Ohio Cuffs

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Knox County Wildlife Officer Mike Miller reports that on the
second day of the duck season, while patrolling Knox Lake Wildlife
Area, he observed a man and two juveniles hunting waterfowl after
hours. Miller watched the man and the two juveniles shooting one
half hour after shooting time and failing to retrieve waterfowl. He
watched them load their boat and head toward the boat ramp. While
enroute to the boat ramp, the boat was operating without proper
navigation lights and at a speed greater than no wake. At the ramp,
the boat was inspected and licenses were checked. The boaters were
in violation of watercraft laws, having insufficient personal
floatation devices (PFDs) for the persons on board, PFDs in poor
condition, improper navigation lights, no distress signal, no fire
extinguisher, and possession of a loaded firearm in the vessel
while moving. The hunters were in violation of hunting after hours,
failing to attempt to retrieve a migratory bird, and an unsigned
federal migratory bird stamp. The parents of the two juveniles were
contacted about their activities and the adult was cited for
insufficient PFDs and hunting after hours.

• On Sept. 1, Wildlife Officers Adam Smith and Jeff Tipton were
working Big Island Wildlife Area and were observing several dove
hunters in a dove field. At about 10 a.m., two hunters picked up
their belongings and it appeared that they were preparing to leave.
They actually went to another field and set up to hunt some more.
Tipton found them on the other field and then checked their hunting
licenses and checked to see how many doves they had killed. During
the conversation, it had become evident that the hunters had left a
large number of empty shell casings at the place where they were
hunting before. The hunters and officers returned to the area and
discovered quite a few empty shell casings littering the area. Both
men received citations for state property litter.

• While checking the Mackey Ford Wildlife Area, Pickaway County
Wildlife Officer Ken Bebout observed an individual fishing in the
Scioto River. Upon contact, Bebout inquired if he had a current
fishing license. The individual replied that he had one and
proceeded to show Bebout last year’s fishing license. When Bebout
advised him of the problem, the individual stated “This license is
good until May 1 – right?” An informative “No” reply by Bebout
along with a discussion on when fishing licenses expire, including
the fact that the expiration date is printed on the license. The
individual admitted that he knew that he needed a new license in
March, but he had not purchased it yet. The individual was issued a
summons for fishing without a current fishing license. He paid $105
in fines and court costs.

• Last November, Wildlife Officer Steve Harvey and Wildlife
Investigator Leighland Arehart were finishing patrol of the first
day of deer gun season. At 7 p.m., they observed a car driving very
slowly in the Delaware Wildlife Area. When they got close to the
car, the driver pulled the car over. Arehart rolled down the window
and asked if everything was OK and asked if they were lost. The
driver said they were OK and they were looking for deer. Arehart
looked in the vehicle and observed a gun between the driver and the
passenger. Arehart asked if the gun was loaded and they said “Yes.”
Arehart had both men get out of the car and secured the gun, which
was a .22 caliber rifle. The men admitted to being out squirrel
hunting and said they were going to shoot a deer if they saw one.
The driver received two citations for aiding and the passenger
received three citations – hunting with aid/use of a motor vehicle,
hunting deer with a rifle, and hunting after hours. Both men
pleaded guilty in Delaware Municipal Court.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Wildlife Officer Duane Bailey was driving along the Auglaize
River in Paulding County when he came upon a car parked at a site
popular with local anglers. The officer stopped and walked to an
overlook where he could observe two persons fishing and document
any litter violations that might occur without being seen himself.
Shortly thereafter, Bailey observed a pick-up truck slowly
approaching from the same direction as he had just done. Using a
large tree for concealment, he watched as the truck stopped in the
middle of the road just a few feet away. The driver suddenly
pointed a scoped rifle out of an open window in the direction of a
groundhog feeding in an adjacent field. He squeezed off a shot that
missed but sent the groundhog scurrying into a nearby burrow.
Bailey stepped from behind the tree and ordered the man out of the
truck before he could drive away. Visibly surprised, the man
complied and began to apologize. He explained he had entered a
local groundhog hunting contest and thought the one he had just
shot at was big enough to qualify for an award. Bailey knew of the
contest and its rules, one of which was that all groundhogs weighed
in must be legally taken. Bailey issued the man a citation for
shooting from a motor vehicle and returned to watching the
anglers.

