‘Wired Arrow TV’ Owners, Pro-Staff, Charged With Illegal Harvest of 18 Deer

I just received the press release pasted below into this blog from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

I've never seen the Wired Arrow TV show.  I don't know any of the people involved and really can't even tell you if it's a show that can be seen in the Chicagoland market.  But when the press release came across my desk, it really saddened me.

I've been involved in law enforcement for 30 years.  I am a believer in the statement that one is innocent until proven guilty.  But too, I also believe that investigations that lead to arrests like those mentioned in the press release are pretty solid.   I am quite confident that justice will prevail but not without leaving a black mark on the sport of hunting.

Besides having a law enforcement background, I've been involved in outdoors media for about 45 years.  I am a producer and host of an outdoors TV Show that airs here in Chicagoland.   Illinois Outdoors TV has been on the air for 19 years, 52 weeks a year.  As the producer of the show and being in front of the camera, I know that my actions are being scrutinized by many.  I've had my share of emails and letters from viewers analyzing what I do.  The criticisms come from how I hold a fish to complaints on photos of hunters smiling while showing off a harvested goose.

All I can say is they'll have a problem if they stepped outside the law.  At all times everyone should be law abiding.  But when you're in the public eye, you need to be very careful of everything you do.  And as for the Illinois DNR, I thank  you for your continuing efforts to protect our resources and privileges to hunt and fish.

Here is the DNR release that came out yesterday.

SPRINGFIELD, IL – 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, 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 on the Wired Arrow program.  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,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “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 and a list of violations follows: 

David T. Brugger - Co-owner of Wired Arrow - 7 Counts of Hunting without Permission, 7 Counts Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 7 Counts of Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Unlawful Attempt to Take Whitetail Deer, 2 Counts Failure to Report Harvest by 10:00 PM, 1 Count Unlawful Possession of Unlawfully Taken Whitetail Deer or Parts Thereof, 6 Counts Accessory Hunting Without Permission, 6 Counts Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 5 Counts Accessory To the Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer. Total Violations (42) 

Jessica E. Stoner - Pro-Staff - 1 Count Hunting without a License, 1 Count Hunting without a Habitat Stamp, 1 Count Hunting without Permission, 2 Counts Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Unlawful Attempt to Take Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Accessory Hunting without Permission, 1 Count Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer. Total Violations (10) 

Ryan T. Ederer - Co-Owner of Wired Arrow - 6 Counts Hunting without Permission, 6 Counts Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 4 Counts Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 2 Counts Failure to Report Harvest by 10:00 PM, 2 Counts Hunting without a Habitat Stamp, 6 Counts Accessory Hunting without Permission, 6 Counts Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 7 Counts Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer. Total Violations (39)  Pending Falsification charges through the Attorney General's Office. 

Nathan C. Fahndrich - Pro-Staff - 3 Counts Hunting without Permission, 3 Counts Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 2 Counts Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 2 Counts Hunting without a Habitat Stamp, 4 Counts Accessory Hunting without Permission, 4 Counts Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 2 Counts Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Accessory Unlawful Attempt to Take Whitetail Deer.  Total Violations (21) 

Joseph M. Cater - Pro-Staff - 1 Count Hunting Without Permission, 1 Count Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Accessory Hunting Without Permission, 1 Count Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer.  Total Violations (6) 

Wade R. Childs - Pro-Staff - 2 Counts Accessory Hunting Without Permission, 2 Counts Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 2 Counts Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer.  Total Violations (6) 

Jeremy F. Howard - Pro-Staff - 1 Count Hunting Without Permission, 1 Count Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer, 1 Count Hunting without a Habitat Stamp. Total Violations (4) 

Michael W. Porter - Guest - 1 Count Hunting without Permission, 1 Count Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer. Total Violations (3) 

Susan J. Porter - Guest - 1 Count Accessory to Hunting without Permission, 1 Count Accessory Hunting with Invalid Archery Deer Permits, 1 Count Accessory Unlawful Take of Whitetail Deer. Total Violations (3) 

Deer Seized as a result of this investigation: 

(1) 10 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Porter) 
(1) 10 Point Whitetail Buck head frozen (Howard) 
(1) 8 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Cater) 
(1) 10 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Fahndrich) 
(1) 8 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Ederer) 
(1) 12 Point Gross Boone and Crockett Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Ederer) 
(1) 8 Point Whitetail Antler Skull Plate (Brugger) 
(1) 11 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Brugger) 
(1) 8 Point Whitetail Buck shoulder mount (Brugger) 
(1) Turkey Fan, Beard, and Spurs (Brugger) 

Assisting Agencies include the Michigan DNR, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Union Pacific Railroad Police, Cook County Forest Preserve Police, and the Lansing Police Department.

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