Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars
Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis
As CPO Posateri was working coyote hunters, the officer observed a dark plume of smoke in the air approximately one-half mile away. The CPO responded and observed a pile of rubbish smoldering. The officer spoke with the farm manager who was doing some spring cleaning in an office and had decided to burn some old paper along with some office furniture. The CPO informed the farm manager of the pollution violations, and enforcement action was taken.
CPO Hoogerwerf wrapped up a deer harvest investigation with the help of a Cook County CPO. A Chicago man was issued multiple written warnings for a deer he harvested during the firearms deer season.
CPO Teas and CPOT Thornley completed an administrative investigation of a subject who had killed a deer but did not have a valid permit at the time of harvest. The subject was issued a citation and three warnings for the offense.
CPO Francisko investigated a trapping during closed season complaint near Alexis. It was discovered that a Mercer County man was using 220 conibear body gripping traps during closed season. The man admitted killing two skunks, two raccoons, two possums, and the neighbor’s pet cat. The man was discarding the carcasses in the ditch near the roadway. The man stated he was trying to protect pigeons he raised. Someone didn’t like the fact the man was trapping and threw the two dead skunks in his car. The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department handled that complaint. CPO Francisko advised the man that had he followed proper procedures these problems would not have happened. The man should have called DNR Conservation Police and requested a Nuisance Removal Permit. A CPO would have investigated the need for it and then permitted him to trap with non-lethal traps to avoid killing pets and non-target animals. The man was issued a citation for trapping during closed season and a Nuisance Removal Permit allowing the use of non-lethal traps for a short period.
CPO Posateri and CPOT Thornley interviewed a hunter about his 2016 deer harvest. After numerous lies were told by the hunter, it was determined he did not harvest the deer at all. His dad killed the buck but only had an antlerless deer permit. To cover up the issue, the dad asked the adult son to purchase an either-sex deer permit, and they tagged the deer with the permit from the son. The remaining deer meat was seized, and multiple citations were issued.
CPO Beltran and an intern were dispatched to rural Stephenson County to respond to a dead bald eagle. It was discovered that there were burn marks on the animal and several power lines overhead. The bird was relayed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and will be sent to the USFWS Bald Eagle repository.
CPOT Sanford and CPO Palumbo investigated a complaint of the unlawful sale of skipjack herring by a commercial fisherman and bait shop in Whiteside County. Both the commercial fisherman and bait shop were found to have sold skipjack herring without the necessary license to do so (Aquatic Life Dealer’s License). In total, two citations and two written warnings were issued as a result of the investigation.
Over two days, CPOs Filipiak, Finn, Jansen, Kaufman, and Wagner seized 17 deer stands from the Marseilles Fish and Wildlife Area. All stands are to be removed from the site by the last day of deer season.
CPO Thompson worked a complaint of waterfowl poaching in rural Fulton County. CPO Thompson met with a complainant at the scene and photographed several dead specklebelly geese in a corn field. After collecting evidence of the crime, CPO Thompson was able to identify three male suspects from Canton. After conducting interviews, CPO Thompson received signed confessions to unlawful take of specklebelly geese during the closed season, unlawful discharge of firearm from the roadway, unlawful hunting by use or aid of a motor vehicle, and unlawful hunting without permission of the landowner. Six citations and twelve written warnings were issued as a result.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO VanWiltenburg cited a female subject for unlawful possession/retention of a hen mallard. She said her daughter brought it home from the Chain O’ Lakes a couple of years ago. The mallard was placed in the care of a local rehabber along with a domestic duck she wanted to get rid of.
CPOT Knop responded to a complaint of a truck stuck off of a bike path at Moraine Hills State Park. The subjects went around a gate blocking the bike trail, and their rented U-Haul truck became stuck in a swampy area as they attempted to navigate back onto the main road. The driver was intoxicated, wanted on a warrant for a previous DUI, and claimed, “If he would have had a Ford he could have made it.” He was also cited for driving off the roadway and resisting arrest. His female passenger was also arrested for outstanding warrants. Both subjects were arrested and taken to McHenry County jail.
While checking fisherman at Braidwood Lake, CPO Mieure and CPOT Snodgrass issued two citations and two written warnings to two individuals who were in possession of 15 striped bass, of which 11 were over 17 inches in length.
CPO Macias received a Facebook tip that a Tinley Park resident was selling “wolf pups.” CPO Macias went to the address and found an empty/abandoned house with a pit bull locked inside. After talking with a few neighbors, it was determined the house was rented out. The last residents left and no one really knew them personally. Animal control was called to schedule a capture of the abandoned dog.
CPO Macias received a report of a group of people exceeding the limit of crappies at Tampier Lake. Upon arrival, several other fishermen told CPO Macias they had called, and they also had pictures of the offenders’ vehicles. CPO Macias tracked them down to Chinatown. CPO Macias made contact with two of the subjects. There was a very difficult language barrier between the subject and the CPO so interpreters were called in. After several translations, permission was obtained by CPO Macias to check the take for the day. It was determined each subject had total of 12 crappies. CPO Macias explained, via the translator, the daily take limits of the specific lake and terminated contact with the subject.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Greuel heard a call of a fisherman that fell out of his boat while troll fishing in Lake Shelbyville near Findlay Railroad. The 41-year-old man, who was fishing alone without wearing a PFD, quickly became exhausted getting back to his boat in 45-degree water. The man made a 911 call with his cell phone. CPO Greuel heard the radio traffic on the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Office radio channel and responded with a jon boat. CPO Greuel was first on scene with the man clinging to the side of his boat. By this time, he was hypothermic and was barely able to talk. CPO Greuel pulled him from the water and began immediate treatment for hypothermia. The Moultrie dive team arrived and assisted. The man was transported to a waiting ambulance and then to St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur for treatment.
