HomeOutdoorsNewsFormer Cardinals Pitcher, Mayor Charged For Luring Deer With Bait: Report

Former Cardinals Pitcher, Mayor Charged For Luring Deer With Bait: Report

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Ralph Navarro

The Illinois Conservation Police recently issued 29 citations and 22 written warnings to eight people for violating deer hunting laws. Of the eight people, those cited included former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and manager of the Gateway Grizzlies, Danny Cox. In addition, Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser was also one of the accused.

Cox and seven others are charged with baiting deer. Baiting is an illegal practice in the state due to ethical issues and the risk of spreading disease. They’re also charged with giving out-of-state hunters permits and tags.

Now, the accused will have to appear before a judge in the St. Clair County circuit court. According to Illinois DNR spokeswoman Jayette Bolinski, conservation police officers with the department issued the citations on Nov. 18. It was also on the first day of this year’s firearm deer-hunting season.

According to reports, the officers went to adjacent properties owned by Speiser and Cox to check on possible illegal baiting. They first got wind of the illegal activity after they used an Illinois State Police airplane for aerial surveillance days earlier. Now, reports reveal that nearly two-thirds of the violations happened on Cox’s land.

“(Police) discovered nine baited deer stands or blinds with corn, molasses and mineral salt with trail cameras at each location,” said Bolinski.

“In addition, after cross-referencing IDNR records with hunting-permit records and addresses, police determined numerous individuals had harvested deer without proper permits and tags.

Former MLB player, city official busted for violating multiple deer hunting laws

She added: “Police also determined that Danny Cox allegedly provided permits to out-of-state hunters that were actually listed as Illinois hunters.”

Reports indicate that the former pitcher was issued six citations for failure to wear appropriate hunting clothing. He was also accused of using bait for deer, firearm deer-hunting with bait, the harvest of an 8-point buck with the help of bait, and harvesting a 10-point buck with bait. He also used someone else’s archery deer permit.

In addition, officers issued citations to Cox’s sons, Kyle and Kamdan, who were hunting on his property.

The use of deer baiting is illegal in more than 25 states, which also includes Illinois. The use of bait violates the ethical “fair chase” standard, giving hunters an unfair advantage. According to Bolinski, when they use corn, mineral salt, and other forms of bait, all they simply have to do is wait for the deer. In addition, it can also contribute to the spread of disease.

“We also discourage the use of bait because it causes deer to congregate at a food source, and that can contribute to the spread of diseases and make it more difficult to manage the herd and keep it healthy,” she said.

Some states’ wildlife populations also have issues with chronic wasting disease. CWD is a deadly neurological illness that occurs in white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose.