Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In LaSalle County, CPO Kaufman was checking fishermen at the Dayton Dam, Fox River near Ottawa. The fishermen had all their fish on a stringer and in a bucket. CPO Kaufman told them if they caught any smallmouth bass they would have to throw them back since it was a closed season. The fishermen said they knew that. When CPO Kaufman asked for their fishing licenses they said they were up in their car. CPO Kaufman and the fishermen starting walking back to the parking lot when a hydro plant worker at the dam approached CPO Kaufman. The worker said the fishermen had been putting fish in a bag in a backpack nearby. CPO Kaufman walked over to the backpack and looked in the bag. Inside the bag was 6 smallmouth bass and a 13 ½ inch walleye, all illegal fish. Each fisherman was issued 3 citations.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson completed an investigation in cooperation with the Fulton County State’s attorney’s office. The investigation stemmed from a TIP received regarding a poaching incident in rural Fulton County. Upon execution of a search warrant, CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott were able to uncover the evidence necessary to identify the nature of the events and the suspect involved. As a result, the suspect was issued 9 citations for the unlawful acts revolving around the unlawful taking of an 8 point buck from on or about the roadway, trespassing, and hunting without permission of the landowner.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson conducted sport fishing compliance checks at Banner Marsh and Rice Lake. While conducting static surveillance, CPO Thompson witnessed a pickup enter the park and began off-roading and doing “donuts”. CPO Thompson conducted a stop on the truck for the violations and located a small amount of cannabis during a consent search of the vehicle. A citation and warnings were issued for the violations.
In McDonough County, CPO Elliott patrolled Argyle Lake SP to check some turkey hunters. CPO Elliott heard a shot nearby and later observed hunters exiting a hunting area with an untagged turkey. CPO Elliott enlisted CPO Thompson to assist with the case. CPOs issued a citation for the untagged bird and written warnings for no windshield card and a permit violation.
Northeast Zone –
Captain Eric Schreiber
In Kane County, CPO Iaffaldano and CPO Doescher investigated a complaint regarding 4 coyotes being dumped on public lands. This investigation, along with multiple coyote dumping investigations are pending at this time.
In Lake County, Two subjects arrested by CPO Van Wiltenburg in 2020 for deer hunting violations recently plead guilty, as a result of a negotiated plea in Lake County. The first subject was charged with unlawful possession of freshly killed species during the closed season, unlawful hunting after hours, unlawful take of deer during the closed season, unlawful hunting with a rifle within 300 yards of a dwelling, unlawful dumping of wildlife carcass on private property, unlawful possession of deer taken by illegal methods, unlawful transfer of a permit to another person, and unlawful hunting of deer with use/aid of bait. He paid a total of $1,177.42 in fines, costs, fees, and an additional $1,000 to the Illinois Conservation Police Operations Fund. He was also ordered 50 hours of community service and forfeited a 16 point buck, an 8 point buck, and his rifle to the Department. His hunting privileges are suspended for the next two years. The second subject was charged with unlawful deer hunting with the use/aid of bait, unlawful deer hunting without a valid permit in possession, and unlawful hunting without first obtaining a non-resident license. He paid a total of $697 in fines, costs, and fees.
In Kankakee County, CPO Farber checked fishermen along the Kankakee River from the Kankakee River State to the Kankakee Dam. CPO Farber located a fisherman near the Kankakee Dam keeping smallmouth during a closed season. A citation was issued and the subject was educated about the rules and regulations of the Kankakee River.
In Cook County, CPO Vik assisted CPO Kusta with an injured owl call. The owl was caught by a fishing line dangling from an overhead powerline. CPO Vik was able to use chest waders to walk out to the owl. After securing the owl’s claws, CPO Vik used a knife to cut the fishline and helped secure the owl in a dog crate. CPO Vik then took the owl to a wildlife rehabilitator for care.
In Cook County, CPO Vik was checking fishermen at Sag Quarries when he noticed a fisherman with a plastic bag of fish down at the water’s edge. The fisherman had just caught a trout and when asked how many trout were in the bag the man said 4. CPO Vik informed the fisherman that if that was true he had just caught his limit and would be done for the day. The man said okay. CPO Vik checked the bag and found 6 rainbow trout in the bag plus the trout the individual had just caught for a total of 7. CPO Vik attempted to ask the fisherman more questions at which point the fisherman said he did not speak English. CPO Vik cited the fisherman for over-limit and seized the 6 fish after releasing the 7th fish alive.
Central Zone –
Captain John Williamson
In Adams County, CPO Blazinic has been investigating a commercial fisherman for catching and possibly keeping two Lake Sturgeons that are threatened/endangered in Illinois. The case is ongoing.
In Adams County, CPO Blazinic has been enforcing no mushroom hunting before 1 PM in state areas. Despite posting, people continue to violate and enter the woods while turkey hunters are hunting.
In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley was on patrol in the Southern part of Hancock County and noticed a large amount of trash in a shallow creek bed. Upon further investigation, CPO Wheatley was able to ascertain the trash was packages of various types of food, normally found in a home’s freezer. Amongst the trash was several boxes, most likely used to transport the food to the creek. CPO Wheatley was able to gather information off one of the boxes that he believes will lead to the suspect, and ultimately force them to answer for their crimes in a court of law.
