The Official Site of Author Joseph Heywood
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16 Nov

Third Day of Patrols, 2013 Firearms Deer Season

Earth Boy's UFO landing site. Yes we have our eccentrics.

Earth Boy’s UFO landing site. Yes we have our eccentrics.

Tjhi9s dessicated snapper carcass is apparently part of the signaling system in approach control for UFOs.  We were unable to comprehend the technology (or theology)

This dessicated snapper carcass is apparently part of the signaling system in approach control for UFOs. We were unable to comprehend the technology (or theology)

Pink spray paint, a north woods designer's dream medium.

Pink spray paint, a north woods designer’s dream medium.

Who we are.

Who we are.

True story: The conservation officer is on patrol and finds a hunter who has shot a deer, but is too feeble to haul it, so the CO guts it for him and lugs it out to the road where the old fellow will wait to be picked up by his kin. The old guy is smiling and friendly and shaking the officer’s hand and thanking him. Couple of days later, the CO hears a call for help on his county radio, is not far away, informs dispatch he’s on the way, and races to the camp, appearing less than a minute after the emergency summons. “It’s grandpa,” someone tells him. “In the bedroom.” The officer goes in and sees it is the same old guy he helped a couple of days before. He checks his pulse. Nada. And his skin is cooling and all the rest. Suddenly a 50ish guy comes into the room and says, “Who are you?” Conservation Officer Nomenclature. “Get out!” the man barks through tears, “My dad HATED game wardens!!! Get out of our camp!” The officer says calmly, “You grandfather is dead and I can’t leave him until I’m relieved, but he goes out to his truck and waits for others to relieve him. Grandpa HATED game wardens, except of course when they were helping him get what he wanted.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated story from reality (or is it surreal?).
Yesterday we had a guy literally crying about his tickets, compounded by fact that last month  he had been nailed for thefts from camps, and that has not yet been adjudicated. This time both he and his son got tickets for hunting violations and he was in tears about getting help for his “disorder.” He hugged one officer and kept pumping the other one’s hands. This was a sad show of emotional wreckage. Oh, his biggest concerns about the tickets yesterday? Can the CO assure him that his wife won’t find out?
DAY 2 begins soon. Last night I listened to eight hunters “discussing” the proper way to field dress deer and, judging by the discussion, none of them had much experience with it. Most hunters know how to do it, do it, and don’t think about it until next time around. The inn was providing an opening day buffet dinner (for a donation) and all the hunters, multiple ages, jawed and jawed and jawed. Number of deer on the inn’s buck pole? Zip-zero-zilcho, nada. My partner from two days ago yesterday encountered a drunk hunter who ran, causing a chase. The runner was armed with a scoped, high-powered rifle and kept stopping to look back at the pursuit. This could be read in the man’s tracks in the snow. After loading the man, his alcohol was determined to be between 2x and 3x the legal limit. It was almost inexplicable how he could rabbit 1.7 miles through a snowy swamp without falling on his face. When found, he was inside another camp, having a beer “to calm his nerves.” I think a lot of people see hunters as drunken louts, which isn’t fair or accurate. The truth is that very few drink when they hunt, but an alcoholic is an alcoholic and will drink whenever and wherever. We can’t paint all hunters with one brush, though I am often tempted and it makes me sad.
Yesterday around noon we met with some hunters to write bait tickets for gross over-baiting. No problem. They knew it was too much, but as my partner was doing the paperwork we looked up to see one of the guys peeling off his hunting clothes and there was a .45 cal pistol in a holster under his jumpsuit. He holds a valid CCW, but failed to disclose he was carrying when we first met him, which the law requires. He told us he, “Just forgot.”
OK then. Let this day’s games begin. It is supposed to rain. I suppose there is some sort of irony in that forecast..
Saturday, November 16: Back in the barn. Rain all day. Started  this morning with a grandfather road-hunting with his grandson, loaded 20 gauge (slugs) between them. He ran a stop sign, too. The second shotgun was uncased in the back seat. Loaded guns in vehicles… isn’t funny or acceptable. Thence to the D office to check a condemned rifle into the evidence locker. Condemned because it was taken from a drunk hunter yesterday. You drink an hunt, you loose your weapon. Maybe we should do this with drivers too?
After the D office over to a camp where the were shenanigans last year. Naturally none of the 11 people there this time were there last  year, so they didn’t know nuttiin’ eh?  The camp cook was trapping too. They had six deer on their buck… pole. Talked to them about last year and how they pulled out on day 2 of the season. But no, we were here hte whole week, sir. Not after we found untagged deer hanging by blinds and confiscated them, deer we believed belong to this crew.  There was a hurried strategic withdrawal in 2012. Great tent camp, the old fashioned way.
Next we stopped an impaired driver and escorted him back to his camp before the go into serious trouble. And shortly before that a guy came around a sharp turn in our lane, forcing us off the road, so we ran him down. License suspended in W…isconsin and Michigan. And a  shotgun with a filed off serial number in back. Claimed his girlfriend/wife bought the gun a week or so ago, just to have one. Classic throw-down violator weapon, old and single shot 12 gauge. We confiscated the weapon. Wisconsin police will help us determine if it has been reported stolen.
To end on a higher not. Few years back on of the wardens up here wrote a man for 38 trout, early in the season. (Limit of 5). Couple of days later he slammed into an 18-wheeler and perished. Ticket, of course, was dropped. Anonymous comment: God likes trouters who play by the rules. Can’t argue that one! Photo is of a trout stream we crossed yesterday. Looking south, left, and north, right.
Two day out of three we ran into camps where the land was supposed to be federal. The latest plat books, hard copy and electronic, did not show any of this. Which is why you go and look.  Back on the blog  when I can. Over.
Man comes out of the woods on a four-wheeler, violating fedral ORV rules. And he has no helmet and he has a loaded rifle slung over his shoulder. He is not happy, tells  us, "They ought give everything to the Russians." There is some of the stupidest, ignorant, most backward thinking in this country one can imagine.

