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Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 9, 2021

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 three 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 received a trespass complaint in rural Fulton County. Upon responding to the location, CPO Thompson hiked into proximity of the suspects who were picking mushrooms on lands without permission. CPO Thompson ushered the individuals off the property and issued written warnings for trespassing. 

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 McDoundough County, CPO Elliott was on patrol in rural McDonough County conducting spring turkey hunting compliance checks. While checking several hunters, CPO Elliott revealed a hunter was using an unplugged shotgun. CPO Elliott explained the violation and a citation was issued. 

In McDounough 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.

In Mashall Count, Three fishermen were cited by CPO Stanbary for driving their vehicles into a restricted area in the Duck Ranch SFWA and parking along the river. The fishermen drove around a locked and posted gate to gain access. Two additional written warning were issued for untagged and unattended devices.

Northeast Zone –
Captain Eric Schreiber

In Grundy County, CPO Prasun conducted boat and bank fishermen checks at an DNR managed lake in Grundy County, which had a two pole and line restriction. CPO Prasun encountered several visitors with many violations. One fisherman was actively using too many fishing poles. Upon further investigation, it was determined the fisherman also had an undersized walleye. The fisherman was ultimately cited for having an undersized fish and given a written warning for having too many fishing devices. Another fisherman was also using too many fishing poles. The fisherman had several opened bottles of alcohol and a dog off a leash. The fisherman was given a written warning for the violations. It was determined another fisherman had a cooler full of live Rusty Crayfish which is an invasive species. The fisherman said he caught the rusty crayfish in a river in Will County and transported the live crayfish to this lake which is illegal to do. The fisherman was cited for unlawful possession of an invasive species. 

In Lake County, CPO Kelley responded to an injured deer complaint in Antioch,. CPO Kelley located the doe and was able to see, immediately, that she had two, broken legs. The deer was euthanized.

In Lake County, CPO Reid responded to a complaint in the campground of Illinois Beach State Park. A camper had open alcohol and was melting down extension cords and other rubber-coated wire to remove the copper for scrap. It was discovered the individual had an outstanding arrest warrant out of Lake Co on a $20,000 bond. The individual was arrested for the outstanding warrant and transported to the Lake County Jail.

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 McHenry County, CPO Winters followed up on a boat rental club that did not have a rental license issued from the department. They admitted to operating in the summer of 2020 without the required license. They were issued a written warning and advised to get the rental license before operating the club this coming summer.

In Cook County, CPO Hopper was conducting fisherman compliance checks along the Des Plaines River. A fisherman had two fish and no fishing license. The two fish were released. A citation was issued for no fishing license.

In Cook County, CPO Kusta was conducting sportfish enforcement at a Cook County quarry. CPO Kusta observed a fisherman and requested his valid sportfishing license. The fisherman presented CPO Kusta with his expired license.

In Cook County, CPO Kusta was conducting recreational boat enforcement on a Chicago River. CPO Kusta observed a watercraft with no registration displayed. CPO Kusta stop the watercraft and requested the current registration. The boat owner was unable to produce what was requested. CPO Kusta cited the owner for the operation of the unnumbered watercraft.

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.

Central  Zone –
Capt. John Williamson

In Cass County, At Jim Edgar Panther Creek, CPO Wahlbrink noticed a watercraft on Gridley Lake using a gas motor, but only electric trolling motors are allowed. A boat safety inspection revealed there were not enough personal flotation devices onboard the watercraft. The appropriate enforcement action was taken.

In Logan County, CPO Thornley conducted recreational boat enforcement in Logan and Menard Counties. CPO Thornley conducted a boat inspection of a vessel on Salt Creek. CPO Thornley observed the operator had a child next to him on the boat. When the operator arrived at the shore, CPO Thornley advised the operator that anyone under the age of 13 had to be in a lifejacket at all times.  CPO Thornley issued a citation for the violation. Several written warnings were issued for other equipment violations.

