OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 1

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Wildlife officers Chad Grote and Steve Harvey were teamed up one
night working spotlighter enforcement in central Ohio. Around 11
p.m. Harvey received a call from the ODNR Communications Center
that someone had shot at a deer with a shotgun because the deer was
attacking their pet dog. Harvey contacted the Delaware County
Sheriff’s Office and they already had a deputy en route. Harvey and
Grote arrived shortly after the deputies. When they pulled in the
driveway, the neighbor came right over to tell his story of what he
saw. Grote took the neighbor’s statement while Harvey and the
deputies looked over the scene. The deputies said the suspect told
them that he lost his dog and went to look for him. He informed the
deputies he always carries his shotgun with him because he is
afraid of coyotes and while looking for his dog he said he slipped
by the seep on the side of the house and his gun discharged.
However, the empty slug hull was in the backyard right off the back
door of the house. After looking at the statements and the
evidence, Harvey began to talk with the suspect. The suspect tried
to stick to his story about the accidental discharge, but when
presented with all the evidence he came clean and told the truth.
He said he saw the deer in the backyard and decided to grab his
shotgun and take a shot at it. Harvey asked to see his deer permit
and the suspect said “Ugh, don’t have one.” The suspect ended up
missing the deer, but he did get three citations: hunting after
hours (five hours after sunset), hunting with a shotgun during
archery season, and hunting without a deer permit. He pleaded
guilty in Delaware County Court and was ordered to pay $419 in
fines and court costs and must complete a hunter safety
course.

• One day in November, Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger received a call
from a company that builds houses in the Franklin County area. The
supervisor for the building site on the south end of Columbus
stated that someone was found to be hunting the property. The
supervisor stated that Columbus Police were called out to the site
for a trailer that was broken into. At the same time the police
were there, a subject came out of the woods dressed in normal
clothing. Police officers spoke to the subject about being on the
property; they suspected that the subject was hunting, but he did
not have any hunting gear on him. After the subject left, the
supervisor and police went into the woods and found hunting
clothing, a bow and the subject’s hunting license and deer permit.
The supervisor stated that now the subject was calling his office
wanting his equipment back. Kiger got the phone number from the
supervisor and contacted the subject. The subject was told to stop
calling the company and a meeting time was set. Kiger later
contacted the subject and a citation was issued. The subject was
ordered to pay $182 in fines and court costs.

• On a Saturday morning in early November, Wildlife Officer Steve
Harvey received a call at his home from the TIP line about a man
who was hunting without permission in Delaware County. Harvey
called Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, who was in the area, and asked
if he could respond until Harvey could get there. Smith made
contact with the caller and when Harvey arrived they searched for
the hunter, who was following a blood trail. Harvey and Smith found
the treestand and the blood trail and began to look for the hunter.
Unable to find the hunter in the field, Smith left a card on the
hunters’ truck and Harvey went back to the treestand. At the
treestand, Harvey observed deer hair and blood. Looking around, he
found a second blood trail. Harvey followed that trail and he found
a dead button buck untagged about 30 yards from the stand. Harvey
returned to his truck to get his camera and found the hunter
waiting for him. The hunter said he shot a small buck and then saw
another deer (the button buck) coming to his stand. He then strung
another arrow and shot the second deer. It was a bad shot, hitting
the deer in the hind leg. The deer sat down allowing the hunter
time to string a third arrow and put a kill shot on the deer. The
hunter said he saw the deer run a short ways and fall over dead. He
said this occurred around 9:30 a.m. It was then 1:30 p.m. Harvey
then explained he needs to tag the first deer before shooting the
second deer and he needs to immediately tag his deer with a
temporary tag. The hunter received a citation for failing to
immediately tag deer.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• During the deer gun season, Wildlife Officer Brad Buening worked
deer enforcement around Van Wert County. Buening responded to a
hunting without permission complaint. Upon arrival, Buening located
the hunter in a treestand in the middle of the woods. Once the
hunter noticed Buening walking in the woods, he quickly climbed out
of the tree, leaving his firearm in the stand. Before Buening asked
the hunter any questions, the hunter admitted to hunting without
permission and having an unplugged shotgun. The hunter later posted
a bond at the Van Wert Municipal Court for the hunting
violations.

