Six guilty of hunting with aid of motor vehicle
Six central Ohio men who used two all-terrain vehicles to drive deer during a Dec. 2 hunt in southern Madison County paid the price in the county's municipal court on Dec. 14.
It's illegal in Ohio to hunt with the aid of a motor vehicle.
Gregory C. Ferguson, 50, 9945 Kiousville-Georgesville Rd., Mt. Sterling; Justin L. Liff, 24, 13853 Era Rd., Mt. Sterling; Nathan C. Melvin, 27, 6818 S. Section Line Rd., Delaware; Richard L. Phalen, 50, 13780 Era Rd., Mt. Sterling; Michael L. Smith, 21, 70 Cliffview Dr., Mt. Sterling and David C. Wilson, 28, 10 Mulberry, Bloomingburg, pleaded either guilty or no contest to various violations related to the Dec. 2 incident.
Ferguson, Melvin, Phalen, and Wilson were fined $75 each and ordered to pay an additional $100 in court costs. Magistrate David Owens suspended 60 days of jail time for each.
However, prior convictions for wildlife violations meant stiffer penalties for Smith and Liff.
Smith, also convicted of hunting deer without a tag, was fined $201 and ordered to pay another $250 in restitution to the ODNR wildlife division for the deer he bagged on Dec. 2. He will also spend a day in Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg.
Liff was ordered to spend a day in the jail and pay a total of $410 in fines and court costs.
It was an expensive lesson for the six men who were also placed on a year of non-reporting probation.
According to a report by Madison County Wildlife Officer Matt Teders, Phalen, and Wilson used the ATVs to "push" deer through a grassy field toward Ferguson, Liff, Melvin, and Smith, who were waiting for the animals with loaded guns.
Teders was westbound on a nearby road when he spotted the hunting party and heard the ATVs. Phalen and Wilson said they were unaware their activities were illegal.