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Ohio Cuffs & Collars – October 25th, 2013

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• While on patrol in Marion County, state wildlife officer Chad Grote visited Quarry Park to check individuals for fishing license compliance. He contacted a group of four people fishing; two of the individuals fishing were unlicensed and were issued summons for fishing without a license. They were found guilty in Marion Municipal Court and each paid $138 in fines and court costs.
• In July, state wildlife officer supervisor Mike Miller was called to assist the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. The Knox County deputies were responding to a possible suicide attempt when they discovered multiple wildlife violations. Officer Miller seized seven untagged deer racks from the Mount Vernon residence. Later, the case was assigned to state wildlife officer Josh Shields. Officer Shields issued the man one citation for the unlawful possession of deer parts since the man was not able to provide a receipt or tag for the untagged deer. The case is currently pending in Mount Vernon Municipal Court.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Several days after the DNR Division of Wildlife released trout into Schoonover Lake in Lima, state wildlife officer Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, received phone calls concerning anglers taking more than the daily limit. One morning while officer Barr was checking anglers, he noticed one man quickly began to pack up his equipment after he had seen officer Barr arrive at the lake. Officer Barr approached the man and asked if he had any luck. The angler said that he had caught five and that his wife, who was no longer present, had caught three. As suspected, the man was in possession of eight trout. No one nearby could confirm anyone had been with the man that morning. When the fisherman’s wife was contacted, she said that she and her sister had been there earlier and they had caught seven fish between them. When questioned about his sister-in-law, the fisherman stated that she had come to pick up his wife and he did not think that she fishes. It was obvious that the fisherman and his wife were being dishonest. The fisherman was issued a citation for possessing more than his daily limit of trout. He was found guilty in Lima Municipal Court and was required to pay $360 in fines and court costs.
• State wildlife officer Jason Parr recently issued a summons to an individual for fishing without a license in Crawford County. Upon running a check on the individual, Officer Parr learned a protection order prohibited the man from having contact with certain individuals. Officer Parr was also made aware of a caution indicator for the man concerning violent tendencies. The man was compliant and cooperative during officer Parr's contact with him. A few days after issuing the man a summons for fishing without a license, Officer Parr encountered the same individual fishing again. The man proudly produced a valid fishing license for officer Parr on this occasion. Officer Parr checked the fishing license, chatted with the man for a few seconds and the two parted ways. A couple of days after officer Parr’s last contact with the fisherman, officer Parr stopped in the Crawford County Municipal Court to check on the status of the man’s fishing license case. Upon inquiring about the case, officer Parr was informed that the defendant was in jail on a felony charge. The man was scheduled to have a video arraignment for the felony charge in a few minutes. Officer Parr met with the prosecutor to inform him about the fishing without a license summons he had issued to the man. During the video arraignment Officer Parr learned that the man had a lengthy criminal history involving harassment, assault, and felonious assault, among others. The man had been arrested only a few days after his last contact with officer Parr for being in possession of a weapon while under disability. During the video arraignment, the man was found guilty of fishing without a license. He received a $100 fine for the violation. With the addition of court costs the man’s total fine was $189.
• Lake Erie wildlife investigator Jerry Duckworth and District One investigator Steve Harvey were on patrol in Knox County during the 2012 deer gun season. They drove into a valley and were surprised to see well more than 100 deer standing in an open field. Later that day, the officers contacted a group of deer hunters to check for licenses and permits. The hunters were disappointed in their lack of success and stated there were no deer left. The officers laughed and told the hunters about the large herd of deer they had seen earlier in the day just down the road. The officers concluded their checks and continued looking for more hunters to check.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• State wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, responded to a complaint from a concerned citizen regarding an illegal trash dump in a rural area. Officer Porter arrived at the scene and noticed a large amount of trash dumped along a township road. After digging through the garbage, which consisted of diapers, bottles, cans, tires, toys, and burnt household trash, officer Porter was able to locate a piece of paper with a partial name and address to develop a suspect. He went to the residence and noticed an area of the driveway with remnants of burned trash. The results of the investigation revealed that the homeowner had dumped the items. The individual was issued a summons for litter and appeared in court. He was convicted and paid $250 in fines and court costs. The man was also ordered to clean up the dump site.
