OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 26

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• While on patrol during the statewide deer gun season, Champaign
County Wildlife Officer Jeff Tipton located a truck parked along a
county road near the Mad River. It was close to the end of shooting
time, so Tipton waited for the hunter so that he could check his
hunting license. He had stepped inside the woods as it was getting
darker, but the hunter had not returned to his vehicle. At about 45
minutes after the end of legal shooting time, he saw a person
walking toward him in the woods. He contacted the hunter and asked
if the gun was unloaded. It was not at the time. The man received a
citation for possessing a loaded firearm after the legal shooting
time. He appeared in court, was found guilty, and paid a fine and
court costs.

• While working in Marion County, Officer Chad Grote pulled up on a
deer-vehicle accident to assist a deputy who was at a busy corner
of State Route 309. The deputy told him that everyone was fine and
that there was a man down the road who wanted the deer. While
issuing the man a deer carcass receipt, another vehicle pulled up
to the dead deer and asked the man if he was going to keep the
deer. After he told him “yes” the man offered to buy some meat from
him. Grote told the man that it was illegal to buy deer meat in
Ohio unless it came from a deer propagator and that he could be
arrested if he bought the meat. The man wisely decided not to
purchase the meat and quickly drove away.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• While working surveillance on a problem litter location on
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, Wildlife Officer Brad Baaske
observed a truck drive back an access lane and park. The driver,
who was the only person in the vehicle, began drinking from a brown
beer bottle and talking to himself. The man continued talking and
drinking beer for nearly 30 minutes. As he finished each bottle, he
would cautiously look down the lane and then toss the bottle in the
weeds. After talking things over and consuming several beers, the
driver started his truck to leave. Before the driver was able to
leave the area, Baaske stopped his vehicle and made contact. The
driver had an open bottle of beer between his legs and there were
no empties in his truck. When asked about his empty bottles, the
driver advised Baaske that the beer he was drinking was his first
and there were no empty bottles. When the officer revealed what he
had observed, the driver hung his head and admitted to throwing the
bottles in the weeds. The man was cited for the litter and alcohol
violations. He also had an active warrant out of Hardin County and
was transported to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.

• While patrolling downtown Toledo for fishing license compliance
along the Maumee River, wildlife officers Cody Klima and Brent
Allan observed a woman sitting on a park bench with what looked
like a groundhog propped up against her leg. Second guessing what
they had seen, the officers turned their vehicle around to get a
second look and speak to the woman. While approaching the woman,
the officers noticed there were also several geese resting several
feet from the woman. What the officers had seen was indeed a
groundhog that had been feeding out of the woman’s hand. The
officers discovered the groundhog’s name was Pete and many of the
regulars to the park feed Pete.

• While patrolling Mallard Club Wildlife Area during early
goose-teal season, Wildlife Officer Cody Klima heard a volley of
shots coming from the only group hunting the marsh. Klima decided,
because of the high volume of wood ducks in the area, to check the
hunters to make sure they were only shooting teal. While checking
the two hunters, Klima did not find any wood ducks or teal, but one
of the men had two shorebirds that he had shot lying by his blind.
The man stated the birds were Wilson’s snipe, but the officer
disagreed. Klima showed the two hunters a bird identification guide
and explained that the two birds were greater yellow legs. The man
was issued a summons for taking a non-game bird.

