Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 26, 2021
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In Whiteside County, CPO Swanson received a call about an injured fox in a backyard. The young fox was transported to Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehab and is being treated for a broken front leg and mange.
In Boone County, CPO Swanson was conducting fishing compliance checks in Belvidere when she spoke to a juvenile who said he was 15 but gave a date of birth for that of a 17-year-old. After further questioning, he admitted he was 16 and did not have a fishing license, and was from out of state. He was educated on IL fishing laws, how to purchase a non-resident license, and issued a written warning.
In Boone County, CPO Swanson received information of possible illegal trapping occurring in a residential neighborhood pond in Belvidere. She followed up with the City of Belvidere who confirmed they had hired a nuisance trapper for a beaver issue.
In Boone County, CPO Roesch checked fisherman at the Belvidere Dam. 1 individual was in possession of a rusty crayfish. The individual was issued a warning for possession of a live injurious species and the crayfish was disposed of.
In Bureau County, CCPO Kaufman received the disposition from a December 2020 deer case. A hunter who was living in Illinois, but claimed Texas residency was hunting with Illinois resident deer permits. The hunter received a $1348.50 fine, of which $1076.50 was restitution to the department. The restitution amount was the difference the hunter paid for the resident deer permits compared to the amount he should have paid for non-resident permits.
In DeKalb County, CPO Engledow was conducting fishing compliance checks at Dekalb Rotary park. After issuing a written warning to an individual for No Valid Fishing License, CPO Engledow responded to assist Dekalb PD with an attempted shooting in which Dekalb PD officers were in the vicinity of the shooting and located a male suspect armed with a firearm running from the scene. CPO Engledow responded to assist in the attempt to apprehend the suspect. A firearm was located near the scene. The incident is currently under investigation by Dekalb PD.
In LaSalle County, CPO Kaufman responded to a 911 call of three lost hikers at Starved Rock State Park. The 911 dispatcher was able to direct the hikers to a residence near the park. When CPO Kaufman arrived they explained they had parked at the lodge and were trying to get back to their vehicle for the last 3 hours. CPO Kaufman explained to them, their problem was they had been walking in the wrong direction. They had been hiking away from the lodge and were 3.5 miles from their car. The hikers said they were afraid to go back into the “woods”. CPO Kaufman gave the vehicle owner a ride back to the lodge and lead the driver back to the remaining hikers.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson conducted sport fishing compliance checks at Rice Lake SFWA and the IL River shoreline. Upon locating three male subjects fishing on the Illinois River shoreline, it was identified none of the men had a valid fishing license. During a search of the area for unlawfully taken fish, CPO Thompson located a loaded handgun. With the assistance of a Fulton County Deputy, the handgun was identified to be unlawfully possessed without a valid FOID card. The handgun was seized as evidence and the man was transported to the Fulton County Jail. In addition, the man was identified to have an active warrant for his arrest for failure to appear. The man was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm/ammunition without a valid FOID and two citations were issued for fishing without a fishing license. One written warning was issued.
Northeast Zone –
Capt. Eric Schreiber
In Kankakee County, while patrolling a state park in Kankakee County which was posted as having an alcohol ban, CPO Prasun observed a fisherman consuming an alcoholic beverage. Upon making contact with the fisherman, it was determined the individual had discarded a glass beer bottle off in the weeds and was also using bait fish that had been previously caught from a different body of water. The subject was issued a citation for littering on department property and written warnings for alcoholic beverages on department property and illegal transportation of VHS susceptible fish to another body of water.
In Cook County, CPO Vik was patrolling near the Worth Boat Ramp when he located a fisherman inside a restricted area. After searching the restricted area, CPO Vik located the fisherman and his bike. The fisherman was a 14-year-old who had recently moved to the area and was trying to find places to fish. The fisherman had entered the area through a non-fenced section of the property and did not realize the area was restricted. After explaining to the fishermen that the area was restricted due to safety concerns, CPO Vik escorted the fishermen off the property.
In Cook County, CPO Longley retrieved a wounded/sick Red-Tailed Hawk from a Plainfield family who found the hawk on the side of the interstate. The hawk was delivered to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in DuPage County. CPO Longley conducted boat ramp patrols at Worth, Alsip, and Diversey Harbor boat launches. CPO Longley conducted sport fishing enforcement and recreational boat enforcement patrols along Lake Shore Drive and the Calumet River.
In Cook County, CPO Longley issued a citation to an individual for the illegal operation of a boat rental service without a license. CPO Longley worked a state park detail at William Powers State Park in which he issued citations for fishing without a license and unlawful use of fireworks in a state park.
In Cook County, CPO Farrell and CPO Vik assisted the DNR fisheries on a fish kill investigation on the south branch of the Chicago River. CPO Farrell and CPO Vik located numerous areas that had high a concentration of dead fish that included multiple species of various sizes. CPO Farrell and CPO Vik assisted the fish biologists with taking a survey on the number of fish and species types. They also located a possible source of the kill. Investigation pending.