• In late July, wildlife officers Brad Buening and Mike Ohlrich
were working an enforcement project in Toledo, checking fishing
license compliance along the Maumee River. During a check of two
anglers, Buening noticed that one angler was extremely nervous when
he asked to see his fishing license. Buening asked the angler if he
had any dangerous weapons that the officers should be aware of. The
angler stated that he did not have any weapons, but that he did
have some drugs. The angler then retrieved a bag of marijuana out
of his pocket to show the officers that he did in fact have drugs.
Both anglers were issued citations for fishing without licenses.
The marijuana was seized for evidence and charges are pending for
the drug possession case.

• Henry County Wildlife Officer Bob Hesterman was recently working
fishing enforcement along the Lake Erie shore with Wood County
Officer Marty Baer. They contacted a number of anglers at the
Metzger Marsh fishing pier. While making fish limit checks, they
contacted two individuals with seven largemouth bass in a fish
basket. Upon inspection, they found all seven of the bass to be
under the required 14-inch size limit. Running a background check,
they found one of the individuals to have a prior arrest for taking
short bass. Both anglers were issued citations for taking and
possessing black bass less than 14 inches in length in the Lake
Erie fishing district.

• Wildlife Officer Tom Kochert received a call from an informant
telling him about a subject who had killed several wild turkeys
during the spring season, but had no permits with which to do so.
After contact with the informant, Wildlife Investigator Mark
Weihrauch and Kochert solicited the assistance of wildlife officer
Supervisor Robert Radcliff and Wildlife Officer Bob Wolfrum to
contact the suspect the following weekend. Upon contact, the
suspect was compliant and readily showed the officers the turkey
parts in question. He covered his possession of the turkeys with a
story that could not hold up to the facts of the case. He
eventually admitted he had done as the officers had stated. Several
turkey parts and bags of meat were confiscated along with some
untagged deer antlers. After contacting the Bryan prosecutor,
Wolfrum and Kochert filed 13 charges, including no turkey permits,
no hunting license, fail to tag, and fail to check three wild
turkeys killed in the spring of 2010. Additional charges of
possession of un-tagged deer parts were also filed.

• While checking anglers on the Auglaize River, Putnam County
Wildlife Officer Jason Porinchok and at-large Wildlife Officer Mike
Ohlrich observed two individuals along the bank of the river. The
officers observed the two anglers for more than a half an hour;
during that time the anglers actively engaged in fishing. As the
officers approached to contact the fishermen, the officers
identified themselves and asked to see their fishing licenses. One
of the fishermen stated that he wasn’t fishing and the fishing pole
in front of him was his buddy’s and he was just watching it for
him. The officers advised him that they had been watching them and
had observed him bait the hook, cast the line and tend the pole
over the last half hour. He then advised that he was fishing and
had actually caught several catfish. He did not have a fishing
license. The officers asked the fisherman why he didn’t have a
fishing license. He replied that he did not have enough money left
over after he spent his money on a 30-pack of beer. He was issued a
citation for fishing without a valid 2010 resident annual fishing
license.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• In early October, Holmes County Wildlife Officer Jeremy Carter
was informed of a possible hunting violation that took place one
evening. The complainant stated that a group of five individuals
was seen at a trailer park standing around an untagged, antlered
deer. Through the course of the investigation, Carter learned the
identity of the individuals. It was later discovered that the man
who killed the deer had retrieved the animal from private property
and dragged it to his home. The man was issued a summons for
pursuing a deer on private property without obtaining written
permission from the landowner. He was convicted and paid $250 in
fines and court costs.

• On June 13, Mahoning County Wildlife Officer Tom Frank was
working sport fishing enforcement at Lake Milton. Frank arrived at
dusk and observed two individuals fishing in different locations
along the causeway. He approached the young man and asked to see
his fishing license. The young man provided his name, date of birth
and stated that he was 15 years old. In an attempt to verify his
information, Frank contacted the communications center.
Unfortunately, the only record listed with his name was for an
18-year-old man. The young man continued to deny his age. Shortly
thereafter, he pointed toward his father fishing along the causeway
and stated that he should talk to him. As Frank approached the
angler, he quickly dropped his fishing pole and began to walk
toward him. Frank stopped the man and asked to see his fishing
license. The man stated that he was not fishing and was only
holding his friend’s pole. When Frank asked the man for his
driver’s license, he replied that he did not have it. He continued
to be evasive and uncooperative. The man finally produced his
license after being informed that if he did not comply he would be
arrested and taken to jail. Both men were issued summonses for
fishing without a license and ordered to appear in court. The judge
found both men guilty and ordered each of them to pay over $280 in
fines and court costs.

