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I just don’t understand this story

Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014

* I really don’t see why this is a problem. A guy gets a ticket. He pays the ticket. He thinks the law is wrong, so he tries to change the law. But when the guy is a lobbyist with the NRA, well, we just can’t have that

After a state conservation officer ticketed the National Rifle Association’s Illinois lobbyist last December for breaking a hunting law, the gun-rights advocate dutifully paid his $120 fine.

But Todd Vandermyde, one of Springfield’s most powerful and effective lobbyists, didn’t stop there.

A month later, he worked with one legislator to rewrite the law he broke.

And not long after that, he enlisted help from House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, to carry legislation that, at least initially, would have greatly restrained the authority of Department of Natural Resources police officers to venture onto private property.

* If you read the whole story, Vandermyde was hunting on private land. He had a loaded crossbow while on an ATV. You’re not supposed to do that, even on private land. So, he got a ticket from a conservation officer. On private land, mind you.

Vandermyde’s crossbow bill was pretty uncontroversial. It passed the House last week 84-28.

And, frankly, DNR needed some restraining, if you ask me. Too many of their officers think they don’t need a warrant to go into somebody’s house because state law doesn’t specifically require one. That’s just plain goofy and even DNR is not opposing the Durkin bill, which will require a warrant before conservation officers can enter someone’s house or yard.

…Adding… Some of you aren’t reading carefully enough. The Durkin bill does not apply to private hunting grounds, only to someone’s house and yard. Plus, it’s long-standing constitutional policy that a cop can bust someone even in a yard or a house if the cop witnesses a crime being committed.

* And then there’s this

“Look, I like Todd. I do, in spite of myself,” said state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, a gun-control advocate and a lead architect of the state’s same-sex marriage law. “But if I got a ticket and changed the law because I got a ticket, people would be screaming bloody murder. I don’t think it’s any different when someone with the level of influence and access that he has does it, too,” she said. […]

Cassidy stood by her belief that Vandermyde, in trying to change law because of his own misfortune, was wrong and ridiculed his comparison to her work on behalf of same-sex marriage.

“It’s a little different to change the law when you’re being discriminated against than to change a law when you break it,” she said. “There’s a little difference.”

That last statement is just not true. The entire civil rights movement was fueled by people deliberately breaking stupid laws.

There was a problem, it’s being fixed. What’s the big deal?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


90 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    The system worked in both cases. Someone complained and changed it legally, through the process.


  2. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Rich, I agree - I don’t see any issue with Todd’s actions here. This comes off as a hatchet piece.


  3. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Must have a slow ‘breaking the law day’ for that fellow to go on private property to issue a citation?

    Wasn’t trying to single someone out were they? It is a bit over the top, though not particularly wise to be riding in anything with a loaded cross bow, much less bouncing along on an ATV.

    Hey, he paid the fine and used the process. Good for him.


  4. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Can I drive drunk “on private land”. Would a cop need a warrant to enter the property to ticket me? No on both counts. Whatever the public policy is for not letting people load a crossbow on an ATV probably applies whether you are on public or private land.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    A lobbyist trying to change a law, thought the process, and as an advocate for the entire rallying point of like minded individuals. Not ok, but well beyond OK, and doing his job exactly as prescribed…

    A member of the GA, and lets say the issue is cameras at intersections, just to pick ONE, randomly, just out if the air, just “poof” it came to me, and that legislator got tickets generated by the cameras, and then decides to push legislation on that camera/intersection issue, and can vote on it, that seems ok too, but a bit disingenuous on its face, since, unlike the lobbyist, this legislator can sponsor the bill, speak on the floor, say, of the Illinois House, and them vote on that bill, that might seem “icky”, but not wrong.

    Aren’t introduced bills based on real-life issues that come up, and how that instance can be made better for all citizens? Hmmm.


  6. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Different rules for left and right? Many applaud when goofy laws are broken if they agree on the issue. When they disagree with the dissent, the protester is bad.

    We have thousands of goofy laws, how else do you get the attention of the legislature to remove a law that could have a constituency. Easier to leave it in place. The Barney fife’s of this world need a bit more restraint as well.


