The case against a hunter charged with illegally catching a fish with a modified slingshot has been dismissed and the hunter says the case allowed him to enter evidence showing his device harvests game humanely. John Huffer, better known as Chief A.J., told WMAY Springfield he was wrongfully charged in the Franklin County case and there was pressure to plead guilty. “They tell me I had to go to trial and how it would cost me a lot more to plead innocent and all this and when I went to trial they tapped out,” Huffer said. Huffer said he caught the fish in Kentucky but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was trying to prove he illegally caught the fish in Illinois. Huffer also said a couple of game wardens playing good cop/bad cop. “The one says ‘you did a wrong thing, you did an illegal thing and that makes your slingbow an illegal device’ and he’s reading the Riot Act to me, ‘sign here, you’re guilty,’” Huffer remembered. “And then the other one said ‘now chief, you might have done this by accident. We don’t think you intentionally did this. Check here, you’re guilty.’”
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Huffer said in the trial he was able to prove he didn’t catch the fish in Illinois, but he also proved his so-called slingbow, a modified slingshot that shoots arrows he manufactures in Illinois, harvests larger game humanely by entering video evidence into the court. “They had to look at it. And now they can’t blow me off. Now they can’t say it doesn’t have enough power,” Huffer said. Meanwhile Huffer said he sent a letter to the governor asking for the state to get out of the way so he can create manufacturing jobs in Illinois to make the sling bow. “By harassing me against my slingbow they’re just stopping jobs and income coming into Illinois,” Huffer said. Huffer said he has been trying to get his sling bow recognized by the state of Illinois as a hunting tool with no luck.