Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 17, 2017

DISTRICT 1

CO Ethen Mapes worked a late-night fishing patrol which lasted well into the morning on Lake Gogebic. Mapes discovered a total of 12 set lines that had been left out overnight. Law enforcement action was taken with two groups of fishermen at separate locations for not having immediate control of their fishing lines.

CO Ethen Mapes assisted the DNR’s Wildlife Division with its winter moose flight survey.

COs Brian Lasanen, Ethen Mapes, Dave Miller, Dennis Gast, Sgt. Emery and U.S. Forest Service LEO Josh Lopac conducted a sound meter enforcement patrol targeting loud snowmobilers in the Greenland area. During the 4-hour patrol, over 300 snowmobiles were contacted. Eight snowmobiles were tested for excessive noise, four were ticketed for exceeding the 88 decibels (the highest having a 98 decibels level. Two machines were given warnings for defective equipment and two were tested under the legal limit. Other citations were issued during the patrol included: expired or failure to display snowmobile registrations, failure to obtain a snowmobile trail permit and careless operation of a snowmobile. 35 warnings were also given for other various snowmobile related infractions.

COs Brian Lasanen, Ethen Mapes, Jason Wicklund, and Shannon Kritz worked a joint OWI patrol with the Michigan State Police and Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department, targeting impaired snowmobile operators near Bergland. During this group patrol, over 100 snowmobilers were contacted. One individual was arrested for OWI on a snowmobile and two others were ticketed for careless operation of a snowmobile. Several other warnings were given for other minor snowmobile infractions.

COs Jeffrey Dell and Jeremy Sergey observed two subjects ice fishing with seven tip- ups. After observing them for a while, the COs made contact with the pair of fishermen who claimed that a third friend had just gone back to the house. Once it was explained to the pair that the COs had observed them for some time they admitted to fishing with too many lines. While dealing with the fishermen, two snowmobilers rode onto the lake. Neither snowmobiler had a helmet, valid registration or trail permit. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 2

CO Calvin Smith was on routine patrol when he came across an ORV operator who was checking his trap line. A check of the trapper’s gun case revealed a loaded shotgun with a live round in the chamber and four rounds in the magazine. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO Calvin Smith was on routine patrol when he made contact with a small-game hunter driving his vehicle on a forest road. When Smith asked the driver if he could check his gun to verify that it was unloaded, the driver asked, “What are you looking for, a loaded gun? I can assure you that this gun is not loaded.” A check of the firearm revealed that there was indeed a live round in the chamber. Law enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Lynch responded to a call of four duck hunters who got thrown overboard from their boat. On scene, three of the hunters made it back to shore safely and one was still missing. Lynch along with a Michigan State Police trooper located the shaken man in a marsh about a quarter mile away from where the other three hunters were. He was taken to the hospital for hyperthermia and other minor injuries.

CO Kevin Postma followed up on a complaint of a dog being caught in a trap. Postma retrieved the trap from the complainant who advised that his dog was nearly killed by the Conibear trap. After examining the trap it was determined that the trap set was legal for private property. The dog owner was encouraged to keep his dog on a leash. The trap was returned to the owner without incident.

CO Kevin Postma assisted Wildlife Division with tagging and collaring a wolf that had been trapped by a coyote trapper.

CO Kevin Postma was called to the scene of safety zone violation involving duck hunters. The complainant advised that he thought the hunters were too close and this was a residential neighborhood. Postma arrived and determined that the hunters were actually just outside of the safe zone by about 10 yards (160 yards). There were no violations.

