting with his friend. CO Cardenas asked to check the hunter’s firearms and the subjects took CO Cardenas to their vehicle. Two firearms were in the vehicle and one of the firearms was loaded in both chamber and magazine. At that time the subject, who was tagged out, admitted that he was hunting without a hunting license. CO Cardenas then found out that an antlered deer was at the subject’s residence in Allegan County. CO Cardenas followed the subjects to their residence and found the antlered deer was legally tagged but was illegally transported from the a CWD management zone to an unmanaged zone. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling for shining activity in an area of recent complaints in Allegan County. Shortly after he set up, a truck approached the fields and cast a light out the window across both fields. The truck proceeded to turn around on the crest of a hill, shine one of the fields again, and left the area. The CO conducted a traffic stop and discovered a crossbow in the bed of the truck that was cocked and loaded. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a third-party complaint of possible trespassing on federal property in Allegan County, and the suspects were observed loading a deer in the bed of their truck. The CO located the suspects’ truck parked in the driveway for the property and observed an antlerless deer in the bed of the truck. The CO could not see a kill-tag attached to the deer, so he waited for the hunters to return to the truck at dark. When the hunters returned, it was confirmed they did in fact have permission to hunt the property; however, the CO discovered the deer was shot and loaded into the truck around noon. After approximately six hours, a kill-tag was still not validated or attached to the deer. A citation was issued for the tagging violation.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received a call from CO Chris Reynolds stating that a citizen stopped him and gave him a tip on some untagged deer in Lenawee County. The COs took the tip and went to the area and located the vehicle parked in a field. From the road they observed two hunters coming away from a creek washing their hands that were covered in blood. The COs contacted the hunters and observed four untagged deer, three bucks and a doe. After a lengthy conversation, the COs were able to gain a confession that one of the hunters killed all four deer and just failed to tag them, even days later. Charges will be filed through the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office for the over-limit of bucks and failing to immediately validate kill-tags.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received a call from Lenawee Central Dispatch about a trespassing incident that just occurred where a guy shot a deer and trespassed on the property to get the deer. The COs arrived and contacted the suspect who stated, “I know why you’re here, just take the deer now; I did go on my neighbor’s property.” The deer was seized, and charges are being filed with the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were donating seized animals to a local processor when an individual flagged CO Smither down to ask questions and talk about deer hunting. Through the conversation, CO Smither discovered that the hunter had shot a buck that morning. A quick glance at the tag revealed that he had bought the tag 10 minutes before arriving to the processor and talking with the COs. He also had shot a doe on opening morning and after asking him about it, he confessed to not having a tag for that either. Charges are being sought with the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jeff Goss received information from CO Troy Ludwig about a possible illegal deer case developed through social media. After interviewing the suspect, it was determined that the deer was shot prior to the tag being purchased. The suspect claimed that the 10-point buck had been causing property damage and eating the food for their cattle, so his dad captured the buck in their barn and the suspect shot it because it was a nuisance. The suspect’s and father’s recollection of the event were drastically different. Videos and photos seized from the suspect’s phone prove that he was out in the woods hunting when the deer was shot. Charges are being sought through the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jeff Goss was first on scene at a 911 medical call where a man was located face down in the middle of the road in a pool of blood. Once on scene CO Goss was able to determine that the elderly man was out for his daily walk when he tripped and fell. CO Goss was able to render first aid until EMS arrived on scene.
COs Jeff Goss and Jason McCullough were first on scene for a 911 call of a man beating up his girlfriend and pushing her out of a moving car. The armed suspect fled the scene on foot into a nearby field. When the COs arrived on scene, they set a protective perimeter around the victim until other units arrived to transfer the victim to the ambulance. The COs started searching for the suspect. Information was obtained that the suspect may be headed to a nearby house. They provided exterior perimeter cover for the search team that entered the house. Unable to locate the suspect, a K-9 track ensued. COs Goss and McCullough took an over-watch position utilizing thermal imaging and night vision to observe the K-9 officer as he was conducting the track. The track was eventually lost but the identity of the suspect was known by the lead investigator. MSP Marshall Post is requesting an arrest warrant for the suspect.
