Conservation police checking out hunters

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

VIENNA, IL (KFVS) - The second season of deer hunting in Illinois is over. And some hunters are going home with a little less hunting equipment and money.

"I think it's a good deal. And I think people should be honest," said Dave Stafford of Grantsberg, Illinois.

But, as officers with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service found out on Sunday morning, not all the hunters are abiding by the rules.

During the 4-hour Wildlife Check Point officers searched more than 190 vehicles.

And they found plenty of violations.

"A whole host of violations are coming through. We've actually had a turkey killed out of season case come through a few moments ago," said IDNR Officer Msgt. Tony Rendleman.

"We've had a bunch of uncased and loaded firearms that are illegal to transport in a car and untagged deer."

Two hunters from North Carolina found out all to quickly that the officers meant business. They not only were charged with killing turkey during deer season, but also having an untagged deer in their truck.

"Those weapons will be seized. And their hunting privileges in Illinois could be revoked if they're found guilty, " Rendleman said.

More than 60-percent of the hunters checked were from out of state. But many of them committed no violations and were allowed to pass, with a have a safe trip home, from officers.

"I'm all for it, they're there for a reason," said Dino Cozzone of Chicago.

"We should all do our part. I mean buying tags generates money to keep all these programs going."

And without the deer check stations, officers say the hunters would get away with more then they're allowed.

"It keeps the illegal hunters in check. And of course the legal hunters don't have any problem with going through the inspection. But, the illegal ones worry and they should," Msgt. Rendleman said.

The results of the Wildlife Check Point were 16 people arrested, several firearms confiscated and six deer were also taken away from illegal hunters.



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