Things would have been tragically different had Chris Lynch arrived even just a few minutes later.
Lynch, a conservation officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, was on patrol in the state's rural north peninsula late last month when something caught his eye. There, on a private off-road trail through the wilderness, he spotted a vehicle parked — and a man with a little dog running at his side.
Something about the scene just didn't feel right, evidently; Lynch decided to stop. And it's a good thing that he did.
As Lynch approached the vehicle, he noticed the man slip a loaded rifle back into its case.