CO Shane Webster responded to a request to assist on a medical call. A hunter had called reporting he was having a diabetic emergency and needed assistance. The hunter had attempted to describe his location to dispatch but was becoming very disoriented making it difficult to pinpoint his location. CO Webster was the first to locate the hunter, who fortunately was with another subject who had been attempting to help him track a deer. The diabetic subject was beginning to lose consciousness and CO Webster was able to direct the rest of the emergency crews to the location. Several glucose packs were administered, and the subject was able to be led out slowly to the residence. He was transported to Allegiance Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Shane Webster responded to a complaint of a stolen 8-point buck. The hunter stated he had seen the deer come behind him and shot it, and then left to get his son to assist in tracking and dragging it. When he returned, the deer was gone and there were drag marks leading to the neighbor’s property. The neighbors were in possession of the deer were contacted. The neighbor had initially shot the deer, with poor shot placement, and then tracked it, trespassing onto the complainant’s property. The complainant had not known the deer was injured but ultimately put the killing shot on the deer. Once the evidence was presented of multiple wounds to the deer, with the clear difference in the calibers being used presenting the original complainant as the one who put the mortal shot on the deer, it was agreed to return the deer to him. No trespassing charges were requested, but a mutual agreement to contact each other in the future was reached prior to going over property lines.
CO Edward Rice investigated an illegal deer complaint in Hillsdale County. CO Rice met with the complainant who stated he shot the 11-point buck earlier in the morning and watched it run onto his neighbor’s property. The complainant stated he contacted his cousin to assist with tracking the buck. When his cousin arrived, they tracked the deer onto the neighbor’s property and located the kill site, but there was no deer. The complainant stated he suspected the neighbor took the deer. CO Rice asked the complainant if he had permission to retrieve his deer, and he said he had not talked with the property owner in years and did not know how to get a hold of him. CO Rice contacted the property owner who said he knew a deer had been shot and ended up on his property. He also stated the complainant did not and would not have permission to enter his land. CO Rice met up with CO Andrew Monnich to interview the neighbor. During the interview, it was determined his nephew was the individual who the complainant identified as hunting in the morning who then shot the deer after it had already expired and tagged it. COs Rice and Monnich contacted the nephew, and the man admitted to shooting the deer after it had already expired and tagging it. The nephew stated he did not want the complainant to have the deer as to the reason he shot and tagged the deer. A report is being completed and will be submitted to the Hillsdale County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges related to the illegal taking of deer.
CO Todd Thorn responded to a citizen complaint that someone had walked behind a trailer park to hunt and was possibly baiting and may not be allowed to possess a firearm. CO Thorn responded and found a man hunting from a tree stand with a shotgun and no visible orange. CO Thorn obtained his hunting license and then left the immediate area, requesting a criminal history from dispatch once the hunter’s identity was verified. CO Thorn then learned that the hunter was a felon, was on probation, and not allowed to possess a firearm. When CO Thorn returned, the man took off, ditching his firearm and running into his house, which he then wouldn’t come out. The firearm and vehicle used were seized and charges are being sought through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Katie Stawara and Robert Slick responded to a call from central dispatch of an unresponsive hunter in the woods. The COs used their trucks to transport EMS and the fire department to the hunter’s location. The hunter had a history of heart issues and appeared to have had another heart attack while field dressing a deer. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was immediately started, and the patient transported back to the residence. COs Stawara and Slick finished field dressing the deer and delivered it to the residence while medical responders worked on the patient.
CO Christopher Knights checked a processor located in Oakland County. Upon reviewing some records, he noticed a tag that looked suspicious. CO Knights went to the hunter’s residence and questioned him about his deer. As the conversation went on, it was very clear that the hunter shot the 8-point deer and then purchased his license after the fact. The hunter confessed to taking the deer without a license. The individual will be charged through the local prosecutor’s office.
While conducting a processor inspection in White Lake, CO Christopher Knights found a 5-point buck that looked questionable. CO Knights contacted the individual at her residence. After asking some questions, CO Knights got a confession. She stated she shot the deer with her husband, then purchased her license before turning it into the processor. Charges are being filed with the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.
