Ohio Cuffs and Collars – May 25th, 2012

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• During archery season, Fairfield County Wildlife Officer Tony Zerkle received a call from the Ohio TIP line. The operator advised that a caller reported hearing a gunshot at dusk the night before and that the shot seemed to have come from a nearby property. The next morning, the caller drove past the residence and observed a deer hanging in the shed. Zerkle responded to the address and also observed a deer hanging in the shed. When Zerkle inspected the doe, it did not have a tag attached to it and there was a small hole in its neck. Upon investigation, it was determined the deer was killed with a .22 rifle. The suspect was issued two summonses for Fairfield County Municipal Court. The court ordered him to pay over $750 in fines and costs including $250 restitution for the illegally taken deer. His hunting license was suspended for one year and he is under probation for two years. The deer and rifle were forfeited to the Division of Wildlife.
• During the 2011 youth deer gun weekend, Logan County Wildlife Officer Adam Smith was on patrol. He had information that during archery season a hunter had harvested a deer using a gun. Smith decided to patrol the area in question; there he located an ATV parked next to a woodlot. Upon walking into the woods, Smith contacted a father and son hunting in a ground blind. While speaking with the pair, Smith asked the father how his deer season had been. The father was slow to reply to the question. His son suddenly interrupted and informed Smith that his dad had killed a 7-point buck a few weeks ago. It was discovered that the man had in fact shot a small 7-point buck two weeks earlier on the same property. Dissatisfied with the size of the antlers, the man transported the untagged deer home to Montgomery County where he processed it himself. He failed to permanently tag the deer so he could have a chance to kill a second and larger antlered deer. He was issued summonses for failing to temporary tag the deer and for failing to electronically permanently tag the deer. He pleaded guilty to the charges in Bellefontaine Municipal Court and Judge Ann Beck found him guilty. The man was ordered to pay $464 in fines and court costs and was ordered to serve three days in the Logan County Jail.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• With the close of the 2011-2012 deer season in February, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves Area Manager Ryan Schroeder tallied the harvest numbers for the controlled archery hunt at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve in Fulton County. In September, a drawing had been held at the preserve headquarters. Around 130 people attended the event. Officers from the Divisions of Natural Areas, Parks, and Wildlife, including Fulton County Wildlife Officer Bob Wolfrum, officiated a lottery-style drawing. Thirty-five names were drawn and each individual was allowed to bring a partner for a total of 70 hunters. A maximum of 10 hunters were permitted to archery hunt on the preserve each two-week period from October through February. Of the original 70 hunters drawn, 58 hunted at least one day. A total of 14 deer were harvested, including a nice eight-point buck. Antlerless deer permits were allowed to be used through the entire season during the controlled hunt. This hunt provides a unique opportunity for the lucky hunters to access an area that is usually closed to hunting. 
• Allen County Wildlife Officer Craig Barr and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Bob Radcliff were patrolling near the Allen and Putnam county line during the 2011 deer gun season when they spotted a truck parked along the roadside. As they passed the truck, the officers saw a deer’s rack protruding above the truck bed. Upon inspecting the deer, the officers noticed that it had not been tagged. The officers located a group of hunters nearby and questioned them regarding the deer. They determined that the deer had been checked in, but with an antlerless deer permit. The man who had shot and checked in the deer was out trying to harvest another deer using the permit he should have used on the deer in the truck. Appropriate tickets were issued. The hunter had already paid his fine when officer Barr filed the ticket in the Putnam County Court.
• Paulding County Wildlife Officer Duane Bailey was on patrol during the deer gun season when a passing motorist flagged him down and reported seeing a hunter crouched behind a tree in a nearby cemetery. The motorist thought it was inappropriate for someone to be hunting deer in a cemetery. Bailey proceeded to call the township trustee in charge of the cemetery to determine if anyone had been given permission to hunt. The trustee was adamant that no one had been given permission and requested enforcement. Bailey drove to the cemetery and found a man in hunting clothes about to leave in an automobile. The man had blood on his clothes and also on the rear bumper of his car. Bailey approached and asked the man if he had been hunting deer in the cemetery. The man said he had been with a group of hunters who had just conducted a “deer drive” in the adjacent field. The man explained he had “posted up” by a tree in the cemetery and had shot and killed a doe. Bailey explained that cemeteries are not public hunting areas and that the trustees had not given anyone permission to hunt. Bailey then examined the dead deer in the trunk of the man’s car and saw that he had failed to attach his temporary tag to it. The man was then cited for hunting without permission and for failing to properly tag the deer. He subsequently pleaded guilty to both charges and paid fines and costs totaling $420. The dead deer, which was seized as evidence, was forfeited and donated to a local food bank.
