Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 18, 2018

Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis

In Henry County, CPO Posateri received dispositions regarding the following cases: (1) A Prophetstown man pleaded guilty to the charges of unlawfully taking a deer with a rifle and unlawfully taking a deer out of season. He was assessed a total fine of $400; (2) A 20-year-old Davenport, Iowa man pled guilty to OUI charges for operating a kayak while under the influence of alcohol. He was fined $1,376 and given 12 months court supervision. Since this was his first OUI offense, and he provided a breath sample at the time of the arrest, there will be no suspension of his boat privileges; (3) A Colona man pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to remove wildlife from a trap within 24 hours. He was fined a total of $351 and given six months court supervision; (4) A Bettendorf, Iowa man pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful burning of any refuse, including furniture. He was fined $636.

In Ogle County, White Pines Forest State Park has a catch and release program for trout fly fishing during late March. CPO Beltran observed a man fly fishing and checked him for his license. He failed to have his fishing license in possession and did not buy the appropriate trout stamp. He also unlawfully possessed cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The man was issued a civil citation, and he was given a mandatory court date. He was warned for his fishing violations.

In Boone County, CPO Fraser received a complaint from a landowner about possible deer poaching on his property. After working the area, no evidence was found. The complainant also stated his neighbors were growing drugs on their property at the property line. A check of the area from the complainant’s property revealed no signs of growing drugs or any sign of cultivation. The complainant has a long history of unfounded complaints to the Conservation Police; however, the area will continue to be monitored for activity.

In DeKalb County, while watching trout fishermen, CPO Murry observed an individual catching fish and placing them on different stringers, buckets, and baskets. While speaking with the individual and counting fish, it was discovered he was over his limit of five per day. He was cited for taking an over limit of trout. The fisherman pleaded guilty on the spot and paid the $120 fine. Because the trout were deceased, they were given to a boy and his sister who had no luck that day.

In LaSalle County, CPO Jansen investigated the sale of an untagged deer skull cap and antlers. While speaking with the subject, he detected the odor of burnt cannabis. The subject was found to be in possession of a hitter pipe, cannabis, and a controlled substance. The subject was arrested and lodged at LaSalle County Jail for possession of a controlled substance. He was also issued two civil citations.

In Winnebago County, CPO Alt inspected anglers at Four Lakes Forest Preserve before the 2018 spring trout season opener. One angler was observed catching and releasing an inland trout without a fishing license and trout stamp. An accompanying angler lied to CPO Alt when he indicated his partner was not fishing. When CPO Alt informed the men what he had observed, both men changed their account and admitted they both were fishing.

In Winnebago County, CPO Alt investigated a complaint of a man unlawfully training his pit bull terriers to track and kill raccoon during the closed season. An interview of the subject validated the complaint. The subject receiving a mandatory court summons for unlawful hunting fur bearing mammals during the closed season.

In Fulton County, During the interview of a Vermont man regarding alleged permit violations, CPO Thompson received a confession to the unlawful loan of a permit to another. The man explained he loaned his deer permit to a Cuba man. The interview of the Cuba man corroborated the Vermont man’s story. CPO Thompson received an admission to failure to tag deer immediately upon kill and unlawful use of another’s permit. A written warning was issued for loan of permit and fraudulent harvest report, and a citation was issued for failure to tag deer immediately upon kill.

In McDonough County, CPO Thompson investigated two Macomb subjects who allegedly committed permit violations during the fall of 2017. During the interview, CPO Thompson found one of the Macomb men had failed to tag a deer immediately upon kill and submitted a fraudulent harvest report. Written warnings were issued for the violations. The interview of the second Macomb man resulted in the admission that he tagged a roadkill deer with a bow permit that he purchased. The man explained he did not know the proper procedure. CPO Thompson explained the proper way to lawfully possess and report a roadkill deer.