While on patrol in Oakland County, CO Christopher Knights noticed some fresh tracks going in the American Aggregates property off Oakwood Road. CO Knights packed a bag and walked in. About a half mile in, CO Knights noticed a Chevy Blazer parked and footprints that led into the woods. CO Knights followed the prints and they went down into a culvert. A little further, CO Knights noticed a hunter in a tree stand. CO Knights advised him to come down. On his way down CO Knights noticed he was trying to take his hat out of his pocket that had hunter orange on it. The hunter followed CO Knights to his vehicle where CO Knights advised him where he was, and that he was currently trespassing. CO Knights showed him where the state land was and where he was. The hunter was issued two citations, one for recreational trespassing and one for failure to wear hunter orange.
While on patrol in Oakland County, CO Tom Peterson observed an individual placing shelled corn in a field in northern Oakland County. The CO returned the next day to find the individual hunting deer in a tree stand with a firearm without hunter orange over the bait pile placed the day prior. The CO addressed both violations, issued a citation for each and had the hunter remove the bait from the property.
While on patrol in Oakland County, CO Danielle Zubek noticed fresh vehicle tire tracks leading onto a posted private property that has a high number of trespass complaints. CO Zubek followed the tracks onto the property. While patrolling the property, CO Zubek was able to locate a Jeep Wrangler. CO Zubek conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and spoke with the driver and three occupants. The driver stated she knew the property was posted. A citation was issued.
On opening day of firearm deer season, a hunter self-reported shooting a 3-point buck and mistaking it for a doe. CO Danielle Zubek arrived at the location in Proud Lake State Recreation Area. After discussing the situation with the hunter, it was determined that it was a clear mistake. The 3-point buck was seized and donated. A citation was issued to the hunter.
COs Danielle Zubek and Jacob Griffin responded to a trespassing complaint on township property. While on the property, the COs observed a blood trail. The COs split ways and tracked the blood trail. CO Griffin followed the blood trail to a local farm where he located a tree stand with carrots and sugar beets. CO Zubek tracked the blood trail across several properties finding the final kill spot located close to several houses. The COs were able to locate the farm owners and make contact. During the interview, it was determined that the hunter placed the bait the night before and knowingly trespassed onto several properties to locate the deer. The 10-point buck was seized, and a report is being submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
A bait flight was planned with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department prior to the firearm deer season opener. During the flight several baiting locations were marked. CO Danielle Zubek and Sgt. Jason Becker checked on one of the locations. A hunter was in a tree stand near the bait pile, with his hunter orange hat covered by a sweatshirt hoodie. The COs contacted the hunter. When asked for identification and hunting licenses, the hunter stated they were at his house. A citation and several warnings were issued to the hunter.
COs Justin Muehlhauser and Luke Robare checked hunters preparing to hunt at Holly Recreation Area. One hunter was waiting in his vehicle for another part of his hunting party. The COs made contact and asked to see his hunting license. CO Muehlhauser noticed an uncased firearm on the backseat. The CO asked if it was loaded, and the man advised that he just loaded it before sitting back in his truck. The man exited the vehicle and CO Robare noticed an open beer can in the door cup holder. Initially, he stated that he drank the beer the night prior. However, the COs noticed that it was still full and ice cold. The beer was seized, and the man was cited for the violations.
Genesee County central dispatch advised of a complaint regarding a reckless discharge of a firearm. The callers reported hearing multiple shots with rounds “whizzing” through the air and possibly hitting their house. Multiple witnesses reported hearing the shots. COs Justin Muehlhauser and Luke Robare arrived assisted by MSP. A hunter was in the nearby field and admitted to shooting twice at a deer that crossed just north of him. Upon closer investigation, the COs found shotgun shells and slug wads which formed a direct line to the complainant’s residence. Fortunately, no one was injured. COs were unable to locate any property damage, but charges are being sought for careless discharge of a firearm.
