Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 15

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• On a recent Sunday afternoon, wildlife officers Steve Harvey and
Dirk Cochran were checking fisherman at Alum Creek Reservoir.
Harvey contacted Cochran to ask for assistance on observing a group
of fisherman that he had located in a remote fishing access area.
The officers had noted a large amount of litter had been left at
the location in that past, and had been watching that area in an
attempt to arrest the people littering. Cochran and Harvey observed
the group from separate locations and recorded their actions for
almost two hours. When the men began to gather their possessions to
leave the area, one of the men picked up their drink bottles, bait
containers, and an empty pizza box. He carried the trash to the
edge of the mowed grass and tossed the items into a brushy area.
The men then picked up their folding chairs, fishing equipment and
other items and left the area. The officers contacted the men as
they were loading their items into a vehicle at the parking lot
over 200 yards way from the area that they had been fishing. Two of
the men denied fishing when asked for their fishing license and
questioned if they were required to provide their identification to
wildlife officers. The officers told the men that they had been
observed for quite some time and that all of them had been fishing
and that one of them was going to be cited for littering. Once the
men were identified, officers found that one of the men did not
have a fishing license and the other that denied fishing had a
license but had left it at home. The man that had no fishing
license was issued a summons for fishing without a license, pleaded
guilty, and paid a fine of $155. The man that had littered asked
the officers if he could go back and pick up his trash, he then
offered to get a bag and pick up all of the litter in the area in
order not to receive a ticket. Cochran informed the men that making
him pick up all the trash would be a punishment and that would be
left to the court to decide. The man was issued a summons to appear
in Delaware Municipal Court for littering. He was found guilty and
was ordered to pay $219 in fines and court costs.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Wildlife officers Duane Bailey and Ryan Kennedy were checking
fishing licenses along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo when
they observed three men suddenly drop their rods and run in the
opposite direction. After a brief foot pursuit, the officers caught
up with the men and ordered them to stop. They complied and were
asked if they had fishing licenses. Each man stated he did not have
one. The three were then escorted back to the officers’ patrol
vehicle where summons could be issued. There, the officers learned
perhaps the main reason the men had run. While checking for
warrants on their mobile computer terminal, the officers discovered
one of the anglers was wanted by the Toledo Police Department on a
felony drug charge. The officers quickly restrained the wanted man
and notified the police department of their capture. Eventually,
two Toledo police officers arrived and took custody of the wanted
man, but not before the wildlife officers completed issuing their
summons for the license violations. Afterwards, they resumed
checking fishing licenses, contacted a total of 69 anglers, and
issued two more summons.

• While state Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek was conducting
surveillance on the Sandusky River, he observed an individual snag
and keep a walleye. Zientek watched the suspect look around to make
sure nobody was watching. The subject then placed the fish onto a
stringer and kept it. In just a few minutes, another individual,
who was standing next the first suspect, snagged a walleye and also
looked around and placed it onto a stringer. When Zientek contacted
the two suspects, both of them told Zientek that they had released
several other fish that they snagged and thought it was OK to keep
the ones they did. Zientek issued both suspects summons for taking
a walleye by snagging.

• The state wildlife officer assigned to Ottawa County, Reid Van
Cleve, and Investigator Jeff Collingwood were checking fishermen at
Sandusky Bay when they observed a boat with three individuals
fishing. Both officers saw the fishermen bring in several walleyes
in a short amount of time. The three fishermen were contacted and
it was determined that all three of the individuals committed
snagging violations and were issued summonses for snagging game
fish. One of the fishermen was also issued an additional summons
for littering a beer can. Currently, one of the fishermen has plead
guilty for snagging and stream litter and has paid $180 in fines
and court costs. The other two are awaiting court.

• On a warm March day, Wildlife Officer Matthew Leibengood stopped
at Veteran’s Memorial Reservoir on his way to Findlay to see if the
crappies were biting. Sure enough, two fishermen were walking to
their parked car with what appeared to be a heavy bucket.
Leibengood checked for fishing license compliance and then looked
at the fish in the bucket. One of the fishermen told Leibengood
that all of the fish were of legal size because they were all
bigger than his hand. This sparked the officer’s curiosity, so he
measured all of the fish. Leibengood found numerous crappies just
under the legal size, and one a full inch under the legal size. The
fisherman was issued a summons to appear in Fostoria Municipal
Court for the violation. The defendant was found guilty and paid
$168 in fines and court costs.

• During the spring walleye run, Wyandot County Wildlife Officer
Brad Baaske was working surveillance of walleye anglers on the
Sandusky River. He observed two men who were fishing together each
snag a walleye and place the two fish on the same rope stringer.
One of the men was also removing walleyes from a second stringer
and replacing them with larger walleyes that he had caught. When
the men were ready to leave, Baaske observed that each of the men
was carrying a stringer of four walleyes. Baaske contacted the men
at their vehicle and spoke to them about the snagged fish. Further
investigation showed that one of the men had caught and kept six
walleyes, which put him two over his daily bag limit. The illegal
fish were seized and held as evidence. The men were cited for the
snagging and over bag violations. They paid a total of $320 in
fines and court costs in Fremont Municipal Court.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• During the 2010 deer archery season, Ashtabula County Wildlife
Officer Jason Hadsell received a phone call from a landowner
regarding a person tracking a deer on his property without
permission. The landowner stated that he approached the hunter and
told him that he would help him recover his wounded deer. Once the
deer was found, the man stated that he was going to get his friend
and return with his ATV. Hadsell arrived shortly thereafter as the
men were loading the deer onto the ATV. Hadsell followed the men
back to their residence. When he arrived, he noticed that the deer
had not been temporarily tagged. While Hadsell was talking with the
man on the ATV, the second individual was coming out of the house
with a handmade “landowners” temporary tag. Results of the
investigation revealed that the adjacent landowner, the man
tracking the wounded deer, did not shoot the animal. Hadsell issued
a summons to the hunter who had killed the deer but failed to
immeditely attach a temporary tag to it. It was also later
discovered that neither the hunter nor the homeowner owned any land
surrounding the residence. Hadsell returned to the hunter’s home
several days later and issued him two additional summonses for
hunting without a valid license and deer permit. The man was
convicted in court and ordered to pay $200 in fines and court
costs. Additionally, his hunting privileges were revoked for three
years.

