Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 2, 2020
The following reports were filed by CPOs based on cases in April and May
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In Ogle County, An Oregon man called and reported he had mis read that dates for the turkey season and accidently killed a bird during the closed season. CPO Beltran made contact with the man, safely during the pandemic, and issued him a written warning. He was thanked for his honesty.
In Bureau County, CPO Stanbary and CPO Kiprono conducted a sport fish enforcement detail on a boat on the Illinois River. Two fishermen from Florida were fishing at Barto Landing without fishing licenses. One of the individuals became uncooperative and refused to provide identification or provide his name. He was arrested for obstructing a peace officer and fishing without a fishing license.
In LaSalle County, While conducting a boat patrol on the Illinois River, CPO Stanbary stopped to talk to a family who was fishing near the Starved Rock Dam in their boat. The CPO noticed a child in the boat who wasn’t wearing a life jacket. The CPO learned the youth was under 13. During the vessel inspection, two minor equipment violations were noted and a female passenger who was fishing had no current license. The boater received a citation for the child under 13 not wearing a PFD. Written warnings were issued for the other noted violations. The CPO expressed the importance of everyone wearing a life jacket to be safe in the heavy current, especially the young fisherman.
In Tazewell County, CPO Finn patrolled Mackinaw River State Park for unlawfully entry and continued property damage to the park. Several hikers and walkers were removed, however no unlawful hunting was discovered. The damage to gates and parking lots are under investigation.
In Warren County, CPO Thompson conducted an investigation into an alleged report of unlawful take of a wild turkey during the closed season. CPO Thompson interviewed the suspect at his residence and gained a confession to the violation. The man admitted to having shot a wild turkey the weekend before the opening day of turkey season. As a result of the case, CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott seized a wild turkey and a semi-automatic shotgun. The man was issued several citations and warnings and has a court date.
Northeast Zone –
Captain Jed Whitchurch
In Kankakee County, CPO’s Farber and Elliot investigated a dumping complaint near River Isle in Momence. CPL Littrell and Deputy Luft from the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Dept assisted with the investigation. Approximately 30 black garbage bags filled with household garbage were dumped into a waterway, which ran along a public road. The CPO’s entered the water utilizing waders and retrieved several bags. The bags were relayed to the deputies on shore who sorted through them in an attempt to locate evidence that would identify the violators. Several pieces of evidence were located and three Indiana residents were identified as potential suspects. The Jasper County, IN Sheriff’s Dept assisted CPO’s by locating and conducting interviews with the suspects. Sgt Whaley from Jasper County ended up obtaining a confession from the violators. The subjects who unlawfully dumped the trash agreed to return to Illinois to receive their citations and remove the trash from the waterway. The two Indiana men retrieved all thirty bags, and loaded the wet/waterlogged garbage into the back of their conversion van. Both violators were issued citations for unlawful dumping of trash along the roadway and pollution of waterway.
In Will County, CPO Prasun investigated a complaint in reference to a western Will County resident who was illegally trapping at his residence. It was determined the resident had trapped a skunk out of season and without proper licensing. Enforcement action was taken and the resident was educated on Illinois’ trapping laws.
In Cook County, CPO Roesch placed a site entry notice on a van parked at the south parking lot of William Powers State Park with no occupants in the van. CPO Roesch located a stringer tied to a bridge across the north side of Wolf lake with a live 16.5” walleye tied to it. Walleye was photographed and released.
In Cook County, CPO Roesch issued a nuisance trapping permit to an individual to use a live trap in order to catch raccoons that were damaging his porch and siding.
In Cook County, while patrolling William Powers State Park(Closed), CPO Williams, CPO McClenning, and CPO Roundcount observed several ATVs speeding down a road. The ATV riders failed to obey a direct order to stop. The ATV riders drove away at a high rate of speed to escape. One ATV rider crashed into small trees while the other riders continued speeding away. The ATV rider was unharmed by the crash. The ATV was towed and enforcement action was taken
In DuPage County, CPO Gates investigated a squirrel that was brought to Willowbrook Wildlife Center from a gunshot wound. After speaking with the rescuers of that squirrel, no information was uncovered as to who may have shot the squirrel.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Calhoun County, CPO Gushleff investigated a TIPS complaint from a group of landowners in Calhoun County. The landowners reported a subject hunting turkey on their properties without permission. As CPO Gushleff investigated the incident, it was learned that the suspect gave one landowner a false name when he confronted him. The suspect told the landowner that he was hunting there with his friend from Iowa, and had permission from an adjacent landowner. The suspect was never seen hunting on the adjacent landowner’s property though. CPO Gushleff found out the suspect’s true identity from the turkey permit list and the Point of Sale system. After interviewing the suspect at his residence, CPO Gushleff learned he shot 2 turkeys in 2 years and never put the leg tags on them or called in the harvest. The suspect was issued 4 citations and 2 written warnings for the Wildlife Violations he committed.
In Schuyler County, A Beardstown resident notified authorities when he discovered an injured bald eagle on his property. CPO Wahlbrink responded and captured the eagle who suffered a broken wing. The eagle was transported to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for evaluation.
