Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Jan. 20, 2017
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• During the 2016-2017 deer archery season, state wildlife officers Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, and Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, received a Turn In a Poacher call from a bowhunter who had been watching a young buck from a treestand. The hunter called after hearing a nearby gunshot and seeing the buck drop. Shortly after, a man carrying a rifle approached the buck and began dragging it toward a nearby house. Officers Grote and Irish arrived at the house and observed three men butchering the deer behind a barn. During the investigation, officers learned that the head, hide, and guts had already been buried in the woods. The deer and rifle were seized as evidence and the men received several citations. The case is still pending in Morrow County Municipal Court.
• During the 2015 hunting season, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, was given information that a man had been bragging about hunting his parents’ property and killing multiple deer, and not checking them in. Officer Tipton documented the information, but was not able to find any recent history of the man checking any deer in. During the 2016 statewide deer gun season, officer Tipton was on patrol in Champaign County and received additional information about the suspect. At the time, a deputy with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office was riding with him. The officers pulled onto a property and found two hunters coming out of the woods, one of which was the suspect. After questioning the suspect, it was determined the suspect had killed three deer during the 2015 season and two deer during the 2016 season, none of which were game-checked. Champaign County was a two-deer county in 2015 and a two-deer county in 2016. Based on statements made by the suspect, he had taken over his limit in 2015 and was attempting to take over his limit in 2016. The suspect was charged with five counts of failing to permanently check in deer and two counts of taking or attempting to take over the limit of deer. He appeared in court and was ordered to pay over $1,000 in fines and court costs, sentenced to 60 days in jail that were suspended, and ordered to serve 36 months of probation. He also lost his right to hunt for the remainder of 2016 and for all of 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• In August 2016, state wildlife officers Kelsey Brockman, assigned to Erie County, and Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, were checking anglers as they were returning from Lake Erie. The perch fishing was extremely good that day and the officers were making sure that anglers were compliant with daily bag limits. Around 1 p.m., the officers contacted a man who stated that he had caught his limit of yellow perch. The officers entered his boat and counted 30 perch in his cooler. He was asked if he had any more fish on the boat and he stated that he did not. The officers asked if they could look around and were given permission. Further investigation revealed a one-gallon bucket in the boat’s cabin containing an additional 31 yellow perch. The man was issued a citation and ordered to appear in Ottawa County Municipal Court. He was found guilty and ordered to pay $778 in fines and court costs and his fishing license was revoked for one year.
• In November 2016, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was checking anglers at Mazurik Boat Access in Ottawa County when he noticed a boat coming toward his location. Upon seeing the officer, the angler turned his boat around and slowly headed toward the lake. Officer Van Cleve motioned to the man to come back to the dock. Officer Van Cleve climbed aboard the boat to count fish and to check the man’s fishing license. Upon opening the cooler, officer Van Cleve discovered a large black plastic bag that contained 57 yellow perch. Upon searching the rest of the boat, officer Van Cleve discovered another cooler that contained three walleyes, two of which were undersized. The man stated that he actually thought all three were undersized. The angler apologized for his mistakes and stated that the fishing was just too good for him to stop. The man was issued two citations for his violations and paid $476 in fines.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• While on patrol during the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, noticed several hunters cross a set of railroad tracks. The men saw officer Moore and took off into the woods. Officer Moore parked his vehicle and attempted to locate the hunters. As he followed the bootprints across the railroad tracks he heard multiple ATVs traveling through the woods. Officer Moore was able to locate the men shortly thereafter in the woods near the tracks. One of the hunters did not have a valid deer permit and none of them had written permission from the property owner. The landowner was asked but did not want to press charges at the time. The hunter without the valid deer permit was issued a summons, convicted in court, and paid $139 in fines and court costs.
• During the statewide deer gun season, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was contacted by an off-duty police officer who was hunting on private property. During the hunt, the officer spoke to a man hunting on the same property and asked if he had written permission to be there. The man stated that he had been hunting that property since 1983 and did not need written permission. As the man was leaving, the officer recorded the man’s license plate number and forwarded the information to officer Porter. Further investigation revealed that not only was the man a convicted felon and prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm, he also had a prior conviction for hunting without permission. After some time, officer Porter, with the assistance of state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was able to track down the suspect. The man was issued a summons for hunting without written permission and ordered to appear in Jefferson County Court. He was convicted and ordered to pay over $500 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• In October 2015, state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, witnessed a small car approach his surveillance location in Lawrence County. He observed a flashlight shine from the passenger side of the car into a field. The vehicle stopped and the front passenger shot twice from the sunroof of the car. The vehicle then headed down the road and turned around for the occupants to retrieve a deer from the field. Officer Abbott, along with state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, made contact and seized the rifle and the light. The driver and the passenger were each charged with spotlighting, aiding in a wildlife violation, shooting on or across a public roadway, and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. Each defendant was ordered to pay $595 in fines and court costs, and lost their hunting privileges for two years. In addition, the shooter was ordered to serve 30 hours of community service.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• During the youth deer gun season, state wildlife officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, received a call regarding an individual hunting without permission. Officer Schemmel responded to the property and found an individual had shot a deer on a neighboring property earlier that morning and entered onto the property to recover the deer without gaining permission. The following day, wildlife investigator Ryan Garrison was searching the harvest database for deer tagging discrepancies in Auglaize County and found that the neighboring landowner had purchased a hunting license and an either-sex deer permit right after officer Schemmel had spoken with him about the deer that was shot on his property. The neighboring landowner then checked in an antlered deer shortly after he was questioned. Further investigation revealed the neighboring landowner checked in the deer for a family member, who had already harvested an antlered deer for the season. Both individuals were charged with several violations, and were found guilty in Auglaize Municipal Court. They were ordered to pay $477 in fines, lost their hunting privileges for one year, and the deer was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Division of Watercraft
• While patrolling the Ohio River at the Greenup locks and dam, several boats were seen fishing in the restricted area along the lock wall. An officer made contact with the operators of three different vessels in the “Keep Out Area” and vessel safety inspections were conducted. Citations were issued for operating a vessel in a restricted area. Each of the three boat operators paid $139 in fines and court costs.
• While patrolling the Scioto River during duck season, officers observed a small jon boat operating with no visible registration numbers. The officers stopped the vessel and upon contact with the hunters, found that they did have a valid registration and that the tag was just covered up by their hunting blind. The hunters were checked for a valid hunting license and wetland stamps. A vessel safety inspection was conducted, which revealed that they had all of their required safety equipment. A warning was given for not having the tags clearly visible and colors of the registration numbers not contrasting with the boat color.
• While on patrol in Shawnee State Forest during deer gun season, officers observed an individual standing next to his car on a forest road with a .22 caliber rifle. The young man was not wearing any hunter orange and quickly unloaded the firearm when he realized the officers were coming. When the officers made contact with the man, he stated that he was just squirrel hunting. Several warnings were issued as well as a citation for unlawfully hunting any wild animal except deer, waterfowl, or feral swine during the deer gun and deer muzzleloader seasons. The subject was found guilty and paid a $214 fine and court costs.
• While patrolling Burr Oak State Park, an officer observed a driver roll through a stop sign. The officer stopped the driver, explained the violation and gave him a warning.
• While patrolling Salt Fork State Park, an officer received a call from radio dispatch that a male subject operating a pontoon boat had struck another vessel at Salt Fork marina. The male subject was found sitting on his vessel at the marina. The officer conducted an investigation, and cited the operator for operating under the influence of drugs and or alcohol and failure to control. The operator pleaded guilty to all of the charges, received $8,754 in fines, and served three days in a driver intervention program in lieu of a jail sentence.