• On a cold November weekday, Erie County Wildlife Officer Kevin
Good observed three individuals in a boat on Resthaven Wildlife
Area, Pond 6. Two of the people in the boat were males, dressed
like hunters, with waders and camouflage clothing. The other was a
female, dressed nicely with a nice dress-style coat. The boat did
not have a motor, nor were the individuals rowing the boat. One of
the male individuals in the boat got out of the back of the boat,
into the water, and began kicking his feet to propel the small
boat. Good observed a shotgun in the boat as well as the three
people. Soon the man was able to propel the boat back to shore
where Good made contact with them. The boat had several watercraft
violations including no personal floatation devices on board. The
two men admitted to hunting ducks and geese in the pond. The female
stated that she was simply “there for the ride.” After a couple of
minutes of asking questions and speaking with the three, Good
informed the men that duck and goose hunting was not currently an
open season. He issued the men summonses accordingly.

• On opening day of the 2010 waterfowl season, wildlife officers
Duane Bailey and Matt Smith were working from a boat checking
hunters on the Auglaize River. While approaching a blind, they
noticed that one man exited the back of the blind and crouched down
when he noticed the officers coming toward him. The officers
quickly caught up to the man and questioned him on why he was
leaving. After a few minutes the man finally admitted that he had
not purchased his state waterfowl stamp. He was cited for failing
to possess a valid Ohio Wetlands Stamp while hunting
waterfowl

• On the morning of Nov. 3, a Fulton County man was stopped by a
Henry County Sheriff’s deputy for spotlighting. The driver was
placed under arrest for OVI and wildlife officers responded to the
scene. There were two passengers in the vehicle that consented to
giving written statements of the events leading up to the traffic
stop. Both witness statements indicated that the driver had shot
two times from the vehicle at deer that night. This case was
assigned to Fulton County Wildlife Officer Ted Wolfrum to follow
up, as the wildlife violations occurred in Fulton County. About a
week later, Wolfrum was able to interview the driver, who stated
that he was cruising with a couple of friends and decided to go
looking for deer and raccoon. He admitted to having a shotgun with
deer slugs and a crossbow that belongs to his father in the vehicle
while spotlighting, but denied shooting out of the window two times
at deer that night. The passengers gave written statements that the
driver did shoot two times at deer. Wolfrum advised the driver that
he would be continuing with the investigation and would present his
findings to the Fulton County prosecutor’s office. The passengers
were re-interviewed and their stories matched their earlier
statements. Four possible charges were presented to the assistant
prosecutor, who approved two of the charges as recommended by
Wolfrum. On Nov. 26, the driver was served with spotlighting from a
motor vehicle and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle summons.
A mandatory appearance was set for Dec. 2 in the Fulton Eastern
District Court where the driver was found guilty, given two years
probation, a $400 fine and court costs; he forfeited a Benelli
shotgun and Q-beam spotlight. Any further hunting violations within
the probationary period will result in 60 days in jail and a $1,000
fine.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• During the fall of 2009, two archery targets were stolen from the
Berlin Lake Wildlife Area archery range. Investigators followed a
few leads and identified a suspect. In late July 2010, the suspect
was contacted by Wildlife Investigator Jarod Roof, Trumbull County
Wildlife Officer Jerrod Allison, and Columbiana County Wildlife
Officer Scott Angelo. The results of the investigation revealed
that there was another suspect who had helped steal the two
targets. Stark County Wildlife Officer Mark Basinger and Portage
County Wildlife Officer Barry Hennig recovered the other target
from the second suspect. Both individuals were charged with felony
theft, but pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property. Both men
were convicted and were ordered to pay a total of $400. In addition
to the fine, both individuals received suspended jail sentences and
are currently on probation.