In Jersey County, CPO Gushleff was contacted by a complainant, who stated his neighbor was shooting Canada Geese on the subdivision lake in Jersey County. The complainant took pictures and sent them to CPO Gushleff of the dead goose floating in the lake, and then of the man retrieving it in a small boat. When CPO Gushleff arrived at the suspect’s residence, a dead goose was laying on the ground in his garage. CPO Gushleff identified himself to the man and asked the suspect if it was goose season. The man said he didn’t know, and CPO Gushleff advised the man it was April and definitely not goose season. After an interview, the man was arrested for possession of freshly killed game out of season, and shooting over water with an air rifle. The goose was confiscated as evidence in the case.
In Cass County, While performing commercial fishing compliance checks on the Illinois River, CPO Wahlbrink discovered several hoop nets. One of the nets, set in tandem (tied together), was not tagged. The owner of the nets was educated on the importance of ensuring each device is tagged.
In Cass County, CPO Thornley received a call of a vehicle in the water at Prairie Lake boat ramp. CPO Thornley traveled to the location to find an SUV fully submerged. The driver of the vehicle stated he was putting his boat in the water, and stepped out of the SUV while it was still in reverse. The SUV then went into the water until fully submerged. A tow company was called to remove the vehicle and a report was generated. No injuries were reported.
In Cass County, CPO Snodgrass patrolled Jim Edger Panther Creek for turkey hunters during the 3rd season. He encounters a male subject coming out of the State Site carrying a shotgun and dressed in full camo. Upon conducting a compliance check of the turkey hunter it was found that he didn’t possess a permit to hunt the state site. The subject also failed to obtain a non-resident hunting license and habitat stamp. CPO Snodgrass checked the hunter’s gun which was found to be capable of holding more than 3 shells. The Mississippi hunter was issued 2 citations and two warnings for the violations listed above.
In Morgan County, During the third spring turkey season, CPO Wahlbrink performed a hunting compliance check on a hunter in the field. The hunter handed CPO Wahlbrink the required documents upon request. After reviewing the documents, CPO Wahlbrink noticed the hunter had a fifth season permit. The hunter advised he was not issued any other permits. Enforcement action was taken for hunting without a valid permit, unlawfully attempting to take a wild turkey, and failing to sign a permit.
In Moultrie County, CPO Moody cited a Sullivan man for driving off the roadway on the Wildlife Management Area. The man attempted to go “mudding” along the river near an access area and got stuck. The man received various other written warnings as well.
In Shelby County, CPO Viverito conducted a fish inspection along the Kaskaskia River. Two individuals were bank fishing with a blue bucket sitting between them. CPO Viverito discovered 4 Sauger that were smaller than the legal length limit. One of the men an Arkansas resident had received a citation for fishing without a license two weeks prior.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
In Clinton County, CPO Macias and CPO Wichern were on a patrol along the Kaskaskia River. They noticed a person fishing with 7 rods in the water and hidden on a private boat launch. They came upon the person and asked for a fishing license, the subject produced a 2019 fishing license. When asked why he did not have a recent one, the subject said, “Due to COVID-19”. A citation was issued for no valid fishing license and the CPOs explained how to get a current fishing license over the phone or with a current vendor in the area.
In Madison County, CPO Liebl was contacted by a turkey hunter hunting a State area. The hunter wanted to report people mushroom hunting in the area during turkey hunting hours. A license plate number was obtained and the person was contacted and the violation addressed. The public needs to know that “Collection hours for edible fungi, nuts, and berries shall be allowed during the site’s regular hours of operation only, except collection is not permitted at any site during the open hours of established hunting seasons at that site.” During turkey season, mushroom hunting in State areas with an established turkey season cannot start until after 1 p.m.
In Montgomery County, CPO Wright along with CPO Matt Lentz has been investigating a trapping complaint at the Nokomis Quarry. CPO Wright was eventually able to make contact with the Montgomery County resident who was doing the trapping. Before making contact CPO Wright observed the trapper place exposed bait (dead rabbit) next to the trap. When he eventually made contact it was found that he had no trapping license and none of his traps were tagged. The trapper was also in possession of a .22 rifle with a revoked FOID card. CPO Wright asked for consent to search the vehicle and consent was given. During the search, a meth pipe with residue was found. The man was taken to Montgomery County jail and booked for possession of a controlled substance. He was issued 3 citations and 1 written warning for the other offenses.
In Jefferson County, CPO Jourdan issued multiple citations to a Jefferson County resident stemming from archery deer season. The man killed a big buck in November of 2020 without a valid archery permit. The man also killed a doe in October of 2020 and did not tag or report the harvest. The 10-point buck head and antlers were seized. He has a mandatory court appearance in June of this year.
In Perry County, CPO K. Williams located a shotgun shell “Wad” on the roadway while patrolling Pyramid State Park Galum Unit. Upon further investigation, turkey feathers and fresh blood were located on the roadway in the same area of the Wad. CPO K. Williams contacted the permitted hunter for that location and discovered the hunter-harvested a turkey the previous morning. It was determined the hunter shot over the roadway while harvesting the turkey. The hunter was issued a citation.
In Johnson County, While working turkey season in Johnson County, CPO Teas located two hunters sitting in a vehicle in a field. CPO Teas approached and discovered the hunters two have three loaded and uncased firearms in the backseat. In addition, neither hunter had a hunting license or habitat stamp and one of them did not have a valid turkey permit. Citations were issued for the firearm and permit violations.