Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 10, 2017

Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis

CPO Jones issued a Mount Carroll man citations for failure to report deer harvest and failure to tag deer immediately upon kill. The same subject was issued written warnings for failure to sign his deer tag, falsification of harvest record, and unlawful transportation of untagged deer.

CPO Teas received a call from CPO Beltran, who was off duty and observed two trucks parked along the railroad tracks outside of Leaf River. Suspecting they were possibly unlawfully hunting on railroad property, CPO Teas responded. Upon arrival, it was discovered the subjects were not hunting but were engaged in inappropriate behavior in the back seat of one of the trucks. The subjects were cited for trespass to railroad property and instructed to leave.

CPO Jones received a complaint about coyote hunters near Pear City. CPO Jones was able to locate one of the hunters in a field. CPO Jones conducted a compliance check and found the hunter to be in violation with a loaded rifle uncased in the front seat of his truck.  The hunter was cited for the violation.

CPO Teas responded to a complaint of hunters shooting geese after season was closed. CPO Palumbo also received a call of the hunters and responded while off duty. The hunters had killed four geese and thought the season was still open. The four geese were seized; the hunters were each issued a citation and a warning for the offense.

CPO Alt received a complaint of a citizen unlawfully ice fishing with (9) tip-up devices at Four Lakes Forest Preserve which exceeds the statewide (3) device limit and is also a site specific (2) pole and line only body of water violation for this particular lake. CPO Alt’s investigation validated this complaint and revealed the subject did not catch any fish. Violations addressed with this fisherman included unlawful fishing with too many devices and unsigned sport fishing license.

CPO Alt investigated a complaint from a landowner of a possibly poached 10-point buck on his property. It was undetermined how this deer was killed due to most of the carcass being eaten away by coyotes up to the neck. CPO Alt issued the landowner a salvage tag for the carcass so he could retain the antlers.

CPO Thompson and CPOT Knop were checking goose hunters in Fulton County. The CPOs conducted a check of a hunting area to search for potential violations. While conducting the search, the CPOs located evidence suggestive of unlawful use of electronic calling devices and unlawful use/possession of lead shot. Later, the CPOs observed a hunter utilizing the electronic calling device and performed a compliance check. In addition to the unlawful use of the electronic calling device, the CPOs located lead shot and found the subject’s shotgun to be unplugged. Citations were issued.

Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins

CPO Kelley seized an abandoned tripod feeder in Green Oaks. The feeder still had corn inside and was accompanied by a trail camera, but it looks as if any hunting activity had stopped. CPO Kelley awaits hearing from the owner in order to address the situation.

CPOs Kelley, VanWiltenburg and Tepovich located a Harvard man selling juvenile snapping turtles on Craigslist. The man appeared to be selling them because his kids had lost interest in them; focusing instead on their new hedgehog and puppy. The man was issued written warnings for the violations and informed of the proper permits he would need to sell herptiles.

CPO Reid responded to a trespass complaint of two individuals collecting deer antlers on private property without permission. The individuals were cited for the offense.

CPO Mieure and CPOT Poffenberger issued two citations to two individuals for failure to immediately release slot walleyes on the Kankakee River in Will County. In addition, one subject was issued a written warning for no fishing license.

CPO Whitchurch and CPOT Ausmus were on patrol conducting ice fishing enforcement at a Cook County Lake when they observed two chairs on the ice and two holes drilled. Additionally, two fishing poles were on the ice which had one line in the water. There was also a cooler on the lake. There were no persons on the entire frozen lake. The officers were able to locate a subject who was sitting in a car in the parking lot. The car was positioned so that none of the ice fishing gear could be seen from the car. The person in the car claimed ownership of the fishing gear and informed the officers he had caught one small bass earlier. The subject was informed about the tagging of unattended devices. A fishing license was requested from the subject which he did not have. A citation and written warning were issued.

CPO Whitchurch and CPOT Ausmus were patrolling Lake Michigan when they observed a subject catching numerous yellow perch. CPO Whitchurch observed the subject reach into his bucket and removed four yellow perch and give the fish to an angler standing next to him. When CPO Whitchurch made contact with the subject and counted the yellow perch in his bucket, the subject possessed 13 yellow perch. His total was two over the daily limit. A citation was issued for an over limit of yellow perch.

Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPOs Moody and Barnes investigated a trapping without permission complaint in rural Coles County. After interviews, it was determined an Effingham man had shot a cat with his compound bow and used it for bait. The man had trapped a couple of opossums and had failed to check his trap for three days. None of the traps were tagged, and he had no trapping license. The man received citations and written warnings.

Sgt. Williamson found two Bloomington men fishing in the restricted area at Clinton Lake. After contacting them, it was found that they did not have fishing licenses. They each received a citation for not having a fishing license and a written warning each for fishing in a restricted area.

CPOT Thornley and CPO Wright were checking fishermen at Lake Decatur Dam. The CPOT asked a fisherman how his hunting season went. The subject stated he shot one doe. Upon returning to his vehicle, CPO Wright checked records of harvest and showed no deer reported. Upon further investigation, the subject admitted to taking his brother’s deer and recording the harvest under his brother’s name. The subject was issued citations for failure to immediately tag upon harvest and the unlawful use of another’s permit.