CO Raymond Gardner received a complaint about a subject who harvested a 13-point buck and then bought a deer license after. CO Gardner contacted the subject and interviewed him. The subject told CO Gardner that he shot the deer on the day after purchasing his license. CO Gardner asked the suspect if he had pictures of the deer on his phone. The subject told CO Gardner that he had pictures and showed them to him. After CO Gardner showed the suspect that the time/date stamp on the pictures were before he had purchased a license, the subject confessed. CO Gardner seized the head and antlers as evidence and donated the meat. A report will be submitted to the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey wrote a citation to a subject for hunting deer over bait from a complaint. The complainant called back a week later to say the subject re-baited the site and took a deer. The next time the subject hunted, CO Kris Kiel contacted him. The subject first stated that he cleaned up all the bait and removed the trail camera. CO Kiel found that the original bait pile of carrots was not cleaned up but was spread all over in the high weeds. He then found the new bait pile of beets, a gut pile, and the trail camera only 20 yards away from the original bait site. When confronted with the evidence, the subject admitted to taking a 9-point buck over the bait. The subject’s bow and trail camera were seized. The large 9-point buck was also seized from the deer processor. The subject stated to CO Kiel that he did not think the COs would be back to check and if they did, he did not think they would find the new bait location. A warrant will be sought for taking a deer over bait and for baiting for deer while prohibited.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey responded to a baiting deer complaint in Macomb County. The COs found four hunters hunting over large piles of apples and apple mash. One subject had only an antlerless tag for Sanilac County, and another had no licenses on person. Citations were written for hunting over bait while prohibited and hunting deer without a license.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen responded to a deer that had been shot and not recovered by the hunter. The COs tracked blood and trailed the deer back to an elevated blind surrounded by bait. The COs contacted the hunter that evening, hunting over the bait, and not wearing hunter orange. The hunter said that he shot at a deer the night before and did not think he hit it. The COs had him tag the deer and wrote him citations for hunting over bait and failure to wear hunter orange.
CO Brad Silorey received a tip from RAP dispatch regarding a suspicious post on social media of an individual who shot a deer. CO Silorey reviewed the information provided and began to investigate the incident further. After review, CO Silorey decided to interview the subject in person about a deer and a turkey that was taken without purchasing kill-tags for either animal. The subject lived in Oakland County, so CO Silorey contacted CO Chris Knights who works Oakland County, to assist with the investigation. COs Silorey and Knights met at the local deer processor to briefly check to see if the subject had dropped the deer off at that location. Upon entering the processor, CO Silorey immediately recognized the man who was standing at the counter as the subject of the investigation. The subject was in the process of paying for and picking up his deer head and venison. COs Silorey and Knights pulled the man aside and interviewed him about the deer. The subject confessed to purchasing his kill-tag after he had shot the deer. Upon further questioning, the subject also confessed to taking a turkey during the 2019 spring turkey hunt and never purchasing a kill-tag for it. Charges are being sought through the local prosecutor’s office for taking a deer and a turkey without a license.
While checking deer hunters in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen received a RAP complaint about a dog running loose in a field and the dog disrupting hunters in the area. The beagle was seen by multiple hunters and ran underneath some of the hunter’s tree stands and scared off multiple deer. CO Deppen made the location and found the dog still on the loose. CO Deppen located the dog’s owners and they were aware the dog was out, but they forgot to put on the shock collar. The owners eventually corralled the beagle and brought it back to their residence. CO Deppen issued the owner a citation for allowing dogs to run at large.
While checking deer hunters opening day, COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were operating in northern Macomb County. The COs noticed a set of hunters without hunter orange on. The COs heard one man shoot earlier in the morning. After allowing the hunters to enjoy the morning hunt, they proceeded in and made contact. One hunter had just shot a nice 10-point buck. The other hunter was not wearing hunter orange and was hunting over bait. Citations were issued for hunting over bait when prohibited and failure to wear hunter orange while hunting deer during the firearm deer season.
While checking deer hunters in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of hunters shooting ducks with unplugged shotguns. CO Deppen made the scene and observed the hunters for an hour before making contact. CO Deppen started checking the waterfowl hunters and discovered multiple violations. The first hunter was issued a citation for hunting waterfowl with lead shot and was given a warning about hunting waterfowl without a waterfowl license. The second hunter was issued a citation for hunting waterfowl without a waterfowl license but was given a warning about an unsigned federal duck stamp.
CO Joseph Deppen was on I-94 transiting between different locations in Macomb County. CO Deppen had two traffic stops while in route. Citations were issued for speeding 101 mph in a 70-mph zone and 102 mph in a 70-mph zone and illegal window tint.
