Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Byron Parks was patrolling Ontonagon County when a call came over dispatch regarding a snowmobile personal injury accident. CO Parks was the only law enforcement officer currently working in the county. Dispatch advised CO Parks that the snowmobiler had a possible broken leg, and his group was riding off-trail. When CO Parks arrived on scene, the fire department had the Argo and rescue sled ready to locate the injured snowmobiler. CO Parks went with the Argo, along with emergency medical services (EMS), and located the snowmobiler not far from the highway. They were able to load the injured subject into the rescue sled and get him back to the highway where he was transported to Portage Hospital.
COs Brian Lasanen and Doug Hermanson conducted a sound meter patrol in Houghton County on Trail 3. The COs tested four sleds and found two sleds that were well over the legal decibels of 88. The other two were close but not over 88 decibels. The COs cited the two very loud snowmobile operators.
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling an intersection near the Porcupine Mountains ski hill when he observed a snowmobile fail to stop at a stop sign before crossing a road. CO Mapes attempted to stop the snowmobiler but was unable to get around the subject until after they had run through yet another intersection. Upon contacting the rider, CO Mapes noticed that the subject was visibly intoxicated. After field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test (PBT) which read .18 blood alcohol content, over twice the legal limit, CO Mapes placed the rider under arrest for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated (OWI). The rider was lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail.
CO Ethen Mapes started a snowmobile patrol from the Porcupine Mountains headquarters building and rode roughly a half mile down the trail when he came upon a snowmobile accident involving one rider and a large tree. The accident occurred after the rider hit a bump in the trail and squeezed the throttle tight. As the snowmobile left the trail, the rider bailed off the side of the snowmobile before it made impact with the tree. The rider complained of a sore knee and refused medical treatment. The snowmobile was totaled.
CO Ethen Mapes helped apprehend a subject who had led a local sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase. The chase ended after the suspect crashed his vehicle and fled on foot. A MSP (Michigan State Police) K-9 unit assisted in tracking the suspect, who was found hiding in the rafters of a woodshed. The vehicle was found to be stolen and the driver was determined to be operating under the influence of drugs.
CO Jenni Hanson assisted a MSP trooper with a felonious assault incident in Bruce Crossing. An elderly male with a diminished mental status pointed a handgun at his son's head. The officers responded, deescalated the situation, and brought the elderly male to the hospital for evaluation.
CO Zach Painter responded to a call of three horses loose and running down highway M 28 near Wakefield. CO Painter and a trooper from the MSP Wakefield post were able to guide the horses off the highway and lead them back to the barn that they escaped from without incident.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling Dickinson County when dispatch reported a domestic dispute inside a motor vehicle close to his location. CO Ferguson responded and was first on the scene and secured the area. The suspect fled on foot into a surrounding neighborhood. Information was received that the suspect obtained a city cab and headed west on US 2. A responding MSP trooper located the vehicle and apprehended the suspect.
CO Josh Boudreaux responded to a snowmobile personal injury accident in Forsyth Township. The operator appeared to have been riding too fast for conditions and was thrown from her snowmobile after hitting an unexpected dip in the trail. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.
CO Josh Boudreaux was patrolling Trail 417 in Chocolay Township when a car fire was reported through Marquette Central Dispatch. CO Boudreaux was the closest unit to the incident and responded to the scene where he assisted the local fire department with traffic control and checked on the driver of the vehicle who was fortunately uninjured.
CO Jeremy Sergey was heading out to check a lake in Marquette County when he discovered several bags of household trash dumped all over the road heading into the lake access site. After digging though several bags of cigarette butts and old lottery tickets, CO Sergey was able to identify to whom the trash belonged. CO Sergey went to the individual's residence and obtained a confession after a very short interview. A citation was issued to the individual for littering.
CO Jeremy Sergey and Sgt. Mark Leadman conducted a speed enforcement patrol on snowmobile Trail 417 in Marquette County. Many recent complaints have been received about snowmobilers speeding in the posted 35 miles per hour (mph) section of trail. Citations were issued for the following: 55 mph, 61 mph, and 64 mph in a 35-mph speed zone. Numerous warnings were given to the other riders in each group stopped for speeding.
COs Jeremy Sergey and John Kamps were patrolling near Station Road when a snowmobiler ran straight through a stop sign. CO Sergey caught up with the individual several miles down the trail and issued him a citation for carless operation of a snowmobile. The same intersection had a fatal snowmobile crash several years earlier.
CO John Kamps came upon a snowmobile versus logging truck accident only seconds after it happened. Witnesses say the rider stopped and looked for traffic but then continued out into the path of the oncoming logging truck. His snowmobile was struck in the very rear portion causing the rider to be thrown off the machine where he landed on the pavement nearly 70 feet away. The subject was transported by EMS to UP Health Systems Marquette where he was admitted into the intensive care unit.
