Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 6, 2021
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In Jo Daviess County, CPO Hoftender was patrolling Blanding Landing when she observed a boat with four occupants on it. CPO Hoftender watched the family fish for a while. When the boat came in, CPO Hoftender conducted a boat safety inspection. The operator of the vessel was issued a citation for failure to have a 7-year-old child wearing a lifejacket. The subject was issued written warnings for unnumbered watercraft, no fire extinguisher, battery terminals not covered, and a fishing license not in possession.
In Lee County, CPO Hoftender received a call about an injured baby Redtail hawk in Ashton. The caller explained he was at work at a warehouse. CPO Hoftender met with the caller and his coworker and picked up the bird. The bird was identified as a kestrel. CPO Hoftender relayed the kestrel to CPO Swanson. CPO Swanson was able to get it to a rehabber who thought it would make a full recovery.
In Bureau County, CPO Stanbary cited a boat operator who was participating in a Catfish tournament on the Illinois River for a navigation violation. The boat operator was in a hurry to make the tournament check-in time and passed by another drifting boat dangerously close and on plane at a high rate of speed. When the CPO observed this dangerous act, he caught up with the operator and issued the ticket.
In Bureau County, CPO Wagner found an individual in possession of a soft shell turtle. After a short interview, CPO determined the turtle was caught with an illegal device and the individual was cited for the violation.
In LaSalle County, CPO Martin observed three pickup trucks parked along Covel Creek in LaSalle County. Two friends, one from Aurora and one from Oglesby had been kayaking. Neither of them had life jackets with them; one admitted to knowing he knew he was supposed to have it with them. They were both issued citations for no life jacket when required.
In LaSalle County, CPO Martin was on a late-night patrol at LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area. Two vehicles remained in the parking lot after the lake was already closed. A total of 6 fishermen and 4 kids under the age of 13 were fishing after hours. Three of the fishermen from Chicago did not have a fishing license. The violations were addressed.
In LaSalle County, CPO Kaufman was talking to park staff in the Starved Rock Visitor Center when a woman approached the counter. She said her friend, a 40-year-old woman, had been missing for about an hour. The “lost” woman had gone back to their car to get a bottle of water and had not returned. CPO Kaufman advised the woman to check the car they drove to the park in, most “lost” hikers are at their car. Approximately 2 hours later CPO Kaufman got a call from the park staff, the “lost” woman had not been found. The park staff informed CPO Kaufman “lost” hiker had left her phone and car keys in the car. The car door was not completely shut.
In Knox County, CPO Elliott and CPO Finn completed an investigation involving illegal trapping. The subject responsible was located and admitted to the illegal activities. The following violations were addressed. Trapping without a license, No Habitat Stamp, Trapping out of season, untagged traps, trapping within 100 yards of a residence without permission, Failure to check traps daily, Exposed Bait, Unlawful release of wildlife, Unlawful Possession of Wildlife and retaining alive. The subject has a future court date.
Northeast Zone –
Capt. Eric Schreiber
In Lake County, CPOs Kelley and Van Wiltenburg received a call about a group of people netting Bluegill on Sand Lake in Lindenhurst. After observing the group, the CPOs did witness a young person throwing a cast net and putting fish in a container. The CPOs made contact with the group and found that the people using the net were under 16 years of age. Contact was made with the kids’ parents and information regarding the legal use of cast nets was related. During the interaction, a fishing license violation and lifejacket violation were also discovered. Several written warnings were issued.
In Kendall County, CPO Bergland, while working a fishing detail at the Yorkville Dam, observed a subject fishing in the restricted area on the north side of the dam. While addressing the violation, a computer check showed that the subject had a revoked driver’s license. After issuing a warning for the restricted area violation, CPO Bergland left the immediate area but kept the subject under surveillance. After a short time, the subject drove away. CPO Bergland stopped the subject and learned that he had a restricted driving permit. However, there was nothing in the RDP that allowed him to drive to his favorite fishing spot. He was cited for violating the RDP.
In DuPage County, CPO Gates investigated 3 different complaints regarding waterfowl found dead at small retention type ponds. CPO Gates spoke with area residents and no one said they saw or thought anyone was shooting or actively poisoning the waterfowl. Each area was inspected by CPO Gates and found no evidence of foul play. All deceased waterfowl were examined for penetrating wounds, none were found.
In DuPage County, CPO Gates patrolled various areas of the west branch of the DuPage River due to the large amounts of rainfall that has been accumulating. Last year, a young lady was swept away in floodwaters arising from the rising water levels. CPO Gates was out educating trail users and kayakers on the river to be extra careful.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley was patrolling Pool 19 of the Mississippi River on June 16th and saw a marker buoy with an odd white thing floating next to it. Upon closer inspection, the white thing was actually the belly of approximately 7 dead catfish, and the reason why they were near the marker buoy was that those 7, and a few more, were in the net being marked. CPO Wheatley pulled the net into his boat, and seized it along with a second net in close proximity, also containing dead catfish. CPO Wheatley photographed the fish before disposing of them to note the morbid state they were found in. CPO Wheatley made contact with the owner of the nets and cited him for the illegal devices. The man has a court date in early August for the infractions found.
In Christian County, CPO Wright was checking fishermen on Sangchris Lake and came across a Pawnee man who was in possession of a short bass. The bass was 3 inches short of the length limit. The man was issued a citation.
