Teenage deer hunter admits he made up mountain lion attack
The State Journal-Register
A 14-year-old Pike County deer hunter who claimed he was attacked by a mountain lion has admitted the made up the story.
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 next day.
“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 the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Apparently, it was a fall from his tree stand - not a mountain lion - that caused his injuries, McCloud said.
Jeremiah was taken to the emergency room where he was treated for scratches on his face and released.
“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.”
Illinois Department of Natural Resources 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 would not pursue charges at this point.
“But, 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 hunt and enjoy the outdoors in Pike County that the reports of a mountain lion in the county are untrue.
Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.
A 14-year-old deer hunter said he was attacked by a mountain lion Sunday evening, just a minute’s walk from his family’s Pike County home. His father, a Baptist minister, said his son was fortunate. “If God had not protected that boy, it would have been over."