CPO Reeves requested that K-9 Hank and his handler, CPO Viverito, screen the vehicles at the Clinton Lake Spillway parking lot. Hank screened five vehicles total and indicated on a silver passenger car. CPO Reeves searched the vehicle and uncovered illegal narcotics.
CPO Viverito and K-9 Hank were patrolling Dewitt County. They pulled into Clinton Recreational Area’s main boat ramp and performed a fishing inspection on one of the vessels. The boat had three limits of crappies and two of the crappies were short fish. A citation was issued.
CPOs Wright and Reeves were working crappie fishermen at Clinton Lake when they checked two fishermen on the DeWitt Bridge. During the check, it was found that both of the fishermen were in possession of an over limit of crappies. Both Clinton men were issued citations.
CPO Graden and CPOT Ausmus conducted a deer permit investigation. The investigation revealed a Bloomington man shot two deer during the second firearm deer season but only had one deer permit. The subject called a Colfax man and said he needed a tag for the second deer. The Colfax man purchased a tag and illegally reported it as his harvest. Each subject was issued one citation and several written warnings. The laws regarding falsification, tagging, and misuse of deer permits were explained to them.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
While checking snow goose hunters, CPO Blazinic located a nonresident hunter who attempted to hide his shotgun when approached. The hunter was found to be unlawfully hunting snow geese without a nonresident hunting license and state waterfowl stamp. Two other hunters in the same group were found to be unlawfully hunting snipe out of season and shooting protected killdeer birds. The hunters were cited for the violations, and three shotguns were seized.
CPO Goetten received a complaint of several snow geese carcasses being dumped in a ditch in Jersey County. The issue has been ongoing for several years at this location. A suspect was identified and interviewed. The suspect admitted to throwing the carcasses in the ditch. He was cited for the offense.
CPO Goetten conducted an investigation into a Missouri resident who harvested a buck unlawfully without a permit in Illinois. The subject was interviewed and eventually admitted he harvested the buck with a bow and reported it as a roadkill deer. He was issued two citations, and the buck was seized from a taxidermist.
CPOs Cochran and Wichern received information regarding the placement of shelled corn east of Upper Smith Lake where deer are present. Trail cameras were placed in the area, and it was determined an individual from a nearby cabin was dumping buckets of shelled corn on Norfolk Southern Railroad property at various times of the day and night, and possibly hunting over the bait. After a short interview, it was determined a Meredosia man was placing shelled corn out for deer and shooting mourning doves over the bait during closed season. It was also determined the man did not possess a valid Illinois hunting license, habitat stamp, HIP number, or FOID card. The man was taken into custody and transported to the Morgan County Jail.
While checking coyote hunters on the Morgan-Scott county line, CPO Wichern located two Brown County hunters with a loaded\ uncased shotgun in their truck on the public right of way. The driver was charged with the loaded\uncased gun, and both hunters were warned about hunting from a public right of way and hunting from a conveyance.
Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber
CPO Williams conducted an administrative investigation on deer harvested in the 2016 season. During the investigation, a subject was discovered to have utilized a property-only hunting permit for which they were no longer eligible, and the deer was taken on lands they did not own. The subject was cited for unlawful take of deer.
CPO Schoenhoff conducted an administrative investigation for use of a bow permit during the firearm deer season. A hunter was cited for failure to report harvest before 10 p.m. on the same calendar day and was also given a written warning for an incorrect harvest report.
CPO Smith was conducting a phone interview with a subject from Florida in reference to an administrative deer investigation. CPO Smith was basically letting the subject know of the law change pertaining to the use of archery devices during a firearm season. The subject stated he killed a deer on a certain date and did not report the harvest until two days later. CPO Smith advised the subject Illinois law states the harvest must be reported by 10 p.m. the same day. CPO Smith issued a citation and sent it to the individual via the U.S. Postal Service.
CPOT Ausmus and CPO Taylor investigated a subject in Crawford County for killing a doe during shotgun season without having a valid deer permit at the time of the kill. The subject admitted to killing a doe and buying the tag afterward. The subject was issued one citation.
CPO Compton investigated a case where a husband and wife were suspected of several deer hunting violations over the past several years. During the investigation, a 10-point buck was identified as being taken unlawfully in 2014. The rack was seized, and charges were filed against the wife. Multiple warnings were also issued to both subjects.
CPO Smith observed two fisherman fishing 200 yards from the roadway. The fisherman spotted CPO Smith’s squad as he went across the spillway. CPO Smith exited his squad and started walking toward the fisherman. CPO Smith observed one fisherman carry a 5-gallon bucket to the water’s edge and appear to dump it out. CPO Smith was using his binoculars and was still quite a distance from the fisherman. CPO Smith approached the first fisherman and asked him if he managed to dump the short fish out. The fisherman said he did nothing wrong. CPO Smith went to the area where the fisherman dumped the bucket and observed a bluegill and a largemouth bass still sitting in the water. CPO Smith caught the bass with his hands and said to the fisherman he found what he dumped out of the bucket. The other fisherman admitted to CPO Smith the largemouth bass was his. CPO Smith took the bass back to his squad and measured the fish to be 13.5 inches. CPO Smith issued one citation for failing to release short fish.
CPO Smith and Sgt. Hyatt were patrolling and observed a fisherman in a boat on a farm pond. CPO Smith approached the fisherman and asked to see his fishing license and life jacket. The fisherman did not have a life jacket aboard the boat. The fisherman was only 17 years old. CPO Smith and Sgt. Hyatt spoke with him and explained the dangers of not having a life jacket in a boat. CPO Smith issued a written warning for no life jacket.