  7. - Jim'e' - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Ok, so after this law is changed the DNR will not be allowed to stop someone on private property from say, shooting an endagered species? I guess the law will still allow a DNR officer act in the same manner as a Police Officer who is allowed to go on private property to stop a burglary?


  8. - Walker - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    I have mixed feeling about this. Let’s not be too hasty in either direction.

    I think what happened to Todd on private property — ticketed for having a loaded crossbow while riding, assuming he wasn’t in the act of shooting at something — was a waste of DNR time and resources.

    A lot of hunting occurs on private land. Are we going to require a warrant before a DNR officer interrupts obvious poaching on a private tract? If he sees something suspicious, can he approach?


  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    ===allowed to go on private property to stop a burglary? ===

    Correct.

    Also, the Durkin bill doesn’t apply beyond the house and the yard. Private hunting acreage is still fair game.


  10. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Can I drive drunk “on private land”.

    Have an accident in a private parking lot and see how interested LEOs are to fill out the paperwork
    ,


  11. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    I agree that DNR needs some restraining, and I don’t see the problem with how this was addressed. I know of at least one instance where a DNR officer watched owners on their private property through binoculars, noted that a gun wasn’t properly cased on an ATV, came on the property and issued a ticket to both the driver and the passenger.


  12. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    It’s a horrible, intrusive law. No doubt.

    However, I really dislike the rhetoric used by both Cassidy and Vandermyde. “Hating the second amendment, hating the first amendment” sounds like stuff that might fly in a fundraising email to the paranoid, but not here. Stick to the main points, especially when you’re on the side of reason.


  13. - RIO1945 - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    A couple of thoughts here. Was he hunting legally, i.e. with the landowners permission, on the private property? Did the DNR officer enter the property with the landowner’s permission, or was the landowner not present at the moment? Also, I wasn’t aware of incidents where DNR officers have raided/entered someone’s home uninvited and without a warrant. As state law enforcement officers, how can they somehow be exempt from the need to obtain a warrant, or feel that they are?


  14. - Commander Norton - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    I think the difference between Vandermyde and the civil rights movement (other than, you know, the scale of the injustice) is that he didn’t try to change the law that he broke (you can’t carry a loaded crossbow on an ATV); instead, he’s just trying to make it harder for officers to catch him breaking the law. I agree that law enforcement officers of all stripes should probably have a warrant to go onto private property, but I do think it’s interesting that he evidently admitted his guilt, paid his fine and isn’t contesting the crossbow law itself.


  15. - He Makes Ryan Look LIke a Saint - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    I agree that DNR Officers need to get restrained. Don’t get me wrong they have a very tough job, but they seem to act as if they are God’s gift to Law Enforcement. I have personally experienced them walking up on family land to check for my fishing license. I wasn’t bothering anyone and there was no need for them do do so on Private Property. I have also seen them at work on the River and on Lake Springfield dealing with boater, the lack of respect towards the public is unreal (at least at the incidents I have seen). ISP would not put up with an officer treating people like they do.


  16. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Melrose Park PD gave tickets to a group of Latino kids for loitering in the backyard of a house *owned*, not rented, by one of the families.

    When I introduced the mother and homeowner to Sen. Don Harmon–her state senator–Harmon couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

    He had no interest in helping Latinos getting jerked-around by the Melrose Park PD. (A large swath of the Melrose PD was later convicted of corruption.)

    So, yeah, law enforcement does some bad stuff. But there’s a real difference in who is able to access the political system to get justice.

    BTW, Peraica’s law firm represented the families and the charges were dismissed.

    But the judge sent to administer hearings at Melrose Park village hall was awful. He was allowing the absurd, including the village prosecuting attorney–one who didn’t speak Spanish–to translate what a defendant was saying. “Sounds like she’s pleading guilty,” when the woman was vigorously contesting the charges.


  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    ===instead, he’s just trying to make it harder for officers to catch him breaking the law===

    No. That was a different bill. The bill that passed the House changes the ATV requirement.


  18. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Seems crazy that conservation police are given expanded authority to ignore the 4th amendment. cassidy apparently dislikes the idea of a democratic system of government, If you disagree with a law and get enough people to agree you can change a law.


  19. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    too funny. Such a long piece on Todd… If you can’t see this was about creating a hit piece on a guy who got A TICKET…. (for e technical violation of not casing a crossbow in transport on an ATV) you are just silly.

