Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 24, 2017
Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis
CPOT Sanford and CPO Palumbo located two non-residents fishing without a valid, non-resident sport fishing license at the lower Rock Falls dam along the Rock River. The Iowa residents were each issued a citation for the violation. One individual was also issued a written warning for pollution of a waterway.
CPO Finn received a disposition on a deer and turkey baiting case which occurred in October 2016. The Putnam County man was cited for unlawful attempt to take wild turkey and white-tailed deer. He was also cited for hunting wild turkey and Whitetail deer by use or aid of bait. He was found guilty of unlawful attempt to take wild turkey and hunting deer by use or aid of bait. The man was fined $1,300 and was ordered to forfeit his bow to the DNR.
CPO Alt and CPOT Poffenberger investigated and interviewed a Winnebago County landowner for violations of falsification/misrepresentation of deer harvest records and unlawfully loaning landowner free deer permits to a family friend who used the permits to harvest deer from 2013 through 2015. Charges are pending a state’s attorney’s review.
CPO Lazzell received a case disposition for a Knox County firearms deer hunter who was charged with hunting without permission of landowner (Lake Bracken Country Club property), unlawful take of deer and hunting within 300 yards of a dwelling. The Galesburg man pleaded guilty to the charges of hunting without permission and the unlawful take of deer. He was fined a total of $954 for his violations. Additionally, the subject received a 15-month suspension of his hunting privileges in Illinois and other states under the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s Compact. The suspension was imposed due to the accumulation of points from his current convictions and a previous wildlife code conviction that occurred in 2015.
CPO Beltran and Intern Jacob Noble were dispatched to Pearl City for a coyote hunting complaint. After speaking with the home owner, it was discovered the coyote hunters were too close to his residence. He stated this has been an ongoing problem for 15 years and gave information about the violators. An investigation is pending.
CPO Finn was called about a bald eagle which had been struck by a vehicle on Interstate 80. CPO Finn responded to find the eagle had died from the injuries it sustained from the vehicle. The eagle was recovered and secured until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can take custody of it.
CPO Alt received a call from a Winnebago County landowner who located 50 or more mature trees that had been marked with spray paint on his property by a local timber buyer. The landowner wished to prosecute the timber buyer for criminal trespass to land due to the property boundaries being well posted. CPO Alt made contact with the buyer who realized his mistake and halted the harvest operation which was initiated by a bordering landowner. This investigation was turned over to CPO Fraser and is ongoing.
CPO Thompson and CPOT Knop investigated a male subject in reference to deer permit violations. The male subject explained he could not remember any wrongdoing in his deer hunting activities the past fall. The CPOs aided the man with his memory, and he remembered not using the appropriate tag on his doe he took during firearms season. The man explained he did not want to use his buck tag on a doe. The CPOs issued a written warning for the violation.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO VanWiltenburg cited a subject for no fishing license at the McHenry Dam. The same subject was cited by CPO Farber two weeks prior in Cook County, and then tried to lie to the officers by providing a false name and date of birth.
CPO Macias was contacted by a Chicago area automobile repossession center about a repossessed vehicle that had a dead deer inside the truck. After getting all the information on the owner, CPO Macias contacted the man who lived in Wisconsin who denied knowing about the deer. CPO Macias is investigating the incident along with Wisconsin DNR.
CPO Macias was checking people fishing on the south side of Chicago. Two men were contacted for not having a fishing license. A pair of citations was issued.
CPO Macias was contacted by the Glenwood Academy telling him there were some treestands still up on their land and wanted them investigated. Twelve treestands were located on the property, one of which was baited. All treestand owners had permission to hunt on the land. When CPO Macias found who he thought was the person who baited the stand he made contact and requested to speak with him. As soon as the subject saw the CPO, he said, “I do not answer questions that cops ask, I will go through my lawyer!” A citation was issued. CPO Macias will see the subject in court.