• Lake County Wildlife Officer Tom Rowan was conducting yellow
perch bag limit inspections at the boat ramps in Fairport Harbor
when he contacted two men who claimed that they had caught their
limit on Lake Erie. Rowan counted the fish and determined that they
were in possession of 12 perch over their legal daily limit. Both
individuals were issued summonses and ordered to appear in
Painesville Municipal Court. The judge convicted the two men and
ordered them to pay a total of $590 in fines and court costs.

• A Summit County law enforcement officer told Summit County
Wildlife Officer Jason Warren about a unique attempt to prevent
deer damage. A citizen reported that he had found a marijuana plant
growing in the Cuyahoga River Valley. In an effort to protect it
from deer, the plant’s caretaker carefully erected orange plastic
snow fence around it. Although a suspect was not identified, the
plant was destroyed.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• Last August, officer Bob Nelson was on patrol at Pleasant Valley
Wildlife Area in Ross County. Nelson initiated a traffic stop on a
vehicle that was on the area after hours. The driver immediately
fled on foot through an overgrown field. Nelson radioed for
assistance from the Ross County Sheriff’s Department. Nelson made
contact with the juvenile passenger. Deputies arrived to assist.
The passenger gave several stories as to why they were on the area.
The identity of the driver was finally determined. Sheriff’s Deputy
Efaw went to his nearby residence and was unable to make contact.
The vehicle belonged to the driver’s girlfriend’s mother. She was
unable to be contacted so the vehicle was towed off of the wildlife
area. The passenger was taken back to a family member that lived
close by. The next day, it was determined that the car was stolen,
and Nelson advised the vehicle owner of the situation. Nelson made
contact with the suspect. He stated they were on the wildlife area
after hours shooting a pistol that the juvenile passenger had
brought, and he ran because he didn’t have a driver’s license.
Nelson did not locate a pistol when the vehicle was inventoried, so
he and the deputies returned to the wildlife area. A small .22
caliber pistol was recovered in high weeds near where the car was
stopped. A follow-up interview was conducted with the juvenile and
his mother. The juvenile told several lies about the incident.
After being showed pictures of the pistol, he finally told the same
story as the driver. He said he threw the pistol out of the window
because he was scared. The juvenile has been charged in Ross County
Juvenile Court with several violations. That case is still pending.
The driver of the vehicle was charged with after-hours curfew
violation, unlawful target shooting on a wildlife area, deterring a
wildlife officer, no drivers license, and unauthorized use of a
motor vehicle. In a plea deal, the driver pleaded guilty to three
of the charges. He was fined a total of $200, was assessed $296 in
court costs, was given two days in jail, and was placed on
probation for one year.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Shelby County Wildlife Officer Tim Rourke was conducting
follow-ups to deer archery season when he came across a tagging
violation. During the course of the interview, it was discovered
that the hunter had shot a doe with his bow while having purchased
only an either-sex deer permit. Not wanting to use his either-sex
permit, the hunter left the doe in the woods overnight with plans
to retrieve it the next day. On his way to retrieve the doe the
next morning, the hunter stopped at Walmart and purchased an
antlerless deer permit. With this information, Rourke cited the
hunter for a tagging violation.

• Butler County Wildlife Officer Aaron Ireland conducted a deer
investigation into the illegal tagging of a deer. Ireland
ascertained that the suspect’s girlfriend had checked in a deer
that she had not killed. The suspect later admitted to shooting the
deer and failing to temporary tag it. Ireland seized the antlers,
which were placed into evidence. The suspect pleaded no contest,
was found guilty on the charge, and was ordered to pay $365, with
30 days in jail suspended. The judge also forfeited the antlers to
the state of Ohio, Division of Wildlife.

• In September, Wildlife Officer Jim Carnes received a complaint
from a landowner in southern Highland County in reference to a
black bear. The complainant stated she had cooked a vegetable chili
in a large cast iron cooker. Because it was so large and the
contents were too hot for canning she placed the cooker with its
lid on the picnic table in her backyard to cool off overnight. The
next morning, she discovered the cast iron lid sitting on top of
the picnic table and all the quarts of homemade vegetable chili had
been lapped up clean. Due to prior knowledge of the bear in the
area, the complaint was documented.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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