Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

State game warden pleads guilty to hunting violation

Associated Press
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 there."

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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