• While Crawford County Wildlife Officer Jason Parr was working during the statewide deer gun season, he approached a hunter in a treestand. The hunter climbed down out of the stand and began walking toward Parr. The hunter left his gun near the treestand. After contacting the hunter, Parr asked to see the man’s hunting license and deer permit. The man provided Parr with a license and antlerless deer permit. Upon asking if the hunter had a valid either-sex deer permit the man stated he had left it at the hotel where he was staying. Parr asked the hunter if he had harvested any deer earlier in the season. The man replied that he hadn’t killed any deer yet. Parr suspected that the hunter may have already used his either-sex permit on a previously harvested deer. Parr informed the man that his antlerless permit had expired the day before deer gun season in Deer Zones A and B. Crawford County, where the man was hunting, was in Deer Zone B. Parr also asked to check the hunter's shotgun to make sure it was plugged. Upon walking back and checking the man’s shotgun, Parr found that it was unplugged and capable of holding more than three slugs. Parr collected the man’s identification and checked the other members of the hunting party. One of the other hunters in the hunting party was the father of the first hunter. While checking the father, the man mentioned to Parr that his son had harvested a doe earlier that season in northeastern Ohio. Further investigation revealed that the man’s son killed a doe nine days earlier. An either-sex deer permit had been used to check in the deer. It was the only either-sex deer permit the hunter had purchased. Parr then issued two summonses to the hunter. One summons was for hunting deer without a valid deer permit and the other was for hunting deer with a shotgun capable of holding more than three slugs. The hunter appeared in the Crawford County Municipal Court and pleaded no contest to each charge. The hunter paid a total of $164 in fines and court costs. 
• During the 2011 youth deer gun season, Hardin County Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy was working deer enforcement activities and observed a youth hunter standing alone in a corn field. After contacting the young hunter, Kennedy determined that the adult, who was supposed to be accompanying the hunter, was in fact pushing deer to the youth. The adult was issued a summons for not accompanying the youth hunter and received a $155 fine. Later that year, during the extra two-day deer gun season, Kennedy and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Kevin Russell were checking hunters in Hardin County and contacted the same subject mentioned above. This time, the officers found the hunter using an unplugged shotgun. The subject was issued a summons and received a $100 fine. While in court the subject told the judge, “Your honor, I’m not going to hunt anymore.” The judge told the suspect, “At least not for three years because I’m suspending your hunting privileges for that period of time.”

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• In early spring while traveling from Berlin Lake to Lake Milton, Mahoning County Wildlife Officer Tom Frank observed a maroon truck turn in front of him with the driver holding what appeared to be a Bud Light beer bottle.  Frank contacted the sheriff’s office dispatcher, who indicated that the officer who would respond was currently involved on another call.  Frank followed the truck and relayed the vehicle’s location to the dispatcher. Due to the speed of the truck and other motorists driving on the roadway, Frank was no longer able to follow the suspect. Shortly thereafter, the sheriff’s deputy arrived at an intersection the suspects were travelling toward and initiated a traffic stop.  Frank arrived several minutes later. It was determined that the young men had beer in the truck, and the passenger had thrown two open bottles onto the roadway while they were driving. The driver, who was over the legal limit, was charged with OVI and underage consumption. The passenger was charged with underage consumption and Frank issued him a summons for litter. Although the cases filed by the sheriff’s office are currently pending in court, the passenger pleaded guilty to the litter charge and paid $170 in fines and court costs. 
• During last year’s deer gun season, Medina County Wildlife Officer Eric Moore received multiple complaints from a hunter who said there were other individuals hunting without permission on property he had hunted for years. While patrolling the area, Moore and Investigator Rick Louttit contacted six hunters on property adjacent to the complaint area. The individual who had been making the hunting without permission calls was leading the hunting party. Unfortunately, he and the other five members of the group were hunting on property they did not have permission to hunt. In addition, one of the men was carrying an unplugged shotgun, which had been given to him by the group’s leader. All of the men were charged with their respective offenses and ordered to appear in court.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• During the regular deer gun season, Wildlife Officer Jay Abele was checking hunters on the public hunting area of AEP. While checking a group with several deer in a truck, Abele recognized one of the names attached to an antlered deer and knew the person was not a hunter.  Abele called Wildlife Officer Todd Stewart and asked him to check the resident of the name on the tag. The man was home, so both Abele and Stewart went to the residence to interview him. He stated that he checked in the deer as a favor for someone else, but he did not harvest it himself. The man was cited for tagging a deer of another and paid $125 in fines and court costs. Abele then called the subject who had asked the man to check the deer in. The subject stated that he saw the deer and noticed it was wounded, so he shot it and then asked someone else to check it in. He had also shot another antlered deer the same day. The subject was given citations for failure to temporarily tag a deer at the place it fell, failure to permanently tag a deer, and taking more than one antlered deer per license year. Fines and court costs totaled $450.
• During April, Wildlife Officer Matt Clark received a call that two men were overbagging on hybrid striped bass at the Greenup dam. The caller gave an excellent description of the individuals and their vehicle, including a license plate number. Clark responded to the scene and watched the two individuals catch several hybrids. After watching for more than an hour, Clark made contact with the two individuals and discovered that they were 11 fish over the limit between both men. Clark also learned that these were the same men that Officer Brad Turner had arrested for the same violation four years prior on exactly the same day in April. Clark issued summons to both men who were required to appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court. Judge Russell D. Kegley sentenced each man to a total of $589 worth of fines and restitution as well as one year of probation, a six-month fishing license revocation, and 25 hours of community service.
