Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 9, 2018
Capt. Laura Petreikis
CPO Posateri received a call from a concerned citizen who witnessed a hunter shooting too close to his residence. The hunter was located and admitted to killing a coyote with a rifle. The Kewanee man was issued a citation for the violation. It is unlawful to hunt or allow a dog to hunt within 300 yards of an inhabited dwelling without first obtaining permission of the owner or tenant of the dwelling; except, a 100-yard restriction shall apply while trapping, hunting with bow and arrow, or hunting with shotgun using shot shells only.
CPOs Teas, Beltran, and Posateri conducted a pheasant hunting detail at Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area. During the detail, violations of possession and use of toxic shot, unplugged shotgun, insufficient blaze orange, and uncased gun, along with license violations, were discovered and addressed with citations and warnings.
CPO Beltran investigated a subject for not properly checking in his deer during the firearm deer season. It was discovered the man had killed two deer and had only one tag. The man went to the store and purchased a tag after the kill. The man was issued a citation and three warnings for the violations.
CPO Francisko responded to a motorist assist request. A woman and her small child were stranded on the side of the road because the vehicle was out of gas. It was obvious the mother was out of money, very upset, and in a bad situation. The CPO calmed her down and assured her everything was going to be all right. She was advised that he would be right back with enough fuel to get her by for a day of two until she got paid. The CPO went to a gas station, purchased a gas can full of fuel, then put it in the woman’s vehicle. The woman thanked the CPO, and she went on her way.
CPO Wagner conducted two separate investigations involving individuals improperly tagging and reporting harvests of white-tailed deer. One man was cited for failure to tag immediately upon kill and failure to report by 10 p.m. of the same calendar day. The other man was cited on two counts of failure to report deer harvest and one count of failure to report road kill deer.
While checking ice fishermen at Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area, CPO Wagner noticed a vehicle with and open container of whiskey and what appeared to be a gun case for a small handgun. As the fishermen returned to the vehicle, they were questioned about the open container and the gun case. CPO Wagner requested permission to search vehicle. Consent was given, and a bong was found in the center console of the vehicle. The men claimed the case was used for a small propane torch which was later found on the passenger floorboard. The operator was issued citation for possession of drug paraphernalia.
CPO Finn received a report of a Peru man taking over his limit of ducks. The hunter was reported to be hunting in one county in the morning and hunting in another county in the afternoon. Interviews were conducted, and it was found the hunter had taken over the legal limit of ducks on one day. The hunter received a total of four citations and two warnings for unlawful take of migratory waterfowl and possession of over the legal daily limit of ducks.
CPO Thompson responded to a complaint of property damage at Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area. The complainant alleged someone had removed and destroyed brush on his duck blind on Rice Lake Complex. Additionally, the complainant alleged decoys had been shot multiple times. CPO Thompson met with all the blind members to discuss the occurrence. Evidence collection regarding the shooting of the decoys and the destruction of the blind was conducted. The investigation is ongoing.
CPOs Elliott and Thompson conducted a detail in furtherance of several complaints received in the area regarding deer poaching activities at night. A vehicle was observed traveling in the area just before 6 p.m. The CPOs observed several fields being shined by a handheld light through both the driver and passenger side of that vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted. The two occupants were in possession of an uncased, loaded shotgun, a loaded handgun, two spotlights, range finders, and other items. The items associated with the illegal hunting activities, including a Mossberg .12 gauge shotgun and Springfield XD 9mm, were seized on scene; and the driver was transported to the Knox County Jail. Each suspect received multiple citations for violations, including unlawful hunting by use or aid of a conveyance, shining from a vehicle, hunting from the roadway, hunting without permission, hunting during the closed season, and obstruction of a CPO.
CPO Finn received a disposition of a court case where three men were hunting ducks in a federal refuge. The State’s Attorney for Marshall County dismissed all six citations for the three men because there were no markings (signs) showing the hunters they were in a federal refuge. The hunters, during the encounter, admitted they were hunting in the refuge and that they killed ducks while in the refuge.
CPO Gushleff investigated a hunting incident where a subject shot a buck and only had an antlerless only permit. After interviewing the subject, he admitted to shooting a buck and using his “buddy’s” permit. Two citations were issued, and the subject who gave him the permit was cited. CPO Gushleff is also investigating another similar incident.
CPO Wichern investigated a hunting accident east of Lake Jacksonville involving two area Canada goose hunters. While attempting to shoot at a group of approaching Canada geese from lay-out blinds, one of the hunters shot himself in the left foot with a 12-gauge shotgun. The incident was deemed an accident due to the operational error of the gun safety which was disengaged prior to completely removing the gun from the lay-out blind. Low temperatures were a contributing factor.
Capt. Brett Scroggins
A Humane Society Investigator responded to a complaint of a dog being left outside in the cold during the sub-zero temperatures. Despite finding the dog inside the residence when she got there, the Investigator barged her way into the home and threatened to seize the dog and several rabbits that were being raising for food. Sgt. Wollgast was called by the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office to assist. The Investigator was told to leave the residence without the animals, as they were all found in good health and care. A follow up investigation by the Department of Agriculture and Grundy County Animal Control found the animals in adequate care. Several charges against the Investigator are pending with the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office.