    Todd ruffles feathers. And the Anti’s wanted a little personal pay back. I love how the article keeps saying “misdemeanor” instead of “Ticket”… Why? because we have all gotten tickets! And it would show how small of a deal this really is.

    Sad. See through it.


  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    ===I do think it’s interesting that he evidently admitted his guilt, paid his fine and isn’t contesting the crossbow law itself. ===

    Um, wrong again.


  21. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Sometimes it takes being caught up in the system to realize things that should be changed. That doesn’t disqualify one from advocating the law be changed. Cassidy’s anti-gun extremism is causing myopia in this case.


  22. - NotYetRetired - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    the fact is - TV has a position that affords him the knowledge and ability to attempt to change this law. I really don’t care about the crossbow ticket he received, or the fact he is a lobbyist. He paid his fine like a good citizen. However, the fact that the ticket was issued by a Conservation officer on private property should be disturbing to everyone. I, for one, thank Todd for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention. I would not have known that these officers have such latitude, if not for this matter. If their authority is not reined in, what is to stop them from not knocking on your door, but just walking in and searching your house at their own will? They need boundaries and Todd’s legislation will provide that.


  23. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    ===Can I drive drunk “on private land”. Would a cop need a warrant to enter the property to ticket me? No on both counts.===

    Actually, I don’t think that is correct. When you operate a motor vehicle on priovate property (not on the public roads), there is no requirement that you or the vehicle be licensed.


  24. - NotYetRetired - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    I should clarify that I don’t agree with the loaded crossbow law as it was applied in this situation - but the private property issue is what I find most disturbing.


  25. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Rep. Cassidy should observe how many Red Light Cameras have disappeared in certain places because law abiding citizens paid their tickets but considered the law oppressive and an infringement of their rights. The law is the law. You don’t get to debate it when cited. Your only recourse is to work to change it. It appears this is what happened.


  26. - Bud - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    I am a retired LEO. The discussion about stopping a burglary on private property is not really the same.

    In this case, the DNR Officers , by their own police report, were on private land searching to see if there were any violations. They had no probable cause to be there, they had no search warrant issued by a Judge to be there, they didn’t even have anyone complaining about any Wild Life Code violations.
    They just wanted to see if they could find something or someone to arrest. For anything.

    How is that permissible under the 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution?
    As far as Vandermyde attempting to get the law changed, how do you think all of those African-Americans threw off the chains of second class citizenship? Every change in a law comes about because of a need often highlighted by the arrest or discrimination of an individual.
    Vandermyde didn’t try to get out of trouble, he paid his fine and then went ahead and attempted to get the law that he (and many others like me) feel is unjust.

    Cassidy is being somewhat hypocritical here. No, actaually she is being totally hypocritical.


  27. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    It is against the law to transport loaded weapons on an ATV or vehicle because it is dangerous and people doing that are typically gaining an advantage or what we like to call poaching.

    The fact a conservation officer does not need a warrant is a completely different issue this law does nothing to change. Conservation officers theoretically don’t need a warrant because they are protecting wildlife such as ducks and geese that are protected under international treaty(there is case law). Because they are enforcing international agreements the 4th amendment does not apply so they can come on your property and search. If they happen to see other illegal activity while they are there, they are allowed to follow what they see.

    This may alter what is a state law crime, but it does nothing to limit a conservation officer protecting animals under international treaty from coming on your property.


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    – Too many of their officers think they don’t need a warrant to go into somebody’s house because state law doesn’t specifically require one–

    Say what? DNR coppers enter houses without a warrant? They do that? I don’t think you need a state law to prevent that. The 4th Amendment would seem to apply.

    –“In light of the National Security Agency scandals, do you think law enforcement should be wandering around private property without permission? –

    Wee bit of a stretch, don’t you think, Todd, lol? C’mon, dude, you’re better than that. Don’t be a victim.

    You can’t pull a small-mouth bass out of a private lake without a fishing license. Getting a ticket for a crossbow doesn’t make you PFC Manning.

    To the “story,” it’s a nothing in search of a scandal that doesn’t exist. I don’t have a problem with changing the existing law. I don’t care what your weapon of choice is in culling the deer population.

    But it’s not a “We Shall Overcome” moment.