CO Robert Freeborn received a call from a local trapper regarding a wolf in a trap that was already collared. Freeborn responded and assisted the trappers in releasing the wolf.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Erratt responded to an anonymous complaint of a subject who had shot three bucks, tagging one of the deer with his girlfriend’s kill tag. Erratt made contact with the subject who stated that his girlfriend was the one who shot the buck and tagged it. A quick check of the girlfriend revealed that she had never taken a hunter safety course. Upon questioning the girlfriend, there was a discrepancy to the time she said she shot it and the time given by the boyfriend. Erratt was able to locate the private property where the subject stated his girlfriend shot the deer. A search warrant was obtained and the trail camera at the hunt site was seized. Upon review of the pictures from the trail camera, it showed the boyfriend shooting the buck that was tagged with his girlfriend’s kill tag. When presented with this information both subjects confessed the truth. The male subject was charged with taking an over-limit of deer and using the kill tag of another. The female subject was charged with allowing another to use her kill tag and for purchasing a license without having a hunter safety certificate.

While on patrol, CO Andrea Albert was the first on the scene of a snowmobile personal injury accident. On that same day, Albert was also the first on scene of another snowmobile accident, this one without any injuries to the operator. In both cases aid was given and accident reports filled out.

COs Nick Torsky, Matt Theunick, Mark Depew and acting Sgt. Eric Bottorff worked a group patrol during the Indian River Winter Fest. They checked over a 1,000 snowmobilers, issued six tickets and over 30 warning for assorted violations.

CO Matt Theunick assisted the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s department with an investigation involving a coyote hunter shooting a horse near Lee Grande Ranch.

CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a complaint of a lost coyote hunter north of Wolverine who showed up at a resident’s house after dark, soaking wet in very cold temperatures and carrying a rifle. Rosochacki located the subject and got him back to shelter.

CO Jon Sklba, Presque Isle County, is investigating a subject that has been obtaining free military hunting and fishing licenses after being discharged from the military for over two years.

DISTRICT 4

CO William Haskin took a complaint that an individual was fishing on the Hodenpyl backwaters with too many tip-ups. Haskin responded to the area and found that the individual had left, but his six tip-ups were still set. Haskin waited over 30 minutes for the individual to return. The suspect said that he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. Enforcement action was taken.

COs William Kinney and Ryan Andrews were checking ice fishermen on Lake Cadillac in Wexford County. After several checks, Andrews made contact with an angler and discovered he was fishing with extra lines. Andrews then noticed the man grew nervous when he was asked if he caught and kept any fish. That angler and another had caught two undersize pike and attempted to hide them in the bottom of their fishing bucket. Enforcement action was taken for undersize pike and fishing with too many lines.

COs Kyle Publiski and Brian Brosky followed up on information they acquired at a taxidermist. The COs made contact with a hunter who had some discrepancies regarding the date his deer was brought in and when his tag was purchased. The hunter admittedly went hunting without a license and shot an 8-point deer and purchased his license after the fact. Enforcement action was taken.

While investigating an illegally killed deer along the Lake County and Mason County border, CO Ryan Andrews found a lost beagle approximately a half a mile from the nearest road. After Andrews finished gathering evidence from the deer investigation, he stopped at several nearby homes. Eventually tips lead Andrews and the dog to its owner. The investigation of the deer case is ongoing.

COs Jeff Ginn and Brian Lebel assisted with a taxidermy inspection resulting in a deer from a CWD positive state being located and seized for disposal. Enforcement action is pending for the taxidermist and the hunter bringing the deer into Michigan.

DISTRICT 5

CO Craig Neal made contact with an ice angler on a local Missaukee County lake who had been cited the previous year for fishing with more than three lines. This year’s ice fishing check produced the same results in the same location. The angler was again cited for fishing with too many lines.

CO Ben McAteer responded to a personal injury accident involving three snowmobiles in Frederick Township in Crawford County. One snowmobile operating at a high rate of speed lost control while negotiating a curve. The snowmobile struck two other snowmobiles that were operating in the opposite direction. There were only minor injuries and damage reported. Speed and alcohol were both factors in the crash.

