Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 27, 2017

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• While on patrol at Big Island Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, observed two hunters walking along the marsh. He asked the men about their hunt, and one of the men stated that while neither man had made a kill, he had shot at a goose and missed. While officer Grote checked for licenses, stamps, and proper equipment, the hunter produced three shotgun shells. All three shells were lead shot. The hunter was issued a summons for possession of toxic shot while hunting waterfowl. He was found guilty in Marion Municipal Court and paid $188 in fines and court costs.

• While on patrol at Kokosing Wildlife Area in Knox County, state wildlife officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, came across a garbage pile that had been dumped on the property. There were approximately 15 bags of trash, a broken chair, a bed mattress and box springs, and a suitcase. Through the course of the investigation, officer Budd was able to identify the owners of the material. During the interview, it was discovered the owners of the trash had paid a man to haul the trash out of their garage. The owners presented officer Budd an online conversation between them and a suspect, which showed the suspect had agreed to take the trash for a set price. Later, the suspect was questioned about the incident, and admitted to taking the trash from the owners, but not to dumping it on the wildlife area. The suspect had a previous litter charge in Knox County. He was charged with littering, was found guilty, and sentenced to 10 days in jail, 2 years community control, and was ordered to pay a $140 fine and $369 in restitution to the state.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• On the opening day of the 2017 dove season, state wildlife officers from several surrounding counties were working at the dove fields on Lake La Su An Wildlife Area. A DNR Division of Wildlife employee observed a hunter in the middle of a dove field scattering something on the ground in front of his dove decoys. State wildlife officer Troy Reimund, assigned to Henry County, and state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, responded and found that a dove hunter had brought a bag of bird seed with him to the field and had scattered the seed around his hunting spot to attract doves. The hunter was issued a citation for hunting doves over a baited area and paid fines and court costs in Bryan Municipal Court that same day.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• In the spring, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received information from two anglers who had discovered traps with muskrat carcasses still in them. Officer Brown investigated and located six traps: three foothold and three body gripping traps set under the water. Three of the sets did not have tags identifying the owner as required by law. Officer Brown’s investigation revealed that the suspect had set traps in that area but had forgotten they were there. He issued the man a summons for setting traps without the required identification tags and warned him for trapping during the closed season since three of the traps were still set. The individual was convicted in court and ordered to pay $174 in fines and court costs. Because this was the man’s fifth trapping violation, his trapping privileges were revoked for two years.

• During the spring turkey season, state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received a complaint from a concerned hunter who stated he was calling a turkey near the banks of the Grand River when another hunter crept over the river bank, shot the turkey, retrieved the bird, and paddled away in a canoe. The complainant advised that he believed the subject did not have permission to hunt the property. Officer Warren contacted Lake Erie investigator Jason Hadsell and state wildlife officer Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Lake County, who waited at a bridge downstream from the location and contacted the suspect as he approached. Further investigation revealed that the man did not have permission from the landowner to hunt on the property where the turkey was killed. The turkey was seized and the subject was issued a summons to appear in Ashtabula Western County Court. He pleaded guilty and paid $295 in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• One August evening, state wildlife officers Brian Baker, assigned to Belmont County, and Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, were working on the Holloway tract of the Consol Energy Agreement Area when they encountered several all-purpose vehicles. The area is not designated for motor vehicles, and officer Baker made an attempt to contact the individuals, who immediately began to flee. One of the APVs attempted to turn around and officer Baker and officer Porter managed to box it in. Two individuals on dirt bikes fled down an intersecting road, and officer Baker exited his vehicle and ran to the intersection. One bike stalled and the rider attempted to restart it several times, ignoring instructions to stop until officer Baker reached his location. The other rider fled the scene, but was later apprehended. The officers determined that the operator of the dirt bike and the driver of the APV had been drinking, and all of the APVs had been operated on public roadways in order to get to the location. Sober members of the group returned to transport all of the APVs off the area. All drivers were issued summonses for operating a motor vehicle in a non-designated area and for deterring a state wildlife officer. All three were convicted of the charges and paid a total of $1,875 in fines and court costs.

• After the 2016-2017 deer season ended, state wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, received a phone message from a concerned sportsman. The caller told officer Witham that he suspected a member of the hunting lease he was on had other people check in deer that he had killed. The sportsman had collected several pictures of the suspect posing with numerous bucks he had killed during the season. Officer Witham contacted a state wildlife investigator and other state wildlife officers for assistance. The officers conducted numerous interviews during the course of the investigation. As a result of the interviews, the officers determined that the suspect had killed three bucks during the season and had his family members check in the deer for him. The suspect received multiple citations for taking more than one antlered deer during the season, failure to tag or check a deer, and taking a deer without a permit. The suspect was found guilty on five charges in the Jackson County Municipal Court. He paid $1,500 in restitution to the state and $1,250 in fines and court costs. His hunting privileges were revoked for three years, and he forfeited the racks and venison that were seized as evidence.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• State wildlife officer Eric Lamb, assigned to Brown County, received a call during the deer gun season concerning a deer that had been shot from the roadway. The complainant had obtained a description of the vehicle and provided it to officer Lamb. Officer Lamb and state wildlife officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County, responded a short time later. They discovered an antlerless deer lying along a road with one firearm wound to the front of the neck. The officers went to the address of the vehicle’s owner and spoke to a woman who indicated that her 18-year-old son had been driving the vehicle that evening. Officers Lamb and Roberts interviewed the son, who admitted that his friend had shot the deer with a muzzleloader while sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Nine criminal charges were filed against the men, including one felony-level firearms charge for discharging a firearm while in a motor vehicle.

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