Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 11, 2022
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In Rock Island County, CPO Priest investigated an elderly woman for killing a deer last shotgun season without a hunting license or habitat stamp. CPO Priest met with the women and explained he was surveying the biologist and asked if he could come inside. The woman invited CPO Priest inside. CPO Priest asked if she had any luck this year. She said she was able to shoot a doe. CPO Priest asked if that’s all she shot. She said it was. She reported a harvest of a 5-point buck and doe. CPO Priest asked her husband if he had any luck last season. He said he killed a 5-point buck and a 4-point buck during shotgun season. He only reported a 4-point buck and only had one either sex shotgun permit. CPO Priest asked her if there was a reason her harvest records show the 5-point buck if she did not kill it. Her husband answered and said he killed both of them and used one of her tags. The wife received a citation for hunting without a hunting license and five warnings. The husband received a citation for an unlawful take of whitetail deer and two warnings.
In Rock Island County, CPO Priest investigated a landowner for permit violations. The landowner permit application listed the father and both sons living at home. A quick check through LEADS showed that one son was a nonresident and the other moved two years prior. Both were still obtaining landowner permits. The son that is a nonresident received a citation for falsification of landowner permits. The other son received a citation for falsification of landowner permits and unlawful take of whitetail deer. He also received two warnings for unlawful possession of whitetail deer and no valid permit. A 10-point buck was seized from a taxidermist in Iowa for the violations.
In Henry county, CPO Posateri responded to a call for an injured bald eagle along Interstate 74. It was found deceased and relayed directly to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as federally required. The eagle will then be forwarded to the national repository for proper disposal with the appropriate Native American guidelines. It is both a state and federal violation to possess any parts, including feathers or talons, of any bald eagle.
In Winnebago County, CPO Swanson made contact with a man who was ice fishing after hours in Rock Cut State Park. The 32-year-old man from Minnesota failed to obtain a fishing license. It was also determined he was driving without a valid driver’s license and parked illegally adjacent to a handicap stall. CPO Swanson cited the man for no valid driver’s license and fishing without a license. He received warnings for remaining in the park after hours and illegally parking. He was given a mandatory court date in Winnebago County.
In LaSalle County, CPO Martin responded to an ice-fishing complaint regarding three males fishing on private property. Upon investigation, it was determined a man and his two young sons were ice fishing on a private property connected to state property. They mistakenly thought it was state property. The area did not have any trespassing signs posted. The fisherman was issued a warning for fishing without permission. The landowner was advised to post no trespassing signs.
In Tazewell County, CPO Finn received a disposition from Tazewell County on a deer hunting case. The hunter was charged with four violations and his bow, arrows, and case were seized. The hunter ended up being found guilty on two of the four charges, was fined several hundred dollars and the bow, arrows, and case were all forfeited to the state. This was the hunter’s third offense for hunting without permission in four years.
Northeast Zone –
Captain Eric Schreiber
In Lake County, CPO Kelley and Intern Jess addressed the case of a Lake Forest individual feeding deer in his yard. The individual was issued a written warning in December 2021, but continued to feed deer and other animals, despite warnings about Chronic Wasting Disease. The individual was cited for his persistent violations.
In Lake County, CPO Fehrenbacher cited a Round Lake Beach resident for the illegal possession and sale of live injurious species, zebra mussels. Live injurious species can not be possessed, propagated, bought, sold, or bartered without special authorization from the DNR because of the extensive damage they cause to the environment. The Illinois Conservation Police-Invasive Species Unit specializes in investigating these types of crimes and was contacted after a concerned citizen noticed a Craigslist advertisement offering to sell aquarium rocks with live zebra mussels. CPO Fehrenbacher investigated the complaint and acting as a potential buyer, ultimately met with and purchased the items from the seller. Conservation Police Officer Nick Reid arrived after the transaction occurred, arrested the seller, and seized the zebra mussels as evidence.
In Grundy County, CPO Honiotes responded to the report of multiple calls about an injured bald eagle in an agricultural field in rural Grundy County. No injured eagle was located in the described area, but a raptor was spotted flying over agricultural fields in the vicinity.
In Will County, CPO Prasun and CPO Honiotes responded to three snowmobile crashes on private property in central Will County. CPO Prasun investigated the snowmobile crash and determined four snowmobiles were operating on numerous properties without permission from the property owners throughout eastern and central Will County that evening. While traveling in a group on a private field in central Will County, three of the snowmobile operators failed to notice a creek that flowed across the property and ran their snowmobiles head-on into the opposite embankment. Two of the operators sustained injuries and were transported from the scene to a local hospital. Two of the four operators were cited for operating an uninsured snowmobile on private property without permission and for operating a snowmobile on private property without permission. They also were both issued a written warning for failure to transfer snowmobile identification number. The third operator was also issued a citation for operating a snowmobile on private property without permission. The fourth operator was issued a citation for operating an uninsured snowmobile on private property without permission and a written warning for operating a snowmobile on private property without permission and unlawful operation of an unnumbered snowmobile.
In Cook County, CPO Vik was checking ice fishermen at Lemont Quarries. While checking a group of three ice fishermen, CPO Vik noticed a largemouth bass behind the fishermen. After determining who had caught the bass, CPO Vik measured the fish and found it was one inch short of the site-specific length limit. CPO Vik issued the fishermen a citation for keeping a fish under the minimum length limit.
In DuPage County, CPO Gates issued a DuPage County man a warning for feeding deer. The elderly man was educated on the feeding wildlife laws and he ensured he would stop. CPO Gates will check back in on the property at a later date to ensure compliance.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff conducted two deer permit investigations in Macoupin County. Both individuals involved in the investigations were cited for using deer permits in violation of the wildlife code. One of the subjects was an inexperienced hunter who did not purchase a hunting license and habitat stamp. He also did not purchase a deer permit until after he harvested a deer. The other subject purchased a deer permit after he harvested a deer. The proper citations were issued to the subjects.
