Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 10, 2020
Editor’s note: Due to the holidays, DNR has not updated its CPO activity reports since Nov. 15. These reports are taken from past DNR activity reports.
Northwest Zone – Capt. Laura Petreikis
While conducting compliance checks on ice fishermen on Pool 13 of the Mississippi River, CPO Palumbo discovered a Freeport fisherman fishing without his fishing license in possession. The subject was also wanted on a failure to appear warrant, and he was placed under arrest.
CPOs Beltran and Teas observed a traffic violation, and a traffic stop was performed. The car was driven by a Pearl City man with his mother as the passenger. Both the driver and passenger were drinking beer. The driver was charged with DUI, felony fleeing to elude, open alcohol, reckless driving, and a signal violation. The passenger was charged with open alcohol.
CPO Beltran investigated an Oregon, Illinois, man for not properly checking in his deer during the firearms deer season. It was discovered the man had killed two deer and had only one tag. He went to the store and purchased a second tag after the kill. The man was issued a citation and three warnings for the violations.
CPO Murry got a report of individuals snagging fish below the Morgan Street Bridge in Rockford. CPO Murry observed the snagging violation; and while approaching the violators, one subsequently snagged a small catfish. The individuals had two fish on a stringer that had already been illegally taken. Both individuals were cited for the offense, and their fishing equipment seized as evidence.
CPO Kaufman conducted a night patrol in Starved Rock State Park. He had been informed by park security that during the previous night several individuals were hiking the trails after dark. Everyone must be off the trails by dark. While on patrol, CPO Kaufman saw moving lights coming toward him. The group was a family with two small children, and they had gotten very lost on the trails. They were using the flashlight on their cellphones to find their way through the darkness. CPO Kaufman escorted the family back to their vehicle. No enforcement action was taken.
CPO Reid responded to a call about an owl entangled in trotline string. It took CPO Reid over an hour to carefully remove all the string from the owl’s body and talons. The owl was surprisingly cooperative during its rescue, and it did not attempt to resist.
CPO Snodgrass conducted waterfowl enforcement. A compliance check was conducted with a group of hunters, and it was found one subject did not possess a valid HIP certification. He was issued a written warning for the violation.
CPO Fraser located a missing/endangered elderly female who suffers from Alzheimer’s. The female had been reported missing at 2:30 p.m., and an ISPERN broadcast was made with a last known location and vehicle description. Approximately four hours later, Winnebago County broadcast a reckless driver on southbound Route 2 with a similar vehicle description as the ISPERN broadcast. CPO Fraser headed to intercept the reckless driver and located the vehicle swerving across the highway and operating without lights. It was determined it was the missing/endangered individual. CPO Fraser activated his emergency lights and siren and followed the vehicle for three miles before the driver pulled to the shoulder. An officer from the Rockford Police Department arrived on scene to assist, and the driver was safely reunited with her family.
CPO Weishaupt conducted deer and waterfowl enforcement. A written warning was issued to waterfowl hunter for no Type 4 PFD. Two subjects were cited for possession of an alcoholic beverage in a public hunting area.
CPO Weishaupt conducted deer enforcement. Two deer hunters from Arkansas were checked, and neither hunter had signed deer permits. One of the subjects was wearing a blaze orange camo hat. Written warnings were issued.
CPOs Weishaupt and Gushleff conducted a waterfowl detail at Glades Lake and Stump Lake waterfowl hunting areas. One subject received a written warning for not filling out the required blind card.
CPO Barnes investigated the illegal take of an all-white deer, and an Edinburg subject was cited for the violation.
CPOs Van Zant, Gerrard, and Lazzell arrested three subjects for transporting uncased firearms in a vehicle, furbearer hunting during the closed season, and hunting without permission.
Northeast Zone – Capt. Jed Whitchurch
CPO Davis arrested a male subject on nine counts of falsification of records. The subject created a fictitious point of sale account to circumvent a child support block. Three deer were illegally harvested.
