OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 7

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• During the 2011 muzzleloader season, Logan County Wildlife
Officer Adam Smith was on patrol and observed a vehicle parked just
inside a woodlot near a roadway. Smith looked at the vehicle and
saw lens covers for a scope inside the vehicle. He followed fresh
boot tracks left in the snow, back into the woodlot. After a long
walk back into the woods, Smith found a man who was in full
camouflage clothing, standing very still next to a tree, holding a
muzzleloader, and not wearing hunter orange. After contacting the
hunter, Smith asked him why he was not wearing hunter orange and
the hunter said that the deer see the orange. The hunter then
pulled an orange vest from his pocket. The hunter was charged for
hunting deer without a valid deer permit and for not wearing hunter
orange. The man later pleaded guilty in Bellefontaine Municipal
Court and was ordered to pay a total of $264 in fines and court
costs.

• Knox County Wildlife Officer Mike Miller reports that on the
Thursday of the deer gun season he received a report of someone
shooting from a motor vehicle. The landowner reported that he had
heard a gunshot and saw a blood trail from a deer cross his lane.
After a thorough investigation, it was determined that two men were
driving down the road, saw a deer, and then one of the men got out
of the truck and shot the deer. Both men were charged with hunting
from the roadway, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and
hunting without permission.

• In the month of October, Logan County Wildlife Officer Adam Smith
received a call from a concerned person, who informed him that they
had seen a pickup truck parked alongside the roadway with a rifle
barrel sticking out the driver’s side window. Smith was driving
through the complaint area and observed a vehicle matching the
description given by the caller. While contacting the driver of the
vehicle, Smith observed an improperly handled firearm inside the
pickup truck. The driver was issued a summons for improperly
handling a firearm in a motor vehicle and was found guilty in
Bellefontaine Municipal Court. The driver paid $151.50 in fines and
court costs.

• During the deer gun week, Madison County Wildlife Officer Matt
Teders and Wildlife Investigator Kandy Klosterman were on patrol in
Madison County. While checking known trespassing complaint
properties, the officers observed a hunter standing in the
complaint area. While passing the area, the hunter observed the
officers and started to run from the woodlot. The gate to the woods
was locked and the officers could not enter. The officers went to
the next property and were able to access the complaint area. The
hunter was still seen running toward the property line. The
officers were able to catch up with the hunter. When the officers
approached the hunter, he was out of breath and sweating. The
hunter was issued a summons for hunting without permission and was
found guilty in Madison County Municipal Court

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Wood County Wildlife Officer Marty Baer paired up with state
Watercraft Officer Jason Albanese to work opening day duck hunters
on the Maumee River in Lucas and Wood counties. Reaching the
hunters by boat seemed to be the most difficult task of the morning
as a west wind and low water made conditions difficult for
navigation. In all, a total of 31 hunters was contacted. The
officers issued several citations for both wildlife and watercraft
violations, including no hunting license, no federal duck stamp,
and having an insufficient number of life jackets on board the
watercraft. Both officers would like to remind all hunters and
fishermen that when using watercraft please be sure to have all the
required safety equipment on board.

• Wildlife officers Brad Buening and Craig Barr were working sport
fishing enforcement around Lima Lake in Allen County during the
summer. The officers checked a man, who upon seeing them, quickly
walked away from his wife, who was sitting in a lawn chair. The man
quickly told the officers that she was not fishing. Barr politely
said that was fine, but if she would decide to fish, she would need
a fishing license. Following several head nods, it was clear that
the man understood that a fishing license was required if his wife
were to engage in fishing. The officers left the area to set up
surveillance in a different spot in order to observe anglers on the
rest of the lake. During their surveillance, the officers scanned
back over to the couple and watched the wife reel in a fish. The
officers went back over and asked for her fishing license. She did
not have a fishing license and was issued a citation. The wife
later pleaded guilty in Lima Municipal Court for fishing without a
license.

