Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 20, 2017

Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis

CPOs Jones and Beltran were working the Mississippi River for boating and waterfowl enforcement when they stopped a boat for a safety inspection. On the boat were a 60-year-old man and his three adult children. During the inspection, CPO Beltran smelled drug odors and asked the occupants about the illegal substances. Thinking one of the younger passengers would produce some contraband, CPO Beltran was surprised when the older man slid drug paraphernalia out of his pocket and handed it to the officer. A citation was issued.

CPO Posateri and Sgt. T. Petreikis patrolled the Mississippi River Pool 17 and checked fishermen. During an inspection with a commercial fisherman, the Muscatine, Iowa man was found to be in violation by possessing undersized catfish. The fisherman was cited for the violation.

CPO Francisko was on a solo boat patrol on the Mississippi River when he encountered a distraught young lady standing in the middle of a bridge, facing the water and leaning against the side of it. The CPO attempted to communicate with the subject, but the subject would not speak. Assistance was requested from the local police agency. A police officer, trained in suicide prevention, arrived on scene as CPO Francisko maintained his position in the boat below the bridge. The subject eventually agreed to move away from the edge of the bridge and sit down. The subject eventually agreed to enter counseling to resolve her issues.

CPO Filipiak was contacted about a boat being dangerously close to a 1,000-foot barge on the Illinois River. After a lengthy investigation with CPO Finn, a 19-year-old was found to be operating his boat and pick-up truck under the influence of alcohol. The individual had a BAC of .152 percent after four hours of not consuming alcohol. The individual was arrested, and citations were issued for OUI, OUI over .08 percent, reckless operation of a motorboat, DUI, DUI over .08 percent, and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

CPO Kaufman completed a deer investigation started by Region 5 CPOs. The family members involved in the case hunt in White County and live in LaSalle County. CPO Kaufman interviewed the father who admitted to using a family member’s deer permits to tag other family member’s deer. The father and son, who shot three deer while having only two deer permits, were cited. Both have mandatory court dates in White County.

CPO Jansen issued three citations to fishermen on the Illinois River for fishing without a license. Afterward, he patrolled the Starved Rock trails and issued six citations to four individuals for civil cannabis violations.

CPO Jansen located a hunter who had unlawfully taken a hen pintail during the teal season. The hunter was issued a citation.

CPOs Thompson and Elliott worked bank fishermen in Knox and Fulton counties. While on patrol at Lake Storey, CPOs Thompson and Elliott observed three male subjects seated near the edge of the lake. The men were passing a cigarette among one another. Upon approach, CPO Thompson watched the man holding the cigarette discretely toss the cigarette into the lake. While speaking with each of the men, the CPOs identified that the men were smoking cannabis. The men were issued civil citations for possession of cannabis and unlawful pollution of a waterway. A written warning was issued for an unassociated violation.

CPO Kelley received a call about an injured red-tailed hawk in Lake Villa. With the help of the caller, the hawk was captured. The injured hawk was taken to a local rehabilitation specialist where it was determined to be an adult female with a broken right wing. The rehabilitator is certain the hawk can be returned to the wild.

Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins

While checking sport fishermen on the K3 River, CPO Vadbunker observed two female subjects fishing. Upon checking their sport fishing licenses, CPO Vadbunker noticed that there was a smallmouth bass concealed in a plastic bag. One of the females advised that she caught it. When asked if she knew what she had caught, she correctly advised, “a smallmouth bass.” She was advised that there was a protected slot size limit on smallmouth bass, and she observed as the fish was measured. The fish clearly fell in the prohibited slot size. The subject was cited for the offense.

Sgt. Whitchurch was on patrol when he observed a subject unlawfully snagging during a closed season. Once the violator saw Sgt. Whitchurch, he jumped into Lake Michigan with his fishing pole in hand. The violator then attempted to run in waist-deep water and hide in the tall weeds. Sgt. Whitchurch ran down the bank and located the subject in the water. The violator’s fishing pole was lost in Lake Michigan. The subject was taken into custody. The arrest included enforcement action for unlawful snagging during a closed season, unlawful snagging without a valid sport fishing license, unlawful snagging of salmon without a valid Lake Michigan salmon stamp, and unlawful pollution of a waterway.