In Cass County, CPO Snodgrass and CPO Wahlbrink were on patrol near Jim Edger Panther Creek State Park when they observed a truck parked in a field lane and turkey decoys in the nearby field. Upon conducting a hunter compliance check on the hunter, it was found he was not in possession of his turkey tag or hunting licenses. The CPO’s escorted the subject back to his vehicle where they determined the subject was hunting first season but only possessed a third season turkey permit. The subject also failed to purchase a non-resident hunting license or habitat stamp. The subject was issued 4 citation for the violations and given a mandatory court date.
In Christian County, CPO Wright was checking fishermen at the Taylorville Lake dam, when he noticed two guys, that were cast netting, immediately began to pack their gear up when they saw CPO Wright. They two Taylorville men hurried back to their vehicle. CPO Wright returned to his vehicle and was able to get to the parking lot before they had left. The two men were leaving because neither had a fishing license and they had also taken sport fish with their cast net. One citation was issued for the sport fish caught with a cast net and two written warning were issued for the no valid fishing license.
In Morgan County, While patrolling Jacksonville Lake, CPO Wahlbrink issued one individual a written warning for fishing without a license. Another individual was also issued a written warning for fishing with too many devices.
In Morgan County, CPO Thornley traveled to Nichols Park in Jacksonville regarding an injured owl. CPO Thornley located a young great horned owl that had fallen out of the nest. CPO Thornley transported the owl to the Illinois Raptor Center for rehab.
In Edgar County, CPO Hyatt issued a salvage tag to a resident of Chrisman who found a deceased 12-point buck while turkey hunting.
In DeWitt County, In DeWitt County, CPOs Ausmus and Viverito were patrolled Clinton Lake SRA due to the COVID closures when the CPOs observed three subjects kayaking in the Northfork basin. The CPOs were able to hail the kayakers and inform them of the park closure. A boat safety inspection revealed that none of the kayakers had lifejackets. The kayakers were issued citations for the PFD violation and written warnings for entering a closed area. They were also educated on the requirements to obtain permission from all landowners when launching and paddling non-navigable waters.
In Livingston County, CPO Ausmus investigated a deceased juvenile bald eagle found under power lines, along a county roadway. The eagle had no overt signs of trauma or electrocution, conferring with USFWS it appears the eagle was struck by a vehicle. The eagle will be turned over to USFWS and sent to their repository.
In Vermilion County, While on patrol in Vermilion County, CPO Sanford heard two shotgun blasts from a patch of timber adjacent to Kickapoo State Park at 1:16 p.m. Legal turkey hunting hours end at 1 p.m. exactly. CPO Sanford located the source of the gunshots and observed an adult female and youth male walking up a driveway on private property. The youth was dressed in camouflage and carrying a shotgun. CPO Sanford made contact with the individuals at approximately 1:32 p.m. CPO Sanford inquired about the timing of the shots and the adult female stated they shot “around 1 p.m.” CPO Sanford informed them the shots occurred at 1:16 p.m.and proceeded to conduct a hunting compliance check on the pair. When the youth handed CPO Sanford the firearm, CPO Sanford discovered a live round still chambered in the shotgun. Furthermore, the youth did not have a hunting license or habitat stamp on their person. The adult female stated she told the youth to take the shot and didn’t realize it was sixteen after. The adult female took full responsibility for the incident and error in judgement and was issued one citation for accessory to unlawful turkey hunting after legal hunting hours. She was also issued three written warnings for the other violations to the IL Wildlife Code.
South Zone –
Capt. Eric Manker
In Monroe County, CPO Schachner received a pollution complaint for a small stream flowing under a highway and into Prairie Du Long
Creek. The stream water was black; smelled strongly of hog manure and was unquestionably polluted. CPO Schachner waded the full length of the small stream and performed the disheartening task of collecting/documenting nearly 300 dead fish and aquatic life. CPO Schachner collected water samples and foot-patrolled secondary feeder rivulets/waterways/farm fields as well as about a mile of Prairie Du Long Creek to conclusively determine the origin and extent of pollution. It was determined the pollution source was heavy run-off of liquid hog waste which was incorrectly applied to a farm field at the head of the stream and along the stream. The liquid hog waste essentially killed the entire 3.000-foot length of the stream and flowed into Prairie Du Long Creek, polluting it also.
In Washington County, CPO Schachner covertly worked the Kaskaskia River over a two-week period assisted by CPO Lentz and CPO Liebl. As a result, a commercial fisherman was caught taking/keeping sportfish with commercial nets, keeping undersized catfish and cleaning the illegal fish on the river and disposing of the carcasses in the river. In addition, the commercial fisherman used an illegal 196 hook snag line in a creek (waters closed to commercial fishing). He also failed to have commercial gear tag and name/address on device and failed to check hoop nets every 72 hours. CPO Schachner was able to covertly video the subject committing some of the violations. The illegal gear and fish were seized. The commercial fisherman received 5 citations and 7 warnings (including a verbal warning for contributing to the delinquency of a minor by showing/teaching a youth the violations). The fisherman has mandatory court appearance in Washington and Clinton counties.
In Gallatin County, CPO Knop was working an area on Shawnee NF where he believed a person was using landowner turkey permits when he encountered a male and female on a four-wheeler with an uncased .22 cal iberrifle. Watching the subjects CPO Knop observed the male load the rifle and begin walking the edge of the water looking for things to shoot at. When CPO Knop made contact with the individuals, they said they were just coming down to do some plinking and hang out.
In Pope County, CPO Wilkinson responded to a complaint of nuisance beavers and muskrats. Large amounts of constructive damage were discovered and the landowner was issued a nuisance permit.