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Home Local News




SPRINGFIELD, IL – Seven men charged in Illinois deer
poaching cases have entered guilty pleas, the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Office of Law Enforcement announced today.  The
charges stemmed from investigations conducted by IDNR
Conservation Police officers, along with law
enforcement officers from Michigan, Indiana and the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011.

“Deer poaching is a serious offense, and I want to
thank the investigators, along with the prosecutors
in the state’s attorney’s offices in Cook and
Kankakee counties, for seeing these important cases
to their conclusions,” said IDNR Conservation Police
Director Rafael Gutierrez.  “Those who hunt illegally
and break the law need to be held accountable, and
cases like these show we are serious about protecting
outdoor recreation opportunities for the men, women
and youth who obey the law.”

The cases resolved during the last month, involving
hunters from Illinois and Michigan, stemmed from
violations of the Illinois Wildlife Code that
occurred in 2011.

The case dispositions in Cook County included:

• Louis C. Bergsma (age 35 from Galena, IL) –
Convictions on unlawful falsification of IDNR harvest
records, two counts of hunting without permission of
landowner, two counts of unlawful possession of
illegally taken deer; fines of $4,800, plus civil
penalties of $7,750;

• Jonathan P. Bergsma (age 33 from Ada, MI) –
Convictions on two counts of unlawful possession of
illegally taken deer, one count each of unlawfully
hunting without a hunting license, and unlawfully
hunting without a habitat stamp; fines totaling
$3,700,

• Daniel E. Bergsma (age 27 from Ada, MI) –
Convictions on unlawful falsification of IDNR harvest
records, two counts of unlawful possession of
illegally taken deer, and one count of hunting
without permission of landowner; fines totaling
$2,500, plus civil penalties of $250;

• Douglas J. Bergsma (age 60 from Rockford, MI) –
Convictions on unlawful falsification of IDNR harvest
records, hunting without permission of landowner, and
unlawful possession of the illegally taken deer;
fines totaling $2,300;

• Tom E. Hedke (age 33 from Caledonia, MI) –
Convictions on two counts of unlawfully hunting
without a valid non-resident hunting license; fines
totaling $1,000.

Each of the five men were also convicted in Michigan
on counts of unlawful possession of illegally taken
deer and unlawful importation of deer and each man
was fined $245. Their cases included the illegal
taking of 31 deer, including a buck taken in Cook
County valued at $25,000.

The case dispositions in Kankakee County included:

• Weldon “Jesse” Bean (age 30 from Kankakee, IL) –
Convictions on illegally hunting without permission,
illegally taking deer with a rifle-accessory,
illegally hunting within 300 yards of a dwelling,
illegal possession of deer, failure to immediately
tag a deer upon kill, illegal transportation of an
uncased bow on an ATV, and use of an invalid archery
deer permit; fines and penalties totaling $10,000;

• Raymond Drazen (age 42 from St. Anne, IL) –
Convictions on illegally taking deer with a rifle and
illegal possession of deer; fines totaling $250.

The Kankakee County case involved the illegal taking
of a large buck in 2011.

Hunters or other citizens with information on illegal
hunting are encouraged to contact the Illinois
Conservation Police or call the IDNR Target Illinois
Poacher Hotline at 1-877-2DNRLAW (1-877-236-7529).

 

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