  29. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    I am no fan of the NRA (today’s understatement.) But I think he’s well within his rights to oppose a law he thinks is unjust. He’s influential — well yeah, the system kind of favors that. But this is one time I am not horrified by the ISRA.


  30. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    “Seems crazy that conservation police are given expanded authority to ignore the 4th amendment”

    ” Too many of their officers think they don’t need a warrant to go into somebody’s house because state law doesn’t specifically require one. ”

    Some point out to me where it says in the US or State constitution or state law that Conservation Officer’s can enter someone’s house in violation of their rights under the 4th amendment.

    These statements are just plain wrong.


  31. - Todd - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Yes i was hunting with permission

    No the DNR did not have permission to enter the land. They were there about 45 minutes, before I even arrived.

    There is a conflict between the UUW code and wildlife code

    Its not about making it harder to catch violators, its about the 4th amd and entering property without probable cause or a warrant.

    I paid the ticket, because I didn’t want to be driving back and forth dealing with a ticket from springfield.


  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ===These statements are just plain wrong. ===

    No, they’re not. http://capitolfax.com/2014/04/02/i-just-dont-understand-this-story/#comment-11474199


  33. - Outdoorsman - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    The whole gun (weapon) in a case nonsense needs changed in/on ATV, horse, cart on hunting property needs changed. If I’m walking out after hunting and a friend sees me, I can’t legally ride unless there is a gun/bow case available. This needs changed much like the old bow hunting rules that required locking your bow inoperable.


  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Carl, Melrose Park cops are bad news.

    My boys’ black friends have eaten the car hood many a time for the crime of driving while black for just going to the movies at the Cinemark.

    The place is still mobbed up to the max. Former police Chief Vito Scavo got time for shaking down Kiddieland, for crying out loud.

    You’d think the powers-that-be along North Avenue — the Stephens, Skip, Jimmy D — would do something about that, lol.


  35. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Agreed with Rich’s take. What’s the big deal here?


  36. - A. Nonymous - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Does Vamdermyde like to drink and drive?

    Cuz if he does … Watch out.


  37. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Many Conservation Police Officers are outstanding Law Enforcement Officers. However some allow the ambiguous statute to go to their head. I had a conversation once with a CPO who informed me he could search my house for contraband, including my freezer, at any time he chose without a warrant. I told him to stop by any time he chose and i and my attorney would be happy to test the theory. I am glad this is being addressed now before it could go to court and the associated fees.

    As for Todds story i see nothing wrong with what he did i suspect we would all hope that if something similar happened someone woudl lobby on our behalf.

    For those that didn’t know up until August of 2012 Crossbow hunting was restricted tot he disabled so it doesn’t surprise me that some tweaks will need to be made. In this case the keeping it in a case like a firearm when it should be treated like a bow.


  38. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    ===- A. Nonymous - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:37 am:===

    Stay classy, dude.


  39. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    I like how Durkin amended his bill because a 1924 U.S. Supreme Court case said the 4th amendment doesn’t apply to open field beyond a person’s immediate yard.

    Jim, States can always give the people more protections than the U.S. Constitution allows. You should try it sometimes.


  40. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    A major reason for casing hunting guns and crossbows in transit is to prevent drive and gun style hunting methods which provide a huge advantage for the hunter.

    This style of hunting is not viewed as ethical by most outdoorsmen.


  41. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    I think that Todd is basically a good guy but undoubtedly he has ruffled a few feathers in the capitol. This was just an attempt by those on the other side of the gun issue to take a cheap shot.
    DNR do not need to have any suspicion what so ever of a game law violation to come on private property and check out hunters. If they see a vehicle parked along the road and have reason to believe that it belongs to a hunter they can go on private property and seek to find the hunters just to check them out if they feel like it.


  42. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Here are the statutes..

    Officers status.. They are peace officers.

    (520 ILCS 5/1.14) (from Ch. 61, par. 1.14)
    Sec. 1.14. All authorized employees of the Department shall have the power of, and shall be peace officers in the enforcement of the provisions of this Act, including administrative rules, and may carry such weapons as may be necessary to arrest any person resisting arrest”

    Here is the statute in question. Please note the capitalized parts.

