Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 3, 2017

DISTRICT 1

CO Lasanen came upon a vehicle that had crashed into the snowbank after trying to negotiate a turn onto a side street. Lasanen made contact with the driver and passenger of the vehicle to check their condition. They refused any medical attention. Lasanen inspected the vehicle and realized there was damage to the front of the vehicle where it impacted the snowbank. In addition, it was determined that the driver had been drinking and was visibly intoxicated. Lasanen stayed on scene until the Michigan State Police arrived and turned over the accident to the trooper. The driver was arrested for OWI and lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail.

CO Jared Ferguson patrolled the snowmobile trail system in his area. Ferguson found high compliance on stop sign compliance and road crossings. Ferguson contacted two operators found to not have current trail permits. The operators claimed they did not find anywhere to purchase the permits along their 400 mile trip. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Jared Ferguson worked the local lakes in his area for fishing activities. Ferguson found several tip-ups frozen in and unattended. No names were found on the tip-ups which were seized.

CO Jason Wicklund and CO Nathan Sink were driving down M-64 when they came across several snowmobiles operating on the highway. A traffic stop was conducted with several violations discovered. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

CO Jon Busken received a complaint of a shot fired at midnight. COs Busken and Gustafson responded. Officers saw a bait pile with a spotlight over it and a drag mark leading to an outbuilding. Contact was made with the homeowner who claimed that he did not shoot anything. The COs followed the drag mark to an untagged 10-point buck. The COs re-contacted the landowner who confessed to shooting the deer at midnight over a large bait pile with a 30-06 in December without a license and attaching his girlfriend’s license to it. The rifle and deer were seized. Charges are pending.

CO Calvin Smith received a complaint of garbage being dumped at the end of a local road. A search of the litter revealed a name and address. A follow-up at the residence revealed an untagged white-tailed deer hanging in the garage. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Zitnik received an anonymous complaint of possible poaching going on behind a camp in late bow season. Zitnik responded to the hunting camp and attempted to make contact. He observed fresh drag marks leading into the woods with a fresh gut pile at the end. Zitnik tracked the owner of the deer camp to his residence where he was in the process of quartering up a freshly killed doe which may not be taken during UP bow season. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Zitnik recovered a deer carcass from a complaint. The complainant stated the carcass came from a residence that Zitnik and CO Robert Freeborn had been investigating for several months. Zitnik went to the residence to investigate. The investigation revealed two untagged does hanging in a shed. The homeowner stated his sister-in-law had shot the does with her tribal tags. Zitnik had CO William Haskin conduct an interview with the sister-in-law who confessed that she did not shoot the two deer in the Upper Peninsula. The following day Zitnik, CO Calvin Smith, and Sgt. Mike Hammill executed a search warrant on the premises, obtained a full confession from the individual, and recovered the firearm used to kill the deer.

CO Pat Hartsig and Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon were checking ice fishermen in Escanaba Harbor. While approaching one ice shanty, the odor of marijuana could be smelled around it. The occupants were only smoking marijuana and not even fishing. During a file check, it was found the subject in possession of the marijuana had outstanding warrants for over baiting deer and failing to wear hunters orange. The subject was lodged at the Delta County jail for the warrants and possession of marijuana.

CO Pat Hartsig and Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon worked on snowmobiles on the trails in the Munising area. Recent heavy snowfall provided excellent trail conditions and brought numerous people out to enjoy it. Snowmobile violations including no trail stickers, operating unregistered snowmobiles, and careless operation were observed. Several citations and numerous warnings were given.

DISTRICT 3

CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a snowmobile accident near Wolverine where the operator failed to negotiate a corner and left the trail, striking a tree. Rosochacki rendered first aid and accompanied the rider until the ambulance arrived. The rider left the accident scene in stable condition with head and arm injuries.

CO Mark Depew responded to a complaint of a tractor trailer semi that had slid sideways on I-75 and blocked the lanes of travel. Depew secured the scene until the semi could be removed. The driver was not hurt in the accident.

CO Kelly Ross was called out on New Year’s Day to investigate possible multiple illegal deer in Montmorency County. One deer was located at the scene and two deer had previously been killed. The investigation utilized social media and computer records, in addition to more standard investigative techniques. Eventually the suspect confessed to killing two deer, not tagging one, and borrowing the tag of another, because he was not eligible to purchase hunting licenses. The suspect also had four outstanding warrants for his arrest. The investigation continues and charges will be sought through the prosecutor’s office.

CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint of a hunter taking an illegal antlered deer on state land. While conducting the investigation, Baldwin determined that the hunter was not allowed to purchase a hunting license due to previous violations. CO Baldwin located and interviewed the hunter who stated he thought we was able to hunt during the 2016 season. After the evidence was presented to the hunter, he also admitted that the deer he harvested was only a 4-point, which is illegal due to the antler point restrictions in place where the deer was shot. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Kinney was contacted by a DNR forester regarding damage to a large parcel of state owned land in Wexford County caused by the use of a bulldozer. Kinney and the forester did an onsite inspection where they discovered multiple trees uprooted by the aid of a bulldozer and trees cut down from a chainsaw. Kinney and the forester were able to establish a suspect from the rental company who owned the bulldozer. The bulldozer was used to widen a two-track that led to a parcel of private property owned by the suspect. During an interview, the suspect admitted to using the bulldozer and chainsaw to gain easier access to his property. The case is under review by the local prosecutor’s office for damages to state land trees.