• State Wildlife Officer Jason Parr was working deer enforcement
during the statewide deer gun season in Crawford County. On the
last day of the season, and only a couple of hours until legal
shooting hours were over, Parr observed a vehicle parked in a
field. Parr set out on foot to attempt to make contact with the
hunter. Upon locating the hunter and making contact with him, Parr
determined that the individual’s gun was unplugged. During the deer
gun season, it is unlawful to hunt or take a deer with a shotgun
capable of holding more than three shells. This means you may not
hunt with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells,
unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which limits the
capacity of the gun to three shells. The filler must be such that
it cannot be removed without disassembling the gun. Parr and the
hunter walked back to Parr’s truck. Upon checking the hunter’s
information through the ODNR dispatch center, it came back that the
deer hunter had a warrant out of Wayne County with a statewide
pick-up radius. Parr was also informed by dispatch that there was a
caution alert indicating that the individual had “violent
tendencies.” Wildlife Officer Matt Leibengood, who wasn’t far away,
heard the radio traffic and headed to Parr’s location to assist.
The hunter was handcuffed and advised of his warrant. The Crawford
County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the situation by
transporting the hunter to the Crawford County Jail. A summons was
issued to the deer hunter by Parr for hunting with an unplugged
shotgun. A total of $114 was paid in fines and court costs in
Crawford County Municipal Court for this violation.

• Ottawa County Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve and Lake Erie
Supervisor Gino Barna were checking deer hunters in Ottawa County
on opening day of deer gun season. Their first contact with a deer
hunter was around 8:30 a.m. Barna noticed a truck parked down a
grassy lane and a hunter standing close by. Officer Van Cleve drove
down the lane to make contact with the hunter. When the officers
exited their vehicle, they noticed a buck that had been field
dressed lying in an old fencerow close to the truck. Van Cleve
asked the man standing by the truck why the deer had not been
temporary tagged. The man stated that he did not know and that it
was not his deer. He stated that his friend shot it. The man
stated, “I told him that if a game warden pulled up that he would
get a ticket for not tagging it.” When the officers spoke with the
hunter, he stated that he could not find his tag after he had shot
the deer. The hunter had the tag in his shirt pocket. He was issued
a summons for not temporarily tagging a deer. He paid a $90 waiver
through Ottawa County Municipal Court.

• Huron County Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek was on patrol in Huron
County during the statewide deer gun season. Zientek was
concentrating his efforts in an area where numerous complaints
about hunting with the aid of motor vehicles and shooting deer from
the roadway had occurred. While Zientek observed two hunters
driving a small woodlot, he also observed a single occupant in a
truck sitting on the roadway. This was when Zientek was able to get
into position and observe the hunters while the hunters pushed the
woodlot. A short time later, Zientek observed a deer come out of
the woods and the truck took off to try to cut the deer off at the
road. This was when the occupant exited the truck and used the bed
of the truck as a rest and shot the deer while standing on a public
roadway. Zientek then made contact with the individuals involved
and the road hunter was summoned to appear in Bellevue Municipal
Court. Two days later, Investigator Jeff Collingwood happened to be
in the same area when he observed the same group of hunters
continuing to hunt in the same manner and two different hunters
chasing deer with a truck and jump out and shoot at the deer. When
Collingwood made contact with the hunters involved, he told them
that he knew that they were involved in this type of behavior two
days ago. The two hunters were issued summonses to also appear in
Bellevue Municipal Court and investigator Collingwood seized the
shotguns that they were using. All three of the suspects appeared
in front of Judge Kenneth Fox, who was not very pleased that two
days after the hunting party was caught shooting from the road that
the same hunting group had been violating the law again.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• Wildlife Officer Supervisor Brian Goldick and Geauga County
Wildlife Officer Scott Denamen recently traveled to Pennsylvania to
observe training at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in
Harrisburg. While there, they spent time with cadets in their final
weeks of instruction before they enter the field. The cadets were
demonstrating various aspects of self-defense and subject control
for their instructors as part of their final testing process.
Goldick and Denamen are members of the Division of Wildlife’s
training team. The team’s purpose is to keep Ohio wildlife officers
properly trained, both mentally and physically, in order to better
protect themselves and the public they serve. Officers train at
several periods during the year to improve and maintain the various
skills required by their job. Firearms, subject control, defensive
driving, and legal updates are all part of an ever-growing
curriculum.