    (520 ILCS 5/1.19) (from Ch. 61, par. 1.19)
    Sec. 1.19. All authorized employees of the Department are empowered, PURSUANT TO LAW, to enter all lands and waters to enforce the provisions of this Act. Authorized employees are further empowered to examine all buildings, private or public clubs (EXCEPT DWELLINGS), fish markets, cold storage houses, locker plants, camps, vessels, cars (except sealed railroad cars or other sealed common carrier), conveyances, vehicles, watercraft or other means of transportation or shipping whatsoever, tents, game bags, game coats or other receptacles, and to open and examine any box, barrel, package, or other receptacle in the possession of a common carrier, which they have reason to believe contains wild birds or any part thereof (their nests or eggs), or wild mammals or any part thereof, taken, destroyed, bought, sold or bartered, shipped or held in possession contrary to any of the provisions of this Act, including administrative rules, or that the receptacle containing the same is falsely labeled.
    All authorized employees of the Department shall be given free access to and shall not be hindered or interfered with in making such examination, and any license issued by the Department held by the person preventing such free access or interfering with or hindering such authorized employee shall be subject to confiscation by the Department; and no license or permit of any kind whatsoever shall be issued to such person for the period of one year thereafter.
    AUTHORIZED LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT ARE EMPOWERED TO CONDUCT EXAMINATION OF EQUIPMENT AND DEVICES IN THE FIELD, PURSUANT TO LAW, TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.
    (SOURCE: P.A. 85-152.)


  43. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    from a simple google search.

    “Conservation Police do have some expanded authority to search but this does not include the right to enter and search your home without a warrant. The courts have recognized the unique aspects of enforcing regulations that deal with fishing and hunting. Because most of the State of Illinois is in private ownership, Conservation Police Officers are afforded the authority to enter all lands and waters in this state in order to check for compliance with conservation regulations. Without that authority, there would be no way to effectively protect Illinois’ fish and wildlife”

    I disagree with this.

    Imagine the uproar if it was stated that police in cities which are mostly private proerty are allowed to enter private land except for dwellings, to search for narcotics. Without this authority their would be no way to effectively protect the children.


  44. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    –Because they are enforcing international agreements the 4th amendment does not apply so they can come on your property and search–

    I’d like to say, “you can’t be serious,” but having followed your comments over the years, I know that you are.

    That is just a profound misunderstanding of…… everything.


  45. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    –Imagine the uproar if it was stated that police in cities which are mostly private proerty are allowed to enter private land except for dwellings, to search for narcotics.–

    I’d suggest you not grow weed or cook meth in your back yard.


  46. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    “Imagine the uproar if it was stated that police in cities which are mostly private proerty are allowed to enter private land except for dwellings, to search for narcotics. Without this authority their would be no way to effectively protect the children”

    Conservation Officer’s authority to enter private lands is no different than any other peace officers authority EXCEPT WHEN THEY ARE ENFORCING FISH AND WILDLIFE LAWS.

    Look at the statutes folks.


  47. - Lobo Y Olla - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    –Imagine the uproar if it was stated that police in cities which are mostly private property are allowed to enter private land except for dwellings, to search for narcotics.–

    They can and do. Growing weed in corn fields is as old as the hills. LE can jump in a helecopter in the fall and find those patches of “green” in the amber waves. Legal.


  48. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    The plain view doctrine is an exception to the 4th amendment


  49. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Fifteen years ago, I attended the DNR ‘Hunter Safety Class’ as the ‘adult’ with my little brother, who was then 13.
    The Conservation officer spoke at the end, explaining what they could do. They asserted that DNR Police could come into a private residence and inspect a freezer without a warrant. Whatever the reasoning or justification, I think this conflicts with most of the public’s concept of the 4th Amendment. Their statement rankled me at the time, and raised quite a few hypothetical questions. (What happens if i keep my cocaine packets next to my 100 poached ducks for the freshness of both? Fruit of the Poison tree, etc, and other things I’ve learned as a passer of the State HS Constitution test and avid Law & Order viewer…)
    Thing is, I don’t poach or deal, so I have yet to have an opportunity to test their assertion, and I don’t think it really comes up very often. Time may tell.