• In early June, Mahoning County Wildlife Officer Tom Frank was
working sport fishing enforcement at Lake Milton. Frank arrived at
the causeway near dusk and observed two individuals fishing on the
south side.  When officer Frank arrived at their location he
checked their licenses. One of the men was unable to produce a
valid fishing license. While Frank was talking with them, he
noticed that their minnow container was floating lower in the
water. He directed the men to pull in the container and found three
undersized walleye crammed inside the bucket. The two subjects
admitted catching the fish and were both issued summonses for
possessing undersized walleye. One of the individuals was also
charged with fishing without a license. Both men were convicted in
court and ordered to pay a total of $290 in fines and court
costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In late August, wildlife officers in Unit B were patrolling areas
along the Muskingum River in Washington and Morgan counties. While
checking anglers at the McConnelsville dam and along the canal
island, Officer Todd Stewart observed three fishermen on the island
fishing, but he checked the fishermen at the dam first. When
Stewart went back to the island he found two of the fishermen at
the foot bridge. He checked them for compliance and found one was
14 years old and the other was an adult with no fishing license.
When asked why he did not have a license, the angler stated he
usually fishes private property and thought they would not get
checked. While starting the paperwork for the license violation,
Stewart observed the third individual step out onto the mowed
portion of the island and then quickly slip back into woods next to
the river. Stewart radioed Field Supervisor Jay Abele to assist in
the search for the third individual. Abele searched the riverside
of the island as Stewart secured the first individual. After a
short search, Abele found the individual along the water’s edge.
When asked for his fishing license, he stated he did not have one
and that he was not fishing. After a brief interview, the
individual stated he had been fishing but lost his pole in the
river. After further interview, the individual took Abele to the
location of the fishing pole that he had hid under some brush. Both
individuals were cited for no fishing license and released.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Shelby County Wildlife Officer Tim Rourke received a call from
the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office concerning an individual
trespassing on private property. Since it was August and there were
no open hunting seasons, Rourke thought that it might be possible
that the subject trespassing could be digging ginseng during the
closed season. As he arrived in the area, the complainant called
into the sheriff’s office once again, stating that the vehicle had
left the area, but she had obtained a license plate number. The
license plate number returned to a subject that lived just down the
road. Upon arriving at the residence, Rourke could see the vehicle
parked in the driveway. He knocked on the door and was met by a
male subject. After a short interview, the subject admitted to
digging ginseng and produced a small collection of roots. He was
cited for digging ginseng during the closed season, paid a fine of
$150, and forfeited the ginseng root to the Division of
Wildlife.

• During the 2010 spring turkey season, Wildlife Officer Rick
Rogers responded to a call regarding two subjects shooting turkeys
without permission. He arrived to find the landowner had the two
poachers in custody. They had shot two turkeys on the complainant’s
property without his permission. The landowner told Rogers that one
subject had been to his house a couple months earlier to install
his satellite TV. He had spoken with the subject about the nice
turkey flock found in the area. Needless to say, the landowner was
very upset and wanted the subjects prosecuted. The subject denied
any connection to the previous visit. They were both first-time
offenders and were found guilty on each charge and ordered to pay a
$100 fine plus $82 in court costs; both turkeys were
forfeited.

• Last July, Officer Matt Hunt was driving by a wildlife area
around midnight. Hunt observed a truck in the parking lot with a
dog box in the back. He investigated and soon heard several beagles
barking and saw a light shining in the woods. As Hunt approached
the area, he discovered a campfire, some chairs, and a cooler full
of drinks. Finally, Hunt contacted two individuals. When asked what
they were doing, the men stated that they were training their
beagles. Hunt explained that wildlife areas are off limits to the
training and exercising of dogs from May through August. During
those months, dogs can only be trained at a designated dog training
ground. The men went on to explain that the fire was also theirs
and that they have been doing this kind of activity for several
years. One citation was issued to each individual.

Lake Erie Unit

• Recently, Lake Erie Investigator Brian Keyser and Geauga County
Wildlife Officer Scott Denamen were conducting waterfowl
enforcement contacts. The officers checked an area that Denamen
found several days earlier that appeared to be baited for turkeys.
While in the area, the officers encountered a deer hunter and
conducted a field check. Through the course of the check and
subsequent interview, the hunter admitted to placing corn in the
area and killing a turkey two days earlier. The hunter was charged
with taking a turkey over bait.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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