CPO Reeves received a call about people hunting the railroad tracks too close to Rt. 10 in Piatt County. CPO Reeves located two different hunting parties hunting the tracks. Upon stopping the groups and interviewing them, it was determined that neither group had permission to hunt the area. CPO Reeves cited two Champaign men for hunting without permission on railroad property.

Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul

CPOT Sanford and CPO Weishaupt located five individuals waterfowl hunting Diamond Island State Waterfowl Area in Calhoun County. After several hours of surveillance, the individuals were found to be using an electronic goose call to hunt white-fronted and Canada geese. After conducting hunter compliance checks on all five individuals, the individuals were found to have harvested over the limit of white-fronted geese. The individuals were also found to be in violation of numerous other wildlife laws. Each individual was issued five citations for the violations.

CPOs Elliott and Bettis conducted timber enforcement on a logging truck hauling logs. The driver had no paperwork for the transportation of the logs. One citation for failure to show proof of ownership was issued along with a timber inspection form completed.

CPOs Elliott and Bettis worked a group of coyote hunters. Upon stopping and checking on the subject’s vehicle, they located two loaded uncased guns. One citation and two written warnings were issued for wildlife violations.

CPO Tapley received a phone call about subjects shooting at snow geese from the roadway. CPO Tapley stopped a truck in the area where the call originated and found the driver had a loaded shotgun in the back seat.  A citation was issued.

CPO Tapley and CPOT Ausmus issued a citation to a subject after he was found to have a homemade “antler catcher” and bait set. The antler catcher was seized, and a trail camera was returned to the subject.

CPO Schachner was utilizing a kayak to covertly patrol a marshy area thick with buckbrush near the Kaskaskia River when he witnessed a waterfowl poacher kill two Canada geese and then shoot two additional birds about an hour later. The poacher was cited for the over limit of geese and also for transporting an uncased and loaded shotgun in his motorboat. The geese and shotgun were seized. The violator also received numerous warnings for boat safety equipment violations.

Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber

CPO Smith and CPOT Roper were on patrol at Wildcat Hollow in Effingham County when they discovered two rabbit hunters exiting Wildcat Hollow. After performing a hunter compliance check on the individuals, it was discovered one of the firearms was capable of holding more than three shotgun shells. One citation for unlawful use of an unplugged shotgun was issued.

While on patrol near North Fork Branch Kaskaskia River in Fayette County, CPOT Roper and CPO Smith observed an individual fishing in a kayak. Upon checking the fisherman, it was discovered he was in possession of a short crappies. The minimum size limit for crappies in the body of water is 10 inches. The fisherman was issued a citation for failure to release short sportfish.

CPO Smith and CPOT Roper received a call in Marion County about an injured deer that was stuck in a cattle fence. It was determined that the deer had to be put down.

CPO Smith and CPOT Roper received information about an unlawfully taken white-tailed deer. CPO Smith and CPOT Roper discovered the individual involved was a non-resident hunter from Georgia. CPOT Roper contacted the individual via telephone. The subject admitted to CPOT Roper he had failed to tag the deer immediately upon kill. One citation was issued for failure to tag white-tailed deer immediately upon kill.

CPO Vasicek reported the court disposition for a Florida subject who was arrested on multiple wildlife violations. The subject unlawfully killed a buck on a property where he did not have consent to hunt. The subject failed to tag the deer after locating it and, after being confronted by the landowner, he exited the area. That night he returned to the property and removed the buck’s head and hid it in the woods, still failing to tag the deer or recover/use the meat. After interviewing the subject, CPO Vasicek was able to recover the deer head and issued multiple citations including wanton waste, hunting without permission, and failure to tag. The subject appeared in court and was fined a total of $1,740 with hunting privilege revocations pending.

CPO Somers is conducting an investigation of two Louisiana men for falsification of residency to hunt and of an Alabama man for unlawful take of a 9-point buck. Charges are pending in the cases.

CPO Vasicek reported the court disposition for two non-resident subjects who were arrested in Union County in November on multiple wildlife violations. These violations included no valid archery deer permits, no licenses, using high-powered rifles during archery season, and using shotgun loaded with buckshot to hunt deer during archery season. The two subjects pleaded guilty to five of the misdemeanor violations between the two subjects with fines totaling $3,928 including $265 to the Conservation Police operations fund.

CPOT Stanbary and CPO Folden interviewed a subject of an Open Source Task Force investigation who had reported the harvest of a buck in Lawrence County and a doe in Williamson County. The harvests were reported on a Sunday. During the interview it was discovered that neither deer was taken on Sunday, and the buck reported as a Lawrence County harvest was taken in Williamson County. The subject possessed just an antlerless-only permit when he harvested his 10-point buck on Friday evening. He purchased a Lawrence County muzzleloader on Saturday because this combination was the only either sex option left. He then reported harvest of the buck and doe on Sunday. This subject was cited for unlawful take of an antlered deer without a valid permit, unlawful take of a deer in a county for which the permit was not valid, and failure to report harvest by 10 p.m. as required.  Written warnings for this deer also include unlawful possession of illegally taken deer, and deer permit violations. The doe was taken on Saturday and not reported until Sunday. One citation for failure to report harvest was issued. It was also determined both of these deer were taken with a shotgun even though one of the permits was a muzzleloader permit. The 10-point buck rack was seized.

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