Man comes out of the woods on a four-wheeler, violating fedral ORV rules. And he has no helmet and he has a loaded rifle slung over his shoulder. He is not happy, tells us, “They ought give everything to the Russians.” There is some of the stupidest, ignorant, most backward thinking in this country one can imagine.

The little sign is in error. There is no gate, and there IS a turnaround. There is also a camp our plat  books don't show.

The little sign is in error. There is no gate, and there IS a turnaround. There is also a camp our plat books don’t show.

A vehicle comes around a corner in our lane, nearly puts us in ditch. We pursue. The man's license is suspended in Wisconsin and Michigan. And he has his girlfriend's shotgun in back ad slugs on the dash. Claims she bought the single-shot 12 gauge a wee or so ago from a pawnbroker in Rhinelander, just to have a gun. Uh, how come the serial numbers are filed off? "Uh, I don't know," he says. This is a classic violator "throw own:" weapon, Single shot, worth nothing, no serial number to trace. The stuff we see.

A vehicle comes around a corner in our lane, nearly puts us in ditch. We pursue. The man’s license is suspended in Wisconsin and Michigan. And he has his girlfriend’s shotgun in back ad slugs on the dash. Claims she bought the single-shot 12 gauge a wee or so ago from a pawnbroker in Rhinelander, just to have a gun. Uh, how come the serial numbers are filed off? “Uh, I don’t know,” he says. This is a classic violator “throw own:” weapon, Single shot, worth nothing, no serial number to trace. The stuff we see. The rifle came with us. You cannot possess a firearm without serial numbers.

Throw-back tent camping. Very cool, and we see less and less.

Throw-back tent camping. Very cool, and we see less and less.

The cook wasn't into deer hunting. The other 10 in camp were.

The cook wasn’t into deer hunting. The other 10 in camp were.

First camp check on Saturday morning, the cook was more into trapping than deer hunting.

First camp check on Saturday morning, the cook was more into trapping than deer hunting.

14 yr old going hunting alone, and driving, both illegal. We sent him back to camp with his folks.

