Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 24, 2017

Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis

CPO Posateri responded to a call for an injured bowhunter at Johnson Sauk Trail. The disabled hunter had called the staff asking for help but due to poor cell reception the call was lost before the staff could ascertain what kind of help was needed. The hunter was located with no injuries, but he had successfully harvested an 8-point deer and needed assistance getting it to his truck.

CPO Francisko closed a deer poaching case involving a Texas resident. The week before firearms deer season, a Texas resident came to Mercer County to archery deer hunt. The man did not purchase a non-resident hunting license, habitat stamp or any deer permits. The man harvested a doe and had possession of an aged buck rack. On Jan. 9 in Mercer County Court, the man pleaded guilty to harvesting a deer without a valid deer permit. Total costs on this charge were $741 ($250 fine, $250 civil penalty for the poached deer, $241 court costs), and the Texas man forfeited the seized deer meat. He also pleaded guilty to a second charge for hunting in Illinois without a non-resident hunting license. Total costs on this charge were $491 ($250 fine, $241 court costs). Total costs to the Texas resident for poaching a doe out of Illinois were $1,232 and loss of the deer. The administrative process of assessing points against his hunting privileges is pending.

CPO Beltran observed a truck parked next to the railroad tracks with a dog box in the back. He could hear hounds calling in the distance along the tracks. Not knowing where the hunter was, he asked CPO Teas and an intern to assist and check the other side of the tracks. CPO Beltran and the intern walked east along the tracks near Byron and found a Rockford man, carrying an AR style firearm, walking with his dog down the middle of the tracks. CPO Beltran stopped the man, and he stated he was aware he was trespassing and hunting illegally on the tracks and said he does it all the time. He was cited for hunting without permission and warned for trespassing and no blaze orange hat.

CPO Filipiak conducted an investigation on a trapper in northern LaSalle County. The trapper was found to have not checked his traps for nine consecutive days and trapping with multiple untagged trapping devices. The individual was issued two citations and two written warning for failure to check traps with 24 hours and trapping with untagged devices.

CPO Alt investigated a complaint of unlawful selling of white-tailed deer meat. The investigation revealed the subject offered to sell venison to a couple of friends over social media but had yet to actually complete a transaction. CPO Alt took the opportunity to take a proactive approach to this complaint and educate the citizen on the unlawful selling of venison section in the Illinois Wildlife Code.

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.

CPOT Sanford and CPO Lazzell located a non-resident deer hunter at Jubilee College State Park in Peoria County. The individual was found to have falsified documents to obtain resident hunting privileges in 2015 and 2016. The individual was cited for three counts of falsification and three counts of unlawful take of a deer. The individual also received four other citations and nine written warnings for numerous other violations of the wildlife code spanning from 2015 to 2017. The individual’s compound bow and permits, along with two deer unlawfully harvested in Peoria and DeWitt counties, were seized as evidence.

Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins

CPOs Semenik, Davis, and CPOT Knop arrested four subjects in unincorporated McHenry County for unlawfully hunting by aid/use of conveyance, unlawful use of light from a vehicle, and unlawful transport of an uncased loaded firearm. The officers were conducting a deer decoy detail when they encountered a vehicle driving slowly down an isolated road, shining handheld spotlights from both sides of the vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted, resulting in the seizure of a loaded, uncased .22 caliber rifle and two spotlights.

CPO Whitchurch and CPOT Ausmus were on patrol checking ice fishermen at a Cook County lake when they observed a subject acting nervous when the officers neared. The subject was asked for a fishing license. The subject stated he bought a fishing license a few months back, but did not have it on him. A fishing license check was completed which revealed the subject had not purchased a sport fishing license in Illinois for over four years. The subject was cited for unlawfully fishing without a valid sport fishing license.

Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPO Wellum investigated a hunting accident in Clark County. While deer hunting, a New York man had a strap break on a ladder stand he was climbing into and fell 14 feet to the ground. The man sustained two broken lumbar vertebrae and his lower left leg. The man was hunting with an outfitter who was issued a written warning for failure to report hunting accident by an outfitter.

CPO Moody investigated a Villa Grove man in rural Douglas County. Through the investigation, it was determined that the man had shot and killed a small buck during archery season and never tagged it or reported the harvest. Further investigation revealed at least six other deer killed illegally in recent years by the same man. The man received multiple citations and written warnings.

