Illinois Cuffs & Collars – February 19th, 2016

Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis

CPO Posateri was patrolling Mercer County by ATV after a complaint of someone hunting on a property without deer permits. The CPO was approached by a hunter and wanted to know why they were on their property.  CPO Posateri then identified herself as a Conservation Police Officer. The Aledo man did not have his hunting license or deer permits with him in the field, nor was he wearing a blaze orange cap. He had also transported the uncased gun to the field on a UTV. The CPO followed the hunter to his house to check the license and permits. A citation was issued for the uncased gun and written warnings were issued for the other violations.

A 32-year-old man from Freeport was arrested and charged with several counts of unlawful take of a whitetail deer. The investigation stemmed from a TIPS complaint. CPO Beltran seized several packages of deer meat and has issued several citations in multiple counties as a result of these violations.

CPO Palumbo issued a citation and seized a whitetail doe and a full season “either sex” deer permit from a Fenton man during the second firearm deer season. The Whiteside County hunter was in violation of transporting and possessing an untagged deer. He advised he only had one “either sex” deer permit and did not want to use it on the small doe. The deer was donated to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger.

CPO Finn checked a Geneva man deer hunting during the second firearms deer season. The man was found to be hunting over bait, he was not wearing orange, did not have his hunting license or habitat stamp. Upon further investigation it was found the man had killed a deer during the first firearms season from the same baited stand. The Geneva man received seven citations and two written warnings.

CPO Wire was patrolling Starved Rock State Park when he noticed an individual come off of the trails an hour after dark. Starved Rock has numerous bluffs and waterfalls that make hiking after dark extremely dangerous. When CPO Wire confronted the male, he could see that the male was extremely intoxicated. The male was in possession of two bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey. The male was cited for possessing alcohol against posted regulations and warned about remaining in an area closed to the public. The male submitted a breath sample of .125. He was warned not to drive. Fifteen minutes later the male drove away in his truck. He was stopped and arrested for improper lane usage and DUI. He was lodged in the county jail.

CPO Kaufman located a father and 14-year-old son archery hunting during the second firearms season. The father did not realize it was firearm season. The father received a citation for no blaze orange and several written warnings.

CPO Posateri was patrolling by ATV in an area with trespassing complaints. The CPO saw a truck driving through a field after shooting hours in the dark. The driver stopped to pick up another hunter which the CPO had already checked in the field.  CPO Posateri followed the truck and there was a loaded uncased shotgun sitting on top of the back seat. The Galva man was cited for the violation.

 On opening day of the second firearms deer season, CPO Lazzell and CPOT Rumfelt arrested a Peoria man on a Peoria                                                                                         County warrant and for obstructing identification, unlawfully feeding/baiting deer, and trapping without a license. The subject was observed (not hunting) on property near a treestand that was surrounded by trough feeders filled with corn and wild game feed. Also next to the feeders was a live trap baited with a chicken. It was determined the subject was trapping without a license and that he and the landowner had put out the bait. When asked for identification, the Peoria man provided a false name in an attempt to hide the fact he had active arrest warrants in Peoria and Tazewell County. The subject was taken into custody and transported to the Peoria County Jail on the warrants and issued three citations for his violations. The landowner was later issued one citation for unlawfully feeding wildlife.

Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins

CPO Winters and CPO Riedel waited for a subject to come out the field during the second firearm season. Two subjects were archery hunting during the closed season. Written warnings were issued.

CPO Hurt was conducting firearm deer enforcement in northwestern McHenry County. The hunter was located after two shots were heard just prior to the end of legal shooting time. A compliance check was conducted and the hunter was found field dressing an untagged 8-point buck. The hunter produced a valid hunting license and habitat stamp, however had no valid deer permits. The hunter was cited for unlawful take of whitetail deer and unlawful use of shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. The buck was seized as evidence and the hunter was released on a notice to appear.

CPO VanWiltenburg cited a subject for hunting deer with the use/aid of bait in Lake County. The subject used shelled corn, acorn rage, and fresh apples. The subject was also issued written warnings for hunting within 100 yards (70) of an inhabited dwelling and making food available for wild deer.