While checking pheasant hunters at Chain O’Lakes State Park, CPO Winters came across a subject who was unlawfully hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
CPOs Davis and Kelley conducted a pheasant hunting detail at Chain O’Lakes State Park. A hunter was cited for hunting with illegal shot (BB).
While kayaking down the Lower Fox River, CPO Knop observed several groups of waterfowl hunters. Compliance checks were done; and one of the hunters, who was not a resident of Illinois, did not have the required nonresident hunting license, state waterfowl stamp, or HIP.
CPOs Davis and Kelley cited a hunter for shooting over the roadway. The shotgun shell wad landed approximately 10 feet from the squad parked on the roadway.
Sgt. Wollgast found a group of waterfowl hunters on Heidecke Lake who were failing to keep separate limits of ducks. The importance of keeping separate limits was explained to the inexperienced waterfowl hunters. Two days later, CPO Anderson checked the same group of hunters on Heidecke Lake, and one of the hunters was found to be over his limit of mergansers. Enforcement action was taken.
CPO Reid checked a group of waterfowl hunters in a cut bean field. During the contact, CPO Reid noticed a significant amount of whole kernel corn scattered throughout the decoy spread in front of the blind. Citations were issued for waterfowl hunting over bait. It was also later determined the hunters unlawfully received permission from the farmer to hunt, despite the actual property owner’s wishes.
CPO Reid stopped an individual that was hunting small game along a BNSF railroad track right-of-way. The hunter claimed he believed the railroad tracks were “public property.” Enforcement action was taken for hunting without permission, and the hunter was given information on public land hunting in the area.
CPO Reid investigated the unlawful take of two white-tailed deer. It was determined both deer were shot without permission from private property, across property lines. One deer was also taken without a valid permit, and the other deer was not properly reported. Citations were issued for deer hunting without a permit and unlawful take.
CPO Ausmus checked a female from Downers Grove and a male from Elgin while they were fishing at Navy Pier. They were found to have 38 yellow perch in their bucket, and the female did not have a valid fishing license. The female was cited for the license violation, and the male was cited for the over limit of perch. All fish were seized and released back into Lake Michigan.
CPO Thornley was completing a fish compliance check of an individual on the east side of South Lake Shore Drive when he noticed a man walking south on the sidewalk wearing a black jacket and carrying a white bucket with a yellow rope in both hands. A few minutes later, CPO Thornley noticed the man returning to the slip area with the same bucket, but it was empty. After completing his compliance check, CPO Thornley received a call from CPO Stanbary. CPO Stanbary stated a fisherman walked up to him and reported a man wearing a black jacket and carrying a white bucket had been making several trips to his vehicle. The fisherman in the black jacket left the slip area and walked past the CPO’s squad. The fisherman walked to a silver Toyota van. CPOs Stanbary and Thornley walked behind the fisherman. The fisherman opened the front passenger door and placed the white bucket on the floorboard. A compliance check was initiated, and the fisherman was asked how many fish he had caught. The fisherman stated, “a few”. He then removed the bucket from his vehicle. The bucket contained five yellow perch. As CPO Stanbary was talking to the fisherman, CPO Thornley observed a blue cooler on the floorboard in the back of the van. CPO Thornley asked the fisherman to remove the cooler so he could inspect it for fish. The cooler was half full of water and contained several yellow perch. CPO Thornley counted the fish, and it was determined the fisherman retained 38 yellow perch. The fisherman was issued two citations for over limit of perch and was issued a $92 civil penalty. The fish were seized, photographed, and returned to Lake Michigan.
Sgt. Williamson was patrolling the Weldon Access area of Clinton Lake when he observed a truck parked in a no hunting area. As he approached the truck, he saw a man standing outside the truck at the driver’s door. The man opened the back door, leaned inside, then closed the back door of the truck. Upon approach, Sgt. Williamson asked the man what was in the backseat. The man stated, “nothing.” Sgt. Williamson asked to see in the backseat of the truck, and the man opened the door. Sgt. Williamson asked if he had a weapon, and the man stated he did. The man moved a plastic tote that brought a cocked, uncased crossbow into view. When asked about the crossbow, the Gibson City man stated he was getting dressed out of the wind and cocked the crossbow before putting on his heavy clothes. He stated he knew it was wrong, but he was just going to drive a couple hundred yards after it was cocked.