In DuPage County, CPO Gates investigated a complaint regarding a construction company in Aurora unlawfully trapping and killing raccoons. CPO Gates was able to make contact with the site superintendent responsible for the complaint. After a brief conversation, the person did possess a valid hunting and trapping license. The person did not have a nuisance removal permit. The individual was educated on the nuisance laws and was provided contact information for how to obtain a nuisance removal permit if they did not want to hire a licensed nuisance removal company. The individual was issued written warnings for trapping without permission, trapping during a closed season, and unlawful take of a protected species.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley received the two racks related to an ongoing investigation CPO Wheatley is conducting regarding 2 deer illegally taken from Niota. The racks were collected as evidence in cooperation with the Louisiana Fish and Wildlife agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency. The racks are definite trophies by anyone’s definition, one measuring 203 inches and is a 17 pointer, the other, an 18 pointer, measures 187 inches. The case is still in its infancy, but charges should be filed in the very near future, some of these charges are felonies. Updates will be posted as the case continues.
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff was on patrol at Beaver Dam State Park in Macoupin County. A fisherman was checked for compliance with the Fish Code. The fisherman had a wire fish basket at the fish cleaning station, and CPO Gushleff inspected his catch. It came to CPO Gushleff ‘s attention that the fisherman had a bass in his basket that was 11 ¾ inches long. The minimum length a bass can be at BDSP is 15 inches. The man was asked why he kept such a short bass, and he replied that he didn’t know the limits. CPO Gushleff kindly advised the man that there was a sign with the limits of BDSP fishing regulations posted less than 5 feet from the man. A citation was issued for failure to immediately release a short largemouth bass under the 15-inch minimum length limit.
In Sangamon County, While patrolling Lake Springfield, CPOs Wahlbrink, Thornley, and Snodgrass observed a watercraft moving under the Lindsey Bridge with a passenger sitting unlawfully on a seatback. CPO Snodgrass maneuvered the patrol boat towards the watercraft and performed a boat stop. CPOs Wahlbrink and Thornley addressed the violation with the boaters and issued a written warning. During the stop, it was determined that the operator had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The individual was arrested without incident.
In DeWitt County, CPO Ausmus and CPO Vaughan responded to a dog bite at Clinton Lake Campgrounds. The victim was walking his dog down the road when it was attacked by a loose dog. The victim and his dog sustained bite wounds. The offending dog owner was located and issued a citation for unlawful dog off lease. The victim and his dog sought medical treatment.
In Vermilion County, CPO Z. Williams checked a fisherman at Lake Mingo spillway. During the compliance check, CPO Z. Williams discovered 7 white crappies in a minnow bucket in the water. The fisherman admitted there may be some short fish in the bucket. The fisherman was in possession of four short crappies. One crappie measured 7.5 inches with the minimum limit being 9 inches. Proper enforcement action was taken.
South Zone –
Capt. Eric Manker
In Randolph County, While conducting boating enforcement CPO Wichern cited a non-resident catfish guide for operating a fish guiding service on the Mississippi River in the Chester area for two years without obtaining an Illinois Passenger for Hire license, and for failing to properly cover the boat’s batteries and for possessing a non-serviceable fire extinguisher.
In Randolph County, CPO Ray observed a Missouri resident selling bags of cut bait out of a cooler at the Mississippi riverboat launch in Chester. After further inspection, CPO Ray determined the subject possessed an Illinois non-resident Aquatic Life Dealer license & the subject was properly recording the sale of fish with receipts.
In Jefferson County, CPO Jourdan arrested a Jefferson County man for multiple deer violations. An investigation revealed the man shot a large buck in December of 2020 with a rifle. The man also poached a doe with that rifle in June of 2021. The doe was left to rot in a field. The man had 16 total violations. The rifle and deer head were seized as evidence.
In Perry County, CPO Lewis and CPO K. Williams were informed of a Du Quoin resident in possession of a raccoon. The man explained the raccoon was his pet and had it leashed and collared. CPOs explained to the man it is unlawful to retain wildlife alive and informed him of the possible dangers of doing so. CPOs were able to take possession of the raccoon and transfer it to a local Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility with no issue. The Du Quoin resident was issued multiple warnings.
In Wabash County, CPO Roundcount and CPO Swindle were patrolling the Wabash River via boat. Three males were observed fishing from a boat on the Illinois side of the river. One of the fishermen did not have a valid sportfishing license in his possession. It was then discovered the fisherman had multiple arrest warrants out of Indiana. The fisherman was arrested and transported to the Wabash County Jail awaiting extradition to Indiana.
In Williamson County, CPO Knop responded to a call of a stolen boat on Crab Orchard lake. The boat was recovered by a good Samaritan who reported he found the boat with a person swimming next to it close to the bank. While gathering information CPO Knop and Federal Wildlife officer Campbell observed an individual in the water at the location the boat was recovered. The officers made their way to the suspect and observed physical signs he had been in the water for a long period of time and that the individual was in psychological distress. After a period of time, the individual agreed to get out of the water and get on the officer’s boat. The suspect was transported to a medical facility and a report was filed to the Williamson County State’s attorney for charges.
In Richland County, CPO Willand was on boat patrol along with CPO Taylor on East Fork Lake on 07/04/21. CPO Willand observed a pontoon boat to be traveling faster than no-wake speed due to it passing other boats in the no-wake area as well as creating a wake and white water behind the vessel. CPO Willand spoke with the operator and performed a boat safety inspection. After the inspection, the operator was given Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The operator of the vessel was placed under arrest for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. The operator of the vessel was issued two citations and the vessel was released to a sober operator. During the same patrol, CPO Willand observed a female on a personal watercraft who was not wearing a life jacket. CPO Willand stopped the female operator who was cited for the violation.