CPO Semenik was running stationary speed radar at Moraine Hills State Park when two vehicles following each other closely were traveling 32 mph in the park’s posted 20 mph zone. CPO Semenik followed the vehicles when the lead vehicle split off at Whitetail Prairie picnic area. CPO Semenik activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle failed to stop and sped off exceeding speeds of 60 mph through the park and began traveling recklessly outside of the park, running a red light at a major intersection, before the pursuit was terminated due to the dangerous circumstances. An Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network was put out through multiple counties to locate the vehicle. Around the time prior to when the initial traffic stop was initiated a vehicle was broken into in one of the park’s parking lots. Several valuable items were stolen. CPO Davis handled the burglary to motor vehicle case and the suspects are believed to be those who fled from CPO Semenik. The two suspicious vehicles were identified and license plate information was obtained and further investigation is pending. CPOs Hurt and Vaughan also responded to the radio traffic in efforts to stop the fleeing vehicle and aided in the investigation of the two incidents

CPO Wollgast cited two deer hunters and a park patron for unlawfully entering Goose Lake State Park while it was closed during muzzleloader deer hunting.

CPO Anderson cited a hunter who was determined to have harvested a doe with archery equipment without having a valid deer permit. A second subject that assisted the hunter was issued warnings for his involvement.

CPO Gilmer was checking salmon fishermen in December at Diversy Harbor of Chicago, which is not unusual for the time of year. What was unusual however was to see two jet skis flying around in the harbor throwing a huge wake on the “No Wake” sign and tangling several fishermen’s lines. The fishermen were very upset and started to walk towards the jet ski operators. CPO Gilmer calmed the fishermen down and told them to let him deal with the operators. CPO Gilmer checked the two jet skis for mandatory safety equipment and found one jet ski lacking a sounding device and the other lacking a fire extinguisher of which each got a warning for. However, each also received a citation for creating a wake in a posted no wake area. Each jet ski operator said they knew better, especially after CPO Gilmer pointed out the “No Wake” sign they threw a huge wake up onto as they passed it. The operators also apologized for ruining the lines of the fishermen.

CPO Whitchurch was on patrol at Lake Michigan enforcing sport fishing regulations when he observed a group of four individuals fishing. When the group saw CPO Whitchurch, they immediately packed up their fishing gear and attempted to exit the area. One of the subjects broke away from the other three subjects and began to walk in the opposite direction. CPO Whitchurch checked the three subjects who were all in compliance. The fourth subject who walked in the opposite direction was cut off by CPO Whitchurch in a field. The subject informed CPO Whitchurch he did not have his fishing license on him when it was requested. A records check revealed the subject had not purchased a fishing license since 2013. The subject was issued a citation for unlawful fishing without a valid sport fishing license.

CPO Vadbunker cited several hunters for unlawfully bow-hunting during the closed season (firearms season) at Kankakee River State Park.

CPO Reid cited a subject for unlawfully using a colony trap to trap muskrats and was issued several warnings, as well.

CPO Wollgast concluded a very lengthy investigation into a fatal canoe accident.

As a result of a TIP investigation, a hunter pleaded guilty to hunting without permission of the landowner. CPO Mieure was the investigating officer.

Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPO Wellum arrested a Crawford County man on a warrant for possession of a stolen vehicle and transported the man to the Clark County Jail.

A Shelby County man was cited by CPO Barnes for illegally dumping four deer carcasses along a roadway.

CPO Reeves and CPOT Ausmus cited two male subjects in Ford County. One subject was issued a citation for having an uncased firearm in a vehicle and the other for taking an over limit of pheasants.

CPO Graden completed an investigation from second firearm deer season which resulted in a Cooksville man being cited for unlawfully hunting whitetail deer by use or aid of bait. The hunter was also issued a written warning for not having a Habitat Stamp.

CPO Wright and his intern were working night hunters in McLean County when they observed a vehicle shine a spotlight into a field.  The traffic stop resulted in no guns in the vehicle but open alcohol and cannabis was found inside the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.

Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul

CPO Gushleff responded to a call in reference to a subject in the Lake Kaho area of Mount Olive who was walking around with several guns. He was arrested for unlawful use of weapons upon a public way and was transported to the Macoupin County Jail last month. The same individual did the same thing this month. CPO Gushleff responded to the area and took the information. The individual was not in the area. The case was referred to the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s office.

CPO Gushleff responded to a hunting accident. During firearms deer season, a hunter was sitting in a hang-on stand, when the strap broke. The hunter fell to the ground and broke his hip. The stand was hanging in the tree for several years and the strap had rotted. The subject was not wearing a safety harness. The subject was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Springfield.