In Whiteside County, CPO Francisko completed the investigation regarding a serious personal injury snowmobile accident near Tampico. The snowmobile operator was determined to be at fault for not yielding the right-of-way to an oncoming truck heading eastbound on Jersey Road, near the Hennepin Canal Parkway. It appears inexperience played a large role in the accident, and alcohol or other drugs were not a factor. The snowmobile operator was issued two citations; one citation for careless operation of a snowmobile and one citation for operation of a snowmobile without proof of mandatory liability insurance. Written warnings were also issued to the operator for operation of an unnumbered snowmobile without registration and failure to notify the Secretary of State’s office of a change of address on the driver’s license.

In Adams County, CPO Blazinic responded to an anonymous TIP complaint involving a trapper who might be operating an illegal taxidermy shop out of a storage unit in Quincy. With consent, CPO Blazinic inspected the storage unit and located four otters and eight muskrats. No sign of an illegal taxidermy shop was observed. The trapper recently had an issue with an individual who rented a storage unit in the same storage complex and was not paying the required rent. The TIP complaint may have been retaliation against the trapper.

In Calhoun County, CPO Goetten investigated a report of an illegally taken buck. CPO Compton assisted with the interview, and a confession was obtained from the subject. The subject was issued two citations for harvesting a buck without a permit. He pled guilty to one charge, and his total fines/costs were $672.

Northeast Zone – Capt. Brett Scroggins

In Kankakee County, CPO Farber conducted a patrol on the Iroquois River near the DNR boat launch in Watseka. He observed two individuals actively fishing in a small, 12-foot jon boat. An inspection was conducted on the watercraft’s safety equipment. The boat was found to be short one life jacket, without proof of registration, and not in possession of a sounding device. CPO Farber then inspected a fish basket tied to the port side of the watercraft. The two fishermen were found to be in possession of two 12-inch walleye. Walleye on that stretch of the River must be a minimum of 14 inches to be kept. One of the fishermen also had not renewed his fishing license for the 2018 season. Citations were issued for failure to immediately release short fish, insufficient number of wearable PFDs on a watercraft, and fishing without a license. The operator of the watercraft was also issued written warnings for the watercraft registration and sounding device.

In Cook County, CPO Ausmus checked two salmon fishermen at 31st Pier at Lake Michigan. Both anglers claimed they had valid fishing licenses but left their wallets at home. When reminded that the 2017 license’s expired at the end of March, both anglers admitted they had not yet purchased their 2018 licenses. Both anglers were issued written warnings for no fishing license and no Lake Michigan salmon stamp.

In Cook County, CPOs Snodgrass and Ausmus were on patrol when they observed two subjects fishing and utilizing a cast net at a forest preserve lake. It is unlawful to use a cast net at any Cook County forest preserve lake. Upon seeing the CPOs, one subject began rolling up the cast net and putting it away. The other subject continued to fish. Both subjects appeared to be nervous. They spoke with the two subjects and questioned them on the use of the cast net. The subjects claimed to have no knowledge of it being illegal.  The CPOs asked to see their fishing licenses, but neither subject possessed one. Upon further investigation, it was found that the 26-year-old subject had not had a license since 2013. The 23-year-old subject had never applied for a fishing license. Both subjects were cited for fishing without a valid sport fishing license, and they were issued written warnings for unlawful methods.

In Cook County, CPO Ausmus followed up on a complaint about nuisance geese in a business park. It was alleged that an employee from one of the businesses moved some Canada goose eggs in an attempt to remove the geese from the main entrance. CPO Ausmus interviewed several employees, none of which admitted any knowledge of the egg removal. The employees were educated and provided resources to properly combat this issue in the future.

In Cook County, CPO Snodgrass conducted a random commercial retail minnow dealer inspection of a bait and tackle store. After reviewing the store’s receiving logs for minnows and other bait, it was discovered the store was unlawfully selling crayfish and other aquatic life without a valid aquatic life dealer’s license. CPO Snodgrass provided the store with the application and assisted them in the purchase of the appropriate license. The store was issued a written warning for the violation.

