Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 16, 2018

Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis

An Andover man, who used his wife’s landowner deer permits to fulfill the deer he killed, appeared in court and pled guilty to the unlawful taking of a deer. The falsification of DNR records charge was dismissed. He was fined a total of $359.

While conducting surveillance on an unlawful trap line, CPO Palumbo observed two Prophetstown men unlawfully road hunting from their vehicle. They were driving slowly down a heavily timbered, dead-end road and were in possession of a loaded .22 rifle and a .410 shotgun that was unloaded and cased just prior to the stop. The two had multiple fox squirrels and one rabbit in the bed of their truck. It was later discovered that they were taking part in a local squirrel hunting competition. A citation and written warnings were issued.

CPO Palumbo issued a citation and a written warning to a Morrison man with no archery deer permit for unlawfully taking and transporting an untagged white-tailed deer.

CPO Lazzell investigated a complaint from a landowner who found multiple hunting stands, mineral blocks, and trail cameras on his property. A neighboring property owner was identified as a suspect and was interviewed regarding the illegal hunting activities. The complainant’s neighbor was cited for hunting without permission of the landowner and unlawfully baiting deer. Two written warnings were issued for additional violations.

CPO Blazinic responded to a trapping without permission complaint. During the investigation, CPO Blazinic learned that a 13-year-old novice trapper had been trapping on an adjoining neighbor’s property which had been leased by a local outfitter. The novice trapper obtained permission to trap from the outfitter, but not the landowner. After interviewing all parties involved, it appeared the trapping without permission was a misunderstanding. The novice trapper did not have a trapping license, and his traps were not tagged with his name and address. He was educated, and his parent was issued two written warnings for no trapping license and untagged traps under parental responsibility.

CPO Wheatley responded to a call regarding an injured bald eagle in Nauvoo. The eagle, “Poncho,” was located, restrained, and secured for travel to a rehabilitator for treatment. Poncho was incapable of flight and had difficulty walking. CPO Wheatley believed the bird had lead poisoning based off its actions and his experience with rescuing eagles. The rehabilitation facility reported that Poncho was doing well and was being treated for lead poisoning. If the bird’s condition continues to improve, he may be released this spring.

CPO Cochran issued a nuisance permit to remove raccoons that were destroying a Taylorville resident’s attic. The homeowner was educated on how to prevent further infestation and the best practice to remove raccoons.

Northeast Zone – Capt. Brett Scroggins

CPO Vaughan investigated a snowmobile accident that occurred on Nippersink Lake. The snowmobile and operator struck a duck blind on the Lake. The operator was transported to Centegra Hospital in McHenry.

CPO Vaughan conducted numerous snowmobile patrols via squad and snowmobile. Several citations and written warnings were issued.

CPO Farber responded to a call about a man who fell through the ice approximately 40 yards from shore at Mazonia- Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area. Another man heard him yelling and drove down to where a father and kids where sledding using a kayak. They used the kayak to rescue the man from the water. The man was in the water for approximately 15 minutes, but he was in good condition. He was released from the scene without being taken to the hospital.

CPO Reid responded to a disoriented, hypothermic young man who was wandering the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area. The young man was uncertain how he ended up in Will County because he last remembered being at school in Normal. He was taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia and injuries. The Illinois State Police Investigative Unit is handling the investigation.

CPO Ausmus followed up on a complaint from staff at Moraine Hills State Park. A vehicle had been locked in the Park at closing, and it was gone upon their return the next morning. Tire tracks were found where the vehicle drove around the gate. The registered owner was from Des Plaines, and he was interviewed. It was determined that he was using the restroom at closing and became locked in the Park. The elderly male was unable to find a staff member so he exited the Park via the bike path. 

Sgt. Whitchurch observed a snowmobile being operated on property which was posted as being private. A stop of the snowmobile was made; and it was learned the snowmobile had no valid registration, no insurance, and the operator did not have permission to be operating a snowmobile on the property. A citation was issued for the registration violation, and written warnings were issued for the other violations.