CPOs Cochran and Tanke received information regarding a possible poached deer in Sangamon County. During the investigation, CPO Cochran discovered two 10-point bucks were taken illegally by the teenager. In addition, it was discovered two adults were involved and tagged the two illegal bucks with their tags. The teen was issued citations for failure to tag immediately upon kill and unlawful take of more than two antlered deer during the 2015-16 seasons. Each adult was issued a citation for unlawfully tagging the teen’s deer.

CPO Ray arrested a St. Clair County subject for harvesting a 12-point buck with an “antlerless only” archery deer permit and failure to attach harvest tag immediately upon kill. The individual was archery deer hunting at Ferne Clyffe State Park in Johnson County.  A 12-point buck walked by his location and he could not pass on taking such a big deer.  The head and rack was seized from a local taxidermist.

CPO Schachner and CPOT Knop were on foot patrol during second gun deer season on an DNR property closed to hunting. They encountered an archery deer hunter who was not wearing blaze orange clothing and possessed a loaded .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The subject did not have any firearm deer permits and did not have a FOID card. The pistol and archery equipment were seized and the officers traveled to the violator’s house to speak with the youth’s father. In consideration of the youthful violator’s age and inexperience with hunting, he was issued numerous warnings and two citations and a current Hunting Digest. The handgun was returned to the father (who had a valid FOID card) and both officers spent a fair amount of time educating and encouraging the youth to familiarize himself with the game laws.

Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber

CPO Buhnerkempe encountered two firearms deer hunters from Maryland returning to their vehicle after legal shooting hours. Both hunters were found to be in possession of loaded firearms. One hunter also had left his deer permits in the vehicle. CPO Buhnerkempe issued two citations and one written warning.

CPO Mohrman responded to a deer poaching incident near the Little Grand Canyon in Jackson County. A doe was shot numerous times with .20 gauge shot shells in the early morning hours in front of a residence. During the investigation and canvassing the area, CPO Mohrman discovered that the toilet facility at the Day Use Area of the Little Grand Canyon was shot up with the same type of shot shells. The U.S. Forest Service law enforcement was contacted, and both incidents are under investigation.

CPO Diggins received a dumping complaint on Sunday of the second deer season in Eldorado. The caller reported a two-mile blood trail leading out of Eldorado to a rural country road. The blood trail was traced back to a pole barn in Eldorado. The homeowner when confronted immediately gave the names of two Eldorado men responsible. As a result of the investigation and interviews, it was determined that the deer were illegally shot by rifles at night by the aid of a motor vehicle and spotlight. After just removing the back straps and shoulders, the men dragged the deer out of town with a dually pickup.  Numerous charges are pending in the case.

CPO Johnson watched a subject shoot multiple shots into a pond. He approached the subject and discovered he was unlawfully shooting at a beaver. A further interview revealed the subject was a convicted felon. The gun was seized and the subject was taken to jail. He was charged with unlawful possession of a gun by a felon, unlawful possession of ammunition by felon, no hunting license, and unlawful take of beaver. He was given a $25,000 bond.

CPO Smith observed a hunter hunting near a tree line. Upon closer examination, CPO Smith noticed there was a person dressed in camouflage clothing standing next to the hunter. CPO Smith walked across the field and met the hunters halfway. CPO Smith checked the hunter who was dressed in orange and found him to be hunting with an unplugged shotgun, and issued one citation. The person dressed in camouflage said he was not hunting. CPO Smith told the person that the site would be inspected where he was hunting and CPO Smith asked him what he was going to find. The person told CPO Smith he would find a 22 caliber rifle at the site and he was hunting squirrels with that gun. CPO Smith advised him squirrel season was not in during firearm deer season. CPO Smith asked to see the person’s credentials and was handed a hunting license and habitat stamp. He did not have a valid FOID card, deer firearm permit, blaze orange, and had a rifle in the field (cited for each). While CPO Smith was dealing with the two hunters, two more hunters walked up to him. CPO Smith checked the firearms and permits of the father and son and found the father to be in possession of an unplugged shotgun. The son did not have a valid deer permit or hunting license; but had an invalid youth firearm permit for Bond County. CPO Smith issued the father citations for unplugged shotgun, blaze orange, no deer permit and no hunting license (parental responsibility).

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