CPO Barnes is investigating a TIPS complaint of an individual illegally hunting on the Eagle Creek Golf Course in Shelby County. CPO Barnes has determined two individuals from Fayette and Jasper counties are involved. The investigation is ongoing.

CPO Barnes investigated a timber complaint in Shelby County. Several trees had been harvested on a landowner’s property without permission. CPO Barnes tracked down the timber harvester, and an agreement was made between him and the landowner for compensation of the harvested trees.

CPO Greuel cited a Shelbyville man for failure to check traps daily and remove animals after receiving a TIPs complaint of a domestic dog in a leg hold trap in Shelby County.

Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul

CPO Weishaupt responded to a complaint of someone shooting deer with a rifle. He responded to the area and found the suspect. After a brief interview, the suspect admitted to shooting at a deer, however he missed. CPO Weishaupt searched the area and located a freshly killed deer. This deer was in a different location from the complaint. CPO Weishaupt interviewed the subject again. The subject admitted to killing the deer at that location in addition to shooting at and missing the deer at a second location.

CPO Wheatley was notified of three men hunting rabbits on a set of railroad tracks near Augusta. He responded to the area, but he was unable to locate the subjects. After speaking with the complainant and the rail road company, he continued to search for the suspect vehicle. He found it north of Plymouth, unoccupied with one rabbit inside the bed. The men were subsequently located. He interviewed them in the field concerning the hunting on the railroad tracks.

CPO Schachner received a court disposition on a recent deer baiting case. The deer hunter was a repeat offender for baiting deer and hunting deer with the aid of bait. He was caught “red-handed” each time but stubbornly refused to accept responsibility. The deer baiter pleaded guilty in Monroe County court and must pay a $750 fine.

CPO Ralph Sievers was checking fishermen at Baldwin Lake. A male subject did not have a fishing license and was consuming alcohol. The park visitors are not allowed to possess or consume alcohol at Baldwin Lake. The subject also had valid warrants for a failure to appear in Randolph County for fishing without a valid fishing license and for a failure to appear in St. Clair County for intoxication and resisting arrest. The subject was confined at the St. Clair County Jail and was served a citation for possession/consumption of alcohol and a written warning for fishing without a fishing license.

In interstate cooperation between Illinois and Missouri Conservation officers, CPO Rolfingsmeier and Missouri Conservation Agent Kyle Dunda worked a deer hunting investigation. The investigation resulted in the seizure of two deer, including a 9-point buck that was killed by a Illinois resident using a Missouri resident deer permit. In addition, a Missouri resident fraudulently obtained a Illinois resident hunting license and used another Illinois resident hunter’s deer permit to kill a 14-point buck. Several citations and written warnings were issued.

CPO Charles received information of a wounded deer near New Athens in St. Clair County. CPO Charles drove to the location but could not find the deer in the area. CPO Charles did see a group of rabbit hunters in the area. After completing a check on the hunters, CPO Charles discovered that one of the hunters was hunting without a valid habitat stamp.

Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber

CPO Folden arrested a Franklin County resident on information derived from the Open Source Task Force. CPO Folden identified the subject killed an 8-point buck in 2015 but only had antlerless-only firearms permits and antlerless-only archery permits. Through further investigation, Folden determined the subject’s father reported the harvest of a deer with a description similar to the one Folden expected was illegally harvested. Interviews with the subject revealed he also harvested two does with a bow but had only one permit and did not report the harvest. Folden issued citations for unlawful use of another’s permit, unlawful take of an antlered deer with only an antlerless-only permit, unlawful take of deer (two does but only one permit), and a written warning for failure to report harvest. The 8-point buck was located with the other person’s permit still on the antlers.

CPO Vasicek located a small camouflage truck parked in a very remote area of the Shawnee National Forest. The vehicle was adjacent to a large swamp on USFS property. Vasicek suspected that the subjects were waterfowl hunting and set up surveillance on the vehicle and its boat trailer. A short time later, he heard duck calling and a volley of shots. The duck season had closed two weeks prior in the south central zone. After several hours, the subjects came in by boat and were found to be in possession of 11 ducks that had been killed during the closed season. Two of the subjects were also in possession of unplugged shotguns.

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