Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Cuffs & Collars: Field reports from Illinois Conservation Police CPOs

Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis

In Fulton County, CPO Engledow investigated a hunter from Logan County who unlawfully shot a deer in rural Fulton County during archery season. After interviewing the individual it was determined he was in violation of multiple offenses. CPO Engledow issued the subject multiple citations and written warnings and seized an 11-point buck.

In Tazewell County, CPO Willand and CPO Finn were on routine patrol conducting fishing compliance checks at Powerton Lake. A male subject, who was in violation of the Illinois Fish Code, was found to have two active warrants for his arrest. One for Tazewell County and one for Peoria County. The male subject was placed under arrest and transported to the Tazewell County Jail.

In JoDaviess County, CPO Hoftender responded to a residence who had called because they had shotgun slugs go across their driveway. CPO Hoftender located the cooperative hunters and issued citations for hunting without permission.

In Mercer County, CPO Posateri and CPOT Chandler were working in Mercer County during the firearm deer season. During a hunter compliance check, an uncased AR rifle was observed in the front passenger seat of the truck. One hunter was not wearing the solid blaze orange as required and walked up to officers unarmed. A further interview revealed the hunter only had archery deer permits and hid his shotgun in the grass when he saw the officers. The shotgun was recovered, loaded with five slugs and there was no case in the vehicle for the gun. An additional hunter had firearm deer permits for the neighboring county and did not have a valid FOID card. The third hunter had a firearm loaded after hours and failed to have his deer permits signed. Three guns were seized, deer permits seized, and multiple citations were issued with mandatory court dates.

In Boone County, CPO Swanson was conducting hunter compliance checks when she encountered a 32-year-old Poplar Grove resident. After speaking with the hunter, it was determined he did not have a habitat stamp as required and was hunting after hours. Furthermore, the man harvested a deer in 2021 while he did not have a hunting license or habitat stamp. The new hunter was educated on hunting laws and received a citation for hunting without a license in 2021 and written warnings for the other violations.

In Bureau County, CPO Wagner while on patrol in Bureau County, went to a known baited location to see if any hunters were in the area. Upon arrival, CPO Wagner found three vehicles parked near the property. CPO met with the owner of the property and a short time later the hunters came out of the woods. CPO had hunters take him back to where they were hunting. All hunters were near the large bait holes located on the property. CPO Wagner cited two hunters for hunting by use or aid of bait and one individual for feeding. He was not hunting at the time but admitted to putting liquid attractant in the holes. Another individual who left the area will be contacted and cited as well.

Northeast Zone – Capt. Eric Schreiber

In McHenry County, CPO Semenik cited a hunter near Harvard for unlawful take of white-tailed deer, no valid deer permit, and unlawfully hunting without consent of the landowner.

In Will County, while conducting deer hunting enforcement, CPO Prasun checked a deer hunter who had another person’s deer permits in his possession. The hunter was issued a written warning for Unlawful Possession of Another Person’s Permit While Firearm Deer Hunting

In Will County, while CPO Prasun was conducting deer hunting enforcement at a federal property, two archery deer hunters new to hunting were observed hunting with no blaze orange on. They also did not have a habitat stamp as required. They were both issued written warnings for the violations.

In Will County, CPO Honiotes performed pheasant hunting enforcement at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area. Violations of parking outside of a designated area, a loaded gun along the highway ditch, and an unplugged gun were addressed.

Central Zone – Capt. John Williamson

In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley was made aware of a deer hunter taking an 11-point buck during the first gun season; however, the permit was not quite right. The hunter was found to be hunting with a muzzleloader only permit, and failed to secure a hunting license or a habitat stamp. The man lives out-of-state, so CPO Wheatley had to interview the man via telephone. After ensuring the information was correct on both ends, CPO Wheatley issued the man a citation for hunting without a valid permit, and written warnings for the hunting license and habitat stamp infraction.

In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff caught a subject who was illegally hunting, after a three-year investigation. CPO Gushleff was informed by a complainant that the subject was deer hunting with no hunting license, no deer permits, and not calling in any harvest of deer. The investigation started three years ago, and the subject’s hunting license was suspended due to failure to pay child support. During the investigation of the poacher, the subject could never be caught in the field. After years of watching the subject’s movements, CPO Gushleff caught him at his residence. He had been caught on a trail camera hunting without permission. The photo showed him with a bow in hand and hunting without the permission of the landowner. CPO Gushleff issued the subject five citations with a mandatory court appearance in Macoupin County Court.

In Mason County, CPO Engledow and CPOT Bumann were conducting waterfowl compliance checks on duck hunters along Quiver Creek when they discovered three hunters south of the Manito Blacktop bridge along the creek actively waterfowl hunting. CPOs conducted a compliance check on the three individuals and discovered one individual was a minor hunting with a guardian. It was discovered the minor did not have a hunting license for this season. CPOs’ allowed the guardian of the group to purchase the hunting license for the juvenile online and the guardian of the minor was issued a written warning for Guardian/Parental responsibility-No Valid Hunting License.

Report of the weeK

Central Zone

In McLean County, CPO Noah Workman responded to a complaint of a beaver being shot within Leroy township. CPO Workman worked with Leroy and Downs PD in identifying a suspect based on the complainant’s story. CPO Workman interviewed a suspect and gained a confession of unlawfully taking a beaver. The subject admitted to shooting the beaver with a .22 rifle, on his neighbor’s property, and leaving the beaver on the property. CPO Workman issued appropriate citations and warnings.