COs Joseph Deppen and Kris Kiel were following up on a baiting complaint in Macomb County. The COs found the hunter in question hunting over five different piles of bait. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting deer over bait while prohibited and failure to wear hunter orange.
CO Bobby Watson was on patrol on opening day of firearm deer season when he contacted a successful hunter dragging a 6-point whitetail buck down the road. CO Watson requested to inspect the kill-tag attached to the buck, and the hunter informed CO Watson that he had not tagged the buck yet. The hunter stated his kill-tag was in his pocket though and he would tag the deer right now. CO Watson asked the hunter why he had not validated the tag, the hunter answered that his knife was not sharp enough to validate the tag. CO Watson stated that his knife was probably sharp enough to validate a kill-tag since he had already field dressed his deer with it. The hunter agreed. A citation was issued for failing to immediately attach and validate a kill-tag.
CO Bobby Watson was responding to a tip of a whitetail doe hanging in a barn that could have possibly been shot over a bait pile when he discovered a bloody drag trail leading to the barn mentioned in the tip. CO Watson contacted the homeowner who had shot the doe. CO Watson discovered after speaking with the homeowner that the doe had been shot over a bait pile and tagged with his daughter-in-law’s antlerless kill-tag. CO Watson issued the hunter a citation for borrowing and using the kill-tag of another to tag his doe and a verbal warning for using bait.
CO Bobby Watson was assisting CO Ben Lasher with a contact in the field involving two hunters when an ORV drove past the two COs who were parked at a residence. CO Watson watched the ORV travel a short distance down the road before beginning to do doughnuts. CO Watson left CO Lasher to handle the situation alone while he attempted to contact the ORV. CO Watson performed a traffic stop on the ORV and contacted the driver and riders of the ORV. CO Watson observed open containers of alcohol during the traffic stop. CO Watson issued a citation for open intoxicants.
On the opening day of the firearm deer season, CO Jaime Salisbury and Sgt. Chris Maher were in route to a trespassing complaint when CO Salisbury noticed a dead 6-point buck field dressed and laying in front of a garage. CO Salisbury backed up and pulled into the driveway. The COs were looking at the deer and noticed that there were not any tags attached. Moments after the COs checked the deer, a man and his 13-year old son pulled into the driveway. The COs asked to see the hunter’s tags which were all still in their wallets. A citation was issued for failing to immediately attach and validate the kill-tag.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Sgt. Chris Maher received a RAP complaint regarding a large deer that had been shot on the complainant’s property by a neighbor. When the COs arrived, the complainant took them to where the deer was shot. It was easy to tell where the deer had been shot due to the early snow fall. From the location the deer was shot the COs were able to observe where the neighbor’s tree stand was located about 35 yards away right on the property line. The COs also found a spent shotgun shell in the snow beneath the stand. The COs went to the neighbor’s house and contacted the property owner who said it was his son-in-law who shot the deer and that they just left to bring the deer to the processor. The COs asked the father to call and ask them to bring the deer back. Once the son-in-law and his wife were back with the deer, the COs took them out to the tree stand and asked what happened and where the deer was at when it was shot. At first the man said he had shot it and that it was just on the property line. The COs continued to ask him questions about the hunt and things just weren’t adding up. Eventually the man admitted that he couldn’t answer all the questions because it was his wife who had shot the deer. After some further questioning, the COs were able to obtain a confession that the deer had been shot while it was on the neighbor’s property and that the wife had not had a tag when she shot the deer. The deer was seized as evidence and later donated to hunters against hunger. Multiple charges are being sought from the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office for hunting deer without a license, recreational trespass, lending/borrowing another’s kill-tag, and loaded firearm in an ORV.