CO Steve Butzin was conducting a night patrol on Little Bay de Noc. While on patrol CO Butzin encountered several anglers with lines that were not being attended, one being a tip-up that had a flag up for over 35 minutes prior to CO Butzin making contact. Upon contacting the anglers, they admitted to setting the lines and stated they were going to check them when they woke up that morning. CO Butzin explained how lines must be in immediate attendance. Two anglers were issued citations for fishing without lines in immediate control.
COs Andrea Dani and Chris Lynch responded with Alger County Sheriff's Deputy Sergeant Sam Grahovac to a snowmobile rollover accident on H 58 near Kingston Lake. The officers located the injured operator and relayed injury information to Alger County Dispatch and EMS. The operator was transported by Alger County EMS to UP Health System Marquette.
CO Andrea Dani, Alger County EMS, and sheriff's office deputies responded to a call of a snowmobile versus tree personal injury accident. Evidence at the scene indicated that a combination of speed and lack of knowledge of the trail led to the accident. The operator was transported by EMS to Munising Memorial Hospital where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin conducted a meat processor inspection and located a suspicious record. The COs followed up with the hunter who confessed to taking a 5-point buck without a license. The antlers and gun were seized, and a report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor's Office for review.
CO Cole VanOosten received a call of a personal injury accident that occurred on a snowmobile in northern Luce County. CO VanOosten was first on scene and assisted with providing medical treatment and transporting the patient off the trail and into the ambulance. It was the riders first time riding a snowmobile and he had just rented the snowmobile earlier that morning. The rider made it approximately 30 miles before he hit a tree.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling on snowmobile in Mackinac County when he discovered a tip-up placed in the middle of a lake. The flag on the tip-up was up at the time it was located and there was no identification on the tip-up. CO VanOosten waited next to the tip-up for approximately 45 minutes before he was able to contact the angler. The angler admitted to setting the tip-up earlier that morning and not tending to it. CO VanOosten issued the man a ticket for fishing with lines not in immediate control and a warning was issued for no name on tip-up.
CO Nathan Beelman was returning to his residence from a group snowmobile enforcement patrol and observed a vehicle ahead of him cross the fog line multiple times and then cross over the center line twice. The vehicle then failed to signal before making a turn. CO Beelman initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who initially struggled to get the vehicle in to park and keep it from rolling away. The driver showed no signs of intoxication and was able to park the vehicle in a nearby parking lot. The driver was found to be 90 years old and was working on remodeling a home all day and was extremely tired. The subject fell asleep while CO Beelman was running the subject's driver's license and was struggling to find the paperwork that CO Beelman needed. CO Beelman was able to get in contact with a family member who was nearby and who could give the driver a ride home. The vehicle was secured and left overnight until the driver could retrieve it in the morning. At the end of the contact, the elderly driver agreed that it was probably best not to drive after dark from now on.
COs Andrea Erratt and Andrea Albert were on snowmobile enforcement patrol in Antrim County when CO Erratt stopped a snowmobile with no trail permit. The operator was from out of state and claimed he did not know where to buy a trail permit. He was riding with his brother who owned property nearby and a friend, both had Michigan trail permits. The operator then pointed out that he had a trail permit from Wyoming where he had been last week and asked CO Erratt for a warning. CO Erratt explained that he was on snowmobile trail that had just been groomed and issued him a ticket for operating a snowmobile without a permit.
CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol near the Emmet and Charlevoix County line when a medical call was relayed by Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Central Dispatch. An elderly patient had stopped breathing and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was in progress. CO LeClerc responded to and was the first on scene followed by Charlevoix County deputies. The patient was breathing when CO LeClerc arrived on scene and was responsive to stimulus. CO LeClerc kept the patient alert, talking, and relayed information to the paramedics arriving on scene. Patient care was turned over to Charlevoix County EMS.
CO Duane Budreau was contacted by a snowmobiler looking for a restaurant in the area while conducting a group snowmobile enforcement patrol in northern Emmet County focusing on sound enforcement. As CO Budreau was giving the operator directions, he noticed the snowmobile had no registration. The owner/operator of the snowmobile told CO Budreau that he was from Ohio and that he did not have to register the machine unless he was riding in Ohio. CO Budreau explained to the individual that all snowmobiles must be registered to operate off private property in Michigan. The operator was determined to convince CO Budreau that he was not required to register his machine, stating that he had been stopped several times before and no one ever told him that his snowmobile had to be registered. CO Budreau listened to the subject's argument as he wrote out the ticket for unregistered snowmobile.