CO Josiah Killingbeck discovered a discrepancy with a 9-point buck with a kill tag on it that was purchased after dark on Nov. 15 and notched out for the 15th. Killingbeck contacted the hunter who soon admitted that he did not want to spend the money buying tags before shooting a deer. The hunter told Killingbeck that he had gone hunting and seen the big buck chasing a doe and shot the deer, and then drove to the store to purchase a license for it. The hunter admitted that he knew it was illegal to hunt without a license. Charges are being requested through the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Kyle Publiski and CO Brian Brosky made contact with a husband and wife who both had shot antlerless deer. It was found that both hunters had been successful in the antlerless drawing, but went out hunting without purchasing their kill tags. The couple both shot antlerless deer and picked up the tags on their way to the processor. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brian Lebel received a tip that a subject was shooting deer during the late antlerless season up to two hours after dark. Lebel set up in the area one night and asked the complainant to call if he heard the late shooting. Lebel received a call 45 minutes after shooting hours stating that two shots were just fired. Lebel was on scene within a few minutes and located a subject out in a cornfield standing over a steaming deer. The suspect admitted he shot the deer well after dark. A search of the residence revealed another deer that the suspect had shot without a license and put his son’s tag on. This deer was also shot after dark. The deer were seized and enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 5

CO John Huspen was on patrol in Crawford County when he stopped a snowmobile operating without a valid registration. When contact was made with the operator, it was also determined that the trail permit was affixed by Velcro. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Sam Schluckbier and Matt Liestenfeltz investigated a complaint received about a deer being shot from a motor vehicle in Kalkaska County. While following up on the complaint, additional information was received about a possible suspect. During an interview the suspect confessed to shooting the deer from a vehicle. Further investigation at the suspect’s property revealed a freshly killed deer head and cape. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Kyle Bader responded to a Report All Poaching complaint in Ogemaw County. The complaint stated that a person had killed a deer with a firearm in late December from his house. After multiple interviews, Bader determined that a female subject associated with the residence had actually killed an antlerless deer after dark. It was determined that she was hunting over excessive bait, without a license, and within the safety zones of multiple houses. She also stated she had never attended a hunter safety course. Ogemaw County does not have a late antlerless deer season. Her boyfriend, who is a convicted felon, is prohibited from possessing any firearms. He confessed to loading the firearm for her and showing her how to shoot it. He also tagged the illegally taken deer with one of his hunting licenses. Charges are being sought through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Kyle Bader and Kyle Cherry responded to a complaint of deer carcasses having been dumped onto federal land in Iosco County. The COs located the carcasses along with a large frozen block of deer guts and parts that had retained the distinct shape of the container it had been dumped from. A tip from a passerby led them to a nearby residence. While looking for the homeowner, the COs noticed a large round tub that matched the shape of the frozen block of deer parts. The tub also contained blood and hair. Enforcement action taken.

DISTRICT 6

CO Joe Myers checked a waterfowl hunter on the Tittabawassee River during the last weekend of the waterfowl season. The hunter was found to not have a personal flotation device (PFD) on board his kayak, not having any identification on his person, and not having endorsed his federal duck stamp. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Ken Lowell received a complaint regarding a hunter dumping a deer carcass on state land in Montcalm County. The CO was able to locate the carcass with an attached deer tag in a state parking lot. The CO made contact with the hunter and a citation was issued for littering.

While checking lakes in Montcalm County for fishing activity, CO Ken Lowell located a single vehicle at Swan Lake. The CO ran the plate and found that the registered owner did not have a fishing license. The CO walked out and checked the angler on the ice. Upon contact with the angler in his shanty, it was discovered that the angler was not the registered owner of the vehicle, did have a fishing license, but was using four lines to fish. A citation was issued for using too many lines to fish.

Sgt. Ron Kimmerly is investigating a case where a deer was shot from a vehicle at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. The suspects drove out into the field to retrieve the deer after it was shot, but were scared off by a neighbor that shined them with a spotlight. The location was on Stevenson Road north of Colby Road in Evergreen Township, Montcalm County. Sgt. Kimmerly is asking anyone with information to contact the RAP hotline at 1-800-292-7800.

CO Mark Siemen conducted follow up on an investigation about a large white-tailed buck that was originally thought to be poached in Tuscola County. Siemen received a call from the complainant advising that the buck was found dead, along with three other deer on his property. During the follow up investigation, it was determined that an electric line was hanging low to the ground and it appeared that all four deer had been electrocuted while trying to walk under the power line. The electric company was on scene fixing the line at the time the deer were located.

