Devin Deckman, 64, identified as Wonder Lake hunter accused of baiting, illegally shooting deer

Fourth citation since 2000s and second for baiting in just past two months, police say

For the second time in just weeks, Devin Deckman, a 64-year-old Wonder Lake man, is accused of illegally baiting, shooting and killing a deer this month in McHenry County, Illinois Conservation Police Officer Todd Semenik said.

Deckman was identified Tuesday by Semenik as the man who allegedly used glaring baiting techniques to kill a 12-point buck after legal shooting hours, leading to a slew of violations that resulted in a $10,000 civil penalty being handed to Deckman.

“It was egregious, the way he was baiting. It wasn’t just a salt block out there,” Semenik said in an interview.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Deckman declined to comment.

Another officer cited Deckman for similar allegations in December, Semenik said, and McHenry County court records indicate Deckman pleaded guilty to a conservation violation Jan. 12. In all, Deckman has drawn Illinois Conservation Police attention four times since 2012, with numerous citations given to him for breaking state hunting rules, Semenik said.

“This wasn’t about meat. He’s a trophy hunter,” Semenik said.

Deckman could be prohibited from receiving hunting privileges in the state for years, depending on how lawyers and the court system handle the latest case, Semenik said.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office is leading the prosecution.

The allegations faced by Deckman include unlawful take of whitetail deer, deer hunting by the aid of bait, unlawfully hunting between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise, unlawfully archery hunting within 100 yards of an inhabited dwelling, destroying real property of another while hunting and failure to tag deer immediately upon kill.

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.