CPO Snodgrass and Intern Custer were on patrol when they observed three snowmobiles operating on private property. They also observed the operators enter the roadway and proceed for approximately 75 yards. They initiated a snowmobile stop on two of three sleds that were still on the roadway. After speaking with the two individuals, it was found that the third individual was at a nearby residence. CPO Snodgrass and Intern Custer relocated to the residence to speak with the subjects. It was determined that that they did not have permission to operate on that property. All three subjects were issued citations for unlawfully operating a snowmobile on a public roadway, and warnings were issued for unlawfully operating on property without permission.

CPO Graden completed an investigation, which began in the fall of 2016, into a complaint of an illegally taken white- tailed deer. The investigation determined a DeWitt County hunter used a .270 caliber rifle to shoot a mature buck from the roadway. The deer harvest was reported to the DNR as a bow kill. The subject was issued four written warnings and five citations for the following violations: falsification of DNR records; unlawfully hunting white-tailed deer by use/aid of a motor vehicle; unlawful take of a white-tailed deer with a .270 caliber rifle; unlawfully hunting white-tailed deer from a public roadway; and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a roadway/right-of-way. Both the 10-point deer shoulder mount and the .270 caliber rifle were seized as evidence.

CPO Viverito focused on fish enforcement on Clinton Lake. Over a four-day period, CPO Viverito discovered six individuals in the possession of short crappie. The investigation resulted in four of the individuals being cited, and another two were issued written warnings.

South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes

CPO Rolfingsmeier received a complaint from a landowner that someone had knocked down his gate, and the landowner found a license plate at the scene. CPO Rolfingsmeier located the driver of the vehicle, and he admitted to driving through the gate. The driver was cited for criminal trespass and criminal damage to property.

CPO Liebl was contacted by the site superintendent of Horseshoe Lake State Park regarding a large pile of trash that was dumped in a hunter parking lot. A search of the debris revealed a name. A call to that person revealed she had hired a person to remove and dispose of her items as she was moving from her house. The woman stated that the man called the night before to say he went to the landfill, but it was closed. He reassured her that he had located a dumpster to properly dispose of the materials. After hearing about the obvious lie, the woman phoned the person responsible and told him to immediately go pick up the trash. When he arrived to pick up the debris, he was pulling an enclosed 6-by12 U-Haul trailer. The man ended up filling the entire trailer and the bed of his pickup. 

CPO Schachner received a complaint of an injured bald eagle on the ground near a well-known eagle nest. The eagle did not appear to have any obvious physical injuries but could only fly approximately 120 yards before tiring and landing awkwardly. The eagle was captured using a large landing net. It was suspected to have mercury or lead poisoning, and it was transferred to a licensed rehabilitator.

CPO Sievers received complaints about a group of waterfowl hunters shooting at ducks after the duck season had closed. The subjects were located and observed. No ducks flew over during the observation period, and the four hunters were checked prior to the end of shooting hours. One hunter had a duck shoved into the bottom of his lay out blind. The second hunter did not have a state waterfowl stamp or a federal waterfowl stamp. The two 18-year-old hunters were each issued a citation and a written warning.

CPO Liebl was notified of a possible trapping without permission incident. The caller stated he just saw an opossum and a red fox caught in traps on property that was recently listed for sale by a local bank. CPO Liebl located the animals in the traps, as well as three other traps set in the area. A check of all the traps showed none of them were tagged with the owner’s name and address. Before leaving the area, a truck pulled into the field. The owner of the traps had arrived to check them for the day. The trapper had just started trapping that year and was unfamiliar with all the laws. The trapper was issued one citation for untagged traps, and written warnings were issued for other violations. The trapper was given a copy of the “Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations” for future reference.

