IL: ‘Whitetail addict’ star pleads in baiting case

Chandlerville, Ill. – A video star and self-proclaimed
“Whitetail Addict” who hunts in Illinois has found himself in
trouble with federal and state law enforcement.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that five hunters,
including Andrae D’Acquisto – known for DVDs and appearances on the
TV show “Whitetail Addictions” – and his son Cody D’Aquisito,
entered into a plea agreement in a Menard County courtroom relating
to baiting charges filed in 2009.

A DNR and USFWS investigation documented that the Menard County
property hunted by Andrae D’Acquisto, 49, and his associates had
been unlawfully baited during the 2009 archery deer season. In the
plea agreement, both subjects pleaded guilty to hunting without a
valid Illinois license and habitat stamp and each was fined $2,068.
The remaining charges, including hunting deer by the aid of bait,
contribute to unlawful baiting and making salt and mineral
available for deer were dismissed.

Andrae D’Acquisto, who lives part of the year in Chandlerville
and has several farms leased in central Illinois – including one in
Menard County where he killed many big bucks – has several that
qualify for the Boone & Crockett record books. That includes
Wisconsin’s current No. 2 all-time bow kill typical.

“I had a lot of success hunting in Wisconsin, but I ended up
coming to Illinois and seeing the caliber of animals here,” he said
in an interview a few years ago. “There’s a lot bigger bucks and a
lot more. I still think of all the states – even Iowa which has a
higher top end and Ohio which is another real sleeper state – I
still think for good volume Illinois is a real cherry among all the
states when it comes to hunting for whitetails.”

D’Acquisto is no stranger to law enforcement.

In 1998, he was charged with “deer hunting after hours” in
Menomonee Falls, Wis. According to court records, a Wisconsin DNR
CPO testified that on Dec. 20, 1998, after the closing time for
legal deer hunting with bow and arrow, D’Acquisto was found looking
“from side to side down on the ground” as if “looking for
deer.”

In 2005, Andrae D’Acquisto was cited for fraudulently obtaining
Illinois resident hunting licenses, resident deer permits and
providing false information to obtain an Illinois driver’s license
in Cass County. In that case, Andrae D’Acquisto ultimately pleaded
guilty to an amended charge of obstructing a peace officer and was
fined $2,000 in Cass County.

In September 2010, two Tennessee hunters associated with Andrae
D’Acquisto pleaded guilty to making salt or mineral available for
deer on the Menard County property in 2009.

Danny L. Gibson, 47, of Anderson, Tenn., and Dewayne H. Gibson,
41, of Caryville, Tenn. were each fined $205 for the baiting
violations. The remaining charges were dismissed.

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