Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 18, 2022
Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis
In JoDaviess County, CPO Hoftender and CPOT Duzan checked fishermen and teal hunters during the last weekend of teal season. Citations were issued for failure to maintain a separate bag. Warnings were issued for failure to wear a lanyard, certificate of number not on board the boat, battery terminals not covered, no serviceable fire extinguisher, failure to display valid registration number, no throwable device, and fishing license not in possession
In JoDaviess County, CPOT Duzan and CPO Hoftender stopped a subject driving a truck for stopping in the roadway on a country road. The subject had a license plate cover, expired registration, expired driver’s license, and his insurance card also was expired. The subject explained they were looking at deer and they were in town to deer hunt. The subject was issued a citation for expired registration. He was able to locate his valid insurance card on his phone. He was issued warnings for the registration cover, no valid driver’s license.
In Lee County, while on boat patrol, CPO Zigler stopped a boat at the Lowell park boat ramp. During the safety inspection, it was noticed that there was blood in several places, including the operator’s shirt. It was then found that the operator had a cut on his finger that was still bleeding. CPO Zigler bandaged the cut, then asked the operator if he needed further medical attention. The operator declined. Due to signs of impairment during the initial boat safety inspection, an investigation began. The operator was then cited for operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol and for expired fire extinguisher.
In DeKalb County, CPO Engledow conducted dove hunting compliance checks at Shabbona Lake State Park when he observed two men hunting across a sunflower patch away from the designated stake site areas. When the men saw CPO Engledow, they picked up their chairs and belongings and moved back across the field towards their stake. Upon conducting a compliance check of both individuals, it was discovered they were aware of remaining within 10 feet of the stake and both individuals possessed lead (toxic) shotshells. CPO Engledow issued one citation for the unlawful possession of toxic shot on a state site designated for non-toxic shot only. He also issued both individuals written warnings for unlawfully hunting doves in a non-designated area.
In LaSalle County, Sgt. Wire observed an individual fishing from across the river and putting fish in the trunk of his car. When approached, the fisherman stated that he had no fish. Sgt. Wire informed him that he saw fish put in the trunk of the car and located fish in a cooler. The fish taken had no size or length limit. The fisherman was educated on the fishing laws, obstruction, and was given a free fishing digest.
In LaSalle County, CPO Martin was checking dove hunters at Matthiessen State Park when she received a call from another dove hunter at a different hunting field regarding a male who was lying unconscious along the gated access road to another dove hunting field at Matthiessen State Park. CPO Martin called for EMS and responded to the area. Upon arrival, it appeared the elderly man had stroke-like symptoms including slurred speech and a droop to one side of his face that his friends said was not there prior. EMS arrived shortly after CPO Martin and transported him to the hospital. Due to the quick response, the hunter was able to get treatment for the stroke but endured another mini stroke at the hospital resulting in him getting life-flighted to another facility.
Northeast Zone –
Capt. Eric Schreiber
In Kendall County, CPO Honiotes responded to the report of a hunting accident at Silver Springs State Park in Kendall County, involving two groups of dove hunters.
In Kankakee County, from an area of concealment, CPO Farber observed two men shooting over their limit of doves. CPO Farber discovered that both men were attempting to fill the bag limit of an additional hunter. The subjects were each issued several wildlife code citations. At the end of the stop, one of the hunters asked, “Are we going to be in the Outdoor News?” Two shotguns and 35 doves were seized as evidence.
In Will County, while conducting sport fishing enforcement, CPO Prasun observed three people collecting live rusty crayfish from a body of water in southern Will County. These crayfish are injurious and cannot be transported to a different body of water. CPO Prasun observed the people leaving with a bucket full of the live rusty crayfish and made a traffic stop on their vehicle. After a brief investigation, it was determined the people were collecting the crayfish to be used as bait at a location on the Mississippi River more than 198 miles across the state. Two of the people were cited for illegal possession of live injurious species and the third person was issued a written warning for the same.
In Will County, while conducting dove hunting enforcement on DNR property in western Will County, CPOT Zostautas and CPO Prasun observed a hunter sitting in the field at an unlawful location. The hunter was issued a written warning for unlawfully hunting more than 10 feet from a marked site.
Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson
In Jersey County, CPOT Struble and CPO Goetten conducted an investigation into a suspected illegal bobcat harvest. The investigation revealed the offender had trapped during the 2021-2022 season without a license and falsified a bobcat harvest record for an acquaintance to have a Cites tag for a future harvest.
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff was contacted by a Macoupin County resident who was found in an injured Barred Owl while he was mowing. CPO Gushleff responded to his property, and together they got the owl in a box. CPO Gushleff then transported the owl to Treehouse Wildlife Center in Dow, to be rehabilitated and eventually re-released to the wild.
