Springfield, Ill. – Two separate deer poaching cases popped up over the weekend, just as hunters across the state head into the final month of the 2022-23 season.
Both cases are based in southern Illinois. One involves a former major league pitcher. The other involves the poaching of 23 deer.
Danny Cox, who hurled for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, was one of eight accused of deer hunting violations, including illegally hunting for deer with bait, unlawfully taking animals and unlawfully using a permit.
According to DNR reports, “On Nov. 18, the first day of the 2022 shotgun deer season, Illinois Conservation Police went to Seth Speiser’s property in St. Clair County to investigate the possible use of bait to attract deer. Police discovered illegal bait, illegal use of landowner tags by non-resident hunters and other evidence of hunting violations.”
CPOs then investigated property in St. Clair County owned by Cox, where they found blinds with corn, molasses and mineral salt with trail cameras at each location. Cox also allegedly provided resident deer permits to non-resident hunters.
Court dates are pending for Cox and Speiser, who is the mayor of Freeburg.
Others cited by Illinois Conservation Police include family and friends of both Speiser and Cox.
The second case involves a deer poaching investigation in Hamilton County that began in December of 2020, when CPOs received information that Kalyn Chemin unlawfully harvested a 205-inch, 18-point buck without a permit.
Further investigation identified Chemin’s father, Lyle Chemin, was involved with the unlawful take. Kalyn’s brother, Lawson Chemin, and Kenneth Fancher were found to have committed multiple wildlife violations.
The four hunters, all from Mississippi, were charged with illegally taking 23 deer and seven turkeys. They recently took a plea agreement in Hamilton County Court.
Lyle Chemin, Kalyn Chemin, Lawson Chemin, and Kenneth Fancher agreed to fines and civil penalties totaling $110,600. $99,500 of the penalties have been awarded directly to the Conservation Police Operations fund.
All firearms, crossbows, and unlawfully harvested animals were seized and forfeited. The 205-inch 18-point buck was determined to have been taken unlawfully and the mount is currently on display in the Hamilton County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Hamilton County State’s Attorney Justin Hood prosecuted the cases.
Read more about the two poaching cases in the Dec. 30 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.