Waterfowl Industry Gets a Black Eye

December 10, 2010 by  

After years of rumors and speculation, a federal grand jury returned 23-count felony indictment today charging Jeff Foiles of Foiles Migrators.  This is a huge black eye in the waterfowl industry.  Jeff Foiles, a well known representative of the waterfowl industry, is looked up upon by many and is affiliated with many products and companies.   Whether proven guilty or innocent, these indictments are indicative of all the forum chatter the past couple years of many illegal acts taking place out of that camp.   It’s also another reason for anti-hunting groups to show the non-hunting public what the industry is about.  And with that, it’s a terrible shame.

From the DOJ website:

Professional Duck Hunter Charged with Guiding Illegal Waterfowl Hunts in Central Illinois
WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Springfield, Ill., returned a 23-count felony indictment today charging Jeffrey B. Foiles with conspiracy, wildlife trafficking, and making false writings in connection with the illegal sale of guided waterfowl hunts, the Department of Justice announced today.

The indictment charges Foiles, 53, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and the federal false writings statute, 12 substantive violations of the Lacey Act, and ten counts of making false writings in a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell wildlife taken in violation of federal law or regulation. The act defines the sale of wildlife to include the sale of guiding services for the illegal taking of wildlife.

The indictment alleges that from 2003 to 2007, Foiles conspired with others to knowingly transport and sell ducks and geese that had been hunted and killed in violation of federal laws protecting migratory birds. In particular, Foiles is alleged to have sold guided waterfowl hunts at the Fallin’ Skies Strait Meat Duck Club in Pike County, Ill., for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing ducks and geese in excess of hunters’ individual daily bag limits. Foiles and his associates are also alleged to have falsified hunting records at the club in order to conceal the excesses, and to have filmed the illegal hunts for inclusion in commercial hunting videos.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The maximum penalty for a felony violation of the Lacey Act or the federal false writing statute includes up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the government of Canada. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section.

The duck club is currently up for sale online.  You can see the listing here.


23 Comments on "Waterfowl Industry Gets a Black Eye"

  1. Steve Wilson on Fri, 10th Dec 2010 7:35 pm 

    Is anyone actually surprised? Many of these so-called “professional” hunters and TV “hunters” are just a big joke. Just out for the money… sad.

    The duck hunting sport has turned into an industry and a business. Nothing else. If you don’t agree, just watch some of the hunting shows on TV these days. REALLY watch. Nothing but sponsors this and sponsors that. Products this and products that.

    Steve Wilson,
    Ontario, Canada

  2. dave brown on Wed, 15th Dec 2010 2:47 pm 

    i do agree steve i have been hunting for 30 years with my dad and brothers to put food on the table cheep not to show off. My life is lower middle class so every penny counts. the problem falls in morales, weather you are rich or poor. lets hope that the maority of the hunters keep themselves in check for the sake of hunting

    dave brown
    wilmington delaware

  3. brian on Thu, 16th Dec 2010 12:03 am 

    if you got paid to hunt and just for 3 seconds to name your sponsor you would to i garrentee it. this is a job for most people that call themselves a professional waterfowl hunter or quote on quote TV hunters. and yes they are out there for money cause it is THERE job. you got your job and there not telling you how to do your job and calling it a joke. so your saying steve that if you got paid a few thousand to make a tv show and mention lets just say war eagle boats or something you wouldnt say well thanks to our war eagle boat we got thru this today. and probably not to mention a free boat. im pretty sure its easier to talk smack from the outside. but if you were in there shoes you would talk there same talk.

  4. rob on Thu, 16th Dec 2010 6:07 pm 

    why would he shoot a duck 3 times on the way down practicing his shooting skills, so the duck was hamburger by the time it hit the ground??? wanton waste, that was the last video I ever saw of his…. I was offended he was abusing the resource in that way.

  5. clayton on Fri, 17th Dec 2010 7:51 pm 


    Pull your head out for a minute and look at the whole picture. Just because it’s a “job” doesn’t give him the right to violate the same laws the rest of us observe. If, and it still is an “if”, Jeff indeed did knowingly & willfully violate these laws as a hunt club owner, outfitter and guide, it is a poor reflection on all of us that actually do this for compensation in a responsible & legal manner. Very, very few individuals have every made a sustainable living as a “duck guide” and you have to sell a lot of $10 videos to make anything that amounts to anything. The entire waterfowling community or industry shouldn’t put it’s reputation on the line for one prominent individual that possibly chose that they were above the law and the “sport” as a whole. That’s the “smack” from the inside!!!!

  6. Gregg Brooks on Fri, 17th Dec 2010 9:14 pm 

    I’m glad the feds take these guys down! IF I had the money to own or lease a spot,and controll it like that, I might! I love duck hunting! Love working the birds! Love the thrill of making the shot! But being from MN, I cant do the manipulation of the crop lands via flooding ect. I have to move to where the birds are! I got to go out and decoy ducks! They could probly not have put out a single decoy and still got there limits every day! I hate seeing it when we don’t even get the oppertunity to see so many ducks here anymore! And all they do is kill ducks! Raise some! MN don’t raise enough any more! I see nest’s in the fall while Pheasant hunting all the time that didn’t hatch!

  7. randy on Mon, 20th Dec 2010 5:01 pm 

    Screw you foiles there are…where i should say so many people that looked up to. I hope that you never find the people that stole your calls and bands you dont deserve a single one of them.

  8. Quacker Attacker on Thu, 23rd Dec 2010 5:23 pm 

    Remember guys, innocent until proven guilty. One more thing to keep in mind. Even if he is found guilty, everyone, EVERYONE, has made mistakes or had poor judgement at one time or another. It’s not the mistake, but what you do after the mistake that really matters.