• Stark County Wildlife Officer Mark Basinger contacted three men
fishing private property along the river below the Berlin Lake dam
who had walked past several “No Trespassing” signs. All three
individuals were charged with fishing without written permission.
Two of the men paid a bond forfeiture of $120 each. The third
fisherman, trying to avoid the inevitable, appeared in court and
pleaded guilty to the charge. The judge found him guilty and
ordered him to pay the same amount as his counterparts, $120 in
fines and court costs.

• Turn in a Poacher is offering a possible cash reward for
information leading to the arrest of individuals wanted for illegal
dumping of deer carcasses in parts of southwest Summit and
northeast Wayne counties. The suspect removes the back straps and
hams from the deer and then folds the hide back over the carcass,
securing it around the hips using duct tape.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• During this past muzzleloader season, Wildlife Officer Supervisor
Jay Abele was patrolling the AEP Recreation Area in Morgan County.
Abele observed a vehicle parked at a gate on a section of AEP
property closed to the public. He contacted Officer Eric Bear for
assistance. Abele unloaded his ATV and entered onto the closed area
to locate the hunters. He waited at their vehicle for the hunters
to return. Abele was able to locate all the hunters hunting on the
closed area. After contacting them, he sent them to the vehicle.
When the hunters returned to the vehicle, Bear issued them
summonses for hunting without permission. Bear issued summons to 10
hunters. All 10 hunters paid the bond for a total of $2,550 in
fines and court costs.

• While on routine patrol in Scioto County, Wildlife Officer Matt
Clark located a freshly dumped truckload of trash on the bank of
the Ohio River. After looking through the pile of old carpet and
boxes, Clark located a receipt from Wal-Mart. With assistance from
the Wal-Mart security office, Clark was able to associate a name
with the receipt. The woman who owned the trash told Clark that she
paid a man $50 to take the garbage to the dump for her. Clark went
to the suspect’s house and the man admitted to dumping the trash.
The man said that he chose that location because he knew people did
community service picking up trash in that area. In Portsmouth
Municipal Court, Judge Steven L. Mowery sentenced the man to a
total of $364 in court costs and fees, six months probation, five
days in jail suspended, and 80 hours of community service picking
up trash

• After receiving numerous complaints of individuals road hunting
during the state muzzleloader season, wildlife officers Ted Witham,
Jared Abele and Roy Rucker decided to set up a decoy project. After
some discussion about complaint areas, the officers settled on a
spot in Gallia County. At about an hour before dark, a vehicle was
observed driving very slowly down the road. As the vehicle
approached, Rucker could see four individuals in the vehicle that
were all dressed in hunter orange clothing. As they made their way
past the decoy, one of the individuals was heard saying, “there’s a
deer.” The vehicle started to come to a stop but other traffic
forced them to proceed on down the road. Rucker could hear the
vehicle stop just out of sight, and within seconds it was coming
back down the road. As it approached, Rucker heard one of the
individuals say “Stop, there he is.” The vehicle immediately
stopped in the middle of the road, the front passenger exited the
vehicle, took a rest across the windshield, and fired a shot. The
individual then reloaded, as two other vehicles passed their
location and fired a second shot. As the officers were responding,
the individuals were still there, trying to figure out why the deer
did not move. They quickly realized what was going on as wildlife
officers appeared from either direction. The shooter was issued two
citations for hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and shooting
from a public roadway. The driver was also issued one citation for
aiding a wildlife offender in hunting with the aid of a motor
vehicle. The driver paid a $255 waiver for his offense. The shooter
pleaded guilty to his charges in Gallipolis Municipal Court and was
ordered to pay $355 in fines and costs, forfeit his muzzleloader,
one-year hunting privileges revocation, one year of probation, and
ordered to retake a hunter education course.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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