14 yr old going hunting alone, and driving, both illegal. We sent him back to camp with his folks.

Grandpa's slugs.

Grandpa’s slugs.

Our first stop this morning: An old guy with his 14 yr old grandson, a loaded 20-gauge between them and another uncased shotgun in the back seat. Great ethics, gandpa.

Our first stop this morning: An old guy with his 14 yr old grandson, a loaded 20-gauge between them and another uncased shotgun in the back seat. Great ethics, gandpa.

Snowmobile bridge over a fine trout stream.

Snowmobile bridge over a fine trout stream.

Packing for the U.P.

Packing for the U.P.

 

 

Random in Clare

Random in Clare

 

Stashed on State Land. Landowner put his own lock on an illegal gate because people were stealing Christmas trees. He was going to call the DNR...right....

Stashed on State Land. Landowner put his own lock on an illegal gate because people were stealing Christmas trees. He was going to call the DNR…right….

 

Our links to the outside world and backup.

Our links to the outside world and backup.

 

P:at tracks.

P:at tracks.

 

Every four-wheeler trail we follow leads to a blind and massive over bait. The law allows 2 gallons.

Every four-wheeler trail we follow leads to a blind and massive over bait. The law allows 2 gallons.

 

At night on the four-wheeler.

At night on the four-wheeler.

 

QUOTE: "Oh, a little over two gallons, I guess."

QUOTE: “Oh, a little over two gallons, I guess.”

 

Subtle.

Subtle.

 

 

11 Nov

Adding to Finnegan’s Wake

As the Author Himself might have related a CO’s encounter with violators during deer season (as it might have appeared in Finnegan’s Wake, and with my apologies to Mr. James Joyce, Himself).

“Aye, bettoon the blaettherers, the goos, and all their banks from Banagher, the lads are facing down the mouldystoneed botheared, denying all, hearing none, doing as they please, half of em crawsick and noodynaddy, or spoutin’ arthin suir sloother, gatching for their mates, we tell them twig it, lads, what was going on here this moment,  your wee crans, not ere yesterweek and don’t be thinking of legging a  bail from the hames at hand.

Translation: All right, between boasters, fools and all their super-lies (whoppers), the COs are confronted by drunks mumbling and partially dead or spinning lies, half of them hung-over or hesitant in speech one moment and absolutely certain in the next, showing off for their pals, and we tell them get to the point boys, what’s happening her right now,  none of your little dodges and tricks, and not the week before last, and don’t be thinking of making a run for it from this mess you’ve made.

Or something like this. The words won’t matter, the attitudes and body language and tones will reveal all for what it is, not what it’s purported to be.

Over.

11 Nov

History and Help Needed

oldphoto2

Unidentified Conservation Officer. Anyone know who he is? The photo is said to be from the Mancelona area.

Randy Clarke and I have been trying to help the DNR Law Enforcement Division compile a list of all the men and women who have ever worn the badge of conservation officers for the state. We recently acquired a photo said to be from the Mancelona area, (north of Kalkaska). If you can identify the CO in the photo, please send an email via the website. Thanks, Much.

 

In other matters, Randy just found a state report from 1895 which contains some very interesting information about conservation officers.

“It has been easy enough heretofore to secure the conviction of alien or non-resident violators in the Upper Peninsula, but successful prosecution of residents have been few and far between. Consequently the conviction of resents of Delta and Dickinson Counties obtained this month with no unusual trouble indicates to me the growth of a healthy sentiment, which in time will mean much more for game preservation. The winter is now drawing to a close has been, like it’s predecessor, one of unusual hardship for the very poor, and this fact has greatly stimulated the violation of game laws. The investigation of several complaints this month proved the violators were taking  fish and game contrary to the law, it is true,  but for the sole purpose of obtaining food. In instances of this kind, where arrest would only mean additional suffering and county charge, I am frank in stating the offenders have  been simply reprimanded. It is my opinion that those who take fish and game to keep the wolf from the door, and who do not waste it or sell it, are not the ones who exterminate or are likely to exterminate our fish and game. They may contribute in some small measure, but in times of  distress I feel that the end justifies the means.”