CO Tom Oberg was in his patrol truck when an accident occurred on the street in front of him, closing off the entire westbound traffic on M 32 in Gaylord. CO Oberg was able to assist the Gaylord Police Department, Otsego County Fire, and EMS in traffic control and re-routing vehicles while the occupants in the crash were being tended to and the vehicles were being removed from the roadway.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when an accident occurred between a garbage truck and a pickup truck on a rural two-track road. CO Oberg was the closest unit in the area and responded to the accident. Luckily, no injuries were involved. CO Oberg investigated the crash and completed the accident report.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when central dispatch advised of a possible motor vehicle personal injury accident on I 75 in Otsego County. The reporting caller saw a vehicle down in the median side that went into the trees. CO Oberg arrived first on scene. The driver lost control and went airborne over the snow embankment on the side of the road, down into the median, and taking out a group of small trees. Miraculously, the driver was uninjured. An MSP trooper arrived on scene shortly after and completed the accident report and investigation.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when he received a complaint regarding snowmobiles that were caught on someone's security cameras at their cabin in the Pigeon River State Forest. The caller was at his home downstate and stated he never had snowmobiles trespassing on his cabin property before since it is way back in the woods and was concerned about them breaking into his buildings. CO Oberg went to the location and located the fresh snowmobile tracks. After checking the area, CO Oberg verified the buildings and property were secure. The snowmobiles were no longer in the area and appeared to have gotten turned around.
CO Tom Oberg just began his shift when central dispatch advised a snowmobile crash had just occurred where the operator reportedly hit a tree. CO Oberg responded to the crash and located the operator on the snowmobile trail. The operator had attempted to negotiate a curve but lost control and hit a small tree with the rental snowmobile which threw her approximately 10 feet from the snowmobile. Luckily, the rider only sustained a sore knee from the accident and did not want medical attention. CO Oberg completed the accident report for the crash and waited in the area until the rental company was able to remove the snowmobile from the snowmobile trail.
Sgt. Mark DePew was on snowmobile enforcement patrol in Otsego County when he assisted three separate stranded snowmobilers on Trail 7 north of Gaylord. The first two sleds were stuck in the deep snow, and the last one had a blown drive belt. The sergeant was able to pull the two stuck snowmobiles out and replace the broken drive belt on the last one. All the snowmobilers were very appreciative of the help and continued on their way.
CO Sidney Collins was contacted by a local homeowner in Montmorency County about a nuisance bird. The complainant was unsure what kind of bird it was at the time but stated it would follow people and vehicles down the road, even riding on truck beds or windshields at times. The complainant stated one time he was bringing in groceries and the bird walked into his home. CO Collins met with the homeowner and found the bird making all the ruckus. The bird was a male grouse. CO Collins was able to capture the bird and release it in a more remote location far enough from any homes to be a disturbance.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were working a snowmobile enforcement sound meter patrol in Montmorency County when a 911 call was dispatched about a subject lunging towards moving cars while walking on the side of a county road. The COs were closest to the area and responded. The subject was non-compliant, very intoxicated, and had warrants in a local county. The COs assisted a deputy in arresting the subject.
CO Paul Fox concluded an ongoing investigation involving an individual who harvested an over-limit of bobcats in Presque Isle County during the 2019 bobcat season. CO Fox originally received an anonymous tip that a subject may have taken an illegal bobcat. CO Fox followed up with the complaint and was able to locate a fur processor in Michigan that received a bobcat from the suspect. Additionally, CO Fox located a fur processor in Minnesota that also received a bobcat from the suspect that same year. CO Charles McPherson assisted in follow up inspections and evidence collection. CO Fox interviewed the suspect, who admitted to taking an over-limit of bobcats and taking bobcat during closed season the previous year. Charges were submitted and authorized by the prosecutor's office.
CO Paul Fox was checking ice anglers on Tomahawk Flooding when he observed a group of anglers with several tip-ups out. Upon contact, it was evident that the group had too many tip-ups set for the number of anglers. One of the anglers admitted to setting too many lines, but stated the extra line was just to test a new prototype lure. Unconventional as it was, the "prototype" lure still had a hook and was very capable of catching fish. During the contact, one angler stated they forgot their license in the vehicle. CO Fox directed the subject to retrieve the license and return to the lake. The subject returned and stated they left their fishing license at home. Another member of the fishing party assured the CO that the subject had a fishing license because they purchased their licenses together at the same time. When the CO checked the subject's license purchase history, it revealed that the person had not purchased a fishing license since 2018. Confronted with this new information, the subject stated that their mother usually buys their fishing license and that the mother must have forgot. Tickets were issued for fishing with too many lines and fishing without a license.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Trail 449 in Montmorency County. This section of trail receives a lot of complaints about operators disregarding trail stop signs at high rates of speed. CO Liestenfeltz observed a snowmobile drive through the stop sign at a high rate of speed without even attempting to slow down. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a stop on the snowmobile. Upon contact, the operator stated that he knew no cars or other snowmobiles were coming so he did not think he had to stop. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for careless operation of a snowmobile disregarding a stop sign.
In Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews investigated reports of a sow Black bear with cubs that had been illegally killed during the summer of 2020. CO Andrews, along with COs Brian Brosky, Josiah Killingbeck, and Sgt. Grant Emery served a search warrant at the residence of the suspect later in 2020. During the search, the bear was recovered from the property. Evidence was seized, including firearms and cell phones. Due to the statements made during the interview with the suspect and the evidence found, CO Andrews requested charges through the Lake County Court, an arrest warrant was approved for the suspect. Prior to the scheduled trial in February of 2021, the suspect plead guilty to illegally taking the bear. The suspect and the Lake County prosecutor agreed to five days imprisonment in the Lake County Jail, $3,500 in restitution, $400 in court costs, a loss of hunting privileges for three years, and if all penalties are not fulfilled in one year, the loss of rifles that were seized as evidence.
CO Steve Converse was patrolling ice anglers when he observed two subjects fishing that appeared to be fishing with nine lines. CO Converse observed that one of the tip-ups had a flag up for over a half hour. CO Converse contacted the subjects and one of the subjects standing outside the shanty stated those three tip-ups over there did not belong to them. The subject then pointed to a vehicle that had just pulled up and was quickly turning around to leave. The subject on the ice explained that the subjects in the vehicle had set the three tip-ups several hours earlier and left. CO Converse was able to get to his patrol truck and catch up to the subjects several miles away. Upon contacting the subjects in the vehicle, they admitted that the tip-ups on the lake were theirs and they had left to go downhill skiing. CO Converse escorted the subjects back to the lake and verified that the tip-ups did belong to them. CO Converse explained the issue and cited one of the subjects for leaving the lines unattended.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Robert Meyers of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, while working a joint snowmobile patrol, observed two snowmobiles approaching from behind the officers on a county road. CO Killingbeck and Sgt. Meyers observed one of the snowmobiles to be operating against the flow of traffic. Contact was initiated and the operator that was riding against the flow of traffic said that he wanted to ride beside his "buddy". CO Killingbeck explained that this was illegal, and the subject said that he knew it was illegal. While speaking with the subject, CO Killingbeck detected the odor of intoxicants coming from the operator's person. The subject told CO Killingbeck that he only had "two beers." Sobriety tests were conducted, and the subject failed the test. CO Killingbeck asked the subject to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) and the subject refused. CO Killingbeck arrested the subject for OWI. At the Lake County Jail, the subject submitted to a breath test and results showed the subject two be twice the legal limit.
CO Josh Reed concluded an investigation from the firearm deer season. Two subjects were caught on a trail camera trespassing and not wearing hunter orange. The subjects were identified, and interviews were conducted with both individuals admitting to the hunter orange and trespassing violations. The report was sent over to the prosecutor's office for review.
COs Ben Shively and Micah Hintze were on snowmobile patrol when they observed a snowmobile displaying an expired registration that was over 20 years old and no trail permit. CO Shively conducted a stop on the snowmobile and found the driver to be operating with a suspended driver's license. The subject was cited for operating a snowmobile with a suspended license and issued warnings for unregistered snowmobile and no trail permit.
CO Breanna Reed located nine unattended tip-ups on Sapphire Lake in Missaukee County. While watching the tips-ups, CO Reed noticed four of the nine had flags go up with no anglers in sight. After approximately 15 minutes, CO Reed walked out to the tip-ups to locate the anglers responsible for the lines in the water. After getting a name and address off the tip-ups, CO Reed contacted the owners 45 minutes later. The three anglers stated they all had to help an individual with car trouble and did not realize they would be gone for as long as they were. A citation was issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
COs Breanna Reed, Matt Zultak, and Ben McAteer were checking anglers on Higgins Lake in Roscommon County when they witnessed several tip-ups set up around three ice shanties. The COs contacted the anglers and established what tip-ups belonged to which anglers. One of the anglers admitted to having six lines in the water but the COs still had three tip-ups that were unaccounted for. The anglers stated the tip-ups did not belong to any of them. After further investigation, CO Reed noticed a distinct knee pad print next to each of the tip-ups. CO Reed recalled one of the anglers she had talked with earlier had grey knee pads on. COs Reed and Zultak re-contacted the angler and asked where his knee pads had gone. The angler stated he did not have knee pads. CO Reed was positive he had knee pads on at the time of initial contact. After looking around, CO Reed was able to locate the knee pads buried under the snow next to another angler's shanty. The angler confessed to having too many lines out and stated he hid the knee pads because he did not like authority. Citations were issued for fishing with more than three lines and no name/address on tip-ups.
CO Jesse Grzechowski checked a group of ice anglers while on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County. Upon contact with the anglers, CO Grzechowski watched one of the anglers pull a jigging rod out of the water and quickly stash it in a bucket. CO Grzechowski asked the angler how many lines he was fishing with. The angler held up a different rod that was also in the water and said he had two tip-ups out for a total of three lines. CO Grzechowski asked about the other rod he had stashed into a bucket and the angler said he was not fishing with it. CO Grzechowski advised the angler that he watched him fishing with it. The angler denied fishing with the rod three times before admitting to fishing with it and having too many lines out. CO Grzechowski checked the angler's record for prior violations which revealed he had been previously charged two times for fishing with too many lines. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines.
