Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 16, 2020

Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis

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 Whiteside County, CPO Posateri completed an investigation from the 2019 deer season. A Morrison, IL man was cited for no valid deer permit and failure tag deer immediately upon kill. A 10-point deer head was seized.

In LaSalle County, CPO Workman was performing a routine patrol at the Peru Sportsman’s Club. As CPO Workman entered the parking lot, he observed a female shouting and waving her arms. Immediately after seeing that, CPO Workman observed approximately 10 subjects walking towards the parking lot and away from the Illinois River banks. CPO Workman stopped a few subjects and the subjects denied fishing. CPO Workman went to where he observed the subjects retreat from and saw approximately 10 fishing poles on the bank. CPO Workman interviewed the English-speaking subjects that retreated. The subjects admitted to fishing and did not have licenses. Citations were issued to the subjects.

In LaSalle County, while on patrol, CPO Stanbary located a fisherman on the I&M Canal who was fishing while it was closed during the COVID-19 shutdown. When the CPO approached the fisherman, he observed the man smoking a cannabis cigarette. When the fisherman noticed the approaching CPO, he threw the cannabis into the canal. The CPO recovered the cannabis from the water and discovered 2 additional baggies’ in his possession. During a fishing compliance check the CPO found that the fisherman had 2 rainbow trout in his fish basket, and he did not have an inland trout stamp. The fisherman also had an undersized smallmouth bass in his possession. The fisherman was issued a citation for no inland trout stamp and a civil cannabis violation for smoking cannabis in a public place. He was also issued several written warnings for entering a restricted area, pollution of a waterway and having a dog off leash and failing to immediately release a short fish. His illegal fish were returned to the waters of the canal and he was released with a May court date.

In Winnebago County, CPO Randy 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 Fulton County, CPO Thompson located a man fishing on the shoreline at Canton Lake Park and identified he was in violation of sex offender registry requirements. CPO Thompson detained the man in order to investigate the violation further. Upon investigation, the man was subsequently issued an NTA for the registry violation and a citation for possession of a controlled substance.

In Fulton County, while patrolling the backwaters of the Emiquon National Refuge, Sgt. Gilmer located several illegal commercial trotlines. Early the following morning, Sgt. Gilmer and CPO Wahlbrink caught the fishermen coming back to check their lines. Both fishermen were cited for commercially fishing in the refuge.

Northeast Zone –
Captain Jed Whitchurch

In Lake County, CPOs Reid and Semenik arrested 4 individuals for unlawfully snagging walleye in Sequoit Creek, Antioch. The walleye come up this little creek to spawn and individuals have been in there snagging the huge spawning females.

In Cook County, CPO Kusta was conducting sport fish enforcement at a closed Cook County Forest Preserve inland trout lake. CPO Kusta observed a fisherman in the distance actively fishing the closed lake. As CPO Kusta began to drive towards the fisherman; the fisherman began to duck and dodge, grabbing his fishing gear and bucket. He ran swiftly into the wooded area. CPO Kusta, being very familiar with the area, knew the fisherman was cornered. CPO Kusta tracked the fisherman down, locating him near a stream with his gear in the woods. CPO Kusta inquired as to why the fisherman ran and he stated, “you freaked me out”. CPO Kusta checked the fisherman’s valid sport fishing license and requested his identification. CPO Kusta walked the fisherman back to the parking lot and educated him on the lake closure. The fisherman’s violation was documented, and he was released on scene.

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.

In Cook County, CPO Roesch investigated a complaint of illegal taking of endangered turtles and snakes out of Black Partridge Forest Preserve. CPO Roesch informed individuals walking in the preserve that it was closed due to COVID-19. Investigation is ongoing.

Central Zone –
Capts. Petreikis and Whitchurch

In Cass County, CPO Wahlbrink discovered an elevated deer feeder in a timber near a creek bed with a trail camera pointing towards it. CPO Wahlbrink talked to the property owner about the feeder. The owner stated he did not know it was illegal to feed deer. CPO Wahlbrink educated him on the impact CWD can have on the deer herd and issued him a written warning. 

In Calhoun 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 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 it with his ATV.

In DeWitt Count, CPO G. 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 McLean County, CPO Graden responded to a shots-fired complaint in Moraine View State Recreation Area. Upon arrival, CPO Graden heard repeated volleys of rapid rifle fire coming from a wooded area within the park. Three male subjects from Bloomington were located. They were in-possession of a .40 caliber handgun and AR-15 rifle. The men stated they knew the park was empty, due to the COVID-19 closure, and believed it would be safe to target practice. When asked what they were using for a target / backdrop, they claimed they were firing into the ground and trees. All three men were cited for Unlawful Entry into a Posted Restricted Area and asked to leave the park.

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 lbs. Unfortunately, the lake sturgeon was deceased at the time of recovery. The fish was turned over to DNR Fisheries for scientific study. Further investigation pending.

South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker

In Madison County, CPO Liebl responded to a complaint of a watercraft being dumped on the side of the road. The watercraft was pulled off the trailer and the trailer was taken. The watercraft had registration from another state that had expired almost 15 years ago. Contact with the last known registered owner was made and an investigation is being conducted to determined how it ended up where it was found.

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 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 in question.

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.

In Fayette County, CPO Roper was on patrol at Ramsey Lake State Park when he observed a boat coming into the boat launch. CPO Roper asked the individual on the boat if he was in possession of fish. The operator of the boat stated he had a limit of crappie. CPO Roper conducted a boat safety and fishing inspection of the boat. CPO Roper found the individual to be in possession of two short crappie, and an uncovered battery. CPO Roper issued the boat operator a citation for the short crappie and released them. The boat operator was also issued a written warning for the battery issue.

In Pope County, CPO Wilkinson investigated a complaint of a baited turkey hunting location. Wheat was discovered scattered around a hunting blind. The location was documented for enforcement action during the upcoming season. CPO Wilkinson also contacted a subject who was under investigation for taking deer by use of bait. The subject was found to not be hunting over the mineral but was providing mineral for the deer. The subject was educated on the purpose of the no mineral law.

In Saline County, CPO Knop responded to a complaint of an individual shooting within city limits at what appeared to be vultures. While walking up to the area of the complaint CPO Knop observed an individual with a shotgun shooting at black vultures from his driveway. When CPO Knop made contact, the shooter stated he was shooting clay birds and pointed to an unopened box of clay birds at his feet. CPO Knop recovered a dead black vulture and enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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