Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 15, 2018

Northwest Zone– Captain Laura Petreikis

IIn Henry County, While patrolling at the Hennepin Canal, CPO Posateri found a car blocking the gate. The car was filled with food and other household items. The owner of the car and another subject were located, and they were camping in a restricted area. Both subjects had active warrants for their arrest, and they were taken into custody.

In Henry County, CPO Posateri followed up on a complaint of someone camping along the Hennepin Canal without paying the appropriate fees. She spoke with one of the subjects at the campsite, and he was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. The psilocybin mushrooms were seized, and subject was released with a mandatory court date.

In Ogle County, CPO Beltran patrolled Lowden-Miller State Forest during turkey season, and he found many people out in the park who were just looking for mushrooms. He cited those individuals and advised them it was illegal and dangerous to enter a closed hunting area for fear of getting shot.

In Rock Island County, CPO Francisko has received reports/complaints for several years about a person(s) poaching deer and turkey from several corporate properties. Many attempts were made to arrest the poacher(s). While on patrol of the area, CPO Francisko heard a shotgun blast. He contacted a company representative and confirmed no one should be hunting that area. When he arrived at the location, he observed a wounded wild turkey in a clearing. He then observed an illegal electronic turkey decoy and a camouflaged turkey hunter crouched in the tree line. He stepped into the clearing and spoke to the hunter. The hunter took off his facemask, and CPO Francisko immediately recognized the local man. When questioned, the hunter knew he was hunting on private property without the permission of the landowner. He also reported that someone dropped him off in the area. The wild turkey, the turkey decoy, and the shotgun were seized as evidence. The man was given a “Nuisance Forfeiture Complaint” requesting that the court order these items be turned over to DNR due to the severity of the violations. The man was also issued citations for hunting without permission of owner, unlawful taking of a protected species, and assessed a $250 civil penalty on one of the citations for poaching the turkey. Several written warnings were also issued. The hunter has an upcoming mandatory court appearance. The court is considering accessory charges for the person who used his motor vehicle to drop the poacher of at that property.

In Stephenson County, The Stephenson County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized CPO Alt to arrest a 17-year-old subject for unlawful taking of migratory game birds from a highway right-of-way with a rifle during the closed season. Also, the subject did not have a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

In LaSalle County, While on patrol at Starved Rock Nature Preserve, CPO Filipiak discovered three individuals who were illegally removing morel mushrooms from the Nature Preserve. A citation and written warnings were issued to the individuals for destruction of plant life in a nature preserve and entering a closed area for hunting.

In LaSalle County, CPOs Jansen, Finn, and Filipiak responded to a call for a swamped boat on the Illinois River at Starved Rock. The occupants were recovered from shore, and the boat was towed back to the Starved Rock Ramp. The operator was found to be in possession of cannabis and was issued a civil citation. A citation was issued for no lanyard cutoff switch, along with written warnings for unsecured battery and PFD requirement.

In Winnebago County, CPO Fraser received multiple complaints about a fluffle of wild rabbits that were killed, and the pictures were posted online. The photos and video showed six dead rabbit kits.  He met with the suspect who admitted she killed the rabbits. The suspect stated the kits were killed humanely, and they would not have survived anyway since their mother had been killed by her dog. The suspect also stated she raises rabbits, and wild rabbits are not welcome in her yard. The suspect was cited and warned for multiple violations of the Wildlife Code.

In Fulton County, CPOs Thompson and Elliott conducted turkey hunting enforcement. On consecutive days, the CPOs observed the same group of hunters and found that the group was hunting on the property without permission. An investigation of the locations that each hunter had been hunting was conducted, and evidence was gathered. The hunters had unlawfully harvested three turkeys on property without permission. Interviews of the suspects were conducted, and confessions to the violations were received. Two suspects were cited for four counts of hunting without permission, one count of turkey hunting without a valid permit, one count failure to tag a turkey immediately upon kill, one count failure to report turkey harvest, and unlawful possession of an illegally taken wild turkey. Written warnings were issued for the remaining violations.

In Knox County, CPOs Elliott and Gerard responded to a complaint referencing illegal hunting activities. After collecting evidence and conducting a short interview, one subject was arrested for unlawful turkey hunting by use or aid of a conveyance. The subject admitted to chasing multiple wild turkeys through fields before coming to an abrupt stop and shooting at them from the vehicle with a .22 caliber rifle. The subject received multiple citations, and the rifle was seized as evidence.

In Christian County, CPO Cochran received a disposition on a case from 2016 involving a Taylorville resident hunting from a roadway during the firearm deer season while in possession of methamphetamine and a stolen firearm. The hunter was charged with multiple violations by the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the subject pled guilty to the charge of possession of methamphetamine. The other charges were dismissed in a plea deal. The subject was sentenced to two years’ probation and eight days in the county jail. Several guns, ammunition, and a ten-point white-tailed deer European mount were forfeited. Over $1,000 in cash was also declared contraband and forfeited to the Department. The stolen firearm was returned to its rightful owner.

In Morgan County, CPO Macias went to Passavant Area Hospital to check on a hunter who was involved in an accident. The hunter was chasing a tom turkey and unknowingly crossed into another person’s property during the chase. As the hunter was stalking the bird, a separate hunter thought he was a turkey and shot him in the face, neck, and arms. He is expected to make a full recovery. Violations are pending.