• In July, Officers Kochert and Wolfrum were running an enforcement
project. The officers were working in Fulton and Williams counties
conducting a sweep of all state properties and fishing locations.
The emphasis of the sweep was litter, fishing license compliance,
and watercraft enforcement. On this day, the pair started in
Williams County and had worked their way halfway through Fulton
County. So far everyone had been legal. Then they encountered a
boat in Delta Reservoir. The small craft had three men aboard and
all were fishing. After a short surveillance period, the boat
headed toward the ramp. Upon contact, the men advised that they had
had no luck fishing and decided to call it a day. Fishing licenses
were checked as was the boat registration. As the officers
inspected their watercraft, only one personal flotation device
(PFD) was visible. The men advised that they had two seat cushions
onboard. The officers instructed the three men that seat cushions
were not legal flotation devices and that the PFD law had changed
over six years ago. Watercraft law allows for an approved seat
cushion to be used as a throwable device on some vessels, but it is
not a legal PFD. Upon closer inspection of the seat cushions it was
determined that the cushions were not of a type approved by the
Coast Guard for watercraft use. The cushions were of a type for
sitting on at a football game. The boat operator had two additional
wearable PFDs in his truck, but didn’t bother to put them in the
boat, to save room. He was cited for insufficient personal
flotation devices.

• While working the Lake Erie shoreline, Seneca County Wildlife
Officer Matthew Leibengood noticed a man having trouble with his
fishing gear on the end of the Port Clinton pier. Leibengood
noticed that the man was attempting to cast, but with each attempt
the line never released. With a closer look, the officer noticed
that the man was using a spinning reel and was not opening the bail
to allow the line to leave. The man used more and more force in
numerous failed attempts to get a good cast. Finally the line gave
way at the end of the rod sending the would-be angler’s bobber,
hook, and sinker flying away. Later, Leibengood walked to the end
of the pier to contact a man he did see actually fishing for
license compliance. The officer determined that the two men were
together and that neither had fishing licenses. Leibengood issued a
summons for fishing without a license to the man he saw fishing,
and advised the other to obtain a license in case his line ever
made it into the water still attached to his reel.

• Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve was checking fishermen on Lake
Erie. The walleye fishing was great that day and most anglers were
catching their limit. Van Cleve stopped at the Catawba State Park
boat ramp to check a few boats. He contacted two brothers who had
just pulled into the dock and asked them how the fishing was. One
of the fishermen said it was good. Van Cleve asked them if they had
caught their limit and they said that they had. While one of the
men went to their truck, Van Cleve interviewed the other fishermen
about the fish they had caught that day and he admitted that he and
his brother had caught more than their bag limit. After speaking
with both men, they admitted that they had been fishing earlier
that day and they had caught several walleyes and they were at
their camp. Van Cleve followed them to their campsite where he
discovered the men had overbagged six walleye and two of the
walleye were 13 inches; two inches short of the legal size of 15
inches. The two men were charged and found guilty in the Ottawa
County Court for catching over the limit of walleye and possessing
two walleyes under 15 inches. They paid a total of $385 in fines
and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• In mid-March, a large wildlife area sign was stolen from Jockey
Hollow Wildlife Area in Harrison County. Throughout the summer,
Harrison County Wildlife Officer Nick Turner and Wildlife Officer
Supervisor Pete Novotny had received several tips of where the sign
might be. In late August, Turner received information about the
sign’s location. The information revealed that the sign was in
Belmont County, in Wildlife District Four along with other stolen
property. Turner then met with Wildlife Investigator Randy Smith of
Wildlife District Four and Detective Bob Couch of the Belmont
Sheriff’s Office. The investigation led to a house in St.
Clairsville. After several field interviews with two suspects,
investigator Smith was allowed to search their house. The wildlife
area sign and several other stolen items were discovered in the
basement. Charges are pending in Belmont County Court.

• Ashland County Wildlife Officer Brian Banbury and Holmes County
Wildlife Officer Jeremy Carter were working in Ashland County
trying to locate waterfowl hunters. The officers heard several
gunshots south of their location. Banbury knew of a private marsh
where the shots may have originated from and proceeded to walk into
the area. The officers could see people camping, but could not
locate any waterfowl hunters. Just as the officers were about to
leave, a truck pulled in and a man dressed in street clothes got
out of the vehicle, loaded a shotgun, walked down to the edge of
the wetland and fired a round, killing a bird. The man then took a
couple of steps, bent over, and retrieved the animal. The man
examined the bird, tossed it into the weeds and returned to a
campsite to do some work. The officers proceeded to his location
and contacted the individual. The man first told the officers that
he had duck hunted the day before, but denied shooting anything on
that day. The officers then told the man that they had witnessed
what had happened. Shortly thereafter, he admitted to shooting what
he thought was a merganser. The officers retrieved a horned grebe
from the weeds and then issued the man a summons for taking a
non-game bird.

