Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 13, 2020
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In Mercer County, CPO McKune made the arrest of 2 subjects illegally hunting deer from their vehicle at night. The two arrested subjects were found to be using lights at night in attempt to locate and harvest deer and had 1 uncased crossbow with an arrow knocked as well as 2 uncased firearms in the vehicle. Upon a search of the vehicle, the subjects were found to be in possession of 5 illegally taken doves as well. Multiple other violations were discovered. The firearms, crossbow and doves were seized as evidence. A total of 20 citations and 15 warnings were issued to the violators regarding this incident.
In LaSalle County, CPO Kiprono patrolled Starved Rock State Park Visitor’s Center after it was closed for the day trying to locate people who remained in the park after hours. Two individuals, a male and female, were found on a bench in the picnic area smoking a vape. CPO Kiprono approached the young couple and noticed the individuals seemed impaired. The 21-year-old male, admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Later, he also stated he bought alcohol for “the girls”. There were three other females at the Illinois River area of the visitor’s center all underage with one being a juvenile. The three underage females stashed the alcohol and a THC cartridge in the trees when they noticed Conservation Police were in the area. The violations were addressed.
In LaSalle County, CPO Workman was checking dove hunters at field 4, located near the south entrance of Starved Rock SP. While checking his first hunter, CPO Workman heard 4 consecutive shots coming from the opposite side of the field. CPO Workman continued checking hunters and came across a hunter using a shotgun containing 5 shells. CPO Workman issued a citation.
In Tazewell County, CPO Finn and CPOT Hopper checked dove hunters at Mackinaw Fish and Wildlife area. One hunter was found to be transporting an uncased and loaded shotgun and also to be using lead shot and not hunting near a stake as required. The hunter received citations for the transportation of the loaded gun and for using lead shot where prohibited.
In Whiteside County, CPO Kyle Williams checked dove hunters at Big Bend State Fish and Wildlife Area. Throughout the checks it was determined 6 hunters were in violation of use or possession of lead shot while dove hunting. Citations were issued to the hunters
In Winnebago County, CPO Leannah was conducting sport fishing checks at the Rockton Dam when he encountered 3 fishermen taking sport fish by illegal methods. The fishermen were also in possession of live injurious species. Citations and written warnings were issued. CPO Leannah and CPO Alvarez-Gerbino were conducting sport fishing checks at Blackhawk Park in Rockford when Leannah came into contact with a fisherman without a license. Upon further investigation it was learned that the man was a violent sexual predator. The subject was arrested and confined at Winnebago County Jail for being in a public park as a violent sexual predator. A citation and written warning were issued.
In Henderson County, CPO Brad Thompson, CPO Jarrod Elliott and CPO Shafer McKune conducted a waterfowl enforcement detail on the Mississippi River. At the conclusion of the detail, CPOs issued 8 citations for wildlife code violations including use of unplugged shotguns, attempt to take teal prior to sunrise, possession of lead shot, and failure to maintain separate bag. An additional citation was issued for failing to have PFDs on board. During one check, CPOs identified a group of hunters exuding excessive nervousness throughout the compliance check. Upon searching the vessel, CPOs located cannabis (wax and dried product), paraphernalia, and an additional controlled substance. Two additional citations were issued..
Northeast Zone –
Captain Jed Whitchurch
In Cook County, CPO Kusta and CPO Gates investigated a complaint regarding a wildlife control companies facility in northern Cook County. The company was alleged to have foul odors coming from the business and was not believed to be licensed. CPO Kusta and CPO Gates went to the business and did not locate any evidence of a foul odor and everyone on site had valid permits.
In Cook County, CPO Roesch investigated a complaint of an individual setting traps in their backyard. CPO Roesch educated the individual on Illinois trapping laws and issued a warning for illegally attempting to trap rabbits.
In Cook County, CPO Gates did a snagging detail at Montrose, Diversey, and Belmont harbors. No snagging was observed. A written warning was issued to a woman who had a Coho salmon but no salmon stamp. She has never had a fishing license in Illinois since this year and said she was new to fishing and was unaware of a Salmon stamp. The woman purchased a salmon stamp after receiving her written warning.
In Cook County, CPO Kusta was conducting sportfish enforcement at a Chicago Harbor. CPO Kusta observed a young fisherman fishing and requested his sportfishing license. The young fisherman presented CPO Kusta with an Indiana sportfishing license. CPO Kusta inquired as to why the young fisherman didn’t have an Illinois fishing. The young fisherman advised CPO Kusta he thought it was universal like a driver’s license. CPO Kusta educated the young fisherman on Illinois fishing laws and issued him a written warning,
In Cook County, In Cook County, CPO Roundcount and CPO Kusta were patrolling the Chicago Lake Front. While conducting surveillance of a known fish poaching location, a fisherman was observed snagging. The officers snuck up to the fisherman and caught him with a snagging hook attached to his pole line. Another fisherman walked away at a rapid pace. The officers caught up with the second fisherman who had a broken line. The fisherman claimed his line got snagged causing him to cut the line. But he was definitely not snagging. Conveniently, a neon green fishing line, matching the broken line on the fishing pole, was caught on some plants along the bank. The line extended out into the water and was pulled in. Attached to the fishing line was a snag hook. Both individuals were issued citations for control of snagging equipment outside of snagging season.