In Morgan County, CPO Thornley conducted an investigation regarding criminal trespass and criminal damage by breaking several windows to a building at New Salem Historic Site. During the investigation, it was determined six individuals entered the building and two of them decided to cause damage. A report was completed and turned over to the States Attorney for review.
In Cumberland County, CPO Hyatt and CPO Mieure began a timber investigation for Cumberland County residents involving a group of subjects who fraudulently used a business card and contract to gain access onto the property to cut timber. CPO Hyatt and CPO Mieure surveyed the property and have hung trail cams in hopes to capture any leads into the subjects’ vehicles. CPO Hyatt met with the business whose name is being used fraudulently and learned they have had equipment stolen and that a person of interest has recently quit working there. The investigation is pending.
In Shelby County, CPO Hyatt received a call from a Shelby County resident involving a person dumping garbage on private property. After speaking with the resident, CPO Hyatt received a name from the garbage that was dumped on said property. CPO Hyatt is currently investigating and tracking down a residence that is connected to the name that was given to him.
In DeWitt County, CPO. Ausmus conducted traffic enforcement due to extremely high water in Dewitt County. CPO Ausmus and Famer City PD were able to secure an area. During this CPO Ausmus’ fully marked squad, with emergency lights activated, was struck by a vehicle. The CPO was not injured in the crash. The suspect vehicle left the scene, this investigation is pending.
In DeWitt County, CPO Workman received a complaint from another officer of people tubing at Clinton Lake. Clinton Lake had been closed due to excessive flooding. CPO Workman responded to the location and observed 6 individuals tubing. He identified the subjects and determined 5 of the 6 were heavily intoxicated and 2 were under the age of 21. CPO Workman issued 3 citations and 5 warnings.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
In Clinton County, CPO Macias responded to a Clinton Co resident who claimed had a neighbor who was feeding raccoons. He claimed the raccoons were encroaching on his yard and destroying his garden. The CPO spoke with the neighbor and he told the CPO that the complainant was shooting squirrels out of season. The CPO deduced that the raccoon feeding claim was tied to an ongoing feud between neighbors. The CPO spoke with both subjects and told them to stop the illegal activity and to try and get along. Neither claim was proved true.
In Montgomery County, CPO Wright along with CPO Matt Lentz have 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 the possession of a controlled substance. He was issued 3 citations and 1 written warning for the other offenses.
In St. Clair County, CPO Ray was contacted by ISP dispatch about two elderly males locked in the Kaskaskia State Fish and Wildlife Area at Baldwin Lake. The two individuals were fishing and failed to read the site closing sign at the main entrance indicating it’s closing at 9:00 PM. CPO Ray arrived opening the gate and issued written warnings to the tired fisherman.
In Washington County, CPO Macias was called by a large land parcel landowner that butted up next to Washington County State Fish and Wildlife Area. The landowner was tired of park patrons using his land as an exit/entry point to the park. He claimed they are making ruts on his land and causing him to lose several yards of crop yield every year. He wanted it to stop. The CPO urged the landowner to get a county map and ensure the land he claimed was his, truly is his. The investigation is ongoing.
In Franklin County, CPOs K. Williams and T. Williams patrolled Rend Lake during a small craft advisory. One fishing boat with two persons on board lost power and was pushed against the rocks. The boat and persons were towed from the hazard and relocated safely to shore at their campground. During the same patrol, two inflatable tandem kayaks were encountered on the main lake fighting the waves and wind to return to their launch point. Between the four people, only one had a PFD, and one inflatable was losing air. All persons and kayaks were taken onboard the patrol boat and returned to their launch location. A citation was issued for the lack of lifejackets.
In Franklin County, CPO Williams took two burglary reports from the Rend Lake Resort, an area closed to the public, over the last two weeks. Anyone with information about suspects involved in vandalizing or burglarizing the Resort property is encouraged to contact Illinois Conservation Police.
In Jefferson County, CPO Jourdan investigated a permittee of a deer removal permit (nuisance crop damage). Violations discovered were 5 deer not buried, 2 untagged deer, individual shooting deer not designated on the permit, and failure to maintain harvest records. The investigation started when a complainant reported a rifle-shot deer in a field that had been there for a few days. Enforcement action will take place when the investigation is completed.
In Fayette County, While on patrol at Vandalia Lake when he observed two individuals fishing. CPO Roper initiated a fishing compliance check on the individuals. CPO Roper learned neither individual possessed a fishing license and one was in possession of a short largemouth bass. CPO Roper issued written warnings to both individuals and issued a citation to the individual in possession of the short largemouth bass.
In Wabash County, while patrolling near the Wabash River, CPO Roundcount observed a truck parked in the roadway on a bridge. As CPO Roundcount approached, a male walked up to the truck and dropped a bow fishing device into the bed. The driver of the truck attempted to leave. A traffic stop was initiated and all occupants were ordered out of the vehicle. Upon questioning the four individuals it was determined the two males were fishing without a license. Both fishermen were issued a citation for fishing without a valid sport fishing license.
In Jackson County, CPO G. Anderson received a complaint of 2 young males shooting air rifles at Lake Murphysboro State Park. CPO G. Anderson contacted the young males and they admitted to having the air rifles. The young males admitted to shooting at turtles and across the lake with their air rifles. CPO G. Anderson educated the young males about Lake Murphysboro State Park rules regarding possession and use of weapons. Both young males were issued citations and their air rifles were seized.