CPO Graden responded to a personal injury hunting accident. The deer hunter fell approximately 16 feet to the ground from a lock-on treestand after the cables broke and caused the platform to fall out from under him. He was wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident; however, the accident occurred as he was climbing onto the stand’s platform. He had not secured his safety harness to the tree prior to the accident. The treestand was old and exhibited penetrating rust on the platform, frame, and support cables. The hunter sustained a broken left foot.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
CPOs Greuel and Mieure issued two written warnings (one per officer) to a Mattoon woman for the dumping of trash from a motor vehicle and pollution of a waterway. The woman was advised that the trash would have to be removed within a week, or enforcement action would be taken.
CPO Schachner handled a theft case involving a ground blind and some miscellaneous items. The perpetrator was caught on the victim’s trail camera the night of the theft. During the investigation, the ground blind was located lying on the suspect’s porch. The subject was not at home, but he later denied stealing the ground blind.
CPO Schachner handled a complaint regarding dogs running deer. A local landowner and his young son have had multiple deer hunts ruined by a neighbor’s dogs chasing the deer off their property as they hunted. Several other area landowners/hunters have also complained about the same dogs roaming and chasing turkeys and deer. The owners of the dogs were warned by CPO Schachner on two separate occasions (several months apart) about allowing their dogs to chase deer. At the time of the second visit, one of the dog owners was also cited for criminal trespass to real property. The third visit to the dog owners by CPO Schachner resulted in another citation for allowing dogs to pursue/harass deer.
In Johnson County, CPO Vasicek and CPOT Gates charged a subject with the unlawful take of two white-tailed deer, including killing two bucks on same day without permits to do so. Falsification of harvest record was also documented as part of the investigation.
CPO Barnes investigated the destruction of a trap line. After a lengthy investigation, CPO Barnes issued a written warning to a family member of the trapper; and the family member paid for the replacement of the damaged traps.
While conducting compliance checks for waterfowl hunters, CPO Mieure issued a Sullivan man and a Greenup man two citations for unlawfully hunting geese over a baited field. Both men admitted to placing ears of corn among their decoy spread.
CPO Johnson received a call of a subject shooting deer with a pistol from a truck. CPO Johnson got a description of the truck and located it at a nearby deer camp. CPO Johnson obtained a full confession and seized a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol. The subject was cited for hunting from the truck, hunting from the roadway, having an uncased gun in a vehicle, hunting more than 30 minutes after legal hours, unlawful attempt to take antlered deer, and hunting without a deer permit.
CPO Williams observed a pickup parked in a hunter access lot at Rend Lake. The pickup had the rear window broken out, and a subject was leaning into the truck through an open door on the driver’s side. Fearing the subject may have broken the window to access the truck, he was asked for his identification to compare with the vehicle registration.
In Saline County, while patrolling the Saline River, CPO Knop observed a canoe in the general vicinity of an area he knew to be baited for deer. A hunter from Florida was found in the same area of the bait, and a citation was issued.
In Clay County, CPO Smith was given information by an individual that he observed a pile of bait in an area where he was removing a tree stand. He accompanied the individual to the area and observed the mineral. The bait was sitting near a ground blind which was unoccupied at the time. He returned to the area a few weeks later and found an individual sitting in the ground blind with a crossbow. The baited area contained cracked corn with sunflower seeds scattered on the ground near the mineral bait. CPO Smith inquired who else was hunting the area. The individual said his son and grandson were in a different area on the leased ground. They proceeded to the area where the others were hunting, and the CPO found more bait dumped on the ground which consisted of cracked corn and sunflower seeds. They walked back to the truck and waited for the two individuals to come in.