In Christian County, CPO Gerdes and CPO Wright conducted an investigation into the theft of a deer stand from Sangchris Lake State Park. After a diligent investigation, and with the help of the Kincade Police Department, the suspect was identified via trail camera pictures. He later admitted to the theft and was charged accordingly.
In DeWitt County, CPO Ausmus conducted sport fishing enforcement at Clinton Lake Spillway. CPO Ausmus observed two anglers using weighted snag hooks below the spillway. The anglers were found in possession of several big head carp, crappie, a paddlefish, and other rough fish. The Chicago men were cited for snagging in waters closed to snagging and one received an additional citation for having short crappie. The fish were seized and donated to a local wildlife rehabilitator.
In Vermilion County, CPO Sanford conducted an investigation regarding violations that occurred during the first firearm deer season. The violations took place on public land in Hardin County. CPO Sanford made contact with the suspect, who had shot a doe on opening day. In order to preserve their either-sex firearm deer permit, the individual purchased an antlerless-only permit after the harvest. That permit was then utilized to tag and report the doe. The individual was issued a citation for the violation. The individual also received written warnings for other violations of the wildlife code.
In Shelby County, CPO Viverito and K9 Hank assisted Shelby County on two traffic stops. The first stop Hank alerted to a vehicle leading to possession of methamphetamine arrest. On the second deployment, Hank alerted to a vehicle, and 8 pounds of cannabis was located as well as a loaded pistol possessed by a felon.
In McLean County, CPO Workman arrested two subjects for multiple wildlife violations related to hunting white-tailed deer. CPO Workman interviewed the two subjects and admitted to one of the subjects shooting multiple deer and having the other use his tags on the deer. Both subjects were issued multiple tickets and written warnings.
South Zone – Capt. Eric Manker
In Clinton County, CPO Macias was patrolling and found three men fishing at the spillway area of Carlyle Lake. The men were using snag poles to foul hook carp. When contacted, the men spoke broken English and via hand signals and visual references were told what they were doing was illegal. One received a citation and the other two received written warnings.
In Randolph County, CPO Schachner has been investigating an ongoing trespass/dumping/damage complaint that originated from hunting without permission complaint. A subject was cited in the fall of 2020 for numerous hunting violations as well as hunting without permission.
The subject is a convicted felon and has a nearly 20-year history of trespassing on the neighbor’s property. He threatened the landowners and began claiming a portion of their property as his own.
CPO Schachner assisted the elderly landowners in finding survey pins on the area in question. The pins proved the landowner was correct and CPO Schachner spoke with the felon at length and warned him regarding trespass.
Several months later it was discovered the felon intentionally damaged a ‘no trespass’ sign and two recently placed corner fence posts and was clearing trees on another portion of the property. He was cited for criminal trespass and criminal damage with a mandatory court appearance.
In St. Clair County, CPO Ray received a theft complaint and hunting without permission from a local hunter. The complainant received a cellular trail camera picture of a person in camouflage carrying his deer stands and climbing sticks. The complainant walked out to the property and observed the subject hunting with a compound bow. The complainant confirmed the theft of two locks on deer stands, two cellular trail cameras, rattling antlers, and a set of climbing sticks. CPO Ray surprised the subject that night as he sneaked back to his residence. The snow-covered field and the ambient moonlight assisted with identifying a shadow carrying a compound bow and rucksack. The subject was in possession of one stolen trail camera, which he found on the property he was hunting without permission. CPO Ray and CPO Schachner received multiple complaints on this subject of hunting without permission over the past several weeks. CPO Ray spoke with the subject over the next couple of days, receiving the second stolen trail camera and the location of the stolen hunting equipment. CPO Ray, CPO Schachner, and CPOT Mills located the stolen items covered with a camouflage tarp, limbs, and leaves. CPO Ray arrested the subject for theft and multiple citations for hunting without permission. The subject’s compound bow was seized.
In Fayette County, CPO Smith received information of possible white-tailed deer violations at a rural residence in Fayette County. Upon arrival to the residence, CPO Smith observed a doe deer carcass laying near the dwelling, and another nearby. CPO Smith knocked on the door to the residence but could not raise anyone. CPO Smith found three more deer heads; 10-point, 9-point, and 8-point bucks laying near the dwelling. CPO Smith also found two raccoon carcasses. CPO Smith suspected the two doe deer to be roadkill but had no way of determining until he spoke to the person who lived at the residence.
CPO Smith also found, in plain view, two dead dogs, a dead hog, and several dead rabbits. CPO Smith took photo evidence of the dead animals, and also EPA/Fayette County Health Department related issues. After some time had expired, the person who lived there arrived at the residence. CPO Smith spoke with the person.
The person claimed the deer was roadkill. CPO Smith explained to him that they have to be reported within 24 hours of claiming. The person did not report the deer, nor did he have an Illinois ID. CPO Smith cited the person with 2.24 and is requesting animal cruelty charges be filed with the Fayette County SA. EPA and Fayette County Health Dept were notified of the violations relating to their respected areas of responsibility. The three buck heads were seized at the scene.
In Johnson County, CPO Teas closed a case of a subject from Georgia who came to Illinois and harvested a buck without any licenses or permits in Johnson County.
The subject received fines totaling $1,300, his hunting privileges were suspended for 13 months, and his deer antlers were forfeited to the Department.
In Jackson County, CPO G. Anderson contacted a subject in regard to a trespass and hunting complaint. The subject had been advised not to return to the property previously but returned at the end of archery deer season. The subject was issued a citation for hunting without a license and criminal trespass to property.