  50. - DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    They need to reassign some of the DNR officers to the ILDOL inspections. More often then you think, Illinois labor laws are ignored because of lack of inspectors. It seems the DNR has officers that have to wander around looking for anything to do to justify their jobs. They are probably busy a few weeks each year, then things slow down. Meanwhile public workers work in dangerous conditions, and private sector workers are cheated on their pay. They pay the DNR officers all year anyway, so lets give them something productive to do in the off season.


  51. - Agricola - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Thanks to Leave a Light on George for adding actual laws to the discussion!

    If I might add one more to the library, the other statute that addresses the ability of the Department of Natural Resources to send police officers onto private property:

    (20 ILCS 805/805-530) (was 20 ILCS 805/63a9)
    Sec. 805-530. Agents’ entry on lands and waters. The officers, employees, and agents of the Department, for the purposes of investigation and to exercise the rights, powers, and duties vested and that may be vested in it, may enter and cross all lands and waters in this State, doing no damage to private property.
    (Source: P.A. 91-239, eff. 1-1-00.)


  52. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Good legislation is good legislation, no matter who or where it comes from.

    You can be a bank robber for all I care. If you come up with a plan that helps people or improves our current way of doing things, then I can get behind that plan.

    I may not vote for you. But I can support your plan.

    It sounds like 84 members of the House agree.


  53. - Chicago Publius - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    This is nothing but a shamefull witch-hunt, where people are trying to demonize Todd not because of what he has done, but because of the causes that he espouses. And it’s particularly shameful because the witch hunt seems to be orchstrated by at least one member of the General Assembly, with the happy and stupid complicity of the fourth estate.

    When Kelly Cassidy says that she, an elected member of the General Assembly, is “no different from Todd,” a citizen who is merely exercising his first amendment rights to petition the government, she is either disengenous or woefullly ignorant of some pretty fundamental principles regarding republican (or representative) government.

    While I almost always disagree with Todd’s policy aims, he is an earnest advocate who acts with integrity and honesty. These pot shots — which only embarass and belittle the pot shooters — won’t change that.


  54. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    Agricola,

    That is kind of the point to the bill. It’s one thing if a CPO walks up to my stand while i am hunting on my back 40 it’s another if they decide to search my truck in my driveway. You don’t think those statutes aren’t more than a little generous on the police powers?

    Of import is this line from Rich.
    “..even DNR is not opposing the Durkin bill.”


  55. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    “even DNR is not opposing the Durkin bill, which will require a warrant before conservation officers can enter someone’s house or yard.”

    That’s because that is well established law anyway. You are protected in home and it’s curtilage from unreasonable search without a warrant.


  56. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    “The plain view doctrine is an exception to the 4th amendment”

    Yes it is, it also states the police have to be in a place they have a legal right to be when they observe something in plain view


  57. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Leave a light on George

    “Conservation Officer’s authority to enter private lands is no different than any other peace officers authority EXCEPT WHEN THEY ARE ENFORCING FISH AND WILDLIFE LAWS.

    So if a police officer was enforcing say sexual assault laws the search would be illegal but, the fish and wildelife laws are more important.


  58. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    While we are at it, I would love to see a bill expanding the “harvesting” of Geese….Especially at Lake Springfield. They are not migritory waterfowl there, just a pain in the rear.


  59. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    @ Fed up. Try reading what I wrote.


  60. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    George,you wrote except when enforcing fish and wildlife laws so Fish and Wildlife laws are more important than any other law? get serious


  61. - David Ormsby - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    It’s encouraging to see the House act so swiftly, forcefully, and overwhelmingly to alleviate the injustice inflected on bow hunters.

    Such bi-partisan concern for justice under the law is touching.


  62. - vole - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    The heck with the law. The dude displayed poor sportsmanship all around. I have no respect for his using an ATV and a crossbow, let alone carrying a loaded crossbow on an ATV, in the pursuit of game.


  63. - John Boch - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    It is clear that the anti-gun community in Illinois is frustrated by Todd Vandermyde’s great success and effectiveness as a lobbyist in Illinois. Unable to rebut him on the issues in a public forum in Springfield or in the court of public opinion, they are left trying to sully his name with this cheap personal attack.

    They thought they had something with a copy of the police report where the CPOs wrote that TV had a “very aggravated and disrespectful tone” before they ticketed him. In other words, Mr. Vandermyde failed to welcome their warrantless intrusion onto private property with sufficient vigor. Big deal.