• While conducting fishing license compliance along a very remote
area of Clendening Lake in Harrison County, Wildlife Officer
Supervisor Peter Novotny observed several adult subjects drinking
beer next to their vehicles. Novotny contacted the subjects and
noticed several fresh beer cans littered along the bank. Three of
the male subjects were highly intoxicated and started to become
belligerent. Prior to issuing citations for litter and open
container, Novotny conducted a check on his patrol vehicle’s mobile
computer. Novotny was notified that one of the subjects had a
felony warrant with an officer safety caution. In addition, an
inquiry on one of the vehicles revealed that it had been stolen.
Coshocton County Wildlife Officer Jarrod Allison was the closest
wildlife unit available and he headed toward the location. The
Harrison County Sheriff’s Office sent three deputies to assist
Novotny, as well. The car was towed and the individual jailed on
the felony warrant. The other subjects were cited for the alcohol
violations on the wildlife area.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• An investigation into suspected deer poaching in Belmont County
by a Michigan resident led Wildlife Officer Brian Baker to contact
Michigan DNR. At the request of Baker, Michigan Conservation
Officer Kristopher Kiel began an investigation into the incident
and determined that the suspect saw a 10-point buck dead in a field
while driving down the road while driving through Ohio. The deer
was still warm, but had not been gutted. The suspect hid the deer
by covering it with vegetation, purchased a hunting license and
deer permit, and returned to tag and check the deer. It is unknown
if the deer had been poached, legally shot and not found, or if in
fact a hunter was still looking for it. “The only person who can
place a tag on a deer is the person who kills it and the same goes
with checking a deer,” says Baker. “I should have been contacted
before the deer was ever moved.” The antlers were seized by the
Michigan officer and returned to Ohio. The suspect was charged with
tagging a deer of another and presenting false information to a
check station. He paid $295 in fines and costs and the antlers were
forfeited to the state. The time and effort provided by Kiel is
much appreciated.

• While on patrol in Scioto County, state wildlife officers Matt
Clark and Roy Rucker decided on an inspection of a wild animal
propagator. Upon pulling into the driveway the officers noticed two
live wild boar in a cage on the back of a pickup truck, as well as
one dead boar tied to the back of the cage. When the officers made
contact with the man, he informed them that he was very tired
because he had been up all night hunting hogs in Gallia County. The
man then went on to explain how his dogs caught the hogs in Wayne
National Forest, and then he tied up the pigs and carried them back
to the truck by himself. The man was issued three summonses for
failing to euthanize wild boar at the location of capture. The man
was found guilty by Judge Margaret Evans in Gallipolis Municipal
Court, and paid a total of $405 in fines and court cost. The
Division of Wildlife encourages the eradication of wild boar in
Ohio. The transportation of these live animals could lead to
disease transmission or their release into yet another area of the
state.

• During the Memorial Day weekend, Wildlife Officer Eric Bear was
working from a boat on the Muskingum River. Bear observed a group
of individuals fishing from the river bank. Bear watched the group
for several minutes to determine which individuals were actively
fishing. After the entire group was observed fishing, wildlife
officers Chris Dodge and Dan Perko contacted the group. One of the
individuals stated that he did not have a valid 2011 fishing
license. This was the third time since 2007 that the individual was
charged with fishing without a license. He pleaded guilty all three
times. If he had purchased three licenses, he would have paid $57.
Instead, he paid $450 in fines and court costs.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• While working fishing license compliance on Grand Lake St. Marys,
Mercer County Wildlife Officer Ryan Garrison observed a motorcycle
parked next to the lake. Garrison could see a male and a female
about 30 yards from him, standing next to a channel with their
backs toward him. Garrison watched as the two passed what appeared
to be a marijuana joint back and forth. Garrison exited his vehicle
very quietly and approached the subjects. He positioned himself
between them and the water and then identified himself as a state
wildlife officer. The couple turned around in surprise and just
stared. Garrison could see the joint in the male subject’s hand and
he was looking toward the water. Garrison asked the male to hand
over the marijuana and not to throw it into the water. As he handed
the joint over, he began pleading with Garrison to let them go. The
male subject tried to make his case by stating that it was his only
joint and it was not like he was out drinking alcohol. When asked
if he had any more marijuana, the male subject retrieved another
one from his motorcycle. He was cited for possessing marijuana and
pleaded guilty in court. He lost his driving privileges for six
months and paid $156 in fines and court costs.

Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit

• Lake Erie investigators Gary Manley and Jerry Duckworth were
working Lake Erie on July 4 with Law Supervisor Gino Barna in the
vicinity of the Toledo shipping channel. A vessel was observed
fishing 11 rods with three fishermen aboard. The law allows two
rods per person, so three tickets were issued for using too many
rods. A Michigan boat was spotted in the “ditch” with four
fishermen aboard four miles into Ohio waters. Three of the four
anglers did not have Ohio fishing licenses and were issued tickets.
A lake chart is an important tool in helping a boater know his or
her location.

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