Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 6, 2018
Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis
CPOs Francisko and Posateri, along with Sgt. Petreikis, conducted snowmobile enforcement. The detail resulted in the issuance of numerous citations and written warnings. The following violations were detected: failure to transfer snowmobile registration to new owner within 15 days of purchase; operation of snowmobile without Illinois snowmobile registration; operation of snowmobile without registration card in possession; operation of snowmobile without proof of insurance; and operation along a roadway without a valid driver’s license or snowmobile safety course card.
CPO Jansen responded to a report of a fall on the St. Louis Canyon trail at Starved Rock State Park. When he arrived on scene, it was determined the hiker had tripped on a tree root and injured his left quadricep. CPO Jansen provided first aid until EMS arrived. The hiker was transported on a back board to an ambulance where he refused treatment.
CPO Lazzell investigated an archery deer hunter for hunting violations during the 2017 season. Upon completion of the investigation, the Metamora man was issued citations for hunting deer without a valid archery deer permit and unlawful take of white-tailed deer. Also, two written warnings were issued for additional hunting violations.
CPO Blazinic received a court disposition regarding a case from the fall of 2017 involving hunting white-tailed deer over bait. The subject pleaded guilty in Adams County Court to unlawfully feeding/making feed available to white-tailed deer. The subject was assessed a total fine/court costs of $457 and a six-month court supervision.
CPO Blazinic received a court disposition regarding a second case from the fall of 2017 involving hunting white-tailed deer over bait. The subject pleaded guilty in Adams County Court to unlawfully hunting white-tailed deer over bait. The subject was assessed a total fine/court costs of $642.
CPO Goetten received a court disposition regarding a case involving a Missouri resident harvesting a buck without a permit and reporting it as a road kill harvest. The subject pleaded guilty to archery deer hunting without a permit, and his fines/costs totaled $1088.
CPO Goetten received a court disposition regarding a case from November 2017 involving a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle during late night hours. The passenger was found to have illegally harvested a buck earlier in the day. The buck was seized, and the subject was cited. He pleaded guilty to firearm deer hunting without a permit, and his fines/costs totaled $472.
CPO Palumbo issued multiple citations and written warnings to a Rock Falls man for the unlawful take and sale of a white-tailed deer with the aid of a motor vehicle. The offender observed a deer out in a field while he was driving his truck on a dead-end road southwest of Lyndon. He then left the roadway and took off after the deer, chasing it through the field, until he struck the deer with his truck. The offender then exited the vehicle and hit the deer in the head with a hammer. The deer was loaded into the bed of the truck and paraded around to show it to multiple witnesses. The deer was then sold for U.S. currency. In addition to any fines and fees that are incurred, a civil penalty will be sought for the deer.
CPO Alt responded to a TIP complaint from a late-season deer hunter involving the theft of his deer blind, seat, and portable gas heater. CPO Alt was assigned a second TIP complaint later the same day from a farmer regarding hunting without permission. The investigations revealed the hunter with the stolen articles was hunting without permission on the neighboring farm where the second complaint originated. The farmer photographed, then confiscated, the unlawfully placed hunting equipment. The farmer wanted to turn the hunting equipment over to the department and file his complaint. The hunting equipment was returned to the hunter, and the hunting without permission violation was addressed.
CPO Thompson issued a citation and two written warnings to a Fairview man for an encounter that took place during the second firearm season. The violations included failure to tag deer immediately upon kill, unlawful transportation of an uncased bow in a vehicle, and unlawful possession of an untagged deer.
While on patrol near Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, CPO Thompson observed a red pickup enter the park. The Peoria man stopped to ask if he could ice fish in the park. CPO Thompson immediately detected a strong odor of cannabis emanating from the vehicle. Upon further investigation, two clear plastic baggies containing cannabis were found. The man was issued a citation and a written warning.
Northeast Zone – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO Vaughan concluded a deer investigation which ended with citations and warning issued for unlawful take of deer without a permit, failure to tag immediately, and no hunting license.
CPO Semenik checked a pair ice fishing on McCollum Lake. Citations and written warnings were issued for unlawfully fishing with too many devices, possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CPOs Semenik and Knop conducted a snowmobile enforcement detail. Thirty-two citations and 14 written warnings were issued for various violations under the Snowmobile Registration and Safety Act.
Sgt. Schreiber and CPOs Semenik and Knop assisted the McHenry County Conservation District with a snowmobile accident on the Prairie Trail.
Sgt. Schreiber and CPO Vaughan patrolled snowmobile trails. Several citations and warnings were issued for various snowmobile infractions.
CPO Kelley responded to a call of a raccoon in a live trap in Spring Grove. The animal was released, and the trap was confiscated because there was no tag or owner information on the trap.
CPO Mooi is investigating a report of feeding deer in northern Chicago. Numerous complaints have been received regarding the unlawful activity.
CPO Sanford and Intern Baldyga located an individual fishing without license in possession at DuSable Harbor. The individual was issued a written warning for the violation.
CPO Sanford and Intern Baldyga located four untagged, unattended sport-fishing devices at a Lake Michigan harbor. The two owners of the devices were located and educated as to the fishing regulations pertaining to the unattended sport-fishing devices. Each received a written warning.
CPO Klemme conducted taxidermy inspections. Several violations were observed, including failure to maintain records for two years and missing information in records and/or on tags. Citations and warnings were issued.
CPO Thornley conducted sport fish enforcement and checked fishermen at the Calumet River. One fisherman was found to be fishing with no fishing license in possession. A written warning was issued for the violation. He also walked on the ice to check three fishermen in an ice shelter. It was determined the owner of the shelter did not have his name or address on the shelter as required. The fisherman was issued a written warning for the violation. No other violations were found.