CO James Garrett assisted Oscoda County Sheriff's deputies with a serious injury snowmobile accident that occurred on Eastwood Road in Greenwood Township. The crash occurred on a county road and was due to a high rate of speed paired with an inexperienced snowmobile operator. The individual was air lifted to Covenant Hospital for further treatment. The prognosis of the rider is currently unknown.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was on patrol in Alcona County when he observed a subject run a stop sign while operating a snowmobile. CO Grzechowski contacted the operator and detected an odor of intoxicants. After performing standard field sobriety evaluations, the operator was arrested for OWI and lodged at the Alcona County jail.
COs Craig Neal and Josh Wright patrolled road ends along Saginaw Bay in Arenac County checking anglers as they came off the ice. They were checking three anglers who just came off the ice when CO Wright asked how many fish they had caught. Two of them stated that they did not do very well and maybe had 10 fish between the two of them. The third angler stated he was not sure but that he had not done very well either. CO Neal asked to look at his fish. The angler opened his minnow bucket to show his fish. It was hard to see how many perch were in the bucket with all the minnows swimming around, so CO Neal began pulling them out. The angler ended up having 39 perch in his minnow bucket, 14 over the legal limit. CO Neal issued the angler a citation for the overlimit and seized the extra fish.
While on a group snowmobile patrol in Saginaw County near M 247, CO Quincy Gowenlock observed a sled traveling at a high rate of speed. Using a handheld radar device, CO Gowenlock obtained a speed reading of 76 mph in a 45-mph zone. CO Gowenlock initiated an enforcement stop on the suspect. Upon contact it was determined the suspect had a suspended driver's license. A subsequent check with central dispatch revealed two warrants were issued out of Bay County. The suspect was cited for his violation and lodged at the county's request.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol when he observed a snowmobile operating on the roadway and observed the operator fail to stop at a stop sign. CO Beuthin initiated contact with the snowmobile operator and noticed there was no registration or trail permit on the machine. When CO Beuthin approached the operator, he could immediately smell the odor of intoxicants coming from breath of the operator. After further observations and questions the CO ran the individual through standard field sobriety tests and it was determined that the individual was under the influence of alcohol. The operator was placed under arrest for OWI. A case report for OWI was submitted to the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.
While patrolling western Midland County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a side-by-side operating down the middle of a roadway at a high rate of speed. Due to poor road conditions, CO Haas was unable to catch up to the ORV, but he witnessed the ORV operate onto state land and predicted where the ORV would return to the roadway. CO Haas drove around the large section of state land and intercepted the ORV after it had illegally operated through a wetland and over a stream. A citation was issued to the operator for the various ORV violations.
COs Matt Page, Tyler Cole, and Zach Bauer conducted a snowmobile patrol in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. One citation was issued for a trail permit violation.
COs Tyler Cole and Zach Bauer conducted a snowmobile patrol in Berrien County. Five citations were issued for trail permit violations and numerous warnings were given for other violations.
CO Matt Page checked anglers over the week and issued one citation for fishing without a license to a subject who had not purchased a license in over four years. Additionally, a 17-year-old was warned for fishing without a license. CO Page showed the new angler how to purchase a license online and he was educated on the licensing laws.
District 7 COs performed a group sound meter enforcement patrol along a local state trail in Muskegon County. Two snowmobiles were found to be over the allowable decibels for public trails. Warnings were given for the violations.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg were on patrol in the Bass River Recreation Area in Ottawa County when they witnessed a pickup truck stuck in the snow. The COs assisted the stranded motorists by digging the tires out of the snow. After some digging, it was apparent the truck was not going to become mobile from just digging. CO Varriale located some discarded wood, and the COs used that to put underneath the tires of the truck to gain traction. Using a combination of digging and wood planks, the COs were able to free the stranded motorist.
While patrolling Muskegon County snowmobile trails, COs Jackie Miskovich, Robert Slick, and Tim Barboza noticed two groups of snowmobiles go by. Each group had individuals not showing a valid trail permit. CO Miskovich turned her sled around and made a stop on the second group that had gone by. It was found that they had a valid permit, however it was covered. CO Miskovich ended contact and caught up with the first group of snowmobiles and a stop was made. There was no valid trail permit on one of the sleds. A citation was issued for not having a valid trail permit and a warning was given for not having their current registration on the snowmobile.
While on snowmobile patrol in Newaygo County, COs Jackie Miskovich and Robert Slick noticed two snowmobiles riding the edge of the road that did not have valid trail permits. COs Miskovich and Slick observed the snowmobiles stop at a gas station nearby and they made contact. One of the snowmobiles did not have any registration or trail permit. The other snowmobile did not have valid registration or a trail permit. While running the individuals, it was found that one of them had a suspended driver's license. A citation was issued for not having a trail permit and a warning for no registration. A second citation was issued for driving a snowmobile while suspended and a warning for no trail permit.
COs Rich Cardenas, James Nason, and Kyle McQueer conducted a snowmobile sound enforcement patrol on the snowmobile trail. Numerous positive contacts were made during the enforcement effort and good compliance was found in respect to muffler noise limits.