CPO Snodgrass concluded an open investigation into a pet store in Chicago that was illegally selling wild-caught Plains garter snakes. After an investigation into the incident and doing an on-scene investigation, CPO Snodgrass issued the owner of the store a Class A misdemeanor for the violation. A written warning was issued for possessing more than the legal limit. The snakes were seized.

CPOs Thornley and Ausmus conducted enforcement at William H. Powers State Recreation Area. CPO Thornley issued five written warnings for various fishing violations. A warning was issued to an individual fishing with more than two devices as regulated by site specific rule. Four written warnings were issued to subjects who believed they were fishing in Indiana. Two of the individuals checked had just purchased their Indiana licenses before coming to the park. The individuals stated they knew they were at the park, and they purchased licenses because they did not want to get in trouble. CPO Thornley explained to the individuals where the state boundary lines were located so they would not have the same issue in the future. CPO Thornley conducted three vessel inspections on kayaks and found all to comply.

CPO Thornley received a TIPS complaint about an individual illegally attempting to trap a skunk. CPO Thornley traveled to Mt. Prospect to investigate the complaint. Upon arriving at the address of the residence in question, CPO Thornley immediately noticed a live trap. After speaking with the homeowner, it was determined the homeowner had illegally trapped a skunk. The skunk was removed by a licensed pest control company prior to CPO Thornley’s arrival at the residence. The homeowner was issued a citation for trapping skunk out of season. The homeowner was issued two written warnings for failure to properly tag a trap and unlawfully trapping without a license. CPO Thornley advised the homeowner of the proper procedures for requesting a nuisance permit.

Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPO Moody cited a Greenup man for harvesting ginseng with no harvest license, along with other written warnings. The man was caught stealing a trail camera while digging ginseng on property he did not have permission to be on. The man was charged with stealing the camera by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

CPO Mieure handled a complaint at Lake Mattoon regarding a Neoga woman dropping yard clippings and downed branches over the break wall into the water behind her property. A written warning was issued, and follow-up will be done to ensure the yard waste is removed.

CPO Reeves and Sgt. Williamson investigated an abandoned jet ski on the Vermilion River, southeast of Pontiac. The sheriff’s department thought the jet ski might have floated away from a local dock. Upon locating the jet ski, it was found that the jet ski had holes cut in the bottom of the hull and was dumped off a bridge. A registration number was retrieved from the hull, and the investigation is continuing to find the owner of the jet ski.

CPO Greuel cited a Hammond man on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ property for unlawful harvest of wild ginseng during closed season, unlawful trespass to harvest wild ginseng, and possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The subject was issued a written warning for unlawful harvest of wild ginseng less than 10 years of age. The suspected controlled substance was seized for testing.

Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul

CPO Macias went to visit two people who live next to each other in Christian County. The two individuals constantly accuse each other of various violations to include conservation accusations. CPO Macias investigated all claims, and the claims were found to be unfounded or legal. CPO Macias implored them both to attempt to be more neighborly to avoid more visits from the game warden.

CPO Wichern charged two dove hunters with attempting to take their “afternoon limit” of mourning doves after they had taken their “morning limit” opening day. Acting on information generated from a 2016 TIPS complaint about over-limiting on mourning doves in a private field, CPO Wichern conducted surveillance of the field for several hours on opening day. Once their afternoon dove hunt began, CPO Wichern entered the field and determined that two of the hunters were double tripping. The hunters were stopped before they took more than their daily limit (15) of mourning doves.

