URBANA — Two area men are due in court next month following their arrests for wildlife violations at the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve.
Illinois Conservation Police say the men used a spotlight on a deer and attempted to shoot it from a road at night.
Alexander L. Bonelli-Nirider, 22, who listed an address in the 0-100 block of Fountain Valley, Rantoul; and Evan H. Spurlock, 22, who listed an address in the 3300 block of West Artesian Avenue, Armstrong, have been charged with:
— two counts of harassing an animal with light shining from a vehicle.
— one count of taking birds or mammals along a highway.
— one count of hunting on another person’s land without permission.
— one count of unlawful transportation of a weapon.
— one count of hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
— one count of unlawful hunting at night.
In addition, Bonelli-Nirider was charged with two counts of hunting without a valid license and one deer hunting permit violation. Spurlock was also charged with one count of hunting without a valid license and two deer hunting permit violations.
According to a conservation police report, the arrests were made following a year-and-a-half-long investigation.
The first incident took place at the Middle Fork preserve in rural Penfield in November 2012. Police say a conservation police officer watched Bonelli-Nirider and Spurlock spotlighting a deer and trying to shoot it from the road at night.
When the officer tried to stop the two men, they sped away across a field and through timber, eluding arrest.
According to the Champaign County circuit clerk’s website, there have been 21 conservation police charges filed so far in 2014. Bonelli-Nirider and Spurlock account for 20 of those.