CO James Nason responded to a complaint that was called into Kalamazoo County Dispatch Center. The caller stated that one of her front windows to her home was shattered due to a large bird that had flown into it. Upon arrival, a Red-tailed hawk was found sitting on the woman's front porch. CO Nason was able to catch the hawk without incident. The bird was then delivered to a licensed raptor rehabilitator. The facility hopes to rehabilitate the injured bird as it appeared to have only superficial injuries.
CO Rich Cardenas received a complaint from the Barry County Sheriff's Department of a truck that was stuck on a local snowmobile trail and blocking a portion of it. CO Cardenas responded and determined the subject decided to go for a "joy ride" on the snowmobile trail on private property and quickly became buried in the deep compacted snow. A local farmer assisted in removing the truck and a citation was issued for trespassing.
CO Chris Reynolds worked a report all poaching (RAP) complaint in Jackson County where a landowner's dog was caught in a trap and the landowner noticed the trap was untagged. CO Reynolds walked the complainant's property and located several other traps without tags. CO Reynolds patrolled the area around the complainant's property and contacted a trapper as he was coming onto the complainant's property. The trapper did not have any of his traps tagged and he did not have a fur harvester's license. The complainant stated he did not want to prosecute for trespassing. A citation was issued for using untagged traps and for not having a fur harvester license.
CO Chris Reynolds, while patrolling Jackson County, observed building materials dumped in a state game area. CO Reynolds located a recent receipt to a store with the person's name and account number. CO Reynolds interviewed the subject who stated an employee was supposed to have dumped the items at a local landfill. The individual contacted the employee who showed up a short time later and confessed to taking the items to the game area. CO Reynolds issued a citation for littering and the employee cleaned up the items.
CO Pete Purdy assisted DNR Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) officers with enforcement of an event at the Lake Chemung boat launch. A permit for the event had been denied by PRD. The organizer still carried on with an ice fishing tournament, utilizing the boat launch for activities. The organizer told attendees to park anywhere they could, resulting in unsafe conditions on the roadway and at the launch. The Livingston County Sheriff's Department towed several vehicles, and PRD staff issued several parking tickets at the launch. The event organizers expected 2,000 attendees for the tournament.
CO Todd Thorn was working coyote hunters in Ingham and Livingston Counties when he observed two vehicles driving slowly on a county road. The closest truck had two dead coyotes in the bed of the truck. CO Thorn contacted the driver and found he had an uncased shotgun next to him on the passenger seat. CO Thorn also located a loaded rifle in the backseat area of the truck. A ticket was issued.
CO Larn R. Strawn conducted a patrol of Clinton County focused on coyote hunting activity. CO Strawn located a group of hunters with dogs actively chasing a coyote. CO Strawn contacted and checked the hunters. CO Strawn discovered two uncased rifles in the seat between the driver and passenger. CO Strawn also discovered spent casings matching the rifles scattered across the vehicle on both the driver and passenger floor as well as in the seats. CO Strawn interviewed the hunters who ultimately admitted to shooting from the vehicle. CO Strawn issued citations for the possession of uncased rifles in the vehicle. Verbal warnings were given to the group for hunting with no hunter orange as well as attempting to take animals from, in, or upon a motor vehicle.
CO Dave Schaumburger received a call from a marina who just watched an angler trespass into their property. The CO arrived and questioned the angler who admitted to trespassing. The angler said that 30 minutes ago the manager called him and told him he could not access the ice from the marina, however, when the CO contacted the angler, he was still fishing, and not making any effort to pack up and leave. The angler stated to the CO that he was "eventually going to leave", however it was too late. During the contact, the angler also stated that two of his friends were COs, Sgt. Bomay and CO Walzak. CO Schaumburger followed up with both, of which neither recognized the angler or his name. A citation was issued for recreation trespass.
CO Dave Schaumburger assisted CO William Kinney by investigating a complaint of a short muskellunge being harvested up north. CO Schaumburger interviewed the subject at his residence. The subject stated that he and a friend were fishing when he caught a giant musky. He measured it with his tip-ups and approximated it at 48 inches in which he knew it was over the 42-minimum size-limit. He said that he also looked up a fishing guide online to be sure and it confirmed his thoughts but also that he did not see any footnotes. When he and his associates returned to their cabin, he looked up in the current online fishing guide again and saw the footnote and realized he made a mistake. He said he was crushed and upset that he made a mistake and decided to self-report because it was weighing on his conscience too much. The fish was filleted. CO Kinney went to the location provided and picked up what fillets were left. Further investigation revealed that a genuine mistake had taken place. The subject was intensely educated on his mistake by CO Schaumburger. A property seizure receipt was issued, and the remaining fillets were later donated.
