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Conservation officers in the bi-state area staying busy this hunting season

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — As firearm deer hunting heats up in Illinois and Iowa, conservation officers in both states are staying busy, with one death reported in Iowa and multiple citations issued in Illinois.

State and local authorities are investigating what a deputy says is the suspicious death of a hunter in south-central Iowa.

The Appanoose County Sheriff's Office says the body of 31-year-old Curtis Ross, of Cedar Falls, was found in a remote area of the county on Saturday. He'd been reported missing earlier in the day.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Keith Glosser said Monday that after an autopsy is completed the case likely will be investigated as a homicide. Glosser declined to provide any more specifics about the case but did say that no arrest has been reported.

Meantime, across the Mississippi River, Illinois conservation police issued more than 50 citations and warnings for illegal deer hunting this month.

The Department of Natural Resources says a major focus of the Nov. 8-9 detail was on unlawful feeding of white-tailed deer and hunting in baited areas.

Enforcement in Adams and Pike counties focused on property managed by Barry-based Hadley Creek Outfitters . Conservation police say that 6,400 acres in the two counties was illegally baited for hunting.

Bait included mineral licks and piled or scattered corn. It is illegal to provide bait to attract or lure white-tailed deer for hunting.

A phone message left at Hadley Creek Outfitters was not returned.

Police issued 46 citations and seven written warning. Other citations involved firearms transport, untagged deer, hunting permits and more.