I see this as clear-minded leadership, putting the buck right on the chief warden’s desk and reflecting a kind of common sense often uncommon in our leaders. 1895, 118 years ago, and we think we moderns have a lock grip on smarts and such? FYI, our COs today know who in their communities are hurting and continue this policy of reprimands rather than citations when the circumstances permit and warrant. Course some one with a #$50K truck, new snowmobile, four wheeler, $500 blind and brand new weapons, and all the toys of course would have a hard time making the case of hardship. All COs  maintain lists of individuals who can use confiscated fish or game and I’ve participated in too many deliveries to count. It is so routine to help folks the officers rarely talk about it. They just do it, and as far as I’m concerned this qualifies as true thoughtful public service. Michigan is fortunate to have so many fine officers working in our mutual behalf. Next time you meet on, tell them you appreciate what they do.  Back to loading the truck. Over.

10 Nov

Next Year’s Baraga Co Digs.

Here tiz. Over.

May-Nov 1, 2014

May-Nov 1, 2014

10 Nov

Saddling Up

It is always a challenge to gather gear for my trip north to work with COs. Have had deer seasons in the 70s and in the teens. No snow, and 25 inches overnight. You have to prep for everything! Photos capture the start of the process.  Over.

Outerwear.

Outerwear.

Other stuff.

Other stuff.

Body cover.

Body cover.

Sundry gear

Sundry gear

Da  Boots N Fart Sack

Da Boots N Fart Sack

 

09 Nov

It Beginneth

CO Paul Higashi and Sgt. Jeff Rabbers, stopped by minutes ago with dead deer recovered from neighbor’s back yard. They stopped by to check my bow and arrows (CO humor). The animal died within the past 24 hours (the eyes tell us this) and probable age is  5-7 years — can guess from graying muzzle and leg hairs, but a tooth will give precise age. Probably shot and survived until last night. Neighbors have seen it limping around since Weds. The COs recovered the broad-head and the case is open, though most likely a poor shot, and one that “got away.”  The shot needed to be back a few inches. This looks like it hit the shoulder and the razor point if quite bent.  The madness/silliness begins. The COs were headed from here to Richland on a complaint.

CO Paul Higashi (L) and Sergeant Jeff Rabbers with the neighborhood deer.

CO Paul Higashi (L) and Sergeant Jeff Rabbers with the neighborhood deer.

7 point.

7 point.

Lonnie and the boys shoot the breeze.

Lonnie and the boys shoot the breeze.

08 Nov

2014 Venue

We’ll be about 20 or so miles from the mouth of the Pesheke River next year. Last time we fished it I caught a pike on  3 wt. rod and dragged the fish ashore to release it.  Fish was 20-22 inches, small. Also drove by this scene today and couldn’t not stop and get a picture. Latest example of “in practice, the theory is different.” Which is often the case with theories. Random pix for UR plez. Over.

End of a tent.

End of a tent.

Color spatch!

Color spatch!

Greeeeeen Fish!

Greeeeeen Fish!

Ma  Nature, designer, engineer.

Ma Nature, designer, engineer.

Dogcrow? Not so much.

Dogcrow? Not so much.

This photo posted this week by Grand Marais Outfitters.

This photo posted this week by Grand Marais Outfitters.

08 Nov

2014 Venue

We’ll be about 20 or so miles from the mouth of the Pesheke River next year. Last time we fished it I caught a pike on  3 wt. rod and dragged the fish ashore to release it.  Fish was 20-22 inches, small.

Also drove by this scene today and couldn’t not stop and get a picture. Latest example of “in practice, the theory is different.” Which is often the case with theories.

Dogcrow? Not so much.

Dogcrow? Not so much.

 

 

This photo posted this week by Grand Marais Outfitters.

This photo posted this week by Grand Marais Outfitters.