In Lake County, CPO VanWiltenburg cited a subject at the McHenry Dam catching panfish with a cast net. A citation was issued for a crappie and a written warning for three small bluegill.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Adams County, CPO Blazinic handled a boat accident involving a commercial tug boat pushing barges. The tug boat pulled away from the shore and the tug’s wheel wash pushed an unmanned pontoon boat into a dock. The tug’s wheel wash damaged the pontoon and dock upwards of $3,000 dollars. Illinois Conservation Police and United States Coast Guard are investigating.
In Adams County, CPO Blazinic closed an unlawful use of weapons by a felon case. The subject plead guilty to unlawfully hunting deer after legal shooting hours, unlawfully hunting without a valid deer permit and unlawfully falsifying deer harvest check-in records for a total fine of $1060.80 The original unlawful use of weapons by a felon charge was combined with (2) two other charges the suspect committed while on bond. Criminal trespass to residence and resisting / obstructing a police officer. The suspect received (3) three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff is investigating a theft at a taxidermist in Macoupin County. An unknown subject went to the taxidermist and claimed he was someone else. He took another hunter’s deer rack, and then left the store without paying when the taxidermist was busy dealing with other customers.
In Cass County, CPO Thornley conducted migratory game bird enforcement. CPO Thornley checked several dove hunters. CPO Thornley issued written warnings for no HIP number and a citation was issued to a hunter who was unlawfully using lead shot on state park property. Two hunters were issued written warnings for failing to check into state site prior to hunting.
In Mason County, CPO Wahlbrink performed a fishing compliance check on a woman who he observed fishing from the bank of the Sangamon River. She stated she purchased a license this year, but she didn’t have it with her. The online database revealed the woman had not purchased a fishing license in four years. She was cited for fishing without a license.
In Menard County, CPO Wahlbrink investigated a complaint of an individual who had been letting his dogs run freely on the trails at New Salem. The individual had been asked numerous times by other park goers as well as DNR staff to keep his dogs on leashes. CPO Wahlbrink went to the individual’s residence and was denied a confession. The individual claimed no evidence could be found against him. CPO Wahlbrink returned to the individual’s residence a few days later with a packet full of witness statements (kept anonymous) corroborating that many park visitors had been approached by the loose dogs and felt threatened. The individual was cited for the offense.
In Vermilion County, CPO Sanford investigated the complaint of an individual purportedly harvesting Ginseng during a closed period from State lands, where prohibited. Upon completion of the investigation, CPO Sanford discovered the individual to be in possession of over three pounds of dried Ginseng root, which was illegally harvested from both private and State lands over the course of 2019 and 2020. After inspecting the seized Ginseng root, CPO Sanford also discovered the individual had harvested numerous immature roots, well under the 10-year-old age class required by Illinois regulation. After reviewing the individual’s license history, CPO Sanford noted the individual had not purchased their 2019 Ginseng Harvester License until three days after the legal harvest season had closed. The individual was issued three citations and multiple written warnings for the violations and the Ginseng root was seized as evidence.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
In Madison County, CPO Ray work Migratory Bird Enforcement at Horseshoe Lake State Park and issued multiple citations for failure to sign in, hunting a restricted area, no HIP number and unplugged shotgun holding 5 shells. CPO Ray worked Sport Fishing along the Mississippi River issued citations for fishing without a license.
In Monroe County, CPO Schachner was working a late shift in Monroe County in the Mississippi river bottoms when he located several coon hunters training their dogs. Hunting of raccoons is currently closed, however coon hunters are permitted to train their dogs as long as they do not possess a firearm or ammunition. CPO Schachner covertly observed the coon hunters (who were utilizing an ATV) and observed they possessed a firearm. Upon stopping the hunters, CPO Schachner also determined they possessed ammunition for the rifle. Both subjects were cited for possession of a firearm while training coonhounds.
In St. Clair County, CPO Schachner and CPO Gerdes worked a baited dove field in rural St. Clair County. The location required both officers to walk extensive distances and expend considerable time and energy to document the violations and apprehend the violators. Three subjects were cited for unlawfully hunting doves with aid of bait and two of those subjects received a second citation for prior violations of hunting doves with bait. A fourth subject was cited for placement of bait within the large gravel lot that was being hunted. Investigation revealed the subjects hunted doves with bait and baited the area every dove season for several decades.
In Fayette County, CPO Roper was working the teal hunting opener in Fayette County when he observed hunters returning to the boat launch. CPO Roper initiated a hunter compliance check/boat safety inspection on the individuals. One of the hunters was found to unlawfully be in possession of toxic (lead) shot while waterfowl hunting. The operator of the boat was also fount to not have a properly affixed battery in the boat. The operator of the boat was issued a written warning for the battery violation.