While working on Belle Isle, COs Ray Gardner and Dan Walzak were notified by MSP Dispatch of a subject riding a snowmobile near the Livingstone Lighthouse. Responding to the location, the COs located a vehicle with a snowmobile trailer attached and snowmobile tracks in the area leading from the trailer. Within a few minutes, the snowmobile, with two occupants aboard, approached the parking area travelling on Lakeside Drive against traffic. Neither occupant was wearing a helmet. Upon contact, the operator immediately asked, "Am I in trouble?" In addition to riding against traffic and not wearing helmets, it was found that the snowmobile did not have current registration, no trail permit, the operator's driver's license was suspended and the operator, himself, had an outstanding warrant for driving while his license was suspended. The operator stated that he had recently purchased the snowmobile and had done some repair work on the engine. Wanting to take it for a test run, the operator advised that his father suggested he take the snowmobile to Belle Isle for a ride. The operator was issued a citation by CO Gardner for operating a snowmobile while his driver's license was suspended and the subject posted bond on his warrant.
Sgt. Damon Owens was contacted by MSP Dispatch of a complaint involving a suicidal female subject headed to Belle Isle Park. Sgt. Owens documented the description of the subject and possible vehicles being operated by the subject. While checking areas on the island, Sgt. Owens located a possible identification of the of the vehicle in question. Although the vehicle was a different color as described by the operator, it matched the description and the license plate returned with a last name match. Sgt. Owens initiated a traffic stop and confirmed this was the subject. Observations and several statements made from the female about doing harm to herself including stating she was building the courage to harm herself until she was pulled over by him. Sgt. Owens worked on bringing her to an emotional calm with a dedicated conversation. Sgt. Owens requested for a rescue unit to respond. Being backed by COs Keven Luther and Danielle Zubek, the subject consented to be turned over to Detroit EMS and taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital for evaluation.
CO Jacob Griffin received a phone call from the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area Supervisor and White Lake Police Department regarding a missing snowmobiler. After noting some details, CO Griffin contacted COs Danielle Zubek and Chris Knights. COs Zubek and Knights were nearby and quickly responded to the scene while utilizing snowmobiles to search the area. CO Griffin responded to the area where EMS, local police, and the missing subject's partner were staged. CO Griffin spoke with the snowmobiler's partner to obtain a better description of where they were riding. It was discovered the subject did not know the 4,000-acre wooded area. Additionally, due to different agencies using different radio frequencies, CO Griffin stayed at the staging area while relaying information from COs Zubek and Knights to local police and fire. The COs found the missing subject walking in the dark after getting his snowmobile stuck in the woods. The COs gave him a ride to the nearest access point CO Griffin relayed the location to EMS where they met the COs. The subject was examined by emergency medical technicians and released back to his riding partner. The next morning, COs Zubek and Griffin assisted the riders with searching the recreation area for the snowmobile that was stuck. After searching for a couple hours, the snowmobile was located. The COs helped the riders free the working snowmobile, turn it around, and escorted the riders back to the parking lot.
CO Ben Lasher patrolled Lake St. Clair in the area of the Fair Haven Access site with his Can Am side-by-side. CO Lasher stopped another side-by-side due to the driver not wearing a seat belt nor a helmet, as CO Lasher walked around the driver's side of the machine to get the driver's identification, he found a beer bottle that was not there when stopping the machine. Tickets issued for no helmet and littering.
CO Ben Lasher followed up on a RAP complaint where a property owner found his dog in a snare, set by a trespasser. CO Lasher was able to locate fresh tracks and other illegal snares with no tags, cable stop or enough swivels, and followed the tracks back to a neighbor's property where he was able to contact a suspect who admitted to setting the snares. The dog owner did not have his property line fenced or posted so a recreational trespass charge could not be added to the trapping violations. A warrant will be sought for fail to tag snares and a second charge for the lack of required gear.
CO Bobby Watson was on patrol checking ice anglers when he recognized the smell of burning marijuana from a nearby shanty. CO Watson approached the shanty and greeted the two anglers. Three tip-ups were set throughout the area, and neither angler was able to provide a fishing license. A citation was issued for fishing without a license and a warning was issued for the marijuana in a public place.
CO Jaime Salisbury saw an angler using tip-ups on a small public lake in Lapeer County. Using his binoculars, CO Salisbury was able to count four tip-ups and a rod and reel all being used at the same time by the lone angler. CO Salisbury contacted the angler to address the violation. CO Salisbury asked the angler how many lines he had out, and the angler said "Three." CO Salisbury asked about the other lines and the angler said he forgot about those ones. CO Salisbury issued a citation to the angler for fishing with too many lines and fishing with non-labeled tip-ups.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey worked a snowmobile patrol in St. Clair County over the weekend. One subject received a citation for careless driving for doing donuts with his pickup truck on the ice, right in front of the Fair Haven Access Site while anglers and families with kids were trying to access the ice safely. Two other subjects were stopped for operating ORVs in a closed Wildlife Area/Refuge and received citations for operating unlicensed ORVs and warned for operating in the closed area.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Ray Gardner were patrolling the Salt River for snowmobile violations. CO Gardner stopped a snowmobile who sped past within 100 feet of an ice shanty. The operator said he did not know he could not do that. A ticket was issued for the violation.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Ray Gardner were patrolling Lake St. Clair for snowmobile violations. While the officers were in a canal, CO Gardner stopped a snowmobile who sped past within 100 feet of an ice shanty. When asked about it, the operator said he didn't see the ice shanty there. When CO Gardner informed the operator, he would be receiving a ticket, the operator asked CO Gardner if he needed to make his quota for the month. CO Gardner informed the operator that he doesn't have a "quota" to meet. The COs explained to the operator that the State of Michigan doesn't get any money for the ticket he would be receiving. He was informed that an angler was recently killed by a snowmobile for the exact reason he was stopped. A ticket was issued for the violation.