In Cook County, While on patrol, CPOs Snodgrass and Ausmus observed a pickup truck with a deer head in the bed of the truck exceeding the posted speed limit. A traffic stop was conducted, and it was confirmed that there was a severed head of an eight-point buck in the bed of the truck. CPO Snodgrass interviewed the driver about the origin of the deer. The Brookfield man stated he acquired the deer head from someone named “Joe” at the local tavern in Wisconsin, and he was taking it home to make a skull mount for “Joe.” The suspect could not provide a last name or contact number for “Joe,” and the deer head was untagged. CPO Snodgrass seized the deer head pending further investigation.

In Cook County, CPO Snodgrass conducted trout enforcement at a stocked lake on DNR property. While doing surveillance, he observed the subject catch seven trout and give them to several other bystanders. State regulations limit anglers to five trout per day. CPO Snodgrass spoke with the subject and questioned him about the trout he caught. He confessed to catching ten trout that day, which is twice the legal limit. CPO Snodgrass issued the subject a citation for the violation.

In Ford County, CPO Graden completed an investigation involving two firearm deer hunters. A complaint was received about a man hunting deer illegally. It was alleged that the man illegally shot two bucks during the second statewide firearm deer season. The investigation determined that the hunter had been issued one Ford County firearm tag; however, he killed two bucks during the same hunt. One deer was a 13-point buck, and the second deer was an 11-point buck. The hunter used a friend’s firearm tag to conceal the harvest of the 11-point buck. The hunter was issued two citations and seven written warnings. The subject who illegally tagged the deer was issued one citation and four written warnings.

In Kendall County, while patrolling Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, CPO Bergland observed a vehicle enter the parking lot of the Kendall County Outdoor Education Center. It is well posted that entry into the area and the house is prohibited. The Education Center is no longer used, and it has been the victim of vandalism over the course of the past year. CPO Bergland observed the two occupants of the vehicle enter the restricted area. He followed them and observed them in the house. He confronted the subjects as they exited the house, and both admitted that they knew they were not allowed to be in the area. Citations were issued to both teen boys.

South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes

In Clark County, CPOs Wellum and Greuel received a complaint regarding an individual illegally possessing a river otter. They met with the alleged violator, and no violations or river otter were located on the premises.

In Madison County, CPO Schachner handled a citizen complaint regarding two fishermen who were allegedly keeping two federally endangered pallid sturgeon. Upon arrival along the bank of the Mississippi River, he found the two fishermen matching the witness’ description. Both fishermen had valid fishing licenses and possessed several fish on a stringer, including two shovelnose sturgeon. Shovelnose are not endangered and are legal to keep. As CPO Schachner began to educate the fishermen on identification differences between the species of sturgeon, one of the fishermen proved to be very aware and highly educated on how to identify the species of sturgeon. It was a positive check for everyone involved.

In Washington County, CPO Rolfingsmeier completed a deer investigation regarding two subjects’ violations during the 2017 deer season. During the investigation, he found out that one hunter harvested a deer before he purchased deer permits and a hunting license. He also found out that the hunter let his son use one of his deer permits on a deer his son had harvested. A total of three citations and five written warnings were issued.

In Hardin County, CPOs Diggins and Schoenhoff investigated a complaint at a fish farm. Two suspects and the business owner were interviewed by the CPOs. Five citations and seven written warnings were issued as a result of the investigation. Citations were issued for the unlawful take of a protected species, attempt to take with a rifle, unlawful take of a migratory game bird/waterfowl, and transportation of an uncased firearm on a UTV. Written warnings were issued primarily for hunting licenses and stamps.

In Perry County, CPO Lewis investigated multiple complaints of people driving off the roadway in Pyramid State Recreation Area. Several vehicles had gotten stuck in a remote area, and special equipment was needed to get them out. All the incidents occurred over a three-day period. Multiple citations and written warnings were issued for violations, including the operation of a motor vehicle in areas not marked as traffic-ways, mutilation and the defacing of natural property on DNR lands.

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