CO Kyle Bader checked the only angler on a small lake in Mills Township in Ogemaw County. The angler had two tip-ups outside his shanty. When asked to see his fishing license, the man opened his shanty and placed a lid from his gear pail on top of his second pole inside the shanty. Bader asked the man if the pole he just covered up had a hook on it in the water. The man looked down and said “Yes.” The man was cited for fishing with four lines.

CO Brian Olsen followed up on a late-season deer complaint in Ogemaw County. The complainant advised that an individual had taken a doe with a .30-06 rifle during the closed season. After further investigation, Olsen determined the suspect lived downstate. He contacted CO Matthew Zultak in Lapeer County to assist with follow up on the case. Zultak was able to locate and interview the suspect. A confession on two antlerless deer taken with a .30-06 rifle during the closed season was obtained. Charges are pending through the Ogemaw County prosecutor’s office.

DISTRICT 6

While on patrol in the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area, CO Quincy Gowenlock heard a call from central dispatch regarding a domestic violence incident which had just occurred a few miles away. With only one deputy available the CO responded. While in route, central dispatch advised that the female had fallen sustaining injuries. The CO was first to arrive on scene and found the woman lying on the ground. After securing the scene, the CO provided medical attention and kept the woman warm until MMR arrived on scene. The CO then assisted the Saginaw County sheriff’s deputy with the investigation.

While checking ice fishermen near Sebewaing, CO Robert Hobkirk found a fisherman who was in possession of an over limit of perch. The fisherman had 14 fish in a bucket and an additional 19 smaller fish in his minnow bucket. He stated he planned on taking the smaller fish to his pond. The fisherman was cited for an overlimit.

CO Seth Rhodea was patrolling around the Minden State Game Area when he found rabbit hunters in a thick brushy area. One of the hunters received a citation for hunting without hunter orange.

CO Mark Siemen received information from a meat processor in Sanilac County about a sick deer. They stated a deer was brought in by a hunter and after field dressing the deer they noticed lumps on the rib cage and internal organs. Siemen contacted Wildlife Division and the deer was taken to the Cass City Field Office for further investigation.

CO Mark Siemen received a complaint involving a hunter who videotaped himself trespassing on the complainant’s property. Siemen reviewed the YouTube video and watched the suspect shoot an 8-point deer on property he was not allowed to hunt. Siemen located the treestand, collected evidence and took photos for possible charges. The investigation is continuing.

CO Mark Siemen received a RAP complaint about a subject who had shot an owl while rabbit hunting in Sanilac County. Siemen made contact with multiple witnesses and interviewed them about the owl. It was reported to Siemen that the owl was shot in late December and then tossed out the window of a vehicle while the suspect was driving down the road. Siemen searched the side of the road and was able to locate the dead owl, frozen in the ditch. All evidence was collected and photographed. Multiple attempts were made to make contact with the suspect. It is believed the suspect is avoiding contact. This investigation is continuing and charges will be sought on the suspect.

DISTRICT 7

CO Scott MacNeill came across a personal injury accident in which a pregnant woman was involved in a head-on crash. MacNeill contacted local dispatch and then cut the woman from her seat belt and rendered first aid until EMS arrived. MacNeill assisted at the scene until his presence was no longer needed.

CO Jeremy Beavers located an antlerless deer hanging from a tree in a subject’s front yard that did not appear to have a kill tag attached. Contact was made with the wife of the subject who killed the deer. A tag was located on the deer that indicated it was purchased at 9:55 am on the same day it was harvested. When asked when the deer was killed, the wife produced a text message that verified that the deer was killed before a valid license was purchased. Beavers made contact with the husband who stated he shot the deer and thought he had an antlerless tag on him but must have forgotten it. He went on to say that once he realized he forgot the tag he purchased another one. Beavers then checked the subject’s purchase history and discovered that he did not purchase an antlerless deer tag for the current hunting season. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Zach Bauer was on patrol checking ice fishermen in St. Joseph County when he came across a subject fishing on a lake. The subject met Bauer as he was walking out to his fishing location and said he had caught a few fish. After Bauer asked where these fish were, he stated they were back at his sled. Further investigation revealed 30 bluegill and one black crappie. The subject was cited for possessing an over limit of sunfish.

CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he noticed a vehicle parked alongside the road. Bauer pulled up to the vehicle and started talking to the occupants. The subjects in the vehicle stated they were running dogs for coyotes. Further investigation revealed that they had loaded firearms in the dog box in the bed of the pick-up truck. The operator of the vehicle was cited for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

DISTRICT 8

CO Mike Drexler was checking ice anglers on Silver Lake when he contacted one angler who stated the CO would need to check the system for his fishing license as he did not have it on him. Drexler first explained it was required for the angler to have his license with him while he was out fishing before performing a computer check that revealed the subject never purchased a fishing license. The CO also pointed out that the group of anglers were all using tip-ups, none of which had the owner’s name and address on them as required by law. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Andrew Monnich received a complaint of a hunter posing with a large whitetail buck with no tags attached to the deer in the photo. Monnich did some investigating and found that the hunter posing with the buck also made several posts on a social media site on opening morning posing with the same buck. Monnich checked the license sales system and it showed the hunter bought his hunting licenses on opening afternoon. Monnich made contact with the individual and asked when he shot the buck. The hunter stated that he shot it around 4 p.m. that day right after he bought his license. Monnich showed the hunter the post on social media and asked him to explain how his picture was posted over five hours earlier. The hunter confessed to shooting the deer and not having his license. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Andy Monnich and Chris Reynolds were checking ice anglers on Devils Lake when they noticed a snowmobile heading towards them. Neither rider was wearing a helmet. Monnich flagged the snowmobile down and asked them why they had no helmets. Both individuals stated they were from Ohio and in Ohio they didn’t need to wear helmets while on the ice, they even went on to say they have been on Michigan waters on Lake Erie without helmets and never had a problem. Monnich advised them of the laws. Enforcement action taken.

DISTRICT 9

CO Travis Dragomer received a complaint from Station 20 of a person possibly snagging at the Holloway Dam in Genesee County. Dragomer located an individual fishing on the downstream side of the Holloway Dam. Dragomer observed the individual cast a lure and make jerking motions which are consistent with snagging. The individual repeated this motion approximately five times per cast. Dragomer observed the individual snag two fish. The fish were hooked near the tail and the individual immediately cut the fish into chunks. Dragomer made contact with the individual who had a bucket of 10 mutilated channel catfish. Enforcement action was taken.

COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey were asked to interview a subject in Macomb County about suspicious circumstances surrounding a very large buck that was taken in Livingston County. Silorey looked the subject up on a social media website. It was found that the subject had taken a turkey at the same time as his son, but only the son had a license. After interviewing the subject about the buck, which turned out to be legal, he was asked about turkey hunting. The subject admitted to doubling up on turkeys with his son this spring. A report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office for prosecution.

CO Ken Kovach completed a littering case investigation that was generated earlier this fall. The suspect had been evading contact by the CO, but after several attempts, Kovach located the suspect as he was walking out of his residence. Kovach obtained a full confession to the illegal dumping. The subject commented to the CO that he thought he was in the clear as he hadn’t seen him at his residence in some time. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when he received an in-progress RAP complaint that stated there were hunters with dogs actively trespassing on a county trail closed to hunting. Silorey arrived at the location described by the complainant, and with his binoculars he observed four hunters approximately three-quarters of a mile down a trail. Silorey continued down the trail and contacted the subjects. Several subjects were on the trail and several were on posted private farm property with their dogs. All four subjects had firearms and stated that they were rabbit hunting. Silorey obtained IDs and hunting licenses from all subjects. Silorey advised the subjects that they were currently trespassing on private property, and hunting in a prohibited area. One subject stated that he knew it was illegal to hunt there, but they have hunted that area for 15 years and have never had a problem. Enforcement action was taken.

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