Man forfeits $1,300 in hunting gear
London, Ohio – A Columbus man forfeited $1,300 in archery gear and lost hunting privileges for a year after pleading guilty on Monday, Dec. 5, to multiple state wildlife violations, stemming from a Nov. 12 incident on land owned by Battelle Memorial Institute in eastern Madison County.
Derek M. Ranney, 23, 1277 Burnham Dr., was convicted in the county's municipal court of hunting without permission; hunting deer without a tag and deterring a wildlife officer from doing his duty.
Judge Eric Schooley sentenced Ranney to 30 days in jail, but suspended 29 of those days and gave the man credit for a day already served. The judge also ordered Ranney to stay away from Battelle property.
Schooley granted a request by the Ohio DNR's wildlife division to revoke Ranney's hunting license and confiscate the man's bow, tree stand, knife, rattle bag, string release and grunt call. Total value of the equipment is $1,300, according to court documents.
Prior to sentencing, Ranney apologized for his actions on the early morning of Nov. 12 when he fled Madison County Wildlife Officer Matt Teders and Battelle security staff who approached his tree stand.
"I didn't mean to hurt anyone," Ranney told Schooley.
"You were lucky you didn't get shot by Battelle security," Schooley said.
According to Teders' report, the officer spotted Ranney in the tree stand about 7:45 a.m., after Battelle security alerted him to its presence on company property.
Teders ordered Ranney out of the stand and grew leery when the man refused to take his hands out of his pockets.
Ranney acknowledged that he was in violation of the law, then abruptly bolted toward nearby Big Darby Creek. Both Teders and Battelle officers pursued, eventually collaring the man with pepper spray on the Madison County side of the creek.
West Jefferson police officers transported Ranney to Tri-County Regional Jail where the man spent the night before posting a $1,000 surety bond.
Battelle's West Jefferson research campus covers about 1,000 acres in eastern Madison County. The research giant does not allow hunting on any of its land, according to company spokesman T.R. Massey.