By Kurt Erickson
SPRINGFIELD — The face of Illinois’ outdoor programs through much of
the 1990s was more than a little red earlier this spring.
Brent Manning, who served as director of the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources under former governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan,
voluntarily paid a $75 fine for violating the same state hunting laws he
once helped enforce.
“It was an absolute honest mistake,” Manning said earlier this week.
“I simply forgot about it.”
Manning, widely respected as director of the agency and who now
serves as director of the Du Page County Forest Preserve, said he was at
his cabin in Schuyler County on Easter weekend when he decided to take a
walk through the woods in search of turkey.
Although he has a lifetime hunting license, he had failed to buy a
$15 stamp allowing him to hunt for the wild bird.
When his hunt ended, Manning, a member of the Illinois Outdoors Hall
of Fame, turned himself in.
“When I realized what I’d done, I called the conservation police and
told them to write me a ticket,” Manning said. “I called the officer
right when I got out of the field. I screwed up.”
Although he had to pay a $75 fine, Manning said he did bag a turkey.
“I’m personally sorry it happened. Ethics are what you do when you
are by yourself. I wanted to make sure there was no question in regard
to my ethics,” he added.
Kurt Erickson can be contacted at (217) 782-1249 or
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