Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 11

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Wildlife Officer Mike Miller reports that he and Wildlife Officer
Dirk Cochran were assigned to investigate a digging ginseng without
permission complaint on two individuals. The officers investigation
involved a Mount Vernon resident found to be digging ginseng
without permission and failing to keep ginseng digging records. The
second man was contacted by officers in southeast Ohio and was also
investigated for digging ginseng without permission, digging on
state property, and not keeping records. The Mount Vernon man paid
fines and costs in Mount Vernon Municipal Court of $245, received
10 days jail that is suspended, and a two-year probation. A warrant
has been issued for the arrest of the other man.

• During the 2010 deer gun season, Wildlife Officer Dirk Cochran
received a complaint from a Morrow County landowner regarding a
subject hunting deer without permission. Cochran met the landowner
and found evidence that a deer had been shot on his property. The
evidence showed that after running a short distance the deer
eventually died and had then been drug onto an adjoining property
where the hunter had been standing. Cochran collected evidence and
photographed the area. Wildlife officers contacted the suspect
regarding this complaint. When confronted with the evidence that
Cochran had collected from the area, the suspect admitted that he
had shot the deer while it was on property where he did not have
permission to hunt. The suspect was issued a summons for hunting
deer without the landowners’ permission. The deer carcass was
seized. The suspects appeared before the Morrow County Municipal
Court, and pleaded guilty to hunting without permission. The court
found the suspect guilty and issued a fine of $500, ordered that
$500 in restitution be paid for the deer, and the suspect’s hunting
privilege were suspended for 180 days.

• During the two-day weekend deer gun season, a wildlife
investigator received a call about a suspicious individual walking
through a field. The caller advised the person was not wearing
hunter orange and may be hunting without permission. The
investigator was close to the location of the hunter and responded
to the area. Finding the suspected vehicle, the investigator
followed footprints in the snow attempting to locate the subject.
During this time, the investigator heard a ratcheting sound and
observed individuals engaged in alleged copper theft. The
investigator observed a come-along pulling wire from the ground,
bolt cutters, and piles of wire. The investigator identified
himself, and made contact with three suspects. The investigator
called for backup, not knowing what jurisdiction the offenses were
occurring in. The Columbus police helicopter responded along with
CPD officers, Reynoldsburg PD officers and Pataskala PD officers.
After one of the suspects complained of heart problems, numerous
fire department personnel and EMS units responded. The case was
turned over to Pataskala Police Department Officer Mark Decker.
Charges are pending in the Licking County Common Pleas Court for
felony vandalism, felony theft, and felony possession of criminal
tools for each of the three suspects.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• During the annual walleye run on the Maumee River, Wildlife
Officer Craig Barr was watching a group of fishermen. Everyone in
the group was occasionally observed snagging fishing line that had
already been broke off in the water. Everyone would wind up the
line and put it in a pocket in order to dispose of later. When
exiting the river to leave, one of the fishermen was observed
stripping approximately 30 yards of fishing line from his rod and
reel. Instead of putting it in his pocket like he had done before,
he tossed this line into the brush. The group, including the
litterbug, then returned to their vehicle to go to another
location. Barr contacted the individual and asked why he had
littered the fishing line after removing some of it from the river.
He responded that he guessed it was just a stupid decision. A
summons was issued for the littering violation. A few days later,
the group was contacted while Barr and others were checking for
fishing licenses. The group proudly showed the officers all the
line that they had picked up along the shoreline. The fisherman
that littered a few days earlier stated with a smile, “I even
picked up my own.”

• Wildlife Officer Brad Buening was working the Maumee River in Van
Wert County during the walleye season and observed a small group of
anglers off the point of Blue Grass Island. One angler reeled in a
walleye that was snagged in the tail. The angler took the hook out
of the walleye’s tail and acted like he was going to toss the
walleye back in the water. The angler then positioned his net in
such a way that when he released the walleye it would swim into the
net. Buening watched the angler for a while, and eventually the
fisherman reached down to take the walleye out of the net. The
angler was issued a citation for possessing a walleye taken by
snagging. The angler subsequently was found guilty in Maumee
Municipal Court.

• During the 2010 deer season an unusual call came into the Findlay
district office. A man from Defiance County called to inform Law
Enforcement Supervisor Paul Kurfis that he had committed a
violation and that he wanted to confess to the offense. The man
admitted that during the past week he had harvested a deer and
failed to check that deer in for permanent tagging. Kurfis then
passed the information to Defiance County Wildlife Officer Matt
Smith, who later contacted the man. While talking to the man, Smith
asked what had made him decide to confess. The man told the officer
that his wife had instructed him to “make things right.” No further
questions were asked. The man was issued a citation for failing to
permanently tag a deer and ordered to pay $140 in fines and court

• Wildlife officers Payne and Kennedy recently investigated a
person suspected of killing two bucks in Hardin County. The man was
in possession of a small rack, as well as a much larger rack, which
he stated his girlfriend killed. The suspect later changed his
story, stating that he had “found” the second, larger rack and then
bought a deer permit and hunting license for his girlfriend, so she
could check it in. The subject was cited for illegal possession and
also aiding in a wildlife violation. He was found guilty and fined
$150 plus court costs.