CO Nick Ingersoll received a complaint of a hunter who had shot a deer without a hunting license. The complainant advised that, after shooting the deer, the hunter went and bought his hunting license after the deer was already deceased. CO Ingersoll followed up with the hunter who was suspected of shooting an 8-point without a hunting license. CO Ingersoll interviewed the hunter who admitted that he had shot the deer without a hunting license. The hunter stated he doesn’t expect to shoot deer on his first sit, and that is why did not buy his hunting license yet. The hunter advised once that he had shot the deer, he knew he had to go and get a hunting license. After CO Ingersoll checked the hunter’s licensing history, there was a pattern of the hunter shooting deer on the same weekend and the hunter buying a license on the same day. CO Ingersoll asked the hunter about a deer that he had shot in 2018. CO Ingersoll advised him that he knew he shot a deer in 2018 on November 4 and purchased his hunting license on November 4. CO Ingersoll asked for the hunter to tell him about his 2018 8-point that he had shot. The hunter admitted to doing the same thing. In 2018 he had shot the deer also without a license. Once he had found the deer, he went to the store and purchased his hunting license. CO Ingersoll explained the charges to the hunter and a warrant is being sought through the Monroe County prosecutor.
CO Nick Ingersoll received a complaint that a hunter was dragging a deer out of the woods without a kill-tag attached. CO Ingersoll responded to the area and located a hunter who was processing his deer near the roadway in a field. CO Ingersoll watched as the hunters field dressed the deer and waited to see if they were going to attach a kill-tag. The hunters eventually drug the deer up to the road where their truck was sitting; the deer was in their possession without a kill-tag attached. CO Ingersoll contacted the hunters and asked why they did not tag the deer yet, and they stated that they did not have the tags with them. CO Ingersoll was able to confirm that the hunter did have valid tags through checking the hunter’s RSS history. CO Ingersoll asked the hunters what they were going to do with the deer, and they advised they were going to load it into the truck and go home and process it themselves. CO Ingersoll advised them that they were required to immediately tag and validate the deer before transporting it through the woods and to the truck. CO Ingersoll advised the hunter that he needed to tag the deer before he transported the deer back to his residence. CO Ingersoll waited an hour for the hunter’s wife to bring his tag to them, where CO Ingersoll and the hunter validated and attached the kill-tag to the deer. The hunter was issued a citation for failure to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag and admitted he would have drove home without a kill-tag attached if CO Ingersoll did not contact him.
COs Nick Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek received a complaint of individuals baiting deer near a set of railroad tracks in Frenchtown Township. The COs were able to locate the hunters on the opening evening of firearm deer season as they were leaving the railroad tracks. The COs contacted both hunters and advised them they were there to look at the bait they had out. Initially the hunters denied the bait was there, and the COs advised they knew they were baiting. The hunters confessed to baiting and showed the COs where their bait pile was. The bait pile consisted of sugar beets and corn, and the hunter was advised to clean up the bait before hunting out there again. The hunters advised that they knew baiting was illegal, but this was the only way they could get deer into their stand. Charges are being filed with the Monroe County prosecutor for hunting over bait.
COs Keven Luther and David Schaumburger investigated an in-progress recreational trespassing complaint within Sumpter Township. After contacting the complainant, the COs interviewed the possible suspects. While conducting the investigation, CO Luther observed one of the subjects processing a hanging untagged 6-point whitetail deer. After concluding the investigation, it was determined that the subjects were not recreationally trespassing on the complainant’s property. However, one individual was issued a citation for not immediately validating and attaching his kill-tag. The deer was seized and donated.
CO Keven Luther responded to a waterfowl complaint at the Pointe Mouillee Game Area. After contacting the complainants, CO Luther interviewed the two suspects at their residence in Allen Park. Both suspects confessed to hunting waterfowl within the managed zone without a draw permit. CO Luther informed the suspects of the violation and a report will be turned into the Monroe Prosecutor’s Office for formal charges.
CO Keven Luther observed a pickup truck parked in the Brownstown Sports Center parking lot. The vehicle had hunting equipment and footprints leading into property owned by the township posted with no trespassing signage. CO Luther contacted CO Dan Walzak and the two coordinated an investigation for possible illegal recreational trespassing. CO Luther tracked the footprints onto two different posted properties before contacting two hunters. The COs recreational trespassing investigation concluded with two hunters hunting after hours, with firearms within an area with a DNR local hunting control prohibiting the use of firearms. The two hunters were issued citations for both offenses. The hunters were educated and issued two verbal warnings each for hunting while not wearing hunter orange and recreational trespassing.