In Morgan County, While on patrol on a busy public roadway, CPO Wahlbrink observed a UTV pass him in the opposite direction. An uncased rifle was displayed in the back window. CPO Wahlbrink stopped the UTV. When questioned about the rifle, the driver stated he uses the rifle to shoot coyotes and admitted to shooting coyotes in the recent past. The individual did not have a hunting license or habitat stamp. The appropriate enforcement action was taken.

In Sangamon County, CPO Thornley conducted sport fish enforcement of Menard and Sangamon Counties. CPO Thornley, CPO Gerdes, and Intern Huff checked fishermen fishing below the Spaulding Dam. This is also a restricted area. The fisherman was issued a citation for no fishing license. The fisherman was determined to have a valid warrant, The fisherman was issued an NTA for the warrant. The fisherman was also issued a written warning for fishing without permission. The other individuals were issued a written warning for criminal trespass.

In Scott County, During spring turkey season, CPO Wahlbrink discovered an individual who harvested a Jake while hunting in Scott County with a Morgan County permit. The individual unlawfully took a wild turkey by hunting without a valid permit and was cited for the offenses.

In Coles County, CPO Moody cited an Arthur man in Humboldt for hunting rabbits out of season. The man received written warnings for hunting with no license or habitat stamp and hunting within 100 yards of an inhabited dwelling.

In Cumberland County, CPO Hyatt assisted Neoga Police with an individual who has a dead deer rotting in a 55-gallon drum in his front yard. Neoga  Police thought there was an issue with the deer but it was documented as roadkill. The individual stated that he was using the deer as compost for his garden.

In Cumberland County, CPO Hyatt assisted an elderly resident with contacting a nuisance trapper and local hunters with a coyote problem she has been having recently. The resident has lost several chickens and has had her dog attacked within several days of each other.

South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker

In Fayette County, While patrolling Vandalia lake CPO Roper observed an individual fishing from the bank. CPO Roper conducted a fishing compliance check. It was learned the individual did not possess a valid fishing license. While issuing the individual a written warning for the license violation CPO Roper learned the subject had a warrant for their arrest. CPO Roper detained the individual for the warrant. Due to Covid restrictions, the Fayette County Jail was unable to accept the individual on a warrant. CPO Roper issued the individual a warning for no valid fishing license, and a notice to appear in Fayette County Court. CPO Roper released the individual on scene.

In Richland County, CPO Hyatt has a deer investigation for this coming year from a complaint. And he has begun to prepare for it marking properties on Onx that need to be walked and checked for bait.

In Union county, CPO Vasicek was first on scene of an aggravated domestic violence incident that occurred along State Highway 3 in Union County.  A male subject had struck a female multiple times while he was a passenger in her vehicle.  This battery almost caused several head-on collisions on the highway prompting numerous citizen 911 calls.  The female pulled to the side of the road and escaped the vehicle.  The male exited and threw a billiard ball at her.  He then chased her across the highway pushed her down and got on top of her and struck her in the head.   Upon arrival, there was a female on the ground on one side of the highway and a vocal male on the other, along with several citizens who stopped.  After speaking to a witness CPO Vasicek took the male, with a lengthy criminal history, into custody.  He was subsequently charged with aggravated domestic battery.

In Union County, three subjects whom CPO Vasicek had charged with multiple deer hunting violations during the firearm deer season including unlawful take/ possession of (4) white-tailed deer appeared in the Union County Courthouse.  This case was adjudicated with various pleas of guilty to charges.  Fines and fees totaled $7,548.00 in the aggregate for the group.

In Williamson County, CPO Johnson received a call about 3 subjects fishing without permission.  CPO Johnson arrived, in Saline County, and the subjects had already left the area.  CPO Johnson later located the subjects, fishing the Sahara Woods Fish and Wildlife area.  The 3 subjects were fishing, in a boat without registration or wearable PFD’s.  The subjects also hadn’t purchased a fishing license.  They were issued 3 citations and 10 warnings. 

In Lawrence County, CPO Taylor was contacted by a FED EX driver stating he was at a residence in Lawrence Co. and a baby owl was sitting in the driveway. CPO Taylor collected the baby Barred owl and took it to a wildlife rehabilitator.

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