Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 10, 2017

Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis

CPOs Teas and Beltran investigated an area where a very large buck was found in a field. A subject hit the snow-covered deer on a snowmobile and later discovered it to be a large buck. The head and antlers had been taken. After investigating, the deer and the field where it was found, the subject was issued a salvage deer permit and allowed to keep the deer. The subject was informed to call a CPO before taking possession of any deer found in this manner in the future.

CPO Palumbo operated side scan sonar to assist with the recovery of a sunken pickup truck in the near frozen waters of the Rock River in Dixon. The teenage driver and his passenger luckily escaped the vehicle before it was completely submerged in 10 feet of water after leaving the roadway near the Dixon High School. Dixon police are handling the pending traffic charges. Also present and in charge of the incident were Dixon City Fire, Dixon Rural Fire, and the Byron Fire Department dive team.

CPO Francisko appeared in Mercer County court reference wildlife charges filed on a Mercer County man. The man harvested an antlered deer without possessing an either-sex deer permit. The man then acquired his grandfather’s free either-sex landowner deer permit and used it on his deer. A plea bargain agreement was reached as follows: The deer meat was donated to a charity, the individual pleaded guilty to the charge of harvesting of an antlered deer without the proper deer permit, received 12 months court supervision, and paid a $250 fine and a $250 civil penalty for the deer. The charge for use of another’s permit was dismissed.

CPO Beltran observed a deer harvest on Facebook and checked to see if the deer was checked into the system. The deer was not checked into the system, and CPO Beltran visited a 49-year-old man from Polo. It was discovered the man had killed two deer, and his 11-year-old son killed a deer. They tried to bring them to the check station at Castle Rock State Park but it was closed. The man waited two days before attempting to call them into the phone-in system. CPO Beltran explained the regulations for Ogle County and other CWD counties and advised him that the check stations are only open the first two firearms seasons. A total of six warnings were issued to the man for his violations. CPO Beltran also gave the man his cellphone number in the event he would have problems or questions in the future.

CPO Alt investigated a wanton waste violation northwest of the city of Freeport. The investigation confirmed a local area goose hunter unlawfully dump breasted out Canada goose and mallard duck carcasses into a creek within the highway right-of-way. The hunter was cited for wanton waste and issued a written warning for pollution of waterways. The hunter returned to the creek and pulled all the carcasses from the water for proper disposal.

CPO Finn and CPOT Stanbary were patrolling in LaSalle County when they received a complaint of hunters trespassing. They responded to find an angry hunter alongside the road. The hunter stated two other hunters were hunting on property they did not have permission to hunt and had shot a deer and did not tag it. CPO Finn photographed the deer and informed the complainant he would wait to see if the other hunters returned to get the deer. Shortly after dark, two men returned to retrieve the deer. The men were not the hunters who shot the deer but were discovered to be illegally hunting on the property. All three men were cited. Two were cited for hunting without permission and failure to immediately tag a deer. The other was cited for hunting without permission, failure to immediately tag a deer and failure to report harvest.

CPO Thompson received information from an anonymous source referencing unlawful hunting activity. With the information, CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott interviewed several witnesses. The information gathered suggested two deer were taken without valid permits and were not tagged. After interviewing the suspects involved, confessions were made. Citations were issued for two counts of failure to tag a deer immediately upon kill (accessory), two counts of failure to report harvest (accessory), two counts of hunting without a hunting license (accessory), and one count of unlawful take of a buck without an either-sex permit (accessory). Written warnings were issued for three counts of unlawful hunting without blaze orange, two counts of unlawful take of a deer, one count of unlawful take (attempt) of a buck, and two counts of unlawful hunting without a license. Two deer were seized, including a 10-point buck.

Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins

CPO Kelley issued a citation to an individual for multiple instances of dumping his personal trash at Moraine Hills State Park. While being interviewed, the subject admitted to missing his trash day pick-up and using the park as his garbage spot on at least six occasions.