• State Wildlife Officer Mike Reed was contacted about several large bags of trash that had been dumped on Tri-Valley Wildlife Area.  Reed visited the area and was able to locate the dump site. The suspect lived only about a mile from the area, so Reed visited the residence. The owner insisted that he had not dumped the trash, but that he believed he knew who did. He then went inside the house and came back out with his son, who admitted to dumping trash on two separate occasions. The son was issued a summons and paid a $325 fine; he also cleaned up the area where he had dumped the trash.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• In October, Clinton County Wildlife Officer Matt Roberts was patrolling Bott Wildlife Area in Brown County. There had recently been problems with persons driving in non-designated areas and new signs had just recently been put up in the parking lot stating “No Vehicles Beyond This Sign.” Roberts observed a vehicle parked in the field beyond the sign and began to investigate. The driver of the vehicle stated they had got there the night before and slept in the van, and his battery had died overnight. Roberts jumped the vehicle and then cited the driver for operating a vehicle in a non-designated area. They paid $182 in fines and costs.
• Butler County Wildlife Officer Aaron Ireland and Hamilton County Wildlife Officer Eric Lamb were working along the Great Miami River in Hamilton County in late August when they observed two men fishing at the bottom of a steep bank. The officers made contact with the two men at the top of the bank at the road. One of the individuals took off back down the hill and ran away. Upon talking to the other man, it was discovered the man who ran off had the car keys. The officers asked the man to call his friend and tell him to return, which he did a short time later. The man that ran came back walking on the road with no shoes. When he ran over the bank, he lost his shoes.  Both individuals were charged with fishing without a license.
• Mercer County Wildlife Officer Ryan Garrison received a tip through the 1-800 POACHER hotline during the 2011-12 deer gun season. The caller advised that a hunter had shot two bucks in the same day.  Garrison arrived at the location of the hunter shortly after he received the call. He found the vehicle at a residence near the location where the subject was hunting. Upon investigation, it was determined that the hunter had shot two bucks and returned to the house across the road to have the deer tagged in by two other people. The deer were left in the pickup truck behind the house. When Garrison inspected the deer, he saw that the people who had tagged the deer had used landowner tags on the deer, but were not the landowners.  Garrison seized the deer as evidence and cited the individuals for the tagging violations and harvesting two antlered deer in one hunting season. All three men were found guilty in court and ordered to pay a total of $1,907 in fines, court costs, and restitution to the state of Ohio. The shooter lost his hunting privileges for one year.
• Adams County Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey and Clermont County Wildlife Officer Terry Glynn were patrolling Adams County late one fall night when they noticed a pickup truck with a dog box in the back, parked on a piece of private property that did not allow hunting. The two officers hiked into the woods in search of the coon hunters. They noticed lights headed their way down the trail so the officers hid until the hunters passed by. The officers then announced themselves to the two hunters; the two hunters were taken by surprise and turned around to see the officers standing behind them. One of the men had a .22 rifle slung over his shoulder, the man handed over his rifle and the two admitted to hunting raccoon in the closed season. The two hunters were charged with hunting furbearers in a closed season resulting in $164 in fines for each hunter and the rifle was seized for evidence. 
• During the deer gun season, Miami County Wildlife Officer Jasmine Grossnickle received a telephone call concerning two men hunting without permission. Grossnickle arrived in the area and noticed two men bending down in the brush. The men were not wearing hunter orange. State Wildlife Officer Trent Weaver arrived to assist when Grossnickle approached the two men. Neither of the men had a firearm and insisted that they were not hunting. As Grossnickle called the complainant and confirmed the identities of the men in question, one of the men told Weaver where they had hidden their gun. Only one of the men had a firearm and was hunting. The hunter was in violation for hunting without permission, hunting without a valid out-of-state deer permit and hunting license, no hunter orange, unplugged shotgun, and deterring a wildlife officer. Grossnickle issued the hunter three of the possible six citations for the violations. The hunter paid $391 in fines and court costs.
• State Wildlife Officer Rick Rogers received a complaint on Oct. 1, 2010, from a waterfowl hunter. The complainant stated that “someone” keeps throwing beer cans and other trash in their duck blind. The next day, Rogers arrived at the duck blind to check out the complaint. As he exited his vehicle, he immediately heard what sounded like a party. He located 14 subjects drinking beer next to the complainant’s duck blind. As Rogers contacted the subjects, two of them threw their beer cans into the weeds and a third admitted to leaving a whole bag of cans in a “trash receptacle” along the lake. Rogers had them show him this trash receptacle and they walked to the duck blind (which in their defense was green and did look a little like a dumpster). All three subjects were cited for stream litter and each paid a $245 fine.

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