Union Co. State's Attorney's Office, conservation officer recogn - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Union Co. State's Attorney's Office, conservation officer recognized for work on poaching case

Still image from a video of the press conference. (Source: unioncountyil/YouTube) Still image from a video of the press conference. (Source: unioncountyil/YouTube)

The Union County State's Attorney's Office and a District 16 Conservation police officer were formally recognized on Aug. 11 for their roles in the investigation and prosecution of a high-profile poaching case.

At the press conference, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal personally thanked all involved for their assistance in the case.

You can click here to watch the press conference.

Director Rosenthal emphasized the importance of conservation officers in Illinois.

"Our Conservation Police play a vital role in protecting our natural resources and the rights of law-abiding sportsmen and women," he said. "Poachers steal from all of us, and our Conservation Police Officers stand by hunters, anglers and ordinary citizens every day to protect those resources that belong to all of us."

Rosenthal and the conservation officer, Steve Vasicek, presented Union County with a mount by Whitetails Unlimited of the largest of the three bucks. Vasicek, previously honored as the IDNR Conservation Police Officer of the Year for 2014, described the buck as rivaling the largest ones he's seen during his career.

The investigation centered around a 2013 incident involving three Georgia deer hunters in Union County using high-powered rifles; Illinois law does not allow for firearms other than pistols, shotguns and muzzleloaders to be used for deer hunting.

The three were charged with unlawful take of three large buck white-tailed deer and multiple other wildlife code violations.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of three large buck deer and a combined 75-month revocation of hunting privileges, a punishment recognized not only in Illinois but in nearly all 50 states.

State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds was present for the event and commented on behalf of the county.

"Union County is blessed with abundant natural resources and recreational opportunities which play an important part in our local economy," Edmonds said. "I applaud the efforts of the Illinois Conservation Police in protecting our natural resources for the benefit of law-abiding hunters, fisherman and landowners."

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