Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 18, 2020
The following cases were taken from CPO activity reports filed for the month of May 2020
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In JoDaviess County, CPO Hoftender issued a citation to an Indiana man who was mushroom hunting at Rall Woods in a closed area. Orange snow fence was removed and the subject parked his vehicle in front of the closed sign. The Indiana man was in company of another Indiana resident along with a South Carolina Resident who were both issued written warnings.
In JoDaviess County, CPO Hoftender cited a Galena man for mushroom hunting in a closed area at Witkowsky Fish and Wildlife Area. The subject parked along the roadway when not able to pull into the closed parking lot. He was issued a warning for the parking violation.
In Whiteside County, CPO Francisko was patrolling State Parks in Whiteside County. When entering Prophetstown State Park (along the flooded Rock River) the CPO observed a small jon boat that had just launched. The CPO conducted a boat safety inspection and found several violations. The boat did not have enough PFD’s for each person onboard, the fire extinguisher was not serviceable and the valid registration numbers were not displayed properly. The operator / owner appeared to have little boating experience and nervous about taking his small jon boat out on the flooded river. The CPO spent some time talking to the person about the risk (loss of lives) he was taking, even if he had all the proper equipment. The operator appeared relieved the CPO stopped him from going out on the river and thanked him for doing his job. The subject was issued written warnings for the boating violations detected. This easily could have developed into a fatal boat accident given the circumstances.
In LaSalle County, While enforcing the Governor’s executive order for park closures CPO Wagner cited 8 individuals for entering a restricted area (closed park due to COVID 19). Working off a tip CPO Wagner found two individuals taking over limit of trout at I & M Canal in LaSalle. Both individuals had taken their legal limit to their vehicle and returned to continue fishing. When approached the two had caught another 5 trout which they had on a separate stringer. Both were cited for the violation. While working same area CPO Wagner found another individual to be in violation of the 5 trout per day limit. Individual was cited for the offense.
In LaSalle County, while checking fisherman along the Illinois River CPO Wagner found an individual fishing on clearly marked private property. When questioned about the violation the individual knew he was on private property and just ignored the signs. Individual was cited for the offense.
In Winnebago County, CPO Leannah received a complaint of a man snagging fish at four lakes forest preserve and upon arrival he was met by CPO Alvarez-Gerbino where they began conducting fishing checks on all fishermen in the area. Upon checking the individual that had been snagging they learned that he had an active warrant in Stephenson county. The individual was arrested and issued two citations and a written warning.
In Knox County, CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott investigated a landowner complaint of trespassing in rural Knox County. CPOs interviewed two suspects and received confessions to unlawful turkey hunting without permission of the landowner. In addition, CPOs determined one of the men to have been unlawfully hunting turkeys without licenses and permits and unlawfully possessing a firearm without a valid FOID card. Several citations were issued and the men were released with a future court date.
In Tazewell County, CPO Finn patrolled Mackinaw River State Park to find a vehicle parked near a barricade closing the park. Two individuals from Southern Illinois had parked near the closed gate to the park and began to mushroom hunt. A neighboring landowner called and stated he could hear people behind his house. CPO Finn was able to find two mushroom hunters that had trespassed an several properties and unlawfully entered the park. Both mushroom hunters were cited and the mushroom was returned to the landowner.
Northeast Zone –
Captain Jed Whitchurch
In McHenry County, CPOs Kelley and Doescher responded to a boat accident on McCullom Lake that occurred at approximately 9:30 am. Two occupants were in the small fishing boat and both ended up in the water when one stood up to relieve himself. Neither of the occupants was seriously injured but, after gathering information on the accident, the operator proved to be OUI. A PBT showed a BAC of approximately 0.118%, nearly 3 hours after the incident. Citations and written warnings were issued.
In Will County, while investigating a suspicious vehicle, CPO Prasun observed a subject placing landscaping material in the back of his vehicle from a lot belonging to a southern Will County township. During the investigation, it was determined the driver had illegally transported an alcoholic beverage to the location and was cited for illegal transportation of an alcoholic liquor. The local police agency was notified, arrived on scene and took over the investigation into the theft of township owned materials.
In Cook County, CPO Roesch, CPO McClenning, and Captain Whitchurch assisted Chicago Dive and Rescue team with a car that was submerged in a pond near William Powers State Park. The car was removed with no one inside. The property was not state-owned property and the case was taken by Chicago Police Department.
In Cook County, CPO Roesch and CPO Williams discovered four individuals fishing at William Powers State Park which is closed due to COVID-19. The individuals had two short northern pike and a rainbow trout. None of the individuals had a trout stamp and one individual did not have a fishing license. Citation and written warnings were issued.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Calhoun County, CPO Olroyd responded to a hunting without permission complaint in Calhoun County. The individual hunting without permission was identified as a non-resident. They were found to be unlawfully turkey hunting using a firearm without a non-resident hunting license, habitat stamp, or permits. The individual was given citations and written warnings for the offenses as well as a mandatory court appearance.
