Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Dec. 22, 2017

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• This past October, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, was patrolling Deer Creek spillway and observed three men fishing from the high wall. As officer Coffman approached, he counted seven poles with lines in the water between the three men. Officer Coffman instructed the men to reel in one of the lines so they would be in compliance with the law. As officer Coffman spoke with the men, one claimed he had not been fishing and did not have a valid Ohio fishing license. Officer Coffman never saw the man fish. The two men who now found themselves with three extra lines in the water urged their associate to say he was fishing so they would not receive tickets. The third man never admitted to fishing. Officer Coffman issued citations to the two men for fishing with more than two poles or lines. They were found guilty in Circleville Municipal Court and ordered to pay $110 in fines and court costs.

• During the 2016 deer archery season, state wildlife officers Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, and Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, received information that a buck had been harvested in Knox County by a hunter who did not possess a valid hunting license or deer permit. The officers obtained video footage of the suspect purchasing his license and permit from a retail store after harvesting the animal. The man later pleaded guilty to hunting without a license and using a deer permit purchased after a deer was harvested. He paid $900 dollars in restitution, fines, and court fees. The buck was forfeited to the state.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• While checking anglers on the Auglaize River, state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, observed two individuals fishing along the bank of the river. After observing both fishermen for some time, officer Porinchok contacted the men and asked to see their fishing licenses. One of the men stated that he wasn’t fishing and he was just watching his friend’s fishing pole for him. Officer Porinchok stated that he had observed the man bait the hook, cast the line, and tend the pole for the last half-hour. The man then advised that he was fishing and had caught several catfish, but did not have a fishing license. He was issued a citation for fishing without a valid fishing license. He paid a $200 fine.

• State wildlife officer Greg Wasilewski, assigned to Richland County, received an anonymous report from the Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline about a deer that had been shot with a rifle during the bow season. Officer Wasilewski contacted state wildlife officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Huron County, who located the deer carcass. Officer Wasilewski traced the carcass to a residence, where he contacted the owner. The man stated that his friend had offered to get him a deer, but he was a nonresident and did not want to purchase a nonresident license. The man purchased a resident license and deer tag and allowed the friend to hunt with him. Officer Wasilewski then contacted the man, who admitted to shooting the deer without having a valid Ohio hunting license or permit. The man was charged with hunting without a license, hunting deer without a deer permit, and providing false information while checking a deer. He was found guilty on all charges and paid $685 in fines and court costs, with 40 days of suspended jail time and two years of probation. The person who purchased the hunting license and provided it to the man was charged with aiding an offender. He pleaded no contest and paid $214 in fines and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received a TIP call from an informant regarding individuals hunting ducks in the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Refuge. State wildlife officer Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, joined officer Brown and observed two men walking out of the refuge. One individual was carrying a shotgun and one had a backpack. A license check of the man carrying the shotgun revealed that he did not have a valid Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, Federal Duck Stamp, or HIP survey. A search of the backpack revealed two ducks that did not have a head or fully feathered wing attached. In addition, duck season had closed approximately two weeks prior. Officer Brown charged the men with trespassing on a wildlife refuge, possession of waterfowl without a fully feathered head or wing attached, hunting without an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, and taking ducks in the closed season. The men appeared in Orrville Municipal Court, were convicted, and paid $501 in fines and court costs.

• State wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received information concerning three individuals who had exceeded their daily limit of steelhead trout while fishing in Conneaut Creek. Officer Warren was provided a description of the three men and their vehicle. Officer Warren arrived at the location and observed the suspects catch numerous trout. Officer Warren contacted the individuals. Further investigation revealed that the men had each taken two steelhead trout over their daily limit. They were issued summonses and ordered to appear in Conneaut Municipal Court. The men were convicted and ordered to pay $810 in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• State wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, was patrolling the AEP ReCreation Land in Morgan County when he noticed a truck with a utility task vehicle trailer parked on the road. Officer Donnelly determined that a UTV was unloaded at the location and he noticed a new trail going into the woods. After walking a mile down the illegal trail, he found a UTV and three people fishing from inflatable kayaks. The owner of the UTV admitted to driving it back to the pond to fish. He stated that with all the gear it was easier to just drive the UTV back there instead of walking. The owner of the UTV was issued a summons in Morgan County Court for operating a motor vehicle in a non-designated area.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• State wildlife officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, and state wildlife officer Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, were conducting jacklighting enforcement in Miami County when they observed a car stop at a curve in the road and a person in the car fire multiple gunshots. The officers stopped the vehicle. The driver and the passenger were both asked about shooting a gun from the vehicle. The driver claimed that they had thrown fireworks from the car and that it was not gunshots. After further investigation, and with assistance of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined that the driver of the vehicle was driving under suspension, the suspects possessed drug and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle, and the passenger was intoxicated and in possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage. The driver had shot at a deer and asked the passenger to throw the .38 caliber revolver from the car after they noticed they were being followed by a police vehicle. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office filed multiple charges against the group, including tampering with evidence for throwing the gun out of the car. The driver was also charged with hunting deer after hours and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. Fortunately, the gun was recovered by the officers.

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