Northeast Zone – Capt. Brett Scroggins

In Lake County, CPO Knop received a call from some young fishermen he had checked earlier in the day. The fishermen were concerned about a heavily intoxicated subject who was threatening them, and they believed he had a short walleye. CPO Knop arrived on scene and confirmed the subject had a short walleye and was heavily intoxicated. He was issued a citation and received a cab ride home.

 In Lake County, CPO Davis stopped a boat on the Fox River that he recognized from past interaction. The subject admitted to accepting payment to guide but had not yet received his passenger for hire license. He was issued written warnings and advised he could not engage as a guide until all licenses were returned.

In Will County, While on patrol at I&M Canal State Trail, CPO Reid observed several individuals unlawfully bow fishing in an area restricted to a two pole and line fishing. He conducted a compliance check, and it was determined only one of them had a valid fishing license. CPO Reid inspected a garbage bag full of rough fish.  The bag also contained smallmouth bass which had been shot with a bow and arrow device. The individuals were arrested for unlawful take of smallmouth bass with a bow and arrow.

In Cook County, CPO Snodgrass was patrolling Papoose Lake when he observed three males fishing. One subject had just caught a small bass when he observed CPO Snodgrass approaching. The subject immediately returned the fish to the water. A compliance check was performed, and none of them possessed valid fishing licenses. Two of the subjects were nonresidents, and one was a resident of Illinois. When questioning the individuals, they stated they were just catching and releasing the fish. Upon further investigation, CPO Snodgrass spotted a stringer in the water which contained a bass that appeared to be short. CPO Snodgrass bumped the fish and found it to be 12 inches. Cook County Forest Preserve lakes have a minimum of 14-inch length limit. One subject was issued a citation for short bass, and all three subjects were issued warnings for no valid fishing license.

In Cook County, CPO Ausmus and Sgt. Whitchurch received a TIP complaint about fishing without permission from the Palos Hills Police Department. The subjects parked at a private business and walked through a hole in the fence, directly beside a “No Trespassing” sign. The private business continues to have issues with trespassers parking in their lot without patronizing their business, and they typically contact their local law enforcement. The subjects were interviewed, and both admitted to fishing and catching bass. Neither of them had a valid fishing license. The subjects were issued citations for fishing without permission of the landowner and fishing without a valid fishing license. A Palos Hills Police Officer issued the driver citations for parking without permission and an equipment violation. After the CPOs left, a third subject was observed fishing in the same pond. The CPOs returned and spoke with the subject. A citation was issued for fishing without permission of the landowner.

 In DuPage County, CPOs Ausmus and Thornley checked anglers along the Des Plaines River. CPO Thornley checked a truck with a boat that had recently come off the water. The backseat passenger presented CPO Thornley with a live gosling. The fishing party stated they almost struck the gosling when they were pulling up on the bank, so they picked it up and moved it. The gosling then began following the boat. The anglers felt sorry for the lonely gosling, so they picked it up and brought it back to the boat launch with hopes of releasing to safety. The CPOs interviewed the subjects and seized the gosling. The anglers were issued written warnings for unlawfully retaining wildlife alive and educated them on what to do when orphaned wildlife is found. The boat owner was also issued a warning for an equipment violation.

South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes

In Clark County, CPO Wellum handled a trespass complaint involving two subjects from Indiana. Both subjects were mushroom hunting on property they did not have permission to be on. The property was not marked with a no trespassing sign or purple paint. Both subjects were advised they were not allowed on the property and informed they would be arrested if they returned.

In Randolph County, CPO Sievers received a complaint about a subject posing as a police officer and attempting to check turkey hunters’ identification at a boat ramp along the Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area. The CPO arrived at the ramp in the early morning hours and located a truck that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle. A Red Bud Police Department Officer and a Randolph County Sheriff’s Deputy also arrived on scene. Two individuals were found. The female subject was a suspect in a vehicle theft, and she confessed. The investigation into the impersonation of a police officer by the male subject continues.

In Saline County, A 9-year-old boy was turkey hunting during the youth season when he shot at a turkey and accidentally killed two turkeys. CPO Johnson was immediately called, and they arranged a time to meet. The father was issued a written warning for the parental responsibility, unlawful take of turkey. The father is a local preacher who agreed to transport the turkey breasts to a local shelter for homeless.

In Jasper County, CPO Smith was given information from Sgt. Hyatt referencing a complaint he received involving a resident who witnessed another person kill a raccoon. The complainant noticed a light shine into his bedroom window, and he had heard a dog barking prior to seeing the light. The resident heard a gunshot and decided to walk out to the area where the lights were coming from to ask what they were doing. The individual said he was in a raccoon hunting competition and was retrieving his coonhound. The hunter had a .22 caliber rifle in his possession. The hunter went ahead and shot the raccoon out of the tree and let the dog finish it off. The landowner asked him if he was going to take the raccoon carcass with him, and he hunter replied, “No.” The landowner was unaware of game laws and did not know if the hunter was in violation of anything. CPO Smith met with the suspect the following morning and issued him four citations for hunting furbearers out of season, possession of .22 caliber rifle during field trial, and discharge of a rifle less than 300 yards from an inhabited dwelling.

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