• Holmes County Wildlife Officer Jeremy Carter and Wildlife
Investigator Jeff Carter while working late one September night at
the Killbuck Wildlife Area observed a vehicle pull into one of the
parking areas after the 8 p.m. curfew. Jeff Carter watched the two
occupants light and smoke from what appeared to be a marijuana
cigarette. The officers made contact with the occupants and
recovered a small bag of marijuana and rolling papers. The suspects
informed the officers that they were on their way to a strip club
and decided to pull into the parking area to smoke the illegal
drug. The suspects were issued summonses and ordered to appear in
court. The men were picked up by a sober individual shortly
thereafter.

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.

• During spring turkey season, Wildlife Officer Eric Lane was
checking hunters in Perry State Forest. Lane observed two hunters
coming out of the woods. He noticed that one of the hunters dropped
something and started to walk away. Lane made contact with the two
men and found what the hunter had dropped. It was a bearded hen.
When Lane asked the hunter why he had dropped the turkey, the
hunter replied that he did not know if it was legal to shoot a hen
turkey with a beard. Lane told him that a spring season turkey must
have a beard to be legal and must be temporary tagged. This turkey
was not temporary tagged. Lane issued a summons for failure to
temporary tag a turkey and the individual paid a fine and court
costs.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• During the deer gun season, Clark County Wildlife Officer Byron
Rice was given some information that some hunters were hunting
late. He checked the area in question that night and found three
vehicles parked, so he waited. Rice finally saw four hunters
approaching, 45 minutes after shooting time. When contacted, all
four hunters still had loaded firearms. All four hunters were cited
for possession of loaded firearm after legal hunting hours.

• During the 2010 spring turkey season, Wildlife Officer Rick
Rogers responded to a call regarding two subjects shooting turkeys
without landowner permission. The officer 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 of months earlier to install his satellite TV. He had spoke
with the subject about the nice flock of turkeys 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 and each ordered to pay a $100 fine plus $82 in court costs;
both turkeys were forfeited.

• Recently, Wildlife Officer Matt Hunt received a TIP. The caller
was hunting at the Beaver Creek Wildlife Area in Greene County.
While there, he saw a man walking around with a rifle. The hunter
only noticed this because hunting activities at this area are
limited to deer, waterfowl and trapping. A short time later, the
hunter heard several shots. He was certain they came from a
high-powered rifle. The hunter again saw the man with the rifle
when he returned to his car to leave. The hunter got a vehicle
description and license plate number. Using that information, Hunt
was able to track down the man with the rifle. The man admitted to
being there and stated that he was shooting at some trees for
target practice. The target shooter was issued a citation for
target shooting outside of a designated range. Target shooting in a
wildlife area is prohibited and unsafe. Certain wildlife areas have
designated ranges. Information about target ranges can be found at
wildohio.com

Lake Erie Unit

• During the 2010 deer gun season, Lake Erie Investigator Brian
Keyser was on patrol with Wildlife Officer John Coffman in Fayette
and Pickaway counties. They received a call about several
individuals dragging a deer out of a wooded lot and leaving it
alongside the road. The deer was located and found to be an
untagged doe. The officers parked at a location where they could
observe the deer and waited for someone to return. Within several
minutes, a vehicle stopped and several people began loading the
deer. They initiated a traffic stop and spoke with the driver and
passengers. One of the passengers admitted to shooting the deer.
Further investigation also found the shooter to be illegally
residing in the United States. He was cited for failure to
temporary tag a deer and detained by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s
Office.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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