CPO Snodgrass conducted fishing compliance checks at Montrose Harbor. He found a subject who did not possess a valid sport-fishing license, and the subject was issued a written warning for the violation. He informed the subject how to get a fishing license through the DNR website.
CPO Snodgrass located an unattended fishing pole in the water at Busse Lake. After checking several fishermen, he located the owner of the pole who was approximately 50 yards away and out of sight of the pole. CPO Snodgrass educated the subject on leaving his pole out and unattended, and he was issued a written warning.
South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Moody cited a Sullivan man who drove around a barricade and drove approximately one mile along the shoreline of Lake Shelbyville before getting his vehicle buried in the mud in a cove. A backhoe had to be used to dig the vehicle out of the lake bed.
CPO Moody cited a Blue Mound man, as well as a Sullivan man, at Shelbyville Wildlife Management Area for “mudding” and tearing up the property. CPO Moody cited a second Sullivan man for the same activity. That individual got his truck buried in the mud.
CPO Schachner received the disposition on a citation issued to a violator for wanton waste of usable meat from waterfowl. The subject pleaded guilty and was fined $500.
CPO Lay completed two randomly assigned commercial taxidermist inspections in McLeansboro. One license holder did not have any violations. The second taxidermist was issued a written warning for failing to get all the required information when accepting species into his business.
CPO Compton received information that a subject may have unlawfully killed an eight-point buck prior to purchasing his deer tag. After an investigation into the incident, the subject was charged with unlawful take of a deer, and the deer head and meat were seized.
CPO Lewis observed a pickup truck stopped in the roadway. As he approached the vehicle, the driver got out and began urinating on the road. When the driver saw CPO Lewis, he quickly jumped back into the truck and threw a beer can behind the seat. The driver failed the field sobriety testing. A deputy with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist and transport the driver to the jail for processing. The driver was charged with DUI (BAC of 0.65 percent), improper parking on the roadway, and illegal transportation of alcohol.
CPO Johnson issued a citation and two written warnings to a subject who harvested a deer without a permit in 2017. The investigation revealed the individual went and purchased the permit after the deer was killed.
CPO Lewis investigated a complaint about a deer hunter who did not report her harvest on the same day. The investigation revealed the hunter shot the deer on the Sunday of the first firearm season but did not report the harvest until the following day. Not only had she checked the deer in late, but she also used an archery tag and called it in as a bow kill. The hunter advised she had forgotten to call in the harvest until Monday. She stated she did not know what to do, so she checked it in as a bow kill. Because the investigation revealed her husband was equally responsible for the incorrect harvest report, CPO Lewis cited him for entering the false information.
CPO Liebl was notified of a vehicle stuck in the mud at Horseshoe Lake State Park. The abandoned vehicle had several issues that were concerning, including the driver door being open, the keys still in the ignition, and a purse, wallet, and cell phone still in the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was the same as the identification found in the purse. Local police were asked to do a welfare check at the woman’s residence. It was discovered that no one had seen or heard from the woman in two days. Although not reported missing at that time, relatives immediately became concerned with the news of her vehicle being found. Searches using drones, planes, ATVs, and more than 50 officers and volunteers discovered no one in the area. The subject’s body was located two days later, and the investigation is ongoing.
CPO Lewis was patrolling Pyramid State Recreation Area when he located a truck trailering a duck hunting boat parked and blocking the boat launch of a small lake. This lake is known to be excellent for duck hunting late in the season because it does not freeze as quickly as other area lakes. Upon speaking to the occupants of the truck, they advised they were parked there to discourage other hunters from hunting the lake the following morning. They said that they had done so on other occasions. They were advised that the park closes at 10 p.m. and does not reopen to waterfowl hunters until 5:30 a.m. Written warnings were issued to the hunters violating the previous night’s hours. Early the following morning, CPO Lewis returned to the location to see if anyone was violating the 5:30 a.m. law. There were five hunters present at 3:30 a.m. Two of the hunters were the same two that were warned the afternoon prior, and they had not even moved. All hunters advised they had been there the entire night. All five hunters were cited for entering the park prior to 5:30 a.m. The two hunters that had been previously warned were cited for camping in an area not designated as a camping area.
CPO Vasicek’s case involving three nonresident subjects who had multiple permit and licensing violations for deer hunting, along with other associated violations, has been closed. The individuals pleaded guilty in Union County Court. Fines and fees totaled $4,868, including over $1,000 toward the Conservation Police Operations Fund. The seized firearm was also forfeited to the DNR.
CPO Smith conducted waterfowl enforcement. A compliance check of a boat’s emergency equipment was performed, and it was found to be short one life jacket. Also, a child under the age of 13 was not wearing a life jacket. A citation was issued to the boat operator for the offense. A second boat was checked, and the registration was expired. A written warning was issued.
CPO Sievers was contacted by a railroad company because their locomotive struck a bald eagle approximately two miles north of Chester. It was reported that the eagle was stuck on the train. The train stopped in Chester, but the eagle was no longer on the locomotive. CPO Sievers walked the stretch of tracks were the train had stopped, but he did not locate the eagle.
CPO Sievers completed his investigation regarding the unlawful tree stands in Turkey Bluffs Fish and Wildlife Area. Eight illegal tree stands were removed from department property. Four hunters claimed five of the stands, and the five stands were returned to the hunters. The hunters received a total of four citations and one written warning. The three remaining tree stands are considered abandoned property and will be disposed of by the DNR.
CPO Sievers responded to an injured bird of prey in Sparta. The injured bird was a Barred owl, and the tail feathers had been eaten off. Due to the bird’s condition, the bird was euthanized.