CPO Sievers completed a lost/stolen bow investigation from the 2016-2017 archery deer season. In November 2016, an archery hunter had left his bow behind in a campground parking area after he returned from a morning hunt. When he prepared for the evening hunt, he could not locate his bow. He was not sure if someone stole it from his truck or if he had left it somewhere. The hunter had not reported the missing expensive bow to the Conservation Police or the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department. In April 2017, CPO Sievers received an anonymous tip that an archery hunter had taken a bow from the Randolph County Recreational Area. CPO Sievers began the investigation to locate the hunter who lost the bow but was not able to identify him. He decided to wait until the 2017-2018 archery season to see if that hunter would return and talk about the missing bow. The hunter’s friend returned and heard that CPO Sievers was investigating the lost/stolen bow. The friend put him in contact with the victim. CPO Sievers then contacted the archery hunter who was supposed to be in possession of the bow. The hunter still had the bow and admitted that he found the bow lying next to a trash can in the campground parking area. The hunter stated that he would transfer the bow to the owner if it could be verified that the bow belonged to that person. The owner provided a receipt with matching serial numbers. CPO Sievers returned the bow to the rightful owner, but some of the accessories missing were missing.

CPO Lay completed an investigation and submitted interview information to the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding a case involving an over limit of geese.

CPO Williams concluded an administrative investigation into a hunter’s deer harvest. The hunter was cited for failing to tag and then transport the second doe that they shot. The hunter had an either sex and an antlerless only firearm permit in their possession, but they did not want to use the either sex permit on the second deer. A second antlerless only permit was purchased after the fact and used for the deer.

CPO Folden investigated a complaint of a trespass involving a coon hunting competition. The guide responsible for the illegal activity was issued one citation for hunting without permission. Further investigation will be conducted into the legality of the specific coon hunting event.

CPO Folden received a call from CPO Johnson regarding people still shooting at geese 20 minutes after legal shooting time. CPO Johnson, who was off-duty, located the hunters and identified himself. He advised the hunters that CPO Folden was on duty and en route. When CPO Folden arrived, he was briefed by CPO Johnson and introduced to three young hunters who were new to waterfowl hunting. CPO Johnson had documented the shooting times as 5:36 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. Each of the three hunters said they shot both times. They said they thought they could hunt until 30 minutes after sunset. CPO Johnson had also observed the three hunters driving down a levee in their truck with uncased firearms. Each subject had licenses and stamps, but one did not have them in his possession. CPO Folden issued three citations for shooting after legal shooting hours, three written warnings for unlawfully transporting uncased firearms, and one written warning for not having a hunting license in possession as required. CPO Folden educated each hunter on the importance of the shooting times.

CPO Smith met with a person about an administrative investigation involving the early call in of a deer harvest. The person stated he observed what he thought was a doe approaching him. He went ahead and took the shot and killed it. When he found the deer, he realized it was a small basket rack, 6-point buck. He said one side of the deer’s rack was deformed and was only a few inches tall. He did not have an either sex archery deer permit. He did not know what to do other than purchase an either sex archery deer permit and use it to tag the buck. Two written warnings were issued to the individual.

CPO Johnson issued 10 citations to two Alabama subjects. The subjects hunted in Illinois and took five deer to a processor in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Conservation was called, and an investigation was conducted. The deer were determined to have been harvested in Massac County, Illinois. CPO Johnson further investigated the matter and found the subjects were using resident landowner permits to report the harvest. Multiple bucks from 2013 to the current year were illegally harvested by the subjects. They were charged with unlawful take of deer, hunting without a permit, failure to report harvest, and unlawful use of another’s permit.

CPO Lewis received complaints from several landowners about the same deer hunter trespassing on their properties. An investigation into the allegations was performed, and it was determined the hunter shot a deer while hunting on Pyramid State Recreation Area, near the property line. The deer ran off IDNR property after being hit. The hunter tracked the deer across one complainant’s property and found it on a second complainant’s land. At the request of the two landowners, the deer hunter was issued two citations for hunting without permission.

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