CPO VanWiltenburg completed a two-year investigation on an anonymous complaint regarding a subject shooting various wildlife from his house in McHenry. The subject had corn in his backyard, drawing in deer, ducks, squirrels and other animals. The subject was issued citations for unlawful feeding of deer, hunting without permission, killing squirrel out of season, and wanton waste. He was also issued several written warnings.

CPOT Snodgrass and CPO Wollgast were on patrol in Goose Lake Prairie State Park where they noticed tracks in a restricted area going across private property. Upon investigation, they found two individuals had walked through a restricted area to access a hunting area. One subject was issued a citation for hunting with an unplugged shotgun and a warning for hunting without permission. The other subject was issued a citation for hunting from a blind on state property without 400 square inches of orange, and a warning for hunting without permission.

CPO Whitchurch and CPOT Ausmus were patrolling at a Cook County lake observing ice fishermen when they observed a subject catch a small northern pike. The subject was then observed placing the fish in a bucket. Additionally, the subject was observed fishing in a manner which violated the state’s number of devices law while ice fishing. A check of the subject revealed he possessed a valid sport fishing license. The fish was measured, and it was seven inches short of the 24-inch length minimum. The subject was cited for the short fish violation and the northern pike was successfully returned to the water. A warning was issued for unlawful ice fishing with too many devices.

Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPO Wellum responded to a complaint of a deer struggling on the ice on a private pond in Clark County. After seeing the condition of the deer and the condition of the ice, CPO Wellum deemed it was necessary to dispatch the deer.

While checking fishermen at Lake Paradise, CPOs Moody and Barnes arrested a Golconda man for possession of less than 5 grams of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, and illegal transportation of open alcohol. The man was also cited for failure to pay camping fees from a previous incident at a state park. His brother, from Mattoon, was cited for illegal transportation of open alcohol and possession of cannabis.

CPOT Sanford, CPO Viverito, and CPO Wright ran a fish enforcement detail at Clinton Lake. Two individuals were found to be in possession of an over-limit of crappie, and one individual was found to be in possession of an over-limit of striped bass. One individual was also found to be in possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.  The individuals were cited accordingly.

A Ford County man who was charged by CPO Reeves for reckless discharge of a fire arm when he was target practicing and shot another man’s hunting dog pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and was ordered to pay fines, fees and restitution totaling $1,731.03 and was placed on 24 months of conditional discharge.

CPO Wright and CPO Graden traveled to Indiana to conclude an investigation into a Macon County man who had been claiming dual residency to obtain resident deer hunting permits. The CPOs teamed up with Indiana Conservation Officer Tholen and Corporal Pekny to locate the subject’s residence in Indiana. The CPOs were able to determine that the individual had been living in Indiana for the last seven years and was using his old Illinois address to obtain his permits. The individual received citations for falsification of DNR records to obtain permits, hunting with no valid deer permit, and failure to tag deer immediately upon kill. He was issued several written warnings as well. An 8-point white-tailed deer was seized from the taxidermist.

Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul

CPO Reid and CPO Goetten arrested two subjects who harvested several deer illegally. A total of 21 bucks were seized in the investigation. The case has now concluded in Calhoun County. Total fines and court costs in the case were in excess of $8,000.

CPO Goetten investigated a subject suspected of falsifying residency in Illinois. During the investigation, the subject was determined to reside in Illinois. During the interview, the subject denied harvesting a deer he reported harvesting during the firearms deer season. An extensive investigation connected two other subjects to the illegal harvest. One subject was a convicted felon and suspected of actually harvesting the deer with a firearm. He would not cooperate with the investigation. All three subjects were cited for the unlawful take of a white-tailed deer.

CPO Jarrod Elliott observed a truck parked next to the Sanganois squirrel timber with a blood trail next to it in the snow. Elliott was attempting to identify the owner of the vehicle when hunters exited the timber.  The two subjects returned to the truck, and only one admitted to hunting. The second stated he was there to videotape. As a result of identifying the subjects, it was discovered the driver was suspended and the passenger was revoked. CPO Elliott arrested the driver based upon admission. The passenger was issued a civil citation for possession of cannabis.