In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley was on patrol in the Loraine area and received a trespassing complaint from 2 separate landowners. CPO Wheatley surveyed the area and found the vehicle associated with the complaint. CPO Wheatley noted one subject in the passenger seat and inquired where the driver was. After learning the driver was mushroom hunting on one of the properties owned by a complainant, CPO Wheatley verified the name and found the subject had a suspended driver’s license. A short time later the driver returned stating he was mushroom hunting and unsuccessful. CPO Wheatley asked if he had permission to be on any of the properties, the man said something to the effect of not exactly. Neither of the landowners wanted any more than a verbal warning issued to the man, but after a short interview, the man was cited for driving while suspended and his license was seized due in part that it is a separate offense to be in possession of suspended/revoked/canceled driver’s license.
In Greene County, CPO Olroyd and CPO Goetten investigated a report of illegal dumping of garbage in Greene County. The investigation led the officers to a residence within the county a short distance away. After a short interview, the two individuals residing at the residence admitted to dumping the garbage. They were subsequently issued citations for the illegal dumping of garbage and given a mandatory court appearance.
In McLean County, CPO Graden received a complaint of a fisherman illegally snagging a state-endangered lake sturgeon, below the base of the Lake Bloomington Spillway, in Money Creek. A suspect was identified, interviewed, and the lake sturgeon seized as evidence. The fish was roughly 5 feet long and approximately 45 pounds. Unfortunately, the lake sturgeon was deceased at the time of recovery. The fish was turned over to DNR Fisheries for scientific study.
In Schuyler County, CPO Blakeley received a Turkey hunting without permission complaint. The Turkey hunter who was on the wrong property was located by the Hunter who had permission. The wandering turkey hunter was asked why he was on the wrong property. He responded with “ Because, that’s where the Turkeys were gobbling. The subject was issued a citation for hunting without permission.
In Cass County, While patrolling Jim Edgar Panther Creek (JEPC) SFWA, CPO Wahlbrink noticed an unoccupied truck in a parking lot near Drake Lake. Ratchet straps were observed on top of the truck. Assuming the ratchet straps were used to secure kayaks to the truck, CPO Wahlbrink began walking the perimeter of the lake looking for kayakers. At the opposite end of the lake, he observed a male and female fishing from kayaks. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.
In Morgan County, CPO Wichern cited a turkey hunter for transporting an uncased shotgun on an ATV, and for failing to tag his turkey prior to transporting.
In DeWitt County, CPO Anderson spotted a juvenile fishing from the Route 54 bridge at Clinton Lake. CPO Anderson asked the juvenile to move below the bridge if he was going to keep fishing, which he complied. CPO Anderson drove away and noticed an ATV at the end of the bridge on state property. CPO Anderson turned around and observed the same juvenile riding the ATV on state property. CPO Anderson stopped the juvenile and addressed the violation. The juvenile was issued 1 written warning and 1 citation for the offenses of operating an ATV on state property and no fishing license.
In DeWitt County, CPOs Anderson and Ausmus found six mushroom hunters on state property during the closure. Four of the subjects attempted to hide from CPO Anderson but quickly realized they had already been spotted. All six subjects were issued citations and made to dump-out their harvest back in the woods.
In DeWitt County, CPO Ausmus cited two mushroom hunters for entry into a closed area. CPO Ausmus noticed a vehicle parked near a popular mushroom spot which was well signed as closed and waited nearby. The two subjects emerged from state property in a cautious fashion, looking around prior to exiting the woods. CPO Ausmus contacted the subjects, who admitted to knowing the park was closed. One subject had previously boasted on a Facebook group about sneaking into Clinton Lake. Both subjects returned their harvest to the woods and were issued citations.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
In Madison County, CPO Liebl was contacted about a pistol that had been snagged by a fisherman out of a local lake. The gun is currently being run through the ATF to help determine where the pistol came from.
In Jefferson County, CPO Wilkinson received a complaint of fishermen fishing from a closed area on the Waltonville spill way. Several subjects where discovered in closed areas by CPO Wilkinson and proper enforcement action was taken.
In Fayette County, CPO Roper Received a complaint of an individual unlawfully turkey hunting after legal hours on property they did not have permission for hunt. CPO Roper investigated the incident, and learned of an individual in the area when the hunter was located. CPO Roper Interviewed the individual and was able to determine the identity of the hunter.
CPO Roper interviewed the suspected hunter and learned the individual was in fact the suspect in question. CPO Roper learned along with having no permission to hunt the ground, and hunting after hours the individual only possessed a land-owner only turkey permit which was invalid for the ground he was hunting on. The hunter admitted to getting in the vehicle he left in without casing the firearm. CPO Roper inspected the firearm the individual as hunting with and learned it was unlawfully able to hold more than three shotshells. CPO Roper issued the suspect three citations for hunting without permission, having no valid turkey permit, and hunting after lawful turkey hunting hours. COP Roper issued the suspect written warnings for unlawfully transporting a firearm in a vehicle while uncased, and for unlawfully hunting with an unplugged shotgun.