In Cass County, while performing hunting compliance checks on dove hunters at Jim Edgar Panther Creek, CPO Wahlbrink discovered one hunter hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. The hunter was cited for the offense. Another hunter was issued a written warning for hunting without first obtaining a habitat stamp.
In Cass County, during a dove hunting compliance check at Jim Edgar Panther Creek, CPO Wahlbrink discovered a hunter with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. The individual was cited for the offense. Written warnings were issued to other hunters who hadn’t purchased their habitat stamps prior to hunting.
In Christian County, CPO Wright and CPOT Carter worked dove hunters over Christian County. Many dove hunters were checked. Multiple violations were found. The most common violations were lead shot on state ground and unplugged shotguns on both private and public grounds. Warnings and citations were issued.
In Mason County, Sgt. Gilmer and CPO Wahlbrink patrolled the Illinois River and its backwaters for the opening day of teal season. During a compliance check they discovered one hunter who had unlawfully taken a hen wood duck. The individual was cited for the offense. The officers also issued six other warnings while on patrol.
In Morgan County, Sgt. Gilmer and CPO Wahlbrink responded to a 911 call involving a group of teal hunters who had gotten their boat stuck in the mud at Meredosia Bay. Thanks to the help of another hunter with a mud motor, the individuals on the boat were rescued.
In Morgan County, CPO Gerdes conducted an investigation with the Morgan County Animal Control Department into a person possibly having an illegal pet fox. The investigation found the fox was legally purchased, however, the owner had an expired permit for the animal and the violation was addressed.
In Sangamon County, while on patrol, CPO Wahlbrink observed an individual at a public park who was fishing on Lake Springfield. As CPO Wahlbrink approached the individual, he placed the fishing pole on the ground and denied fishing. The individual became nervous when asked for his identification and was hesitant to provide it. Upon investigation it was determined the individual was a sexual predator/child sex offender who was not allowed to be at any public park. He was arrested and transported to the Sangamon County Jail for the offense and issued a citation for fishing without a license.
In Ford County, CPO Williams assisted Gibson City Police with a physical domestic involving weapons. CPO Z. Williams and a GCPD Officer arrived on the scene at the same time. Upon entering the residence, officers observed a juvenile sitting on the kitchen floor with numerous knives scattered around the kitchen floor. It was apparent the juvenile was having a mental health crisis. The scene was secured and CPO Williams attempted crisis intervention training (CIT) tactics talk with the juvenile. An ambulance was requested for a mental health evaluation.
In McLean County, Asgt. Graden received a report of a potential cougar sighting in Hudson, Ill. The report included photographs of the alleged large cat. Additionally, photographs of the cat had been posted to social media which caused public concern. Asgt. Graden and IDNR Biologist Megan Dassow responded to the reported location to complete an investigation. The investigation determined the animal was not a cougar. Rather, it was likely a domestic or feral cat.
South Zone – Capt. Mark Folden
In Clinton County, CPO Macias responded to a call from several people inside Eldon Hazlet State Park. Campers and camp hosts were concerned with several dogs inside the park and campgrounds. Accompanying the dogs were five people with handheld lights and headlamps. After finding and making contact with those people it was determined that four were nonresidents and one was a guide. They were involved in a raccoon tracking/dog training contest. Further investigation concluded what they were doing was in violation of specific park statutes. One citation was issued and several warnings.
In Randolph County, CPO Ralph Sievers and CPOT Matthews met with the commercial fisherman who owned the nets that were seized earlier in the week. The commercial fisherman admitted to not cleaning dead fish out of his nets while he was checking them within the required time. Not cleaning the dead fish out of the nets is what caused the turtles to enter the net and drown. The fisherman was also running a fish market from his residence. He was missing a required license and was not properly completing his receipts. The fisherman was issued a citation.
In St. Clair County, CPOT Struble, CPO Johnson, and CPO Goetten stopped a vehicle at FHSP for an equipment violation. A passenger was found to be in unlawful possession of a loaded 9mm pistol. He had a prior arrest for unlawful use of a weapon. The pistol was seized and the charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon is pending consultation with the St. Clair County States Attorneys.
In Jefferson County, CPO Schoenhoff and CPO Tapley received a call about an individual who was stuck in the Rend Lake Waterfowl Refuge in his vehicle. An elderly gentleman was confused and lost, and had driven into the refuge and got his vehicle stuck on a log in the timber.
In Jefferson County, CPO Williams checked a group of goose hunters who were also hunting dove in a chopped silage field. While their hunt location was legal, the possession of toxic shotshells by three of the hunters was not (Goose Hunting). Written warnings were issued, two additional hunters in the group were using only non-toxic shotshells.
In Perry County, CPO Lewis was patrolling in Perry County during the early teal season when he heard a volley of shots approximately 20 minutes before legal shooting hours. When CPO Lewis located the hunter, he had already taken his daily limit of teal. CPO Lewis issued the hunter a citation for the unlawful take of teal before legal shooting hours.