CPO Liebl was checking hunters and fishermen along the Mississippi River when he observed two men fishing. CPO Liebl stood, undetected, behind the two men as they fished. One man talked about how he was told he could not snag on this side of the river, but he was not going to let anyone tell him not to have fun. He then proceeded to start snagging in an area where snagging is not permitted. The two men were checked for valid fishing licenses. The man doing the snagging did have a valid fishing license, but he was cited for illegal snagging. The second man did not have a fishing license. A check of the second man through Illinois State Police showed he had a $3000 warrant in Granite City for retail theft and a no bond warrant in Madison County for possession of meth. A search incident to arrest revealed two meth pipes and several baggies containing residue of a white powder. The man stated that it was meth from the night before. The second man was taken to jail for the two warrants. He was also issued a citation for no fishing license. Charges for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia are pending.

CPO Schachner conducted a patrol on the Kaskaskia River. He was in his state john boat approaching a bank fisherman for a license/creel check when a passing recreational boat drew his attention from the fisherman. The boat operator was standing on the rear of the boat urinating into the river while facing the CPO and fisherman. As CPO Schachner conducted an equipment safety check on the watercraft, he observed the bank fisherman quickly packing up his gear in a manner that indicated he was not wishing to meet the CPO. Upon finishing the boat check (and issuing several warnings to the boater), CPO Schachner returned upstream to the fisherman who immediately sprinted away from the river with a fishing pole in hand. A brief search revealed the man hiding behind a trash can. The fisherman denied attempting to flee, but he eventually admitted that he thought he had too many fishing poles. It turned out he was within his legal number of poles, but his fishing license had expired. He was cited for no fishing license and warned about obstruction/fleeing a CPO and a vehicle code violation.

Region V – D.C. Joe Morelock

On the opening day of teal season, CPOs Lay and Folden apprehended four teal hunters at Rend Lake, and four citations were issued. Two citations were issued for unlawful hunting of migratory waterfowl with lead shot, and two citations were issued for unlawful hunting/shooting teal before legal shooting time. Six written warnings were issued: two for no federal stamp, one for hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, two for no state waterfowl stamp, and one for failure to register with HIP.

CPOs Smith and Roper worked a recreational boating and fish enforcement at East Fork Lake. CPO Smith issued two citations to a fisherman for failing to release short largemouth bass. The fisherman had 12 largemouth bass, and seven of them were under the legal size limit. The fisherman was issued a mandatory court date. CPO Smith seized the short fish and later disposed of them. CPO Smith issued two warnings for PFD violations and one warning for overloading a motorboat.

CPO Smith was checking dove hunters and found several youth hunters hunting without a supervisory adult. CPO Smith issued four warnings to the teenagers. CPO Smith checked another group of hunters and found them to be violating the separate bag law. CPO Smith educated them, and three warnings were issued

CPO Mohrman assisted the U.S. Forest Service with an investigation of a family digging medicinal herbs in the Shawnee National Forest. The father admitted that he and his sons have been digging goldenseal on the “government ground” this summer, but they did not dig any ginseng.

CPO Vasicek worked multiple groups of teal hunters on the Shawnee National Forest. Multiple violations were addressed including: wood duck killed during closed season, unplugged shotgun while waterfowl hunting, wanton waste of migratory waterfowl, and hunting waterfowl without required license.

Sgt. Hyatt and CPO Taylor located an area where cracked and whole kernel corn had been spread near some grain bins. Later, CPOs Taylor and Roper observed two hunters hunting adjacent to the bait. Both subjects were cited for hunting doves by the use or aid of bait.

CPOs Rolfingsmeier and Schachner worked the opening day of dove season in southern St. Clair County where they conducted an undercover detail on a baited dove field. On opening day, CPOs Rolfingsmeier and Schachner observed five hunters hunting the baited dove field and harvesting doves. After observing the hunters hunt for several hours, CPOs Rolfingsmeier and Schachner conducted compliance checks on the hunters. When asked about the bait put out in the field, all the hunters said they knew it was there. All birds were seized, and citations were issued for hunting over bait.

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