Fall brings increase in trespassing, property line complaints

OSCEOLA COUNTY — The change in seasons also means a change in the nature of complaints and activity for local law enforcement.

Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said the population in the area decreases as people close their cabins and lake cottages, but the fall season has a specific reason which causes the weekend population to again rise.

“There are a lot of people frequenting the area leading up to and during deer season,” Purcell said.

Hunting season also drives up certain types of complaints, Osceola County Undersheriff Justin Halladay said.

“As more and more hunters come to the area, we see an increase in property line disputes and trespassing complaints,” Halladay said.

While most people are hoping to nab a deer while out in a blind, others unfortunately encounter the animal while driving.

“Fall ramps up the number of car-deer accidents,” Purcell said. “It’s also the time where the first signs of winter weather arrive, which increases our vehicle accidents due to road conditions.”

Fall brings wetter and sometimes icier roads, and drivers should be aware of changes in road conditions, Halladay said. Summer accidents tend to be more serious than fall and winter accidents, but the number of accidents is higher in the colder months, he added.

“There are more accidents when the weather is bad, but more of the fatal accidents occur in the summer,” Halladay said. “Still, no matter what type of accident it is, even just going off the road in the ditches, we don’t want to see that. We want everyone to be safe.”

Another thing to be conscious of is large farm equipment and tractors on the road during this time of year, Purcell said.

“People in a rural community need to be cognizant of harvest season and all the trucks hauling corn and other crops,” he said. “Be patient and prepared to stop for them.”