DISTRICT 7

CO Matt Page responded to a RAP complaint of a subject who had shot an 8-point buck during the antlerless deer season with a gun. Page responded to the suspect’s residence and located the deer, which was tagged with an un-validated kill tag. An interview of the suspect led to a confession of shooting the 8-point buck with a gun during the antlerless deer season. The subject was cited for the illegal possession of a white-tailed deer.

CO Andy Bauer conducted a deer processor inspection and located a deer that had been shot in Illinois and illegally brought into Michigan in violation of the CWD regulations by bringing the whole deer intact into the state. Bauer was able to arrange to meet the Illinois resident in Michigan and the subject was cited for the illegal importation in violation of the CWD regulations.

PCO Scott MacNeill and CO Greg Patten followed up on a RAP complaint of a subject who took a deer without a license in early October. MacNeill interviewed the father and his son. The adult son confessed to shooting a deer without a license. The father confessed to purchasing a deer license after the fact and putting it on the deer that his son killed. Neither subject had taken a hunter safety class. A report will be sent to the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office for enforcement action.

CO Justin Ulberg followed up on an illegal deer complaint for COs Rich Stowe and Sean Kehoe from Grand Traverse County. Stowe and Kehoe located a 4-point buck tagged with an antlerless crop damage permit and the suspected hunter resided in Kent County. Ulberg was able to contact the subject, who at first claimed that he only shot a doe, while hunting in Grand Traverse County. After the subject was informed that Stowe and Kehoe had already observed the 4-point buck with his crop damage permit, he admitted to shooting the deer. The subject stated that several deer ran passed him and he thought the deer he shot was a doe. The subject was unaware that his crop damage permits were only good for antlerless deer. The deer was seized and a report was forwarded to the COs in Grand Traverse County. Charges will be considered by the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor.

DISTRICT 8

CO Brandon Hartleben was out checking Washtenaw County lakes for ice fishermen and made contact with a fisherman on North Lake. As Hartleben approached the ice shanty he could smell the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the shanty. Hartleben had observed two tip-ups as he approached the shanty and once the subject opened the door he noted an additional two rods were being used in separate holes inside. The subject attempted to explain that he wasn’t actually “fishing” with one of the rods. After a brief discussion with Hartleben on what type of actions constituted “fishing,” the subject conceded that a pole with the baited line in the water was in fact fishing. Enforcement action was taken for the fishing violation and the marijuana.

COs Andy Monnich and Chris Maher received a RAP complaint about a taxidermist who found a .22 caliber bullet in the skull of a deer he took in. Monnich and Maher interviewed the hunter who dropped the buck off at the taxidermist and discovered that the hunter was only 15 years old and was hunting alone on a family friend’s property. The COs were able to obtain a statement from the juvenile, stating that he did initially shoot the whitetail with a muzzleloader and ended up finishing it off with a .22 handgun, which he didn’t think was illegal. The COs educated the young hunter on the laws pertaining to firearm hunting in Michigan, and enforcement action was taken for the minor being afield alone, unsupervised.

CO Chris Maher received information about two individuals taking multiple deer during closed season with a firearm on state land in Jackson County. Maher tracked down the registered owner of the vehicle who stated he gave the truck to his grandson. The investigation led from the grandson to another individual who had been given the truck to use. The suspects were eventually tracked to Wayne County. After a lengthy interview, Maher uncovered the true identities of the individuals who shot the deer. Enlisting the help of CO Schaumburger, the COs were able to recover the deer and the firearms used to take the deer at two separate residences. The deer were seized and donated to a needy family and a written confession was obtained. Charges are being sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

DISTRICT 9

While checking anglers in Macomb County, COs Joseph Deppen and Kris Kiel were checking anglers in a local canal. Two anglers were outside of the shanty fishing and two anglers were inside the shanty fishing. There was also a tip-up on the ice nearby. When the shanty was opened the COs noticed it was two anglers from the previous day who were given warnings on violations. They now were using a tip-up without a name or address on it. To make matters worse, the two anglers outside the shanty did not have fishing licenses. When asked, they said they were not fishing; they were just playing with the fishing poles. Enforcement action was taken.

While checking anglers in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen was watching one angler sitting alone in the middle of a marina. While fishing, the angler was smoking and a distinct odor of marijuana emitted from the anglers general direction. When approached, the angler threw something down the hole, but could not get it past the ice formed in his hole. The marijuana was recovered and more marijuana was found on his person. Upon further inspection the angler had six perch and did not possess a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

While checking anglers in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen came across two men pulling a shanty off the ice and into their truck. Both anglers said the fishing was decent and they had caught 15 perch. When asked for their licenses, one angler produced a Michigan resident license and ID, and the other angler out of Ohio produced a fishing license purchased online. When comparing the license with his Ohio driver’s license, they did not match. When presented with the facts that this was not his license, the angler admitted to not having a fishing license and he was hoping it would go unnoticed at first glance and the PDF would seem legitimate. The angler was apologetic about lying and trying to use his friend’s license. Enforcement action was taken.

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