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.
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.
Here tiz. Over.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ASSISTING SANILAC COUNTY SHERIFF
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
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.
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.