• As deer season 2010 closed down, wildlife officers have a chance
to do some follow up investigations. One such investigation was
done in Fulton County by Officer Bob Wolfrum. A suspect tagged an
8-point buck on opening day of the deer gun season. The man
temporary tagged the buck with a deer permit purchased after the
deer was killed. After an investigation, the man was found to have
put a temporary deer permit tag on a deer that was killed by his
father. Both men were summoned into Napoleon Municipal Court in
Henry County. They paid a $500 fine plus $120 court cost. Henry
County is in deer zone B, so the father could have just tagged the
buck himself, purchased another $24 deer permit and kept hunting
for another antlerless deer. That was the only deer the two men

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While checking a hunting without permission complaint during the
deer gun season, Lorain County Wildlife Officer Randy White
observed two suspects dressed in camouflage sitting on a knoll in a
grassy field. When the two men saw White approaching, they laid
down on the ground in an attempt to hide. White contacted the two
and discovered they did not have permission to hunt the property.
They were issued summonses for hunting deer without written
permission, failing to wear hunter orange clothing, and hunting
with an unplugged shotgun. They were convicted in Elyria Municipal
Court and ordered to pay more than $500 in fines and court

• During the deer gun season, Lorain County Wildlife Officer Randy
White received a complaint of a group of hunters hunting without
permission. White, Summit County Wildlife Officer Brennan Earick,
and Investigator Rick Louttit were less than a mile away and
quickly apprehended the group. Two individuals in the group had
received summonses for deer violations from Earick two days
earlier. Three suspects, all with multiple prior wildlife arrests,
were issued summonses for hunting without permission and paid more
than $1,400 in fines and costs. The men were placed on probation
for three years and ordered to remain at least 500 feet away from
the complainant’s property. They were also ordered to complete a
hunter education course.

• Lorain County Wildlife Officer Randy White received a complaint
from a trapper who stated that he had found three of his foot-hold
furbearer traps hanging in a high tension power line support tower.
After talking with neighbors, a suspect was identified. White
determined that the man had been walking his dogs and one had
gotten caught in a trap. Frustrated, he pulled three of the clearly
marked and legally set traps and threw them approximately 15 feet
up onto the tower. The individual was issued a summons for
disturbing a lawfully set trap.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• Because of the unusually wet spring this year in Ohio, many
unlawful individuals are riding ATVs and four-wheel-drive pick-up
trucks on state owned wildlife areas. This unauthorized use of
motor vehicles in non-designated areas has a profound impact on the
properties. The main concern are the ruts and washouts that are
created when the soil is saturated with rain. The erosion that
follows soon after can severely degrade the landscape. With this in
mind, Wildlife Officer Ted Witham decided to spend a couple of
hours in a particularly muddy section of a wildlife area in Jackson
County. Shortly after arriving, Witham stopped an ATV with two
riders. The driver was issued a ticket for operating a motor
vehicle in a non-designated area and sent on his way. Witham was
able to stop two more ATVs on the wildlife area a short time later.
Both of those individuals also received citations. Remember, state
owned wildlife areas are for hunting, fishing, trapping and
enjoying nature, not for testing out the four-wheel-drive
capabilities of your truck or ATV.

• On opening morning of the 2011 spring turkey season,
WildlifeOfficer Dan Perko was working a baited area with Ohio’s
2010 NWTF Officer of the Year, Eric Bear, in Washington County. It
started out as an early morning hour hike into a remote area of
Washington County. At the end of the trek, the officers settled on
the bait site perched on the side of a cliff overlooking the site.
The hunter soon entered the area and inspected his pile of corn
looking at tracks and feathers. Bear made contact with the hunter
who admitted to recently putting up the feeder to attract turkeys
and hunting over the bait. The hunter was cited for hunting wild
turkey over a baited area. It was a great ending to a beautiful

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• During deer gun season, Wildlife Officer Byron Rice observed a
vehicle parked near a wooded area in Clark County after legal
shooting hours. Rice determined that it was likely a deer hunter,
but was concerned because it was 45 minutes after shooting time and
getting darker by the minute. Another 15 minutes passed before a
hunter finally emerged from the woods. Rice shined his flashlight
onto the hunter and announced himself as a wildlife officer. After
conducting a field check on the hunter, Rice found that the
hunter’s shotgun was still loaded an hour after shooting time. When
asked about the loaded gun after legal hunting time, the hunter
told Rice that he was not aware of that law and thought that he
could hunt a ½-hour after sunset. The hunter was told that he was
still late even if the hunting hours were a ½-hour past sunset. The
hunter was cited for possession of a loaded firearm after hunting

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