Michigan-Sportsman.com banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My buddy and I were having a friendly debate on the differences in authority of police agencies over game laws. Either all or some game laws. We found and knew that DNR officers can enforce state laws. Our question was does it go the other way as well. For example can a MSP officer measure a fish for length or even search your car for suspected hunting violations under probable cause. We found that in California they cannot but couldn't find anything about Michigan. Any ideas?
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,811 Posts
My buddy and I were having a friendly debate on the differences in authority of police agencies over game laws. Either all or some game laws. We found and knew that DNR officers can enforce state laws. Our question was does it go the other way as well. For example can a MSP officer measure a fish for length or even search your car for suspected hunting violations under probable cause. We found that in California they cannot but couldn't find anything about Michigan. Any ideas?
Thanks
I was a Detroit cop for 25 years and we had the authority to issue tickets for no fishing license and various other game and fish violations. Never issued any tickets but would always joke with the guys fishing the Detroit River from the bank. I worked Palmer Park(12th Precinct) W. 7mile/Woodward and there was a pond in the park with fish in it(Carp/Sunfish) and the residents would fish it without a fishing license. I would ask them for a license and when they couldn't produce 1 I would tell them to give me their fishing pole and then proceed to show them how to catch the carp. I would buy popcorn from the concession stand near the park and chum the pond with the popcorn and then put popcorn on the hook and proceed to catch carp impressing the locals...lol Had a complaint 1 time of a guy catching pigeons and putting them in a sack. Asked the guy what he planned to do with the pigeons..told me he was going to eat them. Told him I didn't think so and made him let the birds go. Also caught a guy hunting squirrels with a 22 in the woods in the park..locked him up and then caught a guy shooting racoons at night and locked him up. So local police have the authority to enforce fish and game laws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was a Detroit cop for 25 years and we had the authority to issue tickets for no fishing license and various other game and fish violations. Never issued any tickets but would always joke with the guys fishing the Detroit River from the bank. I worked Palmer Park(12th Precinct) W. 7mile/Woodward and there was a pond in the park with fish in it(Carp/Sunfish) and the residents would fish it without a fishing license. I would ask them for a license and when they couldn't produce 1 I would tell them to give me their fishing pole and then proceed to show them how to catch the carp. I would buy popcorn from the concession stand near the park and chum the pond with the popcorn and then put popcorn on the hook and proceed to catch carp impressing the locals...lol Had a complaint 1 time of a guy catching pigeons and putting them in a sack. Asked the guy what he planned to do with the pigeons..told me he was going to eat them. Told him I didn't think so and made him let the birds go. Also caught a guy hunting squirrels with a 22 in the woods in the park..locked him up and then caught a guy shooting racoons at night and locked him up. So local police have the authority to enforce fish and game laws.
Thanks for the your insight. We saw that California (I know it’s California) courts ruled the searches based on hunting violations illegal by regular police. They thought that could lead to police officers using that as an excuse to search for other contraband. Thanks again for your response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
Michigan Constitution give the legal definition of a peace officer. It includes troopers, deputies and conservation officers in that definition. They all have authority to enforce any state law. Every state is different and some do have differences in authority for different police officers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,228 Posts
I have a friend who is a county sheriff and a distant relative who is a retired state trooper. I have asked both this question in the past. Both said they can legally enforce game violations but their management prefers they do not. Their reasoning is paperwork. They are not as familiar with the specifics of game laws as a CO. Their management would prefer if they come across a game vioaltion in their daily job they contact the local CO. For instance they may go to a domestic dispute and find untagged deer hanging on the property. They would call the local CO and let him deal with it. If he isnt available they would take pics and send pictures maybe. The CO would be a better candidate to prepare a solid case for the prosecutor.

That was the answer I was given.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
I have a friend who is a county sheriff and a distant relative who is a retired state trooper. I have asked both this question in the past. Both said they can legally enforce game violations but their management prefers they do not. Their reasoning is paperwork. They are not as familiar with the specifics of game laws as a CO. Their management would prefer if they come across a game vioaltion in their daily job they contact the local CO. For instance they may go to a domestic dispute and find untagged deer hanging on the property. They would call the local CO and let him deal with it. If he isnt available they would take pics and send pictures maybe. The CO would be a better candidate to prepare a solid case for the prosecutor.

