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Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 2, 2022

Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis

In LaSalle County, while checking fishermen at LaSalle Lake 45 minutes after closing, Sgt. Wire observed two very small bluegills and one very small largemouth bass in a bag of shad. The fisherman said that he didn’t realize they were in there since it was dark. The lake closed at sunset The fisherman was cited. 

In LaSalle County, Illinois Conversation Police were made aware of a lost hunter at Matthiessen State Park. His exact location was unknown. CPO Murry, CPO Kaufman, CPOT Martin, Oglesby Fire Department, and Utica Fire Department responded. CPO Kaufman and CPOT Martin located the hunter in a restricted area where no hunting is allowed. The hunter was cited for squirrel hunting in a non hunting area. 

In Bureau County, while conducting dove hunting enforcement in Bureau County, CPO Stanbary checked a group of hunters who failed to maintain separate bag limits while hunting a private field. Additionally, one of the hunters was found to not be properly licensed. One citation and two warnings were issued as a result.

In Bureau County, while checking dove hunters on private ground in northwest Bureau County, CPO Wagner found a hunter with no hunting license, habitat stamp, or HIP. The hunter was exempt from a hunting license due to being a landowner, however, a landowner hunter is still required to a have habitat stamp and register with HIP. The hunter was cited for dove hunting without a habitat stamp and issued a written warning for the HIP violation. A separate hunter was issued warnings for not having his hunting license or habitat stamp in possession.

In Putnam County, CPO Stanbary assisted some Putnam County residents with a unique wildlife call. A coyote with a white plastic bucket stuck on its head was spotted wandering around a cornfield near Florid. The coyote was seen for two days in this precarious situation. Despite the inability to see, the coyote’s keen hearing kept it from being captured. The coyote was caught and the bucket was removed from the coyote’s head. Despite the situation it had been in, the newly freed coyote fled at the first opportunity and seemed unharmed from the incident.

In Fulton County, CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott were on patrol during the opening weekend of the Illinois dove season in Fulton County. While on patrol, CPOs observed a group of hunters in southern Fulton County actively hunting dove in a sunflower field. While conducting surveillance of the hunters, CPOs determined a man to have taken over the legal limit of doves and suspected an unplugged shotgun was used in the act. In addition, over several hours CPOs observed a large amount of dove feeding the field and subsequently taken by the hunters. Upon conducting a compliance check, CPOs uncovered several violations including the unlawful use of an unplugged shotgun, two counts of failure to maintain a separate bag, two counts of unlawful take of dove over the limit including accessory to do so. Upon completion of the checks, CPOs inspected the field and determined the field had been supplemented with a large amount of additional sunflower seed. CPOs conducted interviews and the suspect admitted to the placement of the bait to attract doves to the field. CPOs issued citations for hunting with an unplugged shotgun, unlawful take of dove over the daily limit, and five counts of unlawful hunting dove by the use or aid of bait. In addition, CPOs issued written warnings for failure to maintain a separate bag, accessory to unlawful take of dove over the daily limit, and accessory to the unlawful take of dove by use or aid of bait.

Northeast Zone –
Capt. Eric Schreiber

In Grundy County, CPO Prasun observed a juvenile operating a second vessel while towing two other juveniles. The vessel did not have a tow flag displayed, there was no observer on board, and the vessel did not have enough seats for everyone on board and those being towed. It was also determined the vessel did not have the registration displayed on the bow, the operator did not have the certificate of number on board and the vessel was creating a wake within 150 feet of a public launching ramp. The juvenile also did not have a boating safety certificate. The juvenile’s parent was cited for youthful operator-parental responsibility and issued written warnings for the remaining violations.

In Kankakee County, CPO Farber conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was allegedly hunting doves from the roadway and by the use/aid of a motor vehicle. CPO Farber conducted a traffic stop and discovered that the rear passenger in the vehicle had an uncased/loaded high-powered pellet gun and seven doves in possession. The violator was issued seven wildlife code citations and the firearm and doves were seized as evidence. The doves were donated to a local family in need.