08 Nov

Public’s Help Needed

ASSISTING SANILAC COUNTY SHERIFF
SEEKING IDENTIFICATION

Please help us identify these men. They were caught on a trail camera just outside of Sandusky after they stole binoculars, a shooting stick, and another trail camera. Please contact Central Dispatch at (810)648-2000 or the Detective Bureau at (810)648-8361. Thank you

The culprits

The culprits

08 Nov

Iron Wolf

Upper Iron County,   CO  Wicklund put a  trail cam on a spot with a posted gate. Camera recorded: 5 trespassers, (one of whom mooned the camera); 2 ORV violations; 3 bears; a bobcat; 2 flying squirrels; 11 deer; 4 raccoons; and the featured wolf. Of which there are two photos.

Second shot.

Second shot.

First shot off cam

First shot off cam

 

Also, the firearm opener is a week from today, and this is an exciting time of year for hunters and conservation officers alike; lots of COs mark their careers by the number of firearm deer seasons they’ll have, or the number remaining until they retire.. This is the time in most places when the most hunters are afield and the most things are happening. Off the top of my head, here’s the range of what I might anticipate seeing in my 13th deer seas…on with the DNR; I’ve underlined those I’ve seen in the past. Terminology may not be entirely correct, but gist should be clear, and I’m sure I’ve overlooked some obvious ones:

1- Borrowed license/ loaned license/ no license/ failure to attach kill tag/possession of untagged deer; 2- Deer taken before the firearms season but claimed for firearms;

3- Illegal baiting/ over-baiting;

4- Shooting over bait pile with light. (Usually happens in or near a camp);

5- Underage children hunting alone (not in company/supervision of an adult);

6- Does shot in wrong area or shot where no doe permits are issued;

7- Illegal wolf kill/ Undeclared wolf kill/wolf shot outside allowable wolf hunt zones;

8- Hunting before/after legal shooting hours/ road hunting/ shooting from a vehicle;

9- Uncased firearm in vehicle/ loaded firearm in vehicle;

10- Recreational trespass/ criminal trespass;

11- Hunter harassment;

12- Larceny/possession of stolen goods;

13- Assault (all degrees),  accidental shootings (hunting accidents –lethal and nonlethal)/suicides/ homicides;

14- Hunting/driving while intoxicated (booze or various drugs)/ reckless/careless driving;

15- Warrants for arrest for other violations. Warrants may specify arrest and detain anywhere in state, or within x miles of where warrant has been issued;

16- Possession of stolen goods, including trucks/cars/weapons;

17- Out-of-season trout;

18- Lost hunters/persons/children;

19- Timber theft (theft of state property);

20-  Illegal ORV operation/ no helmets;

21-  Failure to register ORV/boat, other vehicles;
22- Felons  in illegal possession of firearms;

23-  Hunters/ others carrying concealed weapons without authorization;

24- Public roads closed with logs, other improvised barriers to keep other hunters out of public areas;

25- Permanent blinds on public property;

26-  Contact with individuals for which an officer safety caution has been issued;

27- Vehicle and foot chases;

28- First on scene of vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, homicide, rape, domestic disturbances;

29-  Investigate building/camp fires (arson and accidental);

30- Unregistered, unpaid camping in state campground;

31- Camping in unauthorized area or exceeding time limit;

32- Littering (disposal of various carcasses, camp materials, etc);

33- Bringing dead deer into Michigan from CWD states (mainly Wisconsin);

34- Failure to produce identification for officers, or producing false ID;

35- Felony flee and elude;

36- Felony assault of a peace officer;

37- Assist medical emergency;

38- Emergency notification of individuals in remote areas/camps.

39- Assist law enforcement personnel from other agencies (county sheriffs, city police, Michigan State Police, border patrol. USFS law, Fish & Wildlife, etc.) ;

40- Assist, work with cross-border game wardens (Wisconsin);

41- Various hunter orange issues and violations;

41- Reckless discharge of firearms.;

42- Interact with the mass media and the public, answer questions, etc.

All of this off the top of my head! There’s much, much more an officer could add, but this gives you a sense of the flavor and tenor of a deer season for a game warden.

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