In Mason County, CPO Engledow and CPOT Bumann located two juvenile goose hunters who were dropped off in a field and goose hunting south of Bath. One juvenile did not have a FOID card but had an active hunting license and the other juvenile had a FOID card but only an Apprentice Hunting License. The juveniles both advised a parent was coming to hunt with them after they got off work. CPO Engledow explained to the juvenile with an apprentice license that he needed to be hunting with a licensed adult to actively hunt on an apprentice license. The juvenile with no FOID was advised he needed to have an adult present (not another juvenile with a FOID) to legally possess a firearm in the field while hunting even though he had been through Hunter’s Education and wasn’t hunting on a youth license. Parents were called for both juveniles and they arrived at the field. The parents were advised of the situation and neither parent had an active hunting license to allow the juveniles to continue to hunt the rest of the afternoon. Warnings were issued to both juveniles for the violations.

In Menard County, CPO Engledow and CPOT Bumann conducted waterfowl compliance checks on five goose hunters hunting near Athens. Upon conducting a compliance check on the hunters and their firearms, it was discovered only two of the teenagers possessed valid FOID cards, the remaining 18- and 19-year-old hunters had no FOIDs. Along with the no FOID violations discovered, one hunter did not have a Federal Migratory Bird stamp and another hunter had a full shotshell box of toxic lead shot in his possession. A citation was issued to a hunter for the Migratory Bird Stamp violation, along with a written warning for possession of a firearm without FOID. Another hunter was issued a citation for the Unlawful Possession of Toxic Lead shot while waterfowl hunting and a written warning for failure to have a hunting license in possession while waterfowl hunting. Two other hunters in the group received written warnings for possession of firearms without a FOID.

In Morgan County, CPO Wright investigated a Morgan County man for the unlawful take of a 10-point whitetailed deer. After interviews with a number of people, CPO Wright was able to get the man to confess to killing the deer with no hunting license and no deer permits. Enforcement action was taken and the deer head was seized.

In DeWitt County, while patrolling around Clinton Lake SRA on Christmas Eve, CPO Ausmus observed two vehicles parked along the Dewitt Bridge, a popular fishing spot. CPO Ausmus was unable to locate any anglers on the bridge and began checking further east in the area closed to fishing. CPO Ausmus patrolled down the hot water discharge and located two subjects unlawfully fishing and criminally trespassing on power plant property. The anglers were contacted and admitted they knew the area was closed. Several fishing rods were seized and citations were issued.

In McLean County, CPO Workman responded to a complaint of a beaver being shot within Leroy township. CPO Workman worked with Leroy and Downs PD in identifying a suspect based on the complainant’s story. CPO Workman interviewed a suspect and gained a confession of unlawfully taking a beaver. The subject admitted to shooting the beaver with a .22 rifle, on his neighbor’s property, and leaving the beaver on the property. CPO Workman issued appropriate citations and warnings.

South Zone – Capt. Mark Folden

In Bond County, CPO Ray cited multiple subjects during the second firearm deer season for hunting deer over bait, in the field with an unplugged shotgun, without a valid deer permit, and no resident hunting license.

In Madison County, CPO Ray arrested a subject during first firearm deer season for hunting with a rifle, over bait, and uncased. CPO Ray arrested a subject during the second deer season for failure to tag deer immediately.

In Monroe County, CPO Ray arrested a subject hunting on state property without valid deer permits, failure to wear blaze orange, unlawfully taking a 9-point buck, and failing to tag immediately upon harvest.

In Hamilton County, CPO Williams observed a rabbit hunter without a blaze orange cap retrieving their dogs from a roadway. While doing so, the hunter discarded their shotgun into a ditch. Although blocked from view, it appeared the hunter had unloaded the shotgun before dropping it. The hunter was checked after collecting their dogs and they did not mention the shotgun. When asked about the gun, the hunter advised it was “broke open” and they dropped it so they would not be thought to be hunting along the road. After a check of the hunter’s ability to possess a firearm and the serial number, the gun was returned along with a citation.

In Hardin County, CPOs Wilkinson and Hubler received a complaint of a deer being shot on private property near the road. Complaints heard a vehicle and gunshot. They then located a small buck 50 yards from the road with a bullet hole. Wilkinson and Hubler arrived at the property and surveyed the scene. The buck was located approximately 50 yards from the gravel road and had not been recovered by the hunter. Trail cameras were placed on the road and over the deer. Later that evening, photos were received from the trail cameras and the subject was identified. Wilkinson and Hubler visited the subject’s residence, the buck was hanging on the front porch of the subject’s home. A brief interview lead to a confession. The subject admitted to shooting the buck from his car and not having permission to be where he was. The individual was cited for hunting without permission and unlawful use of a conveyance to harvest a white-tailed buck. Several other warnings were issued.

In Perry County, CPO Williams observed a truck parked in the waterfowl rest area at Pyramid State Park. CPO found a man walking who claimed to be working for a metro agriculture company. Upon further investigation, CPO Williams determined the man was there to drop off a hunter. Citations and warnings were issued for no blaze orange, entering a waterfowl resting area, not having permits in possession, having an uncased firearm, and attempting to unlawfully take a white-tailed deer.

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