In Kankakee County, CPO Honiotes responded to the report of a subject who had become disoriented while fossil hunting and was lost at Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area in Kankakee County. With the assistance of a Kankakee County Sheriff’s Deputy, the subject was quickly located and guided back to his vehicle unharmed.

In Will County, while patrolling department property in western Will County, CPO Prasun observed several people target practicing with handguns at a department trap range which is designated as shotshell only. CPO Prasun cited four of the people for unlawful use of firearms on department property.

In Will County, CPO Prasun investigated an abandoned pop-up camper that was left on department property in Will County. CPO Prasun was able to develop suspect information and subsequently issued the person a citation for abandoning the trailer on department property.

In Cook County, CPOT Zostautas took a report of an incident in Cook County involving several Canada geese that were hit by a vehicle on the roadway. After an investigation, a Kankakee County resident was identified as the offender. CPOT Zostautas interviewed this person who was later issued a written warning for the violation.

Central Zone –
Capt. John Williamson

In Cass County, CPO Wahlbrink was notified of a vehicle illegally parked near Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek. The vehicle was parked as to conceal it from plain view. About 30 minutes later CPO Wahlbrink discovered two individuals fishing. One of the individuals was a Missouri resident who didn’t have a fishing license. He was cited for fishing without a license and issued a written warning for parking in a prohibited area.

In Cass County, a Beardstown resident contacted CPO Wahlbrink about finding a home for two turtles she was no longer able to care for. CPO Wahlbrink picked up the turtles, which were identified as Eastern Box Turtles, and transported them to a wildlife rehabilitator.

In Sangamon County, CPO Wahlbrink responded to a complaint of illegal trapping at a trailer court in Springfield. A brief investigation revealed that a resident had been trapping raccoons (with a cage trap) that had been eating his cat food. When asked what he did with the raccoons, he stated he shook the cage to punish them for their bad behavior and then turned them loose. The individual was advised that he could not do that and issued multiple written warnings.

CPO Wahlbrink explained the legal way to handle the situation and provided him with the District Wildlife Biologist’s contact information.

South Zone – Capt. Mark Folden

In St. Clair County, CPO Wichern cited a Missouri waterfowl hunter on the Mississippi river for hunting early geese prior to obtaining a HIP number and without permission of the landowner.

In Hardin County, CPO Wilkinson and CPO Meadows assisted Hardin County Sheriff’s Office to execute a search warrant of a convicted felon’s home who was on probation. Multiple firearms, ammunition, drugs, and paraphernalia were recovered during the execution of the search warrant. In addition to the illegal items listed, CPO Wilkinson and CPOT Meadows located a 4.5 foot, timber rattlesnake skin mounted in the living room, as well as five timber rattlesnake rattlers in a container near the skin. After all evidence was collected, the Hardin County Sheriff requested CPO Wilkinson and CPOT Meadows to meet the subject at his workplace and take him into custody. CPO Wilkinson and CPOT Meadows took the individual into custody without incident at his workplace. The subject was transported to the Hardin County Jail for booking on the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition as a felon, unlawful possession of meth, meth paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of endangered species parts (timber rattlesnake).

In Fayette County, CPO Hyatt located two hunters at Eckerts woods with violations. Both hunters were issued warnings for their violations.

CPOT Struble and CPO Roper spoke with an individual regarding a Ginseng complaint. The complaint stated the individual was in possession of ginseng with no valid license at the time of possession. CPOs issued the individual a citation for unlawfully possessing ginseng with no valid ginseng harvest license.

In Jasper County, CPO Hyatt had a complaint from the day before on the dove opener about a hunter who unlawfully entered the dove field at Sam Parr SP prior to 11 a.m. The hunter was contacted the following day and issued a citation for the violation.

In Marion County, District 15 CPOs received a complaint about trespassing in Marion county from a landowner regarding coon hound running on his property. CPO Smith and CPO Roper worked the area of the complaint and observed a raccoon hunter on the complainant’s property. CPOs issued the individual a citation for unlawfully hunting without permission.

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