October 27, 2006
ALTON, Ill. - A state game warden who taught fellow officers about
waterfowl hunting laws has pleaded guilty to hunting in an area that had
been illegally baited to attract wild geese, a violation of the federal
Migratory Bird Act.
Department of Natural Resources Capt. Mark Ottis has paid a $525 fine
for what is listed is a petty offense. He also resigned an instructor at
the Conservation Police Officers Academy's so-called "duck school" and
as a member of the federal Waterfowl Enforcement Advisory Committee. He
remains on the job in the DNR's Alton office in the metro-east area.
It is illegal to place cut corn or wheat to attract birds to an area
where hunting will occur, said Ottis.
But Ottis said that when he arrived at a duck blind it was dark and
he did not see that wheat seed had been placed on the ground, and his
fellow hunters did not tell him they'd done so.
"I didn't put it out, shoot a bird or anything," he said. "I was
He said as he and the other two hunters were leaving, they were
approached by another game warden. State regulations require the warden
to report a violation of federal waterfowl law to a supervisor. The
warden, according to a state record, reported what had happened to the
department's office in Springfield.
A federal game warden conducted an investigation and Ottis was issued
a citation last month.
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