• During the 2013 spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was on patrol when he noticed a vehicle parked along the road in the early morning. Using the vehicle’s license plate number, officer Porter checked the individual through the DNR Division of Wildlife’s license system and determined that the owner of the truck did not possess a valid 2013 turkey permit. Officer Porter exited his vehicle and walked into the wooded area where he thought the man may be hunting. Shortly after entering the woods, officer Porter heard what sounded like two individuals yelling back and forth. He stopped and as he was listening to the men, he noticed a foothold trap on the ground with a severed raccoon foot in it. Officer Porter also located another trap, which was still set. He continued toward the area where the men were talking and observed them remove copper wire and scrap metal from a garage and carry it back to the truck. Officer Porter contacted and informed the landowner and the Jefferson County Sheriffs’ Office regarding the situation. He stopped the men until a deputy arrived and then returned to the area where he had observed the traps. He photographed the scene, seized the traps as evidence, and identified the name and address of the owner listed on the trap tag. The man was contacted and issued two summonses; one for failure to check traps every 24 hours and one for trapping during the closed season. He was ordered to pay $160 in fines plus court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• While patrolling the AEP Recreation Grounds for early anglers, wildlife officer Todd Stewart, assigned to Morgan County, and field supervisor Jay Abele noticed a large rebel flag flown next to a popular fishing spot off State Route 83. The officers noticed four subjects had set up camp, with a fire going and a large amount of empty beer cans in the area. When the officers contacted the subjects, they found several firearms in camp and several shot-up cans on the other side of the lake. There were many fishing poles at the camp, but only one subject had a fishing license. The subjects were made to tear down camp and pack everything up. The subjects were then cited for their violations and released.
• While patrolling Guernsey County during the 2013 spring wild turkey hunting season, wildlife officer Roby Williams observed several vehicles parked at a cabin in his area of assignment. Knowing the landowner of the cabin owned approximately five acres, Williams decided to walk a property line to check for hunting without permission. While on foot and close to the property line, Williams observed a hunter in full camouflage walking away from him. He contacted the hunter and checked her hunting license and turkey permit. Williams asked the hunter if anyone else was hunting. She stated that the landowner and his friend were in a blind close behind the house. The hunter led Williams to the blind. As Williams approached the blind he noticed corn scattered around a hen decoy just in front of the blind. Williams called the hunters out of the blind. When they approached, Williams immediately smelled the odor of marijuana. Williams escorted the hunters back to the blind, unloaded their shotguns and questioned them about the violations. Both hunters gave Williams small bags of marijuana they used while hunting. Williams charged the hunters with possession of a firearm while under the influence of drugs and hunting turkeys over a baited site. Both hunters were found guilty. They received more than $525 in fines and court costs, and a five-day suspended jail sentence. Their hunting licenses were suspended for one year and they were placed on 12 months probation.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, and wildlife officer supervisor Brian Goldick saw several men dove hunting on a farm in September. When the officers checked the hunters, they all had the correct licenses and all their guns were plugged so as to prevent more than three shells from being loaded at one time in accordance with the law. The officers noticed during the contact a little bit of cracked corn on the ground by the hunters’ trucks. Officer Turner headed down to the barn where a couple of hunters were. As he  walked back to the barn, officer Turner noticed several small piles of cracked corn and also noticed that he was flushing up doves as he walked by the corn. Officer Turner checked two men behind the barn in an old cattle feed lot for license compliance and noticed that there was at least 50 pounds of corn scattered around. Officer Turner told the two men to unload their guns and head toward the house. Officer Turner then walked around the area the men were hunting and counted 67 small piles of cracked corn. Officers Goldick and Turner talked to the men and they were aware of the corn and knew they shouldn’t have been hunting mourning doves there because of the baited field. Officers Turner and Goldick issued the six men summonses for hunting mourning doves over bait. They each paid $195 in fines. 

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