COs Jaime Salisbury, Brad Silorey, Ben Lasher, and Sgt. Chris Maher participated in a group snowmobile patrol. Snowmobile and ORV activity was surprisingly low however the COs did contact two small groups of snowmobiles. Several citations were issued for failing to have trail permits while operating on the roads.
CO Brad Silorey was prepping for patrol for the day when he received a complaint that was called into DNR Dispatch. The complainant stated that while out fishing, he observed and exchanged words with several individuals who had speared and kept a tiger muskie on Lake St. Clair. CO Silorey quickly began his shift and headed to the location that the caller stated. Upon arrival CO Silorey located the suspect shanty that was several hundred yards from shore. Unable to see the fish in question, CO Silorey set out on foot to contact the subjects and see what they had speared. As CO Silorey approached their shanty, he announced himself to the subjects. The subjects stated that they had just speared the one "pike." After a brief look at the fish, it was evident that the fish was not a pike, but a tiger muskie. CO Silorey explained to the anglers that it was illegal to spear muskie on Lake St. Clair, and that it was out of season and undersized. The angler stated that "It was a pike when it swam into the hole." After speaking with the anglers further, they stated that immediately after throwing the spear they realized that it was a tiger muskie. CO Silorey issued a citation for possession of a muskie out of season and gave a warning for possessing an undersized muskie, 37 inches.
CO Mike Drexler responded to a recreational trespass complaint after receiving information from CO Brandon Hartleben. CO Drexler learned there were ice anglers on a pond within a subdivision in York Township. After speaking with the complainant, it was made clear the anglers received warnings previously and CO Drexler also observed their foot tracks passing directly by a "No Trespassing" sign. The angler was contacted and cited for recreational trespass.
COs Brandon Hartleben and Eric Smither had just started patrolling the perimeter roads around Devils Lake when they observed what appeared to be a single vehicle accident at the boat launch. Other motorists had stopped to assist when the COs arrived. One of the individuals checking on the driver immediately put his hands up and indicated he was just trying to help by seeing if the driver was ok when the COs pulled up. The COs thanked the man for his assistance and checked the driver for injuries. A quick interview with the "driver" indicated the man was highly intoxicated and had apparently attempted to leave the boat launch parking area by simply driving straight ahead and down the incline that led onto Devils Lake Highway. The small passenger car did not have the clearance to get on the roadway and was stuck on the small snow-covered incline between the highway and parking area. After conducting field sobrieties and administering a PBT which registered .245, the COs arrested the operator for OWI third offence, Driving while License Suspended/Revoked, Operating an Unregistered Vehicle, and use of an Improper Plate. The subject consented to a blood draw and was ultimately lodged at the Lenawee County jail.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was on Round Lake during a tip-up festival when he contacted an angler who had six tip-ups set around his shanty. After contacting the shanty, it was determined that only one individual was located inside, and he had three poles in the water inside the shanty. CO Ingersoll asked the angler if he knew how many lines he was supposed to have and he stated that he did not, CO Ingersoll advised him the answer was three. After checking the angler's tip-ups, it was determined that he did not have his name on the tip ups. CO Ingersoll issued the angler a citation for fishing with more than three lines and a warning for not having his tip-ups marked.
CO Brandon Vacek was parked at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Monroe County checking ice fishing activity. The CO observed a vehicle, in his rear-view mirror, travelling down an adjacent road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle collided with a locked gate, forced the gate open, and continued traveling into the game area on road closed to motor vehicle traffic. The vehicle continued at a high rate of speed and quickly disappeared from the CO's view. Based on the direction of travel, CO Vacek took an alternate route in his patrol truck to catch up and attempt to stop the vehicle. The CO eventually located the vehicle, stuck in the snow and rocks, only a few hundred feet from a large rock wall that drops off to Lake Erie. The CO contacted the uninjured driver, who claimed to be very lost, disoriented, and was experiencing undetermined medical issues. CO Vacek requested assistance from the Berlin Township Fire Department for further medical evaluation and assistance transporting the subject from the area which was only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. CO Vacek and the Berlin Fire personnel transported the subject to an awaiting ambulance for further treatment at a local hospital.