That was the answer I was given.
Yes, there are many "specialties". The state has numerous badge carrying investigators who are certified "peace officers" working in the various branches of the state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
I would think in most cases a local law enforcement officer would just take information and hand it over to a C.O. to investigate..like it was said above they more than likely do not know the laws for fish and game well enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Interesting thread. I've only been asked for my fishing license twice. Both times it was a young local cop walking around a park
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
My buddy and I were having a friendly debate on the differences in authority of police agencies over game laws. Either all or some game laws. We found and knew that DNR officers can enforce state laws. Our question was does it go the other way as well. For example can a MSP officer measure a fish for length or even search your car for suspected hunting violations under probable cause. We found that in California they cannot but couldn't find anything about Michigan. Any ideas?
Thanks
All state peace officers can enforce game laws.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,345 Posts
Not to get off track, but it is along the same lines. I know a guy who was fishing in the Platte River and yes he was above the 300' mark at the time. The weir was closed so he shouldn't have been in there I'll grant you that. But here's where it gets a little weird, the guy got a ticket for fishing illegally, by a National Park Forest Ranger. I just sorta looked at the guy and thought that was kinda weird. Do these rangers have that authority? I'm just wondering how a federal employee can start dictating state rules and regs. Not condoning what the guy did, I'm just wondering if that isn't a bit of an over reach by the ranger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Not to get off track, but it is along the same lines. I know a guy who was fishing in the Platte River and yes he was above the 300' mark at the time. The weir was closed so he shouldn't have been in there I'll grant you that. But here's where it gets a little weird, the guy got a ticket for fishing illegally, by a National Park Forest Ranger. I just sorta looked at the guy and thought that was kinda weird. Do these rangers have that authority? I'm just wondering how a federal employee can start dictating state rules and regs. Not condoning what the guy did, I'm just wondering if that isn't a bit of an over reach by the ranger.
I saw a ranger in a white truck pull over a couple of former students of mine well away from the Huron National Forest on a road between private farms. I was following the ranger and when we passed the kids the truck pulled a u-turn and pulled them over. They received a speeding ticket. I thought that was interesting too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,228 Posts
Not to get off track, but it is along the same lines. I know a guy who was fishing in the Platte River and yes he was above the 300' mark at the time. The weir was closed so he shouldn't have been in there I'll grant you that. But here's where it gets a little weird, the guy got a ticket for fishing illegally, by a National Park Forest Ranger. I just sorta looked at the guy and thought that was kinda weird. Do these rangers have that authority? I'm just wondering how a federal employee can start dictating state rules and regs. Not condoning what the guy did, I'm just wondering if that isn't a bit of an over reach by the ranger.
I have a story about federal rangers. We were on a stream in pictured rocks lakeshore area picnicking with my family and sisters family. Kids were swimming in a pool below a small falls area. They kept noticing fish bumping into their legs. My wife was hiking back to car for something and i asked her to grab a net from vehicle so we could see what these fish were. Before she got back we managed to scoop one up by hand. They were suckers about 12-14" long. We released and contined to swim awhile. As we were leaving a ranger stepped out from behind some trees and said so doing a little fishing are we? I laughed and said no not really. I told him the story about the kids feeling fish and we were curious as to what they were. Told him i honestly never even used the net and we caught one by hand. He said yeah i am aware i watched the entire time. He got kind of gruff and said i was lucky the fish i grabbed was a sucker. He said they plant salmon in the river and had it been a salmon he would have ticketed me. I stood there sort of bewildered and asked him what the ticket could be. He said he would have ticketed me for molesting wildlife. That was the first time I realized fishing by hand in michigan is illegal. Something I wouldnt have ever thought to even research. Twice since i have seen people catch fish by hand on MOOD. Fred trost did a show with a guy catching brookies by hand once.

My wife called me the fish molestor for a long time after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
I have a story about federal rangers. We were on a stream in pictured rocks lakeshore area picnicking with my family and sisters family. Kids were swimming in a pool below a small falls area. They kept noticing fish bumping into their legs. My wife was hiking back to car for something and i asked her to grab a net from vehicle so we could see what these fish were. Before she got back we managed to scoop one up by hand. They were suckers about 12-14" long. We released and contined to swim awhile. As we were leaving a ranger stepped out from behind some trees and said so doing a little fishing are we? I laughed and said no not really. I told him the story about the kids feeling fish and we were curious as to what they were. Told him i honestly never even used the net and we caught one by hand. He said yeah i am aware i watched the entire time. He got kind of gruff and said i was lucky the fish i grabbed was a sucker. He said they plant salmon in the river and had it been a salmon he would have ticketed me. I stood there sort of bewildered and asked him what the ticket could be. He said he would have ticketed me for molesting wildlife. That was the first time I realized fishing by hand in michigan is illegal. Something I wouldnt have ever thought to even research. Twice since i have seen people catch fish by hand on MOOD. Fred trost did a show with a guy catching brookies by hand once.

My wife called me the fish molestor for a long time after that.
I may have seen kings caught by hand on the Betsie a number of times. Next time I'll start yelling fish molester. .

Can't noodle. Can't jug fish. Dnr taking all the fun out of it. Lol

Sent from my SM-G988U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,345 Posts
I shouldn't say this but I've seen Cohos caught by hand. It's weird the guy would slowly put his under it's belly and slowly rub back and forth, the fish would just freeze and he would pick up. He never kept any just thought it was a cool thing to do I guess.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Macs13

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,596 Posts
I have a story about federal rangers. We were on a stream in pictured rocks lakeshore area picnicking with my family and sisters family. Kids were swimming in a pool below a small falls area. They kept noticing fish bumping into their legs. My wife was hiking back to car for something and i asked her to grab a net from vehicle so we could see what these fish were. Before she got back we managed to scoop one up by hand. They were suckers about 12-14" long. We released and contined to swim awhile. As we were leaving a ranger stepped out from behind some trees and said so doing a little fishing are we? I laughed and said no not really. I told him the story about the kids feeling fish and we were curious as to what they were. Told him i honestly never even used the net and we caught one by hand. He said yeah i am aware i watched the entire time. He got kind of gruff and said i was lucky the fish i grabbed was a sucker. He said they plant salmon in the river and had it been a salmon he would have ticketed me. I stood there sort of bewildered and asked him what the ticket could be. He said he would have ticketed me for molesting wildlife. That was the first time I realized fishing by hand in michigan is illegal. Something I wouldnt have ever thought to even research. Twice since i have seen people catch fish by hand on MOOD. Fred trost did a show with a guy catching brookies by hand once.

My wife called me the fish molestor for a long time after that.
You didn’t think to ask him why he considered salmon to be wildlife but not suckers? All fish lives matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,228 Posts
You didn’t think to ask him why he considered salmon to be wildlife but not suckers? All fish lives matter.
Not at the time. I was alot younger then and probably more timid or less witty when it came to challeging authority as well. I would definitely challenge him on something like that today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I think they all can as I have been asked for fishing licenses and even had the boat searched for fish on Hubbard Lake by a sheriff deputy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top