CPOs Wichern and Blakeley received a complaint that a large white panel van was buying furs behind the gas station in Bluffs on certain Friday evenings. CPO Blakeley located the fur buyer and sold three large raccoon furs. CPO Wichern conducted a license check and records inspection after the fur buyer concluded business that evening. It was determined the fur buyer was properly licensed from Ogle County and traveled the state buying fur. It was also determined the fur buyer issued and maintained the proper receipts for each fur transaction, and he had not purchased otter or bobcats this trip due to the low fur prices.

CPO Rolfingsmeier received a complaint about a dumped deer carcass in a business’s dumpster near O’Fallon. CPO Rolfingsmeier investigated the deer carcass and was able to obtain the antlerless only deer permit from the deer carcass. CPO Rolfingsmeier checked the hunters’ harvest record and found the hunter never checked in the deer. CPO Rolfingsmeier went and interviewed the hunter, and the hunter admitted that he forgot to check in the deer. When the hunter was asked if he had permission to dispose of the deer in the dumpster, he said he had permission from one of the workers there. CPO Rofingsmeier later verified he had permission to dispose of the deer in the dumpster.

Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber

CPO Diggins cited a Marion hunter who was pheasant hunting at a state park. The hunter was hunting several feet from the public roadway and shot at a pheasant flying parallel to the roadway. At the time of the firing of the shotgun, the CPO’s squad was traveling northbound, and the pheasant was flying southbound. Fortunately the pheasant was approximately 15 feet in the air, and the hunter shot above the CPO’s squad car.

CPO Folden is investigating a TIPS complaint. A baited stand was located on property where no hunting is allowed. CPO Folden seized the deer stand, mineral block, and trail camera per the wishes of the landowner. This is a pending investigation.

CPO Smith was investigating another early report of deer harvest and spoke with a subject who had reported a harvest of a doe less than two hours after the purchase of a permit and hunting license/habitat stamp. The subject told CPO Smith he went hunting early in the morning and killed a doe. The only problem with the subject’s story is he said he was hunting and killed a doe around 7 a.m. The records of POS indicated he did not purchase the hunting license/habitat stamp and archery deer permit until 8:33 a.m. the same day. CPO Smith issued one citation for unlawfully hunting deer without a permit.

CPO Smith and CPOT Roper were advised by Sgt. Hyatt of a deer hunting incident regarding a house that was hit by a deer slug. CPO Smith met with a Crawford County deputy who directed them to the area where the incident occurred. CPO Smith spoke with the hunter and asked him to explain what happened. The hunter said he was shooting at a deer earlier that morning near the house that got hit by the slug. CPO Smith, CPOT Roper, and the deputy looked at the area and established the hunter was being truthful where he claimed he discharged the firearm. An empty shell casing was found there. CPO Smith utilized Google Earth and estimated the distance the hunter was standing from the house to be 360 yards. CPO Smith explained to the hunter he would be receiving a written warning for shooting across a highway. The layout of the land was a factor in the explanation of how the slug ended up penetrating through the house wall.

CPO Taylor received a call that a subject was walking down a county road with a rifle. When CPO Taylor made contact with the hunter he stated he was coyote hunting. When asked if the rifle was loaded, he stated “yes” and that he kept it loaded just in case he saw a coyote.

CPO Robert Compton received information that a Florida resident had harvested a large 9-point buck at Ramsey Lake State Park while hunting with an antlerless only permit. During an interview with the Florida subject he stated his 83-year-old grandfather who is an Illinois resident had killed the deer. During an interview with the grandfather, he stated “I don’t think you can prove anything.” The grandfather claimed he killed, recovered and recorded the harvest of the deer just minutes after purchasing his deer tag during the late morning. The grandfather received multiple citations that included, hunting without a hunting license, hunting without a habitat stamp, hunting without a windshield card and deer hunting without a valid deer permit. The 9-pointer was seized from a local taxidermist. The contact information for the buck at the taxidermist was for the grandson in Florida.

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