    Rich, you’re right. This is little more than a witch hunt - and more than a little hypocrisy.

    John


  64. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    vole

    I am curious how you get your game out of the woods?? I usually strap it on to the 4 wheeler. As for the Crossbow it’s perfectly legal and no different than hunting with a Bow.

    I will say i wouldn’t have left the bolt on the string on a 4 wheeler however i suspect Todd learned his lesson on that one.


  65. - Todd - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Vole– i use an ATV to get to my stand instead of a 20 minute hike. And when I do bag a deer to haul it out. I don’t “hunt” off of it


  66. - vole - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Bunch of political insiders siding with their own.


  67. - vole - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    A twenty minute walk would have done you good.


  68. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Witch hunt? It’s just one story in the Sun-Times.

    It’s not like they wrote that Todd shares a cabin or tent with another dude on hunting trips.

    That kind of thing is big news to Sun-Times ace political reporter Korecki (wink, wink, I get it).

    Todd’s a big boy, I’m sure he’s holding up a-ok.

    And again, I have no problem with trying to change a law that you disagree with, especially if you’ve been ticketed for it. That’s kind of a Schoolhouse Rock sort of thing, isn’t it? Basic democracy.


  69. - BehindTheScenes - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    So the Illinois lobster for the National Rifle Association was hunting with a crossbow? Seriously? Gosh, I love irony…


  70. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Behind the scenes,
    “So the Illinois lobster for the National Rifle Association was hunting with a crossbow? Seriously? Gosh, I love irony… ”

    No irony, just differnt seasons for rifle and bow hunting. Must be a city slicker


  71. - Todd - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Behind– the bow season runs 3 months. I’ve been bow hunting for 20 years. I currently don’t have a place to gun hunt deer.


  72. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    === In this case, the DNR Officers , by their own police report, were on private land searching to see if there were any violations. They had no probable cause to be there, they had no search warrant issued by a Judge to be there, they didn’t even have anyone complaining about any Wild Life Code violations ===

    This is what I was looking for. I hadn’t actually seen the initial police report so wasn’t able to discern what caused the DNR to be on the properly itself. It would have been different if they had seen the activity from public property but, running around on private property looking for a violator - sheesh, why is it necessary to get more law to address this? It is a clear instance of a constitutional violation, no? Frankly, the case should have just been tossed out altogether.


  73. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    === - Todd - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Behind– the bow season runs 3 months. I’ve been bow hunting for 20 years. I currently don’t have a place to gun hunt deer ===

    How far would you be willing to travel to gun hunt deer? Not an idle question.


  74. - TCB - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    @Dan

    I’ll answer for Todd. Far.


  75. - Birdseed - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Conservation police officers running around on private property without any reason to be suspicious is not new. Happens all the time. It pretty much ruins a bow hunt when they walk up to your tree stand. They have a lot of power - and they know it.


  76. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Birdseed

    I’m just happy when they remember to shut the gates to the pasture.


  77. - Birdseed - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Mason

    Agreed.


  78. - blue collar - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    If you are the landowner, or live on the parcel (tenant) you do not have to have a fishing license. If your kids who do not live there visit, they must have a license. Length and quantity laws are applied even on privately owned and privately stocked ponds.


  79. - Sized - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Dan I use to go to mt Vernon


  80. - blue collar - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    He made Ryan @1:31. A big AMEN. The geese at Shabbona Lake make it impossible to walk anywhere without totally messing up your shoes and good luck cleaning them off when you return to your vehicle. Thin them by 75% in my opinion. Rats with feathers.


  81. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Blue Collar

    Afraid there really is no cure on the state level. Canadians and all other wild geese are Federally Regulated. Maybe Durbin can help you?


  82. - BehindTheScenes - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    ‘fed up’ & Todd…
    Darn, ya got me. Although there are cows who roam the field between me and the city limits. Never hunted with a long gun or bow.


  83. - Todd - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    My wife wishes there was a cow season


  84. - paris island gunny - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    “It is against the law to transport loaded weapons on an ATV or vehicle because it is dangerous and people doing that are typically gaining an advantage or what we like to call poaching.”

    Exactly. The fact that we are seriously even having a conversation over a guy who chose to drive a off-road vehicle on bumpy terrain with a loaded uncased crossbow on it, and whether he deserved a ticket or not, is problematic in itself.
    This gentleman has no excuse to not know the laws if he has been bowhunting for 20 years, and on top of that is the NRA law maker representative for this state.

    The reason the DNR copper can go onto private property is that if they could not, anyone could poach with total impunity on the 98.5% of Illinois territory that is private land at will. The reason there are still animals to see and hunt is because private acreage is subject to hunting controls. Its like this in every state, and without cops enforcing hunting laws you end up with people wearing camo and no blaze orange shooting each other and local residents accidentally, and wiping out animal species due to daily harvesting.

    I think the real unspoken worry here is that this is a class B Misdemeanor involving a weapon used to to kill things, which can prevent the convicted person from passing background checks.

    Also the issue of the complaint by the officers that the NRA fellow was hostile to them doing their sworn jobs does not reflect well on the NRA. While I respect the NRA, its not good for the NRA representer to insult or run afoul of law enforcement. All military and Law Enforcers risk their lives and should be treated with respect and gratitude.


  85. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 5:48 pm:

    Todd and I have disagreed many times throughout the years.

    But I agree with him on the First Amendment.

    I do think he erred in implying Marriage Equality is a “pet issue.”

    There is no such thing as a trivial Constitutional issue, at least none that come to mind.


  86. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    @paris island gunny, you have a flair for greatly exaggerating things. Some Game Wardens are decent fellows and deserve respect. Others let their power go to their heads and enjoy hassling law abiding hunters. Without hunters, whose license fees support wildlife habitat and the salaries of conservation officers, wildlife would be in bad shape. Hunters are a big ally of wildlife. The vast majority of hunters are law abiding sportsmen and if they become aware of suspected poaching they contact law enforcement. Hunters and law enforcement ideally work together to the benefit of wildlife. With some game wardens, every hunter is regarded with suspicion.


  87. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 11:36 pm:

    W


  88. - Late to the Party - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 5:59 am:

    I have a crossbow that I built from a kit in high school shop class. It is quite powerful but not very accurate (or maybe its just that I can’t shoot very well). I never knew about transporting a cross bow in a case. I know that I never had a case for mine. It left the high school shop class out in the open. And I’ve moved several times since then, with the crossbow uncased. Horrors.


  89. - Lampshade Hat guy - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 6:59 pm:

    @latetotheparty -

    you can possess a bow or crossbow uncased if you are not in a motor vehicle, but it should be disabled or have the bowstring removed so you cant immed fire it accidentally. Towns or cities may have local laws that apply and are different.
    You also cannot do anything with it that would be disorderly conduct or alarming or disturbing to a reasonable person (ie- carry your crossbow into Chucky Cheese).

    A legal hunter can openly carry bows, crossbows, shotguns or rifles loaded and ready to use, but the requirement is that you cannot DRIVE AROUND in a motor vehicle with the weapon uncased or ready to fire. We are a now sadly a couch potato society and some hunters want to take a deer, but dont want to actually waddle miles into the forest, exert themselves and get sweated up.

    Safe transport of weapons is everyones responsibility and its a serious one. The cops in this case reportedly found the person riding with a not only uncased but loaded crossbow according to the reporting. If it never occurred to you that you cannot walk around town randomly with uncased weapons in plain view, it probably should have. Even the current law only permits holstered and concealed weapons.

    I have some sympathy for this particular guy for the lone fact that he is on private property and if you are misguided enough to ride around with a loaded crossbow on a ATV the only one you are likely to hurt is yourself and those allowing you to do this in their proximity.

    This is no different than the guy at the range ’sweeping’ other people with their muzzle as they turn around to chat with their buddies. Its unsafe and can result in negligent injuries or fatalities unless you practice safe skills. This person does not need a fine, he needs to be sent to a court mandated DNR safe weapons handling class.

    It seems like- if the report is all true, and thats open for review, this person clearly should know Ill. hunting law given his job, and he simply did not want to abide by the hunting rules, and tends to indicate that by his temperment when apprehended.


  90. - Retired IDNR - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:31 pm:

    Director Miller needs fired - DNR has been a joke under his reign.


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