Young deer hunter admits story about mountain lion attack untrue; he fell out of his hunting tree stand
October 11, 2011
By Chris Young, GateHouse News Service
SPRINGFIELD -- A 14-year-old Pike County deer hunter who claimed
he was attacked by a mountain lion has admitted the story was not
The young hunter, Jeremiah Dice, initially told his parents he
managed to fend off the attack with a knife.
He had been deer hunting just a short distance from his parents’
Pike County home in Baylis, northwest of Pittsfield.
Jeremiah provided a detailed account of the attack and described
a mountain lion to a “t,” his father, Gary Dice, said the day after
the purported attack.
“We now have a written statement from the Dice family that says
they were told by their son Jeremiah that the story about being
attacked by a mountain lion was made up,” said Chris McCloud,
spokesman for theIllinois Department of Natural Resources.
Jeremiah was taken to the emergency room, where he was treated
for scratches on his face and released.
Apparently, it was a fall from his tree stand - not a mountain
lion - that caused his injuries, McCloud said.
“The concern from the boy was that he had apparently fallen out
of his tree stand and he was afraid if he told his parents he would
not be allowed to go hunting by himself,” McCloud said. “So he came
up with that story instead.”
DNR conservation police officers took a report and gathered up
Jeremiah’s torn jacket, scratched cap and his knife. However, the
items were never sent off for DNA testing.
“We had not pursued sending the items off,” McCloud said. “They
came to us.”
McCloud said there are “minor penalties” for filing a false
police report, but said DNR will not pursue charges at this point.
“As a matter of procedure, we are going to forward our
investigation to the Pike County state’s attorney, and they can do
with it as they wish,” he said.
McCloud said it is important for those who enjoy the outdoors in
Pike County to know that the mountain lion story is untrue.
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