While checking fishermen at the Stratton Lock and Dam, CPOs Kelley and Davis found two men in possession of a walleye within the 18-24 inch protected slot. The fish was released, and one of the men was cited. The man explained that he thought he was supposed to measure the fish to the fork in its tail. CPO Davis pointed out that, if the man had measured all of his fish that way, he would have been in possession of a short fish, as his smallest legal fish was just 14 inches.
CPO Farber cited a subject for an over limit of bluegills at a Cook County Forest Preserve lake. The subject was in possession of 27 fish. The site specific regulation for the site is 15 fish.
CPO Gilmer was checking fishing licenses when he heard an individual yell for help! The fisherman pulled his fishing license out in anticipation of being check by a game warden and the wind blew it into Lake Michigan. Fearing a ticket for not having a fishing license, he climbed off of the pier onto rocks to get it and ended up in the water. CPO Gilmer climbed down and with the help of a fishing net pulled the swimming fisherman out of the water. After the trouble the fisherman went to in order to get his license and with multiple others witnessing the license going into the water, no enforcement action was taken.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
While conducting fish enforcement, CPO Cottrell cited an Indiana resident for fishing without a valid fishing license. He was found to be in possession of a resident fishing license in an effort to avoid non-resident fees. This individual also received a written warning for a watercraft violation.
CPO Graden assisted the DNR Office of Law Enforcement Invasive Species Unit with an investigation into the unlawful release of live aquatic life. It was determined the fish were sourced through a DNR-licensed aquatic life dealer with an expired permit. The subjects involved released of two largemouth bass and one tilapia into a local, public park pond. Three written warnings were issued.
CPO Graden completed an investigation into a complaint alleging an archery deer hunter illegally took three antlered bucks during the 2016-17 deer season. The investigation led to the discovery of video footage, pictures, social media posts, and other-related information which substantiated the complaint. The Livingston County hunter was issued citations for failure to report archery harvest of a deer to DNR, failure to tag archery harvested deer (2 counts) and unlawful take of over the legal season limit of antlered deer. Additionally, the hunter was issued eight written warnings. One of the three deer, a small 7-point buck, was allegedly discarded; thus, it was not recovered during the investigation. Two trophy-class deer heads were seized.
CPOs Barnes and Moody cited four Tuscola area subjects for hunting from the roadway, plus uncased and loaded firearms in a vehicle. The subjects were found to be hunting coyotes from a truck using spotlights after being spotted by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Howard.
During this reporting period, CPO Cottrell cited a Georgetown resident for unlawful possession of deer. He also issued two written warnings for unlawfully hunting private property.
CPO Cottrell conducted a haz-mat investigation regarding a diesel fuel leak from a nearby farming operation in northern Iroquois County. IEPA was notified and responded to the scene. They deployed containment devices and are leading the investigation. The landowner assumed responsibility for the situation and is assisting with clean-up efforts. There did not appear to be any threat to aquatic life or wildlife in the area.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
CPO Goetten closed a case on a subject he arrested twice in 2015 for unlawful taking of deer. Due to his repeat offenses, the subject was sentenced to eight days in jail, and his total fines and costs were $539. Two firearms seized during the arrests were forfeited to the DNR.
CPO Blakeley received a complaint of illegal road hunting of snow geese in the river bottoms near Hull. CPOs Blakeley and Blazinic responded to the area and located the suspect vehicle containing two snow goose road hunters. One hunter was cited for hunting without permission, unlawful transportation of uncased /loaded gun (accessory) in a vehicle, and unlawful shooting from the roadway (accessory). The other subject was cited for unlawfully hunting snow geese by use/aid of a motor vehicle, hunting without permission, unlawfully shooting / harvesting snow geese from upon the roadway, and unlawful transportation of uncased loaded gun. The subjects were also issued two written warnings each for other related hunting violations.
While on routine wildlife patrol in Mason County, CPO Cochran located what he believed to be a coyote hunter on the side of the road. CPO Cochran crossed the Sangamon River Bridge on Route 78 and located what appeared to be a truck on the east side of the road on the north side of the river. CPO Cochran turned around and pulled behind a blue mini-van. CPO Cochran approached the van to discover the female sitting in the driver’s seat was attempting to take her life. The young woman was unconscious and had a phone charging cable wrapped around her neck. The other end of the cable was rolled into the window. All doors to the vehicle were locked and the windows all rolled up. CPO Cochran acted quickly to enter the vehicle and rescue the suicidal victim by striking the driver’s side window with his ASP. EMS was requested at the scene which transported the victim to the hospital for treatment.
CPO Liebl was patrolling Horseshoe Lake State Park around noon when he encountered a vehicle parked at a fishing area along the lake. As he approached the vehicle, CPO Liebl observed a subject sitting in the back seat of the extended cab pickup. Shortly after, another head popped up from the back seat. When asked to open the vehicle doors, a male voice stated “Hang on, we’re getting dressed.” The 40-year-old Madison County man said the woman in the vehicle was a friend from Facebook that he had known for about five years. When talked to separately, the female, who turned 18 one month ago, said the male was her boyfriend and they had been dating since they met six months ago. When confronted with the differing stories, neither person would admit to lying and stuck to their stories. The female was also found to be in possession of cannabis. Both persons were cited for public nudity in the park. The female was given a civil violation for the cannabis. Both were told to leave the park and not come back for that type of activity.
Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber
CPO Lay and Sgt. Cariens responded to multiple water rescues on Rend Lake. They were assisting a stranded boater south of the Ina boat ramp when a more serious water emergency call a few miles south arose. They responded to that call and when assistance was no longer needed returned to the stranded boater south of Ina. CPO Schoenhoff arrived and went out on the second attempt with CPO Lay and Sgt. Cariens to retrieve the boater. CPOs Lay and Schoenhoff put on waders and assisted in freeing the boat.
One year ago, CPO Folden responded to a call involving an injured bald eagle in rural Gallatin County. The eagle was mobile and aggressive but could not fly due to an apparent broken wing. CPO Folden captured the eagle and transported it to Free Again Wildlife Rehab in Carterville. The eagle was immediately taken to a local veterinarian office where x-rays revealed the bird had been shot. Coordination between the veterinarian and Free Again resulted in the eagle being transported to the University of Illinois Animal Research Center in Champaign. At the Animal Research Center, the eagle underwent several surgeries and was finally transported back to Free Again Animal Rehab for rehabilitation. Last month, CPO Folden, the owner of Free Again, and the Gallatin County States Attorney (landowner) released the rehabilitated eagle in rural Gallatin County very near the site of its capture. It is unfortunate that an investigation did not reveal the person responsible for shooting this great bird. However, it was with great honor for all parties involved to witness the beauty of the eagle as it was released and flew off into the wild.
CPO Williams cited a coyote hunter on Ten Mile Creek SFWA for transporting an uncased centerfire rifle. The hunter was also warned for failure to obtain a windshield card and hunting with other than a bow, shotgun or .22 rimfire or smaller (per Site Specific Rules).
CPO Taylor and CPOT Snodgrass conducted a joint investigation with Indiana DNR into the unlawful take of deer in Illinois. Two deer racks were seized pending investigation. One individual was issued two citations for the unlawful take of a deer.
While patrolling in the Burning Star State Fish and Wildlife Area, CPO Mohrman located two treestands. In this area, treestands must be removed after the day’s hunt and especially not kept up into February.
The results of an administrative investigation by CPO Mohrman revealed that a Jackson County subject used the wrong deer permit to check-in a deer. CPO Mohrman suggested to the subject that he pay better attention to what permit he uses in the future.
CPO Vasicek investigated the unlawful take of a timber rattlesnake in the Shawnee National Forest. The subject killed the 5- foot snake with a shotgun while squirrel hunting. The series 14 rattles were retained to show off. The rattles were seized by the CPO and charges are pending.