CPO Reid located a vehicle parked on private property which is owned by an absentee landowner. Deer hunters commonly sneak onto this property to hunt. A crossbow hunter was found smoking cannabis while sitting in an abandon shed. The hunter did not have permission to be on the property, but he argued that he was doing his part to alleviate the highly concentrated deer number to reduce the number of traffic accidents on the nearby interstate. Several citations and written warnings were issued, and the hunter was removed from the property.
CPO Ausmus completed a deer investigation that revealed an Orland Park man harvested a Will County deer without archery deer permits. The subject stated he purchased what he thought were all his required licenses and tags in April and harvested a deer in October. The subject stated he realized, after he shot the deer, he did not have permits. The subject then purchased deer tags, tagged the deer, and reported the harvest. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.
CPOs Ausmus and Thornley responded to a TIP complaint of a subject taking an over limit of yellow perch at DuSable Harbor. The caller provided a detailed description of the suspect. The CPOs arrived shortly after receiving the TIP complaint. They were unable to locate the suspect, but several ice fishermen were checked. Warnings were issued for fishing license not in possession and unlabeled ice shelters.
CPO Reeves investigated the possible unlawful taking of a white-tailed deer, and an interview was conducted with the male suspect who shot the deer. During the interview, it was discovered that the suspect did harvest the buck well after legal hunting hours. The man was issued a citation for the unlawful take of the deer after legal hunting hours, and the buck was seized.
CPO Cottrell cited a Mahomet resident for unlawfully bow hunting white-tailed deer over a baited area. CPO Reeves had received a call from another hunter that corn had been piled up near his blind on an adjoining property. After an investigation, it was found that each of his stands had been baited.
Sgt. Williamson conducted waterfowl enforcement. He observed a group of hunters shoot four Canada geese. After shooting the geese, the hunters unloaded and started casing their guns. Sgt. Williamson drove to the hunters’ location and found there had been nine individuals that had been hunting. When he asked one of the hunters how many geese they had shot, he stated, “Should have been 18.” Sgt. Williamson found that they harvested 20 geese. After interviews, it was found that two of the hunters shot at the last four geese. One hunter admitted that he may have shot two with one shot, but neither of the hunters would admit to shooting the fourth goose. The Clinton man and LeRoy man were each issued a citation, and two geese were taken as evidence.
CPO Wright investigated a two-hour window permit violation. The subject had an either-sex permit but had shot two does at the same time. The Mt. Zion man then went and bought two over the counter antlerless-only permits and tagged the deer. Only 36 minutes had elapsed by the time he bought the permits and reported his harvest. The subject was very truthful and was given one citation and four written warnings.
CPO Farber conducted compliance checks on pheasant hunters at Kankakee River State Park. CPO Farber located an over limit of pheasants while inspecting a subject’s birds. Two roosters were discovered in a plastic bag in the rear of his van. An additional hen pheasant was found under a blanket in the rear of the van.
Capt. Jim Mayes
CPOs Greuel and Mieure investigated a complaint of subjects unlawfully taking a coyote out of a trapper’s leg hold trap. After identifying one of the subjects and interviewing him, two men from Effingham were issued two citations for unlawfully disturbing traps without written authorization, one citation for hunting without permission of landowner, and written warnings for hunting by aid of a motor vehicle, unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, illegal transportation of alcohol, hunting without permission of landowner, unlawful possession of wildlife taken within the state, and unlawful take of furbearing mammal.
CPO Sievers responded to Chester to assist the Chester Police with a man riding an ATV on the city street with two buckets containing corn. Since November, CPO Sievers has been checking on a tree stand that was directly behind the man’s residence because a large pile of corn had been placed in front of the stand. The subject stated that he was placing corn out in his backyard for birds and squirrels. The subject stated that the corn was not for deer, but he liked watching the deer eat the corn. There were two areas of corn on the ground in the backyard with many deer tracks in the mud. The corn by the tree stand was gone. The subject was issued a citation for unlawfully placing feed out that deer could eat.
CPO Jourdan observed two men in camouflage exiting a field at Ten Mile Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. Both men had portable tree stands on their backs, but only one had a bow. The man without a bow claimed he was not hunting. His partner claimed he picked him up to help track a deer he wounded. The man without a bow had no hunting license or deer permits. After the men drove off, CPO Jourdan walked to area where he first saw the men walking. A nice compound bow was concealed in the brush. CPO Jourdan could still hear the truck they departed in on an access road to the south. The men were presumably waiting for the officer to leave the area. CPO Jourdan met the men exiting the access area and presented the found bow. The passenger admitted the bow belonged to him, and he did not have a deer permit or hunting license. The man was cited for the offenses.
Following a two-hour harvest report investigation, CPO Smith issued one citation to a hunter for failing to tag deer immediately upon kill (parental responsibility). Father and son were deer hunting, and the father was supervising his son while hunting. The son shot and killed a doe, and he had in his possession an either sex permit. The father did not want the son to use the either sex permit and went to town to purchase an antlerless only permit. The deer was then later tagged with the previously purchased permit.