CO Keven Luther was accompanied with a ride-a-long interested in becoming a Michigan Conservation Officer. During the ride-a-long, CO Luther received a trespassing complaint from a landowner in Sumpter Township. The landowner observed a subject on his posted property as well as powerline property. The subject fled the scene before CO Luther’s arrival. The complainant, ride-a-long, and CO Luther patrolled the property attempting to locate a blood trail because the complainant heard two gunshots. No blood trail was located. In the rush to flee the scene, the subject was observed by the complainant drop a firearm and tree stand. The tree stand and firearm were both recovered by CO Luther and his ride-a-long. The subject left a Remington bolt action .30-06 rifle on scene. CO Dan Walzak arrived and the three attempted to interview the subject at his residence. The subject was not home and the three coordinated to interview him later. While checking anglers a few miles from the subject’s home, CO Luther observed the subject’s vehicle. CO Luther made eye contact with the subject and waved for him to come over. The subject and his wife pulled into the parking lot where CO Luther then interviewed both individuals, obtaining a full confession. A case report will be submitted to the prosecutor for formal charges.
CO David Schaumburger observed a truck parked near a field and observed corn, carrots, and apples in the truck bed. CO Schaumburger contacted CO Keven Luther and Sgt. Damon Owens for assistance in tracking the subject in the wooded area. The COs tracked footprints in the snow and found the hunter hunting over approximately 20 gallons of bait scattered in different piles. The hunter did not purchase a hunting license yet because he did not intend to shoot a deer that day, but still brought his firearm. He also did not have any hunter orange, nor did he have a case for the firearm in the truck he transported it in. Citations were issued for hunting over bait and without a license.
CO David Schaumburger observed a truck parked in a manner that would indicate someone maybe hunting in the nearby wooded area. The CO observed hunting equipment and waited for the hunter to return to his vehicle. The CO contacted a hunter walking out of the woods who was only wearing orange pants. The CO had him unload his weapon and it was at that time, another hunter walked out of the woods without a weapon. That hunter stated to the CO he was walking out and fell, dropped his weapon, and needed a flashlight to find his weapon. With the aid of the hunter, the CO was able to locate a gun in the woods and the hunter stated that indeed was his gun! The CO used his police sense and had a hunch that both hunters could be felons in possession of firearms. With the aid of dispatch, he was able to confirm they were felons in possession of firearms. The two hunters were fingerprinted, and charges will be sought from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
While watching a hunter’s vehicle on a narrow rural road, CO Dan Walzak had a small pickup drive by him at an extremely high speed. Catching up to the vehicle, CO Walzak was able to pace it at 84 mph in a 55-mph speed zone. After pulling it over, CO Walzak approached the vehicle, noting that there was a passenger, and asked the driver why he was driving so fast and received the response, “I was just having a little fun.” When the CO asked the driver if he knew how fast he was driving, the driver casually replied, “A little over 80 miles per hour.” When it was pointed out that deer regularly cross the road in that area and that, at that speed, he was covering close to half of a football field per second, the stunned driver began thinking of what could happen if he had hit one. A citation for speeding was issued to the driver.
Checking waterfowl hunters, CO Dan Walzak contacted three hunters who had been out for the morning hunt. Checking the licenses of the hunters, one of them appeared to be missing a state waterfowl hunting license. Because he was so adamant that he had purchased one, the CO asked the subject to keep looking for his license while he finished up with the two others. When CO Walzak returned to the subject and asked if he had found it, the subject replied that he knew that he had purchased one but did not have it with him. Running the subject through the RSS for license purchases, it was revealed that the subject had purchased his state waterfowl hunting license over the internet only five minutes prior to CO Walzak checking, most likely while the CO was dealing with his hunting partners. The subject was issued a citation for hunting waterfowl without a state waterfowl license.
While patrolling Monroe County, CO Brandon Vacek observed an ORV traveling from a field to a nearby residence with a deer in the back bed. The CO contacted a group of hunters to check their licenses and harvest. The CO noticed that the deer in the bed of the ORV was untagged. The CO determined the deer belonged to one of the subjects who failed to have any kill-tags in possession. The subject had left the tags at another location and the group was driving back to unload the deer. The hunter who harvested the deer was issued a citation for failing to immediately attach a kill-tag to the deer. The other two subjects were properly licensed. The CO educated the group about the violations and the tagging laws for deer in Michigan.