  9. davenport on Fri, 24th Dec 2010 3:47 am 

    If is a pettu strong word, just looking from a business stand point why would a guy risk every thing hes done by breaking the law,from that stand point the (if) doesnot make sense to me to lose what you dbeen working for, sometimes the gov goes a little overboard with there charges ,kinda looks like one more thing taken away, a little at a time, and then poof its all gone. my 02

  10. Ted on Sun, 26th Dec 2010 1:29 pm 

    Commercialized slaughter of waterfowl for financial gain. I thought that was outlawed almost one hundred years ago. Shame on you foiles and your associates.

  11. STAN on Tue, 28th Dec 2010 1:18 pm 


  12. Reese on Wed, 29th Dec 2010 6:19 pm 

    Fot the last two days i went goose hunting with jeff foiles. Jeff is one of the nices guys iv ever met in the waterfowl industry he doesnt do this stuff all the time!! All the feds are doing is using him to so all the waterfowls in the US what they will do if someone goes over there limit and get caught doing it. All its is drama being spread around, so hear me up foiles is not who you think he is!!!!

  13. Dave on Tue, 18th Jan 2011 12:10 pm 

    I have been hunting ducks the hard way for over 45 years and continue to do so enjoying my time and always having fun regardless of the number of ducks. In agreement with Steve I have no use for these bogus TV Hunters (duck, turkey and deer) and “canned” hunts for non-hunters to go home and tell all their friends about the big hunter they are. Whoopee took a 14 point buck within a 12 foot game fence over a feed plot with a guide to tell me which one I could shoot and when to pull the trigger.

    Stan – if convicted he will likely be finished hunting migratory birds for life – hopefully anyway!

  14. Danny on Thu, 20th Jan 2011 2:10 pm 

    He was supposed to apprear in court today for his arraignment. Has anyone heard anything?

  15. GoosehunterMT. on Sat, 22nd Jan 2011 7:08 pm 

    If any of you Foiles’ haters have ever bought a Fallin Skies video, your a hypocrit! We like to shoot and kill waterfowl. He makes a great video and is a good guy. I hunted with him years ago. The hunt wasn’t the greatest, but he was a great guy and treated us very well. He bought us lunch in fact. So, fellow waterfowlers…. Dont be jealous of a guy making a living and being able to hunt to make such a living. It is a lot of work, long hours and traveling to do what he does.

  16. afewducksleft on Sun, 23rd Jan 2011 9:44 pm 

    You really can’t judge a guy buy one day, but the feds have been watching him and keeping files from 02 and if not farther back. I just like how the people backing him think its just from one time. He’s been doing it for years and it finally caught up to him on a pretty good scale. Think there in denial, just give an criminal enough rope and he’ll hang himself. Some may say he’s not a criminal, but he’s criminal charges brought against him. I think it good there doing this to him he wanted the high profile name nows he’s got it. I believe if you do something wrong you should pay, so if is found guilty he needs to serve his time. just because he’s got a name he breathes the same air as you and I do and if we got caught you know dam well we would serve time. So to all that know what a limit means have a good one and happy hunting. p.s. keep it in the limits we don’t want all the drama

  17. Danny on Mon, 24th Jan 2011 11:34 am 

    To GoosehunterMT: I’ve never met him and up until this point never judged him. Hell, I’d love to hunt for a living. But, what about the laws he supposedly broke? Just because you make a living doing something doesn’t allow you a special pass on the rules. Do long-haul truck drivers (who work long hours and travel a lot)get to drive drunk? Do they get to speed? Do they get to flaunt the rules of the road just because they have to get a load somewhere in order to make a living? No. If they get caught, they get punished. Foiles is no different.

  18. mark on Thu, 27th Jan 2011 5:41 pm 

    why did the feds allow him to do it for so long? Reckon they weren’t too concerned about our wildfowl huh?

  19. pb on Tue, 22nd Feb 2011 11:50 am 

    I have to scratch for every duck or goose i get and he can just go out and kill thousands. he deserves what hes going to get.

  20. Ron on Thu, 24th Feb 2011 6:04 pm 

    When I heard him say on one of his videos how they had slaughtered the mallards that day, I knew he was an a-hole and not a sportsman

  21. Kevin on Mon, 28th Mar 2011 4:45 pm 


    I used to be on the Foiles bandwagon. I thought he sold good calls, and produced OK videos. I’m man enough to admit it.


    I cannot abide that Jeff and his staff have known for about two years that this was coming.

    I cannot abide the plethora of charges and the manner of them.

    I cannot abide that when someone mentions the matter in any of his sponsored forums on his website, that person is banned and that thread closed.

    I cannot abide that any of his staff stand by him when some of them (probably not any of his current staff) either ratted him out or were complicit in these alleged violations.

    This was a long time coming, and the spanking has just begun.

  22. Terry Hungerford on Fri, 13th May 2011 9:12 am 

    I have meet jeff at the harrisburg sports man show. nice guy. but with all he has going for him why? would he do what he did .I looked up to him being a waterfowl hunter myself. for me its not about the kill. its about being in the outdoors and have a good time with my son. and showing him the right way do things.

  23. Tom Baldwin on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 3:02 pm 

    I’ve been waterfowling for years & this particular outdoor activity has become extremely commercial along with many other outdoor venue’s. Sadly, it’s about the money & pulling the trigger regardless of ethics & the outdoor experience. I hope he is punished to the fullest extent of the law. The outdoor experience is turning into big business & we as sportsman need to have a wake up call & keep everything in balance. The outdoor shows from waterfowling to elk hunting for the most part is about the money. How many of us get the opportunity to hunt & fish is some of the most productive places in the world? Keep it simple

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