A white-tailed deer.
SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois Conservation Police investigation into the “Wired Arrow Outdoors” television show has resulted in the company’s owners, pro-staff members and guests being charged with 134 wildlife violations, including the taking of 18 deer illegally in Illinois.
After viewing videos of hunts that aired on the Sportsman Channel or were uploaded to www.YouTube.com, Conservation Police determined that hunting and filming were conducted on properties in the Chicago region without permission from landowners, making hunting permits invalid. Hunting and filming allegedly took place on properties owned by several private companies, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the village of Lansing.
During the investigation, it was determined the pro-staff members had unlawfully harvested a total of 18 white-tailed deer, including 10 bucks and eight does, nearly all of which were aired either on the Sportsman Channel or the Pursuit Channel. On Sept. 16, 2014, a joint operation involving several state and federal agencies was conducted to interview all pro-staff members who had previously hunted in Illinois. Cooperating agencies included the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Seized during the joint operation were eight unlawfully taken white-tailed deer heads, one set of antlers attached to a skullcap, and one unlawfully-taken turkey fan, beard, and spurs. Charges include violations documented from the 2012 and 2013 deer seasons.
“The Illinois Conservation Police will aggressively investigate whenever someone violates hunting laws, violates another’s private property rights, or otherwise tries to exploit Illinois’ natural resources at the expense of law-abiding hunters,” said Rafael Gutierrez, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Chief of Law Enforcement.
“Hunting is a great privilege to be cherished and respected,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “Those who violate laws intended to protect Illinois’ wildlife resources and take game illegally will face the full consequences of the law.”
The names of those charged include:
- David T. Brugger, co-owner of Wired Arrow, 42 violations
- Jessica E. Stoner, staff, 10 violations
- Ryan T. Ederer, co-owner of Wired Arrow, 39 violations
- Nathan C. Fahndrich, staff, 21 violations
- Joseph M. Cater, staff, six violations
- Wade R. Childs, staff, six violations
- Jeremy F. Howard, staff, four violations
- Michael W. Porter, guest, three violations
- Susan J. Porter, guest, three violations